Is he normal?

This will be my last blog for a little while.

Donald Trump slammed reports questioning his mental stability in a series of tweets after the publication by Michael Wolff “Fire and Fury” about his first year as President put the White House into damage-control mode by saying “Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star … to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!” Or just luck.

Remember how Trump said he never spoke to Wolff? Records show he did speak with him during the campaign, around the transition time and in February 2016.

Trump continues to go after former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as Bannon didn’t deny the comments made in the book by Wolff by saying that Bannon cried when he was told that he was fired and still calling him “Sloppy Steve”.

Bannon was only minutes away from attacking Wolff over quotes attributed to Bannon, but he decided not to do so after Trump attacked him after the release of excerpts from the book.

Bannon has since back peddled away from his comments in the book, he praised Donald Trump Jr. as “both a patriot and a good man”, this after describing a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York between Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” So why did he take 3 days to reverse things?

Bannon said his description was aimed at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also attended the meeting, and not Trump’s son. Uh huh. So it’s OK for his son to be at the meeting but not Manafort.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said “I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to, to lie for money and for power.” I guess she doesn’t want to upset fellow Republicans as she is rumored to be running for president.

Chief policy adviser Stephen Miller described the book as “nothing but a pile of trash through and through.” Right after it was obvious that Miller was torched by CNN’s Jake Tepper, Trump tweeted: “Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!”

White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders for saying people are “not entitled to their own facts” during a press briefing.

Trump has repeatedly invoked Ronald Reagan, tweeting that the former president “had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!” It was rumored that Reagan had Alzheimer’s disease while in office but doctors said Alzheimer’s was not to blame, noting the disease was diagnosed years after he left office.

But Bannon said he left by “mutual agreement” in August and was not fired. Trump said he was fired. So why did Trump say he was fired in August?

Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart, the far-right website he returned to over the summer as executive chairman after being ousted from the White House. After Bannon didn’t deny [most of his] his comments in the Wolff book, this upset those at Breitbart.

Trump has complained about the nation’s libel laws and tried to stop the publication of Wolff’s book by threatening to sue the publisher. He threatened but that went nowhere. And of course, if he can’t get his way, change the law to do so [and probably would do it retroactively to the beginning of the year].

The Trump administration has revealed its master plan for securing the border — and it’s going to cost $33 billion. Of that total, $18 billion will be required for Trump’s long-promised border wall, according to Customs and Border Protection documents. The document says the $18 billion investment will cover 722 miles of border wall with about 316 new miles of primary structure and about 407 miles of replacement and secondary wall. Unsure if $18 billion is enough.

Even after a bipartisan meeting on the future of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], Trump tweeted that he still wanted to see a wall on the southern US border as part of any immigration deal. But at other times during the meeting, he was looking at a stand-alone fix for DACA. At the end of the session, Trump suggested that ultimately, he would sign whatever he was presented with. Trump’s change of tone has angered some of the hawkish GOPs.

A district court ruling blocking the Trump administration’s wind-down of the DACA program. This may give the Democrats extra ammunition to keep the DACA issue separate from paying for the wall and could force a government shutdown.

Nearly one year to the day after the Russia dossier’s publication, Trump’s personal lawyer hit both the research firm that produced it and the news organization that released it with lawsuits, saying its allegations about him are wrong. Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Trump who is named in the dossier, says BuzzFeed and several of its staffers defamed him when it published the 35-page document and an accompanying article last January. He also says that Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, its founder, similarly defamed him after it hired an ex-British spy to compile the document as part of its opposition research against the Trump campaign. This is Trump’s lawyer who has filed the lawsuit for himself – not Trump.

Trump claims there is collusion between the Democrats and Russia – but of course offers no proof of the claim. He meanwhile denies every collusion between his team and the Russians. Trump is also sidestepping any questions on what he will be asked by Robert Mueller.

“The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!” Trump tweeted. Take control of what?

Trump administration is ending Temporary Protected Status [TPS] for 200,000 migrants from El Salvador is also rattling nerves in neighbouring Honduras where there are more than 50,000 Hondurans living in the United States under TPS. With El Salvador, an untold number of their U.S.-born children — threatens to exacerbate already-grave problems like high rates of murders and other crime, political instability, widespread poverty and income inequality. In the US, who will take the jobs they had?

Last month Honduras was one of just nine countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning Washington’s decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. If Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez were to make a similar decision to move its own embassy, as neighboring Guatemala has already done, it could curry further favour with the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, immigration enforcement officers are making 98 7-Eleven stores a target in their crackdown on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. 7-Eleven headquarters claim these are franchises and have nothing to do with the hiring practices. This is part of Trump’s plan to “quadruple” the effort to find illegals.

Remember during the holidays, a white truck was moved in to block the view of CNN’s cameras who were filming Trump playing golf [again] at Mar-A-Lago? Well, new trees were planted to block the view now.

Trump backtracked by saying there will not be any oil drilling along the coast of Florida. Guess he still wants Florida’s votes.

Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders told reporters that Trump “believes in making sure that information is accurate before pushing it out as fact.” Sure Sarah…

Trump’s official schedule in the White House has gotten shorter since the beginning of his presidency as he often spends that time in his residence, watching TV, tweeting and making phone calls. More recently, Trump has often started his time in the Oval Office at around 11 a.m. or later and he has often tweeted from the residence in the morning and mentioned TV shows in some of those tweets.

Sanders said “The President is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen and puts in long hours and long days nearly every day of the week all year long.” Ya. When not golfing, tweeting, watching Fox News, etc.

When Trump visited Atlanta to attend college football’s national championship game, he may not remember just a year ago he described the city as “in horrible shape,” “falling apart” and “crime infested.” Various groups including Refuse Fascism ATL and the Atlanta chapter of NAACP will be protesting.

 

And you thought the first week of the year would be quiet!

Happy New Year! [It can only get better!]

Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon for the early months of Donald Trump’s reign was interviewed in a new book by Michael Wolff called “Fire and Fury”. Among the quirks and news is that Trump didn’t want anyone to touch his toothbrush [poisoned], he ate at McDonald’s because nobody knew he was going there, Ivanka Trump would want to run for president at one point, Trump is semi-literate, he trusted his expertise no matter how irrelevant [even if someone else was an expert], dealing with Trump is like trying to figure out what a child wants, and Bannon called Ivanka “dumb as a brick”.

A June 2016 meeting [purportedly offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton] between Donald Trump Jr., other Trump people and Russian officials where Bannon called it unpatriotic and treasonous especially for not notifying the FBI then and Wolff writes that Trump believed his presidential nomination would boost his brand and deliver “untold opportunities” — but that he never expected to win.

Wolff was generally granted access to the White House with a “blue badge” instead of the traditional press badge, giving him wide access to the West Wing.

Wolff said in an author’s note that the book was based on more than 200 interviews, including multiple conversations with the president and senior staff. But White House press secretary Sarah [“Simpleton”] Sanders said Wolff “never actually sat down with the president” and had spoken with him just once. We hope that Wolff has taped some of his interviews, especially with Trump.

Trump unleashed on his former chief strategist and campaign chairman who was interviewed greatly in the book by saying “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party. Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory…. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base – he’s only in it for himself.”

Oh his statement above, it is so out there on numerous levels [and I am not defending Bannon].

Trump attorney Charles Harder threatened legal action against Bannon over “disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements” to block the book’s release – already a best seller. Of course Trump has threatened lawsuits previously and you know how many of those went to court. Harder said what Wolff did violated confidentiality agreements.

Bannon had criticized Trump and his family in recent interviews, mocking the president’s intellect, criticizing the operations of the White House and torching Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. Advisers have supposedly also tried to tell Trump that Bannon is not responsible for his win, that Bannon leaks damaging information to the news media.

Trump, not surprising, went after Wolff by saying “I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him…” So exactly how did he get access to the “blue badge”? Another security problem? And sources don’t exist as people made up? Surely they would have been easily verified [and sloppy journalism].

Sanders faced questions about Trump’s mental fitness to serve as president. “It’s disgraceful and laughable. If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there, wouldn’t have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen.” Sanders disparaged the book, calling it “complete fantasy” and characterizing it as “sad” and “pathetic.”

When asked about examples of falsehoods, Sanders said she couldn’t go through every page but pointed specifically to the claim that Trump didn’t know who former House Speaker John Boehner was. Did she actually read the book?

“I would certainly think that going after the president’s son in an absolutely outrageous” said Sanders. Why can’t they go after Trump’s kids? They are involved in the administration. They didn’t go after Trump’s two kids who aren’t. Considering Ivanka also got nailed in the book, Sanders didn’t defend her.

“Lawmakers were saying they have been very concerned about this, the President’s dangerousness, the dangers that his mental instability poses on the nation,” says Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee who gave a briefing to a dozen lawmakers from the House and Senate in December. ” Some knew of Republicans that were concerned, maybe equally concerned, but whether they would act on those concerns was their worry. … Mr. Trump is showing signs of impairment that the average person could not see,” Lee said. “He is becoming very unstable very quickly. There is a need for neuropsychiatric evaluation that would demonstrate his capacity to serve.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller is aware of an unsuccessful attempt by Trump to lobby Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia probe. Trump had ordered White House counsel Don McGahn last March to stop Sessions from recusing himself from oversight of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Oddly, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats have changed their tune, suggesting Sessions should stay in the job as long as special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. If Sessions were to resign or be fired by Trump, then the President could install a new attorney general — potentially a loyalist who could influence the Mueller probe. Even a number of Republicans want Sessions to resign.

George Papadopoulos [a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign] told an Australian diplomat that Russia had “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton in May of last year, a conversation that might have played a role in the FBI’s decision to open an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A few weeks before their meeting, Papadopoulos was told Moscow had thousands of emails relating to Clinton.

