Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Comey: friend turns to foe

James Comey continues to make the turn. Hey, he might make a full circle before this drama is finishing playing out.

The former FBI director once was hailed by Donald Trump when Comey revealed he had more information to explore regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use — or misuse — of her personal email account while she was secretary of state.

Eleven days before the 2016 presidential election, Comey tossed the outcome into serious confusion mode with the revelation about the so-called new evidence.

Trump was ecstatic. The GOP nominee bellowed that Comey had done his job well.

Then came the news that Comey said there was nothing more to investigate. Case closed. But the damage well might have been done to Clinton’s campaign.

Then the new president took office. He allegedly sought some assurances and a reported pledge of loyalty from Comey. He didn’t get them.

Then the president fired Comey from his FBI job. Ever since, Comey has been called everything but the Son of Satan.

Ahh, the fortunes do turn dramatically.

Now the ex-FBI boss has written a new book. He told ABC News that Trump “might have” obstructed justice. He called the president “morally unfit” to serve.

And then the Twitter tirade came from the president, who responded with “worst FBI director in history … by far!”, “slime ball,” and “serial liar.”

I don’t know about you, but I intend to hold with both hands for the foreseeable future as this dispute plays out. If it ever does!

O’Rourke winning money battle against Cruz

Beto O’Rourke appears to be winning one aspect of the upcoming electoral fight against an incumbent U.S. senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.

It’s the fight for campaign cash.

Will it translate to victory in the bigger, more important battle — the one for actual votes this fall? Well, that remains to be seen.

The Texas Tribune reports that Cruz, the Republican incumbent, is going to declare that he has raised less than half of what O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger, has raised in the first quarter of 2018.

I won’t spend a lot of time analyzing the battle for cash. Here, though, is a thought that came to me from a retired journalist friend of ours who offered this tidbit during our recent visit to the Golden Triangle.

O’Rourke’s goal has to be to cut his expected losses in rural Texas while maintaining his expected hefty margins in urban Texas.

The Cruz Missile has already put the warning out to his GOP faithful that the “far left” is energized against him — and against Donald Trump, whom the far left hates with a passion, according to Cruz.

Our friend, who’s watched a lot of election cycles in Texas over the span of many decades, believes that O’Rourke — a congressman from El Paso — needs to continue plowing the rural field in the hunt for votes. That seems to explain why O’Rourke has spent so much time in places such as Pampa, Canyon, Amarillo and throughout the reliably Republican Texas Panhandle.

In a certain fashion, if that is the strategy that O’Rourke is employing in Texas, it seems to mirror the national Democratic strategy that enabled Barack Obama to win two presidential elections and for Hillary Clinton to win the popular vote by 3 million ballots while losing the Electoral College to Trump. If you look at the county-by-county breakdown nationally, you see that Republican presidential candidates in 2008, 2012 and 2016 all won vast expanses of rural America; Democrats, though, harvested tremendous numbers of votes in urban America.

One can boil that down to a Texas strategy, too, I reckon, given this state’s huge urban centers in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Thus, it becomes imperative for O’Rourke to somehow cut deeply enough into the losses he can expect in the Piney Woods, the Rolling Plains, the High Plains and the Permian Basin to give him some breathing space as he shores up the support he can expect in Big City Texas.

I do hope the young man spends his campaign cash wisely.

Keep speaking up, Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton has made an excellent point about how she is being treated differently from other candidates who lost their bids to become president of the United States.

Speaking at a Rutgers University event, Clinton was asked to respond to critics who have told her to keep quiet about current issues of the day.

Her response? No one ever told previous losing presidential candidates — all of whom were men — to cease speaking out.

As The Hill reports: “I’m really glad that, you know, Al Gore didn’t stop talking about climate change,” Clinton said to applause.

“And I’m really glad John Kerry went to the Senate and became an excellent secretary of state,” the former first lady continued. “And I’m really glad John McCain kept speaking out and standing up and saying what he had to say. And for heavens sakes, Mitt Romney is running for the Senate,” Clinton said.

What makes her different from those other presidential nominees who have kept their voices active and engaged in policy discussions? Clinton believes it’s her gender.

Hmm. Is there a reason to doubt that?

Yes, I’ve been critical of Clinton’s remarks recently about those who voted for her and who voted for Donald J. Trump in the 2016 election. I’ve never told her to keep quiet.

With that, keep speaking up, Hillary Clinton.

Hillary tries to walk it back … good luck with that

Try as she might, Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to do the impossible. As my late friend and colleague Claude Duncan used to say, “You can’t unhonk the horn.”

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, went to India and told an audience that those who voted for her came from more economically progressive and advanced states; those who voted for Donald Trump were, um, less progressive and advanced.

