Showing posts with label Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trump. Show all posts

February 21, 2017

Love Affair Between Trump and Fox News Hit Turbulence on Sunday

It’s no secret President Trump loves to loathe the mainstream press, as witnessed by a Friday tweet dismissing CNN, the “failing” New York Times, NBC News, ABC and CBS as “the FAKE NEWS media” and calling the press an “enemy of the American People!”

But Trump does have a soft spot for the morning show, Fox & Friends, the Fox network and its millions of loyal viewers.

At a presidential press conference Thursday — while mentioning “the fake news media” seven times — Trump singled out Fox & Friends as “very honorable people… It’s the most honest.” In an earlier tweet, slamming other cable channels as “unwatchable, he added “@foxandfriends is great!”

Why shouldn’t he like Fox? A new Pew Research Center survey of Trump voters taken in late November revealed that 4 in ten said Fox News was their main source for election coverage.

This mutual love affair makes it all the more impressive that two prominent, well-respected, veteran Fox News anchors – Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith — just took on the president, publicly rebuking him for his press attacks and falsehoods. Their words earned praise from media colleagues and Twitter tongue-lashings from Trump supporters.

On Sunday morning, Wallace said Trump’s Friday tweet calling the media an enemy of the public went too far. (Fox was not on the list.)

‘‘Look, we’re big boys. We criticize presidents,” Wallace told his colleagues on Fox & Friends. “They want to criticize us back, that’s fine. But when he said that the fake news media is not my enemy, it’s the enemy of the American people, I believe that crosses an important line.’’

Wallace knew he was going to rile viewers. But that didn’t hold him back.
‘‘And I know there are a lot of (Fox News) listeners out there who are going to reflexively take Donald Trump’s side on this,’’ said Wallace, who anchors Fox News Sunday and joined the network in 2003. ‘‘It’s a different thing when it’s a president — because if it’s a president you like trying to talk about the press being the enemy of the people, then it’s going to be a president you don’t like saying the same thing. And that’s very dangerous.’’

After Trump’s highly unusual White House press conference Feb. 16, Fox’s Shepard Smith had enough. The chief news anchor and managing editor of Fox’s breaking news division went on his own eight-minute rant about Trump’s falsehoods and refusal to answer questions.

“It’s sort of our job to let you know when people you have elected say things that are untrue,” said Smith, who joined Fox in 1996 and anchors Shepard Smith Reporting. “This president keeps telling untrue things. He does it every single time he’s in front of the microphone. It’s demonstrable.”

Smith was clearly annoyed that Trump said he got the biggest electoral win since Reagan. “He didn’t,” said Smith, flatly. “He’s said this repeatedly over and over again. And every time he says it, it’s not true.”

But what galled Smith was Trump dodging and deflecting press conference questions about Russia. Smith demanded on behalf of the American public that Trump answer inquiries about his prior and post-election association with Russia.

“One of the biggest questions that people asking questions have right now is what is this relationship with Russia?” said an exasperated Smith. “We don’t get a straight answer on this question which leads us to continue to ask the question.” 

“It’s crazy what we are watching every day,” he continued. “It’s absolutely crazy. He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we are some kind of fools for asking the questions. Really? Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia on the same day it was happening and we are fools for asking these questions? No sir, we are not fools for asking this question and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people…. We have a right to know.”

As Wallace and Smith know well, journalists are not the enemy of the White House or the American people.

It’s their job to ask tough questions. Reporters would ask them regardless of whether a Republican or Democrat were in the White House. (Check with Bill Clinton on the Monica Lewinsky story.) It’s a journalist’s responsibility to hold public officials accountable.

A free and adversarial press plays a key role in a democracy and a necessary check on power. The president needs to hear this repeatedly.  If he is going to listen to anyone hit this point hard, it will be prominent anchors at Fox News.

So thank you, Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith, on behalf of thousands of journalists for standing up for the First Amendment and fighting back against a president who prefers to deflect and attack rather than answer valid questions.

Alicia Shepard is a veteran media writer and a former ombudsman for NPR. Follow her on Twitter @Ombudsman

Worried About Trump, Putin Ordered Dossier Before They Meet

A dossier on Donald Trump's psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser.

Trump "doesn't understand fully who is Mr. Putin — he is a tough guy," former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov told NBC News.

The file is being compiled by retired diplomats and some of Putin's staff, he added.

The attempt to get inside the U.S. president's mind is aimed at helping Putin plan for his first meeting with America's new leader, the date for which is yet to be decided.

