Category Archives: national news

Where is the GOP hiding?

What used to be known as a great American political party has gone into hiding.

They call themselves “Republicans,” but they aren’t really anything of the kind. They are “Trumpkins” beholden to some guy who ran for president in 2016 under the Republican banner. He isn’t an actual Republican. He just portrays one while sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

I ask the question about where the GOP is hiding because Donald Trump — the aforementioned POTUS masquerading as a Republican — is seeking to undermine a free and fair election. He speaks for Republicans, he says, because they would be harmed by an effort to allow voters to cast their ballots by mail this November.

Republicans should be joining their Democratic colleagues in Congress in bellowing their displeasure at what is trying to do to the U.S. Postal Service. They aren’t. They are silent. Democrats are doing all the griping. They note that efforts to inhibit the USPS violates the U.S. Constitution, which mentions the “Post Office” specifically in Article I. The “Postal Clause” was added “to facilitate interstate communication as well as to create a source of revenue for the early United States,” according to Wikipedia.

So, why aren’t congressional Republicans upset at what Donald Trump is trying to do? He is seeking to usurp the Postal Service’s duties delineated by the Constitution.

State election officials stand by their staffs’ ability to conduct elections without the “rampant fraud” that Trump — without evidence — keeps alleging.

And yet, congressional Republicans continue to stand by the phony Republican in the White House who has admitted in plain sight to anyone who cares to listen that he is trying to protect his backside at the expense of allowing voters to perform their civic responsibility.

The GOP silence is deafening in the extreme.

Welcome back, Mr. POTUS 44

Barack Obama appears to be getting back into the game.

He’s been out of action since leaving the presidency in January 2017. I reckon he has seen and heard enough from Donald J. Trump to bring him back into the action.

President Obama is all in with the man who served as vice president during his two terms in office. He is thoroughly and completely behind Joe Biden. That is no surprise, of course. The two men, Obama and Biden, forged a remarkably close personal and professional relationship for eight years in the White House.

I have learned recently that their friendship didn’t materialize immediately after they took office, but that it evolved and developed over time. At the end of his time as president, Obama was referring to himself and his family as “honorary Bidens.” He has called Joe Biden his “brother.”

So it has developed and matured.

After nearly four years of Donald Trump, though, and listening to Trump’s constant drumbeat of denigration of his time in office, I figure President Obama believes he needs to do what he can to remove Trump from an office he never should have won in the first place.

To be fair, Trump did win. Along the way to the White House, Trump continued to belittle Obama’s record. Since taking office, Trump has sought specifically to erase Obama’s name from legislative accomplishments. Target No. 1 has been the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature domestic legislative achievement. The ACA remains in effect, more or less, but Trump continues to vow to remove it forever. Is there a replacement? Umm. No.

As one American voter who wants Trump defeated, I am going to welcome Barack Obama back into the fight. He remains a U.S. citizen and is entitled to speak his mind whenever he pleases. Yes, it is not “normal” for a former president to weigh in so heavily.

But … what the hey. Let’s watch the battle be joined.

Detestable ‘theory’ returns

Donald Trump is pushing the definition of detestability to the limit. For all I know, he might have exceeded it already.

Trump could have squashed the birther baloney being floated about Sen. Kamala Harris, who’s about to join Joe Biden on the Democratic presidential ticket. He didn’t do it. Just like he kept alive the idiocy about President Barack Obama.

Harris’s parents were born in Jamaica and India; her dad is Jamaican, her mom is Indian. Harris was born in Oakland, Calif. She is qualified to run for vice president.

Trump got the question about the birther crap. He said he would “look at it.” Trump’s idiot son-in-law, Jared Kushner, continued to fan the flames when he said “It’s out there” and that he sees “no reason” to dispute Harris’s constitutional qualifications to run for public office.

Stupidity reins supreme in the White House.

Trump needed to say only this when asked about the ghastly birther “theory”: Let’s stop this nonsense right now. Sen. Harris and I have plenty on which to disagree. She is as American as I am. Let’s debate the issues and put aside this hideous rumor.

He didn’t say anything of the sort. The reality is that Donald Trump gives this crap currency simply by refusing to squash it, kill it dead.

He is disgracing the presidency once again.

When Trump departs …

I cannot believe I am thinking about this, but I am.

My thoughts are wandering toward that blessed day when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. My thoughts deal specifically with this blog.

What will be its future? Well, it looks bright no matter when Trump departs the White House for the final time. It could be this coming January. Or — and I have to swallow hard right about now — it could come four years from January.

High Plains Blogger has been my vehicle for venting about Trump. I used this platform relentlessly during the 2016 campaign. I had high hopes almost until the very end that Hillary Clinton would defeat Trump. I went to an election night “watch party” with friends in Amarillo. We were prepared to uncork the bubbly in celebration.

