Donald the Menace

This isn’t a strategy; it’s a syndrome.

Comments: 259

  1. Donald Trump is Captain Chaos. Everything he has touched in two weeks filled with executive actions, interviews, tweets and phone calls, he has managed to ruin.

    What hasn't been ruined and is working relatively smoothly, however, is the nomination process of Trump's cabinet of oligarchs and the first few pieces of legislation aimed at rolling back Obama-era policy. Secretary Exxon Mobil was confirmed thanks to a majority of Republicans and the same Democrats In Name Only who've regularly broken away from the party. They are Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, Mark Warner, and Claire McCaskill. McCaskill and Manchin voted with the Republicans on a bill designed to roll back coal regulations that ensure the water supply stays clean.

    What are Democratic leaders doing to enforce strict party discipline? Whatever it is, it isn't enough, and it doesn't appear there will be a majority of Democrats willing to filibuster Neal Gorsuch. Why? I suspect it has something to do with having voted him in as Circuit Court judge in 2006, more than not wanting to seem like Mitch McConnell this time last year.

    In polling, Democratic voters are insisting on a strong resistance, a la GOP. But we don't have that. With a resistance like this, who needs...

    ===

    Democrats In Disarray: Demagoguery Is No #Resistance To Captain Chaos | Blog#42 http://www.rimaregas.com/2017/02/democrats-in-disarray-demagoguery-is-no...

  2. Well Rima--isn't chaos precisely the outcome you wanted all along? Neither Nancy Pelosi (who's still dreaming of regaining her old job as House Speaker) and Chuck Schumer (who now has to prove what a tough guy he is by refusing to meet with Neil Gorsuch) aren't exactly inspiring much confidence for a cowering Democratic minority to fight back.

    You've abdicated your right to complain. Now go live with the consequences of your relentless "Anybody but Clinton" campaign.

  3. Sharon:

    Anybody but Clinton refers to the nomination process. Clinton got nominated because of name recognition (so did Trump) mostly in the deep south, states that should not be determinitive of who gets nominated because Hillary carried none of them, including Florida.

    But the nomination process displayed that Clinton had significant weaknesses in the Blue Wall states of the industrial belt. Which is precisely why she lost the election and we are saddled with a mad, insane, president.

  4. To Tim Kane-- by the time Hillary Clinton got the nomination her candidacy was already badly wounded by Bernie Sanders' over zealous followers like Rima who were convinced she was just a stooge of Wall Street. Then it was too late to undo all of that damage. I've always speculated that Bernie Sanders' supporters either stayed home or voted for Donald Trump out of spite. If Bernie wasn't going to be president then neither was Hillary. Toward the end of her campaign I suspected that Hillary was just going through the motions and couldn't wait for it to be over regardless of the outcome. Hillary was just terrible on the campaign trail because she was so tightly scripted and over rehearsed.

  5. TRump intends to numb people into submission. The daily dose
    of lies, bluster and incompetence are designed to get people
    to simply give up. IT's like Lucy and Ethell in the chocolate factory,
    no matter how hard to try, you can't keep up.
    Threatening to invade enemies, calling allies dumb, imposing
    religious tests for admission to this country, are all of apiece
    to get people to give up and submit
    Trump is a clear and present danger to our country. We are
    at a crossroads, to decide what kind of country we are, or not.
    Sinclair Lewis was wrong, it can happen here.

  6. Yes, it can happen here because of the complacency of too many citizens who can't be bothered to vote and too many voters whose main source of news is Faux. djt read the crowd, their angst and concluded that many would be gullible enough to believe his bogus slogans.

  7. The Trump 'movement' should be called what it really is - The Alternative Party for America- to highlight what is really happening. Bannon is HIS Goebbels. There is a need for a freestanding investigation into this administration on Russia connections et all. #25thamendment anyone?

  8. Excellent column, Dr. Krugman. This president relishes confrontation and controversy, and his antics assure him of front page news, which is, of course, the whole point. He has bullied and picked fights with leaders and countries except with his buddy Putin and the Russian Bear. Remember, the schoolyard bully has sense enough to know that there's always a tougher hombre in the neighborhood and leaves him strictly alone.

    Iran tested a missile the other day, a direct, in-your-face gesture to the president, who predictably responded with threats and bluster. What would he do if North Korea conducts another nuclear test as it last did in September, engage in a bombastic Twitter tirade with that other enfant terrible and push America to the brink of a nuclear war?

    In these time of global uncertainty, America can't afford to alienate its allies. There are enough countries that would love to see the United States, and particularly this president, fail on every level. The 45th president doesn't know how to win friends or influence people and after only two weeks as Chief Executive appears to be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of his office. The Oval Office is no place for a novice who needs on-the-job training.

  9. Trump was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of his office long before the inauguration as demonstrated by his deplorable cabinet picks, many who have no background or ability to serve the agencies they have been picked to head, even putting aside politics, and by the incompetent transition team that has left huge numbers of offices that need to be confirmed by the senate unfilled.

    When someone with the nickname Mad Dog is your very best pick by far, and even that person needs to have a law that was to protect the civilian basis of our government form being too militarized changed to be able to serve, you have real problems.

  10. "The Oval Office is no place for a novice who needs on-the-job training."

    Of course, this observation is absolutely correct. It was correct, too, when Obama was elected to the presidency, an office he was entirely unprepared to fill. He tried to give the Republicans the cuts that they wanted to make to Social Security, Medicare, etc. The country is fortunate that the Republicans were so greedy that they wouldn't take yes for an answer. His second term saw great improvement in that Obama didn't try to give away programs we have been paying into for decades. He came across as a smart and genteel leader. He had grown into the job.

  11. But Trump doesn't want to be allies with our historical allies any longer. He wants the US to join the growing list of autocratic kleptocracies.

    This is the end of liberal democracy unless Canada, Germany(!), and a few others can hold out. It's doubtful they can. Once a critical mass of global economic activity is controlled by these strongman kleptocracies the rest will have to join.

    After that comes our enslavement. Yippee!

  12. Indeed, some of this is getting bizarre. If the President of the United States has personal issues on insecurity, we're in trouble.

    Pray as we might, that it will ease up and Mr. Trump will himself find some relief, it's worth asking how well this is going to go down with those who voted for him. We would be remiss in thinking that they are disappointed, because I think they're not. Mr. Trump is *actually* serving a useful purpose here ( regardless of what I think of it ). He's actually asking the present world order to check its presumptions. That's not altogether bad.

    e.g. We don't know the basis for Mr. Obama to take in refugees who were illegally attempting to enter Australia. Regardless of what I think about Australian policy towards them, it seems a little gratuitous for Mr. Obama to help Australia out. (I might see the logic of helping a friend, but I do also see the view that it was unnecessary especially given Mr. Trump's disinclination towards them.)

    I'm inclined to agree with you Professor, that the signs are not good. But I counsel a little bit of calm and a lot of investment towards the mid-terms. The Democrats have to be methodical in winning the House and Senate this mid-terms and that is their only option, unless Republicans stand up for their country.

    I am not convinced that whatever chaos Mr. Trump sows, that his voting base will disagree. And causation, unless there is a wanton war, may be harder to prove.

    This is the time for method, not madness.

  13. It's a refugee SWAP, not the US gratuitously helping out a friend.

  14. Maybe you're right. Could you point to something that says so ? Swapping refugees seems an incredible thing to do. Here is my source :

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/01/politics/australia-us-refugee-deal-tur...

    What is the deal?
    Under the arrangement, agreed by Obama and Turnbull in November within days of Trump's election, Australia would transfer around 1,250 refugees currently held in offshore detention centers on the Pacific Island nation of Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island to the US.
    The transfer would be administered by the UN High Commission on Refugees.
    Only those refugees in the centers at the time the deal was announced would be eligible. In November, Turnbull said it was a "one-off agreement (that) will not be repeated."
    --------------

    It's possible all the sources I have seen are wrong and that you are right. Please point to a source that supports your claim.

  15. It's tempting, Dr. Krugman, for one to reflect upon the calm, rational, intellectual approach that dominated President Obama's eight years in office. We're way past "missing Obama," I fear. The clear, current and present danger that is No. 45 is a worse catastrophe than any Pearl Harbor or 9/11 ever represented. We're now a smoking crater, a hole in the earth. And, unfortunately, roughly half of America approves.

    James Comey's the least of our worries; he's water gone under the bridge compared to the rushing destructive tide of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. They have gloated gleefully about working with the new president. They have not gone public with any disapproval of his Muslim wall ban. They have not spoken out against the president's foolish obsession with crowd size. They have not attempted to curb his petulance with the press. They have smilingly gone along with the bastardization of the Supreme Court. They are the figureheads of an impotent Congressional delegation, heavily freighted on the right.

    Vladimir Putin has done his work well. There must be impeachable data in the dossier that he has compiled on the new president who has menaced our enemies (Iran) as well as our allies (Australia). There is nothing remotely like coherency in Washington now. President Obama, in the face of unprecedented obstruction, managed to knit together an international coalition that stressed America's goals and ideals while respecting differing opinions.

    Miss him? Count the ways.

  16. "the rushing destructive tide of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. They're not doing anything more destructive than what Obama and Reid did when they laid the ground for the Trumpian rule through their elimination of the filibuster of nominations and the use of Executive Action.

  17. Dear soxared, president Obama seems a world away - sanity. The "normalization" of DT is in full swing, leading all of us to try to keep our heads, resisting with everything we can (money, writing, demonstrating) constantly. Whether we can keep the best of our most cherished institutions - our univerisities, our courts, our government - through this madness is questionable.

  18. referencing 911 is very appropriate. we (GWB and co. mostly) whipped up the fear when there was little reason for most people to fear. trump uses this fear and ups the ante with no actual justification. we have done all the work osama could ever have asked of us.

  19. We have a problem of focus even if Dr. Krugman's points are well taken. They help explain why many of my friends and I have been feeling so unsettled since 1/20, doing so with only a partial listing of Trump's erratic and impulsive actions. He makes a convincing argument about this kind of behavior result more from psychological problems rather than a clever and wily strategy. With his tweets and other remarks keep everyone so distracted that the real challenge is how to counter at least some of the worst actions. I would like PK to use his economic expertise to pierce through this smoke screen by recommending concrete actions to move forward. As an example, I believe we should be challenging Mnuchin, one of the few appointees truly competent in the field of his responsibility, to create banking rules that would be more consumer and home owner friendly. I was disappointed to see Senate Finance Democrats' surprise at OneWest's volume of foreclosures. They obviously were shocked, yes shocked, but they should have been asking Mnuchin how regulations in fact made it easier and more profitable to foreclose than to renegotiate loans - and push him to suggest changes that would align regulations more effectively with their stated intentions. The next four years will bring plenty of reverses for Liberals, but I'd like to see people like Dr. Krugman offer some ways to achieve small and important victories along the way.

  20. Help! We need an adult! Who could have predicted that a petulant narcissistic man-child with absolutely no inkling of expertise or self-control might not be able to run the country? Oh yeah, I remember: every voter with a functioning brain. He’d practically hung a sign around his neck that said “I aM cRazY,” but a winning minority of voters somehow got him elected.

    Now the president has surrounded himself with the kinds of cartoon sycophants and apologists that you’d expect to see in a bad movie about an insane president. Hilarity is supposed to ensue when the president’s aides make up “alternative facts,” or when Il Doofus drunk-dials world leaders and talks crazy talk.

    This joke has gone on long enough, but the Republican cowards in Congress are loath to admit that the bully who was supposed to take the Democrats’ lunch money is turning out to be a liability. It’s a fifty-fifty shot if they’ll get their stolen Supreme Court seat filled with a bible-believin’ conservative, or if World War III will break out first.

    The president told Republicans to go for the nuclear option. But it turns out that American voters may have gone for the nuclear option. For real.

    We're in free fall, and the ground is coming up fast. So before we all go drink a fifth, we need to haul out the 25th. Amendment, that is. Think of it as the rip cord on a parachute. And realize that time is running out.

  21. The problem is, the line of succession is pence, ryan, hatch and tillerson. It's bad then worse.

  22. In a Hobson's choice I guess we take Pence. Sigh.

  23. Nemo:

    I know, I know-- Pence et al. are awful--but at least they are reasonably sane and are unlikely to alienate virtually the whole world.

  24. Petitions in the Internet age don’t mean what they used to. For many signers it’s just a mouse-click over their morning coffee.

