Tag Archives: China

Sen. Cruz is breaking his silence on Trump and election interference

What do you know about this?

Ted Cruz, who I dislike intensely in his role as the junior U.S. senator from Texas, is speaking out — finally! — on this matter of election interference from foreign governments.

Cruz, the Republican firebrand who nearly lost his seat in 2018, now says that foreign governments have no place in our nation’s electoral system. None, man! He has been critical of Donald Trump’s asking for electoral help from China and Ukraine.

According to the Texas TribuneDuring an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Cruz said no foreign government should be involved in American elections.

“That’s true for all of them,” he told moderator Margaret Brennan. “It should be the American people deciding elections.”

OK, so he hasn’t yet declared that Donald Trump needs to get booted out of office because of his solicitation of help from foreign governments. However, his statement — in my view — marks an important turning point in GOP reticence regarding the president’s current difficulties.

Trump is facing increasingly probable impeachment by the House of Representatives over issues relating to foreign interference in our elections. Cruz isn’t likely to join his Democratic colleagues in calling for Trump’s impeachment, conviction and ouster. However, at least The Cruz Missile is standing on an important principle that has been lost on the president.

What’s more, Cruz told Face the Nation that Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, needs to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in connection with reports that the former New York City mayor met with Ukrainian officials about Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Is the senator signaling a turn against a president — who he once called a “sniveling coward” and an “amoral” narcissist who is unfit for the presidency?

I won’t bet the mortgage on it. Then again … stranger events have occurred.

Trump ‘jokes’ about asking China to ‘investigate’? Uh huh, sure

Donald “Knee Slapper in Chief” Trump just keeps cracking me up.

He strolls out onto the White House lawn and after revealing that he asked Ukraine for help in investigating former VP Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, he calls on China to do the same thing.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t see him winking or smirking when he said it. Gosh, he seemed quite serious about it. Didn’t he seem that way to you as well?

He’s in some scalding water at the moment because of his solicitation of foreign governments to help him get re-elected and do destroy the candidacy of someone who might run against him in 2020. House Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry and are going to impeach the president, maybe quite soon.

Oh, but now Trump’s GOP allies in Congress say he was just kidding. He didn’t really mean for China to investigate anyone, especially the former vice president of the United States.

  • U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan refused to answer a direct question Sunday morning about whether he thought it was appropriate for Trump to solicit help from China.
  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Trump merely is trying to get the media riled up.
  • Sen. Roy Blunt said the president was kidding; he was making a joke.

Man, the president has to improve on his comedic timing.

Oh, but he wasn’t kidding. Any dunderhead observer who saw him make that statement didn’t presume Donald Trump was merely making a bad gag.

Trump: the gift that keeps giving

The Stable Genius who masquerades as president of the United States is leaving a bread-crumb trail that is leading straight toward impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Donald Trump today — in full view of the entire world — called on China and Ukraine to investigate Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter, over business dealings that Trump has characterized as “crooked.”

I need to mention that the elder Biden is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and might face off against Trump next year during the 2020 presidential election.

So, there you have it, loudly and clearly and with no ambiguity.

The president of the United States has solicited another foreign government to help him win re-election. Sound familiar? Well, yes. It does! He got that kind of help from Russia during his winning presidential campaign in 2016 against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Man, on man. This guy is off his rocker.

He is now openly abusing the awesome power of his office for personal political gain. There can be no pretense. There can be no need to put “alleged” or “allegedly” in front of reports that Donald Trump has enlisted the aid of foreign governments.

This is astonishing, incredible, mind-blowing — just name it.

The idea that Trump would seek help from a authoritarian power such as China to investigate a U.S. citizen is utterly and completely beyond the pale.

If there is any doubt that the president deserves to be impeached for abusing his office, I believe he has just emptied the gasoline can over an already raging political wildfire.

POTUS needs to work on his comedic timing

“It was sarcasm.”

That’s how Donald Trump has described his much-derided remark that he is the “chosen one” to deal with China and to wage a knock-down trade war with the Asian economic powerhouse.

Critics have said the remark revealed some sort of “messianic complex” in the president, given that he did look to the sky when he made the statement to a gaggle of reporters at the White House.

I’ve seen the incident in question a few times. I don’t yet know what he meant when he said it. Was he joking or was he making some sort of statement about being selected by God Almighty to wage a trade war with China?

I’ll just offer this observation. If the president was “joking,” he needs to work on his comedic timing. The humor of the statement was lost on many of us who saw it.

Trump orders businesses to do what?

I am running out of ways to express my astonishment at Donald Trump’s categorical ignorance of the limits of the office he occupies.

The president of the United States has gotten so damn angry with U.S. businesses that he has actually ordered them to stop doing business with the People’s Republic of China.

