The aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation

“I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people and our beloved Constitution,” Donald Trump told thousands of supporters in Topeka after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

“You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that’s what they’ve [Democrats] become,” he said. Maybe they came “angry” because of the how Trump polarized the country. Can you name any President in US history that has name called the other party, let alone foreign leaders, fellow US politicians, etc.

In the same “I’ve got more Indian blood in me than Pocahontas, and I have none,” he said of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, mocking her claims of Native American heritage. “I have high cheekbones too. Hey maybe I’m an Indian.” Warren is one of the front runners to be the Democrat’s 2020 nominee for President.

Trump tweeted: “The crowd in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is tiny, looks like about 200 people (& most are onlookers) – that wouldn’t even fill the first couple of rows of our Kansas Rally, or any of our Rallies for that matter! The Fake News Media tries to make it look sooo big, & it’s not!” Ya. Just like his inauguration crowd was bigger than Obama’s. As well the [Washington] Capitol Police said 160 protesters were arrested. So all but 40 were arrested?

Trump told reporters aboard the flight he is certain one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, named the wrong person when she identified Kavanaugh as the man who assaulted her when the two were in high school. “I’m a hundred percent. I’m a 100%. I have no doubt,” he said. Maybe he knows who did assault her.

Even after Kavanaugh was confirmed and before he was sworn in, Trump continued to go after the Democrats with various non-presidential like comments.

Sometimes we don’t know what Trump was thinking. In addition to be sworn in at the Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing in was done a couple of days later at the White House. This hasn’t been done before. Was it for show? At that time he ranted against the Democrats, Kavanaugh’s accusers, etc.

Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic 2016 election opponent, said “What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court.” You know that trump will respond to this.

In case you wondered, 51% of Americans in a poll opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination and 41% approved. I am guess the majority of the approvals are Republicans.

Trump said he has no plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, delivering a reprieve for the Justice Department official whose future has been the source of intense speculation for two weeks. But as you know, Trump has changes his mind as often as he changes his underwear [hopefully at least once a day on the latter].

He still even managed to thrown in his two favorite words [out of nowhere] in the middle of a sentence that had little to do with it “no collusion”. But Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions career in the government most likely will not go past Trump’s first [and only] term.

Seems Trump has nothing else to do, with Hurricane Michael aiming for Florida and beyond, just barely confirming Kavanaugh, deteriorating relationships with Russia, China and North Korea by deciding to “write” an op-ed piece in USA Today. [Did he really write it?] Trump claims the Democrats want to outlaw private health care plans and taking away freedom to choose plans in something called “Medicare for All” and would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years. Now of course Trump selectively likes to choose his information [cherry pick]. For example, the cost is based solely on a single individual’s findings and right leaning.

“Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare.” Even if the amount is correct, he’s been in office for close to two years and has done nothing to fix the problem.

“Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care,” except the Democrats are pushing for it as it is based on left leaning ideology.

“The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.” He really is going for the fear factor isn’t he?

“Virtually everywhere it has been tried, socialism has brought suffering, misery and decay.” Right, like in Canada, Finland, Norway,….

“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients…” He’s already looking at 2020?

Major newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe said they would not have published Trump’s op-ed because of the number of inaccuracies or outright lies. The author would have been given time to correct the issues or it wouldn’t be published.

Trump flew north to Erie, Pennsylvania, while the 150 mph winds of Hurricane Michael raged 1,000 miles to the south, as part of his blitz of key battlegrounds ahead of the midterm elections. “We have thousands of people lined up, so we wanted to make this stop,” Trump told reporters at Erie’s airport. Supposedly, rump had been urged not to cancel by local party officials.

But these rallies are supposed to be for the candidates running in those locations. When Trump attends one, he spends an hour talking or whining about everything and then takes a few minutes to talk about the candidates – some whom he have never met until just prior to the event.

By Trump’s calculation there were somewhere between 32,000 and 37,000 people inside and outside watching the speech in Erie, Pennsylvania on Wednesday. According to the Erie fire chief, there were 9,000 people in the arena and another 3,000 watching outside. So 12,000 total.

The hurricane hit some of the most fertile areas of Trump country — where a massive turnout helped him overturn expectations in the Sunshine State in 2016. So he wouldn’t expect to lose too many Trump voters if he went to a rally elsewhere than monitor the hurricane from Washington or elsewhere.

Is there any relation between Nikki Haley resigning and the Kavanaugh confirmation? Maybe. She “roasted” Blasey Ford one day and the next day gave Trump her resignation letter. Then she officially announces her resignation the day after Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Unsure if he was joking or not but Trump had commented that maybe his daughter, Ivanka, be appointed to replace Haley. Trump would love that as someone [we assume] he can trust, but it is a position that requires confirmation.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to introduce legislation this week that will fully fund the proposed Trump Wall along the US-Mexico border with a whopping $23.4 billion price tag. As the legislation is still being written, it’s not clear if the package would have any element of the wall paid for by Mexico, as Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail. [Does that price tag seem a bit low?]

Aides in both chambers, in both parties, think the fight over wall funding levels after the election could lead to a government shutdown — something Trump himself has advocated as part of a negotiating strategy. Even if the bill passed the House, it would need 60 votes to clear the Senate, an unlikely threshold to reach.

Trump escalated his attack on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases, asserting that “the Fed is out of control” and blaming it for this week’s plunge in stock prices. While campaigning in 2016, Trump had been highly critical of the Fed, contending that under Chair Janet Yellen, the Fed was keeping rates abnormally low to try to help Democrats. But until this summer, he had lodged no criticism of the Fed’s rate hikes. So I guess they weren’t helping the Democrats.

Hope Hicks, previously one of President Trump’s closest aides, is joining FOX as executive vice president and chief communications officer, which means she will run public relations and other aspects of the TV company. She will not officially start work until early 2019 — because FOX is in the midst of a major corporate transaction. Not bad for a 29 year old!

Rapper Kanye West met with Trump, telling him in an Oval Office meeting before reporters why he supports the Republican. “There was something about putting this hat on that made me feel like Superman,” West said. ” He might not have thought he’d have a crazy mother-f***r like me (supporting him).” No f***ing shit.

In an interview with Fox, “I have a lot of African-American support, and a lot has developed over the last little while with Kanye coming out, and Jim Brown’s been there for a long time.” In a recent interview, just more than 1 in 4 non-white voters approved of the job Trump is doing. “When Kanye came out very strongly a number of months ago, something happened. My polls went up, like, 25%.” Trump makes it as if Kanye is gay.