  25. I hope the Swiss realize more than half of the Americans that voted do not want him either.

  26. I think you will find the population of Switzerland is 8m, not 800k. Hence signatories are 0.1%.

    Take the UK though. Signatories there are close to 2m in a population of 60m to cancel his forthcoming visit (i.e. 3%).

  27. Seperating America from her allies and threatening war is foolish in the extreme. There is no one in the White House to stop this madness. Republicans, grow some hair and put a halt to this please.

  28. Former Enron advisor, Paul Krugman, still enjoys collecting a paycheck by blaming FBI Director Comey for his perceived woes, but he conveniently forgets James Comey is in no way responsible for the DNC colluding with the Clinton campaign to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination. Mr. Comey did not collude with mainstream media hacks to cover the Clinton campaign favorably. He also did not install an unsecured email server in Mrs. Clinton's closet or ask her to transmit classified information over that system.

    Mr. Krugman is thanking the wrong party.

  29. Except Comey found not enough evidence to charge her with a crime. Neither did the house hearings on Benghazi.
    So who is still fighting the election?

  30. I grew up in a world where American might was respected and feared. We used to kick the hinnies out of anyone who got in the way. The message was clear abroad -- messing with America was the ultimate death wish. I hate to disappoint the Times and its legions of hand wringing bloggers but America doesn't do Gandhi very well. Maybe Iran will have second thoughts about testing another ballistic missile.

    Oh here's a bit of potentially good news for the Israel bashers out there--Donald Trump took a page out of the Obama playbook by criticizing Israeli settlements as hindering the peace process. Some things never change--Democratic and Republican presidents alike just can't shake this obsessive compulsive need to settle the Israeli/Palestinian quagmire.

  31. Is that the world in which we won the Korean and Vietnam Wars? 'Cause that didn't happen in my world.

  32. It didn't happen in my world either. I was in grade school during the Viet Nam War. We fought to a draw in Korea and Eisenhower pulled out the troops. Nixon encouraged Vietnamization, pulled out the troops and signed the Paris Peace Treaty to end it all.

    I'm just saying that once upon a time in a galaxy far far away America was once admired, feared and respected. Not any more.

  33. @Sharon5101: "Once upon a time" is a great opening to a fairy tale. Your characterization of Nixon's Vietnam policy (for example) is a perfect example.

  34. I am sorry Paul, but it's such a cop-out to end by blaming Comey. He meant nothing in the grander scheme. Trump is the logical consequence in a country that has neglected the civic education of its people (not that you are alone on that front). Anyone of even simple political acuity understands the division of power and the fourth estate, the mechanics of authoritarianism, and pure demagoguery. That almost half of your population could not see through that, while dismissing the email "scandal", speaks volumes. This is the real reason you have a tangled psychological mess of insecurity as president who isn't fit to run a cardboard box on the streets of New York.

  35. Seems to me that Comey could have disclosed some of the indications that Trump is compromised vis-a-vis the Russians, which is several orders of magnitude worse than Hillary's wrongs which he was wiling to inflate attention to. Trump is a Siberian candidate. Putin is an extremely evil and dangerous man, actively assassinating dissenters, Comey knew it at the time. It's not that he belatedly brought up Hillary's name, but he did not bring up Trumps compromised position. Now Trump is president, and is set to blow up the international economic and security organizational arrangements created to give us the prosperous stable Western world. Comey is guilty of moral treason, and on a moral level he's guilty of much, much, much more than that. He is helping to destabilize our world.

    Putin and Trump are going to destroy the entire apparatus that has stabilized the world. That is their goal. Trump is taking the Republican party's status of "Wrecking Crew" to a whole new level.

  36. Again, 27.2% of the eligible voters, not almost half. It's embarrassing enough that more than a quarter voted for this hot mess.

  37. Oh, would someone the giftied gie us
    To see oursels as others see us. (Apologies to Bobby Burns)
    Thank you, Thomas. The corporate assault on American education has had its effect. Greed is not a useful philosophy for making the world (oneself and its people) go forward.

  38. Constructing oh so great leniency towards Russia when in fact the new administration confirms to keep up Obama´s sanctions unless Russia backs down in Ukraine seems to show a certain tendency (or could one even call it "alternative facts"?).

  39. Should we believe Don Trump earned his Billions honestly?

    You're worried about war?

    Trump is big league. We wouldn't survive any war he starts. It would be Bigly.

  40. "Thanks, Comey.". you mean 'Thanks Democrats' for putting up a despised and untrusted candidate to run against Trump and for destroying the Separation of Powers through Obama's rule by executive order and for reducing the role of Senate to the same level as that of the House by eliminating the nomination filibuster.

  41. Let’s imagine that a Syrian reality TV show host wants to enter the US and therefore has to go through the “extreme vetting” process. The authorities check out his history and find three marriages, a trail of bankruptcies, a video in which he boasts about being able to grope women because he’s famous, a lawsuit accusing him of discrimination, a failed university bearing his name, a failed airline bearing his name, a failed mortgage company bearing his name, a number of women who have accused him of rape, a failure to pay income tax for many years, a record of insulting women with derogatory terms, failure to pay contractors and small business owners…and so on and so forth.

    D’you reckon they’d let him in?

  42. Simply exquisite!

  43. Nearly half of the American electorate did just that unthinkable thing. What problems does that reveal? What remedies are available? I do not want to go back to teetering on the edge. We need a cure, not acceptance of a chronic illness. Gradualism may be enough, although I doubt it. We have to win a solid majority of the American electorate back to a reasonable program that addresses their issues. a program that provides real solutions to those problems. Both Bernie and Jill Stein offered that in 2016. We need people like Paul and Hillary to recognize this reality and lead the way.

  44. "Vetting" is not about your marital problems, or your financial problems. (Also: accusations of "groping" are not indictments nor convictions. Didn't Americans used to believe you were "innocent until proven guilty"?)

    It's about VIOLENCE, or adherence to ISIS or Al Qaeda.

    Has Mr. Trump ever had any history of violence? or belonged to ISIS? No? then he would not have a problem with any vetting.

  45. Paul sets up the premise of today’s column by writing of the disillusionment of “working class Americans” as if Trump had been in office for a year and all he’d been able to accomplish was to tick off not Australia but the PM of Australia; then follows with international initiatives and gambits that have only just been offered and probably have months yet to go to yield productive results. Trump’s been in office for barely two weeks. You MIGHT consider giving him three or four weeks to REALLY make a better America and world. I mean, it took EIGHT YEARS for Obama to fail, at least give Trump a month to SUCCEED!

    You know, I’ve never before done this with a Krugman column, but it’s just getting so TIRESOME: with regard to Krugman rant #334-C (with the “I REALLY hate Trump” addenda), please refer to Luettgen stock response #PK-334-C (with the “get a better recording” zingers).

    But it wasn’t Comey who did in Hillary: HILLARY did in Hillary.

  46. What color is the sky on the planet where you live, Mr. Luettgen?

    Mr. Trump has done more than merely irritate the prime minister of Australia in his first two weeks in office. He managed to, in effect, add to the tablet held by the Statue of Liberty "Give us your poor, your tired, your teeming masses as kong as they're white, Christian and can afford a Trump Tower condo." He has offended members of the world's second largest religion. He has scoffed at a free press, one of the bedrocks of America. He has nominated a cabinet of know nothings, also rans and never were's. He has installed a raging bigot as "chief strategist" and a son-in-law with no experience at running anything significant or successfully as his chief aide.

    I shudder to think what he might do in the next two weeks.

  47. You know, Mr. Luettgen, I appreciated your past reasoning and rationality as to your views on policy and elections. I am sorry to see that reasoning and rationality lost over the last year, as evidenced by the increasingly bitter sarcasm and constant jeers that now comprise your comments. But now that you are indulging in the use of all caps for emphasis of your derision instead of even an attempt at persuasive argument, I elect to just skip over your comments from here on.
    I know you couldn't care less as to losing this reader's good opinion, but maybe if we all stopped responding to you, your political Dr. Jekyll would overcome your Mr. Hyde.
    Best wishes for a full recovery--and I mean that sincerely.

  48. Charley:

    Well ... hang on to your socks.

  49. I'm torn. Trump is massively funny. On the other hand, waking up every morning wondering if Trump has provked a senseless war is a drag. I guess that if I had to choose, I could do with less humor.

  50. How magnanimous of you.

  51. Unfortunately I wouldn't be so sure that there is not method in this madness, and not just madness in this madness. I.e., I wouldn't be so sure that it is not a strategy - to upturn the current balance of power, as well as current thinking about what is thinkable, possible, and ethically coherent with our values. In my opinion, the best course for those who are responsible for thinking strategically about how to counter the Trump administration's havoc is to take it seriously and to plan on how to contrast it politically. Of course, time will tell whether it is simply bombast, impreparation and incompetence. Or something much worse - a coherent policy.

  52. As if we needed another President Bellicose this century. More bluster than brains, a modern day manipulator of facts, puppet of the far right. Led by the nose by Republican brainwashed provocateurs in a haste to decimate government by Bannon and the Faux News crowd using disgusting tactics suitable to the racists and mysoginists they truly are. Get ready for a rough, crude ride as shown by the crash course in appointments suitable to running a Trump University unprepared to keep either its word or pay its bills.

  53. The last time America had a president who could not perform despite every effort on his part, was Jimmy Carter, who also obtained the position under strained circumstances and left after an incident with Iran.

    Jimmy essentially acknowledged his failure to perform and stopped trying. His effort to save the hostages in Iran failed in the rescue attempt and he stood down for the next president.

    America suffered through those four years but survived intact. The difference here is that it may not be possible to wait four years for relief with a new president.

    It may be necessary to ask Trump to resign in favor of his vice president. If he refuses to resign, either an impeachment or 25th amendment removal will be necessary. It's time for like minded democrats in Congress to approach like minded republicans and begin the plans for such a removal from office!

  54. Jimmy Carter was not a failed president - he was a great president who was failed by an already then obstructionist Congress, and by America's simpleton voters. Carter was pushing alternative energy and other sensible economic policies long before his time, and as Professor Krugman has often explained, the brief period of stagflation at the end of the 1970s that so many Americans wrongly blamed him for was the result of an oil shock.

  55. Did you really just compare Jimmy Carter to Donald Trump? Really?

  56. Russia has arrested at least two people in their intelligence community and accused them of treason, of giving information to the CIA. I wouldn't doubt if these are the sources for information in the famous dossier which points to Russia helping the Trump campaign.

    How did Russia figure out who the leaks were coming from? Was it from clues in the dossier or could someone in the Trump camp have leaked information to them as to who might be responsible. Remember, Trump now gets this sort of information in his intelligence reports.

    According to the dossier, Putin assured the Trump campaign that they had gotten rid of all evidence of their involvement with the campaign. They are now cleaning up and getting rid of those who leaked to the former British intelligence officer.

    As if that was not enough, a leading opposition figure to Putin has been poisoned for the second time. He survived the first attempt to kill him but is now in ICU in a Russian hospital fighting for his life.

    Just think, Trump wants to make friends with this guy even with the evidence of Putin's atrocities.

  57. Trump went with Ivanka to meet the parents and the coffin of their son, the Navy Seal who died the other night during a busted raid, in Yemen. Trump referred to meeting the parents as “very sad. . . [and] beautiful.” Beautiful?

    In consideration of our Seal, brought down in the prime of life; and his distraught grieving parents: death is obscene.

    Trump is not our leader. He does not inspire. He's not the lesser of two evils—he's the greater, surrounded by fascist cronies.

    Trump’s occasional chorus of cheering supporters are paid in advance for their claps, the noise maker part of his White House circle.

    Trump may be impeached and he will be, immediately after the 2018 blood bath voting when the marching women march our whole House of Representatives out of office—throne out! Then Trump impeachment.

    We owe that to the refugees, to the world’s tired and poor. For our own self-respect, exercise the opportunity to peacefully change our government and show the world how it's done.

    Trump’s plan is to serve at least eight years, perhaps for life, by suspending elections, and see built a Trump Tower in every city worldwide, his personal wealth to quad-ruple. That is Trump's plan—what Trump wants.

    Expect Trump bud Vlad-imer Putin to release the Euro-nation tapes of Trump in the hotel with the seasoned Russian prostitutes. Vlad’s Trump tapes make Anthony Weiner appear an angel, Trump's disgrace so deep, upon exposure he won’t be seen in public.

    http://michaelslevinson.com

  58. Unfortunately, we in the urban and suburban settings are in real danger, brought on by a man of questionable intellect and deportment, elected by the inhabitants of the wide expanses and safe territories of America. We all know that any war from a terrorist attack to a nuclear conflagration would occur in our areas of population density and for that reason, I am deeply resentful of the hate mongering and anger that Don Trump has instilled in our nation which has endangered us. You know I'm writing about the possibility of nuclear war and it's total destruction. I understand just how serious your column is and I would go even further to write that not only is Don Trump the real threat to America, he is painting a target on us, if one hasn't already been made from a year of hate mongering during his campaign. The danger is real and I thank Hillary Clinton for discussing Don Trump and the nuclear codes in context. There is a real danger and we have hardly begun the four year nightmare that is Don Trump.