Trump leveled his latest criticism of the Justice Department, suggesting the executive department is part of a “deep state” that he believes has sought to undermine him.

Former Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin “…put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act?” Trump tweeted. Supposedly Abedin forward a confidential Email a number of years ago which included passwords to her personal Yahoo account. Some such as Trump believe it was Russian state sponsored hackers who hacked into Yahoo. Of course we know Trump believes in everything.

That didn’t take long. 252 minutes into the new year, Trump tweeted “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” No one knows what brought this on. I’m surprised he didn’t rib it in more at President Obama and President G. W. bush while at it.

The US is currently withholding over $250 million in aid at this time to Pakistan until Pakistan gets tough on ISIS and other terrorist organizations. However, some think Pakistan may turn to Russia for aid.

Trump, on New Year’s Eve tweeted “I want to wish all of my friends, supporters, enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media, a Happy and Healthy New Year.” Awe. Same to you. We will see where you are in 2019.

As well, he tweeted “People are much better off now not to mention ISIS, VA, Judges, Strong Border, 2nd A, Tax Cuts & more?” ISIS is better off now? Still unsure how things improved for Virginia [or is that the Veterans Administration?], a stronger border [still no wall], judges [he has yet to still hire more] and the 2nd Amendment [he hasn’t protected it more, just his NRA buddies have pressured him to do nothing after a couple of biggest mass murders in Us history].

Remember how Trump said after the tax bill that companies would pass their tax savings onto their employees? According to the White House’s own compilation and more recent announcements, only 16 companies in the S&P 500 have responded to the tax overhaul by raising wages, handing out bonuses or improving employee benefits.

For example, Wells Fargo decided to boost its minimum wage to $15 per hour and increase its charitable giving by 40%. That will trim just 5% [$215 million] from what they will save from the tax bill.

The tax bill may widen this: in the US, the richest 1% of families controlled nearly twice as much wealth in 2016 as the bottom 90%, according to the Federal Reserve.

Trump tweeted “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Seriously? The my button is bigger than yours? He is a man child.

Trump is now claiming credit that he was responsible for North and South Korea in talks for the North to join the upcoming winter Olympics. Sure. Was this after his nuclear button being bigger than Kim Jun Un’s button?

Growth in the Dow Jones during Trump’s first year in office to this point surpasses 17 of his predecessors since the Dow Jones industrial average was first formed in 1896 — trailing only Barack Obama, Harry Truman and Franklin D. Roosevelt [who’s first year was skyrocketing].

When Trump is at his Mar-A-Lago resort, things have changed since he first got his newest title. Partially for security reasons, he sits at one end when dining with the close family and others in the surrounding tables near him. A sort of buffer. It is also meant to keep the advice-givers, favor-askers and suck-ups at bay.

While Trump’s first few visits to the club were marked by frequent social media boasts from club members about their access to Trump — complete with photos — that has dwindled over the last few trips. Gone is the evidence of Trump dropping by weddings and fundraisers, replaced by people taking photos inside Mar-a-Lago and noting that they were told not to snap a shot of Trump.

At least 15 organizations [who have used the resort for years] have canceled events in his first year but replaced by Republican leaning events. There still was speculation of how much extra the resort [and indirectly Trump] charged the Republican events as he isn’t supposed to be making money elsewhere.

Trump claiming that what he has done made a difference when there was no deaths on commercial aircrafts last year in a tweet. But once again he is wrong. First, no the deaths statistic was for the world – not just the US. Second, there hasn’t been a commercial aviation death in the US since 2009 in Buffalo. That was during President Obama’s presidency and regulations came out after to the correct the problems after the investigation in the 2009 crash. Of course there has been many private jet crashes last year. He didn’t comment on those crashes and deaths.

Vice President Mike Pence’s neighbors hung a ‘Make America Gay Again’ banner outside his Aspen-area residence which were written on a rainbow flag, on a stone pillar that sits at the end of the driveways to both homes.

If you think another President will say this, good luck. What Trump tweeted “I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!”

Trump tweeted “Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career. He has been a tremendous supporter…” actually Hatch wasn’t much of a supporter.

The US held a reception for the eight countries that vote against the UN resolution where the UN was against the Trump administration’s decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem. I’m sure it was a wild party.

Someone on Facebook said:

“Big Mouth on Netflix… crude, raunchy and completely hilarious.”

A response was:

“For a second I thought you meant that Trump is on Netflix….”

While not specifying Trump, “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Is the US economy that great when Sears and K-Mart combined are shutting down another 103 stores soon?

The administration reversed two Obama era laws. One is about how to handle marijuana that is legal in 8 states and DC. Federal prosecutors could go after anyone in those states even though legal. As well, offshore drilling moratorium near Maine, Alaska, California and the Gulf of Mexico has been tossed out. Most of the states affected plus [of course] environmental groups aren’t happy.

Took them a year…… No more personal phones in the West Wing, where the president and most of his closest aides and senior staff work. The reason? They’re a security risk, said a statement sent by Sanders.