Final test for Trump is on Monday

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?

 

Recounts and hacking elections

There was some grumblings by the right wing in the US when Green Party leader, Jill Stein, was requesting recounts in three states. They should have nothing to fear.

They are assuming that she did it so that maybe the vote would change and Hillary Clinton would take the states. They also said it was a waste of money.

They were wrong on both accounts. Donald Trump has enough of a lead that unless something was very fishy, he would still win all three states. As well Stein’s supporters were paying millions fore recounts

[And the only way Clinton could win the election is if she won all three recounts. Unlikely.]

Even if there wasn’t a recount, it is still a way to audit the election results to show that the votes were counted [roughly] correctly. I think most people want a fair election and verifying that the count was accurate is one way.

If there were more votes counted on election night or in the recount, then something is fishy. While there will probably be a very small discrepancy in the number of votes counted, if there was a big difference [but not enough to change the final results] then there should be a bit of worrying. [Did someone on purposely count wrong?]

Similarly, the right wing [well mostly Trump and his supporters] arguing that no foreign government [think of some country in eastern Europe] has meddled in the US election. Supposedly both the Democratic and Republican parties were hacked and yet only the Democrats had their dirty laundry leaked. Why is that? Of course Trump is chummy with Russian dictator [or President] Vladimir Poutine. Would Mr. Poutine want to hurt his buddy?

And of course Trump is denying it even though he [as usual] has no facts that Russia was not involved. He even went after the CIA giving the lousy excuse about the so-called weapons of mass destruction excuse to invade Iraq. Meanwhile he forgets of what the CIA has stopped from happening. [I guess those security briefings he is missing would shed some light. Either that or he could ask what the CIA has done for the country?]

Wouldn’t it be proper to actually have these issues thoroughly checked once and for all so that American citizens can be at ease. Consider it an audit to show the American citizens that their voting rights aren’t being attacked.

For some countries, if a foreign country meddled in another country’s election, it could lead to war.

 

 

America has spoken….

Well the Americans have spoken….

And good luck to them for the next 4 years.

Donald Trump defied the odds [if the right word] and became the 45th President of the United States.

The Democratic voters failed Hillary Clinton in the battleground states including Ohio, Michigan and Florida in addition to states she should have won [Pennsylvania was a big blow. She had a lead around midnight.]

To further see where Clinton lost, consider the fact that since April she hadn’t visited Wisconsin – one of the states she lost but should of won.

As for her faults, she had Email server issues, Benghazi reoccurrences, Husband Bill’s baggage and the fact that Clinton is a wooden campaigner with a tendency to put small policy things ahead of an actual policy vision.

Interesting, Clinton actually has less white voters voting for her than Obama while Trump actually had more minorities [even Latinos] that Mitt Romney who ran against Barrack Obama.

If you remove the super delegates during the primaries, Clinton didn’t do too well against Bernie Sanders. It showed you that she got in because she wasn’t much stronger than Sanders.

The question would be if there was a different candidate other than Clinton [or even Trump] instead. If Obama [if he wasn’t President] running against Trump or Mitt Romney or John McCain running against Clinton, would the outcome be different? Each of these three have fairly squeaky clean images. None had a spouse who was President. None held a cabinet post before.

The stock markets had dropped overnight but the Japanese and Mexican stock market took some of the biggest hits. The latter because the Mexican peso was already hurting because of the nervousness of a Trump win. Surprising the North American markets went back to positive territory by midday.

A question will be whether he stays for four years. Already some speculated that he may become bored and bow out before the 4 years. Unlikely. One other thought is that he was voted in as the oldest elected President. Will he have a medical issue that forces him to leave as he is already the oldest President on election day in US history. [A reminder that he claimed throughout the election that he was healthier than Clinton].

His friend/puppet-master Vladimir Poutine contacted him early Wednesday.

Many world leaders gave the standard congratulation comments but I’m wondering how many were sincere.

Unfortunately even the far right wing leaders in France and Germany were happy as well.

