Tag Archive: President Barack Obama

Trump’s troubling ties to Russia

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs Cabinet meeting in Moscow, Feb. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs Cabinet meeting in Moscow, Feb. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

Several weeks ago, Donald Trump kicked off a constitutional crisis by firing the Acting U.S. Attorney General, Sally Yates, after Yates opposed Trump’s Muslim Ban. Since then, after rulings by numerous federal courts, Yates’ view has been validated. Now it turns out that another correct decision by Yates, regarding Russia, was ignored by Trump and his White House staff, with dire consequences.

Donald Trump’s Constitutional crisis

Richard Nixon leaving White House grounds by helicopter after resignation.

Richard Nixon leaving White House grounds by helicopter after resignation.

In October 1973, President Richard Nixon committed the “Saturday Night Massacre,” in which he fired the Watergate Special Prosecutor who had been appointed at the behest of Congress, which caused the U.S. Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to resign. Nixon also abolished the office of the special prosecutor. This Constitutional crisis, which occurred nearly five years into Nixon’s presidency, ultimately led to Nixon’s impeachment and his resignation.

Last night, after just 10 days in the White House, Donald Trump had a Saturday Night Massacre of his own. Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after Yates wrote a letter to top Justice Department lawyers, directing them not to defend Trump’s Muslim immigration ban in federal court. Trump also fired Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Daniel Ragsdale, for reasons thus far unspecified. Several days earlier, Trump fired top career officers in the State Department.

President Obama’s high-water mark

President Obama at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Nov. 11, 2016.

President Obama at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Nov. 11, 2016.

President Barack Obama is leaving office on a high note. Many people might not remember what it was like when Obama took office in January 2009. The Bush Recession was underway, and America was losing 779,000 jobs per month. Stores were closing. Restaurants were empty. And our treasury was also empty (in fact, trillions in debt) from Bush’s disastrous Iraq War. Obama, with no help from the Republicans, turned things around to the point where he will be turning over a country that, by most objective measures, is doing very well. Let’s take a look at some of those numbers, so that we will have a comparison for the future:

The Breitbarting of America

Trump/Breitbart propagandist Stephen Bannon

Trump/Breitbart propagandist Stephen Bannon

Donald Trump‘s unofficial electoral win, as well as the elevation of Stephen Bannon to Trump campaign CEO and then future White House counsel, demonstrates how Andrew Breitbart‘s style of propaganda and fake news has triumphed. The mainstream media helped the Breitbart model win, cheering every step of the way. All of this is dangerous for the country.

Before his death in 2012 from a heart attack at age 43, Andrew Breitbart launched Breitbart.com, Breitbart.tv and other related sites, which furthered right wing narratives such as “Scary Brown People” and “Corporations Good, Government Bad.” During President Barack Obama‘s administration, Breitbart helped to push anti-Obama and anti-Democratic Party stories, many of which were at least partially fake or based on doctored videos (i.e., propaganda), but which got picked up by the major news media and became the news, with marvelous results for the GOP. Among the best-known stories flogged by Breitbart were:

Donald Trump’s shaky start

Anti-Trump protest in New York City, Nov. 12, 2016

Anti-Trump protest in New York City, Nov. 12, 2016

Donald Trump was able to get away with pretty much anything while campaigning for president, from admissions of sexually predatory behavior to numerous false statements. Now that he’s the president-elect, however, Trump is discovering that preparing to govern is something very different from campaigning. Trump has already gotten into a bunch of sticky or questionable situations just days after the election:

Will Donald Trump drop out of the presidential race?

Donald Trump speaking in Cedar Rapids, IA on July 28, 2016

Donald Trump speaking in Cedar Rapids, IA on July 28, 2016

After Donald Trump‘s disastrous last couple of weeks, not just the polls but events seem to be moving quickly against him. First, it was reported that key Republicans close to Trump, such as Newt Gingrich and Rudolf Giuliani, along with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, were going to stage an “intervention” with Trump. Now, however, some Republicans, such as Gingrich and Giuliani, are saying there is no intervention. If not, it may be because Republicans are moving on to the next step. What was almost unthinkable just days ago is now the subject of open speculation: will Republicans try to force Donald Trump out of the presidential race and replace him with someone more palatable?  Is that possible? If so, how it would work? Or will Trump get fed up and just quit?

Democrats take patriotism back from the Republicans

Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Beginning in 1980 and throughout his presidency, Ronald Reagan appropriated the idea of patriotism and America and planted it firmly with the Republican Party. This week, however, at their national convention and with a big boost from Donald Trump, the Democratic Party and their presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took patriotism back.

The Democrats’ day of unity

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at 2008 Orlando, Florida rally

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at 2008 Orlando, Florida rally

President Barack Obama formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States via video on Thursday. The video was released after Obama met with Bernie Sanders at the White House, at Sanders’ request. Obama’s endorsement of Clinton was part of a dramatic series of events orchestrated to celebrate and build upon Clinton’s clinching of the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, and to showcase a newfound unity in the Democratic Party in support of Clinton.

Reasons 1-5 why Bernie Sanders is losing the Democratic presidential nomination

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

The term the pundits are using now to describe Bernie Sanders‘ chances of winning the Democratic Party presidential nomination is “nearly impossible.” Looking at the cold hard math of the Democratic Party nomination process, especially the proportional rather than winner-take-all awarding of state “pledged” delegates, we agree. If Hillary Clinton does capture the requisite majority of delegates as expected, the blame game will begin as to why Sanders lost. Here, in no particular order, are the first five reasons for Sanders’ failure:

How Scalia’s death could help Hillary Clinton

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It is said that voters vote with their hearts in the primaries and with their heads in the general election. However, the death of right wing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at age 79 might cut that process short. In particular, in the Democratic primaries, Scalia’s death may focus voters’ attention on using their heads and  strategy, which may be more associated with Hillary Clinton, and less on Clinton’s aspirational competitor, Bernie Sanders. Here are several reasons why: