Another resignation in Trumpland

They must be cranking out the pink slips at the White House.

Reince Priebus says he has resigned as White House chief of staff and was then replaced by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Sources close to Priebus insisted throughout the day he was not resigning, leaving the impression the aide was defiantly hanging onto his job amid public shaming by his colleagues.

Key members of Donald Trump’s inner circle said Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, among the President’s most trusted advisers, had lost faith in Priebus.

“John Kelly is one of our great stars,” Trump declared. “John Kelly will do a fantastic job.” He probably said that about Sean “Garlic” Spicer and Priebus. Look where they are now. Conversations between Trump and Kelly about the role began two weeks ago, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. You think White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci was “preparing the groundwork” after Scaramucci went after Priebus all week? [See later.]

Senate Republicans voted to advance to floor debate on their efforts to re-write health care policy, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie. But hours later, the Senate decisively rejected a Republican proposal to repeal-and-replace Obamacare, a sign of the chaos expected to envelop Capitol Hill as GOP leaders work to find a plan their conference can agree to. Then they voted and rejected just to repeal Obamacare. Why bother. Trump should not be celebrating this small victory. The only reason why it got this far was because they had to compromise between feuding groups within the party.

And a day after a vote to repeal was also rejected.

Looks like a bit of a civil war as House Republicans are fed up and openly blaming their Senate colleagues across the Capitol for torpedoing their party’s pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare. Specifically they aimed their guns at the Republicans in the Senate who rejected the bill.

Trump jokingly threatened to fire his health secretary if a crucial vote to repeal ‘Obamacare’ fails. He made this comment during a speech to thousands of Boy Scouts where he also used some language that may be a bit too harsh for some of them. Bigger question. Why is he talking to politics to a bunch of Boy Scouts – most who can’t vote yet? He has to make everything political.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are Emails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” Trump tweeted. So Trump continues to whine about Clinton’s mail server which is OK to him, but it is not OK for the Democrats to push for the Russian probe? Meanwhile Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse his candidacy. It was Trump himself who signaled during the transition that he was not going to appoint a special prosecutor to go after Clinton.

And then Trump tweeted “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign — quietly working to boost Clinton. So where is the investigation A.G.” Huh? He’s back to making comments with no proof.

And why is Trump whining about Sessions recusing himself from the Russian probe now – over a month after he did so? Sessions had to do so as he had contact with the Russians last year before his posting. Sessions should never have taken the job as attorney general if he was going to recuse himself according to Trump. [Democrats went after Sessions in his confirmation hearing for making some racist comments in his past. And yet Trump still hired him.] Trump considers Sessions recuse as the most grievous offence in the president’s mind.

Trump badmouthed Senator John McCain during the campaign. Trump wants to take healthcare away from 22+ million Americans. And McCain voted for his bill. It must be his medication. I am wondering what kind of medical attention he got if he was living on the streets or in poverty?

Mocking the Russian investigation in congress, Trump tweeted “Jared Kushner did very well yesterday in proving he did not collude with the Russians. Witch Hunt. Next up, 11 year old Barron Trump!”

Scaramucci all but blamed Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus for leaking information After Politico published a story about how Scaramucci  continues to profit from the sale of his hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, Scaramucci slammed the leak of his Office of Government Ethics forms. This was After wrongly asserting that someone “leaked” information about his finances. “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept, he tweeted Wednesday night, adding, “#swamp @Reince45.” And the “If Reince wants to explain he’s not the leaker, he can do that.” Sounds like Scaramucci still believes Priebus is a leaker.

He later deleted the tweet claiming that he had only mentioned Priebus to show that all senior leaders are taking the leak crackdown seriously. The inclusion of Reince in the tweet was seen by some as an accusation. Scaramucci says today’s White House leaks are “so treasonous” that leakers would have been hanged 150 years ago. Scaramucci’s financial disclosure wasn’t leaked at all. It was released after a public records request by a Politico reporter.

Then in an interview published by The New Yorker, Anthony Scaramucci used an expletive to accuse chief of staff Reince Priebus of being a “f—— paranoid schizophrenic” and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon of trying to burnish his own reputation. He also threatened to fire White House staffers who leaked about a dinner he had with the president.

Scaramucci notably said he reports directly to the president, not to the chief of staff.

The bad blood stems from Scaramucci’s view that Priebus was insufficiently supportive of Trump at the end of the election campaign and his belief that Priebus persuaded the president to keep him out of the White House in January.

The president’s senior counsellor, Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway, had earlier speculated that unnamed forces were out to get Scaramucci, saying: “Somebody is trying to get in his way and scare him off.” Something from the Trump playbook.

