What is your present favorability rating of Donald Trump's executive actions?
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Poll: Donald Trump Executive Actions General

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So now I'm wondering if we'll get to see Trump bitching on Twitter about Twitter.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/06/twitter-lawsuit-anonymous-account-trump-alt-uscis

Now, as folks are probably aware, in the wake of the Trump administration's reduced transparency and other efforts to control the narrative from the official social media accounts of its various departments, a number of unofficial accounts began springing up that were allegedly being run by anonymous government employees. @ALT_USCIS is one such account, and since its inception is has been highly critical of the administration's new immigration policy, as well as providing various bits of information and context.

Well, apparently, Customs and Border Patrol issued a summons to Twitter back on March 14th that sought all records relating to the account; IP address, phone number, e-mail account, etc. Basically they wanted the info that would have helped track down whoever (singular or plural) was behind the account; they also apparently "requested" that Twitter remain silent and not reveal the government's summons for "An Indefinite Period of Time."

Or, translated into real-speak, 'Tell Us Who Made This Account, And Don't Tell Anyone We Told You To Tell Us.'

We're only learning about this because Twitter has basically chosen to refuse the summons on both counts; not providing the information requested, and filing a very public lawsuit that has obviously alerted everyone on the fact that the summons happened at all. Twitter isn't commenting on whether this is the ONLY request they've gotten, or if other 'alt government' accounts are also being targeted. The Department of Homeland Security is also declining to comment on the matter.

Baffle2:
I didn't know where to post this without posting a new thread, but I see Bannon is off the Council: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39508351

The aide said Mr Bannon was only given a seat on the NSC to keep an eye on National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in February.

Is this the Michael Flynn that was completely trustworthy and not in fact doing it doing it doing it with the Russians?

The consensus seems to be that there's some kind of internal power play going on between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.

Resurrecting this old thread, we have VOICE, the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, the hotline where victims of criminal acts by immigrants can get the help they need to move on after the crime.

Mind you, the crime still has to be reported to the police, and I'm not sure how being the victim of an undocumented immigrant's crime is different from being the victim of a natural born citizen's crime, but I'm sure these lists and reports won't be used in a biased or demonizing way whatsoever, and certainly has no unfortunate historical parallels.

altnameJag:
Resurrecting this old thread, we have VOICE, the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, the hotline where victims of criminal acts by immigrants can get the help they need to move on after the crime.

Mind you, the crime still has to be reported to the police, and I'm not sure how being the victim of an undocumented immigrant's crime is different from being the victim of a natural born citizen's crime, but I'm sure these lists and reports won't be used in a biased or demonizing way whatsoever, and certainly has no unfortunate historical parallels.

Tiny silver lining, apparently the hotline had to be shut down at least temporarily because people were calling the 'illegal alien crime' number, en masse, to complain about extraterrestrial aliens, hopelessly tying up the lines. Little things like that help cheer me up. -_-

This is minor, but unsure if this is a parody/joke story floating around... Trump didn't REALLY set up a red button on the Resolute Desk that summons a butler to give him Coca Cola, right? Cause if so, 'Coca Cola Button On The Resolute Desk' kind of feels like a metaphor for this entire administration. o_O

SeventhSigil:

altnameJag:
Resurrecting this old thread, we have VOICE, the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, the hotline where victims of criminal acts by immigrants can get the help they need to move on after the crime.

Mind you, the crime still has to be reported to the police, and I'm not sure how being the victim of an undocumented immigrant's crime is different from being the victim of a natural born citizen's crime, but I'm sure these lists and reports won't be used in a biased or demonizing way whatsoever, and certainly has no unfortunate historical parallels.

Tiny silver lining, apparently the hotline had to be shut down at least temporarily because people were calling the 'illegal alien crime' number, en masse, to complain about extraterrestrial aliens, hopelessly tying up the lines. Little things like that help cheer me up. -_-

The Internet pulls through occasionally. ICE is apparently really mad about it.

SeventhSigil:

This is minor, but unsure if this is a parody/joke story floating around... Trump didn't REALLY set up a red button on the Resolute Desk that summons a butler to give him Coca Cola, right? Cause if so, 'Coca Cola Button On The Resolute Desk' kind of feels like a metaphor for this entire administration. o_O

I haven't researched it, because I'm desperately hoping it's not true. It's a small thing but sheesh.

