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:




[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.


“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.


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.”






Since Donald Trump took office–before Donald Trump took office–there was a sudden burst of interest in the 25th Amendment, that little bit of text that describes how the president may be removed from office if unfit to serve. But of course, the application of that rule is just a fantasy. There’s no way that Donald Trump’s cabinet or the Republican Congress would actually pull the switch.

It’s just that with every interview which passes, Donald Trump shows why they really, really should.


There’s the unreasoning arrogance of a grade-school bully,

AP: Can you tell me a little bit about how that came about?

TRUMP: No, must–you know, I asked the government to let her out. —You know Obama worked on it for three years, got zippo, zero.

There’s the Greek chorus of imaginary praise that speaks to him from everywhere on everything.

TRUMP: Many people, human rights people, are talking about it. …

TRUMP: People have given me credit for having great chemistry with all of the leaders, including el-Sissi. …

TRUMP: People said they’ve never seen anything like what’s going on right now.

And the persecution he feels because that praise doesn’t end up on the front page of every paper.

TRUMP: I’ve developed great relationships with all of these leaders. Nobody’s written that. …

TRUMP: And the media, some of them get it, in all fairness. But you know some of them either don’t get it, in which case they’re very stupid people, or they just don’t want to say it.

And there’s the just plain delusion.

TRUMP: A little before I took office there was a terrible article about the F-35 fighter jet. It was hundreds of billions of dollars over budget. It was seven years behind schedule. It was a disaster. So I called in Lockheed and I said, “I’m sorry, we’re going to have to bid this out to another company, namely Boeing,” or whoever else. But Boeing. And I called in Boeing and I started getting competing offers back and forth.

TRUMP: I saved $725 million on the 90 planes. Now there are 3,000 planes that are going to be ordered. On 90 planes I saved $725 million. It’s actually a little bit more than that, but it’s $725 million. Gen. Mattis, who had to sign the deal when it came to his office, said, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.” We went from a company that wanted more money for the planes to a company that cut. And the reason they cut–same planes, same everything–was because of me. I mean, because that’s what I do.

TRUMP: Now if you multiply that times 3,000 planes, you know this is on 90 planes. In fact, when the Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe of Japan came in because they bought a certain number of those … The first thing he said to me, because it was right at the time I did it, he said, “Could I thank you? I said, “What?” He said, “You saved us $100 million.” Because they got a $100 million savings on the 10 or 12 planes that they (bought). Nobody wrote that story. Now you know that’s a saving of billions and billions of dollars, many billions of dollars over the course of — it’s between 2, 500 and 3,000 planes will be the final order. But this was only 90 of those 2,500 planes.

None of which–none–makes sense. Here’s what really happened. Trump saw an article about the F-35. He made a noise about Boeing building a “super F-18” instead, a plane which doesn’t exist. Trump was then told that the price of the F-35 was dropping, because those initial prices included the high cost of developing the plane and setting up production. The end. That’s the whole story. The planes are going to cost exactly what they were going to cost. Trump saved not a penny.

But he now relates doing nothing as a great, unprecedented triumph–his example for one of the most important things to happen in his presidency.

This story is actually a great example of something. It’s a great example of how the media aids Trump’s delusions and fails to call him on a giant lie that happened in public, with full knowledge of everyone. But with rare exceptions, the press decided that nodding and reporting what Trump said was sufficient coverage.

Trump isn’t just convinced that he’s saved insane amounts of money, but he’s also fixed the world, just by being there.

TRUMP: You know because of a couple of them said, “He didn’t call them a currency manipulator.” Well, for two reasons. Number One, he’s not, since my time. You know, very specific formula. You would think it’s like generalities, it’s not. They have–they’ve actually–their currency’s gone up. So it’s a very, very specific formula. And I said, “How badly have they been,” … they said, “Since you got to office they have not manipulated their currency.” That’s Number One, but much more important, they are working with us on North Korea. Now maybe that’ll work out or maybe it won’t. Can you imagine? …

Stupid previous presidents didn’t fix this because … they weren’t Donald Trump. And the media might say that Donald Trump didn’t do anything, but he really did. He was Donald Trump. And that’s what all this really needed. It needed Donald Trump to just sit down and Donald Trump the hell out of it.

And, perhaps best of all …

AP: So in terms of the 100-day plan that you did put out during the campaign, do you feel, though, that people should hold you accountable to this in terms of judging success?