  59. I can't fathom how approximately 42% of eligible voters stayed away from voting, sitting out the most consequential election in modern times and who knows, after just two weeks in office, possibly the worst catastrophe since World War II.

    What will it take to get his large segment of our population to figure it out? We have an election next year and it will determine if Trump and Bannon will consolidate their reckless governing into a greater erosion of our freedom by rendering the Democratic Party to be irrelevant as the loyal opposition much like the Labour Party in Great Britain.

  60. Aside from the myriad mental issues now residing in the oval office, I think it is plausible to assume that Mr. Trump is heavily indebted to the Russian kleptocracy for the maintenance of his opulent lifestyle. Financial transparency regarding his tax returns and finances could dispel that contention if it weren't true, but Mr. Trump refused to be transparent. His supporters voted for him anyway, and, here we are. What an unmitigated, self-inflicted tragedy.

  61. I was speaking with friends in Toronto yesterday and asked how Canadians view Donald Trump. "Most of us don't know whether to think of him as the greatest threat to peace since Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba or as a total laughingstock. Either way, he has no business being president."

    For a man who wasn't elected to the office he holds, Pres. Bannon and his Howdy Doody-like puppet Mr. Trump clearly have no idea what they're doing now that they're roaming the same halls as did Abraham Lincoln, The Roosevelts Teddy and Franklin, JFK and even Ike.

    The titular president doesn;t seem to have any superego acting as a break on his instinctive reaction of lashing out when he feels slighted, of unfolding policy by Twitter in the middle of the night, of viewing the world as a place that is treacherous to him personally.

    Worse, he has surrounded himself with men and women who are as shallow as he is, lacking any semblance of intellectual curiosity about not only the world but their own policy portfolio. With only one or two possible - possible - exceptions, we are in for four years of Government By Sycophant.

    Alas, not even members of his own party on Capitol Hill seem willing to stand up and say, "Oh, no, you don't, not on my watch" to the man. Yet as most of us learned in grade school, the only way to deal with an unbalanced, irrational bully is to stand up to him. Yes, he's likely to rant and rave but he will stop lashing out.

  62. Actually, I think Bannon knows exactly what he is doing. I wish some investigative reporter would find out where offshore his money is stashed and in what safe haven he has property to run to when he finishes destroying the US.

  63. America has installed the brat president it deserves. A nation whose unsustainable consumption of energy is based on some atavistic notion of Manifest Destiny and whose modus of "I see it I want it, it's mine!" would have to elect someone like Trump. He sized up the political situation, saw that political correctness was obsolete, and thrust his candidacy more or less obscenely into the breach. Here we are...

  64. "Thanks, Comey" might be gratifying sarcasm but there are many more such thank you's to go around because he's not the only one to blame for the crisis to our democracy now encamped in the White House.

    Thomas Edsall's column yesterday points out a whole lot of reasons for Trump's "peculiar populism."

    He points at the "postmaterialist left," which began to thrive economically and adopted "values — personal fulfillment, openness to new ideas and support for previously marginalized populations." These values rubbed the economically left behind the wrong way and the reaction has been the "increasing power of anti-immigrant parties across Europe and the ascendance of right-wing populism in America."

    Financially wounded and fearful that its culture was being swept aside or summarily defeated by the left, the Trump populists found someone who channeled their anger and gave them a voice.

    Meanwhile, the left repeatedly and smugly chanted that these new populists/Trump voters were "voting against their best interests." By standing in lockstep support of this mantra we leveled slurs — "foolish" "rubes" and "deplorables" — upon the already economically wounded. We literally added insult to injury.

    We poured gasoline on a fire.

    Thanks, Krugman.

  65. That's funny. I wanna throw one thing at your comment though- "the already economically wounded." At lot of his supporters aren't "economically wounded" and a whole bunch of others "wounded" themselves, through bad personnel economic decisions (which ain't a crime) and complacency (that's the nice word for it). And other supporters are just professional complainers and/or self-proclaimed victims, of and about a country that left them behind, which is a questionable premise. And both of these traits are common in lots of people and are only troubling when the victims and complainers have opposing views than ...... let's say ......... me or you.

  66. Yes, not just Comey, but he merits special mention in a "Brutus stabs him last" kind of way.

  67. During the campaign, some observers cautioned us not to take many of Trump's statements literally. His promise to erect a Great Wall of America, for example, merely expressed his determination to improve border security. Trump, in other words, employed language to reveal emotions or to communicate a general sense of his intentions, not to convey a precise message about his future actions. He frequently responded to criticism of some off-the-cuff remark by describing the comment as a joke.

    Every public statement made by a president, however, undergoes a careful analysis by domestic and foreign observers. If Trump vents his personal frustration with Mexico through a careless threat to invade the country, nobody there is likely to respond with a laugh. Still, Mexico lacks the military capacity to react in a way that would endanger American security.

    A similar thoughtless threat aimed at China, by contrast, might trigger an international crisis which Trump's emotional immaturity would cripple his ability to resolve peacefully. The loose connection between the president's mouth and his brain qualifies as one of his greatest shortcomings, one, moreover, for which the rest of us may pay dearly.

  68. Two things Krugman is right about.

    The first is that Trump and his team will probably go looking for a war, once the American people wake up to how utterly incompetent he is.

    Once tyrants get into power and things start to go bad, they usually start a war to distract their populations from their incompetence. Remind you of the Bush years? It should. This is Tyranny 101 from Book 9 of Plato's Republic. And it seems to be Republicans' preferred governing style.

    The second is that we are probably dealing with a president who has serious psychological problems.

    We already know that he lies about 70% of the time.

    http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

    This is not normal behavior for an adult.

    His erratic behavior and penchant for conspiracy theories suggest that there is something seriously psychologically wrong with him.

  69. I agree with you completely about the war, John. And it's likely that most of those who fight and die in it will be Trump's strongest supporters or their children, from the failing agricultural and mining communities and the Rust Belt. That's truly the ultimate in voting against your own self-interests.

  70. What we may be seeing is an extreme form of a phenomenon that had already become part of our political landscape--the tendency to use foreign policy as a form of domestic propaganda. This died down under Obama, but was fairly common before. Although Trump is not a disciplined messenger, his treatment of foreign leaders likely plays well with the 30-40% of the American electorate that supports him. I think the strategy may be to hold onto that 30-40%, then clean up his act toward 2020, putting him over the top. I've already noticed some news outlets reporting his bluster as if it were some new, more robust foreign policy.

    We should be very careful about underestimating Trump and co. They are some of the best con artists I've ever seen.

  71. Professor Krugman dismissed China too quickly, and that was after looking in the wrong direction. The little islands aren't nearly as interesting as the BIG island of Taiwan. My prediction is that China is about to seize a golden opportunity for their most important goal.

    First they are going to talk to Trump (#PresidentTweety). They will lead with North Korea and goad or lead him into endorsing a Chinese invasion. Then they will turn to Taiwan and it doesn't matter what Trump says as long as they can get him to say something solid (for the tape recorder).

    When the weather warms up, they will invade BOTH Taiwan and North Korea. The Korean front must draw the American focus because so many American soldiers are in harm's way. Will China stop? The Red Army will actually slow walk in North Korea until Taiwan is sufficiently invaded, and then they will finish up and RUN out of Korea: "Here you go, South Korea. Your mess now."

    The Chinese will not wait for Taiwan to declare independence. NOT an acceptable option. Also the Japanese military could be rebuilt to the nuisance level. However, the main time pressure is that North Korea could collapse on its own and lose the opportunity.

    Oh yeah. One more perk. REAL dictators love blaming enemies for their own economic problems. China has big problems, but they are about to blame all of the problems on the Donald, and it doesn't matter whether he endorsed Taiwan's independence or Taiwan's return to China in that recorded phone call.

  72. Well, Trump has scared many of us. Now he's just going around the world one by one, scaring everybody else.

    When he gets us in Big League trouble, which probably won't take very long, everyone else will run the other way - and Donald Trump can "put America first" in the war zone he creates......with our young men and women......on their own, no help, nada,from around the world. And if he thinks Putin would lend a helping hand to ever make America Great, #1 joke.

  73. The GOP congress must impeach him quickly. It's obvious to everyone that he is mentally ill and poses a danger to the entire world.

  74. Thanks Bernie.
    Thanks Vladimir.
    And yes, thanks Comey.

  75. I beg to differ. Blaming Bernie? The one who spoke truth to power? No I must say "Thanks Hillary". Though she was not to blame for most of the attacks on her, it was clear early on she was profoundly disliked and carried way too much baggage. It was her belief that it was "her turn" and the status quo of the Democrats that is far more to blame. Bernie polled much higher than her against every Republican throughout the primary, it was as clear as day.

  76. An overnight invasion of Granada and then Panama received global attention with Reagan who managed world affairs with the simplistic and delusional white and black 1940's western "good guy bad guy" morality. And face it, the Bannon/Trump national security state will marshal our military for an overnight invasion of a defenseless country, if only to demonstrate his school yard bullying inclinations. The man is trigger happy, with a "ready, shoot, aim" childish impulsivity. We're in for a horrible four years.

  77. Grenada. The original Granada was the last Muslim corner of Spain. Panama, 1989, was under George H.W. Bush. It sort of looked tidy, but Panamanian military and civilian casualties were serious.

  78. Clearly, Donald Trump is still stuck in his adolescence where ghosts from his past continue to haunt him, emotionally. He seems incapable of controlling those impulses that often lead to trouble, both personally and professionally. Such behavior can quickly translate into catastrophic consequences both for us here in the U.S. and the world at large. Hillary was right -- he doesn't have the temperament to be President.

  79. I would really love to see all the leaders of America's allies convene and work out a plan to force our sociopath in chief out of office. Trump is the gravest threat to democracy and to world stability since the Cuban missile crisis, and the US needs international help to do for us what we could not manage to do ourselves. A menace he is, indeed, but with sufficient resolve and cooperation, surely the rest of the world could rise to the occasion and help us find a solution in this time of America's most urgent need.

  80. A cartoon in my Dutch newspaper wondered whether Trudeau couldn't send in troops to restore order. (this was on the day the situation in Gambia was defused by similar means)

  81. I also hope for the same. We are not going to get out this mess on our own.

  82. Paul, this is yet another very powerful, sensible and 'down-to-earth' article. I cannot tell you just how reassuring it is to be able to read an assessment of the situation such as this, that is written by an American. The contribution that you and others like you, make to the political and and economic dialogue has never been more important than it is now and will continue to be for the next four years.

    It is vitally important now for the progressive forces in America to 'pick themselves up and dust themselves off', as the saying goes, regroup and make a real effort to remain united and to start formulating a real alternative manifesto to this current nightmare. We must take a radically different path to what has been on offer in the past. The 'robber-baron' free-market capitalist approach that has brought us to the point where we are now, needs a serious, sensible and inclusive alternative.

  83. Thank you Robert from Melbourne. Yes, we Democrats in the U.S. must dust ourselves off and regroup, and we will. We recognize that the consequences of failing to respond would be catastrophic. And we also recognize that Australia truly is an ally.

  84. His father died of Alzheimers. It shows up in inappropriate behavior and minor memory lapses years before it becomes readily apparent. Trump has enough money to be able to hire people who can cover up stuff that would reveal problems in ordinary people, but sooner or later it is going to hit the fan.

  85. At first, I resisted the suggestion that Trump was crazy and I still do. Calling someone crazy has become as grossly overused as the word "hero." But I do think Trump's behavior patterns fit the meaning of senescence very well. This is a 70 year old man, after all, who falls back into repetition when challenged and uses the same words and phrases over and over again, regardless of whether they are appropriate or not. His abusive behavior is all too characteristic of old people who have lost the resilience of youth and the ability to respond to reality without feeling threatened by it.

    During the campaign, Trump was able to deflect the calls for his medical records and current health status. It is becoming all too clear why, like his income tax returns, he didn't want us knowing anything at all.

