WATCH TRUMP monitor

TRUMP WATCH - on-going monitor with hyperlinks

WATCH TRUMP

A well-intended project to try to monitor a new political UFO

June 25, 2017  ( 10th ed.)

 

This monitor is not made in love or in hate to Mr. Trump. It is meant to be an on-going radar surveillance of the new US president and his actions and non-actions.  It tries to be based on known facts – not like Trump on alternative facts. So if any of you, the readers, identify alternative facts, please raise your flag and get the editor ( me! ) in line again J

 

Donald John Trump:  born June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York

His grandfather was a German immigrant from Kallstadt in Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany. The family name was originally Drumpf. It was in the 17th century changed to Trump. His grandfather founded a real estate company in New York.

This company was further developed by Donald Trump’s father Frederick ( Fred ). Donald’s mother Mary was an immigrant from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.

His father’s company was very successful and earned a lot of money.

Donald Trump took over the company in 1971.  He continued to develop the company in his own way with investments not only in the US, but around the world.

It has been calculated that if he had put the money he inherited into S&P500 shares instead of investing it here and there and everywhere his fortune would today have been double of what it is today. This is, though, only an estimate, as he never published his tax documents.  Lots of people believe that his real fortune is much lower than believed.    It is a fact that he has six bankruptcies in his companies over the years. See more HERE.

Or as Mr. Michael Bloomberg, another billionaire business man and former mayor of New York ( and a Republican ) said in 2016:   Mr. Trump says that we will run the country as he runs his business.  If that’s the case, then God help us!

 

For many years Donald Trump was not known to be active in politics.  When he started to be so, he has moved around between being a Democrat and a Republican – or not supporting any of them.  In 2008 he financially supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president against Barack Obama. That is probably why Hillary and Bill Clinton were honoured guests at one of Donald Trump’s weddings.

 

 

The Trump presidential campaign 2016:

It was a great surprise – perhaps rather a bad surprise – to most people when Donald Trump put himself up as republican candidate for US president.  Especially for the Republicans.  They were all queuing up to say that they under no circumstances would support a guy like that.  And the Democrats were also queuing up for the parties of joy, because they were sure that if Donald Trump became a candidate for the other side, they were dead sure to win. Who ever their candidate would be.   This was probably the feeling of most people, including the media. And including Europe.

 

As everybody knows developments turned out to be totally different.  Donald Trump won the presidential election on November 8, 2016.  He got considerable more electoral college votes  ( 304 ) than Hillary Clinton  ( 232  ).  But in terms of the number of votes from the voters he was almost 3 million votes behind Hillary Clinton ( Trump:  62,9 mill. – Clinton:  65,8 mill. ).  The American election system still means that the candidate with most electoral votes win.  The figures are HERE.

It should be added, that Mrs. Trump’s claim that he got the highest number of electoral votes since Ronald Reagan is not correct.  George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had clearly higher figures. See HERE.

When you look at the number of people voting for Trump ( 62,9 millions ) it was 28 % of those with the right to vote.  The participation in the election was 58 %.

 

This WATCH TRUMP operation is not meant to be an analysis of the campaign and all its amazing and frightening moments.

If you want to see more about the facts and lies during the campaign, you can look at the Washington Post’s fact checker on both candidates HERE.

 

It will concentrate on Mr. Trump himself, as he was the candidate elected as president.

 

The official website of the Trump White House:   https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-trump  

 

 

 

The main elements, which worry a lot of people, are the following:

 

  1. A wide range of independent and highly esteemed psychiatrists are – after having observed him – convinced that he has the illness called malignant narcissism. It is according to science a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, aggression and sadism.
  2. His systematic use of lies and false statements in his speeches and presentation. During the election campaign the serious Canadian newspaper, the country’s biggest daily newspaper,  Toronto Star, identified about 500 concrete lies from his side during the campaign.  In one speech alone he managed to bring forward 71 lies.

And Toronto Star ( and many other media ) has continued to do fact checking on President Trump after he came into office.  The Star has identified 87 important lies during that period:  See more HERE.

  1. His promises for the first 100 days in office:    This is followed systematically by the Washington Post in its Fact Checker service HERE.
  2. His 469 lies during his first 100 days - as discovered by Washington Post's Fact Checker:  HERE
  3. Mr. Trump’s relations with Russia: he claims that he has no relations to Russia what so ever – and he has even – to the anger of Putin – asked the Russians to return Crimea to Ukraine.

But there seems to be very different angles to that story – from serious media:

The winner of the highly esteemed Pulitzer Prize service Politifact makes this analysis: See  HERE

And this is a time line of Trump-Russia connections from the Atlantic Council: HERE

And HERE is another analysis.    And one more HERE

  1. The President’s way to take a clear, even hostile, distance to old American allies like Mexico, Australia, and the European Union (“only serving German interests” according to Trump) makes old friends of the US very vigilant and worried.  And his description of NATO as obsolete and that the US will only fulfill its commitments in NATO, if each member state pays its full 2 % contribution to the alliance, is not calming down the worries among democratic countries around the world.
  2. President Trump’s constant and systematic attacks on the media as “the enemy of the people”. “Fake news”. Replacing many serious media people in the press corps accredited to the White House with bloggers supporting Trump. His use of un-coordinated late night and early morning personal tweets on Twitter about all and everything (  @realDonalTrump )

When Mr. Trump very recently write:  The media are out of control !  former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt wrote back:  This is precisely the role of the media !

