Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Trump Top 20 Countdown for the Week of 5/21/18

Welcome to the Weekly Top 20 Countdown of Trump's ineptitude and stupidity for the week of 5/21/18 to 5/27/18.

Sorry it's a little late this week.  Memorial Day weekend and all...

These are the 20 most boneheaded things coming from Trump and his Administration for this week.  All the things on this list should be the lynchpin for investigations, committee hearings, firings, resignations and even one or two impeachment charges.  Nope, nothing ever happens, even when it undeniably would've happened under any other President before this jackass. We've never had a Legislative Branch who completely surrendered their responsibility to monitor the Executive Branch. The Founding Fathers never thought such a betrayal to the country would ever happen.

A quick Google search will give you plenty of news options on every one of these stories.  The ranking is purely on me.  Please feel free to disagree and comment why below.

On with the countdown!

20. I can't tell if this is a prank or if they're serious.  The House Republicans are proposing a bill which would force the Treasury Department to start a crowd fund page to help build Trump's 20 billion dollar border wall with Mexico.  Not only is this a clear acknowledgment the wall won't be paid for by the Mexicans, this is going to raise one obvious question:  when the fund gets hardly any donations, how are Trump and the GOP going to play off those optics? (5/22)

19. As we hear about the allegations Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen was working behind the scenes taking money with promises of access to Trump, it's announced a Russian Government and Russian mafia tied Ukrainian business man is the latest participating in the scheme.  Cohen took half a million dollars from Columbus Nova, the US front company for Ukrainian born Russian Oligarch Viktor Vekselberg in late 2016, weeks after the Russians used social media and Wikileaks to throw the election to Trump.  A meeting took place in Cohen's office in the Trump Tower, and was in regards to US investigations into pro-Russian Ukrainians. (5/25)

18. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen claims she has not seen the US Intelligence Communities extensive assessments which concluded Russia interfered in the Election of 2016, on behalf of Trump.  She's seen nothing on Putin's desire to have Trump in the White House, not even the Steele Dossier.  Once again, she's the Director of Homeland Security.  Her statements also imply she's not even seen or read the testimony of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg pointing out the clear interference by the Russians on behalf of Trump. (5/22)

17. Trump doesn't have any advanced security features or protections on his personal cell phone, because he's deemed them too "inconvenient."  If he doesn't switch phones regularly, foreign agents camped out near the White House could intercept his phone communications. (5/21)

16. Trump has ordered the Department of the Interior to allow hunters to shoot hibernating bears and their cubs.  Trump is also making it legal to bait bears with donuts, shoot at animals from boats, and use spotlights to hunt. (5/23)

15.  Trump signed three executive orders which are designed to make it easier to fire federal employees, and which allow the government to crack down on the unions representing government workers.  The Administration claims this is only about easily removing sub-par workers, getting better negotiations at union contracts, and limiting the time union members spend on union work at the office. Trump and the Republicans want to annihilate the unions once and for all, so take their excuses with a grain of salt. (5/25)

14. Donald Trump Jr. is in trouble with the Senate Intelligence Committeee.  He told them he was unaware of any other foreign countries offering assistance to his father's Presidential Campaign. As we mentioned in last week's countdown, he met with Government officials from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as well as a cyber technology group from Israel with extensive ties to the Israeli Intelligence community and their government.  The Senate would like him to return and explain why exactly he lied. (5/25)

13. In an article published in Salon magazine, career diplomat John Freeley resigned as Ambassador to Panama citing Trump's horrific style of leadership, which he called a "velociraptor" destroying obstacles in his path.  Freely says Trump's exactly the same guy in private as he is in public, only he swears a heck of a lot more, and "if you don't show him deference he kills you."  He added "America is undoubtedly less welcome in the world today." (5/23)

