The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hushpuppy, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. DeathHamster Member

  2. The Internet Member

    I'm having Katie Holmes flashbacks. I wanna say, "Free Melania!" But I dunno if she wants out or not. Maybe she can put up with the bullshit so long as she gets paid and doesn't have to put on a happy act.

    It is springtime. What is with the funerary attire?
  3. Manchester or some protestant weirdness about church atire, or they just found out Jezus died.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Old dumb question, google it fool!
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Pope looks glum after Vatican meeting with Donald Trump

    Encounter considered more successful than their first but was noteworthy for its sombre tone

    By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian


    Pope Francis once said that Christians must have “cheerful faces and eyes full of joy”. But there was little evidence of those emotions as Donald Trump descended on the Vatican on Wednesday for his first face-to-face encounter with the Argentinean pontiff.

    The encounter was ultimately considered a success following a rocky start to the pair’s relationship last year, when Francis questioned Trump’s Christian credentials. But despite a warm trading of gifts and humorous exchange between Pope Francis and the first lady, Melania Trump – in which the pope asked if she fed him a popular kind of Slovenian cake – the meeting was noteworthy for its sombre tone at the start.

    Greeting the US president in the papal library, Francis did not exude his usual warmth and cheerfulness even as Trump proclaimed that it was a “great honour” to meet him.

    Photographs taken after their meeting showed a glum-looking pope, in contrast to the smiles when Francis met Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, who reportedly used to carry a rosary with him that was given to him by the pontiff.

    The tensions were perhaps to be expected: the two disagree on the issues that lie closest to Francis’s heart, from climate change to the need to integrate and accept migrants of all faiths.

    As they sat down opposite one another at a large wooden desk, Francis signalled to the president that it was best to talk out of the earshot of reporters and cameras, who were quickly led out of the papal library. The two then had a 29-minute chat with only the translator present, not quite as long as the nearly hour-long conversation the pope had with Obama when they met in 2014.

    “Obviously there was no evidence of the great chemistry he had with Obama. There was something special there with him,” said Austen Ivereigh, the pope’s biographer.

    “I think it was a solemn occasion that called for formality and protocol and both demonstrated that … they looked much more relaxed at the end,” he added.

    The discussion was described as “cordial” in a statement by the Holy See, which said “satisfaction was expressed” for the good US relationship with the Vatican and their “joint commitment in favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience”.

    “It is hoped that there may be serene collaboration between the state and the Catholic church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants,” the statement said.

    Left unsaid was the fact that the Trump administration’s policies on migrants have been condemned by Francis’s allies in the US, including Joe Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

    They also discussed world affairs, including interfaith dialogue and peace in the Middle East, with emphasis on the protection of Christians.

    Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state who accompanied the president, later confirmed that Trump and Francis had a “pretty extensive” conversation about terrorist threats and the radicalisation of young people.

    By the end of the half-hour private meeting, once the door to the library was reopened, Francis seemed more chipper. Upon meeting the first lady, he asked her whether she fed her husband potica, the pope’s favourite Slovenian dessert. A translator then asked Melania: “What do you give him to eat?”. It was unclear whether the first lady understood the remark, and seemed to say, “pizza?” before smiling and answering, “yes”.

    The US president was also accompanied by his daughter Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, national security adviser HR McMaster, and personal assistant Keith Schiller, as well as press aides.

    Trump arrived at the Vatican at about 8.30am after spending the night at the residence of the US ambassador to Italy. That post has not yet been filled by Trump’s administration.

    Trump was led into the frescoed halls of the Vatican with Melania – dressed in a traditional black dress and veil, as is custom but not mandatory – walking a few feet behind him.

    “It’s not like Trump Tower in New York,” a German archbishop, Georg Gänswein, could be overheard joking to Trump as the president’s entourage shuffled into a Vatican elevator.

    As is customary, the two exchanged gifts. Trump offered the pope a large box that he said was filled with books written by Martin Luther King.

    “This is a gift for you,” Trump was overheard saying. “I think you will enjoy them. I hope you do.”

    Francis gave Trump a large medallion that depicted an olive branch, a symbol of peace, to which the president replied: “We can use peace.” The medallion is traditionally offered to politicians, though the symbol varies.

