TRUMP CLEARLY UNFIT FOR THE PRESIDENCY by L. Milton Hankins

TRUMP CLEARLY UNFIT FOR THE PRESIDENCY by L. Milton Hankins

The Legal Information Institute informs “The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice-president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.”

Two presidents–Richard Nixon by resignation and Ronald Reagan by temporary incapacitation were subjects of the 25th Amendment.

It is time Congress and the Supreme Court seriously consider the mental “incapacitation” of President Donald Trump, declaring him “unfit for the presidency” and incapable of fulfilling the constitutional duties of the office.

Here’s why this writer suggests such a strong action:

President Donald Trump is a proven, pathological liar–to the extent that the American public, as well as leaders of foreign nations, cannot accept the president’s statements as reliable. As a matter of fact, The New York Times, PolitiFact, and I have catalogued hundreds of Trump’s public prevarications.

The president is incapable of carrying out the duties of his office. He has spent a major portion of his time in the Oval Office undoing the work of his predecessor. He obviously cannot work with Congress to move important legislation he promised during his campaign. He has failed to achieve a single, notable issue on his agenda except for the successful appointment of a justice to the United States Supreme Court.

 

 

Trump’s foreign trips have been unmitigated disasters! He lambasted NATO for its lack of contributions to defense spending, embarrassed foreign leaders, disavowed the Paris Climate Agreement, and declined to hold a single press conference. His one accomplishment, an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, was narrowly approved by the United States Senate.

Trump said during his campaign he would be so busy he would rarely leave the White House. He has spent nearly every weekend of his presidency far from the White House–most weekends at his plush Mar-a-Lago estate or golfing at various Trump resort locations.

Intentionally insulting the press and various personalities in the news media have precipitated a real breach between the president, news agencies, reporters and his own spokespersons. He calls the American press “the enemy of the American people” and regularly calls newspaper reports not to his liking “fake news.” The press is the only profession explicitly protected in the United States Constitution.

 

President Trump is legally and morally dubious. He is well-known for broken contracts, bankruptcies, and was sued for his role in the phony Trump University. He has been married three times, each time having a relationship with his future wife before divorcing his current wife. As a result, he has five children by three wives. Obviously, the Republican focus on family values has shifted dramatically!

Many other indicators favor application of the 25th Amendment, but perhaps most important is the fact that Trump, his campaign staff and, especially, Michael Flynn are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Intelligence Committees of both houses of the Congress.

Never before would such a person have been considered for the presidency, or, tolerated in the highest office of the land. Dare the Congress and the Supreme Court much longer allow this unqualified individual to occupy the Oval Office?

 

  THE OVAL OFFICE

MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WORRY ABOUT TRUMP by Diane W. Mufson

MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WORRY ABOUT TRUMP by Diane W. Mufson

Shortly after our third child arrived, I needed housecleaning help. So we hired a woman noted for her efficiency and energy. As her recommendations promised, Jane (pseudonym) cleaned wonderfully well. Maury met her one evening, looked at her bulging eyes and insisted she see a doctor immediately.

President Trump’s behaviors are worrying mental health professionals in the same way that Jane’s eyes indicated that something was wrong. The president’s tweets and comments and his vacillating moods and positions, sometimes even undercutting his own party, are scary.

PRESIDENT TRUMP

Mental health professionals have expressed concerns about the president’s functioning, but cannot diagnose any individual they have not professionally evaluated.

True, I never thought President Trump would be the right person to lead our country. While some attributed Trump’s obnoxious comments about women, the physically impaired or Senator McCain’s prisoner of war status as simply “campaign rhetoric,” my feeling was that these comments were unfortunately a measure of the man.

I don’t think Vice President Pence’s goals and political positions are any more acceptable to most liberals or even some moderates than are Trump’s, but Pence’s demeanor, speech and personal interactions make him a much more desirable person to be leading our nation. At least, he would not insult our longtime allies, tweet incessantly or make impossible promises.

In February 2016, my column in this newspaper [Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch], “Narcissist as president would be dreadful,” identified some of the problematic characteristics of a narcissist. I noted that such personalities are often attractive because they ooze confidence and offer simplistic answers to difficult problems, such as the president’s promise to easily repeal and replace Obamacare with something much better. Finding that about 22 million Americans would be hurt by the proposed changes, while a small number of really rich folks will get a bonus, wasn’t what was promised.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5) is the accepted guideline that mental health professionals use for identifying and diagnosing mental health disorders. There are nine specific items that are linked to narcissistic personality disorder behaviors.

