Mueller testifies – was it a draw? Anyone won?

Former special counsel, Robert Mueller III [a.k.a. “Robert Three Sticks” by a right wing news anchor], said before the hearing he would not offer anything new that hasn’t been said in the 448 page report. He was asked to appear at two committees to answer and clarify his report. But some Republicans were expecting new information.

Donald Trump said he would “probably” not watch the testimony, before quickly saying he might “see a little bit of it.” Oh I’m sure he watched more than a little. His ego wants to watch. Well he stopped before the hearing began and then resumed tweeting after 10 AM. So much for “a little bit”.

On the same morning at the hearing, Trump accused Democrats of having “illegally fabricate(d) a crime” and “pinning it on a very innocent President” and later added “this illegal and treasonous attack on our Country.”

Then he added that Mueller should of investigated himself, Hillary Clinton, James Comey and just about anyone who he dislikes before described Mueller’s investigation as “the Greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history, by far!”

Right away all the right wingers are saying that this hearing shows that Trump is innocent of all charges, vindicated, etc. What hearing were they watching? Republicans said Mueller was a failure at the hearings. Even Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said so. So it must be true. Other Republicans have said there is nothing wrong and the Democrats should give up and get back to help govern the country.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who claimed Mueller’s testimony “has been a disaster for the Democrats” and “a disaster” for Mueller’s reputation. Other right wing commentary said the Democrats bombed because Mueller basically said there was nothing new in his testimony. Duh. He said in advance he would not offer anything new.

“The Democrats lost so big today. Their party is in shambles right now….. The Democrats had nothing, and now they have less than nothing.” was what Trump said outside the White House. What an exaggerator.

“President Trump’s tenure in office may very well have been extended by four years as a consequence of this hearing,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Republican’s chief attack dog on the judiciary committee.

One area where the two warring sides did manage to briefly come together was on Mueller’s bleak assessment that the Russians were most certainly still trying to undermine the integrity of the country’s electoral system.

Republican Rep. Louie Gomert whines that former FBI agent Peter Strzok hates Trump and should of been off the team. You think they have nothing else to do but grill each member of their politics. Surprised he didn’t go after any other Democrat leaning agent.

The day after the Mueller hearings, a Republican blocked the advancement of four bills aimed at strengthening election security. Two of those bills would require campaigns to report to federal authorities any attempts by foreign entities to interfere in US elections, and the third is aimed at protecting from hackers the personal accounts and devices of senators and some staffers. The Republicans claim that the upcoming elections are already secure while the Democrats say the 3 bills enhance that security.

From an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity:

  • “So, I ended up watching more than I wanted to.” – So much for watching very little [see the first paragraph in this blog].
  • “This was a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again.” – Except 199 criminal counts against 37 people and entities. Seven people pleaded guilty. Five sentenced to prison.
  • “I watch as people scream at these poor Democrats, the congressmen, scream like I’ve never seen.” – Screaming?
  • “I think the press has lost all credibility, much of it. But it’s lost a big part of it. I mean, a very substantial part of it, lost all credibility.” – Except that would exclude Fox News, Breitbart, any nationalist web site,…
  • “It’s fake news, but it’s the enemy of the people, more importantly.” – Trump says that the free and independent media is the enemy of the people.
  • “Well, [James] Comey is a liar and a leaker and that’s obvious.” – Except while lying to Congress can send you to prison for 5 years, he isn’t in prison. Why is that?
  • “We have some very, very bad people in government that would be willing to do very bad things and for bad reasons.” – Except if they are bad, have they resigned or being investigated?
  • “I mean, this was — this was a coup attempt, in my opinion.” – Except where were the military? Didn’t see them take over anything. Like the word treason, he doesn’t know the definition of the word coup.
  • “Had Hillary won this election, you’d be at war right now with North Korea, and I have no doubt about that.” – Except meanwhile North Korea fired two missile tests this past week after 3 meetings with dictator Kim Jong Un [including one in North Korea] and of course has no idea what the US and North Korea would be doing if Clinton was President. We probably do know that the US’ reputation wouldn’t be damaged, allies wouldn’t be angry [or not as many], and tariff wars wouldn’t have started against them.

The Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to use $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense to construct parts of a wall along the southwestern border that the government argues is necessary to protect national security. The Supreme Court voted 5-4, along ideological lines. The decision overrules the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had blocked the transfer of funds while appeals played out.

Members of the US military will spend roughly a month painting parts of one mile of the wall along the southern border in Calexico, California “to improve the aesthetic appearance of the wall.” There “may also be an operational benefit” to painting it as “individuals appeared to have greater difficulty” scaling recently painted bollards in Nogales, Arizona.

Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib vowed to hold her ground during a speech in Detroit, clearly responding to Trump’s attacks on the four Democratic congresswomen of color known as “the squad” by saying “I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this President.”

This was after Trump tweeted “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” accused them of “destroying the Democratic Party,” and said they should “apologize to America”. After Tlaib’s comments above he tweeted “The ‘Squad’ is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart.” When you say anything negative about Trump, he goes after you. It’s an ego issue.

Just a couple of days after Trump praised North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, North Korea sent two test missiles which landed in the water between them and Japan. Are they poking fun at Trump? Nah.

Trump tweeted Sweden has “let our African American community down” by not freeing rapper A$AP Rocky, who is facing assault charges after a confrontation last month where he and 2 from his entourage beat up someone. Trump offer to post his bail. Nope. Sweden has no bail system.

He added “We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem!” Now look at the first sentence. Where have we’ve seen this tactic before? Yes. He does the same thing when it comes to countries before pushing tariffs. As for the second sentence, there would be no crime in this case if the rapper and friends didn’t beat up the other person.

Afghanistan has demanded the United States clarify remarks made by Trump, who said the country “would be wiped off the face of the Earth” if he wanted to win the war in Afghanistan. Trump on Monday had suggested that he could put an end to the Afghanistan war in a week, but that it would cost millions of lives and wipe the country.

Trump also said that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan would like him to mediator in the decades-long conflict between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region. Trump had claimed that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally asked him if he would like to be a mediator. A spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs said on Twitter that “no such request has been made” by Modi. India prefers direct talks with Pakistan and no mediator.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly 90 to 8 to confirm Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, Mark Esper, giving the Pentagon its first permanent chief since James Mattis stepped down in January. 5 Democratic presidential hopefuls voted against.

US attorney general William Barr has said consumers should accept the risks that encryption backdoors pose to their personal cybersecurity to ensure law enforcement can access encrypted communications. Law enforcement says encryption thwarts their access to communications they claim they need to prosecute criminals. Well, the US is slowly turning into a dictatorship.

Bill Weld, challenging Trump for GOP party leader says he is a “raging racist.” Duh. Chance of him winning is the same chances of Trump resigning this week.

White House officials in recent weeks have shown Trump a document that alleges a large conspiracy to award Amazon a 10-year, $10 billion contract to build the Pentagon’s cloud computing network. Trump has well-known animosity toward the online retail giant and its founder, Jeff Bezos. Oracle, IBM and Microsoft are also fighting for the contract with Microsoft having a slight edge.

