Trump vs Comey – round 1

Former FBI Director James Comey accused the Trump administration of spreading “lies, plain and simple” about him and the FBI in the aftermath of his abrupt firing. Comey declared that the administration “defamed him and more importantly the FBI” by claiming the bureau was in disorder under his leadership.

Trump demanded his “loyalty” and directly pushed him to “lift the cloud” of investigation by declaring publicly Trump was not the target of the FBI probe into his campaign’s Russia ties.” Trump, in a strange private encounter near the grandfather clock in the Oval Office, pushed Comey to end his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He did this after asking everyone else to leave the Oval Office.

“The Russians interfered,” Comey stated firmly. “That happened. It’s about as unfake as you can possibly get.”

Comey was also asked if he believed he was fired because of the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election as well as Russia’s ties with Trump’s campaign. “Yes,” Comey said. “Because I’ve seen the president say so.”

The White House had said that Comey was fired for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, while Trump said in an interview that Comey was fired in relation to the Russian hacking probe. Both are odd. If you believe the White house, why did he stay around when Trump took over. As for Trump’s reason, you could say Trump either wasn’t happy with the direction or was not going his way.

Comey said that Trump told him: “I hope you could see your way to letting [national security adviser Michael] Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey testified Thursday that he took that as “direction” from the president, even though Trump did not explicitly order him to drop the investigation into Flynn.

The RNC and other Trump allies worked feverishly to lessen any damage from the hearing, trying to undermine Comey’s credibility by issuing press releases and even ads pointing to a past instance where the FBI had had to clean up the director’s testimony to Congress.

Trump’s defenders argued that it supported Trump’s claims that the former FBI chief had told him three times that he was not personally being investigated in the Russia probe – according to their interpretations. Trump also continues to deny the allegations. Fine, but it sounds like Trump may have meddled in the investigation.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted if something was wrong, why didn’t he stop accepting contacts with his father. The obvious answer is that Trump is his boss and you don’t ignore him.

A pair of Democrats in Congress are drafting up articles of impeachment against Trump, saying that his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey constitutes an obstruction of justice.

Comey said he had never felt the need to document his conversations with former presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush [Comey served as deputy U.S. attorney general during the Bush administration].

Trump had contacted Comey 9 times within 4 months compared to 2 times when Barrack Obama was president.

Various bars, at least around Washington, were having hosting “Comey Viewing Parties”.

House and Senate investigators fired off a series of requests after Comey’s testimony, seeking memos of his private discussions with Trump and any records the White House kept of their discussion including audio recordings.

Meanwhile, Trump said he was willing to testify under oath about his conversations with Comey.

After the London attacks, Trump tweeted “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'” But as usually he took things out of context. Mayor Sadiq Khan was actually informing Londoners not to be alarmed by the increased police presence in the city following the attack.

Trump then tweeted the day after that that Khan had offered a “pathetic excuse” and “had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement.” What about thinking? Such a diplomat.

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne The Witch Conway condemned what she called the media’s “obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president.” So what has he done again since he took office besides tweet?

Trump [or someone handling his Twitter account] started to block Twitter accounts that are unfriendly to Trump. Press Secretary Sean Garlic Spicer said Trump’s tweets from his personal account are considered official White House statements. Some legal experts say, raises First Amendment concerns about what Trump is doing. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University says it’ll consider a lawsuit if Trump doesn’t unblock Twitter users. If Trump’s tweets are considered official White House statements then is a designated public forum. Some of the tweeters claim they were block for something as simple of a joke about covfefe.

According to White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka, on Trump’s tweets he says “It’s not policy. It’s social media.” So whatever Trump tweets are not official? Or official depending on the tweet.

Trump finally came around to blast Qatar for supporting terrorism. Trump said Arab leaders he met with in Saudi Arabia last month had urged him to confront Qatar over its behavior. If so, why did it take him close to a week to come out and say something. Did Arab leaders really ask him? He said Qatar had “historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.” Wonder how things will continue as Qatar hosts some 10,000 U.S. troops and a major U.S. air base.

Trump still pushing for his “travel ban” after being blocked twice. This time he will try the Supreme Court. He then tweets “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.” He has also hinted that UK wouldn’t of had the recent attacks if they had “extreme vetting” [does anyone know what that really entails?] but how many of them were born in the UK?

