Category Archives: Donald Trump

Trump claims victory, but wait a minute!

Donald John Trump was right to declare victory (of a sort) in the wake of the 2018 midterm election.

His fellow Republicans gained a couple of seats in the U.S. Senate. The president did campaign on behalf of GOP candidates and most of them won their contests.

The Senate now has a bit of wiggle room for Republicans to operate. That wiggle room makes it a bit less critical when a GOP senator decides to bolt, as was the case when Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate.

But then … we have the House of Representatives.

Democrats didn’t ride home the “big blue wave” that many had predicted would occur. The “wave” turned out to be a success nevertheless. They got control of the House. Nancy Pelosi is likely to become the next speaker. The president did phone her Tuesday night to congratulate her.

Trump should have acknowledged the Democrats’ House victory today. He didn’t. He chose instead to ascribe a bit too much importance to the Senate victory. That’s fine. It’s the president’s call.

Just as George W. Bush learned quickly when he became Texas governor in 1995 with a Democratically controlled Legislature, Trump needs to learn now how to work with Democrats who control one legislative chamber of Congress. Gov. Bush learned how to develop alliances with Democratic House Speaker Pete Laney and Democratic Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock.

Donald Trump needs to find a way to forge an alliance with a speaker of the other party, just as Bill Clinton did with Newt Gingrich, as Ronald Reagan did with Tip O’Neill and George H.W. Bush did with Tom Foley.

Sure, Trump won a victory. It wasn’t a total win. He took it on the chin in one house of Congress. He has some learning ahead of him. If he is capable.

Signs point one way, but do not take a thing for granted

I am getting ready to call it a day.

I’ll wake up Tuesday, eat some breakfast and then my wife and I will head to our polling place in Collin County, Texas, to cast our votes in this vital midterm election.

The polls say Democrats are going to capture the U.S. House of Representatives; they rate the Senate as a tossup, but Republicans holding a possible slight edge.

The president of the United States is campaigning on behalf of GOP candidates as if he, Donald Trump, is on the ballot. He’s tossing out insults, innuendo, he is slashing and burning as only he can, he is hurling epithets. His campaign has taken a racist turn, causing networks — Fox and NBC — to pull ads off the air.

Early vote totals are skyrocketing beyond the atmosphere. They reportedly bode well for Democrats.

Is this a Democratic election year? Maybe.

Then again, let us remember something. It’s important to keep this in mind: 2016 was supposed to be the year Democrats kept the White House; they nominated a superior candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton; Republicans nominated a reality TV personality and hotel developer, Trump.

Trump won the election. He managed to toss damn near every single bit of political conventional wisdom into the crapper.

I don’t want him to score another upset Tuesday. I want Democrats to hand the man’s, um, personal parts to him. I just am not yet willing to accept the polls’ summary on the eve of this election.

I will cheer if they are correct. If not, well, I won’t be cheering.

Let’s check in Tuesday night.

Trump lies his way into the swamp

I cannot let go of this “birthright citizenship” matter that Donald J. Trump has thrust to the top of our minds’ awareness.

He said he wants to issue an executive order to rescind a portion of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the part that says anyone born in the United States becomes a citizen of this country simply by virtue of his or her birth.

Trump had the gall to declare that the United States is “the only country” on Earth that allows such a thing.

The president lied. Again. Imagine my (non)surprise. It’s shocking, I tell ya … simply shocking that the president would lie.

The truth is that 30 other countries allow birthright citizenship. Canada is one of them. Mexico is another of them. Those three nations, with a combined population of about 500 million residents, have such laws on the books.

Ours is written in the Constitution. It was ratified in 1868. It has been on the books for 150 years. Birthright citizenship has never been a serious issue — until now. Why? Because Donald Trump has made it one. He is sowing the seeds of division and fear. He is appealing to the bigots among us to believe that birthright citizenship is now something to rescind and he’s going to do it by issuing an executive order, by golly!

No. He isn’t. He cannot do it.

Nor can he continue to lie about it, by repeating the lie that the United States is Earth’s sole country that has such a law.

The liar in chief is continuing to serve in the most disgraceful manner possible.

Call for unity and harmony runs smack into this

Take a gander at these tweets, sent out in tandem.

They came from the fingertips of the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. The president wants us to unite. He wants us to set aside our differences, or speak with civility to each other about them.

Why, then, does he insist on calling the media the “true enemy of the people”? Why does he keep insisting that the media’s mission is to spread “fake news” and to engage in “open hostility ” toward his administration?

