Tristan Eaton. DTLA. Arts District. At The Container Yard. https://www.instagram.com/tristaneaton/
JR. “J is a pseudonymous photographer and graffiti R artist. He is best known for fly- papering photocopies of his art onto the streets.” https://www.instagram.com/jr/
“WRDSMTH. WRDSMTH is a Los Angeles-based street artist of unverified identity known for his iconic image of a vintage typewriter with different sheets of inspirational text.” https://www.instagram.com/wrdsmth/
“Solomon Souza (born 1993) is a British-Israeli street artist. He is best known for spray painting portraits of contemporary and historical figures on the metal shutters of the Mahane Yehuda Market (“The Shuk“) in Jerusalem, turning them into an after-hours attraction.” (wiki) https://www.instagram.com/solomonsouza/
VERY cool truck art in LA…
People have told me that these pink baby faces are by Denver-based artist Yiannis Bellis, but I haven’t been able to confirm nor deny it.
Santa Fe-based artist Jaque Fragua. Indian Alley on Skid Row. https://www.instagram.com/jaque_fragua/
Secret: Some of the best food in the world resides in these unassuming food trucks…
Kai aspire art https://www.instagram.com/kaiart/
Max Toropov https://www.instagram.com/maxthirteen/
Smokin’ Purple Gorilla in Koreatown
“Claudio Ethos aka Claudio Rafael is a Brazilian mural artist born in 1982 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, city where he still lives. Ethos has been interested in graffiti since the 90’s. He was surrounded by Pixacao and began spray painting around the age of 15, at the end of the 90’s in a small town in Sao Paolo, called Birigui.” ( urbannation) https://www.instagram.com/claudioethos/
“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” ― Charles Bukowski
…fit for a Queen
april 2018. Los Angeles, CA
*Unfortunately, for our country, this list, PROVEN, as well as supported by The National Library of Congress, is getting longer and longer every week.
** In an effort to make it more reader-friendly and easier to digest, I’ve broken it up most of the way, by inserting a photo (all taken by me,) between every 20 facts.
*** This list is by Amy Siskind and the link to her actual list is highlighted below. PLEASE, if these facts strike a chord and mean something to you, PLEASE share this post. Street Art comes in many forms, but no matter what, it gives a voice to the voiceless. Help us to make their voices heard. Resoundingly.
Week 72 of this presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
March 31, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-72-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-15d0c913ef70
In a week some described as relatively quiet on the news front heading into Passover and Easter, Trump is acting increasingly strident and confident in his — and solely his — abilities and judgment. As Hope Hicks departed and Trump had yet to name her replacement, news stories indicated Trump is considering becoming his own press secretary, as well as possibly his own chief of staff. Trump continues to be scattered legislatively, save his obsession with his border wall, while continuing to strike out at adversaries, this week’s favored target being Amazon. Trump continued to seize power.
With the exit of attorney John Dowd, Trump is without a lead counsel in the Mueller probe, as he also faces threats on a number of other fronts including Stephanie Clifford, the emoluments clause and the unraveling of Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the US election. Trump’s remaining inner-circle continues to be plagued by possible ethics violations and incompetence.
Venice Beach, California. 25march2018.
In a case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
a federal appeals court rejected the position of Sessions’ DOJ and ruled transgender people are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bans workplace discrimination based on sex.
Fake photos of the teens who spoke at March For Our Lives went viral on the far right. One photo showed leader Emma Gonzalez and other leaders ripping up what was photoshopped to be the Constitution.
Rep. Steve King attacked Gonzalez for her Cuban heritage on his Facebook page: “This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island.” Rep. King was excoriated by critics for his
post about Emma Gonzalez. His staff responded, “just pointing out the irony of someone wearing a communist flag while advocating for gun control. — Team King” On Sunday, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said
Joseph DiGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing would not be joining Trump’s legal team in the Mueller probe, citing conflicts of interest. Having lost lead attorney John Dowd as well last week, this
leaves Trump without a traditional criminal defense attorney as Mueller’s team enters a critical phase in its investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. On Sunday,
Trump sent two tweets, claiming top lawyers want to represent him and “Fame & fortune will NEVER be turned down by a lawyer, though some are conflicted,” adding “there was NO COLLUSION.” Trump also tweeted about “the $1.6 Billion given to building and fixing the border wall” in the spending bill.
