Tag Archives: Barack Obama

How many more ‘worst weeks’ can POTUS endure?

It’s been said over the past couple of days that Donald J. Trump’s list of “worst weeks of his presidency” has become too numerous to count. Suffice to say that the week just past likely qualifies as his last “worst week.”

They rioted in Charlottesville, Va., over a Confederate statue. A young woman — someone who was there to protest the neo-Nazi/Klan/white supremacists who objected to the removal of the statue — was run over in what has been called an act of “domestic terrorism.” The president first blamed “many sides” for the violence; then he blamed the KKK and neo-Nazis for it; then he blamed “both sides” and accused the “alt-left” of provoking an angry response from the Nazis/KKK.

It got real crappy for the president.

A new week is about to convene for the commander in chief and he’s got a chance — or so it appears — to do something right. He’s going to speak to the nation at 8 p.m. (CDT) Monday to announce a new “strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.”

We’ve been at war in Afghanistan for 16 years, the longest stretch of open warfare in the nation’s history. The 9/11 terrorists declared war on the United States and President Bush responded quickly. The war continued through his two terms and through two terms of Barack Obama’s presidency.

What is the current president going to tell us? Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis would reveal it. He chose wisely to leave it to the president to make his own announcement.

What should Trump do? My sincere hope was that we could end the contest in Afghanistan. That won’t happen. The war we’ve fought there hasn’t produced the ironclad strength in the government we installed when we threw the Taliban out of power in 2001.

The nation will wait to hear from the president about how he intends to continue prosecuting this war. That’s his call.

I’ll just ask one favor: Please, Mr. President, stick to the issue at hand and spare us yet another boasting of how smart you are, how rich you are, how many “really smart people” surround you, and how you won the presidency against all odds.

We’ve got young Americans in harm’s way, Mr. President, and now is the time to present yourself as a commander in chief who knows what the hell he’s doing.

Ah, yes, more ‘fake news’ from POTUS

Mr. President, you have put forth yet another lie.

Doggone it, sir! I cannot let this one go.

You keep attaching the pejorative term “fake news” to the media and your political foes, but you have turned fake news into an art form.

The terror attack in Spain prompted another careless, reckless response from you, sir. Let me remind you of what you tweeted: Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!

Did you say at that hideous press event the other day that you like to “get the facts straight” before you make a statement? Yeah, you did.

The tweet about Gen. Pershing, Mr. President, is a lie. You defamed the memory of one of our great national heroes all in the name of making some sort of stupid and ridiculous point about the nature of the terror attack that killed at least 13 people in Spain.

That fake story you told during the campaign about Gen. Pershing dipping bullets in pig’s blood and then shooting Islamic prisoners to death is a lie. It didn’t happen. So, you told the lie once again today. You put out fake news. You are a habitual, pathological liar. You, Mr. President, disgrace the office to which you were elected.

You not only defamed Gen. Pershing with that hideous story, you accused him of committing a horrific war crime.

I’ll attach how the National Review reported what you said, in case you haven’t seen it. It’s not often that I agree with the National Review, but we’re on the same page on this one, Mr. President. They can’t stomach you as president; neither can I. Nor can the hefty plurality of Americans who voted for Hillary in the 2016 election.

You keep demonstrating time and time again your total unfitness for high political office.

Fake news? You keep blathering that line at any opportunity.

Well, I got my fill of your so-called “fake news” long ago. The Barack Obama birth issue; the Muslims supposedly cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11; the “millions” of illegal immigrants voting for Hillary; your insistence on voter fraud throughout the nation.

They’re all lies. They’re all “fake news.”

You should be ashamed of yourself. Except that shame requires a conscience. You are sorely lacking in both.

We aren’t born to hate

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…”

— Former President Barack Obama

The 44th president of the United States fired this brief message out via Twitter over the weekend.

And what a weekend it was.

A riot broke out in Charlottesville, Va. Three people died as a result of the violence that erupted when white nationalists protested the taking down of a Confederate statue.

Obama’s presidential successor, Donald John Trump, had a chance to lead in the moment. He whiffed. He blew it. He choked.

