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Is Trump fit for leadership?
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dzu
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:14 am    Post subject: The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump Reply with quote

The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump
The West Wing has come to resemble the dankest realms of Twitter, in which everyone is racked with paranoia and everyone despises everyone else.
By David Remnick

hat made the Emperor Nero tick, Suetonius writes in “Lives of the Caesars,” was “a longing for immortality and undying fame, though it was ill-regulated.” Many Romans were convinced that Nero was mentally unbalanced and that he had burned much of the imperial capital to the ground just to make room for the construction of the Domus Aurea, a gold-leaf-and-marble palace that stretched from the Palatine to the Esquiline Hill. At enormous venues around the city, he is said to have sung, danced, and played the water organ for many hours—but not before ordering the gates locked to insure that the house would remain full until after the final encore. Driven half mad by Nero’s antics, Romans feigned death or shimmied over the walls with ropes to escape.

Chaotic, corrupt, incurious, infantile, grandiose, and obsessed with gaudy real estate, Donald Trump is of a Neronic temperament. He has always craved attention. Now the whole world is his audience. In earlier times, Trump cultivated, among others, the proprietors and editors of the New York tabloids, Fox News, TMZ, and the National Enquirer. Now Twitter is his principal outlet, with no mediation necessary.

The President recently celebrated the holidays at Mar-a-Lago, the Domus Aurea of Palm Beach, and nearly every day, before setting out for the golf course, he thumbed his bilious contempt for . . . such a long list! Science itself did not escape his scorn:
    In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!

Future scholars will sift through Trump’s digital proclamations the way we now read the chroniclers of Nero’s Rome—to understand how an unhinged emperor can make a mockery of republican institutions, undo the collective nervous system of a country, and degrade the whole of public life.

Trump joined Twitter in March, 2009. His early work in the medium provided telling glimpses of his many qualities. He was observant. (“I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.”) He used facts to curious ends. (“Windmills are the greatest threat in the US to both bald and golden eagles.”) He was concerned with personal appearance. (“Barney Frank looked disgusting—nipples protruding—in his blue shirt before Congress. Very very disrespectful.”) He was fastidious. (“Something very important, and indeed society changing, may come out of the Ebola epidemic that will be a very good thing: NO SHAKING HANDS!”) He was sensitive to comic insult. (“Amazing how the haters & losers keep tweeting the name ‘F*kface Von Clownstick’ like they are so original & like no one else is doing it.”) He was post-Freudian. (“It makes me feel so good to hit ‘sleazebags’ back—much better than seeing a psychiatrist (which I never have!).”)

In due course, Trump perfected his unique voice: the cockeyed neologisms and the fractured syntax, the emphatic punctuation, the Don Rickles-era exclamations (“Sad!” “Doesn’t have a clue!” “Dummy!”). Then he started dabbling in conspiracy fantasies: China’s climate “hoax,” President Obama’s Kenyan birth, “deep-state” enemies trying to do him in. Meanwhile, he kept an indulgent eye on the family business (“Everybody is raving about the Trump Home Mattress”) and, via retweeting, sought new friends, including anti-Muslim bigots, a PizzaGate-monger, and someone who goes by @WhiteGenocideTM.

During the 2016 Presidential campaign, and then in the first days of the Administration, some commentators counselled their colleagues to ignore the early-morning salvos about small hands or large crowds. “Stop Being Trump’s Twitter Fool,” Jack Shafer, of Politico, advised, just after the election. Trump’s volleys were merely a shrewd diversion from serious matters. “By this time,” Shafer wrote, “you’d expect that people would have figured out when Donald Trump is yanking their chain and pay him the same mind they do phone calls tagged ‘Out of Area’ by caller ID.” Sean Spicer, the President’s first press secretary, insisted otherwise. Trump, he pointed out, “is the President of the United States,” and so his tweets are “considered official statements by the President of the United States.”

