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Our idiot king

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Ladies and gentleman, the president of the United States:

But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?
It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll…you understand the expression “prime the pump”?

Yes.
We have to prime the pump.

It’s very Keynesian.
We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?

Priming the pump?
Yeah, have you heard it?

Yes.
Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.

It’s…
Yeah, what you have to do is you have to put something in before you can get something out.

I’ve mentioned before that for me the most startling discovery about Donald Trump is that he is such an ignorant and stupid man.  Now Republicans in recent decades have taken to electing some deeply incurious and simplistically-minded presidents, but in comparison to Trump, Bush the Lesser is Isaiah Berlin and Ronald Reagan was Jeremy Bentham.

Trump isn’t just stupid and ignorant for a person with a kind of important job. We’re not grading on a curve here: Trump is stupid and ignorant in comparison to the average American.  Which when you consider what the average American does and doesn’t know, and then mull over that hypothetical paragon’s likely reasoning skills . . . oh yes I’m being the worst thing you can be, a snotty “elitist,” who is not awed by the simple wisdom of the common folk, but for reals, even or I should say especially the common folk know what the simple English expression “prime the pump” means literally.  I mean it’s one thing not to be familiar with the oeuvre of the great economist Alicia Keynes, but have you ever tried to mow a lawn or draw a cup of beer out of a keg or . . . it’s alright doctor I’ll come quietly now.

 

 

 

 

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  • Denverite

    have you ever tried to mow a lawn or draw a cup of beer out of a keg or . . . it’s alright doctor I’ll come quietly now.

    TBF, I’d be shocked if Trump has ever mowed a yard or drawn a cup of beer out of a keg.

    • AdamPShort

      I would like to see Trump pour water out of a boot. I bet he can’t do it.

      • tsam

        BREAKING: President hospitalized for near drowning…

      • so-in-so

        You forgot “with instructions printed on the sole” for completeness.

    • Trump is just a truly despicable human being. In every way and on every level. He won’t just be known as the worst president in history but, assuming there’s anything left when he’s done, he’ll be known as the worst president of all time, forever.

      • Cheerfull

        people in France sometimes ask me what I think of our president and I tell them that he was quite possibly the worst human being available to make president outside of, perhaps, Dahmer or Charlie Manson, and that they, the random French person I am talking to would, with a little help in translation, be a better president. I do not think I am wrong.

        • Yep. The parallel with Trump and Dahmer is they both think people taste like chicken.

          • Dennis Orphen

            DJT coined the phrase ‘tastes just like chicken’. True story.

        • SatanicPanic

          It’s a deeply unpleasant mental exercise, but even before he was elected president, try imagining a public figure who is worse than Trump but isn’t in jail or hasn’t been released after spending time there. I can come up with a handful- Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, Andrew Wakefield, that’s maybe it. And Trump is likely to top them all in the end.

        • The Great God Pan

          Dahmer is dead so he would pretty much have to be a better president than Trump.

          Manson is a toss-up, really. He is insane, sure, but the kids were into his politics: “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.” I think the Jacobin crowd could dig it, too.

      • Crusty

        In the lead up to the election, a friend and I settled on Trump being the worst famous person we could think of who wasn’t [yet] famous for being a murderer or child molester.

        • malraux

          This seems like a function of trump just not being famous for molesting children, not that he hasn’t molested children.

    • efgoldman

      I’d be shocked if Trump has ever mowed a yard

      Well, to be fair [and damn, I hated typing that] lots of us city kids never mowed a lawn.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    you know, I really don’t think trump used to be *this* incoherent. I don’t know if the magazines used to clean him up or if he’s got something going wrong physically

    • twbb

      The argument that he’s suffering from early-stage dementia is getting stronger I think. People who have known him his whole life will tell you that he’s just getting really weird.

      What I’d love to happen is some of these screaming-at-the-tv sessions we’re hearing about were to get out be surreptitiously taped and leaked.

      • I don’t know if he’s got dementia, but I’d be willing to bet that he’s experiencing significant psychological deterioration. He’s pretty unhappy in his current situation, not just the constant public criticism, but his physical circumstances – this is the same guy who always wanted to fly home to New York instead of staying overnight after rallies during the campaign. And this is not a person with any experience of pushing through discomfort or enduring hardship (not that his current situation is a hardship by the standard of a reasonable person). I think what we’re seeing is a petulant child who is getting fractious and prone to tantrums under stress.

        • twbb

          Well, definitely either-or. I’m wondering if there’s a way for the Dems to push him more to keep up the pressure. Not just in terms of attacks, but actually insisting he stay in Washington, do things, etc.. Probably not.

          • howard

            My suggestion is Dems troll him by calling for hearings on the 25th amendment.

            • Dagmar

              That would give him an adversary to attempt to crush. Would that bolster him or weaken him?

            • JonH

              I feel like any action on 25th Amdt grounds ought to be initiated by Republicans, as unlikely as that is.

              If Democrats do it, I fear the GOP would instinctively obstruct it, even if Trump gets to the point where he is walking around Piccadilly Circus with Russian flag underpants on his head.

              • efgoldman

                If Democrats do it, I fear the GOP would instinctively obstruct it

                Republiklowns would just bury it. No hearings, no comment.
                No chance at all that it would get 2/3 in both houses.

              • Redwood Rhiadra

                HOW are Democrats supposed to initiate any action on 25th Amendment grounds, in any case? The 25th simply doesn’t allow anybody except (a) the President himself (Section 3) or (b) the Vice President plus the Cabinet (Section 4) to initiate any actions. And both of these are Republican at the moment.

            • Pat

              My suggestion is for the Democrats to take the House in 2018, and open up serious, substantive hearings on his ass.

              Trump versus Pelosi?

        • brewmn

          His supporters laud him for sleepgin like 3-4 hours a night (no idea if that’s true), showing how high-energy he is. I’m more like, I think Grandpa really needs his naptime.

          • William Berry

            He wakes up with insomnia, says oh, WTF, gulps down a handful of Adderall, and starts tweeting. Adderall keeps him going and is probably contributing to the mental deterioration.*

            *I do have a problem with this whole concept of “deterioration”, however. It implies that there was a higher state to fall from. Where DT is concerned, this seems generous.

        • Domino

          When does it get to the point where Trump just moves between NY, Mar-A-Lago, and his LA mansion? Congressional Rs wouldn’t mind, as long as he stops by DC to sign legislation.

          • Davis X. Machina

            Trump just moves between NY, Mar-A-Lago, and his LA mansion

            Everyone who ever read King Lear, or watched Kurosawa’s Ran, knows that’s a baaaaad idea.

