POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 51: “YOU F***ED URSELVES”

Check out Amy Siskind’s weekly FACT list and my photos of graffiti around New York City depicting the sad state of USA politics, below:

Week 50 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

October 28, 2017 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-50-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-8e5b958887dc

The feelings of anxiety and fear amid continued chaos and eroding norms were palpable in this second-consecutive, record-setting week. The Trump regime continued their attacks on rights and protections, while the Republican Party split deepened after a historic anti-Trump/save our country speech by Senator Jeff Flake.

The week closed with the unexpected news that the Mueller probe has produced its first results: charges filed in federal court. The news provided the first relief, and possible accountability after unending news of corruption, incompetence and kleptocracy. The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico worsened amid news of an insider-deal and cover-ups, as Trump continued to turn a blind eye of indifference.

  1. Axios reported Trump pledged to spend at least $430k of his own money to pay some of the legal bills for WH staff due to the Russia investigation. The RNC has paid roughly $430k to cover Trump’s and Donald Jr.’s lawyers.
  2. Reuters reported Canada is granting asylum to people who fear being deported by Trump. More than 15K people crossed the U.S.-Canadian border to claim refugee status this year. Many were in the US legally.
  3. The US Air Force responded to Trump’s executive order in Week 49 which allows them to recall retired pilots, saying the Air Force did not know about it in advance and does not “currently intend to recall retired pilots.”
  4. Defense One reported the Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.
  5. On Sunday, on the same day the Kremlin added him to the Interpol list, the State Dept revoked a visa for British citizen Bill Browder, a hedge fund manager turned human rights activist responsible for the Magnitsky Act.
  6. On Monday night, the US cleared Browder to enter. The explanation given anonymously by a Trump regime member is the initial action blocking had been taken automatically in response to an Interpol notice filed by Russia.
  7. Veselnitskaya detailed the Kremlin’s gripes with Browder in a memo she brought to the June 9 meeting with Donald Jr., Kushner and Manafort.
  8. POLITICO reported that four officials at three different federal agencies are doing substantially similar work to the position for which they have been nominated, despite not having been confirmed yet.
  9. Atlantic reported Trump is rush-shipping condolences to Gold Star families following his false claim he had called “virtually all” of the families. Four families received next-day UPS letters from Trump.
  10. McCain took a swipe at Trump on C-SPAN3 saying those “at the highest income level” avoided the draft by finding a doctor who “would say that they had a bone spur.”
  11. The women of the Congressional Black Caucus demanded Kelly apologize to Rep Wilson, citing the Sun Sentinel video which shows Kelly’s public statement in Week 49 was false.
  12. On Monday, Myeshia Johnson told “Good Morning America” Trump “made me cry even worse.” She also said she didn’t like Trump’s tone, and that she broke down when Trump fumbled her husband’s name.
  13. Trump tweeted immediately after her interview, refuting Myeshia, “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”
  14. On Wednesday, Trump again said Myeshia’s recollection is incorrect, telling reporters he did say La David Johnson’s name, and he has “one of the great memories of all time.”
  15. DeVos’s Education Department rescinded 72 special education policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities, saying the guidelines were “outdated, unnecessary or ineffective.”
  16. Anti-Semitic posters which read, “Just Say No to Jewish Lies!” and “Join the White Gang” adorned with swastika, were found on Cornell University’s campus and Collegetown.
  17. The NAACP issued a travel advisory for African Americans who fly on American Airlines. The group cited a disturbing pattern of black passengers being removed from flights and other troublesome conduct.
  18. Georgia Rep Betty Price, wife of former HHS Secretary Price, in a study committee asked if the government could “quarantine” people with HIV.
  19. In a meeting of NFL owners and league executives regarding player protests, Texans owner Robert McNair said of the players, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” He later apologized.
  20. A post-it which read, “JEWS WILL BURN” was left on the locker of a Jewish sixth grade student at Middlebrook School in Wilton, CT, one of several recent anti-Semitic incidents at the school.
  21. White supremacist group Identity Evropa hung flyers across Rutgers University campuses which read, “Our Generation. Our Future. Our Last Chance.” The group’s founder has close ties to Richard Spencer.
  22. Mahway, NJ proposed rules aimed at barring Orthodox Jews from moving in. A complaint by the state AG cited “1950s-era white flight suburbanites who sought to keep African-Americans” out from their communities.