After Taylor Swift announced that she would support two Democrats in her home state of Tennessee, Trump commented that “I’m sure Taylor Swift has nothing — or doesn’t know anything about her (Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn),” Trump said and then he added, with a laugh: “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25% less now, OK?”

Seems Swift knows enough about Blackburn [maybe even more than Trump] when she tweeted “She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act….” [and so on].

Trump has either held a rally or visited one of his own properties on 48 of the past 92 days; that is, since June 7. He’s probably played golf on at least 30 of those days, about a third. Over the course of his presidency, the figures are more modest. He’s visited one of his own properties on about 33 percent of days and probably played golf on about 22 percent of the days he’s been president. President Obama played 306 rounds as president, over eight years. In fewer than two years, Trump has probably played 129.

During a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, Trump called Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee “a great general,” and said President Abraham Lincoln “almost developed a phobia” over Lee’s defeat. How does he know this?

Almost two years after Trump’s win, the US Postal Service has been operating on an emergency basis because of a lack of confirmed members.

Melania Trump says she could be one of “the most bullied person” in the world. She doesn’t say how or from whom. Critics have pointed out that her husband routinely mocks people for their looks and for what he says is a lack of talent or intelligence.

She also says there are people in the White House whom she and the husband can’t trust. She didn’t name names but said she let her husband know about them.

When asked in an interview about the alleged affairs Trump has had, Melania said “It is not concern and focus of mine….. I have much more important things to think about and to do.”

From an old interview, we’ve know that Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is probably a  liar when he said that Melania doesn’t believe Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels when Melania’s communication director said she never spoke to Giuliani about it.

 

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Trump gets two wins for the week – a first

And maybe a last.

Well it sure was an interesting week for Donald Trump.

While Trump said that “They [FBI] have free rein to do whatever they have to do,” but Trump’s counselor Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway said that the reopened FBI checks into Kavanaugh would be “limited in scope, it’s meant to last one week, and … it’s not meant to be a fishing expedition.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that “Senate Republicans are going to lay out and dictate those terms, and we look forward to this wrapping up so we can see what was seen in the last six investigations that Judge Kavanaugh has been a part of.”

A source with knowledge of the investigation said that the FBI will interview a handful of people and only take direction from the White House, not the Senate and said the White House sent the limited parameters of the investigation to the FBI based on a Senate request. Two sources with knowledge of the situation said that Senate Republicans were working with White House counsel Don McGahn, who was “trying to make it as narrow as possible.”

The Democrats sent in a list of 29 people that should be interviewed properly to be satisfied. Something tells me the FBI will not be doing them all [told or otherwise].

Trump decried the “trauma” Kavanaugh has been subjected to in the confirmation process. Ummm. Would that be more than Ford or for that matter either Christine Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh’s family? Ford has to relive it. [I am assuming she did go through the assault.] “Certainly, if they find something I’m going to take that into consideration,” Trump said when asked about the FBI investigation. “Certainly, I have a very open mind.” That is questionable.

Days later Trump said that Kavanaugh’s “life is in tatters. A man’s life is shattered. His wife is shattered, his daughters. … ” Well, next time, do some actual research on a nominee instead of putting this liar’s family through this mess.

Trump told the rally crowd in Mississippi, “I don’t even know him. I met him for the first time a few weeks ago. I don’t even know him. So it’s not like, ‘Oh, gee, I want to protect my friend.’ ” Great. He doesn’t even know his own nominee.

Trump tweeted that the people he sees at his rallies are “really angry at the vicious and despicable way Democrats are treating Brett Kavanaugh.” Of course – they’re all Republicans! He called Democrats who are against Kavanaugh “evil people” who want to “destroy people.”

The Democrats claim that any judge appointed to the Supreme Court should have an impeccable record – both as a judge and personally. The fact that there are three that accuse Kavanaugh shows that he may not be the perfect candidate.

Trump’s mockery of Christine Blasey Ford sparked an immediate backlash among two critical Republican swing votes on the nomination of Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh, with Sens. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins pointedly rebuking Trump. Speaking at a campaign rally, Trump cast doubt on Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by mocking her for not knowing the answers to questions such as how she had gotten to the high school party where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, an allegation he has repeatedly denied. Trump previously called her testimony “credible”.

“There’s no time and no place for remarks like that. To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. … It’s kind of appalling,” said Flake in an interview. Collins said they “were just plain wrong.” If Trump loses the Kavanaugh, vote he could only blame himself for it now.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway responded with “She’s been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us…” [Doesn’t she know smoking pot is illegal?]

Trump is criticizing female protesters who confronted senators over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he is calling them “paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad.” Trump described the women as “rude elevator screamers” and said they have “professionally made identical signs.”

At press time, Trump may have got his wish as Kavanaugh will squeak by with the confirmation. Unlike all other Supreme Court justices before him, Kavanaugh was the hardest to confirm ever.

The US, Canada and Mexico squeezed in before the US deadline to update the North American Free trade Agreement. The new deal has a new name: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Trump can claim a victory and a check next to one of his campaign promises. While there were some changes, was it really a big difference?

US farmers will have better access to the Canadian dairy market, there is a change regarding autos that may not affect Canada much and Chapter 19, which is a way to resolve trade issues, is staying put. The US lost every Chapter 19 complaint so far.

“I then will submit it [USMCA] for approval to Congress where in theory there should be no trouble — but anything you submit to congress is trouble, no matter what,” Trump said. What a positive guy! He then added “…we’re [Democrats] not going to approve it because that’ll be good for the Republicans, so therefore we can’t approve it.”

Trump also said “truly historic news for our nation and indeed for the world.” I don’t think the world really cares much about a deal that doesn’t involve them.

“Just for those babies out there that talk about tariffs — that includes Congress, ‘please don’t charge tariffs’ — without tariffs, we wouldn’t be standing here,” Trump said. “I can tell you, Bob and all of these folks would not be standing here right now.” This comment was made because number of Republicans — including House Speaker Paul Ryan — have expressed opposition to tariffs.

Some experts claim the new trade agreement is just a change of names that Trump likes plus some expected changes [such as copyright and shipping duties] and a few issues [Canadian dairy management and Mexican labor wages]. But Trump whined since before the election that the NAFTA deal was the worst deal ever according to him. So he didn’t change much.

