Another typical Trump week

The Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that Michael Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. Flynn would later apologized.

The concern was raised after Flynn claimed he did not discuss with the Russian ambassador the sanctions being imposed by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russia’s interference in the election. Flynn was not yet in government. Flynn spoke to the ambassador on the same day Barrack Obama announced sanctions for Russia meddling in the US elections.

The message was delivered by then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Other top intelligence officials, including James Clapper and John Brennan, were in agreement the White House should be alerted about the concerns.

The chief of the propaganda department, Kellyanne Conway, stated just hours before Flynn’s resignation that Trump had full confidence of his National security adviser. So who was right?

Spicer first said Flynn was fired by Trump and then said Flynn resigned. Spicer blamed the Department of Justice for sitting so long even though Trump knew of Flynn’s mistake for almost 3 weeks. Flynn himself had the shorted time as National Security Advisor at 24 days – typical average is 2.5 years.

Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice-president about contacts with Russia. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said.

Trump slammed intelligence officials and the media over what he called “very, very unfair” treatment of his ousted national security adviser Flynn. How else do you treat him. In addition, so he is again criticizing the CIA, NSA and others – the same departments that he just recently praised. I’m sure he is not going after the right wing media as they seem to be the only media he will take questions from.

Trump also accused holdovers from the Obama administration of leaking out information about his alleged contacts with Moscow to hammer his administration. No proof, of course.

“The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred.” He added that the news reporting was “merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.” She lost 3 months ago. Get over it. You think they’ll still be covering up things in 2 years?

Meanwhile, Trump also wants to go after the people who leaked the documents that got Flynn sacked. Of course we know that nothing will ever come out of it because there will not be any investigation. It will just be another part of Trump’s arsenal where he can whine about, to reflect blame, etc.

Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned down Trump’s offer to be national security adviser replacing Flynn.

As well, the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn regarding a phone call with Russia’s ambassador, barring new information that changes what they know.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said that firing Flynn for his contacts with Russia is “not just paranoia but something even worse.” I guess they wanted him so he can be blackmailed.

Conway got a verbal spanking when she promoted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. One of the rules state that senior government employees cannot promote and product. Conway was pushing Ivanka’s brand after the Nordstrom shopping chain dropped her brand. Normally anyone who violates the rule is let go. She wasn’t.

At his news conference Trump claimed he had the “biggest Electoral College win since Reagan”. Nope. President Obama won 332 electoral votes in 2012 and 365 in 2008. President Clinton got 379 in 1996 and 370 in 1992. The first President Bush received 426 in 1988. Trump couldn’t even get his total right. He said 306 when he got 302. Can’t remember 3 long months ago?

He also claimed that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had “set a record” of being overturned by the Supreme Court 80% of the time. In fact, the Supreme Court overturned 87% of the cases by the 6th Circuit Court and 85% by the 11th Circuit during the same period.

A year ago candidate Trump was whining that Boeing would close their South Carolina plant and move it to China. The plant is still there and Trump is there to tell Boeing to add more jobs.

After hiring 6 foreign workers in December, Trump Vineyard Estates LLC [owned by son Eric] wants to hire another 23 foreign workers. Here’s another kicker. The winery is using H-2 visa program – when allowed to bring in foreign workers when no American workers can do the job. Huh? You bring in someone high in the scientific field for a H-2 visa. Not someone to pick grapes or drive a tractor.

Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination as Labour Secretary because of his past. Quite a few Republicans wouldn’t approve of his nomination.

In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said that he’d like to see the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but noted that “we’re looking at it with great care.” That sounds a bit more like a bit of a reversal of his election campaign where he said he would move the embassy if elected. Another campaign promise out the window.

Supposedly, Trump may have blabbed about some top secret information at a supper he was at [I would assume with some people who didn’t have a proper level of clearance]. No. It wasn’t at McDonalds.

Trump said that he will do “everything within our power to stop long-simmering racism.” Problem is that the right [who voted him in] is more known to be anti-Semitic, anti-Islam and just racist than the left [think Fascism, KKK, etc.] Trump notes that he won 306 [not 302] electoral votes and fostered “tremendous enthusiasm” during his campaign. But some ugliness also appeared during his campaign and even now.

Trump his still using his unsupported [and outdated] Samsung Galaxy S3 [not made in the US, BTW] for his tweeting and Email. He is using it even though he was given a more secure phone to use. Two US senators have filed a letter [complaint?] to the US Department of Defense Secretary.

“I do get good ratings”, Trump said at a rare news conference. He’s looking for TV ratings?

“I inherited a mess. It’s a mess. At home and abroad, a mess.” Huh? It’s only a mess since he became the Commander in Tweet.

Trump continues to invent things that didn’t exist or was incorrect. Trump is even posting on Instagram with a quote from Abe Lincoln that were never attributed to Lincoln. And it wasn’t surprising that already someone investigated the quote.

Spicer said the recent Yemen raid was “obviously a huge success” and that “anyone who suggests it was not a success does a disservice” to William “Ryan” Owens, the Navy SEAL who was killed during the mission. That turned heads. Using his death for political reasons.

Recently, Spicer was scrutinized for saying, on three separate occasions over two days, that there was an unspecified terror attack in Atlanta. There wasn’t. They were in Orlando.

It seems that even Trump “is disappointed in Spicer’s performance during the first two weeks of the administration.” I’m sure both will deny that.

Spicer has repeatedly called for individual journalists to apologize for mistakes. Many of the White House correspondents aren’t too happy with him from day one.

