Obamacare trumps Trumpcare

Donald Trump has warned GOP lawmakers that they could lose the majority in the mid-term elections if they vote against TrumpCare. But as above, most Americans do not like TrumpCare and could vote GOP lawmakers out in about 20 months. So the lawmakers either choose going against TrumpCare and probably keep their job and possibly the majority or vote for TrumpCare but get booted out in 20 months but no tweet wrath from Trump. Hmmm. Tough choices.

In the end, the vote on TrumpCare and to repeal ObamaCare was postponed on Thursday because there wasn’t enough votes even after some wheeling and dealing with various factions.

Then [after consulting with Trump] Speaker Paul ran canceled the vote on Friday. Trump quickly blamed the Democrats and the media even though it was the various factions in the Republican party that doomed it. Trump said he “learned a lot about loyalty” [in his own party].

He also said he’d let Obamacare “explode” – but no idea of what he meant by that comment.

They were unable to narrow the schism between Freedom Caucus conservatives, who believe the bill keeps too much of Obamacare intact and moderates who worry they will pay an electoral price if millions of Americans lose health insurance. The loser should blame them.

Ryan told reporters. “We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

There were at least 26 Republicans in the house that are also against the American Health Care Act [a.k.a. Trumpcare] for a number of reasons including the Congressional Budget Office study suggesting it could deprive 24 million people of insurance. Another 4 were leaning that way. If more than 21 Republicans are against AHCA, the bill will fail.

In addition, changes Republicans made earlier this week to the bill will actually only decrease federal deficits by $150 billion over 10 years, while the original measure would have lowered deficits by $337 billion.

A Fox News poll found that only 34% of Americans backed Trumpcare. Interesting as the GOP claim the majority of Republican voters like Trumpcare. It will probably affect the majority of Americans with many in mid and low income citizens being forced to pay more. Coupled with the chopping or reduced budget for many areas of the government and those who voted for Trump [tend to be the same people he’s hurting with the budget and Trumpcare] will not be to happy.

A report said that Mitch McConnell and speaker Paul Ryan at one time proposing repealing Obamacare first and then add Trumpcare. But wouldn’t that mean no healthcare coverage at all?

Trump was also upset that his advisor Jared Kushner wasn’t in Washington. He along with Ivanka and family and other Trump family members were in Aspen [see later]. I’m sure Trump new about it – they took the family plane there.

If he lost on killing Obamacare, Trump wants to tackle tax reform next and they say it could be an even bigger battle.

Just before FBI Director James Comey was to testify in front of congress regarding any association between Russia and the Trump administration, Trump went on his usual Twitter tirade accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates’ contact with Russia during the election, to go after Hillary Clinton and find the leaks. Trump also suggested, without evidence, that Clinton’s campaign was in contact with Russia and had possibly thwarted a federal investigation.

In another blow to Trump, the top two lawmakers on the House intelligence committee said that documents the Justice Department and FBI delivered late last week offered no evidence that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower.

White House spokesman Sean “Garlic” Spicer tried to clarify Trump’s comments saying he wasn’t using the word wiretapping literally, noting that Trump had put the term in quotation marks. Trump “used the word wiretap in quotes to mean broadly surveillance and other activities,” Spicer said. He also suggested Trump wasn’t accusing former President Barack Obama specifically, but instead referring to the actions of the Obama administration. OK. So why wait so long to say so? Not all the tweets contained quotes related to wiretapping.

Trump may have disclosed classified information that the CIA was “hacked” during an interview. Trump said the leak occurred while Obama was in office – shifting the cowardly blame to him.

Trump said he shouldn’t be blamed for quoting a Fox News analyst who had accused British intelligence of helping Obama spy on him. But shouldn’t he be verifying fake news first?

Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News analyst who was praised by Trump, has apparently been benched by the network. He repeatedly relayed information from anonymous sources about former President Obama using the British to spy on Trump. His claims were strongly denied by American and British authorities and Fox’s own news anchors disavowed Napolitano’s claims.

Trump approved the Keystone XL pipeline and claiming that work can start right away. As usual, he is wrong. The state of Nebraska has to approve the pipeline path and that could take up to 8 months. Other portions of the pipeline were built before the Trump administration.

Spicer read off a script in announcing the pipeline complete with saying the previous administration did nothing in eight years while Trump did it in 2 months – except the US government didn’t get involved until mid-2010.

“I guess I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not,” Trump said in a Time magazine interview.

“I quoted the judge the other day, Judge Napolitano,” Trump told Time, referring to the Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano, who reported the information on Fox News about British spying on behalf of President Obama using anonymous sources, on which Trump’s White House based the claim. So it is OK for Trump to use information based on anonymous sources but not everyone else.

Remember Trump claiming Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination? Trump referred to a newspaper story which had a picture of Ted Cruz, his father, and Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.” And where is that story and picture? He didn’t accuse Ted Cruz on being part of the assassination?

Presented with a litany of other falsehoods and mischaracterizations, Trump offered this nonchalant rebuttal to his critics: “I tend to be right. I’m an instinctual person, I happen to be a person that knows how life works.” Seriously?

“Brexit, I predicted Brexit, you remember that, the day before the event. I said, ‘No, Brexit is going to happen,’ and everybody laughed.” You don’t have to be a genius to know that Brexit could be coming very soon – just need to look at what’s going on at the time.

Despite previously stating that she would not take on an official role in her father’s administration, Ivanka Trump is now moving into an advisory position in the White House. Like father, like daughter. Liars. Ivanka Trump has started a job as an unpaid worker in the West Wing, complete with an office and staff. She also has a higher security clearance. As well as  divesting some of her assets [for ethics reason] and selling $36.7 million in assets to comply with ethics rules, she still owns her clothing and jewelry brand [will get a fixed amount but no shares as company staffers will manage the company for her].

While they were on spring break in Aspen, Colorado, the Secret Service “signed a contract last week for more than $12,000 with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club for rental ski equipment and clothing.” So another bill on the taxpayer’s dime, aside from the secret service, accommodations, food, airplane, vehicles, extra police, etc. Vanity Fair reported “annoyed” New York moms and limited availability at local dining hot spots. And “dozens” of protesters took to the town’s Main Street on Sunday morning, per the Denver Post.

At least Ivanka didn’t lose her $585 US Dior sunglasses in Aspen.

[Aspen was the site of a very public feud between the future President, Ivana, and Marla Maples, who later became Trump’s second wife. When the family was vacationing there in December 1989, Ivana, approached Maples at a popular mid-mountain restaurant and told her to stay away from her husband.]

