Trump’s troubles continue…

… But if he kept his mouth shut, he wouldn’t have half of them.

Donald Trump urged House members to adopt the Senate’s budget and follow through on tax reform during a House GOP conference call. “We are on the verge of doing something very, very historic,” Trump said. Trump claimed the plan “will bring back trillions” of American dollars currently overseas. Something historic like another failure in passing this legislation? Money back from overseas? Never explains his “thinking”.

The Republican tax reform framework proposes eliminating the State and Local Tax deduction, a popular tax break that affects nearly one-third of filers but 30 GOP members may balk at it. Assuming no Democrats agree, if more than 22 GOP disagree, the budget will fail.

But in the end the House of Representatives narrowly passed a budget resolution that clears the path for Congress to fast-track tax reform legislation. The vote was 216-212, with 20 Republicans joining Democrats in opposing the measure. Not a good sign even though it passed. The budget includes reconciliation rules that will allow the Senate to pass tax reform with only a simple majority rather than the usual 60 to overcome a filibuster. Cheating again.

John Kelly, before he was Chief of Staff, warned Trump at the beginning of his term not to call the widows of servicemen who died. Kelly also said that [without saying it] Trump was wrong. All presidents have written the widows but very few have called because no matter what they say, it won’t help in grieving.

Trump continue to go after Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson saying “Wacky Congresswoman Wilson is the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party, a disaster for Dems. You watch her in action & vote R!”. “Niger is @realDonaldTrump’s Benghazi. He needs to own it,” Wilson tweeted after. Wilson claims she heard Trump call a serviceman’s widow and said to her “[he] knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.” Sanders backtracked her “inappropriate” comments later after defending Kelly.

In an interview with Good Morning America, the widow of the serviceman who spoke to Trump said “I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. He couldn’t remember my husband’s name.” She said she also wants to know why she hasn’t been allowed to see her husband’s body. “The phone was on speaker phone. Why would we fabricate something like that?”

I’m sure it was after that interview that Trump tweeted “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!” Why doesn’t he give up. He lied again.

Everything in the White House, from phone conversations to Emails, are recorded. So why doesn’t Trump release the recording of his conversation with the widow to finally put this issue to rest and see who told the truth and who didn’t. I can guess who didn’t.

Then Trump said “Sen.[Bob] Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, & look how poorly the U.S. has done. He doesn’t have a clue as…..” Do you have a clue? And then “People like liddle’ Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back…”

The he tweeted “Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!” [Does he know how to spell Tennessee?] and “Isn’t it sad that lightweight Senator Bob Corker, who couldn’t get re-elected in the Great State of Tennessee, will now fight Tax Cuts plus!” [Corker has said he is retiring from the Senate and not seeking re-election.]

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018, and then promptly took the Senate floor and began a lengthy screed against the state of Republican politics in the Trump era. Among other things he talked about “the flagrant disregard for truth or decency”, “the degradation of our politics”, and “such mercurial behavior”.

With Flake, Bob Corker and John McCain all claiming that they probably will not vote in favor of any Trump legislation, the probably of any legislation passing with at least a few Democrats is unlikely.

Then Trump dismissed scathing criticism by Republican Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, saying the real reason they are retiring is because of unfavorable election odds, not dissatisfaction with their party’s standard-bearer. [So Trump admitted that Corker was retiring and not running again. Finally.]

Trump tweeted “The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!” Multiple standing ovations at a lunch? Wish there was video footage to confirm.

Hillary Clinton, on a 15 city book tour promoting her book “What Happened” came to the Montreal stop with a fractured her right foot talking about her book and explaining what did happen. She blames a number of reasons why she didn’t win: from her campaign errors to the Email server to the FBI investigation and others. [Yes, Trump, she did blame her campaign for mistakes made which includes herself.]

So surprising was Trump’s victory to her that she had not prepared a concession speech, she said, and was not prepared to deliver one in the early hours of November 9th. Clinton said that attending Trump’s inauguration was like a “root canal on steroids. I really did not want to go.”

She does not think Trump was qualified to be president, she said. But what she came to realize in time was that “this was the reality-TV campaign and he was the reality-TV candidate. I was the candidate of reality — and I was just not as entertaining.”

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders is really drinking the Trump Kool-Aid. After both Presidents Barrack Obama and George W. Bush made comments about Trump without using Trump’s name, Sanders claims that both were not talking directly about Trump in their speeches as they would of used Trump’s name. Unsure about Obama but Bush has not said anything about Trump in probably over a year.

Huckabee also claimed Trump “helped defeat ISIS”. Unfortunately, ISIS abandoned Raqqa [their quasi-capitol] but are still fighting. She also said Trump “brought unemployment to a 16-year low” but it has been Obama’s final years that helped drive the drop in the unemployment rate according to experts.

