POTUS keeps this story burning

A two-day story has been given more life by none other than the president of the United States.

Yep, Donald J. Trump has weighed in on ABC-TV’s decision to cancel “Roseanne” because of a stupid and blatantly racist tweet by the star of the show, Roseanne Barr.

She compared former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an “ape.” Oh, yes. Jarrett is African-American. Barr’s tweet also had a touch of Islamophobia, too, referring to the “Muslim Brotherhood.”

ABC canceled “Roseanne” on the spot.

Trump’s response was to fire off a tweet of his own wondering why ABC didn’t react to all the negative things that have been said about him on the network.

Good grief, Mr. President.

Your plate should be overflowing with important matters. You know, things like that on-off-again summit with Kim Jong Un, trade wars with China, keeping the Middle East from exploding in flames.

Instead, this tweet tyrant in chief brings more attention to Roseanne Barr, a noted fan of the president.

Should this story be on millions of Americans’ minds right now? No. It should be set aside. The head of state has bigger fish to fry. If only the president of the United States would butt the hell out.

More names come forward

The word got out about those goofy finalist names for the Amarillo minor-league baseball team that begins play in the spring of 2019.

And with that word came a whole host of names that I find a lot better than the names put forward.

Plainsmen. Wildcatters. 66ers. Skyliners.

Those are just a few.

I’m wondering if the backlash against the weird names put forth are is going to make the Amarillo baseball brain trust rethink what they’ve come up with.

One can hope.

They’ve invited the public to vote for the favorite among five finalists. They’ll announce the winner later in the year. I’m wondering how “None of the Above” is going to fare.

AG might seek a new job

If I were U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — and I am so glad I am not — I would be looking for a new job.

As in right now. Immediately if not sooner. But I am not altogether certain a new attorney general would serve the public interest as it regards an ongoing investigation into the president’s 2016 campaign.

The president of the United States, Donald John Trump, has tweeted once again that he regrets picking the former Republican senator from Alabama to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

Why is that? Oh, it’s just Sessions decided to do the right thing by recusing himself from any Justice Department investigation into the Russia matter and the Russians’ meddling in our 2016 presidential election.

I am no fan of the AG, but on this matter he made precisely the correct decision. He had served on Trump’s political team; he was central to the president-elect’s transition to the presidency. Had he remained involved in the Russia matter, he would have been in charge of investigating himself. How does the attorney general do such a thing without compromising¬† a sensitive and complex investigation? He cannot. That’s why he bailed on the Russia probe and turned it over to his deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein.

Donald Trump, though, keeps yapping that he should have picked someone else to lead the DOJ, had he known Sessions was going to recuse himself.

Sessions might be inclined to want out. But there’s this thing involving the integrity of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Would a new AG be as faithful to the appearance of conflict of interest that Sessions was when he recused himself?

Hey, maybe Jeff Sessions ought to wait for Trump to fire him.

Then he can watch along with the rest of us as the crap hits the fan.

This is the best we can do with team naming game?

They did it, by golly!

The folks charged with selecting a name for Amarillo’s new baseball team have managed to come up with five “loser” finalists.

Wow! Man, I cannot believe they went five for five, or perhaps it’s zero for five.

The finalist names are — in alphabetical order, the Amarillo: Boot Scooters, Bronc Busters, Jerky, Long Haulers and Sod Poodles.

Awesome, right? I didn’t think so.

I should have submitted a name or three for them to consider, then gotten my friends to endorse my selections.

Whatever happened to old-fashioned animal names that speak to the Texas Panhandle’s history and heritage? Bison, Coyotes, Roadrunners. They all fit, right? Of course they do.

Then we have Roughnecks, Hot Shots, Ranchers.

This one wouldn’t pass the “political correctness test,” but I also like the name Comanches.

We’re going to get one of five names, apparently, submitted for consideration for the new AA minor-league baseball team that starts playing ball in the spring of 2019.

For the record: I don’t like any of them.

Surely we can do better than what we’ve seen so far.

Polk Street being ‘born again’?

I don’t want to attach some overblown significance to this, but a TV news report I watched last night suggests that downtown Amarillo’s former “main drag” is being reborn into something quite different, and equally cool.

We returned this week to Amarillo for a brief visit before returning to our new home in the Dallas area. I learned about the opening of some new business establishments along Polk Street.

Back in The Day, Polk Street served dual functions for the city’s residents, or so I learned. One was that it was a retail center: lots of shopping galore. Two was that it served as a place for kids to “cruise” at night. You know what I’m talking about: Guys with cool cars would take them along the street and show them off to girls.¬† Yes? Yes!

The retail went away. The cruising activity has moved to other locations.

What’s happening along Polk these days, though, is a rebirth of places for folks to enjoy a meal, a beverage or two. Restaurants are opening up in new locations. One of them, Crush, is relocating across the street.

Buchanan Street has that fancy hotel across the street from the Civic Center. And, oh yes, the ballpark is under construction across from City Hall.

I won’t equate this rebirth to any sort of religious event, as in being “born again” to the Christian faith. However, I am struck by the astonishing acceleration of progress toward that new life downtown after so many years of stagnation. There were lots of discussion about moving forward. But … nothing happened.

