The aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation

“I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people and our beloved Constitution,” Donald Trump told thousands of supporters in Topeka after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

“You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that’s what they’ve [Democrats] become,” he said. Maybe they came “angry” because of the how Trump polarized the country. Can you name any President in US history that has name called the other party, let alone foreign leaders, fellow US politicians, etc.

In the same “I’ve got more Indian blood in me than Pocahontas, and I have none,” he said of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, mocking her claims of Native American heritage. “I have high cheekbones too. Hey maybe I’m an Indian.” Warren is one of the front runners to be the Democrat’s 2020 nominee for President.

Trump tweeted: “The crowd in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is tiny, looks like about 200 people (& most are onlookers) – that wouldn’t even fill the first couple of rows of our Kansas Rally, or any of our Rallies for that matter! The Fake News Media tries to make it look sooo big, & it’s not!” Ya. Just like his inauguration crowd was bigger than Obama’s. As well the [Washington] Capitol Police said 160 protesters were arrested. So all but 40 were arrested?

Trump told reporters aboard the flight he is certain one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, named the wrong person when she identified Kavanaugh as the man who assaulted her when the two were in high school. “I’m a hundred percent. I’m a 100%. I have no doubt,” he said. Maybe he knows who did assault her.

Even after Kavanaugh was confirmed and before he was sworn in, Trump continued to go after the Democrats with various non-presidential like comments.

Sometimes we don’t know what Trump was thinking. In addition to be sworn in at the Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing in was done a couple of days later at the White House. This hasn’t been done before. Was it for show? At that time he ranted against the Democrats, Kavanaugh’s accusers, etc.

Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic 2016 election opponent, said “What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court.” You know that trump will respond to this.

In case you wondered, 51% of Americans in a poll opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination and 41% approved. I am guess the majority of the approvals are Republicans.

Trump said he has no plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, delivering a reprieve for the Justice Department official whose future has been the source of intense speculation for two weeks. But as you know, Trump has changes his mind as often as he changes his underwear [hopefully at least once a day on the latter].

He still even managed to thrown in his two favorite words [out of nowhere] in the middle of a sentence that had little to do with it “no collusion”. But Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions career in the government most likely will not go past Trump’s first [and only] term.

Seems Trump has nothing else to do, with Hurricane Michael aiming for Florida and beyond, just barely confirming Kavanaugh, deteriorating relationships with Russia, China and North Korea by deciding to “write” an op-ed piece in USA Today. [Did he really write it?] Trump claims the Democrats want to outlaw private health care plans and taking away freedom to choose plans in something called “Medicare for All” and would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years. Now of course Trump selectively likes to choose his information [cherry pick]. For example, the cost is based solely on a single individual’s findings and right leaning.

“Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare.” Even if the amount is correct, he’s been in office for close to two years and has done nothing to fix the problem.

“Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care,” except the Democrats are pushing for it as it is based on left leaning ideology.

“The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.” He really is going for the fear factor isn’t he?

“Virtually everywhere it has been tried, socialism has brought suffering, misery and decay.” Right, like in Canada, Finland, Norway,….

“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients…” He’s already looking at 2020?

Major newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe said they would not have published Trump’s op-ed because of the number of inaccuracies or outright lies. The author would have been given time to correct the issues or it wouldn’t be published.

Trump flew north to Erie, Pennsylvania, while the 150 mph winds of Hurricane Michael raged 1,000 miles to the south, as part of his blitz of key battlegrounds ahead of the midterm elections. “We have thousands of people lined up, so we wanted to make this stop,” Trump told reporters at Erie’s airport. Supposedly, rump had been urged not to cancel by local party officials.

But these rallies are supposed to be for the candidates running in those locations. When Trump attends one, he spends an hour talking or whining about everything and then takes a few minutes to talk about the candidates – some whom he have never met until just prior to the event.

By Trump’s calculation there were somewhere between 32,000 and 37,000 people inside and outside watching the speech in Erie, Pennsylvania on Wednesday. According to the Erie fire chief, there were 9,000 people in the arena and another 3,000 watching outside. So 12,000 total.

The hurricane hit some of the most fertile areas of Trump country — where a massive turnout helped him overturn expectations in the Sunshine State in 2016. So he wouldn’t expect to lose too many Trump voters if he went to a rally elsewhere than monitor the hurricane from Washington or elsewhere.

Is there any relation between Nikki Haley resigning and the Kavanaugh confirmation? Maybe. She “roasted” Blasey Ford one day and the next day gave Trump her resignation letter. Then she officially announces her resignation the day after Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Unsure if he was joking or not but Trump had commented that maybe his daughter, Ivanka, be appointed to replace Haley. Trump would love that as someone [we assume] he can trust, but it is a position that requires confirmation.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to introduce legislation this week that will fully fund the proposed Trump Wall along the US-Mexico border with a whopping $23.4 billion price tag. As the legislation is still being written, it’s not clear if the package would have any element of the wall paid for by Mexico, as Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail. [Does that price tag seem a bit low?]

Aides in both chambers, in both parties, think the fight over wall funding levels after the election could lead to a government shutdown — something Trump himself has advocated as part of a negotiating strategy. Even if the bill passed the House, it would need 60 votes to clear the Senate, an unlikely threshold to reach.

