Category Archives: National Politics

President Loses Interest In Negotiating Trumpcare, Willing to Leave Obmacare as Law

After two months in office, Donald Trump appeared to be giving up on his vow to supporters to repeal and replace Obamacare with his Thursday night ultimatum. Congress, he said, was to pass the Republican version of health care aka Trumpcare, or he was going to move on to the next item on his to-do list.

Never mind that many feel that this process is eerily reminiscent of eight years ago when Obamacare was jammed down the throats of unwilling Americans, and Nancy Pelosi infamously said the bill had to be passed before we could know what was in it. Conservatives were livid. They marched on D.C. to protest. They showed up at town halls to express their displeasure.

It did no good. Democrats passed Obamacare because they were in control and outvoted the dissenting Republicans. That was in December 2009, eleven months after Obama took office as president. It was a stunning rebuke of the opposite party and an obviously unhappy electorate.  At mid-term Democrats paid a huge price.

Fast forward to today — Friday, March 24, 2017. Perhaps it’s fitting that today is cold with rain and sleet in the nation’s capital because the reality was an ultimatum had been issued from the White House. It was now or never on health care.  That could work either way: jump on board, or dig in heels against the bill. With a vote scheduled for this afternoon, the morning hours were spent whipping up additional votes to try and pass the legislation that has been deemed ObamacareLite by those familiar with the bill.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Why Are Fox News Watchers Calling For Anchor Shepard Smith’s Head?

On Monday afternoon and then again on Tuesday, Shepard Smith was right there in his anchor chair at Fox News Channel’s top-rated Shepard Smith Reporting. So much for the rumors of his demise. Over the weekend, some Fox viewers were calling for the chief news anchor’s head over at the fair and balanced network.

Smith, who is also manager of the network’s breaking news division and has been with Fox since its inception in 1996, was frustrated last week at the never-ending news of Russian connections with members of the Trump administration, and the lack of answers forthcoming from the White House.

After it was learned on Thursday that fired national security advisor Michael Flynn had just registered as a foreign agent for Turkey, Smith’s exasperation overflowed when he bluntly blurted out that there was too much smoke, too much Russia, and too much lying going on.

That was apparently more than some Fox News supporters could bear, and now they are beating the drum to see Smith dismissed, spreading fake news that he had already been removed or was about to be removed.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

George W. Bush Addresses Media, Travel Ban, Russia on ‘Today Show’


In 2006, after 10 minutes of hilarious self-deprecating humor, President George W. Bush ended his remarks at the White House Correspondents Dinner by thanking his side-kick, comedian Steve Bridges, and the dinner attendees with these words: “I want to thank Steve for being part of this fun evening. As most of my predecessors have known, it’s really important to be able to laugh in this job, and I thank you for giving us the chance to laugh with you tonight.”

“It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.” -President George W. Bush (February 27, 2017)

Former President George W. Bush sat down with Matt Lauer on the “Today Show” on Monday, and answered some tough questions head-on. For a president who stays in the background and refuses to be critical of current or past presidents, this time he was frankly honest as he responded to issues currently plaguing the Donald Trump administration.

Even as Trump’s war on the media continues and even ramps up, the video above reminds of the self-deprecating humor of George W. Bush during his years in the White House. As he noted in the video, “As most of my predecessors have known, it’s really important to be able to laugh in this job, and I thank you for giving us the chance to laugh with you tonight.” This was after he had been excoriated by the press and Democrats for six years; yet, he did not stay away from the correspondents’ annual dinner or stand them up. He played along, and was hilarious while doing so.

Here, in a nut shell, are the subjects touched on with Matt Lauer, as compiled by my journalist sister.

On the questions of RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE in the presidential election last year and Trump team contacts:
“I think we all need answers … I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”

On the TRAVEL BAN:
“I think it’s very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship the way they want to or to not worship at all. A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.

