Would Pence be better than Trump?

With Mike Pence, former governor of Indiana, as Vice-President and the man would succeed Donald Trump when Trump gets impeached, here is some highlights of Pence’s political career and who helped him rise to nearly the top.

Pence likes to say of himself, “I am a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.”

Kellyanne Conway, the Trump advisor, who became a pollster for Pence in 2009, says he is “a full-spectrum conservative” on social, moral, economic, and defense issues. Pence leans so far to the right that he has occasionally echoed A.C.L.U. arguments against government overreach. He has, as an example, supported a federal shield law that would protect journalists from having to identify whistle-blowers in court.

According to former Chief of Staff and current Breitbart editor, Steve Bannon, Pence is “the outreach guy, the connective tissue” between the Trump Administration and the most conservative wing of the Republican establishment. “Trump’s got the populist nationalists. But Pence is the base. Without Pence, you don’t win.”

Pence has the political experience, the connections, the composure, and the ideological mooring that Trump lacks. He also has a close relationship with the conservative billionaire donors who have captured the Republican Party’s agenda in recent years.

At the time, as he declared his candidacy, he did not need support from “rich donors” because of his real-estate fortune and he denounced super pacs, their depositories of unlimited campaign contributions, as “corrupt.” While Trump disliked big donors because he has the money, Pence’s political career has been sponsored at almost every turn by those same big donors. Chief among them are the Koch brothers.

The Koch brothers [second largest private company in the US and worth an estimated $90 billion], along with several hundred of their donors, had amassed almost $900 million dollars to spend on the Presidential election, but they declined to support Trump’s candidacy. At one point, Charles Koch, at one point, described the choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton as one between “cancer or heart attack.”

The Koch brothers support an anti-tax and anti-regulatory agenda as it is good for their businesses and it is also something Trump is pushing for [but failing]. But Trump is not conservative enough to get their support and dislike the way he handles himself.

Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has previously accused the Kochs of buying undue influence. He said “if Pence were to become President for any reason, the government would be run by the Koch brothers.”

Bannon is also nervous at the prospect of a Pence Presidency by saying that “I’m concerned he’d be a President that the Kochs would own.”

An editor for an Indiana newspaper said “Mike Pence wanted to be President practically since he popped out of the womb. He’s very ambitious, even calculating, about the steps he’ll take toward that goal.”

In 1990, Pence tried and failed for the second time to beat a Democrat for Congress, waging a campaign that is remembered by many as especially nasty. One ad from Pence featured an actor dressed in Middle Eastern clothing and sunglasses, who falsely accused Sharp of being a puppet of Arab oil companies. But Pence’s campaign tanked when the press announced that he had used election donations toward personal expenses, for example, his mortgage.

In 2000, Pence used the tobacco industry talking points by saying “Smoking doesn’t kill. In fact, two out of every three smokers doesn’t die from a smoking-related illness.”

Pence pushed for policies that intruded on people’s private lives. There is a far-right group that supported the criminalization of abortion, unmarried women should be denied access to birth control and campaigned against equal rights for homosexuals called Indiana Family Institute. In the early .nineties, he joined the board.

As well in 2000, Pence ran as the favorite when a Republican congressman in Indiana vacated his seat. Pence ran on a platform that included a promise to oppose “any effort to recognize homosexuals as a discrete and insular minority entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws.” He won, by 12 percent.

In 2002, he declared that “educators around America must teach evolution not as fact but as theory,” alongside such theories as intelligent design, which argues that life on Earth is too complex to have emerged through random mutation.

As he was now in Washington, appeared on Sunday talk shows as well as the conservative speaking circuit. He was invited to talk in front of property-rights groups, pro-life groups, and gun owners’ groups. But throughout his twelve years in Congress, but never authored a single successful bill.

Mike Lofgren, a former Republican congressional staff member  and a critic of Trump said “He was as far right as you could go without falling off the earth. But he never really put a foot wrong politically. Beneath the Bible-thumping earnestness was a calculating and ambitious pol.”

In addition he was an early voice of the Tea Party movement. That group opposed taxes and government spending with an angry edge.

But in 2011, he threatened to shut down the federal government unless it defunded Planned Parenthood. He pushed harder than most if not all the other Republicans on that subject.

He unsuccessfully sponsored an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that. That amendment would allowed for a government-funded hospitals to turn away an abortion by a dying woman. In a few years later, as governor of Indiana, he signed a bill barring women from aborting a physically abnormal fetus. That bill said a miscarriage would also require fetal burial or cremation. A federal judge would eventually find the law unconstitutional.

When the Koch brothers enlisted Pence to kill the bill when they felt threatened with the “cap and trade” bill in 2009. A Koch supported group called  Americans for Prosperity called the bill “the largest excise tax in history.” Meanwhile, Pence called it “the largest tax increase in American history.” [Neither statement was true.]

Pence became Charles Koch’s favorite potential candidate for President in 2012, but he instead ran for governor of Indiana and won with only forty-nine per cent of the vote. Not too impressive. After Pence was elected, he began taking controversial far-right stands. Some critics believed they were geared more toward building his national profile than toward serving Indiana voters.

