Tuesday Reads: Trump Visits the Queen and Other News

Trump manages to look like a slob in white tie and tails.

Good Morning!!

As I write this, Trump and PM May are giving a joint press conference in London. One of the questions Trump was  asked about was the massive protests against his visit. Trump claimed that he didn’t see any protests and that there were thousands of people in the streets cheering for him. Reports of protests are “fake news.” He reiterated his attacked on London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, praised May on Brexit said it would be good for the UK. He also ranted about immigration. Of D-Day, Trump said  it was “a liberation like few people have seen before.” I doubt if Trump knows anything about D-Day or World War II.

The Washington Post reported on the “fake news” protests early this morning: Baby Trump and the Trump robot headline London protests against U.S. president’s visit.

After a day of pomp and pageantry with the British royals, Tuesday was shaping up to be a day of politics and protests. Trump is scheduled to have meetings at Downing Street and protesters are hoping that they can be close enough — and loud enough — to be heard.

The road outside of Downing Street was sealed off with steel barricades, and there was a heavy police presence.

But in nearby Trafalgar Square, one of the main gathering places in central London, the so-called “Carnival of Resistance” was in full swing.

One of the main features was a talking Trump robot who as sitting on a toilet and saying, “You’re fake news! I’m a very stable genius!”

What an embarrassment Trump is! Any why on earth did all his children–even Tiffany–go with him on the trip? Why were they at the state dinner yesterday?

The great British tradition of creating witty — and sometimes rude — placards was on full display. One protester held aloft a sign that read: “British Humour: the gift of a book to an illiterate man — well played Your Majesty.”

Another man was pushing a shopping cart filled with toilet paper featuring Trump’s face on it. “Come on down to Trafalgar and get your Donald Trump toilet paper,” he said.

The protests come a day after a lavish state banquet hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

Here’s what happened when Ivanka Trump and then her father emerged from the PM’s residence.

Why was Ivanka there? Even more to the point, why were Donald Trump Jr., Eric, and Tiffany there? I heard someone on TV say it looked like a Trump family visit to Disneyland.

CNN: Trump’s children make play for royal treatment.

At a grand banquet table in a red-carpeted Buckingham Palace ballroom, the Queen, a couple of princes, dukes and duchesses, and lords and ladies were intermixed with the Trump family: a President, a first lady, four of his five children, and two of their spouses.

Queen Elizabeth II formally invited just President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to travel to London for an official State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. But the event became more of an extended family affair, with Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his wife Lara, and Tiffany Trump all joining the exclusive party.

Protesters fill the streets in London

The President’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, was already set to attend in her capacity as a formal adviser to the President, and a senior member of his administration. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is also part of the United States delegation attending the ceremonial events.

For the President, bringing his adult children, in his view, is akin to showcasing his version of royalty. In an interview ahead of the trip with the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, Trump said he wanted Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany to hold a “next generation” meeting with the Prince William and his wife, Kate, and Prince Harry.

“I think my children will be meeting them,” said Trump. “It would be nice.”

Though they mingled at the State Banquet, there were no plans for a sit-down meeting, a royal source told CNN International correspondent Max Foster.

“Next generation?” These people actually think Trump will pass on the presidency to his offspring?

Buzzfeed has a report on what everyone wore at last night’s state dinner: Here Are All The Looks That Were Served At Queen Elizabeth’s State Banquet For The Trumps. Why were Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Sanders there? Trump is such an embarrassment.

Back in the USA,

Yesterday George Nader, who was interviewed for the Russia investigation, was arrest on child pornography charges.

The Washington Post: Figure linked to Trump transition charged with transporting child pornography.

George Nader and Trump in 2017

A key witness in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian election interference has been charged with transporting child pornography last year, according to court documents.

George Nader, who has a previous conviction on such charges, was charged in federal court in Virginia and is expected to make an initial court appearance in New York.

Nader played an unusual role as a kind of liaison between Trump supporters, Middle East leaders and Russians interested in making contact with the incoming administration in early 2017.

