Trump and Kim Jun Un to meet, or will they

North Korea, it seems, is looking to do some negotiations for possible peace talks. When Donald Trump was asked who should take credit for the change of heart by North Korea, Trump said “Me”. Wow. No American president has ever met with a North Korea leader.

Trump immediately approved of a meeting by May with Kim Jun Un even before most of his cabinet knew. For example, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson didn’t know. He also agreed even before there were any plans for the meeting. All we know is that there will be no missile testing [but nothing about research] at least until the meeting and the North Koreans aren’t expecting any sanctions to be lifted.

No matter what is the outcome of this expected meeting [after all, you got two men with huge egos and histories of scrapping plans], Kim Jun Un will be the real winner as it will put him on the world stage diplomatically. Unlikely but if the meeting is held on US or North Korean soil, it will be a bigger win for Kim Jun Un.

Trump accused the Obama administration of using the investigation into potential ties between his campaign and Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. He tweeted “Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November?” It’s unclear exactly what pre-election investigation Trump was referring to.

The surveillance of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign associate Carter Page was approved by the secret court that oversees domestic surveillance of American citizens under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In Page’s case, the FBI and Justice Department presented enough evidence to the court to convince Republican-appointed judges to continue the surveillance into mid-2017.

Trump also tweeted “Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling”. Except Obama applied new economic sanctions on the Russian government, ordered the State Department to shut down Russian compounds in Maryland and New York, and expelled 35 Russian diplomats that he described as “intelligence operatives.”

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg said he refuses to comply with a grand jury subpoena in the Russia investigation. “Screw that. Why do I have to go? Why? For what?” He blamed the investigation’s existence on Trump’s firing of James Comey as FBI director including an interview where Trump said he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he fired Comey and the fact that he held a meeting with top Russian officials in the Oval Office. “Donald Trump caused this because he’s an idiot.”

Nunberg said that he would not appear before a grand jury or spend time reviewing his communications in order to comply with the subpoena. “No I’m not protecting him, but he didn’t do anything,” Nunberg said. “You know what he did? He won the election.” The Trump campaign fired Nunberg in August 2015 after a series of racist Facebook posts came to light.

A Middle East specialist named George Nader with ties to Donald Trump’s team attended secret meetings during the presidential transition between the United Arab Emirates and Trump associates, and is now cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller. Nader is a low-profile diplomatic go-between who has forged close ties to the Emirates, was stopped and questioned by the FBI at Dulles International Airport in January.

The Trump team says it views jobs in the steel industry as an economic-security issue, and therefore a national-security issue. Trump has excluded Canada and Mexico for steel and aluminum tariffs for now while the NAFTA talks continue. Previously he said that if Trump didn’t get his say during those talks, he would impose tariffs on them. But NAFTA is unrelated to national security, and excluding Canada and Mexico for that reason could prompt legal challenges at the World Trade Organization.

Trump has lobbed a grenade of uncertainty onto the NAFTA negotiating table, suggesting that tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel are now dependent on whether the countries agree to a new trade pact. He will implement the tariffs under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, a little-known trade law from 1962. To do that, Trump must claim that steel and aluminum imports hurt the country’s national security.

Trump escalated threats of a trade war, saying he would slap a new tax on European cars if the EU retaliated against his proposed steel and aluminum tariffs. “We will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S.,” he tweeted. I’m sure they don’t come into the US without any type of tax. If imposed, they would target, as retaliation, tariffs on the main industries for key [mostly] Republican Congressmen and Senators. Trump has declared that trade wars are “easy to win”.

A February 22 SEC filing shows Carl Icahn sold off his $31.3 million stake in the Manitowoc Company a week before Trump’s announcement, which is a leading global manufacturer of cranes for heavy construction based in Manitowoc, Wis., according to the company’s website. Since Trump’s announcement, Manitowoc’s stock has plummeted to about $26. Icahn had sold his shares for about $32 to $34 each, according to the SEC disclosure. Icahn is a major Trump supporter. Coincidence?

Trump actually claimed [as a great economist] that trade wars are actually a good thing. In a news conference, Trump promised his proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum will be applied in a “very loving way.” Whatever that “loving” means. Maybe he said he may exempt some other countries while some may see increases or decreases in percentages.

General Motors and Ford could each take a US$1 billion profit hit if the tariffs are put in place, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs and layoffs could be in cards as companies adjust to changing prices as much as 45,000 jobs.

Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn is resigning. Cohn, who had been rumored just weeks ago as a potential next chief of staff, will leave the White House in the wake of his fierce disagreement with Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

A new lawsuit filed by the porn star known as Stormy Daniels claims Trump never signed a hush agreement regarding an alleged sexual encounter between the two and therefore the agreement is void. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, signed the document on behalf of the President instead. She claims in the lawsuit to have had an affair with Trump several years prior to his presidency. The lawsuit says Cohen has continued his attempts at silencing Clifford — including as recently as February 27, 2018. Cohen also used a Trump Organization Email account when negotiating the payoff.

Trump is upset with White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders over her responses regarding his alleged affair with porn star Daniels. Sanders told reporters that the arbitration was won “in the President’s favor.” In fact it is a temporary restraining order last week to prevent a pornographic film star from speaking out about her alleged affair with Trump. The statement is an admission that the nondisclosure agreement exists and that it directly involves the President. It is the first time the White House has admitted Trump was involved in any way with Daniels.