            • Hob

              Everything will be fine as long as he gets his 100 knights.

        • I recall that one of the earliest oddities about the Trump campaign was that he continued his pre-campaign practice of mostly refusing in-person interviews and instead just calling in. I think all signs indicate that this is a person who is used to carefully controlling every situation he’s in from top to bottom — where he is, who he’s talking to, who can see him — and the Presidency makes all of that impossible.

        • JonH

          I’ve mentioned before, I think, that my dad, who had dementia, got significantly more “dementia-y” during a few months when my mom was out of the house at a nursing home undergoing post-operative rehab.

          He started asking who I was, and why I took such good care of him, and when I said I was his son, got a bit upset at my mom that she had “hidden me” from him for 40-odd years.

          It’s possible he’d expressed these thoughts to my mom previously, and I hadn’t been privy to them, but it seemed to me that the disruption of his normal routine, and the absence of my mom (a rarity in their 60-odd year marriage), had caused him to lose his bearings a bit.

      • The argument that he’s suffering from early-stage dementia is getting stronger I think. People who have known him his whole life will tell you that he’s just getting really weird.

        I think there may be a component to that, but as I commented above, I also think Trump is just a truly despicable human being, and now that he’s president he thinks he can just let his freak flag unfurl without repercussion.

        • twbb

          Oh, he’s absolutely a truly despicable human being and always has been so. Just he does seem to be more mentally unstable than he was previously.

      • NewishLawyer

        His father died from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        “What I’d love to happen is some of these screaming-at-the-tv sessions we’re hearing about were to get out be surreptitiously taped and leaked.”

        In Soviet America, TV watches you!

      • so-in-so

        Better yet, happen in real time. He walks into some public appearance and an errant TV is showing someone talking about Trump-Russia, and he just goes off.

    • Rusty SpikeFist
      • BiloSagdiyev

        In addition to the forty-leven other things wrong with this, there’s also this:

        Under Keynesian analysis, is NOW the time for extra public spending? I can’t wait to see these freaks create actual inflation. Of course, if they do, it’s all Woodrow Wilson’s/Sen. Byrd’s (He was a Klansman, you know!)Jimmy Carter’s/Bill Clinton’s/Barack Obama’s fault, so why shouldn’t they just do whatever? If only you stoopid fancy city experts hadn’t taken away our gold standard we wouldn’t be having any problems!

        • Rusty SpikeFist

          Uhhhhhhh…. no. The labor market is still crap, we are not at full employment, and there is no sign of accelerating inflation: http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/someone-has-to-tell-john-williams-inflation-is-not-accelerating

          • BiloSagdiyev

            We are one micron away from Republicans and Randites screaming that we are at full employment. I remember the 90’s.

            I don’t think we are, but a long-term, concerted effort (OK, that’s not really Donald, but bear with me) of doing too much of it after its not needed, that sounds like just the kind of dumb thing Donald would do.

            I do realize that their having the vapors over inflation has been based on jack squat for several years now. But call me a dreamer, maybe we’ll get to having the right amount, something in a useful ballpark, and Donald can find a way to fuck it up from there.

      • JKTH

        And Keynesianism clearly prescribes tax cuts for the rich as a great way to increase demand.

        • David W.

          And as we saw, Bush’s 2001 tax cuts did little to boost the economy, hence the phrase “jobless recovery” came to be.

      • Justin Runia

        Woof. Setting aside the political reality of 2011 and how effective it would have been for Obama to advocate for increased government spending, there is no world in which supply-side spending, particularly in the form of tax cuts, could be construed as Keynesian. Trump comes off as a dum-dum in this interview, but the interviewer either seems a) equally inept or b) like they were trying to polish the word salad coming out of the president’s mouth (I will concede the small chance that perhaps the reporter for The Economist was attempting to take advantage of Trump and get him on the record as supporting Keynesian economics.)

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Oh yes, Keynes definitely had a chapter on the economy-stimulating effects of taking away health insurance from millions of people.

    • Steve LaBonne

      No question in my mind that he has a significant degree of dementia. He was always ignorant and incurious, but he was nowhere near this incoherent when he was younger.

    • artem1s

      I’ve been seeing some transcripts of interviews he gave back in the aughts, fifteen or so years ago. there is a stark difference. His sentence structure then was much more coherent and his vocabulary has shrunk markedly since. I’ve had professors who taught well into their 70s. This isn’t an age memory thing. There is a deterioration of brain function mixed with extreme NPD. This will not end well for him. Take comfort in the thought that the worst thing that can happen to a narcissist is to lose control in public. He can’t make this go away, and will only continue to draw more attention to his delusional inner narrative. He is doomed to spiral out of control now because he cannot hide from it and he cannot keep it hidden from the inner circle who he depends on to feed his delusions and fantasy.

      • Steve LaBonne

        That’s what I’m saying. Anybody who had any cognizance of him back then can’t help but notice serious deterioration.

      • Tony Pius

        Somewhat shaken to realize that “our President loses control in public” is our best-case scenario.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        He is doomed to spiral out of control now because he cannot hide from it and he cannot keep it hidden from the inner circle who he depends on to feed his delusions and fantasy.

        He doesn’t have to hide it from his inner circle, as long as they’re willing to hide it from the rest of the country. Just like Reagan’s inner circle when the same thing was happening to him.

        We’ll just end up with Bannon and Kushner running the country with Donald as their mouthpiece/puppet. Much like Nancy Reagan in the 80s.

  • Rusty SpikeFist

    Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.

    uh……. great minds think alike, i guess??

    • Dagmar

      Come on, man. He has never held a hammer or a wrench in his hands, or associated himself with anyone who has.

      • fd2

        To be fair, I’ll wager Tony Salermo swung a wrench and/or hammer a time or two. Maybe not at anything inanimate, mind…

  • econoclast

    Putting a picture of Keynes under the title “Our idiot king” causes me physical pain.

    I saw a clip of Reagan speaking a couple of week ago. Now it’s pretty clear that Reagan was not a smart map, but the contrast with Trump was shocking.

    • Nothing could seem more opposed than the old doctrine and the new — the doctrine which looked on the world as the work of the divine watchmaker and the doctrine which seemed to draw all things out of Chance, Chaos, and Old Time.

      Somewhere Ronnie Soak is weeping into his yoghurt.

    • CP

      The standard on their side of the aisle has deteriorated noticeably over the years, because their political class has learned that their base will stick with them no matter how much they lower the standards, as long as they continue to deliver on the few “issues” they care about.