Officials said Nader, 60, was charged by criminal complaint over material he was traveling with when he arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport on Jan. 17, 2018, from Dubai. At the time, he was carrying a cellphone containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, officials said. The charges were unsealed after his arrest Monday morning at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The charges carry a penalty of 15-40 years in prison.

Nader was known to Trump associates as someone with political connections in the Middle East who could help them navigate the diplomacy of the region.

He helped arrange a meeting in the Seychelles in January 2017 between Erik Prince, a Trump supporter who founded the private security firm Blackwater, and a Russian official close to Russian President Vladi­mir Putin. The purpose of the meeting was of particular interest to Mueller’s investigators, and some questions about it remain unanswered, even after Mueller issued a 448-page report on his findings.

The New York Times: Paul Manafort to Be Sent to Rikers, Where He Faces Solitary Confinement.

Trump and Manafort during the campaign

Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a federal prison sentence, is expected to be transferred as early as this week to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City, where he will most likely be held in solitary confinement while facing state fraud charges, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Mr. Manafort was convicted last year on federal bank fraud, tax and conspiracy charges in two related cases and is serving a seven-and-a-half-year federal prison sentence in Pennsylvania. The Manhattan district attorney obtained an indictment of Mr. Manafort on state mortgage fraud charges in an effort to ensure he would still face prison if Mr. Trump pardoned him for his federal crimes.

Mr. Manafort, 70, will most likely be arraigned on the new charges in State Supreme Court in Manhattan later this month and held at Rikers, though his lawyers could seek to have him held at a federal jail in New York, the people with knowledge said….

A law-enforcement official familiar with the correction department’s practices, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss security measures, said Mr. Manafort would most likely be housed in a former prison hospital on the island. That is where most high-profile detainees are held, including police officers, those accused of killing police officers, politicians and celebrities.

And Trump can’t pardon Manafort for those state charges.

The Washington Post reports: GOP lawmakers discuss vote to block Trump’s new tariffs on Mexico, in what would be a dramatic act of defiance.

Trucks passing the border from El Paso into Juárez, Mexico. Paul Ratje/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Congressional Republicans have begun discussing whether they may have to vote to block President Trump’s planned new tariffs on Mexico, potentially igniting a second standoff this year over Trump’s use of executive powers to circumvent Congress, people familiar with the talks said.

The vote, which would be the GOP’s most dramatic act of defiance since Trump took office, could also have the effect of blocking billions of dollars in border wall funding that the president had announced in February when he declared a national emergency at the southern border, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on Mexico — with which the United States has a free-trade agreement — rely on the president’s declaration of a national emergency at the border. But the law gives Congress the right to override the national emergency determination by passing a resolution of disapproval.

Congress passed such a resolution in March after Trump reallocated the border wall funds, but he vetoed it. Now, as frustration on Capitol Hill grows over Trump’s latest tariff threat, a second vote could potentially command a veto-proof majority to nullify the national emergency, which in turn could undercut both the border-wall effort and the new tariffs.

We’ll see if they have the guts to do it.

What else is happening? What stories have you been following?


39 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Trump Visits the Queen and Other News”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    From The Atlantic, Adam Serwer on the SCOTUS Census case: A White Man’s Republic, If They Can Keep it.

    It was seven years ago, as the Supreme Court considered a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, that Justice Antonin Scalia said the quiet part loud.

    The 2006 near-unanimous renewal of the landmark civil-rights bill was “very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement,” Scalia lectured then-Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli. “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”

    Scalia’s logic was clear: The 1965 law, which guaranteed black Americans’ right to the franchise in the South for the first time in a hundred years, was a “racial entitlement” that Congress itself would never remove, and so the high court was duty-bound to remove it. When Chief Justice John Roberts issued his ruling invalidating the law’s provisions determining which jurisdictions with histories of racial discrimination must submit to oversight by the federal government however, Scalia’s rationale was absent from the decision. Also absent was any mention of what part of the Constitution the invalidated provision violated.

