Tag Archives: Twitter

Trump revives concept of ‘enemies list’

The sometimes-sinister spirit of Richard M. Nixon apparently has returned from the dead to whisper in the ear of Donald J. Trump.

The current president mirrored the former president’s enemies list by revoking the top security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. In a remarkable fit of petulance, pique and piggishness, the president did this to punish Brennan for what he called “erratic behavior.”

Did the former CIA boss reveal any national security secrets? Did he blab classified information to enemy states? Did he in any way compromise our ability to defend ourselves against foreign foes?

No to all of the above.

Brennan’s “sin” is to criticize the president.

What is wrong with that? Oh, nothing at all. It’s protected speech, according to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But you see, Donald Trump just won’t have any of that. He just cannot stomach the idea of a former CIA director, a man with immense national security chops — who could be of invaluable assistance to the president’s national security team — speaking negatively about administration policy.

The New York Times reported: In a tweet this week, Mr. Brennan criticized Mr. Trump for the language that the president used to attack Omarosa Manigault Newman, his former top aide, who he called a “dog.”

Mr. Brennan wrote, “It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation.”

Years ago, President Nixon developed an enemies list comprising members of the Democratic Party, radical left-wing protest groups, certain members of the media and, frankly, damn near any prominent American who spoke ill of him in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Nearly five decades later, his most recent presidential descendant has resurrected that notion by revoking the security clearance of a dedicated public servant and a man with tremendous knowledge of all things relating to protecting this great nation.

Shameful.

‘Your favorite president’? Hardly, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump clearly isn’t talking to me. I know he doesn’t know me from Adam, doesn’t give a rip what I think about anything.

However, he put this Twitter message out that said:

The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered. Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!

What does he mean “your favorite President!”?

My favorite president left office on Jan. 20, 2017.

Everyone knew the president would brag about the election results. He took credit for GOP victories in the U.S. House of Representatives. I get that the GOP won eight out of nine seats. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story, kind of like the way Trump doesn’t tell the whole story about his own election to the presidency in 2016. Instead, he fabricates the circumstance of his election, calling it a “record,” most lopsided victory since Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984 … blah, blah, blah.

So now he’s yapping about his party’s victories. They are by the skin of the president’s teeth. In congressional districts where Democrats have no business being competitive.

Hey, I understand that a win is a win and that winners are defined clearly as those who get more votes than the other guy.

These wins, though, don’t deserve all the braggin’ they’re getting from Donald Trump.

Trump’s tweets diminish his powerful office

As the president of the United States seeks to “make America great … again,” he is diminishing the power, stature and profile of the very office he occupies.

How? His use of Twitter has relegated what once were considered inviolable policy statements into mere “personal opinions.” That’s according to Donald John Trump’s senior staff and legal advisers.

What in the world is going on here?

There once was a time when anything that came from the president was deemed to be hard-and-fast policy pronouncements. If the president said it, the statement was solid. Good as gold. Take it to the bank. That’s what the nation stands for.

These days statements of policy now are passed off as something, um, considerably less important.

Trump tweeted, for instance, that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions “should” end the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Where I come from, when the boss said I “should” do something, that means I do it. Not so with Trump, according to Rudy Giuliani, the president’s current personal lawyer.

I have given up complaining about Trump’s tweets. I know that he is addicted to the social medium as a method of communicating.

What, though, do the messages mean? Are they directives or are they mere blathering from the commander in chief?

Donald J. Trump’s desire to “make America great again” must include an elevation of the office to which he was elected. The presidency should reflect the greatness of the nation. Isn’t that a reasonable assumption to make?

To date, not even two years into his presidency, Trump is diminishing his office through his incessant use of Twitter to declare every damn thing on what passes for his mind.

As the office of the presidency shrinks, so does the president’s objective of achieving greatness for the nation he governs.

Stick to things that really matter, Mr. POTUS

Dan Rather has it right when he lambastes the president of the United States over a ridiculous message sent out via Twitter regarding — and this is rich! — comments from the world’s greatest professional basketball player, LeBron James.

Rather, the one-time CBS News anchor, said this, also via Twitter: This is apparently what the President of the United States feels the need to share with the world at what should be long past his bedtime? It’s a disgrace. It’s racist. And it’s the product of petty but dangerous hatreds. I repeat this is the PRESIDENT??!?

Trump had posted this message: Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Yep, the commander in chief, the leader of the free world, the head of state of the world’s most indispensable nation is concerning himself with some comments that LeBron James has made about the president.

Read The Hill story here

Did I mention that James has just opened a new school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, giving at-risk kids a chance to achieve greatness? There. I just did.

Or the fact that James is married to his high school sweetheart, has been faithful to her over many years of marital bliss? That, too.

Yes, James — as well as CNN news commentator Don Lemon — happen to be African-American. So that means that POTUS, the liar in chief, feels compelled to question their intelligence. Is it just a coincidence, too, that Trump has singled out African-American football players for their decision to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem at the start of football games? I, um, think not.

Disgraceful.

Trump takes ‘unconventional’ to a stunning new level

Donald John Trump pledged to become an “unconventional” president after he was elected to the office.

Of the promises he has kept, this is the one he has upheld in spades.

The president has just “blindsided” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to cite just the latest example of his unconventional approach to international diplomacy. He uses Twitter to make statements on his own. Trump believes the presidency entitles him to do so. I guess it does, but there’s considerable peril in this practice.

Trump tweeted a message threatening punishment for Turkey if that nation doesn’t release an American who has been held captive for several years. Pompeo has been negotiating for this American’s release and — surprise! — he had no idea the tweet from Trump was coming.

