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Category Archives: Trumpedation


Once again the TOTUS menagerie jumps through hoops.MA

12/11/17 12:57 PM—Updated 12/11/17 01:55 PM

By Steve Benen
As regular readers know, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured lawmakers and the public that he had dozens of officials working on creating a detailed analysis of the Republican tax plan he helped craft. The report, Mnuchin added, would be available before Congress voted.
None of that was true. The New York Times reported two weeks ago that officials inside the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy claim to have been “largely shut out of the process” and haven’t “worked on the type of detailed analysis” that Mnuchin described.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 11/30/17, 9:17 PM ET
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin fails to deliver promised tax report
Two weeks later, the good news is that Donald Trump’s Treasury Department has prepared an analysis and made it available to the public. The bad news is, it’s so absurd, I almost feel sorry for the officials who work there. Politico reported:

The Treasury Department said Monday that the GOP tax plan currently before Congress would need an assist from other Trump administration priorities to pay for itself.
Tax cuts alone aren’t enough, Treasury said in a one-page analysis, citing welfare reform and infrastructure spending as additional boosts to the economy.
The entire document is online here (pdf).
There are three key angles to this, and let’s start with the substance of the Treasury’s document. Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration have sworn up and down that the GOP’s tax package would pay for itself, ignoring the conclusions of every independent analysis, including data from Congress’ own Joint Committee on Taxation.
The Treasury Department argued this morning that the Republican promise will prove to be true if (a) we assume that the regressive tax breaks supercharge the economy; and (b) policymakers also agree to pass Trump’s non-existent infrastructure plan, Trump’s non-existent welfare reform plan, and wait for Trump’s regulatory reform plan to work wonders.
In other words, the Trump administration is conceding that Republicans are wrong about one of the core promises of the party’s own tax plan. The Treasury effectively declared this morning, “The tax plan will pay for itself if everyone agrees to pass a bunch of other proposals, which haven’t been written, and which have nothing to do with the tax plan.”

Second, let’s not skip past that “welfare reform” tidbit too quickly. Trump’s Treasury Department is now saying, in writing, that Republicans can pay for tax breaks for the wealthy, not only by raising taxes on the middle class, but by cutting benefits to the nation’s most vulnerable. The document is describing class warfare at its most depraved – taking money from food-stamp beneficiaries, and giving it to millionaires.
And third, the entire Treasury Department analysis literally fits on one page. If we exclude the headline, the document isn’t quite 400 words (by comparison, the blog post you’re reading right now is 622 words).
What the Trump administration released this morning isn’t an analysis of tax legislation; it’s a joke. Treasury officials had plenty of time to do a thorough policy review, even massage the numbers in a favorable way, and produce something that wasn’t laughable, and all they ended up producing is a one-page document that further contradicts the Republican line about the GOP tax plan paying for itself.
Maybe Treasury did a real analysis and Mnuchin threw it away because it was a political disaster. Maybe qualified officials were told what to write, but they couldn’t defend the indefensible. Either way, today’s report is an embarrassment.
Postscript: I’m thinking about starting a new “one-page” franchise, counting the instances in which Trump World keeps important documents to a single page. The White House’s original tax “plan,” for example, was one page. Four months later, Republican officials released a revised tax blueprint, which was even shorter. Trump also reportedly likes to keep intelligence briefings to one page.
Policy depth isn’t exactly this gang’s top priority.

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Dino-Ray Ramos
Deadline December 3, 2017

Last week, Donald Trump said that it wasn’t his voice on the now-infamous “Grab ’em by the p*ssy” Access Hollywood tape. Now, Billy Bush has come forward to say “Of course he said it. And we laughed along…”
The former Today co-host and Access Hollywood reporter went on to say in a New York Times article, “Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.”
Bush’s op-ed comes before his upcoming appearance on Monday night’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Although Bush issued an apology for his part in the Access Hollywood tape, he lost his job at Today about a week later. In his article, Bush recalls reading about the women coming forward accusing Trump of harassment as he revisits the Access Hollywood tape aftermath. He says that this is a moment in American life that is “painful for many women” and how he knows “the anguish of being inexorably linked to Donald Trump.”
“President Trump is currently indulging in some revisionist history, reportedly telling allies, including at least one United States senator, that the voice on the tape is not his,” he writes. “This has hit a raw nerve in me.”
In regards to sexual misconduct and harassment, he goes on to say that he has faith of exposing injustices and hopes that “the current media drama of who did what to whom will give way to a constructive dialogue between mature men and women in the workplace and beyond.”
There is a regretful tone in his article as he says “Today is about reckoning and reawakening, and I hope it reaches all the guys on the bus.”
He ends by getting personal and calls this last year an “odyssey” for himself. “I know that I don’t need the accouterments of fame to know God and be happy, he said. “After everything over the last year, I think I’m a better man and father to my three teenage daughters — far from perfect, but better.”

