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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Fri 08 Mar , 2019 1:21 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1625
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/08/trump-inauguration-money-shell-companies-revealed
Quote:
Trump inauguration took money from shell companies tied to foreigners

Creators of firms that donated revealed by Guardian as Indian financier, lobbyist with links to Taiwan and Israeli real estate developer
Quote:
Donald Trump’s inauguration received tens of thousands of dollars from shell companies that masked the involvement of a foreign contributor or others with foreign ties.

The Guardian has identified the creators of three obscure firms that contributed money to Trump’s inaugural committee, which collected a record $107m as he entered the White House in 2017.

The three companies each gave $25,000 to Trump’s inaugural fund. At least one of the contributions was made for a foreign national who appears ineligible to make political donations in the US.





https://thehill.com/policy/defense/433106-federal-judge-lifts-last-of-injunctions-against-transgender-military-ban
Quote:
The last injunction blocking President Trump’s transgender military ban from taking effect was lifted by a federal judge Thursday, moving the administration closer to being able to enforce the policy.

In a six-page order issued on Thursday, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland Judge George Russell III wrote that he was lifting his injunction because “the court is bound by the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the preliminary injunctions in their entirety."

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Sat 09 Mar , 2019 5:37 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1625
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/08/donald-trump-demanding-allies-hosting-us-troops-cover-full-cost/
Quote:
Donald Trump is demanding that allies with US troops stationed in their countries pay for the privilege in a concerted drive to bring down costs. The US president wants such countries to not just cover the full cost of US troop deployment but also pay America an extra amount for the service.

Mr Trump upset negotiations with South Korea late last year by demanding “cost plus 50”, which means paying the full cost of deployment plus a further 50 per cent. The demand contributed to just a one-year deal being signed with South Korea, where 28,000 US troops are stationed, rather than the usual five-year agreement.

The push has alarmed experts and former officials who warned that seeing the arrangements in pure cost terms downplays the strategic advantage it brings America.
Trump's demands seem strange, especially considering how hard the US tries to keep its military bases everywhere (I'm thinking especially about the ones in Japan, which are not popular with people living near them - though presumably the Japanese government sees an advantage to having the bases. )




There have been many signs lately that Trump's approach with Kim failed badly. Reports suggested that North Korea was still working on its nuclear weapons before Trump's second summit. In the last few weeks, it looks like things may be escalating.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/07/asia-pacific/north-korean-activity-may-indicate-preparation-rocket-launch/#.XIMyIlO6gkI
Quote:
Activity at North Korea missile research facility may indicate preparation for rocket launch
Facility builds both ICBMs and space rockets; previous satellites were launched in April
Quote:
Seoul’s spy agency has spotted movements by supply transport vehicles at a major North Korean missile research facility, possibly indicating preparations for a rocket launch, South Korean media said Thursday, following revelations a day earlier that the North appears to be rebuilding a rocket test site it had promised to scrap.
Seems Kim might have cut his losses after getting what he could out of Trump - presumably some over-the-top praise and propaganda for Kim's self-promoting videos, plus I believe China decreased sanctions.






Oh, goodie, Brazil's Bolsonaro seems to be Trump's new buddy:
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/433303-trump-to-host-brazils-bolsonaro-at-white-house-this-month
Quote:
President Trump will host Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the White House later this month to discuss a range of issues, including "restoring democracy in Venezuela."

The White House said the March 19 meeting will focus on “how to build a more prosperous, secure, and democratic Western Hemisphere.” The two leaders will also discuss “opportunities for defense cooperation, pro-growth trade policies, combatting transnational crime, and restoring democracy in Venezuela,” according to the White House statement.
And maybe Trump will also praise him for promoting policies that seem aimed at cutting down the rain forests, speeding global warming, and getting rid of those pesky indigenous people who live there. These two are a match made in heaven.




https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/433311-erik-prince-acknowledges-attending-2016-trump-tower-meeting-to-talk
Quote:
Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has acknowledged that he was present at a key 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

In an interview on Al Jazeera's "Head to Head" that aired Friday, Prince said he was present at an Aug. 3, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower to "talk about Iran policy."

The New York Times reported last year that Prince organized a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that included Donald Trump Jr. and Lebanese-American businessman George Nader. During that meeting, Nader reportedly said the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia wanted to aid Trump in his bid for the White House.
I assume "talk about Iran policy" should be translated as "get us into a war with Iran so I can profit."

Edit: This might be the report from Al-Jazeera:
https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2019/03/blackwater-erik-prince-iraq-privatising-wars-trump-190307144602723.html
Quote:
In front of the Oxford Union audience, we challenge Prince on the record of his private contractors in the Iraq war and ask him to explain how his controversial plan for the conflict in Afghanistan would bring it to an end. We'll also ask Prince, who previously served as an informal adviser to President Trump and has been interviewed by both the US House Intelligence Committee and Special Counsel Robert Mueller about his ties to the current administration.

