Final test for Trump is on Monday

The Electoral College’s 538 members gather Monday at 50 state capitols to cast the ballots that matter the most when it comes to electing a U.S. president. They have the final say in whether to ratify Donald Trump as the 45th President of the US. It is a long shot that he won’t get what is needed as 37 Republicans would have to vote not for him.

It would be unprecedented in US politics and could bring a bit of a “constitutional crisis” – the phrase Trump used in the elections. Even if a few went against Trump, it would show Trump that he may have a rough time as president. By some counts, maybe 20 Republicans are thinking of not voting for Trump. What happens if 37 or more did switch. I’m not a US constitutional expert but it would cause turmoil. And I’m sure Trump and his cronies would go back to their “rigged” election call during the elections.

Wasn’t it rigged? He won when few expected it.

Trump went after the media during the election campaign including Time magazine. How things have changed. A month after his election Time magazine awarded him Person of the Year and he had nothing but praise for the magazine [except a few areas such as “dividing” the country]. He’s the master flip flopper.

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson will be the new Secretary of State under Trump. He has no diplomatic experience and Tillerson has connections to the Russian state owned and is friends with Vladimir Poutine. Tillerson has many links with the Russian government and state gas company. Talking about conflict of interest. He may be as bad as this as his possible future boss.

Trump claims Tillerson is “among the most accomplished business leaders and international deal makers in the world.” Yes, a deal maker but there is a difference between making a multi-billion dollar with Russia’s Gasprom and trying to stop the bombardment in Syria by Russian airplanes.

During Tillerson’s reign at Exxon, they didn’t take part in the shale oil and gas revolution in the US which created roughly 233,000 jobs between mid-2009 and late 2014. Exxon instead concentrated elsewhere. Also indication of how many of the 73,500 jobs are in the US. Exxon did get into shale but later on and paid dearly for it. And yet his boss, Trump, criticize Ford, Carrier and others for “shipping” jobs overseas. In the 8 ears under Obama’s administration, oil production went up around 90%.

Some of Trump’s people were pushing for Mitt Romney to apologize for the comments he made about Trump during the election campaign. [I wonder if Trump would apologize…] Romney won’t. The interesting thing is that Romney was one of the finalists for the Secretary of State. Because of his ties to Russia, there is no guarantee that Tillerson will survive the hearings to approve him for the job. Which means that Trump would have to choose another candidate such as Romney, Rudy Giuliani or others.

Some dozen CEOs [and one COO] went to Trump Tower in New York to meet Trump, Pence and the rest of their crew. Some CEOs did not appear or were not invited. Some of the attendees were checking to see what Trump plans on doing with the tech industries, US jobs, visas for tech workers, etc. Some called the meeting OK, others found it weird and some wondered why so many Trumps [Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr] were at the table aside from a bunch of Trump’s political team – wasting spots where other CEOs could have joined.

Trump’s transition team is disavowing a questionnaire sent to the Energy Department requesting the names of employees working on climate change issues. “The questionnaire was not authorized or part of our standard protocol. The person who sent it has been properly counseled.” The Trump team has been criticized for asking for the names of federal government employees working on climate change issues. At least 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that “climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities,” according to NASA.

Trump still is defending Russia that there was no shenanigans during the elections. This is probably the first time an incoming [or any sitting] president is supporting Russian as much as he has. This in addition to announcing a potential Secretary of State who is so close to Russia.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is expected to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. He has been a reliable booster of the fossil fuel industry and an outspoken critic of what he derides as the EPA’s “activist agenda.” Pruitt has been a vocal public denier of the science showing that the Earth is warming and that man-made carbon emissions are to blame. Representing his state as attorney general since 2011, Pruitt has repeatedly sued the EPA.

Trump claimed 1100 jobs were saved at an Indiana Carrier factory. In fact, only 800 Carrier factory jobs were saved. The other 300 were white-collar administrative and engineering jobs at a different Indianapolis facility, positions Carrier never planned to ship to Mexico. Trump whined that the local union president “has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!” As if the union president could do anything about jobs elsewhere. Carrier expects to add more automation which means some of those 800 jobs will be lost eventually.

Americans are less approving of President-elect Donald Trump than they were of previous presidents during their transitions into office, a new Pew Research Group poll shows. As Trump prepares to take office, 41% say they approve of the job he has done explaining his plans and policies for the future of the American people, while 55% say they disapprove of the job Trump has done. President Barack Obama had 72% in December 2008 and President George W. Bush’s 50% in January 2001 — in the wake of a disputed election. It’s also lower than President Bill Clinton’s 62% in January 1993 and President George H.W. Bush’s 65% in March 1989.

During a Fox News interview, Trump acknowledged he’s not receiving daily intelligence briefings, but argued he doesn’t need them because he’s “a smart person.”

Trump may choose his first Supreme Court nominee from one of the states that helped him get elected [such as Michigan and Wisconsin] and maybe a judge that has some political experience. Trump is looking for a kind of diversity the current court lacks. [So I guess he’ll choose another white male for a judge.] As most of the Court has spent their lives in DC, New York and Boston, maybe he’ll choose somewhere farther west. Supreme Court justices tend to hire clerks from the Ivy League and they have all attended elite schools. He will possibly chose from elsewhere.

Some supporters of President-elect Donald Trump have praised his choice of Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, noting that the retired neurosurgeon had lived in public housing himself. Except he didn’t according to a Carson aide. Carson claims he was raised “in the ghetto” and “in dire poverty.” Dr. Carson’s mother worked 3 jobs at a time to keep them out of public housing. So that doesn’t look like “in dire poverty”.

