Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Is something wrong with the ‘Stable Genius’?

The man we have heard call himself the “Stable Genius” is making me re-evaluate my aversion to armchair/peanut gallery psychoanalysis.

Donald J. Trump’s recent “press availabilities” with the media have me wondering about the man. I am not qualified to offer any form of diagnosis of him. I do want to offer some observations about what I have seen and heard from the president of the United States.

It is troubling … to say the very least.

He stood in front of the helicopter the other day and went off on a riff about a lot of things and about a lot of people — chiefly his immediate presidential predecessor, Barack H. Obama.

He keeps saying Obama got “outstmarted” by the Russians when he got Russia kicked out of the G-8 ranks of industrialized nations; actually, the G-7 voted to boot the Russians out over their ongoing conflict with Ukraine. He made some idiotic reference again to the former president, saying that the Danes outmaneuvered him on some such thing; I don’t know what the hell he was talking about.

Then he spoke to some veterans and joked about wanting to award himself the Medal of Honor; does he not get how offensive such a “joke” is, given his history of draft evasion during the Vietnam War? Trump said he was open to considering universal background checks for those wanting to purchase firearms; then he appeared to back away from it. Trump keeps blaming Fed chairman Jerome Powell for allegedly hasty decisions regarding interest rates; POTUS just won’t own any part of the concerns being expressed about the future of the economy.

What is with this guy? These are just the latest among a lengthy series of weird statements and behavior. I have seen some psychiatrists seek to offer diagnoses at a distance. I get that they are trained medical doctors who can spot certain signs of something that over the rest of our heads. I admire their knowledge and their intellectual wattage, both of which dwarf my own.

But as I watch the president writhe, wriggle and rant these days as the presidential election year approaches, I am beginning to wonder if this guy is actually starting to panic. I’ve read the views of those who believe Trump didn’t expect to win the 2016 election and that his victory caught him by complete surprise. I also have heard those who believe that Trump’s ego won’t allow him to accept the possibility that he has failed at the job and that voters just might be wising up to his abject failures as a politician.

I am not prepared to even offer a wild-ass guess as to what might be wrong with this guy. I do wonder, though, whether the pressure of seeking re-election to a job that is way over his head is getting to him.

If so, is he up to doing the job?

Let’s remember, the “Stable Genius” is just an arm’s length away from those nuclear launch codes.

Obama won’t endorse in Dem primary? Smart move, Mr. President

Former President Barack H. Obama has made it clear: He will keep his hands off the 2020 Democratic presidential primary contest; there will be no endorsement coming from President No. 44.

Is that a slap in former VP Joe Biden’s face? Does that mean Obama secretly — or openly — wishes Biden wouldn’t run? No. Not in the least.

What it tells me is that the former president is keeping his options open while his fellow Democrats battle it out for the nomination and for the right to face off against Republican incumbent Donald J. Trump.

Obama is following a time-honored script. Don’t endorse in primaries; keep your cool; wait it out … and then offer your support to the nominee!

That isn’t how Donald Trump has handled a lot of down-ballot races, most notably starting with the 2018 Alabama U.S. Senate race. At first he endorsed incumbent senator, who then lost the GOP primary to that wacked-out judge, Roy Moore. Trump then endorsed Moore for election over the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones, who then defeated Moore in the 2018 general election.

Trump has gotten his finger nails dirty in other intraparty races, too.

It just isn’t customary.

Barack Obama must have a favorite or two among the Democrats seeking to run against Trump. He’s going to keep it to himself.

Can anyone blame him for wanting to keep his proverbial political powder dry? I cannot.

POTUS wants to ‘investigate everything’? Really?

Kellyanne Conway might be the worst liar since, oh, perhaps Donald John Trump.

The president’s senior policy adviser made some talk show appearances today and got asked about Trump’s decision to retweet that ghastly rumor that Bill and/or Hillary Clinton had a hand in killing financier Jeffrey Epstein, who reportedly hanged himself in that Manhattan jail cell; Epstein was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in sex trafficking of young girls.

Conway said the president merely wants to “investigate everything” in connection with the death of his former friend, Epstein — who also happened to be pals at one time with the former president, Bill Clinton.

So, Conway would have us believe that to further the search for the whole truth he chose to defame the former president and perhaps his wife — who happened to be Trump’s 2016 presidential election opponent — by spreading that ghastly rumor of alleged complicity in the death of Epstein.

Who in the world does Conway think she’s talking to? I mean, does she think all Americans are rubes and blind loyalists like so many of those who comprise the president’s fervent “base” of voters?

Let me give you my spin on it.

Donald Trump deals in innuendo. He doesn’t possess the necessary inquisitiveness that seeks the truth into anything. He has traded for longer than he has been in political life on stabbing others in the back.

Was he looking for the truth when he suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father might have been complicit in President Kennedy’s murder? Or when he fomented the lie that Barack Obama was not constitutionally qualified to run for president of the United States?

