Friday, September 28, 2018

The Friday Link for 9/28/18

For something completely different, how about a travel video to what looks like a God forsaken relic of man's past, a failed attempt to control nature in California, The Salton Sea.

In you want a man made environmental mess, it's hard to beat the Salton Sea.  Trying to create fertile farm land, they diverted the Colorado River to fill up an ancient lake basin.  Due to environmental pushback (nature always wins) and just plain human stupidity, the site has been an environmental wreck.  Brief periods of success, or at the very least people turning lemons into lemonade, are overwhelmed by lack of an economy, bacteria and algae outbreaks, flooding, and an unpleasant smell.

But to tell the truth, sometimes places like this are a lot of fun to visit.  A lack of tourists gives you an open freedom.  The quirkiness of the locals takes over when they are not dependent on tourism, and there's a fascination and creepiness of an near empty, post apocalyptic showcase which simmers in a weird, forbidden fruit allure.

Imagine a theme park based on the book 'The Road,' only with out the cannibalism.

Never Stop Exploring took a visit to the Salton Sea.  They did such a good job on their travelog, it doesn't look like the worst place to visit.

It's a nightmare, but it looks fun!  Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Trump Top 20 Countdown for the Week of 9/17/18

Welcome to the Weekly Top 20 Countdown of Trump's ineptitude and stupidity for the week of 9/17/18 to 9/23/18.

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 lynchpin for investigations, committee hearings, firings, resignations and even one or two impeachment charges.  Instead, we are getting a great example of what Thomas Jefferson tried to prevent from happening in America; a complicit House and Senate majority, and a complicit Supreme Court, doing the bidding of a tyrant like leader, albeit in this case incredibly stupid one!

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) Health and Human Services Director Alex Azar has announced plans to divert 266 million dollars away from the CDC, the National Insitute of Health and needed programs like Head Start to pay for the growing number of detained immigrant children currently being held at various Trump child prisons across the country.  Trump's HHS is taking money from cancer research and needy American kids to pay for his baby prisons.  (9/21)

19) Stormy Daniels, the porn star who was one of a few women having an affair with Trump after his wife gave birth to their youngest son, has a new tell all book coming out.  In it, she actually gets very graphic in regards to describing Trump's genitals.  I will not go into detail here (Trump should stop with the bragging), but it's clear Trump lied numerous times on the campaign trail about his privates (I can't believe I just wrote that line).  For all Republicans calling this 'going too far,' I remember in Bill Clinton's second term how Republicans INSISTED on the graphic details of his affair being broadcast to the world.  Now when it's their guy getting embarrassed, they have the audacity to ask 'what ever happened to decency?'  The Republicans killed it. (9/18)

18) Trump seems to be planning some sort of potential military action in the next few weeks.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the Administration is working on a responses to Venezuela's government, and Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani stated directly that Iran's government will be overthrown.  The Giuliani quote comes after a terrorist attack on Iran where 25 people were killed during a parade.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blames Middle Eastern "puppets countries" (mainly Saudi Arabia), who are being manipulated by the United States.  The White House did release a condemnation of the terrorist attack that killed innocent civilians.  Many political experts in the US have stated Trump, facing devastating loses in November's mid term elections, might actually start a war as a distraction. (9/22)

17) A report out from the New York Times states Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted to secretly record Trump and use the tapes as the justification to activate the 25th Amendment, the one where the cabinet can remove a president if needed.  Rosenstein is vehemently denying the claim.  Something doesn't seem to be quite right about this story.  Trump and his inner circle could've planted the story as a justification for Rosenstein's dismissal, and with the troubles in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, this could just be a distraction.  It should be noted Rosenstein is the ultimate authority on the Mueller investigation, and by removing him, Trump could potentially shut down that investigation. (9/21)

16) Trump encouraged the country of Spain to build a border wall across the Sahara Desert to keep out unwanted immigrants.  Mind you Trump doesn't seem to understand the Sahara Desert runs across northern Africa, in multiple countries which are not Spain, The Sahara Desert is the largest on the planet, spanning for thousands of miles.  It should also be noted Spain is actually on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea.  It's unclear if Trump was suggesting Spain invade all of Northern Africa.  Spanish officials were reportedly laughing at the stupidity of the suggestion. (9/19)

15) Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are getting their cabooses handed to them in four courts, as they try to reinstate their ban on transgender troops in the military.  Their latest loss is in California, where the US District judge tossed out their request, an appeal which was based on a flawed military study, a study which was clearly rigged and influenced greatly by Pence and outside anti-LGBTQ groups.  This flawed study made claims transgender troops affect "military readiness" and "unit cohesion," but a simple review of the report showed massive inconsistencies and, exposed the Administration's appeal as a attempt to simply discriminate against transgender people. (9/19)

14) The Director of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has a large number of appointments at his control, people whom he can put into place to run HUD.  A new report shows 24 of the 70 people hired by Carson to run Housing and Urban Development have absolutely zero housing policy experience and zero urban development policy experience.  That's a full one third of his appointees whom are grossly unqualified to hold the positions they're currently holding. (9/20)

13) A lawsuit filed by the New York Times actually starts connecting the dots in regards to the Trump administration's decision to kill net neutrality.  The Times is claiming the FCC is actively hiding information in regards to their public input gathering into the unpopular decision to remove net neutrality.  The Times claims there are clear signs of Russian manipulation of the comment procedure, as many of the comments have been linked directly to Russian email accounts.  The FCC is stonewalling, failing to provide information via the FOIA requests.  The New York Attorney General has also been denied the same information at least nine times.  Considering how much of Trump links back to Russia, this aggressive move by Trump, the FCC and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to end net neutrality is starting to add up.  (9/23)

12) After the White House announced there were going to install a cap of 30,000 annual incoming refugees, a dramatic decrease in the amount of refugees allowed into the US, even by Republican Administrations, a report out shows the reason the number is so small is because Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller purposely omitted specific officials from the meeting about the cap, to ensure it wasn't set any higher.  UN Secretary Nikki Haley and Defense Secretary James Mattis were both purposely omitted from the meeting, guaranteeing the far crueler number of 30,000 was approved. (9/21)

11) Trump has imposed new tariffs on China.  The 10 percent tariffs on 200 billion worth of imports is his latest salvo in his trade war, with a threat of an additional 267 billion if China retaliates.  Immediately China says Trump is forcing their hands and will immediately start retaliatory tariffs. Trump, in response, blamed China for trying to manipulate the 2018 Election, without any proof China is doing any such thing.  China has announced plans for 60 billion in reciprocal tariffs. Closer to home, in what would be a drastic blow to the US economy, Trump is vowing to move ahead with a revamped NAFTA alliance featuring Mexico only, as Canada isn't willing to bow to Trump's demands on trade concessions.  Trump wants a dramatic decrease in products coming from Canada to the US, and a massive increase of US products coming into Canada.  Canada has bluntly stated they will not agree to quotas. Finally, Vice President Mike Pence's hometown business of Cummins Manufacturing, one of the largest diesel manufacturers in the world, is taking a 200 million dollar annual hit from Trump's trade war, as many of their imports come from China. (9/18, 21)

10) Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, has been busy chatting with the investigators from Robert Mueller's special counsel.  According to ABC, Cohen has already had multiple interview sessions pertaining to the Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  This could be very bad for Trump as we already know Cohen was the person mentioned in the Steele Dossier who visited Prague in 2016.  The Dossier stated the individual who went to Prague met with the Russians.  Sources say Mueller has had many questions about what Cohen was doing in Prague. (9/20)

9) Trump's promise of money flowing back into the US economy from the massive tax breaks he gave US companies under Trump's tax law overhaul has been quite underwhelming.  The reinvestment number is only 3.5% of what Trump predicted, meaning he was off by a slight 96.5%.  Trump was promising over 4 trillion dollars would come back into the economy, while a Wall Street Journal report has pegged the actual number at 143 billion.  Also, the money returned to the economy primarily came from only two companies, Cisco Systems and Gilead Sciences.  This would be the latest example of how giving American Corporations money, without any mandates to reinvest, leads the money into the pockets of corporate executives only. (9/17)

8) Trump, in an effort to muddy the investigation waters even further, is demanding the release of all Department of Justice records pertaining to the Russia Investigation, as well as all of the un-redacted text messages of former FBI employees James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr.  Many experts are pointing to this as being a clear attempt by Trump to obstruct justice and frantically derail the Mueller investigation.  Later in the week Trump delayed the release of the un-redacted documents related to the Russia investigation, until the Inspector General has a chance to review them.  Trump, after he admitted he had no idea what was in the un-redacted documents, was told they could compromise specific international US assets, could compromise current investigations, and the release would definitively be considered obstruction of justice.  A timeline for the documents release has not been determined. (9/17, 21)