When it looked like he would win the election, he probably celebrated by excusing himself to go to the washroom, grabbed a couple of young female interns and groped them. 🙂

Meanwhile, I’m sure certain areas of the US were out of moonshine and deep fried Oreos after the celebrations were over. 🙂

 

 

 

Last pre-election Trump news

Well this will be my last update prior to the election. I don’t want the Donald Trump accusing me of whatever on election day. 🙂

After Hillary Clinton was cleared [again] by the FBI related to the emails, Donald Trump said that Clinton is “guilty” of federal crimes and said a “rigged” system was protecting Clinton. Trump also cast doubt on FBI Director James Comey’s conclusions, just over a week after the Republican nominee praised the FBI director for announcing the review of the emails. So not surprised, Trump is happy when things go his way and whines like a baby when they don’t.

The New York Times reported that in the 1990s, Trump avoided paying potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes in a way even his own lawyers considered questionable, using a maneuver Congress explicitly banned in 2004. At issue is how Trump cancelled hundreds of millions of dollars of debt as his Atlantic City casinos went broke.  The Times says it obtained documents showing that Trump claimed his creditors’ losses as his own, a strategy that his lawyers said the IRS would likely not allow. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Trump’s approach was appropriate. So Hicks is either also a lawyer or an accountant?

After a recording emerged last month in which Trump could be heard bragging about groping women, Paul Ryan told his fellow Republicans that he would no longer defend the party’s presidential nominee. Trump fired back on Twitter, chastising Ryan for undermining the GOP’s efforts. So what does Ryan do? He announced he voted for Trump.

“So we’d have a criminal trial of a sitting president” Trump said about Clinton and her email server scandal. But while in office as President, she is protected from any criminal cases. She would probably have to be impeached first or resign. If only Trump new about US laws.

At a rally on Saturday Trump claims that Clinton is in a second investigation related to her bribery tactics at the state department. Finally he claims that if she wins she will be arrested for these issues while as a President. Well again, once you are president, to protect the Presidency and the country, you can’t be prosecuted.

Trump then complained about the “corrupt politicians” and the “political elite” but didn’t specify just the Democrats. Also he claimed that he was up 7 points and he was winning in a whole bunch of swing states and win Florida because of the “turnout”.

Newsweek is releasing a “commemorative edition” for the elections. And has already printed the edition [or most of it]. The cover was leaked and right away, Trump campaigned called it rigged. So Newsweek showed both covers. Meanwhile if Trump somehow wins, they’ll destroy the Clinton version. You read it right. They predict Clinton will win.

Trump knocked US military leaders as a “group of losers” for not launching a “surprise” attack and said he was convinced the offensive — which is led by the Iraqi military — was launched “for political reasons” to benefit his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. He suggested she would get “credit” for its success.

Trump has received fewer endorsements from the nation’s largest newspaper editorial boards than any major party presidential candidate in history. Among the top 100 largest newspapers in America, just two endorsed Trump [one owned by a major supporter]. Clinton has received endorsements from 57 newspaper editorial boards across the country including some that usually side with the Republicans. Four newspapers have taken the unusual step of explicitly advising readers to vote against Trump, even if they cannot bring themselves to recommend Clinton. Even Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has had more success with editorial boards than Trump four.

Interesting: Trump owned Forty Wall St. which actually is the tallest building in downtown Manhattan but was the second tallest once the World Trade Center was built.

Trump mocked hip-hop music as he once again criticized the performance Jay Z and Beyonce delivered at a rally for Hillary Clinton, asking whether it was “talking or singing.” I guess that won’t help him get the African-American or young vote. Trump insists that African-American voters are turning out in droves for him, an assessment contradicted by polls that show Trump with low single-digit support among black voters. Trump has also described inner cities as worse than war zones and equated the lives of minorities living in inner cities with members of those communities at large, even though a majority of African-Americans do not live in poverty.

Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale is in hot water after saying “It will be close. It’s like predicting your wife’s mood. You have no idea what you’re going to get until you get home.”

Naughty Melania Trump. She raked in $20,000 in under 2 months for 10 modeling jobs when she just had a regular Visa – not the Visa that allows you to work.

It seems Trump had an affair in 2006 for 10 months with the 1998 Playmate of the Year. But he had his National Enquirer buddy/owner pay her $150,000 for two years’ worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a married man. It was an exclusive – so it bars her from telling the story to others and she could lose at least $150,000 if she tells another publication.

