Tag Archives: Chuck Schumer

You go, Mme. Speaker . . . to-be

Nancy Pelosi has delivered a message to Donald Trump.

It is that the president of the United States is going to face a formidable adversary when the next Congress convenes in January 2019. The presumptive speaker of the House delivered that message in a face-to-face smackdown with the president in an Oval Office meeting the two of them had with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Oh, Vice President Mike Pence was in the room, too, but he had a “non-speaking” role in this idiotic and awkward exchange.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, informed Trump he doesn’t have the votes in the House to finance the “big beautiful wall” along our southern border. Trump sought to tell her that he does; she responded — immediately — no, Mr. President . . . you do not!

Pelosi is an expert at vote-counting, which was one of the hallmarks of her first stint as speaker from 2009 to 2011.

Trump, meanwhile, doesn’t know how the legislative process works. He has no background in congressional relationships. He doesn’t understand the importance of seeking to cooperate with the legislative branch of government.

The president’s modus operandi is to dictate his desires and then expect everyone to follow him over the cliff.

The new speaker isn’t wired that way. She’s tough and she is asserting herself as she should.

Let us remember something else: The U.S. Constitution stipulates that the speaker of the House is No. 3 in succession to the presidency. It’s good to remember that as we enter the new year — and a new era — in Washington, D.C.

France shooting = U.S. border security?

I need help connecting these dots.

A fellow who was born in Strasbourg, France, opens fire and kills a fellow French citizen. A French citizens commits mayhem against his countrymen. Is that right?

OK, then the president of the United States seems to use that incident as an argument for his desire to build that “beautiful wall” along our southern border to keep the bad guys from pouring into the country.

Then he rakes Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi over the coals because Democrats don’t want to spend the amount of money the president wants to build that wall.

Trump put this message out on Twitter just this morning:

Another very bad terror attack in France. We are going to strengthen our borders even more. Chuck and Nancy must give us the votes to get additional Border Security!

I need help understanding how the president can connect the these incidents together.

This individual, the president, is out of control.

Schumer lures Trump into a shutdown trap

Donald Trump sought to negotiate a deal today with Congress two top Democrats: House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

What the president managed to do, though, is box himself into a corner. He did so all by himself. With just a little prompting from Schumer.

To which I say: Wow, man!

Schumer kept resisting any notion that the Senate would vote to give Trump approval for $5 billion to build a wall along our southern border. That prompted Trump to do an amazing thing.

He took ownership of a potential government shutdown if he doesn’t get his way on wall financing. Yep. That’s right. The president of the United States has seized the issue all for himself. He would be glad to shut down the government if Congress refuses to spend the money he wants to build the wall.

Oh, is Mexico going to pay for it? For any portion of the wall. Hah!

Congress and the president have a few days to work out something to keep the government functioning in its entirety.

The meeting at the White House didn’t go well. Trump stormed out, tossing papers. Pelosi and Schumer, meanwhile, have sent a signal that the president is going have to deal with an entirely different Congress — specifically the House — than the government branch that served as his lapdog for the first two years of Trump’s term.

Do you get the feeling that we’re heading for some wild water? We had all better hold on with both hands.

Socialist? Why, I never …

I’ve been called out by a critic of High Plains Blogger.

Some fellow who I don’t know, but who reads my blog regularly, has called me a “socialist.” He likens me to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer as a socialist in their ilk.

Hmm. I need to respond to this guy.

I’ll start with this: He doesn’t know what a socialist is. A socialist is someone who believes in, um, socialism. And what is that, precisely?

Socialism is an economic philosophy that emphasizes collective ownership of business and industry. Let’s see. Have I ever advocated taking over business and industry by the government? Have I ever said that private ownership is bad for the country? No. I haven’t.

To that end, I am as much of a capitalist as this fellow who purports to know — beyond a shadow of a doubt — that I am a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool socialist.

I tend to avoid getting involved in these tit-for-tat responses on social media. For starters, many of High Plains Blogger’s critics tend to suffer from last word-itis. They have to get the last word on any exchange. So, I concede the last word to them. I’ll make whatever point I want to make, let ’em respond and then I move on.

As for the socialist rap, this individual hung that label on me after a blog post that didn’t discuss economic policy at all!

