Is there something wrong with Trump?

[Well aside from the usual.]

Wow! The last nearly 2 weeks have put the Trump administration and the stock markets on a lengthy roller coaster.

Beijing unveiling a new round of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of US goods placing tariffs of 5% or 10% on US imports starting on September 1st, according to a statement posted by China’s Finance Ministry. This round affects beef, oil, soya beans, nuts, cream, turkey, and chemicals.

A second possible round on December 1st would affect coffee, corn, vehicles, whiskey wood, doors, etc.

The Ministry also announced plans to resume tariffs on US imports of automobiles and automobile parts. The tariffs would be 25% or 5%, and would take effect on December 15th. Recently, China said it would take countermeasures after Donald Trump announced it would impose 10% tariffs on Chinese imports worth $300 billion.

Not just as few hours after, Trump decided to increase current tariffs at 25% to 30%. Those at 10% will jump to 15%. The Dow Jones stock market – in just a short time – dropped more than 700 points after the announcement at one point. He claimed, in a tweet, that China’s tariffs are “politically motivated”. He ended his set of tweets with “Thank you for your attention to this matter!”

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, said “It’s no surprise that China is slapping even more tariffs on American products. Every time Trump escalates his trade war, China calls his bluff — and why would we expect any differently this time around? And it’s no surprise that farmers are again the target.”

Trump said, “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing our companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” Trump can’t order American business to do anything as it is known as the “private sector”.

The Dow Jones had already dropped 300 points on the fear of another round of Trump tariffs. Trump also expressed anger at Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Powell in a speech today did not indicate if the central bank has plans for another interest rate cut. Trump has been calling for further cuts to rates.

Upsetting [saying it mildly] another ally, Trump tweeted “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time.” Seriously? Frederiksen said the word “Absurd” for her answer.

Trump had accepted an invitation to visit Her Majesty Margrethe II, Queen of Denmark. Now it is a diplomatic snub that he has canceled the visit because of his vindictive pettiness. Trump confirmed his interest in buying the country, telling reporters at one point that Greenland is hurting Denmark. Doesn’t explain how – of course.

Oh it must be fun being a US ambassador in this administration.

Estimated minimum price to buy Greenland is over $1 billion, for 56,000 people and 9% unemployment. Add harsh conditions and plenty of ice. But it does have some untapped resources.

No shocker here [or I told you so]: Trump is reversing his stance on gun control. After the shootings he said “I’m looking to do background checks… I think background checks are important.”

Then he responded recently by saying “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem… It’s the people that pull the trigger. It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger… “I’m also very, very concerned with the Second Amendment”. These are basically the same phrases that the NRA has been pushing for. So you think that anything will happen?

“I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook,” Trump said in an interview. “I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim was talking to me about tariffs. And one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in South Korea.”

He also said that Apple “will be spending vast sums of money in the US. Great!” though he doesn’t appear to have mentioned any details of further US investment in his comments to reporters. He has said this before of more US investments in the past only to have nothing come out of it.

He has to remember that his policies are hurting American businesses. He is the one to blame for issues that American companies who are having issues with it. On the other hand, Apple has plenty of money and part of their problem is that their products have had slumps because of a combination of higher prices and poor quality control [think recently about keyboard and battery issues with their laptops].

Trump may in the end exclude Apple from getting hit with the tariffs. And so it unravels. He does it for one company and other American companies who have at least some manufacturing done in China will ask for the same treatment. Most of them may not be as wealthy as Apple.

“If I wanted to make a bad deal and settle on China, the market would go up. But it wouldn’t be the right thing to do,” Trump explained. “I’m just not ready to make a deal, China would like to make a deal, I’m not ready.” So his ego prefers the world end up in a recession.

Trump and his advisers insist their trade war with China won’t hurt American consumers. But analysts say otherwise. The tariffs Trump has already imposed on China are estimated to cost the average American household $600 per year, according to a report by JPMorgan Chase. That will rise to $1,000 if Trump carries through on his plan to levy tariffs on another $300 billion of US imports from China, the bank added.

Oh craps! Trump referred to himself as the “chosen one” while speaking on his role in the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Later he said “Nobody has done a job like I done.” He said at one point that China had the worst economic year in 50 year. Last week he said at one point it was 25 and then 37. How things change in a week or so.

Trump conceded that economies across the world are “not doing well like we are doing, the rest of the world, if you look at Germany, if you look at European Union, frankly, look at the UK, look at a lot of the countries, they are not doing well.” If the world’s largest economies [other than the US] re in a recession, then the US will follow.