The law says funds can be used only to repair and build previously approved fencing, not to build a new wall. The law
also bars construction on a Texas wildlife preserve that the Trump regime had previously identified as a starting point for work on a new border wall in Week 37. On Tuesday,
WAPO reported that privately, Trump has started pushing the US military to fund construction of his border wall, saying Jim Mattis and congressional leaders could push for the funding citing a “national security” risk. On Wednesday,
Trump tweeted construction of his border wall has begun, and included four photos. This statement false: Trump’s border wall has not been started, and the photos are from a 2009 replacement project. California’s senators and Democratic colleagues
called for a probe into the resignation of San Francisco ICE spokesperson James Schwab, who resigned in Week 70 citing false statements made by the Trump regime. A new Indiana law requires
all doctors to ask every woman seeking treatment for a physical or psychological condition whether she haspreviously had an abortion “in any way connected to the ailment.”
Intercept reported, according to a string of emails and documents obtained through a public records request, ICE uses backend Facebook data to locate and track immigrants that it is working to round up. According to a directive shared by ICE on Thursday,
the Trump regime will abandon a policy of generally releasing pregnant women from immigrant detention, instead deciding on a case-by-case basis. On Friday, in
a big victory for the ACLU, a US District Court judge in Washington DC ruled that the Trump regime cannot block undocumented teens from getting abortions. On Friday,
ABC News reported halfway through the fiscal year (October 1, 2017), the Trump regime has admitted less than a quarter of its proposed refugees ceiling: just 10,548 out of the 45,000. The regime’s
cap of 45,000 is the lowest since the refugee admissions program began in 1975. Obama has set the cap at 110,000 for the fiscal year, and Trump lowered it once taking office. Under rules proposed by the
State Department Friday, nearly all applicants for a visa to the US, an estimated 14.7 million people per year, will be asked to submit their social-media usernames for the past five years. The proposal covers
20 social media platforms, and includes people wanting to come to the US for business or pleasure, including countries such as Brazil, China, India and Mexico.
On a t-shirt through the window in an East Village, New York City shop. November 2017.
On Monday the Commerce Department announced that
the 2020 US Census will include a question about citizenship. Opponents fear this will lead to inaccurate population counts, affecting the distribution of federal funding and redistricting for House seats.
Career officials at the Census Bureau were critical of the plan to add the question, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross decided to include it despite their input. The census has not asked participants about citizenship since 1950. In a draft of the
2020 US Census released Tuesday, questions regarding categories of sexual orientation and gender identity were removed, sparking outrage from LGBTQ advocacy groups. Data in census categories — for example race, gender, length of commute —
are used by federal agencies make decisions about law enforcement, health care, equal employment opportunities, and more.
Politico reported, based on interviews, public documents, and FEMA records the hurricane response by the Trump regime in Puerto Rico was significantly undersized compared to the response to Hurricane Harvey. Within 9 days of the storms,
FEMA had approved $141.8 million in individual assistance for victims of Harvey, and only $6.2 million for victims of Hurricane Maria. Also nine days in, the federal government had dispatched
30,000 personnel in the Houston region, compared to only 10,000 at the same point after Maria. Puerto Rico was strong-armed into using
an experimental funding formula to access federal funds for rebuilding. The formula requires that Puerto Rico pay for any excess costs in the rebuilding effort. The funding formula has never been used for a disaster of this scale.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Seattle’s KOMO-TV is now being forced by owner Sinclair Broadcasting to read Sinclair-written scripts warning of the dangers of “one-sided news stories plaguing our country.” Sinclair has also
imposed must-run segments on things like the “Deep State” produced by Sinclair’s Kristine Frazao, who prior worked as a reporter and anchor for the Russian-government funded news network RT. On Monday, CNN reported
Secretary Ryan Zinke told Interior Department staffers that diversity isn’t important. Three high ranking officials in say he said, “I don’t care about diversity,” or “I don’t really think that’s important anymore.” On Monday,
three more contractors in Secretary Ben Carson’s Department of Housing and Urban Development lost their jobs over a widening ethics controversy surrounding Accel Corporation, a private employment agency, and their staffing arrangement with HUD. After interviewing over 20 insiders and reviewing internal emails
NYT reported that HUD appears to be abandoning efforts to enforce fair housing laws. In
Week 69 Carson changed HUD’s mission statement, eliminating the mandate to “build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.” Diana Flynn, a top civil rights lawyer in the Justice Department, is resigning and
will become the litigation director at Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ advocacy organization which is currently suing to stop Trump’s transgender military ban. The Trump administration has established
an anti-regulation litmus test for judicial appointments, with the hope to weaken what they have labeled the “administrative state.”
