RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Pierce writes: "I have resisted the temptation to speculate on the mental state of our president. However, the events of the last week have required me to rethink this policy."

Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images/AFP)
Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images/AFP)

Is Trump Actually in Charge? Or Is It Worse Than We Feared?

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

16 April 17


I haven't felt this shaky about the world in half a century.

have resisted the temptation to speculate on the mental state of our president* because I've always been leery of long-distance psychiatric diagnoses, and because I am not Charles Krauthammer, who regularly has used his professional credentials to define any politics to the left of a drillbit as some sort of cognitive deficiency. However, the events of the last week have required me to rethink this policy.

Years ago, Fletcher Knebel wrote a novel called Night At Camp David about a president who'd gone mad. The evidence for that was that the bughouse president was lost in grandiose delusions about his place in the world. Knebel, you may recall, also was the co-author of the rather more famous Seven Days in May, which concerned a military plot to take over the government. Lately, I've come to see these two books as being parts of the same whole, like the Lord of the Rings saga, or Dune. I have come to the conclusion that the president* has slipped his gears and that his control over the military—and over foreign policy—is as tenuous as his hold on rationality is. I have not felt this shaky about the state of the world since October of 1962.

For example, there's his interview with Maria Bartiomo of the Fox Business Channel. (This is the one that will go down in history as The Wonderful Chocolate Cake Interview, and that's scary enough.) The FBC is the safest possible media venue for this president*. The FBC makes the Fox News Channel look like Nick, Jr. Bartiromo certainly wasn't out to ambush the president*. He managed to ambush himself and to do so in such a way as to appear to be groping his way toward plain English in a truly unnerving way. For example:

TRUMP: Well, I'm going to let you figure that one out. But it's so obvious. When you look at Susan Rice and what's going on, and so many people are coming up to me and apologizing now. They're saying you know, you were right when you said that. Perhaps I didn't know how right I was, because nobody knew the extent of it. (INAUDIBLE)...

BARTIROMO: When you sent that...


TRUMP: — what they did...

BARTIROMO: — was that what you were referring to, the Susan Rice?

TRUMP: Oh, sure. We're talking about surveillance. It was wiretapped in quotes. "The New York Times" said the word wiretapped in the headline of the first edition. Then they took it out of there fast when they realized. But I put wiretapped in quotes, meaning, because, look, wiretapping is an old-fashioned... (CROSSTALK) there are too many wires anymore, right? You don't have a lot of wires. Look at this room. This room used to have a lot of wires. Now it doesn't have so many wires.

Leave aside the obvious untruths—about the surveillance and Susan Rice and what he tweeted and (probably) all those great people who are congratulating him for being so right about everything. Look just at the language. He is talking in circles, gingerly stepping toward the familiar like a man crossing a frozen river on ice he doesn't trust. "Wires," he says, over and over again. I don't think that's because he doesn't know what he's talking about. I think that's because "wires" is a word he can remember.

And then there's this:

TRUMP: — and you see these beautiful kids that are dead in their father's arms, or you see kids gasping for life and you know they're — it's over. It's over for them. They're hosing them down, hundreds of them. When you see that, I immediately called General Mattis. I said, what can we do? And they came back with a number of different alternatives. And we hit them very hard. Now, are we going to get involved with Syria? No. But if I see them using gas and using things that — I mean even some of the worst tyrants in the world didn't use the kind of gases that they used. And some of the gases are unbelievably potent. So when I saw that, I said we have to do something.

Again, the language never strays far from what he's said before, even as the policy may or may not be reversing itself.

Which brings us to the second part of the Knebel Paradox. It's becoming very clear that the president* has farmed out his responsibilities as commander-in-chief—and most of his foreign policy—to the generals and ex-generals with whom he has surrounded himself. Here he is talking about using a carrier group to poke at the North Koreans.

TRUMP: And in the meantime, they get ready and like you've never seen — look, they're still fighting. Mosul was supposed to last for a week and now they've been fighting it for many months and so many more people died. I don't want to talk about it. We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you.And we have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this. He is doing the wrong thing. He is doing the wrong thing.

BARTIROMO: Do you...

TRUMP: He's making a big mistake.

BARTIROMO: — do you think he's mentally fit?

TRUMP: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know him. But he's doing the wrong thing. I have a very, very good meeting with President Xi of China. I really liked him. We had a great chemistry, I think. I mean at least I had a great chemistry — maybe he didn't like me, but I think he liked me.

He is talking as if to children. I think he's talking to himself.