Trump said that Germany owes “vast sums of money” to NATO and the U.S. “must be paid more” for providing defense, reiterating his stance that European allies need to meet their end of the bargain if they are to continue benefiting from the military alliance. But Trump said at the press conference that many countries owe “vast sums of money” — but he declined to identify Germany, at the time, as one of those nations. NATO uses 2% of the nation’s guideline for what they need to give to the alliance. While few give 2% or more, none have taken out loans.

Trump pushed back against the notion in Europe that his “America First” agenda means he’s an isolationist, calling such a suggestion “another example of, as you say, fake news.”

Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, revealed that communications of Trump and associates may have been picked up after the election by intelligence agencies conducting surveillance of foreign targets.

Trump said in December that “I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done.” Yet he has spent 25% of his presidency at Mar-A-Lago.

Both New York City and West Palm Beach police have complained that the extra costs in protecting Trump and his family in either locations coming from their security budget reducing police presence elsewhere. For New York, it is $146,000 a day just for police. This would exclude state police, the FBI and Secret Service plus the inconvenience for those living, working or owning a business in Trump Tower and surrounding area.

Trump, once a critic of his predecessor’s golfing, has visited two of his golf courses in Florida – seemingly to play the sport – 11 times in the first two months of his presidency plus once in Virginia [unsure if he played though]. “I’m going to be working for you; I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said during a 2016 event in Virginia, jabbing at Obama. “I love golf, I think it’s one of the greats, but I don’t have time,” he said in December.

The Trump family’s south Florida golf club, Mar-A-Lago, doubled its entrance fee to $200,000 after Trump’s inauguration.

Meanwhile a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit, Trump went after Germany because they don’t spend enough on NATO and defense spending. Coward he is. What Trump fails to understand, part of the US’s spending in NATO is for NATO to secure all of the alliance’s countries. The European countries are a “first line” of defense for the US. The same reason why the US is in the Middle East – to stop terrorists there before they come to the US.

Seems Trump didn’t want to shake hands with Merkel. Lip readers said she asked him at the photo opp.

With the announcement of the first Trump budget, many departments will end up with major slashing in what they could spend. Almost every department will experience cuts with very few exceptions. Hardest hit includes the EPA, Corporation for Public Broadcasting [PBS, NPR, etc.], etc. Add the programs such as Amtrak, Meals on Wheels, Air traffic control [shift from FAA to a private non-profit company], program offering jobs to senior citizens, etc. [Many Americans will be asking why did they vote for Trump after this.]

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s credibility is being questioned after publicly defending President Trump’s conspiracy theories and falsehoods. He tried to defend Trump saying Paul Manafort had an insignificant “limited role” in the campaign when he was campaign chairman for 5 months. Spicer said he came on in June when Manafort was hired at the end of March 2016 according to a press release. Add his other issue such as arguing with reports, saying he has no idea when it’s already known, false statements about crowd size at the inauguration, and Obama using the British to wiretap Trump.

Trump announced that Charter Communications will spend $25 million US and create 20,000 jobs in the US as it brings back overseas call centers. Problem is that Charter announced this already in 2015. And he’s taking credit… Again. Charter didn’t seem to mind – the CEO was present at the re-announcement.

Trump cited a Bleacher Report that NFL owners were avoiding hiring San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick because they did not want to face Trump’s Twitter wrath. Kaepernick caused a problem for kneeling during the national anthem before kickoff at his games to protest racism and police brutality.

A bit of humor…. Trump-Induced Anxiety Disorder, or TIAD

 

A busy week for Mr. Drumpf

The White House [may have] has apologized to the British government after alleging that a UK intelligence agency GCHQ [the equivalent of the US National Security Agency] spied on Trump at the behest of former President Barack Obama. White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s comment from the White House podium about a Fox News report that said British intelligence helped wiretap Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.

The Fox correspondent suggested that Obama used the British to do the spying as it is illegal for Obama or his administration to order wiretapping without approval of a court.

And yet, while every politician not in the Trump administration [both Republican and Democrat] claim there is no evidence of wiretapping, the administration claims there is. Trump said he would produce evidence within the next couple of weeks. Why not now? [Maybe because he has none!]

Whether or not there is any evidence about Trump’s claim that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower in New York, the damage will be done. Trump supports will continue to claim this the same way Trump and supporters claimed that Obama wasn’t born in the US or many other lies that were mentioned through the election process.

Meanwhile Trump claims he used quotations in his initial tweets claiming he wasn’t specifically saying wiretaps but other forma. And yet his latter tweets about it didn’t have quotes around wiretapping word. Backpedaling didn’t work. No one believes him.

In an interview Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway, senior White House adviser, said “What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately,” including “microwaves that turn into cameras,….” Latest she said that comment was taking out of context. I hope so but I doubt it!

Conway said “we know (former national security adviser) General (Michael) Flynn was wiretapped,” with no proof, of course. Then she said it was “leaked” – not the same as wiretapped.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in town on Friday for a visit, supposedly was given a copy of Playboy – not for the pictures [although it may be the first edition with nude females in over a year, but I digress] but because it has an article on how Trump supposedly thinks. Doesn’t Germany have their own intelligence agency?

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, 14 million Americans who were using the Affordable Care Act won’t be able to afford Trumpcare. This could rise to 26 million by 2026. In total, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured by 2026 under the GOP plan, compared to 28 million who would lack insurance under the current law [ACA].

While 5.9 million lost coverage with Obamacare, 22.8 million were added according a Forbes article. So in the end, maybe 35 million who were covered prior to Obamacare, may not be in 10 years with Trumpcare.

The American Health Care Act, would reduce the federal deficits by $337 billion over 10 years. Some of this is due to the wealthy Americans not paying the same share under ACA as well as large corporations paying less as well.

Thirty-one states – including 16 with Republican governors – elected to expand Medicaid under Obamacare and have found it to be a successful way of insuring low-income adults at little cost to their states. Trump said it could take several years before a drop in prices. Hmmmm.

Not surprising some Republicans and the Trump administration are downplaying the report. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said “If you’re looking to the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place.” [Would they be saying the same thing if the report favored them?]

“I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said. Even Conservative Breitbart News were laughing that the comment.

“The press is making Obamacare look so good all of a sudden. I’m watching the news, it looks so good,” Trump said. Dummy, actually it is the polls have stated that Americans like Obamacare.

While 5.9 million lost coverage with Obamacare, 22.8 million were added according a Forbes article.

Before one Trump controversy can finish, another one stirs up. It is common that the incoming President will ask those appointed to step down as the new government is set up. 46 US attorneys [who are appointed] were kept on but unceremoniously were let go this past Saturday. One of them, Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, tweeted Saturday that he was fired after refusing to resign as requested by Trump’s administration. The Southern District is special that it takes on the toughest cases in the US often lasting at least a year.

