Category Archives: national news

Answer these questions

A reader of High Plains Blogger has responded with what sounds to me like a fascinating scenario regarding the June 27 debate agreed to by President Biden and his immediate predecessor … and the guy who wants to be his immediate successor.

He thinks it’s possible the former GOP POTUS will back out of the debate, despite his bravado.

My blog fan believes the president will press him on several key issues that he will have to answer. They are:

Lying about COVID being airborne; lying about the 2020 election being “stolen”; blocking the immigration bill; backing away from NATO; bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade; orchestrating the 1/6 attack on the Capitol.

Other readers of this blog, critics of it in fact, suggest that Joe Biden is toast, that his own show of bravado is nothing more than that, that the GOP nominee is going to eat his lunch.

Fat chance.

We all got a taste of the “debating skill” that POTUS No. 45 brings to the event. His performance in 2020 was, to put it mildly, shameful. He elicited perhaps the signature sound bite of that event when Joe Biden said, “Will you just shut up, man?”

No. 45 has not a policy idea to share. He cannot debate anything seriously, other than to repeat the lies he foments.

Yes, I am one American patriot who looks forward to what will develop at the end of next month.


‘No!” on travel ban

Barry Goldwater, I am supremely confident in asserting, is spinning in his grave out yonder in Arizona.

The late Arizona U.S. senator and father of the conservative movement would no doubt be aghast at what might be transpiring in Amarillo, where the city council is preparing to vote on an ordinance that would ban women from using local roads and highways to obtain an abortion out of state.

Goldwater used to preach that conservatism, as he understood the principle, kept government out of people’s lives. He was particularly leery of religion being used to dictate public policy.

Amarillo is pondering whether to knuckle under to far-right conservatives’ call to ban women from using local rights-of-way to obtain an abortion. Amarillo Mayor Cole Stanley said he doesn’t believe the council will approve the ordinance, which is being brought to the council on the strength of petitions circulated throughout the city.

The city has validated enough signatures to call for a vote, the Texas Tribune has reported.

What now?

If the council rejects the ban the issue, then it can go to voters for a citywide referendum, as I read the Tribune story. That would give the anti-abortion fanatics room to persuade most Amarillo voters to endorse the ban.

Again, Barry Goldwater would come unglued at the notion.

The Tribune reports: The original ordinance supporters want to see passed in the city does not call for pregnant women to be punished for having an abortion out of state. However, anti-abortion legal crusader Jonathan Mitchell has filed legal petitions seeking to depose women he claims traveled out of state for abortions. Mitchell is working with anti-abortion activists pushing the travel ban on a municipal level.

Amarillo City Council must vote on abortion travel ban | The Texas Tribune

Limited government conservatism has given way to all-hands-on-deck conservatism … as long as the issue reflects a certain religious principle. Come to think of it, the nation’s founders would be appalled as well.

Joe Biden: Sure, let’s debate … as in now!

You gotta hand it to Joe Biden. The man knows how to steal the thunder from the twice-impeached, indicted Republican nominee-in-waiting who’s on trial for alleged illegal campaign spending.

President Biden today agreed to meet the former POTUS in a debate in June; the former guy also agreed. The two of them reportedly will meet in a venue sans audience members. It’ll just be the two of ’em in a room, along with a panel of journalists.

I kinda like the notion of the two men going head-to-head like that.

It’s interesting that the former Liar in Chief wouldn’t debate his GOP rivals during the primary campaign but jumped on the chance to joust with the president.

I understand they’ll also meet again in September, probably in a format more like what we’ve seen in recent election cycles.

Whatever. I expect this first debate could smash viewership records, given what’s at stake, which I believe could be the future of our representative democracy.

Listen to my friend, Mr. POTUS

I have a friend with whom I share an interest in politics and public policy. She is well-read and is a student of the process that delivers policy decisions to us … for better or worse.

She believes President Biden is trailing the presumptive GOP presidential nominee because he has become tone-deaf to the current reality. Which is that not all Americans are feeling as good about the economy as the president thinks they are.

Thus, my friend surmises, he should stop crowing about the economy and appeal directly to the fear that many of us have about the possibility that the former Sexual Assailant in Chief just might win the presidency once again.