Things got worse the other day, when the U.S. dropped the mightiest non-nuclear weapon it has on a bunch of rocks and caves in Afghanistan. The president* explained this event by stating categorically that the generals are in charge. From Military Times:

"What I do is I authorize my military," in response to a press question about the use of a massive bomb in an assault on Islamic State group positions in Afghanistan. "We have the greatest military in the world, and they've done the job, as usual. We have given them total authorization, and that's what they're doing. Frankly, that's why they've been so successful lately. If you look at what's happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really to what has happened over the last eight years, you'll see there is a tremendous difference."

Those are not the words you want to hear from the guy on whom—theoretically, at least—the national command authority rests. Those are the words of a guy who's terrified of the awesome responsibilities of his job because he knows he's not up to them, and I think he's not up to them because he knows something's wrong with him. And, come to think of it, "my" military is pretty frightening, too.

There now are several crisis points in the world that are hanging by a thread. At the same time, the civilian control of the military also is hanging by a thread, because nobody's sure whether or not the commander-in-chief can keep himself together. (This column, in which the author assures us that the president* is being "saved" by the military minds around him, is meant to be reassuring, but damned well isn't.)

At the end of Fletcher Knebel's novels, the bughouse president resigns and the coup is foiled. In real life, who knows if it ends that way. I don't want a president* who knows he's not up to the job and I don't want a military establishment that thinks it knows what to do about it. That way, we all go crazy. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+37 # bevin 2017-04-16 09:09
And Congress? What of them? Both caucuses are led by deeply dishonest creatures of the oligarchs.
The Democrats have smothered their credibility over a period of months in which they chanted, in unison, the mantras regarding Russian hacking, Putin's puppet and treasonable contacts with the "enemy." They are totally incapable of rallying any sensible public opposition to a mad warmonger, to whom their principal objection has been that he wouldn't go to war.
And don't let us even talk about the Supreme Court.
+104 # moreover 2017-04-16 09:25
In his nomination speech Trump said verbatim: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
After which he paused to smirk with a self satisfied grin at the audience.
That was the moment when it should all have ended.
That was insane.
+30 # chapdrum 2017-04-16 13:12
moreover: Exactly right. What are (the collective) we waiting for?
+18 # CDMR 2017-04-17 06:42
more -- it did not end then because we are dealing with something bigger than normal. John Grant pins it down well in his article on Counterpunch.or g -- "President MOABA (Mother of All Bullshit Artists)"

MOABA -- that's what we have.
-14 # John S. Browne 2017-04-17 13:03

Cool! And all of the same letters as in Obama's name, too! That's doubly cool because it applies to "Odrona" as well, for he was also a "Mother of All Bullshit Artists".

+1 # John S. Browne 2017-04-20 21:24

"O.f B.ullshit A.rtists M.other A.ll"

-- or --

"O.f B.ullshit A.ll M.other A.rtists"

+68 # pmargaret7 2017-04-16 09:45
Excellent summary, Charlie. I, too, have never been this afraid in over 50 yrs! This president* is a lunatic of no depth of knowledge, society, etiquette, class, psychology, sociology, economics, geography... He only thinks about himself and occasionally stumbles into almost doing the right thing but that is only by law of averages. He is a very scary buffoon who holds our lives in his 'tiny' hands! The real world has to find a leader - Bernie - to rally around because we know he has his priorities right and truly 'gives a sh*t' about America and running the country properly. I feel like I and so many others are flailing and need a sane and real leader to give us a path. To hell with politics - we have to save this country right now!
An unsolicited word to those who do not donate - do so right now! This is the best conglomerate website without annoying ads, etc. Clean and relevant. Do not lose this important voice of so many intelligent and thoughtful/thou ght-provoking writers. Say 'thanks' with your $$$ while you still can!
+39 # Woratnac 2017-04-16 09:51
I'm an atheist so my saying that I am "praying" this lunatic doesn't incur nuclear winter, wiping out the human and most animal species on Earth. I am holding my (figurative) breath on this for (hopefully) only 4 years after which someone relatively sane will take the US presidency. But America is in a free-falling decline (see Chris Hedges on this) and while I always hoped its genocidal war-mongering would finally be halted by the curtains coming down on its imperialism, it's of course clear that this won't happen without potential catastrophe - a nuclear or climate holocaust. But - as I said - I'm "praying."
+57 # ddd-rrr 2017-04-16 10:00
Yes............ .