Joining the Department of Propaganda is Stephen Miller. He claimed that Trump has done more in his 3 weeks of office than most presidents in their entire term.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visited Trump this past week. Seems that Trump feels the portion of the NAFTA deal with Canada won’t be tweaked/modified much compared to the US/Mexico portion of the deal.

Trudeau did get big brownie points when he presented a framed picture of Trump with Justin’s father [Pierre Elliot Trudeau] at a gala in 1981 when Trump spoke as the elder Trudeau was awarded a family man of the year award in New York. In addition Trump also got a Canadian made sculpture with the rock itself coming from Cleveland.

Spicer called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Joe Trudeau. A few cartoon images have since appeared.

joe_trudeau

Of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks, 15 were from Saudi Arabia, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt, and one was from Lebanon. Yet none of these countries were listed in the executive order. With the exception of Lebanon, Trump has business interests in all those other countries plus Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Woops. At least 6 players of the Super Bowl winners, New England Patriots, are saying they will not visit the white House and Trump. The Patriots’ owners a good friend of Trump. See if he changes any mind.

Strike two for Trump

In a 3-0 ruling, the 9th Circuit rules against reinstating travel ban from Donald Trump’s executive order which [among other things] banned people from entering in 7 countries. “The government has pointed to no evidence that any alien from any of the countries named in the order has perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States,” the judges wrote.

Trump has already tweeted that he may go to the Supreme Court. But given that the Supreme Court currently lacks its ninth member, there a real chance of a 4-4 split on the bench along ideological lines, which would have the effect of affirming the ruling of the 9th Circuit, inflicting a more permanent blow to the new administration.

The court chastised the Trump administration for failing to provide an explanation for how national security concerns justified an “urgent need” for the executive order to be immediately reinstated.

Even after Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, said to Sen. Richard Blumenthal that he found Trump’s attack on a federal judge on Twitter “disheartening” and “demoralizing” and an aide to Gorsuch spokesman confirmed that Gorsuch said those words [as well as other senators], Trump claims Gorsuch never said those words. “Alt-words“? We will see if he stays impartial like this if confirmation.

Then Trump said Sen. Blumenthal never fought in Vietnam – associating this “lie” with a misrepresentation. Blumenthal apologized for misrepresenting his service but enlisted in the Marine Reserve after multiple deferments. Trump, on the hand, never enlisted, instead obtaining multiple student deferments and ultimately a medical deferment for a bone spur to avoid the military draft.

Even nuttier, propaganda department spokesman, Sean Spicer, is claiming that Gorsuch’s comments is not about Trump.

“But courts seem so political…” Trump said in a speech. Well, when the Supreme Court is divided by political parties and Trump has already nominated a Republican judge, well it is one thing he got right all week.

Both Republicans and Democrats are distancing themselves from Trump. In an interview on GP friendly Fox News, Trump said “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” After Bill O’Reilly said about Vladimir Poutine, “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.” During Putin’s years in power, a number of prominent Russian opposition figures and journalists have been killed.

Trump seems to care more about his daughter Ivanka’s fashion line got dumped by Nordstrom store chain by tweeting about the issue. But where was he at that time [according to a schedule]? In a national security briefing. So his daughter’s petty issues take precedence over national security? The same man who whines about the security of the country as the reason to have that 7 country ban? [It is possible a lackey of his tweeted the message but no indication of that.]

Nordstrom claimed it was because of declining sales. White House propaganda specialist, Sean Spicer, claims because it was because of the ban on 7 countries. Indirectly it could be as people who would buy her junk, maybe stopped because of her father’s politics. This also goes back to the original issue of Trump [and family] separating themselves from the family business.

After the Nordstrom mess, there is talk of how Trump can still run his Washington hotel. The hotel is on government land and he spent millions to convert to a hotel but part of the deal was no government employee could own the hotel. Clearly, he is a government employee.

There are rumors flying that Trump could appoint Sarah Palin as US Ambassador to Canada. A Canadian MP says if Palin was named the top U.S. representative to Canada, it would be tantamount to having to deal with two Donald Trumps. If you recall, Palin claimed she could see Russia from her state of Alaska. It is 55 miles away. She must have good eyes. 🙂

There are 693 high-level positions that require Senate confirmation to be filled. Trump’s tram has filled 35 at this stage. In comparison, Obama filled 38 in 2009. But 8 years ago Obama had 23 member of his administration filled. Trump has 8 with Jeff Sessions confirmed. In total, there are 1,200 positions that require Senate confirmation and about 4,100 appointed positions.

Trump tweeted it was a “disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country,” charging, “Obstruction by Democrats!” But Obama’s Cabinet wasn’t completely confirmed until late April 2009. Democrats contend the administration has failed to fully vet the nominees.

In an early February poll, it showed CNN/ORC’s latest poll results, starting with 44% approval and 53% disapproval of Trump’s job performance. As for the travel ban, 53% of Americans oppose the travel ban, 47% in favor. 90% of Republicans think he’s doing a good job. [I guess that part of the poll is fine with him but he still may disallow the poll as not a 100% of Republicans like him.]

“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election” tweeted Trump. So if it does show favorable results, it’s fake. During the campaign trail, when the polls turned sour, he made unfounded claims about “crooked polls” and “They are rigged just like before” just before taking office.

“People want border security and extreme vetting” tweeted Trump. He obviously didn’t get that from any real poll. Maybe in his mind though.

Nice, in a call with the Australian Prime Minister, Trump hung up on him. The great statesman.

From my previous blog, Kellyanne Conway claimed she made a mistake just once using the word “massacre” when Conway brought up her infamous “masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre” with MSNBC but she used the same phrase when interviewed by Cosmopolitan 4 days earlier [quote wasn’t printed at the time because the reporter couldn’t find anything about that massacre]. Later she told Fox News that her “haters” would be talking about it “for a week.” [She’s finally right!]

