3 Trump Watch

Trump Watch

Chronicling the ongoing disaster that is the Trump (mis)administration, proving the educator maxim: "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

The Trump administration is The Bog of Eternal Stench...
The 1986 movie Labyrinth had one very colorful and memorable element: The Bog of Eternal Stench. The bog regularly emits unpleasant gurgles, belches, and other noises, and sends forth a repulsive odor. (Sound familiar?) Legend has it that if you put so much as one toe in the Bog you will smell bad....forever. This is the fate which has befallen all of those who have associated themselves with this White House occupancy. They have fouled themselves. Even the once respectable H.R. McMaster has taken on the stench, now having multiple times abandoned all self-respect to go forth to mislead, excuse, and explain away any mis-deed of those in Trump's circle. While Trump wanted to go to Washington to "drain the swamp", he has created his own there.

The king of hypocrisy calls Canada's prime minister two-faced

Wednesday, December 5, 2019: Reacting to a group of national leaders discussing their disdain of Trump, to reporters he said that Justin Trudeau is "two-faced". Trump must think that the world has forgotten how he thoroughly excoriated Hillary Clintion throughout the last presidential election campaign, and then lavished praise on her when she attended his inauguration dinner. That's hypocrisy and two-faced-ness on a grand scale.

I love the trade war so much that I'm going to keep it going indefinitely

Tuesday, December 3, 2019: Remember Trump's claim that there would be a "phase one" (read: greatly diluted) trade agreement with China? Remember the October puffery about a verbal agreement (never signed). No one of right mind took that seriously, particularly with mercurial Trump and his perpetual lying. Today, the self-proclaimed Tariff Man (2018/12/04 tweet) quashed hopes of that with his statement today to reporters, at the NATO summit in London: "A China trade deal is dependent on one thing — do I want to make it. In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right." This is Trump, who absolutely must win the war he started, intent upon bludgeoning China with tariffs and vitriol until he gets his way, no matter the impact on global markets, the buying public, or ever-suffering farmers. Nor does it matter to him that he undercuts his negotiators with his impulsive statements. Contradicting his repeated earlier statements that negotiations were going well, this admission sent markets into a tailspin.

Let's have some more tariffs!

Monday, December 2, 2019: Trump re-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Brazil and Argentina. (Brazil is a major supplier to the U.S.) Trump claimed he was acting in response to "massive devaluation" of the two countries' currencies. (Brazil and Argentina had been exempted from Trump's 25% tariff on imported steel and his 10% tariff on imported aluminum since May of last year.) Trump also again went after the Federal Reserve, wanting them to continue cutting interest rates, in his ham-fisted attempt to compensate for his blunderings with the economy. Also today, Trump proposed tariffs on French goods like cheese and champagne on Monday, in response to France's digital tax aimed at Google and Facebook.

Trump's Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross expounded on Trump's prolonged trade war, saying today: "You don't have a deal on anything until you have a deal on everything", for what little logical sense that makes. What of the impact on the economy? Ross dismissed that by saying: "But it's great that he has the hammer of December 15th, because that's a real hammer. That won't interfere with this year's Christmas. Nobody's reordering stuff after the 15th of December. Retailers have stocked up. So, it's a very good time, if we have to put more tariffs on."
Note that Ross is implicitly acknowledging that Trump's tariffs have a negative effect upon consumers and retailers, but none of that matters to the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, China is bypassing the U.S. to reach out to the other countries in the world for trade and alliances, a campaign which marginalizes and weakens the U.S. on the world stage and which is helped by Trump's America-first isolationism.

Trump now spends his time compiling an enemies list

Friday, November 22, 2019: Remember how Richard Nixon's paranoia resulted in him becoming obsessed with compiling an enemies list. Now we have the same thing with Trump, as he is spending his time compiling his own enemies list — and then going on to disreputable shows like Fox & Friends to attempt to defile each of his enemies. This morning, Trump wasted presidential time by going onto Fox & Friends to attack ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, attempting to discredit her as an "Obama person". Said Trump: "I said, why are you being so kind? Well, sir, she's a woman, we have to be nice. She's very tough, I heard bad things." This is Trump disparaging women, as he is so accustomed to doing. (It didn't deter him that one of the Fox & Friends hosts is a woman.) Trump then stepped into dishonest idiocy to find even the most trivial thing to hold against Yovanovitch:
"This ambassador, that everybody says is so wonderful, she wouldn't hang my picture in the embassy, OK? She's in charge of the embassy. She wouldn't hang it. It took like a year and a half or two years to get the picture up."
You know why? Trump does: It's because Trump failed to make his picture available! Trump and Pence didn't bother getting around to posing for official portrait photos until nine months after they were sworn into office, resulting in no presidential or vice presidential portraits being avaiable to thousands of federal courthouses, military installations, office suites and hallways, and from U.S. embassies abroad. And here is Trump, fully aware of this, fabricating a smear on a dedicated public servant who did everything right. Ah, there it is: with a thoroughy corrupt administration, you should not be doing the right thing.

Fiona Hill and David Holmes testify in the Trump impeachment investigation

Thursday, November 21, 2019: Two more career professionals testified in the House impeachment investigation: Dr. Fiona Hill, the Trump administration’s former Russia adviser, and David Holmes, a top staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. Dr. Hill started out by pre-emptively countering the nonsense that has been coming out of the mouths of the deplorable Republican representatives in Congress, where her opening statement included:
"Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves." And: "The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined."
Dr. Hill demonstrated herself to be far more intelligent and knowledgeable and cogent than the Republicans on the panel, who shrank from questioning her lest, by contrast, they show themselves to be the jackasses they are.

I shall bludgeon China into submission to my will

Tuesday, November 19, 2019: With trade talks with China moribund, Trump is peeved with China, saying "I don't think they're stepping up to the level that I want." He added: "If we don't make a deal with China, I'll just raise the tariffs even higher." Yeah, that'll teach 'em. Recall that on November 7th, Gao Feng, a spokesperson for China's Commerce Ministry, said that both sides had agreed to simultaneously cancel some existing tariffs on one another's goods. Then on November 8, Trump said that he had not agreed to scrap the tariffs: "They'd like to have a rollback. I haven't agreed to anything." I guess the word "agreement" in "trade agreement" means nothing to Trump, who can change his mind each and every day. Why should China bother entering into any agreement with a flake like this when they can just wait for the 2020 elections, with the prospect of getting someone intelligent and rational in the White House?

Stephanie Grisham: despicableness emulated

Tuesday, November 19, 2019: White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has proven to be just as despicable as her boss, resorting to fabricated lies to smear the Obama administration as much as lying Donald does. Grisham today is quoted as saying:
"We came into the WH, I'll tell you something. Every office was filled with Obama books and we had notes left behind that said 'you will fail,' 'you aren't going to make it.'"
As usual with Trumpers: no evidence, no substantiation; just smear. (Trump people don't need facts, when they can simply make things up.) Former National Security Advisor and UN Ambassador Susan Rice pounced on this, saying: "This is another bald faced lie." The tax payers are giving Grisham $180,000 per year for truth, and instead get lies.

The first day of public impeachment hearings

Wednesday, November 13, 2019: Today the public got to hear first-hand testimony from career diplomats exposing Trump's underhanded dealings in soliciting a foreign government to help his 2020 re-election efforts, principally by testifying to the background of Trump's notorious July 25th call to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky,

Sondland's memories miraculosly return

Tuesday, November 5, 2019: After having his congressional testimony contradicted by three career professionals, ambassador Gordon Sondland submitted a written, three-page statement amending his testimony. Said Sondland, those testimonies "refreshed my recollection about certain conversations in early Sept. 2019." (Likely, his lawyer advised him to submit the amendment to try to avoid being charged with perjury.) Most damning for Trump, Sondland now emphatically testifies that there was a quid pro quo. More to the point, Sondland now recognizes that he was the messenger of Trump's quid pro quo to Zelensky. Recall that Trump programmed Sondland by lying to Sondland, saying that there was no quid pro quo so that he could then quote Sondland's parroting of Trump's lie as evidence that there was no quid pro quo.

Trump loses appeal case trying to keep his taxes concealed

Monday, November 4, 2019: As part of a grand jury pursuit, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had subpoenaed 8 years of Donald Trump's tax return documents from Trump's accounting firm (Mazars USA) as part of an investigation into the pre-election payoffs to two women who alleged affairs with Trump. Trump fought that in federal district court, and lost there, with the three-judge appeals panel writihng in their decision that "any presidential immunity from state criminal process does not extend to investigative steps like the grand jury subpoena at issue here". So then his legal team appealed the decision to federal appeals court. Trump also lost there. Expect him to take it to the Supreme Court — his effort to prolong it past the 2020 elections.

Trump is fighting this, saying that releasing his tax information to the investigators would be "detrimental" to him. On that basis, plus abundant past information, we can believe that the tax records will show that Trump has nowhere near the "billions and billions" of wealth that he keeps claiming, and that he cheated on his filings.

Today, an American patriot testifies

Tuesday, October 29, 2019: Next to testify in the impeachment investigation, today, was Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Iraq war veteran who still carries the shrapnel of that war. Vindman is the Director of European Affairs, National Security Council. He was on the phone call between Trump and Ukraine president Zelensky. He was utterly alarmed when Trump so brazenly demanded that Zelensky conduct a public investigation of Trump's political opponent, and took his concerns to his superiors. In his opening statement, Vindman wrote: "I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine."

Trump could not simply leave things alone: he just had to tweet some vile thing about this latest witness — even before that witness testified. Trump tweeted: "Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call 'concerned' today's Never Trumper witness, Was he on the same call that I was? Can't be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call. Witch Hunt!"
Well, Trump, everyone saw what you relased of that call, and though it reflected just a fraction of the 30 minute conversation, it was damning. If you don't get it, maybe you should read that "transcript". Of course, Trump's tweet was just his usual bugle call to his mindless defenders, who took up the attack on Trump's behalf, smearing and maligning the purple heart recipient, one of Trump's rabid supporters even referring to Vindman's service in the NSC as "espionage" (said alleged law professor John Yoo, of the University of California Berkeley — who should dismiss him). House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney came to Vindman's defense and, in opposition to always-Trumper Republicans, said that this mistreatment of Vindman was shameful: "I also want to say a word about something else that's been going on over the course of the last several hours and last night, which I think is also shameful, and that is questioning the patriotism, questioning the dedication to country of people like Mr. Vindman, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who will be coming today, and others who have testified,"

What is shameful in the extreme is for president Trump, the ultimate commander of the U.S. military, to malign this active duty officer this way. It is particularly offensive for Trump, a life-long coward, to be maligning active duty military personnel, particularly those who endured battle.

Staphanie Grisham defines herself as a shameless Trump suck-up

Saturday, October 26, 2019: Former White House chief of staff John Kelly recently asserted that he warned Trump about his actions:
"I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don't hire a 'yes man,' someone who won't tell you the truth — don't do that. Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached."
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham reacted to that:
"I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President."
Given that it has been amply demonstrated that Donald Trump is about as far from genius level as any human can be, Grisham's sycophantic statement demonstrates how far she is willing to go down a reputation hole to suck up to her boss. Recall that Grisham was Melania Trump's spokeswoman, which undermines what regard we might have for Mrs. Trump.

Trump to Republicans: Protect me

Monday, October 21, 2019: During a cabinet meeting today, Trump said:
"Republicans have to get tougher and fight. We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election."
So, Trump is prompting Republicans to protect him from punishment for his ongoing abuses, portraying the impeachment investigations as something being done against Republicans in general, which is false. Republicans are getting very tired of this, being called upon to perpetually defend Trump's indefensible abuses. The world is waiting for them to get terminally tired of it, and finally get rid of this increasingly dangerous moron.

The Constitution is crap

Monday, October 21, 2019: Still irate over being forced to abandon plans for hosting the next G-7 summit at his Doral resort, Trump took to bashing the Constitution this time: "You people with this phony emoluments clause." Well, it's good to see Trump's consistency: the Constitution means as little to him as his marriage vows, or any other life commitment.

Again doing what Putin wants

Monday, October 21, 2019: The Washington Post is reporting that Russian president Putin and Hungary's prime minister soured Trump on Ukraine. This helped form Trump's behavior and our country's foreign policy. This is Trump doing Putin's bidding — again — to aid in Putin's campaign against Ukraine. This meshes with Trump's sudden abandonment of the Kurds and withdrawl of U.S. troops from northern Syria, leaving the territory open to Assad and his Russian allies, playing right into Putin's campaign to fill the vacuum in the region that the U.S. is creating, and thus gaining more and more influence there. Trump is doing exactly what Putin wants: defining the U.S. as utterly unreliable as an ally, so Russia is the better alternative.

Lying about U.S. troops

Sunday, October 20, 2019: Another lying Trump tweet: "USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!"
That is blatantly false. Trump is shuffling troops around the Middle East, not bringing them home. He just assigned a whopping 2,000 troups to Saudi Arabia, for example.

Mulvaney blurts out the truth again

Sunday, October 20, 2019: Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace, Mulvaney was faced with trying to defend yet another Trump debacle: the self-serving choice of Doral for the next G-7 summit. In reference to Trump's boneheadedness over Doral, Mulvaney said:
"He was honestly surprised at the level of pushback. At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business."
Yes, exactly: Trump's attention is focused on making money from his hotels and resorts, not doing anything for the country. Months have gone by with Trump doing nothing to further the United States. Incredulous at Mulvaney's mater-of-fact statement, Wallace responded: "You say he considers himself in the hospitality business. He's the president of United States!"

In an angry tweet (is there any other kind from him?) Trump cancels the G-7 Doral plan

Saturday, October 19, 2019: It was just Thursday that Trump had Mulvaney announce that Trump's Doral country club would be the site of the next G-7 summit. Today, Trump took to Twitter to angrily announce that the plan was abandoned:
"....Therefore, based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020. We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!"
Gee, you mean that your alleged "site selection committee" blew it? Though Trump conveniently blamed Democrats for the plan abandonment, the reality is that Trump got a lot of backlash from Republicans for his stupidity in self-dealing at a time like this, when he wants Republicans to support and protect him. You can believe that the pressure from his own party had to be severe for him to back away in defeat so fast.

Surprise, surprise: Trump's Doral country club is chosen as the next G-7 site

Thursday, October 17, 2019: You will recall that on August 26, Trump launched into an infomercial promoting his Doral country club for the next G-7 summit meeting, to be somewhere in the United States. In an act of incredible arrogance, in the midst of impeachment investigations for abuse of power, Trump had Mick Mulvaney annouce that Doral had been chosen for the G-7 site. The absolutely hilarious aspect of this is that Trump pretended that there was actually a site selection committee who made this decision. Of the thousands of outstanding venues across the whole of the United States, only Trump's property was deemed suitable, huh? Emoluments prohibitions be damned, Trump was determined to have the conference held at his facility. Why? First and foremost, because records show that the Doral facility has been in sharp decline in recent years, its net operating income having fallen 69 percent from 2015 to 2017 — because few people want to go to any facility to which Trump's name is attached. Such a conference would help promote the Trump resort, and money-grubbing Trump wants every dollar he can get. This episode clearly demonstrates that greed surmounts all other considerations with Trump.

Mulvaney admits to the quid pro quo, but tries to unadmit it

Thursday, October 17, 2019: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney conducted a press briefing at the White House today. Always brash and combative, Mulvaney responded to a question about the Ukraine mess by blurting out that Trump did indeed withhold $391M in military aid to the under-seige Ukraine in order to pressure their president Zelinsky to conduct political investigations in order to help Trump personally. ABC's Jonathan Karl asked: "So the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason he ordered to withhold funding to Ukraine?" Mulvaney: "The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing he was worried about in corruption with that nation, and that is absolutely appropriate." Karl: "To be clear: what you just described is a quid pro quo. It is 'funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happened, as well.'" Mulvaney: "We do that all the time with foreign policy." This in itself was damning, indicating that corrupt behavior is standard practice in Trump's White House. This is a White House with no strategy to deal with the impeachment investigations, with Trump being his own "best" advisor. They have no defense. Here, Mulvaney is trying to make it look like there's nothing to see here, the behavior simply being standard practice; he even said to reporters that they should "get over it"...". There's going to be political influence in foreign policy. That's going to happen." Everything they say to try to counter the situation only makes it worse. Trump's standard, lame approach is to call the investigations a "witch hunt", and tries to distract by claiming that Obama was corrupt.

One House GOP aide subsequently mused that Mulvaney's performance was "so bad that it's plausible he was trying to get fired." Even Trump's legal staff went out of their way to distance themselves from Mulvaney's performance, as Trump attorney Jay Sekulow issued the statement: "The President's legal counsel was not involved in acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's press briefing." Hours later, after Trump got on his case, Mulvaney denied what he said earlier, claiming that the corrupt media had misreported the briefing — despite the whole thing having been captured on video and broadcast as-is. This is Trump trying to define an alternate reality.

This event was revealing in another way: Why is the White House Chief of Staff conducting a standard press conference? Why is there no White House communications director? Why, after a year, is Mulvaney still acting Chief of Staff? It's like there's no one left in the White House...that no one wants to work under Donald Trump. This is testimony to Donald Trump being considered toxic. It is for this reason that Trump is likely to not dismiss Mulvaney. Another reason is that Trump doesn't want to turn Mulvaney loose and then have Mulvaney tell all about what's been going on within the administration for the past year.

Gordon Sondland testifies

Thursday, October 17, 2019: Gordon Sondland testifies before Congressional impeachment investigators, for some 9 hours. He said that Trump delegated Ukraine policy to his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Sondland was disturbed by this breach of procedure, but went along with it anyway.: "We were also disappointed by the president's direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani. Our view was that the men and women of the State Department, not the president's personal lawyer, should take responsibility for all aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine." However, other officials portrayed Sondland as a willing participant in the Trump scheme, eagerly adding the Ukraine assignment to his official duties as EU ambassador. To the investigators, it sounded like Sondland was trying to wiggle out of the situation he found himself in.

Trump's disastrous White House meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer

Wednesday, October 16, 2019: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer went to the White House for a meeting with top officials there, to be briefed on Syria and security issues. Early in the meeting, Trump passed out to all attendees a copy of his horrid October 9th letter to Turkey's president Ergodan — as though Trump was (still) proud of it, attempting to portray himself as having been tough in addressing the Syria situation...that he single-handedly created. Ms. Pelosi reported the house vote that morning condemning Trump's Syria action. Trump was already set off about that, and then launched into vitriole, insulting Pelosi as "a third-rate politician" and "a very sick person". Schumer quoted General James Mattis (Trump's resigned defense secretary) during the White House meeting, who earlier this week said that "if we don't keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It's absolutely a given that they will come back." Trump immediately cut off Schumer to attack Mattis, as "the most over-rated general in history". There is a now-famous photo of Pelosi standing at the meeting table and pointing her finger at Trump, where she recalled that she was saying to him "All roads lead to Putin", as Trump' actions in Syria are directly aiding Russia. Perceiving that nothing could be accomplished with Trump in a tantrum like this, Pelosi and Schumer left, with their staff.

The House votes to condemn Trump's Syria debacle

Wednesday, October 16, 2019: In the morning, a vote was taken in the House of Representatives for a joint resolution to condemn Trump's abandonment of the Kurds in northern Syria, and to call on President Erdogan to immediately cease military operations against Kurdish-led forces. The vote was 354 to 60, against Trump, with 129 members of the president's Republican Party voting against him.

George Kent testifies

Tuesday, October 15, 2019: Against State Department orders not to cooperate with Congress, Senior State Department Ukraine expert George Kent responded to a subpoena and went before House impeachment investigators and testified that he was cut out of Ukraine policy-making, and was told to "lay low". He further related that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney appointed three other Trump administration officials to spearhead the president's efforts in Ukraine: political appointees Energy Secretary Rick Perry, European Ambassador Gordon Sondland and special envoy Kurt Volker. The trio called themselves "the three amigos" and elbowed all other State Department officials out of the way. When Kent raised concerns with a supervisor about Giuliani's independent actions in Ukraine, Kent was told to "lay low".

Fiona Hill testifies

Monday, October 14, 2019: Trump's former Russia adviser Fiona Hill testified before impeachment investigators for 10 hours. She is the first White House official to cooperate in Democrats' investigation of the Ukraine scandal. Hill said she raised concerns with White House officials over Giuliani's campaign to pressure Ukrainian officials to probe Trump's political rivals. She related that then-national security adviser John Bolton said he wanted nothing to do with Mulvaney and Giuliani's objectives in Ukraine, which Bolton said amounted to a "drug deal." Hill said Bolton compared Giuliani to "a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up."

The claimed, partial trade deal with China

Friday, October 11, 2019: Late today, Trump announced a partial trade deal with China, as though they had caved to his demands. The business and financial worlds were unimpressed, for several reasons. First, Trump announced this as "stage one" — a partial thing, whereas he had been leaning on China for an all-or-nothing comprehensive deal. This smacks of Trump getting desperate to come up with something to break the impasse as the 2020 election looms. This is Trump caving, not China. Second, while Trump claims it will defer the additional tariffs planned to go into effect next Tuesday, it does nothing for the current tariffs; and the plan for new tariffs on December 15 remains in place. Third, there is nothing in writing: this is just a claim by Trump, and he has a record of little credibility. Nothing in writing, nothing signed. Fourth, China has a different view of the supposed agreement, and wants more talks in the coming weeks before committing to anything. Fifth, this vaporous agreement would essentially put U.S. agricultural exports to China back to where they were before Trump started this mess, which is to say, nothing positive accomplished. Lastly, Trump's trade war has done substantial damage to the world economy, which looks like it is heading toward recession no matter what Trump does now. Beijing's state-run media said only that the two sides had "agreed to make joint efforts toward eventually reaching an agreement." And certainly, the mercurial Trump could again turn on China. All of this leaves uncertainty firmly in place. U.S. manufacturing is in a recession by itself, and with no certainty of improvement on the horizon, there will be no investment. In the mean time, farmers continue to suffer, as their bankruptcies continue, and their suicide rate is double the national average.

Getting out of the Middle East? Trump sends in more troops, to Saudi Arabia, of all places

Friday, October 11, 2019: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley today announced Trump's decision to send 2000 troops and advanced military equipment to Saudi Arabia to deter threats from Iran. Really? Saudi Arabia is one of the most heavily armed countries in the region, having lavished billions in buying armaments from the United States. Why would Trump send superflous troops to Saudi Arabia? Because they are his business buddies. He routinely panders to them, ever wheedling his Trump empire into that gold mine of a country. Trump's platitudes toward "bringing the troops" home is directly contradicted by this move.

Trump would later claim, on October 21: "You read where we're sending some troops to Saudi Arabia. That's true. Because we want to help Saudi Arabia. They have been a very good ally. They've agreed to pay for the cost of those troops. They've agreed to pay fully for the cost of everything we’re doing over there. . . . Saudi Arabia is paying for 100 percent of the cost, including the cost of our soldiers."
So: now U.S. forces are being contracted out as mercenaries! This is not lost on U.S. military members, who now see themselves as being abused for the personal interests of Donald Trump. Will military families vote for Trump after this?

U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before Congress

Friday, October 11, 2019: Defying an order from the State Department to not go before Congressm, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and still State Department employee Marie Yovanovitch did indeed go to Congress to testify — for over nine hours. This is courageous, remarkable, and extremely encouraging, to see career professionals within the government staand up for democracy. Not only is she risking her professional career, but risking her life. Recall Trump openly disparaging Yovanovitch in his call with the Ukranian president, but saying: "She is going to go through some things". That is clearly a threat. Trump is not above inciting his extremist followers from engaging in violence against anyone whom Trump defines as a target.

Allies around the world now see the U.S. as unreliable

Friday, October 11, 2019: Once-enthusiastic U.S. ally Israel now sees the United States as unreliable, after having abandoned the Kurds. "Trump abandons allies without blinking and Israel is liable to be next," said a commentary in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. "The entire balance of power in the Middle East is built on a very delicate web of supports, pressures, understandings and agreements — and Trump is unraveling that web." (As you would expect, Trump buddy Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been silent on this.) Even Trump supporter Lindsay Graham has called Trump's abandonment of the Kurds "the biggest blunder of his presidency".

One of the few people of integrity at Fox News resigns

Friday, October 11, 2019: Fox News anchor Shepard Smith abruptly resigned on-air, shocking not just his audience but also the network staff. In his parting address he said: "Even in our currently polarized nation, it's my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalists will thrive." Immediately thereafter he took the elevator and went home, reportedly emotional. Those familiar with his situation report that he had had enough of his network inviting rabid yahoos to talk with Fox's unscrupulous interviewers who encourage the yahoos to lie for Trump and defend his indefensable actions. In leaving, after 23 years, Smith is giving up $15M per year.

Pompeo's senior adviser resigns

Thursday, October 10, 2019: Michael McKinley, a career diplomat and senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has resigned his position amid rising dissatisfaction and plummeting morale inside the State Department over what is seen as Pompeo's failure to support personnel ensnared in the Ukraine controversy, as Pompeo is intent on acting as one of Trump's stooges. McKinley is now free to go before House impeachment investigators.

The first arrests of the impeachment period expose Trump/Republican corruption

Thursday, October 10, 2019: The latest major event in the Trump quagmire was revealed this evening. Last night, federal agents arrested Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman at Dulles International Airport as they were about to flee the country with one-way tickets out. These characters have been under investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, and were supposed to have been giving depositions today. Very interestingly, these two had lunch on Wednesday with Rudy Giuliani at the Trump Hotel (where else?) in Washington. Did they flee on the basis of something that Guiliani told them?

These two were funneling foreign monies into U.S. elections to support Republicans, including $350,000 for a Trump PAC. The Washington Post reports: According to the indictment unsealed in New York, Parnas, Fruman and other defendants "conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates' governments." These two were in cahoots with Guiliani. John Dowd, a lawyer for Parnas and Fruman, told Congress in a statement earlier this week that they had been assisting Giuliani in his work on behalf of the president. Additionally, Giuliani was getting money from these two, who were working for Trump in Ukraine, and arranged Ukraine connections for Giuliani to talk to in his quest to get anyone there to put their name to a statement claiming Biden corruption.

These two were also funneling $20,000 to the campaign of congressman Pete Sessions — but this was to buy his cooperation in the Trump Ukraine scheme. (Sessions is "Congressman-1" in the Parnas-Fruman indictment.) U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, as a career professional, was getting in the way, because she was greatly distubed and objected to the State Department facilitating Rudy Giuliani's dirt-gathering foray into Ukraine. She had to be gotten out of the way, but covertly, as this whole scheme was a shadow foreign relations subversion. So, Parnas and Fruman met with Sessions and specified a task for him to perform in exchange for the money: write a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, smearing Yovanovitch and urging her removal. Sessions wrote the letter in November, and Pompeo readily complied. So, what to do about that position vacuum? Trump picked Gordon Sondland to fill in. Sondland was serving as the ambassador to the European Union and had nothing to do with Ukraine. Indeed, Ukraine wasn't even a member of the European Union. So, Sondland was a career diplomat, right? No, his career has been in hotel administration: he got the EU ambassadorship by contributing $1M to Trump's 2016 campaign, the source of which he tried to hide through LLC arrangements (think Michael Cohen techniques). Sondland was thus a loyal Trump soldier who would do what he was told.

Trump's reaction to the arrests: "I don't know them. I don't know about them. Maybe they were clients of Rudy. You'll have to ask Rudy." Really? Don't remember someone who donated $350,000 to the Trump Super PAC? That's something most people would remember, and Trump touts a perfect memory. (Parnas and Fruman were photographed with Pence and Trump.) And, throw Rudy under the bus. By the way: the legal team for Parnas and Fruman is the same who represented Paul Manafort: Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle and John Dowd.

The public statement about the arrests was made by Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who stated that the investigation is "ongoing". One can infer that Giuliani is a conspicuous target in that. A great irony is that Berman succeeded Guiliani at the Southern District in 1989.

Parnas and Fruman were fleeing to Europe. Coincidentally, Giuliani was scheduled to go to Vienna at the same time. Vienna? What's there? One thing there is Dmytro Firtash. You may remember that name as being on the front of that stapled sheaf of papers that Giuliani waved during a Fox News interview saying that it was statements from a high-ranking Ukranian proving Biden corruption in Ukraine. Dmytro Vasylovych Firtash is a Ukrainian businessman/oligarch who is under house arrest in Vienna, fighting extradition to the United States on bribery and racketeering charges. To make things more interesting: In July, Firtash changed his Washington legal team, hiring Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a husband-and-wife duo closely associated with the Trump administration.

And, finally: Bye, bye Rudy. Through his bumbling, amateurish exploits, Giuliani has just defined himself as a liability to Trump. It is 100% predictable that, tomorrow, Trump will start publicly distancing himself from Giuliani.

Conservative lawyers backing impeachment

Thursday, October 10, 2019: Sixteen conservative lawyers from major U.S. law firms, law schools today issued a joint statement from Checks and Balances. In the statement they say: "We believe the acts revealed publicly over the past several weeks are fundamentally incompatible with the president's oath of office." "We have not just a political candidate open to receiving foreign assistance to better his chances at winning an election, but a current president openly and privately calling on foreign governments to actively interfere in the most sacred of U.S. democratic processes, our elections."

The Republican smoke screen generation continues

Thursday, October 10, 2019: Republican senators continue their "Profiles in Cowardice" campaign to protect their thoroughly corrupt president. They will lie, conceal, attack, and deny as much as Trump himself. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), who faces a tough election in 2020, was interviewed by reporters today, who asked him five times whether it's appropriate for President Trump to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival. He would not answer the question, continually deflecting by saying that the impeachment inquiry is a partisan, political effort. The reality, of course, is that it should be bipartisan, if Republicans would live up to their oath of office.

George Conway slams the White House letter

Wednesday, October 9, 2019: Attorney George Conway slammed the White House's letter refusing to cooperate in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. Conway called the letter "an excuse to prevent evidence, damning evidence, from reaching the public." Conway went on: "This was trash. The thrust of (the letter) is that there are some kind of constitutional obligations that the House has failed to meet that therefore render its impeachment inquiry illegitimate and unconstitutional, which is complete nonsense, because all the Constitution says is that the House has the sole power over impeachment."

Trump's inane letter to Turkey's leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Wednesday, October 9, 2019: Trump sends the following letter to Turkey's leader, being Trump's inept attempt to deal with the situation he created on Sunday, when he ceded northern Syria to Turkey:

His Excellency
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President of the Republic of Turkey
Ankara

Dear Mr. President:

Let's work out a good deal! You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. I've already given you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson.

I have worked hard to solve some of your problems. Don't let the world down. You can make a gread deal. General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.

History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!

I will call you later.

Sincerly, [scribbly Donald Trump signature written with Sharpie]

Where to start? There are so many problems evident here. First of all, this was a disaster of a letter. Many people went checking to see if this was actually a hoax...and hoped it was a hoax, rather than something that a U.S. President actually sent to another country's leader. Political commentator Charlie Sykes said of this letter that is it what you would expect of a 9 year old writing in crayon. This is not what adults write. This doesn't even rise to the level of "adolescent". Secondly, this is disturbing in that no one at the White House kept Trump from sending something as stupid as this. Third, this illustrates that the only way that Trump knows how to address problems is to insult, bully, and threaten people. Fourth, our country is not in a position to destroy Turkey's economy. Fifth, Trump sent a copy of a supposedly confidential letter from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) leader, Mazloum Kobani, with Erdogan, whose forces were launching an attack on the SDF. This demonstrates to every leader in the world that they cannot communicate with the U.S. president and be confident in the communication being private. Further, as Ned Price, a former CIA officer and National Security Council spokesman wondered: "How much NATO correspondence has been forwarded to Putin?" Sixth, Donald Trump has never "worked hard" as president. He is notorious for work avoidance, as is evidenced by his lack of accomplishments. (Note to Trump: insulting people and destroying your predecessor's legacy do not constitute "accomplishments".) Lastly, a letter like this will accomplish nothing positive...and it did not, as Erdogan ignored Trump's letter and kept right on blasting the Kurds out of northern Syria. (The BBC subsequently reported that Erdogan's reaction to Trump's letter was to throw it into the trash.)

The slaughter of the Kurds begins, dismissed by Trump

Wednesday, October 9, 2019: Having been given a green light by Trump, Sunday to enter northern Syria, Turkey wasted no time launching its military campaign to slaughter the Kurds. Shelling and bombing of Kurdish villages began today.

In the face of bipartisan criticism of his unilateral decision to abandon the Kurds, Trump offered this muddled excuse while standing in the White House, flanked by his grinning Republican defenders:
"The Kurds are fighting for their land, just so you understand. They're fighting for their land and as someone wrote in a very, very powerful article today: They didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy, as an example… but they're there to help us with their land. And that's a different thing. And in addition that, we’ve spent tremendous amounts of money on helping the Kurds, in terms of ammunition, in terms of weapons, in terms of money, in terms of pay. With all of that being said, we like the Kurds."

Trump remains consistent in cheating people

Tuesday, October 8, 2019: The Trump campaign has been stiffing municipalities where Trump rallies have been held. The Center for Public Integrity reports that at least 10 municipalities have been abused this way by Trump, refusing to pay public safety bills that the municipalities have charged the Trump campaign with to reimburse all that they had to shell out to support his rallies. If a municipality presses the Trump campaign for reimbursement, guess what: the Trump organization threatens to sue them...intimidation — exactly the same tactic that businessman Trump has habitually used to weasel out of paying for services. The latest municipality to be victimized by Trump is Minneapolis, where Trump is to hold a rally on Thursday, at The Target Center there. Brazenly, Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale publicly bragged victory over Minneapolis public safety charges. Parscale wrote: "This is an outrageous abuse of power by a liberal mayor trying to deny the rights of his own city's residents just because he hates the President!" Of course, this has nothing to do with municipal abuse of power or rights: it is about paying for what things cost — something that Trump habitually tries to avoid. The Trump campaign predictably threatened to sue over this, but their midmorning Tuesday deadline came and went with no apparent legal action. All of this is so representative of Trump arrogance and irresponsibility, making him one of the most reprehensible people in American history.

Trump unilaterally abandons the Kurds

Sunday, October 6, 2019: Shortly before 11 pm, the Trump White House issued a statement saying that Trump has unilaterally decided to abandon the Kurds by withdrawing all assistance from northern Syria. This statement came after Trump having conducted a phone call with Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area."
This is Trump giving Turkey the green light to enter northern Syria and slaughter the Kurds, as Erdogan has been eager to do. This is callous abandonment of a people who helped so much in quashing ISIS, at the expense of some 10,000 Kurds killed in the battles. U.S. support of the Kurds has been a bargain, with them bravely fighting the ISIS zealots, and performing the service of maintaining prison camps of all the still-enthusiastic ISIS members captured. As many have pointed out, with the Kurds forced to defend themselves against Turkey now, those camps will likely fall apart, letting loose thousands of ISIS zealots to re-initiate their organization and start the ISIS problem all over again.

What's really going on here? Two things. First, this is Trump pandering for votes from U.S. military families. All that he cares about in all this is votes. People who can't (or won't) vote for him don't matter. He doesn't care about Kurd men, women, and children about to be slaughtered — by F-16 figher jets which the U.S. sold to Turkey. Ask U.S. military members who served alongside the Kurds what they think of abandoning those people who fought so valiantly against ISIS. Second, Trump's coziness with Erdogan and dismissal of the Kurds is easily understood by Trump's financial inerests in Turkey, as iconified by Trump Towers in Istanbul. In December 2015, Trump stated in a radio interview that he had a "conflict of interest" in dealing with Turkey because of his property, saying "I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul ... It's called Trump Towers."

Indefensible?

Sunday, October 6, 2019: This Sunday was notable in not one person from the White House appearing on any of the Sunday morning politics review shows. This was a complete departure from the past, where Trump zealots would appear on these programs to defend and excuse every Trump transgression of the week. This could be viewed as his Ukraine scandal being indefensible.

Trump admits the real purpose of his call to Zelinsky

Thursday, October 3, 2019: Speaking to reporters outside the White House...
Reporter: "What exactly did you hope Zelinsky would do about the Bidens after your phone call?"
Trump: "Well, I would think that if they were honest about it they would start a major investigation into the Bidens. It's a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens, because how does a company that's newly formed and ... all these companies if you look at ... and by the way: Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with, ah, with Ukraine. So I would say that president Zelinsky... If it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens because nobody has any doubt that they weren't crooked. That was a crooked deal, a hundred percent. He had no knowledge of energy, didn't know the first thing about it. All of a sudden he's getting $50,000 a month plus a lot of other things, nobody has any doubt. And they got rid of a prosecutor who was a very tough prosecutor. They got rid of him. Now they're trying to make it the opposite way, but they got rid... So if I were the president I would certainly recommend that of Ukraine."

Here is Trump readily admitting that the purpose of his call to Ukraine president Zelinsky was to get him to investigate the Bidens. On top of that, Trump openly solicits yet another country, China, to interfere in the 2020 election by investigating the Bidens for him.

Trump quotes Sondland, in reality repeating his own claim of innocence

Friday, October 4, 2019: Out on the White House lawn, talking to reporters, Trump was asked about his Ukraine phone call and "quid pro quo:
"The text message that I saw from Ambassador Sondland — who's highly respected — was: There's 'no quid pro quo.' He said that. He said, by the way — it almost sounded like in general — he said, by the way, there's "no quid pro quo." And there isn't."
Okay, lets ground this in reality... Sondland is Trump's campaign-donation guy, the ambassador to the EU who Trump assigned to stand in after he got rid of the real ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, because she wasn't corrupt and was in the way of his Ukraine scheme. Sondland has no Ukraine experience, and is in no position to assess "no quid pro quo". So what's going on here? This is the result of staging. Trump told Sondland that there was "no quid pro quo". Sondland was thus programmed to repeat that, which allowed Trump to today quote Sondland, as though that was an exonerating, authoritative statement on the part of Sondland. In reality, Trump is just repeating his own "no quid pro quo" claim. It's a childishly simple charade, Trump attempting to establish a corroborator in order to thereby claim innocence.

Pompeo belatedly admits to having been on the Ukraine phone call

Wednesday, October 2, 2019: Secretary of State/Trump loyalist Mike Pompeo finally admits to having been in on the Ukraine phone call. The usual drip-drip of important information in the Trump fort, admitting to things only after details have been outed. Pompeo is now firmly embedded in Trump's heinous act.

Trump lashes out, claiming that the move against him is a coup

Tuesday, October 1, 2019: Remember Trump railing about past moves against him as being "a coup"? He's back at it again now, in this tweet today:
"As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!"
In other words, an attack on me is an attack on the country, and everyone reading this tweet should make the impeachment inquiry stop. This is standard Trump procedure, to solicit others to come to his aid, as though Trump's self interest is best for everyone.

How about we shoot them in the legs?

Tuesday, October 1, 2019: Recall Trump's November 1, 2018 statement before the press saying that troops stationed along the Mexico border should consider any migrant hurling a rock as equivalent to them using a rifle, meaning that the troops should fire upon the migrants. Trump was subsequently told by military leaders that this is not something that should be done. It is reported today that in upcoming book "Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration," New York Times reporters Michael Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis say that Trump posed an alternative: shoot them in the legs. Trump was also obsessed with creatig a water-filled trench along the border, filled with snakes or alligators, and sought a cost estimate on that. As for the wall: he wanted it electrified, with spikes at the top that would pierce flesh. Notorious White House advisor Stephen Miller was intent on getting rid of administration members who were opposing Trump's irrational immigration agenda, and indeed they are gone (remember Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen?).

The State Department Inspector General requests urgent Capitol Hill meeting

Tuesday, October 1, 2019: In a highly unusual event, Steve Linick, the State Department's Inspector General, has requested that he brief staffers from several House and Senate committees on Wednesday afternoon. It is believed that this is about documents from the department's Office of the Legal Adviser related to the State Department and Ukraine.

Through Trump's abuse of people, norms, and laws he has created large numbers of enemies and people who generally want him away from any position of power; so we can expect more and more people to come forward where they sense that there is hope of ridding the world of this scourge of a human being.

Reports say that Pompeo was listening to Trump's July 25 to the Ukraine president

Tuesday, October 1, 2019: Multiple sources are reporting that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on the July 25 call to the Ukraine president, where Trump pressured him to find dirt on Joe Biden and his son. Notably, on ABC's September 22 new program This Week (days before the transcript of the Ukraine phone call was released), Pompeo dodged questions about the phone call, in an oddly halting way, and did not acknowledge any involvement in it. This revelation now mires Pompeo firmly in this mess.

Tom Bossert reveals his warnings to Trump

Sunday, September 29, 2019: Tom Bossert, who served as Trump's homeland-security adviser in the White House, was interviewed by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, publicly revealing warning he gave to Trump over Trump's obsession with conspiracy nonsense regarding Ukraine and the 2016 DNC server.
Stephanopoulos: "Now, what the president is referring to there is a debunked conspiracy theory that somehow Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the Democratic e-mails in 2016 and that Ukraine might have the DNC server or Hillary's emails. The details are both convoluted and false. And during your time in the White House, you explained that to the president, right?"
Bossert: "I did. It's not only a conspiracy, it is completely debunked.... At this point I am deeply frustrated with what [Rudy Giuliani] and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again, and for clarity here, George, let me just again repeat that it has no validity. The United States government reached its conclusion on attributing to Russia the DNC hack in 2016 before it even communicated it to the FBI, long before the FBI ever knocked on the door at the DNC. So a server inside the DNC was not relevant to our determination to the attribution. It was made up front and beforehand. And so while servers can be important in some of the investigations that followed, it has nothing to do with the U.S. government's attribution of Russia of the DNC hack."
Stephanopoulos: "Yet the president keeps on repeating it."

Bossert added: "The DNC server and that conspiracy theory has got to go, they have to stop with that, it cannot continue to be repeated in discourse.... If [the president] continues to focus on that white whale, it's going to bring him down. Enough."

All this reinforces that Trump has the mind of an 8-year-old child, fixated on fantasies and intent on excluding reality.

The special envoy to Ukraine resigns

Friday, September 27, 2019: Reports are that State Department employee Kurt Volker, US special envoy to Ukraine, has resigned. This, one day after the release of a whistleblower report alleging a coverup by the White House of a call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine's President. This is also hours after the House Foreign Affairs Committee announced they would hold a deposition for him next week. It was Volker who introduced Rudy Giuliani to a key Ukrainian official as Giuliani sought dirt on Joe Biden. Note that Volker's resignation allows him to freely testify before any body without interference from Pompeo's State Department.

Those who are not loyal to me are traitors and should be executed

Thursday, September 26, 2019: At a private meeting with U.S. staffers at the United Nations, Trump reacted to the whistleblower having gotten information from White House staffers by branded them as spies, deserving execution as traitors. Trump's voice on audio recording:
"Basically, that person never saw the report, never saw the call, he never saw the call — heard something and decided that he or she, or whoever the hell they saw — they're almost a spy. I want to know who's the person, who's the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that's close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now." (Audio recording of this can be found online.)

The whistleblower drama escalates

Thursday, September 19, 2019: As the corrupt Trump administration continues to block the whistleblower complaint from reaching Congress, Trump naturally reacted to the whole situation with this inane tweet:
"Another Fake News story out there - It never ends! Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem! Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!"
You will note that this is not a denial: it is just a postulation, a dodge, so typical of Trump's devious nature. Is Trump dumb enough to do this? Yes, of course, as prior instances of sloppy intelligence handling have proven, as with his May 10, 2017 buddy-buddy talk with Russians in the oval office, and discussing sensitive matters in front of wait-staff at Mar-a-lago. And Trump is notorious for saying anything at any time.

With indications that the foreign government involved in the whistelblower complaint is Ukraine, Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani was interviewed on CNN about his earlier intention to go to Ukraine to get dirt on 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden's family. Interviewer Chris Cuomo pressed Giuliani on what transpired...which resulted in a denial — quickly followed by an admission:
Cuomo: "Did you ask the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?"
Giuliani: "No, actually I didn't. I asked the Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton, for which there is already a court finding."
Cuomo: "You never asked anything about Hunter Biden? You never asked anything about Joe Biden and his role with the prosecutor?"
Giuliani: "The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko, who was appointed, dismissed the cas."
Cuomo: "So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?"
Giuliani: "Of course I did."

An intelligence community member blows the whistle on Trump

Wednesday, September 18, 2019: The Washington Post reports that a whistleblower complaint has been filed against Trump, regarding alarming statements he made to a foreign leader. The complaint was files with the inspector general for the intelligence community who, upon evaluating it, found it as alarming as submitted. As the Post reports, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of "urgent concern," a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees. As such, he passed it on to his superior, whio is acting directory of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire. However, Maguire is a Trump loyalist, and is blocking its conveyance to Congress — disregarding the law requiring that he convey such reports to Congress within seven days. Atkinson viewed the whistleblower complaint so severe that, in light of Maguire blocking the conveyance, Atkinson informed House and Senate intelligence committees of the existence of the whistleblower complaint in early September, characterizing it as being of "urgent concern". (The essence of the complaint is reportedly overhearing a "promise" being made to the foreign givernment.) Representative Adam Schiff, perceiving the seriousness of the complaint, took up pursuit of the issue, noting that this is yet another instance of the Trump administration preventing the conveyance of any information to Congress, as Trump seeks to make himself absolute dictator of the United States.

There is reason to believe that the foreign government is Ukraine, based upon Trump phone call records. In its conflict with Russia, Ukraine has been seeking the latest military hardware from the U.S., where being given status as NATO’s special partner, allowing Ukraine to buy any weapons that the U.S. sells, including the latest missle offerings.

Sharpiegate takes an ugly turn

Friday, September 6, 2019: NOAA today issued the following incredible statement contradicting its own scientists' consistent information on hurricane Dorian:
"From Wednesday, August 28, through Monday, September 2, the information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama. This is clearly demonstrated in Hurricane Advisories #15 through #41, which can be viewed on the center's website. The Birmingham National Weather Service's Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time."

What's going on here? This reeks of coercian by Trump. If NOAA reports were in any way incorrect, they would have been addressed in a timely manner — not a week after the fact. And note well that no one at NOAA would put their name to this statement. It was subsequently reported by the New York Times that Trump pressured Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to force NOAA to issue a statement which supported Trump's growing lie about the hurricane going into Alabama. Ross called acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs, who rightly opposed the outrageous and irresponsible demand. At that point, Ross threatened to fire top NOAA staff if they did not comply.

This is incredible abuse of power. We have an absolute dictator in the White House, and corrupt cabinet officers who carry out Trump's outrages for him. Even science will be perverted to support the lies of this deranged president.

Trump quadruples down on his Alabama hurricane gaffe by falsifying a NOAA diagram

Wednesday, September 4, 2019: The White House today published a video of Trump giving an "update" on hurricane Dorian. In the video, Trump holds up a NOAA "Hurrcane Dorian Forecase Track and Intensity" diagram portraying the early path of Dorian, with huge cone of uncertainty. The date on the map is Thursday, August 29, when Dorian was still way out in the Atlantic, above Puerto Rico. The map shows a reliable prediction of Dorian up to the Bahamas, but a much fainter, wider area of uncertainty covering Florida. None of that reaches into Alabama. But here's the insanity: Trump actually took a marker and manually drew a circular line past all that, into Alabama! (Here is a good image of this inanity.) This is unbelievable! It is so idiotic. This is our fake president falsifying a NOAA diagram to even further support his weekend misinformation about Dorian going to Alabama. This clearly illustrates that Trump is deranged. Who in his right mind would do this, or would expect people to accept it?? A clear definition of "unfit for office". And when a reporter pointedly asked him where the obviously hand-drawn line came from, Trump responded like a 5-year-old being asked who broke the lamp: "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know." (Note the lack of surprise about the fabricated line during his presentation, because he knew it was there, because he put it there.) Instead of doing something to help the devastated Bahamas, Trump's sole attention is on soothing his ego. This episode demonstrates that Donald Trump is utterly, utterly self-absorbed. It is pathological with him. And this is mental illness.

Trump triples down on his erroneous Alabama hurricane prediction

Wednesday, September 4, 2019: Being Trump, he can never admit to being wrong, and thus can only compound misinformation he puts out. Showing an outdated August 28 map of Dorian's predicted path, when it was far from Florida, Trump tweeted:
"This was the originally projected path of the Hurricane in its early stages. As you can see, almost all models predicted it to go through Florida also hitting Georgia and Alabama. I accept the Fake News apologies!"
In fact, the prediction models were defining a path northward, now westward. Note also that this South Florida Water Management District map carried the disclaimer:
"NHC Advisories and County Emergency Management Statements supersede this product. This graphic should complement, not replace, NHC discussions. If anything on this graphic causes confusion, ignore the entire product."

Trump doubles down on his erroneous Alabama hurricane prediction

Monday, September 2, 2019: Facing criticism over the alarming misinformation that he put out about Alabama being in the path of hurricane Dorian, Trump doubled down on his Sunday tweet, adding this tweet today:
"Such a phony hurricane report by lightweight reporter @jonkarl of @ABCWorldNews. I suggested yesterday at FEMA that, along with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, even Alabama could possibly come into play, which WAS true. They made a big deal about this when in fact, under certain original scenarios, it was in fact correct that Alabama could have received some "hurt." Always good to be prepared! But the Fake News is only interested in demeaning and belittling. Didn't play my whole sentence or statement. Bad people!"
It doesn't matter that weather scientists proclaimed Trump's Sunday statement to be false and egregiously alarming. To Trump, anything he says is, by definition, true.

Trump the meteorologist predicts that Alabama will be hit by hurricane Dorian

Sunday, September 1, 2019: Trump tweets:
"In addition to Florida - South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!"
This was typical Trump ignorance, where the predicted storm track took the hurricane northward, not over Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. Alabama's National Weather Service found it necessary to issue this contradiction to Trump's irresponsible statement:
"Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east."
To compound the ignorance: During a Federal Emergency Management Agency briefing today about Hurricane Dorian, our alleged President Trump expressed disbelief that a Category 5 storm was possible:
"I've seen some Category 4s, you don't even see that many of them. But a Category 5 is something that, I don't know if I've ever even heard the term, other than I know it's there."
Of course not! As Trump continually proclaims, climate change is a myth, and therefore there cannot be category 5 hurricanes.

Trump bludgeons China again, with additional tariffs

Sunday, September 1, 2019: Effective today, Trump has imposed a new tariff of 15% on more than 40% of all consumer products imported from China, amounting to about $109 billion worth of annual imports. These September tariffs are expected to cost Americans about $16 billion over the course of a year. And on top of that, Trump intends to add another 15% tariff on another $155 billion worth of consumer goods from China — which would bring the hit on the American consumers to some $40 billion. In combination, all of Trump's tariffs will cover just about everything imported from China.

This is Trump conforming to his life habit of enforcing his will by bullying and bludgeoning people: give the illusion of elevating yourself by bringing other down. This is Trump's life-long goal of seeking benefits while putting as little effort as possible into life pursuits. He doesn't care how bad this makes him look, as long as he comes out on top; and if the bullying and bludgeoning doesn't work, he will relentlessly claim victory regardless of the reality: if you say it often enough, (enough) people will believe it. Thus, what's happening to the United States is an extension of Trump's warped view of social behavior. Rather than actually making America great, he is trying to beat China down. This is driving our country down into a second-rate power as China has been accelerating under its president — who makes Trump look like the imposter of a president that he is.

My resort is threatened by a hurricane!!

Thursday, August 29, 2019: Hurricane Dorian has formed in the Atlatic ocean and is headed toward Floriday. Trump called off a planned trip to Poland because of the hurricane. Was this because of concern for the populace? We all know by now that Donald Trump is motivated almost exclusively by self-interest. Here, we have to expect that his concern is actually his properties in Florida, coupled with pandering to Florida voters for the 2020 election.

Emoluments Clause of the Constitution — what's that?

Monday, August 26, 2019: In a news conference at the end of the G-7 summit in France, with the next meeting to be in the United States, grifter Donald Trump went into an prolonged infomercial pitch for holding it as his Doral resort in Miami. In an incredibly shameless and obviously greed-based performance, Trump launced into a seemingly prepared promotion of his property:
"With Doral, we have a series of magnificent buildings, we call them bungalows, they each hold from 50 to 70 very luxurious rooms with magnificent views. we have incredible conference rooms, incredible restaurants, it's like such a natural. We wouldn't have to do the work that they've done here — and they've really done a beautiful job. And what we have also is Miami and we have many hundreds of acres so that in terms of parking, in terms of all of the things that you need, the ballrooms are among the biggest in Florida and the best, it's brand new. And they want — my people wanted it. I think having it in Miami is fantastic, really fantastic. Having it at that particular place, because of the way it's set up. Each country can have their own villa or their own bungalow, and they have a lot of units in them, so I think it just works out well."

Ever heard of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, Donald? Here it is:
"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."
Perhaps you should have taken up Khizr Khan's offer to give you a copy of the Constitution.

Those who respect the law condemned Trump's blatant money grab. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, said that effectively forcing world leaders to pay at one of Trump's properties "would be one of the most egregious examples of corruption and self-dealing in a presidency replete with them."

Trump culpability in the Amazon rain forest destruction

Saturday, August 24, 2019: Newscasts are full of the horrendous fires that are decimating the Amazon rain forest, known as "the lungs of the earth" in producing some 20% of the planet's oxygen and sequestering carbon. The fires are being set by farmers greedily clearing land to plant crops, fostered by Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has been pushing for economic exploitation of the country's land. So, what do these farmers say they are going to plant? Soy beans. And what is the market for these soy beans? China, to serve as feed for livestock. And why is China fostering this? Because of Trump's escalating tariffs against China. Does Trump care? You know the answer: not at all.

Comrade Trump pushes for Russia to be readmitted to the G-7/G-8

Friday, August 23, 2019: About to attend the G-7 summit meeting of the seven largest (and democratic) advanced economies in the world, Donald Trump once again pushed for Russia to be readmitted. Russia had been admitted in the mid 1990s when it gave indications of being a fledgling democracy. However, Russia evidenced increasing totalitarianism and disregard for international norms. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia became a corrupt criminal state, including attempting to undermine the elections of democracies and executing enemies (even when they were on foreign soil). Things came to a head in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, in Putin's desire to reconstitute the USSR, and Russia was then ejected from the G8, making it the G-7. So, here is Donald Trump seeking to have his favorite nation readmitted to this economic forum without having to reverse any wrong-doing or evidence any change in behavior.

Trump rails against China and tells U.S. companies to leave China

Friday, August 23, 2019: Yet another screaming Trump tweet against China:
Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won't let that happen! We don't need China and, frankly, would be far....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing....your companies HOME and making your products in the USA. I will be responding to China's Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States. Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE,....all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop - it didn't. Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China. We will keep it that way!"

This is not leadership: this is moronity...the signature of the Trump presidency. More to the point, this is abuse of power. You don't order your country's companies to pull out of a world region, and spend something like a trillion dollars doing it, on the basis of a tweet. And what would that massive upheaval do to the American and world economy? That's astoundingly stupid, but exactly the kind of fit-of-pique, rash outburst we've come to expect from Trump. Numerous Twitter users pounced on Trump's blatant hypocrisy in this, posting pictures of IVANKA TRUMP and DONALD J. TRUMP Signature Collection branded apparel prominently labeled MADE IN CHINA — including Trump's MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN red hats.

Jobs growth isn't what Trump would like to believe

Wednesday, August 21, 2019: The Labor Department today drastically downgraded the April 2018 to March 2019 jobs growth numbers by 501,000 — the largest downward revision in a decade. The mysterious 200,000 jobs a month growth wasn't real after all.

There's no endorsement like an endorsement from a wacko, right-wing conspiracy theorist

Wednesday, August 21, 2019: Today, Trump doubled-down on Jews voting for the Democratic party candidates, with this further gem at the White NutHouse: "If you want to vote Democrat, you are being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel."

But it gets better... Rather than seeking out real news and information and facts, Trump demonstrates that he continues to subscribe to right-wing conspiracy wackos. In a tweet, he praised Wayne Allyn Root for his effusive Trump popularity claim:
"Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. 'President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world...and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he's the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God. But American Jews don't know him or like him. They don't even know what they're doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that's OK, if he keeps doing what he's doing, he's good for all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he's good for everyone in America who wants a job.' Wow!"
So, if there's anything that Trump likes more than empty praise and validation, it's being lauded as a messiah. All hail the new King of Israel.

Jews who vote Democratic are being disloyal to me

Tuesday, August 20, 2019: Incredibly, Trump today voiced the outrageous assertion: "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — it shows — either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." For this, he got well-deserved, fierce backlash... Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, called the comments "yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism."

