We aren’t alone in moving to the Metroplex!

This just in: My wife and I were part of a trend of those moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in 2018!

Who knew?

According to the Texas Tribune, the U.S. Census Bureau said more than 131,000 people moved to the D/FW area in 2017-18. The Metroplex remains the fastest-growing region in Texas, which is among the fastest-growing states in the nation.

In May 2018, my wife and I picked up our belongings and moved them to Fairview, a community tucked between Allen and McKinney in Collin County. Not satisfied with our living arrangement there, we then looked for a home to buy. We found one in Princeton, which also is in Collin County.

We have since learned a couple of things about Princeton. It is the fastest-growing community in Collin County and our investment here is going to accelerate rapidly over the next decade or so.

I have made no secret about why we moved from the Texas Panhandle to the Metroplex.

Is it at all possible that those other recent transplants to D/FW also have grandchildren they want to watch grow into adulthood?

Collusion is gone; obstruction of justice remains

Here is what I believe we can discern from Robert Mueller’s findings about Donald Trump’s conduct during the 2016 presidential campaign and its immediate aftermath.

The president didn’t collude or conspire to collude with Russians who wanted him to win that election. That allegation is now gone, giving Trump some ammo to fire at critics who are obsessed with he calls the “collusion delusion.”

However, obstruction of justice remains an open question. Mueller didn’t clear Trump of obstructing justice, despite what the president keeps saying. An obstruction of justice investigation, the way I see it, remains on the front burner — and it’s going to get real hot to the touch.

Therein likely lies the newest source of conflict between the Republican president and his Democratic foes in Congress.

Democratic House committee chairmen and women are likely to subpoena Mueller and Attorney General William Barr to ask them point blank about many matters relating to obstruction of justice. That’s their prerogative.

Democratic senators will seek to do the same thing, but they have this obstacle facing them known as partisan loyalty to the president among GOP senators who still control the flow of business in the upper legislative chamber.

I placed my faith in Mueller to do a thorough job of investigating this Russia matter. I believe he fulfilled his duty. I vowed to accept his findings, no matter where they came down. He has revealed them and I still accept them.

Moreover, I also accept the idea that Mueller appears to believe that obstruction of justice remains a live option for Congress to handle.

I urge all members of both congressional chambers to tread lightly and with extreme care as they walk through this explosive minefield. It looks to me as though the special counsel has handed them a live grenade shrouded in a potential “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Do it . . . for Lady Bird!

We have returned home to the Metroplex after a wonderful two-week sojourn through much of Texas and a good bit of Louisiana.

I want to revive one memory of that trip. The flowers pictured with this post are Texas bluebonnets, the official state flower. These particular blossoms greeted us at the gate of Pedernales Falls State Park, which is about a 15-minute drive from the grave of one Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of the 36th president of the United States.

I thought a lot of Mrs. Johnson as my wife and rolled through the South Plains and into the Hill Country en route to the Golden Triangle and then to New Orleans. You see, Mrs. Johnson made “beautification” the theme of her time as first lady.

We were informed on our trip that this spring has produced a glorious extravaganza of bluebonnets, Indian paint brush and assorted other wildflowers along our state highways. Lady Bird would be proud.

Then it occurred to me that some years ago — I cannot remember when, precisely — the Texas Legislature pondered whether to re-design the state’s license plates to include an image of a bluebonnet in full bloom. It’s the official state flower, yes? Yes!

So why not adorn our state license plates with this image?

As I recall, some legislators objected to the flower design because — and this can happen, one might argue, only in Texas — they thought the image lacked a certain machismo.

I happen to disagree with that notion.

I also believe the bluebonnets would make a wonderful symbol to grace both ends of our motor vehicles.

Lady Bird Johnson used the influence of her unelected office to advance the cause of gussying up this state — and the nation.

The flora my wife and I saw on our trip through Texas shows the glory of what Lady Bird intended. She succeeded.

Why not honor this dedicated Texan, legislators, by memorializing our license plates with the state flower?

Just set the macho crap aside and do the right thing.

Impeachment is a loser . . . at least for the time being

Elizabeth Warren needs to shake the rocks out of her noggin.

The Massachusetts senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination thinks the House of Representatives needs to commence impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump now.

Don’t wait, she said. Do it now. Immediately if not sooner.

Warren is aghast at the dishonesty, duplicity, deception and dissembling that special counsel Robert Mueller revealed in the Trump administration. It all starts rotting at the top, according to Warren.

So, let’s get on with it, she said.

Wait a minute. I know Sen. Warren is aware of this, but impeaching a president carries a huge political gamble. Is she really saying that she believes the Senate would convict Donald Trump of unspecified “high crimes and misdemeanors” if the House actually were to impeach him? Let’s get real.

I, too, am flabbergasted by what Mueller has revealed in his 448-page report. He didn’t find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian election hackers in 2016. He also declined to clear Trump of obstructing justice, saying Congress has the authority to act. Some of the language Mueller used in that report is scathing in its tone.

Let us face a hard reality, though, shall we?