  86. The difficulty with "crazy" is that it is tied to hallucinations, paranoia that goes along with them, and disorganized thoughts, word salad, if you will. There are other forms of mental illness that are far more dangerous than just being crazy. Sociopaths and Psychopaths are very connected to reality, they just lack the ability to feel emotions like others so love and compassion as we commonly understand it are beyond them allowing them to commit horrible crimes on others with no guilt or regret. Narcissism is a spectrum from what every one needs to have for a normal feeling of self respect and self worth in the middle, but in the extreme high end are the habitual liars and manipulators who lie and must ever lie more to support a sense of themselves that is accurate, The further out on that spectrum are the increasingly delusional but not outright crazy.

    These "walking wounded" tend to be enthrall to power, want it with out understanding it let alone what to do with it, and cold not care less of the impact on others.

    The problem is we now have a government of "walking wounded" from trump on down to a good number of ranking congress, in the judiciary, as well as the cabinet, and with examples like comey, intelligence.

    In ordinary times the whole lot of them would never be allowed to be manager at a Walmart.

  87. You do not have to be "crazy" to be mentally ill. Trump's narcissism is pathological in magnitude. It also is not going to change and cannot be "cured." Expecting him to act in a more presidential manner upon taking the oath of office is comparable to asking a lion to become a vegetarian.

    Only external constraints can rein him in. It is time for Ryan and McConnell to admit that we as a nation have a severe and dangerous problem in the Oval Office.

  88. Yes.

  89. Political strategy, political tradegy

  90. tragedy

  91. "Time Bomb" was a game we had in the 60's...

    the idea was to pass the red fused cannonball around smartly so it didn't blow while you held it. pretty nerve wracking for a ten year old.
    wonder what brought that to mind?

  92. The man is a bumbling dunderhead. It's absurd for anyone to claim there's some kind of clever strategy at work ~ because clever he ain't.

  93. Donald Trump is his (and our) own worst enemy. How many times during the Presidential campaign did we hear warnings that he lacked the temperament to be an effective leader? We now know that Hillary was absolutely right in highlighting that particular concern about Trump's emotional stability. We should have heeded her warning.

    He is still very much the insecure adolescent of his youth. In the short time that he has been in office, he has demonstrated a certain level of emotional volatility that, if unchecked, could quickly mushroom into a colossal nightmare on the international stage as exemplified by his recent rift with Australia, our trusted ally and friend. He is, quite literally, like a bull in a china shop.

    He's been in office for less than a month and has already stirred up enough controversy to fill to two terms in office. The man is an accident waiting to happen. He's proven to be quite adept at making enemies at a time when we need to strengthen and preserve our international alliances.

    Clearly, Donald Trump is still stuck in his adolescence where ghosts from his past continue to haunt him, emotionally. He seems incapable of controlling those impulses that often lead to trouble, both personally and professionally. Such behavior can quickly translate into catastrophic consequences both for us here in the U.S. and the world at large.

  94. "Clearly, Donald Trump is still stuck in his adolescence ..."

    Yes, he is. Even his wife excused his behaviour on the grounds that he was a "teenage boy" at 59.

  95. The same people the GOP failed threw a 'Hail Mary' pass and elected him. Why? Because they believe the politicians that are in office weren't serving their interests. They are correct. But while it is necessary to have someone who is different to fix the problem, it is not enough, it is not sufficient that he is different. My dog is different than the GOP representatives that failed him, and he could not fix the mess either. But at least his bark is worse than his bite.

  96. It wasn't only Hillary. It was Republicans Bloomburg (well, maybe he is too sensible to really count as a Republican) and all still living Republican past presidents plus those most recently running a the top of the ticket -- Romney and McCain -- as well as almost the entire field of candidates who ran this year in the Republican primary. And conservative pundits like Will who resigned from the party over Trump.

  97. "Mr. Trump’s confrontational phone calls, in particular, don’t sound like the working out of an economic or even political strategy — "

    No, they don't but we now know how he's been running his business all those years. And how he ended up with some 3500 lawsuits and 6 bankruptcies.

  98. "their number is negligible and they are stupid." Eisenhower, speaking about millionaires who want to overthrow Social Security, Unemployment... Being stupid, not knowing what the Constitution is or means, not knowing what treaties are or mean, not knowing what a wall will cost or mean are illustrations of being stupid and continuing to support Trump identifies his supporters as very stupid. (except Comey, Bannon, Putin, Sessions, Priebus, Conway who are just corrupt)

  99. Is it possible that this chaos and confusion are being deliberately created? Not of course by Trump, who can't think two steps ahead, but by Bannon -- his Svengali, Iago and/or Rasputin, whichever you prefer. Last year, Bannon was editor of a falsehood- and conspiracy-peddling-rightwing-extremist (= neo-Nazi) internet publication. His unimaginable rise, in just a few months, to a seat at the heart of American power and Trump's most influential and powerful adviser, is in my eyes both the most bizarre and the most terrifying aspect of this new administration.

  100. Ellen, Well said. Look closer at Bannon's political philosophy if you want to be really scared. His Leninist leanings are perfectly clear; oppress any opposition, completely control the people and reduce and eliminate any trust in governmental institutions while controlling what once was the free press. You now have an authoritarian state.

    The US will survive this and will be stronger for it. I apologize for the now chaotic environment but slowly and surely, this situation will be corrected and America will return much smarter for the events now taking place here.

  101. Borrowing the immortal words of another out-of-his-depth president: "You're doing a heckuva job, Trumpy."

  102. While you can't count on anything coming out of this weird administration (oxymoron), the news that Trump has pivoted on Israel settlements (and called for a halt), would rescind the sanctions on Russia (he'll keep them) and the speculation that the US will impose new sanctions on Iran as a result of their recent missile test, all sound like a light early spring breeze of rationality has hit the White House.

    Perhaps a little of the gravity of Trump's verbal bomb throwing is getting into his head. We have to hope so.

  103. It seems to me that that the election of Mr. Trump, and the policy (or lack thereof) that he has been putting forward in the last couple of months, shows us all the ways that democracy is not "fool" proof. It is frightening to think of where this can take us and the possibilities raised by Mr. Krugman are absolutely staggering. After two weeks. And this American democracy has provided no real way out. It may take generations to repair what may go wrong in the next 4 years.

  104. Our new TWIC (Twitter in Chief) is aptly using this communication as he is unable to construct complete sentences!
    W

  105. Or maybe the "Twit in Chief."

  106. Your hired...

  107. Better yet: Twitler.

  108. We have a madman in the White House. Why? Because far too many Americans and apparently most Republicans were and still are willing to accept it, even though common sense could easily see all this coming.

    Is there a method to his madness? Unlikely on Trump's part, very likely on Bannon's. Trump lacks Cruz's cunning, and he is hardly the first foolish man to have been elected from the right. Even fools can make lots of money.

    Comey? Hillary Clinton was defeated by more than 25 years of hatred driven by right-wing Republican propaganda.

  109. Talk to any Trump supporters and they firmly believe every disproved rumor about Hillary Clinton no matter how outrageous, no matter how much evidence to the contrary while ignoring every act and statement by Trump. Don't bother to point out that Trump violates every principle they have supported in the past. It is madness.

  110. But Comey was the final blow.

  111. And Hillary Clinton overcame more than 25 years of hatred driven by right-wing Republican propaganda, was healing from their attacks and on track to win--until Comey ripped off the scab and tried to make it bleed again.

    There really are moments when one person can--and does--change the course of history.

    Thanks, Comey.

  112. Paul, remember a few years back you posted on your blog a humorous NY Times front page in which every article was about you and your positions on issues accompanied by three or four pictures of you? Your lead-in caption, if I remember correctly, was all me, all the time. That's how I view Donald's need for attention but in this case without the humor and a lack of total tact. There is something seriously wrong with Donald and I agree with you entirely, that he is in way over his head. God help us.

  113. This constant bashing of Trump really needs to slow down. Yes, some of it is deserved, but a lot of the bashing is not deserved. Every bash is fueling the alt left to act out in irrational ways and causing the alt right to feel like they made the right decision all along.
    Where does leave the rest of us? The majority of Americans do not fall into the alt left or alt right category. Every day the top stories in the Post and the Times are negative...laden with cheap shots. Facebook is filled with fiction and people are not informed properly. The Times, the Post, the traditional networks all are guilty. What is the end play? We have lost free speech. Anyone who is right of Jane Fonda is attacked.

  114. What's the alt-left?

  115. Michael Moore, Madonna, Cher and anyone out there destroying every Starbucks in sight because they didn't win the election.

  116. Maybe we are being overly harsh regarding Trump. It just feels like the heart of this country is heading in the right direction, as opposed to devolving with him. It just feels like the significant reaction we are witnessing is hopeful for our future direction.

    Nietzsche may have had a point, if a bit overly optimistic, regarding our future, when he said:
    “Many acts are called bad that are only stupid, because the degree of intelligence that decided for them was low. Indeed, in a certain sense, all acts now are stupid, for the highest degree of human intelligence that has yet been attained will in time most certainly be surpassed and then, in retrospection, all our present conduct and opinion will appear as narrow and petty as we now deem the conduct and opinion of savage peoples and ages.”
    Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. Human, All Too Human A Book for Free Spirits

  117. Actually, we do 'have an employee' like the one you describe. We tend to forget that though he or she may be president of the United States, they work for us, not the other way around. It's quickly becoming obvious that Mr. TanTrump needs to go, as in, 'you're fired!'

  118. Your assessment of Mr. Trump's current mental capacity is appreciated although I disagree with calling him a menance, crazy, looney, insane and other words I have seen describing him from individuals around the country. Equally as troubling is the lack of emphathy and understanding of people suffering from mental illness. Why are individuals willing to show support for people with heart diseases, and cancers, but mock people with brain diseases?

    I do agree that the other branches of government need to remove him from office until he is treated, but once he is diagnosed, with his personality....he may be non compliant with the meds. The bottom line I agree that at this time his behavior is detrimental to our country, but I don't agree that the name calling is helpful for others who are diagnosed with severe mental disorders and who are suffering silently on their meds. I encourage you Mr. Krugman to attend a NAMI family to family course or attend a NAMI family support group. It is difficult to hear the words being used to describe him and yes, I agree that he is mostly inappropriate the majority of the time, but I'm careful to never call him a menance, because I've seen the positive effects of meds, cognitive behavior therapy and support groups. This current atmosphere of attacking a man who has some obvious issue could cause others in this country to relapse and that will not be good.

  119. With all due respect and consideration to the scores of Americans struggling with mental illness, anyone as unbalanced as Mr. Trump should not be in a position of authority and nearly limitless power over the very lives of Americans--indeed, of everyone on the planet. Menace is an accurate description of someone incapable of regulating his mood and out of touch with reality, when the potential harm is so enormous. No, deflating as it may be to others with similar conditions, the office of the President of the United States should only be held by someone in full command of their faculties--and those faculties need to be pretty exceptional.

  120. We do not have the time to wait for Trump to agree to an evaluation or for the meds to start working. He is the President of the United States, not your next door neighbor. Under most circumstances, I'd agree - we do need to be far more supportive of those with mental illness. But not this time. Quite literally, the fate of the entire world is at stake here.

  121. I see how other Republcians bow down to this guy and refuse to hold him
    accountable. That party has to take responsibility for what is happening in this country today, they broke it, they own it.

  122. If Trump does not agressively confront Russia he's in Putin's pocket. If he does, he is a dangerous warmonger.
    Krugman hasn't been right about anything in decades.
    So what tack will he take next now that Trump has decided to maintain sanctions and warned off Russia?

  123. It's true that Haley told the UN that “Crimea is a part of Ukraine, Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.” That was yesterday. Maybe we need to see that Trump tweets tonight. Also, thanks for pointing out how astute you are compared to Krugman. From now on I'll skip the column and go straight to your comments.

  124. Donald Trump's foreign policy ignorance is surrounded by arrogant ideological advisors,whose cynical Islamophobia may threaten the JCPOA agreement with Iran, and risks involving the United States in another disastrous Middle East war. Donald Trump is putty in the hands of Machiavellian Steve Bannon and the zealotry of former General Mike Flynn, whose tacit agenda may include destruction of the Iran nuclear deal. When Mike Flynn insults Iran by putting it "on notice" and says that Iran should be "grateful" to the United States, he vindicates the message, increases the power, and bolsters the credibility, of the IRGC hardliners in Tehran, who want the JCPOA to fail. He unfortunately weakens the position of President Rouhani and the moderates who want better relations with the U.S. It's important to remember that Iran has thus far obeyed all the JCPOA protocols, and has agreed to purchase 17 billion dollars of planes from Boeing, the symbolism of which should not be ignored.

