Tag Archives: politicians

POTUS is a politician … no kiddin’, he really is!

I truly admire the mendacity of Donald Trump’s supporters who contend that his “success” comes from his being a non-politician.

A number of my many social media contacts keep telling me that falsehood. One of them wrote recently: He’s not a politician. That’s why he’s getting things done in D.C.

OK, let’s go to the trusty, handy-dandy source upon which I rely to answer key questions, such as: How do you define a politician?

I cracked open my American Heritage Dictionary, where I found this: “One actively involved in politics.”

Now, maybe a I am quibbling just a bit, but to my way of thinking that makes Donald Trump every bit the politician.

Trump joined the politicians’ ranks when he rode down that gilded elevator in Trump Tower in 2015 to announce he would run for president of the United States.

I am going to acknowledge the obvious. Trump’s entire adult life prior to that moment had been dedicated to self-enrichment. Public service was nowhere to be found on his resume. His background was replete with business dealings, most of which produced — at best — mixed results.

He got that big stake from his father to get him started in the real estate development business. Then the dookey hit the fan with all those failed ventures: the steaks, the hooch, assorted resorts, the university … whatever.

So he brought that spotty record, along with his reality TV and beauty pageant experience with him into the only political campaign he’s ever launched.

I get that he wasn’t a pol prior to running for political office, but the moment he entered politics, Donald Trump became a practitioner of the profession.

He became a politician.

If the Trump acolytes who continue to insist that his “success” is due to his non-political background, go easy on that one, folks. The record isn’t so gleaming.

Death keeps all the madness in perspective

One can find wisdom in the most unusual places.

Such as in parodies.

One such parody came to me today via Facebook and, oh brother, it speaks volumes.

It goes like this: We’re all going to die, so keep that in mind when you launch into a rant about this and/or that event of the day.

A Harvard University study has confirmed it, according to a report posted on the Babylon Bee website, which states: “The surprising study found that given enough time, every single person on this planet will pass away, completely irrespective of wealth, class, gender, race, nationality, or creed.

“‘The results are fairly conclusive,’ head researcher Bryan Vo told reporters. ‘We expected to have a few outliers who managed to buck the trend, but even the ultra-rich, famous, and powerful will eventually go to the grave, according to our models.’”

Of course we all know that intellectually, yes? Knowing that fundamental truth, though, we still get worked up, overwrought, filled with angst and anxiety. I admit to it, too. I am as guilty as the next guy. I get outraged over big and small things.

My wife and I are now past middle age. We qualify for all those “senior discounts” at eateries, RV parks, various amusement attractions. You name it, we cash in whenever we can. Our sons are now middle aged. They’ll get to our station in life before they — or we — know it.

We want the best for our granddaughter, who’s been with us for all of four years. But yes, she’ll advance, too — eventually.

The end is the same for every single human being on Earth. It’s been that way since the beginning of time. It will continue that way, oh, for as long as human beings exist. I do hope our descendants occupy the planet for a good, long time.

I’m going to try like the dickens to keep this “study” in mind the next time I feel my neck veins pulse over some politician’s idiocy. I won’t mention any names, but you know who I mean.

I’ll take comfort in knowing that just like me, that politician and others just like him are going to end up in the same place.

Punditry produces its share of annoying phrases/words

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Thank goodness this election season is coming to a close.

The next one is likely to commence the moment we know who the next president will be. Then what? We’ll get a fresh dose of annoying phrases and/or words from the punditry and political class to which we listen on cable and broadcast news programs.

I’ve collected a number of these words and phrases over the years.

My newest member of the annoying phrase pantheon is “baked in.” Pundits are saying that voters’ opinions of the two major-party presidential candidates are baked in, which is a kind of shorthand for saying that their minds won’t change … no matter what we learn about the candidates.

A good friend of mine is annoyed by the word “pivot.” We hear that one when politicians seek either to (a) change the subject of a discussion or (b) change his or her mind on a public policy issue.

Let’s not forget “double down.” Mark Halperin and John Heilmann — two of the best political journalists in the business — wrote two “Double Down” books chronicling the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. When a politician doubles down, that means he or she is ratcheting up the rhetoric on a policy statement that more than likely has been met with a negative response..

Don’t they ever “triple” or “quadruple” down?

My all-time favorite pundit phrase — which politicians of all stripes have adopted — is “at the end of the day.”

I ought to initiate a new drinking game. Take a swig of hooch every time you hear a politician or pundit say “at the end of the day.” I listen for this phrase whenever I am watching a TV news discussion.

