Tag Archives: POTUS

Irony just doesn’t disappear

I cannot get past the irony of the U.S. attorney general citing Scripture as a justification for a policy that came from the Donald J. Trump administration.

It is fair to presume that AG Jeff Sessions was speaking on behalf of the president when he cited Romans 13 — a New Testament passage — to justify a policy that allows border security agents to take children from their parents who enter the United States of America illegally.

When Sessions told us how the Apostle Paul instructed his listeners to follow the government’s law, I was struck by this thought immediately: Has there been any U.S. president in the past century who is less familiar with biblical teachings that Donald Trump?

Thus, if Sessions was speaking on Trump’s behalf, are we then to believe that the president (a) endorsed what the AG said or (b) even knows what Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans.

I should note, too, that Romans 13 also has been used to justify human bondage, such as slavery. Given the president’s seeming tolerance of white supremacists (such as what he displayed in 2017 in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., riot) then maybe it’s not such a stretch after all.

I was offended in the extreme to hear Sessions cite New Testament¬† Scripture to defend the policy that has resulted in roughly 2,000 children being separated from their parents while enforcing this so-called “no tolerance” immigration policy.

It is inhumane, cruel and about as non-Christian as it gets. What in the name of all that is holy and sacred would Jesus Christ himself think of this policy? None of us was around when Jesus walked the Earth, but those of us who know anything about the Bible might conclude he would be aghast at such a policy.

For the attorney general, speaking on behalf of arguably the most amoral president in U.S. history, to use the holy word to justify an inhumane public policy is shameful on its face.

Trump is violating his oath of office

Donald J. Trump took an oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution and to protect our system of government from those who would seek to pervert it.

The Russians sought to pervert that government and our electoral process. The FBI got wind of it in real time during the 2016 presidential election and sought to use a confidential informant to get to the bottom of it.

Donald Trump’s response? He now accuses the FBI of “spying” on his campaign. He has lashed out at the FBI for doing its job, for seeking to do the very thing Trump’s oath called on him to do — which is to protect us against foreign interference.

The president has tossed that oath aside. He doesn’t give a damn about it! He doesn’t care that the Russians interfered in 2016 and are likely doing so in 2018; they well might try again in 2020.

Trump’s assertions and allegations against the FBI are virtually unprecedented in presidential history. Imagine for just a moment any president making up conspiracies. How should we react to the notion that our head of state is so dismissive of the FBI that he would put a confidential informant in jeopardy by referring to him as a “spy” empowered by the FBI to do political damage to his campaign?

The president is violating his oath. He is putting this country in the path of potentially grave peril.

Trump is proving a point I have sought to make since he announced his presidential campaign: He is categorically unfit for the office to which he was elected.

Call a halt to media war, Mr. POTUS

It’s getting tiresome.

With actual foes and enemies of this country looking to do us harm, our head of state is concentrating his fire on the media. Russians have attacked our electoral system; North Koreans want to build nuclear bombs; Syrians are getting gassed by their government.

Donald Trump is fixated over reporting on his presidential administration.

He calls any negative press coverage “fake news.”

What’s more, it’s been revealed that he told CBS News’s Leslie Stahl that he continues the anti-media barrage to sow distrust among the public. If the media report negatively on the administration, Trump told Stahl, the public won’t believe them.

See? It’s part of the Trump strategy!

Those of us who toiled in the media are sickened by it. They are ashamed of the president who is assailing men and women who pledge to report the truth and do that very thing to the best of their ability.

Previous presidents of both parties have endured their share of media negativity. Do they declare war against the media? Do they accuse the media of being the “enemy of the American people”? Do they insist that “most” members of the media are “dishonest people”?

No. They recognize the media has a role to play, which is to hold public officials accountable.

Trump doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand the media’s role in protecting this country.

He lies. He embellishes. He condemns the media. Constantly!

Frightening.

Twitter overuse brings this kind of embarrassment

Donald Trump’s incessant use, overuse — and some of us have suggested misuse — of Twitter as a vehicle for his public statements produces moments such as what happened today.

The president sought to tweet a statement welcoming his wife home from the hospital after she underwent kidney surgery.

Except that he misspelled her name, referring to the first lady as “Melanie,” not Melania.

As a former Texas governor once said so (in)famously: Oops.

The president — or someone on his staff — deleted the mistake. Trump then issued the proper welcome with the proper spelling of the first lady’s name.

I have stopped criticizing Trump’s use of Twitter to make policy pronouncements, although his use of the social medium to fire Cabinet officials and others in his administration is troublesome, to say the very least.

I don’t even know if Trump himself is actually tweeting these messages or if it is being done by some intern. Whoever it is, Americans deserve at the very least to have their head of state, head of government and commander in chief being able to spell the name of his wife.

Arrgghhh!

