Category Archives: opinion

The Startling Truth about Donald Trump

For the most part,n I stopped being startled by Donald Trump long ago. I got used to the nonsense, and began to expect it. This is where that has led

As of August, (Trump) had made more than 12,000 false or misleading claims over the course of his presidency.

12,000!!!!!

The signature of the Trump era.

As the above link brings out, his latest  whopper relates to the impeachment hearings. With zero basis in fact, he asserts that Adam Schiff somehow has doctored the transcripts of the hearings. Republicans who were in the room apparently did not notice. Trump, who was not in the room and who, we are told, reads nothing , did. Huh?

That got me thinking. I wonder if Trump’s “crack investigative team” has yet come back from Hawaii with the must touted  evidence that Barrack Obama was not born in the US. Remember how Trump said that they were finding out “amazing things”? Whatever happened to those guys?

Don’t Look Now! Some Think Lindsay Graham Can be Beaten in South Carolina

Clearly, Lindsay Graham wants to end his days in the senate, and he believes the best way to do that is to hang onto Donald Trump’s coat tails. The conventional wisdom is that this makes sense in South Carolina because the state went for Trump over Hilary by 15%.

But that may not be the way things turn out. By hanging onto Trump Graham has had to turn his back on issues that are important to voters in his home state. And at least one dude … a guy by the name of Jaime Harrison —  thinks that will come around to bite him in 2020.

It will be interesting to see if he is right.

Ready to Reach for the Stars with Mike Bloomberg?

Ok. Mike is in the race.

We know why. Uncle Joe is fading, and let’s face it, we know why. It is not because of the Ukrainian lunacy. It is because Joe is too old.

Without Joe in the race, the centrists in the democratic party are a bit panicky. They do not relish the prospect of a progressive in the White House. They don’t think this will lead to success.

Mike Bloomberg is in this group. He is a pragmatist with a vision. The vision is what is important. He believes innovation is the main tool for addressing the major challenges facing humanity. Errr … not just challenges. He uses the word “crisis”.

I agree with Mike’s ideas about innovation. And I welcome him coming into the race for the 2020 dem nomination.

This video put up by Fred Wilson of Mike Bloomberg’s commencement address at MIT gives you a peek at how Mike thinks.

Is Mike worth supporting? I have not decided yet. It is too early. I like some of the stuff that Elizabeth Warren is saying. I think Pete is pretty smart. So I welcome the debate that these folks will enter into. A civilized debate about vision. Not the kind of nonsense we saw when Donald Trump took the stage.

Defending this President Aint Easy

As the House impeachment hearings head into their public sessions, both democrats and republicans are thinking carefully about what kind of messaging they will do to the public during those hearings.

We know what the dems will do. They will bring out the undisputed,  evidence that the president extorted the president of Ukraine by holding up Congressionally mandated US military assistance to the Ukrainians until they started an investigation into Joe Biden’s son.

Apparently, the Republican defense is going to be “so what?” And we see a poll that a majority of republican voters agree that shaking down a foreign leader like that is ok.

68% think it is not a high crime or misdemeanor- and 65% think it is done “all the time”.

Those figures are truly remarkable. One wonders where these folks got the idea that this is done all the time. Certainly not from their history books. Imagine, for example, if President Roosevelt had held up lend lease to the Brits until they investigated former president Herbert  Hoover or his 1940 opponent, Wendel Willkie. Or if President Truman had tried to force the South Koreans to investigate his 1948 opponent Thomas Dewey. Or if JFK or LBJ tried to force the South Vietnamese to investigate Eisenhower or Nixon.  If this is not substituting personal gain over the public interest, what is?

The argument, no doubt, will be made that the president did the right thing because he was pursuing a so called “corruption” investigation. Using that word is red meat for conspiracy theorists,but (1) there are non-political agencies that do this work. Politicizing it is highly dangerous and illegal, and (2) we have seen NO evidence that the demand made upon the Ukrainians — while it would have been expedient for Trump and the Russians — had or has any basis in evidence. It is, instead, a widely debunked conspiracy theory .