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By Todd Gitlin | Nov 30, 2017
When Trump launched his n+1st vileness on Twitter yesterday, retweeting phony and incendiary videos (talk about “fake news”!) posted by a lunatic-fringe white Christian Muslim-hating British website, Britain First, the reaction from anti-racists was quickly and rightly outraged. Britain First traffics in demographic panic that can be summarized easily: The white Christians are vanishing! THEY are taking over.
Its chiefs, in particular deputy leader Jayda Fransen, roam Europe, not just Britain, crusading against Muslims and mosques. After being arrested at a Belfast rally, she popped back in a video to call her arrest evidence that “Britain has become Sharia compliant and our establishment has now instituted legislation that constitutes blasphemy laws here in the U.K.” This was way too much for Prime Minister Theresa May, whose spokesman declared after Trump’s retweets:
Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies, … stoke tensions, … cause anxiety to law-abiding people. … [T]he prejudiced rhetoric of the far right … is the antithesis of the values this country represents, decency, tolerance and respect.
Nevertheless, May declined to lift her invitation for a Trump state visit.
Britain First is a fringe sect whose videos are slapped-up, scattershot, mislabeled, and concocted shouts of fire in crowded theaters. Ordinarily, though, they have limited reach. Even after a massive boost from Trump, their Twitter subscribers number 27.3 thousand. Trump’s blast away to 43.6 million. This is how the fringe migrates mainstream. This is how a trickle-down of vileness acquires a fire hose.
But the big story doesn’t stop with Trump’s globe-wide gift to the worst devils of human nature. It’s not even that Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the tweets on the ground that, whether or not the videos are true to reality, “the threat” [of Islam] is real.” The big story is that Trump, or his trusted Ministers of Internet Intake, inhabits a bottom-barrel world in which Fox News and Infowars and Gateway Pundit and—sure—Britain First loom large. They’re picking this stuff up, combining through it, repurposing it all the time.
They’re picking it up selectively and combing it to weaponize it most efficiently. As The Guardian pointed out, “The Islamophobic videos were originally tweeted by Fransen on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning before being picked up by Trump. They were not sequentially posted, meaning the president would have had to scroll through her timeline before picking out which videos to retweet.”
Martin Callanan, the Conservative Party’s Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, told the BBC: “I can only assume [Trump] has made a mistake and that he didn’t realize who Britain First were.” But no, Trump doesn’t make that sort of mistake. Along with the rest of what he is pleased to call his “movement,” he lives in an intellectual universe, if we can call it that, where race-hatred, Islamophobia, Jew-hatred, and refugee-hatred are the overpowering themes.
To anyone paying attention, this has been crystal-clear since at least early July 2016, when Trump retweeted a red Star of David shape slapped onto a bed of $100 bills—an image derived from the online white-supremacist movement. For at least the fifth time, Trump’s Twitter account was sharing a meme from the racist “alt-right” and offering no explanation why. (I wrote about his immersion in online loathsomeness then for billmoyers.com.)
Ben Kharakh and Dan Primack, at Fortune.com had more detail:
Throughout his campaign, Trump has been blithely recycling tweets from neo-Nazis and white supremacists who revel in the phrase “white Genocide.” They use those tweets, copy them and reuse them. Thus, consciously or not, they flash signals to the Make America White Again crowd—come on board. As one prominent neo-Nazi put it, Trump is “giving us the old wink-wink.”
Kharakh and Primack scrupulously tried to give Trump an out, writing:
It is possible that Trump―who, according to the campaign, does almost all of his own tweeting—is unfamiliar with the term “white genocide” and doesn’t do even basic vetting of those whose tweets he amplifies to his 7 million followers. But the reality is that there are dozens of tweets mentioning @realDonaldTrump each minute, and he has an uncanny ability to surface ones that come from accounts that proudly proclaim their white supremacist leanings.
Trump said then that he doesn’t pay attention to the source of his tweet material. He sees what he likes and retweets it. Asked by Kharakh and Primack for more detail about his Twitter practice, his spokesperson Hope Hicks “declined to explain how Trump searches through his Twitter feed. Hicks also declined (repeatedly) to answer Fortune’s question as to whether or not Trump believes that white genocide is a legitimate concern.”
Here’s the point: Trump’s Twitter pattern tells you a lot about the crowd he or his Twitter-reading staff hang out with. If you believe that Trump or his top lieutenants just happen to stumble on these racist tweets—singling them out from among the vast universe of possible source materials, perhaps because neo-Nazi design ideas are so “interesting”—then I’ll buy you a life membership at Mar-A-Lago and a lifetime supply of Pepto-Bismol to accompany it.
The great big story is not just that Trump lies and bullshits. It’s not only that Trump and his campaigners court Americans who want to make America white and Christian again. The problem is not only the vicious and lunatic legions who creep out from under the rocks at his signals. He lives in their world. He breathes their air. Tweets like those of Britain First don’t fly onto his screen at will. A slime-pit of race and religion hatred is the universe where Trump and his movement live.

