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 1 
 on: Today at 12:15:17 pm 
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 2 
 on: Yesterday at 01:39:51 am 
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 3 
 on: May 24, 2019, 11:32:26 pm 
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 4 
 on: May 24, 2019, 09:34:55 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from Consequence of Sound…

Synth repairman accidentally gets high after
touching old LSD on a vintage '60s synthesizer


The strain was possibly from Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead's notorious sound engineer.

By NINA CORCORAN | 3:17PM — Thursday, May 23, 2019

Vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer from California State University. — Photograph: via KPIX 5.
Vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer from California State University. — Photograph: via KPIX 5.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you found a 50-year-old dose of LSD laying around? If you're Eliot Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Manager for KPIX Television, you get high on acid… accidentally.

Curtis recently undertook the project of restoring a vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer. According to San Francisco KPIX 5, the instrument had been sitting in a cold, dark room at California State University East Bay since the 1960s, so he lugged it home and began repairing it.

After opening a red-paneled module on the synthesizer, he noticed there was “a crust or a crystalline residue on it.” Naturally, he did what any person tasked with fixing up an old instrument would do: spray some cleaner on it, pick at the residue with his finger, and try to dislodge it by scratching it off. But 45 minutes later, he started to feel some tingling. It was the start of a nine-hour acid trip.

Three individual chemical tests identified the substance on the synthesizer as LSD. An anonymous LSD researcher explained what happened. It turns out that when stored in a cool, dark place, LSD can remain potent for decades. On top of that, there's written evidence from Albert Hoffman, the first person to ingest LSD, that he believed it could be ingested through the skin.

What was LSD doing on the instrument in the first place? Nobody knows, but there's plenty of theories. Look no further than Don Buchla, the instrument's inventor. Not only was Buchla part of the '60s counterculture at large, but his synthesizers ended up on an old school bus purchased by LSD advocate Ken Kesey and his followers in 1966. During Kesey's acid tests at Winterland on Halloween, electronic sounds interrupted an interview with Kesey. Additionally, Buchla was a friend of Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead's sound engineer and an infamous manufacturer of an extremely pure strain of LSD.

Those looking for a similar experience will have to look elsewhere. Curtis finished cleaning the vintage Buchla model for good — and this time around, he made sure to wear gloves.


__________________________________________________________________________

Nina Corcoran is a writer and photographer based in Boston. Her work has been published on Pitchfork, Paste Magazine, The Quietus, Impose, DigBoston, and more. When not reading n+1 or raiding the nearest candy store, she's busy practicing banjo for her world tour with Kermit.

https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/05/synth-repairman-accidentally-gets-high-after-touching-old-lsd-on-a-vintage-60s-synthesizer

 5 
 on: May 24, 2019, 01:46:09 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Pelosi, Schumer rejected at White House

Trump, angry at House investigations, bolts meeting with Democratic leaders on infrastructure.

By ELI STOKOLS and JENNIFER HABERKORN | Thursday, May 23, 2019

President Donald J. Trump appears with a pre-made sign at a hastily called news conference after he stormed out of the White House meeting, saying bipartisan cooperation was impossible “under these circumstances.” — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump appears with a pre-made sign at a hastily called news conference after he stormed out of the White House meeting,
saying bipartisan cooperation was impossible “under these circumstances.” — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.


WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump abruptly blew up an infrastructure meeting with Democratic leaders at the White House on Wednesday and declared that bipartisan cooperation was impossible while House committees are investigating him, underscoring the increasing combustibility between two warring branches of government.

Trump refused to even sit down when he walked into the scheduled Cabinet Room meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-San Francisco) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York). He then headed to a hastily called news conference in the Rose Garden.

Trump told reporters there that he gave the surprised Democratic leaders an ultimatum, warning that they needed to choose between pursuing infrastructure or their investigations of his finances, businesses and administration.

“You probably can't go down two tracks,” he said. “You can go down the investigation track, or you can go down the investment track.

“I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it’,” Trump said.

“But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with.”

The acrimony erupted as the president was dealt another setback in court. For the second time in two days, a federal judge rejected Trump's refusal to honor congressional subpoenas and ordered him to turn over financial records to Democratic-led committees.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in New York rejected Trump's efforts to block a subpoena aimed at forcing Deutsche Bank and Capital One to hand over his financial records to the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees. Trump's attorneys are expected to appeal the decision.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled that Trump cannot block a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee for financial information from his accounting firm, Mazars USA. Trump's lawyers already have appealed.

And lawmakers in New York passed legislation on Wednesday that will allow the state's Department of Taxation and Finance to release the state tax returns of public officeholders at the federal, state and local levels that are requested by the leaders of congressional tax-writing committees. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law.

It wasn't clear if Trump's threat not to cooperate with Democrats was mere bluster or signaled the death knell to any infrastructure plan or other compromises on key legislative issues before the 2020 election.

In January, Trump stormed out of a meeting with Pelosi and Schumer during a partial government shutdown over funding for his border wall. The 35-day shutdown ended when the president backed down.

Trump laid down a similar threat of non-cooperation during his State of the Union address in February, saying: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way.”