"Very serious preparatory work is going on in the Kremlin, including a paper — seven pages — describing a psychological portrait of Trump, especially based on this last two to three months, and the last weeks," added Fedorov, who said he has known Trump since 2000.

The dossier was being revised regularly, he said, adding that many in the Kremlin believed that Trump viewed the presidency as a business.

Fedorov added: "Trump is not living in a box — he is living in a crowd. He should listen to the people around him especially in the areas where he is weak."

“Trump cannot come to a meeting with Putin as a loser — he must sort out his domestic problems first”
It is normal for any president or leader to be fully briefed before entering negotiations for the first time with a rival leader, but preparing a detailed dossier on the mind and instincts of a U.S. leader is unusual.

Putin's government is growing increasingly concerned about Trump's battles in Washington, according to Fedorov and former lawmaker Sergei Markov, who remains well-connected at the Kremlin.

It is worried the president will not have the political power to improve relations with Russia, as he has indicated he might try to do, and even, perhaps, lift some U.S. sanctions.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia conducted a covert hacking operation to undermine the U.S. election process, which evolved into an attempt to help Trump win the White House. They also believe with "a high level of confidence" that Putin became personally involved in the campaign to interfere in the election.

The White House's connection with the Kremlin — and how deep it runs — remains under scrutiny, which has only ramped up last week when Mike Flynn resigned from his role as national security adviser after admitting to misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other senior administration officials about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States in December.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has no government or diplomatic experience, but boasts exceptionally close ties with Moscow and Putin.

And former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — who resigned in August amid questions about his ties to pro-Russia interests in Ukraine — told NBC News last week that he had "no contact knowingly with Russian intelligence officials." Manafort was reportedly one of the Trump campaign officials whose communications were investigated by the FBI, according to The New York Times.

During the election campaign, Trump spoke fondly of Putin. But earlier this month, Trump told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that while he respects Putin "that doesn't mean I'm going to get along with him."

Meanwhile, the creation of a 9/11-style commission to investigate Russian interference in the presidential election has won bipartisan support.

The issue of Russia "is now a kind of banana skin for Trump — that's why we should avoid any kind of step that could damage Trump," said Fedorov. "Trump cannot come to a meeting with Putin as a loser — he must sort out his domestic problems first."

Fedorov added that Trump's "constant battle with the mass media" was "worrying us."

The U.S. president "is dancing on thin ice," he said. "It's a risky game."

A former prime minister under Putin said the Kremlin is taking no pleasure at Trump's struggles.

"Absolutely not — not laughing," Mikhail Kasyanov said. "The situation is very serious and the whole of [Putin's] team, they are nervous."
Many in the Kremlin believe hardliners in America — in Congress and the military — want to sabotage the president and his plans for better ties with Russia.

Some even talk of a conspiracy against Trump. Markov, the former lawmaker, told NBC News that he believes America's intelligence services "want to overthrow President Trump in a coup" because of his desire to improve relations with Russia.

Flynn was a victim of U.S. intelligence services, according to Markov.

So while many in Russia celebrated Trump's election, the mood in Moscow was changing from delight at Trump's election to doubt about his ability to deliver on a better relationship with Russia, he added.

"Donald Trump has done nothing good for Russia, nothing," Markov said. “But they already attack him."

Bill Neely

February 12, 2017

Pocket Books Open After a Trump Tweet on Business’

Before Donald Trump was president, he was a brand — from his TV show to his clothing line to his steaks. Now after surprising many by winning the White House, the Trump brand may have even more power, but it is also deeply connected to the divisive world of American politics. 
That means what Trump says and does and what others say about him has impacts that go far beyond policy and politics into the world of everyday Americans' lives — where they shop and eat and what they watch on TV. 
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that his daughter had been "treated so unfairly" by Nordstrom after the store stopped carrying her clothing line. "Terrible!" Trump added. 
The impact? Nordstrom's website saw a big jump in traffic Wednesday, according to data from Connexity, an ecommerce marketing firm. There were about 908,000 visits to the site, compared to 709,000 the previous Wednesday, a 28 precent increase. 
And that makes sense considering Nordstrom's customer base, which skews politically liberal according to Connexity. People who describe themselves as "very liberal" are 40 percent more likely to visit than the average person. People who describe themselves as "very conservative" are 23 percent less likely to go to the site. The top 14 states for web traffic to the site all voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. 
Data from Simmons Research show Nordstrom shoppers are among the most politically liberal in the country. Among the top 10 retailers for self-described liberals, Nordstrom is No. 6 and Nordstrom Rack is No. 9. 
By the end of the Wednesday, the store's stock closed up 4.1%. In other words, Trump's bad-mouthing of Nordstorm likely only helped the retailer. 
The week before brought another example when Starbucks announced they would hire 10,000 refugees in their stores. The announcement came after Trump's executive order temporarily suspended refugees from entering the United States and temporarily blocked people traveling to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries. 
The response? A group of Trump supporters have called for a boycott of the coffee chain and #BoycottStarbucks became a trending hashtag on Twitter. 
But there are questions about how effective that boycott might be. Starbucks' customer base also skews politically liberal and an analysis from Simmons Research shows people in counties that voted heavily for Clinton were much more frequent Starbucks patrons than those who lived in Trump's best counties. 