With all the cases brought up of sexual harassment [and worse], a reporter asked Sanders if the White House officially thought those women were lying. Sanders offered a very short non-answer: “We’ve been clear on that in the beginning and the President’s spoken on that.”

The allegations from the White House come amid news that the Clinton campaign and DNC helped fund research that led to the dossier that included salacious allegations about Trump, his conduct in Russia and included allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Sanders sought to turn the Russia spotlight on Democrats, arguing that “if any collusion took place, it would be between the DNC and the Clintons.” She declined to answer a follow-up asking what evidence Trump has to accuse Hillary Clinton of colluding with the Russians.

Trump invited some of the kids belonging to the media and asked the kids “How does the press treat you?” I think the kids didn’t know what to say.

Trump is claiming by reducing the corporate tax it will also give an extra $4000 [and at one point he said up to $5000] to each US households. He is getting this from the economic council of advisors. But all this was based on a study from Harvard but the author says maybe $800 but under the right conditions? Trump likes to increase things.

The judge sentencing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had to delay his decision following Trump’s comments about the case could affect the public’s perception of the military justice system. Trump’s recent comments are preventing a fair proceeding.

Five former Presidents got together in Texas at a relief concert to help Texas. Trump? Sent a video message that was very stoic and scripted. No expression.

Trump tweeted “…9 months than this Administration. Over 50 Legislation approvals, massive regulation cuts, energy freedom, pipelines, border security….” Not 50 Legislative approvals as they were executive orders. Does he know the difference? Border security? Travel bans continue to be shot down by courts. Everything else from executive orders.

Trump also tweeted “It is finally sinking through. 46% OF PEOPLE BELIEVE MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS ORGS FABRICATE STORIES ABOUT ME. FAKE NEWS, even worse! Lost cred.” Wonder where he got that percentage from. I guess he wanted high enough to make it slightly believable and not say 76% which sounds like a dictatorship percentage.

An early Happy Halloween to The Witch, KellyAnne Conway.

Seems the Trump administration doesn’t want a NAFTA deal with Canada and Mexico. The administration wants [for example] auto content made in the US up at a least 50%. This would increase the cost and the price of autos [higher US labor costs at least] which would probably decrease auto sales and maybe even reduce jobs. Even various experts such as the US Chamber of Commerce want a proper NAFTA deal.

“This epidemic is a national health emergency,” Trump said. “Nobody has seen anything like what is going on now….. We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic. We can do it.” Worse than the 60s and early 70s with the drugs? He declared a nationwide health emergency, a designation that will not automatically be followed by additional federal funding for the crisis.

In just 9 months, Trump has personally attacked 1 in 5 GOP senators.

Democratic mega-donor and billionaire Tom Steyer is spending more than $10 million on a national TV ad campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment.

Sen. Thom Tillis went to a lunch with Republican lawmakers carrying a bag of popcorn, ready for Trump’s visit to Capitol Hill after Trump feuded with Sen. Bob Corker.

Trump wished country singer, Lee Greenwood, a happy birthday – except he tweeted to the wrong Lee Greenwood [a New York lawyer]. Trump then deleted the original tweet [is he embarrassed?] and tweeted the right one. [Deleting a tweet by the “president” is probably illegal under American laws.]

While not even at the end of the year, Trump’s administration added $80 billion to the country’s deficit which will hit $666 billion this year [hmmm – 666]. Of note, corporate income taxes fell by $2.5 billion year over year to $297 billion while individual income taxes rose by $41 billion to $1.587 trillion.

The State Department’s inspector general has looked into complaints that the US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, Scott Brown, made inappropriate comments to women during an official visit to the Samoan capital of Apia. He was appointed by Trump.

Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company, linked to the Trump campaign contacted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016 regarding thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails kept on a private server while she was secretary of state.

Fox News leads the number of Trump interview with 19. All the others combined have one more than Fox News. The New York Times has had four interviews with the President, NBC and Reuters have had three each, and the Wall Street Journal has had two.

According to an early analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, bottom 95% of households, by contrast, would get a bump of just 0.5% to 1.2% [average]. Compare that to the top 1% [those making $730,000+] who would see a 8.5% increase and the top 0.1% [those making $5+ million] who’s after tax income would jump 10%. But 13.5% of middle income filers as well as some in a higher bracket would actually pay primarily because the GOP framework calls for the repeal of most itemized deductions, including the lucrative state and local tax deduction.

Of course, if you reduce taxes to just about everyone, someone has to pay. Otherwise, it will be added to the debt.

Trump accidentally referred to the Virgin Islands’ governor as their President during a speech saying “I met with the President of the Virgin Islands” — even though he is technically their President.

