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One day after their visit to Puerto Rico to meet people affected by and working on rebuilding after Hurricane Maria, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump flew to Las Vegas to meet with victims of and first responders to the Mandalay Bay massacre on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

The flag at the White House was at half mast on Tuesday, October 3:

On Wednesday, October 4, the Trumps flew to Las Vegas with this objective:

The Trumps’ first stop was the University Medical Center, which received over 100 patients on the evening of October 1.

This is a composite video (no dialogue, only music; another copy here):

Four people in particular stood out during this visit.

The first was Thomas Gunderson, who insisted on standing to meet the president. The first lady and a man in the room helped him up:

This is the sign outside of his hospital room:

The second person is this teenager:

After the Trumps left, she gave a brief interview:

The Trumps also met with the family of Rose-Marie Melanson, who is in hospital. The Daily Caller recapped the story:

A family who survived the Las Vegas massacre spoke highly of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, calling the Trumps real human beings who are sympathetic and caring.

Steve Melanson was at the concert with his daughters Stephanie and Paige along with their mother Rose-Marie, who was shot and is currently recovering.

“They’re real people. He’s a real human. She’s a real human,” Stephanie praised the Trumps on CNN’s “New Day” Friday.”They had a heart. They were caring. They were sympathetic. They had a listening ear. He sends his condolences.”

Melania ran over to hug the daughter and reassured her that her mother would pull through.

“Before he [Trump] could finish talking, she [Melania] got up and just b-lined over to us, and just hugged me and told me: Your mom is strong. She’s a fighter. She’ll be okay. She’s going to make it,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie began to tear up before calling her mother a “warrior.”

The Trumps also met with a Las Vegas policeman, Officer Cook, who had been in the job for only two days:

Upon leaving, President Trump expressed his gratitude to the doctors and nurses attending the patients. He refused to discuss the shooting but said that in the weeks to come we would find out what a ‘sick’ individual the shooter was. Later on, the president said he had extended an open invitation to the White House for everyone they met and said he would be there for them:

The Trumps’ next stop was to police headquarters. The president praised the response and efforts of the police, sheriff — and the taxi drivers — that night:

Afterwards, he gave a brief address:

President Ronald Reagan’s elder son Michael had high praise for the Trumps:

I’ll close with this:

Anyone not writing about what happened is correct in so doing. Many of us are gathering data from what has appeared in the media, especially social media.

I pray that the truth comes out about this horrific incident. It is unlikely to be what it appears. May God shine a blinding light on it in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, prayers for those who are recovering and for the families of the deceased.

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On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Puerto Rico, several days after Hurricane Maria struck the island.

The Trumps landed in the morning at Luis Muñiz Air National Guard Base, where Governor Ricardo Rosselló welcomed them:

The Trumps went immediately to a progress meeting involving the governor and his wife, FEMA, the military, other first responders and various mayors of cities in Puerto Rico. Here, President Trump greeted Carmen Yulín Cruz, the outspoken mayor of San Juan. Trump held his ground at the weekend with several tweets about her, including this:

She is the only mayor out of 78 to refuse to attend FEMA meetings. This was her first one. Governor Rosselló is on the right in the photo:

She wore stilettos. A comment on the First Lady, perhaps? Mrs Trump wore work boots in Puerto Rico — and flats on the flight — by the way:

Although Mayor Yulín was at the head table, she sat far away from the president, on the right:

The following clip does not show Mayor Yulín scowling, but features President Trump praising Governor Rosselló as a man who ‘doesn’t play games’. One can imagine that she did scowl at that:

She was upset that Trump said Puerto Rico had thrown off the national budget. He said it in a tongue-in-cheek way, but Yulín thought differently. Of course, she and CNN had to get together once again. Did you know that CNN brought her the ‘we are dying’ shirt?

The next day, she appeared on television in a new tee shirt:

I do not recall in my many hours of reading that Trump called Yulín either of those things.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders discussed Mayor Yulín in her Press Briefing on Thursday, October 5 (emphases mine):

MS. SANDERS: The mayor of San Juan had that shirt saying “NASTY.” What does this White House believe? The President went there; it was very controversial, his appearance there.

MS. SANDERS: Actually, it wasn’t controversial.

Q Well, some people —

MS. SANDERS: It was actually widely praised, even by a Democrat governor. I think that it is sad that the mayor of San Juan chose to make that a political statement instead of a time of focusing on the relief efforts.

The President invited her to be part of that conversation. He specifically asked in the meeting where many were present, including a couple dozen other mayors who were very happy with the recovery efforts — the governor, the congresswoman. He opened the floor up for discussion, and she actually made zero comments. To me, that would have been the time and the place that she should have weighed in and asked for what she needed, and laid out what she was asking for for San Juan. She didn’t.

Instead she chose to wait until the President left and then criticize him on TV, which I think is the wrong thing for her to do for her constituents. And I hope next time she’s given the opportunity to help her constituents, she’ll take it.

Geraldo Rivera of Fox News met up with President Trump later:

Trump spoke with him, mentioning that, coming from New York, he cares a great deal for Puerto Rico. He also thanked the federal agencies, military and first responders for the progress they have made in challenging conditions:

Afterwards, the Trumps toured the area around San Juan and spoke with the people they met.

They saw this supporter along the way:

Governor Rosselló took the Trumps to the Calvary Chapel in Guaynabo, not far from San Juan:

There, the president handed out supplies, including paper towels:

The president also talked with residents of Guaynabo:

The mayor expressed his gratitude:

Trump also spoke with residents of San Juan, who requested photo ops:

Unrelated to anything in particular, how did everyone end up with the same facial expression?