No Greenland, no visit!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019: In case you thought that Trump's reported thoughts about buying Greenland were whimsical, here's the clincher: Trump today abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, saying there was no point to the trip, reacting to Frederiksen's statement that Trump's intention was "absurd". In a tweet, Trump said:
"Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time."
As Anthony Scaramucci has been saying, Trump is becoming increasingly unhinged; and here is proof. Trump is admitting that the planned trip to Denmark, including a meeting with the Queen of Denmark, was just to pursue this lunatic fantasy of his. Forget crumbling U.S. infrastructure — pursue nonsense instead.

Predictably retreating from gun-buying background checks

Monday, August 19, 2019: Remember after the El Paso and Dayton shootings how Trump was mouthing off about supporting strong background checks? We all expected that to dissipate, just as his February 28, 2018 stance did. Well, here we are. Standing at an airport speaking to reporters, Trump said: "People don't realize, we have very strong background checks right now. You go in to buy a gun, you have to sign up. There are a lot of background checks that have been approved over the years. But just remember this — big mental problem, and we do have a lot of background checks right now."

Playing the victim once again

Sunday, August 18, 2019: Now that the U.S. economy is predictably destabilized by Trump's ineptitude, he is attempting to portray himself as the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy of news media, the Federal Reserve, and other countries as they warn of the world economy being driven toward a recession by Trump's impulsive and strategy-less dictates. At an adult level, this would be termed paranoia, but in Trump's case this is juvenile foot-stomping because he can't get his way with everything. Oh, poor me...everyone is against me; and, it's a conspiracy (just one of many conspiracies he believes to exist). This is also Trump engaging in his familiar mode of operation, setting up to blame everyone other than himself if the economy tanks. All this, while Trump has his yes-men advisors telling him that the economy is completely healthy — and where they are prevented from doing any recession planning because is would be an admission of failure. As more and more prominent people are saying, this raving destroyer needs to be removed from office. Trump has gotten so bad that even Fox News has stopped supporting him.

Trump denies recession, but it's already hitting U.S. manufacturing

Friday, August 16, 2019: NPR today reports that U.S. industrial production (manufacturing) has contracted over the first two quarters of this year. Manufacturers are cutting production due to lack of demand for what they are producing. When that happens, new hiring stops. When it gets worse, there are layoffs. Trump continues to perpetrate the fiction that China is paying for his tariffs, and that thoroughly irks manufacturers who have to pay for materials, which is now costing them much more. How irked? One general manager said that "every time he hears the president talk about China paying the cost of these tariffs, he just kind of wells up, gets angry and starts pounding the steering wheel of his car."

As a measure of spending in the economy, manufacturing numbers have been an indicator of whether a recession can be approaching. The Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers index fell to 49.1 in August, weaker than all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, data released Tuesday showed. Figures below 50 indicate the manufacturing economy is generally shrinking. The group's gauge of new orders dropped to a more than seven-year low, while the production index hit the lowest since late 2015.

This is the president who said that he was bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. Empty words. Trump is notorious for being unable to perceive linkage effects, and for being fixated on just what's current. He brags about being his own, best counsel, and ignores advisors' inputs as being inferior to his own judgements — regardless of the far greater knowledge and experience of those advisors. Make America great again? Trump has done nothing to do that, and instead has degraded everything he has touched. Trump is nothing more than a civilization vandal, who cares nothing beyond enriching himself.

Vote for me, out of fear

Thursday, August 15, 2019: While every other presidential candidate is campaigning on optimism and improving things, Trump, as usual, panders fear in place of any programs for the future. Speaking to his deplorables at a re-election rally in Manchester, New Hampshire today, Trump claimed (with no evidence, of course) that "markets would have crashed" if he had not been elected (this despite President Obama having valiantly recovered the economy after the recession). Then Dictator Trump declared:
"You see, the bottom line is: I know you like me, and this room is a love-fest — I know that — [yelling] but you have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401K's down the tubes ... everything's going to be down the tubes. So, whether you love me or hate me, you gotta vote for me." At this, his mindless crowd of followers cheered. This is a president?? No, this is a demagogue.

Trump wants to buy Greenland

Thursday, August 15, 2019: The Wall Street Journal reports the latest idiocy from the White NutHouse: Trump wants to buy Greenland. This is what you have to expect from a real estate mogul. Maybe he's been looking at a Mercator projection wall map of the world and can't help notice Greenland being the size of Africa: what an opportunity! Perhaps he would like to rename it Trumpland. Denmark was not amused: they were adamant that Greenland is not for sale.

The operative wisdom here is, as usual: If Trump wants something, you can bet that it's a bad idea. He comes up with this idea despite having added a record $2.07 trillion to the national debt (so far) during his term, more than any other president not dealing with a recession. As Trump proudly declared on June 22, 2016: "I'm the king of debt."

Folks, it's time for a new hat...a green hat. On it we will emblaze: MAKE GREENLAND GREAT AGAIN
(Shhh: Don't tell the Danes.)

An admission that the U.S. consumer would indeed pay for the tariffs

Tuesday, August 13, 2019: Trump announced this morning that he is going to delay the imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese imports, until after the Christmas shopping season. Trump didn't think to do this himself: his advisors warned him that the added tariffs would effectively "ruin Christmas". Now, here we have a monumental contradiction... Trump has been incessantly saying (and still is!) that "China will pay for the tariffs", and that the American consumer will not be affected. As even Fox News put it: "Trump's suspension of additional tariffs is an admission that they have been hurting American consumers despite his claims to the contrary." This whole thing again demonstrates that Trump operates on whim, without any hint of thought-out policies.

Trump delivers a scripted speech about the weekend shootings

Monday, August 5, 2019: Looking like a prisoner of war reading from a script written by his captors, Trump spoke from the White House this morning. "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy." In finishing, he read from the script: "May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo, and may God protect them." Whoever wrote this script did so carelessly (a White House indifferent to facts) as the Ohio shooting occurred in Dayton, not Toledo. And it's apparent that Trump didn't even know the difference, as he read that script and didn't even notice the error.

Trump's trade war with China gets even worse

Monday, August 5, 2019: If you didn't think that Trump's trade war with China could get even worse, so soon, it just did: the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator. China sharply responded that the U.S. is "deliberately destroying international order". All of this caused markets to plunge, driving the Dow down 767 points, with the attendant damage to the value of everyone's 401k/403b investments. To Trump, this is his habitual belligerence, to just "stick it to them", regardless of cost to the citizens of the United States. It's irrelevant to him that this escalation further removes the Chinese from a position where they could enter into an agreement with honor.

What no one seems to be talking about is that, in a de facto way, the Chinese are "meddling" in our elections by retaliatory tariffs which particularly hurt those who voted for Trump in 2016, particularly farmers. In the same way, note that Trump is doing much the same to Iran by way of the economic sanctions that he is imposing on that populace, where a goal is to make the Iranian people dissatisfied with their leadership.

Ivanka decries white supremacy

Sunday, August 4, 2019: Unlike her father — who courts white supremacists as voters — Ivanka Trump did the right thing and condemned the actions of these extremists, writing: "White supremacy, like all other forms of terrorism, is an evil that must be destroyed." This, on the heels of a second shooting rampage in Dayton, Ohio.

In contrast with this, Donald Trump. Using taxpayer funds, he had flown to Bedminster, N.J. to visit and promote and cause money to be infused into his Trump National Golf Club there, in a weekend trip to one of his properties. Standing next to his wife Melania at the airport, Trump said: "I want to extend our condolences to the people of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, incredible people who have been through a lot." And he added: "Hate has no place in our country." Really? Really? This from the most hate-filled politician most of us have ever seen. This is the man who learned nothing from Charlottesville, and continues to support white supremacists. This is the president who capituated to the NRA on March 1, 2018 after saying the day before that people should not be petrified of the NRA, and that he would sign a gun control bill that would be put before him.

For Trump's trip, this was an annoying intrusion into his golf trip, where he had to say something, briefly, and then get on with the essence of his trip. After all, these shootings are just a normal part of American life, right? They happen all the time: no sense getting all worked up about them. But, more than golf, it was party time! Trump made a surprise appearance at a wedding reception being held at the golf club. (This is a Trump habit: he has done it before, as it helps attract people to the venue, benefitting his bottom line.) Trump was widely criticized for having a great time while families were grieving. America is great enough, apparently.

One of Trump's white supremacists massacres 22 people

Saturday, August 3, 2019: Walking into a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where families were shopping for back-to-school, a hate-filled white supremacist wielding an assault rifle opened fire indiscriminately, killing 22 and wounding 24. Captured by police, the unrepentant pepetrator said he was motivated by the "invasion" of the country by immigrants. This is directly in line with Trump's incessant vitriole against immigrants from the south — which he started on the day he announced running for president. Hate-filled Donald Trump has been fomenting intolernace and conducting a white nationalist campaign which has encouraged white nationalist extremism. Donald Trump bears considerable responsibility for what happened in El Paso.

Piling on China tariffs, again claiming that China will pay for them

Thursday, August 1, 2019: In elevated bullying, Trump added another %10 tariffs to $300 billion of Chinese imports, peeved that China is not bending to his will in his trade demands. As usual, he falsely claimed that it's China, not American consumers, who will be hurt by the escalating tariffs: "We're taking in many billions of dollars. There's been absolutely no inflation and frankly it hasn't cost our consumer anything. It cost China." This is blatantly false, of course, contradicted by actual facts in multiple studies. Trump has continued to play U.S. farmers as fools, telling them that this is good for them, as their agricultural exports and income have plummeted. This situation is also giving China's communist leaders a convenient excuse to blame the United States for China's slowing economy, setting up an anti-America tone that will translate into rejection of American imports. Nice going, Trump.

Trump clearly does not understand China or its history or its culture. The more he presses and demands, the more impossible it is for China to concede, and in doing so lose face to the American dictator. Trump's tactics also undermine his credibility: the more irrational he becomes, the less he can be perceived to ever be a viable partner for a trade deal. China will, of course, retaliate, and make goods even more expensive for the American consumer. This is Trump amateurism — the pretend president, whose ignorance is doing immense harm to this country and every other country depending upon the United States.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is out

Sunday, July 28, 2019: Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, submitted his resignation today, to leave his post on August 15. This, after many months of frustration in trying to get Trump to hear and absorb and accept intelligence reports. As many said of this, an important guard-rail to Trump's impulses is gone. Trump has chosen Texas Republican representative John Ratcliffe to replace Coats. Radcliffe is one of Trump's rabid defenders and apologists, notorious for ridiculously irrational statements in support of Trump. If approved by the Sentate, Ratcliffe is expected to only tell Trump what he wants to hear, and certainly not any reports of Russia interfering with the country's elections. As many have pointed out, Ratcliffe has no experience or qualifications for the job. Being a white yes-man is qualification enough for this president.

The notorious call with Ukraine president Zelensky

July 25, 2019: Trump engaged in a telephone call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, Trump outrageously called upon Zelensky to investigate his Democrat rival, Joe Biden and Biden's son, Hunter. As a formal, inter-president call, it was monitored by a number of officials — who were alarmed at what they were hearing — and would later testify to hearing Trump bribe another nation's leader, refusing to release $390M in aid to Ukraine until Zelensky committed to publicly announcing an investigation into the Bidens. This, to publicly smear Joe Biden and hopefully turn up "dirt" that Trump could use to help his 2020 re-election (and stay protected against indictments that are piling up against him).

Barr and Ross are held in contempt for obstruction

July 17, 2019: The House of Representatives voted today to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress for obstructing a probe into the administration's attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. Testifying under oath, Ross has claimed that the purpose of the question was to help the Voting Rights Act. Trump later contradicted that claim by coming right out and saying that the intention was partisan gerrymandering: by intimidating a segment of the population who would likely vote Democratic, into not participating, this would serve to skew district population numbers to favor the Republican party. Barr also blocked a Justice Department employee from answering 150 questions about the process. The contempt resolution noted that the intention of the census question was architected by Republican gerrymandering expert Thomas Hofeller, who the resolution says "wrote a secret study concluding that counting voting-age citizens, rather than total population, in legislative districts 'would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites'." The criminal contempt citations will allow the House to go to the courts to force compliance with document requests.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham seems to have little grasp over the constitutional mandate for congressional oversight of the office of the president, proclaiming: "House Democrats know they have no legal right to these documents...".

The House condemns Trump for his overt racism

July 16, 2019: The House of Representatives voted 240-187 (over near-solid GOP opposition, of course) to condemn President Donald Trump's "racist comments" against four congresswomen of color. This, two days after Trump tweeted that four Democratic freshmen should "go back" to their home countries.

A Republican representative quits his party

July 4, 2019: In disgust with Trump and his party, Michigan representative Justin Amash announced that he is quitting the Republican party. In a Washington Post op-ed published this morning, he said: "Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I'm asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I'm asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it." Trump predictably reacted by exercising the elocution skills he leared at Wharton to call Amash "A total loser!"

July 4th — a day to celebrate Trump

July 4, 2019: Donald Trump stayed in Washington this holiday, to preside over Independence Day festivities, in which he lavished millions of dollars of tax payer money on a military display (depriving many service members of a day with their families). This was an exercise in self-aggrandizement and hypocrisy...another day in the Trump Reality Show. By making it all about him, this was actually an insult to the military, not a salute to it. The hypocrisy was in this day being to celebrate our independence from the tyranny of King George, presided over by the tyranny of Donald Trump, who seeks turn this country into the dictatorship Trumpistan. Punctuating this was his completely ingenuine call for unity — from a man whose every action and utterance has been to foster division. It is interesting that he called for unity behind a shield of bullet-proof glass — whose presence you have to wonder about in this instance when it's never present at his rallies. And it doesn't seem that he thought through the whole glass thing as, with all the rain, the glass was covered with water drops, making it look on TV like Trump was speaking from inside a shower enclosure. That will surely irk him when he sees the video playback. We're waiting for his claims about crowd size.

A reminder of Republican hypocrisy

In April, 1998, then House Speaker Newt Gingrich then delivered an address before his former political committee, GOPAC, harshly critical of then-president Bill Clinton. What Gingrich said then is eerily appropriate now, and something that no Republican leader will now say to Donald Trump:
"What you have lived through for 2 1/2 years is the most systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice, coverup and effort to avoid the truth we have ever seen in American history, and the time has come to say to the president, Quit undermining the law in the United States. Turn over the evidence."

A new low for Trump, concocting a story about aborting a military strike just in time.

Friday, June 21, 2019: This morning Trump tweets about last night, where there was an imminent plan to conduct a military strike against targets in Iran in retaliation for them shooting down a $110 million U.S. surveillance drone that was flying in international air space. "On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights [sic] when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it..."
This is Trumpcrap. This is Trump concocting a story to portray himself as a hero, in a contrived fiction. As every military official knows, this is not how things work. The reality here is that Trump was fully briefed hours in advance, given all the facts, with full details on what would be hit and collateral effects, including casualty estimates. Upon learning of this perverted version of what actually occurred, those in the military were both incensed and disgusted. Here, in this immensely serious event, Trump not only has to mis-portray what went on, but in effect blames the military for allegedly not informing him until minutes before the strike was to begin, where it was only because Trump asked that he supposedly learned about the potential loss of life just in time. This man is absolutely despicable.

But there's more that's wrong with this picture. There is the matter of acting like a president. You don't tweet about a serious situation like that: you issue a formal statement from the White House — one in which words are actually spelled correctly. In issuing a tweet, Trump is being juvenile and trivializing the situation. It is well known to international leaders, and certainly to Iran's leaders, that Trump is a traditional bully coward. As one analyst put it, Trump blusters loudly but carries a little stick. To the Iranians, he demonstrated weakness last night, and today is, as usual, spewing vitriolic words about the situation, including how a war with Iran would result in "obliteration like you've never seen before," reminiscent of his similar threat to North Korea of "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

All this is happening when the United States still does not have a Secretary of Defense (something that Trump hasn't bothered getting around to). Diplomacy? Trump conducted a campaign to eviscerate the State Department, because diplomats are superfluous. He won't even talk to Iran. He chose John Bolton as National Security Advisor, a well known warmonger and promoter of regime change in Iran. He decided to unilaterally back out of the internationally forged "Iran deal" (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and then bore down on Iran, imposing crippling sanctions. Trump is as inept as he is reckless. He is the architect of this fabricated crisis and is painting the United States into a corner with this, as he makes Iran increasingly desperate and more inclined to extreme responses.

Iran is a sophisticated country with a very well equipped and dedicated military. They are no Iraq. Further, Iraq's might is not bordered: they have trained forces who are throughout the region. A war with Iran would be extremely costly in all aspects, and would seriously destabilize the Middle East. It would also push the U.S. economy into the toilet.

Hope Hicks avoids answering questions on the basis of a fabrication

Wednesday, June 19, 2019: Former White House communications director Hope Hicks went before the House Judiciary Committee, in a closed session, to supposedly answer their questions on matters relating to the Mueller findings. However, she was there flanked by four White House lawyers to prevent her from providing any information relating to her period in the White House. To do so, the lawyers cited "Absolute Immunity". Well, there is no such thing as "Absolute Immunity": it's an invention that was fabricated to obstruct, and so it was used. The White House lawyers prevented Hicks from answering 155 questions on the basis of this fabricated nonsense.

Recall Trump claiming how "transparent" his White House has been in providing information in the investigations. Today's fiasco proves Trump to be a liar — as if we needed more evidence of that.

Trump officially opens his 2020 candidacy, with a predictable lie about crowd size

Tuesday, June 18, 2019: Trump goes to Orlando, Florida's Amway Center to kick off his 2020 campaign. (In reality, he has been running for re-election since he took office.) On Monday, June 17, Trump had tweeted:
"Big Rally tomorrow night in Orlando, Florida, looks to be setting records. We are building large movie screens outside to take care of everybody. Over 100,000 requests. Our Country is doing great, far beyond what the haters & losers thought possible - and it will only get better!"
The legal capacity of the Amway Center is 20,000. Everyone else would have to watch the rally on a jumbo screen set upoutside in the parking lot. So, upwards of 80,000 people gathered outside? When reporters went to that parking lot, they certainly saw the big screen, with the rally in progress, being shown on the screen — but there were only a handful of people watching the screen. About 79,940 people shy. Two CBS reporters tried to get into the Center using their credentials, and were denied entrance. Creatively, they decided to go online and acquire two tickets — to the supposedly sold-out show, and had no trouble doing so. With the tickets, they walked right in. There they observed and took video of many rows of unoccupied seats — which explained the ease of getting tickets. So, here we have another Trump misrepresentation about crowd size. Ego over truth.

Trump's speech was heavy on fear-mongering, contriving projections on what the Democrats would do if they took over the presidency, and devoid of a roadmap of what he would do over the next four years — which was predictable, given Trump's aversion to doing work as president. Trump lamented the horrible investigations of him and his finances, telling the crowd, "They are really going after you", as his traditional ploy to get others to shield him by trying to define his enemies as their enemies.

Speaking of which... Trump had his "spiritual advisor", televangelist Paula White, open the rally with a fiery prayer targeting "every demonic network" that is working against your holy Trump:
"Right now, let every demonic network who has aligned itself against the purpose, against the calling of President Trump, let it be broken, let it be torn down in the name of Jesus! Let the council of the wicked be spoiled right now."
The proposition that Trump was specially chosen by God to return America to its Christian roots is not at all uncommon in evangelical circles. He still has the backing of prominent evangelical leaders such as Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the evangelical Liberty University, and Franklin Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham. Last month, Graham called on Christians to set aside a special day of prayer for Trump, claiming that "in the history of our country, no president has been attacked as he has." How conveniently these God-is-my-ally-against-you fanatics overlook all the damage that Trump is doing to their country, and to the health of the planet for which their God has assigned them stewardship.

So what about the rest of Florida? The Orlando Sentinel says it won't endorse Trump. The Sentinel said in an editorial Tuesday that some readers may wonder how the publication can eliminate a candidate before anyone knows who his opponent will be, so far in advance. The Sentinel answers that it's "because there's no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump." The publication said it has had enough of "the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies."

Conway should go, says the US Office of Special Counsel

Thursday, June 13, 2019: Special counsel Henry Kerner of the US Office of Special Counsel wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump today that his office's investigative report found that Conway was a "repeat offender" of the Hatch Act, and recommending that she be removed from federal service. Reason: "disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media." In elaboration: "Ms. Conway's violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act's restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law." "If Ms. Conway were any other federal employee, her multiple violations of the law would almost certainly result in her removal from her federal position. Never has (the office) had to issue multiple reports to the President concerning Hatch Act violations by the same individual." (This, because Trump simply disregarded the OSC's conclusions.)

Conway's arrogant response, in front of the press on May 29: "If you're trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it's not going to work," and "Let me know when the jail sentence starts."

Trump is stingingly rebuked by the FEC chairman

Thursday, June 13, 2019: Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub, outraged by Trump's statement yesterday that he would have no qualms accepting campaign opponent "dirt" from foreign powers, today issued a stern, concise warning to anyone contemplating such an action:

"Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation. Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about 'foreign Interference, Intrigue, and Influence.' They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America's. Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation. Any political campaign that receives an offer of a prohibited donation from a foreign source should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

She subsequently punctuated that with a tweet saying: "I would not have thought that I needed to say this."

Sarah Sanders leaves

Thursday, June 13, 2019: It was today announced that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving that position at the end of the month. Egregiously, this is the 94th day in which there has not been a White House press briefing. This is to say that the citizens of the United States have been paying Sanders to not do her job. Perhaps this is for the best, given the misinformation that has routinely come from this press secretary over the past two years, as she supported Trump's lies and covered for the worst behaviors of this administration. The latest person to go from The Bog of Eternal Stench.

Another love letter from my pal Kim

Tuesday, June 11, 2019: Trump today said that he just received "a beautiful letter" from North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un. It has now been a year since Trump's first meeting with Kim, in which Trump gave concessions in a naive expectation that the North Korean leader would dismangle his nuclear arsenal. Thus far, North Korea has instead been steadily expanding and modernizing its nuclear capabilities, as well as conducting more missile tests. Kim's stance was clear enough for Trump to walk out of the February summit with Kim, in Vietnam, in making no progress toward the denuclearization goal. In the mean time, because of Trump's one-sided concessions, there have been no joint military exercises with the U.S. and South Korean forces, necessary to maintain their effectiveness.

You can just picture Kim Jong Un with his staff, showing Trump's response and laughing about how easy it is to play an American fool.

Trip to London? Must insult the mayor

Monday, June 3, 2019: Just before landing in London, Trump felt compelled to lash out against its mayor, again, in this tweet:
"@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly 'nasty' to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me."

Call Meghan Markle "nasty", then deny having said it

Sunday, June 2, 2019: On Saturday, The Sun interviewed Trump in the Oval Office in advance of his trip to England. Interviewer Tom Newton Dunn reminded Trump of Markle's disapproval of him during his presidentail campaign. (She accused him of being "misogynistic" and "divisive" in the campaign.)
The Sun: "Now Meghan, who is now the Duchess of Sussex, we've given her a different name, she can't make it because she's got maternity leave. Are you sorry not to see her? Because she wasn't so nice about you during the campaign. I don't know if you saw that."
Trump: "I didn't know that, no. I didn't know that. No. I hope's okay. I did not know that, no."
The Sun: "She said she'd move to Canada if you got elected. It turned out she moved to Britain."
Trump: "Well, that'll be good. There are a lot of people moving here. So, what can I say? No, I didn't know that she was nasty."
This can be heard on the audio recording of the interview. Despite this reality, Trump actually attempted to deny it in today's tweet:
"I never called Meghan Markle 'nasty.' Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!"

An admission by Trump that Russia helped get him elected, and a "torrent of lies"

Thursday, May 30, 2019: In an egregious personal slip-up, Trump finally admitted that Russia helped him get elected. His 7:57 tweet this morning began:
"Russia, Russia, Russia! That's all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax...And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected."
So, there it is in Trump's own hand.

Then, some 42 minutes later, on the White House South Lawn, Trump responded to a reporter's follow-up question to that tweet by contradicting himself, agitatedly saying:
"Russia did not help me get elected. You know who got me elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn't help me at all."
This was part of what Jeffrey Toobin later called a 17 minute "torrent of lies". Clearly rattled by Robert Mueller's appearance before the press yesterday, in which he made clear that Trump was not "exonerated", Trump lashed out at Mueller in a lie-filled attempt to discredit Mueller, the investigators ("some of the worst human beings on Earth"), and the report (which Trump and his staff previously praised), saying that Mueller was "deeply conflicted" (without providing any evidence, of course), saying that "He wanted to be FBI director" (which is false, contradicted by Steve Bannon's sworn testimony), and that "I had a business dispute with him" (also completely false). The prospect of impeachment is finally sinking in with Trump, who in this press appearance said: "To me it's a dirty word, the word 'impeach.' It's a dirty, filthy, disgusting word.". He went on about possible impeachment, saying: "I can't imagine the courts allowing it." This is the guy who brags about being a Wharton graduate, and yet doesn't even know junior high school civics. As the Constitution specifies, impeachment is the sole domain of Congress: the courts have no part in it. Trump is likely confused, in thinking that he has stacked courts with partisan judges who will protect him, but none can protect him in this arena. (Trump should have taken up Khizr Muazzam Khan's offer to give Trump a copy of the U.S. Constitution.)

Trump is greatly fearful that Mueller further appearing in public — as in a congressional hearing — because it will contradict the Republican propaganda that the Mueller report completely exonerates Trump. Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash spoke before his constituents this week. He actually read the Mueller report, was appalled by what he learned about Trump, and is the only Republican on the hill calling for Trump's impeachment. In his talk before his constituents, Amash educated them on some of the damning elements of the report. It was clearly the first time any of them had heard anything like the truth. NBC showed a video of constituent Cathy Garnaat, a Republican, who said she was "surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump." "I hadn't heard that before. I've mainly listened to conservative news and I hadn't heard anything negative about that report and President Trump has been exonerated." This makes very clear that the rabidly conservative media have been going to great lengths to conceal the truth, as part of a concerted campaign to keep the ever shrinking number of Republicans staunch supporters of that party, no matter what happens to this democracy as a result of their actions. It is also the case that Republicans such as these willingly subscribe to false information, and make no effort to learn the truth.

Our "genius", on national security

Thursday, May 23, 2019: The US government has been cutting Chinese company Huawei off from every U.S. partner due to fear that the company's close relations with the Chinese government could result in surveillance technology being built into devices pervasively adopted in the U.S., resulting in a huge security exposure. Here is what Trump said about the Huawei situation in this afternoon's press conference:
TRUMP: Huawei is something that's very dangerous. You look at what they've done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint, it's very dangerous. So it's possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal. If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form, some part of a trade deal.
REPORTER: How would that look?
TRUMP: It would look very good for us.
REPORTER: But the Huawei part, how would you design that.
TRUMP: Oh it's too early to say. We're just very concerned about Huawei from a security standpoint.
So, Huawei is acknowledged as a huge security risk, and yet Trump sees folding the company into a trade deal enticement for China. Completely contradictory. This isn't "genius" — this is idiocy, and goes to show, again, that national security means nothing to Donald Trump. What matters to Donald Trump is what makes him look good to his base of ignorant people, no matter that the "deal" compromises their own country.

Another unhinged press conference, attempting to excuse his aberrant behavior

Thursday, May 23, 2019: Trump holds a press conference inside the White House, attended by selected farmers and ranchers (you can tell by the cowboy hats) to announce his $16 billion bailout to farmers and ranchers to compensate for his distrous trade war with China, in which they are being greatly hurt. This is to say that Trump is raiding the Treasury to compensate for his ineptitude in conducting trade policy. Of course, Trump will never admit that the money is coming from the Treasury. In his lie-based alternate reality show, he said in this press conference: "It all comes from China. We'll be taking in, over a period of time, hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs and charges on China, and our farmers will be greatly helped." As his own National Economic Council Larry Kudlow has awkwardly admitted, it is the American citizen who is paying for Trump's trade war. In the mean time, the trade talks are going as poorly as any Trump international negotiations ever go, with the Chinese perceiving that this is the U.S. wanting to fundamentally change the way China's state-run economy works, and that is non-negotiable. This is Trump believing that the U.S. is all-powerful and can make China do what Trump dictates. China's state news agency Xinhua emphasized in an article published Saturday that China will not yield on its prerogative about how to manage its economy: "At the negotiating table, the U.S. government has made many arrogant requests, including restricting the development of state-owned enterprises. Obviously, this is beyond the field and scope of trade negotiations, (and) touches upon China's fundamental economic system. This demonstrates, that behind the trade war the U.S. has launched against China, there is an attempt to violate China's economic sovereignty, (and) compel China to damage its own core interests."

Naturally, Trump took the opportunity to hark back to the fiasco he perpetrated 4yesterday in walking out of a meeting on infrastructure before the meeting could even begin. In the room, ringed by White House staffers, Trump took the opportunity to disparage Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, expressing his own distorted view of the reality of yesterday's fiasco. Beginning, as usual, by saying "No collusion, no obstruction", Trump criticized Pelosi on the USMCA trade deal, awaiting congressional approval, as being too stupid to understand that trade deal: "They're being very nice to her, she's a mess, she doesn't understand it...they sort of feel that she's disintegrating before their eyes: she does not understand it". Asked by a reporter on Pelosi's statement yesterday that she hopes the Trump's family will stage an intervention for him, Trump launched into a protracted defense of his behavior, claiming he was completely calm during the three minutes he was in that meeting. Trump described walking into that meeting in the Cabinet Room: "You had the group — cryin' Chuck, crazy Nancy. I tell you what, I've been watching her for a long period of time; she's not the same person. She's lost it." "I don't think she's capable of understanding it." Trump then went around the room (now we know why the staffers were there) to, one by one, testify that Trump was perfectly calm. First he had Kellyann Conway testify to his demeanor, then Mercedes Schlapp, then Larry Kudlow, then Sarah Huckabee Sanders, then Hogan. "We can get 20 other people to say this." "It was sad when I when I watched Nancy all moving...the movement, and the hands [flails his hands] and the craziness — that's, by the way, a person who's got some problems." This went on and on, wasting the time of the farmers and ranchers who attended: another display of Trump's concentration on me, me, me.

Trump again contended that the Democrats should not be conducting an investigation of him because: "You should focus on one thing. You shouldn't go down two tracks at the same time because they can't. The whole Democrat party is very messed up — they have never recovered from the great election [Trump's ego-based emphasis] of 2016, an election that I think you folks liked very much, right? Well, Nancy Pelosi was not happy about it and she is a mess." "They are a do-nothing group of people - the Democrats have done nothing, other than obstruct...they are obstructing this country; but they are obstructing."

Trump's most outrageous and unsupportable claim during this diatribe: "I'm an extremely stable genius." Stable? Look at his own life. Donald Trump is on his third wife, conducts affairs and then pays for silence, and brags about sexually assaulting women. And to be clear: walking out of meetings is not what adults do, and is a clear sign of instability, not stability.

Pelosi recommends an intervention for Trump

Thursday, May 23, 2019: In a morning press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conducted a press interview, in which she reviewed yesterday's Trump meeting walk-out. "This time, another temper tantrum, again. I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country."

The fake president walks away from his responsibilities

Wednesday, May 22, 2019: In the morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with fellow Democrats and said to them that Donald Trump was engaged in a cover-up, as he obstructs in plain sight, refusing to cooperate with Congress in their investigations as a follow-up to the Mueller report. Later in the day, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer and other principal congressional Democrats went to the White House to meet with President Trump to finally address U.S. infrastructure, after Trump chose to ignore it for two years in preference to concentrating on destroying Obama's legacy. A full fifteen minutes after the meeting start time, Trump stomped into the room, remained standing, and pronouced that he was not going to do anything with the Democrats until they stopped the investigations of him. Then he stomped out and walked over the the Rose Garden where his staff had rounded up the press and a podium with "No collusion", "No obstruction" printed on an attached placard. Trump launched into his justification of his aberrant behavior: "I just saw that Nancy Pelosi, just before our meeting, made a statement that 'We believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a coverup.' Well, it turns I'm the most — and I think most of you would agree to this — I'm the most transparent president, probably in the history of this country." [Obviously untrue.} "And instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a coverup. I don't do coverups. You people know that probably better than anybody." [This, despite all evidence to the contrary.] "And of the 19 people that were heading up this investigation — or whatever you want to call it — with Bob Mueller, they were contributors to the Democrat Party, most of them, and to Hillary Clinton. They hated President Trump. They hated him with a passion. They went to her big party after the election that turned out to be a wake, not a party. It was a wake. And they were very angry." "And then I have Nancy Pelosi go out and say that, 'The president of the United States engaged in a coverup.'" "So here's the bottom line: There was no collusion, there was no obstruction. We've been doing this since I've been president. And actually, the crime was committed on the other side." [The Mueller report did not say 'no obstruction'; and investigating a hostile foreign government's interference in U.S. elections is not a crime.]

Obviously, this whole thing, from the purposely delayed arrival at the meeting, to the histrionic performance in the meeting, to the Rose Garden set-up, it was clear that this whole thing had been pre-planned. In other words, it was another scripted episode of the Trump reality show. But in storming out of the meeting, Trump foolishly demonstrated weakness by behaving like a petulant 8-year-old, refusing to play until he gets his way. This is not just un-presidential — it is unprofessional. No one could imagine any other president doing what Donald Trump did. As a president, this is deriliction of duty. In military terms, this is desertion.

So what's with Trump all of a sudden? Trump has been called all kinds of things by many people, and he has certainly unloaded on countless numbers of victims of his Twitter rants. So why now? One reason is that "cover-up" is a trigger phrase for Trump, because it brings back the Southern District of New York investigation into Trump's orchestrated pay-offs to silence women he had affairs with, with the pay-offs arranged shortly before the 2016 election, which constitutes campaign finance laws. Trump felt he needed to come up with this two-act play as a big distraction to the SDNY situation, to push is off the stage. Second, Trump is obviously very rattled by two judicial decisions against him in his attempts to thwart congressional subpoenas seeking Trump finance records as part of determining if Trump is behaving according to financial entanglements. Lastly, there is reason to believe that Trump bailed out of the meeting because financing infrastructure work would require finding many billions of dollars to pay for it. Recall that Trump effectively raided the Treasury to give a trillion dollars to the wealthy in his cynical tax bill. It is also the case that Trump has been raiding budgets to pay for his "wall" "emergency". A spending bill would call embarrassing attention to this.

The enormous irony in this move is that it monumentally contradicts his four year old slogan of "Make America great again". An infrastructure bill would physically make the country better; but Donald Trump just doesn's care...even about American families at risk of losing their lives on collapsing bridges. This clearly demonstrates, once again, that all that Donald Trump cares about is Donald Trump: it's about me, me, me.

Mnuchin stonewalls Congress

Wednesday, May 22, 2019: In open hearing, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responds to questions from Representative Alma Adams, a North Carolina Democrat, during testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Adams specifically questions Mnuchin on his refusal to comply with the law which requires him to turn over tax returns to Congress:
A: We heard a lot of excuses over the years about why he could not release then and he said, well, it was under audit but once they finished that he would release them. But an IRS commissioner confirmed that an audit is not necessary for you to release your tax returns. Are you aware of that?
M: But that's the president's decision and I'm not involved in the president's decision.
A: So are you familiar with Congress's oversight authority?
M: Yes, I am.
A: Okay. So, it's found in the constitution, in public laws, and House and Senate rules, and it does say that when the request is made by the appropriate offices that you should release them. Are you aware of that?
M: I've read the law. I've also been advised as to the interpretation of the law and I understand the constitutional issues.
A: Alright, so why haven't you complied with chairman [Richard] Neal's request?
M: Because I think that would be unlawful as advised by the Department of Justice, and that's why there's a third branch of government that most likely will...
A: We're aware of that. So, are you aware, then, that by denying this that you are in direct violation of the law?
M: No, that's absolutely not. I have been advised I am not violating the law. I never would have done anything that violated the law, and quite the contrary I have been advised that had I turned them over I would be violating the law...
A: Let me move on, sir. So, are you alleging that chairman Neal lacks the legislative purpose and that is the basis for you refusing his request?
M: Well, given that this is now most likely going to litigation, I think my letters have been quite clear in why we have denied the request...
A: So, are you intending to comply with the request at all?
M: No, I've made clear that we've sent him a letter that it would be unlawful for us to...
A: Have you told the IRS not to respond chairman Neal's request?
M: The IRS independently...The chairman independently wrote a letter concurring with my position...
A: Can you give me a Yes or No? Have you?
M: Will you repeat the question?
A: Have you told the IRS not to respond to the request?
M: Again, I just said, the IRS independently wrote a letter concurring with...
A: Sir, can you give me a Yes or No?
M: I don't understand the question.
A: You won't give me a Yes or No.

So there you have a clear example of Trump's cronies protecting him and disregarding the law, with Mnuchin completely evading answering a simple question underlying the issue, leaving the impression that he did indeed tell the IRS commissioner to not comply with the law — which would thereby make them both in violation of the law.

A judge slaps down Trump's subpoenas resistance

Monday, May 20, 2019: Trump attempted to prevent accounting firm Mazars from turning over his financial records to Congress. This went before judge Amit Mehta of the DC District Court, who issued a 41-page in which he rejected Trump's attempt to block the committee's subpoena, asserting that Congress is well within its authority to investigate the President. As part of his ruling, Judge Mehta wrote: "History has shown that congressionally-exposed criminal conduct by the president or a high-ranking Executive Branch official can lead to legislation." ""It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry." "Courts have grappled for more than a century with the question of the scope of Congress's investigative power. The binding principle that emerges from these judicial decisions is that courts must presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must defer to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose. To be sure, there are limits on Congress's investigative authority. But those limits do not substantially constrain Congress." Judge Mehta also reached back into history to cite instance where Congressional oversight was essential to hold a runaway president accountable, such as with the Teapot Dome scandal.

Trump's reaction: Attempt to discredit the judiciary, once again: "It's totally the wrong decision by, obviously, an Obama-appointed judge." In other words, it's outraeous that the judiciary should want to defend the Constitution rather than be loyal to Donald Trump.

More obstruction in plain sight

Monday, May 20, 2019: The president who keeps saying that he has nothing to hide is today prohibiting House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before Congress, with Trump instructing him to defy subpoenas and to not show up for tomorrow's scheduled hearing.

Deutsche Bank was protecting Trump, even as their staff flagged his transactions

Sunday, May 19, 2019: The New York Times reports:
Anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.
Executives at Deutsche Bank quashed the recommendations of their own staff, preventing reporting of the activity to federal officials. This was part of the bank's established attitude of disregarding money laundering laws.

The inevitable China retaliation for Trump's tariff escalation

Monday, May 13, 2019: China's Finance Ministry today said that China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the Trump administration's latest decision to increase duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, bringing tariff rates to 20% to 25%, matching Trump's escalation on Friday. The biggest hit will be to U.S. farmers, who are under severe economic stress already — not that Trump cares. Trump is not making anything great: his ignorant, mindless decisions are making things worse and worse.

Trump's big trade tariffs lie contradicted by his own people

Sunday, May 12, 2019: White House economic adviser and director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow appeared on "Fox News Sunday". Pressed by anchor Chris Wallace about Trump's mindless claim that China itself pays for the tariffs that Trump is imposing, Kudlow admitted that the U.S. public will be the ones paying for Trump's tariff war.

The big trade tariffs lie

Friday, May 10, 2019: Yet another lie by tweet from Trump: "Talks with China continue in a very congenial manner - there is absolutely no need to rush - as Tariffs are NOW being paid to the United States by China of 25% on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods & products. These massive payments go directly to the Treasury of the U.S...."
What an astoundingly ignorant statement, and monumental lie. Basic concept: If the U.S. increases tariffs on the goods imported from a foreign country, the costs get passed on to the buyers in the importing country. In this case, U.S. consumers are obviously going to pay a lot more for goods. It was bad enough when the tariff percentage was 10%, but Trump just made it 25% today. This is what you get for a "trade policy" thought up by an imbecile. And the "no need to rush"? Recall that Trump boosted tafiffs by 15% because he demanded results by today, and didn't get them. He was impatient enough to set a deadline, and now he says no rush? Trump never cares about who gets hurt when he comes up with his harebrained edicts; and he never considers what will inevitably happen as the result of those edicts. In this case, China will retaliate in kind. Trump the great deal-maker? No, Trump the fraud.

Giuliani intends to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine

Thursday, May 9, 2019: In keeping with Trump's devious and subversive manner of going things, he is striving to have his personal lawyer Rudy Guiliani travel to Ukraine to meet wth their president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to principally have him dig up dirt on Trump political rival Joe Biden's family. (Biden's son Hunter was involved in gas company Burisma Holdings, owned by a Ukrainian oligarch). Secondarily, Trump wanted info on the origin of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

This is obviously outrageous, and goes to demonstrate Trump's disregard for ethics and laws. Here, Trump is acting as president to dispatch his personal attorney (someone not part of the federal government) to pay a visit to a nascent head of a foreign country with the aura of this being a state visit, with the objective to collect information of personal value to Trump. This demonstrates that Trump is contemptuous of any and all reprimands coming out of the investigations of the 2016 campaign, clearly violating campaign finance laws to actively solicit foreign government for items of value, to personally benefit him.

The outing of this planned trip resulted in such a stink that Trump called it off. But, with Biden having become the leading Democratic presidential candidate in August 2019, you could expect Trump to not abandon this avenue, and that became the notorious whistleblower affair of September 2019. Recall also the bizarre Republican convention platform change regarding Ukraine in 2016.

The likely coming war with a nation-state, engineered by Trump and Bolton

Thursday, May 9, 2019: Trump is under seige by a number of investigations, where he is fighting an all-out battle against all the forces coming at him. He is deathly afraid of losing all the protections of the office of President: once he is out of office, he is completely vulnerable to prosecution, and could see his empire collapse, and be sent to jail himself. Trump is absolutely desperate to stay in office for another four years, and will do anything to be re-elected, hoping that the furor will die down in those additional four years. One way to bolster re-election is to appear presidential and set up a scenario which would insulate him against removal. The way to do that is to become a war-time president...to be vital in overseeing a major conflict of such severity that it demands uninterrupted oversight. To achieve this, Donald Trump will, inconjunction with his National Security Advisor hawk John Bolton, engineer a needless war. You can see the two of them already setting the stage for that in adversarial stances toward North Korea and Iran, cultivating instability such that they have a choice of two nation-states to go to war with. As Jarrett Blanc from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says, US sanctions on Iran are "deliberately provocative". All it takes is a "Bedford Incident" in which an adversary is pushed to the limit, and then violently reacts, to result in the excuse to declare war — which this White House would do without Congress (despite the Constitution's Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution granting (only) Congress the power to declare war).

This is not far-fetched. We have seen that Trump will do absolutely anything to protect himself, including destroy democracy in the United States. The more desperate he gets, the more extreme his actions, and the larger the "distraction" he creates. It's a completely predictable mode of operation for Donald Trump, who has established a perpetually belligerent administration.

The Trumps and their lies

Thursday, May 9, 2019: Yesterday, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for Donald Trump Jr. to come before the committee for questioning under oath. The reason for this is substantial differences between DJTJR's past testimony about the Moscow Trump Tower project and the June 9, 2016 meeting in the NY Trump Tower with a cadre of Russians, versus testimony laid out in the Mueller report and Michael Cohen's last testimony before Congress. It is well established that DJTJR has as much trouble with the truth as does his father, and doesn't hesitate to spin false narratives to cover up the activities of the family.

Today, President Trump continued the false narratives. DJT said that his son spent hours testifying in the past and should not have do do that any further — completely disregarding the inconsistencies which are the basis of the subpoena. DJT said that the Mueller report exonerated DJTJR — which it in fact did not. And, DJT continued the long-discredited lie that the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians was just "opposition research".

Side effects: Predictably, Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr came under fire from other Republicans for not blindly protecting the Trump family — no matter the extent of their outrages or what they are doing to this democracy. (Burr is one of the few Republicans on capitol hill with any personal integrity.) A close associate of DJTJR ripped into Burr "Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written question, but no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious PR stunt from a so-called 'Republican' Senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss Mark Warner and the rest of the resistance Democrats on the committee." Also: In an interview, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney actually said that it was "bad form" for the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee to subpoena Donald Trump Jr. without a "heads up"...which is to say that the Trump family should be treated differently than anyone else who is served with a subpoena.

Trump's tax return numbers of 1985-1994 expose him as a fraud

Tuesday, May 7, 2019: In the evening, the New York Times publishes an article on Trump's tax return numbers from the ten year period from 1985 to 1994. The numbers expose him as a fraud, where he was continually in the red and declared $1.17 billion in losses over that period — more than twice that of any other United States citizen. At the same time he published The Art of the Deal, he was even then in the red. The numbers also show that Trump contributed nothing to the well being of the country in which he lived, paying no taxes for eight of those years. This is the Trump who claims to be helping the working people, when in fact he regards them as chumps who pay taxes when he doesn't. The report also exposed Trump as the cheater he is, where the losses he was declaring came from monies that lenders lent him in good faith — which was good faith only on their part. Overall, the numbers paint Trump either as an extreme under-achiever, utterly inept as a businessman, or as a monumental tax cheater. As has been pointed out many times, there is no evidence whatever that Trump has ever been worth a billion dollars, where his claims of being a billionaire are nothing more than his usual ego-propping lies.

What really, really bothers Trump the most about this is that it publicly declares that Donald Trump is A Loser — and not just a garden variety loser, but one of the biggest loser of all time. Recall that Trump's ultimate put-down of other people is to call them a loser. Now he is defined by his own numbers as a loser. He is going to stew about this for the rest of his life...it's going to stick in his craw, as the expression goes.

Trump is guilty of a felony, say more than 500 ex-prosecutors

Tuesday, May 7, 2019: As of this morning, over 500 former U.S. federal prosecutors have signed the letter posted by advocacy group Protect Democracy, asserting that Trump's behavior during the Russia probe would result in "multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice". And the number of signatories continues to grow.

The lawlessness of the Trump adminstration continues

Monday, May 6, 2019: Trump's cronie, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, today refuses to comply with Congress's law-based request for Trump's tax returns. Mnuchin ignores the law with the flimsy excuse that the request lacks "a legitimate legislative purpose". The law is the law — to everyone except Trump's crowd, where they can decide to ignore laws because they simply don't want to comply. This is Trump doing everything he can to keep concealing all his ugly dealings over the years.

A related, very interesting development is that legislators in Albany, NY are working on a law that will allow the State of New York to convey state tax returns to Congress. They are doing this in order to help protect the democracy against the conspiratorial behavior we are now seeing in the Trump administration's subversion of democracy. State returns contain numbers that come from federal tax returns, and this will provide Congress with valuable information they need to pursue investigations into miscreants such as Donald Trump.

Oh, sure, we'lll rebate Trump two years

Sunday, May 5, 2019: Yesterday, Trump apologist Jerry Fallwell, Jr. tweeted:
"After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump - no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup"
(The "coup" nonsense again. FBI investigations are not "coups", Jerry.)
Today, Trump picked up on that and tweeted:
"Despite the tremendous success that I have had as President, including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY and most successful first two years of any President in history, they have stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back....."
Trump never hesitates to contradict himself. If this was a highly successful two years, as you say, Donald, then how can they simultaneously have been denied to you? In case you can't remember, you spent the first two years of your presidency obsessed with crowd sizes, watching TV, inventing voter fraud claims, watching TV, going to Mar-a-Largo, playing golf, watching TV, obsessing over football players kneeling, supporting sexual predators, comforting white supremacists, watching TV, demanding a wall to keep brown people out of the country, going onto Twitter at all hours of the night to vigorously insult people, watching TV, worship Vladimir Putin, deny Russian interference in our elections, watching TV, pardoning egregious felons, applauding convicted felons, taking away people's health care, pushing an enrich-the-rich tax bill, watching TV, conducting Mussolini-style rallies of people as deplorable as yourself, concealing your dealings, inventing lies, and dragging the office of President of the United States down to gutter level. No, Donald, no one stole two years from you. People without accomplishments simply have nothing to recall.

Signalling how much they have to hide

Monday, April 29, 2019: The Trump Family — Donald, his three eldest children, and his private company — joined a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One to keep the banks from complying with congressional subpoenas. Deutsche Bank raised steep suspicions in being the only bank that would lend to Trump and his organization, given their poor financial record. ("King of debt" Trump's unabashed series of defaults and bankruptcies left his lenders with hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.) It is also the case that Deutsche Bank has been the subject of investigations for money laundering by people in Russia and Eastern Europe, which raises further suspicion given Trump's affection for Russia. This represents further obstruction by Trump — who while forever proclaiming that he has nothing to hide, goes to great lengths to hide everything surrounding his financial dealings. For their part, Congress is following up on what the limited Mueller investigation suggested should be pursued.

Trump: Law enforcement officials are "scum"

Saturday, April 27, 2019: Speaking to a mob of his deplorables in Wisconsin, Trump told the crowd: "If you look at what's happened with the scum that's leaving the very top of government, people that others used to say, 'these were dirty cops, these were dirty players.'" Do Republicans stand up for the FBI and other federal law enforcement? Of course not. Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin did not, siding with Trump: "I completely understand the President's frustration." And Johnson continues the narrative that the Mueller investigation was a "witch hunt" — disregarding all the exposed corruption, indictments, confessions, and convictions.

Paying North Korea for Americans to be tortured

Thursday, April 25, 2019: Washington Post reporter Anna Fifield's investigative reporting turned up an eye-popping fact surrounding the death of college student Otto Warmbier, who traveled to North Korea in 2016 and was charged with taking down a propaganda poster in his hotel, for which he was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment with hard labor. Shortly thereafter he uffered a severe neurological injury and fell into a coma, from which he never recovered. His release was negotiated between the U.S. and North Korea, with final release in June 2017. It was not until then that the North Koreans revealed his condition, and then claimed that it was the result of botulism and a sleeping pill. Six days after returning to the U.S., Warmbier died in the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Doctors found no evidence of botulism. The U.S. determined that Warmbier had been tortured. Donald Trump decided to side with Kim Jong-un, who disavowed any responsibility for Warmbier's fate.

Anna Fifield uncovered that as a condition of Warmbier's release, that the U.S. would vouch for paying North Korea $2 million per a bill they presented, for the medical care of Otto Warmbier. The lead State Department envoy there, Joseph Yun, was told that he would not be able to repatriate Otto without that bill being signed. Yun called his boss, Rex Tillerson, who called President Trump, who gave the authorization. In essence, the United States would be paying North Korea for having one of its citizens tortured. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un must have been fully aware of Warmbier's trial, and would have specified his sentence and subsequent fate in prison. This is the brutal dictator whom Trump called "very honorable" on April 24, 2018.

Kushner blatantly lies. Trump continues to obstruct

Tuesday, April 23, 2019: President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner spoke at the Time 100 Summit in New York today. In that address, Kushner made this outrageous statement regarding Russia's much-reported interference in the 2016 election:
"I think the investigations and all the speculation has had a much harsher effect on democracy than a few Facebook ads."
This would be a remarkably false statement all around, except that it comes from an administration which consistently dismissed charges of Russian interference, applauded Vladimir Putin at every turn, and has refrained from taking any leadership role in combating Russia's continuing assaults on democracy. "A few Facebook ads"?? According to information released by the House Intelligence Committee last year, Russian agents actually purchased about 3,500 Facebook ads during the 2016 presidential campaign, spending more than $1 million a month to reach about 10 million users. And the Mueller report states: "The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion."

Despite Trump's ceaseless mantra of "No obstruction!", he continues to obstruct. Trump is stonewalling congressional investigators on every front, even if it means blatantly violating the law. Today's 5 pm deadline for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to turn over six years of Trump's tax returns passed, with Mnuchin defying Congress — and the law. U.S. Code Title 26 specifies: "Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request ..." Secretary Mnuchin has chosen to blatantly violate that law. In other stonewalling, Trump has instructed his staff members not to comply with congressional summons to appear before committees for questioning. Trump has even sued his own accounting firm and the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee at the same time yesterday, attempting to prevent the firm from giving that committee information about Trump's past financial dealings. There are simply no limits to the audacity and complete disregard for the law.

Trump claims to not remember, in his written response to Mueller questions

Thursday, April 18, 2019: Donald Trump said he didn’t know or couldn’t remember 36 times in his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller’s questions. It led MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to ask this question on Thursday night: "How many times can you get away with saying 'I don’t remember' and still be able to pass a competence test?" Recall Donald Trump pointing to his head, saying: "one of the great memories of all time". Today he might add: "But I conveniently forget things when it serves my self-preservation".

The Mueller report is released — in redacted form

Thursday, April 18, 2019: The long-awaited Mueller report is released, with lots of redactions, color-coded as to basis. However, it had to be preceded by a "show" put on by Trump's attorney general puppet, who was obviously coached by Trump to repeatedly say "no collusion" — well known to us a Trump's mantra in his consciousness of guilt.

Other highlights:
No surprise, but Sarah Sanders' testimony as laid out in the document proves her to be a professional liar, where she had not hesitated to feed reporters untruths or fabricated "facts" during press conferences.
There are more than a dozen investigations and prosecutions yet to come.

Our Sergeant Donald Schultz

Thursday, April 11, 2019: Today, having had their fill of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Ecuadorian embassy in London suspended the citizenship it had granted and allowed British police to enter the embassy and haul Assange away, under arrest. Asked about all this by reporters today, Donald Trump actually said this:
"I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It's not my thing."
Apparently, to professional liar Donald Trump, there is no lie like a massive, barefaced one that completely contradicts everything you've said in the past. Trump most famously said, during his presidential campaign: "WikiLeaks: I love WikiLeaks", as he endlessly praised WikiLeaks for "somehow" providing him with disparaging material about Hillary Clinton. In fact, during the campaign Trump talked about or praised WikiLeaks more than 140 times!

Trump's current claim to amnesia on the topic is what prosecutors tell us is "consciousness of guilt". While Assange was secluded in the Ecuadorean embassy, that part of Trump's inconvenient past was neatly stored away; but now it is literally coming back at him, as the unsealed indictment of computer hacking will eventually bring Assange back to the United States to be tried by Trump's own government, shining a fresh spotlight on that secreted period and how Trump's long time friend Roger Stone interacted with WikiLeaks to provide the Trump campaign with "dirt" on Hillary. As analysts have pointed out, there was an eerie correlation between Trump's statements about Hillary Clinton and WikiLeaks releases that then appeared.

Bill Barr defines himself as a Trump stooge

Wednesday, April 10, 2019: Remember in his confirmation hearings for Attorney General, William Barr proclaimed how impartial he would be? Well, today testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Bill Barr was asked about his Tuesday testimony before House lawmakers when he said that he would review how the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation in its effort to determine whether Trump's associates were conspiring with Russians to interfere in the election. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) asked: "You’re not suggesting that spying occurred?" Barr hesitated, as though weighing whether his response was worth sacrificing his public reputation. Finally, he came out with: "I think spying did occur. I'm not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly."
"Spying". This is right out of Trump's mantra about the FBI pursuit of facts in the 2016 presidential campaign. This is Barr knowingly parroting Trump. This is Barr defining himself as a Trump stooge, willing to sell his soul to the corrupt inhabitant of the White House.

A new low in presidential approval ratings

Monday, April 1, 2019: The Trump administration continues to break records — in a negative direction. Trump's approval rating as president has thus far never exceeded 50%, which is unprecedented. And he doesn't care.

Oh, poor me — again

Friday, March 29, 2019: Trump conducts what David Jolly called his "vindication and victimization tour", again attempting to portray himself as the innocent subject of a witch hunt.

Much to the GOP's chagrin, Trump starts on health care again

Wednesday, March 27, 2019: The Republicans are still stinging from their recent foray into health care, where they had attempted to "repeal and replace" 'Obamacare' — which was a cynical effort to simply eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Outraged citizens, perceiving what the Republicans were actually up to, rose up and excoriated those Republicans...as emphasized in the mid-term elections. So, the last thing that Republicans wanted was for this quagmire to be brought up again. But here Trump goes, brining it up again, as part of his crusade to destroy every vestige of Obama's legacy. In a talk with the press in the White House, Trump railed against Obamacare, concludind with: "If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is 'out', we will have a plan that's far better than Obamacare". We? Republican leaders subsequently came down on Trump for bringing healthcare up again, and the issue was put to sleep. And as is well known, Donald Trump has never had a plan for health care: that would take work...a lot of work...and that is something Donald Trump strictly avoids.