The boycott could end up having a boomerang effect if blue-leaning Starbucks drinkers turnout in greater numbers to support the company's refugee proposal. But the larger point of blurring consumer/political lines around the Trump brand is apparent even in the call for a boycott — and there is more evidence. 
On Jan. 12, Trump urged his supporters on Twitter to "buy L.L.Bean" as a way of thanking company heiress Linda Bean for a big contribution to a pro-Trump PAC. Consumers seemed to notice and react. 
After the tweet, traffic to the L.L. Bean website declined from the politically blue New England states, all of which voted for Hillary Clinton, according to data from Connexity. Meanwhile some of the biggest jumps in L.L. Bean traffic came from Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Arizona, states with populations that visit the retailer much less frequently and that voted for Trump in November. 
The consumer core for Maine-based L.L. Bean has long had more of a Democratic cast because of its home. Purchasing a Rugged Ridge Parka (good to -40 degrees) is not a political act, but it's something more logically suited to blue states such as Vermont and Massachusetts than red states such as Texas and Arizona. 
That's why the numbers from that week are so eye-catching. 
Consider the decline in L.L. Bean website visits from the seven states that produce the most traffic to the online retailer — all cold-weather, New England states and neighboring New York. 
Only Rhode Island, which voted for Clinton, saw an uptick in traffic to the site. The other states, all of which voted for Clinton, saw declines, many of them sizable. 

You can see that drop in a broader tally as well. Of the 21 entities that gave their electoral votes to Clinton (20 states and the District of Columbia), 15 saw their traffic to L.L.Bean decline. 
Now consider the increases in website visits that week from the seven states that generated the least traffic to the L.L.Bean site before Trump's tweet. 

All those states saw an increase, except Hawaii, which voted for Clinton and saw a decline The only outlier in the group is Nevada, which voted for Clinton and saw an uptick in web traffic to the site. What's more, all those states, except South Dakota, are warm weather states. 
To be clear, the numbers show L.L.Bean was still drawing heavily off of its blue New England base. Even with the declines, the six New England states provided more traffic to Maine retailer than any others. And the changes in L.L.Bean's traffic also seem to have been temporary. Many of those trends had reversed themselves the next week. 
Regardless, the numbers show the depth of the divides running through the country under Trump. Much has been made of how the Trump administration’s plans to upend Washington have left businesses unsure of how to plan for the future, but for many retailers, just dealing with the Trump brand holds a complicated set of challenges.


February 8, 2017

Trump and The Veterans, Seth to Trump

Senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway this week complained that the media has been paying too much attention to only one of President Trump’s executive orders — namely, his temporary ban on refugees and travel from seven Muslim-majority countries — and not enough to the many others Trump has signed since taking office.

So Seth Meyers did just that.

On this pre snow storm night with Trump being quiet and no major news                                                                 (Since adamfoxie blog Int. does not manufacture news like some outfits I know, I will give you and interesting video with Seth.

January 28, 2017

Trump Getting Payments of Foreign Governments-Breaking The Law

 King Charles ll

A group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims President Trump is violating a little-known constitutional provision called " the Emoluments Clause." 

In the middle of the 17th century, King Charles II of England took a secret pension from the French King Louis XIV. He agreed to a closer relationship, including a treaty that wasn’t clearly in England’s best interest. The precise content of the secret agreement wasn’t revealed for more than 100 years.
Today, 350 years later, the president of the United States is receiving payments from foreign countries. The money comes to President Trump by way of his companies, although the details and scope of his profits are secret; he refused to disclose his tax returns. After the election, Trump had several months to move toward liquidation and putting his assets in a truly blind trust. He has chosen, instead, to keep his ownership interests in his businesses, turning over operating decisions to his children but remaining an owner. His decision threatens the integrity of American democracy and national security, and it should ring alarm bells for all citizens, regardless of political party.
Trump’s choice violates one of the most overlooked but important sections of the U.S. Constitution, the foreign emoluments clause, which was framed to avoid problems of split loyalty such as that posed by Charles II. As a law professor, I began exploring the clause in 2009 while examining the framers’ near-obsession with protecting against corruption. The clause represented a deliberate break from European traditions, where financial relationships between a country’s representatives and other governments were common. And it epitomized “the particularly demanding notion of corruption” held by our framers.
I never expected the clause to be litigated: Presidents and federal officials have gone out of their way to avoid violating it. Until now. But Trump’s blatant violation of the clause is a violation of our fundamental document and our fundamental principles.
That’s why the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed suit in federal court this week to seek a declaratory judgment and injunction. I am one of the lawyers on the case. 

