POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 52: ALARM BELLS OF AUTHORITARIANISM

Week 51 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

November 4, 2017 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-51-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-dcc96e7a7e0a

“It’s like Christmas Eve,” said one person on Twitter Sunday night, as the country braced for the first indictments from the Mueller probe on Monday. The indictment of Paul Manafort was expected, of his business associate Rick Gates, less so. But what riveted the country were the court documents and emails of Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, who is cooperating in the Mueller probe. Bedlam in the Trump regime ensued, as one aide put it, “it’s every man for himself!”

This week Trump made his most aggressive statements against the DOJ, FBI, and court systems for not doing what he thinks they should do. Alarm bells of authoritarianism and not normal were ringing, as were warnings from even some Republicans not to interfere with the Mueller investigation.

  1. WAPO reported Donald Jr. and Eric are set to launch two real estate projects in India, despite vows early on that there would be no new foreign deals while Trump was in office to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
  2. NBC reported U.S Attorney Dana Boente, who submitted his resignation in Week 50, did so at the behest of Sessions, who said Boente should clear the way so Trump could name his successor.
  3. In an NBC News/WSJ poll, Trump’s approval dropped to the lowest level yet: 38% approve, 58% disapprove. The drop came from independents (41% in September to 34%) and whites without a college degree (58% to 51%).
  4. On Monday, Trump hit his lowest approval and largest net gap on Gallup Daily: 33% approve, 62% disapprove, net -29.
  5. Politico reported Kushner took an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia, his third this year. Days later, Forbes reported Kushner’s plans to save his overleveraged 666 Fifth Avenue property were found to be “not feasible.”
  6. On Sunday, ahead of news coming Monday from the Mueller probe, in a series of tweets, Trump assailed Obamacare, Democrats, Hillary, and the “Fake Dossier,” and implored: “DO SOMETHING!
  7. In a seemingly coordinated effort, Murdoch-owned outlets bashed Mueller and called for his firing, including the WSJ Editorial Board and Sunday op-ed, a New York Post op-ed and continuing coverage on Fox News.
  8. CNN reported several Fox News employees said they were embarrassed and humiliated by the network’s coverage of the Mueller investigation. One said, “Fox feels like an extension of the Trump White House.”
  9. Politico reported Obamacare is about to have its worst open-enrollment season ever, citing numerous steps by the Trump regime to create confusion and end public promotions to raise consumer awareness.
  10. In Edison, NJ, an unknown group sent out flyers ahead of the November 7 election which read, ”Make Edison Great Again” and called for the deportation of two Asian school board candidates.
  11. A student at the University of Hartford was charged with criminal mischief and expelled after an Instagram post in which she bragged about harassing her black American roommate: “I can finally say goodbye to Jamaican Barbie.”
  12. A federal judge temporarily blocked parts of Trump’s memo banning transgender people from the military, ruling it was based on “disapproval of transgender people generally.”
  13. The judge also blasted Trump’s abrupt announcement on Twitter “without any of the formality or deliberative processes” to come up with policy. She ruled the status quo should stay in place for now.
  14. On Tuesday, Trump’s lawyer again sought the dismissal of Summer Zervos’ defamation lawsuit against him, arguing Trump’s expression of his political opinion is protected by the First Amendment.
  15. AP reported Betsy DeVos is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, reversing an Obama-era policy which entire erased such debt.
  16. Sessions told Fox News Sunday he is “disturbed” that Jane Doe, the 17 year-old undocumented immigrant was able to get a legal abortion in Week 50, saying, “I think it’s a serious problem, it should not have happened.”
  17. On Friday, Sessions’ DOJ took the unusual step of accusing the ACLU of misconduct for helping “Jane Doe,” an undocumented teenager in government custody, get a safe and legal abortion in Week 50.
  18. On Friday, federal officials released Rosa Maria Hernandez, the 10 year-old undocumented immigrant girl with cerebral palsy who was detained in Week 50 after undergoing surgery in Texas.
  19. In an op-ed, Sen. Elizabeth Warren argued the Supreme Court needs to adopt an ethics code, citing the conflict of Neil Gorsuch keynoting an event at the Trump Hotel DC on the same day the Supreme Court took on a related case.
  20. Papa John’s CEO, John Schnatter, blamed the company’s poor third-quarter performance on NFL anthem protests, tell ESPN: “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”
  21. Trump judicial nominee Leonard Steven Grasz, who was nominated in August to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, became the second Trump nominee to be deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association.
  22. On Tuesday, at an EPA event with Trump by his side, Scott Pruitt announced a new policy which says scientists receiving EPA grants cannot serve on the agency’s advisory boards. Critics called it a move to silence scientists.
  23. Pruitt also named the chairmen of each of the three most high-profile panels: Michael Honeycutt, Tony Cox, and Paul Gilman — all who disagree with the scientific basis of major Obama administration policies.
  24. On Friday, Pruitt overhauled the EPA’s external advisory boards. Among the new advisers selected are industry players, one who believes air quality is too clean for children, and multiple climate change skeptics.
  25. On Thursday, speaking during an energy policy discussion, Rick Perry linked fossil fuel development to preventing sexual assault, saying “when the lights are on….the righteousness, if you will on those types of acts.”
  26. The Sierra Club called on Perry to resign over his comments. The Department of Energy said Perry’s comments were meant to highlight the way electricity will improve the lives of people in Africa.
  27. On Thursday, the US withdrew as an implementing country from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international effort to fight corruption in revenues from oil, gas, and mineral extraction.
  28. USA Today reported Trump has appointed at least five people who are members of his clubs to senior roles in his administration. He has also given donors and allies prized diplomatic postings in European capitals.
  29. This marks the first time in history that a president has awarded government posts to people who pay money to his own companies.
  30. On Monday, Mueller’s office announced Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 charges, including conspiracy against the United States, over the years 2006–2016.
