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TAIL WAGGING THE DOG

I have watched the parade of atrocities, missteps, and unbelievable decisions that have engulfed the Trump administration these last several months. Indeed, the daily barrage of ignorance, miscalculation, and just plain stupidity have been born out across the media and social networks in such numbers to have numbed the observer to any new egregious outbursts. Basically, we are just plain tired of the circus and want to go home.

But the ticket has been bought and the seat taken. Unless some miracle happens, such as the clowns refusing to participate anymore in these sad acts, or even the fire marshal shutting it down, we are doomed to watch it unfold for another 31 months. Fortunately, an intermission appears in 5 months and we may be able to save ourselves from this interminably bad production. Until then, what do we make of this buffoon and his presidency? Why does his right-wing support grow and strengthen?

After nearly 16 months of observing this man/child’s presidency and speaking, chatting and reading about him from his supporters, some conclusions have been drawn. His supporters, his hard-core supporters think he and his actions are ‘saving’ this great nation. They aren’t deluded, maybe delusional, but not deluded. His supporters had come to believe the globalism inherent in our earlier administrations were destroying our national identity and ideology. The embrace of international concerns was not, in fact, ensuring our countries security and future. But were deceptions taking our funds, our tax dollars away to support ideologies, people, and nations elsewhere in defiance of the our common good.

Many truly believed that Washington D.C. bureaucratic and political establishment had become so entrenched that it was immune to the protestations and ideologies of the American people. A belief shared by many across all spectrums of the electorate. But instead of recognizing their complicity in this paralysis due to their hard-core inability to accept any compromise; a position birthed from their insistence that compromise is what got us here. They doubled down by electing a true outsider. A person known to disrupt, if for no other reason than the theater of the disruption itself.

They knew they were electing a fraud and they were glad of it. He is doing everything they wanted him to do, walking away from international accords, closing our borders, standing firm against foreigners, and putting the most egregious people in positions of power. Positions that enable them to rail against and hopefully destroy the entrenched bureaucracy, the ‘deep state’ (i.e. civil servants), that refuse to listen and bend to the will of the people.

But herein is the problem, these so-called patriots don’t know what they are talking about. They aren’t the rebels bringing down the empire. They aren’t the minute men standing against the tyranny of the King. They and their ignorance are the collective disease that could destroy our country. Really destroy it. Not only its ideology, but its very existence. But they will never see it because they live in a world of sound bites, click bait headlines, and propaganda.

Not once! Not once when confronted on those issues in which they cheered the news of some political or policy demise did these Trumpites offer any understanding of why that agreement or this policy was enacted in the first place. They refused to understand that we are a country of immigrants and they themselves are the children or great grandchildren of immigrants. Closing our borders is denying ourselves. They do not understand the depths of the Iran agreement and the many subtleties involved in moving a theocratic government into the civilization of men and women. They do not see where they are the beneficiaries of the very social programs they are voting to destroy. The Trumpites and Trump himself only see the black and white of any issue. The irony is not lost since they receive their limited information on color television.

They do not see, nor want to see, the merits of any position they oppose. Then again, that is their downfall. To them we are all winning now. We are finally getting the government and bureaucracy that we deserve. We even have bureaucracies, major governmental departments, that are running without leaders. Proof mind you, proof that they and their bureaucracies were never needed in the first place.

Merit is never what they sought. The virtue of a solid argument well supported with evidence and a consensus of the majority is not their goal. They have always come to a problem sideways. Resistance to their beliefs have always made them seek success through deception, interpretation of rules, subversion of policies, or outright lies. Guilt or shame was never their burden. They were always fighting ‘the man’ and you used what you had to win. The will of the majority was always wrong, simply because the majority was always manipulated by those in power.

So now what we have in the United States is the tail wagging the dog. Trump and the Trumpites, supporting Republicans and likeminded independents have through every survey and poll always registered as the minority view. They have gained no more than 40% of the nation in support of their positions and usually quite a bit less. Even in Trumps heralded victory 57% of the voters wanted someone, anyone else but him to be President.