Paul Ryan flip flops like the stock market. Now, not only did he vote for Trump, he is campaigning for him. Go back just a few months and he didn’t want to be near Trump.

A 60-second Clinton ad that features Trump in his own words over the years concludes: “Anyone who believes, anyone who says, anyone who does what he does, is unfit to be president.” This is when being in the spotlight too much [let alone tweeting] can bite you in the butt later.

A man on ABC TV claimed Hillary Clinton’s team paid him US$3,500 to pretend to be a protester at a Donald Trump rally, simultaneously calling into question the sincerity of anti-Trump demonstrators and Clinton’s ethics. Eric Trump said it was bad and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway called the practice “deplorable.” Problem was that it wasn’t the American ABC TV but a web site out of Columbia. They’ll believe anything.

This week, Sean Hannity, the influential Fox News commentator and Trump backer, aired a story suggesting Michelle Obama had erased all her pro-Clinton tweets in the wake of the renewed FBI email probe. It was a fake, easily disproved simply by examining Obama’s Twitter feed. Hannity later apologized.

A researcher discovered that a small town in the country of Macedonia, of all places, has 100 dubious news sites pumping out mostly pro-Trump material.

“Hillary Clinton will keep us on the road to stagnation,” a narrator says in one of Trump’s latest ads. Economy? If anything, economy is doing better in the US than before Barack Obama came in.

Trump Tower has gone “under” in Toronto after 4 years. Trump doesn’t own the building but his management manages it – figures. This after Trump Taj Mahal closed its doors.

With Trump slightly creeping up in the polls, he said there could be a “constitutional crisis”? Huh. Where? You win the vote on November 8th or you lose. It’s that simple [unless a tie and even that can be broken].

Before he flipped to the Republicans, Trump praised Clinton [calling her “terrific”] and the Democrats [Nancy Pelosi is “terrific” as well] on the Don Imus show in 2007.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich voted for 2008 Republican nominee John McCain as a write in instead of for Trump.

Melania Trump claims that as the First wife, she will work hard to get rid of bullying. Has she seen what her husband has done during the campaign? Her husband has used language including calling women “Miss Piggy” and “dogs.”

A local Republican ad in update New York state said the Democrats will add 88 cents per gallon of gas if the Democrats win because of carbon tax.

“@MELANIATRUMP to say u will stand for “anti-bullying” is hypocrisy. Your husband is 1 of the most notorious bullies we have ever witnessed,” said Lady Gaga in a tweet.

“There was a collective gasp across the nation going, ‘Have you met your husband Donald?’ ” said Alice Stewart, a former senator Ted Cruz communications official. Trump, has regularly used his Twitter account to launch personal attacks against people, including against one-time rival Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz.

Ivanka Trump’s clothing line hit $30 million in sales. She is aiming at professional women between 25 and 34 years old. That same group are against Donald Trump 2 to 1.

“…the only way we think we can best stop is to make him [former KKK leader David Duke] look like a bigot, racist, xenophobic, this and that,” said Eric Trump. Hmmm. Those last 3 adjectives can probably describe his father as well.

Trump wrongly said that Amazon “through its ownership controls the Washington Post” at a rally. In fact, Bezos owns the Post separately from his role at Amazon, though some partnerships between the two entities have been forged.

At one of his event, Trump said he will “stop” the “sick media.” Unsure how he will do that – unless he nationalize the media – something a dictator would do.

Trump actually sued Bill Maher for $5 million. It was in response to a 2013 joke on “The Tonight Show,” when Maher said he would donate $5 million to charity if Trump could prove he wasn’t the “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.” This joke was in response to Trump’s offer of the same amount if President Barack Obama would release his college transcripts. Trump later withdraw the lawsuit – as usual.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor is holding back a Republican-backed bill that would let Trump voters travel to any precinct in the state to challenge votes.

Fact checkers rate Trump’s statements as entirely false 52% of the time compared to Clinton’s 12%. This is entirely – and not some truth in their statements.