TRUMP: No, because much of the foundation’s been laid. Things came up. I’ll give you an example. I didn’t put Supreme Court judge on the 100 (day) plan, and I got a Supreme Court judge.

AP: I think it’s on there.

TRUMP: I don’t know. …

Go read the WHOLE THING.  If you dare.

[This article appeared (reblogged) in Daily Kos on Monday April 24, 2017 and is republished here with permission. The AP interview was widely posted on blogs–the point being that the president was almost completely incoherent. Thanks to Mark Sumner for piecing the article together–no easy job!]



From high school age, I have always heard that all politicians are liars. I thought it was gross hyperbole–especially when I studied men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson, among others. Over time, I learned they, too, had their little secret lies.

In our modern, media era it’s difficult, particularly in public life, to keep a lie secret. Richard Nixon discovered that as did John F. Kennedy.

We now have a president who makes no attempt to hide his lies, asserting them confidently and repeating them often–assuming, I suppose, if he repeats them often enough people will eventually believe them.


Most major television news media have captured Donald Trump’s blatant lies on video. Several magazines, i.e. Paste, New York Magazine, and Forbes et al.; major newspapers, including the Washington Post, Huffington Post, USA Today, and many other sources, which I have consulted, have made lists. “The Huffington Post tracked the public remarks of Trump and his aides to compile a list of 100 incidents of egregious falsehoods.”

President Trump has openly, publicly lied about trivial things–

Several times he lied about the size of the inaugural crowd on January 20, 2017. The day following his inauguration, he lied to the CIA about the inauguration crowd.


The inaugural crowd, he said, “looked honestly like a million and a half people” adding that “it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” Photographs showed otherwise! He repeated this lie often during the first few weeks of his presidency.

Trump lied about the number of times he has appeared on the Time cover:  “Time magazine–and I have been on their cover, like, 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine….I’ve been on it for 15 times this year. I don’t think that’s a record that can ever be broken.”


Actually, Richard Nixon was featured on Time‘s cover 55 times. Time told Politico’s Playbook Trump had been on the cover only 11 times.

On February 16, 2017, Trump said drugs are “becoming cheaper than a candy bar.” They are not!

Trump has openly, publicly lied about some not-so-trivial things–

He claimed that under previous administrations, “if you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.” In fact, almost as many Christian refugees were admitted to the U.S. as Muslim refugees in fiscal year 2016.

Trump said his administration had a “very smooth rollout of the travel ban.” His Executive Order on immigration caused chaos at the nation’s airports and has been suspended by the courts.


In signing an executive memo ordering the construction of the Keystone pipeline, Trump said “the project would create 28,000 construction jobs. ” According to The Washington Post Fact Checker on January 25, 2017, “the pipeline would create an estimated 16,000 jobs, most of which are not construction jobs.”

Trump said on the campaign trail that “if he were elected president, he would release his income tax returns.” He altered this statement to say that he could NOT release his tax returns because they were “under audit.” Not true! He could release them even if they are, but we have seen no proof that they are under audit! When asked about releasing them recently, he quipped something like “I got elected, didn’t I?”

Trump has openly, publicly lied about some critically important things that affect domestic policy and foreign relations–

In an interview with ABC (January 25), Trump attacked the Affordable Care Act and said there are “millions of people that now aren’t insured anymore.” Twenty million people have gained health coverage because of the law so far. The estimated 2 million people who did not qualify under the law received waivers that kept the plans going until the end of 2017.

During his speech at CIA headquarters, President Trump repeated the claim that he “didn’t want to go into Iraq.” He told Howard Stern in 2002 that “he supported the Iraq War.”

President Trump lied, on January 26, 2017, about Mexico’s president “agreeing to cancel” a meeting. “The president of Mexico and myself have agreed to cancel our planned meeting scheduled for next week,” Trump said at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia. “Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route.”


Pena Nieto, the Mexican president, tweeted that he called the White House hours earlier to cancel the meeting, adding, “I lament and reject the decision of the United States to continue building a wall that for years does not unite us, but divides us.”

Donald Trump has told a few real “whoppers” that, unfortunately, many of his avid followers have swallowed hook, line and sinker–

During his campaign, Trump repeatedly said “we are going to build a wall along our southern border and Mexico is going to pay for it.” Interestingly, now, Trump Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, is working to put “payment for the Wall” into the federal budget!