Trump added that “most economists actually say we are not going to have a recession.” If you translate that, it usually means he asked one or two people who may know about the economy and generally agree with everything he says. Trump sent out some people to news channels to tell people everything is good with the economy.

Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown revealing growing concerns about the economy among Trump’s top economic aides. But Trump says that the economy in the US is doing well?

As if Trump doesn’t have enough to complain about this week: “Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn’t work as well, because execs don’t want to fight California regulators.” Wonder what he is dreaming about this time.

This after saying “My proposal to the politically correct Automobile Companies would lower the average price of a car to consumers by more than $3000, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer. Engines would run smoother.”

Not to be out done, he then whined about the US share of the NATO budget versus everyone else.

Go figure. He is the president of the US and he is still complaining about the 2016 votes – 30+ months later. He tweeted “Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued.”

He was referring to a study by psychologist Robert Epstein [hmmm], which was discussed on Fox. Epstein himself says Trump was wrong about his findings. Epstein did find “bias” in Google search results, but he says there is no evidence Google “manipulated” the results to favor Hillary Clinton. Epstein said the pro-Clinton bias was “sufficient to have shifted between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes” to Clinton – not 16 million.

Epstein used a whopping 95 people from 24 states. That is research? For statistical purposes, this has a wide error. He also didn’t even publish his findings in a credible journal or web site that is related to his research. Epstein said he is “suspicious” that Google is deliberately biasing its results, given the Democratic leanings of its employees and the allegations of company “whistle blowers.” Epstein didn’t divulge who he supports.

Trump wants Russia back into the G7 [as the G8] in time for the 2020 meeting in the US. Trump claimed that President Barack Obama wanted Russia out of the group because “he got outsmarted.” He didn’t say how Obama was outsmarted, but you know Trump. Imaginary thing. Russia was suspended from the group after the majority of member countries united against Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Trump held a lengthy phone call with his master, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre, recently. Now it looks like universal background checks are “off the table.” LaPierre reminded Trump how NRA members helped get him elected. No shock in Trump’s latest stance.

The Trump administration announced plans that could hold undocumented families detained together indefinitely, replacing the agreement that set a 20-day limit for holding children. The rule is meant to reduce the number of families trying to enter the US. Already this year, more than 430,000 family members have been arrested for crossing the southern border illegally, compared to around 100,000 for all of last year.

Then Trump said he is “seriously” considering ending US birthright citizenship despite the fact that such a move would face immediate legal challenge and is at odds with Supreme Court precedent. The 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees birthright citizenship and states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The White House has dropped its attempt to move forward with a controversial plan to eliminate up to $4 billion in funding to the State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Previously, Trump misrepresented the developments that led Turkey to purchase the Russian system, blaming the Obama administration for the situation.

The Trump administration has sought to decrease what it believes is wasteful spending and make foreign aid more conditional on support for US policies. White House officials believed they had the authority to cancel the funds without congressional approval.

The Trump administration has formally withdrawn its $3.5 billion offer for Turkey to purchase a Patriot missile system in retaliation for Turkey’s receipt of the Russian-made S-400 missile system. The US has also ejected Turkey from the F-35 jet program, preventing Turkey from acquiring some 100 of the stealth jets and removing Turkish companies from the production chain.

It’s been 5.5 months since the last official White House press briefing. Stephanie Grisham, White House communications director and White House press secretary as well as communications director for Melania Trump, has yet to have a press briefing in the nearly 1.5 months in her new job.

Russian state TV says that Trump wants Russian to be part of the G8 because “he owes Russia” after the US recently tested a land based Tomahawk cruise missile. “He feels guilty or ashamed…. They miss us.”

Vladimir Poutine partially blamed the US for the recent accident there in testing new military hardware.

Wow! He finally did something right: He is eliminating all federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled. Took him over 2.5 years to do something right.

Trump is expected to select Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan to replace Jon Huntsman [resignation is effective October 3] as US Ambassador to Russia. At least Sullivan has some diplomatic experience. He was passed over as Secretary of State when Rex Tillerson resigned though.

Talk of to boost his way sagging popularity that Trump may dump Vice President Mike Pence and replace him with former UN ambassador, Nikki Haley. She tweeted “Enough of the false rumors.”

Trump also quoted radio host and conspiracy theorist/nut-case Wayne Allyn Root who said “…like he’s [Trump] the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God….” Seriously?