7)  A strange twist on the Brett Kavanaugh/Dr. Christine Blasey Ford story:  Ed Whalen, the conservative lobbyist and loyal friend of Brett Cavanaugh, who put out the idiotic "Ford confused Cavanaugh for another person during her sexual assault" story line, actually was searching for Dr. Ford PRIOR to her name being revealed. The Washington Post published Ford's story and 90 minutes later she forwarded an e-mail from a friend who reported Whalen had actually been searching Ford's Linked In profile before the Post officially published the piece.  She was asking if the Post had leaked her name prior to the publication.  The White House immediately claimed neither Kavanaugh nor anyone within the Administration had shared the information, a HUGE red flag.  Senator Orrin Hatch's office likely discovered Ford's identity from Whelan as well, prior to the story being published.  On Saturday, the Post reported Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's name was indeed distributed from the White House, prior to the Posts publication, because the point person for the White House's official response, Deputey Press Secretary Raj Shah, told numerous Republican operatives before publication so they could character assassinate/come up with an explanation for Kavanaugh.  (9/21, 22)

6) Trump's decision to tour hurricane ravaged areas after Hurricane Florence shows why it might be best for him to just stay at the White House.  He started off with a video, and actual scripted video. In it he stated, "this is a tough hurricane, one of the wettest we've ever seen from the standpoint of water." WOW!  He told survivors in North Carolina to "have a good time" as he handed them a donated meal, a meal they needed because the hurricane took most of their lives away.  Trump then told another survivor who had substantial hurricane damage to their house a boat that came to rest in his yard was somehow a good trade off. "At least you got a nice boat out of the deal."  No he didn't. That boat still belongs to someone else, and the man's house was still damaged.  He then told a group in South Carolina this was the "calm before the storm," after the storm had already left the area.  Trump clearly has zero capacity for compassion.  On top of the Hurricane Florence crisis, 130 members of the House and Senate are demanding Trump apologize for his lies about the true death toll in Puerto Rico from last year's Hurricane Maria. (9/19)

5) The White House is frantically trying to stop Trump from attacking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school.  As more evidence comes forward about Kavanaugh's less than woman friendly high school and college days, Dr. Ford has agreed to testify next week to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  This has got the White House in scramble mode as Trump feels anyone but Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court will be a failure.  On Thursday night, Trump questioned Dr. Ford's story, saying this couldn't have happened unless she went to the police or FBI afterwards.  Then on Friday morning, Trump tweeted an outright attack on Ford, stating if her story was true, then she should've called the police right away.  He added the allegations cant be true unless there is a police/FBI report from 36 years ago.  Many victims of sexual assault never report their sexual assault out of fear of being attacked, just as Dr. Ford is being right now.  Trump is absolute human garbage. (9/20, 21)

4) Almost on cue, a second and possibly third woman are now claiming sexual misconduct from Trump Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Deborah Ramirez told the New Yorker that Kavanaugh placed his genitals in her face at a party at Yale University. As you'd expect, Kavanaugh denies the story.  Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti claims to have evidence of a third accuser, and also states he has "significant evidence" Kavanaugh and his sleazy friend Mark Judge "targeted" women at house parties with "alcohol and drugs." (9/23)

3) Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has come to an agreement with the Senate Republicans to testify about her accusations of sexual assault by Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when both of them were in high school.  This after a contentious back and forth where Senator Chuck Grassley and Republicans on the committee kept attempting to railroad the testimony by imposing fake deadlines.  The testimony is scheduled for Thursday, September 27th.  The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed the committee's vote on Brett Kavanaugh for the time being.  A second Republican Senator, Lisa Murkowski, has said a delay in the confirmation vote on Kavanaugh is appropriate.  This after Senator Jeff Flake stated enough evidence has come to light to justify slowing down the process.  (9/17, 19, 23)

2) Reports are coming to light of possible widespread child sex abuse happening at the hands of staff at various Trump immigrant child prisons.  The 13 facilities mentioned in the allegations are being run by Southwest Key.  The company was under orders in Arizona to double check security clearances of its 2000 plus employees, many of whom were hired to work with young children.  The request for the confirmation came after authorities started receiving reports of widespread sexual abuse of immigrant children, and after state inspectors had found repeated instances where the company had not received fingerprint clearance cards for it's employees.  Arizona officials are calling out Southwest Key's "Astonishing flippant attitude" in regards to meeting requirements Southwest Key had agreed to meet last month.  Southwest Key is not commenting on the security status of their workers.  We know of at least 5 cases of immigrant children being sexually assaulted by employees of the facilities holding them under Trump's orders, done under the flag of the United States.  Now we are getting our first hints the number of immigrant children sexually abused might be dramatically higher. (9/22)