This individual is a liar and a fraud. He has surrounded himself with fellow liars and frauds. That includes Kellyanne Conway.

What about those DACA recipients?

You remember the folks who were granted resident status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, correct?

Yep, those are the DACA movement folks who have been swallowed up by the political debate over whether they should be deported to countries they’ve never known.

As the country writhes in pain over the latest spasm of gun violence, much of it aimed at Latin Americans who have come to this country, I want to revisit briefly an issue that seems to have been shoved under the bed.

Donald Trump rescinded Barack Obama’s executive order granting DACA status to those who came here as children when their children entered the country illegally. DACA recipients were deemed to be criminals, even though many of them came here as small children.

Many of them have come of age as de facto Americans. They have performed well in school. They have earned academic honors. They have succeeded in business. They have reared their own families.

Oh, but they are “illegal residents” of the only country they have known. Their country of origin is a foreign place. They have no ties to them.

I want the Democratic Party presidential candidates to speak more clearly about how we can settle this DACA matter. My own preference is for them to pledge to restore the DACA standing given them by President Obama. Allow them to work toward citizenship or permanent resident status. Do not deport them, sending them to countries for which they have no connection.

Yes, we need to discuss the shootings. We need to search for ways to end this violence. We need to stem the hate speech that prompted someone to murder those victims in El Paso.

We also need to find a solution to the DACA matter that lingers. Kicking them out of the country is no answer.

Mitch McConnell: Partisan hack demonstrates his hypocrisy

There well might be no more demonstrably partisan political hack in the U.S. Senate than the man who runs the place … and who has the gall to accuse politicians on the other side of playing politics.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked a bill that would seek to make our electoral system more secure and to prevent foreign hostile powers from hacking into our system.

Why did he do that? Because he says Senate Democrats have made it too “partisan.” They are “playing politics” with the legislation.

Wow, man!

Hmm. Let’s see how this works. Requiring paper ballots to back up the electronic ballots is “partisan”? Mandating that political candidates report to the FBI any suspected foreign-power interference is “partisan”?

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has stood with the Russians who did attack our election in 2016 and are likely to do so again in 2020. Trump’s partner in the Senate now is standing with him, declaring that Democrats are the partisan hacks.

Let’s flash back for a moment to 2016.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died while vacationing in Texas. The conservative icon’s body barely had gotten cold before McConnell declared that President Obama — serving his final full year in office — would not be allowed to seat a justice to replace the conservative icon, Scalia.

Obama ended up nominating Merrick Garland, an eminently qualified jurist. Garland didn’t get a hearing. McConnell was at his obstructionist worst in blocking Garland’s nomination and in denying President Obama the opportunity to fulfill his constitutional responsibility.

So now the majority leader calls Democrats the partisans? He says Democrats are playing politics with an electoral security bill?

The man’s hypocrisy takes my breath away.

Another bin Laden is wiped out … hooray!

Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden and a reported “heir” to the terror group al-Qaida leadership is dead.

That’s according to U.S. officials who today declined to give any details on bin Laden’s death, or whether the United States played a role in the individual’s demise.

Donald Trump said simply “I don’t want to comment on that” when asked by reporters to comment. That’s OK, Mr. President. No need to speak out just yet.

Hamza bin Laden’s death, if true, marks another milestone in the nation’s ongoing war against terror groups that have declared their mission to be to bring harm to Americans and others around the world.

On May 1, 2011, when U.S. special forces killed Hamza bin Laden’s father in that spectacular raid in Pakistan, President Obama told the world that Osama bin Laden was not a “Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.” His son, Hamza, was cut from the very same blood-stained cloth as his old man.

Now he’s dead. That’s my hope. I also hope that the United States military did kill him. May he rot in hell.

POTUS: Do as I say, not as I have done … for decades!

Oh, Mr. President, you just cannot stop tripping over yourself.

Your statement issued over the weekend that The Squad shouldn’t criticize the presidency, the nation, its policies flies directly in the face of your own personal history.

You tell the four Democratic congresswomen with whom you have been feuding that they need to quell their criticism. They shouldn’t speak ill of the government, you say. They shouldn’t speak out against our nation’s policies. You tell them, essentially, to keep their mouths shut.

Then you say they owe you, the nation and the rest of Americans and apology for all those criticisms they have leveled.

Are you serious, Mr. President?

What in the world did you do for decades? You did precisely the very thing you accuse Reps. Alyanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of doing?

Many of us remember the epithets you hurled at President Obama, at Hillary and Bill Clinton, various local officials at several levels of government. You have called previous presidents “stupid.” You have slung intensely personal insults at presidents and senior Cabinet officials.

Hey, Mr. President, I am just one of your constituents out here, but I think I speak for others who wonder the same thing. You, sir, lack the moral standing to instruct anyone else on how to conduct themselves as it regards those in power.