  • Warren Terra

    One delightful feature of Trump claiming to have coined the phrase “Prime the pump” a few days ago is that he’s used the phrase before, apparently fairly often, including in an interview for Time to accompany his Person Of The Year profile last December.

    That’s in addition to Denverite’s point above that it seems unlikely Trump has in fact ever primed a pump.

    • LosGatosCA

      That’s what he says right before he takes the blue pill – gotta prime the pump!

  • aturner339

    Whether or not Trump has gotten any less eloquent over the last two decades (I happen to believe it’s just easier to sound informed when no one expects you to know anything) he certainly hasn’t decline in the past year. He was 100% this unfit when he won.

    • tsam

      Imagine what the stress is going to do to him. He’s going to really lose it.

    • Warren Terra

      True enough, though with this as the baseline a decline might be hard to detect.

      • bexley

        Kryten: You could be reduced to a gibbering simpleton!

        The Cat: Reduced?

        • guthrie

          *High fives for red Dwarf quote*

  • tsam

    The Americans who gushed about Trump “saying what I’m thinking” seemed awfully average to me. Maybe it’s a geographical thing. There are lots of dummies here in West Idaho.

    • John F

      Maybe I’m an elitist north easterner, but the few folks who I heard gushing about Trump “saying what I’m thinking” struck me as being, well morons, not average, not below average, but “my god how do these morons tie their shoelaces” style morons.

      • tsam

        I feel surrounded by them, so you’re probably right. But there are lots of Gadsden flag stickers, little stick figure families all represented by guns, NRA stickers and the like slammed all over everyone’s goddamn giant fucking trucks around here and it makes me want to set them all on fire.

    • Jordan

      heyyyyyyyyyyyyy :(

      • tsam

        I know you see what I’m seeing out here. They crazy.

  • wjts

    I mean it’s one thing not to be familiar with the oeuvre of the great economist Alicia Keynes…

    “Milton Keynes”, actually. All economists are named “Milton”.

    • Warren Terra

      I just think it’s awfully suspicious that Obama’s economic policies were heavily informed by an economist from Keyna.

    • N__B

      Think of all the money Milton Bradley has printed.

      • Dennis Orphen

        The Parker Brothers are just a couple of upstart punks.

        • N__B

          The Parkers are beards for the Smiths.

      • Mellano

        Wow, Milton Bradley took home $45 million? I mean, he had a few solid seasons and all. But if he’d started his career a half-decade later, I wonder if he still gets that $34 million FA contract.

    • sibusisodan

      I was terribly disappointed to learn that Milton Keynes – which I could see on a clear day if the landscape had any interest in undulating – was not named for Keynes. Or John Milton.

      Just the name of a preexisting village.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Trivia fun-fact: The earlier name of that village was “Wimbledon”.

        (Obscure English football joke.)

        • sibusisodan

          Ooooooh!

          (It’s a nice stadium. Watched a Rugby World Cup match there.)

      • FOARP

        RE: Milton Keynes – England’s worst town in my opinion. Devoid of any character at all, a horrid, wannabe Californian car-town transplanted to the heart of England.

        • guthrie

          We’ve got 4 of that variety here in Scotland, designed for cars, with lots of roundabouts and big roads. But being british there are still pavements which help.

          Anyway, the capitalists plans for London are to turn it into a soulless, characterless wasteland, ideal for filming the new Judge Dredd tv series.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      And all philosopher’s names have an S in them!

      • rea

        Plato?

        • Ramon A. Clef

          It’s a silent S. And invisible.

        • tsam

          He fell off a building. Now he’s called Splatto

  • Warren Terra

    Other particularly lunatic bits of Trumpian idiocy attracting attention at the moment:

    1) Trump is reportedly planning to have a law firm sent a “certified letter” to Congress that will state he has no financial ties to Russia.

    A “certified letter” is of course one that requires a signature on delivery. It may also be tracked in transit, I’m not sure. I’m just hoping Trump gets the letter notarized, too, which will prove it really is his letter. One we know it is his letter, and we know it was received, can anyone doubt its veracity?

    2) The Trump administration is expressing surprise that the Russian photographer who arrived with the Russian ambassador and the Russian foreign minister is connected to a Russian state media enterprise. They’re also surprised that pictures he took of the meeting were posted online.

    I mean, who hasn’t welcomed a Russian agent with a bag full of A/V equipment into the Oval Office? Note that Obama’s aides were required to leave their cameraphones ouside the office …

    But what really gets me is their claim to have been surprised when the pictures they posed for with a professional photographer who was there for no other reason appeared online. What did they think they were posing for?

    • Todd

      If things get bad enough, I believe Trump may eventually send a registered letter. That way, every stage of that letter’s journey from the White House to Congress will be locked-down secured, bigly. Don’t even get me started about the insurance possibilities. Scandal? fuhgetaboutit

    • What did they think they were posing for?

      Preparation for suits hand-tailored in Hong Kong. The best suits. Those Chink tailors are really very clever. And this way you never get asked which side you dress on.

    • Woodrowfan

      At the museum where I volunteer we have an o ject with a bogus backstory. It was a gift from a local family. When they donated it they included a notorized letter repeating the family myth about it. Apparently they thought that meant it was true.

      • N__B

        The donor should be notarized and feathered.

        • Woodrowfan

          I changed the display card to emphasize the pieceitself, which is an interesting antique. And I repeat the story with an explanation of how family myth are perpetuated.

        • Just_Dropping_By

          If they’re notarized, how will the feathers stick to them?

          • Warren Terra

            The feathers will be delivered certified mail, receipt guaranteed.

    • Jeff R.

      You really do need to have it notarized:

      http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/1964/10/04

    • so-in-so

      We knew a month or so ago the Kellyanne Conway brings her camera phone in – and kneels on the furniture while snapping pics.

  • Todd

    How Trump learns and then applies that learning and then gets away with it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN2xlnMVLSU

  • Robespierre

    It’s touching, in a way, how he expects people will be as impressed by big / new words as he is.

    • Warren Terra

      There’s another almost-touching moment in the interview where he looks out the window and sees a bunch of well-dressed people assembling for a ceremony in the rose garden, and thinks that’s really neat. I read the passage and couldn’t imagine it in the voice of any character other than an excitable six year old.

      • lunaticllama

        There’s also the beautiful seamless transition from his prior thought where he suggests we have wasted $6 trillion dollars in the Middle East and it was like taking money and throwing into the Rose Garden:

        This country has wasted $6trn in the Middle East. Wasted. Like taking it and throwing it right out that window. Right in to the Rose Garden.

