Another interesting week in Trumpland


From Donald Trump’s speech to congress…..

  • Trump was actually right when he said the crime rate was the highest increase in 50 years between 2014 and 2015 but that was because the murder rate in 2014 was the lowest ever.
  • Trump asserted his administration’s support of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are “creating tens of thousands of jobs.” But estimates maybe 15,000 temporary construction jobs and a further 42,000 indirect jobs with most disappearing once the construction is done.
  • “The stock market has gained almost $3 trillion in value since the election on November 8, a record,” Trump said. Yes but he’s taking credit for something he had little to do with. He hasn’t implemented much and the market is reacting to his pro-business stance.
  • “The vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country,” Trump said. Trump said he used data from the department of Justice – who didn’t verify. Other sources say maybe a 50-50 split between foreign and American “terrorists”.
  • ” Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force,” Trump said. Not true. The Atlanta Federal Reserve says some 44.1 million are retired, 15.4 million are disabled, 12.9 million are taking care of a family member and another 15.5 million are in college or job training. They are listed as not wanting a job.
  • “Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, …, Wal-Mart and many others have announced that they … will create tens of thousands of new American jobs,” he said. Many of the jobs announced since his election were previously announced. In some cases, the jobs would likely have turned up no matter who’s president. But his pro-business stance has helped.
  • “We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of the fantastic … new F-35 jet fighter,” he said. The price per fighter dropped when an additional 90 more stealth fighters were ordered.
  • Trump characterized his proposal to increase the defense budget as “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.” Maybe by amount but not by percentage as there was a huge spike when the US entered World War II as well as during the Vietnam war [for example]. $54 billion today is worth far less than $54 billion a century ago.
  • “The time for trivial fights is behind us,” Trump said. Considering he has had “fights” over things that shouldn’t concern him, I’m doubting they will end.
  • Trump confused some when he said [about Obamacare] that he doesn’t view it as government’s role to make sure Americans can actually afford that insurance but then said “no one (is) left out” by state governments.
  • When Trump ended with a call for bipartisan cooperation on repealing and replacing the “collapsing” Obamacare, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi shook her head no. Not surprised.

Trump offered big cuts to the corporate tax cuts, “massive” relief to the middle class, and $1 trillion infrastructure program but didn’t say how they will be paid. Wipe ISIS but said nothing about the issues in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Build the Mexican wall but didn’t mention who will pay and it was coming soon. But when? The Executive Order was signed a month ago.

Almost nothing mentioned on immigrants [and his bans] or trade packs like NAFTA.

Trump started off the week well keeping fairly quiet and then his speech. Problem is that a new can of worms opened up regarding the Department of Justice secretary Jeff Sessions and his chats with the Russian ambassador during the elections – which is a no-no. He is now not involved with anything related with the Russian meddling [duh!] but that may not be enough.

A Republican congressman was whining about some women at the speech given by Trump wearing white suits [and a few comments about the looks] and claimed that these were supports of Hillary Clinton. In fact, they wore white to honor the Suffragettes as well as women’s month. Out of touch the congressman is.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz criticized the White House on Wednesday night after Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway retweeted an allegation that Wasserman Schultz did not stand or clap during a standing ovation for the widow of a slain Navy SEAL during Trump’s address to Congress. In fact, video shows she did.

From the previous blog where CNN and New York Times were banned, add the BBC, Daily Mail, Politico and Los Angeles times to those that were banned at White House briefings. The White House correspondents association protested the decision to ban.

The ban came after CNN and the New York times both reported that White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, told the FBI to tone down the investigation related to the Trump administration chatting with Russian intelligence.

[I’ve said it before (although maybe not in this blog), with the Trump administration abusing the media, the media should boycott the White House briefings and any news conferences and events that involve the administration. Unsure if the right wing media would comply.]

Now Trump has gone one step further by deciding not to go to The White House Correspondents dinner. This is the first time a president has decided to do so in 35 years. I guess he can take a huge onslaught of criticism and jokes about him sand his administration.

Trump suggesting that Americans could get another chance to seize Iraqi oil as compensation for its military efforts there. This is basically one of the things that radicals has always said – grab Arab oil.

Not surprising, Trump delayed the replacement to his travel “ban” executive order. Supposed to be this week…. Maybe next week. Oh, it could be in October the way things are going.

The second version of the travel ban still hasn’t been released but a leak suggest Iraq has been pulled off the country list. The order won’t include any explicit exemption for religious minorities in the countries targeted by the travel ban.