We are joined by a panel of three experts:

Sean McFate, a former private military contractor, ex-officer in the US army, and author of The New Rules of War
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, an award-winning journalist with the Guardian from Iraq who has covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and beyond
Tim Collins, a former commander in the British Army and cofounder of the private military consulting company, New Century


Details and background:
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/erik-prince-acknowledges-2016-trump-tower-meeting-time-190308194101138.html

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Mon 11 Mar , 2019 2:24 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1625
https://www.thedailybeast.com/embassy-staffers-say-jared-kushner-shut-them-out-of-saudi-meetings
Quote:
Embassy Staffers Say Jared Kushner Shut Them Out of Saudi Meetings
Quote:
On his trip to the Middle East, Kushner stopped in Riyadh. While there, he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman to discuss U.S.-Saudi cooperation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and economic investment in the region, according to the White House.

But no one from the embassy in Riyadh was in the meetings, according to those same sources. The State Department did have a senior official in attendance, but he was not part of the State Department team in Saudi. He is a senior member of the department focused on Iran, according to a source with direct knowledge of the official’s presence in Riyadh

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/daily-beast/
Quote:
Overall, we rate the Daily Beast Left-Biased due to story selection that favors the left and High for factual reporting based on proper sourcing.





https://thehill.com/policy/international/433413-nyt-video-contradicts-trump-admin-claim-maduro-burned-aid-to-venezuela
Quote:
An opposition protester in Venezuela appears to have been responsible for setting a convoy of humanitarian aid on fire, despite members of the Trump administration blaming members of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's administration, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The videos showing that the aid was set on fire by a badly thrown Molotov cocktail have been available for at least a week, maybe longer. I heard about them shortly after the incident. So there's no way the Trump administration didn't know unless they're very badly informed.


Maduro and Guaido are blaming each other's side for the massive power outages in Venezuela. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/venezuela-maduro-blackout-due-cyber-attack-infiltrators-190310065500250.html
Quote:
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro says the country's complete electrical failure has been caused by "an international cyber-attack" but that his administration has "defeated their coup". Power and communication outages continue to hit Venezuela on Sunday, intensifying the hardship of a country paralysed by economic and political crises.

The blackout heightened tensions between the opposition and government loyalists, who accuse each other of being responsible for the collapse of the power grid.

...Maduro also accused Guaido and his US allies of sabotaging Venezuela's Guri Dam, one of the world's largest hydroelectric stations and the cornerstone of Venezuela's electrical grid. He said authorities had restored 70 percent of power in Venezuela since a nationwide outage hit late Thursday, but progress was lost on Saturday when "infiltrators" allegedly struck again.

The Venezuelan opposition and US officials say Maduro's attempts to pin blame on his political adversaries is absurd, and that government corruption and mismanagement over many years caused the blackout and wider deterioration of the economy.

In another blow to Venezuela's infrastructure, an explosion occurred at a power station in the country's Bolivar state on Saturday, according to local media.

Netblocks, a non-government group based in Europe that monitors internet censorship, said on Saturday that the second outage had knocked out almost all of Venezuela's telecommunications infrastructure.
Supporters of both sides also held demonstrations this weekend.

Whatever the truth is, the minute Trump 1) appointed Elliott Abrams and 2) used humanitarian aid as a political tool (we could have just funneled it through an international organization like the Red Cross, if all we wanted to do was help), he raised everyone's suspicions about U.S. involvement. And probably gave Maduro a boost with some Venezuelans as well.



https://thehill.com/homenews/house/433565-steyer-to-pelosi-on-impeachment-is-doing-whats-right-worth-it
Quote:
Billionaire activist Tom Steyer pushed back on Monday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said impeaching President Trump is "just not worth" unless there's broad bipartisan support because of the division it would cause across the country.

"Speaker Pelosi thinks 'he’s just not worth it?'" Steyer asked in a statement. "Well, is defending our legal system 'worth it?' Is holding the President accountable for his crimes and cover-ups 'worth it?' Is doing what’s right 'worth it?'

"Or shall America just stop fighting for our principles and do what's politically convenient?"

...His latest statement came shortly after The Washington Post published an interview with Pelosi in which she offered some of her strongest remarks yet against impeaching Trump. "Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it," Pelosi told the Post.

Pelosi said that despite her opposition to impeachment at the moment, she does not believe Trump is fit to serve as president.

Pelosi is probably politically correct that impeachment can't be done with the GOP covering for Trump in the Senate. Not to mention that keeping Trump would probably* be very useful for the Democrats in the next election. But it's a sad state of affairs when our legislators collectively refuse to get rid of someone as incompetent, ignorant and crooked as Trump, with 2 more years for him to screw things up even more. And refuse to even begin impeachment investigations/hearings - which was where we found out about many of Nixon's misdeeds. It seems to me that, if Trump gets away with everything he has done, any crook who can win the presidency now has carte blanche to do whatever they like. Might as well admit that the U.S. government really doesn't function as it was meant to and we're pretty much a failed democracy.