Trump escalated his attack on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases, asserting that “the Fed is out of control” and blaming it for this week’s plunge in stock prices. While campaigning in 2016, Trump had been highly critical of the Fed, contending that under Chair Janet Yellen, the Fed was keeping rates abnormally low to try to help Democrats. But until this summer, he had lodged no criticism of the Fed’s rate hikes. So I guess they weren’t helping the Democrats.

Hope Hicks, previously one of President Trump’s closest aides, is joining FOX as executive vice president and chief communications officer, which means she will run public relations and other aspects of the TV company. She will not officially start work until early 2019 — because FOX is in the midst of a major corporate transaction. Not bad for a 29 year old!

Rapper Kanye West met with Trump, telling him in an Oval Office meeting before reporters why he supports the Republican. “There was something about putting this hat on that made me feel like Superman,” West said. ” He might not have thought he’d have a crazy mother-f***r like me (supporting him).” No f***ing shit.

In an interview with Fox, “I have a lot of African-American support, and a lot has developed over the last little while with Kanye coming out, and Jim Brown’s been there for a long time.” In a recent interview, just more than 1 in 4 non-white voters approved of the job Trump is doing. “When Kanye came out very strongly a number of months ago, something happened. My polls went up, like, 25%.” Trump makes it as if Kanye is gay.

After Taylor Swift announced that she would support two Democrats in her home state of Tennessee, Trump commented that “I’m sure Taylor Swift has nothing — or doesn’t know anything about her (Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn),” Trump said and then he added, with a laugh: “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25% less now, OK?”

Seems Swift knows enough about Blackburn [maybe even more than Trump] when she tweeted “She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act….” [and so on].

Trump has either held a rally or visited one of his own properties on 48 of the past 92 days; that is, since June 7. He’s probably played golf on at least 30 of those days, about a third. Over the course of his presidency, the figures are more modest. He’s visited one of his own properties on about 33 percent of days and probably played golf on about 22 percent of the days he’s been president. President Obama played 306 rounds as president, over eight years. In fewer than two years, Trump has probably played 129.

During a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, Trump called Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee “a great general,” and said President Abraham Lincoln “almost developed a phobia” over Lee’s defeat. How does he know this?

Almost two years after Trump’s win, the US Postal Service has been operating on an emergency basis because of a lack of confirmed members.

Melania Trump says she could be one of “the most bullied person” in the world. She doesn’t say how or from whom. Critics have pointed out that her husband routinely mocks people for their looks and for what he says is a lack of talent or intelligence.

She also says there are people in the White House whom she and the husband can’t trust. She didn’t name names but said she let her husband know about them.

When asked in an interview about the alleged affairs Trump has had, Melania said “It is not concern and focus of mine….. I have much more important things to think about and to do.”

From an old interview, we’ve know that Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is probably a  liar when he said that Melania doesn’t believe Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels when Melania’s communication director said she never spoke to Giuliani about it.

 

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Trump gets two wins for the week – a first

And maybe a last.

Well it sure was an interesting week for Donald Trump.

While Trump said that “They [FBI] have free rein to do whatever they have to do,” but Trump’s counselor Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway said that the reopened FBI checks into Kavanaugh would be “limited in scope, it’s meant to last one week, and … it’s not meant to be a fishing expedition.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that “Senate Republicans are going to lay out and dictate those terms, and we look forward to this wrapping up so we can see what was seen in the last six investigations that Judge Kavanaugh has been a part of.”

A source with knowledge of the investigation said that the FBI will interview a handful of people and only take direction from the White House, not the Senate and said the White House sent the limited parameters of the investigation to the FBI based on a Senate request. Two sources with knowledge of the situation said that Senate Republicans were working with White House counsel Don McGahn, who was “trying to make it as narrow as possible.”

The Democrats sent in a list of 29 people that should be interviewed properly to be satisfied. Something tells me the FBI will not be doing them all [told or otherwise].

Trump decried the “trauma” Kavanaugh has been subjected to in the confirmation process. Ummm. Would that be more than Ford or for that matter either Christine Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh’s family? Ford has to relive it. [I am assuming she did go through the assault.] “Certainly, if they find something I’m going to take that into consideration,” Trump said when asked about the FBI investigation. “Certainly, I have a very open mind.” That is questionable.

Days later Trump said that Kavanaugh’s “life is in tatters. A man’s life is shattered. His wife is shattered, his daughters. … ” Well, next time, do some actual research on a nominee instead of putting this liar’s family through this mess.

Trump told the rally crowd in Mississippi, “I don’t even know him. I met him for the first time a few weeks ago. I don’t even know him. So it’s not like, ‘Oh, gee, I want to protect my friend.’ ” Great. He doesn’t even know his own nominee.

Trump tweeted that the people he sees at his rallies are “really angry at the vicious and despicable way Democrats are treating Brett Kavanaugh.” Of course – they’re all Republicans! He called Democrats who are against Kavanaugh “evil people” who want to “destroy people.”

The Democrats claim that any judge appointed to the Supreme Court should have an impeccable record – both as a judge and personally. The fact that there are three that accuse Kavanaugh shows that he may not be the perfect candidate.