This gets interesting because Deutsche Bank which facilitated the laundering of ill-gotten Russian gains to the tune of $10 billion. And the US Attorney that was investigating Deutsche Bank was Bharara. Meanwhile Trump owes Deutsche Bank somewhere in the neighborhood of $364 million. So Trump delays or maybe even kills the investigation [and maybe Trump’s bill may even be reduced].

Bharara was brought in under Barrack Obama on the recommendation of Trump nemesis Senator Chuck Schumer. Bharara is considered neutral going after politicians on both sides. Trump informed Bharara that he wanted to keep him on as a gesture to Schumer – then the incoming minority leader – whom Trump had previously supported for years. By letting go the US attorneys do, this will delay the various ongoing investigations until new appointments are announced and confirmed.

Two days before the mass dismissal of US attorneys, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave no indication in a conference call with US attorneys across the country that some of their jobs were in peril.

The former CEO of Deutsche Bank [Wilbur Ross] is now the CEO of the Bank of Cyprus and one of the major shareholder is a Russian billionaire who bought a mansion owned by Trump for over $95 million when Trump bought it for just $45 million earlier. The billionaire tore it down and never lived there.

Homeland Secretary John Kelly claims that his Customs and Border Protection agents will not ask those coming into the country their religion or political affiliation but there has already been at least a few cases where those trying to enter the country were in fact asked. Muhammed Ali Jr was asked. So was at least one Canadian trying to enter the US. The same goes for politics. See below.

In another example of continuous repeat of Canadians having problems entering the US, a woman of descent from India but born in Canada was hold for 6 hours and sent back home even though her two white friends could continue on. She was fingerprinted, photographed and questioned before being refused. She said she was told she was an immigrant without a valid U.S. visa even though her valid passport said she was born in Canada. She was told that she would need a visa if I ever went in the States again and the border agent told her “I know you might feel like you’re being Trumped.” A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman noted that possession of a valid travel document does not guarantee entry to the United States [this even though the border agent said she wasn’t a Canadian by birth].

Meanwhile, part of Trump’s 2005 tax return was leaked to Pulitzer prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston. The return said he earned US$153 million and paid $36.5 million but most of the tax came from the Alternative Minimum Tax. Without AMT, he would of paid 4%. Instead, he paid 25% – still below the amount he should of paid.

Trump tweeted “Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns?” I guess he never heard of Johnson who won a journalism prize. The White House called it illegal. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign website called for the end of the AMT, which is expected to bring in more than $350 billion in revenues from 2016 to 2025. Again he’s favoring the wealthy.

Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father who famously offered to lend Donald Trump his copy of the U.S. Constitution has cancelled a scheduled speech in Toronto because “his travel privileges are being reviewed,” according to the event organizer.

General Motors announced 1100 jobs will be cut. I’m sure Trump will blame it on the Obama administration somehow.

Jared Kushner [Trump’s son-in-law] and family are part owners of 666 5th Avenue in New York. It was purchased by a group including his family for $1.1 billion in 2007. Now a Chinese company with alleged ties to the Communist Party there could buy it for over $2.2 billion. The Kushners would get around $400 million of that. Double the price in under 10 years? Sounds fishy. The building was already probably one of the most expensive in the US. That same Chinese company wants to buy a hotel next to a US naval base in San Diego. The Obama administration said no but Trump may say yes.

The European odds makers came out with a few of them related to Trump:

  • 5/1 odds that Melania will end her marriage with Donald before his tenure is up.
  • 6/1 odds that Tiffany will be the first Trump child to denounce him. [Ivanka is 7/1, Barron is 16/1]
  • 1/10 odds the marriage remains intact until a successor is inaugurated.
  • 500/1 odds to ban the Irish [a bit odd there].
  • 5/6 odds that Trump will outlaw guns in a state.
  • 25/1 odds that Trump and Vladimir Poutine will win the Nobel peace Prize.

 

 

TrumpCare maybe – Maybe not

The Republicans finally release a “release candidate” of their health care bill. Not surprising it sounds like another Donald Trump election promise is going out the window. The Affordable Care Act [a.k.a. Obamacare] will not be completely ditch. Instead pieces will be kept.

Trump has warned of an electoral “bloodbath” in the 2018 mid-terms if it doesn’t get passed. He’ll blame the Democrats because Trump doesn’t have the 60 senators needed to kill Obamacare. I’m sure the Democrats are sitting back with all smiles.

The Trump administration keeps on saying replace and repeal Obamacare but it hasn’t been either. More like fixing it according to the Republicans.

Senator Rand Paul described the House bill as “Obamacare lite,” saying he breaks with the Trump-endorsed bill because of tax credits, continuation of Obamacare taxes, subsidies to insurance companies and what he called a “form of the individual mandate.” Trump said later that “He’s a friend. He’s going to end up voting for it.” Uh huh.

Mike Pence said the American Health Care Act will give Americans more freedom of choice and “if you like your Obamacare, you can keep it.”

Trump has whined that he’ll blame the Democrats if the bill doesn’t pass. Interesting considering he controls Congress. If anything, renegade/unhappy Republicans would be to blame. He also went after various Conservative groups for using the term “Obamacare lite” or “Trumpcare” or “Obamacare 2.0”.

This has angered some of the GOP. Under the new bill called the American Health Care Act:

  • Medicaid would be overhauled American Health Care Act by sending states a fixed amount of money per enrollee, known as a per-capita cap. This would limit federal responsibility, shifting that burden to the states. However, since states don’t have the money to make up the difference, they would likely either reduce eligibility, curtail benefits or cut provider payments.
  • Those making $20,000 at any age will see cuts roughly between 25% and 60% that Obamacare issued. Older Americans will pay more. Also chopped are part of the tax credits.
  • This means that younger Americans would likely see their annual premiums go down. Enrollees age 20 to 29 would save about $700 a year to $4,000, on average a refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 to offset the cost of their premiums.
  • The American Health Care Act would once again let insurers sell skimpy plans. But these bare-bones offerings — which come with lower premiums — are all some healthier Americans want. Restoring these options would draw in some folks who’ve opted to remain uninsured and pay a penalty.
  • Higher-income Americans could pay fewer taxes, get more tax benefits as it would eliminate two taxes that Obamacare levied on the wealthy to help pay for the law. Nearly everyone in the Top 1%, who earn more than $774,000 a year, would enjoy a hefty tax cut, averaging $33,000. Those in the Top 0.1% would get an average tax cut of about $197,000.
  • Insurance companies could get a big tax break. Obamacare allowed insurance companies to deduct only $500,000 of their executives’ pay as a business expense. The GOP bill would repeal that limitation, starting in 2018.
  • AHCA clearly is helping Trump’s buddies in big business. Wonder if Occupy Wall Street will come back. Experts fear with the changes that particularly hurt the lower class, many in the lower class will lose their benefits they had under ACA.