This is the kind of message that runs directly counter to any phony calls for unity and harmony and for civil discussion.

The president and first lady will go Tuesday to Pittsburgh to speak to the survivors and family members of the victims of the massacre at Tree of Life synagogue. He’ll say the right things in the moment. Then he well could return to the type of messaging we keep seeing, reading and hearing.

If the president really intended to lower the temperature, he would stop sending messages like this into cyberspace. He would cease this endless, relentless Twitter tantrum/tirade against the media and his opponents.

I believe you could this “cyber bullying.” Isn’t that correct, Mme. First Lady?

OK, Mr. POTUS, let’s tone down the rally rhetoric

Dear Mr. President … I heard your remarks — along with those of the first lady — at the White House condemning the attacks on “former high government officials.”

You left out any mention of the bomb that was sent to CNN’s New York offices. Yes, all the intended targets have been critics of yours or have been the object of your own scorn. CNN is one of them. Maybe you can say something later today or tomorrow … or the next day.

Here’s my current request, Mr. President: I hear you’re headed for a campaign rally in Wisconsin later. You’ll be standing behind that podium in front of a raucous crowd of supporters. Will you, sir, be mindful of what has transpired today and tone down the rhetoric?

You need to be acutely aware of what has happened to the public mood out here. A lot of Americans are angry with you … many other Americans are angry with your critics. Count me as one who’s angry with the tone you have been setting, as well as your presidency in general.

Many millions of us, Mr. President, will be listening intently to what you say and listening as well to how you say it.

You’re the president, the only one we have. All eyes are on you, which I suspect is precisely what you like most about being in the office you occupy. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak to your supporters using language that is far less inflammatory than what you’ve been using during your entire presidency.

I truly believe, sir, we are reaping one of the dire consequences of what you and your bloc of base voters have sown.

Tone it down, Mr. President.

‘Sad’ to watch POTUS trash the AG

Donald J. Trump continues to concoct reasons for why he believes Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a bad choice from the beginning.

He interviewed badly with the U.S. Senate; he couldn’t answer easy questions; he was “mixed up and confused.”

What absolute crap! The reason the president is miffed at the AG can be summed up in a single word: recusal.

Sessions recognized what Trump didn’t see coming: The AG’s role in Trump’s presidential campaign precluded him from being able to investigate matters involving the Russian government’s effort to influence the 2016 election outcome. He did what Justice Department policy and rules require: he recused himself from all things dealing with Russia.

And the president didn’t see that coming? He didn’t anticipate any kind of conflict of interest?

Because of his own ignorance of government ethics, Trump is now tell media outlets that he now doesn’t “have an attorney general.” He calls it “so sad.”

Go ahead, Mr. President. Fire the attorney general. Understand, though, that the AG — whether it’s Sessions or someone else — doesn’t work for the president. He works for the rest of us out here. He works also for those of us who didn’t support Trump’s effort to become president.

The attorney general shouldn’t do the president’s bidding because of some effort to protect the president’s political future.

If you’re looking for a “sad” circumstance regarding Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, it is because the AG did something correct and proper and that action — all by itself — has aroused Donald Trump’s rage.

‘Hate’ is an ugly four-letter word

A few of the more ardent critics of High Plains Blogger have leveled an accusation at me that cannot go unanswered.

They contend that I “hate” Donald John Trump Sr. They ascribe my so-called “hatred” of the president to the constant drumbeat of criticism this blog levels at him daily … often multiple times each day.

Where do I begin? Let me start with this: The Bible I have read since I was a boy has taught me to avoid hatred of other human beings. Jesus Christ’s teachings in the New Testament are quite clear about that. He tells us to “love” our enemies. Clear? Sure it is!

Donald Trump does engender a lot of intense feelings in my gut. He assumed the presidency after campaigning on multiple themes of insult, innuendo and invective against all his foes, be they the gaggle of Republicans who challenged him in the GOP primary or the Democrat who faced him in the 2016 general election.

The president didn’t run on the basis of some deep-seated political ideology. He lacks a moral foundation. Trump’s entire life prior to his becoming a politician was based on a singular goal: personal enrichment, aggrandizement and adulation.

He has transferred all of that to the White House.

How in the world does one support such a man? How does one follow this individual’s clarion call? I cannot. I do not. I never will.

