Is there something wrong with Trump?

[Well aside from the usual.]

Wow! The last nearly 2 weeks have put the Trump administration and the stock markets on a lengthy roller coaster.

Beijing unveiling a new round of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of US goods placing tariffs of 5% or 10% on US imports starting on September 1st, according to a statement posted by China’s Finance Ministry. This round affects beef, oil, soya beans, nuts, cream, turkey, and chemicals.

A second possible round on December 1st would affect coffee, corn, vehicles, whiskey wood, doors, etc.

The Ministry also announced plans to resume tariffs on US imports of automobiles and automobile parts. The tariffs would be 25% or 5%, and would take effect on December 15th. Recently, China said it would take countermeasures after Donald Trump announced it would impose 10% tariffs on Chinese imports worth $300 billion.

Not just as few hours after, Trump decided to increase current tariffs at 25% to 30%. Those at 10% will jump to 15%. The Dow Jones stock market – in just a short time – dropped more than 700 points after the announcement at one point. He claimed, in a tweet, that China’s tariffs are “politically motivated”. He ended his set of tweets with “Thank you for your attention to this matter!”

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, said “It’s no surprise that China is slapping even more tariffs on American products. Every time Trump escalates his trade war, China calls his bluff — and why would we expect any differently this time around? And it’s no surprise that farmers are again the target.”

Trump said, “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing our companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” Trump can’t order American business to do anything as it is known as the “private sector”.

The Dow Jones had already dropped 300 points on the fear of another round of Trump tariffs. Trump also expressed anger at Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Powell in a speech today did not indicate if the central bank has plans for another interest rate cut. Trump has been calling for further cuts to rates.

Upsetting [saying it mildly] another ally, Trump tweeted “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time.” Seriously? Frederiksen said the word “Absurd” for her answer.

Trump had accepted an invitation to visit Her Majesty Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark. Now it is a diplomatic snub that he has canceled the visit because of his vindictive pettiness. Trump confirmed his interest in buying the country, telling reporters at one point that Greenland is hurting Denmark. Doesn’t explain how – of course.

Oh it must be fun being a US ambassador in this administration.

Estimated minimum price to buy Greenland is over $1 billion, for 56,000 people and 9% unemployment. Add harsh conditions and plenty of ice. But it does have some untapped resources.

No shocker here [or I told you so]: Trump is reversing his stance on gun control. After the shootings he said “I’m looking to do background checks… I think background checks are important.”

Then he responded recently by saying “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem… It’s the people that pull the trigger. It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger… “I’m also very, very concerned with the Second Amendment”. These are basically the same phrases that the NRA has been pushing for. So you think that anything will happen?

“I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook,” Trump said in an interview. “I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim was talking to me about tariffs. And one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in South Korea.”

He also said that Apple “will be spending vast sums of money in the US. Great!” though he doesn’t appear to have mentioned any details of further US investment in his comments to reporters. He has said this before of more US investments in the past only to have nothing come out of it.

He has to remember that his policies are hurting American businesses. He is the one to blame for issues that American companies who are having issues with it. On the other hand, Apple has plenty of money and part of their problem is that their products have had slumps because of a combination of higher prices and poor quality control [think recently about keyboard and battery issues with their laptops].

Trump may in the end exclude Apple from getting hit with the tariffs. And so it unravels. He does it for one company and other American companies who have at least some manufacturing done in China will ask for the same treatment. Most of them may not be as wealthy as Apple.

“If I wanted to make a bad deal and settle on China, the market would go up. But it wouldn’t be the right thing to do,” Trump explained. “I’m just not ready to make a deal, China would like to make a deal, I’m not ready.” So his ego prefers the world end up in a recession.

Trump and his advisers insist their trade war with China won’t hurt American consumers. But analysts say otherwise. The tariffs Trump has already imposed on China are estimated to cost the average American household $600 per year, according to a report by JPMorgan Chase. That will rise to $1,000 if Trump carries through on his plan to levy tariffs on another $300 billion of US imports from China, the bank added.

Oh craps! Trump referred to himself as the “chosen one” while speaking on his role in the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Later he said “Nobody has done a job like I done.” He said at one point that China had the worst economic year in 50 year. Last week he said at one point it was 25 and then 37. How things change in a week or so.

Trump conceded that economies across the world are “not doing well like we are doing, the rest of the world, if you look at Germany, if you look at European Union, frankly, look at the UK, look at a lot of the countries, they are not doing well.” If the world’s largest economies [other than the US] re in a recession, then the US will follow.

Trump added that “most economists actually say we are not going to have a recession.” If you translate that, it usually means he asked one or two people who may know about the economy and generally agree with everything he says. Trump sent out some people to news channels to tell people everything is good with the economy.

Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown revealing growing concerns about the economy among Trump’s top economic aides. But Trump says that the economy in the US is doing well?

As if Trump doesn’t have enough to complain about this week: “Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn’t work as well, because execs don’t want to fight California regulators.” Wonder what he is dreaming about this time.

This after saying “My proposal to the politically correct Automobile Companies would lower the average price of a car to consumers by more than $3000, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer. Engines would run smoother.”

Not to be out done, he then whined about the US share of the NATO budget versus everyone else.

Go figure. He is the president of the US and he is still complaining about the 2016 votes – 30+ months later. He tweeted “Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued.”

He was referring to a study by psychologist Robert Epstein [hmmm], which was discussed on Fox. Epstein himself says Trump was wrong about his findings. Epstein did find “bias” in Google search results, but he says there is no evidence Google “manipulated” the results to favor Hillary Clinton. Epstein said the pro-Clinton bias was “sufficient to have shifted between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes” to Clinton – not 16 million.

Epstein used a whopping 95 people from 24 states. That is research? For statistical purposes, this has a wide error. He also didn’t even publish his findings in a credible journal or web site that is related to his research. Epstein said he is “suspicious” that Google is deliberately biasing its results, given the Democratic leanings of its employees and the allegations of company “whistle blowers.” Epstein didn’t divulge who he supports.

Trump wants Russia back into the G7 [as the G8] in time for the 2020 meeting in the US. Trump claimed that President Barack Obama wanted Russia out of the group because “he got outsmarted.” He didn’t say how Obama was outsmarted, but you know Trump. Imaginary thing. Russia was suspended from the group after the majority of member countries united against Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Trump held a lengthy phone call with his master, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, recently. Now it looks like universal background checks are “off the table.” LaPierre reminded Trump how NRA members helped get him elected. No shock in Trump’s latest stance.

The Trump administration announced plans that could hold undocumented families detained together indefinitely, replacing the agreement that set a 20-day limit for holding children. The rule is meant to reduce the number of families trying to enter the US. Already this year, more than 430,000 family members have been arrested for crossing the southern border illegally, compared to around 100,000 for all of last year.

