GOP civil war with Trump

Donald Trump tweeted [Republican] “Senator Bob Corker ‘begged’ me to endorse him for re-election” with Trump saying no and Trump said Corker would drop out when Corker had previously said he’d retire but Trump wanted him back. Then Trump tweeted “He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said ‘NO THANKS.’ He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!” Does this mean current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on the way out?

As another rip into Corker, Trump tweeted “Didn’t have the guts to run!” Corker has run 3 times and a senator for 10. Trump? After the final Tweet [for now from Trump, Corker tweeted “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center.”

Trump is a President who is acting “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something,” said Corker later. Trump is setting the country “on the path to World War III.”

Mike Pence left a football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday after some players knelt during the National Anthem, saying he did not want to “dignify” the event. Some are suggesting that it was a staged plan. They knew that some players would take the knee while Pence was in attendance. This short stay in Indianapolis cost an extra $180,000 as he  made a detour to see the game only to leave before the game started.

The pool of journalists accompanying the vice president were not allowed into the stadium and were asked to stay in their vans. They were told by a staffer that “there may be an early departure from the game.” So another hint that the stunt was expected.

Trump opened up the kneeing controversy again last week by tweeting “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!” before this weekend upcoming games. He tweeted this within 24 after the Las Vegas killings. Doesn’t he have better things to do?

Now after a deal was struck regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, Trump decided to change the terms of the deal. Those measures include provisions to make it harder for unaccompanied minors to enter the country illegally, money for the President’s border wall and cuts to legal immigration. Trump has said the new requirements must pass.

So Trump is still trying to get additional funding for his wall and at the same time add other issues. Unsure if he wants the DACA issue settled at all and looks like he wants to scuttle it.

Trump tweeted that nothing has been done regarding North Korea for the past 25 year. Well, it’s probably been quite a bit more than 25 years that they were a threat. Then he claimed that “…massive amounts of money paid” presumably by the US to North Korea. But why? The US wasn’t going to give that country money if they are dumping sanctions on them.

Trump didn’t seem to want to go to Puerto Rico, spend a night somewhere [where US warships are nearby – wouldn’t he be safe enough] and then visit the US Virgin Islands. Instead he visited just Puerto Rico. Mike Pence went to the US Virgin Islands.

Errr. Trump claimed that when he threw the paper towels in Puerto Rico, the people wanted them because they were soft. Seriously?

Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation of former President Bill Clinton’s real-estate investments and extramarital affair led to Clinton’s impeachment, said that he has “a sense” there will be indictments in the federal investigation into allegations of possible collusion by the Trump campaign in Russia’s efforts to influence last year’s election.

After it happened on Facebook, Google has identified tens of thousands of dollars in ad buys by Russian accounts that used YouTube or Google advertising to try to spread misinformation and sow discord in American politics.

Trump is still complaining about wanting to get “equal time” – probably because all of the investigations are against him, late night comedians, various newspapers, etc. All Trump can get support is from Fox News and various [if lucky] second rate web sites. I am sure just about any network has told Trump that he can come onto their network at any time.

According to the New York Times, Trump has states 1145 false information comments in his first 232 days or almost averaging 5 per day.

Since the Trump administration can’t get the Affordable Care Act repealed, they are trying to sabotage the ACA by shortening the enrollment period and cutting the marketing funds that would let the public know about it.

Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in the spring, dines with one coal company at lunch and then with another coal company for supper at the BLT Prime, a steakhouse inside the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Before that, Pruitt met privately with top executives and lobbyists from General Motors to talk about their request to block an Obama administration move to curb emissions that contribute to climate change.

Since he took over, from February through May, he has had briefing sessions and speaking engagements almost daily with top corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic sectors that he regulates — and almost no meetings with environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates.

Some of these same companies and trade associations were allies of Pruitt when, as Oklahoma’s attorney general, he sued the EPA at least 14 times to try to block rules he is now in charge of enforcing. Yes. This is the Trump administration in action!

After well-known Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein got into trouble with alleged sexual assaults against actresses and underlings over a number of years, Trump was asked his opinion. He said that he has known Weinstein for “many years” and then said he was not surprised. Nice way to through a supposedly friend under the bus. We’re not surprised at his comments. [It is known rumor in Hollywood that Weinstein has a history of allegations of sexual assaults and similar problems.]

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani rejected Ivanka Trump’s invitation to talk about her computer science education initiative. She I a daughter of a refugee and disliked the initial and other travel bans. Ivanka Trump referenced Saujani’s success story in her book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success.” In the tweet, Saujani said: “don’t use my story in #WomenWhoWork unless you are going to stop being #complicit.” So when Donald Trump directed the Education Department to invest a minimum of $200 million in grant funding annually to STEM and computer science education, Ivanka Trump met with corporate partners and nonprofits in Detroit. Girls Who Code was not invited.