The framers were trained to be wary of how human nature can be tempted, and of international incentives to tempt. As George Washington said later, “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” Our Constitution was written in the hot summer of 1787 in Philadelphia, but the convention was haunted by recent European failures and the long-ago corruption of Rome. Secret money from foreign countries was a repeat topic, with the framers wary of the “melancholy picture” of foreign intrusions and intrigues. The British experience with Charles II was a warning that even heads of state could be influenced by foreign powers.
 The framers understood that humans are inclined to look more favorably upon those who are responsible for their wealth. In private affairs, warmth toward someone who has given a gift, or with whom one has a good business relationship, is a positive emotion that enables human connection. But in public affairs, that sometimes-unconscious influence can be insidious. The framers had also seen how George III used his power to create a side employment relationship with parliamentarians he wanted to influence.
So the Constitution includes more than a dozen anti-corruption provisions, several of which are targeted specifically to protecting against foreign influence. For instance, only natural-born citizens can be president, foreigners are not allowed to hold federal office and a long residential period is required so candidates would not be mere tools of wealthy foreign powers.
The foreign emoluments clause prohibits federal officers from accepting foreign “gifts,” “emoluments” and “titles of nobility” without congressional consent. As a recent white paper by Harvard Law professor Larry Tribe and attorney Joshua Matz explains, extensively citing the meaning of the word at the time of the Constitutional Convention, emoluments include the profits an official receives in the course of business relationships.
The emoluments clause did not come easy: The rule was such a serious break from European tradition that its adoption caused problems for several decades, as other countries were likely to take offense when they attempted to give gifts in violation of the clause. President Martin Van Buren had to write a letter to the Imam of Muscat, telling him he could not accept horses, pearls, a Persian rug, shawls and a sword because it was a “fundamental law of the Republic which forbids its servants from accepting presents from foreign States or Princes.” The framers knew what a headache it could become, but they included it anyway because of the lessons of history. They knew that foreign governments would necessarily attempt to influence U.S. policy, and they wanted the Constitution to protect against that.
Some corruption rules rely on proof that a deal happened, an explicit arrangement exchanging something of value for a political action, with intent to trade. Such laws are notoriously difficult to prosecute, because it is rare that either of the parties to an explicit bribe would come forward to report a crime. The laws apply well to the Keystone Cops of politics, clumsy lawmakers who take sacks of cash in the IHOP bathroom. The emoluments clause, however, does not require direct proof of anything untoward, and that is essential to its effectiveness. The most powerful anti-corruption rules are prophylactic, forbidding a whole category of relationships that are likely to lead to corruption. 
Consider the countries we know are making payments to Trump companies through state-owned entities, payments that affect Trump’s wealth: China and the United Arab Emirates, both at the heart of regions critical to U.S. foreign policy. Then consider the longer list of countries in a position to benefit him because of business relationships Trump has, including India, Indonesia, Turkey, the Philippines, Great Britain and Vietnam. 
This is just a beginning sketch of what we know so far; Russia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan reportedly may also be involved with Trump businesses. The benefits come from a range of relationships: The Qatari state airline pays rent at the Trump Tower in New York; entities in Britain, Bulgaria, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam reportedly make licensing payments for the rights to produce local versions of “The Apprentice,” Trump’s reality TV show; his developments in India require governmental permitting, which under the law would be a forbidden benefit.
Each of these countries, and possibly more, now has a direct mechanism to attempt to influence the president. What’s more, every time Trump makes a foreign policy decision that relates to any of these countries, citizens will wonder whether he, like Charles II, put his own financial interest ahead of American jobs, or whether he is engaging in or refraining from military action because of a business relationship.
Trump’s lawyers made a strange concession in a news conference recently, announcing that Trump would donate all profits from foreign government payments to Trump hotels to the U.S. Treasury. The suggestion was that the donation mooted the problem. But another unspoken implication was that there is something troubling about foreign-derived profits. 
The donation does nothing to address the Constitutional violation, which occurs at the moment of accepting the benefit, even if Trump’s hotel loses money on the transaction. It merely means that some of his constitutional violations will be followed by a payment of penance. Moreover, profits from the hotels represent only a part of the foreign benefits that are flowing to him — none of his office towers, condo or apartment sales, licensing agreements or loans on other properties are covered at all. 
The donations appear to be a nod to how presidents have treated foreign gifts: with statutory permission of Congress, they have donated them to the Treasury or National Archives. (That proved tricky when Bulgaria gave George W. Bush a puppy.) In those instances, the donation was appropriate because it flowed from consent by Congress, which the Constitution requires. The point of strong corruption laws like the emoluments clause is that they take the president out of the position of being the judge of inappropriateness. 
In Trump’s case, though, he has proposed that an official at his company will do exactly that. Even Trump will, on occasion, acknowledge the seeds of a problem. Of Turkey, he said, “I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul.” At a news conference this month, he announced that he would not engage in deals in Russia because it would present a conflict. (The Washington Post reported last year on “strong evidence that Trump’s businesses have received significant funding from Russian investors.”) If there’s a conflict with Russia, there is a conflict with every country. More important, since Trump hasn’t disclosed any information about his finances, how would we know?
These are not trivial potential conflicts. They strike at the heart of what it means to be president: undivided loyalty to one’s country. The least Trump can do is stop violating the Constitution by accepting secret money from foreign governments.
Zephyr Teachout is an associate professor of law at Fordham University.
  Follow @ZephyrTeachout