WSJ reported Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency agreed to test a water-purification system developed by Water-Gen Ltd., an Israeli technology company, at the request of Republican donor and Trump ally, Sheldon Adelson. The Trump regime picked a new fight with the state of California, as the EPA’s Pruitt reportedly will move to roll back an
Obama-era goal to have car makers meet a 54.5 mpg standard by 2025, one of Obama’s signature efforts to fight climate change. The move would be a
victory for carmakers, and could allow them to roll back industry standards worldwide. The move would also be likely to spark a courtroom challenge from California.
HuffPost received a leaked memo from the Office of Public Affairs at Pruitt’s EPA which listed eight approved talking points regarding climate change. The talking points downplay the role humans play in climate change, stating that the toll of human action on the climate is unknown.
Chelsea, Manhattan, NYC. November 2017.
ABC News reported Pruitt has been living in a DC condo co-owned with his wife by Stephen Hart, CEO of the lobbying firm Williams and Jensen, which represents a roster of fossil fuel companies.
WAPO reported that clients of Hart’s firm include Exxon Mobil Corp. and the major liquefied natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc. Market rate rent in the area run at more than $3,000 for two bedrooms per month. On Friday,
WAPO reported Pruitt is paying just $50 per night for the nights he stays in the condo. According to EPA officials, Pruitt has paid a total of $6,100 to stay in the condo for roughly six months. ABC News reported that
Pruitt’s daughter also stayed in the condo. Justina Fugh, a EPA ethics lawyer, did not know about the arrangement, but said she did not immediately see it as an ethical concern since Pruitt was paying for the room. On Friday, CNN reported that according to a letter by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse,
Pruitt used his security detail while on non-official business, including trips home to Tulsa, a family vacation to Disneyland, and the Rose Bowl. According to a July 2014 memo obtained by MSNBC,
Rudy Giuliani’s law firm warned Cambridge Analytica foreign citizens could not play “substantive management” roles in the running of US election campaigns. On Sunday, Sen. Mark Warner told “Meet the Press” that
Facebook has not been fully transparent with Congress about the data leak, saying when he questioned the company about Cambridge Analytica they “blew that off.”
Corey Lewandowski said Sunday he never approved contact with Cambridge Analytica while working for Trump, saying, “They pitched me three times, three times I said no.” On Monday, watchdog group Common Cause filed legal complaints with the FEC and DOJ accusing Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group, Nix, Christopher Wylie, and others of
violating US election laws as non-US citizens by participating in the decision-making process of US political campaigns.
Mark Zuckerberg has been called to testify before Congress on April 10 at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on data privacy, and on April 12 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
NYT reported that an employee of Palantir, the data analysis company co-founded by Trump supporter Peter Thiel, was directly involved with Cambridge Analytica and the creation of an app that was used to scrape Facebook users’ data. Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie alleged that pro-Brexit campaign Vote Leave
engaged in fraud to skirt election spending laws. In an interview with
The Daily Beast Wylie said he didn’t come forward earlier with information about Cambridge Analytica, waiting until long after the US election and Brexit, because he “didn’t fully appreciate the impact.”
