Mr. Executive Order King Continues

Donald Trump has a new strategy: Pass the issue to Congress.

Case in point, Trump decertified the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015. Trump has always labeled it “the worse deal ever” [didn’t he say that about Affordable Care Act, Trans Pacific Partnership, NAFTA, etc.?]. He has also wanted labeled the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization which means freeze of accounts, etc. But he ended up just imposed sanctions on them.

So while decertifying it, he will ask Congress to decide a way to fix things or triggers that will allow him to get. At the same time the US will still be part of the deal. Huh? You are either in or you are not in. Trump has claimed that Iran violated the deal even before the deal was signed. This was way before he entered politics officially. But he still never said how they violated the deal.

Now if Congress decides to act, Trump could be seen as the hero. If Congress can’t get anything done, he will be able to blame them with supposedly no heat on him. But of course, most people know better. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Iran is in “technical compliance” on the deal.

One US official tells Buzzfeed that he knows why Tillerson hasn’t resigned quite yet. His reasoning is that Tillerson, along with Defense Secretary James Mattis and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have agreed to what he refers to as a “suicide pact”. Basically the alleged agreement between the three members of Trump’s cabinet is that if one of them resigns [more like fired], the other two will follow suit.

After multiple reports say that Trump and Tillerson have had some issues, “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” Trump said. “And I can tell you who is going to win.” For a guy with a supposedly high IQ, he acts childish.

“…certainly never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent. He made a joke,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It took her how long to come up with that excuse? Trump had no relationship with Tillerson prior to last year’s election but offered him the secretary of state post on the recommendation of two former Republicans.

All this after Tillerson called Trump a “f?cking moron”. Trump and his administration have looked to discredit the initial NBC report and Trump wanted NBC to apologize to America, despite the fact that other outlets have since confirmed Tillerson made the comment.

Trump continued to escalated his attack on Senator Bob Corker by ridiculing him for his height, calling him “Liddle Bob”. Running out of things to say? Trump was reported to have told associates that Corker, at 5-foot-7, was too short to be the nation’s top diplomat. Age restriction? Since taking office has generally avoided used belittling nicknames to diminish political foes who are Republican.

In another tweet “The Failing @nytimes set Liddle’ Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that’s what I am dealing with!” Nope.

Corker requested that what he said would be recorded and when he told a reporter from The New York Times that the president was reckless and could stumble into a nuclear war.

Very few Republicans supported Trump’s comments about Corker with the vast majority not commenting.

In an interview on Fox, Trump claimed that even by adding to the debt, it would be offset or reduce the debt if the stock market has picked up quite a bit. But he also touted his understanding of debt during the campaign. “I’m the king of debt. I’m great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me,” Trump said on CBS in June 2016. “I’ve made a fortune by using debt, and if things don’t work out I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that’s a smart thing, not a stupid thing.”

“… General John Kelly, by saying he will soon be fired. This story is totally made up by the dishonest media.The Chief is doing a FANTASTIC job for me…” Too bad he never mentioned who said that if any outlet did.

“With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” tweeted Trump. Good luck on that. Silence the media – first part of forming a dictatorship.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has privately confided that he believes Trump only has a 30% chance of completing his full term. Bannon warned Trump several months ago that the biggest threat to his presidency is not impeachment by Congress, but the 25th Amendment — which could allow his Cabinet to vote to remove him.

ESPN suspended Jemele Hill for two weeks for criticizing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on social media. She had said he “created a problem for his players, specifically the black ones. If they don’t kneel, some will see them as sellouts.”

Then Trump opened up his Twitter account and responded with “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have “tanked,” in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” ESPN subscriber totals is just over 2% lower than over a year ago. Just about every cable network has lost subscribers to streaming. Yup that’s tanking. Isn’t it part of her job to criticize people in sports [owners, coaches, players]?

Meanwhile after kneeing with his players in a game at the end of September, Jones says he will now bench any player who kneeled during the anthem. NFL players’ union said Jones contradicted assurances last week from Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants President John Mara that players could express themselves without reprisals. Did Jones become a two faced owner by now backing his buddy Trump?

Trump took a shot at the NFL’s tax breaks saying “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!”. The NFL does benefit from tax breaks.