Meanwhile former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in an attack on House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi saying “is she racist or just dumb”. Huckabee later apologized for tweeting the inaccurate information and said he had been relying on the New York Times — which he jabbed as a “fake news” site. Maybe he mixed that up with the LA Times.

Exxon steadily expanded its Russian business even as its rivals faced expropriation and regulatory obstacles, and in 2013 Putin bestowed the Order of Friendship on Tillerson.

Energy made in America is not as important as energy simply made wherever it is most economic,” he said in 2007 – which means rape the resources of another country before doing the same in the US. Tillerson has argued against sanctions that the U.S. and European allies imposed on Russia after it annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team slammed the CIA, following reports the agency has concluded that Russia intervened in the election to help him win. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” probably written by Trump. Trump continues to defend his buddy Putin.

“What proof does anyone have that they [Russia] effected the outcome because I’ve heard zero,” said Sean Spicer, Republican National Committee Communications Director.

Trump has officially backed away from going after Clinton even after crowds still chant “lock her up.” That is another promise he has already broken. “That plays great before the election – now we don’t care, right?” I’m sure some of his followers will care. Now they have been betrayed.

Incoming national security adviser General Michael Flynn’s son defended the baseless “pizza gate” conspiracy, the name given to a theory peddled online that claims the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington and its owner were involved in a child sex operation. Some even claim Hillary Clinton was involved. Incoming Vice-President Mike Pence claims the son is not an advisor or part of the transition team and yet the son had [since suspended] an official government transition email address. “Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story” tweeted the son even though saying Clinton was involved is ridiculous. Getting pointers from Trump? Flynn Jr. has served as his father’s top aide and chief of staff, and regularly shares conspiracy theories, expletive-filled posts, and racially insensitive sentiments on Twitter and Facebook.

Flynn claimed in an August radio interview that Arabic signs were present along the United States border with Mexico to guide potential state-sponsored terrorists and “radicalized Muslims” into the United States. Flynn further said in the interview he had personally seen photos of such signs in Texas.

Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year LeBron James opted to stay elsewhere than the team’s official Trump-branded hotel in New York.

Trump wants to continue to be executive producer on The Apprentice. Shouldn’t be too difficult as the show probably has a dozen or so producers, executive producers, etc. But he already said he won’t be doing any work for the show.

Trump had Kanye West as a visitor recently. After a meeting that didn’t last an hour they were at the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. “We’ve been friends for a long time,” Trump told reporters – which is Trump language for being friends for just over an hour.

Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner says he is thankful that he did not have to participate in the 2016 presidential election. “Thank God I’m not in the middle of this.”

The CEO of IBM has pledged to recruit 25,000 Americans over the next four years, but wants Uncle Sam to pay for it. This is the CEO’s present to Trump during the tech meeting in New York. IBM has more workers in India than the US.

The number of Americans seeking refugee status in Canada has experienced a significant bump this year – maybe because of Trump’s win – increasing more than five times in November 2016 from the same period a year earlier. A mere 170 Americans claimed asylum at Canada’s land borders through the first 11 months of this year [it was 73 in 2015 for the first 11 months]. Yet that was more than twice the total from 2015 – and it was led by a noticeable five-fold increase in the month of November, with 28 people claiming refugee status last month compared with merely five in November 2015. For 2015, no successful U.S. refugee claims last year before the Immigration and Refugee Board. Trump related?

 

Recounts and hacking elections

There was some grumblings by the right wing in the US when Green Party leader, Jill Stein, was requesting recounts in three states. They should have nothing to fear.

They are assuming that she did it so that maybe the vote would change and Hillary Clinton would take the states. They also said it was a waste of money.

They were wrong on both accounts. Donald Trump has enough of a lead that unless something was very fishy, he would still win all three states. As well Stein’s supporters were paying millions fore recounts

[And the only way Clinton could win the election is if she won all three recounts. Unlikely.]

Even if there wasn’t a recount, it is still a way to audit the election results to show that the votes were counted [roughly] correctly. I think most people want a fair election and verifying that the count was accurate is one way.

If there were more votes counted on election night or in the recount, then something is fishy. While there will probably be a very small discrepancy in the number of votes counted, if there was a big difference [but not enough to change the final results] then there should be a bit of worrying. [Did someone on purposely count wrong?]

Similarly, the right wing [well mostly Trump and his supporters] arguing that no foreign government [think of some country in eastern Europe] has meddled in the US election. Supposedly both the Democratic and Republican parties were hacked and yet only the Democrats had their dirty laundry leaked. Why is that? Of course Trump is chummy with Russian dictator [or President] Vladimir Poutine. Would Mr. Poutine want to hurt his buddy?

And of course Trump is denying it even though he [as usual] has no facts that Russia was not involved. He even went after the CIA giving the lousy excuse about the so-called weapons of mass destruction excuse to invade Iraq. Meanwhile he forgets of what the CIA has stopped from happening. [I guess those security briefings he is missing would shed some light. Either that or he could ask what the CIA has done for the country?]

Wouldn’t it be proper to actually have these issues thoroughly checked once and for all so that American citizens can be at ease. Consider it an audit to show the American citizens that their voting rights aren’t being attacked.

For some countries, if a foreign country meddled in another country’s election, it could lead to war.

 

 

America has spoken….

Well the Americans have spoken….

And good luck to them for the next 4 years.

Donald Trump defied the odds [if the right word] and became the 45th President of the United States.

The Democratic voters failed Hillary Clinton in the battleground states including Ohio, Michigan and Florida in addition to states she should have won [Pennsylvania was a big blow. She had a lead around midnight.]