SeventhSigil:

This is minor, but unsure if this is a parody/joke story floating around... Trump didn't REALLY set up a red button on the Resolute Desk that summons a butler to give him Coca Cola, right? Cause if so, 'Coca Cola Button On The Resolute Desk' kind of feels like a metaphor for this entire administration. o_O

altnameJag:
I haven't researched it, because I'm desperately hoping it's not true. It's a small thing but sheesh.

Fox News reported it as a "reportedly" based on an article in the Associated Press. Exact quote from the latter:

A man accustomed to wealth and its trappings, Trump has embraced life in the Executive Mansion, often regaling guests with trivia about the historic decor. With the push of a red button placed on the Resolute Desk that presidents have used for decades, a White House butler soon arrived with a Coke for the president.

As Business Insider notes, however, the button is apparently not new to Trump nor is it for the explicit purpose of ordering Coke. It's a button to summon an aide/butler when something is needed.

Asita:
[quote="SeventhSigil" post="528.946365.23960094"]Snip

That's something at least. xP Phew.

Okay! News dump time, mess of links, rest of you can decide what, if anything, warrants its own thread.

Surprising no one, Trump has just signed an Executive Order that will help reduce restrictions and regulations around drilling off the coasts of the United States, including of course Arctic drilling. Not really much else needs to be said.

Rather more surprisingly, (at least, that he admitted it,) a recent interview with Trump revealed that he thought being President would be easier than his old life. He also admits to missing his old life- being able to drive, not being surrounded with Secret Service, etc, and I totally get it. I really miss when he wasn't President too. =P

As for why he's changed his stance about NATO being obsolete, well... according to Trump, he made that statement back when he didn't actually know much about NATO. Again. KIND OF SURPRISED he's coming right out and saying it, though admittedly this isn't going to sway anyone in his camp. To be clear, the alarming thing (for me) isn't that he has gaps in his knowledge; it's that he has so frequently acted or made statements without taking the time to educate himself.

Here's the full Associated Press interview that snippet came from, by the way.

Trump has gone on record stating that he intends to make South Korea foot the 1 billion dollar bill for the missile defense system the U.S. will be installing there to deter North Korea. For the South Korean response, I refer you to the Mexican wall situation.

The above is reportedly news to the Pentagon.

Umm hmmm was there anything...

OH!

Trump still has Obamacare in his crosshairs; a vote will apparently go down on a new bill that has secured the support of the Freedom Caucus (so, likely this bill has less healthcare than the other one did,) but couldn't secure enough moderates to push it through before the 100 day deadline. The Democrats dug in their heels against efforts from the Republicans to strip some Obamacare funding from the newest budget, forcing the Republicans to concede on both that AND removing funding for the border wall, at least for the next weekish. (It was a temporary budget extension.) Will the Trump administration get the votes it needs, eventually? Possibly. If it does pass, wouldn't count on it helping Trump in the long run; beyond the 'I Win!' bragging rights he is no doubt chasing (bolstered by the fact that Obama reportedly, in a private meeting, noted wryly that some polls have Obamacare's popularity officially higher than Trump's own ratings) a bill that the Freedom Caucus backs is liable to screw over more people than the prior bill.

Damn. FBI and CIA say all that shit about Trump's corruption, it's well over 100 days, and they're still not prepared to take legal action? Is their evidence shit? Are they afraid? I have trusted them based on the evidence and culture I have seen conveyed by Trump and his administration, but hot damn the FBI and CIA to get their asses in gear. The world is at stake here what could possibly be holding things up? Every day is another influential battle, another stretch of time that the balance of fascist influence versus legal democracy is shifted just slightly more in the wrong direction because Trump has the world's speakerphone due to his high position and ties to Russia. At this point they should either start some trials or the Democratic party should prepare to start them instead. The time for waiting is coming to a close because any further waiting will be of great risk to the balance of the world and the patience of people who have been waiting for this to finally happen.

So, Trump has extended an invitation to Robert Duterte, the Philippines head of state, to visit the White House. Wonder if it helps that there's a Trump Tower in the Philippines, and that one of the business partners in Trump Organization's Manila venture is Duterte's top trade envoy. <_<

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/while-in-white-house-trumps-remained-selling-points-for-very-special-philippines-project/2017/05/02/09ee6164-2e99-11e7-9dec-764dc781686f_story.html?utm_term=.1afb73ae7711

The biggest thing at the moment, though, is perhaps that the government was able to avoid a shutdown by arranging a bipartisan spending bill that will tide them over until September. As I understand it, some of the concessions the Democrats extracted in order to support the bill were a lesser spike in Homeland Security spending, no money for the border wall, etc, i.e. the sort of bipartisan give-and-take that becomes necessary when either side lacks a supermajority. All-in-all, though, everyone seems content with the results.