  31. Other charges include money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts.
  32. The indictments say both Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions from their lobbying work in Ukraine from 2006–2016, and hid the payments by laundering money. Manafort laundered more than $18 million.
  33. Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager from AprilAugust 2016. Gates was a top campaign deputy, played a key role in planning Trump’s inauguration, and was in and out of the WH during Trump’s early days.
  34. Both were put under house arrest, and bail was set at $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates. Reports showed Manafort’s wealth fluctuated wildly, and he kept three passports, after submitting 10 passport applications.
  35. Bloomberg reported Gates was fired from Colony NorthStar on Monday, where he had been a consultant to Tom Barrack, a longtime friend of Trump. Barrack also was the chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee.
  36. Also revealed on Monday, former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to FBI investigators about his contacts with high-level Russian connections.
  37. Papadopoulos’ plea agreement describes his extensive efforts to broker connections between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. He has also turned over months of emails.
  38. On April 25, he wrote, “The Russian government has an open invitation by Putin for Mr. Trump to meet him when he is ready.” Sam Clovis, Papadopoulos’ supervisor, as well as Corey Lewandowski and Manafort received his emails.
  39. Court documents quote one unidentified campaign “supervisor” emailing Papadopoulos in August 2016 that “I would encourage you” to make a trip to Moscow to arrange such a meeting. Yahoo reported this is Clovis.
  40. On Monday, Daily Beast reported Bannon encouraged Trump to bring in new lawyers and to take a much more aggressive approach, including considering the possibility of defunding the Mueller probe.
  41. WAPO reported on Trump’s Monday, saying he spent the morning upstairs watching TV separated from his WH staff, and the entire day visibly angry. The mood in the WH was described as weariness and fear of the unknown.
  42. Vanity Fair reported the West Wing is on edge, and for the first time impeachment is being considered as a realistic outcome. Dina Powell and Gary Cohn are leaving the room is Russia comes up.
  43. Steve Bannon and Roger Stone are urging Trump to take steps to counter Mueller — Bannon citing Trump’s slipping grasp on power. Stone advised appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary’s role in Uranium One.
  44. Reportedly, Trump blames Kushner for his decision to fire Michael Flynn and James Comey, which led to Mueller’s appointment. Allegedly Trump said “Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history.
  45. CNN reported Kushner’s team has turned over documents to Mueller in the special counsel’s investigation of Kushner’s role in the firing of Comey. Sources say Kushner is not a target of the investigation.
  46. On Monday night, John Kelly reignited his feud with Rep. Frederica Wilson, telling Fox News of his criticism of her, “I stand by my comments.” In Week 48, a video released by Sun-Sentinel showed Kelly’s accusations were false.
  47. Kelly also sparked controversy with a divisive and factually incorrect claims the Civil War was caused by “the lack of an ability to compromise,” and that Confederate Leader Robert E. Lee “was an honorable man.”
  48. On Tuesday, several Senate Republicans, including Jeff Flake, Roy Blunt, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby, and John Kennedy, separately said they would not support any moves to crack down on the Mueller investigation.
  49. Bloomberg reported Papadopoulos’ emails show that top Trump campaign officials agreed to a pre-election meeting with representatives of Putin. The email is cited in an FBI agent’s affidavit supporting charges.
  50. The Trump regime tried to distance themselves from Papadopoulos. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he was a mere volunteer. Mike Caputo said Papadopoulos was just a “coffee boy.” Trump called him a “low level volunteer.
  51. In a March 21 interview with the WAPO editorial board, Trump included Papadopoulos among people advising him on matters of national security, referring to Papadopoulos as “an energy and oil consultant. Excellent guy.”
  52. On Thursday, NYT reported on court documents describing a March 31 meeting between Trump and his foreign policy team. According to campaign adviser J. D. Gordon, Papadopoulos pitched his Russia idea.
  53. Gordon said Trump listened with interest, but Sessions vehemently opposed the idea. Gordon said Sessions also said no one should talk about Papadopoulos’ idea because it might leak.
  54. On Tuesday, NBC reported former top Trump campaign official Sam Clovis, who supervised Papadopoulos, was questioned last week by Mueller’s team.
  55. On Tuesday, Politico reported Clovis has been a cooperating witness in the Senate Intel Committee’s Russia probe. Clovis is Trump’s controversial nominee for the top scientific job at the Department of Agriculture.
  56. On Thursday, Clovis withdrew from consideration for the Department of Agriculture post, citing “the political climate inside Washington.” Speculation grew the cause was related to the Russia probe.
  57. On Thursday, Carter Page told CNN that during more than six hours of closed-door testimony to the House Intel Committee, Page testified he told Sessions he was traveling to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
  58. NBC reported Sessions rejected Papadopoulos’ plan to use his Russian contacts to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin. Congressional investigators want to question Sessions about his new recollection.
  59. In June, Sessions had told his Senate colleagues under oath that he had “no knowledge” of any conversations by anyone on the Trump campaignabout “any type of interference with any campaign” by Russians.
  60. On Friday, NBC reported that contrary to the Trump regime’s efforts to downplay Papadopoulos’s role in the campaign, records show he was a prominent figure and frequently acted as a surrogate.
  61. Papadopoulos was at the Republican National Convention, and was invited by the American Jewish Committee to speak on a panel along with two Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Sen. Bob Corker.
  62. Papadopoulos also acted as a surrogate six weeks before the election, giving an interview to the Russian Interfax News Agency, where he said that Trump will “restore the trust” between the US and Russia.
  63. NYT reported Page told the House Intel Committee on Thursday that after his July 2016 trip to Moscow to meet with Russian government officials, he sent an email to at least one Trump campaign aide describing the trip.
