Tag Archives: CNN

POTUS’s call for ‘unity’ falls a bit short

Well, the president had a chance to make some serious amends for his contribution to the poisonous rhetoric that has infected our political discourse.

As usual, he fell short of the mark.

Donald Trump opened a political rally in Wisconsin tonight by calling for “peace and harmony.” He decried the discovery of bombs sent to the offices of Democratic officeholders, a key activist, and the CNN offices in New York City. That’s all good. I applaud the president’s effort on that score.

But then he failed to acknowledge his own role in creating the political toxicity. He didn’t mention how he has applauded the violence of a Montana congressman on a reporter, or how he has endorsed numerous other acts of physical intimidation.

Nope. He didn’t go there.

POTUS falls short

He railed against what he said “both sides” and the media are responsible. I agree that partisans on both sides have contributed to the toxic atmosphere. The media? Well, they have done their job, even if it includes publishing or broadcasting “negative” stories about the Trump administration. The president is not having any of the negative coverage, which he calls — in a fit of unfairness — “fake news.”

He ought to retract his statement that the media are “the enemy of the people.” He knows better than that, but he says it anyway, knowing that it fires up his political base.

So, what now? We’ll find out as the president continues to campaign for Republican candidates in this year’s midterm election. He wants them to win, but at what cost? Will he continue to denigrate, disparage and dismiss his foes as unpatriotic? Will he continue to foment fear and anger?

If he means what he says about his quest for “peace and harmony,” he can deliver the goods from any podium behind which he stands while bellowing his political rhetoric.

OK, Mr. POTUS, let’s tone down the rally rhetoric

Dear Mr. President … I heard your remarks — along with those of the first lady — at the White House condemning the attacks on “former high government officials.”

You left out any mention of the bomb that was sent to CNN’s New York offices. Yes, all the intended targets have been critics of yours or have been the object of your own scorn. CNN is one of them. Maybe you can say something later today or tomorrow … or the next day.

Here’s my current request, Mr. President: I hear you’re headed for a campaign rally in Wisconsin later. You’ll be standing behind that podium in front of a raucous crowd of supporters. Will you, sir, be mindful of what has transpired today and tone down the rhetoric?

You need to be acutely aware of what has happened to the public mood out here. A lot of Americans are angry with you … many other Americans are angry with your critics. Count me as one who’s angry with the tone you have been setting, as well as your presidency in general.

Many millions of us, Mr. President, will be listening intently to what you say and listening as well to how you say it.

You’re the president, the only one we have. All eyes are on you, which I suspect is precisely what you like most about being in the office you occupy. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak to your supporters using language that is far less inflammatory than what you’ve been using during your entire presidency.

I truly believe, sir, we are reaping one of the dire consequences of what you and your bloc of base voters have sown.

Tone it down, Mr. President.

What in the world is happening to us?

The authorities say they have recovered seven “devices,” some of them identified as “live” bombs, from assorted targets in Washington and New York.

I admit to getting a bit ahead of myself in an earlier blog post, as it was reported initially that one of the devices was meant to be delivered to the White House. The Secret Service says no such explosive was recovered.

That said, the White House has issued a strong statement condemning the act of what it called “cowards” who have sent the devices.

That leaves us to look at those who had been targeted: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, former CIA director John Brennan, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, CNN’s Nw York offices, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left-wing mega political donor George Soros.

What do these folks and institutions have in common? They all have (a) criticized the president or (b) been targets of the president’s criticism.

Hmm. Coincidence? I fear not.

The country wants a quick resolution in the form of an arrest of the suspect or suspects responsible for this frightening act of terror.

This must be said as well: If the targets’ political similarity have anything to do with the sending of these explosive devices, then we have entered a whole new age of recrimination and hatred.

It has to stop. As Gov. Cuomo stated earlier today, any attempt to restore civility in our public discourse “must come from the top.”

Is this the result of the toxic political climate?

Dear reader, we have a profoundly frightening development unfolding at this very moment.

Secret Service officials have intercepted explosive devices that were sent to the homes of former President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, former President and Mrs. Barack Obama, liberal political megadonor George Soros, CNN headquarters in New York and — this likely confuses the casual observer — the White House.

None of the individuals targeted by the bomber was in danger.