Does that mean I hate this man? No. It means that I find his presidency to be loathsome on its face, that I detest the manner he has used to treat others and that I find no redeeming personal qualities that can excuse any of that.

I am acutely aware that none of this is going to persuade those High Plains Blogger critics of my actual motivation in criticizing the president. I also am aware they’ll read these few words, laugh out loud and then respond with some push back about how my expressed feelings only are intended to disguise my actual hatred for the man who is our president.

I cannot prevent them from thinking that, nor will I prevent them from expressing it in response to anything I say on this blog. That is their call. They are welcome to express their opinion.

Hatred, though, just isn’t part of how I roll. It might look like it to those who believe that such motivation fuels these comments. Fine. Let ’em believe whatever they want.

There. I feel better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest.

The walls are closing in on the president

I am pretty sure we can toss aside the comment from the White House that Paul Manafort’s guilty plea will have no impact on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 presidential election.

We have come to expect such false bravado from Donald J. Trump’s team. It delivered the goods yet again when Manafort pleaded guilty to two felony charges and gave Mueller a promise to “cooperate” with his probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system.

Manafort is the biggest fish that Mueller has reeled in. Manafort is the former campaign chairman for Trump. He left the campaign in mid-stride, handing over campaign management duties to Kellyanne Conway.

I, of course, have no way of knowing with any certainty about the mood within the White House. However, when I do the math, I find that two plus two still equals four.

Manafort’s guilty plea and pending cooperation cannot bode well for the president. That brings me to the question of the day: Will the president pardon Manafort and expose himself to accusations of obstruction of justice?

The threat is growing

Trump shouldn’t go there. Then again, he has shown a tendency to do things just because he can. The president has unquestioned power to pardon anyone he chooses. Is this president enough of a fool to do the most foolish thing imaginable at this point in the investigation? I am not putting a single thing past this guy.

Yes, the walls are closing in. However, I won’t predict the president’s downfall. I mean, he wasn’t supposed to win the 2016 election in the first place.

We all know what happened.

Hoping that ‘truth’ wins this war

Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” doesn’t plow a lot of new ground regarding Donald J. Trump’s slipshod administration.

Still, to hear a renowned print journalist declare there to be a “war against truth” within the administration has a way of getting one’s attention.

“Fear” has been published. I’m awaiting my copy via Amazon in a few days. Woodward has been making the talk-show circuit, telling interviewers that the president is waging a “war against truth.”

It is the 19th book Woodward has written. He has covered nine presidents of the United States, dating back to the Nixon administration. All the presidents from Richard Nixon forward — Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — have felt the sting of Woodward’s penchant for reporting the truth.

The current president has taken an entirely different tack when pushing back against Woodward. He calls the jounalist’s work “fiction” and has launched a campaign to discredit a man known for meticulous reporting techniques. He produces multiple sources and stands squarely behind his reporting.

Time to ‘wake up’

I continue to believe the reporter more than I believe the president, a man known as a serial liar who appears genetically wired to prevaricate … even when the truth stands in the way.

Woodward said his former boss at the Washington Post, the late Ben Bradlee, used to live by the credo that “the truth will emerge” no matter what.

I’ll maintain the faith that the truth will emerge even as the president seeks to deny its existence.

Trump vs. Woodward: My money is on the journalist

If I had to pick which man — Donald J. Trump or Bob Woodward — is more credible, believable, truthful and trustworthy, I am going to go with Woodward every day of the week …  and twice on Sunday.

Woodward’s 19th book, “Fear,” was released today on the 17th year commemorating the 9/11 terror attack. It tells a stark story of dysfunction within the Trump White House operation. It speaks to attempts to prevent the president from acting on his more dangerous impulses.

Trump has blasted Woodward. So have many of his top aides, senior advisers, Cabinet hands. I’m interested in the lack of specificity regarding the criticism.

Woodward’s history as a journalist — dating back to the Watergate era that he covered along with his Washington Post reporting partner Carl Bernstein — reveals a journalist who takes meticulous care to ensure he reports the truth.

White House steps up attacks

I am sitting out here in the peanut gallery; I am aware that I am far from the fracas. However, Woodward’s reporting techniques have served well enough for him over the course of more than four decades. He has achieved iconic status for a good reason. The man does a thorough job of ensuring the veracity of whatever story he is seeking to tell.

Trump? His record of veracity?

Umm. Not so good. Not nearly so reliable.

For the president to challenge the reputation of a legendary print journalist, thus, is laughable on its face.

Except that none of it is funny.