Trump’s Daily Horrors – Week 2

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Week Two

For a recap of the first seven days, click here.

(Note: There are several different types of executive actions. Most of Trump’s actions to date have been Executive Orders or Executive Memoranda. You can find an informative discussion of the  difference between those two here here. A complete list of Trump’s Executive Orders to date can be found here, at the official White House website. A complete list of his Executive Memoranda can be found here. For most practical purposes, the difference between the two is insignificant, and I’ll continue calling them all “Executive Orders”. On the other hand, Andrew Rudalevige at the Washington Post claims it does indeed make a difference, and his arguments should be read and need to be understood. He argues that most of Trump’s orders are symbolic and will have little actual effect.)

1/27/2017 –
Executive orders:
*
An order requiring a “military readiness review.” This order received little attention, partly due to the Muslim ban order issued the same day (see below). It requires reassessing the military budget, and specifically nuclear and ballistic missile systems. It is potentially an attempt to take control of military funding from Congress and seat it in the White House, along with possibly requiring aggressive development of America’s nuclear arsenal. The most gentle reading would simply be to find a way to set the new Administration’s military policies.
ban*
 A detailed order banning Muslim refugees. Trump got around the First Amendment religious difficulties by banning refugees from Muslim-majority countries, rather than banning Muslims. The countries from which he is banning refugees are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya–but not the Muslim-majority countries in which he has business interests, which are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. Further, the order uses the 9/11 attacks as an excuse for this ban, even though 15 of the 19 attackers came from Saudi Arabia, two from United Arab Emirates, and one each from Egypt and Lebanon, which were not included in the ban. This is a decision clearly made due to a conflict of interest. 

Bear in mind, this banning of refugees was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day. That was no innocent coincidence. It was an intentional insult to the dead and the families of the dead, Jewish refugees who were murdered in the 1940s when America declined to accept refugees from Europe. This horror was likely urged and masterminded by neo-Nazi Steve Bannon, who is Trump’s chief policy adviser.

Trump cancelled 5 million dollars’ worth of public service ads telling Americans that the deadline for buying insurance though the ACA’s exchanges is January 31. Taxpayers will not get that money back. The only purpose of canceling the ads was to screw some Americans who don’t yet have insurance and who would have purchased it in the remaining days of the open enrollment period. That, and slightly lowering this year’s Obamacare enrollment numbers.

The Trump Administration is apparently purging the State Department. The entire senior management staff quit yesterday (including such notables as Patrick Kennedy and Joyce Anne Barr, who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations). It is not clear if this is an attempt to get rid of anyone with a different viewpoint from the incoming fascist neo-Nazi regime, or anyone with experience, or if it is a mass exodus of people who refuse to work under this administration. In any case, it will leave America with few people in the State Department who know what they’re doing.

trumptweetTrump tweeted the madness shown here  at about 5 AM this morning. This isn’t merely his usual insanity. It is a direct assault on democracy. If there were three million illegal votes (enough to change the result of three of the last five presidential elections), then there is something seriously wrong that must be addressed. There’s a deeper problem however, in Trump’s campaign to undermine faith in our democratic institutions by spreading lies with the authority of the President behind them. I intend to explore that in an upcoming blog post.

Minor, perhaps, compared to everything else, but Trump today lied to British Prime Minister Theresa May on live television. He claimed to have predicted the result of the Brexit vote on the day before it happened while he was visiting his new golf course in Scotland. The problem is that he didn’t fly to Scotland until the day after the vote.


1/28/2017 –
Executive orders:
* An order on ethics in the Executive Branch. Amid all the chaos that happened this week, not much attention has been given to this order. It borrows heavily from President Obama’s directions, but is stricter in some ways. It imposes a five-year ban on lobbying when executive branch employees leave the government, ensuring that no one who works from Trump can go to work against him during his first term.
A supposed “plan to defeat ISIS”, which amounts to nothing more than telling the generals to develop a plan to defeat ISIS.
A reorganization of the National Security Council. This was brushed off during the signing ceremony as being relatively unimportant, but it is the most awful order of the day. It puts neoNazi strongman Steve Bannon on the Council, and allows the Director of National Security and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to sit in on meetings only when invited(!). Bear in mind, Bannon has not been vetted by any Congressional committee. This order also in violation of the law that established the NSC, Title 50 of US Code 3021, which states:

The Council shall be composed of—
(1) the President;
(2) the Vice President;
(3) the Secretary of State;
(4) the Secretary of Defense;
(5) the Secretary of Energy; and
(6) the Secretaries and Under Secretaries of other executive departments and of the military departments, when appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve at his pleasure.

