Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Dignity and Restraint

Khizr Khan of Charlottesville was responding to the controversy surrounding Donald Trump and America’s Gold Star families and, while he may not speak for all of them, his remarks were: “Dignity and restraint.”

Dignity and restraint … that, he said, was what was missing from Trump’s ongoing back-and-forth with fallen hero La David Johnson’s family.

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Trump ‘Punches Back,’ Searches for Primary Challenger Against Jeff Flake

Bearing Drift colleague Andrew Hull brought up a sticky subject Sunday in a post where he noted, “My message to my fellow conservatives is simply this: acting as though Trump is infallible does both him and the country a disservice. … It seems, however, that a large portion of the Republican Party and conservatives have devolved into a group of yes men who perpetually have their lips welded to the President’s posterior, come what may.”

Today I am wondering what message is being sent to rank-and-file Republicans as the news spreads that Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) may be targeted by the White House itself for a primary in his 2018 re-election.

From Politico:

The White House has met with at least three actual or prospective primary challengers to Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in recent weeks, a reflection of Donald Trump’s strained relations with the senator and the latest sign of the president’s willingness to play hardball with lawmakers who cross him — even Republican incumbents.

At a time when it would be expected that Flake, 54, would be heralded for standing up for his principles and applauded for refusing to be a yes man, he is instead facing a challenge with the help of Donald Trump who has reportedly threatened to spend $10 million of his own money against Flake:

Flake, a longtime Trump critic who refused to endorse the president during the 2016 campaign, is one of a handful of undecided Republican votes on the Obamacare repeal effort. He’s also one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why elected officials continue falling all over themselves to get in line behind Trump. We can expect it to be that way until, and if, a united front emerges of courageous and energetic leaders willing to return the GOP to the party of Lincoln.

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Low Polling Numbers Plague Trump, Congress

Being Republican means walking on egg shells these days as an atmosphere permeates the party that pointing out the obvious is frowned upon. But when national polling numbers continue to show the GOP and its president’s approval ratings in the cellar, there has to be concern and questions about the direction the party is going.

Quinnipiac’s latest poll released Wednesday, compiled before the firing of FBI Director James Comey, continues the bad approval ratings that have been rolling out of D.C. The president’s approval rating is 35 percent, down five points from April 19, with a whopping 58 percent disapproval.

Perhaps one of the starkest revelations was the sharp drop of support with Independents who gave the president a 29 percent approval rating, down 10 points since April 19. That means 63 percent of Independent voters disapprove of this president.

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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.”

“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.”

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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.

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U.S. House Reverses Earlier Ethics Vote


Tuesday saw the Republican U.S. House walk back the changes to the Ethics Office that had been approved the day before. Perhaps it was because of the behind-closed-doors secrecy, or maybe the timing at the opening of the 115th U.S. Congress. Maybe it was the words ethics office, or the swift and extremely negative headlines. Or maybe it was a negative tweet from the incoming president.  Whatever it was, the proposed rules change was scrapped.

On Monday Politico was among the first to expose the move to change to ethics oversight, writing, “Despite a warning from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republicans adopted a proposal by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.”

Late Monday as news leaked out, the headlines blared. The Washington Post blasted, House Republicans vote to rein in independent ethics office. The New York Times blasted, With No Warning, House Republicans Vote to Gut Independent Ethics Office. Politico’s headline shouted, House Republicans Gut Their Own Oversight. It was all over the TV news and social media.
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Trump Tweets Petty New Year’s Eve Message

For all to read, a New Year’s Eve message was tweeted on December 31, 2016, by Donald Trump who will take over the reins as president of the United States in three weeks:

Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!

His message, which could have been positive and uplifting as he prepares to enter the White House, is instead a mockery of his opponents.

Then there’s the optimism of President George W. Bush’s New Year’s Eve message on December 31, 2002, less than four months after the 9/11 terrorism attacks on America:

The past year has been a time of achievement, progress, and renewed hope for the American people. As our citizens continue to demonstrate a spirit of resolve and unity, we are building a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility that strengthens our country and offers hope to those in need. To counter new threats, we are enhancing security at home, and we are part of the global coalition against terrorism that has made significant progress in opposing the forces of tyranny and oppression.

We will continue our efforts to secure America, win the war on terrorism, focus on education, promote compassion, create new jobs, and ensure the economic security of all our citizens. As we move forward into the New Year, I encourage all Americans to give thanks to the Almighty for His many blessings, and to join with me in reaffirming our commitment to helping people around the world achieve peace and freedom.

At the dawn of this New Year, America is a land of justice, liberty, and tolerance. We will work together to build on our successes and embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a Happy New Year. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States.


