The Donald Chronicles, #27 – Feb. 22, 2017

  • *From CNBC.COM, Robert Reich, 2-22-2017:

    “The White House is projecting 3.5 percent annual economic growth as a way of justifying big tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, and a huge increase in military spending. But 3.5 percent growth isn’t going to happen, for 2 reasons: Labor force growth is slowing as boomers retire, and productivity gains have also slowed. Economic growth depends on a labor force that’s growing and productivity that’s increasing. Trumpian mathematics doesn’t add up.

    Supply-siders argue that Trump’s corporate tax cut and cuts in regulation will spur corporate investment, which will in turn generate more growth. That’s rubbish. Corporations already have more cash than they can possibly use, which is why they’re buying back their stock and going on a spree of acquisitions and mergers. If their profits rise even more because of a tax cut and fewer regulations, they’ll just use it for more stock buybacks and more acquisitions. “

    *”AMERICANS OVERWHELMINGLY SAY LIVES HAVE IMPROVED SINCE KELLYANNE CONWAY WENT AWAY

    Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report for newyorker.com.

    **Yay for Andy Borowitz. One of the funniest guys around! And, yes, I cherish every day that we are spared Kellyanne Conway**

*”Scarborough: Trump’s first month makes it harder to call him ‘Mr. President’

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough sharply criticized President Trump’s first month in office in an appearance on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert, saying he wasn’t sure his actions so far in the White House warranted being called “Mr. President. Colbert then called him out for referring to Trump as “Donald” instead of “Mr. President.” “We’re in a transition. We as a country are in a transition,” Scarborough joked. “I’m trying to figure out — he’s been Donald Trump forever, he’s been Donald forever. It’s kind of hard to start calling him ‘Mr. President.'”.And I’ll be really honest with you, the way he’s acted over the past month has made it even harder to call him Mr. President.” (emphasis added)

**He has also been called “The Donald” forever – a name intended to suggest that Donald Trump is a ludicrous and pompous ass. And my intention in choosing “The Donald” for the title of this blog post.**

 

Posted in 2017, Donald Trump, Politics/Economics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Donald Chronicles, #26 – Feb. 21, 2017

* From Jewish Journal

stephen_miller_by_gage_skidmore

Stephen Miller, photo by Gage Skidmore

Stephen Miller, meet your immigrant great-grandfather

I am fascinated by Stephen Miller. He is the 30-year-old wunderkind political adviser in the campaign of Donald J. Trump whose job has been to whip up the crowd prior to Trump taking the stage. Miller’s powerful lines, the ones that really froth the mob, all revolve around immigration. To stoke the emotions, he repeatedly references the brutal murder of Kate Steinle at the hands of an illegal immigrant. “How many children are dead because of our sanctuary cities?” he asks. “Don’t ever, ever let anyone tell you that you’re not a good person because you want to secure the border!” And then, playing John the Baptist to Jesus, Miller says, “I have some good news for you, folks, I have some fabulous news.” And he brings on, that’s right, Donald the Savior. According to a long profile of Miller by Julia Ioffe in Politico, Miller is fast becoming the forward face of the Trump campaign. His former boss, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, said he can’t think of anyone as valuable to a presidential campaign since Karl Rove. When Trump brought Miller on board, Ann Coulter, America’s blondest race-baiter, tweeted, “I’m in heaven!” But what stopped me short in Ioffe’s report was this biographical tidbit: Stephen Miller grew up in Santa Monica, in a Jewish family …

But when an American Jew turns on immigrants, there is a whiff of head-scratching hypocrisy, if not something more clinical. It is taking the side of people who, in a historical blink of the eye, would have met your own great-grandparents at the docks with stones and spitballs …”

**Stephen Miller was described by one reporter as “dead-eyed”. He seems the kind of guy who would as soon shoot you as look at you.**

 

*From Slate

“It’s Bad

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2017/02/the_first_month_of_the_trump_presidency_has_been_more_cruel_and_destructive.html

**We have to dump Trump, or figure out how to neutralize him. Suggestions?**

 

Protesters at a rally against President Trump in New York on Monday. CreditAlba Vigaray/European Pressphoto Agency 