It would be easy to label whoever did this as someone — or several people — associated with a right-wing group, given that Donald Trump has targeted CNN as a purveyor of “fake news” and, of course, has pilloried the Clintons, former President Obama and Soros.

But the White House also was by someone intent on doing damage to the president’s home and those who live and work inside it.

Good grief! Is this what we’ve come to?

Thank goodness the authorities were able to intercept the packages, which reportedly have been ID’d as containing explosives.

Let us all hope and pray the FBI, the Secret Service and local police authorities are able to arrest whoever is responsible.

I am now frightened.

By all means, purge ‘fake news’

Our nation’s “liar in chief” has asked whether a Facebook plan to purge itself of “fake news” means that CNN could be going out of business.

Donald John Trump asked this on Twitter: Facebook has just stated that they are setting up a system to “purge” themselves of Fake News. Does that mean CNN will finally be put out of business?

The president of the United States just cannot help himself, he cannot stop tossing around “fake news” epithets at media outlets whose only “sin” is to report news he deems to be “negative.”

More galling than that, of course, is that the president himself is the nation’s — if not the world’s — most egregious purveyor of actual fake news.

I mean, he makes things up. He pulls assertions out of thin air — or perhaps out of a certain body orifice — and blurts ’em out. He flings accusations at foes without any evidence; he makes claims of fraud where none exist; he foments falsehoods  (such as the birther lies regarding his immediate presidential predecessor).

And then he has the temerity to assert that media outlets — except for his “friends” at Fox News — spread fake news all around the world.

He stands behind campaign rally lecterns and bellows this and that about “fake news” and his faithful believers cheer him on.

Every single mention of “fake news” that flies out of this president’s pie hole only ratifies what millions of Americans know already.

Donald Trump is unfit for the office he holds.

Beto backs off from an attack line against Cruz

As a former colleague and friend was fond of saying, “You can’t unhonk the horn.”

Beto O’Rourke is trying to unhonk the rhetorical horn by telling a CNN correspondent that his use of the “Lyin’ Ted” epithet against Ted Cruz perhaps is a step too far. He now sounds as if he regrets going quite so negative in his most recent debate with the Republican U.S. senator.

There’s a bit of charm in hearing the Democratic challenger acknowledge a case of weak knees in using the tag first hung on Cruz by Donald Trump when the men were competing in 2016 for the GOP presidential nomination.

Trump called him “Lyin’ Ted” and got huge laughs from campaign crowds. O’Rourke said in the men’s debate that the negative moniker sounded true to him, so he used it against Cruz.

Meeting in a town hall in McAllen with CNN’s Dana Bash, O’Rourke said he doesn’t feel “totally comfortable” taking what he called “a step too far.”

O’Rourke has second thoughts

The midterm campaign is drawing to a close. Cruz appears to be clinging to a lead of about 6 to 8 percentage points. O’Rourke is looking for any edge he can find. He has gone negative in his TV ad campaign in recent days. Indeed, he now joins Cruz, who’s been firing shots at O’Rourke for several weeks. We likely won’t hear any utterances of regret from The Cruz Missile over the tactics he has used to (mis)characterize O’Rourke’s policy pronouncements.

Do I believe O’Rourke went too far with the “Lyin’ Ted” reference? Aww … no. He didn’t. However, I don’t have to deal with any blowback from campaign rhetoric. O’Rourke believes he “may” have gone too far.

I would prefer O’Rourke to stay on the high road.

And … by the way … I still plan to vote for Beto.

Melania: most ‘bullied person in the world’? Hardly

Nice going, Mme. First Lady. You have a perfectly noble and legitimate cause upon which to base your first ladyhood and then  you trample all over it with a weird assertion about how you are among the “most bullied” people on Earth.

I could not believe my eyes and ears when I heard about this from Melania Trump.

She told ABC News the following, according to CNN: “I could say I’m the most bullied person on the world,” Trump told ABC News in an interview during her first solo trip to Africa last week … . You’re really the most bullied person in the world?” asked ABC News’ Tom Llamas during the exchange. “One of them, if you really see what people saying about me,” Trump said.

She isn’t among the most bullied people on Earth.

I feel confident in making that counter claim. Mrs. Trump  married a man who would become president no doubt knowing full well what she was getting in the bargain. Indeed, Donald J. Trump has dished out all sorts of bullying insults on his way to the presidency and, of course, since he became the Bully-er in Chief.

