Tag Archives: Muslims

Hey, Mr. POTUS, what about the rest of the country?

It has become an established fact that Donald John Trump Sr. loves talking exclusively to those who support him no matter what.

He speaks their language; they adhere to his message.

The latest so-called “dog whistle” was blasted out today when the president fired off a Twitter message in which — and this is really rich — he actually denied that nearly 3,000 Americans died from the wrath brought to Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

He blames the death toll on Democrats who are intent on making him look bad. That’s it! The Puerto Rico territorial government’s death toll, revised way upward from a formerly official count of 64 fatalities, is a plot, a conspiracy.

He made this astonishing, idiotic and utterly baseless claim as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolina coast, threatening to bring even more havoc to the Eastern Seaboard.

Let’s talk, briefly, about his Puerto Rico remarks.

It’s easy to say that the president doesn’t know what he’s talking about. However, he knows precisely what he’s saying. He is speaking to his “base,” the 35 or so percent of voting-age Americans who are behind him to the very end. The base doesn’t care about the truth. It doesn’t care about reality. It cares only that Trump stands up to the so-called “mainstream media,” those who oppose him.

Trump himself declared during the 2016 campaign that he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes.” Americans were aghast in the moment when Trump said it. That boast doesn’t seem quite so ridiculous now.

So he continues to talk to the base. He continues to make assertions without a scintilla of evidence to back them up. Democrats are to blame for the deaths of all those U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico? Millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016? He watched “thousands of Muslims” cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11? Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya and was ineligible to run for president?

That’s what I call “fake news.”

This is just a little lie, but it’s a lie nonetheless

In the growing list of Donald J. Trump lies and prevarications, this one ranks as a minor-leaguer, not really worth a damn.

However, it illustrates quite graphically how the president’s fast-and-loose treatment of facts keeps rising up to bite him — and the rest of us — in the backside.

Former President Barack Obama delivered a speech today in Illinois that went straight after Donald Trump. The Obama speech marked the 44th president’s return to the political arena.

What, then, was the 45th president’s response to it? He told a crowd in North Dakota that he watched a little bit of the speech, but then “fell asleep.”

There you have it. Trump would have us believe that Barack Obama’s speech bored Trump so much that he couldn’t stay awake.

Do you believe Trump actually nodded off? Nope. Neither do I.

Which brings me to my point. Why in the name of bald-faced lying would Trump feel the need to say such a thing? Why couldn’t he just say that the speech did nothing for him? That he found it boring?

You see, this seems to get right to the point of what so many of us find so damn troubling about Donald Trump. He cannot tell the truth on anything, at any level.

I know that this lie won’t matter in the grand scheme of the chaos that rules the White House. It doesn’t involve public policy decisions. It certainly doesn’t measure up to some of the whoppers he has told: millions of illegal immigrants voting for Hillary Clinton; watching “thousands” of Muslims cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11; having “proof” that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and, thus, was ineligible to run for the presidency.

Big lies. Little lies. I know there’s a difference. No matter the size of the lie, that Donald Trump would tell them is reason enough to be frightened by the president of the United States.

Is there a Liars Anonymous organization?

Donald Trump needs an intervention.

The president of the United States cannot tell the truth. He cannot state simply the reality of any situation he confronts, or that stands in his way.

Trump decided to lie like a rug yet again when he announced his decision to cancel a planned state visit to Great Britain. His excuse? He said former President Barack Obama brokered a bad deal to purchase the site for a new U.S. Embassy in London.

Trump blasted his immediate predecessor for paying too much public money to relocate the embassy.

So, that was his pretext for deciding against visiting the UK?

Two points are worth making here.

One is that his stated reason is as transparently phony as it can possibly get. The president doesn’t need to fabricate a reason to avoid going somewhere. The real reason clearly has to be that Brits cannot stand him. He was going to run straight into the teeth of intense public protests were he to visit Great Britain.

He has insulted British Prime Minister Teresa May; he has hurled ill-founded criticism of London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, who happens to be a Muslim (and we certainly know how Trump feels about those who practice the Islamic faith).

The second point is this: The deal to purchase the embassy site was brokered under the administration of President George W. Bush. It was finalized in 2008, the year before Barack H. Obama took office.

Donald Trump has a serious grudge against Barack Obama. What fuels it? Is it that the former president exhibited the class and grace that the current president lacks? Is it the former president’s continued high standing among Americans? Is it because of the former president’s racial … oh, you know.

