October 11th, 2017

Trump goes nuclear—or does he?

What are we to make of this series of stories?

Headlines:

“Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military” [an NBC story]

“Trump suggests challenging NBC’s broadcast license.” [from Politico]

“‘I Hate Everyone in the White House!’: Trump Seethes as Advisers Fear the President Is ‘Unraveling’” [from Vanity Fair]

The second story is the easiest to evaluate. All you have to do is look at Trump’s Twitter page, where he wrote today at 6:45 AM:

Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a “tenfold” increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!

And then ten minutes later:

With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!

The Politico article I already linked to starts this way:

President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that NBC’s broadcast license should be pulled as punishment for the network’s reporting on his national security meetings, opening a new front in the president’s long-running battle with the press.

NBC News published a report Wednesday morning stating that Trump had surprised his national security advisers by proposing a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a July meeting. The meeting was what allegedly led Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call Trump a “moron” — a comment that NBC first reported last week.

Trump lashed out at NBC, appearing to make a threat that is not even possible, given that the Federal Communications Commission doesn’t directly license networks.

Does that describe the tweets? Trump’s words are actually posed as a question. Is that the same as to “suggest that NBC’s broadcast license should be pulled as punishment”? I don’t think I’m just quibbling here. I really dislike Trump’s bringing this up even as a question; it’s the sort of thing that makes people fear we’re descending into banana republic territory or worse. It’s wrong whoever does it.

Why do I say “whoever does it”? Politico may have a short and selective memory, but I don’t, and I recall this story:

Straight out of the Democratic handbook Harry Reid used to threaten ABC’s broadcast license for showing the “Path to 9/11,” here’s Obama lawyer Robert Bauer warning station managers not to air the NRA’s new anti-Obama “Hunter” ad if they want to stay in the FCC’s good graces. Follow the link and read his letter and the NRA’s rebuttal for point/counterpoint.

It’s instructive to follow the links there, but for now I’ll just quote what Bauer wrote to ABC back then:

[T]he manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC… Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation…

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events…

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows…

A bit further down in the Politico article we find the actual text of Trump’s tweets. But how many people are still reading by then, and how many stopped at that lede, which says Trump suggested that NBC’s license should be pulled as punishment?

Let’s turn now to the first headline and story, the one from NBC that said that Trump wanted to increase the nuclear arsenal tenfold:

President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.

According to the officials present, Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised. Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the buildup. In interviews, they told NBC News that no such expansion is planned.

I have no trouble imagining that’s a true story, although I have no idea whether it actually is true. I also have no trouble imagining why Trump might have said such a thing, either. He wants a strong America and a strong nuclear deterrent. It has been clear from the time of the 2016 campaign that Trump is no expert on nuclear weaponry. I’m not sure how many presidents are at the outset of their terms, but let’s say Trump (not having been in government) is less expert than most, which is saying something. It sounds like he become alarmed at what looked like weakness, indicated a desire for greater strength, was given some details by his advisors on the matter, and listened to them and abandoned the idea. In other words, he was at a meeting to express his opinions and ask questions and to get feedback from experts, and that’s what happened.

Fancy that.

The article goes on and on and on, the whole thing suggesting that Trump is a hotheaded warmonger. It’s obviously meant to engender fear on a subject that arouses great anxiety, nuclear weaponry.

What I’ve written so far uses as a hypothetical the idea that the report is true, and that these “three officials” can be trusted. But I see no reason why that would be so. All the anonymous sources who’ve spilled the beans on the White House so far haven’t exactly covered themselves with glory in regard to veracity. Why should we believe them now?

That doesn’t mean they’re lying. It just means we have no way to tell anymore and no reason to trust them. That’s a sad thing, but that’s the way it is.

The following also appeared in the Politico piece:

Defense Secretary James Mattis, in a statement released minutes after Trump’s media availability ended, said “recent reports that the President called for an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal are absolutely false. This kind of erroneous reporting is irresponsible.”

So, who do you believe, NBC or Mattis/Trump?

As for that third article, the one from Vanity Fair, I have no trouble believing that Trump said he “hates everyone in the White House.” I might say something similar too, if I were president and I perceived so many moles around me. But as far as Trump’s “unraveling” goes, we’ve been hearing that from the MSM on a daily basis, and as yet I see no evidence of it. Trump continues to function. His tweets are the same sort of things he’s always tweeted. The MSM doesn’t like his tweets—and I certainly don’t like some of them—but I see no “unraveling.”

