Tag Archives: Leonard PItts Jr.

Chaos, confusion still reign in White House

Amid the chaos and confusion that continues to swirl through the White House, Americans are being “treated” — if you don’t mind my use of that verb — with an example of ignorance of how our federal government is supposed to work.

The rhetoric of a young firebrand working inside the Trump administration offers a classic case in point.

Stephen Miller — a senior policy adviser — was trotted out this past weekend on the news talk shows in which he declared that “unelected judges” have no business deciding matters that come before them. He said that U.S. District Judge James Robart must not “make laws” in determining that Donald Trump’s ban on refugees coming to this country needs further review; he said the same thing about the federal appellate court judges, the 9th U.S. Circuit, who upheld Judge Robart’s decision.

Hold on, young man!

The founders created a government that entitles those judges to do precisely what they did. The president’s ruling bars refugees coming here from Muslim-majority countries. It, in effect, discriminates against people on the basis of their religion. Trump says he wants to protect Americans against “radical Islamic terrorists.” Of course, the ban doesn’t necessarily cover blond, blue-eyed Europeans who well might have been recruited by terrorist organizations to do the very thing we all want to prevent.

Miller, it should be noted, helped write Trump’s Republican presidential nomination acceptance speech this past summer in which the nominee said “I alone can fix” what ails the nation.

Actually, this isn’t a one-man game.

The Washington Post published a fascinating profile of Miller.

Here it is.

But my essential point is that Trump — who is facing a mountainous pile of potential crises so early in his administration — needs to grasp the notion that governance is a complicated process. It involves a complex set of machinery that is intended to limit the power of one man, or one branch of government. They are “co-equal branches of government” for precisely that reason.

Add to all of that the pandemonium that has erupted over the resignation of the national security adviser and questions about whether he and others in the administration covered up improper contacts with Russian intelligence officials, and you have a prescription for unmitigated disaster.

“Unelected judges” are part of the process, young Mr. Miller. If the boss is going to continue to shoot first and aim later with executive orders and tweets, then all of them had better get used to more of what the courts have delivered.


I have to share with you a column I saw this morning from Leonard Pitts Jr., a Pulitzer Prize-winning essayist, who takes the president down hard.

Pitts is angry with the what he calls Trump’s “so-called presidency.”

Pitts can turn a phrase … or two.

He has done so with great precision here.

‘You unspeakable bastard’


Americans are going to observe a grim event tomorrow.

It’s the 14th year since the 9/11 attacks that changed the country forever. I won’t try to make sense of what happened on a day that no one ever anticipated would unfold as it did.

Leonard Pitts Jr., a columnist for the Miami Herald, spoke for us all the next day with this stirring essay. I was proud to publish it in the Amarillo Globe-News. Here it is … in its entirety.

Read it and remember what you felt that day.


It’s my job to have something to say.

Is race a factor?

Leonard Pitts Jr. poses an interesting question to President Obama’s critics who contend their criticism ha nothing to do with his race.

What would the criticism look like if race was a factor?


Pitts, of course, is African-American, just like the president. So, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist is likely to be more sensitive to specific elements of the criticism that has been leveled at Obama since he took office in January 2009.

I have many friends and acquaintances who tell me time and again that race has nothing to do with their dislike of the 44th president of the United States. However, here is what Pitts wrote in a recent column:

“I mean, we’re talking about a president who was called ‘uppity’ by one GOP lawmaker, ‘boy’ by another and ‘subhuman’ by a GOP activist, who was depicted as a bone-through-the-nose witch doctor by opponents of his health care reform bill, as a pair of cartoon spook eyes against a black backdrop by an aide to a GOP lawmaker and as an ape by various opponents, who has been dogged by a ‘tea party’ movement whose earliest and most enthusiastic supporters included the Council of Conservative Citizens, infamous for declaring the children of interracial unions ‘a slimy brown glop’; who was called a liar by an obscure GOP lawmaker during a speech before a joint session of Congress; and who has had to contend with a yearslong campaign of people pretending there is some mystery about where he was born.”

Interesting, don’t you think?

No other prominent politician in my memory ever has been called such things by his or her foes. It’s the tone, the intensity of which defies reason.

Those who dislike the president can hide behind their policy differences, they can say all they want that race doesn’t matter to them one little bit.

I try like the dickens to accept what they say and accept that they simply disagree with his policies. To be clear, none of my friends ever has used the language that Pitts cites in his column. However, he is spot on to call attention to these statements that have been whispered and shouted at the same time.

Is race a factor in this intense loathing of the president? I have to say “yes.”

Enough of the plane coverage already!

Gosh, this is hard to admit, but Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column is on target: CNN is overdosing on the plight of the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.


I tune in to CNN to catch on the latest headlines and breaking news. The problem with the news network, though, is that it has redefined “breaking news” to include any tiny tidbit about an on-going story that doesn’t break any new ground.

CNN’s commentators have been among the worst in trying to determine the fate of the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It now appears to have crashed into the Indian Ocean somewhere off the western Australia coast. An international search team has deployed an unmanned submersible vehicle to look for the wreckage on the ocean floor.

But for the past month, CNN has been speculating out loud about the plane’s fate. “Experts” have actually suggested it was hijacked by someone and landed safely, or that it crashed on the Asian mainland in a forest so dense that no one can spot it.

The all-time best question, though, came from CNN anchor Don Lemon, who wondered out loud whether the plane might have flown into a black hole. Someone reminded him that a black hole would have swallowed the entire solar system … so that theory is out.

My heart breaks for the families of those who wonder about the fate of the 239 people on board the still-missing jetliner.

This incessant reporting — and repeating, actually — of what we already know, however, is getting to be too much for me to handle.

As Leonard Pitts writes in an open letter to CNN: “Granted, the missing jetliner is not an unimportant story. But neither is it a story deserving of the kind of round-the-clock-man-on-the-moon-war-is-over-presidential-assassination coverage you have given it.”

Tell us when you have something new to report.