        • Rob in CT

          Much like a million monkeys banging on typewriters for a million years and accidentally producing Shakespeare, Trump babbles so much that he occasionally utters something resembling truth.

    • Boots Day

      It’s not just that Trump is pig-ignorant, as bad as that is. It’s that he has no concept of how ignorant he is, and has convinced himself that he’s actually brilliant. You see that in the way he can’t conceive of anyone knowing things that he doesn’t already know – every time he learns something new (which, God help us, isn’t very often), he assumes that no one else knew these things either.

      This is what it must have been like to be ruled by an inbred monarch who took over some European throne at the age of 19.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Hey, Franz Joseph took over at 19, and worked his ass off for 60+ years.

      • Woodrowfan

        North Korea for you on line one.

  • Morse Code for J

    And yet there are tens of millions of people in our country who could watch the debates on television and conclude that Trump presented himself or his case better than Clinton at some point during the proceedings.

    To his base, Trump is President Camacho: the smartest of the dumbasses. Persuading them isn’t possible. At best, you can work around them.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Camacho was WAY smarter as well as being a far better human being.

      • Nobdy

        Not only was he more empathetic but he was willing to listen and open to ideas. If Trump had that ONE characteristic he would be a 10x better president than he is.

      • Morse Code for J

        He realized that this starving bullshit and the lack of French fries and burrito coverings were problems for everyone, not just the rich.

      • dogboy

        Seriously, has Trump ever won even one Smackdown Championship?

        • rea

          Well, yes.

    • To his base, Trump is President Camacho: the smartest of the dumbasses. Persuading them isn’t possible. At best, you can work around them.

      Well, he does speak their language of grunts and squeaks rather well.

    • FOARP

      yet there are tens of millions of people in our country who could watch the debates on television and conclude that Trump presented himself or his case better than Clinton at some point during the proceedings.

      Remember, always, that half the population are below average intelligence.

      • Dennis Orphen

        And they do ~75-99% of the passive television watching.

        • Davis X. Machina

          There’s a straight line from “The Apprentice” to “Ow, My Balls!” Just give it time.

          • Rob in CT

            We used to care whose ass it was and why it was farting!

      • And average intelligence isn’t really all that intelligent.

      • This old saw (I think attributed to Carlin, but I’d be unsurprised if it’s older than that) has the basic problem that it’s pretty unreasonable to define only an IQ of 100 as “average”. If you sit down three otherwise similar people with measured IQs of 95, 100, and 105 and have a conversation with them, you’re unlikely to be able to tell which is which.

        Most classifications consider IQs between 90 and 109 to be “average intelligence”. The IQ distribution puts about half of the population in that range. About a quarter of the population is genuinely below average. It’s really not as bad as it seems.

        • Rob in CT

          The problem here is only a little bit about raw intelligence.

          INT != WIS. (He says, from experience!)

          That said, Trump is a moron.

          • About a quarter of the population is genuinely below average.

            Which, interestingly enough, probably coincides with the percentage of the population that constitutes his die-hard base.

    • Dennis Orphen

      At best, you can work around them.

      Exactly this. When or if you think my comments are pessimistic, West-coast hipster elitist, just plain drug addled ravings, or some unholy combination of the three, I’m trying to exhort us to start kludging. It’s never too late as long as there’s no tag on your toe.

      • kenkohl

        It’s never too late as long as there’s no tag on your toe.

        Great perspective; I think I’ll borrow that line. Well done, sir.

  • Warren Terra

    Oh, gawd. This post was about a new, risible Economist interview. Well, hold on to your gorge: there’s a new Time interview too. It’s as inane and delusional as you’d expect.

    • MacK

      Did any of that interview make any sense? Everyone and then Mnuchin or Pence made noises of sycophantic agreement to statements that seems to me to be utterly incomprehensible.

      The Time one shows him to be even more of an ignoramus. One of the reasons for replacing the steam catapults on carriers with electrically powered (digital) catapults is to lower maintenance costs and also reduce stress on airframes at launch, which lowers their service life and increases maintenance costs.

      • AdamPShort

        STEAM

        • Hogan

          STEAM GOOD DIGITAL BAD

          • Snarki, child of Loki

            STEAM GOOD DIGITAL BAD

            Someone take away Trump’s TwitMachine and replace it with a Babbage Analytical Engine, please?

          • liberalrob

            “The world will be saved by steam!”

            –Professor Steamhead, Ninja High School by Ben Dunn (1987)

      • AdamPShort

        BUT HER EMALS

        • Bufflars

          Hah!

        • kenkohl

          I believe “her emails” were digital. If they were steam, well, that’s different…

          • so-in-so

            The story was pretty much vapor, so…

          • Redwood Rhiadra

            I believe Adam was referring to this.

    • Nobdy

      The arrogance is also BREATHTAKING:

      But in a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care.

      I can’t imagine ever saying anything like that. I work with some very arrogant people and I can’t imagine THEM saying that.

      There has to be something fundamentally very wrong with you to say something like that, let alone on the record.

      • Warren Terra

        I liked the part where the sources he read said he was getting A’s and A+’s on foreign policy. Hell, I don’t even know where you go to get a letter grade on foreign policy.

        • AdamPShort

          That is seriously something you would tell am annoying idiot who won’t stop badgering you to give him a letter grade on his foreign policy knowledge. In fact i guarantee that is exactly what happened here: Trump badgered a squirming sycophant until he finally said “A” and then Trump said “just A?” and some other toady nearby said “A- plus!”

          This conversation absolutely happened exactly like this.

          • so-in-so

            The simpler explanation is that t-Rump just made it up, like Comey telling him THREE TIMES there was no investigation, and the idea he invented the term “prime the pump”.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        He’s a mere salesman, and of the con artist variety. His goal isn’t to convince you, but a useful enough percentage of dopes. Ever wonder why car salesman keep playing all the crude, stupid games that they do? Because they work on enough people, sad to say.

      • kenkohl

        My brother-in-law spent many years as CEO of a Boston area hospital. I’ve never heard him make that claim.

        • tsam

          It’s weird–you don’t really even have to be very smart to know that claiming you know everything about anything is basically self immolation. But not Trump!

    • sibusisodan

      The Trump equivalent of the Rosetta Stone is going to be something to behold.

      “Yes, it is in three languages, but none of them make sense. What the hell is ‘bigly’?”

