NEW YORK CITY STREET ART: THE EDUARDO KOBRA “TAKEOVER”

In 2018, Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra painted a whopping 18 murals in New York City & Brooklyn! I was able to get to about 16 of them. Here they are below, with their locations:

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“27 Club” at Rivington & 170 Forsyth

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“Ellis” at 16 Clarkson Street in the West Village

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“Stop Guns” at 231 Eldridge Street

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“Run DMC” at 12th Street & 191 Ave A

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“Stop Wars” at 391 West St & Christopher St

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“Einstein on a Bike” at 780 3rd Ave

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“Elvis” at Bedford Ave & 142 N. 5th St in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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“Einstein” at 212 8th Ave & 21st St in Chelsea

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“Firefighter” at 150 E. 49th St & 3rd Ave

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“Statue of Liberty” at 49 Thompson St in SoHo

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“Mother Theresa & Gandhi” at 130 10th Ave & 18th St in Chelsea

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“Rushmore” at 210 10th Ave & 22nd St in Chelsea

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“Michael Jackson” at 180 1st Ave & 11th Street

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“Soulphia” at 16 Clarkson Street

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“Roy Lichtenstein” at 225 E. 44th

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“Boy and Balloon” on the other side of the Statue of Liberty piece at 49 Thompson St. SoHo
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Classic “Warhol & Basquiat” piece of Kobra’s still up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at 162 N 9th St & Bedford Ave
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NYC-based artist, City Kitty, got into the “Kobra action” and put up a cheeky piece in response to Kobra’s takeover of the city. In Chelsea near the “Rushmore” piece: 10th Ave & 22nd St.

All photos taken in November 2018. NYC & Brooklyn, NY

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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 114: EMPATHY

JANUARY 12, 2019

Week 113

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-113/

This week Trump struggled to create stagecraft and find narratives to justify funding for his border wall, while keeping the government shuttered. Trump delivered a prime-time Oval Office address, visited the U.S.-Mexico border, and held an immigration round-table to make his case, while the reality of the shutdown hurt federal workers and contractors, and agencies started to cut back or cease operations and functions.

This was a week of bombshells on the Trump-Russia front, as an inadvertently unredacted filing by Paul Manafort’s attorneys revealed Manafort had delivered 2016 president campaign polling data to Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI believes has ties to Russian intelligence. Michael Cohen set a date to testify before the House, and Natalie Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who attended the June 9 Trump Tower meeting was back in the news. Late Friday, a bombshell story by the Times revealed the FBI had opened an inquiry in May 2017 into whether Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

As the week came to a close, the government shutdown reached Day 22, making it the longest shutdown in history, with no end in sight. Federal workers got their first $0 paycheck on Friday, week three of the shutdown.img_3133img_3171img_3170