These include a grandiose sense of self-importance, a preoccupation with fantasies of power, success, intelligence, etc., and a sense of entitlement. Additionally, seeing oneself as special and unique and only associated with high status individuals, needing constant admiration from others, exploiting people for personal gain, lacking empathy, envying others and believing that others envy them and demonstrating arrogant and haughty behaviors and attitudes are seen frequently. This is a long-term behavior usually established by the beginning of adulthood. Genetic and environmental issues reportedly may influence this functioning.

When I worked as a licensed psychologist, I rarely encountered clients with narcissistic personalities. While this diagnosis is not overly common, the real reason I did not see such clients was that they usually are not uncomfortable and believe any problems they have are caused by others. Expecting change from a mature adult whose behaviors have much in common with a narcissistic personality is folly.

Our twittering president’s comments are not only ridiculously “unpresidential,” but also cruel, inappropriate and sapping energy and progress from our government.

THE MORNING JOE CREW

Following Trump’s recent irrational tweets regarding Mika and the “Morning Joe” show, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) chirped back, “Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.”

“This isn’t normal” is the gist of President Trump’s behavior. While medication readily treated Jane’s medical condition, there’s no panacea for those who display characteristics of a personality disorder. It’s why many mental health professionals are worrying about the man leading our nation.

[Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist. Her e-mail is dwmufson@comcast.net.  Mufson regularly contributes to the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch editorial page and this article first appeared in the Herald-Dispatch on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Photographs by Pixabay.]


 

TRUMP:  IS HE PRESIDENT OR A REAL ESTATE AGENT? by L. Milton Hankins

TRUMP: IS HE PRESIDENT OR A REAL ESTATE AGENT? by L. Milton Hankins

Let’s follow the money — if only we could!

We have a scandalous presidential administration right now unrivaled since the days of Warren G. Harding and the Teapot Dome Scandal, et al. The Trump scandals make the Richard Nixon administration resemble, as someone has said, “a conclave of the cardinals at the Vatican.”

All presidents since Nixon (minus one–Ford) have made their income taxes public. A president’s income taxes, like yours and mine, effectively reveal where a president’s money comes from, deductibles, and with a little effort, how it is spent. President Trump has no reason to withhold his taxes unless, clearly, there is evidence therein of transactions he does not want his constituents (you and me–all of us!) to know about.

The Trump administration has, without shame, employed the scandalous “Pay to Play” ploy when appointing members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet positions. Secretary of Education Betsy De Vos said, according to the Los Angeles Times, it’s “possible” her family has contributed $200 million to the Trump campaign. Would De Vos, who is absolutely devoid of qualifications for the post, have been chosen Secretary of Education without the aforesaid contribution?

According to the Washington Post, “together with their families, Trump’s nominees gave $11.6 million to support his presidential bid, his allied super PACs and the Republican National Committee….One single appointee–WWE co-founder Linda McMahon–contributed $5 million to back his White House run before Trump selected her to run the Small Business Administration….” The McMahon family were top outside donors to Trump’s private foundation!

Follow the money! What happened to the $500,000 that was donated to the Trump inaugural festivities by a Venezuelan oil magnate? The minimal festivities were already paid for when this donation was received. Oh, by the way, this businessman from Venezue3la (which is not exactly friendly to the United States right now) finagled, within days of his “gift,” a private meeting with the National Security Council. Huh?

President Trump says that he is not taking a salary while serving as president. So, I would assume he’s not billing the United States government for official high-level meetings (i.e. the Chinese president Xi Jinping) at his enormously expensive, private club Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Or is he? According to ethics expert Steve Schooner, “It’s just another example of his consistent efforts to exploit public office for private gain. He’s using his official office and the fact that people have to travel with him, meet him, and follow him to promote his commercial enterprise, in this case, his privately owned club.”

 

TRUMP’S MAR-A-LAGO

 

USA Today has reported extensively on President Trump’s real estate holdings, which, contrary to promise, were never put into a “blind” trust. Any monies for the rental or sale of Trump’s real estate holdings go directly into his pockets. MSNBC reporter Rachel Maddow has suggested, and rightly so, it would be easy for a foreign government, or anyone, for that matter, who wants to curry favor with the president of the United States, to merely purchase an expensive piece of Trump property. Which is it–Trump the President? Or Trump the Realtor?

