Another interesting week in Trumpland


From Donald Trump’s speech to congress…..

  • Trump was actually right when he said the crime rate was the highest increase in 50 years between 2014 and 2015 but that was because the murder rate in 2014 was the lowest ever.
  • Trump asserted his administration’s support of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are “creating tens of thousands of jobs.” But estimates maybe 15,000 temporary construction jobs and a further 42,000 indirect jobs with most disappearing once the construction is done.
  • “The stock market has gained almost $3 trillion in value since the election on November 8, a record,” Trump said. Yes but he’s taking credit for something he had little to do with. He hasn’t implemented much and the market is reacting to his pro-business stance.
  • “The vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country,” Trump said. Trump said he used data from the department of Justice – who didn’t verify. Other sources say maybe a 50-50 split between foreign and American “terrorists”.
  • ” Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force,” Trump said. Not true. The Atlanta Federal Reserve says some 44.1 million are retired, 15.4 million are disabled, 12.9 million are taking care of a family member and another 15.5 million are in college or job training. They are listed as not wanting a job.
  • “Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, …, Wal-Mart and many others have announced that they … will create tens of thousands of new American jobs,” he said. Many of the jobs announced since his election were previously announced. In some cases, the jobs would likely have turned up no matter who’s president. But his pro-business stance has helped.
  • “We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of the fantastic … new F-35 jet fighter,” he said. The price per fighter dropped when an additional 90 more stealth fighters were ordered.
  • Trump characterized his proposal to increase the defense budget as “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” Maybe by amount but not by percentage as there was a huge spike when the US entered World War II as well as during the Vietnam war [for example]. $54 billion today is worth far less than $54 billion a century ago.
  • “The time for trivial fights is behind us,” Trump said. Considering he has had “fights” over things that shouldn’t concern him, I’m doubting they will end.
  • Trump confused some when he said [about Obamacare] that he doesn’t view it as government’s role to make sure Americans can actually afford that insurance but then said “no one (is) left out” by state governments.
  • When Trump ended with a call for bipartisan cooperation on repealing and replacing the “collapsing” Obamacare, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi shook her head no. Not surprised.

Trump offered big cuts to the corporate tax cuts, “massive” relief to the middle class, and $1 trillion infrastructure program but didn’t say how they will be paid. Wipe ISIS but said nothing about the issues in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Build the Mexican wall but didn’t mention who will pay and it was coming soon. But when? The Executive Order was signed a month ago.

Almost nothing mentioned on immigrants [and his bans] or trade packs like NAFTA.

Trump started off the week well keeping fairly quiet and then his speech. Problem is that a new can of worms opened up regarding the Department of Justice secretary Jeff Sessions and his chats with the Russian ambassador during the elections – which is a no-no. He is now not involved with anything related with the Russian meddling [duh!] but that may not be enough.

A Republican congressman was whining about some women at the speech given by Trump wearing white suits [and a few comments about the looks] and claimed that these were supports of Hillary Clinton. In fact, they wore white to honor the Suffragettes as well as women’s month. Out of touch the congressman is.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized the White House on Wednesday night after Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway retweeted an allegation that Wasserman Schultz did not stand or clap during a standing ovation for the widow of a slain Navy SEAL during Trump’s address to Congress. In fact, video shows she did.

From the previous blog where CNN and New York Times were banned, add the BBC, Daily Mail, Politico and Los Angeles times to those that were banned at White House briefings. The White House correspondents association protested the decision to ban.

The ban came after CNN and the New York times both reported that White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, told the FBI to tone down the investigation related to the Trump administration chatting with Russian intelligence.

[I’ve said it before (although maybe not in this blog), with the Trump administration abusing the media, the media should boycott the White House briefings and any news conferences and events that involve the administration. Unsure if the right wing media would comply.]

Now Trump has gone one step further by deciding not to go to The White House Correspondents dinner. This is the first time a president has decided to do so in 35 years. I guess he can take a huge onslaught of criticism and jokes about him sand his administration.

Trump suggesting that Americans could get another chance to seize Iraqi oil as compensation for its military efforts there. This is basically one of the things that radicals has always said – grab Arab oil.

Not surprising, Trump delayed the replacement to his travel “ban” executive order. Supposed to be this week…. Maybe next week. Oh, it could be in October the way things are going.

The second version of the travel ban still hasn’t been released but a leak suggest Iraq has been pulled off the country list. The order won’t include any explicit exemption for religious minorities in the countries targeted by the travel ban.

A section of the international arrivals area at Dulles International Airport outside the nation’s capital [as well as other airports] has been transformed into a virtual law firm, with legal volunteers ready to greet travelers from affected countries and ask if they saw anyone being detained and in preparation for the second version of the travel ban.