  1. On Saturday, Pentagon chief of staff Kevin Sweeney resigned, after serving for two years. Sweeney is the second senior Pentagon official to depart in the wake of Jim Mattis’ resignation. Reportedly, he was forced out.
  2. NYT reported the idea of Trump’s border wall was hatched in 2014 as Trump explored a presidential run, as a memory trick for an undisciplined candidate to remember to talk about getting tough on immigration.
  3. The wall was a simple concept to feed to his base like ‘crooked Hillary’ and ‘lock her up.’ Now, Trump is obsessed by the idea of a wall because it was the most memorable and tangible promise he made during his campaign.
  4. Most Republicans privately agree with Democrats that the wall is only a minor piece of a broad set of actionsneeded to overhaul the immigration system. Democrats add the wall is immoral, expensive, and ineffective.
  5. On Saturday, the Trump regime sent a letter to congressional leaders demanding $5.7 billion for “a steel barrier,” as well as $800 million to address “urgent humanitarian needs” of unaccompanied migrant children.
  6. On Sunday, incoming House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff told “State of the Union” that “as one of our first acts,” he plans to make transcripts of witness interviews fully available to Mueller’s team.
  7. Rep. Schiff also said, “This is a real danger, a present danger for the United States, this rise of authoritarianism, and we need to better understand it, and we need to figure out a better strategy to counter it.”
  8. On Sunday, press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox News host Chris Wallace, “nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally,” and our most vulnerable entry is at our southern border.
  9. Wallace responded, “The state department says there hasn’t been any terrorists found coming across the southern border.” Sanders tried to dance around the facts, saying terrorists are “coming a number of ways.”
  10. On Monday, NBC News reported according to May 2018 Customs and Border Protection data, just six immigrants who were in the terrorism database were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border in the first half of 2018.
  11. The Terrorist Screening Database revealed 41 in the database from October 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, 35 of which were U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. At the northern border, 91 were stopped.
  12. On Sunday, during a trip to Israel, national security adviser, John Bolton laid out conditions for U.S. withdrawal from Syria, breaking from Trump’s previous statements of an immediate withdrawal.
  13. Bolton suggested a delay of months or years, until the Islamic State was completely defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the U.S.
  14. On Sunday, when asked by reporters about the change, Trump responded he had “never said we were doing it that quickly.” In the video of his announcement on December 9, Trump said troops are “coming back now.”
  15. On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan scolded Bolton and refused to meet with him, saying he had made a “very serious mistake” by demanding protection for U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria.
  16. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headed to the Middle East to give a major speech about America’s role in the region and assure allies in the region given the unpredictable behavior and recent actions of Trump.
  17. Early drafts of the speech suggest that in a rebuke to Obama, Pompeo will say Iran is the real terrorist culprit, and suggest the country could learn from the Saudis about human rights and the rule of law. Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive countries.
  18. The drafts also applaud Saudi Arabia for purportedly bringing to killers of Jamal Khashoggi to justice — counter to the CIA and Congress findings which concluded Crown Prince MBS ordered the killing.
  19. On Sunday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he “can relate” to the furloughed federal workerswho are not getting paychecks, adding, “I’m sure the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments.”
  20. Trump also claimed, despite ample evidence to the contrary, “Many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing.”
  21. The shutdown, in its third week, has affected a wide range of professions, including the Coast Guard and air traffic controllers. When asked if federal workers will get a check on Friday, Trump said “we’ll see what happens.”
  22. Trump also said he “informed my folks to say that we’ll build a steel barrier” at his weekend meeting at Camp David with senior officials, adding the Democrats “don’t like concrete, so we’ll give them steel.”
  23. On Monday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked the media, saying “the Fake News & totally dishonest Media concerning me and my presidency has never been worse,” adding “Many have become crazed lunatics.”
  24. Trump accused the media of hiding his successes, tweeting “The Fake News will knowingly lie and demean” to make him look as bad as possible, and “use non-existent sources & write stories that are total fiction.”
  25. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News Media in our Country is the real Opposition Party,” adding, “It is truly the Enemy of the People! We must bring honesty back to journalism and reporting!”
  26. Trump criticized coverage of his shift on troop withdrawal from Syria: “The Failing New York Times has knowingly written a very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria. No different from my original statements.”
  27. Hours later, NYT reported Trump said he would deliver a prime-time address on Tuesday, and visit the southern border on Thursday to make a case for his wall and to cast immigration as a national security crisis.
  28. Trump’s address sparked debate inside and outside TV networks, noting Trump’s frequent lies, fear-mongering, and attacks on the press. That day, networks did decide to cover Trump’s address from the Oval Office.
  29. Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence on his behalf, threatened that Trump may consider using “emergency powers” to order that the wall be built, and Democrats continued to call out Trump’s falsehoods.
  30. On Monday, Day 17, the impacts of the shutdown spread including mortgage applications being delayed, public companies unable to get approval to raise capital, and Secret Service agents working without pay.
  31. Seeking to minimize public outrage, the Trump regime directed the Internal Revenue Service to issue tax refunds during the shutdown.The IRS workers called back from furlough to process checks were unpaid.
  32. On Monday, the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents 61,000 pilots, sent Trump a scathing letter urging him to immediately end the shutdown, saying it could adversely affect safety and security.
  33. On Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency responsible for inspecting defects in cars, trucks, and SUVs, said it will not be doing so during the shutdown.
  34. On Tuesday, WAPO reported the shutdown is hindering some of the poorest college students from receiving federal student loans and grants, including Pell grants, student loans, and other forms of financial aid.
  35. On Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on Congress to end the government shutdown, saying in a letter, “The shutdown is harming the American people, the business community, and the economy.”
  36. On Tuesday, a Reuters-Ipsos found a growing number of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown: 51% blame Trump, up 4 points from 2 weeks ago, while just 32% blame congressional Democrats.
  37. On Tuesday, ahead of his prime-time address, Trump invited representatives from cable and broadcast news channels to an off-the-record lunch, including Bill Shine, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Sanders.
  38. NYT reported that Trump dismissed his own new strategy of giving a speech and going to Texas as pointless, telling reporters “It’s not going to change a damn thing,” but that Shine, Conway, and Sanders think it’s worth it.
  39. Ahead of Trump’s address from the Oval Office, WAPO compiled a fact-checking cheat sheet of 20 false assertions related to immigration recently used repeatedly by Trump and the regime to make the case for his wall.
  40. WAPO dispelled the notion that the situation at the border is a national crisis , as  apprehensions have been declining since 2000. They also clarified that the wall is not being paid for by Mexico, the wall has not been built, and other repeated lies.
  41. Before his address, the Trump campaign emailed an urgent fundraising appeal to supporters in Trump’s name, saying “I want to do something so HUGE, even Democrats and the Fake News won’t be able to ignore.”
  42. In a 9-minute address, Trump painted a misleading and bleak picture of the situation at the southern border. He inflated numbers, exaggerated public safety risks, and repeated false claims about funding the wall.
  43. Although speeches from the Oval Office are typically used to unify the country, Trump used it to try to gain a political advantage. Trump did not declare a national emergency, despite threats during the day he might.
  44. Trump started the address with a lie that the U.S. has a “growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” and inflated or gave misleading numbers related to arrests, sex crimes, and violent killings.
  45. Trump falsely claimed the “border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs.” While 90% of illegal drugs come from Mexico, virtually all of it comes through legal points of entry, so the wall would not address this.
  46. Trump also again falsely claimed “The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.” Trump made this same promise more than 200 times during the presidential campaign.
  47. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered a joint response, saying Democrats want to reopen the government, immigrants are not a security threat, and that Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall but it has not.
  48. TV hosts said Trump’s speech offered little in the way of news, but rather featured points, including misinformation, that he has said repeatedly as part of his speeches and tweets. Critics said the networks got played.
  49. According to numbers from Nielsen, the Pelosi-Schumer response rated slightly higher than Trump’s address,as many organized on social media to boycott the address, saying the networks should not have covered it.
  50. Also during Trump’s address, over 100,000 viewers instead watched Stormy Daniels fold clothes on Instagram Live with the song Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” playing in the background.
  51. On Tuesday, Donald Jr. showed support for his father’s wall, with an Instagram post comparing the wall to a zoo fence, saying, “You know why you can enjoy a day at the zoo? Because walls work.”
  52. On Wednesday, rating agency Fitch said the U.S. is in danger of losing its triple-A sovereign credit rating, citing the ongoing government shutdown.
  53. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the Food and Drug Administration, whose inspectors oversee 80% of the country’s food supply, has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities.
  54. On Wednesday, a meeting between Trump and congressional leaders over the shutdown collapsed when Trump stormed out. The meeting started with Democratic leaders pleading with Trump to reopen the government.
  55. Democrats claimed Trump asked Speaker Pelosi “Will you agree to my wall?’”She said no, then he reportedly got up, slammed his hand on the table, and said “Then we have nothing to discuss,” then walked out.
  56. Shortly after, Trump tweeted “Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” saying he asked for Border Security including a wall, and when “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”
  57. On Wednesday, in a meeting with Senate Republicans, Trump threatened to circumvent Congress and declare a national emergency to get funds to build his wall, if he does not get what he wants from “Chuck and Nancy.”
  58. WAPO reported that Trump, who views himself as a “gut politician,” is finding his arsenal of bluster, falsehoods, threats, and theatrics has not worked as a negotiator, now that the Democrats control the House.
  59. Trump continues to believe that federal workers support him, telling reporters the workers “are on my side” and adding they would be paid and “be happy.” Trump also remarkably said, “This is not a fight I wanted.”
  60. On Wednesday, the National Treasury Employees Union became the second union to sue the Trump regime. The union workers, including Border Protection officers, are being forced to work without pay.