The mystery at the core of the Trump-Russia story is motive. President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia. He has surrounded himself with aides who have Russian ties. Those aides were talking to Russian agents during the campaign, and some are now pushing a dubious peace deal in Ukraine. Trump recently went so far as to equate the United States and Vladimir Putin’s murderous regime. But why? It’s not a simple question. In their Russia-related inquiries, the F.B.I. and the Senate Intelligence Committee will need to focus first on what happened — whether Trump’s team broke any laws and whether the president has lied about it. Yet the investigators, as well as the journalists doing such good work reporting this story, should also keep in mind the why of the matter. It will help explain the rest of the story. The United States has never had a situation quite like this. Other countries have tried to intervene in our affairs before, sometimes with modest success. Britain and Nazi Germany, for example, tried to influence the 1940 presidential election, financing bogus polls and efforts to sway the nominating conventions. But never has a president had such murky ties to a foreign government as hostile as Putin’s.

I count five possible explanations for Trump’s Russophilia, and they’re not mutually exclusive.The first is the justification that Trump himself gives, and you shouldn’t dismiss it simply because he has an open relationship with reality. He says that fewer tensions with Russia would benefit the United States, which is a reasonable position. It’s not so different from the position of John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

The first is the justification that Trump himself gives, and you shouldn’t dismiss it simply because he has an open relationship with reality. He saysthat fewer tensions with Russia would benefit the United States, which is a reasonable position. It’s not so different from the position of John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.”

Continue reading the main story

**While there are way more questions than answers on this issue, my hunch is that the Russia connection is the best avenue to pursue, in the quest to rid ourselves of Trump.**
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The Donald Chronicles, #25 – Feb. 20, 2017

*Presidents day

From Stand Up America:

“We celebrate by standing up and fighting for our values, our Constitution, and our fellow Americans. We honor great American presidents by protecting the democratic institutions that Trump is threatening.”

#notmypresident

* “Five big Trump narratives to watch

From The Hill

  1. Trump and the travel ban
  2. Trump’s hard-line immigration policies are a reality
  3. Trump’s war on the press
  4. Trump’s agenda in Congress is moving sluggishly
  5. Is Trump White House united or divided?”
  • Most worrisome to me is Trump’s attack on the press, which looks like it was taken directly from Hitler’s playbook.
  • The travel ban and deportations are hateful, but Trump may feel obliged to carry these forward so that he can say he is keeping his campaign pledges. They are otherwise nonsensical.
  • The dynamics of Trump’s White House are a mystery. The two Steves: Bannon and Stephen Miller are very scary characters, to be sure. How far does their influence extend?  One shudders to imagine.
  • As to Congress, only time will tell. The fates of Obamacare and Medicare are foremost in my mind, but The Donald promised not to touch them, right?

* “@20Committee’s Tweetstorm RE: Trump/RIS+OC corruption

From Twitter

Assessing the info below is above my pay grade, but I pass it along ‘cuz it is SO interesting. Certainly, The Donald’s behavior towards Russia needs explaining. And here are some explanations. Thanks to Ethan Miller for reposting it.

Acronyms and other shorthand: OC = Organized crime; RIS = Russian intelligence services; IC = Intelligence community; MSM = Main street media; ROC = Russian organized crime; ; KGB = old Soviet Union spy agency; Don = Donald Trump; Atomic tea = radioactive poison; IOW = In other words; CI = ?; FSB =?

 January 9, 2017

All of @20Committee’s 15 tweets regarding Trump’s connections to Russian intelligence services/organized crime.
 

Kicking off with the below tweet – see whole thread – it’s time to have an official CI Tweetstorm on this issue.

  • Trump Org’s secret ties to Russian OC are well known in certain circles, including some IC folks. But MSM has been (mostly) derelict. /2
  • MSM has been reluctant to seriously explore Trump’s Kremlin ties because Don loves suing everyone. And his Russia mafia pals kill people. /3
  • Moreover, actually grasping what the Trump Org does — which Don works hard at anyone getting a look at — requires a lot of knowledge. /4
  • You need to understand real estate finance, and Russian organized crime AND Russian intelligence…if you do, the picture is quite clear. /5
  • Mogilevich is the biggest mob boss in Russia — maybe the world — and his capos+footprints are all over the Trump Org since early 1990s. /6
  • Mogilevich launders money in the West, including the USA, on a gargantuan scale; he is clever and good at this. FBI knows all about it. /7
  • In 1992, Mogilevich sent a capo to NYC to run his US show. That was Yaponchik AKA Vyacheslav Ivankov, who was murdered in Moscow in 2009. /8
  • Yaponchik/Ivankov — for 3 years until the FBI caught up with him — was dividing his time between Trump Tower & Don’s Taj Mahal Casino. /9
  • There are literally dozens of Russian OC scams, some gargantuan, that we know were based at Trump properties — quite a coincidence. /10
  • The real issue is how Mogilevich made the Trump Org one of his overseas subsidiaries, de facto, back in the 1990s. FBI knows this too. /11
  • Also, Mogilevich has a very cozy relationship with Putin & his special services, going back to KGB days. They help each other non-stop. /12
  • Not long after Sasha Litvinenko told reporters about Putin’s close links to Mogilevich, FSB gave him atomic tea. Another coincidence. /13
  • There’s an old IC joke about Russian organized crime: “Who do you think organized them?” Trump being in bed with ROC = in bed with FSB /14
  • End of Tweetstorm — for now. Would be nice if Congress took a look at the evidence here, it’s overwhelming. Very, very soon would help. /15

