Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Trump Top 20 Countdown for the Week of 10/22/18

Welcome to the Weekly Top 20 Countdown of Trump's ineptitude and stupidity for the week of 10/22/18 to 10/28/18.

These are the 20 most boneheaded things coming from Trump and his Administration 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 have this country slowly tumbling into a death spiral, as mentally deranged zealots and emboldened racists begin terrorist attacks.  This will get worse before it gets better.

Quick note:  I'm taking off next week as the Election has me pretty busy.  Depending on the schedule, I might have a list for the week of November 5th.  By the way VOTE!!!

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) For at least the 5th time in his less than two year term, Trump tried to leave a bill signing ceremony prior to him signing the bill, and had to be stopped, this time the Opioid Treatment and Prevention Bill.  His wife actually stopped him from leaving the East Room and told him he had to go back to sign the bill, the only reason the ceremony was talking place.  This doesn't seem like something a competent human being would have such a consistent problem with. (10/24)

19) A senior Veterans Affairs official, David Thomas Sr., reportedly was displaying a portrait of Confederate General and founder of the KKK Nathan Bedford Forrest in his office, a tax payer funded office.  He claims the print was something he thought was nice, so he purchased it and swears he had no idea the portrait was of a notorious racist.  The portrait was featured in his office with a spotlight to highlight it, and it allegedly was featured in other offices he'd had in the past. (10/23)

Racist bastard Nathan Bedford Forrest, apparently on bath salts...

18) [Spoilers] In a bizarre tweet from Trump, right before 3 AM in the morning (!!!), Trump tweeted "Funny how lowly rated CNN and others can criticize."  He then deleted that tweet, and then posted about 30 minutes minutes later "Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will." (they shouldn't be able to???) He went onto accuse CNN of blaming him for the bomb attacks which have occurred nationwide against former Presidents, Democrats and regular citizens.  Most political experts are pointing to this being worrisome, wondering if Trump is on the verge of depression. (10/26)

17) The Trump Administration has decided to do the absolute least they can do in regards to holding Saudi Arabia accountable for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a murder which the Saudi's have basically admitted to.  Trump has called the cover up of the murder the worst cover up ever (???).  The retaliation the Trump Administration is handing out is a revoking of the visas for the Saudis involved with the murder, but not the crown prince who clearly orchestrated the assassination.  That's it.  Nothing else so far. (10/23)

16) It seems the White House is determined to destroy our relationship with China.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was meeting with Mexican and Central American heads of state when he blatantly told them, "when China comes calling it's not always good for your citizens."  The US is terrified their trade war with the Chinese will push China into developing markets the US wants to control, and so to try to force the Chinese back to the negotiating table, the Trump Administration is trying to shut down their growth into other markets.  Chinese government officials and the Chinese media sharply criticized Pompeo for his less than discrete comments. (10/22)

15) [Spoilers] Trying to justify holding a campaign rally the same day as a massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Trump told another lie, this one about how the New York Stock Exchange was open the day after the 9/11 attacks.  The implication was since they were back the day after such a horrible attack, he could go out and stump for Republicans HOURS after a massacre of 11 people in America.  Of course the New York Stock exchange did not open on 9/12/01.  It was closed for a week, re-opening on 9/17. (10/27)

14) The Supreme Court has sided with the Trump Administration and will allow Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to NOT have to testify under oath about where exactly the racist question on the 2020 Census originated from.  It's known Ross lied about it not originating from the White House. Regardless of his lie, the new Trump Supreme Court stated the Commerce Secretary is such a protected position, Ross can't be questioned under oath.  (10/22)

13) [Spoilers] Even though the #MAGABomber was an undeniable delusional Trump fan wanting to attack Trump's critics, and even though the Tree of Life Synagogue terrorist was an anti-Semitic who clearly has been emboldened to attack the Jewish people in the environment created by Trump, Trump (via Twitter) outright accuses the media for being the ones who created the hatred and division in this country.  He's insisting the media are the real culprits in regards to the attacks. (10/28)

12) Reports are Typhoon Yutu has done extensive damage to the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory. The storm apparently was the 5th strongest storm recorded in modern times, and the second strongest to hit US soil.  The death toll is unknown, and there's no power or water on the islands.  Many communities on the islands are inaccessible.  52,000 people, US citizens, live on the islands.  Trump didn't made any statement on the typhoon strike until Sunday, a full four days after the typhoon struck. (10/25, 28)

