Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

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.

Can you really blame Hillary for the snub?

I want to defend former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton for a moment, so bear with me.

The media have reported extensively on her refusal to acknowledge the arrival this week of Donald J. Trump at the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush. She sat in her front-row church pew seat, looking straight ahead while the president and first lady Melania Trump greeted former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Hillary sat next to her husband, another former president, Bill Clinton. To her left was former President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter; the Carters didn’t acknowledge the president’s arrival, either.

So, why the hubbub? I guess it’s because the Obamas were able to muster up the courtesy of extending their hands to the Trumps. Many in the media have asked: Why didn’t Hillary Clinton do the same thing and pretend to make nice with a fake smile?

If only the president had won the 2016 election with a smidgen of grace. If only he had defeated Hillary Clinton and then kept his trap shut. He didn’t do that. He has continued to suggest that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted for unspecified crimes and locked up. He has defamed her, insulted her at every turn, denigrated her service to the country (which far outstrips anything Trump has done or ever will do).

It’s helpful as well to ask: How would any of us act if we encountered someone who continually defames our character and suggests the things Trump has done with Hillary Clinton?

I give the Obamas credit for smiling and shaking the Trumps’ hands. They are better people than I would have been in that circumstance, given the things that Trump has said about his immediate presidential predecessor.

As for Hillary Clinton’s declining to acknowledge Trump, I am OK with that, too.

I am certain that every word all the former presidents and their spouses heard from the pulpit by those honoring the late President Bush — the descriptions of his decency, humanity and his decades of public service — drew immediate comparisons to the man sitting at the end of that church pew.

Flynn gets the leniency he would have denied others

The Robert Mueller Drama has taken an astonishing turn.

The special counsel today recommended that former national security adviser Michael Flynn receive zero prison time as payback for the “substantial” contribution he has made in Mueller’s investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system.

What we don’t know is what Mueller gained precisely from Flynn, the key Trump aide who quit after 24 days as national security adviser. He had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about what he knew about the campaigns contacts with the Russians.

Mueller, though, apparently has received a treasure trove of information from Flynn. Hence, the no-prison recommendation from the special counsel.

Think of the irony for a moment.

It was the same Michael Flynn who stood before the Republican National Convention in 2016 and led a chorus of chants to “Lock her up!” in reference to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s problems associated with her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state.

Flynn had no problem yelling right along with the GOP faithful to throw Clinton behind bars. Due process? Who needs it? Not the Republican faithful or the retired Army lieutenant general who led their chants in Cleveland.

Flynn’s downfall after a distinguished career as an Army officer was shocking, but deserved. He did plead guilty to committing a felony, which was lying to the FBI about a criminal investigation.

I would give damn near anything to know what’s under the redaction marks in the sentencing memo that Mueller released today. For now I’ll settle for presuming that Mueller is still working on the details of what he has assembled for his final report.

Something tells me it’s likely to make the president squirm.

What if Trump had lost the election?

Chuck Todd, the moderator/host of “Meet the Press,” posed an interesting set of questions this week. Who would be happy had Donald Trump lost the 2016 presidential election?

He ticked off a series of folks who he said would have preferred a different electoral outcome:

Trump would be happy because he could have built his hotel in Moscow and no one would care; Melania would be smiling because she would be able to live in New York; several former Cabinet officials would be happy because their “reputations would be intact”; congressional Republicans would be happy because they would have gained seats in the midterm election instead of losing the House to the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton? Would she be happy? Probably not.

With a strengthened GOP majority in the House and Senate, a President Clinton would face the prospect of — you guessed it! — congressional hearings and potential impeachment measures taken against her. If you thought Democrats are on a vendetta against the GOP president, you wouldn’t have seen anything had the GOP been able to hound a Democratic president.

But let’s take note quickly of the biggest group of Americans who would be happy had Trump lost. That would be the nearly 66 million Americans who cast their ballots for Hillary.

I was one of them. I, too, would be happy had Trump lost.

If only . . .

Hating the political climate

Mom always taught me that hating anyone was a step too far. One shouldn’t hate, she said.