January 27, 2017

What Impact a Trump Carefree of Culture Will Have for the Arts?

A week into Trump’s presidency, arts and music policy advocates are still largely at a loss for what to expect from his administration.

“The general feeling is that we are moving into unknown territory,” says Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, an organization that coordinates with local and statewide agencies to increase accessibility to the arts, during an interview in late November. “It’s changing before our eyes, so we don’t really know. We are in a mode of either assessing opportunity or assessing danger.”
In a recent statement, Lynch referred to last week’s report that Trump’s administration is considering proposing legislation that eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities “disturbing but not unexpected”.

Part of the difficulty of predicting Trump’s political relationship to the arts is the president’s general disinterest in the arts himself. Despite his deep ties to the entertainment and television industry through franchises like The Apprentice and Miss Universe, he has exhibited little interest in cultural events over the years apart from occasionally attending musicals on Broadway. 
“Trump doesn’t care much about culture,” says Marla Stone, a professor at Occidental College who has studied the role of arts and culture in 20th century European authoritarian regimes. “Culture is interesting to Trump to the extent that it reflects his status as a rich man: the Louis XIV furniture, the gold door, the gilded house. In his mind, his garish architectural style represents money and power and palaces and masculinity, which are all elements of authoritarian culture.”
Despite Donald Trump’s repeated chastising of assorted cultural institutions and figures over the past few months, from the cast of Hamilton, to Saturday Night Liveto Meryl Streep, arts and cultural policy advocates remain hopeful that when it comes to actual policy, they may be able to find common ground with the president on issues like the economy and trade. 
“What we’re hearing right now from the upcoming administration is infrastructure and job creation, and the arts are a very big part of that,” says Lynch, who notes that arts and cultural production contribute roughly $700bn – or 4% of the GDP – to the nation’s economy annually. “We need to make sure that the people who are filling those jobs in the federal government know that.”  
While promoters of the arts all stress the importance of state and local politics in arts funding and policy, they also acknowledge the role – symbolic, political, and financial – that the federal government plays in framing the context and support for the arts in the US through institutions like the NEA, founded in 1965 during Lyndon B Johnson’s administration. In the past 50 years, the NEA’s funding, set by Congress, has seen positive and negative fluctuations under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