So if the NBC story is a lie, what would the remedy be? The classic answer is: “stories that refute it,” but how do you do that? Does Mattis’ denial accomplish that? At what point is a newspaper liable for printing lie and lie after lie in an effort to bring a president down? If this is what they’re doing, it’s a very dangerous game. Should there be any consequences, and can there be any consequences that don’t compromise the value of a free press?

40 Responses to “Trump goes nuclear—or does he?”

  1. Manju Says:

    “Suggest” is a fair way of describing Trump’s comments regarding censoring NBC news.

    By definition, the word is something of a qualifier: to “state or express indirectly”, or “to mention for consideration or possible action”.

    One synonym for “suggest” is “imply”. Another is “hint”. Colloquially, at least when not used to describe advice or recommendations, the word exists somewhere between the “imply” and “explicitly state” continuum.

  2. Griffin Says:

    The tweets of that kind are just more silliness that should be ignored. The nuclear comments appear to be at best taken wildly out of context and at worse plain old lies. It’s more of the same stuff that gets reported nowadays.

    It’s taking to the extreme the cliché that the media takes everything in the worst possible light when said by a Republican while painting in the best light or quietly ignoring damaging comments said by a Democrat.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju:

    The proper word is “questioned,” not “suggested.” NBC is aware of that, believe me, whether you are or not. They are writers, and they know exactly what they’re doing.

    A suggestion goes something like, “I think perhaps you should,,,” “I believe that it would be good for you to…”

    “At what point is it appropriate to…” is not a suggestion.

    And Obama’s lawyer Bauer did a whole lot more than question, and a whole lot more than suggest. He wrote the quoted letter.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “can there be any consequences that don’t compromise the value of a free press?” neo

    What ‘free’ press?

  5. AMartel Says:

    Negative spin du jour (or du minute). Everything Trump=BAD.
    Cahoots, chaos, unstable, nuclear, unravelling, dangerous
    to say nothing of
    rude, orange, boorish, rich, unpresidential, unprecedented,
    and that’s just a sampling the non-vulgar stuff.

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    A bit further down in the Politico article we find the actual text of Trump’s tweets. But how many people are still reading by then, and how many stopped at that lede, which says Trump suggested that NBC’s license should be pulled as punishment?

    yeah. you can go back decades and start noticing it more and more till it boggles the mind you didnt notice it before when it sounded more agreeable to one. (and how much did people memorize when it was such?)

    I coded some for fun when i got the newspaper daily

    anyone want to go on a hunt to point them out and show what been missing in front of us for long time? it didn’t start with trump, and if it didn’t go gradually, everyone would have noticed it more and more. and if it wasn’t mostly successful, we would have noticed it earlier.

    go hard enough and you can find long lived entities not willing to look to what they said in the past or in history when writing articles today!! can you say “no concordance” with a linear factual non interpreted history?

    heck, its even more interesting reading people go several lies deep in recursion (if you remember that what you reading is from the press).

    What Does It Take for the Press to Call a Lie a Lie? – Mother Jones

    but why would we remember “Lügenpresse”
    Lying press is a pejorative political term used largely by German political movements for the printed press and the mass media at large, when it is believed not to have the quest for truth at the heart of its coverage.

    for perspective:
    The term gained traction in the March 1848 Revolution when Catholic circles employed it to attack the rising, hostile liberal press. In the Franco-German War (1870–71) and particularly World War I (1914–18) German intellectuals and journalists used the term to denounce what they believed was enemy war propaganda
    After the war, German-speaking Jewish Marxists such as Karl Radek and Alexander Parvus vilified “the bourgeois lying press” as part of their class struggle rhetoric.
    The Nazis adopted the term for their propaganda against the Jewish, communist, and later the foreign press. During the protests of 1968, left-wing students disparaged the liberal-conservative Axel Springer publishing house, notably its flagship daily Bild, as a “lying press”

    Things always look different when you know so much history that what seems unique or such ends up being common and not rare at all… at least not after about the 1850s…

  7. TommyJay Says:

    A claimed tenfold increase in the nuclear arsenal, if true, would be shocking. On the other hand, Diane Feinstein’s “Can’t we all just get along?” desire to eliminate all nukes (maybe she’s grown up lately, I haven’t paid attention) is just idiotic.