  64. Details came out during sharp questioning by Rep. Adam Schiff. Page’s email detailed his meetings with government officials, legislators, and business executives in Moscow. The recipient(s) of the email are not yet known.
  65. On Thursday, Manafort and Gates were back in court. Both will be confined to their homes and are subject to electronic monitoring devices due to flight risk. The judge is also considering a gag order on attorneys.
  66. A WAPO/ABC poll found 58% of Americans approve of Mueller’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation, just 28% disapprove. Roughly half say it’s likely Trump committed a crime.
  67. The American Psychological Association Stress in America Survey found 59% of Americans say this is the lowest point in US history. Two-thirds say the future of the nation is a very or somewhat significant source of stress.
  68. Business Insider reported a federal judge in NY has denied Veselnitskaya’s request to enter the US to represent her client, Prevezon, which has not paid the $5.9 million settlement it reached with Sessions’ DOJ in May.
  69. The settlement was a fraction of the $230 million amount Preet Bharara had been seeking before he was fired. If Prevezon does not pay the settlement amount, the judge says they will need to go to court without Veselnitskaya.
  70. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump blamed Sen. Schumer for the NYC terror attack, tweeting “Diversity Visa Lottery Program” is a “Chuck Schumer beauty.”
  71. Trump’s claim is false: the program was passed with bipartisan support in 1990 and signed into law by George H.W. Bush. Trump’s invented claim came from a segment running that morning on Fox News.
  72. On Wednesday, after a terrorist attack in NYC by a Muslim American, Trump bemoaned our justice system, calling it “a joke” and “a laughingstock,” and saying “no wonder so much of this stuff takes place.”
  73. Trump made his comments during a cabinet meeting. Sessions was in the room. Trump also threatened to send the terror suspect to Guantanamo.
  74. On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted the suspect had asked to hang the ISIS flag in his hospital room and he “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!
  75. On Thursday, in tweets, Trump backed away from his threat to send the suspect to Guantanamo, saying the process there takes longer, and again called for the death penalty: “Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!
  76. Legal experts say Trump’s tweets and statements will actually hurt the prosecution, citing defense attorneys will claim that the jury pool has been poisoned by the publicity surrounding his expression of opinion.
  77. Trump also told Fox News he was unsure if Rex Tillerson will remain Secretary of State for the balance of his term. Trump said the WH was “not happy” that some State Department staffers were not supporting his agenda.
  78. When pressed about filling vacant high-profile roles in the State Department such as assistant Secretary of State, Trump said, “I’m the only one that matters,” adding, “we don’t need all the people that they want.”
  79. Reuters reported at a recent meeting, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told H.R. McMaster the regime was gutting State. McMaster reportedly replied that there were people who did not support Trump’s agenda.
  80. On Friday, Trump criticized the military court for giving Bowe Bergdahl a dishonorable discharge but no jail time, calling the decision “a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military.”
  81. Ironically, Trump’s speaking out may have, in part, led to the decision. Last week the judge said he would consider Trump’s past comments as evidence for a lighter sentence.
  82. On Thursday, on a radio show, Trump expressed frustration with not being able to direct the DOJ to investigate his former rival Hillary for the dossier, saying he is “very unhappy” with the DOJ and “very frustrated by it.”
  83. On Friday, in a series of tweets, Trump continued, saying “everybody is asking” why the DOJ and FBI isn’t investigating Hillary and the Democrats. Adding, at some point the DOJ and FBI need to do what’s right and proper.
  84. On Friday, Trump also left open — for the fourth time — that he may fire Sessions if the DOJ does not investigate Trump’s political rivals, saying “a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”
  85. NYT noted in the past four decades, no president has sought to publicly pressure law enforcement as much as Trump.
  86. WSJ reported the FBI is investigating the decision by Puerto Rico’s power authority (“PREPA”) to award a $300 million contract to Whitefish Energy.
  87. On Sunday, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló petitioned the board of PREPA to invoke the cancellation clause for this island’s contract with Whitefish Energy after FEMA flagged “significant concerns.”
  88. Business Insider reported the USNS Comfort was anchored offshore of Puerto Rico until last Friday. Now that the Comfort has docked, medical staff attended 700 patients over the weekend, up from nine a day prior.
  89. Six weeks after Hurricane Maria, doctor and nurses say Puerto Ricans still face widespread symptoms related to unclean water, including vomiting, diarrhea and asthma, as well as 74 suspected cases of leptospirosis.
  90. Rachel Maddow reported Puerto Rican officials refuse to answer how many of the suspected 74 cases of leptospirosis, a disease transmitted by contact with water contaminated by animal urine, have led to death.
  91. The Atlantic reported as Puerto Rico ended its contract with Whitefish, there are several investigations into PREPA’s $200 million contract with Mammoth Energy Services’ Cobra Acquisitions, which was awarded on October 19.
  92. A letter from the House energy committee said the Cobra contract “would appear to have the effect of preventing government oversight of the agreement.” Questions are also raised about the bidding process.
  93. On Friday, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told CNN the actual death toll from Maria is closer to 500, not 54.
  94. On Thursday, Trump’s Twitter account was “inadvertently deactivated” by a Twitter employee for 11 minutes at just after 7 p.m. EST. The employee, still unidentified, did this on their last day of work.
  95. As of Tuesday, Tom Steyer’s online petition asking Congress to impeach Trump garnered more than 1.1 million signatures in its first week.
  96. A Public Policy Polling survey found a record level of support for impeaching Trump: 49% support impeachment, while 41% oppose it.
  97. On Tuesday, ahead of Congressional testimony, Facebook admitted Russian influence on their platform had reached 126 million Americans, far greater than what the company had previously disclosed.
  98. Lawmakers released 3K Russian ads spread on Facebook. The ads were highly sophisticated and targeted candidates as well as groups and issues like illegal immigration, gun ownership, Black Lives Matter, and Muslims.
  99. On Tuesday and Wednesday, general counsel for social media companies Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee, and Senate and House intelligence committees.
