Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Tax returns: Are they going to be released … finally?

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has invoked the legal power of his office to seek to obtain something that has been on the minds of millions of Americans since the moment Donald Trump announced his campaign for the presidency of the United States.

Vance has subpoenaed Trump’s tax returns. Yep, he’s on the hunt for information relating to that hush money payment Trump made to a porn star to keep her quiet about a fling that Trump says never happened.

Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, is back in the news. 

Clifford said she and Trump had a one-night tumble in 2006 in a hotel room. Trump said it didn’t happen, but he paid her 130 grand to keep quiet about it anyway. Go figure.

Vance wants to see Trump’s tax returns over the past eight years to find out the details of how the payment was made and whether the president violated campaign finance laws to make it.

Well now. How do you think this will turn out?

I happen to one American who believes I have a right to know about the president’s finances. I want to know whether he’s as rich as he says he is. I want to know whether he has profited from his high office. I want to know how much he has given to charity. I want to know the kinds of things Americans have known about past presidents and presidential candidates dating back more than four decades.

You see, Trump once promised he would reveal his taxes. Then he changed his mind. Then he said he would do so again. Then he backtracked again. He contends the Internal Revenue Service is auditing his taxes; the audit bans him from releasing the returns, he said. The IRS said, um, no … the audit does no such thing.

Donald Trump has lied and dissembled over the tax returns.

Vance reportedly informed the president’s accounting firm(s) of his desire to see the returns. Trump no doubt will fight it like hell, which I guess is his right.

The liar in chief, though, promised full transparency regarding his tax returns. He has failed to deliver on that promise, just as he has failed to “make America great again.”

Count me as an American who wants DA Cyrus Vance to get his hands on the tax returns. While he’s at it, he can let the country know what they contain.

On the hunt for Trump supporter

GOLDEN, British Columbia — I received a grim prediction from a resident of Vancouver, B.C.: My hunt for a Canadian who supports Donald J. Trump is likely to prove futile.

No worries. I intend to keep looking for that individual.

My acquaintance, a retired biochemist who is on his way to Regina, Saskatchewan to see family members, told me that Trump supporters in this country are a scarce commodity.

What is this gentleman’s view of the president of the United States?

“He is too unpredictable,” he said. “He just doesn’t act presidential,” he continued. “We expect more, I guess, from the president of the United States.”

Does that sound familiar? Sure it does. We might have this lengthy divide between our two countries, but we do share the same massive — and magnificent — continent. Most Americans and Canadians appear to be of like minds regarding the president, according to the gentleman.

What’s more, this fellow we met told us a quick story about his father. “My dad happens to be an American,” he said. My new friend explained that when Trump was running for president in 2016, his father — who he described as a “right wing thinking” sort of fellow — was all for Trump. “He just thought Trump was going to ‘make America great again,’ and all that kind of thing,” he friend said.

His father’s view now?

“Dad has changed his mind,” he said.

My acquaintance didn’t say it directly, but his slight chuckle while discussing Donald Trump seems to reveal a view my cousin revealed to me about a Canadian friend of his. Canadians are laughing at us Americans. OK, I get it. Except that none of this man’s tenure in office is funny.

So, the hunt goes on.

I hope the retired biochemist is mistaken. I am going to keep searching for a pro-Trump Canadian.

Y’all will be among the first to know if I find that person.

SPR shouldn’t be used to control oil prices

A bomber detonates an explosion at a Saudi Arabian oil refinery, shutting down a big part of the Saudi petroleum production capacity.

Oil prices spike around the world, including the United States, which I thought had achieved a level of “energy independence,” that it wasn’t dependent on Saudi oil to keep our motor vehicles running.

What does Donald Trump say in response? He has authorized dipping into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help shore up fossil fuel supply and, thus, seek to tamp down an expected spike in oil prices.

That’s the wrong use of the SPR, Mr. President. It’s been done before. Other presidents have sought to use the SPR in this fashion. I have been critical of this tactic in the past.

The SPR was created to help the United States avoid the kind of fossil fuel emergency that erupted in the wake of the Arab oil embargo in the early 1970s. The SPR comprises huge underground storage capacity along the Gulf Coast; the oil is stored under so-called “salt domes.”

Its mission is to act as a hedge against actual fossil fuel emergencies.

As near as I can tell, the United States will not run out of oil. Our nation’s gasoline pumps are not in danger of running dry. There won’t be interminable lines as gas pumps, which is what happened in 1973.

The president need not siphon fuel from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Think again, Mr. President.

It’s strictly personal, Mr. President

There is no nice way to say this, Mr. President, so I’ll just blurt it out.

