POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 149: “EMBOLDENED REGIME”

SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

Week 148

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-148/
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New York City, September 2019

As Congress returned to session, House Democrats had conflicting messages on impeachment. The Trump regime’s Justice Department seized on the divergence, saying lawmakers were not entitled to see the full Mueller report or grand jury information — the rationale used for seeking the documents. The emboldened regime also said it would pursue criminal charges against Trump opponent former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, and more stories emerged of the regime threatening agency officials in the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. The Supreme Court again sided with Trump on an important anti-asylum decision, and Trump took new steps to roll back protections against the environment.

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New York City, September 2019

 

The Air Force said it would investigate crews’ stays at Trump’s property in Turnberry, Scotland, and almost 40 visits were identified. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thumbed their noses at the emoluments clause, headlining events at Trump Hotel DC. A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that will allow a Emoluments Clause lawsuit to proceed.

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New York City, September 2019

 

This week, Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David days before the anniversary of 9/11. The invitation was canceled and days later he fired his third national security advisor, giving him the highest turnover in presidential history of senior foreign policy advisors and NSAs. The Taliban visited Moscow later in the week.

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New York City, June 2019. Artist: Captain Eyeliner
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Graffiti up high in New York City, June 2019: “Open All Borders”

 

  1. On Saturday, at the GOP California convention, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale predicted, “the Trumps will be a dynasty that lasts for decades,” citing Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Jared Kushner.
  2. On Tuesday, Trump posted an image in Twitter and Instagram with a “TRUMP 2024” campaign banner, continuing his repeated musing that he will continue beyond the Constitution’s two-term limit.
  3. On Saturday, WAPO reported National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration staffers were ordered in a September 1 directive not to contradict Trump on his false claim that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama.
  4. On Saturday, Trump attacked NYT reporter Peter Baker, calling him an “Obama flunky,” and saying of his reporting “THIS IS NOT TRUE. I said, VERY EARLY ON, that it MAY EVEN hit Alabama. A BIG DIFFERENCE.”
  5. Trump also called it “FAKE NEWS,” and said he “would like very much to stop referring to this ridiculous story, but the LameStream Media just won’t let it alone,” saying they are “defrauding & deceiving the public.”
  6. On Saturday, just before midnight, Trump tweeted a bizarre video of himself holding a laser pointer in front of a Hurricane Dorian forecast map, and using it to distract a cat labelled CNN.
  7. On Sunday, Trump bragged about his work on criminal justice reform, and tweeted, “@johnlegend and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is — but I didn’t see them around when we needed help.”
  8. Trump also tweeted complaining black anchor “@LesterHoltNBC doesn’t even bring up the subject” when he interviewed him, adding “the people that so desperately sought my help when everyone else had failed.”
  9. Later Sunday, John Legend tweeted, “imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody, ANYBODY, will praise you. Melania, please praise this man.”
  10. Chrissy Teigen, who Trump blocked on Twitter two years ago, responded, “lol what a pussy ass bitch. tagged everyone but me. an honor, mister president.”
  11. On Monday, before departing for a campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump told reporters people were standing in line “trying to get into the arena” and are “soaking wet.” It was not raining in Fayetteville.
  12. On Monday, NYT reported Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top employees at NOAA last Friday, after the Birmingham office contradicted Trump on Dorian hitting Alabama.
  13. Ross’s threat resulted in the unsigned NOAA statement issued in Week 147 disavowing the National Weather Service’s position, which resulted in widespread anger that the agency was being used for political purposes.
  14. The Commerce Department said Ross “did not threaten to fire any NOAA staff over forecasting and public statements about Hurricane Dorian.” The Commerce Deparment’s inspector general did not respond for comment.
  15. On Tuesday, NOAA released an internal memo sent by the agency’s acting chief scientist on Sunday, saying he will investigate why the agency backed Trump’s false claim about Dorian and Alabama.
  16. On Wednesday, NYT reported on Trump’s orders, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Wilbur Ross to have NOAA publicly “correct” the forecasters claiming that Dorian would not hit Alabama.
  17. A senior official said Trump told his staff to have the NOAA publicly “clarify” the forecasters’ position, leading to the unsigned statement on Friday.
  18. On Saturday, Trump said he canceled scheduled “peace negotiations” with Taliban leadership and separatelywith Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David after a U.S. service member was killed in Kabul.
  19. The meeting was scheduled four days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Trump tweeted, “Unbeknownst to almost everyone,” the leaders “were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday.”
  20. Trump also tweeted, “What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” adding, “If they cannot agree to a ceasefire…they probably don’t have the power to negotiate.”
  21. Trump pledged to end the war in Afghanistan and withdraw troops. However on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Meet the Press” that “any reduction in our forces will be based on actual conditions.”
  22. Pompeo refused to answer when he learned about the meeting with the Taliban, when he learned the meeting was canceled, or why they would host the Taliban days before the 9/11 commemoration.
  23. Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday,” the Defense Department has “full authority to do what they need to do” to protect U.S. forces. Trump was the main person pushing for the Camp David meeting.
  24. On Sunday, NBC News reported the meeting was first discussed on September 1 at a meeting in the Situation Room, and was vehemently opposed by national security adviser John Bolton and State Department officials.
  25. On Monday, Trump denied reporting that he had overruled Vice President Mike Pence and others when arranging the Taliban meeting, tweeting “This Story is False!” and blaming “the Dishonest Media.”
  26. Trump also tweeted, “I view much of the media as simply an arm of the Democrat Party,” calling them “corrupt,” and “extremely upset at how well our Country is doing under MY Leadership,” adding, “NO recession.”
  27. On Tuesday, Trump fired John Bolton, his third national security advisor, over disagreement in handling foreign policy in Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan. Trump announced the firing on Twitter.
  28. Trump tweeted, “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” adding, “I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning.”
  29. Shortly after, Bolton texted “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, saying he was watching the show and disputed Trump’s account, saying, “let’s be clear, I resigned.’”
  30. On Tuesday, NYT reported with Bolton fired, Trump has gone through more senior foreign policy and national security advisers than any other president, including those considered the experienced adults in the room.
  31. Experts said Bolton’s departure suggests Trump is essentially his own national security adviser. Regardless of who replaces him, it is unlikely to be an important position as Trump will make all decisions on his own.
  32. On Monday, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford announced he would primary Trump in the 2020 GOP primary. In Week 147, South Carolina was one of four states that said it would not hold a primary.
  33. On Monday, Trump mocked Sanford, tweeting Sanford said he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, “then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend,” adding “sounded like his political career was over. It was.”
  34. On Monday, CNN reported on a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017 in which the U.S. extracted a top spy in Russia, over concerns Trump and his regime would mishandle classified intelligence and expose him.
  35. Concern about the duration of his and other spies’ cooperation with the U.S. started at the end of Obama’s time in office, and grew over the 2017 assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
  36. The decision to extract the top spy came shortly after Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in which Trump disclosed highly classified information on Israel.
  37. NYT reported the midlevel Russian official had been cultivated over decades, and rose up the Russian government ranks, eventually landing a position in the highest levels of the Kremlin.
  38. When intelligence officials revealed the extent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the media picked up on details of the CIA’s source. The extraction took away one of the CIA’s most important sources.
  39. It also took away intelligence’s view inside the Kremlin on planned interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections. The asset was in Putin’s inner-circle, and was instrumental in confirming Putin ordered interference.
  40. Some foreign intelligence officials say Trump’s closed-door meetings with Putin and his tweets about delicate or classified information have concerned overseas sources.
  41. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Pompeo called reporting on extracting a spy from Russia “materially inaccurate” and “factually wrong,” without providing any information on supposed inaccuracies.
  42. On Tuesday, CNN reported Trump has repeatedly expressed opposition to using intelligence gathered by foreign spies, including spies that provide crucial information on what is happening in hostile countries.
  43. Trump has said privately that using foreign spies can damage U.S. relationships with the countries and undermine his personal relationships with foreign leaders. Trump also has doubted the credibility of spies.
  44. On Thursday, Facebook sanctioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s page for saying voters should oppose a government composed of “Arabs who want to destroy us all — women, children and men.”
  45. Facebook said the post violated its hate speech policy. Netanyahu denied writing the post, saying it was a staffer’s irresponsible mistake.
  46. On Sunday, Politico reported arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border plummeted to 51,000 in August, down more than 60% from the peak in August, after the Trump regime struck a deal with Mexico in June.
  47. Mexico agreed to the deal, which heightened enforcement by Mexican authorities and expands the program know as “remain in Mexico,” after Trump threatened tariffs.
  48. Trump tweeted a quote by the National Border Patrol president: “In 22 years of patrolling our Southern Border, I have never seen Mexico act like a true Border Security Partner until President Trump got involved.”
  49. On Sunday, hundreds of Hurricane Dorian survivors in Freeport, Bahamas facing dire living conditions, boarded a ferry heading to Florida. A crew member announced those without a U.S. visa had to disembark.
  50. Customs and Border Protection blamed the incident on the ferry operator. There was a bipartisan call by lawmakers to waive the visa requirement. Dorian left at least 44 dead in the Bahamas.
  51. On Monday, acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan claimed there was “confusion,” but that said this was a “humanitarian mission” so Bahamians would be allowed in “whether you have travel documents or not.”
  52. Morgan added, “we still need to vet you to make sure we’re not letting dangerous people in.” Later Monday, Trump told reporters we “have to be very careful,” adding, “everybody needs totally proper documentation.”
  53. Trump also told reporters, “I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States — including some very bad people and very bad gang members.”
  54. On Tuesday, CNN reported the Trump regime will not grant temporary protected status, a form of humanitarian relief, to people from the Bahamas displaced by Dorian.
  55. A source said that Trump was at odds with senior administration officials who were for granting TPS. Mark Morgan told CNN people fleeing the Bahamas will be reviewed on a “case-by-case” basis.
  56. On Wednesday, the Texas Observer reported the Trump regime is conducting asylum hearings in makeshift tents by the ports of entry in Laredo and Brownsville and not allowing journalists access.
  57. The media is normally allowed to attend immigration hearings. After journalists were turned away, DHS issued a statement saying tent facilities “will not be open to in-person public access,” including media.
  58. On Wednesday, Newsweek reported ICE is building a “state-of-the-art urban warfare” training facility at Fort Benning, Georgia that will include “hyper-realistic” simulations of homes and buildings in Chicago and Arizona.
  59. On Monday, a federal judge issued a nationwide order barring the Trump regime policy which denies asylumto migrants crossing the border if they failed to obtain asylum in another country along the way.
  60. The regime’s new policy had effectively banned most Central Americans fleeing persecution and poverty. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr said Trump’s DOJ had “sought relief” from the Supreme Court.
  61. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court, in a brief, unsigned order said the Trump regime can continue to bar asylum seekers while the legal fight plays out in the courts.
  62. This marks the second time the Supreme Court has allowed the regime’s immigration policies to move ahead, including using $2.5 billion in Pentagon money to be transferred in July to build Trump’s wall.
  63. The rules reverse longstanding asylum policies which allowed migrants to seek haven no matter how they got to the U.S. The case will likely return to the Supreme Court, and take months to do so.
  64. Trump celebrated the order, tweeting, “While congress continues to do nothing,” the regime is using “every tool in the toolbox to try and solve the crisis at our southern border.”
  65. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump regime officials toured an unused California facility once used by the Federal Aviation Administration as a possible place to relocate homeless people.
  66. Ahead of Trump’s visit to the state next week, he directed aides to conduct a major crackdown on the homeless, some living in tent camps, saying, according to an aide, “how the hell we can get these people off the streets?”
  67. As part of Trump’s directive, the regime is considering razing tents and creating temporary facilities or refurbishing government facilities. Some officials questioned government’s role in operating homeless shelters.
  68. On Wednesday, California lawmakers passed a bill banning private prisons, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, from operating in the state. The bill next moves to the Democratic governor.
  69. On Friday, WAPO reported Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and other top regime officials plan to visit California next week as part of Trump’s plan to crack down on the state’s homeless.
  70. Reportedly Trump has taken an interest in the state’s rising homeless as a way to blame Democrats of doing nothing to address the issue. Carson’s trip could coincide with Trump’s visit to California for fundraisers.
  71. On Wednesday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs warned on his show about the “pervasive” funding efforts of George Soros and said that the “tentacles” of the Jewish billionaire “work against sovereignty, work against our laws.”
  72. On Thursday, the city of Muskegon, Michigan fired Police Officer Charles Anderson after an investigation into Ku Klux Klan and Confederate memorabilia found at his home.
  73. On Friday, in a letter, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler and Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren demanded the regime consult with Congress on refugee admissions.
  74. The letter was sent to Secretary of State Pompeo, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and pointed to the law which mandates the regime discuss refugee admission with Congress.
  75. The letter cited the regime’s cut to possibly zero admissions would “undermine our nation’s core values, including our historic commitment to refugee resettlement, and critical foreign policy interests abroad.”
  76. On Monday, Trump praised activist shareholder Elliott Management which he said is “now involved with AT&T. As the owner of VERY LOW RATINGS @CNN,” adding, “perhaps they will now put a stop to all of the Fake News.”
  77. Trump also tweeted, “Also, I hear that, because of its bad ratings, it is losing a fortune,” and CNN “is bad for America.” He also said the media hates the U.S. and is “a fraudulent shame, & all comes from the top!”
  78. On Monday, CNN Business reported JP Morgan Chase created the “Volfefe Index”  — a mix of volatility and Trump’s “covfefe” tweet — to track the impact of his tweets on U.S. interest rates.
  79. On Sunday, the U.S. Air Force ordered a world-wide review of how it books overnight accommodations, following revelations in Week 147 of stops at Trump’s Turnberry resort.
  80. Additional times when the military stayed at Turnberry on stops have also been uncovered, including a stop on the way back from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in September 2018.
  81. The chief spokesperson for the Air Force told Politico, “lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable. Therefore, we are reviewing all associated guidance.”
  82. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own)…NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.”
  83. On Monday, NYT reported documents obtained from Scottish government agencies under the FOIA reveal Trump and Trump Org had a direct dealing with setting up a deal between Turnberry and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
  84. Starting in 2014, the Trump Org entered into a partnership with Prestwick to increase private and commercial air traffic to the region. As part of the deal, the airport routinely sent crews to stay at Turnberry.
  85. Trump visited the airport in 2014, and promised to increase traffic. The Air Force told the Times on Monday they did not know how many military crews were sent to Turnberry, but they are going through vouchers.
  86. On Monday, Trump told reporters he was so wealthy military stays were inconsequential and dismissedPence’s stay at Doonbeg, as “Every time you find a person landing in an airplane within 500 miles of something I own.”
  87. On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended the military using Trump’s Turnberry as a stopover in Week 147, saying “ It’s just like any other hotel.”
  88. On Tuesday, the former FEMA deputy administrator in the Trump regime was arrested for allegedly taking bribes in the Hurricane Maria recovery from a company that got a $1.8 billion electric-grid contract.
  89. On Friday, Politico reported the Air Force released a preliminary tally showing crews stayed at Trump’s Turnberry up to 40 times, a number far higher than previously known.
  90. The tally does not include the number of crew members at Turnberry. House Democrats investigating the crews’ stays at Turnberry have not yet received any of the information they requested from the Pentagon.
  91. On Thursday, WAPO reported Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo were both scheduled to headline events for nonprofits that paid to rent the Trump Hotel DC on Friday.
  92. The speeches revealed Trump cabinet officials are willing to drive revenue to Trump and his family. According to documents, events in the hotel’s ballrooms have cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.
  93. On Friday, WAPO reported Pompeo spoke at a private event for the Concerned Women for America, a conservative nonprofit group, at the Trump Hotel DC, and lavished praise on the hotel.
  94. Pompeo said, “I look around. This is such a beautiful hotel. The guy who owns it must have been successful somewhere along the way,” adding, “That was for The Washington Post,” and gesturing towards reporters.
  95. On Friday, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that an Emoluments Clause case against Trump can move forward, after a lower court had thrown the case out.
  96. The lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and others is the second emoluments lawsuit back on track — the other was filed by more than 200 members of Congress.
  97. The appeal court found that “Plaintiffs’ alleged injury meets the well‐established Article III threshold for economic competitors who allege that, because of unlawful conduct, their rivals enjoy a competitive advantage.”
  98. With the decision, Trump may be forced to open his business and personal finances to scrutiny in order to defend his actions and possible conflicts.
  99. Trump is also appealing two Washington federal court rulings which denied his request to dismiss the lawsuit brought by more than 200 members of Congress.
  100. On Tuesday, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found Trump’s approval dropped 6 points from a 44% peak in July, down to 38%, with 56% disapproving of the way he is doing his job.
  101. On handling of the economy, just 46% approve of the job Trump is doing, down from 51% in July, and just 35% approve of the way Trump is handling trade negotiations with China. Six in 10 say a recession is likely.
  102. On Tuesday, a new CNN poll found 60% of Americans do not believe Trump deserves a second term. Trump’s approval stood at 39%, same as it was in August, with 55% disapproving.
  103. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau reported for the first time since the Affordable Care Act took full effect in 2014, the share of Americans without healthcare increased from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.5% in 2018.
  104. The decrease in insured Americans was especially noteworthy given fewer Americans are living in poverty, and over that time frame the economy was strong.
  105. On Thursday, the heads of 145 companies sent a letter to Senate leaders demanding action on gun violence, calling it “simply unacceptable” for leaders to do “nothing about America’s gun violence crisis.”
  106. On Tuesday, Trump ally One America News sued Rachel Maddow, filing a federal defamation suit for $10 million after Maddow called it “paid Russian propaganda” on her July 22 MSNBC show.
  107. The suit contended Maddow’s comments were retaliation for OAN accusing Comcast of censorship for refusing to carry the channel. Maddow cited an OAN employee also worked for Russian-state media Sputnik News.
  108. On Tuesday, Republicans at a Senate Banking Committee hearing warned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under-capitalized, and the housing finance system is worse off today than it was on the cusp of the 2008 crisis.
  109. On Wednesday, the anniversary of 9/11, Trump sparked anger after his first tweets of the day were about his trade war with China, saying, “China suspends Tariffs on some U.S. products. Being hit very hard.”
  110. Trump later tweeting a photo of himself and First Lady Melania with the words, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET.” Critics criticized Trump for forgetting, and inviting Taliban leaders to Camp David days before.
  111. On Wednesday, a new WAPO-ABC News survey found Trump polling behind the five top Democratic 2020 challengers in head-to-head match-ups.
  112. On Wednesday, before attending a 9/11 commemorative service, Trump attacked the poll in a series of tweets, calling it “phony” and “done by one of the worst pollsters of them all, the Amazon Washington Post/ABC.”
  113. Trump also tweeted this is a “suppression poll, meant to build up their Democrat partners,” adding he is “constantly fighting Fake News like Russia, Russia, Russia.”
  114. Trump also tweeted, “If it weren’t for the never ending Fake News about me” he would be leading over “the “Partners” of the LameStream Media by 20 points,” adding, “Sorry, but true!”
  115. On Wednesday, speaking at the 9/11 memorial, Trump said if attackers “come back to our country, we will go wherever they are and use power the likes of which the United States has never used before.”
  116. Trump added, “I’m not even talking about nuclear power. They will never have seen anything like what will happen to them.” It was unclear what Trump meant.
  117. On Wednesday, Republicans in the North Carolina House voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto by a vote of 55-9, while Democrats were at a ceremony commemorating 9/11. There are 65 Republicans in the House.
  118. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore, who had said there would be no votes that morning, said he took the opportunity to override the veto as he had promised to do.
  119. On Wednesday, BBC reported Queen Elizabeth II will honor former British Ambassador Kim Darroch, who resigned after his calling Trump “inept” and other disparaging things became public, as a lord.
  120. On Wednesday, the Oregonian reported at a U.S. Armed Forces swearing-in ceremony during a National Women’s Soccer League game in Portland, fans booed when enlistees were asked to pledge to obey Trump’s orders.
  121. On Tuesday, Politico reported as House Democrats return to DC, their leadership offered differing views on where the party stood on impeachment with 137 for an impeachment inquiry and 98 against it.
  122. Privately, Democrats worried the mixed messages could hurt them in court over access to key witnesses from the Mueller report. Their position in court has been based pursuing potential impeachment of Trump.
  123. On Thursday, WAPO reported a group of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have begun mapping out a list of possible charges and articles of impeachment against Trump.
  124. The range of charges discussed included five possible areas of obstruction of justice, abuse of power by defying subpoenas, violation of campaign finance laws, and allegations of profiting off the presidency.
  125. Publicly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi still voiced opposition to impeachment, so articles may not move forward, but there is a growing move behind-the-scenes by Democrats to move ahead, even if the Senate does not convict.
  126. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was asked by reporters on Wednesday about the nature of what the House Judiciary is doing on impeachment, and appeared not to know, and later had to clarify.
  127. On Tuesday, WAPO reported senior government officials have privately expressed concern that Trump’s nearly $30 billion bailout for farmers suffering from his trade war with China needs stronger legal backing.
  128. Two Agriculture Department officials said the bailout could surpass the original intent of the New Deal-era Commodity Credit Corporation, which was used to create substantially more limited programs.
  129. On Thursday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey proposed blocking the White House request for paying farm bailout money. Timing of the payouts is tied to congressional approval.
  130. In legislation to fund the government in November, Lowey left off the White House request which would allow them to avert the $30 billion spending cap they are expected to hit this fall.
  131. On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced the U.S. budget gap widened to $1.07 trillion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, on higher military spending, rising rates, and Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.
  132. The deficit is the largest in seven years, during the last recession. A strong economy tends to narrow the deficit, but government spending grew by 7% over the period, while revenue grew just 3%.
  133. On Thursday, the Trump regime announced the repeal of Obama-era clean water protections which limited polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands, and other bodies of water.
  134. The rollback of the Clean Waters of the United States rule means polluters will no longer need a permit to discharge potentially harmful substances which will now be able to flow into waterways.
  135. On Thursday, Trump delivered a bizarre, incoherent hour-long speech at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, in which he made several comments that were false or self-refuting.
  136. Trump appeared to struggle at times with his speech, mispronouncing VP Pence’s name, calling him “Mike Pounce,” as he named some notable Republicans in the crowd.
  137. Trump attacked Baltimore again, saying the city has “been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule.” Trump said Los Angeles and San Francisco need to clean up their homelessness and he is addressing the issue.
  138. Trump claimed the Clean Waters Act “didn’t give you clean water,” falsely claiming, “by the way, today, we have the cleanest air, we have the cleanest water that we’ve ever had in the history of our country.”
  139. Trump also falsely and inexplicably claimed “there was nobody here” in America 25 years ago so “they probably had cleaner water.”
  140. Trump also railed against Obama-era energy-efficient light bulbs, saying, “What’s with the light bulb?” adding, “the bulb that we are being forced to use, number one…the lights no good I always look orange.”
  141. Trump also falsely claimed, “number two, it’s many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well and very importantly, I don’t know if you know this, they have warnings.”
  142. Trump also said, “And I said to one of the top people today, ‘Well they break a lot, don’t they?’ ‘Yes sir!’ ‘What do they do?’ ‘They just throw them away, they don’t care,’” and adding, “But they call it hazardous waste.”
  143. Trump also said of windmills, “If you happen to be watching the Democrat debate and the wind isn’t blowing, you’re not going to see the debate … ‘the goddamn windmill stopped!’” It was not clear what he meant.
  144. Trump also called MS-13 gang members “animals,” and hyperbolically added, “They take young women. They slice them up with a knife. They slice them up — beautiful, young.”
  145. Trump also mimicked deceased Sen. John McCain for voting against repealing Obamacare. Trump also told House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy he was “just like a cow” but “smaller.”
  146. The speech was dystopian and riddled with inconsistencies and lies, but Republicans mostly cheered, as they have done since he took office.
  147. On Thursday, after Beto O’Rourke said he would take away AR-15s at the Democratic debate, Texas Republican Representative Briscoe Cain tweeted, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”
  148. Cain’s tweet sparked widespread criticism on Twitter. Later Thursday, O’Rourke responded, “This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn’t own an AR-15 — and neither should anyone else.”
  149. On Friday, Cain’s tweet was no longer visible. A spokesperson for Twitter said the company took it down because it violated its rule that “you may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.”
  150. On Friday, CNN reported that O’Rourke’s campaign press secretary said the campaign planned to report Cain’s tweet to the FBI.
  151. On Friday, Media-ite reported at least one Sinclair broadcasting station aired an advertisement during the Democratic debate of a photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez burning.
  152. On Friday, a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit filed by the parents of Seth Rich against Fox News for the cable TV network’s role in falsely linking Rich to the disclosure of DNC emails to WikiLeaks.
  153. On Friday, WSJ reported at last month’s G7 summit, Trump joked while waiting for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, “Where’s my favorite dictator?” to a room of Egyptian and U.S. officials.
  154. On Friday, USA Today reported the U.S. attorney in Washington, Jessie Liu, recommended moving forward with unspecified criminal charges against former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.
  155. McCabe is a frequent target of Trump’s ire. McCabe’s attorneys appealed the decision to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, but their request was rejected by Rosen on Thursday.
  156. On Friday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff issued a subpoena, after publicly accusing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire of withholding an “urgent” whistleblower complaint.
  157. Schiff said a DNI has never prevented “a properly submitted whistleblower complaint that the [IG] determined to be credible and urgent from being provided to the congressional intelligence committees. Never.”
  158. Schiff also said, “this raises serious concerns” about whether White House, DOJ or other officials are trying to prevent “a legitimate whistleblower complaint” from reaching Congress, “to cover up serious misconduct.”
  159. Schiff said the complaint was filed last month, and was required by law to be shared with Congress nearly two week ago, saying it raises the specter of what is “being withheld to protect” Trump and other regime officials.
  160. On Friday, Trump’s DOJ told a federal court judge that House Democrats’ request made in July to have access to secret grand jury materials from the Mueller probe should be denied.
  161. The DOJ said Democrats have “come nowhere close to demonstrating a particularized need” for the information. House lawmakers said they need it to determine whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
  162. Lawmakers asked for access to the unredacted Mueller report, and transcripts of grand jury testimony related to Trump’s knowledge of Russian interference and links to members of his campaign.
  163. Lawmakers also want grand jury testimony on Trump’s knowledge of potential “criminal acts” by him and his associates. The DOJ called the requests an “extraordinary order” that was overly broad.
  164. The DOJ filing also seized on the ongoing debate among and conflicting statements by Democratic leaders in Week 147 over how to describe their impeachment inquiry — and relates to grounds for requesting information.
  165. On Friday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Democrats on impeachment, saying, “How do you impeach a President who has helped create perhaps the greatest economy in the history of our Country?”
  166. Trump added, “All time best unemployment numbers, especially for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians & Women,” and “Number 1 in World & Independent in Energy. Will soon have record number of Judges.”
  167. Trump also tweeted he had “done more than any President in first 2 1/2 years despite phony & fraudulent Witch Hunt illegally led against him. WIN on Mueller Report, Mueller Testimony & James Comey.”
  168. Trump also tweeted, “You don’t impeach Presidents for doing a good (great!) job. No Obstruction, No Collusion, only treasonous crimes committed by the other side, and led by the Democrats. Sad!”
  169. On Friday, NYT reported the DOJ will honor the team of lawyers who worked to defended Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process with one of its most prestigious awards.
  170. Attorney General Barr will present the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the second highest award given by the department, to the group of lawyers.
  171. Then deputy AG Rod Rosenstein estimated he would need 100 lawyers around the clock to comb through Kavanaugh-related documents, and made a broad request for volunteers to U.S. attorneys.
  172. Some officials saw his outreach as an unusual insertion of politics into federal law enforcement. Typically, the Award for Distinguished Service is given to DOJ employees who worked on significant prosecutions.
  173. On Friday, AP confirmed Russian state news agency Tass reporting that the Taliban visited Moscow to meet with Russian officials, its first international trip days after Trump said his talk with the group are “dead.”
  174. On Saturday, Trump started his weekend of tweeting, saying, “A Very Stable Genius!” Thank you.” It was unclear what prompted his tweet.
  175. Shortly after, Trump attacked MSNBC weekend host Joy Reid, tweeting, “Who the hell is Joy-Ann Reid?Never met her, she knows ZERO about me, has NO talent,” adding, “Low Ratings. Fake News!”
  176. Trump then tweeted, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” and “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
  177. On Saturday, BBC reported at a meeting in Washington on Friday between Brazil Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and Secretary of State Pompeo, the U.S. and Brazil agreed to promote private-sector development in the Amazon.