To further see where Clinton lost, consider the fact that since April she hadn’t visited Wisconsin – one of the states she lost but should of won.

As for her faults, she had Email server issues, Benghazi reoccurrences, Husband Bill’s baggage and the fact that Clinton is a wooden campaigner with a tendency to put small policy things ahead of an actual policy vision.

Interesting, Clinton actually has less white voters voting for her than Obama while Trump actually had more minorities [even Latinos] that Mitt Romney who ran against Barrack Obama.

If you remove the super delegates during the primaries, Clinton didn’t do too well against Bernie Sanders. It showed you that she got in because she wasn’t much stronger than Sanders.

The question would be if there was a different candidate other than Clinton [or even Trump] instead. If Obama [if he wasn’t President] running against Trump or Mitt Romney or John McCain running against Clinton, would the outcome be different? Each of these three have fairly squeaky clean images. None had a spouse who was President. None held a cabinet post before.

The stock markets had dropped overnight but the Japanese and Mexican stock market took some of the biggest hits. The latter because the Mexican peso was already hurting because of the nervousness of a Trump win. Surprising the North American markets went back to positive territory by midday.

A question will be whether he stays for four years. Already some speculated that he may become bored and bow out before the 4 years. Unlikely. One other thought is that he was voted in as the oldest elected President. Will he have a medical issue that forces him to leave as he is already the oldest President on election day in US history. [A reminder that he claimed throughout the election that he was healthier than Clinton].

His friend/puppet-master Vladimir Poutine contacted him early Wednesday.

Many world leaders gave the standard congratulation comments but I’m wondering how many were sincere.

Unfortunately even the far right wing leaders in France and Germany were happy as well.

When it looked like he would win the election, he probably celebrated by excusing himself to go to the washroom, grabbed a couple of young female interns and groped them. 🙂

Meanwhile, I’m sure certain areas of the US were out of moonshine and deep fried Oreos after the celebrations were over. 🙂

 

 

 

Some bit of voting commentary for the US election

A short bit of commentary before the big vote in the US tomorrow.

First, after reading articles about the crazy voting issues that are affecting many states, it is high time that the federal government intervene.

They should allow a minimum requirements set for any voting. For example, the number of hours the voting booth will be available on Election Day or the [minimum] type of voter ID required. The state could add to that but federal rules would be the minimum. Say the federal government allows a minimum of 10 hours for voting, the state could stay open for more than that but not less.

They should follow the Canadian example where when a Canadian does his/her taxes in the spring of every year, they confirm to be on the voters list. [Note that even if you pay no taxes (i.e. didn’t work that year) you are still required to submit a tax form.] Those that do not submit a tax form are most likely left off voting lists but probably can request to be added.

This will remove some of the confusion in the US where some states removed votes who [for example] didn’t vote in the previous election. But it will also have removed those who have moved to other states [or countries] as well as those that are deceased.

Advance polling is also all over the place. Not all states allow it. Some offer it over a month in advance.

Voting ID is another issue. In Canada a driver’s license, passport or a provincial medical/health card are allowed or a combination of others.
Some states allow voters to be pulled if an ordinary citizen challenges on why a person should be allowed to vote. Theoretically you could get your nemesis off the voters list.

Finally, some consider Canada the 51st state because Canada and US ties are close in many areas from security, to transportation to area codes. Maybe it’s time that Canada had a right to vote? After all Canada has to put up with this mess from them every day of the year.

 

We’re almost there: A bit more Trump news

With another batch of Emails appearing, no one knows if they are damaging. The new controversy centers on emails found on a device of Hillary Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. The FBI’s Director, James Comey, indicated that this is another part of the investigation that he exonerated Clinton back in the summer. Comey didn’t even mention if any Emails are confidential or even if Clinton is involved directly. So why did he announce this over the disagreements of top DOJ officials, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch [his boss]? Not he is under the gun for releasing this so close to election day. He can probably kiss his job goodbye when Clinton gets elected.

The protocol is for the FBI and the Department of Justice not to comment on investigations and to stay silent on politically sensitive matters less than 60 days from an election.

Not surprising, Donald Trump says this new information has [partially] reversed his comments about the judicial system. Surprised, though, Trump didn’t go after Abedin harder [she’s Muslim] except to get her bounced from Clinton’s campaign.

Even Republican Newt Gingrich said it was not right to announce this so close to election day – particularly when nothing was mentioned.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said “Had he sat on the information, one can argue that he also would be interfering in the election,” but supposedly the FBI knew for at least a couple of weeks already prior to the disclosure. So why did Comey wait until a week before the election date.

Minority Leader Harry Reid [the senate’s top Democrat] said that Comey himself could be charged with interfering in the election by waiting until the last full week to disclose this is – especially since there has been no indication that Clinton is even involved. “My office has determined that these actions may violate the Hatch Act, which bars FBI officials from using their official authority to influence an election.” [Reid underscored that he has been a supporter of the FBI director and fought for Comey’s Senate confirmation when Republicans blocked the nomination.]

Former Attorney General Eric Holder and dozens of other former federal prosecutors [some Republicans] signed a letter critical of Comey’s recent actions in the Clinton email case.

“I think we hit the mother lode, as they say,” claims Trump even though no information about the emails have been released. Trump [jokingly] thanked both Abedin and Weiner.

A woman in Iowa has been arrested [a felony] for voting twice in advance pools. Once in the main polling building and another one in a satellite polling station. She claims she thought her original ballot would be given to Clinton even though she is a registered Republican. Yes, Donald. Maybe wide scale cheating. Wrong side.