Melania Trump chose Places You’ll Go!, which she read with her son, Barron, “over and over” when he was younger and nine other Dr. Seuss titles to send to an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in celebration of “National Read a Book Day.” But a librarian at Cambridgeport School refused to accept the gift, criticizing Trump administration education policies and images in the books. Seuss’ illustrations are “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes,” said librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro.

Trump should instead be devoting resources to schools in “underfunded and underprivileged communities” that are “marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.” Critics view DeVos, a billionaire who has worked for decades to promote school choice, or alternatives to traditional public schools, as one of the most anti-public-education secretaries in the department’s history.

The Department of Education chose one high-achieving school in every state to receive a package of books from Trump, according to a statement from the White House. The Cambridge school system released a statement saying the librarian “was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district.”

The State Department is using longstanding but discretionary policy to ensure that evacuees are shouldered with the transportation costs, which according to the website are based off of “the price of the last commercial one-way, full-fare (not discounted) economy ticket prior to the crisis.” Evacuees who surrender their passports under this system don’t see them returned until payment is received.

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump said. Uh huh. Who did the grading?

Job openings in the United States reached a record high in July at 6.17 million, according to Labor Department data. Manufacturing had nearly 400,000 openings; construction 232,000; education and health 1.1 million; finance and insurance 270,000; retail 625,000. So jobs are available for various levels of education – not just for people with university degrees.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed September 5, noting that 950,000 African Americans and 870,000 Hispanics in the same age group as DACA recipients were unemployed. “Those are large groups of people that are unemployed that could possibly have those jobs.” Or maybe those 1.7 million people are not interested in the same jobs as the DACA recipients [r are they really looking]. It is this thought that Trump claims that he would want to deport the DACA recipients but with 6.17 million jobs available….

But in September, for the first time in 7 years, there were job lost. After forecasting initially 90,000 jobs gained, 30,000 were lost.

Trump’s approval rating has once again reached 40%, while earning high marks for his handling of the government’s response to recent hurricanes, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. A broad 64% of Americans say they approve of how Trump’s government reacted to the recent storms, including two in three independents (66%). Nine in 10 Republicans support his reaction (90%), and even Democrats are evenly divided on Trump’s response to the crises, with 44% both approving and disapproving.

Half say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the situation with North Korea (50%) vs. four in 10 who say they approve (41%) — little changed from Trump’s rating in August on the topic. Trump’s rating on health care remains low at just 31% approval during the Senate’s last-ditch push to pass a reform bill. Overall, 55% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance.

Ivana Trump, Donald’s first wife and mother of his oldest 3 children, release a book on her life with him and called herself the “First Lady” in an interview. Let’s just say Melania wasn’t too thrilled.

 

Back to normal with Trump

Another terrorist attack in London – this time in their subways with an improvised explosive device. Right away Donald Trump is adding it to another reason to have a larger travel ban. And right away, UK Prime Minister Theresa May saying “never helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.” There is no indication at this time whether the bomber are foreign. UK has had some British-born citizens who have been behind various terrorist attacks – aside from the days of the IRA.

Trump even tweeted/whined that it was done not far from Scotland Yard [the rough equivalent of the FBI]. “Must be proactive!” Hmmm. London has the second more CCTVs than any city in the world but they can’t be everywhere.

Trump didn’t seem to rush to comment about the Charlottesville on US soil but did for London this time – and at least the last time when there was a terrorist attack not on US soil.

Trump said that building a wall along the US-Mexico border will come after a deal to help children brought to the United States illegally by their parents – DACA. “the wall is going to be built (and) it will be funded a little bit later.”

Later Trump, in Florida to view damage from Hurricane Irma, said he is not looking at “citizenship” or “amnesty” but that they are “looking at allowing people to stay here.” He added: “If we don’t have the wall, we are doing nothing.” This sort of contradicts his other statement.

The comments come hours after Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced that they had agreed to the framework for a deal to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants in the United States that would also include a border security package that did not fund the wall along the border. The agreement was struck over dinner of Chinese food and chocolate pie at the White House on Wednesday night.

Trump pushed back on Twitter, saying that no final deal had been struck because a “No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent.” As usual from Trump – vague.

Trump also said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan were on board with his plan after he spoke with them. But Ryan, however, has not spoken to Trump since the last night’s dinner. The day after, Ryan says Trump’s meeting with Pelosi and Schumer “was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation.”

Conservative Ann Coulter tweeted after the plan was announced “At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?”

Rep. Steve King, arguably the most anti-immigrant member of Congress, tweeted that if there is a deal “Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.” He added “Amnesty is a pardon for immigration law breakers coupled with the reward of the objective of their crime” – except they were children when they entered the US. It was their patents that broke the law.

Trump ally Sean Hannity added, “Weak R’s have betrayed voters. @POTUS needs to stay the course and keep his promises or it’s over! Pelosi and Schumer can never be trusted.”

