Another mid-week Trump post

[This is a “mid-week” blog as too much is happening lately. Wish Trump would take an actual vacation – with no tweeting!]

Donald Trump is planning to host foreign leaders at his New Jersey golf club when he attends the annual U.N. General Assembly session next month, breaking decades of precedent for US presidents. An unspecified number of foreign meetings at the Bedminster, N.J. golf club over several days during the week of September 18. Typically foreign dignitaries hold meetings at hotels or the U.N. headquarters, taking advantage of a unique gathering of leaders and diplomats.

Holding gatherings 40 miles away from the UN headquarters could appear to be a snubbing by Trump who has already has a rocky relationship with the UN. In addition, as Trump owns various properties, what would he be charging the US government for holding meetings with foreign leaders at his club. After all, his club will lose money while it is shut down for maybe over a week. Already extra security will be needed to cover the area.

The New York Times claims the “shadow” campaign underway among ambitious Republicans to be prepared in the event that Trump doesn’t run for a second term in 2020. Supposedly multiple advisers to Mike Pence have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Trump did not. The report notes Pence’s political schedule and active fundraising.

Pence says the story “disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team.” Pence knows Trump reads the Times; it’s his home paper and the one he cares the most about. So he has no other choice but the official reject the idea even if it is true. Pence aides and White House aides have also denied any campaign. The New York Times article noted Pence has set up a fundraising committee. Called the Great America Committee, it can accept checks of up to $5,000 from individual donors.

After the news went out, Trump went on a Twitter-storm, claiming all the things “he” has done since his inauguration such as deregulation [anything done?], Supreme Court [barely passed], “record stock market” [and what did he do?], “military strength” [congress hasn’t approved any additional funding], …. Meanwhile how many major legislative bills passed? None. Repeal and/or replace Obamacare? Nope. He said his “base” is growing thanks to rallies in Republican friendly states. Exactly why does a president need rallies 7 months into his presidency? [Although it does fit one of his narcissist traits.]

At a recent conference, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that “meddling in the elections is certainly a serious incident.” But I thought Trump said there was no meddling? Did Trump lie [again]?

While news broke that North Korea could possess miniature nuclear warhead that can fir in an ICBM, Trump had no comment instead decided to go after Hillary Clinton again with “E-mails show that the AmazonWashingtonPost and the FailingNewYorkTimes were reluctant to cover the Clinton/Lynch secret meeting in plane.” What Emails?

And to add to the propaganda “After 200 days, rarely has any Administration achieved what we have achieved..not even close! Don’t believe the Fake News Suppression Polls!”. Who is he fooling?

Trump is claiming a foreign policy win after UN voted to sanction North Korea after their ICBM testing. Even North Korean ally China as well as Russia signed off on it. But UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said “We don’t know that they’re going to work.” Even then, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been raising the possibility of talks with Kim Jun Un’s government, but Vice President Mike Pence has several times said Washington does not envisage negotiations. Who do you believe? “We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on (the) negotiating table,” said the North Korean Foreign Minister.

Trump’s retweeted a Fox News story claiming US satellites detected North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to a patrol boat is raising eyebrows after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley indicated that the information in the report is classified and was leaked. Fox News morning show promoted the story said to contain classified information. As well, questions are circulating whether new chief of staff John Kelly knew or had any role in this.

Trump signed a bill passed last week overwhelmingly by Congress imposing new sanctions on Russia. The bill’s passage drew growling from Moscow who responded by stripping 755 staff members and two properties from US missions in the country. It is dealing a serious blow to the reset in US-Russian relations that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had called for. Tillerson said he would respond to the matter by September 1. Why the wait of over 3 weeks?

With Trump requiring English to be included in his immigration bill, he is effectively cutting off many in the Middle East. If think of his watered down travel ban, you can consider this an extension if that ban as many from the Middle East will not know English.

When Senator Richard Blumenthal voiced support for continuing the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election and expressed concern about the Department of Justice’s increased focus on rooting out administration officials who leak information damaging to Trump, Trump attacked calling him “a phony Vietnam con artist” on Twitter. Exaggerating, as usual, “Never in U.S. history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal.” Blumenthal came under sharp criticism for repeated remarks over the years that he had “served” in Vietnam, even though he did his full Marine service in the United States. So, what does one got to do with the other? Meanwhile, Trump shouldn’t talk [or tweet] after his father got him out of serving in the military.