George Conway says that Trump has a mental disorder

Monday, March 18, 2019: Relentless critic of Donald Trump, George Conway, tweeted the following entry from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which exactly matches the behavior that the world has been suffering from Donald Trump:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
DSM-IV Criteria
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration.
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. American Psychiatric Association
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

The coward in the White House attacks the deceased John McCain

Sunday, March 17, 2019: In a barrage of over four dozen vitriolic attack tweets this weekend, Trump could not refrain from including the late Senator John McCain, who passed away a bit over six months ago. In one of those tweets, Trump let loose:
"So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) 'last in his class' (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election. He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!"
As usual, Trump doesn't even bother to get the facts right: McCain passed the Steele dossier — as he should have — to the FBI in December, 2016...which is hardly before the election. (McCain fully explained why he turned that documentation over to the FBI, in his book "The Restless Wave.", for the FBI to do what they exist to do: investigate and evaluate evidence, particularly where it invoves national security.)

As so many have said — particularly after this weekend — that Trump is a despicable coward. Trump will only attack people when they are at a safe distance from him; and the grave is as safe as distance as you can get. The world again got to see how dark and foul this man's mind is. This man is a fear-monger and a hate-monger who thrives on division, and doesn't hesitate to encourage violence: go back and re-read his March 13's threatening language.

On the TV show The View, Meghan McCain said of Trump:
"He spends his weekend obsessing over great men because — he knows it, I know it, and all of you know it — he will never be a great man."
Unable to rise above great people, Trump's reaction is to attempt to debase such people to bring them down below his level, as the only way he can perceive himself to be above them. In resorting to this, Trump doesn't qualify to be termed a man: he is an overgrown child who is racked by life-long insecurities which cause him to perpetually lash out in frustrational temper tantrums whenever exposed or criticized. The level and frequency of his lashing out now is proportional to the number of investigations which are shining light on all the slimy and illegal things that he and his family have done over the years, in their lust for money.

Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters (U.S. Army, retired) refers to Donald Trump as "midtown Mussolini" and "a physical coward with a big mouth". Suffice to say that Trump's unending disrespectful behavior toward a war hero only alienates him from the U.S. military.

I intend to keep hiding my tax returns

Wednesday, March 13, 2019: In light of the House of Representatives formally requesting Trump's tax returns, reporters today again asked Trump if he would release his tax returns, himself. No:
"We're under audit, despite what people said. We're working that out as — I'm always under audit it seems. But I've been under audit for many years because the numbers are big, and I guess when you have a name you're audited. But until such time as I'm not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that."
The well-known reality is that there is no law or regulation prohibiting someone under IRS audit from releasing their tax returns. And we have only his word that there is actually an audit — and his work is worthless. In the past he has said: "I've been audited every year. Twelve years or something like that.", adding that it's probably because he's a "strong Christian". (Cue the guffaws.) On February 26, 2016 IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was asked about someone possibly being audited for many consecutive years, as Trump has claimed. He said: "It would be rare for anyone to be audited every year." If there were no issues following an audit, Koskinen added, "it's a number of years — two or three at least — before you hear from us again." Note that Trump undercut his own claim of perpetual audits when he tweeted on February 27, 2016: "I have rich friends who never get audited." One has to additionally question that, if the IRS had scrutinized Trump's numbers, would they not have uncovered what he has been up to? It's obvious that Trump is concealing the realities of his business and personal dealings, doing everything possible to keep his behaviors from coming to light. We can expect him to exert pressure on the IRS to keep his returns from being obtained by House committees. (The House is requesting the returns under a 1924 law which gives the House the right to do so, and compels the IRS to comply with the request. Enacted after the Teapot Dome scandal, the law was written in part to give Congress the ability to scrutinize the tax returns of executive branch officials to investigate conflicts of interest or other potential improprieties. Thus, the White House is not allowed to interfere with such requests.)

Threatening all who oppose him

Wednesday, March 13, 2019: In an interview with Breitbart New, Trump put forth this threatening language:
"So here's the thing — it's so terrible what's happening. You know, the left plays a tougher game, it's very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don't play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad."
This is an open threat against anyone who opposes his tyranny. This is mobster talk; and it's coming from the president of the United States. In a CNN op-ed, former White House press secretary for President Bill Clinton Joe Lockhart called Trump's remark a "thuggish threat of violence against his critics" and a continuation of Trump's "all-out assault on the basis of our democracy."

Ravings at CPAC

Saturday, March 2, 2019: Conservatives conducted their annual offense against reality at their 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, Maryland today. Naturally, they invited Donald Trump to speak...and speak he did — non-stop, for two hours. Trump raved on grudges which are now entrenched in his being, where he is still infuriated that the media exposed his inaugural crowd size as far less than the record-breaking number that he still wants to believe that it was, and continues to lie about, in order to soothe his limitless ego. Naturally, high on his list of grievances was Jeff Sessions and that Attorney General's recusal. He railed against the Democrats as "crazy" and "These people are sick"; and the investigations against him as "bullshit". (This is the president of the United States using terminology like this.) In a disgusting display for this despicable man, he went over and hugged the American flag, with a stupid grin on his face. And once again, he voices his familiar refrain: "There's no collusion." Note that this is the only thing that he comes up with as a counter to the investigations swirling around him. Note that he never says "No corruption" or "No tax evasion" or "No cheating people" or "No lying" or "No nepotism".

This was a raving old man. It was an institutional display that has the street corner parallel of a mentally imbalanced person ranting to everyone and no one about their grievances against the world.

Note that what Trump is doing here is what he always does at rallies: he foments the crowd, to stir them into believing that his enemies are their enemies such that they will do his bidding for them. This is what a coward does, and Trump is well known to be a coward; as well known as that bullies are inherently cowards; and Trump is king of the bullies.

Another reveal as to how little the Republicans care about truth

Thursday, February 28, 2019: Michael Cohen returned to Capitol Hill today, to be interviewed for more than 8 hours behind closed doors by the House Intelligence Committee, in his final of three appearances before Congress this week. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney attended this session, and was later interviewed about how the Republicans behaved in it. Stunningly, he revealed that attendance by Republicans dwindled as the day went on. This speaks volumes as to how little that party is interested in truth and their role in checks and balances on the executive branch.

Trump's former lawyer & fixer Michael Cohen testifies in open session

Wednesday, February 27, 2019: Michael Cohen came to Capitol Hill to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee today, in an open session. The Republicans redundantly attacked Cohen at every opportunity, as Cohen exposed Donald Trump's egregious and illegal behaviors, including insurance fraud. Ignoring all facts, the Republicans just continued to attack and attack, where it got to be completely predictable, undermining any effect they intended to have. It was notable that the Republicans gave no defense of Trump, and did not counter any of the charges that Cohen was making against Trump.

But it got bizarre: Out of the blue, in a completely jarring display, an African-American woman suddenly appeared behind GOP Rep. Mark Meadows. He introduced her as Lynne Patton, a high-ranking political official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and then used her to claim that because she doesn't agree with Michael Cohen's assessment that Trump is a racist, because she was hired to work for him, then Trump cannot be a racist. Meadows was accused of using Ms. Patton as a prop — because that is exactly what this bizarre spectable looked like.

Mark Meadows went bizarre again, as he waved a copy of the Foreign Agents Registration Act form that Cohen had filled out, excoriating Cohen for not disclosing his foreign contracts on that form. He went on and on about it, literally screaming at Cohen, getting red-faced from the effort, and accusing Cohen of "lobbying" as part of that. For his part, Cohen looked bewildered, because he had filled out that form in conjunction with his lawyers, and believed that he had done so correctly: "I read it and it was reviewed by my counsel, and I am a non-government employee who is not lobbying, and they are not foreign countries." After a recess, chairman Elijah Cummings rectified the situation, explaining that the form requires listing government contracts with foreign countries, which had nothing to do with the contracts that Cohen had with private companies. In other words, Meadows either didn't know what he was talking about or was fabricating false charges. I guess this is what we have come to expect from Republicans.

Trump is right: there is ballot fraud — and it's perpetrated by his party (big surprise)

Monday, February 18, 2019: Lest we all forget, the 2018 mid-term elections are not over: the House of Representatives race in the Ninth Disrict in North Carolina remains undecided due to discovered fraud. Today, the reconstituted State Board of Elections convened to hear a report and testimony as to what went on. As the New York Times reported, a political operative working on behalf of a Republican candidate for Congress oversaw an illegal absentee ballot "scheme" and went to elaborate lengths to conceal it. Kim Strach, the executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, told of a "coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced" strategy where uncommitted absentee ballots were harvested through a campaign of deceit, to benefit the Republican and help assure that the Democrat would lose. The Board heard testimony from one of the culprits in this fraud, Lisa Britt, a political operative hired by consultants for Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris. Britt said that she was paid to collect absentee ballots in the 2018 election by McCrae Dowless, a political operative hired by consultants for Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris. Britt said some of the ballots she collected were unsealed and uncompleted and testified she filled out the options left blank for Republican candidates — an admission of vote tampering that violates North Carolina law.

This is one of those rare occurrences where you find systematic Republican ballot fraud laid bare, testimony to that party's fear of not being able to win elections fairly, and therefore engage in illegal practices to assure an outcome for their party. Republicans are notorious for voter suppression; and where that is deemed insufficient, direct interference with balloting will be undertaken.

Trump declares a fake national emergency to pander to his xenophobic base

Friday, February 15, 2019: Trump ventures out to the White House rose garden to declare a national emergency in order to build his stupid wall on the southern border. A president making such a dramatic announcement would naturally focus on that, and do everything to strongly make his case. Not Trump. His presentation was a meandering, often incoherent mess that began with predictable self-aggrandisement by touting his administrations accomplishments — which had nothing whatever to do with the important topic at hand. He talked about China, about Brexit, about Syria, about North Korea's Kim, about the stock market. Finally, he got to the declaration thing, portraying it as confronting "the national-security crisis on our southern border" (despite any evidence of one). "We have to do it. Not because it was a campaign promise, which it is — was one of many, by the way, not my only one."

He went on: "But one of the things I said I have to do and I want to do is border security, because we have tremendous amounts of drugs flowing into our country, much of it coming from the southern border. When you look and when you listen to politicians, in particular, certain Democrats, they say it all comes through the port of entry. It's wrong. It's wrong. It's just a lie. It's all a lie." (Wrong: longstanding government statistics document that drug smuggling occurs through ports of entry: it has to, in order to ship the volume of drugs needed for the cartels to make money.) Trump was talking from brief notes that he had carried out on a sheet or two of paper, and he predictably filled in the rest with ramblings, given his lack of oratory skills. Then he added: "And a big majority of the big drugs, the big drug loads don't go through ports of entry. They can't go through ports of entry. You can't take big loads because you have people, you have some very capable people, the border patrol, law enforcement looking." Again, this statement is completely wrong, in that large shipments have to occur by vehicle, and it is very well documented that the cartels undertake all manner of ingenious concealment methods, in cargos and even within vehicle bodies. They continue going through ports of entry because, obviously, they have so much success: they would not bother trying if all the shipments were intercepted. Trump then went on to his fabrications about rampant human trafficking or women into the United States, despite any evidence.

"So I'm going to be signing a national emergency, and it's been signed many times before. It's been signed by other presidents, from 1977 or so, it gave the presidents the power. There has rarely been a problem. They sign it. Nobody cares." This is the same Donald Trump who in 2016 and other times railed against Obama and others effecting actions through executive orders.

Trump then went back to drugs, citing talking with China's president Xi, and expressing admiration for Xi putting drug dealers to death, Xi's explanation for the claimed absence of a drug problem in China. The irony, of course, is that China has been a major source of the synthetic illicit drugs coming into the United States — largely through the U.S. mail. (And then there is China's trade in counterfeit drugs.)

"So we're going to be signing today, and registering, national emergency and it's a great thing to do. Because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people and it's unacceptable. And by signing the national emergency, something signed many times by other presidents, many, many times — President Obama, in fact — we may be using one of the national emergencies that he signed having to do with cartels, criminal cartels." (Again, the leap of logic in building a wall where there is no such influx. And note the hypocrisy of praising Obama only when it suits his purposes.)

Trump then complained of getting only $1.375 billion out of the current bill: he's going to raid the Defense Department appropriations to fill that out to $8 billion — this, after two years of saying that we have to give more money to the U.S. military to make it stronger and better equip our troops. Trump also talked about having to renovate sections of the existing wall due to lack of effectiveness. Trump then lapsed into this immature, sing-song voice enumerating how "we will then be sued" and stepwise end up in the Supreme Court.

After his prolonged ramblings, Trump took reporters' questions. Trump is notorious for blurting things out, and a huge blurt was coming... NBC's Peter Alexander noted that Mr. Trump criticized former president Barack Obama in 2014 for using executive orders to enact his immigration agenda. Trump responded:
"I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."
This made headlines everywhere, as it reflected monumental stupidity on Trump's part. Here he was, making this speech about "crisis" and "emergency" — and then he completely contradicts all that by saying "I didn't need to do this". As many pointed out, those words will be used in every suit brought against him and his administration which counters his flagrant, arrogant abuse of power.

Another reporter question was about conservative talk show hosts defining his decisions. Trump deflected that by praising: "Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do. Not of me. If I changed my views he wouldn't be with me. Laura's been great. Laura Ingraham. Tucker Carlson's been great." Then he came to Ann Coulter: "Ann Coulter, I don't know her. I hardly know her. I haven't spoken to her in way over a year. But the press loves saying Ann Coulter. Probably if I did speak to her she would be very nice. I just don't have the time to speak to her. But she's off the reservation but anybody that knows her understands that. I haven't spoken to her, I don't follow her, I don't talk to her."

Coulter fired back on Twitter, saying "He seems to think 'the reservation' is HIM, not his campaign promises." "It was one thing, the promise he made every single day at every single speech. Forget the fact that he's digging his own grave." "The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot." (Many have said that this is the first time they have agreed with Ann Coulter.) Coulter elaborated in further writings... Replying to a tweet that claimed 'the goal of a national emergency is to end illegal immigration and cartel smuggling," Coulter wrote that "no, the goal of a national emergency is for Trump to scam the stupidest people in his base for 2 more years."

The border situation is such a crisis that Trump left Washington for a holiday weekend of golfing at Mar-a-Largo, with not a peep out of him or his administration since that speech about any of it.

Trump's physical exam is finally reported: he is officially obese

Thursday, February 14, 2019: After days of delay, results from Donald Trump's annual physical are being reported. Unlike last year's exam report by exuberant Trump fan Dr. Ronny Jackson, this year's report did not say that Trump could live to be 200 years old. Jackson had wisely recommended that Trump lose 10 to 15 pounds: instead, Trump gained four pounds, with a BMI that now makes him officially obese. Trump continues to take anti-cholesterol medication Crestor to combat the effects of the junk food that is prominent in his diet, and the dosage has been increased from 10 to 40 mg. Independent doctors who reviewed the report found it lacking detail, and said that the cholesterol medication is not resulting in numbers that should be expected — would could account for the dosage increase, to attempt to influence the number. The exam occurred on Friday, February 8th, conducted by physician to the president Sean Conley, who then issued a terse memo with no details saying: "I am happy to announce the President of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency, and beyond." (This statement was widely criticized at Trump cheer-leading as it was a doctor predicting someone's future health; and dubious at that when considering the numbers and Trumps diet and lack of exercise.) However, it wasn't until today that Conley issued a substantive report, almost a week later. The delay is suspicious, causing Dr. Jonathan Reiner, longtime cardiologist of former Vice President Dick Cheney, to ask on February 12: "It's been 4 days since the president underwent his annual physical exam and still no data has been released. What are they hiding?"

The Republican accomplishment: record national debt

Wednesday, February 13, 2019: The national debt has reached a record $22 trillion, thanks to the Republicans draining the treasury to feed the insatiable greed of their rich constituents in their 2018 "tax cut" giveaway.

At the same time, the perpetually beleagured middle class is finding itself screwed again as they compute their 2018 income taxes and find either greatly diminished tax refunds or owing thousands of dollars this time.

Trump's lack of initiative is crippling government effectiveness

Tueesday, February 12, 2019: Donald Trump's ineptitude as a manager and gross defectiveness as a human being has resulted in an unprecedented turnover at the top of the U.S. government. That has been made worse by his low-energy lack of initiative in filling highly important positions. As of this date we have an acting chief of staff, and acting attorney general (a Trump stooge), an acting secretary of defense, an acting secretary of the interior, an acting U.N. representative, and an acting EPA administrator. Then there is the unprecedented number of unfilled posts throughout government that the executive branch is supposed to fill. You don't have an effective government when positions are either unoccupied or being filled by "temps". None of this matters to Trump, who has little concern about the efficacy of the country in which he lives.

Oh, those intelligence chiefs completely agree with my uninformed opinions — they were just misquoted

Thursday, January 31, 2019: In an effort to recover from his denigration of our country's expert intelligence chiefs, Trump tried to portray the whole thing as just a misunderstanding, and that the intelligence chiefs were in full agreement with his ignorant opinions, by saying that they were "totally misquoted" and that what they said was "taken out of context" in their testimony Tuesday. How stupid is this?? What the intelligence chiefs said on Tuesday was in a fully documented public Senate hearing that was carried live on television, where there is no possibility of misquoting. This is Trump again trying to redefine reality to conform to his demented view of the world. Even more ludicrous: Trump tweeted about this, saying: "I would suggest you read the COMPLETE testimony from Tuesday." This from an alleged president who never reads anything.

U.S. intelligence chiefs give fact-based assessments, enraging Trump

Tuesday, January 29, 2019: The heads of the FBI, CIA, and the U.S. intelligence director, give senators their annual assessment of the greatest security threats to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that North Korea was "unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities," which the country's leaders consider "critical to the regime's survival". None of the officials said there is a security crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, where Trump has considered declaring a national emergency so that he can build a wall. The chiefs also noted that although ISIS has suffered defeats, they remain determined to carry on their war against the west. The chiefs also assessed that the government of Iran was not trying to build a nuclear weapon — despite unsupported claims by the Trump administration that Iran has been violating the terms of an international agreement forged during the Obama administration (which is plainly part of Trump's relentless campaign to destroy anything that Obama created).

These assessments overall were at odd with the Trump administration's self-serving fictional view of the world situation. What the chiefs said undermined Trump, and that infuriated him. In particular, Trump raged that Dan Coats is "not loyal and "he's not on the team". As usual, truth and facts are immaterial to Trump and his ilk, who are intent on pursuing objectives detached from reality.

Trump caves, proving Nancy Pelosi the superior deal maker

Friday, January 25, 2019: Donald Trump saunters out of his White House office to address the assembled press outside, to announce that the shutdown would be temporarily stopped, for three weeks, allowing the 800,000 suffering federal workers to get their paychecks. Reading from teleprompters, he began:
"My fellow Americans, I am very proud to announce today that we have reached a deal to end the shutdown and re-open the federal government. As everyone knows, I have a very powerful alternative, but I didn't want to use it at this time. Hopefully it will be unnecessary. I want to thank all of the incredible federal workers, and their amazing families, who have shown such extraordinary devotion in the face of this recent hardship. You are fantastic people. You are incredible patriots. Many of you have suffered far greater than anyone, but your families would know or understand. And not only did you not complain, but in many cases you encouraged me to keep going because you care so much about our country and about its border security." (The reality is that federal workers suffering without pay through the longest federal shutdown in history excoriated Trump for what he did to them.)
Then he went on an on about what victimized federal workers are now calling his "vanity wall", referring to this passive barrier as a "smart wall" — which of course a concrete or steel construct cannot be. Then he went off script and started talking about human trafficking of women and children through the southern wilderness — for which there is no evidence. This is classic Trump: if you have no facts, invent some, no matter how divorced from reality. Then he again went back to his favorite "fact", on vast amount of drugs pouring into the country from the southern border — implying that it's through the wilderness are where there is no wall, when the well documented reality is that drugs are smuggled through ports of entry in large vehicles, or simply sent through the mail. And what Trump speech is complete without a threat: if he doesn't get his way, he vows to either shut down the government again, or (falsely) declare a national emergency and steal funds from other government budgets, thus constitutionally undermining the role of the House of Representatives.

In Trump's theatrical performance today he tried to portray himself as some kind of victor, citing "a deal" as if he achieved one, when in fact he got nothing of what he wanted. He was out-powered by the House leader and the minority leader of the Senate. With his public approval rating dropping below 35% and widespread recognition that he was to blame for this shutdown, Trump caved in.

It did not take the Left to make clear that Trump gave in: the Right made this clear. Ann Coulter tweeted:
"Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States."

What this whole protracted, pointless exercise clearly demonstrated is that what's bad for Trump is good for the country, and vice versa.

Trump's temper tantrum shutdown ends

Friday, January 25, 2019: Donald Trump established yet another infamous accomplishment: the longest government shutdown in history (35 days, from December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019). The end of it was not achieved by any effort in deal-making by the self-touting dealmaker Donald Trump, but by congressional negotiators. The roughly 800,000 affected government workers may have to wait weeks more for paychecks, as government gears back up. Trump capriciously said he would not sign a bill that was being worked on back on December 20 which would have prevented the shutdown, because it would not pass a Senate vote with Trump's $5+ billion "wall" money in it. It's well known that "the wall" was a stupid campaign promise to his xenophobic deplorables as a way to blame Mexicans and others from south of the border for problems in the United States. This was Trump pandering to ignorance in order to get the votes which put him into the White House, where he is ruining the country as he exploits the office to increase his wealth.

Let them eat cake

Thursday, January 24, 2019: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was interviewed by two CNBC reporters about the impact of the shutdown, and the danger of too few air traffic controllers, or those who are still working their 60-hour weeks being exhausted by having to take a second job to put food on the table. One CNBC reporter noted to Ross: "Many of them can't afford to support their families, though." His reply: "Well, remember this: They are eventually going to be paid." The other reporter interrupted, saying: "Mr. Secretary, but many of these workers clearly need the paycheck on a week by week basis..." Ross's reply was that they should go to their banks and get loans: "Now, true, they might have to pay a little bit of interest." So, the Trump administration abandons these workers and that the private sector is to be expected to compensate for Trump's indifference, and that the already cash-strapped workers are supposed to go further into debt as well. That reporter further questioned Ross: "Mr. Secretary, there are reports that there are some federal workers who are going to homeless shelters, to get food." Ross: "Well, I know they are, and I don't really quite understand why because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union, are in effect federally guaranteed; so the 30 days of pay that some people will be out, there's no real reason that they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it."
In a press conference, Speaker Pelosi reacted to Ross's attitude by saying: "He doesn't understand why they have to do that. I don't know is this the 'let them eat cake' kind of attitude? Or call you father for money?"

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow spoke about the continuing shutdown — and demonstrated how tone-deaf he is about the victimized federal workers. In a press interview, Kudlow attempted to minimize the suffering they are being subjected to, saying:
"Yes, soon as this thing goes, the switch will be turned on, the payments will be made, we'll go back to normal, this is just a glitch." As if being evicted for non-payment of rent or trying to live on one meal a day is "a glitch". Then Kudlow tried to frame this as government workers being loyal to Trump:
"Am I out of touch? I don't think I'm out of touch. I'm addressing the problem. I've met with my individual staff members and God bless them. They're working for free. They're volunteering. But they do it because they believe government service is honorable and they believe in President Trump."
A reporter challenged Kudlow on this propaganda statement: "That's not volunteering if you're being forced to work without pay. If you don't show up you lose your job. That's not volunteering..." Kudlow dismissed that as he walked away: "I'm not even going to go there. You know what I'm saying. It's very clear..." As the Washington Post reports: Close to half of the unpaid federal employees are required to continue coming to work. Those who are required to keep working cannot file for unemployment benefits, and many have said they cannot afford child care or commuting expenses while they aren't being paid.

Then there was Eric Trump's wife Lora, who characterized what workers are going through as "a little bit of pain", saying that the pain is "for the future of our country and their children and their grandchildren." Spoken like a one-percenter.

Note a huge irony in this overall situation: The federal workstaff is being forced to work without being paid at the same time that the Republican senate isn't doing their job but being paid generously for it.

In this shutdown battle, a very important principle

Monday, January 21, 2019: The Trump-Limbaugh government shutdown continues, as large numbers of government workers face increasing hardships, their source of income shut off by an indifferent Trump and the conscience-less Republicans in the Senate. Speaker Pelosi remains firm on not giving in to Trump's mindless wall insistence. Is she being unreasonable? No. Pelosi is in fact adhering to a principle that has been a solid stance of the United States for decades now. I here strongly emphasize that principle because it is as pertinent as it is essentially important:
You do not reward hostage-takers.
Donald Trump is a hostage-taker. He is holding all those unpaid government workers as hostages in order to get his way, which serves only to benefit him in appealing to his deplorable base so that his ego can continue to bask in their mindless adoration and help assure him the votes that he needs for (undeserved) re-election.

Now, a big "compromise" lie

Saturday, January 19, 2019: After a reality show style lead-up, Trump goes before the cameras to offer Democrats what he purports to be a compromise package on immigration, supposedly an effort to end the nearly monthlong partial government shutdown. Trump said he was prepared to back a three-year extension of protections for some 700,000 people who immigrated into the U.S. illegally as children, subsequently protected by the Obama-era DACA program. But for this, Trump wanted the $5.7 billion he has been demanding for a southern border wall. And once again, Trump perpetuates the falsehood that a wall will "stop drugs from pouring into our country." Without seeing any details, Trump's current cheerleader Lindsey Graham tweeted: "A fantastic proposal Mr. President! Let's get it done!"

The immediate takeaway here is that, in addition to holding tens of thousands of government workers hostage to suit his whim, Trump is adding hundreds of thousands of vulnerable immigrants as pawns. The proposal was ingenuous in that it was just temporary protection for all those DACA kids. But it got worse. When people got to finally read the GOP bill into which this proposal was incorporated, what they found was extremely ugly and mean-spirited: it contained what many have described as a "poison pill". The Republican bill would gut asylum laws, and was specifically aimed at Central American children. As analysts have said, the notorious Stephen Miller's finger prints are all over this. It's not a compromise: it's an escalation, one that would obviously repel Democrats. There is no sincerity in this. This seems like more reality show antics for his base, where he can claim that he offered all these things and the intransigent Democrats still would not budge.

Trump responds to Pelosi with reckless pettiness

Thursday, January 17, 2019: With the hour that Nancy Pelosi was about to lead the congressional delegation on a secret visit to American troops in Afghanistan, with a stop in Brussels, Donald Trump put out a letter cancelling the trip by denying use of the military aircraft that would take them there. Here is the text of Trump's letter:

"Dear Madame Speaker:
Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over. In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate. I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown. Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.
I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching our open and dangerous Southern Border finally receive the attention, funding, and security it so desperately deserves!"

As congressional experts have explained, it is the business of congressional leaders to gather informnation, first-hand, wherever in the world there are situations and issues affecting the country. That is especially true where that location is a war zone, and the people providing the first-hand information are deployed U.S. troops. So here is the master of pettiness belittling such a trip by trying to portray it as an "excursion" and a "public relations event". In the same stroke, Trump insults the troops involved by trivializing the thwarted visit. Then there's the recklessness: the visit to Afghanistan was supposed to be kept quiet, obviously; and Trump undermines security by publicizing it.

Note also Trump's immunity to hypocrisy. What was his recent trip to McAllen, Texas, which he described as a "photo op" of so little value that he didn't even want to go. That truly was an "excursion" and a "public relations event", complete with staged display of drug bales and agents saluting from a blackhawk helicoper.

Rudi Giuliani changes the collusion story again

Wednesday, January 16, 2019: Interviewed on Chris Cuomo CNN program this evening, Rudy Giuliani stunned the host by stating when asked about Trump campaign collusion with the Russians:
"I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign. I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspiring with the Russians to hack the DNC."
This is an obvious, blatant lie; and Giuliani is contradicting both himself and his peraonal client, Donald Trump. In an interview on July 30th, Giuliani emphatically stated that there was no collusion on the part of anyone in the campaign. Trump himself has said that repeatedly over the past year or so.

Tonight's statement is illuminating. Firstly, it is contracting the defensive walls such that everyone other than Trump is now outside the wall and at their own peril. Note also that Giuliani is making a specific statement about Trump's innocence/guilt in a matter that no one asked him about. The expectation here is that Giuliani once again knows that further revelations are coming out of either the Russia investigation or press research such that he seeks to innoculate the public so that it won't seem so bad when that ultimately appears.

Trump is astounded to be dealing with someone in Congress standing up to him

Wednesday, January 16, 2019: Speaker Nancy Pelosi today suggested to President Trump that in light of the government shutdown and security questionable in light of security people being forced to go without pay, that the State of the Union summary either be rescheduled or be submitted in writing. (This is something that is a tradition, not a constitutional requirement, and one in which Congress invites the President to deliver that summary.) Trump was so taken aback by having someone in Congress stand up to him that he had no response that day.

Why did Speaker Pelosi do this? Beyond the real security concerns, there was also the reality that Trump would predictably use the forum for a propaganda speech, railing about southern border security, alleged "crisis", and unquestionable need for a wall (expectedly with his traditional misrepresentations, distortions, and outright lies).

The ISIS that Trump says was defeated in Syria kills our troops among others

Wednesday, January 16, 2019: In northern Syria, an ISIS suicide bomber killed at least 15 people, among them U.S. troops. This is the ISIS of which Trump tweeted on December 19: "We have defeated ISIS in Syria..." as his excuse to remove U.S. troops from Syria.

Trump conceals his talk with Putin

Sunday, January 13, 2019: The Washington Post reports that Trump went to extraordinary lengths to conceal his talk with Vladimir Putin at the 2017 Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Trump took his interpreter's notes and told him not to discuss the meeting with anyone, including other U.S. officials, the Post reported. No detailed record exists from five of Trump's interactions with the Russian leader since taking office, the Post reported. All this, despite Russia being an adversary of the United States, and the clear need to fully document talks between leaders.

I lie, and I lie, and I lie; and I take responsibility for nothing

Thursday, January 10, 2019: Coerced to visit the southern border by his advisors, a reporter asks him about Mexico paying for "the wall". "When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall, do you think they are going to write a check for 20 billion or 10 billion or 5 billion or 2 cents? No. They are paying for the wall in a great trade deal." And: "During the campaign, I would say 'Mexico's going to pay for it'. Obviously, I never said this and I never meant they're gonna write out a check. I said 'They're gonna pay for it.' They are, with the incredible deal we made called the United States, Mexico and Canada USMCA deal."
Big, years-long lie here. Trump clearly said all through his campaign that Mexico was going to flat-out pay for the wall — no qualifications, no mention of any indirect methodology. Indeed, Trump spelled this out in writing in campaign letters sent to the media, as for example the one sent to Washington Post people Robert Costa and Bob Woodward dated March 31, 2016 in which it was stated: "It's an easy decision for Mexico. Make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion...". This was also spelled out on the Trump-Pence campaign website page titled "COMPELLING MEXICO TO PAY FOR THE WALL" which likewise said: "It's an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year."
Then there were the campaign speeches...
November 6, 2016: "So a lot of politicians said 'You can't get Mexico to pay for the wall'. I said 'Uh, it's going to be so easy.'"
January 26, 2017: "The American people will not pay for the wall."
April 16, 2016 in a Fox News town hall setting: "You know, the politicians say 'They'll never pay'. 100 percent." Hannity: "They're not going to write us a check, but...". Trump: "They'll pay. They'll pay. In one form or another. They may even write us a check, by the time they see what happens."

In that McAllen, Texas "photo op" (as Trump called his trip), Trump stood in that barren landscape in front of prop bales of "drugs", which by implication was seized from people crossing that desert area. Wrong. False. Intentionally misleading, just a show. It's well documented that shipments of drugs occur through border checkpoints, smuggled inside cars, trucks, and shipping containers.

Outside the White House, Trump was asked by NBC reporter Kristen Welker "Does the buck stop with you over this shutdown?", Trump responded: "The buck stops with everybody." Every president knows and has acknowledged that "the buck" stops with them: they are ultimately responsible for what the government does. Not Trump, the immature adult: he proclaims himself responsible for nothing, though he eagerly takes credit for anything that benefits him.

The petulant Trump walks out

Wednesday, January 9, 2019: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were invited to the White House this afternoon to meet with President Trump to try to resolve the government shutdown issue. The Democratic stance was wholly rational: There is no reason to keep the government shut down over this...re-open government and separately pursue the border security stalemate, and let the many thousands of federal employees work and get paid. But here we are dealing with the irrational and erratic Donald Trump, who walked out of the meeting after just a few minutes. As Schumer said: "He asked Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, 'Will you agree to my wall?' She said no. And he just got up and said, 'Then we have nothing to discuss,' and he just walked out. Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way, and he just walked out of the meeting." To emphasize Trump's indifference to the impact on government employees: Schumer asked Trump: "Why won't you open the government and stop hurting people?" Trump's response: "Because then you won't give me what I want." This is Trump openly stating that he is deliberately using government employees as hostages in this. Trump, a deal maker? No: a petulant child.

Should the Democrats give in and let Trump have his damned wall? No. The first and foremost reason is that with Trump you are dealing with a child, and have to operate accordingly. To simply give in you would be rewarding bad behavior — which as any child psychologist would tell you is something you should never do, because it just encourages more of the same, and worse. Second: There is no border crisis. You don't divert billions of tax payer dollars to areas that don't need it. Third: This is not a national priority: it is essentially the Rush Limbaugh Wall, which is to say that you would be jumping to do what a conservative extremist says you should do, where Limbaugh represents nothing more than his radio audience, and not the population of the United States. Fourth: You would essentially be funding Trump's re-election campaign, by satisfying his most stupid 2016 campaign promise to his population minority core.

Honoring Rush Limbaugh, the real director of national policy

Wednesday, January 9, 2019: Mike Pence paid homage to the real director of national policy by calling in to Rush Limbaugh's radio program and profusely thanking him for his support, citing Limbaugh's "key role" in "everything we've accomplished over the last two years". Limbaugh aids and abets Trump's lies, as when he baselessly dismissed government statistics during this interview by saying: "Well, they're out there saying that illegal border crossings have declined dramatically in recent years. We know that isn't true."

Trump prime time national address on his fake southern border "crisis"

Wednesday, January 9, 2019: At 9 pm, Trump is live on the major networks to deliver a speech proclaiming a southern border crisis and thus his base-pandering "wall" is essential — though it is well established that there is no crisis and that a wall would be as ineffective as it would be costly. Predictably, his speech was peppered with lies, misrepresentations and fear-baiting. For example: he stated that the Democrats were not interested in border security, despite repeated attempts by Democrats to get Trump to accept security funding bills. Trump also tried to frame this as a humanitarian crisis — not mentioning that it was his families separation policy that helped create that situation; nor did he mention the deaths of two immigrant children under his agencies' care. Trump dwelled on some cases of illegal immigrants who committed crimes but conveniently omitted government statistics that show crime rates committed by immigrants being below that of U.S. citizens. The reality is that U.S. citizens are regularly slaughtering citizens in mass murders, using assault rifles, while Trump remains under the control of the NRA. Trump couldn't help mentioning our great economy, with that as an attractor of those coming from the south, but nothing about doing something about horrid conditions in their native countries cause them to flee, seeking a better life. Isolationism and a wall to enforce it are his goal.

Trump's speech was followed by a rebuttal by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer made the dramatic point: Do we want the United States to be known by the Statue of Liberty, or by an enormous, ugly wall? Amusingly, this rebuttal got higher ratings than the Trump speech that precipitated it. That had to greatly irk Trump. But, then, Trump's performance was lackluster. As analysts have noted: if Trump doesn't believe in what he's reading from the teleprompter, it shows.

Note the enormous irony here: If you regard border security as absolutely essential as Trump does, wouldn't you really, really want the government open to assure that all agencies were on deck to assure that security??

It became known that, in advance of the speech, Trump confided to reporters that he had no interest in doing the speech, but was doing it because of prompting by his advisors. Likewise, he said that he wasn't interested in visiting the southern border, as promoted, as it would just be a waste of time. Why this lack of interest, despite endlessly banging the drum of "crisis"? Because he's doing it only because he's being coerced to, by conservative extremists like Rush Limbaugh. Trump is boxed in, and souring on this whole thing — and undoubtedly still stewing over "having" to spend the holidays in Washington rather than at Mar-a-Largo.

The federal workers can just adapt to having no income

Sunday, January 6, 2019: On the impact that the government shutdown is having on federal workers who will not receive paychecks, Trump said to reporters:
"I can relate, and I'm sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do, and they'll make adjustments. People understand exactly what's going on. But many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I'm doing."
The reality is that the vast majority of the population understand that "the southern border crisis" is a Trump fabrication, and workers going unpaid resent Trump holding them hostage for his own edification. Trump can relate? When was he ever without wealth? Trump has no concept of hardship, and it's well known that he is incapable of empathy.

Sarah Sanders lies for Trump

Sunday, January 6, 2019: Interviewed on Fox News Sunday by Chris Wallace, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders labored to perpetuate Trump's myth of terrorists pouring across our southern border. Wallace cited State Department reports that found "no credible evidence of any terrorist coming across the border from Mexico."
Sanders responded: "We know that roughly nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border."
Where does this 4,000 number come from? This comes from a Homeland Security statement &mdash which actually cited a number of 3,000 &mdash of what they term "special interest aliens". These are not specifically terrorists: they are people arriving from nation states tied, at least loosely, to terrorism. So, Sanders is deliberately misreporting government information in order to further Trump's obsession with a wall.
Wallace: "Do you know where those 4,000 people come or where they're captured? Airports."
Sanders persisted: "Not always but certainly a large number."
Wallace: "The state department says there hasn't been any terrorists found coming across the southern border from Mexico."
Sanders, trying to salvage what's left of her lie: "by air, it's by land, it's by sea" and that the southern border is the country's "most vulnerable point of entry."

Make things up to support the wall nonsense

Friday, January 4, 2019: In a rose garden meeting with the press, Trump said of "the wall":
"This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me. And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it."
This is Trumpcrap again, just saying things without basis. All four living ex-presidents — Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — said they had no such discussions with Trump.

Keeping the 1% above the rabble

Friday, January 4, 2019: The Washington Post is reporting that Vice President Pence and hundreds of senior political appointees are about to receive raises of about $10,000 beginning Saturday — at the same time that federal workers are going without pay during the Trump shutdown.

Lindsey Graham predicts the end of the Trump presidency

January 2, 2019: As the Trump-Limbaugh shutdown continues, Senator Lindsey Graham makes this statement about it: "I'll tell you exactly how this is going to end. The president is going to challenge the Democrats to compromise, and if they continue to say no, they're going to pay a price with the American people. ... If he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. That's probably the end of his presidency."

Harry Reid on Trump

Wednesday, January 2, 2019: Harry Reid, the former Senate Majority Leader, gave a rare interview, to the New York Times, in which he compares a "weird" President Trump unfavorably to mafia bosses who "are really good with what they do." Reid went on: "Trump is an interesting person. He is not immoral but is amoral. Amoral is when you shoot someone in the head, it doesn't make a difference. No conscience." And: "I think he is without question the worst president we've ever had... We've had some bad ones, and there's not even a close second to him." "He'll lie. He'll cheat. You can't reason with him."

The wall or nothing

Wednesday, January 2, 2019: Trump continues to keep the federal government shut down. Last week, the White House last week proposed roughly $2.1 billion in wall funding plus hundreds of millions more for general border security, and contacted reporters late last week to tout the proposal and blame Democrats for not accepting it. Vice President Pence reportedly went to Capitol Hill proposing a $2.5 billion number: Pence told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the White House would accept $2.5 billion. Today, Trump completely undermined Pence, saying:
"No, not 2.5, no. We're asking for 5.6...such a small number."
Trump thinks so little of taxpayer monies that billions of dollars taken from them is trivial. Trump also thinks so little of Pence that he would render Pence's credibility on Capitol Hill nil. (And this is hardly the first time that Trump has contradicted Pence.)
Why is Trump so adamant about the damned "wall"? Two reasons: 1. Rush Limbaugh is dictating what Trump should have the federal government should do. 2. Distraction — the grifter's fundamental tool, to keep the victim from perceiving what's going on. Trump welcomes the shutdown and the huge distraction it presents to take attention away from the legal actions and investigations that are increasingly exposing him and his fraudulent, money-grubbing behavior. The shutdown also conveniently distracts from the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives tomorrow, with committee leadership ceding to the Democrats, meaning investigative attention to the Trump administration which Trump's Republican collusionists in the House refused to do in their responsibility for checks and balances.

If you didn't think that "the wall" was Trump's single-minded obsession, note well that Trump as president is doing nothing other than dwell on this: he is not addressing infrastructure, nor health care reform, and certainly not the tax relief that he teased for the middle class just before the mid-term elections. He certainly isn't providing leadership for his Republican party: he is only playing to his base, which he perceives will preserve him.

The wall thing also completely undermines his empty bragging about being the ultimate deal-maker. If he were such, he would not hesitate to pay a state visit to Mexico and work with their president on a deal for Mexico to pay for the wall — as Trump incessantly insisted during his campaign would happen. Deal-maker? No: fraud.

Home alone

Tuesday, January 1, 2019: Like a sulking child, Trump is lamenting how he "had to" spend Christmas and New Years in the White House rather than at Mar-a-Lago, supposedly waiting for anyone from Capitol Hill to cede to his wall funding demands. No sympathy from anyone, as that was a situation he chose to create.

Is "the wall" literal or figurative?

Monday, December 31, 2018: Yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham gave an interview in which he indicated that "the wall" was not literally that, but rather "a metaphor for border security". This was Graham's way of giving Trump "an out" in his stalemate in keeping the federal government shut down. Today, Trump tweeted:
"An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media."
How to keep yourself painted into a corner.

Trump goes to Iraq and lies to the troops

Wednesday, December 26, 2018: About halfway through his term, Trump finally makes his first trip to a war zone: Iraq, landing at Al Asad Air Base in northern Iraq. Speaking before an assemblage of the troops, Trump tells them to absurd lies: 1. "You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, 'cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received. ... You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years."
This is Trumpcrap: Military personnel have gotten an increase every year. Every service person in that audience knew that.
So he goes on about an increase:
"And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one." "They had plenty of people that came up, they said, 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%, we could make it 2%, we could make it 4%. I said, 'No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.'"
More Trumpcrap. The reality is that as of January 2nd, military personnel will be getting a 2.6% increase, comparable to what they've gotten each year.

Obliquely referencing his unilateral decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria, Trump also told the troops:
We're no longer the suckers, folks. The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world,"
The reality is that the fight against ISIS has been a coalition effort, with 72 nations contributing to it. Trump's unilateral and uncoordinated decision to pull all troops out of Syria was abandonment. With no communication with the coalition beforehand, Trump simply abandoned them — and portraying the situation as though the United States was the only party fighting ISIS. Worse, Trump proclaimed victory, as though the U.S. had vanquished ISIS.

Blame anyone but me for the collapsing markets

Monday, December 24, 2018: In a complete distortion of reality, Trump tweets:
"The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don't have a feel for the Market, they don't understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can't score because he has no touch - he can't putt!"
This, once again, is Trump absolving himself of any responsibility for the calamities he creates. This, on a day when the Dow Jones average continues to fall and is now at a 20 month low. A trade war is disruptive to economies. Tariffs which drive up the costs to manufacture goods from steel and aluminum are damaging to the economy. (Remember when Trump trumpted himself as the champion of U.S. manufacturing — which he is now undermining?) Withdrawing from international agreements and taking the U.S. into isolationism hurts. Ignorantly criticizing the Federal Reserve is harmful. And what does shutting down the government do to stability? Donald Trump once again demonstrates himself to be unfit for the office.

Trump has been raving against Fed chairman Jerome Powell for months. Trump has also reportedly been asking if he can fire Powell (which demonstrates his ignorance of how our country works: the Fed is inherently independent). Blaming Powell for the rate hikes further demonstrates Trump's ignorance of how things work. Rate hikes are decided by the twelve members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). If you don't go outside of Twitter, you would not know that. Trump now harbors a grudge against his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, because it was Mnuchin who pushed Trump to appoint Powell as Fed chairman. Why is Trump obsessed with Powell and interest rates? As usual with Trump, it's self-interest: it costs the Trump organization more to pay down debt when interest rates are higher.

Panic about the declining economy

Sunday, December 23, 2018: In a move which baffled and confused the markets, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin got on the phone and called the CEOs of six of this country's largest banks to ask them if they had "ample liquidity". Mnuchin subsequently issued a statement saying that the executives told him "they have ample liquidity available for lending to consumer, business markets, and all other market operations." Mnuchin said the executives added "that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly."
Economists and analysts were baffled by this, many saying that this is exactly what you should not do in a jittery market scenario. Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said of this: "Suggesting you might know something that no one else is worried about creates more unease."

As shutdown nears, Trump predictably tries to blame it on anyone but himself

Friday, December 21, 2018: Despite vociferously saying on December 11 in the oval office that he would take full responsibility for government shutdown, Trump today is predictably accepting no responsibility for it, and instead is vacuously blaming the Democrats for it. The consummate liar, Trump continues his fearmongering false claims that "the wall" is for national security, making it sound like impoverished immigrants at our southern border are responsible for the criminal acts in the United States. And you have Trump's fellow Republican liars blaming the opiod crisis on these immigrants: that makes absolutely no sense, as it's common knowledge that the opiod crisis was created by American drug companies and corrupted physicians prescribing opiods for kickbacks from those companies. These people will say anything, no matter how absurd.

A pertinent question: If Trump is so concerned about border security, then why has he not made use of the $1.5 billion he was given toward that in 2017? As lawmakers have pointed out, only about 10% of that money has been put to use for border security, while the rest is languishing.

And now "the last adult in the room" is leaving

Thursday, December 20, 2018: Completely fed up with Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigns; and unlike other prominent officials who have fled Trump, Mattis did so with a comprehensive written letter of resignation — that rebuked Trump and his destructive behaviors. Egomaniac Trump issued a tweet which tried to portray Mattis's move as "retiring" — another Trump lie. Donald Trump, in his limitless stupidity, as just jeopardized the safety of the United States and the stability of the world as he alienated Mattis by ignoring the man's 40 year expertise...just as Trump ignores every expert.

This has frightened everyone. If a crisis occurs, who is there to make intelligent decisions? Trump's nepotistic, unelected son-in-law?? And to replace Mattis we can expect Trump to choose a yes-man stooge, just as he appointed Matthew Whitaker acting Attorney General.

Former CIA director, John Brennan, said it was now up to Trump's party to constrain him, issuing the following statement:
"Okay, Republicans. How much longer are you going to let this farcical 'presidency' continue? At a time of such political, economic, and geo-strategic turbulence — both nationally and globally — are you waiting for a catastrophe to happen before acting? Disaster looms!"

The New York Times put it this way: "Mr. Mattis's resignation letter was the sharpest, and most public, protest from inside the Trump administration over the president's rejection of the alliances and relationships that have underpinned American security since the end of World War II." "Mr. Mattis's letter did not single out any decision. Instead, it condemned Mr. Trump's approach to the world as destructive to American influence and power."

In case you were wondering who's making national policy: it's Rush Limbaugh

Thursday, December 20, 2018: Last evening, leaders on the hill forged a spending bill which Trump agreed to, and which he would sign. This morning, Trump got up, listened to Rush Limbaugh, and then announced he would not sign the bill, because it did not contain funding for his stupid wall; and then Trump actually contacted Limbaugh to tell Limbaugh that he was doing what Limbaugh told him to. So here we have this unelected yahoo, described by many as a grifter on the conservative movement, defining policy for the nation, with the likely consequence that the government will shut down as of this weekend. Keep in mind that quite a few legislators have already left Washington for the holidays, based upon what Trump said last night.

This is chaos. This is the antithesis of stability. This is why the stock market is down 1700 points, at its lowest December level since The Great Depression. This is devaluing the retirement monies of about a hundred million Americans. Trump simply doesn't care. His single-minded fixation is the stupid wall, wanted only by the two xenophobes in the White house — Trump and extremist Stephen Miller — who view people below the southern border with revulsion.

Where does this wall fixation come from? Go take a look at the beginning scene in the movie Soylent Green. It portrays the 1% living in luxury, protected by a wall which protects them from the rest of the population which is living in squalor.

Trump is a berserker. Trump is a vandal, only destroying things. Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency, is incompetent, and doing exactly what Vladimir Putin wants in dismantling the world's largest democracy. Trump is determinedly ignorant: he ignores expert advice, has no policies, and acts purely upon whim. Governments are based upon compromise. Thats anathematic to Trump, who wants to purely be a dictator.

One last thing about "the wall": We had a president named Ronald Reagan, who went to West Berlin on June 12, 1987 and delivered a speech before an assemblage of free Germans in which he said: "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Do you see a contradiction with our current, alleged president?

Another gift to Putin

Wednesday, December 19, 2018: In a tweet, Trump summarily announces that U.S. troops in Syria will be pulled out, declaring "victory" over Isis. This, with no consultation with the Pentagon or the coalition fighting ISIS. Secretary of Defense Mattis was incensed. On top of this, Trump is also planning to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. This is a gift to Asad and Putin, creating a vacuum that gives them a clear path to the Mediterranean Sea.

In a video tweet, Trump said: "We have won against ISIS. We have beaten them and we have beaten them badly. We have taken back the land and now it's time for our troops to come back home." And: "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency." Later, Trump added: "Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back. And they're coming back now. We won. And that's the way we want it. And that's the way they want it."

Why this move? It's Trump carrying out one of his campaign promises — which are nothing more than ill-conceived panderings to his unthinking deplorables in order to get votes. In this one, it's about "bringing the troops home". What this is doing is contracting the United States toward isolationism and demonstrating to the world that our country is undependable in efforts to maintain stability in the world. The effects of this move are immaterial to Trump, who is thinking only of 2020 re-election by appealing to his ignorant supporters.

Trump has just created a vacuum in Syria. With that, he claims that it's no problem: if anything comes up, we can readily deal with it from our bases in Iraq. As military experts point out, this is simpleton thinking: it's exactly the position we were in two years ago. We had to go into Syria because ISIS took over towns and used their populaces as human shields, where ISIS then had to be surgically removed, and that requires both in-place intelligence gathering and troops to carry out operations. Senator Lindsey Graham said that withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan would be a "high risk strategy' that could pave "the way toward a second 9/11." That is, if we don't deal with extremists on their home turf, they will come to the U.S. to wage their fanatical war in our country. Isolationism is has never been a solution.

You will note the great irony that Trump sent troops to guard our southern border against a fictional "invasion" by immigrants. Those troops will not be home for Christmas to spend the holidays with their families.

Violations of campaign finance laws as intentional

Wednesday, December 19, 2018: The Wall Street Journal is today reporting the results of their research into Donald Trump's knowledge of campaign-finance laws. In 2000, the Federal Elections Commission investigated allegations that Trump Hotels & Casinos violated the law related to a fundraising event for a Senate candidate. As part of that, Donald Trump signed a four-page affadavit in which Trump stressed he had a particular familiarity with laws governing corporate contributions to candidates. (This is reinforcement of what Trump said about his knowledge of the subject in his interview with Larry King back in October 8, 1999.) For Trump to have violated campaign finance laws in recent years inherently means that Trump did so in full knowledge of these laws, and that is "intent".

With a defender like this, who needs enemies?

Sunday, December 16, 2018: Trump sent his bumbling TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Sunday interviews to excuse his behavior. In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Giuliani tried to undermine former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's statements against Trump by saying: "He's changed his story four or five times." Stephanopoulos retorted: "So has the President." to which Giuliani responded: "The President's not under oath." Amazing. This is saying that it's fine and dandy for Donald Trump, the President of the United States, to lie because he's not under oath. Also in this interview: Remember how the Trump people initially claimed their pursuit of the Trump Tower Moscow project ended in January 2016; and then court filings cited Michael Cohen said that he was aware of the pursuit having continued well into the summer of 2016? Well, in this interview, Giuliani indicated that pursuit went further, into November 2016. This left analysts wondering if Giuliani knew what he was talking about, or if he knows of a further revelation coming out of formal proceedings and is trying to get out in front of it.

Further corroboration of Trump's involvement in campaign finance violation

Wednesday, December 12, 2018: As part of a nonprosecution agreement disclosed today by federal prosecutors, American Media Inc. (the Nationnal Enquirer's parent company) admitted that National Enquirer publisher David Pecker "offered to help deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate's relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided." Included in the "statement of admitted facts" is that AMI admitted making a $150,000 payment "in concert with the campaign," and says that Pecker, Cohen and "at least one other member of the campaign" were in the meeting. The "other member" is said to be Trump. The statement further says that AMI's "principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman's story so as to prevent it from influencing the election." This is further corroboration of the deliberate violation of campaign finance laws, with the knowledge of Trump. Pecker and Trump were very intertwined, where the publisher gave Trump control over whether any articles or stories about Trump should be published or stifled, including suppression by "catch and kill" payments for stories which would be harmful to Trump. Trump loved that Pecker was loyal to him. However, Pecker, as many before him, found that such loyalty was a one-way street: when Trump allowed AMI to be implicated in the campaign finance violation investigation, and turned his back on AMI, Pecker likewise abandoned Trump and entered into cooperation with investigators.

Trump perpetuates southern border myths

Tuesday, December 11, 2018: In an interview with Reuters, Trump makes this claim:
"People are pouring into our country, including terrorists, We have terrorists. We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. Ten. These are very serious people. Our border agents, all of our law enforcement has been incredible what they've done. ... We need the wall."
Here Trump is implying that a Mexico border is needed because that number of terrorists are coming through from Mexico. False. This is intentional obfuscation with an overall statistic of individuals who are on watch lists being predominantly intercepted at airports. The number has nothing to do with Mexico.

A circus in the oval office

Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer met with Trump in the oval office, in front of the press. Reporters were intended to leave before the essence of the meeting began, but Trump kept them there — and they were witness to a circus. As usual, the meeting was about "the wall" — Trump's obsession. Said Trump: "If we don't have border security, we'll shut down the government — this country needs border security." And: "I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it. And I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck." An exasperated Trump subsequently spouted: "You want to know something? I'll tell you what: I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down — I'm not going to blame you for it." Really? This is Trumpcrap. Everyone knows that Trump won't take blame for anything: when time for shutdown arrives, Trump will attempt to blame anyone but himself, regardless of his emphatic public statement today.

I characteristic style, Trump went to minimize the woman in the room, turning to Nancy Pelosi and saying: "Nancy's in a situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now." With Nancy Pelosi, pending Speaker of the House, that was a mistake, and she let him know her position: "Please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory."

Nancy Pelosi later that day said of Trump and his wall obsession: "It's like a manhood thing for him. As if manhood could ever be associated with him."

Oh; there was actually a fourth official in the room: mannequin Mike Pence, who simply sat there and said absolutely nothing for the full duration of the meeting.

Not a criminal act — just a "simple private transaction"

Monday, December 10, 2018: After wracking his brain on how to dismiss the charge that he directed hush money payments to mistresses in order to help win the election, Trump came up with this coloring of the payment, in a tweet:
"Democrats can't find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey's testimony. No Smocking Gun...No Collusion." @FoxNews That's because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,..."
A private transaction...which he directed his "fixer" lawyer to engineer, hiding it under a fictional LLC, enforced by a contract stipulating a $1 million penalty for each exposure made about the affair.

Cohen's sentencing memo effectively indicts Trump of a criminal act

Friday, December 7, 2018: Federal prosecutors today issued sentencing memos on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. The charges against Cohen include tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign-finance violations surrounding doing Trump's dirtywork, specifically payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate in order to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-presidential candidate. About the payoffs, Cohen's sentencing memo said:
"In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1." Individual-1 is the term prosecutors have been using to refer to Donald Trump. This is damning: it explicitly defines Trump as having directed hush money payments which had no other purpose than to help Trump win the election by withholding negative facts about the candidate, from the electorate, via violation of campaign finance laws.

Incredibly, in response to the documents, Trump then tweeted:
"Totally clears the President. Thank you!"
At that, the world broke into laughter at the utter absurdity of what he said, in light of the extreme seriousness of the charge being made against him. Trump even said of the charging documents: "I haven't read it". This is not unexpected, given that Trump is well known not to read. Nevertheless, ignorance of reality has never stopped Trump from acting in ignorance.

Self-disruption, again

Wednesday, December 5, 2018: Canada announced that at the request of the United States, they had arrested Meng Wanzhou, global chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, on suspicion of violating U.S. sanctions. She faces extradition to the United States. This is stunningly poor timing on the part of the Trump administration, exactly at the same time that they are supposedly trying to smooth trade relations between the U.S. and China. This is a prime example of Trump's lack of strategy, lack of management, and indifference sabotages what he claims he wants to achieve; and the world bears the consequences.