Lawrence S. Rosen, a lawyer representing Trump’s legal counsel Michael Cohen, said in a statement that an arbitrator, who “found that Ms. Clifford had violated the agreement,” barred her from filing her lawsuit and making other disclosures of confidential information. Daniel’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said that he did not consider the restraining order, dated Feb. 27, valid because it was brought on behalf of Cohen not Trump.

Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 of his own money using his home equity line, which he admitted to in February. Cohen and Sanders has said Trump “vehemently denies” any sexual encounter between the two. Then why pay her that amount?

When adult film star Jessica Drake accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct a month before the presidential election, Trump said through a spokesperson that he didn’t know the woman and had “no interest in ever knowing her.” Less than a week later, a woman named Angel Ryan was listed in a secret settlement agreement negotiated by Cohen. They are the same person – confirmed by Ryan’s lawyer.

The US Office of Special Counsel announced that White House aide Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act on two occasions by “advocating for and against candidates” in last year’s Alabama Senate special election. The agency said Conway “impermissibly mixed official government business with political views about candidates in the Alabama special election.” The agency sends its results to Trump for “punishment”. Good luck there!

Plans by the Trump administration to rescind an Obama-era rule that allows spouses of thousands of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States has been delayed until June, according to a court filing from the Department of Homeland Security.

Several tech companies – including Etsy, Kickstarter, Foursquare and Shutterstock – filed a petition challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s rollback of net neutrality protections. Many states are also taking the FCC to court over the issue.

A ProPublica report claims that the Trump Organization placed an order for golf tee markers displaying the presidential seal, which may be a violation of federal law.

Trump tweeted: “Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY. Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore – except your President (just kidding, of course)!” He was actually right regarding the ratings. I won’t comment on his other comment. Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel responded with his own tweet “Thanks, lowest rated President in HISTORY.”

A day before the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House, Jared Kushner, who was the lead negotiator for the US paid him a visit. Remember that Kushner has lost some of his security clearance access.

he administration has hinted they are close to revealing a plan. Problem is that the Palestinian negotiators have refused to meet with the US following Trump’s announcement that the US embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but that hasn’t stopped the US from moving forward with the plan.

Diamonds from first daughter Ivanka Trump’s now-defunct fine jewelry line were allegedly used in a massive money-laundering and fraud scheme. The Commercial Bank of Dubai in late June sought and later got permission to subpoena Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, claiming its diamonds were vehicles in a scheme to hide about $100 million owed to the financial institution. This was based on filings at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York made over the summer.

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently consolidated power. Trump told a luncheon for Republican donors: “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great.” Trump added, “I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot someday.”

Trump had a meeting with the top executive is the video game industry in the unproven thought that violent video game users could be a contributing factor for mass shootings in the US. Of course, Trump has suggested rating both games and movies for violence. Such ratings already exist.

The Trump administration has quietly decided once again to allow Americans to import the body parts of African elephants shot for sport, despite presidential tweets decrying the practice as a “horror show.” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a letter dated March 1 announcing that the importation of elephant trophies will now be approved on a “case-by-case basis.” Trump’s two adult sons are trophy hunters.

After nearly a year of threats, the Trump administration made its most aggressive move to date against a familiar target of its ire: California and its immigration policies. The Department of Justice filed a federal lawsuit against the state and its top officials to stop a cluster of so-called “sanctuary state” bills — a move that puts the administration on offense but is nonetheless likely to generate heated litigation over the boundaries of immigration authority.

It wasn’t a good week or so for the Trump administration last week:

  • Joseph Yun, a top U.S. diplomat overseeing North Korea policy, announced his retirement.
  • Elaine Duke, the deputy secretary of Homeland Security, announced her retirement.
    Sally Donnelly, a prominent adviser to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, is resigning.
  • Reed Cordish, a senior aide to Jared Kushner, announced his departure from the White House.
  • George David Banks, a special assistant to Trump for international energy and environmental policy on the National Economic Council, resigned because of reported difficulties with his security clearance.

The National Rifle Association is suing the state of Florida after Gov. Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7026 into law, the first gun control legislation enacted in the state after the Parkland school massacre on February 14. The NRA says it goes against the Second Amendment.

The new Florida law raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 from 18, bans the sale or possession of bump fire stocks, gives law enforcement greater power to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit, and provides additional funding for armed school resource officers.

Trump reached a presidential milestone at his Palm Beach County, Florida, golf club recently with one hundred days in office at a golf club that bears his name. So roughly a quarter of his term has been spent at that specific golf course [true, he probably did SOME work that he was voted in to do on most of those days]. The same man who said in 2014 “Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf” and during the 2016 campaign he said “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”

Since Trump entered office the number of GOP leaning independent voters have dropped at least 6% but those went to the “undecided” as the Democrats barely picked up anything.

People easily disgusted by body odors seem to prefer authoritarian leaders and were likelier to support Donald Trump, an unusual study into the origins of ideology. The seemingly obscure link, it said, may be rooted in a deep-seated instinct to avoid disease — whether in individuals whose smell suggests they are germ-carriers, or “unfamiliar” people such as immigrants or minorities.