Then Trump said he is “seriously” considering ending US birthright citizenship despite the fact that such a move would face immediate legal challenge and is at odds with Supreme Court precedent. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees birthright citizenship and states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The White House has dropped its attempt to move forward with a controversial plan to eliminate up to $4 billion in funding to the State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Previously, Trump misrepresented the developments that led Turkey to purchase the Russian system, blaming the Obama administration for the situation.

The Trump administration has sought to decrease what it believes is wasteful spending and make foreign aid more conditional on support for US policies. White House officials believed they had the authority to cancel the funds without congressional approval.

The Trump administration has formally withdrawn its $3.5 billion offer for Turkey to purchase a Patriot missile system in retaliation for Turkey’s receipt of the Russian-made S-400 missile system. The US has also ejected Turkey from the F-35 jet program, preventing Turkey from acquiring some 100 of the stealth jets and removing Turkish companies from the production chain.

It’s been 5.5 months since the last official White House press briefing. Stephanie Grisham, White House communications director and White House press secretary as well as communications director for Melania Trump, has yet to have a press briefing in the nearly 1.5 months in her new job.

Russian state TV says that Trump wants Russian to be part of the G8 because “he owes Russia” after the US recently tested a land based Tomahawk cruise missile. “He feels guilty or ashamed…. They miss us.”

Vladimir Poutine partially blamed the US for the recent accident there in testing new military hardware.

Wow! He finally did something right: He is eliminating all federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled. Took him over 2.5 years to do something right.

Trump is expected to select Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan to replace Jon Huntsman [resignation is effective October 3] as US Ambassador to Russia. At least Sullivan has some diplomatic experience. He was passed over as Secretary of State when Rex Tillerson resigned though.

Talk of to boost his way sagging popularity that Trump may dump Vice President Mike Pence and replace him with former UN ambassador, Nikki Haley. She tweeted “Enough of the false rumors.”

Trump also quoted radio host and conspiracy theorist/nut-case Wayne Allyn Root who said “…like he’s [Trump] the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God….” Seriously?

After recent polling numbers from Fox, Trump wasn’t happy saying “Fox has changed. And my worst polls have always been from Fox. There’s something going on at Fox, I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.” He believes that since Fox is the only right wing leaning large news organization, he should have better polling numbers with them – as if Fox manipulates polling data. But he always used them as his propaganda “arm”.

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Trump, the chief of conspiracy theories

Donald Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory on Saturday evening alleging without evidence that former President Bill Clinton was connected to the death of wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, hours after Epstein was found dead by apparent suicide in his federal prison cell. Considering that Trump has claimed he hasn’t been around Epstein for something like 15 years, he has taken great interest in it.

“Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen,” wrote Terrence K. Williams, a conservative commentator and comedian, in the message retweeted by Trump. In a two-minute long selfie video recording, Williams alleged that the Clintons were responsible for Epstein’s death and falsely claims that Epstein was on suicide watch in the prison at the time of his death. He wasn’t. Somebody is missing a handful of screws.

And not surprised with the conspiracy nuts going nuts. One claims that “Twitter Removes #ClintonBodyCount with 84,000 Mentions from Trending List After Epstein Death – Replaces with Trump, Barr Hashtags”. Others claim that Epstein is still alive.

With Trump himself denying that he has been involved with Epstein for over a dozen years, it could further bit him in the butt if [for example] Epstein said under testimony the Trump was involved in his sex session with underage girls. Trump would also benefit from Epstein’s death. As the so-called president, he has the means for someone to do it on his behalf.

Since he came into office, Trump has always claimed how great the economy has been. His indicator was primarily that the stock market was rising. He isn’t a financial guru. Far from it. His tariff wars with other big economies – claiming that they have huge trade surpluses – is starting to hit the US economy. Just recently Trump postponed hitting China with more tariffs acknowledging [finally] that tariffs will raise prices on items that American buy. So he has delayed the next round until after the holiday buying season has ended.

Meanwhile, the bond market, for the first time in over a decade, flashed a warning signal that has an eerily accurate track record for predicting recessions. Right after, the major stock markets dropped over 2% each with the Dow Jones dropping 832 points following the warning. All the major economies, from Germany to the UK to India [with the slight exception of Canada] has been hit with economic issues.

Trump went after Federal Reserve chairman and Trump appointee Jay Powell on Twitter, blaming him for the problem and claiming that his tariffs are not hurting the economy. Again, [not defending him] Trump isn’t a financial guru. Analysts have said trade wars were in part behind recent troubles in financial markets as they raised costs and cast a layer of uncertainty on businesses and consumers.

With an upcoming election coming in 15 months, what Trump doesn’t need is a recession. A recession will hurt his re-election chances if his base starts to lose jobs or pay more for items that they need. He won’t be able to claim that the economy is doing so well. But knowing him, he would [who’s he fooling?].

Even with the Trump administration trying not to allow Russians from affecting the US economics and politics, the administration allowed a major Russian company, Rusal, to get a 40% stake in an aluminum mill in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The owner of Rusal is a friend of President Vladimir Poutine.

All this is even though the head of the Russian company has been sanctioned by the Mueller investigation. Two lobbyists working to get the mill built were formerly employed by McConnell. The owner is also friendly with the disgraced Paul Manafort.

One of Rusal’s lesser shareholders has since donated a total of $3.5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by McConnell’s former chief of staff. Coincidence? McConnell pushed for Rusal’s eventual removal from sanctions.

With the unrest in Hong Kong, Trump tweeted ‘Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!”

He then added “Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?” Some Chinese officials believe that the US [or west] are backing the protesters. Unsure how.

Meanwhile the US Navy’s requests for two ships to make port visits in the coming weeks have been denied by the Chinese government. The US Navy never had any issues previously.

The Trump administration has informally green lit a potential major arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new F-16 fighter jets. The new weaponry could further erode ties, since Beijing views the self-governing island as part of China. Beijing has frequently protested the sales as a violation of China’s sovereignty despite the Chinese Communist Party having never governed the island.

Last month, the Trump administration approved selling 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan, an arms package valued at $2.2 billion. Since 2010, the US has announced more than $15 billion in arms sales to Taiwan.

In response to another round of tariffs aimed at China on September 1st, $300 billion worth, Chinese buyers have cancelled multi-billion dollar purchases of US soybeans. Regulators are threatening to place American companies on an “unreliable entities” list that might face curbs on their operations. But the tariffs have been delayed now until December 15th.

