Tag Archives: Melania Trump

Welcome to our ranks, Mr. and Mrs. Knavs

The United States gained at least two new citizens this week.

They are Viktor and Amalija Knavs, natives of Slovenia in central Europe. Oh, yes. They are the parents of first lady Melania Trump.

I welcome them. They likely are fine folks. They will add to the rich texture of this nation of immigrants.

However, there’s this little catch: They became U.S. citizens under the same sort of system that their son-in-law, the president of the United States, continues to rail against.

He calls it “chain migration,” which allows people to enter this country with relatives in tow. You might have heard Donald Trump bellow how chain migration enables immigrants to bring their cousins, in-laws, all sorts of kinfolk. He wants to end it. Trump wants to limit immigration — even those who come here legally — to those who would qualify on “merit.”

I won’t condemn the Knavses for coming here. I welcome them. I know they’ll have a good life as Americans. They’ll be able to be a larger part of their grandson Barron’s life as he continues to come of age in that strange environment within the White House.

However, they might need to toughen their skin as they hear critics who ask aloud why they were able to come here under a policy that conservatives — led by the president — want to discontinue.

Oh, wait …

Tension tonight at Trumps’ dinner table?

I am probably the only American who wants to be a fly on the wall tonight when the president and first lady sit down for dinner.

Donald J. Trump decided to post that moronic tweet in which he blasts pro basketball great LeBron James for saying some nasty things about him. Oh, and he also took a cheap shot at CNN anchor Don Lemon, who he called the “dumbest person on TV.” Racist … perhaps? Yeah. Pretty sure it is.

Oh, but then first lady Melania Trump’s spokesperson said the first lady salutes James for his work to improve the lives of children. “It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today,” said Stephanie Grisham on Mrs. Trump’s behalf.

What has James done? He has opened a school in his native Akron, Ohio, for at-risk children. He has invested a significant portion of his massive wealth to help aspiring students.

Indeed, James has done more for children than the president has done. Or for that matter, anything the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has done.

Still, the president saw fit to disparage LeBron James with what many — myself included — have construed to be a racist taunt.

The first lady’s minor break with her husband is significant mainly because she has chosen to speak out at all, even if it through her spokeswoman.

There might be a bit of tension tonight wherever the Trumps will be.

POTUS seeks to control news information flow

Donald J. Trump’s reported anger over first lady Melania Trump’s desire to watch CNN aboard Air Force One brings to mind a curious conversation I had with a key staffer who worked for U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican who represents the 13th Congressional District of Texas.

Trump wants all the TVs on the presidential jet to be tuned to Fox News, his favorite news/commentary network. He considers CNN and other news networks to be purveyors of “fake news.” What makes ’em “fake”? They report news the president deems to be negative. I presume he’s issued the same edict for the TV sets throughout the White House.

So, negativity equals “fake news.” Got it?

OK, back to my conversation with the Thornberry staffer.

We were visiting some years ago. I was working for the Amarillo Globe-News. This individual was talking about a news report she heard. She then told me in a hushed voice over the phone that she heard the report “on NPR.”

Oh, my! Heaven forbid! A staffer for a conservative Republican member of Congress would get her news from National Public Radio! She didn’t want it heard, I guess, by her fellow staffers that she was listening to NPR.

I laughed at her over the phone. She happens to be a friend and we have had a very constructive and productive professional relationship over the years.

I was able to needle her about NPR and the myth that the publicly funded radio network was somehow a progressive mouthpiece for left-leaning politicians.

It isn’t. Public radio reporters and other staffers have informed me over the years about how they were schooled in the manner they should describe public policy. For instance, one NPR news hound informed that the Affordable Care Act would not be referred to on the air as a “reform” measure; “reform” connoted an improvement over the current system. The term that NPR reporters were instructed to use is “overhaul.”

Are we clear? Good!

Try to imagine any other first lady in this pose

High Plains Blogger has sought to refrain from posting pictures such as this one, but in this instance, I cannot resist.

The woman on the right is Melania Knauss, who would become known to the world as Melania Trump. It was published by the New York Post, a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of Ms. Knauss’s future husband’s better friends and political allies. See the Post article here.

I am trying to fathom the reaction if we were to see pictures of, say, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, the late Barbara Bush or the late Nancy Reagan in this kind of context.

We live in a new era, dear reader.

That’s all. I’m out.

Trying to imagine how the Trumps talk to each other

This blog post borders on the gossipy. But … I’ll post it anyway.

I cannot yet wrap my noodle around how Donald and Melania Trump spend their off hours together in the White House residence. I can imagine easily, for example, how preceding presidential couples might talk to each other at the dinner table at the end of the day.

Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, George H.W. and Barbara Bush, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Gerald and Betty Ford?

They all seemed so, um, normal. The men in those tandems — the presidents — all appeared to many Americans to be so very much like the rest of us. They all seemingly suffered the usual pains of compassion, or empathy over those who bear the burden of the decisions that come from the Oval Office.

I cannot yet figure out what drives the current president. I cannot yet grasp how he tells of his day to his wife. Or, for that matter, whether he even gives a crap about how the first lady’s day had gone.

Am I the only American who has trouble painting this picture in my mind’s eye?

‘Easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand’

Philip Rucker is a first-class reporter for The Washington Post. He posted a Twitter item that stated:

First Lady Melania Trump in speech tonight: “Kindness, compassion, and positivity are very important traits in life. It is far easier to say nothing than it is to speak words of kindness. It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

I am blown away by part of what the first lady said.

“It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

That’s what she said, according to Rucker. She is correct. Spot on. However, as with most matters involving the first lady, one must feel a bit of pain for her, given that she is married to someone who is too damn eager to “judge quickly” and is so very reluctant to “take time to understand.”