Trump’s mockery of Christine Blasey Ford sparked an immediate backlash among two critical Republican swing votes on the nomination of Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh, with Sens. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins pointedly rebuking Trump. Speaking at a campaign rally, Trump cast doubt on Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by mocking her for not knowing the answers to questions such as how she had gotten to the high school party where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, an allegation he has repeatedly denied. Trump previously called her testimony “credible”.

“There’s no time and no place for remarks like that. To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. … It’s kind of appalling,” said Flake in an interview. Collins said they “were just plain wrong.” If Trump loses the Kavanaugh, vote he could only blame himself for it now.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway responded with “She’s been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us…” [Doesn’t she know smoking pot is illegal?]

Trump is criticizing female protesters who confronted senators over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he is calling them “paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad.” Trump described the women as “rude elevator screamers” and said they have “professionally made identical signs.”

At press time, Trump may have got his wish as Kavanaugh will squeak by with the confirmation. Unlike all other Supreme Court justices before him, Kavanaugh was the hardest to confirm ever.

The US, Canada and Mexico squeezed in before the US deadline to update the North American Free trade Agreement. The new deal has a new name: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Trump can claim a victory and a check next to one of his campaign promises. While there were some changes, was it really a big difference?

US farmers will have better access to the Canadian dairy market, there is a change regarding autos that may not affect Canada much and Chapter 19, which is a way to resolve trade issues, is staying put. The US lost every Chapter 19 complaint so far.

“I then will submit it [USMCA] for approval to Congress where in theory there should be no trouble — but anything you submit to congress is trouble, no matter what,” Trump said. What a positive guy! He then added “…we’re [Democrats] not going to approve it because that’ll be good for the Republicans, so therefore we can’t approve it.”

Trump also said “truly historic news for our nation and indeed for the world.” I don’t think the world really cares much about a deal that doesn’t involve them.

“Just for those babies out there that talk about tariffs — that includes Congress, ‘please don’t charge tariffs’ — without tariffs, we wouldn’t be standing here,” Trump said. “I can tell you, Bob and all of these folks would not be standing here right now.” This comment was made because number of Republicans — including House Speaker Paul Ryan — have expressed opposition to tariffs.

Some experts claim the new trade agreement is just a change of names that Trump likes plus some expected changes [such as copyright and shipping duties] and a few issues [Canadian dairy management and Mexican labor wages]. But Trump whined since before the election that the NAFTA deal was the worst deal ever according to him. So he didn’t change much.

Between the new NAFTA deal and Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Trump can claim two victories. Major? I doubt it except to him.

China says it deplores a controversial new clause [section 32.10] in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that calls on the countries to notify each other if they enter into trade talks with a “non-market” economy. Some say it gives the Americans a veto over Canada and Mexico pursuing free trade with China.

Trump helped “his parents dodge taxes” in the 1990s, including “instances of outright fraud” that allowed him to amass a fortune from them, according to an analysis from The New York Times. Denial from the Trump family of course.

Trump and his siblings helped his parents build their wealth by hiding millions of dollars in gifts in a “sham corporation,” according to the Times. The President assisted his father in taking “improper tax deductions worth millions more.” He also helped to “formulate a strategy” for his parents to undervalue their real estate holdings on their tax returns to reduce their tax bill.

Trump’s older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has kept a very low profile since he ran for office. But it appears as though she inadvertently had a central role in The New York Times blockbuster report on her brother’s alleged tax schemes. One of the Times key findings was a financial disclosure form from Barry’s Senate confirmation proceedings in 1999 to be a federal appellate judge.

Go figure out this one: Trump, at a news conference, told reporter Cecilia Vega that “That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do,” and the initial transcript said “thinking”, but to maybe remove the insult, the White house revised the transcript within 24 hours replacing “thinking” with “thanking” even though the video clearly says “thinking”. Isn’t changing any presidential text illegal?

At a rally in West Virginia, Trump said “When you see people who are angry and mean and nasty and untruthful…” He was going after Senator Diane Feinstein when those words can describe himself more than her.

Regarding what they call “Laughtergate” at the UN during Trump’s speech at the UN, Trump said “The fake news said people laughed at President Trump. They didn’t laugh at me. People had a good time with me. We were doing it together. We had a good time. They respect what I’ve done.” Seriously? It was a comedy show?

Deeper into his speech, Trump had this warning for the other 180 plus leaders: “We are taking a hard look at US foreign assistance … Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and frankly are our friends.” And I would guess the number of friends have dropped in the last two years.

Just after California Governor Jerry Brown signed a state net neutrality bill in defiance of federal regulations, the Trump Administration asked a court to block California from attempting to restore Obama-era rules requiring open access to the internet.

The measure prohibits internet service providers in California from stratifying users and websites by who can pay for faster surfing speeds and service. If the law stands, broadband providers including Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. will be blocked in the state from slowing traffic on their airwaves while charging consumers for faster access.

The Trump administration is quietly moving to weaken U.S. radiation regulations, turning to scientific outliers who argue that a bit of radiation damage is actually good for you — like a little bit of sunlight. They already have targeted a range of other regulations on toxins and pollutants, including coal power plant emissions and car exhaust, that it sees as costly and burdensome for businesses.

[Reducing regulations is not surprising for Trump. After all, him and most of his cabinet came from big business. If this saves companies more money (at what medical costs), these people could indirectly add to their pockets some of the profits that are in blind trusts or in the case of Trump, should be.]