A 2015 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence pegged the total at 2,885,570 people for confidential and secret clearances and 1,363,483 for top secret clearances.

The 2018 Presidents and Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey and found Abe Lincoln the best president ever and Trump dead last. In fact, the first 7 presidents in the survey didn’t change from the same order when the survey was done 4 years ago. In order, the best 7 were Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Trump even ranked 40 out of 44 presidents when looking at Republicans and conservatives voters. Bill Clinton, who fell to 13th best after being ranked eighth in 2014. Obama came in eighth, up 10 spots from 18th in 2014. George W. Bush moved up five spots, from 35th to 30th. Reagan also moved into the top 10, ranking ninth. In 2014, he was at 11.

In a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, sixty-two percent of respondents said Trump is not doing enough to prevent mass shootings and 77% say Congress is doing an inadequate job on the issue. 57% said mass shootings in the United States were more of a reflection of problems identifying and treating people with mental health problems, while 28% blamed “inadequate gun laws.” Nine percent blamed both equally. Some 58% of those polled said stricter gun control laws would have prevented the Florida shooting.

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Wasn’t this supposed to be a quiet week? Nope.

You would of figured with the US government on a holiday break that this would have been a quiet week. But nope!

Donald Trump says is battling to reduce regulations but the tax bill adds to it including new tax brackets.

Meanwhile, unlike corporations, the tax cuts will benefit households until 2025. Why would the cuts expire for households and not corporations? Hmmm. Republicans made individual tax cuts temporary so they could meet budget rules that let them pass their tax overhaul with no Democratic votes.

Republicans used a procedural tactic to avoid a filibuster, a maneuver that can only be used once every fiscal year.

In the lawn in front of the White House, Trump proclaimed it a win [definitely for him as it was his only major legislative win in his first year]. Talking to the media, Trump praised the people behind him who helped pass the bill – all Republicans – a sea of mostly older white males, a couple of females and one African-American [who is right near Trump].

Trump has made the rollicking year on Wall Street a centerpiece of his political message, repeatedly taking credit for the bull run, as if he personally steered the Dow Jones industrial average through a year of smashed record highs. We will see what happens if there is a “market correction” or the markets slowly fall. For him, I think he’d be celebrating even if the market was a single point over the amount when President Obama left.

Earlier this month House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a radio interview the House would be working to reform health care entitlements in 2018, calling them “the big drivers of our debt” and Medicare as being the “biggest entitlement that’s got to have reform.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “would not expect to see” the Senate tackle entitlement reform next year.” We will see who’s right.

After reviewing scores of statements made by politicians this year, non-partisan PolitiFact.com, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking media outlet, has declared that the big winner of “Lie of the Year” for 2017 goes to one told by Trump! Trump said on NBC that “This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

Trump’s had threatened to cut off US funding to countries that oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has raised the stakes in a UN vote sponsored by Egypt and sparked criticism at his tactics, which could be called bullying or blackmail. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” he said, alluding to US aid. The Us lost the vote [128 countries voted yes] with a bunch abstaining. We will see how many [including Egypt] will lose aid.

US vetoed a resolution supported by the 14 other UN Security Council members that would have required Trump to rescind his declaration on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and not move the US Embassy there.

Many expected Trump, after first taking office at the beginning of 2017, to do some bipartisan legislation – something that both sides could [mostly] agree on. This would of given Trump the passing of a first piece of major legislation early instead of about 2 weeks before the end of the year.

Despite promising a $1 trillion infrastructure bill during the campaign, Trump’s plan is shaping up differently and set to be unveiled in the middle of January. The plan would propose spending at least $200 billion on infrastructure projects over the next decade, with the hopes of spurring an additional $800 billion in state and local funding. The plan will provide the administration’s principles for infrastructure reform that lawmakers can then craft into a bill.

In his first presidential budget, Trump proposed allocating the $200 billion over 10 years for infrastructure projects. But Trump’s budget cut infrastructure spending overall by $55 billion by slashing programs that write grants for highway renovation, Native American water facilities and rural airports.

Trump again took to Twitter to criticize the FBI, this time singling out two FBI officials. “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump wrote in one tweet. In another tweet, Trump said McCabe “is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump also took aim at FBI general counsel James Baker, who is being reassigned, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is referencing donations to Dr. Jill McCabe’s campaign, something reported by the Wall Street Journal last year. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee made six contributions totaling $467,500 to McCabe’s campaign, the Journal reported. In addition, campaign records show that the state Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe has great influence, made two other payments totaling $207,788 in September and October 2015. These donations all occurred before McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation. So again he tweets out fake news.

Trump said that he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller is “going to be fair” in his investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s team and Russian officials. His comments made during an interview with The New York Times come after Republicans and supporters of Trump had raised questions over Mueller and his investigative team.
Trump told the Times: “I have the absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.” A bit like a dictatorship.

The White House strongly pushed back on a report that Trump spoke about immigrants in a dismissive and demeaning fashion with top administration officials. The denial came in response to explosive reporting from the New York Times, which wrote that, according to two unnamed officials, Trump said during a meeting in June that people coming from Haiti “all have AIDS,” that recent Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” in Africa and that Afghanistan is a terrorist haven.

