Trump’s Bridges to Nowhere

Just don’t mention the “I-word” around the White House.

Comments: 262

  1. This President is not interested in governing - only domination. If a statesman is about compromise, and the American nation, a division of three equal bodies that must compromise/adhere to the framework of the founding Constitution, then this President is the antithesis. It is all about the chaos and crisis, and then coming back to the table to correct the chaos or crisis you started in the first place. It is the easy play by strongmen around the world, of which this President dearly wants to be. It is also about misdirection from the serious ramifications of Democrats (and others) looking into his financial dealings, and to run out the clock until the next election. - where he thinks he has a winning strategy. It is detente until January 2021.

  2. Soo —you gonna win in 2020? What are you promising, higher unemployment or a stock market crash? Maybe both? And you can take the Senate too! Oh Joy!

  3. @Pj Lit: Why should we promise either of those? With respect to the economy we'll simply continue doing what Trump has been doing- which is to say, we'll continue doing what Obama had been doing.

  4. @stu Aye, but actually friend, we will replenish the coffers that have been laid bare from the tax theft, and if we decide on a (2) TRILLION dollar infrastructure plan, then it will not go on the country's credit card, nor wasted by more graft. Slight correction.

  5. The self referral is possibly encouraging. When a previous president (well, he wasn't yet but went on to be) famously referred to himself in the third person, it looked as if he was permanently abandoning the stage ("You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore", he said to the press). if/when the heat gets turned up further and articles of impeachment are finally introduced, maybe this president will walk off the stage as well.

  6. @Ellen Only Nixon could go to China. Only Trump would sell out to Russia. Sad.

  7. If only. He’d probably do a W. And pick a door that doesn’t open.

  8. Another day, another attempt at distraction from the high crimes and misdemeanors. Unfortunately, for somewhere between 30 and 40% or so of the country, it works all too well.

  9. It has always puzzled me that the US vests so much power in the hands of a single individual (President). Now we see how this is derailing all attempts at governance. The US is doing OK at the moment based on a healthy economy inherited from Obama, and plenty of borrowing. What happens when it is not doing OK?

  10. @Tony Merriman In answer to your question first four notes of Beethoven's fifth only it's not fate knocking but doom and lights out. Thanks for the reminder of who really made this economy.

  11. When the guys who wrote the Constitution were thinking about describing the powers of the President, they were thinking about George Washington, not George III.

  12. @Tony Merriman the US is NOT doing OK at the moment. the wealth inequality continues at an astonishing rate, jobs no longer have benefits or decent wages or security, the national debt is a disgrace thanks to the tax cuts to the wealthy, the pentagon is out of control, no mention of climate change to the detriment of our grandchildren and last, but not least, lying through your teeth seems to be the norm any more. i never thought i would see my beloved country sink to this level of disgrace.

  13. The whole thing was a ruse. Republicans don’t want to spend a dime unless it’s buying votes from MAGAfarmers impacted by the fabricated trade war, or more money that the pentagon says it doesn’t need. This is an easy out from having to spend money that benefits, you know, the majority of the people.

  14. @T. Rivers Just think, if our Powers That Be halved the bloated "military" budget, we could sure use the jobs and put a big dent in fixing our crumbling infrastructure. But neither party plans to touch that sacrosanct cash cow/ socialism for defense contractors. Just a handful of Democratic senators voted nay - against last year's $750 plus monstrosity.

  15. Just when you think Trump could not demonstrate more panicked and desperate responses to what is happening around him, you find yourself listening to an almost incoherent man attempting to defend himself. The Republicans in the Senate who will be up for re-election next year must now be very concerned about their chances of re-election. Donald Trump just told us, he is incapable of pursuing a legislative agenda, when he is being investigated. Think about that. He just took the Republicans' legislative agenda(s) and said; 'no'. It feels like the political death spiral for Trump and many Republicans in Congress just started to day. I am marking it on calendar.

  16. @Bryan Things have been worse. This is just a reality show! Remember the Reagan administration when Nancy Reagan's astrologer was supposed to be advising him.

  17. @Bryan I hear what you're saying, Bryan. But, do the Republicans even have a "legislative agenda"?

  18. @Bryan Don't count on any "death spiral". I have heard similar promises used by the cable talking heads all during the Mueller investigation, but somehow trump does in fact keep winning.

  19. Really, this has to end sometime. And by sometime I mean before November 2020. Are the Republicans really going to sit on their hands and let the Democrats figure out how to end this dysfunctional presidency? Things already don't bode well for the GOP. If they don't step up, they may as well start planning their retirements. It appears that most of them have built nice little nest eggs for themselves. Perhaps claw-backs ought to be on the Democratic to-do list.

  20. @Janna It won't end just as the cancer of our time, twitter, won't suddenly disappear. Cause that would be the only reason his 'supporters' would start to think for themselves again.

  21. When Trump said, "...I think most of you would agree to this — I’m the most transparent president probably in the history of this country," I wonder if people within earshot either laughed out loud or sniggered. Last year, The Atlantic had an article titled, "How to Talk Like Trump." Not that anyone would want to do it, but it was entertaining. Under "VAGUE SOURCE ATTRIBUTION," there was this: A lot of people are saying … People think it’s going to happen. Everybody’s talking about it. They are saying … Everyone is now saying … I guess we could add "I think most of you would agree..." to that list. Trump keeps adding to various lists, none of them positive.

  22. @RK I laughed out loud when I heard "most transparent". Mayhem has been the least transparent of anyone to sit in the Oval Office. His mind just makes things up out of thin air and the sad part is, he really believes what he has said.

  23. @RK Add to the list; 1) I know it, you know it (to the White House press corps), everyone knows it. 2) A total loser 3) Not many people know 4) Take a look at 5) a total loser 5) a complete disaster 6) a real beauty 6) We'll see what happens.

  24. @RK Not to mention the classic: "That's just what I heard [myself just say]."

  25. The people closest to Donald Trump at the White House, a tiny group that includes his attorneys, used an old ploy favored by some businessmen in a financial jam. Team Trump carefully prepared for a meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to discuss raising money for infrastructure. It was a meeting they had no intention of having Trump attend, but they had to come up with a dramatic device for the embattled president to use as an excuse for scuttling the meeting. The best the schemers could do was to refer to use of the word “cover-up” by Pelosi. So, large charts were created to show why Trump could not – on the basis of sacred principle – attend the meeting. In the old days – two or three years ago – Donald Trump could have pulled off the old stomp-out-of-the-room routine perfectly. Today, Trump simply descended into weird gibberish. People noticed. Even Republicans noticed.

  26. @sdw To be fair, Nancy Pelosi didn’t just *use* the word “cover-up”; she explicitly said it was something Donald Trump had done.

  27. All true except the “carefully planned” portion. My guess is that trump operates completely on mood & gut.

  28. @PL What can I say? In trying to back the younger members of her off the idea of moving directly to Impeachment, Nancy Pelosi assured them that she realized that Trump and Barr were engaging in a “cover-up” of Robert Mueller’s report. She wasn’t talking about Trump’s covering up his interfacing with the Russians or laundering money, which Mueller found. Pelosi was trying to calm her Democrats down – not to stoke them up. And I might say, PL, where does it say that Trump – unlike Richard Nixon, a man of some accomplishments in his presidency before he went off the rails – can unilaterally stop the business of government because his feelings are hurt?

  29. $35+ million spent, huh? Even if the asset seizures from Manafort didn't offset that cost entirely, this is 1/3rd the cost of a single F-35 fighter, machines we buy by the tens of hundreds to defend democracy abroad. Whatever the outcome of such an investigation, I'm happy to spend a tiny fraction of that to protect democracy at home. Why isn't Donald Trump?

  30. @gary89436 Protection at home should involve infrastructure not to mention defense of democracy by a Supreme Court, one that is not a puppet court controlled by the GOP.

  31. Overwhelming as the Democratic primary seems, it is important to remember that any of our candidates, whatever their respective shortcomings, is still head and shoulders above Trump. We need responsibility and integrity in the White House again.

  32. Sounds like he is now on strike! He now refuses to participate in any aspect of legislating. If the government were a car, taxes would be the engine, and legislating would be the steering system. Now we can see what the government can do without a participating president.

  33. @Texas Trader Yes, he is on strike-- from the (maybe) three hours per day that he actually does something. When he's there, and not travelling (at taxpayer expense) to one of his resorts to play golf and share national security info with whoever is rich enough to be a member. Now he'll have ALL day, not just nine hours, of "executive time", to watch Fox "News", retweet their nonsense and lies, call up his fellow rich thieves and kvetch about how badly, very, very unfairly he's treated. At taxpayer expense. While the world problems multiply and intensify--who knew? I'm finding it very (very, very) difficult to remember the Golden Rule about his supporters. We need a sane, decent,reasonably intelligent president. We've got a proudly ignorant, narcissistic combination of a mob boss, a petulant and bullying fifth grader, and someone sliding into incoherent senility. This should end well.

  34. @Texas Trader, A friend, now a retired sociologist, forwarded 'Duel under The Sun' to this American. It remains hurtfully topical and timeless. Yours from East of Eden.