Melania Trump is in Africa visiting a few countries. She will be checking out daycare centers and hospitals funded by a US government agency. Problem is that the Trump administration have signaled that they will cut 30% of the funding.

Steve Bannon suggests Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti could go toe-to-toe with Trump in the 2020 election.

Kanye West opened up the season for Saturday Night Live. At a commercial brake, he stayed on stage and had a pro-Trump rant. He was booed by quite a few of the people in the audience.

Trump claims that West was told he could not wear a “Make America Great Again” hat after the show but he did. Now who cares what he wears offline?

Being like his father, Donald Trump Jr. claims West was bullied by Saturday Night Live staff. Seriously? Didn’t hear West complain. [And speaking of bullying….]

In another dumb comment from Donald Trump Jr., he told Daily Mail TV that he worries more for his sons than his daughters in the current political climate, saying he is concerned they may one day face false sexual misconduct allegations. If his sons have done nothing wrong, nothing to fear.

 

Trump goes to the United Nations

Donald Trump at the United Nations. You know what that means.

Trump arrived late. [Surprised? He also arrived late at the last G7.] So, at the General Assembly, forcing a last-minute scheduling switch, then received polite applause but also blank stares as he took his blustery brand of “America First” policies to the annual General Assembly.

He was unapologetic about his decisions to remove the US from the international Iran nuclear accord and object to UN programs he believes are contrary to American interests.

Trump claims his “administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history” of the United States. Some world leaders in the crowd chuckled and some broke into outright laughter.

Fox News decided not to include the laughter portion on their web site and Twitter feed. Meanwhile, Trump claimed after his speech, he intentionally added this section so he could add some humor.

Trump also said “Moving forward we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and frankly our — our friends.” How he defines respect? I would guess where the US has a trade surplus.

“As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority,” he said. The US is boycotting the Human Rights Council, arguing it overlooks abuses by some and serves as a venue for anti-American and anti-Israeli action.

Trump said about North Korea, “there have been no tests, no nuclear tests, no rockets, no missile launches….” But he said nothing about development of rockets.

When Trump chaired the UN Security Council, he claimed [with no proof] that China – not Russia – is planning to disrupt the upcoming mid-term elections. I guess we have a preview of what Trump will say when he loses the House and/or Senate in November.

For trade issues, Trump told world leaders “we are systematically renegotiating broken and bad trade deals.” Singling out China for its trade abuses and theft of US intellectual property, Trump said “we will no longer tolerate such abuse.”

Trump tweeted that “despite requests,” he has no plans to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. But in an interview Rouhani said “Not this year, nor last year. We have never made such a request for a meeting with the President of the United States”. But US officials said Trump is not seeking a meeting with him but is not opposed to talking if Iran requests a session.

Trump is getting into meeting denial habits. He was asked at a press conference if he was asked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a meeting. Trump said no because Canada’s tariffs are too high. Trudeau’s office said Trudeau never asked for a meeting.

During a free-wheeling solo press conference that lasted more than an hour, Trump again claimed that former President Barack Obama was close to starting a catastrophic conflict with North Korea, telling reporters that if he “wasn’t elected, there would have been a war” as his predecessor was close to “pressing the trigger.”

Trump also claims by implying that Obama had “essentially” told him so directly in a Fox News interview. But those who worked in the previous administration say Trump’s assertion is simply untrue.

Interesting to note that Trump is pinning all his hopes on Brett Kavanaugh. The longer he keeps Kavanaugh as his nominee the less the chances are that the senate can confirm another nominee in case Kavanaugh is dropped.

With the possibility of the Democrats taking control of the senate in November, the probably of the Democrats allowing a hard right justice nominee as a Supreme Court justice is very unlikely. With this, it could push back a right wing agenda including the possibility of the sinking of Roe versus Wade, for example.

With the latest allegations against Kavanaugh, the Trump administration and senior Republicans are trying to still defend Kavanaugh.

Trump sought to discredit the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who is accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct by saying she was “messed up” and “drunk” at the time of the alleged incident. He also said he believes Democrats are masterminding “a con game” against his Supreme Court nominee.

White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that Trump is open to having Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, testify. The question is whether or not that is Trump actual view.

Trump said the third accuser is just like the other two – either out to kill Kavanaugh’s nomination or a Democratic party plot.

There was a call from the American Bar Association to slow the vote on Kavanaugh until the FBI can do a full background check. White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton”  Sanders told reporters Friday that Kavanaugh has already “been through six separate background investigations by the FBI.”

Personal information of US senators Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, and Orin Hatch appeared on their Wikipedia pages while questioning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a judiciary hearing.

After Senator Jeff Flake pushed for an investigation by the FBI into Kavanaugh and his 5 accusers, Trump ordered a limited, week-long FBI probe of the allegations against Kavanaugh, at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was a 180-degree turn from his previous statements about making such a move.

Remember how much Trump “liked” the FBI, so does he actually trust them or would go after them if the investigation shows Kavanaugh did indeed do what he is accused of by at least one of the 5 accusers. Also surprising he called for the investigation right away instead of waiting one or more days to reduce the amount of time the FBI can investigate.

For the Republican party, a positive outcome for them could help get some on the fence Republicans and Democrats to vote in favor of Kavanaugh. For the Democrats, it could help prove or give more doubt that Kavanaugh did indeed do what he is accused of. In addition, Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, can finally give testimony.

