Tag Archives: CBS News

Stick to things that really matter, Mr. POTUS

Dan Rather has it right when he lambastes the president of the United States over a ridiculous message sent out via Twitter regarding — and this is rich! — comments from the world’s greatest professional basketball player, LeBron James.

Rather, the one-time CBS News anchor, said this, also via Twitter: This is apparently what the President of the United States feels the need to share with the world at what should be long past his bedtime? It’s a disgrace. It’s racist. And it’s the product of petty but dangerous hatreds. I repeat this is the PRESIDENT??!?

Trump had posted this message: Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Yep, the commander in chief, the leader of the free world, the head of state of the world’s most indispensable nation is concerning himself with some comments that LeBron James has made about the president.

Read The Hill story here

Did I mention that James has just opened a new school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, giving at-risk kids a chance to achieve greatness? There. I just did.

Or the fact that James is married to his high school sweetheart, has been faithful to her over many years of marital bliss? That, too.

Yes, James — as well as CNN news commentator Don Lemon — happen to be African-American. So that means that POTUS, the liar in chief, feels compelled to question their intelligence. Is it just a coincidence, too, that Trump has singled out African-American football players for their decision to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem at the start of football games? I, um, think not.

Disgraceful.

Some perspective, please, on GDP numbers

Donald J. Trump is damn proud of the Gross Domestic Product report given this week, showing the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent.

Good news, yes? Sure it is! It’s even great news! But hold on, Mr. President. It ain’t “historic,” as you contend.

And, in fact, the rate of growth might not last, thanks to the trade war the president has launched with, oh, Canada, Mexico, China, the European Union … and maybe even the outer planets of our solar system.

As CBS News is reporting, the president didn’t inherit a “fixer-upper economy.” He took command of an economy in good condition. It has been on an upward spiral for, oh, the past eight years.

However, the president yet again took pains to disparage the growth rate during the Obama administration years. And, as is the norm, the criticism of President Obama’s handling of the economy was incorrect.

As CBS News noted: While Mr. Trump praised the 4.1 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter, the economy exceeded that level four times during the Obama presidency: in 2009, 2011 and twice in 2014.

The latest numbers are quite good. There’s no mistaking it. Are they sustainable? The trade war impact on various economic sectors will reveal that in due course.

In the meantime, the president and his team — who gripe about Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicting their critics — should check their own vital signs to see if they can ever shake their Obama Derangement Syndrome symptoms.

Putin surely ordered the ’16 election attack

Donald J. Trump has been fielding some direct questions to which he is offering some strangely oblique answers.

CBS News anchor Jeff Glor asked the president whether he thinks Vladimir Putin is “responsible” for the 2016 attack on the U.S. electoral system by Russian goons.

Trump’s answer has me scratching my noggin. Sure he’s responsible, Trump said, because “he’s the leader of his country” just as Trump is the leader of this country.

Huh? That’s it?

Actually, the consensus among the nation’s intelligence community has been pretty forthright: Vladimir Putin ordered the attack; he called the shots.

The CIA, FBI, National Security Agency … all of ’em … say the same thing. Putin was up to his armpits in this undeclared war against the U.S. electoral process.

So, for the president to pass it off solely as a function of Putin’s standing as the “leader of his country” once again demonstrates what many of us already have feared. Putin has cast some sort of spell over the Trump.

Or, he’s got some goods on the president. Allegedly. Maybe. Possibly.

I’m getting antsy. I hope the special counsel, Robert Mueller, finishes his investigation sooner rather than later.

Trump polls are up? We’ll never hear the end of it

CBS News is about to join Fox News as a news outlet that Donald J. Trump won’t label as a “fake news” purveyor.

A new CBS poll shows the president’s poll numbers rising. Indeed, in New Hampshire — the state that conducts the nation’s first presidential primary election every four years — Trump trounces Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Arizona U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, two men who are thought to be considering a challenge of their fellow Republican.

As CBS News reports: Republican voters have had two years of watching Trump as a candidate and president and husband and Twitterer and embarrassing, tantrum-throwing child and—to their credit or shame—they’ve decided to stick with him. It truly is Trump’s party, and every other Republican is just renting space.

So unless Robert Mueller drags him out of the Oval Office by his artificially-golden locks, Trump will be on top of the ticket in 2020.

My hope all along has been that Democrats need to find a new face, a candidate with a new approach and ideas and someone who at this moment isn’t on most people’s radar. Democrats aren’t listening to little ol’ me, according to CBS: And what are the Democrats giving him? Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Oh, and Nancy Pelosi just promised “I’m not going anywhere,” while Congressional Democrats are debating what they want to do first once they take back the House: Impeach Donald Trump, or pass new gun control laws?

By every historic measure, President Trump should be the Walking Dead of American politics. But put him up against a Democratic campaign of “Pelosi, Pocahontas and Impeachment!” and he may walk right back into the White House.