Even Macy’s, Nascar and NBC cut ties with Trump early after his comments disparaging Mexican immigrants plus the closure of the Trump Taj Mahal casino and problems at the Trump tower in Vancouver, Trump has said his brand is hotter than ever. But of course, he never shows proof to his claims.

A recent book cataloged all the synonyms for bullshit, and one of the oldest dates back to the 1400s. It originally referred to trickery and scamming, although its meaning has evolved to include general nonsense and insignificance. That word: trumpery.

What does this tell you? The house in Queens where Trump lived for his first 4 years is going to auction. Originally the asking price was $1.6 million US and then $1.39 million. Then $850,000. Now the owner wants to auction it off.

Although not yet confirmed, it appears that an Apple iCloud account belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta, was accessed and possibly erased by hackers less than 12 hours after his password was published on WikiLeaks.

Scholastic says Democrat Hillary Clinton took 52 per cent of its 2016 Student Vote, while Republican Donald Trump won 35 per cent of the ballots. The company says 13 per cent of students wrote in “other” choices. The student vote has been a fairly accurate predictor of the actual election over the years. As well, it has mirrored the results in every election since 1940, with the exception of election years 1948 and 1960. 150,000 Kindergarteners through 12th graders were allowed to vote. Scholastic acknowledges it wasn’t a scientifically designed sample.

The most public aspect of President Obama’s online presence is the Twitter handle @POTUS, which he first tweeted from in 2015. Whoever the next president is will have access to that handle on January 20, 2017. The account will keep its 11 million or so followers, but the tweets will be wiped from the timeline. @POTUS44, a newly created handle maintained by NARA, will contain all of President Obama’s tweets and will be accessible to the public on Twitter as an archive of President Obama’s use of the account.

Tweets from @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @VP will be archived at NARA, where citizens can access them in a similar way they would access other records. The new president will also gain access to the official White House Instagram and Facebook accounts, with the Obama administration’s content moved to Instagram.com/ObamaWhiteHouse and Facebook.com/ObamaWhiteHouse, respectively.

 

Some bit of voting commentary for the US election

A short bit of commentary before the big vote in the US tomorrow.

First, after reading articles about the crazy voting issues that are affecting many states, it is high time that the federal government intervene.

They should allow a minimum requirements set for any voting. For example, the number of hours the voting booth will be available on Election Day or the [minimum] type of voter ID required. The state could add to that but federal rules would be the minimum. Say the federal government allows a minimum of 10 hours for voting, the state could stay open for more than that but not less.

They should follow the Canadian example where when a Canadian does his/her taxes in the spring of every year, they confirm to be on the voters list. [Note that even if you pay no taxes (i.e. didn’t work that year) you are still required to submit a tax form.] Those that do not submit a tax form are most likely left off voting lists but probably can request to be added.

This will remove some of the confusion in the US where some states removed votes who [for example] didn’t vote in the previous election. But it will also have removed those who have moved to other states [or countries] as well as those that are deceased.

Advance polling is also all over the place. Not all states allow it. Some offer it over a month in advance.

Voting ID is another issue. In Canada a driver’s license, passport or a provincial medical/health card are allowed or a combination of others.
Some states allow voters to be pulled if an ordinary citizen challenges on why a person should be allowed to vote. Theoretically you could get your nemesis off the voters list.

Finally, some consider Canada the 51st state because Canada and US ties are close in many areas from security, to transportation to area codes. Maybe it’s time that Canada had a right to vote? After all Canada has to put up with this mess from them every day of the year.

 

We’re almost there: A bit more Trump news

With another batch of Emails appearing, no one knows if they are damaging. The new controversy centers on emails found on a device of Hillary Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. The FBI’s Director, James Comey, indicated that this is another part of the investigation that he exonerated Clinton back in the summer. Comey didn’t even mention if any Emails are confidential or even if Clinton is involved directly. So why did he announce this over the disagreements of top DOJ officials, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch [his boss]? Not he is under the gun for releasing this so close to election day. He can probably kiss his job goodbye when Clinton gets elected.

The protocol is for the FBI and the Department of Justice not to comment on investigations and to stay silent on politically sensitive matters less than 60 days from an election.