For the accusers, Kavanaugh, Judge and others, if any of them end up lying, they could be headed to be charged with numerous offences including perjury [up to 5 years in prison]. If Kavanaugh lied, it could also be big trouble for Trump.

The proposed rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security through the Trump administration could make immigrants seeking to enter the United States ineligible for visas or green cards if they are deemed likely to receive certain public benefits once they come to the country. The public benefits includes public housing and food stamps equivalent to a certain monetary threshold.

A federal judge in Washington, DC, ruled that a lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democrats in Congress against Trump over foreign payments to his business can proceed. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and the other members allege in the lawsuit that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by not seeking their approval for his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani flatly stated Trump would not answer any questions from the special counsel about obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation in writing or in an interview.

Other members of Trump’s legal team say Giuliani’s version of events was wrong. Another pair of key attorneys Trump, Jane and Marty Raskin, were busy trying to coordinate calls and continue to do so with a lawyer on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

The House is set to vote on a massive spending package that funds a large section of government and aims to avert a shutdown, just weeks before the midterm elections. Interesting. The Senate overwhelmingly supported it [bipartisanship!] and the House is expected to pass it easily. But, you guessed it, Trump has sent mixed signals sent over the bill in recent weeks. The Trump Wall isn’t included in the bill. Tweeting, Trump recently called this “ridiculous” spending bill.

Eventually Trump signed a massive spending package that funds a large section of government and averts a shutdown. The bill includes a continuing resolution that will fund remaining unfunded parts of government until December 7.

In a tweet, Trump used the word “Acquisitions” instead of “accusations”. Hmmmm. Add to the list of other tweeting goofs.

Trump rejected any notion that his tariffs posed an economic risk, echoing assertions by his administration that consumers would barely notice the new taxes.

From Ford to Walmart to Procter & Gamble, a growing number of iconic American companies are warning that Trump’s tariffs on US imports are raising their costs and prices. Further warnings from Coca-Cola, Gap, Macy’s, etc.

Ford’s CEO claims that the company buys most of its metals from US producers, which have raised prices this year as a result of the tariffs on foreign competitors. US producers can gauge Ford by raising their prices but keep it just below import steel with tariffs. Steel prices are up 25 per cent since the tariffs began.

The Trump administration imposed new 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, spanning thousands of products, including food seasonings, baseball gloves, network routers and industrial machinery parts. China retaliated immediately with new taxes of 5% to 10% on $60 billion of US goods such as meat, chemicals, clothes and auto parts.

The latest round of US tariffs is set to increase at the end of the year from 10% to 25%. China hasn’t yet spelled out how it will respond to that. Trump has also threatened tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese products. That would mean the US measures effectively cover all China’s annual goods exports to the United States.

Thousands of companies have asked the government to exclude certain products from the tariff list, claiming they cannot find another supplier outside of China for the items they need. None of their requests have been granted so far.

The Chinese government has blocked the USS Wasp from docking in Hong Kong amid a growing diplomatic feud between the two countries over strict military sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

Adding fuel to the fire, the administration moved ahead with its approval of $330 million in arms sales to Taiwan, primarily spare parts for the island’s air force.

Latest SRSS poll has one of the highest disapproval rating at 58% for Trump since Trump took the job [only time higher was around December 2017]. His approval with Republicans is static at 82%. But the number of Americans who identify with a party has been on the decline. But most independents tend to vote with the Republicans.

A bit of humor: Having Trump as “President” is like having diarrhea for two years. It’s exhausting and there’s shit everywhere.  [Not my quote.]

Trump just loves to change his tune

Special counsel Robert Mueller seems to have built in safeguards to discourage Donald Trump from pardoning Paul Manafort. The plea deal Mueller struck with Manafort contains several provisions that appear intended to discourage the former Trump aide from seeking a pardon and to rein in the impact of any pardon Trump might grant.

A part of the deal says that if Manafort’s guilty pleas or convictions are wiped out for any reason, prosecutors immediately have the right to charge him with any other crimes he may have committed previously or confessed to during recent plea negotiations.

The agreement also says prosecutors can come after the five identified homes or apartments, three bank accounts and a life insurance policy now or at any point in the future “without regard to the status of his criminal conviction.”

“We had a good saying that we’ve held firm to this day, as the dean was reminding me before the talk, which was ‘What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep,” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said in a 2015 speech at Catholic University of America’s law school.

Kavanaugh’s nomination vote has been delayed until the following week to allow the Judiciary Committee to question him as well as his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, regarding his alleged sexual assault on her when she was 15.

Once again, unsure if Trump is human. Being insensitive, Trump said of the hardship on Kavanaugh’s family’s life and of course Kavanaugh with Trump saying “hurting someone’s life very badly” and his reputation.

Trump claims that the FBI “doesn’t do that” that is investigate whether what Ford said was true. But in fact, the FBI don’t investigate issues like this unless ordered to do so. There is a difference.

Not surprising Ford’s life has been threatened. FBI investigating. [See Trump, something they actually do.]

When Trump finally addressed the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh were quietly stunned when Trump said the process should be followed and the accuser should be heard. In recent days, Trump has bragged about the positive coverage he’s received for his response, according to multiple sources. This helped his ego. Not really positive coverage – more like stunned.

