Hello all, I’m posting from Kraków, Poland this week and I actually found some politiKal graffiti right here in the city!

Week 97 of this attack on democracy: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

September 22, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-97-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-aaa4858983fa

This week the news was dominated by accusations of sexual assault against Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, as the accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward. Trump restrained himself from attacking Dr. Ford until Friday, but Republican senators and GOP operatives were out in full force all week. Senate Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch called Dr. Ford, “mixed up,” while conservative legal commentator Ed Whalen tried to pin the blame for the assault on Kavanaugh’s classmate. Meanwhile, Republicans sought to temper comparisons to the Anita Hill hearings with midterms approaching, amid concerns about the party’s declining standing with suburban women voters.

The Mueller probe continues to move ahead, as this week we learned Michael Cohen is cooperating, along with Paul Manafort. Trump took unprecedented steps in an effort to undermine the FBI and the Mueller probe by ordering the declassification and release of Carter Page’s surveillance documents and other officials’ text messages, but later in the week reversed his decision. Rumors and concern swirled Friday that Trump may fire Rosenstein, using a NYT article claimed Rosenstein secretly suggested recording Trump and discussed the 25th Amendment as a pretext. The story was later contradicted in reporting by the Post and NBC News, which suggested Rosenstein was being sarcastic and did not mention the 25th Amendment.

On the walls in Kraków, Poland 🇵🇱 21sep18

European biggest economic powers, led by France, Germany, and Britain, are planning to create a “special purpose” financial company to thwart Trump’s sanctions and allow Iran to continue to sell oil in the EU.

In an email, the Texas Farm Bureau, the largest farm organization in Texas, instructed employees not to wear Nike apparel while at work.

The WNBA Champion Seattle Storm have not been invited by Trump to the White House, nor would the team reportedly attend if an invitation is offered. Trump did not invite the Minnesota Lynx last year, breaking years of tradition.

On Sunday, two days after the announcement that Paul Manafort is cooperating in the Mueller probe, Trump tweeted the “illegal Mueller Witch Hunt continues in search of a crime.”

Trump also tweeted, “there was never Collusion with Russia, except by the Clinton campaign,” adding the “17 Angry Democrats” are looking for anything, and calling it “Very unfair and BAD for the country.”

On Sunday, on “Meet the Press,” FEMA director Brock Long defended Trump, questioning the relevance of independent studies which found thousands of deaths in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Long tried to differentiate between direct deaths and “indirect deaths” to refute the George Washington study, saying there was a tenuous link between indirect deaths and the federal government’s response.

On Sunday, WAPO reported Long is resisting an effort by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to fire him in the midst of hurricane season over his alleged misuse of government vehicles.

The number two position at FEMA is also vacant as Trump’s nominee, Peter Gaynor, awaits confirmation. Trump’s first nominee, Daniel Craig, withdrew over falsified work and travel records under George W. Bush.

On Monday, NYT reported the House Oversight Committee will launch an investigation into whether Long repeatedly misused government vehicles to commute from Washington to his home in North Carolina.

Committee chair Rep. Trey Gowdy sent a letter to Long on Monday requesting documentation and other information. Gowdy gave Long until October 1 to produce relevant documents.

On Tuesday, Politico reported John Veatch, a senior official and Trump appointee at FEMA was suspended without pay on Friday related to a DHS inspector general investigation into Long.

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump regime will lower the cap on the number of refugees that can be resettled in the U.S. to 30,000 for 2019.

The number represents the lowest cap since the program was put into place in 1980. Trump had set the cap to 45,000 for 2018, significant lower than the cap in place of 110,000 under Obama for 2017.

The reduced cap is the culmination of efforts by Stephen Miller, who had advocated for a 25,000 cap as part of his efforts to severely restrict the number of refugees offered protection inside the country.

To justify the reduction, Pompeo cited the backlog of 800,000 asylum seekers who are awaiting a decision by immigration authorities. NYT reported, according to DHS, the number is just under 320,000.

Advocates accused the regime of pitting those seeking asylum against refugees. Although the cap is 45,000, thus far the regime has only admitted 20,918 so far in 2018, less than half the cap.

Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz confessed to killing four people on the Southern border in September 2018. The victims — three women and one transgender women — who he shot in the head, were prostitutes.

On Wednesday, in an opinion, Jeff Sessions wrote that immigration judges don’t have “free-floating power” to end deportation cases. Sessions reversed an immigration judge’s decision to terminate a removal case.

A representative of the national union of immigration judges said Sessions’ move is part of a broader effort to limit judges’ independence, and shows the Trump regime’s “political approach” to immigration courts.

CNN reported, confirming of the worst fears of immigrants and their advocates, ICE has arrested dozens of undocumented immigrants who came forward to take care of migrant children in government custody.

On Friday, ICE in Detroit halted the deportation of Francis Anwana for at least 30 days after public outcry. Anwana is deaf and cognitively disabled.

PBS reported on a Republican Party “identity crisis” as a handful of GOP congressional candidates this year have openly expressed or supported racist views. One appeared alongside Jason Kessler, a white nationalist.

The Cap Times reported a constituent called 911 on Dane County Supervisor Shelia Stubbs as she was out canvassing for an Assembly seat. The caller reported a suspected drug deal. Stubbs is a black American.

News Star reported a white teen in Louisiana was jailed after reportedly putting a noose around a black students neck. The teen said he wanted to see how many black boys’ necks he could put it around and get photos.

The Fort Bend County Republicans in Texas issued an apology, after releasing a campaign ad in the India Herald with an image of Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity, and likening it to the GOP elephant.

Mother Jones reported that new documents released as part of a lawsuit by New York state directly contradict Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ claims about the origins of the census citizenship question.

An email reveals when Ross asked a top aide to get the DOJ to come up with a pretext for adding the question, they balked. The aide cited the bad press Justice was getting at the time with “the whole Comey matter.”

On Friday, a federal judge ruled Wilbur Ross must sit for a deposition in a lawsuit challenging the department’s decision to ask U.S. residents about their citizenship, saying his “intent and credibility are directly at issue.”

On Monday, a judge ruled that Georgia will continue using its touchscreen voting machines for the midterms, despite concern that the technology of the machines leaves them vulnerable to hacking.

The judge rebuked Georgia and state election officials over their handling of election security. Georgia is one of 14 states using machines that do not leave a paper trail voting record.

On Tuesday, Politico reported newly released records reveal Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao flew on Federal Aviation Administration planes rather than commercial flights on seven occasions.

Records show the total cost to taxpayers for flights between January and August 2017 was roughly $94,000, including one flight to and around Europe that cost taxpayers an estimated $68,892 for her and five staffers.

On Tuesday, Trump released a video praising the response to Hurricane Florence, saying Florence was a “tough” hurricane, and that it is one of the “wettest we’ve ever seen, from the standpoint of water.”

NYT reported at the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico is still in ruins. Hundreds of thousands of people across the island are still living in homes in desperate need of repair.

Of the 1.1 million households that sought help, FEMA inspected 754,336 homes for damage, and just 138,572 household received a grant for repairs. Two-thirds of the grants were for less than $3,000.

The Hill reported, according to a letter sent to Sen. Tom Carper, the Office of Special Counsel warned Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Melania Trump’s spokesperson, over a tweet found to be in violation of the Hatch Act.

Several other members of the Trump regime, including Kellyanne Conway and U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley have also been in violation of the Hatch Act, but no punishments have been levied by the White House.

On Wednesday, Sen. Ron Wyden wrote a letter to Senate leaders alerting them that his office has discovered a number of senators and Senate staff members were warned that their emails were being targeted.

On Thursday, Google confirmed that it has warned some senators and Senate aides that their personal Google accounts have been the targets of attempted hacks backed by foreign governments.

BuzzFeed reported based on internal emails it obtained, Trump’s July 26, 2017 tweet on the transgender military ban caused chaos at the Pentagon, where policy changes are typically rolled out after months or years.

Despite Trump claiming to have consulted with “my Generals and military experts,” the Pentagon was blindsided. One email sent shortly after Trump’s tweets said, “Boss needs to see this now,” and “Unbelievable!”

On Sunday, WAPO reported California professor Christine Blasey Ford is the author of the confidential letter on Brett Kavanaugh, detailing allegations of sexual assault when they were in high school.