12. Where in the world is Melania Trump?  She hasn't been seen in public for two weeks.  Granted part of that time was due to a medical procedure on a supposed kidney ailment, but experts were surprised her hospitalization was for five days, as the ailment described is usually a quick routine procedure.  Since returning to the White House, she's not been seen.  She's reportedly met with staff.  Trump himself said the creepiest thing.  Pointing to a window, he said "She's doing great.  She's looking at us right there." (5/26)

11. In the wake of White House Aide Kelly Sadler's innapprorpraite comments about Senator John McCain, as he battles with cancer, and the subsequent leaking of those comments to the press, the White House has exploded.  Aides are openly fighting with each other, pointing fingers as they accuse each other of being the leaker, and they're making these accusations in front of Trump.  At an open door (???) meeting with the Press Office, Trump said Sadler would not be fired and asked who the leakers were, which prompted Sadler to start pointing her finger at everyone and claiming 'they're the leaker,' including her own boss.  The meeting digressed from here, as apparently 'you're the leaker' is the new way to try to get back at people in the Administration you're not fond of. By the way, we know all of this because the conversation from the meeting was leaked. (5/27)

10. Trump has invited only Republicans to review his so called 'evidence' of the supposed major FBI spy ring which he alleges infiltrated his Campaign.  No Democrats were invited to view this evidence.  Trump tweeted this supposed FBI infiltration was part of the "Criminal Deep State," calling the spying on his campaign the greatest scandal of all time.  Trump also made up and then railed against a quote from Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.  Once again he raged against the quote he had made up which he said validated his claims.  Many analysts say this is a sign Trump's REALLY terrified of the Mueller investigation. (5/23)

9. The official Department of Justice meeting which Trump demanded, supposedly to prove the FBI was spying on Trump's campaign, was bizarre.  First off, no Democrats were initially invited, something which eventually changed as Democrats were welcome into the meeting.  The meeting was only supposed to be for Congressional members, but they were unexpectedly joined by Chief of Staff John Kelly and, even more shocking, Trump's newly hired lawyer Emmet Flood.  This was after Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said no one from the White House would be there.  When confronted on why exactly Flood was in the meeting, Sanders stated he "will be joining the White House Staff to represent the President and the Administration against the Russia Witch hunt."  That's not a real Administrative position.  As CNN's Sam Vinograd pointed out "Any pretense that this was about Congressional oversight blew up in smoke.  This was [Trump] interfering in our intelligence/law enforcement system for personal gain." Most reports say the briefing did nothing to substantiate Trump's claims. (5/24)

8. At a hearing about contaminants with the EPA head Scott Pruitt, a reporter from the Associated Press was forcibly removed from the"public hearing." When the reporter asked to speak to the EPA public affairs spokesperson, they were told no.  Multiple other reporters were also barred from the "public hearing."  Later on, Press SecretarySarah Huckabee Sanders verbally shouted down a member of the Press Corp who asked about the incident. (5/22)

7. Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, had his business partner Evgeny Freidman, agree to cooperate with prosecutors in the case against Cohen in exchange for a deal which would allow him to avoid jail time.  In other legal news, Trump's current legal team is beyond incompetent.  They've said Trump's willing to talk with Mueller but that Mueller "in no way" can ask him about anything after January 20th, 2017.  O...kay... (5/22)

6. A Washington Post report says Trump, during a meeting in the Oval Office, turned the discussion to immigration.  He mentioned how his comments about immigration really fire up his base.  He then proceeded to make up list of Hispanic sounding names, and attached assorted crimes to the made up Hispanic aliases, like rape and murder.  It's also reported White House Aide Stephen Miller, and Presidential Advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner were uproariously laughing at Trump's undeniably racist antics.  As one pundit noted,  it's obvious "some of the cruelty is intentional." (5/27)

5. Rumors GOP Strategist Elliot Broidy's payout to Michael Cohen, designed to pay off a playboy playmate he got pregnant, and who eventually got an abortion, was actually a payout to cover up Trump's affair with said playmate, got even more evidence someone's not telling the truth.  The day after the payment was made, Broidy scored a one on one meeting with Trump to lobby on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.  Also Broidy's company, Circinus LLC, scored a 800 million dollar foreign defense contract at the beginning of his Presidency.  Once again these deals should be investigated, as well as Broidy's unique connection to Trump. (5/22)