After recent polling numbers from Fox, Trump wasn’t happy saying “Fox has changed. And my worst polls have always been from Fox. There’s something going on at Fox, I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.” He believes that since Fox is the only right wing leaning large news organization, he should have better polling numbers with them – as if Fox manipulates polling data. But he always used them as his propaganda “arm”.

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Trump, the chief of conspiracy theories

Donald Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory on Saturday evening alleging without evidence that former President Bill Clinton was connected to the death of wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, hours after Epstein was found dead by apparent suicide in his federal prison cell. Considering that Trump has claimed he hasn’t been around Epstein for something like 15 years, he has taken great interest in it.

“Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen,” wrote Terrence K. Williams, a conservative commentator and comedian, in the message retweeted by Trump. In a two-minute long selfie video recording, Williams alleged that the Clintons were responsible for Epstein’s death and falsely claims that Epstein was on suicide watch in the prison at the time of his death. He wasn’t. Somebody is missing a handful of screws.

And not surprised with the conspiracy nuts going nuts. One claims that “Twitter Removes #ClintonBodyCount with 84,000 Mentions from Trending List After Epstein Death – Replaces with Trump, Barr Hashtags”. Others claim that Epstein is still alive.

With Trump himself denying that he has been involved with Epstein for over a dozen years, it could further bit him in the butt if [for example] Epstein said under testimony the Trump was involved in his sex session with underage girls. Trump would also benefit from Epstein’s death. As the so-called president, he has the means for someone to do it on his behalf.

Since he came into office, Trump has always claimed how great the economy has been. His indicator was primarily that the stock market was rising. He isn’t a financial guru. Far from it. His tariff wars with other big economies – claiming that they have huge trade surpluses – is starting to hit the US economy. Just recently Trump postponed hitting China with more tariffs acknowledging [finally] that tariffs will raise prices on items that American buy. So he has delayed the next round until after the holiday buying season has ended.

Meanwhile, the bond market, for the first time in over a decade, flashed a warning signal that has an eerily accurate track record for predicting recessions. Right after, the major stock markets dropped over 2% each with the Dow Jones dropping 832 points following the warning. All the major economies, from Germany to the UK to India [with the slight exception of Canada] has been hit with economic issues.

Trump went after Federal Reserve chairman and Trump appointee Jay Powell on Twitter, blaming him for the problem and claiming that his tariffs are not hurting the economy. Again, [not defending him] Trump isn’t a financial guru. Analysts have said trade wars were in part behind recent troubles in financial markets as they raised costs and cast a layer of uncertainty on businesses and consumers.

With an upcoming election coming in 15 months, what Trump doesn’t need is a recession. A recession will hurt his re-election chances if his base starts to lose jobs or pay more for items that they need. He won’t be able to claim that the economy is doing so well. But knowing him, he would [who’s he fooling?].

Even with the Trump administration trying not to allow Russians from affecting the US economics and politics, the administration allowed a major Russian company, Rusal, to get a 40% stake in an aluminum mill in Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The owner of Rusal is a friend of President Vladimir Poutine.

All this is even though the head of the Russian company has been sanctioned by the Mueller investigation. Two lobbyists working to get the mill built were formerly employed by McConnell. The owner is also friendly with the disgraced Paul Manafort.

One of Rusal’s lesser shareholders has since donated a total of $3.5 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by McConnell’s former chief of staff. Coincidence? McConnell pushed for Rusal’s eventual removal from sanctions.

With the unrest in Hong Kong, Trump tweeted ‘Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!”

He then added “Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?” Some Chinese officials believe that the US [or west] are backing the protesters. Unsure how.

Meanwhile the US Navy’s requests for two ships to make port visits in the coming weeks have been denied by the Chinese government. The US Navy never had any issues previously.

The Trump administration has informally green lit a potential major arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new F-16 fighter jets. The new weaponry could further erode ties, since Beijing views the self-governing island as part of China. Beijing has frequently protested the sales as a violation of China’s sovereignty despite the Chinese Communist Party having never governed the island.

Last month, the Trump administration approved selling 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan, an arms package valued at $2.2 billion. Since 2010, the US has announced more than $15 billion in arms sales to Taiwan.

In response to another round of tariffs aimed at China on September 1st, $300 billion worth, Chinese buyers have cancelled multi-billion dollar purchases of US soybeans. Regulators are threatening to place American companies on an “unreliable entities” list that might face curbs on their operations. But the tariffs have been delayed now until December 15th.