The first Trump travel ban [or just his administration] may have had an effect on the tourist industry. Global searches for U.S.-bound flights are down 22 per cent from Jan. 1-Feb. 22. Interest in Florida cities dipped by up to 58 per cent, while searches for Las Vegas and Los Angeles were down by 36 and 32 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile it seems the US is popular with Russians with a huge increase.

The initial draft bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] has hit some snags from some Republicans. The draft bill itself was leaked. So I wonder how many had access to the bill.

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” said Trump – already another hint that it will take quite a bit of work to change. So much for Trump’s election promise to make it a priority. He probably never saw the size and complexity of the resulting act until he was elected.

Fake News! Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly had someone on his show who is a “Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor.” Except few in Sweden had ever heard of him, much less taken advice from him. In fact, the man lives in the US and works for Modus which does “operations and management of possible kidnap and ransom situations.” He was also in trouble with the law in 2014 and also has no idea where Fox got his title from. Fox is expected to mention the error. Maybe not quite fake news but definitely a fake title.

CNN has a clock that shows when the last time Trump has attacked someone on Twitter.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently checked his aides’ cell phones to ensure they weren’t communicating with reporters as part of an aggressive effort to stem the recent tide of White House leaks. He informed them that the use of encrypted texting apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act. Such a hypocrite since some Trump staff have used Confide. A leak of the leaks?

Despite Trump’s anger about unnamed sources, White House budget officials insisted on anonymity as they outlined details of Trump’s spending plans to reporters on a conference call.

Hilariously, now Trump says Obama could be behind the leaks. He’s not in office and he has no say. So how?

In the 1990s, Trump was a frequent anonymous source of information about his social life and television series, “The Apprentice,” said newspaper columnist Linda Stasi. Once Trump called and pretended to be someone else delivering information about him; Stasi said she could easily recognize his voice.

Conway is a witch. How dare she site like that in the Oval Office couch with many guests in the Oval Office? It is one thing to do that with fellow Trumpians in a private chat but not that. Shameful. She claims she needed to do that for a better angle [as if she is a professional photographer]. As for the right wingers who poke fun at Obama, this was Obama’s office. Was his White house. Everyone else works for him.

Trump and his family’s extended stays in Mar-A-Lago in Florida and Trump tower in New York are costing the Secret Service millions daily. Donald likes to go to his sprawling estate while Melania is in New York with their youngest. It was Trump who said that Obama took too many vacations – spending taxpayer’s money in protecting him. But he has been in Florida probably every weekend since elected in addition to his other trips.

Vice President Mike Pence used a personal email account to conduct state business while he was governor of Indiana, discussing issues like the resettling of Syrian refugees and other matters on an AOL account that was hacked in a phishing scam. So if you get hit by a phishing scam you are not tech savvy much. The only difference between this issue and what happened to Hillary Clinton was that she was privileged to more national security issues but even he delved into national issues.

At a previous CPAC conference, Ted Cruz says Trump is not a Conservative. But he seems to support Trump. What a flip-flopper.

Trump on the Oscars and the mess at the end: “I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,” Trump told Breitbart. “It was a little sad.” Actually most believe they were quite lite on the politics. Maybe that’s why it was boring according to most critics.  “Look, it just seems like the other side, whenever they’re losing badly, they always pull out the race card,” he said. Race card? Seriously?

“In fact I did much better than many other than other Republicans in the last election.” By popular vote, he was one of the worse. He’s not even close to the best for electoral votes.

Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, financed and was an executive producer of “Suicide Squad,” which won for hair and makeup. Maybe he can help Trump and that thing on top of his head?

 

207 more weeks of this guy?

Donald Trump opened another large can of worms when he banned people from 7 [Muslim] countries for at least 90 days. It happened so fast in an executive order that many travelers from those country were off guarded and were either detained at airports or told to go back to where they came from. New York mayor said the executive order was so disorganized.

In addition, accepting refugees have been also halted. Not surprised, many countries – aside from those 7 – were upset because of the executive order. Iran responded by banning Americans to Iran for at least 90 days. Others wonder why Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, North Korea and other major terrorist [growing] countries were not included.

Trump claims that Muslim refugees could get into the US easier than Christians but [again] offered no logical reasons or proof.

Catching some off guard [in terms of time, not the expectancy], Trump announced that the US will go ahead and build a wall between the US and Mexico – with Mexico paying. The Mexican president went on TV to say that Mexico will not pay for any wall and was not happy with the announcement that the wall will be built. The Mexican president is considering canceling his trip to see Trump very soon. [The Mexican president’s poling numbers are actually lower than Trump.]

Trump claims that he and the Mexican president decided to postpone their meeting even though the Mexican president said that he canceled the meeting after Trump tweeted basically that if Mexico doesn’t pay for the wall then don’t come.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Poutine had a chat with his padawan [Starr Wars lingo for apprentice] Donald Trump. [Of course the name “Apprentice” is also the name of Trump’s show he hosted and is somehow still listed as producer.]