Wishing success for the country … as always

I have been grappling with conflicting emotions ever since, oh, Jan. 20, 2017 — the day Donald John Trump took office as president of the United States.

You know, without a shadow of a doubt, about my feelings of him as president. He is unfit for the office at almost every level imaginable, in my view at least. However, he was elected to the office under the rules provided by the U.S. Constitution. I don’t quibble with that. Not for a moment.

Do I wish him success? Well, yes. But only grudgingly.

The better question might be: Do I wish the nation success? Yes. Without any malice at all.

Where is the disconnect? It probably rests in Trump’s penchant for gracelessness when the moments demand grace and class.

When good economic news presents itself, the president is prone to boast out loud, taking all the credit for himself and never giving credit to anyone else, such as — oh, let me think — his predecessor for leaving the nation in much better economic health than he found it eight years earlier.

Trump stands on the cusp of achieving possibly a monumental breakthrough with an enemy of the United States. He’ll meet next month in Singapore with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un. It will be the first face-to-face meeting between U.S. and North Korean heads of state.

Do I wish, hope and pray for a positive outcome? Do I hope that Kim agrees to de-nuke the Korean Peninsula? Do I want the nations to forge a “normal diplomatic relationship”? Of course I do. I want the nation to succeed.

Trump, though, is likely — as he has demonstrated so many times in the past — to piddle all over the good feelings that should come from a successful U.S.-North Korea summit. How will he handle it? Will he boast that none of this would have been possible with anyone other than him at the helm?

I remain adamantly opposed the idea of Donald Trump serving as president of my country. That opposition is unlikely to dissipate any time soon — if ever!

However, I always want the nation to prosper, to succeed, to continue its march along its path of greatness.

Yes, even with Donald John Trump as president.

Is this guy the new Donald Trump?

I have no idea what West Virginia Republicans are going to do today when they have their primary election to nominate someone to run for the U.S. Senate.

The word out of that state is that Don Blankenship, the former coal mine owner who served jail time in connection with a mine tragedy that killed 29 of his employees, might win the primary. Whoever wins would face Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin this fall.

By all rights, Blankenship shouldn’t even be in the hunt. He should be a fourth- or fifth-tier candidate. He’s going after the Taiwan-born wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, accusing McConnell of relying on money from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s “China family.”

The guy is a rube, pure and simple.

Oh, but let’s not count this clown out. Why not? I have two words for you to ponder: Donald Trump.

Trump got elected president of the United States in 2016 after defeating a large and eminently qualified field of GOP candidates. Trump’s qualifications for the presidency? He told it “like it is.” He entered the presidential race with absolutely zero public service experience, or any demonstrated commitment to it.

He blanketed his foes with insults and innuendo. He mocked some of them for their looks.

Republicans then nominated this guy to run for the presidency … against a former secretary of state, a former U.S. senator and a former first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Trump continued his insults. He led campaign chants of “Lock her up!” over a matter where there were no criminal charges brought.

Then he won the presidency.

This just goes to show that “anybody can be elected president.”

If that’s true for Donald Trump, who would dare say that Don Blankenship cannot follow the lead of the carnival barker who is serving as our head of state?

Looking for a redeeming quality in POTUS

Matthew Dowd wondered today why none of Donald Trump’s defenders is defending his integrity, his honesty, his character.

The Republican political operative posed a fascinating question. It got me thinking a bit. I came up with this: I cannot find — and, yes, I am a harsh critic of this president — a single redeeming quality that is worthy of defense.

I am a devoted fan of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton — even though I was disgusted by President Clinton’s conduct with the intern during his second term. I didn’t support George W. Bush’s presidency, but having had the honor of talking at length with him when he was governor of Texas, I found him to be engaging, devoted to his family and far smarter than many media snobs gave him credit for being.

I have said for many years that W’s father, George H.W. Bush, was the most qualified man ever to seek the presidency: World War II combat vet, successful businessman, CIA director, U.N. ambassador, special envoy to China, Republican Party chairman, vice president of the United States. And, yes, he is devoted to his marvelous family.

Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford both were decent men who became president after difficult tenures of their predecessors. President Ford might be the most underrated man ever to hold the office. I admired him greatly for the civility and decency he brought to the White House after the turmoil and tempest of the Watergate scandal. President Reagan could skewer his foes with the best of them, but he did so with wit and grace.

President Jimmy Carter was without question the godliest man who has served in the office during my lifetime.

This brings me back to Donald Trump. A serial adulterer. A man who lies on all matters, big and small. He treats women harshly. He insults his foes and has ridiculed a journalist with a serious physical handicap. He has hurled epithets at a Gold Star family. He has denigrated the Vietnam War service of a distinguished U.S. senator, while dismissing the fact that he sought to avoid service in that bloody conflict.

