Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Turn off the TV, Mr. President

Donald J. Trump told us he wouldn’t tweet once became president of the United States.

“I’ll be too busy” making America great again, building a wall, defeating ISIS and bringing back jobs that had been shipped to “China and Mexico,” the president said.

The president has gone Twitter crazy. He can’t stop tweeting policy decisions, criticism of foes, friends and the media.

He also told us he wouldn’t have time to play golf, that he doesn’t even think he’ll take vacations once he took the presidential oath. How’s he done there?

Trump is set to play more golf in his first year than his predecessor, Barack H. Obama, did during his eight years as president.

He’s now zero for two.

OK, now he says he doesn’t watch much television. No time for that, either. The president says he reads “a lot of documents.” Is he telling the truth on this one? The New York Times reports that Trump watches more than four hours of TV daily; it might be as much as eight hours.

He watches CNN, Fox, a little MSNBC, perhaps a broadcast network news show or two, according to the Times. Then he tweets almost immediately after hearing the news, whether it’s “fake” or whether it comes from Fox — his favorite news network.

So, by my score, the president is zero for three on these promises and declarations.

Oh, but what the heck. He “tells it like it is.”

GOP repays Democrats with ham-handed strategy

Do you remember the days when congressional Republicans accused congressional Democrats of ramming legislation through without consulting them?

They were angry, man! Barack H. Obama wanted to enact sweeping health care insurance reform. He reached out to Republicans. They were having none of it. So the Democratic president turned to his allies in Capitol Hill.

Why, that just infuriated Republicans.

The GOP’s response once they took control of Capitol Hill? How did the Republicans decide to legislate when one of their guys, Donald Trump, was elected president?

They chose to do the same thing. They sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something else. They had no Democrats on board with that fight. The ACA repeal-and-replace effort failed.

Donald Trump just had to have a legislative victory. So he turned to tax overhaul.

Here we are. Both legislative chambers have approved versions of a tax overhaul bill, except that it was done with a Republican-only majority. The debate has been joined, with both sides arguing from across the room at each other. It’s going to blow up the federal budget deficit, which Republicans used to hate; Democrats say the rich will get a break, while middle-class Americans get the shaft.

Thus, we have more of precisely the same kind of ham-handed bullying that Republicans alleged against Democrats.

As the fictional philosopher Tonto once told The Lone Ranger: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

RINOs take over congressional GOP

Republican Party “purists,” whoever they may be, must be furious with what the GOP majority in Congress has done.

Republicans who control both congressional chambers have just rammed through two versions of a tax cut that by many economists’ view is going to explode the federal budget deficit.

Therefore, congressional Republicans — virtually to a person — comprise Republicans In Name Only. They are the dreaded RINOs that purists keep condemning as closet big-spenders masquerading as members of the party of fiscal responsibility.

One Republican — lame-duck U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee — managed to vote “no” on the Senate version of the tax cut. But he was the only one.

Now this monstrosity goes back to the House of Representatives, which will seek to reconcile its differences with the Senate version. Then they get to vote again on it.

After that? It goes to the Oval Office, where the president of the United States will sign it. He’ll boast about the “victory” he won. Donald Trump will take credit for enacting a bill about which he likely doesn’t know a thing.

Do you remember the time when Republicans used to blister Democrats for running up those huge deficits? As recently as the 2016 election, Republicans were pounding freely at Democratic President Barack Obama for overseeing a sharp growth in the national debt. But here’s the deal: Under the Obama presidency, the size of the annual deficit was decreasing almost every year; by the time President Obama left office, the annual budget deficit had been cut by about two-thirds from the amount he inherited when he took office in January 2009.

I guess those days are gone, along with any chance that Republicans and Democrats are going to find common ground on matters that affect all Americans.

As for the country’s budgetary future, it’s now in the hands of RINOs. When are the party purists going to start squawking?

Hello? Is there anyone out there?

POTUS revives phony ‘birther’ issue

Allow me to express my absolute disgust, disdain and dismay at the president of the United States.

While calling this week for a boycott of CNN and retweeting vicious anti-Muslim videos — two things worthy of criticism as well — Donald John “Smart Person” Trump Sr. decided to reignite the phony birther issue involving the man he succeeded in the White House.

Sources told CNN that Trump believes he would have done even better in the 2016 election had he kept hammering at the bogus notion that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and was ineligible to run for president of the United States.