Jessica Drake, an adult film performer and director, is at least the 11th woman to accuse Trump of unwanted sexual advances. Drake claimed that Trump asked her for her phone number and invited her to his suite the night they met in 2006. She went and brought along two other women to accompany her because she said she did not feel comfortable attending alone. “He grabbed each of us tightly, in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission.”

When she left after 45 minutes, first a Trump representative said Trump wanted to see her alone. Then Trump himself then got on the phone with her, asking her to come back and to go out to dinner or attend a party with him, but she again declined. He then asked, “What do you want? How much?” She said he eventually offered her $10,000 and use of his private jet if she accepted. Trump, of course, denied everything.

Trump also warned that he would take all 11 women [and any others] to court. “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Trump often threatens to file lawsuits without actually doing so. Earlier in October, he threatened to sue The New York Times when it published assault allegations against him, but nearly two weeks later, he has declined to follow through.

Trump told a television station that the First Amendment to the Constitution may give the press too much freedom. He suggested that America adopt a system like England’s, which makes it easier to sue the media. Of course he is saying this because most of the media is against him. Doesn’t go his way? He wants to change it so it does. Good luck in an amendment. Would need three-quarters of the states plus two-thirds in both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.

In a 2009 radio interview with Don Imus, Trump said that he did not vote for George W. Bush in 2004. But after the election in 2004, he is on file saying that he did vote for Bush.

Now Trump believe that Democrats are making up poll numbers to suppress his candidacy. But why care? Trump, a connoisseur of polls, said he had even lost faith in the few surveys that have him ahead. “Now even though we’re doing pretty good in the polls, I don’t believe in the polls anymore,” he said.

Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway admitted “We are behind. “She has tremendous advantages,” Conway said of Clinton. “She has a former president, happens to be her husband, campaigning for her, the current president and first lady, vice president, all much more popular than she can hope to be.” Not really surprising since former Republican Presidents and Presidential nominees aren’t even backing Trump.

CNN interviewed Conway and her time so far with Trump. “I believe — Donald Trump has told me and his family, and the rest of America now, that none of this is true. …. And I think that it’s not for me to judge what those women believe.” So Trump can tell her the sky is actually orange and she’d believe him. She made a name for herself as a pollster by teaching politicians and corporate clients how to reach female voters and consumers. Obviously she isn’t helping much. [Conway’s husband George, is one of the lawyers who defended Bill Clinton accuser Paula Jones in the 1990s.]

“Go out and vote and that includes helping me re-elect Republicans all over the place,” Trump said. “I hope they help me too! It’d be nice if they help us too, right?” Even though many GOP candidates aren’t getting and help from Trump or giving him help.

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani insisted that Democrats overwhelmingly engage in voter fraud because they “control the inner cities.” No proof of course.

On AB’s Good Morning America, Melania Trump was asked if she would do some speeches within the last couple of weeks of the campaign. She says “we’ll see”. And she appears surprised when the hubby says 2-3 appearances.

“…all the accusations, they should be handled in a court of law,” Melania Trump said. “To accuse somebody of — without evidence, it’s very hurtful and it’s very damaging and unfair.’ Except many have evidence or those who know of the sexual assault years before they came to light frequently.

Asked if he still planned to sue his accusers as he recently said he would. “We’ll see what happens, OK? Let’s see what happens on November 8,” Trump said. Changing his mind again.

“Hey, look, it’s [Twitter] a modern-day form of communication,” Trump said, laughing. “It’s a big asset. You have to use it right. But it’s a big asset.” But he doesn’t use it right.

Trump supporters are forced to cherry pick everything that show their candidate competitive. Eric Trump said his father had 10,000 people in Cleveland but Clinton could only get 600 in a gym in Pennsylvania.

In an June 2012 interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Trump said he didn’t believe in deporting undocumented immigrants. Yet he wants to do that now. “…they’ve done a great job, they’ve done wonderfully, they’ve gone to school, they’ve gotten good marks, they’re productive – now we’re supposed to send them out of the country, I don’t believe in that…” Trump kicked off his campaign in June 2015 by calling saying “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has become the first major American newspaper to Trump. The paper is owned by Republican casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Numerous journalists either quit or were fired in the months after the purchase by Adelson 10 months ago. The newspapers who endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 but are now siding with Clinton include the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News and the Arizona Republic.

Trump cut an interview with WCMH short when he was asked about criticism over his treatment of minorities and women.

Trump claims that many of his employees are paying a lot more because of “Obamacare” but then backtracked when it was revealed that most of his employees are under his company’s plan.

One Trump supporter claims that Vladimir Poutine said that if Clinton wins, Russia will go to war with the US. He’s taking lessons from his hero.

The Log Cabin Republicans, one of the country’s most influential LGBT Republican groups, announced that it would not back the party’s presidential nominee, Trump. Not really surprised there and I don’t think Trump cares. Oddly the group, while praising Trump as “perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party,” does not like the views held by some of Trump’s advisers [record of opposing LGBT equality] and his support for a bill that would protect people who disagree with same-sex marriage from federal penalties. The bill would have allowed businesses to turn away gay and lesbian customers in the name of religious freedom. The Republican platform expressed opposition to same-sex marriage, a lack of support for allowing transgender people to use the restrooms of their choice and support for conversion therapy.

The Trump “brand” is hurting. Even with his new Trump International Hotel in Washington, there are plenty of empty room at cheaper rates than the five major luxury competitors in the city – they generally charged more – sometimes hundreds of dollars more – or were sold out. By the end of the week, rates were cut by 10%. The managing director claims that it “has been the most successful in terms of opening bookings, interest from groups and large events” [for any Trump hotel].