Not surprising, Donald Trump says this new information has [partially] reversed his comments about the judicial system. Surprised, though, Trump didn’t go after Abedin harder [she’s Muslim] except to get her bounced from Clinton’s campaign.

Even Republican Newt Gingrich said it was not right to announce this so close to election day – particularly when nothing was mentioned.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said “Had he sat on the information, one can argue that he also would be interfering in the election,” but supposedly the FBI knew for at least a couple of weeks already prior to the disclosure. So why did Comey wait until a week before the election date.

Minority Leader Harry Reid [the senate’s top Democrat] said that Comey himself could be charged with interfering in the election by waiting until the last full week to disclose this is – especially since there has been no indication that Clinton is even involved. “My office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act, which bars FBI officials from using their official authority to influence an election.” [Reid underscored that he has been a supporter of the FBI director and fought for Comey’s Senate confirmation when Republicans blocked the nomination.]

Former Attorney General Eric Holder and dozens of other former federal prosecutors [some Republicans] signed a letter critical of Comey’s recent actions in the Clinton email case.

“I think we hit the mother lode, as they say,” claims Trump even though no information about the emails have been released. Trump [jokingly] thanked both Abedin and Weiner.

A woman in Iowa has been arrested [a felony] for voting twice in advance pools. Once in the main polling building and another one in a satellite polling station. She claims she thought her original ballot would be given to Clinton even though she is a registered Republican. Yes, Donald. Maybe wide scale cheating. Wrong side.

Jessica Drake, an adult film performer and director, is at least the 11th woman to accuse Trump of unwanted sexual advances. Drake claimed that Trump asked her for her phone number and invited her to his suite the night they met in 2006. She went and brought along two other women to accompany her because she said she did not feel comfortable attending alone. “He grabbed each of us tightly, in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission.”

When she left after 45 minutes, first a Trump representative said Trump wanted to see her alone. Then Trump himself then got on the phone with her, asking her to come back and to go out to dinner or attend a party with him, but she again declined. He then asked, “What do you want? How much?” She said he eventually offered her $10,000 and use of his private jet if she accepted. Trump, of course, denied everything.

Trump also warned that he would take all 11 women [and any others] to court. “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Trump often threatens to file lawsuits without actually doing so. Earlier in October, he threatened to sue The New York Times when it published assault allegations against him, but nearly two weeks later, he has declined to follow through.

Trump told a television station that the First Amendment to the Constitution may give the press too much freedom. He suggested that America adopt a system like England’s, which makes it easier to sue the media. Of course he is saying this because most of the media is against him. Doesn’t go his way? He wants to change it so it does. Good luck in an amendment. Would need three-quarters of the states plus two-thirds in both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.

In a 2009 radio interview with Don Imus, Trump said that he did not vote for George W. Bush in 2004. But after the election in 2004, he is on file saying that he did vote for Bush.

Now Trump believe that Democrats are making up poll numbers to suppress his candidacy. But why care? Trump, a connoisseur of polls, said he had even lost faith in the few surveys that have him ahead. “Now even though we’re doing pretty good in the polls, I don’t believe in the polls anymore,” he said.

Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway admitted “We are behind. “She has tremendous advantages,” Conway said of Clinton. “She has a former president, happens to be her husband, campaigning for her, the current president and first lady, vice president, all much more popular than she can hope to be.” Not really surprising since former Republican Presidents and Presidential nominees aren’t even backing Trump.

CNN interviewed Conway and her time so far with Trump. “I believe — Donald Trump has told me and his family, and the rest of America now, that none of this is true. …. And I think that it’s not for me to judge what those women believe.” So Trump can tell her the sky is actually orange and she’d believe him. She made a name for herself as a pollster by teaching politicians and corporate clients how to reach female voters and consumers. Obviously she isn’t helping much. [Conway’s husband George, is one of the lawyers who defended Bill Clinton accuser Paula Jones in the 1990s.]

“Go out and vote and that includes helping me re-elect Republicans all over the place,” Trump said. “I hope they help me too! It’d be nice if they help us too, right?” Even though many GOP candidates aren’t getting and help from Trump or giving him help.

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani insisted that Democrats overwhelmingly engage in voter fraud because they “control the inner cities.” No proof of course.