    Roberts didn’t call the Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement.” Rather, he insisted that while he agreed with the law’s intentions—”any discrimination in voting is too much,” he wrote— close federal oversight of local election laws to prevent discrimination was no longer warranted. “Things have changed dramatically,” Roberts concluded. Shortly thereafter, Republican-controlled states moved as quickly as possible to impose restrictions on voting targeted at minority communities, as if determined to make Roberts look a fool or a liar.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I posted this in the comments yesterday, but just in case you missed it this is a very good article on Biden’s 1988 run for president.

  3. dakinikat says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      Um . . . lying down is the correct usage. One of my pet peeves–I can’t stand it!

      • NW Luna says:

        I agree.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Thanks, I’m glad I’m not alone. There are just some common grammatical errors that drive me nuts. I’m the child of an English professor.

          • quixote says:

            All the goddesses! Don’t get me started. The wrong ways of writing (which I won’t repeat here!) poring over text and toeing the line.

            And then a new one, which I guess isn’t exactly wrong but is so clumsy: “based off of.” Why did that start? It’s based *on* for crying out loud!

          • NW Luna says:

            “Base,” foundation, lower level.

          • bostonboomer says:

            “Graduated high school” instead of “graduated from…” still bothers me, but that’s a lost cause.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Good kitteh!!!!!!!

  4. bostonboomer says:

  5. bostonboomer says:

    • Enheduanna says:

      LOL omgosh remember the pictures of them at the Vatican? hahahahaha

    • NW Luna says:

      Trump and Melania get the invite, but then Trump hauls along his kids from various ex-wives plus some of his non-diplomatic staff. Gauche Americans crashing a party.

  6. Enheduanna says:

    So interesting Manafort is going to Rikers BB! Even if it is just the hospital or whatever.

    I just watched “When They See Us” on Netflix this weekend about the Central Park 5. Really really intense dramatization of what those boys experienced, including adult prison for one who was only 15. A must-see series.

    Dump should be in prison for what he said about them. Talk about libel. And how is it a newspaper is willing to print stuff like that even before a trial?

    • quixote says:

      On one hand, what the US allows to happen in its prisons is state-sanctioned torture. It’s a massive disgrace anybody is exposed to that.

      On the other hand, protecting Ostrich-Skin-Manafort from it, when so many lesser criminals are not, just somehow feels wrong.

  7. NW Luna says:

    “sued over Brexit.” Cringe. Will someone please gag Trump already?

    Trump dismisses protests, says he would have sued over Brexit

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Personal news:

    My root canal was successful so being sick for days from the antibiotic was worth it.

  9. NW Luna says:

    Because of course.

  10. NW Luna says:

    In case anyone’s interested:

    • quixote says:

      Very interested! Thanks for that.

    • bostonboomer says:

      When I first came to Boston, age 19, I got a job at Harvard’s Widener Library in the office that was in charge of computerizing the collections. In those days we used keypunch machines, later we used the primitive word processor, the Dura Machine. It was an IBM Selectric that punched holes in paper tape instead of punch cards. You could backspace over errors and you could edit the finished work.

      Here’s a photo:

      https://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102628715

      Can you believe how ancient I am? In those days, the computer took up an entire room.

      • quixote says:

        bb! You’ve been using computers longer than I have! :boggle: (Not meaning you’re older. Just that you got started earlier. I too started back in the days of mainframes and punch cards and JCL, IBM’s dearly beloved (NOT) Job Control Language. Didn’t like them much then! That was years later when Unix came along and you could actually do something besides fight with them.)

        • bostonboomer says:

          I actually worked in the computer office in college at Ball State University starting in 1965. I dropped out and came to Boston in June, 1967

  11. NW Luna says:

  12. Enheduanna says:

    Is it bad that I want to criticize how these guys look?

    Proof you can’t put lipstick on pigs?

  13. NW Luna says:

    WTAF??? This is inhumane and can be murderous. Haul these racist sadists up before a Human Rights Tribunal!