Tag Archives: White House

Go to church? Sure … but only if it’s safe!

Kaylee McEnany is new in her job as White House press flack but she’s got the Donald John Trump media-baiting rap down pat.

During a press briefing today, she chided reporters who she said were looking for reasons to talk Americans out of going to church in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

McEnany got some immediate push back from a reporter who objected out loud to her crass retort. “I go to church,” the reporter shouted back at her, telling her he wants to know why Donald Trump is insisting Americans flock to houses of worship even though the COVID-19 infection rates in many states is still climbing.

McEnany earned her media-bashing spurs, I suppose, from her time on Fox News. But whatever. I’ll move on.

Donald Trump, who barely has a passing acquaintance with matters of faith, is now saying he will “override” governors who resist his demand that they lift church-going restrictions.

Nice try, Mr. POTUS … but you don’t have the authority to override governors. The president doesn’t have the authority even to order churches to open in the first place. That First Amendment matter protecting religion — along with the press — from government intrusion gets in the way.

This constant baiting of the media is getting tiresome and distressing in the extreme. The White House press secretary by all rights is supposed to build a healthy professional relationship with the men and women who cover the White House and report their findings to the public.

Insulting them, flinging childish rejoinders does no good.

McEnany, though, is appealing to Donald Trump’s “base,” which I am certain is a major part of the duty she assumed when she signed on as press flack.


Trump anti-Obama pettiness continues to grow

This story doesn’t surprise me one little bit.

Donald Trump reportedly is refusing to unveil a portrait of Barack H. Obama in a White House ceremony, breaking a 42-year tradition dating back to the days of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

The ceremony has become part of the White House tradition of one president honoring the service of his immediate predecessor. Not this time.

President Carter started this tradition in 1978 when he invited former President Ford to the White House to unveil the portrait of the 38th president. Presidents Carter and Ford, even after their brutal and bruising campaign in 1976, became fast friends.

President Obama and his successor likely never will achieve anything even approaching civility.

Trump has accused Obama of illegal activities; he recently called him a “grossly incompetent” president; he has sought openly to dismantle any vestige of the Obama administration.

For his part, Obama has been largely quiet … until recently.

Now it’s Trump who will decline to unveil the portrait of his immediate predecessor in what looks like yet another disgraceful, disgusting and dispiriting example of petty petulance.

President Obama in 2012 welcomed his immediate predecessor, President Bush, to the White House for a portrait unveiling. These men are not political allies. However, they exhibit great respect for their service to the country.

If you watch this video, you’ll understand what I mean by referring to Donald Trump’s pettiness.

Just resign, Mr. POTUS … and go far away!

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Donald J. Trump is incorrigible. He is a political reprobate.

If the hideous event occurs in November and he is somehow re-elected president of the United States, I want him to do the only thing he should do. I want Trump to resign from office. I want him to vanish from the public stage. I want him out of my sight. I no longer want to hear his voice.

This isn’t an original thought. I merely have reached my limit with this individual.

It wouldn’t hurt my feelings one tiny bit were he to quit prior to the election, even though handing the presidency to Mike Pence well might ensure Pence’s election were he to seek a full term.

Donald Trump cannot lead the nation. He doesn’t know how to govern. Trump cannot work with the entire Congress. He has alienated the legislative branch from the executive branch. Trump already has been impeached by the House of Representatives; he survived conviction in the Senate by coercing his GOP allies to hang with him, depriving the nation the opportunity to restore its faith in government.

The coronavirus response has been the deal breaker. Donald Trump’s early refusal to acknowledge the seriousness of the pandemic has brought us to the brink of collapse. When given the opportunity to lead the nation, to pull us together, to speak from the heart even to those of us who voted against him in 2016, Trump has failed miserably.

He has squandered the last bit of faith any of us might have held that he could pull it together, that he could find a way to exhibit the kind of leadership he bragged had been the hallmark of his building a business empire.

My ever-lovin’ God in heaven! He has continued to fail every single step along the way. His presence in office puts more Americans in jeopardy.

Were he win re-election against Joe Biden — and the thought sends chills up my back — he would become unleashed, unhinged, unencumbered. He doesn’t know a single thing about the limits of his office. He will seek to extend his political reach far beyond his grasp.

I know that Trump won’t quit. He will defame Biden all the way to the end of the campaign … and likely beyond. Trump won’t seek to unify the nation as he seeks to win re-election. He will drive wedge after wedge between voters of disparate ideologies.

Donald Trump had no business being elected in 2016. His response to the deadly worldwide pandemic ratifies what I have thought all along … that this individual is unfit for public office.

He needs to quit.

What happens if the unthinkable happens?

Donald John Trump is tempting fate … bigly!

The president of the United States continues to forgo donning a mask while key aides are coming down with COVID-19. The coronavirus has invaded the West Wing of the White House, where they make key decisions affecting all manner of U.S. foreign and domestic policy.

So, it’s fair to ask: What happens if Donald Trump tests positive for the virus? Hey, what happens also if Vice President Pence tests positive for it? I mean, his press secretary has come down with it.

Trump, Pence and other key aides are rubbing shoulders in the West Wing. Led by the president who says he would look “ridiculous” wearing a mask, many of them are ignoring guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; they include wearing a mask and keeping an appropriate “social distance” among themselves.

Let me be clear: I do not want the president to get sick. Nor the vice president. I have stated my indifference to Trump’s well-being, but that doesn’t mean I wish him ill.

It’s just that the Egomaniac in Chief has staked out a dangerous position with regard to self-protection during this time of extreme peril. No president, not even this one, should expose himself to the dangers of a potentially fatal disease. In this case, that disease has crept into the White House’s inner sanctum.

If the doctors order Trump to isolate himself, they will be acting to protect the integrity of our democratic republic. Let’s be mindful that Donald Trump is not a young man. I understand that some physicians have declared him, in effect, to be the strongest human being ever elected president. OK, I exaggerate, but you get my drift.

This clown needs to lose the “look ridiculous” argument and start demonstrating that he’s taking this matter as seriously as most of the rest of us.

I am a critic of the president. I won’t ever apologize for that. I also do not want to see my government, the one that gets my money, weakened at the center of its executive power because the chief exec doesn’t take this danger seriously.

Stand by, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump keeps ratcheting up war against media

Donald John Trump was at his worst yet again today.

He took questions from reporters on the White House lawn after staging another round of happy talk about how fabulously the nation is doing as it fights the coronavirus pandemic.

Then came a question from CBS News White House reporter Weijia Jiang, who wanted to know why Trump keeps using the U.S. testing regimen as a global competition when more than 80,000 Americans have died from the viral infection.

“Maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump said. Jiang was born in China but came to the United States at the age of 2. “Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, OK?” Jiang pushed back after Trump labeled her question “nasty.” She said it wasn’t … and she is correct. The question was a legitimate query.

Jiang also wanted to know from Trump why he would direct that response to her, given that she is, um, of Asian descent. You know?

A moment later, Trump called a halt to the press conference and fled the podium to return to the White House.

This is how the “wartime president” chooses to conduct himself. He chooses to attack the press when he should be focused on the “enemy,” which in this instance is that virus that keeps inflicting grievous suffering on the nation he took an oath to protect.


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.