Tag Archives: White House

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.

Such wisdom from a past president

Social media is chock full of instant reference material … such as YouTube videos that ricochet around in cyberspace.

So, I found such a video of President Obama’s press conference as president. He took a question from a reporter he knew from his days as a state senior in Illinois. The question dealt with the lessons the Obamas’ daughters, Malia and Sasha, learned during their eight years living in the White House and the lessons they learned from the 2016 presidential election.

The president’s response was quite stunning. He talked about how he believes his daughters will seek to do good work, to make a difference; he said he doesn’t anticipate they will enter politics.

He then said he believes the world is full of many more good people than bad people. The good-over-bad ratio, said the president, gives him hope for the future that his daughter’s will inherit.

It’s a lesson worth heeding. Barack Obama turned over the presidency to a man, Donald Trump, who has sought to appeal to many Americans’ baser instincts. The national mood, in my mind, clearly has deteriorated during Trump’s tenure in office.

Still, his immediate predecessor — the fellow Trump cannot stop criticizing — expressed hope that Americans’ basic goodness will help shepherd us all through this difficult time.

Here is the video of the president’s final news conference. It’s lengthy. The operative question comes at around the 52-minute mark. Take a look.

This man, Barack Obama, speaks with tremendous wisdom and, yes, I miss hearing this kind of rhetoric coming from the president of the United States.


Southern White House? Hold on a second, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump has been getting beaten up on social media over his use of the term “Southern White House” to describe Mar-a-Lago, the glitzy resort he owns on the south Florida coast.

He made that reference during a Christmas phone conversation he was having with troops overseas. The Twitter network went nuts.

Why? Because Mar-a-Lago is a for-profit business associated with the resort to which it is attached and which the president still owns. Even though he turned day-to-day operations over to sons Don Jr. and Eric, Donald Trump hasn’t divested himself of his financial interest in Mar-a-Lago.

To be sure, other presidents have used their private residences as “getaway” White House quarters. President Kennedy had Hyannis Port, Mass.; President Johnson had his ranch in Stonewall, Texas; President Nixon had his place in San Clemente, Calif.; President Ford had a home in Palm Springs, Calif.; President Carter had his home in Plains, Ga.; President Reagan had his ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif.; President Bush 41 had his place at Kennebunkport, Maine; President Bush 43 had his ranch near Crawford, Texas.

Presidents Clinton and Obama didn’t have actual residences where they could go, so they would vacation wherever they felt like it.

All of the off-site “White House” residences I mentioned did not serve as business endeavors for the presidents. Therein lies the reason that Mar-a-Lago shouldn’t be referred to as the “Southern White House.”

None of that will stop Donald Trump from speaking carelessly. It’s what this guy does.

‘A Warning’ paints dire picture of Trump White House

I haven’t decided whether I will read “A Warning,” a book written by someone known only as Anonymous.

That said, I am interested in the contents of the book, some excerpts of which have been obtained by The Washington Post. My reluctance in buying the book and reading all of it is my concern that someone with the kind of salacious detail about Donald Trump hasn’t found the courage to identify himself or herself to the public.

I dislike text written by anonymous authors.

OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, what I have seen in the Post’s article about the book sends chills up my spine. It does seem to confirm what I and many millions of others have believed from the get-go of this man’s presidency: Donald Trump is unfit for the office.

Anonymous writes that a large number of senior aides contemplated resigning en masse to protest the president’s behavior and his handling of policy matters.

According to the Post: “I have decided to publish this anonymously because this debate is not about me,” the author writes. “It is about us. It is about how we want the presidency to reflect our country, and that is where the discussion should center. Some will call this ‘cowardice.’ My feelings are not hurt by the accusation. Nor am I unprepared to attach my name to criticism of President Trump. I may do so, in due course.”

The author does tell about Trump’s intellectual shallowness, his lack of attention to any sort of detail, his absolute absence of curiosity about the nitty-gritty of policy. The writer says Trump operates solely from within his gut and hunch and surrounds himself exclusively with sycophants who are unwilling to tell the president the truth.

It paints an utterly ghastly future for a second Trump term if hell freezes over and he gets re-elected a year from now.

From what I have heard so far from Anonymous, my skin is crawling at the prospect.

Beto wipes out on wave he hoped would win the White House

Beto O’Rourke rode a huge wave to a near win in a 2018 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Texas.

Then the former El Paso congressman decided he would ride that wave in search of a bigger prize: the White House.

Today, though, he called it quits. He is no longer running for president of the United States. Indeed, O’Rourke never quite caught the same wave that excited so many Democrats in Texas and for a time got ’em pumped up in many other parts of the country.

