Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!
Reince Priebus has been tapped to be President Elect Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff when he moves into the Oval Office on January 20.
Controversial figure, Steve Bannon, has been named Chief Political Strategist for the incoming President.
Trump in making his announcement Sunday said the pair would be equals in his Administration.
The appointment of Bannon has outcries coming from pundits, national news journalists and Democrats. Bannon ran the alt-right website Breitbart. Detractors see his appointment as allowing bigotry into the White House.
As Trump made his announcement, the sound was deafening as minds closed tighter than a trap on a bear’s leg.
The idea of giving a Trump presidency a chance melted faster than snow in the Mohave Desert.
Reality is 99% perception.
The perception of Bannon is that of a man who is anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-Semetic, anti-black and misogynistic.
Forget that Bannon kept Trump on message and won him the White House.
Forget that Bannon took away Trump’s phone as the election drew near.
Protests continue across the country with people rejecting Trump as their President. A petition is online calling on Electors to be “faithless” and vote for Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote, rather than for Trump who may have won their individual state.
In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Trump said that same-gender marriage was “settled law.” Abortion, Roe V Wade, however is still up for review in Trump’s opinion.
That $400,000 year salary a President receives?
Trump will only take $1.
The President Elect has two words for supporters who are targeting minorities, immigrants and others, “Stop it.”
Don’t expect Trump to “lock her up.” Chalk it up to political rhetoric when it comes to vanquished foe Clinton.
House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says more Clinton investigations are not part of the GOP agenda.
Students from coast to coast walked out of high schools in protest of the election of Trump.
Vice President Elect Mike Pence as Indiana Governor has gone to court to shield his private emails from public scrutiny.
Is New Jersey Chris Christie in or out of a Trump Administration?
Will Trump honor an agreement with Australia to accept asylum seekers in exchange for Australia accepting Latin American immigrants?
Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to rush through details of the climate change pact approved by the United Nations and signed by the US before Trump takes office.
Trump has promised to negate the pact.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republicans, “We must deliver.”
“We need to seize this moment, and come together like never before,” Ryan told fellow House GOP lawmakers in a letter seeking their support in his re-election for speaker.
Former presidential wannabe and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had some scathing remarks for Democrats.
“There needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite,” Sanders said in an interview on CBS This Morning.
“I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party can’t talk to the people where I came from,” he added.
Ex-wife Ivana Trump wants to be ambassador to the Czech Republic.
A push is on to separate Trump from his business dealings which could present a conflict of interest.
Some House Democrats want to delay voting for new leadership in light of last week’s loss at the polls. At least 20 have sent a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“It is vital that our Caucus take the time to listen to the American people and learn the lessons of this difficult election in order to put our Caucus in the best position to fight the potentially dangerous agenda of President-elect Donald Trump and to have a realistic chance of taking back the House in 2018,” the letter reads.
President Barack Obama is on his last foreign trip as Leader of the Free World with stops in Greece, Germany and Peru on tap.
Before the Prez left, he gave a press conference on Monday in which he said that President Elect Donald Trump was more “pragmatic” and not holding to a specific ideology.
Some notable quips from Obama:
“Nobody said democracy was suppose to be easy. It’s hard.”
“This office has a way of waking you up.”
“It is true I have not been able to close the darn thing,” said the Prez about Gitmo.
Meanwhile tension continues to swirl around the pick of Steve Bannon as the Chief Political Strategist in the incoming Trump Administration. A move, which President Obama said that Trump must be allowed to make his own decisions.
Sort of like saying that Trump must be allowed to stub his toe.
While it seems that House Speaker Paul Ryan is safe in his position, Nancy Pelosi may be in trouble holding on to her spot as Minority Leader in the House of Representatives.
Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan is said to be taking on Pelosi for the job. The election has been delayed until November 30.
Even the Prez seem to put the onus on the election loss at the feet of Hillary Clinton in responding to reporters on Monday.
Clinton told House Democrats on a conference call, “No one is sorrier than me.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin reached out to the President Elect and offered to reset the relationship once Trump is in office.