 

 

GOOD FACTUAL INFORMATION TO HAVE AVAILABLE by D. J. Salisbury

GOOD FACTUAL INFORMATION TO HAVE AVAILABLE by D. J. Salisbury

[Editor’s Note: Upon receipt of the following article, I had a number of reservations about publishing it. So, I did my own research and quickly learned that the statistics in this piece are readily available with little research through Google and other political, informational resources.  I am giving D. J. Salisbury credit for putting this information (in this form) with the opening and closing quotations on Facebook; however, the original article appears to have first appeared in Daily Kos.  Be that as it may, the statistics are in the public record and the public domain.]

“I made a comment recently in which I claimed that Republican administrations had been much more criminally corrupt over the last 50+ years than the Democrats. I was challenged (dared, actually) to prove it. So, I did a bit of research. And when I say ‘a bit’ I mean it didn’t take long. There is no comparison. When comparing criminal indictments of those serving in the executive branch of presidential administrations, it’s so lopsided as to be ridiculous. Yet all I ever hear is how corrupt the Democrats are. So why don’t we break it down by president and show the numbers?

BARACK OBAMA - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE. ZERO (0) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, ZERO (0) CONVICTIONS AND ZERO (0) PRISON SENTENCES. So the next time somebody describes the Obama administration as “scandal free” they aren’t speaking wishfully, they’re simply telling the truth.

GEORGE W. BUSH - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, SIXTEEN (16) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, SIXTEEN (16) CONVICTIONS, NINE (9) PRISON SENTENCES.

BILL CLINTON - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, TWO (2) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, ONE (1) CONVICTION, ONE (1) PRISON SENTENCE. That’s right nearly eight (8) years of investigations, tens of millions spent and thirty (30) years of claiming the Clintons are the most corrupt ever, and there was exactly one person convicted of a crime. Wishing for guilt doesn’t make it true.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH - 4 YEARS IN OFFICE, ONE (1) INDICTMENT, ONE (1) CONVICTION, ONE (1) PRISON SENTENCE.

RONALD REAGAN - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, TWENTY-SIX (26) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, SIXTEEN (16) CONVICTIONS, EIGHT (8) PRISON SENTENCES.

JIMMY CARTER - 4 YEARS IN OFFICE, ONE (1) INDICTMENT, ZERO (0) CONVICTIONS AND ZERO (0) PRISON SENTENCES.

GERALD FORD - 2-1/2 YEARS IN OFFICE, ONE (1) INDICTMENT, ONE (1) CONVICTION AND ONE (1) PRISON SENTENCE.

RICHARD NIXON - 6 YEARS IN OFFICE, SEVENTY-SIX (76) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, FIFTY-FIVE (55) CONVICTIONS, FIFTEEN (15) PRISON SENTENCES.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON - 5 YEARS IN OFFICE, ZERO (0) INDICTMENTS, ZERO (0) CONVICTIONS, ZERO (0) PRISON SENTENCES.

So, let’s see where that leaves us. In the last fifty-three (53) years, Democrats have held the presidency for twenty-five (25), while Republicans held it for twenty-eight (28) [years]. In their twenty-five (25) years in office Democratic presidents had a total of three (3) executive branch officials indicted with one (1) conviction and one (1) prison sentence. That’s one whole executive branch official convicted of a crime in two and a half decades of Democratic leadership. In the twenty-eight (28) years that Republicans have held the presidency, they have had a total of (drum roll would be appropriate) one hundred twenty (120) criminal indictments of executive branch officials…eighty-nine (89) criminal convictions with thirty-four (34) prison sentences handed down. For the Republicans, that’s more prison sentences than presidential years in office since 1968, if you include articles of impeachment as indictments (they aren’t really, but we can count them as an action) both sides get one more. However, Clinton wasn’t found guilty while Nixon resigned and was pardoned by Ford. So those serve only to make Republicans look even worse.

With the Trump spectacle growing more bizarre by the day, it’s a safe bet that Republicans are going to be padding those numbers soon. So let’s just go over the numbers one more time, shall we? Republicans: one hundred twenty (120) indictments, eighty-nine (89) convictions, and thirty-four (34) prison sentences in twenty-eight (28) years. Democrats: three (3) indictments, one (1) conviction, and one (1) prison sentence in twenty-five (25) years.