I was beginning to "lose-it" when hearing thousands chanting in unison
the nonsensical "LOCK HER UP!" and other equally inane "shoutings"
directed by Trump and company, indicated by (too often) hollering at
STUPID!!!" Unfortunately, enough of them were actually stupid
enough to "elect" the "world-class jerk" named "Trump".
I hoped I was wrong, but "history" has
argued otherwise...
-70 # skylinefirepest 2017-04-16 14:24
So you actually didn't care that slick hillie sold access to our government for her personal profit?? I don't like trump but believe me when I say I give thanks to whatever power may be out there for our not having her as our president!
+17 # Jim Rocket 2017-04-16 16:21
The only possible good thing about Trump beating Hillary is that people will be upset enough to actually reform the system. With Hillary they may have gone back to sleep. Can't wait for the first Supreme Court rulings... if we all live that long.
-1 # Skyelav 2017-04-18 12:16
quote>> ddd-rrr "HOW CAN SO MANY PEOPLE BE SO GOD-DAMNED STUPID!!!>>>"Th at must have been what Marie Antionette said about her "constituents". . lol
OK, the Bannon removal and the Syria bombings were proof to me that the same old plutocrats are calling the shots. Those would be named in Dark Money, Rulers of America, and other sources. These are the same guys who run the Clintons and all the others since way back to Eisenhower (except JFK for sure and Nixon). Administrations can only bicker about things that are very important to most of us from NEA to welfare programs, and that's why we all get so excited and race to the polls to vote, hoping, just hoping. Now it is clear that the Koch brothers (via Steve Bannon) didn't really get a good enough hold to take over the entire thing, but they do have a huge amount of control over the crumbs. Everyone knows right wing crumbs are mostly tax cuts and anti-societal budget cuts. These republican and Libertarian candidates also spend zillions on things like the military, which doesn't really make many of us happy but enriches them vastly. (they already own the 4 major oil companies, all the banks, and so on.) The liberal administration that we all run and vote for hoping, just hoping, are the ones who spend huge amounts on everything and anything, giving the right wing talking points four or eight years later to cut everything back again.
+4 # Skyelav 2017-04-18 12:17
.....(second half of response to ddd-rrr) Meanwhile, the plutocrats get richer and richer and a huge percentage of wanna be rich vote republican. So don't worry about Trump, but instead worry about coming up with real solutions and not allowing the two parties to continue this nonsense into oblivion and beyond. WE ARE NOT GIVING ANYONE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS UNTIL THEY STOP LYING AND COME UP WITH WORKING SOLUTIONS.
+16 # norman markowitz 2017-04-16 10:11
President Muffly meets General Jack D. Ripper and " we'll meet again, don't know where don't know when."
+84 # Mtguide 2017-04-16 10:40
I don't think that Trump was EVER in charge, of anything. He's just like George Bush was, just a Stooge. Dick Cheney was, for all practical intents and purpsoses the real, acting President during the Bush administration. And Mike Pence and the Republican leadership in the House and Senate are the acting leaders now. Trump is a complete doofus,utterly incompetent. You can brief him from now till the cows come home and he'll forget all but the last 5 words he hears before he leaves the room. They know that, and so do you, we all do. anyone with half a brain can see that. Anyone who thinks Trump is actually in charge of much of anything except the key to the President's bathroom is kidding themselves.
+13 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-04-16 14:57
Mtguide -- I agree with you. We are just waiting for Trump's "Pet Goat" moment, when he sits in some obscure place like a kid's schoolroom talking about something idiotic like a pet goat; meanwhile big decisions are being made at the Pentagon or CIA.

One small correction -- You can brief him until the goats come home. We are all waiting for his goat moment.
-4 # Caliban 2017-04-16 18:34
Good stuff, #Mtguide.

Another Borowitz in the making, perhaps?
-1 # Depressionborn 2017-04-23 17:31
Quoting Jim Rocket:
The only possible good thing about Trump beating Hillary is that people will be upset enough to actually reform the system. With Hillary they may have gone back to sleep. Can't wait for the first Supreme Court rulings... if we all live that long.

Trump is not in charge. We are. We voted Trump in to do for us.

small gov, good jobs, no war.
+47 # Jaax88 2017-04-16 10:52
The better we get to know trump, the worse his actually reality is. His incompetence shows clear when he is driven to frivolously tweet about every seeming slight he gets from the public or media. He must have more important economic and national security matters to worry about and handle. I would consider trump a clown, good for a few laughs, but not anything else, except I know trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger and may have the fate of the USofA
in the clutches of his limited and malfunctioning brain.
-1 # Robbee 2017-04-17 14:44
Quoting Jaax88:
The better we get to know trump, the worse his actually reality is.

