Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Facts are facts, period, Mr. Mayor … really!

Rudy Giuliani seems to have swilled Kellyanne Conway’s potion that allows for the belief in “alternative facts.”

Conway is the White House senior policy adviser to coined the “alternative facts” gem while responding to questions about then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s various assertions about this and that.

Now we have Donald Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that “nowadays … facts are the eyes of the beholder.”

Whoa! Hold on, Mr. Mayor.

From where I come from, facts are facts. There can be disputing the nature of facts. You either tell the truth or you lie.

Giuliani was responding to questions from Cuomo about the president’s harsh words about another former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman.

Giuliani made the “eye of the beholder” crack, to which Cuomo reminded him that there’s no such qualifier involved with “facts.”

As USA Today reported: Whether intended in humor or not, the former New York mayor’s remark feeds into a perception among critics that the Trump administration often rejects objective facts and tries to confuse the public about what is true. 

Trump’s rejection of facts dates back at least to his refusal to accept that former President Barack Obama was a U.S. citizen despite being presented with conclusive evidence.

If all this idiocy didn’t involve the very credibility of our head of state, I would be laughing my behind off.

I’m not laughing now … any more than I laughed at Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” nonsense.

This is a ‘disaster,’ Mr. President?

Take a good look at the graphic just below these few words. They tell me a fascinating story about the “disaster” Donald Trump says he inherited when he was sworn in as president of the United States.

It’s a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. I get that some of Donald J. Trump’s “base” will dismiss the poll because of some phony “liberal bias” issue folks will say skew these numbers. In reality, Pew is a legitimate polling outfit and first-class think tank that offers analysis across the political spectrum.

Confidence among these five key allied nations of the United States has plummeted since Trump became president. The biggest decline in confidence comes from Germany, which registered an 86 percent approval rating during the Barack Obama years, but has fallen to just 11 percent during the Trump era. Might there be some German anger over the way Trump has treated Chancellor Angela Merkel?

It does seem a bit weird that Trump kept yapping about inheriting a “disaster” when took office. The polling here among these five key allied nations suggest something quite different. Make no mistake: It does matter what other nations think of this country and its leadership.

I’m led to conclude that Donald Trump brought the “disaster” with him into the White House.

Do we need tape recordings to prove racist view?

Omarosa Manigault Newman has dropped a few stools in the punch bowl regarding her former boss and (apparently) former friend, Donald John Trump.

She says she has heard tape recordings of the future president using the n-word to describe “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants. He account has been backed up by illusionist Penn Gillette, who says he heard Trump say it in the moment.

She’s written a book about her time as a special White House assistant, a post she left when chief of staff John Kelly fired her. Newman recorded the termination that occurred in the Situation Room, which is a serious breach of national security protocol. That, however, is a whole other story.

But I have to ask: Do we really need to hear these recordings to verify what has been virtually obvious? I mean, consider the following.

  • Trump fomented the lie about our first African American president’s place of birth.
  • He also challenged Barack Obama’s academic credentials that admitted him to Harvard Law.
  • Trump denigrates the intelligence of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, CNN News anchor Don Lemon and pro basketball superstar LeBron James … all prominent African American public figures.
  • The president calls NFL football players protesting police brutality — the players are virtually all black — “sons of bitches.”
  • And all the while, he declines to issue a categorical condemnation of white supremacists, Klansmen and neo-Nazis.

Does the president refer to white critics as being less than intelligent? Why in the world did he continue to promote the defamatory lie that questioned President Obama’s constitutional right to seek the presidency? And why can’t the president bring himself to condemn hate groups such as the Klan exclusively? He recently watered down such “condemnation” with that sterile “all types of racism” qualifier.

Again, I ask: Do we really need to hear these recordings to validate what many millions of Americans — including me — believe about the man who’s been elected president of the United States of America?

This individual is a racist.

Let’s compare apples to apples

Five days ago, Donald J. Trump posted a message on Twitter that proclaimed for the umpteenth time that his poll numbers are “better” than those posted by former President Obama.

He wrote: Presidential Approval numbers are very good – strong economy, military and just about everything else. Better numbers than Obama at this point, by far. We are winning on just about every front and for that reason there will not be a Blue Wave, but there might be a Red Wave!

The raw polling data can be disputed. However, I feel the need to look briefly at the comparative moments in time of both men’s presidencies.

Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009 while the nation’s economy was in free fall. Banks were closing. Investment firms were collapsing. People were losing their jobs by the thousands daily.