If Trump were to fire Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be elevated to the top post on an acting basis. But Trump has also criticized Rosenstein in the past. The name of one long-time Trump ally, Rudy Giuliani, was floated as a possible replacement for Sessions. Interesting to note that Giuliani said Sessions had the right to recuse himself.

According to law, Trump could move someone who has already been confirmed in another position by the senate to take Sessions’ job if Sessions resigns – not if he is fired.  Or Trump could appoint anyone of his choosing to be attorney general while the Senate recesses for 10 days or more in August. This would allow him to bypass Senate confirmation until 2019.

Trump often talks about making staff changes without following through, so those who have spoken with the president cautioned that a change may not be imminent or happen at all. But he also hired Anthony Scaramucci with much of notice to anyone including his own staff.

Trump went on another Twitter outburst saying “Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!” So Trump’s rule [for his opponents] is that if you or you know someone or you know someone who knows someone who donated to the Democrats, then you are biased.

“I would fire somebody that I did not believe could serve me well rather than trying to humiliate him [Sessions] in public, which is a sign of weakness,” said Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham.

“You can be disappointed in someone but still want them to continue to do their job,” said Sanders, Trump’s press secretary. In most companies, if unhappy with an employee they are fired. Trump should know that if he was a great businessman.

Federal law makes it a crime to “knowingly and willfully” give “materially” false statements to Congress, even if unsworn. The consequences are serious: one can face up to five years in prison. Right Jeff, Donald Jr and Jared?

Trump announced that he plans to reinstate the ban transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the US armed forces. The decision reversed a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under President Barack Obama, which was still under final review. The so-called excuse: “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

The military brass contradicted what Trump said by saying they were never consulted and until they get orders they will continue to have transgenders in the military.

A 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and health care costs, largely because there are so few in the military’s 1.3 million-member force. The cost could range from $2.4 million and $8.4 million, an amount that would represent an “exceedingly small proportion” of total health care expenditures, the study found. More is spent yearly on Viagra than transgender health.

Just over a year ago after the Orlando nightclub attack, Trump tweeted “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs” and he also said to them “I’m a real friend”.

“A landmark civil rights law doesn’t protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation, the Trump administration said.” What’s next? Anything in law is just an advisory?

The Senate passed sweeping legislation slapping new sanctions on Russia and rebuking Trump in a bill that now will head to Trump’s desk. The bill, which gives Congress new powers to block Trump from easing sanctions against Moscow, passed the Senate 98-2. It passed the House at 419-3. Trump can either pass the bill or veto it, but if he does the latter there will be consequences.

The bill was passed with the House’s North Korean sanctions included, and in exchange, the House agreed to take up any future North Korean sanctions bills that go through the Senate. In addition, it could add protection for Russian probe investigator Robert Mueller in case Trump tries to fire him.

Trump visited the Boy Scout Jamboree this week and went political in front of mostly pre-teens [who can’t vote yet]. He went on and on about politics like how President Obama never went [the current President of the US has an open invitation] or about current rants of his [Obamacare, Jeff Sessions, Russia]. He was doing his speech in front of a big flag. With him waiting at one point, it almost looked like a Nazi salute – bring some to comment that it reminded them of 1938 and the Hitler Youth. Others suggested that the Boy Scouts came to see him. I guess Trump had nothing else to talk to them about. He was never a Boy Scout but President Obama was a scout.

The Boy Scouts of America apologized to the Scouting community for the political content of Trump’s speech at the National Scout Jamboree.

Former speaker of the House, John Boehner, said “…they’re not going to repeal and replace Obamacare. It’s been around too long. And the American people have gotten accustomed to it.”

Now the GOP senators are trying the “skinny repeal” which would likely eliminate the individual mandate and the employer mandate. It would also get rid of the Obamacare tax on medical device makers.

Twitter has made it clear that it won’t ban Donald Trump from its service, whether the president follows its rules against harassment or not.

A production company has acquired the rights to Joshua Green’s newly released “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency” for TV development as a limited/event series. It will tell the inside story of the partnership between Bannon and Trump which led to possibly the greatest political upset in U.S. history. Published last week, the book has earned strong reviews and has landed at the top spot of The New York Times bestseller list. It is based on dozens of interviews conducted over six years.

Trump vs Comey – round 1

Former FBI Director James Comey accused the Trump administration of spreading “lies, plain and simple” about him and the FBI in the aftermath of his abrupt firing. Comey declared that the administration “defamed him and more importantly the FBI” by claiming the bureau was in disorder under his leadership.