The minority, through its manipulations of elections and preying on the levers of law, is telling the majority what to do. It isn’t the first time it has happened and I doubt it will be the last. Still it is time for it to stop. It is time for the big dog to hold still. It is time to return to majority rule. The policies and procedures the minority wants is not good for the country. Those institutions they are ignoring or letting decay are destroying our foundations. Our future as a global leader, as an economic power house, as a country with the highest personal living standards is at stake.

This time the majority must be heard. The minority cannot continue to jeopardize our country with ignorance, superstition, and false ideology. This time the majority must vote and be counted. Make sure you do.

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What the DACA is going on?

With a plethora of possible rants to choose from — hurricanes, North Korea and tax reform among them — today I have chosen immigration, primarily because of President Trump’s announcement that he would phase out the DACA program initiated by President Obama. Now many of you may not even know to what this latest government and media acronym refers. Let me enlighten you.

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It mandates a Department of Homeland Security administrative function. Implemented during the Obama presidency, it allows children that were brought to the United States by undocumented immigrants to be given a two-year renewable deferment and the possibility of a work permit. It was an effort to right a terrible wrong against children.

The understanding was that children had no choice in their immigration to the U.S. Their parents brought them whether they wanted to come or not. Now, after living decades in the United States, only their nation of birth keeps them from declaring themselves full and complete United States citizens. It’s sort of like living with a stepdad your entire life. Mr. What’sHisName planted the seed, but your Daddy is what grew ya’. As far as the immigrant children are concerned, Daddy is family. Mr. What’sHisName is some unknown stranger. Hell, you probably don’t even speak What’sHisName’s language.

But our antiquated immigration laws declared that those years with Daddy held no bearing on your loyalties. Mr. What’sHisName, whom you have never seen, lived with nor spoken with, was the sole decider of your Familia. You know, Daddy ain’t your Daddy. He’s just a placeholder. So, DACA was initiated as an administrative function of the Department of Homeland Security. It wasn’t an Executive Order. It wasn’t a law enacted by Congress. It wasn’t even funded by American taxpayers. Financing was provided through the fees paid by those who applied for the deferment.

Nice solution. No harm, no foul, no cost. Applicants had to have been brought by their families. You had to be under the age of 16 in 2007 to apply and a plethora of regulations ensured no crooks, criminals or social deviants were admitted. Plus, you had to reapply every two years to ensure you continue to be a good, contributing member of society. We keep the best of the crop and send the rest packing.

Why is this a “bad” thing?

Well, 26 governors, all Republicans, 20 of whom have no immigration problem, said it was. Didn’t matter that this program followed an outline of immigration reform designed by the Gang of Eight and passed by the Republican Senate in 2013. Didn’t matter that John Boehner didn’t bring it up in the House the same year even though whip counts indicated it would pass. Didn’t matter that it only affected children and teens who were, through no fault of their own, already here and full-fledged members of our society. No. It’s “bad” because the Obama administration violated the Constitution, because Obama by-passed Congress. You know, that same do-nothing, obstructionist Congress that passed Obamacare repeal 57 times and shut down the United States government.

So, off to court we go again. An injunction was sought and granted, but that only prevented expansion of the program. And by a divided court at that. You know, the Supreme Court with only eight members because Republicans wouldn’t act on the nomination of a new Justice to fill a vacancy. The resulting 4-4 tie left the original program in doubt.

Now, with their newly minted conservative Justice and Republican President, the court and Congress is set to answer this liberal assault against the U.S. Constitution. Forget that this will impact over 800,000 children and young adults. Forget that Republicans in Congress allowed President Obama to implement this program because they couldn’t pass wind. Forget that Republicans could have avoided all of this and saved the youngest among us all the stress and worry if they would do their damn job! No. To the barricades! We must protect our Constitution, or at least our interpretation of the Constitution, from those liberal-leaning socialists!