Trump has this teeny-tiny problem staring him in his orange-hued face, however. It’s that thing called the U.S. Constitution. I’m pretty sure the nation’s governing document doesn’t give the president the authority to issue such an order.

The president’s power is limited for a reason. The founders who wrote the Constitution did not want the nation’s chief executive to wield dictatorial authority. They were smart in that way, you know. They were the direct descendants of those who fled tyranny in Europe. Indeed, the founders were so angry with England’s King George III that they decided to revolt against him and to form a nation and a government that did not place such ham-handed power in a single individual.

So what’s the deal with the 45th president? He already has declared a trade war with China. He has imposed tariffs that will harm U.S. consumers. China is responding with tariffs of its own on U.S. products. The result of this chaos has sent investors into frenzied, frantic panic.

Now the Goofball in Chief is “ordering” business moguls to stop trading with China?


Has the dictator gone MAD?

Kim Jong Un certainly must know why they called it “mutually assured destruction” back during the Cold War.

Surely he understands that MAD means what it assures, that anyone who launches a nuclear missile at a nuclear power is going to get wiped off the face of the planet.

The MAD policy prevented a nuclear holocaust when the world comprised just two superpowers. U.S. presidents and Soviet dictators knew the consequences of such foolishness.

But … here we are. The North Korean dictator/fruitcake/goofball keeps making some, oh, so very provocative statements about how he would respond to U.S. attempts to prevent him from developing a nuclear-strike capability.

Kim Jong Un said he would launch a missile at the USS Carl Vinson carrier battle group that is steaming (finally!) toward the Korean Peninsula. He keeps arguing that his nukes are for “defensive purposes only,” meant to deter some perceived aggression from South Korea.

It’s all just so much MADness coming out of the mouth of the son and grandson of two prior North Korean dictators.

This brings me to my point. All the bluster and bravado that pours out of Kim Jong Un’s pie hole cannot actually mean he would he do what he says he would do. Or can it?

Military rivalries are nothing to trifle with. I recall vividly a statement I received from a Taiwanese government official with whom I was discussing the tense standoff that exists between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China.

The PRC has long threatened to use military force to “take back” the island nation formed in 1949 at the end of a bloody civil war on the Chinese mainland. Would the PRC actually risk nuclear confrontation with the United States, which has a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan?

The Taiwanese official said his government takes any threat from China “very seriously” and was prepared to respond accordingly.

So should the United States be prepared to respond to the rantings of the North Korean MADman.

They call it “MAD” for a damn good reason, Mr. Dictator.

Trumpkin to Trump: Don’t compare us to China!

I have a lot of friends in the Texas Panhandle who are Trumpkins, devotees of Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States.

No surprise there, eh? The Panhandle voted about 80 percent in favor of the Republican president, which is about normal for this region of the country.

One of those Trumpkins traveled recently to China, spending two weeks in the People’s Republic, touring the giant nation north to south.

We spoke about his trip upon his return to the United States and he offered an interesting and — to my ears — welcome rebuke of Trump’s longstanding assertion about the United States.

Trump insists he will “make America great again.” He peddles ball caps with that message on them. His ardent followers cheer for his exhortations while wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the mantra.

My friend said China in no way compares to this country. He talked of the massive cities containing tens of millions of residents in each of them. “Four hundred square feet” is considered a roomy apartment, he said. Chinese are stacked on top of each other. They ride around on packed buses. “I didn’t see any ‘neighborhoods,'” my friend told me.

“I don’t ever want to hear Trump try to compare us to China,” he said. “There is no comparison!”

As for the ongoing declaration about “making America great again,” my friend speaks with utmost clarity. “America is great!” he told, with his voice rising. Yes, pal. I get it! I agree with you! I disagree with you fella, Trump!

Well …

It seems that at least one Trumpkin hasn’t quite swilled the entire jug of Kool-Aid.

U.S., Vietnam enter new partnership


Who would have thought that two nations that killed thousands upon thousands of the others’ citizens could reach this point?

The United States has lifted its 50-year-long arms embargo against Vietnam.

My initial reaction: Wow!

President Obama went to Hanoi over the weekend and announced the lifting of the embargo. He’s thinking strategically, of course. Vietnam has grown quite concerned about China’s increasing aggressiveness in Southeast Asia. For that matter, U.S. officials are concerned as well.

So, the arms embargo will enable U.S. manufacturers to sell weapons to Vietnam, giving that country some needed assistance in case China decides to take its aggressiveness to another, more dangerous level.


Forty-one years ago, North Vietnamese tanks and other armored vehicles rolled into Saigon, stormed the presidential palace in what was then South Vietnam. Troops struck the South Vietnamese flag and ran up the communist flag in its place.

The war ended right then.

