Tag Archives: 2016 election

The Russians did it … dammit!

Republicans who have circled the wagons around Donald J. Trump keep repeating yet another lie about Russia and the goons who attacked our election in 2016.

I am about to scream at the top of the lungs!

They keep trying to implicate Ukraine as at minimum a co-conspirator in the attack on our electoral system that aimed to help elect Donald Trump.

Wait a second!

The CIA has said the Russians, all by themselves, did it. The Director of National Intelligence said the same thing. So has the FBI. And the National Security Agency. Same for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Russians did it! The Russians are fomenting the Ukraine lie and the GOP — led by Donald Trump — is parroting the rhetoric being spit out by the Russian propaganda machine.

I cannot stand listening to this lie. When will the leadership of the once-Grand Old Party listen to the truth?

POTUS becomes Russian disinformation mouthpiece … unbelievable!

It wasn’t enough that Donald Trump stood next to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and said he believed Putin’s denial of Russian interference in our 2016 electoral system.

Oh, no. Nor was it enough that he denigrated our intelligence network’s assertion that the Russians did what was alleged.

Now he has adopted the Russian lyric that Ukraine played a major role in the 2016 election hack. He is helping the Russia propaganda machine spread the lie that the U.S. intelligence experts have debunked.

The director of national intelligence, the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Treasury Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff … they all say the same thing. The Russians did it!

And yet the president of the United States continues to double down on the lie being pushed by the Russians and endorsed by congressional Republicans who are dissing Ukraine as part of their strategy to defend the president against the impeachment wave that is swelling in the House of Representatives.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing an astonishing act of political malfeasance by the president.

He is defending the Russian strongman/president yet again critics here at home who view the Russians as an existential threat to the integrity of our electoral system. The Russians have embarked on a campaign to do to the 2020 election what they did in 2016.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller III told us this past summer that the Russians are mobilizing their election interference machine at this moment. He endorsed fully the intelligence community’s assessment that the Russians pose the threat to our democratic electoral system.

Donald Trump took an oath to protect our system against such an outright attack. He has forsaken that oath for personal political gain.

Shameful.

Talkers are now suggesting Trump won’t run in 2020 … huh?

Neil Katyal is a serious guy, a former acting U.S. solicitor general who’s argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and, yes, I’ll stipulate that he was appointed to the solicitor general’s post by President Barack Obama.

So, when Katyal says that Donald Trump is unlikely to be the 2020 Republican presidential nominee, one ought to consider this a serious prediction.

I’ll declare here that I disagree with Katyal. I believe Trump will run for re-election next year and that the Republican National Convention will nominate him for another term as president.

Katyal believes the probable impeachment by the House of Representatives will drive Trump to the sidelines. I also need to note that Katyal has wanted Trump to be impeached. He believes the president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors and should be kicked out of office.

If Donald Trump has taught any of us any lesson at all it ought to be to never underestimate this guy’s staying power. He should never have been elected president in the first place; but he was elected. He shouldn’t have been nominated by the GOP in the summer of 2016, given all the candidacy-destroying instances that would have taken out “normal” candidates for public office; but he was nominated.

Trump has managed somehow to survive countless deal-breaking mistakes. He denigrated a Vietnam War hero, the late Sen. John McCain; he mocked a physically handicapped reporter for the New York Times; he admitted to grabbing women by their “pu***”; he disparaged a Gold Star family at the Democratic National Convention. You want more? Well, you get the idea.

He survived all of it.

Is the president inclined to bow out of the 2020 presidential campaign because the House has impeached him? I find that hard to believe.

I wish it were plausible. I am shuddering at the notion that Trump somehow is going to parlay this impeachment into a winning political strategy. How? I suppose by energizing that base of support that holds firm at around 40 percent, based on the RealClearPolitics polling average. Yeah, he needs more than that to win, but won the presidency in 2016 despite polling nearly 3 million fewer votes than his Democratic opponent.

This clown is maddening in the extreme. He doesn’t deserve to be re-elected. I hope Neil Katyal is right. However, I fear the worst, that Trump will run for re-election … and that he just might win!

Voters are facing a ‘fool me twice’ challenge in 2020

I have been proud to proclaim for the past three years that I was among a plurality of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

I proclaim yet again. There. I said it.

However, the 2020 election is going to present Americans with another challenge. It deals with that saying you’ve likely heard: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

A minority of Americans got fooled in 2016 by the huckster posing as a presidential candidate. A quirk in the U.S. election system enabled Donald Trump to win the presidency on the strength of the Electoral College system; he won enough electoral votes to win.

So, what might this mean for the 2020 election? It well might mean that Trump is in a position to stage the same kind of victory he scored four years earlier.

Which compels me to invoke what I believe was arguably the nation’s most profound political mistake with Donald Trump’s fluke election in 2016.

A man with no public service experience, or the lack of any shred of public involvement in his entire adult life managed to win the only public office he ever sought. He tapped into some dark national mood to win enough votes in just the right states.

What’s more, he has governed the same way he campaigned. He has appealed to Americans’ anger at, let’s see, the media, something called “The Deep State,” socialists, political correctness, immigrants (legal and illegal).