    The workhorse of our arsenal had been the physically small W88 warhead, which became very old, was not maintained even though it required maintenance, and it was claimed that it couldn’t be maintained. Would it work at its old age and how well? No one knew for sure since G. H. W Bush’s ban on underground testing.

    The scare of that situation caused G. W. Bush’s team to start a program of sub-critical underground testing, which proceeded at a glacial pace, and a modern re-design of the W88. I’m guessing the latter is finished and the old W88 are slowly being re-built with the new design.

    The current scary part, with my limited understanding, is that Lawrence Livermore Labs sucked up billions or tens of billions to computer simulate the explosion of a nuke. They also have a real experimental system called NIF that is supposed to keep the computer model honest. But you don’t really know how well a warhead will work if you don’t test it, IMHO.

    I certainly would be pleased to see a modest expansion of our arsenal and its maintenance and testing beyond the Obama plan, even without knowing the details.

  8. Artfldgr Says:

    Project Veritas has released a video of the New York Times video gatekeeper Nicholas Dudich

    While talking about being objective at the Times, Dudich replies candidly, “No I’m not, that’s why I’m here.”

    Dudich goes on to explain what he might do to target President Trump: “I’d target his businesses, his dumb fuck of a son, Donald Jr., and Eric…

    “Target that. Get people to boycott going to his hotels. Boycott… So a lot of the Trump brands, if you can ruin the Trump brand and you put pressure on his business and you start investigating his business and you start shutting it down, or they’re hacking or other things. He cares about his business more than he cares about being President. He would resign. Or he’d lash out and do something incredibly illegal, which he would have to.”

    When the undercover journalist asks Dudich if he could make sure that the anti-Trump stories make it to the front, he replied, “Oh, we always do.”

    As stated in the NYT Ethical Handbook, the goal of the New York Times is to “cover the news as impartially as possible.” It continues in Section 62:

    “Journalists have no place on the playing field of politics. Staff members are entitled to vote, but they must do nothing that might raise questions about their professional neutrality or that of The Times.”

    Before working at the Times, Dudich worked on the political campaigns of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

  9. Cornhead Says:

    I don’t believe a word on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC about Trump.

    Chris Hayes tonight on MSNBC was unhinged. Some former aide to Colin Powell was just as bad. Suggested Trump was insane.

  10. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Anything I read that suggests negative behavior by Trump is immediately questioned on my part.
    Not denied, but I’ll withhold judgement as I cannot guarantee to myself that what I’m hearing is true.

  11. David Foster Says:

    I’m pretty sure that networks, per se, don’t HAVE broadcast licenses. The licenses are at the station level, since it is the stations that are allocated specific slices of airwaves. NBC does own some stations directly, but I believe these are greatly outnumbered by its non-owned affiliate stations.

    So any action against a “network’s broadcast license” would either have to be actually a multitude of actions against individual stations, or would have to be limited to the network’s directly-owned stations.

  12. Ray Says:

    I used to subscribe to the WAPO but stopped taking it years ago because there was no difference between the editorial pages and the front pages. I concluded the so called reporters were actually corrupt dishonest democrat apparatchiks. The WAPO has been the democrats Pravda for a long time.

  13. Dobbins Says:

    Watching Brian Williams tonight conducting a full scale slander of President Trump.

    MSNBC, CNN, ABC, WAPO, NYT. et al………. all-in for the “Resistance”.

    At some point, the damage to the nation from a concerted offensive against a fairly elected President, begins to border on 5th column treason.

    Watching Eugene Washington WAPO reporter talk about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the President.

    You know…….. when non-fraudlent ballots don’t count anymore, then bullets will count – aka Venezuela, Cuba, Egypt, etc.

    It’s a dangerous dangerous game the unhinged left is playing. I don’t think they have any idea at all of what forces they are trying to unleash.

  14. AesopFan Says:

    Griffin Says:
    October 11th, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    It’s taking to the extreme the cliché that the media takes everything in the worst possible light when said by a Republican while painting in the best light or quietly ignoring damaging comments said by a Democrat.
    * *
    … until the Dem steps off the reservation, of course.

  15. AesopFan Says:

    Dobbins Says:
    October 11th, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    It’s a dangerous dangerous game the unhinged left is playing. I don’t think they have any idea at all of what forces they are trying to unleash.
    * * *
    Some have a perfectly good idea of the forces they are baiting, and unleashing them is the point, so as to force a violent response, because the middle-ground / middle-class is not normally so inclined until pushed to the extreme.

