Posted by: maboulette | August 22, 2019

Trump Claims He’s the Messiah

Top-Polling GOP Candidates Participate In First Republican Presidential Debate

For a man who sees himself as the messiah, President Trump has a lackluster record on Earth.


On Wednesday morning, he tweeted out with approval a conspiracy theorist’s claim that Israelis view Trump “like he’s the King of Israel” and “the second coming of God” (a theology Jews reject). He shared the conspiracy theorist’s puzzlement that American Jews don’t view him likewise.


Hours later, he explained why he has taken a tough trade policy against China: “I am the chosen one.”

Holy God complex!


I lack the celestial sources to fact-check Trump’s claim. But as messiahs go, King Donald of Israel, Blessed Be His Name, appears to be a false prophet:

  • The economy teeters on the verge of recession.
  • The federal government’s finances reach the worst point in 75 years.
  • A trade and currency war rages.
  • Threats grow from the Islamic State, North Korea and Iran.
  • Trump feuds with Britain, France, Germany, Canada — and now, preposterously, Denmark.
  • He calls the vast majority of American Jews stupid and twice calls them disloyal.
  • Polls show Trump losing next year to Democratic challengers.

It would take a miracle to get out of this. And Trump can perform one.


He can declare victory — and then say he’s retiring after his first term. He can depart the White House in a flaming chariot, if he prefers that to Marine One.

That would be divine.


A combination of Trump-incited international tensions and shortsighted policies have put us on borrowed time. The question is not whether things will unravel, but when. If the economy collapses in the next 15 months, dragged down by Trump-instigated international instability, he will lose reelection in disgrace. If he wins and things go south after that, he’ll be blamed. Precarious U.S. finances and international isolation will make recovery more difficult.


Alternatively, Trump can step aside now and blame his successor for the problems he created. He can claim he achieved everything he wanted in just four years, instead of eight.


By one measure, Trump has been remarkably successful: causing chaos and disruption. He cut taxes, gutted regulations, cracked down on immigration, slapped tariffs on China, and withdrew from the Paris climate accord, Iran nuclear deal and Trans-Pacific trade partnership. And though he didn’t repeal Obamacare, he seriously sabotaged it.

But the consequences of Trump’s disruption are now surfacing.


The Congressional Budget Office forecast Wednesday that the 10-year federal deficit will balloon $800 billion more than expected, caused in part by Trump’s 2017 tax cut. As The Post’s Jeff Stein noted, this puts the nation’s debt at levels not seen since the end of World War II.


Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney this week braced Trump donors for what he hopes will be only a “moderate and short” recession, Politico reported. Three-quarters of business economists expect a recession by the end of 2021, their trade association announced Monday. Trump confirmed on Tuesday (before recanting Wednesday) that he is considering a temporary payroll tax cut to fortify the economy.


Much of the drag can be traced to the trade war. JPMorgan Chase forecasts Trump’s existing and threatened tariffs against China will cost the average U.S. household $600 to $1,000 per year.


Overseas, the Islamic State, which Trump proclaimed defeated, has again surged  in Iraq and Syria and poses a new threat in Afghanistan. Also, Japan reportedly believes North Korea achieved the miniaturization of nuclear warheads — well after Trump proclaimed North Korea no longer a nuclear threat.


At home, white-nationalist violence is expanding, as Trump attacks racial and religious minorities and immigrants (the administration unveiled yet another crackdown Wednesday on migrant families). On Tuesday, Trump claimed that Jews who vote Democratic (nearly 80 percent of them) have “a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty” — reviving the anti-Semitic dual-loyalty canard. He repeated the slander Wednesday.


Meanwhile, Trump grows more erratic daily. He has contradicted himself on the payroll tax, gun background checks and his perverse determination to buy Greenland from Denmark. After Denmark told him Greenland wasn’t for sale, he canceled a trip to Copenhagen, blasting the Danes and their “nasty” prime minister, a woman.


Even if Trump were to pull himself together and win reelection, he has no better chance of achieving his remaining unmet promises in a second term. Eliminating the national debt? Getting Mexico to pay for a border wall? Draining the swamp? Not gonna happen.


