Tag Archives: MAGA

Reporter fired for wearing MAGA hat? Duh!

What in the name of MAGA-mania was this guy thinking?

A reporter for a Minnesota TV station was fired this past Thursday because he wore a Make America Great Again gimme cap … while covering a Donald J. Trump political rally in Rochester, Minn.

Yep, this guy violated what usually is considered a cardinal rule of journalism. You do not reveal your political bias while you are on the job reporting on political events.

KTTC-TV in Austin, Minn., has a policy that prohibits such blatant bias on the job. So, when James Brunner, a multimedia journalist for the station, showed up at a Trump rally wearing the MAGA hat, it went viral on Twitter. It got back to his bosses at KTTC. They fired him.

Holy cow, man!

I have long had my own political bias. Never did I display it while reporting on or commenting on the news of the day at any of the newspapers where I worked. Not in Oregon or in Texas.

I didn’t even plaster bumper stickers on my cars, which I also always assumed were against the rules. Interestingly, I did see some political bumper stickers on vehicles driven by non-newsroom employees at the Amarillo Globe-News, my last duty station before I retired; I always thought even advertising sales reps shouldn’t be allowed to display their bias on the job.

This fellow, Brunner, has learned a tough — but totally necessary — lesson about the fine line journalists must walk when they are on the job, reporting on politics and policy.

Trump’s tweets diminish his powerful office

As the president of the United States seeks to “make America great … again,” he is diminishing the power, stature and profile of the very office he occupies.

How? His use of Twitter has relegated what once were considered inviolable policy statements into mere “personal opinions.” That’s according to Donald John Trump’s senior staff and legal advisers.

What in the world is going on here?

There once was a time when anything that came from the president was deemed to be hard-and-fast policy pronouncements. If the president said it, the statement was solid. Good as gold. Take it to the bank. That’s what the nation stands for.

These days statements of policy now are passed off as something, um, considerably less important.

Trump tweeted, for instance, that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions “should” end the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Where I come from, when the boss said I “should” do something, that means I do it. Not so with Trump, according to Rudy Giuliani, the president’s current personal lawyer.

I have given up complaining about Trump’s tweets. I know that he is addicted to the social medium as a method of communicating.

What, though, do the messages mean? Are they directives or are they mere blathering from the commander in chief?

Donald J. Trump’s desire to “make America great again” must include an elevation of the office to which he was elected. The presidency should reflect the greatness of the nation. Isn’t that a reasonable assumption to make?

To date, not even two years into his presidency, Trump is diminishing his office through his incessant use of Twitter to declare every damn thing on what passes for his mind.

As the office of the presidency shrinks, so does the president’s objective of achieving greatness for the nation he governs.

Still trying to process that bizarre joint appearance

Nearly a week later and that mind-blowing press availability with Donald J. Trump and Vladimir Putin is still the talk of the town.

Or the nation. Maybe the world.

I’m still trying to make sense of it. I’m trying to determine what in the world is rattling around in the president’s noggin. I’m trying to figure out why in the name of bilateral relations he didn’t call Putin out for what damn near everyone on Earth knows he did: the Russian president orchestrated the cyber attack on our electoral system in 2016.

I’m still not ready to say that Trump has broken the law and committed an act of treason for which he could be prosecuted, convicted and given the ultimate sentence … of death.

But damn! As former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates said this week, Trump might be the first president in history who isn’t “all in” with regard to standing up for the United States of America.

I believe she is correct. Trump’s hideous disparaging of our intelligence agencies and his acceptance of Putin’s denial that he attacked our electoral system spoke volumes about the president’s commitment to the nation he governs. It’s not there!

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. As many of us have noted — and I’m one of them — Trump entered the 2016 campaign after never run for any public office of any kind. Public service is a totally foreign concept to this guy. He gauges every move, every decision, every action on its impact on his poll standing, or his “ratings.”

Then we have that Helsinki event. The president who vowed to “get tough” with our adversaries has gotten soft. The president who said he would “make America great again” has made America the world’s laughingstock. The man who vowed to “put America first” has now put our foes first, starting with Russia.

All the while he keeps yapping and yammering about “rigged witch hunts” while getting angry when his Cabinet doesn’t fawn over his every pronouncement.

And he keeps lying.

My head is about to explode.

Yes, it was ‘disgraceful’

“Disgraceful and detrimental to our democratic principles.”

Yep, that about sums it up.

Donald Trump today disgraced himself and the presidency and the country he was elected to lead. He stood with Vladimir Putin and accepted the Russian president’s denial of meddling in our 2016 election. He also then denigrated the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that the Russians did, in fact, attack our electoral process.