Spicer was right: a pronouncement by the President is a Presidential pronouncement. But Trump’s tweets are most valuable as a record of his inner life: his obsessions, his rages, his guilty conscience. No bile goes unexpectorated. Trump, who does not care for government work, is more invested in his reputation as a creative writer, declaring more than once that “somebody said” that he is “the Hemingway of a hundred and forty characters.”
[...]
To the astonishment of our traditional allies, Trump humiliates and weakens a country he pretends to lead.
[...]
Scandal envelops the President. Obstruction of justice, money-laundering, untoward contacts with foreign governments—it is unclear where the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will land and what might eventually rouse the attention of the U.S. Senate. Clearly, Trump senses the danger. A former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been indicted. A former national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, has admitted to lying to the F.B.I. and has become a coöperating witness. The President sees one West Wing satrap and Cabinet official after another finding a distance from him. “Where is my Roy Cohn?” he asked his aides angrily, according to the Times, when his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, defied his wishes and recused himself from the Russia investigation.

In the meantime, there is little doubt about who Donald Trump is, the harm he has done already, and the greater harm he threatens. He is unfit to hold any public office, much less the highest in the land. This is not merely an orthodoxy of the opposition; his panicked courtiers have been leaking word of it from his first weeks in office. The President of the United States has become a leading security threat to the United States. ♦

Read the entire article at:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/15/the-increasing-unfitness-of-donald-trump
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:09 am    Post subject: Trump's Own Staff: "He's Just A F*cking Fool" Reply with quote

Trump's Own Staff: "He's Just A F*cking Fool"
Michael Wolff’s new book details a laundry list of senior White House staff descriptions of Trump. They range from “fucking fool” to “fucking moron."

https://youtu.be/tRGOAkiZZLk


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:46 am    Post subject: It's fair to ask about Trump's fitness for office Reply with quote

Stelter: It's fair to ask about Trump's fitness for office
CNN's Brian Stelter discusses President Trump's fitness for office and questions raised by Michael Wolff's controversial and disputed book "Fire and Fury."

https://youtu.be/BwFuDT_9L8w


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:54 am    Post subject: 'Does not read, does not listen' Reply with quote

I found this a particularly good analysis of Trump's state and situation.

"They Say He's A Moron. An Idiot"
“…Does not read. Does not listen."

https://youtu.be/04SISqgRf8g


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:07 pm    Post subject: "He's A Toxic President!" Reply with quote

"He's A Toxic President!" Panel LASHES OUT On Trump's STUPIDITY

https://youtu.be/2iS1htQ8SrI


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:09 pm    Post subject: DISASTROUS Trump NY Times Interview Reply with quote

White House "Embarrassed" Over DISASTROUS Trump NY Times Interview
Donald Trump's recent interview with the New York Times contained a number of gaffes made by the president on the FBI's Russia probe, and a Trump official called the White House's lack of organization and coordination ahead of the interview "embarrassing"

https://youtu.be/oYKJIu0Nsig


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 am    Post subject: Trump Is Becoming More Erratic and Working Less Reply with quote

Trump Is Becoming More Erratic and Working Less
Seth takes a closer look at Donald Trump continuing to prove that he's an increasingly erratic president who's unfit for his job and apparently working even fewer hours and neglecting urgent issues.

https://youtu.be/RolwE1lXOq8


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:59 pm    Post subject: Looking for a Stable Genius for President Reply with quote

Looking for a Stable Genius for President
The question of whether Trump has the right mind to be President must be seen for what it is: a political question.
By Amy Davidson Sorkin

The image of President Donald Trump’s mind as an empty wasteland—a void touched only by sudden storms and mirages—has a strong hold on members of both the Democratic and Republican parties. For Democrats, scorn for Trump’s intellectual abilities is of a piece with their rage at almost every aspect of his Presidency—indeed, at the very fact of his Presidency. And it’s as good an explanation as any for his Administration’s often incomprehensible actions. Sometimes his tweets read as the work of a malcontent tween, with boasts that are recklessly large. Other times, they contain assertions of Presidential power that seem to suggest that the plain language of the Constitution is inscrutable to him, or just uninteresting. Then there was his tweet this past weekend, in response to Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” about his status as “a very stable genius,” which was almost self-nullifying: would a stable genius, or even a slightly wobbly, reasonably intelligent person, reveal his insecurities in such a manner?