With some of the thousands of CIA documents stolen by WikiLeaks came what the CIA hackers thought of the security applications protecting computers. Some of the documents may be old as they deal with vulnerabilities that have been previously fixed. As one of the major vendors with easier access, F-Secure’s chief research officer said the CIA “considered it more important to keep everybody unsecure … and maybe use the vulnerability for its own purposes or counter terrorism purposes.” He didn’t defend their application but others who were on the CIA’s radar [such as AVG and Kaspersky] claimed their vulnerabilities were previous fixed or was simple to fix.

During the elections, after Hillary Clinton’s mail server was hacked and exposed by WikiLeaks, Trump said “I love WikiLeaks!” But is he saying the same thing after WikiLeaks exposed almost 9,000 documents of the CIA – this while he is the country’s leader?

Trump is concerned and yet it could be to his advantage saying that Obama’s “tapping” could of used some of the CIA’s technologies.

China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, paving the way for Donald Trump and his family to potentially develop a host of branded businesses from hotels to insurance to bodyguard and escort services, public documents show. Some are registered to a Delaware company that is owned by Trump [trying to hide something?]. There are still over 200+ trademarks with the Trump name in it – from other escort services to toilet maker to pacemakers to a hotel.

From September to November last year, while Michael Flynn was working as a top adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, Flynn was lobbying for a firm linked to the Turkish government, earning $530,000. He and his company Flynn Intel Group Inc. filed retroactive documents with the Department of Justice two days ago to register as a foreign agent.

Continuing with the feud between Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and Trump, Arnie said “With Trump being involved in the show, people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show.” When “The New Celebrity Apprentice” ended its season last month, Trump tweeted that Schwarzenegger “did a really bad job as governor of California and even worse on The Apprentice, but at least he tried hard.” By most reports the Governator actually did quite well. But you knew that.

Ben Carson made his debut as secretary of Housing and Urban Development telling agency employees about the virtues of the “can-do” American society. Carson said this value system was best exemplified by slaves [from Africa], whom he characterized as immigrants who came to the United States with very little and worked very hard. Not the only time he has made odd comments. In 2013, Carson said Obamacare was “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

The software call Confide, used by some White House staff [supposedly including Trump], has been found to contain two vulnerabilities [both recently patched according to the company]. Of course not everyone updates the apps on their smartphone. Some experts suggest this “military grade” communication software doesn’t do a proper job in encrypting communication. In addition, using it by White House staff may be against some federal laws.

Over the last five weekends, Trump has visited his luxury resort four times – each trip costs American taxpayers about $3 million – and at one point, Trump had spent 31% of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago. He’s now played golf eight times since taking office six weeks ago [wonder how much that cost in security].

 

Another interesting week in Trumpland


From Donald Trump’s speech to congress…..

  • Trump was actually right when he said the crime rate was the highest increase in 50 years between 2014 and 2015 but that was because the murder rate in 2014 was the lowest ever.
  • Trump asserted his administration’s support of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are “creating tens of thousands of jobs.” But estimates maybe 15,000 temporary construction jobs and a further 42,000 indirect jobs with most disappearing once the construction is done.
  • “The stock market has gained almost $3 trillion in value since the election on November 8, a record,” Trump said. Yes but he’s taking credit for something he had little to do with. He hasn’t implemented much and the market is reacting to his pro-business stance.
  • “The vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country,” Trump said. Trump said he used data from the department of Justice – who didn’t verify. Other sources say maybe a 50-50 split between foreign and American “terrorists”.
  • ” Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force,” Trump said. Not true. The Atlanta Federal Reserve says some 44.1 million are retired, 15.4 million are disabled, 12.9 million are taking care of a family member and another 15.5 million are in college or job training. They are listed as not wanting a job.
  • “Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, …, Wal-Mart and many others have announced that they … will create tens of thousands of new American jobs,” he said. Many of the jobs announced since his election were previously announced. In some cases, the jobs would likely have turned up no matter who’s president. But his pro-business stance has helped.
  • “We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of the fantastic … new F-35 jet fighter,” he said. The price per fighter dropped when an additional 90 more stealth fighters were ordered.
  • Trump characterized his proposal to increase the defense budget as “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” Maybe by amount but not by percentage as there was a huge spike when the US entered World War II as well as during the Vietnam war [for example]. $54 billion today is worth far less than $54 billion a century ago.
  • “The time for trivial fights is behind us,” Trump said. Considering he has had “fights” over things that shouldn’t concern him, I’m doubting they will end.
  • Trump confused some when he said [about Obamacare] that he doesn’t view it as government’s role to make sure Americans can actually afford that insurance but then said “no one (is) left out” by state governments.
  • When Trump ended with a call for bipartisan cooperation on repealing and replacing the “collapsing” Obamacare, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi shook her head no. Not surprised.

Trump offered big cuts to the corporate tax cuts, “massive” relief to the middle class, and $1 trillion infrastructure program but didn’t say how they will be paid. Wipe ISIS but said nothing about the issues in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Build the Mexican wall but didn’t mention who will pay and it was coming soon. But when? The Executive Order was signed a month ago.

Almost nothing mentioned on immigrants [and his bans] or trade packs like NAFTA.

Trump started off the week well keeping fairly quiet and then his speech. Problem is that a new can of worms opened up regarding the Department of Justice secretary Jeff Sessions and his chats with the Russian ambassador during the elections – which is a no-no. He is now not involved with anything related with the Russian meddling [duh!] but that may not be enough.

A Republican congressman was whining about some women at the speech given by Trump wearing white suits [and a few comments about the looks] and claimed that these were supports of Hillary Clinton. In fact, they wore white to honor the Suffragettes as well as women’s month. Out of touch the congressman is.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized the White House on Wednesday night after Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway retweeted an allegation that Wasserman Schultz did not stand or clap during a standing ovation for the widow of a slain Navy SEAL during Trump’s address to Congress. In fact, video shows she did.

From the previous blog where CNN and New York Times were banned, add the BBC, Daily Mail, Politico and Los Angeles times to those that were banned at White House briefings. The White House correspondents association protested the decision to ban.

The ban came after CNN and the New York times both reported that White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, told the FBI to tone down the investigation related to the Trump administration chatting with Russian intelligence.

[I’ve said it before (although maybe not in this blog), with the Trump administration abusing the media, the media should boycott the White House briefings and any news conferences and events that involve the administration. Unsure if the right wing media would comply.]

Now Trump has gone one step further by deciding not to go to The White House Correspondents dinner. This is the first time a president has decided to do so in 35 years. I guess he can take a huge onslaught of criticism and jokes about him sand his administration.

Trump suggesting that Americans could get another chance to seize Iraqi oil as compensation for its military efforts there. This is basically one of the things that radicals has always said – grab Arab oil.