  35. Yes, Ms. Collins, and MAGA nation and the Republican Senate continues to believe that the president is performing his job admirably. I thought we, as a country, entered the Twilight Zone the night he was shockingly elected. Last month, I sat outside a Salvation Army outlet in Chicago, located right next to one of the CTA's elevated lines. The stanchions were rusted and the cement blocks into which they had been pile-driven over a century ago were crumbling. When a train rumbled overhead, I watched the steel pillars actually shaking. When a rush-hour six-car load comes down, I wonder if the president will blame Rahm Emmanuel, the former Chief of Staff to President Obama. With Donald Trump, failure is always someone else's fault even if a disaster can be traced to him.

  36. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 I'm not sure who he'll blame, but I'm sure that Trump will be standing in the rubble of what was the Salvation Army outlet tossing paper towels to the crowd.

  37. @Red Sox, ‘04, ‘07, ‘13, ‘18 And with Trump, he always claims to be the victim. No matter how much power he has, and abuses, he sure pretends to be helpless. The act is pathetic, just not in the way he thinks.

  38. Trump is acting like the I-word he is truly afraid of is Incarceration or Insolvency, not Impeachment. He knows the Senate will not convict him. But a New York State jury judging him on unpardonable State financial crimes that have will exceed the Statute of Limitations before his term ends? McConnell can't help. Barr can't help him. Civil suits from everyone he cheated? Long list of victims and attorneys who would love to take the cases Trump is acting like the investigations into his finances will cost him more than an election. Much more. Unfortunately for Trump, his threat of "drop the investigations or the infrastructure gets it" is not going to scare anyone.

  39. @LT “drop the investigations or the infrastructure gets it.” Truly great. I really like your comments.

  40. @LT On one of the "Saturday Night Live" Trumpworld sketches, Mueller (Robert De Niro) was talking with Eric Trump, who accused him of being "the worst thing that ever happened to my dad." Mueller's reply: "No, getting elected President was the worst thing that ever happened to your dad." There's a lot of truth in satire.

  41. @LT To be candid, I think the big secret that President Trump isn't anything to do with Russia or "collusion", it's his finances. His entire existence has been built around the world believing that he's some kind of spectacular business man, and he's terrified at what people will think when they find out that he's really not... I don't think he's a billionaire. He may be a millionaire (even that would be a big prestige drop off for him), but I think it's far more likely that prior to 2016 he was suffering under a mountain of debt and he's terrified of "his base" finding that out.

  42. It’s interesting that the Rose Garden podium was set up in advance with a nicely printed sign excoriating the “waste” of the Mueller report and trumpeting “No collusion / No obstruction.” Not a word in sight about infrastructure, the supposed topic of the day. The entire spectacle seems a bit premeditated, doesn’t it?

  43. I can’t believe that I live in a country where anyone thinks Trump is fit to be president.

  44. @Southern girl As of today, according to FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s current approval rating in the country, combining all polls taken, averages 41.1%

  45. @Southern girl Trump's die hard supporters are not looking for an effective president; they want a "leader" who will validate and support their latent racism and anger at being left behind and unatttended to. Even though Trump has not fulfilled any promises he made to them regarding jobs, immigration, etc., they will continue to support him because he continues to validate them. It is an unfortunate self feeding loop.

  46. @DJ I can't believe I live in a country where, perhaps, as many as 41% of the people" thinks Trump is fit to be president."

  47. Thanks for the laugh! Trump no doubt is his own worst enemy. He also is his biggest fan. His delusions of grander are exactly that, nothing more. To be perfectly honest I have to admit that it is a rather pleasurable experience watching him pity himself. Could anyone possibly be more deserving of no respect than Trump?

  48. Only the people who voted for him.

  49. A narcissist survives by total control and intimidation. He would see co-equal branches of government- legislative and judicial- as hostile if they "aren't loyal"- aka they don't do his bidding. Trump has never been accountable to anyone. It is not in his DNA to interact with co-equal legislative and judicial branches. How can there be any deals if to him, a deal is something only a loser would have to make.

  50. When this kind of staged stunt is preferred by this President over getting to work to help Idaho prevent any further freeway bridges from collapsing-- the I-word that comes to mind for this Idahoan is Incompetence.

  51. @Susanna I live in CT but I care about the decaying bridges in all states including Idaho. He doesn't care about Interstate or RR bridges anywhere. He doesn't use them, he flies over them. We're now sinking into 3rd world status with our 50,000 deficient bridges unlike our neighbors today in E/A who experienc their 1st world modern transportation daily. It will take a new admin, to finally deal with the massive rebuild to come.

  52. @Susanna. Hi Susanna. I wish your neighbors understood that.

  53. POTUS telegraphed, in vivid color, that he was going to do this back at the SOTU address. Of course this was going to happen. He used the “cover-up” language because it was handy, not because it was the root of his actions. He is going to blame Dems for not getting Infrastructure done, and tack on some other specious bits. It’s political theater, to be sure. It’s so ham-handed, it’d be off, off, off-Broadway.

  54. @Mark, but off-off-off Broadway is where his base is. He has all the subtlety of a WWE "performance of wrestling."

  55. The tsunami is coming and he’s lying awake at night trying to blame someone for the situation he’s in. Poor Donald has never faced a day in his life where he couldn’t talk himself out of a problem. Remember, we’re talking about a guy who lost $10,000 a day for most of the 80’s and 90’s, more than anybody in the USA. He didn’t change, he justified his situation as a result of a poor economy. This will not end well. He’s in a job where there is oversight and rules. Nancy Pelosi is going to let him bang himself as we saw today with his tantrum and twist in the wind. Stand by for the fireworks. The walls are closing in and like a rat cornered, he will stop at nothing to save the most important thing in the world, himself.

  56. " ... I’m the most transparent president ... " This is true. In spite of Trump's and his acolyte's best efforts or conceal and obfuscate, the public and the press have seen right through him.

  57. @Steve True that. The problem is not that we do not see what is happening; it’s that too few people care as long as they are getting what they want.

  58. @Steve Now, if only Republicans in Congress would do the same.

  59. @Nate Hilts this is exactly what's going on ! trump could've come to that podium stark naked and danced the hokey pokey and mitch would've looked the other way and continued to push through his "conservative " agenda

  60. Trump is feeling the walls closing in again. You can always tell by his level of irrationality.

  61. This is yet another example of the big con that the Big Don has been running ever since he planted himself in the Oval Office. It's been known for some time that Trump's enablers in Congress are as opposed to spending money on infrastructure as they are to spending it on anything else (excluding the military and the "defense" industry). And so they've clearly talked him out of the campaign promise that he made on this issue ("Promises Made, Promises Reconsidered"). And needing a fall-guy to fix the blame on here, he's decided that a fall-GIRL will have to do: ergo, Nancy with the Unsmiling Face. She had the audacity to refer to Trump's "cover up," which is just about the mildest epithet that's been used against him of late, and we're all supposed to believe that The Donald is now so outraged that he's not going to give Americans what we all clearly need: better roads, bridge repairs, well-paying jobs. Gee whiz; imagine how he would have reacted if someone had called him "fat"! Maybe he would have just left the White House in disgust and told Mike Pence to have a good time. comment submitted on 5/22 at 9:14 PM

  62. @stu freeman Yes, I suspect McConnell told him well before today's fiasco that infrastructure was a non-starter.

  63. Agree, but do you really still believe he needs to be talked out of his campaign promises that he never meant?

  64. @ElleJ: Probably not but, then again, he may have been under the impression that Mexico was going to pay for the infrastructure.

  65. Thanks, Gail, for finding a little humor in this horrible situation. Like many people, I just want to wake up from this nightmare.

  66. I think we need to add the "E" word to the list of high crimes and misdemeanors to the President's impeachable offenses. He now has committed EXTORTION or the "E" offense to the list. Failing to work with the democrats unless they derail their constitutional duty to perform Executive oversight is a quid pro quo.

  67. The "I" word now is "ineligible". To run for POTUS in 2020. "Impeachment" is "irrelevant" at this point. Trump wasn't properly vetted in 2015/16 and couldn't pass a public official background check nowadays. Trump is "irresponsible" and "irredeemable" at this point. He is way beyond "irritating". We need our elected officials, to be honest, and transparent. Trump couldn't pass a background check nowadays. We should just pay to send him down to Mar-a-Lago one last time. Sans "iphone". Trump is an "incorrigible" person. He is our mistake to correct.

  68. @Anne I is for ignominy?

  69. Apparently, Trump has reached the confused and mumbling stage of development. Thinking he finally got passed the Russians and Mueller, he learned the Germans, (at least Deutsche Bank) began their pre-invasion maneuvers. Who knows which borders will be crossed, but their actions are so highly suggestive they must be taken seriously. Let's look at some balance sheets. Too, Pelosi revealed the democrats have not yet surrendered. They never promised him a Rose Garden! He stormed away. Running out of deals, I assume. No artistry there!

  70. Infrastructure week is going just great. Again.

  71. @AJ That's a good one, thanks

  72. Trump and his Republicans. They want the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade. Let’s think about that again. They want to overturn Roe. They passed tax cuts for themselves. They won’t enact any legislation that would be of use to the rest of us. They seek to destroy Obama’s legacy. They crave money and power for themselves. They need a smokescreen: endless chaos for the country and the world. Game of Thrones 2020. Impeachment will be that molten gold poured all over Trump’s head. Let’s hope Nancy Pelosi has the timing worked out just right.

