Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Waiting for that proverbial big shoe to drop

While the nation — perhaps the world — awaits word on what Robert Mueller III concluded in his exhaustive investigation into alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians, it is good to understand what we do not yet know.

We don’t know whether special counsel Mueller found any sort of collusion between the Trump team and Russians who hacked into our election system. It’s good to understand that “collusion” is not a crime. Therefore, Mueller isn’t going to charge anyone with committing a criminal offense if they winked and nodded at Russians who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton, Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent.

Nor do we know whether the president — in Mueller’s eyes — “obstructed justice” when he fired FBI director James Comey in the spring of 2017 because he was conducting a probe into that “Russia thing.” Again, there might not be any criminality involved with Comey’s firing, but there might be an intent that Mueller has identified.

Mueller has been mum on every aspect of his investigation. Thus, we don’t know if he’s going to give Trump the kind of tongue-lashing that Comey gave to Clinton when he concluded the FBI probe into her use of private e-mail servers while she was secretary of state. Do you recall how Comey said Clinton was guilty of “extreme recklessness”? It gave Republican opponents of Clinton plenty of fodder to toss at her while she sought the presidency in 2016. Will there be a similar scolding in store for the president when we see what Mueller has concluded?

It has been said in the past 24 hours that “We don’t know what we don’t know.” To put it another way, it is good to keep our traps shut and stop speculating about what Mueller has delivered to Attorney General William Barr.

Mueller had a narrow mandate when he accepted the special counsel job two years ago. It was to determine the extent — if any — of collusion between Trump’s team and the Russians. His work is done. We don’t know what he has concluded.

Is this the end of it? Does the president now slip/slide away out of the grasp of prosecutors? Umm. No. He’s still got Congress that will be hot on his trail. And let’s not dismiss those prosecutors in New York who are looking at other matters not connected to the Russians.

Mueller’s findings are still to be revealed.

Let’s just wait. Shall we?

Jared used personal e-mail for government work? Lock him . . . up?

What’s going on here?

Republicans all over America have been chanting “Lock her up!” in reaction to Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server when she was secretary of state. They’re still hollering it, although not in the numbers or with the volume they did in 2016 when Clinton was running for president of the United States.

Now there’s this: Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump has been using a private, personal server to send e-mails relating to government business.

More questions arise

Do we start the chant to “Lock him up!”?

The info comes from Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, who has told the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee about Kushner’s use of personal e-mail servers to conduct official government business.

I’m straining to hear something — anything — from the GOP side of the political divide. I’m listening for chants to toss the president’s daughter’s husband into the slammer.

Silence! That’s what I’m hearing.

Don’t mess with Electoral College

I am a blue voter who lives in a red state. I tilt toward Democratic candidates for president while residing in heavily Republican Texas.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I want to redeclare my view that efforts to circumvent the Electoral College are counterproductive. They shouldn’t go forward.

However, it appears that Democrats in states that lean blue are intent on monkeying around with the Electoral College with legislation that bypasses the system codified in the U.S. Constitution by the nation’s founders.

They want their states to cast their electoral votes for whichever candidate wins the popular vote. It’s part of what is called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Is the nation’s electoral system in peril of breaking down? I don’t believe that is the case.

We have had 59 presidenti

al elections in this country since its founding. Only five times has the candidate with fewer votes been elected president.

However, what has alarmed those who want to overhaul the electoral system insist that such a trend is in danger of escalating. They point out that it’s happened twice just since 2000! George W. Bush was elected that year despite getting about a half-million fewer votes than Al Gore. Then in 2016 Donald Trump was elected with nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It fascinates me to know that the move to tinker with the Electoral College is coming from aggrieved Democrats, given that the 2000 and 2016 elections went to the Republican nominee for president.

We are witnessing what I believe is a knee-jerk reaction to an overblown issue. It kind of reminds of me how Republicans in Congress pushed for enactment of the 22nd Amendment limiting presidents to two elected terms; they did so after Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt won election to four consecutive terms as president.

Let me reiterate an essential point. If we’re going to change the electoral system, then eliminate the Electoral College. It is an absurd notion to tweak and tug at the edges of the system.

I happen to still believe in the Electoral College system of choosing our president. I endorse the idea that it helps spread the power among more states, giving less-populated states a stronger voice in choosing our head of state.

If we’re going to mess with the Electoral College, then go all the way.

Or else leave it the hell alone!

Time for Schiff and others to put up ‘direct evidence’

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said today he has seen “direct evidence” that the Donald Trump campaign “colluded” with Russians who sought to intervene in our 2016 presidential election.

Hmm. Direct evidence. Well, I believe there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence piling up all around the president and his campaign operatives.

The California Democratic chairman, though, keeps teasing us with sound bites alluding to direct evidence that the Trump team worked hand in glove with Russian goons who sought to bring dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in 2016.