My loathing of your presidency is a product of my feelings toward you. It’s personal, Mr. President.

You’ve enacted several policy positions with which I disagree. Your rolling back of clean air and water requirements, for example. Your decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military — which you avoided doing during the Vietnam War — is another. Your insistence on repealing the Affordable Care Act when some tinkering would suffice is yet another. I could go on. I won’t.

No, Mr. President, it’s almost exclusively personal with me. It’s visceral. I feel it in my gut.

I felt that way when you and Melania rode down that escalator at Trump Tower, when you announced your presidential candidacy, and then trashed Mexicans as rapists, murderers and assorted other felons was too much for me right out of the chute.

Your entire adult life has been geared toward self-enrichment. You didn’t have a single moment of public service on your resume. Your behavior is well-chronicled: the cheating — alleged and acknowledged — on all three of your wives; the hideous videos of you at professional wrestling matches; the “Access Hollywood” interview.

Hey, I’m only touching on the matters that come to my mind in the moment.

Your conduct as president has been nearly as hideous. Your trashing of our allies. Your denigration of our intelligence analysts who say the Russians interfered in our election. Your standing behind dictators such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and an assortment of other tin horn tyrants around the world.

Of course, there’s also the serial lying. You cannot tell the truth. You are pathological. Your lying knows no bounds. You lie when you need not lie.

And I cannot let pass your repeated denigration of a legitimate war hero, the late John McCain, who fought, suffered and nearly died during the Vietnam War. He resisted his captors valiantly and you had the unmitigated gall to say he was a “hero only because he was captured.” You sickened me with that statement, Mr. President.

For that matter, you continue to sicken me every moment you serve as our head of state/commander in chief.

I just had to get this off my chest. I know it won’t do a damn bit of good. You likely won’t see these words. Some of your supporters will and they might give me grief for expressing myself in this manner.

Too bad. I want you out of office at the earliest possible moment.

There. Now I feel better.

Just who can slug it out with Donald Trump?

It is now a given. Donald J. Trump will conduct a mean, unorthodox and vile campaign for re-election as president of the United States.

The question facing Democrats as they look over their still quite large field of presidential candidates is: Who among them is willing and able to stand up to the onslaught that Trump will hurl at them?

I have my doubts about all of ’em.

I believe it is becoming clearer by the week, if not daily, that this campaign is going to rest between Trump and one of four, maybe five, Democratic contenders.

Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie (gulp!) Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and (maybe) Beto O’Rourke stand at the top of candidates who I think will stay the course beyond the first caucuses and primaries. If only Kamala Harris could shake the race up just a bit more.

It might be that someone will emerge as the gut fighter the Democrats will need if they have a chance of defeating the carnival barker in chief. Remember when former first lady Michelle Obama implored Democrats to “go high” when Republicans “go low”? We can kiss that mantra good bye, or so it appears to me at this moment.

Trump is a street fighter. The hideousness he displayed while beating Hillary Clinton in 2016 might resemble a hen party by the time he gets ramped up against whomever the Democratic Party nominates next summer to run against him.

I will lay this out right now, as if it’s a big surprise … which it isn’t. Any of the Democrats now in the field — with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders — would have my vote against Trump in November 2020. Why not possibly Bernie? Because his mantra about wealth inequality is becoming like a one-note samba.

Donald Trump never should have gotten elected in 2016. The Democrats’ major error was in nominating someone who had at least as many negatives going for her as Trump. I know what you might be thinking: Sure, you can say that now, even though you were predicting a big win for Hillary the last time. Well, I wasn’t alone.

I guess the task now for the field of Democratic challengers is for someone among them to emerge as the toughest of the bunch to handle the nastiness that is sure to come from the president.

I just wish someone could stake that claim.

Looking for what I believe is a rarity: Canadian supporter of Trump

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — I am on a mission.

Somewhere out there in the vast nation that borders the United States of America are likely to be folks who believe Donald J. Trump is the greatest thing to American politics since pockets on shirts.

I want to find at least one of them.

My intention is to look for Canadians who will answer this simple question: Do you think the president of the United States is doing a good job for his country and for yours?

That’s a reasonably neutral query. When I announced my plans to seek out Canadians’ opinion on a man I detest, I sought to make it clear that I didn’t intend to skewer the questions in search of particular answers. I do intend to remain faithful to that pledge.

And if I find a Trumpster among our Canadian hosts I intend to ask them for specifics about why they think he’s such a darn noble statesman.

They might be hard to find. I keep hearing anecdotal stuff about the president’s low opinion ratings in Canada, where — to be candid — Canadians aren’t too keen on their prime minister, Justin Trudeau, either.