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Michael1942’s Blog
“Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur” (“what is freely asserted is freely dismissed”)

 

The article below are copied from the Tax Policy Center. The entire document is extensive and I believe we should all read it as TOTUS probably does or did  not. I urge you to look this up for yourselves to get the full picture and compare what has been said about tax reform to what the actual tax system shows as far as spending and income. Remember Congress is responsible for any laws creating or changing tax laws. Looking at current proposed “tax reforms”, where is the truth?MA
What are the sources of revenue for the federal government?  TO add insult to injury TOTUS has been consistently trying to undo whatever former President Obama did no matter what the resulting actions may have on all of us. His recent Asian tour shows how other leaders see him. They received him with great pomp and celebrity but he won nothing in return. He will return home and bloviate about his trip and what he accomplished which is actually  zero. MA
Federal Budget
1/4>
Federal Budget and Economy
Q.What are the sources of revenue for the federal government?
A.Roughly 80 percent comes from the individual income tax and the payroll taxes that fund social insurance programs (figure 1). Another 9 percent comes from the corporate income tax, and the rest is from a mix of sources.
Total revenues
In fiscal year (FY) 2016[1] the federal government collected revenues of $3.3 trillion—about 17.8 percent of GDP. Over the past 50 years, federal revenue has averaged 17.4 percent of GDP, ranging from 20.0 percent (in 2000) to 14.6 percent (most recently in 2008 and 2009).
Individual Income Tax
The individual income tax has been the largest single source of federal revenue since 1950, amounting to 47.3 percent of the total and 8.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016. In recent years, individual income tax revenue has climbed as high as 9.9 percent of GDP (in 2000) at the peak of the 1990s economic boom and dropped as low as 6.1 percent (in 2010) following the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

 

Payroll Taxes
The payroll taxes on wages and earnings that fund Social Security and the hospital insurance portion of Medicare make up the largest portion of social insurance receipts. Other sources include payroll taxes for the railroad retirement system and the unemployment insurance program and federal workers’ pension contributions. All told, social insurance levies represented 34.1 percent of federal revenue in 2016.
The creation of the Medicare program in 1965, combined with periodic increases in Social Security payroll taxes, caused social insurance receipts to grow from 1.6 percent of GDP in 1950 to 6.2 percent in 2009. A temporary reduction in employees’ share of Social Security taxes—part of the stimulus program following the financial meltdown—reduced social insurance receipts to 5.3 percent of GDP in 2011 and 2012. They remained below 6.0 percent of GDP in 2013 and 2014.
Corporate Income Tax
The tax on corporate profits yielded 9.2 percent of government revenue in 2016, a revenue source that has been trending downward. Revenue from the tax has fallen from an average of 3.7 percent of GDP in the late 1960s to an average of just 1.5 percent of GDP over the past five years.
Federal Excise Taxes
Taxes on purchases of a mélange of goods and services, including gasoline, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and airline travel, generated 2.9 percent of federal revenue in 2016. But these taxes, too, are on the wane: excise tax revenues have fallen steadily from an average of 1.7 percent of GDP in the late 1960s to an average of 0.5 percent over 2012–16.
Other Revenues
The federal government also collects revenue from estate and gift taxes, customs duties, earnings from the Federal Reserve System, and various fees and charges. Total, these sources generated 6.5 percent of federal revenue in FY 2015. They have averaged between 0.6 and 1.1 percent of GDP since 1965. In recent years, the figure has been on the high end of that range because of unusually high profits of the Federal Reserve Board related to its efforts to stimulate the economy since 2008.
Changes over time
The individual income tax has provided nearly half of total federal revenue since 1950, while other revenue sources have waxed and waned. Excise taxes brought in 19.0 per-cent of total revenue in 1950, but only about 3.0 percent in recent years. The share of revenue coming from the corporate income tax dropped from about a third of the total in the early 1950s to just over a tenth in 2016. In contrast, payroll taxes provided a third of revenue in 2016, more than three times the share in the early 1950s.

