Amplifier not Damper

Trump:

In phone calls to US television shows, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said Brussels was a once beautiful place that had become a “disaster city” and an “armed camp” before today’s attacks, writes Amanda Holpuch.

He said such changes to the city, as in Paris, showed why the US should stop letting immigrants into the country.

Trump told Fox & Friends that if he were president, “I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what’s going on.”
[…]

If Trump were president today, he said he would give US citizens a “pep talk”.

The Today presenters asked Trump what he would do if, as in the case in Belgium, he had Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in last year’s Paris attacks, in custody.

“If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding,” Trump said. “You have to get the information from people.”

We’ve come to expect stupid, divisive and generally incoherent (“pep talk” – is this an episode of the Brady Bunch where Greg dropped the game-winning pass?). But what about the rush to say it? We know almost nothing of what really happened, but Trump is there running his yap on every TV show that will have him. He exhibits the behavior of someone who’s never faced a serious situation in his life. Can you imagine the panic and chaos of a Trump Presidency the first time something bad happened?






164 replies
  1. 1
    JMG says:

    As the Bloomberg columnist and political scientist Jonathan Bernstein noted, this crap plays well with the party that made G.W. Bush’s throwing out the first pitch at a ballgame an heroic triumph of good over evil. But with everyone else, I’m not so sure that such deplorable horrible incidents won’t rebound to Clinton’s advantage. For better or worse, she’s the only candidate representing the idea stability can be a good thing.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    ‘pep talk’ !

    he told WaPo that he wanted to be America’s cheerleader:

    And one thing I thought that would happen, and it hasn’t happened, unfortunately, I thought that President Obama would be a great cheerleader for the country. And it just hasn’t happened. I mean we can say it has. But it hasn’t happened. When you look at the Ferguson problems and the Baltimore problems and the Detroit problems. And you know there’s a lack of spirit. I actually think I’d be a great cheerleader – beyond other things, the other things that I’d do – I actually think I’d be a great cheerleader for the country. Because a lot of people feel it’s a hopeless situation. A lot of people in the inner cities they feel that way. And you have to start by giving them hope and giving them spirit and that has not taken place. Just has not taken place.

    Clap harder, low energy weaklings!

  3. 3
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    The obvious follow up here is what would his response be to homegrown armed militants taking over Federal property? Would he use the same measures against known sympathizers?

  4. 4
    SFAW says:

    Can you imagine the panic and chaos of a Trump Presidency

    Yes.

    Also “caused by a Trump Presidency.”

    But at least he’ll be making “the greatest deals ever made.” If by “greatest deals,” he means ones where he and the country get taken to the cleaners.

  5. 5
    NickM says:

    There are many frightening things about Trump, but probably the most frightening are that he is thin-skinned, thoughtless and apparently prone to overreact. In a sense terrorism is like trolling — trying to elicit an over-reaction from the target that makes things worse. Trump is the world’s best target for this. Could you imagine him having to deal with a Putin or North Korea? Everything would be personal, everything a test of strength and will, there would be little thought about strategic realities, and with nuclear weapons and no adults in the room.

  6. 6
    greennotGreen says:

    Donald Trump has “faced a serious situation in his life”: several bankruptcies. But since he shielded himself from their consequences and it was only other people who were affected, it doesn’t matter. Same with anything that doesn’t happen to him personally.

    In a more equitable society where Trump didn’t start with a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father, he might have given Rush Limbaugh great competition on AM radio.

  7. 7
    slag says:

    Can you imagine the panic and chaos of a Trump Presidency the first time something bad happened?

    This is seriously one of my biggest concerns about any of our presidential candidates.

    Trump is, obviously, not even in the realm of being a remotely acceptable president, so I don’t doubt his reactions and judgments would be fifty times worse than even the Bush administration.

    However, I still worry about both Democratic candidates doing stupid (though divergent) shit in times of stress. Neither one is particularly no-drama, an Obama characteristic that I’ve come to value to an unexpectedly high degree.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Before allowing Trump to call in to shows, journalists should be forced to read his interview with the Washington Post aloud.

