Issues with June 2020 Windows updates

Seems bugs in Windows updates never end. Reports that the June updates for Windows versions v1903, v1909 and v2004 [KB4560960 & KB4557957] may cause the following:

  • Can’t print to a Ricoh, Canon or Brother printers [doesn’t specify if laser or inkjet] or if you can, the connection isn’t stable.
  • Micro-HDMI port stops working.
  • Windows doesn’t recognize a second monitor.

It seems that Microsoft has quite a bit of work to clean up.

Another bad week for Trump, new lows

Donald Trump used a 200+ year old law to be able to use the military with tear gas, flash bangs, rubber bullets, etc. in Washington. The Insurrection law can only be used in a state if a state requests it. The District of Columbia is not a state. So this is questionable.

Now you are going to ask, why did this suddenly occur? Because Trump and his cronies [all white, all but one male – Ivanka Trump] decided to go over to the church a block away to pose in front of the church [he didn’t go in] with a bible and pictures taken. This was done prior to the 7 PM curfew in Washington. He could of waited a bit after when the crowd would of probably disbursed and walk over with no violence. He was also holding the bible upside down.

“The President just used the Bible, our sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus,” Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington said. All major Christian religious leaders were opposed of the bible usage. Trump claims “many religious leaders loved it”. Wonder whom.

The morning after, the White Shack rushed out a video showing him and his cronies walking from the White Shack to the church. Except for the boarded up church windows, you wouldn’t know that there was protesting with tear gas just 10 minutes prior.

Some Republican Senators refused to comment about what happened before and at the church. Those who are “soft” Republicans were against what happened [Lisa Murkowski] white the hard line pro-Trump Republicans [i.e. those who would follow Trump no matter what he did] such as John Kennedy, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley saw no issue with it even if the Bishop did. Televangelist Pat Robertson are among those evangelists who also did not like what Trump did.

Trump claims if states do not use the full National Guard in that state, he will send in the military. He can’t of course according to the same law he is using. But for him, this all just appeasing to his [far] right wing base.

The White House and cronies are claiming that the protesters were throwing items at the police and no tear gas was used. But news reporters said there was nothing thrown and video footage show that tear gas [technically pepper balls and flash bangs] were used.

Trump claimed he went down to the bunker for an “inspection” during the day time – not in the evening and not to take cover during the protests.

Trump shared a letter from veteran attorney and former Trump lawyer John Dowd on Twitter that referred to the peaceful protesters who were forcibly dispersed from a park near the White House as “terrorists.” As an attorney, you would assume Dowd would know what the definition of a terrorist is. Even “burn and destroy” generally isn’t a terrorist act.

“The phony protesters near Lafayette were not peaceful and are not real,” Dowd’s letter claimed, without citing any evidence. “They are terrorists using idle hate filled students to burn and destroy. They were abusing and disrespecting the police when the police were preparing the area for the 1900 curfew.” [“1900” as in military time for 7 PM.]

“We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen. Hopefully George is looking down and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. (It’s) a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody,” Trump said after the unemployment rate went surprisingly from 14.7% in April to 13.3% in May. He called it a victory. The month gained 2.5 million jobs after losing over 20 million the month before.

Trump has said that the Minnesota protests ended after one night. What planet did he just come back from? Or did one of his sons gave him one heck of a doobie as a pre-Father’s Day gift.

When Trump tweeted the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, he started another uproar. Trump denied knowledge of the term’s origin during his round-table with executives. “I wouldn’t know a thing like that,” he said. Ya. Right.

Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in 1967 used the phrase as he announced a campaign against crime that included using dogs, guns and a “stop and frisk” policy. Those actions were aimed at Blacks specifically. In the decades since Headley was touting them, tactics like “stop and frisk” have been reexamined for their implicit racial bias.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that he does not support using active duty troops to quell the large-scale protests across the United States triggered by the death of George Floyd and those forces should only be used in a law enforcement role as a last resort. How long will his job last?

In tweets, Trump praised the Secret Service officers who guard the White House as “very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe” after there was some demonstration outside the White Shack gates. “Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons,” he said. “Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action.”

Trump accused Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Black Democrat, of refusing to send DC police to help. But the Secret Service said in a statement that “The Metropolitan Police Department and the US Park Police were on the scene.”

Secret Service officers made six arrests, the statement said. “Some of the demonstrators were violent” and assaulted Secret Service personnel with bricks, bottles, fireworks and other objects, and an undisclosed number of Secret Service officers were injured – unlike what Trump has said – no injuries.

Bowser responded to Trump on Twitter, saying there “are no vicious dogs & ominous weapons. There is just a scared man…. While he (Trump) hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right…”

To show you how Trump is clutching at straws and not knowing anything about legal matters, Trump tweeted that the United States will designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, even though the US government has no existing legal authority to label a wholly domestic group in the manner it currently designates foreign terrorist organizations.

Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have claimed that far-left groups as responsible for many of the violent protests across the country. But you know there is no proof. Many of the protests are Black – who aren’t generally associated with the far left. However, anarchists and white supremacists are some of the groups [probably with Antifa] who have been seen at the protests. You don’t see Trump banning white supremacists.

The Justice Department investigated some of the violence in major cities singles out leftist Antifa activity, though US law enforcement officials say there are groups from both the extremist left and right involved in the riots and attacks on police.

[Antifa, short for anti-fascists, describes a broad group of people whose political beliefs lean toward the left — often the far left — but do not conform with the Democratic Party platform.]

In another laugh, Trump said he’s “done much more for our Black population” than 2020 rival Joe Biden or “any President in US history, with the possible exception” of Abraham Lincoln. Show us how you measure that.

Remember after a few nights of protests around the US including one in front of the White Shack and Trump [sort of] invited his followers to a pro-“MAGA protest”? Supposedly nobody showed up.

Trump told nation’s governors in a video teleconference that they must seek “retribution” for violent acts in their states and advised them not to act too gingerly. “You don’t have to be too careful,” he said. He chastised what he characterized as a weak response to protests in certain places [read: where Democratic governors are in charge], which he said allowed violence to take hold. He emphasized his belief the violence is being fomented by forces from the “radical left.”

He also commented they would look like “fools” if they didn’t stop the protesting. Trump said the “whole world was laughing at Minneapolis over the police station getting burned.” More like laughing at him as well.

Instead of mentioning ways to address issues of police brutality or racial injustice, he said on the call it was time to reexamine the issue of flag burning, which the US Supreme Court has ruled twice is protected under the Constitution. “Flag burning is a disgrace. We have a different court. It’s time to review that again,” he said on the call.

On one of his forms last year, he told Florida officials his “legal residence” was in Washington, while writing on another that he was a “bona fide resident” of Palm Beach. Florida law requires its voters to be legal residents of the state. The form also warns that it’s a third-degree felony to submit false information, with maximum penalties of $5,000 and/or five years in prison.

Trump has demonized mail-in voting as rife with fraud and an attempt at swaying elections toward Democrats — claims that aren’t based in fact — as governors seek to expand remote voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump himself voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary contest earlier this year, even though he bypassed several opportunities to vote in-person. [I would give him a pass for not voting in person unless they had set up a booth at the White Shack.]

In an interview with FOX News, he was asked about the violence by police more than once and instead talked about the space rocket launch, Joe Biden’s mask, etc. Avoiding the subject, going deaf, doesn’t care, …. You pick.

Retired four-star Gen. Richard Myers said that he’s “glad” he doesn’t have to advise Trump as he threatens to use the military if violent protests continue.

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly said he agrees with former Secretary of Defense Gen. Jim Mattis’ stark warning this week that Trump is “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people” as nationwide protests have intensified over the death of George Floyd.

Taylor Swift lashed out at Trump for his late-night tweet threatening violence against protesters in Minnesota tweeting “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? When the looting starts the shooting starts’???” Swift is rarely involved in politics.

Some Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout to protest CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to take action on a series of controversial posts from Trump recently. As part of the walkout, employees will take the day off work. Managers at Facebook have been told by the company’s human resources department not to retaliate against staff who are planning to protest, or to make them used paid time-off.

Canadian Politics – A Primer

Yes. This blog has been primarily about US politics with some computer news thrown in. But I figured I throw in some Canadian politics to see how it differs.

While the US seems to be always in election mode with either mid-term elections or the full elections every two years, Canada is at the near end of a 37-day election campaign.

Canadian politics is a bit more stable. It doesn’t have an unstable leader. It has 3 major parties plus a few lesser parties and even fringe parties.

The Liberals are a left of center party, with current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. He is the son of former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. He has governed the party over the past almost 4 years with a very good economy but quite a few scandals along the way.

The Conservative party is a right-wing party with current leader Andrew Scheer. A man who some say has little personality and who has made plenty of errors during the campaign like claiming to be a real estate broker but never was or hid the fact that he has dual Canadian-US citizenship. Would you vote for a man who may still have allegiance to another be your leader – even if he never lived there?