Ford feared for her life during the attack, and later told her husband in 2012 and her therapist in sessions. She held off going public for fear of her and her family’s safety, but said reporters were close to outing her identity.

Ford engaged Debra Katz, a Washington lawyer known for her work on sexual harassment cases. Ford took a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent in early August, and passed.

On Sunday, Donald Jr. mocked Ford on his Instagram account, posting a meme depicting a grade school love letter, written in crayon, asking “will you be my girlfreind” and was signed “love, Bret.”

Sen. Jeff Flake slammed Donald Jr.’s Instagram post, tweeting “This is sickening. No one should make light of this situation.”

On Monday, Sens. Flake, Bob Corker, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins said the Senate should delay the vote and hear from Ford. Chairman Chuck Grassley said Ford deserves to be heard, but would not say if the vote would be delayed.

On Tuesday, in an op-ed, Anita Hill said, “the Senate Judiciary Committee still lacks a protocol for vetting sexual harassment and assault claims that surface during a confirmation hearing,” and gave suggestions.

On Tuesday, in a letter to Grassley, Katz called for an FBI investigation: “A full investigation by law enforcement officials.” Katz has also called for other witnesses including Mark Judge, who was allegedly in the room.

On Tuesday, Trump said he does not think the FBI should involved in investigating Ford’s allegations, falsely claiming this “is not what they do.” The FBI did investigate allegations by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas.

On Tuesday, NYT reported Ford has been inundated with vulgar email and social media messages, and death threats. She has gone into hiding, and has arranged for private security for herself and her family.

On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported Kavanaugh’s imperiled confirmation has unsettled Trump and the White House. The threat of losing the Senate and the House in midterms has stopped Trump from attacking Ford.

Trump is also concerned about losing in the midterms, and reportedly told a friend in the Oval Office last week that it would be Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s fault if Republicans lost the House and the Senate.

On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that it is “very hard for me to imagine anything happened” between Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, calling Kavanaugh an “outstanding man.”

Trump also said of the possibility of Ford testifying, “If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision.”

On Monday, Bloomberg reported Mueller’s team will seek to have Michael Flynn sentenced as soon as November 28, indicating his cooperation with the Special Counsel is complete.

According to federal guidelines, Flynn could face as long as six months; although others who cooperated received lighter sentences: George Papadopoulos got 14 days and Alex van der Zwaan got 30 days.

Politico reported Manafort’s plea deal contains several provisions that appear intended to discourage Manafort from seeking a pardon from Trump, and rein in the impact of any pardon Trump might grant.

The deal says if Manafort’s guilty pleas or convictions are wiped out for any reason, prosecutors have the right to charge him with any other crimes he may have committed or confessed to during plea negotiations.

On Monday, AP reported that in a November 2010 letter it obtained, Julian Assange gave a friend authority “to both drop off and collect my passport” as he tried to relocate to Russia. Interpol issued a red alert, preventing it.

A trove of emails obtained show when Wikileaks planned to publicize 250,000 U.S. State Department cables. When Swedish authorities moved in on Assange, he wrote to the Russian Consulate in London for help.

Guardian reported Russian diplomats held secret talks in London last year with people associated with Julian Assange to set up a secret plan to help him escape the U.K.

The involved smuggling Assange out of Ecuador’s London embassy on Christmas Eve in 2017 in a diplomatic vehicle and transporting him to another country, with the ultimate destination being Russia.

The plan was put in place to avoid having Assange extradited to the U.S. as part of the Mueller investigation, but was abandoned after being judged as too risky.

On Tuesday, NYT reported although Trump’s legal team has expanded to nearly a dozen lawyers, they are struggling to understand where the investigations could be headed and the extent of Trump’s legal exposure.

Trump’s legal team is representing him in two federal investigations, one in Washington and one in New York. Reportedly it is not clear if Trump has given his lawyers a full account of his decades running the Trump Org.

His legal team also has limited knowledge of what senior regime officials and Trump’s business associates have told investigators. Manafort cooperating brings a new level of uncertainty.

Former attorney John Dowd’s strategy of cooperating with the Mueller probe has failed. Dowd has told associates that strategy was based on his believing Trump when he said he did nothing wrong.

The Times compiled an interactive article titled, “The Plot to Subvert an Election: Unraveling the Russia Story So Far,” which gave a two year summary of what we have learned and what it means.

Over the two years, Trump’s position on contacts with Russian has evolved from: there were none; then, that they did not amount to collusion; next, that in any case collusion was not a crime.

Russians had dozens of contacts during the campaign with Trump aides and associates, who seemed enthusiastic about meetings in Moscow, London, New York, and Louisville, Kentucky.

Russian intervention involved American companies including Facebook and Twitter; engaging American feelings about immigration and race; and using American journalists eager for scoops; as well as Russian trolls.

On Wednesday, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told CNN, without evidence, that NBC edited the interview in which Trump told Lester Holt he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when fired Comey.

On Thursday, ABC News reported over the past month, Michael Cohen has participated in multiple interview sessions lasting for hours with investigators from Mueller’s office.

The interviews took place in New York and Washington, D.C., and parts were attended by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York. Cohen’s participation was voluntary.

Mueller’s team has primarily questioned Cohen on Trump’s financial and business dealings with Russia, and alleged collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Cohen has reportedly also been questioned on whether Trump or any of his associates had discussed the possibility of a pardon with Cohen. Cohen recently launched a GoFundMe page to help pay his mounting legal fees.

On Friday, WSJ reported as head of Trump’s legal defense team, Dowd tried to help pay legal fees for Manafort and Gates, initially trying to divert money from the White House legal defense fund, then later, to solicit funds.

On February 22, 2018, Dowd said in an email Manafort and Gates need funds immediately, and that he planned to donate $25,000 to Manafort’s defense. The next day, Gates pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate.

Trump aides and associates warned Dowd his efforts to donate and raise money would look improper. Dowd told the WSJ he “did not make that contribution.”

On Friday, ABC News reported Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi, who until recently served as the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for Infowars, met with the federal grand jury convened in Mueller’s Russia probe.

At least 11 people associated with Stone have been contacted by Mueller’s team including Michael Caputo, Sam Nunberg, Kristin Davis, John Kakanis, Jason Sullivan, and Andrew Miller.

On Friday, BuzzFeed reported $3.3 million began moving on June 3 between two of the men who orchestrated the June 9 Trump Tower meeting: Aras Agalarov and Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze.

NYT reported Russian billionaire oligarch Konstantin Nikolaev, who was recently revealed as a backer of Maria Butina, has been a source of funds for business ventures useful to the Russian military and security services.

On Saturday, WAPO reported K.T. McFarland, who served briefly as Michael Flynn’s deputy, revised her statement to investigators about a key event in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In the summer of 2017, McFarland denied to FBI investigators that she had spoken to Flynn about his discussion of sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016, during the transition.

On Monday, in a surprise announcement, Trump ordered the Justice Department to declassify declassify significant materials from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump ordered the DOJ to immediately declassify 20 pages of a surveillance application that targeted Carter Page, as well as the the unredacted text messages of several former high-level DOJ and FBI officials.

Trump ordered text messages sent by Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr to be released — all of whom have been targets of Trump’s continued ire.

The White House said the order came at the request of “a number of committees of Congress” and was done “for reasons of transparency.”

Trump’s Republican allies in the House like Reps. Mark Meadows and Devin Nunes have been pushing for the release, suggesting it would help show anti-Trump bias at the highest levels of the FBI.

WAPO reported former officials described Trump’s order as “totally unprecedented,” saying even though he has the authority to do this, it is tainted by severe conflict of interest since he is the subject of investigation.

WAPO also reported the Justice Department did not receive any advance instructions about the materials covered in Trump’s order, and signaled its intention to slow-walk the request.

On Wednesday, in an interview with Hill.TV, Trump criticized attorney general Jeff Sessions, saying, “I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad,” adding, “I’m disappointed in the attorney general for many reasons.”

Trump also said of Sessions’ confirmation process that he “did very poorly,” adding Sessions “was mixed up and confused” over “answers that should have been easily answered.”

Trump also said Sessions did not need to recuse himself, saying “now it turned out he didn’t have to recuse himself,” and that would have prevented the Mueller investigation.

When asked if he would fire Sessions, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens. A lot of people have asked me to do that,” adding, “We’ll see how it goes with Jeff. I’m very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.”