Granted, the economy has continued to do well under Donald Trump’s time as president. However, he inherited an economy in good shape, so I’ll give him credit for not shredding it.

It’s all the other stuff that has me hoping that he gets the boot in 2020 that he avoided getting in 2016. He treats allies like enemies; he disparages our institutions; he trashes presidential tradition.

And of course he abuses the power of his office. The House of Representatives is likely to impeach the president. He’ll stand trial and is likely to avoid conviction on a constitutional “technicality.” Then he will get to campaign for re-election.

Is this nation really and truly ready to return this man — who is replete with his myriad idiotic pronouncements — to the Oval Office?

My goodness. Let us not get fooled again.

Trump to California: Don’t count on me to help you out

Donald J. Trump appears to be laying down a clearly defined marker to residents of states that voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016 or are governed by politicians of the party other than Trump’s Republican Party.

It is this: Don’t count on the president of the United States to offer words of empathy or support in the event of monumental natural disasters, let alone statements of unqualified federal assistance to help you fight those disasters.

You see, Trump is in a war of Twitter words with California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The president is excoriating Newsom over the state’s forest management policy, which Trump says is the reason that wildfires have exploded across the state.

Trump and Newsom are political foes. They might even be called “enemies.” Newsom’s state happened, I should say, to vote for Clinton by a huge margin in her losing bid to Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

The rhetoric Trump is leveling at California’s elected leadership is not the kind of thing he says to those in, say, Texas or Louisiana or Mississippi, Alabama or Florida. Hurricanes have savaged those states since Trump took office. They all voted for Trump in 2016.

Trump, though, seems to get a bur under his saddle when tragedy strikes California.

I guess I should point out that Donald Trump has emerged as the Climate Change Denier in Chief, calling the issue a “hoax,” despite scientific evidence that suggests that climate change is responsible for the huge fires that are erupting with more frequency and ferocity than ever.

Yes, Trump did say in one of his weekend tweets that the firefighters are doing a “great” job. Then he tees it up against Newsom, saying he should insist on clearing forest floors more frequently and should make sure the state has plenty of water to pour on the fires.

I just find this back-and-forth between the president and the governor of one our states — whose residents are fleeing for their lives ahead of devastating fire — to be unbecoming in the extreme.

There once was a time when the federal government stepped up to lend a much-needed hand to American citizens in distress. Please tell me those days are not gone forever.

DOJ embarks on, dare I say it, a ‘witch hunt’?

The Department of Justice is now launching what has been called a criminal inquiry into — get ready for it — the investigation into whether Russia interfered in our 2016 presidential election.

What DOJ expects to find is not clear. Attorney General William Barr has appointed a seasoned prosecutor, John Durham, to lead the probe. This one puzzles and concerns me greatly.

Don’t politicize DOJ

Every leading intelligence official within the Donald Trump administration has said the same thing: Russia interfered in our election and sought to elect Donald Trump as president in 2016. Trump, of course, has debunked that notion; he also has denigrated our intelligence agencies’ ability to reach the conclusion they all reached.

When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe, his deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to be special counsel and lead the investigation into the Russia matter.

Trump has hurled some harsh language at Mueller’s investigation, which concluded in May with a partial exoneration of Trump of “colluding” with Russians; he left open the question of whether Trump obstructed justice in the pursuit of truth behind that interference.

Now we have DOJ entering the scene.

To what end will this probe conclude?

I just hope that John Durham, the experienced federal prosecutor who has drawn praise from partisans on both sides of the aisle, will be able to withstand political pressure that might emanate from the top of the Justice Department.

Still, I fear how this probe will proceed. I smell a “witch hunt” in the making.

My gut is rumbling: Trump just might survive this mess

I hate it when my gut starts to rumble. I get this queasy feeling down deep about certain matters occurring.

One of them is forcing a serious gut-churn way down yonder. Donald Trump, my innards are telling me, just might survive all this mess he has created. He appears likely at this moment to be able to avoid conviction in the U.S. Senate, if it is handed articles of impeachment from the U.S. House of Representatives; but even impeachment isn’t a lead-pipe cinch, even though the entire Democratic House majority is on board with an impeachment inquiry and potentially with actual impeachment.

Donald Trump has proven to be the master of evasion and, no, I am not referring to young Donald “evading” military service during the Vietnam War. Think for a moment about all the incidents during the 2016 presidential campaign that would have shattered a candidate’s dreams of winning the White House.

He said the late John McCain was a Vietnam War hero “only because he was captured”; he mocked a Gold Star family that criticized him at the Democratic National Convention; he mimicked and ridiculed a New York Times reporter afflicted with a crippling physical disability; Trump then admitted on that “Access Hollywood” recording to grabbing women by their pu*** because his “celebrity” status allowed him to do whatever he wants.

Imagine another politician, Democrat or Republican, getting away with that hideous campaign behavior. It boggles my mind.

