All posts by kanelis2012

Mr. POTUS, apologize to Sen. McCain

Gregory Wallance is a lawyer and author who has written a wonderful essay for The Hill in which he declares it’s time for Donald J. Trump to say he’s sorry for defaming John McCain.

What’s more, according to Wallance, Trump defamed an entire corps of warriors who served their country with honor and valor in precisely the manner that McCain did.

Here is Wallance’s essay.

Sen. McCain, an Arizona Republican, has been diagnosed with brain cancer. His prognosis is not yet known to the world, although my sense is that doctors have given the McCain family a full briefing.

The point is that Sen. McCain served more than five years as a Vietnam War prisoner. He was shot down in 1967 over a Hanoi lake. He suffered broken limbs after he ejected from his stricken jet. The North Vietnamese who captured him stuck a bayonet in his abdomen. He was tortured, beaten and berated by his captors.

He was offered an early release. The communists thought they would win points by releasing the son of a senior Navy officer. The young aviator refused, and was subjected to more torture.

What did then-candidate Trump say about McCain’s service during a war that Trump managed to avoid? He said McCain was a “hero only because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

No one on Earth thinks Trump has it in what passes for a heart to say he’s sorry for defaming a valiant and gallant war hero. Gregory Wallance, though, has offered a stirring account of why such an apology should be made to honor all the individuals who endured the kind of wartime misery inflicted on John McCain.

Wallance writes: “In the decades after World War II, when more than 120,000 Americans had been POWs, insulting a former POW the way Trump did would have ended any politician’s career.”

Wallance writes about the raid conducted on Japan immediately after Pearl Harbor, about how Col. Jimmy Doolittle and his fellow Army aviators took off from the USS Hornet aboard land-based B-25 bombers. Their mission was fraught with peril from the get-go. They struck targets in Japan. Many of the men were captured by the enemy.

“American servicemen and women become POWs because they are serving their country in harm’s way,” Wallance writes.

He doesn’t expect Trump to apologize. He wants the country to salute those who served their nation and paid a heavy price because they fell into enemy hands.

I join in that salute. Fruitless as it is, though, I also demand that Donald Trump apologize for the hideous insult he leveled at a true American hero.

Now, an apology from the offender?

I hereby accept the apology delivered to the nation by the head of the Boy Scouts of America.

BSA boss Michael Scurbaugh wrote an apology to those who were offended by Donald John Trump’s remarks to the Boy Scout Jamboree. The president politicized his talk in a manner not fitting for the event.

Instead of concentrating his talk on the great service the Scouts provide to the nation, the president boasted about his election victory, blasted his defeated opponent and criticized his immediate predecessor in the White House.

Scurbaugh wrote: “For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”

There. That’s all we’re likely to get in the form of an apology. It’s a heartfelt statement of contrition and regret from Top Scout.

What about the offender? How about an apology from the clown who uttered those remarks to the Scouts?

Scout leader on target

OK. You can stop laughing now. I realize it won’t come, not from Donald John Trump. I still had to ask.

Who, what is Donald J. Trump?

A family member and I had an exchange earlier today about Donald J. Trump in which my kin sought to make a point that the president isn’t a conservative.

This family member is the real deal. He considers himself to be a true believer and that Trump is not of the same mindset as he is.

I’ll concede that point to my young relative.

The truth, as I see it, is that Trump has no ideological grounding. He entered politics seeking to shake up the world. He said he wants to “make America great again.” As I’ve watched him stumble, bumble and fumble his way through the first seven months of his presidency, I am left to wonder: What in the name of all that is holy does this guy believe? What does he stand for?

He appointed a White House communications director who used to support Barack Obama. Indeed, the president himself used to be friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton. He used to be pro-choice on abortion. The president once favored some controls on guns ownership.

He ran for president as a populist, vowing to restore American jobs. Trump then vowed to propose a trillion-dollar infrastructure improvement program. He wants to overhaul the tax code.

He has trashed our intelligence community. Trump has disparaged our nation’s most valued allies.

Through this maze of ideological confusion and nonsense, he remains the favorite son of the evangelical Christian community … even though he’s never — that I can tell — spent any significant time understanding the teachings of Jesus Christ.

His Republican Party “base” adores him because he “tells it like it is.”  Good grief, man! That’s it?

I have said until I am nearly hoarse that Donald Trump has no business being president of the United States. However, that’s what has become.

As I continue to watch his flailing and — so far — failing administration, I am left to wonder: What in the world does this clown stand for, what are his core beliefs and what in the world is he doing to this great nation?