On AB’s Good Morning America, Melania Trump was asked if she would do some speeches within the last couple of weeks of the campaign. She says “we’ll see”. And she appears surprised when the hubby says 2-3 appearances.

“…all the accusations, they should be handled in a court of law,” Melania Trump said. “To accuse somebody of — without evidence, it’s very hurtful and it’s very damaging and unfair.’ Except many have evidence or those who know of the sexual assault years before they came to light frequently.

Asked if he still planned to sue his accusers as he recently said he would. “We’ll see what happens, OK? Let’s see what happens on November 8,” Trump said. Changing his mind again.

“Hey, look, it’s [Twitter] a modern-day form of communication,” Trump said, laughing. “It’s a big asset. You have to use it right. But it’s a big asset.” But he doesn’t use it right.

Trump supporters are forced to cherry pick everything that show their candidate competitive. Eric Trump said his father had 10,000 people in Cleveland but Clinton could only get 600 in a gym in Pennsylvania.

In an June 2012 interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Trump said he didn’t believe in deporting undocumented immigrants. Yet he wants to do that now. “…they’ve done a great job, they’ve done wonderfully, they’ve gone to school, they’ve gotten good marks, they’re productive – now we’re supposed to send them out of the country, I don’t believe in that…” Trump kicked off his campaign in June 2015 by calling saying “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has become the first major American newspaper to Trump. The paper is owned by Republican casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Numerous journalists either quit or were fired in the months after the purchase by Adelson 10 months ago. The newspapers who endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 but are now siding with Clinton include the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News and the Arizona Republic.

Trump cut an interview with WCMH short when he was asked about criticism over his treatment of minorities and women.

Trump claims that many of his employees are paying a lot more because of “Obamacare” but then backtracked when it was revealed that most of his employees are under his company’s plan.

One Trump supporter claims that Vladimir Poutine said that if Clinton wins, Russia will go to war with the US. He’s taking lessons from his hero.

The Log Cabin Republicans, one of the country’s most influential LGBT Republican groups, announced that it would not back the party’s presidential nominee, Trump. Not really surprised there and I don’t think Trump cares. Oddly the group, while praising Trump as “perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party,” does not like the views held by some of Trump’s advisers [record of opposing LGBT equality] and his support for a bill that would protect people who disagree with same-sex marriage from federal penalties. The bill would have allowed businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of religious freedom. The Republican platform expressed opposition to same-sex marriage, a lack of support for allowing transgender people to use the restrooms of their choice and support for conversion therapy.

The Trump “brand” is hurting. Even with his new Trump International Hotel in Washington, there are plenty of empty room at cheaper rates than the five major luxury competitors in the city – they generally charged more – sometimes hundreds of dollars more – or were sold out. By the end of the week, rates were cut by 10%. The managing director claims that it “has been the most successful in terms of opening bookings, interest from groups and large events” [for any Trump hotel].

Trump calls his hotel “One of the great hotels of the world.” Yes probably slightly better than a hotel where you can buy a room by the hour.

Trumps former chef – who was supposed to chef/run the premier restaurant in the hotel was on stage endorsing Clinton. Trump and the Chef had a major fall-out earlier in the year after the chef killed the deal after Trump made some comments about immigration. Trump is taking the chef to court.

Meanwhile, an event planner in Chicago cut all ties with his hotel. She removed herself from the list of “preferred vendors” and even pulled pictures related to the hotel from her web site.

A woman angry about Trump’s groping comments, and that his daughter still supports him, has created the hashtag “GrabYourWallet” on Twitter to boycott the Ivanka Trump Collection.

Some charities, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation are considering moving events from Trump’s properties. The U.S. Golf Association faces pressure from protests to move the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open from a course owned by Trump, although no decisions have been made.

Trump Place in Manhattan has new uniforms for doormen and other staff, ones that will no longer bear the Trump name. A petition is asking the owners to pull the Trump name. Those who live there don’t mention the name – only the address.

After several big-name brands including NBC, Macy’s and others severed ties in July 2015 following Trump’s derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants, but there has been no similar high-profile exodus since. But no additions either.