Even The Witch‘s husband, George Conway, who declined a justice job [claiming family reasons], tweeted out against Trump’s ban.

Seems like lack of diplomacy doesn’t fall far from the tree. After saying critics of his father are “not even people” in an interview on Fox, Eric Trump calls DNC chairman Tom Perez “a total wackjob.” Trump says Democrats “have no message of their own” and are “imploding”. Yup, a chip off the old block when it comes to exaggerations.

Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord could hit his family hard in the future. The Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, the soaring apartment towers bearing his name on Miami-area beaches and his Doral golf course are all threatened by rising seas, according to projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. The same goes for other low-lying South Florida properties such as his beloved National Doral Miami golf course. Other properties near water include The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, his golf course in Ireland, Vancouver, Panama City, Uruguay and India.

As a photo op, Trump met two families while in Cincinnati who were hit with rising health care costs. He called them “ObamaCare victims” in a tweet. They may not have any coverage with TrumpCare as experts estimate that over 20 million Americans will be off the government plan. As well, Trump spoke in Cincinnati at a marina, with a barge carrying West Virginia coal behind him.

In a meeting, Trump “joked” that Jared Kushner, who is married to his daughter Ivanka and also serves as a White House strategist, has “become much more famous than me,” adding: “I’m a little bit upset about that.” Turn the calendar back about a few months ago. He said “He’s become more famous than me” about FBI director James Comey. A month later, Comey was fired.

Scratching you head time: If true Jared Kushner suggested that it would be better if to contact the Russian government, it would be better to do it from the Russian embassy. If so, the US has no proof or documentation [or recording] of what was said. This goes against US laws which require government communication needs to be recorded.

Like many, President Barrack Obama would not use Trump’s name at a speech in Montreal this week. For example, he said “Obviously I’m disappointed with the current American administration’s decision to pull out of Paris,” when asked about the Trump’s administration to leave the accord. He continued to elude Trump’s name when he said “In an age of instant information, where TV and Twitter can feed us a steady stream of bad news — and sometimes fake news….”

Remember how Trump was boasting following his Saudi Arabia part of his trip that he has deals worth $110 billion signed? Not really. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but no contracts signed. With the drop in oil prices, Saudi Arabia are even cutting back on military purchases.

The family and close friends have repeatedly ask Trump to dial back or tone down his tweeting as it is costing him [what’s left of his] respectability.

In another sign that the economy doesn’t like the administration, Ford is offering 15,000 employees money to leave the company. If not, they’ll probably lay off many.

On March 11, 45% of Americans approved of the job Donald Trump was doing in Gallup’s daily tracking poll. The latest Gallup track on June 3 put Trump’s job approval at a dismal 36% — a single percentage point away from the lowest ebb of his time in the White House. (On March 28, Trump’s job approval was at 35%.) A Quinnipiac University poll released in late May put Trump’s job approval at 37%. A Monmouth poll conducted in mid-May put Trump’s job approval at 39%. In comparison, President Obama was at 61% in the Gallup tracking poll in early June 2009. George W. Bush was at 55% in Gallup at this time in 2001.

Since 1946, according to Gallup, when a president’s job approval rating is above 50%, the average number of seats his party loses in a midterm election is 14. When a president’s job approval rating is below 50%? Try an average 36-seat loss.

 

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1469 days until the next Presidential inauguration!

A bit of trivia: Name the action movie in the mid-1990s mentions both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the movie? Scroll to the bottom…]

“I know a lot about hacking.” Boy now Trump is a computer specialist! Trump claimed to have inside information on the matter, which he said he would reveal within the week of saying so – and didn’t. Judging from the history of Trump, it won’t be during that week, the next or the week after. Or maybe ever.

All sixteen federal intelligence agencies in the US plus two private independent security firms all concluded that Russia was involved in the hacking.

“What I can say is that we don’t believe that intelligence efforts should interfere into politics, certainly,” Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump said. So this is the equivalent of saying the intelligence agencies should not say that their government was hacked into.

“This report that everyone keeps talking about is not final,” the President-elect’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer said. So why was the report released? Did the report say it wasn’t final?

“As President-elect he is privy to information most people aren’t,” Spicer said. Ok, so why mention anything until you can release it.

“And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong.” True but who knows. With the time wasted going in, the WMDs could have been moved or buried.

