Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Betsy DeVos is no ‘educator’

As I watched Betsy DeVos evade, bob and weave and avoid answering questions today about how she intends to make public school classrooms safe for children and their teachers, I am struck by a brutal reality.

It is that the secretary of education is as unqualified for her job as the man who selected her to guide public education policy, Donald Trump, is unqualified for his job.

CNN’s Dana Bash sought to get DeVos to commit to a strategy for how she intends to advise local school leaders struggling to make classrooms safe for human habitation after they closed them because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

DeVos couldn’t answer. Or she wouldn’t answer. Couldn’t, wouldn’t. It makes no never mind to me. I sense she doesn’t have a clue.

She was selected by Trump to lead a massive education agency even though she has no experience with public education. She was educated in private schools; she sent her children to private schools; DeVos is known to be a huge advocate for voucher programs that take money from public school districts to pay for private schools.

There’s all of that, plus there’s this: Betsy DeVos doesn’t have an ounce of political cache that she can spend. When the U.S. Senate got around to voting on her confirmation, it ended with a tie, leaving the decision up to the Senate’s presiding officer, Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. It was the first such vote in U.S. Senate confirmation history.

To my way of thinking, Betsy DeVos has no business setting public education policy for millions of American children, their parents and the educators who teach them. She continues to demonstrate her ignorance or disinterest in public education.

I suppose Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump deserve each other … and the public deserves better.

What took so long, Mr. POTUS?

Donald J. Trump finally saw fit to wear a mask in public, to do the very thing his team of infectious disease experts has been imploring the public to do while the nation fights a so-far losing battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

He donned the mask while touring Walter Reed Medical Center.

If only Donald Trump had decided, oh, about three months ago to do the right thing. What might have been the result? Here’s a thought: Given the cult of personality that has developed around this clown, there well might have been less political resistance from the Trumpkin Corps against wearing the mask. As a result, there could have been thousands fewer infections and thousands fewer deaths as a result.

But oh, no! Trump wasn’t going to wear a mask. It didn’t look, um, “presidential,” or so he inferred. I guess he’s changed his mind? Is that possible? Who the hell knows?

The surgeon general pleads with us to wear a mask in public; so does the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; same for the secretary of health and human services; the top medical experts on the White House pandemic response team say the same thing.

Closer to home, we’re hearing from governors, county officials, mayors, school leaders, hospital officials, emergency responders, firefighters and cops to do the same thing.

The president? Until just this weekend he has thought differently and has brought that vocal but shrinking base of supporters along with him.

Donald Trump should be ashamed. So should those who resist the mask-wearing and the mandates to take other precautions to avoid getting swept up in the pandemic crisis.

D’oh! I almost forgot! Donald Trump has no shame.

Lo and behold, Trump dons a mask!

Well now, that wasn’t so bad, was it Mr. President?

Donald Trump had infamously avoided wearing a surgical mask in public, despite pleas from his coronavirus pandemic response team that masks are an essential preventive measure against the killer virus.

Trump said he thought the masks looked bad for the president of the United States. How utterly, completely ridiculous!

He went to Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., today to visit with some of our wounded warriors. He wore the mask and allowed pictures of him to be snapped and distributed around the world.

Did anyone on Earth laugh out loud at the sight of Donald Trump wearing a mask? I don’t think so, even though there might have been some giggling at the idiocy expressed by Trump about his reluctance to wear a mask.

Masks serve a dual purpose. They protect the health of those who wear them. They also protect those who stand near the person wearing the mask.

So, it’s not about whether someone looks good wearing a mask. It’s about protecting people’s health and possibly saving their lives.

The president needs to lead in that effort and ditch that moronic notion that we have this virus “under control.” We don’t. Donald Trump needs to wear a mask whenever he ventures into public view.

Wondering about post-Trump era

 REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger

I admit it freely and without reservation: My mind tends to wander during its idle moments.

My wife and I took a dip in the pool today to fend off the 100-degree heat and while soaking myself I began to ponder the post-Donald Trump era in U.S. politics.

First I shall stipulate, as if it needs stipulation, that I hope that era begins in January 2021 and not January 2025. We have an election coming up and as of this moment, the trend is looking good for the challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

But … you know what they say about a week being like a lifetime in politics. Still, I cannot turn the mind-idle off.

What would happen if Donald Trump is staring at the reality of losing an election, that Biden has racked up enough Electoral College votes to win? Does he pick up the phone, call Biden and wish him well? Does he say, “You fought hard and well, Mr. President-elect. I will do what I can to assure a smooth transition”?

Then we have the issue of where Trump would go. One of these days — and I damn sure hope it’s soon — he’ll walk to the helicopter on the White House lawn and fly away. Will he go to Mar-a-Lago, Fla., or to Bedminster, or to Trump Tower? What will he and Melania discuss on their first full day as civilians?

