WTF Community

Day 972


(Matt Kiser) #1

1/ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of having carried out an "act of war" with strikes on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Trump, however, pushed back against American military response in the Middle East, saying wars are "very easy to start," but that "there are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that." U.S. military leaders have, however, presented Trump with a range of options for a retaliatory strike against Iran, including a cyber attack or a strike on Iranian oil facilities. Another option includes a strike by Saudi Arabia, with the U.S. providing intelligence, targeting information, and surveillance capabilities, but the U.S. refraining from actually firing any weapons. Other options include strikes on missile launch sites, bases, or other assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. There are currently no indications that any U.S. military action is imminent. Pompeo was scheduled to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the attack and "coordinate efforts to counter Iranian aggression in the region." (New York Times / CNN / NBC News / NBC News)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2019/09/18/day-972/

#2

It’s still too early to know for certain who perpetrated this attack, but this article is a good reminder that, despite Pompeo’s claims, we still haven’t been offered any concrete proof. It may be forthcoming, it may not. Just remember that hurricane that was headed for Alabama. NOT.


#3

Acknowledged today - that the FEMA director nomination Jeffrey Byard withdrew his application. His closeness to some of the other FEMA appointees who were just indicted over their misuse of funds could have played into this.

Jeffrey Byard, President Trump’s pick to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sought to withdraw his nomination last week after concerns about personal matters in his background were raised during the confirmation process.

In a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan dated Sept. 12, Mr. Byard wrote: “Over the past two years the Agency has seen a historic level of disaster activity and I feel it would be best for me to focus entirely on pressing issues related to my current role.”

Mr. Byard is currently serving as associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery. In his letter, he said he would continue his service under the leadership of acting FEMA chief Peter Gaynor.

The White House hasn’t yet announced the withdrawal of his nomination. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr. Byard’s letter, or to a question about whether Mr. Gaynor would be nominated as the agency’s permanent administrator.

Lawmakers in recent days had acknowledged problems with Mr. Byard’s nomination. Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), the chairman of the Senate committee that oversees FEMA, told Politico last week: “There were some issues raised that are being investigated and that’s all I’ll say about it."


#4

Trump does care about the environment after all!

When I saw the headline, I thought this was a satirical piece, but it’s real.

Homelessness is a tragic problem that urgently needs to be addressed, but Trump’s remarks here are patently absurd – as well as factually incorrect. Falsely claiming that needles are flowing into San Francisco bay is not helpful to anyone and gets us no closer to a solution.

President Trump said late Wednesday that his administration would issue a notice of environmental violation against the city of San Francisco because of what he described as its homelessness problem.

Traveling aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington from a three-day trip to California and New Mexico, Mr. Trump told reporters that San Francisco was in “total violation” of environmental rules because of used needles that were ending up in the ocean.

“They’re in total violation — we’re going to be giving them a notice very soon,” the president said, indicating that the city could be put on notice by the Environmental Protection Agency within a week that its homelessness problem was causing environmental damage.

He said tremendous pollution was flowing into the ocean because of waste in storm sewers, and he specifically cited used needles.

“They’re in serious violation,” Mr. Trump said, adding, “They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell.”

San Francisco’s mayor, London Breed, called Mr. Trump’s comments “ridiculous.”

“To be clear, San Francisco has a combined sewer system, one of the best and most effective in the country, that ensures that all debris that flow into storm drains are filtered out at the city’s wastewater treatment plants,” Ms. Breed said in a statement Wednesday night. “No debris flow out into the bay or the ocean.”

President Trump said Wednesday his administration will issue San Francisco an environmental violation notice within a week for polluting the ocean with needles and other waste via the city’s sewer systembut city officials said such waste is unlikely to get into the ocean through the city’s grated drains.

Storm drain runoff is piped to one of two city treatment facilities, the Southeast Treatment Plant in the Bayview neighborhood or the Oceanside Treatment Plant near the zoo. Any pollutants would be treated at those points if they haven’t already been filtered out at catch basins beneath city streets, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

“We haven’t had any (recent) problems with syringes,” said SFPUC spokesman Tyler Gamble.