    • Little Chak

      I would say our President would be better suited to the job if he started school over at 6th grade, Billy Madison style, but that would be insulting to sixth graders:

      You know they had the F-35s, they had thirty-five of them fly over Japan when [Defense Secretary] General [James] Mattis was there, and they were not detected by the radar. They flew over and everyone said where the hell did they come from? That’s stealth. It’s pretty cool, right. Thirty-five of them flying at a high speed, low, and they were not detected. They flew right over the top of the deal, nobody knew they were coming. Pretty cool, right?

      Back to school, back to school, to prove to my dad that I’m not a fool…

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Of course, I distrust any alleged facts that come out of his face flap, but if true, I suspect it’s not in good form to give the Japanese flashbacks to the Doolittle raid.

        • kenkohl

          Glad there were 35 planes and not 16.

      • cleek

        Thirty-five of them flying at a high speed, low, and they were not detected. They flew right over the top of the deal, nobody knew they were coming.

        nobody knew they were coming?

        i’m not going to look this up, but assuming they are completely invisible to radar, it seems very unlikely that the US military would be dumb enough to have 35 F-35s fly low, at high speed, through Japan’s very busy airspace without having Japan’s government stop all air traffic around the place they’d be flying.

        Hey, I got this wicked cool invisible car! How invisible? Well watch as I floor it it up Eighth Ave! Nobody will see me coming! Ha!

        • so-in-so

          Trying to read too much into a Drumpf statement is not only a waste of time but probably a doorway to madness.

        • Nobody seems to have dug too much into this particular ludicrous claim, but I did find an article saying that there are only 10 F-35s in Japan at all.

          • Hogan

            Maybe they were flying around in circles so it would look like there were more of them?

      • Warren Terra

        So, apparently, there were only ten F-35s in the country at the time, but Trump describes seeing 35 of them.

        • efgoldman

          but Trump describes seeing 35 of them.

          They moved them to Japan after he saw them fly over Jersey City when the thousands of Muslims were cheering 9/11

  • Karen24

    I have come to the conclusion that Trump is the triumph of the people who mistreated me in grade school because I made good grades and was interested in “nerdy shit.” (“Nerdy” here means “things in books without pictures and that are described in polysyllables.”). My mother tried to tell me that those bullies were merely intimidated by my intellect and that I should mute myself, and then they would like me. I knew she was wrong then and nothing I’ve seen since teaches me any different. Trump and his supporters were stupid bullies in high school who beat up the Mathletes and they have not changed one iota in the intervening 40 years.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Oh yes. I was saying this in December, this election was the revenge of people who didn’t like school. Not even necessarily were bad at school, just disliked and resented all the learning and facts and rules and stuff. Stoopit school!

      • Domino

        Then why didn’t they turn out for Mitt? We learned from that horrific hazing incident of a gay student that Mitt was quite the bully in school

        • tsam

          Mitt was polished, had great hair, spoke in actual sentences and used words that exist in real life…everything those dopes hate–an establishment guy from New York or wherever up in Jewville with all the Wall Street and stuff plus Mormon which is just like a Jew. Jews.

        • Karen24

          Mitt Romney was their boss with the degree from some snob school back east. Or the boss of the loan officer who denied their mortgage application. Or some other dude with a polished voice and fancy suits. Trump is many things, but none of them can be described as “polished.”

          • Trump is many things, but none of them can be described as “polished.”

            A polished turd?

            • Karen24

              No one wants to get that close. ;)

    • Crusty

      What is jarring for a lot of people, myself included, is that not just with school and nerd stuff, but with everything, Trump is the complete opposite of everything anyone ever told you about character, morality, etc. Be kind to people, be generous, don’t be greedy, ignorance is bad, knowledge is good (the motto of Faber College), etc., and yet, for doing the opposite and being a bad guy instead of good guy, being lazy instead of hard working, being a rotten shit instead of not, he seems to have reaped tremendous rewards.

      • Lurking Canadian

        There may be humans who exceed him in one particular area (more stupid, more vicious, more violent, whatever), but I think he’s got a lock on the All Around.

      • howard

        i honestly don’t know what to say to the 12-year-old.

        the best i have come up with is that america elected a very, very bad person as president, but in order to keep from being harmed by that bad person and his policies, the best thing my son can do is do well in school and try to build his character so that he will have some choices even in a bad environment.

        pretty lame, i know, but really: what else can you say?

        • bender

          I don’t know if it would make sense to a 12-year-old (depends on the kid), but I would say that for the rest of your life, the person you will be spending the most time with is yourself. Sometimes you will be the only company you have. If you furnish your mind with many different kinds of knowledge, you will have something to think about in any situation, including situations you never expected to be in. If you are kind and honest and brave, you will be better company for yourself than if you are mean and untrustworthy and cowardly.

          This a longwinded way of saying that virtue is its own reward. No one explained to me what that meant and I didn’t understand it when I was twelve. A life’s experience has taught me how true it is.

        • Crusty

          I might emphasize that while DT is president and appears to live like a rich guy, he also is clearly not a happy person with inner peace. Don’t be like that.

        • Robespierre

          Gramsci put it nicely: get educated, get agitated, get organised

          Alternatively, the philosophy of any Bud Spencer / Terence Hill movie will do.

      • efgoldman

        for doing the opposite and being a bad guy instead of good guy, being lazy instead of hard working, being a rotten shit instead of not, he seems to have reaped tremendous rewards

        I don’t know that he “reaped rewards.”
        The main reward he reaped was being a member of the lucky sperm (financially) club.

    • so-in-so

      Some commenter on LGM had a great comment a while back. Remember how the Catholics loved JFK, were all proud that ONE OF THEM had made good enough to be President? Trump is like that, but for assholes.

      • Rob in CT

        Idiots, also too.

      • tsam

        Davis X Machina–perfect analogy.

    • efgoldman

      Trump and his supporters were stupid bullies in high school who beat up the Mathletes

      The buddies, maybe. Not Young Tangerine Torquemada himself. He’s never done anything more physical than climbing a flight of stairs in his life. I bet he even got doctors’ notes every year to excuse him from phys ed.

      • Warren Terra

        After getting booted from his prep school he was sent to military school for his last few years of high school, and presumably participated in all the required marching and likely other athletic activities. Then he turned 18 and discovered he had a terrible incurable problem with his foot that prevented him from exertion such as going to Vietnam. He got better and no longer remembers which foot.

  • Nobdy

    I’m still kind of in shock that Trump didn’t even BEGIN to understand a metaphor used and understood by George W. Bush.

    Even if you don’t have Bush nostalgia because of the wars and Katrina (and those are very good reasons) it’s hard not to re-evaluate a little bit how dumb Bush seemed at the time in light of Trump. It was fun to make fun of Bush’s malapropisms, poor grades, and lack of intellectual curiosity, but it was also possible to at least imagine Bush reading a whole book, or listening to an hour long briefing. Those things are just obviously not true with Trump.