  61. On Wednesday, the House passed another bill that would end the shutdown, reopening several agencies, without money for Trump’s wall. Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the bill from coming to the Senate floor.
  62. On Wednesday, Trump ended his day by attacking the media, tweeting: “the Mainstream Media has NEVER been more dishonest than it is now,” adding, “They are truly the Opposition Party working with the Dems.”
  63. Trump complained that the media “quickly leaked the contents” of an “OFF THE RECORD luncheon,” adding, “Who would believe how bad it has gotten with the mainstream media, which has gone totally bonkers!”
  64. Trump then retweeted four flattering posts by Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, a pro-Trump organization, saying, “We support the shutdown for a wall!” and “Stand your ground.”
  65. On Thursday, in response to Schumer describing Trump’s behavior in the Wednesday meeting as a “temper tantrum,” Trump tweeted, “Cryin Chuck told his favorite lie when he used his standard sound bite.”
  66. Trump also denied allegations about his temperament by Democrats, tweeting “after Nancy said no to proper Border Security, I politely said bye-bye and left, no slamming!”
  67. On Thursday, Trump admitted Mexico would not pay directly for his wall, telling reporters outside the White House, “When I said Mexico would pay for the wall….obviously I never meant Mexico would write a check.”
  68. In fact, Trump did say numerous times on the campaign trail that Mexico would pay for the wall, and his campaign also outlined steps he would take to compel Mexico to directly pay $5 to 10 billion for his wall.
  69. On Thursday, in a conference call with reporters, the president of the FBI Agents Association said 5,000 special agents, intelligence analysts, attorneys, and professional staff are currently furloughed without pay.
  70. He warned of reduced staffing for “critical functions that support field operations,” adding, “We really feel that the financial insecurities we are facing right now equate to a national-security issue.”
  71. He also warned of a mounting backlog at Quantico labs, which provide forensic-analysis support services, and said funds supporting drug trafficking and undercover operations have been dangerously limited.
  72. With FBI morale already in steady decline with the barrage of attacks by Trump resulting in a loss of trust in the institution, the Atlantic reported there’s talk of staging a mass “sick-out” if funding is not restored.
  73. As Trump made his way to McAllen, Texas for his border visit, the historic Cine El Rey Theater posted on its sign: “Welcome to McAllen — The 7th Safest City in America.”
  74. Trump held a press conference in McAllen, surrounded by border agents, victims of crimes, a display of illegal drugs, an AK-47 and an AR-15 rifle, and a trash bag stuffed with cash confiscated by law enforcement officials.
  75. Trump called the situation a “crisis,” saying the only solution was his wall, although the props for the press conference were mostly from criminals at international bridges and conventional ports of entry.
  76. After, Trump traveled a few miles south of McAllen for an exclusive interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on a bluff overlooking Mexico, with border agents, military vehicles, and a helicopter flyover for effect.
  77. Trump told Hannity he may declare a national emergency, saying “If we don’t make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that,” adding, “because I’m allowed to do it. The law is 100 percent on my side.”
  78. During his trip to McAllen, Trump canceled his Davos trip, citing “the Democrats intransigence on Border Security” and the “great importance of Safety for our Nation” in a tweet.
  79. Hours earlier Trump had said his trip to Davos was still on, telling reporters before he departed, “I have planned to go; it’s been very successful when I went. We have a great story to tell.”
  80. On Thursday, NBC News reported under a proposal, Trump could take billions set aside to fund civil works projects at disaster areas to pay for his wall by declaring a national emergency.
  81. The money is designated for projects all over the country, including $2.5 billion for reconstruction of Puerto Rico and $2.4 billions for projects in California, through fiscal year 2020.
  82. Senior Defense Department officials discussed the proposal with Trump on the flight to McAllen. The 315 mile barrier would be 30-feet high with a feature designed to prevent climbing, and would take 18 months to build.
  83. On Thursday evening, Trump tweeted, “Dear Diary…,” sharing a video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta in McAllen, saying of a steel fence, “Occasionally migrants come thru but residents say their community is quite safe.”
  84. Donald Jr. then joined in, and had back and forth jabs in tweets with Acosta. Donald Jr. then retweeting a doctored video depicting Acosta getting run over by a golf cart.
  85. Also late Thursday, Trump tweeted, “We lose 300 Americans a week, 90% of which comes through the Southern Border,” saying the number would drastically decrease with his wall. It was unclear what Trump meant.
  86. On Monday, Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell was fired after saying a racial slur -“Martin Luther coon King Jr. Park” — during a live weather broadcast from Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Rochester, New York.
  87. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted Cyntoia Brown clemency, following calls, petitions and messages from supporters. Brown, a Black woman, could have served 51 years in prison for self-defense at age 16.
  88. Police in Ventura, California are investigating a swastika painted outside Temple Beth Torah as a hate crime. There have been several reported cases of hate incidents in Ventura County in the past two years.
  89. A new study published in Educational Researcher found school bullying among seventh and eighth graders in areas that voted for Trump were 18% higher than students living in areas that went for Hillary Clinton.
  90. On Thursday, NYT published an interview of Rep. Steve King in which he asks, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
  91. The Times reported Trump’s first hire for the 2016 presidential primary in Iowa, Chuck Laudner, was a former chief of staff to Rep. King, and that Rep. King has been has further emboldened with Trump in power.
  92. On Friday, the Trump regime removed all teenagers from a tent camp for unaccompanied migrants in Tornillo, Texas, after a federal watchdog warned about “serious safety and health” concerns at the facility.
  93. About 5,500 of the 6,200 teens who cycled through Tornillo since June have been released to a parent or guardian while they await the outcome of their immigration cases, and 700 were transferred to other facilities.
  94. The tent city, originally intended to house migrants for 30 days, but ultimately were used and expanded over seven months amidst criticism from lawmakers, will be dismantled.
  95. Germany news agency Deutsche Welle reported the Trump regime quietly downgraded the European Union mission to the U.S. from member state to international organization. EU officials were not notified of the change.
  96. The State Department did not respond to EU officials or press on the issue, citing limited operations due to the government shutdown. The downgrade reverses an Obama-era enhanced EU diplomatic role.
  97. On Tuesday, an unsealed indictment revealed Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Donald Jr. at Trump Tower, was charged with obstructing justice in a separate money-laundering investigation.
  98. The indictment cited Veselnitskaya made a “misleading declaration” to the court in 2015 while representing Prevezon Holdings, as part of a civil case arising from into suspected Russian money laundering and tax fraud.
  99. The Prevezon case, originally brought by Preet Bharara for $230 million before he was fired, was mysteriously settled by then Attorney General Jeff Sessions two days before trial for $5.8 million in Week 37.
  100. The indictment argues Veselnitskaya has worked closely with senior Russian officials for years. She is also a central figure in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  101. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to intercede in a mysterious fight over a sealed grand jury subpoenato a corporation owned by an unnamed foreign government by Mueller’s team.
  102. The court’s action means the corporation must provide information to Mueller’s team, or face financial penalties. The order also vacated chief justice John Roberts’ temporary stay.
  103. On Tuesday, a filing by Paul Manafort’s attorneys, which inadvertently included details not intended to be made public, revealed Manafort shared 2016 presidential campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik.
  104. Kilimnik, a business associate of Manafort, is believed by the FBI to have ties to Russian intelligence. In the filing, Manafort’s attorneys deny that he broke his plea deal by lying repeatedly to Mueller’s team.
  105. In the unredacted filing, Mueller’s team alleged that Manafort “lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik,” and lied about discussing a Ukrainian peace plan with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign.
  106. Michael Cohen has said he was given a Russian-friendly peace plan for Ukraine by a Ukrainian lawmaker and Felix Sater in January 2017, which would have paved the way for the U.S. to lift sanctions on Russia.
  107. On Thursday, NYT reported attendance by at least a dozen Ukrainian political and business figures at Trump’s inauguration got Mueller’s attention, and spawned several related inquiries by federal prosecutors.
  108. Indications are that at least some of the Ukrainians, who paid at least $25,000 per ticket for inauguration events, were there promoting “peace” plans that aligned with Russia’s interests, including lifting U.S. sanctions.
  109. According to information disclosed in the Manafort filing, he told Kilimnik to pass polling data to two Ukrainian oligarchs who helped finance the Russia-aligned Ukrainian political parties for which Manafort had worked.
  110. One of the two oligarchs, Serhiy Lyovochkin, attended the Liberty Ball. Within days of the inauguration,Trump’s White House made inquiries to the State Department and Congress about easing Russian sanctions.
  111. The abrupt shift set off alarms. Several officials said that the National Security Council under Mike Flynn inquired whether Ukraine was really part of Russia and whether Crimea wanted to be part of Russia.
  112. On Thursday, Michael Cohen announced that he will voluntarily testify before the House Oversight Committee on February 7, a month before he begins a three-year prison term in March.
  113. House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings said the hearing will be public, and that Mueller cleared Cohen’s testimony before it was agreed to, meaning it can include Trump Tower Moscow and other Russian ties.
  114. On Wednesday, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, SCL Elections Ltd, was fined by the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office for failing to comply with the ICO notice to return information to Prof. David Carroll.
  115. Carroll, who is U.S. based, sued to get his personal data back in Week 47, saying he was one of millions who had his information harvested. The company refused to disclose how much data they held or how they used it.
  116. On Thursday, WSJ reported on a hack by Russia of America’s electric system. U.S. officials were so concerned by the hack, they took the unusual step in early 2018 of publicly blaming the Russian government.
  117. The Journal reconstructed the hack, revealing glaring vulnerabilities. Rather than strike the utilities, the Russian hackers went after the system’s unprotected underbelly — hundreds of contractors and subcontractors.
  118. Russian hackers planted malware on sites of online publications, sent out fake résumés with tainted attachments, and slipped through hidden portals to get into systems that monitor and control electricity flows.
  119. On Wednesday, WAPO reported that newly arrived White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has hired 17 lawyers in recent weeks to help in a new strategy to strongly assert Trump’s executive privilege.
  120. The strategy would prevent Trump’s confidential discussions with top advisers from being disclosed to House Democratic investigators, and revealed in Mueller’s report. Cipollone is coordinating with Emmet Flood.
