Mexico announces . . . again . . . they are not paying for the goddam wall

Courtesy of CNN:

The Mexican government on Sunday again stressed its position that it will not pay for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. 

Trump tweeted Sunday morning: “With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other.

“In response, the country’s foreign ministry released a statement saying Mexico would not pay for a wall or other physical barrier at the border “under any circumstances.” 

“This determination is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but a principle of national sovereignty and dignity,” the statement said.

My daughter-in-law works with young people who have behavioral and cognitive difficulties.

You have to keep repeating yourself to them all the time — just as Mexico has to keep repeating themselves to Trump.

It seems weird that Trump keeps claiming that Mexico will pay for this wall, while at the same time trying to force Congress to pony up the money to start construction.

What is his plan here? Is he going to push Congress into allocating funds for the wall, and then send Mexico the receipt for reimbursement?

Because if we think Mexico is laughing at us now, just wait.

Donald Trump is one sick piece of shit

President Donald Trump visited Texas on Tuesday to survey the damage done to the state by Hurricane Harvey — and he once again couldn’t resist the urge to boast about the large crowd he managed to draw during a public appearance to talk about the event.

Addressing a crowd of supporters in the city of Corpus Christi, Trump marveled at the number of people who showed up to greet him during his visit.

“What a crowd!” Trump said. “What a turnout!”

Meanwhile, the rightwingnutjobs are all over Twitter asking where was President Obama during Hurricane Katrina.  JESUSCHRIST — Katrina was on August 29, 2005 – – – Obama was not elected until 2008, took office in January 2009.

GOP strategists and consultants admit it — they loathe T-Rump but they’re stuck with him

Speaking with Vanity Fair’s David Drucker, conservative pollsters and GOP consultants privately admitted that they loathe President Donald Trump but are stuck with him and have no choice but to make the best of a bad situation.

Among the two dozen strategists and consultants who make a living advising GOP candidates, Drucker found few who like Trump because of his bombast and lack of discipline, with one frustrated consultant admitting, “From a personal standpoint, I think this president f*cking sucks. He’s not even a Republican.”

The dilemma for the consultant class is that they have to advise office-holders and potential candidates on how to shape their message when they have Trump as not only the face of the party, but as the leader of a small but rabid following.

“Your heart tells you that he’s bad for the country. Your head looks at polling data among Republican primary voters and sees how popular he is,” explained a Republican strategist who requested anonymity. “It would be malpractice not to advise clients to attach themselves to that popularity.”

One strategist said that candidates who disagree with Trump have to hold their tongues and ride the Trump wave, adding, “It’s really cynical, but so is politics.”

 According to former Jeb Bush aide Tim Miller, who was willing to go on the record, compromising their principals sometimes comes with the job:

“I worked for candidates who were against gay marriage. I’m gay; I get it. You sometimes have to make choices—no candidate is perfect,” explained Miller. “But this is not just one guy out of 435 voting in [the] House,”This is the first time in modern times where the Republican consulting class does not admire their own president in any way. How do you balance that, providing good advice so that the candidates you work for win? It’s tough, and people have taken different routes.”

“I have a hard time taking him seriously; I don’t believe he’s a true conservative,” one pollster added, while another stated “I’m not a fan of Trump, but I don’t hate him. Most of the time, I just shake my head and say: ‘Really?’”

Another said he agrees with Trump on many issues, but parted ways with the president’s methods and bombast.

“I can be supportive of policies the president is backing. It’s the method that concerns me—the tweeting, the things he says, [the] dust-up with [MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski,] those things,” he confessed. “I’ve watched how he just went and ruined the decorum of presidential rhetoric. That’s where my angst with him lies.”

You can read Drucker’s whole report here.

In other words, these slimeballs have sold their souls so they can bill $1,000 and hour.

T-Rump fired the guy who arranged the poorly-attended Phoenix rally

The former organizer of President Donald Trump’s rallies — who now does the same for the Republican National Committee — was reportedly fired after the president became enraged at a half-full hall for his Phoenix rally last week.

According to Bloomberg Politics, George Gigicos, the former White House director of advance events, was told in no uncertain terms that he would never organize another rally for the president after Phoenix.