Do I disagree with every policy pronouncement Trump has made? No. I support his call for tougher border security. I applaud his get-tough approach to Syria. I wish him well as he prepares for a potentially landmark summit meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

However, I cannot find a redeeming personal quality about the president worth defending.

Part of me wishes I could find one. Just one!¬† I’ll keep looking, searching and hoping something surfaces.

What has become of the GOP?

What would Honest Abe, Teddy Roosevelt and Ike think of what’s become of the Republican Party? If only we could ask ’em.

Above is a tweet I posted two years ago wondering about the state of today’s GOP and how it was abducted by a form of “populism” that has no real resemblance to the movement that I had grown to understand.

Donald J. Trump got elected president on a pledge to do certain things, all of which he said at the time would be “easy.”

Build a wall along our southern border? Piece of cake.

Make Mexico pay for it? No sweat.

Negotiate the “best trade deals” in U.S. history? Done deal.

Craft a new health care program? Got it.

Cut taxes for everyone? Perfecto.

And so it went. How has he done? Not too well, by my way of looking at it.

As for the “populist” angle he pursued while running for office, the president hasn’t fulfilled that promise either. He continues to hobnob at his extravagant resorts. I haven’t seen him visiting housing projects, or tour squalid neighborhoods in Appalachia.

Indeed, Housing Secretary Ben Carson recently announced a desire to triple the rent paid by low-income residents of government housing. Dr. Carson then said his idea would “incentivize” residents to improve their lot in life and get them out of housing projects.

Man, that’s just so damn populist of him. Don’t you think?

Back to my Twitter message of two years ago. What, precisely, does the Republican Party stand for these days? Does it go along merely with what the president desires, even though this president had no history of political activism — let alone political experience of any kind — before he ran for the highest office in the land?

The party of Abe, TR and Ike is now the party of Trump.

President Lincoln stood for unifying the nation; President Theodore Roosevelt was an environmental champion; President Eisenhower sought to return the nation to a peace footing after so many years of open warfare in Europe, the Pacific and in Korea.

What does Trump believe? He touts his hatred of the media, he stiffs the opposing party at every turn, he is ravaged by an endless series of controversies — and a scandal or three — and he promises to “make America great again” by bullying our allies.

I’ll give him props for one potentially huge achievement, if he can pull it off: getting North Korea to back off its nuclear program.

However, a success there doesn’t erase the rest of the nastiness that has pervaded this man’s presidency.

Abe, TR and Ike are spinning in their graves.

How do we keep the lies straight?

My head is continuing to spin on a swivel as I watch and listen to the explanations, excuses and walking back of statements regarding Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, Rudy Guiliani and Stormy Daniels.

Here is what is most confusing to me: Does a lawyer who works for his or her client do anything “on the client’s behalf” without telling the client?

I refer to that hush money payment that the lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who alleges having a one-night tryst with Donald Trump (Cohen’s client). Trump says he didn’t have sex with Daniels … but Cohen made the payment anyway.

Enter the former New York mayor, Giuliani, who now serves on the president’s legal team.

Trump has denied any knowledge of Cohen’s payment to Daniels to keep her quiet about the (alleged) tumble she took with Trump. Then the ex-mayor says Trump knew about it after all. Giuliani adds that Cohen made the payment without telling Trump precisely why he made it.

Huh? Do I have that essentially correct?

A lawyer worth a damn — and it’s not clear to me that Cohen fits that description — doesn’t shell out a six-figure payment to someone on the client’s behalf without telling him in the moment, if not beforehand. Isn’t that what good lawyers do?

I’m not a lawyer. That’s patently obvious. Another lawyer, though, is certainly paying careful attention to all of this. He’s a good one, too. That would be special counsel Robert Mueller, who has hired a legal team that is poring over all of the bobbing, weaving, dodging and ducking.

Stay alert, Mr. Special Counsel.

‘Very honorable’? Kim Jong Un? Huh?

Donald J. Trump is buttering up the guy he used to ridicule as Little Rocket Man.

The president of the United States calls the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, “very honorable” and “very open” in advance of the planned summit between the two leaders set for sometime in May or June.

I wasn’t keen on the Little Rocket Man epithet, given that it sounded unseemly for the president of the United States to use such language to describe another sovereign nation’s leader.

However, I must take issue with Trump’s latest assessment of Kim Jong Un.

A dictator and despot who allows his people to starve while he pours untold amounts of money into building a military infrastructure isn’t “honorable.” A guy who has members of his own family murdered is the farthest thing from “honorable.” A leader who threatens nuclear holocaust against his neighbors and then fires missiles over their heads to intimidate them isn’t “honorable” by any stretch of the imagination.

I get that the president is talking about Kim Jong Un’s conduct in the run-up to the planned summit.

Let’s cool the talk about honor as it regards this guy. He is still a dangerous actor performing on a perilous world stage.