When asked about the term “deep state,” Trump said, “I don’t like to use it because it sounds so conspiratorial and believe it or not I’m really not a conspiratorial person. But I think it’s a sad day for our country.”

On Comey, Trump said, “If I did one mistake with Comey I should have fired him before I got here,” adding, “I should have fired him the day I won the primaries. I should have fired him right after the convention.”

Trump also said, “I’ve always said that the Russia hoax was an excuse for them losing the election,” and said of Mueller’s team, “not only that it’s fraudulent what they did…you have the 17 angry Democrats.”

Speaking about his order Monday to declassify and release documents, Trump also said exposing the “corrupt” FBI probe could become one of the “crowning achievements” of his presidency.

Trump admitted he had not read the documents he ordered declassified and released, but said he expected they would prove the FBI case started as a political “hoax.”

Trump also added he had “been asked by many people in Congress” to release the documents, as well “many people that I respect…the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful great Jeanine Pirro.”

WAPO reported the interview with Hill.TV reflects that Trump feels betrayed by Sessions, and increasingly believes he is unprotected against the Mueller probe with midterms coming.

Trump, family members, and longtime loyalists worry about who they can trust, rattled by Woodward’s book and the NYT op-ed. Trump is confronting crises from every direction — legal, political and personal.

On Friday, Trump said he would delay the release, tweeting, the DOJ “agreed to release them” but said it may have a “perceived negative impact on the Russia probe.”

Trump also tweeted, “key Allies’ called to ask not to release.” He did not specify which allies, although the U.K. and other international intelligence agencies have provided information on attempts to hack the 2016 election.

Trump tweeted the Inspector General was asked to review “documents on an expedited basis,” adding, “I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at).”

Trump reportedly changed his mind after talks with intelligence officials, including deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who explained to Trump about the ramifications of his order.

On Wednesday, quoting Peter Ferrara, former advisor to President Reagan, Trump took credit for improvements in the U.S. economy, falsely claiming in tweets, “The recovery got started on Election Day 2016.”

Trump also falsely claimed, “Before that it was the worst and slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.” Ferrara made these claims while appearing on “Fox & Friends.”

On Wednesday, when asked by reporters if he is worried about Manafort talking with prosecutors, he responded, “I believe that he will tell the truth, and, if he tells the truth, no problem.”

When asked if he would pardon Manafort, Trump responded, “I don’t want to talk about it now.”

Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported when Donald Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle announced a campaign rally at a Montana restaurant, the owner said he would not host the event, citing wanting to “stay politically neutral.”

NYT reported a record 244 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender candidates will be on the ballot for midterms. Of the 430 candidates who ran in the primaries, only 20 were Republican.

According to Spanish newspaper El País, Trump advised Spanish officials to build a wall to stop migrants, saying “the border with the Sahara can’t be bigger than ours with Mexico.”

Spanish officials reportedly explained that the Sahara is much larger. Reportedly, the remarks were made when Foreign Minister Borrell accompanied the Spanish royal family to the White House in June.

On Thursday, a poll by Abacus Data found that 9% of Canadians have a positive view of Trump, 10% are neutral, and 80% have a negative view.

On Thursday, seven women who have come forward with sexual harassment allegations while working in Congress made a public plea for lawmakers to finalize a deal to strengthen the misconduct policing system.

In their letter, the former aides said they were, “dismayed and disheartened by Congress’s failure to act,” and described a “culture of secrecy and an unforgiving, flawed system that protects those in power.”

On Thursday, South Carolina Republican congressman Ralph Norman joked about the Kavanaugh allegations, saying, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out that she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins told WVOM in Maine, “My office has received some pretty ugly voicemails, threats, terrible things said to my staff.”

On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said her office has received threats of bodily and sexual harm against staff, some naming specific employees.

On Thursday, 56 protesters who were targeting the offices of swing vote Republican senators on the Kavanaugh nomination, and chanting things like, “We believe women,” were arrested by U.S. Capitol Hill Police.

On Wednesday, HuffPost reported Amy Chua, a Yale Law School professor, advised students seeking judicial clerkships with Kavanaugh on their appearance, saying he liked his female clerks to have a “certain look.”

On Thursday, the dean of Yale Law School said in a letter to the law school community regarding “alleged faculty misconduct,” saying “the allegations being reported are of enormous concern to me and to the School.”

According to reports, Jed Rubenfeld, Chua’s husband, who is also a professor at Yale Law School, also once told a student seeking a clerkship that Kavanaugh “hires women with a certain look.”

On Friday, in an open letter from Yale Law School Faculty to the Senate Judiciary Committee, faculty said “we are concerned about a rush to judgment that threatens both the integrity of the process and the public’s confidence in the Court.”

On Tuesday, Ed Whelan, a conservative legal commentator and former law clerk to Justice Scalia, tweeted, “By one week from today, I expect that Judge Kavanaugh will have been clearly vindicated on this matter.”

On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Whelan claimed Ford had mistaken Kavanaugh with a classmate at Georgetown Prep. Ford responded she knew them both, so “there is zero chance that I would confuse them.”

On Thursday, WAPO reported Kavanaugh and his allies have been discussing a defense that would not question whether the assault happened, but instead would raise doubts the attacker was Kavanaugh.

On Friday morning, Whelan tweeted he had made an “inexcusable mistake” by identifying Kavanaugh’s classmate. The PR firm that helped Whelan was CRC Public Relations, the firm behind the swift boat ad.

The faculty also pushed for a FBI investigation, writing, “a partisan hearing alone cannot be the forum to determine the truth,” adding allegations “require a neutral factfinder and an investigation.”

On Thursday, at a rally in Las Vegas, Trump said, “do you remember the tears from the fake news media, when it was obvious that we were going to win?” adding, “They’re still crying. Look at them. They’re still crying.”

Trump also continued to talk about the 2016 election, “And we won big, 306–223. Remember? There is no way, right? There is no way that Donald Trump gets to 270. No, we got to 306.”

Trump also said of today’s Democratic Party that it is “held hostage by left-wing haters, angry mobs, socialist fanatics, ‘deep-state’ bureaucrats, and their fake news allies.”

On Friday, Trump abandoned his self-restraint, attacking Ford in a series of morning tweets. He called Kavanaugh “a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is “under assault by radical left wing politicians.”

Trump also tweeted, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed,” asking that she bring filings forward so we “can learn date, time, and place!”

Trump also tweeted, “The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW,” adding, “why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?

Trump was criticized for his tweets, including by Sen. Collins who said, “I was appalled by the president’s tweet,” and by Sen. Flake who said, “I thought that was incredibly insensitive.”

In response to Trump’s tweet, thousands tweeted using the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport to share their stories of why they did not report being sexually assaulted. #WhyIDidntReport was the top trender on Friday.

Trump later tweeted, “Senator Feinstein and the Democrats held the letter for months,” adding, “done very purposefully to Obstruct & Resist & Delay. Let her testify, or not, and TAKE THE VOTE!

On Friday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in remarks at the Values Voter Summit, “Here’s what I want to tell you: In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court.”

On Friday, Sen. Grassley set an ultimatum for Friday at 10 p.m. for Ford to say if she would testify next Wednesday, with no witnesses or FBI investigation as Ford had requested, else he threatened a vote on Monday.

Sen. Collins said the committee should delay to “make it as comfortable as possible,”and Sen. Murkowski spoke out late Friday, saying “I won’t vote on Kavanaugh until hearing from his accuser.”

Late Friday, Ford’s attorney Katz asked for an additional day, saying the Republicans’ arbitrary deadlines and ultimatums had created stress and anxiety for Ford.

Katz said in a statement, “Your cavalier treatment of a sexual assault survivor who has been doing her best to cooperate with the Committee is completely inappropriate.”

On Friday, a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Public Affairs Poll found 40% to 31% that the Senate should not approve Kavanaugh’s nomination, the first time a plurality have opposed a Supreme Court nominee since polling began.

On Friday, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a speech at the Values Voter Summit that allegations against Kavanaugh are part of a centuries-old socialist plot to take over America.

On Friday, in a bombshell report, NYT reported Rosenstein suggested in the spring of 2017 that he secretly record Trump in the White House and discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Reportedly Rosenstein made the remarks in meetings and conversations with other DOJ and FBI officials in the days after Comey was fired and Trump divulged classified information to Russians in the Oval Office.