I believe, therefore, many of those who hang the “socialist” tag on folks such as yours truly are using the word as  cudgel to beat others up whenever they disagree with them on any policy at all.

To call someone a “socialist” is akin to saying “your mother wears combat boots.”

When in doubt, I rely on my tattered American Heritage dictionary, which describes socialism this way: “A social system in which the means of producing and distributing goods are owned collectively and political power is exercised by the whole community.”

Is that me? Umm. No. It isn’t. So there.

Capitol Hill gripped by fear of harassment

It’s come down to this.

Members of Congress — senators and House members — are being harassed and hassled themselves by bogus complaints alleging sexual harassment.

What has become of this scandal? Has it grown to something no one recognizes?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has had to fend off a fake complaint, as has Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Yes, this issue is real. It has reached scandalous proportions as scores of women have levied credible, legitimate complaints against powerful men in government. Three of them have been forced to resign; others are declaring their intention to bow out after the 2018 midterm election.

Some of these accusations involve some truly hideous conduct.

But there now appears to be some evidence of bogus allegations surfacing.

Let’s be careful — shall we? — as we continue to grapple with this matter.

We have complaints being lodged against none other than the president of the United States. Many of those complaints seem quite credible, in my humble view. The president has called them liars and said their accusations are part of a “fake news” effort to undermine him.

Then we have comments from the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, saying that all complaints “need to be heard.” I agree with her.

Be careful of fear

Then again, let us be take care that we don’t push the sexual harassment panic button at every single complaint. Human beings are quite capable of tricking the rest of us.

As Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “You want to have a welcome environment to report abuse — you don’t want to deter victims. But you’ve got to have enough due process and scrutiny to make sure it’s accurate.”

“I think this environment is pretty crazy right now,” Graham added, and “what happened to Sen. Schumer is a concern to a lot of us.”

Trump-Schumer bromance hits the skids

I guess Donald John Trump and Charles Schumer aren’t such good New York City pals after all.

The president of the United States and the U.S. Senate’s Democratic leader are now exchanging barbs over Trump’s comments in the wake of the NYC tragedy that killed eight people in a terrorist attack.

I’ll take Sen. Schumer’s side in this dispute. Are you surprised? I didn’t think so.

Trump, Schumer trade barbs

Trump went after Schumer immediately after the Uzbek immigrant was taken into custody after running into a crowd. He blamed Schumer for endorsing an immigration bill that allowed the Uzbek to enter the country on a special visa.

Schumer responded that “I guess it’s not too early to politicize a tragedy,” blasting the president for taking the low road while the nation’s largest city deals with the grief brought by the madman.

Schumer played a role in the enactment of the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. He was a junior member of Congress at the time. The program, incidentally, was signed into law by then-President George H.W. Bush, a Republican … just like Donald Trump.

But still …

If only the president could simply limit his public comments in the wake of such tragedy to concern for the victims and to speak to the resolve of a nation that won’t be terrorized.

DACA ‘deal’ produces more … chaos

Chaos, anyone? Anyone?

“Chuck and Nancy” had dinner Wednesday night with the president of the United States of America and then announced they had reached an agreement with Donald J. Trump on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals rule.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the deal involves legislation to restore DACA that “excludes the wall” that Trump wants to build across our nation’s southern border.

Cheers went up. The illegal immigrants who were brought here as children wouldn’t be rounded up and deported back to countries they don’t know, given that they grew up as de facto Americans.

Trump had rescinded the DACA executive order and gave Congress six months to craft a legislative solution to this problem. The Chuck-and-Nancy announcement seemed to give the DACA residents some hope, some reason to believe they could proceed toward full U.S. citizenship or permanent immigrant status.

Not so fast, said the president.

He insists he didn’t agree to forgo money for the wall — which he has said Mexico would pay for, over the strenuous objections of that country’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto.

Good grief, dude! Two leading Democratic politicians — both of whom have been at this governing thing for a long time — make an announcement, that is contradicted immediately by the president of the United States.

Perhaps Chuck and Nancy should bear some responsibility for this latest round of chaos as it involves the president.

But all told, the rollout of this so-called deal bears the marks of the man who is unable to formulate a smooth strategy — for anything. 