Trump’s people can’t get things right. Reince Priebus stated that Trump finally acknowledged that the US was hacked and Trump has promised to retaliate but Trump advisor [and all around odd-ball – for the lack of kind words] Kellyanne Conway keeps on using “alleged” hack because the Russians [she claims] were unsuccessful.

Trump is blaming the DNC for the lack of security to their network but Trump fails to blame the RNC [they were hacked but supposedly (or on purposely)] no leaked data or various government agencies.

Trump having his children or son-in-law as advisors could go against a law created in the mid-1960s which stipulates that family members cannot be advisors or paid. They may be one some committees but unpaid and clear of advising the President. But remember – this is Donald Trump. What’s another potentially broken law?

A full repeal of Obamacare by Trump would cost $350 billion over the next decade, according to a new analysis from the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This makes its wholesale dismantling much more complicated. Trump himself said [depending on the weather it seems] will either pull all of Obamacare or take the “best” pieces.

The GOP and Trump claim removing Obamacare would be their first item of business. But they have not said what they would replace it with. There is talk that even giving children of illegal immigrants health care as part of Obamacare would be pulled as well as the guarantee of health care even with pre-existing conditions. An estimate 20 million Americans who didn’t have health care prior to Obamacare could potentially lose their health care.

Trump went to Twitter [as usual] to lash out at Meryl Streep after she made comments about him at the Golden Globe Awards. He responded in his usual fashion calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and denying he “groveled” at someone during the campaign. If The Pope was to make comments about him I wonder how he’d respond? “Over-rate Pope”? “Pope who has done nothing?” He is a humorless and easily offended public persona.

Trump to criticize Saturday Night Live as “biased” and “unwatchable” on Twitter during the campaign after Alec Baldwin made fun of his looks and manner. But the show just recorded its best ratings in 24 years, thanks to a toxic and highly divisive U.S. presidential election.

Actor Alex Baldwin making fun at Trump with a knock off of “Make America Great Again” in Russian….

Arnold Schwarzenegger took over as “host” on Celebrity Apprentice [which Trump still has a production credit but doesn’t do anything]. Trump went after “Arnie” after the ratings have dropped but also poked fun at him because he supported (John) Kasich and Hillary (Clinton). Arnie did respond in Twitter with “I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”

Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton have decided to attend the inauguration to do so out of a sense of duty and respect for the American democratic process. So has George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter [who previous agreed to attend].

In another about face [well partially] Trump has said he will push to build the “Great Wall” between the US and Mexico now and send Mexico the invoice later. He doesn’t want to wait on the wall. There are currently 700 miles of fence along that track, with another approximately 1,200 miles either open, nearly impossible to actually build on or impassable.

Melania Trump, taking lessons from her husband, has warned that she will sue anyone who calls her an “ex-hooker”. If you recall, a story stated that she came to the US with a non-work visa and yet she was supposedly a model at Trump’s modeling agency. The story said she pulled in $20,000 within months. I would guess not all was modeling – especially since the agency couldn’t put her on their payroll legally. Get the drift?

Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley, whom Donald Trump has tapped for a top national security communications role, plagiarized large sections of her 2012 book, a CNN review has found. The review of Crowley’s June 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened,” found upwards of 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including the copying with minor changes of news articles, other columnists, think tanks, and Wikipedia.

Trump wants to create a “team” within 90 days of his inauguration on how to tackle hacking. First, you know Trump. It will be long after 90 days – if ever. Second, doesn’t the US already have an intelligence division to handle this? Oh ya. Trump doesn’t trust them.

Trump’s tweeting could cause problems. As of now they have been minor but if he tweets a bad comment, it could cause ripples.

In an example of bad tweeting Trump said “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!” In fact most Cruzes are made in Ohio for the US market. The Cruze hatchback is made in Mexico for the international market although maybe 4500 care shipped to the US. After the tweet, GM’s stock market price briefly went down.

During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement as a means of protecting and creating U.S. jobs. But while NAFTA is still valid, dishing out a “border tax” isn’t allowed.

Then Trump whined again on Twitter about Toyota opening a plant in Mexico and again with the “border tax” except he was technically defending Canada because the “lost” jobs would actually be Canadian jobs. Oh. He got the location in Mexico wrong.

