Obama thinks he’s a leader … First Lady unfairly criticized … former State Dept. official issued subpoena on dossier … name in memory … and Washington governor suffers blow to authority

Here are my observations on items in the news.

QUESTIONING OBAMA’S LEADERSHIP – While many of us continue to question the leadership of former President Obama during his tenure, he seems to think he’s still a leader. Appearing with Prince Harry, who was guest hosting a BBC radio program, he said, “All of us in leadership have to find ways to recreate a common space on the Internet.” Without mentioning President Trump by name, he alluded to him by saying that people in leadership roles must be careful in their use of social media and warned against spending too much time immersed in the Internet at the expense of the world outside.

First Lady Melania Trump selfie. (politicalhotwire.com)

THE FIRST LADY Melania Trump, took two hits this week. Her selfie wearing a Santa hat was panned as “disgraceful” and “tacky.” Funny … that’s how I would describe the person who Tweeted those comments. Get a life, folks.

THE SLATEST on Tuesday no doubt headlined a piece, “Melania Trump Orders Removal of Damaged, 200-Year-Old Tree from White House Lawn,” just for shock effect, because the first paragraph correctly explained that she made the decision “following expert reports that it was too damaged to stay in place.” The Slatest attributed the story to CNN.

BUT CNN POLITICS on-line simply headlined its piece, “Iconic White House Tree to be cut down, and didn’t mention the First Lady until its fifth paragraph, where it read, “The decision to remove the tree was ultimately made by first lady Melania Trump after she assessed all of the professional information and accompanying historical documents.”

MORE QUESTIONS are surfacing on that mysterious Trump dossier. It is generally believed that the FBI used it to draft its surveillance request from the FISA court. Now we learn that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has issued a subpoena to David Kramer (no relation), a former State Department official who, in late November 2016, traveled to London to receive a briefing and a copy of the dossier from its author, former British spy Christopher Steele.

Upon his return to the U.S., Kramer gave the document to none other than Sen. John McCain. Kramer is a senior fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. One might question McCain’s motives, as he was the subject of harsh personal insults by Trump.

McCain, who later took a copy of the dossier to then FBI Director James Comey, learned that the FBI already had been receiving it installments from Steele since early July 2016.

AS A FOLLOW-UP TO MY POST of December 26, 2017, in which I cited my belief that naming a terminal at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport after Sen. John McCain, while a worthy consideration put forth by well-meaning individuals, should be done in his memory after his passing.

Earlier this year, I wrote of the renaming of one of Phoenix’s main arteries, State Hwy 51, known for years as Squaw Peak, to Piestewa Peak in honor of Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, the first known Native American woman to die in combat.

Worthy of consideration? Yes, however, then Gov. Janet Napolitano ignored the ruling of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names that required a waiting period of five years after a person’s death prior to renaming a geographic feature, directing the State Board to approve the change. Signage was changed. Five years later the U.S. Board and voted 11-2 to approve of the name change, but indicated that the name Squaw Peak may still be used in publications as a secondary reference.  Most people still refer to the highway as Squaw Peak.

You may recall that an overzealous President Lyndon Johnson issued an executive order just six days after President John Kennedy’s assassination, to change the name of Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy much to the dismay of Floridians. Ten years later, the name Cape Canaveral was restored to that area of Florida, and the NASA launch facility there became the Kennedy Space Center.

WASHINGTON STATE GOVERNOR Jay Inslee found that he couldn’t use his executive powers as former President Obama did to dictate cuts in fossil fuel emissions, according to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal. After lawmakers declined to pass his cap-in-trade legislation, and voters rejected a carbon tax ballot measure, the governor attempted to act unilaterally, but he suffered a major blow when a Washington court ruled that he exceeded his authority under state law.

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