The markets reject Trump's fake news about a trade agreement with China

Tuesday, December 4, 2018: The stock market takes a nose dive, reacting to the absence of substance from Trump's weekend claim of a trade agreement with China, and absurdly aggravated by Trump today tweeting:
"I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN".
J.P. Morgan issued the following note to traders today:
"It doesn't seem like anything was actually agreed to at the dinner and White House officials are contorting themselves into pretzels to reconcile Trump's tweets (which seem if not completely fabricated then grossly exaggerated) with reality."

Trump's fake news about a trade agreement with China

Sunday, December 2, 2018: On the basis of nothing but a brief conversation with China's President Xi Jinping at the G20 conference in Argentina regarding the trade was that Trump created with China, Trump tweets:
"China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%."
That's as absent of substance as his empty claim that there was an agreement with North Korea on their nuclear disarmament.

An explosive day

Thursday, November 29, 2018: In a stunning development, Trump's former personal attorney (and "fixer") Michael Cohen appeared in federal court to plead guilty to lying to Congress, largely regarding to the Trump Tower project in Moscow. Cohen had originally testified that the attempt to get the project moving in Russia wasn't major and that it stopped in January of 2016 and that he hadn't been in communication with the Russian government about it and had minimal communication with Donald Trump about it. However, Cohen now admits that the pursuit lasted into June of 2016. Further, he had directly contacted Vladimir Putin's right hand man, Dmitry Peskov, to seek assistance in getting the project moving. Cohen had also briefed Donald Trump on it, more than Cohen had indicated. A bombshell is that Cohen had also briefed the Trump family about his efforts. Why? Because they, too, had been involved in trying to get the project moving, as part of the whole Trump organization's efforts for at least a dozen years to get established in Russia. So why did Cohen lie about this? To be consistent with the structure of lies that Trump and his organization had constructed to hide their dealings %mdash; which could be violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Some reporting also purports that the Trump side had intentions of giving Vladimir Putin ownership of the penthouse in the Moscow Trump Tower as a reward for his assistance.

To be sure, Russian government officials who had been conversing with Trump representatives would be taking detailed notes on all this. Consider the interesting situation, that the Russians have known for two years now that Trump and his people have been concealing this information.

Upon learning of Cohen's confession, Trump predictably went ballistic and embarked upon another smear campaign, accusing Cohen of lying in the confession, and referring to Cohen as "a weak person". A reporter picked up on this and adroitly asked Trump: "If Cohen is such a bum, why did you hire him and have him on your payroll for 12 years and have him do so much of your dirty work?" Trump's answer was like that of a mob boss: "Because a long time ago, he did me a favor." (Note that Trump did not contest the "dirty work" characterization.) Trump was so rattled by this Cohen situation that he abruptly called off the planned meeting with Vladimir Putin that he was to have at the G20 summit that he was about to fly to. Indeed, Trump faces great embarrassment at being exposed, and having to sit with the guy who has known about this all along. Trump is making a fool of himself by claiming that Cohen is lying now: this plea is part of Mueller team prosecution, and all assertions being made in the plea are certainly backed up by abundant factual information which research by the team investigators has amassed.

Neal Katyal, an American lawyer and partner at Hogan Lovells, as well as Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at Georgetown University Law Center said this evening that we may mark this day as the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency. As others have said, given all that Cohen and all his meticulous documentation have to offer, that today's revelations are just the tip of the iceberg in what's to come, for Trump and for his family.

I take only credit, never blame

Tuesday, November 27, 2018: Always quick to take credit for good stock market performance, Trump is predictably looking for someone to blame other than himself now that stocks are in the dumps. Trump's favorite whipping-boy for the downturn is Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. "Jay" Powell, whom Trump nominated for the position last year. Trump can't stand the Fed's inevitable normalization of interest rates. Trump said to reporters: "I'm doing deals, and I'm not being accommodated by the Fed. They're making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me." "So far, I'm not even a little bit happy with my selection of Jay." Interesting. Wasn't it Trump's "gut" that caused him to put Powell into the Fed chairman position? Certainly, brains aren't necessary to be president.

Trump is also miffed at General Motors for shutting down multiple vehicle production plants and laying off 15% of its workforce. This is the Trump who campaigned in Michigan in 2016, saying "If I'm elected, you won't lose one plant.", and the guy who promoted himself as the ultimate deal-maker. Now, Trump is not bothered by thousands of people losing their jobs or communities having their economies crippled: Trump cares about this only because it jeopardizes his ability to win re-election, and thus his ability to use the office of president to further enrich himself.

Chief Justice John Roberts rebukes Trump on his "Obama judge" rant

Wednesday, November 21, 2018: In an extremely unusual action, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts took Trump to task for his outrageous "Obama judge" rant yesterday. Roberts corrected Trump in a statement saying: "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them." Roberts subsequently added: "That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."

Bashing an "Obama judge"

Tuesday, November 20, 2018: Trump had unilaterally declared that immigrants would not be allowed to apply for asylum. Late yesterday, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar ruled that federal law clearly states that migrants can seek asylum anywhere on U.S. soil. Tigar said the president's new rules exposed adults and children to "increased risk of violence and other harms", adding: "Whatever the scope of the President's authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden." Predictably, Trump lashed out, saying he would file "a major complaint." Said would-be dictator Trump: "This was an Obama judge and I'll tell you what, it's not going to happen like this anymore."

I want to use the office to slay my political enemies

Friday, November 23, 2018: The New York Times is reporting that, in the spring of this year, President Trump told House counsel Don McGahn that he he wanted to order "his" Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey. McGahn explained to Trump that he had no authority to order a prosecution; and while Trump could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment. Again, this is Trump knowing nothing about how government works, and attempting to operate as Dictator of the United States. The situation also further reinforces how vindictive Trump is at his core.

The dumb blond award goes to...

Monday, November 19, 2018: The Washington Post reports that Ivanka Trump had been using a commercial email service infor much of 2017 to conduct White House business. Her office tried to explain this away as her not knowing the rules. After her father railing against Hillary Clinton for literally years for improper handling of email?? This makes Ivanks look stupid, though it's known that she's not. So, is this a case of being oblivious; or in the arrogance of power not giving a damn? The situation also speaks to Donald Trump being utterly incapable as a manager if he didn't make governmental rules well known to those who work in the White House, nor conduct reviews for rules compliance. When reporters asked Donald Trump about this, he did his usual evade-and-distract by energetically attacking Hillary Clinton once again.

Let me attack one of our admirals, and further alienate the military

Sunday, November 18, 2018: In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday", Trump went after retired Admiral William McRaven, the Navy SEAL and Special Operations commander who oversaw the killing of Osama bin Laden and the capture of Saddam Hussein during his 37 years in the U.S. military. Trump derided McRaven as a "Hillary Clinton fan" and an "Obama backer", and then suggested that McRaven was slow to catch bin Laden: "Wouldn't it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn't it have been nice?"

McRaven subsequently responded, in a statement to CNN on Sunday: "I did not back Hillary Clinton or anyone else. I am a fan of President Obama and President George W. Bush, both of whom I worked for." "I admire all presidents, regardless of their political party, who uphold the dignity of the office and who use that office to bring the nation together in challenging times." "I stand by my comment that the President's attack on the media is the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime. When you undermine the people's right to a free press and freedom of speech and expression, then you threaten the Constitution and all for which it stands."

Trump just never passes up an opportunity to make an ass of himself. He can't resist launching a childish attack on a remarkable American who served his country with distinction, even if that attack will (further) alienate the military he allegedly admires. Donald Trump: William McRaven is ten times the man you are. Ted Cruz had it right when he characterized Donald Trump as "a sniveling coward."

Votes don't matter: just declare the Republicans as winners

Monday, November 12, 2018: Whenever any of his favored Republicans (including, chiefly, himself) aren't doing as well as expected in elections, Trump cries "election fraud". As votes are still being counted in many elections, he tweeted:
"The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!"
"Out of nowhere"? Hardly: these are legitimate mail-in ballots, absentee, and provisional ballots. And once again, Trump claims fraud with zero evidence. All he's attempting is to undermine the electorial process and democracy; and in that he's doing exactly what Vladimir Putin wants. Collusionist.

And I'll skip the Veteran's Day commemoration, too

Sunday, November 11, 2018: Back in the U.S., Trump chose not to bother go to Arlington National Cemetery, instead choosing to lounge in the White House making phone calls. This, on the heels of skipping a similar memorial in France the same weekend. This is the president who makes empty statements as to how much he loves the military.

A memorial to falled soldiers? Too inconvenient.

Saturday, November 10, 2018: In France, Trump was scheduled to go to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, the verdant hillside shrine of arcing headstones marks the final resting place of 2,289 U.S. troops, many of whom were killed in the Battle of Belleau Wood. But Trump found an excuse to not go, citing rain. His Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., didn't have any trouble getting there and bow their heads in tribute to those who did not find it too inconveient to give their lives to defend freedom.

Astounding stupidity in blaming California for fires

Saturday, November 10, 2018: The monumental stupidity and ignorance of Donald Trump is on display again as he mindlessly reacts to the horrible fires that are ravaging California by tweeting:
"There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!"
And Trump doubled-down on the attack the next day with follow-up tweet:
"With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!"
This is a president??? This is a knowledgeable adult??? No, this is a jackass. The fires are the result of prolonged drought conditions in the southwest, brought on by the global warming that Trump claims doesn't exist, or that reckless human pollution and Trump's coal policy is making worse. With conditions extremely dry, just a spark can initiate a major fire.

Trump's irresponsible tweet and threat to make things worse by withholding funds were met by widespread condemnation of this fake president. Brian K. Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters union, blasted Trump's comments with:
"The president's message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines. At a time when our every effort should be focused on vanquishing the destructive fires and helping the victims, the president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires."

The Wall Street Journal counters Trump's lies about hush money payments

Friday, November 9, 2018: The Wall Street Journal published an expose today with the banner: "Donald Trump Played Central Role in Hush Payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal", and sub-line "Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of president's participation in transactions that violated campaign-finance laws". Trump has long denied any involvement — or even knowledge — in hush money payments to his mistresses, but the evidence is reportedly showing that he was quite involved. This involvement was intimated by the partial voice recording made public by Michael Cowen, in which he appeared to be discussing payment arrangements with Trump.

I don't know Matt Whitaker

Friday, November 9, 2018: Just two days after appointing Matt Whitaker acting Attorney General, Trump stated multiple times to reporters that he doesn't know Matt Whitaker:
"I don't know Whitaker." an then "I don't know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker worked for Jeff Sessions, and he was always extremely highly thought of, and still is."
Recall that on October 11, on Fox television, Trump said: "I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker." Now, not. It's hardly surprising that Trump is lying again, but what's going on? Public outcry. There has been widespread condemnation of Trump's action, putting his lackey in charge of the Justice Department and thus the investigation that is looking into his own conduct. Trump's statement today is him distancing himself from Whitaker, who has taken on a public stink.

Is Whitaker "extremely highly thought of"? Hardly. He had established a reputation of subversive opportunist, publicly auditioning to Trump for the Attorney General position upon seeing Sessions being spat upon in Trump tweets. Whitaker has demonstrated himself to be unprincipaled: he proclaimed that there was no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia, despite the investigation being ongoing, and that Trump Jr. and Jared's notoriouys meeting with Russians in Trump Tower was innocent election campaign information gathering.

The border "crisis" was fake

Thursday, November 8, 2018: Have you noticed the absence of something? Before the mid-term elections, you were daily hearing Trump declare the "caravan" heading north toward the U.S. border as an "invasion" — a major crisis of such dire magnitude that it warranted sending over 5,000 U.S. military troops to the border. Now what do you hear about this from Trump? Nothing. Why? Because it was just a stunt to agitate his supporters into going to the polls.

Trump fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Wednesday, November 7, 2018: Wasting no time after election Tuesday, Trump fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Well, actually: in his usual cowardly manner, he had his chief of staff John Kelly do it. Then Trump tweeted:
"We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well...." This has to be some relief to Sessions, who since his recusal in the Russian interference investigation has been the constant target of mean-spirited, derisive public tweets from Trump.

A staff member of the Justice Department is given the title?? The order of succession is supposed to be Deputy Attorney General, the post currently held by Rod Rosenstein. Why Whitaker? Because Trump dislikes Rosenstein and because Whitaker is a professed Trump loyalist. (Loyalty to Trump always trumps qualifications.) Whitaker, like Devin Nunes in the House of Representatives, has been Trump's mole in the Justice Department, routinely reporting things back to Trump. John Kelly himself has "privately described (Whitaker) as the West Wing's 'eyes and ears,'" according the New York Times.

Trump's angry post-election news conference

Wednesday, November 7, 2018: In a morning press conference, an angry Trump came looking for a fight in frustration over the voting public repudiated the Trump administration by sending some 40 Democratic candidates to the House of Representatives, given control back to the House and finally providing a check on the out-of-control White House which cowering House Republicans would not. Now, with committee leadership positions being handed over to Democrats, there will certainly be subpoenas being issued to look into Trump and White House behaviors. In his propagandistic style, Trump tried to portray the election as a "great victory" for him personally, though it obviously was not. In his be-loyal-or-be-alienated attitude, Trump even took the opportunity to publicly humiliate Republican candidates for the House, who did not embrace Trump and lost. Outgoing Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello was greatly angered by Trump's trashing of fellow Republicans, issuing the tweet:
"To deal w harassment & filth spewed at GOP MOC's in tough seats every day for 2 yrs, bc of POTUS; to bite ur lip more times you'd care to; to disagree & separate from POTUS on principle & civility in ur campaign; to lose bc of POTUS & have him piss on u. Angers me to my core."
And, of course, a Trump press conference cannot go without again portraying the press as the enemy of the people.

Why is Trump so agitated and angry? Because of a confluence of factors. First, he lost ego-supporting power as half of capitol hill went to the Democrats (who will likely gain up to 40 seats in the House of Representatives). The mid-term electins were also a rebuke to Trump, who said in each race that he supported that a vote for the candidate he traveled to support was a vote for Trump; but the inverse is true, that a vote against his candidates was a vote against him. The public rebuke also undermined Trump's value to Replican politicians in general, who now see Trump as weak, no longer a guarantor of election success worthy of blind, uncritical allegiance. Trump now fully realizes that he will be facing at least two years of Democrats determinedly seeking the truth as to what the executive branch is doing, even using subpoenas, as the Democrats exercise the responsibility for checks and balances that is the House's role, and which Republican members perpetually shirked. Also, Trump is coming down from his "sugar high" of the mid-term elections, of going around the country and feeling the love of adoring gatherings. In hindsight, Trump now sees all that effort and elation being of little value or comfort toward the coming realities. And, of course, there is the dread of what's coming from Bob Mueller.

Trump likes to portray those who oppose him as Democrats. The reality is that people of reason, and people who believe in the Constitution and the rule of law oppose Trump, because what is coming out of the White House is irrationality, self-interest, and disregard of laws.

Trump clearly defines himself as Racist in Chief

Monday, November 5, 2018: Speaking in Florida on Saturday, Trump said of the Democratic candidate for governor:
"Andrew Gillum is not equipped to be your governor. He's just not equipped."
Speaking about the Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, Trump said of Stacey Abrams:
"She is not qualified to be the governor of Georgia, not qualified."
This is Trump speaking in code, as he has in the past when he sought to disparage other African-Americans. His supporters know exactly what he's saying.
Trump also put out a TV commercial featuring Luis Bracamontes, the undocumented immigrant who killed two police officials in Sacramento and grinned in court about it, as Trump tried to use this to stir up fear and loathing against immigrants, with the backdrop being his side show of a supposed "invasion" by a caravan of Central American migrants striving to get into the U.S. The intent of this is to sow fear of criminals being in that caravan who, in particular, would attack American women — this being Trump's twisted way of trying to secure the votes of the suburban women who voted for him before. The commercial was widely lambasted as racist, and was pulled from the networks — even by Fox. Asked about critics who called the ad offensive, Trump replied: "A lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of times so, you know." This is the Trump who repeatedly referred to himself as "the least racist" person you would ever encounter.

Shoot the migrants at the border

Thursday, November 1, 2018: Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Trump proclaimed that any members of the migrant caravan who throw rocks at authorities will be considered armed:
"Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police, where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle."
This is Trump's wish for how the troops that he positioned at the border should react to any migrant who throws a rock: shoot them. General Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tweeted later in the day, calling the large number of troops positioned along the border a "wasteful deployment" and said they wouldn't "use force disproportional to the threat they face."

Why can't I be dictator?

Thursday, November 1, 2018: In a radio interview on the Larry O'Connor Show, Trump complained:
"You know, the saddest thing is that because I'm the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the F.B.I. I'm not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I'm very frustrated by it."
This is Trump's admission that he still doesn't understand the constitutional separation of the branches of government, nor what our democracy is all about. He still wants absolute, dictatorial power, regardless of any realities to the contrary.

Trump can't resist criticizing even fellow Republica, House Speaker Paul Ryan

Wednesday, October 31, 2018: Yesterday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan reacted to Trump's idiotic statement that he could cancel the 14th amendment by executive order. Ryan said: "You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order." That public contradition incited Trump to tweet back:
"Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about! Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!"
Something he knows nothing about? I would wager that Paul Ryan very knowledgeable on the U.S. Constitution — while Trump is willfully ignorant of even this basis for the government that Trump is supposed to be leading.

Trump's defend-anything-Trump-says dimwit Kellyanne Conway predictably fully supported Trump's amendment cancellation nonsense by saying on Fox: "Many other constitutional scholars say that the 14th Amendment has been misinterpreted or misused in this way." Amusingly, Conway's husband George, who routinely demonstrates more intelligence than she, penned an op-ed calling Trump's birthright proposal 'unconstitutional'.

Making the Pittsburgh trip all about him

Wednesday, October 31, 2018: Yesterday, Trump and wife Melania went to Pittsburgh after the slaughter of 11 worshipers in the Tree of Life synagogue there. Here is Trump's tweet one day later about this:
"Melania and I were treated very nicely yesterday in Pittsburgh. The Office of the President was shown great respect on a very sad & solemn day. We were treated so warmly. Small protest was not seen by us, staged far away. The Fake News stories were just the opposite-Disgraceful!"
As is so familiar now, his emphasis was on me, me, me; and he just had to further his war on the media. This is a man who just goes through the motions of consoling the nation after a tragedy such as this. Trump repeatedly demonstrated that he is incapable of empathy.

Trump abuses even more military members for "border theatre"

Wednesday, October 31, 2018: To reinforce his fear-mongering, Trump says that he's going to add 10,000 more troops to the over 5,000 that he earlier announced that he's sending to our southern border. This will make at least two soldiers for every "caravan" person trudging northward from Central America through Mexico. This is Trump running scared in facing the mid-term election consequences of his alienation of so much of the American populace.

Trump abuses the military for "border theatre"

Tuesday, October 30, 2018: Trump is sending over 5,000 active-duty military troops to the Mexican border as a show of force against "the caravan" of Central American people walking north toward the border. This is political theater, abusing military members and their separated families as Trump melodramatically characterizes this as an "invasion of our country" in order to feed the fear and divisiveness he has fostered among his mindles supporters, where he always has to manufacture some "enemy" as he fosters an us-versus-them mentality. The migrants are simply ordinary people: men and women and children on foot, carrying what they can, fleeing horrible conditions in their countries. They are not an invading force. The arduousness of their trek is reflected in their numbers falling by 50%. It is doubtlessly very frustrating to Trump that they aren't moving faster, as they won't be near the border for weeks, thus long after the mid-term elections, so he misses the chance to make this a big show — at the expense of the military and taxpayers (who will pay some $20 million for this Trump sideshow). (Remember, Trump is all about ratings.) So what will the troops do? Not much. They will not be digging in and preparing to fire on these unarmed people. Instead, the military will be in just a manpower role, helping erect barriers, transport Border Patrol agents, surveillance, etc. Over 5,000 U.S. soldiers have been taken away from their families, and won't be home for Thanksgiving — all for nothing. It's being reported that the soldiers fully recognize this to be nothing more than one of Trump's political stunts.

Trump thinks he can cancel the Constitution's amendments with an executive order

Tuesday, October 30, 2018: In case you didn't think the Trump White House could get more insane, here's this: Catering to Trump's deplorables, who will support anything that counters and oppresses Hispanics, Trump talks of undoing the birthright citizenship guaranteed by the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. To justify that, Trump manufactured this lie:
"We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years, with all of those benefits. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. And it has to end."
As numerous fact-checkers pointed out, at least 30 other countries, including Canada, Mexico and many others in the Western Hemisphere, grant automatic birthright citizenship. Trump claims he can cancel elements of the Constitution with an executive order, saying: "It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't."

On one level, this all seems comical, reflecting Trump's entrenched ignorance and incompetence for the office, but at the same time it demonstrates how dangerous he is. It's inconceivable that an American president would even think of unilaterally cancelling elements of our bedrock Constitution. And yet this doesn't bother Trump in the least. Note well that giving fuel to his own impeachment here. Trump took an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States". In contradiction to his oath, Trump seeks to dismantle the Constitution whenever it's inconveient to him.

Trump's hate speech is not the problem — it's those who report it

Monday, October 29, 2018: Yet another attack on the press by Trump tweet:
"There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame..."
The news media report facts. Facts are anathema to Trump, who routinely lies and manufactures propaganda. Any intelligent American should be hostile toward Trump's incessant attacks on truth, and his debasing of the country and his office.

Mail bomber suspect arrested

Friday, October 26, 2018: New reports reveal that Cambridge Analytica used its own database and voter information collected from Facebook and news publishers as part of its $6 million contract to help. get Donald Trump elected. This contradicts Michael Glassner, executive director of the Trump election campaign, who tried to minimize the role Cambridge Analytica played in getting Trump elected. In a statement on Wednesday, October 24, Glassner said that the Trump campaign relied on voter data owned by the Republican National Committee to help elect the president: "Any claims that voter data from any other source played a key role in the victory are false." Further, during the summer of 2016, the head of Cambridge Analytica reached out to Wikileaks' Julian Asange seeking Clinton's 35,000 emails.

Mail bomber suspect arrested

Friday, October 26, 2018: Around noontime, Federal authorities arrested Cesar Sayoc in Broward County, swarming the parking lot of an auto parts store in Plantation, Florida. He was a rabid Republican who was employed as a pizza delivery guy living in a white van whose windows were fully covered with hate pictures, including an image of Hillary Clinton in the center of a bullseye. (Incredibly, he was using this van to deliver the pizzas to families' homes, where his employer insisted that he work nights so the customers would not see the delivery vehicle.) His workmates routinely had to quell Sayoc as he would rant about exterminating Democrats, Jews, blacks, lesbians, and others. As the result of learning of this demented person's Trump devotion, Sayoc is now know as "the MAGAbomber".

Following the capture, that afternoon Trump made a (scripted) public statement, saying:
"In these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."
Clearly, this is what a speechwriter wrote for him to say. This is Teleprompter Trump.

Trump was later asked if he had called the intended bombing victims. After all, one of the intended victims was the most previous president. No, Trump had no intention of speaking with any of them. This not a president. Trump has no idea what it is to be a president.

That evening, Trump went to one of his deplorables rallies, in Charlotte, North Carolina. There, he launched into his usual vitriol in attacking the press.

The alleged bombs are interfering with my plans

Friday, October 26, 2018: On Twitter at 10:19, Trump reacts to the bomber situation:
"Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this "Bomb" stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows - news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!"
Here we have a lunatic sending mail bombs to the addresses of fourteen prominent U.S. citizens and all that Trump can think about is keeping enough Republicans in Congress to keep him from being impeached. How inconvenient. Me, me, me, always. Note well the word "Bomb" in quotes. This is Trump playing to all the right wing conspiracy nutjobs who posited that the mail bombs are a creation of Democrats, where the bombs are fake and the whole thing is a hoax. This is epidemic irrationality, from the White House down to the inflamable wackos who support his incompetence and lies.

Trump: blame the media, not me, for the anger, division, and violence I promote

Thursday, October 25, 2018: Disavowing any responsibility for the anger and divisiveness that he himself promotes, Trump once again tried to shift the blame to his "enemy of the people", the media, in tweet: "A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!"
In other words, everyone should bow down to the great Donald Trump and stop questioning his lies, as Omarosa said on September 22, 2016 that the world should do.

Very notable: In this week of someone conducting a widespread assassination campaign across the country, the department of Homeland Security should be prominently out front, speaking on this terrorism attack. Homeland Security was absent. Where was Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen? She was on Fox, with Martha MacCallum, discussing that great distraction of a caravan in Mexico heading north toward the U.S. southern border. Nielsen did her best to portray these desperate migrants as an imminent threat to the United States, saying:
"If they come here illegally with no legitimate reason to stay, they absolutely will be apprehended and removed immediately." "Everything is on the table to make it very clear that we have a sovereign right to protect our citizens." "If they come here illegally with no legitimate reason to stay, they absolutely will be apprehended and removed immediately." "Everything is on the table to make it very clear that we have a sovereign right to protect our citizens."
This implied threat to fire upon bedgraggled people who have walked hundreds of miles is in concert with Trump's desire to send the U.S. military to the border, as Trump strives to portray these men, women, and children as some kind of invading army.

Fake Trump: let's come together

Wednesday, October 24, 2018: In a scripted reaction to the spate of mail bombs targeting his enemies, Trump ingenously says:
"In these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that threats or acts of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."
This, from the alleged president who just days ago applauded the extreme violence of body-slamming a reporter and who rancorously feeds division and hatred in his rallies.

Again encounraging violence

Tuesday, October 20, 2018: Speaking before a rally of his deplorables in Missoula, Montana, Trump applauds Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte's assault of journalist Ben Jacobs in May 2017, where Gianforte body-slammed the reporter. Promoting Gianforte's action, Trump said: "Any guy who can do a body slam, he's my guy" — and Trump imitated the body slam action, for emphasis. This is an adult...this is the president applauding violent attacks on U.S. citizens.

The ballooning deficit: let's ignore the real cause, and take from the poor to aid the rich

Tuesday, October 16, 2018: It is a day after the Treasury Department said the U.S. budget deficit grew to $779 billion in Donald Trump's first full fiscal year as president. This is predominantly the result of the Republican tax cut for corporations and the wealthy. The deficit has now increased 77 percent from the $439 billion deficit in fiscal 2015, when Republican Mitch McConnell became majority leader. Appearing on Bloombery, McConnell completely avoided attributing cause to the Republican tax cut. Incredibly, he blamed entitlement programs Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security...programs which help the poor. Taking away from the economically disadvantaged has been a Republican obsession, as amply demonstrated over the past year in their attempt to destroy the Affordable Care Act. And they clearly intend to continue the onslaught against any programs which help other than the rich.

Claiming "too busy" to visit the troops

Tuesday, October 16, 2018: The Associated Press interviews president Trump. One of the questions:
AP: "On the subject of American soldiers and military overseas, why have you not yet visited a military base in a combat zone like in Iraq and Afghanistan?"
Trump: "Well, I will do that at some point, but I don't think it's overly necessary. I've been very busy with everything that's taking place here."
Too busy? Trump's short work days have been well documented, as has been the hours he spends watching television for things being said about him. And then there is all the time spent generating tweets to insult people and institutions. If Trump were ever to work on policies, study bills, understand the history of institutions and deployments, and actually work with legislators, he would be legitimately busy.

Trump and his river of money from Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, October 16, 2018: Of the Khashoggi assassination situation, Trump tweets:
"Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate. He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly."
This is Trump supporting their denials. It's not surprising, as Trump has conspicuosly benefitted from Saudi money over the past two years.

Facing growing criticism of his soft-pedaling of Saudi leadership culpability in the Turkish consulate killing, Trump tweets:
"For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!"
This is not the first time he has denied this. However, the admitted reality is that the Saudi's have deep financial interests in Trump, as he gleefully bragged at rallies in 2015, and is well documented. In no coincidence, it was Saudi Arabia that Trump chose to make his first state visit as president.

Trump as a model for Republicans

Friday, October 12, 2018: Adopting the belligerence of his idol Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor, Scott Wagner, posted a video aimed at his rival, Governor Tom Wolf, in which Wagner bellicosely threatened: "Well, Governor Wolf, let me tell you what, between now and Nov. 6, you better put a catcher's mask on your face, because I'm going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes." This is the tenor of the Republican party now, where rationality is abandoned and reckless attacks and threats of physical violence are the norm. This is the depth to which the Republican party has sunk with Trump.

I know Matt Whitaker

Thursday, October 11, 2018: Speaking to Fox News' Fox and Friends, Trump says of Jeff Sessions' chief of staff Matt Whitaker:
"I can tell you Matt Whitaker's a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker."
(Trump would on November 9 say he doesn't know Whitaker.)

One of Trump's crazies gives an Oval Office performance

Thursday, October 11, 2018: In his continues lack of respect for the office of presidency, Trump invited his chief crazy Kanye West into the Oval Office. The predictable result was a spectacle as West went into a 10 minute, profanity-laden, and often incoherent rant. A sample: "There's a lot of things affecting our mental health that makes us do crazy things that puts us back into that trap door called the 13th Amendment." In case you didn't understand West's adoration of Trump, West wore one of those stupid Make America Great Again hats — as he proceeded to contradict with his behavior. "It was something about when I put this hat on. ... It made me feel like Superman. That's my favorite superhero. And you made a Superman cape for me."

West expressed his devotion to Trump as a father figure. More than anything else in this event, this was particularly disturbing because it's an insight into how Trump's followers view him. What every autocrat and dictator strives to achieve is to be seen by his followers as a father figure, where they dotingly do whatever he dictates. We've seen this through history, and most disturbingly in World War II, with its repeated references to "the fatherland".

The whole world got to see this spectacle, as Trump further debases the office of president. In pictures of the event you will note that Trump had cleared all sharp objects from his desk beforehand.

It's always about money and ego

Thursday, October 11, 2018: Asked by reporters about the disappearance and likely killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Turkey, and possible sanctions against the Saudis as a result, Trump said:
"I know they're [Senators] talking about different kinds of sanctions, but they're [Saudi Arabia] spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs, like jobs and others for this country. I don't like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States."
First, the $110B number is as fake as the $270B in armaments contracts that Trump claimed in his May 2017 love fest with the Saudis in his trip there in May 2017: there are no such contractual commitments by the Saudis. But more importantly, Trump's money-first stance is as crass as can be expected from Trump, where it doesn't matter that it would be blood money, as long as it serves his ego and ambitions. It is likely also that Trump doesn't want to upset Jared Kushner's excessively chummy relationship with Saudi leaders. After all, it is the Saudis who are keeping Trump's hotels profitable. As commentators have pointed out, Trump expressed far more outrage when his daughter's clothing line was dumped by Nordstrom (in February 2017).

This situation is partly Trump's making. In his speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit on May 21, 2017 Trump said to the Saudis: "We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship." This was Trump telling the Saudis that they can feel free to do whatever they want: the U.S. doesn't care any more.

The huge problem here is that Trump has no understanding of international relations. Trump approaches another country by simply socializing with its (current) leader. You'll hear him repeatedly using the phrase "getting along with (_person_)". Trump's purpose in this, perhaps unconsciously, is to gain a personal supporter, and that gets back to Trump being ego-driven. This is not international relations: this is interpersonal relations. Government players change. Experienced presidents know that what needs to happen is that your country needs to establish solid diplomatic relations with the other country — not its (current) leader. What Trump is doing is naive and highly problematic, because the U.S. then becomes tied to the mis-deeds of the other country's leader; and then you are stuck, with no way forward. Trump has seemingly convinced his equally naive son-in-law Jared Kushner to do just as Trump is doing, and this has left Kushner personally tied to the quagmires created by the Saudi leader.

It's election season — time for Republicans to suppress the vote again

Thursday, October 11, 2018: In Georgia, an aggressive policy has been put into place which will keep a citizen from voting if there is even a minute discrepancy beween what is in that person's voter information versus information about that person from other state agencies. As a result of this, 53,000 voters (and counting) are in limbo — 70% of them African-American. And who is overseeing all this? The Republican secretary of state, Brian Kemp, who is running for governor. In Kansas, the leader of Trump's notorious election integrity commission, Republican Kris Kobach, is the secretary of state — and running for governor. Citing the known fiction of "voter fraud", Kobach was an architect of the Kansas law which required people to provide proof of citizenship such as a passport or birth certificate in order to register to vote. In a court challenge to the egregious law, federal Judge Julie Robinson struck down that law in June — despite Kobach himself fighting for that law in court. As Massachusetts U.S. senator Ed Markey said today that Republicans are in a panic about losing seats in the upcoming mid-term elections, and are desperately doing anything at all to supress voting by Democrat voters.

A rally is more important than being president

Wednesday, October 10, 2018: Just as hurricane Michael was shredding the Florida panhandle, Trump was in Pennsylvania, regardless, to conduct one of his same-old rant-and-rave rallies. To Trump, this was far more important than the boring stuff of being president. Well known for being devoid of empathy, Trump stuck to his self-interested activities at the same time that Americans in the southeast were being pummelled and losing their homes. This is the same Trump who, on November 6, 2012, railed on Twitter about Obama going to a campaign event...two weeks after hurricane Sandy.

A hilarious sidelight to the event was that Fox, knowing it would be the same old rehash of Trump vitriol and lies, they decided not to broadcast the event. Learning of this later, Trump was very unhappy about it and let Fox know.

Trump invents "paid protestors"

Tuesday, October 9, 2018: At 08:32 our Imbecile In Chief tweets:
"The paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven't gotten their checks - in other words, they weren't paid! Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious - less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!"
No evidence for his statement, of course. A few hours later, with reporters, he reinforces this nonsense with:
"But, you know, a lot of those were paid protestors. You saw that. They were all unhappy because they haven't been paid yet. I've been calling it. They were paid protestors. That was professional. That was orchestrated, when you look in the halls of Congress, and you see screaming like that... These are paid protestors."
Again, zero corroboration. So, what was the authoritative source for Trump's information, worthy of a presidential declaration? Fox & Friends, of course, that bastion of reliable information that the world can depend upon. The writer Asra Nomani had been invited onto Fox & Friends earlier that morning to talk about various liberal organizations she says helped organize some of the Kavanaugh protests. (Though she didn't mention it, conservative groups do this as well; see the Obamacare protests a few years ago.) Nomani then said:
"It's not the individual protesters who are getting the money." And: "People have sent me lots of messages that they're waiting for their check." Nomani later admitted that she was being sarcastic in what she purported: in other words, a fabrication. Trump simply parrots whatever garbage Fox News broadcasts, not caring whether it's true or not, as he seeks to debase those legitimately exercising their right to free speech under our Constitution (remember that thing?). This is Trump subscribing to the Republican lies machine.

This is the same Trump who paid people $50 each to cheer for him at his presidential announcement in 2015. Remember that scene of wildly enthusiastic people in identical Trump T-shirts as Trump came down that escalator with his latest wife Melania and was brought to the podium by Ivanka to deliver his presidential run announcement? (See these paid enthusiasts being primed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsFYmy1mvXM)

Trade wars remain just wonderful

Wednesday, October 3, 2018: The New York Times conducted an exhaustive investigation of where Trump's money came from and found that its source was rampant cheating rather than earning. At the Times says: "President Trump has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today's dollars from his father's real estate empire. The president participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents." This, of course, amounted to stealing from lesser people to enrich himself: it's the poor and middle class who should pay taxes to support the country, not the privileged like Donald Trump.

The real Trump resurfaces

Tuesday, October 2, 2018: On Friday, September 28, Trump calmy talked of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony the day before:
"I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me, very fine woman".
Totally uncharacteristic, as though Trump was on medications or something. But tonight, Trump was at a Mississippi rally of his deplorables, in which he was back to his true form, applauding himself and railing against and insulting people, including Ford. Trump mocked and ridiculed Ford with:
"What he's going through: 36 years ago, this happened. 'I had one beer.' Right? 'I had one beer.' 'Well, you think it was ...' 'Nope, it was one beer.' 'Oh, good. How did you get home?' 'I don't remember.' 'How did you get there?' 'I don't remember.' 'Where is the place?' 'I don't remember.' 'How many years ago was it?' 'I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.'"
Even Republicans were appalled at this sub-human behavior. Trump never hesitates to stoop to even the lowest expectations of his deplorables.

Trade wars remain just wonderful

Monday, October 1, 2018: Trump press conference, where he chracteristically makes unfounded claims as to how wonderful everything will be because of his trade war. This was also another example of how awkward and childish his phrasings are: count the number of times he said "bad things" to dramatize his assertions.

Christine Blasey Ford testifies against Kavanaugh

Thursday, September 27, 2018: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and delivered her testimony as to being sexually attacked when 15 years old by Brett Kavanaugh, with Mark Judge partially participating in the secluded second floor bedroom, with the door locked. This was followed by Kavanaugh delivering his denials. Many observers commented that Kavanaugh, angry, belligerent and surly, acted like the angry drunk that even his roommate Mark Judge said he could be. At times, Kavanaugh even acted like he was having a temper tantrum. Kavanaugh's behavior made many question if this is the temperament one would want from a Supreme Court justice. Consistent, the Republican senators lavished sympathy on Kavanaugh, but no voices of sympathy for Dr. Ford. Asked if he would request an FBI investigation to clear everything up, Kavanaugh would not. This is consistent with Trump not wanting the FBI to investigate, nor would the Republican senators seek this. Nor would the Republicans subpoena the other person in that bedroom, Mark Judge, to testify. Moreover, Republicans withheld thousands of pages of evidence surrounding Kavanaugh. All the indications are that the Repubicans don't want facts to be revealed, and certainly they don't want corroboration of Ford's testimony. As the hearing concluded, Kavanaugh went on an Alex Jones-like attack, blaming the whole thing on The Democrats — even saying it was "revenge on behalf of the Clintons": Kavanaugh is implicitly stating that he will be a partisan Republican on the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh came across as entitled to get the Supreme Court position. This is what people would expect from those who grew up in privilege.

Then there was Lindsay Graham's eruption in the meeting, in which he shouted his accusation of Senate Democrats perpetrating "the most unethical sham since I've been in politics". Once known as a free thinker and a critic of Trump's antics, Graham has become a sell-out, defending Trump and supporting whatever Trump wants to do. Apparently, Graham doesn't think that Trump's baseless accusation of Obama having wiretapped Trump tower, or the disaster of separating children from parents at the Mexico border, are major when compared to Republican outrages in getting a conservative zealot onto the Supreme Court.

A weirdness in this hearing: The Republican senators had brought in Rachel Mitchell, a career prosecutor experienced in prosecuting sex crimes, to question Ford and Kavanaugh, to give the appearance that it wasn't Republican old men questioning the testifying woman. Mitchell questioned Ford throughout Ford's testimony, seemingly trying (unsuccessfully) to poke holes in that testimony. Then Mitchell started questioning Kavanaugh; but Kavanaugh was doing poorly when being questioned about facts. At this point the Republican senators in effect fired Mitchel, summarily dismissing her and going on to question Kavanaugh — sympathetically — themselves.

Certainly, this process was never intended to be fair or fact-finding. And, naturally, Trump applauded Kavanaugh's belligerance. What this hearing signals to survivors of sexual assault is that no matter how vividly you recall the attack and no matter how credible you are, you will be treated dismissively by the establishment old men — who previously scheduled a vote tomorrow morning.

Another aspect to all this: The hearings for a Supreme Court nominee constitute a job interview. Thinking in terms of an interview for a position in a corporation, do you think that any executive interviewer would hire someone who evidenced dishonesty and who would not answer questions and who expressed vitriolic anger?

The United Nations General Assembly laughs in Trump's face

Tuesday, September 25, 2018: Trump returns to the United Nations, and could not keep from lauding himself, boasting:
"Today I stand before the United Nations General Assembly to share the extraordinary progress we've made. In less than two years, my administration has accomplished almost more than any other administration in the history of our country."
At that, laughter broke out in the room, well aware that it was standard Trump propaganda, from the world's most well established con man. Finding himself interrupted by that, Trump added: "So true." Louder laughter from the room. The assembly, a representation of the whole world, laughed in his face; the last thing he expected. Trump then added: "Didn't expect that reaction but that's OK." That had to shake Trump, who is inherently very insecure and who perpetually seeks peer acceptance from truly accomplished adults.

This is so ironic. On Aug 9, 2014 Trump then tweeted: "We need a President who isn't a laughing stock to the entire World..."
Well, Trump is president and laughing stock of the world; and with this buffoon, the United States has been reduced to the laughing stock of the world.

Anothere example of Republicans not wanting truths to get in their way

Monday, September 24, 2018: Kavanaugh's accuser is now scheduled to give her testimony on Thursday, in a televised event. Republicans, hell-bent on rushing the nomination through, are equally intent on confirming Kavanaugh, no matter what anyone says, as they view this whole thing as a war they intend to win.

It should be noted that the Republicans absolutely will not have the FBI look into the charges, regardless of any testimony. You would think they would want the FBI involved, as any false statement made to a federal agent — unlike to a senate committee — is a felony. But this is characteristic of Republicans, who don't want any facts to get in the way of doing whatever they want to do.

In their rush and anger, the Republicans are overlooking the obvious: it is six weeks before the mid-term elections, and what voters are seeing is a group of old men, utterly entrenched in equally old attitudes, intent on stuffing the Supreme Court with right-wing idealogues, at any expense.

Why Republicans have a huge credibility gap with women

Thursday, September 20, 2018: As the Kavanaugh controversy continues, Republicans continue to belittle the whole issue of sexual assaults on women. South Carolina GOP Rep. Ralph Norman opened an election debate Thursday by cracking a joke that attempted to play off the controversy over the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Norman's alleged joke: "Did you hear about this? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln." Commentators have described Norman as a troglodyte. But he's hardly the only example. Republican women don't hesitate to reflexively dismiss women who don't conform to the Republican liturgy. Trump apologist Kellyanne Conway, speaking to reporters, sought to undermine Ms. Ford with this predictable nonsense: "There are a lot of details missing. She says she simply can't remember. I was 15 the same summer, I don't remember a lot about that summer either 36 years ago, so that rings true to me." In other words, Ford's memory is unreliable because it's not possible to remember thing from that long ago, and thus Ford's accusation should not be considered viable. As memory experts explain, and is obvious to any of us humans, the more impactful the life event, the more memorable it will be. Being violently attacked is very memorable.

Note the monumental hypocrisy surrounding this Kavanaugh situation. Republicans are pushing to hurriedly get this supreme court nominee confirmed, in time for the upcoming court calendar year. These are the same Republicans who had no problem with leaving a supreme court seat empty for many months: Following the February 2016 death of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court on March 16, 2016. Republican leadership then launched a campaign to block the convening of the Senate panel to review the candidate, and succeeded in doing so for the full remainger of Obama's term. Senate leader Mitch McConnell bragged that denying Merrick Garland a SCOTUS hearing was the biggest accomplishment of his career.

A familiar pattern

Tuesday, September 18, 2018: Trump's supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford of having sexually attacked her in 1982, when she was 15 and he was 17. Just as in the past, Trump's predictable reaction was to have deep sympathy for the male, at best ignoring the female. Trump's attitude toward the sexual assault of women is laid out in Bob Woodward's new book, Fear:
Trump gave some private advice to a friend who had acknowledged some bad behavior toward women. Real power is fear. It's all about strength. Never show weakness. You've always got to be strong. Don't be bullied. There is no choice.
"You've got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women," he said. "If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you're dead. That was a big mistake you made. You didn't come out guns blazing and just challenge them. You showed weakness. You've got to be strong. You've got to be aggressive. You've got to push back hard. You've got to deny anything that's said about you. Never admit."
This is obviously classic bullying and intimidation: exploit weakness. It doesn't matter that you're wrong or, possibly, have done something illegal.

The classic old male attitude problem extends to the senators involved. The comments of senator Orrin Hatch were particularly indicative. Pre-judging Dr. Ford the same way he did when he sat questioning Anita Hill in 1991, Hatch said of Dr. Ford that she's "mixed up". There's no better example of the need for term limits than Orrin Hatch.

Demonstrating himself to be unhinged, and unfit for ANY office

Thursday, September 13, 2018: Another day of attacks by tweet; but today's went way beyond what even passes for outrageous for Trump:
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000... This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!"
This is just outrageous. This is Trump reacting with vitriol to anything which contradicts his self-laudadory praise for his presidency over that hurricane disaster, where he is receptive only to accolades...as if it were yet another Trump TV show, where what matters to him are his ratings. He couldn't leave this alone...he had to put his foot into this older hurricane event rather than concentrate on current hurricane Florence. And, as usual, Trump has nothing to back up his empty claim.
Puerto Rico's governor (and scientist), Ricardo Rossello, reacted to Trump, saying: "People in Puerto Rico don't deserve to have their pain questioned." Trump's tweet was similarly criticized by numerous other prominent politicians. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz responded with a tweet of her own, calling the president "delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality".
The 2,975 deaths number was from an independent report, commissioned by the Puerto Rican government and conducted by George Washington University's Milken Institute of Public Health. (The report was not created by "the Democrats".) The GWU report is corroborated by an earlier study, released by Harvard University in May, had also estimated that 4,645 more people died from September 20 to December 31 last year than in that same period in 2016. No government agency protected the many thousands of poor Puerto Rico residents living in isolated areas in relatively primitive housing: they were predictable potential victims in being exposed to a major, violent storm, where flying roof sheeting alone could fatally lacerate human flesh. And after the initial storm, there is lack of food, water, and electricity which, coupled with exposure and disease, results in many more deaths in such disasters. Given that Trump doesn't read anything, it is extremely unlikely that he read the GWU report to appreciate its contents; and it seems his staff did not create a comic book version for Trump to be able to absorb it. It's easy to deny when you don't care to know.

Self-congratulation again on Puerto Rico

Tuesday, September 11, 2018: Addressing reporters on the coming Hurricane Florence, Trump harked back to what Hurricane Maria did to Puerto Rico, and lauded the response of his own administration:
"The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did in Puerto Rico, I think, was tremendous. I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible unsung success."
The reality of the storm is that some 3000 people died on that island, and that restoration of electrical power was a fiasco, with a sweetheart deal going to an underequipped U.S. contractor and ploddingly slow reconstruction. Trump's memorable response at that time was to briefly visit just a command center and toss rolls of paper towels to those in the room. As for Florence, it is being reported that Trump diverted $10M from FEMA to ICE ahead of hurricane season, in his obsession in keeping out of the country people he doesn't like.

Monumental stupidity from Trump in eliminating climate change mitigation

Tuesday, September 11, 2018: As FEMA has to spend more and more taxpayer dollars to deal with the aftermath of increasingly frequent and severe storms, Trump continues to eliminate U.S. initiatives to combat the global warming which is exacerbating those storms. Catering to energy companies, Trump is now rolling back rules which had curbed methane leaks and burning off the nuisance gases resulting from oil drilling. Corporate welfare is very much alive and well in the Trump era.

Trump attacks Bob Woodward on his upcoming 'Fear' book release

Monday, September 10, 2018: Excerpts from Bob Woodward's new book 'Fear', about the chaos inside the White House and dissension among administration principals, are appearing in the press. The book corroborates everything we've heard about the chaos in the administration and Trump's incapability as a president. Today, Trump assailed Woodward and the book in a tweet:
"The Woodward book is a Joke - just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now disproven unnamed and anonymous sources. Many have already come forward to say the quotes by them, like the book, are fiction. Dems can't stand losing. I'll write the real book!"

In the court of nations, the U.S. is above the law

Monday, September 10, 2018: National security adviser John Bolton delivered a speech in which he declared that the United States will retaliate against the International Criminal Court if it attempts to prosecute any Americans over actions taken in Afghanistan: "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by the illegitimate court." The White House said that to the extent permitted by U.S. law, the Trump administration would ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system and prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. In this, Trump's gang is denouncing the legitimacy of The Hague-based court, which was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes and crimes of humanity and genocide in areas where perpetrators might not otherwise face justice. Bolton is declaring Americans exempt from prosecution by this international tribunal. By declaration, the U.S. shall do anything it wants, with no accountability. Sound like Russia, doesn't it?

More false economic stats from Trump

Monday, September 10, 2018: Trump tweets:
"The GDP Rate (4.2%) is higher than the Unemployment Rate (3.9%) for the first time in over 100 years!"
This is more Trump propaganda, falsely puffing up his administration's economics. The reality is that GDP has been higher than unemployment in 185 months since 1948. Of course, Trump doesn't care about reality, as he believes that he can just make up numbers and make them true by proclamation. The great dictator.

Extraordinary revelation by someone claiming to be inside the administration

Wednesday, September 5, 2018: The New York Times publishes an extraordinary opinion piece titled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" said to be written by a senior Trump administration official. It's summary statement is: "I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." This set off a hunt within the White House as to whom this person could be, with Trump being described as "volcanic".
It is highly amusing to think that Trump is undertaking his own "witch hunt" within his realm.

Trump subsequently tweeted an attack:
"Does the so-called 'Senior Administration Official' really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!"
Oh, the irony of Trump calling someone else "gutless".

Don't pursue investigation of Republicans who could prevent my impeachment

Monday, September 3, 2018: Trump tweets another shot at Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
"Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff."
This is about the Department of Justice pursuing manifest evidence of fraud perpetrated by Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he and his wife, Margaret, used more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses; and Chris Collins, a Republican of New York and an ardent supporter of Trump's, indicted on charges of insider trading. This is Trump, publicly trying to interfere with federal criminal investigations against Republicans (never any other party's member, of course), implying that Republicans should not be held accountable for crimes. Does Trump really care about the fate of these two guys? Of course not. This is pure self interest, as usual, to stack Congress with supporters who will vote againsta impeachment.

Running scared, the lies become ever more bizarre

Thursday, August 30, 2018: In a borderline insane tweet, Trump charges:
"What's going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks - with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!"
So, 15 months later, Trump is now going to try to assert that the interview with Lester Holt that about 100 million people saw, and that many NBC crew members and White House staffers witnessed in person, is somehow not real, and that what we saw and heard Donald Trump say didn't happen. And, of course, he does this is the most irresponsible manner, as usual, throwing a dart and then walking away with no substantiation or explanation. As commentators have said, we have seen this kind of thing before, in Nazi Germany and in communist Russia, with an authoritarian regime telling their oppressed populace that reality is not real, and that the press is "the enemy of the people" for cutting through self-serving propaganda. Note well that this is the same interview that Trump'a attorney Rudy Giuliani cited and praised on May 2nd.
This is a display of a Donald Trump becoming increasingly unhinged, as his con is no longer working and he is rapidly losing control, with people abandoning him and the House of Representatives heading toward control by Democrats as his "base" can no longer protect him.

Trump ousts White House counsel Don McGahn

Wednesday, August 29, 2018: By Trump tweet, White House counsel Don McGahn learns that he is out:
"White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!"
This was after McGahn spent some 30 hours testifying to questions from investigators. Given McGahn's professionalism, he likely would not reveal to Trump what he delivered in that testimony. We know that, to Trump, this constitutes "disloyalty", and that gets you ejected from Trump world.
The next day, Trump would tweet about this:
"Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner had NOTHING to do with the so called 'pushing out' of Don McGahn.The Fake News Media has it, purposely,so wrong! They love to portray chaos in the White House when they know that chaos doesn't exist-just a 'smooth running machine' with changing parts!"

Truth isn't truth

Sunday, August 26, 2018: Trump's alleged personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was on NBC's "Meet the Press," being interviewed by Chuck Todd. In a discussion of whether Trump should testify before Mueller.
Giuliani: "And when you tell me that, 'You know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry,' well, that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth. Not the truth."
Todd: "Truth is truth." [Recall Todd having to go through much the same thing with Kellyann Conway when she came up with the term "alternative facts" when being interviewed by Todd.]
Giuliani: "No, it isn't truth. Truth isn't truth."
George Orwell once wrote a novel about double-speak like this.

Trump now admits to knowing about the hush money payments

Wednesday, August 22, 2018: In an interview with Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt, Trump was asked about the hush money payments to Stephanie Clifford and Karen McDougal: "Did you know about the payments?" Trump responded:
"Later on I knew. Later on. What he did — and they weren't taken out of the campaign finance, that's the big thing. That's a much bigger thing. Did they come out of the campaign? They didn't come out of the campaign, they came from me."
This, of course, contradicts his original statement on April 5 that he did not know about the payments. This is an example of the consequences of Trump's strategy-less amateur lying, where he has to confess to one thing to try to wriggle out of another thing — in this case, campaign finance violations. As is well known to lawyers, having the money come from someplace other than the campaign is ridiculously irrelevant, as the money was intentionally to benefit the campaign by silencing these women, and as such effectively constitutes a campaign contribution...and an undeclared one at that.

Cohen utterly rejects Trump

Wednesday, August 22, 2018: Michael Cohen, despite pleading guilty to eight federal charges, says through his attorney that he will not seek or accept a pardon from Trump. Lanny Davis, Cohen's lawyer, speaking to NPR regarding what conversations he or his client have had with President Trump:
"I don't know. I know that Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from a man that he considers to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the Oval Office, and he has flatly authorized me to say under no circumstances would he accept a pardon from Mr. Trump, who used the pardon power in a way that no president in American history has ever used a pardon to relieve people of guilt who committed crimes, who are political cronies of his, like the sheriff in Arizona who defied a court order, was clearly guilty and was given a pardon. Mr. Cohen isnot interested in being dirtied by a pardon from such a man."
Abused, discarded, and maligned by Trump, Cohen seems to be on a mission to bring Trump down, and will likely cooperate enthusiastically with all investigations.

They're guilty, but none of that involves me

Tuesday, August 21, 2018: A momentous day, in which Trump's lawyer and his campaign director both became felons. Tried for fraud and conspiracy in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, the jury found Paul Manafort guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud, where he could face a sentence of up to 80 years in a federal penitentiary. In refusing to either plead guilty or cooperate with Mueller, Manafort paid a very large amount of money to instead be found guilty. And the proscecution could further pursue Manafort on 10 other counts that the jury could not agree on. Trump's fixer lawyer Michael Cohen had been charged with tax fraud, false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations tied to his work for Trump, including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-candidate. Cohen arranged payments of $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford and $150,000 to Karen McDougal as hush money to keep the affairs from influencing the ongoing presidential campaign. Cohen said he did this "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" — of course meaning Trump.

As usual, Trump labored to distance himself from these felons, saying on the tarmac that Paul Manafort is a good man, and repeated his mantra that the investigation is just a big witch hunt, and repeatedly said "no collusion"; and said of the Manafort conviction, "It doesn't involve me". For someone who claims innocence of everything, why does Trump sound so guilty? (In legal circles, this is termed "consciousness of guilt".) That evening, Trump conducted one of his propaganda rallies, in Charleston, West Virginia — complete with the obligatory chant of "lock her up", as though Hillary Clinton had any relevance now. (Some irony, there, considering who's being locked up these days.) Interestingly, Trump had nothing at all to say about the momentous events that transpired that day involving high level people involved in his campaign and his professional life. Of course, he went on again about no collusion. Playing to his deplorables gives Trump some solace as he somehow convinces them that he in any way resembles a president.

All this further goes to demonstrate — and prove — that Donald Trump both surrounded himself with people who thought nothing of engaging in fraud, and illegal activity in general. Cohen's testimony strongly implicates Trump in criminal activity as well. There's obviously much more to come, including Manafort going before another court, in Washington, on September 17 on seven separate charges including money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent. Not to be overlooked is the huge "gift box" to follow-on prosecutors of Michael Cohen's voluminous records on Trump and his business dealings. Stephanie Clifford's attorney Michael Avenatti can greatly benefit from such material as he pursues charges against Cohen — and by implication, Trump, who is now testified to be the director of the hush money payment to Clifford.

Note well the "law doesn't apply to us" mentality among Trump, people around him, and people like him. It's hypocrisy on a monumental scale to be vehemently anti-crime — and then to proclaim what a disgrace it is that your friends could be investigated, tried, and convicted for criminal activity.

Trump expresses admiration for Manafort having fought the charges against him. Why? Because this meshes with Trump's life-long autonomic combativeness response to everything that runs counter to his wishes. To Trump, being combative is always the thing to do — even if it's the most unintelligent and self-defeating approach to a problem.

Tell West Virginians how well off they are — when they aren't

Tuesday, August 21, 2018: Trump is in Charleston, West Virginia, claiming how his policies are doing such wonderful things for the working class. The reality is that the state is barely making progress, with wide swaths of its populace in poverty. West Virginia is just one of two states where poverty rose last year. West Virginia's poverty rate climbed to 19.1 percent last year from 17.9 percent, making it just one of four states with a poverty rate above 18 percent. As one resident says: "The jobs that are available are minimum wage and part time -- they don't have benefits." The state has a populace with higher rates of disability, as can be expected from the dangers of working in coal mines.