Then came this tweet from Trump’s immediate predecessor. It has become the second-most “liked” tweet in Twitter history. I’ve been hooked up to Twitter for about five years, so I don’t have deep knowledge of the history of this social medium.

But the former president is so very correct. We aren’t born to hate. It is — if you’ll pardon this expression — a “learned” behavior.

Children who instinctively play with anyone are “taught” by their elders — be they parents, extended family or other so-called “adults” — to mistrust others. It’s a disgraceful, disgusting and so very dishonorable thing to teach our children.

As I look at the above quote from the former president, I am torn by conflicting emotions.

* One is to wish he could return to the post he had to surrender under the rules set for by the U.S. Constitution. I am longing for some semblance of dignity and decorum from our head of state. We aren’t getting anything of the sort from the man who now occupies the presidency.

* The other is to be glad for the president and his family to be away from the spotlight. They stood under the glare of the nation’s highest office for eight years. I am quite certain that historians will judge Barack Obama eventually as one of our nation’s most consequential and successful presidents — despite the partisan battles he fought virtually every step of the way.

Yes, these emotions are fighting with each other. I am afraid the first one — wishing for presidential dignity — is winning the fight.

Name the ‘enemy,’ Mr. President

Oh, how quickly some of us forget what we say.

Donald John Trump Sr., while campaigning for the presidency, excoriated President Barack Obama for his refusal to say three words in sequence: radical Islamic terrorists.

How can we know against whom we are fighting, he said, if we don’t call them out by name? The former president said he didn’t want to associate the terrorists with a religious faith, saying that they ignored the teachings of Islam, that they are thugs and murderers.

Well, guess what, dear reader. The 45th president of the United States committed precisely the same error of omission by refusing to call out the goons who provoked the riots in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend and who themselves committed acts of domestic terrorism against their fellow Americans.

Trump instead equivocated in a disgusting manner by condemning what he called “violence and hatred on many sides.”

Mr. President, you failed yet another key test of leadership by failing to acknowledge that the white supremacists who gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee were the provocateurs. They were the instigators of the riots. Their message drips with hate, with intolerance, with bigotry.

The president needed to call them out. He needed to mention the words “white supremacist hate groups.” The president needed to do the very thing for which he was critical of his predecessor.

If we’re going to fight against hate groups, then call them all out! By name! Can the president make the same argument to shield white supremacists and racists that his predecessor did regarding international terrorist organizations?

Does he dare do so?

Trump trudges along lonely path

I’ve written already about how Donald J. Trump belongs to an exclusive club. He’s one of six men alive today who’ve held the office of president of the United States.

He’s now in the midst of a potentially catastrophic international crisis involving North Korea and its budding nuclear weapons program.

Has the president called any of the five men who preceded him? Has he sought their counsel, their advice, their wisdom in how to handle this situation, or himself?

You can stop laughing now.

The 45th president’s non-relationship with the 44th president is most puzzling and troubling, although it shouldn’t be too surprising. Barack Obama sought to provide a smooth transition. Trump and Obama met for the first time in the Oval Office shortly after Trump’s election. Trump said they got along well. “I like him and I think he likes me,” Trump said.

It went downhill from there.

The president thinks highly of himself. He has great internal faith in his ability to solve any problem, quell any crisis that comes his way. The men who preceded him all were “losers.”

Trump’s presidential isolation goes against tradition. Imagine that.

John F. Kennedy sought Dwight Eisenhower’s counsel during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Harry Truman faced crises in Europe after World War II, so he called Herbert Hoover for advice. Obama had to help Haiti recover from a devastating earthquake, so he enlisted George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to assist in that effort.

The norm has been that these men rely on each other to provide advice and counsel that only they are qualified to provide.

The president won’t change his ways. That’s a given more than 200 days into his administration. It merely speaks to the arrogance of a know-nothing who has at his disposal the collective wisdom of individuals who faced their own share of crises — and who might have something of extreme value to pass on.

Donald Trump won’t listen.

To borrow a word: Sad.

‘Hoax’ probe of Trump now is getting quite serious

This is a mere hunch.