  73. She may need some dragons! But seriously, would there be any greater pleasure than throwing a fake bucket of gold over this beggar king’s head. I’m off to old Valyria to find Drogon.

  74. @Blue Moon Pray for Nancy! Her timing is the Dems only hope!

  75. I thought I was officially done a few months ago. Stick a fork in me. But it turns out I was still pretty raw; I'm done now. Get that fork out again. Truly, I can't take much more. I'll be tough as leather. I have recurring fantasies brought on by being absolutely worn out. I've been channeling Looney Tunes: we see our political leaders as foils to Bugs Bunny or Road Runner. Anvils, pianos, saws through floors, Acme products, tunnels painted on walls that contain real trains, and long drops into canyons, after of course, one realizes that there is no ground beneath. Trump in the Rose Garden, bloviating, ranting, expounding when up from under a bush rises ole' Bugs. Aaaah... What's up doc? Pandemonium ensues. I've watched Trump's reality show presidency with a feeling of unreality. Can't we just switch genres? Cartoon physics is a just reward for all of us. Meep Meep.

  76. @Cathy: I think Bugs could get elected. It's rabbit season.

  77. @Alan Dean Foster, I'll take a wascally wabbit any day over a mendacious mafioso.

  78. They got that podium all set up, and the sign printed, in the time between when Trump blew up and had his temper tantrum and when he came out to do his rant act for the press. Unh-hun. Nice performance, Trump. Clearly planned in advance... and played to the max for his "base". The Trump spin: "Look at how strong and manly I am, how dedicated I am to doing my job while the Democrats pick on me, they just can't get over my glorious, entirely-legitimate and above-board election." Sorry, this "liberal" isn't buying it. Hey - it sure would be nice to have that $1.5 Trillion from Trump's "Tax Reform" to start paying off that great 'infrastructure' Trump so desperately wants to build us all, if only those dastardly Democrats would let him. I go back again to what continues to stay at the forefront of my Trump thoughts -- WHAT IS TRUMP TRYING TO HIDE? Why is Trump so desperate to hide all his business history, the full Mueller Report, all his tax returns, all the former White House counsel's notes and testimony, pretty much everything. What is Trump so afraid that We the People can't find out? Is this, really, the behavior of a 'completely exonerated' innocent person, Republicans?

  79. @Jim Brokaw Yes, and is what he is trying to hide worse than anything I could imagine. So far that has been the case in general.

  80. Exactly. I suspect he’s trying to hide the fact that he doesn’t have as much $$ as he pretends. Something so personally mundane as his ego, as him lying about his wealth may be the driver of all of our angst, all the ink spilled, the blood spilled. I just hope there’s no more.

  81. Is there any truth to the rumor that Trump used to work in a felt hat company and use lead to stiffing the fabric. He seems to have Mad-Hatter symptoms. Why cannot the Republicans and his enablers at Fox News see that this guy is extremely unstable and unpredictable. His disability is likely to cause irreparable harm to this country.

  82. @Will25: If I recall correctly, it is mercury rather than lead that is responsible for the neurologic disorder known as "mad hatter disease."

  83. I agree that he's as mad as a hatter, but it was mercury in the hat making process that brought on this condition.

  84. @Will25 Many of them secretly know he is an unguided missile, but will keep propping him up and pretending he's the greatest thing since sliced bread as long as he keeps doing the dirty work of packing the courts, destroying the environment, rewarding the 1%, and persecuting almost anyone of color who wants to emigrate here. If he ever stops being a useful tool, suddenly Republicans will dig out the morals they have so conveniently put in suspended animation the last two years and pretend they were always on the side of truth, justice, and the American way.

  85. Question. Ms Collins, how did you get such a good column written on such short notice? Here's my guess. I enjoy professional writing. I always assume its polish, polish, and then polish some more. With you, the quick pounce on the absurdity of the moment seems to bring out your best.

  86. @tom biglen you are the best Gail! Serious subject, but I laughed out loud several times.

  87. @tom biglen. Gail is a pro!!!

  88. @tom biglen Actually, Gail started writing this right after the Game of Thrones finale. That Trump would not allow the only thing that Republicans and Democrats could agree upon was foreseeable. That he would act like a big baby and in essence say,"Call me a cheat again and I'll take my ball and go home," was predictable. She only had to fill in the details about the miraculous three-minute sign on the podium and his mysterious coinage of the "I" word.

  89. Definitely not the placard of a man expecting to talk about a great infrastructure deal that he would be so good at and that he wants more than Democratic leaders. He's transparent. He just doesn't understand in what way he is transparent.

  90. @Bradley Bleck Yes, Trump is transparent, as in, we can see through him, there's nothing there, he's an empty sad shell of a person, he's vapid, he's without thoughts. Trump could not come up with a detailed infrastructure bill or how to fund it. Like a lazy high school freshman who did not have his homework done, he sai that mad dog Pelosi ate it...

  91. "...I’m the most transparent president probably in the history of this country,” he declared." In fairness to PT, yes, this assertion is unsupported nor is there a definition of transparent. And yes that means he loses debaters points. But that doesn't mean it's unsupportable or that transparent can't be usefully defined for purposes of comparing that characteristic in presidents. Note, too, that he qualifies the assertion with "probably" allowing finally for an improbable result. Lastly, he doesn't say anything about what might be an acceptable degree of transparency in a president. So? So don't give him an F for this statement. Give him am incomplete and the opportunity to supply the needed responses.

  92. Talking about how good he is with infrastructure; not only did he lose money on his buildings, he managed to make sure there were no sprinklers in his Trump tower apartments in case of fires. We know how that ended. I would be wary of any infrastructure he was involved in.

  93. The performance was obviously pre-scripted, with the signs and news conference set up and waiting. Fox got the script beforehand, broadcasting events as they unfolded. Speaker Pelosi raised five children before being elected to any office (and has nine grandchildren). So she knows exactly how to deal with a petulant sub-adult. If it did not matter so much for the country, it would be entertaining to watch.

  94. @Leading Edge Boomer Trump keeps making the mistake of thinking he can mess with an Italian grandmother. He's wrong.

  95. @Maria -- Or, with a skilled, practiced, shrewd politician. (I know that you mean well with the "Italian grandmother" stuff, but such references are never made about men as they carry out their professional duties; it's a way of Othering women and enforcing old stereotypes that keep us stuck, so I encourage you to avoid such references, even when joking or being playful.)

  96. @Doro Wynant But grandmothers are Other than grandfathers and women are Other than men. Equality doesn’t mean sameness.

  97. Do we have a government these days? If the president will not work with Congress by his own declaration, are we not at a stand off and headed clearly for paralysis? Are both sides equally to blame? Hardly. The president publicly commits both legal and ethical crimes daily it seems. When he's confronted as he has been today he shows a level of derangement that should scare sane people everywhere. There are real problems like climate chaos and dictatorial governments building nuclear arsenals that are not being addressed in any manner that will protect us in our country nor the continued viability of human existence on Earth, for example. Not to mention attacks our electoral processes and being rewarded for it by strange declarations of love for them by our commander-in-chief. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution would be an appropriate tool for our situation if the Cabinet were not filled with a rogues gallery of criminally incompetent sycophants. I'd like to stand with the Speaker to let a little more unraveling occur at 1600, but I'm not sure we have the time to spare.

  98. "During his Rose Garden performance, the president once again fell into the extremely creepy habit of referring to himself in the third person. (“They hated President Trump. They hated him with a passion.”)" Creepy? This is known as Illeism from the Latin ille, meaning he, that. Illeism in everyday speech can have a variety of intentions depending on context. One common usage is to impart humility. The use of illeism in this context imparts a sense of lack of self, implying a diminished importance of the speaker in relation to the addressee or to a larger whole. Conversely, in different contexts, illeism can be used to reinforce self-promotion. Third person self-referral can be associated with self-irony and not taking oneself too seriously. What is Mr. Trump's intention through his use of illeism? Take your pick. But "creepy" it is not.

  99. @Joshua Schwartz We know that it can't be answer #1, as Trump is the least humble person around. #3 may also be discarded as he has never shown himself to have any sense of humor and I would be shocked if he knew what the term "self-irony" even meant. Thus, we are left with his greatest act...self-promotion. Perhaps this syndrome can heretofore be referred to as "Trump Illeism." I'm sure the term will be worth a great deal more if it has his brand behind it!

  100. @Joshua Schwartz, Latinate, or not, I find it creepy, and anything but suggestive of humility, or irony, two qualities that do not come to mind when thinking of Mr. Trump.

  101. @Joshua Schwartz You pick your random sources and I'll pick mine, Gail Collins. And, yep, as she says, it and he are creepy.

