Category Archives: political news

GOP awash in contradiction

An astonishing array of competing opinions has gripped the Republican Party by the throat as its presidential stable of candidates prepares to debate on an Iowa stage.

The “star of the show” is a twice-impeached, four-times-indicted candidate for POTUS, Donald Trump … who isn’t even going to be there for the opening round of Q&A.

He’s the talk of the event in absentia. Imagine had he decided to take part. He’d be the talk of the event in that context as well.

I am going to presume this is what Trump has wanted. He is a media hog, even as he proclaims the media to be “the enemy of the people.” The truth is he loves the media and the media love him despite rumors to the contrary about media bias against Trump.

His presence on the political stage has thrown the entire process into chaos, which was one of the hallmarks of the time he held the office of president. His alleged “style” of governing hardly ever contained a moment of research of actual scholarship. He thrived on his “hunch” and his “belief” in what someone had told him.

What continues to astound me, truth be told, is that all of this is OK with the gullible MAGA morons who continue to back this clown’s latest presidential candidacy.

We are left, then, with circumstances in which Trump becomes the story. He’s not at the debate? He’s the story. Would he show up? He is still the story.

This is the environment that makes Donald Trump most comfortable. It saddens me to say it, but it also demonstrates most graphically one more reason why he is patently unfit to hold the office he is seeking.

Why not debate ’em … Trump?

You know, it doesn’t really matter to me whether Donald J. Trump will be on a Republican Party primary presidential debate stage with the other guys who want to knock him off.

Truth is, I don’t give a royal rat’s rear end about Trump, or today’s version of the GOP. However, his reported absence from the upcoming debate stage does pose a question or two for me, which I would like to speak to briefly. So … I will.

Some of the GOP frontrunner’s foes are taking aim at him. Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Asa Hutchinson all have spoken critically of him, his conduct, his lack of “vision” for the future.

I want someone to ask Trump this question: What in the world do you have in the way of agenda for the next four years and beyond? This individual has none. He doesn’t speak to the future. Instead, he chooses to relitigate the 2020 election … which he lost to President Biden!

Let’s not be coy, either, about the indictments. He’s got four of them stacked up, waiting for trials. The feds have indicted him twice; two states, New York and Georgia, have indicted twice as well.

Trump can spare us all the BS about “not wanting to elevate” the others’ standing. The truth is he has no solutions. He cannot speak coherently about the future. He vows to be his fans’ “retribution.”

He is the frontrunner among the MAGA morons who dominate the GOP. And why is that? Because his “base” is too damn ignorant and gullible to realize how seriously damaged he has become and how much damage he brings to a once-great political party.

OK, I fibbed about not giving a “rat’s rear end” about Trump. Of course, I do, which is evident in the frequency of my writing about him. I care about Trump’s future only because I love my country and I do not want it sucked down the toilet drain of Donald Trump’s so-called “ideology.”

As to whether he belongs on the stage with the other GOP presidential candidates … sure he does, but only because he needs to be held accountable politically for the nonsense he continues to barf onto the public stage.

This doesn’t happen every day

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we could conduct a presidential election in which one of the major-party candidates is under criminal indictment.

What’s more, never would I have imagined that the four-times indicted, twice-impeached former POTUS would actually — in the gullible “minds” of followers — be considered a viable candidate to return to the office he once held and disgraced.

To say we live in the craziest era imaginable is to commit a gross (and grotesque) understatement.

Yet here we are.

The Republican Party’s presumed frontrunner for the 2024 presidential nomination may actually run for the White House while awaiting a sentence after being convicted of trying to overturn the previous election. The conviction might come early in 2024 if prosecutors are able to stave off Donald Trump’s expected efforts to delay the proceeding until after the election.

The feds have indicted Trump on two matters: inciting the 1/6 assault on our government and squirreling away classified documents after leaving the White House. State grand juries have indicted Trump on making an illegal payment to a porn star to keep her quiet about a tryst she said the two of them had and for working to interfere in the Georgia presidential election returns.

He stands accused of committing 91 crimes. Ninety-one of them!

Just think of how stupid the Republican Party faithful can be if they actually nominate this individual next summer.

OK. I have said all that but now I must stand behind my initial reaction to Trump’s latest presidential candidacy. I am going to remain hopeful that the GOP will come to what’s left of its senses and turn to someone else. I say that even though it is less than my initial belief that Trump in no way would ever be nominated. I am not as confident these days in the smarts of the GOP MAGA electorate.

Still, to see this unfit liar in position to lead the party down the path of destruction in 2024 is something I never imagined seeing.

Who knew?

Irony runs through indictments

The ironic aspect of the indictments handed down against Donald J. Trump is so rich one almost can choke on it.

Let’s consider what is happening in real time.

Two grand juries — one in D.C. and one in Fulton County, Ga. — have concluded that Donald Trump conspired to “rig” or “steal” an election he lost to Joe Biden in November 2020. The grand juries, I must point out, comprised just plain folks summoned to do their civic duty under federal law and laws of the state of Georgia.