At one point, he pushed for a tax cut for Indiana residents earning fifty thousand dollars a year received a tax cut of about $3.50 per month. Pence claimed that the cut stimulated the economy and “the largest income-tax cut in the state’s history” [shades on Donald Trump!].

He killed an application for an eighty-million-dollar federal grant to start a statewide preschool program. Education officials in Pence’s own administration favored the grant, but conservative opponents of secular public education had complained. It was killed because the federal government had attached “too many strings”. There weren’t any.

The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Koch brothers’ Virginia-based membership group for big conservative donors,  serves as a dark-money bank, allowing donors to stay anonymous while distributing funds to preferred campaigns and political organizations. [During the past decade, the group gave out an estimated billion and a half dollars in contributions.]

As Indiana governor, in the spring of 2015, Pence signed a bill called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Pence claimed it protected religious freedom, but then a photograph of the closed signing session surfaced which showed Pence surrounded by monks and nuns, along with three of the most virulently anti-gay activists in the state. The image went viral and  Indiana residents discovered that what it really did was to essentially legalized discrimination against homosexuals by businesses in the state.

At that time, Pence was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos and asked him five times during the interview if it was now legal in Indiana for a business to discriminate against homosexuals. Each time Pence was asked, he tried to deflect the question. Pence also would not answer weather he personally supported discrimination against gays.

Even with a PR firm using gays and others in the various ads, there was a huge backlash to the bill. Conventions in the state were canceled, tourist stayed away and companies that were willing to expand in the state held off. Pence finally gave in and signed a watered down bill. With such a huge defeat, he felt the best he can do now is be on Trump’s ticket instead of running for President.

As well, In 2015, there was a big outbreak in HIV diagnoses – blamed primarily on the opioid users sharing needles. Pence’s campaigning against Planned Parenthood had contributed to the closure of five clinics in the region. None of them actually performed abortions, but all had offered HIV testing.

In the legislature, there was talk about studying the possibility of legalizing a syringe exchange, but the right wing blocked the idea. Pence threatened to veto any such legislation and  he scheduled his own event, where he announced that he would pray about the syringe-exchange issue. On the following day, he said that he supported allowing an exchange program on a limited basis as an emergency measure but only in Scott County where there would be no state funding. The number of HIV case dropped after in that county. Surprised Pence did not credit his praying for the change.

After the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, Pence would issue a controversial executive order barring the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana – even with the pressure of the Bishop of Indianapolis. Pence told him, “I need to protect the people of the state” even though a family from Syria was vetted for two years. Eventually, federal courts struck down Pence’s executive order as discriminatory. The now Cardinal said “No” when asked if there was a Christian argument in support of turning the refugees away.

When it was proven that a man who spent nine years in prison for an armed robbery that he didn’t commit should be released, Pence left him to rot in prison with no pardon. Pence finally left the decision to his successor, another Republican governor who granted Cooper a pardon within weeks of taking office.

As governor, he proclaimed his opposition to any expansion of the gaming industry but used executive orders to quietly grant several of the gambling industry’s wishes, such as allowing riverboat casinos to expand onshore. Gaming companies channeled money to various Republican groups who then gave the money to Pence’s team.

In 2016, when it came time for a running mate, Trump was worried because Pence had little money and one bank account according to a campaign-finance disclosure form which held less than fifteen thousand dollars. Recognizing that Trump was susceptible to flattery, he told the media that Trump “beat me like a drum.”

After left hanging for days, Trump called Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie [Trump’s second choice for vice president] and said, “They’re telling me I have to pick him. It’s central casting. He looks like a Vice-President.” Unsure who the “they” are unless the same “establishment” he was fighting not to be connected to.

After Trump’s “grab her by the p?ssy” comments, Pence refused to take Trump’s calls for a while and sent him a letter saying that he and Karen, as Christians, were deeply offended by his actions and needed to decide whether to remain with the campaign. Pence, of course, stayed even if it was a bit against his religion. It is ambition over religion for him.

After the election Trump dumped Christie who was in charge of the transition team. Christie’s team had been quietly gathering résumés and making plans for months. But Pence’s team threw out the research, dumping thirty binders of material into the trash. Right after, very religious conservative groups started to weigh in on the choices that Pence brought to the table.

Trump began to appoint many people with ties to the Kochs and to Pence in positions that affected Koch Industries financially, such as those dealing with regulatory, environmental, and fiscal policy. Dozens of Koch friends and employees quickly got jobs in the new administration in all areas including Scott Pruitt to head the EPA after he came from the oil industry.

With most nonpartisan analyses saying that it would favor the very wealthy, the Kochs enthusiastically support the White House’s proposed tax-cut package. [The proposed elimination of the estate tax alone would give the Koch brothers’ heirs a windfall of billions of dollars.]

When officials were discussing laying charges against Mike Flynn, several law professors have argued that the Pence as Vice-President could be vulnerable to charges of obstructing justice, or “misprision of a felony,” for participating in a meeting about shutting down the federal investigation and then providing a false cover story to the public.

Unlike most Vice-Presidents, Pence has never been given any particular portfolio of issues or projects. He’s continued to serve as the key contact for conservative groups and campaign donors.