I’ll concede the president’s uptick in the polls. But no one is asking me what I think.

Whatever fate awaits the president if he is able to finish his term, any effort by him to win a second term in the White House will never include a vote from yours truly.

You think you ‘know’ someone …

I have been watching and listening to Leslie Stahl for decades. The CBS News correspondent has filled me with information about the nation and the world.

She’s a regular on “60 Minutes,” where she explores in greater detail the issues of the day and the people who shape them.

You think you know someone in that venue. Then that someone reveals a totally other side. You get smacked in the face with something you’ve known all along, that these news “celebrities” are more than images on a TV screen.

Stahl writes about the joys of grandparenthood. She is speaking directly to me and to my wife.

Here’s the essay she wrote for the Sunday New York Times. Just click on the first three words of the preceding sentence.

Oh, how I relate to all she said.

Stahl, though, has an advantage over my wife and me. She gets to see her grandbaby regularly. I’m going to presume her grandchild lives nearby. We aren’t yet at that stage of grandparenting. Our precious little one lives some distance away from us, so we don’t see her nearly as often as we want.

However, that will change in due course — if you get my drift.

Stahl’s essay touches on so many aspects of grandparenthood to which we are looking so forward to enjoying. I said earlier that Stahl speaks directly to me; I won’t presume to speak for my wife, as she hasn’t seen Stahl’s essay yet. It’s kind of like the way the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” spoke to me. The family depicted in the film didn’t resemble my old-country Greek family members precisely. But there was enough symbolic resemblance to laugh hysterically at them in the film.

Stahl notes in her essay how some grandparents don’t want to be called “Grandpa” or “Grandma.” They somehow refuse to acknowledge the obvious, which is that they are aging. Stahl writes: “Given the intensity of grandparent love, I’ve been surprised by how many people cringe at the idea of being identified as a granny or a gramps. There’s fear of a stigma, a penalty to being seen as ‘that old.’”

My own view? Bring it on!

As Stahl writes: “When we grandparents are in the lives of the children, they get adoring, unconditional love, the parents get free child care, and we, the grannies and pops, rather than getting older, feel younger, healthier and happier. Everyone wins.”

Boy, howdy!

POTUS admits it: He is without principles

Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States, made what sounded — to my ears at least — like a confirmation over the weekend of what many of his critics have been saying since he began running for the office to which he was elected.

He seems to have acknowledged that he doesn’t have any principles. He lacks any core beliefs for which he would stand and fight.

When pressed by CBS News’s John Dickerson on “Face the Nation,” Trump blurted out that “I don’t stand by anything.”

Well. There you go.

Dickerson sought to press the president on the unfounded allegation he leveled that President Barack Obama wiretapped his campaign office. Trump declined to answer — and then he ended the interview.

The president’s remarkable acknowledgment came amid a flurry of media interviews that included untold numbers of bizarre assertions that demonstrated a number of qualities about this man: He knows next to nothing about U.S. history, about the government over which he presides and about the world through which he must navigate.

I keep coming back to the “I don’t stand by anything” statement.

Oh, man. That speaks volumes to me. What it means, I believe, is that anything that flies out of his mouth is fair game in the moment. It means that we have an unprincipled carnival barker sitting behind that big Oval Office desk and in the Situation Room. He is making decisions based on whatever someone tells him in real time and that he will not stand for anyone seeking to hold him accountable for anything he has said previously.

Hillary won the popular vote because of illegal ballots? Obama wiretapped his campaign office? Kim Jong Un is a “smart cookie”? John McCain is a war hero only “because he was captured”? Barack Obama is an illegal alien who wasn’t qualified to run for president? The media are “the enemy of the American people”?

Does he believe this horse manure? Or does he just say it because he has this insatiable desire to stir things up?

Donald Trump has just settled a serious talking point at only the 102nd day as president. He has just admitted that he is an unprincipled charlatan.

I won’t say “I told you so.” Oh, wait! I just did!

Sean Hannity ‘bad for America’?

I feel the need to take issue with legendary newsman Ted Koppel, who believes a notable Fox News commentator is “bad for America.”

The target of Koppel’s epithet is Sean Hannity, the well-known conservative provocateur and gabby apologist for Donald John Trump.

Koppel scolds Hannity

Koppel told Hannity to his face — on a “CBS Sunday Morning” segment — that he is a bad influence on listeners to his radio show and viewers to his TV show. Hannity’s response was on target, in my view. It was that viewers/listeners know when they’re listening to opinion or straight news.

Given that Hannity is not a journalist by training, he spouts opinion on the air. I get that. As I’ve always said … and this is the clean-up version: Opinions are like certain body orifices; everyone has one.

Do I think he’s “bad” for the country, that he somehow poisons Americans with his right-wing dogma? Not really.

You see, we all have choices. I’ve made my own as it regards Hannity. I don’t listen to his radio show or watch him on TV. I know what he thinks. I disagree with him. I choose instead to listen to more thoughtful conservatives. A number of them come to mind.