Mooch shows us why POTUS hired him

Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci is cast, apparently, in the same mold as the guy who has just hired him.

He’s a loud-mouthed, profane insult machine who happens to serve as communications director for an administration that is seeking desperately to change the subject from pressing matters. You know, things like possible business conflicts of interest and that “Russia thing” aka the investigation into whether Russia meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

Mooch has called White House chief of staff Reince Priebus a “f****** schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” Priebus will be gone shortly, according to Mooch.

The die was cast when Trump hired Mooch to become communications chief and then said Mooch would report directly to the president, rather than the chief of staff, which has been the custom for, oh, many decades.

Mooch took that as his cue to trash Priebus, who deserves far better than he’s getting from Mooch or Trump or, frankly, the media that cover the White House. Priebus had to know what he was getting when he accepted the job as chief of staff. The former head of the Republican National Committee has worked with grownups. It’s just that he is now surrounded in the White House by goofballs, thugs, know-nothings and rank political amateurs.

This is part of the Trump modus operandi. He has hired a profane communications chief who parrots the boss — who, in my humble view, is utterly, profoundly and glaringly unfit to be president of the United States of America.

This is what we now have in charge of the executive branch of the federal government.

Do you feel good about it? Neither do I.

Policy by tweet: no way to run a government

Donald John Trump has compiled an endless list of broken campaign promises. I’ll take a glance briefly at just one of them.

He vowed to become more “presidential” once he took the oath of office. He hasn’t done so. He’s become even less presidential.

Consider his latest blockbuster tweet in which he declared that transgender service personnel no longer could serve their country. He is governing by Twitter. The tweet caught the Joint Chiefs of Staff, congressional committee leaders, the Department of Defense and military field commanders all by surprise.

The president fired off the tweet and then — bang! — ignited a firestorm.

This idiotic tweet has provided yet another glaring, glowing and ghastly example of how the commander in chief is not fit for the position he occupies.

Senate and House committee leaders have expressed dismay that the president would govern via this social medium.

Oh, and then we had Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford declare that no change would take place for now regarding transgender personnel until he gets some specific direction from Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis. Until then, Gen. Dunford said, all personnel will be “treated with respect.”

The president, who never wore the nation’s uniform, has disrespected a handful of patriotic Americans simply because they have sought to change their sexual identity.

***

As a brief aside, I’m now awaiting a comment from my congressman, Mac Thornberry, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee. His Senate colleague, John McCain, already has spoken about the president’s latest Twitter tempest and the idiocy associated with the president’s insistence on using Twitter to make sweeping policy pronouncements.

Where are you on all this, Mac?

Here is how you address a Scout Jamboree

Donald John Trump delivered a hideously inappropriate message to the Boy Scout Jamboree.

In it, the president chastised former President Obama for non-attendance at one of these events while he was in office. The president, though, was correct to say that Obama didn’t attend a Jamboree in person, but he did record a message to the 2010 event to commemorate scouting’s 100th anniversary.

You can see the former president’s remarks here.

They are totally in keeping with the tradition that presidents of the United States have followed for decades to help the Scouts celebrate their service.

That is, until this year.

Transgender ban shakes ’em up in military

Donald J. Trump has issued another stunner. He possesses an endless, bottomless supply of them.

The president tweeted something today about a total ban on transgender Americans serving in the U.S. military. He contends that the cost of providing them health care is too onerous.

But … does he provide any evidence that transgender service personnel are any less capable than others? Does he suggest that they cannot do the duties of their military obligation? Is he suggesting that individuals who have changed their sexual identity are unpatriotic?

This is yet another disgraceful example of presidential caprice. He said he talked it over with “my generals and military experts” and has determined that transgender service personnel — who comprise a tiny fraction of the more than 1.3 million individuals in uniform — no longer can wear their nation’s military uniform.

His tweet apparently caught the Pentagon brass by surprise; it also stunned many in Congress who didn’t know the president was going to make the declaration. As The Hill reports as well, U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry — yours truly’s  member of Congress — was notably silent on the policy decision.

Read the story from The Hill here.

Congressional Republicans, not to mention Democrats, were angry at the presidential tweet.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said Trump’s policy pronouncements via Twitter are an unacceptable vehicle. He, too, was kept out of the loop.

The president appears — yet again! — to be appeasing his base at the expense of the rest of the nation he was elected to govern.