Trump has endorsed Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race. But the candidate appears to go out of his way to avoid mentioning his most prominent supporter. Trump’s endorsement isn’t mentioned anywhere on Gillespie’s campaign website or his social media pages. Gillespie doesn’t discuss Trump unless he’s prompted to do so. He doesn’t criticize the President, but he also doesn’t make an effort to embrace him, either.

[When was there ever a governor who didn’t want the sitting President’s endorsement before? Another first.]

CNN had a former Republican politician who claims that 1800+ false or exaggerated claims by Trump since January [as researched by the NY Times] are all exaggerated because she thinks the way they were checked. All 1800+? In addition, she claims that the period under Obama was the slowest growth in economy. This after digging out of the recession with George W. Bush. Towards the end of 2008, in Bush’s final term, it hit a low of -8%. During Obama’s 8 years it hit a high of about 5.5% in 2014.

New Yorkers with views of the East River may have spotted a row of bright-red digital numbers affixed to a building on the Queens waterfront. The mysterious display is actually a clock counting down the time left in Trump’s first term. Can it tick down faster?

A slim majority of Americans (52%) oppose Trump’s recent tax reform proposals, according to a poll, while only one-third (34%) say they support the Trump plan.

In a poll taken in mid-October, overall, 37% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 57% disapprove — virtually identical to his marks in late September. But the percentage who say things in the country are going well has fallen from 53% in August to 46% now, about the same as after Trump’s tumultuous first weeks in office.

38% say the policies Trump has proposed will move the country in the right direction, 56% say the wrong direction. 32% approve of the way the President is handling his relationship with Republicans in Congress while 54% disapprove. Nearly half (47%) overall say they have more confidence in the GOP in Congress to handle major issues facing the country vs. 30% who say they have confidence in Trump. A sizable 17% trust neither.

 

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Apps issue with Windows 10 Fall Creator Update

After installing the Fall Creators Update, some app entries may be missing in the Start menu. They also won’t appear in the App list or in the Tiles. The Microsoft Store will show the app is installed but nowhere else.

Note: This will not affect applications installed the old fashion way [not installed at the Microsoft store but either downloaded from a third-party site or from physical media].

Microsoft is looking into the problem. While they investigate here are some workarounds.

Try #1: If not showing up in the Start menu or Tiles.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click on Apps & features.
  4. Select the app that you are having a problem with. Click the Advanced options link.
  5. Click on the Repair button.

For whatever reason, if the Repair button isn’t available or may not have fixed the problem, click on the Reset button. This will delete the app’s data along with settings and preferences.

Try #2: If the above didn’t work, re-installing.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on Apps.
  3. Click on Apps & features.
  4. Select the app that you are having a problem with. Click on the Uninstall button.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button to confirm the uninstallation.
  6. Once done, open the Store app.
  7. Search for the app you just uninstalled and Click the Get button to reinstall the app. Once you’ve completed the installation, the app should now appear in the Start menu and Tiles again.

Try #3: If many are missing:

The two methods outlined above are more suited if you only have a few apps missing, but if your Start menu has a lot of apps missing, it’s recommended to re-register them all in bulk using PowerShell.

Note: Make sure you close all applications you have open [especially My People. Otherwise you will get  error message 0X80073D02 during the process.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the result, and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type [copy and paste] the following commands to re-register the missing apps and press Enter on each line:

reg delete “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\TileDataModel\Migration\TileStore” /va /f

get-appxpackage -packageType bundle |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “\appxmetadata\appxbundlemanifest.xml”)}

$bundlefamilies = (get-appxpackage -packagetype Bundle).packagefamilyname
get-appxpackage -packagetype main |? {-not ($bundlefamilies -contains

$_.packagefamilyname)} |% {add-appxpackage -register -disabledevelopmentmode ($_.installlocation + “\appxmanifest.xml”)}

After completing the steps mentioned above, all the missing apps should now appear in the Start menu. However, according to Microsoft, if you’ve already tried the repair, reset, and reinstall options, the PowerShell commands are likely not going to fix the problem.

As usual, use at your own risk. Backup and take other precautions. See the “About” page for further information.

 

Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 8

OneDrive Files On-Demand Client Missing in v1709

New to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is OneDrive Files On-Demand. It allows users to access all their files in the cloud locally without having to download files and use storage space on their devices, but some may not see it because the user experience is part of a separate client.

You can grab the client here.

Extend the Time that Windows 10 Removes the Old Windows 10

As you know, with installations of Windows 10 that upgraded from a previous operating system, you were allowed up to 30 days before your old operating system was automatically removed from your system.

This allowed you time to verify that Windows 10 would work with your software and hardware.

In subsequent “feature” updates [i.e. v1703 to v1709], that time frame was reduced to 10 days since it is assumed that everything should work when going from Windows 10 to the next feature update.