The message that Mrs. Trump wants to send forth is designed to call attention to how social media have become a bullying instrument used against children. That is a noble cause and I applaud that effort.

However, for her then to internalize and personalize it in this manner by suggesting that she is among the world’s top victims of this (mis)behavior detracts from the seriousness of a totally serious cause.

I am amazed she would say such a thing.

Colin Powell: Trump lacks moral authority

I once wished out loud that Colin Powell, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and secretary of state, would run for president of the United States.

He didn’t. His comments this week, though, have revived my interest in this soldier/statesman, who has declared that “We the People” has been replaced by “Me the president” in the mind of Donald J. Trump.

Powell’s bottom line is that Trump lacks the moral authority to be the world’s leader.

In a wide-ranging interview on CNN, Powell touched on a number of key issues, such as Trump’s supposed hatred of the media. “How can a president … get up and say that the media is the enemy of Americans? Hasn’t he read the First Amendment? You’re not supposed to like everything the press says or what anyone says in the First Amendment,” he said.

Powell needs to be heard

I don’t believe the president understands the First Amendment, or the founders’ intent when they protected the press against government interference or coercion … or bullying.

Powell said “the world cannot believe” that the government is separating children from their families as they cross the border into the United States illegally.

Oh, how I wish this man hadn’t taken himself out of the presidential running in the mid-1990s when he was the talk of the nation. But he did and all but declared there could be no way in the world he would run for the nation’s highest office.

Damn!

Trump keeps playing to his rabid, er, fervent base

Call him whatever you like — or maybe whatever I like.

Liar in Chief. Purveryor of Fake News in Chief. Prevaricator in Chief.

Donald J. Trump is continuing a sustained attack on the media, calling them — and yes, this man has some stones — merchants of “fake news.” This, coming from the man who promoted the lie that Barack Obama was not qualified to serve as president because, according to Trump, he was born abroad.

As The Hill reported: “I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

Trump believes this attack-the-media strategy is a winner. He is mistaken.

He comes off in my mind — and in the minds of millions of other patriotic Americans — as a goon seeking to intimidate those who work in a craft protected specifically by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Trump has gone after CNN and NBC. Occasionally he rails against The New York Times and The Washington Post. Damn, I wish he would say something about High Plains Blogger … but I fear he doesn’t see this blog from little ol’ me way out here in the heartland.

Oh, well.

But the president is treading on some dangerous turf as he continues to disparage the media, whose function includes a duty to hold government accountable. That means those who run the government, and that means the president of the United States.

Every one of Trump’s presidential predecessors has understood that necessity; some understood it more fully than others, to be sure.

This clown, this carnival barker, this unethical and corrupt-to-the-core wanna-be tyrant doesn’t get it.

He is a disgrace to his office.

Sen. McCain faces the final fight

The news was expected, but it remains a stunner nevertheless.

U.S. Sen. John McCain today announced he is terminating treatment to fight the aggressive brain cancer that has kept him at home for several months. He has fought the good fight, but as he noted in his statement, age (he is 81) and the cancer have taken their toll.

He doesn’t want to fight any longer.

This saddens me terribly. It should sadden all Americans who understand the sacrifice this man has made in the line of duty to the country he loves. He has spent more than 50 years serving his country: as a Naval aviator, a U.S. House member, a U.S. senator and a Republican presidential nominee.

He was shot down in 1967 over Hanoi during the height of the Vietnam War and taken prisoner. He served heroically — despite the claims of one prominent GOP politician.

Did I agree with Sen. McCain’s politics, his policy, his philosophy? No. This blog post, though, pays tribute to his service, his courage, his fortitude, guts, perseverance and dedication to country.

I know it’s no longer plausible to wish this brave warrior a full recovery. Glioblastoma is, in the words of Sen. McCain’s good friend former Vice President Joe Biden, “as bad as it gets.” However, the former VP has spoken often in the past about his friend’s courage in the face of insurmountable odds.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Politicians who cannot summon the courage to do the right thing when the chips are down need to steal a page from John McCain’s book of life’s lessons.

He is, as CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer described him this morning when the news broke, “a great American.”

May he find comfort and strength in the days ahead knowing that the nation is praying for him.