11) Back in March of 2017, Trump stated there was evidence former President Obama had wire tapped his offices during the 2016 campaign.  Trump wrote "just found out that Obama had my wires tapped," implying the Federal Government corroborated the story.  He then used this 'revelation' to repeatedly attack Obama and call for a formal investigation.  Trump's own Department of Justice now admits there was absolutely no basis for Trump's accusation against his predecessor.  Trump's own Department of Justice's official response is that Trump made the entire story up. (10/22)

10) The New York Times is reporting the Chinese and Russians have been actively listening into Trump's phone conversations.  Is this due to a spy infiltrating the White House Communications platform?  Nope!  Was this due to new Chinese or Russian satellite technology?  Nope!  This is due to Trump's refusal to stop using his personal iPhone for conversations he's having with friends.  The Chinese and Russians are basically using equipment they can get from a Radio Shack to monitor Trump's calls.  Trump has repeatedly been warned about this, but he doesn't seem to care.  This has led one former FBI counterintelligence expert to state "the greatest threat to national security we have is Trump himself."  Trump on Thursday denied he used personal iPhones, insisting he only uses official government phones.  He made this statement, via twitter, on his personal iPhone.  Another witness stated he personally saw Trump call a senior staff member on his private iPhone recently. (10/24, 25)

9) As a Central American migrant caravan moves slowly through Mexico to the US border, growing to over 7000 people, the Trump Administration seems to scared of it, while at the same time trying to use it as a political weapon. After multiple people claimed (with ZERO evidence) the migrant caravan was sponsored by the Democrats and Democratic funder George Soros, Trump's now pushing another fear mongering made up lie. He claims there are "unknown Middle Easterners" mixed in with the migrants.  Trump has ZERO evidence of this.  Trump has alerted the military and border authorities about the caravan and has called it a "National Emergy!" (misspelled 'emergency').  Trump's also stated the US is now cutting off aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador because they're not stopping their people from leaving for the US (???).  The State Department has no idea about curtailed aide to those specific countries and have directed all questions about the cutting of aid back to the White House. (10/22)

8)  Good News!  Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is not planning on committing mass murder at the border!  After stories of a beefed up military presence on the US/Mexico border in response to the migrant caravan heading for the US turned into 'we'll shoot to protect ourselves' rhetoric, Nielsen had to ratchet back the tone, admitting there are no current plans for the US government to commit genocide. Then on Sunday, Nielsen lost badly in a discussion about the migrant caravan coming to the border.  On Fox news, Chris Wallace kept asking her how exactly are these people, including young children and babies, a national security threat. Neilson, after tap dancing around the question, and clearly getting annoyed, finally admitted she could not prove the caravan was indeed a threat, but insisted Trump has a right to label them as such regardless.  (10/26, 28)

7) At the big rally for Ted Cruz in Texas, Trump made a jaw dropping statement.  "I'm a nationalist."  He then tried to cover up his fascist-esque dog whistle admission by stating he was only insisting he's not a globalist, only concerned with America. The "nationalist" term screams back to numerous dictators from the past, most notably Hitler, who used his unabashed nationalism to get control of Germany.  Hitler also covered his fascist nationalist claims by insisting he was not a globalist.  (10/22)

6) Things are looking REALLY bad for Trump BFF Roger Stone.  The only thing missing from Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russia/Wikileaks/Trump Campaign stolen and leaked Clinton/DNC emails scandal is the direct connection from Russia/Wikileaks to the Trump Campaign.  Mueller is in possession of new evidence indicating Stone had direct knowledge of the Wikileaks emails prior to the emails being publicly released.  It seems that "Birther King" Jerome Corsi was the conduit between Wikileaks and Stone. Also there are other emails which claim Stone and Corsi were taking credit for the releasing of the emails.  Also released are text messages between Stone and talk show host Randy Credico about how Stone was going to convince Trump to give a full blanket pardon to Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks.  Put those texts with the rest of the story and Stone is pretty much dead to rights on a conspiracy to obstruct justice.  The main question now is whether Stone and Corsi will fall on the swords for Trump or will they flip. (10/25)

5) US Authorities have violated a 20 year old court order on how long minors can be detained as the Trump Administration has held immigrant children, who came into the country without a parent, for months in a temporary tent city in Texas.  A court order from 1997 says children can only be held in a non state licensed shelter for 20 days or less, before having to be placed in a state licensed shelter with access to school and legal counsel.  The tent city in Texas offers neither, nor does it have a Texas state license.  46 kids have been held in the Texas tent city since June, and over 500 children have been held past the 20 day mandatory time allotment. (10/23)