Pence readily complied when Trump asked him to stage a protest at an NFL game in Indianapolis on October 8th, by leaving the stadium when some players refused to stand for the national anthem. They knew the players would protest. [Pence’s trip reportedly cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.]

Pence’s religious fundamentalism exceeds others who have been in the White House. Pence has been hosting a Bible-study group for Cabinet officers, led by an evangelical pastor named Ralph Drollinger who has said “women with children at home, who either serve in public office, or are employed on the outside, pursue a path that contradicts God’s revealed design for them. It is a sin.” Drollinger also describes Catholicism as “a false religion”, calls homosexuality “a sin”, and believes that a wife must “submit” to her husband.

So the question is: Is Pence considered overall an improvement over Trump or will make things worse if Trump is impeached.

[Primarily with information from The New Yorker magazine.]

 

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GOP civil war with Trump

Donald Trump tweeted [Republican] “Senator Bob Corker ‘begged’ me to endorse him for re-election” with Trump saying no and Trump said Corker would drop out when Corker had previously said he’d retire but Trump wanted him back. Then Trump tweeted “He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said ‘NO THANKS.’ He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!” Does this mean current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on the way out?

As another rip into Corker, Trump tweeted “Didn’t have the guts to run!” Corker has run 3 times and a senator for 10. Trump? After the final Tweet [for now from Trump, Corker tweeted “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center.”

Trump is a President who is acting “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ or something,” said Corker later. Trump is setting the country “on the path to World War III.”

Mike Pence left a football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday after some players knelt during the National Anthem, saying he did not want to “dignify” the event. Some are suggesting that it was a staged plan. They knew that some players would take the knee while Pence was in attendance. This short stay in Indianapolis cost an extra $180,000 as he  made a detour to see the game only to leave before the game started.

The pool of journalists accompanying the vice president were not allowed into the stadium and were asked to stay in their vans. They were told by a staffer that “there may be an early departure from the game.” So another hint that the stunt was expected.

Trump opened up the kneeing controversy again last week by tweeting “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!” before this weekend upcoming games. He tweeted this within 24 after the Las Vegas killings. Doesn’t he have better things to do?

Now after a deal was struck regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, Trump decided to change the terms of the deal. Those measures include provisions to make it harder for unaccompanied minors to enter the country illegally, money for the President’s border wall and cuts to legal immigration. Trump has said the new requirements must pass.

So Trump is still trying to get additional funding for his wall and at the same time add other issues. Unsure if he wants the DACA issue settled at all and looks like he wants to scuttle it.

Trump tweeted that nothing has been done regarding North Korea for the past 25 year. Well, it’s probably been quite a bit more than 25 years that they were a threat. Then he claimed that “…massive amounts of money paid” presumably by the US to North Korea. But why? The US wasn’t going to give that country money if they are dumping sanctions on them.

Trump didn’t seem to want to go to Puerto Rico, spend a night somewhere [where US warships are nearby – wouldn’t he be safe enough] and then visit the US Virgin Islands. Instead he visited just Puerto Rico. Mike Pence went to the US Virgin Islands.

Errr. Trump claimed that when he threw the paper towels in Puerto Rico, the people wanted them because they were soft. Seriously?

Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation of former President Bill Clinton’s real-estate investments and extramarital affair led to Clinton’s impeachment, said that he has “a sense” there will be indictments in the federal investigation into allegations of possible collusion by the Trump campaign in Russia’s efforts to influence last year’s election.

After it happened on Facebook, Google has identified tens of thousands of dollars in ad buys by Russian accounts that used YouTube or Google advertising to try to spread misinformation and sow discord in American politics.

Trump is still complaining about wanting to get “equal time” – probably because all of the investigations are against him, late night comedians, various newspapers, etc. All Trump can get support is from Fox News and various [if lucky] second rate web sites. I am sure just about any network has told Trump that he can come onto their network at any time.

According to the New York Times, Trump has states 1145 false information comments in his first 232 days or almost averaging 5 per day.

Since the Trump administration can’t get the Affordable Care Act repealed, they are trying to sabotage the ACA by shortening the enrollment period and cutting the marketing funds that would let the public know about it.

Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in the spring, dines with one coal company at lunch and then with another coal company for supper at the BLT Prime, a steakhouse inside the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Before that, Pruitt met privately with top executives and lobbyists from General Motors to talk about their request to block an Obama administration move to curb emissions that contribute to climate change.

Since he took over, from February through May, he has had briefing sessions and speaking engagements almost daily with top corporate executives and lobbyists from all the major economic sectors that he regulates — and almost no meetings with environmental groups or consumer or public health advocates.

Some of these same companies and trade associations were allies of Pruitt when, as Oklahoma’s attorney general, he sued the EPA at least 14 times to try to block rules he is now in charge of enforcing. Yes. This is the Trump administration in action!

After well-known Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein got into trouble with alleged sexual assaults against actresses and underlings over a number of years, Trump was asked his opinion. He said that he has known Weinstein for “many years” and then said he was not surprised. Nice way to through a supposedly friend under the bus. We’re not surprised at his comments. [It is known rumor in Hollywood that Weinstein has a history of allegations of sexual assaults and similar problems.]