So here we sit, using children and young adults in a game of political football. The result is an embarrassing shame. What makes this so frustrating is that there are 321 million people in the United States. Only 5.2 million of them are actually Native Americans. The rest of us, all of us, are immigrants or the children of immigrants. If it weren’t for immigrants, there would be no United States, no Constitution, no freedom. To deny immigrants entry into our country is to deny ourselves.

What’s worse to my mind is that illegal immigration has been flat since 2009. An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants are currently in the U.S. That’s the same as in 2009. What this means is that, besides being a red herring issue fed to the masses to stoke unfounded fears, new illegal immigrants aren’t coming. Those who are here have been here, most of them for decades. We have become a nation that few wish to risk sacrificing everything to achieve. We are losing our status as a place of dreams and opportunities. We are choking off our own life blood.

As for those who still insist that illegal immigration is taking jobs away from hard-working Americans, I refer you to the recent jobs reports in Businessweek that showed crops rotting in the fields, farms failing and small businesses closing, all for the lack of immigrant labor. The vaunted white workforce refuses to apply. Jobs are plentiful, even with undocumented immigrants. Eight million “illegals” work in the United States, most of them in farming and construction. Yet, unemployment remains at less than 4.4%, typically defined as full employment.

Illegal immigration is an old song with a really bad score. The only ones who continue to sing it are those who want to pull up the drawbridge after they themselves have safely crossed. Instead of holding children hostage to legislative inadequacies, let’s insist Congress do its job and fix the problem. Placing blame is easy, but it is also an excuse. Let’s relight the flame of freedom and opportunity and welcome all to our shores. Let’s know what is important and what isn’t. And remember, as we walk through this shame, the party you choose and your vote for that party matters. It matters a great deal.

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Rubio. Where for art thou, Rubio?

I’m angry. We live in a republic. Now, I know a lot of you are going to interject and say we live in a democracy, but you would be wrong. Go find the definition on your own if you don’t understand the difference. I don’t have time here to teach you because, frankly, I’m more than a bit upset with our Senator, Marco Rubio, and his inability to live up to the most basic part of a republic. The basic premise is that HE is supposed to do the research and gather the information before he takes a vote representing us. He seems incapable of doing so even in the simplest of tasks. He just hangs onto and parrots party dogma and propaganda as truth. Then he uses the line of false rhetoric to justify his votes on OUR behalf.

Case in point: I’ve just watched his video wherein he states he has decided to back the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) without a replacement. Well, considering Obamacare saved my life quite literally, you might understand why I have an interest. His ignorance on this issue is appalling. His basic premise is that Obamacare is a failure, that it was unsustainable and is not working. (All evidence aside, I might add.) The reason for the failure is that younger workers were paying extremely high premiums for what amounts to nothing more than catastrophic insurance. These premiums were so high as to seriously affect their ability to support themselves. He also states that these premiums were having detrimental effects on employer-sponsored insurance plans, raising their costs and lowering coverage.

Both items are bullshit in its most pungent form, and it doesn’t take an insurance actuary or a mathematician to figure it out. All you need to do to get the figures for coverage on the Obamacare plan is go to https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/ and put in as many figures, scenarios, and variables as you want to determine the cost of your coverage. Best of all, in the final analysis you get to “CHOOSE” the coverage you want. What? Oh. My. God! You have choice? In healthcare? In the current health care plan? Who could’ve thunk it? And, yes, you can even stipulate that you qualify for employer coverage, Medicaid, or whatever. You can choose the state, the zip code, the number of people you are covering. It’s all there, Right in front of you. You don’t have to speculate, Mr. Rubio.

And what does this burdensome effort find if you go through the ten-minute process of checking from your laptop or cell phone? Well, if you’re a single male of 32 years making $30,000 a year, you can get health care insurance for less than $185 a month with guaranteed coverage of 10, count ’em, 10 conditions including ambulance service, prescription medications, and pre-existing conditions. Is the deducible high? Well, yes, in this scenario, because I chose to list my probability of using health care as low. I could have chosen higher or lower premiums, but I didn’t. The choice was mine. Something the Senator would have known had he done his job.