  100. Sen. Al Franken blasted Facebook for accepting payments in rubles for US election ads. Sen. Diane Feinstein said, “You’ve created these platforms, and now, they’re being misused,” adding “do something about it. Or we will.”
  101. Sen. Mark Warner chastised the companies for being unresponsive and slow to investigate. He asked, “do you believe that any of your companies have identified the full scope of Russian active measures?” Facebook said no.
  102. Warner said the Facebook ads “are just the tip of a very large iceberg,” andthe real story is “the amount of misinformation and divisive content” pushed on Russian-back pages.
  103. Sen. Amy Klobuchar pushed executives to weigh in on legislation that would require the companies to report who funds political ads online. InWeek 49, Klobuchar and Warner gained bipartisan support of their Honest Ads Act.
  104. Twitter identified 2,752 accounts controlled by Russian operatives and more than 36K bots that tweeted 1.4 million times during the election. Weeks ago, Twitter had said it found just 201 accounts linked to Russia.
  105. Bloomberg reported Twitter was warned in 2015 by Leslie Miley about a vast amount of accounts with IP addresses in Russia and Ukraine. Miley, the only black engineer in leadership, was dismissed later that year.
  106. On Thursday, Robert Mercer resigned as CEO of his giant hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies. In a letter to employees, Mercer said he has “scrutiny from the press” and been unfairly linked to Bannon.
  107. Robert Mercer also sold his stake in Breitbart to his daughter Rebekah. In a statement, Mercer tried to distance himself from Milo Yiannopoulos, who, according to BuzzFeed, had cultivated white nationalists while at Breitbart.
  108. On Friday, three conservative House Republicans — Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, and Louis Gohmert — said they plan to file a resolution calling on Mueller to recuse himself from his probe of Russian meddling, over conflicts of interest.
  109. On Wednesday, Georgia’s AG office announced it will no longer represent the state’s top elections official in an elections integrity lawsuit filed days before a crucial computer server was quietly wiped clean, as per Week 50.
  110. Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the main defendant, is running for governor in 2018. The server in question made headlines in June when a security expert disclosed a gaping security hole that wasn’t fixed.
  111. The erased hard drives are central to the lawsuit filed in Week 34 becausethey could have revealed whether the Ossoff-Handel race was compromised by hackers. It is not clear who ordered the data erased.
  112. AP obtained Russian hackers’ unpublished digital hit list which had targets around the world: in addition to Hillary’s emails, it includes emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures and US defense contractors.
  113. The list came from a database of 19K malicious links collected by cybersecurity firm Secureworks, when hacking group Fancy Bear accidentally exposed part of its phishing operation to the internet.
  114. The list also provides the most detailed forensic evidence yet of the close alignment between Russian hackers and the Kremlin.
  115. On Friday, AP reported on how Russia hacked into Hillary’s campaign starting on March 10, 2016. Through a malicious link, hacker group Fancy Bear was able to enter John Podesta’s email account.
  116. On April 26, before the DNC knew, court documents show Papadopoulos says he was told about it by a professor closely connected to the Russian government, “They have dirt on her. They have thousands of emails.”
  117. According to AP, Guccifer 2.0 acted as a kind of master of ceremonies during a summer of leaks. He also coordinated with WikiLeaks and wrote, “Together with Assange we’ll make america great again.”
  118. AP also reported Guccifer 2.0 had airbrushed at least one of Podesta’s emails to get media attention: the word “CONFIDENTIAL” was not in the original document.
  119. CNN reported Trump’s long-time bodyguard and close confidante, Keith Schiller will testify to the House Intel Committee next week, as well as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS.
  120. WAPO reported Schiller is expected to be questioned about Trump’s 2013 Moscow trip, which is behind some of the most salacious allegations in the dossier, as well as Trump’s firing of Comey.
  121. This week the committee interviewed Carter Page and Ike Kaveladze, one of the people at the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, as well as former assistant AG at the National Security division, Mary McCord, and Sally Yates.
  122. Rachel Maddow noted the sudden rush of witnesses, some of who are central figures and Trump insiders, may indicate the House Intel Committee Republicans are trying to bring its investigation to a close.
  123. On Friday, CBS News reported Trump campaign officials in legal jeopardy may be rushing to offer their cooperation to get a better deal from Mueller. One official who is being examined said, “it’s every man for himself.”
  124. USA Today reported Trump’s Election Integrity Commission may have gone dark. The last public meeting was on September 12, and it’s unclear, even to commission members, when the next meeting will be held.
  125. The commission has held two meetings since it was set up in May, and has been sued by numerous civil rights and voting rights groups for lack of transparency and governance.
  126. With election day coming next Tuesday, Twitter bots swarmed an important governor’s race in Virginia. Similar to the 2016 election, the bots are focused on fanning racial strife.
  127. Joe Ricketts, a Trump supporter, shuttered both DNAinfo and Gothamist, two of NYC’s leading sources of local news which he purchased in March, after employees voted to join a union. Ricketts made no attempt to sell.
  128. ProPublica reported two former CIA employees say Christopher Sharpley, Trump’s nominee for CIA inspector general, “deliberately misled Congress” by saying he didn’t know about a pending complaint filed against him.
  129. Mother Jones reported the Trump Organization experienced a major cyber breach in 2013, likely by Russian hackers. Until the week, the penetration had gone undetected. Information could be compromised.
  130. In Week 47, Kushner and Ivanka’s personal emails accounts used for WH business were redirected to Trump Organization servers.
  131. On Saturday, Trump solicited the Saudi Arabia government, tweeting to ask them to list their IPO of Aramco on the New York Stock Exchange.
  132. On Saturday, en route to his Asia trip on a stop in Hawaii, Trump visited his Trump-branded Hawaii resort. This marks Trump’s 97th trip to a Trump-owned property during his time in office.
  133. As Trump headed on a trip to Asia, there is a sense that Trump has accelerated China’s rise by being and unsteady leader. Media say Beijing is the “new role model,” and Trump needs to prove his can be “constructive.”

