Even when Trump is on a trip, still plenty of Trump issues

In elections, Democrats took both Virginia [almost a slaughter – 20 point difference compared to 5 points in 2013 in some areas] and New Jersey [the latter was once Republican]. Democrats also won the lieutenant governor in Virginia and won all major contests including close mayoral races.

Trump tweeted “@EdWGillespie will totally turn around the high crime and poor economic performance of VA. MS-13 and crime will be gone.” Problem is that Gillespie has ignored using Trump’s support in his campaign. Almost never mentioning him. Gillespie himself had made comments that could rival Trump.

But after Virginia’s Ed Gillespie lost, Donald Trump tweeted “Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for….” And yet, Trump tweeted many times to support him. Now he throws him under the bus since he thinks he’s not part of the blame.

A trove of leaked documents made public purport to show financial ties between Russia and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, a member of President Trump’s cabinet. They also reportedly show how state-run Russian companies funded large investments in Twitter and Facebook.

Ross has retained a multimillion-dollar stake in Navigator, a shipping company whose top customers include the Russian energy firm Sibur. Sibur’s owners include a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s family and a Russian oligarch which also says the firm itself was created by the Russian government.

Much of Ross’s wealth, which is estimated to total around $2 billion, is supposedly tied up in secretive offshore investments.

The New York Times reported that two state-run Russian companies secretly and indirectly poured millions of dollars into Twitter and Facebook. Both of the transactions allegedly involved Yuri Milner, a Russian tech mogul who has business ties to Trump’s son-in-law, White House adviser Jared Kushner.

The newspaper said the Russian oil and gas company Gazprom lent money to another firm that invested in Milner’s multimillion-dollar Facebook deal and Russian-owned VTB Bank invested in Twitter.

Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page told the House intelligence committee last week that he floated the idea of then-candidate Donald Trump taking a trip to Russia in May 2016, according to transcript of his interview. Page appeared recently¬† before the House intelligence committee under an unusual arrangement that he requested where the interview was conducted in the committee’s secure spaces, but the transcript was made available publicly. [I’ve seen Page interviewed on TV and he is a bit out there.]

Firing Mueller would be too much, a stepping beyond the bounds by Trump for Speaker Paul Ryan. If Trump did take that course of action, Ryan — and presumably the Republicans loyal to him in Congress — would have no choice but to disavow Trump for good. Of course Ryan has “drawn” previous lines in the sand only for Trump to go over them and Ryan did nothing.

Trump says the mass shooting at a Texas church “isn’t a guns situation,” but is a “mental health problem at the highest level.” And then “This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time.” The gunman was discharged from the Air Force several years ago for allegedly assaulting his spouse and a child. There is nothing mentioned yet about long term issues the gunman had.

Not surprised, while the US flag is lowered in Texas and elsewhere, the NRAS flag is still at full mast.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell initially said “nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase” under the Senate bill that was unveiled but then backtracked the day after.

Remember when Trump’s candidate for the Alabama primary lost to the candidate, Roy Moore, who was backed by Breitbart editor Stephen Bannon. Well, Bannon came out swinging defending Moore when 4 women accused Moore of sexual harassment including one who was 14 years old at the time. Moore, of course, denied the accusations. “The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal — even inflict physical harm — if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me,” he said and also blaming the “lapdog” Democrats and left wing media.

Former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn and his son are alleged to have been offered as much as $15 million to forcibly remove from the US a Muslim cleric wanted by Turkey. The FBI questioned at least four people in regards to a mid-December meeting in New York at the “21” Club. Discussions between Flynn and Turkish representatives supposedly took place there.

Already, at least 25 Republicans have announced they are retiring [12], running for another office [10] or resigning outright [3]. Many of those are in areas where the GOP barely won in 2016. There are 2 Democrats retiring and 8 running elsewhere for office. For both parties, most of those running for another office is for governors.

Ross got hit with some issues. It seems a dream of his was to be on Forbes top 400 Americans in worth. The poorest on the list is around $2 billion. He claimed that he has $2.7 billion of which $2 billion was put in a trust and given to his immediate family when he joined Trump’s cabinet. Problem is by doing that there are taxes to be paid [which it seems he hasn’t paid]. In addition, between various filings and reporting, his fortune has also change drastically from one amount to another.

“It was great victory, and a victory that made a lot of people very happy,” Trump said in Seoul, South Korea, his second stop on a five-country visit to Asia. He also still comments about Hillary Clinton. This 10 months after his election win. I guess he has really little else he can boast.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s focus is on the fact that “the stock market has hit record highs, unemployment has hit a 17-year low, and (the Islamic State) is on the run.” Employment can also drop when some people stop looking. ISIL may be on the run, but they are still around. Look at the Taliban – they left but more like went under cover for a while and then came back.

Trump finally appears to have stopped handing out colored copies of the Electoral College map, something he did on occasion during his first few months in office.

He also tweeted “Republicans won 4 out of 4 house seats.” Yes. Those are previous special elections for people who left the House to take positions in his administration. So they were expected to win undisputable Republican seats. And there were 5 with Utah as the latest.