It’s been a policy that when a new president comes in, all the appointments from the previous administration are recalled. Generally they leave by inauguration day. But with the Trump administration, they want everyone out by inauguration day. No exceptions or extensions. That means pulling kids out of school in the middle of the school year, canceling charity galas and supposedly in one case cancer treatment.

Oh. What ever happened to Trump releasing his tax returns. Maybe it includes the fact that it will show Trump’s connections to Russian businesses.

Trivia answer: Die Hard With A Vengeance [the third Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis]. At one point in conversations between the characters of Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, both names came up. Interesting to note that Clinton’s name came up related to the presidency.

So un-presidential is Tump

After keeping quite quiet for two weeks, the dark side of president-elect Donald Trump has come out.

First even with large enough leads in the three states that would make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to capture any of the states, it still bothers Trump that he has to lash out at anyone who wants a recount.

Trump announced that he is leaving his family’s business to concentrate on being the President but gave no details. His s three eldest children – Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka – are expected to run the operations. How he is going to do this will be a mystery as he may have requested top security clearance for the three and Ivanka’s husband. In addition, Trump owns golf clubs, office towers and other properties in several countries. He holds ownership stakes in more than 500 companies. He has struck licensing deals for use of his name on hotels and other buildings around the world. [If you think the supposedly connection between the Clinton Foundation and the state department (that Trump claimed during the election) could be an issue, wait until this progresses.] Ethics experts have pushed for Trump to fully exit the ownership of his businesses using a blind trust or equivalent arrangement.

Experts say Trump may have to sell off his stake in his new luxury Trump hotel down the road from the White Shack. It was originally the central post office and is still government property. Trump too a 60 year lease but part of the lengthy lease documents say anyone in public office can not own or lease the building. Trump put $200 million of his money [supposedly] into renovating the building.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally” tweeted Trump. I wouldn’t consider the outcome a landslide [particularly if by some fluke the recounts in the three states went to Clinton.] Trump first alleged hat “millions” of undocumented immigrants voted against him and later directed the inaccurate charges at California, Virginia and New Hampshire. California is one state where he had no chance of winning. So unsure why he would even bother complaining about that state anyways. [That and most immigrants probably wouldn’t vote for him anyways.] Trump may have used the information tweeted by Gregg Phillips of True the Vote, whose baseless allegation was later picked up by some fringe media outlets.

“Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!” Trump tweeted.

Tom Rath, the former attorney general of New Hampshire said “This will probably cost me my spot in the Cabinet but there was no fraud, serious or other, in this election in NH. There just wasn’t.”

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla hit back at Trump, tweeting that his “unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd.”

In 2012, he tweeted: “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy” and yet he accepts his win from it. But right after his win he said “The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!”

Trump continues to ignore advisors and his national security briefings. The latest mess has him accepting a call from the President of Taiwan – considered a no-no to appease the Chinese. He could be just turning up the heat a bit as he went after China throughout the elections.

Trump continues to whine in his tweets against Saturday Night Live after the show made fun of him over his diplomatic goof with Taiwan. I’m sure Trump will sign an executive order killing the show in January – if he could. So presidential.

A petition has started on change.org as New Yorkers don’t want to pay the estimated $1 million per DAY security bill [and other costs] to have Melania Trump in New York.

President-elect Donald Trump is “irritated” with top aide Kellyanne Conway’s public campaign against Mitt Romney’s potential nomination as Secretary of State. There is an internal feud between Conway and chief of staff Reince Priebus, specifically about the choice between Romney and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani for the nation’s top diplomatic position. She said that Trump supporters felt “betrayed” by Romney’s consideration. Conway and others have pointed to the vicious personal attacks Romney lobbed at Trump throughout the campaign as being different and more severe than many other. Will she still be in the administration by January? New York Rep. Chris Collins called Romney a “self-serving egomaniac.”

Seems that that Donald Trump will have both the technology and the Constitutional authority to send a Tweet, should he wish to, to every phone of every American whenever he wants.

Meanwhile, Trump uses an Android phone. Probably not secure for his position. [I sure hope his Android phone is made in America. 🙂 ]

A CNN survey released last week found that Trump’s favorability rating had gone from 36 per cent a few weeks before the election to 47 per cent 10 days after the vote. A little less than half of Americans said Trump’s actions since the election had made them more confident in his ability to serve as president.