1) Unbelievable!  The Trump Administration admits it has lost track of close to ANOTHER 1500 immigrant children who crossed into the United States.  In April, the Administration acknowledged it had lost track of 1475 children who were supposedly under their watch.  The latest Department of Health and Human Services report states they're uncertain to the exact whereabouts of ANOTHER 1488.  The White House claims the kids were not lost by the Administration, but rather the sponsors they placed the children with, but they're leaving out an important fact.  The government's placement process seems to be lacking in the most basic of background checks to ensure the people they're handing the immigrant children off to are actually who they say they are.  There's a bipartisan move to force the Department of Homeland Security to conduct background checks on ALL sponsors before placing children with them, something you'd think would be a no freaking brainer.  To repeat:  TRUMP AND THE WHITE HOUSE HAVE LOST A TOTAL OF 2,963 IMMIGRANT CHILDREN, as of the two cycles they've reported on. (9/20)

Dear Lord the top two are depressing...

A little background on this week's countdown.  The Kavanaugh story was broken primarily into four different entries because I thought each one was unique enough to be separated out.  One entry was about the testimony agreement.  A second about other women claiming Kavanaugh is guilty of more cases of sexual assault.  The third about Trump failing to control his criticism genes.  The final one was about who leaked Dr. Ford's name.  You may disagree, but in my opinion they are each worthy inclusions in the countdown.

Remember to help out a Democrat who is running for a seat currently being held by a Republican.  That's how you make a Blue Wave happen!  #2018IsEverything!

Make sure you are registered to vote and if your state has early voting, like Minnesota, please partake!  Peace!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Mis-Labeling History

One thing Americans love to do is rewrite their history.  Almost every one of our beloved historical stories has an insane amount of inaccuracies, like in the story of Paul Revere.  A lot of his story, as taught to us as kids, isn't true, and the celebration of Revere has diminished the legacy of real heroes (have you read about 16 year old Sybil Ludington?  She was the real hero that night.).  Sometimes the revised stories border on entire fabrication.

For examples, think of Reagan and Al Gore.  Reagan, by 1992, four years after his term, and after the scandals he'd kept at bay had all come to light, had an approval rating in the low 40's, lower than Carter's at the time.  Even at the RNC Convention in 1992, Reagan was not greeted warmly by the crowd, his onetime magic gone.  Then after the Republicans got control of the House and Senate in 1994, a massive campaign was initiated to rehabilitate Reagan's image, establishing a new standard for all Republicans.  It helped that they had the 92 loser H.W. Bush to throw under the bus. Ninety percent of this Reagan mythos was a complete myth, but it fired up the base.  This project was an incredible success, with Republicans still today talking about the Reagan standard for all Republican nominees.  I'm not fan of Reagan, but he would've NEVER allowed Trump into the GOP.

Republicans felt Al Gore's legacy had to be destroyed for one simple reason; the Supreme Court decided the election of 2000, overturning what should've been an Al Gore victory.  Republicans desperate to validate W. immediately started a massive campaign to vilify Gore, destroying his record and mocking him relentlessly.  They had right wing owned media attack Gore, even the Republican owned sports talk networks (this was confirmed by a friend who worked at one, where he was told "you don't have to mock Gore, but the ownership would really like it if you did."  More than a few people asked, 'aren't we a sports station?').  When 9/11 happened, after numerous right wing pundits initially stated 'thank goodness Al Gore isn't President because it would've been FAR worse' (what?), the campaign to smear Gore ended, but its legacy lived on far longer than expected.  Three months ago, I heard a national sports radio host make an Al Gore joke.  Unbelievable.

In the real world, revisionism is everywhere. In January 2017, I wrote about how the family behind the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota is all about revisionism. Whether it's their anti-govenment screed (while definitively depending on the US government for support) to their flawed Western can-do gumption narrative (on a project which has taken far longer to even get even one tenth of it finished [when compared to Rushmore]. At current pace, it won't be done for AT LEAST 100 years), the owners, the Ziolkowski's, put forward a narrative they themselves are the real monument.  They wrap themselves in what seems to be the bare minimum of charitable work to cover their money making venture, trying to add a false Ziolkowski nobility to the whole project.  The Native Americans deserve that monument built and it should've been done 20 years ago.  Read about it at: Rushmore Verses Crazy Horse!