Not surprising, Trump delayed the replacement to his travel “ban” executive order. Supposed to be this week…. Maybe next week. Oh, it could be in October the way things are going.

The second version of the travel ban still hasn’t been released but a leak suggest Iraq has been pulled off the country list. The order won’t include any explicit exemption for religious minorities in the countries targeted by the travel ban.

A section of the international arrivals area at Dulles International Airport outside the nation’s capital [as well as other airports] has been transformed into a virtual law firm, with legal volunteers ready to greet travelers from affected countries and ask if they saw anyone being detained and in preparation for the second version of the travel ban.

The first Trump travel ban [or just his administration] may have had an effect on the tourist industry. Global searches for U.S.-bound flights are down 22 per cent from Jan. 1-Feb. 22. Interest in Florida cities dipped by up to 58 per cent, while searches for Las Vegas and Los Angeles were down by 36 and 32 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile it seems the US is popular with Russians with a huge increase.

The initial draft bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] has hit some snags from some Republicans. The draft bill itself was leaked. So I wonder how many had access to the bill.

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” said Trump – already another hint that it will take quite a bit of work to change. So much for Trump’s election promise to make it a priority. He probably never saw the size and complexity of the resulting act until he was elected.

Fake News! Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly had someone on his show who is a “Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor.” Except few in Sweden had ever heard of him, much less taken advice from him. In fact, the man lives in the US and works for Modus which does “operations and management of possible kidnap and ransom situations.” He was also in trouble with the law in 2014 and also has no idea where Fox got his title from. Fox is expected to mention the error. Maybe not quite fake news but definitely a fake title.

CNN has a clock that shows when the last time Trump has attacked someone on Twitter.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently checked his aides’ cell phones to ensure they weren’t communicating with reporters as part of an aggressive effort to stem the recent tide of White House leaks. He informed them that the use of encrypted texting apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act. Such a hypocrite since some Trump staff have used Confide. A leak of the leaks?

Despite Trump’s anger about unnamed sources, White House budget officials insisted on anonymity as they outlined details of Trump’s spending plans to reporters on a conference call.

Hilariously, now Trump says Obama could be behind the leaks. He’s not in office and he has no say. So how?

In the 1990s, Trump was a frequent anonymous source of information about his social life and television series, “The Apprentice,” said newspaper columnist Linda Stasi. Once Trump called and pretended to be someone else delivering information about him; Stasi said she could easily recognize his voice.

Conway is a witch. How dare she site like that in the Oval Office couch with many guests in the Oval Office? It is one thing to do that with fellow Trumpians in a private chat but not that. Shameful. She claims she needed to do that for a better angle [as if she is a professional photographer]. As for the right wingers who poke fun at Obama, this was Obama’s office. Was his White house. Everyone else works for him.

Trump and his family’s extended stays in Mar-A-Lago in Florida and Trump tower in New York are costing the Secret Service millions daily. Donald likes to go to his sprawling estate while Melania is in New York with their youngest. It was Trump who said that Obama took too many vacations – spending taxpayer’s money in protecting him. But he has been in Florida probably every weekend since elected in addition to his other trips.

Vice President Mike Pence used a personal email account to conduct state business while he was governor of Indiana, discussing issues like the resettling of Syrian refugees and other matters on an AOL account that was hacked in a phishing scam. So if you get hit by a phishing scam you are not tech savvy much. The only difference between this issue and what happened to Hillary Clinton was that she was privileged to more national security issues but even he delved into national issues.

At a previous CPAC conference, Ted Cruz says Trump is not a Conservative. But he seems to support Trump. What a flip-flopper.

Trump on the Oscars and the mess at the end: “I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,” Trump told Breitbart. “It was a little sad.” Actually most believe they were quite lite on the politics. Maybe that’s why it was boring according to most critics.  “Look, it just seems like the other side, whenever they’re losing badly, they always pull out the race card,” he said. Race card? Seriously?

“In fact I did much better than many other than other Republicans in the last election.” By popular vote, he was one of the worse. He’s not even close to the best for electoral votes.

Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, financed and was an executive producer of “Suicide Squad,” which won for hair and makeup. Maybe he can help Trump and that thing on top of his head?

 

This week in Drumpf’s world

The White House has blocked CNN and the New York Times from certain or maybe all briefings.

Trump was at it again with his own fake news. He hinted/winked/implied that the night before his recent Florida stop, that there was a terrorist attack in Sweden. But there wasn’t anything. Sweden [per capita] has taken in the most refugees so far. His excuse? He was talking about the increase violence Fox News claims may be related to more refugees. Problem is that he lumped it in with western countries that has had terrorist attacks [most lacking large immigration of refugees].

It makes you wonder when at a campaign style stop in Florida, some in the Trump crowd were waving signs like “Women for Trump” and “Blacks for Trump”. I would guess if he was doing well with these demographics, we wouldn’t be seeing them.

In addition, what is with “Make America’s Airports Great Again” signs as well?

A senior National Security Council adviser was reassigned to his old job at the National Defense University, a White House spokeswoman confirmed, after he criticized the Trump administration’s Latin American policies. But some say it was also because of his [possible sexual] comments he made about Ivanka Trump the night before at some reception. Donald is jealous?

There has been quite a few town halls while Congress is on break where [Republican] Congressmen were getting torched for the various issues that have occurred since Trump was elected. Not surprising Sean Spicer and Trump are claiming these are either “Liberals” or professional protesters hired by the Democrats. “Do your job” seems to be the rallying call. Trump tweeted “The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!”

The protests are based partly on the Indivisible Guide.

A 7 year old boy claimed that the trump administration is building the Mexican wall at the expense of PBS Kids and others possible cuts.

While Trump probably got more Jewish votes than previous Republican nominees, I think many are having second thoughts. Consider the following:

  • On Holocaust Remembrance Day [January 27], not one mention of Jewish victims. While the day is for all victims, Jews were the primary victims in World War II.
  • A few days late, when an Israeli journalist got up to ask the President about the worrisome increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the US [in news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu], instead of responding to the question, he spoke about himself.
  • Lashing out at a Jewish reporter and at times acting bored while the reporter asks his question.
  • No mention from him about the tweets that have gone out by the extreme right about supposedly jokes about gas chambers, ovens, etc.
  • Hiring Stephen Bannon, former Breitbart editor and a man that has made racist comments before, as his chief of staff.
  • Took over a day to respond to questions about the 11 bomb threats were phoned in to Jewish community centers around the country even though he was asked about it before.
  • Trump claiming that he was “the least anti-Semitic person that you have ever seen in your entire life.” Huh? How do you measure that?
  • 20 Rabbis in front of his Trump Tower in New York were arrested for protesting against the Muslim ban.
  • Continues to bring up his son-in-law and daughter [who converted to Judaism] and is many “Jewish friends”.A White House spokesperson said: “If you don’t support the President’s agenda then you shouldn’t have a job in the White House.” I guess advisers are not needed then.