A certain sort of Republican, meanwhile, sees some comfort in the idea that Trump, having won the election for the Party, is ready to have his vague allegiance to conservatism fleshed out and explained by someone who really is smart about such things—whether a pragmatic politician or an orthodox ideologue. The delusions and the self-deceptions of both types of Republican are on flamboyant display in Wolff’s book. This is particularly true of Steve Bannon, whose triumphalist braying to Wolff has now become a grovelling wail; Bannon spent the weekend begging not only Trump but also his erstwhile financial backers to forgive him. But Bannon was not the only one who thought that he was engaged in a tug-of-war for an empty vessel that would give its possessor fabulous powers. A number of Republican leaders have imagined that Trump’s vapidity could be their ladder. His volatility was also a fine alibi for their own ambitions and their complicity in his Administration. Wolff opens his book with a scene that illustrates this tendency: at a dinner party after the election, a worried Roger Ailes, of Fox News, who, according to Wolff, “was convinced that Trump had no political beliefs or backbone,” talks to Bannon about the plan to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “Does Donald know?” Ailes asks. Bannon replies with a smile and “almost with a wink.”

Playing the role of a would-be Svengali demands a certain subtlety of Republicans, at least in their public pronouncements, but it would seem that a number of them make up for it with semi-private expressions of smugness. Many appear in Wolff’s book, which is weak on analysis and policy reporting but is a revelatory well of transcribed backbiting and bitter braggadocio. (Wolff says that his sources include both his own interviews and “the almost samizdat sharing, or gobsmacked retelling, of otherwise private and deep-background conversations,” which is a fancy way of describing gossip.) He also says that he doesn’t himself believe that some of the stories he’s heard are true; others are already common currency in reporting on Trump. The White House has described the book as fiction, and Bannon, who spoke on the record, as almost deranged; Trump said that Bannon had “lost his mind.” But, if so, he is a delusional self-promoter whom Trump himself elevated to a position of power in the West Wing. Wolff may, at times, mistake the terms of the various fights, but their pettiness and their ugliness is unmissable.

In the White House that Wolff portrays, finding crude ways to call the President stupid is a form of therapy. It had already been widely reported that Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, called the President “a fucking moron.” Wolff adds Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, and Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff, calling Trump an “idiot”; Gary Cohn, the President’s chief economics adviser, calling him “dumb as shit”; and H. R. McMaster, the national-security adviser, throwing in “dope.” For good measure, Bannon says that Ivanka Trump is “dumb as a brick.”

But the insults are reciprocated. The book also notes that Trump called Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, “a complete idiot,” and, while mocking Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “drew a corrosive portrait of physical and mental weakness.” When Bannon, rolling his eyes, starts calling the President’s family and his inner circle “the geniuses,” he is, Wolff writes, engaged in copy-cat name-calling: “geniuses” is Trump’s own sarcastic term for the political professionals who get everything wrong. (“Genius” is a word that pops up a lot in Wolff’s book, almost always as a slur.) Putting up with Trump’s insults seems to be part of working for him. It also seems to be infectious. If the White House has descended into a scene not unlike a schoolyard, where everyone is shouting that everyone else is stupid, are we hearing a sober assessment of the President’s intelligence, or just observing a spectacle of dysfunction? At a certain point, does the distinction even matter? It’s not a wise way to run a White House.