Another great example of trying to turn stupidity into something far more respectable is Harry R. Truman (no relation to the President with a similar name).  This fool ignored repeated warnings from the USGS and law enforcement, deciding to stay at his lodge even though it was in an evacuation zone.  His lodge was on a beautiful piece of property, on Spirit Lake, at the foot of Mount St. Helens.  Even though it was clear the volcano was going to explode, and even though the research implied it might be massive, Truman insisted he knew more than the ones begging him to leave.  He insisted, 'I'm one mile away from the mountain with a bunch of trees to protect me from anything too big.'  He stayed, becoming a short term media celebrity; the man who stared down the mountain.

Truman, a poster child for stupidity, died the morning of May 18th, 1980, when Mount St. Helens decided to drop an entire flank on his lodge.  You'd think people would use him as a cautionary tale.  Instead, he's a bit of a folk hero, even fondly mentioned at the official Mount St. Helen's site.  The Ranger stated "Harry wasn't going to let the mountain bully him."  I wanted a rebuttal; "yeah, he was a real tough guy.  He could've died peacefully someplace else, but he decided to go out suffocating on acidic toxic gases, while being crushed under 150 feet of lava hot rock and ash, as he burned to death with his 16 cats."  When you put it like that, he doesn't sound too smart at all.  They've never found his body.

Revisionism is out of control when it comes to the actions and deeds of Confederate soldiers.  Over the last few years, my family has visited numerous Civil War sites, many of them still well laid out and preserved.  This year we went to Fort Sumter and to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga.

Fort Sumter, South Carolina, nestled in Charleston harbor, is a source of Southern pride today, but like a lot of Southern Pride, it's based on the beginning of the Civli War, not the end of it.  The importance of the historical moment should be preserved, as the South's capture of the fort was the catalyst for the war.  The southern perspective gets ludicrous when they get to the north taking the fort back.  Sherman's troops had just broken Georgia over their knee as they turned northward to take the Carolinas.  The fear of Sherman in the south was justified.  As Sherman's men marched toward Charleston, wanting to make an example of the town and Fort Sumter, Confederate forces holding the fort abandoned their posts and ran in terror for their lives.

Or as the South describes it "the South never surrendered Fort Sumter. They let the north have it back."  PLEASE!  Frantically rowing away from the fort, screaming with dread and horror as Sherman and his forces marched to the city with blood in their eyes is a FAR CRY from shrugging their shoulders, implying some sort of benevolent "we'll let them have it" intent, as they strolled away, leaving the doors open.

This summer, we went to Lookout Mountain, outside of Chattanooga Tennessee, and they have a similar excuse for Confederate troops running in fear.  Somehow, the South screwed up defending a 2000 foot, near vertical mountain. Union troops took Lookout Mountain in November of 1863 with a shocking amount of ease.  When Confederates at the top of the hill realized they were about to be overrun, did they stay and fight bravely until the last man?  Nope, they ran away in the middle of the night.  They ran off the mountain and eventually fell back into Georgia, leaving Chattanooga and the surrounding country to the Union.

Or as the South describes it, "the South never surrender the hill.  They made a tactical decision to abandon it."  They ran in terror.  There was no honor in what those Confederates did at Fort Sumter or Lookout Mountain, but by allowing the South to rewrite history, they've been able to dictate whose actions were honorable (Confederates) and whose actions weren't (damn yankees, and particularly Sherman).

When you see those Confederate statues in southern towns, remember, the person they're honoring was responsible for murdering thousands of US soldiers in an attempt to keep slavery legal.  There is no nobility to these people or their actions.  The revisionist South puts them up as a source of Southern Pride; pride at slaughtering US soldiers as they romanticized keeping blacks a property.  Never forget that.  We should've never allowed the South to erect a single one of them.  It'd be like allowing Germany to put up Hitler statues everywhere 40 years after WWII.

The South's revisionism in regards to the war is legendary.  Not only do they insist the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery (spoiler alert:  it was about slavery), they also have a local delusion which is incredible.  Little Confederate museums are scattered throughout the rural south.  Stop into one and you'll be surprised to hear how local Confederates from their neck of the woods managed to stave off the entire Northern Army horde  These phantom southern wins are everywhere in the south, and I have yet to see one stand up to historical scrutiny.  Their famous battle victory of the local swamp is in truth a Northern speed bump of a military skirmish, or an outright Southern surrender.  Many southerners will never allow the truth get in the way of their revisionist history: 'even though the Confederates won every battle they ever were in, they somehow surrendered at Appamatox.'