And I expect Pelosi has emboldened Trump with what she said. The avid Trump supporters sure as hell are celebrating.




btw, there's apparently a new app that lets Trump supporters know which restaurants are "safe" for them. I'm considering getting the list of restaurants just so I know which ones to avoid. Because there's no reason for anyone to need such a restaurant unless they're planning to make obnoxious political statements in public. Also, one of the four criteria is whether the restaurant owner welcomes concealed weapons.

(I do love MAGA hats, though. They're a great sign that someone is aggressively political with complete strangers , probably belligerent, and best avoided. Sort of like the rattle on a rattlesnake. Luckily, they seem to be rare around hers. Most people have more sense. )


*Probably. But, if they don't do anything about Trump in the end (i.e., after the Mueller report and House investigations, at the latest), they've shot themselves in the foot with some of us independents. I voted a straight Democrat ticket in the midterms solely because of Trump. I will not do that ever again.

_________________
It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 12 Mar , 2019 2:20 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1625
I don't know how much of this is Trump's FAA and how much is just standard practice in the U.S. (always put corporate interests first), but...

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/regulator-demands-boeing-modify-737-max-ethiopia-crash-190312020507489.html
Quote:
US regulators ordered Boeing to make urgent improvements to the best-selling jet involved in a deadly Ethiopia plane crash - but ruled out grounding the fleet as investigators worked to piece together the aircraft's final moments.

...The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it was working with local authorities and the National Transportation Safety Board and may soon share safety information concerning the aircraft.

"If we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," it said in a statement.

The FAA said it was ordering Boeing to make improvements to anti-stalling software and the manoeuvring system, giving the company until the end of April to make the updates.
The last seems like a tacit admission there's a potential problem.


https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/433615-australia-singapore-join-list-of-countries-grounding-newest-737s
Quote:
Australia and Singapore announced Tuesday that they would ground all new Boeing 737 MAX airliners after a second deadly crash involving one of the passenger jets killed 157 people. Reuters reported that aviation officials in Australia and Singapore joined their counterparts in China, Indonesia and other nations in halting flights of the aircraft in the wake of a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday



https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/11/airlines-and-agencies-reassure-alarmed-passengers-about-boeing-737-max-8
Quote:
The UK has joined a number of other countries in banning Boeing 737 Max planes from operating in or over its airspace, following a second fatal crash involving the plane in less than five months.

A spokesman for the UK civil aviation authority said: “As we do not currently have sufficient information from the flight data recorder we have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace."

_________________
It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 12 Mar , 2019 2:25 pm 
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It's not just Trump or the U.S.; Canada's Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, has also decided not to ground the airplanes pending the results of the investigation.

I don't have major problems with the decision - and I say this as someone who's going to fly in just over two weeks :Q

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 12 Mar , 2019 3:03 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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I wouldn't fly on one until the preliminary results of the investigation are in at least. I've seen some speculation suggesting that the problem might have been similar in both cases - the plane's software trying to override what the pilot was trying to do, resulting in loss of control. That US regulators have now called for Boeing to upgrade the anti-stall software and the company has said it has/will release an upgrade to "make an already safe product even safer," (or similar words) makes it hard for me to swallow the idea that they're sure nothing's wrong with this new plane.

There could be other factors as well - or something completely different - but I'm not for putting profits before safety. A couple of US senators (one Democrat, one Republican) have also called for the planes to be grounded temporarily.


In any case, you won't be flying one to the UK. :) They won't let them in their airspace for now.





btw, the Canadian air pilots union also put out a statement urging Transport Canada "to take proactive action to ensure the safety of the Canadian travelling public." https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ethiopian-airlines-crash-transport-canada-1.5051663 It sounds like they might want the planes temporarily grounded, too. In Argentina, the pilots from Aerolineas Argentinas are the ones refusing to fly these planes, according to the Al Jazeera article.


Interestingly, an Inspector General for a former administration said this:
Quote:
"It just makes sense to have a stand-down, time to see what the black boxes reveal about the cause of this most recent crash," Mary Schiavo, pilot and former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation, told CBC's As It Happens host Carol Off.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/boeing-737-max-8-ethiopian-airlines-crash-grounding-1.5051857

And according to the article above, if the FAA pulls the certification for the 737s in the US, that effectively grounds them everywhere, resulting in big economic losses for Boeing. Which, I assume, is why the FAA issued a global notice of "continued airworthiness" instead in the wake of the second crash.