In the last Conservative administration, there were major budget cuts to the point that there was rumors that some government buildings had hallways where lights had no light bulbs or 24 Sussex Drive [the Prime Minister’s residence] was left to rot with limited maintenance and is currently not in use because of it.

Next, we have the New Democratic Party, a little more left than the left of center with Jagmeet Singh as the leader. While the party ran several provincial governments it never did too well federally. While they do share some common interests with the Liberals there are some areas they don’t.

There are a bunch of smaller parties such as the Green Party and the Bloc Quebecois – the latter is pushing for the province of Quebec to separate from Canada but pushing their interests federally.

There are also very fringe parties like the People’s Party, Communist Party, Marxist-Leninist Party, etc. The People’s Party could gain a seat or two but the others have no chance in hell in getting a seat.

Aside from the competition in the number of parties, how Canada and US differ [aside from the type of government] is that [as Canada is known for] Canadians are generally a little more polite in politics.

You do not have a leader [in any party] who is constantly lying through his teeth so badly, who is a bully, a womanizer, etc.

Trump signs first [of many] vetoes

In another busy week [is there ever a quiet week?], Donald Trump vetoed legislation attempting to strike down his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. It will be the first time in his two years in office that Trump has used his presidential veto power to block legislation. Not surprising this is the first time. His administration has had a problem passing anything even when the GOP controlled both the House and Senate.

It is unlikely that Congress will have the two-thirds majority required to override Trump’s veto, though House Democrats will try nonetheless on March 26.

So far, at least seven lawsuits have been filed challenging the declaration. The argument at the core of each lawsuit is similar: Trump exceeded his authority and circumvented Congress in an attempt to achieve his signature campaign promise for an emergency that, plaintiffs argue, doesn’t exist.

Trump tweeted shortly after the Senate passed the resolution condemning his unilateral action. “I thank all of the Strong Republicans who voted to support Border Security and our desperately needed WALL!” Ummm. A dozen Republicans voted against him. Not a good sign.

Trump and White House aides making clear to Republican senators that a vote against Trump on this issue would have ramifications come re-election time. Still, a White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators who opposed him want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. More thuggery. Trump said he had sympathy for the Republicans who voted against him and emphasized that he never truly twisted the arms of lawmakers, because he knew there were not enough votes to override the veto.

The Senate delivered a high-profile rebuke to Trump over his signature agenda issue when 12 Republicans joined Democrats to overturn Trump’s national emergency border declaration. The vote was 59-41, an overwhelming vote against the Trump’s executive action. However it isn’t enough to block Trump’s veto which he will do.

Trump had hoped the number of “yes” votes will stay below 60, aides say, a symbolic margin that he believes would save some embarrassment, though still require him to use his veto pen. But he reversed when asked if he would support a proposal to limit future national emergency declarations to 30 days which he could agree to – just not this national emergency. A number of prominent GOP lawmakers are against the emergency including Mitt Romney and Susan Collins.

“Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress,” Trump wrote. I wouldn’t mind knowing which prominent legal scholars he is referring to. And “authorized”? The House hasn’t and it looks like the Senate won’t.

[If this is such a national emergency, why didn’t he pushed for this national emergency when he was elected? What has changed? Nothing. it is his signature election promise and one of many he has failed to do in his 26 months of this “presidency”. He couldn’t get anything passed even when “his” party had a majority for the first two party and definitely won’t when the Democrats took over the House.]

The House of Representatives passed a resolution with 420 members voting in favor of the resolution and zero voting against it. The resolution is calling for special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be released to the public once it is completed. The resolution is not legally binding. So 185 Republicans vote in favor. But Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham moved to block a non-binding resolution in the Senate.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will serve a total of seven and a half years in prison for two cases. The latest sentencing was for two charges: conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to obstruct justice for attempting to tamper with witnesses.

“I have not even given it a thought as of this moment,” Trump said. “It’s not something now that’s on my mind.” Trump reiterated that he felt “badly” for his former aide.

After Manafort’s second sentencing, Trump said “Today, again, no collusion. The other day, no collusion.” Except the second sentencing had nothing to do with his collusion problems. Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing repeated Trump’s comments saying “So that makes two courts… Two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with the Russians.”

If Trump pardons Manafort for his federal convictions, the ex-lobbyist could still face years in jail on state charges that are beyond his reach.