Bipartisan lawmakers and foreign policy advocates have spoken out publicly against the move to cancel $4 billion in funds to the State Department and US Agency for International Development, warning about their impact on US foreign policy priorities. The Trump administration has sought to decrease what it believes is wasteful spending and make foreign aid more conditional on support for US policies. White House officials believe they have the authority to cancel the funds without congressional approval.

[Scratching your head time.] Trump has on multiple occasions brought up buying Greenland from the Danish government and the White House counsel’s office has looked into the possibility. The island’s government, however, said in a statement it’s not going to happen: “Greenland is not for sale.”

Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, is home to Thule Air Base, the US military’s northernmost base, located about 750 miles above the Arctic Circle and built in 1951. The radar and listening post features a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System that can warn of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles and reaches thousands of miles into Russian territory.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that Republicans may need to find a candidate to replace Trump in 2020. “We are now in the early episodes of ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process,” Scaramucci, who was ousted from his job after 11 days.

Trump decided to go after Bill Maher by tweeting “So many lies. He said patients in El Paso hospital didn’t want to meet with me. Wrong! Had really great meetings with numerous patients.” Except is known that some did refuse to see him. “He is right about one thing, though. I will win again in 2020. Otherwise, he pays 95% in taxes!” Wonder where he got the ridiculous 95% from. Oh forget hit.

The fake facts in chief mentioned the following recently:

  • First claiming that China had just posted its worst economic growth in 27 years. Later he said it was 35 years. Nothing changed in a week.
  • The remains of the soldiers from the Korean War will continue to come through Hawaii. In fact, North Korea has stopped cooperating with the remains recovery initiative and that the effort has been suspended for this year.
  • “There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests. No long-range missiles.” Actually, North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles, even short range ones.
  • “As you know, we’ve got 32,000 soldiers on South Korean soil, and we’ve been helping them for about 82 years.” Actually 26,000 active personnel and the US has been in South Korea since the end of World War II – 74 years ago.
    “You have drug dealers that get not even 30 days, and they’ve killed 25 people.” Good luck in finding any evidence that this is true.
  • Trump claims that he has given farmers $16 billion to offset their loss from Chines tariffs. In fact, his $28 billion pledge to farmers exceeds the total tariff revenues as of last month [$21 billion].
  • “Americans are not paying for the Tariffs — they are being paid for compliments of China, and the U.S. is taking in tens of Billions of Dollars!” What the stable economics genius forgets is that American importers make the actual tariff payments, and economic studies have found that Americans have borne most of the cost.

Here we go again. Trump spewing #fakefacts, this time at a speech in Pennsylvania that was not supposed to be a campaign rally. Instead it was about energy.

  • “Pennsylvania has the best numbers they’ve ever had in the history of this state.” – Actually the best since 1976 but not ever.
  • “I built good.” – Yes. This is president of the US talking.
  • “…now nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book…” – You cannot be the President and have other income according to the constitution. But that doesn’t stop former Presidents. And in this case it is $65 million for both Obama and his wife.
  • “We’re building a lot of wall.” – Just 46.7 miles of border wall have been built since Trump came into office.
  • Virginia “hasn’t been won by a Republican in a long time.” – Before Obama in 2008, the last Democrats to win in Virginia goes back to Lyndon Johnson.

Note that this wasn’t a campaign rally but Trump representing the country. So the gathering used taxpayer money. And yet he started to whine about Democrat hopefuls and other political stuff in addition to the above.

Trump recently took credit for building a $6 billion Shell plant in Pennsylvania that was announced in 2012 under President Obama. I don’t think you can build a refinery and have it running in under 30 months.

Trump also claimed the steel manufacturing was “dead”. It has declined maybe 1800 jobs in the past 4 months but still has over 379,300 workers.

Trump claimed that US Steel was to open or expand six facilities in 2018. Instead US steel is reducing production in 2 plants because of tariffs.

Trump claimed that Exxon Mobil recently invested in the gulf coast was because of him administration’s policies in fact was started in 2013.

Trump also took credit as his idea to install solar panels on border walls when the idea came from a private company.

In the past, Trump even took credit for inventing the word caravan!

Trump claims that he has lost between $3 and $5 billion in taking the current job instead of whatever he normally does. Of course this may or may not include at least one bankruptcy. If he is upset that he supposedly lost that much then resign!

In the ongoing attempt to curb immigration, a new rule came into effect by the Trump administration where many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education.

The Trump administration announced significant changes that would weaken how the Endangered Species Act is implemented, a move critics fear will allow for more oil and gas drilling and limit how much regulators consider the impacts of the climate crisis. That act was credited with saving the bald eagle and grizzly bear from extinction.

The rule was panned by environmental groups that question Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s motives, given his past work representing oil and gas companies. Conservationists and environmentalists will be lining up to challenge this revisions to the act.

In the usual “what was he smoking” announcement, Trump has claimed for years that he was once named “Michigan Man of the Year,” a title that does not exist. Who announces any “year” awards in the middle of summer?

Conspiracy theories are big with Trump’s late friend Epstein

With the [probable] suicide death of Jeffrey Epstein, conspiracy theories came out of the woodwork.

You had one that said that Epstein isn’t dead and has escaped the country – offering some very vague proof.

But the most interesting on is that Bill Clinton [maybe with Hillary] were behind the murder of Epstein. Ya. Right. The conspiracy nuts [including one conservative black comedian] claims that the Clintons have the resources to kill Epstein. Even Kellyanne The Witch Conway says that people “higher up” are involved. Clinton hasn’t been in office in 18 years. Does he still have the resources?

But who really has the most to lose here if Epstein went to trial?

I would say Donald Trump.

After all, he is a sitting president who has denied any involvement with Epstein for over a dozen years. But Even if over a dozen years ago, wouldn’t that be around the time Epstein first got into trouble for his taste in young women? [And of course, we know that Trump has had relationships while in a marriage. So, he doesn’t care if he’s married or not.]

Epstein could make a deal to confirm that Trump was involved with young underage women which would set the ball rolling for the beginnings of impeachment. What the US doesn’t need is a president who had sex with underage women.

Theoretically, Trump also has the resources to get someone in the corrections facility in New York to do away with Epstein. After all, would an [overworked, underpaid] guard say no to someone who has a document from a sitting president and tell that person that they can’t “visit” Epstein?

According to reports, the facility is understaffed with one guard who was more like a trainee. In addition, Epstein should of been checked every 30 minutes. As well, there was no camera near him.

And here is the kicker: Epstein’s lawyer supposedly had his suicide watch removed even though he attempted it shortly after he was incarcerated there. Supposedly, only a judge can authorize the removal of the suicide watch [in consultation with a doctor].