  121. The White House Counsel’s Office was down to fewer than 20 lawyers late last year, compared with 40 to 50 in past administrations. Cipollone has plans to bolster the ranks to 40 in the coming weeks.
  122. On Wednesday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller probe and was a frequent target of Trump, said he will resign as soon as Trump’s attorney general nominee is confirmed.
  123. NBC News reported Rosenstein intends to stay on until the Mueller probe is complete. A source said that would mean Rosenstein would remain until early March. Officials said Rosenstein was not being forced out by Trump.
  124. On Wednesday, as GOP senators promise Trump’s nominee for attorney general William Barr will not touch the Mueller probe, Barr has refused to meet with most Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  125. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the regime cited the “truncated schedule” as an excuse, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she was refused as the DOJ cited reduced staff and resources due to the partial government shutdown.
  126. On Friday, Rudy Giuliani told the Hill that Trump’s team should be allowed to “correct” Mueller’s final report before Congress or the American people get the chance to read it.
  127. On Friday, CNN reported the Trump Organization has hired Stefan Passantino, a lawyer who formerly worked in the White House Counsel’s Office, to oversee the response to investigations by House Democrats.
  128. On Wednesday, Trump threatened to cut off Federal Emergency Management Agency aid to California, tweeting: “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.”
  129. Trump also tweeted, “It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!” The FEMA response for clarification by WAPO read, “Due to the federal funding hiatus, we are not able to respond to general press queries.”
  130. On Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi, whose district is in California, tweeted that Trump’s threat “insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes.”
  131. On Tuesday, the chairs of seven House committees sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin demanding information on why sanctions against Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s businesses were lifted.
  132. On Thursday, Mnuchin delivered a classified briefing to U.S. House lawmakers. Mnuchin, who served as the Trump campaign’s national finance chairman in 2016, has up until now faced little scrutiny.
  133. Pelosi slammed Mnuchin for “wasting” lawmakers’ time during the classified briefing, saying his remarks give “stiff competition” for “one of the worst classified briefings we have received” from the Trump regime.
  134. On Wednesday, four Democratic senators requested information from the EPA about a financial filing which revealed a $50,000 donation to Scott Pruitt’s legal defense fund from a Republican donor and businesswoman.
  135. Forbes reported Trump sold $35 million of real estate in 2018. Although Eric and Don Jr. are running day-to-day operations, Trump kept ownership of the business, which has continued to liquidate properties.
  136. On Monday, Jim Yong Kim, the president of the 189-nation World Bank, said he would resign, three years before his term expires. As the U.S. is the largest shareholder in the bank, Trump will appoint his successor.
  137. On Friday, Financial Times reported Ivanka Trump is being considered to replace Kim, whose sudden departure leaves the bank’s future uncertain. The Trump regime has been negatively inclined towards the bank.
  138. On Friday, Trump suggested a path to citizenship for specialized visa holders, tweeting: “H1-B [sic] holders in the United States can rest assured” changes are coming soon. The H1-B program is for highly skilled workers.
  139. Trump also tweeted, “We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people.” It was unclear what Trump meant. The regime has tightened regulations that govern the program.
  140. On Friday, as many as 800,000 federal workers missed their paycheck, the first in the three weeks of the shutdown. Missing paychecks are likely to trigger at least some unemployment claims and resignations.
  141. WAPO reported furloughed workers are selling household and personal items on websites like Craigslist and Facebook to try to make ends meet. Many Americans continue to live from paycheck to paycheck.
  142. Tampa International Airport, working with United Way, started a food bank for the airport’s 700 Transportation Security Administration, CBP, and Federal Aviation Administration employees, which will open Monday.
  143. On Friday, pictures shared by the National Park Service and National Parks Traveler showed vandals in the currently unstaffed Joshua Tree National Park cut down Joshua trees to make new roads into out-of-bounds areas during the shutdown.
  144. On Friday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, whose 16,000 controllers are working without pay, became the third union to sue the government over the shutdown.
  145. On Friday, unions with a combined 244,000 members of federal and government employees, weather service, and machinists, and aerospace workers also filed suit demanding full compensation plus overtime.
  146. On Friday, Foreign Policy reported that U.S. diplomats are filing for unemployment benefits and seeking school lunches for their children, while Pompeo is making unpaid workers organize an upcoming conference.
  147. A group of current and former employees pooled money to buy groceries for their colleagues who are running out of money, while others fundraise for janitors and other low-level contractors, who will not get back pay.
  148. On Friday,Trump ally Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Mark Meadows said in a tweet that Trump should “use asset forfeiture money” to pay for the wall, and if not, “he should declare a national emergency.”
  149. On Friday, Senate Leader McConnell adjourned the Senate before 2 p.m. for the weekend, ensuring the government shutdown, then tied for the longest at 21 days, will be the longest in U.S. history.
  150. On Friday, Trump during an immigration roundtable at the White House, Trump told reporters he could call a national emergency but would “rather not,” calling it an “easy way out,” and saying instead Congress should act.
  151. Later Friday, Speaker Pelosi told reporters on the protracted shutdown: “It’s a temper tantrum by the president. I’m the mother of five, grandmother of nine. I know a temper tantrum when I see one.”
  152. A new NPR/Ipsos poll found, as the shutdown matched the longest in history on Friday, three-quarters of Americans say the shutdown is “embarrassing for the country,” including 58% of Republicans.
  153. The polls also found that 71% of Americans believe the shutdown will hurt our country, and 72% think Congress should pass a bill to reopen the government now while budget talks continue.
  154. On Thursday, Politico reported Trump’s White House reached out to allies and conservative activist groups to prepare for an ailing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s possible death or departure from the Supreme Court.
  155. On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a statement saying Justice Ginsburg shows “no evidence of remaining disease,” and her recovery is “on track.” This week, for the first time, Ginsburg missed oral arguments.
  156. On Friday, a NYT bombshell reported the F.B.I. opened investigations into Trump almost immediately after he fired James Comey, including whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.
  157. The investigation included a counterintelligence component into whether Trump’s actions constituted a threat to national security, and whether he was knowingly working for Russia or had fallen under their influence.
  158. The investigation had a criminal component, considering whether the Comey firing was obstruction of justice. F.B.I. agents grew suspicious of Trump during the campaign given his statements and the change in RNC platform.
  159. The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, because if Trump fired Comey to impede or end the Russia investigation, that would be a crime and national security concern.
  160. In the months before the election, the F.B.I. was already investigating four Trump associates for ties to Russia. Agents were also concerned about claims in the Steele dossier that Russians could blackmail or bribe Trump.
  161. Investigators were also troubled by Trump’s NBC News interview after firing Comey, as well as his Oval Office meeting with Russian officials where he said, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
  162. Given the historic nature of investigating a sitting president, agents were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry. But Trump twice publicly tying the Comey firing to the Russia investigation prompted them to take action.
  163. Mueller’s team took over the inquiry into Trump when he was appointed, just days after it had been opened. Agents were concerned Trump would appoint a new F.B.I. head who would impede the investigations.
  164. Giuliani told NYT, “I think it’s of no concern at all. It goes back a year and a half ago. If they found something that imperiled national security, they would have had to report it,” adding it shows “how out of control they are.”
  165. On Friday, press secretary Sanders denounced the Times reporting, saying “This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack,” adding, unlike Obama, “Trump has actually been tough on Russia.”
  166. Reuters reported Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the Russia Calling annual forum, said Russia would supply so beans and poultry meat to China given that the U.S. had effectively given up on that market.
  167. On Wednesday, Russian news agency TASS reported the head of Russia’s Roscosmos State Space Corporation had his visit to the U.S. at NASA’s invitation canceled because the “second American civil war” is underway.
  168. As midnight passed on Saturday, the government shutdown became the longest in U.S. history, breaking the previous record of 21 days in 1995–1996 under former President Bill Clinton.
  169. On Friday, NYT reported Republican lawmakers and aides are privately concerned with Trump’s handling of the shutdown, and admit even members of his own party do not know what to expect from him.
  170. Trump has undercut Vice President Mike Pence, his delegate meant to negotiate an end to the stalemate, on several occasions. Kushner has also been brought on, but given his inexperience has not been productive.
  171. White House officials acknowledge Trump dove into the fight with no clear end game. Trump and Republicans also wrongly assumed that when federal workers missed their first paycheck Friday, Democrats would cave.
  172. On Saturday, Trump sent a Twitter storm of 12 tweets before noon on topics related to the Times, the FBI, former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Robert Mueller, and the government shutdown.
  173. Trump tweeted, “Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI” opened an investigation for no reason and with no proof “after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!”
  174. Trump raged, tweeting on Comey: “Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike…after the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie).”
  175. Trump also tweeted: “the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership,” adding “My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop.”
  176. Trump also tweeted that Comey was being “protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats,” who have “NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton.”
  177. Trump also tweeted, “I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton,” adding, “as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
  178. Trump also tweeted, “Lyin’ James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page” are all “part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!”
  179. Trump then shifted to the government shutdown, tweeting: “Democrats should come back to Washington and work to end the Shutdown,” adding, “I am in the White House waiting for you!”
  180. Trump then quoted some misleading statistics, and tweeted: “Democrats come back!” adding, “Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes! Call your Dem Senator or Congresswoman..Humanitarian Crisis.”
  181. Trump also tweeted, “I just watched a Fake reporter from the Amazon Washington Post say the White House is ‘chaotic,’” and “the Fakes always like talking Chaos,” but “there’s almost nobody in the W.H. but me.”
  182. Trump also tweeted: “We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border,” adding, “We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their “vacations” and get back to work.”