Trump demanded his “loyalty” and directly pushed him to “lift the cloud” of investigation by declaring publicly Trump was not the target of the FBI probe into his campaign’s Russia ties.” Trump, in a strange private encounter near the grandfather clock in the Oval Office, pushed Comey to end his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He did this after asking everyone else to leave the Oval Office.

“The Russians interfered,” Comey stated firmly. “That happened. It’s about as unfake as you can possibly get.”

Comey was also asked if he believed he was fired because of the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election as well as Russia’s ties with Trump’s campaign. “Yes,” Comey said. “Because I’ve seen the president say so.”

The White House had said that Comey was fired for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, while Trump said in an interview that Comey was fired in relation to the Russian hacking probe. Both are odd. If you believe the White house, why did he stay around when Trump took over. As for Trump’s reason, you could say Trump either wasn’t happy with the direction or was not going his way.

Comey said that Trump told him: “I hope you could see your way to letting [national security adviser Michael] Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey testified Thursday that he took that as “direction” from the president, even though Trump did not explicitly order him to drop the investigation into Flynn.

The RNC and other Trump allies worked feverishly to lessen any damage from the hearing, trying to undermine Comey’s credibility by issuing press releases and even ads pointing to a past instance where the FBI had had to clean up the director’s testimony to Congress.

Trump’s defenders argued that it supported Trump’s claims that the former FBI chief had told him three times that he was not personally being investigated in the Russia probe – according to their interpretations. Trump also continues to deny the allegations. Fine, but it sounds like Trump may have meddled in the investigation.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted if something was wrong, why didn’t he stop accepting contacts with his father. The obvious answer is that Trump is his boss and you don’t ignore him.

A pair of Democrats in Congress are drafting up articles of impeachment against Trump, saying that his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey constitutes an obstruction of justice.

Comey said he had never felt the need to document his conversations with former presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush [Comey served as deputy U.S. attorney general during the Bush administration].

Trump had contacted Comey 9 times within 4 months compared to 2 times when Barrack Obama was president.

Various bars, at least around Washington, were having hosting “Comey Viewing Parties”.

House and Senate investigators fired off a series of requests after Comey’s testimony, seeking memos of his private discussions with Trump and any records the White House kept of their discussion including audio recordings.

Meanwhile, Trump said he was willing to testify under oath about his conversations with Comey.

After the London attacks, Trump tweeted “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'” But as usually he took things out of context. Mayor Sadiq Khan was actually informing Londoners not to be alarmed by the increased police presence in the city following the attack.

Trump then tweeted the day after that that Khan had offered a “pathetic excuse” and “had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement.” What about thinking? Such a diplomat.

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne The Witch Conway condemned what she called the media’s “obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president.” So what has he done again since he took office besides tweet?

Trump [or someone handling his Twitter account] started to block Twitter accounts that are unfriendly to Trump. Press Secretary Sean Garlic Spicer said Trump’s tweets from his personal account are considered official White House statements. Some legal experts say, raises First Amendment concerns about what Trump is doing. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University says it’ll consider a lawsuit if Trump doesn’t unblock Twitter users. If Trump’s tweets are considered official White House statements then is a designated public forum. Some of the tweeters claim they were block for something as simple of a joke about covfefe.

According to White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka, on Trump’s tweets he says “It’s not policy. It’s social media.” So whatever Trump tweets are not official? Or official depending on the tweet.

Trump finally came around to blast Qatar for supporting terrorism. Trump said Arab leaders he met with in Saudi Arabia last month had urged him to confront Qatar over its behavior. If so, why did it take him close to a week to come out and say something. Did Arab leaders really ask him? He said Qatar had “historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.” Wonder how things will continue as Qatar hosts some 10,000 U.S. troops and a major U.S. air base.

Trump still pushing for his “travel ban” after being blocked twice. This time he will try the Supreme Court. He then tweets “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.” He has also hinted that UK wouldn’t of had the recent attacks if they had “extreme vetting” [does anyone know what that really entails?] but how many of them were born in the UK?

Even The Witch‘s husband, George Conway, who declined a justice job [claiming family reasons], tweeted out against Trump’s ban.

Seems like lack of diplomacy doesn’t fall far from the tree. After saying critics of his father are “not even people” in an interview on Fox, Eric Trump calls DNC chairman Tom Perez “a total wackjob.” Trump says Democrats “have no message of their own” and are “imploding”. Yup, a chip off the old block when it comes to exaggerations.

Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord could hit his family hard in the future. The Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, the soaring apartment towers bearing his name on Miami-area beaches and his Doral golf course are all threatened by rising seas, according to projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. The same goes for other low-lying South Florida properties such as his beloved National Doral Miami golf course. Other properties near water include The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, his golf course in Ireland, Vancouver, Panama City, Uruguay and India.

As a photo op, Trump met two families while in Cincinnati who were hit with rising health care costs. He called them “ObamaCare victims” in a tweet. They may not have any coverage with TrumpCare as experts estimate that over 20 million Americans will be off the government plan. As well, Trump spoke in Cincinnati at a marina, with a barge carrying West Virginia coal behind him.

In a meeting, Trump “joked” that Jared Kushner, who is married to his daughter Ivanka and also serves as a White House strategist, has “become much more famous than me,” adding: “I’m a little bit upset about that.” Turn the calendar back about a few months ago. He said “He’s become more famous than me” about FBI director James Comey. A month later, Comey was fired.

Scratching you head time: If true Jared Kushner suggested that it would be better if to contact the Russian government, it would be better to do it from the Russian embassy. If so, the US has no proof or documentation [or recording] of what was said. This goes against US laws which require government communication needs to be recorded.

Like many, President Barrack Obama would not use Trump’s name at a speech in Montreal this week. For example, he said “Obviously I’m disappointed with the current American administration’s decision to pull out of Paris,” when asked about the Trump’s administration to leave the accord. He continued to elude Trump’s name when he said “In an age of instant information, where TV and Twitter can feed us a steady stream of bad news — and sometimes fake news….”

Remember how Trump was boasting following his Saudi Arabia part of his trip that he has deals worth $110 billion signed? Not really. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but no contracts signed. With the drop in oil prices, Saudi Arabia are even cutting back on military purchases.

The family and close friends have repeatedly ask Trump to dial back or tone down his tweeting as it is costing him [what’s left of his] respectability.

In another sign that the economy doesn’t like the administration, Ford is offering 15,000 employees money to leave the company. If not, they’ll probably lay off many.

On March 11, 45% of Americans approved of the job Donald Trump was doing in Gallup’s daily tracking poll. The latest Gallup track on June 3 put Trump’s job approval at a dismal 36% — a single percentage point away from the lowest ebb of his time in the White House. (On March 28, Trump’s job approval was at 35%.) A Quinnipiac University poll released in late May put Trump’s job approval at 37%. A Monmouth poll conducted in mid-May put Trump’s job approval at 39%. In comparison, President Obama was at 61% in the Gallup tracking poll in early June 2009. George W. Bush was at 55% in Gallup at this time in 2001.

Since 1946, according to Gallup, when a president’s job approval rating is above 50%, the average number of seats his party loses in a midterm election is 14. When a president’s job approval rating is below 50%? Try an average 36-seat loss.

 

Trump now says Obama is born in the US (plus other news)

Finally Donald Trump has said – after over 5 years – that Barrack Obama was actually born in the US after saying for those 5+ years that he was born in Kenya. He didn’t admit he was wrong or even an apology. Was racism involved?

Trump did claim at one point that Hillary Clinton in 2008 said that Obama wasn’t born in the US when in fact some Democrats [trying to cause issues during the primaries] said that he wasn’t born in the US. But these Democrats weren’t from the party and the GOP pounced on the thought.

In a federal lawsuit filed, an anonymous “Jane Doe” alleges that Trump raped her in 1994 when she was 13, while she was being held as a sex slave in an apartment belonging to Jeffrey Epstein, a well-known American financier and convicted sex offender. Epstein is a backer of Trump. Trump has commented previously that Epstein “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” The alleged victim states that Trump had a “savage sexual attack” on her after which he threatened that she and her family would be “physically harmed if not killed.” Trump camp denies – of course – but there is actually a witness who can corroborate the then 13 year old’s story.

Donald Trump and his ex-wife Ivana are battling attempts at unsealing records of their 1990 divorce, according to a new report. The Trumps filed separate legal briefs urging a judge in Manhattan to stop The New York Times and the Gannett media companies from scrutinizing the end of their marriage. Donald and Ivana Trump were granted a divorce due to “cruel and inhuman treatment” before ultimately reaching a settlement later on.

Ivanka Trump discussed the future of the Trump business empire if her father wins the presidency during an interview on CBS. Asked what the family would do to prevent potential conflicts of interest, she said that “as a private business, we can make decisions that are not in our best interest.” Sure. They intend on possibly losing money? Shareholders won’t be happy.

Ivanka said the “would put it into a blind trust and it would be run by us [his family including her].” But she has already been advising her father on various issues including child care. In essence, she could be working for the government as well.