The 10 days is actually set in a task in the Task scheduler called SetupCleaningTask which can be found in \Microsoft\Windows\Setup. it is configured to run every 5 days and verify that 10 days have passed since the feature update was installed.

It is suggested to manually edit the task and change it from one-time, start immediately, every 5 days, indefinitely to one-time, start 30 days from now, every 1 days.

Verifying your License in Windows

Ever wondered about the licensing of your copy of Windows?  Try below and wait for a window to pop up.

slmgr.vbs -dlv

Most will not be of use with the exception of the name, description, partial product key [make sure it matches your computer’s label if you didn’t change operating systems] and the license status.

 

Trump and his [dis-] like for Republicans

Donald Trump blamed Senate Republicans, not himself, for the stalled GOP agenda ahead of a crucial White House lunch meeting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on getting make-or-break tax legislation back on track.

“They’re [the Senators] on another vacation right now. I think that we would all be a lot better off if the Senate would stop taking vacations and start staying here until we actually get some real things accomplished,” Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said. In other words, Trump is trying to get all the available time in Congress to try and pass his first major piece of legislation.

Trump said he feels “closer than ever before” to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a man he’s publicly criticized for his handling of the GOP agenda and on whom the President is relying for getting a legislative accomplishment in the first year of his term. Come back within a couple of weeks. That “closer” won’t be that close. Remember that over the August recess, Trump publicly bemoaned McConnell’s leadership ever since the Senate failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in July.

San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich says that “Unfit intellectually, emotionally, & psychologically to hold this office & the whole world knows it.” He’s also a “soulless coward” following his false assertion former Presidents Barrack Obama and George W. Bush did not reach out to families of fallen soldiers. This after Trump said about the soldiers killed in Niger: “President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls … I call when it’s appropriate.”

Trump, in defense of his claim that President Obama didn’t call the loved ones of fallen soldiers, said that Obama did not call his chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, after his son died in Afghanistan. I’m suspecting the President does not call every family after someone dies – even John Kelly who was a lieutenant general at the time. 466 American troops died in Iraq and Afghanistan in Obama’s first year, compared to 25 in Trump’s first 9 months.

Trump “wasn’t criticizing predecessors, but stating a fact,” Sanders said even though her boss went back on his comments. Is she on the same page as her boss?

It took Trump 12 days to personally publicly say something regarding the 4 soldiers who died in Niger. A statement was ready but never released. Spokeswoman Sanders did give condolences the day after but not specifically from Trump.

Trump called the widow of one of the 4 soldiers and, according to Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson [who was with the widow at the time of the call], Trump said that the serviceman killed “knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.”

But Trump tweeted “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” The widow had already sided with the “Democratic” Congressman and said that Trump did say his comments. The soldier’s mother also confirmed he said it. I would guess there is proof from Trump. [In fact, the conversation should be recorded as all communication is.]

Trump said he’d written letters to the family of the for that were killed but the letters had not yet been mailed. Supposedly they had been awaiting information before proceeding

Trump sent a $25,000 personal check to the family of a fallen soldier the same day that The Washington Post reported that he had promised the soldier’s father a personal donation during a June condolence call but never followed through. According to the Post, Trump called Chris Baldridge in June, weeks [not days] after his son was killed. During the call, the Post reported, Trump offered him $25,000 and said he would instruct his staff to establish an online fundraising page for the family.

Kelly is starting to sound like his boss. He accused Wilson of claiming credit for securing $20 million in federal funding to build a new FBI field office in Miami in 2015. In fact, in her speech at the dedication ceremony, she took credit for shepherding legislation naming the FBI building. Kelly digging up things that have nothing to do with the issue at hand?

Trump, hours after Sen. John McCain delivered a speech that repudiated Trump, warned the Arizona Republican to “be careful” because at some point he will “fight back.” He hasn’t already? McCain warned the United States against turning toward “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”

Trump sent this tweet “Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?” He is suggesting that a dossier prepared by a former member of British intelligence has not only been totally discredited but that it might have been funded by some combination of Russia, the Democratic Party and, wait for it, the FBI!

Trump has personally interviewed candidates for US attorney positions in New York and Washington, but since these particular candidates for US attorney positions are the chief federal prosecutors who are going to decide whether to indict Trump campaign advisers or staff if there’s collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians proven and possibly consider criminal charges against Trump himself.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon implored conservative activists at a Washington gathering to continue fighting the GOP establishment, attacking a number of Republican members of Congress by name, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Bob Corker. “Right now, it’s a season of war against a GOP establishment.”

Bannon is recruiting conservative candidates for the 2018 midterm election and forming a donor network to back them in primary races against incumbent Republican senators – those against Trump. Bannon backed former Judge Roy Moore to oust Sen. Luther Strange in an Alabama Republican primary last month. Oddly Trump backed Strange, who lost to Moore. Moore, a former judge, has defied federal court orders, described Islam as a false religion and called homosexuality evil.