  9. 9
    SFAW says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:
    He’d just make a great deal with them, while telling them to “cut the crap” (assuming John McCain is OK with Trump using that line), and follow it up by arresting people protesting against homegrown terrorism.

    Only the first two of those are (attempted) jokes, by the way.

  10. 10
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @cleek: Just imagine the SOTU from the (hopefully never) Cheerleader-in-Chief: “Gimme a U! Gimme an S! Gimme an A! What’s it spell?” And all our problems would be solved.

  11. 11
    C.V. Danes says:

    You are about 2000 times more likely to be killed by an armed American than by an armed immigrant. But hey, it’s good to know who the real enemy is.

  12. 12
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I often have a TV on as background noise when having breakfast, getting dressed, etc. As soon as Trump comes on I shut the TV. If everybody did that and let the networks know they were doing that, it might help reduce the frequency of his stupid appearances.

  13. 13
    SFAW says:

    @NickM:

    but probably the most frightening are that he is thin-skinned, thoughtless and apparently prone to overreact.

    This cannot be stated loudly enough nor frequently enough.

    If only there were some organization (or set thereof) who had the ability to do that. Were I to rewrite the Constitution, I might even include protections for them, maybe in the form of an Amendment — and it’s important enough that I might make it the Second or even the First Amendment.

    Of course, I’m not sure I would protect their ability to cover horse races. Those fucking morons. (No, not horses.)

  14. 14
    SFAW says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    “Gimme a U! Gimme an S! Gimme an A! What’s it spell?”

    And the response comes back “CAT!”

  15. 15

    The idea of a pep talk isn’t a bad one; that’s essentially what FDR’s “nothing to fear but fear itself” line was about. The problem is what Trump would be saying in his attempt to get people going again.

  16. 16
    Librarian says:

    Yup, as I was getting ready for work, MSNBC was already speculating about the attacks’ effect on the campaign. They were just drooling at the prospect of what Trump would say. They can’t wait for the candidates to call for bombing the shit out of somebody, anybody.

  17. 17
    Kay says:

    Why do they let him call in? They give him special treatment because it’s good for their bottom line. They can drop the charade of “covering” this guy- they’re promoting him.

    It isn’t even justified by national polls. He’s way behind the Democrats in yet another poll. They should be promoting Kasich if this is based on polling.

    The only hope is people get sick of him. We may be about to find out there IS such a thing as too much free media promotion. I’m sick to death of his self-aggrandizing, incoherent bullshit already. He never shuts up- 24/7 we’re given this man over and over again.

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    ‘Prone to panic’ is actually fairly common among the Rs, e.g., McCain, Rubio. There’s also Cheney and W, although they’re sly and self-aware enough that you don’t actually get a mental picture of them hiding under their desks.

    Unlike the Ds. Clinton and Obama just don’t give off that vibe. Sanders, maybe.

  19. 19
    SFAW says:

    @Kay:
    Jeez, Kay, you want them to start promoting Kasich? Are you feeling OK?

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    It sucks pundits and political commenters don’t use the word “Reactionary” anymore.

    It applies to Trump and the whole GOP candidate class more than ever.

  21. 21

    MSNBC is replaying Hillary Clinton’s phone conversation with “Today.” Unlike Trump, she sounds like someone who knows what she’s talking about, not reciting the best clips of dialogue from “24.”

  22. 22

    @MattF:

    There’s also Cheney and W, although they’re sly and self-aware enough that you don’t actually get a mental picture of them hiding under their desks.

    That’s just because “an undisclosed location” is vague enough that it’s hard to get a good mental image of it. Now, though, I think I’m going to start imagining it as under Cheney’s desk.

  23. 23
    philpm says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: With Trump, you won’t have to worry about anyone taking over “Federal” property, because there won’t be such a thing. Everything owned by the people will be for sale to the highest bidder.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    @BGinCHI: Some background on ‘Reactionary’. It carries more than just a whiff of ‘counter-revolutionary’.