Bipartisan lawmakers and foreign policy advocates have spoken out publicly against the move to cancel $4 billion in funds to the State Department and US Agency for International Development, warning about their impact on US foreign policy priorities. The Trump administration has sought to decrease what it believes is wasteful spending and make foreign aid more conditional on support for US policies. White House officials believe they have the authority to cancel the funds without congressional approval.

[Scratching your head time.] Trump has on multiple occasions brought up buying Greenland from the Danish government and the White House counsel’s office has looked into the possibility. The island’s government, however, said in a statement it’s not going to happen: “Greenland is not for sale.”

Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, is home to Thule Air Base, the US military’s northernmost base, located about 750 miles above the Arctic Circle and built in 1951. The radar and listening post features a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System that can warn of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles and reaches thousands of miles into Russian territory.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that Republicans may need to find a candidate to replace Trump in 2020. “We are now in the early episodes of ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process,” Scaramucci, who was ousted from his job after 11 days.

Trump decided to go after Bill Maher by tweeting “So many lies. He said patients in El Paso hospital didn’t want to meet with me. Wrong! Had really great meetings with numerous patients.” Except is known that some did refuse to see him. “He is right about one thing, though. I will win again in 2020. Otherwise, he pays 95% in taxes!” Wonder where he got the ridiculous 95% from. Oh forget hit.

The fake facts in chief mentioned the following recently:

  • First claiming that China had just posted its worst economic growth in 27 years. Later he said it was 35 years. Nothing changed in a week.
  • The remains of the soldiers from the Korean War will continue to come through Hawaii. In fact, North Korea has stopped cooperating with the remains recovery initiative and that the effort has been suspended for this year.
  • “There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests. No long-range missiles.” Actually, North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles, even short range ones.
  • “As you know, we’ve got 32,000 soldiers on South Korean soil, and we’ve been helping them for about 82 years.” Actually 26,000 active personnel and the US has been in South Korea since the end of World War II – 74 years ago.
    “You have drug dealers that get not even 30 days, and they’ve killed 25 people.” Good luck in finding any evidence that this is true.
  • Trump claims that he has given farmers $16 billion to offset their loss from Chines tariffs. In fact, his $28 billion pledge to farmers exceeds the total tariff revenues as of last month [$21 billion].
  • “Americans are not paying for the Tariffs — they are being paid for compliments of China, and the U.S. is taking in tens of Billions of Dollars!” What the stable economics genius forgets is that American importers make the actual tariff payments, and economic studies have found that Americans have borne most of the cost.

Here we go again. Trump spewing #fakefacts, this time at a speech in Pennsylvania that was not supposed to be a campaign rally. Instead it was about energy.

  • “Pennsylvania has the best numbers they’ve ever had in the history of this state.” – Actually the best since 1976 but not ever.
  • “I built good.” – Yes. This is president of the US talking.
  • “…now nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book…” – You cannot be the President and have other income according to the constitution. But that doesn’t stop former Presidents. And in this case it is $65 million for both Obama and his wife.
  • “We’re building a lot of wall.” – Just 46.7 miles of border wall have been built since Trump came into office.
  • Virginia “hasn’t been won by a Republican in a long time.” – Before Obama in 2008, the last Democrats to win in Virginia goes back to Lyndon Johnson.

Note that this wasn’t a campaign rally but Trump representing the country. So the gathering used taxpayer money. And yet he started to whine about Democrat hopefuls and other political stuff in addition to the above.

Trump recently took credit for building a $6 billion Shell plant in Pennsylvania that was announced in 2012 under President Obama. I don’t think you can build a refinery and have it running in under 30 months.

Trump also claimed the steel manufacturing was “dead”. It has declined maybe 1800 jobs in the past 4 months but still has over 379,300 workers.

Trump claimed that US Steel was to open or expand six facilities in 2018. Instead US steel is reducing production in 2 plants because of tariffs.

Trump claimed that Exxon Mobil recently invested in the gulf coast was because of him administration’s policies in fact was started in 2013.

Trump also took credit as his idea to install solar panels on border walls when the idea came from a private company.

In the past, Trump even took credit for inventing the word caravan!

Trump claims that he has lost between $3 and $5 billion in taking the current job instead of whatever he normally does. Of course this may or may not include at least one bankruptcy. If he is upset that he supposedly lost that much then resign!