Arizona Senator and 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain warned the President Elect today to not get too cozy with nor believe too much coming out of the mouth of Putin.
Dr. Ben Carson, who ran unsuccessfully for President, has declined to serve in the Trump Cabinet, but rather to advise the new President from the outside.
Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois have come down as sanctuary cities which will not cooperate with detention of illegal immigrants for deportation.
The City of Washington DC released a statement today declaring it would uphold its status as a sanctuary city as well.
Trump is looking into getting Top Secret security clearances for adult children – Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric – as well as son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
President Obama praised Greece for being one of five NATO countries paying its 2% of GDP as required. The issue of NATO members paying was a Trump complaint during the campaign.
Speaker Ryan to the American people: “Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government.”
Speaking from Greece today, President Obama said, “We are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism, or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an us and a them, and I will never apologize for saying that the future of humanity and the future of the world is doing to be defined by what we have in common, as opposed to those things that separate us and ultimately lead us into conflict.”
“Genius” or “disaster“?
Trump has called the Electoral College, which is how he won the presidency, both terms.
Who will serve in a Trump Cabinet?
Maybe we will know tomorrow.
A Russian investigative committee has arrested the Economic Development Minister on corruption and bribery charges.
The British government is reeling after a memo was leaked stating there is no Brexit strategy due to in-fighting among the Ministers.
The national press is miffed that President Elect Donald Trump took his family out to dinner at The 21 Club in New York City, New York last night without them.
In fact the press was clueless that the incoming First Family had left Trump Tower until a reporter, who happened to be dining at the restaurant, tweeted out that Trump was there.
Reportedly, the patrons at the trendy eatery took it all in stride and matter-of-fact that the man who would soon be Leader of the Free World and his family were having dinner in the same room with them.
Trump spokesperson Jason Miller said the Trump team was working toward setting up a protective pool in the near future but said that “for some in the media, unless they’re actually sitting at the table, seeing if he’s getting the chicken or the fish, that they will never be happy. And there always needs to be some balance for respecting some degree of privacy.”
Back in 2008, then President Elect Barack Obama did not name his first Cabinet member until 20 days after the election.
At that time the first named was the Treasury Secretary. Americans and the press had to wait until December for more appointments.
It has been eight days since this election. The press are clamoring for Cabinet appointments.
Surely the Transition Team is in total disarray because there are no announcements yet.
Jared Kushner – soon-to-be First Son-in-Law – seems to be holding all the cards or at least has the biggest and last voice in the ear of the President Elect.
And we are surprised, why?
Kushner, along with wife Ivanka, were the most influential voices during Trump’s campaign.
Why should that change?
Mitch McConnell remains Majority Leader in the US Senate.
Chuck Schumer takes the reins of Minority Leader from retiring Harry Reid.
Will Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan challenge Nancy Pelosi for Minority Leader in the House of Representatives or won’t he?
Ryan is not saying. But the other Ryan, Paul, won by unanimous acclamation the nod from Republicans to remain Speaker of the House.
Vanquished foe, Hillary Clinton, now has amassed more than one million votes more than Trump in the popular vote count. This does not alter the Electoral College win by Trump.
The House approved an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 more years.
It now moves to the Senate.
Debatable if President Barack Obama will sign if it makes it to his desk before he leaves office.
Ted Cruz showed up at Trump Towers on Tuesday – if only…
Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio showed up for a sit down at Trump Towers with the President Elect.
Not sure which would have been more interesting to listen and watch – Cruz or de Blasio.
In another testament that we are transitioning to a Reality TV Presidency, Trump took to Twitter to announce, “I am the only one who knows who the finalists are.”
Trump was talking about his picks for his Cabinet.
The wording, however, sounds like something you would have read or heard from his long-running show, The Apprentice.
Still in Athens, Greece, President Obama poignantly noted, “Democracy depends on a peaceful transfer of power. Especially when you don’t get the results you want.”
Before leaving office, President Obama plans to block drilling for oil or natural gas in the Arctic Ocean until 2022.
The South Carolina Governor, with family roots in India, is being rumored to be in consideration for the post of Secretary of State.
