Tag Archives: White House

Local governments are taking lead on crisis management

The good news about the president’s national emergency declaration this afternoon is that states, counties and cities already are way ahead of the federal government in managing the coronavirus pandemic.

Donald Trump stood in the White House Rose Garden, bragged a bit about how well he’s done, heard slobbering praise from Mike Pence and then declared he bears “no responsibility at all” for many of the federal missteps that have occurred along the way.

Meanwhile, governors and other state and local officials are making their own declarations and announcing plans on how they intend to deal with the crisis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was one of the governors who today announced a disaster declaration in Texas. He has mobilized local authorities and has made some key executive decisions. Gov. Abbott sounded like someone in charge. The president? Well, not so much.

Counties, too, have taken action. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has ordered a ban on all activities that attract crowds of 250 people or more.

The crisis has been real since it broke some weeks ago. The president has sought to downplay what the World Health Organization has labeled a pandemic, which means it’s bad and likely to get worse.

So, with that I’ll listen more intently to messages coming from City Hall, from the county courthouse and from the State Capitol before I heed the words spewing from the White House.

Hey, I mean no disrespect. I just need guidance and steady counsel … neither of which is coming from the office of the president of the United States.

Waiting for the current president to lead

I am having difficulty watching and listening to the president discuss the medical pandemic that is sweeping around the world.

He portrays an image of toughness when it’s easy to do so. When the time presents itself for Donald Trump to actually perform as a leader, he chokes. As The New York Times reported today:

While he presents himself as the nation’s commanding figure, Mr. Trump has essentially become a bystander as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president.

He has contradicted medical experts’ analysis of the coronavirus crisis. The president spoke to the nation from the Oval Office on Wednesday about a travel ban he was imposing on Europe, only to have the White House “clarify” Trump’s remarks two or three minutes after he signed off. Trump acts more like a man desperate to ignite a Wall Street rally if only to help his re-election chances.

Donald Trump cannot get it right. He cannot lend an air of competence at a time when the nation desperately needs it from the center of executive power.

I have to arc back to a point I have sought to make on this blog since Donald Trump began seeking the presidency in the summer of 2015. It is simply that this man’s background has taught him nothing about the complexities of the federal government and the nuance of public service leadership.

It is absent as this individual flails and flutters while wishing for a medical “miracle” that will not occur.

‘No’ on the revolution; ‘yes’ on defeating Donald Trump

I once was a wild-eyed liberal who bought into the urgency of launching a political revolt to topple a president.

The cause du jour was the Vietnam War. I had participated in that conflict, came home, and then got politically involved. In 1972, I wanted Sen. George McGovern to become the next president because he promised to end the war, bring our troops home and rebuild the nation’s tattered and shattered emotional psyche.

He didn’t make it to the White House.

Here we are today, 48 years later and the nation is flirting with another “revolution.” This one is being led by an independent senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, who keeps hammering at income inequality. He wants to de-fang the nation’s uber-rich, who he says are corrupting the political process.

Sanders also wants to topple the current president. He is running as a Democrat, even though he isn’t really a Democrat.

Sanders can count me out. I am past the revolutionary period of my life. I am settling instead on the “establishment” that Sanders is vilifying. To that end, I am all in with Joseph Biden Jr., the former vice president and former senator.

Biden and Sanders do share a common desire, to defeat Donald Trump. The question now becomes: Who between them is equipped to do what millions of us want? I believe firmly that Biden holds the answers.

Biden knows how to govern. His record as VP is full of accomplishment: He helped enact the Affordable Care Act; he helped push through legislation that protected women against violence; he has once reached across to Republicans and helped avert a government shutdown during one of those face-offs during Obama years in the White House.

Over his many years in the Senate, Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations and Judiciary committees. His colleagues respected him in the Senate and worked with him when he ascended to the vice presidency.

Bernie Sanders would, in my view, bring us more conflict of the type we have endured during the Trump years.

I am weary of the chaos. Of the conflict. Of the confusion. In my dotage, therefore, I am seeking a return to an air of normal behavior in the White House. Joe Biden can provide it.

Biden the seasoned pol is more electable than Sanders the angry revolutionary. When I was much younger, I might have attached myself to Sanders’ ideological hay wagon. That was then.

The here and now makes me yearn for a comforting presence in the White House.

Biden fits the bill for this old man

Joseph R. Biden Jr. got my vote today for president of the United States.

It is no surprise to readers of this blog. I waffled, wavered and wiggled a bit during the run-up to today’s Super Tuesday vote. In the end, though, I happen to fit into the demographic that is drawn to this fellow’s candidacy.