    It must be terrifying to be on the inside in national security right now and know that you have to run every idea through an idiot like this. It’s terrifying to think he’s in charge just as a civilian.

    Do the people who say “he thinks like me” not WANT someone smarter than them in charge? Do they think that they are capable of running this country? When I get on an airplane I don’t want a pilot who “flies like me.” I don’t know how to fly a plane, and I’m not the world’s greatest driver so I doubt I’d make a fantastic pilot even if I did have the training. When I’m on a plane I want a pilot who is orders of magnitude BETTER than I am at the task at hand.

    I also want someone smarter than me (though sharing my values) in charge of the country.

    Who wants a dunce managing the incredibly complex and intricate machinery of government for a country the size and power of the United States?

    • Even if you don’t have Bush nostalgia because of the wars and Katrina (and those are very good reasons) it’s hard not to re-evaluate a little bit how dumb Bush seemed at the time in light of Trump.

      No, in absolute terms Bush was pretty fucking stupid. Trump is just even more fucking stupid.

      • AdamPShort

        Bush is a caricature. Trump is a caricature of a parody of a caricature. It’s several levels beyond Bush.

        • sibusisodan

          Would it be fair to say Bush displayed some awareness of his limitations? Trump, however…

          • Ahenobarbus

            Dubya made self-deprecating jokes about his ignorance (“William F Buckley wrote a book white at Yale. I read one.”).

            But this is a personality issue. Trump is incapable of making self-deprecating jokes.

            • tsam

              Right–W was a dingbat, but I got the feeling he knew that. He did find competent people, even if they were evil bastards.

              There’s a point where your stupidity leads you to believe you’re super smart. Trump blew by that line miles ago.

              • so-in-so

                I assume the next GOP President will just drool and make inarticulate sounds, and someone will interpret the meaning for the rest of us?

                • LosGatosCA

                  He’s already here.

                • Redwood Rhiadra

                  I’m pretty sure that already happened with Reagan towards the end of his time in office. With the interpreters being Nancy and her astrologer.

              • AdamPShort

                No! This just puts the bar too fucking low.

                The Bush administration was not competent, unless you count Cheney who was competent in a strange sort of Nixonian sense of being able to execute convoluted schemes.

                Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were fools. Powell was a good soldier, but weak and cowardly as a leader. Condi Rice was a competent Russia analyst by all accounts but was promoted far beyond her level of competence and was the architect of a host of horrible policies.

                Republicans are charlatans and idiots. That was true under Bush and it’s true now. Just because they somehow found someone who’s several clicks more incompetent than the standard Republican does not change that basic fact.

                God help us all.

                • tsam

                  No! This just puts the bar too fucking low.

                  I didn’t do that, Reagan did that. His crowd was Nixon’s crowd, which was much of GWB’s crowd. They at least had a basic understanding of how the office works.

                • AdamPShort

                  Fair enough. I guess it’s the difference between having your car repaired at the worst repair shop in town and having your car repaired at Wendy’s.

                • tsam

                  I guess it’s the difference between having your car repaired at the worst repair shop in town and having your car repaired at Wendy’s.

                  Oh that’s perfect.

          • Brad Nailer

            Bush had a whole constellation of minders: family, friends and pretty much the entire Republican party. Trump has no one except Jared and Ivanka, apparently, and even these two are turning out to be your garden-variety sycophants.

            Not to mention that I doubt Bush was in it for the money. Money and ego gratification are probably the only two things Trump is thinking about these days (or any other days).

            • tsam

              I’m leaning toward Jared and Ivanka working the grift and letting Father twist in the wind on his own. They don’t seem sycophantic to me. Priebus strikes me as the sycophant who shields Father from the truth so he won’t get mad at him for delivering the message or try to fire the PM of Australia.

              • cleek

                remember the rumor during the campaign where Trump allegedly told a VP candidate that he could have all of domestic and foreign policy while Trump just worked on MAGA?

                he gave that job to Jared and Ivanka.

                • tsam

                  And they’re crushing it.

                • Rob in CT

                  Kasich was that potential VP candidate, as I recall.

                  “You do all the work while I take the credit and do the fun stuff” was apparently an offer he didn’t find tempting.

                • tsam

                  “You do all the work while I take the credit and do the fun stuff” was apparently an offer he didn’t find tempting.

                  (also burn for every fuck up the office commits, but, ya know, VP, man!)

        • Hogan

          He’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.

          • John Revolta

            He should do ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth.

    • njorl

      “Do the people who say “he thinks like me” not WANT someone smarter than them in charge?”

      Americans generally feel they suffer at the hands of those who are smarter than them. They discount the benefits stemming from the work of intelligent people as the norm – things that just happen on their own.

      • so-in-so

        Exactly, they don’t want to be reminded that there are smarter people, or that smarter people are better suited to some jobs. This line was common during the Obama’s first run, when all sorts of idiots liked Caribou Barbie because she was “just like them”.

        An idiot.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Do the people who say “he thinks like me” not WANT someone smarter than them in charge? Do they think that they are capable of running this country?

      Dumb people do dumb things. Smart people don’t. And they understand that inaction (not doing dumb things) is a form of action, similiar to how when I go to work this morning all the people who I will see fail to use turn signals aren’t not using their signals, they are signaling to me that they are continuing to move foreward then doing something else, no different at the most basic level as actively signaling one direction then actually doing the opposite.

      Who wants a dunce managing the incredibly complex and intricate machinery of government for a country the size and power of the United States?

      Any nation-state that would like to replace the United States of Shamerica as the hegemon, regional or global.

      • tsam

        Any nation-state that would like to replace the United States of Shamerica as the hegemon, regional or global.

        Every dumbass cracker motherfucker you can think of.

      • efgoldman

        Dumb people do dumb things. Smart people don’t.

        Lots of smart people do lots of dumb things, but like a toddler who touches a hot stove, they learn from the experience and don’t do the same dumb thing again.
        Velveeta Vermin doesn’t learn.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Can you imagine Trump riding a bicycle or painting a picture? Flying an airplane?

      • tsam

        Flying an airplane?

        PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN

        Take him up, hand it over, parachute out. Over water, please. And just to torture him, leave the airplane instruction guide behind so that his inability to read will be the last thing he curses before he slams into the ocean at terminal velocity.

      • kenkohl

        No, but he is one hell of a semi-truck driver, so…

    • FOARP

      Hmm.. did I ever thing that Bush was a straight-up moron?