The entire senior level of management officials of the State Department resigned recently, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era. Those resigned have worked with both parties. All had submitted their resignations prior to Trump’s January 20 inauguration as is required of officials holding jobs appointed by the president but some were not appointed. They were not required to leave the foreign service but chose to retire or resign for personal reasons, the department said.

Trump is ready to allow torture [such as waterboarding] against foreign detainees and to keep Guantanamo Bay, Cuba open after Obama tried [unsuccessfully] to shut down the prison as well as to reopen CIA detention facilities outside the United States. The draft directive also orders a review of interrogation methods used on terror suspects and calls for suggested modifications that would not violate the U.S. legal ban on torture. Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo would be consulted but they didn’t know of the draft executive order. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the administration looked at it during the elections but won’t be used. So why is it mentioned now?

Senior members of the Trump administration have been accused of blatant hypocrisy after it was revealed they are continuing to use personal email accounts. Key advisors to the president, Kellyanne Conway and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as press secretary Sean Spicer and chief strategist Steve Bannon, all have accounts on the Republican Party’s rnchq.org domain, and are continuing to use them in addition to their official government accounts, according to Newsweek.

According to hacker WauchulaGhost [who claimed to have hacked 500 pro-ISIS accounts], the Twitter accounts for Trump, Melania Trump and Mike Pence are more vulnerable to hackers because of a basic Twitter security setting they’re not using. With a little bit of work “he” figured out that the Twitter account for Pence is a associated with a less secure Gmail account and both Trumps also use Gmail accounts.

While Trump says he wants to create American jobs, why is his personal phone a Samsung phone – clearly not made in the USA.

Not too smart. Sean Spicer may have tweeted his password for something. 

Trump is still using his less secure Android smart phone to send out his tweets and make calls even though he was supposed to give it up 5 days ago.

“Social media postings sometimes provide an important window into a person’s mental health,” the Department of Defence tweeted. “Know what to look for.” Didn’t take long for comments such as: “@DeptofDefense have you look at the posts by your Commander in Chief? @potus needs immediate help” and “Medal of Freedom for whoever at @DeptofDefense was responsible for this, please.”

Trump tweeted that he is ordering a “major investigation” into voter fraud, revisiting unsubstantiated claims he’s made repeatedly about a rigged voting system. Trump has been fixated on his loss of the popular vote in the election and a persistent frustration that the legitimacy of his presidency is being challenged by Democrats and the media. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have finalized their election results with no reports of the kind of widespread fraud that Trump is alleging.

Trump “does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” Spicer said. And then he said only that Trump “has believed that for a while based on studies and information he has.” No evidence has been made public – if it exists. Probably not.

[Unsure why Trump would bring up this nonsense. He won the election. Again this makes him look a bit unbalanced. Does he always want controversies in his term?]

A number of studies have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. The Truth About Voter Fraud, a report written by experts at The Brennan Center for Justice, found voter fraud rates were between 0.00004% and 0.0009%.

Trump’s own daughter, Tiffany is registered in both Pennsylvania and New York. Did she vote in both? Trump’s Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon is registered in Florida and New York. Did he vote in both?

Spicer said that Trump believes in widespread voter fraud, in part, as a 2014 study by Jesse Richman and David Earnest found more than 14% of non-citizens in 2008 and 2010 “indicated that they were registered to vote.” But the sample was so small that it had a huge error range.

“I am to a large extent an environmentalist” Trump said. What? From a guy who doesn’t believe in climate change.

From Trump’s own Twitter account, he says 2 pictures from his inauguration will be hung in the press room at the White House. But if you look closely, the date is January 21st, 2017 – not 20th. [Click on the image in this link showing the crowd.]

In other news, amateur hour. The Trump administration had to recall a press release after they spelled UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s first name wrong. No “H” in the first release.

Trump already signed at least 14 executive orders. Way more than the last half dozen presidents combined.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says that recent threats have forced her to receive an extra layer of security, and she apparently blames the news media. She has Secret Service protection. “We have packages delivered to my house with white substances.” But remember that she’s on the propaganda team. Did she actually get threats and received “white substances”.

A Trump administration freeze on new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards raised fears that states and other recipients could lose essential funding for drinking water protection, hazardous waste oversight and a host of other programs — while a communications blackout left them dangling in uncertainty. Emails to staff banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts contributed to the information vacuum. Some have created “rogue” Twitter accounts to get around the decree.

Buried at the end of a confirmation hearing last week of Jeff Sessions, who if confirmed will take the helm at the Justice Dept. under the new administration, is a note saying as attorney general is in favor of putting backdoors in encryption.