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani rejected Ivanka Trump’s invitation to talk about her computer science education initiative. She I a daughter of a refugee and disliked the initial and other travel bans. Ivanka Trump referenced Saujani’s success story in her book, “Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success.” In the tweet, Saujani said: “don’t use my story in #WomenWhoWork unless you are going to stop being #complicit.” So when Donald Trump directed the Education Department to invest a minimum of $200 million in grant funding annually to STEM and computer science education, Ivanka Trump met with corporate partners and nonprofits in Detroit. Girls Who Code was not invited.

Melania Trump chose Places You’ll Go!, which she read with her son, Barron, “over and over” when he was younger and nine other Dr. Seuss titles to send to an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in celebration of “National Read a Book Day.” But a librarian at Cambridgeport School refused to accept the gift, criticizing Trump administration education policies and images in the books. Seuss’ illustrations are “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes,” said librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro.

Trump should instead be devoting resources to schools in “underfunded and underprivileged communities” that are “marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.” Critics view DeVos, a billionaire who has worked for decades to promote school choice, or alternatives to traditional public schools, as one of the most anti-public-education secretaries in the department’s history.

The Department of Education chose one high-achieving school in every state to receive a package of books from Trump, according to a statement from the White House. The Cambridge school system released a statement saying the librarian “was not authorized to accept or reject donated books on behalf of the school or school district.”

The State Department is using longstanding but discretionary policy to ensure that evacuees are shouldered with the transportation costs, which according to the website are based off of “the price of the last commercial one-way, full-fare (not discounted) economy ticket prior to the crisis.” Evacuees who surrender their passports under this system don’t see them returned until payment is received.

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump said. Uh huh. Who did the grading?

Job openings in the United States reached a record high in July at 6.17 million, according to Labor Department data. Manufacturing had nearly 400,000 openings; construction 232,000; education and health 1.1 million; finance and insurance 270,000; retail 625,000. So jobs are available for various levels of education – not just for people with university degrees.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed September 5, noting that 950,000 African Americans and 870,000 Hispanics in the same age group as DACA recipients were unemployed. “Those are large groups of people that are unemployed that could possibly have those jobs.” Or maybe those 1.7 million people are not interested in the same jobs as the DACA recipients [r are they really looking]. It is this thought that Trump claims that he would want to deport the DACA recipients but with 6.17 million jobs available….

But in September, for the first time in 7 years, there were job lost. After forecasting initially 90,000 jobs gained, 30,000 were lost.

Trump’s approval rating has once again reached 40%, while earning high marks for his handling of the government’s response to recent hurricanes, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. A broad 64% of Americans say they approve of how Trump’s government reacted to the recent storms, including two in three independents (66%). Nine in 10 Republicans support his reaction (90%), and even Democrats are evenly divided on Trump’s response to the crises, with 44% both approving and disapproving.

Half say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the situation with North Korea (50%) vs. four in 10 who say they approve (41%) — little changed from Trump’s rating in August on the topic. Trump’s rating on health care remains low at just 31% approval during the Senate’s last-ditch push to pass a reform bill. Overall, 55% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance.

Ivana Trump, Donald’s first wife and mother of his oldest 3 children, release a book on her life with him and called herself the “First Lady” in an interview. Let’s just say Melania wasn’t too thrilled.

 

Another mid-week Trump post

[This is a “mid-week” blog as too much is happening lately. Wish Trump would take an actual vacation – with no tweeting!]

Donald Trump is planning to host foreign leaders at his New Jersey golf club when he attends the annual U.N. General Assembly session next month, breaking decades of precedent for US presidents. An unspecified number of foreign meetings at the Bedminster, N.J. golf club over several days during the week of September 18. Typically foreign dignitaries hold meetings at hotels or the U.N. headquarters, taking advantage of a unique gathering of leaders and diplomats.

Holding gatherings 40 miles away from the UN headquarters could appear to be a snubbing by Trump who has already has a rocky relationship with the UN. In addition, as Trump owns various properties, what would he be charging the US government for holding meetings with foreign leaders at his club. After all, his club will lose money while it is shut down for maybe over a week. Already extra security will be needed to cover the area.

The New York Times claims the “shadow” campaign underway among ambitious Republicans to be prepared in the event that Trump doesn’t run for a second term in 2020. Supposedly multiple advisers to Mike Pence have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Trump did not. The report notes Pence’s political schedule and active fundraising.

Pence says the story “disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team.” Pence knows Trump reads the Times; it’s his home paper and the one he cares the most about. So he has no other choice but the official reject the idea even if it is true. Pence aides and White House aides have also denied any campaign. The New York Times article noted Pence has set up a fundraising committee. Called the Great America Committee, it can accept checks of up to $5,000 from individual donors.

After the news went out, Trump went on a Twitter-storm, claiming all the things “he” has done since his inauguration such as deregulation [anything done?], Supreme Court [barely passed], “record stock market” [and what did he do?], “military strength” [congress hasn’t approved any additional funding], …. Meanwhile how many major legislative bills passed? None. Repeal and/or replace Obamacare? Nope. He said his “base” is growing thanks to rallies in Republican friendly states. Exactly why does a president need rallies 7 months into his presidency? [Although it does fit one of his narcissist traits.]