Between the new NAFTA deal and Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Trump can claim two victories. Major? I doubt it except to him.

China says it deplores a controversial new clause [section 32.10] in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that calls on the countries to notify each other if they enter into trade talks with a “non-market” economy. Some say it gives the Americans a veto over Canada and Mexico pursuing free trade with China.

Trump helped “his parents dodge taxes” in the 1990s, including “instances of outright fraud” that allowed him to amass a fortune from them, according to an analysis from The New York Times. Denial from the Trump family of course.

Trump and his siblings helped his parents build their wealth by hiding millions of dollars in gifts in a “sham corporation,” according to the Times. The President assisted his father in taking “improper tax deductions worth millions more.” He also helped to “formulate a strategy” for his parents to undervalue their real estate holdings on their tax returns to reduce their tax bill.

Trump’s older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has kept a very low profile since he ran for office. But it appears as though she inadvertently had a central role in The New York Times blockbuster report on her brother’s alleged tax schemes. One of the Times key findings was a financial disclosure form from Barry’s Senate confirmation proceedings in 1999 to be a federal appellate judge.

Go figure out this one: Trump, at a news conference, told reporter Cecilia Vega that “That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do,” and the initial transcript said “thinking”, but to maybe remove the insult, the White house revised the transcript within 24 hours replacing “thinking” with “thanking” even though the video clearly says “thinking”. Isn’t changing any presidential text illegal?

At a rally in West Virginia, Trump said “When you see people who are angry and mean and nasty and untruthful…” He was going after Senator Diane Feinstein when those words can describe himself more than her.

Regarding what they call “Laughtergate” at the UN during Trump’s speech at the UN, Trump said “The fake news said people laughed at President Trump. They didn’t laugh at me. People had a good time with me. We were doing it together. We had a good time. They respect what I’ve done.” Seriously? It was a comedy show?

Deeper into his speech, Trump had this warning for the other 180 plus leaders: “We are taking a hard look at US foreign assistance … Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and frankly are our friends.” And I would guess the number of friends have dropped in the last two years.

Just after California Governor Jerry Brown signed a state net neutrality bill in defiance of federal regulations, the Trump Administration asked a court to block California from attempting to restore Obama-era rules requiring open access to the internet.

The measure prohibits internet service providers in California from stratifying users and websites by who can pay for faster surfing speeds and service. If the law stands, broadband providers including Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. will be blocked in the state from slowing traffic on their airwaves while charging consumers for faster access.

The Trump administration is quietly moving to weaken U.S. radiation regulations, turning to scientific outliers who argue that a bit of radiation damage is actually good for you — like a little bit of sunlight. They already have targeted a range of other regulations on toxins and pollutants, including coal power plant emissions and car exhaust, that it sees as costly and burdensome for businesses.

[Reducing regulations is not surprising for Trump. After all, him and most of his cabinet came from big business. If this saves companies more money (at what medical costs), these people could indirectly add to their pockets some of the profits that are in blind trusts or in the case of Trump, should be.]

Melania Trump is in Africa visiting a few countries. She will be checking out daycare centers and hospitals funded by a US government agency. Problem is that the Trump administration have signaled that they will cut 30% of the funding.

Steve Bannon suggests Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti could go toe-to-toe with Trump in the 2020 election.

Kanye West opened up the season for Saturday Night Live. At a commercial brake, he stayed on stage and had a pro-Trump rant. He was booed by quite a few of the people in the audience.

Trump claims that West was told he could not wear a “Make America Great Again” hat after the show but he did. Now who cares what he wears offline?

Being like his father, Donald Trump Jr. claims West was bullied by Saturday Night Live staff. Seriously? Didn’t hear West complain. [And speaking of bullying….]

In another dumb comment from Donald Trump Jr., he told Daily Mail TV that he worries more for his sons than his daughters in the current political climate, saying he is concerned they may one day face false sexual misconduct allegations. If his sons have done nothing wrong, nothing to fear.

 

Trump goes to the United Nations

Donald Trump at the United Nations. You know what that means.

Trump arrived late. [Surprised? He also arrived late at the last G7.] So, at the General Assembly, forcing a last-minute scheduling switch, then received polite applause but also blank stares as he took his blustery brand of “America First” policies to the annual General Assembly.

He was unapologetic about his decisions to remove the US from the international Iran nuclear accord and object to UN programs he believes are contrary to American interests.

Trump claims his “administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history” of the United States. Some world leaders in the crowd chuckled and some broke into outright laughter.

Fox News decided not to include the laughter portion on their web site and Twitter feed. Meanwhile, Trump claimed after his speech, he intentionally added this section so he could add some humor.

Trump also said “Moving forward we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and frankly our — our friends.” How he defines respect? I would guess where the US has a trade surplus.

“As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority,” he said. The US is boycotting the Human Rights Council, arguing it overlooks abuses by some and serves as a venue for anti-American and anti-Israeli action.

Trump said about North Korea, “there have been no tests, no nuclear tests, no rockets, no missile launches….” But he said nothing about development of rockets.

When Trump chaired the UN Security Council, he claimed [with no proof] that China – not Russia – is planning to disrupt the upcoming mid-term elections. I guess we have a preview of what Trump will say when he loses the House and/or Senate in November.

For trade issues, Trump told world leaders “we are systematically renegotiating broken and bad trade deals.” Singling out China for its trade abuses and theft of US intellectual property, Trump said “we will no longer tolerate such abuse.”

Trump tweeted that “despite requests,” he has no plans to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. But in an interview Rouhani said “Not this year, nor last year. We have never made such a request for a meeting with the President of the United States”. But US officials said Trump is not seeking a meeting with him but is not opposed to talking if Iran requests a session.

Trump is getting into meeting denial habits. He was asked at a press conference if he was asked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a meeting. Trump said no because Canada’s tariffs are too high. Trudeau’s office said Trudeau never asked for a meeting.

During a free-wheeling solo press conference that lasted more than an hour, Trump again claimed that former President Barack Obama was close to starting a catastrophic conflict with North Korea, telling reporters that if he “wasn’t elected, there would have been a war” as his predecessor was close to “pressing the trigger.”

Trump also claims by implying that Obama had “essentially” told him so directly in a Fox News interview. But those who worked in the previous administration say Trump’s assertion is simply untrue.

Interesting to note that Trump is pinning all his hopes on Brett Kavanaugh. The longer he keeps Kavanaugh as his nominee the less the chances are that the senate can confirm another nominee in case Kavanaugh is dropped.