Trump claims he is ready to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] with Canada and Mexico in a minute. He is claiming the US had a $17 billion deficit with Canada when a government office says in fact the US had a $12 billion surplus. Where does he get his fake facts from?

Puerto Rico authorities say nearly half of power customers in the U.S. territory still lack electricity more than three months after Hurricane Maria. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said the entire island will have power by May – just in time for the next hurricane season.

Trump went after the US Postal Service because they charge too little to Amazon for delivering packages. USPS competes with FedEx and UPS to deliver parcels — but its rates are set by a commission appointed by the president, and almost every aspect of its operations are governed by Congress. But the USPS hasn’t been able to compensate for collapsing letter mail volumes due to a 2006 law that capped price increases at the rate of inflation and also limited the proportion of its budget that could be devoted to its parcel business.

Trump has sway over the Postal Service. He’s made four board nominations, who are currently awaiting Senate action. By law, it’s supposed to have 9 appointed members, and currently it has none. So in the end, Trump should blame himself. Trump went after Amazon because Amazon’s CEO is nemesis Steve Bezos.

Trump claimed that his approval ratings at this point in his presidency rival those of Barack Obama, citing a report from “Fox & Friends.” The three-day averages released on December 28, 2009 [the day Trump cited in his tweet] showed 51% approval for Obama with 43% disapproval. On December 28 of this year, Gallup released a three-day average showing 38% approval for Trump with 56% disapproval.

Trump has had the worst approval rating at the end of his first calendar year in the White House since the dawn of modern polling, sinking to a new low of 35% in a new CNN poll in December.

Trump tweeted on the day after Christmas that it is back to work. But he was seeing playing golf for part of the day.

May be not specifically targeting CNN, but an unmarked white truck was blocking CNN’s cameras from taking video of Trump playing golf this week. Every time Trump moved on the course, so did the truck. The truck was on a public road. Nice way for the truck driver to make a living.

Already at least one high speed rail station [not built yet], a renaming of a street in a Muslim area [this should set off fireworks], a park set to be open next year and a new street to be named after Trump as he pledged to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Guatemala is the only other country that announced that they will follow. The rail station will garner plenty of protesting as it goes near some holy sites [in addition to possible further issues if some archeological areas are uncovered].

A man claiming to be the person who delivered a gift-wrapped package of horse manure at the Los Angeles home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he did it to protest the federal tax overhaul signed into law last week by Trump. Nice Christmas present!

For years, Apple CEO Tim Cook has called on Washington to make it less costly for his company to bring back the billions of dollars it holds overseas. As part of the tax bill signed last week by Trump, corporations like Apple (will enjoy a repatriation tax rate of 15.5% for returning money to the US from their overseas cash piles.

At the end of the most recent quarter, Apple had $268.9 billion in cash and marketable securities, more than $250 billion of which was held outside the US. The question is whether or not Apple will bring most or all the money back to the US and whether they will do something with the money. Apple has already committed to a $300 billion capital return program that includes buybacks and dividends for shareholders.

While visiting a fire station, in a speech, Trump said “We have signed more legislation than anybody — we broke the record of Harry Truman.” Nope! Trump signed 96 pieces of items in 2017 but almost all were Executive Orders and minor bills – not major legislation. Truman signed more than 250. He then got bored and talked about giving the police military style equipment. Why? Can’t he stick with fire station related comments? Some bills overhaul entire sections of US law while others rename post offices and other federal buildings.

While at his Mar-A-Lago, where the temperature was 72 degrees. “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” What Trump doesn’t seem to understand or maybe ignore is that “weather” and “climate” are not the same thing.

Oh. 8 of the warmest years on record in the US have occurred since 2008. So that is climate – not weather. From NASA: “Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time.”

A video posted by Vanity Fair on their web site before Christmas which featured a handful of Vanity Fair staffers offering cheeky New Year’s resolutions for Hillary Clinton, didn’t get much attention when it was first published on December 23. But after complaints by pro-Clinton supporters a few days later, Vanity Fair sort of apologized.

That’s when Trump came into the picture by tweeting [as the issue was dying] “Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour …. is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!” Wintour is Vogue [same owner as Vanity Fair]. Vanity Fair’s previous editor, Graydon Carter, has had a famous public spat going on with Trump for years. Carter dubbed Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian.”

So Roy Moore [I don’t want to mention his title because he doesn’t deserve it] is using Trump’s playbook by claiming there were massive vote fraud in Alabama from out of state Hispanics and African-Americans. But the state didn’t take this crap and issued a report that there was none. Doug Jones was certified the winner. [I wish the state would charge Moore with something and pay for any recounts and the investigation.]

For the first time in more than two decades, a sitting President has missed the Kennedy Center Honors. The annual recognition of the arts — lauding luminaries from various fields, as they rub elbows with the Washington elite. Trump’s rationale was that by staying away, he would allow the attendees to celebrate without “political distraction.” Most [if not all] of the honorees are Democratic party faithful.

In her opening remarks, Caroline Kennedy said that would have normally sounded benign felt pointed in the current climate, as she spoke of her father’s commitment to “the rule of law, to religious tolerance and racial justice, to nuclear disarmament and scientific innovation.”