At a recent conference, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that “meddling in the elections is certainly a serious incident.” But I thought Trump said there was no meddling? Did Trump lie [again]?

While news broke that North Korea could possess miniature nuclear warhead that can fir in an ICBM, Trump had no comment instead decided to go after Hillary Clinton again with “E-mails show that the AmazonWashingtonPost and the FailingNewYorkTimes were reluctant to cover the Clinton/Lynch secret meeting in plane.” What Emails?

And to add to the propaganda “After 200 days, rarely has any Administration achieved what we have achieved..not even close! Don’t believe the Fake News Suppression Polls!”. Who is he fooling?

Trump is claiming a foreign policy win after UN voted to sanction North Korea after their ICBM testing. Even North Korean ally China as well as Russia signed off on it. But UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said “We don’t know that they’re going to work.” Even then, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been raising the possibility of talks with Kim Jun Un’s government, but Vice President Mike Pence has several times said Washington does not envisage negotiations. Who do you believe? “We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets on (the) negotiating table,” said the North Korean Foreign Minister.

Trump’s retweeted a Fox News story claiming US satellites detected North Korea moving anti-ship cruise missiles to a patrol boat is raising eyebrows after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley indicated that the information in the report is classified and was leaked. Fox News morning show promoted the story said to contain classified information. As well, questions are circulating whether new chief of staff John Kelly knew or had any role in this.

Trump signed a bill passed last week overwhelmingly by Congress imposing new sanctions on Russia. The bill’s passage drew growling from Moscow who responded by stripping 755 staff members and two properties from US missions in the country. It is dealing a serious blow to the reset in US-Russian relations that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had called for. Tillerson said he would respond to the matter by September 1. Why the wait of over 3 weeks?

With Trump requiring English to be included in his immigration bill, he is effectively cutting off many in the Middle East. If think of his watered down travel ban, you can consider this an extension if that ban as many from the Middle East will not know English.

When Senator Richard Blumenthal voiced support for continuing the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election and expressed concern about the Department of Justice’s increased focus on rooting out administration officials who leak information damaging to Trump, Trump attacked calling him “a phony Vietnam con artist” on Twitter. Exaggerating, as usual, “Never in U.S. history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal.” Blumenthal came under sharp criticism for repeated remarks over the years that he had “served” in Vietnam, even though he did his full Marine service in the United States. So, what does one got to do with the other? Meanwhile, Trump shouldn’t talk [or tweet] after his father got him out of serving in the military.

The Department of Homeland Security’s CIO, Richard Staropoli, has resigned, just three months after taking the job. The department did not explain why Staropoli is leaving. Deputy CIO Stephen Rice will serve as the Acting CIO until President Trump appoints a new CIO for the department. The DHS CIO role does not require Senate confirmation. At DHS, Staropoli reported directly to then-Secretary John Kelly.

It’s never a good sign when you are 7 months into your 4 years as president and the party is looking for another leader. But that seems to be happening already. Already there are at least 5 Republicans that are kicking the tires. In addition UN Ambassador Nicki Haley could also be a future candidate although some rumors are floating around that she could replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. [If she is smart, she’d pass on that posting. Look at what happened to Hillary Clinton. One of the reasons why she lost in November was because of her “baggage” as Secretary of State.]

Trump is taking a 17 day “working vacation” claiming there is some repair work to be done at his shack, the White House. $3.5 million work in the West Wing including g the heating and air conditioning. Aside from this “vacation” he has been at his properties [New Jersey, Florida] a dozen times since taking office – that is twice a month. His tweeting continues. No vacation there.

Lawmakers reacted angrily to reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not spending $80 million at his disposal to counter Russian disinformation and propaganda put out by violent extremists. State Department officials claim that the delay is part of a broader policy review intended to give Tillerson time to figure out what policies are best pursued and where money is best spent.

While the order for large trucks have gone up, orders for [family sized] vehicles have dropped over the past few months. I guess it shows the economy is good for business but not the consumer

Sam Clovis, Trump’s nominee to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist, maintained a now-defunct blog for years in which he accused progressives of “enslaving” minorities, called black leaders “race traders,” and labeled former President Barack Obama a “Maoist” with “communist” roots as well as “no experience at anything other than race baiting and race trading as a community organizer.”. Clovis called out progressives for what they were – “liars, race traders and race ‘traitors'” in 2012.

Newly released emails among Agriculture Department officials as employees search for new ways to describe their work under the Trump administration. They are using the more generic term “weather extremes” instead of climate change.

Seems meeting Trump could break up a band: Members of Journey [except founder Neal Schon] were at the White House to meet Trump last week, taking pictures at the Oval Office. Schon became quite p?ssed because he didn’t know and the band has always has been neutral when it came to politics. The band refused to play for President Obama a number of times. This even though one band member’s wife is a “spiritual advisor” to Trump and Schon’s wife likes Trump [Schon didn’t say].

Elsewhere in Trump related entertainment, television network ABC denied that it had canceled comedian Tim Allen’s popular sitcom “Last Man Standing” due to its conservative politics. It was one of the  most-watched scripted series, a solid ratings draw. But Allen supported Trump. A petition claimed the comedy was canceled because it was the only entertainment program that was not constantly shoving “liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers.”