In the ongoing attempt to curb immigration, a new rule came into effect by the Trump administration where many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education.

The Trump administration announced significant changes that would weaken how the Endangered Species Act is implemented, a move critics fear will allow for more oil and gas drilling and limit how much regulators consider the impacts of the climate crisis. That act was credited with saving the bald eagle and grizzly bear from extinction.

The rule was panned by environmental groups that question Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s motives, given his past work representing oil and gas companies. Conservationists and environmentalists will be lining up to challenge this revisions to the act.

In the usual “what was he smoking” announcement, Trump has claimed for years that he was once named “Michigan Man of the Year,” a title that does not exist. Who announces any “year” awards in the middle of summer?

Is Trump a racist or just plain dumb

Donald Trump tweeted “So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world….and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came….” Shows you what kind of a racist he is….

Trump took his racist tweets aimed primarily at four non-white Congresswomen – three of the four were born in the US – known as The Squad. But if he went after President Obama claiming Obama wasn’t born in the US, what stops him from going after the three? But the white nationalists support his tweets and Trump said “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” he said.

“As to whether or not they’re communists, I would think they might be. But this isn’t what our country is about,” Trump said. He accused one another of costing New York tens of thousands of jobs – with no proof.

Trump denied that the inflammatory tweets he issued were racist. Asked on the South Lawn during an event on American-made products if his tweets were racist, he said: “Not at all.” Yet it is what one group [usually white right wing] would say to another [usually not white]. He pointed to comments that one of the congresswomen made about Al Qaeda — but didn’t say who. Because they never said that.

“As far as I’m concerned, if you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.” Did any one of them said they hated the US? I’m sure not. More fake facts from the Fake Facts in Chief. Trump tried to come out with excuses when he revised his remarks by saying that if you are not happy with the country, you can leave. But he didn’t say that originally.

Trump tweeted “If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.” He should talk about “foul language & racist hatred spewed”. He’s at least doing the latter now and has done the former before.

Then an hour before that he tweeted “When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” He is really gone bonkers!

Trump claimed to be unhappy that his rally crowd in North Carolina broke out into chants of “send her back” as he denigrated a Democratic lawmaker he’d previously said should leave the US. But did he do anything to stop the chanting? He just stood there. He didn’t say something like “That’s not nice.” He also claimed he had tried to stop the chant at a reelection event. Video shows otherwise.

But after he did say “I started speaking really quickly…” [yet he waited a reported 13 seconds while they chanted] “…I was not happy with it. I disagree with it. But again, I didn’t say that, they did.” But he did put the “send her back” into their minds when he tweeted that earlier in the week. He also said he “would certainly try” to stop any similar chant at a future rally. But you know he won’t do that.

Then the day after he call those who chanted “incredible patriots” and then made false accusations against both Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar. He said “They can’t call our country and our people ‘garbage.’ They can’t be anti-Semitic. They can’t talk about evil Jews, which is what they say. ‘Evil Jews.'” Neither have been quote anywhere of saying what Trump said. Omar has said some comments about Israel previously but not considered anti-Semitic.

If this was any other individual who is saying so much lies, false facts and racist or near racist comments – let alone comments that are generally not said by a world leader – he would be torched by just about every civilized person. But his party is backing him because they are riding on his coat tails and they don’t want to endure his wrath.

Prior to the House voting to vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s racist tweets about four minority lawmakers, Trump tweeted again “Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said?” What comments of theirs were filthy and hateful? They may have made some comments but nothing in the same league as “go back” to “the crime infested places from which they came” and added “anti-USA, pro-terrorist” without any proof.

Trump tweets that he does not have “a Racist bone in my Body.” Then he added ” This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat. Congresswomen, who I truly believe, based on their actions, hate our Country. Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%.” Where are these polling numbers from? In the end, those in their districts will be those that matter.

When asked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said “….they talked more about impeachment than anything else.” Unfortunately, being a racist isn’t an impeachable offense. He then added “We should get back to the business of America.” Well, if the Racist in Chief kept his mouth [and keyboard] shut, politicians could actually do the job they were hired to do.

Basically, the Republican Party has shrugged off Trump’s comments. A total of 9 disagreed with Trump’s comments. Now you know why they won’t get much of the non-white vote. As well, Acting Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli said “So what?”

“I don’t think that the president’s intent any way is racist,” said Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice-President Mike Pence, repeatedly pointing to Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary. Except Chao is also married to Mitch McConnell.

