Tag Archives: Donald Trump

How does POTUS even discuss sexual abuse?

We are living in the wackiest of worlds.

Donald Trump got elected president of the United States after admitting to groping women, grabbing them by their private parts, saying he could have his way with women because of his “celebrity” status.

The president than nominates a fellow to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh was coasting to confirmation. Then trouble presented itself in the form of an allegation by a woman who says that when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers, the future judge attacked her, committing an act of sexual assault at a high school party.

Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred. Christine Ford, who has become a college professor, insists it did.

Meanwhile, the president — the guy with his overloaded baggage wagon — weighs in with comments questioning the veracity of Ford’s allegation. He is backing Brett Kavanaugh to the hilt.

My question? How does the president of the United States dare comment on anything at all relating to this kind of allegation?

He doesn’t seem to understand that the record is replete with his own involvement with women. Doesn’t the president grasp the idea that his own acknowledgement of such bad behavior can haunt him continually?

Were the judge to speak to the Judiciary panel, he could do so privately. He could speak from his gut. He can persuade those on the Judiciary Committee that he’s all grown up no.

As for the president, I want to offer him some unsolicited advice: Don’t talk about sexual assault out loud, in public, in front of reporters. Donald Trump is in enough trouble as it is without being buried under reminders of his own sexual misbehavior.

GOP ‘heroes’ nowhere to be seen or heard

Carl Bernstein, the legendary journalist who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, recently said the real “heroes” who brought about the end of the Richard Nixon presidency were Republicans who told the president that his impeachment in the House of Representatives was a certainty.

And so was his conviction in a Senate trial.

Sen. Barry Goldwater led a GOP team of lawmakers to the White House to tell the president his Senate support had all but vanished and that Goldwater was not among those who would vote to acquit him.

Nixon resigned on Aug. 9. 1974.

I mention this because there appears to be no sign of any Republican “heroism” developing as the walls close in around Donald J. Trump, the current Republican who happens to be president of the United States. The GOP is holding firm in both the House and the Senate — with a few exception — in its support of Trump against the special counsel’s examination into what I like calling “The Russia Thing.”

Might there be some heroes emerge if the counsel, Robert Mueller, produces incontrovertible proof of, say, obstruction of justice, or of conspiracy to collude with Russians who attacked our electoral system, or of violations of the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution that bans presidents from accepting gifts from foreign kings and potentates?

I cannot predict the future any more than meteorologists can predict with absolute clarity what the weather will do the next day.

Why the absence of any GOP heroes? President Nixon never grabbed the party by the throat in the early 1970s. Sure, he won re-election in 1972 in a historic landslide. However, the party didn’t exactly belong to him. Fast-forward to the present day and we find that Donald Trump has managed — through an astonishing display of intimidation and innuendo — to capture the heart and soul of a party with which he had only a passing acquaintance prior to becoming a politician, which was when he announced his presidential candidacy.

Because I don’t predict these matters any longer, I am left just to wonder whether there might be a hero or three out there among the Republicans who serve in Congress. What might it take to shake them loose from the death grip that Donald Trump has on them?

Age-old dilemma plays out to this day

Politicians have been waging this struggle probably since the beginning of politics as we’ve come to know it.

Do we treat politicians on our side with the same critical look as we do those on other side of the political divide?

Probably not.

I wrote about this dilemma in July 2014. I want to share it again.

Do we ignore our guys’ missteps?

I’ll admit to my own bias on this regard. I figure it’s a natural reaction. It’s likely better, though, for us to react more vigorously when our guys mess up than when those on the other side do. Don’t we expect our guys to behave properly at all times? We ought to demand it of them and when they fail to deliver we should drop-kick them squarely in the backside.

Sadly, we don’t.

Look around us at this moment. The president keeps demonstrating his crassness. Those in his own party dismiss the criticism. Those in the other party become apoplectic. Shouldn’t the president’s fellow Republicans be as outraged as Democrats? Just wondering, man.

Wait for FBI probe: What’s wrong with that?

Christine Ford has leveled a serious accusation against Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

She intends to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but wants the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation before she talks about her allegation: that Kavanaugh assaulted her sexually when they were teenagers.

The FBI can pull together all the evidence it needs to presumably determine whether Ford’s allegation holds up. Or it could come up empty. Or it could produce a result with no definitive answer.

Ford is asking that the FBI do its investigation before she talks.