On another stop, President Trump comforted a serviceman:

The day concluded with a visit aboard the USS Kearsarge, where Trump received a further briefing — and met with Governor Kenneth Mapp of the Virgin Islands, whom I will cover in a separate post.

This was the first time Marine One has landed on the Kearsarge:

The Trumps also met with the Navy personnel and Marines aboard the ship:

The president pledged his continued support:

USNS Comfort arrived that day:

FEMA continued to hand out supplies:

Customs and Border Patrol were hard at work:

As a thank you for her support, the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico got to board Air Force One:

In closing, difficult recovery situations remain — click on the man cleaning his kitchen (top left):

New communications lines are being stolen (why??):

People are leaving the island:

Difficult questions also remain:

Even so, it seems as if many Puerto Ricans appreciate the president. This man says he is doing ‘an awesome job’:

This lady thanks God for President Trump and Vice President Pence:

Amen!

Next stop, Las Vegas in the aftermath of the Mandalay Bay massacre:

I will cover that next week.

As I wrote yesterday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania spent part of Saturday, September 2, 2017 in Texas, meeting with officials but, more importantly, talking with Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Yesterday’s post has a news update.

Today’s post has photos and videos. Trump definitely made more friends in Texas with that trip.

This image comes courtesy of The_Donald from someone who saw it on a left-wing Houston website:

This is how the day went.

First, the media kerfuffle over the First Lady’s footwear showed no signs of abating. A particularly scathing — and inaccurate — article appeared on Yahoo, ‘Melania Trump wears $1,590 dress and stilettos (again!) for second trip to Houston’:

On her first visit to Houston after the hurricane, the first lady took a lot of flak on the internet and elsewhere in the media for her shoes. Although she tried to pull together a utilitarian look for the occasion, her stilettos threw people off.

False. The Trumps did not go to Houston last week. They went to Corpus Christi and Austin. Houston was too waterlogged and emergency crews too busy.

The New York Post described Saturday’s stilettos:

Defying the fashion scolds who expressed horror at her footwear earlier in the week, Melania Trump chose a pair of snakeskin Manolo Blahnik pumps for her stroll to Air Force One Saturday as she headed once again toward the Hurricane Harvey disaster zone.

Trump Organization employee Lynne Patton, who also made a video last year about her family’s long association with Trump, tweeted:

Speaking of footwear, here’s an irresistible digression:

It wasn’t just Mrs Trump’s shoes that freaked out the media. They also had a go at her for wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day in Washington, or as the press pool put it, ‘dark’. Well, it was sunny down South.

She took two caps with her: one for Texas and one for Louisiana, which had an appliqué of the state on the front.

Mrs Trump’s office provided this statement afterward, which details where the First Couple went and who they saw:

Then the Trumps, Dr Ben Carson (Secretary for Housing and Urban Development) and Betsy DeVos (Secretary for Education) left from Joint Base Andrews and arrived in Houston later that morning. They flew in to Ellington Field, Texas (another video here) and went from there to the NRG Stadium, one of the big shelters for Harvey victims. This video shows what the residential area looks like (25 seconds in).

At NRG Stadium, the Trumps made many new friends. There were lots of selfies. The children particularly gravitated towards the president. I bet it killed CNN to cover this:

(By nightfall, CNN’s — and MSNBC’s — coverage returned to Russian collusion, with no further mention of the Texas-Louisiana trip.)

This was in the play area of the stadium’s shelter. CBSN’s video has a bit more footage than CNN’s of the kids when the Trumps entered. They can’t get to him quickly enough! You can also see Governor Abbott with a little girl on his lap. He’s giving her a ride in his wheelchair:

First Lady Melania has young admirers, too:

The Trumps handed out hot dog and potato chip lunches to grateful Houstonians. (Vegetarian options are unpopular in the city.)

Before doing so, Trump answered a few questions from the media. This is important, because he told the media, ‘Have a good time, everybody’, not the hurricane victims (25-second mark):

The president revived a joke from the Republican primary season in 2016 about the size of his hands:

Look at all the men. They can hardly wait to shake Trump’s hand, talk to him and get a selfie. More from CNN (no doubt fuming):

This video shows more of Trump’s new fans. Skip to the five-minute mark. More conversations, more selfies:

At the beginning of this video, Trump sat and spoke to a little lad enthralled by a camera:

Governor Abbott was also delighted to be able to meet with so many people:

Trump was asked to autograph the wall in the rescue centre before he left. He duly obliged.

The Trumps then went to Pearland (pron. ‘Pear-land’), where they helped distribute supplies in a drive-through operation at the First Church of Pearland. Admittedly, Trump tells the first man — but only him — ‘Have a good time!’ As the man’s wife (?) was busy filming the president, it could be they are not suffering immense loss but needed interim emergency supplies. Note that Trump loads the vehicles himself:

This next video is touching. A lady tells Trump she prays for him every day. Note how she keeps her hand on his arm:

A young woman wrote into The_Donald to say that the lady is her great aunt:

My great-aunt got to meet President Trump and he helped load her car with supplies. She says he was one of the most compassionate people she ever met!

The president also thanked the church’s volunteers and reminded them that he officially proclaimed Sunday, September 3 as a national day of prayer (another version featuring huge cheers is here). Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s last Republican rival last year, stands on the right:

Afterwards, the Trumps went to meet with residents of a neighbourhood impacted by Harvey, which is in the first minute of the video below. Trump spoke with them for several minutes to listen to their experiences:

The Trumps also took time for a photo opportunity. Incidentally, the shirt the man is wearing below came from Infowars in a limited run post-election:

I’m not sure whether this next video was filmed at the beginning or the end of the Texas visit, but the first couple also spent time with the US Coast Guard:

The Trumps then flew to Louisiana, where they were welcomed by Governor and Mrs John Bel Edwards (another copy of the video is here):

They went to the National Guard Armory in Lake Charles to thank the military, first-responders and Cajun Navy for their efforts in helping people affected by flooding there once Harvey turned into a tropical storm. They also received a briefing on progress thus far.

