Category Archives: Donald Trump

How in the world can POTUS ‘like’ a murderous tyrant?

Donald Trump’s best friends among the ranks of world leaders seem to have something in common. They’re tyrants, strongmen, autocrats, dictators . . . any and/or all of the above.

His latest demonstration of such were his statements about how much he likes North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un. It begs the critical question: How is it that the president of the United States of America “like” someone such as Kim Jong Un.

For the record, Kim Jong Un is starving his people while he lives in relative opulence; Kim has murdered members of his own family because they disagree with his policies; he terrorizes his subjects mercilessly; he threatens South Korea with nuclear annihilation.

Then he lied about not knowing about the imprisonment of an American college student, Otto Warmbier, who then was relegated to a vegetative state and released; Warmbier died as a result of his captivity.

Trump said he believes Kim’s denial that he was aware of Warmbier’s mistreatment.

He groveled at Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who denied attacking our electoral system in 2016. Trump swallowed Putin’s denial over the assessment of the nation’s intelligence community that determined the Russians did attack us in 2016.

When a U.S. resident journalist was killed in Turkey by Saudi agents, Trump accepted the denial that Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump’s latest display of infatuation with a tyrant — Kim Jong Un — reveals a dangerous trend. The president of the United States — who occupies the most powerful office on Earth — acts with astonishing weakness when he takes the word of a killer.

Now it’s Jared Kushner in the hot seat . . . sheesh!

Good grief! My head is hurting.

As if the scandals surrounding the president’s possible violation of the Emoluments Clause, the Robert Mueller investigation, the hush money payments to a porn star weren’t enough — now we hear that the First Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner is the midst of yet another potential scandal.

Donald Trump said he didn’t do anything to grease it for Kushner to get a top-secret security clearance to work in the White House. Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, said the same thing.

Then comes reporting that — yep! — the president did, in fact, order that Kushner get the security clearance. The president threw his weight around to assure that Kushner, the guy with zero government experience or exposure, would get the top clearance offered to key White House advisers.

When does this baloney stop? When do we stop being jarred by the president’s astonishing lies?

I think I know when it’ll happen. That will occur when Donald Trump walks out of the White House for the final time.

Oh, how I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Immigration reform? Remember that matter?

The nation is getting all tangled up in this discussion over whether to build Trump’s Wall along our southern border.

Democrats and a growing number of Republicans don’t want it; Donald Trump’s followers — led by the cadre of talk-radio blowhards — are all for it.

What I am not hearing — maybe I’m not paying enough attention — is any serious discussion about how we might actually apply a permanent repair to the problem of illegal immigration.

How about turning our attention to serious immigration reform legislation?

We keep making feeble attempts at it. We get sidetracked and discouraged because too many members of Congress are resisting those calls for reform.

Then we hear about data that tell us that a huge percentage of those who are in the United States illegally are those whose work visas have expired. So, they arrive here legally but become illegal residents because those visas have run out. These one-time legal residence then are called “criminals” and “lawbreakers.” The become fodder for the president and his supporters to erect that wall along our southern border.

Can’t there be a concerted push to hire more administrative personnel for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to process these visas or to speed up citizenship requests from those who want to become Americans?

The president did offer a form of compromise during that partial government shutdown by suggesting a three-year reprieve from deportation for so-called Dreamers, those who were brought here as children when their parents sneaked in illegally. That’s a start. However, Donald Trump connected that idea with more money to build his wall, which made it a non-starter for those who oppose The Trump Wall.

So now the president has declared a “national emergency.” There is no such thing on our border with Mexico. The only “emergency,” it seems to me, rests with the interminable delays that occur when foreign-born residents’ work visas run out or when they seek citizenship to the Land of Opportunity.

How about getting busy applying a permanent repair to the problem?

Run, Gov. Weld, run!

Wouldn’t it be just a kick in the backside if William Weld re-creates a Eugene McCarthy moment in the 2020 race for the presidency of the United States?

Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, has formed an exploratory committee to determine whether to mount a primary challenge against Donald Trump. Weld said many other Republicans “exhibit all the symptoms of Stockholm syndrome, identifying with their captor.”

Weld ran for vice president in 2016 on the Libertarian ticket headed by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. The ticket didn’t do too well, gathering just 4.5 million votes, or about 3 percent of the total.

He wants back into the fight, this time as a Republican.