    The pope also offered Trump some of his latest writings (encyclicals), including his work on the need to protect the environment. “Well, I will be reading them,” Trump said.

    As the president left the room, he expressed gratitude to the man he once called disgraceful for questioning his faith. The dispute was related to Trump’s proposal to build a wall between Mexico and the US – a policy the pontiff had said was not Christian.

    “Thank you, thank you, I won’t forget what you said,” Trump said in his parting words.

    The president then spoke to Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s head of parliament, for nearly an hour. According to Tillerson, the two had a “good exchange on climate change”.

    Continued at
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    This is from December, 2016:
    Trump Isn't Enforcing His Plan to Avoid Violating the Emoluments Clause | Mother Jones

    He doesn't want to inconvenience his hotel guests.


    In January, Donald Trump's lawyer said that the Trump Organization would donate any profits earned at Trump hotels from a foreign government to the US Treasury. The move was supposedly an attempt to stay on the right side of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits US government officials from taking gifts or benefiting from foreign governments. Ethics experts noted that the pledge, issued by attorney Sheri Dillon, did not truly address this violation of the Constitution. Trump needed to divest his ownership of the hotels, they contended. And now new documents released by congressional Democrats show that Trump is not taking even his insufficient effort seriously.

    Because Trump still owns his hotel properties and companies that operate hotels, anyone — a person or business here or overseas, or a foreign government — can directly line the pockets of the US president simply by reserving rooms or renting out conference or banquet facilities at a Trump hotel. Since the inauguration, several foreign governments have rented space at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, and foreign diplomats have reported being approached by Trump hotel staff soliciting business.

    To address the emoluments issue, profits from these sort of transactions involving foreign governments are supposed to go to the US Treasury. But it's hard to determine what counts as profit. And under the plan developed by Dillon, the calculation of profit would be made by the Trump Organization itself, without independent oversight. And there would be no auditing to ensure that all money from foreign governments was covered.

    How does the Trump Organization determine which foreign funds ought to be donated? Not too assiduously, it appears. The House Oversight Committee several weeks ago asked the Trump Organization for information on this process. In response, the company sent the committee a nine-page pamphlet that instructs staff at its properties on how to handle this matter. The pamphlet indicates that the Trump Organization is not enthusiastic about gathering this information and doesn't want its guests bothered by any efforts to comply with the Emoluments Clause.

    The pamphlet notes that the hotels should not calculate the profit from foreign patronage but rather estimate it. After all, it says, calculating the actual profit would take a lot of effort: "To attempt to individually track and distinctly attribute certain business-related costs as specifically identifiable to a particular customer group is not practical, nor would it even be possible without an inordinate amount of time, resources and specialists."

    The pamphlet presents a formula by which managers can estimate how much money should head to the US Treasury. In one example, a hotel that earned $10 million in revenue but had $8.5 million in expenses would be considered to have a profit of 15 percent. If it took in $500,000 from foreign governments, it should donate 15 percent of that revenue — that is, $75,000 — to the US Treasury. (This basic formula does not take into account the complexities of actual transactions. For instance, what if a foreign government bought $1 million in services from a Trump hotel that was only breaking even? This would certainly benefit Trump, but none of these funds would end up being donated.)

    When it comes to identifying foreign revenues, the pamphlet tells Trump hotel staff not to try too hard, for that could annoy the customers: "To fully and completely identify all patronage at our Properties by customer type is impractical in the service industry and putting forth a policy that requires all guests to identify themselves would impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand." So, the pamphlet points out, the Trump Organization will not try to identify customers who do not inform the hotel that they are representing a foreign government.

    The pamphlet, which you can read in full below, was released by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee along with a letter sent to the Trump Organizationon Wednesday morning. The letter, signed by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the committee, complained that the company had failed to fully explain how it would avoid violating the Emoluments Clause.

    In the letter, Cummings scolded the Trump Organization for its seemingly lackadaisical approach. "This pamphlet raises grave concerns about the President's refusal to comply with the Constitution merely because he believes it is 'impractical' and could 'diminish the guest experience of our brand,'" he wrote. "Complying with the United States Constitution is not an option exercise but a requirement for serving as our nation's President."