Here they are arriving at the armoury. You’d think film or pop stars were inside the vehicle. I’ve never heard a crowd cheer a president and first lady so loudly and enthusiastically:

In Lake Charles, the First Lady got support for her footwear:

This short video has various clips of the crowd and Trump speaking to various people involved in the relief effort:

The next video shows Trump met people and shook hands until the last moment before returning to Washington:

Ultimately:

These are some of the best photos ever. As soon as the woman in the pink shirt saw Trump, she screamed, ‘Dooonaald!’ and grabbed his arm, which she held onto. Everyone who met the Trumps showed incredible enthusiasm, which I hope will translate into electoral support when the time comes.

While she was taking the selfie, she said, ‘I just met my President!’:

Here’s the selfie. In my humble estimation, it’s the photo of the year. This cannot be scripted:

Brief interview:

The Left — Dems included — won’t like that one bit. Those ladies are far from alone.

You can see more photos from the day at The Conservative Treehouse, the Daily Mail and BT.com.

One week after Hurricane Harvey, and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were finally able to visit Houston and other affected cities nearby.

Many Americans online have been saying they have never seen a president and first lady so involved in helping their fellow citizens in person. Accompanying the Trumps were Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr Ben Carson and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Last week, Trump pledged $1m of his own money to the relief effort.

He has sent a letter to Congress requesting $7.85 bn be allocated to relief. Congress will vote on the funding this week.

Although flood water is receding in places, tens of thousands of Texans are in grave difficulty.

As of Thursday, August 31, 2017, more than 10,000 people were staying in relief centres in Houston.

The Texas Tribune interviewed Houstonians seeking shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Between 6,500 and 8,000 people are staying there indefinitely. Ten thousand had been there at the height of the storm. One enterprising woman has found a job at the convention centre as a cleaner. Others are contemplating starting from scratch:

Haley Gray and her family arrived at the Houston convention center early this week after their Channelview home flooded.

“It was almost like a river,” she said.

She and her sister’s seven children were rescued by a helicopter and have been at the shelter for four days. On Thursday, they were relocating to a hotel. From there, they’ll begin to figure out what to do next. Gray is on disability and helps take care of her sister’s kids, ages 1 to 11. The family’s car was likely totaled in the flood. Most of their belongings were ruined. Like many, they must now chart a new life with few resources and a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their heads.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to go back because it’s pretty bad,” she said as her nieces and nephews crowded around her.

On Saturday, September 2, the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, ordered a mandatory evacuation of 300 people who are still in their homes in flooded areas in West Houston. Some of the homes in this area were flooded when water from the Addicks and Barker-Cypress reservoirs had to be released last week.

The convention centre is one of seven large shelters run jointly by the city, Harris County and the Red Cross. Around 20 other smaller shelters are also open, however, officials would like to have residents transfer to NRG Stadium, southwest of downtown. The Trumps visited the stadium on Saturday.

Mayor Turner met with President Trump on Saturday and was one of his hosts in Houston along with Governor Greg Abbott. Turner called his meeting with Trump ‘productive’:

At NRG Stadium, the Trumps toured the facility and helped serve a hot dog and potato chip lunch. They also spent time talking with dozens of people, including children. Pictures and videos coming tomorrow.

After leaving Houston, the Trumps, Carson and DeVos went to Pearland (pron. ‘Pear-land’), where they helped distribute supplies to people driving up to the First Church of Pearland. Many people expressed their thanks to Trump, who spent time talking with some of the drivers before loading their vehicles.

The group left Texas to fly to Louisiana, where they spent time in Lake Charles, hosted by Governor John Bel Edwards and his wife.

Trump took a political risk with this trip. Last week, Turner, a Democrat, made no acknowledgement of Trump’s $1m donation and his Twitter feed expressed pessimism about federal money. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Houston) was among those at the airport to see Trump off. Neither is a Trump ally, even after his visit. And, there seems to be some negativity from the two Democrats towards the Republican governor, Abbott. Another Republican there was Trump’s primary rival from 2016, Senator Ted Cruz. Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, is a Democrat, but, fortunately, he has no complaints about Trump’s handling of Harvey efforts so far.

Elsewhere outside of Houston, some residents are without power. The Daily Caller reported:

Beaumont, a city of roughly 120,000 residents, is still without clean water or power, according to a CNN report. And the Associated Press reported Saturday that seven toxic waste sites in and around Houston have flooded.

The Guardian reported:

The scale of the disaster loomed clearer on Friday as rescuers worked their way through the 300-mile swath of south-east Texas drenched by Harvey. Some communities remained submerged; others lacked water and power. Texas officials estimate more than 185,000 homes were damaged and 9,000 destroyed. The Red Cross said 42,000 people were in shelters. At least 45 people have died.

Helping state and federal teams are groups of volunteers, including the Texas Navy and the Cajun Navy. Cajun Relief has a good article explaining how they know where to go:

The Texas Navy and Cajun Navy are fully controlled and dispatched by this organic army of tech and creative volunteers sitting behind their computers and working around the clock by organizing into shifts. If you’ve ever listened in on their Zello channel at 2am, you’ve heard one of the shifts dispatching boaters.

Here is how the whole system works.

First you need to have person to rescue. These requests come to the volunteers from their Zello app channel, called the Texas Navy. They also come by the hundreds as Inbox request sent to them from victims needing rescue through the Texas Navy Facebook page. Each request is entered into a database by one of the support team members and then vetted by another. Each of these team members are sitting in their own homes, which can be states and even countries apart. Once the need has been confirmed the dispatch team, some of them sitting in coffee shops possibly near you, advise boaters where to perform rescues.

