Category Archives: national news

Now . . . the wait begins

Robert Mueller III has handed off the report the world has been waiting for to Attorney General William Barr.

Well . . .

His work is finished! Now it’s up to the attorney general to do the right thing, which is to say that he must release Mueller’s findings to Congress and to the rest of us. That would be you, me and the rest of Americans whose money paid for this two-year-long probe into allegations of “collusion” between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russians who interfered with our election in 2016.

Mueller has submitted a letter to Barr. He hasn’t revealed a single thing about what’s in the report. The AG likely has a good idea of what’s in it; he likely knew what it contains even before he received it.

I understand that there are limits to what the AG can and should release. He doesn’t want to implicate individuals who aren’t charged with crimes, if anyone has been implicated in potential criminal activity.

However, now that Mueller’s work is done, it should not take the attorney general very long to determine how much to divulge to Americans — such as me — who are waiting to know what Mueller has found.

To borrow a Watergate-era phrase: Do not, Mr. AG, keep us twisting in the wind.

Jared used personal e-mail for government work? Lock him . . . up?

What’s going on here?

Republicans all over America have been chanting “Lock her up!” in reaction to Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server when she was secretary of state. They’re still hollering it, although not in the numbers or with the volume they did in 2016 when Clinton was running for president of the United States.

Now there’s this: Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump has been using a private, personal server to send e-mails relating to government business.

More questions arise

Do we start the chant to “Lock him up!”?

The info comes from Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, who has told the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee about Kushner’s use of personal e-mail servers to conduct official government business.

I’m straining to hear something — anything — from the GOP side of the political divide. I’m listening for chants to toss the president’s daughter’s husband into the slammer.

Silence! That’s what I’m hearing.

GOP remains silent as Trump trashes a party statesman

Donald Trump has taken the Republican Party hostage, tossed its leaders into a dungeon and is disparaging one of its longstanding, long-serving and long-admired political figures.

The president keeps hammering away at the memory of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, the former Vietnam War prisoner and two-time candidate for president of the United States.

He said most recently that he never received a “thank you” from the senator’s family for granting him the funeral he deserved. Yeah, sure thing, Mr. POTUS. Except that you had nothing to do with the funeral McCain received. Yep, you lied about that one, too!

It just baffles me that the late senator’s friends in the Senate and elsewhere have remained largely silent about the classless, crass and juvenile attacks against him by the drafter dodger in chief.

Yes, some of them have offered some pulled-punch rejoinders. Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Sen. McCain’s best friends in the Senate, has been largely mute; Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally, who is sitting in the seat McCain once occupied, has offered tepid criticism.

GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia has spoken out, as has Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

But the vast bulk of the nation’s Republican establishment keeps enabling the president to keep up his idiotic bitching about a senator who died of brain cancer in August 2018.

McCain developed many friendships over the course of his three decades in Congress. His Democratic friends have been quite outspoken against the president’s rants; but that’s to be expected.

I would have expected more outrage from Republicans as well, given the stated and understood admiration for a man who endured five-plus years of torture as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam before being elected to Congress.

These chicken-hearted politicians act like they fear the president who took over their party by storm in 2016 without ever devoting a single minute of his prior life to public service.

Someone needs to launch a rescue mission to free those GOP hostages, release them from their dungeon and tell them it’s OK to speak ill of the guy who captured them in the first place.

Oh, wait! We have an election coming up. Maybe that’ll do the trick.

Jimmy Carter: longevity record-setter

Jimmy Carter served a single term as president of the United States. He won the office in a bit of a nail-biter in 1976, defeating incumbent President Gerald Ford.

President Carter lost his re-election bid four years later in a landslide to Ronald Reagan.

He has lived with a decidedly mixed presidential legacy ever since. However, let it be here as the former president becomes the oldest living former president that his legacy is destined to improve as time continues to march on.

President Carter on Friday will surpass the late President George H.W. Bush as the oldest former president. The 39th president already holds the record for being having lived longer than anyone past the time he left the presidency.

I want to salute this good man because he stands in such a sharp contrast to what we are witnessing these days in the White House.

There was never a scandal to besmirch his administration. He vowed never to “lie” to us and as near as I can tell he kept that pledge. President Carter has lived a life according to the Scripture to which he has been devoted.┬áHe left office after a stunning landslide loss and then became arguably the most admired former president in recent history. He has built houses for underprivileged people worldwide for Habitat for Humanity. He founded the Carter Center in Atlanta, using the center as a forum to promote free and fair elections and to be a watchdog on behalf of human rights, one of the hallmark themes of his presidency.

I know the president had a mixed record as our head of state. He did, though, broker a permanent peace deal between Israel and Egypt. Yes, he launched that ill-fated mission to rescue Americans held captive in Iran and struggled for 444 days trying to negotiate those who were taken hostage by Iranian radicals in November 1979.

All of that and a floundering economy contributed to his crushing defeat. He left office as proud as he was when he entered it and has gone on to live a modest life in his beloved Plains, Ga. He is still teaching Sunday school at his church and has battled cancer.