Singer Joy Villa, a Trump supporter, has filed a police report against former Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who she says sexually assaulted her at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on November 28. Villa says Lewandowski slapped her bottom hard twice while posing for a picture.

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, said Republican candidates facing re-election would have to surpass challenging hurdles, among them Trump’s divisive nature as the figurehead of the party. He is retired when his term ends in 2018.

Remember how Trump [and Wisconsin governor] were ecstatic that Foxconn would build a huge plant there with $3 billion in incentives? Those incentives have grown to $4 billion. It will take until at least 2043 for the state to recoup that lost tax revenue. On top of that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is at a low 3.2%. This could be a problem in finding an estimated 13,000 jobs [at $53,000 per year] to fill the plant. Would have been better in a state with higher unemployment.

A White House senior adviser, Frank Wuco, at the Department of Homeland Security promoted several far-right conspiracy theories in past radio appearances. Wuco is a former naval intelligence officer and conservative talk radio host Among the conspiracy theories Wuco pushed were claims that former President Barack Obama’s memoir was ghost written by former anti-Vietnam War radical Bill Ayers, claims that former CIA director John Brennan converted to Islam and claims Attorney General Eric Holder had been a member of the Black Panthers.

Wuco pushed false claims during radio appearances that Obama was not born in the US, made disparaging comments about the LGBT community, and lamented what he called the “Zimbabwe-fication” of America.

According to a CNN poll, just 35% of Americans approve of Trump, meaning it is not politically risky for Democrats to stand opposed to him. Additionally, the base of the Democratic Party is unified around their opposition of Trump as 93% of Democrats disapprove of Trump’s handling of the job.

 

Some of Trump’s campaign promises that he has failed to fulfil

As we get close to the first year of the Trump administration, here are the mostly misses in campaign pledges:

  • Repealing the Obama era health care law [Affordable Care Act] is a promise unfulfilled.
  • Withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] remains unfulfilled.
  • Congress has yet to approve money Trump has requested for his promised border wall. Even the sample walls have yet to receive any endorsement/approval.
  • The successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch [but was it a campaign pledge]. This is also probably the easiest to accomplish in this list.
  • He refused to recertify the Iran nuclear deal, but left the matter of new sanctions to Congress.
  • He pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement but left open the possibility of rejoining it later.
  • He ordered an end to a program protecting young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as kids [DACA], but gave Congress six months to find a way to protect them from deportation.
  • He pledged during the 2016 campaign to recognize Israel’s claim to the city and to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv. He offered no timeline for the embassy relocation and signed a waiver officially delaying any move for six months.
  • He three times released executive order for travel bans only to have them go to courts. Only the second ban has gone through – but just partially.

Did you notice that many of the items what could be considered a “done deal” have backdoors which allow him to switch back or let others take the blame in case it doesn’t go through.

 

Will there ever be a quiet week in Trumpland?

To end the week comes another resignation in Trump’s White House. Sebastian Gorka, an outspoken and combative defender of Donald Trump’s national security agenda, has left his position as a White House counterterrorism adviser. Considering his position, he did not play a major policymaking role, according to administration officials, and was not a member of the National Security Council. He was the former Breitbart national security editor.

Trump blamed the media in Phoenix for the widespread condemnation of his response to a Charlottesville, Virginia, protest organized by white supremacists that led to the killing of a counter-protester. He called the media “dishonest”. Blame the media? What about both Democrats and Republicans in Congress? They are following whatever the media says?

[Seriously, isn’t this just what a dictator would say. Blame the media for his problems. Only thing he hasn’t done is locked them up or executed them.] Trump often resurrects his free-wheeling 2016 campaign style, pinging insults at perceived enemies such as the media and meandering from topic to topic without a clear theme.

He skewered both of Arizona’s Republican senators – but coyly refused to mention their names [nemesis John McCain is one], describing his own restraint as “very presidential.”

Trump has lashed out at Sen. Jeff Flake, a frequent critic, using the same language in the past. He sided with Flake’s competitor in the mid-term elections even though it is 14 months away.

CNN listed 57 “outrageous” comments Trump said in his speech. Too many to mention here.

Trump has threatened to blow up NAFTA less than one week into the renegotiation of the trade agreement. “Personally, I don’t think we can make a deal,” Trump told a campaign-style rally in Arizona. “Because we have been so badly taken advantage of.” Hmmm. Not according to the experts who say the US has done quite well with the current deal with the only major hiccup being the tribunal to decide trade disputes.

It’s been a couple of weeks since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke with Trump even though Trump said they did recently. Hmmm. The last time, there was a shouting match. Trump continues to slam McConnell for failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

A key moment in their public feud came earlier this month when McConnell told an audience in Kentucky that Trump had “excessive expectations” when it came to legislating, a statement that drove Trump to publicly attack McConnell’s leadership and Senate rules on Twitter.

Over the last several months, Trump has also threatened McConnell’s rank-and-file members, putting individual members’ re-elections and McConnell’s majority at risk.

Trump tweeted “I requested that Mitch M [McConnell] & Paul R [Ryan] tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval.” Unsure what one has to do with the other but one could drag down the other.