Trump commenting at the CPAC conference that the Mexican wall will be built “way, way, way ahead of schedule.” What schedule? No date set? And if you set a date do you set it so far away that anything would be completed way, way, way ahead of schedule?

Trump also lashed out at the FBI regarding “leaked” national secrets – that were never leaked.
Asked recently whether his campaign rhetoric could have caused a spike in anti-Semitism, President Donald Trump demurred. He talked about his election victory, then mentioned his daughter, Ivanka – who converted to Judaism – her husband Jared Kushner and their children. Trump made no mention of the bomb threats. So he basically doesn’t know or couldn’t care less and changed the subject. After more threats 24 hours later, he spoke out.

European Union leader Donald Tusk had put the United States in a “threat” category two weeks ago, insisting that Trump is contributing to the “highly unpredictable” outlook.

Trump continues to reverse some of the laws created by the Obama administration [probably the ones that will please the zealots in the GOP]. Last week, he reversed the law which states that mentally challenged people cannot own a gun. The NRA as well as disability advocates claim that the law discriminates against those who are mentally challenged. [Quite a few shootings are from people who aren’t 100% sane.]

As mentioned previously, some of the same GOP zealots will then go after the law that ban silencers because shooters will not have hearing problems if they have a silencer.

The FBI has three separate investigates into potential Russian hacking during the election period. I wonder what Trump will do. Muzzle them?

Trump has been named in 42 federal lawsuits in his first 11 days in office. By comparison, former President Barack Obama was named in 11 suits during his first 11 days in office — some of them involving the long-debunked “birther” claims that Obama was not an American citizen. They include quite a few related to the travel ban, another one related from accepting anything of value from foreign governments, and his order targeting sanctuary cities.

Why am I not surprise: The gun lobby group want the Trump administration to reverse the laws regarding silencers [they are lumped in the restrictive category] arguing that those using guns may end up with hearing problems!

Trump said that he would hand over control of his company to his two adult sons [Barron is in his early teens]. He announced several other measures in an attempt to mollify critics who contend that his financial interest as head of a global real estate company could conflict with his pursuit of the public good. Problem is that there has been no indication he has done anything about it.

After being given her pink slip by the Trump administration, Caroline Kennedy [yes, that clan], now former American Ambassador to Japan, may run for the senate in 2018.

An online survey included 500 nationally representative, full-time American workers, and found that 87% of them read political social-media posts during the day, and nearly 50% reported seeing a political conversation turning into an argument in the workplace. 29% of respondents say they’ve been less productive since the election.

Recent reports allege the Trump team leans on an encrypted messaging service called Confide. The problem, according to security experts: It’s not clear whether Confide is actually encrypted at all. The app may be running on an outdated version of OpenSSL vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug.

After more than a year of lambasting Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server, Trump found himself on the receiving end of similar criticism on January 26, 2017. Watchdogs found that the official presidential Twitter account had been registered to an insecure, cloud-based Gmail address.

In China, there are Trump named toilets, condoms, pacemakers and others. But Trump doesn’t own them. The Chinese had trademarked them. Trump has been trying to kill the trademarks for years but kept on losing. All of a sudden, last fall Chinese trademark authorities started to side with him. Of course this brings up some possible ethical violations for influencing Trump.

US Department of Homeland Security staff returning to work on Tuesday after the Presidents’ Day holiday have apparently had a tough time getting computer systems to function. DHS staff say they weren’t able to log into computer systems at their offices in Washington DC, when clocking on this morning. Staff in at least four buildings, including US Citizenship and Immigration Services, are thought to be affected.

Showing how much knowledge he knows, in his press conference in mid-February, trump attempted to explain uranium and nuclear physics thusly: “Do you know what uranium is? It’s a little thing called nuclear weapons and other things. Lots of things are done with uranium including some bad things.”

Jackie Evancho, who sang the national anthem at Trump’s inauguration [and who’s career isn’t going anywhere], is trying to dig herself out by tweeting to Trump that she doesn’t like the transgender rules regarding bathrooms as Trump rolled back the rule initiated by President Obama. Evancho’s sister is a transgender.

Trump reiterated a campaign promise that he used to successfully appeal to evangelical voters: a repeal of the Johnson amendment, legislation that limits the ability of religious tax-exempt organizations to endorse or oppose a political candidate.

The Trump administration announced plans to hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. But about 2 out of every 3 job applicants fails the agency’s polygraph test. There are already about 2,000 Border Patrol vacancies, a deficit largely attributed to the polygraph fail rate.

Senator Ted Cruz, who got whiplashed from Trump during the primaries, seems to still be backing Trump. He is also claiming that there may be another vacancy by this summer in the Supreme Court. Does he know something we don’t? Hired someone?

According to the New York Times, Trump doubts that online ads are ever effective. However, Trump’s own digital director, Brad Parscale, has noted that Facebook advertising helped generate the bulk of $250 million in online fundraising for Trump’s own campaign.

Trump gave himself credit for the construction of an Intel chip factory in Arizona. Media outlets were quick to clarify that Intel began construction on the factory during the Obama administration but paused because of budgetary issues.

Another typical Trump week

The Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Michael Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. Flynn would later apologized.

The concern was raised after Flynn claimed he did not discuss with the Russian ambassador the sanctions being imposed by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russia’s interference in the election. Flynn was not yet in government. Flynn spoke to the ambassador on the same day Barrack Obama announced sanctions for Russia meddling in the US elections.

The message was delivered by then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Other top intelligence officials, including James Clapper and John Brennan, were in agreement the White House should be alerted about the concerns.

The chief of the propaganda department, Kellyanne Conway, stated just hours before Flynn’s resignation that Trump had full confidence of his National security adviser. So who was right?

Spicer first said Flynn was fired by Trump and then said Flynn resigned. Spicer blamed the Department of Justice for sitting so long even though Trump knew of Flynn’s mistake for almost 3 weeks. Flynn himself had the shorted time as National Security Advisor at 24 days – typical average is 2.5 years.

Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice-president about contacts with Russia. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said.

Trump slammed intelligence officials and the media over what he called “very, very unfair” treatment of his ousted national security adviser Flynn. How else do you treat him. In addition, so he is again criticizing the CIA, NSA and others – the same departments that he just recently praised. I’m sure he is not going after the right wing media as they seem to be the only media he will take questions from.

Trump also accused holdovers from the Obama administration of leaking out information about his alleged contacts with Moscow to hammer his administration. No proof, of course.

“The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred.” He added that the news reporting was “merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.” She lost 3 months ago. Get over it. You think they’ll still be covering up things in 2 years?