The Trump administration’s latest step is to clamp down on the food stamps program, which covers 38 million Americans, and other public assistance services. It wants to require more poor people to work for SNAP benefits, and it is looking to change the way the poverty threshold is calculated, a move that could strip many low-income residents of their federal benefits over time.

It would curtail so-called broad-based categorical eligibility, which makes it easier for Americans with somewhat higher incomes and more savings to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the formal name for food stamps.

Trump ripped into [surprisingly] Fox News for reporting poll numbers that show him trailing multiple Democratic presidential candidates. Shocker!

Trump made 61 false or misleading claims last week. Over a year, that would come out to 3,172 of them. Ouch. Trump has gotten less truthful over time: in 2017, his average was 2.9 false claims per day; from 2018 through May 2019, it was 8.3 per day.

Four of the world’s largest carmakers — Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW – are going forward with plans to make more fuel-efficient vehicles for the US market, despite the Trump administration’s plans to roll back the rules.

Turkey would retaliate against what it called an unacceptable threat of US sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defenses, its foreign minister said, adding he thinks Trump wants to avoid such measures. Turkey began receiving deliveries of the surface-to-air S-400 systems earlier this month, prompting the United States to begin removing the NATO ally from its F-35 stealth fighter program over security concerns. A US official said it would cost some $500 million to $600 million to shift F-35 manufacturing from Turkey.

Trump floated placing tariffs on French wines and other French products in retaliation for that nation’s new tax on large American technology companies, telling reporters in the Oval Office that he “might” impose the tax ahead of the G7 summit in August.

Trump continues to try to help defend American rapper A$AP Rocky who is being held for trial in Sweden on charges that he and two of his entourage beat up and individual there. He also complains that why is he doing this to a African American – as if he has supported African Americans in the past.

One of the reviews of Mueller’s testimony at the hearings: “Like watching a passionate conversation with an answering machine.”

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Trump off to Europe – you know what that means

With Donald Trump in the UK for a state visit and the to the D-Day commemorations plus domestic issues it was a busy week.

Just days before Trump would fly to England for a visit, he called [former] American, Meaghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex, “nasty”. Probably because when he got elected she said she would move to Canada [she already worked there on the TV series Suits]. On the other hand, he always call people who don’t like him names [think Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren or “Sloppy” Joe Biden]. She is the only American ever to join the royal family.

Here we go again. A day later he claimed he didn’t call the Duchess “nasty” – blaming CNN, The New York times and others. Except there is video of him saying that.

In a startling comment for a man who regards himself as a master deal maker, he added: “She’s probably a better negotiator that I am.” Trump suggested that history would judge outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May kindly on her handling of Brexit.

Ummm. Trump was turned down for a meeting by potential Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Johnson saying he was too busy. But then Trump said he turned down a meeting with the leader of the UK’s opposition Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, describing him as a “negative force.” Moments before Trump started speaking, Corbyn was addressing an anti-Trump protest nearby. Corbyn refused to attend Trump’s state banquet on Monday, and has been a long-time critic. For once, Trump did something right [for Corbyn’s politics only].

Trump said “I didn’t see the protesters until just a little while ago, and it was a very, very small group of people put in for political reasons, so it was fake news.”, despite large crowds gathering to rally against his visit.

Between 1981 and 1995, multiple claims that members of the British Royal family [mostly Price Charles and Princess Diana] were joining Trump properties filled New York tabloids and national papers about the then-real estate developer. All of them were unequivocally shot down by Buckingham Palace. According to multiple biographies of Trump, the fake news were spread by Trump himself.

Unsure who would believe it but in one such instance occurred in the lead up to the Trump Tower’s February 1983 opening, when a persistent rumor kept appearing that Prince Charles and his then-new wife Diana were looking at buying an apartment in the building.

[Speaking of which, on the Howard Stern Show in November 1993, “I hope she’s looking at — She is really hot. She has gained 20-25 pounds, she looks great,” Trump said, saying he’d love to date the princess. “There could be a love interest. I’d become King of England. King of England. I’d have to leave, I’d have to lose the New York accent quickly. See they wouldn’t like my accent over there.”]

Trump, I’m sure for future publicity reasons, wanted a photo-op with Prince William, Duchess Kate and Prince Harry. Instead they avoided him.

As he was descending, the Trump tweeted an insult of London’s mayor, calling Sadiq Khan a “stone cold loser” for being “foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States.” Khan called Trump “one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat” in a newspaper op-ed this past week. Khan had suggested Trump’s state visit should be rescinded.

After Trump called him a “stone-cold loser,” London mayor Sadiq Khan said “This is the sort of behavior I would expect from an 11-year-old. But it’s for him to decide how he behaves. It’s not for me to respond in a like manner. I think it’s beneath me to do childish tweets and name-calling.”

The Trumps gave the Queen a present a Tiffany & Co. silver and silk poppy brooch in a custom White House wood jewelry box. Luckily no MAGA hat inside – although red would been fitting.

After what some called Trump’s most successful and even-tempered foreign trips of his presidency, he was back to his old self. Trump, speaking from the Normandy American Cemetery, blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a “disgrace” after Politico reported that she said, “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.” In a Fox News interview, he said she was “She’s a nasty, vindictive, horrible person” and “.. incapable of doing deals.”

How classy of Trump and Fox News: Trump had an interview with Ingraham in a cemetery with crosses of US soldiers behind them. This also delayed D-Day commemorations by 15 minutes while they talked, other world leaders waited for them. Among the dumb answers and comments:

  • “This is one of the true, in terms of war, in terms of, probably you can also say, in terms of peace, because this led to something very special.” – Huh?
    “[Mexico] stole 32% of our car business with NAFTA.” – Except it was in a trade agreement.
  • “They send in $500 billion worth of drugs. They kill 100,000 people. They ruin a million families every year…” – With no idea where the numbers came from, this is when asked about illegals entering the US. Most illegals are escaping where they came from and aren’t drug mules. Bigger chance of getting caught in a group than an individual.
  • “…then ask Nancy, why is her district have drug and needles all over the place? It’s the most disgusting thing what she’s allowed to happened to her district.” – Pelosi has only so much she can control in her district. On the other hand Trump controls the country. He can be blamed as well. Now since Trump has a history of blowing things out of proportion, is her district any worse than in an area of Kansas City or New York or Miami?
  • “If I made any statement about anybody it would be like a big headline, why would he do that when he’s overseas?” but then said “We have Pelosi, we have Crying Chuck Schumer, who’s a disaster, by the way. He’s a total political, you know, jerk.” – And it seems everyone to him is a disaster.
  • “They thought their good friend Bobby Mueller was going to give them a great report.” – Even though right after William Barr’s watered down report had Trump praising Mueller.
  • “Peace, really peace. And we built up our military, we built up our wealth, we built up everything.” – He was asked what to pray for. Peace doesn’t really need a military build-up if there is no one to go to war with.
  • “There are those that say they have never seen the Queen have a better time, a more animated time.” – In the 50+ years as Queen, Trump claims Queen Elizabeth never had a better few times than this past week. Not her coronation, weddings, births, ….