Trump calls his hotel “One of the great hotels of the world.” Yes probably slightly better than a hotel where you can buy a room by the hour.

Trumps former chef – who was supposed to chef/run the premier restaurant in the hotel was on stage endorsing Clinton. Trump and the Chef had a major fall-out earlier in the year after the chef killed the deal after Trump made some comments about immigration. Trump is taking the chef to court.

Meanwhile, an event planner in Chicago cut all ties with his hotel. She removed herself from the list of “preferred vendors” and even pulled pictures related to the hotel from her web site.

A woman angry about Trump’s groping comments, and that his daughter still supports him, has created the hashtag “GrabYourWallet” on Twitter to boycott the Ivanka Trump Collection.

Some charities, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation are considering moving events from Trump’s properties. The U.S. Golf Association faces pressure from protests to move the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open from a course owned by Trump, although no decisions have been made.

Trump Place in Manhattan has new uniforms for doormen and other staff, ones that will no longer bear the Trump name. A petition is asking the owners to pull the Trump name. Those who live there don’t mention the name – only the address.

After several big-name brands including NBC, Macy’s and others severed ties in July 2015 following Trump’s derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants, but there has been no similar high-profile exodus since. But no additions either.

A research firm, which monitors brand perception for 3,500 brands, said that the Trump brand was “collapsing” among people with a household income of over $100,000 a year. But gained for those under that amount.

Trump says “I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Or maybe he has no shares. Of course this all left wing Democratic Party controlled media and he doesn’t want to make them too powerful. Trump also said that if he is elected, his administration would look at breaking up the 2011 merger of Comcast and NBCUniversal. Unsure how he can do that.

The comments shocked some regulatory experts. Republicans are usually supportive of mergers and acquisitions while Democrats are generally more skeptical.

There is already talk that Trump could start his own network, particularly after having his own commentators after the third debate.

“I think it’s a very rude question, to be honest with you,” said Trump when a CNN ask a simple question – where he will be spending his time in the last two weeks of the campaign. This took place on the day he opened his Washington hotel.

Trump claims the hotel opened under budget and before the actual completion date. Clinton claims it was under budget because he used undocumented workers. He could also pulled back on some of the luxuries to reduce the cost.

“A long time ago, before I was married, I met Kelly Preston at a club and worked like hell to try and pick her up,” Trump wrote. “She was beautiful, personable, and definitely had allure. At the time I had no idea she was married to John Travolta.” She married Travolta since 1991. “Before” he was married makes it unlikely before Ivana Trump as he married her in 1977. While not married he was with Marla Maples during the period from his divorce to Ivana [and before that!] to Marla Maples. So that leaves the period from his divorce to Marla Maples and his marriage to current wife Melania Trump. But would he gone after Preston at age 37 with his history of going after younger women?

 

Some pre-debate Trump stuff

Within the last month, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton started to get security briefs that the President would get. Didn’t take long for Trump to open his mouth and say something that was in his security briefing but not made publicly. He announced the explosion last weekend was caused by a bomb. But it wasn’t at the time released to the media until after. Trump also said he believes there’s a foreign connection to the attack, though it was unclear how the Republican obtained that information. His campaign declined to say whether it came from a national security briefing.

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem,” tweeted Donald Trump Jr. tweeted recently. Like father like son. Seems he prefers to take other people’s tweets and call them his own. Someone named Joe Walsh [not the singer] said the exact same thing over a month ago.

Donald Trump, Jr. recently retweeted an “academic” who has argued that anti-Semitism is a “logical” response to Jewish control of the world’s banks [which they aren’t in control]. This after he posted a doctored image of himself, his father and several other prominent Trump allies next to Pepe the frog, a cartoon character whose image has been used by white supremacists.

A pro-Trump SuperPAC director says how much Trump Jr. enjoys mingling with working-class men and women. [Reminds me of a king meeting his subjects.]

Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents. Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.

In one case, from 2007, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club faced $120,000 in unpaid fines from the town of Palm Beach, Fla., resulting from a dispute over the height of a flagpole. In a settlement, Palm Beach agreed to waive those fines — if Trump’s club made a $100,000 donation to a specific charity for veterans. Instead, Trump sent a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity funded almost entirely by other people’s money, according to tax records.

“We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever,” Trump said to approving nods from the nearly all-white crowd in a small town.

Trump said African-American communities in the US are “absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before.” Trump’s assertion ignores “the fact that African-Americans were lynched, African-Americans were forced to drink out of colored water fountains, ride the back of the bus, were enslaved in this country … demonstrates a profound ignorance of history and insensitivity to what we are going through at this very moment,” according to the NAACP president. Trump also claimed that African-American areas are worse than Afghanistan – he’s never been there either.

Critics have panned Trump’s outreach to African-Americans for painting the lives of black Americans in broad-brushed and bleak terms.

Regarding Trump’s finally admitting that Barrack Obama was born in the US, when he said that [but could just be a coincidence that] 4 of 9 people in the camera view directly at Trump were black and when you see everyone behind him in a full stage view it looks like just one additional black was on stage out of at least a couple of dozen.

[I don’t know about you but having people on stage is a dumb idea. Unless they have something to say they should be off stage. This is not just for Trump but Clinton. Was also common at the last Canadian election almost a year ago.]

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway cited three pieces of evidence to support her boss’ claim that Clinton was the originator of Obama’s “birther” dating from 2008. An Email, a memo and a conversation between an unofficial Clinton advisor and a newspaper editor. For the Email, there is no evidence Clinton or her campaign team spread it around. but there were some in the party that suggested it. As for the memo by Clinton’s former chief pollster and media strategist, there is no mention in the strategy proposal of Obama’s birthplace.