- i beg your pardon, jaax! - you and robbee had a pretty good handle on rump before his election - almost everyone else is just catching up!
+59 # futhark 2017-04-16 11:01
All evidence points to Donald Trump being an emotional and intellectual adolescent, with many behavioral characteristics observable in high school freshmen, including addiction to cell phone use, tweeting poorly considered commentary designed chiefly to enhance his ego. Garrison Keillor wrote a few weeks back concerning the wisdom of the Constitution's requirement that the president be at least 35 years of age. But what do you do with the oldest person in American history to assume this office being for all practical purposes a 13 year-old?
+49 # chapdrum 2017-04-16 11:02
"He is talking as if to children. I think he's talking to himself."
Can or will Congress declare a national emergency to remove this profoundly dangerous fraud, or will we wring our brows and hands for the next 3+ years?
+47 # oakes721 2017-04-16 11:09
"Our leader" has become an incoherent babbling buffoon: From the Trump Tower of Babel to Mar-A-Lago ~ an unstable bunker-buster with loose wiring.
-16 # Robbee 2017-04-16 11:11
during the run-up to election robbee did not resist the urge to speculate on the mental state of our resident - that what he says has only a casual relationship to truth, in terms of what sells repuke voters, and that he is a "pathological liar"

robbee sees no need to review robbee's pre-election assessment

is rump really in charge? of what he says, rump is always in charge of that - no one else

of what he does does in office, on the other hand, ryan and repuke leadership have always been in charge - what rump told the detroit economic club, twice he got booed, he did not repeat to the new york economic club - rumpcare became ryancare - rump budget became ryan budget - gore-suck thrilled ryan, on one item rotten minds work alike?

all robbee gets for being right is this lousy right to say i tole ya so!

as far as rump's penchant for amusing himself that other powerful folks are drawn to his personal magnetism? - they serve other masters! their own personal interests! - his interests are not their interests! - "radical islamic terrorists" are not an existential threat to unite against - rump's chaos presidency makes politics fluid and keeps other leaders on their toes - is there any room for misplay based on hair-trigger miscalculation? - america may be the only world power ever to voluntarily abandon the post of world leadership? and to relegate all its missiles, bombs, planes, warships and armed forces to secondary power status?
-17 # Robbee 2017-04-16 11:12
robbee, part 2

behind russia? and china? - and what happens when rump doesn't like that?

if he's unready for our brave, new world? - maybe pierce shoulda been reading more robbee?
+3 # reiverpacific 2017-04-17 18:38
Quoting Robbee:
robbee, part 2

behind russia? and china? - and what happens when rump doesn't like that?

if he's unready for our brave, new world? - maybe pierce shoulda been reading more robbee?

"EH????" -in both cases!
0 # Robbee 2017-04-18 11:50
Quoting reiverpacific 2017-04-17 18:38:
Quoting Robbee:
robbee, part 2

behind russia? and china? - and what happens when rump doesn't like that?

if he's unready for our brave, new world? - maybe pierce shoulda been reading more robbee?

"EH????" -in both cases!
- okay, reiver, here's robbee's take -

in modern history american leaders claimed, for america, leadership of the "free world" - we claimed moral superiority, moral leadership

there were only, perhaps, three shining moments in modern history - leadership by jimmy carter, and, in their better moments, bill clinton and barak obama

instead rump brings us "america first" - in other words, disavowal of any moral superiority - leaving, now that we claim to be no better than anyone else, a world leadership vacuum, while russia and china are in expansionist mode

if arnold toynbee is right, someday our world leadership will be forever indo-chinese - thru modern history to the present, china has made great strides toward world domination - rump accelerates the pace of change toward chinese world domination - one likely interim placeholder is russia, sorry!
+45 # ericlipps 2017-04-16 12:03
I don't think Trump knows he's not up to the job. I think he thinks he's the best president ever (cough, cough) elected.
+39 # Citizen Mike 2017-04-16 12:09
We might need a temporary coup to save our nation. Our military is sworn to uphold and defend our constitution. We have had relatively incompetent presidents before, but never an out-and-out lunatic. This is not merely a guy who is in too deep, but he is actually incoherent.
+5 # Time Traveller 2017-04-16 15:07
But Dump might actually be the perfect "cat's paw" for the military to take over on a PERMANENT basis, Mike.

Dump's dictatorial assault on EVERY facet of democracy here paves the way for such a scenario.

If all the "anyone but Hillary" bozos here had a chance to do things over, WOULD they? THAT is a scary question to contemplate when dealing with too intelligent but not nearly wise enough Pan sui fallendi - Self-deceiving apes.
+1 # librarian1984 2017-04-17 08:46
By 'bozos' do you mean the people who were RIGHT that it was a mistake to run such an unpopular candidate, that Hillary could lose to Trump .. the people who begged her to talk about the economy, who knew it was a losing strategy to insult millennials and 'deplorables', the people who actually read the polls and saw that running an establishment candidate in a change year would give us a Pres. Trump?

