W

November 10, 2018

Week 104

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

In the midterms this week, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, picking up between 35-40 seats, in an election dubbed “The Year of the Woman.” A history making 100 plus women will head to the House next session, as Democrats celebrated their upcoming check on Trump for the first time since he took office. As the week ended, senate races in Florida and Arizona and governor races in Florida and Georgia were still undecided, as Trump and his allies stoked false claims of voter fraud and interference by Democrats.

Americans did not get a chance to catch their breath, as the next day Trump took a major step towards ending the Mueller probe, forcing out Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and installing a crony who has been critical of the probe, and talked of starving it of funding to end it. Grassroots activists mobilized with protests nationwide to “Protect Mueller.” Post-election reporting indicated Trump is “depressed” ahead of possible indictments coming soon from the Mueller probe, including possibly of his son, Donald Jr.

  1. In Tallahassee, Florida, Scott Beierle, 40, shot and killed Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21, and injured five others at a hot yoga studio, before killing himself.
  2. Beierle had recorded numerous misogynistic and racist videos, and had been accused of touching women’s buttocks without their consent. He expressed his disgust at women online and urged ‘incels’ to fight back.
  3. In an extensive article, the New York Times Magazine reported on the rise of white nationalism, and how U.S. law enforcement failed to see the threat coming, and now do not know how to stop it.
  4. White nationalism is no longer on the fringes, but has entered the political mainstream. A report produced by the Brennan Center for Justice calls out the DOJ for its “blind spot” when it comes to domestic terrorism and hate crimes.
  5. On Saturday, at a campaign rally in Florida, Trump bragged about sending the U.S. military to the border, as troops began putting up chain-link fencing topped with barbed wire earlier in that day.
  6. Trump also said it’s “a little suspicious how those caravans are starting,” insinuating, without evidence, that the Democrats were behind it.
  7. WAPO reported Trump’s military deployment, along with National Guard forces at the U.S.-Mexico border since April, could cost $200 million by the end of the year. Trump has asked the military to slash next year’s budget.
  8. NYT reported that according to analysis of data, the Trump regime has sharply lowered financial penalties against banks and big companies accused of malfeasance, mirroring the regime’s deregulatory agenda.
  9. Under Trump there has been a 62% drop in penalties imposed by the S.E.C., and a 72% decline in corporate penalties from the Justice Department’s criminal prosecutions.
  10. On Sunday, without citing evidence, using his position as Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brian Kemp’s office announced the Democrats were under investigation for allegedly trying to hack the state’s voter registration files.
  11. Trump appeared with Kemp at a campaign rally, but neither made mention of the investigation. Late Sunday, a spokesperson for Kemp said a person named Rachel Small had allegedly talked about trying to hack Kemp.
  12. On Sunday, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose tweeted that Trump should stop his “unauthorized use” of the band’s music at his rallies “without the songwriters’ consent,” adding “Can u say ‘shitbags?!’ ”
  13. On Monday, NBC and Facebook said they would stop running a 30-second inflammatory ad by Trump’s political team that featured Luis Bracamontes, saying it was racist. Both had run the ad over the weekend.
  14. Later that morning, Trump ally Fox News also said it would stop running the ad on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. CNN had refused to run the ad from the start, calling it “racist.”
  15. When asked about the ad being pulled by reporters later Monday, Trump responded, “You’re telling me something I don’t know about,” adding “We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective, based on the numbers.”
  16. When asked about critics who called the ad offensive, Trump responded, “A lot of things are offensive. Your questions are offensive a lot of times so, you know.”
  17. On Monday, HuffPost reported hundreds in armed militia groups are headed to U.S.- Mexico border following Trump stoking fear of the “caravans,” sparking concern from the U.S. military.
  18. On Monday, in a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department plans to monitor voting and investigate voter fraud, without specifying what fraud-related issues the department will be looking for.
  19. Sessions also said, “we are using every lawful tool that we have, both civil and criminal, to protect the rights of millions of Americans to cast their vote unimpeded,” and “fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated.”
  20. Shortly after, Trump tweeted “Law Enforcement has been strongly notified to watch closely for any ILLEGAL VOTING which may take place,” adding anyone caught will be subject to “Maximum Criminal Penalties.”