An online reporter from LifeZette [a pro-Trump site] was able to ask a question at a White House press conferences and briefings where normally only major news outlets are traditionally allowed. I guess we’ll see Breitbart soon…

Trump warned business leaders that he would impose a “substantial border tax” on companies that move their manufacturing out of the United States, while promising tax advantages to companies that produce products domestically. So companies can either jump ship [say to Canada as it is close to the US] or build in the US and watch either their profits to shrink [which won’t help their stock] to keep the prices steady or increase prices because the labor in the US is higher than most countries.

A lawsuit alleged that President Donald Trump is violating the Constitution by allowing his business to accept payments from foreign governments. Trump is violating the so-called emoluments clause in the Constitution that prohibits him from receiving money from diplomats for stays at his hotels or foreign governments for leases of office space in his buildings, according to the suit filed by a legal watchdog group.

Trump said that he would hand over control of his company to his two adult sons. He announced several other measures in an attempt to mollify critics who contend that his financial interest as head of a global real estate company could conflict with his pursuit of the public good. Problem is that there has been no indication he has done anything about it.

Humor time – not fake news:

British PM Theresa May almost did not make the trip to Washington recently after rumors when out that Donald Trump was about to issue an executive order for the US to build a wall between the US and the UK and the UK would have to pay.

 

1469 days until the next Presidential inauguration!

A bit of trivia: Name the action movie in the mid-1990s mentions both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the movie? Scroll to the bottom…]

“I know a lot about hacking.” Boy now Trump is a computer specialist! Trump claimed to have inside information on the matter, which he said he would reveal within the week of saying so – and didn’t. Judging from the history of Trump, it won’t be during that week, the next or the week after. Or maybe ever.

All sixteen federal intelligence agencies in the US plus two private independent security firms all concluded that Russia was involved in the hacking.

“What I can say is that we don’t believe that intelligence efforts should interfere into politics, certainly,” Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump said. So this is the equivalent of saying the intelligence agencies should not say that their government was hacked into.

“This report that everyone keeps talking about is not final,” the President-elect’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer said. So why was the report released? Did the report say it wasn’t final?

“As President-elect he is privy to information most people aren’t,” Spicer said. Ok, so why mention anything until you can release it.

“And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong.” True but who knows. With the time wasted going in, the WMDs could have been moved or buried.

Trump’s people can’t get things right. Reince Priebus stated that Trump finally acknowledged that the US was hacked and Trump has promised to retaliate but Trump advisor [and all around odd-ball – for the lack of kind words] Kellyanne Conway keeps on using “alleged” hack because the Russians [she claims] were unsuccessful.

Trump is blaming the DNC for the lack of security to their network but Trump fails to blame the RNC [they were hacked but supposedly (or on purposely)] no leaked data or various government agencies.

Trump having his children or son-in-law as advisors could go against a law created in the mid-1960s which stipulates that family members cannot be advisors or paid. They may be one some committees but unpaid and clear of advising the President. But remember – this is Donald Trump. What’s another potentially broken law?

A full repeal of Obamacare by Trump would cost $350 billion over the next decade, according to a new analysis from the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This makes its wholesale dismantling much more complicated. Trump himself said [depending on the weather it seems] will either pull all of Obamacare or take the “best” pieces.

The GOP and Trump claim removing Obamacare would be their first item of business. But they have not said what they would replace it with. There is talk that even giving children of illegal immigrants health care as part of Obamacare would be pulled as well as the guarantee of health care even with pre-existing conditions. An estimate 20 million Americans who didn’t have health care prior to Obamacare could potentially lose their health care.

Trump went to Twitter [as usual] to lash out at Meryl Streep after she made comments about him at the Golden Globe Awards. He responded in his usual fashion calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and denying he “groveled” at someone during the campaign. If The Pope was to make comments about him I wonder how he’d respond? “Over-rate Pope”? “Pope who has done nothing?” He is a humorless and easily offended public persona.

Trump to criticize Saturday Night Live as “biased” and “unwatchable” on Twitter during the campaign after Alec Baldwin made fun of his looks and manner. But the show just recorded its best ratings in 24 years, thanks to a toxic and highly divisive U.S. presidential election.

Actor Alex Baldwin making fun at Trump with a knock off of “Make America Great Again” in Russian….

Arnold Schwarzenegger took over as “host” on Celebrity Apprentice [which Trump still has a production credit but doesn’t do anything]. Trump went after “Arnie” after the ratings have dropped but also poked fun at him because he supported (John) Kasich and Hillary (Clinton). Arnie did respond in Twitter with “I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”

Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton have decided to attend the inauguration to do so out of a sense of duty and respect for the American democratic process. So has George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter [who previous agreed to attend].

In another about face [well partially] Trump has said he will push to build the “Great Wall” between the US and Mexico now and send Mexico the invoice later. He doesn’t want to wait on the wall. There are currently 700 miles of fence along that track, with another approximately 1,200 miles either open, nearly impossible to actually build on or impassable.

