Tag Archives: Fox News

Nauert pulls out of U.N. envoy hunt; good for the U.S.

Heather Nauert, once nominated to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, had no business — none, zero! — being considered for the post.

She stayed in the hunt for the job. Until now. She has pulled her name out of consideration for the job.

My views on her are well known to readers of this blog. She is a former Fox News host with no foreign policy experience. Nauert was a State Department spokeswoman who once referred to Germany as an “ally” during World War II.

She says now that the stress of her pending nomination placed too much stress on her family. Nauert is pulling out. I wish her family well and I wish her well, too.

But back to the issue at hand: finding a capable U.N. envoy who can represent our nation’s interest before the world body.

Donald Trump keeps telling us how qualified individuals are knocking down the White House doors to work for the executive branch of government. No one should believe that assertion, but he keeps making it.

If it’s true, then the president should have no trouble finding someone with serious foreign-policy chops to be our nation’s top diplomat at the United Nations.

Isn’t that right?

The attention span of a ‘fruit fly’?

Robert Reich leans to the left; his critics surely would say “the far left.” He served as secretary of labor in President Clinton’s administration. His progressive chops are well-known.

Still, for this former Cabinet official to say what he has said about Donald Trump is, well, quite stunning. Reich posted this on Facebook:

In all my years advising presidents and working in government, I have never heard of anything like this happening in the White House. During a meeting with Paul Ryan on health care, Trump reportedly became so disinterested that he stared blankly out the window and finally wandered out of the Oval Office to watch television in another room. Mike Pence had to convince (Trump) to return to the Oval Office to finish the meeting.

This man has the attention span of a fruit fly. He has no interest in facts and figures nor does he pretend to care. Even the simplest duties of the office bore him. He is more interested in what’s on Fox News than actually running the government. This is (a) real national emergency, not migrant women and children seeking asylum at the border.

I am not aware of Reich’s sourcing for what he says occurred during that meeting with the former House speaker. It sure sounds like what so many of us have heard already about the president’s lack of attention to anything approaching the details of public policy.

Thus, I have to concur with Secretary Reich’s assertion that the “real national emergency” is present inside the Oval Office, in the West Wing, in the White House.

Donald Trump’s base has elected a menace.

POTUS seeks to rally the base, ‘er, nation?

Donald Trump wants to go on national TV to rally Americans to his side as he pitches the idea of building The Wall along our southern border.

I believe the networks ought to carry the president’s televised speech Tuesday night. Let the man have his say and let the public debate and decide on the veracity of what he is contending.

Trump is considering whether to declare a national emergency to obtain money for The Wall. Why? Because he contends that terrorists are crossing an “open border.” He is trying to gin up fear, in my view, among Americans.

Oh, but wait. We are now getting reports from other sources that say that a grand total of six suspected terrorists were apprehended along the border in 2018, not the reported 4,000 of them alleged by the Trump administration.

Indeed, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, interviewing White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Sunday, challenged her 4,000-terrorist assertion by declaring that those suspects are being apprehended at our nation’s airports.

So now we’re going to hear from the commander in chief about what looks like a fabricated crisis along our border.

Please . . .

Is U.N. ambassadorship a training position?

Welcome to the real big leagues, Heather Nauert.

Donald Trump wants the former Fox News correspondent and morning talk-show co-host to lead the U.S. diplomatic effort in the United Nations. I am left to wonder if the president values the U.N. as much as his national security adviser, John Bolton, does. It was Bolton who (in)famously said you could remove the top 10 floors from the U.N. Building in New York and not lose a thing. Then he became the U.S. ambassador to the world body.

Nauert brings far less foreign policy experience to this most delicate of posts. She did serve as State Department spokeswoman for a year after leaving Fox News.

You know, I actually thought that Nauert wasn’t the first rookie to take this job. My thoughts turned to the late John Scali, the former ABC News correspondent who was U.N. ambassador from 1973 to 1975. However, a quick check of Scali’s record showed something quite revealing.

He helped mediate an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 while working for ABC, carrying messages from President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy to the Soviet embassy, warning them of the dire peril they were putting the world in by installing offensive missiles in Cuba. Scali then left ABC to work for the Nixon administration as a foreign policy adviser before becoming U.N. ambassador in 1973.

Thus, Scali had experience.

Nauert does not. In a way, though, she more or less mirrors the experience level of the man who nominated her. Donald Trump brought zero government or public service experience to the presidency when he got elected.

And it shows.

I fear the absence of any foreign policy chops is going to show itself yet again at the United Nations. Heaven help us.

War on Christmas: always been a phony issue

Santa Claus is on his way.

Christmas is about to arrive. We’ll have a good day. We’ll spend some time with our sons, our daughter-in-law, our granddaughter and her brother.

Our time preceding this holy day has been relaxing and full of joy. I refuse to let the “hassles” supposedly associated with the holiday season get the better of me. There are no hassles as far as I’m concerned, so don’t tell me about them.

I want to assure you as well that as I’ve done my shopping — whether for groceries or gifts during this season — I keep hearing “Merry Christmas” from vendors’ employees as I complete my purchases.

Isn’t that cool? Sure it is! It’s also evidence as I see it of the phoniness of the so-called “war on Christmas” that conservative mainstream media tend to suggest is under way. Former Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly was the chief proponent of this phony war; he’s gone from Fox now, but others have mentioned it from time to time.

Donald Trump campaigned for president vowing to insist that businesses with their customers “Merry Christmas,” and not “Happy Holidays.” Fine, except that it’s never been an issue or a problem.

So I want to declare tonight that the war on Christmas doesn’t exist. Let’s just declare victory against a non-existent enemy against this joyous holiday and go about our business.

