Tag Archives: Donald Trump

This tempest just won’t go away

The tumult caused by Donald Trump’s disparagement of a heroic Navy SEAL continues at full boil.

Why is that? Because the president of the United States won’t back down from the hideous criticism he leveled at retired Admiral William McRaven, the fellow who coordinated the May 2011 commando raid that took down Osama bin Laden.

McRaven, who’s now a private citizen, had criticized the president’s war on the media as a grave “threat to democracy.” Trump then responded in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that McRaven should have gotten bin Laden “much sooner.”

Yep, he criticized the architect of the operation. He in effect denigrated the service of a heroic American warrior, who spent 37 years wearing the uniform in service to his country. He was injured training to become a SEAL. He also led the team that captured the late Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein in 2003.

So, for this president — who actually avoided service during the Vietnam War — to criticize a hero simply is beyond my own ability to comprehend. He called McRaven a political hack, a Hillary Clinton “backer” and a fan of President Obama.

Admiral McRaven is as admirable a man as one could find.

Donald Trump? He, um, isn’t.

Still, this tempest just won’t quit.

Once solidly GOP county portends a sea change?

This is a map of a southern California county that President Reagan once said was the place where “good Republicans go to die.”

The image on the left shows the county with all but one congressional district represented by Republicans; the image on the right shows the county after the 2018 midterm election. It’s all blue. Every single CD in Orange County now is represented by Democrats.

Is this a bellwether of what is happening to the national political landscape? I am not smart enough to answer that one directly. Although I would venture to suggest that President Reagan, wherever he is, would be mighty displeased at how this map demonstrates the chameleon-like nature of a once-faithful Republican stronghold.

I strongly doubt the Democrats who seized control of Orange County, Calif., are of the pinko/socialist variety of, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young woman elected to represent a New York City district in the next Congress.

Still, the new congressmen and women coming from Orange County are going to align with the party that opposes Donald John Trump’s agenda — whatever it entails. You see, I have difficulty wrapping my arms around the president’s agenda, because it changes daily, if not hourly. Which is what happens when a party is led by a man without a semblance of a political philosophy or moral grounding. But … that’s another story for another day.

Pundits nationally are wondering if Orange County portends a sea change for the 2020 election cycle, the campaign for which began the moment the results came in on the 2018 midterm election.

The U.S. House has flipped from GOP to Democratic control. As more races are settled in districts around the country, the Democratic grip on the House keeps tightening just a little more. The U.S. Senate is nominally more Republican than before the election; Democrats, though, made a fight of it in places where they weren’t supposed to do well … such as in Texas!

I believe the map shown on this blog post just might signal a result that illustrates a rejection of Donald Trump’s leadership, no matter what the president might say to the contrary.

That, I also believe, is a good thing.

A+, Mr. President? I don’t think so

Mr. President, you are entitled to your opinion. As am I, sir.

You give yourself an A+ grade for the first two years of your presidency. I wouldn’t grade your performance anywhere near that high.

I laughed when I heard about Chris Wallace’s question to you, mentioning Presidents Washington and Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Reagan. I also laughed when he asked if you belonged in those men’s company.

Then you gave yourself that A+ grade.

You’re killin’ me, Mr. President.

You keep taking credit for the economy. I applaud the job figures that keep coming in each month while you’ve been in office. Yep, they’re great. But you ought to know — and I wish you did realize it — that presidents can’t take all the credit they think they deserve. I must remind you — yet again! — that you inherited an economy that was in good shape, unlike the economy that your predecessor inherited when he took office in January 2009.

There have been more than the normal number of hiccups along the way. Your key staff keeps turning over regularly. Not to mention the Cabinet posts that keep opening up. You fire folks. They quit under criticism. And yet you keep yammering about the hordes of individuals who are just chomping at the bit waiting to come to work in the White House.

Whatever you say, Mr. President. I just don’t believe it. Nor do others of my ilk, who outnumber those of your ilk by a good bit.

Keep deluding yourself, Mr. President, into thinking you deserve an A+ plus. Others of us believe differently. I won’t assign a grade. I’ll leave that others.