Edit:
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-12/fate-of-737-max-could-turn-on-a-single-trump-tweet
Quote:
Fate of 737 Max Could Turn On a Single Trump Tweet
Whether to ground the Boeing aircraft after Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash is as much a political as a technical decision.
Quote:
There’s no technical trigger for a grounding order. Instead, it’s a judgment call by the department in question, complicated by the fact that the FAA currently doesn’t have a permanent administrator. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who’s responsible for the agency and whose views would probably be decisive, seems to be taking a wait-and-see approach. Boeing’s Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg, meanwhile, has worked hard to be close to President Donald Trump, who could decide the issue one way or another with a single tweet.


The author of this editorial argues that the planes are probably safe:
Quote:
One point worth bearing in mind is that the agency has been reviewing the performance of the 737 Max 8 for almost five months since the Lion Air crash, including the behavior of the angle-of-attack sensors and Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System that appear to have malfunctioned in that incident. That should lend weight to its confidence in the plane’s continued airworthiness: It’s hard to believe the agency would now be backing up the 737 Max’s performance if any scintilla of doubt remained.

Even so, the FAA has in the past been accused of being too lenient. Whistle-blowers in 2008 alleged the regulator looked the other way when Southwest Airlines Co. neglected to inspect and maintain its planes properly.

Yet isn't it curious that Boeing has a software upgrade ready to go in the wake of this disaster, supposedly to be installed over the next few weeks? I doubt very much that software for a complex aircraft gets written and tested that quickly.


So far, the only Trump tweet suggested that he'd rather rely on pilot's judgement than software, and that planes were getting too complicated if pilots can't quickly take control at need. It was surprisingly well written (no strange capitalization, etc.) and absent of his usual nonsense.

Edit: here it is: "Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT. I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better. Split second decisions are needed, and the complexity creates danger. All of this for great cost yet very little gain. I don't know about you, but I don't want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!"


And Trump is not completely out in left field with his (or an aide's?) tweet:
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-monday-edition-1.5051463/countries-should-ground-boeing-737s-after-ethiopian-plane-crash-says-aviation-expert-1.5051464
Quote:
An aviation security expert says it's time to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 until we know more about what caused Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board...

Among other things, he says that Boeing has not (yet?) changed the software since the first crash and that the aviation industry is at a crossroads on automation:
Quote:
But there are some commands in this plane that can override the pilot's directives — so what's that all about?

That's one of the biggest questions that we have, and I think aviation is at a crossroads.

Because to have a plane out there that says the pilot is secondary, this is really crossing over into the area of drones. We expect our pilots to be able to make intelligent human decisions and say, "I'm going to fly this plane out of this mess."

......now in this plane, the plane will put the nose down, and even if the pilot pulls the nose back up, the answer is to turn off that system. So yes, it will override the pilot, but Boeing says the pilot can override the system.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 12 Mar , 2019 6:12 pm 
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All questions regarding aviation should be routed through Ask The Pilot's Patrick Smith.


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 12 Mar , 2019 7:06 pm 
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Hmm... I've changed my mind. Canada and the U.S. should ground these planes until the problem is identified and fixed.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Tue 12 Mar , 2019 7:32 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1625
I'll be surprised if they don't, before long. Too much pressure. The EU has just grounded the Max 8s (and 9s?), after several individual countries did earlier (France, Germany, Norway). Southwest Airlines in the US is letting people change planes if they're concerned. American Airlines is as well, but as usual, they're greedy and are not waiving their change fee.

Personally, I doubt if I'd be worried enough to change a flight - chances are good that everything would be fine on an individual flight (famous last words!) - but I'd look at the equipment when booking a flight and pick something else.



Good link, btw, Dave. I also saw that there might be deficiencies in pilot training on the new systems. Supposedly some agency (FAA?), or maybe Boeing, isn't requiring more training for economic reasons. I don't have the link - it came up in a discussion and I can't remember exactly where it was.



EDIT: Why does it not surprise me that Trump is asking Boeing what he should do?
https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/433734-trump-speaks-with-boeing-ceo-after-crash-raises-concerns
Quote:
President Trump on Tuesday spoke with the CEO of Boeing as the company grapples with concerns over the safety of its 737 Max 8 aircraft. The two men spoke by phone, and Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg expressed confidence in the safety of the Max fleet of planes, according to a person familiar with the matter.

_________________
It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar , 2019 12:40 am 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1625
It seems we have a cynical ploy by the Republicans that would let Trump have his national emergency but prevent any future Democratic presidents from declaring one.
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/433750-pence-floats-offer-to-kill-trump-emergency-disapproval-resolution
Quote:
Vice President Pence is discussing an offer with Republican senators that could lead to the defeat of a Democratic resolution overturning President Trump’s emergency declaration to build a wall on the Mexican border, according to GOP sources briefed on the matter.

Under the deal discussed between Pence and GOP senators, Trump would sign legislation reining in his power to declare future national emergencies if they defeat the resolution of disapproval.