Now, you might be puffing up and arguing, “Yeah, but the annual premium is still $2,220. Really? You’re going to go there? I mean, insurance is so much more than the simple coverage and the premium. Insurance, in case you didn’t know, and it appears Sen. Rubio doesn’t, provides negotiated pricing for services and drugs, much lower than the cash prices. Yes! Oh gosh, oh golly — YES! Insurance companies negotiate the prices they will pay hospitals, pharmacies, and doctors on your behalf. That is the reason for their existence. Not only do you have access to care when you need it because you have an insurance card, but they charge you less, much less, than the retail price for the same services. Can you freakin’ believe it!

Now, let’s go to your “company policy” argument. You know the one about Obamacare being detrimental to employee sponsored insurance plans. First, I’m both a current and former owner of small businesses. What in your right mind makes you think I’d want to be responsible for my employees’ and their families’ health insurance? Why would I want to have to make the monthly premium checks, monitor members’ eligibility, negotiate coverage and do all the other things that create a human resources nightmare? Are you kidding me?

Many small companies provide insurance that doesn’t meet the basics required by the Affordable Care Act. You know things such as ambulance service, prescription drugs and pre-existing condition coverage. That’s why their premiums are so low. Talk about catastrophic-only insurance. Look, a lot of companies don’t offer the basics for the simple reason they are trying to get their employees off their plans so they don’t have the headache anymore. And believe me, employee health insurance is a big headache. It takes thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands, of time and energy each year for employers to monitor and negotiate health insurance. It’s much easier to get out of the game and concentrate on, you know, your business.

So, Senator Rubio, when you get on your high horse and put out a video explaining your vote to take insurance away from more than 32 million Americans, at least do the least you can do. Do your homework. Quit parroting the company line and for your constituent’s sake question the messenger. After all, the Republican Party didn’t elect you. We did. The people of the State of Florida. Do what’s best for us, not the propaganda that has been spewing from the depths of partisan disinformation and rhetoric.


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Only 100, Seems an Eternity

It’s been 100 days of unrelenting ignorance, stupidity, drama and comedy. And, no, I am not talking about the new Netflix season. This is about the tenure of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Probably the only thing that distresses me more than the possibility that we may have to put up with this failure of a human being for four years – perhaps eight! – is his strong, continued support of the voters who elected him.

The man said he wanted to disrupt Washington if he got elected, and by any measure he has succeeded in that. But there is a large difference between constructive demolition and ignorant destruction. His actions thus far confirm we can safely assume he is capable only of the latter. This random, oblivious obliteration of traditions, constructs, policies and procedures was expected by most Americans who went to the polls. What else could we have expected from a man so ignorant in the powers of the office he sought or the politics of the position? We would have had to look hard for someone more incompetent than the one who entered the White House on January 20. Yet, just barely enough voters blessed us with this incompetency. But, why?

In an April 27, 2017, ABC/Washington Post poll, after all the lunacy that has happened in the past 100 days, fully 96 percent of those who voted for Trump said it was the right thing to do and they would do it again. Only 2 percent felt they had made a mistake. It makes one wonder at what point would the other 98 percent also admit to a mistake. Does it take the world dissolving at their feet and hot fire at their toes before they recognize the failure? Or would they even then? Is pride just too important in their lives?

Here’s an incredibly negative poll for Trump. Sixty-four percent of Republicans said Trump was doing better in the presidency than they expected! This isn’t a good thing. Apparently, the bar was set so low for his capabilities that only 26% said he was doing about what they expected. Fifty-six percent of Democrats and 34 percent of Independents can believe how badly he is doing compared to their lowered expectations.

So why the continued support? In the face of this debacle, why do his voters continue to support him? Don’t they see the danger we are in? Are they oblivious to the destruction? The short answer is yes and no. They see the danger and destruction, but don’t necessarily believe it’s a bad thing. Some even think he is “correcting” a corrupt system. They see government as this big evil that must be destroyed. Trump, they believe, is demolishing the house so he can rebuild. Sorta like a “FixerUpper” TV reality show.

