Nel's New Day

July 14, 2018

DDT: Week 77 – Attacks on Europe

Immigration was the subject of yesterday’s blog post, but a new, egregious government action has been revealed since then. The government is keeping children from parents until they undergo a DNA test—and some parents have been told that they must pay for the procedure. People who come to the U.S. with little more than the clothes on their back may be denied their children without paying up to $800. HHS has hired a private contractor to administer tests but refuses to name the company, possibly a legal violation. Three women who reported the demand are children’s parents, and the fourth is the sister of a three-year-old boy. Federal officials say that adults may not have paperwork to prove their relationship with children because ICE or border agents took the documentation. HHS process: the U.S. removes documents, the government then demands the documents that were taken, and parents are ordered to take a DNA test because they don’t have the documents. Even if the parents eventually get their children returned, they are subjected to this delaying tactic.

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has spent the bulk of the week embarrassing people in the United States with his bully behavior toward allies and sycophancy toward Russia. His schedule for the past five days:

NATO Summit (Wednesday/Thursday):

Before DDT left to meet with the 28 members of NATO, formerly U.S. allies, on Monday, he said about his week:

“I have NATO, I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think?”

Concerned about DDT’s alienation of U.S. allies, the Senate approved a motion of support for NATO while DDT traveled to NATO. Only two senators—Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) dissented. The next day, Senate, lacking the courage to pass a bill to stop DDT, voted 88-11 to politely request that DDT get their approval before imposing tariffs on other nations in the name of national security. The 11 Republicans who want to turn their legislative responsibilities guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution over to DDT are John Barrasso (WY), Shelly Capito (WV), Mike Crapo (ID), Mike Enzi (WY), Lindsey Graham (SC), Dean Heller (NV), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Jim Inhofe (OK), David Perdue (GA), James Risch (ID), and Tim Scott (SC). Barrasso, Hyde-Smith, and Heller are running for re-election; DDT is known for his vengeful nature. DDT’s threat to add $200 billion to tariffs on imports from China resulted in a 200-plus drop in the Dow Jones.

DDT’s continued performance at NATO leaders as a spoiled, out-of-control child:

  • He first demanded that every member country pay 2 percent of the GDP immediately instead of on the time line.
  • He then lied about how much the U.S. pays and demanded 4 percent of GDP. (According to the Pentagon, the U.S. pays 3.3 percent, not 4.2 percent.)
  • He called some of the media fake.
  • He accused Germany of being under the control of Russia about German’s private business increasing its natural gas purchases to eight percent of the nation’s energy consumption. (DDT constantly panders to the Russian leader, even after proof that Russia meddled in the U.S. election.)
  • Chief of Staff John Kelly demonstrated great concern during DDT’s attack on Germany, but the White House explained that he was distraught because he expected a full breakfast instead of pastries and cheese. (No, I’m not joking!)

Fact Check about DDT’s NATO performance:

  • Countries do not owe the U.S. or NATO for any debts because NATO countries spend their funding on their own defense. Any “owed” money would be to their own military.
  • Under pressure from DDT, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg politely gave DDT’s tough talk credit for increased NATO defense spending, but that increase began under President Obama as shown by this chart.

  • NATO member defense spending is not “going down … very substantially.” In 2014, NATO members agreed to stop cutting their military budgets, and European spending rose from about $254 billion in 2014 with President Obama to $275 billion in 2017—an 8 percent rise in three years.
  • The U.S. pays $5 billion, 22 percent of NATO’s common fund, not the 70 to 90 percent that DDT claims.
  • Germany is not “captive” to Russia in natural gas imports. In 2017, Germany received more than one-third of its energy for electricity from coal and nearly 12 percent from nuclear plants. One-third came from renewable energy. Only 13 percent came from natural gas, with Russia as the major supplier.
  • NATO allies have not committed to increased spending, contrary to DDT’s claim, according to other NATO members.

DDT creates a crisis and then lies about having solving it.

Great Britain (Friday):

Shortly before meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on her home turf, DDT gave a press conference to Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid bragging how he told May “how she should negotiate” Brexit but that “she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me.” He insinuated that he prefers Boris Johnson, who just quit May’s cabinet, as a “great prime minister.” DDT followed his criticism by threatening to “end a major relationship” between the two countries and withdraw U.S. trade with the UK. The tabloid published DDT’s statements during the stately gala dinner at Blenheim Palace, Winston Churchill’s birthplace, that was hosted by May where DDT’s late arrival left May and her husband standing alone in front of the palace. The Daily Mirror wrote, “The ego has landed.”

Other DDT statements:

  • Accused EU leaders of destroying its culture and identity by allowing in millions of migrants.
  • Tore into London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not standing up to terrorists.
  • Blamed Khan for spiralling crime in the capital.
  • Denied once branding Theresa May a “bossy schoolteacher.”
  • Maintained he would keep ties with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin despite the Salisbury Novichok poisonings.
  • Spoke of his sadness at feeling unwelcome in the capital by anti-Trump protesters.
  • Claimed millions of Brits backed his policies.
  • Complained about not hearing the name “England” any more although England has been subsumed into the United Kingdom.
  • Bragged about polling better than Abraham Lincoln—although there were no polls 150 years ago.

Later DDT claimed that he “didn’t criticize the [British] prime minister,” that the “fake news” was to blame and that a recording of the interview would prove that the Sun published falsehoods. Unfortunately for DDT, the Sun taped the interview and released the audio with all the statements that DDT denied. In his later interview, he also reiterated his racist remarks about immigrants to Great Britain, accusing them of stripping Europe of culture.

In criticizing immigration, DDT didn’t use the word “illegal.” His earlier comments about how immigrants “infest” a nation are reminiscent of neo-Nazi white supremacist terms such as “invaders” who attack white culture. Less than 100 years ago, Nazi propaganda described Jews as a biological threat with terms such as “alien” and “parasitic” who were responsible for Germany’s “degeneration.” More than representing the U.S. on his trip in his anti-immigration position, DDT claimed to “represent a lot of people in Europe,” taking the position of EU’s white supremacist movement.

DDT struggled with protocol when he was 12 minutes late to having tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and then briefly walked in front of the Queen when they were inspecting the Guard of Honor. At least he didn’t grab her hand the way he does with Theresa May.

 

Flying Trump Baby, a 20-feet inflated satiric blimp of DDT, wasn’t the only visual protest by the 250,000 people in London. Others visuals included walls and cages. [Workers tend to The Baby Trump Balloon while the U.S. President is visiting Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort in Scotland. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]

A British tabloid shows that DDT’s ego knows no end: on its cover, The Daily Mirror summarized DDT’s assault on Great Britain:

“You insult our country, attack our [National Health Service], embarrass our Queen, undermine our ‘special relationship,’ humiliate our [prime minister]…and then smugly pose in Winston Churchill’s armchair. How dare you ….”

The late leader’s grandson Nicholas Soames called Trump a “daft twerp” last year for connecting the United Kingdom’s rise in crime to “radical Islamic terror.”

Trump Baby traveled north to greet DDT in Edinburgh before DDT moved to promote one of his two Scottish golf courses and play golf while he was booed. People on the beach shouted, “No Trump, no K.K.K., no racist U.S.A.”

Russian state TV is delighted with DDT’s work to create chaos within the free world. Tatyana Parkhalina, president of the Association for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, said:

“Neither the USSR nor Russia, who tried many times to drive the wedge between transatlantic allies, but the main player, Washington, and President Trump himself is doing everything to break down the foundations of transatlantic alliance and unity.”

DDT meets—alone—with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. Maybe he wants to talk about a Trump Tower in Moscow.

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July 7, 2018

DDT: Week 76 – Acceleration of Lies

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 11:41 PM
Tags: , , , ,

The 100 lies from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) this past week, partly because his appearance with a fawning Maria Bartiromo on Fox who made no corrections, almost match his 103 false claims of the previous week. Prior to this time, DDT hadn’t exceeded 60 falsehoods per week, according to the Toronto Star. In 2018, he has averaged 5.1 lies per day.

Some of DDT’s lies with Bartiromo

  • “The European Union is possibly as bad as China.”
  • “I guarantee you everybody that ever bought a Harley-Davidson voted for Trump…. They call them bikers for Trump. There’s hundreds,” DDT referring to himself in third person like royalty. [Harley sold under 150,000 motorcycles last year in the U.S., fewer than half the motorcycles sold. https://thinkprogress.org/c72c932d08c3/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-letters  In Iowa, 650 jobs may be lost if the Minnesota-based motorcycle company Polaris Industries moves overseas.]
  • Kim Jong-Un is denuclearizing North Korea [although NK is building up its nuclear weapons.]
  • “There’s no collusion with me. There’s no Russia with me. There’s no nothing.” [But there’s proof he’s wrong.]
  • “They found nothing. Nobody has found anything.” [Thus far, the special investigation has guilty pleas from three former members of DDT’s campaign and filed two indictments against his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and DDT’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is ready to flip on him. Cohen said, “I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy.”]
  • “I think [the markets] trust me, and the farmers trust me.” [The markets are down to the level before the tax cuts, and farmers are begging their congressional representatives for help from the tariff.]
  • The DNC “threw them [the FBI] out of the office” [although it didn’t.]
  • Hillary Clinton disposed of subpoenaed emails [although she didn’t.]
  • DDT said his enemies “better take it easy” indicating his personal retribution if they don’t because they are “dangerous for the country.”
  • DDT said that his tax cuts were “something really special.” [There goes the middle class.]