A report came out outlines a series of potential conflicts of interests, from Trump’s dealings with businessmen who have been the subject of government investigations in India and Turkey to his ties to powerful Russian oligarchs.

Trump, who has floated the idea of Japan and South Korea obtaining nuclear weapons, maintains an ongoing business relationship with Daewoo Engineering and Construction which build nuclear power plants. Trump also tried to license the name to an organization with very well connected ties to Vladimir Poutine. The deal fell through as Trump wanted too much money.

Trump still hasn’t released his tax returns. After making statements such as “I’ve done great” [in making money] , he has given more than $100 million in recent years [ well his campaign claimed that], and “I fight like hell to pay as little as possible” [in taxes], what happens if he hasn’t donated much to charities as he has claimed and he has paid very little or whether and where Trump has foreign accounts or trusts.

Since this quasi tradition of candidates releasing their taxes, Mitt Romney [in 2012] suffered a bit because of the low amount of taxes paid. Trump’s running mate, Mike pence, is expected to release his shortly.

Exactly how long will Trump’s tax audit last? Indefinitely? Usually the longer it is the worse it will be.

“Nobody cares about it [taxes] except some of the folks in the media. Nobody cares about it,” Trump said in a Fox News interview earlier this month. “Nobody” is one of his signature false messages like “Many people are says….”

Trump claims millions of jobs will be created with a 4% economic growth. Experts says that is way more than any economy [good or not] can handle.

“I will sever my connections and I’ll have my children and executives run the company, and I wouldn’t discuss it with them,” Trump said in reference to a Newsweek magazine article about the potential conflicts of interest caused by Trump’s business holdings in India, South Korea, Russia and elsewhere. Ya. Good luck with him not asking or them not telling him about his businesses. As president, would be in a position to make decisions on the economy and foreign policy that could benefit his family’s fortunes. Foreign countries might see Trump business ventures in their country as a way to exert pressure or curry favor.

Another problem will be the way banks and regulatory agencies in the US deal with Trump family members managing his properties. I don’t think a bank would turn down a family member for a loan if he was President. Trump has holdings such as hotels and golf courses in at least 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Panama, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. caused a firestorm when, during an interview with a radio station, he raised the specter of the Holocaust by saying if Republicans acted like Hillary Clinton, the media would be “warming up the gas chamber.”

Donald Trump Jr. has a new reason to explain why his father won’t release his tax returns: They’ll steal from his political message. “Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message.” And in a week before the elections they’ll come up with another excuse. I guess the audit excuse has died.

“With a $10 billion business if Donald Trump dumped his taxes out today, there would be all kinds of misinterpretations of that and maybe some real interpretations of that between now and November,” said Rep. Steve Kings [a Trump supported]. Well, if it was released at the beginning of the campaign there would be less “misinterpretations”. Is this the next excuse being tested?

Trump opened the doors after he was whining about the Clinton Foundation’s conflict of interest when Clinton becomes President. It is easier to move away from something if it is not your money.

Trump’s campaign released an attack add to go after Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark at a fundraising event while “speaking to wealthy donors” over the weekend accusing her of “viciously demonizing hard-working people.” So is this why Trump’s donations are low? No wealthy donors?

In a speech to the National Guard Association conference in Baltimore, Trump said Clinton’s “deplorable” comments were aimed at those in uniform, whether in the military or in law enforcement. How does he equate that?

Trump criticized voters in Iowa by retweeting a supporter’s jab that the Midwestern state’s number one commodity export — Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn – “creates issues in the brain.” Trump has also suggested that those who vote for Clinton would try to “rig” the election away from his supporters. So while Clinton may aimed at 50% of Trump voters with her “deplorable” comment, Trump aimed at all Clinton voters with his “rigged” comment. She didn’t call him unfit for the presidency then.

After Clinton had a bad weekend when he was described as having pneumonia, Trump said that he had a medical exam the previous week and will release the results “when the numbers come in, I’ll be releasing very specific numbers” What a coincidence. And maybe his health results will come in faster than his tax returns. What specific numbers? Will he release only the good results and maybe ignore areas where he has issues [such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.]

Trump’s own health was questioned following media reports into his physician Dr. Harold Bornstein and a note he wrote in 2015 vouching for Trump’s health, which other doctors have said includes medically incorrect terms and an unprofessional conclusion. Clinton’s physician did issue a health statement last year certifying that she was fit to serve as President. Trump has offered no such information.