WE'RE the bozos? Try again. Same question for you. Would you run Hillary again?
+3 # Time Traveller 2017-04-17 13:53
Yes. In the REAL WORLD, the choice came down to Dump or Shillary, and you bozos chose Dump, who has proceeded to assault EVERY aspect of democracy, not just some like Shillary would have.

Now we all have to live with real world consequences of a voting public not smart enough to know the difference between a BB gun and a shotgun when they put one in their mouths and pull the trigger.

Jayzuz wept!
-4 # librarian1984 2017-04-17 16:38
The REAL world where DWS and the DNC cheated, and Donna Brazile snuck debate questions to Clinton, where the AP declared Clinton the winner the night BEFORE five states voted, where we can see blatant evidence of vote theft in CA and EJUSA showed the odds of the nomination being an honest race was 76 billion to one?

You CHOOSE what to call 'real' and 'normal', and the press and Democrats CHOSE to ignore the rampant theft of the nomination. Hillary should never have been the nominee. Almost anyone else could have beat Trump.

But you CHOOSE to be angry with people who were RIGHT, people who had no power, people who tried to warn you that Hillary would lose, people who tried to tell you Clinton would mobilize the right and depress turnout on the left, not only losing the presidency but the senate as well, people who want the DP to do its job?

What about Hillary? What part is HER fault? Because I still haven't heard her admit to doing anything at all wrong with her campaign. You don't think arrogance and tone deafness might also have been a problem? Or not going to MI?

The only 'pretzel logic' required is that needed to justify voting for a corporatist warmonger -- and that seems to be coming from you. And the fact you say you'd run Hillary again? Wow. There's no arguing with THAT.
+1 # Time Traveller 2017-04-17 17:26
My "yes” was in reply to your query, " WE'RE the bozos?"

No, I would not have run Hillary, and if you read my Godot article, "Talk I Would Like to Present to the Bilderberg Group ASAP," you will see I was and am a Bernie man.

HOWEVER, you Bozos ignored Bernie when he advised voters to choose the lesser of two weevils and vote for Hillary. He is a Jew, and has 23 years experience in Washington, Librarian, and I trusted his sense and judgement re REAL WORLD evil.
0 # CL38 2017-04-19 00:38
Bernie's leadership and life-long commitment to working for the majority is why many listened and worked for him.

That said, it's always important to choose on the basis of individual conscience. Though I listened to Sanders and worked for candidacy, I use my own judgement to decide whom to vote for.
-2 # librarian1984 2017-04-19 08:07
And Jane Sanders retweeted Sen. Sanders' admonition to NOT vote for someone just because he said to do so.

It must be worse for you, knowing you compromised your values to vote for a corporatist warmonger -- but we still lost. We still have a President Trump.

NOT because progrressives didn't vote for Hillary, but because Clinton was one of the worst candidates ever to run for the presidency. There were a thousand things wrong with that campaign -- but you choose to attack the people whose every prediction came true.

Does NOT bode well for the future. You seem like an intelligent person -- not sure why this message is not getting through: THE PROGRESSIVES ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. WITH THE DP.

-1 # Time Traveller 2017-04-19 15:30
I understand WHY you bozos did what you did. But I still blame you for Dump, who is ten times worse than Hillary.

Voting for Jill Stein was merely farting in a hurricane. It did NOTHING to mitigate the shit storm that is now upon us.

If you were soldiers, you wouldn't last a day in combat, given your total naiveté. A veteren knows what a shit storm IS and knows how to dig in and WAIT IT OUT.

Digging in would have been doing ANYTHING NECESSARY to prevent a Dump presidency. Waiting it out would have been putting up with 4 years of Shillary.

Damned green troops are gonna get us ALL killed!
+2 # librarian1984 2017-04-19 19:24
It weakens your argument to resort, repeatedly, to name calling and hyperbole.

There are people who really should be held accountable for Trump. But it is not progressives. Do you really think we're more to blame than Karen Finney and Robby Mook? More than Clinton herself? More than DWS or Brazile? Why aren't you angry with Pelosi or Obama?

You focus on people who had no power and who were correct about what happened. You fall for the oligarchs' strategy of keeping us at each others' throats at the same time you accuse others of being naive.

Your response is irrational but you seem passionately committed to it, convinced you are somehow a 'better' liberal without having a rational argument to support your insulting ad hominem attacks.

It would be great if you devoted your enegy at the real enemy.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-19 15:47
Well, Burlington College pretty much crashed and burned as a result of Jane Sanders' presidency, so I'm not sure she is a great go-to source of advice for common business sense.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-17 13:58
Now, I know you well enough, Librarian, that you will write 3 interminable pretzel logic replies that will ultimately say, "But a BB gun would really sting, and I wouldn't feel the shotgun blast at all!"