With the possibility of the Democrats taking control of the senate in November, the probably of the Democrats allowing a hard right justice nominee as a Supreme Court justice is very unlikely. With this, it could push back a right wing agenda including the possibility of the sinking of Roe versus Wade, for example.

With the latest allegations against Kavanaugh, the Trump administration and senior Republicans are trying to still defend Kavanaugh.

Trump sought to discredit the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who is accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct by saying she was “messed up” and “drunk” at the time of the alleged incident. He also said he believes Democrats are masterminding “a con game” against his Supreme Court nominee.

White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that Trump is open to having Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, testify. The question is whether or not that is Trump actual view.

Trump said the third accuser is just like the other two – either out to kill Kavanaugh’s nomination or a Democratic party plot.

There was a call from the American Bar Association to slow the vote on Kavanaugh until the FBI can do a full background check. White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton”  Sanders told reporters Friday that Kavanaugh has already “been through six separate background investigations by the FBI.”

Personal information of US senators Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, and Orin Hatch appeared on their Wikipedia pages while questioning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a judiciary hearing.

After Senator Jeff Flake pushed for an investigation by the FBI into Kavanaugh and his 5 accusers, Trump ordered a limited, week-long FBI probe of the allegations against Kavanaugh, at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was a 180-degree turn from his previous statements about making such a move.

Remember how much Trump “liked” the FBI, so does he actually trust them or would go after them if the investigation shows Kavanaugh did indeed do what he is accused of by at least one of the 5 accusers. Also surprising he called for the investigation right away instead of waiting one or more days to reduce the amount of time the FBI can investigate.

For the Republican party, a positive outcome for them could help get some on the fence Republicans and Democrats to vote in favor of Kavanaugh. For the Democrats, it could help prove or give more doubt that Kavanaugh did indeed do what he is accused of. In addition, Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, can finally give testimony.

For the accusers, Kavanaugh, Judge and others, if any of them end up lying, they could be headed to be charged with numerous offences including perjury [up to 5 years in prison]. If Kavanaugh lied, it could also be big trouble for Trump.

The proposed rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security through the Trump administration could make immigrants seeking to enter the United States ineligible for visas or green cards if they are deemed likely to receive certain public benefits once they come to the country. The public benefits includes public housing and food stamps equivalent to a certain monetary threshold.

A federal judge in Washington, DC, ruled that a lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democrats in Congress against Trump over foreign payments to his business can proceed. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and the other members allege in the lawsuit that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by not seeking their approval for his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani flatly stated Trump would not answer any questions from the special counsel about obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation in writing or in an interview.

Other members of Trump’s legal team say Giuliani’s version of events was wrong. Another pair of key attorneys Trump, Jane and Marty Raskin, were busy trying to coordinate calls and continue to do so with a lawyer on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

The House is set to vote on a massive spending package that funds a large section of government and aims to avert a shutdown, just weeks before the midterm elections. Interesting. The Senate overwhelmingly supported it [bipartisanship!] and the House is expected to pass it easily. But, you guessed it, Trump has sent mixed signals sent over the bill in recent weeks. The Trump Wall isn’t included in the bill. Tweeting, Trump recently called this “ridiculous” spending bill.

Eventually Trump signed a massive spending package that funds a large section of government and averts a shutdown. The bill includes a continuing resolution that will fund remaining unfunded parts of government until December 7.

In a tweet, Trump used the word “Acquisitions” instead of “accusations”. Hmmmm. Add to the list of other tweeting goofs.

Trump rejected any notion that his tariffs posed an economic risk, echoing assertions by his administration that consumers would barely notice the new taxes.

From Ford to Walmart to Procter & Gamble, a growing number of iconic American companies are warning that Trump’s tariffs on US imports are raising their costs and prices. Further warnings from Coca-Cola, Gap, Macy’s, etc.

Ford’s CEO claims that the company buys most of its metals from US producers, which have raised prices this year as a result of the tariffs on foreign competitors. US producers can gauge Ford by raising their prices but keep it just below import steel with tariffs. Steel prices are up 25 per cent since the tariffs began.

The Trump administration imposed new 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, spanning thousands of products, including food seasonings, baseball gloves, network routers and industrial machinery parts. China retaliated immediately with new taxes of 5% to 10% on $60 billion of US goods such as meat, chemicals, clothes and auto parts.

The latest round of US tariffs is set to increase at the end of the year from 10% to 25%. China hasn’t yet spelled out how it will respond to that. Trump has also threatened tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese products. That would mean the US measures effectively cover all China’s annual goods exports to the United States.

Thousands of companies have asked the government to exclude certain products from the tariff list, claiming they cannot find another supplier outside of China for the items they need. None of their requests have been granted so far.

The Chinese government has blocked the USS Wasp from docking in Hong Kong amid a growing diplomatic feud between the two countries over strict military sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

Adding fuel to the fire, the administration moved ahead with its approval of $330 million in arms sales to Taiwan, primarily spare parts for the island’s air force.

Latest SRSS poll has one of the highest disapproval rating at 58% for Trump since Trump took the job [only time higher was around December 2017]. His approval with Republicans is static at 82%. But the number of Americans who identify with a party has been on the decline. But most independents tend to vote with the Republicans.

A bit of humor: Having Trump as “President” is like having diarrhea for two years. It’s exhausting and there’s shit everywhere.  [Not my quote.]

Trump just loves to change his tune

Special counsel Robert Mueller seems to have built in safeguards to discourage Donald Trump from pardoning Paul Manafort. The plea deal Mueller struck with Manafort contains several provisions that appear intended to discourage the former Trump aide from seeking a pardon and to rein in the impact of any pardon Trump might grant.

A part of the deal says that if Manafort’s guilty pleas or convictions are wiped out for any reason, prosecutors immediately have the right to charge him with any other crimes he may have committed previously or confessed to during recent plea negotiations.

The agreement also says prosecutors can come after the five identified homes or apartments, three bank accounts and a life insurance policy now or at any point in the future “without regard to the status of his criminal conviction.”

“We had a good saying that we’ve held firm to this day, as the dean was reminding me before the talk, which was ‘What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep,” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said in a 2015 speech at Catholic University of America’s law school.

Kavanaugh’s nomination vote has been delayed until the following week to allow the Judiciary Committee to question him as well as his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, regarding his alleged sexual assault on her when she was 15.