[1] All years in entry are fiscal years.
Data Sources
Office of Management and Budget. Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2018, Historical Tables. Table 2.1. “Receipts by Source: 1934–2022” and Table 2.3. “Receipts by Source as Percentages of GDP: 1934–2022.”
Further Reading
Joint Committee on Taxation. 2014. Overview of the Federal Tax System as in Effect for 2014. JCX-25-14. Washington, DC: Joint Committee on Taxation.

How does the federal government spend its money?
Federal Budget
<2/4>
Federal Budget and Economy
Q. How does the federal government spend its money?
A. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, about 60 percent of federal spending paid for programs not subject to regular budget review, while just over a third covered discretionary programs for which Congress must regularly appropriate funds. Less than a tenth went for interest on government debt (figure 1).

Mandatory Spending
Mandatory spending covers outlays that are controlled by laws other than appropriations acts. Almost all such spending is for “entitlements,” for which expenditures depend on individual eligibility and participation; they are funded at whatever level is needed to cover the resulting costs. Mandatory spending has grown from about a quarter of the budget in 1962 to 60 percent in 2015 (figure 2). This is in large part because of

new entitlements, including Medicare and Medicaid (both of which started in 1965), the earned income tax credit (1975), and the child tax credit (1997). In addition, rapid growth of both the elderly and disabled populations has contributed to increased Social Security and Medicare spending.

Nearly 60 percent of mandatory spending in 2015 was for Social Security and other income support programs (figure 3). Most of the remainder paid for the two major government health programs, Medicare and Medicaid.

Discretionary Spending
Discretionary spending covers programs that require appropriations by Congress. Unlike mandatory spending, both the programs and the authorized levels of spending require regular renewal by Congress. The share of the budget going for discretionary spending has fallen from two-thirds in 1962 to about one-third now.
About half of FY 2015 discretionary spending went for defense, and most of the rest for domestic programs,

including agricultural subsidies, highway construction, and the federal courts (figure 4). Only 4 percent of discretionary spending funded international activities, such as foreign aid.

 

Debt Service
Interest on the national debt has fluctuated over the past half century along with the size of the debt and interest rates. It climbed from 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1962 to more than 15 percent in the mid-1990s, fell to about 7 percent in the early 2000s, and has fallen even more recently, as interest rates have tumbled to historically low levels. While the national debt reached a peacetime high of 74 percent of GDP in 2014 and dipped just under that level in 2015, debt service accounted for just 6 percent of federal spending in 2015.
Data Sources
Congressional Budget Office. Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2016 to 2026, Historical Budget Data.
Office of Management and Budget. Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2017, Historical Tables. Table 7.1. “Federal Debt at the End of Year: 1940–2021”; Table 8.1. “Outlays by Budget Enforcement Act Category: 1962–2021”; Table 8.5. “Outlays for Mandatory and Related Programs: 1962–2021”; and Table 8.7. “Outlays for Discretionary Programs: 1962–2021.”
Federal Budget and Economy Federal spending