Trump made clear on Wednesday he was irked by Pelosi's charges, made at an earlier news conference, that the president's stonewalling of up to 20 House investigations amounts to a “cover-up,” comments that added fuel to some Democrats' demands for impeachment proceedings.

“I don't do cover-ups,” Trump said, blaming Democrats for what he called unfair harassment. “These people are out to get us.”


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, said that President Trump “couldn't match the greatness of the challenge that we have” on infrastructure. “He just took a pass.” — Photograph: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, said that President Trump “couldn't match the greatness of the challenge
that we have” on infrastructure. “He just took a pass.” — Photograph: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.


After returning to the Capitol, Democrats called their own news conference to say they were stunned that Trump had stormed out of the meeting before anyone else could speak.

“To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop,” Schumer said. “We are interested in doing infrastructure. It's clear the president isn't. He is looking for every excuse.”

Schumer said the pre-made sign affixed to the president's lectern in the Rose Garden — “No Collusion, No Obstruction,” it read — showed that Trump's walkout was long planned. He suggested the president had staged the incident because the White House had failed to find a way to fund an infrastructure bill.

Schumer said he'd brought a 35-page infrastructure proposal to the White House, attempting to contrast Democrats' good-faith approach to talks with the president's reluctance.

“Now that he was forced to come up with a way to pay for it, he ran away,” he said.

Pelosi, who said Democrats don't believe the House investigations jeopardized the infrastructure talks, opted not to speculate as to what motivated Trump's behavior.

The president, she said, “couldn't match the greatness of the challenge that we have. … He just took a pass, and it makes me wonder why he did that,” she said. “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States.”

On Tuesday night, Trump sent Pelosi and Schumer a letter informing them that he wants Congress to ratify the revamped free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico before they take up infrastructure. In that letter, he asked Democrats to clarify their priorities with specific funding requests.

More House Democrats called this week for impeachment proceedings as the White House continued to defy subpoenas, refusing to hand over documents or allow current or former administration officials to testify in the aftermath of the special counsel report from Robert S. Mueller III, who laid out 10 examples of Trump attempting to interfere with the investigation.

“We've all been struggling with this on a personal basis about what's the right thing to do given our obligation based on the oath we swore to the Constitution,” said Representative Katie Hill (Democrat-Agua Dulce), who said calls to her office about impeachment have risen dramatically, with 3 to 1 in support.

House Democrats have vowed to operate on two tracks: conducting appropriate oversight of the executive branch while they try to work with Trump on legislation. That focus is important for moderate Democrats who won in swing districts and want to cite legislative accomplishments in their 2020 campaigns.

But Trump sought to knock that compartmentalized approach off the table on Wednesday, insisting that Democrats must choose one path or the other. Democrats, buoyed by the latest court decisions, made clear they don't agree.

Shortly before Wednesday's White House meeting, Pelosi huddled with House Democrats, where she asked for patience from those who favor impeachment, given the president's refusal to cooperate with investigations.

“That was really the message: Be a little bit patient,” said Representative Gerald E. Connolly (Democrat-Virginia), a member of the House Oversight Committee. “Things are kind of breaking our way, and more is about to happen. Let's not rush to something that we can't take back.”

Pelosi sought to placate the pro-impeachment members by emphasizing that the White House is engaging in a “cover-up” when she spoke to reporters afterward.

“We do believe it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States, and we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up — in a cover-up,” she said.

Repairing the country's crumbling bridges, airports, roads and other infrastructure was one of the few issues where Democrats and Republicans appeared to have common interests.

Last month, Trump welcomed Pelosi and Schumer to the White House and vowed to pursue a $2-trillion plan, although he didn't say how he would pay for it. The Democratic leaders emerged from that meeting pleasantly surprised by Trump’s eagerness to pass a massive infrastructure bill, and both sides agreed to meet again in three weeks.

The onus, Democrats said then, was on the administration to come up with a funding plan. But Trump quickly faced blowback from congressional Republicans, who opposed raising the gas tax, the traditional funding source for such improvements.

The White House, according to two sources involved in ongoing discussions, has no plan to generate revenue for infrastructure aside from deep budget cuts to existing non-military programs, something Democrats are sure to oppose.

“It was night and day between this time and last time,” Representative Peter A. DeFazio (Democrat-Oregon), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic colleagues that the House would still try to pass a “big, bold and bipartisan” package, but DeFazio made clear that was unlikely without Trump. “We need him, otherwise there's no prospects for a larger, comprehensive bill with robust funding,” he said.