No, it would be better for Trump to claim that he won so much and made America so great that there’s no reason to serve any longer. With so much bad stuff coming, he should quit while he’s ahead — or, rather, less behind than he will be.

Trump would enjoy a happy retirement, munching on Big Macs and asserting his messianic bona fides while blaming others for the ungodly messes he left behind.



President Donald Trump has filed financial disclosure statements that appear to misstate the value and profitability of his Scotland golf courses by $165 million, possibly violating federal laws that are punishable by jail time.


Trump claimed in his 2018 U.S. filing that his Turnberry and Aberdeen resorts were each worth more than $50 million. For that same time period, he filed balance sheets with the United Kingdom government showing that their combined debt exceeded their assets by 47.9 million British pounds ― the equivalent of $64.8 million at the exchange rate on Dec. 31, 2017, the date of the last U.K. filing available.


His 2018 “public financial disclosure” filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics also claims those two resorts earned him “income” of $23.8 million. His filings with the U.K. Companies House office in Edinburgh for that period showed the resorts had lost 4.6 million pounds ― equal to $6.3 million.


His U.S. disclosure statement also fails to mention $199.5 million in loans Trump has made to those resorts: $54.9 million from him personally to Trump International, Scotland in Aberdeenshire; $144.6 million from his trust to Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire.


Knowingly providing false or incomplete information on that form is a violation of the Ethics in Government Act punishable by up to a year in jail. Signing the form attesting to the untrue information constitutes making a false statement, punishable by up to five years in prison.


“The numbers don’t appear to add up,” said Virginia Canter, an ethics law expert with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She added, though, that OGE regulations give filers a fair amount of latitude in determining asset value. “That said, it’s not at all clear after reviewing the U.K. balance sheet for Aberdeen how they came to $50 million. … I think it raises legitimate questions.”


In any case, the false and missing information on his 2018 filing has been false and missing on Trump’s forms repeatedly, since before he even took office.

On May 16, 2016, for example, then-candidate Trump also claimed on his financial disclosure forms that the two Scotland resorts were worth more than $100 million, even though he filed papers with Companies House on Dec. 31, 2015, acknowledging that the courses had a combined value of negative $32.1 million.


U.S. filings also included erroneous information regarding Trump’s Doonbeg resort in Ireland, which similarly requires annual disclosures from privately held companies. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Trump told the Irish government that the course had lost millions of dollars ― $7.2 million in all. In that same period, Trump claimed on his American financial disclosures that the course had provided him tens of millions of dollars in income, totaling $37.4 million.


Trump’s golf courses in Scotland and Ireland offer unique insights into the state of Trump’s businesses because they are required to submit detailed financial documents annually, even though they are privately held. In the United States, where most Trump’s businesses are located, there is no such disclosure requirement ― meaning there is no straightforward way of determining whether Trump has similarly misstated the asset value and profitability of his U.S. properties.


Americans would have a clearer understanding of the actual financial health of Trump’s businesses had he kept his initial promise to release his tax returns if he ran for president. But Trump reneged on that pledge almost immediately after entering the race. At first, he claimed he would release the returns after “routine audits” had been completed, before eventually arguing that Americans had voted for him anyway and that they were not interested in seeing his taxes. In doing so, he became the first major-party nominee since Watergate to fail to disclose his returns.


Trump’s supposed great wealth was a major selling point for him during his campaign in the Republican primaries. Weeks after entering the race in June 2015, Trump declared in a press release that his net worth was “in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS.” In a recent speech, he claimed the presidency was forcing him to lose billions: “It’s probably costing me from three to five billion,” he told workers at a petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania last week. “I don’t care. I want to do the right job.”


Both of those assertions are almost certainly false.

In the 2005 book TrumpNation, business journalist Timothy L. O’Brien wrote that Trump was most likely worth no more than $250 million, not the many billions of dollars he was claiming at the time. Trump sued him for defamation but lost ― and in the process lied dozens of times about his business dealings in a deposition taken by O’Brien’s lawyers.


In 2015, National Journal found that Trump had made so many poor business decisions over the years that had he simply taken the fortune his father placed him in charge of in 1974 and put it into a broad index fund, he would have been far wealthier than he wound up.


