Tag Archives: POTUS

POTUS provides impetus to proceed now with impeachment

Donald J. Trump’s profound arrogance has given the House of Representatives all the evidence it now needs to determine that the president of the United States has committed an impeachable act.

He has committed an unconstitutional act. How?

By awarding himself a massive government contract that will bring the leaders of the seven leading industrial nations of the world to his posh resort in south Florida. Yep, Doral National Country Club is going to play host to the G7 summit of nations next spring.

Donald Trump has declared Doral to be the most fitting resort in the United States to host this event. He has violated the Emoluments Clause to the U.S. Constitution, the one that says the president cannot profit from his public office.

Trump will profit bigly by playing host to the G7 summit.

There is no more need, in my mind, for the House to look much further — if at all — for reasons to impeach the president. He has delivered a big reason all by himself.

I haven’t mentioned — until right now — what White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney declared, that the president withheld arms to Ukraine for political purposes. He then scolded the media to “Get over it.”

That, too, is an impeachable offense. It also violates the Constitution.

However, this awarding of the government contract to his own business simply crosses the biggest red line possible.

Donald Trump needs to be impeached. He needs to be thrown out of office after a Senate trial.

My question remains: How in the name of no man being above the law can Republicans in Congress and across the land ignore what is occurring in real time before all our eyes?

How should an impeached POTUS fare on Election Day?

Donald J. Trump is facing an extraordinary political hurdle as he campaigns for re-election as president of the United States.

It has been revealed that Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zellenskiy chatted by phone and that Trump sought to hold up a pledge for military aide to Ukraine over a “favor” that would provide dirt on Joe Biden, a potential political rival.

Trump has been accused now of jeopardizing national security because the president is abusing the power of his office.

Congressional Democrats are hurtling toward impeaching the president. What happens if the House actually impeaches him by, say, Thanksgiving?

Here’s where the hurdle stands in his way: What happens if the House impeaches Trump while he is in the midst of a re-election campaign? This unprecedented territory!

President Nixon won re-election in a landslide in 1972 and then quit the presidency in 1974 as the House was preparing to impeach him over the Watergate burglary/cover up. President Clinton won re-election in 1996 and then got impeached in 1998 because he lied to a grand jury about his relationship with a young White House intern; he, like Nixon, had no more campaigns to wage.

Donald Trump’s predicament is unparalleled. If the House impeaches him, he might be forced to run for re-election while shrouded under the darkest of political clouds.

None of this, of course, presumes what the Senate will do were it to receive the formal complaint against the president. I am wondering whether it will move to conduct a trial quickly or wait until after the election … for reasons I don’t quite understand.

I remain a bit reluctant — although decreasingly so — to push the House to proceed with an impeachment. I still would prefer an election to determine whether Donald Trump stays in office. However, the evidence of wrongdoing, corruption and frightening abuse of power well might compel the House to act rapidly.

Will it impeach the president as he prepares to run for re-election?

If it does, I will wait with bated breath to see how Donald Trump seeks to use an impeachment as a reason to re-elect him.

Hold on. This well might get mighty rough.

Correcting small part of ‘the record’

I have been called out.

The release of a document chronicling a phone call between Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskiy is not a “transcript.” It is a memo, the contents of which are taken from a transcript of the phone call.

A social media friend mentioned it to me in response to a blog item I published in which I referred to the document as a “transcript.”

That’s my bad.

The recognition does lend credence to the view that the memo requires release of the full unredacted transcript and the whistleblower’s report that blew this case wide open.

At issue is whether Trump asked the Ukrainian president, Zelenskiy, for information regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump appears to be seeking this information to use as a weapon against Joe Biden, who is a potential political opponent.

There you have it. The president allegedly used the immense power of his office to obtain ammunition to use against a political foe. He allegedly withheld military aid money for Ukraine if or until Zelenskiy produced the information requested.

The two men’s phone chat has been reported extensively throughout the day. However, we didn’t get the “transcript.” We got a memo describing the phone call, complete with ellipses that keep perhaps important segments of that phone call from full public view.

The impeachment saga continues to gather steam.

 

Do not worry about U.S. government’s strength

Donald Trump can boast all he wants about how impeachment is “good” for his re-election chances and for the Republican Party. The truth has to be that in his private moments he is worried to the max.

To be candid, so am I. So should the rest of the country be worried about the course on which this man’s presidency is about to take.

It’s about impeachment, man!

The House of Representatives has taken on this task three times in the nation’s history: Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton all have traveled down this perilous path.

Johnson and Clinton both were impeached and acquitted in Senate trials; President Johnson survived by a single Senate vote, by the way. Nixon quit the presidency as the House Judiciary Committee submitted articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives.

Now it well might be Donald Trump’s turn.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed sadness at what she has announced, that the House will launch a full “impeachment inquiry.” Yes, she should be sad. So should the rest of us, even those of us who out here who detest the man who occupies the office we hold so dear.

He has denigrated, defaced and disgraced the office. He has insulted our allies, stood shoulder to shoulder with some of our international opponents, some of whom are dictators/killers/tyrants. His behavior has been reprehensible.