After the Indianapolis Colts game, Trump’s re-election campaign was seeking to capitalize on the frenzy surrounding Pence’s departure by soliciting donations via email under a subject line reading: “VP under fire for standing for (US flag).” Under fire for planning his walk-out and supposedly Trump was the one that orchestrated it.

Trump praised the NFL for cracking down on players who don’t stand during the National Anthem by tweeting “It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY”. Problem is that the NFL hasn’t announced anything. Goodell did not make any threat of disciplinary action against players who take a knee or sit during the playing of the National Anthem. His letter certainly did not vow to cut, ban, bench or “fire” any players who join the protest.

What he didn’t say is he has had a long-running grievance with the NFL. Trump and the NFL clashed before. He owned a team in the failed USFL in the 1980s and the league sued the NFL [antitrust] and got a whopping $3 in damages. The league folded. He went after them again in 2014 by tweeting “The NFL has just barred ball carriers from using helmet as contact.” He tried to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014 but lost his bid. Wonder why.

Trump suggested that Puerto Rico is going to have to shoulder more responsibility for recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria, saying the federal government’s emergency responders can’t stay there “forever.” He also blamed the beleaguered island for a financial crisis “largely of their own making” and infrastructure that was a “disaster” before the hurricane. That “disaster” infrastructure was because the federal government wasn’t helping them. But trump wants money for his precious wall.

Republican Rep. Scott Perry defends the Trump administration’s recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, claiming hurricane victims aren’t dying from lack of water and food. OK, not dying but looks like a third world country. But some are getting sick now because they can’t find clean water and are using contaminated water from wells.

Trump signed an executive order to try and fix some Affordable Care Act sections that will allow companies to sell plans with lower premiums but skimpier benefits. That could draw younger and healthier customers away from ACA and send premiums skyrocketing for sicker people left in the exchanges. It will allow consumers to buy short-term policies and allow employers to give workers money to buy their own coverage through health reimbursement arrangements. The department could give employers in the same industries more flexibility to offer group coverage across state lines, providing them with a broader range of policies at lower rates.

It has drawn backing from lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican who has identified specific reforms that could be made by the President alone. Paul, who also criticized Obama on executive orders, was among those present for the signing.
Hilariously, he almost forgot to sign the executive order.

An estimated 6 million Americans [maybe more] use cost sharing subsidies. They will lose them and will now pay extra. Some low wage earners would be paying $3500 a year instead of $250. In addition, those with pre-existing conditions will likely pay more.

Just as hilariously, Trump has signed 50 executive orders since taking office. Over the same period in President Obama’s first nine months, he signed 26. And yet Trump complained before and during the election that Obama signed too many executive orders because Obama couldn’t get anything done legislatively. So how much legislation did Trump pass in nine months.

The head of National Background Investigations Bureau, a government bureau responsible for clearing background checks, told lawmakers he has “never seen that level of mistakes” when asked about numerous omissions in Jared Kushner’s security clearance application.

The National Rifle Association says it is opposed to new legislation in the US Senate and the House [the latter by a Republican] that would ban the production and sale of “bump fire stocks,” a firearm accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire at a more rapid pace like automatic ones. Bump stocks became a major source of discussion on Capitol Hill over the last two weeks after the attachments were found on guns of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway brings up her claim that the Democrats, main stream media and those who are anti-Trump still can’t accept that Trump won the election last year. What planet is she living on? She called Senator Bob Corker’s tweets “incredibly irresponsible” and yet doesn’t seem to think anything is wrong with Trump’s tweets [including quasi threats on other world leaders as well as fabricated content] are OK or get an automatic free pass because he is the so-called President?

Heard on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy this past week [roughly the dialog said]:

  • Doctor: Who’s our President?
  • Patient that formerly had a brain tumor: I wish I didn’t know.
  • Doctor: She’s cured!

Note: When I take quotes from Twitter or elsewhere, I leave the typos and bad punctuation [usually from Trump] as it is.

 

 

Trump definitely back to “normal”

Addressing the general assembly of the United Nation, while scripted, Donald Trump was not even diplomatic calling North Korea’s Kim Jun Un “Rocket Man” – which was only added in the morning of the speech. He went after North Korea saying the US would “totally destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies. He said while the US has “great strength and patience,” its options could soon run out.