DeFazio said that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) were both “100% dead set against doing infrastructure,” he said. “Trump has promised it and they don't care.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Eli Stokols is a White House reporter based in the Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C., bureau. He is a veteran of Politico and The Wall Street Journal, where he covered the 2016 presidential campaign and then the Trump White House. A native of Irvine, Stokols grew up in a L.A. Times household and is thrilled to report for what is still his family's hometown paper. He is also a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

• Jennifer Haberkorn covers Congress in Washington, D.C., for the Los Angeles Times. She has reported from Washington since 2005, spending much of that time roaming the halls of the U.S. Capitol. Before arriving at the L.A. Times, Haberkorn spent eight years at POLITICO writing about the 2010 healthcare law, a story that took her to Congress, the states, healthcare clinics and courtrooms around the country. She also covered Congress and local business news for The Washington Times. Haberkorn is a native of the Chicago area and graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=59601553-9523-49d4-b73f-5f003ce1ec6e
https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=fbe93356-9c35-439f-a242-5239f276778a

 6 
 on: May 24, 2019, 01:45:47 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Pelosi, Schumer rejected at White House

Trump, angry at House investigations, bolts meeting with Democratic leaders on infrastructure.

By ELI STOKOLS and JENNIFER HABERKORN | Thursday, May 23, 2019

President Donald J. Trump appears with a pre-made sign at a hastily called news conference after he stormed out of the White House meeting, saying bipartisan cooperation was impossible “under these circumstances.” — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump appears with a pre-made sign at a hastily called news conference after he stormed out of the White House meeting,
saying bipartisan cooperation was impossible “under these circumstances.” — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.


WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump abruptly blew up an infrastructure meeting with Democratic leaders at the White House on Wednesday and declared that bipartisan cooperation was impossible while House committees are investigating him, underscoring the increasing combustibility between two warring branches of government.

Trump refused to even sit down when he walked into the scheduled Cabinet Room meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-San Francisco) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York). He then headed to a hastily called news conference in the Rose Garden.

Trump told reporters there that he gave the surprised Democratic leaders an ultimatum, warning that they needed to choose between pursuing infrastructure or their investigations of his finances, businesses and administration.

“You probably can't go down two tracks,” he said. “You can go down the investigation track, or you can go down the investment track.

“I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it’,” Trump said.

“But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with.”

The acrimony erupted as the president was dealt another setback in court. For the second time in two days, a federal judge rejected Trump's refusal to honor congressional subpoenas and ordered him to turn over financial records to Democratic-led committees.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in New York rejected Trump's efforts to block a subpoena aimed at forcing Deutsche Bank and Capital One to hand over his financial records to the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees. Trump's attorneys are expected to appeal the decision.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled that Trump cannot block a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee for financial information from his accounting firm, Mazars USA. Trump's lawyers already have appealed.

And lawmakers in New York passed legislation on Wednesday that will allow the state's Department of Taxation and Finance to release the state tax returns of public officeholders at the federal, state and local levels that are requested by the leaders of congressional tax-writing committees. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law.

It wasn't clear if Trump's threat not to cooperate with Democrats was mere bluster or signaled the death knell to any infrastructure plan or other compromises on key legislative issues before the 2020 election.

In January, Trump stormed out of a meeting with Pelosi and Schumer during a partial government shutdown over funding for his border wall. The 35-day shutdown ended when the president backed down.

Trump laid down a similar threat of non-cooperation during his State of the Union address in February, saying: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn't work that way.”

Trump made clear on Wednesday he was irked by Pelosi's charges, made at an earlier news conference, that the president's stonewalling of up to 20 House investigations amounts to a “cover-up,” comments that added fuel to some Democrats' demands for impeachment proceedings.

“I don't do cover-ups,” Trump said, blaming Democrats for what he called unfair harassment. “These people are out to get us.”


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, said that President Trump “couldn't match the greatness of the challenge that we have” on infrastructure. “He just took a pass.” — Photograph: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, said that President Trump “couldn't match the greatness of the challenge
that we have” on infrastructure. “He just took a pass.” — Photograph: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE/Shutterstock.


After returning to the Capitol, Democrats called their own news conference to say they were stunned that Trump had stormed out of the meeting before anyone else could speak.

“To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop,” Schumer said. “We are interested in doing infrastructure. It's clear the president isn't. He is looking for every excuse.”

Schumer said the pre-made sign affixed to the president's lectern in the Rose Garden — “No Collusion, No Obstruction,” it read — showed that Trump's walkout was long planned. He suggested the president had staged the incident because the White House had failed to find a way to fund an infrastructure bill.

Schumer said he'd brought a 35-page infrastructure proposal to the White House, attempting to contrast Democrats' good-faith approach to talks with the president's reluctance.

“Now that he was forced to come up with a way to pay for it, he ran away,” he said.

Pelosi, who said Democrats don't believe the House investigations jeopardized the infrastructure talks, opted not to speculate as to what motivated Trump's behavior.

The president, she said, “couldn't match the greatness of the challenge that we have. … He just took a pass, and it makes me wonder why he did that,” she said. “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States.”

On Tuesday night, Trump sent Pelosi and Schumer a letter informing them that he wants Congress to ratify the revamped free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico before they take up infrastructure. In that letter, he asked Democrats to clarify their priorities with specific funding requests.

More House Democrats called this week for impeachment proceedings as the White House continued to defy subpoenas, refusing to hand over documents or allow current or former administration officials to testify in the aftermath of the special counsel report from Robert S. Mueller III, who laid out 10 examples of Trump attempting to interfere with the investigation.

