Tag Archives: Twitter

Blog spurs tension among strangers

As much as l enjoy — even love — writing this blog, it produces at least one uncomfortable side effect.

I distribute High Plains Blogger’s contents along several social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, to name three. It’s the Facebook distribution that results in something that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Blog supporters and critics read my entries. They respond to statements that come from the blog. Then someone else will respond to the individual who is commenting on the contents of the blog.

It doesn’t matter who starts the exchange. It can come from someone on either side. When it commences, though, it occasionally gets personal.

It’s an intriguing aspect of this community “discussion.” Strangers who have never looked each other in the eye presume to know the other person’s motives. For that matter, I have total strangers who read this blog regularly who presume to know my own motivations and they respond with some sort of faux knowledge. But … that’s OK with me. I let it slide.

When individuals start yammering at each other in response to High Plains Blogger, I find myself feeling badly when someone ascribes nefariousness to someone else’s point of view. Or, they accuse someone of ignorance.

I don’t intend to dissuade commenters from speaking out freely and passionately. It’s an American thing to do. I like that individuals get worked up. However, it does make me a bit queasy when the commenters get personal with their newfound foes over each other’s comments.

None of this will deter me from using this blog to speak out. It’s what I do these days now that I no longer am a working stiff.

I’ll just have to suck it up when readers of this blog — be they friend or foe — decide to go after those on the other side of the gaping political divide.

Stay tuned. Keep reading. And by all means, feel free to offer your own perspective. It’s a great country, yes?

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!

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.

Stand firm, Mme. U.N. Ambassador

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has laid down an important marker to Donald J. Trump.

Do not diss me in public; do not subject me to public humiliation; I will not take it quietly.

Haley, one of the few grownups in the Trump administration’s inner circle, spoke out recently in which she suggested the United States would impose additional sanctions on Russia as punishment for its complicity in the gassing of Syrian civilians.

Then she got her humiliation handed to her by Lawrence Kudlow, the president’s newly appointed national economics adviser. Kudlow suggested that Haley got “ahead of the curve” and might have suffered from some “confusion” over a policy that had been changed without her knowledge.

That is not tolerable to Haley. Nor should it be.

She has referred to Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election an “act of warfare.” She has clashed with other senior Trump Cabinet officials. She has stood her ground.

But now she has drawn her own “red line,” letting the president know that she won’t stand for being called out in the manner she was by Kudlow.

I happen to be in Haley’s corner on this matter.

As this nation’s ambassador to the United Nations, she needs to be kept in the loop at all times on all policies being pondered by the Policy Maker in Chief … the president. Then again, the president needs to show at the very least a sliver of discipline as he blunders through this and/or that crisis, or makes this and/or that policy pronouncement.

Whenever he tweets a policy statement, only to take some or all of it back, the president puts the precious few grownups he has brought on board in a serious diplomatic pickle. Heaven knows that the president has brought damn few competent individuals on board.

One of them, Nikki Haley, deserved far better than she got.

Trump tweets us toward warfare?

Donald J. Trump’s use of Twitter to make policy proclamations has become more or less something of a new normal in Washington, D.C.

However, Trump’s tweeting of potential military action takes it to a new level of incredulity.

The president has alerted Russia that via Twitter that he might fire missiles at Syrian military installations. He put the Russians on notice. Indeed, he has alerted them to the point that the Russians say they might retaliate against any military strike against their allies, the Syrians.

Is this how the commander in chief is supposed to manage our strategic military operation?

Is this how we keep our secrets to ourselves? Is this how we now prepare for a military strike, by telling one of our major geopolitical adversaries what we intend to do?

Memo to The Donald: The Russians have nukes, too. A lot of them.

Twitter taunts ain’t the way to conduct matters of high statecraft.

Hey, Mr. POTUS, DOJ is on our side

So sad that the Department of “Justice” and the FBI are slow walking, or even not giving, the unredacted documents requested by Congress. An embarrassment to our country!

I’ll give you just one guess where that statement came from. Time’s up! It came from Donald J. Trump, via Twitter — of course!

Have you or any of us ever seen a president of the United States of America disparage our federal law enforcement community in such a manner? Have any of us seen a president show such utter disregard for the professionals who toil in the trenches or who make command decisions on behalf of the country they all take an oath to protect?

He keeps disparaging Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He continues to undermine the field agents of the FBI, as well as their bosses at the Hoover FBI Building. He torpedoes the work of career prosecutors who work for the Justice Department.

He does so using social media, which if you consider the way he is using it to proclaim his distrust and distaste over policy matters, ought to be renamed. There’s nothing “social” about the way Trump uses — and abuses — this particular medium.

I’m tellin’ ya, the man is a disgrace to his office.

Try to push another cause, Mrs. Trump

I’ve already spoken admirably of first lady Melania Trump’s call to end cyber bullying, even though I recognize — along with millions of others — that she needs to reel in her husband.

I hate suggesting this, but I now fear that the first lady’s effort — noble as it is — has become a lost cause.