The chief information security officer for the White House’s Executive Office of the President has been removed from his position. Cory Louie was appointed to the position by former President Obama in 2015, charged with keeping safe the staff closest to the president — including the president himself — from cyber-threats posed by hackers and nation-state attackers. It’s thought he was either fired or asked to resign one evening recently, and was escorted out from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across the street from the West Wing.

Now everything is quite but one source said it’s because the remaining staff have “targets on their back” and are afraid of speaking out, calling the actions a “witch hunt” for former Obama appointees. Accusations of poor management were said to be reasons or excuses for his forced departure amid what was described as a “toxic” working environment. Maybe Louie asked Trump not to use his personal Twitter account – especially on his unsecure Android phone.

Mike Pence had to vote in favor of confirming Betsy DeVos as Trump’s education secretary – showing that not all Republicans are happy with the choice [or Trump]. Not a good sign.

Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department, employed an undocumented immigrants for years, the business magnate said in a statement. He later said at one point up to 40% of them were undocumented.

Melania Trump has re-filed a libel lawsuit against the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail’s website, this time in New York, for reporting rumours that she worked as an escort. It could hurt her chances to promote products, “each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.” Asking $150 million. Funny. I don’t see her ever endorsing anything. In addition, I don’t remember any previous First Lady [while in office] endorsing anything. She hasn’t appeared in public at one point for almost 3 weeks and she is claiming to be photographed so much?

[If you recall, when Melania came to the US to model in one of Trump’s agencies, according to sites on the Internet she did not have a work visa. But according to some reports she hauled in something like $20,000 over 3 months. Probably unless you are a known model you don’t make that much money. So what else did she do? Hmmmm.]

Trump accused the media of deliberately minimizing coverage of threat posed by the Islamic State group, saying news outlets “have their reasons” for not reporting what he described as a “genocide” underway at the hands of group. White House released a list of 78 attacks it described as “executed or inspired by” the Islamic State group since September 2014. The AP could not verify that each of the incidents had connections to the Islamic State group. The list appeared to be hastily assembled, including several misspellings of the word “attacker”. [Surprised?]

As a professional attention seeker, Trump is whining that the media does not report terrorist attacks in Europe “…And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” It’s not that they don’t want to report some but it’s because according to the Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the University of Maryland, of the 321 attacks in Europe in 2015, many were not reported [in the US] because while there was damage, few had any deaths and they weren’t newsworthy. I don’t think people want to see daily terrorist attacks in the news in addition to the other news. It is not dishonest. News editors have to decide whether it is a good news story and whether those following their news will want to see it.

Trump visited the headquarters for U.S. Central Command where he said “we strongly support NATO”. Huh? Didn’t he want to leave NATO during his campaigning? Trump once dismissed the trans-Atlantic military alliance as “obsolete,” and said he would decide whether to protect NATO countries against Russian aggression based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

The Trump administration has started removing language praising the Affordable Care Act from federal websites. It has made several changes to the online pages of the Health & Human Services Department, which oversees the law.

In another false claim, Trump says the murder rate in the US is at a 47 year high. In fact, it has dropped from 1970 at 8 murders per 100,000 to 4.9 murders in 2015.

Trump says California’s consideration of legislation to become a statewide sanctuary for people living in the country illegally is “ridiculous.” He suggested withholding federal funding as a possible punishment. He seems to use that against anyone who doesn’t follow his rules.

Trump is already back paddling on the plans to enact a complete replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

A $50 book about Donald Trump was displayed at the very front of the National Museum of American History’s gift shop right after the inauguration, its red-white-and-blue cover featuring Trump’s “signature” stare-and-hair. The book contains a series of false assertions such as he won but had just 200,000 less votes than Hillary Clinton, “is a kind-hearted philanthropist and humanitarian” [but hasn’t given to his own foundation in years], etc. The book was pulled from the shop within 48 hours of release. [I guess if you got one it’s a collector’s item now.]
 

Another loony week in Washington

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” That was related to the Statue of Liberty. Now? Not under the Donald Trump administration. For them it’s more like “Give me your rich, your well connected. Your billionaires yearning to get tax free shelters….”

The American Psychiatry Association has a nine-point checklist for narcissism – if someone displays just five of the traits, they have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. From what it looks like Trump has at least 5 and as many as all 9 of the traits.

Trump’s ban went out the window as a judge ordered it struck down. The administration will go back to the court for a stay.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Of course if the judge went his way Trump would of tweeted something like “He deserves a raise for upholding the American values, blah, blah, blah.” The judge in question was appointed by George W. Bush.

Trump denied his immigration order was to blame for the chaos at the nation’s airports over the weekend, instead pointing to computer glitches, protesters and even the “tears of Senator Schumer.” And while there was a glitch last Sunday night affecting 150 flights for Delta, the protesting started on Saturday – way before the glitch. Trump even said the executive order was working perfectly.

How many terrorists were refugees to the US? None. But they even detained a 5 year old. Must be the mastermind to the next terrorist attack. Nobody would expect the kid. Another 4 month old girl from Iranian who needs surgery has been denied entry. Some Canadian hospitals may try to help out.

People were scratching their heads when spokesman Sean Spicer compared banning those from the 7 countries [they don’t want to use the phrase “Muslim ban”] to the shooting of 6 Muslims by a right wing nutcase in Quebec City. Huh? A white [probably] Catholic killed 6 Muslims – not a Muslim killed 6 whites. Idiot.