  21. In another tweet, Trump accused CNN of airing “Fake Suppression Polls” and engaging in“false rhetoric,” although he provided no evidence or explanation of what he was referring to.
  22. On Monday, the Des Moines Register reported DOJ personnel will be sent to a county in northwest Iowa, which has a large population of immigrants, to monitor the vote.
  23. On Saturday, Trump tweeted “rumor has it that Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana is paying for Facebook ads,” adding, “Donnelly is trying to steal the election? Isn’t that what Russia did!?
  24. On Monday, WAPO reported that members of Russia’s lower house of parliament will be in the U.S. to help certify the integrity of the midterms, ensuring that the vote lives up to international democratic standards.
  25. The news was first reported by Russia-state media outlet Tass, which said two member of parliament will be examining cybersecurity, gerrymandering, voting rights, and campaign financing in the U.S.
  26. On Monday, Trump told reporters he “probably” will not be meeting with Vladimir Putin this weekend in Paris as scheduled, saying instead they will meet at the G20.
  27. On Monday, Facebook announced on the night before midterms it pulled down 115 “inauthentic” Facebook and Instagram accounts due to concerns “they were linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency.”
  28. After being out on the campaign trail for Democratic candidates in recent days, Obama gave his closing argument for voting in a series of tweets, including, “The character of our country is on the ballot.
  29. On Monday, Vanity Fair reported Trump has been working to absolve himself of any blame if the GOP loses the House. Trump claims he has brought crowds and excitement, and it would be worse without him.
  30. A West Wing official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee said with Mueller likely reporting his findings shortly, that other than Trump, Roger Stone and Donald Jr.will face the most exposure.
  31. Concern is Mueller will be able to prove that Donald Jr. perjured himself to investigators when he said he did not tell Trump beforehand about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
  32. On Monday, in an interview with Sinclair Broadcasting, Trump said of his tone during his first two years in office, “I would like to have a much softer tone. I feel to a certain extent I have no choice, but maybe I do.”
  33. On Monday, in an apparent last-minute pitch to women who polls show overwhelmingly support Democrats this election, Trump brought Ivanka, Kellyanne Conway, and press secretary Sarah Sanders to a rally in Indiana.
  34. On Monday, watchdog group CREW reported Ivanka’s fashion brand won first trial approval for 16 new trademarks from the Chinese government in October, the largest number in a single month since Trump took office.
  35. On Monday, Fox News host Sean Hannity, who said in a tweet that he would not appear on stage with Trump, campaigned on stage with him in Missouri the night before midterms.
  36. Hannity’s first remark on stage was “by the way, all those people in the back are fake news.” Following Hannity, Trump introduced Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, and praised her opening monologues as “always brilliant.”
  37. CNN Business reported Fox News staffers have anonymously expressed outrage over Hannity’s rally appearance, saying “a new line was crossed,” and “I am so f — -ing mad.” Hannity was supposed to interview Trump.
  38. On Tuesday, Fox issued a statement saying, “Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” adding “This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”
  39. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Taiwanese supplier Foxconn, which Trump has used as an example of bringing jobs to the U.S., is considering bringing Chinese workers to Wisconsin due to the tight U.S. labor market.
  40. A report by the Lexington Herald-Leader found that Kentucky has fewer coal jobs than when Trump took office, shrinking from 6,550 jobs in the first quarter of 2017, to 6,381 this past quarter.
  41. On Tuesday, Le Monde reported Dmitri Rybolovlev, the Russian oligarch who purchased a mansion from Trump in 2008, was detained in Monaco, and is under investigation for corruption and influence peddling.
  42. On Tuesday, voting irregularities were reported in several states. Several states extended voting hours including two precincts near Spelman and Morehouse College in Georgia, and Harris County in Texas.
  43. On Tuesday, in the midterm elections, Democrats took back control of the House, while Republicans kept control of the Senate. As of Saturday, Democrats had picked up 35 House seats, with more counts pending.
  44. In an election some dubbed as the “Year of the Woman,” for the first time in history, there will be more than 100 women in the House, including the first Muslim American (two) and Native American (two) women.
