Tag Archives: Christmas

That’s showing ‘respect,’ Mr. President?

Donald Trump must have been kidding when he issued that Christmas statement calling on Americans to treat each other with “respect” and “understanding.”

That’s all I can think when I read the Twitter rant he fired off about California and New York’s homeless problems and how the governors of those states should ask the federal government “politely” for help in dealing with the problem.

Trump said this, for instance: “If their governors can’t handle the situation, which they should be able to do very easily, they must call and ‘politely’ ask for help. Would be so easy with competence.”

That’s the Christmas spirit, Mr. President.

He called Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California “incompetent.” He said the homeless populations in both states are setting records. The president implied that the feds won’t lift a finger unless the governors show some manners in seeking help.

I don’t mean to suggest that I actually took Trump’s Christmas message all that seriously. He doesn’t exhibit any semblance of sincerity when he makes such proclamations. How can anyone believe he means those words when the first lady’s “Be Best” campaign against bullying ignores the president’s incessant bullying via his Twitter account?

He’s doing it again and again, this time aiming his ire at the governors of two of our United States.

I should point out that homelessness is not unique to those two states. Texas also has a big-time homeless problem. The difference? Texas is governed by a Republican; New York and California are governed by Democrats. Therefore, Democratic governors become fair game while Republican governors are protected by their party affiliation.

Perhaps we should just implore the president to dispense with the shallow holiday messages about “respect” and “understanding.” He doesn’t mean what he says, so … why bother?

How does POTUS find time to tweet like that … when he’s ‘working’?

Donald Trump visited on Christmas Day via laptop computer with troops overseas. He wished them a Merry Christmas and told ’em he was at Mar-a-Lago, the resort he owns in Florida.

He said he spends his time there “working.” Hmm. It got me thinking just a bit.

How does the president of the United States find time to fire off dozens of Twitter messages each day when he’s busy making America great again? Or solving the myriad problems he found on his desk when he took office? Or dealing with trouble spots around the world? Or looking for ways to put America first?

How in the world … ?

I guess perhaps the president mighta been, um, lying to the service personnel with whom he spoke when he said he was busy “working” at the glitzy resort where he spends a lot of his time.

You’ll recall, I’m sure, how he said he wouldn’t have time for golf once he became president. That turned out to be a false statement, too. His golf outings at various Trump-owned properties have totaled something on the order of $118 million; the cost covers security, transportation to and from the locations and assorted ancillary expenses.

Trump’s time working hasn’t interfered with his golf fetish. Understand something: I don’t begrudge the president playing golf as he is always “on the clock.” What is maddening is how he insisted repeatedly that he wouldn’t do such a thing. It’s the lying about it that I find so troubling.

So now he’s telling the troops in harm’s way he’s busy working at Mar-a-Lago, all the while firing Twitter rants about “evil Nancy” Pelosi, Democrats, the House that impeached him and the “hoax” investigations that have put many key aides in prison.

Weird.

Trump seeks ‘deeper undertanding and respect’? Wow!

Donald Trump issued a Christmas statement in which he did something truly remarkable.

The man who bullies incessantly, who hurls epithets, insults and innuendo indiscriminately has called for a greater emphasis on understanding and respect.

To which I say: Holy moly, man!

Trump wrote:

“While the challenges that face our country are great, the bonds that unite us as Americans are much stronger. Together, we must strive to foster a culture of deeper understanding and respect — traits that exemplify the teachings of Christ.”

Of course he is right. However, that it would come from someone whose tenure in the only public office he ever sought has been marked by incivility, disrespect and an abject lack of understanding is startling to the max.

Oh, my.

Merry Christmas, Mr. President

I had thought about going easy today on Donald J. Trump, given that it’s Christmas and all of that. I am having fun today with my family gathered around. We’re set to have a lot of laughs and good cheer.

Then the president opened his mouth about Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, impeachment and how much his foes hate him. He said that after he spoke from Mar-a-Lago, Fla., to troops stationed overseas, in harm’s way, fighting to protect us against the evil forces that threaten us and the rest of the world.

OK, I won’t wade too deeply into the weeds with this post. I’ll continue to go easier on Donald Trump than I otherwise might be inclined to do.

I just wish the president could set all that partisan bickering nonsense aside for a day. He can’t do it.

I realize I have allowed myself to get sucked into that nastiness sausage grinder on occasion, even during holy holidays.

I’ll just leave it at that.