Now we hear reports that he allegedly sought a foreign government’s help in bringing down one of his political foes at home.

Is this the kind of thing that gives anyone joy? Are we supposed to cheer the prospect of the House traipsing down the impeachment path? Hah! No. We aren’t.

We should be sad. We should be worried.

I don’t worry about our system of government. Our nation’s founders crafted a system built to withstand this kind of tumult and turbulence. Indeed, as President Ford told us during his inaugural address moments after being sworn in after President Nixon left the White House for the final time, “Our Constitution works.”

If the House proceeds with impeachment, the burden then falls on the Senate to conduct a trial.

Therein rests what I consider to be where this matter could derail. Republican senators who comprise a Senate majority do not appear at this moment ready to join their Democratic colleagues in convicting the president of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

This will play out over time. It will get ugly. It will soil and sully our system of government and our politics.

It will sadden all of us as we await an outcome. However, I will argue that we shouldn’t worry about the strength of the government system under which this drama will unfold.

‘Fake News’ becomes part of the political vernacular

Donald Trump has done it. He has turned a ridiculous epithet into part of our national vernacular.

I refer to “Fake News,” the term he uses to describe any coverage he deems to be negative. He calls it “fake,” continuing the incessant mantra he began about the time he entered political life in June 2015.

He announced his presidential campaign and not long afterward began hurling the “Fake News” around.

It has stuck. Who knew?

You see, what makes this label so remarkable is its source. Donald Trump once called himself the “king of debt.” He’s actually the “king of fake news.”

He has lied so often, on so many levels that for this individual to accuse anyone in the media of peddling “fake” information simply defies logic.

However, he has gotten away with it!

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, this carnival barker/huckster/charlatan/serial liar managed to get elected president of the United States in the first place.

He has defied every political norm known to most of us. Why, then, should it surprise anyone that he could turn “Fake News” into something ingrained in our national political vocabulary?

I offer a tip of the proverbial hat to a most unlikely recipient of this salute. You’ve done it, Mr. President. You have created a monster in your own image.

Waiting for Trumpsters to make positive case for POTUS’s re-election

The 2020 presidential election campaign is still in its formative stages. Democrats still are winnowing down a huge field of contenders/pretenders for their party’s nomination. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is gearing up as the Republicans’ nominee.

OK, so what might we expect to hear from the Trump Team as it seeks to get its man re-elected?

The economy will be front and center of Trump’s theme. Fine. The numbers have been good. Unemployment is low. Job growth has been brisk. However, there are danger signs lurking. Economists suggest a recession might be in the country’s near future.

However, even though he denigrates his immediate predecessor’s record over two terms as president, Trump did inherit an economy that was in far better shape than the one that dropped onto President Barack Obama’s lap in January 2009.

Beyond that, I want to hear from Trump’s allies why this man who has masqueraded as president deserves to be re-elected. I want them to make a positive case for him.

I’ll be clear that there’s nothing they can tell me that will change my mind. In my view, Trump is unfit for office. Name any category you wish — previous experience, business acumen, morality, ideology, presidential behavior — in my view he fails every test you can imagine.

I am willing to listen to those who are willing to make the case.

Who will stand up, grab a microphone and tell us that Donald Trump possesses all the essential qualities we expect in a president. Who will say he is compassionate? Or that he listens to Americans? Or that he studies the issues before acting on them? Or that he grasps the complexities of his office, or the massive federal government?

Trump’s own strategy likely will be steeped in innuendo, just as it was in 2016 when he surprised the political world by defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton. He won’t proclaim his own virtues, other than those he fabricates: his intelligence and his memory.

Trump’s campaign team will have to craft a message that echoes the boss’s own penchant for tearing down the opposition, just as it did when he won the previous presidential election.

Is that enough to send this guy back to the Oval Office for another four years? No. It damn sure isn’t.

However, I am awaiting something that resembles a positive message. To be candid, I likely won’t know how to react if I hear one.

Maybe I will just laugh out loud.

Nadler: POTUS ‘ought to be impeached,’ but first …

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has declared his belief that Donald Trump “ought to be impeached.”

I happen to agree with him — to a point.

Nadler believes the president has committed impeachable offenses. So do I. He seems to think the House of Representatives has the votes to impeach the president. As do I.

But … there’s this matter about whether the public is fully on board. Nadler is hedging enough to forestall any rush to impeach the president. I am not sure the public is sufficiently behind an impeachment effort to make it stick, or to persuade enough U.S. senators to convict Trump and toss him out of office after a trial for the charges the House would bring against him.

The conviction bar is far higher than the impeachment bar. The House — with its 235-200 Democratic cushion — needs a simple majority to lodge a formal complaint against the president. The Senate requires two-thirds of its members to convict Trump; Republicans control 53 seats. I do not believe there are enough GOP senators who have the courage to convict to boot the carnival barker out of the office to which he was elected.

There is Chairman Nadler’s conundrum.

