Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He is Not Very Smart, CONt.

UPDATE III:  "Bring on the IQ test — Mensa says it’s willing to host President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a battle of the brains."

Read The Hill, Mensa offers to host IQ test for Trump and Tillerson.

UPDATE II:  "President Trump proposed an 'IQ tests' face-off with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after the nation's top diplomat reportedly called the president a “moron” and disparaged his grasp on foreign policy.

In an interview with Forbes magazine published Tuesday, Trump fired a shot at Tillerson over the 'moron' revelation, first reported by NBC News and confirmed by several other news organizations, including The Washington Post.

'I think it's fake news,' Trump said, 'but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.'

Trump's dare is the latest evidence of what White House officials have described as a breach of trust between the president and secretary of state."

Read the Washington Post, Trump proposes ‘IQ tests’ face-off with Tillerson after secretary of state calls him a ‘moron’.

As noted before: I've always thought The Donald had an exceptionally high EQ (although I think he misuses it).

And he know how to connect.

Too bad he connects to people only as a CON Man.

UPDATE:  "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just delivered an unscheduled statement to reporters about 'some news reports this morning that I want to address.'

But while Tillerson went on to dispute one major contention in those 'reports' — that he considered resigning — he directly and pregnantly declined to dispute another one — that he called his boss, President Trump, a 'moron.'

The juxtaposition of those two things was striking, and it leads to basically one logical conclusion: He can't deny it . . . because he said it. . .

This isn't going away, and it's going to color reporting on Tillerson and Trump's relationship for the remainder of Tillerson's time as secretary of state — until he denies it or actually does resign. He might not realize that or have a good answer for it, but it's true."

Read the Washington Post, Rex Tillerson might as well have just admitted he called Trump a ‘moron’.

In fact, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to The Donald "as a 'moron,' after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump’s national security team and Cabinet officials, according to three officials familiar with the incident."

Read NBC News, Tillerson’s Fury at Trump Required an Intervention From Pence.

That said, as noted before: I've always thought The Donald had an exceptionally high EQ (although I think he misuses it).

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show, Qu'ils Mangent de la Brioche Edition, CONt. Part 2 (AKA The Trump Populism CON, CONt. Part 2)

UPDATE II:  "Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s top aide flew on a hedge fund billionaire’s private jet to Palm Beach several months ago, people familiar with the trip said, the latest example of senior Trump administration officials using luxury air travel even though it often raises red flags with ethics officials.

Eli Miller, Mnuchin’s chief of staff, flew with Nelson Peltz, a founding partner of New York-based Trian Fund Management on the trip. Peltz is an activist shareholder who has sought a board seat at Procter & Gamble, seeking to shake up management. He has spoken glowingly about Trump's proposal to slash tax rates on businesses and the wealthy, which is something designed in large part by senior Treasury officials. . .

Hedge funds often have interest in the Treasury Department’s operations, as Treasury has a unique influence over the White House’s decisions related to financial markets, debt decisions and new policy proposals."

Read the Washington Post, Hedge fund billionaire flew top Mnuchin aide on private jet to Palm Beach.

UPDATE:  "The inspector general for the Interior Department has opened an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s travel during seven months in office, from his use of taxpayer-funded charter and military planes to his mixing of official trips with political appearances. . .

'It’s not just one trip,' [Nancy K. DiPaolo, a spokesperson for Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall] said. 'It’s seven months of travel.' . .

Zinke, a former Navy SEAL commander and former congressman from Montana, is one of several Trump administration Cabinet secretaries whose travel is under scrutiny. Tom Price, another former member of Congress who was Secretary of Health and Human Services, resigned Friday after taking at least $400,000 in chartered flights at taxpayer expense. The watchdog for the Environmental Protection Agency also is investigating agency head Scott Pruitt’s frequent travels to his home state of Oklahoma.

In June, Zinke and his staff chartered a four-hour private flight from Las Vegas to near his home in Montana aboard a plane owned by executives of a Wyoming oil-and-gas firm, aviation and business records show.