  1. The chaos which obviously is “the law of the day” in the White House now and in the Trump administration in general. Many different and often contradictory messages coming out, also from the President himself, everybody fighting everybody, very slow confirmation in the Senate of cabinet members, the putting-aside of the State Department ( “the US foreign ministry”) in foreign affairs ( the department has made a daily press briefing since the days of Franklin Roosevelt – not one briefing has taken place since the arrival of president Trump ), etc.
  2. The key positions in the White House of people from the very, very right wing of American media like Steven Bannon from the Breibart organization.  A guy who sees it as his main task to uproot all the present democratic systems – he once compared himself to Lenin. A destroyer. “Deconstruction of the administrative state” he called his aim publicly on February 23.  He has also said publicly that he sees his task also to interfere into the coming French and German elections ( through the Breibart installations in Europe ).
  3. The well-known attitude of Mr. Trump to women  ( “ if you are a famous person you can do anything to them. Just grab them by the pussy” ).  Many pending court cases from women, who feel they have been attacked by him, are coming up.  See more HERE.
  4. There are several on-going social media sites and monitoring services following the Trump presidency. Here are a few:

@roguePOTUSstaff    ( Twitter )  - said to be from staff inside The White House

@DTrumpExposed     ( Twitter )

BBC 4 at 20.00 every evening Mon-Thu:  The 100 Days

Washington Post’s Fact Checker:   HERE

Brookings on Trump and job creation:  HERE

Pew Research Center’s opinion monitoring of TRUMP:  HERE

Obama lawyers’ new watch group Worst Case Scenario:  HERE

Views in Mexico on Trump and US-Mexican relations:   HERE

Very interesting New York Times initiative caused by the “fake news” discussions:  HERE

  1. TRUMP WATCH is a special site monitoring the activities in environmental affairs:     https://www.nrdc.org/trump-watch   
  2. Mr. Trump’s biographer Michael d’Antonio has made this site for CNN:  http://edition.cnn.com/specials/opinions/trump-watch-opinion 
  3. Fox News on Obama wire-tapping:  http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/15/14934840/trump-obama-tapped-phones 
  4. Mr. Trump and known cases of possible conflicts of interest in relation to his business companies:  http://www.vox.com/2016/12/9/13799904/trump-corruption-conflict-of-interest
  5. Mar-a-Largo – the “Winter White House” in Florida:   http://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/home-decor/a7144/mar-a-lago-history/
  6. About Mr. Trump’s mass firing of US attorneys:   HERE
  7. Analysis of  Mr. Trump’s budget proposal of March 2017:  HERE
  8. See this Dutch TV documentary on Trump's dubious Russian connections:  
  9.  

    The German Ministry of Environment has analysed Trump's 17 reasons for the US to leave the UN Climate Agreement - and they show that all reasons are false and wrong:  http://www.bmub.bund.de/en/topics/climate-energy/climate/international-climate-policy/paris-agreement/fact-check/ 

 

 

To be continued….

 

Niels Jørgen Thøgersen   

niels4europe@gmail.com  

THE OBSERVER - editorial on Trump on January 14, 2018

The Observer view on Donald Trump

Observer editorial

The president is a disgrace to his country on so many levels

It is almost one year since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th US president. Will he last another 12 months? Day after tumultuous day since 20 January 2017, Trump has provided fresh evidence of his unfitness for America’s highest office.

It is not only that his politics and policies, from tax cuts and climate change to Palestine and nuclear weapons, are disastrously wrong-headed. It is not just that his idea of leadership is divisive, confrontational and irresponsible. Nor does the problem lie solely with his blatant racism, misogyny and chauvinism, though these are indeed massive problems.

His latest foul-mouthed outrage – describing developing countries as “shitholes” – is appalling even by his crude standards.

The fundamental failing underlying Trump’s presidency is his wilful ignorance. His frequently petulant, childish behaviour combines with a staggering lack of knowledge and contempt for facts to produce serial, chronic misjudgments. Trump, in power, cannot be trusted. He has been exposed as lacking in empathy, shamelessly mendacious, cynical and unversed or uninterested in the enduring human and constitutional values his office is sworn to uphold. Trump is the first and hopefully the last of his kind: an anti-American president. He is a disgrace and a danger to his country. The sooner he is sent packing, the better.

How much longer will Americans tolerate his embarrassing presence in the White House? His tenancy runs until November 2020, when he could seek a second term. But the problem is getting worse, not better. A series of scenarios, fuelled by his endlessly damaging, unacceptable words and actions, is beginning to unfold that could bring about his early departure.