I have a theory about why pols and pundits are so fond of “at the end of the day.” It’s a set-up phrase. It is meant to convey an aura of wisdom for the very next thing that’s coming out of the mouth of the pol or the pundit.

“Well, Chris, here’s my thought on that. At the end of the day, we are going to learn that the sun will set in the west tonight.”

Do you get my drift? When the TV smart guys use “at the end of the day,” they mean to make themselves sound smarter, more urbane, more sophisticated than they really are.

We’ve heard a lot of this kind of rhetoric over many years. It annoys the daylights out of me.

I’m going to settle in the for the night. At the end of the day, I’ll be sure to double down on doing something worthwhile this evening before I pivot from my baked-in routine.

Trump is every bit the politician

Donald Trump speaks during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 10, 2015.  REUTERS/Harrison McClary  - RTR4WVBQ

Donald J. Trump’s surrogates and fans keep repeating the same inaccurate mantra about the Republican presidential nominee.

One of them repeated it this morning to MSNBC anchor Kate Snow.

They say he “is not a politician.”

I beg to differ. Vehemently.

Here’s why.

Trump became a politician the moment a year ago when he announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. Was he a politician before that moment? Well, no. You know his story: real estate mogul, business owner, reality TV celebrity, beauty pageant operator … and some other stuff that has nothing to do with running a country.

But the dictionary defines politicians as those individuals who seek or hold political office.

There. That settles it for me.

Trump is a politician.

Now, will the Trumpkins stop repeating an untruth about their candidate?

Oh, wait …

Wishing an end to 'at the end of the day'

Admit it. Some phrases drive you crazy.

Maybe it’s the one your mother always used. My mother used to say, as I smirked at her while she scolded me: “Wipe that smile off your face before I wipe it off for you.” My smirkiness got me in trouble occasionally years later when I was inducted into the Army and the drill sergeant would get in my face about something. I usually got punished for it — smirking the whole time.

A contemporary phrase is about to drive me insane. It’s the one politicians use far too often.

“At the end of the day …”

There it is. I’m on the verge of declaring all-out war against anyone using that within earshot of yours truly.

I might even establish it as a sort of litmus test for politicians seeking my vote. If any of them ever use the “at end of the day” lead-in to some obtuse answer to a direct question, I’m likely to disqualify that candidate from consideration to whatever office or she is seeking.

A colleague and friend of mine used to maintain a lengthy glossary of what she called “irksome phrases.” She’s changed that category to “nefarious phrases,” or NPs for short.

She, too, has declared war on the use of those phrases.

Hands down, without the slightest hint of doubt, my most irksome/nefarious phrase is “at the end … ” Good grief, I cannot even type it any longer.

The only theory that makes sense to me as to why it’s become so popular among politicians is that it makes them sound smarter than they really are. They say it as a prelude to whatever comes next out of their mouth, as if the next point after the word “day,” is so profound, so important, carries so much weight that you hear the irksome phrase and then you expect to be bowled over by the politician’s wisdom.

Well, politicians, I’m on to you.

I get what you’re doing. I won’t stand for it.

If you intend to win my vote, stay away from that hideous phrase. It’s driving me insane. I value my sanity more than you should value your trumped-up brilliance.

 

POTUS never off the clock

Wait for it. The critics are sure to climb all over this one: President Obama is going to raise money for Democratic Senate candidate while he’s vacationing with his family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

They’ll raise a serious ruckus about (a) the president taking a vacation at all and (b) taking part in political fundraisers while the world is exploding all around us.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/obama-fundraiser-marthas-vineyard-109346.html?hp=r14

I’ll make this point until I run out of proverbial breath: Presidents of the United States are never — ever — off the clock. They are entitled some time away from the Oval Office with their family.

Does that mean they’re shutting themselves off from the world? Hardly. They get national security briefings daily. They are told immediately when crises erupt. They are able to talk immediately to any world leader of American politician as events warrant. They aren’t sealed away in a vacuum chamber.

As for the fundraising part, well, I need to remind y’all that Republican politicians will take part in these kinds of activities as well when they take their summer break. Presidents and lawmakers do share a common theme: They’re all politicians, which by definition compels them to raise money for other politicians. It goes with the territory.

And just so we’re clear, I’m not sticking up for this president because I happen to agree with most of his policies. I’ve said many times over many years about many presidents of both political parties that they deserve time away.

And so damn what if they raise money? That’s part of the job as well.