Despite those and a great deal of other published reports that detailed his multiple casino bankruptcies and poor track record in business, Republican voters chose to support him anyway.  Rick Tyler, who worked for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries, said Republican voters were not paying attention to news coverage that picked apart Trump’s creation myth. “His ostentatious opulence and his willingness to flaunt it led many Republicans to believe that he possessed the business acumen needed to straighten out Washington,” Tyler said. “Republicans should now acknowledge that assumption was false.”


Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and a Trump critic, said he doubts Trump’s loyal supporters will care whether Trump is as rich as he says or, frankly, whether he broke the law by falsifying his financial disclosure statement.  “It matters to me. But does it matter to voters? I think we had an election on that three years ago,” Cullen said. “It was all out there before the last election. And enough voters were able to set it aside.”


If Trump is, indeed, knowingly providing false or incomplete information about his golf courses, it would not be the first time he has violated the plain language requirements of the financial disclosure form.  His very first filing as president, on June 14, 2017, did not mention the $130,000 he owed Michael Cohen for paying hush money to a porn star in the days before the 2016 election. Trump disclosed that loan in his 2018 filing in the form of a footnote.  Cohen, who was Trump’s longtime lawyer and “fixer,” is now in federal prison after pleading guilty to a variety of crimes, including the election law violation on behalf of Trump.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost

Posted by: maboulette | August 20, 2019



Contemporaneous photos and videos dating back nearly three decades depict a social relationship between Trump and Epstein — both of whom owned homes in Palm Beach. Trump bought his Mar-a-Lago estate in 1985, and Epstein purchased his mansion there in 1990.


November 1992 video shows Trump and Epstein greeting one another and laughing together while at a party at Mar-a-Lago. The video, unearthed by MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last month, depicts a more friendly relationship than the one Trump conveyed after Epstein’s July indictment.  “I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. I mean, people in Palm Beach knew him. He was a fixture in Palm Beach,” Trump said at the White House on July 9. “I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan.”

Trump also spoke more positively about Epstein in 2002, when New York magazine profiled Epstein as an “international moneyman of mystery.”

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump said then. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”  Phone numbers for Trump were found in Epstein’s so-called “black book,” which Gawker published in 2015, and the president’s name once appeared on a list of attendees for an Epstein dinner party. Photos from Getty Images show Epstein and Trump together at Mar-a-Lago in January 1997 and again in 2000.

Such examples of their connection have become social media fodder in the days since Epstein’s death, reminding users of the relationship. Others tried to link the connection directly to Epstein’s death. One liberal Facebook group, for example, shared a screenshot from a 2016 lawsuit by a woman who accused Trump and Epstein of raping her in 1994, with the caption: “This is why Jeffrey Epstein died.”

That lawsuit, which was originally filed in California in April 2016 by a woman using the pseudonym Katie Johnson and later filed in New York, alleged that she was sexually abused at age 13 by both Trump and Epstein at a series of parties at Epstein’s home in Manhattan. Trump in a 2016 statement denied those claims to “The allegations are not only categorically false, but disgusting at the highest level and clearly framed to solicit media attention or, perhaps, are simply politically motivated. There is absolutely no merit to these allegations. Period.”  The woman dropped her lawsuit on Nov. 4, 2016, four days before the 2016 presidential election. She shared her story the same day in an interview with, claiming she was first brought to the Epstein residence by a woman she met in New York who promised to help her pursue a modeling career. The claims were never proven.

Some of the recent explosive allegations against high-profile figures in the Epstein case were made public the day before Epstein’s death — and they stemmed from records (including Epstein’s flight logs) filed in a court case involving a woman who said she was introduced to Epstein while working at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.  Virginia Giuffre sued Epstein’s longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, in 2015 for defamation before settling in 2017. In court filings, Giuffre has said she was underage and working at Mar-a-Lago when she was recruited by Maxwell to provide massages and sex to Epstein; in a 2016 deposition, Giuffre said she never witnessed Trump having sex with underage women.

The flight logs showed that Trump flew on Epstein’s plane at least once — from Palm Beach to Newark, New Jersey, in January 1997.