I am now going to await some evidence from the president that transgender military personnel have harmed the nation’s ability to defend itself.

It’s going to be a long wait, but that’s all right. I can find the patience.

Internet can be addictive … you know?

SALLISAW, Okla. — My name is John and I am addicted to the Internet.

There. I said it. I admitted it. Is that the first step toward a cure? I have no earthly idea if that puts me on my way. I’ll deal with it.

We came to this place near the end of our latest two-week sojourn in our pickup with fifth wheel in tow. We had spent a miserable previous day getting a major repair done to our RV, so we decided to pull up to a municipal park just north of this quaint eastern Oklahoma community.

We wound our way back into the woods, found Brushy Lake Park. Set up our RV site. Paid the fee. Then I sought to open up my laptop to write a blog about, oh, this and/or that.

Oops! No cell phone service. No service means no Internet. No Internet means so surfing the universe of information and opinion for grist upon which to comment.

For the briefest of moments, I felt — how do I say it? — a bit lost. I love writing this blog. I love doing so from different locations where my wife and I end up. I was unable to do so for an entire evening.

I got over my Internet separation anxiety fairly quickly. I figured, “What the hey?” I’ll get back into The Game as soon as we depart and return to within some cell phone service network — and I’ll reconnect with the Big Ol’ World of Internet.

I’m savvy enough about the Internet to know that I should take every single thing I read on it to the proverbial bank. I know a lot of it is merely someone else’s opinion.

However … I did experience a bit of withdrawal until I was able to return to what passes in this day and time as The World.

Oh, the park where we spent the night? It was beautiful, quiet and full of peace.

Trump continues to disgrace his office

I simply am at a loss to understand the president of the United States.

He continues to exhibit an utter disregard for presidential decorum, such as the most recent “performance” he staged at the Boy Scout Jamboree.

Donald John Trump stood before about 40,000 Scouts and their leaders and decided to make a political speech. He denigrated his immediate predecessor, Barack H. Obama, for allegedly failing to appear at a Jamboree; he was wrong, as Obama attended the 2010 event. He tore into Hillary Rodham Clinton, who he defeated in the 2016 election. Trump excoriated Congress for failing to enact a Republican-authored health care bill.

On and on he went …

The Boy Scout Jamboree is among the last places on Earth one would expect to hear such a political diatribe. That didn’t deter this guy.

Let me point out here that Trump never became a Scout; Obama did. For him to criticize President Obama was akin to his declaring that former Vietnam War prisoner Sen. John McCain was a hero “only because he was captured; I like those who aren’t captured, OK?” Oh, yes, Trump never served in the military, while McCain flew combat missions on fighter jets during the Vietnam War.

I won’t belabor the point too much longer, but I feel the need to say that never in my entire life have I felt the utter disdain for a president of the United States that I do for the current White House resident. I cannot attach the terms “President” and “Trump” consecutively.

I say this yet again even thought I do accept that Trump was elected fairly and squarely. He won more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton and won enough of them to be elected president. I do not subscribe to the idea that the Russian meddling in 2016 was decisive; Trump likely would have won even without the Russians’ interference.

However, he continues to disgrace the office. He sickens me at many levels. I’ve lost count of the “last straw” comments he has made since becoming a full-time politician. The Boy Scout riff is just the latest. I’m sure there’ll be more.

Shut up, Rep. Farenthold

I don’t feel like being genteel with this blog post.

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold needs to shut his overworked pie hole. Period!

The Texas Republican lawmaker told a Corpus Christi radio host that if three female GOP senators who oppose the pending Trumpcare health insurance bill awaiting a vote in the Senate were men, he’d call ’em outside and settle it “Aaron Burr style.” He’d challenge them to a duel.

Ayyye! What a putz!

Sens. Shelly Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all Republicans, oppose the GOP-authored bill designed to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. They’re all GOP moderates. They are speaking from their hearts and, apparently, speaking on behalf of their constituents. That’s not good enough for Farenthold, who said he’d settle this the way Burr did in the early 19th century when he shot political rival Alexander Hamilton to death in a duel.

It’s funny that Farethold didn’t mention that Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, and Rand Paul of Kentucky — three strong conservatives — also oppose the GOP bill.

Did the South Texas macho man say anything about them during his radio rant? Umm. I don’t believe so.

Farenthold called it a tongue-in-cheek comment and said he is tired of the “liberal media” making something out of nothing.

It ain’t nothing, young man. It speaks to the terrible personal divisions between men and women on both sides of a deepening chasm on Capitol Hill.