The MAGABomber and the Shooting at Tree Of Life Synagogue, as well as Trump and his Administrations response to them, are tied for first this week

1 (tie) Reports are former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, former President Bill Clinton, and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, noted billionaire George Soros (a man who donates regularly to Democratic causes), CNN and other Democratic officials have all been targeted with explosive devices which were sent to them.  Both the Obama's and the Clintons packages were intercepted by Secret Service, and the Soros package was opened by an employee, who (thankfully) didn't set it off.  This comes after rhetoric from Trump about how the three parties, (the Obama's, the Clinton's, George Soros) are evil and need to be stopped.  Trump, as well, has notoriously promoted violence against his enemies.  After initial condemnations from Vice President Mike Pence and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump initially only had re-tweeted Pence's condemnation, before reading a statement calling such behavior unacceptable.  He did not refer to the bombs as terrorism, something they clearly are. (10/24)

1 (tie) A total of ten pipe bombs have been mailed to former Democratic Presidents, Democratic politicians, CNN and others.  Thursday morning it was reported former Vice President Joe Biden was targeted by two bombs in the mail, and actor Robert DeNiro, a vocal critic of Trump, was also targeted. Trump again started attacking the media, accusing them of riling up the public, and implying the media are the real culprits behind the terrorist attack. "Mainstream media must clean up it's act, FAST."  So much for civility.  Reports are investigators are starting to focus their attention on Florida as a possible coordination point. (10/25)

1 (tie) A big news day in the story of the MAGABomber, the terrorist bomber attempting to assassinate former Presidents, high profile Democrats and Democratic supporters.  Four new bombs were discovered, one targeting Senator Corey Booker, one targeting Senator Kamala Harris, one targeting Democratic financial supporter Tom Steyer, and another targeting Former Director of National intelligence James Clapper, addressed to CNN.  This brings the total number of bombs to 13. Trump accused "this 'bomb' stuff" of slowing down Republican momentum in mid-term elections. Many people immediately criticize Trump for putting bomb in quotes, somewhat implying the bombs aren't real, and for only concerning himself with the politics of the matter, not the actual assassination attempts. Then came reports of a man, Cesar Sayoc, who's an avid Trump supporter, being arrested in Florida.  They've labelled  him the #MAGABomber.  As Trump announced the arrest, young conservatives gathered at the White House shouted out "fake news" and "Infowars," while Trump hoped the story of the largest assassination attempt in US history would "disappear rapidly" from the news.  Then, as Trump tried to bring the announcement back to a more conciliatory tone, the young conservatives started to yell about locking up one of the bomber's targets, George Soros.  Trump laughed and repeated "Ha, lock him up!"  Trump later tried to distance himself from the bomber when it became undeniable he was an ardent supporter of Trump.  Most news outlets gave a detailed breakdown of how many times Trump has encouraged violence towards his opponents, and featured images of the bomber at one of his rallies.  Later that evening, in a stunning interview, one of Trump's supporters at a Charlotte rally insisted even though the bomber had been caught and had made some initial admissions to sending the bombs, he still believed "Hillary and Obama probably mailed the bombs to themselves."  The media was forced to hire private security at the Trump rally in Charlotte to keep them safe from the seething crowd.  (10/26)

1 (tie) After an anti-Semitic bigot stormed The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11, Trump, in a stunningly tone deaf moment, told reporters the results could have been better if there had been armed guards in the house of worship.  It should be noted that three SWAT team responders, wearing full combat gear were injured as they responded to the shooting, and the shooter held himself in the synagogue for 20 minutes after being confronted.  A security guard wouldn't have stopped him.  It was talking points straight from the NRA as Trump stated the Jewish people wanting to congregate without weapons is the real problem.  Another extremely troubling aspect of Trump's comments is how clearly he's blaming the victims themselves for being shot.  It's reminiscent of another time when violence against Jewish people was inspired by a country's leader, and the leader told the victims it was their fault for being attacked.  If I could only remember which Reich that was...With the tragic shooting at the Tree Of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the number of white supremacist terrorist strikes which have led to at least one death since Trump came into office is 18. (10/27)

I can't tell you how important it is that everyone vote.  Are you registered to vote?  Do you know where to vote?  Does your state offer early voting and can you still take advantage of it (in Minnesota that is a big yes!)?  Are your friends and family registered to vote?  Do your friends and family know where to vote?  Have you asked everyone you know if they are going to vote?  If not, you need to.  We're only trying to save Democracy.