Trump suggested night that he would be willing to risk a shutdown if he didn’t get funding to build his long-promised border wall. Now this is Trump. Unknown if he is serious as he has threatened before and the threats whimpered out. Speaker Paul Ryan rejected a threat by Trump to shut down the government to force Congress to approve funding for a border wall with Mexico.

If Congress fails to increase the debt ceiling before the beginning of October, the federal government could struggle to pay nearly 25% of the country’s bills for the month. The Bipartisan Policy Center calculates that Treasury would fall short by $80 billion in October [$347 billion normally spent per month]. Credit ratings agency Fitch said it would review the United States’ sterling AAA credit rating “if the debt limit is not raised in a timely manner prior to the so-called ‘X date’ [the first day that Treasury won’t have enough money on hand to pay all the bills due that day].”

Terminating NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] would put any industries in Canada, US and Mexico into turmoil, including the auto industry, lumber and even shipping items across the border by container. The other sides know that it is a threat but doubt if it will improve a US deal. Others say just more whining from Trump like a spoiled little child.

An international economic law professor and former State Department lawyer said he believes it would ultimately end up in court where U.S. courts would ultimately conclude that the president can’t rip up NAFTA without congressional support. That’s because Trump can’t just erase the 1994 NAFTA Implementation Act passed by Congress. Only Congress can pass laws. In addition, the U.S. Constitution makes clear that Congress has power over international commerce. So more hot air for nothing. All show and no tell.

McConnell has said that the US actually has a trade surplus. So he doesn’t know why Trump would claim that various trade deals currently in use are not good for the US.

Trump laid out goals for the war in Afghanistan, saying he will not announce dates or troop levels but “from now on victory will have a clear definition.” During the election campaign, he kept on saying that he would pull troops from Afghanistan. He also contradicted himself on whether the war should have been fought. Now he will be adding.

Trump said a rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan is not feasible, pointing to the lessons the US learned from Iraq, where a vacuum allowed ISIS to grow in the wake of the American withdrawal from that country.

Trump was in Arizona and had discussed a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, who was found guilty of criminal contempt of court when he defied a judge’s order in a case involving racial profiling. Arpaio was accused of disregarding a 2011 order from a federal district judge prohibiting deputies from detaining people simply because of immigration offenses.

Well Trump did pardon Arpaio. A pardon could deepen the racial wounds exposed recently and compound Trump’s political problems.

“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?” Trump asked during the Aug. 13 Fox News interview. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

The ACLU tweeted: “No, President Trump. Arpaio was not ‘just doing his job.’ He was violating the Constitution and discriminating against Latinos.”

Very odd people seem to support Trump. Case in point is “Michael the Black Man” in Phoenix. He has appeared in probably all Trump events since during the elections and generally gets to stand a bit behind Trump with his sign “Blacks for Trump”. He once belonged to a black supremacist who was acquitted in the early 1990s in 14 murders and firebombing and later acquitted in 2 murders. He has called president Obama “The Beast”, Hillary Clinton belongs to the KKK and Oprah Winfrey is the devil.

The Washington Post has been keeping track of how many false or misleading claims by Trump. He hit 1,000 on August 4th or 5th and now stands at 1,057.

The Trump administration has halted a study of the health effects of a common mining technique in Appalachia, which is believed to deposit waste containing toxic minerals in ground waters. “The Trump Administration is dedicated to responsibly using taxpayer dollars and that includes the billions of dollars in grants that are doled out every year by the Department of the Interior,” the statement said.

Secret service can’t afford to protect Trump’s family. More than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances — which were meant to last the entire year.

In Trump’s administration, 42 people have protection, which includes 18 members of his family — an increase from the 31 people who had Secret Service protection in Obama’s administration.

In April, CNN reported that Trump’s travel to his private club in Florida has cost more than an estimated $20 million in his first 80 days in office, putting the President on pace to surpass former President Barack Obama’s eight years of spending on travel — in only his first year in office.

In 2014, Trump tweeted: “We pay for Obama’s travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.”

New York City megachurch pastor A.R. Bernard said he left Trump’s unofficial evangelical advisory board after having distanced himself for several months as “it became obvious that there was a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration.” The remainder of the board haven’t left.

The Trump administration has fired another shot at the scientific community, this time dismantling a federal 15-member advisory committee on climate change. It was done cowardly by Email.

Hillary Clinton has released some excerpts of her new book “What Happened” that goes though the elections last year. Clinton says Donald Trump’s pacing, hovering demeanor onstage during an October 2016 presidential debate made her so uncomfortable “my skin crawled.” Of note, excerpts of Clinton reading from the book had aired on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Yes. The same couple Trump went after a while back.

White House director of rapid response Andrew Hemming became the latest communications and former Republican National Committee staffer to depart the Trump administration. Hemming’s role involved circulating positive news articles, often from conservative media outlets, about the Trump administration to reporters.

Egypt’s top diplomat was to meet with Kushner and the U.S. delegation, but a modified version of the minister’s schedule showed the meeting had been called off, shortly after the Americans landed in Cairo.

The protest came after the Trump administration on Tuesday cut nearly $100 million in military and economic aid to Egypt and delayed almost $200 million more in military financing, pending human rights improvements and action to ease harsh restrictions on civic and other non-governmental groups.