The McCarthy moment? In 1968, the Vietnam War was raging and Sen. McCarthy, a Minnesota Democrat, mounted a Democratic Party primary challenge against President Lyndon Johnson. McCarthy — a vehement anti-war candidate — took his campaign to the nation’s first primary state, New Hampshire.

He then finished a very strong second to President Johnson, sending shockwaves through the Democratic Party establishment. McCarthy’s strong showing brought Sen. Robert F. Kennedy into the race. Then on March 31, 1968, LBJ spoke to the nation to announce an end to the bombing campaign against North Vietnam — and then said he would not seek or accept the Democratic nomination “for another term as your president.”

History does have a way of repeating itself. If only Gov. Weld can mount any sort of serious challenge to the wack job serving as president of the United States.

One’s hope must spring eternal. Mine does.

Still waiting for that ‘presidential’ moment

A critic or two of my blog has noted that I continue to resist referring to Donald Trump by placing the term “President” in front of his name. They don’t like it, calling me disrespectful of the man who was duly elected to the nation’s highest office.

So help me, as the Good Lord is my witness, I am waiting for that moment — or perhaps a sequence of moments — when I can feel as if the president of the United States has earned that honor from yours truly.

It hasn’t arrived. I don’t know if it will. I want it to arrive. I feel like the guy waiting for the bus or the train that’s overdue. I keep craning my neck, standing on my tiptoes, looking for all I can for some sign that the vehicle is on its way.

The same is true with Donald Trump.

As a presidential candidate, the man disgraced himself and the office he sought with behavior that is utterly beyond repugnant. The denigration of the late Sen. John McCain’s heroic service to the nation as a prisoner during the Vietnam War; the mocking of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s serious neuro-muscular disability; the insults he hurled at his Republican primary foes; the hideous implication, for example, that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was complicit in President Kennedy’s murder.

Also, we had that years-long lie that Trump fomented about President Obama’s eligibility to run for and to serve as president of the United States; Trump was one of the founders of the so-called “Birther Movement.”

He brought all that, and more, into the White House when he won the 2016 election.

Since taking office, he has acted like the carnival barker he became as a candidate. His incessant Twitter messaging, the manner in which he has fired Cabinet officials and assorted high-level federal officers have contributed to the idiocy that he promotes.

There have been moments of lucidity from this president. He pitched a much-needed effort on federal sentencing reform; he struck at Syria when it gassed its citizens.

The rest of it has been not worthy of the office this individual occupies.

I want to be able to string the words “President” and “Trump” together consecutively.  I cannot do it.

Maybe one day. Something tells me I shouldn’t hold my breath.

Hoping POTUS ignores yammering from the far right

If the speculation that Donald Trump will sign the border security deal hammered out by Congress is true, then I want to offer a preemptive word of praise to the president.

He deserves a good word for resisting the yapping and yammering from the far right wing of his Republican Party who contend that the bipartisan deal is a loser.

Well, if you’ll indulge me for a moment . . .

I have yapped at Trump quite often about his adherence to the likes of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Tucker Carlson — blah, blah, blah — over their efforts to dictate his legislative agenda.

He listened to ’em once on this border security matter and as a result, we endured a partial government shutdown that stained the president badly.

I don’t like all of the deal, either. It’s better than it could have been had congressional Republicans dug in their heels. Instead, they worked out a $1.37 billion appropriation to build 55 miles of “barrier” along the southern border. It’s not what the right-wing gasbags want, but it keeps the government running.

I hope the president heeds the instinct to ignore them, that he signs the deal, and that we can put this idiocy to rest — at least for now.

It’s all about ‘compromise,’ Mr. President; sign the deal

I could swear on a stack of Bibles I heard Donald Trump say the word “compromise” during his State of the Union speech the other evening.

He mentioned it as one of the benchmarks he said he seeks to set as he and Congress look for ways to govern the United States of America.

So, we have a deal to avert a partial government shutdown. The deal contains some money for The Wall, but not the $5.7 billion Trump wanted. It contains some other perks and expenditures to stiffen security along our border.

Trump returned from his campaign rally in El Paso and said he is unhappy with what a bipartisan group of senators and House members cobbled together. He said he needed time to — cough, cough! — “study” the deal that has found its way to the White House.

Effective legislating almost always requires compromise, which means no one gets what they want fully. You have to give a little here and little there and then you come up with something that is mutually acceptable.

I believe that’s what we have in this deal. I wouldn’t consider it perfect, either.