The Weekly List podcast is here! You can find more information here by clicking here.

THE LIST — weeks 1–52 of The Weekly List is out as a book! You can order your copy by clicking here.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler talks to members of the news media after a news conference announcing the repeal of landmark Obama-era clean water regulation at the headquarters of National Association of Manufacturers, an industry group that had opposed the Waters of the U.S. rule, September 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. The move rolls back the 2015 measure that placed limits on chemicals that could be used near rivers, streams, wetlands and other bodies of water that had stirred opposition from developers, farmers and oil and gas drillers.

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: BE HUMBLE, BE NOBLE

The Brunswig Drug Company is an historic structure located at 383 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter

This is a theatre with history in the heart of the Gaslight district. Built 1887.

The USS Midway was the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the 20th century. Named after the climatic Battle of Midway of June 1942, Midway was built in only 17 months, but missed World War II by one week when commissioned on September 10, 1945. Midway was the first in a three-ship class of large carriers that featured an armored flight deck and a powerful air group of 120 planes. -midway.org

“Orange Tree”

National Register #80000845 McClintock Storage Warehouse 1202 Kettner Boulevard San Diego Built 1925 The McClintock Storage Warehouse is one of the few remaining examples of a large commercial warehouse from an era which saw a tremendous growth of commerce in San Diego. It was designed by architect Herbert Palmer in the same period and same Mission Revival style as the adjacent Santa Fe Depot. The structure was built of reinforced concrete for strength, permanence and fire resistance. The builder, William Ernest Kier, was a giant in the construction industry, who built such structures as the Grand Coulee and Coolidge Dams. When the building opened in 1925, it was the site of the Greater San Diego Exposition, an exhibition of local merchants, manufacturers and automobile dealers. – noehill.com
Space Invader 👾 up high on Kettner Blvd.

“Breaking the Chains ⛓ “ by Mel Edwards, in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Little Italy

In the vicinity of West Ivy Street in San Diego’s Little Italy district often comment on a mural painted on the brick wall visible from India Street (and the Ballast Point tasting room). The mural depicts a can of Ben-Hur drip coffee (best for all methods, vacuum packed to protect freshness), complete with its logo of a chariot and four charging horses. The mural seems to be old – the Ben-Hur brand of coffee and spices originated as a tie-in to the popular 1925 silent movie and disappeared in the 1950s – but it actually dates from 1982. However, it does mark the building where the popular coffee was once produced and which was home to what is considered to be the first coffee company in San Diego. Built 1913. -thewebsters.us
Washington Elementary School’s STEAM students dreamed up a Mona Lisa mural — modeled after the very popular children’s video game, Minecraft, a game where you can build virtually anything with bricks. The mural was named “Mine-A-Lisa” and was constructed out of 1,600 painted squares to emulate the bricks in Minecraft that come together to create a 20-by-20-foot masterpiece.

Sep19. San Diego CA 🇺🇸

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: HISTORIC

Iconic HILLCREST sign: First erected in 1940 as a gift to the community from a group neighborhood female shopkeepers.

Gay Pride 🏳️‍🌈 Hillcrest
Artist Fizix

Artist Fizix

Long standing dive bar in Hillcrest

Gaslamp Quarter. 1888.

This downtown San Diego Hotel was constructed in 1890 as a tribute to the late George J. Keating. Originally from Kansas, George J. Keating moved to San Diego in 1886 with his wife, Fannie, during the westward expansion of their farming company, Smith and Keating. 