Those aren’t ‘feelings’ or ‘alternate facts.’ Those are simply the statistics and numbers available [in the] public record.

It appears that the Republicans are, and have been for my entire lifetime, the most criminally corrupt party to hold the office of the presidency.”

TRUMP’S UNCOMFORTABLE MEETING WITH POPE FRANCIS by Jen Hayden

TRUMP’S UNCOMFORTABLE MEETING WITH POPE FRANCIS by Jen Hayden

                 POPE FRANCIS

Donald Trump and his family made their way to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis, who seemed to be in no mood to be schmoozed by America’s top con man. The meeting seemed icy from the start.

From the press pool report of the initial meeting:

“Thank you so much,” President Trump said to Pope Francis when they shook hands.

After shaking hands, the pope and POTUS walked into the pope’s private study, which is just off the room where they shook hands. When pool entered the study, the pope and the president were seated across from each other at the pope’s wooden desk.

POTUS told the pope it’s “a very great honor.”

The pope did not say anything. He did not smile. He looked at [the] pool several times. We were quickly ushered out at 8:33 am.

You can see that moment in the photo below. Pope Francis seems to be asking God what he did to deserve this. We’re all asking ourselves that, Holy Father.

The images of the pope’s face below pretty well tell the story of his experience with President Trump:

 

IS MELANIA TRUMP MISERABLE AS FIRST LADY? by Laura Italiano

IS MELANIA TRUMP MISERABLE AS FIRST LADY? by Laura Italiano

[EDITORIAL NOTE:  The following article first appeared in New York Post.  It was reprinted on February 15, 2017 in News Corp. It also appeared in Post Digital Network’s DECIDER.  The author has taken considerable material from a US Weekly article.  We re-print it, acknowledging all of the aforementioned sources.  We took our manuscript from the internet and will assume it is in the public domain unless otherwise notified.]  

Melania Trump is secretly miserable as first lady, a new report claims.

Private, self-conscious, and smarting from some harsh, even mocking press, Melania is “struggling with the realities of her new role and the scrutiny that comes with it,” US Weekly says in its Feb. 27 cover story, citing family sources.

“This life wasn’t her dream. It was Donald’s,” a Trump family friend, stylist Phillip Bloch, told the magazine.

THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY

“Truthfully, it’s a lot to cope with.”

Since Inauguration Day, Melania has spent almost all her time hiding inside the “gilded cage” of the family’s lavish, $100 million Trump Tower penthouse on Fifth Avenue — where treasured son Barron, 10, has a whole floor to himself.

And she won’t be pressured into giving up her privacy.

Recently, the White House team begged her to come to Washington and give her husband a PR boost by presiding over the traditional first lady tours at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — and posing for press photos, sources told US.

“She was told, ‘All you need to do is show up on one day and take photos,'” one family source said. Melania declined.

Melania couldn’t even be cajoled into accompanying the Japanese prime minister’s wife, Abe, on the traditionally first lady-hosted Capitol tour for spouses of visiting dignitaries.

Negative scrutiny from late-night hosts — Jimmy Kimmel quipped last week that she’s “trapped like Rapunzel” in Trump Tower — and from her libel suit against the UK’s Daily Mail have not helped.

In the much-covered lawsuit, Melania sued the Mail for implying she’d once worked as a high-end escort, an implication that the newspaper later retracted.

Celebrities and fashion designers, critical of her husband’s policies, have publicly shunned the Trumps, another blow.

US WEEKLY COVER

And while she’s fluent in five languages, Melania is self-conscious of her heavy Slovenian accent, US claims, an accent that has also been fodder for late-night jibes.

With pickets surrounding her building, she’s even given up her chauffeured trips escorting Barron to and from his private school.

After school, they both stay in, with Barron doing his homework and watching cartoons, US said.

She’s happiest at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where she joins her husband on most weekends.

But while she did entertain Akie Abe in Florida — smilingly posed for the requisite photo op at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in nearby Delray Beach — it was a struggle.

“Don’t let her smile [in the photographs] fool you,” the source said. “She hates this.”

The source added, “Melania is unhappy with how her life ended up.  She is miserable.”