Oh, boy. You can’t go there, Hillary Clinton.

She has been criticized roundly for her remarks. I am joining in that criticism. Yes, she received my vote in 2016 and she would get it again were she to run against the guy who beat her.

Her “explanation” rings hollow. She said she didn’t intend to offend anyone with her remarks. Clinton wrote on Facebook: “I meant no disrespect to any individual or group. And I want to look to the future as much as anybody.”

Look to the future? Sure she does. I take that statement to mean she wants to set her remarks aside and doesn’t want to keep explaining herself.

“No, it’s not helpful at all,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday,” when she was asked to comment on Clinton’s comments.  “In fact, my friend Hillary Clinton is wrong.”

According to The Hill: Clinton also implied that women who cast a ballot for Trump did so due to “ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

“As much as I hate the possibility, and hate saying it, it’s not that crazy when you think about our ongoing struggle to reach gender balance — even within the same household. I did not realize how hard it would hit many who heard it,” Clinton said in her explanation.

Now she realizes it. I’m glad she sought to clarify what she meant to convey. Still, I am having difficulty trying to separate the intent from the spoken word.

By all means, welcome back, Katrina Pierson

She’s back. Dallas resident Katrina Pierson is going to return to the presidential campaign trail on behalf of Donald John Trump Sr.

I am delighted to see her return to the partisan battle.

Pierson is a long-time Texas TEA Party activist, which is where she earned her spurs before becoming a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Here, though, is the real reason why I want to see Pierson back in the fray. She is prone to making truly bizarre statements.

Such as when she blamed President Obama for starting the Afghan War — in 2001. Oops! That fight began on President Bush’s watch, about a month or so after the 9/11 attack on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Or the time she blamed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the death of U.S. Army Capt. Humayan Khan, whose parents were strong supporters of President Obama; remember how they stood before the 2016 Democratic convention to excoriate the GOP nominee, Trump. Oh, darn! She must have forgot that Capt. Khan died in Iraq in 2004, five years before Obama and Clinton assumed power.

So, I’m all excited to see Katrina Pierson return to the presidential campaign trail.

She’s good for plenty of laughs. We’ll need to keep our sense of humor when 2020 rolls around to keep from going insane!

Democrats feeling a ‘wave’ coming on?

Democrats across Texas are heartened by a surge in their party’s early primary voting numbers, saying that they are rivaling the primary interest generated by the 2008 presidential campaign struggle between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Hill reports a surge in some urban areas, such as Harris County. They believe the Democratic primary uptick signals a potential “wave” sweeping across the state this fall.

Count me as mildly skeptical of that, although I do hope for a wave, given my own progressive leanings.

I clearly recall the heavy Democratic interest in 2008, even in heavily Republican Randall County, where I am registered to vote. The lines at the Democratic polling station was far longer than it was at the GOP station, signaling to my mind a bit of GOP crossovers seeking to commit a bit of mischief in the other party. Hey, that happens on occasion.

The Democratic surge then didn’t translate to victory in the fall, as Democratic nominee Obama lost Texas to GOP nominee Sen. John McCain.

Moreover, I don’t necessarily equate large early-vote numbers to increase overall turnout. It means quite often only that more voters are casting ballots early … and that’s it!

My own preference this year was to vote in the GOP primary, given my intense interest in helping return Kel Seliger to the Texas Senate. But that’s just me.

“You can’t underestimate the surge that we’re seeing out there with the blue wave coming,” said Ed Espinoza, executive director of the Democratic-leaning Progress Texas.

Let’s just wait this one out. Shall we?

Due process, Mr. President?

Donald Trump has had an epiphany. Maybe?

I’m trying to understand how this guy, the president, can call for “due process” when he’s demonstrated a remarkable and shameful tendency to forgo it when it involves his political foes.

Now he says that Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary who’s accused by former wives and a former girlfriend of spousal abuse is entitled to “due process.” He and a former speechwriter, who also quit this week, are being railroaded out of their jobs by mere allegations, according to the president.

Wow! Can you believe it? The president insists on “due process” to determine their guilt or innocence.

Back when he just a mere hotel/real estate mogul, Trump called for punishing five young men who had been exonerated of raping a woman in Central Park. They were the Central Park Five. Trump didn’t think for a second about due process for those individuals.

How about when he was running for president and he declared his belief that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was somehow implicated in the assassination of President Kennedy? Oh, his evidence was a photograph he saw in, um, the National Enquirer, of Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald. I must mention that Cruz was running against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. Due process? Hah!