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Government workers protest the government shutdown during a demonstration in the Federal Building Plaza on January 10, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The protest, on the 20th day of a partial shutdown, was one of several held around the country today.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 113: THE TRAITOR HAS A “PELOSI PROBLEM” NOW

JANUARY 05, 2019

Week 112

 Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-112/

Here are my political art finds paired with activist Amy Siskind’s weekly list of what’s happening in politics in our country. For more information, please click the link to her page above. 

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By artist, LEAF, in New York City. Jan 2019. (not my photo)

This week, for the first time since he took office, Trump faced a check on his power as the 116th Congress was sworn in. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took back the gavel, she made clear she will take Trump on, telling the Times she considers herself Trump’s equal, and the “TODAY” show that Trump can be indicted while in office. The 116th Congress, the most diverse by race, religion, and gender — on the Democratic side — stood in sharp contrast to Trump, who increasingly surrounds himself with rooms full of white men.

The government shutdown passed three weeks, with no end in sight, as Trump dug in his heels and Pelosi’s House voted to reopen the government without any funding for his wall. As the shutdown’s impact was increasingly felt across the country, including unpaid essential TSA workers calling in sick at four major airports, reporting indicated the Trump regime had not planned for or anticipated a long-term shutdown, and is caught flat-footed. Trump’s lack of empathy for those impacted by the shutdown, and threat to call a national emergency, further belied his autocratic tendencies.

Trump held a bizarre cabinet meeting in which he rambled on for 95 minutes, full of lies, revisionist history and self-aggrandizement — as his cabinet members took turns praising him. Although displays like this in his first year would be the topic of discussion for days, there was a notably shorter focus and reaction to the spectacle, as if truly we are the frogs in water close to boil. The federal grand jury seated in Washington D.C. for the Mueller probe was extended for an additional six months, as the 18 month mark passed.