And of course, Trump still has a grudge with Bill Clinton even though he donated to his election campaign years ago.

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. More like something that is a bit more solid than most other theories.

2 mass shootings and it looks like Trump is campaigning

Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are citing video games as one of the reasons behind mass shootings in the US. Trump said video games that “celebrate violence” need to be addressed. After the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Trump signaled he believed violence in video games is partly to blame for real life violence but nothing was done.

Trump also blamed the internet saying it has “provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts” and said that “hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.” But if they didn’t have a gun, they can’t fire it.

Trump tweeted “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.” Is he thinking that the two mass shootings are related to immigration issues? Both shooters were non-immigrants although the one from El Paso was immigration.

A sweeping gun control bill that passed the House with bipartisan support in February that requires universal background checks has not been considered by the Republican-led Senate and the White house said it would veto the bill.

Trump said during his White House statement that he’s “directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty.” Did he really direct them? Of course he had promised to so something at each of the previous mass shootings but never did anything.

More than 200 House members – all Democrats – have urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call back the Senate and get to work to pass their background checks bill. McConnell has hinted at some type of changes but won’t approve of any ban on assault rifles, some background checks and only block people from owning guns if there is instability [i.e. mental issues].

Trump called the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso Texas a “wicked man” and urged the country to condemn bigotry, racism and white supremacy. He stopped short of acknowledging his own divisive and racist rhetoric.

“We have done much more than most administrations,” Trump said, without elaboration. If he has done more, wouldn’t there be less shootings. Exactly what legislation have passed or executive orders to curb these mass shootings? Try none.

Trump tweeted by offered prayers for “those who perished in Toledo.” Ummm. Something wrong there especially when his teleprompter said Dayton.

The El Paso shooter has been using the word “invasion” – the same word Trump has used in many of his speeches describing the migrants headed towards the US borders.

Acting [Isn’t everyone in this administration “acting”? Even the Commander in Chief is an actor.] Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney claims that all the shooters in mass shootings are sick and are not politically motivated. So let’s go with that. Why are these mass shooters keep on getting weapons they should not have? The shooter at the food fair in California went to Nevada to get his weapons because Nevada has one of the most relaxed gun laws.

Trump also has put the blame on the mainstream media [surely not Fox News!] saying in a tweet “The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years.” Yes Donnie. The mainstream media are using fake quotes from your press conferences, fake tweets from you, etc.

Trump has said that “I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.” A red flag law enables those who have seen warning signs (aka red flags) to seek a court order to intervene and temporarily prevent someone who is in crisis from having access to a firearm. For example, under California’s red flag law, it’s legal for family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat.

Not surprising he gave no indication if he wants the states to enact laws, a federal law or just saying it. Now whether or not he actually acts on what he’s calling for. At this time, only 17 states plus Washington, DC, have passed such laws. Most of these states are in the heavily Democratic voting areas of the country. Not surprised.

During a visit to a Toledo [errr] Dayton hospital to visit those hurt as well as the responders, Trump supposedly said “You had God watching. I want you to know we’re with you all the way.” I won’t go there. Interpret as you wish.
When Trump visits Dayton, The Baby Trump balloon – which will be filled with air rather than helium – will be carrying a sign that says, “Welcome to Toledo Dayton! Don’t be a baby – Stand up to the NRA.” On the sign, the word “Toledo” will be crossed out.

A bunch of signs in Dayton: “President Cheetos, we’re not Toledo” and “Drain the your swamp.” [“the” was crossed out] and “Welcome to Toledo” and “Even my dogs hate you”. Trump visited those injured and first responders with no press conference or anything else. He was in Toledo … errr…. Dayton for less than 3 hours.

The Ohio shooter was expelled from his school for having both a hit list [his sister was on it] and a list of women he wanted to rape. Was that all was done? Did the school inform the police or others?

After going to Dayton and then El Paso, Trump said “We had an amazing day.” Not the right words to say really. Meanwhile some of those who were injured didn’t want to meet Trump.

For a good laugh: “No, I don’t think my rhetoric has at all. My rhetoric brings people together,” he told reporters. Then added “I have toned it down.” Well after the past couple of weeks attacking The Squad, Elijah Cummings, etc.

Trump was also tweeting about the Dayton shooter “supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA,” despite the fact authorities have not determined a political motivation for the perpetrator. How pathetic that he uses a shooting to go after the opposition. The Dayton shooter, based on what the FBI has said, has not suggested a political motivation.

In El Paso he said “they shouldn’t be politicking”. So he is allowed but others aren’t?

He said he would not politicize his visits and yet not long after his visits, Trump release a promotional video of him visiting one of the hospitals, shaking hands, slowed down video, etc. You think this will show up in his re-election campaign in 12+ months?

Trump said “tried to stay out” of politically dividing aspects of the mass shooting which happened over the weekend, even though he went after Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on Twitter hours beforehand. Footage showed him saying at the hospital in El Paso that he had a bigger rally than O’Rourke.

Trump, his press secretary and his director of social media accused Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, both of whom are Democrats, of misrepresenting the reception Trump received from shooting victims during his visit to a Dayton hospital. At least in public, none of them said anything negative about Trump.

“I’m at a loss for why all this vitriol came immediately after he had a good visit at the hospital,” said Whaley. Trump kept the visit private with no press. I know – E G O.

“Very SAD to see Ohio Senator Brown, & Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley – LYING & completely mischaracterizing what took place w/ the President’s visit to Miami Valley Hospital today,” Dan Scavino Jr., who serves as White House director of social media tweeted. “They are disgraceful politicians, doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting, at every turn they can….”

In a June 2015 poll, Trump had a measly 1% for 11th place among 16 Republicans in a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. In the same poll, it was asked “Could you see yourselves supporting this candidate or not?” 32% said them could see themselves supporting Trump but 66% said they can’t.

White House officials have been talking to top officials from the National Rifle Association since the back-to-back mass shootings. I guess it shows who’s really in charge of policies related to security. Later, supposedly NRA chief Wayne LaPierre has told Trump that support for a background check bill from Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin would not be favored among Trump’s base and argued against the bill’s merits.

The NRA are very against any background checks or “red flags”. So if you think they will allow Trump to do them, that is very unlikely. Will Trump listen to this master like he listens to his other master, Vladimir Poutine.

Trump is in favor of background checks and “red flags”. He said the same thing about the checks after the Parkland shooting. So you know how serious Trump is. In addition, between him and McConnell, they can force Congress to come back from their August vacations. They haven’t. I would say barring further mass shootings, they will let the rush to get background check simmer and eventually people will forget… Again.