This is how Trump governs. He surrounds himself with “the best people” and then stiffs them whenever he fires off a Twitter message without their knowledge.

He doesn’t bother to tell his national security team when he gets a bur under his saddle and threatens to destroy regimes in, say, North Korea or Iran. He invited Russian President Vladmir Putin to Washington, had his national security adviser put the word out and he never told Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Trump flies by the seat of his pants. He keeps his own counsel. He relies on no one, yet he brings these “brilliant minds” on board ostensibly to provide him with advice.

Unconventional? Yeah, do you think?

It’s also dangerous, reckless, feckless and mindless.

This man with no public service experience is leaving wreckage all along every path he travels. He has brought some good people on board, but he ignores them repeatedly.

This “unconventional” presidency of Donald Trump’s well could get us all into a heap of trouble.

Wanting some old-fashioned decorum from POTUS

Call me old-fashioned. Maybe even a geezer if you’re so inclined.

I get that under our system of government, “anyone” can be elected president. I thought that truism bore the ultimate fruit when we elected and re-elected an African-American to the presidency in 2008 and 2012. Barack Obama’s life story was itself a tale to behold, irrespective of his racial makeup.

Silly me. I was so wrong.

The 2016 election victory by Donald John Trump Sr. provided the most incontrovertible demonstration of that notion. If someone like Trump can win a presidential election, then, by God, anyone can win the big prize.

So, we elect a guy with zero prior public service exposure. His ignorance of government, politics, public policy has been breathtaking in its scope.

His fans applaud his missteps, his goofiness and, oh yes, his dangerous tendencies, including his seeming desire to obtain authoritarian status.

I’m a traditionalist, though, in at least one regard. While I embrace the notion that anyone can be elected president, I still want the president to be better than the average American. I want the president to conduct himself with dignity and decorum.

Trump doesn’t do that. His use of Twitter is the shiniest example that comes to mind. I read those tweets and I shudder at their inarticulateness. The misspelled words, the use of capital letters, the mangled syntax … it all just drives me nuts. I mean, the social medium recently expanded the capacity available for Twitter users. Can’t the president take some time to at least construct a message that makes sense? Or one that at least is readable?

I guess not.

He’s just content to, um, “tell it like it is.”

Meanwhile, the dignity and stature of the highest office in the land — and arguably the most important elected office in the world — continues to suffer.

Donald Trump: Jokester in Chief

I am laughing out loud. Really! I am!

Donald J. “Jokester in Chief” Trump has put a tweet out that says the following: I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!

Man, that’s a knee-slapper. You know?

Didn’t Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, stand next to Trump in Helsinki and admit to the whole, wide world that he “wanted Trump to win” the 2016 presidential election?

Yeah, he said that. I heard him. So did you

I do have a bit of positive commentary to offer, though. At least the president didn’t fire this Twitter message out with all-capital letters.

Respond to Iran threats? Yes, but do so the right way

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a threat to the United States.

The U.S. president took it seriously. So seriously that he employed his favorite forum to respond: Twitter. He fired off an all-cap response that says Iran had better think twice about issuing threats.

Hey, I no longer am surprised by Donald Trump’s Twitter fetish. He’s got it bad, man.

I just long ago grew tired of reading these tweets when he decides to issue policy pronouncements or when he articulates some sort of threat to a foreign adversary.

I don’t have a particular problem with Trump responding to Iran’s bluster. My concern is the forum the president keeps using. He blathers these counter-threats for all the world to hear.

I wonder if it ever occurs to Trump to just pick up the telephone in the Oval Office and phoning some intermediary nation (since we have no diplomatic relations with Iran) and offering a warning to Iran to pipe down with the tough talk.

It’s called back-channel diplomacy.

Donald Trump, though, knows nothing of how these matters ought to be resolved. None of that is a surprise, given the utter absence of any understanding of government in Trump’s background.

He goes with his gut, his instinct, his penchant for showmanship.

Dangerous.

Social media etiquette gives way to threat of war

Get a load of a tweet that came from the fingers — reportedly — of the president of the United States.

To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

Isn’t that amazing?

Rouhani made some kind of threat to launch the “mother of all wars” against the United States.

Donald J. Trump answered with this message via Twitter.

I’m a frequent Twitter user myself. Trust me on this: I am not an expert on social media etiquette, not that having good manners is necessarily a requirement at all times. I do know, though, that typing something in all caps denotes an anger that some could construe borders on instability. Is that the message that Donald Trump seeks to convey to the Iranian president?

Yes, he did the same thing with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He threatened him with total destruction. He spoke of the threat of “fire and fury.” Kim and Trump did meet in Singapore. The jury is out on what was accomplished. This much appears to be certain: The world remains under threat of a nuclear North Korea, no matter what the president has said.

So, what’s the deal with this all-cap Twitter message? If the president intends to convey the message that he is so angry that he’s out of control, well, millions of Americans have harbored those thoughts already.

‘Your favorite President did nothing wrong’?

I cannot let this Twitter message pass without a brief rejoinder.

Donald John Trump wrote this: Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!

It’s the final sentence that is worth a comment.

“Your favorite President did nothing wrong,” Trump writes.

By golly, he’s right. Barack Obama didn’t shame himself in front of the world while kowtowing to Vladimir Putin. Nor did he refuse to acknowledge the Russian attack on our electoral system. Or denigrate the U.S. intelligence agencies’ capabilities. Or try to take it all back with a clumsy and inarticulate reference to “double negatives.”

My “favorite president” is doing just fine, thank you very much.

As for the current president, well, I’m anxiously awaiting the findings of the special counsel to settle matters.