Wasn’t this supposed to be a quiet week? Nope.

You would of figured with the US government on a holiday break that this would have been a quiet week. But nope!

Donald Trump says is battling to reduce regulations but the tax bill adds to it including new tax brackets.

Meanwhile, unlike corporations, the tax cuts will benefit households until 2025. Why would the cuts expire for households and not corporations? Hmmm. Republicans made individual tax cuts temporary so they could meet budget rules that let them pass their tax overhaul with no Democratic votes.

Republicans used a procedural tactic to avoid a filibuster, a maneuver that can only be used once every fiscal year.

In the lawn in front of the White House, Trump proclaimed it a win [definitely for him as it was his only major legislative win in his first year]. Talking to the media, Trump praised the people behind him who helped pass the bill – all Republicans – a sea of mostly older white males, a couple of females and one African-American [who is right near Trump].

Trump has made the rollicking year on Wall Street a centerpiece of his political message, repeatedly taking credit for the bull run, as if he personally steered the Dow Jones industrial average through a year of smashed record highs. We will see what happens if there is a “market correction” or the markets slowly fall. For him, I think he’d be celebrating even if the market was a single point over the amount when President Obama left.

Earlier this month House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a radio interview the House would be working to reform health care entitlements in 2018, calling them “the big drivers of our debt” and Medicare as being the “biggest entitlement that’s got to have reform.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “would not expect to see” the Senate tackle entitlement reform next year.” We will see who’s right.

After reviewing scores of statements made by politicians this year, non-partisan PolitiFact.com, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking media outlet, has declared that the big winner of “Lie of the Year” for 2017 goes to one told by Trump! Trump said on NBC that “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’ve won.”

Trump’s had threatened to cut off US funding to countries that oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has raised the stakes in a UN vote sponsored by Egypt and sparked criticism at his tactics, which could be called bullying or blackmail. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” he said, alluding to US aid. The Us lost the vote [128 countries voted yes] with a bunch abstaining. We will see how many [including Egypt] will lose aid.

US vetoed a resolution supported by the 14 other UN Security Council members that would have required Trump to rescind his declaration on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and not move the US Embassy there.

Many expected Trump, after first taking office at the beginning of 2017, to do some bipartisan legislation – something that both sides could [mostly] agree on. This would of given Trump the passing of a first piece of major legislation early instead of about 2 weeks before the end of the year.

Despite promising a $1 trillion infrastructure bill during the campaign, Trump’s plan is shaping up differently and set to be unveiled in the middle of January. The plan would propose spending at least $200 billion on infrastructure projects over the next decade, with the hopes of spurring an additional $800 billion in state and local funding. The plan will provide the administration’s principles for infrastructure reform that lawmakers can then craft into a bill.

In his first presidential budget, Trump proposed allocating the $200 billion over 10 years for infrastructure projects. But Trump’s budget cut infrastructure spending overall by $55 billion by slashing programs that write grants for highway renovation, Native American water facilities and rural airports.

Trump again took to Twitter to criticize the FBI, this time singling out two FBI officials. “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump wrote in one tweet. In another tweet, Trump said McCabe “is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump also took aim at FBI general counsel James Baker, who is being reassigned, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is referencing donations to Dr. Jill McCabe’s campaign, something reported by the Wall Street Journal last year. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee made six contributions totaling $467,500 to McCabe’s campaign, the Journal reported. In addition, campaign records show that the state Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe has great influence, made two other payments totaling $207,788 in September and October 2015. These donations all occurred before McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation. So again he tweets out fake news.

Trump said that he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller is “going to be fair” in his investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s team and Russian officials. His comments made during an interview with The New York Times come after Republicans and supporters of Trump had raised questions over Mueller and his investigative team.
Trump told the Times: “I have the absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.” A bit like a dictatorship.

The White House strongly pushed back on a report that Trump spoke about immigrants in a dismissive and demeaning fashion with top administration officials. The denial came in response to explosive reporting from the New York Times, which wrote that, according to two unnamed officials, Trump said during a meeting in June that people coming from Haiti “all have AIDS,” that recent Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” in Africa and that Afghanistan is a terrorist haven.