The US and Mexico came to some deal where Mexico would try to curtail immigrants from coming to the US-Mexico border in exchange for Trump pulling away from imposing tariffs on Mexico.

Trump said that tariffs on Mexico would of climbed to 5% per month [roughly] for 5 months unless Mexico shows serious reductions in the number of people trying to enter the US from Mexico or in his words “until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied.” Of course nobody knows exactly how much of a reduction, not even his secretary of state. This could backfire on Trump as his NAFTA replacement deal could be put on hold by Mexico. In addition, tariffs would of meant many items Americans purchase would go up in price. At 25%, it could cost an extra $1300 for a car.

“Because of the Dems, our Immigration Laws are BAD. Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the US, have for decades, they can easily fix this problem. Time for them to finally do what must be done!” he said. Except since 1980, Republican presidents have been in office longer than Democrats including 2+ years with him in office where he has produced no legislation to fix the matter.

Quite a few Republican senators were against Trump’s idea of imposing tariffs on Mexico. The members insisted Trump hold off on any declarations until he can brief members personally on the plan. But with Trump in Europe at the time and members scheduled to leave for D-Day commemorations, that may not have been possible before the first deadline for activating the first band of 5% tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico. If at least 20 Republicans voted against, it would of vetoed the tariffs.

Trump had claimed that he was ready to enforce the tariffs because there was no movement in the negotiations. Mexico had claimed that negotiations were going well and a deal would be reached before the first deadline. Who do you believe?

If the 5% US tariff on all goods from Mexico takes effect and is maintained, more than 400,000 jobs in the United States could be lost, an analysis released this week found from The Perryman Group, an economic consulting firm. 117,000 jobs in Texas alone. It gets worse as the tariff percentage increases. The tariffs on Mexico would lead to an increase in direct costs of about $28.1 billion each year. The US economy would lose an estimated $41.5 billion in GDP for each year the tariffs are in place.

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has directed former officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to turn over any documents to the House Judiciary Committee relating to their time at the White House. Hicks, the former White House communications director, still could turn over documents the committee has requested related to the 2016 Trump campaign, as that period cannot be covered by executive privilege.

House Democrats are preparing to vote next week to hold Don McGahn in contempt of Congress after he didn’t appear at a hearing last month.

The Trump administration has declared an emergency to bypass Congress and expedite $8.1 billion in arms sales to various countries — including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — citing the need to deter what it called “the malign influence” of Iran throughout the Middle East. So what changed in the past few days? Did Iran invade a country? Nope. Fired rockets? Not that we know of. Maybe he’ll send some of the “profit” to build his wall.

In an interview with Axios, son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner was asked if his father-in-law was a racist when Trump’s disproved conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. He wouldn’t really answer – just saying he wasn’t involved. He also believes that the Palestinians won’t be able to govern their own territory well. That comment won’t go well for some.

Trump may have added another trade war when he announced India’s removal from a special trade program, saying it had “not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.” The program, known as the Generalized System of Preferences, exempted Indian goods worth more than $6 billion from import duties in 2018, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Trump had an interview with Piers Morgan where:

  • He now says referring to Meaghan Markle “I wasn’t referring to she’s nasty. I said she was nasty about me.” Didn’t help!
  • “I think [Markle’s] very nice. Honestly I don’t know her…” So how does he know she’s nice? Assumption?
  • “I did mention a couple of things, well United States right now has amongst the cleanest climate there are based on all statistics.” According to something called the Environmental Performance Index, the US actually ranks 27th in environmental quality.
  • “He [Prince Charles] doesn’t have to worry about future generations in theory. Unless he is a very good person, who cares about people.” A bug HUH?
  • “I know so much about nuclear weapons. Don’t forget I’m the one who gets trained and has to study this.” Sure Donnie.
  • “In London you have stabbings all over. I read an article where everybody’s being stabbed. They said your hospital is a sea of blood all over the floors.” Repeat. A bug HUH? No article can be found.
  • “Well I was never a fan of that war, I’ll be honest with you. I thought it was a terrible war,… you know you’re talking about Vietnam and at that time, nobody had ever heard of the country.” From a man that didn’t serve in Vietnam because he got five deferments — including one for bone spurs. When asked later which foot he had the bone spurs in, Trump couldn’t recall.

[Piers Morgan was called “ruthless, arrogant, evil and obnoxious” by Trump in the final of a celebrity version of The Apprentice in 2008. Morgan also wouldn’t vote for Trump in the 2016 election.]

From last week’s trip to Japan, the Navy released a statement saying this: “A request was made to the US Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain, however, all ships remained in their normal configuration during the President’s visit.” I wonder who made the request. [See the last blogue why I’m mentioning this.]

High-ranking North Korean diplomat Kim Yong Chol was identified attending an art performance alongside leader Kim Jong Un in the country’s state media just days after one of South Korea’s biggest newspapers said he had been banished and sentenced to hard labor and his deputy executed. [See the last blogue why I’m mentioning this also.]

While Supreme Court judges are supposed to be impartial, it seems that is becoming rare in the divided US. To start off with you have Trump who has said “more Republicans …. And must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court,” and, again this month, he disparaged a judge based on his appointment by the Democrat Obama. Now with the abortion debate coming back to the front, a non-impartial court seems less likely. Judges are supposed to check their own beliefs at the chamber door and judge by what is fair to all.

“The more you politicize the judiciary,” said New York University law professor Barry Friedman, who has tracked public attitudes toward the Supreme Court, “the more people will question the institution of judicial review…. The President and Senate are also waving through lower court appointments like they’re at the Grand Prix.”

Trump has also scoffed at the various Democratic proposals saying “The only reason that they’re doing that is they want to try to catch up. So if they can’t catch up through the ballot box by winning an election, they want to try doing it in a different way.” Seems everything with him is that the Democrats lost the election.

Trump tweeted “If the totally Corrupt Media was less corrupt, I would be up by 15 points in the polls based on our tremendous success with the economy, maybe Best Ever! If the Corrupt Media was actually fair, I would be up by 25 points. Nevertheless, despite the Fake News, we’re doing great!” So he thinks the “corrupt” media plays a major role in the polls.

But Trump was blaming special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for the state of his poll numbers. “Without the ILLEGAL Witch Hunt, my poll numbers, especially because of our historically ‘great’ economy, would be at 65%.”

Next month he’ll blame Queen Elizabeth or maybe France’s Emmanuel Macron.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has continued to hold stock in a company she said she would divest from a year prior. Chao’s financial disclosure forms and related documents, the Trump Cabinet official has maintained her holdings in Vulcan Materials — holdings that have gained more than $40,000 over the past year. She was instead compensated for exiting the company in shares of the company stock and continued to hold it, rather than be cashed out. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Hmmm. Ever notice how Trump will say “Donald Trump is a…” or “Everybody knows Donald Trump…” Well maybe he watches The Muppets often as Elmo says the same third person talk. Who also does the same thing? Some very young children just learning how to talk. Hmmmm.

So without naming names, on the season finale of the TV show Supernatural, the son of Lucifer is tired of people telling lies and so he uses his power to force everyone to tell the truth. Shortly after, a TV anchor announces that “The President” has disclosed all of his tax information and admits to hiding various dealing with Russia and North Korea.