Today is a joyful day. I intend to keep a smile on my face all day. I might even keep smiling when the sun comes up in the morning.

Merry Christmas, everyone … and to you as well, Mr. President.

Christmas tinged with a touch of apprehension, but a lot of joy

We will awaken in a few hours to yet another Christmas. We won’t have snow on the ground here in North Texas; indeed, the weather forecasters are telling us we’ll have a warm Christmas this year.

That’s all right with me.

Our family is here. We will enjoy seeing them all. We’ll have plenty of laughs. We’ll unwrap some gifts. We’ll express gratitude in some fashion through the day for the reason we celebrate this particular holiday. It’s a holy time as well as a festive time. We’ll mix it all up into a hodge-podge celebration.

It also will deliver us partially from the tension that is building within the halls of power within our federal government. There is no total escape from what is transpiring in Washington, D.C., and at this moment in the states and congressional districts where our elected representatives have fanned out to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah with their friends and loved ones.

They’re likely to get a gut full from their constituents before they return to work. That’s why we pay ’em the big bucks. It’s a big part of why they rake in 175 grand each year. We pay them to listen to our complaints.

And, yes … presidential impeachment is on many of our minds. Even now. Even while we celebrate holy holiday. Even while we should divorce ourselves from the tribulations that are bedeviling our government and the officials we elect to run it on our behalf.

As for my family and me, we’re going to kick back, chill out, enjoy the holiday, enjoy each other, get hugs from our granddaughter and laugh out loud at what we’re all going to say.

The rest of it will be waiting for us when the season passes. At this moment, late in the day prior to Christmas, I won’t be in any rush to let this joyful time pass.

Evangelical movement showing signs of splintering

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

If the soon-to-be-former editor in chief of Christianity Today has accomplished anything with his scathing critique of Donald J. Trump, it is that he has revealed deep divisions within the evangelical movement and its love-loathe relationship with the president of the United States.

Mark Galli wrote an editorial condemning Trump, calling for his removal from office on the grounds that he is “profoundly immoral.” Galli, who is retiring soon from his post, calls the impeachment of Trump a deal-breaker, saying that the articles of impeachment suggest a president with no moral character.

Other evangelical leaders have rushed to Trump’s defense. One of them is Franklin Graham, the son of Christianity Today’s founder, the late Billy Graham. Others have joined in as well, condemning Galli for challenging Trump, who many say has done more for the issues friendly to evangelicals than any president in modern history.

The evangelical Christian movement, therefore, is having a serious debate within its ranks that, as I see it, mirrors what is occurring across the nation along more secular/political lines.

This is a healthy development within a key Trump constituency.

I credit Mark Galli for breaking this matter open, for exposing the divide for the rest of us to witness in real time.

And yes, there is a certain irony that this debate is occurring at this holy time, as Christians around the world celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. It might be that was Galli’s intent all along, to publish the editorial, to provoke this discussion at this time of the year.

If that’s the case, then all I can add is this: well played, sir.

I want to share the editorial with you one more time. Take a look.

Merry Christmas.

The perfect antidote to all the craziness

I have discovered the perfect antidote — the remedy, if you will — to take one’s mind off the bizarre antics of those in power in Washington, D.C.

It is to take your granddaughter to a Christmas tree lighting in the community where you live — and then to watch your little pride and joy get asked to throw some fairy dust on the tree when Santa Claus arrives from the North Pole.

That’s what we did tonight. Emma had a blast. Grandma had more fun than she can stand, too. So … did I.

We drove the short distance to Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Princeton, Texas, a bit early. The activities began at 4 p.m.; we got there around 5. They wouldn’t light the three until 7:15. We had plenty of time to, um, waste.

We did. We walked around, visited with parents and grandparents of little ones enjoying the spirit of the season. Emma got to strap on some ice skates and “skate” her way around a rink that comprised a sort of plastic material that was interlocked like a puzzle. She only fell once, but got up and was just fine.

The sun set beautifully. Then a young woman who said she works for the city approached Emma and asked her if she wanted to throw some fairy dust on the tree when it the time arrived for the lighting. Emma, quite naturally, agreed. We called her Mommy and Daddy and she told them what she was about to do.

Then came the time. Santa arrived aboard a Princeton Fire Department truck, accompanied by an elf. Mayor John-Mark Caldwell wished us all a Merry Christmas and counted down. When he got to zero, Emma and four little acquaintances who also got recruited tossed the fairy dust on the tree. It lit up spectacularly. We all cheered.