Just know that it ain’t nearly as good as the one you gave yourself.

 

The presidential lies keep piling up

This is what I would call a gratuitous, needless lie by the president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump toured the site of the California wildfires and said he discussed Finnish forest management practices with Finland’s president, Sauli Niinistö.

Except . . .

President Niinistö says the conversation never occurred. He did not, as Trump said, discuss a forest management policy that involves raking underbrush from forest floors to prevent wildfires.

What is it with this president of ours? Can’t he just keep his yap shut so as to avoid saying something that can be denied, disproved or discounted with a simple question to the other party he mentions?

The men met briefly in Paris, Niinistö said, adding that he did tell Trump that “we take care of our forests.”

That’s it, the Finnish president said. No discussion of raking underbrush.

The pile of lies is getting mighty tall. I realize this isn’t a big deal in and of itself. Still, it does reveal something terribly flawed about a president who cannot tell the truth if the future of Planet Earth depended on it.

Hey, come to think of it . . . maybe it does with this one.

It’s official: Trump is incorrigible

It’s been known for a while now, but I’ll just weigh in anyway.

Donald John “Insulter in Chief” Trump is utterly an incorrigible overgrown juvenile delinquent.

He’s been known to hang disparaging nicknames on political foes. He’s gone beyond the realm of decency with this one.

Trump has referred in a Twitter taunt to the incoming U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman, Adam Schiff, as “Little Adam Schitt.”

Isn’t that a knee-slapper? No. It isn’t. It’s a vulgar epithet that Trump appears to have slung at the California Democratic lawmaker on purpose.

Politico reports that Schiff had a response: “Schiff fired back 35 minutes later, quoting the president’s post and writing on Twitter: ‘Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one. Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself?'”

Trump sought to make some reference to Schiff’s criticism of the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller should have been confirmed by the Senate before he started his investigation into alleged collusion with Russian government goons who attacked our election system in 2016.

But … of course the topic of discussion has centered on the vulgar response Trump provided.

To think that the president’s political “base” continues to adore him.

Astonishing.

Mitt takes up cudgel for a ‘free press’

U.S. Sen.-elect Mitt Romney is filling me with hope that he might become a Republican who actually is willing to challenge the nation’s demonizer in chief.

The media, according to Mitt, aren’t the “enemy of the people.” Even a “biased” media, the new senator from Utah writes in an op-ed for USA Today, are essential to the nation.

I agree with him. So do all of Donald J. Trump’s predecessors. So should most of the congressional Republicans who will take office in January along with their Democratic colleagues.

Sen.-elect Romney says categorically that Trump is wrong to vilify the media. He writes: America is indebted as a democratic nation to the free press for truths it has uncovered, for truth it has disseminated, and for falsehoods it has repudiated. The press uncovered the government’s lies about the war in Vietnam; it exposed Watergate; it opened our eyes to the sexual abuse of children by priests; and, most recently, it shed a light on the sexual assault by numerous men in power. The free press dispelled the false conspiracies about the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s birth, and Joe McCarthy’s lurking communists. The work of a free press is essential.

The president doesn’t see it that way. He says the media that report on issues he deems critical are disseminating “fake news,” which of course is the ultimate irony given his own lying about so many issues, so many individuals. He has defamed seemingly countless public figures with lies.

But I’ll leave it to Mitt Romney and perhaps a few other brave souls in public life to try to hold the president accountable for his continuing attacks on the media.

Donald Trump could not be more wrong. Mitt Romney couldn’t be more correct.

Trump hits back … at the warrior who got Osama bin Laden!

Donald Trump isn’t known for picking his targets with much care or thought. His “shoot-and-aim” approach to firing criticism scores points with his base; not so much with the rest of us.

Fox News’s Chris Wallace asked the president to respond to former Admiral William McRaven’s criticism that the greatest threat to America is Trump’s demonization of the media.

The president’s response? He wonders why McRaven, the former head of the U.S. Special Forces Command, didn’t bring justice to Osama bin Laden sooner than he did.

