Tag Archives: Chuck Todd

Worst mistake? Hiring someone who follows the law? Wow!

That was an instructive interview that Donald J. Trump agreed to this past weekend ‚Ķ wouldn’t you say?

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked the president to reveal his major regret since taking office. Trump said it was a “personnel” matter, specifically his decision to appoint Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.

My jaw dropped.

Todd asked, “Why?” Trump said it was because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation into alleged collusion with Russian operatives who attacked our electoral system.

Now, let’s ponder this for a moment.

Trump said his biggest mistake was hiring an AG who followed the law by recusing himself from a probe into an activity in which he — the AG — was involved. There was no way Sessions could investigate himself. So, he followed Justice Department policy by pulling away from the investigation, given that he was a key player in the campaign and in the transition to the presidency.

Sessions followed the law. Meanwhile, Trump appears to have no trouble with other Cabinet officials who were forced to resign because of ethical violations. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price quit because of travel violations; Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned over similar accusations; same thing for Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.

All that’s OK with Trump. Meanwhile, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway is accused of violating the Hatch Act by using her position as an executive branch official to launch partisan attacks against Trump opponents. That’s OK, too!

The president surrounds himself with scumbags and hangers-on and becomes enraged at a Cabinet officer who actually followed the law.

Good grief!

Jeff Sessions was a lousy choice to be AG for a lot of reasons. His decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, though, was not one of them. He merely revealed an understanding of the law and ethics that Donald Trump does not get. 

Climate change debate is over? Don’t believe it is

Chuck Todd, the moderator of “Meet the Press,” has done something I find troublesome. He said he longer will give air time on his program to those who deny the existence of climate change.

Here is a snippet from a monologue Todd gave at the start of his program this past Sunday: “We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not. And we’re going to confuse weather with climate.”

Debate hasn’t ended

Where do I begin? I’ll start with the acknowledgment that I happen to agree with Todd, that climate change is settled science and that human beings are a major cause of it.

However, the existence of differences in “political opinion” make the debate a live option.

I am disappointed that Todd has decided that he no longer will allow his TV show to be a forum to debate this critical issue. That a major TV news talk and analysis show would cease that debate bothers me. It shuts out important voices, even if many of us disagree with them; there certainly are other Americans who side with those who question the existence of climate change, let alone its cause.

It troubles me that “Meet the Press” won’t welcome an open debate on what well might be the most compelling issue of our time. Let both sides argue their points. Indeed, there are plenty of “experts” on either side who can make their case.

As Todd himself as admitted, “political opinion” remains deeply divided on the issue of climate change.

What if Trump had lost the election?

Chuck Todd, the moderator/host of “Meet the Press,” posed an interesting set of questions this week. Who would be happy had Donald Trump lost the 2016 presidential election?

He ticked off a series of folks who he said would have preferred a different electoral outcome:

Trump would be happy because he could have built his hotel in Moscow and no one would care; Melania would be smiling because she would be able to live in New York; several former Cabinet officials would be happy because their “reputations would be intact”; congressional Republicans would be happy because they would have gained seats in the midterm election instead of losing the House to the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton? Would she be happy? Probably not.

With a strengthened GOP majority in the House and Senate, a President Clinton would face the prospect of — you guessed it! — congressional hearings and potential impeachment measures taken against her. If you thought Democrats are on a vendetta against the GOP president, you wouldn’t have seen anything had the GOP been able to hound a Democratic president.

But let’s take note quickly of the biggest group of Americans who would be happy had Trump lost. That would be the nearly 66 million Americans who cast their ballots for Hillary.

I was one of them. I, too, would be happy had Trump lost.

If only . . .

Welcome aboard the ‘anti-meddling’ bandwagon

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd is a man after my own heart.

He, too, says “meddling” is too mild a term to describe what the Russians did in 2016. That is, he says the Russians didn’t merely “meddle” in our presidential election.

Todd pointed out that “meddle” defines when someone takes an interest in something that is not their concern. Yep, that’s meddling. My American Heritage Dictionary says meddling is “to intrude into others’ affairs.”

Todd wants to know what term to use to describe what the Russians did. Interfere? Attack?

I prefer “attack.” It was a direct assault on our democratic process. They intended, according to U.S. intelligence analysts, to swing the election in Donald John Trump’s favor. Whether they had a tangible impact on the election result, of course, remains a wide-open question.

But I agree with Todd. “Meddling” doesn’t cut it as a term to define what the Russians did.

Trump continues his unpresidential presidency

Can the president of the United States stoop even lower? Is it possible for Donald Trump to go beyond the pale in speaking with vile disregard for other human beings?

Yes and yes.

Trump today decided to take on “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, calling him a “sleeping son of a bitch” at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

He went after the media yet again for its coverage of a planned meeting between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He impaled several cable and broadcast networks, saving praise — of course! — for the Fox News Channel.

Yes, the president has “treated” the nation yet again to a demonstration of how little regard he has for the office he occupies.

Calling a respected news anchor a “sleeping SOB”? Is this clown — and I’m talking about Trump — for real?

Sadly, the answer is yes. He’s very much for real.

Oh, but he’s “telling it like it is.”


Hoping to head off Trump Fatigue

I might need an intervention.

News junkie that I am, I usually cannot resist watching cable and broadcast news channels’ discussion of current events, of public policy and, yes, even politics.

Until now.

I awoke this Sunday morning and decided to avoid the weekly news/commentary/analysis talk shows. I didn’t watch George or Chuck on ABC or NBC, respectively. I had no particular desire to listen to the talking heads on “This Week” or “Meet the Press.”

Why? I fear it’s because of the subject matter: Donald John “Smart Person” Trump, the current president of the United States of America.