I am still awaiting special counsel Robert Mueller to deliver his report. It needs to be made public. Mueller’s lengthy and thorough investigation needs lay out clear evidence. I no longer want to hear from Schiff who makes statements about direct evidence but then cannot divulge the details of how he knows about such matters.

All this rhetorical teasing does is give Donald Trump ammo to fire back at his political foes.

Bernie to Hillary: Don’t call with advice

Bernie Sanders is still angry with Hillary Rodham Clinton, or so one might presume.

The two of them competed for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Clinton, the former first lady/U.S. senator/secretary of state, defeated the Vermont independent U.S. senator in the primary contest.

Then, with the wind supposedly at her back, she managed to lose that year’s presidential election to Donald J. Trump in one of the country’s most stunning political upsets.

Sanders and Clinton “have differences,” Sanders said this week. Has Hillary called him? No, he told the co-hosts of “The View.” He won’t ask her to, either, he said.

No need to call

Hey, I kind of get why Sanders is miffed. It’s not that I buy into the notion that Clinton pilfered the nomination from him. She won more votes in the Democratic primary than Sanders. Thus, she collected more convention delegates. End of story.

The real story ought to be that Clinton was supposed to be a shoo-in to win the presidency. Then she threw it away, losing to the carnival barker nominee the Republicans sent against her.

Does the defeated Democratic nominee have any credible advice she could give to any of the growing horde of candidates now seeking to defeat Donald Trump? Probably. Who, though, is going to listen to someone who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory?

Don’t monkey around with Electoral College

Democrats in New Mexico and Colorado are trying to tinker with the Electoral College in a way that makes me nervous.

They want to pledge their states’ 14 electoral votes to whoever wins the most votes in presidential election. They are upset that in the past five presidential election cycles, the Democratic nominee has won more votes than the Republican nominee, but lost the election because the GOP candidate got more Electoral College votes than the Democrat.

See George W. Bush-Al Gore in 2000 and Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Look, I remain a supporter of the Electoral College. It was designed by the nation’s founders to spread the political power around to more states and to ensure that smaller states had sufficient voice in electing presidents as the larger states.

Indeed, this push is coming almost entirely from Democratic politicians who feel aggrieved over the outcome of those two aforementioned elections.

If we’re going to change the way we elect our presidents, I prefer a wholesale change. Ditch the Electoral College and go to a system that elects presidents solely on the basis of who gets more votes on Election Day.

I get that Hillary Clinton got nearly 3 million more votes than Donald Trump in 2016. But the GOP candidate, Trump, managed to squeak out a win by visiting key Rust Belt states that Clinton seemingly took for granted; she thought she had them in the bag, but it turned out they were placed in Trump’s bag.

This monkeying around with an electoral system that has worked by and large quite well over the span of the Republic is just — as the saying goes — a bit too cute by half.

 

Not going to feel the ‘Bern’ this time, either

Readers of this blog no doubt understand that I want Donald Trump to be defeated for re-election in 2020. He is unfit for office. He is unfit for public service at any level. I want him to disappear from public view. The sooner the better.

That all stated — yet again! — I am chagrined that one of the possible challengers to the president has decided to re-enter the fight.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, is now a member of the gigantic and still growing field of Democrats running for president in 2020.

Please, Bernie. Why are you back in this race?

Sanders isn’t even a Democrat. He runs for the Senate as an independent, meaning he is unaffiliated with either major political party. He caucuses with Senate Democrats, votes with them on virtually all legislative matters and so I guess that makes him a  de facto Democrat.

My hope remains as I stated it some months ago: I want the next Democratic Party presidential nominee to be someone no one has heard of. I want that person to emerge from the tall grass, to burst on the scene with flair and panache.

Please forgive me if I sound like an ageist, but I also want that nominee to be someone a lot younger than the 77-year-old Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders is a political retread. He ran for the Democratic nomination in 2016 essentially on a single issue: income inequality. He beat that issue bloody while losing the nomination fight to Hillary Rodham Clinton. It is a totally legitimate issue, but it is not the singular issue that commends him to the highest office in the United States.

Indeed, the senator needed to demonstrate a much wider range of knowledge than he has exhibited.

I suppose his candidacy elevates him immediately to the top tier of potential Democratic nominees. He’s up there with, say, Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and perhaps even Elizabeth Warren.

The roster of candidates is sure to grow. Goodness, it might exceed 25 or so candidates.

I want one of those Democrats to emerge as The One, the individual who can take the fight directly to Donald Trump.

It’s just not Bernie Sanders.

How might POTUS defend his record?

The 2020 presidential election campaign is taking shape. Democrats are lining up seemingly by the dozens to campaign against Donald J. Trump, the Republican incumbent.

I’ll have more to say about the contenders later. Today, I feel the need to explore the type of campaign this incumbent president is going to wage.

Donald Trump had no public service record to commend him for election as president in 2016. He relied instead on a phony argument that he was a self-made zillionaire who worked hard to build a real estate empire from scratch. It turned out that isn’t the case. Voters bought it anyway and he was elected.