“It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a nation but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world,” he said.

He also went after Iran saying the Iran nuclear deal all but dead, saying it was an “embarrassment” to the United States. He even suggested that Iranians should overthrow the regime.

After slamming the United Nations over the past few years, Trump finally visited the UN and was a bit more diplomatic – of course as he was reading from a script and not winging it. Of course he went after countries who weren’t pulling their weight of paying the UN costs for administration as well as military campaigns. [Was it just me or he was using his finger as an index when reading his script?]

At a lunch, in a speech Trump said “Africa has tremendous business potential, I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you, they’re spending a lot of money. It has tremendous business potential, representing huge amounts of different markets.” Hmmm. Looks like he is promoting more of how to make a load of money in Africa [stealing their resources] than helping the continent. Feels a whole lot like the colonialism of the continent by European powers in the latter part of the 19th century.

“Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient,” Trump said approvingly at one point. But there is no Nambia. Was he merging Zambia and Namibia together or just mispronounced Namibia as “Nambia”!!! [Zambia and Namibia do share a common border in a thin enclave barely 75 km wide in some areas.]

Trump said he has “decided” how he is going to proceed on the Iran nuclear deal struck by the Obama administration that he has long derided. But for whatever dumb reason that is floating up there, he has decided not to make it public. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me,” is what he said during his UN speech.

The Republicans are trying to squeak through the legislation being championed by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana by in a last-ditch attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare before their window to do so closes at the end of the month. But already, the current version won’t be endorsed by Senator John McCain.

Of the 50 states at least the 34 that would receive less federal dollars under Graham-Cassidy and that should worry Republican politicians. Among the states that would lose billions in federal funding: Pennsylvania ($6 billion), Ohio ($9 billion), Colorado ($6 billion) and Michigan ($8 billion). Those are all states Trump won in 2016. New data suggests that the Graham-Cassidy bill – if passed in its current form – would cut federal money to states by $215 billion over the next decade.

“I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of preexisting conditions. It does! A great Bill. Repeal & Replace,” Trump tweeted. But just as in Obamacare, insurers could not turn away those with preexisting conditions. But it would leave it up to the states whether to continue other protections.

States could opt to once again allow carriers to base premiums on a person’s medical history and to sell skimpier policies that don’t cover Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits. Also, insurers would be able to cap the amount they would pay for treatment outside of what their states deem an essential health benefit.

As if Trump doesn’t have enough battle fronts, he went after sports – particularly the National Football League and the national Basketball Association – criticized the NFL broadly and athletes who kneel during the national anthem specifically.

Trump said that if fans would “leave the stadium” when players kneel in protest during the national anthem, “I guarantee, things will stop.”

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said at a rally.

Trump also said NFL ratings are down “massively”. As usual he exaggerated as the ratings are only down modestly. He also criticized the NFL’s efforts to make the game safer for athletes.

Seattle Seahawk’s cornerback Richard Sherman responded on Twitter saying “The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Trump’s criticism of NFL players kneeling in protest during the National Anthem show a “lack of respect” for the league and its players.

“Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn! Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” Trump tweeted after Golden State Warrior’s Curry decided not to go to The White House as is traditionally done when major sports teams are invited to be congratulated by the current president.

Opponents of Trump accused him of failing to respect the First Amendment rights of Americans. Most of the athletes that are protesting are African-American. Analysts are now predicting further on-the-field protests at games.

The Trump administration will unveil more tailored restrictions on travelers from certain countries as a replacement to the controversial travel ban which expires on Sunday [waiting to the last moment again?]. The new restrictions will vary by country. They could include a ban on travel to the United States, or new restrictions on obtaining a visa for citizens of particular countries.

Even now, Trump is still telling supporters that any Russian interference is a “hoax” even though three congressional probes are looking into this “hoax” and the Facebook ads that were clearly anti-Hillary Clinton during the election period were from Russian-linked accounts. He still whined in a tweet “What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?” It seems while Clinton has got over the election, he hasn’t.

Trump slammed Hillary Clinton over her new book “What Happened” earlier this week too, tweeting that she “blames everybody (and every thing) but herself for her election loss.” You think he actually read it because she does admin at least some guilt.