This question perhaps is most maddening of all: Where does Donald Trump plan to build a presidential library? Even more puzzling is what in the world is going to be his overarching theme? Economic revival? Fighting disease? Seeking to kick illegal immigrants out of the country? Ending the Affordable Care Act? Ridding the nation of anything associated with President Barack Obama?

Former presidents often receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Obama bestowed it on Presidents Bush 41 and Bill Clinton. He didn’t do the same for President Bush 43, but I wish he had done so. Would a President Biden honor Donald Trump in this fashion? Hah! Not a chance, given the defamatory epithets that Trump has hurled at Biden.

Trump vowed to be a “different” kind of president. I suppose you could say he’s delivered on that promise in spades. I don’t know what kind of former president he will become. All I am hoping for at this moment of idle time is that we’ll know sooner rather than later.

Oh, for an end to the chaos

I told you this would happen.

Yes, I called it. I will stand by what I said would be the result of Donald John Trump serving as president of the United States.

It would be that he would bring chaos and confusion from the campaign trail straight into the Oval Office; that his ignorance of government would be on full display almost daily; that his background of self-aggrandizement, self-enrichment and narcissism would become evident in a man with not a single moment of public service experience.

Many of you didn’t listen to what your humble blogger said would occur. Had there been a 40,000-vote flip in three critical states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — we would be free of this madness.

And I do mean “madness.”

Donald Trump’s commuting of Roger Stone’s federal prison sentence because he is so very loyal to Trump wouldn’t have happened. We wouldn’t have witnessed the entire array of bizarre rulings, policy pronouncements and the revolving door spinning wildly as officials are fired/resigning.

All of this was visible and predictable the moment Donald Trump rode down the escalator to declare his intention to run for president. To be honest, I thought in the moment he was performing some sort of publicity stunt. Silly me. That’s what I got, I guess, for thinking.

I believe firmly we cannot afford any more of this chaos. I want a change in our national leadership, but that’s no surprise to readers of this blog. I want to elect a politician who (a) knows the Constitution, (b) appreciates the limits of executive power in our government and (c) can express authentic empathy for the pain we are enduring.

Dr. Fauci offers grim prognosis

“I don’t think you can say we’re doing great. We’re just not.”

That clearly is not the view expressed repeatedly by Donald John “Prevaricator in Chief” Trump. It is instead an opinion offered by the nation’s — if not the world’s — leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Dr. Fauci is seriously concerned about the terrible spike in infection, hospitalization and death caused by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The doc is contradicting directly the man for whom he works, the president of the United States. I am going to stand with the doctor’s view on where we stand in this fight against the pandemic.

Trump, meanwhile, is fighting for his political life and the pandemic — namely the federal response to it — isn’t providing Trump much ammo to use in his re-election campaign. Indeed, Donald Trump’s arsenal is spent; he is out of ammunition.

How in the world does the nation fight its way back from the medical brink? There is increasing talk about states returning to their shelter in place policies, shutting down businesses they had reopened, ordering Americans to do certain things to prevent the spread of the virus.

In Texas, where officials sought to restart the economy, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a mandatory mask-wearing order, told businesses to scale back their service to 50 percent of capacity. Yes, he has drawn fire for his order, namely from Republicans — if you can fathom that — who continue to insist that we reopen the business community despite the threat to people’s health and their very lives.

As for Dr. Fauci, he well might be writing his exit from the White House pandemic response team, where he has played a once-significant role that has been diminished of late because of Fauci’s disagreement with Donald Trump. Indeed, Trump has been critical openly of the good doctor, saying he has committed many “mistakes.” I haven’t heard a single example of what Trump considers to be a Fauci mistake.

Still, I am going to listen to the doctor. I am going to ignore the blathering of the politicians … especially the nation’s top pol, the guy who couldn’t tell us the unvarnished truth if his political career depended on it.

Oh, wait … !

Wishing media could dial back Biden’s poll reporting

The media are having a field day reporting on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s spectacular poll ratings against Donald J. Trump Sr.

Biden is leading Trump by double digits, the media tell us. Biden is leading Trump in virtually all the critical “swing states,” they report. Biden might already have enough Electoral College votes in the bank to assure his election in November, the reporting continues.

I want the media to dial it back. Why? Because it is beginning to fill me with a sense of hope that might not hold up as we head down the stretch toward Election Day.

My memory is vivid on some things. One of those matters involves what the media reported at this stage of the 2016 campaign. They said Hillary Clinton would cruise to an easy election.

I bought that narrative four years ago. I was so confident that I attended an election-night watch party with my wife at some friends’ house in Amarillo. We went there expecting Hillary Clinton to make a victory speech upon getting the concession call from Donald Trump.

Uhh, it didn’t happen. My worst political nightmare came to pass on election night 2016.

I am acutely aware that Joe Biden doesn’t carry nearly the negative baggage that Clinton did against Trump. I also am aware that much of Trump’s message that sold against Clinton is hitting the deck with a thud against Biden.