    Continued at

    Trump Is Not Even Pretending to Keep Promise to Donate All Hotel Profits From Foreign Governments

    By Josh Voorhees, Slate

    Last two paragraphs:

    So, does any of this impact Trump’s defense against charges that he is violating the U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause? While it puts the lie to another one of Trump’s false displays of benevolence, it doesn’t actually change the legal defense he’s offered to date. Team Trump maintains that hotel fees — along with other money his companies make from doing business with foreign governments — don’t amount to emoluments, but instead are simply value-for-value exchanges. In that convenient constitutional reading, the donations in question are simply voluntary. Many legal scholars and ethics experts read the Emoluments Clause differently — and a group of them are currently challenging the president in court — but if the courts were to ultimately side with Trump on the matter — or to decide that the only Constitutional remedy is political — then the fact he isn’t donating as much as he should will have little relevance. Conversely, if the courts were to decide any Trump business with foreign governments is an emoluments violation, then the president is in trouble regardless of how much or little effort his hotels put into their bookkeeping.

    In the meantime, though, we have yet one more piece of evidence suggesting that, when it comes to his family business, there’s no reason to believe Trump has any plans to even live up to his side of a bargain he negotiated with himself.

    More at
  7. The Internet Member

    I smell re-gifting. Because "large box," lol. That is not a normal way to share a special book or books with an important person.
  8. She was auditioning for the job she wants, widow.
  9. The Internet Member

    I got it from the article above posted by TWG. Apparently black dresses are traditional. Dunno why.
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer | The New York Times


    American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence.

    The conversations focused on Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman at the time, and Michael T. Flynn, a retired general who was advising Mr. Trump, the officials said. Both men had indirect ties to Russian officials, who appeared confident that each could be used to help shape Mr. Trump’s opinions on Russia.

    Some Russians boasted about how well they knew Mr. Flynn. Others discussed leveraging their ties to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine living in exile in Russia, who at one time had worked closely with Mr. Manafort.

    The intelligence was among the clues — which also included information about direct communications between Mr. Trump’s advisers and Russian officials — that American officials received last year as they began investigating Russian attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates were assisting Moscow in the effort. Details of the conversations, some of which have not been previously reported, add to an increasing understanding of the alarm inside the American government last year about the Russian disruption campaign.

    The information collected last summer was considered credible enough for intelligence agencies to pass to the F.B.I., which during that period opened a counterintelligence investigation that is continuing.

    Continued at
  11. The Internet Member

    The Trump train rolls fast. Few days ago we heard that somebody now working in the White House "close to the President" is a person of interest in the Russia-Trump investigation. Coyly no name was mentioned.

    So we have a few minutes for some friendly betting. Which of the Trump entourage is likely smelling too strongly of borscht?

    Maybe a crazy zealot like Steve Bannon? Zealots can be recruited unwittingly as useful idiots.

    Maybe someone low profile like Wilbur Ross? He was involved with Cypress Bank, a place where Russian oligarchs take their money in need of laundering.

    I figured Ross was pretty smart, because top financial job and billionaire. Boy was I wrong about him.

    How do derps like this wind up with billions?
  12. Melania wants to be a widow, get it?
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Republican candidate 'body-slams' Guardian reporter in Montana | The Guardian

    Audio obtained of Greg Gianforte attacking a reporter on the eve of a special election to fill a congressional seat vacated by a member of the Trump administration


    The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

    Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.

    “He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”

    Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. Gianforte’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Audio of the abortive interview recorded by Jacobs captures the altercation, and appears to reference previous questioning from another Guardian reporter. “I’m sick and tired of you guys,” Gianforte said. “The last guy who came here did the same thing. Get the hell out of here. Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with the Guardian?”

    “Yes! You just broke my glasses,” Jacobs replied.

    “The last guy did the same damn thing,” Gianforte said.

    “You just body slammed me and broke my glasses,” Jacob said.

    “Get the hell out of here,” Gianforte yelled.

    The altercation took place at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman, Montana. Gianforte was in a side room with a local television news crew when Jacobs attempted to ask his question, according to Jacobs.

    “I decided there was no harm in asking one question, and the worst thing that could happen was they would tell me to go to hell,” Jacobs said.