Gaslamp Quarter. Built 1920.
National Salute to Bob Hope and the military: Outdoor bronze statues depicting armed forces personnel listening to comedian Bob Hope.

“Embracing Peace” About the Sailor and Nurse: Interestingly, the woman depicted in the statue (and the famous photo) died in September 2016 at the age of 92. Mischa Elliot Friedman had previously told reporters that she didn’t know the sailor and didn’t see him coming before he grabbed her and planted the famous kiss all those years ago. The sailor, George Mendonsa, parted ways with Friedman immediately after the kiss. But that fleeting moment has now become such a famous landmark in San Diego and other places around America. The photo itself was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt and appeared on the cover of Life magazine, helping to cement its status as a lasting cultural moment. In interviews later in life, Mendonsa said that he grabbed the nurse on a whim after having a few too many drinks. After the kiss, they went their separate ways and did not stay in touch. In fact, Mendonsa did this in front of his girlfriend, whom he would later marry. Aftermath and Controversy of Unconditional Surrender Image: As you might expect, the statue and the story behind have become moderately controversial in recent years. World War II was a very different time than the 2020s, after all. Some folks are now uncomfortable due to the fact that the nurse was grabbed without her consent. Some wonder whether we should be glamorizing such a moment now that we’re living in a more enlightened era. -quirkytravelguy

Gaslamp Quarter. Built 1882.

Sep19. San Diego, California 🇺🇸

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: SMILE, YOU’RE IN SAN DIEGO! 😀

Star of India is an iron-hulled sailing ship, built in 1863 in Ramsey, Isle of Man as the full-rigged ship, Euterpe. After a career sailing from Great Britain to India and New Zealand, she became a salmon hauler on the Alaska to California route. Retired in 1926, she was restored as a seaworthy museum ship in 1962–3 and home-ported at the Maritime Museum of San Diego in San Diego, California. She is the oldest ship still sailing regularly and also the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship still floating.[4] The ship is both a California Historical Landmark and United States National Historic Landmark. -wiki

The San Diego County Administration Center is a historic Beaux-Arts/Spanish Revival-style building. Completed in 1938. Nickname: Jewel on the Bay
Once the tallest building in the Downtown area, the Centre City Building was designed by award winning architect, Frank W. Stevenson.  Built in 1927.

St. Joseph Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral at 1535 Third Avenue in the Cortez Hill neighborhood of downtown San Diego, California. It is the seat of the Diocese of San Diego. Founded in 1874.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is an Episcopal church located in the Bankers Hill district of the city of San Diego, California. It is the formal seat of the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. It traces its origins to the first Protestant church in San Diego, founded in Old Town in 1853, although the building itself was only completed in 1951. -wiki

Known as the Daniel O. Cook residence. Built 1898.

Built 1918.

SUUM CUIQUE: To Each His Own

Artist Fizix for The Cigar Cave in Hillcrest.

Artist Fizix for East Coast Pizza in Hillcrest.

Sep19. San Diego CA 🇺🇸

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 148: MENTAL HEALTH

SEPTEMBER 07, 2019

Week 147

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-147/

This week is not the longest list with Congress out on summer break for the sixth and final week, but it is perhaps the most alarming in terms of the irreverent authoritarian actions by Trump, who continues to push boundaries having suffered no consequences for anything yet. Examples of his power base expanding were reported, including the Pentagon refusing to cooperate in a probe of spending at Trump’s Turnberry resort, the Justice Department filing a bogus anti-trust case against four auto companies cooperating with California to cut emissions, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration backing Trump over its own scientists. Even the Republican Party continues to fold to Trump, as four states canceled their GOP 2020 presidential primaries, while those unhappy with the tone or direction of the party continued to retire rather than speaking out. Trump is also ramping up attacks on the free press, journalists, and now, social media companies ahead of the 2020 election.

Reporting this week also signaled continued concern about Trump’s mental health, and he spent the week fixated on a false statement made Sunday about Alabama being in the path of Hurricane Dorian, and continued on the story until Friday. As the economy weakens, and having no real accomplishments over the summer, Trump was likened to a bull seeing red, and again spent the week as much of his summer striking out at familiar and random targets. Court filings this week indicated Trump has no plans to cooperate with House Democrats when they return next week.

Meanwhile, news in Europe indicates that far-right populism there may have peaked as Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered setbacks, and far-right Matteo Salvini was pushed out of Italy’s new government. China acquiesced to protestors’ demands in Hong Kong, following 13 weeks of protests.

IMG_1782
“IMPEACH” by NYC artist Ramiro Studios, 3sep19. East Village, New York City