In a speech to religious conservatives recently, Bannon suggested that GOP incumbents may avoid challengers from the right flank of the party if they disavow McConnell and meet other conditions. Looks like Bannon is pushing for hard conservatives who may be a bit too right/strong for soft leaning Republicans and those undecided.

So with the wildfires in California killing at least 40 people and destroying many acres of land including the now devastated wine industry, Trump said he had spoken with Gov. Jerry Brown and that the federal government would stand with the “people of California and be there with you in this time of terrible tragedy and need.” No visiting, no help, nothing since. Not even a condolences to those families who have suffered.

A federal judge in Hawaii issued an order blocking major parts of Trump’s newest travel ban, suggesting it violated immigration law. Challengers to the ban said it would hurt Hawaii’s state university system, which has students, professors and visitors from the blocked countries, as well as the Hawaii tourism industry. Individuals who sued said the ban would prevent their relatives from immigrating to the U.S. and visiting.

Larry Flynt, best known as the publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler, placed a full page ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post with no pictures, just bold, all-caps text dominating the top third of the page: ” Million For Information Leading To The Impeachment And Removal From Office Of Donald J. Trump.” [Smaller text below it.] I guess Trump won’t be “reading” his magazine anymore.

According to Forbes, Trump’s fortune fell by $600 million to $3.1 billion. As a result he dropped to #248 on the American list, after coming in at #156 last year. The magazine attributed his decline in wealth to “a tough New York real estate market, particularly for retail locations; a costly lawsuit and an expensive presidential campaign.” On Bloomberg’s worldwide billionaires list, his net worth at $2.86 billion.

Of note, Trump has two golf resorts in Scotland and their combined losses was $25 million in 2016. They have lost a combined $53 million since Trump acquired them in 2014 even after he supplied both businesses with huge loans: at the end of 2016 they owed him $200 million. He is still the owner.

Trump tweeted “I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, ‘I hope so!'” This even though Clinton in September “I am done with being a candidate.” Hopefully he doesn’t. Does he bother with the news other than what someone says about him?

When asked what kind of rating Trump would give his administration on the response to Puerto Rico, Trump gave the administration a 10. [OK. Stop laughing. You are laughing too much.] San Juan mayor responded by saying Trump got a 10 – but out of 100.
It could take at least 2 months or more for some in Puerto Rico to have power. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said he hopes that power will be restored to 95% of the island’s energy grid by December 15. Right now it’s 22%. Some said it could be between 6 months and a year for all. In comparison, power was restored to close to all Floridians a week after Hurricane Irma.

In mid-September, 64% of Americans said they approved of Trump’s handling of the US hurricane response. Now, as many Puerto Ricans remain without access to clean water or electricity nearly a month after Maria hit, just 44% say they approve. {And surely most of those are the people who choose to side with Trump no matter what he has done.] His ratings are down 9 points among Republicans, 22 points among independents and 25 points among Democrats. [That 64% approval rating was the highest approval in any poll since he took office.]

Looks like Trump’s wish to have one piece of good news before the end of the year will not happen. The negotiations to renegotiate NAFTA won’t be completed by year end. US negotiators are pushing for changes in the current agreement that Canada and Mexico won’t agree to. This includes 50% of parts in vehicles made in the US. Trump had already warned he’d kill the agreement and this could be a way.

In an article in The New Yorker, Mike Pence’s anti-LGBTQ stance is highlighted, as well as a joke made by Trump to a legal scholar that the scholar shouldn’t ask Pence about gay rights because Pence wants to “hang them all.” The article also talks about how Trump often mocks Pence’s religious beliefs. Denied, of course, by Pence spokeswoman.
In his speech to GOP donors, Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Pence, served up a dim projection for the midterms: “We’re on track to get shellacked next year,” he said.

With Trump’s decision to halt funding for the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing subsidies, many states had already allowed insurers to steeply hike Obamacare premiums for 2018, anticipating that Trump may cut off federal support for the subsidies. The federal government will have to spend an estimated $7.2 billion more next year because it will have to shell out more in premium subsidies to cover these higher rates.

Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican, has withdrawn his name from consideration to become the nation’s next drug czar. This comes after a joint CBS “60 Minutes” and Washington Post report revealed that Marino took nearly $100,000 from the pharmaceutical lobby while sponsoring a bill that made it easier for drug companies to distribute opioids across American communities and thwart the Drug Enforcement Agency. Trump claims it was a “conflict of interest”.

NFL’s Colin Kaepernick’s lawsuit against the NFL will heavily discuss the impact of Trump. The quarterback has claimed teams colluded to keep him out of the league this season, and his recent lawsuit suggests Trump helped foster this negative culture toward him.