Other lies:

He talked to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who said that he would increase oil production because gas prices are “to [sic] high.” The phone call did exist, but Saudi Arabia said that the kingdom wouldn’t boost production as DDT said it promised. Gas prices hit a four-year high in June, and DDT’s foreign policies has an influence on the costs. At least the middle class gets a few dollars in tax cuts that will entirely go for gas.

He tweeted he “won lawsuit” about collusion with Russia. The fact is that a case against Roger Stone won’t move forward on technical grounds; the judge wrote that the “ruling is not based on a finding that there is no collusion.” DDT also lied about the DNC bringing that particular lawsuit, but the DNC does have a lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court accusing Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner stating that DDT’s campaign was a “willing and active” partner of Russia in its “brazen attack on American democracy.”

Corrections to more DDT lies during his rally in Montana against the campaign of Democratic Sen. Jon Tester:

  • Military spending is not at record levels.
  • DDT was not the first Republican to win Wisconsin since Dwight Eisenhower. [Wisconsin voted for GOP presidential candidates in 1960, 1968, 1972, 1980, and 1984.]
  • DDT’s tax cuts are not the largest ever.
  • Health plans aren’t enrolling yet because it’s not the time for people to sign up.
  • DDT isn’t good at getting legislation passed.
  • Vladimir Putin really was a long-serving KGB agent and then directed its successor, the FSB.

DDT’s Montana lies and insults reflect the GOP election strategy—more sexism, racism, and hate—sometimes all wrapped together as when he insulted Sen. Elizabeth Warren about her ancestry:

“We’ll take that little kit and say, we have to do it gently because we are in the Me Too generation, and we will very gently take that kit, slowly toss it.”

DDT:

  • Attacked Rep. Maxine Waters with his usual statement that “she is a low IQ individual.”
  • Referred to the separation of children and families at the Mexico border only by sneering at Therese Okoumou, who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty in protest, by saying that he would have made “that clown” jump.
  • Demanded that NFL players be fired if they don’t stand for the national anthem because staying the locker room was “actually worse” than kneeling.
  • Ridiculed George H.W. Bush’s “thousand points of light” campaign theme promoting volunteerism by saying that he didn’t know what it meant.

DDT was positive only about three world leaders—Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong-Un–and the lack of Montana’s environmental destruction thus far from Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Plundering Agency.

“Not seeing pollution is a wonderful thing. Those are beautiful skies.”

DDT is still describing the investigation into the Russian scandals as a “witch hunt” while Robert Mueller pursues his work.  During a fundraiser at his house on Martha’s Vineyard, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said: “If you think you’ve seen wild stuff so far, buckle up. It’s going to be a wild couple of months.” Mueller has found that several “billionaires with deep ties to Russia attended exclusive, invitation-only receptions [reserved for top donors and close political allies] during Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities.” At least one of them, Victor Vekselberg, has been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Mueller is also investigating Paul Manafort’s debt of $10 million to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska during the presidential election. The U.S. has also sanctioned Deripaska. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said:

“Nothing to see here, just the indicted campaign manager of the president (who worked for free) owing a Russian oligarch $10 million dollars while Russia was sabotaging the election.”

Another newly discovered $26 million loan from Deripaska to Manafort brings the total to about $60 million in the past decade. Emails also show Manafort’s attempts to curry favor with Deripaska.

Mueller is also looking at the cellphone and computer communications of Blackwater founder Erik Prince, the brother of Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Prince tried to develop a secret channel between DDT and Vladimir Putin.

DDT also swears that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), co-founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus and leader of the 2013 government shutdown, knows nothing about the sexual molestations of his team members when he was assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State. At least five men have said that Jordan knew about their molestation by former team doctor Dr. Richard Strauss, who killed himself in 2005 and may have molested as many as 2,000 athletes in at least 15 different varsity sports. Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato said, “I considered Jim Jordan a friend. But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.” DiSabato continued, “[Jordan] took showers with us. He saw Dr. Strauss and others perform these acts in front of us.” One former wrestling coach called the men’s facility used by the team “cesspool of deviancy.” At least six ex-wrestlers said they were regularly harassed by sexually aggressive male students or workers at Ohio State as they masturbated while watching the wrestlers shower or sit in the sauna as well as participating in sexual acts where the athletes trained. Dunyasha Yetts, a 1993 wrestler, said he told Jordan about Strauss’ behavior and asked him to come to the doctor to protect him from fondling.

When one of the molested wrestlers emailed Jordan, the representative complained that he was being “bullied” and threatened to call the Capitol police. Jordan said that he didn’t want to respond to the former wrestler because he didn’t want to “encourage the behavior.” He also claimed to know nothing about the victimization, but investigators said that they had contacted Jordan and received no response.

DDT called the accusers liars and said that he stands behind Jordan “100 percent.” In the past, DDT defended his top staffer Rob Porter who abused his ex-wives and believed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore over a number of accusers suffering from Moore’s sexual conduct when they were teenagers. About Jordan he said, “No question in my mind” despite his lack of information.

Only two of Jordan’s GOP colleagues, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-OH) and Matt Goetz (R-FL), are following DDT’s “100 percent” support of Jordan. Otherwise, Republican members of Congress, even the almost three dozen members of Jordan’s conservative Freedom Caucus, are saying little about the situation except to use platitudes such as “integrity.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) says that he supports an investigation of the accusations. Jordan had considered a run for Ryan’s position.

DDT thinks he has support for his tariffs, but 56 percent of voters said that his decisions were bad for jobs with 73 percent worried about rising prices. Those figures are worse in election battleground states, and a solid majority of Republicans are concerned about increased costs of products. Those figures are over a week old before DDT said that he was going to apply tariffs to all imports from China. A recession is being predicted.

Leading up to NATO this week and the G20 summit in fall, polls show the difference in confidence regarding U.S. leadership between President Obama and DDT:

  • -75% Germany
  • -71% South Korea
  • -70% France
  • -68% Spain
  • -61% Canada
  • -57% UK
  • -55% Australia
  • -54% Japan
  • +42% Russia

These figures are six months old. Since then, DDT Trump has ratcheted up his hostility toward NATO, NAFTA, the European Union, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and G-7 while trying to control the world with ill-reasoned tariffs. Next January’s polls will reflect DDT’s lack of leadership with North Korea, the Middle East, climate, etc., etc. Now if only voters will agree with the free world at the polls in November.

June 30, 2018

DDT: Week 75 – Lies, Hate

When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill reducing the cost for handgun licenses, he held up the target sheet that he had riddled with bullets and said, “I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters.” One person followed his advice and killed five journalists at the Capital Gazette this past week because the newspaper published an article about the man after he pled guilty for criminal harassment for stalking a woman online. A White House spokesman said DDT thinks “journalists like all Americans should be free from the fear of being violently attacked” while doing their job. Like a dictator, DDT referred to ”my government” but refuses to answer any questions about the horrific event.

DDT frequently calls journalists “the enemy of the people” and allowed his campaign guards to treat protesters roughly. Pro-DDT audiences at rallies beat up protesters. A year ago, DDT re-tweeted a 2007 video of himself beating up WWE owner Vince McMahon with DDT’s head covered with the CNN logo. After that, he tweeted videos of a train hitting a victim marked with CNN and a man stepping on and splattering an insect marked with CNN. Asked during his campaign about Vladimir Putin’s killing journalists, DDT said, “Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.” Since Putin became president, 28 journalists have been killed. When pressed, DDT reluctantly criticized the killings but gave glowing comments about Putin. DDT also praises Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who openly threatens to kill journalists.

After Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for protesters to call out DDT’s separation of migrant children from their parents, she had to cancel events in Alabama and Texas from serious death threats. Calling Waters “an extraordinarily low IQ person,” DDT falsely tweeted that she “called for harm to supporters” and threatened her by writing, “Be careful what you wish for Max!”

DDT supports white supremacists, not even criticizing the man who killed one woman and injured several other people at a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville (VA) last year. DDT was elected by selling hate, and he keeps his base by continuing to sell hate.

The man who killed five people at the newspaper supported two politicians—DDT and Michael Peroutka, and neo-Confederate funder with ties to Michael Hill who wants a paramilitary group to fight the media. Hill said that the targets are “political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run.”

Before the killings, Milo Yiannopoulos, a blogger for InfoWars, posted on Instagram:

“I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”

Instagram, owned by Facebook, answered complaints that the post did not violate its terms. Message boards 4chan and 8chan celebrated the killings and encouraged more, based on a scene from white supremacist The Turner Diaries, long inspiring the public hanging of journalists, “race traitors,” professors, and other cultural figures, including Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

The neo-Nazi website Daily Storm posted a message that “killing journalists is an awesome position to promote.”

DDT’s constant complaints about “fake news” partly come from their corrections of his lies, misrepresentations, and mental confusion. He couldn’t even remember the name of the Supreme Court Justice who retired last week. During a press conference, DDT sputtered:

“I have great respect for … Justice Anthony — you know who I’m talking about — Justice Kennedy.”

DDT’s speech had three facts about Kennedy: Kennedy is a man, he is a SCOTUS justice, and he is retiring.

About the immigration system, DDT knows very little. He wants all people to be stopped at the border, ignoring the law that allows people to come into the country seeking asylum, and not give them due process. Violence and gangs in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have caused hundreds of thousands of children and families to seek refuge in the U.S. since 2014, and the U.S. Constitution grants due-process to every “person” in the U.S. The Supreme Court ruled that this provision covers undocumented immigrants. Turning away asylum applicants without court proceeds violates legal due-process rights. U.S. treaties also require the nation to allow qualified immigrants to seek asylum.