#2018IsEverything.  Good luck everyone.  Talk in two weeks.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Dark Days

The night Abraham Lincoln was shot, there was actually a far larger, more nefarious plan in place; an attempt to throw the US government into disarray.  While Booth was successful at killing Lincoln in Ford's Theater, George Atzerodt was dispatched to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Lewis Powell was assigned to assassinate Secretary of State William Seward.  The goal was revenge for the Confederates's defeat, and an attempted destabilization of the US government as a whole.

In 1865, the Vice President and the Secretary of State were the pseudo-established positions in the line of succession to the Presidency.  The Succession Act of 1792 tried to establish a line, but when William Henry Harrison died in office, the reality was no one knew who was President.  The Vice President John Tyler basically stormed into the office and refused to relinquish it, setting up a succession framework, but by the time of Lincoln, it still was unresolved.  The Succession Act of 1886 finally established a clear line of power, but at the time of Lincoln it was still relatively fragile at best, meaning multiple assassinations could potentially lead to a Constitutional crisis.

Atzerodt either got drunk and forgot about killing the Vice President, or had second thoughts.  Powell did attack Seward in his house, stabbing him repeatedly after his gun misfired, nearly killing him.  Seward survived.  The rest of the attack in 1865 is often forgotten as Lincoln, the main target, was lost to this country.

There have been four successful assassination attempts of our Presidents (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy) and multiple other attacks against Presidents, Vice Presidents and national politicians over the history of this country (including the 2017 Congressional baseball shooting, which was universally condemned by everyone).  Thankfully no one was hurt by this week's far right terrorist bombing attack by Cesar Sayoc, but there has never been a more aggressive and grandiose political assassination attempt in our country's history.

Think about the scale of this attack, the number of current and former politicians targeted:  TWO former Presidents in Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Former First Lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former First Lady Michelle Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden (twice), Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, TWO current sitting US Senators, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, TWO current sitting US Representatives, Maxine Waters and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the news network CNN (twice), two wealthy philanthropists who support Democratic causes, George Soros and Tom Steyer, and actor and vocal critic of Trump Robert DeNiro.

We've had attacks on this country designed to start a traditional war (Fort Sumter, Pearl Harbor).  We've had attacks on this country designed to start ideological wars (Harpers Ferry, 9/11).  We've had minor domestic uprisings against the government.  We've had domestic attacks targeting individual and multiple politicians.  We've had attacks on this country via social media networks.  We even had an attempt to overthrow FDR in the 1930's by conservative businessmen furious he won the election and that he took the US off the gold standard (The Smedley Butler Affair).

We've NEVER had anything of this scope and magnitude happen in the US, prior to this week.

When you look at the targeted list, it feels like we're not talking about the US government, rather some third world country where a military uprising has targeted all current and former politicians.

For the first time in my life an attempted assassination of US politicians has created an even more divided response.  Only a year ago, when a coward targeted Republicans at a baseball practice, the nation condemned the attack as a whole.  I'm not sure if the difference is the political party targeted, or whether it's the undeniable growing meanness in this country, but the reaction this time around is jaw dropping.

In regards to Republicans/Trump supporters, 10% seem to be outraged, offering undeniable and absolute condemnation for the terrorists actions, and insisting the toxic rhetoric of the current political environment needs to be toned down immediately.  50% of Republicans/Trump supporters have an attitude of "no one denies bombing is wrong, but when Democrats confront a Republican in a restaurant or in the halls of Congress, they technically started it." They're making excuses for the bomber's behavior, trying to blame Democrats for bringing this on themselves, acting as if a rational response to a heated political discussion is to napalm a neighborhood.

40% of Republicans/Trump supporters initially insisted this was a "false flag" operation, a set up by the Democrats to make Trump and the Republicans look bad.  This wasn't just fringe nutbags and conspiracy kooks.  Many major Republicans politicians and mouth pieces were pushing this as a fake attack within hours of hearing about it, with ZERO proof to back up their claims.  Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. was pushing "false flag" conspiracies on social media, and even Trump himself referred to the attacks in a manner suggesting they might not be real ("bomb").