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Photo: Pascal Doytier. Miami, Florida. End of December 2018.
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Shared by Hunter Schwarz on IG. This was spotted on the window of Trump Tower, Chicago. 
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Wynwood, Miami, Florida. December 2018. 
  1. The International Federation of Journalists, an international trade association, said in its annual report 94 journalists and media workers died in 2018, 12 more than 2017, after declining for the last six years.
  2. Reporters Without Borders also found journalists faced an “unprecedented level of hostility” in 2018. The group blamed politicians and public figures for encouraging disdain for the news media.
  3. In 2018, 348 reporters were detained, 60 held hostage, 3 missing, and 80 were killed. Of those killed, 61% were murdered or deliberately targeted for their reporting, while 39% were killed while reporting.
  4. Also in 2018, for the first time the U.S. joined the list of the deadliest countries for journalists, with six killed, including the four murdered at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland in Week 85.
  5. On Saturday, a server outage caused by a malware attack which originated from outside the U.S. disrupted deliveries of the LA Times and other newspapers across the country.
  6. On Saturday, CNET reported CenturyLink customers, including those trying to reach 911 emergency service, experienced outages which dragged on for two days. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called for an investigation.
  7. On Saturday, at 10:01 p.m., Trump tweeted “Absolutely nothing” (on Russian Collusion). Kimberley Strassel, The Wall Street Journal,” adding, “The only Russian Collusion was with Hillary and the Democrats!”
  8. Trump also quoted Fox News co-host Jesse Watters, tweeting, “the FBI, under President Obama, rigged the investigation for Hillary and really turned the screws on Trump,” adding, “Whole Hoax exposed.”
  9. On Sunday, in an interview with the LA Times, departing chief of staff John Kelly painted a dim portrait of Trump, saying his tenure would be best measured by what he stopped Trump from doing.
  10. Kelly also said Trump never told him to do anything illegal, and that Trump “was fully informed on the impact” of every decision he made. Kelly has opposed withdrawing from Syria and Afghanistan.
  11. Kelly admitted that he was not consulted when he served as secretary of homeland security about Trump’s Muslim Ban, saying “I had very little opportunity to look at them” before the orders were issued.
  12. Kelly also tried to distance himself from Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, saying “What happened was Jeff Sessions — he was the one that instituted the zero-tolerance process on the border,” adding, “He surprised us.”
  13. Kelly also said Trump has backed away from the idea of a solid concrete wall long ago, saying Trump “still says ‘wall’ — oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats.”
  14. Yahoo News reported that with continued White House resignations, Trump has increasingly turned to Stephen Miller to be the public face with the media. Several called Miller’s reemergence a “public relations catastrophe.”
  15. Miller’s reemergence also comes as the White House press operation retreats. Since December 19, the communications team has ceased basic tasks like daily press briefings and distributing Trump’s public schedule.
  16. According to data compiled by The American Presidency Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara, press secretary Sarah Sanders has slowed daily press briefings down to just one per month recently.
  17. WAPO reported that increasingly Trump’s White House has no response to inquiries. Instead of the typical “no comment” response from prior administrations, the Trump regime simply does not answer inquiries at all.
  18. The White House has also stopped explaining or seeking to clarify Trump’s tweets, like the one on Christmas Eve day that he “just gave out a 115 mile long contract.” No response was given inquiries on multiple tweets.
  19. On Sunday, arguing for his wall, Trump tweeted, “President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound…the U.S. needs the same thing.” The Obamas do not have a ten foot wall.
  20. On Monday, New Year’s Eve, Trump sent a total of 13 tweets. Trump attacked critics of his decision towithdraw from Syria as “failed generals” and complained about coverage by the “Fake News Media.”
  21. Trump also tweeted, “I’m in the Oval Office. Democrats, come back from vacation now” to discuss his border wall. Politico reported there was no Marine posted outside the West Wing, meaning Trump was not in the Oval Office.
  22. Trump also tweeted, “It’s incredible how Democrats can all use their ridiculous sound bite and say that a Wall doesn’t work,” adding “They now say it is immoral- but it is far more immoral for people to be dying!”
  23. Trump also falsely claimed in a tweet, “MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL through the many billions of dollars a year that the U.S.A. is saving through the new Trade Deal.”
  24. Trump also tweeted “without the Wall there can be no Border Security.” He added, “Throughout the ages some things NEVER get better and NEVER change. You have Walls and you have Wheels.”
  25. On Monday, the U.S. stock markets closed out 2018, posting its worst performance in a decade, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 were down 6.2%.
  26. On Monday, the U.S. Strategic Command deleted a tweet which noted the “big” Times Square ball drop celebration at midnight, and joked “if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger.”
  27. In a follow-up tweet, U.S. Strategic Command, a government account, apologized: “Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values…We are dedicated to the security of America & allies.”
  28. On Monday, Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White resigned, tweeting it has been her honor and privilege to serve alongside “Secretary Mattis, our Service members and the civilians who support them.”
  29. Trump closed out 2018 with an interview on Fox News, marking his 41st since his inauguration. The phone interview with Pete Hegseth aired on the cable network’s New Year’s Eve countdown show.
  30. During his time in office, Trump has formed symbiotic relationships with several Fox News and Fox Business hosts and contributors, drawing criticism and comparisons to state-run TV.
  31. On Tuesday, the first day of the new year, Trump’s first tweet was to promote a pro-Trump book by former White House aide Sebastian Gorka, “a very good and talented guy,” adding, “Lots of insight — Enjoy!”
  32. Trump then tweeted, “HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!”
  33. Trump spent New Year’s Eve holed up in the White House also continued his attacks on Democrats, tweeting, “The Democrats do not care about Open Borders and all of the crime and drugs that Open Borders bring!”
  34. Trump also attacked retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, tweeting, “‘General’ McChrystal” got fired like a dog by Obama,” adding, “Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!” Notably, Trump put the word General in quotes.
  35. The tweet was in response to McChrystal telling “This Week” on Sunday he would not work for Trump, saying, “It’s important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest,” adding, “I don’t think he tells the truth.”
  36. On Saturday, CNN reported Trump quietly issued an executive order Friday freezing federal workers’ pay for 2019, canceling a 2.1% across-the-board pay raise that was set to take effect in January.
  37. Trump had initially told lawmakers of his plan in August, saying the federal budget could not support the raise, and describing a pay raise as “inappropriate.” The 2.6% raise for U.S. troops in 2019 was not effected.
  38. WAPO reported the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is facing scrutiny after tweeting a sample letter for furloughed federal workers suggesting they bargain with landlords and offer to do chores to cover their rent.
  39. On Tuesday, WSJ reported as the government shutdown continues, federal workers are worried about paying their bills. Some are filing unemployment claims or telling landlords they cannot pay their rent on time.
  40. Of the 800,000 employees impacted, 420,000 have been deemed essential and are working without pay. The American Federation of Government Employees sued Monday, saying requiring employees to work without pay is illegal.
  41. PBS “Newshour” reported national parks, left open to visitors but with little staff on duty, were impacted byvandalism, overflowing garbage and toilets, illegal off-roading, and other damaging behavior in fragile areas.
  42. However, E&E News reported the Old Post Office tower which shares facilities with the Trump Hotel DC, will remain open during the shutdown, with funds provided by the General Services Administration.
  43. On Sunday, Jazmine Barnes, a 7-year-old Black girl, was shot and killed while riding in a car leaving a Walmart in Texas with her mom and three sisters by an unidentified white man in his 40s, driving a red truck.
  44. In Florida, Daniel Taylor, a white man who grabbed a Black female employee and later kicked another at a McDonald’s during an argument over straws, was arrested after a video of the incident went viral.
  45. The Arizona Republic reported on videos obtained from the Arizona Department of Health Services which show migrant children being dragged and shoved at an Arizona shelter operated by Southwest Key.
  46. The incidents involving three children were reported in mid September, and the shelter closed in late October. State regulators said the company failed to perform background checks on all its employees.
  47. On Tuesday, AP reported U.S. authorities fired tear gas into Mexico to stop migrants from crossing the border. Customs and Border Protection claimed in a statement that tear gas was used to target rock throwers.
  48. An AP photographer contradicted CBP, saying at least three volleys of gas were launched at migrants, including women and children, before rocks were thrown. An AP journalist also saw plastic pellets fired by U.S. agents.
  49. On Thursday, in a statement, Mexico’s foreign affairs ministry formally asked the U.S. government to conduct a thorough investigation of the tear-gassing, reiterating its commitment to the safety of migrants.
  50. WAPO reported Emma Torres, a former kitchen employee at Trump’s Bedminster golf club, said she informed a human resources officer at the club that she did not have papers to live in the U.S. legally.
  51. Torres said superiors kept her name, and those of other undocumented workers, off a list of people to be vetted by the Secret Service before Trump visited the club, because of their status and because they did not have papers.
  52. Victorina Morales, mentioned in the NYT story, said Secret Service agents gave her a pin to wear every time Trump visited. It is unclear if Morales received a screening from Secret Service, or the purpose of the pin.
  53. On Wednesday, in a segment titled “Men in Decline,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed there is “more drug and alcohol abuse” and “higher incarceration rates” in areas where women earn more than men.
  54. Carlson added “before you applaud that as a victory for feminism, consider some of the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don’t want to marry them.”
  55. On Thursday, Carlson compared the barrage of criticism he received to “how we wound up in the dark ages,” saying, “This is why important science is no longer being conducted. This is why art isn’t being made.”