“I understood right off the bat that this was an ideological conflict and people who murder the innocent are not religious people — they want to advance an ideology and we have faced those kinds of ideologues in the past.

“I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law.”

On Trump attacks on the FREE PRESS:
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account… Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse power, whether it be here or elsewhere… It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.”

Tagged , , , ,

Liberal Pundit Alan Colmes Has Passed Away at 66

alan-colmes-1Alan Colmes has passed away at the age of 66.

Anyone else remember “Hannity and Colmes,” the point-counterpoint debate-style talk show that aired in the evenings in the early days of Fox News when they presented pro and con sides of an issue? On the show that was on from 1996-2009, far right conservative Sean Hannity would square off against far left liberal Alan Colmes to discuss any- and everything political.

The show was entertaining and, while I normally did not agree with Colmes’ side of the discussion, he offered the other side of issues. However, it was kind of unsettling to see Hannity talk over Colmes as he responded, drilling into him when he tried to make a point. They finally parted ways, and Colmes went on to host a radio show for the Fox network while Hannity remained as the sole host of the TV show.

A little known fact is that Colmes’ sister-in-law was conservative commentator Monica Crowley who often appeared with Hannity and Colmes. His wife was Crawley’s sister, Dr. Jocelyn Crowley, who is a professor of public policy at Rutgers University.

No cause of death has been shared. RIP, Alan Colmes.

 

Tagged , ,

The Maverick Rides Again

john-mccain-1This is long but an excellent read about Senator John McCain as the elder statesman of the Republican Party (see How Many Chances Do You Get to Be an American Hero?).

I met someone recently who made a comment that we needed to remove people like McCain from the party. I disagreed because the GOP needs those who are willing to speak out, even when it’s uncomfortable — and I have certainly not agreed with McCain about everything throughout the years.

His time as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, mocked during the 2016 presidential campaign by Donald Trump who did not serve in the military, shaped and influenced McCain’s path for the rest of his life.

“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s,” he said during his nomination acceptance speech at the 2008 Republican convention. “I loved it for its decency, for its faith in the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again; I wasn’t my own man anymore; I was my country’s.”

He is and has been America’s hawk with Russia which, amazingly, puts him sideways with the current administration. And lest anyone think he is picking on Trump, he has been the checks-and-balances, some would say thorn in the side, for each Republican president. He’s not called the Maverick for nothing.

Right now, as McCain stands up to the current situation in D.C., he is mostly alone. Writer Gabriel Sherman said, “I asked McCain why most of his fellow Republicans aren’t speaking up about Russia’s election interference and Trump’s potential Russian ties. ‘I frankly don’t know,’ he said. ‘It’s not a chapter of Profiles in Courage.’ “

Tagged

This Conservative Defends Journalists

Over the weekend we had this:

I’m not a journalist.  Journalists go to universities to learn their trade, intern with publications, sometimes spend years working their way up through the ranks, and hone their craft in whatever arm of the media they work. Their study includes ethics along with checks-and-balances and accountability. We may not agree with them all the time, but they have standards to adhere to, and must answer for unethical actions.

My sister is a journalist with a master’s degree. I’ve seen her journey through the years. She is #NotTheEnemy.

Continue reading

Tagged

What Is Going On In D.C.?

immigration-1

Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) issued a statement in response to being excluded from a meeting in the U.S. Capitol with Acting Director Thomas Homan of ICE.  Rep. Gutiérrez was asked to leave the meeting by staffers for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) at the request of Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Speaker Ryan.  Several other Members were excluded from the meeting with the ICE official, including Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Lou Correa (D-CA), Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Norma Torres (D-CA), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).

One common denominator for those excluded representatives appears to be that they are all Democrats.

Continue reading

1939, and 2017

ship-2While in my 20s, I read the book, “Voyage of the Damned,” about the 1939 voyage of the MS St. Louis that carried just under 1,000 German Jews to Cuba in hopes of escaping Hitler’s murderous rampage against European Jews. When Cuba refused to accept them, they tried the U.S. but were also turned away. In the end, 600 of the 937 passengers lost their lives in Nazi concentration camps. America gave in to isolationism until we were attacked on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.