“We've all been struggling with this on a personal basis about what's the right thing to do given our obligation based on the oath we swore to the Constitution,” said Representative Katie Hill (Democrat-Agua Dulce), who said calls to her office about impeachment have risen dramatically, with 3 to 1 in support.

House Democrats have vowed to operate on two tracks: conducting appropriate oversight of the executive branch while they try to work with Trump on legislation. That focus is important for moderate Democrats who won in swing districts and want to cite legislative accomplishments in their 2020 campaigns.

But Trump sought to knock that compartmentalized approach off the table on Wednesday, insisting that Democrats must choose one path or the other. Democrats, buoyed by the latest court decisions, made clear they don't agree.

Shortly before Wednesday's White House meeting, Pelosi huddled with House Democrats, where she asked for patience from those who favor impeachment, given the president's refusal to cooperate with investigations.

“That was really the message: Be a little bit patient,” said Representative Gerald E. Connolly (Democrat-Virginia), a member of the House Oversight Committee. “Things are kind of breaking our way, and more is about to happen. Let's not rush to something that we can't take back.”

Pelosi sought to placate the pro-impeachment members by emphasizing that the White House is engaging in a “cover-up” when she spoke to reporters afterward.

“We do believe it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States, and we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up — in a cover-up,” she said.

Repairing the country's crumbling bridges, airports, roads and other infrastructure was one of the few issues where Democrats and Republicans appeared to have common interests.

Last month, Trump welcomed Pelosi and Schumer to the White House and vowed to pursue a $2-trillion plan, although he didn't say how he would pay for it. The Democratic leaders emerged from that meeting pleasantly surprised by Trump’s eagerness to pass a massive infrastructure bill, and both sides agreed to meet again in three weeks.

The onus, Democrats said then, was on the administration to come up with a funding plan. But Trump quickly faced blowback from congressional Republicans, who opposed raising the gas tax, the traditional funding source for such improvements.

The White House, according to two sources involved in ongoing discussions, has no plan to generate revenue for infrastructure aside from deep budget cuts to existing non-military programs, something Democrats are sure to oppose.

“It was night and day between this time and last time,” Representative Peter A. DeFazio (Democrat-Oregon), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic colleagues that the House would still try to pass a “big, bold and bipartisan” package, but DeFazio made clear that was unlikely without Trump. “We need him, otherwise there's no prospects for a larger, comprehensive bill with robust funding,” he said.

DeFazio said that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) were both “100% dead set against doing infrastructure,” he said. “Trump has promised it and they don't care.”


__________________________________________________________________________

• Eli Stokols is a White House reporter based in the Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C., bureau. He is a veteran of Politico and The Wall Street Journal, where he covered the 2016 presidential campaign and then the Trump White House. A native of Irvine, Stokols grew up in a L.A. Times household and is thrilled to report for what is still his family's hometown paper. He is also a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

• Jennifer Haberkorn covers Congress in Washington, D.C., for the Los Angeles Times. She has reported from Washington since 2005, spending much of that time roaming the halls of the U.S. Capitol. Before arriving at the L.A. Times, Haberkorn spent eight years at POLITICO writing about the 2010 healthcare law, a story that took her to Congress, the states, healthcare clinics and courtrooms around the country. She also covered Congress and local business news for The Washington Times. Haberkorn is a native of the Chicago area and graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=59601553-9523-49d4-b73f-5f003ce1ec6e
https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=fbe93356-9c35-439f-a242-5239f276778a

 7 
 on: May 24, 2019, 01:14:08 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey



 8 
 on: May 23, 2019, 07:19:37 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from Huffington Post…

Trump's Golf Costs: $102 Million And Counting,
With Taxpayers Picking Up The Tab


Trump promised never to golf. Instead, he's spent more than twice as many days
golfing as Obama at the same point, costing taxpayers over three times as much.


By Shirish V. Date | 5:45PM EDT — Wednesday, May 22, 2019

President Donald J. Trump … at the golf course. — Photograph: Andrew Milligan/Press Association Images/via Getty Images.
President Donald J. Trump … at the golf course. — Photograph: Andrew Milligan/Press Association Images/via Getty Images.

DONALD TRUMP's golf habit has already cost taxpayers at least $102 million in extra travel and security expenses, and next month will achieve a new milestone: a seven-figure presidential visit to another country so he can play at his own course.

U.S. taxpayers have spent $81 million for the president's two dozen trips to Florida, according to a Huffington Post analysis. They spent $17 million for his 15 trips to New Jersey, another $1 million so he could visit his resort in Los Angeles and at least $3 million for his two days in Scotland last summer ― $1.3 million of which went just for rental cars for the massive entourage that accompanies a president abroad.

And, notwithstanding Trump's campaign promise that if elected he would not play golf at all, the White House has done preliminary work for Trump's visit to his resort on the west coast of Ireland next month, according to Irish media and government sources, even though no official meeting with Irish leaders is planned in the capital, Dublin.

Late on Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced that Trump would meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Shannon, just 30 miles by air from Trump's golf resort in Doonbeg. It will be the first time Trump will visit a foreign country — with the staggering footprint of personnel and equipment that entails — for the main purpose of playing golf, though an official purpose was layered on after the fact.