Let’s examine both ends of the spectrum. When President Obama was in office, Republicans could not understand how we could support him when he was so obviously wrong and destructive. Now the left is returning the favor. I can safely say that at no time did Obama deserve either the whole-hearted support or the whole-hearted hatred he received while in office. That’s a product of choosing sides. So, I can understand Republicans’ support of Trump, to a point. But, at no time did I see in any fashion the utter ignorance, stupidity and drama in Obama’s eight years in office that I’ve seen in 100 days of the Trump presidency.

I am completely exhausted and wish this nightmare would end. So, why doesn’t it? Why does Trump still have such strong support?

On April 29, 2017, President Trump told Reuters that he thought the job “would be easier.” Many jumped on this comment as further evidence of his incompetence. What I saw, however, was continuing evidence of a lack of understanding of the duties of political office by not only Trump, but also his supporters.

I frequently run into absolutists, people who are absolutely certain that political office is a service and political service should be provided free. Anything else is corruption. When it comes to school board or city council members, I have heard the comment time and again that “those people only work two days a month and 2 hours at a time. Why are we paying ’em for part-time work?” The same can be applied to state senators, representatives, congressmen and even governors. Not once do these absolutists research the voluminous number of hours our elected officials must spend going to workshops, lobbying for their communities and schools, reading countless reports, and attending multiple meetings to keep the public informed. Four hours a month? They should be ashamed.

It is ignorance like this that drives voters to believe a highly inexperienced man with dubious intelligence and a penchant for lying could possibly run a government with 800,000 employees, a $1.8 trillion (yes, I said trillion) operating budget and a GDP of 18 trillion dollars. Forget adding in all the other requirements – global leadership, guiding legislative action and national security. Hell, until the population understands that we can’t resolve our problems in a 44-minute reality show we will face constant challenges to “Make America Great Again.” I’ve got news for you: America is already great. And it’s because of this greatness we will get through this debacle.

What we need is less absolutists and more adult education. More understanding of what it takes to run a government. It’s too late for civics classes for adults, but maybe ads, commercial, infomercials, or even an adult “School House Rock”. Anything to wean them off the idea that government is easy, simple and straight forward. Anything to teach them that government in the US means to govern all the people and all the cultures not just the few in your neighborhood or your community. We need to invest more in high school civics classes not less. So future generations don’t have to face the same ignorance that forced us to accept the least among us to govern us. Our country nor the world can suffer this continued ignorance.

What we need, what we really need, is to teach our fellow Americans, everyone from the oldest adult to the youngest new potential voter, our place in this world and our country. We need to move them beyond rhetoric, 140 tweet characters and instant media gratification. We need to make them understand that governing is hard. It is hard at every level from the local school board to the Oval Office. We need them to know we need men and women in those offices who are capable of doing the job, who really understand what that job entails.

We need to grow up and throw out that old Cincinnatus myth. We can no longer simply plow our fields, go fight a war and then return to our plowshares. Our government, whether national or local, needs dedicated citizens, not fly-by-night pretenders. So,let’s get in there and educate. Write, teach and drag the uninformed into the conversation. Engage and don’t back down. Turn off the TV and have a talk. After all, it is our country. And the fight is worth it.

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THIS ONE’S PERSONAL: I’m the People’s Enemy?

By Richard Hébert

Excuse me, Mr. Trumpster. Are you accusing me of being an “enemy of the American people”? You have done it over and over again this past week or so, seemingly seizing every public opportunity to heap scorn on what I always considered a noble profession dedicated to the public good.

For me, sir, this is personal. I take great umbrage at your flippant scorn. But more than that, we of the press are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. We are the “Fourth Estate.” Our mission as the eyes and ears of the public watching every step you make is protected by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the First Amendment of that founding document. That, sir, is no small matter. When you malign and attack us, you malign and attack the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, I confess: I’m a member of the news media you so enjoy maligning. At least I was for most of my career, in one fashion or another. Although mostly retired now, I still consider myself a journalist-for-life. Still reporting – yes, and commenting – but always based on demonstrable facts.