She cannot speak on the issue anywhere in this country without being ridiculed by those who insist that Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is a form of cyber bullying. And it certainly qualifies as such!

Mrs. Trump made a mistake when she declared that to be her No. 1 priority for as long as she serves as first lady. She cannot control her husband. Hell, no one can control him!

The president continues to rail via Twitter against foes in this country. He chides his opponents and critics, often with intemperate language that doesn’t measure up to the high standards he should be setting as our head of state and government.

Trump made what sounded like a serious pledge when he said he wouldn’t tweet once he became president. It turned out to be yet another sham, another flim-flam … another outright lie!

And I fear that his lying has undercut his wife’s noble quest to protect our young people against cyber bullying that too often crosses the line of decency. Too many of them have harmed themselves grievously after they have been insulted and bullied via social media.

My request of the first lady: Give up that particular fight and turn to something else.

Donald Trump: Coward in Chief

You might not believe this, but it pains me to suggest the following.

The president of the United States is a coward. He is afraid to confront people who displease him. Thus, he relies on long-distance communications techniques to tell them, “You’re fired!”

I’m sure you remember now Donald J. Trump made “You’re fired” a phrase that took off throughout popular culture. He even developed that snake-like strike gesture with his hand in telling those on “Celebrity Apprentice” that they didn’t make the grade.

How does the man who now has become president handle these duties? He does it through other means.

He fired off a tweet announcing the firing of FBI Director James Comey while Comey was in California preparing to speak to law enforcement officials; he fired off another tweet to give Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the boot; he used the same medium to inform White House chief of staff Reince Priebus that he was out; most recently, he did the same thing while firing national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

What kind of CEO — which the president is — does such a thing?

I’ve always thought the boss summoned someone to his or her office, read the underling the riot act and then dismissed them summarily to their face. That would be a boss who’s worth a damn, someone who has the courage of his or convictions to speak candidly to someone who doesn’t do what the boss expects.

Trump doesn’t seem to operate this way. Now we’re hearing disputes over whether Shulkin resigned or was fired as VA secretary. Shulkin says he was canned; the White House contends he was resigned.

Of course, some politicians are weighing in. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, told “Meet the Press” that “It’s not the way I’d do it,” referring to the manner that Trump used to dismiss Shulkin.

I guess Sen. Johnson believes Shulkin’s account of his departure from the VA.

Johnson, moreover, believes Trump’s childish and callous termination methods will affect recruitment of future administration officials. “I think the president does need to understand the effect it has on attracting other people,” Johnson said.

Gee! Do ya think?

Trump will continue to delude himself into thinking he’s running a tight ship, that he’s got everything — and everyone — under control.

He is wrong! He also is a coward!

In this corner, the former vice president …

It has come down to this.

A former vice president of the United States, Joseph R. Biden, spoke to a Miami conference and said if Donald J. Trump and he were in the same high school, he would “beat the hell out of him.” The issue on the table dealt with the treatment of women by men.

So, what does the president of the United States do? He responds via Twitter (naturally, yes?) that “Crazy Joe” lacks emotional and physical strength and that he — Trump, of course — would take him out. Here is Trump’s tweet: “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”

I do not know which is worse: the former VP saying out loud that he would beat up the president or the head of state responding via social media with a “so’s your mama!” retort.

This is the kind of stuff one usually sees occurring between middle-schoolers. It’s a close call, but I’ll give the “raspberry” in this exchange to the president.

He is the one who occupies the office that, in an earlier time, used to command decorum, dignity and discipline. The former vice president is known to be a bit loose of lip at times; but this is the first time I’ve ever heard Biden actually state a desire to do physical harm to another public figure.

Trump, though, actually has extolled the virtue of beating someone up, such as what he has said about demonstrators who showed up at his political rallies. That, however, occurred before he won the election and took the presidential oath of office.

Donald Trump promised many times he would be “more presidential” once he took that oath.

Well, so much for promises.

Won’t respond? Actually, he just did

The lawyer representing former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe said it point blank: He won’t respond to every “childish, defamatory, disgusting & false tweet by the President.”

That was part of Michael Bromwich’s tweet that he blasted out today.

Donald Trump has been engaged in another Twitter rant about McCabe, calling his firing this past week by Attorney General Jeff Sessions a “great day for democracy.”

McCabe was just 24 hours from retiring from the FBI. Sessions decided to give him the boot because of allegations that he didn’t tell the truth about matters involving special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into “the Russia thing.”

Sessions acted without a scintilla of class in firing McCabe in that manner. Meanwhile, Trump has been gone into his usual Twitter spasm about McCabe, Mueller, Democrats, Hillary Clinton … you name it.

Bromwich won’t respond to all those “childish, defamatory and disgusting” tweets?

My take goes along this line: Donald Trump deals exclusively in childishness, defamation, falsehoods, as well as disgusting commentary. His tweets fall into that category virtually all the time.

Which means that Andrew McCabe’s lawyer has just responded to all that have been issued to date and all that will come in the future.