By August 2010, the economy had not yet made the turn, but it was starting to show signs of life. It got so good that Obama was re-elected in 2012 and the jobless rate continued to decline right up until the end of his presidency.

Enter Donald Trump, who took the oath on Jan. 20, 2017. The economy was in far better shape than it was when his immediate predecessor took office.

I give the president credit for the great job numbers that have accrued since he took office. But it’s good to understand that he started with a much higher benchmark than the one Obama inherited eight years earlier.

I just hope that Trump’s damaging trade wars with the EU, China, Canada and Mexico don’t undo much of the good that has occurred. I fear there the damage is beginning to stretch our economy at the seams.

Birtherism falls along racial lines

Now that some of us have raised the “racism” issue as it concerns Donald Trump’s pointed — and quite specific — criticism of African-American political foes, I want to revisit the issue of “birtherism.”

Trump made a lot of noise years ago about whether Barack Obama was qualified to run for president. He based his questions about the lie that Obama was born in Kenya. Therefore, he couldn’t run for president because, according to the U.S. Constitution, Obama wasn’t a “natural-born” citizen of America.

Obama, of course, was born in Hawaii in 1961. He said so at the outset. He finally produced a birth certificate to prove it. That wasn’t good enough for Trump and many others.

Why did Trump and others continue to foment the lie?

Uhh, let me see. Oh, I think it’s race. Obama’s father was a Kenyan. His mother was from Kansas. Dad was black; Mom was white. Get it?

Now, for the other noted “birther” case. It involves U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who ran against Trump for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2016.

Cruz actually was born outside the United States. He was born in Canada. His father is Cuban. His mother is an American.

Sen. Cruz was able to quell the questions with a simple — and generally accepted — interpretation of the Constitution. Since his mother is a U.S. citizen, Baby Ted became a U.S. citizen immediately upon his birth. Therefore, he qualifies as a “natural-born” citizen simply because of his mother’s citizenship.

Hey, that same logic works for the former president, too. His mother was a U.S. citizen, making him an American the moment he came into this wold. Except that wouldn’t fly in the minds of his critics … and that includes the president of the United States.

And all of that presumes he was born somewhere other than the United States! He was born in the U.S.A., but the questions continue to linger even to this day among most Americans who consider themselves to be Republicans.

Is race a factor? Hmm. I believe it is.

Just wondering about bipartisan endorsements

Presidents proclaim their desire for bipartisanship. Yes, I am inclined to include even Donald John Trump in that notion.

There, that all said, what might happen if former President Barack Obama — who this past week issued his first round of endorsements ahead of this year’s midterm election — had decided to throw in a token Republican?

He would have been excoriated as a political traitor, a turncoat, a panderer.

Yes, such an endorsement would have been virtually unprecedented.

The former president went with an all-Democrat slate of endorsees. That’s fine. It’s expected.

It all changes, though, when presidents take office and bemoan the lack of help from “the other party” when they seek to get legislation approved.

What we have here is a never-ending conflict between the partisan goal of electing those of your own party and the act of governing with members of both political parties.

Wishing a former governor could weigh in on DACA

I am quite aware that Rick Perry’s job as energy secretary inhibits the areas on which he can comment publicly. He is limited to talking about energy policy.

You see, he also is a former Texas governor who — if memory serves — got into some hot water with hard-line conservatives within his party because of his relatively generous views about undocumented immigrants.

The Republican governor used to support the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants who grew up in Texas, who came of age here, to enroll in colleges and universities while paying in-state tuition rates. Those rates are considerably less expensive than those who live out of state and who choose to attend higher education institutions in Texas.

Thus, I wish the former governor could speak out against the notion of ending the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, which is what the Trump administration — which Perry now serves as energy boss — wants to eliminate.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office is going to court next week to continue the fight on behalf of the Trump administration.

As the Texas Tribune reports: On Aug. 8, federal District Judge Andrew Hanen will hear the state’s request to have the program preliminarily halted while the issue meanders its way through the federal court system. The hearing comes nearly a year after President Donald Trump promised to end DACA in September by phasing it out over six months. But three different courts have since ruled that the administration must keep the program —which protects immigrants brought into the U.S. as children from deportation and allows them to obtain a two-year work permit — intact for now.

DACA was created by the Obama administration. It is intended to grant temporary reprieve from deportation of those who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. Many DACA recipients came here as babies; they know only life in the United States. They need not be deported, given that many of them already have established themselves as de facto citizens of this country.

Donald Trump wants to eliminate it, seemingly only because it was left over by the presidency of Barack Obama.

If only the secretary of energy, Rick Perry, who was right about his more humane view of how we treat these immigrants could be heard within the president’s inner circle.