Let’s not forget the “Lock her up!” chants regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 general election. Trump campaign crowds would launch into the chant and, oh yes, Trump would egg them on. Did the former secretary of state and U.S. senator deserve “due process”? Or was she fair game just because she was a politician running for the same office as the guy who beat her?

If only the president would have shown as much concern for “due process” in the not-too-distant past. His previous carelessness only heightens the skepticism when he shoots off his mouth about this current spate of White House chaos.

POTUS has much for which he must answer

The farther along we stagger forward into the presidency of Donald Trump, the deeper the hole he digs for himself.

I refer to the many statements he has made — as candidate and then as president — that have yet to be substantiated.

A few of them come to mind.

  • He has asserted that climate change is a “hoax,” a fantasy created by China to discredit our fossil fuel industry.
  • Trump has accused “millions of illegal immigrants” of voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she rolled up over the president.
  • The president has fanned the flames of the phony and slanderous birther movement once again by challenging whether Barack Obama was actually born in the United States of America; he once said that the president is a U.S. citizen, but has all but walked that one back.
  • Candidate Donald Trump said he would release his tax returns once the Internal Revenue Service completed its audit. That was more than two years ago. The tax returns remain a secret. The IRS cannot possibly be conducting that audit to this day.
  • Trump said he wouldn’t have time for golf, that he’d be too busy making America “great again.” He, um, has broken that pledge, too.

I know I’ve missed a few. Maybe many. But I hope you get the point.

The president has made bold pledges. He hasn’t been held to account for them. His base continues to rally behind him. They give him a pass on all of it. They ignore his hideous personal behavior in a way they never would do if the president was a member of the opposing political party.

Others of us out here are seeking to hold this guy accountable for his lengthening list of untrue statements and promises he made.

I don’t expect the president to listen to his critics. He doesn’t care what we think. He cares only about the slobbering support he gets from those who relish the idiotic notion that Donald Trump simply is “telling it like it is.”

Blast the leadership, you blast ‘rank and file,’ too

Donald Trump seeks to cherry pick his targets of scorn.

Such as the FBI and the Department of Justice. The president has been blasting the smithereens out of the “leadership” at the FBI and and at DOJ. But, oh, he says the “rank and file” are great.

His Twitter tirades make me yawn most of the time. However, I often cannot get past the idiocy of some of his messages.

We are witnessing a virtually unprecedented skirmish between the president and the nation’s elite law enforcement community. When the president assails the leadership of the FBI and the DOJ he infers — perhaps unwittingly — that the rank and file are carrying out the policies established by incompetent/crooked/biased leadership.

We are witnessing an intolerable slandering of professional law enforcement officials who do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

It’s not the first time Trump has trashed the troops on the front line of their professions.

He did the same thing to local election officials when he alleged without a scintilla of proof that “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she scored over the president. Before he actually won the election, the GOP presidential candidate suggested that a Clinton victory would be the result of a “rigged election.” Again, he managed to defame the hardworking local election officials who perform their duties with diligence, dignity and distinction.

Trump has slandered the media, too, in the same way. When he embarks on his “fake news” mantra, singling out individuals and specific news outlets, he scars all the rest of the media. He then tells us the only media outlets he trusts are those that decline to report news that he deems to be “negative.” In Trump World, “negative” equals “fake.” If the news isn’t positive, it’s untrue — as Trump views it through his bizarre prism.

Here we are now, with the president of the United States denigrating, disparaging and disrespecting the finest law enforcement establishment on Earth.

Never mind his thinly veiled equivocation that the “rank and file are great,” but that he’s targeting only the leadership.

He is denigrating all the professionals at every level with his dangerous tweets and other public pronouncements.

This man is a menace.

Deputy FBI director departure might signal some worry

Andrew McCabe has decided to call it quits at the FBI, where he served as deputy director.

He left earlier than expected, caving under pressure from Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans who said he was biased against the president. Why? Because his wife is a friend and ally of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

McCabe also stood up for fired FBI director James Comey, who Trump dismissed this past year after Comey declined to pledged total loyalty to the president. And, oh yes, there was that “Russia thing” that still hangs over the Oval Office.

In the midst of all this, Trump reportedly asked McCabe in a private discussion about who he voted for president in 2016. Interesting, if true. It’s also quite dangerous.

I join others who are concerned about what might happen next. The FBI director, Christopher Wray, will find someone who is decidedly less independent to serve as deputy director. There well might be a push to squeeze the life out of a probe into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russian hackers who sought to influence the 2016 election outcome.

McCabe’s forced resignation suggests pressure from the White House, from the Oval Office to guide the special counsel’s Russia collusion investigation to a desired outcome.

I believe they would call that “obstruction of justice.”