Meanwhile, Trump also wants to go after the people who leaked the documents that got Flynn sacked. Of course we know that nothing will ever come out of it because there will not be any investigation. It will just be another part of Trump’s arsenal where he can whine about, to reflect blame, etc.

Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned down Trump’s offer to be national security adviser replacing Flynn.

As well, the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn regarding a phone call with Russia’s ambassador, barring new information that changes what they know.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said that firing Flynn for his contacts with Russia is “not just paranoia but something even worse.” I guess they wanted him so he can be blackmailed.

Conway got a verbal spanking when she promoted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. One of the rules state that senior government employees cannot promote and product. Conway was pushing Ivanka’s brand after the Nordstrom shopping chain dropped her brand. Normally anyone who violates the rule is let go. She wasn’t.

At his news conference Trump claimed he had the “biggest Electoral College win since Reagan”. Nope. President Obama won 332 electoral votes in 2012 and 365 in 2008. President Clinton got 379 in 1996 and 370 in 1992. The first President Bush received 426 in 1988. Trump couldn’t even get his total right. He said 306 when he got 302. Can’t remember 3 long months ago?

He also claimed that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had “set a record” of being overturned by the Supreme Court 80% of the time. In fact, the Supreme Court overturned 87% of the cases by the 6th Circuit Court and 85% by the 11th Circuit during the same period.

A year ago candidate Trump was whining that Boeing would close their South Carolina plant and move it to China. The plant is still there and Trump is there to tell Boeing to add more jobs.

After hiring 6 foreign workers in December, Trump Vineyard Estates LLC [owned by son Eric] wants to hire another 23 foreign workers. Here’s another kicker. The winery is using H-2 visa program – when allowed to bring in foreign workers when no American workers can do the job. Huh? You bring in someone high in the scientific field for a H-2 visa. Not someone to pick grapes or drive a tractor.

Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination as Labour Secretary because of his past. Quite a few Republicans wouldn’t approve of his nomination.

In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said that he’d like to see the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but noted that “we’re looking at it with great care.” That sounds a bit more like a bit of a reversal of his election campaign where he said he would move the embassy if elected. Another campaign promise out the window.

Supposedly, Trump may have blabbed about some top secret information at a supper he was at [I would assume with some people who didn’t have a proper level of clearance]. No. It wasn’t at McDonalds.

Trump said that he will do “everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism.” Problem is that the right [who voted him in] is more known to be anti-Semitic, anti-Islam and just racist than the left [think Fascism, KKK, etc.] Trump notes that he won 306 [not 302] electoral votes and fostered “tremendous enthusiasm” during his campaign. But some ugliness also appeared during his campaign and even now.

Trump his still using his unsupported [and outdated] Samsung Galaxy S3 [not made in the US, BTW] for his tweeting and Email. He is using it even though he was given a more secure phone to use. Two US senators have filed a letter [complaint?] to the US Department of Defense Secretary.

“I do get good ratings”, Trump said at a rare news conference. He’s looking for TV ratings?

“I inherited a mess. It’s a mess. At home and abroad, a mess.” Huh? It’s only a mess since he became the Commander in Tweet.

Trump continues to invent things that didn’t exist or was incorrect. Trump is even posting on Instagram with a quote from Abe Lincoln that were never attributed to Lincoln. And it wasn’t surprising that already someone investigated the quote.

Spicer said the recent Yemen raid was “obviously a huge success” and that “anyone who suggests it was not a success does a disservice” to William “Ryan” Owens, the Navy SEAL who was killed during the mission. That turned heads. Using his death for political reasons.

Recently, Spicer was scrutinized for saying, on three separate occasions over two days, that there was an unspecified terror attack in Atlanta. There wasn’t. They were in Orlando.

It seems that even Trump “is disappointed in Spicer’s performance during the first two weeks of the administration.” I’m sure both will deny that.

Spicer has repeatedly called for individual journalists to apologize for mistakes. Many of the White House correspondents aren’t too happy with him from day one.

Joining the Department of Propaganda is Stephen Miller. He claimed that Trump has done more in his 3 weeks of office than most presidents in their entire term.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visited Trump this past week. Seems that Trump feels the portion of the NAFTA deal with Canada won’t be tweaked/modified much compared to the US/Mexico portion of the deal.

Trudeau did get big brownie points when he presented a framed picture of Trump with Justin’s father [Pierre Elliot Trudeau] at a gala in 1981 when Trump spoke as the elder Trudeau was awarded a family man of the year award in New York. In addition Trump also got a Canadian made sculpture with the rock itself coming from Cleveland.

Spicer called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Joe Trudeau. A few cartoon images have since appeared.

joe_trudeau

Of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks, 15 were from Saudi Arabia, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt, and one was from Lebanon. Yet none of these countries were listed in the executive order. With the exception of Lebanon, Trump has business interests in all those other countries plus Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Woops. At least 6 players of the Super Bowl winners, New England Patriots, are saying they will not visit the white House and Trump. The Patriots’ owners a good friend of Trump. See if he changes any mind.

Strike two for Trump

In a 3-0 ruling, the 9th Circuit rules against reinstating travel ban from Donald Trump’s executive order which [among other things] banned people from entering in 7 countries. “The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States,” the judges wrote.

Trump has already tweeted that he may go to the Supreme Court. But given that the Supreme Court currently lacks its ninth member, there a real chance of a 4-4 split on the bench along ideological lines, which would have the effect of affirming the ruling of the 9th Circuit, inflicting a more permanent blow to the new administration.

The court chastised the Trump administration for failing to provide an explanation for how national security concerns justified an “urgent need” for the executive order to be immediately reinstated.

Even after Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, said to Sen. Richard Blumenthal that he found Trump’s attack on a federal judge on Twitter “disheartening” and “demoralizing” and an aide to Gorsuch spokesman confirmed that Gorsuch said those words [as well as other senators], Trump claims Gorsuch never said those words. “Alt-words“? We will see if he stays impartial like this if confirmation.

Then Trump said Sen. Blumenthal never fought in Vietnam – associating this “lie” with a misrepresentation. Blumenthal apologized for misrepresenting his service but enlisted in the Marine Reserve after multiple deferments. Trump, on the hand, never enlisted, instead obtaining multiple student deferments and ultimately a medical deferment for a bone spur to avoid the military draft.

Even nuttier, propaganda department spokesman, Sean Spicer, is claiming that Gorsuch’s comments is not about Trump.

“But courts seem so political…” Trump said in a speech. Well, when the Supreme Court is divided by political parties and Trump has already nominated a Republican judge, well it is one thing he got right all week.

Both Republicans and Democrats are distancing themselves from Trump. In an interview on GP friendly Fox News, Trump said “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” After Bill O’Reilly said about Vladimir Poutine, “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.” During Putin’s years in power, a number of prominent Russian opposition figures and journalists have been killed.