“It's obviously an incredible waste of money,” said Robert Weissman, president of the group Public Citizen. He then quipped: “Of course, the more time he spends golfing, the less time he spends governing, the better.”

The $102 million total to date spent on Trump's presidential golfing represents 255 times the annual presidential salary he volunteered not to take. It is more than three times the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that Trump continually complains about. It would fund for six years the Special Olympics program that Trump's proposed budget had originally cut to save money.

While Republicans and Trump himself frequently criticized former President Barack Obama for his golf outings, Trump has spent more than twice as many days on the links, to date, as Obama did at the same point in his first term. And because Trump has insisted on dozens of trips to New Jersey and Florida to play at his resorts there, taxpayers are spending more than three times as much as they did for golf by the same point in Obama's term.

The White House did not respond to numerous queries regarding this story. North Carolina Republican congressman Mark Meadows, a close Trump ally, dismissed the $102 million figure as insignificant.

“There's a lot more important things to worry about than the rounding errors that we sometimes have on these things,” he said Tuesday.

Just as troubling as the amount Trump has spent so far on golf trips is the fact that his visits have been to his own properties — for-profit businesses that put money in his own pocket and that Trump routinely praises during his visits.


This is where President Trump was initially demanding to conduct White House business with the prime minister of Ireland. — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/via Getty Images.
This is where President Trump was initially demanding to conduct White House business with the prime minister of Ireland.
 — Photograph: Agence France-Presse/via Getty Images.


During his trip to Scotland last year, for example, Trump wrote: “I have arrived in Scotland and will be at Trump Turnberry for two days of meetings, calls and hopefully, some golf — my primary form of exercise! The weather is beautiful, and this place is incredible!”

“His top priority with these trips is not the business of the American people, it's the business of the Trump Organization,” said Jordan Libowitz of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “The American presidency has become another tool to advertise his golf properties.”

The vast majority of Trump's golf costs result from his insistence on playing at his Florida courses in West Palm Beach and Jupiter, where he has spent 61 days while staying at his resort in the nearby town of Palm Beach. A weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago averages $3.4 million, with most of that resulting from the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs each hour to fly both the modified Boeing 747 that serves as the primary Air Force One, as well as the C-17 cargo planes required to move all the support vehicles in Trump's motorcade.

Determining the cost of Trump's golf visits is not easy. The White House is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and Trump's press office does not answer most questions about his golf visits — even refusing to confirm whether he is, in fact, playing golf when he is physically at his golf courses.

But a recent Government Accountability Office report regarding Trump's four early 2017 visits to Mar-a-Lago has provided hard data and a methodology that Huffington Post followed in its own analysis.

The Huffington Post analysis took a conservative approach to determining costs. For example, it used a per-hour rate of $15,994 for Trump's use of the smaller Air Force One that he takes to Bedminster, New Jersey, even though that figure accounts only for fuel and maintenance, not the additional factors that GAO used when it determined the $273,000-per-hour cost of operating the larger plane.

Any presidential outing requires coordination of multiple offices and agencies and incurs additional costs compared to staying in the White House. Even one of Trump's day trips to his course across the Potomac River in northern Virginia — there have been 52 to date — requires fuel for all the motorcade vehicles and some personnel costs if overtime is necessary for Secret Service agents and others. (Those expenses, however, are minimal compared to flight costs, and Huffington Post did not include them in its $102 million total.)

And the price increases exponentially the farther Trump travels.

Flying the Marine Corps helicopters — three of them are used each time ― from the White House to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One is based, costs $57,000 for the round trip, according to the GAO report. Flying the massive C-17 transports loaded with Trump's 7-ton armored limousines and other specialized support vehicles costs $800,500 per Mar-a-Lago trip.

And for each of those trips, the Coast Guard winds up spending an extra $855,500 to patrol the Atlantic Ocean to the east of Mar-a-Lago and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west. That figure includes the expense of getting necessary ships, boats and crews to South Florida from stations as far away as Boston and Houston, the GAO reported.


Cost to U.S. taxpayers for a typical Mar-a-Lago golf vacation. — Illustration: Ivylise Simones/Huffington Post.
Cost to U.S. taxpayers for a typical Mar-a-Lago golf vacation. — Illustration: Ivylise Simones/Huffington Post.

When Trump travels overseas, the costs rise even higher, as yet more agencies become involved. Dozens of White House staff members may travel with Trump during a weekend to Mar-a-Lago or Bedminster, but that number swells to several hundred on an overseas trip. The administration avoids lengthy motorcades on foreign soil, so Marine helicopters and V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft must be pre-positioned. A backup Air Force One is sent along as the support plane.

According to a Scottish newspaper last summer, the U.S. State Department paid a local car rental agency $1.2 million for vehicles for all the staff who relocated from London, where Trump had met with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May, to Scotland, where Trump wanted to play golf at his Turnberry resort before heading to Finland to meet Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Between that expense and the costs of moving equipment from London to Glasgow and then 55 miles southwest to Turnberry, those two golf days cost taxpayers at least $3 million beyond what they would have spent if Trump had simply stayed in London, according to Huffington Post's analysis.