I was an active newspaper reporter for the decade of the 1960s with the then Atlanta Constitution (now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Back then, we dealt only in facts, not opinionating, as seems so common these days in some media circles.

But, methinks thou doth protest too much, painting the media with far too broad a brush. I know and follow far too many fine reporters today who still confine themselves to known, provable facts, even if they must get them from “anonymous sources,” some of whom you yourself dispatch to “leak” facts to the media, others of whom work “for” you but are stressfully uncomfortable about the facts they see in your government. Indeed, you yourself engaged in anonymous sourcing in the past.

“Fake news?” You, Mr. POTUS, are the most egregious purveyor of fake news – “alternative facts,” your chief adviser calls them – on the scene today in the Western World.

Another confession. Once – I stress, only once – early in my career as a newspaper reporter, I committed false news. Unknowingly. At a contentious county commission hearing I was covering, a member kept repeating that a “Mr. Big” would not be pleased by a decision that was being contemplated.

I thought I knew that said unnamed “Mr. Big” was a certain local businessman, and I said so in print. When I arrived for work the next day, I was summoned into the managing editor’s office and told in no uncertain terms that I would have to write a retraction. Said businessman had called and denied he was “Mr. Big,” and that information was corroborated by the commission chair.

Shamed, even mortified, I wrote the retraction and apologized – immediately. It never happened again.

When, Mr. POTUS, have you ever – ever – apologized for any of the too-numerous-to-count demonstrably fictitious public statements by you and the minions around you? The size of your inaugural crowd in the face of contrary video evidence, the “record” size of your electoral college victory, and the “3 to 5 million” illegal votes you claim were cast for your opponent: all “fake news” in the service of pure self-aggrandizement.

Those “thousands” dancing on rooftops in New Jersey as the Twin Towers came down – a lie. The “terrorist attacks” in Atlanta, in Sweden, in Bowling Green – all lies. The 30 million illegals – rapists and drug dealers, all – in the U.S. from Mexico – just another “alternative fact”?

In my career at the newspaper, neither I nor my fellow journalists ever engaged in “alternative facts.” I investigated the rise of the racist John Birch Society. I witnessed civil rights demonstrations and, yes, race riots, and probed their origins. I used my investigative skills to defend the weak and un-served – police harassment of prostitutes; police harassment of gays; police nightly round-ups of the city’s destitute. homeless “Skid Row” men and women to be herded into a prison farm that could only be described as a concentration camp, forced to work on chain gangs, to eat food crawling with maggots, with no medical attention at all.

In those days, if you were a well-dressed lawyer on your way home inebriated, the police would escort you home. Not so the denizens of the street. What they desperately needed was attention to their chronic health problems. I joined them on the streets, in the prison, and on the chain gangs. And yes, I reported what I saw.

Before writing about such matters, I always witnessed them firsthand. What have you witnessed firsthand, Mr. POTUS? Other than those non-existent cheering thousands in New Jersey on 9/11?

No sir, I am quite proud of my chosen profession. We aren’t the purveyors of “fake news.” Look around you, sir. You are surrounded by the real liars. Heck, look in the mirror. Exaggeration, of the kind you specialize in, especially vilification of anyone who dares cross or defy you. Your chief strategist earned his stripes running Breitbart, the “platform for the alt right.” That platform, I should point out, is manufactured of racist and xenophobic lies, exaggerations and stereotypes as bold as any propagated by the Nazis.

Yes, at the end of the 1960s, I crossed over, with a little help, I might add, from what was considered Atlanta’s “establishment elite” at the time, those behind-the-scene power brokers of the business world who, I believed were meddling in the newspaper’s journalistic mission.

Without looking back, I moved to Washington, D.C., and became an “activist.” Instead of observing the ills and foibles of society, I joined forces with those seeking to ameliorate them. So, yes, I traded in my badge of objectivity for one of change-agent, using my journalistic and investigatory skills to help the Urban Coalition counter the “long hot summers” of race riots; reporting on and assisting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety design and promote safer cars and highways; promoting behavioral health sciences with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the American Psychological Society, and the Center for the Advancement of Health, among others.