However, it moves us along and gives everyone ample breathing room to consider longer-term repairs to whatever the hell it is that troubles them.

Sign the damn deal, Mr. President! You pledged to work toward a system of government that includes “compromise.” Here’s your chance to prove — for once! — that you’re a man of your word.

Trump’s boast about working hard rings hollow

Donald Trump’s brainless boast about being the hardest-working president in U.S. history rings as hollow as his many other such fits of braggadocio.

He has bragged about his wealth, how he has the “best brain,” how he knows “the best words,” how he attended the “best schools.”

Now in response to the revelations about the “executive time” he takes as president and reports of how he spends huge amounts of that time watching TV and firing off Twitter message, he has decided to brag about how hard he works at making America great again.

My life’s experience has taught me a lot about people.

I have learned that rich folks don’t brag about their wealth, geniuses don’t boast about their intellect, the well-educated don’t brag about the quality of the schools they attend.

I also have learned that heroes don’t brag about their heroic exploits and those who work hard don’t feel the need to remind us of the time put into the jobs they do.

The president of the United States appears to act like the most insecure man ever to hold that high office.

Sad.

2020 could produce The (Actual) Year of the Woman

The Year of the Woman was thought to be 1992.

Clarence Thomas had to fend off allegations of sexual harassment from Anita Hill at his U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The controversy produced an outcry from those who said Hill was treated badly by the all-male U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

So the next presidential election was thought to produce an electoral backlash against President Bush, who lost his re-election bid to Bill Clinton.

Here we are now, 27 years later and we’re going to see another Year of the Woman. Indeed, more women than men so far have announced their candidacies for president of the United States. Why do you suppose is bringing out all these women who want to succeed Donald Trump as president?

Gosh, it might be that Trump has denigrated women since the moment he announced his presidential candidacy in 2015. It might be the way he has acknowledged how his status as a “celebrity” and a “star” allowed him to grab women by their genital area.

The plethora of female candidates for POTUS might be a result of the #MeToo movement that has brought serious national attention to the way women have been dismissed and disrespected — and sexually assaulted — by men in power.

The Year of the Woman in 1992 was a preliminary event to what well might be the main event coming up in 2020.

How might POTUS defend his record?

The 2020 presidential election campaign is taking shape. Democrats are lining up seemingly by the dozens to campaign against Donald J. Trump, the Republican incumbent.

I’ll have more to say about the contenders later. Today, I feel the need to explore the type of campaign this incumbent president is going to wage.

Donald Trump had no public service record to commend him for election as president in 2016. He relied instead on a phony argument that he was a self-made zillionaire who worked hard to build a real estate empire from scratch. It turned out that isn’t the case. Voters bought it anyway and he was elected.

Now he’s running for re-election. As the incumbent, the president has a record now on which he must run. He is going to be asked to defend his record. How in the world is he going to do that?

The nation already has undergone two partial government shutdowns on Trump’s watch; a third shutdown might occur at the end of the week. He has groveled in front of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, refusing to acknowledge publicly that Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016. Trump has heaped praise on North Korean despot Kim Jong Un after threatening to blow his country to smithereens with “fire and fury” the likes of which the world has never seen.

He went to Europe and scolded NATO allies because they weren’t paying more for their defense; along the way he has hinted that the United States might withdraw from its most vital military alliance.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to build The Wall along our southern border and said “Mexico is going to pay for it”; Mexico isn’t paying for it, period, meaning that he wants you and me to pay the bill. The president’s rhetorical clumsiness has revealed a host of frightening views, such as his assertion that the KKK/Nazi rally in Charlottesville rally and riot included “fine people, on both sides.”

Now that Trump has a record to defend, I am left to ask: How in the world is this guy going to sell it to voters? How does he reach beyond his base of supporters to ensure that he gets re-elected?

He has spent his term in office kowtowing to his base. He has done damn little to reach beyond that core 38 percent of voters who think he is the best thing to happen since pockets on shirts.

Just as Donald Trump defied conventional wisdom by being elected in 2016 with zero public service experience, he seeks to do it again in 2020 by defending a presidential term that has far less to show for it than he will trumpet along the campaign trail.

He savaged his Republican primary foes with insults and innuendo en route to the GOP nomination in 2016; he continued to toss grenades at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. I look for much more of the same from the incumbent this time around.

The 2016 presidential campaign was ugly enough. The 2020 campaign is looking like a bloodbath.