As well, Trump was reportedly in talks to play the president in the third incarnation of cult sci-fi disaster film Sharknado – until he welched on the deal to run for the real thing. The part eventually went to Mark Cuban, much to the chagrin of Trump’s team who went so far as to threaten to sue to filmmakers, although Trump’s attorney denied any “angry correspondence”.

Being associated in any way to Trump may not be good. At a New York Mets game, New Jersey governor Chris Christie – an early Trump supporter – was booed after snagging a foul ball during the game.

New York Post released an image on Twitter for the front page of the newspaper. Survivor: White House.

By the August recess the non-profit good-government group Partnership for Public Service [PPS] recommends having the most important 300-400 confirmed. Trump has 124 confirmed, 277 nominated and 8 withdrew. This is out if 1200 Senate confirmation and 40000 hires. PPs has identified 577 executive branch positions as being particularly essential — and Trump has only successfully filled about a fifth of them. President Barack Obama had 433 nominations and 310 confirmations at the same point, President George W. Bush had nominated 414 and had 294 confirmed, and President Bill Clinton had 345 nominations and 252 confirmed.

Trump has actually followed through with one post-election win promise: to get a cheaper replacements for Air Force One. An order of Boeing jets by a Russian airline that went bankrupt will now be used as the beginnings of the new planes. The planes [before retrofitting for the government] will cost about $390 million US each.

Then presidential candidate Trump revealed a little-known episode of personal heroism from his youth, telling an Iowa audience that he narrowly avoided capture in Vietnam by remaining in the United States for the duration of the war. “The Cong were after me,” Trump said, visibly stirred by the memory. “And then, just in the nick of time, I got my deferment.” The Cong were after him? In New York or Florida? Coward.

Some are suggesting Sex and the City’s Mario Cantone was to play Scaramucci on Saturday Night Live. Cantone would have been very busy!

Trump and company lawyering up

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. The three officials Mueller is interviewing are Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and Richard Ledgett, the recently retired deputy NSA director. Mueller has been tasked with leading the executive branch’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential collusion between Russia and Trump associates. It took a few days but Trump finally admitted he was under investigation but not specifically notified.

The Justice Department is also looking into the financial dealings of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump’s longtime attorney and adviser Michael Cohen has hired a lawyer to represent him in the investigations into Russian meddling. Even Mike Pence has brought in a personal lawyer.

“Never has there been a president….with few exceptions…who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than I have,” said Trump this past week in a cabinet meeting. Oh ya? Aside from executive orders which are mostly like request, there was nothing passed by congress itself. Every new cabinet secretary sucked up to Trump with praise and other positive comments followed by all the other secretaries.

During the campaign, Trump signed a “Contract With the American Voter,” in which he promised to work with Congress to introduce 10 bills “and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration.” But he only had introduced one – the American Health Care Act – and the initial version was never voted on. The second version passed by a single vote but will probably not pass the Republican controlled senate. Experts agree it is impossible to pass 10 legislative bills in the first 100 days.

Trump said that after the shooting in Virginia, where a Republican congressman and others were shot, that the shootings could bring unity to a divided nation. He wishes that. We wish it. But I doubt it. Just look at some comments that came after the shooting and after the shooter was found to be anti-Trump. Some Republicans said the shooting happened because of the Democrats – either their rhetoric or their actions.

Oh, the Democrats won 11-2. But at least the booing was toned down, even when Trump was on the video screen prior to the game.

In the weirdness of Washington, Mike Pence’s lawyer is the godfather of Comey’s daughter. That’s “the swamp” for you.

The state of Maryland and the District of Columbia plan to sue Trump, alleging that he has violated the Constitution by accepting foreign money through his business empire, according to a person familiar with the plans. The suit will allege that Trump has violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress, according to the person. It will cite not just the president’s luxury hotel in Washington but his worldwide network of hotels, golf courses and other commercial properties The suit will argue that Maryland and the District of Columbia have been harmed by Trump’s ongoing ownership of the business. They plan to cite convention centers and other properties in Maryland and the district that compete with the Trump hotel.

Trump keeps on playing around whether or not there are tape recordings of conversations [in the Oval Office] between he and others such as Comey. A sort of un-presidential hide and seek. Is he hiding something? Maybe there are tapes and the tapes show him doing things he shouldn’t have.

A close friend of Trump suggests that Trump wanted to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller, who is appointed to lead the FBI investigation into Russia’s potential ties to the 2016 election. Legally, the attorney general is the one who has to fire him. [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago. Respected by both parties, but Mueller has brought in three lawyers [among the others] who have donated to the Democrats in the past.

Adam Schiff said if Mueller was ousted, Congress would have to re-establish the Independent Counsel Act that expired following the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Newt Gingrich tweeted in mid-May “Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity.” 4 weeks later he says ” Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair.”

Trump accused Comey of “cowardly” leaks and predicted many more from him. “Totally illegal?” he asked in a tweet. “Very ‘cowardly!'” Wondering if he knows the definition of coward.

In a sarcastic outburst, Russian President Vladimir Putin scoffed at former FBI director James Comey’s disclosure of his conversations with Trump, saying the move has made Comey eligible for political asylum in Russia.