  25. 25
    Eric U. says:

    If we panicked every time there was an attack, we would be backing ISIS right now, like McCain

  26. 26
    JMG says:

    @Kay: I sincerely hope Clinton calls for FCC regulations mandating a la carte cable purchasing by consumers. It would be wildly popular and if enacted, would put cable news out of business overnight unless they charged $100 a month each — which no one would pay;

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @SFAW:

    I want some justification for this endless, breathless coverage of this loudmouth blowhard’s every word.

    It didn’t start with his presidential campaign. They covered every utterance of his ridiculous, racist birther campaign too. The GOP primary electorate is NOT the country. I’d like to know why that group is given precedence over other groups as somehow “representative”.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Terrorism Statistics Every American Needs to Hear

    According to a 2011 CDC report, poisoning from prescription drugs is even more likely to kill you than a car crash. Indeed, the CDC stated in 2011 that – in the majority of states – your prescription meds are more likely to kill you than any other source of injury. So your meds are thousands of times more likely to kill you than Al Qaeda.

    And many more facts, not that they matter in today’s world.

  29. 29
    Peale says:

    Largest, most expensive intelligence organization in the history of the world, yet we need to figure out what’s going on. I don’t know why I find that sentiment funny.

  30. 30
    Cermet says:

    Can you imagine the panic and chaos of a Trump Presidency the first time something bad happened?

    You mean like the first day tRump takes office would be a time of utter panic and chaos by any thinking Amerikan!

  31. 31
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay: Because he was A CELEBRITY. It’s very important to let the world know what the famous think about and do.

  32. 32
    Technocrat says:

    @NickM:

    Putin, in particular, likes to play head games:

    Angela Merkel apparently has a fear of dogs. Vladimir Putin is aware of this fact. Therefore, whenever Putin meets with Merkel in Moscow, he makes sure his pet dogs are in the room

    I can just picture Putin calling Trump “small-fingered”, and giving him tiny pens to sign treaties. Maybe he has a couple of negotiators in the room with bad orange hairpieces.

    It’s just too easy to push Trump’s buttons.

  33. 33
    oldgold says:

    Another amplifier is how the media covers these things. I am particularly struck by how these events are covered like local ‘eyewitness’ news. It makes it seem closer, imminent and foreboding.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    @JMG:

    It’s already been measured- they are giving him MUCH more free airtime than any other candidate. It was all over their own outlets last week- it’s hundreds of hours more. They continue to do it. Obviously they don’t care. He now has them trooping thru his building projects. He’s putting a brand name on a podium and they’re all dutifully pretending it’s a “campaign”. This is AFTER they promoted that infomercial where he displayed his products.

  35. 35
    Mike in NC says:

    Drumpf would seal the borders and keep people from leaving or entering the country until he figured out “what’s going on”. That would happen around the time of the next Ice Age. Not surprised to get up this morning and turn on the TV and see our worthless media in full blown pants pissing mode. Good news for Cruz, I guess.

  36. 36
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: thanks for this – going on my fb page as a response when someone posts some crap about terrorism (and I know they will)

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    I want some justification for this endless, breathless coverage of this loudmouth blowhard’s every word.

    Eyeballs. My suggestion is turn it off. Your brain will thank you for it.

  38. 38
    MattF says:

    @Technocrat: There’s a Putin story– he met an NFL team owner at some point. He showed Putin the ‘championship’ ring from his winning team– Vlad just put it in his pocket.

    And what would Der Trump have done?

  39. 39
    JMG says:

    @oldgold: Local TV news these days is 1. Weather. 2. Local crime and fires. 3. Any awful thing happening anywhere else on earth that we get on video. I live in Boston. Why am I seeing a car chase in Arizona? I don’t care.

  40. 40
    Bill says:

    @Librarian:

    They can’t wait for the candidates to call for bombing the shit out of somebody, anybody.