But with both the House and Senate to be controlled by Republicans next year, the larger community of arts professionals shares a widespread sense of fear and pessimism about the next four years. During a November webinar hosted by Americans for the Arts, webinar attendees were polled at one point on whether or not they “feel optimistic about a Trump presidency and its impact on the arts”. Of the 79 attendees who responded to the question, three felt optimistic. 
“We can’t pretend like we’re simply going to go about business as usual or ignore the way this campaign cycle contributed to a shocking rise in hate crimes,” says Kevin Erickson, the national organizing director at the Future of Music Coalition, a non-partisan, DC-based organization that advocates for musician’s rights. “We will stand against any attempts to crack down on cultural dissent or inhibit freedom of creative expression. We know that artists and musicians worldwide are often among the first to be targeted when authoritarian leaders seek to consolidate their power.”
Indeed, the music and arts world have been erupting in organized protest and resistance over the past month, between a proposed call among art institutions to shut down in a “culture strike” on inauguration, to charity projects like Our First 100 Days, which has teamed with artists such as Bon Iver to release a song per day during the first 100 days of the new administration. 
As for specific policy issues, Donald Trump’s positions on the arts have remained almost entirely opaque and unclear, having granted a single interview on the topic with the Washington Post in March of 2016. During the interview, Trump expressed general support for the arts while conceding that he would be deferring all specific arts policy issues to Congress. “Supporting and advocating for appreciation of the arts is important to an informed and aware society,” Trump said nearly a year ago. “As president I would take on that role.”
For Erickson, Lynch and other arts advocates, there are a number of policy issues that are already emerging as clear causes for concern. One issue at the top of most arts advocates’ lists is one of Trump’s proposed amendments to the tax code that would cap the amount of tax-deductible individual charitable giving to $200,000 per couple. The cap on tax deductions would likely have a dramatic negative impact on the nation’s arts industry, which, according to recent data from Americans for the Arts, receives roughly 30% of its funding from private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. 
“It’s not the only reason people give,” says Lynch, “but the tax incentive is what leverages the biggest chunk of the contributed dollars to the arts.”
Primary concerns for the Future of Music Coalition include an impending repeal of Obamacare, a program that’s proved to be a huge asset to independent, working musicians, 53% of whom were uninsured before the Affordable Care Act, according to a 2013 study. Although there are no publicly available statistics that reflect the ACA’s effect on insuring musicians, “Obamacare, because it’s specifically designed to assist self-employed, low-income individuals and their families, has allowed countless musicians to obtain coverage for the first time in their careers,” says Erickson. 
Another critical issue for the Future of Music Coalition is Net Neutrality, a principle critical to the basic livelihood of independent musicians of which Trump has expressed skepticism. Ajit Pai, a critic of net neutrality, has recently been named as the FCC chairman.
“Both the healthcare and net neutrality issues are fundamentally about who gets to be a musician and whose creativity we choose to value,” says Erickson. “Whose voices do we miss out on hearing if music, increasingly, becomes the domain of the privileged and powerful?” 
Others, like Mike Blakeslee, the executive director of the National Association for Music Education, remain optimistic that the upcoming administration may be friendlier to the arts, policy-wise, than what many are preparing for. In the world of music education, the crucial issue has been Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos as the secretary of education. DeVos, he says, has “shown herself to be a supporter of the arts”, having sat on the board of the Kennedy Center and donated millions of dollars to the arts over the years through her family foundation. 
Advocates like Blakeslee and Lynch see more to gain in emphasizing potential areas of cooperation rather than immediately establishing an antagonistic relationship with the upcoming administration. “I don’t know if optimism orpessimism is the right way right now. Realism is what we all need,” says Blakeslee. 
“We have folks who won the election, and we need to work with them and try to support arts education and the arts in general that serve the American public, and we need to keep that as close to the top of everybody’s agendas as we can.”

January 24, 2017

Melania is Only Allowed Her Son The Spot Light Goes to Trump

Sometimes you see a posting and you say gosh I feel just like that, wish it could have been me the person that wrote it. I feel like that many times and in fairness to the writer I post it here just the way it was written and give credit to the author and the media that published it. 

This particular posting made me feel just like that except I’m not into writing stories that are too sentimental. Contrary to the success Melania Trump has had in marrying a tycoon, I don’t  feel sorry for her nor do I have contempt either. In my book, that is the bed she made for herself and let her lie on it or underneath it as long as she wishes and it has nothing to do with me nor do I think it ever will (explanation on next paragraph).

 I have plenty of opinions about her husband who I consider a dishonest, bullying, narcissist and I actually feel sorry for the man because he has been given many opportunities to change people’s lives for the better but he has taken those opportunities as another chance to make more for himself so he can be number one. No narcissist would like to be number two on anything. I also feel sorry because at his age he should have learnt already this is a short journey(life) and besides, we know we are either going to get sick, or sick and dying or just don’t get to see the next sunrise. Maybe once he should ask himself why He’s been given so much and how come he has given so little. 

Now as a President he could do so much good but he wont. He can’t change what he has been all his life, a Trump supporter and none else.  His wife I see as a bystander on the union instead of being what other first ladies have been because she is married to a guy that wont let her get any of the spot light. A narcissist is not good sharing and he certainly doesn’t. He can give but he can’t share. 
The only thing she allow to do is be with her son. That is her only initiative, job, etc. 