The statement above comes from Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. He isn’t alone in criticizing the president. Indeed, one might be able to hear a growing drumbeat of recrimination coming from within the GOP against the party’s titular leader.

This isn’t how to “make America great again.” Nor is it in any way a strategy to “put America first.”

This is no way to, um, MAGA

Donald Trump’s mantra that he would “make America great again” has hit another snag.

That’s my view at least.

You see, a great nation’s president doesn’t diss its allies. It doesn’t do the dirty work of disrupting a key international alliance on behalf of our nation’s top adversary. The president doesn’t conflate trade issues with defense alliances.

The president doesn’t open his mouth without knowing what the hell he is talking about.

Donald Trump is making a hash out of our alliance with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He makes a valid point about NATO nations needing to pony up more cash to pay for their own defense.

It’s his style. It’s his clumsy rhetoric. It’s his ignorance of NATO’s very founding that drives many of us nuts.

A president who wants to make America great again doesn’t get disinvited to London by that city’s mayor because of the disgraceful comments he has made about Muslims; oh, yes, the London mayor — Sadiq Khan — happens to worship the Islamic faith.

After the president finishes trashing NATO and uttering preposterous statements, the president is heading to Helsinki, Finland, to meet with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. The two men are going to meet in a room with no senior aides present; they’ll have their interpreters, that’s it!

What in the world is Trump going to give to Putin? What is he going to tell him? What is he going to demand of him?

And what are we supposed to believe from the Liar in Chief when he comes out of that meeting and delivers his version of what happened behind closed doors?

This isn’t how you make America great again.

Happy birthday, America; you’re still great

Happy birthday, America.

You look pretty good for being 242 years of age. Allow me these brief thoughts as we light some fireworks, grill some chow outside in the summer heat and toast your ever-lasting and enduring greatness.

I want you to disregard the blathering of our current president, who campaigned for office and then took office vowing to “make America great again.” He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You’re still great. You’ve always been great.

And, yes, the 45th president isn’t the first occupant of that office to make such a claim. Others have done so. But this guy keeps harping on it. He wears that goofy “MAGA” hat at campaign rallies.

Now, even though we celebrate your greatness, America, I must concede that you haven’t been perfect. The founders said at the beginning of the Republic that “all men are created equal.”

They were short-sighted. Women weren’t allowed to vote. That right didn’t come until 1920, for crying out loud. Furthermore, many of the founders were slave holders. They held men, women and children in involuntary bondage.

You’ll recall, America, how we waged a bloody Civil War over slavery. We killed hundreds of thousands of Americans to preserve our Union and, yes, to free those enslaved families.

Civil rights battles have ensued. We marched in protest against wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. We endured a Great Depression. We were attacked at Pearl Harbor and then we went to war against tyranny in Europe and Asia.

We let our guard down on 9/11 and were attacked yet again by terrorists.

In spite of all that, we remain great. We allow people to complain openly about the government. We allow freedoms that other countries have emulated. We are free to worship as we please — or not worship at all if that’s what we choose.

We allow “due process” under the law. We grant liberty and freedom.

And despite what that president of ours insists, we remain a beacon that attracts immigrants from those around the world.

I am proud to be an American. I am proud of my country, warts and all. Believe me, America, you’ve grown a few more of them in recent years. However, I salute you.

Let’s all have a happy birthday, America.

Due process? Who needs it?

Donald J. Trump, the champion of due process and the rule of law, has decided, um, that he wants to toss it all out the window in his quest to rid the United States of every single person who comes here illegally.

The president launched another Twitter tirade today in which he suggested rounding up every illegal immigrant he can find and then sending them back immediately to their country of origin.

“No court cases,” he said. “No judges,” he added. Just round ’em up. Get rid of ’em.

This kind of red — and raw — meat plays well with his base. That’s his audience anyway. The rest of us? He doesn’t care.

According to The Washington Post: “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,” Trump wrote. “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents.”

The president continued in a second tweet, “Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years! Immigration must be based on merit — we need people who will help to Make America Great Again!”

There he goes yet again. He is painting every illegal immigrant with the same broad brush, presuming that every one of them is here to bring havoc to Americans, that they want to kill us, rape us, sell us illegal drugs, kidnap our children and then peddle them as sex slaves.

Due process? U.S. immigration law gives illegal immigrants certain rights, such as the right to have their cases heard by a judge. The president doesn’t give a damn about that.

Get rid of all of them, he said.

His posture is not going to “make America great again.” It is going to make us a pariah state.

Disgraceful.

G-7 meeting ends with anger, outrage

That went well, don’t you think?