There. I just did.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Former Fox News talker shows hideous side

Bill O’Reilly is a cable news has-been, but he still commands a substantial audience of true believers who hang onto the crap that flies out of this guy’s pie hole.

Such as what came from his Twitter account today: Justice Ginsburg is very ill. Another Justice appointment inevitable and soon. Bad news for the left.

Hmm. Let’s ponder that one briefly.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just had some cancerous nodules removed from her lung. She is recovering. Doctors believe they got all of it; they also believe the cancer hasn’t spread.

Does the former Fox News talking head say a thing about Justice Ginsburg’s recovery, wishing her well? No. The no-spin phony talks about “bad news” coming to political progressives.

The man knows not a lick of shame. He is utterly lacking as well in class, decorum, decency, sympathy, empathy, kindness.

This individual makes me sick.

I just had to get that off my chest.

Let’s not slam the door shut

Tucker Carlson’s intemperate blast at immigrants brings to mind an argument I have heard from others who share the Fox News talking head’s view.

Carlson had the bad form to say on the air the other day that immigrants make the country “dirtier” and “more divided.” Advertisers have been pulling out from Fox News sponsorships as a result of Carlson’s intemperate remarks.

However, he seems to speak on behalf of an alarming number of Americans who want the country to stiffen the standards for entry to all immigrants who seek to come to the Land of Opportunity.

I have sought to argue that it is patently un-American to slam the door shut on those who want in. The Statue of Liberty still invites the rest of the world to send us the dispossessed, those who “yearn to breathe free.” Yes, the president wants to build a wall along our southern border to stem what he describes as an illegal immigration “crisis.” I am not yet convinced that the “crisis” that Donald Trump alleges is any more severe now than it has ever been.

Then we hear from the likes of Tucker Carlson, who has a cable TV forum to spout the nonsense seemingly about all immigration.

I stand proudly as the grandson of Greek immigrants. Not a single one of them made this country “dirtier,” nor did they seek to “divide” themselves from the rest of the society they sought to join. They all became U.S. citizens. My maternal grandfather did so by enlisting in the U.S. Army in his quest to get into the fight in the waning days of World War I. His wife, my Yiayia, became a fervent U.S. patriot who idolized Presidents Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

To be sure, my grandparents weren’t the only immigrants who found a better life. They weren’t alone in their quest for opportunity. They were among millions of others from throughout the world who sought and found their proverbial end-of-rainbow treasure.

Do these xenophobes actually seek to deny other immigrants the opportunity to become Americans by choice? How can they say the things they say, make arguments that Tucker Carlson echoed the other day, that immigrants make dirty the nation that traditionally has kept the light on for those seeking entry?

I will not tolerate that kind of bigotry. Nor should anyone else.

Immigrants built this nation. They continue to improve on what our forebears erected.

They are dirty? They divide the nation? Ridiculous.

Fox media analyst needs a reality check . . . seriously!

I get that Howard Kurtz, who once worked for the Washington Post, now is a media analyst for a pro-Donald Trump cable news outlet, the Fox News Channel. Thus, he is inclined to speak more kindly of the president and those close to him than others who tend to look more critically at the Trump Era.

But, c’mon, Howard! Get a grip!

He told Laura Ingraham, another Fox News “contributor,” that first lady Melania Trump has gotten the worst media treatment of any first lady in modern times. He said: “Melania is subjected to a particularly brutal kind of treatment and mockery . . . No other modern first lady has been treated like this.” 

Kurtz cannot be serious. Can he? I guess he can — in his own mind.

Let me offer a couple of examples that I submit would contradict his view of Melania Trump’s media treatment: Michelle Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I’ll stipulate that first ladies as a rule deserve some cushion from the pounding that the media deliver to their husbands. To that extent, Melania Trump is no different from any of her predecessors.

However, do I really need to remind Kurtz of the hideous racially tinged, defamatory insults that those on the right hurled at Michelle Obama during her eight years as first lady? And, yes, the media reported it. I do not want to restate some of the monstrous epithets she endured. You know what they are. Michelle Obama damn sure does.

As for Hillary Clinton, has Kurtz forgotten how the media reported on the far right’s accusations that Hillary and Bill Clinton were actually living as husband and wife, or that the two of them actually ordered the murder of their political opponents in the years prior to President Clinton’s election in 1992?

Have the media gone that far in their treatment of Melania Trump?

I do not believe that is the case. Thus, Howard Kurtz needs to re-calibrate his media-analyst antennae. Dial it back, Howie, on your criticism of the media as it relates to Donald and Melania Trump.

Hey, POTUS already has his media lapdogs!

Donald J. Trump has expressed a desire for the federal government to create a TV network that would report favorably on his exploits as president of the United States.

It’s a preposterous notion on at least one level: My reading of the U.S. Constitution prohibits such a thing in this country. A “free press” is supposed to operate without government interference or influence.

Trump, though, has expressed envy over the love and kisses heaped on his boyfriend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, by TV anchors in that reclusive nation. Well, that is laughable on its face. Those TV anchors are employed by a murderer — Kim — and they would be killed if they didn’t say what he demanded of them.

Now, as for Trump’s desire for favorable TV coverage, he already has a major cable “news” network in his hip pocket. Fox News — aka Faux News — is chock full of talking heads who suck up to the president daily. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, the trio on “Fox & Friends,” all are loath to say anything critical of Trump. So, they don’t. Plus, the network brings on an array of “contributors,” the vast majority of whom follow the lead of the network’s staff of anchors and correspondents.

Which brings me to my question of the day: Why does Donald Trump want to create a TV network that slobbers all over him when he already has one doing his bidding?

Bizarre.

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.