DDT’s claim that someone wants “to hire 5,000 more judges” is also false. The request was for an additional 365 judges, bringing the total to about 700. Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill asks for 750. The judicial branch has almost 1,300 sitting federal judges; immigration judges are in the executive branch.

Most illegal immigration comes from people outstaying their visas. In fiscal 2016, U.S. officials reported 408,870 southwest border apprehensions, 544,676 visa overstays and 65,218 asylum claims. Eighty-five percent of removal orders do not require a hearing before a judge.

DDT also lied about seeing ICE “liberating” towns from MS-13 gangs. The famous liar reached 103 lies last week from a previous weekly record of 60. He also said that Democrats want to eliminate police forces in the U.S.

Trying to save the debacle of his meeting with Kim Jong-Un, DDT is claiming the victory of getting the remains of Korean War veterans returned. Instead of the 200 remains returned, North Korea has sent none—zero. And no one knows when any of them will arrive; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is “optimistic” it would take place “in the not-too-distant future.” DDT claims that the need for the returns are the “thousands” of parents who begged him to bring home their children—parents who would now be at least 100 years old. The White House did not provide any names of these parents or why DDT is lying about the bodies being returned.

North Korea is continuing its work on a nuclear research facility, a fact that DDT has not announced although he did announce an emergency warning about North Korea’s nuclear power. The increased in production of enriched uranium for nuclear weapons went on during the negotiations. North Korea is also working to hide its military capabilities from the U.S.

DDT’s fantasies extend to telephone calls. His lies this last week caused a company’s stock to fall:

“The head of U.S. Steel called me the other day, and he said, ‘We’re opening up six major facilities and expanding facilities that have never been expanded.’” [U.S. Steel isn’t denying DDT’s statements, but it isn’t agreeing and hasn’t told its shareholders.]

More of DDT’s imaginary telephone calls include one with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, one from the head of the Boy Scouts, discussions about border-wall construction in California, another call from Jimmy Fallon, and a conversation with the head of a nation of over 300 million people complaining about the country’s 9 percent GDP growth rate. Other than the U.S., only China and India have over 300 million; their growth rates are 6.7 percent and 7.1 percent respectively.

During his campaign, DDT lied about a rising crime rate to defeat his opponent, and he’s still using his lies to bash immigrants. The facts show an overall decline in rates of crime, violent crime, and murder in the 30 largest American cities. This information, however, won’t support DDT’s hatred so he won’t be mentioning it.

Thanks to information from Russia, the people in the United States know that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) will meet with Vladimir Putin in Finland on July 16. Advance information about DDT’s support of Russia:

“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election!” [DDT’s tweet translation: DDT states he believes Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies.]

Tariffs continue to be a bone of contention. Angry that Harley-Davidson is making a financial decision to move some operations outside the U.S., a loss of 1,000 U.S. jobs, DDT threatened a “big tax” if they try to sell the motorcycles in the United States. DDT’s trade war has resulted in the European Union’s tariff against Harley-Davidson that increases the price of a motorcycle in those countries by $3,500.

General Motors also announced that the tariffs will cause “less investment, fewer jobs and lower wages” for employees and thousands of dollars more for car prices.

The VP of sales for Mid Continent Nail Corporation, producer of half the nails in the U.S., voted for DDT, but now he’s trying to get help from his Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill, to save 500 jobs in a Missouri community of 17,000. Eighty percent of the county voted for DDT. George Skarich, vice president of sales for Missouri-based Mid Continent Nail Corporation, said that the company might go out of business soon because the steel imports will raise prices for nails by almost 20 percent. McCaskill came through, addressing the problem with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during a Senate Finance Committee hearing. At least 40,000 Missouri workers will be affected by the tariffs.

The conservative Wall Street Journal told its readers that DDT’s tariffs are destroying jobs for the workers he promised to protect. An editorial stated that U.S. workers are the “biggest losers” under Trump’s policies.

The Dow Jones dropped almost 500 points last Monday before DDT’s trade adviser Peter Navarro partially salvaged the financial disaster by claiming that DDT was backing down on investment restrictions. It still plummeted 328 points. Early Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had said that DDT would place restrictions on all countries. Despite Navarro’s comments, Huckabee Sanders said that other countries may have restrictions with an eminent announcement of “targets [on] all countries that are trying to steal our technology.” The Dow Jones is at the same level as November 30: the tax cuts did nothing for this part of the economy.

DDT and GOP efforts are responsible for health insurance rates rapidly increasing in the future. Rates would have stayed flat except for the repeal of the individual mandate and lack of restrictions on plans that provide far fewer benefits to subscribers. Information about the difference in rate increases with and without the GOP sabotage here.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising money for “Trump Baby,” a 20-foot orange blimp with a snarled face and cell phone in a tiny hand. They increased the request after doubled the first goal in the first 24 hours. The group wants to fly the blimp over Parliament Square during DDT’s visit to London in July. With no permits thus far, the group is considering alternative plans.

June 23, 2018

DDT: Week 74 – War instead of Nobel Prize

The one thing that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) wanted more than to destroy everything that President Obama had accomplished was to get the Nobel Peace Prize because President Obama did. That chance may be gone after he decided to tear children from their parents. Following global outrage, Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe, declared that DDT is “no longer the moral leader of his country or the world.” (I’m not sure when he was.)  The influential Jagland is one of five members on the committee selecting the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. DDT’s withdrawal from the UN Civil Rights Council was also not helpful to”peace.”

That might be why DDT released a warning about North Korea that could lead up to declaring war on NK. On his return from fawning all over Kim Jong-Un, DDT tweeted that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” Yesterday he signed a declaration continuing a state of emergency with North Korea:

“The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. Therefore… I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to North Korea declared in Executive Order 13466.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis said that he knows nothing about any North Korean actions to dismantle its nuclear weapons, doesn’t expect to hear anything, and has no information about any future meetings. Yet the Pentagon has stopped planning the August military training exercises. Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Un met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to tell him that they are friends.

DDT’s threats of tariffs moving a world trade “skirmish” toward “war” includes an addition of tariffs on more solar products in the 25-percent category after adding ten percent to another $200 billion worth of goods. China called his threats “blackmail” and counter threatened tariffs on most imports, including smartphones, computers, toys, television, and household goods. Soybean futures for July delivery dropped over 7 percent to $8.415 a bushel, the lowest level since March 2009. A ten-percent tariff by China could make another 18 percent decrease; a 40-percent tariff could cause a fall of 40 percent. Over half of the U.S. soybeans are sold to China, the world’s largest consumer of the product.

China’s retaliatory tariffs could cost Iowa farmers $624 million, and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said that DDT’s trade policies are causing “market price declines” in “corn, wheat, beef, and pork.” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said his state is “hit harder than any other state by the Canadian retaliatory tariffs,” and Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA) warned that Kraft-Heinz may move its ketchup production to Canada. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) worries about Coca-Cola’s increase in aluminum can costs, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) stated that his state’s steel fabricator has lost its contracts. DDT said that these people will deal with the “pain” because “they understand that they’re doing this for the country.” Many of the people with “pain” voted for DDT because he said he was a competent.

DDT tweeted that he would impose a 20-percent tariff on cars from Europe in response to its tariffs on goods worth $3.2 billion and the existing 10-percent tariff on European car imports from the U.S. Cars from Europe already have a 2.5-percent tariff coming into the U.S., and 25 percent on light-truck and van imports. According to the U.S. Constitution, Congress controls tariffs so DDT must use only the tactic of “national security” to declare them. His recent threats are ignoring that legal issue. People will pay far more from DDT’s tariffs and rising oil prices will cost consumers than the pittance that most of them receive from his tax cuts. DDT declares tariffs, exempts some countries, and then re-imposes them and others, all according to whim. Nomi Prins wrote, “If trust were a coveted commodity [in] the present White House, it would now be trading at zero.”

https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/18/17477170/zte-ban-senate-vote-reinstate   The Senate voted 85-10 to reinstate a ban on ZTE that prevents the Chinese telecom company from buying U.S. components and using U.S. software, citing ZTE as a national security risk, after DDT lifted the ban to “save jobs in China.” The new ban is an amendment to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass piece of legislation that has passed the House, requiring reconciliation between the two chambers.

The executive order indefinitely imprisoning immigrant families wasn’t the only one that DDT signed this past week. He also repealed protections for oceans and Great Lakes to give priority to “ocean industry … particularly oil and natural gas drilling.” This order follows other destructive ones such as permitting coal mines to dump waste into streams and rivers, removing funding to protect the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, and boosting fossil fuels with taxpayer money.

The Senate voted 48-50 against DDT’s demand to “claw back” about $15 billion in spending that Congress approved earlier this year. GOP Sens. Richard Burr (NC) and Susan Collins (ME) joined 48 Democrats/Independents to sink the bill. White House Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney expressed disappointment that they couldn’t “recapture unnecessary funds” such as ones allotted for federal highway funding and $7 billion in health insurance for children in poverty.

To avoid the problem of violating the emolument clause of the U.S. Constitution, DDT promised that his company will donate all profits from foreign governments to the government. Now he won’t bother figuring out profits because it’s is too much trouble. Legally, DDT must submit a request to Congress to avoid his responsibilities, but I’m not holding my breath until he carries through. DDT’s lawyers are using the same argument against his not carrying through with his promise—he’s above the law.