In September, the president said NFL teams should fire players who take a knee during the national anthem, which Kaepernick had done since the start of last season. Trump followed up his thoughts with a series of tweets discussing those who kneel during the national anthem and recently stated these players should be suspended. Trump has relationships with the owners of the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys among others.

“Because we’re going to have a major announcement, probably next week, on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem,” Said Trump but in August that he was on the verge of declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency. He never did.

“We are getting close to health care. We’ll come up in the early- to mid-part of next year. We’re going to have a vote; I think we already have the votes,” said Trump. If he had the votes, wouldn’t he vote now?

Even after CNN Jake Tepper told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that by not actually denying [or said that he did say it] that he called Trump a “f?cking moron” must people would assume he said it. Tillerson again said he didn’t want to be caught up in petty comments like this – a bit similar to Senator bob Corker calling the White house a daycare center.

An FCC Commissioner stated that Trump’s suggestion that the FCC should challenge NBC’s license due to their coverage. But in fact the FCC only gives out licenses to TV stations and not a network. So once again, Trump doesn’t know what’d he’s talking about.

A Yahoo correspondent said that Russians who worked for a St. Petersburg “troll factory” were required to watch Netflix’s “House of Cards” to help them write messages that would influence Americans against their own government. The trolls were used to influence the election to get people to vote for Trump by pushing negative comments about Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.

Lawyers for one of the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault subpoenaed his campaign for all documents relating to her, all communications with or about her and “all documents concerning any woman who asserted that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately.” This comes in the case of Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2007. The accusations were made in October of last year at a news conference.

Trump’s re-election campaign spent more than $1 million on legal consulting from July through September. Most of the reelection effort’s legal spending went to the law firm Jones Day and the offices of lawyer Alan Futerfas, with tens of thousands directed to a handful of other offices, including more than $25,000 to the Trump Corporation.  Republican National Committee spent more than $230,000 in August to cover legal fees for Trump, including more than $130,000 to his personal attorney Jay Sekulow.

According to Forbes, Trump’s fortune fell by $600 million to $3.1 billion. As a result he dropped to #248 on the American list, after coming in at #156 last year. The magazine attributed his decline in wealth to “a tough New York real estate market, particularly for retail locations; a costly lawsuit and an expensive presidential campaign.” On Bloomberg’s worldwide billionaires list, his net worth at $2.86 billion.

Of note, Trump has two golf resorts in Scotland and their combined losses was $25 million in 2016. They have lost a combined $53 million since Trump acquired them in 2014 even after he supplied both businesses with huge loans: at the end of 2016 they owed him $200 million. He is still the owner.

Trump defaulted on his payments for his golf course in Puerto Rico a long while ago [dumping $32.7 million to them] but then he commented about the territory’s debt.

 

Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 7

Privacy Settings

If you are upgrading to Windows 10 Fall Creator Update a.k.a. v1709, Redstone 3], you will need to reapply any privacy settings that you may have previously applied.

My favorite tool is SpyBot’s Anti-Beacon which you can grab here.

There are also other tools that can do the job. But note that you may want to make sure you have the latest version as Microsoft may have modified some areas of Windows between versions [for example, different registry key, different service name, etc.].

Windows Media Player Missing

One of the changes in the Windows 10 Fall Creator Update [a.k.a. v1709, Redstone 3] is that Windows Media Player is not part of the default installation or if Windows 10 is bought with a new computer [note that it is still there for upgrades]. Most people are OK with that as they use replacement software that’s probably a bit more modern.

But if you want to have it, it is easily available. But strangely, unlike some applications that were pulled and sent to the Windows Store [such as the original Paint], this one is still around as part of the installation media.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Apps > Apps & features.
  3. On the right, click on Manage optional features.
  4. Click on Add a feature button at the top of the next page.
  5. Find the optional feature named Windows Media Player in the list under Add a feature. Click on it.
  6. The install button will appear. Click on the Install button, wait a minute or two and you are done.

Now if you have it installed but never use it, you can also remove it by the similar method above.

Alternatively, if you are a bit of a Windows expert, you can install or uninstall using PowerShell.

Open an elevated PowerShell.

To install, use:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -FeatureName “WindowsMediaPlayer” -All -Online

To uninstall, use:

Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -FeatureName “WindowsMediaPlayer” -Online

Downloaded ISO, Install from USB

If you download a Microsoft ISO of Windows 10 [or for that matter even Windows 7 or Windows 8.1], how do you transfer the installation disc to a USB key?

Well, Microsoft has had a tool since 2009 to do so. Called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, it was originally it was at the Microsoft Store. Then they transferred it to the CodePlex site [owned by Microsoft and primarily for developers]. In November 2017, the page will be going read-only – unsure if there will be further updates or where it will be.

In the meantime, you can download it here.