Since the terrorist Sayoc has been arrested in Florida, about half of the false flaggers are now in the 'Democrats started it' camp.  They keep bringing up how the bombs were poorly made, pushing poor craftsmanship as a valid excuse to dismiss the attack.  20% of the Far Right think Sayoc is a patsy, that the Democrats sent these bombs to themselves, and no amount of evidence, even Sayoc's admission, will ever convince them otherwise.  They are broken beyond fixing.

There's a concerted effort from the right to push this story off the front pages and to get America focused on a migrant caravan heading for the Mexican border.  To those trying to make this story go away:  This was the single largest political assassination attempt in US history!  The same people who were screaming for a 9th and 10th Benghazi investigation are demanding we no longer focus on these dark days in American history, only the dog and pony show they want everyone to pay attention to.  If we do not condemn this with maximum reverence, if we skip past this outrage and focus on lesser stories, then shame on all of us!  We ourselves, whether intentionally or not, become part of the cover up.  We ourselves will be to blame for the next massive assassination attempt.

If John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators attempted their assassinations today, with the current technology available, it makes me shudder to think what they might be able to pull off.  We got lucky with Sayoc.  He seems to be mentally incompetent, a zealot who thinks he's fighting a holy war for his true idol, Trump.  Help us all if we don't reverse this noxious and poisonous version of America before the next attempt.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Friday Link for 10/26/18

As we get ready for Halloween next week, let me remind everyone to be safe and have fun.  I'm getting ready to free-base Reese's Peanut Butter cups.  Love those.

For Halloween laughs, NOTHING is better than Ellen Degeneres scaring the living daylights out of Andy, her producer, by making him go through a haunted house.  The stunning confidence which Andy displays is magnificent when the real Andy comes out mere seconds later.  And kudos to an American treasure in Chrissy Teigen for putting up with him.  She's terrified and laughing uproariously at the same time.  Just perfect!

I'm in tears every year with that bit.  And of course there is always Ellen scaring the daylights out of her guests.  The fact the guests allow this to happen points to how good of a host she is.

I leave you with the best shot I took at the Halloween Spectacular at he Minnesota Zoo!  Have great weekend everyone!

Wisconsin Doesn't Deserve the Brewers

If you missed Major League Baseball's National League Championship series, you missed one of the best series I've ever witnessed.  The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4 games to 3, with a stunning road victory.  These teams were so evenly matched; the deciding factor in this series was about 20 total pitches (over seven games!).  The Dodgers just had a few more pitches go their way.

Don't take anything away from the Milwaukee Brewers, one of the best hitting teams ever assembled.  If a team like the Minnesota Twins went up against one of the Dodger's great pitchers, they'd conceded by the 2nd inning.  Not the Brewers.  They would methodically look for weakness and identify the one or two pitches they could do something with.  Their pitching staff is also shockingly good, loaded with starters.  Their bullpen was a little suspect, but overall, they're probably the best team I've ever seen who didn't make the World Series.

And no one in Wisconsin cared.

Okay, I know it's not fair to say no one, but my guess would be only a tenth of the state followed one of the best stories in baseball, their local 9.  This deduction comes from a simple observation.  Living in the Twin Cities, I have a lot of friends who either live in Wisconsin, or are transplanted from Wisconsin. After game 3 of the National League Championship Series, I noticed none of my Wisconsin friends were making ANY comments about the Brewers.  Nothing!  No bragging, re-posts, shares, praise; nothing!  One of the most entertaining series in baseball history, and the local fans were all silent (well not exactly silent, but I'll come back to that).

For perspective, let's look at the last weekend of the Minnesota Twins regular season  The Twins were well out of the playoff picture by early August, and with the Vikings season in full gear, and the Wild getting ready to start their season, plus the U of M fall sports getting media attention, you'd expect the Twins season to end with a whimper.  But my social media timelines were inundated with Twins posts, mainly about Joe Mauer getting behind the plate to catch, and the Mauer daughters coming on the field with dad.  For a few days, the Twins, a God awful team with nothing to play for, was dominating local social media.

Comparatively, there was FAR more about the Twins final regular season weekend in my social media than anything from Brewers fans for their entire playoff run.  Some people might be saying "aren't you the same guy who constantly bellows sports are supposed to be parsley on the plate of life?  Why are you caring if a baseball team has a worthy fan base?"  Because the Brewers deserved SOME praise from the locals.  The Brewers problem is they're cursed to play in a state with a team whose fan base is possibly the most delusional in all of sports, the Green Bay Packers.