OK, Mom, but you won’t mind if I declare my unabashed, unapologetic hatred for the political climate that has infected the atmosphere. I’m glad Mom and Dad aren’t around to see what has happened to our nation . . . not that either of them were particularly political.

Who’s to blame for this? I’m going to lay most of it at the feet of the man elected to “unify” the country. The president of the United States promised to be a unifier once he took office. Donald Trump touts his “promises made, promises kept.” Mr. President, you have failed miserably at keeping this promise.

Trump doesn’t own this poisonous atmosphere exclusively. I’ll concede readily that his political foes continue to whip up the frenzy against him. I also will concede that many of them — I include myself — were stunned speechless Election Night 2016 when the TV networks and other news outlets declared Trump the winner over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

At one level, it’s hard to fathom that event happening. Thus, it well might be that we haven’t gotten over it.

So, Trump knows that. Has he done anything to reach out? Has he sought to mollify the concerns of those who opposed him at the ballot box, those who comprise a solid plurality of Americans who voted for the candidate who lost the Electoral College?

No. He hasn’t. Indeed, he has fanned the embers, whipping them into a firestorm. He speaks only to his “base,” the roughly 38 percent of Americans who stand by their guy. He fires ’em up! He speaks of waves of criminals pouring into the country to commit mayhem; he talks about building that damn wall across our southern border; he threatens to shut the government down if Congress doesn’t pay for it (he has given up trying to get Mexico to pay for it).

The president had the utter gall to say that there were “good people on both sides” of a riot in Charlottesville, Va., in which one of the sides comprised Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists. How in the world does that unify anyone?

The debate atmosphere has become toxic to the max. There appears to be no end to it. Democrats and Republicans detest each other. The president detests Democrats, accusing them of wanting a nation full of lawbreakers, of wanting to take people’s guns away from them.

Donald J. Trump is largely responsible for fomenting an atmosphere of poisonous rhetoric.

It is worth every ounce of hate I can muster.

Pay attention to me, Gov. Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich still wants to be president of the United States and says he is considering taking another run at the nation’s highest office in 2020.

I’m usually not in the mood to offer campaign advice to Republicans, but I believe Gov. Kasich, whose time in office ends in December, is an impressive fellow. I wanted him to win the GOP nomination in 2016. I well might have voted for him had the choice been Kasich or Hillary Clinton.

OK, now for the advice.

If he’s going to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, he needs to avoid the trap of being lured too far to the right. One of the more undersold aspects of Kasich’s 2016 candidacy was his role as chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee in forging a balanced federal budget in the late 1990s.

How did he do that? He worked with the Democratic president, Bill Clinton, in crafting a balanced budget that actually built surpluses during the final three years of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Yes, Kasich was a key player in achieving a stellar budgetary accomplishment. He chose not to tout that aspect of his public service career because it would have revealed his bipartisan tendencies. That ability to reach across the aisle is anathema to the hard-core, right-wing loony birds who call the shots these days in the Republican Party.

Are they going to keep calling the shots in 2020? I haven’t a clue at this moment in time. I hope not. Even if they do, though, I want to encourage John Kasich to shout it loudly and clearly: He believes in good government, which requires compromise and cooperation with everyone regardless of party affiliation.

I want this man to run yet again for president. He was one of the few GOP grownups running in 2016.

Ivanka: not your run-of-the-mill presidential kin

I know this doesn’t really need to be said, but I’ll offer it anyway.

Ivanka Trump is not your run-of-the-mill presidential family member who is “off limits” from intense media scrutiny. Ivanka is a key member of the president’s team of advisers. He’s a “senior” adviser, in fact, although I don’t know what in the world qualifies her as “senior” anything.

Donald Trump no doubt sees any media inquiry, for example, into her use of a personal e-mail account to conduct government business as an intrusion into a “private matter.” It’s far from it.

Ivanka Trump needs to steel herself for an intense look by Democrats who will run the House of Representatives. So should her dad, the president. So should her brothers, Eric and Don Jr.

So should we all.

Indeed, the only children of Donald Trump who should be exempt from media scrutiny are Tiffany, his daughter with his second wife, Marla Maples, and young Barron, who lives in the White House with the president and first lady Melania Trump.