IMG_1784IMG_1785IMG_1798

  1. On Sunday, Axios reported Trump’s campaign plans to make allegations of social media bias a core part of its 2020 strategy, hoping to turn his supporters against social media companies, as he does with the press.
  2. On Monday, as part of a long series of tweets, Trump tweeted, “Our real opponent is not the Democrats….our primary opponent is the Fake News Media,” adding, “They are now beyond Fake, they are Corrupt.”
  3. WAPO reported Trump’s continued attacks on the media are working with his base: a Gallup poll finds them deeply distrustful of national newspapers (25%) and CNN News (20%), while 69% trust Fox News.
  4. On Tuesday, Axios reported Trump’s war on the media is expanding, with allies targeting to raise $2 million to investigate reporters and editors at top media outlets like NYT, WAPO, and others ahead of the 2020 election.
  5. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Belgium for meetings with global leaders, withouttaking any members of the press along — not even a pool reporter. The move was highly unusual.
  6. On Saturday, four weeks after the El Paso mass shooting, a white man in his 30s committed a daylight drive-by mass shooting in West Texas that began at a traffic stop, killing seven and injuring 21.
  7. In the chase that followed, the gunman drove from Midland to Odessa on the highways and streets, while firing bullets on residents, motorists, and shoppers. The gunman’s motive was not known.
  8. On Saturday, in an op-ed marking 80 years since Nazi Germany invaded Poland, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called Trump the “global poster-boy for white nationalism,” and warned on forgetting the lessons of World War II.
  9. On Sunday, when asked by reporters if he had a message for Poland on the 80th anniversary of being invaded, and after canceling his scheduled visit, Trump responded, “ I just want to congratulate Poland.”
  10. When asked about the mass shooter in West Texas, Trump called the shooter “a very sick person,” and added, “it could’ve been worse.” Trump later tried to change the topic when asked about gun violence.
  11. On Sunday, WAPO reported on Trump’s “lost summer,” saying while aides claim victory, Trump’s summer was filled with self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.
  12. Other than finally getting his July 4 military parade, Trump focused on attacking four Congresswomen of color and the Federal Reserve as the economy faltered, Baltimore, and a series of mass shootings.
  13. A Republican operative told the Post the mood of staffers is “exhaustion, fatigue, wake us when it’s over.” Others lament that Trump could have used the summer to ramp up for the 2020 election, but did not.
  14. On Monday, a federal holiday for Labor Day, Trump lashed out on Twitter, sending more than a dozen tweets before 8:30 a.m. attacking familiar targets like Democrats and the media.
  15. Trump tweeted the “Amazon Washington Post” did a story on his “racist attacks against the “Squad,”” saying they have “brought racist attacks against our Nation” and Democrats are “the Party of the Squad!”
  16. Trump also tweeted, “The LameStream Media has gone totally CRAZY!” adding, “They write whatever they want, seldom have sources,” and “never do ‘fact checking’ anymore.”
  17. On Tuesday, the WAPO Editorial Board asked in an op-ed, “How many more names will be added to the list before McConnell acts on guns,” listing the names of those killed in mass shootings, including the seven in West Texas.
  18. On Tuesday, Walmart said it would stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would only bring legislation to the Senate floor that Trump would sign.
  19. On Wednesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association as a “domestic terrorism organization.”
  20. The resolution was first introduced after the mass shooting in Gilroy, California in Week 142. Before the vote, the “carnage across this country,” was noted including recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and West Texas.
  21. On Thursday, CVS and Walgreen joined Walmart and Kroger is halting in-story open carry, citing the recent mass shootings.
  22. On Friday, the chairwoman of the Republican Party in Arizona said in an email that the GOP is going to stop pro-gun-control Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly — spouse of Gabby Giffords — “dead in his tracks.”
  23. On Saturday, Trump attacked former intelligence officials who criticized his tweeting a classified image of Iran in Week 146, tweeting: “Being scolded by failed former “Intelligence” officials, like James Clapper.”
  24. Trump added, “Sadly for the United States, guys like him, Comey, and the even dumber John Brennan, don’t have a clue,” adding, “They really set our Country back,” but “We are winning again, and we are respected again!”
  25. On Sunday, NPR reported amateur satellite trackers believe the image Trump tweeted came from one of America’s most advanced spy satellites. Almost everything about the satellite remains highly classified.
  26. On Sunday, Trump quoted an appearance by Jason Chaffetz on “Fox & Friends,” tweeting of Comey, thank goodness for Trump, “BECAUSE IF HE WASN’T ELECTED, THESE PEOPLE WOULD STILL BE IN POWER.”
  27. Trump also tweeted of Comey, “But where is the Supreme Court. Where is Justice Roberts? If you lie to a court, you should be held in contempt. So, if you abused the FISA, you must be held accountable.”
  28. Trump also quoted a WSJ writer, tweeting: “The vindication belongs to the President for firing James Comey. It was clearly the right thing to do. You don’t want an FBI Director with Jim Comey’s ethics.”
  29. Trump also attacked actress Debra Messing for demanding a list of attendees at his Beverly Hills fundraiser, saying when the Apprentice “became a big hit, helping NBC’s failed lineup” she “profusely thanked me.”
  30. Trump added Messing “even calling me “Sir.” How times have changed!” Messing noted Trump was tweeting in the aftermath of a mass shooting and while Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5 storm.
  31. On Sunday, Trump also tweeted of Dorian that “South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” Alabama is not in the path of the storm.
  32. Later Sunday, Trump made a similar misstatement to reporters on the South Lawn, saying, “We don’t know where it’s going to hit,” mentioning Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and “Alabama to get a bit of a beat down.”
  33. Later, the National Weather Service in Birmingham tweeted a correction: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama.”
  34. Later, from FEMA headquarters, Trump told reporters Category 5 storms are unprecedented, saying, “I’m not sure that I’ve ever even heard of a Category 5.” There have been four such hurricanes since he took office.
  35. On Wednesday, in a video released by the White House, Trump held up a National Hurricane Center “cone of uncertainty” forecast, which was doctored with a black sharpie to show a path that included Alabama.
  36. When asked about the altered hurricane forecast, Trump told reporters his briefing included a “95 percent chance probability” that Alabama would be hit, and when asked if the map had been altered said, “I don’t know.”
  37. Later Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley confirmed the drawing was made using a black Sharpie, while criticizing the media for focusing on it: “Watching the media go ballistic.”
  38. Later Wednesday, Trump defended his use of an altered map, tweeting an earlier version of raw computer data from a week ago of the “originally projected path,” and adding, “I accept the Fake News apologies!”
  39. The WAPO’s Capital Weather Gang noted falsifying a weather report is a violation of 18 U.S. Code 2074, and the code says those who do “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both.”
  40. On Thursday, the White House issued a lengthy statement from Trump’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser defending Trump and his use of a days-old map.
  41. The statement said Trump’s comments on Sunday to the press “were based on that morning’s Hurricane Dorian briefing, which included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama.”
  42. On Thursday, WAPO reported it was Trump who used a black Sharpie to add to the official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map on Wednesday, according to an anonymous White House official.
  43. On Thursday, Trump also sent a series of tweets, saying, “Just as I said, Alabama was originally projected to be hit,” along with a week-old map that showed a low probability of winds in a small corner of Alabama.
  44. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News denies it!” He also tweeted, “What I said was accurate! All Fake News in order to demean!” adding: “I accept the Fake News apologies!”
  45. Trump also later tweeted, “I was with you all the way Alabama. The Fake News Media was not!” along with a tweet sent by the Alabama National Guard last week.
  46. On Thursday, CNN reported, according to an email from Fox News correspondent John Roberts, Trump called him into the Oval Office to insist that it is “unfair to say Alabama was never threatened by the storm.”
  47. A White House aide said Trump also complained about Fox News host Shepard Smith’s reporting on the hurricane and Alabama, and told Roberts to “to hit back at Shepard Smith” for his coverage.
  48. On Friday, for the 6th day, Trump continued to defend his Alabama hurricane claim in a series of tweets, blaming “the Fake News Media” for being “fixated” on what he “properly said.”
  49. Trump also tweeted, “They went Crazy, hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn’t). Check out maps,” adding, “This nonsense has never happened to another President.”
  50. Trump also tweeted, “four days of corrupt reporting, still without an apology,” adding, “the LameStream Media and their Democrat partner should start playing it straight,” saying it would be better for our country.
  51. Later Friday, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration came to Trump’s defense, tweeting a statement denouncing its Birmingham branch which tweeted there was no storm threat to the state posed by Dorian.
  52. In providing Trump cover, the NOAA’s unsigned statement said Birmingham’s tweet gave “absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities” and differ from what was communicated to Trump.
  53. On Friday, Trump’s re-election campaign started selling Sharpie-gate markers. Campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted this marker “has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy!”
  54. On Saturday, WAPO reported the NOAA’s backing of Trump over its own scientists led to an uproar in the broader weather community. Forecasters inside and outside the government spoke out against the action.
  55. Reaction called the NOAA statement “disgusting,” “disingenuous” deplorable,” and raised concern that there will be damage to the public trust in meteorologists.
  56. On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence, visiting Poland in Trump’s place, criticized Russia, citing “its efforts to meddle in elections across Europe and around the world,” saying now is the time to “remain vigilant.”
  57. Breaking from Trump’s conciliatory tone at the G7 summit, Pence also noted “Russian forces still illegally occupy large parts of Georgia and Ukraine,” and said Russia is trying to divide the U.S. alliance with Poland.
  58. On Tuesday, Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, told reporters Trump made a “suggestion” that Pence — along with his wife, sister, and mother who are traveling with him — stay at his resort in Doonbeg after his trip to Poland.
  59. Pence and his family stayed at Doonbeg, rather than Dublin where he is scheduled for a full day of meetings and events with Irish officials. Pence flew an hour between Doonbeg and Dublin each way.
  60. Later Tuesday, Pence’s office released a statement blaming “misreporting,” and saying it was not Trump’s idea for Pence to stay at Doonbeg, rather it “was solely a decision by the Office of the Vice President.”
  61. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters “I heard he was going there, but it wasn’t my idea for Mike to go there,” adding, “Mike went there because his family’s there. That’s my understanding of it.”
  62. On Friday, NYT reported that House Democrats, furious over Trump’s promoting of his brand while in office, said they would investigate Pence’s stay at Doonbeg and Trump promoting Trump Doral at the G7 summit.
  63. House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler acting in tandem sent letters to the White House, the Secret Service, and the Trump Organization.
  64. In both cases, Democrats say Trump stands to financially benefit from U.S. taxpayers’ dollars and foreign funds — citing a possible violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
  65. In a statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Trump is violating the Constitution by making money off his lavish, ritzy resort properties…prioritizing his profits over the interests of the American people.”
  66. Later Friday, Politico reported an Air National Guard crew making a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies in the spring, stopped off at Trump’s Turnberry resort, which was not routine.
  67. The inquiry of part of a broader probe of military expenditures at Turnberry, also included cut rate rooms and free rounds of golf. Turnberry lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue increased by $3 million in 2018.
  68. On previous trips, the crew used a U.S. air base in Germany or Naval Station Rota in Spain to refuel. Instead, the military spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport in Glasgow, the nearest airport to Turnberry.
  69. The House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew made the unusual stop on the way to Kuwait and on the way back since April, but they have not received a single document from the Pentagon.
  70. In addition to Prestwick being out of the way and more expensive, the airport also has long been debt-ridden, since the Scottish government bought it for £1 2013. The airport is integral to the success of Turnberry.
  71. In June, the Scottish government put publicly-owned Prestwick up for sale. A former official told Politicochoosing to refuel at Prestwick and staying private property would be unusual for such a mission.
  72. The Scotman reported Trump had in the past collaborated in a “working party” formed by Glasgow Prestwick Airport to help “pitch” the money-losing airport to prospective new airlines.
  73. On Tuesday, in a radio interview, Senate Majority Leader McConnell denounced political opponents who refer to him as “Moscow Mitch,” calling the nickname “over-the-top” and “modern-day McCarthyism.”
  74. On Tuesday, former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp told CNBC, “Liberal democracy across this globe is under attack,” adding, “I think it (Hong Kong) clearly is our business. It’s the worlds business.”
  75. On Tuesday, during a speech by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Conservative MP Phillip Lee crossed the House of Commons to be seated with the Liberal Democrats, putting Johnson’s party in the minority.
  76. On Tuesday, Johnson lost a key vote in the House of Commons 328–301, with 21 members of his Conservative Party rebelling and supporting the motion to block the U.K. from leaving the European Union without a deal.
  77. On Wednesday, the Guardian reported that within the past 48 hours, over 110,000 in the U.K. applied to vote, with young people, who tend to be more liberal-leaning, making up the bulk of the surge.
  78. On Thursday, Boris’s brother Jo Johnson resigned from Parliament, saying in recent weeks he has been “torn between family loyalty and the national interest,” and calling it on Twitter, “an unresolvable tension.”
  79. On Wednesday, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said the government would withdraw the contentiousextradition bill that ignited months of protests.
  80. On Thursday, Pence was met with rainbow Pride flags as he arrived in Höfði House in Reykjavík, to meet with Iceland’s president, Guðni Jóhannesson. President Jóhannesson also wore a rainbow bracelet
  81. On Thursday, as Italy swore in its new government after an early election, far-right leader Matteo Salvini, who also had ties to Moscow, was ejected as two other parties formed an unlikely alliance.
  82. On Thursday, an op-ed at Politico Europe asked, “Has Europe Reached Peak Populism?” citing events in Italy, Britain, France, Spain, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic which suggest the tide is turning.
  83. On Friday, Britain’s House of Lords approved a bill blocking Johnson’s plan to leave the European Unionwithout a deal in place, forcing Johnson to ask the EU to extend the Brexit deadline to January.
  84. On Saturday, the U.K.’s former director of public prosecutions said in an interview that Johnson could be jailed if he refuses to ask Brussels for a Brexit extension.
  85. On Saturday, AP reported a series of rallies in Moscow over excluding candidates from the September local election are the biggest protests against President Vladimir Putin in his seven years as leader.
  86. The protests are also causing divisions among Putin’s top lieutenants. Police have violently cracked down on some of the rallies that were not sanctioned. Putin backed the crackdown.
  87. On Saturday, far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos led a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston, while protestors held “2020 Trump” and “Build The Wall” signs. Counter-protestors vastly outnumbered marchers. 36 were arrested.
  88. On Saturday, WAPO reported Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III described Trump’s 2017 visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, saying Trump did not “want to see anything difficult.”
  89. Also during the visit on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2017, Bunch describes in his memoir when he explained the Dutch role in the global slave trade, Trump said, “You know, they love me in the Netherlands.”
  90. On Saturday, the East Bay Times reported Isabel Bueso, 24, who graduated from California State University East Bay with honors, faces deportation to Guatemala despite needing treatments for a rare disease.
  91. Bueso’s doctor said in a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that she receives a daily enzyme treatment unavailable in Guatemala, and if deported she would have “severe symptoms” that would “lead to death.”
  92. On Saturday, NYT reported the body of Jimmy Aldaoud, 41, was returned to the U.S. He died over lack of insulin, after being deported to Iraq by the Trump regime after living in Detroit since he was 6 months old.
  93. On Monday, following backlash over the decision to immediately deport immigrants who face life-threatening illnesses, the Trump regime announced it would reconsider eliminating the “deferred action” program.
  94. USCIS eliminated the program on August 7, without public notice. The Department of Homeland Security told immigrants with life-threatening illnesses they must leave the country within 33 days, or face deportation.
  95. USCIS told the Times the agency is taking “immediate corrective action to reopen previously pending cases for consideration,” adding whether a “very limited version of deferred action will continue” is under review.
  96. On Monday, Ismail Ajjawi, who in Week 146 was denied U.S. entry, arrived at Harvard after staff from boththe school and AMIDEAST, a scholarship organization sponsoring Ajjawi’s education, worked with federal officials.
  97. On Tuesday, Bloomberg Law reported Trump’s appointee to the Department of Labor, Leif Olson, resigned after a Facebook post he wrote in 2016 surfaced, suggesting the Jewish-controlled media “protects their own.”
  98. On Wednesday, according to a report by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general, migrant children separated under Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” showed more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
  99. The report found while some were angry and confused, or cried inconsolably, “Other children expressed feelings of fear or guilt and became concerned for their parents’ welfare.”
  100. The children have suffered from night terrors, separation anxiety, and trouble concentrating. A child psychiatrist foresaw “an epidemic of physical, psychosomatic health problems,” and called it “a vast, cruel experiment.”
  101. A second IG report found thousands of childcare workers were given access to children before completing background and fingerprint checks. The report also found mental health professionals were overwhelmed.
  102. On Wednesday, 400 priests, nuns, and lay Catholics protested outside an an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New Jersey, calling for the end of the Trump regime’s detaining migrant children and families.
  103. On Thursday, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, 86, and his wife Rabbi Phyllis Berman were among those arrested for blocking an ICE office in Philadelphia over the Trump regime’s treatment of migrant children.
  104. On Friday, NYT reported the Trump regime is considering drastic cuts or completely gutting admitting refugees who are fleeing war, persecution, and famine from coming to the U.S. under a decades old program.
  105. With influence from Stephen Miller, the Trump regime has cut the cap on refugees admission. When Obama left office the cap was 110,000, in Trump’s first year it was down to 45,000, and then to 30,000 last year.
  106. The regime is proposing to further cut entries again, down to a discussed range of 10,000 to 15,000. Another option being considered is to make the number zero, with flexibility for Trump to admit some in an emergency.
  107. The president of Refugees International said, “At a time when the number of refugees is at the highest level in recorded history, the United States has abandoned world leadership.” The regime is meeting to decide Tuesday.
  108. On Saturday, HuffPost reported the Trump regime has not funded legal aid for migrant children, some under the age of 5, at three detention facilities, in violation of federal law.
  109. The regime claims it is funding legal aid, but multiple legal aid attorneys said this is not true, causing children to go through complex legal proceedings alone and at a greater risk of being deported.
  110. If a migrant children misses their initial court hearing, they are given a deportation order. A representative of RAICES said the regime “is attempting to systematically dismantle every framework of support.”
  111. On Friday, Jamie Riley, dean of students at the University of Alabama, who is black, resigned after Breitbart published three tweets from 2016 and 2017, saying police are racist and the flag represents a “history of racism.”
  112. On Monday, despite Trump cancelling his trip to Denmark in Week 145, several Danish groups protested Trump’s “sabotage of the global fight against climate change and his racist and discriminatory policies.”
  113. On Monday, WAPO reported the House Judiciary Committee plans to launch an inquiry into Trump’s role in the alleged scheme to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal ahead of the 2016 election.
  114. The committee will hold hearings in the fall. Although federal prosecutors did not indict Trump, House Democrats believe there is enough evidence to name Trump as a co-conspirator on campaign finance charges.
  115. When the House returns to session next week, the committee plans to focus on five possible counts of obstruction of justice. Hush money payments would be the sixth possible impeachment charge.
  116. On Tuesday, Stormy Daniels signaled she is ready to testify, tweeting, “I have no fear of being under oath because I have been and will be honest.” A committee aide said the panel is not planning to bring Daniels in.
  117. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the Trump regime must immediately restore the press credentials for Brian Karem, a Playboy columnist and CNN political analyst.
  118. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote in his opinion, “Karem has shown that even the temporary suspension of his pass inflicts irreparable harm on his First Amendment rights.”
  119. On Tuesday, Trump pressed China to make a deal soon in a series of tweets, saying, “they would love to be dealing with a new administration,” adding, but if he wins, “Deal would get MUCH TOUGHER!”
  120. Stocks fell sharply on Trump’s tweets which were sent before the stock market opened, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 250 points, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 0.7%.
  121. Shortly after, Trump defended his trade war with China, tweeting, “For all of the “geniuses” out there,” saying we have been “taken to the cleaners” by China,” adding, “the EU & all treat us VERY unfairly.”
  122. On Wednesday, a Hill-HarrisX poll found Trump’s approval with Midwest voters dipped amid his escalating trade war with China: dropping 5 points to 39% in late August, down from 44% the week prior.
  123. On Friday, Trump again attacked the Federal Reserve, tweeting: “China just enacted a major stimulus plan…In the meantime, our Federal Reserve sits back and does NOTHING!”
  124. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump appointee Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved freeing up $3.6 billion from the Pentagon budget for Trump’s border wall by defunding 127 military construction projects.
  125. The monies will come from projects approved by Congress, using an obscure statute in the federal code, which allows Trump in his role as overseeing the military to tap funds for other purposes.
  126. The regime said the 127 projects — half within the U.S. and its territories and half foreign — will be “deferred” until Congress can pass additional funding to “backfill” and fund them again.
  127. On Friday, NYT reported one of the programs impacted was a middle school set to be constructed at Fort Campbell Army base on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, where units are deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
  128. Leader McConnell’s office told the Times he is “committed to protecting funding” for the middle school project.” A January op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal had praised McConnell for his part in securing funding.
  129. On Wednesday, Rep. Bill Flores announced he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the 5th Republican in Texas, and the 15th Republican overall, saying he will retire to spend more time with his family.
  130. Later Wednesday, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a mainstay in the GOP who began his public service in 1968, announced he would retire and not seek re-election in 2020.
  131. On Wednesday, the Trump regime rolled back requirements for energy saving light bulbs, by preventing new efficiency standards from going into effect on January 1 under a law passed by Congress in 2007.
  132. The move could contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The move to more efficient light bulbs started under the George W. Bush administration and had bipartisan support.
  133. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Joe Balash, a Trump appointee in the Interior Department as assistant secretary for land and minerals, resigned to join a foreign oil company that is expanding operations in Alaska.
  134. Balash is the third senior Interior Department Trump appointee to head to an industry it regulates: Scott Pruitt went to work for coal magnate Joseph W. Craft III, and energy counselor Vincent DeVito went to Cox Oil Offshore.
  135. On Friday, the Trump regime opened a new front in its legal battle with California, as Trump’s DOJ opened an antitrust probe into four automakers that are cooperating with the state’s clean air goals.
  136. The regime also notified the state that its attempts to circumvent the regime’s rollback of Obama-era pollution standards for automakers is illegal, as it sought to strip away the state’s authority to regulate itself.
  137. On Friday, former California governor Jerry Brown tweeted, “This smacks of Stalinism and bureaucratic thuggery at its worst,” adding, “Congress, stop this perversion of America’s legal system.”
  138. On Friday, the NYT Editorial Board said the Department of Justice under Trump “has been reduced to an arm of the White House,” citing the DOJ opening an investigation into the four auto companies.
  139. The editorial board wrote that the DOJ “is supposed to prevent companies from acting in their own interest at the expense of the public,” adding, “the four automakers, by contrast, are acting in the public interest.’
  140. The editorial board called the investigation Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, and Honda, “an act of bullying, plain and simple: a nakedly political abuse of authority,” and “an embarrassment.”
  141. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the DHS for documents connected to Trump’s reported offer to pardon officials who broke the law to carry out building his wall.
  142. Trump continues to deny reporting on making an offer to pardon. His allies claim comments made behind closed-doors were make in jest. Democrats want to see records as they weigh the possibility of impeachment.
  143. On Wednesday, Politico reported Andrew Miller, the longtime associate of Roger Stone who battled testifying in the Mueller probe, was subpoenaed and will testify in about his former boss in November.
  144. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported Trump’s summer schedule is extremely light. This week, other than his daily intelligence briefing and meetings with cabinet members, Trump has just one event on his schedule.
  145. Instead, Trump was consumed with sending a myriad of tweets and golfing. As Dorian approached, Trump golfed Saturday and Monday and sent more than 100 tweets as the storm ravaged the Bahamas.
  146. Former White House officials said Trump’s unscheduled days are highly unusual, and lend to the aimlessness of this regime. A former Trump Org executive noted Trump is working less now than when he took office.
  147. On Thursday, Trump again attacked Messing, tweeting “Bad “actress” Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water. She wants to create a “Blacklist” of Trump supporters,” adding she is “being accused of McCarthyism.”
  148. Trump also tweeted Messing is “also being accused of being a Racist,” adding, “If Roseanne Barr said what she did, even being on a much higher rated show, she would have been thrown off television.”
  149. Trump also tweeted, “Will Fake News NBC allow a McCarthy style Racist to continue?” adding “ABC fired Roseanne. Watch the double standard!” The Saturday tweet by Messing that Trump referred to was already deleted.
  150. Later Messing tweeted a New Yorker article highlighting Trump’s various Twitter targets over the past month, and adding “I truly hope his family gets him the help he needs. Sad.”
  151. On Thursday, NPR reported a new report by the Government Accountability Office found 99% of applications for the new Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program were rejected.
  152. The report covered the program’s first year from May 2018 to May 2019, and found the Department of Education approved 661 of roughly 54,000 requests, spending $27 million of the $700 million set aside by Congress.
  153. On Thursday, the White House announced that Avi Berkowitz, a 30 year-old administrative assistant to Jared Kushner, will become U.S.-Middle East peace envoy. The role was previously filled by Trump’s real estate lawyer.
  154. Berkowitz, who joined the regime to work for Kushner in 2016, has no foreign policy experience. In a 2017 profile of Berkowitz, Hope Hicks said his main duties were “getting coffee and coordinating meetings.”
  155. On Thursday, the WAPO Editorial Board said in an op-ed it had been “reliably told” that Trump is withholding $250 million in military aid to Ukraine in “an attempt to extort” help in the 2020 election.
  156. The editorial board writes Trump is “attempting to force” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to “intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation” of 2020 candidate Joe Biden.
  157. Trump claimed he held up the aid to Ukraine in order for it to be reviewed; however CNN reported the Pentagon has already completed its study of military aid, and recommended that the hold be lifted.
  158. On Friday, Reuters reported the House Financial Services Committee investigators have identified possibly failures in Deutsche Bank’s money laundering controls in its dealings with Russian oligarchs.
  159. The congressional inquiry found evidence of bank staffers in the U.S. and elsewhere flagging new Russian clients and transactions involving existing ones, and those concerns being ignored by managers.
  160. Congressional investigators are also examining whether Deutsche Bank facilitated funneling illegal funds into the U.S. in its role as a correspondent bank processing transactions for others.
  161. On Friday, Politico reported four states — South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas — are expected to cancel their 2020 GOP presidential primaries and caucuses. Trump’s challengers cried foul.
  162. Former congressman Joe Walsh said, “We also intend to loudly call out this undemocratic bull on a regular basis.” Republican National Committee officials said they played no role in the states’ decisions.
  163. The move demonstrated Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party apparatus, and revealed his allies efforts to silence any potential nuisance or public embarrassment on the way to his renomination.
  164. On Friday, Politico reported the House Judiciary Committee will vote shortly after returning next week to explicitly define the parameters of what Chair Nadler calls an ongoing “impeachment investigation.”
  165. Democrats hope that explicitly defining the investigation in a resolution will strengthen their hand to call witnesses to testify. Advocates for a formal impeachment inquiry have clamored for a clearer definition.
  166. On Friday, Business Insider reported Trump aides and confidants are increasingly concerned about his mental state, following erratic behavior, outbursts, and his fixations.
  167. One source said, “His mood changes from one minute to the next based on some headline or tweet,” making it impossible to keep a schedule, while another noted, “No one knows what to expect from him anymore.”
  168. Aides were also concerned about his fixation on Dorian and Alabama, saying his frustration has been compounded by the stress of the 2020 election and the weakening economy.
  169. As of Friday, Trump had sent 15 tweets along with five maps in attempt to prove his original false tweet was correct. Trump also attacked several other targets including actress Messing and other familiar targets.
  170. On Friday, Anthony Scaramucci told the Toronto Global Forum, “I think the president is in severe mental decline,” adding he is not saying it as an adversary, “I’m saying that objectively just looking at what’s going on.”
  171. On Friday, in an evening court filing, Trump’s attorneys asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the House Ways and Means Committee to force him to turn over his federal tax returns.
  172. Trump’s lawyers claimed the House cannot use the courts to enforce its subpoenas, saying the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter, citing “the separation-of-powers principles that inform them.”
  173. Trump’s lawyers claimed only the executive branch can decide whether to go to court to enforce Congressional subpoenas, and Chair Richard Neal’s lawsuit was not properly authorized since the entire House did not vote on it.
  174. On Friday, the IRS proposed scrapping a donor-disclosure requirement for some 501(c) nonprofits, after a federal court found in July that the agency’s rule of not disclosing names violated the law.
  175. The change would also include donors to politically active “dark money” groups” like the National Rifle Association which made uncharacteristically large contributions to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
  176. On Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham and deputy secretary Gidley responded to WAPO’s “lost summer” op-ed with an op-ed in the Washington Examiner titled “The Washington Post’s lost summer,” claiming “media bias.”
  177. The op-ed claimed Post reporters “pushed their own personal political narrative” on Trump, and falsely claimed that WAPO did not report on certain stories that it actually did cover.
  178. On Saturday, Trump tweeted about “The Washington Post’s @PhilipRucker (Mr. Off the Record) & @AshleyRParker,” calling them “two nasty lightweight reporters.”
  179. Trump also tweeted the two WAPO reporters “shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House,” citing “their reporting is so DISGUSTING & FAKE.”