Killing the resolution on the Republican-controlled Senate floor would spare the president a major embarrassment and avoid him having to issue the first veto of his presidency.

...Senate Republicans familiar with the offer say there would have to be an ironclad promise from Trump to sign Lee’s bill in order to flip Republicans who currently say they will vote for the resolution of disapproval. So far, Trump himself hasn’t made any such pledges, leaving the process in limbo.


https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/433775-gop-senators-introduce-bill-to-rein-in-presidents-emergency-powers
Quote:
More than a dozen Republican senators introduced legislation on Tuesday that would make it easier for Congress to terminate future national emergency declarations, days before the chamber will vote on President Trump's.

The legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), would require that Congress pass a resolution extending an emergency declaration after 30 days for it to continue; otherwise the declaration would be terminated.

...Trump's emergency declaration has sparked a widespread discussion among Senate Republicans about if they should change the National Emergencies Act. Though Republicans largely support Trump on border security, they are concerned that a future Democratic president will use his precedent to force through action on issues like climate change or gun control.

Lee's legislation would not impact Trump's current emergency declaration on the wall but, if passed, would impact any future emergency declarations.



More politics in the US
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/433767-dems-flock-to-pelosi-on-trump-impeachment
Quote:
House Democrats are largely flocking to the side of Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the California Democrat seeks to tamp down any talk of impeaching President Trump.

...even some of the loudest impeachment voices rallied behind Pelosi’s strategy of insisting on bipartisan support before taking such a drastic step.

“I think that we won't actually remove this president until Sean Hannity calls for us to remove this president or until Laura Ingraham [does] — until we drive home our message, change public opinion,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who reintroduced his articles of impeachment against Trump on the first day of the new Congress in January... Sherman stressed that he believes “this president has not only committed felonies, but is harmful to the country,” but he acknowledged “just because I think he should be removed doesn't mean that Senate Republicans agree.”

...By amplifying her position, Pelosi provided cover for moderate Democrats in swing districts, including vulnerable freshmen who recently solidified the party’s House takeover and don’t want to alienate voters who also backed Trump.

...A small group of Democrats did break with Pelosi, saying there's already plenty of evidence to deem Trump unfit for office and the House should move quickly on impeachment.
It seems that Trump's staff who discussed bringing the 25th amendment to Congress, but didn't, were wise in the ways of Congress.




https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/433783-devos-moves-to-allow-religious-groups-to-provide-federally-funded
Quote:
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Monday her agency will no longer provide a federal provision that prohibits religious organizations from giving private schools federally funded services.

The decision is in response to a 2017 Supreme Court verdict that found that Missouri unconstitutionally denied a church-run preschool publicly-funded tire scraps for its playground.

“The Trinity Lutheran decision reaffirmed the long-understood intent of the First Amendment to not restrict the free exercise of religion,” DeVos said in a statement. “Those seeking to provide high-quality educational services to students and teachers should not be discriminated against simply based on the religious character of their organization.”

...President Trump has actively sought to extend religious liberty protections to church groups whose public activities have been regulated in the past.



https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/433727-epa-pushes-forward-plan-to-increase-ethanol-mix-in-gasoline
Quote:
President Trump on Tuesday advanced a plan that would expand the use of ethanol in gasoline across the U.S., a move pushed by corn farmers but expected to draw ire from the oil and gas industry.

The latest step pushes forward a proposal that would allow the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. Previously, E15 was restricted under air pollution requirements between June 1 and Sept. 15, as science shows burning ethanol in warmer temperature leads to heightened ground-level ozone pollution and smog.



https://thehill.com/policy/technology/433738-gop-pushes-back-on-net-neutrality-bill-at-testy-hearing
Quote:
GOP lawmakers pushed back on Democrats' proposed net neutrality bill at a testy hearing on Tuesday, calling the legislation "extreme" and overly partisan, while saying it would be dead on arrival in the Senate.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce technology subcommittee, called the bill a "non-starter," pointing out that it opens up the broadband industry to regulations that Republicans have long opposed.

...The Save the Internet Act, introduced by Democrats last week, would restore Obama-era regulations on the broadband industry.

The bill would codify the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2015 Open Internet Order into law, reigniting a debate between Republicans and Democrats over whether the FCC should have the legal authority to enforce net neutrality rules.



And it seems Boeing's head convinced Trump. I may be wrong that this administration will bow to public pressure. https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/433772-faa-head-says-review-has-found-no-basis-for-grounding-boeing-737-max-8

btw, the flight attendants union is not happy either.
https://www.afacwa.org/afa_statement_on_737_max
Quote:
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) is calling on the FAA to temporarily ground the 737 MAX fleet in the U.S. out of an abundance of caution in the wake of a second fatal accident involving the 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and until FAA-identified fixes to the plane can be installed, communicated, and confirmed.