Biden needs to talk directly and incessantly about the threat to our democratic system that the wannabe dictator poses to our system.

Americans are historically proud of the liberty we enjoy. The GOP nominee-to-be is stated categorically that he intends to impose a dictatorship “for one day only” if he becomes POTUS. One day? Really? Do you think the former Liar in Chief will reinstate all our democratic norms?

He has boasted about his placing three justices on the Supreme Court, and their hand in revoking women’s right to terminate pregnancies. Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 SCOTUS decision is now history. Biden vows to restore it if he’s re-elected. His opponent promises to tighten the screws women’s reproductive rights.

Democratic political guru James Carville, no slouch on these matters, said recently that the Republican message has gained traction. The GOP nominee’s hush money trial isn’t making a dent in the lead Carville says he enjoys. Democrats are blowing it, Carville declared. Remember, this is the guy who coined the phrase in 1992 that “It’s the economy, stupid.” It worked for Bill Clinton.

Well, my friend is on board with the likes of Carville. She, too, wants Biden to crystallize his message, harden it to drive home the point that our democracy is in dire peril if Americans make the wrong choice at the ballot box this fall.

Listen to these people, Mr. President! They’re all pulling for you!

So many issues …

So many issues from which to choose that will define this upcoming presidential election … so little time to decide which one matters the most.

If you were to ask me the one issue that resonates the most clearly with voters, I would go with “reproductive rights.”

Call it “abortion rights” as well. Whichever term you prefer, I believe this single issue could help decide who wins the presidential election. At least as importantly, may be more so, it could decide which party controls Congress. Democrats at this moment hold a slim majority of Senate seats; Republicans, meanwhile, hold an equally slim majority in the House of Representatives.

You know my preference, but I’ll repeat it here: I want Democrats to tighten their Senate grip and want Democrats to wrest control of the House from the GOP.

Republicans are hellbent to make abortion illegal nationwide. They would deprive women the right to make this profoundly personal choice on their own. The 45th POTUS managed to get three Supreme Court justices seated in his term in office.

He is taking personal credit for “killing” Roe v. Wade. Let us hope the boast bites him in his overfed backside as he seeks the presidency yet again.

Abortion is far from the only linchpin issue that could swing this election. We also have democracy vs. autocracy, support for Ukraine in its war with Russia and the ongoing crisis on our southern border.

The fight over whether women should control their own bodies, though, resonates with me as the one issue that could propel women to vote en masse to protect those rights against the mostly male governing bodies wanting to dictate to them.

Cheney ouster remains a mystery

It’s going to take a few more decades — probably more than I have left on this Earth — for historians to sort out what the hell happened to former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in the 2022 Republican Party primary.

Cheney was as conservative a member of Congress as one could find. Yet she revealed a so-called open wound when she argued that the 45th POTUS was unfit for the office he once held.

He punishment was to be voted out of office overwhelmingly in the 2022 GOP primary.

Cheney voted with POTUS 45 about 93 % of the time. She opposed gun control legislation, she was adamantly pro-life on abortion, she favored low taxes, opposed burgeoning budget deficits, favored deportation of undocumented immigrants.

Cheney was the embodiment of the MAGA movement.

Then came No. 45’s behavior on 1/6. It appalled Cheney.

The MAGA cultists just couldn’t let her anti-45 view go.

Do you want a primer on why the upcoming election is so important? You need look no further than Wyoming, where Republican voters ousted a solidly conservative lawmaker who did her constituents’ bidding.

Except for that one matter involving a lawless president.

What happens if … ?

So help me I don’t like even thinking about this possibility, but the reality of the moment requires me to do so.

Here goes: What will happen if Joe Biden actually loses the election this November to the Republican presidential nominee, who at this moment looks as though it will be the dipsh** Biden defeated in 2020?

Specifically, will the president extend an olive branch to the man who has refused to acknowledge his own loss to Biden four years ago?

My gut and my trick knee tell me President Biden likely will do the proper thing. He would place the obligatory phone call; he then will invite the president-elect and his wife to the White House; he will smile and speak about “working with” the new president.

Given all the bad blood, the recrimination, the Big Lie, and all the things that POTUS 45 has said about POTUS 46, I wouldn’t be surprised to see No. 46 stick it in No. 45’s ear.