Some top experts in the economy believe the seven country ban will hurt the US economy in many areas. Already a higher dollar isn’t helping. In 2015 foreign tourist spent $199 billion which counts as an export [9% of all exports]. As an unfriendly country to some, the tourists will spend less – not just from those 7 banned countries but others. Building a wall along the border with Mexico and his vow to rip up NAFTA could discourage visitors and students from many countries. Education spending from overseas reached roughly $36 billion in 2015 — up nearly 50 per cent from three years earlier. It is also considered an export.

There is talk of friendly countries such as from Canada to require various biometrics taken [in addition to other countries]. Even those with Nexus cards, dual citizenship and others. Even the former Prime Minister of Norway was denied entry as he was in Iran for a human rights conference.

Over the past decade, the number of foreign students in the United States soared 73 per cent, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Overseas students typically pay the full tuition price, receive little financial aid and make up 8 per cent to 10 per cent of tuition revenue in the United States. More than 1 million foreign students studied in the United States during the 2015-2016 academic year, supporting 400,000 jobs in the process. Autos and auto parts totaled $152 billion in 2015 could also be at risk. Agricultural exports amounted to $137 billion.

Top Trump aides also defended the order, comparing it to a 2011 policy on Iraqi refugees. In 2011, President Barack Obama imposed additional checks on Iraqi refugees after two Iraqis were charged with terrorism offences in Kentucky. But that was for a known offence. Kellyanne Conway wrongly claimed that the 2011 policy “was never covered in the press.” She also falsely described it as Obama’s own “ban” on refugees.

Not to be outdone Rudy Giuliani [he doesn’t seem to have any official title] claimed he was the orchestrator of the ban with the legal help of the new attorney general as well as at least two Republican congressmen. Too bad he didn’t bring in some constitutional lawyers who would of told him he’s wrong – if he actually spearheaded the ban. Giuliani claimed he wanted to make the ban all legal. Uh huh.

Trump fired the acting attorney general of the United States after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court.

Press secretary, Sean Spicer, accused the acting attorney general of having “betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.” No. More like going against a legal order that is probably unconstitutional and morally wrong.

Conway was at it again claiming there was a cover-up or lack of media attention in 2011 during the “Bowling Green Massacre” in 2011. Problem is that there was never one. The two men lived in Bowling Green, Kentucky “admitted using improvised explosive devices against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and who attempted to send weapons and money to Al-Qaeda in Iraq for the purpose of killing U.S. soldiers.”

Trump signed an executive order to reduce regulations for small businesses in the Oval Office surrounded by small business leaders, saying it would “massively” cut regulations and calling it the “biggest such act that our country has ever seen.” I wonder how he measures this order versus others.

The acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement was removed but administration didn’t offer any explanation for the move, only said via Twitter that Daniel Ragsdale is returning to his previous position as deputy director.

A day after Donald Trump’s first call as president with Russia’s Vladimir Poutine, leading congressional Republicans made clear they oppose any attempt by the new administration to wipe away U.S. penalties imposed on Moscow by the Obama White House.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department — have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time Trump signed it.

A state visit to Britain by Trump later this year will go ahead, the prime minister’s office said despite 1.8 million signed a petition on the government’s web site asking the government not to invite him. Any petition with more than 100,000 signatures must be considered for a debate in Parliament, though not a binding vote. Last year, Parliament debated whether to ban Trump, then a presidential candidate, from visiting Britain after a similar online petition. He had been invited to come to Britain later this year as the guest of Queen Elizabeth II.

Speaking of the British royalty, we knew for a while that Trump is a womanizing filthy pig. Here is another example related to the future Queen of England.

middleton

Being a Trump is sometimes not so good. Nordstrom dumped Ivanka Trump’s clothing and shoe lines because of low sales. The move comes amid an effort by what is called the #GrabYourWallet campaign to encourage shoppers to boycott products with ties to Donald Trump, his family and his donors.

A small group protesting a far-right commentator’s appearance at the University of California at Berkeley hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and sparked a massive bonfire, prompting officials to call off the event. Trump tweeted “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” I think he doesn’t get the point again. The meeting the commentator was canceled not because of his views but because of the violence. The commentator has already been banned from Twitter over his comments is a vocal supporter of Trump and a self-proclaimed internet troll whose comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and white supremacist.

Trump said he won’t roll back federal workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people, giving a rare nod of approval to President Barack Obama’s work on the issue. Wow. One thing he won’t change back…. Although there is plenty of time.

Apple is considering legal options regarding Trump’s executive order for banning people from 7 countries, which has affected hundreds of its employees, CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Amazon and Expedia have joined a legal challenge.

Watch CNN’s Anderson Cooper laughing at how really dumb Conway is. 

Tom Price [nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services] has had stock trades call into question whether he will work in the public interest or his own, and the other, Steven Mnuchin [nominee for Treasury secretary], has appeared to have misled the committee on his company’s foreclosure practices after the Great Recession were under scrutiny. Democrats on the committees refused to attend and allowed the Republicans in the room vote to suspend the rules of the committee. Under committee rules, it is required that at least one Democrat be present for the panel to vote to send a nominee to the Senate floor.

Trump has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, a Denver based judge. If confirmed, the 49-year-old Gorsuch would be the youngest justice on the court and could be shaping decisions for decades.

Trump’s first weekend in charge, hmmm

WhiteHouse.gov immediately wiped pages on LGBT rights, civil rights, climate change, and health care from its “issues” section after Donald Trump took the oath of office. Sad. Sad. Sad.