A Texas high school teacher who thought she was private messaging anti-immigration tweets to Trump has been fired for asking Trump to deport undocumented students. “Fort Worth] ISD is loaded with illegal students from Mexico… I really do need a contact here in FW who should be actively investigating & removing illegals that are in the public school system.”

As the school district investigated the tweets, a confidential memo revealed that students came forward and said she made racist statements in class the same day that she posted the tweets. When a student asked to go to the bathroom afterward, Clark allegedly said, “show me your papers that are saying you are legal.” A number of community members voiced very strong opinions against her tweets. The school board voted unanimously to terminate Clark’s contract with good cause.

Trump goes to Japan and still gets into trouble

On a long weekend [Memorial Day weekend] where Americans pay tribute to those who have fallen defending the country through various wars and Trump decides to visit Japan to do business, visit the new Emperor and play golf. And a reminder that Japan brought the US into World War II 78 years ago. Could he have chosen the following weekend?

Trump told reporters as he was preparing to leave he would be witnessing “something that hasn’t happened in over 200 years,” though didn’t specify what he meant. Nobody ever does.

While Japanese President Shinzo Abe took Barack Obama, to what is regarded as the best sushi restaurant in the world [Sukiyabashi Jiro], Abe will be taking Trump to a Japanese BBQ restaurant. I was expecting McDonald’s or Burger King.

No shock that Trump is whining that Japan is another country that has a big trade surplus over the US and Trump is thinking of dumping tariffs on Japanese made vehicles. It seems every country in the world has a trade surplus over the US – at least in Trump’s mind.

Tradition holds that American presidents and political candidates avoid politicking while on foreign soil, but Trump frequently disregards such norms. But Trump commented negatively against a fellow US politician by saying that he agreed with Kim Jong Un that Joe Biden has a low IQ. He is siding with a dictator over a former Vice-President. But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump “agrees” with the assessment. Is there a difference here? Trump also thinks that it is a “signal” that he will beat Biden if Biden wins the nomination. From a dictator?

In a press conference in Tokyo [something he doesn’t do in the US], Trump claims that there has been no testing done by North Korea recently. Wasn’t there one in mid-May? Trump also claimed that since he killed the arms deal with Iran, that Iran hasn’t been behind any terrorist activities and he claims Iran has economic issues. So why sending a fleet of ships towards Iran?

Trump said he also has no problem if North Korea fires off short range missiles [that will ultimately end up near Japan]. But National Security Adviser John Bolton says it is an issue.

An unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson called Bolton a “war monger”, “ignorant” hard-liner and “human defect” after he described its recent tests of short-range missiles as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Bolton told reporters in Tokyo on Saturday that there was “no doubt” that North Korea’s recent missile launches violated UN resolutions, and that sanctions against the North must be kept in place. Trump later downplayed the missile tests.

North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles on May 4 and 9 – first time in 17+ months.

“I hereby award you the United States President’s Cup,” Trump told Asanoyama, the sumo champion, as he read from a scroll. Trump, Abe and wives went to a sumo wrestling match and didn’t sit on cushions as they usually do but chairs. Wondering if the trophy will end up on eBay. Trump managed to squeeze in some cheeseburgers for lunch yesterday with PM Abe. I wonder what Abe thought of this. In a foreign country. Can’t eat that country’s food?

Trump claimed in a tweet that “numerous” Japanese officials had told him that Democrats would rather see the US fail than see Trump or his Republican Party succeed.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller says that “If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” His investigation could not clear President Donald Trump and that charging the President was not an option his office could consider. He emphasized that Justice Department guidelines did not allow him to charge a sitting President, and as a result, his office did not determine whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice.

House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler said “He [Trump] is lying about the special counsel findings, lying about the testimony of key witnesses in the special counsel’s report, and above all, lying and saying that the special counsel found no obstruction and no collusion.” Trump previously said Mueller’s investigation found him innocent when Mueller’s investigation could not charge a sitting President.

Yet Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said “Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s remarks today confirmed what we already knew. There was no collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and there was no case for obstruction. President Trump has been fully and completely exonerated.”

Speaker of the House Pelosi says it is Congress’s duty to “investigate and hold the President accountable”. Many of the Democratic candidates for President have already said this pushes close to impeachment.

So if Trump thinks that he is still exonerated in the Russian investigation by Mueller, why did he send out the day after many tweets attacking Mueller? Trump said:

  • The investigation cost $40 million. The Justice Department estimates maybe $25 million but excludes the last 7 months.
  • Trump said, “Robert Mueller would have brought charges, if he had ANYTHING, but there were no charges to bring!” except by longstanding Justice Department guidelines which said that a sitting President can’t be indicted Trump said Mueller had “unlimited access, people, resources and cooperation,” except Trump and his son, Donald trump Jr., refused to answer any questions.
  • Trump said Mueller was “highly conflicted,” except the Justice Department cleared Mueller of any conflicts when he took the job in 2017.

Trump tweeted that he had “nothing to do with Russia helping me get elected,” then minutes later, telling reporters: “Russia did not help me get elected.” He also insisted that he’s been tough on Russia and that Moscow would have preferred Hillary Clinton as president [with no proof of this].

Asked about impeachment by Congress, he called it a “dirty word” and said he couldn’t imagine the courts allowing him to be impeached. “I don’t think so because there’s no crime,” he said. Except it is not the court that will impeach him but congress. Does he know anything about the constitution?

Attorney General William Barr has said he was surprised Mueller did not reach a conclusion, though Mueller in his report and again in his statement said he had no choice. Barr and then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein then stepped into the void, deciding on their own that the evidence was not sufficient to support a criminal charge.

Trump threatened to impose new tariffs on Mexico if the country does not step up its immigration enforcement actions, combining his boiling border-related frustrations with his preferred method of punishing foreign countries. Trump said in a White House statement that the first round of tariffs would begin on June 10 at 5% “on all goods imported from Mexico.”

The statement said Trump would carry out his threat under authority from the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and that he would lift tariffs only “if the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico.” The news sent the Dow Jones dropping 300 point at one point the day after. In addition, it may push Mexico not to sign the new NAFTA agreement just as Canada is about ready to sign.

Vice-President Mike Pence visited Canada’s capitol, Ottawa [not Toronto], for a visit and chatted with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about trade, China, abortions, etc. Seems that US news site for the most part, didn’t know about it. I guess Pence’s boss is more interesting.

White House and lower-level US Navy officials traded emails about keeping a warship named from the late John McCain’s father and grandfather out of sight ahead of the President’s trip to Japan. Trump claimed he denied knowing about the plan and said that he wouldn’t have supported it. The ship ultimately was not moved nor was anything done to obscure McCain’s name. Petty.

Judge Haywood Gilliam of the Northern District of California blocked Trump from tapping into Defense Department funds to build parts of his Trump Wall. It blocks the administration from moving forward with specific projects in Texas and Arizona, saying Trump couldn’t disburse the funds without congressional approval. The ruling does not prevent the Trump administration from using funds from other sources to build the projects.

