Posts tagged ‘donald trump’

A Study of Experience

Elected Federal Offices held by U.S. Presidents

*in my lifetime, born in 1953

Joe Biden – 36 years senator from Delaware, 8 years VP under Obama

Donald Trump – none

Barak Obama – 3 years as senator from Illinois

George H. Bush – none

Bill Clinton – none

George H.W. Bush –8 years VP under Reagan

Ronald Reagan – none

Jimmy Carter – none

Gerald Ford – 25 years Representative from Michigan, 2 years VP under Nixon

Richard Nixon- 4 years Representative from California, 2 years senator, 8 years VP under Eisenhower

Lyndon Johnson- 10 years Representative from Texas, 7 years as senator from Texas, 3 years VP under Kennedy

John Kennedy – 6 years Representative from Massachusetts, 6 years senator from Massachusetts

Dwight Eisenhower – none

For what its worth; many say Biden has been around too long … I understand that.  Yet, you have to go back to Gerald Ford to find close to as much experience in elective Federal office, and even Ford’s presidency was an unusual circumstance.  Maybe its time we see some of this Federal experience might just pay off.


That Kid

It’s the last day before the election.  Here’s my last take.  If you’ve read my thoughts before, this will be no surprise.

Go back to your childhood years and remember something for me.

You had a pile of kids in your neighborhood you played with. They were pretty much ordinary – a few nerds, a few jocks, and lots of them in the middle. I bet you can name at least a dozen who you played tag with, or some touch football, or riding bikes all around town. Really – recall some of those names for yourself.  Remember their faces, their parents.  Their nicknames.  They had pets you can still name, even after all these years.  Mostly nice kids who helped create a good community to grow up with.

And there were the times you ‘d break out the board games and you’d play.  Monopoly.  Mousetrap.  Aggravation.  Parcheesi.  What were your favorite things to do with your friends?  It was fun, wasn’t it?

Except for . . .

That one kid in the neighborhood who pushed things around.  Outside, this kid was the one who would ride by on his bike, grab your hat and throw it in the ditch.  This kid would hear his mother calling when it was his turn to be ‘it’.  At board game time, this was the kid who ‘accidentally’ bumped the table to throw off the pieces just as the game was ending.  The kid who managed to ‘misplace’ the marble for the Mousetrap game when his mouse was under the cage.  The kid who shifted houses and hotels around on Monopoly when no one was looking.  The kid who would then make these instances look like some other kid had been pulling a fast one.  The kid wasn’t smart or dumb – he wasn’t from either side of the tracks. He just had this way about him.

Sooner or later, you and your friends really hoped this kid would move away.    

And that is where I am with Donald Trump.  He’s “that kid” to me. I never hated that kid in our home town, and I don’t hate President Trump.  Just like that kid in our home town, I just wish he would move away.

How to Give Up a Salary and Make it Look Magnanimous – But Not Really.

trump     charitable giving

One specific plus cited about President Trump is that he has donated the salary for the job.
Yes, wonderful. You can do a lot with that much money. Such stuff is indeed noteworthy, but let’s look further.

First, let’s say you get a job that pays quite well — let’s say $400,000.

You return that salary, because, let’s face it, you are independently wealthy, popularly considered to be worth at least a billion dollars. You don’t really need that money, so donating it somewhere is easy.

Next, you are allowed to take trips on your boss’s credit card. Let’s say those trips cost 1.6 million dollars, on average, for each flight. You do this at least once a month. In a year, that’s almost 20 million dollars.

You have just spent five times as much as you have on trips as you have donated in your salary.

Let’s review.

Before you got that job, you were already a billionaire. You didn’t need that 400,000-dollar salary at all. (As a matter of fact, that figure is .04% of what you have.) And in that job, you have taken a good many vacation weekends at the expense of your boss amounting to five times that salary.

Giving up that salary is about as impressive as a retired couple I know (on a fixed income of around $80,000 a year) giving $3.20 a year to charity.

No matter how wonderful that retired couple might be, I can’t say I’m impressed with their charitable giving . . . and no matter how wonderful President Trump may be, I can’t say I’m impressed with his charitable giving, either.


Presidential CRINGE

president heads

He is the president. He’s my president, and yours, too. He was elected by our laws and duly inaugurated, so on paper, he’s the president. Now, that’s just the raw fact – all talk of Russian influence and “He’s not my president” aside, I continue.

The office of president is revered. The creation of the institution of the President of the United States was a break from the idea of kings, of autocratic rulers. It is a position of great power, of great influence that has existed since the late 1700s. The entire world has looked at past presidents with awe and wonder at the leadership exhibited by our presidents.

We have video of George Bush reading to elementary students. We have Barack Obama singing AMAZING GRACE. We have Ronald Reagan challenging Mr. Gorbachev to tear down a wall. We have Jimmy Carter, forty years out of office, working to build homes for Habitat for Humanity. We have LBJ signing a civil rights bill. We have Nixon opening relations with China. We have many citizens who have served in the Peace Corps because JFK saw the need and pushed it into being. We have Eisenhower building an interstate highway system. We have the calming effects of fireside chats on that new-fangled radio with FDR. These are some of our past presidents providing reasons why the office of the President of the United States has become so respected and revered.

But I Cringe to watch our president. Cringe. With a capital C.

This man presently holding the office in the last eight months has soiled that office with his words, his lack of fruitful actions, and his disregard for the history that those past presidents have provided.

Shall I enumerate them? Where do you want to start? There’s a long list. Say what you want to about the latest storm (his Charlottesville comments; versions 1,2 and 3), but since January 20, 2017, there’s been one bizarre circumstance after the other of which Charlottesville is just the end of the list.

While the president tweets about fake news, young children are awaiting the school year to start where they experience old textbooks and crumbling buildings. While the president blusters about a wall, our soldiers wonder if they’ll be sent into a military (possibly nuclear) conflict. While the president gets in several rounds of golf while on vacation, there has been no bill passed that addresses the bridges, roads, utilities and other infrastructure needs across our fifty states. While the president listens to some people who have zero experience in government (at any level at all), any kind of tax reform sits and decays. While he disparages women, health care dies on the floor of congress several times.

And energy. And labor. And international diplomacy. And budgets. These matters – these routine matters, are not given their necessary attention. Never mind the promises (walls, jobs, being the greatest everything possible) made by the president during his campaign that have yet to even receive a start, much less been realized.

It is time for the talking heads (whether in the media or in congress or in gathering places across the country from the small restaurants on main street to board rooms in corporate offices) to call for the present man in the office of President of the United States (Donald Trump) to live up to the standards that we have seen from past presidents.

And if he can’t do that, get out.