    Continued at


    Also, here's a May 17, 2017 article about Gianforte:

    Montana GOP Candidate Owns Stake In Company Accused Of Paying Off ISIS | Huffington Post
  14. The Internet Member

    I cannot keep all these Calles straight. Forgive me.
  15. The Internet Member

    From this article:
    Shit, the election is tomorrow. NO WANTS THIS GUY, MONTANA! PLZ VOTE FOR TEH OTHER GUY. Whoever he is, he probably does not suck as much.
    Trump Jr Gianforte.jpeg
  16. The Internet Member

    More insanity. The White House is counting on the government earning 2 trillion dollars more per year after tax cuts are imposed. This is voodoo trickle down economics nobody believes in anymore. Be that as it may, the White House counts this extra income twice in its proposed budget. Deception or derp? You decide.

    My guess is the higher ups actually want the US to go bankrupt so the world's oligarchs can grab all the loot, like they did when the USSR collapsed.
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Montana Republican cited for misdemeanor assault after alleged run-in with reporter one day before election


    The Republican candidate for the Montana at-large U.S. House of Representatives special election, Greg Gianforte, has been cited for misdemeanor assault after he allegedly assaulted a reporter Wednesday -- less than 24 hours before polls are to open in the state -- law enforcement officials said late Wednesday night.

    Sheriff Brian Gootkin of the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement, "Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault (MCA 45-5-201). The nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault. Greg Gianforte received a citation on Wednesday night and is scheduled to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between now and June 7, 2017."

    Continued at
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Lawyers demand $220,000 bond from Trump U. settlement objector | POLITICO


    Class-action lawyers backing a $25 million settlement of suits over alleged fraud in the Trump University real estate seminar program are asking a Florida woman be ordered to post a $220,000 bond in order to pursue an appeal over her right to drop out of the deal.

    Attorneys who won approval of the settlement from U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel in March say Sherri Simpson should have to put up the money to cover the costs of delaying the payments to former students during the protracted time could take for the appeal to be resolved.

    The motion seeking the bond is withering in its criticism of Simpson and her legal counsel.

    "Simpson’s appeal is delaying Settlement payments to Class Members that they may need to get out of debt, replenish retirement funds, or confidently enter retirement. As the appeal may well take years to resolve, payments will be delayed too long for many Class Members who may declare bankruptcy, lose homes, decline in health to the point where they cannot enjoy the money, or die before it is over," plaintiffs' lawyer Rachel Jensen and other attorneys wrote.

    "Simpson’s appeal lacks legal or factual merit ... and her ill-advised pursuit of her objection on appeal will inflict hundreds of thousands of dollars of unanticipated costs on the Class," Jensen added in the motion, which also threatens to seek legal fees from Simpson and her lawyers after the appeal is concluded.

    Under the settlement, former Trump University students are expected to get 80 percent to 90 percent of what they paid — typically about $1,500 for a three-day seminar or $35,000 for an in-depth mentorship program. Trump paid the settlement funds three days before his inauguration in January.

    Continued at
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Cartoon Pope Francis Roasts Donald Trump | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Fresh off of his fat joke about the President at the Vatican on Wednesday morning, Pope Francis stops by The Late Show to keep the Trump burns rolling.

    A Math Problem For Donald Trump | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    With Trump's budget showing a $2 trillion error, Stephen tests the President's arithmetic skills with an elementary-level math pop quiz.

    Trump's Odd Call With New BFF Rodrigo Duterte | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    A leaked transcript shows President Trump being overly complimentary toward the strongman known for waging a violent drug war against his own people.
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jimmy Kimmel on Trump’s Visit with the Pope | Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Donald Trump went to the Vatican to meet the Pope so Jimmy breaks down how that went.

    Bono Reveals How He Feels About Donald Trump | Jimmy Kimmel Live

    Bono talks about his global fight against poverty and AIDS, his history of working with politicians on both sides of the aisle and reveals how he feels about Donald Trump.
  22. DeathHamster Member
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  23. It's no surprise that Mrs Trump shies away from holding his hand, in her shoes I'd be of the same mind. * Let this pantomime be over soon*

    I'm actually feeling sorry for her.
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Federal appeals court upholds block on Trump's travel ban | CNBC

    A federal appeals court has largely upheld the nationwide block of President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily restricting travel from six predominantly Muslim countries.