Melania Trump, taking lessons from her husband, has warned that she will sue anyone who calls her an “ex-hooker”. If you recall, a story stated that she came to the US with a non-work visa and yet she was supposedly a model at Trump’s modeling agency. The story said she pulled in $20,000 within months. I would guess not all was modeling – especially since the agency couldn’t put her on their payroll legally. Get the drift?

Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley, whom Donald Trump has tapped for a top national security communications role, plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book, a CNN review has found. The review of Crowley’s June 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened,” found upwards of 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including the copying with minor changes of news articles, other columnists, think tanks, and Wikipedia.

Trump wants to create a “team” within 90 days of his inauguration on how to tackle hacking. First, you know Trump. It will be long after 90 days – if ever. Second, doesn’t the US already have an intelligence division to handle this? Oh ya. Trump doesn’t trust them.

Trump’s tweeting could cause problems. As of now they have been minor but if he tweets a bad comment, it could cause ripples.

In an example of bad tweeting Trump said “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!” In fact most Cruzes are made in Ohio for the US market. The Cruze hatchback is made in Mexico for the international market although maybe 4500 care shipped to the US. After the tweet, GM’s stock market price briefly went down.

During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement as a means of protecting and creating U.S. jobs. But while NAFTA is still valid, dishing out a “border tax” isn’t allowed.

Then Trump whined again on Twitter about Toyota opening a plant in Mexico and again with the “border tax” except he was technically defending Canada because the “lost” jobs would actually be Canadian jobs. Oh. He got the location in Mexico wrong.

It’s been a policy that when a new president comes in, all the appointments from the previous administration are recalled. Generally they leave by inauguration day. But with the Trump administration, they want everyone out by inauguration day. No exceptions or extensions. That means pulling kids out of school in the middle of the school year, canceling charity galas and supposedly in one case cancer treatment.

Oh. What ever happened to Trump releasing his tax returns. Maybe it includes the fact that it will show Trump’s connections to Russian businesses.

Trivia answer: Die Hard With A Vengeance [the third Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis]. At one point in conversations between the characters of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, both names came up. Interesting to note that Clinton’s name came up related to the presidency.

Time for electoral reform in the US?

Maybe it is time for some electoral reform in the United States. Only 2 states [Maine and Nebraska] do not follow the winner-takes-all rule like the other states. In those states, there could be a split of Electoral votes among candidates through the state’s system for proportional allocation of votes. So those two states have a slightly better representation of the vote.

In the case of this past US election, Hillary Clinton had 2 million more votes than president-elect Donald Trump and yet lost the election because Trump won more of the tighter races like Michigan and Pennsylvania while Clinton blew away Trump in California and the District of Columbia. [Note: Some information is still not final.] An estimated 136 million out of 232 million people voted in the US. So take the 232 million and divide into 538 seats and you have roughly 431,000 votes per seat. There was about 9 states [plus DC] that didn’t even get that many votes in this past election. California [the biggest prize] got a bit under 14 million who voted out of about 25 million.

While the constitution guarantees every state a minimum of 2 seats other states are given quite a bit more. Nebraska had just 835,000 votes but still had 3 seats [at a total of 1.3 million voters, they are about on par with the number of seats allocated].

But here comes the question: A state such as California is a winner takes all state. So whomever gets the most votes wins all the seats no matter how close. So [even after a recount] the winner could have taken all 55 seats with just a [say] 100 vote majority. What does that say to the people who voted for the wrong candidate. Instead of a 28 seats to 27 seats, those who were not on the winning side technically are not represented.

Maybe it is time to adjust the electoral college and maybe incorporate what is done in some countries in Canada and elsewhere.

In Canada [as of 2015] there are 338 seats [or ridings] in Parliament. With some minor exceptions, every riding in Canada is at the averages about 75,000 people and within the largest provinces there is a difference of about 15,000 [plus or minus]. Each riding is counted on election day. The winner of the riding means one seat for the party and its leader. So in British Columbia [with 42 ridings], it is not who wins the most votes in BC but who won the most ridings.

Like in the US elections, there will be some ridings were there will be a landslide win for one candidate or another but overall they were even out.

The largest province, Ontario has almost a third of the ridings. Can you imagine how easy it could be if it was a winner take all? Another 49 ridings and they won easily. [Quebec generally votes the same way as Ontario, so the election would be over before the western provinces are counted.] In the last federal election in Canada in 2015, the percentages of seats won were very close to that of the popular vote.

Going back to the US election, theoretically Clinton could of picked up about 272 of 538 seats.

[PS – There is talk of modifying the electoral process in Canada, switching to proportional representation. But that should never happen. With 2 large parties and a third almost as large, Canadian governments would end with constant coalitions like in Italy, Israel, etc. as there hasn’t been a party that has had more than 50% of the vote in years.]