  125. If the Czar could have Rasputin as his principal advisor, why can't Trump have Steve Bannon? History repeats...it may end the same.

  126. Point taken. Professor Krugman's analysis is reality-based, not an alternative one. How to assess this unprecedented Trump administration?

    Americans, for the first time, are experiencing an improvisational president. Trump's tweeters and actions do not follow normal practices and logic. President Duterte in the Philippines is another example.

    Trump was given the ultimate object of desire for an ambitious billionaire. That is, to become president of the most powerful country in the world.

    Trump is now applying his real estate tradecraft expertise on large scale politics, domestically and internationally.

    Donald Trump is an extraordinary political experiment never done before.

    It remains to be seen whether he'll succeed or fail. America love winners and hate losers, as the saying goes.

    Alternative facts won't help Trump in the case of failure. He will be fired!

  127. Dennis the Menace was not a narcistic sociopath, he was not a bully and he didn't have his little fingers on the nuclear button

  128. The last-but-one paragraph says it all. You would relieve an employee of his/her responsibilities and use administrative leave if you saw this kind of behavior. And Trump is the leader of the free world (not!)...

  129. Who is there to Blame? A man-child, mean bully with sewer for a mouth and the instincts of an ape handed a machine gun who is now the most powerful man in the world? This won't do!
    To blame is the collective conscience of millions who shut their minds to reason, millions whose misgivings were/are fed by utter ignorance and countless lies, millions of sycophants who howled and voted for The Mad ManChild with the orange coiff who spewed and keeps spewing evil?!
    It is terrifying to know that it was this sickening wall between the collective conscience of millions who voted for Trump - or, better said, the absence of their conscience - and reality! that places the world in face of great peril, as this 800 pound gorilla seemingly doesn't stop, less his adult Republican keepers somehow bring him to some modicum of enclosure, when only God knows what will be hurled out...!

  130. A first step in corruption is to assume and accept a responsibility you are not qualified or eligible to perform. This President has taken a giant first step toward this goal. Corruption of our democracy. Corruption of our way of life. Corruption of the protection of our freedoms and security.

  131. In two short weeks Trump has eclipsed George W. Bush as the most bungling, incompetent modern president. (Who would have thought that was possible?) What a relief for Dubya.
    However, seeing how we are still dealing with the botched job of the Bush/Cheney train wreck, one shivers thinking of the potential mess Trump/Bannon is likely to leave for someone else to clean up. Can we survive even a year more at this rate?
    One hopes that sensible Republicans, (McCain, Snow) are waiting to get their man on the Supreme Court before joining with Democrats to take steps to rid us of the monster Republicans created.

  132. Terrific, Mr Krugman!
    You are totally right!
    But, admit it...
    The loss of this insane elected leader will bring on a devastating period of same-old, same-old malaise, under intelligent and rational leadership, instead of jaw-dropping awesome real time insane entertainment.

    There will be some satisfaction after we all realize the depth of immorality in the Republican Party, but nothing will be exciting anymore!

  133. Trump is obsessed with putting his signature on some petty little deals with some countries. He wants this picture of him showing a leather binder with his signature. He does not want anyone else making deals, he will stifle anything that would enable someone else to do so.
    Ordinary americans will just perceive this maskulin hyperactivity of their putin-wannabe, they will not realize that all other channels of making deals are lost, and that this is affecting them.
    The US will get a show, but they will be paying dearly for it.

  134. Perhaps its nearing time for a call of impeachment...

  135. Impeachment gives us Pence. Out of the frying pan into the fire.

  136. It's beyond time.

  137. I'd say it's high time – before it's too late.

  138. Krugman notes that Trump's foreign policy "is looking less and less like a political strategy and more and more like a psychological syndrome."
    YES, YES, and YES! We have elected a man who is an egotist and narcissist. History buffs will remember monarchs from centuries ago who waged war for personal vendetta. Why, as recently as 2003, George W. Bush invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein had threatened to assassination his father a few years back. And he was no monarch from the past.
    If that was possible as recently as 2003, with Trump at the helm, anything is possible. Be worried, deeply worried.

  139. Bernie wasn't the populist choice and I tuned out the first time I heard him rant about free college education for everyone. The country can't afford that which should be obvious. Greatly lowering the interest rates on federal school loans makes sense. The big problem is that many people still can't seem to accept a strong woman leader and will vote for any man no matter how much lesser his qualifications and judgment.

  140. It's not "walking back" or "changing course." Call it what it is: FLIP FLOP. And in the case of Trump, a very dangerous course from an unfit President with a severe mental illness.

  141. I'm with you until the "Thanks, Comey." Forget Comey. You have the Wimp-Ola Democrats to thank.

    And President Obama, as much as I love him, should have been out on the road every single day for 8 years, blasting the republicon intransigence.

    He should have developed a huge proposal to rebuild infrastructure and walked over to Congress every single day and throw a copy on the steps, with TV cameras watching, castigating the republicons for not working for America.

    I'm true blue all the way through, but the Democrats are so bad at politics that it lost them the country. And they won't learn, I guarantee it.

    Oh and by the way -- Bernie was the populist choice that would have landslided the White House. But yet again, the Democrats were too wimpy to go for it.

    Until the entire Wonder Bread Democratic "leadership" is gone and replaced by Bernie-style populist radicals, we'll have Trump/Breitbart for the foreseeable future.

  142. The republicans love it when we fight among ourselves and point fingers. Blaming president obama for not fighting? we, the people, failed to get enough dems into both the senate and the house. Let's take responsibility for that.
    Bernie did not do himself, or us, any favors by putting outdeeply unrealistic, unfundable hopes.

  143. Bernie could not even win the Democratic primary. (I voted Bernie in the primary, BTW.)

    You think the deplorables would have accepted a socialist New York Jew? Seriously? They had a chance to vote for him in the primaries, anyone could have changed party affiliation and voted for Bernie even in closed primary and caucus states, and they passed it up because he was not the racist misogynist climate change denier Klan and Nazi supported press hating lying con man they wanted as president.

    Yes, it may be time to move on from Comey, but it is also time to move on from Bernie fantasies.

    People deplore Bill Clinton today because of triangulation, etc. (Confession, while I voted for him both times I was never a big fan). But they forget that the blue collar stalwarts of the Democratic party went big time for Reagan, and gave him landslide victories. The only reason Clinton won even after going to the center was that Ross Perot ran and Bush I governed more responsibly and raised taxes when necessary (as, BTW, Saint Ronnie Reagan himself did, something the Republican base immediately forgot because of Bush I's desperate promise of no new taxes.

    Democrats were desperate to get back into the White House. Clinton, with his compromises on things like the Bush I NAFTA (I agreed with Ross) and the Phil Gramm led repeal of Glass Steagall (unforgiveable), which Clinton signed, and welfare reform, was the only way to do that.

    Reagan Democrats rejected Bernie Dem policies, bigly.

  144. Bernie's appealed to nihilism of the left.

    We don't need any more nihilism in the US.

  145. Three circle of ideas inform thinking: inner dialogue, social speech, and external influence. Writing, I think of words and ideas that match my understanding/insight, that will be received and shared, and will sway readers to agree with a series of views. Tump is good at only one: influence.

    Rambling about The Apprentice at a prayer breakfast and saying “What the hell” after the Senate Chaplin's remarks is only a cut above “locker room talk.” (His social speech is limited and maladroit.)

    Inner dialogue, the first source of deep thinking, involves a high sense of details, an empathy for process and its steps, a tenacity for review: esp. the ways they might go wrong; esp. blind spots of self-righteousness and narcissistic self-deceit. Here Trump utterly fails. (His supporters, too, are void of empathy and create blind fantasies.)

    His talks with foreign leaders show the classic breakdown of his situational ideas: he gropes things he likes by breaking normal boundaries; he breaks boundaries for things he dislikes as well. He appears constantly out of control.

    He is! He won because a new principle manifested after Obama: the high-low principle. A Southern staple became a national standard, emerged from inner dialogue: the dumbest/most uncouth white guy was just as good as the smartest/most intelligent black. (Black radio calls it moving from “class to trash.”) This (smug) assurance will provide more satisfaction than jobs.

  146. Mr. Hett, thank you for the quote from Black radio. Even before beginning to read Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad," I had concluded that it is people like yourself, linked to millenials of all stripes, who will save the country if it is salvageable.
    I await with great hope the return of President Obama to the the public sphere. Either he, or a coterie he puts together, will be our rallying point. And we need one.
    (Still enjoying "class to trash." Having lived most of my life in the south, I know the meaning and the feeling of both.)

  147. And now Russia is in the mix, too! Is there no situation, no forum, no conversation in which this child-man will refrain from confrontation, bombast and braggadoccio? I feel as I did during the nomination/election cycle that he is playing at all of this, testing the wits of the media and his followers and sycophants as he probes further their tolerance to be abused. To say I'm embarrassed isn't big enough, what word can capture the Trump-ish feeling of humiliation and shock that I have?

  148. JFR: "To say I'm embarrassed isn't big enough, what word can capture the Trump-ish feeling of humiliation and shock that I have?"

    'Dismay' is good word for that, but don't feel humiliated - that's what Trump-Putin, Bannon, and their minions want.

    Furthermore there's no reason to feel humiliated. Crooked Donald Trump is a Fake President who lost the popular vote by almost 3 *million* votes.

    The proper emotional response to Trump being selected President of the United States by the Electoral College, despite losing the popular vote, and with a Republican Senate majority that also lost the popular vote, is not humiliation.

    The proper responses are: anger, rage, a determination to fix the processes that allowed Trump to take office despite losing the election, and a determination to stop the damage that Trump and his Republican cronies, minions, and enablers threaten to do to the country.

  149. "Then he abruptly ended the conversation after only 25 minutes."

    Damn, I had taken 20 minutes in the office pool.

    I think Jon Stewart's name for Tump holds up best: Man-baby. Though in truth he seems to be stuck in his terrible-2s.

  150. Trump said “I alone can fix the nation’s problems.” He promised crime and terrorism would end the day he took office. He promised so much prosperity we would be sick of it. He promised to return manufacturing jobs to the rust belt. He promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico and make them pay for it.

    How could you possibly criticize a president like that? So lets raise a can of beer and toast our dear leader. All of our problems will soon be solved.

  151. Comey acted to put a senile man with the emotions of a 2-year old in the Oval Office. I wonder if Comey, presumably intelligent, has come to grips with his role in reducing America to the butt of a joke and elevating George W. Bush to the 2nd worst president in US history? Worse than that, Comey's fingerprints are on Trump's crimes; Comey was the driver in heist of the presidency.

    Beyond Comey, there are Trump's playground supporters (the ones who just wanted to throw a Molotov cocktail at Washington), his De-evangelical Christian supporters (Christians who believe lying and groping women were Jesus' teachings) and the GOP (the league of Faustian hypocrites playing with fire). Have any of these deplorables given a second thought to their collective guilt in placing the world in jeopardy?

    What's next for Trump? We've been put on notice: nothing's off the table. But some adult should make him take his naps, place him in time-outs when he has tantrums, and take away his toys (cellphone)...permanently.

    What's next for the GOP? Payback.

    What's next for us? I hate waking up each morning wondering what has Trump done now? I hate worrying about the future world my grandchildren will inherit. If we do nothing.

    I do not accept Trump, never will. I try to do something daily to express my disapproval/disdain for him. I've called, written and marched. I want to join a movement to remove the stain on America. I'm looking for a leader to organize and mobilize a revolution. Bernie.

  152. Re: " I'm looking for a leader to organize and mobilize a revolution. Bernie."

    Unfortunately Bernie's revolution had the unintended consequence of helping to elect his antithesis (DJT) because so many of Bernie's supporters were so disaffected that he wasn't the nominee that they either stayed home, voted third party or most dumbfoundedly, voted for djt.

  153. @Mary Ann Donahue

    Right. So ironic. Some of Bernie's supporters were misguided. But lets look ahead.

    We must get rid of the djt.

    We call, write, march but the GOP is ignoring us. We need to get their attention. Bernie called for a revolution. That was his answer to Republicans who have turned Congress into Confrontation. Bernie was rolled, Hillary was knifed in the back. There is no reason we should not revolt. We need a leader who understands this is not business as usual.

  154. Keep marching, writing, supporting organizations that will help us hold to our ideals. This is even bigger than Bernie. He would tell you that this is everyone. Support whoever and whatever he supports. He is a true patriot to follow.

    But we have other leaders speaking out too. Support them where you can.