A Quinnipiac poll released last week found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans thought Trump should shut down his personal Twitter account. More than half were concerned that Trump might veto legislation that’s good for the nation if it hurt his business interests.

 

Time for electoral reform in the US?

Maybe it is time for some electoral reform in the United States. Only 2 states [Maine and Nebraska] do not follow the winner-takes-all rule like the other states. In those states, there could be a split of Electoral votes among candidates through the state’s system for proportional allocation of votes. So those two states have a slightly better representation of the vote.

In the case of this past US election, Hillary Clinton had 2 million more votes than president-elect Donald Trump and yet lost the election because Trump won more of the tighter races like Michigan and Pennsylvania while Clinton blew away Trump in California and the District of Columbia. [Note: Some information is still not final.] An estimated 136 million out of 232 million people voted in the US. So take the 232 million and divide into 538 seats and you have roughly 431,000 votes per seat. There was about 9 states [plus DC] that didn’t even get that many votes in this past election. California [the biggest prize] got a bit under 14 million who voted out of about 25 million.

While the constitution guarantees every state a minimum of 2 seats other states are given quite a bit more. Nebraska had just 835,000 votes but still had 3 seats [at a total of 1.3 million voters, they are about on par with the number of seats allocated].

But here comes the question: A state such as California is a winner takes all state. So whomever gets the most votes wins all the seats no matter how close. So [even after a recount] the winner could have taken all 55 seats with just a [say] 100 vote majority. What does that say to the people who voted for the wrong candidate. Instead of a 28 seats to 27 seats, those who were not on the winning side technically are not represented.

Maybe it is time to adjust the electoral college and maybe incorporate what is done in some countries in Canada and elsewhere.

In Canada [as of 2015] there are 338 seats [or ridings] in Parliament. With some minor exceptions, every riding in Canada is at the averages about 75,000 people and within the largest provinces there is a difference of about 15,000 [plus or minus]. Each riding is counted on election day. The winner of the riding means one seat for the party and its leader. So in British Columbia [with 42 ridings], it is not who wins the most votes in BC but who won the most ridings.

Like in the US elections, there will be some ridings were there will be a landslide win for one candidate or another but overall they were even out.

The largest province, Ontario has almost a third of the ridings. Can you imagine how easy it could be if it was a winner take all? Another 49 ridings and they won easily. [Quebec generally votes the same way as Ontario, so the election would be over before the western provinces are counted.] In the last federal election in Canada in 2015, the percentages of seats won were very close to that of the popular vote.

Going back to the US election, theoretically Clinton could of picked up about 272 of 538 seats.

[PS – There is talk of modifying the electoral process in Canada, switching to proportional representation. But that should never happen. With 2 large parties and a third almost as large, Canadian governments would end with constant coalitions like in Italy, Israel, etc. as there hasn’t been a party that has had more than 50% of the vote in years.]

 

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. 🙂

 

 

 

Last pre-election Trump news

Well this will be my last update prior to the election. I don’t want the Donald Trump accusing me of whatever on election day. 🙂

After Hillary Clinton was cleared [again] by the FBI related to the emails, Donald Trump said that Clinton is “guilty” of federal crimes and said a “rigged” system was protecting Clinton. Trump also cast doubt on FBI Director James Comey’s conclusions, just over a week after the Republican nominee praised the FBI director for announcing the review of the emails. So not surprised, Trump is happy when things go his way and whines like a baby when they don’t.

The New York Times reported that in the 1990s, Trump avoided paying potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes in a way even his own lawyers considered questionable, using a maneuver Congress explicitly banned in 2004. At issue is how Trump cancelled hundreds of millions of dollars of debt as his Atlantic City casinos went broke.  The Times says it obtained documents showing that Trump claimed his creditors’ losses as his own, a strategy that his lawyers said the IRS would likely not allow. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said Trump’s approach was appropriate. So Hicks is either also a lawyer or an accountant?

After a recording emerged last month in which Trump could be heard bragging about groping women, Paul Ryan told his fellow Republicans that he would no longer defend the party’s presidential nominee. Trump fired back on Twitter, chastising Ryan for undermining the GOP’s efforts. So what does Ryan do? He announced he voted for Trump.

“So we’d have a criminal trial of a sitting president” Trump said about Clinton and her email server scandal. But while in office as President, she is protected from any criminal cases. She would probably have to be impeached first or resign. If only Trump new about US laws.