    I’m having a hard time imagining how we can bomb the likely culprits any more than we already are. According to the Air Force, we have dropped so many bombs on ISIS that we are running out. http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/04/.....iles-isis/

    Also, it’s likely this attack _ and the attacks in Paris and Turkey – happened because that bombing is causing massive losses for ISIS in the Middle East. They are lashing out in desperation.

    So more bombing fixes this how?

  41. 41
    Kirbster says:

    ISIS has succeeded in winning back the news cycle with this attack and they’re getting the predictable knee-jerk reaction from the West. But remember, for the last week or so, it has been setback after setback for ISIS: the ringleader of the Paris attacks captured; loss of territory reported; supply shortages; funding from the Saudis drying up; and defections of recruits that undercut the romantic image that the young and disaffected have of the new caliphate. It’s a siege, and we’re making progress.

  42. 42
    Technocrat says:

    @MattF:

    Holy…words fail me:

    I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,'” Kraft said. “I put my hand out, and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

    Seriously…what…

    ETA: I just can’t imagine Trump’s response.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Obviously they require rules. They have to be forced to offer comparable coverage of other candidates and other views. They’re not policing themselves under any ethical or professional measure or even any idea of basic fairness, so it will have to come from outside. They had a chance to use SOME judgment, to do some examination or self-policing of their own industry, but they blew it.

  44. 44
    Bill says:

    @Kay:

    Why do they let him call in? They give him special treatment because it’s good for their bottom line. They can drop the charade of “covering” this guy- they’re promoting him.

    Is your position really that the networks shouldn’t answer the phone when the likely Republican nominee for President calls?

  45. 45
    BGinCHI says:

    @MattF: Like the opposite of “Jacobin.”

    But what I mean by a reactionary is someone whose conservative principles (or “principles”) are always changing to suit whatever his/her knee-jerk reaction is to developing events.

    It’s the un-thinking person’s game of political reasoning. It’s also how power and status quo keep themselves in power.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You can’t though. All the other candidates are covered in relation to Donald Trump. They’ve elevated his supporter’s views above all others.

  47. 47
    scav says:

    School shootings here — doooooon’t policiticize them, “stuff happens” don’t rush into “useless” “preventetive’ actions or regulation, attack by non-americans anywhere in the world — panickpanicpanic! grab the podium and call for knee-jerk immdiate blanket security theater!

  48. 48
    Technocrat says:

    @Kay:

    Isn’t that basically what the Fairness Doctrine was?

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Would you? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @Bill:

    Make him appear. Show up. That’s the price of free media. He has to show up. He’s been scamming them for 6 months with this. If he wants to issue a statement he can do it like everyone else, with issuing a statement.

    Can every candidate do this? Not show up, call in, and get what amounts to a free ad every single day? They better schedule a call-in period, with 5 minutes for each candidate.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Sure I can. I did. Years ago. Any news I get I read on the internet (mostly the Guardian and STL Post Disgrace)

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @Technocrat:

    It’s frustrating because we’re told again that no one needs regulation and when it’s deregulated we almost always find out the reason it was regulated in the first place. Because it’s a race to the bottom and “the masses” get the garbage product while the top 10% of readers get the NYTimes and real coverage.

  53. 53
    Mike in NC says:

    Mrs. Greenspan on the Today Show slamming Obummer yet again for being weak on terrorism. Her favorite talking point.

  54. 54
    Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes. Of course I would. Like it or not the man has a very real shot at being our next president. The American people have a right to hear his positions on issues and current events. Certainly there are journalists who are too easy on Trump, but many are asking him hard questions. But the idea that he shouldn’t be getting enormous media coverage is ridiculous.

    Also, I’m fairly sure that if Secretary Clinton called every TV/Radio station every time some minor news story broke, they’d answer her calls as well. As they should. But she’s taken a different – smarter – approach to the media.