The posting by Stassa Edwards on Jezebel  puts out a message that should be read.

Here it is:
A few hours after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, a photograph circulated of Melania Trump sitting next to husband at a luncheon, eyes down and face unsmiling. The photograph went viral, often accompanied on social media with the expression, “I feel sorry for Melania Trump.”
It was just one of many pieces of evidence that Melania Trump deserves sympathy; that she is unhappy, that her husband treats her poorly or, more hopefully, that she hates her husband. In addition to the photograph, other evidence was offered: a video of the couple dancing at the inaugural ball and a side-by-side comparison of former President Obama accompanying Michelle during the 2009 White House transition. Obama is thoughtful, he waits for Michelle before he walks up the steps of their new home to greet then-President George W. Bush. In contrast, Donald Trump greets the Obamas without his wife and she hurries to make her way up the stairs alone, accompanied into the house by the Obamas who are more considerate—more respectful—than her own husband. The images, particularly the comparison to President Obama, reinforce a narrative that is easy enough to believe (likely because it’s true): that Obama is a better man than Trump and thus treats women accordingly. The Obamas, in turn, express their sympathy for Melania, a poor woman married to a tyrant, by showing their graciousness, a hallmark of the Obama White House, actions that speak volumes about their humanity and morality. Here, Melania is a victim of her husband’s brutishness; she is passive and silent, has no political opinions but instead is a sort of tabula rasa for America’s women, on which her treatment is proof of President Trump’s innate misogyny. President Trump’s casual misuse of his wife is a domestic tragedy with national implications. But that narrative only works if, in fact, you believe that Melania is a blank slate or, at least, a woman simply acted on rather than a woman actively collaborating with her husband’s ideologies. 
If the past is any indication, Melania is no passive victim. Recently a 2011 interview with Melania on the Joy Behar Show went viral on Twitter. In the interview, Melania defends her husband’s adamant commitment to the birther conspiracy born of the Tea Party—his belief that President Obama is not an American citizen, that he was born in Kenya and that his Hawaii-issued birth certificate was, in fact, a forgery. “Do you want to see President Obama’s birth certificate or not?” Melania asks Behar. “I’ve seen it,” Behar responds. “It’s not a birth certificate,” Melania says as she shakes her head. Here, Melania recites her husband’s conspiratorial and fictitious claims, ones Donald Trump repeated for five years until, in September 2016, he “conceded” that they were untrue. Melania has never indicated whether or not she agrees with that concession. 
But Melania has always been willing to defend her husband and to employ tactics that typify the Trump approach to the world. After journalist Julia Ioffe published a profile of Melania in GQ, Melania denounced the piece, calling it “yet another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting.” When Ioffe received a barrage of anti-Semitic messages and threats, Melania said, that Ioffe “provoked them.” Later, Melania almost trollishly announced that, as First Lady, she would launch a campaign to prevent bullying on the internet, denouncing social media’s “mean and rough” culture.
Social media aside, she’s proven that she’s a willing scribe of the Trump hagiography. In October, Melania sat down with CNN to defend her husband after a leaked tape caught her husband bragging about sexually assaulting women. She called his language “boy talk” and blamed the tape’s release on the conspiratorial “left-wing media.” When asked about the sizable number of women who have accused her husband of sexual assault, she demonstrated that she was no listless vessel, but in full possession of autonomy: “I know he respects women but he is defending himself because they are all lies,” she told CNN.
Like Ivanka Trump, whose brand and subsequent media narratives have worked to distance her from her father’s repugnant ideologies from racist birtherism to sexual assault, Melania is no innocent. She’s willing to vocally defend her husband—not only to stand next to him for the sake of political spectacle or personal gain, but to do the obligatory media tours and, like her step-daughter, insist that he respects women.
Melania Trump is hardly a stand-in for American women, she is neither a victim nor is she lacking agency. Rather she’s an active participant working to construct Donald Trump’s narrative, readily available to put a gauzy domestic veil on his racism and misogyny. Melania Trump doesn’t deserve your sympathy.
Stassa Edwards

January 20, 2017

The Speech in a few quoted words Took me Back to Another Era

Decree, glorious, stealing, protection, winning like never before, off welfare and back to work,  we will shine for everyone to follow, loyalty to each other, solidarity, unstoppable, no fear, protected by the military and law enforcement, protected by god, protection, fight, we will not fail, free the earth of the miseries of disease, we bleed the same blood of patriots, dreams, eradicate from the face of the earth, courage, make America wealthy again, here and now, enriched other governments, enriched americans.
Ended with right hand fist salute.