Democrats say they are planning to look into a report about Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price taking five work-related trips on private jets last week, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars more than had he flown commercial. Price – who has vowed to cut wasteful spending in his agency –traveled to a resort in Maine where he was part of a discussion with a health care industry CEO, as well as community health centers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania

The Education Department announced it is formally rescinding Obama-era guidance on how schools should handle sexual assaults under Title IX federal law. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos [picked by Trump] announced earlier this month that her department was concerned that previous guidance denied proper due process to those accused.

Trump signed another one of his many executive orders. This one has Treasury Department authorities to target individuals who provide goods, services or technology to North Korea. The order also bans ships and aircraft that have visited North Korea from entering the United States for 180 days.

After Trump took some hits by the host and winners at this week’s Emmy awards, Trump tweeted “lowest ratings ever”. But of course, this is Trump. Not the lowest ever.

Someone claiming to be the President of the US retweets an animated GIF. More childish antics from him. Clinton actually tripped. “Video” spliced together and the ball hitting Clinton was added.

In Zagreb, Croatia, billboards went up with the face of Melania Trump with the background of the American flag and the phrase “Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English”. But Trump’s image was used without permission. On Tuesday, the signs came down under the threat of a lawsuit by the first lady’s lawyers. The billboards advertised a local language school.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked the White House about the possibility of using a government jet for his European honeymoon this summer but later withdrew the request. Mnuchin made the request to ensure he had access to secure lines of communication when he and his new wife, Louise Linton, were traveling.

Trump attacks Obama, MSNBC co-hosts

“Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it,” Trump said in an excerpt of his interview on Fox News. “The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even — before the election.”

The Washington Post reported the Obama administration’s efforts to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for trying to sway the presidential election in Trump’s favor.

Before the election, the Obama administration issued several warnings to Moscow about its activities, including one delivered by the President to Putin in September, the Post reported.

But as a person who has full clearance for the last 6 months, why is this coming out now? Trump didn’t know until now?

And I guess Trump finally agrees that Russia did meddle in the US election in November after calling it a hoax and fake news for the last 8 months.

Yet still White House counselor Kellyanne The Witch Conway dismissed the idea that Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election. “I think it’s very important to show no nexus has been proven between what Russia or any other foreign government tried to do in the actual election result,” Conway said. “Really the only person making that case prominently is Hillary Clinton.” Didn’t she get the memo [from her boss]?

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, cohost Mika Brzezinski said that “it’s not normal behavior” for any leader to be tweeting about people’s appearances, bullying, lying, undermining managers and throwing people under the bus if any business executive behaved the way Trump does, “There would be concern that perhaps the person who runs the company is out of his mind.” Trump then tweeted “I heard poorly rated @Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came … to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

White House social media director Dan Scavino similarly attacked the hosts saying “#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged.” What a pair of classy people!

After members from both parties are upset at his comments, the White House is blaming the left wing media for who knows what.

Then just a day later the two hosts from MSNBC were told that if they apologized to Trump [not the other way around], the Nation Enquirer will release some most likely ridiculous story about them. Blackmail. Trump and the publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, are friends and allies.

Melania Trump says when someone goes after her husband, he fights back 10 times. She supports even the latest comment. This also shows he can’t take criticism.

Now the health care vote in the Senate has been delayed until after July 4th so they can negotiate with the hold-outs in the Senate to get the bill going. The House version of the bill would have 1 million less people go uninsured. But there are big names who are voting no or leaning to vote no. They include Ted Cruz, Susan Collins and Rand Paul. Several others also are leaning towards voting no. CBO warned that in some rural areas, either no insurer would be willing participate in the individual market or the policies offered would be prohibitively expensive. Rural America was a stronghold for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Only 16 senators have given full support.

Already at least 5 senators are so far voting no – anything more than 2 Republican senators leaving and the bill will fail. This was before the Congressional Budget Office released a devastating report on its impact where an additional 32 million Americans insured under ObamaCare would lose their health care insurance. [Not surprising some Republicans think the CBO is now biased – if they don’t like things to go their way they mustn’t be unbiased just like everything else that hasn’t gone the Republican way.]