* “Republicans Freak Out As Senate Democrats Have Made It Impossible For Trump To Do Anything

from PoliticusUSA

Senate Democrats have found the perfect tactic to prevent Trump and the Republican Congressional majority from accomplishing anything. By using all of their time to review each Trump nominee, Democrats have slowed down the Senate to the point where Trump may not get his full cabinet or any legislation to sign.

Republicans Freak Out As Senate Democrats Have Made It Impossible For Trump To Do Anything

Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren

Senate Democrats have found the perfect tactic to prevent Trump and the Republican Congressional majority from accomplishing anything. By using all of their time to review each Trump nominee, Democrats have slowed down the Senate to the point where Trump may not get his full cabinet or any legislation to sign.

Politico reported on how Democrats have gummed up the Senate:

Republicans — including Trump — are furious that Democrats have strung out debate on a series of Trump’s nominees for as long as they can, occasionally letting through less controversial figures like Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon or Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. The effect has been that Trump’s agencies have been rudderless for weeks — and that the Senate floor has been tied in knots.

…..

But there are literally hundreds more nominees that must be confirmed to staff Trump’s administration: Agriculture Department nominee Sonny Perdue, undersecretaries, ambassadors and members of organizations like the National Labor Relations Board. If Democrats keep stringing this out, it could become impossible to both pass a legislative agenda and confirm everyone that Trump needs to run his administration.

Republicans and Trump are enraged, but they don’t have any recourse. The only way that they could speed things up would be to work more hours, and we all know that Republicans have done nothing, but cut back the House and Senate work schedules since they took over.

For those on the left who are screaming at Democrats to do something, this is what they are doing. Senate Democrats are using the rules to their advantage to leave Trump with an understaffed administration, and Senate Republicans unable to get legislation through Congress.

This should look very familiar because it is what Sen. Mitch McConnell did to Barack Obama for most of his presidency.

Democrats have found a way to keep Trump, Ryan, and McConnell in check, and if this keeps up, Republicans will have nothing to run on with their jobs on the line in 2018.”

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The Donald Chronicles, #24 – Feb. 19, 2017

sweden

Trump mentions a non-existent terror attack in Sweden, which reminds us of the non-existent terror attack in Bowling Green, imagined by Kellyanne Conway

*”McCain: Dictators ‘get started by suppressing free press’

(CNN)Sen. John McCain slammed President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media this week by noting dictators “get started by suppressing free press.”

It was a startling observation from a sitting member of Congress against the President of the United States, especially considering McCain is a member of Trump’s party.
“I hate the press,” the Arizona Republican sarcastically told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” “I hate you especially. But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It’s vital.”
But he continued, “If you want to preserve — I’m very serious now — if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” McCain said in the interview. “And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
A clip of the interview, which airs in full on Sunday, was released Saturday afternoon.
McCain has been a frequent critic of the President, particularly in the areas of foreign policy and national security, since before Trump entered the White House.
The 2008 Republican presidential nominee said Americans must pay attention to history to understand the past connections between leaders of oppressive governments and efforts to stifle the media.
“They get started by suppressing free press, in other words, a consolidation of power — when you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press,” McCain said. “And I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”
Trump tweeted Friday that CNN and other major media outlets were “the enemy of the American people.” (emphasis added)
“The most dangerous ‘enemy of the people’ is presidential lying — always,” he tweeted. “Attacks on press by @realDonaldTrump more treacherous than Nixon’s.”