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The advent of the Trump administration’s cabinet choices are beginning to bear fruit, bitter, bitter fruit. From education to the EPA we are being sent down a path that will harm us for years. The current attempt on tax reform is yet one more slap to the faces of Americans in the name of improvement and more money in the pockets of “middle class Americans”. All of the buzz words and sound bites put out on a daily basis are not worthy of being called information. The so called tax reform touted as being better benefits only the so called 1%. There is no real middle class anymore, there are the 99% which covers everyone who does not make the imaginary middle class wage. It is well to remember that Congressional members will not be affected by any tax reforms just as they would not be affected by any changes in the ACA (Obamacare). I contend that our faith in the elected members of the Government from the Whitehouse to the Congress is misplaced as they talk a good game but have not delivered in years. What they have delivered is a divide that pits most Americans against one another so that they (administration and Congress) can maintain power. We have been fed so much erroneous information that the truth is only one more lie from drowning. All of the activity on ACA and Tax reform is about campaign promises and staying in office. We the voters have an obligation to speak out and complain about what the Congress and the Administration is doing. Do not be fooled or ignore what is coming out of Washington as much of it is untrue or “alternate facts”. If you have been paying attention at all you must realize that we are in trouble and only we  voters can correct it. We must write, call, email, and tweet our representatives and Congress until we get their attention, do not wait for someone else to do it. The way to look at this except for a few, our Congress and TOTUS do not care about you and will continue to do things in your name without your permission.  Disregard the “titles” like conservative, progressive, liberal, right and left, these word wars are just distractions and  the usual smoke and mirrors of politics. Get real and pay attention. Remember what happens to one affects us all even if you don’t think so.

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Hasan Piker, Contributor

Political Commentator / The Young Turks
Conservatives don’t own patriotism.
10/18/2017 05:11 pm ET Updated 12 hours ago

If You Think Protesting Racism Is Unpatriotic, But Disrespecting Military Widows Isn’t, You’re Probably NOT A Patriot

I’m getting real sick and tired of certain conservatives thinking they own patriotism and love for America when they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.

It started with Colin Kaepernick, it has spread, it has infected the league – I would like to ask these players, what exactly are you kneeling for and why have you chosen the flag and the anthem to do it?
Leave it up to Tomi and the good folks over at Fox News to blatantly miss the point of a protest, then admit to not understanding the point and still go along with their propaganda.
Here’s the most concise summarization of why these players #takeaknee. Kaepernick said this around a year ago and was blackballed by the NFL for it:
“Specifically, it’s police brutality. Cops are getting paid leave, for killing people and not being held accountable ― that’s not right.”
It is incredibly revealing to me that Fox News and specifically Tomi Lahren have covered Colin Kaepernick and the NFL protests hundreds of times this past year to now come out and basically admit that they’ve just been criticizing these players without a single clue what they’re going on about. But I guess that’s the point, it’s not about hearing the other side out, but to get them to stop ― by whatever means necessary.
I also like how this is a hypothetical question, as if Tomi would like to know, but that’s “impossible,” so there’s no way of knowing for sure, which is ironically the whole point of this protest to begin with.
Also pretty much every player who’s knelt has been asked about why they’re protesting, so in fact, it would be really easy to check on.
And even if Tomi was incapable of asking the players for ― or reading literally just one article on the issue, she could have at least done her due diligence and asked maybe one veteran, Nate Boyer ― a green beret ― what HE thinks about Kaepernick taking a knee?
Nate served, after all, and everyone at Fox News loves to drape themselves with the flag and respect our troops when it suits them. Nate’s not trans either so they can respect his service.
I bring Nate up because he was also initially mad at Kaepernick and assumed he was disrespecting his service, so he wrote him a letter, and Kaepernick immediately agreed to meet with him.
First thing he said when we met was: ‘I want you to know, I appreciate your service more than anything.’ I expressed to him maybe there’s a different way to demonstrate, where you’re showing more respect for those that lay down their lives for what that flag and anthem stands for. I suggested kneeling.
Colin Kaepernick, at a time when it seemed nearly impossible to do so, sat down and listened. And Nate’s suggestion is why he changed his form of protest from sitting to knee
I urge everyone to watch the video above. It is incredibly powerful and proves that we can find common ground, as long as we have these uncomfortable conversations with those we do not agree with. This was the understanding Nate came to, following their conversation:
I respect those men and women in uniform, but the ones that aren’t doing it the right way, we have to correct it. We need to fix it, he’s right about that. // It is an issue, and we’ve come along way, but we still have a long way to go.
Nate was open to having a conversation and he listened to the other side and was able to change his mind, and it’s terrifying that Fox News promotes the antithesis of that understanding in most of their coverage. An understanding that extends to white supremacists wearing swastikas, but not to people protesting racism.
But here’s why I’ve had it with conservatives hijacking the conversation when it comes to patriotism, respecting the flag, the troops and America.
Are the thousands of veterans speaking out on social media about how these protestors have a right to take a knee not valid? Are the hundreds of NYPD officers who took a knee in solidarity unpatriotic? I can see no other reason as to why Fox News never features these stories in their round the clock anti-protest coverage?
Is there no police brutality problem? Police have killed at least 223 black Americans since Kaep took a knee, perhaps this not an issue for Fox News? Is it not an issue when an unarmed black kid is five times more likely to be killed than a white peer?
How is it that conservatives are able to hijack patriotism, when they use it simply as a talking point to disenfranchise others?
Why is Trump a pillar of American patriotism when he frequently says the most unpatriotic sh*t? So, I’m asking conservatives, is this really the brand of patriot you want to be?
Trump on Mccain: “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured okay?”
I’m sure you all heard how Trump dealt with the one of the widow of the four slain U.S. soldiers in Niger.
First he lied about how other presidents never called family members of those who died in combat. Then when he did call Myeisha Johnson, the pregnant wife of one of the slain soldier’s he chose an unusual form consolation: “Your husband knew what he signed up for.”
Not sure that’s the kind of patriotism you want to promote.
The kind that has also mocked the family of a slain Muslim veteran very publicly. Was that respecting the flag and the military?
Criticizing America in order to make it better for everyone is not unpatriotic, and it is absolutely more patriotic than hurling insults at John Mccain, or letting the insurance markets in certain states implode by not making CSR payments just because Trump wants to undermine Obama’s legacy.
It’s almost like Tomi and her ilk want to pretend they have no idea what the protests are about because their whole goal is to avoid at all costs talking about our racist criminal justice system, even if it makes them all look like a bunch of complete morons.
So this is my message to conservatives who watch Fox News, if you see the problem with trying to pass off bigotry or efforts to silence fellow citizens as patriotism, speak out, have an uncomfortable conversation with others who don’t agree with you – don’t let assholes hijack what it means to be American or patriotic and claim that the people pushing policies that will hurt their fellow citizens are the real patriots.
You can follow me on Instagram and on Twitter for more hot takes. You can find all of my videos on youtube.