Well, except for Trump. To quote from his Twitter;

'The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!'

Soooo in a string of two tweets, Trump has both insisted that (barring the Republicans winning a supermajority in 2018,) the 'nuclear option' should be invoked again to force the budget he wants through, and capped it off by calling for a shutdown. Which, y'know, sounds like he's advocating for a government shutdown, i.e. the same thing he accused the Democrats of wanting last week. Hypocritical? Par for the course, I say!

Epyc Wynn:
snip

If they do have solid evidence of corruption or Russia ties, I would imagine that one of two things is occurring right now:

- The Trump administration is suppressing it through the "senior advisors" that they've been sprinkling through all government departments to, basically, spy on them.
- The intelligence agencies don't want to effectively self-launch a political coup, and are waiting for Congress to give them the go-ahead, either through the Russia investigation (which has stalled due to partisan shitwrangling) or through impeachment.

You ask me, I think it's the latter, because Trump or his administration has been quietly dismantling the ad-hoc commissariat of "senior advisers" (read: former campaign staff loyal to Trump) that Bannon set up through numerous federal agencies in January.

On the topic of Bannon: Trump seems to have recognised that Bannon's goals and his own goals do not align, and more specifically that Bannon's attempt to supplant the administrative state with Trump loyalists simply created a second inexperienced, incompetent layer of bureaucracy lying over the experienced, barely-competent bureaucracy that already existed. Alternatively, Trump is annoyed that people are paying more attention to Bannon than they are to him, and has shuffled him into a closet for the time being.

SeventhSigil:
snip

Of course Trump is upset about the budget. It literally ignores everything he demanded in favour of...actual bipartisan compromise aimed at effective governance? Incroyable!

It's almost as if Congress has realised that Trump is an incompetent clown with no idea what he's doing and instead decided to sideline him entirely. Which is a growing trend, I've noticed. In December, when Trump was saying ridiculous shit about expanding libel laws to sue the press and deporting all immigrants on day one, people listened to him and were worried. Now, when he insists that South Korea will pay for THAAD and that the AHCA will provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, both Congress and his own administration ignore him, because the fascist who cried wolf has cried wolf so many times that he's not even a credible threat anymore.

As for Duterte, the man is literally a murderer and it's frankly shocking that Trump feels compelled to tie himself closer to him. Duterte is what you get when someone tries to be the Punisher and runs head-first into reality. I honestly can't fathom it; for some reason Trump just likes autocrats with more braggadocio than scruples.

bastardofmelbourne:
As for Duterte, the man is literally a murderer and it's frankly shocking that Trump feels compelled to tie himself closer to him. Duterte is what you get when someone tries to be the Punisher and runs head-first into reality. I honestly can't fathom it; for some reason Trump just likes autocrats with more braggadocio than scruples.

It's because he's a weakling. Trump blusters and postures and poses with war criminals because he doesn't want people to see what a fragile little softy he really is. We all know some mouthy little prick who tries to hide his lack of physical prowess, wit and intelligence by standing next to a group of badasses. That's Donald Trump.

Fun times: the New Yorker is reporting that intelligence sources within the NSA claim that the Trump administration deliberately tasked Devin Nunes and the US intelligence community with finding something to "prove" Trump's wiretapping claims.

Remember that kerfuffle over Susan Rice? How everyone right of centre was losing their shit over the "proof" that Trump was right about being wiretapped? Yeah? Apparently, that was made up. The story is that Trump literally tasked a member of Congress with feeding bullshit to the public in order to cover for his own earlier serving of bullshit.

But whatever; something something fake news something. I don't fucking understand these people. Jimmy Kimmel gives an emotional speech about how his newborn son's heart condition made him think about the state of American healthcare, and people rip on him for talking politics. Stephen Colbert calls Trump a cock-holster, and suddenly all the fans of the politically incorrect president are up in arms at the "homophobia."

I just - fuck it, I'm going to bed. The hypocrisy is hurting my brain.

Sally Yates set to tesify soon that she warned White House officials about then-national security adviser Michael Flynn's contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which would contradict the Trump Administration's characterization of what she told them.

