Let’s call him ‘Delusional Donald’

Donald J. Trump’s delusion is on full display every time events run totally counter to the lies he tells.

He said on March 6, for instance, that “Everyone wants to work in the White House.” He went on to tell the nation that every position is just chock full of applicants who want a part of the “energy” emanating from the West Wing.

Here is what he said

So, what happened this past week? White House chief of staff John Kelly resigned effective at the end of the year; his deputy chief, Nick Ayres, was slated to succeed him.

Except that Ayres doesn’t want the job. He’s bailing out, too, heading back to Georgia to, I suppose, “pursue other interests.”

C’mon, “Delusional Donald.” Can’t you just one time tell us the truth?

How’s this for religious bigotry?

To think that Texas’s third-largest county is home to a cabal of religious bigots who want to oust a local Republican Party vice chairman because — get ready for it — he’s a Muslim!

Ye gads, this story disgusts me.

At issue is the faith practiced by Shahid Shafi, a Southlake trauma surgeon. He ran twice for the Southlake City Council and was elected on his second try. He was informed by friends that as a Muslim, he would have difficulty being elected to any office in Texas in this post 9/11 era.

That didn’t dissuade him. So he ran and won eventually.

Now he’s vice chair of the Tarrant County GOP. But wait! He barely had taken office when a local Republican raised a phony alarm. A precinct chairwoman, Dorrie O’Brien, urged the county’s GOP chair, Darl Easton, to pull Shafi out of the vice chair’s office.

The bigot said, without any evidence, that Shafi believes in Sharia law and that he’s a closet terrorist.

Good grief!

I feel the need to remind everyone yet again that the U.S. Constitution is unambiguous about this point: There shall be “no religious test” applied for anyone seeking elected office in the United States of America. It’s written in Article VI, Clause 3 of the nation’s founding government document. Yep, that includes city council member and political party leadership.

The bigoted move has drawn immediate condemnation from some high-profile Republicans, such as Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and lame-duck Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. The Texas GOP Executive Committee has approved a resolution endorsing religious freedom in a move to stop the xenophobia that might erupt if the Tarrant County removal motion is allowed to proceed.

Here is how the Texas Tribune reports it

Yes, this story sickens me. It should sicken anyone who has an understanding of what the Constitution says about religion in politics.

Then there’s the issue of innuendo and unfounded accusation, which has become one of the dubious trademarks of the nation’s top Republican, Donald Trump.

Disgusting.

‘Our Constitution works . . . ‘

Three words define for me the reason I remain optimistic about how the current tumult surrounding the president of the United States is going to end.

President Gerald Rudolph Ford took the oath of office on Aug. 9, 1974 and declared the following: Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men.

The 38th president took office under the most unusual circumstance this nation ever has experienced. His predecessor, President Richard Nixon, quit the office, giving the nation roughly 15 hours notice from the time he told us on national TV to the moment his resignation took effect the next day at noon.

We had just endured the most rigorous constitutional crisis in our nation’s history. Nixon resigned to avoid certain impeachment and virtually certain conviction of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Yes, our Constitution worked then. It will work now, matter where Donald John Trump’s troubles take him . . . and us.

Even out here in Trump Country where I live, there are rumblings of serious danger in store for the president. A special counsel, Robert Mueller. appears to be closing in on some matters that could produce actual indictments of the president’s closest advisers, even members of his family — and, yes, quite possibly the president himself.

Much of what transpires over time well might depend on how Trump responds to what could occur. Does he do something foolish? Does he issue pardons to indicted conspirators and then open himself up to demonstrable evidence of obstruction of justice?

The nation’s founders knew what they were doing when they drafted the Constitution. They built in a system of government that limits presidential power; they gave additional power to Congress; they also gave the federal courts power to rule on the constitutionality of laws and presidential actions.

Divided government is about to descend on Congress, with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives. The White House and the Senate will remain in Republican control.

One of the many beauties of the government the founders created lies in the ability of Congress and, when needed, the courts to rein in an overzealous executive branch.

So, when the president makes noises about what might occur within the White House, he sends alarm bells clanging all over Capitol Hill and throughout the federal judiciary.

Yes, indeed, the Constitution works. President Ford spoke a fundamental truth to us in our moment of dire constitutional peril. It worked then. It works today.