    The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling blocking the revised version of the executive order. The Trump administration crafted it to better hold up to legal scrutiny than an earlier version did.

    Appeals court upholds nationwide ban against Trump's travel ban | CNN
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's NATO Article 5 omission draws eyebrows | Business Insider


    President Donald Trump drew backlash Thursday after he did not explicitly endorse Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's founding document during his summit with NATO allies in Brussels.

    The article, known as the collective-defense clause, stipulates that an attack on any member is an attack on all. It was invoked for the first time in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — a point raised by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in their respective remarks on Thursday.

    Trump said in his speech that the US would "never forsake the friends that stood by our side" in the aftermath of 9/11. But he did not explicitly endorse Article 5, as every US president since Harry S. Truman has when speaking outside NATO headquarters.

    Instead, Trump used the speech largely to lecture representatives from nearly two dozen member countries for not meeting their "financial obligations" to increase defense spending to 2% of their gross domestic product.

    "If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism," Trump said.

    Nicholas Burns, who was the US's ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush, said it was "a major mistake" for Trump to not "reaffirm publicly and explicitly" the US's Article 5 commitment to NATO.

    "I was the US ambassador to NATO on 9/11 and remain grateful for the unstinting support given to America by our European allies and Canada," Burns said on Thursday. "Trump is not acting like the leader of the West that all US presidents before him have been dating back to Truman."

    Trump's speech at the NATO summit came on the heels of his trip to the Middle East, where he told Arab leaders he was "not here to lecture" them about human rights.

    Richard Haass, a former US diplomat who has been the president of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2003, said on Twitter that Trump's "overly solicitous treatment" of Saudi Arabia stood in contrast to his "public lecturing of NATO allies," which Haass called "unseemly and counterproductive."

    Ivo Daalder, the US's ambassador to NATO from May 2009 to July 2013, said Trump's reluctance to commit to the guiding principle was "a major blow to the alliance."

    "After calling NATO 'obsolete,' Trump needed to say what every predecessor since Truman has said: The US is committed to Article 5," Daalder said on Twitter. "At the core of NATO is the unconditional commitment to collective defense."

    Continued at

    Trump Needles NATO Allies on Debt, Raising Eyebrows at 9/11 Ceremony | NBC News

    President Donald Trump slammed fellow NATO leaders for not meeting financial obligations in a public broadside Thursday that surprised seasoned observers.

    Some world leaders appeared surprised or bemused as the president said 23 of the 28 member states owed "massive amounts of money" to U.S. tax payers. Trump was unveiling a piece of the World Trade Center as part of an inauguration ceremony of NATO's new headquarters when he criticized his fellow leaders for their lack of contributions to the alliance.

    Donald Trump ruffles feathers in Brussels with blunt words during NATO visit | Sky News

    Handshake battles, public barging and raised eyebrows all made for an unforgettable, if undiplomatic, visit by the US President.

    Trump lectured NATO leaders about defense spending. It was awkward to watch. | Vox

    On Thursday, President Trump gave a speech to the assembled heads of government of America’s NATO allies. A good chunk of it — roughly two minutes — was devoted to hectoring them for not spending enough on their militaries.

    “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share,” Trump said. “Over the last eight years, the United States spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined.”

    This was a touch awkward, given Trump’s tense relationship with the Western alliance. And you can see it when you watch the uncomfortable, pained looks on the faces of the leaders of America’s allies. Just watch this video:

    Trump’s behavior at NATO is a national embarrassment | The Washington Post

    Poor NATO. After all of the hoops summit organizers reportedly jumped through to accommodate President Trump and his anemic attention span, he definitely was not on his best behavior. Trump was the party guest whom no one really wants to deal with but has to — because he has more money than anyone else. The party guest who shows up and berates the hosts for not paying for their fair share of the defense spending cake. To borrow from NFL player Marshawn Lynch, Trump acted as though he was there just so he wouldn’t get fined.
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Fox News’ refusal to cover Trump’s scandals makes for bad ratings and boring TV.