Three different sources told Bloomberg that Trump had his top security aide, Keith Schiller, inform Gigicos that he was out.

According to the report, “Gigicos had staged the event in a large multipurpose room. The main floor space was bisected by a dividing wall, leaving part of the space empty. There were some bleachers off to the side, but otherwise the audience was standing — and the scene appeared flat, lacking the energy and enthusiasm of other rallies.”

Trump is known to brag about his crowds, but later video showed that the crowd was even smaller in real life which angered the president who had boasted that 15,000 attendees had showed up — far fewer than local media reported.

 Gigicos left his White House job on July 31 to return to his consulting business, but has continued Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Remember when T-Rump said he had no business deals with Russia? He lied.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

While Donald Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers. 

As part of the discussions, a Russian-born real estate developer urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal and suggested that he could get President Vladimir Putin to say “great things” about Trump, according to several people who have been briefed on his correspondence. 

The developer, Felix Sater, predicted in a November 2015 email that he and Trump Organization leaders would soon be celebrating — both one of the biggest residential projects in real estate history and Donald Trump’s election as president, according to two of the people with knowledge of the exchange. 

Sater wrote to Trump Organization Executive Vice President Michael Cohen “something to the effect of, ‘Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a president?’ ” said one person briefed on the email exchange. Sater emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union when he was 6 and grew up in Brooklyn.

The deal did not go through only because they lacked the land and permits to make it happen.

The deal was abandoned in January 2016, just before the presidential primaries.

So, yes, there was a deal with the Russians being actively pursued even AFTER Trump announced he was running for president.

Personally I think that there are a whole lot of business deals with the Russians, besides the ones we know about, that will soon bubble to the surface.

UPDATE:  Remember when T-Rump walked out of an interview when he was asked about Sater?

Felix Sater, a Trump-linked Russian-born businessman who in 1998 pleaded guilty to taking part in a mafia-related stock fraud scheme, is at the center of the latest revelations surrounding the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russian government officials to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The most recent revelations about Sater are newly unearthed emails that show Sater boasting to longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen that he could get the Russian government’s help to “engineer” a Trump election victory if the then-candidate agreed to a deal to build a new Trump Tower in Moscow.

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in one email to Cohen. “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

Trump has worked with Sater for years, despite the fact that he took part in a $40 million mob-related stock scam. Back in 2013, British program BBC Panorama directly asked Trump why he was still doing real estate deals with Sater, and Trump frantically tried to deflect the question before walking out of the interview all together.

“Well, first of all, we were not in business together, that was a licensing deal,” Trump said.

“But your name’s on it, Mr. Trump!” replied reporter Jon Sweeney.

“Excuse me, but I don’t know, you’re telling me things that I don’t even know about,” Trump replied. “I mean, you’re telling me about Felix Sater. I know who he is…”

Sweeney then interrupted him.

“But for a year, you stayed in bed with Felix Sater, and he was connected with the mafia!” Sweeney pressed.

“Again, Jon, maybe you’re thick, but when you have a signed contract, you can’t, in this country, just break it,” Trump replied. “And by the way, Jon, I hate to do this, but I do have that big group of people waiting, so I have to go.”

Trump at that point got up and walked out of the interview.

Sater’s financial relationship with Trump dates back to at least 2003, when the Trump Organization rented out office space to Sater’s former company.

Even though Trump initially tried to distance himself from Sater after news of his criminal past came to light in 2007, he subsequently tapped Sater in 2010 to scout out real estate. Additionally, Sater presented clients with business cards that claimed he was a senior adviser to Trump, and his office was on the same floor as Trump’s office in Trump Tower.

UPDATE:  T-Rump said “I have no business deals with Russia.”  But he had just signed a letter of intent to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Four months into his campaign for president of the United States, Donald Trump signed a “letter of intent” to pursue a Trump Tower-style building development in Moscow, according to a statement from the then-Trump Organization Chief Counsel Michael Cohen.

The involvement of then-candidate Trump in a proposed Russian development deal contradicts repeated statements Trump made during the campaign, including telling ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in July 2016 that his business had “no relationship to Russia whatsoever.”

