Tag Archives: Charles Schumer

Schumer needs to settle down

“I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

So said U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. He was directing his remarks to Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

They were taking part in a Supreme Court hearing on a controversial abortion case out of Louisiana. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, of course, are two justices nominated by Donald John Trump and approved after bruising confirmation battles in the Senate; Schumer opposed them both.

Sen. Schumer is wrong to threaten these justices. Chief Justice John Roberts took the unusual approach in rebuking the Senate leader, calling the threats leveled by Schumer “inappropriate” and “dangerous.” Yes. They are.

Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh aren’t my favorite members of the nation’s highest court. I want them to rule the right way on this case and I want them to preserve a woman’s right to control her own body. However, Sen. Schumer has stepped way over the line that separates the legislative and judicial branches of government.

Schumer needs to pipe down and let these justices do their job without that kind of intimidation.

POTUS steps into the Twitter sewer … once again!

You know, as weird as Donald Trump’s retweet of an image involving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer was, it seems to almost pale in comparison to the White House press flack’s lame defense of what Trump actually did.

Trump retweeted a doctored picture of Pelosi wearing a Muslim hijab and Schumer wearing a turban. They’re standing in front of an image depicting the Iranian flag. It is captioned “Democrats 2020.”

Trump sought to make some sort of statement about Democrats’ criticism of the air strike that killed Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani, suggesting that Democrats are soft on those who inflict terrorism on the rest of the world.

Well, of course that is a preposterous claim. Democrats, moreover, haven’t been “mourning” Soleimani’s death.

But then came White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham to defend Trump’s hideous behavior. According to CBS.com: “I think the president is making clear that Democrats have been parroting Iranian talking points, and almost taking the side of terrorists and those who were out to kill Americans … I think the president was making the point that Democrats seem to hate him so much that they’re willing to be on the side of countries and leadership of countries who want to kill Americans.”

Uh, no, Ms. Grisham. Democrats aren’t “on the side of countries” that want to “kill Americans.” They are questioning the intelligence and whether the White House gave enough thought to the consequences of such a significant act.

How about stopping the demagoguery, Ms. Grisham? As for the president, how about … oh, never mind. I’m wasting my time.

Let’s ‘walk and chew gum’

Washington, D.C., is the birthplace of countless clichés.

Such as, “At the end of the day,” we’re going to “kick the can down the road” while deciding whether to “walk and chew gum.”

The third — walking and gum-chewing — is the latest cliché du jour. It refers to lawmakers’ ability to investigate the president and legislate at the same time.

Donald Trump needs to learn that skill. Today, he demonstrated his inability to do what needs to be done for the benefit of the country he was elected to govern. He is angry with Democrats because they insist on getting at the truth behind questions about obstruction of justice, on the president’s personal finances and on whether he is covering up potential misdeeds.

Congressional Democratic leaders ventured to the White House today to meet with the president on infrastructure improvement, something Trump said he favors. Oh, but then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said something out loud about believing that Trump is “covering up” possible illegal activity.

The president hit the ceiling. He walked into the meeting room, didn’t shake any hands, didn’t sit down at the conference table. He stood and spoke for about 3 minutes and said he was done working with congressional Democrats on any legislative matters.

Then he walked out. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said Trump’s actions this morning were “jaw dropping.” He said the president walked into the meeting room with no intention of working with Democrats on infrastructure.

This is what we’ve gotten? A president who once pledged to “unify” the country who now walks away from any possible major legislative effort because he is angry at Democrats who are keeping faith with their constitutional mandate?

I remain opposed to impeaching this guy because impeachment — at this moment — likely will not result in his removal from office. House Democrats would impeach Trump; Senate Republicans do not appear likely to convict him.

However, Donald Trump’s continued petulance and the chaos that results from legitimate questions, though, is giving me serious concerns about whether impeachment is inevitable.

Dealmaker in chief backs down

So, the government is going to reopen for at least the next three weeks, right?

Donald “Master Dealmaker in Chief” Trump backed down from Democrats’ demands. We’re getting our entire federal government back in action — with no money for The Wall.

I don’t know whether to laugh or scream in disgust.

There’s nothing for the president to cheer. For that matter, I wouldn’t bet that Democrats are jumping for joy, either.

Why? They need to get to work. They have three weeks to hammer out a long term budget deal that includes some form of border security. Democrats aren’t likely to cave on The Wall. As for the president, no one seems able to predict what he’ll do.

Trump had held out for $5.7 billion for construction of The Wall along our southern border. If he doesn’t get cash for the structure by Feb. 15, he is pondering whether to declare a national emergency along the border and then ordering the military to build The Wall with money he would pilfer from other governmental accounts.

Let me think about this. It will prompt an immediate legal challenge by those who will contend that the president is acting unlawfully.

Was this a win for the president? Not even close! Have the Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer won anything? Nope.

Let’s . . . get . . . busy.

Whether to believe anything POTUS will say

I am staring a serious quandary squarely in the face.

Donald John Trump will speak to the nation tonight about whether to erect The Wall along our southern border.