The grand juries have accused Trump of doing precisely the kind of thing he has said occurred on Election Day 2020. He says Democrats conspired to rig elections in several states that Biden won. Yes, he made that assertion, but without offering any evidence of it occurring.

Indeed, “forensic audits” of election returns in several key states have determined there was no voter fraud. Trump ignores those findings.

Instead, he launched his own election-rigging effort, complete with rounding up individuals posing as Electoral College members who would cast their votes for Trump instead of for Biden, which is required under the Constitution.

Trump has accused the system of being “rigged” against him. But now two duly constituted grand juries — both legally assembled and following the rule of law — say the former POTUS did precisely what he accuses others of doing to him!

Remind you of anything? How about the “fake news” mantra that has become so popular in Trump world. How in the name of truth-telling can this clown say any of this “fake news” crap with a straight face, given that he birthed the “fake news” baby with his lies about Barack Obama’s place of birth?

More irony, indeed!

This individual is a liar … and a bad one to boot!

Congressman: a non-funny joke

Let’s just lay a couple of cards on the table and see how they play, shall we?

Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle — a region of the state I know well — are served in Congress by someone who doesn’t belong there. Republican Ronny Jackson became embroiled in an incident at a rodeo near Amarillo the other day. He got roughed up by cops patrolling the event and then used language that — to say the very least — is totally unbefitting a member of Congress.

Jackson said he was trying to help a teenager who was under duress. Police say he was interfering with their efforts to do the same thing. A tussle occurred and Jackson got handcuffed briefly.

After being freed of the cuffs, Jackson launched a series of f-bombs at the cops and threatened Carson County Sheriff Tam Terry politically, saying in effect he would ensure he loses the next time he runs for re-election.

I’ve heard the bodycam audio of the incident and, so help me, it sounds to me like something one doesn’t say if (a) he is an elected member of Congress and (b) is totally in control of himself and is not intoxicated. Per the latter point, Jackson has been known to imbibe … you know?

I have taken a dim view of Jackson ever since he moved to Amarillo in 2020 to run for the seat vacated by longtime U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, a native of Donley County and an individual who knows the region well. I can say without an ounce of equivocation that Thornberry never would be caught saying the things to a police officer that flew out of Jackson’s pie hole.

This incident likely will blow over eventually. Panhandle voters will move on to something else. Jackson’s behavior will be swept away and he probably — as much as I hate to acknowledge it — will be re-elected in 2024. After that? Rumors are flying that he might decide in 2026 to challenge John Cornyn for the senior Republican’s U.S. Senate seat. It all would be a shame.

My own belief is that he has disgraced himself.

DA about to drop hammer?

For as long as Donald J. Trump has been out of office — and subject to criminal investigations — my thought during that time has been that the Georgia case was the most provable and possibly the most damaging.

Well, it now appears that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is about to deliver the goods to a grand jury that is going to consider whether to indict the 45th POTUS on allegations that he sought to rig the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election.

Joe Biden won the state’s Electoral College votes. Trump, though, called Georgia Secretary of State Doug Raffensberger and demanded that he “find” enough votes to swing the state into the Trump column. Raffensberger said, in effect, “No can do, Mr. President. The Constitution doesn’t allow it.”

What did Trump do then? He threatened Raffensberger with criminal prosecution.

Here’s the best part: It’s all been recorded for posterity. 

There could be a huge surprise waiting for us, though, once the grand jury hears from the DA. The panel might decide against indicting Trump. I say “might” because, well … you just never know what they’ll hear and what they’ll decide.

But I don’t believe that will happen.

Trump already has accused Willis, a Black prosecutor, of conducting a “racist witch hunt.” It’s the same language he used to condemn the indictment issued in New York by a grand jury after it heard from another Black prosecutor, Alvin Bragg. Do you believe any of that goes down smoothly with either of these two officers of the court?

Obviously not!

If an indictment comes forward this week, it will be the fourth such pending criminal proceeding filed against Trump. Two come from state courts, the other two from the Department of Justice, the agency Trump once pledged under oath to “defend and protect.”

The man is in a world of pain. Am I going to worry about him? Not for a nano-second!

Why now, RFK Jr.?

Many things get past this old codger, one of them being the Democratic Party presidential candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

I’ll stipulate once more that RFK Jr. was given the name of my first political hero, his father. His campaign for the White House, though, is based on conspiracies that, to my mind, do not exist.

Moreover, he expresses deep personal affection for President Biden, who enjoys the overwhelming support of RFK Jr.’s family.

He says the mandated COVID-19 vaccines were an overreach by the government, which he said should never have required us to be vaccinated against a virus that killed about 1 million Americans.

Hmm. Wow! What do you suppose the death toll would have been had the Biden administration not ordered the vaccines? My hunch: a whole lot more than those who perished.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will not be elected president. Not this year. Not any year. Never. He sounds like a goofball nut case seeking to make a name for himself. Imagine that if you will … a man with arguably one of the most revered political names of the past century seeking even more attention.