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Former campaign manager for Trump, Paul Manafort, leaves U.S. District Court after pleading not guilty following his indictment on federal charges on October 30, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Photos taken by me around New York City in October 2017:IMG_3723IMG_3725IMG_3724IMG_1809IMG_1962IMG_2245IMG_1959IMG_2690

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 29: SUCH A CLOWN

Week 28 of donald trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

May 27, 2017 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-28-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-b772e6b7f47d

This week the Trump-Russia scandal reached the inner circle of Trump’s WH, as bombshells revealed Kushner is a central focus of the FBI investigation. The Trump regime established a war room as the walls of Trump-Russia cave in on them, with breaking news daily.

Also of note this week is the myriad of examples of Trump distancing our country from our traditional allies, and instead cozying up to brutal authoritarians. Human rights abroad are no longer a priority — the focus seems to have shifted to where the Trump organization has properties.

  1. Trump’s attorney said he wouldn’t sign his 2016 financial disclosure, a major departure from the norm. After OGE pushback, Trump said he would sign, but has yet to do so.
  2. The WH also blocked disclosure of names of former lobbyists who have been granted waivers to work in the WH or for federal agencies. Late Friday, the WH said they would comply, but has yet to do so.
  3. GOP Senators are considering changing rules to make it harder for Democrats to block Trump’s picks for circuit court judges. This follows the “nuclear option” which eased the path for Trump’s SCOTUS pick.
  4. Tillerson held a press conference in Riyadh on a new US-Saudi partnership. US media was excluded.
  5. NPR reported there’s been an unprecedented spike of white supremacist activity on college campuses since Trump was elected.
  6. Shortly after announcing his resignation from Congress, Chaffetz said individuals leaking info to the press should go to jail.
  7. Trump considered vetoing the temporary spending bill. Priebus asked Boehner to talk Trump into signing and keeping the government open.
  8. As the Trump regime’s visited Saudi Arabia, the kingdom announced it would invest $20bn in Blackstone’s new $40bn infrastructure fund.
  9. Saudi Arabia will also invest $100mm in Ivanka’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund. In addition to other human right’s abuses, the kingdom has one of the worst records globally for treatment of its women.
  10. During a photo op with Netanyahu on his visit to Israel, Trump confirmed the source of his leak to Lavrov and Kislyak at the WH by telling the press he “never mentioned the word or the name Israel.”
  11. FP reported that Israel changed its intelligence sharing with the US after Trump’s leak to Russia.
  12. Turkey summoned the US envoy to complain about the treatment of Ergodan’s bodyguards for beating up US protestors.
  13. Amid rising tensions, Turkey signed a $1.5mm contract with longtime Trump lobbyist Brian Ballard. Ballard’s firm has also recently signed contracts with the Dominican Republic and the Socialist Party of Albania.
  14. A leaked transcript prepared by the Philippines government of a phone call between Trump and Duterte described Trump praising the brutal authoritarian: “what a great job you are doing” with the drug problem.
  15. Also on the call with Duterte, Trump revealed the location of two US nuclear submarines.
  16. US officials were chastised for leaking the identity of the Manchester bomber to the press before British police officially named him.
  17. UK officials were also outraged when photos of the debris surfaced in the NYT, and said they would stop sharing information about the attack with their US counterparts. Later that day, sharing reportedly resumed.
  18. Flynn’s lawyer said his client would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights rather than comply with a Senate Intel Comm subpoena. Burr and Warner said they are considering holding Flynn in contempt.
  19. Christie told reporters that as head of Trump’s transition team, he told Trump not to hire Flynn in any capacity. Pence took over as head next.
  20. Sessions canceled his Monday testimony on DOJ funding before Congress scheduled, for fear the hearing would be overtaken by questions are the Trump-Russia scandal.
  21. Cummings said the House Oversight Comm has documents that show Flynn lied to security clearance investigators in 2016. Flynn claimed he was paid by “US companies,” not Russia’s RT, for his 2015 Moscow trip.
  22. CNN reported that Mueller visited FBI headquarters, and was briefed on the contents of Comey’s Trump memos.
  23. WAPO reported Trump asked intel chiefs Coats and Rogers to publicly say there was no collusion between Russia and Trump in the 2016 election. The goal was to “muddy the waters” about the FBI probe.
  24. Like Comey, Rogers was concerned about his conversations with Trump, and kept contemporaneous notes.
  25. WAPO also reported that WH staffers tried to get senior intel officers and members of Congress to push back on the stories that the Trump regime members were in frequent contact with Russian officials.
  26. Sen Duckworth sent a letter to the NSA requesting info on security sweeps of the Oval Office after Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak.
  27. A member of the FEC called for an investigation into Russia’s purchase of Facebook ads to possibly boost Trump in the election.
  28. At a House hearing, former CIA director Brennan testified that he was convinced last summer that “the Russians were trying to interfere in the election. And they were very aggressive
  29. Brennan also testified on significant contact between the Trump campaign and Russia, citing Russians efforts to get US persons “to act on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly.”
  30. Brennan also said he alerted the FBI about the troubling pattern in July, seeming to form the basis for the start of the FBI investigation.
  31. Despite the Trump’s regime efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation — citing Kushner, Ivanka and Manafort are clients of his former law firm — the DOJ cleared Mueller to lead the Russia probe.
  32. The Senate Intel Comm subpoenaed two Flynn companies. Businesses, if corporations, cannot plead the Fifth.
  33. On Thursday, the Senate Intel Comm voted to give Burr and Warner blanket authority to issue subpoenas in the Trump-Russia probe.
  34. Burr and Warner asked Trump’s political organization to produce all Russia-related documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign’s launch in June 2015.
  35. STAT reported on experts citing that the deterioration in Trump’s linguistic capabilities could reflect changes in the health of his brain.
  36. Infowars was given WH press credentials.
  37. The NEH chairman resigned amid Trump’s budget rollout which calls for huge cuts to domestic programs.
  38. A top Education Department official resigned after refusing DeVos’s orders to testify before a congressional oversight hearing.
  39. Trump released his budget with a $2tn double-counting error. Larry Summers described it as, “the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the nearly 40 years I have been tracking them.”
  40. Trump’s Caribbean estate was quietly put on the market at a significantly higher price than he paid in 2013, again raising ethical concerns of potential buyers paying above market to gain access.
  41. NYT reported on ethical concerns over the Trump family golf business, as the PGA comes to Trump National, and access to Trump, who frequents his courses, is being touted as a marketing point for membership.
  42. Demonstrating how Trump’s friends continue to influence policy, Icahn is set to save $60mm for his oil refinery company CVR Energy in the first quarter due to planned easing of regulations.
  43. Giuliani attempted to distance himself from Trump’s Muslim Ban, despite his bragging on Fox News months ago that he was consulted by Trump.
  44. DeVos said states should have the flexibility to discriminate against LGBTQ students, and schools will not be at risk of losing federal funds.