  56. On Friday, a D.C. court sided with the Trump regime, saying restrictions on transgender people serving in the military can stand. The decision lifted an injunction barring the regime from limiting their service.
  57. The order does not change the status quo since three other cases have temporarily prevented the regime from implementing its policy, but the ruling was seen as a blow to civil rights and gay rights organizations.
  58. On Friday, the Guardian reported the Trump regime has stopped cooperating with UN investigators on investigations of potential human rights violations occurring inside America.
  59. The State Department stopped responded to queries on May 7, 2018, leaving at least 13 requests unanswered, and sending a dangerous signal to authoritarian regimes around the world.
  60. In his televised New Year’s Eve message, Kim Jong-un said international sanctions must be lifted before North Korea will give up weapons or stop producing nuclear material — the position prior to the Singapore Summit.
  61. Responding in a tweet, Trump mischaracterized the statement saying “North Korea will not make or test nuclear weapons, or give them to others,” adding, “I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim.”
  62. On Monday, federal prosecutors filed a status report under seal in the case of Sam Patten, a Republican consultant who pleaded guilty to failing to register as a lobbyist for a political party in Ukraine in August.
  63. Patten, a business associate of Paul Manafort, ran a company with a Russian national identified only as “Person A,” thought to be Konstantin Kilimnik. Patten has been cooperating in the Mueller probe.
  64. On Monday, Russia’s state security service, the FSB, said it had arrested Paul Whelan, an American citizen, on suspicion of spying. Foreigners found guilty of spying on Russia face 10 to 20 years in prison.
  65. Putin has publicly said Maria Butina was not known to any of his spy agencies, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry has extensively used social media to portray her as a political prisoner.
  66. On Thursday, Russia charged Whelan with espionage, claiming he spent years cultivating confidential sources, and allegedly received a flash drive containing a list of employees for a secret Russian agency.
  67. The family said Whelan, a Marine Corps veteran, was in Russia for a wedding. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S. officials hoped to gain consular access to see Whelan.
  68. On Saturday, Russia foreign ministry dismissed chances of a swap of Whelan for Dmitry Makarenko, a Russian arrested on December 29, after being indicted in Miami in 2017 for breaking U.S. law.
  69. On Friday, CNN reported a federal grand jury convened in D.C. for the Mueller probe has been extended for up to six additional months. The grand jury’s term was set to expire over the weekend.
  70. On Friday, The Daily Beast reported Democrats are looking at ways to block the Trump regime from lifting U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska-controlled companies EN+ and Rusal.
  71. On Friday, WSJ reported the FBI is investigating fake texts sent to Republican House members by someone impersonating a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence.
  72. Netflix blocked an episode of its show “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj” which was critical of Crown Prince MBS, from streaming in Saudi Arabia, after the Saudi government said the episode violated its cybercrime laws.
  73. The Saudi Press Agency reported prosecutors will seek the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudis claims neither MBS or King Salman knew of the operation.
  74. On Wednesday, in an interview with The New York Times Magazine, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Trump an “amoral” person and said he’s “the worst President we’ve ever had.”
  75. On Wednesday, incoming Utah Sen. Mitt Romney wrote a sharp rebuke of Trump in an op-ed the day before he was sworn in. Romney said that two years in, Trump has “not risen to the mantle of the office.”
  76. Romney wrote a “president shapes the public character of a nation,” saying a leader “should unite us and inspire us,” and “demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity,” but that Trump’s character falls short.
  77. Romney also noted “the world needs American leadership, and it is in America’s interest to provide it,” adding, the world is increasingly under leadership by China and Russia which is “autocratic, corrupt and brutal.”
  78. In response to Romney’s op-ed, Trump tweeted in the morning, “Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not,” adding, “I won big, and he didn’t…Be a TEAM player & WIN!”
  79. GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Romney’s niece, tweeted “For an incoming Republican freshman senator” to attack Trump is what the “Democrats and media want” and is “disappointing and unproductive.”
  80. On Wednesday, ahead of a meeting with party leaders, Trump again tweeted false claims about the wall, including “Mexico is paying for the Wall through the new USMCA Trade Deal.”
  81. Trump also tweeted another false claim: “Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built.” Some walls and fencing have been replaced during Trump’s time in office, but no new wall has been built.
  82. Wednesday marked the 12th day of the shutdown. Trump said he will veto any measure that did not include $5.6 billion for his wall, telling Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer he would “look foolish” if he backed down.
  83. On Wednesday, Trump also held a cabinet meeting open to the press in which he went on a 95-minute stream-of-consciousness diatribe full of lies, revisionist history, and self-aggrandizement.
  84. On the table where the meeting took place there was a noticeable “Game of Thrones”-style poster with a photo of Trump which read “SANCTIONS ARE COMING NOVEMBER 4.” Trump did not mention the poster in his diatribe.
  85. Trump again trashed Mattis, saying he “essentially” fired him, adding, “What’s he done for me?” Trump also suggested even though he dodged the draft, “I think I would have been a good general, but who knows?”
  86. Trump again took credit for falling oil prices, falsely claiming his calls to leaders were the reason for the fall, “I called up certain people, and I said let that damn oil and gasoline — you let it flow, the oil.”
  87. Trump also took a swipe at Democrats for calling his wall immoral, saying, “Then we have to do something about the Vatican, because the Vatican has the biggest wall of them all.”
  88. Trump also complained that Democrats left D.C. over the holiday, saying “I was here on Christmas evening. I was all by myself in the White House — it’s a big, big house — except for the guys on the lawn with machine guns.”
  89. Trump falsely claimed there were 35 million immigrants illegally in the U.S. In 2016, Pew Research estimated 10.7 million, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told Congress there were between 11 and 22 million last week.
  90. Trump described the recent stock market downturn in late 2018 as a “glitch,” saying the markets will soar again on the strength of his trade deals.
  91. Trump also addressed Romney’s op-ed, saying “They say I am the most popular president in the history of the Republican Party,” and adding Romney is not a “team player.”
  92. Trump claimed he could have any government job and be the “most popular person” in Europe, despite a recent poll showing just 16% think he would “do the right thing in world affairs,” down from 84% for Obama.
  93. Trump also defended pulling troops from Afghanistan giving an inaccurate and incomplete account: “Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan.”
  94. Several cabinet members interjected praise for Trump, including Vice President Pence who thanked him for his strong stand on border security, and Secretary Nielsen who said “now more than ever we need the wall.”
  95. Acting AG Matthew Whitaker added, “Sir, Mr. President, I will start by highlighting the fact that you stayed” in D.C., giving up Christmas and New Year’s with your family while “some members of Congress went on vacation.”
  96. On Wednesday, Whitaker had breakfast with former AG Ed Meese, who told an AP reporter Whitaker said U.S. Attorney John Huber is continuing to investigate FBI-related concerns raised in the last year by GOP lawmakers.
  97. Huber is investigating FBI surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, and whether the FBI should have done more to investigate the Clinton Foundation. The DOJ has provided no public updates on his work.
  98. Later, Trump held a meeting with Congressional leaders to discuss the government shutdown. Axios reportedTrump chose the Situation Room as a location as a way to dramatize security concerns at the border.
  99. On Wednesday, Apple lowered its first quarter guidance. CEO Tim Cook cited lower-than-anticipated revenue in China following the trade tensions between the U.S. and China resulting from the trade war.
  100. On Thursday, the Dow Jones tumbled more than 600 points, amid Apple’s shares plunging 10%, a weaker-than-expected manufacturing monthly number, and rising fears of an economic slowdown.
  101. On Thursday, the Treasury Department released numbers showing the U.S. national debt reached a record $22 trillion at the end of 2018, more than $2 trillion higher than when Trump took office.
  102. On Thursday, with Pelosi set to be sworn in as Speaker of the 116th Congress, she told “TODAY” in an interview that she will not rule out indicting Trump, despite Justice Department guidelines against it.
  103. On impeachment, Pelosi said, “We have to wait and see what happens with the Mueller report. We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason,” and on funding for Trump’s wall, “No, no. Nothing for the wall.”
  104. Asked about Trump criticizing her vacation in Hawaii during the shutdown, Pelosi said Trump “may not know this, but Hawaii is part of the United States of America; maybe he doesn’t realize that.”
  105. Pelosi will reclaim the House Speaker gavel she last had from 2007 until eight years ago. When the NYT asked Pelosi whether she considers herself Trump’s equal, she responded, “the Constitution does.”
  106. The 116th Congress sworn in Thursday is the most racially diverse and most female group of representatives ever elected to the House, after an election dubbed the “Year of the Woman.”
  107. The freshman class included historic firsts, including the first two Native American women and first two Muslim American women, as well as several who are the first African-American women elected in their states.
  108. The diversity was only on the Democratic side, where 60% of the incoming class is women. The Republican freshman class included just two women in the House and two in the Senate, and just one person of color.
  109. Pelosi took her speaker’s oath surrounded by scores of children who were her family members and family members of the incoming class, saying, “I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America’s children.”
  110. On Thursday, shortly after Pelosi spoke, Trump convened an impromptu news conference, his first in the White House briefing room. CNN and Fox News broke away from other coverage; MSNBC did only for a short time.
  111. Trump stood alongside notably all white male border patrol agents to give his standard message about immigration and border patrol, delivered no new news, and left after without taking any questions from reporters.
  112. On Thursday, Trump posted a “Game of Thrones”-style image similar to the one of the table in the cabinet meeting Wednesday, which read “THE WALL IS COMING” on his official Instagram page.
