Tag Archives: Barack Obama

This is why Trump can’t stop criticizing Barack Obama

I am not the first person to say this, but I do believe I understand better now why Donald J. Trump cannot cease criticizing his immediate predecessor as president of the United States.

This video is from the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011. President Obama launched into a hilarious takedown of Donald Trump, who at the time was known primarily as the host of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Little did anyone realize in that moment that Trump would ascend to the nation’s highest office.

Maybe someone saw it coming. If they did, they were the smartest political prognosticators in human history.

But there’s something else worth mentioning about Obama’s performance that night. Earlier that day, he had issued an order to send Navy SEALs, CIA operatives, Army Green Beret pilots into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.

He went on the air the next evening to tell the world about the successful mission that eliminated the al-Qaeda mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

However, the president managed to keep it all to himself while skewering Donald Trump.

Accordingly, if I were Donald Trump and had been the butt of deftly delivered jokes by the president of the United States, perhaps I would be a little miffed, too.

I believe they would call it “envy.”

Stand firm, Ellen, in your friendship with ‘W’

I hereby endorse Ellen DeGeneres in her declaration that she is friends with former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush.

The comedian is taking flak because she happened to attend a Dallas Cowboys football game at AT&T Stadium, where she sat next to the former first couple, had a few laughs and enjoyed each other’s company.

DeGeneres noted out loud the other day that it does strange for a “gay liberal” such as herself to be friends with a “conservative” such as President Bush. Which makes me respond: So what? 

Ellen is taking heat from some in the entertainment industry. Actor Mark Ruffalo commented via Twitter that Bush’s policies are anathema to the “kindness” that DeGeneres mentioned in her comments about her friendship with “W.”

Look, I get it. I am not “friends” with the former president, although I have had the pleasure of meeting him three times over the years. The first time was on an elevator at the 1988 GOP convention in New Orleans; the second time was in 1995, when I interviewed the then-new Texas governor at his office at the State Capitol; the third time was in Amarillo in 1998 when he was running for re-election as governor.

My impression of President Bush is clear: He is the kind of guy I would love to have a beer with … except that he no longer drinks alcohol. He is affable, jovial, personable, humble and all-round good guy. His politics stink, but as Mitt Romney once said during the Al Smith Memorial Dinner in 2012 when he appeared on the same dais as President Barack Obama against whom he was running, “There is more to life than politics.”

So it is with Ellen DeGeneres and President Bush.

Stand firm, Ellen.

As if Sen. Cornyn needs to bend more to the right

I hear that Pat Fallon wants to run against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn next year.

Who is this guy Fallon? He’s a rookie Texas state senator from down the road in Prosper. He got elected to the Senate in 2018 by upsetting longtime Republican incumbent Craig Estes; Fallon is no political novice, though, having served in the Texas House of Representatives before moving to the other chamber at the other end of the State Capitol.

Fallon seems to think Sen. Cornyn isn’t conservative enough. He wants to steer public policy even farther to the right than Cornyn is willing to take it.

Hold on here! Cornyn, to my way of thinking, is pretty damn conservative. What in the world is young Sen. Fallon intending to do that Cornyn hasn’t already done?

Cornyn fought against the creation of the Affordable Care Act, along with everything else that President Barack Obama pitched during his two terms in the White House; he has resisted efforts to strengthen laws controlling firearms purchases; he is avidly anti-abortion rights; he stands pretty damn firmly in Donald Trump’s corner as the impeachment forces start gathering steam.

That isn’t good enough for Fallon … or so it might appear.

Fallon is a darling of what used to be called the TEA Party in Texas. The term “TEA Party” has fallen out of favor. It now operates under the name of the True Texas Project, apparently believing that only the most fervent right-wingers represent the “True Texas.” I happen to believe that is just so much horse manure.

As for Cornyn, he needs a strong challenger from the left, not the right. Cornyn has demonstrated, the way I see it, that he is as conservative in his thinking as almost any member of the U.S. Senate Republican caucus.