So while Trump finally says Obama is born an American [I’m sure with reservations], he still keeps on saying that Clinton will want to kill the second amendment completely. No she just wants it to make it tougher for some [those with criminal or mental histories for example] to get guns who shouldn’t have them.

In mid-September, a CNN panel discussion on the tightening polls dissolved into laughter after Donald Trump spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany got a bit carried away and suggested Trump was headed for a landslide. [I don’t blame them. Every time I’ve seen her I cringe at the comments that she says.]

It’s getting so bad for Trump that former Republican President George H.W. Bush plans to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president this fall. I am sure Trump will make some kind of crude comment like he has lost his brain.

Neither George H.W. Bush nor George W. Bush had weighed in on the general election — even as Trump savaged George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. However, many of the 41st and 43rd presidents’ Cabinet secretaries and national security officials have backed Clinton.

Asked about Trump’s incorrect statement that moderator Lester Holt of NBC News is a Democrat — he’s registered as a Republican in New York — Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said it wasn’t lie, because Trump simply didn’t know Holt’s voter registration. If he didn’t know, why assume? [Oh because Trump thinks all of the media except Fox News are against him.]

Regarding ISIS and why Trump hasn’t detailed how he would defeat ISIS: “You will get his view of how best to defeat the enemy — without telling ISIS specifically what it’s going to be,” Conway said. Or more likely, Trump has no idea.

A $25,000 check sent from Trump’s personal foundation to a political committee supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate whether the 2013 donation to the group supporting Bondi violated federal bribery or tax laws. The contribution came after her office said it was weighing legal action against Trump University. Bondi’s office never sued Trump, though she denies his donation played any role in that decision. Trump later paid a $2,500 fine over the check from his foundation because it violated federal law barring charities from making political contributions.

After the Clinton campaigned offered Trump TV adversary Mark Cuban [Trump called him “dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame”] a seat at the debate, Trump responded by offering a seat to Gennifer Flowers, a woman who had an affair with former President Bill Clinton. By Sunday, his campaign said Flowers would not be attending. Trump basically called Cuban a loser – forgetting that he himself has had 4 bankruptcies. Trump loves to go after people who don’t agree with him.

Clinton has had over 30 debates in her career. Trump’s debates have been limited to those in the GOP primaries.

Trump tried to make the case recently that he’d do more to help women from the White House than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, a lifelong champion of women’s rights. He claims she has done nothing as women and children live in poverty. And him? Trump has been criticized throughout the campaign for crass comments he has made about women in the past, including insults about their physical appearance. Trump said she could do more for women’s right as secretary of state. Does he knows what that job is for? But Trump is the first Republican nominee to hire a woman as his campaign manager.

It shows you how some GOP will do anything: Ted Cruz decided to support Trump even though he once called Trump a “pathological liar” and “serial philanderer” and said that “I have no intention of defending everything Donald Trump says or does.” Trump angered Cruz in the primaries by insulting his wife and suggesting, without evidence, that his Cuban-born father could have been linked to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Cruz said a key reason for changing his mind was Trump’s naming of a top Cruz ally, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, in his updated list of potential Supreme Court picks. So he doesn’t mind if Trump insults his wife but it’s OK because his Supreme Court nominee is on Trump’s list of candidates.

On the other hand Trump went after Chris Christie and Rudi Giuliani during the primaries and both have helped him since [probably want a cabinet position].

Trump is putting moderators on notice that he’ll be watching to see if they get too rough on him. Already fairly anti-media [well maybe except Fox News], Trump has already said that the “the system is being rigged” against him for the upcoming debates. I guess he is preparing his flock to say that if the debates don’t go well for him, he has someone [or some group] to blame.

Trump said he’d like to do away with debate moderators for the debates and simply engage in a one-on-one discussion with Hillary Clinton. Won’t be long before there is a verbal fight.

Trump recently had singled CNN’s Anderson Cooper out for criticism, in an interview with The Washington Post. “He’ll be very biased, very biased,” Trump said. “I don’t think he should be a moderator. I’ll participate, but I don’t think he should be a moderator. CNN is the Clinton News Network.”

Recently, Trump met reports at the media and then left them. He arrived at another event and mocked the reports that he left behind.

Trump is ripping off his merchandise buyers: For $25, you can snag a Trump Gold Card emblazoned with your name or join a campaign “Board of Directors” that comes with a personalized certificate. For $30, there’s Trump’s signature hats — billed as “the most popular product in America.” [Uh huh.] For $184, grab a signed, “now out of print” copy of Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal.” Problem is that there is no evidence the board of directors exists, the book is still in print [at under $10 in paperback], and the new campaign edition of the book is signed by an autopen as noted in the solicitation’s fine print.

“In the past, I have asked supporters for a one-time induction fee of $100. But because of your outstanding generosity to date, I am only asking you to make a $35 contribution,” the email asks. The Associated Press found no evidence of an online solicitation in which the card was sold for the undiscounted price of $100. Knock-offs [almost for sure not made in the US] signature hats are selling at cheaper prices. But even his own hats aren’t made in the US. Wonder how many people called the Trump campaign and asked when the next executive board meeting will occur.

Trump plans ion spending $140 million in TV and digital media ads across 13 or more states but only accumulated $97 million and that’s his joint accounts with Republican Party allies.

In an unusual move [well maybe not for Trump], Trump decided to go and small rural towns. That included a town of 850 people that voted for the GOP surrounded in an area heavily voted for the Democrats.

Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that Obama’s administration hammered out with 11 Pacific Rim countries (excluding China) and that awaits congressional approval. He says deals were reached by clueless U.S. negotiators outfoxed by craftier foreigners. The deal would probably would have a negligible impact on American employment, the International Trade Commission concluded. Trump’s plans to impose punitive tariffs would risk setting off a trade war and driving up prices for American consumers. Pulling back from trade agreements could also reduce America’s diplomatic influence.

Over the campaign, Trump always complained that Clinton backers came from Wall Street and that the Clintons have received millions over the years from Wall Street banks and companies in speaking fees. Maybe it’s because Wall Street doesn’t take Trump seriously in anything he says. Oddly it is Trump who wants to repeal, overhaul or dismantle some of the Wall Street regulations [which helps the banks and companies and not the consumers] while Clinton wants to strengthen the various regulations [which helps the consumers more].
 

Trump now says Obama is born in the US (plus other news)

Finally Donald Trump has said – after over 5 years – that Barrack Obama was actually born in the US after saying for those 5+ years that he was born in Kenya. He didn’t admit he was wrong or even an apology. Was racism involved?

Trump did claim at one point that Hillary Clinton in 2008 said that Obama wasn’t born in the US when in fact some Democrats [trying to cause issues during the primaries] said that he wasn’t born in the US. But these Democrats weren’t from the party and the GOP pounced on the thought.

In a federal lawsuit filed, an anonymous “Jane Doe” alleges that Trump raped her in 1994 when she was 13, while she was being held as a sex slave in an apartment belonging to Jeffrey Epstein, a well-known American financier and convicted sex offender. Epstein is a backer of Trump. Trump has commented previously that Epstein “likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” The alleged victim states that Trump had a “savage sexual attack” on her after which he threatened that she and her family would be “physically harmed if not killed.” Trump camp denies – of course – but there is actually a witness who can corroborate the then 13 year old’s story.

Donald Trump and his ex-wife Ivana are battling attempts at unsealing records of their 1990 divorce, according to a new report. The Trumps filed separate legal briefs urging a judge in Manhattan to stop The New York Times and the Gannett media companies from scrutinizing the end of their marriage. Donald and Ivana Trump were granted a divorce due to “cruel and inhuman treatment” before ultimately reaching a settlement later on.

Ivanka Trump discussed the future of the Trump business empire if her father wins the presidency during an interview on CBS. Asked what the family would do to prevent potential conflicts of interest, she said that “as a private business, we can make decisions that are not in our best interest.” Sure. They intend on possibly losing money? Shareholders won’t be happy.

Ivanka said the “would put it into a blind trust and it would be run by us [his family including her].” But she has already been advising her father on various issues including child care. In essence, she could be working for the government as well.

A report came out outlines a series of potential conflicts of interests, from Trump’s dealings with businessmen who have been the subject of government investigations in India and Turkey to his ties to powerful Russian oligarchs.

Trump, who has floated the idea of Japan and South Korea obtaining nuclear weapons, maintains an ongoing business relationship with Daewoo Engineering and Construction which build nuclear power plants. Trump also tried to license the name to an organization with very well connected ties to Vladimir Poutine. The deal fell through as Trump wanted too much money.

Trump still hasn’t released his tax returns. After making statements such as “I’ve done great” [in making money] , he has given more than $100 million in recent years [ well his campaign claimed that], and “I fight like hell to pay as little as possible” [in taxes], what happens if he hasn’t donated much to charities as he has claimed and he has paid very little or whether and where Trump has foreign accounts or trusts.

Since this quasi tradition of candidates releasing their taxes, Mitt Romney [in 2012] suffered a bit because of the low amount of taxes paid. Trump’s running mate, Mike pence, is expected to release his shortly.

Exactly how long will Trump’s tax audit last? Indefinitely? Usually the longer it is the worse it will be.

“Nobody cares about it [taxes] except some of the folks in the media. Nobody cares about it,” Trump said in a Fox News interview earlier this month. “Nobody” is one of his signature false messages like “Many people are says….”

Trump claims millions of jobs will be created with a 4% economic growth. Experts says that is way more than any economy [good or not] can handle.

“I will sever my connections and I’ll have my children and executives run the company, and I wouldn’t discuss it with them,” Trump said in reference to a Newsweek magazine article about the potential conflicts of interest caused by Trump’s business holdings in India, South Korea, Russia and elsewhere. Ya. Good luck with him not asking or them not telling him about his businesses. As president, would be in a position to make decisions on the economy and foreign policy that could benefit his family’s fortunes. Foreign countries might see Trump business ventures in their country as a way to exert pressure or curry favor.

Another problem will be the way banks and regulatory agencies in the US deal with Trump family members managing his properties. I don’t think a bank would turn down a family member for a loan if he was President. Trump has holdings such as hotels and golf courses in at least 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Panama, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. caused a firestorm when, during an interview with a radio station, he raised the specter of the Holocaust by saying if Republicans acted like Hillary Clinton, the media would be “warming up the gas chamber.”

Donald Trump Jr. has a new reason to explain why his father won’t release his tax returns: They’ll steal from his political message. “Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message.” And in a week before the elections they’ll come up with another excuse. I guess the audit excuse has died.

“With a $10 billion business if Donald Trump dumped his taxes out today, there would be all kinds of misinterpretations of that and maybe some real interpretations of that between now and November,” said Rep. Steve Kings [a Trump supported]. Well, if it was released at the beginning of the campaign there would be less “misinterpretations”. Is this the next excuse being tested?

Trump opened the doors after he was whining about the Clinton Foundation’s conflict of interest when Clinton becomes President. It is easier to move away from something if it is not your money.