The House can impeach with a simple majority. No sweat, given that Democrats now hold a comfortable majority in that chamber. But then the bar gets a whole lot higher in the Senate, which needs a two-thirds majority to convict the president of any impeachable offense. Republicans still hold a majority in the 100-seat Senate. Does anyone seriously believe that enough Republicans will abandon the president and join Democrats in convicting him? Pardon me while I laugh out loud.

House Democratic elders, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, understand the reality of impeaching this president. The House could approve articles of impeachment, but the current Senate isn’t going to finish the job.

The political recourse rests at the ballot box. It’s that simple. To send the president packing, Democrats have to nominate a candidate who can make the case that the nation deserves far better than it has gotten, according to Robert Mueller’s finding.

American voters will take care of the rest.

Trump: an unconventional former president, too?

Retirement has bestowed a lot of idle time on my hands, and my mind. Thus, I am able to spend a good bit of it pondering things that don’t usually concern most folks, such as those who are still working for a living.

For instance, I have begun pondering what kind of former president Donald John Trump will become once he vacates the White House for the final time.

Hey, I don’t think I am getting ahead of myself. His time is coming. It might be after one term; it might be sooner than that. Or it might be after — God help us! — a second term as president.

He’s been hands-down the most unconventional president in anyone’s memory. My creaky old bones tell me he’ll be an unconventional former president, too.

Do not expect to see Donald Trump devote his time to worthy causes. He didn’t have time prior to becoming president to devote a moment of effort other than to fattening his bank account. Self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement is this guy’s game.

He won’t build houses for poor folks around the world, as President Carter has done. He isn’t likely to establish a foundation aimed at furthering a whole host of causes worldwide, as President Clinton has done. Do not expect him to lend emotional support to our wounded veterans, as President George W. Bush has done. And don’t expect him to advance the cause of youthful empowerment, as President Obama is doing.

The late President Bush 41 vowed to remain quiet politically once he left office. He remained faithful to his pledge. President Nixon resigned in disgrace, but then emerged as a sort of elder statesman toward the end of his life while he sought to rebuild his shattered image after Watergate.

I suppose Donald Trump will continue to do whatever it is he did before he became president. He’ll wheel and deal for commercial property. He’ll play lots of golf at any of his posh resorts.

And oh yes . . . he’ll exercise his Twitter account.

I also am fairly confident in proclaiming that should Donald Trump lose his re-election effort in 2020 that he won’t go quietly into the night. Do you remember when Bill Clinton turned the White House over to George W. Bush and members of the 42nd president’s staff removed the “W” from keyboards inside the White House? The Bushkins were aghast. There well could be something of a scorched-Earth departure from the White House if Donald Trump happens to get beat next year.

Whenever his departure occurs, I do not expect this individual to slide gracefully into post-presidential retirement.

Ugghhh!

‘Fake news’ a product of Trump himself? Well, golly!

This is getting good.

As more details come out about special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report into collusion, obstruction and other matters, the more we learn about the “fake news” hoax that Donald Trump keeps alive.

Mueller seems to have concluded that the “fake news” Trump kept criticizing was quite true. The only fake news was coming from the Trump administration.

Imagine that, will ya?

Those of us who know better likely aren’t terribly surprised to hear this kind of thing from the special counsel. Trump is the godfather of “fake news,” given his own penchant for lying and as well as his defamation of others, such as lie he perpetuated about Barack Obama’s place of birth.

The matter about why he fired FBI director James Comey is a shining example of “fake news” originating from within the White House. White House press flack Sarah Sanders said Comey had lost confidence of his key aides within the FBI. Wrong! He was fired because of the Russia investigation.

Fake news!

Will any of this sink into Donald Trump’s thick, but vacuous skull? Heavens no! It still remains worthy of note.

Donald Trump is the King of Fake News. The media he loathes and calls the “enemy of the people” are doing what they need to do, which is expose Trump as the liar he has proven to be.

WH press flack: tailor-made for her job

Well now. What do you think about this?

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on his probe of The Russia Thing and alleged collusion and obstruction has disclosed that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is good at her job as White House press secretary.

By that I mean she is able to lie with a straight face. Just like her boss, the president of the United States.

It turns out that Mueller determined that Sanders lied when she told reporters that Trump fired FBI director James Comey because the FBI boss had lost credibility within the agency he led.

Her pants shoulda caught fire!

Lying ain’t cool

Comey had not lost any trust among his senior aides or rank-and-file agents. Trump fired him because he wouldn’t pledge loyalty to the president and wouldn’t go soft on his investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government operatives.

It turns out, too, that Sanders’s predecessor as White House flack, Sean Spicer, also lied about Comey’s performance as FBI director. So the two of them — Spicer and Sanders — appeared to do the president’s bidding.

The press secretary is ostensibly charged with telling the media the truth about what the executive branch of government is doing on our behalf. The press adviser talks to the media. He or she speaks for the president. The media then report to the nation and the world what the press secretary says on the president’s behalf. Yes, they question the press secretary, seeking answers to key questions.