Trump claims he is ready to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] with Canada and Mexico in a minute. He is claiming the US had a $17 billion deficit with Canada when a government office says in fact the US had a $12 billion surplus. Where does he get his fake facts from?

Puerto Rico authorities say nearly half of power customers in the U.S. territory still lack electricity more than three months after Hurricane Maria. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said the entire island will have power by May – just in time for the next hurricane season.

Trump went after the US Postal Service because they charge too little to Amazon for delivering packages. USPS competes with FedEx and UPS to deliver parcels — but its rates are set by a commission appointed by the president, and almost every aspect of its operations are governed by Congress. But the USPS hasn’t been able to compensate for collapsing letter mail volumes due to a 2006 law that capped price increases at the rate of inflation and also limited the proportion of its budget that could be devoted to its parcel business.

Trump has sway over the Postal Service. He’s made four board nominations, who are currently awaiting Senate action. By law, it’s supposed to have 9 appointed members, and currently it has none. So in the end, Trump should blame himself. Trump went after Amazon because Amazon’s CEO is nemesis Steve Bezos.

Trump claimed that his approval ratings at this point in his presidency rival those of Barack Obama, citing a report from “Fox & Friends.” The three-day averages released on December 28, 2009 [the day Trump cited in his tweet] showed 51% approval for Obama with 43% disapproval. On December 28 of this year, Gallup released a three-day average showing 38% approval for Trump with 56% disapproval.

Trump has had the worst approval rating at the end of his first calendar year in the White House since the dawn of modern polling, sinking to a new low of 35% in a new CNN poll in December.

Trump tweeted on the day after Christmas that it is back to work. But he was seeing playing golf for part of the day.

May be not specifically targeting CNN, but an unmarked white truck was blocking CNN’s cameras from taking video of Trump playing golf this week. Every time Trump moved on the course, so did the truck. The truck was on a public road. Nice way for the truck driver to make a living.

Already at least one high speed rail station [not built yet], a renaming of a street in a Muslim area [this should set off fireworks], a park set to be open next year and a new street to be named after Trump as he pledged to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Guatemala is the only other country that announced that they will follow. The rail station will garner plenty of protesting as it goes near some holy sites [in addition to possible further issues if some archeological areas are uncovered].

A man claiming to be the person who delivered a gift-wrapped package of horse manure at the Los Angeles home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he did it to protest the federal tax overhaul signed into law last week by Trump. Nice Christmas present!

For years, Apple CEO Tim Cook has called on Washington to make it less costly for his company to bring back the billions of dollars it holds overseas. As part of the tax bill signed last week by Trump, corporations like Apple (will enjoy a repatriation tax rate of 15.5% for returning money to the US from their overseas cash piles.

At the end of the most recent quarter, Apple had $268.9 billion in cash and marketable securities, more than $250 billion of which was held outside the US. The question is whether or not Apple will bring most or all the money back to the US and whether they will do something with the money. Apple has already committed to a $300 billion capital return program that includes buybacks and dividends for shareholders.

While visiting a fire station, in a speech, Trump said “We have signed more legislation than anybody — we broke the record of Harry Truman.” Nope! Trump signed 96 pieces of items in 2017 but almost all were Executive Orders and minor bills – not major legislation. Truman signed more than 250. He then got bored and talked about giving the police military style equipment. Why? Can’t he stick with fire station related comments? Some bills overhaul entire sections of US law while others rename post offices and other federal buildings.

While at his Mar-A-Lago, where the temperature was 72 degrees. “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” What Trump doesn’t seem to understand or maybe ignore is that “weather” and “climate” are not the same thing.

Oh. 8 of the warmest years on record in the US have occurred since 2008. So that is climate – not weather. From NASA: “Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time.”

A video posted by Vanity Fair on their web site before Christmas which featured a handful of Vanity Fair staffers offering cheeky New Year’s resolutions for Hillary Clinton, didn’t get much attention when it was first published on December 23. But after complaints by pro-Clinton supporters a few days later, Vanity Fair sort of apologized.

That’s when Trump came into the picture by tweeting [as the issue was dying] “Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour …. is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!” Wintour is Vogue [same owner as Vanity Fair]. Vanity Fair’s previous editor, Graydon Carter, has had a famous public spat going on with Trump for years. Carter dubbed Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian.”