One of Trump's favorite lines of attack against Obama was to point out his frequent golf outings during his presidency.

“I play golf to relax. My company is in great shape. @BarackObama plays golf to escape work while America goes down the drain,” Trump tweeted in December 2011.

“Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter,” he wrote three years later.

As he began his own run for the White House, candidate Trump repeatedly promised that golf would never make it onto a President Trump schedule. “I love golf, but if I were in the White House, I don't think I'd ever see Turnberry again. I don't think I'd ever see Doral again,” he told a rally audience in February 2016, referring to his course near the Miami airport. “I don't ever think I'd see anything. I just want to stay in the White House and work my ass off.”

Trump reneged on that pledge within two weeks, when he took his first of 24 trips to date to Mar-a-Lago. He has, according to Huffington Post's analysis, spent a total of 61 days on his Florida courses, 58 at Bedminster in New Jersey, one at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles and two at Trump Turnberry.

Wednesday is the 853rd day of his presidency, and Trump has spent 174 of them at one of his own golf courses. He spent one additional day golfing: November 5, 2017, at the Kasumigaseki Country Club outside Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It is the only time thus far that he has played golf at a course he does not own.

That insistence of frequenting his own properties, in fact, has driven his total golf expenses disproportionately higher than Obama's at the same point in his presidency.


The location and number of Donald J. Trump's golfing days. — Map graphic: Ivylise Simones/Huffington Post.
The location and number of Donald J. Trump's golfing days. — Map graphic: Ivylise Simones/Huffington Post.

By Obama's 853rd day in office, he had spent 70 days at a golf course. But 48 of those golf days were at courses on military bases: Joint Base Andrews or Fort Belvoir, both in suburban Washington a short motorcade ride from the White House. All but two of the others were on family vacations to Hawaii and Martha's Vineyard.

And although Hawaii is four times as far from Washington, D.C., as Palm Beach, Obama only went there twice in his first 28 months. In that same time span, Trump has gone to Mar-a-Lago 24 times. While Obama made two trips to Martha's Vineyard through May of 2011, Trump has already gone to Bedminster 15 times.

The result: Obama racked up out-of-town golf expenses of approximately $30 million compared to Trump's $102 million.

And Trump's tab will grow by several million dollars more if he follows through with a golf outing at his resort at Doonbeg, Ireland, before or after his coming trip to London and Normandy in early June. An Ireland stop means travel on Air Force One, C-17s to ferry vehicles and helicopters as well as hundreds of White House, Pentagon and State Department staff that make up the entourage of a foreign visit.

Cognizant of how a foreign visit solely for a golf vacation might look, the White House tried to arrange some type of official meeting with Irish leaders for weeks after it began planning the Doonbeg trip.

But Prime Minister Leo Varadkar's government, cognizant of Trump's deep unpopularity in Ireland, was reluctant to agree to the White House request that Varadkar travel to Trump's private resort on the opposite side of the country from Dublin, said an Irish government source who spoke on condition of anonymity. Tuesday's announcement of a meeting in Shannon, possibly at Shannon airport — where Air Force One will land — appears to be the compromise location.

“We welcome the announcement of the visit by the U.S. president,” the Irish Embassy said in a statement on Tuesday. “Detailed arrangements around the visit will be made public in due course.”

The White House press staff, meanwhile, did not respond to repeated queries about various aspects of this report over a period of weeks.

It is the same strategy that Trump has used throughout his two and a half years in office when it comes to his golfing. While the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama White Houses usually released the names of the president's golf partners after any given outing, the Trump White House has almost always refused to confirm that Trump even golfed — including on occasions when he has shown up wearing a golf shirt, trousers and ball cap. (The only exceptions have been when Trump has played with a famous person or a member of Congress.)

On March 3, 2018, Huffington Post filed a White House pool report from Mar-a-Lago stating: “Pool did ask the White House what the president was doing at his golf course and with whom he was doing it but received no reply.”


President Donald J. Trump has spent a total of 61 days on his Florida courses, 58 at Bedminster in New Jersey, one at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles and two at Trump Turnberry. — Photograph: Leon Neal/via Getty Images.
President Donald J. Trump has spent a total of 61 days on his Florida courses, 58 at Bedminster in New Jersey, one at
Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles and two at Trump Turnberry. — Photograph: Leon Neal/via Getty Images.


This past Sunday, four hours after arriving at Trump's golf course in Sterling, Virginia, the Washington Blade reporter serving as pool wrote: “No word from the White House on POTUS' golf partners, nor even confirmation POTUS was, in fact, golfing.”

On some golf days, Trump or his White House have claimed — dubiously — that he is involved in “meetings,” when, in fact, social media posts later show he had been out on the course.

Meanwhile, Trump's Republican supporters who, like Trump, spent years attacking Obama for his golf outings have suddenly gone silent.

During Obama's second term, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso asked the GAO to look at a trip he took that combined a speech in Illinois with a golf weekend in Palm Beach. When the GAO released a report in 2016, Barrasso said in a statement: “President Obama had such little disregard for the taxpayer that he spent millions of dollars to play golf with Tiger Woods. This arrogance is par for the course for the Obama administration.”