Trump first provided a summary of a recent physical to Dr. Mehmet Oz while taping an episode of Oz’s TV show. He said on the show that he gets exercise during the campaign by delivering speeches at rallies, calling them “a lot of work” and requiring “a lot of motion.” Exercise by talking and gesturing?

Clinton is within weight range and has normal cholesterol and blood pressure. Trump is considered overweight, a slightly higher blood pressure than Clinton but surprisingly lower cholesterol numbers. Seems to me Clinton is in better health.

“When Donald Trump and I said that the small and bullying president of Russia was a strong leader on the world stage, that wasn’t an endorsement of Putin,” Mike Pence said. Well, that’s what most think it means – they’re endorsing Vladimir Poutine.

Misconfiguration of Donald Trump’s campaign website left the personal information of interns – and perhaps more – accessible to casual snooping. Staffers of the real estate mogul-turned-US presidential candidate “bungled the settings on their Amazon S3 server”. The practical upshot of the snafu was that anyone who correctly guessed folder and file names would have been able to download sensitive information without getting prompted for a password. [Trump will blame Clinton for this.]

“This [Email server] is a far bigger scandal than Watergate ever was, but with Watergate we had justice, we had the Justice Department that went after the people. We’ve never, ever seen anything like this,” Trump said. Uh huh. I guess he wants the Department of Justice fight his battles, not the country’s battles. And I guess he doesn’t know what happened with Watergate.

Trump going after the Clinton Foundation may have backfired. The New York Attorney General has opened an inquiry into the Donald J. Trump Foundation to ensure the Republican presidential nominee’s charity was complying with state laws governing nonprofits. The New York Attorney General sued the real estate mogul and his now defunct Trump University for fraud in 2013, seeking $40 million in restitution plus penalties and other costs. Not surprising, a Trump campaign spokesman dismissed the assertions as entirely motivated by presidential politics.

At a recent Trump rally, as several protesters were being escorted out by security, a man in the crowd grabbed a male protester around the neck and then punched him. He then slapped at a woman being led out. The Trump supporter was not ejected by security. [That’s two counts of assault right there. Seems security was useless.]

Trump was at a [primarily] black church in Flint, Michigan where they have had some clean water issues for the past couple of years or so. He was cut off by the pastor when he tried to go political. At the same time the pastor stopped hecklers from going after him. He cut off the visit shortly after – with a speech totaling 6 minutes. This after he was accused by a woman of discriminatory housing practices in his buildings which he denied but has known to happen.

Ivanka Trump cut short an interview with Cosmopolitan published after being asked about some of Donald Trump’s past comments about childcare and maternity leave. Trump criticized the interviewer for having “a lot of negativity” in her questions. Like father like daughter – they can’t take any criticisms or negative comments and questions.

For as guy who wants to reduce taxes and cut the size of the government, he’s going the opposite way. The military budget is already at $600 billion and he wants to increase that as he claims Obama hasn’t given the military enough. The current military budget [for example] is about 40 times the military budget for Canada. In addition he wants to make child care more affordable, guaranteeing new mothers six weeks of paid maternity leave [whose employers don’t offer leave already] and of course fix infrastructure that he says has been neglected by Obama. Lower-income earners would receive child-care spending rebates through expanding the existing Earned Income Tax Credit.

Added to that is a pledge that no business should pay more than 15 per cent of its income in taxes – currently tops at 35%. That should help the Trump Organization. But he flip flopped again a in December he said the after deduction tax rates would be from 0% to 25%. Now it’s 12% to 33%. I guess he wants the people to pay more than companies.

Trump previously proposed reducing child care costs by allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of child care from their taxes. He recently expanded that proposal to allow families with a stay-at-home parent to qualify for the deduction and to include costs associated with caring for elderly dependent relatives. The deduction would apply only to individuals earning $250,000 or less, or $500,000 or less if filing jointly. But because Trump’s proposal is a tax deduction rather than credit, its greatest benefits would go to affluent households such as Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who suggested the changes to him.

Trump did not lay out how much the proposals would cost, but insisted the extra spending would be offset by economic growth and other cuts. None of the proposals would push economic growth – so he has to assume the economy will do even better than it is now.
 

The Republican Party’s dilemma

The Republican Party continue to ponder what to do with Donald Trump. Many in the party would prefer someone who is more stable than him.

Some, such as former Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have suggested fielding a third party candidate but Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has stated a third party candidate would split the right and guarantee a win for Hillary Clinton. Priebus also warns that the Supreme Court could move to the left for “100 years” and “wrecking this country for generations”.

First, even if Clinton got into the White House she would have problems running the country if there are more Republicans in Congress. They would shoot down anything she tries to pass while she would veto anything they tried to pass.