I have often wondered in the years since where I would have been in 1939, ideologically. Would I have agreed with banning the Jewish immigrants, or would I have been against the government’s decision? I wanted to believe I would have been more compassionate.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Republicans Are From Mars, Democrats Are From Venus

gop-5

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” – Thomas Jefferson

We are a polarized country. The 2016 presidential campaign saw the popular vote go to the Democratic candidate while the electoral vote went to the Republican. Now, two weeks after Republican Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, the two sides seem further apart than ever with neither listening to the other. They are shouting past each other on a daily basis.

The lack of understanding from both sides reminds of the very popular 1990s novel, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” that explored the differences between men and women.

I was talking with a friend today about the state of current politics, noting that I had never seen the country so divided. And then I stopped, thought a moment, and said, “But when George W. Bush was elected, everyone was polarized, and then it continued into Barack Obama.” And she said, “I wrote a paper in college [for her political science class] on how polarized the country was at that time.”

That was in the 1980s.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Letter to Donald Trump From Courageous Dr. Russell Moore

russell-moore-1Not only is there a split in the country during these polarizing days but there is a split within the evangelical community. We all know the Franklin Grahams and others very publicly supported Donald Trump and delivered their flocks for him. Less known are the men who stood up to their religious peers — Dr. Russell Moore who is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, pastor and author Max Lucado, Matt BarberDr. Michael Brown, and others.

As a Southern Baptist, I was grateful when Dr. Moore held onto his faith and sound ethics as reasons for not getting behind Donald Trump. You can bet he is now in a battle to save his position because, in the religious world just as in the political world, sharks are waiting. Because he didn’t climb on the band wagon but instead stood by his faith, he has a target on his back.

Which makes me even more grateful for the letter he wrote today to The Donald concerning the botched immigration ban that was enacted Friday by executive order and has caused mass confusion and chaos since.

Dr. Moore begins his letter with a reminder that Southern Baptists are on the front line caring for refugees:

In June 2016, the Southern Baptist Convention reaffirmed its decades-long commitment to care for and minister to refugees. The resolution states, “Scripture calls for and expects God’s people to minister to the sojourner.” Southern Baptist churches throughout the United States lead the way in carrying out this calling.

When Vietnam fell in the 1970s, my church in Richmond took in Vietnamese families who lived in church housing and had help finding jobs, becoming acclimated to their new lives, and learning English.  It is what we are called to do:

” ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ ” –Matthew 25:35-40

And so with that in mind, Dr. Moore continued:

The church’s commitment to welcoming the stranger has long been reflected in our country’s policies toward those fleeing persecution in their home countries. A commitment given voice through the inscription on our Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Indeed, as our country recalled on Friday, one of our nation’s darkest chapters was our refusal to allow European Jews fleeing the Third Reich to find safe harbor on American soil.

Ah, yes, the Voyage of the Damned — the MS St. Louis — with 900 Jews who were turned back from America’s shores in 1939 and then rejected by every other county it applied to, leaving it no choice but to return to the beginning of its journey. Two-thirds of the passengers perished in concentration  camps. The last ship allowed in, just before the St. Louis, had a young boy on board now known to the world as Dr. Henry Kissinger. I read the book Voyage of the Damned in my 20s and was impacted by the tragic events of that World War II event.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Obama 9, Trump 7, Executive Orders In First 10 Days

executive-orderOne reason the tea party rose up in 2009 was their alarm when Barack Obama signed numerous executive orders — nine in his first 10 days in office, 16 in January and February alone (see list here).

By March of 2009 tea party demonstrations were beginning to pop up nationwide, and in September of that year hundreds of thousands of anti-Obamacare protesters converged on the Capitol in what turned out to be the beginning of a movement that would lead to a Trump presidency.

