Tag Archives: Valerie Jarrett

POTUS keeps this story burning

A two-day story has been given more life by none other than the president of the United States.

Yep, Donald J. Trump has weighed in on ABC-TV’s decision to cancel “Roseanne” because of a stupid and blatantly racist tweet by the star of the show, Roseanne Barr.

She compared former Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an “ape.” Oh, yes. Jarrett is African-American. Barr’s tweet also had a touch of Islamophobia, too, referring to the “Muslim Brotherhood.”

ABC canceled “Roseanne” on the spot.

Trump’s response was to fire off a tweet of his own wondering why ABC didn’t react to all the negative things that have been said about him on the network.

Good grief, Mr. President.

Your plate should be overflowing with important matters. You know, things like that on-off-again summit with Kim Jong Un, trade wars with China, keeping the Middle East from exploding in flames.

Instead, this tweet tyrant in chief brings more attention to Roseanne Barr, a noted fan of the president.

Should this story be on millions of Americans’ minds right now? No. It should be set aside. The head of state has bigger fish to fry. If only the president of the United States would butt the hell out.

‘Roseanne’ not too big to … cancel

Roseanne Barr now has managed to offend both ends of the wide political spectrum.

Years ago, she took the field at the start of an athletic event to offer a horrendous rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Many of us have heard her “singing” of the anthem. We weren’t pleased. It wasn’t funny. Conservatives were outraged.

Ahh, but the comic wasn’t done. Today she posted a tweet in which she offered a racist reference to Valerie Jarrett, a former senior policy adviser to President Barack Obama.

She wrote: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

Funny, huh? Nope. It isn’t. ABC Television promptly canceled the return of “Roseanne.”

Barr apologized. She took her tweet down. She deleted her Twitter account. Too late, Roseanne. The damage is done.

As for ABC’s decision to cancel the show, well, I don’t much care one way or the other. I didn’t watch the show 30 years ago; I didn’t watch its return. I had heard about Roseanne Barr’s pro-Donald Trump tilt and about her TV character’s similar leanings. Honest to goodness, that didn’t bother me in the least.

Racist rants from public figures? They bother me. A lot.

Good riddance, Roseanne.

Obama lacks GOP go-to pal in Congress


Valerie Jarrett gave a stellar defense Sunday night of her boss and long-time friend President Barack Obama.

Her appearance on “60 Minutes” was notable in her defense as well of her role — in addition to senior adviser — as friend, confidante and her easy access to the Leader of the Free World.

But she pushed back when CBS News correspondent Nora O’Donnell asked her about the president’s continuing prickly relationship with congressional Republicans. She said Obama has done all he could do to reach out.

O’Donnell, though, asked — but did get an answer — about the lack of a leading Republican in either the Senate or the House to whom the president could turn to fight for his legislative agenda.

It brought to mind the kind of relationship that previous presidents have cultivated with members of the “loyal opposition.” President Lyndon Baines Johnson could turn to GOP Sen. Everett Dirksen in a pinch; President Ronald Reagan had a fabulous after-hours friendship with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill; GOP President George W. Bush relied on help from Sen. Ted Kennedy to push through education reform.

Barack Obama doesn’t seem to have that kind of personal friendship with members of the other side. He relies on his own instincts, his own circle of friends — such as Jarrett — and the vice president, Joe Biden, who to this day retains close friendships with Senate Republicans.

It’s that lack of kinship that has troubled many of us who want the president to succeed. I recall having this discussion once with retired Amarillo College president Paul Matney, who lamented that Obama had not developed the legislative know-how that LBJ brought to the presidency.

LBJ had served as Senate majority leader before his one-time foe John F. Kennedy asked him to be his running mate in 1960. Ol’ Lyndon knew how the Senate worked and he was able to parlay that knowledge — along with tremendous national good will after JFK’s assassination in 1963 — into landmark legislation.

Barack Obama has been forced to struggle, to battle relentlessly, to get anything past a Republican-led Congress intent on blocking every major initiative he has sought.

The reasons behind the ultra-fierce resistance will be debated long after President Obama leaves office.

He seems, though, to have lacked one essential ingredient to move his agenda forward: a good friend and dependable ally on the other side of the aisle who could run interference for him.


No love for Hillary from White House

The late state Sen. Teel Bivins, R-Amarillo, once told me that the Legislature’s decennial redistricting effort gave Republican lawmakers a chance to show how they “eat their young.”

It’s a cutthroat business, carving up a state into equally sized legislative and congressional districts. It has to be done once the census is taking every decade.

Well, it’s good to point out that Republicans aren’t the only ones who “eat their young.” Democrats do it, too.


A New York Post columnist reports that sources tell him that White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett leaked to the press Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account while she served as secretary of state.

Where’s the love from the White House? Not with Jarrett, apparently. It remains to be seen if the Post article can be verified by other, independent sources. A part of me isn’t surprised by what the columnist is reporting.

Remember ol’ Willie Horton? He was the murderer whose prison furlough was approved by then-Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was his party’s presidential nominee in 1988. Then-Vice President George Bush, the Republican presidential nominee, hammered Dukakis mercilessly over that furlough, as Horton went out and killed someone during the time he was set free.

Do you remember who introduced that issue into the 1988 political campaign? It was a young U.S. senator from Tennessee, Democrat Albert Gore Jr., who was seeking his party’s nomination along with Dukakis. Gore ratted out Dukakis in a Democrat vs. Democrat game of insults.

I’m certain my friend Teel Bivins would enjoy watching this latest bit of political cannibalism.



Words have consequences, Rep. Chaffetz

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, used an interesting term to describe the influence senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett has on Obama administration policy.

He said Jarrett has “tentacles on every issue.”



Not her hands. Not her fingers. She’s not merely involved. She has tentacles.

When I think of the term “tentacles,” I think of the slimy deep-sea creature that skulks along the ocean floor. Now I suppose Rep. Chaffetz, a tea party golden boy, is trying to ascribe some seedy description to the Obama administration’s senior political adviser.

Why is it such a surprise that President Obama relies on an individual to give him advice? President George W. Bush had Karl Rove. President Bill Clinton had his wife. President George H.W. Bush had Jim Baker. President Ronald Reagan relied on Mike Deaver.

I guess they all had “tentacles” on their respective bosses’ policies.

Jarrett is no different. It’s the pejorative term “tentacles,” though, that seems so irksome.