Ex-acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker did not deny in a closed congressional meeting that he had spoken with Trump about a case involving Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen. This is involving Cohen’s allegation that a pardon had been dangled in exchange for him staying loyal to the President, in which he was purportedly told he could be sure he had “friends in high places.”

At best, such a conversation would appear inappropriate and unethical since the President is the country’s top law enforcement officer. At worst it could again raise suggestions that Trump may have obstructed justice.

An attorney who said he had been speaking with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani reassured Cohen in an April 2018 email that Cohen could “sleep well tonight” because he had “friends in high places.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would obey the law if he receives a written request from Congress to turn over Trump’s tax returns. “I will consult with the legal department within Treasury, and I will comply with the law.”

Republicans, who have argued that Trump has the right to privacy, quickly made clear they believe any request from Democrats wouldn’t be lawful — opening up the possibility of an extended fight over whether Mnuchin will hand over the returns if a request is made. Trump came the first major Presidential candidate in 2016 to refuse citing an ongoing audit. [That’s one long audit.] House Democrats have been preparing to ask the Internal Revenue Service for Trump’s tax returns under an obscure provision that gives the leaders of the House and Senate tax-writing committees the power to request taxpayer information from the Treasury Department. It states that “the secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.”

Trump says he does not see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world following an attack targeting Muslims in New Zealand that killed at least 49 people.

Trump was just doing what he [thought] could to raise spirits when he signed Bibles at an Alabama church for survivors of a tornado outbreak, many religious leaders say, though some are offended and others say he could have handled it differently. Other Presidents have signed Bibles but they were generally one offs and for special occasions.

Trump should have at least signed inside in a less ostentatious way according to some faith leaders. Others said he shouldn’t of signed them at all. One said “It almost felt like a desecration of the holy book to put his signature on the front writ large, literally.” Others said it could be seen as a blurring of church and state and an endorsement of Christianity over other religions.

Trump wants to sell the military. No not that way. There are 100+ country that have US military presence. Trump wants to charge countries for the manpower and resources plus a surcharge [to make a profit]. Judging by how much it costs to buy a screw, that will be one big bill! They did, however, said it would be on a case by case basis.

Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and brother of Betsy Devos, proposed a plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan by turning military operations over to a mercenary force like his that wouldn’t be subject to Pentagon or civilian oversight and that would eventually fund itself by plundering the resources of the country. He sees that not only as a way of funding the occupation, but also as a way of making huge profits from the occupation of a foreign land. He envisages that as a template for future military adventures and seems to be in favor of deciding whether to engage in future oversees military operations not on the basis of US national interest concerns or human rights concerns but rather on the basis of whether a profit can be made. Not surprisingly, Trump seems to be in love with the idea.

Trump telling Breitbart News, “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump — I have tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point and then it would be very, very bad.” Well, he should have support for the military but for military purposes – not to become thugs and do his dirty job – like say beat up Trump’s critics. The same goes for the police. Both groups should be impartial. As for bikers, not surprised he’d want to be associated with most or at least some of them. While not all, quite a few bikers belong to criminal gangs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration will deny or revoke visas for International Criminal Court staff. The move is meant to deter a potential investigation by the judicial body into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US troops in Afghanistan. The restrictions include “persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation.”

There is a legal phrase for this: Obstruction of justice. Something the administration is all too familiar with.

Over part of two tweets, Trump said “How do you impeach a man who is considered by many to be the President with the most successful first two years in history, especially when he has done nothing wrong and impeachment is for “high crimes and misdemeanors”?” OK. You can stop laughing now. Seriously. Stop!

After the GOP tweeted “The NY Attorney General called President Trump an “illegitimate president.” She has proven to have a vendetta against @realDonaldTrump & is using her position of power to baselessly smear the President & the work he’s done for the American people,” Trump retweeted that and added “All part of the Witch Hunt Hoax. Started by little [former NY Attorney General] Eric Schneiderman & [Governor Andrew] Cuomo. So many leaving New York!” There were 19.85 million in New York state in 2017 and 19.88 million in 2018. Yup. Leaving in droves! [This was a second tweet after the first one was deleted because he couldn’t spell Cuomo’s name correctly.]

Let’s not forget the Trump still has properties in New York such as his trump Tower. You don’t see him leaving the state.

According to excerpts from the forthcoming book “Kushner Inc.” obtained by New York Times, Trump told former Chief of Staff John Kelly he wanted Ivanka and Jared Kushner gone. The White House is denying these reports, calling the book “completely false.” Boy this could been interesting the next time they see each other. “Is it true daddy?”