CNN had photographs of the crowds at the National Mall comparing Trump’s crowd during his oath [just after noon] versus Barack Obama’s crowd in 2009 at an unknown time. Clearly Obama won. Some estimates put Obama’s crowd at 1.8 million. Obama had temperatures in the 20Fs while Trump had his in the 40Fs. As of 11am, Metro [transit] ridership was 513,000 for Obama and just 153,000 for Trump. Other examples was Obama in 2013 at 317,000 and George W. Bush at 197,000 in 2005. Metro, Washington’s subway system, tweeted Saturday’s women’s march there were 275,000 trips taken Saturday by 11 a.m.

“I made a speech. I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. And they said, Donald Trump did not draw well,” Trump said. He also called the media liars for fabricating the totals. As if he is a crowd numbers expert! Trump’s team call it Alt-Facts according to Kellyanne Conway.

Even press secretary, Sean Spicer, claimed that it was the biggest crowd ever for an inauguration. Who are they kidding?

Look here. [2017 on the left, 2009 on the right.]

In the U.S., Nielsen estimates 31 million viewers watched TV coverage, but that’s less than Barack Obama’s [38 million] and Ronald Reagan’s first inaugurations. Trump tweeted his was higher than Obama’s second inauguration but failed to mention Obama’s first.

I didn’t watch the inauguration at all except the odd 10-15 seconds here or there but I wonder if any of the national coverage including show the many protesters as the motorcade went by.

The National Mall’s administration were told to remove the tweets related to the number of people attending the 2009 and 2017 inauguration.

During the 2009 and 20013 inauguration as Obama went by the Canadian Embassy to Congress, the 3 RCMP Mounties in front of the embassy saluted. When Trump went by, no salute. Someone at the embassy said they were too close to each other to salute. Looked that way on video.

Trump was at it again on Twitter. He’s taking credit that he has created jobs when companies have said the jobs created have nothing to do with him and were ongoing. When a NBC Today correspondent said that Trump’s impact on job creation “(according to the companies we hear from,) it is very small or nonexistent,” Trump went on a rampage used his standard “fake news” comment and saying that “No wonder the Today Show on biased @NBC is doing so badly compared to its glorious past. Little credibility!” In fact, NBC is #2 in the morning shows and #1 among 25- to 54-year-olds, the key demographic for advertisers.

At the CIA, in front of the wall that honors those who died while serving their country, Trump lies say that he never had anything against the CIA or intelligence community. He then rants about the media. The outgoing CIA director had some not so kind words for him.

Remember throughout the election campaign, Trump refused to release his tax information claiming that he was in the middle of being audited [hinting that it would be released after]? Well now advisor Kellyanne Conway says that Trump will never release them. [BTW, that is a long audit.]

Meanwhile far-right/alt-right site Breitbart News has a running list of announcements titled “Trump Jobs Boom”. That’s more like “fake news”.

Meanwhile, GM to lay off 2,000 workers on inauguration day. For that, I’m sure Trump will blame it on Obama. That is 1,200 workers in Lordstown, OH and 800 in Lansing, MI. Trump not rescuing their jobs. Trump thanked GM this week after GM said it would hire and “retain” 2,000 in the coming years. So that doesn’t mean just 2,000 hired. An additional 1300 GM employees in Detroit will lose their job in March.

“Americans to Trump: Enough With the Tweets,” the headline said, citing a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. According to the poll, 69% of Americans are wary of Trump’s Twitter habit.

Trump said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” that he doesn’t “like to tweet,” but has to use the social network to respond to the “dishonest media.” Ha. Ha. Ha. Why doesn’t he let one of his stooges respond then.

Seeing that the quality of acts at the inauguration concert was razor thin, Azealia Banks stepped in. Still didn’t help much!

From the bookies, they say there is anywhere between a 20% and a 50% chance Trump will be impeached in his only term. A 500 to 1 chance that Trump will repaint the White House gold.

Vladimir Poutine says Trump would never try to coax a contestant that Trump had helped organize because while they are beautiful but “low class”. Nice.

Rudy Giuliani has been tapped to “lend expertise” and to advise the Trump administration on cybersecurity. The former New York mayor “will be sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cybersecurity problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector,” said a brief statement from the incoming Trump administration. Giuliani is the chief executive of his own private-sector cybersecurity venture, Giuliani Partners.

After leaving office as mayor of New York at the end of 2001, this venture claims to offer “a comprehensive range of security and crisis management services.” His consulting firm has hired controversial staffers, and has worked for questionable clientele, reports have said. The company seems to be raking it in for a company that nobody knows what the company actually does. But it is raking in money. Unsure for what. Reminds me of money laundering or fraud. Money comes in but no work done others than something with the 2016 Olympics.

A report from Canadian real-estate agency Royal LePage suggests many Americans who oppose incoming president Donald Trump continue showing a desire to purchase property in Canada. The company says U.S. traffic on its website surged 329 per cent the day after the U.S. election Nov. 8 and climbed 210.1 per cent year-over-year the week after Trump’s victory. For all of November, says Royal LePage, U.S. traffic to its site grew 73.7 per cent over 2015 and rose 40.9 per cent annually in the fourth quarter. During that three-month period, the report says U.S. interest in real estate was primarily focused on Canada’s largest markets, with Ontario, B.C. and Quebec receiving 72.7 per cent of all U.S. regional page views. Three-quarters of the American inquiries concerned residential properties.

Not surprising, a contradiction for the Trump Organization. A month ago Trump vowed to do “no new deals” while in office. Now his company will still pursue US deals – but he won’t control the company.