Donald Trump cannot tell the truth. He is a pathological liar.

He needs to enroll in a Liars Anonymous session — if there’s one available … and declare: My name is Donald and I am a liar.

 

Trump chides our most reliable ally … nice!

Donald J. “Tweeter in Chief” Trump campaigned for the presidency on the promise that he would shake things up, that he would do things differently.

Oh, brother. Has he ever!

Take the tiff he initiated with the United States’ most trusted, reliable and steadfast ally: Great Britain.

He retweeted an inflammatory anti-Muslim message that originated from Britain First, a fringe right-wing group that hates Muslims.

Pressure is now mounting in the UK for British Prime Minister Teresa May to disinvite the president, who is set to make a state visit before the end of the year. Trump’s conduct via Twitter has demonstrated quite graphically that he doesn’t seem to give a royal flip about offending our nation’s political forebears.

Matthew D’Ancona, a commentator for The Guardian, wrote this: As it happens, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Trump’s visit should be canceled in August, after the murderous white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. When the most powerful person in the world fails the simplest test of democratic leadership — answering the question “Were the Nazis uniquely bad?” — the whole world is involved. The president failed that test conspicuously and gave comfort to the loathsome “identitarianism” that understands society as a competition between races, tribes and religion.

Read D’Ancona’s column here.

Trump and May engaged angry tweets over the video. May chastised Trump for inflaming prejudices in the UK; Trump responded that she shouldn’t worry about the president, but should worry more instead about the threat of terrorism.

This is a ridiculous way to treat a trusted ally.

I’ll stand with those who are urging Prime Minister May to cancel the state visit. Now!

Roy Moore would bring a scary element to U.S. Senate

I don’t have a vote in Alabama. Whatever I say about that state’s U.S. Senate race is worth, well, damn near nothing to the voters there.

But if Roy Moore gets elected to that state’s Senate seat, then he’s going to be involved in legislation that affects citizens far beyond the Alabama state line.

Moore is the Republican nominee. He beat a sitting senator, Luther Strange, in the Republican primary this week. Strange was appointed to the seat after Jeff Sessions left the Senate to become U.S. attorney general. Moore now is going to run against Democratic nominee Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor.

Why does Moore give me the heebie-jeebies? He’s a religious zealot, that’s why.

He says homosexuality is an abomination and goes against God’s will. He once said that “homosexual activity” should be made illegal. He operates under the premise that “God’s law” takes precedence over the law of the land. He has said that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in the U.S. Congress; he made that assertion specifically about Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of two Muslims now serving in the U.S. House.

He was removed twice as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. The first time was because he removed a Ten Commandments monument from the court’s grounds; the second time was when he refused to obey a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal in the United States.

His reasons for both actions? Fealty to the Old Testament.

Moore went to law school, so he knows what the U.S. Constitution says about religion. It declares, among other things, that there shall be “no religious test” required of anyone seeking public office.

If he’s elected to the Senate this fall, he will be required to take an oath that commits him to obeying and defending the Constitution. I feel the need, therefore, to remind Judge Moore that the Constitution is a secular document. 

***

Here’s what I wrote about Moore earlier this year:

‘Ayatollah of Alabama’ seeks U.S. Senate seat

 

Why the silence on mosque bombing?

The president of the United States is elected to represent all Americans.

He takes an oath to defend us, to fight for us against our enemies. The presidential oath makes no mention of certain Americans deserving more protection than others.

Some of our countrymen have been attacked. Their place of worship was bombed. It is a mosque near Minneapolis, where Muslims pray and worship.

And yet … the president hasn’t condemned the attack. His silence on this incident is, shall we say, deafening in the extreme.

We all know of Donald J. Trump’s feelings about Muslims. He once called for a complete ban of all Muslims entering our country; he softened it somewhat; the federal courts have challenged what’s now called a “travel ban.”

Meanwhile, some Americans who happen to be devout Muslims are dealing with damage being done to the place where they worship. They need a word of support and encouragement from their president.

It’s time for him to deliver it.

Keep yammering about ‘fake news,’ Mr. President

I used to have mixed feelings about Donald Trump’s use of what is becoming an-almost hackneyed term.

“Fake news.”

The president tosses it out there with utterly no self-awareness, that he is the King of Fake News.

Barack Obama was a foreigner; thousands of Muslims cheered the Twin Towers’ collapse; Obama wiretapped the Trump campaign office; millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton.

There’s more. It’s all fake news.