Current and former officials have described White House trips on Air Force One as grueling endeavors accompanied by long hours, but several privately said the flights overseas are easily the worst. The duration can stretch nearly 20 hours. Sleeping space is limited. The televisions are streaming Fox News constantly. And if the headlines flashing across the bottom of the screen are unfavorable to their boss, aides know it’s time to buckle up for a turbulent ride.

When staffers can sleep, finding space is a problem. With no designated sleeping spots, they claim miniature couches or lean back in office chairs and prop their feet up on the desk. Some spread out on the floors of conference rooms or on leather benches along the side of the plane, and more seasoned staffers have learned to bring yoga mats to soften the floor. Trump had promised to renovate Air Force One and the backup[s] but hasn’t.

Trump is scoffing at Democrats’ attempts to pry loose his tax returns, saying his refusal to release the records as a candidate didn’t hurt him in 2016 and voters “didn’t care” about the issue. Was this one of his “polls” where he asked one of staffers whether or not they care about his taxes and then used the answer as an assumption for all Americans?

Obstruction, tariffs, and subpoenas

Special counsel Robert Mueller announced that he would appear before the House Judiciary Committee tentatively on May 15th. That’s the date the Committee has proposed, and are hoping the Special Counsel will agree to it. The denial comes after two missed deadlines by the Treasury secretary, who has previously called the request by House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal under an obscure statute of tax law “unprecedented.”

Donald Trump said Mueller should not appear before the committee just two days after telling reporters Attorney General William Barr should make that decision. Trump questioned why Mueller needs to testify after spending 2 years on his report. He, of course, had to throw in that there was no collusion or obstruction or the other usuals.

The White House has instructed former White House Counsel Don McGahn not to comply with a subpoena for documents and testimony related to the committee’s obstruction of justice investigation from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, teeing up the latest in a series of escalating oversight showdowns between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats.

McGahn’s decision not to comply with the subpoena could push Nadler to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress, just as he’s moving to do with Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department defied a subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Nadler directing the committee to request the documents from the White House, and not McGahn.

The White House requested that McGahn publicly state that Trump didn’t obstruct justice, but McGahn declined. McGahn previously told Mueller’s investigators he didn’t believe Trump obstructed justice.

The Justice Department has informed Nadler that the “President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials” and called the vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress “politically motivated and unnecessary.”

Nadler accused Barr of turning the Department of Justice “into an instrument of Trump personally rather than an instrument of justice and representative of the United States.” The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. for him to return and testify again, and the committee is now at a standoff with Trump’s eldest son. One option Trump Jr. is considering in response to the subpoena is to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, and another is just to not appear at all.

The subpoena for Trump Jr.’s testimony marks an escalation of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian election interference. The committee has recently begun re-interviewing witnesses, including Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who appeared for a second time earlier this year.

Hundreds of former Justice Department officials said in an open letter that Trump would be facing multiple felony charges stemming from the Russia investigation if he were not President.

The letter posted online by Justice Department alumni, who served under presidents from both parties, said the report from special counsel Robert Mueller contained repeated instances of Trump committing obstruction of justice, and that he would have been charged with obstruction if he was not protected as President by an opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that Mueller cited.

Trump has escalated its trade war with China, hiking tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports hours after trade talks held in Washington failed to produce a breakthrough. Tariffs on the targeted exports increased from 10% to 25% at 12:01 a.m. ET on Friday, prompting a swift rebuke from Beijing. Last minute negotiations failed. Trump said the new tariffs were because China “broke the deal.” It seems China is backtracking on commitments to change laws over intellectual property and trade secrets, competition policy, and currency manipulation. Of course Trump claimed Iran has broken the nuclear deal – with nothing proven.

The American Apparel and Footwear Association estimates that a 25% tariff on apparel imports will increase costs for a family of four by $500 a year. If Trump thinks that this round of tariffs will help the American economy, he’s dreaming. Probably job losses because of higher prices. Limited manufacturing jobs as good luck in building a new factory to make more expensive shoes so fast.

Trump hoped to force China to further open its market to US exports, stop the forced sharing of intellectual property with China, and rewrite trade deals he said have unfairly benefited Beijing. The Chinese economy is fundamentally more vulnerable than that of the US. If China retaliates it could make quite a few things more expensive such as toys, shoes and iPhones [oh well].

The Trump Administration ordered the Pentagon to deploy a carrier and a bomber task force to the Middle East in order to send a message to Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was for security issues or threats that involve Iran and US allies in the region. Then Pompeo abruptly canceled a scheduled trip to Germany where he was planning to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel “due to pressing issues,” the State Department. In both cases, no specific explanation was given.

Iran announced it was partially withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal, marking a serious escalation in Tehran’s faceoff with Trump and the United States. President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech that Iran would reduce its “commitments” to the deal, but would not fully withdraw, amid heightened pressure from the US in recent weeks.

Rouhani said Iran will keep its excess enriched uranium and heavy water, rather than sell it to other countries as previously agreed to limit its stockpile. The move comes a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal, over the stringent objections of other signatories.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied a request from House Democrats for access to six years of Trump’s personal tax returns. “I am informing you now that the Department may not lawfully fulfill the Committee’s request,” Mnuchin wrote in his letter, written in consultation with lawyers from the Department of Justice.

Democrats initially directed their request to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the only person with the legal authority to turn over the returns, but Mnuchin has interceded twice in the matter, citing his role overseeing the federal tax collector.

The Trump administration is considering deporting migrant families with court-ordered removals, a move that senior Department of Homeland Security officials have resisted in the past. The idea, described as a way to “send a message” to smugglers, is “under serious consideration.” The Department of Homeland Security, suffering from a lack of resources, is unable to deport all those who are ordered to be removed from the country and has said it focuses on the people it deems the most dangerous.

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens accused Trump of exceeding his presidential powers in an interview published Thursday, telling The Wall Street Journal that Trump “has to comply with subpoenas.” Stevens, who served on the Supreme Court from his appointment by President Gerald Ford in 1975 until his retirement in 2010, is a lifelong Republican whose rulings often leaned left.

The Pentagon has diverted an additional $1.5 billion in Defense Department funds from various accounts in order to fund the Trump Wall, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said and has found a way to reprogram the $1.5 billion without harming readiness. However, he added that the Pentagon wouldn’t be diverting any more funds to the wall.

In 1985, Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses – largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer. His core business losses in 1990 and 1991 – more than $250 million each year – were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years.

Trump responded in a series of tweets by saying “Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered ‘tax shelter,’ you would get it by building, or even buying.” Doesn’t sound like his tweeting. Too adult like wording.

He’s cheating his own government with tax shelters. If this was another businessman, would Trump as President allow this to continue or send off abusive tweets.

This can’t end well. Trump has laid tentative plans to upend the traditional Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, moving the fireworks show from the National Mall and perhaps including an address from Trump himself. Major backlash if he goes political. The fireworks display on the Mall has been a time-honored nonpartisan tradition for nearly half a century. The plans involve moving the fireworks show closer to the Potomac River and adding a second stage for entertainment.