The White House will host internet and technology companies for a summit focused on violent extremism online. It’s the first public engagement meeting convened following last weekend’s deadly shootings. Trump is not expected to attend the session. A list of participants isn’t yet available.

In the 8 years under President Obama, there were 38 mass shootings. In just over 31 months, there has been already 31 mass shootings under Trump. It’s been close to 20 years since there was a year without a mass shooting [as defined as at least 4 deaths].

Both Venezuela and Uruguay issued travel advisories warned their residents about violence and hate crimes in the United States. With what’s going on in Venezuela, I can’t see many people vacationing in the US.

Trump is suing the state of California challenging a state law that requires candidates for president to disclose income tax returns before they can appear on the state’s primary ballot. The law adds an “unconstitutional qualification” to the fixed set of qualifications for the presidency set forward in the Constitution and violates the First Amendment, Trump’s lawyer William Consovoy argued.

A second similar lawsuit was also filed by Republican voters along with the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of California who argue that this a political maneuver that takes voting rights away from Trump’s supporters. Exactly what is Trump hiding that he doesn’t want us to see? Business interests in Russia, for example?

With Trump threatening further tariffs against China over Beijing’s trade surplus and technology policies, the Chines yuan further weakened at below 7:1. American officials complain a weak yuan makes China’s exports too inexpensive, hurting foreign competitors and swelling Beijing’s trade surplus.

Trump tweeted “China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low. It’s called “currency manipulation.”… This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!” So Trump jacks up tariffs which lowers China’s currency which allows a further increase in the Chines trade surplus. Something Trump doesn’t want. You can say Trump is feeding a fire with gasoline.

Trump told reporters “What I’ve done for African Americans, no president, I would say, has done…. They are so happy, because I get the calls.” Which is why polls show he would have less African Americans voting for him today if there was an election compared to the meager amount [roughly 8%] he has in 2016. They have his direct number at the White house?

Trump has claimed more than 75 times that he was the one who got the Veterans Choice health care program [where veterans should be allowed to see private doctors if they are facing long waits in the VA system] passed, though Obama signed it into law in 2014.

“We’ve sold tens of thousands of tickets, and you know, at the sale prices, we keep it nice and low, but keep it nice and low,” said Trump at a recent rally in Cincinnati. Tickets to his rallies are free.

“The cages for kids were built by the Obama Administration in 2014. He had the policy of child separation. I ended it even as I realized that more families would then come to the Border!” Obama’s administration built chain-link “cages” to detain migrants. But separations were rare under Obama; Trump made them standard.

According to a new report that came out, ISIS is making a comeback five months after Trump said they were “defeated”. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others in the administration are downplaying the report saying they haven’t made a comeback. Of course we know the history of this administration where at least Trump does not believe anything that comes out of any government intelligence agency. So this will be no different.

Trump had a campaign event in El Paso and left without paying a $400,000+ bill for law enforcement, first responders, level one trauma center [on standby], etc.

Trump had announced on Twitter that he was nominating Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas for director of national intelligence. Late that week he blamed the “LameStream Media” for the questions that were raised about Ratcliffe’s qualifications and announced he would be going with someone else for the role. Or more like the media was doing their job investigating an appointee instead of just choosing someone he likes or who will suck up to him.

Trump announced that Joseph Maguire, the leader of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, is his new pick to be the acting director of national intelligence. The announcement came not long after Trump tweeted that Sue Gordon, the country’s number two intelligence official and an intelligence veteran of more than 30 years, would resign. Gordon was not viewed by some in the administration as the type of political loyalist Trump wanted in the role.

The number of Trump nominations who were ultimately rejected by congress or withdraw hit 54 people. Then add 12 federal judges were also withdrawn.

While this portion of the blog is about Trump, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson said that white supremacy is “actually not a real problem in America. The combined membership of every white supremacist organization in this country would be able to fit inside a college football stadium.” Having them in one place gives some people some ideas…. Carlson has since took some time off. The fifth from Fox News anchors in 2 years.

Lawyer claims client with “severe traumatic brain injury and has problems with impulse control” and “uber patriotic” slams kid to the ground for not removing his hat during the national anthem. Lawyer says client is influenced by the rhetoric of Trump.

Yes a new defense strategy in court: client is influenced by the rhetoric of Trump.

Trump continues with another week of racist comments

“I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder,” Donald Trump said. “But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.” Except Trump was a bystander on the day — watching the events unfold from his offices (and home) at Trump Tower, which was several miles from Ground Zero. This according to politico.

He has also claimed that he helped pay for several hundred workers to help clean up the wreckage in the aftermath of 9/11.

He also said later on after 9/11 that “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest-and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.” He seems to care more about tallest building than what happened.

Trump attacked another prominent African American lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, tweeting that his Baltimore district is a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Trump suggested that conditions in Cummings’ district, which is majority black and includes parts of Baltimore, are “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than those at the US-Mexico border. Trump said the “district is considered the Worst in the USA” and “no human being would want to live there.”

Trump attacked Cummings for erupting at acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan over border conditions during a congressional hearing on July 18.

Cummings’ committee has also launched a number of investigations into the Trump administration related to Trump’s finances and White House practices, including security clearances and Hatch Act violations.

Trump gave no indication of the basis of the claim but the tweets followed a segment that aired an hour earlier on Fox News, in which a Republican strategist said conditions in Cummings’ district were worse than those at the southern border. So definitely no proof. The Maryland chapter of the NAACP dubbed Trump’s tweets racist and called for launching impeachment proceedings into Trump.

The district is actually one of the most affluent black areas in the US with a high percentage of educated residents. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney insisted that Trump would criticize any lawmaker, no matter their race, in a similar way if he felt the person spoke unfairly about his policies. “It has absolutely zero to do with race,” he said. Sure Mick. Sure.

“Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!” Trump tweeted sarcastically.

Ironically, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns many of the dilapidated buildings in Baltimore that Trump may be complaining about. Kushner’s properties have been fined many times over the years for various infractions related to bad conditions. However, drug and murder rates have gone up over the past while.

Kushner’s family real estate firm owns thousands of apartments and town homes in the Baltimore area. Residents have complained about mold, bedbugs, leaks and, yes, mice — plenty of mice. And they say management appears in no hurry to fix the problems. The Kushner Cos. had violated housing codes more than 200 times in just 10 months and only moved to fix the problems after being threatened with fines.

In a statement, the Kushner Cos. said it was proud of its Baltimore-area apartments and has worked to maintain a “high quality residential experience for our tenants” by investing “substantial amounts” in upkeep. The Kushner Cos. told the New York Times at the time that it is had spent $10 million on its properties, but their age means issues can still arise.