  102. Great piece Ms. Collins made me laugh in the midst of this continual GOP driven strategy to kill our democratic processes of law & order. Make no mistake, Trump is the best actor possible for his role. But this play was written and produced over decades by GOP operatives. Before it opened on Broadway it ran with successful reviews in WI, MI & OH with bit actors same scripts. The Powell Memo, Actor Reagan, Gannet’s Newspapers rapid expansion etc, Its going to be tough closing out this “Wag the Dog” type scam especially with Russian espionage having free access but WI & MI governmental changes were hopeful signs.

  103. Credit where credit is due. Having over 10,000 recognizable lies & falsehoods is a special kind of transparency.

  104. Pelosi made the remark abut Trump that he protested just a short time before the meeting that Stable Genius stormed out of. Yet the nice looking sign was on the podium that had been set up before Trump arrived at the meeting. I would suspect that it was made days ago - it could not have been made so quickly. I am reminded of when President George W Bush on May 1, 2003 flew to an aircraft carrier and proclaimed "MISSON ACCOMPLISHED!" - that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were over and we had won. He actually claimed that he was inspired to use the phrase by the banner he saw on the ship. It turns out that his operatives had taken the banner to the ship and unfurled it, and that the phrase was n the prepared text of his speech. Oh what a tangled web we weave...

  105. The Trump was pretty clear in the State of the Union. No investigation, know infrastructure. Know investigation, no infrastructure. It has also been pretty clear that the Trump will put his interests above everyone else's. Everyone. I have very little in common with anyone who supports the Trump.

  106. Remove this man from office. He's not well and that makes him dangerous. The chickens are coming home to roost finally and he's not handling it at all.

  107. This is what political madness looks like.

  108. Well, Mr. Trump might be correct about the transparency statement as he seems to be very thin-skinned.

  109. Yes, Gail is right: Trump has untold bridges to nowhere in his delusional, narcissistic life that is full of serial failures and lies. With Mr. Trump. there has always been lots of bullying, bluster, and bombastic Trump proposals that end up as failures or never materialize. Actually, we can probably be grateful that most of what Trump claims and threatens mercifully for us does not transpire. Frankly, I am not disappointed that today's bipartisan meeting did not go well and nothing was done about infrastructure. Just imagine what kind of plan and how much taxpayer money a Trump proposal for infrastructure would cost us--and who (as in cronies and the Trump family) would end up by benefitting the most monetarily from Trump's infrastructure plan. Let's just tread water until Trump is out of office, a Democrat is elected president, and the Republicans lose both the House and Senate to Democrats. Look out world if Trump ever managed to follow through and get his threats and promises transformed into action.

  110. @PB Let's just hope and pray that he doesn't decide that attacking Iran will secure his glorious legacy. (Bolton is probably whispering in his ear.)

  111. It is baffling that more people, primarily MAGA supporters and the Republican Senate, can not realize or accept the psychological deterioration of their president. When have we ever seen such behavior? Yes, Nixon was indeed not a profile in courage. Far from it. But his state of mind and even actions during the Watergate hearings did not descend toward such desperateness and paranoia. Gail's title is "Trump's Bridges to Nowhere." In a sense that is true. His muddled mind brings this nation only to schizophrenic and incoherent policies. But in a sense the bridge IS going somewhere. We are beginning to see the wood buckling and rotting beneath his feet. His support structures from corrupt comrades to banks to family to the IRS are all giving way, unable to hold him up anymore. His journey on this bridge will drop him into that rushing river and wash him upon the shore of justice...and the justice that awaits him will be rocky and unforgiving. I hope...

  112. @Kathy Lollock, the GOP doesn’t care so long as Trump turns us into a plutocracy. The MAGA crew don’t care so long as Trump “owns the libs.”

  113. He was probably never going to sit with Schumer and Pelosi to discuss infrastructure in any real authentic way. This is evident by the fact that he had already set up the lectern with the cheesy campaign poster. He'd probably been seething all night and the last thing on his mind was any real discussion of any real substance. Chuck and Nancy were just props in his Shakespearean drama as he rails against the obviousness of his culpability. He is truly living out a drama

  114. @dano50 I would say more Freudian than Shakespearean: Trump's twisted Id, with barely any filtering.

  115. @dano50 I don’t think Speaker Pelosi or Sen Schumer were props. They knew very well Trump would likely pull some stunt or other - if not this time, then the next. By arranging this meeting, they were just renting out the theater, knowing Trump would provide his own script & do his own bumbling song and dance. Of course the image coming to mind is Gene Wilder & Peter Boyle doing their soft shoe routine “Putting on the Ritz” in “Young Frankenstein”, the monster’s vocalization being more coherent than Trump’s.

  116. The Emperor has no clothes. He badly needs a coverup. Let's start with a Straight Jacket.

  117. I is also for Investigate Hillary was brought down by a constant stream of media questioning her honesty, her readiness, her likability, her ... Time to turn it around. Make the Trump news all about his unsuitability, the crimes, the corruption, the money laundering, the scams, the rubles, the riyals, the ... Talk about the possibilities that need to be investigated and how that investigation is blocked only by the men he himself has installed at the Justice Department. Here is the beginning of a one-man state, taking over the bureaucracy one appointment at a time. I is for investigate, charges can wait.

  118. @Gerard . The thing Trump is afraid of most is being labeled a loser. That's the tact that should be used.

  119. @Gerard What so often occurs to me is, if he's so sensitive and angry and defensive about criticism, why doesn't he just tell the truth when questioned? Yet he couldn't even manage to do it when his lawyers tried to prepare him for a bout with Mueller. It's not just that the truth would get him impeached (or locked up)--it seems to be a kind of derangement itself, a denial of anything that doesn't fit his exalted self-image.

  120. @R. Zeyen That was hardly lost on Nancy Pelosi when she flagged a “lack of confidence on his part,” also implying weakness, his other kryptonite. And to have a woman making that call, no less. She has this guy's number.

  121. Can someone please remind me, if it was so important, why Trump and the Republicans didn't pass a huge infrastructure bill when they had both houses of Congress during Trump's first two years in office? Oh, wait a minute...they decided to give a huge tax break to corporations and the wealthiest among us and didn't have enough money - or interest - in repairing our crumbling roads and bridges and updating our airports which would have created millions of good paying jobs for hardworking, middle class Americans. Oh, yeah. Now I remember what else. They were too busy trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act in their attempt to take health care away from millions of Americans. Trump and the Republican Party have taken hypocrisy to dizzying heights.

  122. @Morals Matter -- And don't forget the unmatched arrogance and incompetence of his cabinet. If you've not seen clips of Reps. Pressley and Porter questioning Ben Carson earlier this week, look for them (but have a quart of liquor nearby to calm yourself).

  123. @Morals Matter I hate them so much. If you don’t hate the Republican Party ... I don’t know whether to hate you too, or merely pity you. I guess it depends if you benefit from these criminals financially, and look the other way, or are just exploited by them.

  124. @Doro Wynant The Ben show was utterly intentional. Repubs live to break government, they are merely demonstrating "hey, maybe we don't need HUD. We seem to be doing fine...why, look at this incompetent leader!"

  125. Well, at least the funny sign in the Rose Garden wasn't as costly to us taxpayers as sending the vice-President, with staff and spouse and security, to a pro football game so he could leave in a huff. I'm hoping the Administration can keep their huffing restricted to the D.C. area until the election, so we can all spend our tax dollars on less pointless travel and, maybe, more infrastructure repair. Speaking of travel, has anyone been tallying the travel schedule of the huffer in chief? I'm betting he's even ahead of champion US Capitol avoiders like Reagan and W.

  126. @b fagan Well, there is this tally from @bennettrules on Twitter posted 13 hours ago: Trump has arrived at one of his hotel properties in Washington DC. This is his 255th day off in his two year presidency. Trump is the most lazy and corrupt president ever! #Trump #ImpeachTrump #MAGA

  127. The premade sign Trump had on the podium said 35 million was spent on the Mueller investigation. It was actually 25 million. Trump failed to mention that he's spent 104 million dollars to date of your tax money to play golf at his own properties. Trump whined about Obama's golfing, but Obama played half as much as Trump has and played mainly on military bases. No need for extra money for secuity as bases are secure already. Every time Trump plays at Mar-a-Lago, the Coast Guard has to double the number of patrol boats in the area, bringing them from as far away as Boston. Trump has a big poster complaining about the ficticious amount spent investigating him, but fails to mention his stiffing of the tax payer for games of golf.

  128. @Linda Could somebody send this data to the president's public twitter line?

  129. And we're paying 100 million, and counting, for him to *cheat* at golf. There is never one simple example of malfeasance -- there are always many layers of sheer corruption to reveal. And he cheats at everything.

  130. @Linda Right on. When he wasn’t President, I’m pretty sure he did not charge himself to play golf at his properties.

  131. He didn’t just refer to himself in the third person, he also used the past tense!

  132. @Susan Let's hope he is prescient about using the past tense.

  133. This column, like may others in the NYT, makes total sense. That is, if you are a NYT reader. Sadly, it does not reach the people who are still in Trump's base. They will continue to back him in spite of, or more likely, because of this blowup. They still believe in this man and his "ideas" - more coal jobs, more manufacturing jobs, no climate change, war with "fill-in-the-blank."