Even prostitutes are protesting Trumpcare as they will lose coverage and seniors [which make up a chunk of their clients] may not be able to afford both them and higher health care costs.

Trump was celebrating that his travel “ban” was allowed by the Supreme Court – rejoicing that all 9 judges agreed – but he obviously didn’t want to think about that it was only a partial victory. It was the no brainer part – ban those with no US connection from entering the US. But the remaining portion of the travel “ban” will not be decided by the court for a few months.

After it was reported, Time magazine asked Trump to remove some fake magazine covers that shows Trump on the cover of a fictitious Time magazine

Being childish as usual, Trump accused former President Obama of stealing his terminology when Obama said last week that there was a fundamental meanness at the core of the Republican health care bill. “Well he actually used my term, ‘mean.’ That was my term,” Trump said. I’m expecting him to copyright the word mean(TM) soon.

The Republicans [and in particularly Trump] keep on lashing out at Hillary Clinton almost 8 months after the election. At the same time, anything the Democrats do against Trump and right away the Republicans claim sore losers. So why is it that a year later [when Clinton won the nomination], Trump has nothing to do but whine?

Just this week Trump tweeted “Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!” Wow! Trump is defending Bernie. Not. Trump has nothing else to do but to open up another hornet’s nest?

The Trump International Hotel and Tower has been bought by a creditor for $298 million. As part of the change, the Trump brand and management will be dropped. Trump Organization did not own the place. Since it went up in 2012, there has been a series of issues such as delays in opening, construction issues, and twice glass fell below. The building has also been the target of a lawsuit from individual investors of units who allege they were misled by Trump and the building’s developer. Investors said they were led to believe the residential units, which were to be rented out as part of the hotel, would generate returns ranging from 7.74 per cent to 20.9 per cent, but instead they lost money. A court ruled in favour of the investors last year.

With no specific reason why but Vice President Mike Pence is replacing chief of staff John Pitcock with Nick Ayers. A source close to the Vice President says that the change of hands has been in the works for a while, insisting it not a shakeup, and the timing was to coincide with the congressional recess.

Trump has broken with recent precedent by not recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month. He did recognize the month for National Caribbean-American Heritage Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month among others. Ivanka trump did mention LGBT Pride Month at the beginning of the month.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been fighting to legalize sports betting and will make its case before the Supreme Court. He hopes that legal sports betting can help the state’s economy, particularly beleaguered Atlantic City casinos. So far, lower courts have ruled against him. Lawyers for the Trump administration had also urged the Supreme Court not to take up Christie’s appeal.

Nineteen US Senators have written a letter asking the White House “to direct the Department of Energy (DoE) to conduct a thorough analysis of Russian capabilities with respect to cyberattacks on our energy infrastructure.” Legislators made a similar request in March but received no response.

Ivanka Trump made an interesting statement saying that she tries “to stay out of politics.” This for a woman whose current job title is “adviser to the President of the United States.” Question is what does she advise her father on? Fashion [see below]? In most cases, when you are an adviser, you must have some expertise in something. [On the other hand, her father has some people in his cabinet assigned to departments where they have no expertise either.]

Ivanka Trump must give a deposition in a lawsuit by an Italian shoemaker claiming her fashion label copied its designs, a federal judge has ruled. Aquazurra Italia filed the suit against Ivanka Trump and her company in June 2016. It claims the brand has produced cheaper knockoffs of Aquazurra’s “coveted” and highly publicized shoe designs.

Before Donald Trump came into office, Ed Amoroso, the former chief security officer of AT&T, published an open letter recommending that Trump focus on a few simple initiatives in cybersecurity. Despite the fact that the Trump administration adopted some of the recommendations in its executive order on cybersecurity, Amoroso was not impressed with Trump’s approach.

“The executive order was terrible,” said Amoroso at the 2017 Borderless Cyber conference in New York. “It’s this amazing jumble of page after page after page of requesting reports… Who the hell is reading all those, and who’s writing them? … A thousand reports are just going to confuse us all.”

After a poll was done from some 30+ countries, only one country was all around happy with Trump in office. Russia.

Trump will be thrilled [or not] to know that even with the threats before the elections of left leaning voters and celebrities heading to Canada, very few did.