A Baltimore Sun story in 2017 found the Kushner Cos. used the courts to arrest tenants late on rent more than any other landlord in the state. A Lawsuit seeking class-action status for residents alleges Westminster Management, the Kushner subsidiary that oversees rental properties in Maryland and other states, often charges tenants illegal and excessive fees that keeps them in constant fear of eviction and guessing what they owe.

Now Trump is going after longtime African-American activist, Al Sharpton. This time Trump tweeted “I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He “loved Trump!” He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!”

He then added “Al Sharpton would always ask me to go to his events. He would say, “it’s a personal favor to me.” Seldom, but sometimes, I would go. It was fine. He came to my office in T.T. [Trump Tower] during the presidential campaign to apologize for the way he was talking about me.” Now how much of this is true. Well, you know the man.

Trump told reporters “The African American people have been calling the White House. They have never been so happy as what a president has done….. But they’re so happy that I pointed out the corrupt politics of Baltimore. It’s filthy dirty. It’s so horrible. And they are happy as hell” and that African Americans are so delighted with his attacks on the city of Baltimore and Cummings. You can stop laughing now.

In a Quinnipiac University poll conducted from July 25 to July 28 — two days before the tweets, the day of the tweets, and one day after the tweets — Trump had a 6% approval rating and 84% disapproval rating with black voters. Eighty percent of black voters said Trump is racist, while just 11% said he is not.

A Fox News poll conducted from July 21 to July 23 had Trump at 75% disapproval among black registered voters, with 22% approval. 76% in the Fox News poll said it is racist to tell a person of color to “go back” to their country of origin, while 9% said it was not. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted June 28 to July 1, 81% of African Americans said they disapproved; 18% approved. Both of those approval numbers were substantially better than the one in the new Quinnipiac poll, but still: On the whole, large majorities of African Americans were displeased with him.
In the 2016 election, just 8% of African Americans voted for Trump. I can not see him getting that amount in the next election.

The Trump administration announced it has formally withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Moscow, putting an end to a landmark arms control pact that has limited the development of ground-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

“Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement adding “Russia failed to return to full and verified compliance through the destruction of its non-compliant missile system.”

NATO allies said in a statement that Russia remains in violation of the INF Treaty, “despite years of US and Allied engagement,” adding that they fully support the US decision to withdraw and added that over the past six months Russia had a “final opportunity” to honor the treaty but failed.

National Intelligence director Dan Coats resigned and will leave office on Aug. 15, after a somewhat tumultuous relationship with Trump. The former senator became director of national intelligence at a difficult time and spent his tenure in the administration at odds with Trump, helming a constellation of over a dozen agencies that the President has publicly mocked, ignored and dismissed.

Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, who aggressively questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller last week during Congressional hearings involving his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, will be nominated by Trump to replace Coats.

Trump tweeted “Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 billion dollars of products coming from China into our country.” But after a setback in negotiations in May, he announced that he’d put them off indefinitely of any further tariffs.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office referred former FBI Director James Comey for potential prosecution over his handling of memos that the FBI later determined contained classified information. But Justice Department prosecutors declined to prosecute Comey, in part because they didn’t believe there was evidence to show Comey knew and intended to violate laws on handling classified information. Expect Trump to complain.

Oh Trump was at a rally this past week in Cincinnati. As usual, he made false or misleading comments about his 2016 win, the environment, immigration, etc. the usual. Waste of space to post his comments here.

Trump tweeted “Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others). Would make it easier for police to do their job!” But it has prompted a backlash in Germany, where thousands of social media users have pledged solidarity with the group.

Trump said that he prefers American wine over French wine even though he doesn’t drink wine. He said “I just like the way they look.” How do they look better? The label? But he did say “we make the finest [Trump labeled] wine.” He never attested wine. How does he personally know they are good?

Trump retweeted a post from an account operating under the name “Lynn Thomas” that accused Democrats of being “the true enemies of America.” The account, which created in September 2018, described itself as a “Fierce Trump supporter.” Just a few hours later, Twitter had suspended the account saying the account had broken the platform’s rules.

Trump once called Twitter an “incredible way of communicating,” as well as a way to combat negative coverage. Or in his case creating negative coverage.

He claimed that Twitter was making it difficult for people to follow him on the platform, claiming at the time, “People come up to me: ‘Sir, we want to follow you; they don’t let us on.” Sure Donnie.

Nearly 1,400 people were detained in a violent police crackdown on an opposition protest in Moscow as well as some people were hurt. Police justified their response by saying that the rally was not sanctioned by authorities. Don’t expect the “leader of the free world” Trump criticize his buddy/mentor Vladimir Poutine about this.

Mueller testifies – was it a draw? Anyone won?

Former special counsel, Robert Mueller III [a.k.a. “Robert Three Sticks” by a right wing news anchor], said before the hearing he would not offer anything new that hasn’t been said in the 448 page report. He was asked to appear at two committees to answer and clarify his report. But some Republicans were expecting new information.

Donald Trump said he would “probably” not watch the testimony, before quickly saying he might “see a little bit of it.” Oh I’m sure he watched more than a little. His ego wants to watch. Well he stopped before the hearing began and then resumed tweeting after 10 AM. So much for “a little bit”.

On the same morning at the hearing, Trump accused Democrats of having “illegally fabricate(d) a crime” and “pinning it on a very innocent President” and later added “this illegal and treasonous attack on our Country.”

Then he added that Mueller should of investigated himself, Hillary Clinton, James Comey and just about anyone who he dislikes before described Mueller’s investigation as “the Greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history, by far!”

Right away all the right wingers are saying that this hearing shows that Trump is innocent of all charges, vindicated, etc. What hearing were they watching? Republicans said Mueller was a failure at the hearings. Even Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said so. So it must be true. Other Republicans have said there is nothing wrong and the Democrats should give up and get back to help govern the country.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who claimed Mueller’s testimony “has been a disaster for the Democrats” and “a disaster” for Mueller’s reputation. Other right wing commentary said the Democrats bombed because Mueller basically said there was nothing new in his testimony. Duh. He said in advance he would not offer anything new.

“The Democrats lost so big today. Their party is in shambles right now….. The Democrats had nothing, and now they have less than nothing.” was what Trump said outside the White House. What an exaggerator.

“President Trump’s tenure in office may very well have been extended by four years as a consequence of this hearing,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Republican’s chief attack dog on the judiciary committee.

One area where the two warring sides did manage to briefly come together was on Mueller’s bleak assessment that the Russians were most certainly still trying to undermine the integrity of the country’s electoral system.

Republican Rep. Louie Gomert whines that former FBI agent Peter Strzok hates Trump and should of been off the team. You think they have nothing else to do but grill each member of their politics. Surprised he didn’t go after any other Democrat leaning agent.