If I want to hear an analysis from a smart conservative, I’ll look elsewhere.

Hannity? He’s simply a blowhard.

Not feeling good about potential for Trump trouble

My proverbial trick knee has been quiet of late. I haven’t felt it throbbing in some time.

It’s beginning to send me some signals. I don’t like the message the throbs are sending.

They’re telling me that Donald J. Trump’s troubles are just beginning, that all this Russia chatter has the potential of blowing up badly. There well might be a good bit of collateral damage if it does.

Dan Rather, the former CBS News correspondent/news anchor, thinks the “fuse has been lit” and it’s likely to explode.

Yes, I know that CBS essentially fired Rather after that bogus report he delivered about former President George W. Bush’s National Guard service. But Rather has covered more than his share of political scandals in his lengthy career as a broadcast journalist and he doesn’t like what he’s seeing develop with regard to the president and his possible relationship with Russian government officials.

There have been meetings with Russian envoys, allegedly during the 2016 election. The Russians reportedly tried to influence the election outcome. The Obama administration leveled sanctions against the Russians. The meetings involving Trump campaign officials well might have related to those sanctions.

The national security adviser has been fired. The attorney general has just recused himself from any investigations involving the president and Russia. There are questions swirling all over the nation’s capital about who knew about the Russian contacts and when they knew it.

There seems to be no end — none! — to the inquiries that might swallow up the new president’s administration.

That ol’ trick knee of mine is throbbing. I hate it when it throbs like that. It’s beginning to give me the heebie-jeebies about what might lie ahead for our brand new government.

As Rather wrote on his Facebook page: “We are well past the time for any political niceties or benefits of the doubt. We need an independent and thorough investigation of Russia’s meddling in our democracy and its ties to the president and his allies. We don’t know what we don’t know.”

It’s the temperament, man … the temperamant

I’ve been trying to determine when I’ve ever seen a president of the United States treat the media in the manner being displayed by the current one.

I cannot remember a single time. Not even during President Richard Nixon’s time in the White House.

Donald Trump has shown utter contempt and disrespect for the men and women assigned to cover the White House for their various news organizations.

It manifests itself when he gets a question he dislikes. He tells reporters to “sit down, that’s enough” when they seek to elaborate on their question, to fill in a blank or two. No, the president will have none of it.

Forget for a moment that he calls them “dishonest” out loud, in public, to their face … and then expects these fellow human beings to treat him with kid gloves.

The disrespect — as I’ve witnessed it — is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed, even from afar.

If we march back through time — starting from Barack Obama and going backward — I cannot remember a president acting the way this one does in front of the media.

There was one memorable, testy exchange in the 1970s between then-CBS News correspondent Dan Rather and President Nixon. The president was getting entangled in the Watergate scandal and Rather asked him a pointed question. Some members of the press gallery chuckled, some even clapped. Nixon asked Rather, “Are you running for something?” Rather responded, “No, Mr. President, are you?”

Presidents usually have strained relations with the media. They dislike negative coverage, as does any politician — no matter what they might say. As I’ve watched presidential/media relationships from a distance over the years, I have noticed a sometimes cool cordiality between the Big Man and the media that cover him.

What we’re getting now is open hostility and an exhibition of extremely bad manners from the guy who needs the media as least as much as they need him.

I’m trying to imagine what will occur if and/or when the crap really hits the fan at the White House. I fear the president will go berserk.

Didn’t someone mention temperament as a quality we look for in a president of the United States of America?

The Dossier: It’s ba-a-a-a-ck

I am still trying to figure this one out. So, too, are federal and international law enforcement authorities.

Donald J. Trump went ballistic not long after becoming president at media outlets that reported the existence of a “dossier” that allegedly had been compiled on him. The president called out CNN in particular for being a “fake news” outlet because it reported the existence of unsubstantiated reports contained in this dossier.

Now it appears the dossier’s existence might be gaining some credibility among law enforcement spooks.

Some truth is in order. The issue centers on some information reportedly compiled by a British spy alleging that Russian authorities had some negative information regarding Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

The curiousness of all this seems to center on Trump’s dismissal of allegations that Russian government hackers were trying to influence the 2016 presidential election at the time CIA and other intelligence agencies were saying they had proof that such activity was occurring.

The arc of this ongoing story might find its way back to the president’s continued refusal to release his tax returns for public review.

I have no clue where this story will end up. It frightens me that it might produce some ghastly information regarding Trump’s business interests inside of Russia and whether they involved direct dealings with a government that might have tried to manipulate our electoral process.

Trump, of course, denies any business dealings with Russian government authorities. He asks us to believe him, to take him at his word. Sure thing, Mr. President … just like you want us to believe the baloney about “millions of illegal immigrants” voting for Hillary Clinton or the lie you perpetuated about Barack Obama being born in Kenya..

Let’s get to the whole truth.