  23. Viviana Andazola Marquez, a senior at Yale, wrote while bringing her father, who works and raised four children, for a final interview with Immigration Services, he was detained and faces deportation proceedings.
  24. Rosa Maria Hernandez, a 10 year-old Mexican girl with cerebral palsy, is potentially facing deportation after going through a Border Patrol checkpoint in South Texas to get emergency gallbladder surgery.
  25. On Wednesday, the immigrant teen known as “Jane Doe” was able to terminate her pregnancy. The ACLU said this is part of the Trump regime’s efforts to drastically restricts abortion access for minors in their custody.
  26. Scott Lloyd, head of Office of Refugee Resettlement, has tried to block abortions for teens in custody. WSJ reported his work is part of a broader push by the Trump regime “to deliver socially conservative policies.
  27. At a House hearing Thursday, Lloyd refused to answer many questions posed by Democrats who charged he had overstepped his expertise and authority in his dealing with female detainees.
  28. In the wake of numerous men in high-profile positions being accused of sexual misconduct, when asked about Trump at a press briefing, Sanders said all the women who accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying.
  29. Trump’s EPA canceled speaking appearance of three agency scientists scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference in RI. The cancelations highlight concern the EPA will silence government scientists.
  30. CBC reported Kelly Craft, the new US ambassador to Canada, says she believes “both sides” of the climate change science.
  31. Trump’s FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, announced a vote in November to rollback regulations passed in 1975 which bans media cross-ownership of newspaper, radio and television at the local level to protect consumers.
  32. Pai’s move comes as Trump ally Sinclair Broadcasting seeks to acquire Tribune Media. The combined company would reach 72% of households.
  33. AP reported a computer server crucial to a lawsuit against Georgia election officials in Week 34 was quietly wiped clean by the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University just after the suit was filed.
  34. Cummings again called on Gowdy to sign on to a request for documents from Kushner and Ivanka on their use of private email accounts, saying if he doesn’t, the House Oversight Comm should vote on issuing subpoenas.
  35. WAPO reported GEO Group, a giant private-prison company, switched the venue for its annual leadership conference to Trump National Doral.
  36. GEO Group gave $250K to a Trump super PAC, and hired two former aides of Sessions and a Trump fundraiser as outside lobbyists. The company’s stock has tripled since Obama said he would phase out private prisons.
  37. Donald Jr. tweeted a photo of him on stage with his father: “Great time with @realDonaldTrump in Texas.” The two are supposed to maintain a firewall between them as Donald Jr. co-manages the family businesses.
  38. The GAO will probe the Election Integrity Commission’s funding, internal operations and how it is protects and sorts voter files. The probe comes as three Democratic senators said the commission had ignored their requests.
  39. On Thursday, at a speech at the Heritage Foundation, Sessions scolded federal judges who have ruled against or criticized the Trump regime, saying, “co-equal branches of government ought to respect one another.”
  40. Sessions also said that religious expression overrides civil rights laws, saying the First Amendment guarantees “that includes the freedom not to create expression for ceremonies that violate one’s religious beliefs.”
  41. FiveThirtyEight reported under Trump and Sessions, 70% of the tables from the FBI’s “Crime in the United States,” a report considered the gold standard for tracking crime statistics, have been taken offline.
  42. Former Trump WH aide Gorka told Fox News Trump’s former political opponent Hillary Clinton should be tried for treason and executed, saying Uranium One is the equivalent of the espionage of the Rosenbergs in 1951.
  43. CNN reported Trump made it clear to the State Dept he wants to accelerate the release of any remaining Hillary emails in its possession.
  44. Trump has also called on the DOJ to lift the gag order on an undercover FBI informant who played a critical role in an FBI investigation into Russian efforts to gain influence in the US uranium industry.
  45. Trump has yet to implement Russian sanctions from legislation signed August 2, after being approved by an overwhelming majority in the Hose and Senate. The deadline to implement was October 1.
  46. Foreign Policy reported Tillerson shuttered the State Dept’s Coordinator for Sanctions Policy office, which oversees sanctions policy, as part of an overhaul of the department.
  47. On Friday, the Trump regime, facing vociferous public criticism, started to rollout Russian sanctions on a very limited basis: the State Dept listed 39 Russian companies and government organizations to be sanctioned.
  48. NYT reported China’s Xi has succeeded in positioning China as a responsible power by stepping up when Trump has failed, citing speaking up for globalization at Davos and the Paris Climate Accord.
  49. WSJ reported Trump almost deported fugitive businessman Guo Wengui after receiving a letter from the Chinese government, hand-delivered by Steve Wynn, the Republican National Committee finance chairman.