Trump, in another tweet this weekend, attesting to the power of his mind, wrote that “the Fake News Mainstream Media” was “taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence.” He added, “throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” One odd aspect of the discussion of Trump’s mind in the past few days is the way that those two qualities—intelligence and stability—have been yoked together. This has not always been the case in the political “playbook.” (Republican critics of Franklin D. Roosevelt, including, as I noted recently, Herbert Hoover and members of his Cabinet, thought that F.D.R. was dim but pleasantly even-keeled.) In Reagan’s case, Democrats may have been too invested in the idea that he was a know-nothing movie star, missing the way his years as a conservative speaker and governor had formed him. Yet it has become increasingly clear that there may have been real questions concerning Reagan’s mental fitness in office, related not to his intelligence or to his ideological vision (which did have real depth) but to the early effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Is Trump a genius? That’s not the question that matters, in part because the answers it yields are, again, often distractions. Trying to win an argument by calling the person on the other side stupid does not tend to be productive. It also opens one up to the trap of thinking that a person who is not “smart” can be manipulated or persuaded—perhaps by some economic-growth charts that Paul Ryan comes up with. Trump lacks an accurate, full picture of the world and how it works—of history, of the philosophies that form and drive nations. But he does seem to have a picture, distorted though it may be, that he holds onto tightly, no matter what he is told; he has an ideology. He was calling for a ban on Muslims months before the man he now calls Sloppy Steve joined his campaign. Bannon left the White House last year; Trump doesn’t seem to have undergone any transformation. (He also, despite Bannon’s absence, announced that the embassy was moving to Jerusalem.) That he has, along the way, discarded various positions is more of a sign of his willfulness and his instinctive opportunism than of his malleability.

But is Trump stable? There is no question that he is unpredictable and undisciplined; he has bragged about that. He is also callous and bigoted, qualities that can lead a person to act indifferently where the well-being of those deemed less worthy is concerned. (Trump’s talk of his intelligence has a eugenic streak to it, as evidenced in his tales of his Uncle John, who was a professor at M.I.T.) But insanity is distinct from either idiocy or indifference. If the people around Trump are covering for him in that respect, they should put what they know before the public; if they don’t, they might reflect on whether they have become captive to the idea that they themselves are essential, stable geniuses—and on how much of the nation’s safety they are wagering on that notion. Wolff recounts discussions in the White House about whether the situation was “Twenty-fifth Amendment bad,” referring to the part of the Constitution that could, in theory, be used to remove Trump if his Cabinet, Vice-President, and also (if Trump objects to their assessment) Congress conclude he has become unable to discharge his duties. My colleague Evan Osnos has written about this amendment, which was designed for disabilities. Theoretically, if Trump appears to those around him to have truly lost his grip on reality, it could come into play. But it’s not a quick fix. Neither is impeachment, which depends on the coöperation of both the Senate and the House. Maybe, if the Democrats somehow manage to win control of both chambers later this year, that scenario would become more likely. But neither instability nor idiocy is, in itself, an impeachable offense.

In reality, the question of whether Trump has the right mind to be President must be seen for what it is: a political question. Voters are the ones asked, ultimately, to make the risk assessment. Those who oppose him, in highlighting his really dangerous volatility, might ask when his supporters will see that he is stupid and unfit—and that they, in contrast, are clever and competent—and just stop this crazy Presidency? The answer, for all practical purposes, is when someone comes up with a candidate who can beat Trump.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/looking-for-a-stable-genius-for-president
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:11 pm    Post subject: The clueless president Reply with quote

Ryan Spent 30 Minutes Explaining FISA Law to Trump

House Speaker Paul Ryan had to spend 30 minutes on the phone Thursday explaining the difference between domestic and foreign surveillance to President Trump after he appeared to confuse the two on Twitter, The Washington Post reports. Ryan’s intervention came after Trump “freaked out” House Republican lawmakers with his public condemnation of part of a surveillance program the White House had just urged Congress to preserve. Trump claimed Section 702 of the FISA law—the reauthorization of which the House was due to vote on—was used to “so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign.” The president’s outrage at the surveillance law came less than an hour after a Fox News personality condemned it on Fox & Friends, and he reportedly quoted the Fox News chyron verbatim in his tweet. Trump only reversed his stance on the FISA law after Ryan and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly explained to him that the section of the law in question pertains to foreign surveillance.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-ping-pong-on-surveillance-law-sets-off-a-101-minute-scramble/2018/01/11/748026ec-f6ef-11e7-b34a-b85626af34ef_story.html?source=CSAMedition&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.fe570ea5da5a&via=newsletter
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:17 pm    Post subject: Trump's "Shit hole Countries" Remark Reply with quote

Trump's "Shit hole Countries" Remark
Trevor wonders how Norway is handling Trump's "shithole countries" comment.

https://youtu.be/9dgWhY_jRZU


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