  45. Although before taking office Trump promised to donate all profits earned from foreign governments back to the US Treasury, according to NBC, the Trump Organization is not tracking these payments. The Constitution bans presidents from receiving foreign government gifts.
  46. 93% of key roles in the executive branch remain unfilled.
  47. Buzzfeed reported the guest reception manager at Mar-A-Lago, wife of a twice-convicted felon who likes to brag about his wife’s access, was assigned a WH email and phone and helped with Trump’s overseas plans.
  48. A new study found that tourism to the US has been on the decline since Trump took office, dropping by as much as 16%.
  49. The Carrier plant in Indiana, where to much ballyhoo Trump showcased saving 800 jobs, announced mass layoffs before Christmas.
  50. FP reported NATO countries were frantically preparing for their summit with Trump. One official said, “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing.
  51. At the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump pushed the PM of Montenegro aside, before chastising participants for not paying their share of NATO costs. His behavior was met with uniform disgust by our allies.
  52. Trump also refused to clearly back Article 5, the one-for-all, all-for-one principle of NATO, and remained at odd with our allies over Russia.
  53. Trump also said of Germany, our close ally, “The Germans are bad, very bad.
  54. Aya Hijazi, who Trump had bragged about negotiating her release from an Egyptian prison, told PBS’s Woodruff that Trump did not understand that it was el-Sisi’s regime that held her.
  55. On Wednesday, Greg Gianforte, running for Montana’s open Congressional seat, body slammed a reporter when asked about AHCA CBO scoring. Like Trump, Gianforte has had harsh rhetoric on the media. Gianforte was charged with assault the night before the election.
  56. Weeks before Jacobs had reported on Gianforte’s ownership of Russian index funds, whose holdings include companies like Rosneft which are under US sanctions.
  57. Press advocates cited four incidents between the press and public officials in the past month, saying Trump’s rhetoric has led to a “climate of anger, disrespect and hostility” towards the press.
  58. POLITICO reported that Trump reached out to former campaign staffers Lewandowski and Bossie about becoming crisis managers as the Trump-Russia scandal unfolds.
  59. In a surprising move, Trump hired his longtime personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz to represent him in the special counsel’s Trump-Russia probe.
  60. CNN reported the Trump regime is establishing a war room-type operation aimed at developing a rapid-response to Trump-Russia news.
  61. As the CBO came out with alarming scoring on Trumpcare/AHCA, Trump ally Gingrich called for the abolishment of the CBO.
  62. Trump’s budget targets undocumented immigrants by denying them tax credits and jobs, while significantly beefing up his deportation force.
  63. The Trump regime kept US reporters largely in the dark during his overseas trip this week: delaying readouts, keeping reporters at a distance, and refusing to hold new conferences.
  64. Trump ally Sheriff Clarke directed his staff waiting at the terminal to hassle a plane passenger after a brief exchange. The passenger is suing Clarke and his deputies involved.
  65. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide injunction against Trump’s second Muslim Ban by a 10–3 vote. The Chief Judge said the ban, “drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.
  66. In their efforts to highlight crimes committed by undocumented immigrants through their VOICE program, Trump’s DHS published a database with the personal information of abuse victims.
  67. For the first time in almost two decades, Tillerson declined to host a Ramadan event at the State Dept.
  68. In Portland, OR, a suspect hurled insults at Muslim women on a MAX train, before stabbing men who tried to stop him. Two are dead.
  69. According to the DOJ, Sessions did not disclose his meetings with Kislyakin his security clearance application.
  70. Sessions remains AG despite having lied both to the Senate under oath and on his security clearance application about Russia, as well as playing a role in Comey’s firing despite being recused on Trump-Russia matters.
  71. Members of the House Financial Services Comm asked Deutsche Bank to produce documents on Trump family loans. As mentioned in Week 18’s list, Deutsche has been fined for laundering money for Russia.
  72. NYT reported that US spies collected info last summer that top Russian officials were discussing how to exert influence on Trump through his aides, Manafort and Flynn.
  73. POLITICO reported that despite the Trump spin that Manafort was a minor player and not in touch with his regime, Manafort called Priebus the week before the inauguration to discuss the growing Russia scandal.
  74. WAPO reported that a fake Russian document which claimed assurances from AG Lynch to the Clinton campaign on the email investigation, influenced Comey’s handling of the investigation, including his unusual news conference in July without conferring with the DOJ.
  75. Although Comey had the Russian document for months before the July news conference, the FBI did not take the simple steps needed to prove it to be bad intelligence until after July.
  76. WIRED reported that Russian hackers are weaponizing “tainted” leaks — planting altered materials with disinformation alongside legitimate leaks.
  77. WSJ reported that a GOP political operative, Aaron Nevins, worked with the Russians to hurt Clinton and Democrats during the election — the first direct evidence of collusion.
  78. WAPO reported that the FBI “person of interest” in the WH referenced in their reporting last week is Kushner. The FBI is investigating Kushner for the extent and nature of his contacts with Russian officials.
  79. Further, WAPO reported the FBI is investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election, as well as possible financial crimes.
  80. The FBI informed House Oversight Comm chair Chaffetz that they will not turn over Comey’s memos, leaving open the prospect that Mueller is investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.
  81. Lieberman became the fourth candidate under consideration by Trump for FBI director to withdraw from consideration.
  82. After demurring on whether Trump would lift sanctions on Russia Thursday, top Trump adviser, under media scrutiny, said Friday the sanctions would remain in place.
  83. A Quinnipiac poll found that most Americans believe Trump is abusing his power (54–43), and most believe he is not honest (59–36).
  84. WAPO reported at a meeting at Trump Tower in early December, Kushner proposed to Kislyak setting up a secret communication channel between the Kremlin and the Trump regime using Russian diplomatic facilities.
  85. Kislyak was reportedly taken aback by the suggestion, and concerned Kushner’s request would expose Russian communication capabilities.
  86. Kushner’s goal was to avoid US intelligence monitoring. Flynn attended the meeting with Kislyak too.
  87. Of note, both Kislyak and Flynn secretly met with a UAE crown prince around the time that prince was setting up a meeting between Erik Prince and a Russian official in Seychelles (see Week 21’s list). Trump met that same UAE crown prince at the WH last week.
  88. Reuters reported that Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed contacts with Kislyak during and after the 2016 presidential campaign.
  89. Reuters reported FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides relaxing US sanctions in exchange for making bank financing available to the Trump regime.
  90. In response to the Reuters piece, Kushner’s lawyer issued a statement that Kushner, “has no recollection of the calls as described.
  91. Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has offered to cooperate with Congress in their investigation of Manafort in exchange for immunity. Noted in Week 27, Deripaska is suing AP for libel for reporting his ties to Manafort.
  92. Owners of Russian Alfa Bank sued Buzzfeed Friday in state court in Manhattan for publishing the Steele dossier.
  93. Amidst the Trump-Russia turmoil, Trump canceled his Iowa campaign rally scheduled for next week.