  45. A total of 34 new women won House seats, 33 of whom are Democrats, beating a previous high set in 1992, with close races still to be decided. Most of the women replaced incumbent men.
  46. They join 66 House women who were re-elected. There will be at least 100 women in the House next session, the largest number in U.S. history. The party gap is large: Democrats 87, Republicans 13, with races pending.
  47. Democrats also did well at the state level, flipping seven governorships, six state legislative chambers, and more than 300 state House and Senate seats.
  48. Democrats also added control of the trifecta — the legislative chambers and the governor’s office —  in seven more states: Maine, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, and New York.
  49. With Democrats having 26 senate seats in play to Republicans having just 8, Democrats won 8 of the 10 senate seats in swing states, with the final two, Arizona and Florida, still undecided by weeks end.
  50. WSJ reported following midterm success, and after another mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, the Democrats plan to pursue the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades.
  51. In the midterms, Democrats beat at least 15 House Republicans with an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, while the candidates elected to replace them all scored an “F” NRA rating.
  52. On Wednesday, Vanity Fair reported according to friends who watched the midterms with Trump at first “his mood was great,” thinking he could defy political gravity, “but that was before everything went bad.”
  53. Trump insiders fear the White House is not set up to defend itself from the Democrat House onslaught. Trump reportedly is thinking what they could they release about him, and how does it work politically for him.
  54. Insiders also reportedly say Trump is “very depressed” about Donald Jr. possibly facing indictment. According to three sources, Donald Jr. has told friends he could be indicted as early as this week.
  55. On Wednesday, Trump warned House Democrats about investigating him, tweeting if they “waste Taxpayer Money investigating us,” then “we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them.”
  56. Trump also tweeted to warn “pundits or talking heads” against not giving “us proper credit for this great Midterm Election,” saying, “just remember two words — FAKE NEWS!”
  57. On Wednesday, the Department of Defense dropped the term “Operation Faithful Patriot” for the deployment of 5,200 military at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the operation will now be referred to as “border support.”
  58. On Wednesday, Trump held a post-midterms press conference and was openly hostile to the media. Trump attacked CNN saying, “When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”
  59. Trump also attacked CNN’s Jim Acosta, telling him to put down the mic, and saying “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person.”
  60. When NBC’s Peter Alexander defended Acosta, Trump went after him as well, saying “Well I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest with you. You aren’t the best.”
  61. Trump attacked Yamiche Alcindor of ”PBS Newshour” when she asked about his using the label “nationalist,” responding, “That’s such a racist question,” and “I love our country. I do. You have nationalists. You have globalists.”
  62. Trump called out the Republicans by name who lost in midterms after rejecting his support, saying “They did very badly,” adding “I’m not sure if I should be happy or sad.”
  63. Trump threatened to retaliate against Democrats if they investigate him, saying “if they do that then all it is is a war-like posture,” and “They can play that game but we can play it better. It’s called the U.S. Senate.”
  64. Trump also said the Mueller probe is a “hoax,” and “a disgrace, it should have never been started because there was no crime,” saying the only reason he has not fired Mueller is because it might make him look bad.
  65. On Wednesday night, the White House revoked Acosta’s press credentials. Press secretary Sanders accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman” who was trying to take the microphone as the rationale.
  66. On Thursday, reporters and new organizations of all political leanings slammed the White House for barring Acosta. The White House Correspondents’ Association also condemned the move.
  67. On Thursday, a CNN executive accused the White House of using a ‘doctored’ video to justify revoking Acosta’s press credentials.
  68. On Wednesday, at Trump’s request, Sessions resigned as attorney general. Sessions’s resignation letter reads, “Dear Mr. President, At your request, I am submitting my resignation.” The letter is not dated.
  69. WAPO reported Sessions received a call from Chief of Staff John Kelly on Wednesday morning telling him Trump wanted him to resign. Sessions wanted to finish the week, but Kelly said Wednesday would be his last day.
  70. Shortly after, Trump tweeted that Sessions would be replaced on an acting basis by Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, and added “a permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
  71. A DOJ official said Whitaker would assume authority over the Mueller probe, and that his role will be subject to the normal review process for conflicts.
  72. Trump has told advisers that Whitaker is loyal and would not have recused himself in Sessions’ shoes. Rod Rosenstein went to the White House that afternoon for what an official said was a pre-scheduled meeting.