Emma could not have been happier. Neither could her grandparents.

It was a moment of unfettered joy. It took my mind off the more serious matters about which I have been commenting on in this blog. I’ll get back to that in due course.

Tonight, though, I am filled with a child’s joy at welcoming Santa Claus to our community.

I will sleep well tonight.

Newt offers a stunning demonstration of duplicity

Newt Gingrich’s lack of self-awareness is utterly and totally astonishing.

The former Republican U.S. House speaker told Fox News this week that he is amazed and stunned that congressional Democrats would have the nerve to impeach Donald Trump this close to Christmas.

Why, that is just appalling, he said. How can Democrats possibly sully this holy event with such a display of blatant partisanship?

Well, let’s flash back 21 years, shall we?

The GOP-led House of Representatives, led by Speaker Newt Gingrich, received articles of impeachment from the Judiciary Committee in its effort to impeach President Bill Clinton. When did the full House vote on those articles and formally impeach the president?

They did it on the week of Christmas, 1998! The date was Dec. 19.

So, my demand of the former speaker today is clear and concise.

Shut … up!

Awaiting holiday season in new surroundings

It’s one thing to move to a new community, a new home and becoming acquainted with new surroundings during most of the year.

It’s another thing altogether when you welcome the Christmas holiday amid all that newness. Why, even Toby the puppy — as you can see in the photo — is wearing some new Christmas threads.

So a new holiday awaits my wife and me — along with the Puppy — in our new digs in Collin County. We spent 23 or so Christmas seasons ensconced in our home in southwest Amarillo. We grew comfortable in that home, which we had built in the fall and early winter of 1996.

Indeed, our first Christmas in that home was one for the ages. We closed on the house on Dec. 22, 1996, took possession of the place, then had most of our worldly possessions hauled out of storage where it had laid dormant for nearly two years.

We spent Christmas opening up boxes and getting reacquainted with pictures, furniture, doo-dads, knickknacks and assorted gadgets and gizmos we had locked away.

Our Christmas tree that year was a potted Norfolk pine we brought with us from Beaumont. We strung a few lights around it, tossed a little tinsel on it and surrounded it with gift packages.

We moved from Randall County to Collin County in the spring of 2018. Then earlier this year we decided to look for a house to purchase. We found one in Princeton, closed the deal and moved in. That all took place in late February.

Now our first Christmas in our latest new home is coming up fast. It won’t have quite the same element of rediscovery as the holiday I described earlier. However, it will be memorable nonetheless. Of that I am certain.

My biggest challenge now rests with trying to decide how to string lights around our new house. Wish me luck.

If only Trump were ‘good’ at lying; he isn’t

Donald Trump is setting some sort of unofficial record for lying, prevarication, misstatements muttered, uttered and sputtered from the White House.

One of his more recent, um, lies takes the cake.

The commander in chief stood before troops in Iraq the day after Christmas. He went to the war zone with his wife, Melania, and told the men and women assembled before him that they had just gotten the first pay raise in 10 years. Lie!

Then he said he fought for a 10-percent pay increase, even though others wanted to grant them a considerably smaller pay raise. Lie!

Our fighting personnel have gotten raises every year for more than three decades. As for the 10-percent raise this year, it didn’t happen. Their raise is considerably smaller than what the president described to them.

Here is what troubles me greatly: Donald Trump’s incessant barrage of falsehoods seems pointless, needless, foundationless. It is gratuitous. He lies when he doesn’t need to lie.

The Washington Post has been keeping track of the president’s lying/prevarication/misspeaking. The newspaper’s total now is past 7,500 such statements — and this is before the end of the first half of the president’s term! His lying is accelerating as well!

I should be more circumspect in calling these statements outright “lies.” To lie is to say something knowing it is false. Some critics have suggested that Trump simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about; therefore, he doesn’t necessarily purposely lie to our faces.

However, Donald Trump has told us repeatedly that he possesses a level of intelligence that few men have ever had. He knows the “best words.” He went to the “best schools.” He got the “best education.” He surrounds himself with the “best people.” Doesn’t all of that suggest to you — as it does to me — that the president should know of which he speaks when he opens his mouth?

The president is a liar. Now he’s gone before the men and women he purports to “love” and revere — our warriors in harm’s way — and lied to their faces!

Amazing.