And the 737 Max8 has also malfunctioned at least twice in the US.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/11/airlines-and-agencies-reassure-alarmed-passengers-about-boeing-737-max-8
Quote:
Two US airline pilots filed voluntary safety reports last year to a database compiled by Nasa, saying an automated system seemed to cause their 737 Max planes to tilt down suddenly. The pilots said that soon after engaging the autopilot on Max 8 planes, the nose tilted down sharply. In both cases, they recovered quickly after disconnecting the autopilot. The problem did not appear related to the automated anti-stall system that is suspected of contributing to a deadly October crash in Indonesia.

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar , 2019 12:15 pm 
You are hearing me talk

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Donald Trump wrote:
Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly.

Wow; just be glad you don't have to run a government or anything!


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar , 2019 1:08 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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Yeah, they're not the most eloquent remarks .or well-reasoned argument - and far below the standards I'd hope for in our president - but compared to his usual tweets, this one could be far worse. At least he seems to have been watching the right cable shows and grasped some of the issues. No worse than some people I saw defending Boeing and increasing automation with vague, knee-jerk "technology and progress are always good" remarks.

And I have to admit that I wouldn't want Einstein to be flying my plane either, though he was a brilliant theoretical physicist - if the stories are true, he was notorious for getting lost. :)
(Not that this has anything to do with the question of whether software should be prioritized over the pilot's judgement in these new systems. Trump seems to "sort of" get some ideas and throw them all together, like some older people do.)

btw, it turns out that there have been issues with this plane on take-off in the US, too, and there were more reports than the two The Guardian found. I may have been right to be suspicious that Boeing has its software fix tested and ready to go. And clearly the FAA knew.
https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/433806-us-pilots-raised-concerns-about-boeing-jets-reports
Quote:
Politico and The Dallas Morning News reported that pilots anonymously filed at least five separate complaints in a federal database on aviation incidents.

The Dallas Morning News reported that pilots cited issues with the aircraft's autopilot system and described the plane abruptly nosing down. The issues took place during the ascent and takeoff, according to the reports. The flights referenced took place in October and November, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Politico reported that at least one complaint cited an anti-stall system that has been a subject of interest following the latest crash involving the aircraft."The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag," one pilot wrote.


I can't say I'd be terribly sorry to see these planes taken out of service. I think I flew on one a while back. It was a new American Airlines plane marked with their new "superior" seating (i.e., pay us $50 more and we'll give you an extra half inch of leg room) and the seating was unusually cramped for a longer flight. The contortions involved in getting my laptop case from under the seat in one of the peon-style seats, without displacing the person next to me, were worthy of Houdini.




An interesting take on Nancy Pelosi's refusal to consider impeachment (incidentally, other sources have pointed out that she's been adamantly opposed to impeachment in all cases since Nixon):
https://www.thedailybeast.com/nancy-pelosis-misstep-its-too-early-to-mention-bipartisanship?source=twitter&via=desktop
Quote:
On the face of it, the Speaker of the House was making sound points. At the time of Richard Nixon’s in-effect impeachment, the degree of partisanship was mild compared to now and the process ended with a significant amount of bipartisan support. ...the Republican Party then was ... heavily populated by moderates, and inter-party transacting and socializing were the norm.

But: there was no bipartisanship behind the impeachment process of 1974 when it began...

Like now, the Democrats ruled the House, and at the outset the process was of their making. Rodino and his top aides plotted extensively to bring committee Republicans and Southern Democrats (they existed then in some number) around to supporting articles of impeachment, or indictment of the president.

They also had in mind the Senate, where they would conduct an in-effect trial and they’d need a two-thirds vote to convict the president and remove him from office. Rodino was privately terrified of a Nixon who’d been impeached but not convicted, a wounded lion with a lot of power still at his command.

It’s not unreasonable for Pelosi to have similar thoughts. But to insist on bipartisanship at the outset is to set a trap for her own party. The 1974 Republicans were slowly – very slowly – brought around by the cumulation of evidence, far from all of which was available at the outset...
The Atlantic editors made a similar point a while back when they called for impeachment. I'm also very bothered by the precedent of allowing a corrupt and incompetent president to stay in office, while clearly knowing what he is. That's why the Constitution has an impeachment clause, to take care of these things between elections.



https://thehill.com/policy/defense/433788-pentagon-signs-directive-to-implement-transgender-military-ban
Quote:
The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a directive has been signed to implement President Trump's policy barring most transgender people from serving in the military. Under the policy, transgender people who join after it takes effect will have to serve in the gender they were assigned at birth. Service secretaries will be allowed to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis.

The policy will go into effect in 30 days, according to the memo signed by acting Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist.