Beto and Barack vs. Cruz and The Donald?

Barack H. Obama has issued his first round of Democratic Party endorsements in advance of the midterm election.

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Beto O’Rourke no doubt was wanting the 44th president to endorse his candidacy against Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. He didn’t get it.

Some of my Republican-leaning social media acquaintances have reminded me that the ex-president stiffed O’Rourke. I’ll answer them here: The Obama endorsements are likely to be followed by another round prior to the election.

It’s fair to ask: Do these endorsements really matter? Does an endorsement from a president who lost Texas by double digits in 2008 and 2012 pack enough political ummpph to carry Beto O’Rourke across the finish line ahead of the Cruz Missile? That’s problematic at best.

I would pay real money, though, to attend a campaign rally featuring Barack Obama. Now that I live in Collin County, just one county north of Dallas County — which Obama won in his two presidential election bids — there is at least a remote chance he might come here to campaign for Beto.

As for the GOP side, I am wondering about whether Donald Trump will stump for Sen. Cruz. He well might harbor some reticence. Why? Cruz did say some really harsh things about his then-Republican Party primary foe — that would be Trump — back in 2016. He called Trump “amoral,” a “pathological liar” and a guy with zero decency.

Cruz has taken a different tack, naturally, since then. But that other stuff is still out there in the public domain. It provides ample grist for foes to use against Cruz. And against Trump, for that matter.

Yesterday’s ‘fib’ becomes a full-blown ‘lie’

It’s hard to remember at times how the media used to treat Donald J. Trump’s penchant for prevarication.

They called his truth-twisting mere “fibs.” Or “misstatements.” Or they used similarly tepid terminology.

Then he got elected president. His telling of fiction continued.

It finally dawned on media members. The president was lying, as in knowingly disseminating false information.

I will admit to being among those who initially were reluctant to use the “L-word” in describing Trump’s unwillingness to tell the truth. I won’t say he is “unable” to speak truthfully; I believe he is fully capable of telling the truth but he merely chooses to lie.

I am not going to equate Trump’s lying to what many conservatives accused former President Obama of saying as he sought to defend the Affordable Care Act. Obama had said Americans could “choose their own doctor” under the ACA; it turned out to be untrue. Did the president lie, as in knowingly say something he knew to be false? I do not believe that’s the case; I happen to believe the president made that statement believing it to be true.

Trump’s lying comes from a different source. His lying is pathological, as former Republican Party presidential primary opponents such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz have described it. That doesn’t excuse him from speaking falsely.

He stands before the nation and makes false statements about:

The size of his electoral victory, the nation’s economic growth, the state of the nation when he took office, his toughness with Russia, wiretapping of his campaign office in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin coming from illegal immigrants voting for president … and, oh yes, Barack Obama’s place of birth.

And on it goes. The lying never stops.

The lies have piled up from the moment he entered the world of politics in June 2015, at the moment he rode down that escalator at Trump Tower.

The media were slow on the uptake at first. They have wised up, awakened and are now calling these falsehoods what they are.

They are lies. The president is a liar.

Liar in Chief: the real enemy of the people

Of all the hypocritical utterances that have poured out of Donald J. Trump’s mouth since he became a politician, the one that continues to gall me in the extreme is his ongoing epithet that the media comprise “fake news” and are the “enemy of the people.”

The very idea that the president of the United States, one of the godfathers of the “birther” movement, would use the term “fake news” to reporters who are doing their job.

And for the president to describe the media as the “enemy of the people” is dangerous on its face, and not just to individual reporters, but to one of the bedrocks of our democratic system.

Trump and the New York Times’s publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, met recently to talk about the president’s ongoing bullying of the media. Trump tweeted out yet another irrational tirade against “fake news.”

My goodness. How in the world does this individual look at himself in the mirror?

He has lied continually. The birther movement was intended to question whether Barack Obama was born in the United States; he was, but that didn’t stop Trump from continuing the lie. Fake news? There you have it.

He lied about witnessing “thousands of Muslims cheering” the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Trump lied about Obama ordering the bugging of his campaign office in 2016. He lied about millions of illegal immigrants voting for Hillary Clinton, giving her the 3 million popular vote margin over Trump.

He lies and lies some more.

To think that this individual has the unmitigated gall, therefore, to accuse the media of promulgating “fake news.”

Just who, I must ask, is the real “enemy of the people”?

It’s someone in power who would promote the lies that we have heard repeatedly since he began seeking the nation’s highest office.

Donald Trump is the enemy of the people he was elected to lead.