Along with directing the boaters to perform a rescue, the citizen team also tracks where the water will be moving so they can pre-stage the boaters ahead of time. The boaters may get the glory but without the enormous efforts of citizens sitting behind their computers and using social media and technology to direct them many more thousands of lives would have been lost because boaters wouldn’t know where to go.

These dispatchers, researchers, messengers, managers and coordinators have never met, but by using technology and learning to work together they’ve had an enormous impact by saving flood victims lives.

You can see photos of the dispatchers following the article. What a diverse group of people who live all over the United States, from screenwriters to school bus drivers to small business owners.

The Texas Baptist Men and their female volunteers are busy, too. They have a mobile shower facility, which is a great idea. There are separate cubicles for men and women. The volunteers also supply fresh towels — and, afterwards, copies of the Bible:

So many unsung heroes are working around the clock, such as the owner of the Trump Truck:

So many people are getting the immediate help they need to survive. There is very little crime right now, largely because Texans won’t hesitate to shoot when necessary and, in Houston, because of Turner’s midnight curfew for everyone. It is still in effect.

Trump could well be right when he says that a lot will get done in the next six months thanks to such a positive spirit in the midst of disaster.

Videos and tweets coming tomorrow.

On Tuesday, August 29, 2017, President Donald Trump paid a visit to Texas, as he said he would a few days ago.

First Lady Melania Trump accompanied him, and, yes, she did change from stilettos into tennis shoes en route. Boy George defended her choices of footwear and added:

His tweet received much support, including this little GIF:

So much Big Media misinformation — or lack of coverage — surrounded this trip to Corpus Christi and Austin, that it needs to be laid out with videos.

For a start, Trump never said he would visit Houston immediately. He and the First Lady might travel there this weekend, depending on how relief efforts and flooding are going. They are highly unlikely to go to Houston if they could be getting in the way, particularly with the high security needed for a presidential visit. However, chances are good that they might visit elsewhere in Texas in a few days’ time.

The Trumps’ first stop was Corpus Christi, which was on the edge of Hurricane Harvey. Crowds lined the highway:

You can see the motorcade in this video:

You can hear the crowd shouting ‘USA! USA!’

Texas governor Greg Abbott was their host for the update they received on the situation in and around Houston:

Trump addressed first responders — and the crowd — outside. The cheers are overwhelming:

The Daily Mail has more on the Corpus Christi visit.

The next stop was Austin, the state capital:

At 3:10 p.m. the Trumps arrived at the state facility housing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). As Owen Shroyer from Infowars explains below, the couple received a tour of the facility, then received a briefing from the EOC, again with Governor Abbott in attendance:

This video records Trump’s remarks and gratitude to the EOC staff:

Of course, it being Austin — unofficial motto, ‘Keep Austin Weird’ — there were protesters outside the facility:

The Trumps returned to Washington DC later that day. Mrs Trump disembarked in tennis shoes.

She issued this statement:

The effects of Hurricane Harvey will be felt in Texas, Louisiana, and other parts of the country for many months and years to come.  So far, 1.7 million people are under orders to evacuate their homes, and, as the floodwater in Houston rises, sadly, so will the number of evacuees.  

I want to be able to offer my help and support in the most productive way possible, not through just words, but also action.  What I found to be the most profound during the visit was not only the strength and resilience of the people of Texas, but the compassion and sense of community that has taken over the State.  My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and Louisiana.

The situation in Texas is highly serious. Trump made it known in his remarks to the teams he met with that it will take a lot of money and a lot of time to resolve. Texas has a state emergency reserve fund of approximately $3 bn, which is likely to be allocated to clearing up the damage post-Harvey.

On Monday, August 28, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) held a press briefing to explain the situation. Unfortunately, it means more flooding, as water from the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs must be released (emphases mine below):

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District announced today, water from Addicks and Barker dams extends beyond government-owned reservoir land …

“Based on the range of uncertainty of rainfall rates and totals, overflow of the northern Addicks spillway has potential to occur in the early morning hours tomorrow, Aug. 29, with flows migrating toward Buffalo Bayou along the Beltway 8 corridor and crossing I-10,” said Edmond Russo, Galveston District deputy engineer …

Dam releases are expected to occur for several months following this storm event.

With rainfall still occurring in downstream reaches of Buffalo Bayou and tributaries, as well as with the discharge of water from Addicks and Barker, the elevation of the bayou is holding fairly steady and may take several days to recede.

Radio show host Hal Turner explains what this means:

Aerial views of Houston reservoirs and all surrounding areas are very bad. The reservoirs are over-topping and will continue to over-top in areas above and below the reservoirs …

USACE says this area now a “flood pool” because nothing’s draining. There is nowhere for the water to go because the ground is totally saturated and all streams, rivers and ponds where normal storm drainage would take place, are all full.

Even worse, lakes are also backing up into the area and flowing over their banks. At least 48 hours before any drainage will start to occur because culverts are washing — out roads are washing out.

Also (emphases in the original):

The amount of rainfall is well past all engineering and flooding forecast models.  No developed society has ever dealt with this much rainfall — in such a short time — in all of recorded history.

The only option remaining is for everyone who has not evacuated, to BE EVACUATED.  The entire city and much of its surrounding area should be EVACUATED.

Trouble is, all the roads for evacuation are flooded closed.

The National Weather Service is saying they “have no idea what is going to happen now because what has taken place is unprecedented; everything from this point on is an unknown.”

And, Turner’s article states that — regardless of what other people are saying — the level of water has exceeded 50 inches in Cedar Bayou, Texas, which recorded a level of 51.88 inches from Harveya new record for the contiguous 48 states.