At a rally on Saturday Trump claims that Clinton is in a second investigation related to her bribery tactics at the state department. Finally he claims that if she wins she will be arrested for these issues while as a President. Well again, once you are president, to protect the Presidency and the country, you can’t be prosecuted.

Trump then complained about the “corrupt politicians” and the “political elite” but didn’t specify just the Democrats. Also he claimed that he was up 7 points and he was winning in a whole bunch of swing states and win Florida because of the “turnout”.

Newsweek is releasing a “commemorative edition” for the elections. And has already printed the edition [or most of it]. The cover was leaked and right away, Trump campaigned called it rigged. So Newsweek showed both covers. Meanwhile if Trump somehow wins, they’ll destroy the Clinton version. You read it right. They predict Clinton will win.

Trump knocked US military leaders as a “group of losers” for not launching a “surprise” attack and said he was convinced the offensive — which is led by the Iraqi military — was launched “for political reasons” to benefit his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. He suggested she would get “credit” for its success.

Trump has received fewer endorsements from the nation’s largest newspaper editorial boards than any major party presidential candidate in history. Among the top 100 largest newspapers in America, just two endorsed Trump [one owned by a major supporter]. Clinton has received endorsements from 57 newspaper editorial boards across the country including some that usually side with the Republicans. Four newspapers have taken the unusual step of explicitly advising readers to vote against Trump, even if they cannot bring themselves to recommend Clinton. Even Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson has had more success with editorial boards than Trump four.

Interesting: Trump owned Forty Wall St. which actually is the tallest building in downtown Manhattan but was the second tallest once the World Trade Center was built.

Trump mocked hip-hop music as he once again criticized the performance Jay Z and Beyonce delivered at a rally for Hillary Clinton, asking whether it was “talking or singing.” I guess that won’t help him get the African-American or young vote. Trump insists that African-American voters are turning out in droves for him, an assessment contradicted by polls that show Trump with low single-digit support among black voters. Trump has also described inner cities as worse than war zones and equated the lives of minorities living in inner cities with members of those communities at large, even though a majority of African-Americans do not live in poverty.

Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale is in hot water after saying “It will be close. It’s like predicting your wife’s mood. You have no idea what you’re going to get until you get home.”

Naughty Melania Trump. She raked in $20,000 in under 2 months for 10 modeling jobs when she just had a regular Visa – not the Visa that allows you to work.

It seems Trump had an affair in 2006 for 10 months with the 1998 Playmate of the Year. But he had his National Enquirer buddy/owner pay her $150,000 for two years’ worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a married man. It was an exclusive – so it bars her from telling the story to others and she could lose at least $150,000 if she tells another publication.

Paul Ryan flip flops like the stock market. Now, not only did he vote for Trump, he is campaigning for him. Go back just a few months and he didn’t want to be near Trump.

A 60-second Clinton ad that features Trump in his own words over the years concludes: “Anyone who believes, anyone who says, anyone who does what he does, is unfit to be president.” This is when being in the spotlight too much [let alone tweeting] can bite you in the butt later.

A man on ABC TV claimed Hillary Clinton’s team paid him US$3,500 to pretend to be a protester at a Donald Trump rally, simultaneously calling into question the sincerity of anti-Trump demonstrators and Clinton’s ethics. Eric Trump said it was bad and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway called the practice “deplorable.” Problem was that it wasn’t the American ABC TV but a web site out of Columbia. They’ll believe anything.

This week, Sean Hannity, the influential Fox News commentator and Trump backer, aired a story suggesting Michelle Obama had erased all her pro-Clinton tweets in the wake of the renewed FBI email probe. It was a fake, easily disproved simply by examining Obama’s Twitter feed. Hannity later apologized.

A researcher discovered that a small town in the country of Macedonia, of all places, has 100 dubious news sites pumping out mostly pro-Trump material.

“Hillary Clinton will keep us on the road to stagnation,” a narrator says in one of Trump’s latest ads. Economy? If anything, economy is doing better in the US than before Barack Obama came in.

Trump Tower has gone “under” in Toronto after 4 years. Trump doesn’t own the building but his management manages it – figures. This after Trump Taj Mahal closed its doors.

With Trump slightly creeping up in the polls, he said there could be a “constitutional crisis”? Huh. Where? You win the vote on November 8th or you lose. It’s that simple [unless a tie and even that can be broken].