I’ll admit to being disappointed. I had hoped to cast my ballot for O’Rourke once the Democratic Party primary parade marched its way toward Texas. However, O’Rourke never quite ignited the same level of interest in his presidential campaign that he did while he challenged Sen. Ted Cruz a year ago.

Oh, I wanted him to win the Senate seat in the worst way. He campaigned in all of Texas’s 254 counties. He took his message to progressive bastions such as Travis, Dallas and Bexar counties as well as conservative strongholds in the Panhandle, the Permian Basin and Deep East Texas.

O’Rourke finished Election Night 2018 less than 3 percent short of victory. In Texas, that constituted some sort of “moral victory” for Democrats who have lusted for a statewide election victory for more than two decades.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be as O’Rourke sought his party’s presidential nomination.

There might be another elected office in O’Rourke’s future. Just not this next year.

Nice try, Beto. Many of us still want to see you stay in the game, even if you’re no longer a candidate for public office.

Who needs a chief of staff, right, Mr. President? Well, you do!

News that White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was kept out of the loop regarding the mission to kill Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi illustrates a fundamental failure of Donald Trump’s masquerading as president of the United States.

It shows how the absence of any public service or political knowledge in Trump’s pre-presidential background has disserved him and, worse, the nation.

Trump doesn’t seem to appreciate the value of a strong White House chief of staff. He calls the shots himself. He relies on no one to provide him with candid advice. He hires chiefs of staff and then ignores them, sends them to the back of the room, dismisses them with impunity.

That is the fate that has befallen Mulvaney, the “acting” chief of staff who didn’t know about the Army Delta Force raid on al-Baghdadi’s compound until after it already had commenced.

It looks for all the world as if Mulvaney will get the boot. It’ll likely be soon. He’ll go back home to South Carolina — where he was when he heard the news about the al-Baghdadi mission.

The question then becomes: Who in the world is willing to put up with the president’s ignorance about government and who is willing to dismissed, disrespected and disparaged the way Trump has done to Mick Mulvaney?

Let’s all keep our eyes peeled to Donald Trump’s Twitter account. An announcement is likely to be forthcoming.

Now it’s Mick Mulvaney who’s on the Trump Bubble

This is hardly a flash, but it looks for all the world as if “acting” White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is heading for the exit.

It turns out that Donald Trump chose to keep his chief of staff in the dark prior to the launching of the most important military mission of his presidency: the killing of Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Mulvaney reportedly as at home in South Carolina when Trump tweeted the message: “Something very big has just happened.” Mulvaney then was brought up to speed as the mission was commencing.

What is so odd and frightening about this revelation is that White House chiefs of staff normally are part of the national security team that meets to discuss such operations prior to their being launched. Not so with Mulvaney.

Andy Card, chief of staff for President Bush 43, said he is “baffled” by Mulvaney being left out of the planning of such an event.

Mulvaney’s “acting” status has been in place since he took the job after John Kelly departed at the start of this year. Then he held that disastrous White House press briefing a couple of weeks ago in which he admitted that Trump asked for a political favor from the head of a foreign government, telling the media and others to “get over it.” 

So, the guy who once ran the Office of Management Budget only to step into the snake pit known as the White House is likely on his way out. Just think that this is payback for the guy who famously said when he took the White House job that he intended merely to “let Trump be Trump.”

Chaos, anyone?

Obama, Clinton remind us how presidents should act and sound

I was damn near overwhelmed today as I listened to the tributes that poured forth for the memory of the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.

I want to mention specifically the remarks offered by two former presidents of the United States: Barack H. Obama and Bill Clinton.

The thought was inescapable. How wonderful it was to hear two men who used to occupy the White House who could speak in cogent sentences, who could remain focused intently on an individual they were asked to honor with their words, who could avoid traipsing off into nonsensical riffs about this or that.

Presidents Obama and Clinton embody so much of what we do not have in the current president. They spoke from their heart. They talked of Cummings’ strength, which he exhibited routinely through his compassion, empathy and caring for others.

I could not help but ask myself: Could I ever imagine that kind of rhetoric coming from the mouth of Donald J. Trump? The answer is plainly obvious: Hell no!

Obama and Clinton clearly were not perfect presidents. They made mistakes. Clinton, of course, made what congressional Republicans considered to be an impeachable mistake.

These men, though, always preserved an air of dignity about themselves and their exalted office. They elevated themselves to the occasion brought to them by their position. They understood that their rhetoric mattered.

Today, they reminded us how it used to be when the president stood before the nation to speak of a political icon. They reminded us how it always should be.

What’s more, they have reminded us of what is missing in the man who has succeeded them.