As Donald Trump’s administration goes down that same path and the left rises up against the series of executive orders  streaming out of the White House — seven EOs in the first 10 days — there appears to be GOP amnesia about what happened eight years earlier. Déjà vu. The 2018 mid-terms are right around the corner.

Here is the list of Obama’s executive orders for 2009 from the National Archives.

Continue reading

Commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.

martin-luther-king-2

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

–Martin Luther King Jr.

Tagged

He’s back: Bob Beckel Returns Today To ‘The Five’

bob-beckel-1

Bob Beckel, one of my favorite Democrats, is returning to “The Five” at Fox News.

This is good news. Bob and Dana Perino, along with Greg Gutfeld, Eric Bolling, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, made for entertaining and lively discussion each afternoon at 5:00 until Bob left. The long-time Democratic strategist went to CNN but was missed for his frank, down-to-earth contribution to whatever issue was being discussed.

In 2012, as the panel picked their favorite presidents of all time, Bob chose George W. Bush as one of his two favorites along with Democrat Jimmy Carter, both for humanitarian reasons. At the time I wrote:

But the big surprise of the day was Democrat Bob Beckel. After noting that he had two choices because they never receive recognition, he went on to say that Israel was our closest ally in the Middle East and Jimmy Carter was responsible for the Camp David Accords.

His second choice, Beckel went on, was George W. Bush for the good work and help provided for Africa to fight AIDs. Beckel noted that history will probably recognize this down the road because it is believed Bush helped save millions of lives, something he never receives recognition for. Beckel said, “He’s going to be recognized by this Democrat.”

It will be good to have that bipartisan thinking returned to “The Five.” Welcome back, Bob Beckel.

Tagged

A look back: Democrat Bob Beckel picks George W. Bush as one of two favorite presidents

Originally published on February 22, 2012.

“The Five” celebrated Presidents Day by choosing their favorite presidents. (See video.) This Fox News Channel show, made up of five rotating panelists, has them sitting around a table discussing the day’s events or top issues. I’ve actually found it to be very interesting at that 5:00 hour of the afternoon.

On Monday, Bob Beckel took the reins to ask each of his fellow “Five” members who was their favorite American president. George W. Bush was chosen by former Bush staffer Dana Perino. Ronald Reagan was chosen by Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld. Kimberly Guilfoyle chose Thomas Jefferson.

But the big surprise of the day was Democrat Bob Beckel. After noting that he had two choices because they never receive recognition, he went on to say that Israel was our closest ally in the Middle East and Jimmy Carter was responsible for the Camp David Accords.

His second choice, Beckel went on, was George W. Bush for the good work and help provided for Africa to fight AIDs. Beckel noted that history will probably recognize this down the road because it is believed Bush helped save millions of lives, something he never receives recognition for. Beckel said, “He’s going to be recognized by this Democrat.”

Bravo.

Tagged ,

Civil Rights leader Rep. John Lewis speaks at Monticello, receives Jefferson Medal

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Originally published April 13, 2015

??????????Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) was keynote speaker at Monticello’s commemoration of Thomas Jefferson’s 272nd birthday. (Video of birthday ceremony including the congressman’s remarks here.)

Lewis received the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership that recognizes contributions in architecture, law, and citizen leadership, qualities that Mr. Jefferson held in high esteem. As a young man 50 years ago, Mr. Lewis was a civil rights activist with 600 other activists who took part in the Selma-to-Montgomery march that was recently commemorated in Selma with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, both of whom he mentioned in his remarks.

From UVa President Teresa Sullivan: “The University of Virginia is proud to celebrate these leaders, who truly embody the ideals and spirit of Thomas Jefferson. These recipients not only exemplify premier talent in their fields, but also, like Jefferson, they provide essential leadership for our world in the areas of architecture, law and citizen leadership.”

Continue reading

Tagged , ,
The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

LynnRMitchell.com

Virginia politics and more