    The network is desperately downplaying the biggest political drama of our time — and viewers are tuning out.

    By Will Oremus, Slate


    May 9, 2017, was a momentous day in American politics — unless you were watching Fox News.

    Late that afternoon, President Trump stunned Washington by firing James Comey less than a week after the FBI director had testified to Congress about, among other things, the bureau’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. On the heels of that news came a rapid-fire series of revelations that cast the dismissal in lights ranging from sinister to farcical.

    Trump claimed in his letter axing Comey that the latter had informed him “on three separate occasions” that Trump was not under investigation, which if true would have violated FBI protocol. Trump’s White House sought to justify the firing, implausibly, as a response to Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation — for which Trump had previously praised him. Comey learned of his dismissal when he saw it on TV, and he thought at first it was a prank. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer hid in the bushes — no, among bushes — to dodge questions from reporters. The night unfolded as if scripted by a screenwriter with a gift for dark humor.

    And indeed, to anyone watching the news on CNN or MSNBC, here was a real-life, high-stakes drama wrapped in layers of deception and absurdity, unfolding minute by minute, one jaw-dropping development after the next.

    On Fox News, however, it was an altogether different story. Viewers of the nation’s most-watched cable network were told first that Comey had “resigned,” then that he had been fired and that the move was controversial. But on show after show, from late afternoon into the night, the reasons for Comey’s dismissal and the nature of the controversy were glossed over, and the juicy details that followed went unmentioned. The network’s hosts almost unanimously treated Comey’s firing as a fully justified and unsurprising development and accepted wholesale the White House’s official explanation that Comey had been fired for cause. (Trump and his administration later changed its story multiple times.)

    The widespread shock and criticism of the move from Democrats, pundits, and even some Republicans was explained away as a symptom of the Washington establishment’s deep-seated enmity toward Trump even as the basis for it was never fully elucidated. The word “Russia” was studiously avoided. On his 10 p.m. Eastern show, star opinion host Sean Hannity framed Comey’s firing not in terms of its implications for Trump’s White House but as an opportunity to reopen the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails and put her behind bars at last.

    For more than a decade, Fox News has dominated the cable news ratings with a potent mix of center-right daytime news shows and hard-right prime-time opinion shows — a menu devoured by the largely older, red-state Americans who make up the network’s loyal audience. The network finished 2016 as the most-watched channel in all of basic cable, and in the first months of 2017 it shattered its own ratings records, posting the most-watched quarter in cable TV history. Its remarkable run continued through the first week of this May when it bested center-left CNN and left-leaning MSNBC in key metrics every night.

    But Comey’s firing marked a turning point. The previous night, MSNBC had posted a rare win over Fox News in prime-time ratings among viewers age 25–54, the key demographic for advertisers. The night he was sacked, Fox News plummeted to third in that metric, behind both MSNBC and CNN. Its fortunes have continued to flag since then. Last week, for the first time since Bill Clinton was president, Fox News came in last of the big three cable news networks in weekly prime-time ratings for the 25–54 demographic. MSNBC beat it in total prime-time viewership, too.

    What’s behind the sudden shift? An obvious culprit might seem to be the turmoil within Fox News, which has ousted both its chairman and its biggest star in the past year amid sexual harassment scandals that also chased off several other prominent personalities. No doubt that has played a part. Yet the network appeared to be weathering the storm until quite recently, with Tucker Carlson stepping into the slot long occupied by deposed ratings champion Bill O’Reilly and retaining his enormous viewership.

    No, there’s a more straightforward explanation for Fox’s free fall that has been apparent to habitual channel surfers in recent weeks: that at a time when U.S. political news has never been more interesting, Fox News is becoming boring.

    As critical coverage of Trump among the mainstream media and political insiders has reached a crescendo, CNN and especially MSNBC have become appointment viewing for the politically engaged. Each day now seems to bring new plot twists that rival those of any scripted TV drama. Leakers said Trump shared information he shouldn’t have with Russians. A memo surfaced suggesting that he fired Comey because of his frustration with the FBI’s Russia investigation. He reportedly pushed top intelligence officials to refute charges of Russian collusion. And it has made for nothing if not great TV.