Fallon, for his part, sounds more like a stooge for Empower Texans, that ultra-right wing outfit led by Michael Quinn Sullivan, who’s waging a fight of his own with fellow conservative Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Good grief! Texas doesn’t need another GOP primary challenge to yank the state’s senior U.S. senator farther to the right. He’s already on the fringe!

There you go, Mr. POTUS, thinking of yourself

When an iconic figure in journalism passes on, it usually is expected that men and women in high places say something gracious and laudatory about the legacy of that iconic individual.

Legendary broadcast journalist Cokie Roberts died Tuesday of complications from breast cancer. She fought the disease hard and with maximum courage for many years. Her 75-year-old body gave out.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush offered high praise for her work. Obama referred to her blazing trails for fellow female journalists; Bush called her reporting “tough” but “fair.”

Donald Trump’s response? “She never treated me nicely,” he said, adding that she was a “professional” and he said he wanted to “wish her family well.”

So, there you go. The president thought of himself before offering a tepid platitude.

That’s always how it goes with this guy.

Stay focused on the crisis, Mr. President

If only you hadn’t popped off so brazenly when Barack Obama was serving as president of the United States, Mr. President.

But you did, accusing the president of playing too much golf while the world was spinning out of control.

So, what are you doing playing all that golf while the eastern coast of the country you were elected to govern is getting set to be hammered by a monster hurricane named Dorian.

I get that you canceled your trip to Poland to “monitor” the storm as it approached the United States. Yes, I wondered whether you were more concerned about Mar-a-Lago than the citizens of the country, but I’ll give you credit at least for staying in this country while the storm strengthened.

But for criminy sakes, Mr. President, you castigated your immediate predecessor for playing gold. You said you would be too busy making America great again to play any golf while you served as president. But your golf-playing schedule has gone far and away more than anything President Obama did.

Hey, I don’t actually begrudge your golfing holidays. I know that you’re always just a phone call away from the center of the storm — pun intended, for sure.

However, you keep talking about how things look, how they affect your standing. I do not believe the notion of your enjoying a round or three of golf while millions of your fellow Americans are hunkering down make you look good.

Not at all, Mr. President.

What the hell. I want you out of office after the next presidential election as it is. If only you would understand the damage you do when you say one thing and do something else.

You don’t understand anything. That’s the problem, Mr. President, with your holding that office in the first place.

Why the continual attacks on Barack Obama?

I feel like entering the discussion about whether Donald Trump is driven by some sort of racial animus against people of color.

Why now? Well, I keep hearing the president leveling gratuitous criticism of Barack H. Obama. He keeps yapping, yammering and yowling about Obama’s record, making untrue statements about whether Obama was “outsmarted” or overmatched when facing down world leaders.

He keeps trying to inflate his own record in comparison to President Obama’s two terms in office.

So I keep wondering, why does he feel the need to single out Barack Obama?

Is it because the black guy is smarter, more erudite, more nuanced, more sophisticated than he is?

Might it have something to do with the skewering Obama leveled at Trump a few years ago during the White House Correspondence Dinner, when Obama poked fun at Trump’s former role as host of “Celebrity Apprentice”? You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the president’s stand-up at the mic at Trump’s expense.

How does one explain Trump’s long-standing obsession with the lie that Obama was born in Kenya and was not constitutionally qualified to run for the office to which he was elected twice?

And how does one justify Trump’s phony assertion that Barack Obama didn’t perform well academically at Harvard Law School, or at Columbia University?

Trump now is president of the United States and he insists on mounting fraudulent attacks on President Obama. Does he beat the drum with the same frequency and intensity with, say, President Clinton, or President Carter, or President Johnson, or President Kennedy? No.

President Barack Obama gets the vast majority of Donald Trump’s barrages.

Is race a factor?

Hmm. Seems like it is to me.

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.