The Department of Homeland Security’s CIO, Richard Staropoli, has resigned, just three months after taking the job. The department did not explain why Staropoli is leaving. Deputy CIO Stephen Rice will serve as the Acting CIO until President Trump appoints a new CIO for the department. The DHS CIO role does not require Senate confirmation. At DHS, Staropoli reported directly to then-Secretary John Kelly.

It’s never a good sign when you are 7 months into your 4 years as president and the party is looking for another leader. But that seems to be happening already. Already there are at least 5 Republicans that are kicking the tires. In addition UN Ambassador Nicki Haley could also be a future candidate although some rumors are floating around that she could replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. [If she is smart, she’d pass on that posting. Look at what happened to Hillary Clinton. One of the reasons why she lost in November was because of her “baggage” as Secretary of State.]

Trump is taking a 17 day “working vacation” claiming there is some repair work to be done at his shack, the White House. $3.5 million work in the West Wing including g the heating and air conditioning. Aside from this “vacation” he has been at his properties [New Jersey, Florida] a dozen times since taking office – that is twice a month. His tweeting continues. No vacation there.

Lawmakers reacted angrily to reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not spending $80 million at his disposal to counter Russian disinformation and propaganda put out by violent extremists. State Department officials claim that the delay is part of a broader policy review intended to give Tillerson time to figure out what policies are best pursued and where money is best spent.

While the order for large trucks have gone up, orders for [family sized] vehicles have dropped over the past few months. I guess it shows the economy is good for business but not the consumer

Sam Clovis, Trump’s nominee to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist, maintained a now-defunct blog for years in which he accused progressives of “enslaving” minorities, called black leaders “race traders,” and labeled former President Barack Obama a “Maoist” with “communist” roots as well as “no experience at anything other than race baiting and race trading as a community organizer.”. Clovis called out progressives for what they were – “liars, race traders and race ‘traitors'” in 2012.

Newly released emails among Agriculture Department officials as employees search for new ways to describe their work under the Trump administration. They are using the more generic term “weather extremes” instead of climate change.

Seems meeting Trump could break up a band: Members of Journey [except founder Neal Schon] were at the White House to meet Trump last week, taking pictures at the Oval Office. Schon became quite p?ssed because he didn’t know and the band has always has been neutral when it came to politics. The band refused to play for President Obama a number of times. This even though one band member’s wife is a “spiritual advisor” to Trump and Schon’s wife likes Trump [Schon didn’t say].

Elsewhere in Trump related entertainment, television network ABC denied that it had canceled comedian Tim Allen’s popular sitcom “Last Man Standing” due to its conservative politics. It was one of the  most-watched scripted series, a solid ratings draw. But Allen supported Trump. A petition claimed the comedy was canceled because it was the only entertainment program that was not constantly shoving “liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers.”

As well, Trump was reportedly in talks to play the president in the third incarnation of cult sci-fi disaster film Sharknado – until he welched on the deal to run for the real thing. The part eventually went to Mark Cuban, much to the chagrin of Trump’s team who went so far as to threaten to sue to filmmakers, although Trump’s attorney denied any “angry correspondence”.

Being associated in any way to Trump may not be good. At a New York Mets game, New Jersey governor Chris Christie – an early Trump supporter – was booed after snagging a foul ball during the game.

New York Post released an image on Twitter for the front page of the newspaper. Survivor: White House.

By the August recess the non-profit good-government group Partnership for Public Service [PPS] recommends having the most important 300-400 confirmed. Trump has 124 confirmed, 277 nominated and 8 withdrew. This is out if 1200 Senate confirmation and 40000 hires. PPs has identified 577 executive branch positions as being particularly essential — and Trump has only successfully filled about a fifth of them. President Barack Obama had 433 nominations and 310 confirmations at the same point, President George W. Bush had nominated 414 and had 294 confirmed, and President Bill Clinton had 345 nominations and 252 confirmed.

Trump has actually followed through with one post-election win promise: to get a cheaper replacements for Air Force One. An order of Boeing jets by a Russian airline that went bankrupt will now be used as the beginnings of the new planes. The planes [before retrofitting for the government] will cost about $390 million US each.

Then presidential candidate Trump revealed a little-known episode of personal heroism from his youth, telling an Iowa audience that he narrowly avoided capture in Vietnam by remaining in the United States for the duration of the war. “The Cong were after me,” Trump said, visibly stirred by the memory. “And then, just in the nick of time, I got my deferment.” The Cong were after him? In New York or Florida? Coward.

Some are suggesting Sex and the City’s Mario Cantone was to play Scaramucci on Saturday Night Live. Cantone would have been very busy!

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