  134. @chickenlover My own guess (maybe too optimistic) is that a large part of the base not only don’t really like Trump but quite probably won’t vote for him. What they’re signalling with their vociferous support for Trump is that they’re sticking it to the man—the “man” being people like us NYT readers, whom they richly hate. (Their hate is deplorable but—let’s face it—easy to understand.)

  135. Great poster on the lectern, though there are several other statistics omitted: -- Number of convictions -- Number of guilty pleas -- Number of years sentenced to prison

  136. @J Darby, let’s also include the dollars recouped from Manafort’s forfeited assets, somewhere around 20 million.

  137. @J Darby -- Number of instances where evidence of obstruction of justice rose to an indictable level -- Number of attempts at witness tampering and intimidation of potential witnesses -- Number of dollars diverted to bribery, campaign finance violations, money laundering, tax evasion, insurance fraud, illegal conversion of charitable assets, . . . .

  138. @J Darby All of the above would be great posters to place in Lafayette Park across from the White House.

  139. Again it seems it's either impeachment or Article 25. If I were to judge by his rants both verbal and twitter, I'd suggest that Article 25 is the more appropriate method of removal. I'd like to remind those protecting Trump that the oath of office they take does not have the word Trump anywhere in it.

  140. He’s a master in the art of self-harm. Does he not realize that loudly refusing to participate in deals with Congress only further weakens his position?

  141. @Martha Reilly No more than he realizes that telling his associates to refuse to obey subpoenas only makes them all look guiltier.

  142. @Martha Reilly -- Not quite sure what you mean y "weakens his position" -- in negotiations? He doesn't have to care about that -- the Senate always does whatever he wants it to, so he doesn't have to cooperate with the House. With regard to "not realize that", it's pretty clear at this point that: 1. He has little in the way of reasoning skills. 2. He doesn't connect with reality, so he never thinks that anything he does disadvantages him in any way or makes him look bad. 3. Tremendous wealth (even if far less than he boasts about) has made it possible for him to escape the consequences of every illegal/venal thing he has ever done, so he still behaves imperiously even tho he's a public servant. 4. None of this matters to his base, because they too traffic in aggrieved fantasy rather than realty I'm with you, not agin' you -- just reminding you of the grim reality. I hope that I can make it to 2020 without my head exploding as it nearly did yesterday, with the arrogant+incompetent Ben Carson being a rude fool when questioned by cmtee. Kudos to Reps. Pressley and Porter -- magnificent.

  143. @Martha Reilly: except his base. In their minds, he's sticking it to the pointy-headed liberals and standing up for the little guy. Until one of their bridges collapses...

  144. Speaking of bridges, remember where the steel was sourced for the Bay Bridge between SF and Oakland? China. Gov Arnold of Hollywood refused to let any of the steel come from union steel plants in the USA. So it came from China. That’s what the GOP thinks of infrastructure spending. Give the business to China.

  145. The Bay Bridge was built way before the terminator was governor.

  146. @SteveH There were much needed repairs, since the bridge is widely used and pretty old.

  147. Today was the first time in this 2+ year nightmare that I actually felt sorry for Trump. I think I'm going through something akin to the 5 stages of grief that began with outrage, then astonishment, went to exhaustion, and now I'm feeling pity for that tortured soul moving from one room of the White House to a press conference outdoors, having to come up with new lies, recycling some of his golden oldies, and then lapsing into confusion before walking away - alone. The fifth stage will be relief when this is all over.

  148. @furnmtz I am almost at the stage where I'm with you. Except that he's Trump.

  149. @furnmtz That may be what drove Pelosi to pray for him. (And the rest of us to pray he'll soon walk away for good.)

  150. @furnmtz Except that he is the President so if he can’t or won’t (actually can’t AND won’t) then he should get the heck out of the way.

  151. Regarding the extremely creepy habit of referring to himself in the third person, remember when Bob Dole used to do that? Somehow that just seems quaint now. And as for the I-word, it doesn’t refer to impeachment, but rather insanity. The solution is invocation of the 25th amendment.

  152. @Ockham9 Trump's Cabinet invoking the 25th Amendment? Name one of them with the honesty and integrity to start the process. When pigs fly.

  153. Trump could have agreed to this or any infrastructure plan, knowing that McConnell would never take it up with the Senate., but he wanted to use his walkout as a means of once again attacking the constitutional obligations of the House, led by a strong, intelligent woman.

  154. As much as infrastructure needs are growing, if you look at Trump's track record, we don't really want any infrastructure bill he would be signing. There are predictable features of a Trump infrastructure plan. 1. Privatization. Investors would be encouraged through tax breaks and other Federal incentives to create private toll roads, bridges and other transportation. Tolls would be higher than those for public projects to generate an investor return, while risks would be ultimately assumed by taxpayers. 2. Blue to Red State Transfers. Those states that have high state gas, income, property and sales taxes have done better at maintaining infrastructure than those with low state taxes. In his 2017 tax bill, Trump has already shown preference for making Blue States pay more taxes, by limiting Federal deductions for state and local taxes, some of which go to pay for infrastructure. A Trump infrastructure bill would be very likely structured to support the states that voted for him. 3. Bypassing Environmental Reviews. Trump has signalled that he would expedite project approvals. This would certainly be at the expense of both environmental and safety reviews. He overturned flood plain development restrictions right before Hurricane Harvey left Houston area flood plain communities under water, which then required over $100 billion in Federal emergency funds. We don't want the King of Bankruptcy helping us with infrastructure. And, no, he is not good at it.

  155. @Look Ahead And then it would all fall down due to tatty materials and shoddy construction methods.

  156. I must have missed the part of the presidential oath of office where Trump added that his "faithful execution" and "best of my ability" were conditional on nobody being mean to him. I did not realize he agreed to be president only if we were on our best behavior. I did not get that he's doing us a favor.

  157. @Bob Hanle I think that “to the best of my ability” is his loophole.

  158. @Marty West You may be right. Doing nothing may be the best of his ability.

  159. Anything to get out of doing any work on any project. That’s how he became the world’s worst real estate developer. Other developers will not deal with him in any way, except sometimes to license his name, which will be mud soon enough.

  160. Harry Truman said, "If you want a friend in this town, get a dog." There's nothing in the Constitution that says you have to like the people you work with, but the nature of being president is that you are criticized and that you do have to work with the people criticizing you. Trump, however is incensed that there's not an imperial presidency, where there's only one branch of government that calls the shots. The Democratic Congress, last I checked, was duly elected by a majority of their constituents.

  161. Completely ignored is the fact that the co-president, Mitch McConnell, would never let infrastructure get past the Senate. Still not sure why Democrats continue to give Mcconnell a pass especially now that we've learned Oleg Deripaska, an Obama sanctioned Russian oligarch, was courted by disgraced former senator David vitter to open an aluminum plant in Kentucky and then, suddenly, the federal judgeship for Vitter's wife, bottled up in the Senate due to her lack of qualifications, suddenly sails through the Senate. And this is after McConnell sabotaged Obama;s attempts to crack down on Russian meddling in the 2016 election followed by Pompeo's narrative that Obama did nothing to stop Russian interference in same. I wonder if Democrats will tell rural voters they won't have broad band thanks to Trump And I wonder how long it will take Democrat to run against the "do nothing team of Trump and McConnell." Democrats claim they want to focus on the issues and the 2020 elections and not on Trump. Well?

  162. As always, Gail Collins gives us something to chuckle about so we’re not always deeply disturbed and depressed about Trump. Kind of like sunshine after two long years of rain. Too bad we still have two more years of rain ahead. Thanks for the sunbeams anyway, Gail!

  163. As much as anything, Trump's blustering walk out may just be a cover for not having to try to ask Congress to appropriate money for infrascture while expecting that they won't. Then he can blame his walk out on Pelosi and the Democrats for pursuing the investigations. Enough of his loyal "base" will buy it and be even more energized to vote for Trump in 2020 and ignore every norm and law needed to win. While everything he says off script is a word salad, for him it's immaterial. What keeps his focus is what he's successfully employed in his highly developed dirty fighting guided by his cornered rat instincts. And, anyone who's been face-to face with a cornered rat knows that there's nothing much more dangerous . . . there are no rules, only a dirty and dangerours fight with real or metaphorical rabies-infested bites carried away as reminders. So, Democrats prepare for more of the back alley fights to come and get your real or metaphorical rabies shots in the form of the teams who'll be equally fearless. Because, if you haven't grasped it by now, you can be assured that the only laws and political traditions that will protect you will be the ones you can enforce AFTER you win.

  164. How many demonstrations do we need to see that this poor specimen of humanity does not belong in the White House? I am not aware of any US president ever throwing public tantrums, and my memory goes back to Truman. How can anybody not be uneasy with such an unstable president?

  165. Let us acknowledge the man is deranged. But while we are at it, let us also acknowledge that he is still considered “our president” by tens of millons of Americans. On days like this in upstate New York, still for the most part Trump country, I do not hold my country or fellow citizens in much regard for choosing this obscene, grotesque excuse for a man as our “leader.”

  166. @William Colgan - Agree. And thank you for acknowledging that trump country is not confined to the bible belt south. We have our share of them and then some, but they're everywhere.