* “BREAKING: National Publication Calls for IMPEACHMENT of Donald J. Trump

From LearnProgress

 The movement for Trump’s impeachment is rapidly gaining momentumVanity Fair is calling for Trump to be impeached for violating the Constitution. On Thursday, Vanity Fair published an article calling for Trump’s impeachment. The article, written by reporter Emily Fox, claims that Trump violated the Constitution and has committed an impeachable offense. At issue is a huge gift that Trump just received from China. The Chinese government granted Trump a valuable trademark right after Trump committed to China’s “One China” policy. Trump had been fighting for this trademark for a decade. Interestingly enough, he finally got what he wanted soon after taking the highest office in the world. Trump is using the presidency to further his business interests. He’s also broken the law by violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

The clause prohibits the president from taking any gifts or anything of value from a foreign government. The founders wisely wanted to keep the chief executive from coming under the sway of a foreign power.

Trump was already in violation of this clause when Trump Tower took rent payments from an Abu Dhabi government agency. Now he’s done it again by taking a gift from the Chinese government. Trump caused these problems when he refused to fully divest himself from his businesses. He laughably put his two sons in charge and expected everyone to believe that was sufficient. So Foreign governments can use Trump’s companies to influence U.S. foreign policy. They can offer Trump business incentives to alter U.S. policy in their favor. Now he’s taking payments from foreign governments left and right. Trump is a criminal and is abusing his power as president. Trump’s presidency has been a disaster after just a month. His business dealings are putting this country at risk.

Vanity Fair is right to call for Trump’s impeachment. Please share this story on Facebook to help build momentum for the impeachment.”

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Amazon-Orinoco Link, Venezuela

In the fall 0f 2015, Kathy and I ran close to 400 miles of the Rio Marañon, in Peru. The trip began at an elevation of 6935′, in an arid canyon that cuts along the eastern flank of the Andes, and ended in the rain forest, at an elevation of 1253′. Here’s the link to Part 1 of my series of blog posts on that trip :

https://believesteve.org/2015/11/23/peru-the-rio-maranon-part-1/

The Marañon vies for the title of the principal headwater of the Amazon River, and, after our return, Kathy and I wanted to learn more about the Amazon area. We put a National Geographic map of the Amazon up on the wall, and then a friend loaned Kathy a copy of “One River – Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest”, by Wade Davis. This extremely interesting book concerns the history of botanical and ethnobotanical explorations in the Amazon. Ethnobotany is the study of how indigenous people make use of plants – for food, medicine, crafts, hallucinogenic experience and everything else you can imagine. In this case, the ethnobotanical narrative includes the extensive contacts made by these scientists with the Indians of the Amazon, whose knowledge of the rain forest plants and trees was indispensable to their efforts. Also indispensable were demonstrations by the Indians of the preparations of these plants for the varied uses mentioned above. One of the most interesting facts that comes across in these accounts is how driven and downright tough these explorers were. The main character in the book is Richard Evans Schultes, who mentored the author. During the course of his field work, in the years prior to, during and after WW II, Schultes suffered through eight attacks of malaria, a bout of beriberi, numerous other ailments and used every hallucinogenic plant preparation offered him by his Indian contacts, as well as extremely arduous treks through the rain forest and portaging of canoes and equipment past rapids in the rivers they followed. Unlike most modern “adventurers” however, these scientists did not seek physical challenge per se, but, rather, accepted it as a necessary evil.

The book is a real primer on Amazon geography, and makes mention of the Casiquiari Canal. This is a waterway that, however unlikely, links the Orinoco River with the Amazon River. Unlikely indeed! How can this be? How can two drainages be linked? Drainages are usually separated by drainage divides – an area of higher elevation from whose separate sides rivers  run to different directions e.g. the Continental Divide of North America. (But anomalies in divides do occur, such as the Great Divide Basin, in Wyoming, where the Continental Divide splits and runs around the east and west perimeters of the basin.)