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It’s all just a game to them, and the people are the ones that always lose / Artist credit: Luis Quiles
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London, England. Artist: Subdude

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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 25: “MOLOCH!”

Week 24 of Donald Trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

April 29, 2017 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-24-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-2ecfe069542f

Today marks day 100 of the Trump regime. Despite the Republicans having control of the House and Senate, Trump has yet to tally a single legislative accomplishment. He was obsessive this week in pushing for Trumpcare 3 ahead of the 100-day mark; but the Resistance, which continues to grow in number and fervor, headed him off.

And all the while, the drumbeat of Russia grows louder. This week, Speaker Ryan acknowledged Russian interference. Trump’s involvement has evolved from a “Trump-Russia probe” to a “Trump-Russia scandal,” and this week, to a “Trump-Russia cover-up.” As this unfolds, concern grows that Trump will seek to distract attention by starting a war. The one constant throughout the weeks is Trump’s attempts to enrich himself and his regime through a growing list of conflicts of interest and corruption.

  1. Speaker Ryan acknowledged that Russia interfered with our election, and said US probes could help our allies prevent similar interference.
  2. As Le Pen advanced to the French presidential election runoff, Putin is using many of the tools successfully employed in the US to target France.
  3. WikiLeaks released more top-secret CIA documents. Our media has by and large stopped covering the WikiLeaks document dumps.
  4. A group of psychiatrists at a conference held at Yale Medical School cited a “Duty to Warn” about Trump being dangerously ill.
  5. Of the ten items listed on Trump’s contract with the American people for the first 100 days of his administration, he accomplished none of them.
  6. The State Department and two US embassies promoted Mar-a-Lago on their website with a 400-word blog post. After public outrage, the post was removed.
  7. NYT reported the State Department is likely to remain largely unstaffed into 2018. Trump has yet to fill 200 leadership jobs which require Senate confirmation. Tillerson is taking no action either.
  8. Similarly, as the Trump regime launched its tax plan, the Treasury Department does not have a single confirmed appointee in positions tasked with reforming the tax code.
  9. Trump’s tax reform plan was launched with Mnuchin handing out a one-pager with broad details and no numbers.
  10. Democrats, including former Obama ethics chief Norm Eisen noted Trump’s tax reform could save him hundreds of millions of dollars. Without tax returns, it’s impossible to know his total benefit.
  11. Beyond State, the slow pace of nominations in the first 100 days has left cabinet agencies in limbo. Only 26 of the 556 senior positions which require Senate confirmation have been filled.
  12. Haley was the only member of the Trump regime to condemn the abuse and killings of gay men in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Days later, the State Department said they want to clear her remarks in advance.
  13. UN diplomats were invited to the WH, but Tillerson was not included. Haley was there, and Trump publicly threatened to fire her, “Does everybody like Nikki? Good, otherwise she could easily be replaced.”
  14. In his first 100 days, Trump has an unprecedented number (15) of appointees who got fired, withdrew or quit.
  15. Carl Bernstein said there is a “serious belief” in the FBI and Congress that there is an active cover-up underway by the Trump regime of their involvement with Russia.
  16. On Monday, Yahoo reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe had stalled due to lack of staffing and Sen Burr’s unwillingness to sign off on witness requests.
  17. Democrats in the Senate Intelligence Committee hired April Doss, the former head of intelligence law at the NSA. Burr refused to bring on additional staffing, saying staffing levels were already sufficient.
  18. Trump picked ally Dana Boente to take over the Justice Department unit’s probe of Trump-Russia. Boente was last named by Trump as an interim acting-AG on the Monday Night Massacre (firing of Yates).
  19. On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that Flynn’s lobbying work for Turkey came to him via Dmitri Zairian, a Russian with ties to the Putin regime.
  20. The WH denied a request by House Oversight Committee leaders Chaffetz and Cummings to release documents related to Flynn.
  21. Shortly thereafter, Chaffetz and Cummings addressed the press, saying Flynn may have broken the law by not disclosing payments from Russia.
  22. The next day, Chaffetz posted an explanation on Facebook of why he was leaving office, citing a foot injury. His explanation was met with much skepticism.
  23. Friday, Cummings said the WH is “covering up” for Flynn. Sen Blumenthal said there is “powerful, mounting, incontrovertible evidence” of a violation of criminal law.
  24. The Pentagon’s internal watch dog group opened an investigation into whether Flynn took payments from foreign governments after leaving the military.
  25. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee released documents showing the Pentagon warned Flynn not to take foreign payments without advance approval from the military. Flynn did not seek approval.
  26. Spicer blamed Obama for Flynn having security clearance, neglecting the fact that Obama fired Flynn, and Trump appointed him to NSA.
  27. NBC reported the Trump team did do a background check on Flynn as part of him becoming NSA. Despite their public denials, senior transition team members like Pence and Sessions would have seen the information.
  28. Michael Cohen said he may sue Buzzfeed for publishing the Steele dossier, which includes allegations that Cohen traveled to Prague in August to meet with Russians.
  29. The Guardian reported that Steele had also alerted the UK government with two memos about collusion between Trump and Russia. His contact in the US appears to have been with McCain, not Comey.
  30. Steele’s memo also reported that four members of the Trump regimetravelled to Prague for secret discussion with the Kremlin in August/September 2016 on how to pay hackers for penetrating the Democratic party computer systems.