If you don't nip this crap in the bud, it goes from myth to legend to accepted historical fact over time. Our reluctance to rub the South's face in their mess after the Civil War is partly of the reason we have Trump today.  'Don't tell us the truth!  We'll tell you what the truth really is!'  We have enabled a fake reality world by allowing people with an agenda to rewrite historical fact.

It's important we strive to live in an honest world.  We owe it to ourselves, to our kids, and to the legacy of those involved, to clamp down on the fabrication of history.  Without a doubt, Trump's supporters, even if he ends up resigning in shame, will try to vindicate him for decades to come.  I will strive to never allow such ignorance to become fact.

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Friday Link for 9/21/18

Happy Autumn everyone!

The first thing I'm posting this weekend is the sensation ad from Dean Phillips, running against Erik Paulsen, in the MN-03 district!  The funniest part is the guy playing Paulsen actually walking like the Bigfoot in the original Patterson-Gimlin film from 1967.  ACTING!

It's actually not the best political ad of the year, but it's a close second.  For the best one, you need to go to Texas, and MJ Hegar.

And just for fun, 10 minutes of dogs playing in leaves.  This will calm you.  Dogs are great!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Trump Top 20 Countdown for the Week of 9/10/18

Welcome to the Weekly Top 20 Countdown of Trump's ineptitude and stupidity for the week of 9/10/18 to 9/16/18.

These are the 20 biggest pieces of incompetence coming from Trump and his Administration for last week alone.  All the things on this list should lead to investigations, committee hearings, firings, resignations and even one or two impeachment charges.  Instead, as Republicans wonder why they are polling so bad, not once has it ever occurred to them to rally against Trump for their own benefit in November.

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) Trump promised, repeatedly, that Mexico would pay for the entire cost of his border wall, the one Trump wanted to build between Mexico and the USA.  He PROMISED!  It was a major campaign tentpole.  That has changed to getting the US taxpayers to pay for it, hoping Mexico might eventually chip in something.  Now a report states Trump is actually paying Mexico.  He's giving them twenty million dollars to help the US to deport undocumented immigrants. (9/13)

19) Eric Trump (Tweede Dum) appeared on Fox News to defend his father from the Bob Woodward book 'Fear."  He came off as an anti-Jewish bigot.  He implied Woodward only wrote the book to make "three extra shekels." The term is considered to be anti-Semitic, especially coming from the son of a notorious racist. (9/12)

18) Trump made up a quote about former President Barack Obama; absolutely pulled it out of his caboose.  He quoted Obama stating "...Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP."  Obama never once said that.  He did make a comment about a magic wand, but that was in reference to Trump bringing all the manufacturing jobs back to the US, NOT about the GDP.  Regardless, Trump's 'quote' is in no way even close to anything Obama actually said. (9/10)

17) In a scary development in North Carolina, Trump had the US Attorney for North Carolina sent off numerous faxes on behalf of ICE and the DOJ, seeking every voting record from 2010 to this year, for all 44 County Boards of Elections.  This would be upwards of 20 million documents, at a time when they are trying to finalize the 2018 election preparations, and preparing for a major hurricane.  Experts are calling this a new front in Trump's attempt to control the elections themselves. (9/12)

16) Former White House Aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman shared a recording of Trump, where Trump was making jokes about terrorists.  He was making these jokes as the White House was dealing with the deaths of the US Service members killed in Niger.  On the tape, people can be heard laughing.  For the record, a conversation about the death of service members is never a laughing matter, and if former President Obama was ever caught doing such a thing, Republicans would've demanded his resignation.  (9/10)

15) Trump told another doozie of a lie, one even Fox News had to correct.  He claimed the GDP rate being higher than the unemployment rate hasn't happened in 100 years. Since 1948 (which is only 70 years ago), there have been 63, SIXTY THREE (!!!), quarters where the GDP has been higher than the unemployment rate.  This means 20% of the time, not exactly a rare occurrence.  How he ever though no one would catch him on this, I have no idea. (9/10)

14) Former Secretary of State John Kerry has enraged Trump by telling the Iranians it'd be better for them to wait out the Trump Administration as opposed to actually deal with Trump.  Trump said it was illegal for Kerry to meet with Iran (it isn't).  He then insisted Kerry should've been registered as some sort of foreign agent before giving any advice to a foreign government (seems to have made that one completely up).  He then ended his rage tweet with "BAD!" (9/13)