The Casiquiari Canal is actually a large river that divides off (or bifurcates) from the Orinoco, and runs downhill into the Rio Negro branch of the Amazon.

casiquiarerivermap

The Casiquiari Canal is highlighted in purple, joining the west and north flowing Orinoco drainage to the south and east flowing Amazon drainage (Wikipedia)

images-2

The Casiquiari Canal flows out of the Orinoco towards the Amazon

According to Wikipedia: “The general course (of the Casiquiari) is south-west, and its length, including windings, is about 320 kilometres (200 mi). Its width, at its bifurcation with the Orinoco, is approximately 90 metres (300 ft), with a current towards the Rio Negro of 0.3 metres per second (0.75 mph). However, as it gains in volume from the very numerous tributary streams, large and small, that it receives en route, its velocity increases, and in the wet season reaches 2.2 metres per second (5 mph), even 3.6 metres per second (8 mph) in certain stretches. It broadens considerably as it approaches its mouth, where it is about 533 metres (1,750 ft) wide. The volume of water the Casiquiare captures from the Orinoco is small in comparison to what it accumulates in its course … The Casiquiare is not a sluggish canal on a flat tableland, but a great, rapid river which, if its upper waters had not found contact with the Orinoco, perhaps by cutting back (emphasis added), would belong entirely to the Negro branch of the Amazon.”

The final sentence above suggests how the Canal could have been formed i.e. by “cutting back”. This phenomenon is also known as stream capture or stream piracy:

“Stream captureriver capture, or stream piracy is a geomorphological phenomenon occurring when a stream or river drainage system or watershed is diverted from its own bed, and flows instead down the bed of a neighbouring stream. This can happen (by virtue of) … headward erosion (emphasis added) of one stream valley upwards into another … (Wikipedia)

stream_capture

Illustration of stream capture by headward erosion (Wikipedia)

The above text and illustration concern the total capture of a stream by a neighboring stream, which is clearly not the case here. What we are seeing, instead, is a partial capture of the Orinoco’s flow by the Casiquiari, due, presumably, to headward erosion on the Casiquiari. Additionally, during high water, the Orinoco and other Amazon area rivers rise above their banks and spread outward. This outward spreading (and rise in surface elevation) could have assisted in bringing about contact between the Casiquiari and the Orinoco: “At flood, the (Orinoco) river becomes an area flow source, far more than a narrow confined river.” (Wikipedia).

Obviously, I find this topic of great interest, and would LOVE to visit the Casiquiari Canal. I’ve learned of one tour that runs from the Orinoco through the Canal to the Amazon, and am looking into it “as we speak”.

Posted in Environment, Nature, Science, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Donald Chronicles, #23 – Feb. 18, 2017

* “A shit sandwich”

is how Vice Admiral Robert Hayward described the job of National Security Advisor in the current administration, offered to him by The Donald, to replace fired Mike Flynn.

* “John McCain just systematically dismantled Donald Trump’s entire worldview

Speaking Sunday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, U.S. Sen. John McCain criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Syria’s nearly five-year civil war. ‘Mr. Putin is not interested in being our partner,’ said McCain. John McCain is increasingly mad as hell about President Donald Trump. And on Friday, he went after Trump – hard. During a speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, the Republican senator from Arizona delivered a pointed and striking point-by-point takedown of Trump’s worldview and brand of nationalism. McCain didn’t mention Trump’s name once, but he didn’t have to. And even considering the two men’s up-and-down history and the terrible things Trump has said about McCain, it was a striking display from a senior leader of a party when it comes to a president of the same party.

In his speech, McCain suggested the Western world is uniquely imperiled this year – even more so than when Barack Obama was president – and proceeded to question whether the Western world will survive.

“In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year,” McCain said. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”

In case there was any doubt that this was about Trump. Here’s what followed:

–“[The founders of the Munich conference] would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race and sectarianism.”

–“They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants and refugees and minority groups, especially Muslims.”

–“They would be alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies.”

That’s Trump, Trump and Trump.

McCain continued: “But what would alarm them most, I think, is a sense that many of our peoples, including in my own country, are giving up on the West, that they see it as a bad deal that we may be better off without, and that while Western nations still have the power to maintain our world order, it is unclear whether we have the will.”Trump has repeatedly suggested a desire to pull out of or scale back on international involvement and agreements. His slogan is “America first,” after all. And it’s not just on free trade: It’s also when it comes to things like NATO, the transatlantic military alliance that Trump suggest the United States is getting a bad deal on.

Then McCain invoked some of those close to Trump and emphasized that his message won’t square with theirs: “I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend. That is not the message you heard today from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. That is not the message you will hear from Vice President Mike Pence. That is not the message you will hear from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. And that is certainly not the message you will hear tomorrow from our bipartisan congressional delegation.” McCain then saved the biggest hit on Trump for the end. “I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries,” he said. “I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West, and I believe we must always, always stand up for it. For if we do not, who will?”