While some ethics officials have said that foreign leaders who pay for rooms and services at his various hotels would run afoul of the constitutional ban on foreign gifts or payments to the president, Dillon referred to it as a “fair-value exchange.”

Bookies are taking odds or chances of whether he will be impeached in the next 4 years. Anywhere from 20% to 50%. The highest pay-out with the lowest odds is 500/1 from Paddy Power – if the Republican paints his entire White House gold.

Samantha Bee, the late-night comic, referred to adviser and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway as the president-elect’s “omnipresent spokescobra” for her ability to transform his “upended port-a-potty of a campaign” and labelling her a “soulless, Machiavellian despot”. “I know Kellyanne doesn’t believe those homophobic and sexist things in her heart because Kellyanne doesn’t believe anything in her heart,” she said. “She will say literally anything.”

In the days after Donald Trump’s election, stores in midtown Manhattan watched a stream of foot traffic slow to a trickle as gates went up and police officers fanned out. Security restrictions near Fifth Avenue’s gilded Trump Tower have eased somewhat since then, but small businesses and people who live nearby are still worried about four years of inconvenient detours.

Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer said there are at least 105 businesses on 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues employing over 1100 people. [So for all the claims from Trump of new jobs for Americans, here could be some job losses.]

Odd fact: The top states for pain killers and the top states for heroin users were all Trump winning states.

Oh. If you haven’t noticed. I haven’t called Trump by his title….

It’s the end of the US, but do they feel fine?

At precisely this time in 12 hours, the US has its 45th president. Good luck.

In just a single day, Trump went on a rant against America’s closest allies, calling NATO obsolete, praising the UK for leaving the European Union, and expressing uncertainty that he will get along with German chancellor Angela Merkel. Two days later, he said the American dollar was too high. Sure enough [for example], the Canadian dollar rose a cent against the US dollar.

According to a new CNN/ORC poll, Donald Trump will take office Friday with the lowest approval ratings for any recent president and his transition efforts. His approval rating is 44 percentage points below President Obama and the transition efforts are 20 percentage points lower than Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Not surprise, Trump had to fire back on Twitter saying “The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before.”

Four in ten say Trump is qualified to server according to another poll.

A new CNN/ORC poll finds Obama’s approval rating stands at 60%, his best mark since June of his first year in office. Compared with other outgoing presidents, Obama lands near the top of the list, outranked only by Bill Clinton’s 66% in January 2001 and Ronald Reagan’s 64% in January 1989. About two-thirds (65%) say Obama’s presidency was a success, including about half (49%) who say that was due to Obama’s personal strengths rather than circumstances outside his control.

Amid those glowing reviews, one-quarter of Americans (25%) say Obama is one of the nation’s greatest presidents, far outpacing the share who felt that way about other recent presidents as their terms ended (11% described Reagan that way, 10% Clinton, and 5% or fewer said so about either President Bush). Still, nearly as many (23%) call Obama a poor president, more than said so about Reagan, Clinton or the first president Bush, but well below the 46% who said George W. Bush was a poor president as he prepared to leave the White House.

In the U.S. capital, the incoming president received four per cent of the vote — the worst result for any major party nominee in the district, ever.

With Trump in charge soon, some Americans were so happy that ObamaCare will be pulled. They then say that they are happy “the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” won’t be touched. They like it. It’s the same thing.

Trump’s tweets may already land him in hot water – with his daughter. He tweeted @Ivanka instead of @IvankaTrump. – two different accounts. Whomever uses @Ivanka will get very popular shortly [or not]. Trump had retweeted a message from a Twitter user that said his daughter was “great, a woman with real character and class.”

Trump was tweeting whether or not outgoing CIA chief John Brennan was the “the leaker of fake news”.

Trump likes to start fights and this one isn’t even from Twitter. Fashion designer Tom Ford has said he declined to dress Melania Trump years ago, saying “she’s not necessarily my image.” Seems The Donald remembers petty things like these. So he had his buddy, hotel owner Steve Wynn to pull selling Tom Ford cosmetics and sunglasses. Trump said Wynn thought what Ford said was terrible. So why now? Trump told Fox his wife never asked Ford to dress her as first lady and “doesn’t like” Ford or his designs.

The Secret Service says a vehicle in a motorcade for Vice-President-elect Mike Pence struck a D.C. police reserve officer according to TV station which reports that police say the officer was conducting traffic control in northwest Washington on Wednesday afternoon when a vehicle in the motorcade hit him.

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” Expect the US to go further into deficit then.

Trump has already stated that he would claw back President Obama’s sanctions against Russia regarding Ukraine and Crimea incursions.

A women’s march on DC on the day after the inauguration is expected to have 1800 bus loads [those registered] at the time of this blog was sent out. In comparison 400 registered buses for the inauguration.

Banned for those sitting close to the stage for inauguration include: umbrellas, guns, fireworks, backpacks, balloons, drums, whistles, and selfie sticks.

Few Canadians appear inclined to celebrate this year’s event, if polls are to be believed. A mere 18 per cent told an Angus Reid survey in November that they were somewhat or very pleased with Trump’s win.

Canada’s event usually draws a strong turnout given the prime location as the only foreign embassy in the area, near the National Mall and right along the parade route. On Friday, Donald Trump will take the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol to become the 45th president, then pass the embassy and its string of Canadian flags on the way to the White House. 1800 showed up at the last inauguration party. Expect poutine, tourtiere [a meat pie originating from Quebec, usually made with finely diced pork, veal or beef], beef and Canadian beer to be served.