You knew it wouldn’t last long. Trump, in a series of tweets, deviated from his previously measured comments about Ford who has accused Kavanugh of sexual assault, claiming that if the attack she alleges “was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities”. He also said Kavanaugh is “under assault by radical left wing politicians.”

Trump asked why no one called the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago. The FBI would not have jurisdiction in the case at the time of the alleged assault. Among the most common reasons for not reporting these incidents were fear of reprisal, shame and a belief that authorities could or would do nothing to help. [Maybe something Trump will learn once he is charged with those alleged assaults from him.]

Ford said she told no one at the time what had happened to her, and was terrified of punishment from her parents if they realized she had been at a party where underage drinking was happening.

“There’s no reason to attack her. The president is defending his nomination to the United States Supreme Court as a man of character, integrity, impeccable academic and judicial qualifications,” counselor to Trump, Kellyanne The Witch Conway said when asked about Trump’s original measured response to the allegations. How she was wrong…. again. Just a few days before Trump said “Why would I attack her?”

In his May 2017 interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, it makes Trump more vulnerable to claims that he obstructed justice. So Trump’s legal team have come up with a curious explanation: The interview was “edited” and that’s why people are confused about what Trump meant. Of course no evidence of this is provided.

Previously NBC announced an interview with Trump. The next day, Trump fired FBI director James Comey. White House stated that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein had officially recommended Comey’s firing, and Trump had just accepted the recommendation.

But Trump went off script saying to Holt, “He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.” The camera stayed on Trump the entire time.

Trump vowed to eradicate a “lingering stench” at the Justice Department, hours after it was reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a “wire” to record conversations with Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office according to sources familiar with memos authored by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe documenting the discussions.

“But we had some real bad ones — you see what’s happened at the FBI, they’re all gone, they’re all gone, they’re all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.” Hmmm. Only 3 know FBI agents have left.

“I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false,” Rosenstein said.

Trump has to get political even in a disaster. the only question is what took him so long. For example “… But don’t be fooled, at some point in the near future the Democrats will start ranting that FEMA, our Military, and our First Responders, who are all unbelievable, are a disaster and not doing a good job. This will be a total lie, but that’s what they do, and everybody knows it!”

In an interview with The Hill, Trump said about Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying, “I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad.” He also said that he is “very disappointed” in him.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell claims that Trump recently suggested Spain should build a wall across the Sahara desert to deal with the issue of migration from Africa. Notice the problem? The Sahara desert isn’t in Spain. Most of the migrants come in from the sea.

The Chinese government said that it would impose tariffs on US goods worth $60 billion following the Trump administration’s announcement that it was hitting $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with new tariffs. The White House warned previously that it would respond to any retaliation from Beijing with yet more tariffs.

Then Trump tweeted “China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me.” Hmmm. When did they “openly state” that? If you remove farmers, ranchers and industrial workers, what is left to apply tariffs to after you applied 4 times the amount on China?

“Canada has taken advantage of our country for a long time” said Trump. Let’s see. 325 million in the US [excluding illegals], 37 million in Canada. So the US has 9 times the number of people and yet couldn’t make a deal Trump would like? On the other hand, he doesn’t like anything related to trade unless he can slap on tariffs or knows he got a steal of a deal.

Trump tweeted “Our Steel Industry is the talk of the World. It has been given new life, and is thriving. Billions of Dollars is being spent on new plants all around the country!” Yes, since tariffs were imposed on July 1st, steel plants have suddenly popped up all over the US. I think not. If everything goes well, most steel plants take at least 20 months to build and that’s only after approvals and funding are done.

“Tariffs have put the U.S. in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country – and yet cost increases have thus far been almost unnoticeable,” Trump tweeted. But this is Trump. So whatever he said usually is a streaming pile of rubbish. Already prices of vehicle and infrastructure have increased.

Yes. The US economy is doing so well, Wells Fargo is adding to the unemployment lines. Wells Fargo plans to cut as many as 26,500 jobs over three years as the troubled bank grapples with the rise of online banking and soaring legal bills. It sold off branches in 3 mid-west states in June.

The Trump administration’s trade wars with China, Canada and others are starting to affect the US. Alibaba is dropping its promise to create 1 million jobs in the US. This came after Walmart asked the Trump administration to walk back its plan to put tariffs on Christmas lights, shampoo, dog food, luggage, mattresses, handbags, backpacks, vacuum cleaners, bicycles, cooking grills, cable cords and air conditioners.

Other retailers and consumer goods companies, including Ace Hardware, Target and Joann fabric and craft stores, also lobbied the administration. The administration imposed tariffs on those goods – although it did spare bicycle helmets, high chairs, car seats and playpens from the final list. It also left off Apple Watches and Air Pods, a reprieve for Apple.

Trump’s refugee plan for the coming year would nearly halve the number of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. By contrast, some regions would see increased caps. The number of refugees from Latin America would double in fiscal year 2019.