    However, despite the gains of the Left, the election of Trump (or at least the Platonic Ideal Trump) indicates that they haven’t won over the entire country YET.

  16. AesopFan Says:

    For anyone inclined to ponder the technicalities of atom bombs, this is an interesting article about a man who has engaged in a life-quest to determine the details that the government is assiduously suppressing about the WW2 weapons.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/12/15/atomic-john

  17. AesopFan Says:

    The same issue had an amusing cartoon, but I’m not sure they considered it self-referential.

    https://www.newyorker.com/cartoon/a13678

  18. Manju Says:

    A suggestion goes something like, “I think perhaps you should,,,” “I believe that it would be good for you to…”

    Neo:

    You are using one definition of “suggest”…basically a synonym for “advise”.

    But Politico is using definition 1c (“to mention or imply as a possibility”) as in “the evidence suggests that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves”.

    Politico isn’t denying that Trump asked a question. They are saying that the question suggests / indicates (a listed synonym) / “implies as a possibility” that Trump thinks NBC should be censored by the US Government for the reporting in question.

    A subsequent tweet more than suggests that their interpretation was correct.

    Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!
    -Donald Trump

  19. JK Brown Says:

    Trump’s style is provocation to get real input from his advisors. You could ask nicely, but people will be working their answers, but ask a bold question and they are more likely to counter with a real view.

    He uses it to force partisans to really face their “positions”, such as the DACA announcement where many had to face the reality of deportation of those in the program. Now people are more willing to “negotiate”.

    There are lots of “settled” issues, in that people had settled on their side and weren’t amenable to reasoned argument, but let Trump make a bold statement and the issues get an airing and people have to face the likely consequences of their viewpoint. This picking of the scabs off “settled” issues upsets many who have a vested interest in the matters staying partisan.

  20. FOAF Says:

    Manju: “A subsequent tweet more than suggests that their interpretation was correct.”

    If you are worried that Trump’s tweet was an attempt to intimidate the media, then it was about .0001% as intimidating as the letter from Obama’s mouthpiece to ABC.

  21. FOAF Says:

    “Should there be any consequences, and can there be any consequences that don’t compromise the value of a free press?”

    Hopefully the consequences are simply that they will go out of business. It may take time but it is not impossible. Look what is happening to the NFL. BTW, “they” doesn’t mean all the press, just the alphabet networks and most major newspapers that are nothing but left-wing propaganda organs now.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Manju:

    No, the subsequent tweet does not suggest their “interpretation” was correct. They were reporting on what Trump had written in the first tweet, not the second, and they wrote that’s what the original tweet had said, not that this was their interpretation of what it had said.

    I actually agree with that “interpretation”—had it actually been stated as an interpretation—in that I believe Trump was bringing up the subject of challenging broadcast licensing with the goal of engendering the idea in the reader (and the network) that perhaps NBC’s license should be revoked. But the original tweet was not a suggestion that the license should be pulled as punishment, as they wrote. The way the Politico article was written, it would make the reader believe that’s what Trump had actually written in his original tweet, and that’s untrue. His subsequent tweet is a different story—he is being much more definite and direct in that one, but not in the first one.

    In other words, here’s how their article should have been written if it was meant to be an interpretation of that original tweet of Trump’s:

    Trump tweeted that NBC’s report that he’d asked for a tenfold increase in nuclear weapons was fake news, and questioned “at what point is it appropriate to challenge” their license. This appears to be a suggestion in retaliation for what he considers a lie about his nuclear weapons request.

    In other words, it’s quite simple. If you don’t want to mislead your readers, state a short excerpt of Trump’s actual words so the reader can decide for him/herself, and then state your interpretation in a way that makes it clear it’s an interpretation rather than Trump’s actual words. Compressing the two into one, and not stating his actual phrase right at the outset, is a way to “suggest” to the reader that Trump actually wrote something more extreme, something he didn’t write. It’s misleading of Politco, and purposely so, since the authors and editors are well aware of how to use words to “suggest” something themselves and act as though it’s a fact rather than their own “suggestion.” It’s a little game they play very often.