The President offered optimism, gave thanks to God for his blessings, and sent best wishes for the New Year while asking God to continue to bless America. That’s leadership. That’s what would be nice to see in the New Year.

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Chris Christie for RNC Chair?

chris-christie-1New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is eyeing the Republican National Committee (RNC) chair position after current chair Reince Priebus accepted a position in the Donald Trump administration as chief of staff, according to Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt.

Isenstadt noted, “One person said the governor had embarked on an aggressive, ‘full-court press’ in hopes of getting the chairmanship. Christie began seriously considering the job over the last week and has concluded that he would be a solid fit, several of his aides said.”

The consideration of Christie, who was recently eased out of Trump’s transition, interestingly after the conviction of Christie’s former aides over “Bridgegate,” is not the first name that comes to mind when thinking RNC chair:

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Was 9/12/09 March on D.C. Beginning of Road to Trump Presidency?

dc-march-1More than half a million Americans gathered at the Nation’s Capitol on September 12, 2009.

There are many reasons why Donald Trump won  the 2016 presidential election but some could say that his rise to power began on September 12, 2009, when hundreds of thousands of Americans peacefully marched on Washington, D.C. and gathered at the nation’s capitol to show their disappointment in President Barack Obama’s desire to implement Obamacare.

dc-march-2I emphasize peacefully because it was a genial crowd facing the very real possibility of the government taking away their control of their health insurance and, indeed, three months after the march that fear became reality. Congress, in a late-night session, basically jammed the bill down the throats of Americans who, while researching the contents of the legislation, were told by then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi that it had to be passed before they could find out what was in it.

But that wasn’t the only legislation Obama had hastily embarked upon immediately after entering office. As Bearing Drift colleague Jay McConville wrote:

Soon after his inauguration President Obama went right at the heart of his opponents, supported by majorities in the House and Senate, and pursued high visibility legislation such as the massive expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, an extended Automobile Industry Bailout, and the Public Land Management Act of 2009, which added 2 million acres of land to the National Wilderness Preservation System.

He also suspended detentions at Guantanamo Bay, promising to close it in one year, lifted restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (a hot-button issue of the Bush years) and abandoned the Mexico City Policy, which banned federal grants to international groups that provided abortions. His administration went on a regulatory tear, later described by Obama himself as an “audacious regulatory agenda.”

He lectured Americans on a host of contentious social issues, and presented himself, and the left, as the morale arbiters of our society. Boldest of all was the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) in which he promised “shovel ready jobs” and which contained more pork than American’s had ever imagined (remember “Cash for Clunkers?”). The passage of that bill, and others tied to it, led directly to the creation of the Tea Party movement and the engagement of millions of Americans, once uninterested, in the political process so as to “save America” from this leftist tsunami.

Yeah. Trump’s road to the presidency began then. We didn’t know it, of course. In fact, when Obama surprisingly won a second term in 2012, it seemed the sleeping giant was permanently snoozing.

Last week the giant awakened with a roar.

dc-march-3Those protesting Trump’s election are within their right; after all, Trump spent eighteen months making enemies of one-half of the country.

However, riots and vandalism are not the answer, and in America we don’t have do-overs for the presidential election. In 2008 and 2012 conservative friends were fearful of Obama. Now the left is fearful of Trump. It happens every election cycle. The temptation to respond to someone ruling with an iron fist, which was how Obama went into office, is to strike back with an iron fist. Much of the radical agenda from the past eight years may now be in danger of being rolled back.

Which takes me back to that March on D.C. in 2009 with the sea of fiscal conservatives that converged on Washington. Standing at the capitol, there were people as far as the eye could see. It was an exercise in First Amendment rights, a protest. It was not a riot. No statues were spray-painted with hateful remarks. No property was destroyed. There wasn’t even any trash afterward as ralliers picked up behind themselves and left behind overflowing trash barrels but no trash on the nation’s mall or around the capitol or on Constitution Avenue.

Sadly, Trump, the savior that those disenfranchised Americans decided to support, is not a statesman but has proven to be a very divisive figure; indeed, he wasn’t even a Republican when the 9/12 march took place.  The “election autopsy” that the GOP did on itself after their loss in 2012 was basically tossed out the door when Trump rode into town.

dc-march-5-2Nonetheless, Trump is now the president-elect and deserves the opportunity to show what he can do to govern a divided nation. Will he be mindful of the side that didn’t support him as George W. Bush was after the extended election of 2000, or will he pursue a one-sided agenda like Obama in 2009?

America will soon find out.