We have an economy in collapse, the nation’s response to the pandemic has been disastrous. Trump is campaigning against his own record as president, if you allow me to parse the rhetoric he keeps using.

I know the media have a role to play and a job to do. Part of all that is to tell us what the polling is telling us about the race as it develops. It’s just making me nervous.

Time is ticking away for Dr. Fauci

I want to offer a suggestion: Sit in as quiet a room as you can find and you might start hearing the tick-tock sound of a clock.

That well might be the sound of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s time as part of Donald Trump’s coronavirus response team winding down. You see, Fauci had the temerity to publicly and quit forthrightly contradict Donald Trump’s happy talk about the status of the global pandemic that has killed more than 130,000 Americans.

Trump says it’s under control. Dr. Fauci says we’re nowhere close to getting it under control.

Trump now says Fauci “made a lot of mistakes.” Fauci says he hasn’t briefed Trump in more than two months.

The end of Fauci’s time at the right hand of Donald Trump might be coming. If so, the nation will lose the up-close insight of its leading infectious disease expert, a man who’s worked side by side with medical geniuses in seven presidential administrations, dating back to Ronald Reagan’s time in the White House.

That’s all part of the bad news that well might be coming. There is some good news to report about all of this.

Anthony Fauci will remain a top-flight infectious disease expert, even if he’s no longer “advising” Donald Trump; I use the word “advising” with caution because Trump doesn’t appear to take the advice of the “best people” with whom he surrounded himself during this pandemic.

As for his status as a member of the White House coronavirus response team, a part of me actually hopes Trump cuts Dr. Fauci loose.

Moreover, I hope Dr. Fauci refuses to sign a “no disparagement” document if he is let go. Why? Because then he could tell the world that Donald Trump has been leading a clusterfu** response effort that has resulted in untold — and more than likely unnecessary — death and misery in this country.

Obsession with Obama seeks to conceal hideous reality

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald J. Trump’s obsession with Barack H. Obama is beginning to look increasingly like a deflection of our attention from a hideous truth about the current presidential administration.

It is that Trump has presided over the most corrupt executive government branch at least since the era of Richard M. Nixon. Indeed, there is an argument being made that the corruption level of the Trump administration dwarfs what we saw during the Nixon administration.

More of Trump’s men have gone to prison than those who served time during Nixon’s time.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to insist that President Obama presided over the “most corrupt” administration in U.S. history. Of course, and this is no surprise, he seeks to tie Vice President Joe Biden to what he alleges was the corruption of the Obama years. You get that, right? I mean, Biden is about to be nominated by the Democratic Party to run against Trump this fall and at this moment Biden appears headed for a smashing victory.

We have a former national security adviser who has pleaded guilty to lying to authorities; a former Trump friend and “fixer” has just been hauled back to the slammer for violating the terms of his house arrest; other campaign officials have been cloistered behind bars; that includes the guy who ran Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Trump flails away saying that it’s all a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” It is neither of those things. Trump has presided over an administration fraught with criminal activity … not to mention scandals involving all manner of accusations.

His defense? To deflect attention by suggesting that President Obama and Vice President Biden — of all people — sat atop the most corrupt administration in history.

Oh, and how many people were indicted or served prison time during the eight years of Obama’s time in office?¬†None.

Once again, about those tax returns

I guess we can set aside much hope that today’s Supreme Court ruling means we’ll get a look at Donald John Trump’s tax returns prior to the November presidential election.

The court issued a 7-2 ruling that said presidents aren’t above the law, clearing the way for a Manhattan, N.Y., district attorney to pursue Trump’s tax returns.

Why is this a big … deal?

First of all, it means that the DA, Cyrus Vance Jr., will be able to present the returns to a grand jury, which is bound by secrecy provisions under state law. The grand jury is looking into whether Trump violated any crime involving his business holdings.

Eventually the nation will get a look, I suppose. Trump’s team is pretty adept at deception, diversion and delay. I expect the legal eagles working for Trump to employ all the tactics it can to delay this legal proceeding.

That all said, the public deserves a look at those returns.

Trump promised to release them. He made the promise while campaigning for the presidency. He has since choked on the pledge. Presidential candidates dating back to Jimmy Carter have released their tax returns as a matter of routine; it was a post-Watergate reform that became common practice … then along came Donald Trump.

Why do we deserve to see those returns? We need to know whether Trump is as rich as he claims to be; we deserve to know how much he pays in taxes, given that he now has a voice in what we all pay the government; we deserve to know whether he has foreign investments that might interfere with policy decisions, such as whether he deals with Russian oligarchs … right?

I’ve been yammering for those returns since before Trump got elected. They should become part of the public domain if only because they belong to the nation’s leading elected public official. He makes pronouncements and sets policies affecting the public. Therefore, the public deserves to know all about the individual who sits at the top of our government’s chain of command.

We have inched a bit closer to that reality occurring. Although I am not going to hold my breath waiting for it. I’ll just keep yammering for those returns’ release.