  155. If our democracy was functioning as designed, Congress would take its oversight role seriously and begin the process of removing this malignant narcissist from power before he causes lasting and perhaps permanent damage. However, Republicans have made the public commitment of Party over country. We could then look to the courts to check his power, but decades of court-packing and politicizing the judiciary, again mostly by the Republicans, have severely weakened it's effectiveness. We could then look to the States for help, but decades of gerrymandering and voter suppression by, you guessed it, the Republicans have turned the majority of state governments over to hands of radicals. The final backstop, of course, is the American people, but 46% of them were bamboozled enough to elect this madman, and do not seem that dismayed with his performance. It would seem that we are out of options...

  156. The states are sovereign over the federal government in Republican Lalaland.

    The lack of a genuine popular election of the president leaves the people with no national figure to curb the excesses and corruption of states.

  157. Remember that, of the total number of eligible voters, only 27.2% voted for DT. That is not a mandate by any stretch of the imagination.

  158. The Republicans could have removed him from consideration at their Convention. That, after all, is the purpose of having a party structure.

  159. Trump's foreign policy has been antagonistic prior to today. But keeping sanctions on Russia and discouraging more settlements are a new development. I wish the press wouldn't undermine these ideas by saying they are Obama's. It's like they are encouraging Trump to abandon them.
    I have very little faith in Trump's ability to govern. But maintaining Russian sanctions would be reassuring to those of us who believe he may have been compromised by Putin.

  160. Thanks, Comey? No, thanks Hillary. If she has any conscience left at all she must wake up each morning these days thinking: "What have I done?" If only she had not actively sabotaged Bernie's bid for the nomination; if only those 400 plus super delegates had been responsible enough to rescind their support for her after realizing she had been lying for over a year about her email set up; if only she had realized that Bernie was drawing such huge crowds because he was hammering home the very issue that Trump would ride to victory--all those middle class workers left behind and ignored by Washington. If only she had admitted that she was an unworthy candidate and stepped aside to allow Bernie to crush Trump in the general election. Democrats only had Comey because they insisted on having Hillary. Thanks a lot.

  161. Didn't I read somewhere that Sanders refused to criticize Clinton on emails because he thought the issue was irrelevant? She made a mistake, get over it. The US education system is obviously inadequate or there wouldn't be so many gullible Americans choosing the loathsome Trump over a less-than-perfect Clinton.

  162. Wally - it's time to give it up. Bernie would not have won. He would have been savaged as a communist (I'm not saying that - the Republicans would have said that). It's pretty clear to most people that Hillary would have won if Comey had not thrown a curveball the last few weeks of the election. Save your recriminations for Comey and Putin.

  163. @wally ~ The people who should be waking up each morning thinking "What have I done?" are those who voted for djt or didn't vote. Hillary Clinton has a conscience, the current occupants of the White House seem not to.

  164. Our Fearless Leader has mistaken incoherent threats with having a tough foreign policy. The rest of the world is well aware they are dealing with a television star B-list actor and real estate developer with multiple bankruptcies. The back room scheming we should be worried about is happening in countries looking to fill the world leadership vacuum our voters have created. Look for China's rising dominance in world trade and political influence.

  165. China, moving ahead full stream to develop clean energy, is about to eat our lunch on a manufacturing sector that we invented and could have been the world leaders in, thanks to years of idiotic Republican policy on energy from Reagan onwards.

  166. Here are the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder from the Mayo Clinic. While I understand you can't diagnose someone without interviewing them, it is a little creepy isn't it?

    * Disregard for right and wrong (depends on your viewpoint perhaps)
    * Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others (check)
    * Being callous, cynical and disrespectful of others (check)
    * Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure (check)
    * Arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated (check)
    * Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior (maybe, what with the taxes and lawsuits)
    * Repeatedly violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty (check)
    * Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead (check)
    * Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence (check)
    * Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others (check)
    * Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others (remains to be seen)
    * Poor or abusive relationships (no basis for judgement)
    * Failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them (check)
    * Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations (check)

  167. Some of these should get a double or triple check. These are not just 0-1 variables. There are "levels" here that are important.

  168. * Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior (maybe, what with the taxes and lawsuits)

    No, definitely. See Florida, and suit against him in NYC for violating anti-discrimination laws in housing by repeated refusal to rent to black applicants for apartments. Also hiring Polish illegal immigrants to help build Trump Tower and then refusing to pay them.

  169. Again, not my patient, so this isn't an actual diagnosis. But as a psychiatrist, I can tell you that you can have more than one personality disorder. For people to make up their own minds, I should add the Mayo Clinic symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
    -Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance

    -Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it

    -Exaggerating your achievements and talents

    -Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate

    -Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people

    -Requiring constant admiration

    -Having a sense of entitlement

    -Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations

    -Taking advantage of others to get what you want

    -Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others

    -Being envious of others and believing others envy you

    -Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

    America, you decide.

  170. One of the real dangers is that, after alienating our closest allies, one or more of our enemies, like Iran or Russia, will test the resolve of our unstable President, and either he, like many bullies, will cower and further erode America's influence in the world, or will overreact and trigger a conflagration with our allies sitting this one out. Look at the Iran's missile test. It has already started. What happens if we impose sanctions, but our allies, whom we've alienated, do not? America first and last can quickly devolve into America the impotent and irrelevant.

  171. No sane person wants to do business with Donald the Demented.

  172. There is a process in the Succession Act wherein the President can be found to be "incapicated." He would then be relieved of his responsibilities until he either recovers or is removed by a more permanent action (Article 25). Works for me.

  173. But, can this process be executed before Trump alienates most of our allies and starts a few shooting wars? My sense is that no one with the authority to act has the guts to use these powers soon enough to be preventative. Like most important issues in Washington, it will take a national or international crisis before any meaningful action is taken. Let's hope that whatever moves us to action doesn't come at too terrible a cost.

  174. That would leave the world with President Pence. Have you hear of the old saying, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?"

  175. Problem is that the successor, while not as erratic, is policy-wise little better.

  176. I wait up every day asking what the heck happened? I try to keep up with all this and the only word I come up with that describe this challenge is chaos. Yes, Trump is erratic, narcissistic and, Easily Lead for the is not the "brightest apple on the tree". The realization I have come to is that this whole fiasco is planned. Introduce the extreme, step back a few notches and create a new normal. Let The people feel they have won. Cunning, very cunning. This plan started before he was elected. God please help us.

  177. No, he is a narcissist who is full of rage. He does not plan, he lashes out. His campaign and the early days of his presidency show this.

    I've seen many versions of this theory -- that it is all some clever distraction from the serious changes he'll do -- but it's not. He is just not mentally well.

  178. It is abject juvenile silliness to believe that nature cares about our collective suicide with this psychopath even one tiny bit.

  179. I agree with you about Trump. However, I think Trump is too screwed up
    mentally to be able to come up with any plan like this.He is only concerned
    with how great he is,nothing else.The guy is a heavy duty narcissist. He is not
    capable of any kind of long range thinking,like he would have to be to be able
    to come up with and stick with any kind of plan like you suggest,

  180. In addition to your shout-out to Comey for getting us here, I'd like to offer thanks to the electors who failed in their duty to prevent the election of Trumputin, despite evidence of foreign meddling in our election.

    Forget the groping, the bankruptcies, the Russian connections, the Trump U. fraud, the evidence of racism, etc. Millions of Americans voted for a guy who questioned the legitimacy of our sitting President for years.

  181. Trump questions the humanity of everyone who sees him as just another spoiled rotten punk with nothing of interest to say or do.

  182. Or, they didn't vote at all because, get this, they thought Hillary would win.

    It amazes and disheartens me that Republicans can close ranks behind whomever their candidate is, no matter if it's Trump or Bush/Cheney. But all core Democrats seem to want to do is complain: "We wanted Bernie," or "Democrats take our votes for granted and then do nothing for us," (a lie) or "I don't like either of them," suggesting that Republicans can elect even a Trump, but Democrats demand a pristine candidate in exchange for their precious votes.

  183. One of the more helpful reviews I've seen of Steve Bannon was from Ann Hornaday, the Washington Post movie critic, who watched his films and interviewed him once, at Cannes. There's also USA Today, whose reporters went through Bannon's statements at Breitbart. They sound like Trump, and seem fixated on China.

    We can hope that the secretaries of state and defense, and maybe even the CIA director will get Trump's ear, and that Trump might allow himself to be briefed before phone calls.

    Meanwhile, to beat a possible travel shutdown, I've done a quickly arranged visit to mostly rural Cuba. There's good air fares to east Asia.

  184. Worldwide, Many are troubled by what America has gotten itself in to. A minority of Americans have elected a deeply flawed individual and a complicit Congress. Daily we are horrified by what he and his inner circle have done and will do.

    There are two Americas; one that reacts to reality and the other ready willing and able to act on its inner rage brought about by lies fed them daily. There is no reasoning with these folks because the hear the truth and reject it, safe in the knowledge their savior is in the White House. We have to survive but 22 more months to a point where we can turn the tide in Congress and clean the White House and adjacent swamp.

  185. These juveniles are living for their imaginary afterlives, not real life.

  186. The US really needs to get over its ludicrous notions that faith can alter reality.

  187. We cannot just "survive." We have to resist by writing, phoning, demonstrating, and contributions (thank you, Citizens United, Republican SCOTUS) during every day of these 23 1/2 months. Please find your way to Indivisible, if you haven't already done so.

  188. I had a brother in law who served as a captain in the WW2 New Guinea campaign. He's gone now, as are most of his comrades of the greatest generation, but I remember how he loved the Aussies he fought alongside, saving how fearless and fun loving they were. Now we have this poor excuse for a man, our president, insulting both their memory and their country. I know exactly Donald's problem - he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and has never rubbed elbows with with the blue collar folks who form much of his base. If he dad ever gone into a working class bar and launched into his obnoxious act he would soon have experienced an attitude adjustment he would never forget. That's the way most men learn their limitations, and it's a crude but effective teacher.

  189. Yes! And we got rid of the draft, a great equalizer. On the other hand, Trumps would have paid a bounty or faked a physical to escape it.

  190. My bar is very low for this president, did he nuke someone today? If no, I relax.
    I don't think he gets enough sleep and it makes him crazy.

  191. Too much late night tweeting. Melania should take away his phone.

  192. The conversation between the U.S. president and the Australian prime minister was captured in a photograph of Trump in the Oval Office that ran two days ago. It is an amazing piece of work, an image of beauty, in its own way. A view from the outside on a grey and cold mid-winter day, the drapes, the wallpaper, the frame of the painting, the urn, his hair -- all gold -- in Trump’s case truly symbolic of his vanity and shallow materialism. His face is red with anger as he spews into the phone, the background figure of the warrior on horseback seeming to emanate from his mouth, Andrew Jackson on the wall presiding, Trump’s mischievous elves suitably enthroned and enthralled before him. The Resolute desk looks rented, devoid of any personal items, its disorder mimicking the chaos unfolding before us. All this takes place where JFK Jr used to play with his father, the thought an unnerving juxtaposition in both space and time. There is surely so much hidden in that moment, and yet there is also so much to see.

  193. Trump’s mischievous elves suitably enthroned and enthralled before him.

    I wonder if VP Pence is beginning to feel like gofer Christie yet. Speaking of which, does Chris Christie wish he had supported anyone else but Trump after he dropped out of the race or just kept his mouth shut, come back to NJ and tried to do his job? By the way, Blue Moon, an almost poetic comment I very much appreciated in contrast to the president's thousand-word vocabulary and constant repetition of generic words like "very" and "really".

  194. Quite a scene indeed. Those golden drapes kind of make him look like he's surrounded by a cascading waterfall. Maybe they remind him of his trips to Russia...

  195. First, Australia, a country far, far away that does us no harm, only good. Trump seems to have destroyed that relationship. Second, Mexico is a country we share a border with and a few hundred years of culture with. He walked in looking for a fight with them. The last Mexican-American War cost at least 10,000 US lives. Next Germany or should I say Europe. Has Germany practiced currency manipulation? Not since the last year or so. The Euro was well above $1.30. Only recently has it declined. Maybe the export more for other reasons, like good industrial policy. Which brings me to Iran. Why do we always have to use Iran as the middle east whipping boy? Not involved with 9-11. Have never killed a US soldier in combat. Don't invade their neighbors. I guess for demigods like Trump they are the Cuba of the middle east. Well get a grip. An invasion and occupation of a country this size, with this many people would be difficult at best, maybe in the long term impossible. Have fun fighting that one. My bottom line, Donald Trump is going to destroy what is left of this nation, day by day, piece by piece, and nobody will stop him.