 

Post debate #2 Trump news

A week ago, most could of said that they would have to wait well past midnight [eastern time zone] before the results of the elections on November 8th would be announced. But as of late last week, the US could have a new President before the pacific time zone results are announced.

While the first Presidential debate was sort of like an exhibition game, the second debate ids like the Super Bowl. Particularly after the week Donald Trump had [think – talk on a video about women].

“This is locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize…” and yet according to reports, “locker room talk” is usually about other things.

Even with the 2005 video Trump said “No, I didn’t say that at all” when asked whether the predatory behavior with women that he described in a 2005 video amounted to sexual assault.

Trump claimed that “Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously.” But no evidence, as usual. Hillary Clinton was also quoted over the years making disparaging comments about other women linked with her husband. What is lacking is proof that she engineered efforts to smear their reputation.

Trump had said he’d instruct his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor who would investigate the tens of thousands of emails that Clinton deleted when she was secretary of state and would jail her if found guilty. The threat was made during the debate – an unprecedented break with U.S. political decorum. [I would guess Trump would say to the guy to “investigate” for a week to make it look like you did some work. 24 hours isn’t enough. Maybe take just over 2 weeks but take a vacation for 2 weeks.”] Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway , is dismissing it as “a quip”.

If Trump wants to go after Bill Clinton with his alleged abuse to women, what about his alleged rape of at 13 year old in 1994 with Jeffrey Epstein. While she did meet Trump and Epstein on 4 occasions, she described the fourth as a “savage sexual attack” after which he threatened that she and her family would be “physically harmed if not killed.”

When asked whether Trump used the $916 million tax loss, Trump said “Of course I do… I understand the tax code better than anybody that has ever run for president… very interesting why she’s leaving carried interest… I absolutely used it and so did Warren Buffett and so did … Soros and many of the people Clinton is getting money from.” He’s a tax specialist or his accountants are?

Investor Warren Buffett says he’s never used the kind of tax deduction that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump did, and Buffett says he’s paid taxes every year for 72 years.

Trump said “We have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on… As an example, in San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people…” According to research by New America, of the more than 360 jihadist terrorism cases since 9/11 in the US, more than a quarter were precipitated by tips from the Muslim community or from family members. Only 12 of those 360 were refugees. 81% of the 360 jihadist terrorism cases since 9/11 have involved American citizens or legal residents.

“I would not have had our troops in Iraq” but he did claim to look warm support of the war in a 2002 interview with Howard Stern.

Trump said that “I don’t like Assad at all. But Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS.” But in fact it is partially true as Assad is going after anyone other than Syrian and Russian forces. Even those “rebels” fighting ISIS are terrorists to him.

Asked whether he had ever sexually assaulted a woman: “No, I have not.” Trump’s first wife, Ivana Trump, accused him of rape in a deposition in the early 1990s. She later said she didn’t mean it literally, but rather that she felt violated. Trump was also sued for sexual harassment in 1997 by Jill Harth. Harth said Trump ran his hands up her skirt during dinner in 1992, and on another occasion, she said Trump tried to force himself on her in his daughter Ivanka’s bedroom.

Trump said “She is raising your taxes and I am lowering your taxes. …She’s raising everybody’s taxes massively.” Clinton is not raising taxes on “everybody.” Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s proposed tax increases would affect the wealthiest 5 per cent of Americans, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Trump is proposing massive tax cuts for both individuals and businesses. The conservative Tax Foundation estimates that the bottom 80 per cent of taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise from 0.8 per cent to 1.9 per cent. The wealthiest 1 per cent would see their after-tax incomes rise at least 10.2 per cent to 16 per cent.

Trump’s plan eliminates the personal exemption, which currently allows households to reduce their taxable income by $4,050 for each member of the household, including children. He would replace that with higher deductions, but for many single parents and families with three or more children, the standard deduction wouldn’t be large enough to offset the loss of personal exemptions.

While Trump wants to completely dump “Obamacare”, the Republicans have expressed support for some goals of the health care law, such as assuring that people with health problems can get coverage, but whether a GOP replacement plan would work as well remains to be seen. Trump’s own plan was recently evaluated by the Commonwealth Fund and the RAND Corporation, and the analysis found would increase the number of uninsured people by about 20 million.

Seems Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, can’t even agree on their platform with Trump saying things in the debate that contradicted Pence. Pence himself is sticking with Trump even after the 2005 video release. [Pence’s political career could be finished with a loss in 4 weeks].

20 judges that are “very beautifully reviewed”? How do you get beautifully reviewed? [And how many of them are blonde women?]

Trump claims that Clinton made a pile of money while as Secretary of State. Ummmm. I believe her tax returns would probably state she made little money other that what she was paid as a government employee.