At a show in Madison Square Garden in new York City during an encore, Billy Joel & Patty Smyth sing “Goodbye To You” with images of Stephen Bannon, Sean “Garlic” Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci and others on the big screens.

9 scheduled events at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago have been canceled since Trump’s original comments about Charlottesville. Included are those from The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and The American Cancer Society.

Interesting that when it was announced on Wall Street that Steve Bannon had resigned, there was quite a big cheer by traders at the New York Stock Exchange.

With this past weekend protests, Trump flip flopped even in tweets. First he whined about the [anti-racist] “anti-police antagonists” in Boston and then shortly after praised those same people for going against racism, bigotry, etc.

German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump’s head, a haul with an estimated street value of $45,900. Yikes!

A semi-quieter Trump this week after 100 days

Of 38 specific promises Donald Trump made in his 100-day “contract” with voters, he’s accomplished 10, mostly through executive orders that don’t require legislation. He hasn’t started on 15 of his 100-day promises, which include several immigration laws, college affordability, infrastructure incentives and punishment for companies that move jobs overseas.

While Trump claims he doesn’t seem to care about the 100-day mark of his administration, he plans a whirlwind of activities seeking to highlight accomplishments. What those are, few know. Bombing Syria twice. After that? He claims job creation but how many were already in place prior to his election? Pipeline? Debatable. Trade?

Exiting TPP may or may not be a positive thing. Regulation cuts? Again. Debatable as some will make things easy to be done with little approval. He claims ethics. He should look in his own backyard. He claims travel restrictions but other than the electronics ban, it’s been a dismal failure. He claims constructing the wall but not an inch has been built. He claims new hires for immigration enforcement but he can’t find people to hire for border security. He claims helping women but he is killing planned parenthood.

On the 100th day – same day as a possible government shutdown – he will be in Atlanta for a National Rifle Association event as well as sign more executive orders while aides fan out around the country to promote the administration. There he said the second amendment was under “assault” for 8 years.

Trump, not surprising, is fuming over the less than stellar reviews of his first 100 days. Add to his tarnishing of the office [claiming that Obama tapping phones, illegal voters voted for Hillary Clinton, insulting allies] and failure to pass some executive orders [travel ban twice ]or to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Many campaign initiatives have been changed, failed or just ignored. Others such as comments about NATO, China and Russia have changed. He also has lost quite a few people he hired after the election like Michael Flynn and a few others aren’t doing well either.

Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, did not disclose foreign payments, despite a warning from the Pentagon in 2014. Spicer blamed the Obama administration, saying Flynn got top security clearance last year [they vetted him]. Spicer said Trump’s White House didn’t review Flynn’s security clearance, but rather relied on previous clearance from the Obama administration. Yup. Put the blame on someone else.

Trump said that he will move forward with terminating NAFTA if negotiations don’t success. For now, however, he is focused on reworking the agreement with Mexico and Canada. This even though he spoke to the Mexican President and Canadian Prime Minister and said he wouldn’t. Sounds a bit like a spoiled brat.

Trump hosed Canada’s softwood lumber industry when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs, or taxes, were being imposed after trade talks on dairy products fell through. The tariffs — also called duties — ranged from 3% to 24% on five specific Canadian lumber companies. For all other Canadian lumber companies, there’s a nearly 20% tariff on exports to the US. Of course why lumber when dairy products negotiations failed? It was in early February when trump met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that NAFTA would only be “tweaked” with Canada.

Canada is expected to file a complaint with the trade dispute court. They did in 2004 after a similar huge tariff imposed and the US lost. They also filed 4 other times and Canada won all of them.

The lumber tax is expected to hike the price of lumber used in home building by an average of 6% [$3,000], according to the National Association of Home Builders, the trade group for the U.S. industry. Builders argue that higher prices will translate into a slowdown of construction activity that could cost 8,000 U.S. jobs and $500 million in lost wages. With the possible lack of lumber, it will drive up prices across the US.

So the Trump administration is “helping” the lumber industry at the expense of new home owners and builders. An executive for the U.S. Lumber Association says that $3,000 is nothing if the average home is $225,000 [where?]. But that is about 1.5%, not 6%. 6% would be about $13,500. He’s dropping the increased cost so it doesn’t look as bad.

World Trade Organization ruled in Mexico’s favor, allowing it to impose trade sanctions worth $163 million a year against the US. The WTO says that’s how much money Mexico has lost from the US unfairly penalizing Mexican tuna. Mexican officials insisted for years that US laws discriminated against their tuna, and that other countries didn’t face the same level of enforcement.

In more fibbing from Trump, he claimed that after he threatened to do the preliminary work to kill NAFTA [even though he always said he would “tweak” it], he said that the Canadian Prime Minister and Mexican President called him to work on fixing NAFTA but at least the Canadian Prime Minister said Trump initiated the call. Who would you believe?

The killing of NAFTA would cause major havoc with the economies of the 3 countries that could affect other economies. It may not be as complicated as Brexit but it would be complicated and would need approval from Congress [which trump has issues right now]. At least 33 states trade heavily with Canada – many voted for Trump.