Let the socialist congresswoman learn her way

I am amused and slightly baffled at all the attention a rookie member of the next Congress getting.

Ocasio-Cortez is the talk of D.C. Democrats love her; Republicans ridicule her. She’s a Democrat, having knocked off a well-known member of her own party’s congressional leadership in the New York state primary, then cruising to election this past month.

Ocasio-Cortez is 29 years of age. She’s a socialist, at least that’s what she calls herself. GOP foes are equating that to her being the daughter of Satan.

Her entry onto the national stage hasn’t gone all that well. She has made a gaffe or two along the way. Democrats are giving her a pass; Republicans are, um, ridiculing her. Oh, I already said that last part.

Ocasio-Cortez is a freshman lawmaker. She hasn’t developed any kind of congressional record on which to pass judgment. I intend to wait to see how she matures on the job. Maybe she’ll learn the difference between the various branches of the federal government.

As for this fascination with her, Democrats need to cool their jets; Republicans, meanwhile, need to quit piling on. They have enough troubles within their own party to make them squirm.

Don’t stop tweeting, Mr. POTUS

I’ve turned the corner. I used to wish Donald Trump wouldn’t tweet so much; now I want him to keep it up.

Why? Because his Twitter tirades provide such a trove of grist that highlights his utter hypocrisy, duplicity . . . not to mention his idiocy.

This has just surfaced. In 2012, he fired off a tweet criticizing then-President Barack Obama for “burning through” three White House chiefs of staff in three years. Oh, but hold on! Trump just announced the departure of his second chief of staff in less than two years, and he’s about to bring aboard his third chief of staff in, oh, the same amount of time — a year less than Obama did!

See how it goes? Trump says these things, either via his big mouth or via his Twitter account. Then he demonstrates a propensity for doing the same thing, only more of it.

Obama’s golf outings? Trump said he wouldn’t “have time” to break away from his plans to “make America great again” to play golf. Well now. He’s lapped the presidential field several times in the number of golf outings.

Sounding more “presidential”? Hasn’t happened. His tweets show us a continuing pattern of juvenile petulance.

Now we find the chief of staff matter.

Ain’t it just grand? Keep it up, Mr. President. You keep digging yourself deeper into that proverbial hole.

The Twitter universe has gone bonkers. Take a look.

Pearl Harbor, Mr. POTUS?

Oh, man. I just had to share this hilarious social media post . . . with a brief comment.

It reminds us that Donald J. Trump, no matter what he says about his love, affection and respect for the men and women who serve in our armed forces, just didn’t have time on Pearl Harbor Day to commemorate the sacrifice made by roughly 2,500 Americans on Dec. 7, 1941.

Oh, no. Instead, he chose to launch into a Twitter tirade about Robert Mueller’s probe into the Russia matter.

Mr. President, don’t ever proclaim your phony respect for those of us who have worn the uniform in defense of our country. Those proclamations are as phony as your commitment to making America great again.

Is POTUS above the law?

Federal prosecutors are making some serious allegations against the president of the United States.

They are alleging that Donald Trump orchestrated the illegal payments to two women with whom he allegedly had sexual relations; the payments were made to keep them quiet about the encounters, which — quite naturally — Trump says never happened.

The allegations bring to mind a key question. Does the U.S. Constitution protect the president from indictment?

Trump in trouble?

I cannot pretend to be a presidential scholar, but I’ve read the document from beginning to end several times over many years. I am not at all aware of where it says in there that the president is immune from criminal prosecution if he commits an offense such as, oh, authorizing illegal payments to women with whom he took a tumble . . . allegedly!

Is it contained in Article II, the part of the U.S. Constitution that deals with presidential power and authority? Is it somewhere in any of the amendments that were added to the document? If it’s in there, someone will have to tell me where to look.

We keep hearing all the time that “no one is above the law” in this country. Does that include the president?

I believe that when we declare that the law excludes “no one,” that the president must be included in the masses of Americans who can, and do, face criminal prosecution if they mess up.

He’s got it wrong: student-athletes already ‘get paid’

I believe Kyler Murray is a fine young man, apart from his being a first-class quarterback for the University of Oklahoma who has just been named the latest winner of the Heisman Trophy, signifying that he is the best college football player in America.

