“I can handle things. I’m smart! Not like everybody says, like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect!”
“Trump may imagine that he’s Michael Corleone, the tough and canny rightful heir—or even Sonny Corleone, the terrifyingly violent but at least powerful heir apparent—but after today he is Fredo forever.” “There’s a key difference between film and reality, though: The Corleone family had the awareness and vigilance to exclude Fredo from power. The American political system did not do so well.”
Meanwhile, James Fallows looks at how actual smart people talk about themselves.
On January 21, 2017, three million people boarded buses, made amazing signs, and took to the streets as part of the largest protest in American history!
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) January 5, 2018
Said Wolff: “I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor-has-no-clothes effect. The story that I have told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can’t do his job. Suddenly everywhere people are going ‘oh my God, it’s true, he has no clothes’. That’s the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end … this presidency.”
The Republican Party seems to be a prisoner of Donald Trump’s dangerous eccentricities https://t.co/GxFzHhn4LC
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 6, 2018
“President Trump has begun telling advisers that it will likely be impossible to advance legislation this year to reduce welfare spending and enrollment — a priority he previously embraced with the backing of House Speaker Paul Ryan and a number of conservative activists,” the Washington Post reports.
“In conversations with aides and outside advisers in recent days, Trump has said his supporters would embrace the idea — but that it remains unlikely because the votes will not be there in Congress and it would be a difficult undertaking in an election year.”
dilemma of the Wolff book for journalism commentators : those who said press should break the rules, not normalize Trump, call it what it is etc., did not anticipate the most effective route to that would be by pulling off the most audacious act of access journalism of all time
— emily bell (@emilybell) January 4, 2018
Special counsel Robert Mueller “has recalled for questioning at least one participant in a controversial meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016, and is looking into President Trump’s misleading claim that the discussion focused on adoption, rather than an offer to provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Investigators also are exploring the involvement of the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who did not attend the half-hour sit-down on June 9, 2016, but briefly spoke with two of the participants, a Russian lawyer and a Russian-born Washington lobbyist. Details of the encounter were not previously known.”
Donald Trump is not serving as president so much as he is watching his presidency on TV. https://t.co/lrVCuKPq4r
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) January 5, 2018
Jeffrey Toobin: “Richard Nixon earned eternal disgrace for keeping a list of his political enemies, but he, at least, was ashamed enough of the practice to know that he had to keep it secret. Trump, in contrast, is openly calling for the Department of Justice, which he controls, to put his political opponents in jail. This kind of behavior is a trademark of the authoritarians he admires, like Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
“It’s another example of Trump’s disdain for the norms that have been observed by his predecessors. Trump’s Presidency may look like a series of chaotic lurches. But there is, alas, madness to his method.”
Everything GOP says abt FBI is a lie–all of it; https://t.co/SWJBzX0dkE
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) January 6, 2018
Josh Marshall: “For public purposes, clinical diagnoses are only relevant as predictors of behavior. If the President has a cognitive deficiency or mental illness that might cause him to act in unpredictable or dangerous ways or simply be unable to do the job, we need to know. But My God, we do know! We see him acting in these ways every day – and not just in multiple news reports from an abundance of different news organizations. We see it with our own eyes: in his public actions, his public statements, his tweets.”
“All the diagnosis of a mental illness could tell us is that Trump might be prone to act in ways that we literally see him acting in every day: impulsive, erratic, driven by petty aggressions and paranoia, showing poor impulsive control, an inability to moderate self-destructive behavior. He is frequently either frighteningly out of touch with reality or sufficiently pathological in his lying that it is impossible to tell. Both are very bad.”
Think Progress: GOP leaders happily stand by Trump as he becomes increasingly unhinged.
And if Trump were to go "over the edge" how would we notice? What would the sign be? Imaginary words? (covfefe) Schoolyard tweet-taunts at murderous nuclear-armed foreign leaders? Uncontrollable dishonesty? The list goes on… https://t.co/RbC78qxl79
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) January 6, 2018
David Remnick: “A new book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, amplifies, in lurid anecdote and quotation, what we have been learning elsewhere every day for the past year: Trump believed that he would lose the election, but would multiply his fame, his fortune, and his standing in American life. To near-universal shock, however, he won. And the consequences followed. Trump has no comprehension of policy and cares about it less. He surrounds himself with aides who are either wildly incompetent or utterly defeated in their attempts to domesticate the mulish and bizarre object of their attention. There are no lingering illusions about the President’s capacities: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump ‘a fucking moron’ and spared us a denial. Wolff’s book, which leans heavily on interviews with Steve Bannon, makes it plain that pretty much everyone in the President’s circle agrees that he is, in terms of character and intellect, fantastically limited. There is no loyalty or deliberation in the White House, only a savage ‘Lord of the Flies’ sort of chaos. Each day is at once preposterous, poisonous, and dangerous.”
“In the meantime, there is little doubt about who Donald Trump is, the harm he has done already, and the greater harm he threatens. He is unfit to hold any public office, much less the highest in the land. This is not merely an orthodoxy of the opposition; his panicked courtiers have been leaking word of it from his first weeks in office. The President of the United States has become a leading security threat to the United States.”
Trump was seen as ideological moderate on economics during the 2016 campaign but now he’s seen as hard-right. https://t.co/fiw9J4EZ10
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 6, 2018
Roy Moore accuser Tina Johnson lost her home in a fire that is now under investigation by an arson task force, the Birmingham News reports.
“Tina Johnson, who first came to public notice for accusing Senate candidate Roy Moore of grabbing her in his office in the early 1990s, said her home… caught fire Tuesday morning… By the time the flames were extinguished, Johnson and her family had lost everything they owned.”
Steve Bannon was only minutes away from attacking Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff over quotes attributed to the former White House chief strategist, but he decided not to do so after President Trump attacked him after the release of excerpts from the book, CNN reports.
A real “F-youski” moment at the UN. Reveals just how isolated US has become in the world along with the absence of anything approaching an international community when it comes to obligations of sovereign states to protect freedom and human rights. https://t.co/dA8pDmDNVD
— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) January 6, 2018
Politico: “The Republican leader still has a slate of brutal GOP primaries looming in the first half of this year that could jeopardize his party’s hold on the Senate — even with Bannon out of the picture, assuming that his breakup with President Trump and the wealthy Mercer family lasts.”
“Still, McConnell’s team believes — probably with good reason — that their job in 2018 is now significantly easier without Bannon to marshal insurgent forces against incumbent Republican senators and cost the party crucial Senate seats. That’s precisely what they blame him for doing in Alabama, where the party nominated Bannon-backed Roy Moore only to watch him blow a seemingly can’t-lose race.”