  50. Trump allegedly said to his secretary: “Where’s the letter that Steve brought? We need to get this criminal out of the country.” Wynn’s Macau casino empire cannot operate without a license from the Chinese territory.
  51. Washington Times reported at a meeting this spring, Sessions threatened to resign if the Trump regime deported Guo Wengui.
  52. On Wednesday, Trump called to congratulate China’s Xi, as Xi asserted his absolute supremacy over China’s one-party state, calling it an “extraordinary elevation,” and comparing Xi to a “king.”
  53. Reuters reported that after Trump’s abrupt decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, European leaders are nervous. No longer is there confidence Europe can muddle through three more years without disruptions.
  54. On Wednesday, Trump blamed the generals for Niger ambush. In Week 16, Trump also blamed the generals for a SEAL killed in the failed Yemen raid.
  55. Trump repeatedly referred to “my generals” and “my military.” This reference has angered many in the military who believe the reference suggests Trump’s sense of ownership over the country’s armed forces.
  56. In an interview with Fox Business Network, Trump relished in his ability to diminish the press, I “really started this whole fake news thing,” adding “I’m so proud that I have been able to convince people how fake it is.”
  57. WAPO reported lawmakers in both parties are expressing frustration on the inability to accomplish anything with Trump. Lawmakers consider him “untrustworthy, chronically inconsistent and easily distracted.”
  58. A Fox News poll showed Trump’s approval falling to a new low of 38%. Trump is losing support from white men without a college degree (68% last month to 56%) and white evangelical Christians (74% to 66%).
  59. NYT listed the 382 people, places and things Trump has insulted on Twitter since he declared his candidacy.
  60. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported Alexander Nix, head of Cambridge Analytica, reached out to WikiLeaks founder Assange for help finding and then publicly releasing Hillary’s 33k deleted emails.
  61. In response to Daily Beast reporting, Assange provided this statement: “We can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks.”
  62. Late Wednesday, Michael Glassner, Trump campaign executive director, issued a statement seeking to distance the campaign from Cambridge Analytica. The Trump campaign paid Cambridge Analytica $5.9mm.
  63. On Friday, the WSJ reported Trump donor Rebekah Mercer reached out to Nix on August 26, 2016 to ask whether Cambridge Analytica could better organize the Hillary-related emails being released by WikiLeaks.
  64. WSJ reported Nix’s outreach to Assange came before his company began working for the Trump campaign in July. U.S. intelligence determined the emails were stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks.
  65. The Senate Intel Comm sought and received materials from the estate of Peter W. Smith. which could help determine whether Smith was working with members of the Trump campaign to obtain Hillary’s missing emails.
  66. BuzzFeed reported Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency also used Instagram to exploit divisions and social movements.
  67. Michael Cohen met privately with House and Senate intelligence panels as part of their investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Cohen is still expected to testify publicly later this year.
  68. Daily Beast reported that due to concern over Rohrabacher’s ties to Russia, the House Comm on Foreign Affairs placed heightened restrictions on his trips abroad, committee money for travel, and hearings he can hold.
  69. Tatyana Felgenhaeur, a Russian radio journalist, was stabbed in the throat by an attacker who burst into her studio. There has been a string of attacks against journalists and opposition activists in Moscow.
  70. British lawmakers asked Facebook to provide information on any ads purchased by Russian-linked accounts around June’s general election and last year’s Brexit referendum.
  71. The Senate Judiciary Comm ended its bipartisan investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice or colluded with Russia. Republicans and Democrats saying they will now conduct separate probes.
  72. Daily Beast reported just three of the 13 Republican members of the House Intel Comm regularly attend when Trump-Russia witnesses are grilled behind closed doors. The three participate in a very limited way.
  73. Republicans on the committee are instead focused in other areas. Nunes is working with Reps DeSantis and King, not on the committee, to probe an Obama-era uranium deal which Trump has repeatedly promoted.
  74. Former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul compared the recycling of the uranium deal to classic whataboutism, perfected by the Kremlin.
  75. Nunes said he “would prefer” reporters stop saying he recused himself from the Russia probe, even though, in Week 21, he recused himself from the Russia probe.
  76. Twitter banned ads from Russia state-owned news outlets RT and Sputnik. The Kremlin said it would respond, saying the move flouted international and domestic laws on free speech
  77. WSJ reported the Manhattan US attorney’s office is pursuing an investigation of Manafort for possible money-laundering. The investigation is being conducted in collaboration with Mueller’s probe.