Two weeks ago, you may recall, Trump suggested the United States didn’t exactly have the moral high ground on Russia. Asked by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly about wanting good relations with a “killer” like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump demurred. “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent? ” Ever since, it seems, he and McCain have been on a collision course. McCain didn’t fight back when Trump questioned his war-hero status long ago – perhaps because both men were trying to win elections – but the battle between McCain and the White House is picking up steam. And on Friday, McCain traveled across the Atlantic to deliver a calculated, planned attack on Trump’s entire system of beliefs.”

**This speech by McCain is the first significant Republican rebuke of the President. Hopefully, it will embolden others in his party to speak up, and to oppose Trump’s agenda. It’s up to the Republicans to save us from this maniac.**

 *Mass deportations:

From Shareblue:

“Paul Ryan’s staff kicks Hispanic caucus members out of meeting on ICE raids

A Senior Democratic aide told Shareblue, “The Trump administration was given control over who got to attend the meeting. And Ryan’s staff were the enforcers.”

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With families already being torn apart as a result of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were looking forward to meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to discuss the current and future impact on their communities.

However, ICE abruptly cancelled the meeting that had been arranged earlier this week, claiming that the Caucus had submitted a larger guest list than they anticipated.

After the cancellation, the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, reached out to the GOP leadership of the House for direction. According to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a press conference, the Trump administration decided it wanted the meeting to be bipartisan and took the “highly unusual” step of designating who would attend from both parties — which did not include any members of the Hispanic Caucus.

When Caucus members arrived at the meeting in the trust that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) would grant them the courtesy of attending as guests, they were kicked out because they were not on the list of invited attendees.

After outcry by House Democratic leadership, Caucus Chair Representative Joaquín Castro (D-TX) was allowed to participate in the meeting…

Few Americans — even few Republicans — support mass deportations: An overwhelming 79 percent of Americans support a path to citizenship or permanent legal resident status for immigrants. Nonetheless, the Trump administration appears to be proceeding with plans to target as many immigrants as possible in its racist and nationalistic fervor.

Americans are stepping up to protest and try to prevent ICE raids, but the challenge of stopping the destruction of immigrant families and communities within the United States under Trump should not be underestimated — especially when even Hispanic members of Congress are treated with such disrespect by their own colleagues.”

**What a bunch of pricks!**

 

* Fox News (!) is turning on Trump

“Frustrated FOX News Anchor Shepard Smith Drops 8 Minutes Of Epic Truth Bombs On Live TV

Moments ago, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith unleashed 8 minutes of truth bombs during a live segment of his daytime cable news commentary TV show “Shepard Smith Reporting.” The moment happened just following the live broadcast of Donald Trump’s insane press conference. These wacky occurrences have become frequent directly preceding or directly following an event that Mr. Trump would like to deflect attention away from, though today’s performance only seemed to highlight the very things he was seeking to minimize.

And today, Shepard hit his breaking point, challenging Trump to tell the truth, admitting that Russians hacked the elections with the express goal of hurting his opponent and that questions as to whether he was aware and when he was aware of the hacking is pertinent and that Americans have a right to know.

Check out the full 8 minute segment below. 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FOfficialAlexMohajer%2Fvideos%2F619882588219310%2F&show_text=0&width=560

**Another important rebuke of Trump**

Posted in 2017, Donald Trump, Politics/Economics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Donald Chronicles, #22 – Feb. 17, 2017

* “Suicide pact”:

David Nir, of the Daily Kos, describes the relationship of Trump and the Republican Party as a “suicide pact” (Rachel Maddow Show, 2-16-17). How long will it take for the latter to jettison Trump? I’m guessing that they will stick with him until they get the changes they are looking for: Cabinet and other staffing picks, Supreme Court vacancy filled, ObamaCare “repaired”, EPA abolished, regulatory rollbacks all over the place and so forth. They will, in the meantime, try to keep Pence unblemished (such as keeping him ignorant of the phone calls to Russia). Then, when the time is right, they will signal to the Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings. If they choose not to dump Trump, then it may indeed turn out to be a suicide pact.

*Kiss the environment goodbye:

Pruitt confirmed to head the EPA.Two Democratic Senators voted with the entire Republican Senate: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

* “U.S. spies believe Donald Trump ‘is a traitor’; the president attacks them as ‘KremlinGate’ unfolds:

 “President Donald Trump is flaming the intelligence community on Twitter again. “The spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers!” he declared Thursday. “They will be caught!”