DDT wants to merge the departments of Education and Labor into one agency to reduce education to vocational training. The plan also shrinks the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), responsible for vetting employees, retirement claims, benefits, and federal workforce policy, an agency that doesn’t seem to be doing any vetting. Other plans to combine assistance for the poor from several different agencies such as housing, food, and energy appear to provide less support for those in poverty.

At the same time, DDT wants to create a sixth military branch by adding the Space Force. None of these ideas can happen without congressional approval. [VP Mike Pence looks on as DDT signs the Space Policy Directive; Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), watches from the background.)

Doing away with the Department of Education might not be a problem because Secretary Betsy DeVos does more damage than good. Her push to change all schools in the United States to private charters with no oversight through the voucher program is designed to make all “public” schools religious, and she dropped 1,200 probes into public school policies of physical abuse, primarily against black students, as discipline for ditching classes, tardiness, dress code violations, and other similar misbehavior. These complaints as well as those of sexual violence in schools and colleges have been closed with no corrective action. The increased leniency of the department’s Office for Civil Rights regards less investigation into discrimination complaints about students with limited English, education needs for disabled students, and racial harassment. DeVos maintains that her agency has consistent legal standards but gave different regions the latitude to drop cases. The NAACP is suing the education department, accusing it of unlawfully dismissing complaints without a full investigation.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and seven members of her family were asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington (VA) after her support in separating migrant children and parents. When she reported what had happened on her official Twitter, Walter Schaub, former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, pointed out that her use of her “official account for this is a clear violation of 5 CFR 2635.702(a).” The owner explains her reasoning for refusing service to Sanders and describes the occurrence.

Huckabee Sanders was more civil than her religious father, Mike Huckabee, who tweeted a photograph of MS-13 gang members with the message that they are part of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) campaign committee.

The number of DDT’s lies is growing. In the first four days of the last week, he tweeted false information seven times about immigration and six times on the IG report about the FBI handling Hillary Clinton’s email server. The baker’s dozen doesn’t include his falsehoods on other issues in tweets and public remarks that reinforce his alternate reality about the G-7 summit, the North Korea situation, crime in Germany, and Democrats in general. Repeated lies become believable when people want these lies to be their personal truth. They even ignore the lies about Mexico paying the wall and his inability to stop separation of children and parents that his Wednesday executive order may have halted. Steve Bannon says that DDT doesn’t lie although an interviewer pointed out that DDT admitted he lied about the Trump Tower meeting. In response, Bannon said that he did not know whether Trump’s comments qualified as a lie.

DDT’s fear of the Russian investigation is accelerating. He tweeted “witch hunt” 72 times in the past year—20 uses in May after the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s offices and home with another 22 in the first three weeks of June. This morning, DDT tweeted that poll numbers have “plummeted” about the “witch hunt,” but Fox polls show that the percentage has increased ten percent to 44 percent who believe that DDT’s campaign colluded with the Russians from a year ago. Sixty percent think he should agree to be interviewed by Mueller. And that’s Fox!

June 16, 2018

DDT: Week 73 – More Lies to Add to His Thousands

“I didn’t do anything wrong!” Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) repeated this sentence in a whiny voice during his impromptu press conference on the White House lawn this morning as he lied about a wide variety of issues. A few corrections to the record:

  • The OIG report did not exonerate in the Russian investigation. It was about the way that the FBI and DOJ handled the Clinton email investigation.
  • The same report did not show any bias against DDT because the report indicated that there was no bias.
  • There is no indication of “no collusion,” “no obstruction.”
  • Former FBI Director James Comey did not commit some “very criminal acts,” according to the OIG report.
  • Paul Manafort did have something “to do with [DDT’s] campaign.” With the campaign for five months, Manafort ran it for three months, including his highly visual presence at the GOP convention.
  • President Obama was not responsible for the Russian annexation of Crimea, and “going across the red line in the sand” concerned Syria, not Ukraine.
  • DDT did not always hate the war exercises. He got the idea for the gift to North Korea of ending these exercises from Vladimir Putin.
  • Tearing children from their parents at the Mexico border is not the Democrats’ law. It is not a law—in fact it’s against the law as “deterrence—and it’s a policy created and ordered by DDT and AG Jeff Sessions. And he does not want “laws to be beautiful and humane.”
  • The Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are not “liberating” communities from the scourge of MS-13; ICE is deporting law-abiding immigrants.
  • Despite DDT’s declaration that Michael Cohen is not his lawyer, it’s not clear when that happened.

If DDT didn’t lie about something, he said, “Let’s not talk about it” as he did when asked whether he dictated the statement on Donald Trump Jr.

DDT’s classic statement to the reporters:

“Hey, Kim Jong-Un is the head of a country, and I mean he is the strong head. Don’t let anybody think different. He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

Pressed about the meaning of the statement, DDT tried to cover by calling it “sarcasm.” DDT continually describes the mass murderer as “very talented,” “great negotiator,” “very funny guy”–the pandering never stops.

[The Time cover for June 18, 2018, by Tim O’Brien, meant to address DDT’s political attacks on Robert Mueller.]

DDT’s justification for giving away the farm to North Korea without getting anything in return is that he is guaranteeing “complete denuclearization.” A fact-check of his claims at the June 12 news conference and interview with George Stephanopoulos indicates he has added more lies to the thousands he has told since his inauguration. The complete analysis is here.

  • Far more vague than past agreements, this one is not “comprehensive” with no definitions of “denuclearization.”
  • DDT dropped training war exercises without consulting the Pentagon or South Korea. He complained they were “expensive,” but South Korea pays 50 percent of the non-personnel costs of U.S. troop presence on the peninsula.
  • President Clinton didn’t give North Korea billions of dollars in the agreement of 1994; the money went to companies in South Korea, Japan, and the EU. The 1994 agreement contained North Korea’s use of uranium until George W. Bush broke the agreement and North Korea started building nuclear weapons.
  • Iran’s involvement in its regional politics hasn’t improved since DDT dropped the Iran agreement. President Obama never gave Iran money in the agreement; $1.8 billion was the U.S. debt for U.S. military equipment never delivered in 1980 when Iran released four U.S. detainees. Another $150 billion was released from Iranian frozen assets in banks throughout the world. After Iran pays its debts, it will have about $32 billion of their own money left.
  • The U.S. has a trade surplus—not deficit—with Canada.
  • U.S. funding for NATO, based on gross national income, is under $500 million a year out of the nation’s $700 billion military budget. Indirect funding is what the U.S. spends on its own military or missions not including
  • NATO.

Desperate to find some win out of his losses to North Korea, DDT claimed that “thousands of parents” begged him during his campaign to bring back the remains of their beloved sons from the Korean War. The youngest parent would be over 100 years old.

Bored when he arrived in Singapore, DDT demanded that the summit be moved up one day. He was convinced that the idea was bad only when someone told him that he would get better prime time coverage the next day. (Why is it that most DDT news sound as if it belongs in satire columns?) DDT also prefers North Korea state-run news to the Fox network. Wonder how long Fox will stay friends?

In late 2017, DDT said:

“The horror of life in North Korea is so complete that citizens pay bribes to government officials to have themselves exported abroad as slaves. They would rather be slaves than live in North Korea. … Citizens spy on fellow citizens, their homes are subject to search at any time, and their every action is subject to surveillance. In place of a vibrant society, the people of North Korea are bombarded by state propaganda practically every waking hour of the day. North Korea is a country ruled as a cult. At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader’s destiny to rule as parent protector over a conquered Korean Peninsula and an enslaved Korean people.”

Now DDT claims that “[Kim’s] country does love him. His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor.” He loves North Korea so much that he saluted one of its military officers. DDT was briefed to not salute military officers from other countries. Conservatives complained about a negative reaction from Democrats to DDT talking to North Korean leadership after Republicans bitterly decried the possibility of President Obama even speaking to Kim Jong-Il. Democrats, however, objected only to DDT’s obsequious behavior before the leader of one of the world’s most oppressive regimes. DDT also called President Obama an “amateur” when he bent at the waist to shake the hand of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah before DDT bowed to the Saudi’s King Salmon leader. DDT doesn’t even reach the status of “amateur” in his behavior to Kim Jong-Un.

In a 2014 report, the UN described “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations,” the country as a ruthless police state where as many as 120,000 people are kept in political gulags under horrific conditions; other prisons, effectively labor camps, hold people for ordinary crimes. Telephone calls are monitored, and citizens are punished for watching or listening to foreign broadcasts.” It also wrote about North Korea’s absolute monopoly on information and control of social life”—what DDT said he wants in the United States by eliminating any freedom of expression, opinion, and association.

The aftermath of the G-7 summit also continues to reverberate: DDT’s trade advisor Peter Navarro took back his words about a “special place in hell” reserved for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) criticized Navarro. He said that the term he used “lost the power of that message,” Navarro’s version of an apology.

Gone is any cordiality between Canada and the United States. The Canadian Parliament unanimously voted to condemn DDT’s attacks after DDT’s and his minions’ highly insulting statements following the G-7 summit. Their motion condemned the attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and rejected “disparaging ad hominem statements by U.S. officials which do a disservice to bilateral relations.” About the motion, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “It’s very nice to represent a united country.”