Trump tweeted “Today, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we share our gratitude for all the ways Hispanic-Americans make our country flourish and prosper. Today, and every day, we honor, cherish, and celebrate Hispanic-American Workers, Families, Students, Businesses, and Leaders…” After his comments about Hispanics, I’m sure it wasn’t him who tweeted those words.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a picture of CNN’s Anderson Cooper about a picture in water in Hurricane “Florence” and made some dumb whiney comments. In fact the picture is 10 years ago. What a genius…

A little reminder that the blog’s primary focus is on Donald Trump and not about US politics in general. Therefore you won’t see the blog detailing more about [for example] the Kavanaugh/Ford legal mess unless Trump gets involved or one of his subordinates if of use. The economy, however, would be included as it is related to the administration’s policies.

Did Kavanaugh lie about the misconduct?

So it was revealed over the weekend that Christine Blasey Ford was the woman in question that has accused Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of high school-era sexual misconduct.

She has told her story publicly for the first time to the Washington Post.

The alleged misconduct occurred about 35 years ago when she was 15 and he was 17.

I won’t go through the details but aside from the obvious it does bring up other a question:

Since this occurred 35 years ago, there will be little evidence – if any. Kavanaugh and someone else who was there but only watched and both denied it happened.

[Ford mentioned the misconduct to a therapist and her husband in 2012 and has the therapist’s notes but the notes didn’t mention Kavanaugh even though her husband claimed she said his name.]

If Kavanaugh admitted that he would do it, and the fact that it happened 35 years ago, it probably wouldn’t be as bad compared to saying he didn’t do it and evidence clearly showed he did.

A Supreme Court nominee, who lies during the confirmation hearings, would look bad – let alone probable legal consequences.

But, as previously mentioned, Kavanaugh denied the misconduct.

 

Trump goes after Sessions again

So I decided to do a mid-week blog with mostly leftovers plus the long weekend and I decided to hold off on the Bob Woodward bombshell until the next edition where by then we should see how Donald Trump responds. I wonder.

We’ve seen already that Trump knows very little about the law. Case in point….

Trump blasted his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and lamented the indictments last month of two lawmakers who were his earliest supporters in Congress during the 2016 election, suggesting they should not have been charged because they are Republicans.

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California was indicted for using campaign funds for personal use and were charged with counts of wire fraud, falsifying records, campaign finance violations and conspiracy. Rep. Chris Collins of New York was charged with 13 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements related to an alleged insider trading scheme.

“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department,” Trump tweeted. “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff…” Actually, New York and California tend to be pro-Democrat.

A decision by the Justice Department to hold off on prosecuting two Republican congressmen up for re-election in order to help them win would have been highly unethical and a blatantly politically motivated violation of the department’s nonpartisan mission. Trump believes his political allies should be immune from prosecution, regardless of the evidence stacked against them.

Under long-standing Justice Department custom but not law, prosecutors generally avoid public disclosure of overt investigative steps involving a candidate for office or election matters within 60 days of an election.

We know that Sessions should be losing his current job following the November mid-term elections.

“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great,” the senator’s daughter Meghan McCain said in a stunning eulogy laced with grief, anger, pride and love. “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly.” She was obviously aiming her comments at Trump without naming him. Trump wasn’t invited to the funeral.

Trump spent the morning of the funeral at the White House, attacking Canada [see later on in the blog], hitting out at Obama, whose name he misspelled in a Twitter post, and assailing the FBI and the Justice Department over the Russia investigation before heading to his golf club in Virginia. During his campaign, Trump said McCain was not a war hero because he was captured in Vietnam and he initially declined to release a statement marking his death.

In the third row, behind three ex-presidents, their wives and their Secret Service details, sat Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner were also in the congregation.

Convicted former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has publicly contradicted Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ sworn testimony to Congress, saying both Sessions and Trump apparently supported his proposal that Trump meet with Vladimir Poutine during the 2016 campaign, according to a court filing.

The Trump administration will hold back more than 100,000 pages of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s service because the White House and the Department of Justice have determined they are protected by constitutional privilege, according to a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Trump again threatened to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] if Canada doesn’t concede to new terms. Trump said there is “no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal,” referring to the tentative bilateral agreement the United States reached with Mexico earlier this week.

“If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out,” Trump said. He also urged Congress not to “interfere” with negotiations “or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off.”

“Remember, NAFTA was one of the WORST Trade Deals ever made. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs. We were far better off before NAFTA.” Show proof that NAFTA is the worst ever….

The United States and Mexico announced a preliminary bilateral trade deal after resolving an issue over auto manufacturing. Canadian officials rejoined the talks this week. But the fate of NAFTA became uncertain when the United States and Canada failed to come to an agreement on rewriting the three-nation trade pact before a US-imposed deadline that would have allowed them to sign a new deal before Mexico’s president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office on December 1.

Trump wants Canada to end its steep tariffs on US dairy products, claiming they hurt US farmers. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to protect his country’s dairy industry. Trump also threatened new tariffs on Canadian cars if the country doesn’t comply with US-terms of a new trade deal. Yup. This is blackmail – Trump style.

It is questionable whether Trump can continue with most of his threats. For example, it is Congress which approves or tear up free trade agreements. Not him. He can apply more tariffs but we have seen already that it will hurt Americans just as much.

The Pentagon says it’s taken final steps to cancel $300 million in planned aid to Pakistan. The move earlier this summer reflects the Trump administration’s dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s commitment to assisting the US strategy for pressuring the Taliban, whose leaders use Pakistan as a sanctuary. Pentagon officials say a request was submitted to Congress this summer for authorization to use the $300 million for other purposes.