He is a champion worthy of admiration of a nation he led.

Congratulations, Mr. President.

Hicks turns on POTUS; more to follow, maybe

Michael Cohen once was Donald Trump’s lawyer, a man he could count on to “fix” things gone awry. He’s now one of the president’s worst nightmares.

Hope Hicks once served — albeit briefly — as communications director for the White House occupied by Donald Trump. Now she’s gone over the hill, telling congressional Democrats she wants to cooperate fully with them.

Cohen likely was motivated to turn against Trump by a prison sentence he received after pleading guilty to lying to Congress; he is set to start a three-year federal prison term soon. He might, it should be noted, get that sentenced reduced.

Hicks isn’t driven by that necessity. She has told House intelligence and judiciary committee members she lied on Trump’s behalf. She says she’s done lying.

Oh, my. It seems as if this saga has no end. There’s no bottom to this pit. It sinks lower and lower.

Whether the special counsel, Robert Mueller III, provides anything of substance in his investigation of The Russia Thing now seems almost a moot point. There might be other information coming forward from former friends, political allies and associates of the president of the United States.

Cohen, Hicks . . . who else is out there?

Veto likely will hold up, but then what?

Donald Trump’s first veto of his presidency is likely to withstand congressional efforts to overturn it.

It’s good to ask, though: What happens next?

The president vetoed House and Senate bills that sought to toss aside his national emergency declaration that he sought to build The Wall along our southern border. Congress based its action on a couple of key issues: there is no national emergency, the president’s action sets the stage for future presidents to do the same thing and it usurps congressional authority to appropriate money for specific projects.

Trump wants to divert funds allocated for various programs to build The Wall.

Twelve Senate Republicans voted with Democrats to wipe out the declaration. Democrats control the House, so that vote was a done deal from the get-go. Neither vote was veto-proof, however.

Trump is messing with fire with this veto. Sure, the Constitution grants him the authority to do what he did. However, it’s not yet clear whether his action will withstand a legal challenge if it comes from congressional Democrats.

Never mind that Attorney General William Barr said when Trump signed the veto document that he was within his right legally; we all expected the AG to stand with the president.

The animosity between the legislative and executive branches of government is as vivid as ever. Trump’s veto is likely to stand. However, the fight over The Wall is far from over.

He’s even riled Bernie . . . wow!

You might be inclined to think that Sen. Bernie Sanders would be an ardent foe of one of the Senate’s most outspoken and well-known Republicans.

Then he posted this on Facebook:

Sen. John McCain was a friend and a man of great courage and integrity. We need a president who will fight for our veterans, not attack the memory of an American hero.

Yep, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has gotten the dander up on a democratic socialist — and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate — by denigrating the memory of the late John McCain.

Who knew?

POTUS doesn’t know ‘wack job’?

Do I have this straight?

Donald Trump said he doesn’t “know” George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, one of the president’s top senior policy advisers.

But . . . he has called Conway a “wack job,” and noted how he refers to him as “Mr. Kellyanne Conway.”

George Conway is the noted lawyer who has emerged as a vociferous critic of the president. His wife is defending the president, interestingly; she’s been quiet about the insults Trump hurls at her better half. Weird, yes? Yeah, I think so.

But how does someone who doesn’t “know” an individual call him a “wack job”?

Hey, I am inclined to believe Donald Trump knows George Conway far more than he is letting on. Don’t you think the president is lying yet again?

So do I.

By all means, take POTUS’s word for it: release Mueller report

I shall disagree with Donald Trump’s view that Robert Mueller is not qualified to “write a report” because he didn’t get any votes.

However, I will agree with the president that the report Mueller finishes and submits to Attorney General William Barr needs to be made public.

A deputy attorney general selected Mueller to investigate allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. He reportedly is nearing the end of his probe.

The president has declared that he’d be “OK” with Mueller releasing the report. He said the public deserves to see the result of his work.

Yes, we do deserve to see it!

Trump yammered a bit about Mueller not getting any votes. The president noted the “historic” nature of his 2016 victory for president. Yeah, it was “historic” all right.

The public has many questions that need answers.

I agree with the president. Release the report. Make it public. Let us all see what Mueller has concluded.

Mitt weighs in on Trump’s McCain derangement syndrome

“I can’t understand why the president would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: Heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country and God.”

So wrote Utah’s junior U.S. senator, Mitt Romney, about Donald Trump’s obvious fixation with the late senator from Arizona.

Honestly, Sen. Romney, few of us out here can grasp what in the name of human decency has infected Trump.

I didn’t vote for Sen. McCain when he ran for president in 2008. That does not diminish my respect for the exemplary and heroic service he delivered to this nation in war and later in political service.

Indeed, for the president to say what he has said in these months since McCain died of brain cancer speaks so graphically about that individual’s absence of character.

I’m with you, Sen. Romney.

I hasten to add that you were right in 2016 when you called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.” He demonstrates both qualities damn near every day.