“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so,” Trump told executives from local automakers during a trip to Japan. Ummm. They already do make cars in the US. Three out of four Japanese cars sold in the U.S. last year were built in North America.

A Syrian official says the war-ravaged country plans to sign the Paris climate accord. Until now, it had been the only United Nations member state not to have done so. It means the United States would be the sole UN member country outside the deal if Trump makes good on his threat to pull out. Of course this may just be a token signing for a country with a dictator and an internal conflict. [I’m talking about Syria – not the US.]

Princeton University recently announced that it has joined forces with Microsoft to file a federal lawsuit to preserve DACA. This is all following the Trump administration’s September 2017 decision to roll back the government program protecting undocumented immigrants. In the new lawsuit, Princeton and Microsoft allege that DACA’s termination violated both the United States Constitution and federal law.

Police in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad are doing a last-minute sweep to get beggars off the streets ahead of Ivanka Trump’s visit later this month. The unprecedented order was given by the city’s police commissioner earlier this week and will last for two months.

Trump tweeted “Stock market hit yet another all-time record high yesterday. There is great confidence in the moves that my Administration….” What has he done and if so great, why have 7,000 stores closed so far this year [breaking the previous yearly record in 2008]? If the economy is doing so well, why does Trump want to give big companies tax breaks?

According to news reports, nearly 200 web domains at the Trump Organization were compromised in 2013. The compromised addresses redirected visitors to malicious servers in Russia. The Trump organization said the domains were not compromised despite Internet records that say otherwise. The Trump Organization and its affiliates own at least 3,300 in all.

Another slight reduction in the unemployment rate but the biggest chunk of new jobs came from places like restaurants and bars where the wages tend to be lower and not all are full time employment. In addition, the wage growth is about 0.4% less than it was the same time last year. Trump will still take claim saying the stock market has still gone up well. I’m guess if unemployment rate went up but so did the stock market, he would still say the economy is doing well.

Generally, when the economy is doing well, the president’s approval ratings go up – but not in this case.

The RNC is “seeing record fundraising and support of Trump and his agenda,” Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” morning. Uh huh. Scripted from Trump?

The Department of Justice’s antitrust chief gave AT&T a choice: to get your purchase of Time Warner done, either sell off CNN’s parent unit or DirecTV, or we’ll see you in court. The DOJ is demanding that AT&T divest all of Turner, the unit of Time Warner that includes CNN as well as TNT and TBS or definitely CNN. With that speculation that the Trump administration is trying to retaliate against CNN for its coverage of the president.

The Wall Street Journal report that the government is “actively considering” an antitrust lawsuit to block the impending acquisition. When asked whether Trump has had any involvement, Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway said “we’re not going to interfere with that here.”

Sam Clovis had withdrawn from consideration as Agriculture Department Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics. He may have had some type of relationship with George Papadopoulos.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the ban on transgender people from serving in the military until the case was resolved. That returns situation to status quo, pending the outcome of the case.

There are still a few of Trump’s nominees who have to go through Senate confirmation in order to take on their posts. One of those is Sam Clovis, the non-scientist who is rump’s pick for a USDA scientist job. Supposedly Clovis has some ties and communications with Papadopoulos.

Trump was instrumental in creating a fan group called 12th Man Thunder, which specifically undercut Jon Bon Jovi’s bid to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and “exploited already rampant speculation Bon Jovi planned to move the franchise to Canada.” The group gave fans signs that read “Bon Jovi Free Zone” and called for a broad boycott of Bon Jovi’s music.

Article II of the constitution includes a rather specific responsibility: a president “…shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But in late June, Trump hosted a group of Native American tribal leaders at the White House and urged them to “just do it” and extract whatever they want from the land they control. [I’m wondering if he is going to entrap them.]

It was the middle-finger salute seen around the world. Juli Briskman’s protest aimed at the presidential motorcade that roared past her while she was on her cycling path in Northern Virginia in October became an instantly viral photo. Akima LLC, a government contracting firm, fired her after she warned them that she was the one who did it. Briskman wasn’t wearing anything that connected her to the company when she was on her ride, nor is there anything on her personal social media accounts.

If you go to the company’s Facebook page and open some the posts by them, you’ll find plenty of protesting.

Trump tweeted, “The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military” after news that Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge from the US Army but will avoid prison time for desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after abandoning his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009.

About 60% of Puerto Rico, which is home to approximately 3.4 million US citizens, is still without power – approximately 50 days since the hurricane struck the island.

After Michael Moore finished a limited ruin show on Broadway, Trump starter a Twitter-storm by saying “While not at all presidential I must point out that the Sloppy Michael Moore Show on Broadway was a TOTAL BOMB and was forced to close. Sad!” I guess Trump doesn’t know that it is a limited run as Moore has a movie to work on right after the 12 week run. Moore also tweeted “It was the highest grossing play (non-musical) of the summer, despite my offering $29 cheap seats + free student tix so ALL could afford” and “You must have my smash hit of a Broadway show confused with your presidency — which IS a total bomb and WILL indeed close early. NOT SAD.”