  196. Paul only alludes to it but we all seem to be moving past the real threat of war with China. Our now sitting SoS Tillerson has threatened war during confirmation hearings..."island building must stop" (they are already built with military infrastructure,i.e. runways)...and "access denied." Of course the Chinese brushed him/Trump/Bannon back with a fast ball roughly translated to bring it on chump! This is such a naked projection of conflicts of interest, nay treason, in serving Russia's geopolitical aims as a failed petrodictatorhip, Exxon Mobil, Bannon's eschatological yearnings and rumps blind narcissistic insecurities that there really aren't words harsh enough to state the horror that is enveloping us.

  197. Cannot remember the invader in the Iran-Iraq war. Think it was Iraq.
    Your bottom line, however, is correct unless you, and everyone like you, resists. Get on it!

  198. What concerns me the most is the President's skill in capturing reality TV ratings may be used like a shell game by the vested economic interests to distract the attention of the global media from the real issues: stagnant incomes for most, soaring inequality, privatization of public goods, accelerating drift to monopoly and oligarchy, and very importantly, denial and delay in developing technologies and strategies for a prosperous post fossil fuel economic future.

  199. James,

    Agreed. Some of the polls show disturbingly high support for emotions of xenophobia and for loosely worded statements of policy addressed to those emotions. I have seen nothing above the low forties for these poll-answering blocs, if there is such a thing. This is a tribute to the essential decency and good sense of the American peoples.

    But what in a crisis, genuine or contrived? On the morning of 9/11 Americans and the world rallied to the United States and its apparently sane and friendly President. That surge of friendly emotion transformed into a near catatonic inability of the Congress to scrutinise mistakes and falsehoods coming later from that President and his very closest co-workers.

    America now has a President who lacks those cosmetic qualities. There is nothing apparently sane and friendly about Donald Trump. This may have a worthwhile effect on the otherwise potentially catatonic.

    There still remains, however, a third of the American populace who think that what the President is doing is reasonable. My goodness, it's a relief to find that the people who run NASCAR, professional football and major league baseball understand the difference between administration of the nation and talking trash on some playing field!

    Has anybody gotten through to the professional wrestling folks?

    -dlj.

  200. I share your concern. The media lavishes attention on each outrageous Presidential action and we all duly go apoplectic over it. Meanwhile, Congress is passing legislation that will likely cause real harm to many Americans, actions get very little media attention. There is a tort reform bill that is likely to be passed and signed that will curtail the average Americans' right access to the courts to redress grievances. (8th Amendment) Coal companies will soon be free to dump waste in local streams without regard to the downstream effects or the impact on people's drinking water. The mentally incapacitated will soon have unfettered access to guns. It is imperative that the media give Trump's outrageous actions a single sentence and move on. The media needs to start keeping an eye on what is going on behind the curtain in this show. This is especially important in a political climate where the loyal opposition is incapable of stopping any of it.

  201. Those were the old "real problems"...now we have to worry about being asked to invade Australia, join Russia in carving up Europe, and militarizing our southern border. Not to mention how to fill the 20 or 30 million jobs immigrants and refugees have been doing to get their feet on the bottom rung of the ladder...

  202. It is time to demand a psychological evaluation of the President and to publicly state that our President is mentally ill. This statement, if made by responsible members of our government, would tell the world that we know we have a problem, and we will endeavor to solve it.
    Luckily for us, collusion with Russia to undermine our democracy is called treason. As the investigations proceed, we may be able to save the republic, impeach Trump and carry Bannon out of Washington on a rail, properly tarred and feathered.

  203. Trump voters strike me as the kind of people who lead boring, tedious lives.

    Why else would they be riveted to the blustering, over-the-top, reality-TV Donald antics rather than researching his background to see if he is capable of carefully looking at all sides of situations and can work effectively with people with different viewpoints? Honesty, decency, intelligence, fairness ... does he have these qualities?

    Most people get their fill of 'politics' before elections, when the hopefuls are fluffing their feathers and exaggerating their ability to make the changes potential voters in their own little areas want. Then the election is over and the winner gets down to the serious business of government.

    Unless they can't. Donald is flapping like the proverbial fish out of water. He'll never admit he is wrong, incompetent, or that the situation is out of control. So he's lashing out and desperately looking for help that's as macho and tough as he thinks he is. Enter Bannon.

    The Republican congress can get our country, and the entire world, out of this mess. Impeach. Get rid of Donald and Pence. But they won't. They're godly people, and they'll keep waiting for their miracle.

  204. "Why else would they be riveted to the blustering, over-the-top, reality-TV Donald antics.."

    In his book _Hillblly Elegy_, J D Vance portrays people who are blustering and combative, who don't plan ahead or look at the bigger picture, who feel they have to strike out at any perceived insult, however trivial... Sound familiar?

    This belligerence and lack of forethought is perceived by so many as "strength" or "toughness" rather than as the shallow flailing it really is. But can there really be so many people who lack that much perception?

  205. This is slightly off topic but I want to touch on the subject of impeachment. Impeachment is not a quick fix solution to get rid of a president we dislike. Impeachment is a long, cumbersome process with articles of Impeachment first being drawn up by Congress for high crimes and misdemeanors which are then passed along to the Senate. Then the accused President has to face his accusers during another lengthy Senate trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It takes a 2/3 of the Senate to impeach a president.

    But it doesn't end there. What everyone overlooks is that in order to a remove a president from office requires the Senate to convict him on the more serious charges of bribery or treason. In our history only Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached. However Clinton and Johnson still kept their day job as President because the Senate failed to convict them. So a president can be impeached and remain in office any way. I hope this derails the blogger fantasies that if only Donald Trump were impeached America would be rid of this unwelcome albatross who wrecked Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations for good.

  206. What you say about the impeachment process is true. It should not be a casual process. However if I recall, Nixon resigned because he faced impeachment and jumped before he was pushed. An egotist like Trump is more likely to do the same thing, wearing out his thumbs tweeting about the unfair media.

  207. If impeachment means Pence steps in, no thank you. He's too smug, self righteous and anxious to impose his religious fanaticism on us all for me. Any chance Oprah can be president?

  208. Looking for a positive or two:

    1. The GOP may have painted themselves into a corner. Leaving reason behind in favor of 'rationale' for anything that their greedy, grasping ways desire is now an obvious fact. Real Americans may gather enough gumption to actually vote as a bloc in 2 years as this becomes more obvious to all. The GOP brand will suffer from the SCOTUS and Obamacare tussles.
    2. For Trump the Vacant (I liked that when I used it for Rubio also) impulse is the driving engine for his madness. It is all, really, a commercial venture for him and is bound to fail as many of his seem to do. Witness his loss of a prominent CEO from his Council of CEO's, more to follow I suspect. Consider Ivanka's loss of Nordstrom as a distributor for her beauty products due to customer's boycott. Soon his hotels and golf courses will feel the wrath of the consumer, if they aren't already.

    It may take some time and I hope war is not the path to distraction for voters this time. But, let's continue to thank Comey for his betrayal at the last minute. Let's counter commenters who still rail against Hillary's e-mail non-issue but ignore the 25 years of GOP driven drivel against her.

  209. It's bizarre that Professor Krugman continues to fan the flames of the Comey distraction. The fact that Comey's look into DNC emails and Clinton speeches shortly before the election had no effect on its outcome is irrefutable. But blaming the FBI director for Trump's victory is easier for ostriches like the professor than blaming the DNC for engineering the candidacy of the candidate more likely to lose to Trump.

  210. Comey's pivotal role is easily demonstrated—his egregious public letter to the Senate, an impropriety in itself, halted the momentum of the Clinton campaign, which was at that point 92% favored in the polls; that percentage immediately began to decline, a fall of 30 points before Comey then said publicly that there was nothing in those letters.

  211. Not irrefutable at all. Actually, the slight dip after the October surprise announcement was enough to do HRC in. And the veiled Bernie protest here--that Bernie could have beaten Trump, even with all the lovely oppo research the RNC had on the Vermont Senator and all the indigenous anti-Semitism we have seen in Trumpworld--can also be refuted.

  212. No effect on it's outcome is irrefutable? There is no way to prove it had no effect. Nice made up "fact'

  213. My high school daughter was in tears last night. Afraid of her future, the future of the United States, and the world. The rashness, the incompetency, the cruelty, the realization that our dystopian future is a finger away has destroyed any sense of security she and our entire family, in fact, the entire U.S. once enjoyed. Trump is no president. He is a destroyer and seeks only his own gain and glory.

  214. It appears that the much employed ploy of dived and rule as well as plunder from created confusion is doing wonders for our new non governmening government. It also seems to take advantage by the creative use of chaos in its fast track to fascism.
    We as a country should take ownership to our mess up and and act fast to stop this menace before it grows feeding on our systems, twisting our own checks and balances to fit that convocation

  215. Donald Trump bothers me less than the 50% of American voters who actually want and support his bombast. They want to live in a simple and reduced world longing for a restoration of American power. Simple narratives for a complex world that they, nor frankly anyone, can really fathom. Donald Trump is bringing them that. He's bringing change and hence for me the problem -- change based on simple narratives of a romantic use of American power.

    Already lessons from Iraq are forgotten.

  216. It is ironic that Germany is the last bastion of liberal democratic internationalism. And led by a former East German. Irony aside, it is no wonder that Germany is being attacked as a "currency manipulator" in order to weaken Ms. Merkel, who seems to be the only national leader who is smart enough to stand up to Trump and Putin. So, of course, she has to go, and elections are this year. I think Germany is the mirror image of Greece, Italy, Spain. A current account out of balance to the surplus side, and a result of the Euro. It is pretty clear that the common currency straddling so many different national economies has created economic dislocations, but an integrated Europe is still better than the nationalistic rivalries of the past that led to war after war for centuries, including the last two big ones in the 20th Century.

  217. Trump needs to be removed before he does lasting damage to the nation. Republicans hold the key to doing so by impeachment, but relying on Republicans to do any honorable thing is a hopeless matter. I'm guessing that we have to wait for the inevitable military escapade that goes badly for us.

  218. Recently I read a book by the Jungian scholar Stephan Hoeller. Below is a quote. It is the reason for my fear.

    Hoeller, A., Jung and the Lost Gospels Insights into the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library. Wheaton, Illinois: Quest Books, 1989

    “The fanatic may criticize everything and everybody with the exception of himself and his own fanatical ideas. Thus a disharmony arises. As a result of the rejection of the compensating influence there emerges the destructive power of unconscious elements, which blindly and furiously begin to take charge of the individual against his will and better judgement. Incomprehensible thoughts and moods, violent outbursts of temper, psychosomatic illness, hallucinatory intrusions unto consciousness; all of these and many more are the result of the unwillingness of the mind to accept balance and compensation.”

    www.InquiryAbraham.com

  219. Same issue, same problem, a 7 year old mind in a 70 year old body.

  220. Not true. Even a 7 year old is more rational.

  221. I was exhausted at the end of his first week just trying to keep up and to get my head around all the nonsense. Lately I've taken to watching Archie Bunker & Edith rather than the national news just to stay sane.

  222. It's rather like having Homer Simpson as our Pres. -- only Homer is much more loveable and teachable.

  223. I can't keep that old Sinclair Lewis quote out of my mind: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    Americans have traditionally valued three attributes in our leaders: honesty, competence, and vision. The Donald fails miserably, in all that and more. What is truly terrifying is that a significant number of Americans are OK with dishonesty, incompetence, and someone taking us on a road to nowhere.

  224. A very large portion of his voters will turn a blind eye as long as his promise of big beautiful "jobs" holds them in thrall....when they don't materialize on a grand scale as promised, the rejection will be swift and harsh.

  225. Let us not forget the several reputable biographies of Andrew Jackson that indicate that he was a deeply troubled individual, psychologically unstable and given to frequent tirades. He was also consumed by a lifelong fear of death and a consequent need to prove himself. Witness his erratic behavior in the Peggy Eaton Affair, the Bank War and the Nullification crisis. Thankfully his Vice President, Martin Van Buren was a steadying influence, able to restore some sanity to Washington and national politics.

  226. Jackson, my vote for absolute worst president before this one, only gave us the Panic of 1837, the Trail of Tears, and threats to kill his vice-president. The difference is, he had physical courage. And no nuclear codes.

  227. If only the damage Trump can do were as limited as Andrew Jackson's, when not only was the presidency much weaker, but tweeting and mass communications were non-existent, as well as, of course WMD.