“Despite the tremendous success that I have had as President, including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY and most successful first two years of any President in history, they have stollen [sic] two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back…..,” Trump said in a tweet. Stolen? He didn’t do much. So very little can be “stollen”.

At a rally in Florida, Trump said “And don’t forget, we don’t let them and we can’t let them use weapons. We can’t. Other countries do. We can’t. I would never do that. But how do you stop these people?” Someone in the audience interrupted Trump, shouting: “Shoot them!” With Trump replying “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.”

In the sports section…

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora will not join the team during its visit to the White House soon because of displeasure with the Trump administration’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico. There were parts of the country without power for almost a year, and nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico alone as the result of the hurricane. A few other players will also not attend.

At the Kentucky Derby, after the horse Maximum Security was disqualified for having illegally impeded other horses, Trump had to give his 2 cents work by saying “”The Kentucky Derby decision was not a good one” and “Only in these days of political correctness could such an overturn occur. The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby – not even close!” Ummm. “Political correctness”?

After Facebook barred seven users from its services, citing its policies against “dangerous individuals and organizations,” Trump is siding with the people who were banned and railing against social media “censorship”. In various tweets he said “It’s getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!” He ignored the fact that some of the banned users are extremists who make a living by deceiving their fans.

Redacted Mueller Report released

A redacted but more detailed version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was finally released.

One section is damning as it does not exonerate him from obstruction of justice — the charge at the heart of Presidents Nixon’s and Clinton’s impeachment processes. The Mueller team found multiple instances where Donald Trump tried to stifle a legitimate investigation into his own conduct. Very often the only thing that saved him were advisers who wouldn’t do what he wanted done.

Much of the news we have been reading was accurate, not fake — about the Trump Tower project, about the contacts between campaign officials and individuals connected with Russia, and about the President’s efforts to fire Mueller.

In the report:

  • Mueller concludes that Russian operatives did interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign by hacking into the computers of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and releasing stolen emails to WikiLeaks, as well as by disparaging Clinton and promoting Trump in an organized social media campaign.
  • The report also makes note of “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.”
  • Mueller wrote his investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
  • Russian government operatives and business leaders continued to try to woo the Trump team following the election.
  • Mueller wrote that written answers Trump provided his team were deemed “inadequate,” but prosecutors decided not to press him further, which would have meant issuing a subpoena and likely starting a long legal battle if the president refused to grant a formal interview.
  • Investigators were unable to get “a complete picture of the activities undertaken by subjects of the investigation,” Mueller wrote. A number of reasons were cited for this, including people refusing to give information that would incriminate themselves, witnesses providing “false or incomplete” testimony, and other witnesses deleting emails or otherwise not retaining relevant communications.

Multiple Trump aides and advisors refused to do requests from Trump that they knew would be illegal or cause further problems. This includes requests to fire Mueller or find ways to slow the investigation down.

Mueller added that Trump “does not have immunity after he leaves office” and that his team “conducted a thorough factual investigation in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials were available.” The wording raises the remote specter of possible future criminal exposure for Trump when he is no longer in the White House. It isn’t the only criminal inquiry looming over him.

Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice demonstrated that they couldn’t be independent with Barr’s biased interpretation of the report according to some.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, issued a subpoena for the unredacted report as Congress escalates its investigation of Trump.

Mueller’s report provides fresh evidence of Trump’s interference in the Russia investigation and challenges lawmakers to respond.

Trump, taking a public victory lap, declaring at a White House event that he was having “a good day” after the report was released. Did he read a good comic book in the washroom again?

Some of Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill were satisfied, without reading the report, that Trump came out a clear winner — exonerated because he was not prosecuted.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said “the report itself is nothing more than an attempt to rehash old allegations” and insisted that “the results of the investigation are a total victory for the president.” Unsure what report he read. Did he get his law degree out of a cracker jack box?

“We’re accepting apologies today, too,” White House adviser Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway told reporters, adding that Trump watched Barr, talked to his lawyers and was in “a great mood.”

Trump went after Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar when Trump retweet of a video that purports to show the Minnesota Democrat being dismissive of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The text shown was placed out of context. Democrats have criticized Trump over the tweet, with some accusing him of trying to incite violence. Security was added to Omar and her staff.

The White House defended Trump, saying that he has a duty to highlight Omar’s history of making comments that others find offensive and that he wished no “ill will” upon the first-term lawmaker. But the retweet was later pulled particularly after there were threats against Omar’s life [one individual in New York was arrested already].

In the video she said “some people did something” [instead of using a word like terrorists]. But President George W. Bush also used the word “people” just days after 9/11.

“The bigger question is why aren’t Democrats doing the same thing? It’s absolutely abhorrent the comments that she continues to make and has made and they look the other way,” said White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders. Omar has made some comments about Israel and Jews in the past but have stopped making them. Unsure what Sanders means by “continues” as if it is still happening.

When the fire in the cathedral in Paris was raging, Trump had commented that they should use water bombers to put out the fire. Diplomatically [something Trump knows little about], in a tweet, French fire security authorities said by using a water bomber [or equivalent], the water would cause further infrastructure damage with the force of the water. But what do they know….

It took a bit over 2 years for Trump to veto his first legislation and under a month to veto his second when he did so by vetoing legislation to end the US involvement in the war in Yemen.

The European Union has threatened tariffs on US goods including cheese, ketchup and fish because of a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies. The bloc released a list of American products worth around $20 billion that could be targeted over US subsidies given to Boeing. Not good for Heinz-Kraft.

Sanders said that she doesn’t think congressional Democrats are “smart enough” to review Trump’s tax returns should they succeed in obtaining the documents. “My guess is most of them don’t do their own taxes, and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the President has and determine anything,” she said. So is she saying most Republicans do their own taxes?

Canada and Japan has formally joined a German-French coalition aimed at saving the international world order from destruction by various world dictators and autocrats — and Trump.

Trump already managed to pull in $30 million in his first 90 days of this year for his campaign re-election. For the Democrats [remember that there are at least 15 candidates]. Bernie Sanders has pulled in $18 million after 41 days and Kamala Harris has pulled in $12 million.

At least 3 FBI web sites were hacked recently and downloaded the contents of each web server. The hackers then put the data up for download on their own website. The spreadsheets contained about 4,000 unique records after duplicates were removed, including member names, a mix of personal and government email addresses, job titles, phone numbers and their postal addresses.

Of blocking borders and flip flopping

Donald Trump threatened on several occasions last year to close the US-Mexico border, including at one point saying the US would close the border “permanently.” Of course there is always threats but the border never closes and the immigrants continue to come in.

Trump was “100 per cent” ready to shut all, or part, of the US border with Mexico to gain leverage in his ongoing fight with Congress over immigration and his dream of a wall. A few hours later, during an evening speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual spring dinner, he suggested that his threats are working so well that he won’t be able to carry through with the plan.

He said that [with no proof] “And they’ve apprehended over 1,000 people at the southern border, their southern border. And they’re bringing them back to their countries.” The following morning, he was on Twitter demanding immediate measures from the House and Senate. “If no action, Border, or large sections of Border, will close. This is a National Emergency!” Did the 1,000 people exist? I’d say no.