Now he’s running for re-election. As the incumbent, the president has a record now on which he must run. He is going to be asked to defend his record. How in the world is he going to do that?

The nation already has undergone two partial government shutdowns on Trump’s watch; a third shutdown might occur at the end of the week. He has groveled in front of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, refusing to acknowledge publicly that Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016. Trump has heaped praise on North Korean despot Kim Jong Un after threatening to blow his country to smithereens with “fire and fury” the likes of which the world has never seen.

He went to Europe and scolded NATO allies because they weren’t paying more for their defense; along the way he has hinted that the United States might withdraw from its most vital military alliance.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to build The Wall along our southern border and said “Mexico is going to pay for it”; Mexico isn’t paying for it, period, meaning that he wants you and me to pay the bill. The president’s rhetorical clumsiness has revealed a host of frightening views, such as his assertion that the KKK/Nazi rally in Charlottesville rally and riot included “fine people, on both sides.”

Now that Trump has a record to defend, I am left to ask: How in the world is this guy going to sell it to voters? How does he reach beyond his base of supporters to ensure that he gets re-elected?

He has spent his term in office kowtowing to his base. He has done damn little to reach beyond that core 38 percent of voters who think he is the best thing to happen since pockets on shirts.

Just as Donald Trump defied conventional wisdom by being elected in 2016 with zero public service experience, he seeks to do it again in 2020 by defending a presidential term that has far less to show for it than he will trumpet along the campaign trail.

He savaged his Republican primary foes with insults and innuendo en route to the GOP nomination in 2016; he continued to toss grenades at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. I look for much more of the same from the incumbent this time around.

The 2016 presidential campaign was ugly enough. The 2020 campaign is looking like a bloodbath.

For heaven’s sake, Hillary Clinton, don’t do it!

This blog post is for you, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The media are reporting that you haven’t shut the door on a possible campaign for the presidency in 2020. Oh, my. How can I say this delicately? I won’t.

Don’t run for president! You have had two chances to win the highest office. But you know that already.

Look, Mme. Secretary, I was proud to have supported your 2016 candidacy. You had my vote in Randall County, Texas, one of the most staunchly Republican counties in all of America. My vote was among the damn few you got in the county where I lived. I get that you did better in Texas than Barack Obama did in his two runs for the presidency, but it still wasn’t nearly good enough to win my state’s electoral votes.

I would likely vote for you again in 2020 were you to be nominated by the Democratic Party to run against Donald J. Trump.

My problem isn’t so much with you as a candidate. My problem lies with your chances of defeating Trump were you and he to run against each other a second time.

My goodness, he made mincemeat of you in 2016, even though you collected more votes than he did. You made some egregious tactical errors. You didn’t go to Wisconsin, one of those three states that Trump picked off to win enough Electoral College votes to be elected president. Are you any smarter this time around? I would hope so.

I want Trump out of office as much as you do. I maintain my belief that Democrats’ best chance of defeating this individual is to nominate a fresh face. I’m sure you heard that Sen. Kamala Harris announced she is running for POTUS in 2020. Someone such as Sen. Harris would be much more to my liking than a political re-tread . . . and I mean no personal disrespect to you by referring to you in that manner.

I am going to insist the same thing of other “veteran pols” such as former Vice President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Yes, I would vote for either of them, too, if Republicans are dumb enough to nominate the president. I just don’t want them to be the nominee any more than I want it to be you.

Stay out of it. Leave the fight to a newcomer. Let those with the new names and the fresh faces make their case.

Twitter use? Sure, why not? ‘Fake News’ epithet? Unacceptable

I have learned to accept that Donald Trump is going to use Twitter to express himself whenever he wants. I don’t like it, but that’s his way of communicating, so I’ll let that aspect ride.

What I cannot let stand is his continual use of the term “fake news” to describe media with which he disagrees.

He said this regarding the Davos economic summit, which he decided to skip  because of the partial government shutdown:

Last time I went to Davos, the Fake News said I should not go there. This year, because of the Shutdown, I decided not to go, and the Fake News said I should be there. The fact is that the people understand the media better than the media understands them!

C’mon, Mr. President! Knock off the “fake news” epithet.

He throws that term out whenever he describes media outlets that report news he finds objectionable, which is another way of saying he dislikes media that report the news accurately.

Moreover, the president of the United States is the uncrowned king of fake news. He foments lies continually. He has continued to speak untruths about current events, about his political foes, about the media. He promotes “fakes news” whenever he opens his trap and says things such as:

Barack Obama was ineligible to run for president because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen; he witnessed thousands of Muslims cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11; millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016; the “caravan” of refugees fleeing Central America contained many “Middle Eastern” terrorists intent on killing Americans.

That’s just a sample of what I am talking about. The president is the master of “fake news.” For him to accuse the media of promoting “fake news” is just, well, another example of Donald Trump’s penchant for prevarication.