4. The NFL, in a frantic attempt to please Trump, has installed a new policy which says any player kneeling during the National Anthem will have their team assessed a 15 yard penalty, but players can stay in the locker room and not go out before the National Anthem if they choose.  Clearly the league's scared Trump will remove their anti-Trust exemption, so they're telling their players, primarily the African American ones, to either shut up or to protest where no one can see them.  Trump, giddy at the NFL owners caving, has now threatened protesting NFL players citizenship, saying it's conditional.  "Maybe you shouldn't be in the country." (5/23-24)

3. Donald Trump Jr (Tweedle Dee) could be in some REALLY big trouble.  Spain wiretapped conversations between Alexander Torshin, the Deputy Governor of Russian's Central Bank, when he talked with Russian criminal Alexander Romanov.  The details of this conversation led to the meeting between Trump Jr. and Torshin in May of 2016, held at an NRA get together, during the campaign.  It is unknown what Trump Jr. and Torsion discussed at the NRA meeting, but they insist it was a brief hello at dinner. Torshin is a close ally of Putin.  The Spanish have handed a transcript of the Torshin/Romanov conversation to the FBI a few months ago. Spanish Prosecutor Jose Grinda told Yahoo News "Mr. Trump's son should be concerned."  Thank you Spain! (5/26)

2. So I guess we can put the Nobel Peace Prize back in the box...Trump sent a letter to North Korean President Kim Jong-un cancelling their upcoming summit between the two countries citing North Korean hostility towards the USA.  Trump claims Kim (who officially started balking at the peace talks when National Security Advisor John Bolton demanded the Libyan Model of North Korean denuclearization PRIOR to the US making any concessions [something everyone know would be a non-starter]), had become threatening. Trump included the following in his letter:  "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful and I pray to God they will never be used." Considering these talks were initially orchestrated by South Korea and China, it's unclear if Trump's letter has damaged their efforts, but South Korean officials were blindsided by Trump's letter (meaning he never gave them a heads up) and are trying "to make sense" of Trump's actions.  Trump followed up his message of 'peace' by threatening all out war with North Korea, insisting Japan and South Korea would pay us for the war.  Reminder: Trump had actually gone ahead and minted official peace conference coins, and Republicans HAD insisted Trump deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on this.  Is there an opposite of the Nobel Peace Prize? (5/24)

1. A little over a month ago, it was revealed of the more than 7000 children separated from their parents at the US southern border, 1475 have disappeared from Federal overview, and the federal government has no idea where these kids are.  One report proved some of the children did indeed end up in the hands of human traffickers. We have no idea where those children are today.  Since then, the Trump Administration has ramped up their operation of separating parents from their kids at the border and have not put any safeguards in place to insure those kids don't permanently disappear while in US custody.  Trump tried to blame Democrats for the operation policy of separating parents from their children at the border, a policy he himself ordered. Once again, the US Government has taken 1475 children from their parents, and has no idea where those children are today.  Shame on all of us. (5/26)

Can you imagine what this country would be like if it was discovered a Democratic President had lost 1500 children he had ordered ripped away from their parents.  Then imagine the reaction when the country found out some of those kids definitely ended up in the grasps of human traffickers.  We'd be talking jail terms.  Yet, in between the unforgivable bouts of silence dedicated to this issue, Republicans desperate to make an impression with Trump took to the cable news airwaves to defend the Administration losing these children.  You can't make it up.  I don't recognize this country anymore.  