Trump’s campaign released an attack add to go after Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark at a fundraising event while “speaking to wealthy donors” over the weekend accusing her of “viciously demonizing hard-working people.” So is this why Trump’s donations are low? No wealthy donors?

In a speech to the National Guard Association conference in Baltimore, Trump said Clinton’s “deplorable” comments were aimed at those in uniform, whether in the military or in law enforcement. How does he equate that?

Trump criticized voters in Iowa by retweeting a supporter’s jab that the Midwestern state’s number one commodity export — Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn – “creates issues in the brain.” Trump has also suggested that those who vote for Clinton would try to “rig” the election away from his supporters. So while Clinton may aimed at 50% of Trump voters with her “deplorable” comment, Trump aimed at all Clinton voters with his “rigged” comment. She didn’t call him unfit for the presidency then.

After Clinton had a bad weekend when he was described as having pneumonia, Trump said that he had a medical exam the previous week and will release the results “when the numbers come in, I’ll be releasing very specific numbers” What a coincidence. And maybe his health results will come in faster than his tax returns. What specific numbers? Will he release only the good results and maybe ignore areas where he has issues [such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.]

Trump’s own health was questioned following media reports into his physician Dr. Harold Bornstein and a note he wrote in 2015 vouching for Trump’s health, which other doctors have said includes medically incorrect terms and an unprofessional conclusion. Clinton’s physician did issue a health statement last year certifying that she was fit to serve as President. Trump has offered no such information.

Trump first provided a summary of a recent physical to Dr. Mehmet Oz while taping an episode of Oz’s TV show. He said on the show that he gets exercise during the campaign by delivering speeches at rallies, calling them “a lot of work” and requiring “a lot of motion.” Exercise by talking and gesturing?

Clinton is within weight range and has normal cholesterol and blood pressure. Trump is considered overweight, a slightly higher blood pressure than Clinton but surprisingly lower cholesterol numbers. Seems to me Clinton is in better health.

“When Donald Trump and I said that the small and bullying president of Russia was a strong leader on the world stage, that wasn’t an endorsement of Putin,” Mike Pence said. Well, that’s what most think it means – they’re endorsing Vladimir Poutine.

Misconfiguration of Donald Trump’s campaign website left the personal information of interns – and perhaps more – accessible to casual snooping. Staffers of the real estate mogul-turned-US presidential candidate “bungled the settings on their Amazon S3 server”. The practical upshot of the snafu was that anyone who correctly guessed folder and file names would have been able to download sensitive information without getting prompted for a password. [Trump will blame Clinton for this.]

“This [Email server] is a far bigger scandal than Watergate ever was, but with Watergate we had justice, we had the Justice Department that went after the people. We’ve never, ever seen anything like this,” Trump said. Uh huh. I guess he wants the Department of Justice fight his battles, not the country’s battles. And I guess he doesn’t know what happened with Watergate.

Trump going after the Clinton Foundation may have backfired. The New York Attorney General has opened an inquiry into the Donald J. Trump Foundation to ensure the Republican presidential nominee’s charity was complying with state laws governing nonprofits. The New York Attorney General sued the real estate mogul and his now defunct Trump University for fraud in 2013, seeking $40 million in restitution plus penalties and other costs. Not surprising, a Trump campaign spokesman dismissed the assertions as entirely motivated by presidential politics.

At a recent Trump rally, as several protesters were being escorted out by security, a man in the crowd grabbed a male protester around the neck and then punched him. He then slapped at a woman being led out. The Trump supporter was not ejected by security. [That’s two counts of assault right there. Seems security was useless.]

Trump was at a [primarily] black church in Flint, Michigan where they have had some clean water issues for the past couple of years or so. He was cut off by the pastor when he tried to go political. At the same time the pastor stopped hecklers from going after him. He cut off the visit shortly after – with a speech totaling 6 minutes. This after he was accused by a woman of discriminatory housing practices in his buildings which he denied but has known to happen.

Ivanka Trump cut short an interview with Cosmopolitan published after being asked about some of Donald Trump’s past comments about childcare and maternity leave. Trump criticized the interviewer for having “a lot of negativity” in her questions. Like father like daughter – they can’t take any criticisms or negative comments and questions.

For as guy who wants to reduce taxes and cut the size of the government, he’s going the opposite way. The military budget is already at $600 billion and he wants to increase that as he claims Obama hasn’t given the military enough. The current military budget [for example] is about 40 times the military budget for Canada. In addition he wants to make child care more affordable, guaranteeing new mothers six weeks of paid maternity leave [whose employers don’t offer leave already] and of course fix infrastructure that he says has been neglected by Obama. Lower-income earners would receive child-care spending rebates through expanding the existing Earned Income Tax Credit.

Added to that is a pledge that no business should pay more than 15 per cent of its income in taxes – currently tops at 35%. That should help the Trump Organization. But he flip flopped again a in December he said the after deduction tax rates would be from 0% to 25%. Now it’s 12% to 33%. I guess he wants the people to pay more than companies.

Trump previously proposed reducing child care costs by allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of child care from their taxes. He recently expanded that proposal to allow families with a stay-at-home parent to qualify for the deduction and to include costs associated with caring for elderly dependent relatives. The deduction would apply only to individuals earning $250,000 or less, or $500,000 or less if filing jointly. But because Trump’s proposal is a tax deduction rather than credit, its greatest benefits would go to affluent households such as Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who suggested the changes to him.

Trump did not lay out how much the proposals would cost, but insisted the extra spending would be offset by economic growth and other cuts. None of the proposals would push economic growth – so he has to assume the economy will do even better than it is now.