China is also not happy after DDT imposed a 25-percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese exports. Claiming that the U.S. “launched a trade war,” China has dropped promises to buy more U.S. goods. Tariffs on washing machines, the first item that DDT caused domestic suffering, have raised prices 17 percent on laundry equipment in three months.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said that his party is in a “cult-like situation” with their support of DDT, citing the GOP refusal to disagree with DDT on his tariffs. “It’s not a good place for us to be,” he added with the luxury of someone not running for re-election. Corker agrees with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, once a strong DDT supporter, who claimed on his Morning Joe Show that “primary voters in the Republican Party have devolved into a Trumpist cult.” Don Trump Jr. agrees with Corker: “If it’s a cult, it’s because they like what my father is doing.”

DDT holds an overwhelming popularity with Republicans, but only 40 percent of the people in the U.S. fit into that category. Otherwise, he has dropped considerably since his inauguration. During the past 18 months, his net approval has decreased in all 50 states from six to 31 points.

June 10, 2018

People Come, People Go

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 8:21 PM
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A few appointments by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) focus only on protecting the wealthiest people, for example, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) interim director Mick Mulvaney’s firing his consumer advisory council, created to identify problems for people treated unfairly by financial firms. The majority of DDT’s picks, however, are selected for their anti-immigrant, pro-white nationalist, pro-evangelical positions.

Arrivals:

Steve Bannon’s friend Michael Pack, the proposed nomination to lead the Broadcasting Board of Governors, would disseminate DDT’s conservative views through federally funded media outlets such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe in the nation’s biggest public diplomacy program. Its audience of 278 million people speaking 61 languages reaches over 100 countries. Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, DDT’s appointee already on the BBG told friends he wants to make the agency a “Bannon legacy.”

Fred Fleitz, John Bolton’s new chief of staff on the national security council and longtime senior staffer at Center for Security Policy, joins the anti-Muslim think tank in contending that mosques and Muslims are working to “Islamize” the U.S. in a “stealth jihad” taking advantage of pluralism and democracy. Hawk Bolton accused Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin of being a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a Russian “truther,” Fleitz claims that the U.S. intelligence reports about Russian election meddling was “rigged” and DDT should “pardon everyone” under investigation. Having published a book advocating aggression toward North Korea, Fleitz claims his concern is groups that promote hate.

Gary Bauer, DDT’s appointment for U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, wants anti-LGBTQ and anti-Islam laws. He calls the left the American Taliban because they hate America. Bauer joins DDT’s “anti-immigrant army” that is “infiltrating every part of the federal government,” including agencies whose purposes include advocating for immigrants and refugees, according to Julissa Arce.

Richard Grenell, conservative ambassador to Germany, continues to offend his hosts. First he ordered Germany to stop trading with Iran; then he said he’ll work on policy, not diplomacy. In his latest interview with Breitbart, he said that he plans to “empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders.” Germany has demanded a formal explanation from the U.S. about the meaning of Grenell’s statement that he promised to use his office to help far-right nationalists take power in Europe. In his praise of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, connected to the Freedom Party created in the 1950s by a former Nazi officer, Grenell was described as behaving less like a diplomat than “an extreme-right colonial officer.” Political members in Germany and Belgium expressed a number of criticisms about Grenell, and some have recommended that he be expelled from German. All this after Grenell promised during his confirmation to stay out of German politics.

Called upon to explain why Grenell plans to “empower” Europe’s anti-immigrant conservatives, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said:

“We have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany….  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany.”

On D-Day, 2,499 people from the United States were killed in the fight to liberate France from Nazi German forces. Grenell’s criticism of the “left” in Europe further strains relationships after DDT’s withdrawals from both Iran deal and the Paris climate accord before the imposition of tariffs on U.S. allies. Nauert’s later statements appeared to support Grenell’s comments.

Diane Foley, who ran a Christian organization operating two Colorado anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers,” or fake clinics, was quietly installed on Tuesday as deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, where she will lead the office responsible for the Title X federal family planning program.

A list of White House staff changes.

Departures:

On the anti-climate change side, Scott Pruitt is hanging on to his job as EPA secretary despite almost daily scandals, but his staff is dropping like flies. Sarah Greenwalt, Scott Pruitt’s senior counsel, and Millan Hupp, Pruitt’s director for scheduling and advance, bailed, and Pruitt’s top public affairs official Liz Bowman left Pruitt last month for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who called Pruitt as “about as swampy as you get.” She voted for his confirmation after he promised to protect the ethanol industry. Other EPA resignations include Samantha Dravis, Albert Kelly, and Pasquale Perotta.

Greenwalt and Hupp had received inordinate raises that Pruitt lied about before he had to admit that he set their salaries. Hupp quit the day after Pruitt used her sister, Sydney Hupp, to try to get a franchise for Pruitt’s wife, Marlyn, with Chick-fil-A. Pruitt asked Hupp to email Dan Cathy, head of Chick-fil-A, asking for a meeting about to discuss “a potential business opportunity.” An earlier request was setting up a talk between Pruitt and the head of the non-profit organization Concordia who paid Marlyn $2,000 plus travel expenses to help organize the group’s annual conference nine months ago. The EPA started preparing Hupp’s resignation papers after she testified to the House about the personal tasks that she was asked to do for Pruitt, including buying a used mattress from the Trump Hotel.

Emails released from a Freedom of Information request show a large variety of Pruitt’s improper use of his staff. One of them concerns his assignment to his security detail to obtain a special moisturizer available for Ritz-Carlton hotels. Available online for $27.20 a bottle, the lotion has “sweet notes of ylang ylang, jasmine and uplifting bergamot.” Another responsibility for his security personnel, costing $3.5 million a year, is picking up dry cleaning.

Pruitt needs all the aides he can get. A judge has ordered him to submit evidence by July 11 that supports his position that humans are not “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” He has missed an earlier deadline, calling the legal action “a trap” and a “fishing expedition.”

Kelly Sadler, the White House aide who claimed that Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) vote didn’t matter because “he’s dying anyway,” no longer has a job “within the Executive Office of the President.” She may not have completely disappeared: Kellyanne Conway indicated that she might find another job in DDT’s administration. While she still had her job, she blamed Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications, of leaking her comment.

Sadler is not alone. White House deputy chief of staff Joseph Hagin, who organized the North Korea summit, is leaving as soon as he returns from the meeting with Kim Jong-Un.  Drew Maloney, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs, has a new job in the finance industry. Also gone are Mark Inch, chief of the Federal Bureau of Prisons; Tom Ziemer, the National Security Council’s head of Global Health Security; Richard Johnson, the State Department’s acting assistant coordinator for Iran Nuclear Issues; and Cliff Sims, a special assistant to the president who oversees White House message strategy. An update of the departed DDT hires is here.

DDT can’t find anyone willing to take the associate AG position, third in charge at the DOJ and responsible for firing Robert Mueller if Rod Rosenstein won’t take action on this. Jesse Panuccio, acting associate AG since Rachel Brand left several months ago, would be acting AG if Sessions and Rosenstein were to leave. The DOJ is already missing permanent leaders for five DOJ units including criminal, civil, and tax divisions.

Problems:

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, named head of a commission to study school safety after the mass shooting at Parkland (FL), said that the commission will not study gun safety at schools. When Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked her why not, she said:

“We’re actually studying school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school.”

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime died in the murders on Valentine’s Day, tweeted:

“You just gave every parent who actually cares about school safety a reason to vote in November.”

DeVos said that the commission will also not look at best practices of foreign countries with much lower rates of gun violence. The school safety commission is composed of four Cabinet secretaries: DeVos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. After criticism because the first commission meetings were not public and didn’t include teachers, school leaders, or students, the group had a listening session, but none of the commission members was present.

Confirmations for DDT’s nominees may slow down after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) put holds on Treasury nominee Isabel Patelunas and possibly other Treasury nominees. The Treasury Department has refused to give him materials about DDT’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his firm’s relationship with Novartis and other clients.

One of DDT’s major appointments, Chief of Staff John Kelly, calls the White House a “miserable place to work,” and the question is how long he and other aides will remain. DDT is already serving as his own chief of staff, spokesman, and human resources manager.

 

June 8, 2018

DDT: Week 72 – The Dictator

Some people have taken offence at my use of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) , but the term now appears more frequently. From South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel editorial board:

“A dictator occupies the White House. That word should not be uttered lightly, but it defines with precision any head of state who, like Donald Trump, declares himself to be above the law.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer alluded to the “dictator” in DDT:

“[Trump] said he had the absolute power to pardon himself, and then a few minutes later he said that the special counsel is unconstitutional. He’s 0 for 2 on the Constitution. We do not have a dictatorship; the Founding Fathers did not want a king.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (R-HA) said that DDT “thinks he is a dictator and king” and “afraid” of the Mueller investigation results.

DDT has proved his dictatorship by tweeting:

“I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?”

And “… the appointment of the Special Councel [sic] is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” [Congress passed a law allowing this ?

Sunday DDT’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that DDT could shoot former FBI director James B. Comey in the Oval Office and not be indicted for any crime because he is the president. “In no case can [DDT] be subpoenaed or indicted.” In 1998, when Bill Clinton was president, Giuliani said that if the president is subpoenaed to testify, “he’s gotta do it. He has no choice.” The 1998 Giuliani also said:

“Under the criminal law, everyone should be treated the same. And I know there are some people that say the president should be treated stricter. … as far as the criminal law is concerned, the president is a citizen.”