According to the Times, not only was Rosenstein serious, but according to a memo by acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, Rosenstein suggested that McCabe secretly record his talks with Trump.

In a statement, Rosenstein responded, “The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” adding, “based on my personal dealings” with Trump “there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

The revelations breaking Friday afternoon immediately drew speculation that Trump would fire Rosenstein. Donald Jr. tweeted, “No one is shocked that these guys would do anything in their power to undermine” Trump.

In a second statement hours later, Rosenstein said, “I never pursued or authorized recording the president and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.”

WAPO reported both McCabe and Lisa Page, as McCabe’s in-house counsel, took notes of two meetings with Rosenstein on May 16. Both mention the recording device, but Page’s notes do not mention the 25th Amendment.

According to attendees at the meeting, Rosenstein’s comment, in response to McCabe pushing to open an investigation in Trump, were said sarcastically, “What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?

NBC News likewise reported that according to a Justice Department senior official and a source who was in the room, Rosenstein’s remark was sarcastic, and Page’s notes make no mention of the 25th Amendment.

Attendees the May 16, 2017 meeting included Rosenstein, McCabe, Page, and four career DOJ officials, including Scott Schools, who would later go on to sign off on the firing of McCabe.

Fox New host Laura Ingraham tweeted that Rosenstein “must be fired today” when the NYT article came out, and on her show said Trump “should seriously consider whether Rod Rosenstein should remain on the job.”

Later that night, at a rally in Missouri, Trump told the crowd, “We have great people in the Department of Justice,” but added, “there’s a lingering stench, and we’re going to get rid of that, too.”

Later that night, Fox News host Sean Hannity said on his show, “I have a message for the president tonight. Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody.” Ingraham later deleted her tweet.

On Saturday, Garrett Ventry, a communications aid for the Senate Judiciary Committee, resigned amid questions from NBC News about a previous sexual harassment complaint.

Ventry worked for North Carolina House Majority Leader John Bell, and was reportedly fired after an accusation of sexual harassment from a female employee of the NC General Assembly’s Republican staff.

While doing work for the Judiciary Committee, Ventry was also employed by CRC Public Relations, a PR helping promote Kavanaugh’s nomination. CRC was also working with Ed Whalen and the Federalist Society.

Ventry helped coordinate the Republicans on the committee’s messaging around Kavanaugh’s nomination. He had claimed the Judiciary Committee had “no knowledge or involvement” with Whalen and CRC’s suggestions.

On Friday evening, DHS Secretary Nielsen released a statement saying FEMA director Long has been ordered to reimburse the government for his misuse of federal vehicles, but he will be allowed to remain in his job.

A canoeing group filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump regime, claiming Trump’s use of his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia has led to illegal restrictions on the abutting Potomac River.

On Saturday, Trump played his 156th round of golf while in office; 155 have been at one of 17 Trump-owned golf courses. Overall, Trump has played golf 1 in 4 days since he took office.



A stencil of the iconic image of Gene Kelly singin’ in the rain (“I’m happy again!”) has even here since the spring of 2014.

Entitled ‘Judah,’ this large mural by Pil Peled – one of Israel’s most famous street artists – was created in July 2013 as part of the Jewish Culture Festival. According to the artist, the image of the child represents fear, vulnerability and the inner child, and the lion represents the Jews’ struggle to survive and preserve their culture, as well as the strength to overcome their fears. https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/judah_120346v

Created by the artist Broken Fingaz, this large-scale mural was created during the 2014 edition of Kraków’s Jewish Culture Festival. The mural takes inspiration from well-known art nouveau era artist Maurice Lilien – a native of Drohobycz (now in Ukraine) and graduate of the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts – and is dedicated to the memory of the Bosaków family who built the building and lived there through the generations for 400 years, before relocating to Israel after World War II. https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/plac-bawol-3_136577v

This mural by Piotr Janowczyk was installed outside Pub Wręga in autumn of 2015 as part of the Kazimierz Historical Murals (Kazimierskie murale historyczne) project. Featuring five portraits of Polish historical figures – namely, (from left to right) Emperor Józef Hapsburg II, Helena Rubinstein (born in the district), Karol Knaus (local architect, artist and conservator), Esterka (the lover of King Kazimierz the Great), and finally King Kazimierz the Great himself. https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/kazimierz-historical-mural_140658v

20sep18 Kraków Poland 🇵🇱

KRAKÓW , POLAND: Niedoskonałość jest doskonała (Imperfection is Perfect)


Pierogi ruskie topped with fried onion (filled with cottage cheese and potatoes) 
The Battle of Grunwald, fought between the joint armies of Poland and Lithuania against the Teutonic Knights on July 15, 1410, is considered to be one of the greatest battles ever to take place in medieval Europe. A defining moment in Polish history, the battle was immortalised in Kraków with the unveiling of this weighty monument in front of an estimated 160,000 people on the 500th anniversary of the event in 1910. Antoni Wiwulski’s (1877-1919) original masterpiece was, not surprisingly, destroyed by the occupying Nazis during WWII and the copy that now stands in its place dates from 1976, having been faithfully reproduced using sketches and models of the original. At the top on his horse is the King of Poland Władysław Jagiełło, his sword pointing downwards in his right hand. At the front is his cousin the Lithuanian prince Vytautas (Vitold), who is flanked on either side by victorious soldiers from the joint army. The dead man at the front is Urlich von Jungingen, the Teutonic Order’s Grand Master, who lost his life during the battle. https://www.inyourpocket.com/krakow/grunwald-monument_21891v


Street musicians (Muzycy uliczni)
Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven (also known as Saint Mary’s Church; Polish: Kościół Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny, Kościół Mariacki) is a Brick Gothic church adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland. Built in the 14th century, its foundations date back to the early 13th century and serve as one of the best examples of Polish Gothic architecture. Standing 80 m (262 ft) tall, it is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz).
On every hour, a trumpet signal—called the Hejnał mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of Saint Mary’s two towers. The plaintive tune breaks off in mid-stream, to commemorate the famous 13th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city. The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mary%27s_Basilica,_Kraków

19sep2018. Krakow, Poland.

the ever-popular antique horse-drawn carriages that line the market square
Adam Mickiewicz Monument in Kraków, (Polish: pomnik Adama Mickiewicza w Krakowie), is one of the best known bronze monuments in Poland, and a favourite meeting place at the Main Market Square in the Old Town (Stare Miasto) district of Kraków.
The statue of Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest Polish Romantic poet of the 19th century, was unveiled on June 16, 1898. (wiki)There’s a fascinating history behind the monument which is as interesting as the statue is recognizable. One of the most curious facts is that Adam Mickiewicz had never actually been to Krakow. His remains arrived to the city posthumously in 1890. This was 35 years after his death in Istanbul in a cholera epidemic in 1855. Meanwhile in the same year, the remains of the poet are put onto a ship, which transports him to France, before finally burying him in Paris. After transporting the remains to Krakow in 1890, the great Pole poet was put to rest in the crypt of the Wawel Cathedral. http://www.absolutetours.com/blog/adam-mickiewicz-monument/
Cafe Culture (Kultura kawiarni)



Józef Pilsudski ~ viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918.

Artist: DALeast

Artist: Victor Puzin

18sep18 Lodz, Poland 🇵🇱

ŁÓDŹ (pronounced “WOODGE”), POLAND 🇵🇱: “I AM ANOTHER”

Freedom fighter Tadeusz Kościuszko. Pl. Wolności (Freedom Square.)


“I am another.”

“We are under protection, i.e. defenseless.”

