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.