If it delays Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, so be it. If his confirmation — should it occur — come until after the court convenes its next judicial term, so be that, too.

The allegation is profoundly serious. Kavanaugh has denied categorically what the accuser has alleged. He is entitled to mount a vigorous defense. Ford, too, is entitled to get a fair and complete hearing of the allegation she has leveled against a man who wants to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh nomination on rocky ground, but not doomed

It’s pretty clear that Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s road to the U.S. Supreme Court has hit a serious pot hole.

I’m not yet sure his nomination to join the nation’s highest court is doomed.

A woman has come forward with a 35-year-old claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee to the court, denies the event took place. The woman swears it did.

Speaking of “swearing” to the veracity of her allegation, Christine Ford is going to take an oath next Monday to tell the whole truth to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering whether to recommend Kavanaugh to the full Senate.

If she is proven to perjure herself before the court, then her allegations is toast.

Then again, Kavanaugh also will take an oath to tell the truth. If he lies under oath — or if it can be proven that he lied, which is a tall order — then his nomination is toast.

I’ve wrestled with this one. Can teenagers grow out of their youthful nastiness to become upstanding adults? Sure they can. If this event happened, does Kavanaugh’s status as a federal judge and a devoted husband and father negate what he might have done as a drunken teen?

Not exactly. He’s being considered for the highest judicial post in the United States of America. The post requires men and women to be of fine moral character. I mean, Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his high court nomination in 1987 after he admitted to smoking pot while in college. This allegation against Judge Kavanaugh in my mind rises to a higher level of misbehavior.

But still, the two principals are going to take an oath to tell the truth. One of them is lying. The Senate Judiciary Committee — deeply split already along partisan grounds — will have to decide whom to believe.

Good luck, ladies and gentlemen of the committee.

Let the accuser — and the accused — make their case

I’ve been quiet about Brett Kavanaugh’s recent troubles and the allegation brought by a woman who has accused the U.S. Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers.

Until now.

Christine Ford is going to get to make her case next week in a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh, nominated by Donald Trump, has denied the accusation that when he was 17 and his accuser was 15 he forced himself on her and sought to rape her at a high school party.

Man, this is serious stuff. You know?

I want to hear both of them. I want them both to look nation in the eye and make their case. Do I believe Christine Ford? I cannot state yet whether I believe or disbelieve her. And do I believe Judge Kavanaugh’s denial? Same answer.

I need to watch their body language. I need to look into their eyes.

I also want the FBI to conduct a complete, thorough and meticulous background check to ascertain which of these people is telling the truth. If that’s possible.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican “swing vote,” has declared that any evidence that Kavanaugh has lied about this alleged encounter is a deal-breaker. He cannot serve on the nation’s highest court. No kidding?

Thus, the rush to confirm this individual can wait for as long as we need to determine the veracity of the complaint brought against him. If the FBI investigation goes past the date in October when the high court convenes its next judicial session, well, so be it. The court has functioned before without  all nine SCOTUS seats being occupied (isn’t that right, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who obstructed President Obama’s nominee to succeed the late Antonin Scalia?).

The hearing will be open. The public will get to see for itself. Let’s give this accuser her the opportunity she deserves to make her case … and let’s give the accused the chance he deserves to defend himself.

May the more credible person win the day.

Yep, the image still puzzles

Not quite a year ago Donald Trump ventured to Puerto Rico and promptly made an ass of himself.

He did it with his mouth and with the gesture pictured above. He tossed rolls of paper towels at a crowd of people who had come to hear the president offer words of comfort and encouragement as they struggled with the aftermath of a killer hurricane named Maria.

I have watched that video countless times and I am left to wonder: What in the name of humanitarian relief was the president trying to convey with that silly gesture?

Then came this Twitter message from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and frequent Trump critic: Almost a year later, Trump is reportedly still fuming over this video. In the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, he’s more concerned about his public image than the deaths of thousands of Americans. Absolutely sickening.

In a weird sort of way, I understand the president’s “fuming” over the video of him tossing the paper towels. What I don’t understand is at whom is he angry? If he’s mad at staffers who might have told him that flipping the towels would make good “optics,” then I sort of get why he’s hot under the collar.

Then again, he should’ve known better. Isn’t this guy a TV “reality show” star who’s supposed to be media savvy enough to know what makes good optics and what goes over like passing gas in a spacesuit?

Well, you live and learn. Unless you’re Donald Trump … and you know all there is to know already.

