I grew up in the country, outside of a small town, which was itself on the outskirts of Houston. We lived in a doublewide trailer, sharing the land with yaupon bushes, pine trees, stray dogs, and mosquitos. Every summer, we’d gather around the ol’ thermostat and yell cuss words at it, in unison. It was the only time Ma would let us young’uns cuss.
Here’s a quick list of things Donald Trump can do because, according to Rudy Giuliani’s legal ramblings, they aren’t expressly forbidden by the Constitution.
- He can eat Filet-o-Fish sandwiches and Big Mac’s with absolute impunity. The Constitution does not mention fast food, nor the President’s physical fitness, nor his status as a role model for the nation.
- He can cheat on his first wife with his second wife, cheat on her with yet another wife, cheat on that wife with a porn star, and cheat on the porn star with a Playboy model. The Constitution does not mention the President’s marital fidelity, nor does it make any reference to pornography.
- He can sacrifice a goat to the Devil in the middle of a pentagram on the South Lawn of the White House. The Constitution is remarkably silent on Satanic rituals.
- He can climb to the top of the Washington Monument and piss on the assembled masses below. The Constitution does not expressly prohibit watersports, though it is worth noting that the President’s physical fitness and aging prostate might prove to quash such activities.[i]
- He can ride a coked-up Bengal tiger through the halls of the White House. The Constitution never once mentions Bengal tigers.
- He can appoint completely unqualified hacks to every position under Article II, so long as he gains the “advice and consent” of the Senate. Given the Senate’s composition and recent record, it appears that there is no Constitutional prohibition, express nor implied, on having a Cabinet chock full o’ nincompoops. Nincompoopery = 100% constitutional.
- The President can lie, constantly, about matters large and small. The Constitution does not expressly forbid the President from lying. While the previous occupants lied occasionally, they significantly underutilized their apparent constitutional power to trade in outright deception.
- Donald can make money by selling hats and t-shirts with his mottos and image. The Constitution prohibits receiving emoluments from foreign governments, but there’s nothing in that document from 1789 that says he can’t dropship some custom-printed tees on a poorly managed website. As Alexander Hamilton once said, “get thine sales funnel primed, bro.”
- He can select himself to be an astronaut. The Constitution is strangely silent on matters of space travel.
- Trump can trick Mike Pence by promising to hold the football while the Veep kicks it, only to pull it away at the last second. Mr. Pence’s momentum will cause him to fall flat on his back, but he’ll never learn. And the President is completely safe, as the Framers never made a single mention of Peanuts, Charlie Brown, nor Lucy. It’s safe to assume the lack of prohibition on the old cartoon prank was fully intentional.
- The President can wear a Qaddafi/Stalin/Mussolini/Idi Amin style military uniform. As the Commander-in-Chief, it’s assumed that the President is a civilian representative of the populace who, in turn, exercises authority over the people’s military. But that’s an assumption. The Constitution never once says that the President can’t play dress-up and strut around like the very model of a modern major general.
- He can play golf every single weekend, come hell or high water. Presidents before Trump, and Trump before President Trump, felt that the job of President of the United States was simply too demanding to afford much time on the links. But there’s not a single line in the entire Constitution telling us exactly how much golf is too much golf. We’re left to assume that nonstop golf would be possible, legal, and acceptable in the eyes of the Framers.
Gun violence is rampant, and other than restricting access to firearms — an absolute nonstarter — there’s simply nothing we can do about it. Not a single sensible answer exists. Which is why we have to abandon sensibility, and latch on to some good ol’ fashioned American hardscrabble ingenuity.
We have to start killing our own children.
There’s something about the psyche of the average American conservative that makes them only truly win when someone else is losing.
There’s no victory in seeing everyone do better because, in the conservative mind, not everyone deserves to do better. What kind of world would it be if there was no punishment for making bad decisions?
[SHOUTED FROM OFFSTAGE] The world Donald Trump lives in?
Shut the hell up, imaginary person I’m using as a silly literary device. No one asked you. Continue reading
We can disagree about football. I like the Houston Texans, my dad follows the Texans but can’t shake his East Texas roots: he’s a Cowboys fan through and through. I’ve disliked the Cowboys pretty much my entire life. And Dallas, for that matter.
Dallas is what Houston would be if Houstonians lost everything that makes them interesting and fun. All that would be left is a bunch of boring people, sweating profusely, stuck in traffic. I will give them credit for the show, Dallas. And that’s only because (a) J.R. Ewing was a badass, and (b) the theme song reminds me of my childhood. So does the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy and the crisp, cool taste of Budweiser. It’s beechwood aged for that taste that says, “I’m 3 and drinking my uncle’s beer. Again.”
Blame it on my seasonal allergies. Or maybe it’s my various ailments attributable to age-related wear and tear. Mostly wear, but no significant tears. For that, I am grateful, as getting torn sounds quite painful.
Perhaps I just suppress my rage, and it’s bubbling out of my assorted head-holes now. But I’m feeling that familiar “I’d like to punch a baby right in its adorable pudgy face” feeling that I get now and then. Continue reading
I own a restaurant in Washington, DC, about four blocks from the speaker’s stage for March For Our Lives. It’s called Merzi, look us up!
I had a front row seat to the Women’s March in 2017, and saw hundreds of thousands of people engaging in their First Amendment rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government. It was awe-inspiring and emotionally moving. Continue reading
Several years ago, I read an interesting take on the purpose of marriage. It has stuck with me ever since. I wish I could find the original, but my ex-wife took it in the divorce. Here’s the gist:
Marriage isn’t meant to make you happy, it just makes you married. Being happy is your responsibility. But from the foundation of a good and stable relationship, you can seek your personal happiness instead of spending your energy seeking a mate.
It’s no one else’s responsibility to make you happy. No one can “make” another person happy. Your mate might make you happier. But in the end, your emotional state isn’t your partner’s responsibility. It’s yours. And it’s likewise not your partner’s fault if you’re miserable. Of course, it may not be yours, either. But your emotional state is still your responsibility, and yours alone. Continue reading
When you’re a kid, adults inspire you by saying, “You can be anything you want when you grow up!” Sometimes parents illustrate the true grandeur of that statement with a follow up: “…you could even be the president!”
My mom used to tell me that I was just too smart to be the president. Throughout my life, I’ve switched between two beliefs. Sometimes I believe my mom wholeheartedly. Other times, I think her premise is absurd. That switch has occurred once every eight years.
They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I am not sure who “they” are but they make an excellent point.
Acting on one’s good intentions, such as giving advice in the form of proverbs, can have unintended negative consequences.
President George W. Bush wanted to improve America’s public schools. As a well-heeled, conservative businessman, he believed that if students could just move to Connecticut and go to expensive prep schools, we’d get a double benefit: better education and deeper bench strength for the U.S. yachting team. Continue reading