#2018isEverything! For Goodness sake, if that isn't already plainly clear...get registered to vote.  Volunteer your time.  Help a Democrat running to unseat a Republican.  If we fail this year, I'm concerned there won't be another chance.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Friday Link for 5/25/18

What a freaking awesome week!  Exhausting, stressful and chaotic...sure, but if you have kids and it's getting towards the end of the school year, what else is new.  I'm happy because I got so many projects done this last week.  And I had a really good week of interviews, including Chris Kluwe and Trace Beaulieu.  To listen to the interviews, enjoy via the Soundcloud page:

I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day.  In commemoration let's blow up the world, TWICE! Actually we are going to the comedic gold of Cinema Sins and their takedowns of two horrible world destruction films, 2012 and Geostorm.  It's fun to see how Cinema Sins has matured between the two entries.  These analyses are brutal, sometimes naughty (you've been warned!) and hilarious.

Worldwide destruction for your enjoyment.  Actually, both of these films are atrocious.  The aforementioned Trace Beaulieu and his partner Frank Conniff wouldn't even touch them

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Trump Top 20 Countdown for the Week of 5/14/18

Welcome to the Weekly Top 20 Countdown of Trump's ineptitude and stupidity for the week of 5/14/18 to 5/20/18.

These are the 20 most boneheaded things coming from Trump and his Administration for this week.  All the things on this list should be the catalyst for investigations, committee hearings, firings, resignations and even (by my count of this weeks list) up to five impeachment charges.  Instead, Trump is starting to cosplay the role of an evil dictator while Congressional Republicans act like an absentee parent being forced to attend their kid's Science Fair.

A quick Google search will give you plenty of news options on all of these stories.  The ranking is purely on me.  Please feel free to disagree and comment why below.

On with the countdown!

20 - Hillary Clinton effectively trolled Trump, while keeping up with a Yale tradition of their commencement speakers wearing hats.  She wore a Russian hat, telling the students "If you can't beat them, join them."  She got a rousing ovation. (5/20)

19 - The BBC is trolling Trump with pictures of the Royal Wedding crowd size, which was massive, and comparing it to his paltry crowd size numbers for Trump's sparsely attended Inauguration.  (5/19)

18 - Trump decided to pass on attending the dedication ceremony for the new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, instead sending a contingency of Senior Administration officials, Trump/Republican bankrollers and Trump daughter and White House staffer doing...something (???), Ivanka Trump.  Trump's schedule for that day was listed as being completely wide open; there's literally nothing on his schedule for the day (something which should warrant it's own countdown position).  By the way, most Middle Eastern experts now say peace in the Middle East is impossible with Trump's embassy move.  58 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces at the border, as the dedication ceremony took place. (5/14)

17 - Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort's former son-in-law Jeffery Yohai has made a deal to cooperate on multiple criminal probes in regards to Robert Mueller's investigations.  It's believed Yohai will specifically be used to apply pressure to Manafort, who recently had another judge deny his attempt to have Mueller's charges against him dismissed.  (5/17)

16 - Congress is putting the breaks on Trump's attempt to privatize the International Space Station.  Trump wants to divert the money from the ISS to either getting the US to Mars, or getting the US back to the moon, without any additional NASA funds.  Congress has pointed out, since the US would still have to pay to send astronauts and supplies to the station, the savings would be so minimal (a few million at best) NASA wouldn't be able to fund any new major space programs.  Plus we'd be out one space station. (5/18)

15 - Trump misspells his wife Melania's name in a tweet.  He referred to her as Melanie.  A reminder:  Trump claimed his Administration would be the most detail oriented Administration, EVER! (5/19)

14 - Trump has asked the Postmaster General, Megan Brennan to double Amazon's shipping rates, because he hates the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.  Brennan has had to repeatedly tell Trump these are contracts which can't be broken, contracts which are subject to review by regulartorty commission, hence she can't do it, even if she wanted to. (5/18)

13 - In more bad news for American farmers, Bloomberg reports Chinese soybean orders from Russia have tripled as the Chinese are actively signing soybean delivery agreements with countries which are not the United States.  It's unclear what Trump and the Administration are trying to do to counter this war on our agricultural sector.  His chief Chinese trade negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Economic Advisor Peter Navaro are apparently fighting, having profanity laced screaming attacks with each other. (5/17)