I once thought he was nearly finished as a candidate:

Painful to acknowledge … but ex-VP Biden likely is finished

I am an older voter. I am a white guy. I consider myself to be a patriot. I am a veteran who once went to war for my country. I am retired. I live a quiet life in North Texas with my bride of more than 48 years. I am a one-time firebrand who once wanted to change the world with my single vote; that was a long time ago and I have grown out of that desire.

My keen interest today is in restoring the presidency to what I have grown up understanding it to represent. I believe Joseph Biden would do that for me.

We have been “treated” to more than three years of chaos, confusion, controversy … and contempt for the norms associated with the exalted office. I am tired of it and I want the presidency returned to the dignity the office demands.

I won’t belabor the point I have made already about Donald Trump’s unfitness for the office. I want to make another point, though: It is that Joe Biden, despite his verbal clumsiness and occasionally weird rhetoric, is profoundly fit to deliver the presidency from where Trump has dragged it.

As I ponder now where this primary race heads after today, it is my hope that Biden can collect more support along the way and that he can parlay that support into a presidential nomination … and then election.

Now the White House is censoring the top docs in the world? Huh … ?

What in the name of science denial is going on at the White House?

The nation is being threatened with a potentially monstrous medical pandemic — the coronavirus — and the president of the United States wants the world’s top immunologist to pass all public comments through the White House before it’s made public.

I refer to Dr. Anthony Fauci, someone who has worked for seven presidential administrations. The man is a medical genius. He is trying to offer candid assessments of the threat of the virus that is sweeping through Asia and is threatening to do the same through every other continent on Earth … maybe even in Antarctica.

He stood before the nation the other day and said without hesitation that he cannot predict what the coronavirus is going to do to the United States. Then Donald Trump took the microphone and essentially contradicted him, saying that everything is under control. He predicted — and I cringed when I heard him use the word — there might be a “miraculous” discovery to cure the virus.

Trump is saying that a vaccine is just over the horizon; the medical gurus say “not so fast,” there ain’t a cure to be found just yet.

Meanwhile, the president put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the coronavirus mission. Pence is, shall we say, a noted science denier. He has demonstrated little tolerance or understanding of the complexities of crises such as what we’re facing at this moment.

He wants instead to protect the president’s backside, of which he has shown quite an ability.

Meanwhile, the world is engaging in something close to panic. The White House response is to censor the brilliant medical minds who are seeking answers — and developing updates that they need to give to an increasingly anxious public.

This POTUS will stay with us … for what will seem like forever!

I am trying to imagine the unimaginable.

Donald John Trump won’t be president of the United States forever, even though it is likely to seem like forever even after he leaves office.

I hope he leaves sooner rather than later. The “sooner” might occur on Jan. 20, 2021, when his current term expires and he hands the White House keys over to whomever succeeds him. The “later” — heaven forbid! — might arrive four years later, in 2025, when he walks away after a second term.

What is unimaginable is the thought of Donald Trump fading quietly into the sunset, into the woodwork, that he’ll not be seen or heard except only on rare occasions.

Ohhh, no. What is more likely to occur is that we’ll never escape Donald Trump for as long as he draws breath. No one lives forever, although Trump might want us to believe that he’s the exception to that hard-and-fast rule.

Recent previous presidents generally have subscribed to a certain rule: They’ve had their time at the center of power; then they hand it over to someone else and they disappear from public view — more or less. President George H.W. Bush was famously quiet when he gave way to President Clinton in 1993; Clinton has maintained a bit of a public presence, but has been mostly out of the limelight since turning it over to W. in 2001. President George W. Bush was quiet during his successor’s two terms, and President Obama has kept quiet during Donald Trump’s term.

Does anyone expect the current president to follow the model set by so many of his predecessors? Does anyone seriously expect No. 45 to keep his Twitter fingers still while whoever succeeds him engages in policymaking, let alone if the next president decides to undo some of the decisions that Trump and his team implemented during his time in the White House? Imagine, for instance, the next president reinstituting some of the environmental regulations that Trump summarily terminated and then Trump sitting quietly while that happens.

Donald Trump vowed to be an unconventional president and, by golly, he has made good on that pledge. I am concerned, though, that he’s going to be an equally unconventional former president who’ll be unable or unwilling to just fade away.

My hope is that we get to find out quickly.

‘It was all bullsh**.’

There you have it.

The current president of the United States spoke that sentence out loud, in public, with TV cameras beaming images into millions of living rooms around the nation.

Donald John Trump’s unleashed his potty mouth in my house, your house, in our house! He spoke in the East Room of the White House describing the end of the impeachment saga that dragged on for far longer than most of us wanted it to drag on.

I cannot insist that presidents of the United States never pepper their language in private. Heaven knows I’ve been heard using profane language on occasion.