Trump tweeted “Friday’s tour [by Pence] showed vividly, to politicians and the media, how well run and clean the children’s detention centers are. Great reviews! Failing @nytimes story was FAKE!” Hum? Was he expecting a review of the detention centers in the entertainment section of all the newspapers in America? He is forgetting that they did not go to all the centers – most likely just the ones that are new or have been cleaned up.

Pence’s office said a tour of some detention centers in Texas was part of an effort to show the Trump administration is providing adequate care for migrants. And yet at a Border Patrol station there where hundreds of men were crowded in sweltering cages without cots.

When detainees saw reporters arrive, many began shouting, saying they had been there for 40 days or more and they were hungry and wanted to brush their teeth. Agents guarding the cages were wearing face masks. The press pool covering the vice-president was removed within 90 seconds.

At least at one point, it didn’t seem that many of the people who ICE wanted to round up were actually rounded up. If ICE wanted to remove those who they claim are criminals, why are they waiting to round them up – just do it. If they are actual criminals. And of course advertising that there would be a round-up doesn’t help as those who believe are criminals will just leave a big city [as ICE is concentrating on big cities] and go ‘underground” for a while. Hide in a nice small rural Republican town.

A new rule bars migrants from seeking asylum in the United States if they’ve traveled through another country first. Tens of thousands of migrant families from Central America travel through Mexico to the US each month, many claiming asylum. The Trump administration claims families are taking advantage of legal loopholes it says allow migrants a free pass to the country while they wait out supposedly false asylum requests.

US law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the US regardless of how they did so. But there’s an exception for those who have come through a country considered “safe”. Now is Mexico considered “safe”? The rule is almost certain to face a legal challenge.

Federal search warrants detail how Trump and his allies scrambled in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign to arrange a hush-money deal to hide his alleged affair and contain the fallout from related stories in the press. The internal chaos consumed Trump, then-attorney Michael Cohen, campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and even reached campaign manager Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway.

If negotiations between Washington and Beijing falter, Trump has vowed to place tariffs on all of America’s imports from China. Book publishers are warning that those tariffs will cause the price of printing the Bible to soar and potentially spark shortages as most US publishers print the Bible in China because of the high cost and complexity involved in printing a text with roughly 800,000 words. HarperCollins Christian Publishing, a leading Bible publisher, estimates that about three-quarters of its Bible manufacturing expenses are in China.

China threatened to impose sanctions against any US companies who sold weapons to Taiwan as the Trump administration authorized a $2.2 billion US arms sale to Taiwan. What US companies who sell arms also sell to China?

In a future trade war looking Trump tweeted “India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable!” So he can dump tariffs on India but not vice versa?

Great quote from a voter: “At this point, I’d vote for BLT sandwich over Trump.”

Trump retweeted a meme which in a fake quote where Ronald Reagan said “For the life of me, and I’ll never know how to explain it, when I met that young man, I felt like I was the one shaking hands with the president.” Trump also wasn’t that young in 1987. For a man who whines about “fake news”, he’s spreading it.

This has been such a busy week, looks like I’ll do another blog on the lesser stories of the week in a couple of days.

Will he ever learn to think before speaking?

Seems he’ll never learn: Donald Trump said he would accept damaging information from Russia and China [or others] on his 2020 Democratic foe. “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it.” He is now backtracking saying his words were taken out of context or didn’t say exactly that [but ABC has video], etc.

What Trump should do is refuse any information on any political foe – whether or not the individual is a foreign leader or a foreign spy. Some Republicans have also disliked this whole mess.

Mexico had already promised to take many of the actions agreed to in the immigration deal with the US — months before Trump’s tariff threat, officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations told the New York Times. So basically another fraud perpetrated by Trump. Trump moved to accept the existing agreements in a deal after negotiations prompted by his threat to impose growing tariffs on Mexico in response to the border situation dragged on over several days.

The Mexican government had pledged to deploy the National Guard nationwide with a focus on its southern border — a key part of the agreement — during secret meetings in March between former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Mexican interior secretary Olga Sanchez in Miami. The deal’s key expansion of a program that would keep asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims are processed was established in two heavily brokered two diplomatic notes exchanged between the two countries.

Trump argued on Twitter that his intervention and threat of tariffs had been instrumental in getting the promises down on paper. Trump also repeatedly threatened to close the border with Mexico earlier this year if it failed to halt migrant flows, before backing down amid domestic criticism.