Asked about Trump's far higher golf spending, Barrasso told Huffington Post on Tuesday: “I haven't followed that at all.”

Michael Steel, once a top aide to former Republican House Speaker John Boehner, acknowledged that Republicans' views on presidential golf may not be consistent in recent years. “There's no question that people's concerns and criticisms often come with a partisan lens,” he said. “At the same time, I don't think anyone prefers the president be watching television and tweeting than playing golf … I think it's healthy for people to relax.”

More troubling to watchdog groups than Trump's hypocrisy, though, is the self-dealing that occurs whenever Trump travels to his own resorts. On top of the publicity value of a presidential visit, each trip also results in many thousands of taxpayer dollars flowing to Trump resorts for hotel rooms, golf carts and food and drink for Secret Service agents.

Because Trump continues to profit from these businesses — despite a promise he made during the campaign that he would not — a portion of that taxpayer money ends up in Trump's own pocket. The GAO report found that Mar-a-Lago received approximately $60,000 in just the four visits it studied.

“As Trump promotes his golf courses through taxpayer-financed visits to his clubs, it's an extra benefit for him that his properties are able to scoop up some taxpayer money directly,” said Public Citizen's Weissman.

“It's clear that to Donald Trump, the presidency is just another way to benefit his businesses,” CREW’s Libowitz added. “Because of his refusal to divest from his business empire, Americans must always ask whether his decisions are made primarily with his bank account in mind.”


__________________________________________________________________________

Igor Bobic and Arthur Delaney contributed reporting to this article.

Shirish V. Date is a senior White House correspondent at Huffington Post. He's the author of five novels and two political biographies, including one of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. He has been a journalist for three decades at the Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, National Journal and NPR. Between Florida and Washington, D.C., were two years and 15,000 ocean miles aboard a 44-foot cutter with his two sons, as they sailed across the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean and back via the Caribbean.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Trump's Ireland Visit May Be Derailed By Demand Prime Minister Meet At Golf Resort


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-golf-102-million-taxpayers_n_5ce46727e4b09b23e65a01bb

 9 
 on: May 23, 2019, 01:22:00 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

Pelosi goads Trump into another temper tantrum

Five reasons Pelosi scored.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 3:33PM EDT — Wednesday, May 22, 2019

President Donald J. Trump on May 22 held a news conference about the Mueller investigation in the White House Rose Garden. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
President Donald J. Trump on May 22 held a news conference about the Mueller investigation in the White House Rose Garden.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.


HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) has done it before. Earlier this year, she called President Trump's bluff, held tough and forced him to reopen the government after he shut it down over the wall. She has a knack for making Trump look especially peevish. So it was on Wednesday:

Quote
President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on legislation following comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) that he was “engaged in a coverup.”

Trump made an unscheduled appearance in the Rose Garden shortly afterward and in a meandering 10-minute address said he had left the meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York) at which they were supposed to talk about working together on a $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Trump was apparently aggrieved that Pelosi accused him of conducting a coverup. The man who paid off Stormy Daniels to keep his extramarital affair quiet during the campaign insisted that “I don't do coverups”.

Trump's fit amounts to saying “I will NOT do my job so long as Congress is doing its job!” That's what this amounts to, a confession of sorts that his legal stonewall strategy may not be sufficient and that his personal vulnerability is so great that he is unable to do his job. That would seem, well, grounds for impeachment. But while impeachment is unpopular, a president refusing to do things he promised to help voters because he is under investigation is even more unpopular.

In her comments to the media after Trump stalked out, Pelosi observed that maybe it was “lack of confidence on his part” that caused him to short-circuit infrastructure talks. “He just took a pass and it just makes me wonder why he did that,” she said. “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States. And I pray for the United States of America.” She certainly knows how to rub it in.

However, she was not done. Appearing shortly afterward at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference, she recounted, “In an orchestrated, almost to an ‘oh, poor baby’ point of view…. [Trump] came into the room and said that I said that he was engaged in a coverup.” She continued, “It's really sad.” As she put it, it was all “very, very, very strange.” For good measure, she added, "This president is obstructing justice and he's engaged in a coverup. And that could be an impeachable offense.”


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) said on May 22 that House Democrats believe “no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.” — Photograph: Rhonda Colvin/The Washington Post.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) said on May 22 that House Democrats believe “no one is above the law,
including the president of the United States.” — Photograph: Rhonda Colvin/The Washington Post.


Whether Pelosi intended this result or not, her ability to treat Trump as a spoiled child and provoke even more self-destructive behavior has several positive benefits for Democrats in this context. First, it puts the blame for not accomplishing anything on infrastructure — or anything else — squarely on Trump's shoulders. Second, he makes it nearly impossible for incumbent Republicans to run in 2020 on any record of accomplishment. The GOP will rightfully be called the do-nothing party. (Well, in fairness they do plenty — excusing Trump, enabling Trump, ignoring Trump's wrong-doing, etc.) Third, it's a preposterous position — what else will he refuse to do? — for someone who will be running for re-election in 2020. Fourth, more than anything, he has shown how panicked he is about investigations, thereby giving Pelosi the ability to talk to frustrated members of her caucus who want to start on impeachment the perfect comeback: We've got him on the run. Fifth, if they ever do get around to impeachment, Democrats can add another count against him: Refuses to do his job while lawful investigations are going on.