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By Nick Visser

A Florida congresswoman described President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger as “insensitive” after the president reportedly said the man “must’ve known what he signed up for.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) was in the car with Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, when Trump called her Tuesday and spoke for about five minutes, according to South Florida’s NBC affiliate.

“Sarcastically he said: ‘But you know he must have known what he signed up for,’” Wilson recounted to NBC6. “How could you say that to a grieving widow? I couldn’t believe… and he said it more than once. I said this man has no feelings for anyone. This is a young woman with child who is grieved to her soul.”

Wilson, speaking to CNN, said her community was angry about the comments and described Johnson as a local hero.

The White House declined to comment on the account in statements given to The Washington Post and an ABC affiliate.

“The president’s conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private,” an unnamed official said in the statement.

Four Green Berets were killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month, and two others were wounded. Following a question about why he hadn’t spoken about their deaths publicly or called troops’ families, Trump said Monday that he had written personal letters and that he planned to call later. He then used the opportunity to falsely assert that his predecessors “didn’t make calls” themselves.

Former President Barack Obama frequently called the families of soldiers killed in action and visited those wounded during his administration. President George W. Bush visited troops at the Walter Reed medical center 16 times before he left office.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed on Twitter late Tuesday that Trump had called all four families of those killed, saying he offered “condolences on behalf of the country.”

Trump returned to the subject Tuesday, using the death of Chief of Staff John Kelly’s son in 2010 to illustrate Obama’s record on calling bereaved families, saying his predecessor did not call in that instance. Obama invited Kelly and his wife, Karen, to a breakfast in 2011 for Gold Star families who have lost children in combat. They were seated at a table with first lady Michelle Obama.

Wilson on Tuesday described Trump’s call as “insensitive” in an interview to a local ABC affiliate. She was with Myeshia Johnson and her two children, ages 2 and 6, as she watched the casket carrying her husband arrive at Miami International Airport.

“He should have not have said that,” Wilson told ABC 10, before repeating, “He shouldn’t have said it.”

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The Roman god Janus had two faces one to look backwards and one to look forward. Our month of January is named after him. The idea is to remember the past and look to the future. I would offer that TOTUS is like Janus except his two faces spew lies that cover lies, while telling another lie. It is unfortunate that hardcore Trump supporters do not realize that he has lied to them from the start and has continued to lie in the face of the truth. Trump’s “brand” if you will has always been:

1. Lie, when caught lie again.

2. Another feature of the “brand” is bully, then lie and repeat.

3. Throw anyone under the bus and lie again

4. Sell snake oil whenever possible

5. Lastly if it doesn’t make me look good then I won’t do it and lie again.

It’s called the “Trump Brand” or Trumpism (a non communicable disease).