Yates testimony is still happening, though folks might want to avoid getting too excited; it looks like half of what could be discussed deals with confidential information that neither Yates nor Comey are actually allowed to disclose, so a lot of the answers I was seeing were literal 'I Can't Answer That.' xP Not sure what folks are going to learn that isn't already known.

That being said, interesting note is that Trump has at some point deleted an angry, accusatory tweet he had made that intended to indirectly accuse Yates of being one of the leakers. Why he's done deleted it is uncertain, though I've heard the theory that the tweet could be interpreted as attempting to intimidate a witness, which is very much illegal. On another topic, it seems that at least one or two Republicans have used their own question period to poke at Yates for refusing to legally defend the travel ban, back in the day.

And on the subject of evidence purging, with regards to Trump's (still suspended, or no?) travel ban, a reporter asked Spicer something along the lines of; 'Okay, so the administration is saying that the ban isn't intended to target Muslims. So why does his campaign website STILL talk about having a statement about how he intends to keep out Muslims?' Spicer tapdanced around the question, and soon after, lo and behold, the statement on keeping out Muslims had magically vanished.

Unless you look at a cached webpage. Like this one!

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:MdP14NQeE-IJ:https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

EDIT: And it just keeps getting stupider.

So I had assumed that, in deleting the statement from Trump's campaign site, they would also delete the actual webpage, correct? NOPE.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration

Instead you're taken to a page with an empty box that the text had been in, and a line in the middle because below the statement are links to the prior and next statements, which were also deleted. Except, hear me out on this one, the sodding link I just provided still says Donald J. Trump Statement On Preventing Muslim Immigration, so deleting the statement hides nothing.

But don't worry guys, it's cool, they were at least consistent and deleted all the statements.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/category/statements

When? Sometime after April 28th of this year!!

https://web.archive.org/web/20170428091445/https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/category/statements

Welp, Comey is fired by Trump and impeachment seems near impossible. Welcome to Civil War II: This Time It's Personal Edition.

Some articles on Comey's firing:

Politico reports that Trump had been debating whether or not to fire Comey for at least a week before doing so, and (bizarrely) that the White House didn't expect the firing to be controversial, because they figured the Democrats would be on-board. (Seriously?) WaPo provides an entertaining - if unsourced - piece describing Sean Spicer's attempts to answer press questions on a subject he had no idea was coming. I feel sorry for the guy; I do.

The New York Times reports, damningly, that Comey had met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and requested more resources for the Trump-Russia investigation only eight days before he was fired. Rosenstein, incidentally, wrote the letter justifying Comey's dismissal. For those paying attention: Comey personally asks that the FBI get more resources for the Russia investigation, and eight days later, he's fired. White House sources report that Trump started talking about firing Comey about a week ago. Do the math there.

Vox reports that the firing coincided with the issuance of subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn by federal prosecutors, as well as a request from the Senate Intelligence Committee that an obscure arm of the Treasury Department investigate the existence of any criminal financial ties between Russia and members of the Trump campaign.

Politico, Vox and WaPo all report that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shot down any possibility of a special prosecutor being appointed to the Russia investigation, and that Republicans have mostly closed ranks in defence of the President. As the appointment of a new FBI director requires a simple majority vote in the Senate, the Democrats have very little leverage unless they decide to literally shut down the Senate, which would put the entirety of the Senate's agenda - health care, tax reform, even the Intelligence Committee's current Russia investigation - on hold for the foreseeable future.

The official White House account of the firing is a textbook example of PR damage control. DoJ spokeswoman Sarah Flores insisted that the meeting between Comey and Rosenstein did not occur, and if it did, Comey never asked for more resources into the Russia probe, which by extension means that the four congressional staffers and representatives who corroborated that account must all be lying. Sean Spicer, as said earlier, apparently had no idea what was going on. Kellyanne Conway insisted that this isn't a big deal, really, while also contradicting the official justification for Comey's firing (that he'd mishandled the Clinton email investigation last October) by saying that the firing had nothing to do with the campaign six months ago.

By sheer coincidence, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was meeting with Tillerson shortly after the firing. When Lavrov was asked a question about whether Comey's firing would cast a shadow over the meeting, he literally thought it was a joke. His words were, no shit, "Was he fired? You're kidding. You're kidding."

"I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job," Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."
Mr. Trump added, "I'm not under investigation."

New York Times: Trump Told Russians That Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

Can you say obstruction of justice?

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