Jennifer Friedenbach, head of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, said she found Trump’s comments on homelessness and trash ironic.

“He is literally the one person who could singlehandedly address this crisis - he could restore the massive cuts to HUD funding made decades ago instead of making massive investments in the military, for instance,” she said.

Friedenbach’s organization led protests in the city over the visit Tuesday to a public housing project by federal Department of Housing and Urban Development chief Ben Carson, saying he and Trump were distorting the area’s homeless situation and exacerbating, rather than helping, it. The president’s comments Wednesday were an extension of the same destructiveness, she said.

“Instead, he is throwing blame in every direction, not taking responsibility for a crisis that lays squarely on his shoulders,” she said. “It’s in his classic toddler fashion.”


(David Bythewood) #5

NY Times Reporters Say Kavanaugh Asked Them To Lie In Exchange For An Interview

Reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly said that Justice Brett Kavanaugh agreed to speak to them as long as they publicly said he declined the interview.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/new-york-times-reporters-kavanaugh-lie-interview_n_5d82da62e4b0849d47233e56?ncid=APPLENEWS00001&fbclid=IwAR1gw6dBkVV-7qweALF5iHSb9KzufO2kAlL9N1g1bXQ3VtXUKgn774lhZ6M

Among the plans being cut for Trump’s wall are numerous vital projects in Europe designed to help defend against Russia and bolster NATO.Not suspicious at all, right?

Trump Cuts “Muscle” from European Defense to Fund Border Wall

https://www.justsecurity.org/66084/trump-cuts-muscle-from-european-defense-to-fund-border-wall/

On the word of a single, likely compromised, U.S. official, CBS says the Saudi oil attack was approved by Iran’s supreme leader. This story deserves our skepticism.


(David Bythewood) #6

Trumo went on a rant this morning about reported communications with an undisclosed foreign leader. He was vague, though, as he often is, assuming everybody knows what he is talking about, as narcissists often do. It’s apparently the whistleblower complaint that Congress has been fighting the DNI and White House over.


It appears to be related to this story, from the 31st, which is also when the undisclosed conversation with Putin occurred, and it’s said Trump promised to help Putin with the Siberian fires:


#7

Wait for more info…

The complaint was filed with Atkinson’s office on Aug. 12, a date on which Trump was at his golf resort in New Jersey. White House records indicate that Trump had had conversations or interactions with at least five foreign leaders in the preceding five weeks.

Among them was a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the White House initiated on July 31. Trump also received at least two letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the summer, describing them as “beautiful” messages. In June, Trump said publicly that he was opposed to certain CIA spying operations against North Korea. Referring to a Wall Street Journal report that the agency had recruited Kim’s half brother, Trump said, “I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices.”

Trump met with other foreign leaders at the White House in July, including the prime minister of Pakistan, the prime minister of the Netherlands and the emir of Qatar.

WaPo


(David Bythewood) #8

At first I thought I had it wrong, but reading up the offer to help Putin with the Siberian fires DEFINITELY happened on the 31st of July, and the WaPo article notes that is when the call to Putin took place, so definitely the same story.


#9

Still speculation but worth bringing up. :+1:


(David Bythewood) #10

Fair. The Siberian fires offer definitely happened (the Kremlin announced it), and definitely happened on the date noted, but we don’t know it’s THE offer mentioned in the whistleblower complaint. Though if there’s a SECOND offer that we don’t know about, that worries me.

Also, here is another article on it:



(David Bythewood) #11

Well, looking like you’re right and it’s something way bigger than the Siberian fire offer.

BREAKING: Intelligence Inspector General Michael Atkinson told lawmakers during a private briefing that the whistleblower complaint involves a series of actions by Trump that go beyond any single discussion with a foreign leader.



(Matt Kiser) closed #12

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