Daddy Trump says there’s no comparison between what Ivanka has done and what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did when she used her personal e-mail account while she ran the State Department.

But . . . what Ivanka Trump has allegedly done is worth a careful look by Congress. She should be called to testify before, say, the House Oversight Committee and forced to answer questions under oath about what she put out there for all the world to see.

She’s not just a “first daughter” who deserves to be left alone. She’s part of the president’s inner circle, a cog in Donald Trump’s “fine-tuned machine.”

Hypocrisy is flourishing in the White House!

Let’s just call him the Hypocrite in Chief.

Donald J. Trump has been caught in yet another example of bald-faced, categorical and unqualified hypocrisy.

His daughter Ivanka has been caught using her personal e-mail account to transmit messages pertaining to government business. Was any of it classified? Was she able to send messages that compromised our national security? Oh, probably not.

But the point is this: Daddy Trump spent two whole years telling the world that in his view Hillary Clinton committed “several felonies” while using her personal e-mail while she was secretary of state. He led chants of “Lock her up!” at campaign rallies.

Now his older daughter is caught doing essentially the same thing. His response? Pfftt! Not parallel, he says.

Moreover, he called Clinton “stupid” for not knowing the rules. Was all of that lost on Ivanka, who now says she didn’t know the rules about e-mail use when she took her post as a senior adviser to her father?

Remember, too, how he criticized President Obama for playing too much golf? How he — Trump — wouldn’t have time to play golf, that he’ll be too busy “making America great again”?

He’s turned Obama into a weekend duffer. This president, the guy who ridiculed his predecessor unjustly, has lapped the field — and then some! — with his golf outings.

I do not begrudge the golf per se. I’ve said all along that presidents are never off the clock; they remain in constant contact with their key aides, advisers and national security team.

I do begrudge the golf only because of Trump’s hypocrisy on that matter — and on so many others.

Simply astonishing.

Trump wanted DOJ to prosecute Hillary and Comey? Wow!

Donald J. Trump won’t ever acknowledge it, but he well might owe a huge debt to a guy he managed to get pushed out of the White House, former White House counsel Don McGahn.

The New York Times is reporting that Trump wanted the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and former FBI director James Comey, two Trump political foes.

McGahn, who left the counsel’s office this past month, reportedly said “no.” He then told the president he lacked the authority to initiate such a request. Moreover, he told Trump any such action might prove to be impeachable, if not illegal.

And so … the story gets weirder by the day.

What we have here, according to the NY Times, is a case of supreme abuse of power by the president of the United States against two people he detests. Hillary Clinton is on the president’s sh** list because she opposed him for president in 2016; Comey is there because he was investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system and who declined to agree to a loyalty pledge to the president.

Do you think special counsel Robert Mueller — who took over the “Russia thing” probe after Comey was canned — is interested in this bombshell? I would bet yes. He is. Very interested.

As for McGahn, he might be emerging as a hero in this ongoing drama. He well might have saved Trump’s backside by refusing to knuckle under to his demand to seek a DOJ prosecution of Clinton and Comey. He also might emerge as a hero to those of us who believe he might have a serious story to tell Mueller about how the White House, how it ignores the rule of law, and how the president is driven by impulses he cannot control.

I believe we are witnessing this saga taking a seriously dangerous turn. It likely won’t be pretty.

No chants to ‘Lock her up,’ please

Ivanka Trump has been busted for, that’s right, using her personal e-mail account to convey government policy matters.

Sound familiar? Sure it does. Republican officials and politicians led chants from faithful audiences to “Lock her up!” when the subject was Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state who also ran as the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

I am not going to join in any kind of payback as it regards the president’s daughter, who doubles as a senior policy adviser in the Trump administration. Doing so would expose any of those who bristled at the chants aimed at Clinton to charges of rank hypocrisy.

However, I do expect the new Democrat-controlled House to launch hearings next year into what Ivanka Trump disseminated via her personal e-mail account.

That, I submit, is fair treatment. What mattered for Hillary ought to matter as well for Ivanka.