  228. Pence is hardly a steadying influence. We're screwed through the whole Republican line.

  229. Responsibility for the appalling Trump's election goes far beyond James Comey and the electors who cast their votes for him and must include the media outlets who provided him with so much free publicity and the Democratic Party which long ago deliberately abandoned their representation of working class people of all skin colors. Trump's tenancy in the Oval Office is so alarming that it will be easy to forget that he emerged from a system that, to quote Matt Taibbi from his recently published book Insane Clown President "must be very sick indeed" and that includes a great many players.

  230. While I agree with most of your statement, I do not believe for a minute that the Democratic Party abandoned the working class at all, their policies have always had the working class in mind...however they may have taken their constituency for granted while attempting to broaden their appeal to more than just the working class. But it's the Dems who want to raise wages, provide training and safety nets for people in job classifications that are becoming obsolete, and improve working conditions, overtime or health benefits. During Obama's eight years, a good half of his Presidency was repairing the damage to the entire economic system dealt by the financial crisis...that did require shoring up the levers of capitalism, the banks the financiers, the large scale manufacturing auto industry in order to lay the groundwork for job creation to return. Comparison to Reagan's so called "growth" is egregious as times have changed, manufacturing has changed and not just because of trade. But jobs did not return to some areas of the country, those that relied on rapidly becoming obsolete industries such as coal mining or steel production - and along comes Trump promising fairy dust to bring these types of jobs back? How - and to what purpose? Will allowing coal producers to dump into waterways make coal competitive with natural gas again? I think not. American has elected the ultimate Con Man in Chief, and it will take years to recover from his damage.

  231. For a history of Democratic Party conscious abandonment of working class people see Thomas Frank's book Listen Liberal. While the Democratic Party's policies are better in regard to working people, their representation is really quite anemic, "taken for granted" as you say, while the Party has actually done relatively little to raise wages or "provide training and safety nets for people in job classifications that are becoming obsolete." And the ACA, while better than no effort at all, is a joke in comparison to any of the several systems adopted by other industrialized countries to ensure access to affordable health care.

  232. You have fallen for the narrative that it's poor, abandoned white working class men who have elected Trump. Don't kid yourself. While a number of such men did support Trump, they'd never have made a dent in the rest of the electorate. No, it's the mass of people, including middle-class comfy and professionals, who have bought into the far-right-wing stories about how democrats are devils and Obama (and black people, and Muslims, and gays) are devils, too. And only white, well-off people deserve anything at all and should have tax cuts and the end of regulations on their businesses, and the rest of the feed-the-rich wish list on the right. They also tend to be war-lovers, and never find any cruelty to clash with their ostensible holier-than-everyone Christianity. I live in Oklahoma, and I love some of these people (who have other traits than these, after all). But until you see the right-wing machine that has worked since Reagan at least on today's debacles, you are missing the boat. And by the way, it is only democrats who have the clout to oppose them, and who do in fact do so. It's foolish to fight your allies when you have such adversaries as you do.

  233. This article succinctly sums up Trump's dangerous and stupid war mongering with any nation, ethnic or gender group, institution or individual who dare criticise or cross him. In less than 2 weeks he's alienated China, Australia, Mexico, Iran, Germany (and most of Europe), Japan, Canada, all Muslim countries except the ones he has business ties with or relies on for oil. He's intent on destroying women's, LGBT, minority rights, and cutting off US humanitarian aid around the world if it funds birth control. And he's capped it all off with preposterous tweets about a war with the media and cutting off federal funding for institutions like UC Berkley. One can only hope that Arnold Schwarenegger turns back into the Terminator and saves the world from this dreadful man.

  234. "In less than 2 weeks he's alienated China, Australia, Mexico, Iran, Germany (and most of Europe), Japan, Canada, all Muslim countries except the ones he has business ties with or relies on for oil. "

    Let's not forget, he's likely done a lot more that we're not even considering.

    For example, if you were the Japanese PM, what would you think about having Ivanka being brought into a meeting, when she's got a loan pending at a Japanese bank? Wouldn't you feel you were being asked to become some kind of sleazy fixer on her behalf? Can't she get her own loan? Is the US presidency really sinking to this level?

    We haven't heard many details of the conversations he's had, and most international politicians have the wisdom to keep a poker face. But, good God, how long are we going to let this go on?

  235. I was in my teens during the Cuban Missile Crisis, When it was over, and we had avoided a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the relief was palpable. I realized that I had been fearing a nuclear war for as long as I could remember.

    I had experienced "duck and cover" exercises and always noticed the location of bomb shelters (identified by yellow and black signs with three triangles). In junior high, I had read Philip Wylie's "Tomorrow" about a Soviet nuclear attack on several American cities a few days before Christmas--in order to catch the maximum number of shoppers on the town squares. The book was full of horrific details, no doubt drawn from accounts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, including long-term effects of radiation on the people and animals that survived.

    For the first time in over 50 years, a nuclear war seems possible. The Vice President, Cabinet and Congress must act--and soon.

  236. With all due respect it is the "can't just help themselves with an attraction for shiny objects" who elected him our President and not Mr Comey.

    The other side of that coin fetes the obstructionism of a racist Congress which coincedently blocked every progressive measure of the only nonwhite President we will ever see and assisted in defeating a person who happens to be a reasonable woman.

    This election shouldn't have even been close and will guarantee we end up with fleas.

  237. He has a severe mental illness and is totally incompetent in terms of management and personnel selection. This on top of his total ignorance of world affairs and history.
    This horror show is responsible for the the good of the American people and constructive cooperation with the world.
    I do not wish this man well and am eager join the resistance movement against him as there is zero chance of his improving.
    Resist, resist, resist.

  238. I believed for some time now that our illegitimate president is mentally unstable and his recent actions have done nothing to change my mind. The question is not whether he is unsuited to the job but what are we going to do about it.

    It is obvious that the Republicans who control Congress will not impeach him. They still think they can control him and use him to pass thier regressive agenda.

    The Democrats can not do anything since they are in the minority in both houses of Congress.

    Asking the cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment is useless. Most of them probably haven't even read it.

    The only option I see is to gear up for the 2018 election and try to get a Democratic majority in the Senate and maybe the House. Then we can begin the impeachment process.

    In the meantime, resist, resist, resist. And pray that our fearless leader doesn't plunge up into another unnecessary war.

  239. Look up the Senate elections due in 2018. The democrats will not gain seats with that particular batch. Quite the opposite.

    The House is more of a possibility, I think, but we should focus on getting people like Lindsay Graham and John McCain on board with an impeachment when it comes to the Senate. Not all Republicans are party-first cowards, just most of them.

  240. Too many people (newscasters, politicians, people interviewed on TV) seem to regard Trump's behavior as sort of cute and interesting but not nearly as alarming as I think it is. He is purposely discarding civility. He seems to regard war as a party game. (Clue: It's not.) Most of us want to get along with our neighbors, being as kind to them as we want them to be to us. (Hey, Prayer Breakfast: Does that sound at all familiar to you?) It's really time to have a plan to get him out of office. I hope that the Democrats, as well as having short term plans to resist Trump's more inflammatory nominees to the Cabinet and Supreme Court) are seriously working on an impeachment plan.

  241. Trump is the drunk guy at the corner bar who yells out in a slurred voice to no one in particular, "yeah, well, you got some bad hombres down there, maybe we'll just invade your country..." before he falls off his stool.

    Later, as the police haul him away to the squad car, he pleads, "ofissher, I was just being light-hearted."

    Obama could be "light-hearted".

    Trump only knows "cruel", "offensive", "belligerent" and "threatening".

  242. good one.

  243. Thanks, Comey, indeed. And let's hope that the investigation into what clearly was a political move to destroy any chance of a Hillary win will bear honest witness to this despicable act. Whether Democrat or Republican all citizens rightly appalled and disgusted by this inept narcissist should be writing in or calling for his removal from office. And let's hope, too, that we the people will soon find out why, in fact, Putin the dictator gets no scathing review from Trump and his administration. Party loyalty is understandable but not now, or ever, with this Presidency. It's time that Democrats and like-minded pols close ranks and take their cue from Mitch McConnell. Make certain Trump fails and falls and this time at least it will be for the right reasons.

  244. The two parties are slowly settling into familiar corners. Cons, the values party, has none. The search for power, massive obstruction,was rewarded & has resulted in electing the biggest dummy in modern history and my first was Eisenhower.

    If the dems had elected someone who has done half the cra cra stuff Doofus has done in two weeks impeachment hand wringing would be well underway.

    Now we'll see if dems have a spine. Who cares if they win, fight, fight, fight. God help us all.

  245. Trump's interactions with high officials in other nations worry me, but I still hear people saying he's Making America Great Again. It worries me even more when I think about what might happen when we hit a crisis. It could be a terrorist attack or it could be something that goes beyond a "provocative" international incident.
    Steve Bannon has made his intentions quite clear and it's also clear that he has the president's ear.

  246. Unbelievable! Based on some current reader comments, I'm actually ready to "defend" Trump? His behavior related to senility or antisocial old age? The evidence put forward is a rigid fecklessness, intellectual disability, gratuitous and personal cruelty, etc. But these have been traits publicly exhibited by Trump for at least 30 years, or however long his "celebrity" has been going on.

  247. That's it! I want a divorce now! My first. Trump's third. The reasons are mental cruelty and irreconcilable differences. He is driving me and the world nuts. I won't be able to take four years of this pain and suffering or even one more day.
    He makes sane people insane and the people who voted for him will go zombie Apocalypse. Are there any Republicans who could rescue us? I doubt it. They went insane years ago.

  248. "Thanks, Comey."

    PK - The Dems themselves are primarily to blame for this unfolding fiasco. Despite having the better candidate (by a country mile), the marketing and selling of the Dem candidate was completely out of touch with tens of millions of voters. Uncle Joe Biden knew this and tried to tell everyone who would listen - now we have to wait for another 4 years or an impeachment process before getting rid of this blundering ametuer in the most powerful role in the world politics.

  249. Get real, armchair quarterback. She won all three debates, raised $1B and received the most votes. She's smart, experienced and had actual policies on her website. She had a positive message, too; however, no legitimate candidate in what was already a close election could have beaten the clandestine Comey-Putin tag team. No one.

  250. Hillary won the majority of the votes. In a true democracy that would mean she was the winner. Only the jiggery pokery of the Electoral College would insure that the person with less votes is declared the winner.

  251. Do you blame women who are raped for the attack? Yes - the 'Dems' made mistakes, but this nightmare - perhaps the last one of the Republic - is the fault of the GOP. The lies and obstruction by the GOP undermined government to the point that too many low-knowledge voters decided they wanted a strict daddy figure instead of a fairly elected President. We're screwed and the GOP is to blame.

  252. trump fails to comprehend that the goal of being President is to make the job as boring as possible not exciting. trump does not understand why "may you live in interesting times" is a curse, mistaking it as a directive. Interesting times is good for TV ratings but disatrous for statesmanship. In almost every way, trump is the wrong man for the job. Those who voted a reality TV figure into office now have the forced "interest" that pulls cheap eyeballs to boost ratings as president. Me, I voted for the most boring candidate so I can get on with my life.

  253. Trump is the world's foremost embodiment of a Cluster B Personality Disorder. There will be no changing, pivoting, learning or improving. Some will be fooled by occasional, superficial normalcy, and trump's alternating carrot and stick manipulations, but the man's core is fixed. What we have seen is what we will continue to get.

  254. All he wants is love. All he hands out is abuse. The Times needs to start covering him with board-certified psychiatrists, preferably some who are equipped with nets. This man is seriously disturbed.

  255. The Republican President's philosophy -- don't disappoint. If you really are a 2,000 pound gorilla, a huge gorilla by any standard, beat your chest and roar like a gorilla. It's what the people expect, it's only natural and it enthralls a huge audience.

  256. Yeah Paul, let's start a new cold war with Russia. Since when did the Democrats become like the Republicans of the fifties? The amount of Red baiting coming from places like MSNBC and the NYT is incredible. Or Trump could just follow Obama's footstep and continue to actively bomb the seven countries we've been bombing for the last few years. Or why not start a covert, CIA backed war to arm ISIS and al Qaida rebels in Syria? Oh wait, we've already been doing that.

  257. You are so behind the times. Russia is no longer "red." It is a full fledged capitalist kleptocracy these days.

  258. Personally, I am getting accustomed to the daily drama and perversely looking forward to the next episode. This is truly a Reality TV show. Dr Krugman should, however, give the President some slack. After all, as Howerd Stern recently commented, "Donald just wants to be loved."