  55. 55
    Joy in FL says:

    Trump is just one more reason I’m glad I don’t waste money on cable TV any more.
    I prefer my Trump exposure to be limited and on my terms, like here on BJ.
    I read that WaPo interview. Even if I agreed with what he said, I would remain disgusted and alarmed by his shallow & narrow “explanations” and his narcissism. I can’t imagine being of normal intelligence and working with him for even a day.

  56. 56
    Bill says:

    @Kay:

    Can every candidate do this? Not show up, call in, and get what amounts to a free ad every single day?

    Yes. I just heard John Kasich on MSNBC by phone.

  57. 57
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mike in NC: I can’t stand that fucking idiot.

  58. 58
    Marc says:

    The sad bit is that Cruz would be making headlines for being a nut if Trump wasn’t in the mix. The Republicans have to go to the bronze medal to get to someone who is merely wrong.

  59. 59
    slag says:

    @Mike in NC: Obama should just repeat “world’s policeman” over and over again until everyone gets over themselves and realizes that terrorism is not our problem to solve alone.

  60. 60
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I find myself strangely unconcerned with whatever legitimate grievances these people have with US presence in the Middle East and mostly want them dead.

  61. 61
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    Yep Trump would be an unmitigated disaster. I wish Democratic primary voters had united behind the candidate who consistently beats him in polls..

  62. 62
    MattF says:

    @Marc: And if the Republican-powers-that-be somehow manage to deny the nomination to Trump, how do they avoid giving it to Cruz? Devil, meet deep blue sea.

  63. 63
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    When Mrs Greenspan and other neocons say this happened because Obama is weak/was in Cuba/red line/flypaper theory, there are actual journalists who mention London and Madrid, right?

  64. 64
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @MattF: trump would have taken the ring,AND had the bodyguards beat up the guy.

  65. 65
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Kay:

    Make him appear. Show up. That’s the price of free media. He has to show up. He’s been scamming them for 6 months with this.

    To his credit, Chuck Todd has belatedly made exactly that decision for Trump’s appearances on Meet the Press — no more phone-ins.

  66. 66
    MattF says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: “Well, the cow is gone, so I guess it’s OK to close the barn door”.

  67. 67
    danielx says:

    @Kay:

    I’d like to know why that group is given precedence over other groups as somehow “representative”.

    Because they are real Americans, as defined by Sarah Palin and Norman Rockwell.

  68. 68
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: hahahahahahahahaha stop it.

    No, no they don’t mention any attacks on European sites from a decade ago, when our flypaper in Fallujah was failing. Why would they?

  69. 69
    SFAW says:

    @Kay:

    I want some justification for this endless, breathless coverage of this loudmouth blowhard’s every word.

    Good luck with that.

    I’d like to know why that group is given precedence over other groups as somehow “representative”.

    Angry racists not representative? White people not representative? I thought you lived in this country — did you move?

  70. 70
    SFAW says:

    @MattF:

    “Well, the cow is gone, so I guess it’s OK to close the barn door”.

    I think you meant “horse’s ass.”

  71. 71
    Technocrat says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Good for Chuck. Seriously. But this is embarrassing:

    And yet, as the campaign began in earnest, all of the shows went along with Mr. Trump’s insistence that he “appear” by phone — all except one, “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace.

    “Fox News” and “Admirable Journalistic Standards” should never occupy the same thought. But we live in strange times.

  72. 72
    Zinsky says:

    Trump is an infantile sociopath. He has the emotional maturity of an eighth-grader and we absolutely cannot have this gaping asshole with his hand on the nuclear trigger.

  73. 73
    Joel says:

    @MattF: That was Bob Kraft, of the New England Patriots.

  74. 74
    Eric U. says:

    @Technocrat: Fox has actually been fairly good while the clown car was full. Now that they are down to just a few, there have been more attacks on Hillary.

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill:

    But the idea that he shouldn’t be getting enormous media coverage is ridiculous.

    I think I see the problem. The idea that this ignorant bloviating narcissist is getting any kind of media coverage that doesn’t come accompanied by a mug shot is ludicrous.