Once again, unsure if Trump is human. Being insensitive, Trump said of the hardship on Kavanaugh’s family’s life and of course Kavanaugh with Trump saying “hurting someone’s life very badly” and his reputation.

Trump claims that the FBI “doesn’t do that” that is investigate whether what Ford said was true. But in fact, the FBI don’t investigate issues like this unless ordered to do so. There is a difference.

Not surprising Ford’s life has been threatened. FBI investigating. [See Trump, something they actually do.]

When Trump finally addressed the sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh were quietly stunned when Trump said the process should be followed and the accuser should be heard. In recent days, Trump has bragged about the positive coverage he’s received for his response, according to multiple sources. This helped his ego. Not really positive coverage – more like stunned.

You knew it wouldn’t last long. Trump, in a series of tweets, deviated from his previously measured comments about Ford who has accused Kavanugh of sexual assault, claiming that if the attack she alleges “was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities”. He also said Kavanaugh is “under assault by radical left wing politicians.”

Trump asked why no one called the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago. The FBI would not have jurisdiction in the case at the time of the alleged assault. Among the most common reasons for not reporting these incidents were fear of reprisal, shame and a belief that authorities could or would do nothing to help. [Maybe something Trump will learn once he is charged with those alleged assaults from him.]

Ford said she told no one at the time what had happened to her, and was terrified of punishment from her parents if they realized she had been at a party where underage drinking was happening.

“There’s no reason to attack her. The president is defending his nomination to the United States Supreme Court as a man of character, integrity, impeccable academic and judicial qualifications,” counselor to Trump, Kellyanne The Witch Conway said when asked about Trump’s original measured response to the allegations. How she was wrong…. again. Just a few days before Trump said “Why would I attack her?”

In his May 2017 interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, it makes Trump more vulnerable to claims that he obstructed justice. So Trump’s legal team have come up with a curious explanation: The interview was “edited” and that’s why people are confused about what Trump meant. Of course no evidence of this is provided.

Previously NBC announced an interview with Trump. The next day, Trump fired FBI director James Comey. White House stated that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein had officially recommended Comey’s firing, and Trump had just accepted the recommendation.

But Trump went off script saying to Holt, “He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.” The camera stayed on Trump the entire time.

Trump vowed to eradicate a “lingering stench” at the Justice Department, hours after it was reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a “wire” to record conversations with Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office according to sources familiar with memos authored by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe documenting the discussions.

“But we had some real bad ones — you see what’s happened at the FBI, they’re all gone, they’re all gone, they’re all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.” Hmmm. Only 3 know FBI agents have left.

“I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false,” Rosenstein said.

Trump has to get political even in a disaster. the only question is what took him so long. For example “… But don’t be fooled, at some point in the near future the Democrats will start ranting that FEMA, our Military, and our First Responders, who are all unbelievable, are a disaster and not doing a good job. This will be a total lie, but that’s what they do, and everybody knows it!”

In an interview with The Hill, Trump said about Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying, “I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad.” He also said that he is “very disappointed” in him.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell claims that Trump recently suggested Spain should build a wall across the Sahara desert to deal with the issue of migration from Africa. Notice the problem? The Sahara desert isn’t in Spain. Most of the migrants come in from the sea.

The Chinese government said that it would impose tariffs on US goods worth $60 billion following the Trump administration’s announcement that it was hitting $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with new tariffs. The White House warned previously that it would respond to any retaliation from Beijing with yet more tariffs.

Then Trump tweeted “China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me.” Hmmm. When did they “openly state” that? If you remove farmers, ranchers and industrial workers, what is left to apply tariffs to after you applied 4 times the amount on China?

“Canada has taken advantage of our country for a long time” said Trump. Let’s see. 325 million in the US [excluding illegals], 37 million in Canada. So the US has 9 times the number of people and yet couldn’t make a deal Trump would like? On the other hand, he doesn’t like anything related to trade unless he can slap on tariffs or knows he got a steal of a deal.

Trump tweeted “Our Steel Industry is the talk of the World. It has been given new life, and is thriving. Billions of Dollars is being spent on new plants all around the country!” Yes, since tariffs were imposed on July 1st, steel plants have suddenly popped up all over the US. I think not. If everything goes well, most steel plants take at least 20 months to build and that’s only after approvals and funding are done.

“Tariffs have put the U.S. in a very strong bargaining position, with Billions of Dollars, and Jobs, flowing into our Country – and yet cost increases have thus far been almost unnoticeable,” Trump tweeted. But this is Trump. So whatever he said usually is a streaming pile of rubbish. Already prices of vehicle and infrastructure have increased.

Yes. The US economy is doing so well, Wells Fargo is adding to the unemployment lines. Wells Fargo plans to cut as many as 26,500 jobs over three years as the troubled bank grapples with the rise of online banking and soaring legal bills. It sold off branches in 3 mid-west states in June.

The Trump administration’s trade wars with China, Canada and others are starting to affect the US. Alibaba is dropping its promise to create 1 million jobs in the US. This came after Walmart asked the Trump administration to walk back its plan to put tariffs on Christmas lights, shampoo, dog food, luggage, mattresses, handbags, backpacks, vacuum cleaners, bicycles, cooking grills, cable cords and air conditioners.

Other retailers and consumer goods companies, including Ace Hardware, Target and Joann fabric and craft stores, also lobbied the administration. The administration imposed tariffs on those goods – although it did spare bicycle helmets, high chairs, car seats and playpens from the final list. It also left off Apple Watches and Air Pods, a reprieve for Apple.

Trump’s refugee plan for the coming year would nearly halve the number of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. By contrast, some regions would see increased caps. The number of refugees from Latin America would double in fiscal year 2019.

Trump tweeted “Today, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we share our gratitude for all the ways Hispanic-Americans make our country flourish and prosper. Today, and every day, we honor, cherish, and celebrate Hispanic-American Workers, Families, Students, Businesses, and Leaders…” After his comments about Hispanics, I’m sure it wasn’t him who tweeted those words.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a picture of CNN’s Anderson Cooper about a picture in water in Hurricane “Florence” and made some dumb whiney comments. In fact the picture is 10 years ago. What a genius…

A little reminder that the blog’s primary focus is on Donald Trump and not about US politics in general. Therefore you won’t see the blog detailing more about [for example] the Kavanaugh/Ford legal mess unless Trump gets involved or one of his subordinates if of use. The economy, however, would be included as it is related to the administration’s policies.