George Orwell was right that there would be people who would proclaim that truth is not truth

Sunday, August 19, 2018: Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's P.T. Barnum attorney, appeared on Meet the Press this morning, hosted by Chuck Todd. Giuliani embarked upon explaining that he won't let special counsel Robert Mueller rush Trump into testifying because he doesn't want investigators to trap the President into a lie (no great challenge there).
Giuliani: "When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he's going to tell the truth and he shouldn't worry, well, that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth. Not the truth."
Todd: "Truth is truth," (This is Todd trying to once again counter Trump camp inanity, as he had to on January 22, 2017 with Kellyanne Conway's assertion that there exist "alternative facts".)
Giuliani: "No, no, it isn't truth. Truth isn't truth. The President of the United States says, "I didn't ..."
Todd, interjecting: "Truth isn't truth? Mr. Mayor, do you realize, what ... I think this is going to become a bad meme."
Giuliani: "No, no, no ... don't do this to me,"
Todd, continuing: "Don't do 'truth isn't truth' to me."

Parade? No parade.

Friday, August 17, 2018: Trump was looking for a grand military parade in downtown Washington, DC, to be on November 10. This was to be an ego event for Trump, so that he could stand in an air-conditioned parade review pavillion and review the troops and military hardware as it passed by. Cost estimates for such an event were upwards of $90 million. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was reportedly down on the idea, which would be a needless, very large logistical undertaking, pulling many military people away from their work and orchestrating lots of large hardware. (In particular, tanks would have to be specially outfitted to keep from damaging streets.) Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser pointed out the high costs to the city. Fed up with reality, Trump cancelled the D.C. parade, blaming its politicians.

Many people pointed out how many millions of dollars could much better be used elsewhere, such as in veterans' affairs, or even devoted to infrastructure repair (as in preventing the next catastrophic bridge collapse and loss of life).

Ego over national security

Wednesday, August 15, 2018: In a characteristic petty, vindictive, and self-serving action, Trump capriciously revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan...and did so with no communication to current intelligence chiefs: it was just one of his usual fits of pique. Trump's reprehensible press secretary Sarah Sanders stated that Trump was likewise considering revoking the security clearances of other people he simply doesn't like, including Michael V. Hayden, the former head of the National Security Agency who was made C.I.A. director under George W. Bush; Susan Rice, a national security adviser under Mr. Obama; James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence under Mr. Obama; and former acting attorney general Sally Yates. In short, Trump's enemies list.

Former officials historically retain security clearances so that, with their years of experience, they can continue to contribute to national security deliberations. This revocation, and threats of more to come, is further evidence that Trump's ego matters far more than national security.

The next person to denigrate in a tweet: Omarosa

Tuesday, August 14, 2018: Trump aims one of his mud flings at Omarosa Manigault Newman:
"When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn't work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!"
"Dog", in this context, is obviously code for female canine: bitch. Omarosa has three strikes against her: First, she isn't male. Second, she isn't white. Third, she is very publicly criticizing Trump, and making money from it in her pending book, Unhinged, her tell-all about her year in the West Wing. Trump is notorious for his disdain for anyone non-white, as he keeps demonistrating. When he runs out of negatives for Barack Obama, he goes after African-American sports figures and celebrities.

Another Trump swampmate is arrested by the FBI

Wednesday, August 8, 2018: New York Republican Representative Chris Collins was arrested by the FBI today for insider trading and lying to the FBI in connection with the crime. In addition to his congressional duties, Collins found time to be on the board of directors of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian pharmaceutical company where he was also lead shareholder. In that position he learned that a multiple-sclerosis drug that the company was banking on had failed its FDA trial, and then alerted his son, Cameron, and then his son alerted his fiance's father Stephen Zarsky (among others). Using that insider information, they sold their stock in the company before the news became public and the stock price plunged. All three principals in this crime were then arrested by the FBI. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Collins would be stripped of his congressional committee assignment while the case in ongoing and demanded an ethics investigation.

Representative Chris Collins was the very first congressman to endorse Donald Trump's presidential campaign, in February 2016, and remained a Trump supporter despite Trump's rampant greed and vandalism of the United States. Like Trump, Collins seems to believe that laws should not apply to him.

Current lies count

Thursday, August 2, 2018: The Washington Post's tracking of Trump's false or misleading claims in the past 558 days: 4,229.

Publicly obstructing justice

Wednesday, August 1, 2018: Increasingly rattled by the "witch hunt' getting closer, now trying Paul Manafort for a host of crimes, Trump tweets:
"This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!"
Translation: The law should not apply to me or anyone in my sphere, where we should be able to do anything we want and get away with it. The stain on our country is Donald Trump and his swamp. With this tweet, Robert Mueller now has additional documented evidence, in Trumps own public writing, that he is intent on obstructing justice, calling upon his AG to halt the investigation (before it indicts him as well).

Trump further tweeted today:
"Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders. He worked for me for a very short time. Why didn't government tell me that he was under investigation. These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion - a Hoax!"
Well, the reality is that when Donald Trump went to make Manafort his campaign manager, there were abundant reports of Manafort's financial escapades. Trump simply ignored all that, in his usual mode of operation that he can do anything he wants, without consequences. Note also that Trump is rather undermining his "why didn't somebody tell me" complaint by the use of the phrase "old charges", as in known long ago.

A glaring example of Trump lacking the temperament to be President

Sunday, July 29, 2018: In a morning of agitated tweeting, Trump puts out this stunner:
"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!"
Republicans on the capitol hill were incredulous at this, after they had reached an agreement with Trump that further attention to immigration would not happen until after the November elections — given all the damage that Trump did with his "zero tolerance" fiasco. Despite that, here is Trump, at it again, disregarding all else in a fit of frustration over the southern border (and no other area of inflow) as he wages his all-consuming war on what he regards as all those lesser, Spanish-speaking people trying to get into the country. He's willing to single-handedly shut down the federal government to get his way, regardless of the impact on millions of American citizens and businesses, perceiving himself to be the Great Dictator of the United States.

Trump twists reality into a pretzel, saying that Russia will favor Democrats

Thursday, July 26, 2018: It is reported that Trumps former personal attorney Michael Cohen claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the Thursday June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton. Further, it is believed that Cohen is willing to state this directly to special counsel Robert Mueller.
This would support the belief that Trump's mysterious Tuesday June 7, 2016 announcement of a "major speech" on the Clintons, to likely be delivered the following Monday, was a reveal of Trump's full awareness of his son planning to meet with Russians at Trump Tower on June 9 to collect such illicit material for the intended speech (which then never happened, as the meeting failed to deliver the needed material).

Paul Ryan again fails in his responsibility as a congressional officer

Tuesday, July 24, 2018: In a press conference, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was asked aboug Trump's threats to strip John Brennan and others of their security clearance. Ryan's response: "I think he is trolling people, honestly. This is something that's in the purview of the executive branch, I think some of these people have lost their security clearances, some people keep their clearance that's something the executive branch deals with, that's not really in our purview."
This is Ryan once again failing to live up to his constitutional mandate: check and balance versus the executive branch.
Ryan doesn't take this seriously, despite Trump's history of capricious, self-serving actions.

Trump twists reality into a pretzel, saying that Russia will favor Democrats

Tuesday, July 24, 2018: In a bizarre tweet, Trump wrote:
"I'm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don't want Trump!"
This is one demented mind at work. Standing next to Trump on July 16, Vladimir Putin said he wanted Trump elected. With abundant evidence to Russia having interfered in the 2016 election to make sure that happened, Trump has relentlessly pushed back against U.S. intelligence agency assertions that Russia did this, as it would delegitimize his election win — something his massive ego could not tolerate. As part of that, Trump made no effort to initiate any commission or actions to do anything about foreign interference — and indeed attempts to undermine our democracy. Now, despite monumental evidence of Russia helping Republicans, Trump is trying to turn that upside down and claim Russian preference for Democrats — people who have all along been pushing for action on Russian infiltrations. The essence of this tweet seems to be a perverse diversion of attention away from the ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign's collusion with Russians, which evidence has shown they were eager to pursue.

The dictator enforces his firewall against reality

Tuesday, July 24, 2018: Aboard Air Force One, Trump discovered that his wife's TV was tuned to CNN and went into one of his rages, mandating that the White House entourage should begin each trip tuned to Fox. This is a local instance of Trump's relentless campaign to exclude facts and reality from his insulated world, allowing him to operate in his fantasy world as the infallible dictator.

Trump attempts to rewrite his failed homework

Tuesday, July 17, 2018: Back in the White House, Trump is coerced into reading from a prepared script in which he attempts to revise what he said in Helsinki — much like a school kid attempting to retroactively revise classwork his teacher gave an F.

Comrade Trump goes to Helsinki to meet with his Russian idol

Monday, July 16, 2018: Trump is in Helsinki for the meeting he asked for with Russian president Vladimir Putin. A bemused Putin played Trump as the world-class fool that he is, including showing Trump how little he thinks of him by the belittling action of showing up 40 minutes late for their meeting.

Once it commenced, it was a private meeting. In fact, Trump astoundingly instructed U.S. officials, who are always in the room during summit meetings, to not be in the room; and there was no recording or minutes of the meeting. Following their private meeting, Trump and Putin came out to address the press.
Reporter: "The Russian president denies having interfered in the 2016 elections but all US intelligence agencies conclude the opposite. Who do you believe?"
Trump: "President Putin has just told me that it was not Russia. I do not see why it would be."
This blind assertion, despite Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and others having briefed Trump on Russian interference.
Republican Senator John McCain's reaction: "The Helsinki press conference is one of the most shameful performances of a US president. It's clear that the Helsinki summit was a tragic mistake."

Another Trump lie to artificially prop up his "ratings"

Sunday, July 15, 2018: Trump issues another stupendously stupid tweet: "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"
Beginning with our relationship with Russia: This is Trump making things up, again, hoping and expecting that his deplorables are just as ignorant of history as he is, so that he can falsely claim that he is the champion who is magically resolving the worst situation ever. Our relationship with Russia has been very, very much worse, as has been thoroughly documented: it was called The Cuban Missle Crisis, and had the USA and the USSR at the brink of armed conflict, ground zero being just off the southern coast of the United States. I lived through that period. It was terrifying. The state of our relationship with Russia now is just simple alienation.
And, once again, Trump denigrates the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election (because, as always, it may deligitimatize his victory). He always calls it a "witch hunt". Well, it has been a very successful hunt, having yielded a raft of indictments and guilty pleas. Trump's perpetual attacks on the investigation certainly gives the perception of fear that it will finally get to him.

Trump idiocy about The Wall

Wednesday, July 11, 2018: Talking with reporters aboard Air Force One. Despite his insistence upon a concrete wall, Trump said this:
"You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can't see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall."
So why is seeing through it so important? Trump came up with this idiocy about drug dealers throwing large bags of drugs over the wall:
"As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don't see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It's over."
Meanwhile, back in reality: Drug cartels get drug shipments across the southern border by smuggling them in trucks, through established checkpoints, and by well-publicize tunnels. (As of March 2016, a total of 224 tunnels were discovered on the Southwest border since 1990.)

Pruit is out

Thursday, July 5, 2018: Trump's swampmate Scott Pruit is removed as head of the EPA, forced out by Trump after becoming a lightning rod for egregiously arrogant abuses of his office, ever seeking to enrich himself as he guts EPA regulations. Deputy Administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler becomes acting Administrator. In his poor-me resignation letter Pruitt informed Trump he was leaving his post "effective as of July 6", saying: "The unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us."

This insight came to light, revealing how underhandedly the Trump administration pursues their agenda: According to CNN, Pruitt kept a secret, nonpublic calendar to hide meetings with industry representatives and controversial figures. Just minutes before Trump's tweet announcing Pruitt's resignation, the Times reported that a Pruitt staffer had been fired after questioning the deletions from the public schedule.

Michael Cohen's loyalty to Trump wanes

Monday, July 2, 2018: As the economic and personal pressure of litigation against him mounts, Trump's lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen is further separating himself from Trump, essentially discontinuing his loyalty to Trump. In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Cohen says "My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will. I put family and country first." This, as the court's special master is finishing evaluation of a small mountain of material seized in an FBI raid on Cohen's files, to determine what items are protected by attorney-client privilege and what is admissible in court.

Trump slams a restaurant

Monday, June 25, 2018: Weighing in on the important issues of the day, Trump decides that it's his job to slam the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia after its owner asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave the premises this weekend. Trump tweeted:
"The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!"
Note the enormous irony in hypocrisy here. Trump and other right-wing irrationalists gleefully applauded the Supreme Court's June 4 decision on the side of a baker who refused on religious grounds to sell wedding cakes to gay couples. Right-wingers are highly desirous of institutionalized basis for being able to marginalize and oppress anyone they don't like, where the readily fabricated and uncontestably vague excuse of "religious belief" will serve well. So here we have a restaurant owner following through on her belief, saying: "I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty and compassion, and cooperation." And Trump slammed this: in his world, refusing to honor people is the prerogative of him and is ilk, but certainly this is not to work in the opposite direction.

The liar backs down

Wednesday, June 20, 2018: After a week of unbendingly enforcing a zero-tolerance dictate that tore families apart — and falsely blaming the Democrats for his actions...and repeatedly claiming that it required Congressional action to do anything about it — Trump today very simply put together and signed an executive order stopping the removal of children from their border-intercepted parents. This, with no admission that his actions were wrong-headed or that all his statements about the situation were false. Trump further cements his reputation as a reprehensible, habitual liar.

There was moral outrage across the political spectrum over Trump's actions, and his longstanding vile behavior. Even Trump's own family was on his case over this. Outraged Republican leaders laid into Trump, disgusted with him. Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist, issued a statement in which he renounced his membership in the Republican Party, saying in a tweet: "29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump. It is corrupt, indecent and immoral. With the exception of a few Governors like Baker, Hogan and Kasich it is filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party's greatest leaders. This child separation policy is connected to the worst abuses of Humanity in our history. It is connected by the same evil that separated families during slavery and dislocated tribes and broke up Native American families. It is immoral and must be repudiated. Our country is in trouble. Our politics are badly broken. The first step to a Season of renewal in our land is the absolute and utter repudiation of Trump and his vile enablers in the 2018 election by electing Democratic majorities. I do not say this as an advocate of a progressive agenda. I say it as someone who retains belief in DEMOCRACY and decency."

"You have to take the children away"

Tueday, June 19, 2018: Speaking to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, President Trump said "you have to take children away" to prosecute parents for coming to the US illegally. Zero shame from this despicable excuse for a human being.

Thousands of people in cages

Monday, June 18, 2018: The world got to see videos and pictures of how the captured border crossers are being detained — in what look like large dog kennels, left to sleep on floors with mylar film instead of blankets. There is yet no sign of the girls and toddlers who were separated from the boys, in the further break-up of family units. There are too few HHS workers or social workers to deal with the growing numbers.

Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen took to the podium today to unapologetically defend the splitting of families. As CBS reported, Nielsen claimed this policy is in place not as a deterrent to keep families of immigrants away from the border, as other administration officials have said, but rather as a means of keeping the children safe. "The children are not being used as a pawn, we are trying to protect the children," she said. She blamed Congress for the situation — despite it clearly having been a dictum of Jeff Sessions — who claimed that the Bible gave him justification for doing it. Nielsen has defined herself as a shameless shill of Donald Trump, abandoning all ethical standards, and her own reputation, to support whatever Trump decides to do.

And, today, we learned that the architect of the policy of splitting families is none other than Stephen Miller, that revolting fascist who functions as the worst of Trump's impulses.

Michael Cohen is the next to learn that Trump's loyalty street is one-way

Friday, June 15, 2018: As is Trump's practice of minimizing and distancing himself from anyone who, regardless of loyalty in the past, has become a liability, Trump is now discarding his long-time lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen. Of Cohen, Trump said today: "I've always liked Michael. I haven't spoken to Michael in a long time." Cohen's status with Trump now: "No, he's not my lawyer anymore. But I've always liked Michael. And I think he's a good person."

Manfort who?

Friday, June 15, 2018: Meeting reporters in an impromptu session outside the White House, Trump was asked about Paul Manafort:
"Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. I'll tell you, I feel a little badly about it. They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago?" "You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time... He worked for me, what, for 49 days or something? A very short period of time."
An insignificant employee? Paul Manafort was the Trump campaign chairman.

Use children as pawns to get what he wants

Friday, June 15, 2018: Meeting reporters in an impromptu session outside the White House, Trump was asked "Do you agree with children being taken away from their parents at the border?" Trump respponded:
"No, I hate it. I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That's their law. That's the Democrats' law. We can change it tonight. We can change it right now."
Another reporter pointed out: "You're the president: you can change it." Trump: "No, no...you need their votes". "The children can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and immediately. The Democrats forced that law on our nation. I hate it. I hate to see the separation of parents and children. The Democrats can come to us as they actually are — in all fairness we are talking to them — and they can change the whole border security." "The Democrats have control because we don't have the votes. The Republicans... we need more Republicans, frankly. And that's why I think we're going to do so well in the mid-terms."
Another reporter: "Jeff Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy at the border on May 7th..." Trump: "He's following the law. He's following laws, very simply, that were given to us, and forced upon us, by the Democrats."
Another reporter: "But there's no law that families have to be separated at the border."
Trump (evading an answer): "The Democrats gave us the laws. Now, I want the laws to be beautiful, humane, but strong. I don't want bad people coming in. I don't want drugs coming in. We can solve that problem in one meeting. Tell the Democrats — your friends — to call me."

Where to begin? This is Trump lying through his teeth. Nothing new in this. And he's employing a well worn and familiar mode of operation: he will do something heinous, and then blame someone else for it. So he's blaming the Democrats for this — despite them having nothing to do what is purely a Trump administration elective action. As the reporter accurately stated, there is no law mandating that illegal immigrant families be split up upon apprehension. This is an arbitrary action by the Trump administration...a deliberate, cruel, calculated action. Why? To get his damned wall to keep out people he abhors. Frustrated in having failed to get his wall via other means, he has resorted to the incredibly low tactic of taking children from their parents...using them as pawns in his twisted obsession with a wall. There is no limit to the lows to which Trump will stoop.

Jeff Sessions uses the Bible to justify taking children from illegal immigrant parents

Thursday, June 14, 2018: At an event in Indiana, Attorney General Jeff Sessions used the Bible to defend his May 7 "zero tolerance" dictum for separating undocumented immigrant families apprehended at the border:
"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes. Our policy that can result in short-term separation of families is not unusual or unjustified."

It wasn't unusual in Nazi camps.

Take a good look, Republican voters...take a very good look. Your party has long portrayed itself as the "family values" party. Is it? Or is that just another lie in a litany of lies that your party has been content to live with for a year and half. You need to finally face the reality that you've chosen a lying monster to be the head of your party — and for that matter, someone who in fact has no allegiance to your party.

Trump's submits to a summit meeting which elevates the stature of North Korea's dictator

Tuesday, June 12, 2018: Summit meeting between Trump and North Korea's brutal dictator Kim Jong Un, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore. The administration's objective in the meeting was for Kim to commit to North Korea dismantling its nuclear weapons, eliminating them from the Korean peninsula. Trump touted the meeting as a great success. However, it was widely criticized for the U.S. making concrete concessions and promises (discontinue joint military exercises with South Korea, relaxing sanctions) while North Korea made only vague commitments, with no schedule for any actions and no arrangements for verification.

Kim had made two trips to Beijing before the summit, where he was undoubtedly coached on how to play Trump and get the most out of the meeting for himself. Kim got even more than he expected when Trump idiotically saluted one of Kim's generals, which made for a terrific propaganda video on North Korea state TV.

The reality is that this was principally another episode of The Trump Show, where Donald Trump gives a self-promoting performance of doing something — which in reality amounts to little. This is Trump's obsession with his "ratings" — literally as though this is a TV reality show, with form dominating over substance.

Trump's trained attack dogs bark at Trudeau

Sunday, June 10, 2018: Peter Navarro, the president's top trade adviser, on Fox New Sunday acted as one of Trumps rabid attack dogs, joining the pack attacking Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau:
"There's a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door."
In other words, how dare any G-7 leader react negatively to Trump's global trade bullying!

Trudeau addresses Trump's tariffs

Saturday, June 9, 2018: In a press conference at the G-7 summit, Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau responded to questions about Trump's tariffs:
"I highlighted directly to the President that Canadians did not take it lightly that the United States moved forward with significant tariffs on our steel and aluminum industry; particularly did not take lightly the fact that it's based on national security reason that, for Canadians who either themselves or whose parents or community members stood shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers in far off lands in conflicts from the First World War onwards, that it's kind of insulting. And I highlighted that it was not helping in our renegotiation of NAFTA, and that it would be with regret but that it would be with absolute certainty and firmness that we move forward with retaliatory measures on July 1, applying equivalent tariffs to the ones that the Americans have unjustly applied to us. Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around." "We do not want harm American workers; we do not want to harm trade between Canada and the United States, but the administration's choice to impose illegitimate and unacceptable tariffs to Canadian steel workers and auto workers and on the Canadian economy must be met with an equivalent response. I don't want to hurt American workers: they are our neighbors, they are our friends. My job is to stand up for Canadian workers...Canadian interests, and I will do that, without flinching. That's what I explained to the President."

Ryan rejects Trump's "spygate" garbage

Wednesday, June 6, 2018: House Speaker Paul D. Ryan joins the chorus of legislators who reject Trump's "spygate" claim that the FBI planted a spy inside his campaign. Last week, Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, stated that the FBI had acted appropriately in investigating Russian interference in the election, and that there was no "spy" placed in Trump's campaign. Ryan said: "I think Chairman Gowdy's initial assessment is accurate" and "I have seen no evidence to the contrary of the initial assessment that Chairman Gowdy has made". Although finally getting a statement of reason out of Ryan is somewhat encouraging, it remains the case that Ryan has allowed nut-job representative Devin Nunes to continue to run amok with baseless conspiracy claims.

I can pardon myself: I just made that up

Monday, June 4, 2018: Trump declares in a tweet: "As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!"
As usual, Trump does not cite basis for his statement. His assertion attempts to contradict the August 5, 1974 Justice Department conclusion: "Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the president cannot pardon himself." (https://www.justice.gov/file/20856/download).

Hard core racist and Trump loyalist Rosanne Barr tweets herself out of a job

Tuesday, May 29, 2018: Roseanne Barr chose to put forth the following hateful tweet attacking attacked Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama:
"Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj."
After a short period of consideration, ABC fired Barr and cancelled her show. Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, issued a statement, saying: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show." Likewise, Barr's talent agency, ICM Partners, also dropped her, saying: "We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning." Barr has a long history of aiming low in general: in 2013, she went after Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice, calling her "a man with big swinging ape balls". A confirmed Trump supporter, Barr abandoned reason to give life to mindless conspiracy garbage, portraying Trump as a victim. Barr apparently thought she could get away with anything, as Trump could. This is what happens when a vile person in a position of leadership fails to lead in any positive way, and only pedals hatred, intolerance, and division. Sewage flows downhill.

Barr subsequently tried to invent a "twinkie defense", claiming she was "Ambien tweeting", referring to a prescription sleep aid. In one of the greatest corporate responses ever, Ambien maker Sanofi responded to that with: "While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication".

This event begs the following question: Why does a television network have higher standards than the Republican Party?

Trump once again demonstrates his ignorance of what his own administration is doing

Saturday, May 26, 2018: Trump mindlessly fires off another tweet:
"The Failing @nytimes quotes 'a senior White House official,' who doesn't exist, as saying 'even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.' WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources."
This is another prime example of Trump simply making things up, not matter how ignorant or uninformed, to attempt to discredit the press without regard on how much his ignorance might discredit him instead. The reality of the report: The New York Times had to educate Trump that the source of that sentence was a White House official who held a briefing on Thursday afternoon in the White House briefing room that was attended by about 50 reporters, with about 200 or so more on a conference call. Trump touts his mental agility. Where's the evidence of it? What we see here is a befuddled old fool behaving like he has dementia.

Why Trump bashes the press

Wednesday, May 23, 2018: 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl was interviewed by PBS News' Judy Woodruff, telling of an off-camera conversation she had with Trump after he won the Republican nomination, where the topic came up about the media and his incessant use of the term "fake news" against the news media in general.
LESLEY STAHL: It's just me, my boss, and him — he has a huge office — and he's attacking the press. There were no cameras, there was nothing going on and I said, 'That is getting tired, why are you doing it? You're doing it over and over and it's boring. It's time to end that, you've won the nomination. And why do you keep hammering at this?' And he said: 'You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.'

Trump's sycophant Homeland Security Secretary denies knowing about what the 17 intelligence agencies said about Russia and Trump

Tuesday, May 22, 2018: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was asked about Russian interference in our elections, as the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies stated a joint report issued on October 7, 2016 and later in January 2017. CNN asked Nielsen, "Do you have any reason to doubt the January 2017 intelligence community assessment that said it was Vladimir Putin who meddled in the election to help President Trump win?" Nielsen responded: "I don't believe that I have seen that conclusion ... that the specific intent was to help President Trump win. I'm not aware of that."

Trump initiates another witch hunt of his own by interfering with the Russia investigation

Monday, May 21, 2018: The ever reprehensible Donald Trump invents yet another fabrication to try to deflect and undermine Mueller's investigation. In desperation, Trump and Guiliani came up with the strategy of denigrating everyone involved in the investigation, referring to Mueller's team of consisting of vengeful Democrats (false), claiming that Mueller is biased and out of control, and that the FBI is corrupt. The latest Trump garbage is the (unsubstantiated) accusation that the FBI inserted "spies" in his campaign. His assertion: "A lot of people are saying they had spies in my campaign." And, in his continued racist campaign against President Obama, Trump blamed Obama for this, as he blames Obama for just about everything in his obsession to destroy Obama's legacy. And on the basis of that vague, factless claim, Trump demanded that the Justice Department basically investigate the investigators, summoning Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to the White House, like they were being taken down to the principal's office.

As Adam Schiff and many others have pointed out, Trump's charges are nonsense. It is the mission of the FBI to investigate criminal activity and espionage activities within the United States. It had been well established, even back than, that Russia was intent on influencing and steering the 2016 election; and, as we know, the Trump campaign was willing and eager to work with foreign governments to gain every advantage they could, whether or not U.S. laws were being broken in the process. It is standard procedure to deploy investigators to do fact-finding where criminal activity is evidenced to be occurring, and that's what the FBI was doing: their jobs.

Note well what's being completely obscured here: Russia heavily meddled in the 2016 presidential election and, with learning ane experience gained from that wildly successful foray, they will certainly do so in future U.S. campaigns, where we can expect that in the 2018 mid-term elections. In the face of that threat to democracy, Donald Trump has shown absolutely zero interest in combating that menace. In refusing to do anything, Trump is in effect colluding with Russia. Vladimir Putin has to be absolutely elated with Trump's de facto aid in Russia's goals, with Trump undermining the FBI and the rule of law to make it all the easier for Putin to achieve his goals. Putin counts on Trump to relentlessly preserve, protect, and defend his own ego. With Trump, it's always about me, me, me. He will sacrifice democracy itself to keep his inflated ego intact.

Tillerson warns America

Wednesday, May 16, 2018: Rex Tillerson spoke at the Virginia Military Institute commencement, talking of the "crisis of ethics and integrity" and warned them to "carefully consider the values and culture of the organizations in which you seek to work." Tillerson asked Americans to "preserve and protect our freedom by recognizing what truth is and is not, what a fact is and is not" and to "demand our pursuit of America's future be fact-based, not based on wishful thinking, not hoped-for outcomes made in shallow promises." Also: "If we do not, as Americans, confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both public and private sector — and regrettably, at times, even the nonprofit sector — then American democracy, as we know it, is entering its twilight years."

Trump: no policies, just whims

Sunday, May 13, 2018: On April 16, the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American firms from selling components to the Chinese phone maker ZTE for seven years for violating the terms of a sanction (by conspiring to sell equipment to Iran). Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had then stated that ZTE's misleading of the department was "egregious behavior [that] cannot be ignored." And U.S. intelligence agencies described the state-owned ZTE as a massive cyber-security threat. Being dependent upon U.S. companies for the Android operating system and specialized semiconductors, not to mention the U.S. market, this all but shut down the ZTE company. Without explanation, Trump today tweeted:
"President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"
So, then, this is egregious behavior that can be ignored. In the shortest seven years on record, this tells the world that the U.S. no longer has policies...we just have whims, which can change at any moment. It also demonstrates enormous inconsistency, where at the same time that the U.S. has withdrawn from the Iran deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, we drop penalties on a major offender of our own objectives. This whimsical about-face also thoroughly undermines the Commerce Department, whose people now have to ask, "Why bother?" This is King Trump in action, with no apparent comprehension of how a government operates, and no regard for consequences to U.S. credibility — or for U.S. cyber security.

Let's put this action in Trump world context to see how absurd it is. Imagine Trump campaigning in Pennsylvania. He's standing in front of a huge, attentive audience, eager to hear more of his America-first policies. Looking out over the crowd, Trump takes a breath and proclaims:
"I pledge to save jobs in China!"
People would walk out, wondering where Trump's mind is. And yet this is just what Trump did.

So, what's behind this? Why on earth would trump do such a thing? It subsequently became known that just two days earlier, on May 11, state-owned Chinese construction company Metallurgical Corporation of China announced it would float a $500 million loan to Indonesian developers to facilitate the construction of a vast "integrated lifestyle resort" called MNC Lido City that includes Trump-branded hotels, residences, and a golf course. Gosh, what a coincidence.

A measure of how vile the White House has become under Trump

Thursday, May 10, 2018: In a closed-door White House meeting of about two-dozen communications staffers on Thursday morning there was discussion of Senator John McCain's opposition to Gina Haspel as the next director of the CIA, due to her affinity for the use of torture. In the meeting, special assistant Kelly Sadler said of McCain's opposition: "It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway." This reflects Trump having set the tone among his people, that anyone outside the White House can be considered to be an enemy, no matter their plight, even if they are of the same party (if you can believe that Trump is a Republican). Naturally, in that Trump hates McCain, Trump would not rise to condemn such a statement, and the White House refused to issue a public apology.

Joe Biden's statement in reaction to this:
"People have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. It happened yesterday. ... Given this White House's trail of disrespect towards John and others, this staffer is not the exception to the rule, she is the epitome of it."

Jeff Sessions announces his draconian implementatn of Trump's April 6th zero tolerance requirement on illegal border crossers

Monday, May 7, 2018: In two speeches before law enforcement officials in Arizona and California, Attorney General Jeff Sessions today unveiled the specifics involved in implementing Trump's April 6th clamp-down on illegal immigrants coming up from Mexico. Sessions' statement:
"If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It's that simple. If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border."
Thus was born the Trump administration's own self-defined policy of ripping illegal immigrant families apart. But it gets worse: not only will children be taken from their parents, but boys and girls and toddlers will be separated from each other, into separate detention camps around the country. And, why stop there, Trump? Why don't you go onto declare the children confiscated and then sell them at auction, to compensate for the costs undertaken in your zero-tolerance enforcement??

Many of these illegal immigrants are families seeking to escape the horrors of unchecked violence in their native Central and South America countries; and much of that violence stems from the unbridled greed and violence of drug cartels run by ruthless druglords, who don't hesitate to kill any person in their way, be they man, woman, or child. The grotesque irony here is that so much of the immense amount of cocaine and other drugs they are producing is destined for the millions of American citizens who have chosen to become and continue to be drug addicts. This situation is what gives rise to so many families fleeing northward. What has the Trump administration done about this causal situation: almost nothing. Trump, in his simplistic ignorance, mindlessly addresses the resultingsymptom, no matter how ineffectual or costly that may be.

Giuliani tries to put the genie back into the bottle

Saturday, May 5, 2018: On the Fox News show "Justice with Judge Jeanine" (Jeanine Pirro ), Trump's TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani kept trying to talk away the hush money payments to Trump mistresses, after Giuliani let the genie out of the bottle on Wednesday that Trump paid back his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 in hush money that Cohen paid Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election for her discretion about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump more than 10 years earlier. Said Giuliani: "The President of the United States did not in any way violate the campaign finance law." and: "Every campaign finance expert, Republican and Democrat, will tell you that if it was for another purpose other than just campaigns, and even if it was for campaign purposes, if it was to save his family, to save embarrassment, it's not a campaign donation."

This is a hilarious non sequitur. First, the Trump family is very well aware of Donald's daliances: he plainly proclaimed his behaviour in the Access Hollywood recording. There's nothing left to hide in that department. Second, Donald Trump's behavior every day has been embarrassing to the family — and the United States as a country.

Another day later, Trump further contorts the lies

Friday, May 4, 2018: Speaking to reporters at the airport, Trump was asked about Giuliani's revelations about the $130,000 hush money, which contradicted Trump's own statements. Without any clarification of the situation, Trump undermined Giuliani's, saying: "We're not changing any stories. Take a look at what I said." and that Giuliani was new to the situation and would eventually "get his facts straight". This is Trump implicitly contradicting Giuliani — who contradicted Trump.

Here's the thing: If Giuliani did not have his facts straight on Wednesday night, why did Trump have his staff reinforce Giuliani's very public statements all day Thursday instead of correcting them? Why was all that left out there, only to have Trump offhandedly contradict Giuliani today?

Next day, the White House bolsters Rudy's statement

Thursday, May 3, 2018: Trump has the White House spokespeople support what Rudy said about the $130,000 situation. Giuliani himself dug the whole deeper when, on Fox News, he today said: "Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton." Is the White House staff in any way being kept informed? When spokesperson Sarah Sanders was asked when she personally learned that Trump actually made the payments to Cohen, she said, "The first awareness I had was during the interview last night."

Rudy and Trump get together and re-engineer the Stormy Daniels payoff lie

Wednesday, May 2, 2018: As a guest on the Fox News Hannity show, Rudy Giuliani spoke about the $130,000 hush money payment — which Donald Trump said on April 5th that he knew nothing about. Giuliani: "...going to turn out to be perfectly legal. That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation." Hannity: "So they funneled it through a law firm." Giuliani: "Funneled it through a law firm and then the president repaid it." Hannity (shocked): "Oh; I didn't know he did." Giuliani: "Yeah."

Giuliani subsequently said that the information that he disclosed was approved by Trump. The apparent reality is that the two of them put their heads together — independent of the legal team — and came up with this revision to the Trump team story about the Stormy Daniels payoff, the motivation being — as evident in Giuliani's reiterations — that the investigations about the money were getting too close to prosecutable campaign finance violations. This is what happens when people try to cover up misdeeds and invent subterfuges without full strategizing, and then create a shambles by trying to revise the subterfuge after the fact.

Giuliani also sought to revise history by saying this about why Trump fired Comey: "He fired Comey because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn't a target of the investigation. He's entitled to that." As though people who may or may not be under investigation should have investigators report to them about the path of the investigation. Giuliani also praised the May 10, 2017 interview with Lester Holt, saying:
"Lester Holt's interview was as good as anybody could do, better than I think any of the people around Mueller could have done".

Trump's lack of judgement hurts him again

Thursday, April 26, 2018: In an impulsive move that likely made his lawyers apoplectic, Trump call in to the Fox & Friends morning show to deliver a half hour tirade against just about everyone who's currently against him. In the interview, Trump blurted out:
"(Michael Cohen) represents me — like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal he represented me."
This is a major admission. On April 5th, Trump stated to reporters that he had no knowledge of the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels. In today's incautious and unconsidered speaking, Trump is saying that Cohen had been doing his bidding. Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti was ecstatic at Trump's poor judgement saying: "I thought it was a disastrous admission on the president's behalf, especially after the prior statements that were made." Avenatti added that he hoped that Trump would go on Fox & Friends every morning.

In the call-in, Trump also finally admitted that he stayed overnight in Moscow during the Miss Universe pageant. In James Comey's contemporaneous notes on conversations with Trump, Comey logged Trump having several times spontaneously — without being in any way prompted for such information — had told Comey that he did not stay in Moscow overnight. Trump apparently made this assertion to counter the "Steele dossier", whose raw intelligence painted a perverse picture of events occurring in the hotel that night. On CNN last evening, Comey referred to Trump's unprompted assertions as known within criminal investigation as "consciousness of guilt".

Remarkably, the Fox & Friends hosts themselves terminated Trump's call-in, seemingly recognizing the damage that Trump was doing to himself — and to get in some commercials.

Also today, Trump's nominee to run the Veteran's Administration, White House doctor Ronny Jackson, withdrew his nomination. Incredibly, this is the 24th nomination of Trump's to go down. Jackson withdrew in the face of some 23 accusers (who brought the accusations to Senator Jon Tester) who claimed that Jackson was prone to drunkenness, readily gave out drugs, among other things. Trump decried the accusations — and yet did not stick with and vigorously defend his nominee...despite saying "I'll always stand behind him." In fact, Trump yesterday gave Jackson an "off ramp", saying: "If I were him ... the fact is I wouldn't do it. What does he need it for?" Accusations aside, Jackson was grossly unsuitable for the VA post. He was nominated by Trump not on the basis of qualifications but — familiarly — Trump chose him on the basis of loyalty and convenience, where he was simply nearby. This is typical Trump laziness: do no research, do not seek out the most qualified candidates, just go for a buddy or someone who looks the part (as if this were a TV show, with type casting).

Trump calls Kim Jong Un "very honorable"

Tueesday, April 24, 2018: Addressing the press in the White House about the potential for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump says:
"He really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we're seeing."
Very honorable?? The man is a butcher who has had over 300 people executed, including family members. In May 2015, Kim had his Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol killed with an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in Pyongyang, in front of an audience — which included Chol's family, forced to watch. Kim has repeatedly reneged on every deal it has ever made. The man is a brutal dictator who has starved his people and sent thousands to their deaths in forced labor camps. To call him "very honorable" is beyond stupid.

Trump doesn't hesitate to contradict anyone, not even himself

Wednesday, April 18, 2018: Up early, still fuming and seemingly unable to thing of anything productive to do, Trump tweets:
"Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!"
Mr. Trump, who has self-acclaimed "stable genius", with greate memory and mental acuity, seems to have forgotten his widely broadcast and archived interview with Lester Holt and his May 10, 2017 (Day after Comey firing) visit at the White House by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, whom he told he fired Comey to end the pressure on him from the Russia investigation. This makes me again question Doctor Ronny Jackson's January 16 glowing report on the aging Trump's overall condition.

Newt Gingrich: Poster boy for the Republican elite

Thursday, April 12, 2018: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is one of a pack of Republican attack dogs who came out in reflexive reaction to condemn actions taken against Trump cronie Michael Cohen. One of the things that Gingrich said in this regard was illuminating:
"It ain't the rule of law when they kick in your door at 3 in the morning and you're faced with armed men."
This statement is just so emblematic of the elitism that is rampant among upper class Republicans, who truly seem to believe that they are above the law. The reality is that police and federal agents routinely conduct raids on those who have abundantly evidenced that they are conducting illegal activity, and where the destruction of evidence or harm to enforcement officials is so likely that a night raid is (literally) warranted. It is the rule of law. People like Gingrich seem to believe that only lesser people (read: minorities...those who vote for Democrats) should be subjected to such raids.

A Congressman confesses hating Trump

Wednesday, April 11, 2018: Reporter Erick Erickson tells of a meeting with a congressman who was one of Trump's defenders, but who privately reviles Trump, saying things like: "If we're going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker." Further: ""I read you writing about this, about wanting to say nice things when you can and criticize when you need to. He may be an idiot, but he's still the President and leader of my party and he is capable of doing some things right. But dammit he's taking us all down with him. We are well and truly f**ked in November. Kevin [McCarthy] is already circling like a green fly circling sh*t trying to take Paul's [Ryan] job because nobody thinks he's sticking around for Nancy [Pelosi]. She's going to f**k up the cafeteria again too. [Lord's name in vain], at least I'll probably lose too and won't have to put up with that sh*t." And: "It's like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really f*cking stupid Forrest Gump. He can't help himself. He's just a f**king idiot who thinks he's winning when people are b*tching about him. He really does see the world as ratings and attention. I hate Forrest Gump. I listen to your podcast and heard you hate it too. What an overrated piece of sh*t movie. Can you believe it beat the Shawshank Redemption?"

Trump...strategy?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018: Asked by a reporter if he would support a military strike on Syria (in response to Assad apparently again using chemical weapons on civilians), California representative John Garamendi answered: "No — that's not going to solve the problem. What we need, and what the president is not giving us, is a coherent strategy to deal with Syria...to deal with ISIS...to deal with the entire Middle East. Absent that, what's a military strike going to do? You have to have a strategy. This president doesn't have a clue about how to build a strategy."

The FBI raids Trump's personal attorney

Monday, April 9, 2018: In an extraordinary move, the FBI raided the office, home, and temporary hotel room of Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen, per a warrant obtained from the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York. (Ironically, that U.S. Attorney is Geoffrey S. Berman, appointed on January 5 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.) The FBI also raided Cohen's hotel room at Loews Regency on Park Avenue, where he was staying due to plumbing work at his home. The FBI had been alerted by Robert Mueller's team to evidence they had come upon as part of their Russia investigation. It subsequently became known that this action was the result of Cohen being investigated for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations — an almost inevitable consequence of his public statements of having personally paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money just before the November 2016 elections.

Ironically, "fixer" Cohen has suddenly become the kind of problem for Trump that Cohen usually took care of for Trump.

Trump was livid at the news, using his standard phrase "witch hunt", and adding the ridiculous assertion that it was an "attack on our country in a true sense". Law enforcement officers routinely raid the premises of those who so manifestly evidence criminal activity that a warrant for such an evidence-gathering search is granted by a magistrate. This is standard, lawful procedure. Obviously, Trump is reacting to being boxed in. He wants to blame Mueller for the situation, but the Cohen investigation is wholly separate from what Mueller's team is working on. Trump would probably like to start firing Justice Department heads or U.S. Attorneys, but that would then constitute interference with an investigation. Trump's real lawyers should have made clear to him that the matter is very serious, that the U.S. Attorney does not hunt witches.

The Syrian regime, emboldened, resumes chemical weapons bombing of civilians

Sunday, April 8, 2018: Once again, the world was appalled to see images of Syrian children and adults suffering from the effects of the latest chemical weapons attack on civilians, in the opposition-held town of Douma, about 10 miles from Damascus. The attack left dozens dead, and many others suffering from the chemicals. As usual, the Syrian state denied responsibility, and their Russian allies ridiculed the reports as fake. (You never see either of them offering humanitarian aid in the face of such suffering.)

It appears that "the other people", as mythically referred to by Trump on March 29, did not take care of things in place of the retreating Americans.

Trump condemned the chemical attack, but his March 29th rash proclamation of withdrawal contributed to it. Senator John McCain blasted the mindless Trump in a statement:
"President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria. Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma."

Trump calls for zero tolerance on illegal border crossing

Friday, April 6, 2018: Trump issues a presidential memorandum ending a policy commonly called "catch and release," which released illegal immigrants from detention as they awaited an immigration court hearing. To implement, Trump's memorandum directs the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Justice and Defense to report within 45 days on measures they are taking to end "catch and release." (DoD would identify excess facilities that can be turned into mass detention centers.) Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered that federal prosecutors implement a "zero tolerance" policy toward people trying to illegally enter the U.S. from Mexico, by targeting first-time offenders. Violators are to be prosecuted to the "extent practicable" (specifics to come later). (Sessions would announce his draconian measures on May 7.)

So, why is Trump fixated on just illegal immigration from south of the border? The mass infusion of illegal drugs coming through Mexico is via official vehicle border crossings. Trump isn't interested in that. The largest number of people illegally in the country are those who have over-stayed their visas. Trump isn't interested in that. But he can't stand all those non-white people getting into the country and then opposing rich people like him.

Trump's first public statement on the Stormy Daniels situation

Thursday, April 5, 2018: Traveling with reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump was asked if he knew about the $130,000 payment made by his lawyer Michael Cohen to actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet. Trump replied: "No." Asked why his lawyer paid the money if the allegations were untrue, Trump responded: "You'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael's my attorney." This was Trump's first public statement about the payoff scandal. It amounts to public testimony which investigators will undoubtedly add to their evidence as they pursue possible prosecution.

Assigned to explain the unexplainable

Wednesday, April 4, 2018: Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was assigned to go before the press in the White House pressroom to explain what the troops were supposed to do at the border with Mexico. She spent 25 minutes before the press, and had no answers. The simple reason for that is that there is no purpose.

Let's create border drama to create a reason to send troops and compensate for my spending bill cave-in

Tuesday, April 3, 2018: Trump announces that he intends to send "the military" to the border with Mexico. Why? Is there a dire emergency? No — this is simply Trump reacting to what he saw on Fox News, about a "caravan" of people coming up from Honduras, being portrayed by Fox's usual inflammatory and factless reporting as a kind of pending invasion. These are actually Central American migrants making their way north by from southern Mexico, which happens annually around Easter time. They are getting away from the violence that is occurring in their countries, south of Mexico, just as Syrians are fleeing from the insanity occurring in their country.

What was Trump's justification? In front of the press he said:
"We have very bad things for our border. And we are going to be doing some things. I've been speaking with General Maddis. We're going to be doing things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with our military. That's a big step. We really haven't done that before, certainly not very much before. But we will be doing things with Mexico — and they have to do it — otherwise I'm not going to do the NAFTA deal."
This is hypocritical, deceptive Trump. Trump regularly rails against his predecessors for allegedly having done nothing about problems, but the reality is that Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both sent National Guard troops to the Mexico border, in conjunction with border-state governors who oversee their respective National Guard operations, to supplement the U.S. Border Patrol.

In a press conference alongside Baltic leaders, Trump said:
"The Mexican border is very unprotected by our laws. We have horrible, horrible and very unsafe laws in the United States, and we're going to be able to do something about that hopefully soon. Hopefully congress will get their act together and get in and create some very powerful laws like Mexico has and like Canada has and like almost all countries have. We don't have laws: we have catch and release. You catch and you immediately release and people come back years later for a court case except they virtually never come back. So what we are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States. We have a meeting on it in a little while with General Maddis and everybody and I think it's something we have to do. Now the caravan which is over a thousand people coming in from Honduras thought they were going to just walk right through Mexico and right through the border."
This is Trump making up "facts" to justify his actions. There was never any evidenced intention that the "caravan" (as Fox News characterized it) had any intention of invading the United States. And "We have horrible, horrible and very unsafe laws in the United States"? This sounds like the inanity that a dim-witted beauty contestant would utter in attempting to answer their intellectual acuity question.

And deploying "the military"? To do what, exactly? Trump doesn't seem to understand that this takes National Guard members, which are under the command of state governors, who have to fund them. And these Guard Members are not permanently active: they have jobs and lives, which are now going to be upheaved to satisfy the whims of this unstable old man? And why is Trump doing this? To compensate for him signing the Omnibus Spending Bill without provisions for his notorious "wall" or DACA — for which Ann Coulter and other right wingers harshly criticized Trump. This border action is Trump manufacturing a crisis so that he can distract and mollify his base of deplorables.

By the way, I think we shouild abandon Syria, too

Thursday, March 29,2018: As an extension of a speece on infrastructure, Trump semi-coherently threw in:
"We spent - and I was against it [the Iraq War] from the beginning. They try and say, 'Well, maybe not.' I was against it from the beginning - and, by the way, we're knocking the hell out of ISIS. We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon - very soon we're coming out. We're going to have 100 percent of the caliphate, as they call it - sometimes referred to as 'land - taking it all back quickly, quickly. But we're going to be coming out of there real soon. Going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be."
Sure, "the other people". This is Trump once again defining an objective without thought, without consultation with advisors, without considering consequences. This is Trump repeating the fundamental error of telling those you have been countering that you're leaving the area. This is the very thing he railed about others doing, in announcing military intentions in advance of execution, informing the enemy of plans. (Refer to Trump's August 28, 2013 tweeted complaint about those in power then broadcasting what we intend to do about Syria.)

Michael Cohen's attorney states that Trump was not aware of the Stormy Daniels payoff

Wednesday, March 28, 2018: Interviewed by Erin Burnett on her CNN show, Michael Cohen's attorney David Schwartz was asked if Trump was aware of the hush money agreement. His emphatic response: "The president was not aware of the agreement...at least Michael Cohen never told him about the agreement." Remember the peculiar unsigned 'DD' (David Dennison) line in the contract? Schwartz said of that: "Michael Cohen left the option open...that's why he left that signature line...the option open to go to him. He chose not to. He chose to bind the LLC (EC LLC) and Stormy Daniels into the contract." So, why didn't Cohen tell his client (Trump) about the agreement, as simple ethics require? Schwartz claims: "Because his client is EC LLC under the agreement." Erin Burnett had to suppress laughing beause, as has been publicized, Cohen himself fabricated this LLC to attempt to conceal the transaction. One could imagine attorneys around the world watching this and shaking their heads in disbelief.

Trump replaces the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with a loyalist

Wednesday, March 28, 2018: In a tweet (of course), Trump stated:
"I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. In the interim, Hon. Robert Wilkie of DOD will serve as Acting Secretary. I am thankful for Dr. David Shulkin's service to our country and to our GREAT VETERANS!"
As usual, Trump lacked the courage to face Shulkin to fire him, instead having Chief of Staff Kelly do the dirty work. Shulkin was the subject of a negative report by the inspector general in mid February who had reviewed the details of Shulkin's 10-day trip to Europe with his wife in the summer of 2017, expenses charged to the government. This became a scandal unto itself, but on top of the abuses and mismanagement uncovered in the VA over the past years. Trump was very unhappy with Shulkin's exposed abuses. This is the time that a normal president would either reprimand or dismiss a cabinet member who behaved this way; however, Trump did not...instead he let Shulkin "twist in the wind" for over a month. Why? Because he was saving the dismissal for a time when he needed a distraction, as was the case today, where the NY Times reported that Trump's lead attorney, John Dowd, last summer suggested presidential pardons for Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, as Dowd was conversing with their attorneys.

Is Jackson well suited to running the VA? Jackson is a doctor: he has no substanative managerial experience, where something as massive as the VA system requires someone with abundant experience to oversee the annual expenditure of $200 billion (second only to the Pentagon). So, why Jackson? This is Trump once again rewarding loyalty over qualifications or competence or capability. Back on January 16, Jackson heaped effusive praise on Trump's physical and mental condition in reporting the results of Trump's physical examination. It should also not be overlooked that Jackson is an active duty officer, which constitutes a conflict in being required to directly take orders from the commander in chief at the same time that he is supposed to be objectively running a high-profile government service. Trump might as well have posted the following:

       HELP WANTED
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Higly paid, lucrative position
NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED
The only qualification demanded: Loyalty
Must be a white male

Ted Olson and other lawyers reject Trump's solicitation to join his legal team

Monday, March 26, 2018: The Washington post reports that Ted Olson (the George W. Bush administration solicitor general) rejected Trump's invitation to join Trump's legal team. Olson admonished Trump, citing the many administration staff changes:
"I think everybody would agree: This is turmoil, it's chaos, it's confusion; it's not good for anything," he said on MSNBCs "Andrea Mitchell Reports".

Likewise, Dan K. Webb, a former U.S. attorney for Illinois and a corporate and white collar defense lawyer, likewise turned down Trump. The word in Washington is that lawyers who value their firm's reputation don't want it sullied by association with Trump (The Bog of Eternal Stench).

I can get lawyers (though not the ones I ask)

Sunday, March 25, 2018: Trump's supposed hiring of Washington lawyers Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing won't happen after all, as they announced they have conflicts that won't allow them to represent Trump. Reacting to news reports that he was having trouble recruiting lawyers for his legal team, Trump tweeted:
"Many lawyers and top law firms want to represent me in the Russia case...don't believe the Fake News narrative that it is hard to find a lawyer who wants to take this on. Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted. Problem is that a new lawyer or law firm will take months to get up to speed (if for no other reason than they can bill more), which is unfair to our great country - and I am very happy with my existing team."
Obviously, for him to even have to try to explain this away speaks volumes to the reality of the situation.

Let chaos reign

Thursday, March 22, 2018: Trump signed an order intended to slam China for its massive industrial espionage and intellectual property theft which applies about $50 billion in annual tariffs on a variety of goods from China. China reacted: its commerce ministry proposed a list of 128 U.S. products as potential retaliation targets. With Trump starting a trade war, the Dow Jones index plunged 724 points.

Trump today also announced that he is replacing national security adviser H.R. McMaster with John Bolton. McMaster had been a moderating influence in the White House. Replacing him with the ultra extremist Bolton is horrible for the nation and the world. This is Trump undertaking a campaign to surround himself with people at least as imbalanced as he is ... people who think like Trump and who will agree with him on everything, and reinforce his worst impulses. The extreme dangers here cannot be overstated.

Also today, Trump dismissed his attorney John Dowd. They had been at odds, with Trump disregarding legal advice as an impediment to him doing whatever he has wanted, most noticeably in conducting escalating tweet rants against Special Counsel Mueller.

My buddy Puting "won" re-election

Tuesday, March 20, 2018: Trump calls Putin and congratulates Russian President Vladimir on "winning" re-election. (In Russia, "winning" is what happens after you kill off or otherwise silence opposition.) Trump did this despite specific warnings from his national security advisers not to do so: they had included a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating "DO NOT CONGRATULATE".

Bring on more lawyers, no matter their quality

Monday, March 19, 2018: The Trump administration announced that Washington lawyers Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing would be joining Trump's legal team. Trump is a fan of diGenova, who appears on the loathsome Fox News and who's a conspiracy fanatic, including claiming that Trump had been framed" by the FBI and Justice Department officials in the Russia investigation.

Gowdy to Trump: If you're innocent, act like it

Sunday, March 18, 2018: On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) commented on Trump and his lawyer flailing at special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, saying that the probe should continue unimpeded. Gowdy to Trump: "When you are innocent ... act like it." And he added: "If you've done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as fulsome and thorough as possible." Gowdy had offered the same to Trump's attorney John Dowd when Dowd called for Mueller's investigation to be shut down: Gowdy to Dowd: "If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it."

Trump's lawyer interferes with the Mueller probe

Saturday, March 17, 2018: Donald Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, told The Daily Beast this morning:
"I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe's boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier."
So, in case you were thinking that Trump's lawyers were tempering Trump, the opposite is happening: Trump is indoctrinating his lawyers to spew the same type of incautious rhetoric as himself. Here we have those under investigation attempting to shut down the investigation. (Recall that Dowd was one of two Trump attorneys who on September 17, 2017 were sitting in a Washington restaurant loudly and casually discussing sensitive issues in full public exposure.)

Brennan reacts to Trump's increasingly hostile behavior

Saturday, March 17, 2018: Reacting to Trump's increasingly vitriolic and unwarranted attacks on America's law enforement agencies, ex-CIA director John Brennan blasted President Donald Trump for celebrating the firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, in a tweet. Issuing a tweet of his own, Brennan said:
"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you."

Trump vindictively has McCabe fired, just before his pension date

Friday, March 16, 2018: After months of harassing deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, late this evening Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him, hours before McCabe's pension was to be vested. This represented vindictive collusion between Trump and Sessions, to hurt McCabe as much as possible — without standard due process. It is obvious as part of Trump's campaign to chip away at the supposed "credibility" of the ongoing investigation of Trump's election and its meshing with Russian steering of the 2016 election. Trump apparently believes that this petty act will leave McCabe on the verge of destitution. However, rules still apply: Under the Federal Employees Retirement System, known as FERS, McCabe was set to receive an annual pension payout calculated at a special "enhanced" rate and available at the early age of 50. Being fired early, other rules then apply: McCabe may not be able to draw an annuity until a date ranging just shy of his 57th birthday, and as late as his 62nd. That could put the value of his uncollected pension in the realm of a half-million dollars. However, there is collateral damage: loss of lifetime medical benefits for self & family; loss of "special supplemental" to social security benefits.

"A second Trump attorney is linked to the Stormy Daniels payoff

Thursday, March 15, 2018: A "demand for arbitration" document dated February 22, 2018, names Jill Martin, a top lawyer at the Trump Organization based in California, as the attorney representing "EC, LLC." — which is Essential Consultants, a company that Trump fixer Michael Cohen established in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Daniels. Martin lists her title at the Trump Organization as: vice president and assistant general counsel.

"Like father, like son"

Thursday, March 15, 2018: That's the way the New York Daily New put it in reporting that Donald Trump Jr.'s wife Vanessa has filed for divorce.

The Mueller probe reaches the Trump organization

Thursday, March 15, 2018: The New York Times reports that special counsel Robert Mueller had served subpoenas on the Trump Organization for any internal documents related to Russia.