  31. Peter Severa, a Russian hacker whose wife said he was “linked to Trump’s win” in Week 22, was indicted in Bridgeport, CT on eight counts related to the Kelihos botnet malware.
  32. Rep Ciciline, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, requested the Inspector General open an investigation into the firings of Yates and Bharara. Yates will testify on May 8th in a Senate hearing.
  33. Trump made 16 false claims in a bizarre interview with AP. He also made at least 15 comments which AP classified as “unintelligible.”
  34. Also in the AP interview, Trump bragged about getting highest ratings since 9/11 coverage.
  35. Trump said he planned to keep on his controversial press secretary, Spicer, because “the guy gets great ratings.
  36. After a second EO was blocked, Trump said he would “absolutely” consider proposals to break-up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This threat was compared to the type of action of a dictator might take.
  37. The Trump regime set up a VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement) hotline for callers to report on immigrants. The hotline was flooded with calls with reports of space aliens.
  38. A federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump regime efforts to withhold money from sanctuary cities.
  39. WAPO reported on ICE data which shows half of the immigrants arrested had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses.
  40. Supreme Court Justice Roberts spoke out against Trump’s immigration plan, describing the regime’s interpretation as “prosecutorial abuse” for making it easy to strip citizenship for even lying about minor infractions.
  41. Trump’s Muslim Ban suffered another setback as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request for an 11-member court review.
  42. A report by the ADL revealed that anti-Semitic incidents in the US rose by 86% in the first three months of 2017, over the same period last year.
  43. Trump proposed budget would strip all funding from a State Department bureau that promotes the rights of women around the world.
  44. A Trump supporter stormed a cafeteria at a Kentucky university and asked about political affiliation, before stabbing two women.
  45. Trump’s USDA rolled back Michelle Obama’s school nutrition standards.
  46. Mnuchin said Trump will not release his tax returns, adding Trump “has given more financial disclosure than anybody else.
  47. NYT reported that Kushner recently financed real-estate transactions in NYC through the Steinmetz family, who are under investigation for bribing a government official in Guinea to secure mining rights.
  48. The investigator who found Florida AG Bondi did nothing wrong by accepting $25k of campaign cash and then dropping the investigation of Trump U, ignored key evidence already unearthed.
  49. POLITICO reported that Lewandowki’s DC firm is offering foreign clients in-person meetings with Trump, Pence and other senior regime members.
  50. HuffPost’s Christina Wilkie compiled a public spreadsheet to identify $107mm of donations to Trump inauguration. Discrepancies have been found, and the regime has yet to explain where unspent monies went.
  51. Ivanka was booed for defending her father at a conference for female business leaders in Berlin.
  52. WAPO reported that workers endured long hours and low pay working at factories used by Ivanka’s company in China.
  53. Facebook revealed fake accounts were used on its platform to sway the US election. Facebook also indicated its findings do “not contradict” the January 6 report issued by the US Director of National Intelligence.
  54. Commerce Secretary Ross said the Trump regime would impose a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber.
  55. On Wednesday morning, Trump said he was considering withdrawing from NAFTA. By the evening, amidst confusion and without a reasonable explanation, he changed course and said the US would remain.
  56. Trump ceremoniously summoned the entire US Senate onto a bus to the WH for a closed-door meeting on N Korea. To the Senators’ frustration, nothing was offered beyond public information. Stagecraft.
  57. Trump gave another disturbing 100-day interview to Reuters, for which the first headline to break was “there is a chance of a ‘major, major conflict with North Korea.”’
  58. Trump also bemoaned to Reuters about missing his past life, and added, “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.
  59. Trump brought a printed map handout to his Reuters interview to showcase his electoral win.
  60. Trump also asked WAPO in his 100-day interview to put his electoral college handout on their front page.
  61. The US economy grew at just 0.7% in the first quarter, the weakest showing in three years. Expectedly, Trump did not comment or tweet.
  62. The Resistance claimed another victory as Trumpcare 3 failed to muster support in the House, despite the GOP’s 47 seat advantage.
  63. Fallout from the O’Reilly ouster continued, as CNN reported FoxNews is now under federal investigation by USPIS and the Justice Department for settlement payments and the overall environment at the network.
  64. A new CNN/OCR poll found that 2/3 of Americans do not believe Trump is honest and trustworthy.
  65. Koi, the restaurant in Trump Soho, became the latest Trump business to suffer a decline in business and close. Unlike Trump Hotel DC, Koi didn’t have the benefit of foreign diplomats patronizing it to win favor.
  66. The Trump regime announced Friday that the EPA website would be undergoing changes, and then removed climate science from public view.
  67. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner will go on without Trump tonight. He will instead hold a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

All photos taken by me as I walked the streets of NYC & Philadelphia in March & April 2017:

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Moloch
[moh-lok, moluh k]
noun
1.a deity whose worship was marked by the propitiatory sacrifice ofchildren by their own parents. II Kings 23:10; Jer. 32:35.
2.anything conceived of as requiring appalling sacrifice:the Moloch of war.
3.(lowercase) a spiny agamid lizard, Moloch horridus, of Australiandeserts, that resembles the horned lizard.
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Please come back next week for “Politiks of Graffiti 26!”