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What if the Native Americans decided to take America back? Do you think they would be seeking the removal of all non native Americans? What if the current and proposed immigration laws were in force in 1875? If the current  or proposed immigration laws were in effect, there would possibly be no Donald Trump as his Grandfather would not have been allowed in the United States. That being said what is wrong with Trump supporters who believe the DACA recipients are stealing jobs or college spots? Each of these people would tell you with impunity that they are not racist but ask the question : when was the last time you had a non white over for drinks, dinner or to watch a sports game? Did you support any non white people running for any elected office? or do you (did you) support the Indians in the movie accounts of “Custer’s Last stand?”. Do you now support giving as much aid to Puerto Rico as is given to Florida and Texas? Depending on the answers you may be dealing with a Racist on one of the many levels of Racism that exist. Our current administration has no good outlook for any of us matter what anyone chooses to believe about their fate and the overt or covert sense of their race. Our President is no more than a racist who has an over inflated ego with a healthy dose of megalomania. If it were not for the luck of his Grandfather and the savvy of his father, Donny would be no different than many of his supporters and no one would know who he is except for his immediate family. It is also possible the he may be a member of any one of the many anti groups.

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Originally published on October 12, 2017 7:02 pm

Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Donald Trump is not letting go of his fight with the NFL. For the last few weeks, the president has criticized players who kneel in protest during the national anthem. He says they’re disrespecting the flag, the country and the military. While reporting for our podcast Embedded, we found out this was not Trump’s first fight over the American flag. In fact there’s a pattern to how the president uses talk of patriotism to his own advantage.
NPR’s Sonari Glinton and Embedded producer Tom Dreisbach will take it from here. We’ll start with Sonari.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: This story takes place in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. It’s a small, fairly wealthy city of about 40,000 – politically conservative, but it’s that Sunbelt brand of conservative. RPV is kind of the gateway to Orange County and has one of the most beautiful stretches of California coastline that you can find.
TOM DREISBACH, BYLINE: And Donald Trump first came to town in 2002.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Trump, would you like to come up and sit on this side, please?
(APPLAUSE)
DREISBACH: He bought up a golf course that was in trouble. The 18th hole had literally fallen into the ocean in a landslide. And Trump promised to fix that course and make it even better.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to build something that I believe will be, in the end, one of the great courses anywhere in the world.
GLINTON: Trump was coming to the rescue, and a lot of people were excited, like Tom Long. He’s a former city councilman, and he’s a Democrat.
TOM LONG: You know, a hole fell into the ocean. The golf course is ruined. I didn’t think there was any realistic possibility of it recovering.
GLINTON: And then the way I – I mean, in this part of the story, (imitating bugle)…
LONG: Yes.
GLINTON: Here comes in…
LONG: In comes the white knight, or at least that’s I think what everyone felt at first.
DREISBACH: Then came the fights. In 2003, Trump sued the public school district. Now, the story’s a little complicated, but here’s the short version. The school district owns some land in the middle of the golf course, and they were supposed to start collecting rent on that land. Trump did not like the deal, so he sued. The two sides eventually settled. The school district got $5 million. Trump got the land. But Trump could not let it go.
GLINTON: Trump was especially angry with the school district’s lawyer. During the lawsuit, the attorney for the schools called Trump pompous and arrogant. And so at this big public meeting in 2005, in front of the entire city council, residents and the media, Trump brought up the lawsuit. Here is the former city councilman Tom Long.
LONG: Why Donald Trump decided to focus on that lawsuit, I don’t know. But what he did is he then commented that the school board’s attorney, Milan Smith, was an [expletive].
GLINTON: Let’s just say the future president called him a two-syllable word which starts with the letter A.
DREISBACH: This was reported in the local paper and confirmed to us by three people who were there. And just some more background on this lawyer, Milan Smith – he was really well-respected, so well-respected in fact that later he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
GLINTON: And that confirmation vote was unanimous. That court rules on some of the really important issues for the Trump administration. Earlier this year, they blocked President Trump’s travel ban for several majority Muslim countries.
DREISBACH: By the way, we asked both the Trump Organization and the White House for comment on this story. Neither responded to our questions. Judge Milan Smith declined to comment.
GLINTON: Now, that incident put the people and the city on notice, but that fight with the school district was just the beginning.
MCEVERS: OK, so yeah, we’re taking a left on a road called…
DREISBACH: Trump National Drive.
MCEVERS: Trump National Drive.
DREISBACH: So we drove out to the golf course with Kelly McEvers because when she’s not hosting this show, she also hosts Embedded.
MCEVERS: You’re looking out over this completely unobstructed, beautiful view of the ocean, and there is one thing that sticks up.
GLINTON: Oh, yeah. Look there.
DREISBACH: The American flag.
MCEVERS: A 70-foot flagpole.
GLINTON: That flagpole is the reason for another one of Donald Trump’s fights with the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. It starts in 2006. And by now, Trump has repaired and renovated the golf course, and it’s open to the public.
DREISBACH: And one day, essentially a flagpole just appears on the golf course.
GLINTON: And it’s not one of those things where everybody in a city doesn’t realize it’s there – right? – ’cause as you can see from every view on this side of the hill that flagpole is fairly prominent.
DREISBACH: But there’s a problem. Trump did not get a permit for that flagpole. And in Rancho Palos Verdes, people are very serious about their views of the ocean. That’s because if you’ve got an unobstructed view, your property values are a lot higher. So the city tells Trump, you need a permit, or you need to take out your flagpole.
GLINTON: And Donald Trump says – he doesn’t think you need a permit to put up the American flag. He writes in a letter to the city council, quote, “the American flag and all it stands for will not be taken down.” In other words, forget your permits. This is about patriotism.
DREISBACH: And this tactic actually starts to work. Some people are like, well, we can’t take down the American flag. It’s the American flag. Other people are like, no, Donald Trump has to follow the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Thank you, your honor. We’re now moving on to…
DREISBACH: By the time it gets the city council, people are pretty upset.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Item number 10 is proposed solution to the unpermitted Trump flagpole and flag at Trump National…
DREISBACH: First you’ll hear Tom Long, and then you’ll hear Steve Wolowitz. He’s the second former city councilman who helps us tell this story. They both say they’ve gotten tons of angry letters from people.