      Well, I can remember defending him when he first got in, based on members of his team being non-terrible. Then came Iraq, and particularly his administration’s authorisation of torture, which made them look like panicked cowards. I do remember discussing his selling of Sammy Sosa, and thinking the guy was out of his league and a screw-up.

      A moron though? No, I don’t think I did think he was one, though memory can be a bit hazy.

      But Trump? Well, now I’m beginning to conclude that he might be, after suspecting it for a long time.

      • tsam

        Baseball trades don’t count. There isn’t a baseball owner in history that hasn’t made an inexplicably stupid trade. The relation of that to politics, I think, is basically non-existent.

        • FOARP

          Well, I do have to concede that in my sample set for “people who make dumb baseball trades are terrible presidents”, N=1.

      • osceola

        The context of the Sosa remark was that a reporter asked him if he could think of one thing he did that was a mistake, politically speaking. He deflected it with a “humorous” baseball quip. I interpret this as the same lack of willingness to admit error that Trump demonstrates.

        He didn’t mention mocking a woman on death row whose execution he signed. (“Please don’t kill me.” Even Tucker Carlson, who conducted the interview, thought he was a dick for that.) I could see Trump doing something like this, too.

        • MyNameIsZweig

          I interpret this as the same lack of willingness to admit error that Trump demonstrates.

          Remember that time when Bush couldn’t bring himself to correctly repeat a well-known saying that ends with the words “shame on me?”

          Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice … um … won’t get fooled again!

    • malraux

      listening to an hour long briefing.

      “All right, you’ve covered your ass now”

      I’m not saying Bush was as bad as Trump, but he was clearly not bright.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        Nor was he as much better as some people here seem to be remembering.

  • sibusisodan

    I tried reading more of that transcript. It’s just…o_O

    I wonder what other famous phrases Trump can be encouraged to think he invented?

    • CP

      Perhaps he can make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark.

    • Dennis Orphen

      “If you lie down with camels you will wake up with fleas”?

    • CaptainBringdown

      “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country can do for me.”

    • so-in-so

      I wonder what other famous phrases Trump can be encouraged to think he invented?

      Pretty much all of them, Katie…

    • rewenzo

      I wonder what other famous phrases Trump can be encouraged to think he invented?

      “I resign.”

    • osceola

      Did you know when “Apprentice” became a hit he tried to trademark “You’re fired”? True story.

    • rea

      Goddess help us, he’ll probably decide that the way to get the economy moving again is to raise the prime rate.

      • bender

        A severe recession starting about now and getting worse next year would help the Democrats in the midterms.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Um, the Fed’s been doing that for the last six months, and shows no signs of stopping this year. (OK, technically they’ve been raising the Federal Funds Rate, but that pretty much determines the prime rate.)

  • ochospantalones

    The especially strange thing is that Trump himself has used the phrase “prime the pump” before, at least as far back as December. So is he lying? Did he forget? Is he just straight delusional?

    • efgoldman

      So is he lying? Did he forget? Is he just straight delusional?

      Yes, pretty much

  • ochospantalones

    It is also worth recalling that Trump adopted “America First” after a New York Times reporter used it in an interview and Trump failed to recognize its history. But he liked the sound of it. The man doesn’t know anything about anything.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Given that his father was likely an NYC Klan type well before the late 1930’s, and the allegation by one of Donald’s past wives about his collection of Hitler speeches on the nightstand, I’ve always assumed the worst about his use of “America First.” And I still will, because I owe him no charity.

      • ochospantalones

        Malice or stupidity is often a difficult judgment to make with Donald.

        • Dennis Orphen

          Always both, the only question is the proportions.

          • Lost Left Coaster

            With Trump, malice and stupidity merge into the same thing, with the same effects. No need to try and tease them apart. What could be more malicious than becoming president of the USA when you’re such a deeply stupid person?

  • FOARP

    The problem here is not that Trump does not know what priming the pump is. As has been pointed out above, he’s used the phrase before so it appears he must have had some concept of what it means.

    The problem is that the man now speaks (and likely, thinks) so incoherently. He does not know really, at least not clearly, what he is saying or doing from one day to the next. He once knew what “prime the pump” means but now, possibly because it makes himself look a little cleverer, enjoys the thought that he invented the phrase – so out it pops.

    We are now seeing reports that Trump’s main beef with Comey was that Comey wouldn’t say that Trump had been under surveillance under the Obama administration. Whilst this seems petty and pointless, not to mention self-destructive, it is entirely in line with everything we know about him.

    Was there collusion with Russia? Quite possibly, but not out of any plan, or because Trump has a particular ambition to turn the US into Russia, but perhaps Trump just said “OK” to something that at that moment would put him on top. Trump wouldn’t think or even know that he did anything wrong – he reacts based on mere stimulation to whatever is happening at that moment.

    • Cheerfull

      If you haven’t already seen it you might enjoy this psychologist’s take which is about the same:
      https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/05/11/late-night-horrorshow-open-thread-theory-of-tiny-broken-mind-2/

      the basic point is that T has no persistent sense of things, or much memory, and reacts in each situation purely on the question of whether it benefits him, or dominates somebody or removes somebody threatening him. there’s no point in looking for anything more consistent.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Thank you, good link.

        It’s also example #37 for me of “Christ! I hate Twitter! That was a simple prose paragraph but I had to read it that way?”

        • Ahenobarbus

          An essay in 40 tweets. Ugh. But in defense of the writer, that’s the way to reach people.

        • Dennis Orphen

          Twitter: a signal to noise junkie’s worse nightmare, both inter and intra tweet.

          • liberalrob

            People snarked at me here when I wrote, repeatedly, that Twitter is a tool of Satan.

            Just say no to Twitter.

      • FOARP

        Yeah, this is basically how you end up with Trump (likely) mailing his tax-return to a journalist – he thought it was a good idea at the time so he did it. And then didn’t think about it at all again afterwards.

      • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

        These are all the hallmarks of narcissism (as efgoldman has done yeoman’s work pointing out). Nothing is real to him except how it makes him feel. If you want to believe Trump doesn’t have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you need to find a single piece of evidence contradicting that theory. Good luck.

        • FOARP

          Trump may have NPD (though the guy who wrote the DSM entry for it doesn’t believe so) but it doesn’t explain his stupidity and inability to focus on literally anything.