The performers list for the inauguration looks a bit pathetic. At this time, the best known is Toby Keith followed by Lee Greenwood. One list didn’t even list Wayne Newton or Paul Anka, which I mentioned before. After that you have 3 Doors Down [one hit wonder in Kryptonite 16+ years ago] and Jackie Evancho from “America’s Got Talent” to sing the national anthem [her career is about to be toast!]. Then it gets worse. The “B Street band” – a tribute band based on Bruce Springsteen’s music was supposed to perform. Add Sam Moore from the duo Sam and Dave. Add some of the Radio City Rockettes. After that you have nobodies.

Initially a tribute band called the B Street band were to perform but the band leader saying the decision was based on the respect they have for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Some believe a backlash was also a reason.

Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli will not be performing at Trump’s inauguration. He’s received death threats if he performs. Trump’s people said he was never invited [save face?].

Can’t wait to see what the estimates of the crowd will be compared to previous inaugurations. I’m sure anything less than Obamas’ and Trump while start to whine on Twitter. Unsure who does the official estimates for inaugurations but usually the cops usually give an estimate. He’ll have someone in his team say that it’s at least triple the official estimates. Although he may just say it is 10 times the official estimates and not say where that figure came from [top of his head].

They expect maybe 900,000 but that will probably drop as it is expected to be a cloudy day with rain in the forecast. The umbrella ban doesn’t help. [Or the main  guest!]

Estimates that the inauguration will cost $200 million US including over $100 million for security.

Two days before his swearing in, Donald Trump has forked over $25 million to settle three Trump University fraud lawsuits. The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, originally known as Trump University, delivered the payment, plaintiffs’ lawyers told CNNMoney. The settlement was reached in November shortly after the election. It kept the president-elect from having to testify in a trial. Students said they were promised access to private financing options that never materialized, and concluded the program was effectively a bait-and-switch. Though initial seminars were free, attendees alleged that teachers only used them to get students to shell out for paid sessions.

Trump finally got a tweet right: After civil right icon John Lewis said he hasn’t missed an inauguration in a long time, someone in Trump’s entourage did some research and found out that Lewis wasn’t at George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001. Trump tweeted it. In an interview he called Lewis’ error “a really big lie”. Exaggeration and Lewis is older than Trump.

Already a couple of nicknames have shown up: Commander in Thief, Groper in Chief.

Personally, I’ll be watching the 2009 inauguration on YouTube.

 

Another interesting week from Trump

Classified documents presented recently to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings have said. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources.

Trump said prior to the beginning of the confirmation sessions that all his confirmation picks will be confirmed. Uh huh.

At his first press conference in months, Trump slammed Buzzfeed News earlier in the press conference for publishing the unsubstantiated documents in their entirety. Trump called Buzzfeed News a “failing pile of garbage” and suggested the website would suffer the consequences of reporting on the material.

Trump wouldn’t even take questions from a CNN reporter saying CNN was “terrible,” repeatedly telling him to be quiet and “No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!” The exchange came the day after CNN and several other news outlets reported that U.S. intelligence officials had briefed Trump and President Barack Obama on unsubstantiated claims that Moscow had compromising financial and personal information [unusual sexual activities] about the president-elect, including scandalous allegations of a sexual nature.

Not surprisingly, Trump vehemently refuted the reports calling them “fake news”, a “political witch hunt”, and “tremendous blot” on the record of the intelligence community if material with any such allegations had been released. As well, he says that United States is hacked by other countries as well, including China – brushing it off as if it wasn’t critical.

Trump claimed that the documents, which were placed next to him as he spoke, were evidence of the preparations he had made to give over control of his businesses to his sons. He pointed at those documents and claimed they were just part of the various papers required to separate Trump from his business and each pointed at the pile repeatedly as proof that the preparations were being made. Problem is that the sheets were the wrong size [not legal] and blank! See here.

A bunch of people [off camera] at the news conference clapped at the end. Supposedly they all worked for Trump. Probably told them to clap or “You’re fired!”

President-elect Donald Trump harshly responded to civil rights icon [he walked with Martin Luther King Jr. and was at Selma] and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, calling him “all talk” and “no action” after Lewis said Trump was not a “legitimate” president. “Congressman  John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).” Not surprising, outrage from the civil rights movement. I gather Trump doesn’t know his background.

Trump says he’ll be President for 8 years – heaven forbid!

He also says there is no US laws that say he can’t run the country and his company. Maybe not, but there are ethics laws.

Trump expects “massive” crowds for his inauguration. I suspect when the rough estimates of the crowd comes in from the authorities, Trump will say they are very wrong and will use some way inflated number saying he’s an expert in estimating crowd sizes [like he said he was an expert in hacking].

Trump still is having a hard time finding performers for his inauguration. Supposedly, the biggest name is Las Vegas veteran Wayne Newton – although Canadian Paul Anka may have accepted. While performers have been almost exclusively from the US, Trump has tried to bring in foreign talent [including Celine Dion] and all have so far declined with British singer Charlotte Church calling him a “tyrant” after declining. Why is it that Trump has to bring in non-Americans? President Obama’s first inauguration had maybe a couple of dozen American performers and U2.

Classical teenage singer Jackie Evancho had album sales “skykrocketed” [according to Trump] after her December 14 announcement that she’ll sing the national anthem. But some could attribute that to her Christmas albums sell well during the holidays and Evancho appeared on an NBC holiday special December 19. Even then, it wasn’t sales that “skykrocketed”. Another Trump exaggeration.

Broadway star Jennifer Holliday decided not to attend the inauguration after the inauguration committee pre-emptively announced her appearance before she decided to perform and because of the outcry from the LGBTQ community.