About Giuliani’s comment that DDT can pardon himself, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said:

“If I were president of the United States and I had a lawyer that said I could pardon myself, I think I would hire a new lawyer.

Giuliani also trashed Stormy Daniels because she is a porn queen and sells her body. Megyn Kelly answered:

“Melania Trump is classy and gorgeous and I really admire her. But she has posed nude for GQ magazine back in 2000. And so to suggest that Trump would never respect, and that Giuliani wouldn’t respect, anybody who’s ever sold her body for sexual exploitation—I’m not comparing the two, posing nude is not the same as being a porn star. But, come on! Being an adult film star does not make you a liar.”

Not an elegant statement, but clear. And it’s not an attack on DDT’s wife; she did sell her body. DDT asked for the photographs, and the shoot was listed on his first White House website as one of her greatest achievements.

On Tuesday, DDT repeated his attacks on AG Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from any Russian issues and dumped on the DOJ Inspector General:

“What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey….”

DDT is pressuring Michael Horowitz to release negative information, but early reports about the investigation indicate no pattern of deception or intent to make personal use of classified information. Horowitz also concluded Comey should not have publicly re-opened the investigation into Clinton’s emails just ten days before the election. The report makes Rod Rosenstein’s cover story more accurate, but DDT has already negated that excuse for firing Comey by claiming that it was because of Russia. Thus the report provides more support for the belief that DDT’s election is illegitimate.

By Thursday, DDT accused President Obama of illegally transferring money to Iran and demanded an investigation. A two-year investigation by the Republican staff of a Senate panel released a report the day before DDT’s demands. It found no illegal action in arranging for Iran to obtain its own money in part of the Iran agreement. WaPo provided extensive details about the arrangement and gave DDT four Pinocchios for lying.

DDT claimed that Robert Mueller’s investigation has cost $17 million (equivalent to five weekends for DDT to play golf at Mar-a-Lago). Yet an examination shows that the costs were much less. In reporting costs, Mueller included DOJ employee costs that existed without the investigation that brings actual expenditures down to $7.7 million—a little above two weekends for DDT—compared to the $110.4 million paid to investigate Bill Clinton. No other investigator has added in costs for salary and benefit costs that would be paid anyway. The costs of investigating Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton $100 million—each!—without consideration for inflation or inhouse costs, and Congress is still investigating Hillary Clinton. DDT’s accusations that Mueller’s investigation costs up to $20 million and are exorbitant win him two Pinocchios for lying.

Unhappy about going to the G-7 summit in Canada, DDT left late for the Friday meeting and will skip the Saturday sessions to head to Singapore for his meeting with Kim Jong-Un. He’s in the midst of a contentious situation after putting tariffs on most of the allies, especially those represented at the summit, and he gave a full-throated support for the reinstatement of Russia, the country that meddled in U.S. elections, to the G-7 before he left for the summit. Russia was expelled from the G-8 in 2014 after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. At that time, the group became the G-7; DDT’s behavior may bring the group down to G-6. Putin is gloating about what he calls the U.S. “sanctions” on its allies, saying that it vastly decreases U.S. dominance in the world.

DDT has spent the week alienating allies, beginning with his response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about how U.S. tariffs are for national security:

“Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?”

The British burned down the White House in 1812 when Canada wasn’t even a nation because the U.S. wanted tariff-free trade with Britain. Emmanuel Macron recommended a general rebuke at the summit to the U.S. and suggested that foreign leaders stop engaging with the U.S. until DDT is gone.

DDT’s trade wars have extended to North America, Europe, and large Asian countries. After Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met with China’s top economic official, Vice premier Liu He, China announced that its nation won’t be expanding imports from the U.S. if DDT follows through on his threat to tax billions of dollars of Chinese goods. Meanwhile China is glorying in the possibility that it will assume the past dominance that the United States has experienced. The World Bank warns that DDT’s trade wars can cause a decline as bad as or worse than the 2008 financial crisis, and congressional members are proposing a bill to block DDT’s tariff power. In its cover, The Economist indicated its concern about DDT’s foreign policy.

In his first 500 days, DDT has made only five international trips, the most recent one almost six months ago for a day at the World Economic Forum. VP Mike Pence was sent to meet with Latin American leaders in April, but Pence’s going to Canada was not an option after DDT and the GOP started worrying about Pence having more power than he does.

A DDT excuse about not wanting to face the allies he alienated at G-7 is getting ready for meeting Kim Jong-Un in Singapore. Reasons that this excuse is bogus:

  • DDT has done nothing to get ready to the meeting except its spectacle.
  • DDT has not convened any Cabinet-level meeting about the summit has been convened, indicating his reliance on improvisation at the meeting.
  • DDT has not presided over national security council officials for discussions.
  • DDT thinks he doesn’t need to prepare. DDT said, “I don’t think I have to prepare very much…. It’s about attitude.”

The meetings with Kim may not last long: DDT keeps saying that he’ll leave if he doesn’t immediately get what he wants from North Korea.

Melania Trump reappeared after 25 days and sat quietly next to DDT during his 16-minute FEMA briefing speech regarding hurricane preparedness: topics included his prowess at negotiating airplane deals, his popularity, his effective political endorsements, the GOP’s fortunes, Defense Department purchasing guidelines, dislike of magnetized launch equipment on aircraft carriers, love of coal, success in meeting with Kim Jong-Un,  praise for EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt, and “the brand of the Coast Guard has been something incredible what’s happened.” About hurricanes, little, and deaths in Puerto Rico, nothing.

Democrats have the lead over Republicans in all demographic groups except white men who have not graduated from college (37 percent more supportive of the GOP than Democrats) and all whites (just three points separation). Republicans are losing among white college graduates by 24 points. In competitive House districts, almost entirely GOP held, voters will support a representative who promises to check DDT by 52 to 19 percent and one who opposed DDT more of the time by 55 to 28 percent. Voters have already flipped 42 GOP state seats to Democrats since DDT’s inauguration, including one in Missouri this past week. The GOP flipped seven seats from Democrats.

 

June 2, 2018

DDT: Week 71 – Growing Dictatorship

The President of the United States is above the law, according to John Dowd, a lawyer for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), who said over six months ago:

“[The]President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.”

Today the New York Times published a confidential 20-page memo dated January 29, 2018, from Dowd to investigator Robert Mueller declaring DDT as a dictator in blocking the Russian probe.

DDT’s threats on tariffs is in accord with his “above the law” position. Although Congress is in charge of trade policy, DDT can declare tariffs in the name of national security. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called tariffs on steel and aluminum “insulting and unacceptable” in connection with a national security threat, especially because DDT lied about the trade deficit with Canada. Canada has the deficit, not the U.S., and DDT admitted that he had no idea who had the deficit.

After DDT threatened tariffs on $50 billion from China, they returned with declaring tariffs on $50 billion from the U.S. which dropped the Dow Jones 400 points. It went back up only after the FEC promised a lack of oversight on U.S. banks. Europe plans tariffs on Kentucky’s bourbon and Wisconsin’s Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and Mexico plans trade penalties on pork. China’s tariffs may focus on soybeans, and other U.S. crops may have to be destroyed because other countries cannot afford the price. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) complained about foreign tariffs, “Canada and Mexico, Europe—these are our allies.” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has a better understanding that DDT started the war, saying that DDT’s tariffs will “destroy manufacturing jobs, especially auto jobs, which are one-third of all Tennessee manufacturing jobs.”

Canada filed two complaints with the World Trade Organization after DDT will no longer exempt the country from his tariffs, and EU plans to follow suit. The G7 conference the end of this week—or G6 plus 1 as France describes those attending—will be awkward if the U.S. has to explain why it’s destroy relationships with former allies. The trade war means higher costs for goods and lost jobs.

Stephen Moore, economist at the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation, called tariffs “corporate welfare” because they force consumers to pay more to keep favored companies in business. DDT is also erasing competition, a sacred cow of conservative capitalism, by forcing power-grid operators to buy from ailing coal and nuclear plants instead of from cheaper source to protect DDT’s friends and donors such as Murray chief executive Robert Murray and FirstEnergy chief executive Charles E. Jones Sr. Some congressional GOP members are considering a restriction on DDT’s tampering with the economy.

In the Russian investigation, prosecutors are reassembling the shredded papers of DDT’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen and looking into possible audio tapes of his conversations with clients. A website begging for money to support Paul Manafort’s defense team may be a scam. And more information about DDT trying to get rid of his AG Jeff Sessions—or at the very least get him to “un-recuse”—has emerged. DDT’s desperation about Sessions’ not protecting him adds to the appearance of guilt. DDT angrily tweeted about the $16.7 million cost of Robert Mueller’s first year investigating Russian meddling—about one-fourth the cost of DDT’s golf games for the same time period.

DDT’s latest ploy to conceal testimony against him is pardoning people, most recently right-wing conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza for campaign finance fraud with no request from or any attempt to follow the traditional channels of presidential pardoning. Pardoned the same week as Roseanne Barr’s “vile, anti-Semitic” rhetoric, D’Souza has been much more vile. DDT pardoned D’Souza the day after he met with Kim Kardashian West, who asked him to pardon Alice Marie Johnson, 63, serving a life sentence for her participation in cocaine transportation. Johnson has already served 21 years but gets no pardon.