          • All due respect to Allen Frances, but the nut of his argument is this:

            He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill because he does not suffer from the stress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.

            which I think is just as indefensible as the claim that Trump certainly has NPD. He’s justified in arguing that people shouldn’t use armchair clinical diagnosis as a political cudgel (apparently part of the reason he wrote that letter was because journalists kept trying to get him to diagnose Trump with NPD), but he goes too far in ruling out the possibility entirely. From this vantage point, Trump seems to be experiencing quite a lot of stress and impairment.

        • Dennis Orphen

          Also, sociopathy.

        • Dagmar

          Trump will replace Narcissus as the icon of narcissism. Because NPD doesn’t entirely encompass his behavior, there will be a new entry in DSM for Trump Personality Disorder.

        • efgoldman

          as efgoldman has done yeoman’s work pointing out

          Thanx for the credit. Not deserved. I saw that analysis early in the primary campaign (from somebody actually qualified) and it stuck, and when people on the blogs I visit (including here) gave him credit for plans and schemes and policies, since somebody was wrong on the intartoobz, I had to point it out.
          I am not a psychologist and don’t play one on TV.

  • Mike in DC

    The speculation about dementia has been going on for months now. His communication skills appear to be worsening. It’s a race between Article 2, Section 4, and the 25th Amendment.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Honey, honey Shuglin, shuglin.

  • Lurking Canadian

    Trump isn’t just stupid and ignorant for a person with a kind of important job. We’re not grading on a curve here: Trump is stupid and ignorant in comparison to the average American.

    There’s an Arthur C. Clarke story in which Future America selects its President by lottery. Literally put all the names of all eligible (>35yo, natural born) citizens into a hat and pick one.

    Trump is a very strong argument in favor of that approach. It is hard to imagine a lottery coming up with somebody worse.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Charles Manson isn’t dead, you know.

    • Dennis Orphen

      And there’s a Phil Dick novel, Solar Lottery……….

    • bender

      That’s a big hat. Literally.

  • MacK

    Chait on the misuse of prime the pump:

    Telling The Economist you invented the phrase “priming the pump,” to describe a plan that does not prime the pump, is a bit like sitting down with Car and Driver, pointing to the steering wheel on your car and asking if they have ever heard of a little word you just came up with called “hubcap.”

    • sibusisodan

      Nice.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    and Ronald Reagan was Jeremy Bentham.

    Don’t give them any ideas! The Onion’s zombie Reagan concept is not technologically achievable, but mummified Reagan presiding over meetings? They’d have jellybeans in a dish on the conference table before sundown.

    • Jordan

      mummified bentham just votes as present, tho, so that might be ok.

    • so-in-so

      … but mummified Reagan presiding over meetings? They’d have jellybeans in a dish on the conference table before sundown.

      Still a step up from Drumpf.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Give me a shovel and a green light and I’ll go dig up Sonny Bono. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  • FOARP

    And what about legal immigration? Do you want to cut the number of immigrants?
    Oh legal, no, no, no. I want people to come into the country legally. No, legally? No. I want people to come in legally. But I want people to come in on merit. I want to go to a merit-based system. Actually two countries that have very strong systems are Australia and Canada. And I like those systems very much, they’re very strong, they’re very good, I like them very much. We’re going to a much more merit-based system.

    More evidence that the “points-based Australian immigration system” that Trump’s pal Nigel Farage loves to go on about (and that’s probably where Trump probably got this from) is something that greatly impresses morons. Just a pity that they don’t really understand how it actually works.

  • NeonTrotsky

    Yeah go to like Denmark and tell them that the US has the highest tax rates in the world and see how they react.

    • Dennis Orphen

      They might give a tiny little shrug to acknowledge they at least heard you while they continue touching up the teak veneer on their furniture with a little 0000 steel wool and some orange oil.

  • FMguru

    Hey, remember when Hillary Clinton had a nasty fly bug that left her wobbling a bit during a campaign appearance, and the entire media (not just the fever swamps) spent a solid week openly speculating that she was at death’s door? Yeah, me neither.

    Meanwhile, the sitting president’s brain is turning to tapioca right before our eyes with little or no comment from the legitimate press (except perhaps another expedition to Skeeter Hollow to tell us that the locals at the diner still love Maximum Leader Trump).

    • Rob in CT

      Yup, though I dispute “turning to.” I don’t think he’s in steep decline. I think this is who he is, and it’s just on display.

      It was on display during the campaign too.

  • Ronan

    I literally laughed my ass off, out loud, for a good five minutes after reading this.
    Campos, you might be extremely peculiar on so many, many topics, but you’re a dab hand when it comes to the expression of frustrated contempt.

    • rea

      I literally laughed my ass off, out loud, for a good five minutes after reading this.

      No shit?

      • Ronan

        I choose my words precisely, the rest is left to the imagination of the reader.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        No shit?

        Not if his ass fell off, no.

    • efgoldman

      I literally laughed my ass off, out loud

      I wondered what the “clunk” I heard was.

  • Unemployed_Northeastern

    I just read this great book, forgotten author, no one’s ever heard of him, but he’s doing great things lately. Just great. Bill Shakespear. Invited him to Mar-a-Lago. The book is King Lear. ‘Bout this loser who doesn’t understand anything without his daughter explaining it to him. Sad!

    • Dennis Orphen

      King Leer

    • Warren Terra

      Trump is a lot like King Lear. They’re both unlikeable and arrogant. They’re both losing their faculties and wandering about lost a lot of the time. Both look to Fools for advice and comfort. Each has three kids: a daughter who’s his favorite and who is widely portrayed as kind and popular, and two other scheming kids who no-one likes or respects but are in charge of his empire.

      Poor Tiffany. And Barron.

      • JMP

        Poor Tiffany? As her father just ignores her, in fact barely acknowledges her existence, she is by far the luckiest and most well-off of Trump’s children, and the only one who might possibly develop into an actual functional adult.

        • tsam

          That’s not really how that works, though. From the outside, it looks like she should be glad to not have much contact with her POS father, but most accounts of kids who deal with this have a really tough time dealing with what feels like (and is) abandonment. The nature of the parent doesn’t seem to make that feeling go away.

          Either way, we really shouldn’t be doing this. Tiffany and Barron are civilians.

          • Warren Terra

            Also, I don’t think she’s getting nearly as much money thrown at her as her older siblings – possibly not as much as her younger brother.

            But I only mention her and Barron to highlight the fact that Trump frequently forgets both of them exist, especially her. And to make the family fit the Lear narrative.

      • Hogan

        Both look to Fools for advice and comfort.

        Trump WISHES he had someone like Lear’s Fool for advice and comfort.

        Actually he doesn’t. Which is everything you need to know about him.

        • tsam

          The American right IS Trump’s Fool

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