13) On 9/11, Trump put out a commemorative tweet which at best would be described as glib.  "17 years since September 11th!"  That was it; nothing else.  It comes across more like a President's Day Mattress Sale instead of a note to commemorate an attack on American soil.  Also, that wasn't his first tweet on 9/11.  His first was a claim of "no collusion." (9/11)

12) A US District Judge ruled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' attempt to delay the Obama-era student loan forgiveness policies for defrauded students is illegal.  The Trump Administration wants to re-wrtie the law to make the loan forgiveness for defrauded students only available for a limited amount of students.  It's not clear if any of those students had loans for the fraudulent Trump University. (9/12)

11) Bob Woodwad, the author of the new book 'Fear,' says Trump almost sent a tweet which had the Pentagon scrambling.  The tweet Trump did not send referred to the US pulling all dependents of US citizens out of South Korea. Trump's un-sent tweet was meant as a tough guy message to Kim Jong-un, but in reality, it would've easily been mistaken by North Korea as a sign of an imminent attack.  A back channel message from the North Koreans verified indeed North Korea would've taken it as a declaration of war.  In the end, Trump (thankfully) didn't hit send. (9/10)

10) Trump's candidate to be Ambassador to Romania, Adrian Zuckerman, was sued for sexual harassment by his secretary while he was at his old law firm.  What's amazing about this is the White House screening process for Ambassadors should've found this in their initial background check, prior to his nomination to be an Ambassador.  The discovery of such a fact should've negated his nomination, but not in the land of Trump. (9/15)

9) Former Director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Mike Rodgers, revealed Trump, even though there was irrefutable evidence the Russians hacked the US elections of 2016, told him "Mike, you know I'm in a different place on Russian hacking."  Rodgers response was to tell Trump this wasn't about politics or opinion.  This was about factual evidence of a foreign country trying to "subvert the very tenets of our structure."  Trump didn't care. (9/13)

8) White House aides were forced to explain to Trump how dangerous Hurricane Florence was by using large colored charts to keep his attention.  Apparently just explaining things to Trump is impossible, so they have had to use large color images more akin to a 2nd grade classroom to explain "hurricanes bad." (9/14)

7) Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton made news.  First, he announced a threat to the International Criminal Court, the ICC, at the Hague, threatening sanctions and to arrest ICC judges if they continue to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Americans in Afghanistan.  What's not clear is if the Trump Administration is upset at the investigation into US troops, or US private contractors, privately held, for-profit companies, many of whom have ties to Trump.  The private contractors are usually the ones who are guilty of war zone crimes.  The Trump Administration actually threatened to arrest judges who investigate their Administration's actions.  WOW!  Bolton also announced the decision to shutter the Palestinian mission in Washington DC.  This is the latest Trump attack on the Palestinians, following the ending of US humanitarian and medical aid to Palestine.  Trump and the White House say this is a tough tactic to force Palestine to agree to Trump/Israeli demands in peace talks.  This hostile approach to Palestine also comes as Palestine is asking the ICC at The Hague to investigate Israeli war crimes committed in Palestine.  Coincidence?  (9/10)

6) Trump is fighting with facts again.  He tweeted out, in regards to last year's Hurricane Maria, "3000 people did not die in...Puerto Rico. When I left the island...they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much."  He added "this [the 2975 number of actual dead] was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible..."  The Trump Administration's official death toll on Puerto Rico at the hands of Hurricane Maria was 64 (did not go up much from 18???).  Afterwards, George Washington University determined the actual death toll was 2975,  a number many people agree with, a number based on facts.  Many Republican officials are dumbfounded trying to explain Trump's death toll math. Then on Friday night, Trump doubled down on his claim that 2975 people did not die.  He continued to use low numbers no one can substantiate.  Trump insisted only 16 people had died when he toured the island, when it was actually 34 confirmed dead at that point. Trump then said 50 times as many people dying than his Administration quoted is impossible.  It's actually 46.5 times bigger, and it's VERY possible, considering many communities were cut off for days, weeks and in a few cases, even months. (9/13,15)