Charles Brotman, the 89-year-old who once the voice of the Washington Senators baseball team, has announced every inauguration parade since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957. But not anymore. He was sent his “pink slip” by Email from trump’s transition team. In his place, the Trump team has tapped Steve Ray, a “youngster” as a 58-year-old Washington-based freelance announcer who has worked with the MLB’s Washington Nationals and for local radio stations. Brotman will be honored as “announcer chairman emeritus” – which means nothing. Brotman he thinks it smacks of political payback.

From the story mentioned in the previous blog entry, publisher HarperCollins said that it will stop selling a book by Monica Crowley that a CNN investigation found to have more than 50 instances of plagiarism.

Trump will transfer his business holdings to a trust, but he won’t sell them — stopping short of what ethics lawyers say is the only sure-fire way to avoid conflicts of interest. All of Trump’s business and financial assets will be placed into the trust before he is inaugurated January 20, according to a lawyer involved in the arrangement. It was not immediately clear who will control the trust. Trump will resign his role at the Trump Organization, his worldwide empire, and transfer control to his two adult sons and an in-house executive, the lawyer said. In the weeks since his election, the Trump Organization terminated all unfinished deals, and Ivanka Trump, who is expected to move to Washington and play a role in his presidency, will relinquish her roles at the Trump Organization, the lawyer said.

End of the year, near the beginning of Trump year 1 of 4

Happy New Year!

Donald Trump announced that he will shut down his foundation so there won’t be any issues between his presidency and the foundation. But he is being investigated for some tax issues and the foundation can’t be shut down until the tax issues are settled according to the IRS.

Meanwhile Trump claims that 100% of all donations went to charities. This is virtually impossible unless he personally paid for the foundations expenses [which may not be legal either]. In Canada, for example, under 20% of donations go to expenses is acceptable.

Trump continues to deny that Russia was involved in the hacking of the Democratic Party as well as some government sites even though a couple of federal agencies that will be under him soon says Russia did. I guess trump has given them a vote of no confidence.

Trump supporters continue to downplay Russia’s role in the election. “Let’s assume it’s true,” Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff. “There’s no evidence that shows that the outcome of the election was changed because of a couple dozen John Podesta emails that were out there.” The number of leaked emails by Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, was actually closer to tens of thousands. And it’d be difficult to prove exactly what influenced voters. But even the slightest bit of evidence would be a problem even if not big enough to change the final vote.

On President Barack Obama’s vow to retaliate against the Russians for hacking, Conway said: “It seems like the president is under pressure from Team Hillary, who can’t accept the election results.” Or maybe it is the right thing to do.

Obama retaliated and Trump praised Vladimir Poutine for not retaliating himself. Who’s side is Trump on? Is he actually a Russian?

Trump signaling that Russia wasn’t involved or couldn’t care less that the government he will soon run will be open season to others.

Jason Miller, President-elect Donald Trump’s spokesman, has decided he will not take the job of White House communications director he was tapped for just two days earlier. Citing family reasons, Miller announced he will not continue on to the White House and will hand off his responsibilities as communications director to Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee communications director. Not a good sign.

For his inauguration, Mormon Tabernacle Choir [with some controversy] and America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho [WHO? And I guess whatever career she has will tank shortly after the shin dig.] have confirmed. It looks like just Ted Nugent and Kid Rock could be performing – there is no confirmation yet. Lee Greenwood is also apparently in discussions. Declining include Garth Brooks, Radio City Rockettes, Elton John [a Trump favorite and Trump’s team said he would appear but Elton said he never agreed], Celine Dion, David Foster and others.

Trump adviser Conway even made a plea on national TV a few weeks ago, asking Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars to call her to be part of the festivities.

“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!” Trump tweeted that several stars had requested to attend his inauguration but without naming any stars seeking inauguration access.

Still, all Trump has lined up are non-performing celebrities like maybe Clint Eastwood [but he is a good piano player – so he may be the only one to perform] and Gary Sinise. Trump is even having a problem of ex-living Presidents to confirm. So far only Jimmy Carter has confirmed. Not even the last two Republican presidents want to join.

According to the inauguration committee, for prices ranging from $25,000 to $1 million, donors can purchase attendance at a variety of special events across the weekend. For example, a $1 million check will buy four tickets to a “leadership luncheon” with “select cabinet appointees and House and Senate leadership” [ever heard of lobbying?], eight tickets to a “ladies luncheon,” another eight tickets to a dinner that features Melania Trump and tickets to official inaugural events and the swearing-in ceremony. Estimated cost it $75 million for the events. I wonder if any of the donors will “influence” Trump.

Wonder what happens if they have trouble getting tickets sold. I guess Trump can always call up his donor buddies to help out. Maybe Mr. Poutine will take $1 million out of the billions he has syphoned over the years and buy a set of 4.

A New York man says he and his husband were removed from a JetBlue flight recently after his husband “expressed displeasure” about flying with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

“Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King.” This was a release made by RNC chairman [and party of Trump’s inner circle] Reince Priebus and co-chair Sharon Day said in the statement. Twitter users interpreted the phrasing about a “new King” as a comparison of President-elect Donald Trump.

In the IT section, George A. Polisner, who for the last four years has worked in Oracle’s managed cloud services team, has quit the company over co-CEO Safra Catz’s decision to join president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team and her expression of Oracle’s intention to support his policies. “I must resign from this once great company.”

As well, IBM staff have petitioned the company to – among other things – express concern that “IBM CEO Ginni Rometty’s open letter to President-elect Donald Trump does not affirm IBMers’ core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct.” The petition has been live for over a week and at the time of writing had recently passed 100 signatories, a slow take-up attributed to limited circulation and end of the year.