How else can one view the president’s notion here … except to declare him to be racially motivated? It’s fair to ask whether the president harbors racist sentiments. Why does the idiot in chief keep insisting that this is a real issue?

See the CNN story here.

I suppose I should note briefly that the story is bogus on another level as well. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in August 1961; he has proven it.

However, his mother was an American, a U.S. citizen, which granted him American citizenship immediately upon his birth.

This … is a non-story. It’s phony. The “birther” issue is yet another lie.

Disgusting.

McCain to Hillary: Cool it with the criticism

John McCain knows the pain of losing a presidential election.

Accordingly, he has offered the most recent presidential election loser a bit of solid advice, although I disagree with the manner in which he delivered it.

The Arizona Republican U.S. senator has told Hillary Rodham Clinton to clam up, that she shouldn’t be so highly critical of the man who defeated her for the presidency. “One of the almost irresistible impulses you have when you lose is to somehow justify why you lost and how you were mistreated: ‘I did the right thing! I did!’” Trump told Esquire Magazine. “The hardest thing to do is to just shut up.”

He added: “What’s the f—–g point? Keep the fight up? History will judge that campaign, and it’s always a period of time before they do. You’ve got to move on. This is Hillary’s problem right now: She doesn’t have anything to do.”

Ouch, man!

McCain can’t claim to have remained silent about the man who beat him in 2008. He returned to the Senate after Barack Obama thumped in the race for the White House. He used his public office to criticize the president’s policies. To me, he did sound a little sour-grapy at times, but I understand his position as a member of the “opposing party” while sharing governing responsibility with the president.

Clinton’s situation is drastically different. She isn’t holding a public office. Sen. McCain notes that, too, suggesting that she could have waited a good while before publishing her book — “What Happened” — that chronicles her version of why she lost the 2016 election.

I say all this without apologizing for a moment that I supported her election as president — and I would do so again if she were to face Donald Trump a second time in a presidential election.

I just hope she doesn’t run again.

As for John McCain, he is in the midst of the fight of his life and it has not a damn thing to do with politics or policy. By my reckoning, his battle against cancer gives his remarks even more gravitas.

More chaos and confusion in the Trump administration

You’ve heard it said that the Trump administration “thrives” on chaos, that it cannot execute simple transitions without all hell breaking loose.

Consider the latest stumble-bum example from Donald John Trump’s presidential team.

Richard Corddray resigned as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; President Barack Obama appointed him to lead the agency created in 2010 in the wake of the 2008-09 financial crisis. The law allows Corddray to appoint his successor, which he did when he named deputy director Leandra English to lead the agency.

Oh, no. You can’t do that, said Donald John “Smart Person” Trump, who then named Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as the interim head of he CFPB. Trump then instructed the agency to ignore any directives coming from English and act only on those coming from Mulvaney.

Hey, there’s a bit more. English has filed a lawsuit preventing Mulvaney from taking over.

The CFPB has been a Republican bogeyman ever since it was founded. The GOP contends it puts too many restrictions on banks.

From my standpoint — and acknowledging my own bias — this has the smell of yet another attempt to overturn an Obama-era agency reform. If the former president did it, the agency is a “disaster,” according to Trump, who attaches that term to any agency or program created by his predecessor that he wants to gut.

CFPB targets banks’ practices

Trump tweeted this: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has been a total disaster as run by the previous Administrations pick. Financial Institutions have been devastated and unable to properly serve the public. We will bring it back to life!

My actual point, though, is that we are witnessing yet another clumsy, cumbersome cluster-fudge that illustrates once again — as if we need any reminders — that the Trump administration cannot do a single thing without making a total hash out of it.

No war against Islam, but against religious perverts

Barack H. Obama made a critical point the night in May 2011 when he told the world that U.S. special forces had killed Osama bin Laden in a daring raid in Pakistan.

The president reminded us that “we are not at war against Islam. Osama bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims.”

The al-Qaeda leader is long dead. His legacy continues to spread mayhem, murder and misery. More than 200 Muslim worshipers died today when terrorists detonated a bomb in a Cairo, Egypt mosque. The killers appear to be affiliated with the Islamic State, the monstrous outfit that has supplanted al-Qaeda as this country’s No. 1 international enemy.

And that brings me to my essential point. It is that we are at war with religious perverts, not mainstream Muslims. President Bush made that point abundantly clear just days after 9/11; President Obama echoed his predecessor’s assessment during his two terms in office.