  167. @William Colgan Once upon a time, I cared about Trump voters, wanted to know what it was that drew them to him, what made them feel so alienated from the Democratic process. Two years into this obscene presidency, I could care less about these people. They would (like Trump said) vote for him if he committed murder on Fifth Avenue. It says something really dark and creepy about Trump voters that they still stand behind him. It says something dark and creepy about this country. That's why I'm all for Blue state secession. Get away from these people and let them govern themselves; kill each other with unlicensed guns, rise to their goal of being completely uneducated, hate everybody who doesn't look like them, proudly inhale polluted air, destroy the planet with glee, get rid of Medicare and throw their seniors out on the street, then go to a Trump rally. I mean, these people are nuts.

  168. During his Rose Garden performance, the president once again fell into the extremely creepy habit of referring to himself in the third person. (“They hated President Trump. They hated him with a passion.”) Oh boy! If Trump had used the present tense he would have come even closer to the truth. This reader's father used to say he only wanted to live long enough to see Bush Jr out of office and for his trouble got to see Obama bring dignity back to the highest office in the land. For every cloud, a silver lining.

  169. What drives this President is the I word. All that counts is Trump. His ego is always in play. Accuse him of unflattering behavior and he withdraws and will not deal with the infrastructure initiative. The public good does not matter. My feelings are hurt says POTUS. I will not talk to the Democratic leadership.America’s first child-like President at play.

  170. Trump, in his childish brain, may have truly believed a month ago that he could do something on infrastructure. He would love to, because then he would have something to show he had accomplished. Last month he huffed and puffed and took on some homework - to develop a plan for funding his infrastructure bill. But Trump did not do his homework, and when the next meeting time came he realized he had nothing to show. So he concocted a different show, complete with pre-made poster board displays, about his outrage at congress. Trump 'does' outrage very well, and the Trump cult laps that up. This bate-and-switch tactic allowed him to run completely away from the idea that he would do anything on infrastructure. Another promise not kept.

  171. @earlyman His proposal would have went over budget from all the Trump plaques and signs on every hi way ,bridge and sewer pipe .

  172. Only a totally innocent person would have the confidence to talk so bewilderingly.

  173. @Nate Hilts Confidence? Sounds more like desperation to me.

  174. @Nate Hilts I hope that your statement is sarcasm.

  175. Well, if the President won't work with Congress in governing the nation, isn't it Congress's duty to find someone who will - the White House is the third leg on the government three legged stool underpinning the separation of powers - 1) the Judiciary, 2) the Legislature (Congress) and the Executive (the White House/Ministry); if one leg breaks - in this case the Executive, in the national interest, it must be replaced.

  176. @Cass Phoenix But the replacement would be VP Pence, so the country would still be crippled.

  177. Enough already. Either impeach this immature and questionably rational man-child or invoke Article 25 before he does more harm to America and the world. (Actually, better to impeach: it keeps Trump where we can see him.)

  178. @CP The problem about Article 25 is this: Take a look at who would have to make the decision to remove him.

  179. "The most transparent president in history." We can see right through him.

  180. I know Gail, that you often seek to project humor in whatever you're writing about. With Trump, and especially with Trump today, it's not necessary. The absurdity of this man occupying the White House is hard to believe. Literally everyday there is something new. But today was over the top. Without saying so directly, his behavior says "Impeach me." Not only has he broken the law in not complying with numerous subpoenas to him and his staff, but now he refuses to do his job. He does not understand that he is president of the United States. He clearly believes he is president of the people who watch the Fox Propaganda Channel. I'm sorry Don. There are a whole lot of us, in fact the majority of the population, who don't get their information from Fox and who are flabbergasted that a person like you could hold the position of president. Your behavior and lies and, yes, obstruction of justice, proves you are unqualified for this office. And I believe our system was designed to remove a would-be dictator like you before he damages our constitutional government any more than you have already attempted to do.

  181. @John Woods I think you are spot on. But I can't help but think this is another con job by Trump and his admin. Sure his feelings may have been hurt by Pelosi saying he was engaged in a cover-up but I suspect he went into the meeting looking for a way to remove himself and throwing a tantrum was the first reaction. The show in the rose garden was pure theatre sign and all. What the Trump handlers seem to forget is that Trump doesn't have any tact, guile or anything resembling a considered approach. Combative is all he knows. He is desperately try to get the democrats to start impeachment so that he can play it up to his base.

  182. Maybe he refers to "President Trump" in the third person because he can't believe it either..

  183. What, is, his problem? He throws tantrums like a five year old who needs a nap. He is supposed to be the president of the United States, not of his Trump world.

  184. "...I’m the most transparent president probably in the history of this country,”" Yeah, about as transparent as a wall made out of lead! If he's so transparent, then why hasn't he released his tax returns, and is fighting every request and subpoena issued for his testimony and records? It couldn't be that he's guilty, could it? Oh, heaven forbid! What is most astounding is how many people still believe him and support him! And worse, that the Republicans in Congress refuse to do their sworn duty and uphold the law and the Constitution! It's becoming ever more clear that we Americans were lulled into complacency by those seeking absolute power. Tragically, still some are asleep or willfully ignorant, but by the time they wake up, it will be too late. Impeach Trump 2019!

  185. I think he meant “transparent” as in The Emperor Has No Clothes transparent.

  186. Sorry Gail, I know you mean well but I’ve totally lost my sense of humor about all of this.

  187. Does this mean the big, beautiful wall is on hold now?

  188. Trump is dangerous. There is purpose and intent behind his actions and he has the complete support of the Republican Party power structure. When Trump lies Mitch McConnell lies. They are two sides of the same coin. The incentives were overwhelming for the Republican Party to conspire with Russia to win the election.

  189. @BillC Let's not forget Sarah Sanders. They lie with every breath and she swears to it. The disgraceful state of our federal and red state governments is beyond belief for rational people who love their country.

  190. @BillC McConnell is in the pay of the Russians - Blavatnik's money and Deripaska's aluminum mill. Trump has been living off laundering Russian money for years.

  191. The Mueller investigation cost a fraction of DT's golf outings. What benefitted the country more?

  192. Even better- with Manafort’s settlement, the Mueller investigation paid for itself and actually made us some money. Contrast with Trump’s golf outings which put the Secret Service in the red and which all went into Trump’s pockets.

  193. Note that Trump’s adorable little porta-podium has a sign calling out the costs of the Mueller investigation. Nowhere does Trump mention that the seized assets from some of those found guilty add up to far more than the money spent on the investigation itself.

  194. @Neil Jacobson My best effort at the-glass-is-half-full: we'll never know what malfeasance his taxpayer-funded junkets may have averted.

  195. “Well, it turns out I’m the most — and I think most of you would agree to this — I’m the most transparent president probably in the history of this country,” he declared. Fortunately, there was no call for a show of hands. Anderson Cooper of CNN thinks Trump has a 'tell.' When he lies he pretends that the people being lied to agree with him (using "as you know," "you would agree to this" or words to that effect). Most of us think that he has another 'tell' that he is lying - his lips move.

  196. @Partha Neogy Trump is indeed transparent - you can see straight through him.

  197. @Partha Neogy — Trumps lying “tell?” His lips are moving.

  198. I wish there had been a show of hands.

  199. @KPattis But in a way he seems on the way to becoming completely transparent. He keeps revealing who he is, tweet by tweet, outburst by outburst.

  200. @KPattis Trump's would have been the smallest.

  201. @SFR Daniel: He shows us who he is and millions of us are appalled, concerned bordering on frightened, that we have an incompetent, raging narcissist at the helm of our ship. And millions of us love him for his show of strength and force, here and on the world stage. Millions one way, millions the extreme opposite. I wish I had more faith that we can find our way out of this mess. It makes me sad that I don't think it will happen in the years I have left. I feel very sorry for people in their eighties dealing with this America under Trump. I know some who are truly suffering with emotional distress because of Trump. Their 'golden years' are being destroyed by this unfit man and they worry they will never see the America they loved again. It's not funny, all the tragedy he has wrought upon us. One man and enabling Republicans have caused great pain and continue to do so each and every day. Cowards, all of them to support such an unfit man.

  202. Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is an impulse-control disorder characterized by sudden episodes of unwarranted anger. The disorder is typified by hostility, impulsivity, and recurrent aggressive outbursts. People with IED essentially “explode” into a rage despite a lack of apparent provocation or reason. I.e., we have a President who is unstable and unqualified to move forward even when partisanship is a negligible factor.

  203. So, here is the classic behaviour you see when you accuse a narcissistic sociopath. You saw it with R Kelly making himself a victim instead, he even managed to get his voice tearful. And you've can see it with Putin often, with his half sneer-half smile deflection but watch the eyes-- they're scary in that moment. The person asking the question should be thankful they're in public. This is Mr Trump's version. Scattered thoughts, aimless deflections into facts which are not even on the table, painting himself as the victim of all these 'angry democrats', and then taking issue with that word, "cover-up", which hits home a little too close for his comfort. Drama, so much drama and he thinks the world is blind. For all students of psychology/psychiatry, well--the entire body of physicians, he is a real-time depiction of the syndrome of narcissism, pathological lying and inability to accept responsibility and/or blame. It use to be a joke comparing notes in regard to above statement among my colleagues, but after the first year, it has stopped being a joke to measure his level of mendacity and depth to which he has and continues to fall. It is not a joke, a diagnosis anymore-- it is the actual threat to the moral, spiritual, economic, social, cultural health of this country.