But then again, President Biden understands the process better than practically any of us. He also is a man who adheres to tradition.

Will the president’s adherence to custom force him to behave like the pro that he is? Probably.

However, if he falls victim to the hurtful blather of POTUS 45, well … I wouldn’t blame him one little bit if he told him to fu** off.

This is no normal year

If only this were a normal presidential election year, but it is far from normal.

We have two major-party candidates who reportedly are the two most unpopular public figures since, oh, The Flood. We also have a third-party goofball, who happens to be a scion of one of the 20th century’s great political families.

Does all this portend a dismally low voter turnout? Not so fast.

We had the same two major-party guys running in 2020. When all the ballots were counted, 158 million Americans voted, a record. Joe Biden was elected president. The other guy called the election “rigged” and said it was “fake.” Never mind that the Republican Party presidential nominee tried like hell to rig the election in his favor.

Oh, and he hasn’t conceded that he lost to President Biden.

In steps Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of the former U.S. attorney general and former U.S. senator from New York. RFK sought the presidency in 1968 and well might have been elected … except for the assassin who gunned him down in the Los Angeles hotel kitchen.

This isn’t a normal election any more than the previous one, or the one before that when the former Liar in Chief got elected.

Joe Biden promised a return to normal presidential behavior. He has behaved like the adult in the room. Unlike the guy he defeated,

Now they’re preparing to square off again. I get that they’re bold old men. Allow me this bit of candor: Time is on neither man’s side, although the chatter almost always seems to focus on Joe Biden’s alleged decline in acuity. I am prepared to argue that the GOP nominee in waiting is exhibiting even more frightening examples of unhinged behavior.

Does any of this mean a dismal turnout in this fall’s election? Hardly.

Both sides are going to gin up their respective bases. My fervent hope is that President Biden wins the day, the election and continues to restore our national soul.

Shouldn’t be close, however …

A presidential election that by all rights should be a runaway for the incumbent looks as though it’ll produce a lot of gnawed-off fingernails.

President Joe Biden is sitting on an economy that is on fire. Oh, wait. The Gross Domestic Product data came in this week a good bit cooler than expected. Am I worried that we’re about to implode? Hardly.

Here he is, now facing the probable nomination of the guy he defeated in 2020. The former POTUS is poised to take the Republican nomination despite all those criminal indictments and a history of being impeached twice by the House of Reps during his single term in office.

I’m still reasonably confident that President Biden is going to prevail when they count the ballots. My confidence, though, is tempered a bit by POTUS 45’s persistent poll standing among those who are so fed up with the government that they’re willing to give the former Philanderer in Chief a pass on his wretched behavior.

I have been visiting friends in Germany for the past 12 days. They, too, express alarm at the ex-Liar in Chief’s poll standing. My friends are learned folks. They know the lay of the land.

I am going to stand on my belief that we are better than the polling suggests of us.

This congest, by any reasonable measure, should be a blowout for the incumbent. It isn’t. Nor does it appear it will become one between now and Election Day.

That is … unless the courts deliver us some good news between now and then. Here’s hoping.

Why delay, SCOTUS?

Many details soar over my occasionally pointed head, such as the apparent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the 45th POTUS deserves presidential immunity.

The high court heard oral arguments this week from the ex-POTUS’s legal team and the legal eagles assembled by special counsel Jack Smith. At stake is the pending trial on the Jan. 6 assault on the government that took place at the former Liar in Chief’s urging.

I heard reports yesterday that justices appear inclined to deny the ex-POTUS’s claim of immunity from prosecution, but are going to drag their feet in issuing their decision.

Why wait? Why delay this matter any longer than necessary? Why not issue a ruling and if it’s the way media have speculated, then let’s get on with the trial post haste?

SCOTUS can move quickly on these matters. Look at what they did in 2000 when given the case involving the recount of Florida ballots in that year’s presidential election. They heard oral arguments and then — boom! — stopped the recount with Texas Gov. George W. Bush ahead in Florida by 527 votes, giving him the state’s electoral votes … and thus, the presidency over Vice President Al Gore.

It was done in a matter of days.

The current SCOTUS is equally capable of delivering a decision of monumental importance.