There are unconfirmed reports that Trump “banned” Epstein from Mar-a-Lago at some point, but the precise details of Trump and Epstein’s “falling out,” as Trump has called it, aren’t clear. The Washington Post recently reported on a 2004 feud between the two over a waterfront mansion in Palm Beach. Trump eventually outbid Epstein at an auction for the property — not long before a local police investigation into Epstein began.


Posted by: maboulette | August 19, 2019

CLINTON CONNECTION Part 2 of Jeffrey Epstein research


The earliest reference that was able to find of a connection between Bill Clinton and Epstein was in 1995, when the president was running for reelection. Epstein reportedly attended a fundraising dinner for Clinton in Palm Beach, Florida, with about a dozen other people hosted by wealthy businessman Ronald Perelman.  The following year, about a month before Clinton’s reelection in November 1996, Epstein gave $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee — it was one of about 450 contributions of that size that the DNC collected from individuals in that two-year election cycle, according to records from the Federal Election Commission. Epstein’s prior political contributions also had favored Democratic candidates or causes (although not exclusively), and he typically gave $1,000 donations.

Before the next presidential election in 2000, Epstein gave $20,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $20,000 to a PAC that supported Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Senate, and $25,000 to another Democratic committee supporting Senate candidates, along with several other smaller contributions.


By 2002, after Clinton had left office, the former president began to be listed as a passenger on Epstein’s private plane, a fact confirmed by Clinton’s spokesman on Twitter in July. Between Feb. 9, 2002, and Nov. 4, 2003, there was counted a total of six trips; two of them were just one-way flights, though. In all, there were a total of 26 flights taken during the six trips, since several trips included multiple stops.

The flight logs for Epstein’s plane were recently unsealed in a lawsuit brought by one of his accusers.

Here’s what was found:

  • Feb. 9, 2002 — Clinton hopped a flight from Miami to Westchester, New York, where he lives.
  • March 19, 2002 — Clinton was listed as flying from New York to London and then returning two days later.
  • May 22, 2002 — Clinton flew from Japan to Hong Kong. The next day he flew to Singapore (by way of Shenzhen, China), where he gave a speech. On May 25, he left for Brunei, by way of Bangkok.
  • July 13, 2002 — He attended a wedding in Morocco and then hopped a flight to New York, stopping in the Azores.
  • Sept. 21, 2002 — Clinton left for a nine-day trip to Africa with actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker, visiting Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa. While there, he worked on HIV and AIDS prevention projects, democratization, and economic development. He finished the trip in England, where he addressed the Labour Party during its annual conference. In a 2002 profile of Epstein, Clinton is quoted as saying through a spokesman, “Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science. I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS.” According to the flight records, this was the longest trip Clinton took on Epstein’s plane, and it accounted for 11 of the 26 total flights.
  • Nov. 4, 2003 — About a year after the Africa trip, Clinton took what appears to be his last trip on Epstein’s plane. He flew from Brussels to Oslo, where he had a two-day visit with officials to work on his project to prevent HIV and AIDS in developing countries. He then flew to Hong Kong, by way of Siberia, and finished the trip in Beijing.

Shortly after Epstein’s death, Trump sowed confusion about Clinton’s use of the plane, 
saying to reporters:

Trump, Aug. 13: I know he was on his plane 27 times and he said he was on the plane four times. But when they checked the plane logs, Bill Clinton — who was a very good friend of Epstein — he was on the plane about 27 or 28 times. So why did he say “four times”?


Clintons have killed dozens of their political adversaries — he retweeted a post that included the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily.


When the myth-busting website Snopes addressed this conspiracy theory back in 1998, it had already been around for 20 years, according to the Snopes story. So, the conspiracy theory just passed the 40-year mark and keeps growing with new deaths each time someone remotely related to the Clintons dies.


Recently, we debunked a claim that tried to tie the 2017 suicide of a surgeon to the Clintons. The doctor’s death shared only this thin connection to them: He had worked in Haiti following the devastating 2010 earthquake and co-authored an opinion piece that was critical of the humanitarian response. At the time, Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, and the Clinton Foundation had undertaken some projects to rebuild Haiti. As we wrote, there was no direct connection between the doctor and the Clintons, and the New York City Police Department confirmed that the death was a suicide.