LONG: At one end of the spectrum – someone telling me that how dare I even consider voting to take down the flag. And if I did do so, I should be taken out the next morning and shot.
STEVE WOLOWITZ: Then there was a very long letter that this is a litmus test of our own patriotism. It reminded me of shades of McCarthyism because we wouldn’t pass this writer’s test.
GLINTON: Now, that second city councilman, Steve Wolowitz, says at one point, he thought the whole fight was just an attention grab for Trump’s new golf course.

WOLOWITZ: Now, I have to offer congratulations to all of us for providing the very type of publicity that a real estate developer seeks.
GLINTON: In the end, the council votes.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Councilman Gardiner…
PETER GARDINER: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Councilman Clark…
LARRY CLARK: Yes.
GLINTON: The flagpole stays.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The motion passes.
GLINTON: Trump gets his way, and Steve Wolowitz is left on the losing side. Now, that all happened in 2006, but Wolowitz still thinks about it.
WOLOWITZ: And to this day, people will stop me in the community, and they’ll say, weren’t you the guy who voted against the flag? And I’d take the time to explain to people that local laws, state laws and federal laws are there to protect us, and I can’t ignore those.
DREISBACH: Steve Wolowitz lived in Rancho Palos Verdes for four decades. He’s been a Republican his entire life. He’s worked with just about every community organization you can think of from the Chamber of Commerce to the Rotary. And for all eight years he served on the city council, he also dealt with Donald Trump.
GLINTON: He was there when Donald Trump insulted the school district’s lawyer, there for the flagpole. And he was around for the other fights Trump had with the city, like the hundred-million-dollar lawsuit Trump filed. So he got to know Donald Trump long before the presidential campaign. And we wanted to know what Steve Wolowitz thought on Election Day.
WOLOWITZ: Some of my friends and colleagues would hear and see everything I heard and saw, and they still supported him. I didn’t. That’s from – coming from a lifelong Republican, by the way.
GLINTON: But I wonder. As a lifelong Republican, as someone who – in this community for 40 years, how does that make you feel?
WOLOWITZ: I feel sad.
DREISBACH: In 2008, this city voted for John McCain. In 2012, they voted for Mitt Romney. Then in 2016, they had Donald Trump on the ballot, a man they knew. And they voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. I’m Tom Dreisbach.
GLINTON: I’m Sonari Glinton. NPR News.

Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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