A research firm, which monitors brand perception for 3,500 brands, said that the Trump brand was “collapsing” among people with a household income of over $100,000 a year. But gained for those under that amount.

Trump says “I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Or maybe he has no shares. Of course this all left wing Democratic Party controlled media and he doesn’t want to make them too powerful. Trump also said that if he is elected, his administration would look at breaking up the 2011 merger of Comcast and NBCUniversal. Unsure how he can do that.

The comments shocked some regulatory experts. Republicans are usually supportive of mergers and acquisitions while Democrats are generally more skeptical.

There is already talk that Trump could start his own network, particularly after having his own commentators after the third debate.

“I think it’s a very rude question, to be honest with you,” said Trump when a CNN ask a simple question – where he will be spending his time in the last two weeks of the campaign. This took place on the day he opened his Washington hotel.

Trump claims the hotel opened under budget and before the actual completion date. Clinton claims it was under budget because he used undocumented workers. He could also pulled back on some of the luxuries to reduce the cost.

“A long time ago, before I was married, I met Kelly Preston at a club and worked like hell to try and pick her up,” Trump wrote. “She was beautiful, personable, and definitely had allure. At the time I had no idea she was married to John Travolta.” She married Travolta since 1991. “Before” he was married makes it unlikely before Ivana Trump as he married her in 1977. While not married he was with Marla Maples during the period from his divorce to Ivana [and before that!] to Marla Maples. So that leaves the period from his divorce to Marla Maples and his marriage to current wife Melania Trump. But would he gone after Preston at age 37 with his history of going after younger women?

 

And still more about Trump

Donald Trump will outline plans to “add substantially” to the nation’s arsenal of submarines, ships and combat troops. “I’m going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody — absolutely nobody — is gonna mess with us.” If he is proposing less taxes, how will he pay for more military spending? Maybe curb some tax loopholes [but that will hurt him!]. Or may have all other countries pay for it! The United States already spends more than US$600 billion a year on the military, more than the next seven countries combined. Canada spends US$14.42 billion a year.

It is not surprising that current and former military leaders would back Trump. Going by history, the GOP tend to prefer to start wars. Dwight Eisenhower for the Vietnam War, George H.W. Bush in the 1990 Iraq war, and George W. Bush in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars last decade. Most of the names on the list are Navy admirals who were not on the ground during the war against terror.

Trump would rely on the generals to make up for his own lack of national security inexperience to take on the Islamic State group. He vowed to give military leaders a “simple instruction” soon after taking office: “They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.” Retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling basically called it ridiculous stating “it shows a complete lack of understanding of the threat and the ways to fight it.” And remember Trump’s statement in November 2015: “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.”

Donald Trump’s campaign released a letter signed by 88 retired military leaders endorsing his presidential candidacy, including four four-star generals and 14 three-star flag officers, according to the campaign. Trump’s campaign shouldn’t be too happy. Sen. John McCain, a former Naval Aviator, was endorsed by 300 generals and admirals in his 2008 contest with Barack Obama. Even more backed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 in a full-page ad in the Washington Times.

In the latest in Trump’s flip-flopping, Trump has said now that any immigrants who want full citizenship must return to their countries of origin and get in line, he told reporters – but he would not rule out a pathway to legal status for the millions living in the U.S. illegally.

In a Phoenix speech, Trump said that “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation”. So I guess that means any illegal – whether good or bad. “We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration. There will be no amnesty.”

Praying for a cabinet post in a Trump administration [good luck there!], Rudy Giuliani says [just days after the Phoenix immigration speech that] mass deportation by a Trump administration has been removed from the table. Didn’t he hear Trump’s message? Giuliani claims it applies “largely directed toward criminal illegal immigrants.” Did Trump say that? No. If so, more flip flopping.

After his trip to Mexico, Trump said the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto violated some “ground rules” by admitting that the two did actually discuss payment of his proposed border wall between the two countries but acknowledged “that’s ok.” It is probably one of the biggest items the two can discuss. Why would Trump leave it out of the discussions? What is he hiding? What other “ground rules”? Maybe it is his way of lying again.

“She [Hillary Clinton] doesn’t have the energy to bring ’em [jobs] back. You need energy, man,” Trump told reporters. I think you need more that stamina. A good economy and someone who knows economics – something he lacks.