So Roy Moore [I don’t want to mention his title because he doesn’t deserve it] is using Trump’s playbook by claiming there were massive vote fraud in Alabama from out of state Hispanics and African-Americans. But the state didn’t take this crap and issued a report that there was none. Doug Jones was certified the winner. [I wish the state would charge Moore with something and pay for any recounts and the investigation.]

For the first time in more than two decades, a sitting President has missed the Kennedy Center Honors. The annual recognition of the arts — lauding luminaries from various fields, as they rub elbows with the Washington elite. Trump’s rationale was that by staying away, he would allow the attendees to celebrate without “political distraction.” Most [if not all] of the honorees are Democratic party faithful.

In her opening remarks, Caroline Kennedy said that would have normally sounded benign felt pointed in the current climate, as she spoke of her father’s commitment to “the rule of law, to religious tolerance and racial justice, to nuclear disarmament and scientific innovation.”

Singer Joy Villa, a Trump supporter, has filed a police report against former Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who she says sexually assaulted her at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on November 28. Villa says Lewandowski slapped her bottom hard twice while posing for a picture.

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, said Republican candidates facing re-election would have to surpass challenging hurdles, among them Trump’s divisive nature as the figurehead of the party. He is retired when his term ends in 2018.

Remember how Trump [and Wisconsin governor] were ecstatic that Foxconn would build a huge plant there with $3 billion in incentives? Those incentives have grown to $4 billion. It will take until at least 2043 for the state to recoup that lost tax revenue. On top of that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is at a low 3.2%. This could be a problem in finding an estimated 13,000 jobs [at $53,000 per year] to fill the plant. Would have been better in a state with higher unemployment.

A White House senior adviser, Frank Wuco, at the Department of Homeland Security promoted several far-right conspiracy theories in past radio appearances. Wuco is a former naval intelligence officer and conservative talk radio host Among the conspiracy theories Wuco pushed were claims that former President Barack Obama’s memoir was ghost written by former anti-Vietnam War radical Bill Ayers, claims that former CIA director John Brennan converted to Islam and claims Attorney General Eric Holder had been a member of the Black Panthers.

Wuco pushed false claims during radio appearances that Obama was not born in the US, made disparaging comments about the LGBT community, and lamented what he called the “Zimbabwe-fication” of America.

According to a CNN poll, just 35% of Americans approve of Trump, meaning it is not politically risky for Democrats to stand opposed to him. Additionally, the base of the Democratic Party is unified around their opposition of Trump as 93% of Democrats disapprove of Trump’s handling of the job.

 

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Trump gets his only legislative win in his first year

The tax bill in the House of Representatives passed along sharp partisan lines, 227 – 203, with 12 House GOP members opposing the legislation, and no Democrats voting for it. The senate eventually passed the bill and Donald Trump signed the bill into law.

GOP Senator Bob Corker said he didn’t request any modifications to the tax bill even though he as well as Trump and many cabinet ministers will eventually benefit from a provision that could help his bottom line. Corker was the only GOP senator to vote “no” on the bill the first time it went through the Senate.

Newt Gingrich says the “mainstream” media is lying about the tax bill but offered no apparent reason for the lying except saying that the typical American should see more money in their paycheck and maybe in their taxes but fails to mention how corporate America and the rich in general will benefit even more and how much will be added to the national debt. [The GOP always complained that the Democrats want to add to the debt while they don’t. Sure.]

Minutes after the House of Representatives  vote, White House Press Secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders started the daily briefing by listing off what the Trump administration sees as the past year’s major accomplishments. Here are some of them:

  • Nearly 1.7 million new jobs
  • Unemployment fell to 4.1%
  • Stock market reached a record high, closing above 24,000 for the first time in history
  • 22 regulations rolled back for every new regulation
  • The US withdrew from or renegotiated trade deals
  • Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Designed and built eight border wall prototypes
  • ISIS lost all of its territory and important strongholds in Iraq and Syria
  • Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch was confirmed

Under a normal administration, many of those wouldn’t even be mentioned as there are more important accomplishments, but with the exception of the tax bill [in the last week congress is in session], there were no major legislations passed. “The President has delivered on promise after promise, issue after issue, time after time. And we are just getting started,” Sanders said. Uh huh.