Trump plans on announcing tax reform which would drop the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent and drop the personal tax as well. But some experts doubt that by dropping the tax rate can the current deficit [about $560 billion] not increase even if it helps the economy to improve as it would need a big jolt to do so. Also whether or not the Automatic Minimum Tax will be changed or removed . This tax is applied to the wealthy as the minimum they must pay, no matter what they deducted in charities, loopholes, etc. In one year Trump could of saved over $30 million if AMT wasn’t around.

With a higher deficit, the Trump plan could damage the credibility of Republican lawmakers who spent years railing against the rising national debt under former President Barack Obama. Could be harder to pass lasting tax reform, since any policy that increases the debt above its baseline either requires Democratic support or — if passed by a slim majority of Republicans in the Senate — would expire in a decade.

Republicans who slammed the growing national debt under President Barack Obama have said they are open to Trump’s tax plan, even though it could add trillions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade. Republicans argue the cuts would spur economic growth, reducing or even eliminating any drop in tax revenue. But some had a change of heart after they saw the changes. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation said a big cut in corporate taxes, even if temporary, would add to long-term budget deficits.

In the brief outline for tax reform, it will slash the business tax rate on pass-through entities to 15% from 39.6%. [Pass-throughs’ profits flow through to the owners, partners and shareholders, who then report and pay tax on them through their individual tax returns.] All Trump family holdings are pass-throughs. So for every $1 million earned, Trump would pay $150,000 under his own plan instead of $396,000 today. From his leaked 2005 tax return, he would of saved $27 million.

Trump brought the complete Senate to his shack for a meeting to discuss North Korea. But “We learned nothing you couldn’t read in the newspaper,” Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley. Trump himself was only there for 14 minutes of the 60 minute briefing.

Trump claimed again that he was directly responsible for helping save $700 million on a February order of 90 F-35s — adding that costs will continue to shrink as more planes are delivered despite warnings from a non-partisan federal watchdog agency that testing delays could increase costs by more than a billion dollars. The program itself is worth $400 billion. So that’s a savings of 0.175%. He doesn’t explain what he did. Maybe he got had them remove the landing gear or something else less vital.

Trump tweeted “The Democrats don’t want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members” Not quite. More like the cost [estimated over $15 billion] is too much. As of this time, nothing yet built even though Trump had promised in his campaign. He also said that Mexico would pay but that won’t happen.

Bidders for the wall must have designs able to repel pickaxes and sledgehammers for at least an hour and be esthetically pleasing from the north side. One bidder suggested adding solar panels which would generate 2 megawatts of electricity an hour. Another bid suggests building a wall large enough for a deck that would offer tourists scenic views of the desert.

A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from sanctuary cities — the latest blow from the federal judiciary to Trump’s immigration agenda.

“First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!” Trump tweeted. Of course he wants to send everything to the Supreme Court [especially since he has his new lackey appointed]. But the judge who handed the ruling is not on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit would hear the case next if appealed.

Democrats and Republicans voted overwhelmingly on a bill to keep the federal government open through next week, averting a shutdown while negotiators hammer out a broader deal to fund agencies through September. Trump’s wall building request wasn’t included.

After a gunman killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees, an attack the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for, Trump tweeted: “Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!” Some suggest he was referencing far-right Marine Le Pen and her party [known in the past to be anti-Semitic, anti-immigration, anti-EU].

So Ivanka was whining on the Today Show recently saying that it is a human crisis regarding the Syrian refugees. Meanwhile what has her father done? Banned them. Maybe they should do some coordinating.

The US economy only grew at an annual pace of 0.7% in the first three months of the year under Trump, according to the Commerce Department’s report on the GDP. It was the slowest quarter of growth since the first quarter of 2014.

“Our rights are under attack like never before,” the NRA says on its website. But from where? They have a supposedly conservative “president”. The gun industry grew from 166,000 employees in 2008, the year Obama was elected, to 301,000 last year. But since Trump has been in charge, gun sales have dropped.

In a recent poll, 32% still believe that Obama spied on Trump and it jumps to 52% when Republicans are asked. This considering that there is no evidence to support this.

A new CNN/ORC poll finds Trump reaches this milestone holding on to the lowest approval rating of any newly-elected president after 100 days. Overall, 44% say they approve of Trump’s handling of the presidency, 54% disapprove.

In an AP poll, eighty-six per cent of Democrats and 57 per cent of independents oppose new spending for a border wall with Mexico. Republicans break about 2-1 in favour of the wall, but that’s more narrow support than on other priorities. By a 64 per cent to 19 per cent margin, most oppose decreasing spending on scientific and medical research. Most Americans also oppose cuts to spending on the environment and on climate change, by a 52 per cent to 28 per cent margin. Finally, Americans are more likely to oppose than favour cutting spending for public television, radio and the arts, 44 per cent to 32 per cent.

Only 32 percent of millennials approve of his performance so far, according to a poll released by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. About 40% said they would give Trump an “F” on his first 100 days, and only a third said they support his handling of ISIS and Obamacare. Nearly 70% of young people, regardless of political ideology, said Trump’s tweeting is “not appropriate” and expressed reservations about cracking down too hard on immigration and jettisoning Obamacare.