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.

 

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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.