And you would be right, as always.
+1 # Time Traveller 2017-04-17 17:31
Real World political paradox: In not betraying their personal ethics, "anyone but Hillary" voters betrayed their country, their fellow citizens, and the rest if the world. Ain't life a beeatch?
-5 # librarian1984 2017-04-19 08:19
DONE voting for Republican-lite s. DONE voting for the LOTEs. DONE with establishment candidates.

The betrayal comes from neoliberal corporatists who turn their back on the legacy of FDR. It comes from apologists for corruption and those who let 1 in 5 American children go hungry while upping the military budget -- and that includes too many Democrats.

The colonists called the revolutionaries traitors too. Were they right? Or were they just slow adopters -- people who lacked courage and vision?

If you're happy with the DP then keep on doing what you're doing. If you want something better .. join those demanding it.
0 # Depressionborn 2017-04-27 10:02
One in five children are going to bed hungry in this country every night. That is a crime. That is a crime in this country.” So claims Bob Beckel, Fox News commentator and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Carter administration.

In truth, Beckel’s figure is off by many multiples. The reality is that 0.26% of households with children experienced child hunger on any given day during 2009. These are the results of a survey of 46,000 households conducted by the Census Bureau for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (page 50).
+1 # John Escher 2017-04-19 14:50
Quoting librarian1984:
By 'bozos' do you mean the people who were RIGHT that it was a mistake to run such an unpopular candidate, that Hillary could lose to Trump .. the people who begged her to talk about the economy, who knew it was a losing strategy to insult millennials and 'deplorables', the people who actually read the polls and saw that running an establishment candidate in a change year would give us a Pres. Trump?

WE'RE the bozos? Try again. Same question for you. Would you run Hillary again?

No I wouldn't. But I am sorry she didn't win. And always, as you know, have believed that people like you and you yourself, queen of all the Hillary-haters, helped Russia and Wikileaks swing the election. You were a sucker for propaganda and false news-- couldn't see through it. So, J'accuse.
-2 # mashiguo 2017-04-18 09:49
Quoting Time Traveller:

If all the "anyone but Hillary" bozos here had a chance to do things over, WOULD they?

No, No and Hell no.
Is that clear yet?

tamen fallimini?
0 # Time Traveller 2017-04-19 15:36
So how is that working out for you since January 20?
+9 # CL38 2017-04-17 00:10
Given the authoritarian agenda of the gop, I have no faith that turning the country over to the military and ANOTHER coup (Kennedy) would reflect a sane decision
+1 # rogerhgreen 2017-04-17 14:53
Quoting Citizen Mike:
We might need a temporary coup to save our nation. Our military is sworn to uphold and defend our constitution. We have had relatively incompetent presidents before, but never an out-and-out lunatic. This is not merely a guy who is in too deep, but he is actually incoherent.

A "temporary coup", eh? Let's parse that one. And even if it was temporary, what will be get? The same Congress with Mike Pence as VP and Speaker of the Senate. I wish people would stop dreaming of magic bullets (impeachment or coups) and instead focus on the next elections.
+44 # Jim Rocket 2017-04-16 12:31
It was obvious a long time ago that Trump loves campaigning and the cheering crowds but has very little interest in actually governing. When it came out that he had offered Kasich the vice-presidency and the VP would be in charge of "foreign and domestic affairs" while Mr.Trump would be spending his time "making America great again" it was reasonable to assume that he would delegate as much responsibility as possible. The whole thing is bizarre I hope the world survives it.
+30 # Wise woman 2017-04-16 12:42
I think we're all crazy at this point. Those who voted for this mental midget and those of us who didn't but are living through this insane nightmare. I saw a woman on TV today. I don't remember her name because she identified herself the founder of some organization called "women for trump." I wanted to throw up. Perhaps she's the sane one and the rest of us are screaming with madness. Any woman for trump gets whatever she deserves at his small hands.
+3 # kitster 2017-04-16 13:08
xi lived in iowa briefly. he liked them. they liked him. maybe obama could have exploited that more and xi could have put more pressure on fat boy prnk. the sound of trump turns my stomach and maybe he isn't in charge of all the sabre-rattling goings on. let's see what happens. no matter what "ata boys" trump takes for this...and he will...the donald and his despicable domestic policies will still put him in the "ah shit" house for the remainder of his term (may it be short).
+14 # Barrystanley 2017-04-16 13:25
Charles Pierce has described the characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Those with this condition demonstrate stuck in set perseveration and are easily manipulated
+30 # elkingo 2017-04-16 13:29
C'mon Charlie and guys, the guy is crazy. Not colloquially or "friendly" crazy: "We had a crazy time last night, or Bob, you're crazy for buying that car." Seriously, diagnostically, clinically, certifiably crazy. Malign narcissistic personality disorder, bully, and suggested (to me at least) psychopathic mentation and behavior.
Don't worry about being an armchair shrink. You can see what's on the "end of the fork" and now you do.

