December 16, 2016 Leave a comment
The Electoral College’s 538 members gather Monday at 50 state capitols to cast the ballots that matter the most when it comes to electing a U.S. president. They have the final say in whether to ratify Donald Trump as the 45th President of the US. It is a long shot that he won’t get what is needed as 37 Republicans would have to vote not for him.
It would be unprecedented in US politics and could bring a bit of a “constitutional crisis” – the phrase Trump used in the elections. Even if a few went against Trump, it would show Trump that he may have a rough time as president. By some counts, maybe 20 Republicans are thinking of not voting for Trump. What happens if 37 or more did switch. I’m not a US constitutional expert but it would cause turmoil. And I’m sure Trump and his cronies would go back to their “rigged” election call during the elections.
Wasn’t it rigged? He won when few expected it.
Trump went after the media during the election campaign including Time magazine. How things have changed. A month after his election Time magazine awarded him Person of the Year and he had nothing but praise for the magazine [except a few areas such as “dividing” the country]. He’s the master flip flopper.
ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson will be the new Secretary of State under Trump. He has no diplomatic experience and Tillerson has connections to the Russian state owned and is friends with Vladimir Poutine. Tillerson has many links with the Russian government and state gas company. Talking about conflict of interest. He may be as bad as this as his possible future boss.
Trump claims Tillerson is “among the most accomplished business leaders and international deal makers in the world.” Yes, a deal maker but there is a difference between making a multi-billion dollar with Russia’s Gasprom and trying to stop the bombardment in Syria by Russian airplanes.
During Tillerson’s reign at Exxon, they didn’t take part in the shale oil and gas revolution in the US which created roughly 233,000 jobs between mid-2009 and late 2014. Exxon instead concentrated elsewhere. Also indication of how many of the 73,500 jobs are in the US. Exxon did get into shale but later on and paid dearly for it. And yet his boss, Trump, criticize Ford, Carrier and others for “shipping” jobs overseas. In the 8 ears under Obama’s administration, oil production went up around 90%.
Some of Trump’s people were pushing for Mitt Romney to apologize for the comments he made about Trump during the election campaign. [I wonder if Trump would apologize…] Romney won’t. The interesting thing is that Romney was one of the finalists for the Secretary of State. Because of his ties to Russia, there is no guarantee that Tillerson will survive the hearings to approve him for the job. Which means that Trump would have to choose another candidate such as Romney, Rudy Giuliani or others.
Some dozen CEOs [and one COO] went to Trump Tower in New York to meet Trump, Pence and the rest of their crew. Some CEOs did not appear or were not invited. Some of the attendees were checking to see what Trump plans on doing with the tech industries, US jobs, visas for tech workers, etc. Some called the meeting OK, others found it weird and some wondered why so many Trumps [Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr] were at the table aside from a bunch of Trump’s political team – wasting spots where other CEOs could have joined.
Trump’s transition team is disavowing a questionnaire sent to the Energy Department requesting the names of employees working on climate change issues. “The questionnaire was not authorized or part of our standard protocol. The person who sent it has been properly counseled.” The Trump team has been criticized for asking for the names of federal government employees working on climate change issues. At least 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities,” according to NASA.
Trump still is defending Russia that there was no shenanigans during the elections. This is probably the first time an incoming [or any sitting] president is supporting Russian as much as he has. This in addition to announcing a potential Secretary of State who is so close to Russia.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is expected to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. He has been a reliable booster of the fossil fuel industry and an outspoken critic of what he derides as the EPA’s “activist agenda.” Pruitt has been a vocal public denier of the science showing that the Earth is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are to blame. Representing his state as attorney general since 2011, Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA.
Trump claimed 1100 jobs were saved at an Indiana Carrier factory. In fact, only 800 Carrier factory jobs were saved. The other 300 were white-collar administrative and engineering jobs at a different Indianapolis facility, positions Carrier never planned to ship to Mexico. Trump whined that the local union president “has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!” As if the union president could do anything about jobs elsewhere. Carrier expects to add more automation which means some of those 800 jobs will be lost eventually.
Americans are less approving of President-elect Donald Trump than they were of previous presidents during their transitions into office, a new Pew Research Group poll shows. As Trump prepares to take office, 41% say they approve of the job he has done explaining his plans and policies for the future of the American people, while 55% say they disapprove of the job Trump has done. President Barack Obama had 72% in December 2008 and President George W. Bush’s 50% in January 2001 — in the wake of a disputed election. It’s also lower than President Bill Clinton’s 62% in January 1993 and President George H.W. Bush’s 65% in March 1989.