  204. @Ash. See my comment ... But the actual "threat to the moral, spiritual, economic, social, cultural health of this country" is bigger than Trump, for the number of suckers (sorry, but it seems the appropriate word) who support him hardly seems to be diminishing...

  205. @Ash. Remember when it was not acceptable to suggest that something might be wrong with him?

  206. @Ash. And the GOP continue to support trump... I think students of mental health and human behavior will be studying trump, his supporters and the GOP enablers for decades to come.

  207. Certainly $2 trillion is difficult to raise, but not hard at all to give away to the rich. So trump manages to lower the bar once again. I am admittedly nostalgic for the days when Obama would stroll out to the Rose Garden and make a statement in his adult and measured way. It seems so long ago.

  208. We've seen this story before: President and Democrats "reach agreement" on deal. Democrats offer a plan. President throws all out the window. That's Trump's "Art of the Deal." There is no dealing with him.

  209. Already billions have been spent on infrastructure inn this century not spending anymore will keep the national debt down and money for tax cuts exclusively for middle class. Let the middle class invest in infrastructure through retirement savings and increased tax deferred annuities. The annual IRA current limit of 7000 can be doubled. Focus on dent reduction will have dividends for the nation and postpone a recession and job losses..

  210. @Girish Kotwal "Tax savings" are not "infrastructure" and will not keep bridges from falling down.

  211. Maybe that kid who was on national news for filling in potholes from dirt in his mom’s backyard is available.

  212. Trump's incoherent ramble reminded me of a time I attended a family gathering, and there at the table sat a poor, aged, relative who had lost his mind and was rambling and raging endlessly in vaguely unhinged fashion about things that were disturbing him. Needless to say that family meeting did not end well. And it went downhill from there until his direct blood relatives faced, and made, the decision to institutionalize him. It was a hard decision, but it was necessary for the health of the family. Does any of this sound...familiar? I think the country is on that same path... John~ American Net'Zen

  213. @John Give a listen to Kacey Musgraves, Family is Family.

  214. Trump doesn’t do bridges- he does walls! Bridges connote easy, safe passage.That is not what he wants.The only bridge or highway he would approve is one named after him.His rant was not clever -it was well planned by his so called PR team.The scary feature is that if Trump is incoherent in the Rose Garden, imagine what he is overseas when he is under more pressure talking with other world leaders.This explains why his face to face negotiations never seem to go well. It also explains why he orders translators to tear up the notes of these meetings.He wants to cover up the incoherence of his conversations.

  215. @JANET MICHAEL I doubt that he understands that he is incoherent. The suggests a level of self-knowledge way beyond what he is capable of.

  216. @JANET MICHAEL He has been compensating for his learning disabilities, deficiencies and lack of interest in anything but himself and his purse forever.

  217. I think any casual examination of any Trump statement will find that a) it always wanders off topic and b) manages to wander to talk of himself. I guess I'm just not surprised anymore by anything he says or does. I'm only surprised that he has supporters in Congress and that he is still with us. The only surprise I'm expecting is that, hopefully someday soon, he will be gone. Then I will be surprised.

  218. @steve Him, gone? Don't count on it. The Supreme Court loves him.

  219. He is the most transparent president in history. His driving motivations and intentions are on display in plain sight. He doesn’t care about the American people (or anyone else other than Ivanka and, possibly, Junior) only himself. Everything he does can be explained by simply asking if it’s good for Donald Trump. This includes his “foreign policy”, trade wars, tax cuts, etc. How’s that for transparency?

  220. @Richard Crystal clear.

  221. Tanking the meeting was simply Trump's artless, flatfooted way of saying that the "fundraising ideas" he promised to bring to the meeting were nonexistent. He might as well have told us those big ideas are under audit so he can't reveal them. But he will for sure... later. This presidential tableaux is so bizarre he's now resorted to covering up a cover up.

  222. @Lois: He's completely incompetent. He doesn't know what to do to solve complex problems and so he creates chaos and emotional turmoil and upset to cover up the incompetence. Yesterday was all pre-planned, the signs, the gathering of the press in the Rose Garden, the tantrum in front of the Democratic leadership, the pulled curtains in the Oval so they couldn't see what was going on. An adult does not behave this way. But we've all known for a long time now that he is not an adult, he's not even a competent child. Trump said early on that he hasn't really changed since first grade. He's the same as in first grade. That, I believe completely.

  223. Focus, for just a moment, om the fact that the President of the United States is incapable of uttering a coherent sentence, let alone stay on topic from the beginning of one to its end. What does that say about his intellectual, let alone emotional state? I, for one, even when I stridently disagree with a president over this or that bias or policy, am at least comforted by the knowledge that he is capable of thought clarity, not to mention a modicum of self-control. No one would ever, ever mistake Donald Trump for manifesting such qualities. Trump’s hyperbolic verbal edifices are, indeed, bridges to nowhere. Neither we, nor he, know where he’s going, but he’s on his way. Until, of course, he changes what passes for his mind again.

  224. @Quoth The Raven For months I've been saying that I'm more offended that we elected a fourth rate thinker to be president, than I am about his policy choices, which I 95% disagree with. It's the incoherence, the tiny vocabulary suggesting cognitive impairment, and perhaps most importantly his documented inability to read more than a paragraph or two meaning he isn't able to fully understand the arguments of both sides regarding any particular issue, many of which mankind's future depends on. You almost gotta laugh about that one.

  225. @Phil That's why I have problems understanding why anyone would support him. You only need to listen to him speak for a few minutes to realize that there is something very very wrong with him. He simply is not firing on all cylinders.

  226. @Quoth The Raven Well, his base doesn't seem to care if he's coherent or not; if he sold out to the Russians or not; if he cheats on his wife and pays prostitutes, if he hates animals, hates immigrants, demeans everyone who disagrees with him, acts like a 10 year old, won't show the American public his taxes, has no idea how to conduct diplomacy, listen to others, take responsibility, or even act like a decent, reasonably composed human being, praises racists and misogynists, is a loud mouthed, foul, stupid bore who has no idea how government works, is destroying this country for not other reason than to prop up his own ego. The crowds love him. What does that say about us? It's terrifying.

  227. "As you all agree, I'll be even more transparent when the audit is finally completed. It has been going on, as you all know, for 37 years."

  228. Mitch McConnell had already assumed his self-proclaimed role as “Grim Reaper” to each and every piece of legislation or proposition that didn’t involve a “nuclear option” ramrod confirmation of a conservative judge or an additional tax cut. Trump’s hurt feelings and subsequent temper tantrum refusal to get anything done is hardly even relevant to the epic dysfunction of the US Congress. Either we get new leadership across the board in 2020 or the downward spiral continues.

  229. "We cannot afford to fix our infrastructure, what with the huge tax cut I gave to the upper class who needed it the least, so it's a yuge and fantastic deal from Russia I got today to purchase the U.S. for $1. Russian language lessons are not included."

  230. Vladimir Putin knows that a major infrastructure plan would strengthen America's economy in many impressive ways and, more important, rekindle a feeling among Americans that their government is actually good for something. It should be clear by now that Trump takes his marching orders from the one man who wants to destroy our democracy and can end Mafia Don's presidency with a single phone call and the faxing of a few incriminating documents. Is it any wonder that yesterday's shenanigans took place?

  231. The "impromptu" presser with the ready-made on-topic sign suggests Trump just felt he needed to shake things up for his Fox audience, show them he was still boss and cover up the fact that he had nothing to bring to that meeting with Democratic leaders. All he needed was an excuse. It's not like Speaker Pelosi has been silent about Trump's misdeeds. Is the word "coverup" a trigger for him? Or did something happen in MAGA World yesterday that showed support for the naked emperor was waning?

  232. The"No collusion, No Obstruction" sign seems to have been made in more than the few minutes it took Trump to tell Democrats there will be no infrastructure meeting. The sign made and posted in advance proves deliberation and planning of the hijacking of the infrastructure bill by Trump. The stage was to publicly request his ramson. That Rose Garden Drama looked as a mafia hit, and would have happened no matter what Pelosi had said except "no more oversight to you, Mr. President".

  233. The real question is why anyone would take Trump at his word. He cannot be trusted.

  234. @tom Which letter-word can he be trusted about? Answer: every one of them! For the length of time it takes them to leave his mouth. Wait for the contradiction, rinse, spit.

  235. The following is from an article by Jeffrey Fulmer: "The infrastructure supporting human activities includes complex and interrelated physical, social, ecological, economic, and technological systems such as transportation and energy production and distribution; water resources management; waste management; facilities supporting urban and rural communities; communications; sustainable resources development; and environmental protection (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009)." In other words, infrastructure is complicated. Very. This left me wondering: How can a president whose only focus in life is on himself and who clearly has defective cerebral wiring deal with such a subject? Answer: He can't. His impulse was to flee. And he did.

  236. @KJ he does not have to "deal with such a subject",,,he just has to sign a bill passed by congress (after he's told to by Fox News)...