Trump continues to just make up "facts", even when meeting with world leaders

Wednesday, March 14, 2018: In a fundraising speech, Trump actually boasted that he made up "information" when meeting with top U.S. ally Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in claiming that the United States runs a trade deficit with Canada. In the boast, as reported by the Washington Post, Trump said:
"Trudeau came to see me. He's a good guy, Justin. He said, 'No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,'" Trump said, mimicking Trudeau. "Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — 'Donald, we have no trade deficit.' He's very proud because everybody else, you know, we're getting killed. "... So, he's proud. I said, 'Wrong, Justin, you do.' I didn't even know. ... I had no idea. I just said, 'You're wrong.' You know why? Because we're so stupid. ... And I thought they were smart. I said, 'You're wrong, Justin.' He said, 'Nope, we have no trade deficit.' I said, 'Well, in that case, I feel differently,' I said, 'but I don't believe it.' I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, 'Check, because I can't believe it.'"

Trump continues to be appalling. A life-long habit of lying, continued as he's president. He has no respect for facts, or the intelligence of the people he's dealing with. How does this man have any self respect?? He obviously has no respect for the office of president or the reputation of the country he represents.

Trump fires Tillerson — by tweet

Tuesday, March 13, 2018: In his usual gutless manner, Trump fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson — by tweet:
"Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!"
This was yet another instance of Trump disposing of one of his key people without giving them any advance notice. (Tillerson was then travelling in Africa.) Under Secretary Steve Goldstein put out the statement:
"The Secretary did not speak to the President this morning and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted. We wish Secretary-Designate Pompeo well." Goldstein also said that Tillerson had "every intention of remaining."
In response, Trump ousted Goldstein as well. This left the State Department has only one permanent undersecretary in place out of six. The White House tried to claim that Chief of Staff John F. Kelly called to wake Tillerson in the wee hours there Saturday to alert him that Trump had decided to replace him. This was a baseless fabrication: Trump disposed of Tillerson (who famously had called Trump a "moron", multiple times) on a whim. The manner of firing reinforces Trump's reputation as a coward. (One wonders who he had "fire" his first two wives.)

House Republicans conclude their sham investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election

Monday, March 12, 2018: House Intelligence Committee Republicans concluded their investigation, saying that they had found no evidence of collusion between Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election. This committee's so-called investigations were, of course, a sham, being stunted by the notorious Devin Nunes, Trump's lap dog. As Adam Schiff pointed out, the committee was repeatedly prevented from pursuing key evidence, as Nunes did not want inconvenient facts uncovered about Trump and his minions. Representative K. Michael Conaway, the Texas Republican who led the investigation, said:
"The bottom line: The Russians did commit active measures against our election in '16, and we think they will do that in the future." But contrary to the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies: "We disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump."

Trump rally in Pennsylvania for his deplorables

Saturday, March 10, 2018: Trump goes to Pennsylvania to fire up his base with more inflammatory rhetoric and predictable untruths. He was there to urge Republican voters to elect congressional candidate Rick Saccone in an unexpectedly tight special election, but only briefly did that, naturally turning the event to his favorite topic: himself. Of course, he lambasted the media as usual, calling NBC host Chuck Todd a "son of a bitch." He unveiled his own new slogan for the 2020 campaign: "Keep America Great!" (Democrat Conor Lamb won the election, to Trump's shame.) This Trump tirade, like his others, was obviously to foster further division, intolerance, and hatred. See CNN article "The 64 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's untethered Pennsylvania speech" for a summary of Trump's insults and inanities in this appalling speech.

Former CIA chief John Brennan speaks on Trump's latest instabilities

Friday, March 2, 2018: In an interview with MSNBC's Nicole Wallace on "Deadline: White House", Brennan said:
"It is no secret to anybody that Donald Trump was very ill prepared and unexperienced in terms of dealing with matters that a head of state needs to deal with, head of government, and I think this is now coming to roost. Our country needs to have confidence that we're going to be able to deal with Mr. Putin, who is flexing his muscles once again on the military front, that we can deal with North Korea, that we can deal with these issues. And if we have somebody in the Oval Office who is unstable, inept, inexperienced, and also unethical - we really have rough waters ahead. When I hear what Vladimir Putin was saying just yesterday about the nuclear capabilities he has, the President of the United States is tweeting about Alec Baldwin this morning, I mean, where is your sense of priorities? I think a lot of Americans are looking at what's happening with a sense of - this is surreal."

Reports of Jared Kushner taking revenge on Qatar after a financial deal fell through

Friday, March 2, 2018: Reports are appearing that Jared Kushner's family-run real estate company tried to seek Qatari government financing for its troubled New York City property a month before Kushner backed a blockade on the Gulf kingdom.

The context: January 2007: Tishman Speyer, along with the German investment firm TMW, announced the sale of the 666 Park Avenue building to the Kushner Properties for $1.8 billion, at the time the highest price ever paid for an individual building in Manhattan. Jared Kushner sought the purchase as a "Manhattan trophy" for his company. This was real estate lust. Kushner's purchase was reported to have been "heavily leveraged", meaning very much debt financing: a $1.2 billion mortgage, with escalating interest rates, comes due in 2018. The purchase deal culminated shortly before the economy tanked in late 2007. Since then, income from the property has been poor, with lease revenue not even sufficient to cover interest payments: as of late 2017, a quarter of the building's leasable office space was empty. This has left Jared Kushner's company very much in a deep, overcommitted financial hole, with no source of funding to pay the looming mortgage. This left Kushner scrambling to try to cover the pending payment, seeking funding sources in China, Russia - and Qatar. Kushner Companies representatives met with a Qatari investment company, run by the country's former prime minister and finance minister, Hamad Bin Jasim al-Thani, one of the world's wealthiest men. When Jared received his nepotistic White House assignment, that prompted the Qataris to pull out. The following month, Kushner and the White House supported a blockade of Qatar organized by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (This was partly based on incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, later found to have been faked through United Arab Emirates orchestrated hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites.) This was counter to what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been negotiating in the region. Tillerson put two-and-two together and concluded that Kushner was running a second foreign policy out of the White House family quarters, with Jared taking advantage of his stepfather-assigned role of Middle East specialist to convince Trump to lay into Qatar, as exemplified by Trump's June 9 2017 rose garden pronouncements against Qatar as a funder of terrorism.

Trade wars are good!

Friday, March 2, 2018: Trump defendds his yesterday-announced trade war with an early morning tweet: "When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win."

Lets's have a trade war, and treat our friends as enemies

Thursday, March 1, 2018: Trump announces that he will impose 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum as early as next week in an effort to force partners into "fairer" trade agreements. The move helped spark a 420-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average as shares of Boeing and General Motors and other manufacturers that use steel and aluminum fell.

The NRA reprograms Trump after his anti-gun performance yesterday

Thursday, March 1, 2018: Eager to reassert itself, the very next day after Trump's roundtable criticisms of the NRA, their spokespeople made sure they met with Trump, late into the night, to essentially reprogram him on supporting guns everywhere. Upon conclusion of the meeting, at 11:04 PM Trump tweeted:
"Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!"
NRA Executive Director Chris Cox added to that his own tweet: "I had a great meeting tonight with @realDonaldTrump & @VP. We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don't want gun control."
So, Trump is securely back in the NRA's pocket.

Hope Hicks resigns

Wednesday, February 28, 2018: White House communications director (the 5th) resigns — a day after admitting to Congress that she lies for Trump (who berated her for admitting that in testimony). The endless upheaval in White House staffing continues.

Trump pretends discord with the NRA after another mass shooting

Wednesday, February 28, 2018: Trump conducts a meeting in the White House's Roosevelt room with a bipartisan group of lawmakers for a discussion on gun control. In it he floated the idea of ignoring due process and also appeared to side with Democrats on gun control. "Take the firearms first and then go to court," Trump said. "Because that's another system — a lot of times by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get the due process procedures. I like taking the guns early. Like, in this crazy man's case that just took place in Florida. He had a lot of firearms, they saw everything. To go to court would have taken a long time. You could do exactly what you're saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second." Attendee Sen. Chris Murphy cautioned: "I think you underestimate the power of the gun lobby." Trump, who got $30 million in campaign donations from the NRA, replied: "They have great power over you people; they have less ... over me. Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. You can't be petrified. [People] want to do what's right." But all this was just acting for the camera, as was evident the next day.

Trump lashes out Jeff Sessions, who pushes back

Wednesday, February 28, 2018: In an early morning tweet, Trump laid into his Attorney General Jeff Sessions with:
"Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn't the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!"
Of course, if Trump knew anything about how the Justice Department works, he'd know that it is precisely the Inspector General who is supposed to pursue such assignments.

Sessions subsequently pushed back with this statement:
"As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution."

Jeff Sessions may just turn out to be the one person who ended up being the mainstay in stemming Trump's relentless assault on the federal government.

Trump's mythical health care plan

February 23, 2018: Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, Trump said: "And, by the way, we're having tremendous plans coming out now — healthcare plans — at a fraction of the cost that are much better than Obamacare."
The usual empty words from Trump, who never put forth any health care plan: his only objective was to destroy 'Obamacare' as part of wiping out Obama's legacy.

Trump lashes out at his national security adviser

Saturday, February 17, 2018: Attending a security meeting in Germany, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster cited Fridays detailed indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of 13 Russians in a sophisticated multi-year cyber-attack to subvert the election when he was in an exchange with a member of a Russian delegation. McMaster said: "with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now incontrovertible" of Russia's cyber disruption and meddling. This rankled Trump in not being supported in wanting to believe that the indictment somehow "vindicated" him; and so Trump lashed out at McMaster in yet another juvenile tweet:
"General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!"
Of course, the reality is that there have been no formal findings that the Russian interference affected the election (though all evidence points to the obviousness of the meddling being engineered to elect Trump). In repeatedly bringing up personalities in the last election, Trump increasingly gives the impression that he is unhinged.

Let's continue to do nothing

Tuesday, February 13, 2018: FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo testified before the Senate intelligence committee regarding worldwide threats. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified that Moscow viewed its attack on the 2016 election as decidedly worthwhile given the chaos it has sown compared with its relatively low cost: "There should be no doubt that Russia perceived that its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian midterm operations." He added: "Frankly, the United States is under attack." and "At a minimum, we expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States." Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, asked FBI Directory Christopher Wray whether the efforts to counter Russia's election activities in 2018 had been directed by Trump. Wray responded: "Not as specifically directed by the President." Lead Democrat on the committee, Mark Warner, noted: "We've had more than a year to get our act together and address the threat posed by Russia and implement a strategy to deter future attacks. But we still do not have a plan."

So, what was our President's institutional reaction to this expert warning of Russia's ongoing effort to undermine our democracy? Nothing. Despite all the reports, evidence, and warnings over the past year, Trump chosen to do absolutely nothing. Indeed, he has even denied that this could not be happening because Putin so sincerely denied such activities. Donald Trump as President has been derelict in his responsibilities and, in his concscious inaction, is effectively aiding and abetting Putin's Russia. Trump needs to go.

The White House changes its story

Tuesday, February 13, 2018: White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah says on Fox & Friends: "But what we know about Rob Porter specifically and that's the incident that everybody's talking about, is that his background check investigation had not been completed yet. It was still, in the investigative process and had yet to be adjudicated." White House chief of Staff John Kelly, under scrutiny for his handling of the situation and changing timelines, gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal in the morning insisting, of Porter, "It was all done right."

In a late morning briefing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, FBI Director Chris Wray said under oath that the bureau reported had submitted a partial report on Rob Porter to the White House in March of 2017, and a completed report in July; then responded to a follow-up request in November. The FBI closed its file on Porter in January.

With that, the White House could not keep up the now-evident lie that the FBI had not provided them with the needed information on Porter. Instead of coming clean, they concocted another subterfuge. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders went before the press to claim that the months-long delay in handling the Rob Porter situation was the fault of the almost unknown White House Personnel Security Office. As is characteristic of the Trump administration, the fault always lies elsewhere — even if the culprit has the words "White House" in its title. Those familiar with the office say that it's no more than a small HR staff, where they have no decision-making powers, and any information they had would have been passed on to White House officials.

The scandal sticks to the White House

Monday, February 12, 2018: Press secretary Sarah Sanders says in a press briefing: "The President and the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly. Above all, the President supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process."
However, the president has chosen to not utter one word himself decrying domestic violence, or directly addressed this scandal. Meanwhile, questions swirl about Kelly's knowledge of the Porter situation.

The White House has continued in their "blame the FBI" mode, even with this scandal, suggesting that the FBI never passed along the information. Sarah Sanders said: "It is handled by law enforcement and intelligence communities. We support the process. It's the same process that's been used for decades for previous administrations. We are relying on the process."

Further White House churn

Sunday, February 11, 2018: David Sorensen, a member of the Trump administration's speechwriting team, resigned after he, too, was accused of domestic abuse, His ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, alleged that "he ran a car over her foot, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her into a wall and grasped her menacingly by her hair while they were alone on their boat in remote waters off Maine's coast, an incident she said left her fearing for her life."

Trump can't resist wading into it again

Saturday, February 10, 2018: Trump tweets:
"Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?"

In response, numerous people supported that call for due process: have a full investigation of the credible allegations that have amassed against Donald Trump's predations of women.

Trump predictably defends the abuser

Friday, February 9, 2018: Donald Trump, meeting with the press, said the following about the Porter situation:
"Well, we wish him well. He worked very hard. I found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it. But we certainly wish him well. It's obviously a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him, but it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he's also very sad now. Now he also — as you probably know, he says he's innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he's innocent. So you'll have to talk to him about that. But we absolutely wish him well. Did a very good job while he was at the White House."

What's conspicuous about this statement is the absence of any mention of the actual victims. Here, Trump is defending Porter in the same way that he defended other conspicuously egregious abusers such as Mike Tyson, Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, Corey Lewandowski, Roy Moore — and himself.

Now, about Kelly's knowledge of Porter's character

Thursday, February 8, 2018: CNN reports that Kelly and other senior White House staffers were aware of Porter's security clearance being on hold, and that both of his ex-wives had made formal allegations against Rob with the FBI. White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah says that Porter was "terminated" shortly after the "full nature" of the allegations became clear. This is clearly the beginning of a cover-up, as White House officials obviously knew months before what the Porter situation was. Porter's termination was precipitated by the press having exposed what the White House was concealing.

Porter is forced out

Wednesday, February 7, 2018: At 1:53 a.m. Wednesday morning, Ryan Grim, the DC bureau chief of The Intercept, tweets a picture of Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye, suffered during a vacation she took with husband Rob in Florence, Italy. At 1:33 pm The Intercept publishes a follow-up story that reports that both of Porter's ex-wives told the FBI during a routine background check that he abused them. The White House goes into damage control, trying to fend off the allegations. However, the made-public battered wife photos were insurmountable. By the afternoon, Rob Porter had resigned. Chief of staff Kelly stands by his initial supportive statement until almost 9:30 pm, when the White House issues a new statement from Kelly: "There is no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming chief of staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation."

The next White House scandal emerges

Tuesday, February 6, 2018: The Daily Mail publishes their story from their interview with Jennifer Willoughby, the second wife of President Trump's staff secretary Rob Porter, about her abusive marriage to the man described as one of the most important players in the Oval Office. The story exposed Porter's episodes of explosive anger, directed against the woman closest to him. The Daily Mail also reached out to Porter's first wife, Colbie Holderness, who confirmed that Rob Porter "was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive and that is why I left." On June 19, 2010, Jennifer filed a protective order against Rob because he violated their separation agreement and refused to leave their apartment.

John Kelly, Chief of Staff, subsequently responded to the report: "Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor, and I can't say enough good things about him. He is a friend, a confidante and a trusted professional. I am proud to serve alongside him."

Now, obviously, someone working in the White House, and certainly someone working alongside the president and handling reams of sensitive information, would have gone through a background check, which would include in depth interviews with the ex-wives; and given that Porter has been in his position since the beginning of the Trump administration, a variety of high level staffers in the White House would have known about the problems with Porter. Indeed, it became known that Porter was working without having been given a full security clearance.

It subsequently became known that Hope Hicks was helping draft statements defending Rob Porter in this mess — and that she was in a romantic relationship with Porter.

Nunes further debases himself

Monday, February 5, 2018: House Intelligence Committee leader Devin Nunes, always out to show his loyalty to Donald Trump above all else, this morning went on Fox & Friends to bewoe Trump's "persecution", claiming of Trump campaign's foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos:
"As far as we can tell, Papadopoulos never even knew who Trump was — never even met with the president."
This despite the now famous photo that the Trump campaign itself released, titled "National security meeting", self-dated "March 31, 2016", showing Trump sitting at the head of the meeting table, and Papadopoulos sitting at the middle, three persons down from Trump. Trump, with his self-promoted great memory, should remember Papadopoulos offering to broker "a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump."

Moreover: On March 21, 2016, Donald Trump met with the Washington Post editorial board. Its publisher, Frederick Ryan Jr., asked:
"We've heard you're going to be announcing your foreign policy team shortly... Any you can share with us?"
Trump provided a list: "Well, I hadn't thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names... Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives caucus, and counter-terrorism expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos, he's an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy; the Honorable Joe Schmitz, [former] inspector general at the Department of Defense; [retired] Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; and I have quite a few more."

So, yes, Trump was well aware of Papadopoulos. Nunes is again intent on manufacturing a fiction.

The Bully in Chief attacks again

Monday, February 5, 2018: Apparently feeling threatened by the pending release of the Democrat's response to the subversive Devin Nunes memo on the FBI, Trump this morning tweeted:
"Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!"
You can smell fear underneath that missive, as in someone desperate to hide personally damaging information. Being attacked by Trump as a liar amounts to a double-negative: Mr. Schiff is obviously doing things right. House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff adroitly responded:
"Mr. President, I see you've had a busy morning of "Executive Time." Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or...really anything else."

If you thought that was extreme: Trump was at a Cincinnati suburb promoting the tax bill he signed into law last December. He took the opportunity to complain of Democrats not standing and applauding him at his state of the union address, saying:
"Even on positive news — really positive news, like that — they were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said treasonous. Yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much."
There's your definition: anyone who doesn't suck up to Trump is un-American.

Self-declaration of vindication — again

Saturday, February 3, 2018: Pumped up by his perception of the Nunes memo, Trump is gleeful on Twitter:
"This memo totally vindicates "Trump" in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!"
The reality is that the perverse memo did not vindicate Trump — as even Republicans broke ranks to say, as they increasingly split from Trump as the 2018 elections near. Further, Trump's tweet suggests that the memo was actually intended by Nunes to vindicate Trump, and likely that the White House was at least consulted during its fabrication. Note how this hues to Trump's declaration on March 22 that he felt "somewhat vindicated" by the March 21 Nunes stunt of surreptitiously going to the White House grounds, getting some material from White House officials, and later returning to the White House to declare finding exculpatory material which he had then given to the President.

Chaos, and who's loving it

Thursday, February 1, 2018: Trump is poised to release the notorious Nunes memo. Reports have come to light that the memo that Nunes gave to the White House is not the same that the (completely partisan) majority Republicans voted for releasing (in rubber-stamping what Nunes what wanted to do): Nunes himself further altered the document before handing it over. This is how this character operates. Why is Trump eager to release the memo? Because it gives him some semblance of an excuse to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, whom the memo claims approved an application to extend surveillance of former Trump campaign Carter Paige. Rosenstein infuriated Trump by appointing and chartering the Special Counsel. Trump figures that he can then install someone who is loyal to him (rather than the truth), and then un-charter Mueller. This is part of Trump's trajectory to eviscerate the FBI, which has been investigating him and his family: Trump repeatedly harrassed Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe in public, inciting him to resign.

You know who is immensely enjoying all this? The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. For the 2016 election, Vladimir Putin put into play extensive resources to spread propaganda, fake news, and lies through the naive and obliviously-led American social media companies Facebook and Twitter. Vladimir Putin was delighted to see Trump winning state primary elections and then become the Republican Party's candidate. Vladimir Putin obviously had a full psychological profile on Donald Trump, and knew that Trump was driven by impulses, was egotistical, and always put himself above party and country. Helping Trump get elected President had to be Putin's greatest accomplishment. Vladimir Putin has to be laughing hysterically at the chaos he has engineered into being in the highest levels of the country he despises the most. Instead of doing anything about Russia's interference in the 2016 election, United State officials and branches of government are fighting amongst themselves. It's unbelievable. It's everything Putin ever wanted, come true.

Trump's own FBI pick disagrees with him

Wednesday, January 31, 2018: FBI Director Christopher Wray — Trump's own pick for leading the FBI (and the second FBI directory in 9 months) — warning the White House to not releast the Nunes memo. Wray issued this public statement: "With regard to the House Intelligence Committee's memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it," the FBI said in a statement. "As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."

At his Senate confirmation hearing, Wray had said: "If I am given the honor of leading this agency, I will never allow the FBI's work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period. Full stop. My loyalty is to the Constitution and to the rule of law." Democratic senator Patrick Leahy asked Wray what he would do if the president asked him "to do something unlawful or unethical." Wray then responded: "First I would try to talk him out of it, and if that failed, I would resign." This could come to pass with this memo fiasco.

Time for the State of the Union address, and Teleprompter Trump

Tuesday, January 30, 2018: Trump goes before Congress and the nation to present his view of the state of the United States under his dictatorial rule. A record number of lawmakers are boycotting this farce of a presentation, unwilling to give credence to its artificiality. The irresponsibility of Republicans

Trump lawyers send a letter to special counsel Mueller, with an admission

Monday, January 29, 2018: The lie which Trump and his family had concocted and colluded in regarding the purpose of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians is finally admitted to be just that — a lie. In a letter to special counsel Mueller, then Trump lawyers Dowd and Sekulow write that the president did dictate the letter to the New York Times, contradicting all the White House fabrications about the drafting of the response to the New York Times aboard Air Force One. The lawyers' statement in the letter to Mueller:
"You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr."

Collusion with Russia continues

Monday, January 29, 2018: On July 25, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act on a vote of 419-3. Subsquently, the Senate voted for it by a margin of 98-2. On August 2, 2017, President Donald Trump signed it into law while issuing two statements simultaneously that he believed the legislation was "seriously flawed". The purpose, as directed at Russia, was to impose additional sanctions as punishment for interfering in the 2016 national elections.

Today, the Trump administration unilaterally decided that they would not implement this legislation — because it would be detrimental to businesses selling to the Russian defense and intelligence sectors. The Sanctions Act also requires the administration to send Congress both classified and unclassified reports on Russian oligarchs and sovereign debt within 180 days. Just as in prior deadlines, the Trump administration waited until the last day to do so, where yesterday they submitted a list — which was nothing more than information gotten off the Internet.

Trump keeps saying "there's no collusion", but his actions persistently contradict what he says. Senator Chuck Schumer said: "Any other President would have already made it their priority to take decisive action against Russia in their first year. But this President is paralyzed when it comes to Putin & his cronies in Russia."

The irresponsibility of Republicans

Wednesday, January 24, 2018: As the investigation gets closer to their beloved Donald Trump, the rabid right has gotten desperate to seize upon any "evidence" they can to pre-emptively discredit the FBI, Robert Mueller, and anyone else who may facilitate the investigation. Fox News was even more rabid than usual, claiming corruption "at the highest levels of government", intent on removing Trump from office, in language which borders on treason. Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and John Ratliffe of Texas were making the rounds talking of a "secret society" and "deep state" clandestinely operating in Washington, bolstered by Matt Gaetz of Florida. Then there was Republican Senator Ron Johnson not only subscribing to the conspiracy theory of "secret society", but even going to the extreme of claiming that he had an "informant" to corroborate all this. In an interview with Fox News Channel Johnson said: "Corruption of the highest levels of the FBI. The secret society -- we have an informant talking about a group that was holding secret meetings off-site." Did any of them have any evidence to back up their claims? No, of course not: Republicans don't need facts or evidence — they need only what they believe. Here we have a senator willing to sacrifice his reputation to go along with an irrational mob of ignorant people to make false claims against the intelligence community and arguably the man of the highest personal integrity in Washington, Robert Mueller. These Republicans — allegedly of the law-and-order party — uncaringly disparaging the agency whose dedicated people spend long hours and even risk their lives to insure that our nation is safe. It goes to show how little rationality there is among Republicans, who will say or do anything to further their own interests. (And by end of day, it was clear to Johnson that his vitriole had no basis in fact.)

At the same time we have disgraced Representative Devin Nunes, the lapdog of Donald Trump, claiming to have a four-page memorandum, said to outline how the federal government abuses its secret surveillance powers. The reality is that this is another Nunes fabrication, like his March 21 acting performance, created to distract from Mueller's advance on the White House. The memo was in fact written by Nunes's staff, being a gross distortion of classified intelligence reports, according to unbiased intelligence committee members who have read the actual source material. Hilariously, this right-wing effort was supported by an army of Russian bots that made sure the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo remained a trending topic on social media — which speaks volumes about its veracity. It's amazing that Nunes believes that he has any credibility left after his farcical behavior last year.

Evangelicals and Trump

Tuesday, January 23, 2018: The president of the conservative Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, says that Donald Trump has been given a deserved "mulligan" by the evangelical community, to overlook his personal behavior. On Chris Matthews' Hardball show, former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele expressed disgust with the evangelical community, portraying themselves as a moral authority, when they have no more moral authority than the NRA. As Steele put it, they are just like any other lobbying group, where if you give them what they want you can do anything (including giving hush money to porn stars with whom you've had an affair while married). (I suppose this isn't much different than when televangelist Jimmy Swaggart was publicly exposed multiple times with prostitutes, the first time begging for forgiveness with his infamous blubbering "I have sinned" speech, and the second time arrogantly proclaiming "The Lord told me it's flat none of your business.") And so here we have Trump on his campaign to Make America Intolerant Again, affording anyone with the excuse of religion to deny services to anyone they don't like, as in health workers being able to refuse medical services to those whose lifestyles they find repugnant.

Like father, like son

Saturday, January 20, 2018: While even Mitch McConnell was lamenting the government shutdown's impact on government workers and military members, Eric Trump went on Fox News Channel's "Judge Jeanine" to declare, in typical Trump family self-interest: "I think it's a good thing for us." (Eric was taking a break from filling in for his dad in Mar-a-Lago, at $100,000-a-couple festivities to celebrate the Donald Trump's first year in office, as the family continues to cash in on the presidency.) Eric: You need to take some lessons from experienced politicians, who will instruct you on fundamentals, as in not gloating while your people are hurting. Eric Trump went on: "My father has had incredible momentum. He's gotten more done in one year than arguably any president in history." (Certainly not true, but you can boast anything on Fox News without being challenged.) Eric further said: "My father is the hardest working person I've ever met in my life" and "my father is working like no one has ever worked before". Well, the reality is that Donald Trump has been exposed as "working" just a few hours each day, with frequent TV breaks. It seems apparent that Eric Trump hasn't been exposed to actual hard-working Americans, like guys laboring in steel mills so that their children can go to college, or single mothers with two jobs.

Physician to the President lavishes praise on Trump

Tuesday, January 16, 2018: President Trump's doctor, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, spent almost an hour taking reporters' questions about Trump's health and fitness in the White House briefing room. Jackson went way beyond the objective assessment report you should expect from a medial professional to profusely praise Trump. Trump has "more energy than just about anybody"? "Incredible genes"? "If he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old": is that a cogent statement by a doctor? And is Trump actually as healthy as Jackson claims? Trump is 239 pounds, doesn't exercise, gorges on junk food, has a vast midsection, is taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, and has evidence of heart disease. Doesn't sound like an objective assessment to me or to doctors who have reviewed the facts.

Can it get more bizarre?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018: Asked by reporters about increasing beliefs that Donald Trump is a racist, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded:
"Frankly, if the critics of the president were who he said he was, why did NBC give him a show for a decade on TV?"
Here is the White House grasping at straws to defend the indefensible, ridiculously using the existence of a TV show as the best substantiation they can come up with for Trump's racial innocence. And after a year of lambasting the media, they retreat to media for support.

This same day, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She was at that notorious Thursday noontime meeting, and was asked about it. Like other attending Republicans, she evidenced the same amnesia, telling Senator Patrick Leahy that, as New York Magazine reported, "she had no recollection one way or another as to whether Trump disparaged the population of an entire continent in shockingly gross terms." Leahy quietly asked, "Norway is a predominantly white country, isn't it?" Here is Nielsen's incredible response: "I actually don't know that, sir." Here is a supposed adult, in one of the highest posts in the world's most powerful country, responsible for knowing the world's countries and sources of threats, and she comes up with this inane response?? This is the caliber of the people running the federal government?

Martin Luther King day

Monday, January 15, 2018: Past Republican and Democratic presidents have engaged in some form of commemoration of King's work and leadership, but performing some act of service on this memorial day. Donald Trump spent his first Martin Luther King holiday as present secluded in Mar-a-Lago, with no public events on his schedule. But he did take time out to engage in petty name-calling in firing a dart at Senator Dick Durbin: "Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can't get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military." Typical of Trump bringing extraneous ingredients into things, he had to inject the military into something which was just about immigration.

Martin Luther King is remember for writing:
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

Still the least racist, by proclamation

Sunday, January 14, 2018: Arriving at Trump International Golf Club for dinner with Representative Kevin McCarthy of California (the majority leader), Trump responded to reporters' questions:
"I'm not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, that I can tell you."
That's an assertion which is very obviously contradicted by decades of evidenced attitudes and actions, most prominently in his single-minded obsession with taking down Barack Obama. Further, it's damning when a person has to repeatedly issue exactly the same denial year after year after year, as Trump has.

Conservative writer Erick Erickson today tweeted that he spoke to one of the president's friends, who said Trump called him up to brag about the remarks because he felt it would play well with his base:
"It's weird that people in the room don't remember Trump using that word when Trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards. I spoke to one of those friends. The President thought it would play well with the base."

Republican Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton, who on Friday said they did not recall Trump having said what he did, today have remarkably improved memories, where Perdue now says: "I'm telling you he did not use that word", "and I'm telling you it's a gross misrepresentation." It appears that Perdue is playing a coy game of semantics, as reports are that the word he and Cotton are, out of public, instead saying that Trump used was "shithouse" — as if that is any different.
Of their memory improvement, Senator Lindsay Graham deftly said: "My memory hasn't evolved. I know what was said and I know what I said."

And now, the predicatable denial

Friday, January 12, 2018: In a tweet, Trump incredibly attempts to deny the vile things he said yesterday — in front of prominent witnesses:
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!"
Sen. Richard J. Durbin, who was in the room with Trump yesterday, spoke today, at an event in Chicago, about Trump's attempt to revise history:
"You've seen the comments in the press. I've not read one of them that's inaccurate. To no surprise, the President started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words. It is not true." Lindsay Graham, also at the meeting, confirmed Durban's account.
Gutless Donald Trump doesn't even have the courage to stand behind his own words.
Unsurprisingly, there was no outrage expressed by the Republican leadership or the rank-and-file, who have continued to support Trump's grotuesqueries and Trump's relentless diminishing of the United States. Pressed, the most that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan could muster was to judge Trump's statement as "unfortunate" — as possibly detrimental to Ryan's ambitions to wage further war on the "lesser people" who take money from the government, which could instead be given to the super rich.

Republican Sen. David Perdue and Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said in a Friday statement that they did not recall the "shithole" comment, and like Perdue, Cotton on Sunday accused Durbin of misrepresenting Trump's comments.

The Associated Press reported that Trump made calls to friends and outside advisers to judge their reaction to what he said, accordinng to a person who spoke to Trump (but wasn't authorized to discuss a private conversation). Trump wasn't apologetic, the person said. Instead, Trump blamed the media for distorting his meaning, arguing his description of "shithole" was not racist but rather a straightforward assessment of some nations' depressed conditions. Trump also said he believed he was expressing what many people think, according to the person.

Why does it matter what Trump said? Isn't he entitled to his opinion? The huge distinction is that this was a formal meeting to discuss national policy, where Trump was speaking as President of the United States.

Make America white again

Thursday, January 11, 2018: As reported by the Washington Post: In an Oval Office meeting with senators Lindsey O. Graham, Richard J. Durbin, and other lawmakers, the topic being discussed was granting entry to immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal. Trump blurted out: "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" and "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out." Trump then suggested that the U.S. should instead be bringing more people from countries like Norway. White House spokespeople have in the past denied that Trump has said such things about immigrants, but this time they could not, because this time there were high level witnesses to this outrage. With no hesitation, Trump once again evidences his utter disdain for any people who don't look like him. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox had perhaps the most appropriate feedback for Trump on this when he today tweeted:
".@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who's welcome in America and who's not. America's greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?"

Command of facts?

Thursday, January 11, 2018: In a press conference addressing partnership with Norway, Trump said:
"In November we started delivering the first F-52s and F-35 fighter jets" to Norway.
There's no such thing as an F-52.

Blame Obama for anything and everything, to fabricate excuses

Thursday, January 11, 2018: Trump tweeted an excuse for abandoning plans to make his first visit to London as president:
"Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for "peanuts," only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!"
As CNN reported: The decision to move the embassy from Grosvenor Square to Nine Elms was made in 2008 under George W. Bush, not Obama. It would have been impossible to retrofit the aging concrete building with the security measures needed, officials said at the time. It's just one lie after another with Trump.

Lindsey Graham skewers Trump on his self-proclaimed "genius" claim

Monday, January 8, 2018: Appearing on The View, senator Lindsey Graham reacted to Trump's claim that he is "a very stable genius" by saying:
"If he doesn't call himself a genius, nobody else will."

The presidency doesn't warrant my time

Sunday, January 7, 2018: Axios reports that Trump's "work schedule" has contracted, now starting at 11 a.m. to about 6 p.m. And within that short period he additionally has "Executive Time", meaning going from the Oval Office to the adjoining dining room to watch TV (cable news) and tweet. This conforms to reports that Trump never wanted or expected to actually become president; that the campaign was an opportunity to promote himself and disparage everyone and everything that bugged him.

Me genius; stable, too

Saturday, January 6, 2018: Trump reacts to the Michael Wolff book by tweeting:
"....Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star....." "....to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"
Sure, a successful businessman with a string of bankruptcies and a history of cheating people to enrich himself. A TV star on a par with Pia Zadora.
Geniuses do not spend their days watching TV; they do not watch Fox News as their source of information; and they certainly do not base their life actions upon low quality information sources.

'Mine's bigger than yours juvenility

Tuesday, January 2, 2018: Trump tweets: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"
More mindless stupidity from Trump, demonstrating that he doesn't even qualify as an adult, let alone a world leader.

Who needs scientific knowledge when you can have arbitrary beliefs?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018: Trump tweets:
"Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!"
No aviation expert that the media contacted was aware of any initiatives on commercial aviation by the Trump administration over the past year. The reality is that through the efforts of airlines, with decades of stewardship by the FAA, there has been no fatal U.S. aviation events since 2009. Is this the usual Trump pathology of needing to take credit for just about anything; or is this further evidence of dementia taking hold?

Trump year end evaluation

Sunday, December 31, 2017: Let's take a look at Trump at year's end:
Approval rating: The respected Gallup poll reports Donald Trump's approval rating at a paltry 38%, with 56% disapproval, setting new records for the lowest presidential approval ratings since Gallup began taking the survey in 1945, in the early days of the administration of President Harry S. Truman.
A new staff turnover record: In 2017, 34% of President Trump's staff was either been fired, resigned, or reassigned — more turnover than any previous administration.
Unite America? To the contrary, Trump has continued his campaign of divisiveness, repeatedly retreating to his (shrinking) base of deplorables to support his delusion of popularity.
Murder rate in Chicago: Trump repeatedly pointed out the homicide rate in Chicago (because it's Obama's home city) and obliquely referenced it in his inaugural address, saying "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now." Immediate cessation? In 2017, there were over 650 murders in Chicago.
Infrastructure improvements as promised in his campaigning: Forget that. With the Republicans having added $1.5 trillion to the deficit, there no longer is any money to fix crumbling roads and bridges. So what if more people die from bridge collapses: those are just little people.
Guns: With each mass murder by firearms, Trump would respond to reporters questions on when something would be done about gun violence by vaguely saying "later". That later has never come.
The State Department: Being decimated by the Trump administration, hostile to the mission of the department. Career professionals have been leaving in droves as their work has been rendered futile by Trump and Tillerson. The department is near collapse. Trump's attitude is that the Dapartment of State is irrelevant — and to him reeks of Hillary Clinton's tenure there. Who needs diplomacy when you have cruise missiles?
Most important of all, Russian manipulation of U.S. elections: Despite widespread evidence of Russia's increasing intrusion into elections in democracies in order to undermine them, Trump has chosen to do nothing about the problem — and even talked of former FSB Director Vladimir Putin having sincerely told Trump that Russia did not meddle in U.S. elections.
Is Donald Trump living up to his oath of office, to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"?? It is certainly the case that the gravity of the office of president has had no ameliorating effect upon Donald Trump, who remains as irrational and vile as he was during the campaign for office.

Who needs scientific knowledge when you can have artibrary beliefs?

Thursday, December 28, 2017: Trump tweets:
"In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"
Well, what did we expect from the destroyer of the Paris Accords? Anything to avoid addressing a major problem that may pose a threat to greed. As intelligent people know, weather events and climate trajectory are wholly separate things. With Trump, what's important is only what's happening close to him. The reality is that while this arctic incursion is affecting much of North America, much of the rest of world is warmer than normal — a demonstration that global warming results in erratic conditions. (At the same time, Australia is suffering from extreme heat, where it has gotten to 117F — enough to soften asphalt pavements.) Further evidence is that the 48 states experienced the 3rd warmest January to November (YTD) on record. But those are just facts.

Here, Trump points to a short-term weather event while not mentioning the devastating climate change being experienced on the west coast as long-term drought continues there, resulting in tinder-dry conditions and wildfires which rage for weeks and months, burning millions of acres of land, destroying large numbers of homes, burning horses and wildlife alive, separating firefighters and their families for prolonged periods, draining county and state budgets, and costing insurance companies and their rate payers enormous sums.

The golf course president

Wednesday, December 27, 2017: Prior to becoming president, Trump routinely criticized Barack Obama for his golf outings. On August 2, 2016, Trump told a crowd:
"I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf."
The reality: Trump is on track to spend as much as triple the time President Obama did on the golf course in his first year in office.
On Christmas day Trump tweeted that it would be "back to work" on the 26th. The reality was that he spent much of his time golfing on his West Palm Beach, Florida golf course, as documented by camera crews. This miffed Trump. Today, as camera crews from CNN, CBS, and ABC attempted to get shots of Trump on the course from a public vantage point, a white box truck of unusual configuration and no markings drove up and blocked the view. When the camera crews moved to get an unobstructed view, the truck also moved, to continue blocking their view. Hmmm: this is a spot where county sheriff's vehicles often park. Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County sheriff's office, said the department also "did not order a box truck to block any views of the president." The next day, an identical box truck was spotted in the county sheriff's parking lot.

Beyond not wanting it known that, like at the White House, he's doing little work while in Florida, it has to be suspected that Trump doesn't want the public to see how grossly overweight he is, with a huge roll of fat around his midsection. (See photos on the Web.) It should be interesting to see the results of his upcoming physical, being conducted by a military doctor rather than an unscrupulous doctor who was paid to say that Trump would be "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency". Junk food addicts are not healthy people.

The ever-tax-evading Donald Trump has persistently fought tax assessments on all of his golf courses. The Wall Street Journal estimated in 2016 that Trump paid less than $1,000 a year in property taxes on land that would typically require roughly $80,000. As evidence of how far he will go to avoid property taxes: on his New Jersey golf courses he is keeping herds of goats to exploit a state law designed to benefit farmers. This leaves other tax payers to make up for what Trump refuses to contribute to society.

Ego trumps reality — again

Wednesday, December 27, 2017: Taking a break from golfing, Trump visited firefighters and paramedics at a West Palm Beach firehouse and came out with this doozy:
"We have signed more legislation than anybody. We have more legislation passed, including...the record was Harry Truman a long time ago, and we broke that record, so we got a lot done."
Fact checkers point out that Trump has signed the fewest bills into law at this point than any president in more than 60 years, back to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Beyond the determined lie itself, the circumstances themselves testify to Trump's pathological need to promote Donald Trump at every opportunity, no matter how inappropriate the setting for it. The point of the visit was to thank first responders for their service to the community; and here was Trump wrenching attention from that to keep his ego inflated.

"Back to work after Christmas" lie

Monday, December 25, 2017: Trump tweets: "I hope everyone is having a great Christmas, then tomorrow it's back to work in order to Make America Great Again (which is happening faster than anyone anticipated)!"
Contrary to that, Trump's time was actually spent golfing on his West Palm Beach, Florida golf course — his 112th day at a Trump-owned property since he took office.

Christmas

Monday, December 25, 2017: With the attitudes of the Republican leadership on full display this year, the following passage from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol seems highly congruous, when two solicitors enter Scrooge's offices seeking a donation to help the poor:

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.
"Both very busy, sir."
"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."

A June meeting in which Trump reportedly slammed immigrants

Saturday, December 23, 2017: The NY Times reports that at a June meeting in the Oval Office, Trump vented on immigrants coming into this country. On Haitian immigrants, Trump reportedly said they "all have AIDS". On Nigerians who came to the U.S.: Once they had seen the United States, they would never "go back to their huts" in Africa. White House spokesmen denied that Trump said such things.

Tax relief is for the rich

Friday, December 22, 2017: Hosting the wealthy at a Mar-a-Lago dinner, Trump told his friends, "You all just got a lot richer," referencing the giveaway Republican tax bill that Trump signed a few hours earlier.

Proof that the White House is occupied by know-nothings

Thursday, December 21, 2017: Interviewed on the notorious Fox & Friends TV show about the recently passed tax bill, Ivanka Trump came out with this doozy:
"I'm really looking forward to doing a lot of traveling in April when people realize the effect that this has, both on the process of filling out their taxes -- the vast majority will be doing so on a single postcard..."
Cue the dumb-blond jokes. Obviously, April is when tax returns for the 2017 year will be due, that being the year before the tax change went into effect. Further, at no time in the projected future will there ever be tax return filing on a postcard. The only time a postcard-sized form was ever in evidence was on November 2, when Paul Ryan gave one to Donald Trump as a joke, something that Trump and other fiction-creating Republicans dangled before the American voters in their false claims about their misnamed "tax reform".

Such inanity from Ivanka would be just sad if she were simply speaking as the politics-dissociated daughter of the president; but Ivanka Trump has the neoptistic title of assistant to the president. On that level, such ignorance is truly appalling. It clearly demonstrates that the Trump family, from father on down, don't bother to pay attention and be well-informed and be in touch with reality.

Brennan slams Trump on his U.N. tactics

Thursday, December 21, 2017: Former CIA Director John Brennan took to Twitter to blast the Trump administration's behavior at the United Nations:
"Trump Admin threat to retaliate against nations that exercise sovereign right in UN to oppose US position on Jerusalem is beyond outrageous. Shows @realDonaldTrump expects blind loyalty and subservience from everyone — qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats."

Republicans define themselves as stooges heaping praise onto Trump

Wednesday, December 20, 2017: Congressional Republicans gathered at the White House Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the passage of the tax cut bill for the rich and corporations. It was like the Republicans were competing with each other to lavish prais on Trump, in one of the most embarrassing displays ever seen at the White House. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who had become a Trump worshiper, let Trump know that the tax bill "could not have been done without exquisite presidential leadership." [Let me puke now.] Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell: "This has been a year of extraordinary accomplishment for the Trump administration." California Republican Kevin McCarthy, who is the No. 2 leader in the House: "We would not be here today if it wasn't for you." "This is a big day for America. This is America's comeback." Utah Republican senator Orrin Hatch: "You're one heck of a leader. This President hasn't even been in office even a year, and look at all the things that he's been able to get done. By sheer will in many ways." Vice President Mike Pence, chief suck-up: "I truly do believe, Mr. President, that this will be remembered as a pivotal moment in the life of our nation, a day when the Congress answered your call and made history. But honestly, I would say to the American people, President Trump has been making history since the first day of this administration."

Intimidate other nations into supporting outrageious Trump actions

Wednesday, December 20, 2017: Donald Trump had provocatively stated that the U.S. will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to recognize that city as the capital of Israel. Most nations condemned that intention as it would needlessly inflame tensions in the region. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley today stated:
"At the UN, we're constantly asked to do more and give more — in the past we have. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American people, about where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us," Haley wrote on Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday evening. "On Thursday, there will be a vote at the UN criticizing our choice. And yes, the US will be taking names."
Taking names?? The great nation of the United States of America is now stooping to childish intimidation of other countries to get its way?

Haley blocks U.N. vote criticizing Trump's Jerusalem move

Monday, December 18, 2017: The United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution introduced by Egypt critical of Trump's unilateral move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. U.S. representative Nikki Haley cast a veto vote which blocked the resolution — contrary to the 14 other members of the Security Council voting in favor. Haley later said of this: "What we witnessed here today in the Security Council is an insult. It won't be forgotten. It's one more example of the United Nations doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Also today, Trump tweets:
"The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!"
This shows his lack of perception in legislative realities, in that the tax bill he's cheerleading will add another $1.5 trillion to the deficit, eliminating any chance of budget funding.

Trump's transition team only objects to their own emails being scrutinized

Saturday, December 16, 2017: Donald Trump's transition team accused the General Services Administration of illegally producing thousands of emails for special counsel Robert Mueller, as Mueller pursues his investigation into Russia's election meddling and potential collusion with the Trump campaign therewith. The transition team's lawyer, Kory Langhofer, sent a 7-page letter to the House Oversight Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Committee claiming that the investigators improperly received emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration.

This is the Trump team not paying attention and sputtering complaints after the fact. It is well established and drilled into everyone involved in the operation of the federal government that its computers and email services are the property of the U.S. Government, where there should be no presumption of privacy in the sending or receiving of such communications therewith. GSA deputy counsel Lenny Loewentritt told Buzzfeed News that the Trump transition team were, long in advance, told any material "would not be held back in any law enforcement" eventuality. "Therefore no expectation of privacy can be assumed." Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel's office, said of his team's actions: "When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner's consent or appropriate criminal process." (Note the word "criminal", twice.)

Further demonstrating his unfitness for office

Tuesday, December 12, 2017: Yesterday, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, in a CNN interview, called for President Trump to "immediately resign" over the allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, and called for a congressional investigation if he declines to do so. That was guaranteed to get a petulant tweet from Trump — which appeared at 8:03 this morning:
"Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office "begging" for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!"
What an incredible dumbass! Here, Trump had the opportunity to prove himself presidential and in tune with the current climate, and instead he once again demonstrates how mentally juvenile and unfit for office he is. At least as bad, he employs the blatantly sexual innuendo of "do anything" in this context, which just reinforces the senator's point regarding Trump's decades-long behavior and attitude toward women. (Every time Trump has the opportunity to do the right thing, he chooses the wrong thing.)

Senator Gillibrand appropriately responded:
"You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office."

The daily TV addiction to defend the ego

Saturday, December 9, 2017: The New York Times reports that Trump has a TV obsession to bask in the glow of adulation given him by Fox TV, and to gather tweet ammunition for those who criticize him:
"People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back."
Any president of the past would tell you that the office calls for concerted attention, where you don't fritter time away. More than anything else, this tells you that Trump is not serious about the office, and that he regards it as just a novelty job where he "presides" and does little more than bark orders or sign decrees. Despite accomplishing almost nothing, Trump revels in very publicly heaping scorn on his predecessors, blaming them for the situations he is encountering — situations that he will take no intelligent actions to address.

Making up FBI reputation fiction to again disparage our intelligence organizations

Sunday, December 3, 2017: Obviously perturbed by Flynn's guilty plea, Trump flares up again on Twitter:
"After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness."
Obviously untrue to anyone who knows history, and what abuses occurred under FBI head J. Edgar Hoover. And with Trump building a legacy of trashing everything that's good about America, he has demonstrated himself incapable of bringing forth any greatness.

Giving Mueller more ammunition

Saturday, December 2, 2017: In his first tweet after Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, Trump came up with this missive on Twitter:
"I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!"
Well, that's interesting revisionist history in that Trump's past public statements on Flynn's firing was only because he lied to Pence. There was never any evidence that Trump knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI — or that Trump would care, given the widespread disregard for truth and law in his administration. This seems to be Trump just making things up, as usual. It subsequently was reported that the tweet was authored by Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd. If so, is Trump's legal team making things up? Regardless, this is Trump just digging a deeper hole for himself in his compulsive dart firing.

Throwing ancestry stones

Monday, November 27, 2017: Never missing an opportunity to diminish the office of the President of the United States and further embarrass his country before the world, at a White House ceremony to honor the Navajo "code talkers" of World War II, Trump stood before three surviving native American veterans and said: "You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas." Even at a solemn ceremony such as this, Trump could not resist stooping to belittle himself, native Americans, and his target, Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren reacted: "This was supposed to be an event to honor heroes, people who put it all on the line for our country. It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States can't even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without throwing out a racial slur."

There's remarkable hypocrisy at work here... Trump mocks Warren for claiming (partial) native American ancestry. Trump's parents portrayed themselves as being Swedish, and encouraged Donald Trump to do the same: they were actually German, but such heritage was distinctly disadvantageous to business after World War 2, so they passed themselves off as Swedish. In his book, "The Art of the Deal," Donald Trump reaffirmed the myth of his family's origins, writing that his father's father came to America "from Sweden as a child."

A habit of lying...or dementia?

Saturday, November 25, 2017: The New York Times reported that Trump is now questioning the authenticity of the October 2016 Access Hollywood tape from 2005, in which he bragged of sexually assaulting women to host Billy Bush. The Times found three people, including a senator, to whom Trump said that he doubts the authenticity of the recording, and further that he is contemplating hiring people to look into it. This, despite acknowledging that the recording was authentic right after it became public, to the extent that he was compelled to go on camera and apologize for it, including saying "I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them." Trump acknowledged the recording two days later at the Sunday presidential debate, saying: "It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly, I'm not proud of it. But that was something that happened..."

As David Gergen subsequently said, this is deeply disturbing in that it indicates a man who is so involved in creating his own ego-boosting fictions that he can no longer discern what is real and what is not. Given the powers of the office, this is extremely dangerous to both this country and the world.

Donald Trump Jr. and Wikileaks

Monday, November 13, 2017: The Atlantic reports that Wikileaks repeatedly communicated with Donald Trump Jr. before and after the 2016 presidential election. The communications were attempted via Twitter direct messages, which have been turned over to congressional investigators. The messages show Wikileaks asking for Trump Jr. to promote content, turn over his father's tax returns, push for Julian Assange to be appointed the Australian ambassador to the US, and contest the election if Trump lost. Trump Jr. responded to some of these messages, but ignored others.

Prejudicial comments on the Bergdahl case

Friday, November 3, 2017: Upon learning of the sentence of Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, Trump could not resist tweeting: "The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military." This follows numerous prejudicial statements that Trump made on the Bergdahl situation, including a town hall campaign stop in Derry, NH on August 19, 2015 in which he referred to Bergdahl as "a dirty rotten traitor", adding: "We're tired of Sgt. Bergdahl, who's a traitor, a no-good traitor, who should have been executed. Thirty years ago, he would have been shot." Bowe Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell, noted in a motion filed at Bergdahl's court-martial that Trump had openly called Bergdahl a traitor at least 65 times. In an interview with NPR's Ari Shapiro today, Fidell addressed Trump's repeated, prejudicial remarks on the case: "He's supposed to be a defender of the Constitution, and he has proved to be the exact opposite. And he keeps doing it. Today's tweets, because he's apparently unhappy with the administration of justice in this case, just add to the case for unlawful command influence. There is real grave concern about his fitness for the job if he can't figure out that it's not for him to fault the proceedings of a federal court."

Lock them up

Monday, October 30, 2017: The first charges from Special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller are levied, as reported in the Washington Post: Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates were charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy to launder money, making false statements and other charges related to their work advising a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine. Even more germane: George Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to Trump's campaign, pleaded guilty earlier this month to making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with a foreigner who claimed to have high-level Russian connection.

Misrepresenting drug traffic in order to get his wall

Thursday, October 26, 2017: Trump says: "An astonishing 90 percent of the heroin in America comes from south of the border, where we will be building a wall which will greatly help in this problem."
False: complete misrepresentation. Drugs coming up from Mexico are in large, economical shipments smuggled through trucking checkpoints at the border, not over the rugged desert where there is no barrier.

One of the great memories of all time

Wednesday, October 25, 2017: Trump points to his head and says of it: "one of the great memories of all time".

One more Republican speaks out against Trump

Tuesday, October 24, 2017: Arizona senator Jeff Flake took to the Senate floor to take on Donald Trump for his reprehensible behavior and what he's doing to this country. Senator Flake is speaking up as he won't be running for re-election.

Also today, Trump was up at Capitol Hill having lunch with Senate Republicans. Laughably and predictably, Trump dwelled on listing his accomplishments. It was reported that during the luncheon, that the Senate Republicans gave Trump a standing ovation — three times.

The Russia thing

Monday, October 16, 2017: In a joint press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump was asked about the Russia investigation, and responded:
"The whole Russia thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election, and it turns out to be just one excuse. I mean, today Hillary blamed Nigel Farage. That one came out of nowhere. So that was just an excuse for the Democrats losing an election that, frankly, they have a big advantage in the Electoral College. They should always be able to win in the Electoral College, but they were unable to do it. So there has been absolutely no collusion. It's been stated that they have no collusion. They ought to get to the end of it because I think the American public is sick of it."

The reality, of course, is that "the Russia thing" is something that Trump and his whole campaign were perpetually engaged with Russians; and Trump himself is absolutely enaored of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Never before has an administration been so personally engaged with Russian operatives. This naturally draws attention: it's not something that people outside the administration have concocted.

The buck still doesn't stop here. And it's time to lie about Obama again

Monday, October 16, 2017: To the press during a cabinet meeting, Trump says of Congress:
"We're not getting the job done. And I'm not going to blame myself. I'll be honest. They are not getting the job done."

Later in the day, a rose garden press conference with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, to pretend that he has an "outstanding" relationship with McConnell — despite widespread reporting on Trump repeatedly denigrating McConnell over the months. During that event, Trump took the opportunity to again depart from the convention of not disparaging your White House predecessor and attempt to slam Obama — even if it takes a huge lie to do it. Responding to a question about why he had not spoken publicly about the killing of four Green Berets in an ambush in Niger two weeks ago, Trump deflected the question by claiming that he had written personal letters to their families (um, yet to be mailed) and planned to call them in the coming week. Never wanting to take blame for anything, Trump felt motivated to cast fault elsewhere, saying:
"If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn't make calls. A lot of them didn't make calls. I like to call when it's appropriate."
President Obama's former deputy national security adviser bitterly reacted to that:
"This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards. Also, Obama never attacked a Gold Star family."
It's well documented that Obama, like other past presidents, has certainly honored the fallen, in many ways.
As others have said, you don't use dead soldiers to attempt to score political points. This is how low Trump stoops, without apology, and that facts never stand in the way of his eagerness to heap scorn.

Trump is still colluding with the Russians

Wednesday, October 11, 2017: In an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump repeats his fiction:
"Russia was an excuse used by the Democrats when they lost the election."
Reality is thus whatever Trump chooses to believe; and he endeavoers to get others to participate in his fantasies by repeated story-telling. If you say it often enough, perhaps people will believe it — as his deplorables do. In denying the overwhelming evidence, including everything our intelligence services have been saying for over a year, Trump is colluding with the Russian government, effectively aiding and abetting them. In doing so, he is betraying democracy and violating his oath of office. Vladimir Putin must be gleeful to have this American fool complicit in his machinations to undermine democracies. Trump richly deserves to be impeached.

Another Trump utterance in this interview:
"I'm a ratings person."
Yes, and it shows in so much of what he does, and in his obsession in scouring the news after one of his appearances to see how well his performance was received. Trump: form over substance.

The attack on Bob Corker didn't work, so let's try to undermine the media's reporting of him

Tuesday, October 10, 2017: Obviously still fuming over what Bob Corker said on Sunday, Trump tweeted the following, inventing a disparaging name for Senator Corker in the process:
"The Failing @nytimes set Liddle' Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that's what I am dealing with!"
The New York Times shot back that the interview was recorded with Corker's explicit permission. Times reporter Jonathan Martin further noted: "Corker had 2 aides on line, also recording, and they made sure after it ended that I was taping, too."

Make America polluted again

Monday, October 9, 2017: Speaking at an event in Hazard, Ky., with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt pledged that he will move to repeal a rule limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, assuring coal minders that "The war against coal is over." "Tomorrow, in Washington, D.C., I'll be a signing a proposed rule to withdraw the so-called Clean Power Plan of the past administration, and thus begin the effort to withdraw that rule," Pruitt said.