  113. On Thursday, Trump tweeted an image from conservative outlet The Daily Wire that read “Warren 1/2020th,” a reference to DNA results, after Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced her 2020 presidential run.
  114. On Thursday, in the evening, the House voted to reopen the government without giving Trump any money for his wall. A handful of House Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bill.
  115. When reporters asked Pelosi if she would accept “even a dollar” for Trump’s wall, she joked “A dollar? A dollar? Yeah, one dollar,” adding, “We are not doing a wall. So that’s that.
  116. On Thursday, at a MoveOn rally in the evening near Capitol Hill, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the two freshman Muslim American women told the crowd, “‘We’re going to go in there and impeach the motherfucker.”
  117. On Friday, Trump tweeted “How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time,” and “had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican.”
  118. Trump also asserted, without evidence, “no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded.” The grounds for impeachment are “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and not related to job performance or popularity.
  119. Trump continues to take credit for stock market gains and positive economic announcements, while blaming others including the Fed Chair, the Treasury Secretary, and Democrats for bad news.
  120. On Friday, Trump blamed Thursday’s stock market sell-off on Democrats, saying in a tweet he had warned that “if the Democrats take over the House or Senate, there will be disruption to the Financial Markets.”
  121. On Friday, when asked by the moderator at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he would not resign if Trump asked him to.
  122. On Friday, press secretary Sanders, speaking to reporters outside the White House, falsely claimed CBP picked up nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists “that came across our southern border” last year.
  123. According to DOJ public records and two former counterterrorism officials who spoke to NBC News, not a single immigrant has been arrested at the southwest border on terrorism charges in recent years.
  124. Also, a head of Trump’s meeting with Congressional leaders Friday, the White House issued a misleading statement: “3,775 known or suspected terrorists [were] prevented from traveling or entering the U.S.” in 2017.
  125. WAPO reported the DOJ also acknowledged errors and deficiencies in a controversial report issued in January 2018, which implied a link between terrorism and immigration, but again refusing to correct or retract it.
  126. The report was written in compliance with Trump’s March 2017 executive order to justify his Muslim ban. Critics expressed alarm at highly misleading data without context, and sued for corrections or retraction.
  127. For example, the DOJ claimed between 2003 and 2009, immigrants were convicted of 69,929 sex offenses.The offenses actually spanned a period from 1955 to 2010–55 years, according to GAO date.
  128. On Friday, sitting congressman and Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz co-hosted the Fox News show “Outnumbered.”
  129. On Friday, The Daily Beast reported Trump kicked off the meeting with Congressional leaders with a 15-minute long, profanity-laced rant including a demand for a wall, saying the word “fuck” at least three times.
  130. Pelosi and Schumer urged Trump to reopen the government, saying he was holding the government hostage.Trump responded, “I’m not going to say it’s for leverage, but I’m not going to get a deal unless I do this.”
  131. Trump threatened to keep the government closed for “years” if that is what it took to get his wall. Trump also said he did not want to call the partial government shutdown a “shutdown,” but rather to use the term “strike.”
  132. Trump also blamed Pelosi for Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments, and telling the leaders he was too popular to impeach. Trump also then reportedly apologized to Pelosi for cursing so much in the meeting.
  133. After the meeting, Trump spoke to the press in the Rose Garden. In a rambling, hour-long news conference,Trump asserted he had the power to declare a national emergency to build the wall without Congress.
  134. Trump also said the government would stay closed until he got funding for his wall, and claimed, without providing evidence, that previous presidents have told him they wished they had built a wall themselves.
  135. Trump offered no empathy for federal workers, saying the “safety net is going to be having a strong border because we’re going to be safe,” and landlords would “work with” them and be “nice and easy.”
  136. Trump also offered the possibility that the shutdown would not end, “We’ll see what happens. It may get solved; it may not get solved.” Senate Leader Mitch McConnell was silent in the meeting, and did not attend the press briefing.
  137. When asked about comments by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Trump told reporters “I thought her comments were disgraceful,” adding he thought her remarks “dishonored” the country.
  138. On Friday, Leader McConnell took to the Senate floor and took the unusual position that the shutdown fight was between Trump and the Democrats. Republicans facing tough 2020 re-elections are speaking out.
  139. On Friday, Politico reported that contrary to Trump’s claims in the news conference, former presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama did not confide in him that they regretted not building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  140. WAPO reported while federal workers go without pay, senior members of the Trump regime, includingcabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, and Vice President Mike Pence will get a roughly $10,000 raise as of January 5.
  141. WAPO reported the shutdown has put further strain on the immigration system, as employees at the borderare working but not getting paid, and judges and clerks in backlogged immigration courts have been sent home.
  142. Agents are taking an average of more than 2,000 migrants per day into custody. With nowhere to detain them, the Trump regime is releasing hundreds onto the streets in El Paso, Yuma, and other border cities.
  143. Also, while the Trump regime has threatened to crack down on companies that hire unauthorized workers, the shutdown has crippled the main compliance tool for employers to make sure they are following the law.
  144. On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News host Sean Hannity if Trump gives in on funding for his wall, “that’s the end of 2019, in terms of him being” effective in office, and “probably the end of his presidency.”
  145. NBC News reported the shutdown is jeopardizing the welfare of some of the poorest families and the elderly. Most of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s enforcement activities have been suspended.
  146. Public housing officials are concerned about rental assistance payments from the government — a suspension could put millions of tenants at risk if the shutdown continues to February.
  147. On Friday, CNN reported that hundreds of Transportation Security Administration officers, who are required to work without pay during the shutdown, have called out sick at four major U.S. airports.
  148. Some of the reasons given for calling in sick include parents cannot afford child care without a paycheck, and workers finding cash-paying jobs outside of the government to pay their rent and other bills.
  149. The TSA is bracing for more call outs next week, and are working closely to rearrange scheduling to maintain normal wait times in security lines, and well as manage concerns about the safety of air travel.
  150. On Friday, WAPO reported the Trump regime, which had not anticipated a long-term shutdown, recognized only this week the breadth of the potential impact of keeping the government closed.
  151. Thousands of federal programs are affected by the shutdown, including food stamps for 38 million low-income Americans, which would start to run of funding in February. Grocers and retailers would also be hurt.
  152. The White House has not briefed lawmakers on the expanding consequences of a continuing shutdown, leading to confusion. Economists warn of the impact to the economy with a drop-off in spending.
  153. On Friday, Mary Mayhew, the director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services who joined the regime in October 2018, resigned to join the incoming Florida governor’s office.
  154. On Saturday, Trump took a combative tone in a series of tweets. Trump complained about the media coverage: “Washington Post and NBC reporting of events, including Fake sources, has been very inaccurate.”
  155. Trump also tweeted, “we need a WALL! In 2018, 1.7 million pounds of narcotics seized, 17,000 adults arrested with criminal records, and 6000 gang members,” adding, “A big Human Trafficking problem.”
  156. Trump also again referenced federal workers being Democrats, tweeting “I don’t care that most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats,” adding, “I am in the White House ready to go, where are the Dems?”
  157. Shortly after, Pence met with congressional aides for three hours. Pence did not have the okay to float a new or specific compromise number for the wall as he did last month with Schumer. No progress was made.
  158. WAPO reported Trump boasted in a call with friends Friday night that he was in a strong negotiating positionbecause he captured the attention of the political world, and said things his core voters appreciated.
  159. The government shutdown is now three weeks old, the second longest shutdown in history, with no end in sight. Trump is looking for optics to enhance his wall pitch, like visiting the border or meeting with sheriffs.
  160. On Saturday, Trump tweeted many people who oppose him, “including President Obama & the Dems” have had campaign violations, claiming, “While no big deal, I did not commit a campaign violation!
  161. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “‘Former @NYTimes editor Jill Abramson rips paper’s “unmistakably anti-Trump” bias,’” adding. “Hence the term Fake News, Enemy of the People, and Opposition Party!”
  162. Abramson told Politico, Fox News host Howard Kurtz in a report headlined, “Former NY Times editor rips Trump coverage as biased” took her book “totally out of context,” calling it an attempt to “Foxify my book.”

COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA STREET ART: BIRD by INSANO

Panama 🇵🇦-based artist, INSANO.

https://instagram.com/studioinsano?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=1uidesfds4wdc

Located at the new gastropub “4th Street Fillin Station,” opening in mid-January…

JAN2019. Cocoa Beach, Florida

COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA: A PELICAN CO-OP

At first, I was alarmed at the large congregation of pelicans on the water. I instantly thought they were plotting a 2019 takeover. After some research, it turns out that pelicans fish in cooperative groups. They either form straight, or U-shaped formations (both of which you’ll see within this series) to flap their wings to gather fish in shallow water and then the pelicans take turns leaving the formations to dive in for fish food.

2JAN19 Cocoa Beach, Florida

BULLET JOURNAL 2019: SOME OF MY WEEKLY SPREADS

Here are a few weekly spreads from my Leuchtturm BUJO 2019, as introduced previously https://jacquelinemhadel.com/2019/01/01/product-focus-leuchtturm1917-metallic-edition-bullet-journalling/

IMG_3040IMG_3042IMG_3041IMG_3039IMG_3034IMG_3038IMG_3037IMG_3036IMG_3035IMG_3033

2JAN2019 from Cocoa Beach FLORIDA