Sanders stood by claims that the tax bill will cost Trump money – this time specifically saying it will cost him money on the “personal side.” While it’s impossible to say specifically how Trump would be affected, since Trump  has never released his tax returns, an analysis of the tax bill has found this claim to be false.

Trump thinks the tax bill also repeals the Affordable Care Act. It didn’t, although the bill does chip away at one of the Affordable Care Act’s foundations. “The individual mandate is being repealed. When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is repealed. Because they get their money from the individual mandate. So the individual mandate is being repealed. So in this bill, not only do we have massive tax cuts and tax reform, we have essentially repealed Obamacare and will come up with something that will be much better…”

I am guessing most Americans [who believe Trump] will think the ACA is gone after what Trump said but will be surprised that it is almost all still there. You also can’t kill ACA until you replace it with something. This basically chops away at one section of ACA. The only thing removed was removing the fine for individuals who didn’t secure insurance. It is not repealing. Does he know the difference?

Ivanka Trump has also been pitching the tax bill that became law. But she had goofed when she said Americans will be delighted when they see their “relief that will be starting as early as February” of this year when in fact tax payers will only see it in 2019 for the 2018 tax year. The bill’s major provisions don’t kick in until January 2018. That means all the changes the bill includes won’t have any impact on tax filings until April 2019. And she’s a business woman?

Trump boasted that companies like Boeing, ComCast and AT&T have decided to give out “bonuses” to employees claiming it was the result of the tax bill being passed. That’s all but nice but those receiving them shouldn’t forget that employees will be taxed on it. As well, were those “bonuses” already decided in advance. Each of those three companies had good financial years.

“We broke every record” on the tax bill, Trump said in a speech. There are records for tax bills? Let me check Guinness Book of World Records. Nope.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the firing of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller would be a “gross abuse of power” and called for Congress to respond with “significant consequences” if Trump took that step. As well, pardoning of those charged in the special counsel’s investigation would represent crossing his “red line.”

Warner’s speech comes as Mueller is facing a growing number of Republicans who have been critical Mueller’s probe for being biased against Trump. They’ve pointed to the text messages of FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from Mueller’s team after the anti-Trump messages surfaced. That is just one individual. Do they equate the whole team being biased if one was?

Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn will leave the administration early next year and is expected to pursue work in the private sector. Dearborn had a wide portfolio in the White House and oversaw its political operation, public outreach and legislative affairs. Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser, is also expected to leave.

The US delegation [with Ambassador Nicki Haley at the head] vetoed a resolution to force the US to reverse their decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem. Later on in the week, the UN voted overwhelming [in a non-binding resolution] to get the US to change their mind. Aside from the US and Israel, no ally or “major” country sided with the US. 30+ abstained. This was even after the administration would “take names” and threaten to cut funding for those countries. Haley has suggested having a “party” for those who voted against the resolution – 8 countries besides the US. Unsure if Abstained countries would be invited.

Trump is heading to his Mar-A-Lago resort for the holidays – including the New Year’s Eve bash that he attends. Now the resort is charging more this year. Conflict of interest? Profiting from being the “President”? $750 if not a member, $600 if you are.

Trump sent our Christmas cards that are about 4 times the size of the Christmas card sent out by the Obamas last year. Thankfully, his picture is not on the front.

In total, Trump will have spent 106 days of his first year in office at one of his own properties when he arrives in Florida a couple of days before Christmas.

Departures were buyouts, retirements and individuals quitting, but at the Environmental Protection Agency, a total of more than 700 employees, including more than 200 scientists have left this year.

The Trump administration wanted to chop 3,100 jobs but is actually budgeted to chop over 4,000 jobs.

After a deadly train crash in Washington State Trump said that “It is all the more reason why we must start immediately fixing the infrastructure of the United States.” This is before the National Transportation Safety Board can say if it’s too early to know if the crash was due to high speed. The train was reportedly going about 50 MPH over the speed limit – passing vehicles next to the tracks.

“The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!” is what his first tweet after the deadly train crash, Trump didn’t mention victims and first responders. He followed up with a tweet about victims 10 minutes later.

After adding a possible $1.5 trillion to the deficit for his tax plan that helps the wealthy more, he wants to spend possibly an additional $7 billion on infrastructure and yet he has been office and hasn’t made this a priority. Instead he is too busy with failed legislation and Executive Orders [travel ban for an example] and approving another country’s capitol.