This is so representative of the backwardness, concerted stupidity, and indifference of the Trump administration. Not only do Republicans eagerly take away health care, but they enthusistically increase the causes of lung disease and cancer among the population, all in the name of old-industry profits.

With nothing better to do, let's attack Bob Corker again

Sunday, October 8, 2017: Trump decides to launch another tweet salvo against Republican Tennessee senator Bob Corker, attempting to smear him with:
"Senator Bob Corker "begged" me to endorse him for re-election in Tennessee. I said "NO" and he dropped out (said he could not win without my endorsement). He also wanted to be Secretary of State, I said "NO THANKS." He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal! Hence, I would fully expect Corker to be a negative voice and stand in the way of our great agenda. Didn't have the guts to run!"
No matter that the claims were untrue: Mr. Corker flatly disputed that, saying Mr. Trump had urged him to run again, and promised to endorse him if he did. Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, quickly responded with the following gem of a tweet:
"It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

Senator Corker later that day conducted a telephone interview with The New York Times. Some excerpts:
"So, sure, I mean the president concerns me. I mean there's no question."
"I know for a fact that every single day at the White House it's a situation of trying to contain him."
"I mean, you've talked to enough people to know that that's just a fact. So, thankfully we've got some very good people there. At least today, we've got some very good people there and they have been able to push back against his worst instincts."
"He concerns me. I mean he would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."
"Do I understand that it's a daily exercise at the White House to keep him in the middle of the road? Yes."
"The vast majority of our caucus understands what we're dealing with here."
"One of the reasons that I've supported Mattis and Tillerson and Kelly last week is, again, as long as there's people like that around him who are able to talk him down, you know, when he gets spun up, you know, calm him down and continue to work with him before a decision is made."
"Sometimes I feel like he's on a reality show of some kind, you know, when he's talking about these big foreign policy issues. And, you know, he doesn't realize that, you know, that we could be heading towards World War III with the kinds of comments that he's making."

This is remarkable in a leading Republican exposing to the world the disturbing reality of the Trump presidency. It says a lot that not one other Republican has had the courage to do the same. However, not one Republican refuted what Corker said, implicitly affirming what Washington Republicans are saying to each other about Trump.

More childishness

Thursday, October 5, 2017: About to host a dinner for military commanders and their spouses, Trump summoned remaining reporters to the White House State Dining Room and, gesturing towards his guests, he said: "You guys know what this represents? Maybe it's the calm before the storm." Then he refused to explain what he meant. This is the trumpiness we've been subjected to before, where he claims to have certain information, which he entices to divulge later, and then never does. This is not presidential: it's not even adult behavior. This is a 7 year old kid in the playground who, with a sing-song voice, taunts "I know something you don't know and I'm not gonna tell you!"

An unbelievably appalling spectacle in Puerto Rico, adding to insults

Tuesday, October 3, 2017: Donald Trump is in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricane Maria. This is the type of visit where a U.S. president goes to a hard-hit U.S. territory to see first-hand what is happening, that all aspects of relief are reaching affected areas, and interact with victims of the calamity. Instead, Trump turned this into a casual field trip, exhibiting his usual insensitive and clueless behavior.

The spectacle began with Trump parading around in a raincoat — probably the only person in sunny Puerto Rico to be wearing one — as though he had happily snagged a free souvenir. (The storm has passed, Donald.) Then he sat down in a conference room and actually uttered the following to the assembled government officials, in front of the press:

"Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody's ever seen anything like this. What is your death count as of this moment? 17? 16 people certified, 16 people versus in the thousands. You can be very proud of all of your people and all of our people working together. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people. You can be very proud. Everybody around this table and everybody watching can really be very proud of what's taken place in Puerto Rico."
So, according to Trump, despite devastation to the island and the months of no habitable housing and no electricity the surviving population faces, this wasn't a real disaster, so there's no reason for a fuss: you didn't have enough people die for that to be the case. (Note that the death toll number was early and stale, reflecting just a small portion of what has been discovered on the island.) Why would Trump say such? Well, to offset the criticisms of his delayed and inadequate response to the crisis, where he was instead busy criticizing football players as his first priority that weekend.

Trump then added further criticism of Puerto Rico, on top of his previous insulting tweeting, saying: "You've thrown our budget a little out of whack. We've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico." This is Trump saying that Puerto Rico is a continuing liability to the 50 states, where the island is continuing to be ineptly governed. Trump went on to once again pat his administration on the back for doing a phenomenal job, regardless of reality, which of course is Trump pumping up his ego as usual.

But it got worse...much worse. Trump then moved on to what was said to be a "relief center". This appeared to be a hundred foot square room in which Trump's entourage and the press encountered some sixty well clothed and groomed civilians, portrayed as "disaster victims". Standing at a table prepared for him, Trump picked up a can of chicken, and showed it to the crowd, many of them recording the event on their smartphones. (These were not destitute people; and had they been, what was on the table would obviously have been simply given to them before that.) He held up a flashlight. Ooooh! Then Trump decided to do what no president or intelligent person should do: he picked up paper towel rolls one by one and tossed them into the crowd! This, with cameras rolling, for the whole world to see. An unbelievably tacky and pointless display of mindlessness. To Trump, this was a TV show, just like others he has produced, where he gets to do stuff and be applauded by an audience. He has zero sense of what is means to be a president, or act like one.

HHS secretary resigns after egregious abuses

Friday, September 29, 2017: Trump swampmate Tom Price, Health and Human Services secretary, resigns. Among his abuses: at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights. Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham expressed her exasperation with Trump having let this go on: "It's hard to see how a cabinet secretary can drain the swamp from 42,000 feet in the plush interior of a taxpayer-funded Gulfstream 4."

Trump says Russia did not aid in his election

Friday, September 22, 2017: Trump today called the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election "one of the great hoaxes," and denied anything they did aided his victory: "No, Russia did not help me, that I can tell you, OK?"

Trump's lawyers carelessly discuss things in public

Saturday, September 17, 2017: Note Washington reporter Ken Vogel was sitting at the BLT Steak restaurant, having lunch (171 feet from the NY Times Wasington bureau) when from the next table he heard two men casually and loudly discussing details of Russia investigation. Vogel recognized the men as being Donald Trumps attorneys Ty Cobb and John Dowd. Vogel took a picture of them, and tweeted it. The two lawyers were talking about White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II and Jared Kushner, president Trump's son-in-law, as well as the infamous Trump Tower meeting. Cobb was heard talking about a White House lawyer he deemed "a McGahn spy" and saying Mr. McGahn had "a couple documents locked in a safe" that he seemed to suggest he wanted access to. He also mentioned a colleague whom he blamed for "some of these earlier leaks," and who he said "tried to push Jared out..." Cobb told Dowd, "The White House Counsel's Office is being very conservative with this stuff. Our view is we're not hiding anything." Referring to Mr. McGahn, he added, "He's got a couple documents locked in a safe."
This unprofessional behavior is just so representative of Trump and the type of people he chooses.

Trump advisor Gorka is out

August 28, 2017: Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen claims that, four months into his campaign for president of the United States, Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to pursue a Trump Tower-style building development in Moscow. If true, this would contrdict Trump's persistent denials that he had any business dealings in Russia.

Trump advisor Gorka is out

Friday, August 25, 2017: Sebastian Gorka is forced out of the White House. As deputy assistant advisor to Trump, Gorka made himself known as anti-islam and a sympathizer to right-wing and white supremacist causes.

Further alienating those in his own party, and charitable organizations

Wednesday, August 22, 2017: Tweeting rather than working, Trump took another potshot at Arizona senator Jeff Flake: "Phoenix crowd last night was amazing - a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!"

It is being reported that over 20 charities and nonprofits that have canceled fundraising events at Trump's Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Once a popular gathering place, it is now very tainted by Trump's behavior to the point where organizations who value their reputation now shun the location. This represents a substantial loss to that venue, as a single night's rental can cost as much as $275,000. (Note here the irony that Trump takes money from charities rather than giving to them.)

Mitch McConnell questions whether Trump can save his presidency; and build that wall, or else

Tuesday, August 22, 2017: The New York Times reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises. The Times writes that, what was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of Mr. McConnell's wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump's cabinet (transportation secretary).

Tuesday evening, Trump was in Phoenix, Arizona addressing one of his mob rallies and, pandering to that crowd, threatened to shut down the government in a matter of weeks if Congress did not fund his moronic southern border wall: "If we have to close down our government, we're building that wall."

Following Trump's speech, former director of national intelligence James Clapper appeared on CNN with Don Lemon and proferred his observations on it: "It's hard to know where to start, it's just so objectionable on so many levels. I've toiled in one capacity or another for every president since and including John F. Kennedy through President Obama, and I don't know when I've listened and watched something like this from a president that I've found more disturbing. I really question his ability to be — his fitness to be — in this office, and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it — maybe he is looking for a way out." Clapper naturally worries about this unstable person's access to nulear launch codes: "In a fit of pique he decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there's actually very little to stop him. The whole system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there's very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary."

Bannon is banished

Friday, August 18, 2017: After endless friction with and bad-mouthing of other White House staff (and ongoing conflicts with Jared Kushner), Steve Bannon today joined a continuum of White House officials going out the door one final time, a move likely hastened by Chief of Staff John Kelly. This followed Bannon's August 16 free-wheeling interview with the progressive publication The American Prospect. It will be interesting to see what this former Breitbart News executive chairman has to say about Trump in coming weeks and months — including to the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. Lamentably, Kelly can't fire the biggest problem personality in the White House.

Almost predictably, Bannon went right back to Breitbart, where he vows to wage war on those who antagonized him in the White House — not excluding Trump's daughter and son-in-law. Bannon's contempt for the Republican establishment has likely only gotten worse, which means they will be a chief target for Breitbart News, and that would make for further fracturing of the party.

Trump is well known to stay in regular touch with people who formerly worked for him, as he has with Michael Flynn. So will he have ongoing rapport with Bannon? Trump's huge ego will reduce the probability to nil. When Bannon was featured on the cover of the February edition of Time Magazine, Trump was hugely put out. When writers proclaimed Bannon the architect of Trump's election win, Trump was furious, proclaiming that "...Bannon came on very late". In a Wall Street Journal interview, April 12, 2017, Trump described Bannon as "a guy who works for me".

This is just the latest high profile departure in the chruning White House. On February 16, Donald Trump said at a press conference: "This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine." And he calls the press dishonest.

Don't know much about history

Thursday, August 17, 2017: In another compulsive tweet, this about the removal of Confederate statues, Trump included:
"You can't change history, but you can learn from it."

Later in the day, in response to the attack in Barcelona, Spain, where a van operator drove into a crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring over 100, Trump tweeted (rather than issue a formal statement, as a real president might):
"The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!"
(You will note that, in Trump's view of reality, driving a truck into a crowd is only a terrorist attack if it happens in a foreign country. If it happens in the southern United States, committed by a white supremacist, it's just an ordinary American event.)

Less than an hour later, obviously mulling over that period, Trump came up with this follow-on tweet:
"Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!"
This harks back to Trump's February 19, 2016 campaign speech in South Carolina, in which he said of World War I general John Pershing:
"He caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage — and he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and dipped 50 bullets in pig's blood. You heard about that? He took 50 bullets and dipped them in pig's blood [which is considered haram]. And he has his men load up their rifles and he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, you go back to your people and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years there wasn't a problem."
This is Trump refreshing his war on Islam, delivering (with variations) a colorful tale — which history shows never happened.

Though Trump talks of learning from history, he obviously hasn't.

Today, Trump furthered his public feud with Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, praising Flake's Republican primary challenger in this tweet: "Great to see that Dr. Kelli Ward is running against Flake Jeff Flake, who is WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate. He's toxic!" This is the type of petty, vindictive attack that has Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders fed up with Trump.

Senator Bob Corker (who originally supported Trump), spoke to reporters in Chattanooga, Tennessee after Trump's latest tirade. "The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful." "We need for him to be successful...our nation needs for him to be successul...the world needs for our president to be successful. He also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation. I think our president needs to take stock of the role that he plays in our nation, and move beyond himself...move way beyond himself...and move to a place where daily he's waking up thinking about what is best for our nation."

White supremacists applaud Trump for his support

Wednesday, August 16, 2017: White supremacists and neo-Nazi groups enthusiastically embraced President Donald Trump today in perceiving Trump endorsing their cause in his insistence that left-wing groups were also to blame for the deadly violence at a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Writing on the DailyStormer, a neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic website that acts as a hub of the extreme right, its editor Andrew Anglin wrote: "This man is doing absolutely everything in his power to back us up and we need to have his back. It's going to be really, really hard to have any bad feelings towards Trump for a long, long time after this." Richard Spencer, the white nationalist organizer of that infamous rally, where a woman was killed by one of the supremacists, hailed Trump's statement as "fair and down to earth', adding: "Trump cares about the truth", and that he was "proud of" the president.

Bannon to be banished?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017: At Trump Tower in NYC. Trump finished his interplay with the press by saying: "We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon", a surprising statement, seeming portending Bannon's imminent removal.

Alienating Mitch McConnell

Wednesday, August 9, 2017: President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell engaged in a telephone conversation after public tensions between the two. The exchange quickly devolved into profanely shouting at each other, with Trump exasperated with the congressional investigations into Russia intefering with the past November election and the Russia sanctions bill that Trump felt he was coerced into signing. Trump apparently expected GOP leaders to protect him against such investigations. McConnell is exasperated with Trump's habit of threatening fellow Republicans when he doesn't get his way (infamously, with Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona). After that call, Trump and McConnell would not speak for weeks.

Mitch McConnell on Trump

Monday, August 7, 2017: In a speech to the Rotary Group in northern Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell openly voiced criticism of Donald Trump, saying that Trump had "unrealistic expectations" about how things work, with Trump having set artifical deadlines: "Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before, and I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process." On August 9 Trump fired back in a tweet: "Senator Mitch McConnell said that I had "excessive expectations", but I don't think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?"

Time for a Mexico lie

Wednesday, August 2, 2017: During John Kelly's swearing in as the new Chief of Staff, Trump said this:

"As you know, the border was a tremendous problem and they're close to 80 percent stoppage. Even the president of Mexico called me — they said their southern border, very few people are coming because they know they're not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment."

The Mexican Foreign Ministry quickly contradicted the phone call claim: the Ministry issued a statement that said Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto "has not recently spoken to President Donald Trump over the telephone." They also said that the only time that Trump and Nieto spoke recently was at the G20, in Hamburg, Germany.

Trump really felt compelled to invent this? Even press secretary Sarah Sanders undercut Trump by admitting that the phone call didn't happen.

And out goes Anthony Scaramucci

Tuesday, August 1, 2017: White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is fired, after just six days on the job. The former Wall Street financier had drawn criticism after calling a reporter to give a profanity-laced tirade against his own colleagues. Kelly reportedly has Scaramucci removed.

Ivanka Trump today issued a tweet, saying:
"Looking forward to serving alongside John Kelly as we work for the American people."
Everyone pointed out the "alongside". In true nepotism, Trump's relatives report only to Trump.

Trump lies about a call from the Boy Scouts

Tuesday, August 1, 2017: In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump was asked about his criticized speech at the Boy Scouts jamboree. Trump denied to The Wall Street Journal that there was any "mixed" reaction to his speech, noting the standing ovations from the crowd. Trump added:
"And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful."
That was a lie: there was no call from the Boy Scouts. Even press secretary Sarah Sanders undercut Trump by admitting that the phone call didn't happen.

Now to a second Chief of Staff

Monday, July 31, 2017: John F. Kelly is appointed as Trump's second Chief of Staff, replacing Reince Priebus, who was ousted from the job after only six months on Friday.

Tillerson out of patience with Trump sabotaging the State Department

June 29, 2017: It is reported today that, in a meeting last Friday, Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson berated Johnny DeStefano, the White House personnel director, "for torpedoing proposed nominees to senior State Department posts and for questioning his judgment." White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Senior Counselor Jared Kushner and Margaret Peterlin, Tillerson's chief of staff, are said to have witnessed this exchange. Trump has been systematically sabotaging the State Department, which he believes is unnecessary, having filled only 9 of the 124 positions waiting to be filled there, and cutting the State Department budget by 30%. At the same time, the amateur Jared Kushner has been undermining Tillerson's efforts by conducting his own international relations forays from the White House, making predictable blunders which Rex Tillerson and James Mattis have had to clean up.

Manafort retroactively registers with Justice Dept. as foreign agent

June 27, 2017: Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, today formally registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for political consulting work he did for a Ukrainian political party, acknowledging that he coached party members on how to interact with U.S. government officials. In hist filing to the Justice Department today, Manafort reports that his firm, DMP International, received more than $17 million from the Party of Regions, the former pro-Russian ruling party in Ukraine, for consulting work from 2012 through 2014.

The FBI raids Paul Manafort's home

Wednesday, July 26, 2017: The FBI conducts a "no-knock" warrant raid on Paul Manafort's home in Alexandria, a suburb in northern Virginia, in pre-dawn hours.

Delivers a politicized speech to the Boy Scouts — and gets booed

Monday, July 24, 2017: Delivering a speech to the Boy Scouts' National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, Trump stupidly decided to treat the event as though it was one of his rallies. In his campaign-style speech, Trump decided to denigrate his predecessor, asking if President Barack Obama had ever spoken to the group. That got boos from the crowd. There were subsequent calls for the head of the Boy Scouts of America to denounce the politicized speech President Trump gave. On Jul7 27, Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive for the Boy Scouts of America, issued a statement apologizing for Trump's inappropriate speech: "I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree."

Manafort was in debt to Russian oligarchs

Wednesday, July 19, 2017: The New York Times reports: Financial records filed last year in the secretive tax haven of Cyprus, where Paul J. Manafort kept bank accounts during his years working in Ukraine and investing with a Russian oligarch, indicate that he had been in debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before he joined Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign in March 2016.

His son having admitted collusion, Trump now tries to portray collusion as normal behavior

Monday, July 17, 2017: For many months, Donald Trump vehemently denied that anyone around him colluded with Russia. Then the New York Times exposed the "smoking cannon" of Donald Jr. having done exactly that, taking Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner along with him to a meeting with what he believed was a Russian state lawyer who was offering dirt on the Clintons. Junior was thereby forced to release emails that the Times had and was about to release themselves. This morning, Trump tweeted:
"Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!"
Hardly. Meeting with agents of a hostile foreign power is something that most politicians would not do, and if so solicited, they would report it to the FBI, as any responsible American citizen would do — and something that Trump's cronies never did, in their lust for power.

Trump's approval rating plummets

Sunday, July 16, 2017: An ABC-NYTimes poll finds Trump's approval rating at 36% — the lowest approval rating at the six-month mark of any president in 70 years.

The Donald Jr. collusion scandal: let's blame someone else

Sunday, July 16, 2017: Appearing on the ABC News show "This Week", President Trump's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, addressed the latest scandal in the revelation that son Donald Trump Jr. eagerly met with what he believed was a Russian state attorney, to get dirt on the Clintons. Following the Trump playbook on denying, lying, distracting, and shifting blame, Sekulow said: "I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in," Sekulow said. Here we have Trump's lawyer coming to Washington, attempting to shift blame to the Secret Service for actions eagerly undertaken by Trump's son. This is beyond sleazy, and demonstrates how vile Trump and his loyalists are. Outraged, the Secret Service issued a public statement: "Donald Trump Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time." A competent attorney would have known this. Sekulow doesn't seem to realize that his statement is also an implicit insult to Donald Jr., portraying him of needing constant supervision, as though he were a child.

Appearing on Meet The Press, Sekulow repeated what he said earlier on CNN and ABC's Good Morning America about the notorious response that was written on Air Force One as it was returning from the G-20 meeting regarding the substance of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Donald Trump Jr eagerly attended, where the New York Times reported that Donald Trump himself dictated that the meeting was merely about adoptions. Sekulow repeats that the president was not involved in drafting Donald Trump Jr.'s initial response to the Times:
"I do want to be clear that the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr. So that's what I can tell you because that's what we know."
This statement would later (in a Januray 29, 2018 disclosure by Trump's then lawyers) be revealed to be a lie: Donald Trump dictated what Jr's response would be, and all parties colluded in the lie.

The petulant juvenile in the White House

Thursday, June 29, 2017: Continuing his crusade against news media who do not subscribe to his mythic greatness, president Trump this morning lashed out at the hosts of the MSNBC show "Morning Joe", and most personally against co-host Mika Brzezinski, in Trump's seeming life-long habit of denigrating women. His tweet set:
"I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"
In a statement issued that morning, MSNBC said, "It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job." This, among many other condemnations of Trump's behavior. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, wrote on Twitter, "Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America." Mika Brzezinski is just the latest in a long line of women who have been the target of sexist attacks by Donald Trump, where previous victims have included Alicia Machado, Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly, Heidi Cruz, Gail Collins, Bette Midler, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elizabeth Warren, Meryl Streep, and Hillary Clinton.

This is far from the comportment one should expect of the president of the United States. This is not even adult behavior. What we're seeing is severely arrested development of a child in a man's body, acting out long-seated aggressions toward females in particular. The early Donald Trump seems to have found girls to be convenient victims for some still-unresolved anger issues. Even those who remain among Trump supporters should be repulsed: they voted for him to go to Washington to enact legislative improvements. Instead, he's spending his time sitting in front of a television, trawling for ego-gratifying reporting on his barely-functioning administration, lashing out against those who do not support the fiction of his presidency being grand and glorious. Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be completely unfit for the office of President, let alone any public office.

You need to be in the upper .001% to qualify in Trump's world

Wednesday, July 21, 2017: Speaking before one of his mobs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump addressed a question regarding billionaire Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce: Why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy? Trump responded: "Because that's the kind of thinking we want." "I love all people — rich or poor — but in those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person."

In playing to ignorance, Trump also touted: "The time has come for new immigration rules that say ... those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years." This plays to the sentiments in his base, but the reality is that such legislation was passed many years ago, during Bill Clinton's presidency, in the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996," which states immigrants are "not eligible for any federal means-tested public benefit" for five years beginning when they come into the country.

Trump's lawyer is as incomprehensible and confused as he is

Sunday, June 18, 2017: President Trump's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, showed up on various Sunday shows to defend Trump and purport, repeatedly, that Trump is not under investigation. (This despite Trump himself tweeting "I am being investigated".) Sekulow portrayed Trump having fired Comey based upon Rosenstein's recommendation: "The president made a determination based on consult of advice." The reality is that Trump unilaterally decided to fire Comey, as he said in the Lester Holt interview. This is Trump's people trying to rewrite history on his behalf to portray Comey's firing as someone else's fault, in that Trump can never accept responsibility for his ill-considered actions. Sekulow continued to emphasize that Trump is not under investigation, because "We have not received nor are we aware of any investigation of the president of the United States, period." (U.S. law obviously does not require that investigators inform people that they are being investigated.) Then he makes the following contradictory statements: "He takes the action that they also, by the way, recommended. And now he's being investigated by the Department of Justice because the special counsel under the special counsel relations reports still to the Department of Justice." "So he's being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination." In the face of these two statements from Sekulow that Trump is under investigation, Chris Wallace tried to get some coherence out of Sekulow, without much success. Exasperated, Sekulow shot back at Chris Wallace: "You're right, Chris. I cannot read the mind of the special prosecutor." So, Trump is paying this guy huge amounts of money to represent him and gets this amateurish, bumbling, and combative public presentation, where he in fact has no idea whether or not Trump is actually under investigation.

The buck stops somewhere else — again

Friday, June 16, 2017: Trump today tweets: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt" This is another Trump innuendo/distraction dart, not bothering to provide any specifics or identities, attempting to shift blame to anyone but himself as is his perpetual habit. One could infer that Trump is referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed the Special Counsel who carried on the investigation that had been under James Comey. Daring to introduce reality into the Trump distortion field: No one "told" Trump to fire James Comey...Trump admitted in the Lester Holt interview that he was intent on firing Comey, regardless. The Rod Rosenstein memo was just Trump's manufactured pretext for the firing. And, of course, it is not Rod Rosenstein who is conducting the investigation (that is Robert Mueller). Lastly, the investigation is pursuing a lot more than just the firing. Trump's lawyers have reportedly advised him repeatedly about laying off the stupid tweeting, which just fuels the fire.

The bizarre "kiss Trump's ring" cabinet meeting

Monday, June 12, 2017: What had to be one of the most bizarre spectacles to ever occur in the White House transpired today when Donald Trump had his first full Cabinet meeting since taking office, ringing the oval conference table in the west wing. He began by touting what he glowingly deemed his copious accomplishments since taking office, basking in his self-praise: "We've achieved tremendous success. I think we've been about as active as you can possibly be and at a just about record-setting pace." The press video cameras were kept in the room as Trump called upon each Cabinet member in turn to testify to the wondrousness of this administration, and their gratitude for being part of it. Vice President Mike Pence was called upon to begin the adulation: "It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve as the vice president to a president who is keeping his word to the American people". Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services kept up the pace: "What an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me, and the leadership you've shown." White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus: "On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing you've given us to serve your agenda and the American people, and we're continuing to work very hard every day to accomplish those goals." And so it went, around the table, in front of cameras. It was like a room full of bobbleheads.

This is the President who on June 9th said of Jim Comey, "I hardly know the man, I'm not going to say 'I want you to pledge allegiance.'" And yet here we have this en masse loyalty pledge spectacle from people who are very unlikely to have been invited to a private White House dinner with the President. These people are going to have to now live with having debased themselves like this. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made a terrific parody video of that spectacle; and appearing on Chris Matthews' Hardball show, Senator Al Franken launched into a delightful "blessed" and "bless you" exchange with his host.

Lindsey Graham advised Trump to knock off the tweeting

Sunday, June 11, 2017: Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on Face the Nation and had some advice to the president on his impulsive tweeting, which is just inflammatory: "My advice to the president is every day you are talking about Jim Comey and not the American people and their needs and their desires, their hopes and their dreams, you are making a mistake." "Now, what the president did was inappropriate. But here is what is so frustrating for Republicans like me. You may be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that, if you just were quiet, would clear you." Needless to say, Trump wasn't about to take anyone's advice on tweeting.

Trump hits back against Comey

Friday, June 9, 2017: Rose Garden press conference, in which President Trump hit back against Comey, Trump claiming that he did not request Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn, intimating that Comey lied. In a move which must have had his lawyers smacking their foreheads, Trump rashly countered that he would be willing to repeat those statements under oath in front of the special counsel. Asked by a reporter, "do tapes exist of your conversations with him?", Trump decided to make this a childish game, responding "Well, I will tell you something about that maybe some time in the very near future." We know from past experience with Trump that his "later" statements are never fulfilled, where he invents a further distraction to make people forget about the statements.

Fired FBI director James Comey testifies in Senate hearings

Thursday, June 8, 2017: In the morning, Comey testifies in an open hearing, later followed by an afternoon hearing on closed session. This was an important opportunity to explore mounting issues in the conduct of the presidency and the threats to democracies around the world by Russian interference campaigns. And yet, some Republican senators chose to instead harp on the long-concluded Hillary Clinton email server investigation. John McCain was particularly bad, acting befuddled, repeatedly referring to "president Comey" and conflating the Clinton matter with the ongoing Russia investigation. Comey has turned over his contemporaneous written records of his conversations with Trump to the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

I only care if I'm exonerated

Wednesday, June 7, 2017: Fired FBI director James Comey released a seven page Statement for the Record, addressed to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, summarizing major points regarding his testimony tomorrow. One point was that, at the time, the FTI "did not have an open counter-intelligence case on" President Trump. Reading that from Comey's statement, Trump was elated. He had his lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, issue the statement: "The President is pleased that Mr. Comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the President was not under investigation in any Russian probe. The President feels completely and totally vindicated." There are three problems with this. First, Trump is celebrating the past: Comey was making a statement about a point in time of that investigation, in the past. The reality is that that that investigation has continued since then, where anything could change. Second, Trump's glee is expressing solely self interest: nothing about his reaction addresses the reputation of the office of President, and he is continuing to completely disregard the enormous issue of a hostile power intent on undermining the United States electoral system, and democracy in general. Third, the seven-page statement contains damning evidence regarding the President's behavior in general.

Almost comically, Trump's lawyer boxed himself into a logistical corner, in deciding that Comey's statement on Trump not being personally under investigation was true, while at the same time declaring the rest of the seven-page document to be bogus. This is self-destructive selectivity, as any lawyer should recognize. Logically, if one is purporting through supposition that the majority of content is incorrect, then how can one claim that any one aspect of the document is correct? So, who is this Marc Kasowitz? He is a New York attorney, working in corporate law and real estate, who has sporadically handled Trump cases over several decades. His profile on the Kasowitz Benson Torres law firm website describes him as an "uberlitigator" and "the toughest of the tough guys" Trump likes him, perceiving him as "loyal", in aggressively working to fend off those who sued Trump over the years. This may be another of Trump's failures in strategy. It's utterly obvious that a Special Counsel will doggedly pursue everything he finds as part of his investigation, with the great likelihood, given precedence, that criminal indictments will be among the outcomes. Trump should have chosen a lawyer experienced in criminal law, not real estate. Former White House lawyer John Dean was openly contemptuous of Kasowitz and his statements in this matter, saying "He doesn't know what he's talking about."

No lie is too big

Sunday, June 4, 2017: On NBC's Meet the Press, Trump's appointed climate enemy EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt put forth an enormous lie to support Trump's infatuation with the flagging U.S. coal industry. Here is the exchange:
AL GORE: "The loss of jobs in the coal industry started with the mechanization of the coal industry. Natural gas started displacing coal and the fossil fuel sector. And promising to re-create the 19th century is not a visionary strategy for a successful 21st century."
CHUCK TODD: "Is he right that you guys are making a false promise though to some of these fossil fuel industries?"
EPA ADMINISTRATOR SCOTT PRUITT: "Dead wrong. Because the numbers show exactly the opposite in fact since the fourth quarter of last year to most recently added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector. In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs."
Back to reality: As the government's own numbers show, there were only 51,000 coal-mining jobs in the entire U.S. in May. Last month, 400 coal jobs were added — not 7,000. It was the overall mining sector, which includes oil, gas, and metals mining in addition to coal, that added 7,000 jobs in the month and 50,000 since last 2016. (Pruitt told the same lie on Fox News Sunday.)
Why the preoccupation with coal? Recall that Trump's commerce secretary is Wilber Ross, a New York billionaire who owned the West Virginia Sago Mine where a dozen miners were killed in 2006, after years of safety violations and collapses, which Ross was aware of but dismissed. This is money over lives, greed versus the environment.

Not "planet first"

Thursday, June 1, 2017: Addressing a gathering outside the White House, our imbecile-in-chief said that he has unilaterally decided that the United States will withdraw from the Paris accords on the world's climate. So, the United States joins the only two other holdouts, Nicaragua and Syria, to go sit in the corner of do-nothings. As usual, Trump framed the accords in the terms he is most familiar with — money — to falsely portray the accords as benefiting other countries at the expense of the United States. Asked Trump, "At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?" Donald, other countries started laughing at the United States on the night of your election

Even North Korea came to the defense of the planet that Trump was abandoning, calling Trump's proclamation a "shortsighted and silly decision." North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called global warming "one of the gravest challenges humankind is facing today." Further: "This is the height of egotism and moral vacuum seeking only their own well-being at the cost of the entire planet. Whoever chooses to blindly follow the Trump administration overpowered by its bravado should be fully aware that the judgment of history shall take them all as one."

Why is Trump doing this? It isn't about jobs for the little people, as he would have people believe. It is because Obama's fingerprints are on the Paris accords. Trump has been conducting a vendetta against Obama for years: Trump has demonstrated that he is intent on destroying anything that Obama put into place as president.

"I know words" like "covfefe"

Wednesay, May 31, 2017: At 12:06 a.m. Trump tweets:
Despite the constant negative press covfefe"
Huh? Incoherence here. And it was left on Twitter for hours. This is precisely why presidential communications should not be dashed out on a dissociated media outlet such is Twitter.

Bring in the henchmen

Monday, May 29, 2017 (Memorial Day): Corey Lewandowski and David Bosse are spotted leaving the White House. This comes amidst reports of Trump forming a so-called Russia "war room" to try to fight the Trump-Russia fallout and ongoing scandals. This is expected to bring in "toughs" who will fire back at any and all such reports. Lewandowski was Trump's campaign director, notorious for roughing up anyone in Trump rallies who voiced opposition to the then candidate, and fired in disgrace. Current White House staffers do not want him coming in. Whether him or not, the expectation is that some caustic personalities are going to populate "the war room".

McMaster demonstrates Trump loyalty over country

Saturday, May 27, 2017: Asked about the setting up of "back-channel" to the Russians, as Jared Kushner is reported to have pursued in December, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said that so-called "back-channeling" was normal, and "we're not concerned about it." This demonstrates how self-debasing Trump administration people are willing to go to excuse any activities perpetrated by one of their own. It should greatly concern anyone involved in national security that a private citizen should go to a foreign power and seek an arrangement to have secret communications with that government. If anyone outside the Trump sphere did this, Trump would be outraged, calling it a treasonous act.

Embarrassing the United States in the NATO ministers meetings

Thursday, May 25, 2017: At the joint meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels, Trump pushes Montenegro's prime minister Dusko Markovic aside to crudely get to his photo position, Trump not even looking at the man, as though he's too inconsequential to merit even that. Then in position, Trump put his chin up (as one commentator quipped, looking like Mussolini). Trump addressed the assembled leaders. Instead of making the needed clear statement of support for Article 5, the NATO mutual-defense pledge as the new president of the United States, Trump chose to instead be petty and make a public issue of money, scolding the leaders standing there as though they were a line of school boys to be disciplined: "Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States, and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years." After the outdoor NATO ceremony ended, as the leaders headed to their next event, most chatted and mingled, but Trump walked alone. In Italy at the G-7 summit on Friday, after the "family photo" group shot, the leaders communally walked down the Sicilian streets to their luncheon. Trump hung back and, minutes later, opted instead to ride in a golf cart.

It was reported that NATO ministers were told to keep their speeches short, to accommodate Trump's short attention span.

It was later learned that Trump's national security team had drafted Trump's NATO speech to include: "We face many threats, but I stand here before you with a clear message: the U.S. commitment to the NATO alliance and to Article 5 is unwavering". US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson worked with Trump on the speech for weeks and pushed hard for the Article 5 language to be included. Instead, Trump omitted it. Vladimir Putin had to be ecstatic, as his puppet did exactly what he wanted, to weaken the NATO that Putin so hates.

After Trump's lack of commitment (and his several past disparaging remarks about NATO), German chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech, "We Europeans have our fate in our own hands. He has presented his positions once more. They have been known for a while. My positions are also known."

In Saudi Arabia, spewing more misinformation

Wednesday, May 24, 2017: The New York Times reports that, in April, Trump called Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to applaud him on his crackdown on drugs, citing a transcript of Trump saying:
"I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that."
The person whom Trump is admiring is effectively a mass murderer whose treatment of the drug problem in his country is to kill thousands of people, and imprison many more in inhuman conditions. This is the kind of "policy" that Trump would like to pursue if he could.

In Saudi Arabia, spewing more misinformation

Sunday, May 21, 2017: At the Arab Islamic American Summit, Trump delivers a speech including:
"Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia. This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase."
In subsequent weeks, investigative journalists found that there was no $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase: that alleged sale was in fact just a bunch of letters of interest or intent. Indeed, the Saudis went on to shop elsewhere, getting more interesting offers from dealers countering the supposed U.S. offering. The White House reacted to this by dispatching Jared Kushner to personally intervene with Lockheed to secure a 20% discount for the air-defense system, with a September 30 deadline: the Saudis let that pass. The U.S. then tried to get the Saudis to disavow their interest buying the Russian-made advanced S-400 air-defense system — which they declined to do. (Turkey bought the S-400 system, and India also agreed to buy it, thus heightening the appeal of that system over U.S. offerings.) So, Trump's public claim was just his usual misinformation, attempting to give the illusion of creating jobs at home, to boost his popularity and his ever-sought "ratings".

More disturbing in that speech: Trump abandoned the prevailing U.S. stance of pushing for human rights. Trump said:
"America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture — we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship."
This was Trump's America telling the world that we no longer care what any country does, within its borders or beyond them.

O, poor me

Wednesday, May 17, 2017: As the commencement speaker at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, Trump bemoaned: "Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly." How melodramatic...how contrived. More Trump fiction. This is the man who, throughout 2016, repeatedly denounced and insulted every person, organization, and government office he didn't like at the moment. This is the man who unapologetically conducted a years-long vindictive campaign of false accusations and lies against Barack Obama. This is the president who debased his office, undermined democracy, and made America embarrassing again. Trump can dish out abuse, but cries unfair when he's on the receiving end. This is a man who can never accept responsibility for his actions or recognize the consequences of irresponsible, juvenile behavior.

Corker: The White House is in a downward spiral

Monday, May 15, 2017: Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says:
"The White House has got to do something soon to bring itself under control and in order. It's got to happen. Obviously they're in a downward spiral right now and they've got to figure out a way to come to grips [with] all that's happening."

Shared classified information with Russians, in the White House

Monday, May 15, 2017: The Washington Post reports that Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during an Oval Office meeting last week (May 10). The Post reports that Trump shared details of intelligence gathered about an Islamic State threat that had been closely guarded within the United States government and among close US allies. (Recall Trump pledging on August 18, 2016: "In my Administration, I am going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information."

White House recordings?

Friday, May 12, 2017: Three days after he fired FBI Director James Comey, Trump tweets:
"James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
This terse teaser invited speculation as to whether Trump's White House itself had been making recordings of what went on in that building. Comey responded: "I've seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes.", adding: "I hope there are, and I'll consent to the release of them." The next day, congressional investigators demanded, in a letter to White House counsel Don McGashn, that by June 23, the White House turn over any recordings of Trump's conversations with Comey. Characteristically, Trump would not simply state whether or not there were recordings: In a press conference, Trump told reporters he would tell them about the existence of tapes "over a very short period of time. You are going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer." Trump let this linger until just before the deadline, when on June 22 he tweeted: "I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings."

The revealing NBC interview with Lester Holt

Thursday, May 11, 2017: Trump sits down in the White House for a one-on-one interview with NBC News' Lester Holt. Trump reiterated his claim that he had been planning to fire Comey even before he received Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's recommendation to do so:
"In fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won."
Trump added: "I am a big fan of the FBI, I love the FBI."

Sarah Sanders fabricates "information" in a press briefing

Wednesday, May 10, 2017: White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders today held a press conference, in which Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey was the hot topic. Sanders told the room full of reporters that "countless" FBI agents had told the White House that they had lost confidence in James Comey.
Reporter: "You said from the podium yesterday that Director Comey had lost the confidence of the rank and file of the FBI. On Captiol Hill today the acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, directly contradicted that. What led you and the White House to believe that he had lost the confidence of the rank and file of the FBI when the acting director says it's exactly the opposite?"
Sanders: "Well, I can speak to my own personal experience. I've heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president's decision and I think that, um, you know, we may have to agree to disagree. I'm sure that there are some people that are disappointed, but I've certainly heard from a large number of individuals — and that's just myself — and I don't even know that many people in the FBI."
Another reporter: "I want to follow up on what John asked about the rank and file of the FBI. Don't you think the acting director of the FBI has a better handle on the rank and file than you do?"
Sanders: "Look, I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth on who has a better handle. Again, I've heard from multiple individuals that are very happy about the president's decision, and I know that it was the right one. I believe that most of the people that we've talked to also believe that it was the right decision to make."
New York Times’ Michael Shear: "I'm not trying to be overly combative here, but you've said now today and I think you said again yesterday that you personally have talked to 'countless' FBI officials...employees...since this happened."
Sanders: "Correct." [in a sheepish tone]
Shear: "I mean, really?? Like, I mean are we talking like 50...60...70?"
Sanders: "Between email, text messages — absolutely. Yes!"
Sanders: "Look, we're not going to get into a numbers game. I mean, I have heard from a large number of individuals that work at the FBI that said they are very happy with the president's decision. I don't know what else I can tell you."

Sanders would later testify under oath in the Mueller investigation that she simply made all this up. It was just another in an endless parade of lies from the lying White house. Putting forth crap like this to the nation's press pool demonstrates that it is Trump's administration that is the source of "fake news".

Comrade Trump

Wednesday, May 10, 2017: One day after abruptly firing FBI Directory James Comey because he was pressing further into the Russian ties investigation (on the pretext that it had something to do with Comey's handling of the Clinton email situation), Trump did the incredible: he hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House, requested by Vladimir Putin 8 days earlier. To make things even more unbelievable, he also invited Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak (infamous for his private talks with Jeff Sessions and Michael Flynn). In the meeting, he held back nothing as he told his comrades:
"I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."
This is to say that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.

Trump banned U.S. reporters from the White House during this meeting — but not Lavrov's photographer (Alexandr Scherbak) — who turned out to be a "double agent", being both a photographer as well as a TASS employee. Moreover, the White House would not release any photographs of the meeting, but TASS, the Russian state-owned news agency, did publish photos, which showed Trump chumming it up with the Russians as though they were long-separated friends — an image which disgusted the intelligence community.

The White House was furious that the photos were released: "They tricked us," an angry White House official said. As Mother Jones reported, Trump (a) didn't know that TASS is a news agency, (b) didn't realize that letting a TASS photographer (with all his electronic equipment) into the Oval Office might not be a great idea from a security point of view, and (c) didn't realize that publishing pictures of this meeting was the whole point Vladimir Putin had asked for it in the first place. As Hillary Clinton pointedly said during the campaign debates, Trump would be a puppet of Putin, and in this play he establishes photographic evidence of that. Putin must be laughing uproariously at how easy it was to play this fool.

FBI Director James Comey is (indirectly) fired by Trump

Tuesday, May 9, 2017: In a "Tuesday night massacre", Trump fires FBI Director James Comey — because Comey would not demonstrate loyalty to Trump by stopping the investigations of his campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump did this in his usual cowardly way: Lacking the backbone to fire someone face to face, Trump actually dispatched his long time personal bodyguard Keith Schiller — former New York Police Department officer — to go to FBI headquarters with a manilla envelope containing a letter of firing. This was Trump ineptitude in action, as Comey was not in Washington: he was in Los Angeles, giving a speech to agents at the Los Angeles Field Office. In mid-speech, Comey happened to look at the TV playing silently in the back of the room that, in a banner, was announcing his firing. Comey at first thought it was a joke, but then learned otherwise. He then cut short his visit and returned to Washington.

The planet's environment doesn't matter — only profits matter

Friday, April 29, 2017: The Trump administration removes climate change information from the EPA website. Trump's EPA Administrator is Scott Pruitt, notorious for denying that human activity is responsible for the enormously elevated carbon dioxide levels which are well established as being the cause of global warming and massive climate effects. Trump picked Pruitt because he would be sure that Pruitt would decimate the EPA and thus the inconvenient regulations which could interfere with greed-mongering. In Trump's fantasy world, he can simply decree "alternative reality"...a state in which you simply ignore what you don't like: anything which doesn't detrimentally affect you or your investments doesn't matter. So it doesn't matter that the little people are losing their homes or lives in ever more frequent flooding and tornados in the midwest and the climate becomes increasingly more unstable due to global warming. It doesn't matter that the ice caps are melting and shorelines disappearing, or that species are being wiped out of existence. As long as the ultra rich are pampered and protected, nothing else matters.

Trump tells NRA "I will never ever let you down"

Friday, April 28, 2017: U.S. President Donald Trump tells the audience at the National Rifle Association annual conference that he will never infringe on their right to keep and bear arms, saying: "I will never ever let you down." Republicans do bow down to the gun lobby.

The Trump administration's indifference to Flynn's foreign ties is highlighted in congressional investigations

Thursday, April 27, 2017: Congressional investigations are concluding that Michael Flynn had no authorization to accept monies from foreign governments, as is legally required as a former U.S. military officer, and thus his $24,000 recompense for speaking at Putin's RT dinner, and Flynn's half million dollar salary for serving as a representive of the Turkish government without (written) permission constitute illegal acts. It is also emphasized that Flynn was actually a foreign agent inside the White House as he was advising Donald Trump on intelligence matters, in working for Turkey at the same time. It was asked at a White House press briefing why the Trump transition team failed to perform due diligence in fully investigating Flynn's activities before bringing him in as national security adviser. As usual, the Trump administration absolved itself of any responsibility, having press secretary Sean Spicer blame the Obama administration about this. (When you can't blame the "dishonest press" for something, blame the Obama administration for it.) Well, the reality is that the Obama administratin fired Flynn: that was a conspicuous discontinuity, and as many in Washington have pointed out, in such case, applying for a new position in the government requires re-evaluation. The Trump team didn't care, intent on hiring Flynn regardless. With this we have another example of the irresponsibility of this amateur and arrogant administration, willing to jeapordize national security in doing whatever they feel like doing.

Remember Trump's campaign promise to reduce taxes? No surprise: it's for corporations, and you will be paying for that

Wednesday, April 26, 2017: Throughout his campaign, Trump made promises to his rallies to reduce their taxes. Predictably, that was another lie, as evidenced by the plan he has unveiled. He wants to slash the income tax rate paid by public corporations from 35% to 15% and sharply cut the top tax rate by pass-through businesses from 39.6 percent to 15 percent. (Note well that the people who own these businesses, whose income is tied to the businesses, will also have their income tax bracket dramatically drop to 15%.) Trump also wants to eliminate the alternate minimum tax (which exists in reaction to people using loopholes to avoid paying any taxes) and the estate tax (which is hated by the rich). This will obviously result in a huge, trillion dollar shortfall in federal revenues. How will that be made up? By sucking more economic life out of the middle class, of course. The 401(k) that the middle class was told to invest in for retirement would have its contributed monies no longer be exempt from earnings taxation. State and local taxes can no longer be a deduction. This is corporate welfare elevated to a new, extreme level. Another example of Republicans interested only benefiting business, viewing the populace as little more than a cash cow to further that.

Beyond the points of the tax proposal, there are major problems and issues here. First, this is not a plan: as one analyst put it, this is absurdly incomplete — something that may as well have been just written on a napkin. As his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in response to reporter questions, that no details have yet been prepared. Really. Trump has had about a year to prepare when he was campaigning, to formulate an actual plan, plus almost 100 days in office. Apparently, he's been too preoccupied with tweeting and insulting people and entertaining at Mar-a-Lago to put together even the most basic beginnings of a plan. Another major problem, extending from lack of a plan, is the complete absence of any review of what this will do to the budget and the overall funding of the government. Trump's people are pushing this saying that any shortfall in tax revenues will be offset by the enormous economic growth that this will create. Really? This sounds so very much like the empty hope in every ill-conceived and ill-conducted project that as things are about to become grim, a miracle will occur. The expectation that corporate tax reduction will spur things ignores the huge reality example of Europe, where corporate tax levels have a long history of being where Trump wants to put the U.S. corporate tax rate, and despite that, the ecomony in Europe has been flat. Trump also seeks to keep people wholly distracted from the reality that they aren't boosting the economy by spending because their real wages have been either stagnant of shrinking over decades, the cause of that being institutional disparities in income between workers and corporate leadership, where top management makes an obscene amount of money (at the expense of those under them) and gets a golden parachute when they leave — regardless how poor their performance may have been.

In summary, the Trump tax plan is designed to make the rich richer, as usual at the expense of everyone else. This is Trump using his position to further increase his already obscene wealth. You can see that being in a position to render the tax code advantageous to himself may have been Trump's primary (or even sole) reason for becoming president.

Also: This afternoon, Trump had all 100 U.S. senators pack onto buses, like a school field trip, to go to the White House for a briefing on North Korea. Beyond this being a huge jeopardy exposure, the senators reported that this was simply a waste of time, as the information presented was nothing more than what all of us see in media reports. This was just a stunt by the Trump administration, desperate to show something being accomplished in the first hundred days.

Bragging of getting better ratings than when 2,753 people were killed

Sunday, April 23, 2017: In an interview with Associated Press reporter Julie Pace, Donald Trump bragged of his ability to bring TV viewers to the screen, claiming 5.2 million viewers for his appearance on a non-specific airing of the CBS Sunday morning political talk show Face the Nation. In his typical childish way, he said: "It's the highest for 'Face the Nation' or as I call it, 'Deface the Nation'. It's the highest for 'Deface the Nation' since the World Trade Center — since the World Trade Center came down."

This is as unbelievable as it is grotesque. How deplorable can Trump get? How insensitive? On September 11, 2001 thousands of people were burned alive or crushed to death in a horrendous terrorist attack in New York City, and Trump uses this as a yardstick for egotistical self-promotion. A person who stands on tragedy to elevate himself is less than human.

Ivanka hissed and booed in Germany as she claims her father champions women

Tuesday, April 25, 2017: Ivanka Trump was on a panel with European principals to discuss women's entrepreneurship, when she began describing her father as an advocate for women, whereupon there was hissing and booing from audience members, who knew full well of her father's evidenced attitudes toward women. Miriam Meckel, editor of German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche and moderator of this panel, interrupted at that point to ask Ivanka: "You hear the reaction from the audience. I need to address one more point — some attitudes toward women your father has displayed might leave one questioning whether he's such an empowerer for women." Ivanka responded by adopting Donald Trump's favorite ploy — blame the media: "I've certainly heard the criticism from the media and that's been perpetuated...". Here we have the Trump family practice of dismissing reality, and habitually shifting responsibility to anyone other than the family perpetrator.

Trump's first 100 days: little to show for it

Friday, April 21, 2017: With Trump failing to meet his own self-defined goals for the beginnning of his administration, the media has been pointing out how little he has accomplished with his disarrayed staff. Trump tweeted: "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!" Despite him calling it a "ridiculous standard", he nevertheless sent his staff out to promote what little he has accomplished as some great feat.

Unbridled self-promotion, based upon fiction

Tuesday, April 18, 2017: Speaking in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Trump claimed: "No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days." False, of course, in Trump's life-long habit of self-aggrandizement, regardless of reality. As the Washington Post reported, in tracking his record, Trump has not taken action of 60% of promises he made (in a list), to be fulfilled in his first 100 days. Moreover, he has not even taken action on 60% of them, and has broken five of them. The Post's request for an explanation of Trump's claim went unanswered.

North Korea and Trump's wrong-way "armada"

Wednesday, April 12, 2017: Speaking to Fox Business Network President Donald Trump said of his directed show of force toward North Korea in reaction to their April 5th missile test: "We are sending an armada. Very powerful," referring to the Carl Vinson carrier task force. The problem with this, as reported by the New York Times, is that the carrier group was actually going in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean. The Trump administration again demonstrates that it can't shoot straight. Further, anyone who knows history would not use the word "armada" when talking of sending their ships. If Trump is not making himself the laughing stock of the world, those in North Korea must be having a rousing laugh.

Retaliate against the chemical weapons attack, but without policies

Thursday, April 6, 2017: President Trump authorizes an attack on the Syrian-Russian airbase believed to have been the source of the military aircraft which dropped a chemical weapon bomb on civilians two days earlier. This, in reaction to those horrible images of dead and suffering children. Fifty nine cruise missiles bombarded the infrastructure of the airbase, killing several workers there, in an action meant to send a message to Bashar al-Assad.

The biggest problem is that this action was only that — an action. There was no strategy or policy behind it — something abundantly apparent to world leaders. Another obvious problem is that the action is completely contrary to Trump's numerous past statements about the need to stay away from the Syrian situation, as well as the very recent statement of his secretary of state Rex Tillerson who on March 30 said: "I think the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people." Trump's action seems to have been about image preservation, in avoiding negative reactions in doing nothing in the face of that atrocity. The long-term reality is that countless children, women, and men have been slaughtered by Assad's barrel bombings of residential neighborhoods over a period of years, and this is hardly Assad's first use of chemical weapons on civilians. There was no outrage or even concern from Trump then: just stay out of it.

Trump's first real challenge, a chemical weapons attack in Syria. The response: blame Obama

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: Once again Syria uses chemical weapons on its own civilians, released from a gas bomb which hit the middle of a street in Idlib Province, causing a small crater. (Characteristically, Russia perpetuated the lie that the gas must have been released by a bomb hitting a rebel stockpile of chemicals.) Trump's response was to release this statement:
"Today's chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world. These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a "red line" against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack."
This is Trump demonstrating himself to be a complete amateur, completely unqualified to be president. A real president would make a forceful statement which stayed on-message and posed consequences for such violations of international law. Trump could not resist taking yet another potshot at his predecessor, something a real president would never do. A real president works the issue, not offer distractions.

Perpetuating the lie of the non-existent Obama wiretap

Saturday, April 1, 2017: Another Saturday, another juvenile Trump tweet storm...
"When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story?"
"It is the same Fake News Media that said there is "no path to victory for Trump" that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!"

Pieces fall into place: The likely engineering behind the Nunes performance

In reporting the Nunes side show, a key element has been either forgotten or completely overlooked in that saga...an ingredient which I think reveals the whole thing for what it was: a distraction engineered by Trump and Bannon.

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in a Fox News interview Wednesday with Tucker Carlson, Trump responded to the wiretap controversy by spontaneously offering: "I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks."
Ding, ding, ding!
Trump had obviously been eager to find or manufacture some evidence — any evidence — to support his baseless criminal accusation that Barack Obama had wiretapped him in Trump Tower. Of course, Trump had nothing at the time, but he needed to come up with either something substantive, after the fact, or at least one of his traditional distractions. What to do? Hmmmm... Bannon had just recently invited himself onto the National Security Council, giving him access to an abundance of classified material. I can see Trump and Bannon having a discussion on sifting through that stuff to see if anything could be found that would at least give the impression of Trump people being surveilled. That would likely take some time and effort; so assign it to a couple of White House underlings with NSC responsibilities. Now, to make this work, we have to have someone with gravitas pretend to have gotten this material elsewhere and make a public display of discovery, to help support Trump's surveillance accusations. Who can we get? Hey, Devin Nunes was on our transition team, and now he's the head honcho on the House Intelligence Committee. Perfect! Let's fill him in on what to do so he will be ready to go once we have some material. On Monday, March 20, FBI directory Comey announces that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between members of Trump's campaign and Russian officials: the need to get the engineered distraction out there is more urgent now. Tuesday, March 21, evening: The material is ready; call Nunes on his cell phone. Nunes, traveling with a staffer via Uber, receives the call and abruptly switches cars and heads to the White House, alone, and picks up the material from White House staffers.

It seems apparent that the plot was underway on March 15 and that Trump was so pleased with the scheme that he couldn't help himself in blurting out his teaser of what was coming.

The plot thickens in the Nunes farce, and FBI bringing reality to bear

Thursday, March 30, 2017: The New York Times reports that the bizarre, farcical escapade of Republican representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was found to have been facilitated by two White House officials: Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel's Office. Cohen-Watnick is a former Defense Intelligence Agency official and Trump transition team member, brought to the White House by Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser ousted by Trump (3 weeks after acting attorney general Sally Yates went to the White House to formally inform the administration that Flynn had been discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador). Cohen-Watnick was to be removed per Flynn's replacement, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, but was overruled by Jared Kushner's intervention, assisted by Steve Bannon. Tellingly, Michael Ellis previously worked for Representative Devin Nunes on the House Intelligence Committee as its general counsel. Nunes had previously claimed that he got the material from an undisclosed "whistleblower", on the night of March 21, in an unplanned trip diversion to the White House grounds, which Nunes claimed was simply a place where he regularly reads secure materials. The next day, Nunes put on a bizarre show of going to the White House, supposedly informing Trump officials of supposed incidental surveillance, and then staging a press conference to say that he had found something, leading Trump to say that he felt "somewhat vindicated" by the pseudo disclosure, after accusing Barack Obama of felonious wiretapping (with no evidence). Nunes subsequently said he did all this because "I felt I had a duty and obligation to tell him because as you know he's been taking a lot of heat in the news media." Obligation? Recall that Nunes was on Trump's transition team, and apparently feels that he still does. To bolster this, Republican representative Ted Yoho, in an MSNBC interview today, said of Nunes: "You have to keep in mind who he works for. He works for the president and answers to the president." And we thought that the legislative branch of the government was constitutionally separate from the executive branch: the Republican party seems to have a whimsical view of the U.S. government. So: here is this charade, with White House staffers providing the head of the House Intelligence Committee (investigating potential White House collusion with the Russians) getting some material from the White House in a covert manner, then the next day rushing back to the White House with something so revelatory that he had to grand-stand an impromptu press conference, all to the purpose of offsetting Trump's unapologetic lies about Obama. In the style of Trump's favorite tactic of distraction. To this day, Nunes has refused to either divulge the supposed materials or their source to the rest of the House Intelligence Committee. Senator Lindsey Graham called this "sort of an Inspector Clouseau investigation". Who's behind all this? The White House officials involved are associated with the NSC. Has any higher level, unscrupulous individual been added to the NSC in this administration? Stephen Bannon. Did no one involved think that these obvious dots would not be connected when they concocted this farce? As analysts have pointed out, all this is getting the White House deeper into a mess which is becoming increasingly more serious, and criminal.