He could be picking the wrong fight.

The journalist perhaps furthest out front on this story is John R. Schindler, the national-security columnist for the New York Observer and a former intelligence analyst at the National Security Agency. (Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, owns the Observer but announced in January he was selling the newspaper and stepping down as publisher.)

Schindler was the first to report that the National Security Agency, which focuses on cryptology and related work, “was withholding highly sensitive intelligence from the White House, fearing that it might be compromised by members of Team Trump who possess unsettling links to Moscow.” The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported the same thing, writing that it “undercores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government, as well as the enmity he has shown toward U.S. spy agencies.”

Schindler now says that some members of the intelligence community (which he shortens to “IC” in tweets) believe the president must be brought down.

 Schindler, who stepped down as a Naval War College professor in 2014 after a racy selfie of him appeared online, makes clear where his sympathies lie. He argues that the intelligence community is not partisan, that America’s spooks are true patriots trying to look out for the country’s safety. “U.S. intelligence is not the problem here,” he wrote. “The President’s collusion with Russian intelligence is. Many details, but the essence is simple.”

The growing scandal that some are calling “KremlinGate” exploded into the open this week with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser after leaks revealed details about his highly unusual December phone calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The New York Times then reportedthat Trump’s “2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.” Republicans as well as Democrats in the Senate are calling for an investigation.

The question pundits and Democrats are raising is the same one that faced President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal four decades ago: What did the president know and when did he know it? Schindler seems to believe that Flynn is a fall guy for Trump and that many more damaging revelations are to come. He wrote:

“[W]hile Flynn is unquestionably a loose cannon, as a career military man he understands the chain of command with perfect clarity.”

— Douglas Perry

* “A reporter calls out President Trump during his televised press conference for making false claims about his Electoral College win”:

 

The above exchange was part of Trump’s 77-minute press conference, which will go down in history as the most bizarre Presidential press conference ever.

*Yesterday’s (2-16-17) press conference.

From Robert Reich and Rolling Stone

“Today, Trump went off script at his news conference. And when he goes off script he goes off the rails. These are the real answers he gave today (I and “Rolling Stone” have edited the questions slightly for length):

1. Is there chaos in the West Wing? “I turn on TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos – chaos – yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”

2. What lead to Michael Flynn’s resignation: “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”

3. Did Flynn lie? “The thing is, he didn’t tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn’t remember … that just wasn’t acceptable to me.”

4. Was the rollout of the travel ban well done? “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban; we had a bad court.”

5. What’s fake news? “Russia is fake news. Russia – this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place, right now.”

6. Are you a bad person? “And I’ll tell you what else I see. I see tone. You know the word ‘tone’? The tone is such hatred. I’m really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such – I do get good ratings, you have to admit that – the tone is such hatred.”

7. What about the price of drugs and candy bars? “We’ve ordered the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to coordinate on a plan to destroy criminal cartels coming into the United States with drugs. We’re becoming a drug-infested nation. Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars.”

8. Would a nuclear war with Russia be bad? “We’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. I have been briefed. And I can tell you, one thing about a briefing that we’re allowed to say, because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other. They’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are we.”

9.What about that Russian ship lurking off the coast of Connecticut? “The greatest thing I could do [politically] is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles offshore right out of the water.”

10. What’s uranium? “We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons, and other things. Like, lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things. Nobody talks about that.”

11. What did Hillary Clinton so as secretary of state?
“Hillary Clinton did the reset, remember? With the stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks. Here, take a look. He looked at her like, ‘What the hell is she doing?’ With that cheap plastic button. Hillary Clinton. That was a reset. Remember it said ‘Reset’? Now if I do that oh, I’m the bad guy.”

12. How are you doing at this press conference?
“I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you you’re dishonest people.”

13. How does Melania feel about women’s issues?
“That is what I call a nice question. … She – like others, like others that she’s working with – feel very, very strongly about women’s issues, women’s difficulties.”

14. What about the uptick in threats against Jewish centers?
‘OK, sit down. … So here’s the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism – the least racist person’.”

“Russia is fake news,” said the president of the United States, before musing about nuclear holocaust.
ROLLINGSTONE.COM
Posted in 2017, Donald Trump, Environment, Nature, Politics/Economics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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