  78. At the same time, the Brooklyn US attorney’s office is pursuing an inquiry involving Kushner Cos. Trump has interviewed, and is said to be close to nominating, candidates to lead both the Manhattan and Brooklyn offices.
  79. Among those interviewed are Geoffrey Berman, who is a law partner of Rudy Giuliani at Greenberg Traurig LLP., and Edward McNally, a law partner of Marc Kasowitz at Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP.
  80. POLITICO reported the realtor who helped Manafort buy the Alexandria apartment recently raided by the FBI, testified before a grand jury in the Mueller’s Russia probe, after efforts by the realtor to quash the subpoena.
  81. NYT reported records show Veselnitskaya was working on behalf of the Kremlin when she met with Donald Jr. and others on June 9. This undercuts her account she was working as an independent actor.
  82. On Friday, Carter Page met with the Senate Intel Comm for more than five hour in a closed session. Asked by NBC News whether he answered all the committee’s questions, Page responded, “Thanks, have a great day.”
  83. Dana Boente, a 33-year veteran of the DOJ, abruptly announced his resignation as US attorney for the Eastern District of VA on Thursday. Boente is serving as acting asst AG of the National Security Division.
  84. In a statement, former CIA director Woolsey said he and his wife have been in communication with the FBI regarding his knowledge of former NSA Flynn. Woolsey also claims he is getting smeared.
  85. Late Friday, CNN reported the first charges have been filed in the Mueller investigation. The charges are sealed. Plans were made Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday. Reuters confirmed.
  86. WAPO reported Whitefish Energy, a two-year-old company with 2 full-time employees, signed a $300mm no-bid contract, the biggest yet in Puerto Rico, to repair and reconstruct the island’s electrical infrastructure.
  87. Whitefish Energy is located in Whitefish, Montana, and its owner Andy Techmanski is friends with Sec Interior Zinke. One of Zinke’s sons had a summer job with Techmanski. Zinke said he played no role in the contract.
  88. On Wednesday, Puerto Rico’s installed an emergency manager at the island’s utility. Sen Murkowski said her Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold hearings. House committees are investigating too.
  89. Five weeks after Maria hit, just 25% of Puerto Rico has electricity. San Juan Mayor Cruz expressed her frustration about the Whitefish contract and lack of progress on CNN. She also tweeted to request transparency.
  90. In response, Whitefish Energy tweeted a threat to halt work to the Mayor: “We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?”
  91. Later Wednesday, Whitefish Energy tweeted an apology to the Mayor Cruz and everyone in Puerto Rico.
  92. A copy of the Whitefish Energy deal documents surfaced Friday, revealing as part of the contract, the government is not allowed to “audit or review the cost and profit elements” for how the company spends the $300MM.
  93. On Friday, Zinke and the WH sought to distance themselves from Whitefish Energy. Press Sec Sanders said Trump had personally asked Zinke about the deal, which he claimed to know nothing about.
  94. Zinke claimed Whitefish Energy contacted him at the Interior Dept, but in a statement he said the contact occurred only after the company had won the contract with PREPA. The contract was no-bid.
  95. Puerto Rico reported at least 76 cases of suspected and confirmed leptospirosis, including a handful of deaths, caused by contaminated water. Almost a quarter of Puerto Ricans are still without drinking water.
  96. Vox reported the nation’s largest nurses union condemned the federal government’s emergency response in Puerto Rico, saying millions are suffering and accusing the government of leaving people to die.
  97. Nurses cited perilous conditions: doctors performing surgery with light from their cellphones, children screaming from hunger, elderly residents suffering severe dehydration, black mold throughout entire communities.
  98. BuzzFeed reported funeral homes and crematoriums in Puerto Rico are burning the dead. Communication between the central institute certifying official hurricane deaths is broken, so these deaths are not being counted.
  99. BuzzFeed later reported the Puerto Rican government allowed 911 bodies to be cremated without medical examinations to determine if they should be included in the official death toll.
  100. On Tuesday morning, Corker and Trump escalated their battle. Corker said Trump was “debasing” the country with his “untruths,” “name-calling” and “attempted bullying.”
  101. Trump responded in a series of tweets, calling Corker a “lightweight,” who “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee.” Trump also falsely claimed that Corker helped Obama “give us the bad Iran Deal.”
  102. Corker responded in a tweet of his own: “Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff”
  103. Trump responded again on Twitter, calling Corker an “incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee,” and saying people like “liddle’ Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back.”
  104. Corker responded, telling CNN on supporting Trump that he “would not do that again,” and said Trump has “great difficulty with the truth.”
