Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

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.”

Trump brings out worst in allies and foes

I have reached a regrettable conclusion about the state of political play in the Texas Panhandle.

It is that I cannot discuss politics where it involves specifically the policies promoted by the president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

More specifically, I cannot talk openly about my own feelings about the president, who I consider to be wholly unfit to hold the office he has occupied for the past year and six days.

I had an exchange this week with a good friend, someone I have known for the entire 23 years I have lived and worked in Amarillo. He is an elected official. He is as fine a public servant as I’ve ever met in my professional life.

My friend is a dedicated Republican. He’s a fierce partisan. He also has a good heart and is dedicated to serving the people who have elected him to public office.

We were chatting the other day when Trump’s name came up. My friend initiated the discussion. I grimaced noticeably. He knows my political leanings, which run counter to the prevailing view of the Texas Panhandle’s half-million or so residents. The residents of the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle voted overwhelmingly for Trump over Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 election.

My friend began talking about the “deep state,” and about how “corrupt” the FBI has been and how Trump is the “right man for these times.” I told my pal that I didn’t want to get into it with him at that moment. I sought to tell him that I detest the president’s policies. He said, “You’re a smart man. You’re smart enough to know what I’m talking about.”

And as he kept heaping faint praise on me about my intelligence, I could see that he, too, was getting worked up over my intense loathing of the president. He was pursing his lips and his eyes narrowed into a bit of a squint.

I then managed to change the subject. We moved on to the next topic. Our friendship is intact. I breathed a sigh of relief.

This is what has happened in the Era of Trump. Friends on opposing sides of the Great Divide no longer can talk about politics without getting worked up, getting angry at the other guy.

It occurs me: This is precisely how Donald Trump is governing. He is dividing Americans. His pledge to “unify the country” is the stuff of a flim-flam artist.

I guess I should thank the president for affirming my point about his unfitness for the job to which he was elected.

I should. But I won’t.

The lies keep piling up

Where do we stand now?

Donald John Trump once told us that he never considered firing special counsel Robert Mueller. I believe he said it a couple of times.

Oh, but here comes The New York Times with a report tonight that not only did the president consider firing Mueller, he actually ordered the firing! White House counsel Donald McGahn said in response that he would quit rather than carry out the order.

The president backed down.

Here we are. The president, according to the NY Times report, has been caught in perhaps the most substantial lie of his presidency.

Trump lied to the public about his intention regarding the special counsel’s probe into collusion with Russian hackers who said they had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign opponent.

How many more of these lies must we endure?

POTUS now pledges to talk … under oath!

I cannot keep up with Donald John Trump’s change of heart and mind.

He said this past summer that he’d be willing “100 percent” to talk to special counsel Robert Mueller about the “Russia thing” that has consumed the president’s attention.

Then he called Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt,” a hoax, a product of “fake news” and of Democrats who were upset at losing the 2016 presidential election.

Furthermore, he said he didn’t see a need to talk to the special counsel, given that there was “absolutely no collusion” with Russian hackers who sought to influence the 2016 election outcome.

Now … he is singing another tune. Today, the president said he would testify “under oath” if need be to Mueller and his team of legal eagles. He told reporters he would cooperate fully with Mueller’s team.

My head is spinning.

I certainly welcome the president’s latest declaration. If he is as innocent of wrongdoing as he says he is, then he would have no worried talking to Mueller, who clearly has a lot of questions to ask Trump.

Why did he fire FBI director James Comey? Did he pressure him to go easy on other close White House aides and advisers? Why didn’t he order his campaign team to tell the FBI that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton they wanted to share with his campaign?

Those are just for starters?

If the president is going to maintain his pledge to talk to Mueller, my guess is that he’ll need to carve out a lot of time. The special counsel has a mountain of evidence to pore through and an equally high mountain of questions to get resolved.

But if the president is clean, there should be no problem.

I just can’t stop wondering if he is going to change his mind yet again and deliver a stiff-arm to the special counsel. Hey, the president is known to do such a thing.