However, it has continued to simmer at some level in the hearts of many Americans.

Frankly, I am one who is glad to see this relationship take the next logical step. We’ve already restored diplomatic relations with our former enemy; that rapprochement took 20 years since the end of the shooting.

The president has opened the door to Cuba, another nation with which we had zero relations for more than five decades. You’d have thought, listening to critics of that deal, that Obama had signed a pact with Satan himself.

However, we never went to all-out war with the Cubans. We did go to war with the Vietnamese and it cost both nations dearly.

Does this shore up our alliance structure in a part of the world that President Obama has placed greater emphasis? One can hope so.

It also sends a clear message to China, with which Vietnam also has gone to war in recent years.

It’s far better to have the Vietnamese on our side in this dicey world of geopolitical maneuvering.


Complicated relationship may get really testy


The world is full of complicated bilateral relationships: Greece and Turkey, India and Pakistan, Israel and Egypt.

A pair of nations, though, may have witnessed an event that makes their stunningly complex relationship even more so.

Taiwan has just elected its first female president, Tsai Ing-wen. It’s not her gender that complicates matters. It’s her longstanding support for something that sends government officials in the People’s Republic of China into orbit: Taiwanese independence.

Tsai leads the Democratic Peoples Party, which long has advocated that Taiwan declare its independence from the PRC.

However, there’s this tiny problem (actually, it’s huge). China considers Taiwan to be a “renegade province” that belongs to the mainland government, the communists who took over the country in a bloody civil war right after World War II.

The Kuomintang, which governed China, fled to Taiwan in 1949 and set up a new government.

For more than six decades, China has declared it wanted Taiwan back. Meanwhile, Taiwan grew into a powerhouse nation all on its own, independent of China.

Tsai’s victory isn’t likely to produce a declaration of independence in the next week, month or perhaps even a year from now.

However, it strains to the max a relationship that had been showing signs of thawing in recent years.

Allow me a bit of personal privilege here.

I’ve visited Taiwan five times as a journalist, dating back to 1989. I returned in 1994, 1999, 2007 and 2010. I have seen a country that has grown tremendously just since my first visit.

Taiwan had functioned under martial law until 1989. The ruling party felt it necessary to impose strict curfews and restrictions on its citizens, given the tremendous threat of violence posed by the giant neighbor on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

The island has functioned famously since martial law was lifted.

But the threat of military action persists. The Taiwanese officials I have visited over many years have told me they take those threats seriously and have built a muscular military apparatus quite capable of inflicting damage on any nation in the world. The Taiwanese also have a defense pact with another significant nation: the United States of America, which has pledged to come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of war with, um, the PRC.

President-elect Tsai isn’t likely to do anything rash. At least that’s my hope.

Taiwan already is shut out of virtually all international associations: the United Nations evicted Taiwan in 1971 when it admitted the PRC; the United States severed official diplomatic relations with Taiwan when it recognized the PRC; the World Health Organization bans Taiwan’s participation.

The international community follows what’s called a “one-China policy,” meaning that the only “China” it recognizes is the big one, the PRC.

That’s all fine, except that Taiwan is, well, Taiwan. Most of its 24 million residents were born on the island and they have diminishing links with the mainland.

Yes, Taiwanese still speak Chinese. Their names look and sound Chinese. However, the country has developed into an entity that — for all intents — is independent already from China.

The problem remains, though, that it cannot declare officially its independence as long as those big, bad commies on the mainland keep threatening military action.

As China has shown over many years, it doesn’t like being lectured by other nations about how to conduct its affairs.

You want complicated? This Taiwan-China thing goes beyond my understanding of the word.

U.S. need not continue pointless embargo

The United States embargo against Cuba did not work.

It won’t work in the future.

So, the president of the United States made a calculation: If the sanctions are being enforced by just one nation in the world, ours, what is precisely the point of continuing a policy that the entire rest of the world is ignoring?


Let’s put it another, harsher, way: One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

OK, our Cuba policy wasn’t exactly insane. It just nutty.

The Cuban people deserve to be free. President Obama has declared his intention to keep applying the pressure on Cuba’s leaders to give Cubans basic human rights that others in civilized nations ought to enjoy. The best way for the United States to apply that pressure is to engage the Cubans directly through diplomatic missions. So, let’s start that project.

Our non-relationship has lasted 50 years. It began when the Cold War was going full bore. That “war” has ended. Cuba is a Third World country that does business with Canada and Mexico, North America’s other two giant nations. It also does business with virtually the entire world.

Only the United States enforces this so-called “embargo.”

It is good that we end it. The sooner the better.

As the president noted, if we can engage nations such as China and Vietnam — two nations we have fought on the battlefield — surely we ought to do the same with Cuba.