All in all, Pelosi once again demonstrated that the best person to deal with a weak narcissist prone to temper tantrums is a mother and grandmother.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • REUTERS VIDEO: Pelosi: Trump is engaged in a ‘cover up’

 • VIDEO: ‘I don't do cover ups’: Trump responds to Pelosi accusation

 • Trump abruptly ends meeting with Democratic leaders

 • Trump's gripe-filled news conference, annotated

 • Judge rejects Trump's request to halt congressional subpoenas for his banking records

 • N.Y. passes bill giving Congress access to Trump's state tax data

 • Jennifer Rubin: Nancy Pelosi is in charge

 • Jennifer Rubin: What Nancy Pelosi gets right


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/22/pelosi-goads-trump-into-another-temper-tantrum

 10 
 on: May 23, 2019, 01:17:31 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

Pelosi goads Trump into another temper tantrum

Five reasons Pelosi scored.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 3:33PM EDT — Wednesday, May 22, 2019

President Donald J. Trump on May 22 held a news conference about the Mueller investigation in the White House Rose Garden. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
President Donald J. Trump on May 22 held a news conference about the Mueller investigation in the White House Rose Garden.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.


HOUSE SPEAKER Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) has done it before. Earlier this year, she called President Trump's bluff, held tough and forced him to reopen the government after he shut it down over the wall. She has a knack for making Trump look especially peevish. So it was on Wednesday:

Quote
President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on legislation following comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) that he was “engaged in a coverup.”

Trump made an unscheduled appearance in the Rose Garden shortly afterward and in a meandering 10-minute address said he had left the meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York) at which they were supposed to talk about working together on a $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Trump was apparently aggrieved that Pelosi accused him of conducting a coverup. The man who paid off Stormy Daniels to keep his extramarital affair quiet during the campaign insisted that “I don't do coverups”.

Trump's fit amounts to saying “I will NOT do my job so long as Congress is doing its job!” That's what this amounts to, a confession of sorts that his legal stonewall strategy may not be sufficient and that his personal vulnerability is so great that he is unable to do his job. That would seem, well, grounds for impeachment. But while impeachment is unpopular, a president refusing to do things he promised to help voters because he is under investigation is even more unpopular.

In her comments to the media after Trump stalked out, Pelosi observed that maybe it was “lack of confidence on his part” that caused him to short-circuit infrastructure talks. “He just took a pass and it just makes me wonder why he did that,” she said. “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States. And I pray for the United States of America.” She certainly knows how to rub it in.

However, she was not done. Appearing shortly afterward at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference, she recounted, “In an orchestrated, almost to an ‘oh, poor baby’ point of view…. [Trump] came into the room and said that I said that he was engaged in a coverup.” She continued, “It's really sad.” As she put it, it was all “very, very, very strange.” For good measure, she added, "This president is obstructing justice and he's engaged in a coverup. And that could be an impeachable offense.”


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) said on May 22 that House Democrats believe “no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.” — Photograph: Rhonda Colvin/The Washington Post.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) said on May 22 that House Democrats believe “no one is above the law,
including the president of the United States.” — Photograph: Rhonda Colvin/The Washington Post.


Whether Pelosi intended this result or not, her ability to treat Trump as a spoiled child and provoke even more self-destructive behavior has several positive benefits for Democrats in this context. First, it puts the blame for not accomplishing anything on infrastructure — or anything else — squarely on Trump's shoulders. Second, he makes it nearly impossible for incumbent Republicans to run in 2020 on any record of accomplishment. The GOP will rightfully be called the do-nothing party. (Well, in fairness they do plenty — excusing Trump, enabling Trump, ignoring Trump's wrong-doing, etc.) Third, it's a preposterous position — what else will he refuse to do? — for someone who will be running for re-election in 2020. Fourth, more than anything, he has shown how panicked he is about investigations, thereby giving Pelosi the ability to talk to frustrated members of her caucus who want to start on impeachment the perfect comeback: We've got him on the run. Fifth, if they ever do get around to impeachment, Democrats can add another count against him: Refuses to do his job while lawful investigations are going on.

All in all, Pelosi once again demonstrated that the best person to deal with a weak narcissist prone to temper tantrums is a mother and grandmother.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • REUTERS VIDEO: Pelosi: Trump is engaged in a ‘cover up’

 • VIDEO: ‘I don't do cover ups’: Trump responds to Pelosi accusation

 • Trump abruptly ends meeting with Democratic leaders

 • Trump's gripe-filled news conference, annotated

 • Judge rejects Trump's request to halt congressional subpoenas for his banking records

 • N.Y. passes bill giving Congress access to Trump's state tax data

 • Jennifer Rubin: Nancy Pelosi is in charge

 • Jennifer Rubin: What Nancy Pelosi gets right


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/22/pelosi-goads-trump-into-another-temper-tantrum

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