  73. Whitaker has said in the past the Mueller probe has gone too far, should be given a budget “so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt,” and that the finances of the Trump family should not be under scrutiny.
  74. On Wednesday, Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Adam Schiff, and Elijah Cummings, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, sent letters to top White House officials demanding that they preserve records following the firing of Sessions.
  75. On Wednesday, Guardian reported Whitaker was paid to sit on the advisory board of World Patent Marketing, which was ordered in May to pay a $26 million settlement as part of a vast scam of aspiring inventors.
  76. Emails filed in federal court show from August 2015 Whitaker used his role as a former federal prosecutor in a threatening email to a customer of World Patent, who had complained to the Better Business Bureau.
  77. On Thursday, CNN reported Trump had already begun reviewing with his lawyers the written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller when he fired Sessions.
  78. Roger Stone continues to be a focus. On Thursday, Mueller’s team is set to appear in court to defend its authority as another one of Stone’s former associates aims to quash a subpoena for grand jury testimony.
  79. As Mueller’s team begins to write its final report on the Russia probe, the White House is looking to hire as many as two dozen lawyers for the counsel’s office as Democrats take control of the House.
  80. On Thursday, George Conway and Neal Katyal, Obama’s former solicitor general, wrote in an op-ed that Trump’s appointment of an acting attorney general, bypassing the Senate, is unconstitutional and illegal.
  81. The two lawyers also asserted in their op-ed that since his appointment is unconstitutional, anything Whitaker “does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.”
  82. On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that in a summer 2017 interview on a conservative political talk-radio show, Whitaker said “The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign.”
  83. On Thursday, NYT reported in a 2014 interview, Whitaker said the courts “are supposed to be the inferior branch,” and criticized the Supreme Court’s power to review legislative and executive acts.
  84. On Thursday, CNN reported Whitaker has close personal ties to Sam Clovis, who has been interviewed in the Mueller probe. Whitaker was Clovis’ campaign chair in 2014 when he ran for state treasurer in Iowa.
  85. Des Moines Register republished a 2014 article on Whitaker, in which he says he would only support federal judges who have a Biblical view: “If they have a secular world view, then I’m going to be very concerned.”
  86. On Thursday, “Protect Mueller” demonstrators took to the streets in cities and towns across the country to protect the Mueller investigation, after the departure of Sessions and appointment of Whitaker.
  87. According to protest organizers, progressive groups were able to mobilize about 100,000 people at approximately 900 nationwide “rapid response” rallies just one day after Sessions’ resignation.
  88. On Friday, CNN reported that the backlash to the Whitaker appointment has caught the White House by surprise and raised concerns about his ability to remain in the post if he remains in the headlines.
  89. On Friday, speaking to reporters, Trump tried to distance himself from Whitaker, saying “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” and “I didn’t speak to Matt Whitaker” about the federal probe into Russian election interference.
  90. On Friday, Vox reported Whitaker privately advised Trump last year on how the White House might be able to pressure the Justice Department to investigate the president’s political adversaries like Hillary Clinton.
  91. At the same time, Whitaker, as chief of staff to Sessions, was advising him and Rosenstein on how to counter Trump’s demands that the DOJ open an investigation into whether the FBI “infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign.
  92. When asked by CNN’s Abby Phillip, who is a Black woman, whether he wanted Whitaker to “rein in Mueller,” Trump responded, “What a stupid question,” adding “You ask a lot of stupid questions.”
  93. When asked about revoking Acosta’s press credentials, Trump attacked reporter April Ryan, also a Black woman, saying “you talk about somebody that’s a loser. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.”
  94. In two days, Trump has aggressively attacked three Black women reporters: PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor, Phillip, and Ryan. In an op-ed Ryan wrote of Trump long track record of publicly insulting Black women.
  95. Trump also threatened to revoke the credentials of additional White House reporters if they did not “treat the White House with respect,” saying “When you’re in the White House, this is a very sacred place for me.”
  96. On Friday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected calls to pass legislation to protect the special counsel after several Republicans called on him to do so, saying, “It’s going to be allowed to finish.”