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral ~ An Orthodox Church built at the end of the 19th century. The Cathedral was financed by the most prominent factory owners at that time, Karl Scheibler, Izrael Poznanski and Luliusz Kunitzer (none of whom were actually Orthodox Christians), to celebrate the miraculous survival of Russian Emperor Alexander II from an assassination attempt in 1879. (Poland was a part of Russia at the time). https://theculturetrip.com/europe/poland/articles/the-top-10-things-to-do-and-see-in-lodz/

16sep18. Lodz, Poland 🇵🇱


Artist: 1010 IG: @1010zzz

Artist: Simpson

“in the village of Kamien, he was elected King Henry of Valois.” ~ Henry III (19 September 1551 – 2 August 1589; born Alexandre Édouard de France, Polish: Henryk Walezy, Lithuanian: Henrikas Valua) was King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575 and King of France from 1574 until his death. Henry was the thirteenth king from the House of Valois, the sixth from the Valois-Orléans branch, the fifth from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch, and the last male of his dynasty. (Wiki)

Created in 2010 to mark the XVI International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (The Year of Chopin, marking his birthday in 1810). The piece shows the composer in the company of people, objects and stories connected with his life – George Sand, tourists/Chopinologists, Napoleon Bonaparte as well as the planetoid (3784 Chopin) named after him. The artwork was designed by Marcin Urbanek, although the creation of the piece was a collective effort by many artists. https://www.inyourpocket.com/warsaw/chopin-mural_152838v

Artist: Michal Sepe. IG: @sepeusz

15sep18 Warsaw, Poland 🇵🇱


The anchor emblem seen on walls throughout the city, indicate significant locations for the Uprising of 1944. More information below the next photo.

So what does an anchor have to do with fighting Nazis?  The Kotwica is actually more than an anchor, as the figure is an amalgam of the letters P and W, which take on a number of meanings when associated with the Polish Home Army’s (AK) fight to retake Warsaw.  Starting in 1942, members of the Polish underground “Wawer Minor” sabotage unit started using “PW” to signify “Pomścimy Wawer” (“We Shall Avenge Wawer”).  The Wawer Massacre of December 26-27, 1939 was one of the first massacres of Poles in occupied Poland, and its memory fueled the opposition in Warsaw.  The meaning of “PW” was soon expanded to include “Polska Walcząca” (“Fighting Poland”).

“PW” increasingly appeared in the city as a “signature” on acts of resistance and sabotage; and in 1942 the AK put out a call to design an emblem that could be easily printed.  A design that combined the P and W into an anchor – the Kotwica – was submitted by Anna Smoleńska (code name “Hania”) and was chosen as the symbol of the underground.  Smoleńska, an art history student at the underground University of Warsaw, was arrested in November of 1942 and died in Auschwitz in March 1943 at the age of 23.  Thought she did not live to see an independent Warsaw, the symbol she created endured though the war and beyond. https://culture.pl/en/article/decoding-warsaw-a-guide-to-the-citys-sights-and-symbols

Why the “Mermaid of Warsaw?”

One legend claims “long, long ago” two sirens swam from the Atlantic Ocean to the Baltic Sea.  One sister stopped in the Danish straits and can to this day be seen by those visiting the port of Copenhagen.  The other sister (clearly the one with more discerning taste) kept swimming until she reached Gdansk, where she then turned to follow the Wisla into the heart of Poland.  Reaching what is today Warsaw, she decided she had found a home and stopped at the shore to rest.  It wasn’t long after her arrival that local fishermen began noticing someone was tangling their nets and releasing the fish.  Though it meant a loss of livelihood, the fishermen were so enchanted by the siren’s song that they never caught her.  That is, until a wealthy merchant realized he could make a profit showing off the siren at fairs.  He captured the Wisla siren and locked her away in a shed.  The siren’s plaintive cries were heard by a young farmhand, who with the help of his friends, returned her to the river.  Grateful to her rescuers, the siren vowed to help them in times of need.  The siren of Warsaw is thus armed, waiting with sword and shield to make good on her promise and defend the city.

A second tale again highlights the mermaid as the armed defender of the city, though with a different origin story.  This one claims that “in ancient times” a griffin defended the city.  The griffin would often accompany local fishermen to the Baltic, and on one such journey he spotted a mermaid.  It was love at first sight, and the mythical pair returned to live happily in Warsaw – until the griffin was mortally wounded during the Swedish invasion.  As the siege of Warsaw raged around her, the mermaid picked up the arms of her dying lover and joined the defense of the city.  In gratitude of her service and sacrifice, the people of Warsaw honored her by placing her image on the city’s coat of arms. https://culture.pl/en/article/decoding-warsaw-a-guide-to-the-citys-sights-and-symbols

Warsaw Spire.

Sigismund’s Column (Polish: Kolumna Zygmunta), originally erected in 1644, is located in Castle Square, Warsaw, Poland and is one of Warsaw‘s most famous landmarks. The column and statue commemorate King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 had moved Poland‘s capital from Kraków to Warsaw.(Wiki)

Presidential Palace. Construction started in 1643. Bertel Thorvaldsen‘s statue of Prince Józef Poniatowski in front.

The Royal Castle in Warsaw (Polish: Zamek Królewski w Warszawie) is a castle residency that formerly served throughout the centuries as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. It is located in the Castle Square, at the entrance to the Warsaw Old Town. The personal offices of the king and the administrative offices of the Royal Court of Poland were located there from the sixteenth century until the Partitions of Poland.(Wiki)

The Stadium.

Old Town.

13-15sep18. Warsaw Poland 🇵🇱


I am in Warsaw, Poland 🇵🇱 today, writing this post. The political art I find doesn’t always have to be about 45. My quest on this project is to share all political art I see in each country I visit; to spread the voice of the relatively voiceless.

Week 96 of this fraudulent regime: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

September 15, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-96-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-a47874991b08

An anonymous street artist doesn’t hide his/her feelings about Vladimir Putin. Warsaw, Poland 🇵🇱 13sep18

Alcester Road, Birmingham, UK. Photo: Luke Beardsworth

Increasingly, Trump stands alone. Reporting indicates his sense of betrayal from current and former officials speaking out in Bob Woodward’s book and in the anonymous Times op-ed has left Trump outraged and paranoid — canceling meetings, and trusting a shrinking circle of his family and Stephen Miller. The sense of a pending coup from the “deep state” was further exacerbated by the stunning news that Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is cooperating fully in the Mueller probe.

Even by Trump standards, his behavior this week was unbalanced and alarming. On the solemn anniversary of 9/11, Trump acted entirely inappropriately, with no one to rein him in. With Hurricane Florence approaching and questions about his past handling of hurricanes resurfacing, Trump bragged about his regime’s performance in Puerto Rico, and then careened into conspiracy theories about the actual death toll.

Stories abound this week about the impact of the regime’s cruel immigration and refugee policies — and the continuing whitening of America. With Hurricane Florence approaching, news broke that Trump’s FEMA director Brock Long is under an ethics investigation and has been asked to resign, along with stories that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis may get pushed out, as well as a continuing outflow of senior officials.

As the week came to a close, questions surfaced about Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, and allegations of sexual assault in high school; but Republicans appear unheeded in bringing the nominee up for a vote, mindful that as Trump’s approval continues to decline, they may well lose control of the Senate in midterms.

Twenty months into office, just half of positions considered key roles in Trump’s executive branch have been filled (364 of 705), and more than 1 in 5 positions have yet to have a nominee named (154 of 705).

On Monday, a CNN poll found Trump’s approval rating has fallen 6 points in the last month to 36%. His approval among independents has fallen from 47% approval last month to 31% now, a new low.

On Monday, a Quinnipiac Poll found voters give Trump his lowest grade for honesty since he was elected, saying 60–32 percent that he is not honest. Trump also got low grades on most character traits.

In all, eight high-quality polls completed over the two last weeks show Trump’s approval rating falling, on average, three points. The dip could have an impact on midterms.

On Thursday, WAPO reported Trump surpassed 5,000 false or misleading claims on the 601st day of his time in office. In the past nine days, Trump averaged 32 false or misleading claims a day.

WAPO reported top civil servants are leaving the Trump regime at a record clip: in fiscal 2017, 18.6% of Senior Executive Service (SES) members left the government. Experts warn of a future crisis from the leadership drain.

On Saturday at the second annual “Mother of All Rallies” at the National Mall, billed as an all-day event with the goal to “preserve and protect” American culture, approximately 350 people showed up at the rally’s peak.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported the event headlined conspiracy theorists, hate groups like The Proud Boys and American Guard, and famous alt-right names like Mike “Mersh” Schiele and Joey Gibson.

The Guardian reported Trump ordered $25 million earmarked for the care of Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals be redirected to “high-priority projects elsewhere,” according to a State Department official.

Republicans in the House passed a bill to reclassify dozens of federal crimes such as burglary, fleeing, and coercion through fraud, as “crimes of violence,” making them deportable offenses under immigration law.