The day after the Mueller hearings, a Republican blocked the advancement of four bills aimed at strengthening election security. Two of those bills would require campaigns to report to federal authorities any attempts by foreign entities to interfere in US elections, and the third is aimed at protecting from hackers the personal accounts and devices of senators and some staffers. The Republicans claim that the upcoming elections are already secure while the Democrats say the 3 bills enhance that security.

From an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity:

  • “So, I ended up watching more than I wanted to.” – So much for watching very little [see the first paragraph in this blog].
  • “This was a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again.” – Except 199 criminal counts against 37 people and entities. Seven people pleaded guilty. Five sentenced to prison.
  • “I watch as people scream at these poor Democrats, the congressmen, scream like I’ve never seen.” – Screaming?
  • “I think the press has lost all credibility, much of it. But it’s lost a big part of it. I mean, a very substantial part of it, lost all credibility.” – Except that would exclude Fox News, Breitbart, any nationalist web site,…
  • “It’s fake news, but it’s the enemy of the people, more importantly.” – Trump says that the free and independent media is the enemy of the people.
  • “Well, [James] Comey is a liar and a leaker and that’s obvious.” – Except while lying to Congress can send you to prison for 5 years, he isn’t in prison. Why is that?
  • “We have some very, very bad people in government that would be willing to do very bad things and for bad reasons.” – Except if they are bad, have they resigned or being investigated?
  • “I mean, this was — this was a coup attempt, in my opinion.” – Except where were the military? Didn’t see them take over anything. Like the word treason, he doesn’t know the definition of the word coup.
  • “Had Hillary won this election, you’d be at war right now with North Korea, and I have no doubt about that.” – Except meanwhile North Korea fired two missile tests this past week after 3 meetings with dictator Kim Jong Un [including one in North Korea] and of course has no idea what the US and North Korea would be doing if Clinton was President. We probably do know that the US’ reputation wouldn’t be damaged, allies wouldn’t be angry [or not as many], and tariff wars wouldn’t have started against them.

The Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to use $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense to construct parts of a wall along the southwestern border that the government argues is necessary to protect national security. The Supreme Court voted 5-4, along ideological lines. The decision overrules the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had blocked the transfer of funds while appeals played out.

Members of the US military will spend roughly a month painting parts of one mile of the wall along the southern border in Calexico, California “to improve the aesthetic appearance of the wall.” There “may also be an operational benefit” to painting it as “individuals appeared to have greater difficulty” scaling recently painted bollards in Nogales, Arizona.

Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib vowed to hold her ground during a speech in Detroit, clearly responding to Trump’s attacks on the four Democratic congresswomen of color known as “the squad” by saying “I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this President.”

This was after Trump tweeted “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” accused them of “destroying the Democratic Party,” and said they should “apologize to America”. After Tlaib’s comments above he tweeted “The ‘Squad’ is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart.” When you say anything negative about Trump, he goes after you. It’s an ego issue.

Just a couple of days after Trump praised North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, North Korea sent two test missiles which landed in the water between them and Japan. Are they poking fun at Trump? Nah.

Trump tweeted Sweden has “let our African American community down” by not freeing rapper A$AP Rocky, who is facing assault charges after a confrontation last month where he and 2 from his entourage beat up someone. Trump offer to post his bail. Nope. Sweden has no bail system.

He added “We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem!” Now look at the first sentence. Where have we’ve seen this tactic before? Yes. He does the same thing when it comes to countries before pushing tariffs. As for the second sentence, there would be no crime in this case if the rapper and friends didn’t beat up the other person.

Afghanistan has demanded the United States clarify remarks made by Trump, who said the country “would be wiped off the face of the Earth” if he wanted to win the war in Afghanistan. Trump on Monday had suggested that he could put an end to the Afghanistan war in a week, but that it would cost millions of lives and wipe the country.

Trump also said that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan would like him to mediator in the decades-long conflict between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region. Trump had claimed that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally asked him if he would like to be a mediator. A spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs said on Twitter that “no such request has been made” by Modi. India prefers direct talks with Pakistan and no mediator.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly 90 to 8 to confirm Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, Mark Esper, giving the Pentagon its first permanent chief since James Mattis stepped down in January. 5 Democratic presidential hopefuls voted against.

US attorney general William Barr has said consumers should accept the risks that encryption backdoors pose to their personal cybersecurity to ensure law enforcement can access encrypted communications. Law enforcement says encryption thwarts their access to communications they claim they need to prosecute criminals. Well, the US is slowly turning into a dictatorship.

Bill Weld, challenging Trump for GOP party leader says he is a “raging racist.” Duh. Chance of him winning is the same chances of Trump resigning this week.

White House officials in recent weeks have shown Trump a document that alleges a large conspiracy to award Amazon a 10-year, $10 billion contract to build the Pentagon’s cloud computing network. Trump has well-known animosity toward the online retail giant and its founder, Jeff Bezos. Oracle, IBM and Microsoft are also fighting for the contract with Microsoft having a slight edge.

The Trump administration’s latest step is to clamp down on the food stamps program, which covers 38 million Americans, and other public assistance services. It wants to require more poor people to work for SNAP benefits, and it is looking to change the way the poverty threshold is calculated, a move that could strip many low-income residents of their federal benefits over time.

It would curtail so-called broad-based categorical eligibility, which makes it easier for Americans with somewhat higher incomes and more savings to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the formal name for food stamps.

Trump ripped into [surprisingly] Fox News for reporting poll numbers that show him trailing multiple Democratic presidential candidates. Shocker!

Trump made 61 false or misleading claims last week. Over a year, that would come out to 3,172 of them. Ouch. Trump has gotten less truthful over time: in 2017, his average was 2.9 false claims per day; from 2018 through May 2019, it was 8.3 per day.

Four of the world’s largest carmakers — Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW – are going forward with plans to make more fuel-efficient vehicles for the US market, despite the Trump administration’s plans to roll back the rules.

Turkey would retaliate against what it called an unacceptable threat of US sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defenses, its foreign minister said, adding he thinks Trump wants to avoid such measures. Turkey began receiving deliveries of the surface-to-air S-400 systems earlier this month, prompting the United States to begin removing the NATO ally from its F-35 stealth fighter program over security concerns. A US official said it would cost some $500 million to $600 million to shift F-35 manufacturing from Turkey.

Trump floated placing tariffs on French wines and other French products in retaliation for that nation’s new tax on large American technology companies, telling reporters in the Oval Office that he “might” impose the tax ahead of the G7 summit in August.