Earlier in the timeline of the conspiracy theory is the death of Vince Foster, who had worked with Hillary Clinton as a lawyer in Arkansas and was a deputy in the White House counsel’s office during the Clinton administration. Foster killed himself in a park in Northern Virginia in 1993 after telling his sister he was depressed and seeking anti-depressants from his family doctor. Two law enforcement investigations, two congressional inquiries and an investigation led by independent counsel Ken Starr concluded that Foster died by suicide.

Still, though, the suggestion that Foster was killed by the Clintons persists.

We asked conspiracy theory researcher Karen Douglas, a social psychology professor at the University of Kent, why certain theories have such staying power. But there isn’t a clear answer.

“Conspiracy theories are likely to be more successful when they confirm what people want to believe,” Douglas said through email. “They are also likely to be successful if they are interesting/exciting and offer a ‘big’ explanation for a ‘big’ event.”

In this case, the “‘big’ event” is just a list of people who have had some connection to the Clintons and also died.

For Epstein, it’s true that he knew the Clintons — he reportedly hosted a dinner party in 2003 to honor Bill Clinton (although Clinton didn’t actually show up), and one of his charities, called The C.O.U.Q. Foundation, gave $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2006 — but there is no evidence linking his death to them.


Posted by: maboulette | August 18, 2019

EPSTEIN’S DEATH – Part 1 of 3


The president has advanced the widely debunked conspiracy theory that the In the absence of information about how sex offender Jeffrey Epstein managed to die in prison by an apparent suicide on Aug. 10, outlandish conspiracy theories have cropped up across the political spectrum.  Among the more prominent theories are claims that the Clintons or President Donald Trump is somehow involved. Trump himself shared a comedian’s tweet peddling the baseless suggestion that former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were responsible. (Trump can’t get over that Hillary beat him in the popular vote!)


When a reporter asked Trump about that on Aug. 13, the president said he had “no idea” if the Clintons were involved and referenced trips that Bill Clinton had taken on Epstein’s plane.  It’s true that Clinton had ties to Epstein, a wealthy financier who stood accused of sexually abusing dozens of young girls, and that the former president had traveled on Epstein’s plane. But Epstein had ties to Trump, too, and to other politicians who have been named in recently released court documents.


The relationships to Clinton and Trump don’t explain Epstein’s death, and the conspiracy theories being used as political weapons are, of course, unsubstantiated. Here’s what is know about those connections.


Jeffrey Edward Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell at a federal prison in New York at about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 10, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which said life-saving measures were initiated before Epstein was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead. The Federal Bureau of Prisons deemed the death an “apparent suicide.”  Epstein was reportedly on suicide watch following a July 23 incident in which he was found semiconscious with marks on his neck, but was taken off suicide watch days before his death. The New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on Aug. 11, saying in a statement that its determination is still “pending further information.”


Attorney General William Barr, who said he was “appalled” that the death occurred under the federal prison’s watch, has instructed the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate. He has cited “serious irregularities” at the facility. Members of Congress have also demanded answers.  Barr was at the prison for unknown reasons only days before.


financier who got his start at Bear Stearns, Epstein lived in exorbitant luxury. He reported total assets of $559 million to the court when he was requesting bail in July and owned five lavish properties at the time of his death.  His primary home was on a private island in the Caribbean, but he also had a six-story mansion assessed at $75 million in New York City, a ranch in New Mexico, a gated house in Palm Beach and an apartment near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Before his downfall, Epstein would shuttle a bevy of famous friends between the houses and around the world on his private jet — among them were Prince Andrew, actor Kevin Spacey, former President Bill Clinton and, at least once, President Donald Trump himself.


Posted by: maboulette | August 17, 2019

Trump Is Tanking – Is His Mind Leaving Him

long nose

Some politicians are great one-on-one but cannot project warmth to a crowd. “If he/she could just meet every voter, they’d get 100% of the vote,” their staffers say to anyone who’ll listen.  Donald Trump is the opposite. To know him is to hate him.


Many of those who have been closest to Trump just can’t stand the guy. Anthony Scaramucci is the latest. The Mooch has had enough of Trump’s “dissembling” — a ten-dollar word for lying — and his racism. He even thinks the GOP should consider dumping the President from the 2020 ticket.