The death toll from Harvey is likely to be staggering.

This short video, despite the robotic voice, explains that First Lady Melania Trump is concerned about opioid abuse and brought the issue to prominence in her husband’s administration:

Thank you, Mrs Trump, for your interest in families and in children’s health.

Enough bad news for one week.

Let’s look at the solar eclipse as seen at the White House.

The day before, First Lady Melania Trump wore a dress suggesting the sun’s rays:

On Monday, August 21, 2017, she wore black:

President Donald Trump dared to look at the sun — momentarily:

The First Couple then donned appropriate eyewear:

First Son Barron, 11, joined his parents:

Vice President Mike Pence was at the Naval Observatory:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions marvelled at the sight of the eclipse:

Here’s a dramatic photo:

The solar eclipse had one detractor. What on earth is wrong with these people?

Someone said this was the best eclipse ever. Clever.

The eclipse was visible from coast to coast, from Madras, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina. Melissa Chan wrote about more about the event for Time:

The rare celestial spectacle on Aug. 21 has a trajectory exclusive to the U.S. for the first time since the nation’s birth in 1776. It’s also the first total eclipse of the sun that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. since 1979.

For those who do not know, 1776 was the year of American independence.

The Atlantic examined the biblical significance of eclipses as signs of judgement in both the Old and the New Testament, notably at the Crucifixion.

Eclipses are far from being rare occurrences. The Atlantic article says they take place every year and a half. What makes them rare is that they occur in different places, so one is likely to see only one or two in a lifetime. The eclipse of 2010 was visible in the South Pacific. Perhaps some of my readers saw it.

The Atlantic points out that eclipses provoke powerful reactions:

Eclipse viewers are susceptible to emotional responses to solar eclipses, whether they view them as natural phenomena or heavenly wonders. Feelings of fear and awe fall along the same spectrum, and the splendor of astronomical events can sometimes blur the lines.

An Infowars reporter, Millie Weaver, has been crossing the United States doing reports on Flyover Country. She was in Spring City, Tennessee for the eclipse. This is a wonderful video which explores the beauty — and unity — that she and people from the South experienced:

Afterwards, she interviewed two university students from Alabama (near the end of the video). One quipped about the sun being returned to them because Trump negotiated a deal. It turns out that, centuries ago, rulers would tell their people that they could have the sun back after an eclipse if they did what they were told to do.

Americans who missed this eclipse don’t have long to wait for the next one. It will be on April 8, 2024 and will be visible from Maine to Texas, via the industrial heartland states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.

It is quite possible that Trump will be the first American president to be in office during two solar eclipses in the US.

You can read more about the 2017 eclipse at Time and at the NASA site.

This post has recent news — real and fake — about President Donald Trump and American children as well as a first-person story.

Little boy wears suit on hot Sunday

On Sunday, July 30, 2017 a one-off Reddit contributor posted a photo of his son in a suit getting ready for Mass.

The Catholic father wrote in to The_Donald to say that his son insisted on wearing a suit in 83-degree (F) weather:

because he wants to look like President Trump.

Understandably, the father has since deleted the photo, but the boy, probably 9 years old, was all smiles posing for the camera. He hadn’t yet put on his socks and shoes.

The man said that his son watched the Republican debates in 2016 and did not like any of the candidates at that point because they did not raise their hands to speak. He was appalled that they talked over each other so much of the time.

It’s amazing how switched on children can be.

Someone else commented:

My little guy 6 years old LOVES DJT!

The father described his and his wife’s parenting method:

We found written reminders of good behavior to be really motivating at this age. It’s good reading practice and we’ve also found that saying “you are so good at staying quiet in Church” works better than “No talking in church”. Reinforcing good behaviour is more effective (and more fun) than punishing misbehavior.

I’m looking forward to this new generation of boys growing into men. Democrats, beware!

JK Rowling misleading people

On Monday, July 24, President Trump met with families adversely affected by Obamacare.

The White House issued a statement about their various plights, which are nothing short of nightmarish:

These victims of Obamacare shared stories of skyrocketing premiums, denied access, restrictions, and low reimbursement rates due to Obamacare’s failing infrastructure.

Among them was another adorable little boy wearing a suit. His name is Monty and he’s just turned three. This is his story:

Members of the Weer family from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina voiced concerns over the stability of the current healthcare system. Their three-year-old son Monty was diagnosed with Spina Bifida. Since his birth, he has been with two different insurance companies and healthcare plans which has made continuity difficult. Because Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurance company available in their area, the family is continually negotiating with clinics or traveling outside of the state.

After Vice President Mike Pence spoke, President Trump entered the room. Who did he give a special greeting to first, but young Monty (2:22 mark):

I don’t know what video JK Rowling was watching, but she created fake news that lasted all weekend. See her first three tweets here, here and here. The fourth and fifth are below:

JK Rowling also missed First Lady Melania Trump spending time with Monty and reading to him:

Chelsea Clinton believed the author until she found out the truth:

On Sunday, July 30, Monty’s mother posted a Facebook message. She is tactful but none too happy:

Uummmmm……If someone can please get a message to JK Rowling: Trump didn’t snub my son & Monty wasn’t even trying to shake his hand (1. He’s 3 and hand shaking is not his thing, 2. he was showing off his newly acquired secret service patch). Thanks.

I know plenty of people online and off who will say that JK Rowling is more credible than Donald Trump. To those people, I have a spot of advice: the next time fake news comes out about Trump, check the White House site.

UPDATE — July 31:

Rowling apologised on Twitter:

Trump donates salary to Department of Education

On July 26, President Trump donated his quarterly salary to the Department of Education, specifically to fund a STEM camp.