After the latest Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet crash Trump tweeted “Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,” Trump tweeted. “Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All this cost for very little gain.”

“I’m not an email person,” Trump said during a July 2016 news conference. “I don’t believe in it because I think it can be hacked” as if no Twitter accounts have been hacked ever. Is tweeting any better? You send out an Email, it does normally to a finite number of users. You tweet something, it does to everyone of your followers.

Trump is also a big supporter of Boeing and has been a salesman for them. Most recently during his trip to Vietnam last month where he oversaw the sale of 100 Boeing 737 MAX planes — 20 of those MAX 8 models — for $12.7 billion. Vietnam has put the order on hold until the reason for the crashes are identified.

Within 48 hours, Trump was forced to order the halting of the airplanes because after Canada grounded them, they weren’t flying anywhere except in the US and even passengers were worried about them.

After Trump accused “The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-Jewish party,” press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders wouldn’t say whether Trump believes Democrats hate Jews, which is what he reportedly told Republican donors over the weekend at his Florida estate.

When Sanders claimed that the Democrats refusal to specifically condemn a freshman lawmaker for her controversial comments amounted to an “abhorrent” display, she was asked whether Trump condemned Rep. Steve King’s comments noting that King has a history of making what can be called racist comments but only recently stripped of various committee postings. She deflected the question. The Democrats did condemn the freshman who also apologized.

Trump also claimed that Jews are switching to the Republican party. Of course various polls from the past few elections say that Jews vote for the Democrats anywhere between 70% and 80% of the time.

A vote this week on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. That resolution seeking to end US backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen was approved in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and is expected to be the subject of Trump’s second veto.

The Trump administration is proposing $2.7 trillion in spending cuts following a directive by Trump to reduce spending by 5% across federal agencies, except for defense spending, as part of its budget plan for fiscal year 2020, which begins on October 1. The Democrats already have said that Trump will not get the $8.6 billion he plans to request for the wall.

“President Trump added nearly $2 trillion to our deficits with tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price,” said Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee. “With severe cuts to essential programs and services that would leave our nation less safe and secure, the Trump budget is as dangerous as it is predictable.”

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted that Trump’s “record of accomplishment is why he’ll win re-election,” a significant difference from comments the he made earlier in the week where he described how he thought some Democrats could beat Trump in the 2020 election.

One of the very few items that Trump managed to check off on his platform list is sinking. Unless the Trump administration lifts the punishing tariffs it has imposed on Mexican steel and aluminum imports — duties it also imposed on Canada — Mexico is prepared to keep the status quo with the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump tweets “Republican Approval Rating just hit 93%. Sorry Haters!” From which poll he gives no data. So his “poll” [the one he invented in his mind] says 7% don’t like him. Still not good.

In 2011, Trump questioned whether President Obama was a born American in addition to his academic record. According to the Washing Post [and in recent testimony by Michael Cohen], days after he had threatened his high school, college and college board not to release his grades or SAT scores. In fact, Trump wanted all of his transcripts [which were on paper only] to be given to alumni Trump could trust.

In the more than two years since Trump took office, he has not hosted a women’s championship sports team for a solo event at the White House. WNBA teams were frequently invited to the White House during the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations. NCAA women’s basketball champion teams have visited the White House for the previous five administrations. The sole exception is of a November 2017 event honoring multiple NCAA championship teams.

Case in point: The North Dakota State Bison NCAA division 2 football team were at the White House and again they were served Big Macs, fried chicken sandwiches and other fast food on silver platters using fine china. “We could’ve had chefs, we could have, but we had fast food — because I know you people.”

Trump suggested the decision was aimed at supporting American business. “We like American companies, OK?” he said. Trump encouraged the team to “go and eat up,” noting that he would have a sandwich at the podium himself, but it would cause “too big a stir” with the reporters present. Ya. Sure Donnie.

In the computer department:

A researcher from France has detected in an app, nicknamed “Yelp for Conservatives”, was found with an open API [a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications] leaking reams of user data without any real hacking. The developer said the app is designed “to keep conservatives safe as they eat and shop” has not taken kindly to the findings. He’s accusing the researcher of hacking his database and has threatened legal recourse.

The same researcher found another app called “Donald Daters” [coincidentally also pro-Conservative] which leaked users’ names, photos, personal messages and users’ authentication tokens. It is a MAGA-themed dating experience.

A recent polls says that 50% support Cohen, 35% support Trump.