    However, as I’ve written several times now—something you’ve ignored—Obama’s lawyer went a lot further than Trump to “threaten” ABC years ago, with a great deal less provocation for his threat. None of the MSM articles I’ve read about Trump’s tweet seems to recall that fact, which came to me within a moment of reading that Politico article. Funny thing, isn’t it? I believe they are trying to “suggest” to their readers that Trump’s actions have no precedent, but they certainly do have a precedent, and a recent and more extreme one at that.

  23. Bill Says:

    Because the Obama administration did something is one of the worst reasons for giving Trump a pass.

    Clintonian parsing of Trump’s own words (just follow his twitter) doesn’t work for me much anymore.

    Two things: Trump is the President of the United States. Give me examples, Trump supporters, of him showing respect for the first amendment.

    He has threatened in “public statements” (his tweets) to revoke NFL tax exemptions if they don’t force patriotic displays from their employees. The first amendment is there to protect us from Government pressure to restrict speech.

    In his entire campaign and presidency he has been at war with the press. And that’s fine – it’s his right. But threatening revoking licenses (whatever that means) because he doesn’t like their speech is also something that people who love the first amendment (regardless of ideology) should be against. Right?

    Let the market do it’s thing. That’s fine. But threats from the Government regarding non-violent speech should have five alarms ringing (at least in conservative heads).

  24. Bill Says:

    And, realizing everything is parsed… I *know* he didn’t say “I’m revoking your license”. But he has (as mentioned above) suggested that it’s something to be looked at. In strong terms.

    He’s the President of the United States. He swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. This includes the First Amendment.

  25. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Is a snake oil salesman liable for deaths caused by the snake oil he sells?

    If slander and libel are considered “free speech” these days, they probably shouldn’t be.

  26. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “And, realizing everything is parsed… I *know* he didn’t say “I’m revoking your license”.”

    But you’re going to pretend he did anyway.

  27. Bill Says:

    “If slander and libel are considered “free speech” these days, they probably shouldn’t be.”

    There are laws on the books to deal with slander and libel.

    Perhaps a class-action could be done against, for example, NBC. But that would require proof of fabrication, etc.

    I know the press is biased. But Trump isn’t saying they are biased. He’s saying they are making up stories out of whole cloth. “fake”. That’s a big difference.

    Fine. The public can bring economic pressure. Maybe a class action lawsuit? Don’t watch NBC/CNN (although I always think it’s good to get perspectives from the other side. Helps you understand them better. But that’s just me)

    But threatening (suggesting? Threat-gesting?) the revocation of licensing because of stories that the President alone has decided are “fake” (which also happen to be negative about him) is an anti-first-amendment stance. Just like shutting down conservative speakers on a college campus. Except this time it’s the actual Government (in the person of the President) making the threat/suggestion/threat-gestion. Which clearly falls under the purview of the first amendment.

    You can be a Trump supporter and not have to support *everything* he says or does. This is one area you would think common ground could be gotten. We didn’t like it when Obama threatened it, we shouldn’t like it when Trump does it either.

  28. Bill Says:

    “But you’re going to pretend he did anyway.”

    No I’m not.

    I’m saying that this is the kind of talk that exposes a President as someone who doesn’t take the first amendment seriously. I didn’t like it when Obama made noise in this direction and I don’t like it when Trump does either.

    And what he said is somewhere between a “suggestion” and a “threat”. He’s the President. What he says matters.

    Question – do you want the Government to revoke the licenses of news media that publish negative stories about the President?

  29. SR Says:

    Step one: Ban NBC from the White house press room.

  30. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    Who’s giving Trump a pass? I wrote: “I really dislike Trump’s bringing this up even as a question; it’s the sort of thing that makes people fear we’re descending into banana republic territory or worse. It’s wrong whoever does it.”

  31. Bill Says:

    Neo,

    I should have been more specific. That wasn’t directed at you. I’ve heard that from a lot of his followers, though.

    My apologies – don’t want to paint with too broad a brush. But a lot of Trump supporters I have heard from think his suggestions/threats/threat-gestions toward the MSM and the NFL are *great*.

  32. jdm Says:

    For whatever it’s worth, Trump supporters take the man’s comments seriously but not literally. As far as I’m concerned, the angst over his comments regarding the NFL and NBC, are overwrought and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt right up to the point that there is an actual 1st Amendment violation, not all these imagined ones.