Before he flipped to the Republicans, Trump praised Clinton [calling her “terrific”] and the Democrats [Nancy Pelosi is “terrific” as well] on the Don Imus show in 2007.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich voted for 2008 Republican nominee John McCain as a write in instead of for Trump.

Melania Trump claims that as the First wife, she will work hard to get rid of bullying. Has she seen what her husband has done during the campaign? Her husband has used language including calling women “Miss Piggy” and “dogs.”

A local Republican ad in update New York state said the Democrats will add 88 cents per gallon of gas if the Democrats win because of carbon tax.

“@MELANIATRUMP to say u will stand for “anti-bullying” is hypocrisy. Your husband is 1 of the most notorious bullies we have ever witnessed,” said Lady Gaga in a tweet.

“There was a collective gasp across the nation going, ‘Have you met your husband Donald?’ ” said Alice Stewart, a former senator Ted Cruz communications official. Trump, has regularly used his Twitter account to launch personal attacks against people, including against one-time rival Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz.

Ivanka Trump’s clothing line hit $30 million in sales. She is aiming at professional women between 25 and 34 years old. That same group are against Donald Trump 2 to 1.

“…the only way we think we can best stop is to make him [former KKK leader David Duke] look like a bigot, racist, xenophobic, this and that,” said Eric Trump. Hmmm. Those last 3 adjectives can probably describe his father as well.

Trump wrongly said that Amazon “through its ownership controls the Washington Post” at a rally. In fact, Bezos owns the Post separately from his role at Amazon, though some partnerships between the two entities have been forged.

At one of his event, Trump said he will “stop” the “sick media.” Unsure how he will do that – unless he nationalize the media – something a dictator would do.

Trump actually sued Bill Maher for $5 million. It was in response to a 2013 joke on “The Tonight Show,” when Maher said he would donate $5 million to charity if Trump could prove he wasn’t the “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.” This joke was in response to Trump’s offer of the same amount if President Barack Obama would release his college transcripts. Trump later withdraw the lawsuit – as usual.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor is holding back a Republican-backed bill that would let Trump voters travel to any precinct in the state to challenge votes.

Fact checkers rate Trump’s statements as entirely false 52% of the time compared to Clinton’s 12%. This is entirely – and not some truth in their statements.

Even Macy’s, Nascar and NBC cut ties with Trump early after his comments disparaging Mexican immigrants plus the closure of the Trump Taj Mahal casino and problems at the Trump tower in Vancouver, Trump has said his brand is hotter than ever. But of course, he never shows proof to his claims.

A recent book cataloged all the synonyms for bullshit, and one of the oldest dates back to the 1400s. It originally referred to trickery and scamming, although its meaning has evolved to include general nonsense and insignificance. That word: trumpery.

What does this tell you? The house in Queens where Trump lived for his first 4 years is going to auction. Originally the asking price was $1.6 million US and then $1.39 million. Then $850,000. Now the owner wants to auction it off.

Although not yet confirmed, it appears that an Apple iCloud account belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta, was accessed and possibly erased by hackers less than 12 hours after his password was published on WikiLeaks.

Scholastic says Democrat Hillary Clinton took 52 per cent of its 2016 Student Vote, while Republican Donald Trump won 35 per cent of the ballots. The company says 13 per cent of students wrote in “other” choices. The student vote has been a fairly accurate predictor of the actual election over the years. As well, it has mirrored the results in every election since 1940, with the exception of election years 1948 and 1960. 150,000 Kindergarteners through 12th graders were allowed to vote. Scholastic acknowledges it wasn’t a scientifically designed sample.

The most public aspect of President Obama’s online presence is the Twitter handle @POTUS, which he first tweeted from in 2015. Whoever the next president is will have access to that handle on January 20, 2017. The account will keep its 11 million or so followers, but the tweets will be wiped from the timeline. @POTUS44, a newly created handle maintained by NARA, will contain all of President Obama’s tweets and will be accessible to the public on Twitter as an archive of President Obama’s use of the account.

Tweets from @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @VP will be archived at NARA, where citizens can access them in a similar way they would access other records. The new president will also gain access to the official White House Instagram and Facebook accounts, with the Obama administration’s content moved to Instagram.com/ObamaWhiteHouse and Facebook.com/ObamaWhiteHouse, respectively.

 

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.