Are we hearing such rhetoric from Donald J. Trump? Well, the president did fire off a tweet today condemning the “extremist ideology that forms the basis for their existence,” referring to the ISIS offshoot that is taking responsibility for this latest barbaric act.

I want the president to state categorically that our struggle is not against Muslims or the faith they worship. It is against the monstrous perverts who kill indiscriminately.

They call it ‘tax reform,’ but is it … really?

Here comes the legislative bum’s rush once again.

Just as congressional Republicans sought to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act all by themselves, they’re trying the same thing with what they’re calling “tax reform.”

Except that it doesn’t “reform” anything. It cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans and, according to at least one prominent study, will increase taxes for middle-income Americans.

The House of Representatives zoomed this tax cut through that chamber with a narrow vote. Now it goes to the Senate. And you know what? It’s running into trouble.

GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin opposes it because it does too little for small business. GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine opposes it as well because it cuts out the individual mandate required by the ACA. That’s two “no” votes. The tax plan is officially on the bubble.

I believe I’ll now mention what it does to the deficit. It explodes the deficit and for those of us deficit hawks, it piles on more money to the national debt, which Republicans are fond of saying increased during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office.

Senate puts up roadblocks

I keep circling back to this notion that no single party can do anything constructive without the other party. Republicans haven’t yet learned that lesson now that they control the White House in addition to both congressional chambers.

This star-chamber style of legislating — with major bills being discussed in private by members of one party — is harmful to legislative process and to the principle of effective governance.

As GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona has implored his colleagues, “Let’s return to ‘regular order.'” That means, among other things, bringing the other party into the discussion.

Trump channels Rubio’s ‘water moment’

I knew I wasn’t the only one who had this thought, but it still makes me chuckle when I watch news reports of Donald Trump’s televised remarks upon his return home from his 12-day trip to Asia.

The president had, um, an awkward water moment. He reached for some water to battle a case of dry mouth while talking earlier today. The bottle wasn’t there. He groped under his podium for some water and was informed there was a bottle of Fiji water nearby.

He fumbled around for a moment longer, took a swig of it and went on with his remarks.

Now, you’re possibly asking: Why bring this up?

Oh, I don’t know. I guess it’s because candidate Donald Trump made such a show of a similarly awkward moment that befell Republican presidential primary opponent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who in 2013 fumbled for a water bottle while delivering his party’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Trump was merciless in his mocking of Sen. Rubio. He called it a “catastrophe.”

Trump has his own clumsy moment

For his part, Rubio had a clever and self-deprecating response, which he delivered via Twitter: Similar, but needs work on his form. Has to be done in one single motion & eyes should never leave the camera. But not bad for his 1st time.

Take notes, Mr. President. There might be someone out there who’ll use that moment against you.

Say it ain’t so, Joe

It pains me to say this, but I must reiterate what I believe remains the case to this day.

Democrats need not look to old warhorses to salvage their political fortunes, which means to me that former Vice President Joe Biden shouldn’t be a candidate for his party’s presidential nomination in 2020.

I say this despite my affection and respect for the former vice president. I’ve long admired his tenacity, his passionate patriotism and his sense of collegiality and comity. He served in the U.S. Senate for 36 years before joining the Democratic Party ticket led in 2008 by his Senate colleague, Barack H. Obama.

I believe still that Democrats need to find a newcomer to the national scene. I believe also that the nation has become afflicted with Clinton Fatigue, which means Hillary Clinton also is out of the presidential political game.

It appears to me that Democrats would do well to look for someone who is as unknown to the public as Jimmy Carter was in 1976. The nation was starved back then for a fresh face and they got one when the former Georgia governor climbed to the top of the party’s primary fight.

Vice President Biden has said publicly that he hasn’t ruled out a 2020 run. He was thought to be a possible candidate in 2016, but at the end had to stand down, given his intense grief over the death of his son Beau and his inability to commit fully to a presidential campaign.

Biden has been openly critical of Donald John Trump. Hmmm. Imagine that. So have many others. The ex-VP has spoken out strongly, much like another former veep — Dick Cheney — did during much of President Obama’s time in office.

But I don’t believe a Biden presidential campaign is going to serve the party well. Democrats would do well to find a fresh face, with fresh ideas to challenge a Republican Party that has been hijacked by a president who came into power knowing not a damn thing about how to govern the greatest nation on Earth.