The disclosure from Cohen, who has described himself as Trump’s personal lawyer, came as Cohen’s attorney gave congressional investigators scores of documents and emails from the campaign, including several pertaining to the Moscow development idea.

—-

Cohen specifically says in his statement that Trump was told three times about the Moscow proposal.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/trump-knew-moscow-tower-proposal-campaign-lawyer/story?id=49472342

September is likely to break the GOP away from T-Rump — if it doesn’t break the nation first

So far, Hurricane Harvey and the flooding of southeast Texas kept popular vote loser Donald Trump from dwelling his obsession of last week, keeping his feud with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fired up. There’s plenty more time for that, though, in this last week of August recess before all legislative hell breaks loose.

Because Congress ate up so much of the year with a failed push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have an extremely narrow time frame left to pass a budget, raise the debt ceiling, reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Flood Insurance Program and appropriate funding to stabilize Obamacare’s marketplaces. This would be a challenge even with full support from the White House, but it becomes nearly impossible with a president whose spasms of rage, loose grasp of policy, and itchy Twitter finger threaten to derail the delicate deal-making process. […]The House and Senate return from recess Sept. 5, the day after Labor Day, and will only be in session for 12 days in September. During that time, they must negotiate and pass a slew of bills to keep the government running and avoid defaulting on the national debt.

Besides raising the debt ceiling and approving either a short- or long-term budget by the end of September, Congress must also reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the National Flood Insurance Program before their funding expires.

Republican leaders on the Hill have already conceded that, given the tight deadline, their promises of a return to “regular order” budget votes will have to wait, and the best they can hope for is a short-term continuing resolution to stave off a government shutdown for a few more months.

That’s if Trump doesn’t decide he’s going to shut down the government over his border wall funding, and depending how many maniacs from the far-right House Freedom Caucus decide to help him. He could also decide that he wants Obamacare repeal before anything else. Or he could decide he wants to bomb North Korea before doing anything else. We’re moving into what was already going to be a hellacious September with an extremely unpredictable and unstable White House.

Add to all that a deepening Russia investigation that’s narrowing in and heating up on Trump. Whether he’s trying to distract from that with the kind of antics he displayed last week—the insane rally in Phoenix, doubling down on his support for white supremacists, pardoning racist former Sheriff Joe Arpaio—or whether he’s just lashing out and melting down because that’s what he does under extreme pressure, that’s the new normal. The question is how long congressional Republicans are willing to put up with his declaration of war on them and the nation.

 

T-Rump took $17 million in Hurricane Sandy damages for only $3,000 loss

As Hurricane Harvey bears down on Texas, some are recalling that Donald Trump claimed that a hurricane damaged his private Mar-a-Lago club in 2005, but investigators found little evidence to back up the assertions.

LawNewz flashed back to the 2005 revelation in a Monday report about Trump’s $17 million insurance claim.

According to an investigation by the Associated Press in 2016, there was “little evidence of such large-scale damage” at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump claimed in a 2007 deposition that the damage was widespread: “Landscaping, roofing, walls, painting, leaks, artwork in the — you know, the great tapestries, tiles, Spanish tiles, the beach, the erosion.”

“It’s still not what it was,” he said.

But Trump’s account did not match up with others who spoke to the AP:

Trump’s description of extensive damage does not match those of Mar-a-Lago members and even Trump loyalists. In an interview about the estate’s history, Trump’s longtime former butler, Anthony Senecal, recalled no catastrophic damage. He said Hurricane Wilma, the last of a string of storms that barreled through in 2004 and 2005, flattened trees behind Mar-a-Lago, but the house itself only lost some roof tiles.

“The only permits that appeared hurricane-related were for $3,000 in repairs to storm-damaged outdoor lighting and the vacuuming of sand from the property’s beachfront pool,” the news agency noted. “Likewise, records of the city’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission reflected no repair work conducted following the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons.”

In the 2007 deposition, Trump admitted that he had pocketed some of the insurance money, which was permitted under his policy.

 “We continue to spend the money because we continue to suffer the ravages of that hurricane,” Trump insisted. “We’re continuously spending money. It really beat up Mar-a-Lago very badly.”

The Associated Press pointed out that it is illegal under local government rules to spend more than $450,000 on renovations without a permit.