    Yet Fox News’ prime-time hosts — led by its most prominent remaining personalities, Carlson and Hannity — have presented viewers with an alternate reality in which stories embarrassing to the administration can be waved away as either a figment of the “fake news media” or the product of machinations by leakers and liars embedded in the shadowy anti-Trump “deep state.” By steadfastly pooh-poohing the lies, scandals, outrage, and intrigue that have dominated the first months of Donald Trump’s remarkable presidency, the network is all but sitting out the most fascinating domestic political saga of our time. And increasingly, viewers are changing the channel.

    Continued at
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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump reportedly wants to stop Germans from selling so many cars here, where they’re made.

    By Daniel Gross, Slate


    Donald Trump had some tough words for the Germans at the NATO summit in Belgium on Thursday. “The Germans are bad, very bad,” he reportedly told Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Union. “Look at the millions of cars that they’re selling in the USA. Horrible. We’re gonna stop that.”

    It is certainly true that Germany runs a big trade surplus with the world and with the United States. (Last year, the U.S. trade deficit with Germany was nearly $65 billion.) But Trump can’t stop the German cars from coming in to the U.S. because, to a large degree, they’re already here. See, it turns out that many “foreign” cars are actually made in the U.S. while many “American” cars are made in Canada and Mexico. That’s how globalization works today.

    Over the past few decades, in an often-overlooked dynamic, Japanese, German, and Korean automakers have sought to combat protectionist sentiment and insulate themselves from currency gyrations by opening large production facilities in the U.S. — particularly in the union-averse South. IAMA , the trade group for Asian automakers in the U.S., said its members last year produced 4.6 million cars between them, equal to 40 percent of all U.S. vehicle production, at some 300 facilities.

    The German carmakers have been quite aggressive in building up their U.S. operations, too. In 1994, BMW opened a plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Having invested $7.8 billion in the plant, BMW now boasts that it is the company’s largest single facility in the world. And it has spurred investments by a range of suppliers throughout the state. The cars made in Spartanburg there include the EX3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicle, and the X4 and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. Last year, Spartanburg produced a record 411,171 vehicles, about 34,000 per month.

    Continued at
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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jared Kushner Now Under FBI Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Say Officials | NBC News

    Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation | The Washington Post

    Is Jared Kushner A Predatory 'Slumlord?' Some Tenants Seem To Think So | Carbonated.TV

    Like father-in-law, like son. At least that's the case with Jared Kushner, whose real estate company appears to prey on low-income families.

    Jared Kushner Failed to Report Multimillion-Dollar Art Collection | artnet News

    The couple has a taste for the works of market-friendly art stars, but lawyers say it's just for decoration.

    Oops! Ivanka And Jared Failed To Disclose Their Million-Dollar Art Collection | Huffington Post

    Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have quite the formidable art collection, featuring works by big contemporary names like Christopher Wool, Dan Colen, Alex Israel and Alex Da Corte. Yet, according to artnet News, Kushner, who is currently serving as President Donald Trump’s senior advisor, did not report the multimillion-dollar cache in his required financial disclosures.

    How Ivanka Trump's Instagram Feed Tipped Off the Government Ethics Office | Town & Country

    A deep dive into Ivanka's social media posts revealed a valuable and undisclosed art collection.

    Exclusive MAD Magazine cover sneak peek: Jared Kushner latest incarnation of Alfred E. Neuman | Washington Times

    The cover art for the next edition of MAD Magazine will depict President Trump’s son-in-law and presidential adviser Jared Kushner as its mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.

    The magazine exclusively released the covert art to The Washington Times, showing Mr. Kushner with wife Ivanka Trump standing behind a seated Mr. Trump as he sits at his desk in the Oval Office.

    “Special ‘Take Your Kids to Work Every Day’ Issue,” reads the caption for August’s cover.
    • Like Like x 2
  29. It's been a good one this website

    Stay safe
  30. You can say that again!!!!!
  31. White Tara Global Moderator

    KKS check your inbox please
  32. Trump Body Slam
  33. done

  34. etiquette needs to pay it's share first

  35. About a fraction of what Trump should pay he is showing a substantial deficiency in that area imo.

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