So, now he’s president. He has acknowledged asking a foreign government for re-election help. He has admitted to asking an overseas power for help in digging up dirt on a potential 2020 opponent. He is on record telling Ukrainian officials that they can have help to fight the Russian-backed rebels if they did him a “favor, though,” meaning they had to do the favor before he would release the military assistance.

What does the current strife mean for the president? It means, to me, that his slipperiness has been able to deliver him from what should have been certain political doom.

Has this guy’s luck run out?

I hope it has. I fear he might find a way to avoid catastrophe.

Thank you for the concern, but … it’s going to be all right

I have been getting some interesting responses to my announced plans to attend a Donald Trump “MAGA Rally” at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Some of my social media contacts — and a member of my family — have expressed some concern for my safety. They are afraid of the president’s followers, believing that they’re going to sniff me out — as someone who, um, is not a follower — and perhaps rough me up. They’ve been known to do that during campaign rallies, right?

Well, I feel the need to explain my plan while attending this event, which is set for Oct. 17.

I have wanted to see a Donald Trump rally up close ever since he entered political life in June 2015, when he announced his presidential campaign. Trump never brought his campaign to Amarillo, where I lived during his successful campaign for the presidency in 2016; I guess the Texas Panhandle was too much of a sure thing for Trump to “waste” his time and effort.

So, he’s coming to Dallas to have a rally in which he is going to exhort the faithful to help him “Keep America Great.” The Trump campaign, though, is calling it a “MAGA Rally,” which is sort of a takeoff from his 2016 campaign theme.

Hey, I intend to listen quietly while standing on the floor of the AAC. I won’t be cheering, stomping my feet, carrying on. Will that give me away? Will that serve as a clue to the crowd of Trumpsters in the arena that I ain’t one of ’em? 

Beats the devil out of me.

I do know how to behave myself in this context, however. What’s more, I will make sure to exit the building immediately at the first sign of trouble. I want to make that point abundantly clear.

Then I intend to report on all that I see and hear on this blog at the MAGA Rally. I trust you’ll get my drift.

It should be a fun and edifying evening among the Trump faithful.

Trump: the gift that keeps giving

The Stable Genius who masquerades as president of the United States is leaving a bread-crumb trail that is leading straight toward impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Donald Trump today — in full view of the entire world — called on China and Ukraine to investigate Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter, over business dealings that Trump has characterized as “crooked.”

I need to mention that the elder Biden is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and might face off against Trump next year during the 2020 presidential election.

So, there you have it, loudly and clearly and with no ambiguity.

The president of the United States has solicited another foreign government to help him win re-election. Sound familiar? Well, yes. It does! He got that kind of help from Russia during his winning presidential campaign in 2016 against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Man, on man. This guy is off his rocker.

He is now openly abusing the awesome power of his office for personal political gain. There can be no pretense. There can be no need to put “alleged” or “allegedly” in front of reports that Donald Trump has enlisted the aid of foreign governments.

This is astonishing, incredible, mind-blowing — just name it.

The idea that Trump would seek help from a authoritarian power such as China to investigate a U.S. citizen is utterly and completely beyond the pale.

If there is any doubt that the president deserves to be impeached for abusing his office, I believe he has just emptied the gasoline can over an already raging political wildfire.

Waiting for Trumpsters to make positive case for POTUS’s re-election

The 2020 presidential election campaign is still in its formative stages. Democrats still are winnowing down a huge field of contenders/pretenders for their party’s nomination. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is gearing up as the Republicans’ nominee.

OK, so what might we expect to hear from the Trump Team as it seeks to get its man re-elected?

The economy will be front and center of Trump’s theme. Fine. The numbers have been good. Unemployment is low. Job growth has been brisk. However, there are danger signs lurking. Economists suggest a recession might be in the country’s near future.

However, even though he denigrates his immediate predecessor’s record over two terms as president, Trump did inherit an economy that was in far better shape than the one that dropped onto President Barack Obama’s lap in January 2009.

Beyond that, I want to hear from Trump’s allies why this man who has masqueraded as president deserves to be re-elected. I want them to make a positive case for him.

I’ll be clear that there’s nothing they can tell me that will change my mind. In my view, Trump is unfit for office. Name any category you wish — previous experience, business acumen, morality, ideology, presidential behavior — in my view he fails every test you can imagine.

I am willing to listen to those who are willing to make the case.

Who will stand up, grab a microphone and tell us that Donald Trump possesses all the essential qualities we expect in a president. Who will say he is compassionate? Or that he listens to Americans? Or that he studies the issues before acting on them? Or that he grasps the complexities of his office, or the massive federal government?

Trump’s own strategy likely will be steeped in innuendo, just as it was in 2016 when he surprised the political world by defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton. He won’t proclaim his own virtues, other than those he fabricates: his intelligence and his memory.

Trump’s campaign team will have to craft a message that echoes the boss’s own penchant for tearing down the opposition, just as it did when he won the previous presidential election.

Is that enough to send this guy back to the Oval Office for another four years? No. It damn sure isn’t.

However, I am awaiting something that resembles a positive message. To be candid, I likely won’t know how to react if I hear one.

Maybe I will just laugh out loud.