Then came some words I didn’t want to hear. When Pennsylvania swung to Trump, I heard the great Democratic political operative James Carville say, “I don’t like what I’m seeing.”

The night didn’t end well for our friends or for wife and me.

My blog has been my release ever since.

Now we’re on the cusp of another election. Joe Biden is positioned at this moment to unseat Donald Trump. If the former VP wins and sends Trump packing, then I this blog likely will need to fill cyberspace with commentary on a whole array of non-Trump issues.

I am prepared to deliver that to readers of High Plains Blogger.

There might be a caveat to add: Some of that will depend on what the former president (I hope) does as he slinks off into a non-political life. I fear he’ll keep blathering, blabbing and bloviating about public matters, mostly I am certain dealing with his election loss. The good news for you and for me is that he becomes entirely irrelevant once he returns to private citizenship.

We’ll just have to await the returns. I’m prepared to stand watch until they come in.

I do look forward to commenting on policy matters emanating from a shiny new administration that has a lot of cleaning up to perform. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later.

‘I’ll look at it’

There you go. The president of the United States had a chance this week to shoot down in flames the latest lie about a politician who happens to be “of color,” that she somehow isn’t constitutionally qualified to run for public office.

Instead, Donald Trump said “I’ll look at it.” The “it” being reports that U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who is now set to be nominated as her party’s vice-presidential candidate, was born somewhere other than the United States.

This is a racist rant that needs to be plowed under. Why in the name of presidential statesmanship doesn’t Donald Trump do so? Well, I know why. It’s because he is no statesman. Trump is a racist chump who trades on innuendo and invective.

Moreover, Trump is a card-carrying member of the lunatic/wack job/fruitcake/racist wing of what used to be a great political party.

Trump, you’ll recall fomented a similar lie about President Obama. Then he surrendered, offering a tepid “He’s a citizen of the United States” response to a question about the birther lie.

For the record, Sen. Harris is the daughter of a Jamaican man and an Indian woman. They met in California. They got married and they produced a daughter. Little Kamala came into this world in Oakland. Calif., in 1964. There. She’s a U.S. citizen. She is fully qualified. End of argument, yes?

Hardly. It will continue for as long as Donald Trump gives such idiocy any sort of currency, which is what he did with his “I’ll look at it” non-answer.

I like the response given by Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who called the birther baloney a “racist, ignorant lie.”

It’s all of that … and I also would call it “hate speech.”

Trump’s lying becomes legendary

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Jimmy Carter once made a pledge while campaigning for the presidency in 1976 that he would “never lie” to us were he elected to the office.

I am not prepared at this moment to document whether President Carter actually kept his promise. Carter served for four years and faced more than a few national crises during his term in office, so he well might have fudged the truth a time or two to protect a national secret.

Flashing forward to the present day, we are left now to ponder the incessant, relentless, gratuitous lying that has come from the mouth of Donald J. “Liar in Chief” Trump. In an astonishing sense, though, Trump’s lying has become so pervasive, so commonplace that Americans have become damn near numbed to the lies.

Americans say they care about whether the president tells them the truth, but when he doesn’t — which is a daily occurrence — there is so little public outrage expressed.

My goodness. Is this part of the new normal of American presidential politics?

I do not expect Joe Biden to make a pledge similar to what Jimmy Carter promised more than four decades ago. I do expect him at least to speak truthfully — presuming he gets elected president in November — when the national interest demands he tell us the truth.

A “truth-telling Donald Trump” has become an oxymoron. This man’s lying knows no bounds. Nothing is off limits from this individual’s prevarication. His lying has become the stuff of legend.

He is an utterly and categorically dangerous man. If only Americans would call him out when they hear him lie to our face.

It’s no ‘hoax,’ Mr. POTUS

Joe Biden vows to restore our nation’s soul.

The presumed Democratic Party presidential nominee wants to lead the nation into a battle against the pandemic. I get it. I want him to take the reins of power soon.

His first order of business if he is able to assume the presidency in January is to wipe out the “h-word” from our political glossary of phony, fraudulent terms.

Donald Trump has called the pandemic a “hoax,” cooked up by Democrats, the “enemy of the people fake news” media. He refuses to enact a national strategy. He has sent myriad mixed messages, all of which do nothing but confuse governors, city and county officials, school administrators, and just plain folks like, um, you and me.

Trump’s initial response to the pandemic was to declare it would vanish like a “miracle.” The warm weather of the spring and summer would kill those nasty germs. Kill ’em dead.

Well, here we are, with 165,000 Americans gone forever. That number will climb and, so help me, we have no idea on Earth where it will top out.