The stories emanating from the White House, the press office and the Justice Department are getting murkier by the hour as the nation starts to digest the contents of the Mueller report.

We appear to be getting a clearer picture, though, of the individual who serves as spokeswoman for the president of the United States. Sarah Huckabee Sanders lies with the best of ’em.

‘No obstruction’? Not true, Mr. President

Robert Mueller’s report on “collusion” and “obstruction of justice” says the following: ” . . . if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

Donald Trump has declared, therefore, that the special counsel has determined “there was no collusion, no obstruction” of justice.

Yep. He said that. He also is mistaken.

Attorney General William Barr, though, agrees with the president, which I suppose isn’t surprising, given that Trump nominated him to the post.

The obstruction of justice door remains wide open, based on what I understand Mueller has determined.

It is true — and I accept his findings — that he didn’t have enough evidence to proceed with a complaint against the president or his 2016 campaign team.

Although . . .

Mueller does chronicle several instances where Trump sought to remove key individuals from investigative posts. One of them happened to Mueller himself. Go figure.

Trump fired FBI director James Comey because of “the Russia thing.” Then he bragged about getting rid of him during that infamous Oval Office meeting with Russian officials. He sought to get Justice Department officials to fire Mueller; they wouldn’t do it. Then-White House counsel Don McGahn also declined to carry out the order.

So there isn’t a case that can be prosecuted under the law, Mueller states. He doesn’t exonerate the president. He doesn’t clear him of obstruction. My reading of what he concluded simply is that he didn’t have enough solid evidence to file a formal complaint.

Ahh, but he does leave the door open for Congress to act as it sees fit.

I’m going to let the president crow about the “no collusion” matter. He won that fight. Mueller and his team have concluded that Trump and his campaign did not knowingly cooperate with Russians who hacked into our electoral system and dug up dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

However, the obstruction matter is alive and kicking.

It ain’t over, Mr. President. Not by a long shot!

Mueller delivered the goods, just not enough of them

I believe it is clear: Special counsel Robert Mueller did not “clear” Donald Trump of obstruction of justice. There is no “total victory” for the president.

The long-awaited report from the special counsel came before us today. Yes, Mueller concluded that Trump did not “collude” with Russians who attacked our electoral system. I accept those findings, given that I believe Mueller is a man of high integrity.

But what about this obstruction matter?

Mueller’s 448-page report tells us that Trump gasped when the special counsel was picked, declaring that his presidency is doomed. “I’m fu****,” Trump said, according to Mueller’s report.

Why would the president say such a thing if he had done not a single thing wrong?

Well, Mueller said he would have cleared Trump of obstruction had the president deserved to be cleared. He didn’t. He said Congress has the authority to take measures to ensure that a president’s “corrupt” won’t be allowed.

I agree with those who contend that the redacted report is more damaging than Attorney General William Barr let on. Indeed, there appears to be a growing gap between Mueller and Barr over whether there was at minimum an attempt at obstructing justice.

Mueller cites the refusal by several key Trump aides to carry out presidential orders to fire the special counsel, saving the president from his own impulses. Barr disagrees, saying there is no obstruction. Who do you believe? I’ll go with Mueller.

I likely won’t read the entire report. I intend to read enough of it to try to draw some more cogent conclusions.

I’m going to stand with congressional Democrats on this point, too: Robert Mueller needs to talk to Congress openly and candidly about what he found and how he arrived at his conclusions.

More to come.

‘I, alone’ is turning out to be a prophetic boast

I believe successful governing is a team sport.

At the highest level of U.S. government, it involves two of three branches working hand in glove to find common ground. The executive branch and the legislative branch develop relationships at the top of their respective chains of command.

Presidents become friendly with the speaker of the House and the Senate leadership. They need not become friends, but friendliness does not require actual friendship. When they belong to competing parties, that relationship becomes even more critical.

However, that’s changing. It changed when Donald J. Trump took the presidential oath in January 2017. Now he is competing with a House of Reps that is run by the competing party. Trump and the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, do not get along.

Sigh . . .

I long for the way it used to be when President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill would savage each other publicly, then slip into the House cloak room for an adult beverage after hours. They reportedly would laugh about the language they used on each other. They understood how to govern. O’Neill was the crusty Democratic pol with decades of experience in Washington. Reagan was new to D.C., but had eight years of governmental executive experience as governor of California.

Oh, man, it’s all different now. The speaker has decades of experience legislating. Pelosi is tough, shrewd, steely. Donald Trump also is new to Washington, but he doesn’t have a clue about governing and how to negotiate with the other side. The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, also expresses extreme distaste for Trump as president.

Trump told the Republican convention in the summer of 2016 that “I, alone” can repair what ails the nation. No, he cannot. However, he’s trying like hell to make that boast come true.

It will not work. It cannot possibly work. Donald Trump is not a team player. A man with not a single moment of public service experience before becoming president of the United States cannot possibly do what needs to be done all by himself.

The nation is going to suffer for as long as this individual remains in its highest elected political office.

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