Bannon is not among the “Secretaries and Under Secretaries of other executive departments [or] of the military departments”, and he has not been subject to “the advice and consent of the Senate”.

It was revealed late in the week that Trump didn’t know what he was signing when he signed the order reorganizing the NSC. He hadn’t read it, hadn’t been briefed on what was in it, and didn’t know who wrote it.

January 28 was a Saturday, one week after the Women’s March that happened the day after Trump’s inauguration. The Muslim Ban announced on Friday, January 27 sparked nationwide protests at airports, as people who were on the way to the US when the Order was signed discovered they were unable to enter the country. A series of court challenges throughout the week resulted in the Order being temporarily blocked, between 60,000 and 100,000 visas to be reinstated, and for travelers to again be admitted from the named countries.


1/29/2017 –

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12 thoughts on “Trump’s Daily Horrors – Week 2

  1. The Bannon promotion is crazy – then to hear the radio talk about his great vision and organizing skills as demonstrated by Breitbart the trash-blog which created a blizzard if lies and malicious memes based on self made fictions.
    The man is the embodiment of:
    Complete disrespect for honesty and truth.
    Complete contempt for everyone not within his own ideological clique.

    And such are the amoral Republicans’ (with all their holier than thou attitude) modern heroes.
    Now watch as they do all they can to make sure Democrats never gain a political advantage again.

    DC, you’ve bit off a big project and wish you the best.
    ______________________________________________

    I received this round up from The Democracy Spring Team:
    http://www.democracyspring.org/principles

    Let’s recap. In 12 days Trump has:

    Pushed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act
    Restarted the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines
    Ordered to build a wall on the Mexican border
    Banned all refugees from entering the country
    Banned all travel from seven Muslim-majority countries
    Fired the Attorney General for refusing to defend the bans
    Refused aid to NGOs who offer or recommend abortions
    Ordered a communications blackout for multiple federal agencies
    Doubled-down on lies about widespread voter fraud
    Selected a hyper-conservative judge to the Supreme Court

    Like

  2. GOP in action here:

    Bills Across The Country Could Increase Penalties For Protesters
    By CLAY MASTERS • JAN 31, 2017
    http://ksut.org/post/bills-across-country-could-increase-penalties-protesters

    From the Black Lives Matter movement to environmentalists trying to stop new oil pipelines to the recent Women’s March against President Trump, the past year has been filled with large, often spontaneous protests.

    Now the reaction to those protests is appearing in a number of Republican-controlled statehouses across the country, where lawmakers are introducing proposals to increase penalties for those who block roadways while protesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chaffetz Introduces Land Management Bills
    “It’s time to get rid of the BLM and US Forest Service police”

    http://chaffetz.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=788
    Washington, Jan 24, 2017 |
    Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) released the following statement after reintroducing two bills dealing with the 67 percent of the State of Utah that is under federal ownership.

    “It’s time to get rid of the BLM and US Forest Service police. If there is a problem your local sheriff is the first and best line of defense. By restoring local control in law enforcement, we enable federal agencies and county sheriffs to each focus on their respective core missions.

    “The long overdue disposal of excess federal lands will free up resources for the federal government while providing much-needed opportunities for economic development in struggling rural communities.”

    Bill Details:
    H.R. 622, Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, first introduced last year, removes the law enforcement function from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service. Instead, the bill calls for deputizing local law enforcement, combined with block grant funding, to empower existing duly elected law enforcement offices to carry out these responsibilities. The bill, jointly sponsored by Utah’s Rep. Mia Love and Rep. Chris Stewart, also establishes a formula to reimburse local law enforcement based on the percentage of public land in each state.

    H.R. 621, Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, calls for the responsible disposal of 3.3 million acres of land identified by the Clinton Administration as being suitable for sale to non-federal entities. Encompassing just over one percent of total BLM land and less than half of one percent of all federal lands, these lands have been deemed to serve no purpose for taxpayers. In Utah, some 132,931 acres of land are eligible for disposal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too much to keep up on. But these seemed particularly interesting. Would be nice to think this could turn the tide.