Nine current and former White House staffers and administration allies expressed concerns that the West Wing is simply unprepared for the potential troubles ahead. They spoke on the condition of anonymity over concerns about estranging colleagues.

The White House press office is down to four press secretaries working on day-to-day White House matters, including Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders, and the regional and Cabinet affairs media teams in the communications office have been hollowed out.

Trump picked the state of West Virginia to announce his plan to roll back Obama-era pollution controls on coal-fired power plants. Trump left one thing out of his remarks, though: northern West Virginia coal country will be ground zero for increased deaths and illnesses from the rollback on regulation of harmful emission from the nation’s coal power plants.

The Trump administration says it will impose preliminary anti-dumping duties on large-diameter welded pipe from Canada and five other countries. The other countries being hit with duties include China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, with penalties ranging from 3.45 per cent for Turkey to over 132 per cent for China. Canada gets hit with 24.38 per cent.

The United States imposed 25% tariffs on another $16 billion of Chinese goods. The tax affects 279 Chinese products, including chemical products, motorcycles, speedometers and antennas. China responded immediately with 25% tariffs on an equal amount of American goods, such as chemical products and diesel fuel.

Trump tweeted recently that it was “outrageous” that China-produced fentanyl, a cheap and deadly synthetic opioid at least 50 times stronger than heroin, continued to “pour into the US” through international mail. A senior official with China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, said in a press briefing Wednesday that Trump’s comments were “unacceptable”. “The United States has no proof that most fentanyl in the country comes from China,” he said. “It’s highly irresponsible to draw such a conclusion based on some individual cases.” Who would you believe? Hmmmm. I’ll get back to you later.

Seems Trump is blaming China for everything. China has denied an accusation by Trump that it hacked the emails of Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the 2016 election. Trump tweeted that China had hacked Clinton’s emails, without offering any evidence or further information, and suggested that the FBI and Department of Justice should investigate. The same two departments he doesn’t trust?

Trump accused China even though The Justice Department has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Party. Again it shows you how much he trusts his own departments. He is again helping Russia. He defending/helping “Crooked Hillary”? Who would you believe? Hmmmm. I’ll get back to you later.

Here is an example of Trump’s tariffs not helping Americans: When the tariffs were imposed in 2017, Trump expected more jobs in the US as companies would be buying US lumber. Nope. Lumber mills have jacked up the pricing of lumber [probably just ever so slightly less than Canadian lumber]. This has increased the cost of putting up or repairing buildings and other infrastructures. Those buying a new house have to pay extra.

The price of framing lumber had been $358 per thousand board feet shortly before the levies were announced, and rose steadily for the ensuing year, reaching a peak in June of $582 — a 62 per cent increase. That represented an average $9,000 more per house, according to NAHB calculations. Prices have since fallen back to around $440 per thousand board feet, still adding $4,000 to the average home, the builders claim.

The Washington Examiner came out with a story that says an online betting website from Antigua and Barbuda are claiming that Trump will win the 2020 election with a 3-2 bet. His closest challenger is California Sen. Kamala Harris, listed at 10-1. And Trump [of course] retweeted about this. Unsure if related, he added “…And according to Polls, would do even better today!” [related to the 2016 election]. The Washington Examiner is not even in the top 10 circulation of newspapers and is listed under the heading “weeklies and specialty newspapers”. It is as influential as the Plattsburgh [NY] Post-Republican.

A bill that would have significantly bolstered the nation’s defenses against electoral interference has been held up in the Senate at the behest of the White House, which opposed the proposed legislation.  The bill was supported by both parties.

As it currently stands, the legislation would grant every state’s top election official security clearance to receive threat information. It would also formalize the practice of information-sharing between the federal government-in particular, the Department of Homeland Security-and states regarding threats to electoral infrastructure. A technical advisory board would establish best practices related to election cybersecurity. Perhaps most significantly, the law would mandate that every state conduct a statistically significant audit following a federal election.

Patti Davis, daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, says that her father would be appalled by the leadership of Trump. Will Trump respond? He went after previous Republican presidents and leaders. So why not go after Davis.

The Washington Post has been counting: Trump has made 4229 false or misleading claims in 558 days [just over 7.5 per day].

Trump told lawmakers he was scrapping a planned pay raise for civilian federal workers [not the military], saying the nation’s budget couldn’t support it. An across-the-board 2.1% pay increase for federal workers was slated to take effect in January. In addition, a yearly adjustment of paychecks based on the region of the country where a worker is posted — the “locality pay increase” — was due to take effect. But a day later Trump is planning to spend the weekend studying up on the issue of government compensation.

According the NBC News/GenForward survey, the bimonthly survey found that in the past year, millennials’ impression of the Democratic Party remained split between favorable and unfavorable views. Still better than the Republican Party where there are hovering mostly in the low 60s unfavorable for the past year and mid-twenties for favorable.

Trump hit a new low when over 60% of them in a poll disapprove of Trump.

A bit of humor:

For the services for the late Senator John McCain, in the audience was Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump.

Jared had a question for Ivanka at one point but decided to hold off until later on. After the services, while in their limousine on the way back to their home, Jared finally asks his question:

“Honey. I could not figure this out. Meghan McCain had a beautiful eulogy. But at one point she skirted around naming someone. Who was that?”

Five seconds later, Jared had a black eye.