You require a USB key of 8GB or greater [4GB may not fit the 64-bit OSs].

Note: The tool will wipe out the contents of the USB key first.

Tip: If you know where to download the latest Cumulative Update for the OS you are installing, create a folder on the USB key called Updates. Dump the Cumulative Update into it. Boot off the USB key with the OS. Don’t attached a network cable or connect to a wireless network. It should install the Cumulative Update from the USB key. One less thing to do later.

Mr. Executive Order King Continues

Donald Trump has a new strategy: Pass the issue to Congress.

Case in point, Trump decertified the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015. Trump has always labeled it “the worse deal ever” [didn’t he say that about Affordable Care Act, Trans Pacific Partnership, NAFTA, etc.?]. He has also wanted labeled the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization which means freeze of accounts, etc. But he ended up just imposed sanctions on them.

So while decertifying it, he will ask Congress to decide a way to fix things or triggers that will allow him to get. At the same time the US will still be part of the deal. Huh? You are either in or you are not in. Trump has claimed that Iran violated the deal even before the deal was signed. This was way before he entered politics officially. But he still never said how they violated the deal.

Now if Congress decides to act, Trump could be seen as the hero. If Congress can’t get anything done, he will be able to blame them with supposedly no heat on him. But of course, most people know better. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Iran is in “technical compliance” on the deal.

One US official tells Buzzfeed that he knows why Tillerson hasn’t resigned quite yet. His reasoning is that Tillerson, along with Defense Secretary James Mattis and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have agreed to what he refers to as a “suicide pact”. Basically the alleged agreement between the three members of Trump’s cabinet is that if one of them resigns [more like fired], the other two will follow suit.

After multiple reports say that Trump and Tillerson have had some issues, “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” Trump said. “And I can tell you who is going to win.” For a guy with a supposedly high IQ, he acts childish.

“…certainly never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It took her how long to come up with that excuse? Trump had no relationship with Tillerson prior to last year’s election but offered him the secretary of state post on the recommendation of two former Republicans.

All this after Tillerson called Trump a “f?cking moron”. Trump and his administration have looked to discredit the initial NBC report and Trump wanted NBC to apologize to America, despite the fact that other outlets have since confirmed Tillerson made the comment.

Trump continued to escalated his attack on Senator Bob Corker by ridiculing him for his height, calling him “Liddle Bob”. Running out of things to say? Trump was reported to have told associates that Corker, at 5-foot-7, was too short to be the nation’s top diplomat. Age restriction? Since taking office has generally avoided used belittling nicknames to diminish political foes who are Republican.

In another tweet “The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!” Nope.

Corker requested that what he said would be recorded and when he told a reporter from The New York Times that the president was reckless and could stumble into a nuclear war.

Very few Republicans supported Trump’s comments about Corker with the vast majority not commenting.

In an interview on Fox, Trump claimed that even by adding to the debt, it would be offset or reduce the debt if the stock market has picked up quite a bit. But he also touted his understanding of debt during the campaign. “I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me,” Trump said on CBS in June 2016. “I’ve made a fortune by using debt, and if things don’t work out I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that’s a smart thing, not a stupid thing.”

“… General John Kelly, by saying he will soon be fired. This story is totally made up by the dishonest media.The Chief is doing a FANTASTIC job for me…” Too bad he never mentioned who said that if any outlet did.

“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” tweeted Trump. Good luck on that. Silence the media – first part of forming a dictatorship.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has privately confided that he believes Trump only has a 30% chance of completing his full term. Bannon warned Trump several months ago that the biggest threat to his presidency is not impeachment by Congress, but the 25th Amendment — which could allow his Cabinet to vote to remove him.

ESPN suspended Jemele Hill for two weeks for criticizing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on social media. She had said he “created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts.”

Then Trump opened up his Twitter account and responded with “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have “tanked,” in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” ESPN subscriber totals is just over 2% lower than over a year ago. Just about every cable network has lost subscribers to streaming. Yup that’s tanking. Isn’t it part of her job to criticize people in sports [owners, coaches, players]?

Meanwhile after kneeing with his players in a game at the end of September, Jones says he will now bench any player who kneeled during the anthem. NFL players’ union said Jones contradicted assurances last week from Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants President John Mara that players could express themselves without reprisals. Did Jones become a two faced owner by now backing his buddy Trump?

Trump took a shot at the NFL’s tax breaks saying “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!”. The NFL does benefit from tax breaks.

After the Indianapolis Colts game, Trump’s re-election campaign was seeking to capitalize on the frenzy surrounding Pence’s departure by soliciting donations via email under a subject line reading: “VP under fire for standing for (US flag).” Under fire for planning his walk-out and supposedly Trump was the one that orchestrated it.