Yet the president persists in using that term to hang around media organizations that report actual news that he deems to be too negative.

Negativity equals “fake news.” You got that?

Thus, the president has established a mantra that plays well among the media-hating base of American voters who more than likely — as then-candidate Trump once famously said — would still vote for him even if he were to “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.”

Do I want him to stop using the “fake news” dodge?

Not really. It just demonstrates that this president doesn’t know a single thing about the difference between what’s “fake” and what’s real.

Court (more or less) restores Trump’s travel ban

The notion of banning people from entering this nation because they come from places where most citizens practice a certain religion remains repugnant to me.

The United States of America is supposed to stand for a principle that welcomes all citizens of the world. That’s no longer the case.

Donald J. Trump’s ban on folks coming from six Muslim-majority nations has been kinda/sorta restored by the U.S. Supreme Court, which today issued a 6-3 ruling to back the president. Today’s ruling overturns a lower court decision that threw out the ban on the basis that it discriminates against people because of their religion.

What does it mean? I guess it bans anyone who comes here who lacks any “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Others can come in, according to the court.

My question remains the same: Will any of this make us safer against international terrorists? I do not believe that’s the case.

It’s just a partial ban

Nothing in the president’s initiative prevents U.S. citizens from committing acts of terror. The U.S. Army psychiatrist who killed those folks at Fort Hood in November 2009 is an American, to cite just one example.

I continue to cling to the notion that “extreme vetting,” which the president also has called for, isn’t a bad thing by itself. Indeed, U.S. customs and immigration officials need to do better at ensuring at points of entry that everyone coming here does not pose a threat; they’re doing that already.

Today’s ruling only settles it temporarily. The court’s next term begins in October and the justices will take it up fully then.

Score one for the president, though. He got a ruling he can live with, even though it won’t do a thing to make us safer against those who would harm us.

POTUS engages in selective outrage

I cannot take credit for this observation but I’ll share it anyway.

It comes to me via social media and the individual who sent it poses a fascinating notion.

He said that it took Donald J. Trump three days to say something about the white supremacist who is accused of stabbing two people to death in Portland, Ore., after they sought to break up a verbal argument between the suspect and two others — one of whom is a Muslim.

Then … some Muslims kill several people in London before being killed by police. Trump fired off a response in an hour!

Is this how the president plans to put “America first”?

Let the kids pray, Mr. Attorney General

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has decided to make an issue where none exists.

The non-issue involves some Muslim students at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, a Dallas suburb. They’ve been attending prayers in a classroom for years. They have been practicing their faith — of their own volition. The school has allowed the students to use the classroom and there’s been no issue with the other students.

Enter the attorney general, who has sent a letter to school administrators expressing his alleged concern about the Muslim prayers being recited in a public high school.

But then there’s this item, as reported in the Washington Post:

“Paxton attracted national attention last December when he waded into a dispute in Killeen, Tex., between a middle school principal and a nurse’s aide who put up a six-foot poster in the school with a quote from the classic animation special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that read: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.’

“After the principal told the aide to take the poster down, Paxton wrote to the Killeen school district: ‘These concerns are not surprising in an age of frivolous litigation by anti-Christian interest groups … Rescind this unlawful policy.’

“When the school district refused, Paxton helped the nurse’s aide sue, and won.”

So, there you have it. It’s OK to sanction Christian activities in a public school, but when a group of Muslim students seeks some quiet time to pray, why, the AG expresses concern?

I understand what the Constitution says about government establishing laws that favor certain religions. The Constitution does not prohibit students from praying on their own. That is what is occurring in Frisco.

As the Post reports: “’This ‘news release’ appears to be a publicity stunt by the OAG to politicize a nonissue,’ schools superintendent Jeremy Lyon wrote in reply to the state. ‘Frisco ISD is greatly concerned that this type of inflammatory rhetoric in the current climate may place the District, its students, staff, parents and community in danger of unnecessary disruption.’”

It’s fair to ask: Would the attorney general have expressed concern had the students been Christian?

Frisco school officials have told the Post that the state never asked about the nature of the prayers when the school began allowing the students to use the room. Why is Paxton raising the issue now?

The anti-Muslim climate in this country is being fanned by policies enacted at the very top of the government chain of command. The president of the United States seeks to ban refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries and has run headlong into objections from federal judges who contend his executive order violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As for what is occurring at Liberty High in Frisco, let the students pray, Mr. Attorney General.