Second, as for the Supreme Court, unsure how 100 years come in as with 9 justices [but one opening], vacancies don’t come that often but still often enough that if the GOP regain the White house in 4 or 8 years, I’m sure there will be at least one vacancy during that period [even if for two terms]. If they can’t field a normal candidate, who’s fault is that?

Meanwhile Donald Trump is flipping [ever so slightly] regarding his platform. Last December he’d say he would ban Muslims from entering the country. Later on he would give exceptions to [I guess] those Muslims he can trust. Now he is saying his ban is only a suggestion.

Meanwhile, you have read about this so-called interview between one of his staffer “John Miller” and “John Barron” in 1991 with People magazine reporter Sue Carswell. The voice sounds quite like Trump himself. “Miller” talked about Maples as if he knew her instead of “Ms. Maples” or something more respectful.

[The fact that – according to one interview – Trump had three girlfriends when with Maples doesn’t look good.]

When a Washington Post reported called Trump recently and the conversation came up regarding the 1991 interview, they got disconnected. When the reporter called back, Trump’s secretary said he is now busy with something else.

Meanwhile, a “John Baron” [or Barron] is described as a “vice-president” in the Trump organization and appeared in a front-page New York Times article in 1980, defended Trump’s decision to destroy sculptures on the front of the Bonwit Teller department store building. This building on Fifth Avenue was demolished to make way for his new Trump Tower. Barron was quoted variously as a spokesman, executive, or representative in various publications.

Meanwhile Trump has used the name “Barron” for decades. While married to Ivana, he was seeing Maples, he sometimes used the code name “the Baron” when he left messages for her.

A suggestion that the two staffers come forward to prove people wrong has gone unanswered. [I guess the trump people are looking for two people with these names and have a Trump-like voice].

 

What Trump has said but is actually not true

… Plus other things he’s done or didn’t!

[I didn’t bother with the “truth” in some cases below because it was obvious.]

  • Trump declared on national TV that Ted Cruz’s father “was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.”
  • Trump called women he didn’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”
  • Trump stated that “Ebola is much easier to transmit than the CDC and government representatives are admitting.” Trump then ratcheted up the fear factor (as usual) by declaring, “The U.S. must immediately stop all flights from Ebola infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our borders.” Trump even wanted US healthworks working in Africa to be banned from returning to the US.
  • Trump shared the thoughts of white supremacists on his Twitter feed, such as one falsely claiming “Blacks Killed by Blacks – 97%.”
  • Trump had manually copied and sent out a tweet mocking Jeb Bush by a white supremacist with the Twitter handle “White Genocide”.
  • Trump said “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.” After an endorsement by former KKK wizard David Duke, who had stated voting against Trump “would be treason to your heritage.” After the media firestorm Trump finally condemned Duke.
  • Trump claims that “thousands” of Muslims cheered in New Jersey on 9/11 (no evidence).
  • Trump alleged that Obama wants to bring in 200,000 Syrian refugees (actual amount is about 10,000).
  • Trump recent false claim that the 2016 federal spending bill funds “illegal immigrants coming through Phoenix.”
  • Trump claims that “Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment. The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.” But no proof when asked.
  • Trump said the number of illegal immigrants in the United States is “30 million, it could be 34 million” but according to research done by professionals, it’s around 10 million.
  • Trump claims that “Frankly, (Hillary Clinton) doesn’t do very well with women.” Actually she is doing very well.
  • A Trump television ad shows Mexicans swarming over “our southern border.” Footage was actually from Morocco – nowhere near the US last I checked.
  • Trump said “I never said that” in which Marco Rubio was Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator but it was on his own web site.
  • Trump said Bernie Sanders is going to “tax you people at 90 percent.” If so, no point in working.
  • Trump (the economics expert) says that “The last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product … was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero.” Actually, it has happened 42 times.
  • Trump said President Barack Obama’s recent New York fundraising trip “cost between $25 million and $50 million.” How do you spend that much on a trip? Give each donor a Lamborghini?
  • Trump said “The people that went to school with (Barack Obama), they never saw him, they don’t know who he is.” Many of Obama’s classmates say otherwise.
  • Trump said the GOP primary and caucuses are “rigged” against him. Meanwhile he has basically won and he himself wanted to change the process where he would be declared the nominee even if he didn’t get the required number of delegates.

 

More Trump whining

Donald Trump is at it again.

He has been campaigning officially for around a half a year. So would he know about how things work with the Republican Party? But no.