When a special counsel orders an unannounced search of a home for evidence of possible crimes involving the president of the United States, then I believe we have a serious investigation under way.

Federal agents barged into the home of former Donald J. Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. They collected information and evidence allegedly related to the probe being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The president, let us remember, has said all along that Mueller’s probe is a “witch hunt,” that it is a “hoax,” that the whole “Russia thing” matter is a creation of Democrats who are still steamed at losing the 2016 presidential election.

The search conducted two weeks at Manafort’s home suggests something quite different. It represents a potentially stunning turn in the probe into whether Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election were done in collusion with the Trump campaign.

Is there an obstruction of justice charge on its way? Might there be an actual violation of the law to be discovered?

Yes, this investigation is still in its infancy. Mueller is known as a meticulous lawyer. He has hired a crack legal team. He is a former FBI director who served under presidents of both major political parties: George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama.

Is this man capable of conducting a “hoax” investigation?

Hmmm. I, uh, don’t believe so.

Now that we’re talking about presidential vacations …

Presidential vacations usually aren’t the stuff of water-cooler tittering, unless the president is a blowhard who brags about “never” taking them, only to bail from the White House for 17 days.

Donald John Trump Sr. is spending two-plus weeks away from the office at the “dump” where he and his wife and son reside. He’s playing some golf in Bedminster, N.J. — and doing some presidential duties.

The subject of vacation destinations, though, does become a bit of a media issue from time to time, depending on the destination itself.

Barack H. Obama was fond of vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., during the summer; then he would jet to his hometown of Honolulu for his annual Christmas vacation. The media loved covering the president while he was on vacation.

Bill Clinton also enjoyed Martha’s Vineyard. George H.W. Bush had his family estate on the Atlantic shore in Kennebunkport, Maine. Ronald Reagan spent quality time at his Rancho del Cielo, just outside of Santa Barbara, Calif. Jimmy Carter would go back to Plains, Ga. Gerald Ford had his digs in Palm Springs, Calif. Richard Nixon enjoyed time away at San Clemente, Calif.

I skipped mentioning George W. Bush’s vacation spot for a reason. I want to discuss it briefly here.

President Bush was fond of going to Crawford, Texas, during the heat of the summer. It gets really hot in Central Texas, man! He has a ranch there and he’d venture onto the Back Forty to “clear brush” and perform assorted chores around the place. He found it invigorating and relaxing.

The White House media corps assigned to cover the president routinely reported on the miserable weather conditions in Crawford. One didn’t hear such gripes from the media when they covered presidential getaways at, say, The Vineyard, Waikiki or the rocky Maine coast.

This is worth mentioning, I suppose, in the wake of Donald Trump’s constant yammering about President Obama’s vacations and the now-debunked notion that the current president wouldn’t be taking vacations. He would be too hard at work trying to “make America great again.”

Just as media coverage of G.W. Bush’s vacations centered heavily on the Central Texas heat and the misery of reporters assigned to cover the president, I reckon the current president’s vacation coverage will center on just how much actual work is being done while he’s relaxing with his golf buddies.

C’mon, Mr. President … you’re on ‘vacation’!

What in the world is up with the White House’s word games?

The flacks at the White House keep insisting that Donald John Trump isn’t on “vacation.” They keep telling the media that he’s working his backside off. He’s got meetings scheduled. His national security team is nearby. The president is actually “working” while he plays golf at his Bedminster, N.J., club.

Indeed, the president himself has tweeted that he isn’t actually on vacation.

Look, I’m of two minds on this matter.

First, I don’t give a rip whether he goes on vacation. I’ve said repeatedly over the years that presidents are never off the clock. I do not mind if they take some time away from the Oval Office. They’re entitled.

Trump really is no different. He’s on call 24/7. He has to be ready to respond to a national or international crisis on a moment’s notice.

Secondly, though, we have this other matter: Trump insisted repeatedly while campaigning for the office in 2016 that he wouldn’t have “time for vacation.” He kept insisting that he built his business empire without taking vacations. He doesn’t need them as president, either.

He also was critical of President Barack Obama’s vacations.