Trump praised the NFL for cracking down on players who don’t stand during the National Anthem by tweeting “It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY”. Problem is that the NFL hasn’t announced anything. Goodell did not make any threat of disciplinary action against players who take a knee or sit during the playing of the National Anthem. His letter certainly did not vow to cut, ban, bench or “fire” any players who join the protest.

What he didn’t say is he has had a long-running grievance with the NFL. Trump and the NFL clashed before. He owned a team in the failed USFL in the 1980s and the league sued the NFL [antitrust] and got a whopping $3 in damages. The league folded. He went after them again in 2014 by tweeting “The NFL has just barred ball carriers from using helmet as contact.” He tried to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014 but lost his bid. Wonder why.

Trump suggested that Puerto Rico is going to have to shoulder more responsibility for recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria, saying the federal government’s emergency responders can’t stay there “forever.” He also blamed the beleaguered island for a financial crisis “largely of their own making” and infrastructure that was a “disaster” before the hurricane. That “disaster” infrastructure was because the federal government wasn’t helping them. But trump wants money for his precious wall.

Republican Rep. Scott Perry defends the Trump administration’s recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, claiming hurricane victims aren’t dying from lack of water and food. OK, not dying but looks like a third world country. But some are getting sick now because they can’t find clean water and are using contaminated water from wells.

Trump signed an executive order to try and fix some Affordable Care Act sections that will allow companies to sell plans with lower premiums but skimpier benefits. That could draw younger and healthier customers away from ACA and send premiums skyrocketing for sicker people left in the exchanges. It will allow consumers to buy short-term policies and allow employers to give workers money to buy their own coverage through health reimbursement arrangements. The department could give employers in the same industries more flexibility to offer group coverage across state lines, providing them with a broader range of policies at lower rates.

It has drawn backing from lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican who has identified specific reforms that could be made by the President alone. Paul, who also criticized Obama on executive orders, was among those present for the signing.
Hilariously, he almost forgot to sign the executive order.

An estimated 6 million Americans [maybe more] use cost sharing subsidies. They will lose them and will now pay extra. Some low wage earners would be paying $3500 a year instead of $250. In addition, those with pre-existing conditions will likely pay more.

Just as hilariously, Trump has signed 50 executive orders since taking office. Over the same period in President Obama’s first nine months, he signed 26. And yet Trump complained before and during the election that Obama signed too many executive orders because Obama couldn’t get anything done legislatively. So how much legislation did Trump pass in nine months.

The head of National Background Investigations Bureau, a government bureau responsible for clearing background checks, told lawmakers he has “never seen that level of mistakes” when asked about numerous omissions in Jared Kushner’s security clearance application.

The National Rifle Association says it is opposed to new legislation in the US Senate and the House [the latter by a Republican] that would ban the production and sale of “bump fire stocks,” a firearm accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire at a more rapid pace like automatic ones. Bump stocks became a major source of discussion on Capitol Hill over the last two weeks after the attachments were found on guns of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway brings up her claim that the Democrats, main stream media and those who are anti-Trump still can’t accept that Trump won the election last year. What planet is she living on? She called Senator Bob Corker’s tweets “incredibly irresponsible” and yet doesn’t seem to think anything is wrong with Trump’s tweets [including quasi threats on other world leaders as well as fabricated content] are OK or get an automatic free pass because he is the so-called President?

Heard on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy this past week [roughly the dialog said]:

  • Doctor: Who’s our President?
  • Patient that formerly had a brain tumor: I wish I didn’t know.
  • Doctor: She’s cured!

Note: When I take quotes from Twitter or elsewhere, I leave the typos and bad punctuation [usually from Trump] as it is.

 

 

Of Weinstein and Twitter posts

Actress Rose McGowan went after sexual harassers on Twitter and her account gets suspended by Twitter for a short time. Meanwhile, actor Ben Affleck apologized on Twitter for groping a woman on camera and his account is still active.

While the whole thing is disgusting, Twitter has in their policy the right to suspend accounts that go contrary to their posting rules. While I didn’t read what she said, she obviously said something Twitter did not like.

However Twitter does not have any rules regarding who can or can’t tweet just because they did something bad now or previously. [So theoretically, for example, mass killer Jeffrey Dahmer could of tweet as long as it is within the rules that Twitter has.]

But Twitter has stretched the rules when Donald Trump has been allowed to continue to post even though he has made some nasty comments. [Would you reject the so-called President of the US? Expect major protests from Trump supporters.]

Twitter claimed his account was supposedly not suspended because it was newsworthy – not because he’s the so-called president.

Newsworthy? Maybe but in some case he’s gone across the line.

I think anyone who has been following this Harvey Weinstein harassment mess would agree that it shouldn’t have happened. But now the blame game is going around on how long people knew about what Weinstein did and why didn’t they speak out then.

You can read Twitter’s posting rules here.