“I don’t see a Republican groundswell for a Dump Trump movement, but it is interesting how many of those closest to Trump have already dumped him. Take Michael Cohen, please. Mr. Cohen was Trump’s pit bull, his fixer, his consigliere. Cohen said he’d “take a bullet” for Trump. No more. Before decamping for the pokey, Cohen testified that his one-time hero is in fact “a racist, a con man, a cheat.”


Omarosa Manigault Newman, who starred on Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” and worked for him in the White House, wrote in her tell-all that Trump is a racist who used the N-word on the set of the show. (Although she concedes she never personally heard him utter that epithet.)


Some of the President’s most senior national security and economic advisers have been reported saying the most contemptuous things. Bob Woodward’s book “Fear: Trump in the White House” is replete with examples:

  • Former Defense Secretary James Mattis: After briefing Trump on a potential nuclear showdown with North Korea, Mattis — a four-star Marine general — is reported to have said, “the President acted like — and had the understanding of — a ‘fifth or sixth grader.'” Mattis has denied that he made this statement.


  • Former White House chief of staff — and another Marine general — John Kelly called the Trump White House “crazytown,” and is reported to have called his boss “unhinged,” “off the rails,” and “an idiot.” Kelly denied that he called the President an idiot and called Woodward’s book “B.S.”


  • Veteran attorney and former Trump lawyer John Dowd told Woodward of a practice session of questions and answers with Trump, as if Dowd were Mueller. Dowd’s conclusion? Trump is “a f—ing liar.” Dowd has denied this claim.


  • Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who rose to CEO of Exxon-Mobil, reportedly concluded his boss was “a moron.” Tillerson didn’t confirm or deny that he made the claim. But he later told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer Trump is “a man who’s undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things…” This sometimes led Trump to demand actions that were not legal, Tillerson told Schieffer.

Apparently the major river flowing through Washington is not the Potomac, it’s Denial. Back in my days in the Clinton White House, Woodward quoted me saying unkind (but hilarious) things about some of my colleagues. But I didn’t even try to deny saying them. You know why? ‘Cause I said them. I suspect these folks did as well.


But here’s the other side of the coin: The further you get from Trump the more some folks love him. He is beloved by rural, older, non-college educated white folks, people who would be kicked out on their keisters if they showed up at Mar-a-Lago. Trump probably wouldn’t be caught dead in their ZIP codes, but he believes — perhaps correctly — “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

That may be. But it’s also true that a whole lot of the people who know Donald Trump best have thrown him under the bus.

Trump has a lack of moral leadership!


Posted by: maboulette | August 15, 2019

Trump Lies About Everything


Playing defense, President Donald Trump made up facts in the aftermath of two mass shootings and as U.S. businesses braced for a potentially devastating trade war with China.


Trump distorted science in seeking to assign blame on video games for the deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio, rather than on his own words that critics say contributed to a combustible racial climate spawning violence. He also pointed to an imminent magic solution in the form of legislation on background checks that was far from certain and misrepresented his record on gun control.


On trade, Trump repeatedly exaggerated the benefits of tariffs and sought unfairly to fault the Federal Reserve — not his own policies — for any weakness in the U.S. economy. Trump says he will impose new taxes on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports on Sept. 1 that are almost certain to inflict pain on American consumers.


Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden claimed Trump did nothing on gun control, but in fact Trump banned bump stocks, a gun attachment deemed legal during the Obama-Biden administration.

A look at recent claims and reality:


TRUMP: “China wants to make a deal so badly. Thousands of companies are leaving because of the Tariffs, they must stem the flow.” — tweet Saturday.

TRUMP: “China is losing so many — they’re losing — thousands and thousands of companies are leaving China now because of the tariffs.” — remarks to reporters Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Not so fast. It’s true that many companies are rethinking their supply chains in an effort to dodge Trump’s tariffs on goods from China. Some are moving production to other countries such as Vietnam and Mexico. But there’s no evidence of a mass exodus. For one thing, relocating factories takes time — often 12 to 18 months. For another, it will be hard for multinationals to duplicate what they have in China — long- standing relationships with Chinese contractors and access to a vast array of specialized suppliers who can quickly deliver niche components.