  105. Same day, Trump attended a lunch with Republican senators, and tweeted how well it went, claiming he received, “multiple standing ovations!
  106. As Trump entered the Republican lunch, a protestor threw Russian flags at him and yelled, “Trump is treason.” The protestor was arrested.
  107. On Tuesday afternoon, Sen Flake gave an impassioned, historical speech on the Senate floor, and said he would not be seeking re-election. He also wrote an op-ed titled, “Enough,” saying it is time to stand up to Trump.
  108. Flake cautioned against “the new normal,” and said, “we must never adjust to the present coarseness of our national dialogue” set by Trump, including “the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals.”
  109. On foreign policy, Flake said “the efficacy of American leadership around the globe has come into question,” and cautioned, “Despotism loves a vacuum. And our allies are now looking elsewhere for leadership.”
  110. Flake also criticized Trump for normalizing lies: “calling fake things true and true things fake,” and called Trump’s behavior “reckless, outrageous, and undignified,” and “dangerous to our democracy.”
  111. Flake appealed to his fellow Republicans, saying the pivot to governing by Trump is not coming, and “when the next generation asks us, why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up? What are we going to say?”
  112. After Flake’s speech, his fellow Arizona senator McCain took the Senate floor to honor his friend, “When Flake’s service to the Senate is reviewed it will be one of honor, of brilliance, of patriotism, of love of country.”
  113. On Wednesday, Trump continued his attacks on Corker and Flake on Twitter. He also tweeted two more times about the standing ovations.
  114. In a 51–50 vote with Pence as tie-breaker, the Senate voted to end consumers’ right to file class-action suits against financial firms, a step to dismantling the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  115. Trump’s USDA withdrew an Obama-era rule which would have made it easier for independent farmers to bring lawsuits against big food companies, on the day before it was set to take effect.
  116. US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown is under investigation by the State Depart for making inappropriate comments during a Peace Corp event in Samoa. Brown blamed it on people at the event not liking Trump.
  117. Bloomberg reported at least a quarter of the pipes used in the Keystone XL pipeline came from a Russian steel company whose biggest shareholder is a Russian oligarch and Trump family friend, Roman Abramovich.
  118. Foreign steel imports are up 24% in 2017. More than 60 steelworkers met with Congress in September to tell them of their growing frustration with the WH delays. Wilbur Ross said the regime is focused on tax reform.
  119. On Friday, Trump tweeted an attack on Tom Steyer, calling him “Wacky & totally unhinged.” Steyer, a California billionaire activist, launched a $10MM national ad campaign calling for Trump’s impeachment.
  120. After pledging to release JFK records as required early Thursday, and Trump bragging about it on Twitter, the Trump regime flubbed the release resulting in only a partial release of records late Thursday.
  121. A federal judge who oversaw the collection of government documents on JFK’s assassination called Trump’s handling of the release “disappointing,” citing so many of the records have been held back for review.
  122. On Thursday, Trump declared the US opioid abuse a national public health emergency in a speech. The formal declaration came more than two months after Trump initially said he would do so on August 10 (Week 39).
  123. Trump pledged no new money to combat opioid abuse, but offered instead an advertising campaign with a slogan, “Just Say No” — a concept which has had little success in the past.
  124. Information on the Niger ambush continued to slowly trickle out. Democrats on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees complained the Pentagon has not been forthcoming enough.
  125. McClatchy reported Michael Cohen netted close to $20MM by selling real estate properties well-above market value to mysterious buyer. Experts say such deals are red flags of money laundering.
  126. In 2014, a buyer using a LLC bought a property from Cohen for $10MM in cash that Cohen had paid just $2MM for three years prior. Three other properties in the same time-frame followed a similar pattern.
  127. On Friday, Trump gave Halloween candy to kids at the WH. Trump told one young girl: “Well, you have no weight problems, that’s the good news, right? So you take out whatever you need.”
  128. Anna Wintour said Trump won’t be invited back to the Met Gala. Trump has been a regular at the fundraiser since the 1980s.
  129. On Friday, Trump released a promotional video — “Big announcement next week!” — on Instagram, ahead of this Fed Chair announcement.
  130. On Saturday, 200 white nationalists carried a Confederate flag and chanting for closed borders and deportations in Shelbyville, TN. The rally is one of two expected in TN. The rally also drew counter-protestors.

IMG_2070IMG_2086IMG_2129IMG_1879IMG_1810IMG_1956IMG_1871

Advertisements

One thought on “POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 51: “YOU F***ED URSELVES”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s