Me, the enemy? Gimme a break!

The hole you are digging for yourself with such accusations, Mr. POTUS, is only getting deeper by the day. More and more frequently we hear the “I” word – Impeachment – bandied about. That, of course, would require a vote by a simple majority of the House of Representatives followed by a trial in the Senate and a vote of two-thirds of the senators, a challenging course of action, to be sure.

But there’s another route: the 25th amendment to the Constitution, enacted after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It states:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments [i.e., the Cabinet] or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. [Emphasis mine.]

And, if the President objects? He must submit a “written declaration that no inability exists.” And if the vice president and Cabinet insist that he (or she) is incapable of serving, for whatever reason? Then, “Congress shall decide the issue…by two-thirds vote of both Houses.” A high bar, to be sure, but probably more likely to be crossed than the “high crimes and misdemeanors” bar of impeachment.

George Will, a true conservative voice at Fox News, left Fox the day after the inauguration. He also publicly quit the Republican Party last June when even House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) endorsed the Trumpster’s presidential candidacy. Here are just some of the things Will has said recently about the Trumpster on Fox News, as aired on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell: the POTUS believes “apoplexy is a substitute for arguments…,” that “he’s a one-trick pony…,” “he’s a con artist…,” “a clown act….”

But, of course, Will is just another “enemy of the American people,” a purveyor of “fake news,” so let’s ask the experts whether the Trumpster is fit to be President.

It turns out, psychologists and psychiatrists are speaking out about Trump en masse because of what is called their “duty to warn.” O’Donnell interviewed two such specialists on MSNBC’s The Last Word.

First up, John Gartner, PhD, a widely-published Baltimore psychologist whose online petition of mental health professionals had more than 26,000 signatures at last report:

“If we could construct a psychiatric Frankenstein monster, we could not construct a leader more dangerously mentally ill than Donald Trump. This paranoid, psychopathic narcissist is divorced from reality and lashed out impulsively at his imagined enemies, and this is someone who is…handling the nuclear codes.… I would argue to my colleagues that those who don’t speak out are being unethical, that if we have some knowledge and understanding about the unique danger that Donald presents…and we don’t say something about it, history is not going to judge us kindly.”

Next up, Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired analyst with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. O’Donnell asked him about the Trumpster’s debate claim that he had lost “hundreds” of friends on 9/11, when in fact he had lost none.

He lies because of his sociopathic tendencies,…he scams people that he’s trying to sell an idea.… He has a loose grip on reality. We can say that because he lies about things that aren’t even that important to him, like the electoral college majority. And he’s been told that it’s not true, but he keeps doing it…. He can’t stand an aspect of reality that he doesn’t want. So, he rejects it. His grasp of reality, his attention to reality is loose, an extremely dangerous trait in a president, and (which) actually makes him unqualified.”

Gartner again:

“This is literally the worst-case scenario…. You have someone who handles the nuclear codes who is not in touch with reality and who’s paranoid, who has actually imagined that he’s under attack by people who are not actually attacking him. Then what you have is a very dangerous combination of someone who can act on his paranoid fantasies in a way that can have catastrophic consequences.”

Please, Donald. Next time you go in search of “enemies of the American people,” do the world a favor: go and consult a mirror. As for me, can an everyday news guy like myself sign Dr. Gartner’s petition? If so, where do I sign?

Related Reading:

Steve Bannon: A Not-So-Subtle Threat to the Media

Meet Some ‘Enemies of the American People’

Are Cabinet Members Now White House Janitors?

‘Fake News” – Political Strategy or Cop-Out…or Both?

Showtime or Governing: Does It Matter to POTUS?

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Richard Hébert, Donald Trump, POTUS, George Will, Lawrence O’Donnell, John Gartner, Lance Dodes, Fake News, Steve Bannon, Atlanta Constitution, civil rights,