My point here — dealing with Trump and his cronies is one thing. But if republicans go down this rabbit hole by re-writing history  and ignoring the clear danger that Trump’s antics pose, they drag down the credibility of our public institutions still further.

So here we go. Strap on your helmets! No matter how this shakes out, it is likely to be a bruising affair.

Trump’s Touch of Sludge

Imagine that in an NBA game, a player punches another player in the face. Knocks him down. The ref tries to stop him, and the player says that he is not subject to the rules. He can do what he wants. Other players support him.Some of the fans do too.  Can the game continue? No. Does the sport suffer? Of course it does.

Now lets take a look at what is happening in Washington.

The other day, Donald Trump’s lawyers strolled into a federal  appellate court and argued that the president of the United States is above the law. That he can do whatever he wants — even murder — and law enforcement is powerless to investigate let alone stop him.

It is a ridiculous argument, and yet it was presented in a US appellate court, masquerading as something serious. The lawyers humiliated themselves  and they debased the court by violating ethical standards in such a high profile way.  But there you have it. They just did it.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, a small group of GOP Congressmen forced their way into the secure room where an impeachment deposition was to take place. Why? They demanded that the deposition not take place without them in the room. The demand ignores that the GOP is represented in the room by GOP committee members.

It was an absurd stunt that violates House rules and the security of the process, masquerading as a legitimate call of transparency.  But there you have it. They just did it.

See  the danger? When Donald Trump took on the job of president of the United States, he agreed to play the game according to its rules. He and his cohort of clowns are violating those rules and saying “So what!” As in the NBA setting, the game cannot continue until this is sorted out. Let’s be blunt — as in the NBA context — it is critical to sort this out NOW!

And things are worse that that. Donald Trump has the trust of a certain segment of the voting population. These folks believe in him. They believe that he is acting in their interests. They believe it when he says he is a victim of a “lynching” or “witch hunt”. They are like the fans at the NBA game. Will they be persuaded to ditch the rules too?

The danger here is not just that these stunts might work. The danger is that they are happening at all.  And this is just scratching the surface. We are just finding out about the stunts that Trump’s “three amigos” were trying to pull off in Ukraine.  And we don’t know if there are more “amigos” hiding under their desks in the White House and various Executive Offices. And we do know of the seemingly endless list of scandals that the Trump White House has created from day one of Trump’s tenure. This pot has been boiling for some years now.

How far will we let the pot boil? That remains to be seen. Stay tuned. And be worried. These are dangerous times.  More dangerous because  one political party — the GOP — is not condemning these stunts. They even create the impression that they might condone them. Even if they do not end up dong that — which would be dreadful — their ongoing silence now is perhaps even worse than the antics of Trump and his clowns.Why? Because they empower it. Trump would not be playing these games UNLESS HE THOUGHT HE CAN GET AWAY WITH IT!!!!!

A quick follow – What is Trump thinking here? That is very simple. Trump believes that Americans want to be entertained more than they want to be governed. He believes therefore, that the solution to his various governing problems is to be more entertaining to the public. The more outrageous he is, the more entertaining he thinks he is, and therefore, in his mind, the more powerful he becomes. Governance as professional wrestling (a sport that he was involved in). Yes, this is “banana republic” thinking. And yes, that is where our president wants to take the nation. Do you want to go there? This may be where we all are headed.

Beware House Republicans! You Will Soon Get What you are asking for!

As political theater, GOP Congressmen disrupted a closed door session of the impeachment hearings. They argue that they must be let into the process.

Errr … of course the GOP is part of the process. GOP committee members are there in the room, as king questions.

So, yes, it is an attempt to divert attention from the main issues at hand. But it will also backfire. Soon the impeachment hearings will go public. And when they do, those same GOP Congressmen will be arguing that it is a public witch hunt.