After former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich wrote an anti-federal prosecutor op-ed, DDT may pardon him for trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. DDT said that politicians don’t deserve prison for being “stupid,” meaning that people should be exonerated for corruption. Blagojevich was fired on DDT’s television show, but he may win DDT’s new game show, “Get Out of Jail Free.” Michelle Goldberg calls it, “Celebrity Impunity.” By demonstrating his power to pardon anyone he wishes, DDT is sending a message to Michel Cohen that he would protect him. This use of pardoning was cited as a possible article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon.

DDT ally Roger Stone, also under investigation, stated that DDT’s pardon “has to be a signal to Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort and even Robert S. Mueller III: Indict people for crimes that don’t pertain to Russian collusion and this is what could happen.” Stone may be thinking he would also be protected.

North Korea talks may be back on as DDT bumbles around, first claiming that he got a “very nice” letter from Kim Jong-Un and then saying eight minutes later that he hadn’t read it. According to scholar Rachel Maddow, North Korea’s envoy is General Kim Yong Chol, “the top-ranked spy in the North Korean government … for a very long time. He headed military intelligence for the past seven years, and he built the world’s most elite hacking and cyber-espionage service from scratch—in a country where no one even has the internet.” Kim was linked to the 2010 death of 46 sailors in an attack on a South Korean naval ship and the 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures as well as other crimes. Maddow questioned whether Kim left surveillance devices when he spent two hours with DDT in the Oval office.

Tropical storm Alberto arrived a week before the official opening of hurricane season, but Puerto Rico remains in dire straits from last September’s Hurricane Maria. In one whitewash of the horror, officials declared the number of deaths at 64, but a new Harvard study in the New England Journal of Medicine gives 4,645 as the real death toll. That’s more people than the 1,833 who died in the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. And more than the number of deaths—2,977—on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Post-hurricane mortality rate of 14.3 deaths per 1,000 people is a 62 percent than the same time period in 2016. The greatest causes of deaths were disrupted medical services, including access to medication and medical facilities. The 4,645 deaths are a conservative number; the death toll may be over 5,740.

A decade ago, the government had to bail out banks in a recession because of lax restrictions, and the Republicans are moving toward the same disaster. The week after DDT signed a bill into law that removed much oversight from banks, the FEC started the process for banks to take the same risks as hedge funds that indulge in speculative activities, aka “proprietary trading.” The GOP Congress already penalizes consumers with new laws allowing minority borrowers to be charged more than whites and removing federal rules easing consumer lawsuits against banks.

Back on the campaign trail, DDT is continuing his three-year-old lie that Mexico will pay for a wall separating the country from the United States. After DDT’s speech in Nashville (TN), Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted:

“President @realDonald­Trump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico.”

As DDT left to talk with family members of the Santa Fe (X) school shooting victims, he said, “We’re going to have a little fun today.” One mother, an Army veteran, compared her discussion with DDT to “talking to a toddler.”

John Boehner, former Speaker of the House: “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.”

As of yesterday, the WaPo has recorded 3,251 false or misleading claims in 497 days. That’s over 6.5 a day, up from 4.9 claims in his first 100 days. May’s average was eight, helped by 35 just at the Nashville rally on May 29. At least 122 claims were repeated at least three times. One-third of his claims deal with economic issues, trade deals, or jobs, partly when he takes credit for jobs or decisions made before he was inaugurated. For example, DDT’s job growth is actually slower than President Obama’s last five years. The 379 claims about immigration include 19 times that he has said that his wall is being built although Congress denied its funding. Seventy-five times he falsely claimed that he passed the biggest tax cut, and a large chunk of his claims are 265 statements about the Russia probe. The database of these claims.

My favorite recent lie, this one in Nashville about infrastructure:

“We will breathe new hope into our communities and we will do it all with these big, beautiful hands,” Trump continued, raising both presidential paws and stretching out the fingers. “Look at these hands.”

The mystery of the week–and maybe longer is the whereabouts of Melania Trump. She hasn’t been seen for 23 days, despite DDT’s appearances on Memorial Day and this weekend’s trip to Camp David. The only evidence from a White House that leaks like a sieve is a DDT-sounding anti-media tweet supposedly from her that claims she is fine.

June 1, 2018

A Week of Lying, Incoherent Tweets

In a speech this week about “the importance of team work, social skills,” Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) said:

“Do I have social skills? I don’t know. I have social media, that’s for sure. I don’t know about skill, but I have a lot of media.”

He added that the education in “patience, and perseverance, hard work, and determination … can’t be replicated on a cell phone [but] have to be learned and lived on the field of practice, with lots of sweat, lots of hard work, and lots of determination.”

DDT’s use of social media was in full bloom this last week of May as he practiced tweeting on his cellphone. He lowered the stock market by announcing massive tariffs on allies, raised it by announcing classified information about job numbers, and kept dropping pieces of the North Korea talks. Other tweets were unhinged, sometimes incoherent.

In a lead-up to Memorial Day, DDT acknowledge the “so-called Russian Meddling” but blamed it on Democrats who lost the election because of Russian actions.

“Why didn’t President Obama do something about the so-called Russian Meddling when he was told about it by the FBI before the Election? Because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win, and he didn’t want to upset the apple cart! He was in charge, not me, and did nothing.”

Fox inspired an early tweet on Memorial Day:

“We now find out that the Obama Administration put the opposing campaigns presidential candidate, or his campaign, under investigation. That raises legitimate questions.”

DDT’s way to honor fallen soldiers:

“Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”

A veterans’ group responded:

“Self-promotion on a day to remember the fallen, and wishing those remembering their deceased loved ones a ‘happy’ holiday is appalling.”

Another Memorial Day remembrance:

“Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S.  Catch and Release, Lottery and Chain must also go with it and we MUST continue building the WALL! DEMOCRATS ARE PROTECTING MS-13 THUGS.”

Facts:

  • Democrats have nothing to do with separating children from their parents.
  • The separation comes from DDT’s policy, not law.
  • DDT moved the treatment of children from his own DHS to his own DOJ.
  • DOJ announced the separation as part of “zero tolerance” on the border.
  • Democrats are not protecting “MS-13 thugs.”
  • Many MS-13 gang members were born in the United States.
  • The wall will not stop chain migration—the system that brought DDT’s in-laws to the U.S.
  • Democrats have nothing to do with separating children from their parents.

During the first two weeks of the DOJ policy, 658 children were separated from their parents, some of them as young as 53 weeks old, one week past the baby’s first birthday. Laura St. John of the Florence Project said she has “seen months where a parent had no idea where their child was after the US government took their child away.” Lee Gelernt of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project added that they are waiting for a decision to a lawsuit regarding a woman who has waited seven months thus far for ICE to return her seven-year-old daughter.

The government lost 1,475 undocumented children in its custody, almost 20 percent of children who officials tried to find. The U.S. becomes guardians of all the minors in ICE custody, but HHS assigns some children to human traffickers who threaten them with bodily harm if they don’t work at hard labor for long hours each day.

Media ignored the Border Patrol treatment of migrants. Many minors are physically and sexually assaulted, their pressing medical issues sometimes ignored for days. With no requirement that they receive legal help in their hearings, they go into court alone to plead their case, sometimes at ages below five years old. One witness saw a 53-week-old baby alone in court for a hearing about how the U.S. would “dispose” of her.  Treatment will be even worse now that DDT describes these minors as “animals,” subhuman beings.

That’s Memorial Day, 2018.

A week ago, James Clapper objected in strong terms to DDT’s claim that Clapper agreed about “Spygate”:

“He deliberately spun it, distorted it. I mean this is George Orwell — up is down, black is white, peace is war. That’s exactly what I didn’t say. I took aversion to the word spy, it was the most benign version of information gathering. The important thing is the whole reason the FBI was doing this was concern over what the Russians were doing to infiltrate the campaign, not spying on the campaign.”

Media turned from “Spygate,” however, after Rosanne Barr’s racist tweets that led to ABC discontinuing her television program. In a bizarre explanation, Barr blamed Ambien for calling senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett an ape and accusing Holocaust survivor George Soros of being a Nazi collaborator who stole Jewish property and killed other Jews. Her tweet also blamed “memorial day.” Medical experts and the drug maker, Sanofi, stated that racism isn’t a side effect of the medication although it can lower inhibitions. When Barr later begged her boss, Ben Sherwood, she told him that she thought that Jarrett, who she had called an “ape” is white, that “she looks like my family.” ABC is considering renewing the show without Barr.

After ABC cancelled Barr’s show, it suspended the sitcom’s campaign for the Emmys, her talent agency fired her, and Viacom and Hulu are pulling reruns of Roseanne which go back to 1988. Both DDT and his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used Barr’s firing as an excuse to falsely attack the media after trying to ignore the problem for at least a day.

The act of NFL players’ kneeling during the national anthem hasn’t gone away after owners caved into DDT’s pressure by threatening to fire players if they don’t kneel—although they can stay in the locker room during that time. One tweet refutes DDT’s accusation about players protesting the flag:

“Rosa Parks was not protesting the bus. Gandhi was not protesting the food. The colonists were not protesting tea. Players are not protesting the flag of the anthem. They are protesting injustice.”

More DDT’s tweets from this week:

Why didn’t the crooked highest levels of the FBI or ‘Justice’ contact me to tell me of the phony Russia problem?”  [Documents show he was briefed about the possibility of Russian meddling in his campaign on July 19, 2016.]

“Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia!” [During an interview with Lester Holt immediately after the firing, DDT announced to the world that Russia was one of the reasons for the former FBI director’s firing.]