The Judiciary Committee has effectively launched impeachment proceedings against Trump. Will it produce enough actual, concrete, tangible evidence that Trump has committed a “high crime and misdemeanor” to warrant impeachment?

Sure, but the process has to play out. It’s a political event, to be sure. Some Democrats keep talking about doing their “constitutional duty.” Fine, but to what end?

If the goal of impeachment is to persuade enough Americans and their elected representatives in the House and Senate to kick Trump out of office, then I believe the pro-impeachment brigade has more miles to march.

On the hunt for Trump supporter

GOLDEN, British Columbia — I received a grim prediction from a resident of Vancouver, B.C.: My hunt for a Canadian who supports Donald J. Trump is likely to prove futile.

No worries. I intend to keep looking for that individual.

My acquaintance, a retired biochemist who is on his way to Regina, Saskatchewan to see family members, told me that Trump supporters in this country are a scarce commodity.

What is this gentleman’s view of the president of the United States?

“He is too unpredictable,” he said. “He just doesn’t act presidential,” he continued. “We expect more, I guess, from the president of the United States.”

Does that sound familiar? Sure it does. We might have this lengthy divide between our two countries, but we do share the same massive — and magnificent — continent. Most Americans and Canadians appear to be of like minds regarding the president, according to the gentleman.

What’s more, this fellow we met told us a quick story about his father. “My dad happens to be an American,” he said. My new friend explained that when Trump was running for president in 2016, his father — who he described as a “right wing thinking” sort of fellow — was all for Trump. “He just thought Trump was going to ‘make America great again,’ and all that kind of thing,” he friend said.

His father’s view now?

“Dad has changed his mind,” he said.

My acquaintance didn’t say it directly, but his slight chuckle while discussing Donald Trump seems to reveal a view my cousin revealed to me about a Canadian friend of his. Canadians are laughing at us Americans. OK, I get it. Except that none of this man’s tenure in office is funny.

So, the hunt goes on.

I hope the retired biochemist is mistaken. I am going to keep searching for a pro-Trump Canadian.

Y’all will be among the first to know if I find that person.

It’s strictly personal, Mr. President

There is no nice way to say this, Mr. President, so I’ll just blurt it out.

My loathing of your presidency is a product of my feelings toward you. It’s personal, Mr. President.

You’ve enacted several policy positions with which I disagree. Your rolling back of clean air and water requirements, for example. Your decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military — which you avoided doing during the Vietnam War — is another. Your insistence on repealing the Affordable Care Act when some tinkering would suffice is yet another. I could go on. I won’t.

No, Mr. President, it’s almost exclusively personal with me. It’s visceral. I feel it in my gut.

I felt that way when you and Melania rode down that escalator at Trump Tower, when you announced your presidential candidacy, and then trashed Mexicans as rapists, murderers and assorted other felons was too much for me right out of the chute.

Your entire adult life has been geared toward self-enrichment. You didn’t have a single moment of public service on your resume. Your behavior is well-chronicled: the cheating — alleged and acknowledged — on all three of your wives; the hideous videos of you at professional wrestling matches; the “Access Hollywood” interview.

Hey, I’m only touching on the matters that come to my mind in the moment.

Your conduct as president has been nearly as hideous. Your trashing of our allies. Your denigration of our intelligence analysts who say the Russians interfered in our election. Your standing behind dictators such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and an assortment of other tin horn tyrants around the world.

Of course, there’s also the serial lying. You cannot tell the truth. You are pathological. Your lying knows no bounds. You lie when you need not lie.

And I cannot let pass your repeated denigration of a legitimate war hero, the late John McCain, who fought, suffered and nearly died during the Vietnam War. He resisted his captors valiantly and you had the unmitigated gall to say he was a “hero only because he was captured.” You sickened me with that statement, Mr. President.

For that matter, you continue to sicken me every moment you serve as our head of state/commander in chief.

I just had to get this off my chest. I know it won’t do a damn bit of good. You likely won’t see these words. Some of your supporters will and they might give me grief for expressing myself in this manner.

Too bad. I want you out of office at the earliest possible moment.

There. Now I feel better.

Looking for what I believe is a rarity: Canadian supporter of Trump

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — I am on a mission.

Somewhere out there in the vast nation that borders the United States of America are likely to be folks who believe Donald J. Trump is the greatest thing to American politics since pockets on shirts.

I want to find at least one of them.

My intention is to look for Canadians who will answer this simple question: Do you think the president of the United States is doing a good job for his country and for yours?

That’s a reasonably neutral query. When I announced my plans to seek out Canadians’ opinion on a man I detest, I sought to make it clear that I didn’t intend to skewer the questions in search of particular answers. I do intend to remain faithful to that pledge.

And if I find a Trumpster among our Canadian hosts I intend to ask them for specifics about why they think he’s such a darn noble statesman.

They might be hard to find. I keep hearing anecdotal stuff about the president’s low opinion ratings in Canada, where — to be candid — Canadians aren’t too keen on their prime minister, Justin Trudeau, either.

Maybe they’re all a bunch of soreheads. Eh?

I’ll do my best. Wish me luck.