A section of the international arrivals area at Dulles International Airport outside the nation’s capital [as well as other airports] has been transformed into a virtual law firm, with legal volunteers ready to greet travelers from affected countries and ask if they saw anyone being detained and in preparation for the second version of the travel ban.

The first Trump travel ban [or just his administration] may have had an effect on the tourist industry. Global searches for U.S.-bound flights are down 22 per cent from Jan. 1-Feb. 22. Interest in Florida cities dipped by up to 58 per cent, while searches for Las Vegas and Los Angeles were down by 36 and 32 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile it seems the US is popular with Russians with a huge increase.

The initial draft bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] has hit some snags from some Republicans. The draft bill itself was leaked. So I wonder how many had access to the bill.

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” said Trump – already another hint that it will take quite a bit of work to change. So much for Trump’s election promise to make it a priority. He probably never saw the size and complexity of the resulting act until he was elected.

Fake News! Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly had someone on his show who is a “Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor.” Except few in Sweden had ever heard of him, much less taken advice from him. In fact, the man lives in the US and works for Modus which does “operations and management of possible kidnap and ransom situations.” He was also in trouble with the law in 2014 and also has no idea where Fox got his title from. Fox is expected to mention the error. Maybe not quite fake news but definitely a fake title.

CNN has a clock that shows when the last time Trump has attacked someone on Twitter.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently checked his aides’ cell phones to ensure they weren’t communicating with reporters as part of an aggressive effort to stem the recent tide of White House leaks. He informed them that the use of encrypted texting apps, like Signal and Confide, was a violation of the Federal Records Act. Such a hypocrite since some Trump staff have used Confide. A leak of the leaks?

Despite Trump’s anger about unnamed sources, White House budget officials insisted on anonymity as they outlined details of Trump’s spending plans to reporters on a conference call.

Hilariously, now Trump says Obama could be behind the leaks. He’s not in office and he has no say. So how?

In the 1990s, Trump was a frequent anonymous source of information about his social life and television series, “The Apprentice,” said newspaper columnist Linda Stasi. Once Trump called and pretended to be someone else delivering information about him; Stasi said she could easily recognize his voice.

Conway is a witch. How dare she site like that in the Oval Office couch with many guests in the Oval Office? It is one thing to do that with fellow Trumpians in a private chat but not that. Shameful. She claims she needed to do that for a better angle [as if she is a professional photographer]. As for the right wingers who poke fun at Obama, this was Obama’s office. Was his White house. Everyone else works for him.

Trump and his family’s extended stays in Mar-A-Lago in Florida and Trump tower in New York are costing the Secret Service millions daily. Donald likes to go to his sprawling estate while Melania is in New York with their youngest. It was Trump who said that Obama took too many vacations – spending taxpayer’s money in protecting him. But he has been in Florida probably every weekend since elected in addition to his other trips.

Vice President Mike Pence used a personal email account to conduct state business while he was governor of Indiana, discussing issues like the resettling of Syrian refugees and other matters on an AOL account that was hacked in a phishing scam. So if you get hit by a phishing scam you are not tech savvy much. The only difference between this issue and what happened to Hillary Clinton was that she was privileged to more national security issues but even he delved into national issues.

At a previous CPAC conference, Ted Cruz says Trump is not a Conservative. But he seems to support Trump. What a flip-flopper.

Trump on the Oscars and the mess at the end: “I think they were focused so hard on politics that they didn’t get the act together at the end,” Trump told Breitbart. “It was a little sad.” Actually most believe they were quite lite on the politics. Maybe that’s why it was boring according to most critics.  “Look, it just seems like the other side, whenever they’re losing badly, they always pull out the race card,” he said. Race card? Seriously?

“In fact I did much better than many other than other Republicans in the last election.” By popular vote, he was one of the worse. He’s not even close to the best for electoral votes.

Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, financed and was an executive producer of “Suicide Squad,” which won for hair and makeup. Maybe he can help Trump and that thing on top of his head?

 

Post RNC blues with Trump

With the convention ended, Donald Trump claims that the convention was the best ever convention and the party unified with no violence. I guess he didn’t see what happened outside or those who were against him who tried to force a roll call [among other things]. And he forgot that no living former Republican Presidents and nominees were at the convention. It was the longest speech in convention history at 75 minutes.

He has already stated that he will push more “law and order” in the US. Trump also declared that “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” Uh huh. He claimed crime and illegal immigration have gone up when they didn’t. He didn’t explain how he’ll fix the crime issue [maybe other than deporting illegal immigrants]. The “law and order” phrase has been used by [just about] every GOP nominee since 1968.