I plan to watch him. I plan to listen to every word he says. My quandary is this: How much of it will I believe?

All Americans know — or should know — that this president is arguably the most pathological liar ever to hold the nation’s highest office. He cannot tell the truth even when the truth would play better than a falsehood.

He wants to build The Wall because, he says, the nation is being invaded by terrorists sneaking in across our border with Mexico. The figures belie that allegation. He’ll say it anyway. He is considering whether to declare a national emergency, which he says would allow him to reallocate money to build The Wall without congressional approval.

I’ll watch, listen and ponder what he says.

I also plan to watch the response that will come from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. They’ll seek to refute whatever the president declares.

I am on their side in this fight. We don’t need a wall to secure our border. The president has decided that The Wall is enough of an issue to shut down part of the federal government.

However, I just cannot believe anything he says . . . about anything!

Just how ugly can it get? Pretty darn ugly!

The federal government is shut down, sort of.

There’s no telling when Congress and the president will find a solution. Let’s just say, though, that both sides have staked out intractable positions, dealing mostly with immigration.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said negotiating with Donald J. Trump is like “negotiating with Jello-O.” Hmm. Maybe he meant to compare the president to someone with a spine made of Jell-O.

Not to be outdone, the president responded with a tweet or three that blamed congressional Democrats for causing the shutdown because they believe in “illegal immigration.”

OK, let’s examine that one briefly.

I do not believe congressional Democrats are sanctioning illegal immigration. They are standing behind a principle that allows those who came to this country illegally — because they were brought here by their parents — to find a pathway to legal status.

That is not sanctioning illegal immigration. That policy seeks to allow “Dreamers,” individuals who are part of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals rule, a chance to seek citizenship or at the very least obtain legal immigrant status. Barack Obama established DACA as a way to remove the fear of deportation from those who grew up as Americans, even though their parents sneaked into this country illegally.

The harsh tone being flung about by Democrats and Republicans reminds me of classic labor disputes. I covered a number of them as a young reporter in the 1970s. Both sides end up calling each other nasty names and accuse the other side of negotiating in bad faith. Eventually they find common ground; they settle their disagreement and they return to work.

The president and the White House, though, are ratcheting up the argument with language that is, um, untruthful. Congressional supporters of DACA — and that includes some Republicans as well — aren’t saying they favor unfettered immigration with no stipulation on legal entry.

They are seeking to treat U.S. residents who were brought here as children with a semblance of humanity and compassion. Hey, didn’t the president say he wanted an immigration proposal that was filled with “love”?

Something changed. The result is that many agencies of the federal government — that’s our government, the one you and I pay for with our tax money — have slammed their doors shut.

This is bad governance, folks.

Shameful.

Chuck and Nancy no longer pals with Donald

Hey, I thought Donald Trump had made new friends in Congress.

Didn’t he once say he and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were partners in an effort to actually get some legislation approved?

He called ’em Chuck and Nancy. He supposedly worked out an agreement with them to keep the government functioning until early December.

Now, though, the friendship is on the rocks. Surprised? Neither am I.

He said today that he didn’t see a deal in the making that would prevent a government shutdown. Chuck and Nancy were supposed to go to the White House to meet with Republican congressional leaders … and the president.

Then they backed out. They left their chairs empty at the White House conference room table.

Who’s to blame for the scuttling of this friendship? Who among them is the most stubborn? POTUS or Chuck and Nancy?

Here’s what needs to happen, though. The government funding measure is set to expire a week from this coming Friday. If the two sides don’t rekindle their friendship, then the feds are going to shut down the government.

This kind of brinkmanship is not why voters elect these people. It’s damn sure not why they sign on to “serve the public.”

Can’t they all be friends … again?

Tax returns, Mr. President … give ’em up

Gosh, I hate talking about Donald John Trump’s tax returns.

Just kidding. No, I don’t.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., says tax-filing time is a good time to see what — if anything — the president is hiding from the American people he governs.

I agree with the Bay State’s senior senator.

We’ve waited long enough to see what precisely is in those returns. Trump has balked long enough at doing what other presidential candidates for 40 years have done, which is to release their complete returns for public inspection.

Trump keeps telling us he can’t release his returns because he’s being audited. The Internal Revenue Service says, in effect, that the president is engaging in a dodge; an audit doesn’t prohibit the returns’ release.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has said that any hope of enacting tax reform depends on the president releasing those returns. Sure, that’s hardball politicking. Inquiring minds want to know, especially the minds of those of us who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016.

Time to come clean

I mean, he’s still the president of all Americans. We’re all required to file our taxes. Here in Amarillo, candidates for public office are required to provide full financial disclosure.

The president of the United States of America is not above the law. In this case, even though releasing the returns isn’t a legal requirement, it has been a longstanding custom that’s been accepted as standard operating procedure for all candidates for the presidency.

Sure, many Americans don’t seem to think these returns matter. Others of us, though, think quite the opposite.

Many of us are waiting, Mr. President. Please show us, sir, that you aren’t hiding something.