    What a Valentine’s Day for our Russian Obligate President Trump –
    Now it’s going to get interesting
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty and Challenging Trump
    By MICHAEL R. GORDONFEB. 14, 2017

    WASHINGTON — Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that American officials say violates a landmark arms control treaty, posing a major test for President Trump as his administration is facing a crisis over its ties to Moscow.
    ~~~~~~~

    Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence
    By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, MARK MAZZETTI and MATT APUZZOFEB. 14, 2017

    WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.
    American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign
    was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election. …
    ~~~~~~~

    NSA so concerned over Donald Trump’s ties to Russia they’ve ‘withheld information from presidential briefings’
    Follows claims National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Kremlin ambassador
    Jon Sharman Tuesday 14 February 2017
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/nsa-donald-trump-team-ties-russia-mike-flynn-national-security-adviser-daily-intelligence-briefings-a7576986.html

    For the past three weeks, according to a former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst and counter-intelligence officer, some the America’s spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence from the Oval Office amid fears “the Kremlin has ears inside” the White House situation room.The claims follow reports that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed lifting sanctions against Moscow with a Russian diplomat before Mr Trump took office. …
    ~~~~~~~

    GOP Senate Intel Member: Exhaustive investigation into Trump-Russia connections needed following Flynn resignation
    By Andrew Kaczynski, CNN
    Updated 2:47 PM ET, Tue February 14, 2017
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/kfile-roy-blunt-flynn-investigation/

    (CNN)Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Tuesday called for an exhaustive investigation into connections between President Donald Trump and Russia and said the Intelligence Committee should immediately speak with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.Flynn resigned Monday evening amid revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had in December with Russia’s ambassador to the US about sanctions
    placed on Russia. …
    ~~~~~~~

    Trump aides were in constant touch with senior Russian officials during campaign
    By Pamela Brown, Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez,
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/donald-trump-aides-russians-campaign/index.html

    (CNN)High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence, multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials tell CNN.
    President-elect Trump and then-President Barack Obama were both briefed on details of the extensive communications between suspected Russian operatives and people associated with the Trump campaign and the Trump business, according to US officials familiar with the matter. Flynn scrambles White House Both the frequency of the communications during early summer and the proximity to Trump of those involved “raised a red flag” with US intelligence and law enforcement, according to these officials. The communications were intercepted during routine intelligence collection targeting Russian officials and other Russian nationals known to US intelligence. …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. FYI
    Remove health-care subsidies for Members of Congress and their families
    https://www.change.org/p/remove-health-care-subsidies-for-members-of-congress-and-their-families

    PETITION BY Daniel Jimenez Portland, OR.


    Affordable health care is in decline as premiums and health costs increase at exponential rates. Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not. 

    Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance, I’m concerned the people elected to represent us won’t have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA repeal or replacement. 

    A lot of Members of Congress promote choice as an American value, which is all the more reason for them to have to continue to choose their own health coverage from the free marketplace. If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it.

    If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?
    This petition will be delivered to:
    U.S. Senate
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Representative
    Paul Ryan
    2 more decision makers…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Time to start a new thread. The People fight back.

    Trump, GOP leaders abruptly pull health care bill in stunning defeat
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-house-health-care-vote-20170324-story.html
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/watch-live-congress-votes-on-the-republican-health-care-bill/

    WATCH: Paul Ryan speaks after Republicans withdraw health care bill
    House Speaker Paul Ryan addressed reporters Friday afternoon after Republicans decided to withdraw the American Health Care Act. PBS NewsHour will live stream.

    WASHINGTON — In a humiliating setback, President Donald Trump and GOP leaders pulled their “Obamacare” repeal bill off the House floor Friday after it became clear the measure would fail badly.

    It was a stunning defeat for the new president after he had demanded House Republicans vote on the legislation Friday, threatening to leave “Obamacare” in place and move on to other issues if the vote failed. The bill was withdrawn minutes before the vote was to occur.

    The president’s gamble failed. Instead Trump, who campaigned as a master deal-maker and claimed that he alone could fix the nation’s health care system, saw his ultimatum rejected by Republican lawmakers who made clear they answer to their own voters, not to the president.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Like

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