  97. McConnell also dismissed concerns over Whitaker’s appointment, saying he serves at the pleasure of Trump, and adding “I think this will be an interim, a very interim AG.”
  98. On Friday, the WAPO Editorial Board wrote that even as legal experts spar over whether his appointment without a Senate confirmation is constitutional, Whitaker is unfit for the job.
  99. On Wednesday, the Trump regime rolled out a rule that will exempt employers from providing insurance coverage for birth control if it conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs.
  100. The rule, which will take effect in 60 days, would roll back an Obama-era birth control rule which required employers must cover all forms of contraception under Obamacare.
  101. On Wednesday, Patrick Casey, head of the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, whose members marched in Charlottesville in 2017, posted a picture on Twitter of himself standing in front of the White House.
  102. In the tweet, Casey writes, “Evropa has landed at the White House!” The group’s motto, “You will not replace us,” echoes the “Jews will not replace us” chants of white supremacists in Charlottesville.
  103. On Thursday, lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford said she is continuing to receive death threats. Dr. Ford has had to move four times, and has been unable to return to her job as a professor at Palo Alto University.
  104. On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized after breaking three ribs. Trump told reporters, “I wish her well. She said something very inappropriate during the campaign.”
  105. On Thursday, the San Francisco Court of Appeals ruled that the Trump regime must preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program begun under Obama.
  106. The ruling rejected the regime’s claim that ending DACA was not reviewable by the courts. The regime took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to review the case before the appeals court had ruled.
  107. On Thursday, the Trump regime invoked national security powers meant to protect the against threats from abroad, saying Trump can deny asylum to anyone who does not enter the country at an official port of entry,
  108. Trump is reportedly planning to deny asylum to migrants from Central America, whom he dubbed the caravans. The new rules draw upon the same authority he used to ban travel from Muslim countries in his Travel Ban.
  109. On Friday, in a setback for the Trump regime, a federal judge blocked construction on the 1,179-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the regime failed to follow established rules and procedures for decisions like these.
  110. The judge said the Trump regime failed to present a “reasoned explanation” for the move and “simply discarded” the effect that construction would have on climate change.
  111. When asked by reporters about the ruling, Trump said “It was a political decision made by a judge,” adding, “I think it’s a disgrace.”
  112. On Friday, WAPO reported that in former First Lady Michelle Obama’s new memoir she says she will never forgive Trump for advancing the false birther claim about her husband, which endangered her family.
  113. When asked about this by reporters, Trump said Michelle was undoubtedly paid a lot of money to write her book, and shifting to Obama said, “I’ll never forgive him for what he did to our United States military.”
  114. Trump also told reporters that he won the election not because of collusion with Russian, but because he was the better candidate and Clinton “didn’t know what the hell she was doing.”
  115. When asked about Acosta, Trump said “he’s a very unprofessional guy,” and denied the video was altered, saying “Nobody manipulated it. Give me a break,” adding “It wasn’t doctored. They gave a close-up view.”
  116. Trump was also agitated that the Florida and Arizona senate races, which appeared to go Republican on election night, still had outstanding votes to be counted and were undecided.
  117. Of Arizona, where counting of mail-in ballots continued, Trump said Democrat Kyrsten Sinema’s votes seemed to be coming “out of the wilderness.”
  118. On Friday, in a series of eight tweets, Trump tweeted, “Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption — Call for a new Election?” adding, “We must protect our Democracy!”
  119. Trump appeared to be referencing a Fox News segment discussing a lawsuit by the Arizona GOP on Wednesday over the counting of mail-in ballots, which was later settled Friday, allowing the votes to be counted.
  120. Trump said “what’s going on in Florida is a disgrace,” adding of Republican Rick Scott, “He easily won, but every hour he seems to be going down,” and “I think people have to look at it very cautiously.”
  121. Trump had tweeted Thursday night, “Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!”
  122. On Friday, Trump also tweeted about the Georgia governor race where Brian Kemp declared victory but votes are still being counted, saying Republican Kemp “ran a great race in Georgia — he won. It is time to move on!”
  123. Trump also tweeted, “You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia — but the Election was on Tuesday?” and “Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!”