WAPO reported thousands of Vietnamese in the U.S. face deportation after the Trump regime reinterpreted a 2008 agreement reached by W. Bush and Vietnam, a policy shaped by senior adviser Stephen Miller.

The new policy could impact 8,000 Vietnamese who have green cards but never became U.S. citizens. At least 57 people who arrived before 1995 were in ICE detention in mid-June, and 11 have already been deported.

Reuters reported that despite a record high of 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, the Trump regime is on track to take in roughly 22,000 refugees, a quarter of the number admitted in 2016 under Obama.

The Trump regime set the 2018 annual refugee ceiling at 45,000, the lowest number since the refugee program was established in 1980. The 22,000 admitted is the fewest in four decades.

The regime has extended the strictest type of vetting to women as well as men from 11 countries, mostly in the Middle East and Africa, and reduced the number of officials conducting refugee interviews from 155 to 100.

Under the new Trump policies, the percentage of refugees who are Muslim is now a third what it was two years ago, while the percentage who are Europeans has tripled.

Current and former officials say the new policy is being driven by a small core including Miller, chief of staff John Kelly, and Gene Hamilton, a former advisor at the Department of Homeland Security.

On Wednesday, NYT reported despite reunification of most of the children separated under Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the number of migrant children in detention has quietly shot up more than fivefold.

According to data obtained by the Times, children in federally contracted shelters for migrant children reached a total of 12,800 this month, up from 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017.

Federal shelters are at or near full capacity. On Tuesday, the Trump regime said it would triple the size of a temporary “tent city” in Tornillo, Texas, to house up to 3,800 children through the end of the year.

The Guardian reported conditions at detention centers at the U.S. border have grown only grimmer since Trump’s “zero tolerance”policy was first put in place.

Detention centers are overcrowded and unhygienic. Migrants are prone to outbreaks of vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and other communicable diseases. Basics like food and water are inadequate.

In their cages, or “hieleras,” translation for iceboxes, migrants are taunted and threatened by guards with turning the temperature down. Guard laugh at migrants and say, “Why didn’t you stay in your country?”

Detroit Free Press reported ICE plans to deport Francis Anwana, a 48 year-old who is deaf and has cognitive disabilities, back to Nigeria. Several years ago, his visa was not renewed as he was being moved in foster care.

Immigrant advocates, who say deporting him would be a virtual “death sentence” given his severe disabilities, have raised concerns with ICE and are pushing to prevent his deportation. He has been in the U.S. since age 13.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported acting ICE director Ronald Vitiello attended an annual media event for anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

On Monday, Ben Zayn, the mayor of Kenner, Louisiana, banned local booster clubs from purchasing Nike apparel for use at public recreation facilities, citing the company’s campaign honoring Colin Kaepernick.

The College of the Ozarks, a small, private college in Missouri, said it would stop using uniforms with the Nike logo. Truett McConnell University, a small college in Georgia, announced it would do the same.

WAPO reported the director of the Morgan County Public Library in West Virginia said it will not stock a copy of Bob Woodward’s book “Fear,” after residents expressed mostly dismay and outrage on a Facebook post.

Later, the president of the trustees of the Morgan County Public Library reversed the decision, saying the board had not known about it.

On Friday, the Texas State Board of Education voted to eliminate mention of Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from the state’s history curriculum as part of an effort to “streamline” the curriculum in public schools.

WAPO reported Ron DeSantis, the GOP candidate for Florida governor, spoke four times at a conference hosted by David Horowitz, an activist who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people.

Valerie Scogin, a high school math teacher in Louisiana wrote in a racist Facebook post, “go-back-to-Africa,” “quit acting like animals,” and cease “voting for handouts and pay taxes.” She was later fired.

In an online NRA-TV program mocking additions of adding female and international characters to the children’s television show “Thomas & Friends,” host Dana Loesch featured a video of trains in KKK white hoods.

On Wednesday, in an op-ed by Barbara Res, who led construction at the Trump Organization, Res claimed Trump ordered an architect not to include braille in Trump Tower elevator panels.

According to Res, when the architect told Trump including braille is federal law, Trump responded, “Get rid of the (expletive) braille. No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower. Just do it.”

On Wednesday, Eric Trump told “Fox & Friends” that Woodward wrote his book to “make three extra shekels.” Shekels is a term used by white nationalist to describe money tainted by Jewish influence.

When asked on “Morning Joe” how he would win over black voters given his racist past, Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel said “After 100 years of begging for federal government scraps, where are you today?”

The gubernatorial campaign of Ron DeSantis, under fire for recent racist remarks about his opponent Andrew Gillum, blocked a former state official from co-chairing a fundraiser, citing racist remarks.

Patient advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump regime’s expansion of bare-bones “short-term” health plans, which undermine the stability of the Affordable Care Act.

A woman born in Kansas was told by the U.S. Passport Agency out of Houston, Texas that her birth certificate was not enough to prove citizenship. After her senator intervened, the matter was corrected.

WAPO reported on Trump shrinking the Environmental Protection Agency. Since he took office, nearly 1,600 workers have left, while fewer than 400 were hired, bringing staffing levels down to levels not seen since the Reagan administration.

Among those who have resigned or retired include some of the EPA’s most experienced veterans, as well as young environmental experts who would have replaced them, causing concern about a brain drain at the agency.

On Monday, NYT reported the Trump regime is taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, making it easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere.

The EPA will propose weakening an Obama-era requirement that companies monitor and repair methane leaks, and the Interior Department will repeal restrictions on venting and burning methane.

This third step, in addition to weakening rules on carbon dioxide from vehicles tailpipes in July and coal-fired power plants in August, represents the foundation of the U.S. effort to rein in global warming.

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office issued its monthly review for August 2018, which showed the federal deficit had grown by $222 billion in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018, reaching a record $895 billion.

The CBO said the increase was due mostly to the new Republican tax law and Congress’ routine decision to increase spending. The CBO also said the deficit will approach $1 trillion by the end of Fiscal Year 2019.

On Wednesday, a Washington federal court judge ruled against Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education, saying the department’s postponement of the Obama-era Borrower Defense rule was procedurally improper.

The lawsuit brought by 19 states and the District of Columbia accused the department of wrongly delaying implementation of regulations to protect students who took out loans to attend college from predatory practices.

Trump’s Interior Department is quietly moving to lease hundreds of thousands of acres of public land to energy companies, for commercial purposes such as mining for minerals and drilling for oil and gas.

According to date compiled by environmental groups, the Bureau of Land Management will put 2.9 million acres in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona up for potential leasing in the next four months.

NBC News reported next Thursday FEMA will do its first test of the alert system, which would allow Trump to send a message to most U.S. cell phones. More than 100 mobile carriers are participating in the roll out.

The Emergency Alert System is a national public warning system that allows the president to address the nation during a national emergency. The test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert.”

On Monday, White House economist Kevin Hassett said at a press briefing that Trump’s tweet that the Gross Domestic Product was the highest “in over 100 years” was not true, saying highest in 10 years was accurate.

Hassett, who was part of the first White House press briefing in 19 days, denied he was included because of Obama’s claim last Friday that Trump inherited an economic recovery spurred by his presidency.

In another tweet Monday morning, Trump mischaracterized a comment Obama made more than two years ago. Trump tweeted that Obama said Trump would need a “magic wand to get to 4% GDP.” This is a false claim.

WAPO analyzed the content of Trump’s July rallies and found 76% of his 98 statements were false, misleading, or unsupported by the evidence. Last week, the average percentage for the two rallies was 72%.

NBC News reported a record-breaking 100 women could be elected in 2018, as 30 to 40 new women are poised to win. The increase is driven by Democrats, as a record breaking 50% of new candidates are women.

The previous record was 24 set in 1992’s “Year of the Woman,” in a backlash against Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation. This year is in response to Trump and his policies.

On Tuesday, in New Hampshire’s primary, Safiya Wazir, a 27-year-old Afghan refugee won her race with 70% of the votes over a veteran state representative who railed against immigrants “getting everything.”

On Wednesday, Juli Briskman, the cyclist who got fired for flipping off Trump in Week 52, announced she is running to represent the Algonkian District on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in Virginia.

On Thursday, in New York’s primary, Letitia James became the first black woman to win a major party statewide nomination, defeating her Democratic opponents for attorney general.