5) Trump's stunning lack of understanding of how exactly the US economy works came through in a November 2016 meeting between him and eventual, and now former, White House Economic Advisor Gary Cohen.  This story was recounted in the Woodward book, 'Fear.'  Cohen was giving Trump an initial briefing on the nation's economy.  Cohen stated that Trump should expect interest rates to increase.  Trump's response was to suggest the country borrow a ton of money, hold and then sell it to make more money after the rates go up.  It was clear to Cohen Trump didn't understand the basics of the bond market, nor did he understand how doing such a thing would dramatically increase the deficit.  Trump brushed off the criticism and suggested the government just print up money.  Quoting Trump: "What do you mean?  Just run the presses...print more money." Cohen was astounded by Trump's low IQ in regards to how the government's financial sector operated, but yet he still went to work for him. (9/11)

4) What kind of jackass do you need to be to work for Trump?  Meet head of FEMA, Director Brock Long.  He said it was fair for Trump to misrepresent the death toll of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico (Trump said it was 64, when the real number is 2,975) because some of the people could've died of "spousal abuse."  He said the Administration's 64 number was based on people who died of direct contact with the hurricane, from damage done as the hurricane was striking the island.  Long dismissed the people who died after the hurricane struck; "heart attacks...falling off their house trying to fix the crashes...where stoplights aren't working.  You know, the other things that go on.  Spousal abuse goes through the roof.  You can't blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody."  WOW!  A person dying from a heart attack because the medical infrastructure has been destroyed by a hurricane WOULD BE a hurricane related death, as would be someone falling as they desperately tried to fix the roof of their house, a roof damaged by the hurricane.  The roads and electrical grids being damaged, and any deaths related to said damage, would also be hurricane related, but for the FEMA Director to imply many of the 2911 underreported deaths were due to spousal abuse, not the hurricane, is one of the most horrible statements any member of any Administration has ever made. (9/16)

3) With the release of Bob Woodward's book 'Fear,' another bombshell is revealed.  Trump's lawyer John Dowd, after giving Trump a sample interview, to see how he'd do in regards to a Mueller interview, stated directly to Trump "you cannot testify, you are disabled."  When asked by his own team why he makes up lies in these practice interviews, Trump implied he had no idea. (9/11)

2) Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court might be in trouble.  A letter was released accusing Kavanaugh of attempting to force himself sexually on a teenage girl while he was in high school in the 1980's.  The allegation was revealed to Senator Dianne Feinstein after Kavanaugh was put forward by Trump to replace retiring Justice Kennedy.  Kavanaugh denies the claim.  Feinstein turned the letter over to the FBI asking them to investigate, but they have refused.  The woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her broke her anonymity, after Senate Republicans were openly dismissing the claim.  Christine Ford told the Washington Post of the night Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her, while a friend of his (who himself seems to have a dubious history of alcohol and inappropriate behavior) watched.  She explained she revealed the sexual assault prior to now, back in 2012 when she and her husband were in couples therapy.  This account is backed up not only by her husband, but also the therapist's notes from the time of the reveal in 2012.   Ford has already passed a polygraph test about the incident. Kavanaugh should (ironically) get his day in court, something many of the Republicans defending him were not willing to offer former Senator Al Franken when allegations against him came to light, but for the GOP to ram him through to the Supreme Court without a complete vetting of the incident is WILDLY innapprprate.  Republican Senator Jeff Flake is the first to openly state he's not comfortable voting to confirm Kavanaugh without answers. (9/14, 16)

1) In a stunning blow to Trump, Paul Manafort, his former Campaign Manager, will plead guilty in his second trail as part of a plea deal he has arranged with the Robert Mueller investigation.  The deal includes a maximum ten year prison term for Manafort, as well as the surrendering of various assets.  Manafort will plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy as part of the Russia probe, as long as he cooperates with the Mueller investigation.  Most of Trump's aides fear Trump will pardon Manafort of all charges almost immediately, only adding evidence to Mueller's obstruction of justice charges against Trump.  Regardless Manafort has probably already given Mueller plenty of evidence, something which a pardon can't undo.  White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Manafort, Trump's former Campaign Manager, has "absolutely nothing" to do with Trump.  Manafort could potentially take down everyone in Trump's inner circle. (9/14)

That Manafort flip is HUGE! I guarantee Mueller knows exactly how the entire Russia scheme went down.  Trump is clearly terrified of his legacy being complete incompetence wrapped in treason.

Make sure you help out Democrats who are running in districts where the race is close.  15 points seems to be the number, so if there is a Republican district near you where the Republican won by less than 15, that district is up for grabs!!!  We all have work to do!

Get registered to vote. And take advantage of early voting if your state offers it.  That way, you can be free to help others get to the polls on election day!  #2018IsEveryting!