Former FBI special agent Clint Watts went before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open hearing, providing a serious grounding in reality, explaining what the Russians have been doing and continue to do in Putin's campaign to destroy democracies, particularly those in NATO. The Russian government contracts large number of Internet miscreants who pump out false stories, and in particular push conspiracy theories out when they know that Trump is online. Mr. Watts emphasized that Donald Trump has been complicit with the Russians in adopting and promulgating the truly fake news, as widely seen during his campaign when he repeatedly said the election was rigged — which came directly from Russian propaganda outlets Sputnik, RT, and others. "He's made claims of voter fraud, that President Obama's not a citizen and, you know, Congressman (Ted) Cruz is not a citizen," Watts said. Hillary Clinton was prescient about this during the campaign: After Trump attacked Clinton during the third and final presidential debate, saying Putin had "no respect" for her or President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee shot back, "Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president of the United States."

To add to the drama in Washington, Michael Flynn today had his lawyers send to the House Intelligence Committe, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the FBI a letter in which he says that he is willing to be interviewed about the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia in return for immunity from prosecution. The letter further says: "General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it."

Nunes' act is exposed

Monday, March 27, 2017: Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes's supposed meeting somewhere with a "whistleblower" is discovered to have actually been a trip the the White House grounds, where someone signed him in to the Executive Office Building and somehow facilitated him seeing supposedly classified material. In other words, Nunes had gone to the White House on the night of March 21, clandestinely met with someone there, and the next day returned to the White House to put on a show as though he had gotten the material from someplace else. White House spokesman Sean Spicer was pressed by news organizations to identify who signed Nunes in, but claimed he could not get access to those logs. Incredibly, Nunes has still not shared any information about what he supposedly learned with any of his fellow committee members, despite his obligation to do so.

Nunes puts on a show

Wednesday, March 22, 2017: Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, leaving his committe behind, summons the press about some momentous news he has, and goes to the White House to brief the president about supposed evidence that Trump campaign officials were likely caught up in spying. Coming out, he uses the west wing of the White House for drama as he stages an abruptly arranged news conference about this, refusing to provide any information about either the source of the information or any substance of the information he claims to have, saying only "What I've read seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity — perhaps legal, but I don't know that it's right. I don't know that the American people would be comfortable with what I've read." All of this smacks of bad acting, not to mention poor judgement. Here is the chairman of the committee in the legislative branch, conducting an investigation which involves the executive branch, going to the White House to brief the Republican president on material he hasn't even shared with the rest of his committee. Republican partisanship at its most extreme.

Nunes' night of sleuthing

Tuesday, March 21, 2017: Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes diverts from evening plans to make a visit to a secret location to meet with what he would later describe as a "whistleblower", who supposedly had classified documents about surveillance of Trump staffers. Nunes would say that the materials "confirm what I already knew" about wiretapping.

Trump can't resist taking a tweet shot at Germany after Angela Merkel's visit

Saturday, March 18, 2017: The morning after German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit, Trump takes to Twitter to take a pot shot at Germany: "Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!" Trump's ignorance of international alliances is showing, as that's not how NATO works. Nato member nations do not "owe" to NATO nor have to compensate any other country. Ultimately, members' contributions are based on each nation's capability. No country owes money to the United States for NATO participation. To use Twitter to throw a dart like this at Europe's most powerful ally is egregious, and further demonstrates Trump's juvenile nature.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the White House, and Trump is an embarrassment

Friday, March 17, 2017: German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House and met our new president. In a joint press conference Trump could not resist again bringing up his false wiretap accusation against his predecessor. Asked about claims that British intelligence assisted the Obama administration in wiretapping Trump Tower, Trump turned toward Merkel and said "As far as wiretapping by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps." Merkel seemed astounded that an American president would voice something like this in public — and particularly when such an accusation has been established to be fiction. During an Oval Office photo-op, Trump thoroughly slighted Merkel by always looking away from her, like she wasn't even in the room, and would not shake her hand despite repeated, loud prompting by photographers.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017: In a Fox News interview Wednesday with Tucker Carlson. Carlson questioned Trump on his health care bill: "Bloomberg analysis showed that counties that voted for you — middle class and working class counties — would do far less well under this bill than the counties that voted for Hillary — more affluent counties. It seems maybe this isn't consistent with the last election." Trump's timid response: "Yeah; I know that. I know. A lot of things aren't consistent."
Trump contended that the word wiretap "covers a lot of different things." He further said "I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks."

Trump fires U.S. Attorney Another Preet Bharara

Friday, March 10, 2017: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, of the Justice Department's southern district of New York (SDNY) office, was one of 46 United States attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama instructed to resign, and to immediately clean out their offices. The request took many in his office by surprise because, in a meeting in November, Mr. Bharara was asked by the then-president-elect to stay on. This draconian action would set SDNY against Trump and his ilk, to later result in determined investigation and prosecution of Trump and his cronies.

Another day, another malicious, false attack on Obama

Tuesday, March 7, 2017: Apparently lacking anything important to do, Donald Trump came up with further malicious misinformation in a 07:04 tweet:
122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!
The reality is that Obama's prececessor, George Bush, released 113 of that number from Guantanamo Bay detention. This is the guy who knows more than the generals do?

Trump isolating himself, and Ben Carson's idea of "immigrants"

Monday, March 6, 2017: Trump has hitherto signed executive orders surrounded by applauding staff members. When today he signed the next iteration of his notorious "travel ban", he was photographed alone. It give the impression that he is alienated from his staff, whom he furiously chewed out on Friday before heading to Florida.

Over at Housing and Urban Development, Trump's dubious choice to run that agency gave a speech before assembled agency workers, with this: "That's what America is about. A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land." What? Immigrants? Dream? It's well known that what those Africans went through was a nightmare: there was no dream associated with being ripped from their homeland to be sent across an ocean to destination unknown, in chains, at risk of being thrown overboard to become shark food if they became sick. Carson is the person who believes that the pyramids of Giza were constructed as grain silos.

The White House staff, supporting Trump's unsubstantiated wiretap accusation with further nonsense

Sunday, March 5, 2017: This Week With George Stephanopoulos led off with Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dutifully supporting Trump's unsubstantiated wiretap allegations, spouting distracting nonsense in the absence of any facts. She implied that the accusations must be true because other media was reporting on the story. (They were obviously reporting on Trump's explosive accusations.) Sanders went on: "If this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest overreach and the biggest scandal." Host Martha Raddatz, obviously exasperated with the nonsense, replied "If, if, if, if", pointing out that there was no If in Trump's accusation: he flat-out presented it as an established fact. Pressed, Sanders could provide no evidence for Trump's accusation, nor cite his source of information: "Look, I think he's going off of information that he's seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential." In other words, Trump is once again proceeding on the basis of what he wants to believe, independent of any facts. Nancy Pelosi referred to Trump as "deflector in chief". He seems to think that fabricating a tactic of posing as a victim of Obama as a Russia scandal defense.

Making things worse for himself, the president demanded a congressional inquiry into whether Mr. Obama had abused the power of federal law enforcement agencies before the 2016 presidential election. In a statement from his spokesman, Mr. Trump called "reports" about the wiretapping "very troubling" and said that Congress should examine them as part of its investigations into Russia's meddling in the election. Why ask ask Congress to investigate? Why not simply call your FBI director? Two reasons: first, that knowledgeable grownup would completely deflate the accusations by declaring that no wiretap order exists; and second, that the congressional committes are headed by compliant Republicans. Trump doesn't seem to realize that he is effectively asking Congress to investigate Trump — which would expose his habit of fabricating "facts".

Trump's latest conspiracy theory: Obama wiretapped him

Saturday, March 4, 2017: Early in the morning, Trump launches yet another tweet-storm, this time to level the extraordinary charge that President Obama had wiretapped Trump during the campaign period. As is standard for Trump, he had no supporting evidence for his outrageous claim. This is Trump once again exposing his ignorance of how the U.S. government works, as a president cannot issue an order to have a citizen wiretapped. Trump's tweets were characteristically juvenile:
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
Is it legal for a sitting President to be "wire tapping" a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!
I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to the Election!
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
Former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes skewered Trump in a response tweet:
No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.
Further, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, appearing on Sunday morning show Meet the Press directly refuted Trump:
I will say that the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw — the DNI — there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at that time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.
Clapper went on to say that as DNI he would certainly have known if there were a FISA order pertaining to Trump Tower, and said there wasn't one. Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, on Face the Nation, said: "to make that claim, without any evidence is, I think, extremely reckless". As analysts have pointed out, Trump has access to the best possible intelligence, and yet instead turns to right-wing conspiracy nuts for his information. (It is speculated that Trump got this non-information from Breitbart News, who was parroting it from garbage made up by Mark Levin.) Likely, Trump was catching up on his Breitbart reading early Saturday morning, and was ennervated by their conspiracy mongering (aka fake news). Indeed, Jake Tapper tweeted: "WH officials with whom I spoke said POTUS got the info about wiretap from media - Breitbart, Levin - not from govt sources." This reinforces that Trump has zero sense of what it means to be president; that it's perfectly acceptable to make the most severe accusations based upon crap.

This was another example of Trump flying off the handle and not thinking, because it just invites further scrutiny of his people's activities during the campaign and prolongs the Russia connection investigation, which he very obviously wanted suppressed, rather than shine more light in that area. It was also the case that Trump spewed this without any communication with his staff, who were caught completely off guard, having no idea where any of this came from. (There was zero communication from White House staff on Saturday, indicative of them trying to figure out how they were supposed to handle Trump's latest flareup.) Frankly, all this makes Trump look crazier than ever, completely negating whatever good graces he earned from Tuesday's congressional address. When other world leaders meet with Trump in the future, are they going to think they are dealing with a fool...someone manifestly unqualified to be the leader of a nation?

The New York Times is reporting that F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, on Saturday asked the Justice Department to publicly repudiate President Trump's assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump's phones. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected. The FBI has not, as yet, made a public statement on this. If corroborated, this would be a remarkable case of an agency having to rebuke an irresponsible President, where the agency is effectively having to do babysitting. Everyone in Washington is fed up with Trump and his White House circus. Note further that the FBI keeps its own records about wiretapping, and so such an action on the part of the FBI would cement that Trump's charges are blatantly false, and that his choice for information sources reveals a person who has no sense of responsible behavior. "Make America great again"??? This is Trump flushing America down the toilet, impuning the highly respected former president Barack Obama as a felon. Highly ironically, this all sounds familiar because these are Putin tactics, to falsely accuse, to lash out at opponents, and to discredit the media. Trump doesn't even perceive that he is reinforcing the narrative that he is in league with the Russian leadership.

Trump goes ballistic over the Sessions recusal

Friday, March 2, 2017: Before heading to Mar-a-Lago, Trump summoned his principals into the oval office: Chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, White House Counsel Don McGahn, press secretary Sean Spicer, newly-hired Communications Director Mike Dubke, along with Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump. Trump then went "ballistic", according to senior White House sources, berating those in the room for mishandling of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusal of himself from the Russia investigation. His anger was such that he disinvited Priebus and Bannon from traveling to Florida on Air Force One. Of the White House not wanting him to recuse himself, Sessions had said "they don't know the rules", which reinforces the amateur state of the Trump administration.

Doing the NRA's bidding: everyone should have guns, even if mentally unstable

Tuesday, February 28, 2017: President Trump signed a measure into law Tuesday that rescinds an Obama-era rule aimed at blocking gun sales to certain mentally ill people. This is Republicans saying that they don't give a damn about public safety, no matter how many mass shootings occur.

The address to Congress

Tuesday, February 28, 2017: Trump addresses a joint session of Congress. He is applauded for reading from a teleprompter and not deviating into embarrassing behavior. The address is said to be "presidential", and people hope this is the start of a "new Trump". As Seth Myers adroitly asked, "Guys, seriously, do you have amnesia?" We know what the real Trump is like...we've had many months of abundant evidence of the reality.

Gosh, health care is complicated

February 27, 2017: Trump to reporters regarding health care: "It's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated." Really? Anyone who has followed events since Hillary Clinton was first lady and lobbied Congress on health care coverage, or who has had to pay medical bills, would know this.

Making clear what he thinks of immigrants

Friday, February 24, 2017: Trump appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Maryland, where he delivered a speech where he vented on so many things and peoples who displeased him. He made clear his attitude toward immigrants, whom he particularly despises: "As we speak today, immigration officers are finding the gang members, the drug dealers, and the criminal aliens, and throwing them the hell out of the country."

Admiral McRaven takes on Trump

February 23, 2017: In a speech at the University of Texas at Austin, Retired admiral William McRaven (a journalism graduate of the school) said:
"On February 17, the president said the news media is the enemy of the American people. The news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime, this sentiment." "I will tell you, as journalism majors, as Americans, you should challenge that sentiment and that statement every opportunity you can. We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people."

The task of explaining Trump's statements to our allies

February 19, 2017: Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis had to go to Europe to try to re-frame some of Trumps's wild statements, meeting with with our worried allies at the Munich Security Conference this week.

The problem is the leakers?

Saturday, February 18, 2017: During a "Trump mob" rally in Florida, Trump expressed outrage: "You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible." Another of Trump's vagaries, with no context, reference, or specifics so that no one's certain of what he's talking about. It turned out that this wasn't about a terrorist attack — it was about some incident involving immigrants. And the definitive source of information upon which the President relies? Fox News...notorious for historic "fake news" mis-reporting, fabrications, and exaggerations. In other words, at the same time that Trump is painting legitimate news outlets as "fake news", he is is depending upon fake news for his information. Sweden was not amused at the American president's ignorance of reality in their nation.

The internationally embarrassing solo press conference

Thursday, February 16, 2017: Trump goes before the press, principally to lambast all the "fake news" companies. He makes yet another false statement, bragging again of his election win: "I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan." Wrong. Facts don't matter to Trump. He also makes the absurd statement: "This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine." This, despite abundant evidence to the contrary.

In the conference, BBC reporter Jon Sopel got his turn, and encounterd this exchange:
Trump: Where are you from?
Sopel: BBC.
Trump: Here's another beauty.
Besides demonstrating immaturity and being unpresidential, it suggests that Trump has already been compiling an enemies list, a la Richard Nixon.

Trump also says: "I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does."

Winging foreign diplomacy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes to Washington to meet with Trump. At a follow-up news conference, Trump says of the historic Palestinian situation: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state. I like the one that both parties like. I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." When you can't render an informed opinion, flip a coin? Of particular note: At this high-level visit by a foreign head of state, no one from the State Department was in attendance — not the new Secretary of State, nor any of his deputies.

The problem is the leakers?

On February 14th, 2017, president Trump blamed "illegal leaks" for the downfall of national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump tweeted "The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?" In other words, Flynn's egregious actions and Trump's attempts to keep the situation quiet are not the issue: it's people exposing the misdeeds that are the problem. This is Trump's classic tactic in attempting to quell by distraction. That won't work in the Flynn situation — which is now officially a scandal.

So why all the leaks, anyway? Insiders have revealed that they are engaging in leaking as a means of communicating with Trump. Trump maintains an authoritarian tyranny within the White House where dissent is not tolerated: disagree with him and you won't be there anymore. Frustrated staff members have simply found that leaking is the only means of communication they have to influence the administration.

What frightening creatures inhabit this administration

On Sunday, February 12th, 2017, Trump's senior advisor Stephen Miller went before Sunday morning's Face the Nation show. Miller was a principal author of Trump's notorious travel ban executive order. Standing before the White House logo, Miller vented his displeasure with the judiciary, saying "We do not have judicial supremacy in this country." He declared in authoritarian tone that Trump's authority "will not be questioned". Miller also doubled down to reinforce Trump's allegations of widespread voter fraud, as usual providing no evidence of what is well established to be Trump fiction invented by him to salve his bruised ego in losing the popular vote — to a woman.

If you haven't seen Miller speaking, you need to watch a video: this guy is scary. He immediately makes me think of one of Hitler's ministers. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Sunday tweeted: "The incompetence on the NSC release and Miller's refusal to get interagency sign off on the refugee order are fireable offenses." On Monday on his show, Scarborough said: "You've got a very young person in the White House on a power trip thinking that you can just write executive orders and tell all of your cabinet agencies to go to hell." No one of this demeanor should be in any position influencing the policies of this great democracy. Miller's presence in his position speaks volumes on the attitudes and goals of this administration.

A president shills for his daughter's private business

Wednesday, February 8, 2017: Outraged at Nordstrom's having dropped his daughter's clothing line from their stores, Trump tweets:
"My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"
This is a president using his office to speak for a business owned by his daughter. The word impropriety doesn't seem to be in Trump's vocabulary. (Nordstrom explained that its action was a business decision: "Over the past year, and particularly in the last half of 2016, sales of the brand have steadily declined to the point where it didn't make good business sense for us to continue with the line for now.") Note the extreme hypocrisy in this: examine Trump's record of treating people "unfairly" (and far worse) over many decades.

Portraying protests as ingenuine

February 6, 2017: White House press secretary Sean Spicer dismissed the widespread protests against the administration's travel ban as being nothing more than "paid" demonstrations. Any evidence to support this assertion? In the Trump world, no evidence is necessary.

Defending Putin

Sunday, February 5, 2017: Fox News host Bill O'Reilly sat down for an interview with President Donald Trump. In it, O'Reilly asked Trump if he respected Russian President Vladimir Putin...
Trump: "Well, I respect a lot of people but that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him. He's a leader of his country. I say it's better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that's a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea."
O'Reilly: "But he's a killer though. Putin's a killer." [This is a reference to Putin being known to have put his opponents to death, clandestinly.]
Trump: "There are a lot of killers' We've got a lot of killers. What do you think — our country's so innocent."

Seeing this, Retired General Barry McCaffrey said in response:
"I'm actually incredulous that the president would make a statement like that. One could argue that's the most anti-American statement ever made by the president of the United States. To confuse American values with Putin, who's running a criminal oligarchy, who kills people abroad and at home, who imprisons journalists and takes away business property, who shares it with his former KGB agents, who invades and seizes Crimea and eastern Ukraine. This is an astonishing state of affairs."

The response from Republican leadership: none.

"Bowling Green Massacre" — the lies and manufactured "facts" continue

February 2, 2017: Trump had Kellyanne Conway go out before the press and, in an MSNBC interview, cite the "Bowling Green Massacre" as justification for Trump's arbitrary and ham-fisted Muslim travel ban. She portrayed this supposed Kentucky event as a major terrorist attack, carried out by Iraqui refugees. Said she: "Most people don't know that because it didn't get covered." Well, the "Bowling Green massacre" didn't get covered because it didn't happen. There has never been a terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Ky., carried out by Iraqi refugees or anyone else. This is fake news...outright lies being fabricated and propagated from the White House. This is how far this administration has dragged down America's reputation, unhesitatingly lying to the world, to justify capricious actions.

Demanding loyalty of the FBI Director

January 27, 2017: In a particularly inappropriate move, President Donald Trump summons FBI Director James Comey to a one-on-one dinner at the White House, in which Trump repeatedly requested that Comey pledge loyalty to him, saying: "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty." Trump also asked him to back off from a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying: "I hope you can let this go." After leaving, Comey wrote notes on the meeting so as to have a clear personal record of this peculiar event.

Who will pay for The Wall? The people who pay for everything: the American middle class

January 26, 2017: The White House said President Donald Trump is considering a 20% tax on imports from Mexico to pay for a southern border wall. This, after months of Trump grandstanding that Mexico would outright pay for The Wall. If anything defines the Trump administration as a bunch of idiot amateurs, it is this. What does a tariff do? It makes it more expensive to buy imported goods, inherently meaning that Americans — chiefly the middle class — will be paying for The Wall. And, in case the amateurs in the White House have conveniently forgotten, Mexico is where so many American companies have relocated manufacturing, so tariffs hurt American-owned businesses as well. This is what you end up with when you have a simpleton who shoots his mouth off in the absence of any thought.

Trump universe perversity: that there exist "alternative facts"

Sunday, January 22, 2017: Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on this morning's Meet the Press, hosted by Chuck Todd. Asked about why the White House on Saturday had sent Spicer to the briefing podium for the first time to claim that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period", Conway responded:
"You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts."
Incredulous at that statement, Todd shot back: "Alternative facts aren't facts, they are falsehoods."
Conway persisted, going on to say that Trump's White House is perfectly right to "go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there."
This level of irrationality and self-affirmed right to lie is what has distinguised Trump and his cronies as the enemies of our country and intelligent people everywhere.

Trump likens U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazis

January 11, 2017: Donald Trump compares the intelligence community's handling of unverified reports on Russian intelligence to Nazi Germany: "Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?" CIA Director John Brennan reacted, expressing the intelligence community's outrage: "What I do find outrageous is equating an intelligence community with Nazi Germany. I do take great umbrage at that, and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly."
This was another example of Trump's irresistable impulses countering any sense of strategy or consequences, antagonizing the intelligence community which can uncover whatever misdeeds that he and his entourage have been up to.

Trump again denies involvement with Russia

January 11, 2017: Trump in an early morning tweet:
"Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"
At a press conference later the same day, Trump ignores a question about contact between his associates and Russia. ABC's Cecilia Vega follows up: "Can you stand here today, once and for all, and say that no one connected to you or your campaign had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign?"
Trump responds: "No."

Russians visit Michael Cohen at his office in Trump Tower

January 9, 2017: Trump Tower lobby video shows Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of Russian asset manager Renova Group, and Andrew Intrater, Vekselberg's cousin and head of Columbus Nova, signing in at the Trump Tower elevator bay, on their way up to the 26th floor to visit Trump's attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen. Vekselberg is Columbus Nova's biggest client. They reportedly talked about U.S.-Russia relations. Not long afterward, Intrater's firm, Columbus Nova, paid $580,000 to Cohen for a supposed consulting contract.

The intelligence community reports that Russia interfered in the election, to benefit Trump

January 6, 2017: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issues a report that Russia, directed by Putin, interfered in our national elections with the intention of putting their choice, Donald Trump, into place:
"We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

Despite this report and a briefing from the intelligence agencies, Trump reacted to this with a statement dismissing foreign interference as having "absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election". Obviously, Trump's ego cannot allow him to admit that his election win could be due to anything other than his popularity.

Trump is indeed capitalizing on the presidency

January 1, 2017: Coincident with Donald Trump becoming president, the initiation fee to his Mar-a-Lago resort was doubled to $200,000. On top of the initiation fee, members pay $14,000 a year in dues and have to spend at least $2,000 a year on food. Given the frequency of Trump's stays at Mar-a-Lago, this is the way the Trump organization rakes in money for access to the president.

Trump's not the only administration official buddy-buddy with Russia

On December 29, 2016, Trump's pick for national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, initiated telephone conversations with Russia's ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. This was at the same time that the Obama administration was putting sanctions into place against Russia for interfering in the U.S. election, with punitive action including expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats the US had accused of spying. Whereas U.S. intelligence agencies routinely eavesdrop on such communications, this behavior came to light, and invited Congressional scrutiny. Questioned about it by vice president Pence and others, Flynn mislead the Trump administration about the calls; this, from the person who is supposed to be the most trusted member of the administration, digesting all intelligence organization reports for national security planning and actions. Where is Flynn's allegiance? Flynn is well known to be immersed in a relationship with Russia, to the extent that he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin sits at an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of RT (Russia Today) in Moscow on Dec. 10, 2015. Finally having had enough of Flynn, the Trump administration had him resign on February 13, 2017. Such are the people that Trump picked for top positions in the leadership of the United States — an embarrassing spectacle for the world to see, deteriorating international respect and confidence in the U.S.

It was subsequently revealed that Trump knew about Flynn's deception for some 11 days and kept that information from vice president Pence during that time, allowing Pence to continue believing that all was well, and continue to feed what was false information to the nation and the world. (Kellyanne Conway was sent out on Moday, February 13 to go before the press to say that the president had complete confidence in Flynn, while at almost the same time press secretary Sean Spicer was contradicting that, telling the press that the president was "evaluating the situation". This is disarray.) On Friday, February 10, during a flight to Florida on Air Force One, the press asked Trump about this story and he claimed he knew nothing about it, and saying "I'll look into it." Wait a minute — since when does Donald Trump congenially take direction from "the lying press"? This really smells. It tells us that he was well aware of it, and was feigning ignorance.

Why would Trump do this? Clearly, Trump hoped that the situation would go away and would not have to address a mess that would reflect poorly on Trump's judgement in selecting people to fill the most important positions in government. The press did what the press does best: investigative reporting. When the press exposed the reality, Trump could no longer maintain the pretense, and had to face dealing with the mess.

We're just a few weeks into this administration and already they have driven themselves into a quagmire through arrogance, lies, denial, and incompetence. Further, we see no indication that they inclined to steer in any other direction.

The real issue in the Flynn situation is not Flynn himself, but rather the lingering 800 pound issue of what's going on in the apparently concealed relationship between Trump and the Russian leadership. There are transcripts of Flynn's communications with Russian officials. Beyond that, intelligence agencies have likely accumulated considerable evidence of what has been going on. Eventually this has to come out: it can't simply be ignored, and shouldn't be. The more interesting thing is that Flynn was a deep insider, with abundant knowledge of exactly what went on inside the Trump team: with increasing pressure on Flynn to come, that wealth of information could be divulged to investigators.

So, how did Flynn get into the White House? He was hired by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who ignored red flags and warnings from top officials concerning Flynn, and pushed to get him into office to reward his loyalty to the president, as Newsweek reported. The couple had excessive influence over whom the Trump administration brought in: they encouraged President Donald Trump to hire and fire as they see fit. While coordinating a transition team for the Trump administration last fall, Ivanka praised Flynn's "amazing loyalty to my father," after inviting Flynn and General Keith Kellogg to the meeting without notifying Chris Christie, the former chair of the transition team. According to a New Yorker report, Ivanka asked Flynn: "General, what job do you want?" A participant at the meeting reportedly said, "It was like Princess Ivanka had laid the sword on Flynn's shoulders and said, 'Rise and go forth.'"

One of Trump's loonies follows up on a fake conspiracy with an assault rifle, following lies by Flynn's son

Sunday December 4, 2016: North Carolina man Edgar Maddison Welch drives up to northwest Washington, DC with a loaded assault rifle (plus pistol and shotgun), enters popular pizza shop Comet Ping Pong, and opens fire with the rifle. His motivation: Believing the preposterous concoctions that Trumpees put forth on social media that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief were running a child sex ring from the restaurant's backrooms. This crap had already resulted in relentless harassment and death threats to the shop's owners. No one in his/her right mind would believe stuff like this — and there you have the condition of the kind of people who vote for Trump. Who would put forth such malicious and deliberately hurtful lies? Michael Flynn Jr. was a prominent promulgator. Flynn Jr. had started this back on November 2 when he put forth a tweet supposedly tying Hillary Clintonto "sex crimes with minors": "U decide - NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc...MUST READ!", with a link to an article on the website True Pundit (oxymoron). Flynn Jr. was obviously encouraged by his father, who vigorously disparaged Clinton at every opportunity, including leading a "Lock her up" chant. Even after Welch's arrest, and widespread media debunking of the allegations, Flynn Jr. labored to keep the lie alive, tweeting: "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many 'coincidences' tied to it."

Perpetuating the myth that huge numbers voted illegally

Sunday, November 27, 2016: Still fuming about not having won the popular vote, and people continually pointing that out, Trump today tweets:
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
Supporting evidence of such massive illegal voting? As usual, none. The is pepetuation of Republican insecurity in possibly losing elections because people legitimately vote against them, whereby the Republicans try to legitimatize their initiatives to suppress voting among Democratic constituencies.

How Zuckerberg's naivite contributed to what we got for a president

Thursday November 10, 2016: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg dismissed critics who have blamed hoaxes and false news stories that spread across Facebook as somehow contributing to Donald Trump's election as the 45th president of the U.S. Speaking at the Techonomy conference in Half Moon Bay, California, he said:
"Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, of which it's a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea."
It goes to show how youthful inexperience allows gaping opportunities for miscreants and foreign governments to easily spread lies to Facebook's 1.79 billion monthly users, worldwide, and handily influence the gullible.
It would take until September 27, 2017 for Zuckerberg to admit that he was wrong to dismiss the idea that fake news shared on the giant social network affected last year's presidential election — after investigations uncovered that Facebook received substantial income from subversive ads financed by Russian agents during the last election cycle.

Baseless promises of preserving jobs

October 31, 2016: Presidential candidate Donald Trump conducted one of his rallies Macomb Community College South Campus's Sports and Expo Center in Warren, Michigan. Speaking to the fears of autoworkers, Trump made this promise: "If I'm elected, you won't lose one plant, you'll have plants coming into this country, you're going to have jobs again, you won't lose one plant, I promise you that." Those turned out to be empty words, as Michigan and other states would see GM shutting down plants in November 2018. Trump, the consummate con-man, saying anything, promising anything, on the basis of nothing. It never bothers him that he plays on people's fears and livelihoods for his own benefit.

Nondisclosure agreement with "Stormy Daniels"

October 28, 2016: Just days before the election, Trump's lawyer Michal Cohen has "Stormy Daniels" (stage name of Stephanie Clifford) sign a nondisclosure agreement naming Daniels via pseudonym "Peggy Peterson", as demanded by agreement initiator "David Dennison" (pesudonym for Donald Trump), to keep Daniels quiet about their affair so that it would not come out and interfere with the election. In the agreement, Cohen identifies Essential Consultants, LLC as the originating organization. This is a Deleware shell company which Cohen formed on October 17, 2016 to pay Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about the affair. If nothing else, this shows how the Trump organization operated to

FBI directory James Comey sabotages the Clinton campaign

October 28, 2016: Just days before the election, James Comey feels compelled to send a letter to Congress saying the the FBI had "learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state. (The emails were found on a computer owned by Anthony Weiner, former congressman and husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton's aide.) This did not reopen the long-concluded Clinton investigation, and reviews of the emails would find nothing new. However, this letter resulted in voters seeing words like "Clinton," "email," "FBI" and "investigation" together in headlines. This Comey action likely caused Clinton to lose some 4% of voters in key states, and was likely the final straw in Clinton's flawed campaign, causing her to lose the election. Comey was thus a major de facto aid to the Trump campaign, by sabotaging Clinton's campaign.

Trump denies Russia involvement

October 24 2016: At a campaign rally in Florida, Trump said: "I have nothing to do with Russia, folks. I'll give you a written statement." (No written statement subsequently appeared.)

Threatening to sue the accusers to silence them

October 22, 2016: Summer Zervos was among a dozen or so women who came out to accuse Donald Trump of the sexual assault practices that he so readily boasted about on the Access Hollywood recording. Trump repeatedly dismissed the accusations during his campaign, taking to his usual practice of belittling such women, including saying that they were too ugly to be sexually assaulted. Facing persistence by the accusers, Trump vowed before an audience: "All of these women will be sued after the election".

I'll say things, then I'll contradict them

Thursday, October 20 2016: During the final presidential debate, Trump made the stunning declaration that he might not accept the results of next month's election. In a speech today, at a rally in Delaware, Ohio, he contradicted that intention:
"I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election — if I win."

I will childishly not accept election defeat

Wednesday, Oct 19 2016: In the final presidential debate tonight, Trump was asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he would accept the outcome of the election, in light of him perpetually saying that the whole thing is "rigged". Trump demurred, sayind: "I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now. What I've seen, what I've seen, is so bad." Pressed by an incredulous Wallace, who pointed out that Trump was breaking with a longstanding democratic tradition in which losing candidates concede defeat "for the good of the country", the Republican nominee refused to budge: "What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, OK?"

Trump's Wikileaks association

Monday, Oct 10 2016: During a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Trump proclaimed: "I love WikiLeaks", whom he praised for publishing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's hacked emails. This was something of a "reveal", which would later be investigated as part of Trump's seeming Russia connections in that country providing him with assistance in smearing his competition and helping Trump win the election.

Admission of invading the privacy of pagent contestants

Saturay, October 8, 2016: From 2009 to 2015, Donald Trump owned the Miss USA oand Miss Universe pageants. Contestants reported being shocked and upset that Donald Trump would barge into their dressing areas when they were disrobed on the pretense of asking how they were faring or wishing them well. The Trump campaign vehemently denied that he did this. CNN today released audio recordings of 2005 Howard Stern radio broadcasts in which Trump admitted doing this...
"I'll tell you the funniest is that I'll go backstage before a show and everyone's getting dressed. No men are anywhere, and I'm allowed to go in, because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it. ... 'Is everyone OK?' You know, they're standing there with no clothes. 'Is everybody OK?' And you see these incredible-looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that."

17 U.S. intelligence agencies say that Russia interfered in the election

Friday, Oct 7 2016: The Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on behalf of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The USIC is made up of 16 agencies, in addition to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

Trump forced to apologize — sort of

Friday, Oct 7 2016: In the face of the notorious Access Hollywood tape, candidate Trump was forced by his handlers to issue an apology, to save his campaign. So, his handlers worked with him to produce a video of an apology, which would be broadcast shortly after midnight. Here is what Trump said in that recorded statement:
"I've never said I'm a perfect person nor pretended to be someone that I'm not. I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. I've traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I've spent time with grieving mothers who've lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I've been humbled by the faith they placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down. Let's be honest: We're living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs; we are less safe than we were eight years ago; and Washington is totally broken. Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I've said some foolish things but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday."
Here you can see that Trump can't simply take responsibility for his actions: he has to distract and point to the behavior of others as presumably being worse than him. This so-called apology is a self-negation.

Trump on people pleading the 5th amendment

September 28, 2016: Speaking at one of his deplorables rallies, in Iowa, Trump finds another way to attack Hillary Clinton by lambasting one of her former staff members taking the 5th when probed about that mail server. Said Trump: "So there are five of them taking the Fifth Amendment, like you see on the mob, right? The mob takes the Fifth Amendment. If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?"
As the Huffington Post has pointed out, that's exactly the question Donald Trump was asked 26 years ago, in 1990, then in the midst of divorcing Marla Maples, where Trump was seeking to minimize the amount he would pay Marla Maples in the divorce settlement. During the divorce proceedings, which included five depositions, Trump pleaded the Fifth 97 times on approximately 100 questions related to marriage infidelity.

Omarosa's current idolization of Trump

September 22, 2016: Former contestant on Trump's "The Apprentice" TV show, Omarosa Manigault most recently is director of African-American outreach for Trump's campaign, and thus serving as a Trump promoter. On PBS's Frontline today, in "The Choice 2016" program, she proclaimed in an apostolic manner:
"Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It's everyone who's ever doubted Donald, whoever disagreed, whoever challenged him — it is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe."
If you never thought there was a Trump cult, consider that.

Trump finally lays off the birther crap

September 16, 2016: As the Republican Party presidential nominee, Trump stated "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period." This, after years of subscribing to garbage conspiracy theories that Obama was born in Kenya rather than on U.S. soil.

Trump's outlook for civility and respect

September 15, 2016: In a Q&A in New York City, Donald Trump said:
"We need to stop being so politically correct."

Trump cowers before the Mexican president

August 31, 2016: Trump invites himself to Mexico to meet with its President Enrique Peña Nieto. After months of histrionics before his mobs about building a wall and making Mexico pay for it, Trump met with President Nieto and did not even bring the topic up. Nieto tolerated a press briefing with Trump, Nieto visibly pained to do so, making clear that he was barely tolerating this windbag from the north. Trump literally cowered before Nieto, his bombast and swagger gone, as a child before an adult. Nieto tweeted: "At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall."

Inciting gun violence against Hillary Clinton

Thursday, August 18, 2016: Speaking at a campaign rally in the Charlotte Convention Center. His most outrageous claim in that speech:
"But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth. I speak the truth for all of you, and for everyone in this country who doesn't have a voice. I speak the truth on behalf of the factory worker who lost his or her job. I speak the truth on behalf of the Veteran who has been denied the medical care they need — and so many are not making it. They are dying. I speak the truth on behalf of the family living near the border that deserves to be safe in their own country but is instead living with no security at all."
Imagine a pledge to tell the truth, from a habitual liar.

Trump also pledged: "In my Administration, I am going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law."
This, from a virtual dictator who would later behave as though he is above the law — and share classified information with the Russians.

Inciting gun violence against Hillary Clinton

August 9, 2016: Trump addressing one of his mobs: "Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."

I assure you I won't have time for golf if I'm president

August 2, 2016: Trump addressing one of his mobs:
"I'm going to be working for you. I'm not going to have time to go play golf."
More empty words from Trump, whose presidency would be marked by many trips to his golf courses.

I look to Russia's intelligence agencies, not ours

Wednesday, July 27, 2016: At a press conference in Florida, Trump calls upon Russia's intelligence agencies to supposedly do what United States intelligence agencies have been unable to, regarding Hillary Clinton's email server issue:
"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
Trump also restated: "I have nothing to do with Russia. I said that Putin has much better leadership qualities than Obama — but who doesn't know that?"

No collusion with Russia? This was indeed Russia communicating with Russia. The 2019 Mueller report made this clear:
"Within approximately five hours of Trump's statement, GRU officers targeted for the first time Clinton's personal office. After candidate Trump's remarks, Unit 26165 created and sent malicious links targeting 15 email accounts at the domain [redacted] including an email account account belonging to Clinton aide [redacted.] The investigation did not find evidence of earlier attempts to compromise email accounts hosted on this domain."

I look to Russia's intelligence agencies, not ours

Wednesday, July 27, 2016:
When asked about his ongoing failure to release his tax returns, he repeated his standard lie: "Because it's under audit. I'll release them when the audit is complete. Nobody would release when it's under audit. I've had audits for 15 or 16 years, every year I have a routine audit: under audit; when the audit's complete I'll release them." As many tax consultants have pointed out, there is no prohibition against releasing tax returns while an audit is underway. The reality is that Trump had no intention of releasing his tax returns, and never did: he is obviously fearful of those returns being released. After all, those are documented facts, and factual information is anathema to Trump.

Flynn addresses the RNC mob

July 18, 2016: Addressing the mob at the RNC, Michael Flynn encourages several rounds of "Lock her up!" and then makes statements which would become ironically pertinent to himself and the Trump administration:
"I have called upon Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race because she put our nation's security at extremely high risk with her careless use of a private email server."
"If I did a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today."
"We do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law."

Interview with Trump's assistant Barbara Res

Wednesday, June 29, 2016: Trump's long time assistant Barbara Res gives an interview with Frontline's Jim Gilmore. In it, Res revealed that Trump was too much of a coward to fire people himself, and that he delegated people to do firings.

Interview with Trump's assistant Barbara Res

June 22, 2016: Interviewed by Norah O'Donnell on "CBS This Morning" Donald Trump proudly said: "I'm the king of debt. I'm great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me."

The notorious Trump Tower meeting with Russians, to seek "dirt" on Hillary Clinton

Thursday, June 9, 2016, 4 pm: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort meet with Russian government attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya to get "opposition research" on Hillary Clinton. The meeting had been arranged by publicist Rob Goldstone, who had tantalized Trump Jr. with being able to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton, to help his father's faltering presidential campaign. Revealed correspondence between Goldstone and Trump Jr. It would be learned that there were at least eight people at the meeting, including Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, Irakly "Ike" Kaveladze, Rob Goldstone, Anatoli Samachornov (interpreter for Veselnitskaya).

When the existence of the meeting became known to reporters, Donald Trump Jr. on July 8 initially told the press that the meeting was held to discuss adoptions of Russian children by Americans. (Sure, just the type of meeting that Paul Manafort would attend as campaign director.) It would subsequently be learned that this fallacious statement had been concocted by Donald Trump and his people aboard Air Force One on the way back from the G20 Summit in Germany, where Donald Trump then approved the draft for its release. Trump's advisors opposed the release of this false information, knowing that it would eventually be exposed as a lie. On July 14, 2017 Trump defended his son conducting that meeting, which Trump considered "campaign research", saying: "I think from a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting." (despite it being manifestly illegal). On June 2, 2018 Trump's then lawyers issued a statement finally admitting that Donald Trump had dictated the July 8, 2016 statement. (The White House legal team had known for weeks about the emails leading up to the meeting and yet had issued statements then saying that the meeting was about adoptions. White House lawyer Jay Sekelov took to blaming the Secret Service for "letting" Russians get to Trump Jr., when the reality was that Jr. was not yet under Secret Service protection.)

A mysterious announcement of a coming reveal

Tuesday, June 7, 2016: While delivering a campaign speech in Redondo Beach, CA, Trump added:
"I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. I wonder if the press will want to attend." The audience enthusiastically applauded.
That speech never happened. It is believed that this is a "reveal" that despite denials, Trump was fully aware of the meeting that his son Donald Jr. would be having in two days at Trump Tower, which would yield "dirt" on the Clintons, and that showman Donald Trump could not resist announcing and promoting an exposition based upon what he anticipated to get out of that illicit meeting. However, the meeting failed to deliver the material that was to be the basis of the speech, so the speech never happened, and its absence was never explained by Trump.

My African-American

June 3, 2016: Speaking on the tarmac in Redding, CA, Trump was pandering for African-American voted when he spotted a black person in the audience and excitedly proclaimed: "Oh, look at my African-American over here! Look at him!"

I love debt

May 4, 2016: Interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Donald Trump said: "I'm the king of debt. I love debt."

Ted Cruz expresses what he thinks of Donald Trump

May 3, 2016: Speaking to his presidential race supporters, Ted Cruz called Trump's claims "nuts" and "kooky," telling reporters that Trump "is utterly amoral — morality does not exist for him." He called GOP front-runner Trump "a pathological liar" who "doesn't know the difference between truth and lies."

Who needs experts?

March 24, 2016: In La Crosse, Wisconsin, Trump denounced "experts":
"All of these experts - 'Oh, we need an expert!' The experts are terrible. Look at the mess we're in with all these experts that we have. Look at the mess. Look at the Middle East. If our presidents and our politicians went on vacation for 365 days-a-year - if they went to the beach, we'd be in much better shape right now in the Middle East. Right? I mean, these [experts] don't know what they're doing. They say Donald Trump needs a foreign policy advisor. Supposing I didn't have one. And I know a lot of people. Met with a lot of people last week - all good people. But supposing I didn't have one. Would it be worse than what we're doing now? The people, the experts."

Denigrating NATO

March 27, 2016: Trump says: "I think NATO is obsolete."

Trump stoops to insulting Ted Cruz's wife

March 22, 2016: Trump targets Ted Cruz in a tweet: "Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!" This was in response to a PAC (the anti-Trump Make America Awesome) publishing a racy picture of Melania with overprinting: "Meet Melania Trump. Your next first lady. Or you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday." That wasn't Cruz's doing, but Trump laid into Cruz anyway. (No one seems to know what those beans are, either.) Apparently still stewing, the next day Trump posted a picture to his Twitter account, with a snarling Mrs. Cruz on the left and an elegant Mrs. Trump on the right, with the overprinting: "No need to 'spill the beans'. The images are worth a thousand words." (Blatantly obvious is that Trump is holding up his wife was though she were a possession he bought, like a Lamborghini. The is epitomization of "trophy wife".) Mr. Cruz subsequently responded on Twitter: "Donald, real men don't attack women.", and in a subsequent press address called Trump "a sniveling coward" and told him to "leave Heidi the hell alone."

All I know is what's on the Internet

Sunday, Mar. 13, 2016: On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd challenged Trump's dependence upon low-grade online information as the basis of his beliefs as to what's going on in the world. Trump reacted: "What do I know about it? All I know is what's on the internet."

Promoting hurting people

March 11, 2016: At a rally, Trump says:
"You know, part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right?"

What Scott Pruit really thinks of Donald Trump

February 11, 2016: On a local Oklahoma radio show called "Exploring Energy", Scott Pruit said of Donald Trump: "I think he's an empty vessel when it comes to things like the Constitution and rule of law. I'm very concerned that perhaps if he's in the White House, that there may be a very blunt instrument as the voice of the Constitution."

Let's assault people

February 23, 2016: At a rally in Las Vegas, Trump complains of a protestor: "I'd like to punch him in the face, I tell ya." And of his political rival, Ted Cruz, Trump told the crowd: "This guy is sick. There's something wrong with this guy."

Mick Mulvaney calls Trump "a terrible human being"

2016: At a debate with his then-Democratic challenger for South Carolina's 5th Congressional District seat, Fran Person, Mick Mulvaney said that he was supporting Trump for president, albeit reluctantly:
"Yes, I'm supporting Donald Trump. I'm doing so as enthusiastically as I can, given the fact that I think he's a terrible human being, but the choice on the other side is just as bad." Well, he certainly characterized Trump accurately.

I know the best words

December 30, 2015: At a campaign stop in South Carolina, Trump stood before that area's collection of deplorables and told them:
"I'm very highly educated. I know words, I have the best words."
Um, people who are well educated don't sound like nine-year-olds bragging about themselves. (Look into Trump's undistinguished academic record for the reality of his education.) And, by the way, "covfefe" is not a best word.

Promoting violence

Monday, February 1, 2016: Speaking at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump told the crowd:
"If you see somebody gettting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you - seriously. Just nock the hell out of them. I promise you, I'll pay the legal fees - I promise."
Promoting violence...just what you want from a president.

Global warming is not worth worrying about

December 1, 2015: Trump makes a video statement from his office: "While the world is in turmoil and falling apart in so many different ways, especially with ISIS, our president is worried about global warming. What a ridiculous situation!"

Contriving lies about Muslims

November 24, 2015: At a campaign event in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Trump mocked the disability of reporter Serge F. Kovaleski. Trump put on a palsied display, waving his arms around with his hands at an odd angle, as he mockingly said of the reporter, saying: "Now the poor guy, you gotta see this guy. Uhh I don't know what I said. Uhh I don't remember. He's going like 'I don't remember. Maybe that's what I said.'"

No low too low for Trump to stoop.

Contriving lies about Muslims

November 21, 2015: At a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, Trump said:
"I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering."
Well, Trump had separately said that he was in his Manhattan apartment on the morning of the 9/11 attack. In an interview on This Week, George Stephanopoulos asked Trump if he misspoke, noting that "the police say that didn't happen." Trump doubled down, this time embellishing his claim to smear Muslims:
"It was on television. I saw it. It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don't like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good."
Well covered? There exist no videos, photographs, or credible reports of anything like this. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop responded to Trump's statement on Twitter, saying Trump "has memory issues or willfully distorts the truth."

Amateur militarist

November 13, 2015: Trump addresses one of his mob rallies, saying: "I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me."
Then contradiction, September 6, 2016: "I am also going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction: They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for defeating ISIS."
Reality: No attention to ISIS since taking office, despite all the lives being lost, antiquities being smashed, and misery being caused.

The myth of self-made Trump

October 26, 2015: At a town hall event in Atkinson, New Hampshire, on NBC's "Today", Donald Trump perpetuated the fiction that he's a self-made billionaire, saying:
"It has not been easy for me. It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars. I came into Manhattan, and I had to pay him back, and I had to pay him back with interest. But I came into Manhattan and I started buying properties, and I did great."
This is another of Trump's lies, a tall tale to portray Trump as a miraculous wealth earner. The reality, that would be borne out in a New York Times investigation in October 2018, is that Trump's father gave Donald hundreds of millions of dollars — money that was typically shifted in tax-dodging manners.

Trump criticizes Obama playing golf

September 16, 2015: At the Republican presidential debate, Trump introduces himself:
"I'm Donald Trump. I wrote 'The Art of the Deal' I say not in a braggadocious way. I made billions and billions and billions of dollars dealing with people around the world."
The reality is that there is no evidence that Donald Trump has ever made even one billion dollars. This empty boast is just one of Trump's lies. Later disclosures of his tax returns would expose him as one of the most inept business people in the United States, and even the biggest loser.

Trump criticizes Obama playing golf

September 3, 2015: Trump finds another way to disparage President Obama... In an interview with The Daily Caller, Trump said:
"The problem with the president, he's played more than people on the PGA Tour. He plays a lot. He's like a touring professional in terms of the amount of play."
This, from a golf course owner who, upon becoming president, spent far more time on golf courses than Obama.

Mick Mulvaney slams Trump's Mexican border wall

August 25, 2015: In an interview on WRHI radio in South Carolina, Mick Mulvaney said of Trump's obsession with the southern border:
"The fence doesn't solve the problem. Is it necessary to have one, sure? Would it help? Sure. But to just say build the darn fence and have that be the end of an immigration discussion is absurd and almost childish for someone running for president to take that simplistic of [a] view."

How much of Trump's money comes from the police state of Saudi Arabia

August 21, 2015: In a rally in Alabama, Trump brags to the crowd:
"Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much."
Trump would repeat much the same thing in other rallies as well. Trump denies that he has financial interests in Saudi Arabia, However, it is very clear that the Saudis have substantial financial interests in him.

Trump disparage's John McCain's military service

July 18, 2015: Speaking at Liberty University, Trump says of John McCain:

"He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured."
Piloting an A4 Skyhawk on a bombing raid into North Vietname, McCain's plane was hit by a missile which took a wing off. In a rough ejection from the spiraling aircraft, he sustained two broken arms and a broken leg. Captured and beaten, he was imprisoned and badly treated. He didn't receive proper medical attention for his injuries until his captors realized the military family he was from. He spent five years as a PoW.
Trump's military service? None. Avoided. Bravery? Trump would never hesitate to roundly criticize anyone where he could do so from a safe distance.

Jared's father goes to jail

Friday March 4, 2015: Jared Kushner's father, Charles Kushner, a multimillionaire real estate executive, was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations. The father's misdeeds included a very classy revenge scheme that involved hiring a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law for cooperating with a federal probe against him. He was also charged for intimidating a federal witness — his sister.

What Trump himself would become

August 9, 2014: Trump tweets:
"We need a President who isn't a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!"

Oh, sure, I'll release my tax returns (years of excuses for not doing so)

May 20, 2014: In an interview with Irish TV3, Trump even back then claimed he would be releasing his tax returns. You may recall that Trump promised to produce his tax returns if Obama produced his long-form birth certificate (part of Trump's racist campaign against Obama); but then, as predictable, Trump did not produce. His explanation, and deferral to the future, in the interview:
"Well, I don't know. Did he do it? If I decide to run for office, I'll produce my tax returns, absolutely, and I would love to do that. I did produce, actually, a financial statement, even though I wasn't even running, I did produce a financial statement; and it was shocking to some, because it was so much higher than people even thought possible. So it was a great statement and, uh, it was my honor to do it."
This was back when Trump claimed he would contribute $5M to charity if Obama produced his long-form birth certificate. Given that Trump is money-grubbing and doesn't give to charity, this was not believable. Indeed, after Obama produced that certificate, Trump renegged.

One of many beliefs that Trump would later self-contradict

August 28, 2013: Trump tweets: "Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can't we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?"

Global warming is obviously a hoax

November 6, 2012: Trump tweets:
"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

Trump criticizes Obama campaigning after hurricane Sandy

November 6, 2012: Trump tweets:
"Yesterday Obama campaigned with JayZ & Springsteen while Hurricane Sandy victims across NY & NJ are still decimated by Sandy. Wrong!"
Perspective reality: this was two weeks after the storm. At that point, recovery is a matter of government agencies and insurance companies doing their thing.

Trump's obsession with Obama's birth certificate begins

August 6, 2012: Trump tweets:
"An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud."
Trump's chosen information sources are anything but reputable fact bases. In this case, the source is conspiracy wacko Jerome Corsi.

Trump's crusade against Obama gets more fuel

Saturday, April 30, 2011: Trump attends the 2011 White House correspondents' dinner and is roasted by Obama for a full five minutes. This undoubtedly added fuel to Trump's animosity toward Obama. This was during the period when Trump continued his racist birther rants, as Trump subscribed to fringe conspiracy theorists rather than factual reality in claiming that Obama was born in Kenya and therefore had no right to be president. And now, here in this dinner, this non-white upstart had the temerity to stand in front of a large audience and barb the almighty Trump.

Trump begins his birther crusade against Obama

April 7, 2011: On the Today show, Meredith Viera interviews Trump. His view of foreign policy is money-based, and his predictions capability is way off:
"You're going to be paying $7 or $8 a gallon for your oil very soon". "I'm only interested in Libya if we keep the oil. If we don't keep the oil, I'm not interested."

This was back when Trump began his 5 year racist campaign against Barack Obama, claiming that Obama was not born in the U.S. He claimed to have "investigators" in Hawaii pursuing this:
"I'm starting to think he wasn't born in this country... Three weeks ago, I thought he was born in this country. Now I've got real doubts. I have people that actually have been studying it, and they cannot believe what they're finding."
When ABC News' George Stephanopoulos asked him about the supposed investigators later that month, Trump refused to say what they had found: "It's none of your business right now. We are going to see what happens." CNN's Anderson Cooper also confronted Trump about the investigation that month: "Can you name even one person who your investigators have talked to?" "I don’t want to do that right now," Trump said. "It's not appropriate right now."
Trump would go on with this neurotic, racist pursuit for five years. There was never any substantiation presented for any of his claims, nor any evidence that he ever had investigators on this.

Approach life with belligerance and retribution

Wednesday September 14, 2005: Trump flew to Colorado, where he spoke for 90 minutes to 2,000 people who paid $149 to attend a local business expo in rural Loveland. He was asked during the question-and-answer session how to handle disloyal business associates. "Screw them back 10 times harder," he said. "At least they're going to leave you alone, and at least you'll feel good."

Trump says straight out that he's very knowledgeable about campaign finance laws

October 8, 1999: Appearing on Larry King Live, Donald Trump goes into details on his plans to form a presidential exploratory committee. There were some key statements by Trump that, in 2019, would be material in countering Trump's claims that any campaign finance law violations were out of ignorance. Here is what Trump said in 1999:
King: How about campaign-finance reform?
Trump: I think nobody knows more about campaign finance that I do, because I'm the biggest contributor.
King: OK, but what about reform? Does it need reform? You're the Reform Party?
Trump: Well, it's a very complex — you know what? It's a very complex thing. As an example, I'm allowed to give $1,000 to every senator, right?
King: Right.
Trump: Do you know how little that is, and this was 20 years ago, $1000. Now, I love it, because, you know, I'm capped out at a $1,000 per senator and they all love me for it. You know, I give them $1,000, it's great.

The casino initiative, only as a scheme to make Trump richer

June 7, 1995: Donald Trump takes Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts public on the New York Stock Exchange, at $14 per share, as Trump opened his casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The stock offering raised $140 million from investors, money which Trump siphoned off to pay off tens of millions of dollars in loans Trump had personally guaranteed. It was another failed Trump enterprise that failed in 2009, but which Trump milked to make himself rich at the expense of others. Despite losing money every year under Trump's leadership, the company paid Trump handsomely, including a $5 million bonus in the year the company's stock plummeted 70 percent. Trump received more than $44 million in salary, bonuses and other compensation. During that time, the company lost more than $1 billion, financial records show. Ever the scammer, Trump had this public company buy two of Trump's deeply indebted, privately held casinos, the Trump Taj Mahal and the Trump Castle — at premium prices. The public company was now saddled with $1.7 billion of Trump's old debt, where it was forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on interest payments. Trump drove this company into the ground, for his own enrichment. This was possible because the company's board of directors simply went along with whatever Trump wanted — and one of the members of that board was his daughter, Ivanka, who was paid handsomely to support CEO Trump.

Apropos: Nixon and a president being above the law

May 19, 1977: In an interview with David Frost, then former president Richard Nixon was asked why he had authorized burglaries, wire-tapping and other illegal actions against anti'Vietnam war protesters. He responded" at one point, "Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Nixon later thought better of what he had said, and in a written statement clarified: "First, I do not believe and would not argue that a President is above the law. Of course he is not. The question is what is the law and how is it to be applied with respect to the President in fulfilling the duties of his office."

The president cannot pardon himself

August 5, 1974: The Justice Department issues an opinion that echoed centuries of American and English law by declaring, "Under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case, the president cannot pardon himself." (https://www.justice.gov/file/20856/download)

Trump's affinity to Nixon

December 14, 1972: President Richard Nixon was recorded on White House tape recordings as saying: "And also never forget, the press is the enemy, the press is the enemy, the press is the enemy; ..."
Sounds familiar.
The elements of compromise are the only thing that holds democracy together. — Historian James Robertson

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