After he was elected, the president said his children would “serve no role in his administration.” Ivanka Trump not only has an office in the West Wing next to the Oval Office, but she has her very own Chief of Staff and Spokesperson (paid for by the government, too, I must add).


One of Trump’s biggest “whoppers,” has to do with seeing cheering when the World Trade Center collapsed.  On Saturday, November 21, 2015, during a speech at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, Donald Trump declared, “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down.  And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” He repeated the lie several times in subsequent, video-taped speeches. 

“We looked back at the record to see what we could find about American Muslim celebrations in New Jersey on 9/11.  While we found widely broadcast video of people in the Palestinian territories celebrating, we found no evidence to back up Trump’s description of events on American soil.” [, January 22, 2017; Fact check by PolitiFact: Pants on Fire]

Apparently, the president is a pathological liar. According to Wikipedia, “pathological lying (also called pseudologia fantastica and mythomania) is a behavior of habitual or compulsive lying. It was first described in the medical literature in 1891 by Anton Delbrueck. … The individual may be aware they are lying, or may believe they are telling the truth.”According to Tamara Hill, MS, LPC, “Certain personality traits where pathological lying may occur include: narcissism or self-centered behaviors and thought patterns; selfishness; abusive attitude; obsessive, controlling, and compulsive behaviors; impulsivity; manipulative behaviors; deceptiveness; socially awkward, uncomfortable or isolated; low self-esteem; tempermental-ness; and anger.”

I have only touched the surface of lies catalogued by professional observers of President Donald Trump. Credit is hereby given to all of the media sources mentioned herein.

What can be done about the president’s lying? Probably not much, to tell the truth. One needs to keep in mind that he is a seventy-year-old man and his habits are deeply entrenched in his personality. It is crucially important, however, to know that little faith can be placed in what he says publicly. We have no idea what he tells people in private conversation. Even more importantly, we must support those people–military and civilian, friends and family–of clear mind and sound judgment who work closely, daily with the president.

It is not out of the question, on the other hand, that the president may sooner or later be compelled to testify in some matter relating to himself, his appointees, or his administration. In that case, he would be prone to, or predisposed to, lie under oath –which is a felony. He might, under those circumstances, inadvertently subject himself to impeachment proceedings, especially if the opposing party holds a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

If this is a subject that particularly interests readers, I would suggest that they Google “Lies told by the president” or “Lists of Lies told by Donald Trump” or a similar topic. 

[This is an original article written by the editor; however, information was drawn from a number of sources.  I have made every effort to cite media sources used in compiling information and have used quotation marks wherever direct quotes are used.]







I’d be the last person to question the literacy of a president–under normal circumstances. But, in the Trump era, nothing seems too outrageous. Frankly, evidence suggesting that the president may have literacy issues is piling up.

This is not a fly-by-night, conspiracy theory concern, i.e. as Obama’s citizenship. In the July 30, 2016 issue of The Times of Israel, Michael Jaffe bluntly titled his article “Does Donald Trump have a literacy problem?” Jaffe said, “Almost all of the words he utters are no more than two syllables. Given his authoritarian, narcissistic personality and thin skin, one can imagine a collective reluctance among his entourage to set Trump straight. … This and Trump’s difficulty with stringing sentences together might be an indication that Donald Trump’s language faculty, more specifically his literacy, may be lacking.”

In The Daily Beast, Matt Wilstein headlined his article “Samantha Bee Is Convinced Donald Trump Can’t Read.” Wilstein pointed out that Canadian political commentator Samantha Bee (host of Full Frontal) has “produced significant evidence…that Donald Trump may be, in fact, illiterate.”

Bee said in a recent segment, “[I] began by reviewing tape of a recently unsealed deposition in which Trump was repeatedly asked to read from legal documents and refused, first saying he didn’t have his glasses and then using the excuse that he’s not a lawyer.”

Bee continued, “How can you expect someone who isn’t a fancy-pants lawyer to read words? At first, I thought Trump was lying, but then it hit me…You heard it here first: People are saying Donald Trump can’t read.”


Wilstein continued: “Over the next six minutes, she [Bee] meticulously laid out the evidence, including the fact that the only book title Trump can recall when people ask him what he’s read recently is All Quiet on the Western Front and his unnerving practice of shouting things he wants to tweet at his staffers during the day. Even his signature is suspiciously missing recognizable letters.”