Count the Independent Senator from Vermont who gave Clinton a run for her money, Bernie Sanders, as a member of the new leadership in the Senate. Sanders is the new Chair of Outreach.
Liberal darling and rising star, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was elevated to Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference.
Twitter has suspended alt-right accounts.
Earlier this year, it suspended the account of a Breitbart senior editor.
Did Megyn Kelly fail to disclose information vital to voters that she put in her book?
Are the accusations of Trump threatening her, Roger Ailes harassing her, Trump knowing questions, all put in the book to make sales?
Or did Kelly violate her duty as a working journalist?
Everyone is talking about how unexpected the outcome of the election was – even for Trump.
Here were my thoughts back in February: An American Revolution
Smoke ’em if you got ’em – marijuana cigarettes that is – in bars and restaurants in Denver, Colorado. Voters approved the measure in last week’s voting.
The Russian government conducted an “extraordinary meeting“, but no one knows why. Though the government is now saying it was “routine.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was the first to submit his resignation as one Administration makes the hand-off to the incoming one.
This puts added pressure on the Donald Trump Transition Team to find the right people to man the leadership posts that will guide a Trump presidency.
Vanquished Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received an award from the Children Defense Fund last night.
She had a few words to her supporters.
“I know over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was,” she said.
“The divisions laid bare by this election run deep, but please listen to me when I say this. America is worth it, our children are worth it.”
“Even if it may not seem like it right now,” she said, “there is common ground to build upon.”
On his last foreign trip as President, Barack Obama spoke in Athens, Greece before heading on to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“As you may have noticed, the next American president and I could not be more different,” Obama said. “We have very different points of view, but American democracy is bigger than any one person.”
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife hosted Vice President Elect Mike Pence and his wife yesterday. Biden spoke to reporters after the luncheon.
“On Day 1, everything will be in good hands,” Biden said.
As of today, the Trump Transition Team is conducting daily press briefings. Today’s was a conference call rather than a face-to-face.
Speaking from Germany today, the Prez cautioned that the President Elect and voters need to be “serious about facts.”
The President Elect meets with his first foreign head of state, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during the 5 o’clock hour today without State briefing.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley made the trek to Trump Towers today. She is reportedly being considered for Secretary of State.
A 2-hour meeting with the entire Transition Team has been set for tomorrow with Trump.
The GOP 2008 presidential nominee Mitt Romney will have a sit down with the President Elect this weekend.
Talk about strange bedfellows.
Is Romney being considered for a Cabinet position?
NBC News reports Romney is in the running for State Secretary.
Like it or not, soon-to-be First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner is not going anywhere and will likely get that Top Secret security clearance.
Retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sounds like an old pugilist not ready to leave the ring and go to his corner.
Forget the rumors about charter school advocate Eva Moskowitz for Secretary of Education. Moskowitz said she does not want the job.
Democratic lawmakers continue to call on Trump to take back his appointment of Steve Bannon as his Chief Political Strategist.
The requests seem to fall on deaf ears.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appealed directly to Pence today to intercede with Trump to get rid of Bannon.
I do not see that happening.
Nope, pork will not be back on the table in the US House of Representatives. Speaker Paul Ryan declared the item remains banned from the menu.
(Earmarks, for those not aware of which pork is referred also known as pet projects for members of Congress.)
GOP members, though, say they want to hear it from the President Elect if their pet projects can be green lighted or continue to see a red light.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson has called on President Obama to issue a blanket pardon to Clinton. (Pardon Me?)
Kansas Congressman Tom Huelskamp says he has been asked about becoming Agriculture Secretary.
The Trump Team announced a five-year ban on lobbying by those joining the incoming Administration once they leave government service.
The Team also said any candidates wanting to be named have to cut all ties to any lobbying positions currently being held.
Former Texas Governor and presidential wannabe Rick Perry for Energy Secretary?
The same department Perry wanted to do away with if he were President?
President Obama has asked the 4,000 or so political appointees to submit their letters of resignation no later than Inauguration Day.
House Republicans plan to put through a bill to fund the government through March to allow the Trump Administration to add input for the fiscal year 2017.
Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer says in addition to the 5-year lobbying ban, appointees will be banned for life from representing a foreign government.
Add Baltimore, Maryland to the list of sanctuary cities.
Democrats are asking President Obama to issue a pardon to all “dreamers”, who have registered with the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger visited Trump Towers.
Count Newt Gingrich out in serving in a Trump Administration. The former Speaker of the House and would-be presidential hopeful said, “I intend to be focused on strategic planning.”
Keep an eye on Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who is becoming more of a key player than he already has been.
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan has formally thrown his hat in the ring to replace California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader.
Wait for it – the President Elect is planning a “Victory Tour” of states he won.
A fake news writer is claiming credit for Trump’s win.
In honor of the Vice President Elect, a staunch social conservative, thousands have donated to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name.
At least 20,000 donations have been sent in for Pence.
How nice of North Korea offering to make nice with the US of A under Trump – IF – the incoming Commander-in-Chief removes all American troops and defenses from South Korea.
A Cornfield lawmaker plans to introduce a bill to the Indiana General Assembly to outlaw and criminalize all abortions in the state.
Coming many days ahead of then President Elect Barack Obama in 2008, President Elect Donald Trump is choosing people for top posts in his Administration.
Attorney General: Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions
Central Intelligence Agency Director: Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo
National Security Adviser: Retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn
Two of the positions require US Senate confirmation. One does not.
Will remarks which denied him a federal judgeship back in the 1980s derail Session’s getting the top job at the US Justice Department?
Pompeo will likely face some rigorous questions from Democrats over his questioning during the Benghazi hearings, but will likely be the nation’s next top spy.
Pompeo won his seat in 2010 as part of the Tea Party revolt.
The choice of Pompeo is garnering praise from the security community for Trump.
Flynn, who has been a very vocal supporter of Trump, does not require confirmation. Flynn is the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The question is if Flynn will tone down his rhetoric about Islam?
Bandied about: Michelle Rhee for Education Secretary and Admiral Michael Rogers for Director of National Intelligence. Retired General James Mattis is under consideration to be Defense Secretary.
Soon-to-be First Daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner joined her father in meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last evening.
Abe was the first foreign head of state to meet with the President Elect.
Does Ivanka, who with her brothers will run the Trump Organization, run into a conflict of interest by sitting in on the meeting with a world leader?
Abe said the conversation was “candid” in a “warm atmosphere.” The pair agreed to more and deeper conversations.
The Prime Minister also said of the President Elect that he is a “leader in whom I can have great confidence.”
Abe and Trump met for about 90 minutes.
After calls from Democratic lawmakers for President Barack Obama to pardon “dreamers” before he leaves office, the White House said the President does not have that authority.
The idea of implementing a registry to track Muslims is being dismissed by Team Trump:
Trump is taking credit for Ford Motors’ decision not to move production of one model of Lincoln out of Kentucky for Mexico.
The fraud case involving Trump University looks like is being settled for $25 million after Trump signed off on the settlement.
In the for-what-its-worth department, Kanye West did not vote in the past election, but had he voted would have voted for Trump.
Former Arkansas Governor and presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee met with Trump today, but remained mum about their conversation.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reports having a good conversation with the President Elect on the future of the alliance. The two also discussed increased defense spending and terrorism.
In an interview with Der Spiegel, President Obama was asked if he would pardon Edward Snowden, who revealed the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program.
The Prez replied, “I can’t pardon somebody who hasn’t gone before a court and presented themselves.”
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter from Steve Bannon, the Chief Political Strategist for the President Elect, “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they – get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”
The reporter speculated the “they” was referring to liberals.
A Georgia state lawmaker has withdrawn his bill to outlaw the wearing of the burqa after an outcry from constituents and push back from colleagues.
Who is the President Elect meeting with this weekend?
