Tag Archives: Kirsten Gillibrand

You want due process, Mr. POTUS? Let’s try this

Kirsten Gillibrand has come up with an interesting idea that, sadly, won’t get out of the starting blocks.

The New York U.S. senator, a Democrat, has proposed holding hearings on the sexual abuse allegations that have been leveled against Donald John Trump. You see, Gillibrand wants to call the president out on his call for “due process” relating to allegations of spousal abuse by a former key White House aide.

According to The Hill: “If he wants due process for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, let’s have Congressional hearings tomorrow,” she continued. “I would support that and my colleagues should too.”

Rob Porter has quit as White staff secretary. Two former wives and a former girlfriend have accused him of spousal abuse. One of the wives produced a picture of herself with a shiner under right eye; she says Porter punched her in the face.

Trump has come to Porter’s defense. He called him a fine man and said he “did a good job” as staff secretary. The president made no mention of the alleged victims of his attacks.

And he’s called for “due process” to determine Porter’s guilt or innocence.

Sen. Gillibrand wants to give Trump himself all the due process he needs regarding the many accusations that have been tossed at him by women who have alleged a number of sexual abuse transgressions.

Will Congress ever convene hearings? Please. Don’t make me laugh.

Gillibrand, though, has handed us a good idea to at least consider.

Trump continues to demonstrate unfitness for his office

Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!

What you see here is another demonstration from the president of the United States of his utter tone deafness.

It is a tweet from Donald John Trump Sr.

It also shows many millions of Americans — including yours truly — how totally unfit he is for the office he occupies.

He says Sen. Gillibrand “would do anything for them,” implying that she would do something of a sexual nature to obtain a campaign contribution from Trump.

This man has shown at every level imaginable an absolute lack of decency. An editorial in USA Today provides a profound and stark commentary on the president’s shameful demeanor. What I find remarkable about this editorial is that comes from a publication that does not possess a fiery, partisan editorial policy.

USA Today calls Trump “uniquely awful” and declares that he is not fit to “clean the toilets at Barack Obama’s presidential library or shine George W. Bush’s shoes.”

As the paper notes: “Not to mention calling white supremacists ‘very fine people,’ pardoning a lawless sheriff, firing a respected FBI director, and pushing the Justice Department to investigate his political foes.

Read the editorial here.

Yet, despite this serial demonstration of a lack of humanity and common decency, Trump’s supporters stand by their man. They applaud him for “telling it like it is.” They endorse his nativism and tribalism and call it “populism.”

Donald Trump is unfit to be president.

As USA Today’s editorial concludes: The nation doesn’t seek nor expect perfect presidents, and some have certainly been deeply flawed. But a president who shows such disrespect for the truth, for ethics, for the basic duties of the job and for decency toward others fails at the very essence of what has always made America great.

He should resign from the presidency.

Pals still reach across the aisle on Capitol Hill

dole and inouye

Collegiality isn’t dead in Washington, D.C., after all.

I’m not reporting anything new here; I’m merely passing on an interesting Texas Tribune piece about how some Texas members of Congress — who are generally conservative to ultra-conservative — have become friends with some New York liberal members of Congress.

It does my heart good to read of this kind of thing.

Bipartisanship lives in the halls of Congress, reports Abby Livingston in an article published by the Tribune.

She notes how East Texas U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, one of the House of Representatives’ conservative firebrand, routinely saves a seat next to him for the State of the Union speech for Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat. Gohmert is adamantly opposed to further gun regulation; Maloney, however, is just as adamantly in favor of it.

According to the Tribune: “It’s not hard to be friends with people who are honest, and she sees many important issues, to me, very differently,” Gohmert said. “But I know she wants what’s best for the country, but we just have different beliefs as to what that is.”

You want another example? U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has become good friends with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Cruz is a Republican (of course!) and Gillibrand is a Democrat; Cruz is ultraconservative; Gillibrand is ultraliberal.

As the Tribune reported: “I have always been impressed with people who stand up for principle when it matters and when there’s a price to be paid,” Cruz said of Gillibrand in a June interview.

Partisanship often has morphed into personal attacks for a number of years in the halls of Congress. Perhaps it showed itself most dramatically when then-GOP Vice President Dick Cheney told Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy to “go f*** yourself” during a heated exchange on the floor of the Senate.

That’s the bipartisan spirit, Mr. Vice President.

It wasn’t always this way, of course. Members of both parties shared common bonds that quite often transcended partisan differences. Not many years ago, that commonality was forged by World War II, with combat veterans joining together to pursue public service careers while sitting across the aisle from each other.

Two examples come to mind.

U.S. Sens. Bob Dole, a Kansas Republican, and Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat, both suffered grievous injuries fighting the Nazis in World War II. They were both injured in separate battles in Italy near the end of the war in Europe. They were evacuated and spent time in the same rehab hospital in the United States.

They became fast friends and bridge partners. They took that friendship with them to the Senate. Tom Brokaw’s acclaimed book “The Greatest Generation” tells of this friendship that went far beyond the many political differences the two men had.

Sens. George McGovern, a South Dakota Democrat, and Barry Goldwater, an Arizona Republican, both were World War II aviators. McGovern was as liberal as they come; Goldwater was equally conservative. They, too, became close friends while serving in the Senate. Both men survived the harrowing crucible of aerial combat while fighting to save the world from tyranny.