... advocates for transgender troops have argued the Pentagon is constrained by a fourth injunction, pointing to a stipulation in the order that allows for a period of time for the plaintiff to decide whether they want a rehearing in front of the court’s full bench.
So it seems that transgender people will be allowed to join the military, just under their birth certificate's assigned gender, whatever that might be. Once again the Trump administration is making problems where none existed, according to the military's own plans and reports.

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar , 2019 5:12 pm 
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So now Canada has banned the 737 Max from its airspace. Garneau says he's acting on new information received, but doesn't specify what it is (my guess is a combination of pressure from the public and sober second thoughts).

So now the U.S. is one of the only countries still flying these things...

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar , 2019 5:57 pm 

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I guess we're waiting until there isn't a single country anywhere else that isn't flying the thing. And it looks like there might be a scandal brewing. It seems that discussions have been going on between the FAA and Boeing for months about the flawed software and exactly how it would be fixed.

The information they've retrieved from the crash will be analyzed in Europe (Germany, I believe). Apparently this is unusual when a Boeing plane is involved. I wonder if someone doesn't trust US investigators now...



And there's a weird new story from Europe. I'm not sure whether it's Trump-related or not:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/north-korea-embassy-madrid-spain-attack-cia-a8821171.html
Quote:
Spanish investigators have reportedly linked the CIA to an attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid last month.

A group of 10 assailants broke into the embassy on 22 February, tying up eight members of staff before beating and interrogating them. The attackers also took computers and mobile phones from the embassy. Sources close to the investigation told Spanish newspaper El Pais they had identified at least two of the attackers as having connections with the CIA.

...They reportedly suspect the attackers were hunting for information on Kim Hyok-chol, the former North Korean ambassador to Spain who has since played a role in organising North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s meeting with Donald Trump in Vietnam.
Edit: I should probably clarify. The break-in happened a few days before Trump's North Korea summit, so the timing suggests it could have been related to that. But the CIA has been involved in shenanigans long before Trump, so Trump might or might not have been directly involved.


Also, there are some new wording shenanigans:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/13/us-describes-golan-heights-as-israeli-controlled-not-israeli-occupied
Quote:
The US state department has changed its usual description of the Golan Heights from “Israeli-occupied” to “Israeli-controlled” in an annual global human rights report released on Wednesday.
I wonder if the Trump administration will like Israel quite as much if they succeed in convicting Netanyahu for corruption and a less hardline administration is elected.

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The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Last edited by aninkling on Wed 13 Mar , 2019 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar , 2019 7:34 pm 
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Looks like the U.S. has grounded them too, now. Boeing is screwed.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Wed 13 Mar , 2019 7:46 pm 

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Only temporarily, I suspect. They have too many lucrative contracts, including some with the Defense Department.

I guess too many people were calling the airlines to ask what type of plane they'd be on.





EDIT
The matter of Cohen's pardon just got more interesting:
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/cohen-email-trump-dangled-pardon-obstruction-justice-mueller.html
Quote:
Michael Cohen Has Email Showing Trump Obstructed Justice by Dangling Pardon
Quote:
...now CNN reports that . ...Robert Costello, an attorney working with Rudy Giuliani, emailed Cohen on April 21. The emails assured Cohen he could “sleep well tonight” because he had “friends in high places,” according to CNN.

...The power to pardon convicted criminals for federal crimes is a legitimate use of presidential authority. Whether it’s legitimate for the president to use this power to pardon criminals who committed crimes on his behalf, or might have otherwise testified against him, is a subject of intense debate.

What’s not a subject of intense debate is whether a president can dangle a pardon.
Though the real work may involve definitively linking it to Trump, to the point where his defenders can't deny it through some convoluted logic.



https://thehill.com/policy/defense/433948-pentagon-to-flight-test-missiles-this-year-banned-by-treaty-trump-suspended
Quote:
Pentagon to flight-test missiles previously banned by treaty Trump suspended: report
Quote:
Citing unnamed defense officials who spoke to a small group of reporters at the Pentagon, the AP reported that a cruise missile is expected to be flight-tested in August, while a longer-range ballistic missile is expected to be tested in November.

The news comes after the Defense Department announced earlier this week it was starting to make parts for the cruise missile system.

The systems being tested by the Pentagon had been banned by the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty



https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/433926-senate-breaks-with-trump-on-saudi-led-war-in-yemen
Quote:
The Senate broke with President Trump on Wednesday over the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, paving the way for a veto showdown with the White House. Senators voted 54-46 to pass a resolution requiring the president to withdraw any troops in or "affecting" Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda.

GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Steve Daines (Mont.), Mike Lee (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Todd Young (Ind.) voted with Democrats on the resolution.



It seems that what it takes to support Trump's emergency declaration, for some senators, is a promise that it won't affect military spending in your own state
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/433967-mcsally-to-back-trump-on-emergency-declaration
Quote:
Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) announced Wednesday she will vote against a resolution blocking President Trump’s national emergency declaration after securing reassurances that no funding for Arizona military construction projects will be diverted for the border wall.