The first and, democratically speaking, the most desirable scenario is that the electorate will simply reject Trump. This process is already well under way, if opinion polls are to be believed. Trump’s personal approval rating has averaged below 40% over the past year, a record for presidential unpopularity. More telling, perhaps, were the findings of a Pew Research Center poll last month that debunked the myth that Trump’s “base” – his core support – is impervious to his daily blundering. Trump’s backing among key groups that helped elect him – white men, Protestant evangelicals, the over-50s and the non-college educated – has fallen significantly across the board. At the same time, a Gallup survey found the number of voters redefining themselves as uncommitted “independents” rose to 42%.

Trump’s fading electoral appeal was cruelly exposed in shock defeats in Virginia and Alabama. Anger and disappointment with Trump among white voters was said to be a decisive factor, assisted by record turnout among African Americans. Nationally, evidence that the Trump rump is shredding is on the rise. A Monmouth University poll last August found that 61% of Trump voters said they could not think of anything he might do that would turn them against him. A poll last month put that figure at 37%. It is plain that many ordinary voters who trusted Trump to make a positive difference have been repelled and disgusted.

Pollsters and pundits are looking to November’s midterm congressional elections. Forecasts suggest a stunning repudiation of a “toxic” Trump, with the Alabama upset being replicated nationwide. The GOP could lose control of the House of Representatives, where large numbers of moderate Republicans are retiring, and its grip on the Senate may be loosened by an anti-Trump tsunami. No party since 1950 has hung on to the house in a midterm poll when the president’s approval was below 40%.

A humiliating nationwide slap in the face from voters this year, coupled with the loss of Congress, could bring Trump’s presidency shuddering to a halt, leaving him wounded, deserted by most Republicans and doomed to one-term ignominy. Meanwhile, another scenario prospectively leading to his political demise is playing out simultaneously. Nobody knows, as yet, whether the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian agents in 2016 will ultimately irretrievably compromise the president himself. But claims that Trump conspired to obstruct justice by putting pressure on the FBI and firing its unbiddable director, James Comey, appear to have substance and are potentially fatal to his presidency. Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is proposing a formal interview under oath.

It’s not over yet. Supporters of Trump point to what they see as a string of successes. They cite a stock market that has added $7tn in value, 2m new jobs and radical tax reform. They credit Trump with defeating Islamic State (a vain boast) and reducing illegal immigration. The number of Americans saying the US economy is in “excellent shape” has jumped from 2% in November 2016 to 18%. About 48% say the economy is “good”, up 11% in the same period. By these measures, his trademark vow to “make America great again” may be beginning to work – and this is likely to slow the pace of desertions from his electoral base.

 

 

 

Elsewhere, conservatives will point to some significant triumphs that give the lie to the idea that Trump has been a hapless figure unable to bend America to his will. On many fronts, his administration is landing significant blows to the Obama-Clinton legacy. The environment secretary, Scott Pruitt, has effectively disembowelled the Environment Protection Agency, sacking scores of advisers and scientists. He is intent on scrapping many Obama-era regulations on water, climate, pollution and more. There has been a bonfire of environmental rules. New rules on chemicals previously declared toxic are being relaxed.

 

The president is busy appointing predominantly young, white male, conservative judges to federal appeal and district courts. While the supreme court hears only a handful of cases a year, it is in these lower courts where America’s settlement on issues of gender, race, work, relationships and much more is decided.

Meanwhile, the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, is shrinking America’s national monuments. Part of the Obama-designated Bears Ears in Utah (1.3m acres) and the Clinton-designated Grand Staircase-Escalante (1.9m acres) will likely be opened up for mining and other industrial pursuits. (Trump was lobbied by the uranium mining company Energy Fuels to open up Bears Ears for its uranium rich deposits.)

Then there are the quiet revolutions under way by Betsy DeVos at the education department, while former presidential candidate Ben Carson, at the department of housing and urban development, is slashing government spending on affordable housing. And on and on. These are some of the wins that conservatives are happy to bank while tolerating the intolerable in the White House.

The overwhelming impression of Trump’s first 12 months is not of steady progress but chaos. Tantrums, tears and irrational rage dominate the reality TV scene inside the White House, according to Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury. On the national stage, Trump has displayed open bigotry over migrant and race issues. His lowest point, among numerous low points, was his implied support for white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Internationally, Trump made nuclear war with North Korea more likely, dismayed the entire world by rejecting the Paris climate accord, insulted and threatened the UN over Jerusalem, did his best to wreck the landmark 2015 treaty with Iran and did next to nothing to halt the terrible conflicts in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan. Worse still, in a way, he has scorned US friends and allies in Europe and cosied up to authoritarian leaders in China, Russia and the Middle East. Britain has been treated with condescension and contempt, as in his abrupt (but welcome) cancellation of next month’s London visit.

Is this dysfunction evidence of an unhinged personality, as many people suggest? Rather than invoking the 25th amendment and dumping Trump, it would be better if he was held responsible for his actions. For his wilful ignorance, his dangerous lies and his unAmerican bigotry, Trump must be held to account.Perhaps 2018 will be the year.

 

January 14, 2018

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