Sports markets always have favorite teams. In Minnesota, the popularity countdown goes 1) Vikings 2) Twins, 3) Wild, 4) Gopher Hockey, 5) T-Wolves, 6) Gopher football and basketball, 7) MN United, 8) Lynx, but that list is contingent on how good a team is.  The Lynx at playoff time are a top five team in the state.  If the NHL's Minnesota Wild ever won the Stanley Cup, they'd be the state's most beloved team for a decade.  Some cities/states get known for their love of one team above all others (New York/Yankees, Dallas/Cowboys, LA/Lakers, Detroit/RedWings) but Wisconsin takes their love affair with the Packers to a new level.

During the same night the Brewers were dominating the LA Dodgers in Game 3 of their series, the Green Bay Packers were playing a worthless San Francisco 49'ers team, at home.  The Packers are not a good team and had to stage a last minute comeback to stave off a humiliating home loss.  This was a win, but not a win you'd think anyone would be bragging about; unless you are Packers fans.  My social media exploded with 'Aaron Rodgers is the greatest of all time' gushing messages from a game which was nearly a train wreck.  Wisconsin social media betrothed divinity upon the QB, for barely beating a horrible team at home.  Meanwhile, the Brewers are taking back home field advantage from the LA Dodgers, on the road, and there wasn't even a 'Go Brewers' post.

Wisconsin doesn't deserve the Brewers, or the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team for that matter.  The state only loves the Packers, and any left over goodwill is reserved for the Wisconsin Badgers football team.  There's no love for the Brewers in Wisconsin because all of Wisconsin's sports love is accounted for.

In the long run, it might be best the Brewers didn't made the World Series. Say they did and played the Boston Red Sox to a Game 7.  If I were a TV station is Wisconsin NOT airing the Brewers game, I'd counter-program with a new retrospective about Packers quarterback Aaron Rodger's career.  The humiliation of having a game 7 of a World Series featuring your local team getting beat in the ratings by a player retrospective would be beyond humiliating for the Brewers, and Wisconsin as a whole.

Major League Baseball would be better to move the Brewers to Portland, Salt Lake City or Charlotte.  The team would be FAR more loved in one of those markets than they'll ever be in Wisconsin.  Unfortunately, with former baseball commissioner Bud Selig's close ties to the organization, the Brewers are stuck in an unloving relationship, a loveless marriage with a partner in Wisconsin who will never love them back the way they deserve.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Trump Top 20 Countdown for the Week of 10/15/18

Welcome to the Weekly Top 20 Countdown of Trump's ineptitude and stupidity for the week of 10/15/18 to 10/21/18.

These are the 20 most insane and (in many cases) evil things coming from Trump and his Administration for this last week.  If this was a Democratic Administration, EVERYTHING on this list would have triggered investigations, committee hearings, firings, resignations and even one or two impeachment charges.  Instead, we have a party who's so desperate to stave off the oncoming blue wave, they're embracing the most bigoted and racist narratives we've seen so far in Trump's term.  It will only get worse.

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) The Trump Administration reported the budget deficit rose at a whopping 17% in fiscal year 2018.  Spending jumped dramatically and tax revenue only increased slightly, this after the Administration promised the Trump tax cuts would lead to massive tax revenue.  It's also a good time to remind you most Republicans screamed at the top of their lungs when the deficit under former President Obama wasn't nearly as bad as Trumps. #FACT! (10/15)

19) In Robert Mueller investigation news,  Mueller is now focusing on conservative activists and their contact with Wikileaks, the likely go between for Trump and the Russians.  Reports are Mueller has obtained evidence against Trump BFF Roger Stone, a man who long bragged about his relationship with Wikileaks and it's founder Julian Assange.  Right wing celebrity Jerome Corsi, former Trump campaign staffer Sam Nunberg and New York conservative radio host Randy Credico have also been questioned by Mueller.  Meanwhile Paul Manfort appeared in court in a wheelchair as he apparently is having some health issues in regards to his confinement.  One investigator mentioned how many times he's seen guilty criminals all the sudden get health issues which require a wheelchair as they get closer to their sentencing, a ploy for leniency. (10/19)

18) CNN's Jim Acosta recalled the bizarre crowd response to Trump praising Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte, the man who proudly body slammed a reporter who asked him about healthcare.  Thursday night, Trump praised him for body slamming the reporter, calling him "my kind of guy." Acosta described how the crowd roared at the idea of assaulting journalists, with people in the crowd making body slam gestures.  One person looked at the press pool and ran his finger across his throat to imply he was going to hurt them.  It's clear Trump will not stop encouraging violence. (10/20)

17) Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in trouble again, this time for a recurring problem within the Trump Administration, violating travel policies.  Zinke and his wife Lola were faulted for numerous violations.  Zinke sought to have his wife designated as an 'agency volunteer' in order to obtain free travel for her, and he often brought her along with him in agency vehicles, a direct violation of agency policy. (10/19)

16) Trump made up a whopper of a lie at a rally in Nevada. Attacking California for it's sanctuary cities policy, Trump stated: "A lot of people in California don't like them either.  They're rioting now, they wanna get out of their sanctuary cities."  Trump completely fabricated domestic riot(s) just to vilify immigrants and California. (10/20)

15) Trump is going to name handbag designer Lana Marks to be the Ambassador to South Africa. Not only does Ms. Marks have ZERO diplomatic experience, and not only does Ms. Marks have a history of lying about her past, but after reviewing the nomination, it seems the only reason Ms. Marks is getting this Ambassadorship is that she's a member of Mar-A-Lago. (10/21)

14) Trump has made a claim he has no financial interactions with Saudi Arabia "(or Russia, for that matter)." The truth is the Saudis are pouring money into his properties, according to reports released in August.  In 2015, Trump bragged about how the Saudis "buy all sorts of my stuff.  They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."  (10/16)

13) Talking to reporters, Trump is promising a new tax break for middle-income earners, a tax break which will be installed prior to the election.  Putting aside the massive hole which is the deficit under Trump, a deficit which is only getting worse because of his last tax bill, a deficit which makes any new tax cuts grossly irresponsible at best, Congress is out of session until after the elections, meaning there's no possible way a tax bill would be passed prior to the election.  (10/20)

12) A profanity laden shouting match occurred in the White House between Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton.  Apparently the shouting match had to do with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a person Bolton was viciously berating as incompetent.  Kelly was defended her.  The fight was so bad, there's speculation one of the two men might resign. (10/18)

11) Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a man who has quite a few investigations going on in regards to his conduct, has come up with a less than brilliant idea.  Zinke is actually getting rid of the Interior Department's Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall and replacing her with a political appointee, Suzanne Israel Tufts, who's currently an assistant Housing and Urban Development secretary.  This potentially would wipe the slate clean in regards to the numerous investigations into Zinke's bizarre behavior since he took office.  On Friday, Tufts resigned, as reports emerged Interior had no idea she was coming over, and HUD claimed there here multiple issues with her conduct while in their department.  As opposed to push for the transfer, she decided to leave government altogether. (10/17, 19)

10) Trump is making more excuses for the Saudi's likely assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Trump backed the Saudi's excuse that the Saudi's were not involved, that it was "rogue killers" who were responsible for the murder.  The overwhelming amount of evidence points to the Saudis being behind it.  Turkey apparently has found evidence at the Saudi Embassy pointing to Khashoggi being murdered there.  By the end of the day, the Saudis were floating a "we accidentally killed him" excuse.  (10/15,16)

9) A new disturbing report emerges about the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  There seems to be an audio recording of the assassination, in the Saudi Embassy, an assassination done at the hands of Saudi officials.  It's a brutal piece of audio which should warrant immediate condemnation.  Trump and his Administration are still trying to figure out how to defuse this situation, as reports are Trump son in law, Senior White House Advisor, and point person for the Administration in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, Jared Kushner is either wittingly or unwittingly helping the Saudis manage the official response on the international stage.  Trump's refusing to say if he'll send the FBI to help in the investigation into the killing. (10/17)

8) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is giving Saudi Arabia a few days to get their story straight in regards to the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Reports are Pompeo has heard the alleged audio recording of the journalist's murder, an audio the Turks possess.  Trump son in law and Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner is comforting Trump, telling him outrage over the murder (which he referred to as "errors") will pass, just like the outrage over the Saudis kidnapping the Prime Minister of Lebanon, and the Saudi's killing a busload of children in Yemen (I'm still pretty pissed about both of those).  Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has decided against attending a Saudi Arabian investor conference.  He'd been planning on going, but pressure finally made him do the right thing. (10/18)