Now, with relative suddenness, that discussion has turned into action. They’re tearing up old storefronts, refitting them into something new. They’re turning historic buildings (such as the Firestone, the Fisk, Levine’s and Woolworth) into venues that bear little resemblance to their original uses.

My head is spinning.

I need to get away — and then return — more frequently to see this progress continue to take shape.

I like what I am seeing.

So long, Gov. Greitens

Every so often, a no-name politician thrusts himself onto the nation’s center stage. Occasionally, it’s the result of bad conduct.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has resigned his office. The Republican up-and-comer is quitting in the midst of scandals involving a former paramour with whom he was having an affair. He allegedly threatened her by releasing a racy photo of her if she said anything publicly about their affair.

Greitens, a former Republican political star, denies wrongdoing. He calls the stories a “distraction.” He says it has put a strain on his family; uhh, yeah, do ya think?

Contrary to what this “family values” pol has said, this issue with his philandering (to which he has admitted) isn’t just a “private” matter. This former Navy SEAL proclaimed while running for governor that he is a “proud husband and father.”

Greitens’s pride in his marriage was then determined to be a lie. Bigly, man! He campaigned partly on the basis of his marital fidelity.

Thus, it becomes the public’s business.

He’s going to leave office. Fine. Don’t let the door hit you in the wherever, dude.

Let there be a lesson to be learned here. If you’re going to talk about family values while running for public office, you’d better be skeleton-free.

Speaking of disrespecting the flag

Now that Roseanne Barr is back in the news thanks to that hideous tweet she fired off about Barack Obama and one of his senior presidential advisers, I thought I would share this video of the comic’s rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

She offered this hideous version of the National Anthem in 1990.

So I am moved to ask whether this is more or less disrespectful of the flag, of the nation, and of our veterans than professional athletes “taking a knee” to protest police treatment of some U.S. citizens.

I’ll inclined to side with those who think Roseanne’s “singing” of the anthem is the more more egregious example of disrespect.

‘Roseanne’ not too big to … cancel

Roseanne Barr now has managed to offend both ends of the wide political spectrum.

Years ago, she took the field at the start of an athletic event to offer a horrendous rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Many of us have heard her “singing” of the anthem. We weren’t pleased. It wasn’t funny. Conservatives were outraged.

Ahh, but the comic wasn’t done. Today she posted a tweet in which she offered a racist reference to Valerie Jarrett, a former senior policy adviser to President Barack Obama.

She wrote: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

Funny, huh? Nope. It isn’t. ABC Television promptly canceled the return of “Roseanne.”

Barr apologized. She took her tweet down. She deleted her Twitter account. Too late, Roseanne. The damage is done.

As for ABC’s decision to cancel the show, well, I don’t much care one way or the other. I didn’t watch the show 30 years ago; I didn’t watch its return. I had heard about Roseanne Barr’s pro-Donald Trump tilt and about her TV character’s similar leanings. Honest to goodness, that didn’t bother me in the least.

Racist rants from public figures? They bother me. A lot.

Good riddance, Roseanne.

Trump demonstrates unfitness constantly

Donald J. Trump’s idiotic tweet on Memorial Day has provided critics — such as yours truly — with ample grist to suggest what many of us have said all along.

Not a single thing in Trump’s background prepared him for the public service career he chose the moment he rode down that Trump Tower escalator to declare his presidential candidacy in 2015.

The president took to Twitter to say the following:

Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!

As Chris Cilliza of CNN reported, Trump — with that message — managed to “put the ‘me’ in Memorial Day.”

I have noted repeatedly on this blog that Trump’s entire professional career, every waking moment of it, was centered on one thing: himself. He sought to build a business empire. He aspired to immense wealth. He sought self-enrichment. He lavished self-aggrandizement all over himself. He surrounded himself with opulence, glitz, glamor and gorgeous women.

Nothing he did, said or demonstrated during all those years offered even a hint of understanding of what it means to serve others. He was — and still is — wrapped tightly in his own cocoon of self-worth.

Thus, the tweet in which he boasted about the economy and “rebuilding our Military and so much more” speaks volumes about why this man is so hideously unfit for the office to which he was elected.

Yes, the president did go to Arlington National Cemetery and he spoke some fitting words while paying tribute to the Americans who have died on battlefields all across this and around the world.

However, it’s that first instinct, the president’s Twitter message that went out at early in the day, that reveals this individual’s love of self that supersedes everything — and everyone — else.

Public service means to pay tribute to others without regard to yourself. Those who choose a life in politics and government ought to understand that basic tenet. If only the president of the United States could grasp the simplicity of that concept.

There’s this from a former Joint Chiefs chairman …

Donald J. Trump’s self-congratulatory tweet about Memorial Day seems to have produced a fascinating reaction from another prominent American.

This comes from retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dempsey tweeted:

This day, of all days of the year, should not be about any one of us. No matter how prestigious or powerful, no matter how successful we perceive ourselves to be. Rather, this day should be about those who gave their lives so that we could live ours in freedom.

Do you think Gen. Dempsey had anyone in mind when he wrote about how the day “should not be about any one of us”?

Sure he was!

Here is what Trump said:

This is how you honor fallen heroes? Nope

You figure it out.