According to Reuters:
Republican donor and former chair of the Michigan Republican Party
Republican National Committee finance chairman
RETIRED GENERAL JAMES MATTIS
Retired four-star general and head of U.S. Central Command
Visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative-leaning think tank at Stanford University
CKE Restaurants chief executive officer and director
Under consideration for U.S. labor secretary, according to Politico
2012 Republican presidential nominee
Former governor of Massachusetts and CEO of 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City
Under possible consideration for U.S. secretary of state
Former chancellor of Washington, D.C., public school system
Founder of StudentsFirst, an education advocacy group
Under consideration for education secretary, according to media reports
Chicago Cubs board member
Director and CEO of Ending Spending, a political group that has said it wants to reduce “wasteful and excessive government spending”
*Founder and president of Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, a community development advocacy group (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
With the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton, a new survey reveals 2/3 of Democrats want to get rid of the Electoral College.
Don’t bet the kids’ future on that happening any time soon.
Talking with The New Yorker, President Obama said about his legacy under a Trump presidency, “Maybe 15 percent of that gets rolled back, 20 percent, but there’s still a lot of stuff that sticks.”
A Washington State lawmaker wants protesters of the President Elect’s victory charged with “economic terrorism.”
Mr. State Senator, you have heard of the US Constitution – right?
The Portage, Indiana Mayor and the Lake County, Indiana Sheriff have been charged with corruption.
President Elect Donald Trump met with the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Saturday.
Romney on meeting with Trump said that the two had “a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance.”
However, Romney remained mum about the Secretary of State position up for grabs.
The Sage of the Book of Ecclesiastes told us that there is “a time and a season” for everything.
Was this advice not adhered to when the cast of Hamilton chided and implored with Vice President Elect Mike Pence, when he attended a performance of the show with his family, on Friday night, to uphold American principles and ideals?
Were the “boos” from the audience impolite, rude and disrespectful?
The President Elect thinks so and tweeted the cast of the show owed Pence an apology.
Was this the wrong time and place?
Pence for his part said he was “not offended.” The Vice President Elect added, “That’s what freedom sounds like.”
The movement is on to have Electors go against the popular vote in their state which awards the presidency to Trump and cast a “faithless” ballot for vanquished Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when the Electoral College convenes and officially selects the next President on December 19.
The grassroots movement is basing its appeal to Electors on the fact that Clinton won the popular vote. That vote was almost exclusively in the Northeast and the West Coast.
There were a couple of blue islands in this sea of red – Illinois and Minnesota.
That popular vote lead is now over 1.5 million.
Scuttlebutt has it incoming First Lady Melania Trump and First Son Barron will stay in New York City, New York rather than moving into the White House to shield Barron from prying eyes and the media circus. The two may, however, move to Washington when school is out in the spring.
Current Republican National Committee Chair and incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus refused to rule out the possibility of a Muslim registry while appearing on the Sunday talk shows. However, Priebus added there would be no registry based on religion.
Is Trump’s conflict of interest showing?
On Friday, the President Elect met with three businessmen from India in the process of building a luxury apartment complex branded with the Trump name in their native country.
Retired Army General Jack Keane says he has declined an offer to be Secretary of Defense from Trump.
The outgoing Administration of President Barack Obama want to sack the head of the National Security Agency before leaving office. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. both recommended last month that Admiral Mike Rogers be removed as head of the NSA.
Rogers is under consideration by Trump to be Director of National Intelligence when he takes office January 20, 2017.
While in Peru, the Prez had this to say about his successor:
“My main message to you … and the message I delivered in Europe is don’t just assume the worst,” Obama told a group of young people during a question-and-answer session on Saturday.
“Wait until the administration is in place, it’s actually putting its policies together, and then you can make your judgments as to whether or not it’s consistent with the international community’s interest in living in peace and prosperity together.”
Speaking of the Prez, he seems to think that he should take the helm of the currently rudderless Democratic Party.
Hispanic representation in state legislator grew from 307 to 321 members with this election.
In global politics: Angela Merkel announced she will run for a fourth term to be Germany’s Chancellor.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was rejected by conservatives in France.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s favorable rating has dropped to a new low of 25% with the election of nemesis Trump.
Could the President of South Korea be toppled and charged with crimes?
Two of her close confidantes were just charged and she was implicated as a conspirator.
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