But here’s the thing: When the president of the United States speaks like this in what is supposed to be a solemn, serious event — commenting on the end of an impeachment trial that determined whether the POTUS kept his job — he chose to toss out foul language in the public’s house.

It should be obvious even to Trump that he doesn’t own the White House all by himself. It belongs to all Americans, even the president.

Still, Donald Trump is just a temporary tenant. He needs to clean up his act if he intends to stay there for the duration of his lease.

POTUS turns salute to football champs into a campaign event

Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States, just cannot help himself.

The Louisiana State University Tigers showed up at the White House ostensibly to receive a salute from Trump for the Tigers winning the college football championship. Hey, LSU whipped Clemson by a score of 42-25.

So, Trump invited them to the White House, per the customary reception given to sports champs.

What does the president do? He turns the event into a campaign event. He yapped and yammered about the impeachment, saying that despite the great economy they want to “impeach the son of a bi***.”

Yep, that’s the language that flew out of the mouth — at the White House — of the evangelical Christian movement’s favorite politician. He makes me so (not) proud of the president.

He blathered some more about how he has supposedly rebuilt the military, brought justice to terrorist leaders.

This is what we get when we have an impeached president who also is running for re-election. Indeed, this also is what we get when we have a president who cannot separate his own political fortunes from events — such as a ceremony to salute a college football team — that have nothing to do with those political fortunes.

Donald Trump clearly is obsessed with this impeachment trial. He also is obsessed — to the nth degree — with his political standing. Trump takes every opportunity he can find to further buttress his status.

Even when such politicking has no place in an unrelated event.


Love, not hate, fuels anti-Trump rhetoric

I am an old-fashioned fellow in many respects.

I love pageantry. I love singing the National Anthem. I enjoy military parades. I take pleasure in shaking the hands of World War II and Korean War veterans. I revere political tradition and decorum.

Thus, when I criticize Donald J. Trump, it is not out of hate — as some critics of this blog seem to believe — but out of love. Not for the president, mind you. But for the office he occupies and my love of the tradition he has managed to trash almost since the moment he pulled his hand off the Bible at his inauguration.

Critics of this blog purport to read my mind and delve into my heart when they accuse me of spewing hate-filled rhetoric. The thing is, they don’t know me. Some of ’em, though, do like referring to me by my first name, as if to suggest some form of faux familiarity with me. They don’t understand why I say what I do about the president.

One does not go to war for a country he hates. He does so out of love for the country. I got the call to go to war for my country in 1969. I didn’t do so gladly, but out of a sense of duty to the nation that ordered me to go far away and participate in a war that was raging when I arrived and was still raging when I left.

It’s my love of country that fuels my anger today at what I see happening to our political institutions, to our national mood, to the tribalism that has consumed so much of the dialogue between and among various segments of our vast and diverse population.

Who’s responsible for that? It has to stem from our national leadership. It comes from the very top of the political food chain. It starts in the White House, where Donald Trump now resides. It festers in the policies coming from the Oval Office, where the president makes command decisions.

Do I love what I see and hear coming from the White House these days? No! Of course not!

Hatred, though, is not the spark that ignites the rhetoric coming from this blog. It is a deeply held love of country. I want a return to the tradition that I grew up admiring and revering. It cannot happen until we get a change in the leadership at the top of the political chain of command.

I don’t expect to change the minds of critics who’ll continue to ascribe hatred to the rhetoric they will read here. However, it is how I feel. Take it or leave it.

Time for a vow on Trump posts

I have struggled a bit with this, but I am going to make a vow that I hope I’ll be able to keep as it regards future blog posts on Donald J. Trump.

It is that I need to stop making specific reference to my view of Trump’s complete, absolute and abject unfitness for the office he has occupied for nearly three years.

It is abundantly clear to me — it has been clear for some time, actually — that I ain’t changing the minds of those who disagree with me. Those who continue to support Trump are likely to keep doing so until hell freezes over. Even then, I am not entirely certain their minds will be swayed.

Trump once boasted he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” and he wouldn’t lose any votes. Those of us who weren’t stunned speechless at such idiocy laughed out loud. “Yeah, you tell ’em, Donald!” they said between guffaws.

So … I have decided to throw in the towel on that particular score. This blog will continue to look critically at Trump’s performance as president and at his conduct on the re-election campaign trail — presuming, of course, that his presidency survives the upcoming trial in the Senate on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

It’s just that I have grown weary of stating what I consider to be the obvious about his suitability as president. I am preaching to the proverbial choir to those who agree with me. To others, well, they are ignoring my angry rants. That’s their call.

If I ain’t gonna persuade ’em to what I believe is true, then I am no longer gonna try.

I intend to keep using this forum to make the case that we need to elect someone other than the incumbent to the nation’s highest office.