The Weekly List podcast is here! You can find more information here by clicking here.

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Trump references a map while talking to reporters following a briefing from officials about Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office at the White House September 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump was briefed by (L-R) U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz, Deputy Assistant to the President and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Peter Brown and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

NEW YORK CITY STREET ART: DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK

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Thailand artist Muebon for East Village Walls
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Cowboy Kid by Irish artist Solus. Avenue A.
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Wonderment through the eyes of a child
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Sitting next to the CUBE with my Leuchturm 1917 Bullet Journal at Astor Place

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You are loved. By Samo Arts. East Village.
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Philadelphia-based Angry Elephant and Harriet Tubman by Captain Eyeliner.
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My collaboration with NYC artist City Kitty is still going strong on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. 

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H I S S
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Endless by BMoney138 and Lena McCarthy in First Street Green, East Village. 
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Nite Owl, Naito Oru.
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HEKTAD
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“People should fall in love with their eyes closed.” ~ Andy Warhol by The Postman Art. The cat is by Captain Eyeliner.
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King Kong by Zito One

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Boxer Ballerina by Solus. Location: Houston Street.
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Don’t call it a comeback. Renée Zellweger.

3/4sep2019. New York City.

POLITICS OF GRAFFITI 147: CHEETO CHRIST STUPID CZAR

AUGUST 31, 2019

Week 146

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-146/
ECXHfIbVAAAtDx0
from Jim Carrey, August 19, 2019

This week Trump’s strange behavior towards Russia drew renewed concern as he advocated for adding Russia back at the Group of Seven summit in France, then held up military aid to Ukraine. A vacated seat unfilled by Trump at the Federal Elections Commission left the election watchdog group without a quorum ahead of the 2020 election, while voting irregularities were reported this week in Mississippi and Georgia.

Fresh signs of Trump’s authoritarian bent went unchecked, as reporting surfaced a loose network of his allies seeking to discredit journalists, and Trump offering pardons to aides if they break the law in fast-tracking his wall ahead of 2020. Concerns of a pending recession heightened, as Trump’s trade war with China continued to escalate, and for the first time while Trump has been in office, more Americans think the economy is getting worse than better.

This week there was public outcry as the regime continued to take steps to limit immigration, while troubling conditions at detention centers persisted, and the regime is considering DNA testing of migrants. As Hurricane Dorian headed towards Florida, for the second time in two weeks, Trump canceled a scheduled trip to visit European allies, supposedly to stay back and monitor the storm, but instead spent Saturday golfing.