“I wish I did [pick someone other than Jeff Sessions for AG].” [DDT wants an attorney general to protected him from any investigation for wrongdoing.]

Yesterday’s vehement tweet storm came after comedian Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c**t” on a segment of her show about Ivanka’s inaction on the current administration’s cruel treatment of undocumented children. Bee apologized, but DDT, who never criticized Roseanne Barr’s racist comments, called for Bee to be fired for the same term he used against at least three women. Bee attacked Ivanka as DDT’s appointed government official, not as his daughter although conservatives have compared the attack to one on Chelsea Clinton.

Sally Fields fanned the flames with her tweet about Bee’s statement, “I like Samantha Bee a lot, but she is flat wrong to call Ivanka a cunt. Cunt’s are powerful, beautiful, nurturing and honest.” The debate continued, with one pundit writing “racism trumps crudeness.” Bee apologized; Barr tried to lie her way out of her racism.

DDT uses a large number of his tweets insulting people and nations, stating policy that he sometimes reverses, threatening action for imagined affronts, and frequently out-and-out lying. If DDT is offended by Bee’s use of the word, he must look to his own comments and the people he supports that are setting the current tone of the country. DDT has protected staff members who abuse their wives, express gratitude because those opposed to his policies are dying, seek help with foreign countries to get himself and other GOP candidates elected, denigrate non-Christians, plot to take rights from everyone except white men, move all assets to the wealthiest, promote conspiracy theories including the birther movement—the list goes on and on. He has fostered the cultural climate in the United States that is now turning on him.

If the tweets below aren’t enough for you, New York Times has “The 459 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List,” and CNN has “All the President’s Tweets” in chronological order.

The greatest tragedy is that conservatives are incensed about Bee’s use of one word while they ignore the thousands of deaths in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria, the children taken from people crossing the border for no other purpose than punishment, and the way that DDT uses the United States as his personal toy. Conservatives search for insults while they ignore their personal behavior as subhuman.

May 19, 2018

DDT: Week 69 – Killings, ‘Pay to Play’

Killings on two sides of the world marked the past week. One was the 16th school shooting in the United States in the first four and a half months of the year that killed ten people, eight of them students, and wounded another 14 in the small town of Santa Fe (TX) with a population under 13,000. The 17-year-old shooter admitted that he deliberately aimed at people he wanted to kill; the first girl he killed had turned down his persistent advances over four months. The shooter used guns that belonged to his father. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claimed that there were no “red flags,” but the teenager’s Facebook page and computer journals identify his plans.

Guns don’t kill people; doors do. This claim by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick follows the latest NRA excuse for the growing number of mass shootings. He recommends just one entrance for all 1,400 people in a school like the one in Santa Fe (TX). Former government ethics director Walter Shaub examined the state requirements for doors and tweeted that “Texas has stricter regulations for doors than it does for guns.”

Last week’s Palestinian bloodbath from the Israelis came at the same time that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) proudly opened his embassy in Jerusalem on the 70th anniversary of Nakba (Catastrophe) when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled by the 1948 creation of Israel. That country’s military claimed that they attacked members of Hamas; Palestinians said that the “terrible massacre” was against unarmed demonstrators. DDT called the time “a great day for Israel” that will create peace between Palestine and Israel, something he has always said would be “easy.” He invited fundamentalist Christian pastors to open the embassy are anti-Semitic. Robert Jeffress has preached that everyone except Christians are going to hell and that Jews will be saved at the second coming of Christ because they will accept Him. DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who once led a group illegally funding West Bank settlements, was supposed to create this “easy” peace but blamed the Palestinians for their deaths.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayip Erdogan, led the diplomatic protests from several Arab and Middle East countries against DDT’s action, calling the U.S. “part of the problem, not the solution.” The UK prime minister, Theresa May, was more restrained in her criticism, but Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, called the embassy move from Tel-Aviv a violation of International law and UN Security Council resolutions.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, left an emergency Security Council meeting discussing the killings in Gaza when the Palestinian envoy began to speak. Earlier she had praised the “restraint” by Israel when they killed at least 62 people and wounded another 3,100 Palestinian protesters on the day when the embassy opened on land recognized by many world leaders as the capital of a future Palestinian state. A vote of 29-2 with 14 abstentions by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate Israel’s massacre as war crimes followed a speech by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN human rights chief, condemning the “horrific” attacks on peaceful demonstrators and calling for “the occupation” to end. About the Palestinians, Zeid said:

“All of the 1.9 million people who live in Gaza have been penned in behind fences and have suffered progressively more restrictions and greater poverty. After 11 years of blockade by Israel they have little hope of employment, and their infrastructure is crumbling, with an electricity crisis, inadequate health services and a decaying sewage system that constitutes a threat to health.”

DDT claimed Jerusalem the capital of Israel in opposition to State of Palestine claims that the embassy is on its capital. A 1949 international treaty recognizes half the city, including the embassy area, under Jordanian control. DDT’s decision to move the embassy led to a UN revolution, approved 128-9, requesting him to withdraw his declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Those nine members supporting DDT are the U.S., Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo. Another 35 nations abstained, and 21 countries were not present for the vote. DDT said that he made the decision for “peace” in the region.

In his attempts for a Nobel Peace Prize, DDT has decided to “Make China Great Again,” tweeting that “Too many jobs in China lost.” His new-found concern for jobs in China happened at the same time that the Chinese government loaned DDT $500 million for his billion-dollar resort project in Indonesia.

Just 72 hours after the loan deal was made, DDT ordered a bailout for the Chinese-government-owned cellphone maker ZTE. The U.S. military and intelligence community has declared the phones a security risk, and they are banned on military bases out of concern they can track service members. Last year, the company was fined $1.2 billion for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The U.S. government had banned the company from buying U.S. components for seven years because ZTE officials lied about their actions. Stocks may go up for U.S. optical component companies because they can resume exporting their product to China. U.S. intelligence officials believe that China may use ZTE products for foreign espionage and cyber attacks.

DDT’s Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah described the deal with China as “give and take,” and it’s the farmers in the U.S. that are forced into the “give” while China can “take.” After Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) threatened tariffs on soybeans, China almost tripled its purchases from Russia and canceled U.S. shipments. DDT had promised to protect farmers.

While national security adviser John Bolton is threatening sanctions on European allies if they dare deal with Iran, China has a new freight train connection that saves 20 days in carrying supplies to the capital of Iran over cargo ships and allows greater trade relations between the two countries. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that they would “maintain normal economic ties and trade.” China can also again create separate funds and banks from the U.S. market that the United States cannot punish. Chinese entities can also act as intermediaries for European countries to keep trading with Iran with no fear of violating U.S. sanctions, for example oil sales from Iran through China or Russia. Iran sells more to China than any other country with a 25 percent increase in exports last year. Chinese exports to Iran increased over 20 percent. Iranian exports to the EU increased by 375 percent from 2015 to 2016.

DDT is bragging that he will shrink the trade deficit with China because it may buy an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods, up from purchases last year of $130 billion. Some sales may be to ZTE. Economists think the plan won’t succeed, however, because the U.S. may just buy more goods from China. At the same time, DDT is not trying to keep China from taking U.S. intellectual property.

DDT’s foreign policy is also bailing out his son-in-law from his financial problems. The U.S. position on the tiny country of Qatar seems to parallel whether the wealthy oil nation will lend money to bail out Jared Kushner’s disastrous deal with a 41-story building at 666 Fifth Avenue Manhattan. Over a year ago, DDT supported Qatar when Kushner thought it would lend his family business money. As soon as Qatar withdrew the offer, DDT supported the eight-country blockade of Qatar despite the 10,000 service members at the base on Qatar. Now, Qatar is considering a loan of hundreds of millions to dollars to the Kushner family to pay off the original loan and renovate the building at the same time that DDT met with Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani. Jared Kushner resigned as his company’s chief executive but kept most of his business with it.

Qatar may have a good reason for thinking that DDT will take bribes. Businessman Jeff Kwatinetz turned down an offer from Ahmed al-Ramaihi, head of the Qatar sovereign wealth fund, to exchange a meeting with DDT and his officials for an investment. Kwatinetz said, “Al-Rumaihi laughed and then stated to me that I shouldn’t be naive, that so many Washington politicians take our money, and stated ‘do you think Flynn turned down our money?’” The pattern for these bribes may have started immediately after the 2016 election.

DDT is already conceding to North Korea by agreeing not to fly two nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the Korean Peninsula because North Korea’s president, Kim Jong-Un, canceled talks with South Korea. National security adviser John Bolton may be blocking the U.S./North Korea summit by repeated claims that the U.S. will use the “Libya model” in its settlement with North Korea and getting DDT to back out of the Iranian deal. Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi ended up dismembered, and DDT’s position on Iran proves that no agreement would be lasting.

The GOP isn’t even worried about a war with North Korea. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that “all the damage … would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security.” The beginning of this war 65 years ago killed 3.5 million people (36,516 of them from the U.S.) and 2.5 million civilians while costing almost $700 billion plus hundreds of billions of dollars more to put military on the border because North and South Korea for 65 years. The U.S. has spent more to cover other Pacific Rim nations. That was before North Korea had nuclear weapons which might reach the U.S.

As a real estate developer, DDT was always willing to walk away from negotiations, the way he promised to negotiate with Kim Jong-Un. His craving for the Nobel Prize may cause him to give up anything to North Korea. His attitude mirrors what he accuses President Obama of doing in Iran.

And then there’s Russia and much more.

 

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