The flight cost taxpayers $12,375, according to an Interior Department spokeswoman. Commercial airlines run daily flights between the two airports and charge as little as $300."

Read the Washington Post, Federal watchdog opens probe into travel by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Another MUST READ: the Washington Post, Of course Tom Price shouldn’t have to fly coach!, which states in full:

"For Tom Price, the price is right.

The fake-news media is attacking our hard-working secretary of health and human services. First, those losers at Politico reported that Price took $60,000 in charter flights, including a $25,000 flight to Philadelphia, apparently at taxpayer expense. Politico pointed out that a train to and from Philly cost $72.

The clear implication: Price is not worth the additional $24,928 of taxpayer money. Wrong!

Sure, a train would have gotten him there nearly as quickly. But we can’t have the nation’s top health official risking an unhygienic Amtrak bathroom.

Now, Politico is reporting that Price took a government-funded private jet to a resort in Georgia where he owns land, and to Nashville, where his son lives. As if there’s something wrong with this.

It’s impossible for Price to fly commercial, because that could expose him to the unwashed masses — and nobody wants a repeat of what happened in West Virginia when a reporter had to be arrested for asking Price a question. Also, as one of the lower net-worth individuals in President Trump’s Cabinet (only $14 million, so little he can’t afford to dye his eyebrows gray to match the rest of his hair), Price needs the subsidized travel, just as he needed to enhance his meager congressional pay by trading stocks of health-care companies that had interests in legislation he pushed.

The persecution of Trump officials by the media does not stop with Price. They carp about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin trying to use a government plane for his European honeymoon and flying on a government plane with his wife to Kentucky on solar-eclipse day. They natter about EPA chief Scott Pruitt securing round-the-clock security for himself as he shrinks the rest of the agency and having a $25,000 soundproof booth built in his office. (The noise of fired bureaucrats cleaning out desks can be quite distracting.) They moan about Trump officials using their offices to promote Ivanka Trump’s shoes and Mnuchin’s 'Lego Batman' movie. They whine about the hundreds of millions of dollars being paid to Trump properties by foreign countries, the Pentagon, the Secret Service and more.

The critics just don’t get it. For America to dream big, its leaders must live large. Rich people are the smartest people, and to lure the best into government service, you have to entice them — with more riches. Besides, after Mnuchin gets Trump’s tax cut through Congress, all Americans will be able to afford charter planes.

It is time that we drain the swamp of 'watchdogs' at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Send those namby-pambies back to Nambia.

Few appreciate the sacrifice these public servants make. 'Dude U have no idea!' Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb wrote in an email to a restaurateur who was worried about losing his health insurance. 'I walked away from $4 million annually to do this, had to sell my entire retirement account for major capital losses.'

The horror! This is why I’m not worried about Trump officials taking taxpayer-funded gratuities.

I have no objection to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos being guarded by U.S. marshals for an extra $1 million a month or so. With grizzly bears attacking public schools, it’s only a matter of time before they go after her.

I think the EPA’s inspector general should mind his own business and stop probing those government-funded trips that took Pruitt home to Oklahoma for 43 days over three months.

I’m not troubled by Trump White House official Christopher Liddell meeting with CEOs of 18 companies in his personal stock portfolio.

I don’t believe it’s anybody’s business that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was getting money from Russia.

I don’t lose sleep over Jared Kushner’s family using his Trump ties to lure Chinese real estate investors.

I’m okay with China granting copyrights to Ivanka’s fashion brand on the same day the Chinese and American presidents dined.

I don’t care if Trump releases his tax returns; or if he divests himself of his businesses; or if he touts his properties during official appearances; or if federal political committees spend lavishly at the Trump properties; or if Trump’s administration is paying Trump’s businesses for space at his properties; or if foreign powers splurge at D.C.’s Trump International, leased to Trump by the federal government.

I’m with Mnuchin’s wife, actress Louise Linton, who posted a social media photo of her getting off a military jet. Her caption noted her Herm├Ęs scarf, Tom Ford sunglasses and Valentino shoes. When one taxpayer complained, Linton shot back: 'Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?'

Exactly!

It is high time we held government to a lower standard."