The guy is starting to wear me out. We’re not even at the 100-day mark in his presidency. Good grief! That means we have another nearly four years to go before the next presidential election!

Heaven help us. Or maybe just me.

I don’t intend to stop commenting on this clown’s tenure as president; I consider contributions to High Plains Blogger to be¬†a form of therapy. I might even be able to fend off the Trump Fatigue I fear is beginning to overtake me.

Maybe I just need a day or two —¬†or maybe three or four —¬†away from the TV set.

Wish me luck. I’ll extend the same to you.

No, Kellyanne, critics aren’t ‘haters’

My dear mother taught me a few life lessons: Don’t wish your life away; keep an open mind; don’t “hate” anyone.

The last one stands out at this moment as I ponder the comments from Donald Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who calls critics of¬†a recent gaffe “haters.”

No, ma’am. We aren’t haters.¬†Actually, I haven’t yet weighed in on the gaffe, in which you mistakenly referred to a “massacre” at Bowling Green, Ky.,¬†that never occurred.

Conway did own up to her mistake quickly after the stuff hit the fan. She said she “misspoke” when she made the reference in an MSNBC interview. Do the critics “hate” her for saying such a thing? I would hope not.

I only can speak for myself on this one, but I don’t hate Kellyanne Conway. What I do hate, though, are the untrue statements that pour out of the mouths of the president himself and so many of his closest advisers. Maybe they believe what they say. Perhaps they know they are telling untruths … or lying.

I am amused — in a perverse sort of way — with so many of things Conway has said. She referred to “alternative facts” the other day in another TV interview. “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd told her that “alternative facts are falsehoods.”


I get that Conway is feeling chastened by critics. As a senior adviser to the president of the United States, it’s not too much to ask her to tell the truth — the whole truth — at all times.

Honest to goodness, though, I don’t hate her when she falls short. I just hate the words that come out of her mouth.

‘Alternative facts’ will become Trumpster’s new ID


Kellyanne Conway parlayed her experience as a public opinion pollster to a successful run as a presidential campaign manager.

She’s now a senior adviser to the new president of the United States.

Conway now has become the face and the voice of one of the more remarkable verbal miscues many of us have heard in some time.

She talked this morning about White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s version of a silly story dealing with the size of the crowd at Donald J. Trump’s inaugural. Then she referred to something called Spicer’s “alternative facts.”

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd then sought to clarify what he heard by responding that there are facts and there are falsehoods.

Thus, a punchline was born.

This business of electing a new president is quite serious, indeed. I don’t intend to beat this horse any deader than it is, but in its way, Conway’s “alternative facts” notion seems to be the perfect metaphor for the discussion that prompted it.

Spicer’s angry rejoinder to the media about their reporting of the crowd size was ridiculous on its face. Then came Conway’s “alternative facts” gaffe.

Conway’s role as senior adviser requires her to speak well of her boss. I get it. Honest, I do. I don’t know what she’s thinking privately, of course, but it seems quite reasonable to believe she might be kicking herself tonight for uttering that silly statement.

Maybe she ought to take a page from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the president’s pick to become energy secretary. Perry said this past week he now regrets calling for the elimination of the Department of Energy when he, too, was running for president.

Conway might consider taking a couple of days away from media representatives and then tell them “I regret” providing so much grist for late-night comedians.

I am one American who would accept her contrition.

Is it ‘Dr.’ David Plouffe these days?


Now, now, now, David Plouffe.

Let’s not venture where we do not belong.

Not long ago, I — among others out here in the peanut gallery — got all over Katrina Pierson, a spokeswoman for Donald J. Trump, for issuing what amounted to a medical diagnosis of Hillary Clinton.

Pierson said the Democratic presidential nominee suffers from “dysphasia,” a neurological disorder.

“Ugghh!” we all thought. Knock it off, Ms. Pierson, we said.

Now it’s Plouffe weighing in, declaring that Trump — the Republican nominee — is a “psychopath” and that he “meets the clinical definition” of psychopathic behavior.


To his credit, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd called Plouffe down for issuing his own diagnosis, pointing out that he doesn’t have a medical degree or a degree “in psychology.”

Plouffe kind of shrugged and admitted he isn’t trained as a shrink.

David¬†Plouffe is a brilliant political strategist, having engineered Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaign in 2008 and later serving as a senior political adviser in the White House.

He’s no doctor. So, let’s cease the medical diagnoses.

As Todd told Plouffe, “This is what gets voters so frustrated.”

Political tradition may be in jeopardy

The American political system produces many memorable traditions.

One of them involves an event in which the candidates for president of the United States gather in New York to honor a memorial fund established in memory of the late New York Gov. Alfred E. Smith.

The candidates poke fun at each other, and at themselves.

These two clips are from the 2012 event featuring President Obama, the Democratic nominee, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president.

It is absolutely hilarious! As is the 2008 event with U.S. Sens. Obama and John McCain.

My question today is this: Is this tradition in jeopardy in light of the obvious disdain that the current presumptive nominees — Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton — have for each other?

I’m trying to imagine Trump shrugging off “good-natured” barbs being thrown at him by Clinton. I’m also having difficulty imagining Trump being able to muster up the kind of delivery it takes to sling a zinger at Clinton, who then would laugh out loud.

I’ve noted already what NBC News political director Chuck Todd has observed, that neither Clinton or Trump offered words of congratulations to each other the other night after they secured their respective parties’ nominations.

That omission speaks to what looks to a lot of us as a precursor to the kind of campaign no one wants to see.

One of the beauties of our political system — and the people who participate in it — is that they’ve always found time to put the daggers back in the scabbard long enough to speak with good humor to some common good.

Is that tradition in jeopardy this year?