Trumping Syria

Just when you think you’ve got the answers, President Trump changes the questions.

I have to admit I was a bit surprised Thursday night when I found out the US had bombed Syria. I thought our President would eventually lead such an attack for humanitarian reasons. I just didn’t expect it so soon. Some will no doubt wonder if this means Trump has joined the New World Order, and some in the populist movement have already turned on him.

Personally, I’ll wait and see. Might just be the exception that proves the rule, although now the dysfunction of a leader attacking his own people with chemical weapons has now been rivaled by attacking the same country but not allowing refugees to enter the United States.

For the people in congress who whined about how our president should have sought Congressional approval: give me a break! Our last six Presidents prior to Mr. Trump have led similar attacks with varying degrees of success for various reasons. Even President Obama suggested at one point during his term that the executive branch has such a power.

But let’s go after the former businessman and not all the presidents who have done similar things going back to Jimmy Carter. Such hypocrisy drives me crazy in the sports world (such as Tom Brady deflating footballs when others did it before him and got away with it), and it drives me no less crazy in the real world.

Then again, if Comrade Putin starts to get trigger happy, the wisdom of recent moves will no doubt be questioned. 

Saving Speaker Ryan

The results were probably something President Trump wanted all along. He does strike me as a bit Machiavellian from time to time, after all.

As we now know, the healthcare proposals of the Trump administration couldn’t even get out of the House of Representatives on Friday. There wasn’t even a consensus amongst the Republicans to get the deal done, with moderates and far-right Republicans proving to be the obstacles.

Now the typical finger pointing and other such punditry has begun. Some are calling for House Speaker Paul Ryan to step down. The point does have logic to it, as he advocated the merits of the new system to staggering levels.

Some are blaming the Freedom Caucus, a group of constitutional Republicans, for holding out for a better deal. I can’t blame them, really. Most of us were doing likewise.

I’ve always believed that if you have to sell something that hard, its probably something you are better off not having. Now Obamacare likely implodes, and the Trump team will later be able to work off a clean slate as opposed to the frequently erased chalkboard they have now.

A better day and deal will come. I haven’t given up on Trump yet.

Rachel And The Documents Of Doom

Some of you will be surprised to hear that I find Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show to be tolerable. That was, until she, like the other media outlets, got caught up with the hysteria surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency, and the partisanship it’s caused since. I think we, as Americans, can do better than this for our duly elected President under the current constitutional rules. I like hearing the opinions of both sides, because when you take being bellicose out of it, it’s how I learn what they’re saying.

Then came last week. Maddow’s Twitter feed bursted on Tuesday with news of a surprise revelation concerning a seemingly forgotten about topic: Donald Trump’s taxes, and his failure to release them to the public. Someone anonymously sent journalist David Cay Johnson the documentation for Trump’s 2005 taxes, who then released the findings to NBC and cable outlet MSNBC. The findings probably didn’t go the way Maddow or the network of Peacocks had hoped, despite making news on all the other televised outlets: Trump paid over 25 percent of his income in taxes this year, far more than other politicians paid recently, such as former President Obama or Democratic contender Bernie Sanders.

A brief rant here: the one thing that drives me crazy about TV news is that networks, cable news stations, and local TV stations frequently wave documentation around on camera, then tell you what’s in it. I would love to see the FCC pass a rule, for the sake of transparency, that if a station does that, they must put the same documents on a website or other such forum for public view. It isn’t something media does or doesn’t do all the time, but there should be a uniform rule so that informed people wanted to learn more, that ability is there for them.

As for Maddow, the big show on Tuesday night was a ratings hit, but it seemed to harm her reputation on both conservative and liberal sides. Geraldo Rivera’s career recovered from the “bomb” of a 1987 special promising to reveal the contents of Al Capone’s vault, but finding nothing of significance within. My gut tells me we’re not getting rid of Rachel so quickly, and I’m sure her bosses will remind her not to turn into such a caricature of herself.

Crossing Lines, Blurred Lines

The ongoing war between President Trump and the media – breathtaking. I heard Chris Wallace on FOX earlier today saying that the President crossed the line when he said the media is the enemy of the American people.

I tend to think that if this is true, the media crossed the line first with their allegations that President Trump is tight with Russia. They want you to forget that so was Hillary Clinton, who gave the Russians all that uranium. Further, the Russians don’t have anything to lose any way they play it: if they support the American left, the American right, or play the double game of playing both sides. Sure, I want the media to do their job, but without harder facts in the whole Russian matter, I can’t say that the job is being done.

I’m also not surprised that, in my opinion, the President has already gotten bored with the D.C. game and is campaigning in spots across the country as if it was still 2016 on the calendar. He plays to his strengths, and he’d be a fool not to play to his strength.

Who knows what happens this week, but so far, it’s been a very interesting ride. Who knows where it goes next.

 

Giving No Quarter, Asking No Quarter

To go along with the first Suprr Bowl to end regulation tied and needing overtime to break, we’ve now had what’s believed to be the first tie vote in the US Senate to confirm a member of a President’s cabinet. Much like sports, the Senate has its own tie breaking procedure: the Vice President votes, and so Betsy DeVos is now the Secretary of Education.

These are interesting times politically and for our country. A new Supreme Court justice nominee, a widening conflict with Iran, and the continuing war of words between Trump, his staff, the media, and the Democrats. 

Generally, I root for our country, not against it. Much like Mr. Trump made errors in his bid to be President last year, he seems to have the same learning curve as President. He adjusted well as 2016 progressed, so it’s logical he’ll adapt to things as his Presidency progresses. 

The caveat to that thinking, however, is that the opposition is much more diverse, and that some of these things can’t be controlled, like the economy. Then there’s that George Soros fellow, who many on the conservative side believe is the architect and financier of these protests over Trump’s immigration reforms. 

All we can do is keep watching and see how things play out. 

Morning Again


I choked up watching President Trump being sworn in. It’s a moment I’ve never experienced before watching a “transfer of power” from one President to the next. 

Trump’s inaugural speech was blustering against the profession of politics. Probably long overdue. 

Everything else I can say, I think I’ve already said in the past year or so. I think I will enjoy the rest of the day. 

There is promise once more in America. Let’s hope for the best.