Donald Trump Jr. suggested that the investigation around his father’s campaign has been fueled by government higher-ups who have conspired to block his father’s agenda. “There is, and there are, people at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America,” Donald Trump Jr. told a gathering of young conservative activists in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump Jr. railed against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and attacked the media’s coverage of the Russia story, saying the ongoing probe was emblematic of the kind of “rigged system” his father had railed against during the campaign. Of course, like his father, no proof.

The Trump administration will propose revoking a rule that makes spouses of thousands of immigrant workers eligible to work while in the U.S., potentially complicating a major driver of technology jobs. Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the U.S. on H-4 dependent visas. India accounts for 70% of all H-1B workers. The visa is valid for three years, and can be renewed for another three years.

Twitter has suspended at least three accounts tied to far-right group Britain First, including one that had been retweeted by Trump. Trump retweeted three inflammatory videos posted by Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen in November, setting off a political firestorm that strained relations between London and Washington.

Sanders defended Trump’s retweets at the time, telling reporters that he shared them to start a conversation about border security and immigration.

Trump disputed a Washington Post story alleging that he considered pulling his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court after Gorsuch privately criticized Trump’s attacks on the judiciary. “I never even wavered and am very proud of him and the job he is doing as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The unnamed sources don’t exist!”

The Washington Post, citing 11 sources familiar with the episode, reported that the comments left Trump fuming at the time, worrying that his nominee would not be “loyal” on the bench and considered pulling his nomination.

The Trump administration formally accused North Korea of creating the WannaCry cyberattack that briefly paralyzed the British health system and placed ransomware on computers in dozens of countries around the world. Homeland security adviser, Thomas P. Bossert, wrote in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal that the conclusion was “based on evidence” that he did not disclose.

Trump tweeted “Together, our task is to strengthen our families, to build up our communities, to serve our citizens, and to celebrate AMERICAN GREATNESS as a shining example to the world….” Reminds me of a bit of Fascism there.

Trump retweeted from Maria Bartiromo [of the Wall Street Journal] “Year One has been nothing short of excellent from an economic standpoint…” Note the “economic standpoint”. Not the rest I’m sure.

Trump tweeted “It will be the BIGGEST TAX CUT and TAX REFORM in the HISTORY of our country!” which was already a false claim.

If you want to know how wacky this right wing administration is, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] were presented with seven banned words why the White House. On the list: “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based” and “evidence-based.” As well, they were told to use alternative word or phrases for others. For instance, instead of “evidence-based” or “science-based,” an analyst might say, “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” The CDC did remove some references to sex in previous surveys.

Meanwhile, References to climate change and the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of renewable energy have been removed from several of its web pages, according to an analysis by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative. Not surprising news here since Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was making changes to the site right after he got the job. Pruitt’s previous job was Attorney General of Oklahoma and doesn’t believe in climate change.

In a bit of wackiness, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr says his committee is examining the campaign of Green Party 2016 presidential candidate Jill Stein as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the US election.

Opposition to the Trump tax bill has grown 10 points since early November, and 55% now oppose it. Just 33% say they favor the GOP’s proposals to reform the nation’s tax code. Two-thirds see the bill as doing more to benefit the wealthy than the middle class (66%, vs. 27% who say it’ll do more to benefit the middle class) and almost four in 10 (37%) say that if the bill becomes law, their own family will be worse off.

More than six in 10 (63%) see the tax bill as leaving Trump and his family better off. Just 5% think it harms the Trump clan and disapproval of Trump’s handling of taxes has risen six points in the last month, to 57%. Still almost three-quarters, 73%, say Trump should release his tax returns for public review, about the same share that said so as his inauguration approached in January.

 

Flynn pleads guilty, Trump feeling the heat

Donald Trump’s tweet about firing former national security adviser Michael Flynn is garnering a lot of attention from critics — with some calling it a possible admission of obstruction of justice.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump wrote. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” The tweet immediately caught the attention of critics, who questioned whether Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when the President asked then-FBI Director James Comey to let the investigation into Flynn go.