Donald Trump Jr said in an interview on Fox News that when his father says to do something – no matter how he says it – you do it.

Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in income Friday in financial disclosure forms that shed more light on his vast business holdings. At his golf courses alone, Trump reported $288 million in income in the past year The numbers were reported in a 98-page disclosure form signed by Trump this week and made public by the Office of Government Ethics. The report covers January 2016 through April 15, 2017. This is not his tax returns.

Chief of Staff Reince R. Priebus is said to have until the Independence Day holiday to put the West Wing in order. If he fails to do so, Trump may reportedly ship him off to serve as the ambassador to Greece.

While Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of 36 F-15QA fighter jets. Maybe he’ll send those to Hamas or Hezbollah. The Qatari ambassador to the U.S. tweeted “…creating 60,000 new jobs in 42 states across the United States.” Sounds to me like he was told to say that – something the administration would want.

NBC’s Megyn Kelly’s forthcoming interview with controversial media personality Alex Jones. His extreme right wing views has some of her sponsors dropping her at least for the show. Jones called Sandy Hook and Aurora hoaxes. Jones has said Sandy Hook massacre could have been a “false flag” operation to win support for new gun control measures. Trump was interviewed by Jones during the 2016 campaign, and he reportedly thanked Jones for his support after winning the election.

Another federal appeals court has upheld a decision blocking Trump’s revised travel ban. This ruling from a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deals the administration another legal defeat as the Supreme Court considers a separate case on the issue. The judges say the president violated U.S. immigration law by discriminating against people based on their nationality and that Trump failed to show their entry into the country would hurt American interests.

Trump tweeted in early June “In any event we are EXTREME VETTING people coming into the U.S. in order to help keep our country safe. The courts are slow and political!” It sounds like his so-called extreme vetting is being used but I wonder if it is any different than vetting done 6 months ago. The courts are always slow – they want to come out with the proper answer – not some sloppy decision making Trump is accustomed to. As for the political part, not all of the justices – who are supposed to be impartial – are Democrats.

The proposed changes in US-Cuba relations that Trump will unveil in Miami could adversely impact hotel brands that directly compete with Trump’s business empire, making it more difficult for them expand their foothold in Cuba. Trump’s changes in Cuba policy include prohibiting “financial transactions, including transactions incidental to travel with GAESA and its affiliates, subsidiaries, and successors.” Gaviota, the tourism arm of the government-run GAESA, currently operates the Four Points by Sheraton Havana.

Melania Trump finally moved into her not so new digs with son Barron. We will see if this will have some type of change on the hubby. The good thing is the cost to protect the family will drop as they will rarely be in New York. I’m sure the city of New York is also happy with the extra costs as well as traffic issues.

Trump hosted 13 Republican senators for lunch at the White House in a bid to help the lawmakers find common ground to move forward with health care reform legislation this summer. He would probably have to add more funding in order to get some law approved.

A Democratic congressman introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or COVFEFE act with the goal of ensuring presidential social media posts are archived. It would amend the Presidential Records Act to include the term social media.

There are 21 states where someone bought the vanity license place “COVFEFE” by checking online. This is one.

In addition some are using the alternative spelling “COVF3F3”. Not all states have the option to check online.

The Guardian reported that Trump told Prime Minister Theresa May that he doesn’t want to come to the UK if there will be protests — a likely prospect. [On top of that, May’s government may not even last that long.] London Mayor Sadiq Khan last week said the visit should be called off, after Trump insulted him in tweets following the London Bridge attack.

Strike two for Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh another Trump week

Donald Trump heatedly rejected the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as “pure fiction”, hammering his female accusers [at least 9 of them] as “horrible, horrible liars”. Similar behavior was detailed by women who accused Trump in articles published by The New York Times and the Palm Beach Post.

[If one made claims or even two, there could be some doubt. But when at least five – that doubt diminishes. Add to the tape and his overall comments about women.]

Trump claims that he wouldn’t be caught with any of them women whom have come forward but he is comparing what they look now and not when the allegations occurred – some thirty years or more ago.

He was preparing evidence that would discredit his female accusers and he claimed he would do it at the right time. [This is the equivalent of code word meaning he has nothing and is trying to dig up dirt – most likely to discredit them instead of the accusations.] He said he “never met” some of the women. At least one accuser said it happened about a year after the marriage of his third [and current – for now] wife who was pregnant at the time.

“These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false. And the Clintons know it,” he said. He offered no evidence discrediting the new reports except to ask why his accusers had waited years and then made their allegations less than a month before the election. Aside from the Clintons, he’s blaming the left wing media and even the Republican party.

Trump campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who earlier in the week highlighted a Clinton tweet that said “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.” Conway hoped to encourage more women to come forward with allegations against Bill Clinton but instead are coming out against Trump.

Trump tried to force The New York Times to retract their article “Two women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately”. The times lawyers sent Trump’s lawyers a reply that they could shove it [not in those words] and “we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight”. Here is Trump’s lawyers’ request. [The webmaster should of numbered these. There could be more.]

Meanwhile, some pageant contestants claim Trump would visit them while in various state of undress [usually while changing into or out of bikinis] at his pageants when he owned them. He would stay there long enough and the contestants wouldn’t have enough time to cover up when he came in. [Maybe goes with his lust for young women.]