You see, McRaven — a retired Navy SEAL — was on duty in May 2011 when U.S. commandos flew into Pakistan and engaged in a firefight with the al-Qaeda leader’s garrison. The troops then killed bin Laden — the 9/11 mastermind — and transported his corpse to the USS Carl Vinson, where he was given a “burial at sea.”

Trump said to Wallace that McRaven could have gotten bin Laden sooner than he did. He seemed to imply incompetent military and intelligence leadership as the reason that bin Laden was able to hide in plain sight in Abbattobad, Pakistan. He called McRaven a “fan” of Hillary Clinton and “backer” of Barack Obama. I’ll add here that Clinton was the secretary of state at the time of the raid and, oh yes, Obama was the president who issued the order to launch the mission, which I should add was carried out with no loss of American lives.

Take a look at Trump’s answer to Wallace’s question about whether the president would give credit for the mission that took down bin Laden: “They took him down but — look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”

Huh?

Break out the rakes and shovels

Donald J. Trump toured the fire damage in California this weekend. He inspected the destroyed town of Paradise, talked with Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsome. He offered words of encouragement and support to the firefighters and the victims.

Then he said Finland knows how to manage its forests. The Scandinavian country uses a lot of rakes and shoves to clear out underbrush, dead and dried-out foliage. It removes the fuel that ignites these killer fires.

Perfect! The president now has a jobs program he can institute in this country. Hire thousands of workers to pull duty in our national forests. Perhaps he can arrange to have federal grant funds sent to states that can hire folks to do the same kind of work on state land.

It can be kind of a 21st-century version of the enormous New Deal jobs program that President Roosevelt kicked off to counteract the Great Depression of the 1930s.

I am jesting, for sure. I only wish I could think the same thing about what the president said about Finland’s efforts to prevent wildfires on the scale of the blazes that have ravaged northern and southern California.

Rakes and shovels won’t do the job, Mr. President. The problem is far more serious and grievous than that.

Mueller and Whitaker: nothing close to parity

A friend of mine who posted this on Facebook asked whether it’s  a “typo or intentional.” I believe Donald Trump’s direct reference to incoming U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is intentional.

Setting that aside, the president now suggests some sort of parity between acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointments to the jobs they are doing.

First, Whitaker has been picked to assume a Cabinet post on an interim/temporary basis. He should have been vetted already through a confirmation process by the U.S. Senate. That’s the issue there.

As for Mueller, the Justice Department selected him to do a specific job as independent counsel. He is looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded in 2016 with Russian operatives who attacked our presidential election process.

I now feel compelled to remind the president that Mueller is not a Cabinet official. Whitaker is.

End . . . of discussion.

Trump sees the damage up close

Donald J. Trump took time to look up close at the damage fire has brought to California.

I am glad the president went to the fire-scarred ruins of Paradise, Calif.; I am glad Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and Paradise Mayor Jody Jones were there to walk among the destruction with him.

I also am glad that the officials — from president to small-town mayor — are expressing hope that we’ll never see this kind of damage done again.

The hope, I fear, is futile. I fear for the worst, not necessarily in the communities already ravaged by the fire, but for others.

It boils down to two words … and they aren’t “forest management.” The two words are “climate change.”

The president keeps denying that the climate is changing. He calls it a “hoax.” He says it’s cooked up by China and that government’s efforts to undermine the U.S. fossil fuel industry.

I do not believe he is correct. I believe that climate change is delivering its wreckage in the form of these fires.

The management of the state forests should not be the concern of the president. The ongoing drought that continues to plague much of the Far West, the Mountain West, the High Plains and the Great Plains deserve the nation’s attention. By that I mean to infer the president’s attention.

These fires will continue to scorch the landscape likely for well past the foreseeable future. It might be too late at this juncture to curb them.

The president did the right thing today by touring the devastation brought by Mother Nature’s fire-borne fury. If only he would dial back his instinct to criticize his political foes and simply listen to the learned voices of those who keep warning us about the real dangers posed by Earth’s changing climate.

And heed their warnings that humankind contributes to it.