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New York City, May 2019.
  1. On Sunday, NYT reported a loose network of Trump allies are planning an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to Trump by disclosing damaging information on journalists.
  2. The group has already released damaging information on journalists working for CNN, WAPO, and NYT in retaliation for reporting or covering allies consider unfair to Trump and his team, or harmful to his re-election.
  3. Operatives have examined a decade’s worth of public posts and statements made by hundreds of journalists. Only a small fraction has been made public. More will be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up.
  4. Operatives have also gathered information on journalists’ families, as well as liberal activists and political opponents. The White House claimed neither Trump or anyone in the White House was involved in or aware of the operation.
  5. On Sunday, NYT Publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a public memorandum, “A Campaign Targeting Our Staff,” “Their goal is to silence critics and undermine the public’s faith in independent journalism.”
  6. Sulzberger also wrote, “This represents an escalation of an ongoing campaign against the free press,” adding, operatives “are using insinuation and exaggeration to manipulate the facts for political gain.”
  7. On Monday, Mother Jones reported the Federal Election Commission will partially shut down. The FEC needs a quorum of four of the six members. A third member resigned Monday, while Trump has left two seats vacant.
  8. On Friday, NPR reported this was the last business day for the FEC. Former FEC officials raised concern over the ability to counter another attempt by Russia or other foreign governments to interfere in the 2020 election.
  9. Former officials also expressed concern Trump will leave the seat vacant through the 2020 election. The Merit Systems Protection Board, which investigates violations of federal personnel practices, also lacks a quorum.
  10. On Saturday, WSJ reported at the Group of Seven summit, during a contentious debate at a closed door dinner, Trump called for reinstating Russia. Other world leaders rebuffed the request, saying it was too soon.
  11. On Sunday, Trump accused the media of trying to hurt his re-election prospects, tweeting, “Just like they are trying to force a Recession, they are trying to “will” America into bad Economic times, the worse the better.”
  12. Trump tweeted, “anything to make my Election more difficult to win,” adding, “the Leaders are getting along very well, and our Country, economically, is doing great — the talk of the world!”
  13. On Sunday, at a breakfast with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 summit, Trump acknowledged he had regrets about the escalating trade war with China, telling reporters, “Yeah, sure. Why not.”
  14. Shortly after, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump’s response was taken out of context, and his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters Trump had trouble hearing the question.
  15. Later Sunday, at a bilateral news conference, Trump told reporters he had reached a trade pact “in principle” with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe. However, Abe differed, saying more work remained to complete a deal.
  16. On Sunday, Kudlow told CNN that the trade deal with Japan would have major positive implications for the U.S., but could not offer precise details of the deal.
  17. On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he invited Iran’s foreign minister to the G7 “to mediate.” He praised Trump on U.S. sanctions while expressing concern about inflaming the region.
  18. On Monday, standing with First Lady Melania, Trump told reporters that Iran is a “country with tremendous potential,” and said North Korea has similar potential if it would disband its nuclear arms.
  19. Trump added he has gotten to know Kim Jong Un “extremely well,” and “the first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un and I think she would agree with me, he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential.”
  20. Later Monday, the White House issued a clarifying statement, saying, “Trump confides in his wife on many issues,” adding, “while the First Lady hasn’t met him, the President feels like she’s gotten to know him too.”
  21. On Monday, Trump skipped the session on climate, biodiversity, and oceans attended by other world leaders. His chair was symbolically empty during the portion of the session reporters attended.
  22. On Monday, when asked by reporters about his climate message at the G7, Trump falsely claimed, “we are right now having the cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.”
  23. On Sunday, Trump again attacked Fox News for their polling results in Week 145, tweeting their polls “are only getting worse!” and “Now @donnabrazile & others on Fox,” adding, “Not what it used to be!”
  24. On Sunday, Joe Walsh announced he will challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020, calling him “completely unfit,” and saying “everyone” in the GOP believes Trump is not fit for the job.
  25. On Sunday, Axios reported Trump has suggested multiple times to senior Homeland Security and national security officials that they explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the U.S.
  26. Reportedly at one meeting, Trump said “I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” adding, “as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it.”
  27. On Monday, Trump tweeted from the G7 that the story that he “wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous,” adding, “I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!”
  28. Later Monday, Trump again tweeted about the story, saying he returned from “the very successful G-7,” and “the Fake News is still trying to perpetuate the phony story,” adding, “This is so ridiculous, never happened!
  29. On Monday, concluding the G7, Macron said there will be a meeting on the Ukraine conflict with the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. Trump said he might invite Russia to the G7 in 2020.
  30. On Monday, Trump told reporters he will “probably” hold the 2020 G7 summit at his golf resort in Doral, Florida, saying the club is near the airport and has ample parking and the “biggest ballrooms in Florida.”
  31. Trump holding a summit of world leaders at his personal property where he would financially benefit would be unprecedented. The Doral has been “severely underperforming” according to company representatives.
  32. On Monday, Trump held a 68-minute news conference. Trump reiterated his support for Russia, saying, “A lot of people say having Russia, which is a power, inside the room is better than having them outside the room.”
  33. Trump also repeated the false claim Russia was dropped from the group because “President Putin outsmarted President Obama,” calling it “very embarrassing” for Obama. All G7 countries backed the decision.
  34. Asked why he continues to blame Obama for the annexation of Crimea by Yamiche Alcindor of PBS News, a black reporter, Trump said she had an ulterior motive. “I know you like President Obama,” he said, without answering her question.
  35. Asked about climate change, Trump responded, “I feel the US has tremendous wealth,” adding, “I’m not going to lose that wealth on dreams, on windmills — which, frankly, aren’t working too well.”
  36. Trump also claimed, “I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that,” adding, “I know more about the environment than most,” and “I want clean air. I want clean water. I want a wealthy country.”
  37. Trump claimed to have received “high-level calls” from Chinese officials seeking to negotiate a trade deal on Sunday night. Chinese officials said on Monday they were unaware of any such calls.
  38. Trump asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to back up his assertion. Instead, Mnuchin said there had been “communication,” but did not use the word “call.”
  39. Trump said he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “Now, is that based on fact or based on gut? It’s based on gut,” adding, “Maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t. I say it all the time.”
  40. Trump described North Korea and Iran in terms of real estate potential, saying the two countries would want to deal with him because they sit on valuable land, while continuing to brag about his own properties.
  41. During a bilateral news conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump again mentioned his properties, incorrectly citing his Doonbeg golf and hotel resort as being in the U.K., not Ireland.
  42. Trump made another push for hosting the 2020 G7 at his Doral property, saying, “we have a series of magnificent buildings,” referencing bungalows, incredible conference rooms and restaurants, “it’s like such a natural.”
  43. On Tuesday, Miami Herald reporting on a 2016 lawsuit by an insurance executive claiming he was bitten by bedbugs in his room at Trump’s Doral club resurfaced. The suit was settled in early 2017.
  44. Trump tweeted, “No bedbugs at Doral,”adding, “The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI…spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!”
  45. On Tuesday, after Slate published a leaked internal memo “evidence of bedbugs” in the NYT’s office, Trump tweeted “A made up Radical Left Story about Doral bedbugs, but Bret Stephens is loaded up with them!
  46. Stephens, a conservative NYT columnist who is anti-Trump, admonished a college professor for likening him to a bedbug in a tweet. Trump tweeted, “He is now quitting Twitter after being called a ‘bedbug.’ Tough guy!
  47. On Saturday, Rep. Steve King doubled down on his comments that rape and incest not be factored in abortion decisions, tweeting: “their lives are as precious as any other, regardless of how they came to be.”
  48. On Sunday, calls for boycotting restaurant Olive Garden went viral on false rumors it was funding Trump’s re-election campaign. Olive Garden tweeted: “Our company does not donate to presidential candidates.”
  49. On Saturday, ABC News reported it took Immigration and Customs Enforcement eight days to realize they had left two children, ages 12 and 14, without either parent after the Mississippi raids.
  50. On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported the Trump regime has quietly gutted the bulk of a “medical deferred action” policy, which removed the threat of immediate deportation for families facing serious illnesses.
  51. Denial letters from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service obtained by the Herald show the agency will now only accept applications and renewals from military members and their families.
  52. On Tuesday, the Harvard Crimson reported incoming freshman Ismail Ajjawi, 17, a resident of Tyre, Lebanon was deported after arriving at Boston Logan Airport and being subjected to hours of questioning.
  53. Immigration officers also searched his phone and computer before canceling Ajjawi’s visa. In a statement, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said CBP found Ajjawi “inadmissible” to the country.
  54. Politico reported Jimmy Aldaoud, a 41 year-old man from Detroit who came to the U.S. as a young child, died after being deported to Iraq, reportedly due to his inability to obtain insulin to treat his diabetes.
  55. On Wednesday, a lawsuit filed by 19 states against the Trump regime alleged detained migrant girls are being given limited access to basics like sanitary pads and tampons — in some cases only one per day.
  56. On Wednesday, according to a new USCIS policy, children born to U.S. service members and government employees overseas will no longer be granted automatic citizenship. The policy is set to go into effect in October.
  57. Instead, the Trump regime will require parents of the children, including those born on military bases, and children adopted, to apply for citizenship on behalf of their children before they turn 18 years-old.
  58. Following the announcement, amid widespread confusion, acting director of USCIS Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement, “this policy update does not affect who is born a US citizen, period,” adding, “born outside the US.”
  59. The move was also condemned by veterans groups, calling it “an abominable and antipatriotic position” and a “preposterous change,” adding, “Military members already have enough to deal with.”
  60. On Thursday, the Trump regime looked to clarify the new USCIS policy, after facing a political firestorm for saying it will affect the citizenship applications of “a very small” number of children born abroad.
  61. The regime claimed the issue arose from USCIS and the State Department having different policies. The State Department said in a statement Thursday that it had been working with USCIS “for some time to align” the policies.
  62. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported, according to the CDC, nearly 900 adult migrants had mumps in the past 12 months at 57 detention centers in 19 states. An additional 33 staff members also were infected.
  63. The first cases were identified at Texas detention facilities in December. Since then federal health agency has been working with ICE and other federal agencies to control the outbreaks, described as “striking.”
  64. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported, according to a draft of policy, the Trump regime wants to allow CBP officials to collect DNA samples from undocumented immigrants in their custody.
  65. The regime estimated CBP officials will spend more than 20,000 additional work hours in its first year of implementation, testing hundreds of thousands of migrants if the policy is fully implemented.
  66. On Thursday, in letter to acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings said the Department of Homeland Security is blocking members of Congress from visiting detention facilities.
  67. Cummings said poor conditions persisted at the facilities, despite the House passing a $4.6 billion border aid package in June. Migrants complain of spoiled food and inadequate medical care.
  68. Cummings’ letter also cited cruelty: “One detainee alleged that a Border Patrol agent told a child who had spilled soup that the child would not receive more food unless the child drank the spilled soup off the floor.”
  69. On Tuesday, a federal judge temporarily blocked a Missouri law banning most abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, less than 24 hours before the law was set to take effect.
  70. The judge did not however block a provision of the law prohibiting abortions on the basis of a fetus’s race, sex, or Down syndrome diagnosis, but noted plaintiffs would likely prevail in having that struck down too.
  71. On Thursday, the Rockland County Republican Party in New York removed an anti-Semitic video warning “a storm is brewing,” adding if “they” — the ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents — “win, we lose.”
  72. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement calling the video “the very definition of discrimination and antisemitism.” The chairman of the New York State Republican Party issued a statement calling it a “bad mistake.”
  73. On Tuesday, NBC News reported the Trump regime is pulling $271 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund to send to the southern border just ahead of the fall hurricane season.
  74. Funds will be used for temporary locations for court hearings for asylum-seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement would get an additional $155 million.
  75. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico,” asking, “Will it ever end?” Trump again falsely claimed Congress approved $92 billion in aid to Puerto Rico, “an all time record.”
  76. On Wednesday, as Hurricane Dorian headed towards Puerto Rico, Trump lashed out, tweeting Puerto Rico “is one of the most corrupt places on earth.” He earlier insulted “the incompetent Mayor of San Juan” in a tweet.
  77. Trump also tweeted, “Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt,” adding, “Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time….and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good!”
  78. On Thursday, as Dorian was expected to reach Category 4 in Florida, but spare Puerto Rico, Trump took a conciliatory tone, tweeting, “Puerto Rico is in great shape with Hurricane Dorian taking a largely different route.”
  79. Trump also tweeted, “Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night,” adding, “it will be a very big Hurricane,” and, without evidence, “perhaps one of the biggest!
  80. Shortly after, the Tampa Bay Times reported Mar-a-Lago is in the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. The storm was expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm on Monday.
  81. Later Thursday, Trump canceled his Poland trip to monitor Dorian, and sent Vice President Mike Pence instead, saying, “It’s something very important for me to be here…looks like it could be a very, very big one.”
  82. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former White House aide Rob Porter to testify about Trump’s efforts to impede the Russia investigation, citing him as the “most critical fact witness.”
  83. On Monday, NYT reported federal prosecutors are near a final decision on whether to seek an indictment for former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of Trump, on charges of lying to a federal agent.
  84. A prosecution would please Trump, who has made McCabe a central part of his aim to discredit the DOJ and FBI over the Russia investigation. Already two prosecutors have left the case over mishandling.
  85. On Monday, WAPO reported some of the video footage outside of Jeffrey Epstein’s jail call is unusable. It was not clear why the footage was too flawed for investigators to use. Video is considered critical to the inquiry.
  86. On Tuesday, attorneys for Jeffrey Epstein told a judge the evidence of his death is “far more consistent with assault” than suicide, and told the court they would provide evidence to support their assertion.
  87. On Monday, a Roanoke poll of the state of Virginia found Trump’s approval dropped to 27% — a new low in the poll — and down from 38% in February, while 53% say they disapprove.
  88. On Tuesday, a Morning Consult poll found that Trump’s net approval has dropped significantly in every battleground state, including Wisconsin (+6 in 2016, now -14), Michigan (+7, -11,) and Pennsylvania (+10, -8).
  89. On Tuesday, Deutsche Bank told a federal appeals court it has some of the Trump tax returns requested by congressional subpoenas related to Trump, his family, and his businesses, “in either draft or as-filed form.”
  90. Although in the letter to the court the identities of the people or organizations were redacted, bank officials told the Times the bank has portions of multiple years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns.
  91. Deutsche Bank also has returns for “immediate family” within the definition provided in the subpoenas, related to the parties. Capital One responded it does not have any tax returns in its possession.
  92. On Wednesday, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell retracted a story from his Tuesday show that Russian oligarchs had co-signed for Deutsche Bank loans to Trump, and apologized for not adhering to professional standards.
  93. Earlier Wednesday, a lawyer for Trump said in a letter to NBC Universal and O’Donnell that his “statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging,” and demanded he “retract, correct and apologize.”
  94. On Thursday, Trump attacked O’Donnell, tweeting “Crazy Lawrence O’Donnell” who he said “has been calling me wrong” since before his 2016 campaign, was “forced by NBC to apologize” which he did “while crying.”
  95. Trump added, “the most ridiculous claim of all, that Russia, Russia, Russia, or Russian oligarchs, co-signed loan documents for me,” adding, “Totally false, as is virtually everything else he, and much of the rest of the LameStream Media, has said,” and, “ALL APOLOGIZE!”
  96. Trump also tweeted, “The totally inaccurate reporting” by O’Donnell is “NO DIFFERENT than the horrible, corrupt and fraudulent Fake News that I…have had to put up with for years,” adding, “So bad for the USA!”
  97. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Attorney General William Barr booked a 200-person holiday party in December at the Trump Hotel DC, which is likely to deliver over $30,000 to Trump’s property.
  98. Barr booked the event last month, and is paying for it himself. According to a DOJ official, Barr picked Trump Hotel DC because other comparable hotels were already booked, not to curry favor with Trump.
  99. Even though Barr booked the hotel himself, and not the DOJ, the decision is also noteworthy given that the DOJ is currently defending Trump in lawsuits related to the emoluments clause.
  100. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump instructed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to exempt Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from logging restrictions, after privately discussing it with the state’s governor.
  101. The restrictions known as “roadless rule” have been in place for nearly 20 years, created during Bill Clinton’s administration. If Trump’s plan succeeds it would impact 9.5 million acres, more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest.
  102. On Thursday, Trump’s EPA proposed rolling back Obama-era regulations on climate-changing methane leaksfrom many oil facilities, easing requirements on oil and gas sites to monitor leaks and plug them.
  103. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, said the proposed rule followed Trump’s directive to remove “unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry.”
  104. On Tuesday, NYT reported at an event with farmers, Sec. Perdue was peppered with complaints about the impact of Trump’s trade war with China. As the trade war escalates, some farmers are panicking.
  105. The impact has also started to hit manufacturers like Deere & Company, which cut its profit forecast for the second time this year, citing farmers delaying purchases of equipment on worries over exports.
  106. On Tuesday, Trump complained about the media covering 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s crowd size, tweeting they do stories on “Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren…my crowds, which are far bigger, get no coverage.”
  107. On Tuesday, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve, tweeting, “The Federal Reserve loves watching our manufacturers struggle with their exports,” adding, “Our Fed has been calling it wrong for too long!”
  108. On Wednesday, a new Quinnipiac poll found Trump’s approval down to 38%, 56% disapprove, down from 40% approve, 54% disapprove a month ago. The poll also showed Trump far behind 2020 Democratic contenders.
  109. The polls also showed, for the first time since Trump took office, more voters say the economy is getting worse (37%) than better (31%). In June, just 23% said the economy was getting worse, 38% better.
  110. On Wednesday, Trump attacked the Fed, tweeting, “Our Federal Reserve cannot “mentally” keep up with the competition,” citing other countries keeping interest rates low, and adding, “No Clue Fed!”
  111. On Wednesday, Sen. Thom Tillis, who is up for re-election, sided with Trump in his feud with the Fed, calling on the Senate Banking Committee to investigate the Fed’s independence — a highly unusual move.
  112. On Wednesday, a letter by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America signed by over 200 companies urged Trump to cancel his tariff hikes on China, saying it is tantamount to taxing the American consumer.
  113. On Thursday, Trump again attacked the Fed, tweeting, “The Economy is doing GREAT, with tremendous upside potential!” adding, “If the Fed would do what they should, we are a Rocket upward!
  114. On Friday, Trump attacked the Fed, tweeting, “If the Fed would cut, we would have one of the biggest Stock Market increases in a long time,” and “Badly run and weak companies are smartly blaming these small Tariffs.”
  115. Trump also tweeted, “We don’t have a Tariff problem (we are reigning in bad and/or unfair players), we have a Fed problem,” adding, “They don’t have a clue!”
  116. On Friday, Trump tweeted telling General Motors, which is “now one of the smallest auto manufacturers” in Detroit, to move its plants out of China, saying they moved there, “BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE.”
  117. On Friday, Trump again surfaced the idea of easing capital gains taxes, tweeting, “An idea liked by many?” to an article quoted by Sen. Ted Cruz. Last week Trump swore off the idea, saying it was “elitist.”
  118. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump again attacked Fox News, saying the network is “heavily promoting the Democrats” and the DNC Communications Director being interviewed was “spewing out whatever she wanted with zero pushback” from the anchor.
  119. Trump also tweeted, “Fox hires “give Hillary the questions” @donnabrazile, Juan Williams and low ratings Shep Smith,” saying, “HOPELESS & CLUELESS!” adding, “I will still find a way to Win.”
  120. Trump also tweeted “the New” Fox News “is letting millions of GREAT people down!” adding, “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!
  121. On Wednesday, several Fox News personalities pushed back. Senior political analyst Brit Hume tweeted, “Fox News isn’t supposed to work for you,” and contributor Guy Benson tweeted, “We don’t work for you.”
  122. On Wednesday, Beto O’Rourke’s campaign acknowledged it had ejected Breitbart reporters from an event, saying the right-wing publication walks a line “between being news and a perpetrator of hate speech.”
  123. Later Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump directed aides to fast-track billions in construction contracts, aggressively seize private land, and disregard environmental rules, in order to build the wall before the election.
  124. Trump has told aides he will pardon them of any wrongdoing if they break the law in building the wall quickly. Trump has promised crowds at his campaign rallies 500 miles of fencing by November 2020.
  125. In meetings, Trump has mentioned the loud cheers he gets from his crowds when he mentions his wall. So far, the regime has completed just 60 miles of “replacement” barrier during Trump’s time in office.
  126. Trump insisted the wall be painted black, making it hot to the touch, despite significant additional costs, and wants to remove the upper part of the fence which thwarts climbers because he finds it unsightly.
  127. WAPO noted that several of the 15 pardons by Trump so far, which he has granted unchecked, have carried an overtly political tone. Several Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee threatened an investigation.
  128. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Another totally Fake story in the Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist),” adding, “This was made up by the Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage — FAKE NEWS!”
  129. Later Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “The Amazon Washington Post and @CNN just did a Fake Interview on Pardons for Aids [sic] on the Wall, adding his wall is “vitally important. Will make a BIG impact. So bad!”
  130. Trump also tweeted, “There has never been a time in the history of our Country that the Media was so Fraudulent, Fake, or Corrupt!” adding, “my legacy will be the exposing of massive dishonesty in the Fake News!”
  131. Later, after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the 2020 primary, Trump tweeted mocking her, saying “a sad day for the Democrats,” adding, “they never found out that she was the one I was really afraid of!”
  132. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court sided with the ACLU and others in upholding the block of an Indiana lawwhich would allow the immediate purge of voters with a duplicate registration in another state.
  133. On Tuesday, state officials in Mississippi confirmed at least three reports of voting machines changing votes in the GOP governor runoff. The issue emerged when a voter posted a video of a machine changing his vote.
  134. On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported allegations of missing votes in the midterm election have been turned over to Congress. The anomaly appeared in electronic voting, but not paper ballots.
  135. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament in September, as way to limit Parliament’s ability to challenge his plan with a Brexit deadline of October 31.
  136. The explosive maneuver was immediately challenged as undemocratic and possibly unconstitutional, and likely to be challenged in court. Normally, in time of crisis, British leaders have convened Parliament.
  137. On Thursday, Johnson faced a growing backlash including strains within his Conservative party, protests in London and other cities, and an online petition against the action which garnered more than a million signatures.
  138. On Thursday, seven Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders were arrested ahead of the 13th consecutive weekend of protests. Police claimed the seven were arrested in connection with past protest-related offenses.
  139. On Friday, an eighth leader was arrested. Activists could face up to five years in prison. The arrests came as China said it was rotating fresh military troops to Hong Kong as part of a “routine arrangement.”
  140. On Wednesday, Politico reported Trump is holding up $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine. According to an aide, Trump is doing so in order to ensure the money is being used in the best interest of the U.S.
  141. Trump’s move irked lawmakers and advocates who say the funding is critical to keep a check on Russia. U.S. support of Ukraine has long been seen as a litmus test for leadership pushing back at Russia.
  142. CNN reported blocking the aid package was supported by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and some in the State Department and national security council. The State Department told CNN policy has not changed.
  143. Trump’s deference to Russia has alarmed bipartisan lawmakers and U.S. allies. At the G7 summit, Trump downplayed Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Rudy Giuliani has pushed Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son.
  144. On Thursday, Business Insider reported current and former U.S. intelligence officials are concerned about Trump’s fervent defense of Russia for aggression in Ukraine, and his lobbying to have them readmitted at the G7.
  145. Several officials compared Trump to a “Russian asset” noting his actions are “directly out of the Putin playbook.” Another official offered, “useful idiot is more like it.”
  146. On Thursday, the Hill reported House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerome Nadler has set up a post-recess showdown with Trump as his committee is set to call a series of subpoenaed witnesses to publicly testify.
  147. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on a call “the public isn’t there on impeachment,” however if Trump’s White House continues to block House subpoenas, she could face renewed pressure to back impeachment.
  148. On Friday, 135 of the 235 House Democrats supported starting an impeachment inquiry. Just two of the of the House members in the 31 districts that went for Trump in 2016 support the move.
  149. On Thursday, the DOJ inspector general said in a report James Comey violated DOJ and FBI policy by leaking one memo to a law professor friend after being fired in May 2017, but that the DOJ declined to prosecute.
  150. The report found “By not safeguarding sensitive information…and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees.”
  151. The IG however found “no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information.” Trump has repeatedly claimed that Comey released classified information.
  152. Shortly after, Comey tweeted, “I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice.”
  153. Comey also tweeted, “And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’ — ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long,” including Trump.
  154. Hours later, Trump tweeted, “Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey” in the IG report, adding, “He should be ashamed of himself!”
  155. On Friday, Trump tweeted that he and his supporters should be “given our stolen time back” after the release of the IG report. It was unclear what Trump meant, but he frequently muses about extra time in office.
  156. Trump tweeted the report showed “how unfairly I, and tens of millions of great people who support me, were treated,” saying, “Our rights and liberties were illegally stripped away by this dishonest fool.”
  157. Trump also praised Barr, tweeting, “The fact that James Comey was not prosecuted for the absolutely horrible things he did just shows how fair and reasonable Attorney General Bill Barr is,” adding, “Comey got lucky.”
  158. On Friday, Trump tweeted a photo of an Iranian launchpad, which revealed the U.S. may be violating Iran’s airspace to spy on its missile program. The image appeared to have been taken from an aircraft.
  159. The image could have been taken from a surveillance drone, like the one shot down by Iran in June. Experts say the image is likely highly classified as it bears markings resembling those made by intelligence analysts.
  160. On Friday, Illinois Rep. John Shimkus announced he will not seek re-election, becoming the 14th Republicanto announce he will not run next year.
  161. On Friday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos finalized rules, scaling back an Obama-era program allowing federal loan forgiveness for students if their college defrauded them.
  162. On Friday, ABC News reported a digital data firm connected with Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump’s re-election, has received more than $900,000 in business from a pro-Trump super PAC.
  163. Parscale, who reportedly has recently spent lavishly, said reporting on his company, Red State Data and Digital, LLC, “are simply another attempt to smear President Trump by attacking those who work for him.”
  164. On Friday, prosecutors told a judge in a court filing that they are prepared for sentencing Michael Flynn as soon as October, citing “The defendant’s cooperation has ended.”
  165. Flynn’s lawyers erupted in a subsequent court filing, saying prosecutors had “engaged in even more malevolent conduct in the prosecution of Mr. Flynn” and withheld evidence.
  166. On Thursday, Trump’s personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout, whose office sat in front of the Oval Officeand who has been with Trump since the start of his time in office, abruptly resigned.
  167. The departure came after Westerhout shared details about the president’s family and the Oval Office operations at a dinner with press at Trump’s Bedminster club. She was not allowed to return to the office on Friday.
  168. On Saturday, Politico reported Westerhout was fired over comments at an off-the-record dinner she and deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley held with reporters on August 17.
  169. Westerhout bragged that she was closer to Trump than his two daughters, adding Trump could not pick Tiffany out of a crowd and did not like being in pictures with her because he viewed her as overweight.
  170. Shortly after, Trump tweeted Westerhout has “a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement,” adding, “she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it.”
  171. Trump also tweeted, “She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night,” adding, “I fully understood and forgave her!” and, “I love Tiffany, doing great!”
  172. Trump also renewed his attacks on former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, saying he was suing people for violating confidentiality including “disgusting and foul mouthed Omarosa.”
  173. Trump also tweeted of Omarosa, “I gave her every break, despite the fact that she was despised by everyone, and she went for some cheap money from a book,” adding, “Numerous others also!”
  174. Trump also repeated his attacks on Comey, tweeting, “I was right about Comey, CROOKED COP!”
  175. Trump also tweeted that the “top shows” on Fox News “are those that are Fair (or great) to your favorite President, me!” Trump cited host Sean Hannity’s “shoe,” before deleting the tweet and tweeting show.
  176. On Saturday, after canceling his trip to Poland to monitor Hurricane Dorian, Trump went golfing at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, his 226th day of golf at a Trump golf property.
  177. On Saturday evening just after midnight, Trump’s 15% tariffs tax on Chinese-made products will take effect, impacting the price of shoes, televisions, diapers, and other products.