Did Kavanaugh lie about the misconduct?

So it was revealed over the weekend that Christine Blasey Ford was the woman in question that has accused Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of high school-era sexual misconduct.

She has told her story publicly for the first time to the Washington Post.

The alleged misconduct occurred about 35 years ago when she was 15 and he was 17.

I won’t go through the details but aside from the obvious it does bring up other a question:

Since this occurred 35 years ago, there will be little evidence – if any. Kavanaugh and someone else who was there but only watched and both denied it happened.

[Ford mentioned the misconduct to a therapist and her husband in 2012 and has the therapist’s notes but the notes didn’t mention Kavanaugh even though her husband claimed she said his name.]

If Kavanaugh admitted that he would do it, and the fact that it happened 35 years ago, it probably wouldn’t be as bad compared to saying he didn’t do it and evidence clearly showed he did.

A Supreme Court nominee, who lies during the confirmation hearings, would look bad – let alone probable legal consequences.

But, as previously mentioned, Kavanaugh denied the misconduct.

 

Trump on tour (part 1)

Donald Trump capped off his tumultuous two-day visit at NATO headquarters by boldly declaring that all NATO members agreed to increase their defense spending after he told them he was “extremely unhappy.” Trump came up empty when pressed to detail the new financial commitments he had secured, offering only that member countries “agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly” and pointing to spending increases over the last year.

Trump claimed that all countries said that all the countries have agreed to reach 2% before the 2024 deadline. Of course he is giving himself credit for this. Problem is that the other countries did not agree on reaching the target before 2024. He called himself in a hasty called news conference “stable genius”.

French President Emmanuel Macron said “There was a communiqué released yesterday it was very detailed and I invite you to read it … It shows the measures approved by all the member states. This communiqué is clear, it reaffirms a commitment to 2% in 2024. That is all.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said spending will go up slowly over the next few years to reach at or near 2% GDP by the deadline.

Meanwhile Trump said that “everybody in that (NATO) room got along”. And yet Germany’s Angela Merkel wasn’t happy with Trump’s comments about her country and others when Trump called them “delinquents” for not paying their share.

Trump said he believes he “probably” could withdraw from the NATO alliance without congressional approval – but said that was “unnecessary.” Seems Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Does he ever read the legal information before he opens his mouth.

So another hussy fit from Trump? Threatening to leave NATO. One reason why NATO was created was to counter any aggression from the Soviet Union. Little has changed as it’s now Russia and Russia grabbed Crimea in 2014. Experts believe that without NATO, smaller Baltic countries are at risk for an invasion from Russia.

Trump has previously said that Russia grabbing Crimea wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as there are plenty of Russians living there. The same can be said about many countries formerly part of the Soviet bloc. The Soviet Union did it on purpose – moving Russians into those countries while occupying them.

Trump previously has told allies that if they don’t meet higher spending targets, they should leave the alliance and go it alone on military matters. Is he the NATO Secretary General? Nope. NATO police? Nope. NATO CFO? Nope.

“Frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them.” Paying what? NATO requires that a percentage of the countries’ GDP be used for the military – not to pay NATO [unlike the UN]. Maybe he should cut back on his military spending [and the $7 per screw] and maybe help his citizens.

Trump released a letter he recently received from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and praised the “great progress” being made in talks with Pyongyang. Trump also touted his meeting with the Kim Jong Un while at NATO, calling it “an amazing meeting” and saying the two “established very good relations.” And yet….

North Korean officials did not show up to a planned meeting with US officials at the demilitarized zone, where they were expected to continue discussions on repatriating the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War. Trump has touted the return of remains as one of the successes of his historic June 12 summit with Kim Jun Un in Singapore.

In England, Trump has already caused problems by claiming that UK Prime Minister Theresa May has “wrecked” the country’s exit from the European Union [Brexit] and likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. The audio was recorded and clearly showed him criticizing May even when he told reports that listen to the recording think that he didn’t say it. Forgetting things already?

Then Trump denied that he criticized May, the day after a British tabloid published an interview with him in which he did just that. He dismissed the interview, conducted by a Rupert Murdoch-owned publication [which are right wing leaning], as “fake news” saying it didn’t include his comments praising May. He also questioned her competence.

Trump said his comments came after he “read some reports” that suggested the United Kingdom would not be able to make a free trade deal with the US and said after he did apologized to May.

He also praised one of May’s political rivals, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned from her government in protest this week – which is against protocol. He said Johnson would make a good Prime Minister and later back peddled by saying May is one.

He does think that the British like him a lot and yet demonstrators showed signs that said “Dump Trump,” “Lock Him Up,” and “There Will Be Hell Toupee.” The largest demonstration in years happened in London happened before Trump visited the Queen. A large giant balloon that flew over Parliament on Friday depicting him as a cell-phone-toting angry baby in a diaper.

Trump acknowledged feeling unwelcome in the city, and blamed that in part on Mayor Sadiq Khan, who gave protesters permission to fly the baby Trump balloon. Trump also blamed recent terrorist attacks there on Khan, who is Muslim. The president claimed Europe is “losing its culture” because of immigration from the Middle East and Africa.

It is also customary for anyone visiting The Queen to show up early. Trump showed up 10 minutes late.

With a news conference on and cameras “rolling” and in front of May, Trump refused to take an interview question from a CNN reporter saying CNN is a fake news network and instead took a question from Fox News.

Trump again blamed President Obama for Russian aggression in Crimea. Trump at times drew laughs from some British reporters, who jeered his criticism of the media and openly laughed at his numerous boasts. Finally, he defended his beliefs that immigration has damaged Europe.

US cable networks began cutting away to cover the Russian indictments. And calls from Congress grew louder for Trump to cancel the meeting in Helsinki with Poutine, whom Trump has previously declined to challenge on 2016 election meddling.

Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to join the US Supreme Court, setting the stage for a dramatic confirmation battle over a stalwart conservative who could shape the direction of the court for decades to come. He has never expressed outright opposition to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal nationwide, and similarly has no record on gay rights and same-sex marriage, but he will face tough questions from Democrats on both issues.

“If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case,” Kavanaugh said at the White House. Which will probably mean voting for all right leaning causes. The White House is hoping the Senate moves quickly to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections in November threaten to unfurl the narrow Republican majority in the chamber.

Attention will quickly shift to two moderate GOP senators, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who are supportive of abortion rights. Trump also hopes to pressure several Democrats into voting to confirm his nominee as three Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won by double digits.