Missing: Call to unity, call for the american people to help him but instead the military and the police. The word “We”
Also missing: Enthusiasm and loud applause from the crowd.

These are the words I heard that took me away to a different era I have only read and seen on tape but not witnessed. I am sure that every person that reads these few words will see a different meaning. I have no idea of how many will see that it matches other words and for sure there are not words that were said or at least emphasized in any other inauguration that was cover live since I have been witnessing them.

There is plenty of pictures and , opinions and minute by minute live and tape coverage. As is the rule of this blog to try to post what is missed on current stories.


January 17, 2017

Fans Turned on Steve Harvey After His Visit to Trump on MLK Day

 Harvey is surprised people were surprised and dismayed at him but the
answer is an a 40% max approval rate for Trump

Name something Steve Harvey has done recently that is upsetting fans?

Survey says ... it's more than one thing.
The normally beloved host has run afoul of a few with his recent actions.
Harvey tweeted an apology on Tuesday morning -- his 60th birthday.
"I offer my humblest apology for offending anyone, particularly those in the Asian community, last week," Harvey tweeted. "It was not my intention and the humor was not meant with any malice or disrespect whatsoever."

The statement came as a result of Harvey taking heat for making jokes about Asian men on his daytime talk show.
During a recent segment on dating books, Harvey highlighted “How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men" and then joked that it could only be one page long.

"'Excuse me, do you like Asian men?' " Harvey said, referencing what the book might say. "'No.' 'Thank you.' "
"Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir" author Eddie Huang responded in an essay published in The New York Times.
"(Harvey) speaks openly about issues facing the black community, he is a man of God, and he has a huge platform to speak from," Huang wrote. "Unfortunately, he's also the type of guy who orders Krug champagne for himself and Cook's for every one else. For his own personal profit, he’s willing to perpetuate the emasculation of Asian men regardless of how hypocritical it is."

But he's not the only one Harvey has angered in the last few days.
On Monday “The Daily Show" joined "Saturday Night Live" in mocking Harvey's meeting last week with President-elect Donald Trump.

Harvey explained in an earlier tweet why he went to Trump Tower in New York.
He said both President Barack Obama's and Trump's teams requested he take the meeting and that he was placed in contact with Department of Housing and Urban Development nominee Ben Carson to discuss helping inner cities.

“And you thought Donald Trump wasn't going to do anything for black people," "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah joked Monday night.

Rapper T.I. posted a series of videos on Instagram on Monday calling out Harvey as well as fellow rapper Kanye West, actor-former football star Jim Brown and Martin Luther King III for meeting with Trump.

"Given what's goin on between him & Congressman Lewis.... All y'all looking CRAZY right now," T.I. wrote in the caption, referring to Trump's criticism of US Rep. John Lewis of Georgia on Twitter. "Be Aware, Be Alert, Or Be Bamboozled."

On his radio show Monday, Harvey said he was hurt by all the criticism.
"I didn't expect the backlash to be so fierce," he said. “I also understand if I'm going to keep getting stabbed at, at least while you're stabbing me, you should understand my intent."

January 15, 2017

Jennifer Holiday Backs out of Inauguration and Says Sorry to LGBT

Jennifer Holliday, considered a longtime LGBT ally, explained that she changed her mind after reading a Friday Daily Beast story titled, “Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump’s Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans.”
The article argued that the singer’s decision to participate in the inaugural event was “an act that seems to defy everything her most passionate supporters stand for, and even issues she herself has supported throughout her career.”
 Jennifer Holliday canceled her appearance at Donald Trump’s inauguration event next week, calling her decision to perform a “lapse of judgement.”
In an open letter, provided exclusively to TheWrap, the “Dreamgirls” star apologized to the LGBT community, saying she was “uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.”
The Tony and Grammy winner came under fire from some of her fans on Friday after it was announced that she was set to perform at a concert as part of Trump’s inauguration festivities.
Read Holliday’s full letter below.
Please allow me this opportunity to speak to you directly and to explain why I originally made my decision to perform at the inauguration which was what I had thought would be my simply keeping in my tradition of being a “bi-partisan songbird” having sung for Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.
I was asked to sing a song for what was presented to me as the “Welcome Concert For The People”– in my mind I was reflecting on the past times of being asked to sing for presidents and I only focused on the phrase “For The People”… I thought, For America!
I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country… Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!
I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.
Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you… You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded.
Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you.
Thank you for your posted comments both the good supportive ones as well as the ugly hurtful ones.
With LOVE & Appreciation,
“The Original DreamGirl”

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