Misadventures of a minority-elect President 26

Trump’s out-of-control wiretapping claims getting worse, Trumpism as an existential threat, his love affair with WikiLeaks appears to be over, more on Trump’s Iranian money laundering scheme, Trump’s Keystone XL story falls apart, White House confusion on Trump being target of investigation, the serious threat Trump poses that no one is talking about, Trump lied about revitalizing inner cities, choosing instead to shred affordable housing, Trump doesn’t want his disastrous Obamacare replacement named after him, it appears Breitbart might be turning on Trump, conflicts of interest Iranian style, double standards in Trump’s land of delusion, anti-Trump resistance groups growing, Trump’s threat to harm Americans if Trumpcare fails and more.

Is Trumpism an existential threat? article from Yahoo! News. –

This may be the worst defense of Trump’s Obama-wiretapped-me claim – literally article from the Washington Post. –

“Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which means he’s in charge of investigating President Trump’s evidence-free allegation that President Barack Obama wiretapped his offices.

But Nunes doesn’t seem particularly worried that the current president accused the former president of a crime. Echoing so many Republican defenses of Trump’s tweets, he suggested Tuesday that Trump’s allegation simply shouldn’t be taken at face value.

Here’s what Nunes said:

The president is a neophyte to politics. He’s been doing this a little over a year. And I think a lot of the things that he says, you guys sometimes take literally. Sometimes he doesn’t have 27 lawyers and staff looking at what he does — which is, I think, at times refreshing and at times can also lead us to have to be sitting at a press conference like this, answering questions that you guys are asking. But at the end of the day, I think tweets are a very transparent way for a politician of any rank to communicate with their constituents. So I don’t think we should attack the president for tweeting.

There are a couple straw men here. One is the idea that Trump needs “27 lawyers” reading his tweets before they go out. The implication is that Trump didn’t really know what he was saying would be a big deal…”

Donald Trump team attacks WikiLeaks over CIA files, despite President once saying he ‘loved’ them article from Yahoo! News. –

Republican senator to call Trump’s bluff on Obama wiretapping accusation article from Think Progress. –

White House says Trump wasn’t target of investigation, despite prior claims implying otherwise article from GMA on Yahoo! News. –

Trump’s never-opened hotel in Azerbaijan is possibly a money-laundering bombshell article from the Daily Kos. –

“The New Yorker’s Adam Davidson has a profile piece of Donald Trump’s never-opened Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku, in the capital city of Azerbaijan. The hotel was built at the end of the downtown strip in the city of almost three million people. According to Davidson, the project seems poorly thought out at first blush.

The more time I spent in the neighborhood, the more I wondered how the hotel could have been imagined as a viable business. The development was conceived, in 2008, as a high-end apartment building. In 2012, after Donald Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, signed multiple contracts with the Azerbaijani developers behind the project, plans were made to transform the tower into an “ultra-luxury property.” According to a Trump Organization press release, a hotel with “expansive guest rooms” would occupy the first thirteen floors; higher stories would feature residences with “spectacular views of the city and Caspian Sea.” For an expensive hotel, the Trump Tower Baku is in an oddly unglamorous location: the underdeveloped eastern end of downtown, which is dominated by train tracks and is miles from the main business district, on the west side of the city. Across the street from the hotel is a discount shopping center; the area is filled with narrow, dingy shops and hookah bars. Other hotels nearby are low-budget options: at the AYF Palace, most rooms are forty-two dollars a night. There are no upscale restaurants or shops. Any guests of the Trump Tower Baku would likely feel marooned.

Davidson also points out that the timing of the project, specifically when the Trump Organization announced they would be involved in the building of the luxury hotel, was very odd as the “occupancy rate for luxury hotels in the city hovered around thirty-five per cent.” This was odd because if you want to have a viable luxury hotel business you are supposed to at least convince yourself that you can maintain at least a 60 percent occupancy rate over 10 years. How did this strange project, costing tons of money, get so far down the line?…”

AP FACT CHECK: How Trump’s Keystone XL story fell apart article from the AP on Yahoo! News. –

CNN commentator Van Jones said there’s a ‘danger’ with Trump that no one is talking about article from the Business Insider on Yahoo! News. –

“CNN commentator Van Jones said there is a risk with President Donald Trump that no one is talking about.

“There’s a danger that we all start to become Trump — that we normalize Trump emotionally. There’s a danger that we all become fear-based and fear-driven and that we give in 100% to this us-against-them hysteria,” Jones said on his program, “The Messy Truth” on Wednesday night.