In the meantime, nobody it seems wants the border closed. Not even fellow Republicans. Among the statistics: 500,000 people legally cross the border each day in Texas alone, $726 million US is the estimated losses to US businesses and farmers, per day, if the border is closed and 1 million manufacturing jobs that would be at risk. Auto parts, produce and fruits are exported to the US from Mexico.

Trump changed his mind again on closing the border with Mexico. Initially he said “We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop or (are) largely stopped, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular, the cars … and if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.” This he said to reporters. But later he said “I don’t think we’ll ever have to close the border because the penalty of tariffs on cars coming into the United States from Mexico, at 25%, will be massive.”

When asked if his comments suggested that his new auto tariffs mean the southern border will remain open for at least a year, Trump responded: “No, I didn’t say that.” But he did when he spoke to reporters. Previously he said he would give Mexico one week to increase apprehensions of migrants from Central America from coming toward the US — and threatened a border closure as a consequence.

“Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal. I could do it in 45 minutes. We need to get rid of chain migration,” Trump said. “We need to get rid of catch and release and visa lottery. And we have to do something about asylum. And to be honest with you, we have to get rid of judges.”

Trump has been running the country for about 27 months now. Why hasn’t he proposed anything to the Republicans to fix these problems instead of continuously whining about it. As well “get rid of judges” – we will assume he means immigration judges and not judges in general.

Trump announced the US would be cutting funding to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, blaming them for migrant caravans that have come to the southern border recently and saying the cuts were because “they haven’t done a thing for us.” The three countries get close to $1.3 billion in aid.

“It’s something that I’m sure we’ll be looking into and studying,” Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers when asked about the economic impact of closing the border crossings with Mexico because Trump has claimed Mexico hasn’t done enough to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US through Mexico.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that when it comes to the contacts members of Trump’s campaign team had with Russians during the 2016 election, “the issue is not whether it’s ethical.” Then he said “the voters are going to decide about the ethics and morality of the people they vote for on either side.” Ummmm. If it is possibly illegal it is not the voters who should decide.

Shocker. Some of Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team said Attorney General William Barr left out some parts of the report that wouldn’t look good for Trump.

Republicans criticized efforts by House Democrats to obtain Trump’s tax returns with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy warning that the request “sets a dangerous standard of having the federal government used as a political weapon” and dismissing the move as “a waste of time.” Laughingly, McCarthy argued that Democrats have not accepted Trump’s victory in the last presidential election and are trying to “use the power of government” for political retaliation.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal formally requested Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. Trump said that he wouldn’t be inclined to provide his tax returns to Congress until he was no longer under audit. Damn that’s one long audit! Is he still being audited from 2016 and before?

Trump has already hinted that he is willing to go to the Supreme Court to block Congress in accessing his tax returns. Exactly what is he hiding? There is obviously something damaging [and not some excuse like a privacy issue]. And if the Supreme Court doesn’t side with him will he still withhold the information?

Trump said that Republicans are working on a new health care plan but won’t introduce it until after the 2020 election. Trump’s statements come a week after his administration announced that it now agreed with a judge’s ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be scrapped. The opinion was a dramatic reversal from the administration’s previous stance that only portions of the act could not be defended.

Trump’s latest move allows him to wait on the issue as legal challenges against the health care law, also known as Obamacare, make their way through the federal court system. If it’s ultimately overturned, Trump can claim he made good on a campaign promise in time for his 2020 re-election campaign. If it’s upheld, he can rail against a “liberal” court system.

So not killing ObamaCare is another failed campaign promise. No matter how he spins it, he never replaced it.

“Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work. Premiums & deductibles are far too high – Really bad HealthCare! Even the Dems want to replace it, but with Medicare for all, which would cause 180 million Americans to lose their beloved private health insurance,” Trump tweeted. Except the Democrats aren’t in a rush to replace it and ObamaCare works for 20+ million who would be left off any plan under Trump’s plans.

According to Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, one part of Trump’s healthcare plan would increase the out-of-pocket limit by 2.5% more than it would have otherwise – $8,200 per person or $16,400 per family.

A White House staff member has told House investigators that senior officials have overruled concerns raised about 25 individuals whose security clearances were initially denied over a range of disqualifying issues.

Jared Kushner goes on Fox News for an interview. He is asked about the whistle-blower who said maybe 25 people including him and Ivanka sidestepped the security process. He rambles on about collusion [his father-in-law would be proud], answering various questions from investigations, etc. – but never answers the interviewer’s questions. Sounds like a politician.

While having a chat with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg [who’s from Germany], Trump claimed [for the third time] that his father was born in Germany when he was actually born in New York. In fact, his paternal grand-father was]. Years ago, Trump denied his father was German.

Trump pushed in February for his nomination of the Internal Revenue Service’s chief counsel [Michael Desmond], to be fast-tracked in the Senate, even before the chamber held confirmation hearings on Trump’s pending nominee for attorney general. The Senate eventually confirmed Desmond in late February. Trump may need Desmond to block attempts by the Democrats to release his taxes.

Trump said that he’s recommending his friend Herman Cain, a former pizza executive of Godfather’s Pizza, who dropped his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination amid sexual harassment allegations, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. From 1992 to 1996, he served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Possibly a reason to hire him is because Cain is black.

A long-time sportswriter, Rick Reilly, who claims in a new book that Trump frequently cheats at golf likened Trump’s habit to a way of “showing you that he’s better than you.” Reilly even allegedly Trump cheating against professional players. I guess Reilly won’t be playing golf with Trump anymore!

According to Reilly, Trump hit two balls in the water when he played professional golfer Tiger Woods and then claimed to have almost tied with him, kicked sportscaster Mike Tirico’s ball into a bunker when the two played, and claims to have a 2.8 handicap despite professionals such as Dustin Johnson assessing him to be a 9 or 10.

Trump’s caddies also allegedly know to accommodate his penchant, Reilly said — “He kicks the ball out of the rough so many times, the caddies call him ‘Pele,'” after the famous soccer player.

“If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value…. And they say the noise causes cancer.” Last month it was 65% and he uses the word “they” which is his code word for no one. The fastest-growing occupation in the US in 2017 was wind turbine technician, although it’s still a small part of the economy. More than 105,000 Americans are employed in the wind industry across all 50 states.

Former Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus, the expected pick to become the next State Department spokesperson, repeatedly criticized Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Ortagus publicly lambasted then-candidate Trump over what she called his “isolationist foreign policy approach,” and blasted behavior she qualified as “disgusting” and “not serious.”

The House passed a resolution calling for the end of any US military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, sending the proposal to the White House where it is expected to be vetoed by Trump. The Senate passed the resolution and made clear their votes were also aimed at expressing their frustrations with Trump’s continued support for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Even though 18 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, Trump is making fun at recent claims against former Vice President Joe Biden on the same.

During an interview Trump kept on saying “oringes” – that was even list on White House web site transcript.

Trump publicly bragged about pressuring Canada to accept his terms for a new North American free-trade agreement after he said the negotiators were “not at all nice” during the talks, but he “made them nice.” In previous speeches and tweets, he called Canada “very spoiled”.

Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a foe of Trump, would prefer a Democrat win the 2020 election than have Trump serve a second term, saying that “four years is difficult enough to unravel some of the damage” done internationally by the administration.

Former first lady Barbara Bush didn’t consider herself a Republican after rump took office, according to a forthcoming book by author Susan Page wrote in an excerpt adapted from her new book, “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty.”

Now Trump thinks Mueller is great after he is “exonerated”

“So after a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side where a lot of bad things, a lot of horrible things happened, a lot of very bad things happened for our country, it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia — the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. There was no collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction and none whatsoever,” Donald Trump said after a summary of the Special counsel Robert Mueller report was released by Attorney General William Barr.

[I’m sure you noticed that Trump’s vocabulary is limited. He quite often says “bad” and “beautiful”.]

However House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that “The fact that Special Counsel Mueller’s report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay. …. And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility.”

As vindictive he is, Trump is already claiming he will go after those who falsely accused him of collusion, obstruction, etc. Of course he has threatened previously and it was his own justice department that investigated him and those around him.

Mueller did not make the decision himself on whether to prosecute Trump on obstruction, the attorney general wrote. Instead, Mueller left it up to Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Not surprising those pro-Trump and anti-Trump went to their corners and started to crank out comments statements, tweets and interviews about the outcome.

Mueller’s summary accuse House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, of having “abused your position to knowingly promote false information.” 9 Republicans on the committee have signed a letter calling on Schiff to resign. Seriously?

“We should not be used as a platform to spread false information and bizarre conspiracies,” said Rep. Devin Nunes, the committee’s top Republican. “With McCarthyism, we had Russia chasing after Russian communists. Now we have Schiff chasing after Russian collusion and those who would collude,” Republican Mike Turner said.

Every politician has knowingly spread false information. Look at Trump and then Trump himself tweeted that Schiff should resign from Congress.

Trump is all so nice and kind for Mueller saying what he did was honorably. This after about 2 years of Trump whining that the investigation was a witch hunt, there was no collusion, Mueller is a Democrat [no he’s a Republican], illegal, blah, blah, blah.

But during an interview, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said he disagrees with Trump that Robert Mueller acted “honorably.”

Justice Department notified the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals that it is supporting a complete invalidation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). It now believes not only that three provisions of that statute are unconstitutional, but that, as a result, the entire law, including dozens of provisions having nothing to do with the offending sections, should be thrown out as well.

The move was apparently ordered by the White House over the objections of Barr, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. White House staff, counsel, and top lawyers do not believe the decision to be justified.

Trump repeated his threat to close down the border between the United States and Mexico, but this time he noted he would act next week if Mexico doesn’t step up. “If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug (sic) our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” he tweeted.

“We have the weakest, most pathetic laws,” Trump said, threatening to close the border if two current caravans of migrants cross into the US. And who’s fault is that? He has had a majority of Republicans in the house and Senate and couldn’t do anything.

“Believe it or not, they were begging us to build in San Diego, begging us to build a wall. And we’re just in the process of completing a major stretch of many miles of wall,” said Trump in a recent interview. I’d like to know exactly who begged for a wall that was never built. All that has been done in his nearly 2.25 years is fix walls and fences.

Of course how many other times has he threatened to do something and not do it? Just about every time.

Unsure where this comes up from all of a sudden [but do we ever?], but Trump went after Puerto Rico’s fiscal management and the size of its disaster relief in the wake of damaging storms last week. Complaining that the government didn’t use their finances properly [i.e. too much in Puerto Rico – a territory that isn’t pro-Trump – and Florida and Texas that are either pro-Trump or close to it] and claimed Puerto Rico used $90 billion which seemed quite inflated.

Not surprising, the House failed to override Trump’s veto after both chambers of Congress sought to overturn his national emergency declaration to build more border wall. Both chambers of Congress had passed a resolution to overturn Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund more border wall.

But even White House spokesman/flunky Hogan Gidley said “Democrats continue to ignore the reality that our porous southern border is a magnet for illegal immigration, child smugglers, human traffickers, drug cartels, gangs and many other criminals. This national security and humanitarian crisis endangers every American and cannot be described as anything other than a National Emergency.”

A federal district court judge blocked another Trump administration effort to undermine Obamacare where the Labor Department was rule designed to make it easier for small businesses to band together and buy health insurance in so-called association health plans — one of the Trump administration’s initiatives to weaken Obamacare by offering alternatives to the exchanges. This was after a federal district court judge blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

After Republican lawmakers failed to dismantle Obamacare in 2017, the Trump administration took matters into its own hands. It has been issuing a series of rules and guidance that aim to undercut the landmark health reform law. Trump now says that his administration will roll out a new health care plan this year. But that will need the Democrat led House. Good luck there. 20+ million Americans could lose almost all health care access.

When Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wanted to cut all Special Olympics funding – $17.6 million, some weren’t happy. But could it be saved? Sure. Each trip that Trump takes to his Mar-A-Lago resort costs #3.4 million alone [that’s the trip including, flight, fuel, security – but not his time there]. So if Trump cuts out 5 trips, the Special Olympics can keep their funding. [Trump has spent 25% of his term at one of his resorts, BTW.]

Now DeVos told senators that she was not personally involved in the decision to propose eliminating funding for the Special Olympics, but continued to defend the cut included in her department’s budget. Sources said the cuts were ordered by the White House budget office. She has no say?

Later Trump said “I’ve been to the Special Olympics. I think it’s incredible and I just authorized a funding. I heard about it this morning. I have overridden my people. We’re funding the Special Olympics.”

DeVos then said after “I am pleased and grateful the President and I see eye-to-eye on this issue and that he has decided to fund our Special Olympics grant.” Huh? Is she running her department or is there another Secretary of Education?

George Conway, a conservative lawyer and the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said in an op-ed “If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

In another rally in Michigan, Trump said:

  • “After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead. The collusion delusion is over.” – Yes with 7 pleaded guilty, 5 prison sentences, 199 charges, etc.
  • “The Special Counsel completed its report and found no collusion and no obstruction.” – You know the answer to this.
  • “Total exoneration. Complete vindication.” – And this.
  • “The Russia witch hunt was a plan by those who lost the election to try and illegally regain power by framing innocent Americans, many of them.” – Yes the 7 who pleaded guilty.
  • “They did it all because they refused to accept the results of one of the greatest presidential elections, probably number one, in our history.” – As all elections are ranked according to which are the greatest.
  • He also is still rambling further on how he beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election – close to 2.5 years ago. You think he’ll be saying the same thing while in prison?
  • “It’s faster and it’s less expensive and it’s also much more beautiful.” – Yes. $25 million for a “barrier” [see below].
  • “It’s like I attacked so violently Pocahontas. And I knocked her out of the race I guess and I said why did I do that for? It’s too early.” – A sitting President just bragged about how he “attacked so violently” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. As well, she is still in the race. How did he knock her out of the race again?

After a prosecutor unexpectedly dropped all charges against the “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who was accused of staging an assault on himself — leading Chicago police to investigate it as a possible hate crime. “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago,” Trump tweeted. “It is an embarrassment to our nation!” Hope he declares it a national emergency.