However, the young man is mistaken when he says college athletes should be paid.

Murray said this: “I feel like we bring in a lot of money to the universities … we put in a lot of work. Some guys don’t have enough money to bring their families to the games … so I feel like athletes should be compensated for it.”

Murray is far from the first person to make the argument. I just believe he is as mistaken and misguided as all the others who have said the same thing.

Already paid

Where do I begin?

I’ll start here. Student-athletes already are “compensated” for their efforts. Granted, they don’t receive weekly paychecks, but many of them get a free college education in the form of full-ride scholarships.

I consider that a form of payment. Think about the ramifications. Student-athletes are allowed to receive a free education that presumably prepares them for life after their playing days are over. To suggest, therefore, that these athletes should become “professional athletes” defies the very principle of providing scholarships that help them fulfill the “student” portion of the term “student-athlete.”

Whether a student-athlete cracks the books and actually studies when he or she is not blocking/tackling/throwing TDs, or shooting hoops or hitting home runs is up to the student.

If they don’t cut it in the classroom, they ought to become academically ineligible to participate in whatever sport for which they are being “paid.”

Fair to ask: Is POTUS now in serious jeopardy?

For the nearly two years that Donald Trump has served as president of the United States, I have sought to refrain from saying out loud what others have opined.

It is this: Donald Trump might not finish his term as president?

I haven’t gone there. Until now.

For the first time in Donald Trump’s time as president, I am feeling some pangs of uncertainty about his political future. I am believing that there is a chance he won’t finish his term.

How might that occur? It won’t be through impeachment. I believe as others do that although the House of Representatives can impeach the president for still-unspecified reasons and/or charges, the Senate remains an extremely high hurdle to clear. If the president stands trial, the Senate would need to find 67 votes to convict him of any of the charges for which he would be impeached.

Trump might resign, a la President Nixon. The 37th president quit after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment; Senate Republicans trooped to the White House to inform the president that he didn’t have the support in the Senate to acquit him in a trial. Then he resigned.

Why would Trump quit? It might occur if it becomes obvious — even to the president — that he has no path toward governing. The Senate that now has 53 GOP members could be in jeopardy of falling to the Democrats in 2020, following the House that flipped from GOP control to Democratic control in the 2018 midterm election.

There could actually be an indictment handed down by a legal authority once the special counsel completes his work. No one can predict what Robert Mueller will conclude when his painstaking investigation wraps up. Trump keeps yammering about “no collusion!” but not even he knows what Mueller has uncovered — if anything. I get the sense that he’s got some goods . . . if not the goods on Donald Trump.

Mueller’s recent sentencing memos regarding former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump lawyer/friend Michael Cohen and former national security adviser Michael Flynn all suggest clearly that he has compiled a mountain of information and evidence that something has gone terribly wrong with the presidency of Donald Trump.

We are entering the murkiest of pathways into the president’s world. I am not sure how this all ends. That gives me reason at this moment to wonder whether the president is going to finish his term.

How do you ‘prepare’ for NFL draft?

I do not understand this development, so someone might have to explain it to me.

Will Grier, a top flight quarterback for West Virginia University is the latest top-tier athlete to forgo a football bowl game to “prepare for the National Football League draft.”

Let’s ponder that for a moment. The Mountaineers are going to play a game against Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl.

Grier received a scholarship to play football in Morgantown, W.Va. The school paid for his education. The school’s fans packed the stadium to watch Grier play QB. So now he wants to exhibit his loyalty to the school by skipping the team’s final game of the year?

To prepare for the NFL draft? What in the world do these guys do to prep for a draft? Spare me the excuse that they are seeking to prevent career-ending injury; that event could happen at any time of the year.

Royce Freeman, a running back at Oregon, stiffed the Ducks a year ago. So did Christian McCaffrey at Stanford a couple of years before that. These high-profile athletes occasionally bail on their schools to, um, get ready to be drafted.

I keep circling back to a series of questions: What in the world do these fellows do to prepare to have their name called as a member of an NFL franchise? Do they run wind sprints in their front yard? Do they practice blocking and tackling in the garage? Do they, um, memorize play books?

Moreover, is there no more loyalty to the schools that shell out good money to pay for their education?