You have spent a lifetime leveling intense — and often deeply personal — criticism of others.

Now you expect four freshmen members of Congress to clam up just because you tell them to do so?

You cannot possibly be serious.

Trump: It’s either support me or ‘hate’ for America

Donald Trump is quadrupling — maybe even quintupling — down on this hideous feud he has launched against four freshman members of the House of Representatives.

He told the four congresswomen that they could return to where they came from if they didn’t like the country they were elected to serve in Congress. Most Americans believe the Twitter tirade was racially/ethnically/religiously inspired. Three of the four congresswomen were born in the United States, making them every bit as American as Trump; the fourth came here as a pre-teenager from her native Somalia.

He is not letting up. Trump said Tuesday that the congresswomen “hate” the country. They “hate” American values and want to “destroy” the nation as we’ve known it.

Here is what I heard him suggest: Either you agree with me or you must hate the country.

This is utterly, profoundly, astonishingly ignorant. Donald Trump is suggesting that you either support him wholeheartedly or you want to turn the nation into some sort of socialist enclave.

Wow!

Donald Trump is accusing his critics of doing precisely what he did four years ago when he declared his candidacy for president.

Have the Trump legions been afflicted by acute amnesia? Do they not remember what this carnival barker said about President Obama? Do they not recall the intensely personal criticism he leveled not just at Obama, but also at President George W. Bush, President Clinton?

Indeed, this con artist ran a campaign based virtually exclusively on righting what he called the “stupidity” of previous presidents’ policies. Let’s not forget, too, that he did all this against the backdrop of his fomenting the lie that questioned President Obama’s birthright as a U.S. citizen.

So, for the president to say today that you’re either for him or against our nation is to imply that he, too, hated the country four years ago when he sought to be elected president.

I’ll say it once more: Donald Trump is unfit for the office he occupies.

Dissent, protest … so very American

Donald Trump is accusing four freshman members of Congress of “hating” the United States, of “hating” Israel and of speaking ill of the country they purport to love.

They need to go back to where they come from, says the president of the United States. If they don’t like it here, they are “free to leave,” he says.

Oh, my. I am going to respond this way: Shouldn’t Donald Trump, while running for the presidency in 2016, followed such advice when he was trashing the policies of the man he sought to succeed?

The president has declared rhetorical war against Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio -Cortez. They’re all Democrats, all women of color, all U.S. citizens. They’ve been vocal in their criticism of Trump and his policies.

The president has launched a frontal attack on all of them.

But to my point: Donald Trump called our political leadership “stupid” while running for president in 2016. He lambasted our national trade policies, our national defense policies, our economic policies. Beginning in 2011, he became a chief proponent of the lie that President Obama was not constitutionally qualified to serve in the White House, referring to phony allegations that Obama was born in Africa. He questioned Obama’s academic credentials, even suggesting that Obama never even attended Harvard University, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review.

Did anyone ever suggest that Donald Trump should “go back to where he came from,” or from where his mother emigrated?

No. Nor should they.

Trump was entitled under the rights granted by our Constitution to criticize the government, even if he was incorrect in his criticism. The four women he is challenging today are equally qualified to criticize government policies.

The president’s utter and unmistakable lack of self-awareness is on full display as he criticizes four duly elected members of Congress for doing the very thing he did while he ran for the only public office he ever has sought.

Amazing.

Trump ends radio addresses … does anyone care?

First, I will make an admission.

I rarely listened to a presidential radio speech as it was being broadcast. I do so maybe twice dating back to the Reagan administration (1981-89).

Presidents dating back to Franklin Roosevelt — who revived the tradition when he took office in 1933 — would record these messages to be broadcast across the country.

President George H.W. Bush didn’t follow up on President Reagan’s consistent delivery of the message. Then came Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama, all of whom were faithful to the habit of talking to Americans directly over the radio airwaves about policy matters.

Donald Trump, though, has tossed the practice aside. Are you surprised? Neither am I.

He relies on Twitter to announce policy decisions, usually with mangled syntax, misspelled words, lots of capitalization and extraneous punctuation.

I find it mildly distressing that Trump would discontinue the weekly radio speechmaking. After all, they have been known to make a bit of news. Media report on what the president says and on occasion they might say something newsworthy enough to make us sit up and pay careful attention.

Trump sees, I’ll presume, as a waste of time. Probably like those daily presidential national security briefings he once told us he didn’t need to hear. He asked, rhetorically, “What’s the point?” He had no need to listen to someone on his national security team tell him something he said he already knew, Trump said.

I mean, he did tell us he knew “more about ISIS than the generals.” Isn’t that what he said?

Being something of a presidential traditionalist, I would prefer a return to the weekly radio speeches, rather than the Twitter tirades that are replete with misspellings, assorted nonsensical rants and, oh yeah, a total absence of credibility.