In the Washington Post (July 17, 2016), Marc Fisher wrote, “As he has prepared to be named the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump has not read any biographies of presidents. He said he would like to someday. He has no time to read, he said: ‘I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy [sic], I guess, than ever before.'”

Alex Shepherd wrote in The New Republic, “Donald Trump doesn’t read books.” He points out that following an interview with Megyn Kelly, Kelly sensed “that Trump may not have read a book since sixth grade.”


Politico’s Jack Shafer has similar concerns. He says “Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader.” In an August 13, 2015 article, he pointed out, “Run through the Flesch-Kincaid grade-level test, [Trump’s] text of [debate] responses score at the 4th-grade reading level.”

Shafter concluded, “…Trump’s verbal deficit, as grating as it may be on the ears of the educated class, has not caused him much political pain.”

No one appears, according to my research, to have seen President Trump privately reading a legal brief, the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), a document, or a book. Not even a magazine! I don’t ever recall seeing him wearing glasses either. It is strange, isn’t it?


[L. Milton Hankins, the publisher and editor of Columnist with a View writes a weekly column for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch.  This article first appeared in the March 13th edition of the Herald-Dispatch.  Hankins can be reached at:  Comments on articles are also welcome in the webzine.  Those who have editorial-opinion type pieces they would like considered for publication in Columnist with a View may submit them to or send hard copy to P.O. Box 913, Ashland, KY 41101.]




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Tomorrow [January 20, 2017], the 45th president of the United States of America will be sworn in. Never in my wildest dreams did I, nor millions of Americans envision Donald J. Trump in that role.

Millions of Americans, myself included, are scared, apprehensive, curious (add other adjectives at will) how President Trump will act as our nation’s leader. During the presidential campaign and even recently, his behavior has been unpredictable and viewed as racist, misogynist and crass. Looking back in history, it is somewhat comforting to know that more than a few presidents have displayed arrogant, obnoxious or “unpresidential” behavior and our country has remained whole.

Most Americans, even those who admire and support the future President Trump, have no idea of what he will really do. Will he build that wall and who will pay for it?



Will he completely abolish “Obamacare?” One of his promises was to “drain the swamp of political and Wall Street insiders in Washington, but it looks like there are quite a few of those “alligators” circling the White House moat.

But, back to history and past presidents’ behaviors. Writers for the Christian Science Monitor, Pew Research and the New Republic have suggested that our next president has some personality characteristics in common with John Adams (second president), his son, John Quincy Adams (sixth president),



Andrew Jackson (seventh President and John Tyler (tenth president). Although these men were viewed as bright and politically experienced, they were seen as temperamental, bull-headed, impulsive and having numerous interpersonal crises.

John Adams’ difficult interpersonal issues were humorously portrayed in the musical “1776” and he was reported to accept advice only from one source–his wife, Abigail. He signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, the former dealt harshly with immigration problems and the latter permitted punishing journalists if they made what was considered malicious or false claims against government officials. According to a biographer, Paul Nagel, John Quincy Adams, the son of President Adams, was “notorious for his harshness, tactlessness and even rudeness,” yet also appreciated for the Monroe Doctrine and ending the War of 1812.

Andrew Jackson was said to be arrogant and involved in brawls, yet respected for his opinions, John Tyler’s wife died while he was president. He then married a much younger woman and bragged about his sexual prowess. He vetoed legislation he promised to sign and five out [of] six of his cabinet members resigned.

Other presidential scholars suggest that Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson had some personality traits similar to our newest president. Both were known for their domineering and controlling behavior as well as “earthy” language. Other presidents have been under scrutiny for their behaviors. Richard Nixon apparently believed that any means justified the ends; we know how that saga ended.



Bill Clinton led this nation through much prosperity, but his sexual indiscretion left a lasting memory. Without accurate evidence and faulty rationale, George W. Bush led us into a war that destabilized the world.

No one in this nation, except perhaps the three oldest Trump children and his son-in-law, have a real understanding of America’s 45th president and what he will or will not do as he takes control of the highest office in the land.

History tells us that our nation has survived numerous past presidents who have made poor choices or had difficult personalities; some have even achieved good results. For our nation’s sake, we must hope that this holds true for President Donald J. Trump and that he will not twitter away his potential for positive effects.

[Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist.  This article first appeared in the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch, where Ms Mufson is a regular contributor.  Her email is]