On the “Apprentice” show that was hosted by Trump, “Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language” and “said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with.” Supposedly there could be footage. But “Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett and his company’s owner, MGM, said that that he and MGM have “various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM’s ability to release such material.”

There is even an unverified claim that there’s a contractual penalty of $5 million for any Burnett employee who disclosed proprietary information about the show.”

Trump running mate Mike Pence ditched the national reporters who pay to travel with his campaign in Pennsylvania because of the questions asked.

Anyone ever notice that while the presidential candidate is above the running mate, when you compare Clinton and Tim Kaine, they are generally the same font size but Trump’s name is generally double the size of Pence?

Trump suggested that Clinton has been “getting pumped up” with performance-enhancing drugs and challenged Clinton to take a drug test before the final debate next week. Trump argued that Clinton was more energetic during the beginning of their debate last Sunday, but lost her steam by the end of the debate. He offered no evidence to back up his wild claim. “Athletes, they make them take a drug test. I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate,” Trump said. “I’m willing to do it.” Athletes are tested for cheating.

Trump finds another “broken,” “rigged” and “disastrous” policy to undo or abolish and then he says “I alone can fix it.”

“The truth is our immigration system is worse than anybody ever realized,” but offers no proof.

“I’m telling you, November 8th, we’d better be careful because that election is going to be rigged,” again with no proof.

“If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%.” Sure Donald.

“Because of me, everyone now sees that the Republican primary system is totally rigged and broken,” said Trump – but if it’s rigged, how did he win?

“I mean, PACs — you know, these super PACs are a disaster, by the way, folks,” said Trump but he uses their money – well the few that support him.

“Because of NAFTA, signed by (Hillary Clinton’s) husband, is perhaps the greatest disaster trade deal in the history of the world. Not in this country. It stripped us of manufacturing jobs,” Trump said but again with no way to prove this.

Even after shocking Americans in the debate regarding prosecuting Hillary Clinton for her mail server issues, Trump continues to push the subject even though Clinton was cleared by the Department of Justice and there was no indication that the server was compromised. [For all we know there server was more secure than the government servers – some of which had breaches.]

Trump claimed that there is a “whole sinister deal going on” that has prevented Ryan and other Republican leaders from fully backing his campaign but he didn’t elaborate. Of course no explanation of what “deal”.

Remember that in 2006, he suggested that if Ivanka Trump weren’t his daughter, “perhaps I’d be dating her.” And a review of hours of audio from the Republican nominee’s appearances on the Howard Stern show spanning nearly two decades, found Trump commenting on Ivanka Trump’s body more than once, including an exchange about her breast size. In September 2004, Stern asked Donald Trump whether he could refer to Ivanka Trump as a “piece of ass.” Trump, responded affirmatively, saying that he could. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that Ivanka and her father have a “beautiful relationship.”

Catholic and evangelical groups slammed Hillary Clinton’s campaign in a statement Thursday over comments revealed in the WikiLeaks emails hack between two high-level campaign officials. Dozens of religious leaders who signed the statement expressed their “outrage at the demeaning and troubling rhetoric used by those within Secretary Clinton’s campaign.” [So exactly what do they say about Trump? Nothing. Even though I think most can agree the “demeaning and troubling rhetoric” from the Trump campaign is more serious – aside from the recent allegations against Trump as well as previously mentioned throughout the campaign.

A [Canadian] CTV senior political commentator compared Trump’s rhetoric to Benito Mussolini who prior to World War II wanted to jail opposition leaders, segregation, etc.

At one rally, there were signs up saying “Blacks for Trump” behind Trump and yet you could only see one person who would be considered black. The others may or may not have been. [Unsure why Trump even bothers. The percentage of blacks saying they would vote for him is very low.]

A poll from the right leaning Fox News says that Clinton has a 7% lead. The majority of respondents said they did not believe Trump was qualified to be president, while 68% of them said Clinton was either “somewhat” or “very” qualified for the job. Additionally, a slim majority said Clinton was a “good role model,” while only one-in-five said the same for the Republican nominee.

Trump’s health plans offers nothing for fathers, or men who adopt, and that Trump hotels do not provide workers with paid maternity leave. [Ivanka Trump had said they do.] Donald Trump’s comments about how worker pregnancies are bad for employers had indeed been reported far and wide, despite Ivanka Trump’s attempts to say it was never mentioned.

Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski parted ways with Trump in mid-June but his Green Monster firm received a $20,000 payment for “strategy consulting” on August 11, the same amount it has regularly been paid for months. [So he gets paid the same for less work. Nice.]

An Arizona newspaper is supporting a Democrat for the first time in over 100 years.

When morning TV news host Mika Brzezinski made some comments about Trump, Trump tweeted “Just heard that crazy and very dumb (Mika) had a mental breakdown while talking about me.” Now we know why the media doesn’t like Trump, according to Trump.

Reid Hoffman, the cofounder and executive chairman of LinkedIn pledged to donate up to $5 million to veterans organizations if Donald Trump releases his tax returns before the final presidential debate.

Trump’s running mate Pence and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani have been comparing Trump to Reagan. Yikes!