Trump continues to boast about the job he and his response team are doing. Therein, I submit, lies the hoax. Trump’s so-called “success” is every bit the hoax.

Joe Biden promises to lead the nation. He vows to take charge. He promises to heed the science at every turn.

I am going to hold him to all of that. As you should, too. We all must demand that the new president deliver on this promise. The stakes for letting this status quo continue are too grim to even ponder.

The former VP wants to restore our national soul. I support that noble goal and want him to keep that promise.

The place to start is to eradicate the word “hoax” from the context of the grievous battle against a killer viral infection.

Does he care … at all?

I just learned that Texas state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo has tested positive for COVID-19.

Seliger is the latest individual with whom I have a relationship to have tested positive. Other friends of mine in Amarillo have gone into quarantine because of positive test results. So have our niece, her husband and their two young daughters. One of our sons thought he would test positive after being exposed to a work colleague who had come down with the virus; it turned out to be a false alarm.

This is my way of making a couple of points.

One is that the virus lurks all around us, as well as around you. It gives any reasonable person pause, requiring us to ensure we follow all the recommended measures we need to take to keep exposure at a bare minimum.

The second point concerns Donald J. Trump and his insistence that the virus is “under control.” Trump, too, has seen many folks with whom he works closely come down with the disease. His oldest son’s girlfriend has tested positive. So has the national security adviser. Same for several Joint Chiefs of Staff staff members, along with those who work on the National Security Council staff.

Yet through it all Donald Trump traipses blithely along, suggesting even now that 167,000 American deaths and more than 5 million of us facing hospitalization are nothing to worry about.


It’s Trump vs. USPS

Donald J. “Dimwit in Chief” Trump has declared proverbial war on the United States Postal Service.

Yep, the president doesn’t want to allocate money to USPS on the basis of some specious contention that voting by mail is inherently corrupt and that it would benefit Democrats more than Republicans.

So, there you have it. Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that he will seek to withhold money for the USPS because it might use that money to institute voting by mail in time for the Nov. 3 general election.

Is there possibly anything more disgraceful than to hear a president say that he doesn’t want to grant people every opportunity to vote in a free and fair election? The head of the world’s greatest democratic republic is now on record telling us that he opposes granting the Postal Service the funds it needs to operate efficiently.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a longtime Trump supporter, agrees with Trump … naturally! He is systematically stripping the USPS of its operational ability to deliver the mail with maximum efficiency, in an apparent precursor to the voter suppression tactics Trump intends to employ to tamp down turnout for the Nov. 3 general election.

Trump’s disgraceful, disgusting and dishonorable attack on the Postal Service no longer surprises any of us. It doesn’t make any less deplorable.

We are in the midst of a pandemic. Many Americans are concerned about voting in person on Election Day. They want the option of voting by mail. We have a watershed election on tap, one that demands maximum participation among the American voting public.

And we have a president of the United States who wants to inhibit those voting opportunities, which is just one more reason to kick his sorry backside out of office.

Ignorance isn’t bliss, Mr. POTUS

I hereby declare it to be a semi-official recognition that Donald J. Trump can be labeled the Ignoramus in Chief.

I say that understanding fully that other presidents have misspoken or misstated certain facts, such as when Barack Obama once boasted of having visited “all 57 states.”

Still, to hear Donald Trump make a declaration about how the 1917 flu pandemic likely ended World War II makes my head spin 360 degrees.

World War II commenced in 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. The flu pandemic occurred two decades earlier.  Was Trump referring to World War I, the War to End All Wars, the Great War? Who knows? The Ignoramus in Chief won’t say what he meant.

Such hideous misstatements of well-chronicled history, though, does reveal how utterly uniformed and uneducated this individual truly is, even though he keeps boasting about how he attended the “best schools,” how he knows “the best words,” and how he surrounds himself with “the best people.”

He does none of the above.

Trump has boasted about being a self-made business tycoon. He isn’t. Trump has bragged about his fabulous wealth. He refuses to release for public review his financial records, which previous presidents all have done. He couldn’t pronounce properly the name of an iconic American national park, Yosemite.

Trump has become damn near legendary in his lack of knowledge of basic American history. He recently declined to cite a single aspect of the late Rep. John Lewis’s iconic civil rights struggle. Why? Because he detested Lewis over the fighter’s refusal to attend his inaugural and because he has no understanding or appreciation for the struggle that Lewis embodied.

Trump keeps placing his ignorance on public display. It’s one thing to misspeak. I wouldn’t object one little bit if Trump ever would offer a simple “my bad” were he to be caught misspeaking. He doesn’t do that. Trump’s refusal to own his goofs and gaffes only tells me he believes that the wrongheadedness he blurts out to be the truth.

Sickening and weird.