According to one site, 70% of the 25 claims by Trump in his speech were false.

Trumps claim that the number of police officers who died in duty has jumped 50% compared to this time last year. More like 8% according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Intentional shootings are up about 75% [but that wasn’t his claim].

“My opponent has called for a radical 550 per cent increase in Syrian (refugees). … She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees…” No facts about the increase. Refugees are screened by Homeland Security with less coming from Syria.

“America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” But the U.S. tax burden is actually the fourth lowest among the 34 developed and large emerging-market economies.

“My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment” but has not proposed any revocation of the constitutionally protected right to bear arms. She does support a ban on certain military-style weapons.

“Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens,” Trump said in his speech.

So the plagiarism speech trumped everything else in the first night of the GOP convention. How could you not say that in both speeches “….you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say …” [exactly the same] and Paul Manafort [Trump’s campaign manager] says “What she did was use words that are common words.” Common words? Common yes, but not when about 18 words in a row are identical.

Christie isn’t too smart. 93% of the speech is different. Doesn’t know how he came up with that [sounds like something Trump would do] and technically admitting that 7% is the same.

The Donald got into the act as well by tweeting something regarding his wife’s [plagiarized] speech. Someone compared that to the tweet Barak Obama did after Michelle’s speech 8 years ago and even they resemble each other!

Trump claims his wife’s speech is the most popular speech ever. Uh huh. More popular than Martin Luther King’s “I had a dream” or from the numerous quotations from previous presidents including Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down that wall”.

RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer says Melania Trump’s speech was not plagiarized, claiming similar phrases appear in many popular songs and the television show “My Little Pony.”

Sort of admitting there was a problem with Melania Trump’s speech, Donald Trump Jr. told reporters he was proud of Mrs. Trump’s speech but people in the campaign “should have cleaned it up better.”

“The Daily Show” pointed out two sentences in Donald Trump Jr.’s speech that appeared essentially verbatim in a May column by conservative writer Frank Buckley in “The American Conservative.” But Buckley said “I was a principal speechwriter for the speech. So it’s not an issue.” [So Buckley either has little new to say or likes to recycle his material.]

Tuesday night, Donald Trump’s spokesman tweeted that the campaign saw no issue with the speech and blamed the Hillary Clinton team for raising the accusations — although there was no evidence to link Clinton to the controversy.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said he “probably” would have fired his own speechwriters under similar circumstances.

A couple days after Melania Trump’s speech, Melania’s speech writer Meredith McIver claimed that Melania admired Michelle Obama. Melania read some of Michelle’s speech and McIver used it in Melania’s speech without checking. She offered to resign and Donald Trump said no. I am wondering if some of the Republicans could have called it some type of Democratic Party plot because McIver is a registered Democrat.

Ted Cruz was not expected to offer a full-throated endorsement in his speech at the convention, nor to rock the boat too much, given that his remarks were being vetted by Trump’s people. Censorship? And he didn’t. He never endorsed Trump during his speech and was booed when he left the stage. Meanwhile, he had set up a stage earlier in the day to start getting support going for 2020 – so I guess he doesn’t expect Trump to win in November.

Trump‘s top adviser Paul Manafort saying Cruz “used very bad judgment” and was “not respectful to the invitation by the convention to come and speak.” Hmmm. They knew his stance before the convention. Cruz told Trump two days prior to the convention. Do the GOP force everyone in the party to indorse the candidate? Sounds more like some far right position than a democracy. In addition, if Trump didn’t go after Cruz, his father and his wife so hard during the primaries, maybe he would of reluctantly endorse Trump. Trump said later on Twitter that Cruz’s lack of an endorsement was “no big deal!” But the day after the convention he complained about Cruz again.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said “Donald Trump won our party’s nomination because he is willing to tell the truth about the things that matter most.” Well, when did Trump say anything truthful?

Some big political names did not attending the Republican convention in Cleveland. They include the last two Republican presidents [both Bushes], Mitt Romney and John McCain. Neither are friends Tom, baseball’s Bobby Knight and boxing promoter Don King. He has included 2 of 3 VP nominees, a few of the nominees he was competing against and a bunch of celebrities [nobody really huge]. Fractured party?

A bit ridiculous that you can have a vote on a proposal just by yelling out yay or nay. When surely one side has no chance, one will drown out the other but when the two are close enough, it is not accurate. I can see some lawyers rubbing their hands.

Trump declined to speak at a conference to the NAACP citing the conference is the same weekend as the Republican convention in Cleveland while the NAACP conference is not that far away in Cincinnati.