7) Rep. Joaquin Castro was on CNN when he brought up a previous story about Trump son in law and Presidential Advisor Jared Kushner.  The Daily Mail published a story in April in which the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, bragged about key US intelligence he had received from Kushner about his supposed enemies.  Castro reminded people the crown prince bragged about getting the intelligence and using it to purge certain princes and businessmen.  One of the sources for the story stated that Jared "took out a list of the people who had been trashing [the crown prince]...stating these are the ones who are your enemies."  It's unknown if Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, recently murdered by the Saudis, was on the list.  On Friday, it was revealed an interrogator from within the crown prince's inner circle was part of the murder of Khashoggi.  The Saudis have finally admitted Khashoggi is dead, but insist he died during a fist fight...apparently with a bone saw... (10/19)

6) A new report shows Trump himself played a major role in preventing the FBI headquarters from moving to a new office in the Washington DC suburbs.  CNN reported the FBI not moving benefited Trump directly, as one of his hotels is located near the current FBI headquarters.  The House Oversight and Government Reform committee also called out General Services Administrator Emily Murphy for misleading of Congress on the issue of who was involved in the decision to not move the FBI. (10/18)

5) As an immigrant caravan moves closer to the US southern border, Trump threatened to send the US military to the border to deal with the unarmed immigrants.  He then went on to claim the immigrant caravan was a plot by Democrats working with certain Central American governments.  He then ordered Mexico to stop the immigrant caravan.  Trump then threatened the caravan with a closing the border if the caravan didn't do what he said.  Then he threatened to scrap the entire revised NAFTA trade deal he just agreed to if the Mexican government failed to stop the caravan. WOW! (10/18)

4) Trump decided to do a victory tweet the day after a defamation lawsuit against him, brought by porn star Stormy Daniels, was dismissed by a judge. Trump pledged to go after "Horserace" (Daniels) and "her 3rd rate lawyer" (Michael Avenatti).  There's a lot to unpack here.  First, this is so beneath the office it's astounding.  Trump said this to a woman he slept with, one of multiple affairs he was having as his wife, First Lady Melania, was home recovering from giving birth.  At what point Trump thinks he has ANY high road, I'm not sure.  Both Avanatti and Daniels lashed back at him, with Daniels getting very personal.  Trump's tweet also threw away any validity to his wife's complaints about a new music video from hip hop/rap artist T.I., a video where Melania is portrayed as a stripper.  If your husband just called a porn star he had an affair with "horserace," you can't accuse anyone else of being in the gutter.  So much for Melania's anti-bullying campaign.  Some pundits are reporting he said it just so he could see himself covered on cable news.  Others are pointing to this as a frantic attempt to pull the Saudi Arabian assassination scandal off the front pages.  Later it was revealed Trump was testing out the "horseface" line for weeks, before finally deciding to use it.  (10/16)

3) Trump has announced he's undoing a Reagan era nuclear weapons treaty we had with Russia.  The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty from 1987 required the elimination of short-range and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles from both the USA and Russia. This looks like Trump doing Russia's bidding.  Russian despot Vlad Putin has long wanted to get rid of the treaty, even thought Russians are currently pretending to disapprove of Trump's proposal.  The Russians are believed to be developing a ground-launched missile system in breach of the treaty, a system the Russians would be able to develop fully if the treaty no longer exists.  Russia wants to use this weapons system in a potential first strike capacity with Europe, Iran, Pakistan and China. (10/21)

2) Trump still has 66 immigrant kids, including at least one who us under the age of 5, in baby/child prison.  This four months after Trump supposedly halted the evil and disastrous policy.  Of the 66 kids, 50 of the kids are ineligible for reunification with their parents because the US has already deported the parents and the US Government has no idea where they're at. (10/16)

1) The Trump Administration is planning to put new rules in place which would allow businesses with federal contracts to be able to fire LGBTQ workers just for being LGBTQ.  Trump is specifically putting these new regulations into place under certain circumstances which will make the rules far harder to undo in the future. The plan is not finalized, but it feels like a policy directly from Vice President Mike Pence.  Trump's also moving to remove all rights for the transgender community, as the Administration is trying to establish a legal definition of gender as 'a biological condition determined solely by genitalia at birth.'  The report from the New York Times is citing a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services to establish these new definitions "on a biological basis that is clear...and administrable." (10/19, 21)

The Republicans will eagerly and gleefully undo any advances the LGBTQ community has made in the last 40 years.  There's a large portion of the extreme right who want to go back to the days were people with non-hetero sexual orientation were jailed, and executed.

Don't tell me this election doesn't matter.  Get registered to vote and get to the polls, either early if your state has early voting, or on Election Day!

What are you doing to make the #BlueWave happen?  #2018IsEverything!