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Bags over the handles of gas pumps signal to customers that the station has ran out of gas on August 31, 2019 in Fort Pierce, Florida. Gas stations throughout much of Florida have been running out of gas as the area prepares for the impact of Hurricane Dorian. Dorian, once expected to make landfall near Fort Pierce as a category 4 storm , is currently expected to turn north and stay off of the Florida coast, lessening the impact on the area.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 146: THE CHOSEN ONE, MY ASS.

AUGUST 24, 2019

Week 145

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. Amy Siskind’s List:  https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-145/

This week, renewed questions surfaced about Trump’s mental health, as he referred to himself as the “King of Israel,” the “chosen one,” and “hereby ordered” U.S. companies to change their dealings with China. Trump created another unprovoked international crisis with long-time ally Denmark, cancelling a trip he invited himself on, last minute, over the country’s unwillingness to discuss selling him Greenland.

As fears of a recession loomed and his approval rating weakened, Trump went on the attack of the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, as well as oddly blaming the media for being in cahoots with Democrats to hurt the economy ahead of the 2020 election. As conditions worsened, Trump doubled-down on his trade war with China, claiming presidential power from a 1977 Act which was not meant to address trade disputes.

More than two dozen mass shootingS were thwarted by law enforcement since the El Paso and Dayton shootings, yet Trump reversed himself on taking any action on gun control, and tweeted support of a white supremacist hate group at a rally in Portland. Trump’s paranoia, erratic behavior and authoritarian maneuvers seemed magnified by Congress being out of town for their long summer break. The narrative again this week was dominated by Trump and his never-ending series of shiny coins and not normal, authoritarian-like actions.