Trump claimed that Mexico had agreed to more than what was revealed in the announcement, teasing that more would be announced soon. But he also claims that the Mexican government needs to vote on the agreement. He said while tariffs have been “indefinitely suspended”, tariffs will be reinstated if the agreement isn’t passed.

The additional unannounced part of the agreement could include the idea of Mexico becoming a “safe third country,” which would make it harder for asylum-seekers who pass through the country from other places to claim refuge in the US. Mexico has long opposed the safe country idea. The addition of 6000 Mexican national guard may not be much as they aren’t effective as the US national guard and probably filled with corruption.

Trump unveils four times what he says is the first page of his “secret” trade deal with Mexico on the White House lawn and claims that while he is in control of when it would go into effect, he will let Mexico decide when to announce the deal. Those with good cameras were able to zoom in on the page to actually see some of it.

Last year, Trump proclaimed a huge new trade deal with the European Union after backing off his threats to impose new automobile tariffs. In fact, the two sides agreed to talk about an agreement that is still yet to materialize. Trump has already said he will cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala accusing them of doing nothing to stop the migrant crisis. He has yet to do so.

“If President Obama made the deals that I have made, both at the Border and for the Economy, the Corrupt Media would be hailing them as Incredible, & a National Holiday would be immediately declared,” Trump said on Twitter. Because the “Corrupt Media” knows whatever deal Trump has made is almost always for show only and has little substance. Remember his “deal” with North Korea?

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that “I think what the president is saying is, if we move forward on trade, that perhaps he’ll be willing to do certain things on Huawei if he gets comfort from China on that and certain guarantees,” Mnuchin said. Mnuchin’s words double down on the contradictory arguments made by Trump in May, after he put the Chinese 5G technology pioneer on the US’ blacklist.

Trump’s own top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, last month begrudgingly admitted that both sides [China and the US] are losing from the spiraling trade war, with American businesses and consumers among those who end up paying for it.

India has announced new tariffs on several US products that will go into effect on June 16, India’s finance ministry said. The goods targeted include American apples — which will be hit with a 70% tariff — as well as almonds, lentils and several chemical products. India first announced plans to impose new tariffs a year ago in retaliation for increased US import duties on Indian steel and aluminum.

The relationship between India and the US has soured in recent weeks after the Trump administration ended India’s participation in a preferential trade program earlier this month. The program exempted Indian goods worth more than $6 billion from US import duties in 2018.

The administration with Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist who led enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad, was supposed to be on a redesigned $20 bill to replace Andrew Jackson, who was the populist, slave owner, a president and Trump’s favorite president, in 2020 so the bill can include modern security features.

Instead, the bill has been delayed until 2028 even though the engraving plate for it was completed “as recently as May 2018” a Treasury Department employee told the New York Times. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has indicated that there are technical difficulties. Uh huh. In 2016, candidate Trump told NBC that stripping his favorite president, the populist and slave owner, Andrew Jackson, from the $20 bill was “pure political correctness.” Maybe that’s the technical difficulty.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said that he prefers to always “follow the process” for approval when it comes to foreign arms sales, comments that appear to put him at odds with Trump’s decision to declare an emergency to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The House approved a resolution greenlighting the House Judiciary Committee to go to court to enforce its subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn’s testimony and to seek grand jury information from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as well as authorized the House panel to take its subpoena of Attorney General William Barr to court, but an agreement struck between the Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department means the committee won’t take that action — at least for now.

Trump claimed he never said he wanted to fire Mueller. Instead McGhan lied to make himself a good lawyer and wanted Mueller gone. I guess McGhan got thrown under the bus and driven over a few times.

The Department of Justice informed the House Oversight Committee that Trump has asserted executive privilege over some materials related to the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Those documents have been insufficient and are either publicly available documents, heavily redacted or just not responsive to the request at all and unrelated.

The Democratic-led committee will be considering a census contempt resolution that recommends that the House of Representatives find Barr and Ross in contempt of Congress “for refusal to comply with subpoenas.” The contempt resolution itself includes citations for both civil and criminal contempt. Census data serves as the basis for decisions about how to allocate federal resources and draw congressional districts.

White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders will leave her position at the end of the month. Trump said that that Sanders will return to her home state of Arkansas and floated the possibility of a gubernatorial run. But there won’t be an opening until 2023 [assuming the current governor resigns or whatever]. Seriously?