A super PAC run by John Bolton was one of the first organizations to use the Facebook data mined by Cambridge Analytica in 2014. The super PAC held a $454,700 contract with the company to gain “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging.” On Thursday,
Bloomberg reported, according to records released to the UK Parliament, Cambridge Analytica gave Bolton’s PAC data harvested from millions of Facebook users. The papers were produced by Wylie. Emails released show
SCL Group discussed with Aggregate IQ, a Canadian company that worked closely with both Cambridge Analytica and SCL, how it could release information on how to target voters in several US states to Bolton’s PAC. On Sunday,
Stephanie Clifford appeared on “60 Minutes,” saying she stayed silent because of fear. She said she was threatened with a lawsuit by Michael Cohen in 2011 after selling her story for $15,000. Shortly after, she was approached by a stranger in a parking lot who told her, “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,” adding, of her daughter, “
That’s a beautiful little girl, it would be a shame if something happened to her mom.” The night they met,
Clifford said she told Trump, “Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it,” to get him to stop talking about himself. It was a magazine with Trump on the cover, and she claims she spanked him with it, wearing his underwear. Trevor Potter, former chair of the Federal Election Commission, was also interviewed and
compared the case to John Edwards, but said the paying off was worse because it happened right before election day on a hot topic.
New York City, February 2018.
Potter also said
Mueller could look into Clifford’s case as part of his investigation of Cohen, also the middleman for the Trump Organization for negotiations with Russia for a Trump Tower Moscow. The interview was the
highest-rated episode of “60 Minutes” in 10 years, attracting 22 million viewers. On Monday,
Trump was uncharacteristically silent on Clifford’s interview, refraining from sending a single tweet or making any comment. On Monday,
Clifford’s lawyer Michael Avenatti sued Cohen for defamation, saying Cohen defamed Clifford by insinuating she lied about an affair with Trump. The complaint also says the hush agreement is invalid since Trump did not sign it. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
angrily deflected questions about Stephanie Clifford at a press conference on Tuesday, two days after Clifford’s appearance on “60 Minutes.” On Wednesday, Michael Avenatti
filed a motion in a federal court in California seeking to depose Trump and Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohenover the $130,000 payment made to Clifford. On Wednesday,
David Schwartz, the lawyer for Cohen, said in an CNN interview that Cohen did not tell Trump about the hush agreement to pay Clifford $130,000 in 2016. Avenatti said Schwartz’s comments
prove the hush agreement was invalid. Experts say Schwartz’s comments could also result in an ethics complaintagainst Cohen with the New York bar association. On Monday, Dan Webb,
a prominent white-collar-defense lawyer for the firm Winston and Strawn, declined an offer to lead Trump’s legal defensein the Mueller probe. Trump had
also reached out to Tom Buchanan, a DC-based partner of Winston and Strawn, to join his legal team. The firm issued a statement citing “business conflicts” for why the two declined. Most top-tier lawyers have refused to represent Trump in Mueller’s Russia investigation. Instead,
Reuters reports, an assistant DA from Georgia, Andrew Ekonomou, has been elevated on Jay Sekulow’s legal team working on the case. On Monday,
a new CNN poll found Trump’s approval up to 42%, the highest in eleven months. Trump showed improvement from February with Republican voters (80% to 86%) and independents (35% to 41%). On Monday,
NYT reported with Trump’s inner circle thinning, he is increasingly in touch with Rob Porter. Trump has spoken with aides about bringing Porter back, although he knows he probably cannot do so. On Monday,
WSJ reported White House attorneys are examining whether two loans, from Apollo and Citigroup, to Kushner’s family business may have violated any criminal laws or federal ethics regulations. The Office of Government Ethics is
investigating after receiving a letter from Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, saying the loans, “raise serious ethical questions that need to be investigated.” Reps. Elijah Cummings and Krishnamoorthi wrote attorney Don McGahn
requesting documents from a White House review into dealings Kushner Cos. had with Citigroup and Apollo Group Management. Jared held meetings in the White House with leaders from both financial groups. On Monday,
Politico reported associates of Trump are concerned about what Rick Gates may reveal to Robert Mueller following last month’s plea deal. One Republican consultant commented, “He saw everything.” On Tuesday Mueller’s team
filed court papers arguing for jail time for Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer and Dutch citizen who lied about his interactions with Gates and an unidentified person. Van der Zwaan will be the first person to be sentenced in the investigation.
Sen. Ron Wyden requested internal records from the NRA regarding foreign funding received over the past three years. Wyden wants to determine if any foreign funds were used to influence US elections. On Tuesday,
Mueller released documents revealing top Trump campaign official Gates had frequent conversations in September and October 2016 with a person believed to have active links to Russian spy services.