He is pictured with education secretary Betsy De Vos:

Excerpts from the White House statement follow:

… The funds will be used to host a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-focused camp for students. This announcement is the latest step that President Trump has taken in order to inspire interest in the STEM related areas of study and ensure that Americans are being trained for the jobs of the future.

Earlier in the year, President Trump signed the INSPIRE Act which encourages NASA to have women and girls participate in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and to pursue careers in aerospace. He also signed the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act which aims to enable the National Science Foundation to support women in the sciences …

Since taking office, President Trump has been donating his quarterly salary to initiatives of national significance. In Quarter 1, President Trump donated his salary to the Department of Interior, and the funds went to the National Park Service to aid in its goal of preserving our country’s national security.

Trump meets with American Legion youth

I’ve never seen so many Americans at the White House as I have with President Trump, and so often I learn something from their visits.

It is really great that he opens the nation’s house to so many of her people.

On Wednesday, July 26, Trump welcomed a group I had not known about, the American Legion Boys & Girls Nation. The gathering was held in the Rose Garden:

He spoke about working hard, teamwork and uniting as Americans for the good of the nation — something, he said, they all have in common.

They are a diverse group. The video is worth watching.

Boy Scouts of America — Trump versus Obama

On August 9, 2010 Obama addressed the Boy Scouts of America at their national jamboree. The scouts booed him.

I found the video on July 25, 2017. Today, July 30, I see that — after seven years — CNN has taken the video down. It was on their own YouTube channel. CNN does not want you to know the truth.

Trump spoke to the scouts at their 2017 jamboree on Tuesday, July 25. Wow, what a difference a president makes!

The Gateway Pundit‘s headline about the event was in uppercase:

TRUMP ON FIRE! 40,000 BOY SCOUTS CHEER PRESIDENT TRUMP AT JAMBOREE! (VIDEO)

Trump was joined by some of his cabinet members. Earlier in the day, anticipation of the event created excitement at the White House. I realise that non-Americans will find that hokey, but there was a time when nothing represented solid American boyhood more than the Scouts. That is now changing.

Jim Hoft’s article begins (emphases in the original):

THIS WAS AMAZING!
There were THOUSANDS of Scouts at the president’s speech today in West Virginia.

The crowd was enormous – nearly 40,000 people!

The president spoke about believing in one’s dreams and working at what one loves doing:

Instead of reporting about the greater, inspirational content of his speech, an NBC reporter tweeted:

Other coverage of the event was equally slanted:

Like other presidents, Trump was supposed to avoid discussing politics, but when he briefly mentioned last year’s election victory, the scouts loved it. Someone at The_Donald received two text messages from a scout at the event, who couldn’t rein in his excitement. One of the messages you’ll have to look at yourself. The other reads:

Also I yelled “lock her up” when he was talking about the election and he paused his speech.

Again, I’m thrilled to read about this generation of boys. America, great days lie ahead.

Well, the kids loved it. As is so often the case in matters intergenerational, several adults did not and complained on the Boy Scouts of America Facebook page, which caused the organisation to issue a statement. Washington DC’s Fox5 has a summary:

According to the statement, the Boy Scouts of America is “wholly non-partisan”, and does not promote any one political position, candidate, or philosophy. The statement went on to say that an inviting the sitting U.S. President to speak at the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition, dating back to the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937.

The statement ends with officials saying they will “continue to be respectful of the wide variety of viewpoints in this country“.

Again, the boys loved it — and that’s all that matters. Trump was speaking to them, not the adults.

Conclusion

This is not child-related, however, there are two things to keep in mind.

The first is that there was a time when Obama admired Trump. Trump’s campaign director for minority relations, Chicago attorney Brunell Donald-Kyei, tweeted this reminder. Obama was not being ironic, either:

The second, and perhaps more pertinent, is that fake news abounds, whether from JK Rowling or other sources:

Click on the image to enlarge. The Democrats’ techniques for Hillary’s 2016 campaign are there, including the emotion and messaging for online discourse by her CTR (Correct The Record) team.

Be aware of these techniques, because Big Media use them all the time.

On July 19, 2017, the New York Times (NYT) published a transcript of an extensive interview with President Donald Trump.

Portions of the transcript made French news on Friday, July 21. I heard it on RMC at lunchtime. Trump was most effusive about his meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron. Relevant excerpts will appear in this first part detailing the Trumps’ trip as well as the second entry which will cover events on July 14, Bastille Day.

The French government decided months ago — before the US election last autumn — to invite the American president for Bastille Day commemorations on July 14, 2017. This year marks the centenary of American troops arriving in France during the Great War, and the French wanted to roll out special ceremonies of remembrance and thanksgiving.

Trump is not the first foreign leader to have been invited for Bastille Day celebrations. It is a common occurrence.

Security was tighter than usual in Paris during this time, but, despite the American president’s remarks about their country, the French were looking forward to the Trumps’ visit. A British journalist was thrilled they would be spending so much time in his neighbourhood.

No one could have predicted how well this trip went, possibly even President Trump and First Lady Melania.

Trump told the NYT how he reacted to the invitation:

… when Macron asked, I said: “Do you think it’s a good thing for me to go to Paris? I just ended the Paris Accord last week. Is this a good thing?” He said, “They love you in France.” I said, “O.K., I just don’t want to hurt you.”

Add to that the fact that Macron met with his beloved Angela Merkel the morning of Trump’s arrival on Thursday, July 13.

The Trumps landed that morning:

The French were fascinated by Trump’s reinforced Cadillac, The Beast.

While Macron and members of his cabinet spent time with Merkel and her German delegation, the Trumps had prior commitments.

Mrs Trump visited the Necker Hospital for children:

She spent time with patients:

Her husband was at the US Embassy for meetings.