Here are more photos from the 9/12/09 march.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 12, 2009

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

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Trump Campaign Calls It Quits in Virginia

Donald Trump 16Virginians woke Thursday morning to the news that the Donald Trump campaign was moving out of Virginia.

The timing is interesting considering former Trump state co-chairman Corey Stewart was fired Monday after promoting and attending a protest rally against the Republican National Committee that was not sanctioned by the campaign. As poll after poll showed Trump trailing his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, was it Stewart who was encouraging the campaign to remain in the Commonwealth?

The Washington Post noted the move “stunned staff in the battleground state” and added:

The decision came from Trump’s headquarters in New York and was announced on a conference call late Wednesday that left some Republican Party operatives in the state blindsided. Two staffers directly involved in the GOP’s efforts in Virginia confirmed the decision.

The move to pull out of Virginia shows Trump is “running essentially a four state campaign,” with the focus now shifting to battlegrounds critical to his chances in November: Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, a source with knowledge of the decision told NBC News.

Stewart, caught off guard along with other Trump supporters and staff, told the Post:

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The Snake

In the midst of the latest Donald Trump fallout after revelations of the tape with Trump’s disgusting comments about women, a song came to mind. The words to Al Wilson’s “The Snake,” a 1969 song that at the time was associated with unfaithful men, began playing in the back of my head. Sadly for the Republican Party, the words hit home. 2016 … the year we will never forget.

The Snake

On her way to work one morning
Down the path along side the lake
A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Poor thing, ” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”

“Take me in tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk
And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk
She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken to had been revived

“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful, ” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight
Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite

“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

“I saved you, ” cried the woman
“And you’ve bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman, ” said the reptile with a grin

“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake.

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Hey Donald Trump — my uncle’s family received Purple Heart after his death

Purple Heart“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.” –Donald Trump (August 2, 2016)

My uncle died in France in the closing weeks of World War II. His family was presented a Purple Heart for his ultimate sacrifice.

I have often heard that my grandmother never got over the loss of her son.

What Donald Trump said stuns me.

Sadly, the Trump beat goes on….


Trump Says It’s Too Far From Alaska But What’s the Real Reason Palin Will Not Be in Cleveland?

Donald Trump, Sarah Palin 1For those Sarah Palin fans out there who were hoping to see her at the Republican National Convention, forget it. She’s not going to attend.


Yep, you heard that right. It’s too far for her to travel from Alaska to Cleveland so she’s staying home. At least, that’s what The Donald himself was quoted as saying:

“She was asked,” Donald Trump told the Washington Examiner in an interview Thursday. “It’s a little bit difficult because of where she is. We love Sarah. Little bit difficult because of, you know, it’s a long ways away.”

Wait. Sarah endorsed The Donald. She hit some campaign stops with him. And now she’s not going to make the trip to Cleveland?

The Washington Examiner noted it was an 11-hour flight for Palin to travel from Alaska to Ohio.

If that’s too far, then how was it that earlier this year she traveled throughout the lower 48, including a March Florida Trump rally in Tampa, to help her guy?

By my unscientific calculations, Alaska to Florida is a distance of roughly 3,800 miles or approximately 13 hours in the air … so we’re to believe she was willing to travel a greater distance to campaign than to speak at the nominating convention of the candidate she supported?

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Trump fails to fill Richmond Coliseum for Friday campaign rally

Pictures and reports show that the Donald Trump rally in Richmond, Virginia, Friday night failed to fill the 12,000-seat Coliseum. This is a campaign that is used to turning people away at the door.

Here are Tweets with photos leading up to and after the rally began (see PHOTOS: Donald Trump’s Richmond rally draws unusually small crowd).

The Hill reported, ” ‘This arena is 25 percent full at best. No line outside either,’ the tweet said, with 30 minutes until the scheduled start time”  (see Trump’s Virginia rally draws smaller crowd).

Some reports said the crowd filled one-quarter to one-half of the venue, far below its maximum seating. The Washington Post wrote, “A half-full coli­seum erupted into Indian war whoops as Donald Trump called a U.S. senator ‘Pocahontas’ on Friday at a rally here, where the mogul-candidate was back to his teleprompter-free ways” (see Trump apologizes for Pocahontas remark — to Pocahontas).

There will surely be more on this as pundits speculate on the reasons Trump was off his mark in Virginia’s capital city.

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Bernie Sanders says what many are thinking

“It is unbelievable to me, and I say this with all sincerity, that the Republican Party would have a candidate for president, who in the year 2016 makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign.” –U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (June 9, 2016, remarks at press conference after meeting with President Barack Obama)

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