East Village, New York City. February 2018.
The documents revealed
Gates told an associate his contact “was a former Russian Intelligence Officer with the G.R.U.,” the Russian military intelligence agency. In the document, he is known as “Person A.” The document states
communications between Gates and Person A are “pertinent to the investigation.” Sources say Person A is likely Konstantin Kilimnik, Manafort’s right-hand man in Ukraine. The document is a
sentencing memo for Alex van der Zwaan, who worked closed with Gates and Person A to prepare a report used to defend Viktor Yanukovych, and in Week 67 was revealed to have lied to Mueller’s team. On Friday,
VICE reported Congress is looking into an August 2016 flight on a private jet linked to Deripaska which traveled from Moscow to Newark, then flew back to Moscow that same afternoon. The
flight arrived with hours of a meeting in Manhattan between Manafort and Kilimnik. Weeks prior, Manafort had Kilimnik reach out to Deripaska and told him “to extend an offer of ‘private briefings.’” On Wednesday,
NYT reported Dowd broached the idea of Trump pardoning Manafort and Michael Flynn with their attorneys, suggesting Trump’s lawyers were concerned the two would cut a deal in exchange for leniency. The revelation raises concerns that Dowd, who resigned as Trump’s lead counsel in
Week 71, was offering pardons to influence their decisions on whether to plead guilty and cooperate in the Mueller probe. Dowd’s conversation with
Flynn’s attorney took place during the summerof 2017, at a time when a grand jury was hearing evidence against Flynn. His conversation with Manafort’s attorney took place before Manafort was indicted in October.
It is not known if Dowd discussed the pardons with Trump. When contacted by the NYT, Dowd said, “There were no discussions. Period. As far as I know, no discussions.” On Thursday,
The Guardian reported that in 2010 a small group of businessmen, including wealthy supporters of Putin, started working with Trump on plans for a glitzy hotel in Riga, the capital of Latvia. Talks with Trump’s company were
abandoned after Russian Igor Krutoy, who had met with Trump and Ivanka at Trump Tower, was questioned by Latvian authorities as part of a major criminal inquiry. Latvian authorities also reached out to the FBI.
Krutoy has written music for Emin Agalarov, the Russian singer involved with setting up the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. Krutoy was also a celebrity representative for Putin’s 2018 election campaign. On Thursday,
Reuters reported Mueller’s team is questioning witnesses about the Trump campaign’s contact with Russians at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Witnesses have been asked about a
convention-related event attended by both Kislyak and Sessions, and also about why Republican Party platformlanguage hostile to Russia was deleted from a section on Ukraine. One witness said they were also asked by Mueller’s team about
a meeting Sessions had with Kislyak on the sidelines of a campaign speech Trump gave at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel in April 2016. The government of Ecuador
cut off Julian Assange’s internet access after he made a series of tweets stating that the evidence Russia poisoned a former spy and his daughter was “circumstantial.” Assange lives in the London embassy of Ecuador, where he is seeking asylum. On Friday, Ted Malloch, an American touted as a possible candidate to serve as US ambassador to the EU last year, was
detained as he landed at Logan Airport, and issued a subpoena to testify in the Mueller probe. Malloch is a controversial London-based academic with close ties to Nigel Farage.
Guardian reported Malloch was questioned about his involvement in the Trump campaign and instructed lying to the FBI is a felony. Malloch said
the FBI asked about Roger Stone, and whether he had ever visited the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Assange resided. He will appear before Mueller’s grand jury in Washington DC on April 13. On Friday,
Yevgeniy Nikulin, a Russian accused of hacking US technology companies in 2012, was extradited to the Czech Republic. Sessions called the case “deeply troubling behavior once again emanating from Russia.”
Wynwood, Miami, Florida. December 2017.
The Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship
has been renamed by the State Department as the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship. An insider suggested it may have been renamed to escape Trump’s budget cuts. Seth Rich’s brother has filed a lawsuit accusing right-wing activists Ed Butowsky and Matt Crouch, Crouch’s media company America First Media, and
The Washington Times of acting “with reckless disregard for the truth” by perpetuating conspiracy theories. On Wednesday Trump
tweeted that his administration “stands in solidarity” with Orange County, which joined the administration’s lawsuit challenging the “sanctuary state” law, SB 54. On Wednesday,
all 22 female senators wrote in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that the Senate must begin to debate anti-harassment legislation. On Wednesday, a federal judge in Maryland ruled a
lawsuit accusing Trump of violating the emoluments clause by refusing to divorce himself from his businesses may proceed. The judge
refused a plea from Sessions’ DOJ to dismiss the lawsuit. A similar lawsuit was dismissed in New York in December, when the judge ruled the watchdog group CREW did not have standing. On Wednesday, CBS News reported as communication director Hope Hicks prepares to leave the White House, the
communication department is filled with chaos and in-fighting. Staffers are reportedly unsure what to expect “
in a lawless White House,” noting Trump thrives on chaos and resents authority, process and order. Hicks’ last day of work was Wednesday. As Wednesday came to a close, even though Hicks resigned in
Week 68, Trump had yet to name an interim communication director. On Wednesday,
Trump hired 22 year-old Disney star Caroline Sunshine to join the White House communications team as a press assistant. Sunshine has no prior relevant experience in communications.
Trump is reportedly being told by outside advisers that the doesn’t need a communications or chief of staff. Trump is frustrated at the management structure in the West Wing, believing it doesn’t suit his freewheeling style. On Thursday,
Bloomberg reported John Kelly is losing some clout in Trump’s White House as he has been out of the decision making process on several occasions recently, including the firing of H.R. McMaster in Week 71. Kelly is also now
rarely on the line when Trump speaks with foreign leaders, including Trump’s recent call with Putin. Aides say recently Kelly is less aware of what’s on Trump’s mind and what he’s planning to do next, On Wednesday Trump
fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and hopes to replace him with the White House doctor Ronny Jackson, a White House physician and rear admiral in the Navy. Trump announced his nomination
via Twitter. Jackson has no experience running a bureaucratic institution, and would inherit an agency with major problems and quickly face crucial, multibillion-dollar decisions. On an op-ed Wednesday,
Shulkin said he was fired so Trump could privatize the VA and turn into a money making operation for his friends, warning they would put their personal agendas in front of the well-being of our veterans. On Friday, Shulkin told MSNBC
he spoken to Trump hours before he was fired, and Trump didn’t mention his imminent firing. Shulkin said he was informed by Kelly of his firing shortly before Trump’s tweet.
Trump had considered “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth for the position of VA Secretary, but reportedly Hegseth, who has had issues in his personal life, did not want to go through the confirmation process. Defense Secretary James Mattis is finding himself
more isolated in the administration after Trump appointed the aggressive hawks John Bolton to national security adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State.
WAPO reported Trump’s Presidential Personnel Office (PPO), the office responsible for recruiting and vetting thousands of political appointees, is hobbled by inexperience and being short-staffed.
New York City, February 2108.
PPO is responsible for recruiting and vetting candidates for more than 4,000 jobs, more than 1,200 requiring Senate approval.
The office has just 30 employees, less than a third of prior administrations. Six of the staffers over the age of 35 left shortly after Trump took office.
Most staffers are in their 20s and have not relevant experience but worked on the Trump campaign. The PPO floor has become a social hub. On Monday,
the US and 14 European Union members expelled scores of Russian diplomats in response to Russia’s alleged poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.
Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians, including 12 people identified as Russian intelligence officers who have been stationed at the United Nations, as well as closing the Russian consulate in Seattle. On Thursday,
the Kremlin ordered an equivalent number of expulsions, as well as the closing of the American Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, citing an “anti-Russian campaign” orchestrated by the US and UK. On Thursday, NBC News reported that when Trump finally signed off on providing US weapons to Ukraine to help in their fight against Russian-backed separatists,
Trump told aides not to talk about it publicly. Reportedly, Trump was
concerned speaking about it publicly may agitate Putin. However officials claim in Trump’s phone call to congratulate Putin, he also said, “If you want to have an arms race we can do that, but I’ll win.” On Friday,
Russia released a video of a missile test for ‘Satan 2,’ its new intercontinental ballistic missile. Sputnik claimed the missile is “capable of striking targets both via the North and South Poles.” On Wednesday,
Axios reported that, according to inside sources, Trump is “obsessed with Amazon” and wants “to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.” Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos,
owns about Amazon’s impact on their shopping mall holdings. The Washington Post — a media outlet frequently attacked by Trump. Reportedly, Trump’s friends in real estate are also upset On Wednesday,
Amazon stock dropped more than 4%, wiping out more than $31 billion in shareholder value, and was down 6% for the week. On Thursday, Trump
tweeted attacks on Amazon: “Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy,” and “Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers.” On Saturday,
Trump was again tweeting about Amazon, calling the company a “scam” and falsely claiming the post offices loses “Billions of Dollars” because of Amazon. At a speech at Yale, after joking he wasn’t going to talk about the 2016 election, saying “I’m still in therapy,”
Jeb Bush attacked Trump as “Republican in basically name only,” adding he goes home to children who “actually love me.”
Eric and Donald Jr. took to Twitter to fire back at Bush, with Donald Jr. tweeting, Trump learned enough about politics in a few weeks to “dismantle you piece by piece despite it being your life’s work.” On Thursday, in what was
billed as an infrastructure event before a crowd of union builders in Richfield, Ohio, Trump instead turned it into stream of consciousness-type of campaign rally-style speech. Trump harped on his Mexico wall, while
comparing the border to the “demilitarized zone between North and South Korea,” adding “But our own border, we don’t take care of it. Think of it.” Trump
mocked Obama for leaving so many judicial posts vacant, ignoring the Republican-controlled Senate for two years, “When I got in, we had over 100 federal judges that weren’t appointed…Why the hell did he leave that?” Trump also
dismissed the country’s community colleges saying, “We do not know what a ‘community college’ means,” saying “call it vocational and technical,” indicating he didn’t know the difference between the two.
Trump also said the US will end its military presence in Syria “very soon,” contradicting statements by his new SoS Pompeo and his incoming national security John Bolton, who have both said US troops should stay there for the foreseeable future.
Trump also touched on random topics including the firing of Shulkin, North Korea, and complimented the success of his supporter Roseanne Barr’s reboot of her sitcom, “Look at Roseanne — look at her ratings.” On Friday, Roseanne tweeted, “Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over this world. Hundreds each month.” This pro-Trump
conspiracy theory originated with QAnon, a user on the anonymous message board 4chan. On Thursday,
Andrew McCabe set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his legal fees. In the first 24 hours, McCabe raised close to half a million dollars. On Thursday,
Sessions rebuffed a call by Republicans to appoint a second special counsel to look into the FBI’s handling of its most high profile probes, saying such appointments occur only in “extraordinary circumstances.” Sessions revealed
he instead has named US Attorney John Huber to look into these topics, including the DOJ’s and FBI’s actions in 2016 and 2017, and several matters related to Hillary Clinton and her family’s foundation. On Friday, after apologizing for mocking Parkland student David Hogg, and
losing 14 of her show’s sponsors, Fox News host Laura Ingraham announced on her show that she would be taking a break being on-air. Despite being accused by at least 15 women of sexual misconduct, several of which are currently live cases,
Trump issued a proclamation Friday designating April National Sexual Assault Awareness month.
New York City, February 2018.
AFRIKA 47 | Johannesburg, South Africa
“Ralph Ziman was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1963. Ralph has directed over 400 videos for artists as diverse as Ozzy Osbourne, Toni Braxton, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Shania Twain and Rick James, winning numerous MTV awards. His work in film includes over 6 features as a writer/director/producer including Hearts and Minds, the first independent South African feature film to be completed after apartheid. This premiered at the Berlin and Montreal International Film Festivals, and Jerusalema (Gangster’s Paradise in the US & UK), released to critical and box office acclaim and South Africa’s official entry to the 2008 Academy Award Foreign Language section. His public art includes five murals in Venice and a forthcoming one privately commissioned in Santa Monica. Ralph lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children. He maintains a studio in Venice Beach and is focusing on his art practice and a planned documentary component to the Ghosts series.” https://treasongallery.com/afrika47/
25mar18. Venice, California