Trump seems to care more about his daughter Ivanka’s fashion line got dumped by Nordstrom store chain by tweeting about the issue. But where was he at that time [according to a schedule]? In a national security briefing. So his daughter’s petty issues take precedence over national security? The same man who whines about the security of the country as the reason to have that 7 country ban? [It is possible a lackey of his tweeted the message but no indication of that.]

Nordstrom claimed it was because of declining sales. White House propaganda specialist, Sean Spicer, claims because it was because of the ban on 7 countries. Indirectly it could be as people who would buy her junk, maybe stopped because of her father’s politics. This also goes back to the original issue of Trump [and family] separating themselves from the family business.

After the Nordstrom mess, there is talk of how Trump can still run his Washington hotel. The hotel is on government land and he spent millions to convert to a hotel but part of the deal was no government employee could own the hotel. Clearly, he is a government employee.

There are rumors flying that Trump could appoint Sarah Palin as US Ambassador to Canada. A Canadian MP says if Palin was named the top U.S. representative to Canada, it would be tantamount to having to deal with two Donald Trumps. If you recall, Palin claimed she could see Russia from her state of Alaska. It is 55 miles away. She must have good eyes. 🙂

There are 693 high-level positions that require Senate confirmation to be filled. Trump’s tram has filled 35 at this stage. In comparison, Obama filled 38 in 2009. But 8 years ago Obama had 23 member of his administration filled. Trump has 8 with Jeff Sessions confirmed. In total, there are 1,200 positions that require Senate confirmation and about 4,100 appointed positions.

Trump tweeted it was a “disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country,” charging, “Obstruction by Democrats!” But Obama’s Cabinet wasn’t completely confirmed until late April 2009. Democrats contend the administration has failed to fully vet the nominees.

In an early February poll, it showed CNN/ORC’s latest poll results, starting with 44% approval and 53% disapproval of Trump’s job performance. As for the travel ban, 53% of Americans oppose the travel ban, 47% in favor. 90% of Republicans think he’s doing a good job. [I guess that part of the poll is fine with him but he still may disallow the poll as not a 100% of Republicans like him.]

“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election” tweeted Trump. So if it does show favorable results, it’s fake. During the campaign trail, when the polls turned sour, he made unfounded claims about “crooked polls” and “They are rigged just like before” just before taking office.

“People want border security and extreme vetting” tweeted Trump. He obviously didn’t get that from any real poll. Maybe in his mind though.

Nice, in a call with the Australian Prime Minister, Trump hung up on him. The great statesman.

From my previous blog, Kellyanne Conway claimed she made a mistake just once using the word “massacre” when Conway brought up her infamous “masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre” with MSNBC but she used the same phrase when interviewed by Cosmopolitan 4 days earlier [quote wasn’t printed at the time because the reporter couldn’t find anything about that massacre]. Later she told Fox News that her “haters” would be talking about it “for a week.” [She’s finally right!]

The chief information security officer for the White House’s Executive Office of the President has been removed from his position. Cory Louie was appointed to the position by former President Obama in 2015, charged with keeping safe the staff closest to the president — including the president himself — from cyber-threats posed by hackers and nation-state attackers. It’s thought he was either fired or asked to resign one evening recently, and was escorted out from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across the street from the West Wing.

Now everything is quite but one source said it’s because the remaining staff have “targets on their back” and are afraid of speaking out, calling the actions a “witch hunt” for former Obama appointees. Accusations of poor management were said to be reasons or excuses for his forced departure amid what was described as a “toxic” working environment. Maybe Louie asked Trump not to use his personal Twitter account – especially on his unsecure Android phone.

Mike Pence had to vote in favor of confirming Betsy DeVos as Trump’s education secretary – showing that not all Republicans are happy with the choice [or Trump]. Not a good sign.

Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department, employed an undocumented immigrants for years, the business magnate said in a statement. He later said at one point up to 40% of them were undocumented.

Melania Trump has re-filed a libel lawsuit against the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail’s website, this time in New York, for reporting rumours that she worked as an escort. It could hurt her chances to promote products, “each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.” Asking $150 million. Funny. I don’t see her ever endorsing anything. In addition, I don’t remember any previous First Lady [while in office] endorsing anything. She hasn’t appeared in public at one point for almost 3 weeks and she is claiming to be photographed so much?

[If you recall, when Melania came to the US to model in one of Trump’s agencies, according to sites on the Internet she did not have a work visa. But according to some reports she hauled in something like $20,000 over 3 months. Probably unless you are a known model you don’t make that much money. So what else did she do? Hmmmm.]

Trump accused the media of deliberately minimizing coverage of threat posed by the Islamic State group, saying news outlets “have their reasons” for not reporting what he described as a “genocide” underway at the hands of group. White House released a list of 78 attacks it described as “executed or inspired by” the Islamic State group since September 2014. The AP could not verify that each of the incidents had connections to the Islamic State group. The list appeared to be hastily assembled, including several misspellings of the word “attacker”. [Surprised?]

As a professional attention seeker, Trump is whining that the media does not report terrorist attacks in Europe “…And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” It’s not that they don’t want to report some but it’s because according to the Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the University of Maryland, of the 321 attacks in Europe in 2015, many were not reported [in the US] because while there was damage, few had any deaths and they weren’t newsworthy. I don’t think people want to see daily terrorist attacks in the news in addition to the other news. It is not dishonest. News editors have to decide whether it is a good news story and whether those following their news will want to see it.

Trump visited the headquarters for U.S. Central Command where he said “we strongly support NATO”. Huh? Didn’t he want to leave NATO during his campaigning? Trump once dismissed the trans-Atlantic military alliance as “obsolete,” and said he would decide whether to protect NATO countries against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

The Trump administration has started removing language praising the Affordable Care Act from federal websites. It has made several changes to the online pages of the Health & Human Services Department, which oversees the law.

In another false claim, Trump says the murder rate in the US is at a 47 year high. In fact, it has dropped from 1970 at 8 murders per 100,000 to 4.9 murders in 2015.

Trump says California’s consideration of legislation to become a statewide sanctuary for people living in the country illegally is “ridiculous.” He suggested withholding federal funding as a possible punishment. He seems to use that against anyone who doesn’t follow his rules.

Trump is already back paddling on the plans to enact a complete replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

A $50 book about Donald Trump was displayed at the very front of the National Museum of American History’s gift shop right after the inauguration, its red-white-and-blue cover featuring Trump’s “signature” stare-and-hair. The book contains a series of false assertions such as he won but had just 200,000 less votes than Hillary Clinton, “is a kind-hearted philanthropist and humanitarian” [but hasn’t given to his own foundation in years], etc. The book was pulled from the shop within 48 hours of release. [I guess if you got one it’s a collector’s item now.]