On Sunday, Vice President Pence said on “Face the Nation” that Mueller’s team has not asked him for an interview, but he has provided requested information. Pence said he would be willing to speak to Mueller’s team.

On Sunday, Steve Bannon told Reuters that Trump is facing a “coup” based on the anonymous NYT op-ed, adding the “Republican establishment” was looking to nullify the 2016 election and neuter Trump.

On Monday, with the launch of his book, “Fear,” Bob Woodward told the “Today Show,” that he has “never seen an instance when the president is so detached from the reality of what’s going on.”

Woodward claims in his book Trump’s staff believes he is unhinged and erratic. Woodward said, “This has not been treated seriously enough. The things…that Trump did and does jeopardizes the real national security.”

Before the interview, Trump tweeted, “The Woodward book is a Joke — just another assault against me,” adding, “Dems can’t stand losing. I’ll write the real book!”

After the interview, Trump tweeted, “It is mostly anonymous sources in here, why should anyone trust you?” adding, “Bob Woodward is a liar who is like a Dem operative prior to the Midterms.”

Woodward’s book claims Trump exploded at his former lawyer John Dowd, after reading news reports that Mueller had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, exclaiming, “This is bulls — -!”

The book also claims, in a conversation about the federal deficit with Gary Cohn during the transition period, Trump suggested, “We should just go borrow a lot of money, hold it, and then sell it to make money.”

Cohn reportedly explained to Trump that printing money could lead to inflation and be catastrophic for the economy. Cohn was “astounded at Trump’s lack of basic understanding” about the federal debt.

Vanity Fair reported Trump is bitter over Woodward’s book and former allies and employees who betrayed him. He let Cohn and Rob Porter know he would attack them publicly if they didn’t disavow the book. They both did.

Trump is reportedly even more fixated on finding the author of the NYT op-ed. Meetings have been derailed because of Trump’s suspicions. Donald Jr. has told people he’s worried Trump is not sleeping because of it.

The only person Trump trusts outside of family is Stephen Miller. The op-ed has validated Trump’s belief, propagated by Miller and Bannon, that the deep state is out to get him. Trump believes there is a coup.

On Monday, Omarosa told “The View” that Trump has “sicced his entire legal team on me to stop any further release of tapes,”saying “he wants to make sure that I am silent,” but that, “I’m gonna keep on fighting.”

On Monday, CNN reported the White House has again changed phone policy in reaction to Omarosa’s leaking of tapes. White House staffers will no longer be able to leave phones in lockers outside the Situation Room.

On Monday, the Trump regime said it would close the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, citing the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.”

The State Department also said the closure was “consistent with” concerns about Palestinian calls for an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court. Neither Israel or the U.S. recognize the ICC.

On Monday, national security adviser John Bolton said if the ICC pursues charges against Americans over alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan, those involved will be banned from traveling to the U.S.

On Sunday, Reuters reported Energy Secretary Rick Perry will meet with Russia’s Energy Minister in Moscow on Thursday. Perry will be the most senior U.S. official to visit Russia since the Helsinki summit.

On Tuesday, Russia held Vostok 2018, its largest military drills since 1981 when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president, at a time of heightened tensions between the West and Russia.

Sen. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the committee will not release its report before midterms, citing wanting to conduct more interviews, including Michael Cohen and George Papadopoulos.

On Sunday, Axios reported that Trump is expected to declassify documents related to the government’s surveillance of Carter Page, and the investigative activities of Bruce Ohr.

Trump allies on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees believe the release will taint the Trump-Russia investigation by showing it was illegitimate, and that the Obama administration illegally spied on Page.

On Tuesday, NBC News reported that U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia is the main suspect in the mysterious attacks that led to brain injuries of U.S. diplomats in Cuba and China.

On Tuesday, CNN reported New York tax investigators met with Michael Cohen’s attorney, Guy Petrillo, and possibly Cohen, as part of a state probe regarding Cohen and the Trump Organization.

BuzzFeed reported on suspicious money transfers. The first came 11 days after the June 9 Trump Tower meeting: an offshore company controlled by Aras Agalarov wired $19.5 million to his account in New York.

The second came shortly after the election when the Agalarov family sent a series of transactions totaling $1.2 million from their bank in Russia to an account in New Jersey controlled by Arar’s son, Emin Agalarov.

On Tuesday, Donald Jr. told “Good Morning America” that he is not afraid of going to jail in Mueller’s Russia investigation, saying “I’m not because I know what I did, and I’m not worried about any of that.”

Dutch newspapers reported that the two Russian spies who had been plotting a cyber attack from the Netherlands on a Swiss defense lab which was analyzing the nerve agent used in Britain were detained and expelled.

Swiss authorities said the investigation began in March into “suspicion of political espionage,” and led to a joint investigation by Swiss, Dutch, and British intelligence services.

The attempted attack is the latest example of the Kremlin waging a sophisticated and unconventional campaign to work its will abroad, and to undermine adversaries and their alliances.

Rep. Trey Gowdy told The Hill that the House Intelligence Committee should release all transcripts from the Russia probe. Gowdy’s remarks echo those of House Intelligence Democrats, who have called for the same.

On Tuesday, the solemn anniversary of 9/11, Trump started the day with a series of tweets rehashing reports on Fox Business Network and Fox News while he traveled to the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The topics of Trump’s morning tweets included: “New Strzok-Page texts,” and “collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign,” and Obama attorney general Eric Holder.

Trump then retweeted a 9/11-related post by social media director Dan Scavino and on Hurricane Florence, before resuming a series of tweets attacking his adversaries.

Trump tweeted, “You know who’s at fault for this more than anyone else, Comey,” and about “Crazy Maxine Waters,” and quoted Lou Hobbs, saying, “Russian “collusion” was just an excuse by the Democrats.”

Photos of Trump fist-pumping as he exited the airplane in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and walked toward supporters drew national attention and condemnation of being inappropriate for the solemn day by many.

At the Shanksville memorial site where Trump was giving a speech, he walked up to the podium, while pointing at people in the crowd and mouthing the words “thank you” as they clapped for him.

Later Tuesday, in remarks in the Oval Office, Trump said his regime’s response to Hurricane Maria was “an incredible, unsung success” and falsely claimed Puerto Rico had virtually no electricity before the storm.

When asked about Hurricane Florence approaching, Trump said his regime was “as ready as anybody has ever been” and warned that the storm would be “tremendously big and tremendously wet.”

Trump continued his use of superlatives, saying of Hurricane Florence, “many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen.”

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported that FEMA received 2,431 requests for funeral assistance from Puerto Ricans related to the hurricane Maria, and approved just 75, or 3%.

In a letter, FEMA director Long cited, Puerto Ricans had to provide a death certificate or letter from a government official “that clearly indicates the death was attributed to the emergency or disaster.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Jeff Merkley revealed on the Rachel Maddow Show that the Trump regime redirected $9.75 million from FEMA to ICE for detention and removal, months before hurricane season is set to begin.

The transfer of funds was approved by the Republican chairs of the House and Senate Homeland Security appropriations subcommittees, but not by the rest of the subcommittees’ members.

Director Long claimed that none of the money came from the Disaster Relief Fund. However, the money came from the response and recovery, preparedness and protection and mission support operations budgets.

On Thursday, NBC News reported that the Department of Homeland Security transferred $169 million from other agencies to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the detention and removal of migrants this year.

According to a document sent to Congress by DHS, many of the transfers came from key national security programs, including Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, FEMA and several TSA programs.

DHS also transferred $33 million from other ICE programs to pay for detention and removal, bringing the total to $202 million transferred in.

On Wednesday, NYT reported Trump started a new strategy in mid August of using short videos of himself, shared on Twitter, a strategy reportedly designed by former Fox News executive Bill Shine.

The videos, shot with the White House as the setting, have thus far been less viral and gotten less engagement, in the form of responses, likes and retweets, than Trump’s most provocative text tweets.

On Thursday, Politico reported FEMA director Brock Long is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general into whether he misused government vehicles during his commutes.

The inspector general’s interest was drawn after one of the vehicles used by Long for trips back home to Hickory, North Carolina, on the weekends — a black Suburban — was involved in an accident.

Long has also reportedly been clashing in recent weeks with his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over his travel logs, as the hurricane season approaches. She confronted him at a meeting in late August.