I’m still trying to wrap my arms around this guy’s candidacy.

For now, I am left merely to shake my noggin in astonishment.

How does he get elected?

One of the key questions I have difficulty answering involves the junior U.S. senator from Texas … Raphael Edward Cruz.

Friends from all over the country keep asking me: How does this guy keep getting elected? 

I presume they’re asking in good faith, given his outspoken and often outlandish statements. My short answer, though, is: I just don’t know.

The Cruz Missile, a Republican, has been elected twice to the U.S. Senate. In his dozen or so years in the body, I cannot point to a single significant piece of legislation with his name on it. I can, however, look at many instances of grandstanding, of preening, of demagoguery, of sucking up and — of course — of public affairs disasters.

My all-time favorite Cruz blunder involves that ill-fated trip he took to Cancun, Mexico during the February 2021 killer freeze that took the lives of hundreds of Texans. He sought to take his family to the sunny beaches of the Mexican Riviera … until he was caught. Then he scurried back and then blamed his daughter for talking him into taking the trip in the first place.

Cruz is a doofus of the first order … albeit a well-educated buffoon.

He ran for POTUS in 2016, calling Donald Trump a sniveling coward. Then he lost and became Trump’s most ardent ally in the Senate. He was right the first time!

He almost lost his Senate seat in 2018 to the young upstart, Beto O’Rourke.

Now he’s up again for re-election. Two Democrats are vying for the chance to knock this clown off his stool in 2024. I like them both: Congressman Colin Allred of Dallas and state Sen. Roland Guiterrez of San Antonio. Indeed, I keep reading analysis that suggests that Cruz might be among the most likely GOP senators to be shown the door next year, which would — to my way of thinking — be so very sweet.

Cruz, by many accounts, is universally detested in the Senate. He cannot craft legislation. However, he can bloviate with the best of ’em. Which might explain how he keeps getting elected. Although I have difficulty believing Texans actually prefer pomposity over positivity. 

Here’s hoping — one more time — for an electoral result that will put a smile on my face.

Keeping record intact

My presidential voting record would look to the casual observer as a study in partisanship.

It dates back to 1972, the year I cast my first vote for president. I had been home from the Vietnam War for just a brief period. I was newly married and my first son was about to arrive in January of the following year.

I cast my first ballot for Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern. I was one of the “few and the proud” to do so, as McGovern got trampled by President Nixon that year, losing 49 states to the man who himself would resign from office in disgrace.

That all said, I want to stipulate two key points: I have voted Democratic every four years since; I intend to do so in 2024. But I do not judge candidates solely on the basis of their party affiliation. I consider myself a policy guy.

I have held my breath a time or two while casting votes for POTUS. I did so in 1976, considering whether to return President Ford to office for a full term after Nixon quit; I opted instead for that upstart former Georgia governor, Jimmy Carter. I admit to breathing deeply in 1992 before voting for Bill Clinton. I truly admired President George H.W. Bush, as I consider him to be the most qualified man ever to hold the office.

However, it is true that even though the policies espoused by Democrats are more in line with my own “good government progressive” view of the world, I remain an American patriot with an open mind. Indeed, the older I get the more open my mind becomes.

The qualities of the current crop of Republicans seeking their party’s nomination this time, though, all but eliminate damn near all of them. There are too many conspiracy theorists among them. I hate conspiracies and despise those who foment them. The state of the nation, moreover, is far better than the GOP would have us believe.

Who’s been in charge of our national well-being? The Democratic incumbent, Joe Biden.

It’s about policy, man. Therefore, barring some cataclysm between now and Election Day, President Biden is my man.

Are we clear? Good!

Trump is a sure-fire loser!

All this media hype and hand-wringing over Donald J. Trump’s apparent skate toward the 2024 Republican Party presidential nomination has me on the brink of screaming at the top of my lungs.

I’ll refrain from that, but I will declare here — once again! — that Donald Trump will never enter the Oval Office again.

Let me say it another way. He will not be elected POTUS!

OK. I have said this before about this clown. He proved me, and millions of other prognosticators wrong in 2016 when he slipped past the conventional wisdom and squeaked out an Electoral College victory.

He then proceeded to embarrass himself, the country and endangered the lives of millions of Americans through his negligence in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was impeached twice. He has been indicted by two grand juries and a third indictment is coming up damn soon. There will be others in store.

I am going to place a great deal of faith in the American electorate that rank-and-file Americans are not so stupid that they would actually send this guy back for another turn as head of state and commander in chief.

This individual is profoundly dangerous.

You may stop laughing at me at any moment. Yes, he defied every oddsmaker once already. However, I want to dredge up the saying that President George W. Bush once famously flubbed: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Are we really, seriously ready to send this soon-to-be-convicted felon back to power?

I think not!