Later, the couple met at the embassy where Trump addressed an enthusiastic gathering of military families and American veterans who served in the Second World War:

A somewhat younger audience was also delighted:

In covering the event, CNN’s Poppy Harlow mistook the Star Spangled Banner for La Marseillaise.

You can see more embassy photos here, here and here.

There was no meeting at the Elysée Palace until after the tour of Les Invalides, the military museum, formerly a military hospital that Napoleon had built. It is a splendid place to visit.

The next few photos are from Les Invalides. You can see a news clip here which shows how grand it is and the welcome ceremony Macron laid on.

The Beast arrived:

What a magnificent setting:

Strict protocol was observed throughout:

Macron gave the Trumps a tour of the museum. No doubt it included quite a history lesson as the French president has always been scholarly, even from his early childhood:

Maréchal Foch’s tomb was also part of the tour. The comment in the tweet explains why nearly every large French town and city has a Boulevard or Avenue Maréchal Foch:

Trump told the NYT that he was impressed with Macron’s commentary on Napoleon and the tour of Les Invalides.

Afterwards, Macron hosted Trump at the Elysée.

It was a tight squeeze for The Beast:

Meetings took place, likely to have included counter-terrorism in the Horn of Africa:

A press conference followed:

It emerged that Trump spoke with the press on the flight to Paris. Bloomberg has a transcript.

You can watch the 35-minute press conference here.

Macron looked pleased:

The Guardian predicted a synergy between the two men whilst acknowledging Macron’s opportunism (emphases mine):

The deeper worry for the UK must be that Trump warms to Macron’s energy, and finds the British, preoccupied by the intricacies of Brexit and led by a “loser” who wasted her parliamentary majority, comparatively less appealing. His state visit to the UK – stalled at least until next year – is in danger of becoming a symbol of an ailing special relationship.

Above all Macron, unlike May, has shown himself to be an operator. At the “family” photo-shoot at the G20, Macron, realising his relatively small frame and slated for a rather undistinguished position in the second row, simply ignored protocol and inserted himself in the front row next to the US president. Trump may be an isolationist, but few politicians want to isolate themselves from him.

Equally, after the Manchester terrorist attack in May, Macron walked from the Élysée to sign a condolences book. A letter of gratitude for the gesture from the British embassy received a handwritten reply from Macron to the effect “it is what should be expected”. Gallic charm and symbolism have their virtues.

Trump confirmed to the NYT that Great Britain can wait:

BAKER: Will you go to Britain? Are you going to make a state visit to Britain? Are you going to be able to do that?

TRUMP: As to Britain?

BAKER: Yeah.

HABERMAN: Will you go there?

[crosstalk]

While the meetings and press conference took place, Brigitte Macron took Mrs Trump on a tour of Notre Dame Cathedral …

… and a boat tour of the Seine:

That evening, the Macrons hosted the Trumps for dinner at the upmarket restaurant, the Jules Verne (more here):

It is one of Alain Ducasse‘s restaurants. You can see him in the video below:

The restaurant was closed to other diners, although photographers were allowed in from time to time:

While they had dinner, the main course of which was lobster, Trump’s entourage took a night-time tour of the city.

Then it was time to get some rest:

Mrs Trump closed the day by sending a thank you via the White House:

“France is a beautiful country that is rich in history and culture,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “I am grateful to President and Mrs. Macron for their gracious invitation and hospitality as we celebrate Bastille Day with them, which is not only a celebration of France’s national day, but on this occasion, in 2017, also honors the historic cooperation between France and the United States during the First World War.” The First Lady continued, “I also want to take a moment to thank the employees and families of the United States Embassy for all of their hard work on behalf of our country, and to extend my warmest wishes to the patients and staff at Necker Hospital. My visit with the patients was very special, and I will continue to keep them all in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.”

You can see more images here, here, here, here and here.

The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and Breitbart each has a series of photos of the Trumps and Macrons taken on July 13.

A review of July 14 comes next week.

Yesterday’s post covered Day 1 of Donald Trump’s and Emmanuel Macron’s first G20.

I also wrote about the riots and looting which occurred in host city Hamburg during the conference.

Day 2 — Saturday, July 8, 2017 — was equally eventful for world leaders, especially President Trump.

While Big Media were banging on about Russia or Trump’s mental health, some outlets actually reported on the G20 and two major victories for the American president (emphases mine below):

Hamburg (AFP) – US President Donald Trump won key concessions on climate and trade Saturday from world leaders at the most fractious G20 summit to date, in exchange for preserving the unity of the club of major industrialised and emerging economies.

In a final statement agreed by all 20 economies, 19 members including Russia, China and the European Union acknowledged Trump’s decision to go his own way on taking the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

But they also accommodated Washington’s wish to “work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently”.

While renewing a key anti-protectionist pledge, the communique for the first time underlined the right of countries to protect their markets with “legitimate trade defence instruments”.

Such wording gives room for Trump to push on with his “America First” policy

Everyone in the media predicted that America First would not play overseas. Everyone in the media was wrong.

The Conservative Treehouse has an excellent analysis of what Trump’s wins mean not only for America but also allies who think similarly:

Team Trump focuses exclusively on bilateral trade deals with specific policy only looking out for the national interests of the United States and those who are allied with a similar perspective.

Under President Trump’s Trade positions exfiltration of U.S. national wealth is essentially stopped. This puts the multinational corporations, globalists who previously took a stake-hold in the U.S. economy with intention to export the wealth, in a position of holding interest of an asset they cannot exploit

There are trillions of dollars in economic activity now being restructured by President Trump. The downstream consequences are seismic shifts in geopolitical and strategic alliances. Through the use of economics America will engage in a process of protecting allies and simultaneously advancing freedom and democracy.