Maybe they’re all a bunch of soreheads. Eh?

I’ll do my best. Wish me luck.

Spare us the ‘I don’t care’ mantra, Mr. POTUS

Whatever you do, Mr. President, please spare the nation the empty blathering about how you “don’t care” about the Democratic joint appearance featuring the top 10 contenders seeking to beat your brains out in the November 2020 election.

We all know you’ll be camped in front of a TV set tonight while the Democrats stand on that stage in Houston. You’ll have your texting device at the ready. You’ll be firing off Twitter messages every few minutes. You’ll be fixated on what these folks have to say about each other, but mostly about you.

Hey, I no longer begrudge you for your (over)use of Twitter. I have become accustomed to it, now that you’ve been a politician for the past four years. Your introduction of Twitter as a policy pronouncement forum admittedly caught me by surprise. Now that you’ve been in office, though, it’s the “new normal” not only for you, but for all politicians/public figures of every possible stripe.

I just implore you to keep your trap shut. Stop saying things you don’t mean, such as that you don’t care about what the Democrats are saying, or that their criticism of you doesn’t matter.

Of course it does! It’s why you keep up these idiotic Twitter barrages!

By all means, ban those ‘flavored’ vape devices

Get ready for it. I am about to say something positive about the president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump is absolutely correct to call for a ban on the sale of those “flavored” e-cigarette devices (I think that’s what you might call ’em) in an effort to stem the use of vaping among youngsters.

The president today spoke of his own vested interest in the banning of them, noting that he and first lady Melania Trump are the parents of a teenage son who is part of the generation that is drawn to those weird flavors.

Actually, the president referenced the first lady exclusively, saying “she has a son” and, thus, has skin in the game.

Whatever. He is correct to demand stricter prohibitions regarding vaping, which is producing serious illness and death among youngsters all over the country.

My wife and I are in Bellingham, Wash., tonight and local news reports referred extensively to the state’s first vape-related death.

It’s an epidemic. Its most vulnerable victims are gullible youngsters, boys and girls, who are lured to try this new fad. I always thought e-cigarettes and vaping were somehow safer than the old-fashioned cigarettes I used to smoke.

Now this vaping craze has produced flavors: cotton candy and other assorted scents that I guess young people find appealing.

Honestly, I don’t quite yet understand the vaping craze … other than I want no part of it. I quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey nearly 40 years ago. It is one of the things I’ve done in my life of which I am most proud.

If we can dissuade young people from vaping and exposing their lungs to the hazards of nicotine, then I’m all for that, too.

To that end, I applaud the president for using his high office for a noble cause.

Bolton is gone; the problem remains: it’s POTUS

John Bolton has left the building, the White House.

Fine. Good riddance. However, the former national security adviser isn’t the problem. The national security risk remains with the guy who appointed him to the office he has just departed in a huff: Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

Trump said Bolton made too many decision with which he disagreed. What’s most stunning, though, is that Bolton did not want the president to meet with Taliban terrorists on the eve of the nation’s 9/11 commemoration. Trump seemed to call that a “big mistake.”

Moreover, then we hear from Trump that Bolton drew the ire of North Korean tyrant/dictator/murderer Kim Jong Un. Trump said Kim “couldn’t tolerate” Bolton … as if it should matter whether a Marxist tyrant should have to tolerate a U.S. national security adviser.

Bolton is the third national security adviser to leave the Trump administration. The first was Michael Flynn, who left after 24 days for allegedly lying to the FBI about that “Russia thing.” Then H.R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general and a brilliant military strategist, resigned over differences with the president.

Now it’s Bolton who’s been shown the door.

These presidential appointees come and go.

However, the problem remains with the individual who called on them in the first place.

Another of the ‘best people’ becomes ‘not bright’

I’m confused.

Donald Trump told us he would surround himself with “the best people” while he settled into the presidency of the United States. Then whenever they leave — often after disputing with the president — they become dummies.

So it has been with John Bolton, the former national security adviser, who quit suddenly this week — or perhaps he was fired.

Bolton is a well-known foreign-policy hawk with whom the president reportedly had disagreements.

Now he’s gone.

Does the president let the issue go? Does he move on? Does he look ahead exclusively to finding the next national security adviser, who would become No. 4 in that office since Trump took office?

Heavens no!

Trump told reporters that Bolton isn’t “bright.” He said Bolton made some “big mistakes.”

Good grief, dude. Trump selected the national security adviser, who isn’t subject to Senate confirmation. He picks all the White House aides. He vows upon picking them that they’re best at what they do. Then they run afoul of the president, at which time they become worthless.

Is this how Donald Trump defines the “best people”?