“She has tremendous hate in her heart.” Sure Donald.

Trump claimed more murders in the last 45 years. Easy to verify on a US government web site. False.

“Long term works of the FBI are furious” according to Trump. Wow. He knows them all? Long term? Not short term?

Already Trump has stated that it was 3-1 against him [the 2 commentators and Clinton versus Trump]. So I am wondering what Trump will say about the commentators after the debate.

Already trump is threatening to go after the Clintons if any further tapes are released. Uh. It was not the Clintons or her campaign that released the 2005 tape.

Saying he has 25 million followers between Facebook and Twitter may be the only thing factual he has said. Didn’t look at Twitter but he has 11 million on Facebook.

Trump claimed that by announcing where coalition forces will be attacking, the ISIS leadership and fighters can leave the area. But debate co-moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News gently suggested that the U.S. military might have an actual strategy in making these announcements, proffering that they could be “psychological warfare” or so civilians can flee.

Trump seems unaware that at a peak of 45,000 ISIS fighters [according to US Army Lt. General Sean McFarland] there are now under 20,000 two years later.

Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is pushing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to be more loyal and supportive of the Republican nominee, according to a source familiar with the conversations. The move reflects a sense within Trump’s family that Priebus is being too negative and the fallout from Trump’s tape may not be as bad as it seems.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not accompany Trump’s family and other close advisers on his campaign plane to St. Louis the debate with Hillary Clinton. Christie had taken the reins of Trump’s debate preparation and was at Trump’s town hall in New Hampshire – an event that advisers planned to familiarize Trump with a style he hadn’t practiced.

Christie said he was still grappling with Trump’s comments from the video, calling them “indefensible.” He said he still supported Trump “at this point” but was thinking about that.

Donald Trump built the Trump Taj Mahal casino and once called it “the eighth wonder of the world.” Not even a day after the debate, the Taj Mahal shuttered its doors amid a strike by union members that lasted over 100 days. There is talk that Trump friend and fellow billionaire Carl Icahn will keep the casino closed over the winter while renovating it and open with non-unionized staff. Icahn owns the casino – not Trump.

Trump stepped up his fierce attacks on his own party leaders, promising to teach Republicans who oppose him a lesson and fight for the presidency “the way I want to.” He called House Speaker Paul Ryan “weak and ineffective,” Sen. John McCain “very foul-mouthed” and “disloyal” Republicans “far more difficult than Crooked Hillary.”

More than two dozen high-profile figures — including the 2008 Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Paul Ryan, and 15 other senators — said they no longer supported their party’s nominee.

Donald J. Trump demanded that the Republican co-chairman of the Presidential Commission on Debates step down, intensifying a clash that could precipitate Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the third and final debate. The move followed an extraordinary backstage confrontation on Sunday night between Mr. Trump’s campaign and the commission co-chairman, Frank Fahrenkopf Jr., who blocked Mr. Trump from giving his V.I.P. box seats to a group of women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of making unwanted sexual advances. Maybe Trump’s excuse to get out of the debate as the results from the debate seem to indicate either a draw or slightly favoring Clinton.

But Fahrenkopf insisted that the agreement with the commission and the two campaigns allowed only family members in those seats. The commission denied the Clintons’ request that Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri be seated in their box.

A sexual-assault victim [she was 12 years old] who is critical of Hillary Clinton [Clinton defended the alleged assaulter 40+ years ago] and who appeared alongside Donald Trump before Sunday night’s debate was paid $2,500 by a political action committee founded by a Trump ally, Roger Stone. The woman has accused Clinton of crossing ethical bounds in the case. So 40+ years ago she decided to whine and the fact that Clinton represented the alleged assaulter. Last I checked, everyone requires a lawyer. Clinton had to settle for a lower deal as evidence was lost. The May payment to the woman was described as “contract labor” in campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Nice accountant doctoring.

Committee to Restore America’s Greatness PAC, founded by Roger Stone, has been trying to line up women who were allegedly assaulted by Bill Clinton or anything related to Hillary Clinton. His PAC even payed the mortgage to another accuser. Stone served as a senior adviser to Trump’s White House campaign in its early days and even claimed to be involved in the Watergate scandal. Trump’s campaign has not endorsed Stone’s PAC, and has sent the group a cease and desist letter.

After Trump’s comments in a video about women were aired, a recording of Trump on the Howard Stern’s show a number of years ago where Trump comments about his daughter’s breast size.

 

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.

 

 

Post RNC blues with Trump

With the convention ended, Donald Trump claims that the convention was the best ever convention and the party unified with no violence. I guess he didn’t see what happened outside or those who were against him who tried to force a roll call [among other things]. And he forgot that no living former Republican Presidents and nominees were at the convention. It was the longest speech in convention history at 75 minutes.