Trump is seeking to intensify pressure on China to reach a trade deal by saying he will impose 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports he hasn’t already taxed.

Posted by: maboulette | August 13, 2019

Julián Castro Buys Fox Ad to Send A Message to Trump


On Wednesday a new ad from Julián Castro will air in which the Democratic candidate for the presidency will speak directly to Donald Trump. To ensure the president sees it, his campaign has purchased ad time on Fox News, including on Trump’s favorite program, “Fox & Friends.”


In the ad, which is available now online, the former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of housing and urban development places the blame for racial tensions in the country, and the ideology of the racist shooter in El Paso, at the feet of the president.

“President Trump: You referred to countries as s—holes,” he says in the ad. “You urged American Congresswomen to ‘go back’ to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists.”

“As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists,” he goes on, referencing the striking overlap between language used by the shooter and the president.

“Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family.”


The concept for the ad echoes back to a stunt by comedian John Oliver on his show “Last Week Tonight,” in which he bought ad time on Fox News in order to try to educate Trump on issues in a venue he knew he would be paying attention.

“Ya Basta,” Castro says in the ad, angered. “Words have consequences.”



Posted by: maboulette | August 13, 2019

Trump Too Thin-Skinned To Protect The United States

new trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Playing defense, President Donald Trump made up facts in the aftershock of two mass shootings and as U.S. businesses braced for a possibly devastating trade war with China.


Trump used inaccurate science in seeking to assign blame on video games for the deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio, rather than on his own words that critics say contributed to a explosive racial climate producing violence. He also pointed to a pending magic solution in the form of legislation on background checks that was far from certain and altered his record on gun control.

President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days (The Washington Post)


Stop me if you’ve heard this one: There’s a dangerous threat to United States security. It’s widely accepted by many top officials in the Trump administration. But the government remains stuck in neutral, paralyzed by a fear of offending the president.


This is the story of Russian electoral interference, but it is also the story of white racist violence. In the face of a confirmed—and lethal—threat, President Donald Trump has been slow to deal with the threat of domestic extremist violence inside the U.S., The New York Times reports, because aides are nervous about bringing it up. The problem of domestic terror has new importance now, after the massacre in El Paso, Texas, but already the president’s attention has wandered to other topics.


The problem is, at heart, political correctness. Although that handling is most often tossed at the left by conservatives, it fits Trump’s behavior. Discussion of domestic terrorism and white violence has become politically incorrect within the president’s vicinity. The problem is not factual inaccuracy—it’s that bringing the issue up triggers Trump’s sensitivities so seriously that speaking the truth becomes taboo.


 “Officials at [DHS] have felt they could not broach topics like domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence with Mr. Trump because he was not interested in those concerns,” the Times reports. Aides are right to be nervous. Trump has shown in the past that he has little patience for aides who tell him hard truths he doesn’t want to hear.


Following the August 3 shooting in El Paso, the president briefly acknowledged the assumed shooter’s motivation. “The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate,” Trump said at the White House. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”


Yet within days, the president had moved on to fuming about coverage of his trip to El Paso, spreading conspiracy theories about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, and picking fights with the comedian Bill Maher. He has also gestured toward the possibility of expanding background checks for gun ownership, but dropped talk about white supremacy.


Despite a long record of racist remarks and actions, Trump is enraged by any suggestion that he might be a racist. He seems to believe that acknowledging a serious problem of white racist violence during his presidency would reflect poorly on his leadership, just as acknowledging Russian interference in the 2016 election would call the legitimacy of his victory into question. In both cases, he is correct. But ignoring the problems will not make either go away, so the president’s thin skin is preventing him from dealing with a genuine threat to the nation.


The federal government’s inadequate response to white racist violence predates Trump. Early in the Obama administration, a Department of Homeland Security report warned about a rise in the phenomenon. But Barack Obama’s team bowed to pressure from conservatives who accused the government of political correctness. Trump was among the right-wing figures who complained that the Obama administration wouldn’t name “radical Islamic terror” as a threat. DHS withdrew the report.