Trump claims that Iran was all over the place pushing their might before he was elected and then said that they aren’t anymore and are in “deep deep trouble”. Ya? You sure? They’re still helping one side in Yemen’s civil war. They are still Hezbollah’s benefactor. They are still around in Syria.

Kim Jong Nam, the slain half-brother of Kim Jong Un, was a Central Intelligence Agency source who met on several occasions with agency operatives. Trump denied Nam was a CIA asset.

The US Office of Special Counsel [unrelated to Robert Mueller and his investigation] is recommending that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway be removed from federal service, saying she violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions. Conway erred by making “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.” The recommendation carries no actual power to remove Conway.

“If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in her removal from her federal position,” Special counsel Henry Kerner said. “Never has (the office) had to issue multiple reports to the President concerning Hatch Act violations by the same individual.”

Trump makes the final decision. “No, I’m not going to fire her. I think she’s a terrific person,” Trump told his propaganda department, Fox News. “…it seems to me to be very unfair, it’s called freedom of speech.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she’s “done” with Trump. “I don’t even want to talk about him,” she said, adding, “My stock goes up every time he attacks me, so what can I say, but let’s not spend too much time on that because that’s his victory, the diverter-in-chief, the diverter-of-attention-in-chief.” Would this mean she won’t have meetings with him now?

Analysts believe Trump may hit a trade version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. He can only threaten tariffs so many times before other countries relax knowing that Trump will offer a deal and in return the company getting hit with tariffs won’t have to do much. This allows Trump to show that he is making what his base will think are great deals built are mostly for show.

Fox News ‘personalities” [unsure if you can call them journalists] have started a health war on former Vice President [and Democrat candidate] Joe Biden claiming Biden has various ailments. As Trump spends hours a day watching Fox News, expect him to include their unproven information and conclude the information is true.

In an interview with CNBC:

  • “I’m a member of the US Chamber — maybe I’ll have to rethink that, because when you look at it, the chamber is probably more for the companies and the people that are members than they are for our country.” – This coming from a man who easily is in favor of big business.
  • “We should be entitled to have a fair playing field, but even without a fair playing field — because our Fed is very, very destructive to us.” – Confusing but the “Fed” is Jerome Powell, who Trump nominated as the Chairman of the Fed in November 2017.
  • “This country is allowing this French wine which is great, we have great wine, too, allowing it to come in for nothing. It is not fair.” – Now he will start a trade war with France over Wine?
  • “Because without tariffs, we would be absolutely, outside of something that I won’t even mention….” – And why won’t he mention it? Nothing there.
  • “Nobody’s going to be able to get through. And then [Mexican national guard] they’re also going to protect our southern border.” – So no need of a wall at the border?
  • “And China will, in my opinion, based on a lot of facts and a lot of knowledge…” – Who’s facts and knowledge. He definitely lack both.
  • “I can tell you they discriminate against me….. You know, people talk about collusion. The real conclusion is between the Democrats and these companies.” – Trump claims, without citing any evidence, that the big technology companies are biased against him.

At Trump’s flagship super PAC, America First Action, $33,000 was spent last year on a single event at the Prime Rib, a swanky DC steakhouse. The most expensive item on the menu is $65. Even with some booze, taxes and tip, did they have [say] 330 people there at $100 per person. AFA paid $120,000 to two firms tied to former Milwaukee sheriff [and Trump super-fan] David Clarke [for what work?], and the more than $460,000 spent over two years at Trump-owned properties [no shocker there but for what?].

In the 2018 cycle, AFA and its affiliated non-profit together raised about $75 million, well short of its $100 million goal. About $39 million of that went to the super PAC. By comparison, the Republican National Committee raised more than $233 million in individual contributions in the same cycle.

AFA was paying the equivalent of annual salaries to firms attached to Trump associates such as Sean Spicer, Katrina Pierson and Corey Lewandowski, not to mention Clarke, fueling the perception that the group has become a safe harbor for various Trump cast-offs and family friends.

The Trump administration is planning a costly Independence Day speech at the Lincoln Memorial, despite its failure to pay off $7 million in debt from the 2017 inauguration. To cover the lack of funds from the federal government, the District of Columbia will be pulling money out of its Emergency Planning and Security fund that is typically dedicated to security measures for emergencies and diplomatic events.

A bit of humor:
Reporter: Are you inviting the Raptors to the White House?
Trump: Those beautiful beasts? Sure
Reporter: No I mean the Toronto Raptors?
Trump: Who?

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.

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.