  124. Trump tweeted Democrats sent their “best Election stealing lawyer, Marc Elias,” to Broward County, then they started “miraculously” finding votes, adding “I am sending much better lawyers to expose the FRAUD!”
  125. Trump also tweeted, “Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they “found” many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. “The Broward Effect,” adding “How come they never find Republican votes?
  126. Trump tweeted in 2016 he was winning by so much in that Broward County, which was “probably getting ready to do a “number,” couldn’t do it because not enough people live in Broward for them to falsify a victory!
  127. On Friday, Sen. Marco Rubio, in a series of tweets, suggested “democrat lawyers are descending on #Florida” to steal the election. He also referenced Broward County. Trump thanked him in a tweet.
  128. On Friday, standing on the porch of the Governor’s Mansion for a press conference, Scott accused “unethical liberals” of plotting to steal a U.S. Senate seat from him.
  129. Scott said he asked the state enforcement agency under his control to investigate the Broward Supervisor of Elections. A spokesperson for the agency said Scott did not submit a request, adding “We do not have an active investigation.”
  130. On Friday, Hannity said on his show, “This is a disgrace that they get to do this election in and election out,” adding “somebody needs to go to jail here, if this keeps happening.” Scott nodded along as Hannity spoke.
  131. Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted, without evidence, that there are “shenanigans going on in Broward and Palm Beach,” and in another tweet, “it didn’t work with Kavanaugh and it won’t work with @ScottforFlorida.”
  132. On Saturday, the Florida secretary of state, Republican Ken Detzner, ordered recounts of the senate and governor races, an unprecedented review of two major races.
  133. On Friday, WSJ reported Federal prosecutors have gathered evidence of Trump’s central role in hush payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, which violated campaign-finance laws.
  134. In August 2015, as a presidential candidate, Trump met with David Pecker, chief executive of AMI. Pecker offered to use the National Enquirer to buy the silence of women about their sexual encounters with Trump.
  135. The Journal found that Trump was involved in or briefed on nearly every step of the agreements. He directed deals in phone calls and meetings with Michael Cohen and others. Cohen, Pecker, and Trump no longer speak.
  136. Cohen, who Trump called “my attorney” in April 2018, pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations. Federal prosecutors who investigated Cohen are now examining business dealings by the Trump Organization.
  137. On Saturday, in a tweet, Trump attacked authorities in California, claiming “gross mismanagement of the forests” is the cause of the state’s wildfires, and threatening federal aid, “Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”
  138. Nine people have died, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, and hundreds of thousands have been evacuated in a spate of wildfires this week as a result of the Camp Fire in the area of Paradise, California.
  139. On Friday, Trump traveled to Paris for ceremonies to honor the military in World War I as part of Armistice Day. He was scheduled to attend the military parade, after his plans to hold one in Washington were scuttled.
  140. On Friday, shortly after landing in Paris, Trump tweeted French President Macron’s call for a European army is “very insulting,” adding “Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!”
  141. Macron has warned his fellow European nations that they can no longer rely on the U.S. to defend them. His latest remarks came after Trump decided to pull out of a key 1987 nuclear treaty with Russia.
  142. On Saturday, Trump canceled a visit to the U.S. military cemetery outside Paris at the site of a 1918 battle in which U.S. and French forces fended off German troops during World War I, due to rainy weather.
  143. The battle, in which more than 1,800 died, looms large in the history of the U.S. Marines Corps. Chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, his wife, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit instead.
  144. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron did attend ceremonies for their fallen at cemeteries outside Paris.
  145. On Saturday, Trump named seven who will receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom award. The group includes Miriam Adelson, wife of Sheldon Adelson, both of whom gave $56 million to GOP Super PACs this cycle.
  146. On Saturday, NYT reported that the 5,600 American troops who were rushed to U.S.-Mexico border by Trump have little electricity, will receive no combat pay, and face holidays away from home.
  147. Military morale is an issue. The deployment orders last through mid-December, meaning the troops will miss Thanksgiving, and have little to do beyond providing logistical support, unless Trump declares martial law.

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Thousands of New Yorkers joined a coalition of grassroots organizations in New York City in a massive demonstration in Times Square to denounce new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker may have a conflict of interest and must not oversee the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related crimes by Trump campaign officials and associates