“She [Clinton] didn’t have the energy to go to Louisiana. And she didn’t have the energy to go to Mexico.” What’s in Louisiana that she had to attend? As for Mexico, it seems he should of not gone to Mexico because it didn’t help him. He said things in Mexico and then flip-flopped them back in the US later that day.

Trump joking said that only a “hurricane” or “natural disaster” would prevent him from attending all three presidential debates. Expect him to use an excuse like that soon.

The Dallas Morning News editorial board said they would not give their blessing to Donald Trump in 2016, ending a streak of endorsing every Republican presidential nominee since 1968 saying Trump is “not qualified to serve as president and does not deserve your vote.”. Not a good sign from GOP country. Another major newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, endorsed Clinton in July.

Trump insisted on repeating a claim that has been previously debunked — that he was “totally against the war in Iraq.” There is no evidence to date that shows Trump came out against the Iraq War early on, and in fact, he initially said he supported the conflict. On Howard Stern in September 2002, “Yeah, I guess so” was his response whether or not he supported the invasion of Iraq.

“On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall,” said Trump in a speech recently. “Powerful”? “Beautiful”?

Trump still can’t figure what to do with the [left wing] media. He says “CNN is so disgusting in their bias….” and The New York Times “has not reported properly on Crooked’s FBI release. They are at the back of the pack – no longer a credible source.” But days later he offered this assessment of the journalists picked to moderate the fall presidential debates: “I like them. I respect the moderators. I do respect them. It’s interesting.”

“The man [Vladimir Poutine] has very strong control over a country,” says Trump because Putin has a 82% approval rating. But whether or not the source of the rating is [how should I say] legitimate and unbiased. Barack Obama’s rating is at 54% – quite good for a country that is divided mostly by party lines. Trump even went as far as to say Poutine was a better leader than Barack Obama.

Trump opened the door to granting legal status to people living in the U.S. illegally who join the military. I wonder what happens when someone who is/was in the military and became a citizen uses his/her military expertise to harm fellow Americans.

Former Defense Secretary William Cohen joined the list of GOP officials supporting Clinton.

Arizona Republican senator Jeff Flake has already stated he will not vote for either Trump or Clinton. He dislikes Trump’s “rhetoric” and policies.

Another Arizona senator, John McCain, came out with a television ad stating that with a Clinton presidency he will keep her in check. There was nothing negative there. Interestingly in the ad, he mentioned nothing but Trump. Maybe not expecting a Trump win. Arizona has sided with the Republicans for the last 230 years but the current polls have Trump leading by 5%.

Trump visited a largely black neighborhood in Philadelphia recently, doing a speech at a black church but he was using a “script” and wanted to know the questions that will be asked before he did his speech. I am guessing he did it so he wouldn’t make one of his famous dumb that would further alienate the minorities. The pastor of the church said that the Trump campaign would not have a role editing the final cut of the interview, disputing an assertion in The New York Times report that said they did.

“Donald Trump should have gone to the Olympics as a gymnast, because there’s a lot of contortionism there,” said Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

A Trump supporter claims that a Clinton administration will result in a taco stand in every corner of America.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized the FBI’s handling of the matter, accusing the bureau of playing politics with the release. And what is he doing? Being impartial?

“You don’t want me to defend a group [the KKK] that I know nothing about.” Said Trump once. How can you not know about the KKK.

Trump did file a ridiculous $500 million lawsuit against Univision, claiming that political interference from one of Univision’s owners, prominent Democratic fundraiser Haim Saban, drove Univision’s decision to back out of the contract. According to the court filing, Univision’s five-year rights deal was valued at $13.5 million. Settlement was not disclosed when finished this past February. Univision has the Spanish language rights.

According to a 2006 investigation by the New York Daily News, 40 Wall Street LLC, a Trump-owned business, collected a $150,000 grant to cover losses from 9/11 but days after the attack Trump said his properties were not affected.

In the one smart thing Trump did say recently is that the other countries in the NATO alliance should be contributing what they are required to. The US and a few countries are contributing more than the 2% of their country’s GDP but most aren’t.