Then-transition adviser KT McFarland, who later became deputy national security adviser under Michael Flynn, who was on President Donald Trump’s transition team wrote in a December 29 email that Russia “has just thrown the USA election to him,” according to a report. A White House lawyer said that McFarland meant only that Democrats were painting Russia’s role in the election that way. Uh huh. Sure.

Jared Kushner is the “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team who directed incoming Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador to the United States and other countries about a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements in 2016.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel’s office. Flynn is the first person inside Trump’s administration to be reached by special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Trump tweets “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.” Wasn’t Trump buddy buddy with Comey? Why did he keep Comey on as head of the FBI when he started his term?

Lobbying regarding the UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements was a well-known and a collaborative effort by various transition officials including Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Flynn and Kushner. None of them “ordered” or “directed” the others and all were working towards the same goal of standing by Israel, one of the country’s greatest allies, as the President’s very public comments at the time made clear.

At this time Trump has yet to tweet [or comment] on Flynn or Kushner, but a White House official said only nice things about Flynn including that Trump is thinking of his family. [Knowing Trump’s history, he said no such thing.]

Seen in the open, you could hear some people yell say Flynn “Lock him up”. This after Flynn said the same thing about Hillary Clinton a year earlier.

Some are wondering if Trump may now decide to finally muzzle Mueller before the bleeding of the Trump administration really begins.

Special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI’s top Russian counterintelligence experts from his team of investigators after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be interpreted as showing political bias for Hillary Clinton and against Trump.

Trump responded by tweeting “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE Now it all starts to make sense!” Oh yes. A sole agent actually led the probe and not Mueller?

The Senate Republicans’ tax bill hangs in the balance, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that GOP leaders grapple with how they can satisfy the conference’s deficit hawks. The Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional scorekeeper for tax bills, estimates that the Senate tax bill could generate enough growth to create nearly $408 billion in net new revenue over a decade. But even with that additional revenue, the bill would still add an estimated $1 trillion to deficits.

Trump tweets “Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!” Biggest tax cuts which will add to the country’s debt. When you can’t get politicians in your own party to agree, then you have a problem.

Some Democrats complained that before the Senate vote, they were given roughly an hour to read the 500 page bill. Speed reading?

Reports that the White House has a tentative plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that emerged were an effort to express Trump’s deep displeasure and publicly shame his secretary of state. The news that the White House is seriously considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo comes as Trump remains deeply frustrated with his secretary of state.

Tensions have been high between Trump and Tillerson for months now, and they were exacerbated after it was reported that Tillerson privately referred to the President as a moron over the summer. Trump, of course, has denied this.

After Trump retweeted anti-Muslims videos, multiple State Department officials said the department communicated to the White House that there was concern that protests could happen at US embassies. Trump retweeted three videos sent from far-right British activist Jayda Fransen that claimed to depict Muslims assaulting people and desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary.

As if Trump doesn’t have enough issues on his plate, Trump is expected to announce very soon that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This will definitely anger Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere who are already fuming because of those retweets.

Trump is expected to make the announcement as he signs a waiver to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months but says his administration will move the diplomatic mission to Jerusalem at some point — a goal long sought by Israel. He may by specify only West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as opposed to the eastern part of the city, which Palestinians want to claim as their own seat of government.

[The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requires the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem or face the financial penalty of losing half the State Department’s appropriated funding for the acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad. Every six months, however, presidents can sign a waiver to avoid these penalties on national security grounds.]

In more lies, Trump said at a speech in St. Charles, Missouri “The rich people actually don’t like me.” Unsure where he gets that from. His tax plan [corporate, estate, AMT] will save the rich millions.

Trump tweeted “Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!” Aren’t you going to blame Jeff Sessions? Why don’t you fire him if he isn’t doing his job.

Trump tweeted “The jury was not told the killer of Kate [Steinle] was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.” Meanwhile where is his wall? How many miles have been built? Who was it that said the wall would be built in his first year?

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said Steinle “would still be alive if we had a wall,” referring to Trump’s call for the construction of a border wall between the US and Mexico. She was killed in 2015. No real wall then. No real wall now. Federal immigration officials said they tried to deport the killer but failed. And yet Trump blamed the Democrats?

[As I reminder, unless it is part of a tweet or conversation, my policy is never to put Trump’s actual title in front of his name. He doesn’t deserve it.]