Their political differences were vast, but so was their friendship.

Many of us have lamented the bad blood that flows between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. I’ve been one of those who’s complained about it.

As the Texas Tribune reports, though, collegiality still can be found … if you know where to look.


Congress to look into NFL conduct? C'mon!

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has opened the door for yet another congressional spectacle in which lawmakers will seek to call attention to a problem that should be solved by someone else.

Domestic violence is the issue of the day.

Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said today that the National Football League’s response to the Ray Rice scandal — he punched his then-fiancée unconscious, remember? — has been “outrageous.”


So, what’s Congress going to do about it?

Gillibrand thinks hearings are possible. To what end?

I think I know. The end will be to allow senators to make speeches, to get their names into print, their faces on TV and they’ll be able to express justifiable outrage at the way the NFL has handled these cases involving players striking the women in their lives.

Give me a break.

Congress has many more, and much larger, fish to fry — pardon the expression — than butting into the business of the NFL.

Yes, the league has a serious image problem. The owners need to hold Commissioner Roger Goodell accountable for the way he has handled the Rice matter. Goodell does work for the owners, who will need to decide whether the commissioner keeps his job.

The NFL already has launched an independent investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller, who vows to be thorough in his probe and plans to reveal his findings to the public the moment he has assembled all the facts in the case.

Let’s be clear: The domestic violence crisis in the NFL is a serious burden for the league to bear. It must make these offenders accountable and they must pay for the horrible acts of violence they commit. That’s within the NFL’s purview.

Congress has to worry about whether to approve air strikes in Syria; it has to look for ways to ensure that Americans are safe from terrorists; it must decide whether to act on the myriad programs proposed by President Obama, but which have been stuck in the congressional gridlock.

It need not conduct show hearings for the purpose of allowing elected politicians to make spectacles of themselves.

Sexism alive and well … in U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has revealed what many folks knew already: the Senate is full of sexists.

The New York Democrat has written a book in which he chronicle how her male colleagues have said patently offensive things they’d never say to another male.


This is a kind of “Ball Four” moment, or at least I hope it is. “Ball Four” was a book written by former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton that revealed to the world that Yankee great and baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle was a drunk, carouser and womanizer. Who knew? I didn’t.

Perhaps Gillibrand’s book is likely to peel the hide off the Senate’s pretense of being this distinguished deliberative body full of noble statesman who take themselves oh, so very seriously.

Gillibrand’s memoir, “Off the Sidelines,” talks a bit about how senators would say things to her about her weight, her appearance, the weight she gained and lost during pregnancy. One senator told her how he likes his women “chubby.”

Is this the kind of thing a woman would say to a male colleague? I’m trying to imagine Gillibrand or any other female senator talking to an overweight male senator and telling him how she likes her men with meat on their bones.

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, who’s been covering the Capitol for a lot of years, thinks there’s hope that change might be coming to Capitol Hill. She writes that “the older fanny pinchers are giving way to a new generation of male senators with more experience of women (including their often high-powered wives) in the workplace.”

The question has come out: Why not identify the senators? No need to do it. They know who they are, as do their colleagues, male and female. It’ll come out in due course and then public opinion will take over.

Good job, Sen. Gillibrand.




Women lead the way for Democrats

Juan Williams, writing for The Hill newspaper, says that women might be the saviors for the Democratic Party.

I scanned through the piece and noticed a critical omission: no mention of Texas.

Take a look:


Williams, a frequent contributor for the Fox News Channel (as one of the network’s handful of token liberals), looks at the rise across the nation of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and of course former first lady/Sen./Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

These all are legitimate powerhouses on the national political stage.

However, out here in Texas there is another possible surge in the making — courtesy of women.

State Sens. Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte are running for Texas governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. They both are being seen by the state Democratic establishment as being critical to their party’s possible resurgence.

Is it probable? Well, many experts around Texas don’t think so. Republicans have cemented their grip on the state’s political infrastructure. They occupy every statewide office and they keep winning with impressive margins. The state has gone through a fundamental political personality transformation since, oh, about 1978, when it elected its first GOP governor since Reconstruction. It’s been downhill ever since for the Texas Democratic Party.

Davis and Van de Putte, though, represent two key constituencies that Democrats will need. Women — of course — and Hispanics, given Van de Putte’s ethnic heritage. The Hispanic vote remains solidly Democratic in Texas, although Gov. Rick Perry has fared well among that group of voters in recent election cycles. Perry, though, is not running. That creates a significant opening for Hispanic activists to get out the vote.

The female vote centers on abortion rights. The Texas GOP has enacted strict rules prohibiting a woman’s right end a pregnancy. That battle in the Legislature propelled Davis to the national stage earlier this year. Davis certainly cannot run on that issue alone, but the passion she stirred among women across the state could serve as a key driver in her bid to become governor next year.

I am not predicting a victory for Democrats next year. I am hopeful, though, that renewed interest in the two Democratic candidates at the top of the state’s ballot can create buzz among voters and deliver a lively campaign that requires Republicans to explain themselves as they campaign across the state.