He has already stated that he will push more “law and order” in the US. Trump also declared that “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” Uh huh. He claimed crime and illegal immigration have gone up when they didn’t. He didn’t explain how he’ll fix the crime issue [maybe other than deporting illegal immigrants]. The “law and order” phrase has been used by [just about] every GOP nominee since 1968.

According to one site, 70% of the 25 claims by Trump in his speech were false.

Trumps claim that the number of police officers who died in duty has jumped 50% compared to this time last year. More like 8% according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Intentional shootings are up about 75% [but that wasn’t his claim].

“My opponent has called for a radical 550 per cent increase in Syrian (refugees). … She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees…” No facts about the increase. Refugees are screened by Homeland Security with less coming from Syria.

“America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” But the U.S. tax burden is actually the fourth lowest among the 34 developed and large emerging-market economies.

“My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment” but has not proposed any revocation of the constitutionally protected right to bear arms. She does support a ban on certain military-style weapons.

“Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens,” Trump said in his speech.

So the plagiarism speech trumped everything else in the first night of the GOP convention. How could you not say that in both speeches “….you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say …” [exactly the same] and Paul Manafort [Trump’s campaign manager] says “What she did was use words that are common words.” Common words? Common yes, but not when about 18 words in a row are identical.

Christie isn’t too smart. 93% of the speech is different. Doesn’t know how he came up with that [sounds like something Trump would do] and technically admitting that 7% is the same.

The Donald got into the act as well by tweeting something regarding his wife’s [plagiarized] speech. Someone compared that to the tweet Barak Obama did after Michelle’s speech 8 years ago and even they resemble each other!

Trump claims his wife’s speech is the most popular speech ever. Uh huh. More popular than Martin Luther King’s “I had a dream” or from the numerous quotations from previous presidents including Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down that wall”.

RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer says Melania Trump’s speech was not plagiarized, claiming similar phrases appear in many popular songs and the television show “My Little Pony.”

Sort of admitting there was a problem with Melania Trump’s speech, Donald Trump Jr. told reporters he was proud of Mrs. Trump’s speech but people in the campaign “should have cleaned it up better.”

“The Daily Show” pointed out two sentences in Donald Trump Jr.’s speech that appeared essentially verbatim in a May column by conservative writer Frank Buckley in “The American Conservative.” But Buckley said “I was a principal speechwriter for the speech. So it’s not an issue.” [So Buckley either has little new to say or likes to recycle his material.]

Tuesday night, Donald Trump’s spokesman tweeted that the campaign saw no issue with the speech and blamed the Hillary Clinton team for raising the accusations — although there was no evidence to link Clinton to the controversy.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he “probably” would have fired his own speechwriters under similar circumstances.

A couple days after Melania Trump’s speech, Melania’s speech writer Meredith McIver claimed that Melania admired Michelle Obama. Melania read some of Michelle’s speech and McIver used it in Melania’s speech without checking. She offered to resign and Donald Trump said no. I am wondering if some of the Republicans could have called it some type of Democratic Party plot because McIver is a registered Democrat.

Ted Cruz was not expected to offer a full-throated endorsement in his speech at the convention, nor to rock the boat too much, given that his remarks were being vetted by Trump’s people. Censorship? And he didn’t. He never endorsed Trump during his speech and was booed when he left the stage. Meanwhile, he had set up a stage earlier in the day to start getting support going for 2020 – so I guess he doesn’t expect Trump to win in November.

Trump‘s top adviser Paul Manafort saying Cruz “used very bad judgment” and was “not respectful to the invitation by the convention to come and speak.” Hmmm. They knew his stance before the convention. Cruz told Trump two days prior to the convention. Do the GOP force everyone in the party to indorse the candidate? Sounds more like some far right position than a democracy. In addition, if Trump didn’t go after Cruz, his father and his wife so hard during the primaries, maybe he would of reluctantly endorse Trump. Trump said later on Twitter that Cruz’s lack of an endorsement was “no big deal!” But the day after the convention he complained about Cruz again.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said “Donald Trump won our party’s nomination because he is willing to tell the truth about the things that matter most.” Well, when did Trump say anything truthful?

Some big political names did not attending the Republican convention in Cleveland. They include the last two Republican presidents [both Bushes], Mitt Romney and John McCain. Neither are friends Tom, baseball’s Bobby Knight and boxing promoter Don King. He has included 2 of 3 VP nominees, a few of the nominees he was competing against and a bunch of celebrities [nobody really huge]. Fractured party?

A bit ridiculous that you can have a vote on a proposal just by yelling out yay or nay. When surely one side has no chance, one will drown out the other but when the two are close enough, it is not accurate. I can see some lawyers rubbing their hands.

Trump declined to speak at a conference to the NAACP citing the conference is the same weekend as the Republican convention in Cleveland while the NAACP conference is not that far away in Cincinnati.