Under the Trump administration, the government has remained flat-footed, now because of Trump’s antipathy to the topic of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. In effect, he is guilty of a mirror image of the accusation he made against Obama. Trump said Obama wouldn’t name “radical Islamic terror” out of fears of political correctness, but his own sensitivities mean his administration has looked away from the threat of domestic terror out of its own sense of what is politically correct.


White racists were an important part of Trump’s winning coalition in 2016, although by no means all of it, and Trump has signaled that aggravating racial tensions will be a central part of his 2020 reelection campaign, too. The president has downplayed the threat posed by white nationalists and white supremacists. After a violent white-supremacist march in Charlottesville, the president focused on what he insisted were “good people on both sides.” After a white-supremacist shooter killed 51 people in New Zealand, Trump said he was not worried about the threat posed by the ideology, saying, “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”


The FBI disagreed. In testimony in July, Director Chris Wray, a Trump appointee, said that his agents had made nearly as many domestic-terrorism arrests as global-terrorism arrests over the previous nine months, with most of them related to white supremacy. That number may obscure more than it tells, too: Since the federal government has been more focused on global terrorism, it stands to reason it would have made more arrests in that area as well. But Trump doesn’t trust the FBI, even after cleaning out its previous leadership—another legacy of the president’s fury about the Russia investigation.


One part of the problem is insufficient resources and attention. Trump tends to view DHS as almost wholly an immigration-enforcement agency, which means that other concerns of the department, including cybersecurity, election safety, and domestic terrorism, get scant attention. But the Justice Department has still managed to find resources to investigate supposed “black-identity extremists.”


This reluctance to confront white racist violence occurred before 22 people were killed in El Paso. Could that prove a turning point for Trump on domestic terror? Sure—but it probably won’t be. That’s just not Trump’s style. The president has refused to even recognize the fact of Russian interference, let alone respond to it, despite unanimity among his aides—a refusal that would be slapstick were it not so terribling.


White racist violence is a real political liability for Trump. A large majority of Americans say that white nationalism is either an important or a critical threat, and a majority also say that Trump’s actions and behaviors have encouraged white supremacists. A typical politician, faced with such a situation, would take some steps to vaccinate himself, ranging from the largely symbolic (a blue-ribbon commission) to the more substantial (major new programs or funding). For Trump, even acknowledging the problem is anathema. In this White House, protecting the president’s feelings comes before protecting citizens’ lives.  This president’s thin-skin is a danger to the American people.

From the Washington Press


The alleged suicide of serial pedophile Jeffery Epstein this weekend immediately sparked an avalanche of conspiracy theories, accusations, and counter-accusations from both sides of the political divide as the nation grappled with how one of the nation’s most prominent prisoners could have committed suicide while under federal supervision — and who might really be to blame for his death.


But a new report from the New York Post has fanned the flames of mystery even more than the president’s promotion of Epstein murder conspiracy theories.

Two weeks ago, Epstein, who was a close friend of both former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump, was discovered with marks around his neck in either an attempted suicide or an assault by his cellmate.


About the same time, Attorney General and shameless Trump toady William Barr secretly visited the prison where Epstein was being held, according to former Gotti mobster Lewis Kasman, who “heard it:” “When does that happen? The attorney general never visits jails. Something’s not right there” said Kasman to the Post.


Kasman went on to imply that there was something extremely suspicious about Epstein’s second, successful, suicide attempt: “There are cameras going 24/7 and they’re watching 24/7. Someone had to give [Epstein] the equipment to kill himself and he had to pay for it dearly. That facility for years had issues of corruption, with correction officers bringing in food or cellphones for wealthy people.”


Kasman’s second statement appears to have been vindicated by an astonishing New York Times article which asserts that Epstein was “supposed to have been checked by guards every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not being followed the night before he was found.”


The suspicious negligence by the Metropolitan Correctional Center is likely to be investigated by the Justice Department…which just so happens to be run by William Barr.

While visiting the prison would be an absurdly unwise decision for Barr to make, the Trump administration is not exactly known for either its subtlety or their wise decision making.


Considering the tremendous implications of the revelations in an Epstein trial, his convenient death should be regarded with high levels of suspicion until we get answers as to how this was allowed to pass.

Original reporting by Brad Hamilton at the New York Post.



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