On Wednesday, the Irish Independent reported Trump canceled a November visit to Ireland to visit his golf course in Doonbeg, Co Clare as part of a trip to Europe for Armistice Day celebrations.

On Wednesday, at a news conference, The White House said it has not yet made a final decision on whether Trump will make a stop in Ireland. The Irish Ambassador to the U.S. said he had not been informed of the trip.

On Wednesday, Independent UK reported that Trump canceled the trip to Ireland because massive protests have already been planned to greet him.

On Friday, the NYT wrote an Editors’ Note to an article which inaccurately reported U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley spent $52,701 on curtains for the UN residence. The order was placed under the Obama administration.

On Thursday, the bitter fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation plunged into chaos as Sen. Dianne Feinstein disclosed that she referred a letter that describes alleged sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh in high school to the FBI.

On Friday, reporters Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of the New Yorker obtained the letter, which Sen. Feinstein has had since July. Kavanaugh “categorically and unequivocally” denied the allegations.

Anita Hill called on the federal government to implement a “fair and neutral” way to investigate sexual misconduct, saying she seen “firsthand what happens when such a process is weaponized against an accuser.”

On Wednesday, ABC News reported Paul Manafort has been in ongoing negotiations with Mueller’s office over a potential plea agreement. The negotiations have picked up steam in recent weeks.

On Friday, CNN reported the federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are considering criminal charges against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig for failing to register as a foreign agent.

Prosecutors are also considering taking action against the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom where Craig was a partner during the activity under examination.

Like Alex van der Zwaan, who also worked at Skadden, Craig was involved in promoting a report on Yulia Tymoshenko to members of Congress and the media on behalf of the then-president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.

The inquiry is a Mueller referral, and is now in advanced stages and is closely linked to a case against Manafort. Details about Skadden’s work was disclosed on Friday by Mueller’s office in charges against Manafort.

On Thursday, Rudy Giuliani confirmed Manafort and Trump have a joint defense agreement that allows sharing of confidential information, and that Trump’s lawyers and Manafort’s have been in regular contact.

Giuliani also told Politico he sees no danger for Trump from a Manafort plea deal, saying, “There’s no fear that Paul Manafort would cooperate,” adding, “we long ago evaluated him as an honorable man.”

On Friday, in a stunning development, Manafort agreed to cooperate in the Mueller probe, pleading guilty and promising to tell the government about “his participation in and knowledge of all criminal activities.”

Court documents revealed that Manafort was talking in detail with Mueller’s team as early as Monday. Manafort made multiple statements and a written proffer as the two sides worked toward a deal.

Manafort said his Ukraine work included shaping U.S. perception of Yanukovych and his pro-Russia party. He admitted he didn’t register as a foreign agent and misled federal investigators about his work.

Manafort also pleaded guilty to cheating the IRS out of $15 million and lying repeatedly to try to cover his tracks. Manafort faces as much as 10 additional years and fines of $250,000 per count based on his plea.

As part of the plea, Manafort will forfeit a host of assets, including his condo at Trump Tower, worth an estimated $21.7 million. He will also return to prison while he cooperates.

Manafort agreed to cooperate “fully and truthfully,” and if he complies, he stands to have years shaved off his prison sentence, perhaps serving no time, and to have his family hold on to some property.

Manafort has agreed to meet with law enforcement regarding the investigation without the presence of his counsel.

Both cases brought against Manafort by the special counsel stemmed from his work in Ukraine. Manafort may provide key information on the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, changes in the RNC platform, and other areas.

In reaction, Giuliani said, “Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign. The reason: The president did nothing wrong.”

Shortly after, press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement: “This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated.”

Trump ally Alan Dershowitz told MSNBC the plea deal is a “big win” for Mueller, saying “It potentially opens up lots of doors that probably haven’t been opened before.”

Dershowitz also said a presidential pardon now is “off the table, saying if Manafort is given a pardon, then he can’t take the Fifth Amendment” and “would have to testify” and could be called in front of a grand jury.

Manafort’s guilty plea revealed hardball tactics. He enlisted a foreign politician secretly on his payroll to deliver a message to Obama in the Oval Office. He also smeared adversaries to protect pro-Russian Yanukovych.

Manafort spread stories that jailed Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymo­shenko was a murderer. In 2011, Manafort spread stories that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was supporting anti-Semitism by taking up Tymo­shenko’s cause.

In 2012, Manafort paid Skadden Arps $4.6 million to write a report analyzing Tymoshenko’s trial that he then used to spread to the false claim that her conviction had not been politically motivated.

On Friday, Vanity Fair reported it has become common knowledge among close friends of Michael Cohen that he is talking to Mueller’s team. The extent and purposes of the talks is not clear.

On Friday, WSJ reported, as Hurricane Florence was forming in the Atlantic, senior Trump officials were considering replacing FEMA director Long, amid allegations he misused resources.

DHS inspectors found that Long, who was under surveillance, often left FEMA headquarters on Thursdays and traveled home with a caravan of federal workers, who stayed in nearby hotels for the long weekend.

The inspector general is also reviewing communications between Long and a FEMA contractor that appear to include discussions about future employment.

Secretary Nielsen brought Long details of the inspector’s preliminary findings, and asked him to resign if the allegations are true. Trump has been frequently meeting with Long this week ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Intercept published a story about Kavanaugh which was originally posted at Think Progress, but was suppressed at Facebook after conservative Weekly Standard fact-checked it to be false. It was not.

On Wednesday, defending his regime’s response to past hurricanes, Trump tweeted, “We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico).”

Trump also blamed the response in Puerto Rico on it being “an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan,” referring to his adversary San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

Also in the series of tweets, Trump again used hyperbole, saying “Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated.

On Thursday, Trump lied about the deaths in Puerto Rico, tweeting, “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths.”

Instead, Trump blamed the Democrats, tweeting, “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible,” claiming, “I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.”

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted, “This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch,” adding “YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!”

On Friday, Trump continued to attack the Puerto Rico death toll, quoting Geraldo Rivera in a tweet, “70% of the power was out before the storm,” adding it’s a “political agenda couched in the nice language of journalism.”

Trump also tweeted quotes by Ed Rollins who complimented him on Puerto Rico, as “an extraordinary job,” and Lou Dobbs, “The people of Puerto Rico have one of the most corrupt governments in our country.”

On Friday evening, as Hurricane Florence continued to batter the Carolinas, Trump again tweeted about the Puerto Rico death count, “FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER — NO WAY!”

Trump closed out Friday, tweeting that the “Fake News Media” did not cover when Obama said there were 57 states in 2008. This is false.

On Saturday, NYT reported Trump’s relationship with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has frayed. Trump is weary of comparisons to Mattis as the adult in the room, and increasingly concerned that Mattis is a Democrat at heart.

Officials say Trump has largely tuned out his national security aides as he feels more confident in himself. Mattis has balked at some of Trump’s requests and is protective of the military being used for political purposes.

Officials say Trump may fire Mattis, a significant departure given that foreign allies and adversaries, as well as the U.S. national security establishment, view Mattis as the one thing standing between Trump and global tumult.

Mattis has largely avoided the media. Aides say he is fearful about being put on the spot by questions that will expose differences with Trump. He has refused requests to go on “Fox & Friends” to praise Trump’s agenda.

On Saturday, the White House issued a “lid” for the day, meaning no planned news events or presidential movements. Trump did not tweet through noon, or golf, as would be typical.


Artist Michal Warecki

Kamienico = “My Little House.”


14sep18 Warsaw, Poland 🇵🇱


The Soul of Poland is indestructible (Dusza Polski jest niezniszczalna.)

A display in a bookshop window.

A man descends into the underground Metro after work.

A group stops by one of the dozen or so benches in the city that play Chopin music 🎵 🎼 for passersby.

Mały Powstaniec (the “Little Insurrectionist”) is a statue in commemoration of the child soldiers who fought and died during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. It is located on Podwale Street, next to the ramparts of Warsaw’s Old Town. The statue is of a young boy wearing a helmet too large for his head and holding a submachine gun. It is reputed to be of a fighter who went by the pseudonym of “Antek”, and was killed on 8 August 1944 at the age of 13. The helmet and submachine gun are stylized after German equipment, which was captured during the uprising and used by the resistance fighters against the occupying forces. (Wiki)

The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Europe during World War II.

14sep18. Warsaw, Poland 🇵🇱