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Brussels, Belgium 24aug19
  1. On Saturday, far-right hate group the Proud Boys held a so-called “End Domestic Terrorism” rally in Portland, Oregon, with the purpose of getting antifa declared as a domestic terrorist organization.
  2. Trump tweeted support, saying, “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,”” adding, “Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!”
  3. At least 13 people were arrested in Portland. Joe Biggs, the organizer of the gathering, claimed victory, citing Trump’s tweet and saying, “He talked about Portland, said he’s watching antifa. That’s all we wanted.”
  4. The Proud Boys released a statement saying they would return monthly. Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, said such right wing groups are “impacting the entire nation,” adding, “We do not want them here in my city, period.”
  5. On Sunday, James Reardon Jr., 20, a white nationalist living in Ohio, was arrested after making threats to shoot up a local Jewish community center. Reardon was part of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
  6. While raiding the home of Reardon, also an avowed anti-Semite, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force found dozens of rounds of ammo, multiple semi-automatic weapons, a gas mask, and bulletproof armor.
  7. On Sunday, a WSJ/NBC News poll found 36% approve of the way Trump handled the two mass shootings last week, while 52% disapprove. 54% think Trump bears some responsibility due to his language and tweets.
  8. The poll also found that 68% are very or fairly worried about another mass shooting or attack by white nationalists, targeting people because of their skin color or country of origin.
  9. On Monday, CNN reported that two other mass shootings planned by white men were foiled over the weekend. All three, including Reardon, were brought to the attention of authorities through tips from the public.
  10. The other two were Brandon Wagshol, 22, of Connecticut who expressed interest in committing a mass shooting on Facebook, and Tristan Scott Wix, 25, in Florida, who texted his ex-girlfriend about the same.
  11. On Thursday, CNN reported that in all, 28 people have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings in the weeks since the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings.
  12. Later Thursday, police arrested Jacob Cooper, a 20 year-old man in Tennessee, for threatening a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C. in social media posts.
  13. Cooper was the third man to be charged for threatening violence against Planned Parenthood in the past month. All three used iFunny, an online social platform known for white supremacist content.
  14. On Saturday, Trump tweeted or retweeted close to a dozen references to the size of the crowd at his rally in New Hampshire in Week 144, criticizing “Fake News Media” for hating to see his big crowd.
  15. On Saturday, Trump retweeted an edited Time Magazine cover showing him as president forever, and pinnedit to the top of his Twitter account. The tweet was originally sent and pinned June 26.
  16. On Sunday, speaking to reporters, Trump again complained about coverage of empty seats at his New Hampshire rally, saying, “You saw that room was packed,” adding, “they had thousands of people outside.”
  17. On Monday, Trump again tweeted about the crowd size in New Hampshire, saying, “Massive overflow crowds,” and adding, “Couldn’t get into packed SNHU Arena. Fake and Corrupt News would like you to believe otherwise.”
  18. Trump also defended the strength of the U.S. economy despite economic indicators, saying, “I don’t see a recession. I mean, the world is in a recession right now, although that’s too big a statement.”
  19. On Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow appeared on Sunday shows to defend the economy, telling “Meet the Press,” “Let’s not be afraid of optimism. I think there’s a very optimistic economy.”
  20. On Sunday, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro told “This Week” that “We have the strongest economy in the world. Money is coming here for our stock market.”
  21. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office,” adding they “have Zero credibility,” and falsely claiming they “are losing a fortune.”
  22. Trump also tweeted “Journalism” — in quotes — “has reached a new low,” adding, “It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party” and “reporting is so false, biased and evil.”
  23. On Sunday, hundreds of thousands peacefully marched in Hong Kong under umbrellas in the pouring rain, marching for the 11th week in a row, despite ominous threats of brute force from the Chinese government.
  24. March organizers claimed 1.7 million people marched — more than 20% of Hong Kong’s population. Hong Kong police claimed the number was 128,000, and said they were capable of handling the protests.
  25. On Monday, both Facebook and Twitter said they had taken action against China for using fake accounts as part of a “significant state-backed information operation” to sow discord during the Hong Kong protests.
  26. Twitter suspended nearly a thousand Chinese accounts and banned advertising by state-owned media companies. Facebook removed five accounts, seven pages, and three groups citing “deceptive practices.”
  27. On Monday, Popular Info reported Facebook has taken down multiple ads by the Trump campaign targeting women, saying they violate the company’s rules which prohibits ads that target “personal attributes.”
  28. One ad that was pulled said the “Trump Coalition needs the support of strong women like you!” Recent polls show that more than 60% of women disapprove of Trump.
  29. On Sunday, WAPO reported on Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, and his influence on the regime’s immigration policy. Miller has earned a lead role in shaping policy over loyalty and agreement with Trump on goals.
  30. Miller not only writes Trump’s speeches, which Trump accepts with little or no proofing, but also is obsessed with terminology and dictates how others in the West Wing talk about issues.
  31. Miller has survived longer in the White House than nearly any official other than family members. In recent months as he has faded from public appearances his influence has grown within the regime.
  32. Miller’s allies in the immigration restrictionist movement say he has done more to curb foreigners than anyone. He views his role as “saving American society,” and successfully steers Trump where he wants him to go.
  33. Bloomberg reported Miller was also a driving force behind an effort, starting back as early as 2017, to press cabinet and White House officials to devise a way to block migrant children from going to school.
  34. The push was part of an effort to stem the flow of immigration. Miller’s efforts would be crafted to bypass Congress. Miller abandoned the idea after being repeatedly told it ran afoul of a 1982 Supreme Court ruling.
  35. On Monday, a spokesperson from Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied separating Maria Domingo-Garcia from her breastfed baby during the raids in Mississippi. She is still being detained.
  36. ICE claimed Domingo-Garcia did not say she was breastfeeding during her medical screening. Her lawyer told CNN she had not been asked about breastfeeding, and she responded “yes” to having a 4-month-old.
  37. On Tuesday, CNBC reported Customs and Border Protection will not vaccinate migrant children in border detention camps against the flu, despite calls from doctors to boost efforts to fight the infection.
  38. At least three migrant children have died in recent months, in part from the flu while in U.S. custody. Before the Trump regime, the U.S. had gone a decade without any migrant children dying in government care.
  39. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the Trump regime is trying to reach a “safe third country” accord with Panama’s government, which would impact migrants who passed through the country en route to the U.S.
  40. The accord would allow the U.S. to reject asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and elsewhere who landed in South America before heading north to Panama, and send them back to Panamanian territory.
  41. On Wednesday, acting Department of Homeland Security chief Kevin McAleenan announced a new rule to lift the limit on detaining immigrant families, and hold them through their immigration proceedings.
  42. The rule could affect thousands of migrant families, and is likely to violate the Flores agreement which limits the time children can be detained to 20 days.
  43. The Flores agreement says facilities holding children for longer than 20 days must be licensed by states, but none are. ICE plans to work around this by claiming their facilities are licensed by ICE and hence compliant.
  44. On Thursday, Axios reported Andrew Meehan, a top aide and spokesperson for McAleenan, resigned over frustration with DHS’s handling of major policy rollouts and distrust of McAleenan and his inner circle.
  45. On Friday, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli defended the new rule, telling CNN indefinite detention will be “a deterrent” from migrants wanting to the cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
  46. Cuccinelli said targeting the Flores agreement, which he called “one of the main motivators for the crisis,” is a “critical part of the solution,” saying migrants are released “for us to never see them again.”
  47. On Thursday, Trump told reporters he is “very seriously” looking at ending birthright citizenship, saying you “have a baby — congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen. … It’s frankly ridiculous.”
  48. On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit saying Ramon Torres, a Honduran-born U.S. citizen, was held illegally in a Louisiana jail for four days because of his Latino name and skin color.
  49. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported an email sent by the Justice Department to all immigration court employees this week included a link to a blog post from VDare, a white nationalist website, in its morning news briefing.
  50. A spokesperson for the union said the link had content that “directly attacks sitting immigration judges,” including “racial and ethnically tinged slurs” and references that are “deeply offensive and Anti-Semitic.”
  51. The DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review briefings also included links to right-wing websites the Daily Caller and Breitbart News, even though the content of emails is meant to be neutral.
  52. On Thursday, James Dyer, a British journalist, said he was stopped by a Customs and Border Protection agent at Los Angeles International Airport and questioned by an agent over “being part of the fake news media.”
  53. Dyer tweeted after presenting his journalist visa, the agent “wanted to know if I’d ever worked for CNN or MSNBC or other outlets that are “spreading lies to the American people.””
  54. The agent told Dyer, “journalists are liars and are attacking their democracy.” Dyer said the experience was “unsettling,” adding the agent “let me go after I said that I was just here to write about Star Wars.”
  55. On Monday, parents of a 13 year-old black teen in Texas filed a lawsuit, saying teachers forced him to color his hair with a black Sharpie when he got a “fade haircut with a design line.” He was ridiculed by other students.
  56. On Monday, the Trump regime issued its abortion “gag rule.” Planned Parenthood said it will leave the federal Title X program that helps low-income people access contraception, rather than stop abortion referrals.
  57. The regime’s rule affects the 50-year-old program, which provides $286 million to healthcare providers each year for family planning services such as birth control. Planned Parenthood served 1.5 million low-income under the Title X program.
  58. On Tuesday, Trump backed away again from gun control, after lunch with the head of the National Rifle Association. Trump cited a “great appetite” for tightening background checks in the aftermath of Dayton and El Paso.
  59. On Tuesday, two prominent board members stepped down from the NRA — country music singer Craig Morgan and NASCAR team owner Richard Childress — making a total of seven board departures since May.
  60. On Friday, the Trump regime’s DOJ filed amicus briefs in two cases involving gay workers and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, supporting a position that would allow workers to be fired for being LGBTQ individuals.
  61. The regime argued courts should stop reading civil rights law to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender workers from discrimination, saying it was not originally intended to do so.
  62. On Saturday, WVTM reported Holley Gerelds, a high school senior in Springville, Alabama had her portrait marked as “Not Pictured” in the yearbook after she got the photo taken wearing a tux instead of a drape.
  63. On Monday, Anthony Scaramucci told CNN that he is assembling a team of former Trump cabinet members to speak out against Trump and find a Republican to primary him for the 2020 election.
  64. Shortly after, Trump attacked Scaramucci on Twitter, calling him “ a highly unstable “nut job,”” adding, “I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence-made a fool of himself,” and he is “bad on TV.”
  65. Trump also claimed Scaramucci “Abused staff, got fired,” and “Wrote a very nice book about me,” adding, “Said his wife was driving him crazy, “something big” was happening with her. Getting divorced.”
  66. On Monday, Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz made a call for civility and said he must do better on social media in a radio interview. Gaetz told listeners in his district he was not meeting them on advice from Capitol Police.
  67. On Thursday, Joe Walsh, a conservative radio show host and former Tea Party congressman from Illinois who in a op-ed in Week 144 called Trump a “racial arsonist,” said he is considering challenging Trump for 2020.
  68. On Thursday, former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford said he would head to early voting state Iowa next as he weighs a decision for a 2020 presidential run.
  69. On Sunday, Trump repeated his claim, without evidence, of voter fraud, telling reporters, “many, many people voted that shouldn’t have been voted,” adding, “some people voted many times.”
  70. On Monday, Trump falsely claimed in a tweet, “Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!” citing conservative Judicial Watch.
  71. Trump also tweeted, “Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!” Trump incorrectly cited a study by Robert Epstein which claims, without evidence, Google bias shifted votes to Clinton.
  72. On Monday, a Google spokesperson said, “This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016.” In 2017, Google told WAPO it is “nothing more than a poorly constructed conspiracy theory.”
  73. On Monday, FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub rebuked Trump, calling his repeated claims of voter fraud “damaging to our democracy,” and saying, “There is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in 2016.”
  74. On Monday, Hugh Hurwitz, the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons was quietly removed from his position by Attorney General William Barr, following the death of Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in his prison cell.
  75. On Monday, WAPO reported White House officials are discussing instituting a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to keep the economy from going into a recession.
  76. The White House later released a statement disputing that a payroll tax cut is under consideration. Quietly, the regime is scrambling for ideas to reverse public concerns about a recession and boost business confidence.
  77. On Monday, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve and its Chair Jerome Powell in a pair of tweets, saying, “Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed.”
  78. Trump also claimed “the Democrats are trying to “will” the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election,” and pressured the Fed to cut rates, saying, “The Fed Rate…should be reduced by at least 100 basis points.”
  79. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters the economy is “doing fantastically,” adding the word recession is an “inappropriate” term, used by “certain people and the media…because they’d love to see a recession.”
  80. Trump also said “payroll taxes is something I have been thinking about. Many people would like to see that,” despite the White House asserting that a payroll tax was not being considered.
  81. Trump also said he would respond “very favorably” to a motion that would bring Russian into the G7, saying, “It should be the G8, because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia.”
  82. Trump made similar remarks last year before the Group of 7 meeting. French President Emmanuel Macron told Russia President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Russia could rejoin if they ended the conflict in Ukraine.
  83. Trump also said, responding to a question on negotiations with the Taliban, “Nobody can be trusted,” adding, “In my world, in this world, I think nobody can be trusted.”
  84. Trump also said on global threats, “Nothing keeps me up at night,” adding “I’ll tell you, we could wipe out anything we want.”
  85. On Wednesday, Trump again attacked Powell in a series of tweets, saying, “Doing great with China and other Trade Deals. The only problem we have is Jay Powell and the Fed. He’s like a golfer who can’t putt, has no touch.”
  86. Trump again pressured Powell for a rate cut, tweeting: “Big U.S. growth if he does the right thing, BIG CUT — but don’t count on him! So far he has called it wrong, and only let us down.”
  87. Trump also tweeted, “So Germany is paying Zero interest…while the U.S., a far stronger and more important credit, is paying interest,” adding, “WHERE IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE?”
  88. Trump also attacked the media, saying, “the Fake News LameStream Media is doing everything possible the “create” a U.S. recession,” adding, “They would be willing to hurt many people, but that doesn’t matter to them.”
  89. On Wednesday, a new CNN poll showed Trump’s approval dropped to 40%, after holding at 43% since April 25. The poll also showed the first significant drop in perception on the economy since he took office.
  90. On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office said the annual U.S. deficit will come close to hitting $1 trillion in 2019, an unusually high number during a period of economic growth, driven by the GOP tax cut.
  91. The deficit is set to expand by $800 billion more than previously expected over the next decade. Economists noted the size of the deficit limits the tools available to policymakers to bolster the economy in a recession.
  92. On Tuesday, Trump again offered, without invitation, to mediate in Kashmir, saying it “is a very complicated place. You have the Hindus, and you have the Muslims, and I wouldn’t say they get along so great.”
  93. On Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stepped down, possibly setting the stage for deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, who has questionable ties and backing from Russia, to take power.
  94. On Tuesday, Trump attacked Rep. Rashida Tlaib for crying at a news conference, tweeting, “Sorry, I don’t buyRep. Tlaib’s tears,” and “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite.”
  95. Later Tuesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump again attacked Rep. Tlaib for crying, saying, “I don’t buy it for a second,” adding at his rallies she was “was violent and vicious and out of control.”
  96. Trump also asked, “Where has the Democratic Party gone?” defending Reps. Tlaib and Omar, adding any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat are showing “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
  97. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and Jewish organizations pointed out that Trump’s use of the word “disloyalty” echoed anti-Semitic tropes accusing Jews of dual allegiance.
  98. On Monday, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking Latino, and the number 4 House Democrat, announced support for an impeachment inquiry, bringing the count to 127 Democrats.
  99. On Thursday, the WAPO impeachment tracker counted 132 House Democrats for impeachment, including 17 of the 24 members of the House Judiciary Committee.
  100. On Thursday, buoyed by fresh support from House Democrats, Rep. Al Green said he would try for the fourth time to push for impeachment when Congress returns to session in September.
  101. On Tuesday, a motion filed by the House Ways and Means Committee asked the judge to summarily order the Treasury Department to turn over Trump’s tax returns to the committee, citing a tip from a whistleblower.
  102. Chair Richard Neal says he got a tip from a Federal employee on July 29 “setting forth credible allegations of ‘evidence of possible misconduct,’” citing ‘“‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the mandatory audit program.”
  103. On Thursday, WAPO reported House Democrats are unlikely to get Trump’s tax returns for the 2020 election, and the legal process moves slowly and Chair Neal refuses to pursue Trump’s state tax returns.
  104. On Wednesday, NYT reported that Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is making a renewed push for Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump’s opponents, after canceling his trip there months back.
  105. Giuliani has spoken on the phone and met in Madrid with a top representative of Ukraine’s prime minister, Volodymyr Zelensky, to push for an investigation on Joe Biden, the leading Democrat 2020 candidate.
  106. Giuliani told the Times he was working on his own as a private citizen with assistance from the State Department. He would not say if Trump is aware of his efforts.
  107. On Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark announced in an internal letter that the DOJ will no longer use an enforcement tool to get states and localities into compliance with environmental laws.
  108. The DOJ letter, obtained by E&E News, claimed the tool, regularly used in the Obama administration, went “beyond what is required under federal, state, or local laws.” Republicans have complained enforcement takes away revenue from certain industries.
  109. On Sunday, Trump confirmed his interest in potentially purchasing Greenland, saying, “Strategically, for the United States, it would be nice,” and adding of Denmark, “It’s not №1 on the burner.”
  110. Larry Kudlow told “Fox News Sunday” that “Greenland is a strategic place up there and they’ve got a lot of valuable minerals,” and noted President Truman offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100 million in 1946.
  111. On Tuesday, the White House canceled Trump’s September visit to Denmark, citing Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments that she would not entertain his proposal to purchase Greenland.
  112. Trump tweeted, “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people,” adding because the prime minister has “no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled.”
  113. Trump also tweeted PM Frederiksen “was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct.” He also canceled his scheduled dinner with Queen Margrethe II.
  114. On Wednesday, PM Frederiksen told reporters it is with “regret and surprise” that she received the news of Trump canceling, adding, “I had been looking forward to the visit. Our preparations were well under way.”
  115. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted a quote from a non-Jewish conservative radio host, calling Trump “the best President for Israel in the history of the world,” and claiming Jews in Israel “love him like he’s the King of Israel.”
  116. Trump also quoted Allyn Root saying, “They love him like he is the second coming of God,” adding “But American Jews…don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore.” “King of Israel” trended on Twitter.
  117. Later Wednesday, Trump lashed out at PM Frederiksen, telling reporters at the White House that she had made a “nasty” comment about his desire to purchase Greenland, having called it “absurd” over the weekend.
  118. Trump also said, “I thought it was not a nice statement, the way she blew me off,” adding, “She shouldn’t treat the United States that way. . . . She said ‘absurd.’ That’s not the right word to use.”
  119. Trump has used the term “nasty” to describe several high profile women, including his 2020 challengers Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, his 2016 challenger Hillary Clinton, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  120. Trump also used “nasty” to describe Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. Trump rarely uses the term “nasty” to describe men.
  121. Trump also defended his trade war with China and its impact on the economy, saying, “Somebody had to do it,” then, looking skyward, Trump said, “I am the chosen one.”
  122. Trump also denied he is considering a cut in the payroll tax, saying there is no need to do so because the economy is fine. On Tuesday, Trump had confirmed a payroll tax cut was under consideration.
  123. Trump also doubled-down on his criticism of American Jews who support Democrats, saying, “If you vote for a Democrat, you’re very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.”
  124. Trump also continued to brag about the job he is doing in office, saying, “I was put here by people to do a great job, and that’s what I’m doing,” adding, “And nobody’s done a job like I’ve done.”
  125. Later Wednesday, Trump again attacked Denmark, this time on defense spending, tweeting, “Denmark is only at 1.35% of GDP for NATO spending,” adding, “they are a wealthy country and should be at 2%.”
  126. On Wednesday, Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir said she would not be able to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during his scheduled stop in September due to “prior commitments.”
  127. Historian Thor Whitehead called the snub “unprecedented for an Icelandic prime minister.” Jakobsdottir, a member of her country’s Green Party, supports abortion and LGBT rights, and climate change activism.
  128. Later Wednesday, during a speech at the 75th annual national convention of American Veterans in Kentucky, Trump mused that he wanted to give himself a Medal of Honor: “I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify.”
  129. Trump said that he asked his aides, “Can I give it to myself anyway?” and they responded, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Trump never served in the military and was granted five draft deferments.
  130. On Thursday, Daily Beast reported that no formal invitation had been extended by Denmark to Trump, but rather he had invited himself. Over the subsequent days much planning was put in before Trump canceled.
  131. On Thursday, answering Danish press on the use of the word “absurd,” Frederiksen said, “I’m not going to get into a war of words with anyone, including the American president,” adding Greenland said it is not for sale.
  132. NYT reported Trump has also joked with an aide last year about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland, after he sparred with Puerto Rican politicians, including Carmen Yulín, who he calling “corrupt.”
  133. On Thursday, a new AP-NORC poll found Trump’s approval dropped to 36%, while 62% disapprove. Trump got poor grades for his handling of immigration, health care, foreign policy, and guns.
  134. Trump’s approval has remained in a band of 32% to 42% in the poll since he took office. No other president has stayed within so narrow a ban. AP-NORC noted the consistency suggests Trump’s weak standing “ is calcified.”
  135. On Thursday, NYT reported the exodus of advertisers for Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show continued, with several companies leaving in the past two weeks over his rhetoric, and calling white supremacy a “hoax.”
  136. Carlson has lost dozens of advertisers in the past year over comments about women, immigrants, and race. His show Monday, the first after returning from vacation, had 13.5 minutes of commercials, versus 16 minutes of ads a year ago.
  137. On Thursday, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders joined Fox News as a contributor, the latest example of the revolving door between the White House and the conservative cable network.
  138. On Thursday, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced he would be joining the 2019 cast of “Dancing with the Stars,” in what appeared to be an effort to rehabilitate his reputation.
  139. On Thursday, Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, resigned saying he was “far too controversial” after revealinghis three-year romantic involvement with Russian agent Maria Butina, who is serving 18 months in jail.
  140. Byrne also said he had been aiding the FBI, whom he called “the Men in Black,” in their “deep state” investigation into the 2016 election, including their “Clinton investigation” and “Russia investigation.”
  141. On Friday, facing a lawsuit by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine over protecting user data, Facebook tried to publicly clarify in a post when it first knew about Cambridge Analytica’s use of data.
  142. The company claimed it learned of data scraping in September 2015, and that Aleksandr Kogan sold data to Cambridge Analytica in December 2015. Cambridge Analytica was not suspended until March 2018.
  143. On Friday, Trump tweeted a poll by Zogby putting his approval rating at 51%, roughly 10 points above the average of other polling, adding, “This despite the Fake News and Polls!” Zogby is not a reliable pollster.
  144. Earlier in the week, when asked about a Fox poll that showed him behind 2020 Democratic candidates, Trump told reporters, “There’s something going on at Fox, I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.”
  145. This week six polls showed Trump’s approval declining, including AP-NORC (36%), Fox New (43%), Gallup (41%), Monmouth (40%), NBC News/WSJ (43%) and CNN/SSRS (40%).
  146. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Economy is strong and good,” adding, “Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party” trying to convince people we are going into a recession.
  147. Trump added they are willing to “lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election,” adding, “But it won’t work because I always find a way to win.”
  148. Later Friday, just before Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech, China announced it would hike tariffs on U.S. products in response to Trump’s tariffs. Trump tweeted, “Now the Fed can show their stuff!
  149. Delivering annual remarks to central bankers in Jackson Hole, Chair Powell pledged to try to keep the economic expansion going, while acknowledging tariffs and other factors are causing growth to slow.
  150. He also spoke of challenges the Fed now faces, saying there is “no recent precedents to guide any policy response to the current situation,” adding, “we are asking whether we should expand” our monetary policy toolkit.
  151. Powell added monetary policy “cannot provide a settled rulebook for international trade,” and gave no clear guidance on whether there would be future interest rate cuts.
  152. Shortly after, Trump attacked Powell, tweeting, “As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!” adding, “It is incredible that they can “speak” without knowing or asking what I am doing.” The Fed is supposed to be independent.
  153. Trump also tweeted, “We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed,” then in another tweet, said, “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?
  154. Trump also tweeted, “We don’t need China.” Trump then tweeted that he “hereby ordered” U.S. companies to immediately look for an alternative to China for supply chains or move their operations to the U.S.
  155. Moments after Trump’s tweet of “hereby ordered,” which overshadowed Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 420 points.
  156. As the market plunged, Trump appeared to joke about it, tweeting, “Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!”
  157. The Dow closed down 632 on the day due to Trump’s “order” for manufacturers to find alternatives to their operations in China. Apple led the way, down 4.6%.
  158. Trump told reporters on Wednesday that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is a “great executive because he calls me” whenever he has a problem, adding, “Others go out and hire very expensive consultants.”
  159. Friday’s down day in the stock market followed a number of sharp moves lower: the Nasdaq has fallen morethan 1% six times this month, while the Dow has fallen more than 1% five times.
  160. Later Friday, Trump said he would raise tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods from 25% to 30%, and tax an additional $300 billion of goods at 15% as of October 1, in a fit of rage against both China and Powell.
  161. Trump announced the move on Twitter, saying, “China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!)” adding, “Thank you for your attention to this matter!”
  162. NYT reported Trump’s series of tweets on Friday caught his advisors and staff by surprise. Some privately expressed concern that the new escalation could derail negotiations with China.
  163. With members of Congress on recess, there was little pushback from Republicans to Trump’s flurry of pronouncements. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had yet to comment or issue a statement.
  164. On Friday, Hong Kong protestors formed a 28-mile human chain across 39 train stations, inspired by the 30th anniversary of the “Baltic Wave.” The human chain was a show of solidarity and a plea for international support.
  165. Protestors have expanded their demands from scrapping the extradition bill to now include greater democratic freedoms, the resignation of Lam, and an investigation into claims of excessive use of force by police.
  166. On Friday, Taylor Swift told the Guardian, Trump is “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America,’” adding, “I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy.”
  167. On Friday, ahead of the G7 summit in France, French President Emmanuel Macron called on world leaders to place the massive fires destroying Brazil’s Amazon rainforest at the top of their agenda.
  168. Macron tweeted, “Our house is burning. Literally,” noting the Amazon rain forest “produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen.” Germany and Norway have also weighed in, threatening to withhold funding for Brazil’s forests.
  169. Brazil’s right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, accused Macron of trying to “make personal political gains” with his “sensationalist tone” in a tweet, calling it “an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries.”
  170. Later Friday, Trump tweeted he had just spoken to Bolsonaro and “our future Trade prospects are very exciting and our relationship is strong,” adding if the U.S. can help with the fires, “we stand by ready to assist!”
  171. On Friday, CNN reported that as Trump left for the G7 summit, aides say he has questioned why he must attend over the past weeks, saying he does not view summits with world leaders as a productive use of his time.
  172. On Friday, before leaving for the summit, Trump told reporters, “I’m not happy with Jay Powell,” adding, “I don’t think he’s doing a good job at all,” and “I don’t think he’s much of a chess player, but I’ve got him so…that’s what I have.”
  173. When asked if he wanted Powell to resign, Trump responded, “Do I want him to resign? Let me put it this way, if he did I wouldn’t stop him.”
  174. When asked about him claiming he was the “chosen one,” Trump attacked the reporter, saying, “you know exactly what I meant. It was sarcasm. It was joking,” adding, it was “just fake news. You’re just a faker.”
  175. Trump also called Danish PM Frederiksen a “wonderful woman,” saying, “We had a great conversation. We have a very good relationship,” adding, “she was very nice. She put a call in, and I appreciated it very much.”
  176. When asked about North Korea’s projectile launches, Trump said Kim Jong Un “likes testing missiles,” adding the agreement does not cover short-ranged missiles, and Kim has been “pretty straight with me I think.”
  177. On Saturday, Trump claimed he does have the power to “hereby” order companies to leave China, tweeting,“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers.”
  178. Trump also tweeted, as he arrived in France for the G7, “try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” adding, “Case closed!”
  179. Trump appeared to be referencing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, a law which enables a president to isolate criminal regimes. The Act is not meant to deal with issues with trading partners.
  180. Trump also tweeted, “When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said “I am the chosen one,” at a press conference two days ago… little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a “Messiah complex.””
  181. Trump also tweeted the media “knew I was kidding, being sarcastic,” adding, “They knew the TRUTH…And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news.”
  182. On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that Trump believes Macron is structuring the G7 summit into niche areas in a way to isolate and embarrass him, while raising his political standing at home.
  183. U.S. officials claimed France has ignored their input on focusing on economic issues, to instead focus on climate change and inequality, and then blamed the U.S. for blocking consensus.
  184. On Friday, CNN reported the new White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, has yet to hold a daily briefing since she started her position on July 1. It has been 165 days since the last White House press briefing.

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Counter-protesters chase a group of people called the Three Percenters during an alt-right rally on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. Anti-fascism demonstrators gathered to counter-protest a rally held by far-right, extremist groups.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: SMURF LOVE & “STARBUCKS ENTERPRISE”

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“The Smurfs” is a Belgian comic franchise by artist Peyo. This is street artist Space Invader’s homage to the comic in the heart of Brussels…

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Fire

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Remnants of the first city walls from the 12th or 13th century…
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from 1695, having been rebuilt…

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Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven’s door…

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Royal Theatre of the Mint. Built in 1700. Renovated three times since,  in 1856 , 1985 , and 2017.

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The coolest looking Starbucks I’ve ever seen.

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Starbucks Enterprise

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23aug19. Brussels, Belgium.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: 2 FEMALE NUDES EMBRACING

This larger than life sculpture is located in front of the Finance Tower in the center of Brussels. I believe the sculptor is from Milan, Italy. ” ‘Fonderia D’Arte De Andreis, Milano’ (Milan, Italy). And an engraved inscription gives a name that appears to be ‘Nat Helligan’, and the apparent dates 1952-1984. ” https://www.flickr.com/photos/22325431@N05/4038175688

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23aug19. Brussels, Belgium.