    Honestly, for what? 10 months, the man has accepted but “fought” legally against all the hurdles put in his way, and he’s still (almost) Hitler. And in contrast to previous Republican presidents, Trump has to worry about attacks from the Left as well backstabbing by the Right (the fredocons of Schlichter fame). Given the number and emotional fervor of his opponents, I find Trump to have been a paragon of virtue.

  33. AMartel Says:

    There are 2 separate movies playing constantly in the media about political reality. One is highly suspect and is born of the emotional frustration and rage that comes from the dying of an unrealistic dream(s) of superiority – both moral and political.

  34. Bill Says:

    “For whatever it’s worth, Trump supporters take the man’s comments seriously but not literally.”

    Which seems to be the get out of jail card for everything alarming that Trump says.

    I realize he often doesn’t really mean (or, in my view, understand) what implied in his statements. But he’s not a reality star or NYC tycoon anymore. He’s the President of the United States.

    His tweeting hurts, rather than helps, his case (and your case if you support his agenda).

    Where are we left? He’s insulted a significant portion of the GOP senate. I know Trump supporters *hate* the GOP senate worse than almost anything, but what if Trump had been a normal President and worked with them. What might we have at this point? Instead we’re left with juvenile cr@p like “liddle Bob Corker” tweeted during Trump’s 5 am daily bowel movement.

    Speaking of “at this point”. At this point the hope is to somehow primary out all the incumbent senators and get whatever Trumpist candidate that somehow wins the primary to somehow win the election and still maintain his majority. Because that’s the *only hope* a leader as divisive as Trump will get anything done.

    It might happen. Who knows? But it’s an awful risk.

  35. Manju Says:

    I actually agree with that “interpretation”—had it actually been stated as an interpretation

    Neo…Using the word “suggests” makes clear that this is an interpretation. By definition, it means “to bring before a person’s mind indirectly or without plain expression”.

    By using this word, they are literally telling you that Trump did not say this directly. It’s a very common usage. See here:

    Clinton suggests Russia working to elect Trump

  36. jdm Says:

    Truth be told, Bill, it won’t matter what Trump does, you’ll still find something wrong with it. And it won’t matter what I say or reference either. God bless and take care.

  37. Bill Says:

    “Truth be told, Bill, it won’t matter what Trump does, you’ll still find something wrong with it. And it won’t matter what I say or reference either. God bless and take care.”

    I understand why you might feel that way. But you never know, it might. That’s why we have conversation and debate. I’m trying to find some common ground with people who I used to have a lot of common ground with (Republicans).

    We’re so tribal now, though, that for many nothing good can be said about the “other” side and nothing bad can be said about “our” side.

    But you have a point, somewhat. I follow Trump on twitter and generally find something every single day that makes me say “what?” – and I’m furious about certain things. Mostly things having to do with national security, the first amendment, and the loss of my party.

    God bless you too. We’re not enemies.

  38. AesopFan Says:

    JK Brown Says:
    October 12th, 2017 at 2:46 am
    Trump’s style is provocation to get real input from his advisors. You could ask nicely, but people will be working their answers, but ask a bold question and they are more likely to counter with a real view.… let Trump make a bold statement and the issues get an airing and people have to face the likely consequences of their viewpoint. This picking of the scabs off “settled” issues upsets many who have a vested interest in the matters staying partisan.
    ** *
    I’m inclined to agree with this view. Trump does it instinctively, I think, rather than having a “plan” to create light by generating heat, but there is no denying that the people and the politicians are discussing many more important matters than they have in the past, and in greater breadth and depth, because Trump’s pointed remarks are forcing them to.

  39. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Not denied, but I’ll withhold judgement as I cannot guarantee to myself that what I’m hearing is true.

    No need for that from you. The Rocket Man line is a classic example of what Ed said about childish and immature behavior, right. You don’t need the news to tell you that.

    As for Trum’s comments, I don’t take them at all. Whether they are serious or not, it won’t change America’s fate.

  40. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The reaction to Hussein is over dramatic. It’s the same reaction Leftists had to Bush II in 2010. They were still blaming the previous administration as if Bush Ii was still power, saying Hussein needed “more time” to fix all the problems.

    The same thing with Trum’s supporters. To them, Hussein is still in power and still bogeyman. It’s a psychological coping method, after winning an election. After all, if they accepted the real nature of the Leftist alliance, elections wasn’t going to do much.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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