Do they have a deal or don’t they?

Just think: We’re only eight months into a four-year term for the president. This confusion and chaos does seem to make the time drag, doesn’t it?

DACA pact? Deal … or no deal?

Donald J. Trump had a couple of dinner guests at the White House tonight.

They were Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the Senate and House Democratic leaders, respectively. “Chuck and Nancy” emerged from the dinner meeting and announced a “deal” they struck with the president that would produce a permanent agreement to keep “Dreamers” in the United States.

I refer to the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals act that Trump supposedly rescinded the other day. He gave Congress six months to work out a legislative fix to DACA, which seeks to protect those who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

It seems that the DACA matter has been put on a fast track. Oh, and get this: They report that Trump has agreed to forgo building the wall.

Not so fast, says White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who tweeted out something about minutes after Chuck and Nancy announced the deal that the president didn’t agree to scrap the wall idea.

Who do you believe? Two seasoned politicians who know their way around the Capitol Hill pea patch or a president who is not wired to tell the truth?

Trump, by the way, hasn’t yet weighed in with his own tweet about what he agreed on with Chuck and Nancy.

I believe the two leading congressional Democrats have just scored another win over the “best deal maker” the world has ever seen.

OK, Mitch … time to get to work — with Democrats!

Mitch McConnell isn’t going to take any advice from me, given that he likely won’t even know I’m offering it.

I’ll go to bat anyway. Here’s my advice to the U.S. Senate majority leader, who has just witnessed the collapse of the Republican-authored overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

If I were Mitch, I’d get on the phone in the next day or two. Pick up the phone, Mitch, and place a call to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

McConnell would do well to say something like this:

“Hello, Chuck? This is Mitch. OK, pal. You win. You won this fight. You held your Democratic caucus together to fend off our effort to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something we crafted all on our own. I get that we didn’t do what we should have done at the beginning, which is seek Democrats’ advice and counsel on how to replace the Affordable Care Act.

“But look, Chuck. I know how this system is supposed to work. I’ve been around the Senate a long time, as you have and I understand fully that cooperation and compromise aren’t four-letter words. Except that I’ve got that damn TEA Party wing of my caucus that keeps giving me the dickens whenever I talk to you folks.

“Hell, man, Lyndon Johnson worked the Senate like a craftsman; he played senators like fiddles. He got things done when he ran the Senate.

“So, here’s my idea. Let’s all sit down together. I want to toss out the ACA. You support it in principle. But surely you have problems with it. Those damn premiums are too high. Insurers are bailing out in some states. Patients can’t always get the docs they want to treat them.

“Why don’t we put our heads together to fix the Affordable Care Act. We can call it whatever we wish. I tried to get it tossed. It’s still the law of the land. It’s going to remain the law of the land possibly until hell freezes over. But I’m willing to work with you to fix what you and I both know — along with members of our respective caucuses — that the ACA isn’t perfect. Far from it. It needs fixing.

“Are you in?”

Chuck Schumer, having heard all of this, likely would answer:

“Welcome aboard, Mitch.”

Who’s telling the truth, GOP or Democratic Senate leader?

I am certain today that I heard two diametrically opposed statements come from the mouths of the U.S. Senate’s top partisan leaders.

The Senate was going to vote this week on a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act; then Senate Republicans said “no.” There won’t be a vote just yet. They balked because they don’t have the votes to approve it. They might not get the votes, either.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, said categorically that Democrats “aren’t interested” in working with Republicans to craft a new health care insurance bill.

There. We have that statement.

Less than an hour later, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, told reporters that Democrats “want to work” with Republicans.

OK. Who’s telling the truth? McConnell said Democrats aren’t interested. Schumer said the exact opposite.

I guess it depends on the partisan bias of those who heard the statements. McConnell said it in front of fellow Republicans; Schumer made his declaration in front of fellow Democrats.

I tend to believe Schumer. I would be my hope that Democrats would be willing to huddle with their GOP “friends” in the hope of finding some common ground with regard to what McConnell called a “complicated” piece of legislation.

The Senate will take up this matter after the Fourth of July recess.

As Lyndon Johnson would say, “Let us reason together.”