Trump continues to try to help defend American rapper A$AP Rocky who is being held for trial in Sweden on charges that he and two of his entourage beat up and individual there. He also complains that why is he doing this to a African American – as if he has supported African Americans in the past.

One of the reviews of Mueller’s testimony at the hearings: “Like watching a passionate conversation with an answering machine.”

Some leftovers – of Trump news – this past week

As promised, here are some other news items that came in this past week or so.

In a recent cabinet meeting [among other false claims]:

  • Donald Trump claimed that the governments of Guatemala and Honduras were “forming caravans and sending them [criminals] up.” – Except no evidence of this. Unless guarded all the way would they most likely leave the caravan once in Mexico than take the chance of getting caught at the border?
  • “We catch them and release them. We catch them and say, ‘Come back to court in five years,’ and nobody comes back. Two percent, to be accurate.” – Except 89% of asylum seekers showed up in court to receive a decision on their case in the 2017 fiscal year, according government data; it was 72% for all kinds of migrants.
  • “We’re doing very well but we have no help whatsoever from the Democrats. Just the opposite. They want open borders. They obviously don’t mind crime and drugs and human trafficking…” – Except no Democrat has proposed literally opening the border to unrestricted migration which is ridiculous anyways.
  • “I just left Louisiana, cut a ribbon for a $10 billion LNG plant that’s so incredible people wouldn’t believe it. It was many, many years trying to get permits, they couldn’t get the permits, but we got the permits and we got it very rapidly.” – Except permits for the facility Trump visited were granted by the Obama administration in June 2014.
  • “We got our hostages back (from North Korea). We got the remains back, and they continue to come.” – The US military announced in May that the remains program had been suspended for the rest of the 2019 fiscal year because North Korea had stopped communicating with the US agency responsible for the effort.
  • “We’re building a lot of wall right now.” – Except no new miles of wall were under construction as of last month. Vegetation was cleared for a 13 mile stretch but no wall. Elsewhere, some parts of the wall already there were repaired.
  • “During the Obama administration, $500 billion a year was being lost to China.” – Except the US has never had an annual $500 billion trade deficit with China. The 2018 deficit in goods and services was $381 billion; it was $420 billion when counting goods alone and excluding services.
  • “Remember one thing. An agreement was made with Secretary Kerry at the time and with President Obama. That agreement was a disaster. Spent $150 billion.” – Except the US did not “spen(d)” tens of billions to make the Iran nuclear deal. The deal allowed Iran to access tens of billions in its own assets. Some experts believe the assets totaled between $25 billion and $60 billion.
  • “Our ambassador for hostage negotiation [Robert C. O’Brien] said Trump is the greatest of all time. I only tell you that because you’ll never say it.” – Except nobody has been able to find a record of him saying it unless O’Brien told Trump this in private.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway, Trump’s special advisor asked a reporter after he asked a question about the racist tweets “What’s your ethnicity?” That has what to do with anything? Biased? The reporter is a Caucasian.

In an interview on Fox News [where else!], Eric Trump said “My father is in there, and he’s fighting every single day. And he has to fight against the media. He has to fight against these lunatics. And guys, I’m telling you, 95% of this country is behind him in this message. I mean, people love this nation.” Recent polls say maybe 45% support Trump.

Federal prosecutors in New York have ended their investigation into the Trump Organization’s role in hush money payments made to women who alleged affairs with Trump and have been ordered by a judge to release additional information connected to their related probe of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Seems no charges will be laid.

There had been no contact between the Manhattan US Attorney’s office and officials at the Trump Organization in more than five months. So no surprise that the investigation has ended. Expect Trump to have a victory dance.

A group of 3100 prison inmates have or will be released shortly under a new program that came into law which applies mostly to drug offenders and inmates serving sentences for weapons charges. We will see in the coming months if there will be stories of how many of these former inmates return to prison.

After years of ridiculous defense spending, the Pentagon decided to audit itself last year. It cost [would you believe] $400 million to do the audit! They failed their audit.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report presents “very substantial evidence” that Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” – an impeachable offense. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Nadler have so far resisted the pressure to open an inquiry. Behind the scenes, Nadler has lobbied Pelosi to open an inquiry.

The impeachment clause in Article II of the US Constitution outlines the process of removing a president, which begins with a vote in the House of Representatives. Offenses that could prompt impeachment are treason, bribery or other “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

There are now 88 Democrats in the house who are calling for impeachment of Trump.

Democratic Rep. Al Green of Texas introduced his articles of impeachment against Trump, which will force the House to take up the measure. Green’s resolution is unlikely to lead to an actual vote on impeachment in the House.

In the employment/unemployment section:

  • Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders had only been in the job a month when a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in the agency’s custody. The death sparked a national outcry among lawmakers and immigration advocates. It also deeply resonated with Sanders and shaped his roughly two-month tenure at the top of the agency. He left the post recently.
  • Michelle Moons, Breitbart’s former White House correspondent, is slated to take a job in the office of the National Economic Council, which is run by Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
  • 18 senior roles were unfilled at the Department of Defense. This later grew to 19 when rump administration’s pick to be chief of naval operations, Adm. William Moran, announced his decision to retire after his judgment was questioned over a professional relationship he maintained with a former Navy public affairs official who left the service amid allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

There are now at least 261 key vacancies in the Trump administration. Total current number of vacant key leadership positions (with no current Senate-confirmed appointee) in the Trump administration: 261/713

  • Current number of vacancies in the State Department: 61/202
  • Current number of vacancies in the Defense Department: 12/56
  • Current number of vacancies in the Justice Department: 15/29

It’s been more than 3 years now. More than a dozen women have come forward with a range of accusations against Trump, ranging from sexual harassment and assault to lewd behavior, from before he entered the white House. Trump has vehemently denied all of the allegations and has threatened to sue his accusers, though he has not done so. All threat and nothing else.

In the first quarter of 2019, the United States’ total public- and private-sector debt amounted to nearly $70 trillion – a new record. The economy, about $21 trillion in size, remains healthy. The government could run out of money by early September, before Congress gets back from its summer break. That is why Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested that Congress raise the debt ceiling before the summer recess.

The Pentagon’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure mega-cloud contract may be put on hold once again, this time because President Trump has ordered a probe into the massive single-vendor deal. The White House has recently taken an interest in the proposed service agreement, and wants more information about its terms, conditions, requirements, and procurement. Microsoft and AWS [owned by Trump nemesis Jeff Bezos] are the 2 finalists. Among those who have most strongly objected to the JEDI process were IBM and Oracle, which went so far as to take the matter to court.

Well, Trump did something nice [or is it?] at his New Jersey golf club: He crashed a wedding reception. But in this case the bride and groom and most of the people in attendance are Trump supporters.