Kavanaugh’s career path led him from doggedly investigating one president to later on arguing for more legal protections for presidents — after working for another one.

Despite Trump’s insistence that he didn’t consider the nominee’s political views, the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, which provided the president with suggested appointees, did. Kavanaugh’s conservative ideology is compatible with these two interest groups and Trump’s most recent ideological posture.

Trump said that he has not brought up the issue of abortion with Kavanaugh. Sure Donnie. Will anyone believe that comment with your history of lies.

Democrats and a few key Republicans in the Senate have said that they will not support a Supreme Court nominee who does not view the Roe v. Wade decision as a settled issue.

Former Republican Presidential nominee, Rick Santorum, said that Trump “bowed to the elite in Washington” – the same people Trump said he would drain from the swamp.

A reminder that during the election of 2016, Trump had said that picks for any Supreme Court nominee would be a vote to end Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion, and thus punish women. According to a 2016 survey, nearly seventy percent of Americans believe abortion should remain legal in this country.

A federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses related to the 2016 presidential election, the Justice Department. The grand jury indictment, part of Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe, alleges intelligence officers of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) hacked into the computer networks of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and attempted to penetrate voting systems across the country.

The indictments could make things difficult for Trump as he meets Russian dictator Vladimir Poutine next week. He had previously said he didn’t want to offend the Russians but he claims he will ask Poutine flat out whether there was any hacking or other illegal activities. You expecting Poutine to say yes? And pigs will fly.

Of course, the chance of the 12 ever being prosecuted is very unlikely as the US has no extradition treaty with Russia. Trump, meanwhile, continues to be criticized for being reluctant to speak publicly about Russian interference into the campaign.

Trump expressed a remarkable opinion. Democrats “want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13,” he tweeted, referring to the international gang.

During their trip to Moscow recently, an all-Republican delegation of U.S. lawmakers met with at least two Russian sanctioned Russians. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama spoke with Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who has been sanctioned since 2014 for Russia’s “illegitimate and unlawful” activities in Ukraine. The group also heard from Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Konstantin Kosachev, who complained about the latest round of U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals. Kosachev was sanctioned in April over Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and other “malign activity.”

The Trump administration is preparing another round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, ramping up the US-China trade war. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday released a list of thousands of additional goods that could face 10% tariffs after a public comment period. It includes fruit and vegetables, handbags, refrigerators, rain jackets and baseball gloves.

The move comes after the United States imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion. Beijing immediately responded with its own tariffs on US goods worth $34 billion.

A one-year-old child who was separated from his father at the southern US border appeared in immigration court. The child is one of several toddlers who have had to appear in court without their parents present. Meanwhile, five pregnant women in immigration detention said they were denied adequate medical care while they were obviously miscarrying. ICE and Customs and Border Protection guards were either unwilling or unable to respond to medical emergencies.

The goal of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s latest trip to Pyongyang was to negotiate the details of the nuclear agreement Trump signed along with Kim. North Korea criticized Pompeo’s “gangster-like” demands in negotiations and said the “attitude” of the US was “regrettable”, while Pompeo signaled “progress” in the talks between the two nations.

Trump confirmed that he plans to give a copy of the Elton John hit song “Rocket Man” to the dictator of North Korea. Wonder if it would be just the song [maybe illegally ripped?] or a legitimate copy of Honky Château [from where the song first originated].

Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is working with foreign clients as he continues to advise President Donald Trump on the Russia investigation, which raises conflict of interest and federal ethics issues. Giuliani told The Washington Post in interviews that he maintains clients in Ukraine, Brazil and Colombia. [Is this guy an actual lawyer? Seems to know little about law.] Giuliani has not registered with the Department of Justice for his work, arguing that it’s not necessary because Trump isn’t paying him for his counsel and he does not directly lobby the US government. White House officials told the Post they cannot be sure of Giuliani’s claim that he never discusses his clients with Trump.

Trump tweeted “The U.S. is working very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people!” And no comments from him about the supposedly other 900+ people involved.

A federal judge in California flatly rejected the Justice Department’s attempt to modify a decades-old settlement agreement that limits the length of time and conditions under which US officials may detain immigrant children.

Trump’s former personal driver of more than 20 years has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization alleging that he was forced to work “thousands of hours” of overtime without fair compensation. The driver, Noel Cintron, claims in the lawsuit that he worked an average of between 50 and 55 hours a week for Trump without fair compensation. He is asking for more than $200,000 in unpaid overtime wages over the past six years. Noel Cintron received two raises in 15 years, but had to give up his Trump Organization health insurance in order to get a $7,000 pay increase.

Trump tweeted “Public opinion has turned strongly against the Rigged Witch Hunt and the “Special” Counsel….” I’d like to see that poll Donnie!

According to a Washington Post poll, 65% of women said they disapproved of Trump’s job as president, while 32% said they approved. 54% of men say they approved of Trump, while only 45% said they disapproved.

Trump tweeted “The Rigged Witch Hunt, originally headed by FBI lover boy Peter S (for one year) & now, 13 Angry Democrats, should look into the missing DNC Server, Crooked Hillary’s illegally deleted Emails, the Pakistani Fraudster, Uranium One, Podesta & so much more. It’s a Democrat Con Job!” [I’m wondering if he writes on a calendar when he should make the same comments over and over again.]

The Hudson’s Bay store chain in Canada has stopped selling anything from Ivanka Trump’s products due to poor sales online and phase the merchandise out during the fall. The chain didn’t say if any of the boycotts were the reason. However Shoes.com, Zulily, and Nordstrom stopped selling her products.

Still with immigration and now a SC judge to deal with

The Republican-led House resoundingly rejected a far-ranging immigration bill despite an eleventh-hour endorsement by Donald Trump, as the gulf between the GOP’s moderate and conservative wings proved too deep for leaders to avert an election-year display of division. The bill was killed 301-121, with nearly half of Republicans opposing the measure. Trump will probably still blame the Democrats. This was a more moderate leaning bill after a harder-right package was defeated last week.

A federal judge in California ordered a halt to most family separations at the US border and the reunification of all families that have been separated in the first major rebuke to the Trump administration during ongoing furor over family separations at the border.

The court order specifically requires federal officials to stop detaining parents apart from their minor children, absent a determination the parent is unfit or the parent declines reunification; reunify all parents with their minor children who are under the age of 5 within 14 days and reunify all parents with their minor children age 5 and older within 30 days.