Simply put this approach destroys the cancer of elitist controlled leftist economic construct; which are entirely intended to benefit a small number of global elites who control the multinational banking and multinational corporate institutional systems …

Trump impressed Russian president Vladimir Putin during their meeting the previous day:

He was also taken with First Lady Melania Trump that evening:

On Day 2, Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss trade post-Brexit:

Theresa May has hailed the “powerful vote of confidence” in Britain Donald Trump and other world leaders have shown with their “strong desire” to strike new trade deals after Brexit.

The Prime Minister said she is “optimistic and positive” about a future pact with the US after the president said he believed an agreement could be reached “very, very quickly”.

Even before their meeting, Trump said:

I’d like to thank Prime Minister May for being with us. We’ve had tremendous talks. There is no country that could possibly be closer than our countries. And I just want to say thank you very much. We are working on a trade deal — a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal. Great for both countries. And I think we’ll have that done very, very quickly.

Meanwhile, Mrs Trump joined G20 spouses on a local tour before rejoining her husband at the conference:

The Daily Mail has more on Mrs Trump’s G20 attire, including stunning photographs.

Elsewhere, at the Vatican, Pope Francis fretted. He told Eugenio Scalfari, a journalist with Italy’s La Repubblica, of his concern about the G20. Leo Lyon Zagami, who is in the process of uncovering recent Vatican scandals (yes, he is a Mason but I will have more on his reporting), summarised and translated the article:

Pope Francis told him [Scalfari] during the encounter to be very concerned about the summit meeting of the “G20” in Hamburg, that witnessed President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, together for the first time.

Pope Francis said to Scalfari: “I’m afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers which have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Syria’s Assad in war”.

The Pope was also worried that the G20 might end mass immigration to Europe:

” … they fear an invasion of migrants. That’s why the G20 worries me.”

Then to save his idea of Europe, he promotes the destruction of the sovereignty of the single European countries, and the coming of a Federal Government for Europe, that will take over the decision making from the single countries: ”For this, and other reasons, I came to the conclusion that Europe must assume a federal structure. Laws and political behaviors arising here shall be decided by the Federal Government, and the Federal Parliament, not by individual confederated countries.”

That afternoon, a huge flap arose over Ivanka Trump presiding temporarily over a meeting when her father was called into a private one. The media — and abetted by NeverTrumpers (John Dean and Richard Painter) — went berserk:

Trump had addressed those attending the Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Event then excused himself to attend the meeting. Afterwards, he returned.

Regardless, host Angela Merkel was bombarded with questions from the media. She explained that this is normal at a conference such as the G20:

Reaction from citizen journalists back home was outrage at the media:

Alternative media’s Jack Posobiec noted:

Media More Outraged at Ivanka Sitting in a Chair than Antifa Army Burning Hamburg

He wrote:

Today at the G20 meeting, Ivanka Trump briefly sat in a chair. The media utterly lost their minds. They also seemed to completely not notice the Antifa Army burning the streets of Hamburg outside the meeting.

Perhaps they do not think a woman should be representing the United States?

Ivanka was sitting in the back and then briefly joined the main table when the President had to step out, and the president of the World Bank started talking as the topic involved areas such as African development — areas that will benefit from the facility just announced by the World Bank.

When other leaders stepped out, their seats were also briefly filled by others, but the media didn’t seem to notice that, either.

Precisely.

Later that day, Trump tweeted:

Here is the White House transcript of the public remarks of that meeting.

USA Today reports that Trump spent much of Day 2 with Asian leaders:

HAMBURG — President Trump met with his Chinese counterpart at the G-20 summit Saturday, hoping to revamp a relationship that he once hoped could provide the key to resolving the North Korea crisis …

In a separate meeting Saturday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump also addressed what he called “the problem and menace of North Korea.”

Abe said the security situation in the region had become “increasingly severe.” Addressing Trump by his first name, Abe said he “would like to demonstrate the robust partnership as well as the bond between Japan and the United States.”

Trump’s final day of his second foreign trip took what his predecessor, Barack Obama, might have called an “Asia pivot.” Having already met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, Saturday afternoon’s meetings were dominated by Pacific Rim nations

President Widodo of Indonesia was delighted to meet with Trump. USA Today reported:

Meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Trump said the U.S. would soon be doing “a lot of business” with the Island nation. “We’re going to be doing a lot of deals together — trade deals,” Trump said.

Widodo said Trump had “millions of fans” in his country who wanted him to visit.

“We’ll get there,” Trump said. “It’s a place I’d like to go.”

Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsein Loong, must be equally as positive:

Trump said the U.S. had a “big relationship” with the small city-state, and he expected the relationship to “get bigger.”

Before leaving Hamburg, Mrs Trump tweeted:

This brief video has highlights of Trump’s G20 conference:

Although the media emphasised the negative …

… from watching G20 coverage on YouTube, Bernie Sanders and Green supporters in the US were pleasantly surprised to find out about the ceasefire in Syria that Trump and Putin negotiated on Day 1.

Former Senator Bob Dole (R – Kansas) had high praise for the American president’s trips to Poland and Germany:

The Trumps flew back to the White House:

When Trump reached the White House, the press asked the usual questions about Russian hacking. Give it a rest, guys! The president ignored them.

Earlier, at Joint Base Andrews, he retrieved a Marine’s cover in the strong wind:

Mrs Trump did not return to the White House with her husband. My guess is she went to collect 11-year-old Barron.

I’ll close with this:

Neither Trump nor Obama was ever in the military, but you can certainly see how differently they view the armed forces.

That view, in my estimation, will determine a shift in foreign intervention during the present administration. Any US action will be carefully considered.

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