Illegal immigrants, anyone?

Consider what the president of the United States keeps saying about those who enter this country without the proper immigration documents. He is labeling them all with the same epithet. They’re criminals intent on doing serious harm to Americans, he keeps telling us.

The president refuses to “take time to understand” why they’re coming here. Refugees? Escaping crime? Fleeing persecution? In search of a better life for them and their families?

Who needs to “take time” to realize that not all illegal immigrants are motivated by evil intent? They aren’t all coming here for nefarious reasons.

The president is exhibiting a shameful prejudice toward all illegal immigrants and, by implication, almost all of those who come to this country.

If only the first lady’s wisdom could get through to her husband, who remains blind and deaf to the pleas of those who admonish him to cease the cruelty of his views toward immigrants.

It’s a lost cause. A president who makes public policy pronouncements via Twitter isn’t going to heed anyone’s advice. Not even his wife.

‘The Jacket’ shrouds first lady’s actual mission

I think I’ll paraphrase a message that appeared on the back of first lady Melania Trump’s jacket … so bear with me.

I really don’t care about what it said.

What I do care about is that the first lady chose to wear this particular jacket while she was heading toward South Texas to tour a migrant camp that houses children who had been taken from their parents. The message on the back of the jacket read: “I really don’t care. Do U?”

I also care about the decidedly mixed message from Donald J. Trump’s self-proclaimed “fine-tuned machine” that runs the executive branch of government. Melania Trump’s staff said the first lady never intended to deliver a message with the jacket. Then the president himself tweeted something that said, yep, she did intend to deliver a message, which was aimed at what he calls “fake news.”

Message or no message? Which is it?

How about we hear from the first lady herself?

I am acutely aware that nothing gets done spontaneously at this level of public appearance planning. These events almost always are tightly scripted affairs. So, when the first lady is seen boarding a plane en route to South Texas wearing a jacket that sends a troubling message about whether she cares about the kids, well, then we have a problem.

The message itself isn’t all that weird. It’s the context of the first lady of the United States deciding to wear it while preparing to represent the president at an event that has gripped the nation by its throat.

If it is true — and that’s an iffy prospect, at best — that, according to the president, the first lady’s visit to McAllen was “100 percent” her call, then we need to hear directly from her.

Was she sending a “message,” or was it just an astonishingly sloppy display of ignorance about how the “optics” would play?

Talk to us, Mme. First Lady.

Was there a message in the jacket? POTUS says ‘yes’

So-o-o-o-o. It turns out first lady Melania Trump was sending a message after all with that weird jacket she wore today.

That’s according to Donald J. Trump, who wrote via Twitter:

“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!

But … wait! Mrs. Trump’s staff said she wasn’t sending a message with the jacket. She was photographed with the “I REALLY DON’T CARE … ” message on the back while she boarded an airplane bound for South Texas; the first lady made a surprise visit to an immigrant center near McAllen.

Man, I hope she lost the jacket when she visited with those who are holed up in the Rio Grande Valley awaiting disposition of their case … not to mention getting reunited with their children who the president ordered taken from their parents.

As for the media message mentioned by Donald J. Trump’s tweet, something tells me he made it up — kind of like the way the president does with most statements that fly out of his pie hole … or flutter into cyberspace.

First ladies speak out; pay attention, Mr. POTUS

When do you recall this ever happening?

Five women who share a common bond have spoken out in virtual unison demanding that the presidential administration end a policy that has ignited a national firestorm over the way it treats families.

I say “virtual unison” because one of those women — first lady Melania Trump — finds herself in the most awkward of spots. Her husband, Donald John Trump, is responsible for enacting the policy of yanking children from their parents as they enter the United States.

Mrs. Trump has called on “both sides” to find a solution to the crisis. I’ll get back to her in a moment.

The four former first ladies — Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter — have spoken out separately, but are saying essentially the same thing: The policy must end!

Laura Bush calls the policy “immoral” and said it “breaks my heart” to see these children — many of them infants and toddlers — wrested from their parents’ custody and taken to virtual cages, where they are kept while immigration authorities sort out how to deal with their illegal entry into the United States.

As for the current first lady, I recognize that she is hamstrung by the fact that she’s married to the man at the center of all this madness.

I cannot know this as fact, but I only can imagine how the president might have reacted when he learned of the statement that came from his wife’s office about her desire to see this policy ended.

The “both sides” element of Melania Trump’s statement suggests to me that it disguises her actual belief that the policy is wrong on its face and it needs to change … immediately, if not sooner.

Sadly, the president isn’t inclined to heed anyone’s advice, let alone from his wife.

Signs of cracking among the ‘base’?

I am heartened to learn of some second thoughts among Donald J. Trump’s most ardent supporters regarding this ghastly policy of “no tolerance” along our southern border.

It’s the policy that allows U.S. Border Patrol and immigration agents to seize young children from their parents as they enter the United States illegally.

Trump blames a “Democrat bill,” which doesn’t exist, for the policy.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Bible — as stated in Romans 13 — gives the Trump administration all the authority it needs to invoke this intensely cruel policy.

Now we hear from, say, the Rev. Franklin Graham, one of the president’s most ardent supporters. Graham has declared his opposition to the policy.

Oh, and then former first lady Laura Bush has weighed in with an op-ed column in which she declares the policy “immoral” and said it “breaks my heart” to learn of children being put in cages along our southern border.

The current first lady, Melania Trump, has waffled a bit, calling on “both sides” to cease this humanitarian crisis. I understand the first lady’s difficult spot. But “both sides” aren’t required.

Only one side is needed to fix it. That would be the president, who can end this hideous policy with a phone call and a signature.