Anthony Kennedy’s announcement of his retirement from the Supreme Court creates an opening for President Donald Trump to reshape the ideological makeup of the nation’s highest court for decades to come. While brought in by a Republican president he was always more of an “independent” judge who generally was the swing vote. With Trump most likely to try to bring in a Republican leaning judge, it could move the Supreme Court to the right for a long while.

Trump already has about 24 judges and one senator who he could pick from. The Republicans’ goal — as of now — is to hold a confirmation hearing for a new Supreme Court nominee around Labor Day. The goal is to get the nominee in place for the start of the fall term, which begins the first Tuesday in October.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Republicans to “follow the rule they set in 2016 — not to consider a Supreme Court justice in an election year.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already announced he intends to hold a vote confirming President Trump’s nominee this fall. So what’s good for the gander isn’t good for the goose.

Now that Trump has the opportunity to appoint a new justice to the Supreme Court, some abortion opponents hope that Roe v. Wade will end up overturned or gutted — and they have already been working towards that moment. That landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had voted to uphold Roe in 1992.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is criticizing Trump administration trade policy after Harley-Davidson cited retaliatory tariffs as why it’s shifting some production of motorcycles overseas. Harley-Davidson is based in Wisconsin, Ryan’s state, naturally.

Trump is denying that his trade policy is responsible for Harley-Davidson’s decision to some motorcycle production overseas. The company says it’s doing so because of tariffs it’s facing in a trade dispute between the U.S. and the European Union. But Trump says that’s an excuse. And how does he know? Trump says in tweets that the company had already announced it was closing a Kansas City plant as “that was long before Tariffs were announced”. Union officials have said those jobs are going to Thailand. Harley-Davidson has denied that.

Trump warned Harley-Davidson that any shift in production “will be the beginning of the end.” Is that a threat? He can’t single out Harley-Davidson as that would definitely go to court.

Trump says he’s getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, and open up closed markets. Which countries? The country of Nambia which doesn’t exist?

Remember how Trump whines that Canada pushes a 275% tariff on dairy? He is forgetting [or on purpose most likely] that US dairy subsidies equal 73 percent of producer returns or around $22.2 billion in direct and indirect subsidies to the dairy sector in 2015. Even then, American dairy farmers lost money every year from 2005 to 2016.

Regarding White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders’ issue with a restaurant, Trump tweeted “The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!” Did he visit the restaurant? I’ve seen dirty McDonald’s – as chain he likes to go to and he still goes there.

Russia’s puppet prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, is calling for tariffs on U.S. imports in response to duties that Washington has placed on foreign steel and aluminum but did not specify what goods could fall under the tariffs, but told the Ministry of Economic Development to make proposals. Trump has said previously that any country that imposes tariffs as retaliation will see further tariffs added. We’ll see if he sticks to that plan.

New satellite images show North Korea has made rapid improvements to the infrastructure at its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center — a facility used to produce weapons-grade fissile material. It reveals the construction of several support facilities — long-planned upgrades that were already underway before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Trump met in Singapore in June.

If there is a potential deals why hasn’t the upgrades stopped [saving the government money]. It could show that the summit was all for nothing and it makes Trump look like a fool. Duh. This is still an active site producing plutonium for North Korea.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “I’m confident what he intended there was we did reduce the threat… I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We took the tension level down.”

Trump spoke to a crowd during a campaign rally for South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster at Airport High School. Not surprising he rantd about just about everything and said very little about McMaster.

Mitt Romney, a foe to Trump, could once again be a thorn in Trump’s side when he won the Republican primary for senate in Utah. He could unseat John McCain or Jeff Flake as the Republicans who won’t guarantee to give their votes for any Trump legislation going through the senate. Or he could be like Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and others who flip flop.

Sanders is expected to receive Secret Service protection. Is there a threat? Probably not. Maybe she just needs their help to get a seat at a restaurant. More wasted money. Republican strategist Stuart Stevens criticizes White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ feud with a Virginia restaurant that asked her to leave saying she is “victim shopping”.

Trump has been privately suggesting that he wants the US to withdraw from the World Trade Organization. Trump has lamented, “We always get f—ed by them. I don’t know why we’re in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States.” Or maybe he wants to leave the WTO so no one can challenge his tariffs at the WTO.

When trump said at a speech “We did repeal and replace Obamacare,” Trump falsely said in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. “Unfortunately, one senator decided to put the thumb down late in the morning….” He was talking about Senator John McCain without naming him. “I don’t think it’s appropriate,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham. “I think it doesn’t help the President.”

The UN migration agency on Friday voted down Ken Isaacs, the Trump administration’s candidate to lead the International Organization for Migration, leaving it without an American at the helm for the first time since 1951.

Stocks of computer chip manufacturers like AMD and NVIDIA have dropped significantly because of Trump’s plans to restrict foreign investment in US tech companies. The US Treasury department initially said on the weekend that it would block companies with at least 25 per cent Chinese ownership from buying businesses involved in industrially significant technology. However, it then expanded the scope of its limitations yesterday to all countries that are quote “trying to steal the US’ technology.”

Trumped commented that Crimea maybe should stay with Russia as they all speak Russian there. Maybe true but that’s because eastern Europe were under the Soviet Union’s influence for 45+ years. They also got Russians to move outside of the Soviet Union to help promote the motherland. All this after, of course, Trump blamed President Obama again. And all this out of the blue.

They started to work on the new Foxconn manufacturing facility in Wisconsin that could eventually employ up to 15,000 people. Now they need to find experienced enough people as Wisconsin has a low unemployment rate. The same state that Trump was whining that Wisconsin farmers are losing their jobs because of Canadian dairy tariffs.

Meanwhile, the federal [and state] governments are helping Foxconn to the tune of at least $4 billion or roughly $267,000 per employee if all 15,000 are hired [unlikely]. Even then these are factory jobs mostly, not $150,000 a year jobs.

A federal judge in Virginia said he won’t dismiss bank fraud and tax evasion charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman based on allegations of leaks to the press.

Lawyers for Paul Manafort — whose trial is due to start in late July — said they may ask for his trial to be moved to another city after US District judge said he wouldn’t throw out the case.

Oh I’m sure Trump is shaking in his shoes: The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group has blasted Trump as a “wild monster” over the policy of separating children from their parents for migrants caught illegally entering the US. He separates them – he kills their parents.