Manafort holds one of the keys to Trump survival

Let’s concede Norm Eisen’s partisan leaning: He served as ethics chief for President Barack H. Obama.

So, when he predicts that Donald J. Trump “won’t survive” whatever his former campaign chairman tells special counsel Robert Mueller, it is good to take it with a bit of a grain of salt.

However … the man might know something the rest of us don’t know.

Will the president survive?

Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller after pleading guilty to two felony counts; he’s already been convicted of eight felony charges and faces a lengthy prison term.

Manafort is near the top of the Trump campaign’s chain of command. There ain’t much room between him and the very top 00 which would be Donald Trump.

Manafort is reportedly planning to talk — if he hasn’t already — to Mueller’s legal eagles who are trying to determine whether the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Mueller’s probe is a wide-ranging — but totally legal and appropriate — examination of this troublesome issue.

He’s already reeled in some big fish. He’s gotten guilty pleas and has persuaded some big campaign hitters to cooperate with his probe.

Manafort clearly is the biggest fish to date.

Sure, the White House says it has “nothing to fear” from a Manafort guilty plea. You expect that kind of thing from the White House and from those associated with the president. They, too, are partisans.

Given my own bias, though, I’m going to go with Norm Eisen’s view that Trump might not “survive” whatever Manafort spills to Robert Mueller.

How about sharing credit, POTUSes 44 and 45?

Barack H. Obama and Donald J. Trump are arguing over who deserves the credit for the nation’s booming economy.

Trump keeps hogging all the credit. Obama is reminding us that Trump inherited an economy on the upswing.

Trump says the tax cut has spurred job growth. On his watch, the unemployment rate is at historic lows, job growth is booming, as is the stock market.

Oh, but Obama says the nation’s economic stimulus package approved not long after he took office has spurred much of the growth. The nation has been on an upward climb since 2011.

I know this won’t happen. Ever! How about the men sharing the credit?

Why won’t it happen? Obama and Trump are politicians of different political parties. They obviously detest each other. Trump fomented the Big Lie for years about Obama’s place of birth. Obama has recently taken the gloves off with Trump, calling him out by name in his attempt to help Democrats get elected to Congress in the 2018 midterm election.

I am inclined to side with President Obama. I know: no surprise there. It’s just that Donald Trump has continued to speak untruthfully about the nature of the economic recovery and about the base line he inherited. He calls the economy a “disaster,” which it clearly wasn’t when he took office.

My hope is a futile one. Still, it’s good to remember that when our Special Forces took out Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the then-president — Barack Obama — made sure to spread the credit to where it was due. He praised the anti-terror work done for many years across two administrations, Republican and Democrat.

Is there that kind of sharing to be expressed these days with a relatively robust economy? Hah! Hardly.

This is how a POTUS with no shame functions

Donald John Trump is actually proud of his shamelessness.

He takes pride, or so it appears, in the notion that he won’t apologize for mistakes. He won’t even acknowledge them. He speaks from his gut and let’s it stand. Or … he doubles or triples down on the thoughtless and arrogant statement that flies out of his mouth, or gets blasted into the Twitter-verse.

Thus, we have a president of the United States refusing to back down on that idiotic, brainless, evidence-free, crass and despicable statement that nearly 3,000 Americans didn’t die when Hurricane Maria blasted through Puerto Rico one year ago.

The president has said, in effect, that the loved ones who lost 2,975 of their own in that terrible storm are fake. They aren’t really grieving. They aren’t mourning their loss.

Trump has disparaged the independent review of the Puerto Rican territorial government that established a death toll that, by golly, exceeded the number of victims who perished when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Trump tweeted this: “When Trump visited the island territory last October, OFFICIALS told him in a briefing 16 PEOPLE had died from Maria.” The Washington Post. This was long AFTER the hurricane took place. Over many months it went to 64 PEOPLE. Then, like magic, “3000 PEOPLE KILLED.” They hired….

And then this: ….GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?). This method was never done with previous hurricanes because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed. FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER – NO WAY!

Meanwhile, as the Carolina coast was bracing for the Hurricane Florence onslaught, the president had the gall to declare the federal response to Hurricane Maria an “unsung success.”

It was nothing of the sort.

A president with a sense of shame would acknowledge that the government he was elected to lead could have done better.

Not this fellow. He is merely “telling it like it is.”

Disgraceful.