Oh, and about the special counsel …

Robert Mueller is back in the news.

While our attention was yanked away while we watched Congress and the president writhe and wriggle over immigration and funding the government, the special counsel’s office was busy interviewing players in Donald John Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

We now have learned that Mueller interviewed fired FBI director James Comey sometime this past year. Mueller’s legal team has talked to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

What’s on the special counsel’s mind? He is looking for answers to the Big Question: Did the Trump campaign collude with Russians seeking to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome?

Sessions was a key campaign adviser while serving in the U.S. Senate. Comey — as you no doubt recall — led the FBI while it looked into the e-mail use matter involving Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton; then he turned his sights on the “Russia thing,” before he was fired in May 2017 by the president.

Mueller is trying to ascertain, reportedly, whether Comey’s firing, along with the dismissal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was meant to obstruct justice, impede the Russia meddling probe.

Gosh, who could be next on Mueller’s call list? Oh, I know! How about the president himself?

Trump says the investigation into collusion is a big fat nothing. He calls it a witch hunt. He blames it all on Democrats, the “fake media” and other critics of him and his administration.

Here’s a thought: If the president’s phone rings and it’s Robert Mueller on the other end of the call, the president ought to agree on the spot to meet with him — if what he says about the veracity of the probe is true.

If not, well … then we have a problem. Isn’t that right, Mr. President?

Donald Trump is a White House ‘nobody’?

Kellyanne “Alternative Facts” Conway has just offered a doozy.

The White House senior adviser actually said on national TV that “nobody here talks about Hillary Clinton.”

I won’t take too much time to respond to this latest alternative fact.

Conway got into a televised tiff with CNN’s Chris Cuomo , who challenged her assertion that Hillary Clinton’s name is never mentioned within the walls of the White House.

The president of the United States — for crying out loud! — keeps talking about Hillary. He did so yet again this week at a press conference. He keeps reminding us that he won the 2016 presidential election. Donald J. “Stable Genius” Trump Sr. keeps referring to Hillary as “my opponent.”

So, is Conway telling us that the president is a “nobody”?

Well, of course not!

However, she has offered some phony version of the truth that bears no resemblance to the real thing.

Rethinking the politics of oil drilling

I wasn’t all that keen on California Democrats’ assertion that Donald J. Trump was punishing their state because its residents voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Then came this bizarre decision by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The secretary decided that the waters off the Florida coast wouldn’t be exposed to offshore drilling for oil. Zinke cited the vast impact on tourism to the state.

Now, I’ll stipulate that Florida voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

The decision has drawn bipartisan scorn along all the nation’s coasts.

Zinke’s decision has governors in other coastal states scratching their heads. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, is one of them. Oh, but wait! Oregon voted for Hillary in 2016! The Interior Department has not removed Oregon from the offshore drilling list of states.

Nor has it done so with Washington or California, two other pro-Hillary states along the Pacific Coast.

Gov. Brown said tonight that Oregon’s coast also brings billions of dollars into the state treasury annually from tourism and related activities. Brown noted that Oregon boasts 360 miles of gorgeous coastline. I can vouch for the beauty of the Oregon coast; I grew up in Oregon and spent many days and nights looking at the Pacific Ocean.

She cannot understand why the Trump administration has singled out Florida, removing that state from the roster of coastal states where offshore oil exploration will take place.

Actually, she can understand. Brown and other critics are winking and nodding at the notion that Mar-a-Lago — the president’s posh coastal resort — might be affected by offshore drilling activity.

Hmm. Politics, anyone?

Fairness compels me to mention that there are a number of other pro-Trump coastal states that are facing offshore drilling pressure. Texas is one of them. Same for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Let’s not forget Alaska.

You travel north from North Carolina and you’ll find all the Atlantic Coast states voted for Hillary. They won’t get any break, either.

Yes, it is fair to ask: Why exempt just Florida?

I’m scratching my head, too.