  237. @KJ It's hard to negotiate when there's no civility, so it's better to walk. Try it sometime. The constant negative focus from the media is on the president. If you were in his shoes how would you respond? He's a person, not a robot.

  238. @Vivian Trump breeds that lack of "civility". The reporting and negative focus is called journalism, and if in the course of reporting reveals a negative story, well, so be it. If Trump and his lackeys were perhaps somewhat more civil to the press they may respond in kind. Lastly, the recent former presidents also had negative stories printed concerning them. And, like adults should, they dealt with those stories in a civil manner in comparison to the twitter tantrums. If I were in his shoes? First, I would not put myself there as I believe you catch more flies with honey...A concept the carnival barker fails to understand.

  239. He, not I by a long stretch, began his call for National Infrastructure during the Clinton administration. It's a Third World Country out there, he shouted, in describing his view of New York (join the real world, I would hum, typing our Country's need for restoring and renovating our bridges, tunnels and public works). Our powers-in-authority are challenged and in need of clarity of vision to restore Democracy to America. Do not go in search of World News for it is a brutal strategic chess game, where the value of human life diminishes. Keep writing, 'Madame de Tocqueville', for while half the Country is asleep, some of us are feeling uneasy while going about our daily business. 'Character' has been described as the power to dominate others, whilst 'Courage' you have in abundance. Keep sharing the latter, and we may follow, in bringing back Democracy to America.

  240. @Miss Ley, who are these mythical "we"? The democrat party?

  241. Like Ms. Pelosi, I pray for the president. I pray that he gets the help that he needs. I pray that he gets it soon. I pray that the damage he has done can be fixed by an administration that is less focused on self interest. Maybe then, he will stop preying on us.

  242. And yet we're all considering the very real possibility this, for lack of a better word, administration could be re-elected. I think we need more than prayers.

  243. Trump, the megalomaniac, and his supporters (including the members of his cabinet, his base, members of the legislative branch, McConnell and Lindsey Gram to name a few, and the conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court and the neocons in the press) pose a grave threat not only the U.S. but to the rest world as well. Sane people around the world," be afraid, be very afraid."

  244. One of these days Trump is going to claim the Martians are controlling his mind and that is the real reason he cannot do infrastructure . Kellyanne will later appear on TV explaining that the President was being sarcastic when he made those comments . He will then go to the Rose Garden and he will address the assembled press without clothes on . Will that change the mind of the Republicans in Congress or his supporters in the Country at large ?

  245. Where's the internal compass or censor that most people would bring to a podium before an audience of millions? Why doesn't he get it by now? It's all so cringeworthy and alarming as well. Personally I do not endorse the impending conflict over impeachment: isn't there alone enough evidence before our very eyes to insure a victory for democrats at the ballot box?

  246. @Rob Read the Mueller report. Watch what this guy does every single day to dishonor and violate the Constitution. If we do not impeach now, with these facts, then when? Do we really need to wait until a president shoots someone on 5th Avenue? Refusing to impeach is to refuse to uphold the rule of law.

  247. @Rob: I tend to share Bill Maher's fear concerning that possible victory at the ballot box: that Trump will simply refuse to acknowledge a loss and would tie up the results in court for as long as possible. Since he pretty much owns the Supreme Court, I think it’s a valid fear that he might somehow pull off an “upset”, get term limits repealed, or manage some other such hitherto unimaginable nonsensical end run around the Constitution. He’s already stonewalling every legal, systemic attempt by the House to perform its lawful oversight responsibilities...and getting away with it - so far. Realistically, what will the system do, should Trump lose the 2020 election, but refuse to vacate the White House? Send the US Marshals to evict him? And how would Trumpworld react then? Violently, maybe? Impossible, you say? Hogwash, you opine? Not so fast, say I. Trump continues to prove himself capable of bringing the surreal to life, and to go off to some other plane when thwarted or, sometimes, even criticized. Even if such shenanigans are just theater, they work. I think we’re in deep, deep trouble.

  248. When I look at the event's of the last two and a half years, and the last few day's specifically, I'm reminded of a line from the movie "The Truman Show"... How's it going to end? On one side, you've got a fanatically loyal base that thinks President Trump is the greatest leader the US has ever had, many of whom have cheered when he jokes about a third term. On the other side, you've got a group of people who are becoming increasingly worried about the rules that this administration is willing to break to deflect negative attention. At the center, you've got a man that is becoming increasingly desperate to hide... something. We don't know exactly what it is, but it's become clear that whatever it is, ensuring that people never find out about it is has become President Trump's main focus. Left leaning supporters have been holding their breath for the last 2 years, waiting for the moral cost of the GOP supporting President Trump to become too much. We saw yesterday with Congressman Amash what happens to GOP members who put country ahead of party. They are insulted and publicly shamed. The only way that the GOP will turn against President Trump is if it comes right from the top and it's unified, and sadly Mitch McConnell has demonstrated time and again that he simply lack's the moral conviction to do that. How will it end? I don't know and I don't want to speculate, but I do know that I'm scared about US leadership in a way I've never been before.

  249. @Chris You aren't alone.

  250. McConnell's Senate was never going to come up with 2 trillion for infrastructure anyway. They had already given that money away in tax cuts. Republicans are generous when helping the already rich and frugal when legislating for the good of the country.

  251. @dave Just why do the repubs hate infrastructure spending? Easy, because it is tangible evidence "government" can work for the people.

  252. Oh, where have all the Statesman gone? oops... i forgot, this is infrastructure week. Or was that last year? At least i got a tax cut ... where i paid more than last year. But the economy is going gangbusters ... at least in that fictional stockmarket that none of us actually own stock in ... except through our small fractional interests in a 401k controlled by others. Maybe I'll move to France ... where at least they have Freedom Fries!

  253. @JFM, 'Dear Paris, delighted you received your birthday gift in time to celebrate this happy event with a fairy-tale in style, and I remain at your disposal for all questions you may have. It began in America and concluded in Napoule, where during WWII the heroine of this saga bamboozled the Nazis into believing she was the maid. We are in the midst of 'Infrastructure Week', better known as Public Works, and my boss now retired from public life, was one of the first advocates of the above, before becoming U.S. Representative to France under the banner of Clinton. Mr. Trump, our most melodramatic presidents in contemporary times, earlier threw a tantrum in front of the Nation and stormed out the door, leaving the viewers and Press in a cloudburst of confusion. He appears to care about restoring good-will to the middle-class in a Dickens kind of way. The latter had a great fear of poverty, and while taking up the cause of the common man, did not understand how Public Works, 'work'. Whether he wrote of Pip addressing great expectations, or a saga of the Poor in need of better living conditions, he trails off on a beautiful, beautiful note. Dickens wrote of criminals and crooks, and he was a tyrant when it came to power abusers. Our president is having a fit because allegations of acts of compromising our national security keep coming to the fore. Come visit The Brooklyn Bridge before it collapses; before America turns into a Dictatorship, while 'Quiet Flows The Don'.

  254. Trump simply abbreviated the performance that everyone was expecting. Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer expected that the closed-door/shades-drawn meeting would reach an agreeable conclusion, and they would emerge to announce progress. Trump would then come out the next day and completely reverse the position that he expressed during the meeting. Perhaps he thought that replaying one of his hits, in this way, wouldn't play well. Perhaps he thought that the news cycle timeline had to be changed because of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. One thing is certain: Trump never had, and never will have, any intention of going through with a deal.

  255. did anyone in the press call him out for having a pre-made poster at the podium for his "impromptu" exit from the meeting on infrastructure? Did anyone remind him Ken Starr spent much more time and much more money allegedly investigating Whitewater, a failed real estate deal that would have paid for a single membership at one of his golf courses?

  256. @dave I don't believe that the speech/rant Trump gave was meant to include any discussion/questions by the reporters. They were there as dressing is for a salad -- to make it more palatable for Trump to do his level best to appear presidential instead of just paranoid and petty.

  257. This man is actually running the country---how did we do this to ourselves.

  258. It is becoming increasingly clear the "I" word is incompetent. Someone put an end to this I-ncoherence. I-mmediately. The performance yesterday was of a man who is completely unhinged and unfit to continue to serve as President.

  259. The greatest negotiator in the world proves again that the only way he negotiates is my way or the highway. Some set of skills, eh?

  260. Trump refused to answer 39 questions submitted to him by Mueller. He couldn't do a live testimony because he would be done in 5 minutes. he has blocked every subpoena. so to say he is transparent is bogus.

  261. Yeah. So staged, but what an awful production. He gave himself and his rich buddies such a huge tax cut, doubled our deficit, added trillions to the debt and couldn't figure out a way to do infrastructure without taxing himself and his golf club buddies. So now, he thinks, he's made it all democrats fault!

  262. I watched Trump's meltdown yesterday and was offended by the petulant and pathetic nature of it. Offended, but, also not surprised. The visual aid attached to the podium in the rose garden only made the spectacle more pitiful. Trump is the master conman who senses that his scam has essentially run its course. The humiliation he faces from exposure, not to mention legal and financial peril, are causing him to unravel. Republicans continue to protect a manifestly unstable and incompetent president who openly violates his oath of office and tolerates no checks on his authority. This is a dangerous situation.