Don’t answer that. You know how it went. Donald Trump showed up at the G-7 meeting of economic powerhouse nations in Quebec and proceeded to p** off our nation’s most ardent allies and trading partners.

Then he jetted off to Singapore in advance of his summit with North Korean goofball/dictator Kim Jong Un.

What do you suppose the president is thinking by launching into his tirades against our allies? No need to answer that one, either. I don’t believe the “thinks” anything. He fires from the hip. He relies on “instinct” and “attitude.”

My favorite part of his departure was when he said if our trading partners don’t do what he wants — which is give in to our demands for high tariffs — then he’s going to punish them by refusing to do business with them.

Yep. The president of the nation that possesses the world’s strongest economy is threatening extreme economic punishment on our friends, the nations with which we are allied.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now is threatening direct retaliation for the tariffs Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum produced in Canada.

I feel all warm and fuzzy. Don’t you?

Oh, and then he tells them that Russia — the nation that swallowed up Crimea and went to war with Ukraine, all before meddling in our 2016 election — deserves a place at the table. He wants the G-7 to become the G-8 again.

This is how you “make America great again,” how you engender “respect” among the rest of the industrialized world?

I do not believe it’s working, Mr. President.

Hoping for best … expecting a whole lot less

I won’t say I’m expecting the worst in 2018, because the worst — as I perceive it — is too hideous to ponder.

But the presidency of Donald J. Trump didn’t get off to an auspicious start at the beginning of 2017, no matter what he has said to the contrary.

  • Trump promised to build a “big beautiful wall” across our southern border. He hasn’t — thank goodness!
  • The president vowed to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Not done. Thanks for that, too.
  • Trump vowed to unify the nation after winning what he called a “historic” victory in 2016. Do you feel unified? Aw, me neither.
  • The president has turned the Republican Party from the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Trump. How does that sound?
  • The president vowed to “make America great again.” He hasn’t.

He will continue to use his Twitter account as an instrument for insults. He is going to bluster and prod North Korea’s nutty dictator, which likely could produce a bloody armed conflict with a nuclear-armed nation.

And throughout all of this the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to examine allegations of collusion with Russian government agents will continue. The counsel, Robert Mueller, is working to piece together a many-faceted jigsaw puzzle to determine whether the Trump presidential campaign worked in cahoots with Russians to influence the 2016 election. Trump keeps saying there’s nothing to it, yet he continues to impugn the integrity of Mueller and his team.

The year that’s about to pass has produced a maddening, mind-blowing and stunning array of missteps, mistakes and misdeeds. Many of the president’s top advisers have left, willingly or otherwise.

The 2016 election installed a man in the White House with no prior government experience at any level. His ignorance of government certainly has shown itself. He hasn’t yet filled many top executive branch offices. Federal judgeships have gone unfilled. The government has run in a sort of stop-and-go fashion.

Yet, the president touts the “fine-tuned machine” he has assembled. Really?

All this happened in just a little less than a year. That year is soon to be history.

I truly want the best for the country. To be candid, I don’t care about Trump’s personal success, as I fear that what the president considers an achievement will be bad for the rest of us.

Moreover, I also want the new year to bring some semblance of optimism. I fear that we’re going to be sorely disappointed.

‘Putting America first’ comes with a price

Donald John Trump vowed to “put America first” as he ran for president of the United States.

What’s been the cost of that vow? Here’s a fascinating indicator: According to the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index, the U.S. standing among world nations has plummeted from No. 1 to No. 6 among the world’s best nations. The fall has occurred in just a single year.

The index measures nations along several metrics: governance, tourism, culture, people, immigration/investment.

Which nation is No. 1 in the world? Germany.

Are we making America ‘great again’?

So, you’re asking: What’s the cause of the decline in our country’s standing among the world’s best nations? The answer? Donald Trump!

The president’s public statements since taking office, in my view at least, have undermined the U.S. standing all along the way. He has berated our allies and cozied up to dictators and strong men.

He did return from his 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia and proclaimed that the U.S. standing in Asia is stronger than ever. The Anholt-GfK study would seem to disprove that assertion.

It’s also fair to ask about what this index means. What tangible impact does this survey mean to any nation? I suppose one measure can be found in international leaders’ trust. Do other nations’ leaders trust the United States to keep its word? Can the world trust the world’s greatest nation — and I do consider the country of my birth to be the world’s most indispensable nation — to stand with allies?

The consequences of a lack of trust might be difficult to measure in quantifiable terms immediately, but the so-called Trump Effect as registered in this latest index tells me that “putting America first” is coming with a cost to America’s standing among the world’s family of nations.