12 - It's revealed Trump talks with Fox News host Sean Hannity almost daily, even multiple times a day, getting advice and railing against Trump and Hannity's perceived enemies.  Can you imagine the outrage right now if it was discovered President Obama was talking with Michael Moore or Keith Olbermann on a nightly basis about being President?  There'd be immediate hearings in Congress, with some vocal calls for impeachment. (5/15)

11 - The Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visits New York City and is still refusing to visit any public school.  The VAST majority of schools in this country are public schools and she still has yet to visit one.  She did visit two religious schools, and blasted the idea tax payer money couldn't be used for private religious school education. (5/19)

10 - Trump's trade war stare down with the Chinese has resulted in failure.  The Chinese are refusing to agree to Trump's demands for $200 billion in cuts to the Chinese/USA trade deficit, refusing to set specific figures.  They did say they plan on importing more American products, but insist it only has to do with their population growing, NOT any additional demand, and definitely not due to any threats from Trump.  The White House is claiming victory, but, with China calling their bluff, they've announced they're dropping the threats of tariffs against China, with no concessions to the US. (5/20)

9 - Prior to Trump negating the Iranian Nuclear Deal, our European allies sent him a five page condensed explanation of why it would be a HUGE mistake to negate the deal.  Apparently Trump never even bothered to read the 5 page document.  The US' European allies are furious with Trump's self imposed ignorance. (5/15)

8 - Donald Trump Jr. (Tweedle Dee) has been caught having met with foreign agents during the campaign to help his father secure victory.  He met with Saudi Arabian and UAE princes who had pledged to help Trump win, and he also met with a social media maniluption company, a company from Israel which specializes in online manipulation, using thousands of fake social media accounts.  The Israeli company is named Psy-Group, who's motto is "Shape Reality."  It's unsure the outcome of those meetings, but Psy-Group had taken the next step to consult with an American law firm about the legality of what they wanted to do in the US, implying they were given a 'go ahead' by Trump Jr. (5/19)

7 - Ruh-Roh! It seems Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' brother Erik Prince, the founder of military contractor Blackwater, has been caught lying under oath to the House Intelligence Committee.  Under oath, Prince had denied there was any contact between himself and the Trump campaign.  A New York Times article shows he did indeed, on August 3rd, 2016, facilitate high level meetings between Trump Jr./Trump Campaign and foreign agents.  Prince set up a meeting with the princes from Saudi Arabia and from the United Arab Emirates.  He also set up the meeting with the social media expert from Israel, who had Israeli government ties. (5/19)

6 - Sounding more like an evil dictator, Trump's demanding the DOJ investigate whether or not the FBI-DOJ infiltrated and surveilled the Trump Campaign, and if Obama was behind it.  What he's referring to is a report an FBI informant approached George Papadopoulos, a horribly incompetent member of the Trump team who blabbed to the Australians the Trump camp was aware of the Russians having the Hillary Clinton e-mails.  The approach seems to have been about determining if the Trump campaign had been compromised, but Trump, scared his BFF Roger Stone is looking to be the next guy charged in the Mueller investigation, is insisting this is proof his campaign (which won the election) was infiltrated.  He's just trying desperately to find some way to discredit and shut down the Mueller investigation. (5/20)

5 - Trump creates a masterpiece of stupidity in tweet form.  He claims the leaks from the White House are fake, created by the media to make him look bad.  IN THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE OF THE SAME TWEET, he calls leakers traitors and cowards and vows to find out who they are.  WOW! (5/14)