So … I guess that’s why the White House flack machine keeps playing this semantic game by suggesting the president “isn’t really taking a vacation.” Disregard those pictures we’re seeing of Trump riding around in a golf cart, wearing his golf gear.

Knock it off! Call it what it is. The president is on vacation! The more the president and his flack team say othewise, the more attention they draw to the president’s ridiculous assertions that he’d “never” take time away from the office.

Stand tall, proceed Special Counsel Mueller

Robert Mueller doesn’t need an encouraging word from little ol’ me out here in Flyover Country, far from the halls of power in Washington, D.C.

I’ll give him a few of them anyway.

Mueller is up to his eyeballs in probing “the Russia thing” that cost James Comey his job as FBI director … when Donald John Trump Sr. fired him. Mueller now owns the title of special counsel and he has assembled a team of crack lawyers to probe whether Trump’s campaign worked in cahoots with Russian hackers seeking to meddle in our nation’s electoral process.

Trump, of course, is calling it all a “hoax,” a “witch hunt,” an “excuse” for Democrats who are angry about losing the 2016 election to Trump.

It is none of the above, largely because of Mueller.

The special counsel once ran the FBI himself. President George W. Bush appointed him to the FBI post in 2001– one week before 9/11! He served his 10-year term and then was asked by President Bush’s successor, President Barack Obama, to stay on for additional two years. Think about that. He gets selected by a Republican president and then is asked to stay on by a Democrat.

He left office and then went into private practice. Then came a new presidential administration. The new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, decided to recuse himself from anything having to do with Russia. A deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, then appointed Mueller to be the special counsel, to take charge of this investigation.

His appointment was hailed by Republicans and Democrats alike, who all sang in perfect unison about Mueller’s integrity, his knowledge of the law, his professionalism and his honesty.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans now are lining up against any attempt Trump might mount to remove Mueller. They want him on the job. They want him to ferret out the truth. They want this guy to finish the task he has been given.

The only people who are disparaging Mueller happen to be the president of the United States and his closest White House advisers — some of whom happen to be members of the president’s family.

I’ve said before that if the president believes Mueller is marching down a blind alley, that he shouldn’t have a thing to worry about. Let the investigation proceed and then breathe a heavy sigh if it produces zero criminality. Might that be a reasonable posture for the president and his team to take?

Instead, they are seeking to undermine the man’s work and his reputation. Accordingly, Donald Trump disgraces himself and his high office every time he opens his trap.

Robert Mueller needs to complete his investigation. This American patriot — yours truly — has complete faith in his ability to do the job he has been assigned.

If only Trump weren’t so critical of others

I am a bit reluctant to say anything critical about Donald J. Trump taking a vacation.

He’s the president of the United States. He’s never “off the clock.” He travels with a personal aide who carries the nuclear launch codes. His family is protected 24/7 by Secret Service agents. The president is merely a phone call away from being briefed on any crisis that erupts without warning. He’s got stay on his toes at all times. Be nimble. Be ready to react and respond.

The president is never not the president, even when he is relaxing with his family and friends.

I’ve defended presidents of both parties for as long as I can remember over criticism of their vacations.

Then again …

This president has popped off incessantly about vacations. He tweeted something critical in 2011 about President Barack Obama taking time off from the rigors of his office. Trump stated via Twitter: “@BarackObama played golf yesterday. Now he heads to a 10 day vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Nice work ethic.”

Sheesh, man!

He has said publicly that successful businessmen and women don’t need vacations. Their work should be their relaxation, he has said.

However, he’s taken plenty of time away from the office during his still-brief time as president. Much of that time has been spent at his Florida resort and at his club in New Jersey.

As The Associated Press reported: “Don’t take vacations. What’s the point? If you’re not enjoying your work, you’re in the wrong job,” Trump wrote in his 2004 book, “Trump: Think Like a Billionaire.”

Read the AP story here.

So he’s going to flout his own advice. He’s going to fly to his private golf club in New Jersey for 17 days. It’s a good thing, too.

Repair crews are going to fix the heating and air conditioning system at “the dump” where he lives during the week, meaning the White House.