Jones pointed to criticism he received over remarks he made about Trump last week after the president delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress. Jones commented on the moment that Trump applauded the widow of a US Navy SEAL who died during a January raid in Yemen. Jones said at the time that Trump “became president of the United States” at that moment…”

After promising to revitalize ‘inner cities,’ Trump decides to shred affordable housing article from Think Progress. –

White House isn’t on board with the ‘Trumpcare’ label article from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. –

Trump wants to destroy Obamacare but doesn’t want to take the blame.

Trump’s Attack on America the Beautiful article from Counter Punch. –

“Trump is the first president to take on America the Beautiful. He’s at war with America. This is not new news. Yet, it is worthy of further discussion.

Trump’s anti-establishmentarian credentials flaunted during the campaign to woo voters fed up with America’s decline, except for filthy rich, has lost its shine. He’s an establishment creature, not anti-establishment, in the neoliberal sense of supply-side economics, force-feeding the upper class so they’ll drop crumbs down below to the vast Middle/Poor Class, a new socio-economic class in America, the newest, largest class, supplanting the vast middle class of the 1950s-60s-70s.

Now that Trump has hoodwinked America’s Middle/Poor Class voters, he has turned his attention to a much larger issue, the destruction of America the Beautiful. With the exception of perfectly groomed golf courses, Trump hates environmental protectionism. He’s out to get it…”

It Looks Like Breitbart News Might Be Turning on Donald Trump article from GQ. –

Trump’s Interests vs. America’s, Azerbaijan Edition article from the Atlantic. –

“When it comes to President Donald Trump’s constellation of foreign investments, properties, and companies, much of the attention so far has been on his business’s apparent violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bars officeholders from taking gifts from foreign leaders. According to numerous ethics experts, the clause takes an expansive definition of gifts, encompassing everything from a direct bribe to a foreign official’s approval of construction of a new Trump property. But some of the Trump Organization’s properties raise additional red flags due to the specific partners involved. That’s true in Indonesia, for example, where Trump’s affiliates have been involved in bribery scandals and radical Islamic nationalist parties, and Brazil, where the company pulled out of a branding agreement amid a criminal investigation of a local business partner.

Such is the case in Azerbaijan, which Transparency International ranks as among the most corrupt countries in the world, where the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Baku remains unopened. Though the long-stalled development has generated a steady drip of news and rumors for years, an overview by Adam Davidson in The New Yorker, entitled “Donald Trump’s Worst Deal,” puts into perspective just how convoluted the situation is, and just how much the project has led Trump and his company into a partnership with numerous corrupt officials in the Middle East. The details suggest that, on top of the continual underlying breach of the Emoluments Clause, the Trump Organization’s involvement may also violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, which forbids American companies from participating, even unknowingly, in bribery schemes in other countries, with a penalty of up to $2 million and up to five years in jail…”

Here’s what Trump was thinking when he made those bombshell wiretapping allegations article from Yahoo! News. –

This Is the Resistance: More Than 5,000 Grassroots Groups Have Sprung Up Since Trump Was Elected article from the Nation. –

Trump Plans to Force AHCA Passage with Stadium-Sized Pro-Trump Rallies article from Common Dreams. –

Trump Promises Tea Party Groups He Will Punish America: If TrumpCare FAils, He Will Let ACA Fail article from the Daily Kos. –

Corporate Tax Dodgers Exposed, Debunking Trump Myth That Rates Are Too High article from Common Dreams. –

“Citing new analysis, Bernie Sanders and other lawmakers introduce Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act

Undercutting President Donald Trump’s assertion that U.S. corporate taxes are too high—the justification for his and Republican leaders’ pitches to lower the business tax rate—a new report finds that many profitable American companies pay far less than the 35 percent often cited by lobbyists and GOP officials.

In fact, the analysis reveals, 18 of the country’s most profitable corporations paid nothing in taxes between 2008 and 2015, and fully 100 companies enjoyed at least one year in which their federal income tax was zero or less.

“This study is a long-term, unprecedented examination of corporation taxes paid—or not paid—by the nation’s biggest, most profitable firms,” said Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and lead author of the report. “It reveals that many of the big corporations that are lobbying for a lower corporate tax rate to be more ‘competitive’ already pay substantially less than the 35 percent statutory rate…”

Resist Trump Tuesdays: Fighting the Banks That Fund Pipelines article from AlterNet. –

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