4 - It's clear now what the Trump Tower meeting was really about.  Senate investigators have confirmed Donald Trump Jr., in the June 2016 meeting, had asked for damaging information about Hillary Clinton, from a person he thought, and we now know, was connected to the Russian government.  Trump Jr. himself confirmed this to the Senate after witnesses stated the purpose of the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was for the sole purpose of getting damaging information against the Clinton campaign.  Veselnitskaya admitted to NBC News a few weeks back at the time she was indeed working for the Kremlin.  To recap, the Trump campaign and Trump Jr. met with a Russian agent, a self admitted agent of the Kremlin, to get dirt on Trump's campaign opponent in 2016.  Even though Jr. told the Senate he couldn't remember his father's knowledge of the meeting, at any other time in this country's history, with this revelation, this Administration would be finished. (5/16)

3 - A lot more shocking discoveries with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's documents of the Trump Tower meeting, and the Trump/Russia investigations.  Trump Advisor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has claimed publicly he wasn't interested in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, but we now find out he personally was livid when Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya didn't deliver the knockout punch the Trump camp thought they were going to get.  Donald Trump Jr called a blocked number right before and right after the meeting.  He says he doesn't recall who he phoned, but his father had a blocked number at the time.  It's also been proven the Kremlin used the National Rifle Association to funnel money directly into the Trump campaign.  Two Russians are confirmed to be the point people for working with the NRA, and the NRA seems to have been aware of the entire scheme.  These Senate Intelligence Committee revelations prove the House Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, with their sham findings from earlier this year, were defending Trump, outright refusing to perform their duty of oversight. (5/16)

2 - Trump's horrible negotiation style rears it's ugly head again.  Like a corrupt businessman, he always starts with the most extreme position and tries to work his way back from there.  That's not how diplomacy works.  Not only has that derailed his attempts at trade negotiations, it now seems to be derailing his attempts at peace with North Korea.  Mind you, most of the negotiations up until this point have bene done by the South Koreans and the Chinese, but when the USA let the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un know what we wanted (a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula PRIOR to the US making any concessions) it was a WAY too extreme starting point. National Security Advisor John Bolton called for 'the Libyan Model,' which led to Libya's former leader being killed in the streets.  Anything like, or remotely similar to, 'the Libyan Model' is a non-starter for peace talks, leading some to ask if Bolton was purposely trying to derail them.  Realizing North Korea is starting to balk at such an extreme opening salvo, Trump himself tried to walk back Bolton's Libyan definitives.  As of right now, it seems peace on the Korean Peninsula might not happen due to the White House's ham handed negotiation style. (5/20)

1 - There is brazen, and then there is BRAZEN.  Three days after the Chinese government agreed to put up a half a billion dollars for an Indonesian project which will benefit Trump's personal business (a transaction which undeniably should be getting a tremendous amount of scrutiny itself) Trump seemed to reverse course on a few different campaign promises.  Trump has ordered a US bailout of a Chinese government owned cellphone maker, a cell phone company who's been accused by our intelligence officials of helping the Chinese Government spy on the US, and their phones are currently banned from being used on ALL US military bases.  The company, ZTE, doesn't have a US presence, and it's unsure if any of their parts are purchased from the US (although it's unlikely).  Trump's ordering the US Government to help prop up a foreign company in a foreign country, a move which won't benefit American workers.  The White House is refusing to answer whether there's a connection between the two actions (the Chinese Indonesian investment and Trump's gift to ZTE), with Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah telling media they should contact the Trump Organization (the private business) for details.  To reiterate: the White House told the media to contact a private business for answers on official Government business. WOW! (5/15)

Every freaking week there's SOMETHING Trump and his Administration does which warrants at least a discussion about impeachment, but Republicans are PRAYING you forget everything.  Unfortunately, apathetic independents and Democrats are usually too freaking happy to oblige and not participate.  Not this year!

The Republicans know the country is furious about where we are at, and are terrified of what might happen this November.  To keep his far right base in line, Trump is outright pandering to them.  He's putting forward new abortion restrictions and talking about a possible tax cut in November, attempting to dangle carrots in front of his mules.

#2018IsEverything!  If we don't take back the US House (amongst numerous other seats) your outrage will have been for nothing.  Find five Democrats running in seats currently held by Republicans and vow to help them with a donation or by volunteering in some way this summer!