But in fairness though, the rant about wires, while redundant and inelegant to say the least was broadly coherent. They don't use actual wires in "wiretaps" no more. The problem was the triviality and irrelevance to what's really at stake.

Also, if he actually knows he's incompetent to govern, (still addicted to the trappings of The Office), such self-knowledge is at least an earnest of some sanity.And maybe a faint hope of deposing him.

But the guy has got to go. And it IS that dire. If the paradigm of comparison has changed from Hitler to Dr. Strangelove, good,just remember the two are not mutually exclusive.

And no less dire is the thought that the other "subordinate" toads are really governing. "Power behind the throne" is an old notion. And the real power players don't have to be "front office."

God help us, and the World.
+19 # angelfish 2017-04-16 13:31
It's FAR worse than we feared. Whether or not we are up to the task of doing the needful in order to set things right with this country, as well as the World, remains to be seen. Trump is diagnosable in SO many ways, from Tempermentally, to Psychologically , to his questionable Mental Capacity, that it bears VERY close watching. So far, he is Imperial with NO One to say him "Nay" and, unless the Few surviving RePublicans step up to he Plate and rein him in, we are FINISHED as a "Super-Power" in the World! The Majority of ReTHUGlicans are A-OK with his insanity and will rejoice in his destruction of what USED to be the envy of enlightened people EVERYWHERE. God, give us the strength and Fortitude necessary to defeat the "Knuckle-Dragge rs" and save us from the "Know-Nothings" !
+6 # Observer 47 2017-04-16 16:10
Who CARES whether we're a super power?? There's a LOT more at stake than the status of the U.S. in the world. We're looking at the possible destruction of civilization. We'll be lucky if the human race---not to mention all the animals and ecosystems---su rvives Trump's presidency.
0 # angelfish 2017-04-17 16:34
Quoting Observer 47:
Who CARES whether we're a super power?? There's a LOT more at stake than the status of the U.S. in the world. We're looking at the possible destruction of civilization. We'll be lucky if the human race---not to mention all the animals and ecosystems---survives Trump's presidency.
What I SHOULD have said was, "a Force for Good in the World" rather than a super Power. Thanks for the "Heads Up"!
0 # John S. Browne 2017-04-17 13:07

...(W)ho aren't just "RePublicans", but also "DemoCONS", the corporate-fasci sts on both sides of the aisle, which is most of both sides of same!

+14 # elkingo 2017-04-16 13:56
I hasten to add, that the bit about the "little babies" with hands illustrating the size of them rang true. Why? Because it seemed spontaneous, a momentary break from this canned, pre-rehearsed inept raving. A modicum of actual feeling, perhaps.

And I was emotionally swayed by the rocket attack on the airfield: hit that prick Assad back any way we can. It felt good. Only later did I come to my senses and realize the geo-political idiocy of it all, and how it didn't ruffle Assad one bit. After all he is another psychopath.

But all of this is academic. Trump has to go because he is threatening the imminent destruction of the world: climate, nukes, take your pick.

And by extra electoral/proce dural means as may be necessary, and fast.
+2 # carytucker 2017-04-16 20:47
I think Mr Pierce is too optimistic. I think it probable that Mr Trump is an unwitting second-tier principal in the Russian mob cum government network, which is one reason why he fights tooth and nail against any disclosure of his taxes, associates, etc. If this were so, I'm sure it would please skylinefirepest and assorted others who think the SVR knows best.
+2 # John S. Browne 2017-04-16 14:52

Perhaps Trump's food is being poisoned by the globalists, and it is making him go even more insane? If he didn't secretly meet with the Bilderberg Group, and he wasn't chosen by them to be the present president, than it is quite possible; unless, after their reading him the riot act (just what is expected of him, and that if he doesn't do exactly what's expected of him he's dead), he has only been doing what the global(ist) "Fourth Reich" corporate-fasci st rulers (who control the U.S. presidency) expect him to do. If he's not their completely controlled puppet, and they can't make him such, he will soon be toast.

Perhaps Trump was so mentally unstable to start with, which is undoubtedly true, that due to the pressure and stress of being president, it is exacerbating his mental instability and hastening his becoming completely unstable. On the other hand, maybe (as was done with Reagan) he is in the process of being "Manchurianized " through chemical intervention, making him totally controllable by the global(ist) deep state shadow government, if he wasn't already. But, whatever is really going on, global enslavement will not be setback or delayed. The global(ist) enslavers will have their way with the U.S., the West and the entire world come hell or high water; and, actually, they are literally bringing about hell on earth and the global deluge of evil. They will have absolute control of everyone and everything no matter what, and no matter who is U.S. president.