House Democrats sent special counsel Robert Mueller what they say is evidence that former national security adviser Michael Flynn failed to disclose a trip he took to the Middle East to explore a business deal with the Saudi government and a Russian government agency. It is illegal under federal law to knowingly falsify or conceal relevant information from a security clearance form.

Trump said “we’ve had bigger storms than this” after Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean and parts of the south-east. Prior to it coming he tweeted “Hurricane Irma is of epic proportion, perhaps bigger than we have ever seen” and “Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!” Yes – Trump the hurricane expert.

The U.S. Department of Commerce in April imposed tariffs on Canadian softwood [i.e. lumber] imports after agreeing with the U.S. Lumber Coalition that Canada was unfairly subsidizing its lumber producers, an allegation Canada denies. Trump of course sided with the coalition. Since then cost of building a house or a large building has increased because there is a smaller supply of lumber in the US. But after the two recent hurricanes, America will need plenty of lumber. Most of the devastation came from house made mostly of lumber [because they can’t afford bricks].

Trump maintained his controversial position that people on both sides of the deadly Charlottesville clashes were at fault, one day after meeting with the lone African-American Senate Republican [Tim Scott from South Carolina] who publicly condemned him over it. Trump claimed that many people have said he had a point when he remarked that there was “blame on both sides.” Uh huh.

In a statement Scott said “Antifa is bad and should be condemned, yes, but the KKK has been killing and tormenting black Americans for centuries. There is no realistic comparison. Period.”

Meanwhile, Congress is sending a bipartisan joint resolution condemning the Charlottesville violence — as well as “white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups”– to Trump for his signature. The House passed the joint resolution by unanimous consent, a day after the Senate easily approved it. It’s embarrassing to have to force the President to approve it.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a fresh push for Senate Republicans to change rules to make it easier to break filibusters of spending bills, echoing a similar call from President Donald Trump for the Senate to set aside long-held precedent that requires at least 60 votes for major legislation to pass. McCarthy tried and failed in 2015 to do the same.

Earlier this year, more than half of the Senate Republican conference signed a letter stating that they did not support changing the filibuster rules for legislation. This includes McConnell and Ryan. Sounds like Pro-Trump McCarthy wants to change rules when he thinks they need to be changed to fit his [or Trump’s] agenda.

A bipartisan group of senators is opposing President Donald Trump’s pick to head NASA, arguing he is a political appointee who doesn’t have the necessary experience to run the agency. Trump’s nomination is Jim Bridenstine a current GOP congressman from Oklahoma and former Navy aviator. But GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, said he supported the nomination. Figures.

Bridenstine graduated from Rice University with majors in economics, psychology and business and has an MBA from Cornell. After serving in the military, he worked a four-year stint as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. Running a space museum [with no science education] is not the same as running NASA.
It is interesting to note that North Korea’s missile testing has occurred with more frequency under Trump’s first 9 months than any previous presidents. Coincidence?

A pornographic video that was “liked” by Ted Cruz’s Twitter account has been removed and reported to Twitter. It’s unclear who was responsible for the like or if Cruz’s account was hacked. His communication director did not initially address how the tweet happened. Could be a hacked account but nothing else odd was tweeted. “It was a staffing issue and it was inadvertent, it was a mistake, it was not a deliberate action,” Cruz said. “We’re dealing with it internally but it was a mistake, it was not malicious conduct.” An aide to Cruz added that there would be an internal effort to figure out who was responsible.

Some of Trump’s legal team believed that his son-in-law Jared Kushner should have stepped aside before reports about his failure to disclose contacts with Russians during the transition became public this summer. Staffers had begun to prepare a statement in case Kushner did ultimately resign. Of course everything is denied.

Trump’s “Election Integrity” commission is in New Hampshire to look for evidence which is led by Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach and has scheduled a series of presentations from long-time advocates for stricter controls on voting. Kobach himself is already under fire after publishing a Breitbart op-ed in which he claimed out-of-state voters took advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration laws and cast fraudulent ballots that tipped the outcome of the state’s election in Clinton’s favor. So I guess Trump thinks Kobach is not biased then. And yes, New Hampshire with it’s huge population would make a difference in an election. Sarcasm.

Trump tweeted that ESPN “is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth.” What “price”? And why does he go after anyone with false comments about them [in this case programming]? Yet ESPN is the #1 cable network beating CNN and easily beating Fox News [2.5 times more viewers]. He was apparently referring to ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who in a recent tweet said that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

ESPN later said that Hill’s tweets “do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” the network said.

Hope Hicks, who was named interim White House communications director in August, will now hold the job on a permanent basis.

Malaysia’s prime minister visited the White House and met with Trump amid a US Justice Department probe into the PM’s finances.

“Le Chateau des Palmiers,” Trump’s 11-bedroom mansion located on the Caribbean island of St. Martin was destroyed by Irma. Mar-A-Lago survived.

Some were wondering why Trump’s Mar-A-Lago wasn’t used for a shelter. It was eventually forced to evacuate. But in the end, that side of Florida did not get hit as hard.