During a Fox News interview, Trump acknowledged he’s not receiving daily intelligence briefings, but argued he doesn’t need them because he’s “a smart person.”
Trump may choose his first Supreme Court nominee from one of the states that helped him get elected [such as Michigan and Wisconsin] and maybe a judge that has some political experience. Trump is looking for a kind of diversity the current court lacks. [So I guess he’ll choose another white male for a judge.] As most of the Court has spent their lives in DC, New York and Boston, maybe he’ll choose somewhere farther west. Supreme Court justices tend to hire clerks from the Ivy League and they have all attended elite schools. He will possibly chose from elsewhere.
Some supporters of President-elect Donald Trump have praised his choice of Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, noting that the retired neurosurgeon had lived in public housing himself. Except he didn’t according to a Carson aide. Carson claims he was raised “in the ghetto” and “in dire poverty.” Dr. Carson’s mother worked 3 jobs at a time to keep them out of public housing. So that doesn’t look like “in dire poverty”.
Meanwhile former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in an attack on House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi saying “is she racist or just dumb”. Huckabee later apologized for tweeting the inaccurate information and said he had been relying on the New York Times — which he jabbed as a “fake news” site. Maybe he mixed that up with the LA Times.
Exxon steadily expanded its Russian business even as its rivals faced expropriation and regulatory obstacles, and in 2013 Putin bestowed the Order of Friendship on Tillerson.
Energy made in America is not as important as energy simply made wherever it is most economic,” he said in 2007 – which means rape the resources of another country before doing the same in the US. Tillerson has argued against sanctions that the U.S. and European allies imposed on Russia after it annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team slammed the CIA, following reports the agency has concluded that Russia intervened in the election to help him win. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” probably written by Trump. Trump continues to defend his buddy Putin.
“What proof does anyone have that they [Russia] effected the outcome because I’ve heard zero,” said Sean Spicer, Republican National Committee Communications Director.
Trump has officially backed away from going after Clinton even after crowds still chant “lock her up.” That is another promise he has already broken. “That plays great before the election – now we don’t care, right?” I’m sure some of his followers will care. Now they have been betrayed.
Incoming national security adviser General Michael Flynn’s son defended the baseless “pizza gate” conspiracy, the name given to a theory peddled online that claims the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington and its owner were involved in a child sex operation. Some even claim Hillary Clinton was involved. Incoming Vice-President Mike Pence claims the son is not an advisor or part of the transition team and yet the son had [since suspended] an official government transition email address. “Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story” tweeted the son even though saying Clinton was involved is ridiculous. Getting pointers from Trump? Flynn Jr. has served as his father’s top aide and chief of staff, and regularly shares conspiracy theories, expletive-filled posts, and racially insensitive sentiments on Twitter and Facebook.
Flynn claimed in an August radio interview that Arabic signs were present along the United States border with Mexico to guide potential state-sponsored terrorists and “radicalized Muslims” into the United States. Flynn further said in the interview he had personally seen photos of such signs in Texas.
Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year LeBron James opted to stay elsewhere than the team’s official Trump-branded hotel in New York.
Trump wants to continue to be executive producer on The Apprentice. Shouldn’t be too difficult as the show probably has a dozen or so producers, executive producers, etc. But he already said he won’t be doing any work for the show.
Trump had Kanye West as a visitor recently. After a meeting that didn’t last an hour they were at the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. “We’ve been friends for a long time,” Trump told reporters – which is Trump language for being friends for just over an hour.
Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner says he is thankful that he did not have to participate in the 2016 presidential election. “Thank God I’m not in the middle of this.”
The CEO of IBM has pledged to recruit 25,000 Americans over the next four years, but wants Uncle Sam to pay for it. This is the CEO’s present to Trump during the tech meeting in New York. IBM has more workers in India than the US.
The number of Americans seeking refugee status in Canada has experienced a significant bump this year – maybe because of Trump’s win – increasing more than five times in November 2016 from the same period a year earlier. A mere 170 Americans claimed asylum at Canada’s land borders through the first 11 months of this year [it was 73 in 2015 for the first 11 months]. Yet that was more than twice the total from 2015 – and it was led by a noticeable five-fold increase in the month of November, with 28 people claiming refugee status last month compared with merely five in November 2015. For 2015, no successful U.S. refugee claims last year before the Immigration and Refugee Board. Trump related?