...The Arizona Republican said that she was assured in conversations with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Trump and Vice President Pence that Trump's emergency declaration to build the border wall will not impact any military construction projects in Arizona.



And another interesting article on Boeing's MCAS system, from back in November. I believe they did inform pilots about this system after the first crash:
https://theaircurrent.com/aviation-safety/what-is-the-boeing-737-max-maneuvering-characteristics-augmentation-system-mcas-jt610/
Quote:
What is the Boeing 737 Max Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System?

Boeing quietly added a new system "to compensate for some unique aircraft handling characteristics."

Quote:
The existence of the MCAS system caught pilots and their labor unions off guard, intensifying the scrutiny on the aircraft in the wake of the October 29 crash in Indonesia that killed everyone aboard. The system isn’t mentioned in the flight crew operations manual (FCOM) that governs the master description of the aircraft for pilots and is the basis for Southwest’s airline documentation and training.

The Southwest Q&A asks Why?

“Since it operates in situations where the aircraft is under relatively high g load and near stall, a pilot should never see the operation of MCAS. As such, Boeing did not include an MCAS description in its FCOM.” The explainer continues: “In this case, MCAS will trim nose as designed to assist the pilot during recover, likely going unnoticed by the pilot.”

There is another explanation, according to a Tuesday report in The Wall Street Journal: “One high-ranking Boeing official said the company had decided against disclosing more details to cockpit crews due to concerns about inundating average pilots with too much information — and significantly more technical data — than they needed or could digest.”

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar , 2019 12:27 pm 
You are hearing me talk

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Jude wrote:
Looks like the U.S. has grounded them too, now. Boeing is screwed.

Why Boeing and not the airlines that own the planes? Do the sales contracts stipulate they need to pay for operating time lost due to design flaws?


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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar , 2019 1:12 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 1625
Interesting question. I'm curious too. I assumed that Jude just meant the hit Boeing will take to its stocks and reputation. And possibly liability issues, since they clearly knew the system had a glitch but assumed it wasn't such a big issue that they should ground the planes or issue any strong warnings. Someone said liability might have been why they waited for the FAA to ground them instead of doing it themselves. Now they can argue that the flaw really wasn't that bad and the FAA overreacted. It sounds like Boeing and the FAA were already arguing, over the last few months, about whether all the changes the FAA wanted made were actually necessary.



btw, the original guidance on transgender people in the military was mild compared to what came out yesterday:
https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/433983-military-will-begin-enforcing-transgender-troop-ban-in-april
Quote:
Guidelines posted online by the Defense Department on Wednesday state that all individuals who have transitioned or who need to in the view of medical providers will be banned from serving beginning April 12.

The new policy also prohibits those with a history of gender dysphoria from joining the armed services unless they have been "stable" in their biological sex for three years, agree to abide by the guidelines for that sex, and have not transitioned and do not need to in the view of medical providers.

"The new DOD policy eliminates special accommodations that were provided to persons with gender dysphoria but not to others," the memo states. "Individuals who have undergone either hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery for gender dysphoria will no longer be able to join the military without a waiver."




And something is happening with the Mueller investigation. I'll wait and see before I conclude that this is a sign they're winding down. Do people usually resign before the report is even released? Or did this guy just work on the Manafort aspect?
https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/433996-top-mueller-deputy-leaving-office-in-sign-russia-investigation-is
Quote:
A top prosecutor investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between President Trump's campaign and Moscow is reportedly leaving special counsel Robert Mueller's office and the Department of Justice (DOJ.) NPR, citing two unidentified sources, reported Thursday that Andrew Weissmann will teach at New York University and work on public service projects

...Weissmann, a top lieutenant to Mueller in the probe, took the lead in the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Manafort faces 7 1/2 years in prison after he was sentenced by a federal judge in Virginia last week and a federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

...NPR noted that Weissmann's departure comes after a top FBI agent in the investigation, David Archey, left the special counsel's office earlier this month to start a new job in Richmond, Va. Multiple other prosecutors have also left the office in recent months, including Scott Meisler, Kyle Freeny and Brandon Van Grack.

Additionally, NPR reported that WilmerHale, the firm that Mueller and multiple other prosecutors left to join the special counsel, is expecting the return of some of its ex-partners.

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That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar , 2019 2:31 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
Jude wrote:
Looks like the U.S. has grounded them too, now. Boeing is screwed.

Why Boeing and not the airlines that own the planes? Do the sales contracts stipulate they need to pay for operating time lost due to design flaws?

Well, okay, they're screwed too. It's not an "or" scenario. :P

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 Post subject: Re: You've been Trumped!
PostPosted: Thu 14 Mar , 2019 3:05 pm 
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Airlines are hitting Boeing with liability and looking for compensation.

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