+3 # janehallaren 2017-04-16 16:03
Charles Pierce always says everything I'm thinking. Two quotable additions are:1) also in the Bartioma interview, "We're going into Iraq" (MB corrected him) 2)at that zany press conference a few weeks back when he said to a white House reporter something like "Oh you'd like me to bring back Capital Punishment." He has not put together a coherent sentence let alone one of any import. Being a fan of SEVEN DAYS IN MAY I keep thinking how terrifying it is that people are pinning their hopes on the fact that we have strong military minds holding up the rest of the fringe advisors. Don't they realize that military men need a war to justify their existence? the congress must start some action around this disaster. He is not stable!!!
+9 # ywsf 2017-04-16 17:29
Watching congress do nothing is more horrifying. this maniac has to be stopped
+9 # Texas Aggie 2017-04-16 19:37
The concept that hasn't been touched on yet is that drumpf's minions are in charge and they are worse than drumpf ever thought of being. Putting firebreathing military people in charge of foreign affairs will result in total disaster whether or not drumpf intended it. The same thing goes for every one of his appointments. The people appointed have free rein to run wherever they want and are taking advantage of their opportunities to destroy everything that America stands (stood?) for. As long as his gang of psychopaths are allowed to run loose, controlling Hair Furor isn't going to do a bit of good.
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-04-17 08:11
Disaster warning.
+1 # gwynflynn 2017-04-17 22:14
gwynflynn What is the matter with the members of the Congress and Senate. Are they really so egotistical that they are prepared to see their nation and perhaps the world go down to destruction just to keep their positions of power--which won’t matter when we’re all dying of radiation poisoning. Are there no loyal, honest American patriots left in either of the two houses or the military? People of integrity who could get this lunatic and his incompetent administration out of the White House?
(The Hilary-hating that went on, was, in my opinion, just a
continued manifestation of the misogyny that has been intent on punishing her, for over thirty years because she has the gall be an out-spoken, strong, extremely, intelligent woman in a society that is still basically patriarchal.)
+2 # rogerhgreen 2017-04-18 07:26
I really wish people would stop dreaming of silver bullets (like impeachment or a coup) to get rid of Trump, and instead focus on winning the next elections (in 2 years and in 4 years) and booting out the crazy (Mr. Trump) and the right wing as well. Why do we want to get Mike Pence as President anyway, especially when he would be backed by a right-wing Republican Congress? The smarter Republicans would love that, dumping their loony liability just in time to campaign for the Repug Congressmen who are up for re-election in their gerrymandered districts. Pence will do their bidding, and sign every destructive thing they send him. And Pence will be a "new" and less frightening president, a short distance away from the next presidential election with an enhanced chance of being re-elected. And the US will have a precedent for coups, or for impeachment for political reasons. You don't think the Repugs won't retaliate next time there's a Dem president and a Repug congressional majority? They tried but didn't succeed with Bill Clinton. Give them an excuse, like retaliation, and they'll succeed next time. Some of you people, please be careful what you wish for.
-5 # Robbee 2017-04-18 10:14
Quoting Jim Rocket 2017-04-16 12:31:
It was obvious a long time ago that Trump loves campaigning and the cheering crowds but has very little interest in actually governing.

- where do these folks come from? these mental gnats who say "rump has very little interest in actually governing"?!? - if robbee had a buck for every stupid comment robbee reads here on rsn? robbee'd be a thousandaire!
-2 # Depressionborn 2017-04-25 12:26
wake up guys, you have been had; and big time.

A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington, D.C., often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion. Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion. “What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data. He pointed to a National Climate Assessment in 2014
0 # Depressionborn 2017-04-25 13:11
told you guys it was all about big corps ripping you off!
A group of executives who want to fight global warming has published a new report calling for countries to spend up to $600 billion a year over the next two decades to boost green energy deployment and energy efficiency equipment. The Energy Transitions Commission’s (ETC) report claims “additional investments of around $300-$600 billion per annum do not pose a major macroeconomic challenge,” which they say will help the world meet the goals laid out in the Paris agreement. ETC is made up of energy executives, activist leaders and investment bankers, including former Vice President Al Gore, no doubt needs big bucks $$$???..."
0 # Depressionborn 2017-04-30 13:44
It’s worse. We have decided it best to rule ourselves; that a self-ruled nation needs a try. Good luck and mind your own business, thank you.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.