“The system, folks, is rigged. It’s a rigged, disgusting, dirty system.” Trump told supporters at a rally in Albany, New York on Monday night.

Heading to the convention in July in Cleveland, he could actually lose the party’s nomination while still having the most delegates. Problem is that he may never get at least 50% of the delegates needed.

When the GOP campaign started, there was over a dozen candidates. That dwindled down to a bunch and now three. When a candidate bows out prior to the convention, the delegates won by that candidate is still with the candidate [however at the convention, any candidate can change their mind].

Trump is whining again because he believes he should be the winner prior to the convention even though he may not have the majority of the delegates before the convention.

He can’t re-write the rules or have them re-written to please his big fat ego.

The party itself doesn’t want Trump. He is the lesser of two evils [between him and Ted Cruz]. Cruz is not the party’s favorite but at least he doesn’t embarrass the part like Trump does. And Cruz is a legitimate Republican. Trump has flirted with the left wing years before.

Trump also whined during the rally that he has 2 million more voters who have voted for him in this campaign [understandable since he is leading – it is not like he and Cruz are tied in delegates but he has 2 million more voters].

“The rules were set last year. Nothing mysterious –nothing new. The rules have not changed. The rules are the same. Nothing different,” saying RNC chairman Reince Priebus.

I guess Trump doesn’t read anything. The rules weren’t changed last week.

If the party has a preference in who they want, they can push for that candidate as long as they don’t break or modify any rules while the campaign is going on.

In Saratoga, New York Trump said “You see what’s happening to me and Bernie Sanders. It’s a corrupt deal going on.”

Like Trump, Sanders is not a true Democrat. He actually is an independent who is left leaning. All that the Democratic Party needs to do is put the party weight behind someone not in their party.

Six in 10 Republican voters said in a recent CNN/ORC poll that if no major candidate earns a majority of the delegates headed into the convention, those delegates should nominate the candidate who entered with the largest pool of delegates. That candidate would most almost certainly be Trump.

Is this democratic? But wouldn’t that be rewriting the rules? If they are doing it on their own, that is one thing.

And now Wifegate in GOP politics

Well, they are calling it Wifegate.

[The UDS seems to like their “gates”!]

Donald Trump [in his usually obnoxious way] tweeted a picture of Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi next to his wife Melania saying how hot is wife is compared to Heidi.

Now if you ever seen them, Heidi Cruz is around Ted Cruz’s age group while Melania Trump is older than the Cruzes but younger than Donald. the picture was when she was younger.

Of course that’s when a bit of hell broke loose. Cruz [among other things, said not to bring his wife or kids into their battles.

The episode, dubbed Wifegate, appeared to be retaliation for an anti-Trump Super PAC ad using 15-year-old images of Trump’s wife, Melania, in a nude photo shoot for British GQ.

Add to the fun, everyone’s favorite lack of journalism skills paper, the National Enquirer, had a story based on anonymous sources implicating Cruz in a series of extramarital affairs – some say five. The Texas senator flatly denied the story and labeled it a Trump smear.

Wow. Five affairs. Where did he get the time? And of course it came from a paper that has been sued more times than Donald Trump [the latter probably in second place].

Meanwhile it boiled over on CNN when host Don Lemon had on former Apprentice contestant Omarosa [she goes just by that name – so it seems] as well as Kellyanne Conway, who runs a pro-Cruz Super PAC.

Lemon asked Omarosa first regarding Wifegate and right away Omarosa went off topic, starting a tirade about SuperPAC. Lemon threatened to stop the “conversation” and when she continued, he cut things off and they went to a commercial.  You can view it here.

Not really surprising, right wing sites defender her! They called Lemon [who is African-American] a racist and a bigot and commented about the CNN/left wing censorship.

Huh? Who went off topic? As the host/moderator, he is supposed to keep on topic.

Then on Sunday on CNN, there was a senior advisor for Trump who also went off topic and went ballistics accusing another commentator [a former RNC director] of things which didn’t make sense. Don’t expect him to be on CNN.  You can see that tirade and more details of Wifegate here.

A number of polls give Cruz a decided edge over Trump in a hypothetical matchup against Clinton, though the many polls also show Clinton beating both. Of the three Republicans left, only Kasich beat Clinton in a new Monmouth University poll, which is interesting since Kasich has no chance of winning.

Cruz is not the GOP’s establishment. He is supposedly hated by many in the Senate. Republicans who remember Cruz’s leading role in the 2013 government-shutdown to block Obamacare still have been slow to come around.

Trump isn’t much better. He’s probably last on any GOP list. Trump’s past record includes supporting liberal politicians and causes.