  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    These idiots think terrorist attacks in a foreign country have something to do with that country

    Sam Stein @ samsteinhp
    Fundamental question for me: how can terror plot like this happen in a city already on high alert? What does it say about CT measures?
    Fred Burton ‏@ fred_burton 2h2 hours ago
    Fred Burton Retweeted Sam Stein
    Lack of HUMINT, failure of tactical analysis, countless suspects and lack of CT agent resources. #Brussels Fred Burton added,

    I’m sure as we learn more about these attacks, we will see a straight line from the Red Line to the suburbs of Brussels.

  77. 77
    Cermet says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: @Amaranthine RBG: You mean O’Malley …

  78. 78
    Technocrat says:

    @Joel:

    Good thing he wasn’t wearing nice sneakers.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MattF:

    Pretty much, and FSM knows I’m no fan of Chuckles, but he’s influential enough that he could inspire ABC and CBS and CNN to take the same stand on their Sunday shows (Fox, apparently, already did). The occasional phone interview with an expert on a subject central to an important breaking story is one thing, and quite appropriate. This regular, routinised policy of handing Trump a microphone whenever he thinks he has something to say is a disgrace to journalism.

  80. 80
    gogol's wife says:

    @JMG:

    God, I hope you’re right. But I can’t help thinking we’re closer to a Trump presidency than ever.

  81. 81
    Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Is your positions seriously that the media should just ignore the presumptive Republican nominee?

  82. 82
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @Cermet: anyone on the D side would be better than trump. It’s unfortunate that we’ve chosen the one most likely to lose to him.

    Go team!

  83. 83
    gogol's wife says:

    @Bill:

    I would love to have him appear on every news show every day, as long as there were actual journalists there challenging him on his statements. He’d shrivel up like the Wicked Witch.

    Far from having, “Did I just hear you say Poland isn’t under Soviet domination?”, we don’t even have Katie asking which newspapers he reads.

  84. 84
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Technocrat:

    That struck me too. I wonder if some of his daddy’s journalistic skills and principles ended up sticking to Chris, notwithstanding his choice of employer.

  85. 85
    Feathers says:

    @JMG: My understanding, via a Hill staffer some years ago, is that the religious broadcasters have an “over our dead bodies” reaction to a la carte cable. They don’t say so publicly, or even quietly, but the congresscritters beholden to their audience have gotten the message to make sure the topic never seriously comes up. They are very taken with the idea of people being “saved” by clicking across their channel. They count everyone receiving their broadcast through their cable system as their audience. They know barely anyone would pay for it.

  86. 86
    Bill says:

    @gogol’s wife: As I said, there are journalists who should be doing a much better job. (On many many fronts, not just Trump.) But I just don’t get this idea that somehow the media should ignore him.

  87. 87
    gogol's wife says:

    @scav:

    Right. It’s crazy-making.

  88. 88
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    How the fuck did Dubya manage to get through the rest of his presidency without a major terrorist attack? It’s really not that difficult to pull off, when you think about it.

  89. 89
    Technocrat says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It does make you wonder. Chris has often been the odd man out on Fox.

    I’m guessing he and Doocy don’t hang out.

  90. 90
    JMG says:

    @Feathers: In that case, I’d urge Clinton to make it her first order of business as President. Let the freeloaders of a monopoly compete in the market they claim to adore. What about the consumer’s freedom of religion?

  91. 91
    Anoniminous says:

    Encouraging, if accurate:

    It was reported late last week that the president of iHeart Media, Bob Pittman, was forced to make an emergency trip to San Antonio to personally grovel before a judge and beg for a restraining order. The order was all that stood between the network staying open and creditors putting the company into bankruptcy for defaulting on its $20 billion debt.

  92. 92
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: My position is it is ludicrous that he is the presumptive nominee. In a sane world we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. On the slightly more serious side, would Trump even be the presumptive nominee with out all the free promotion from the press? Is it not possible, or far more likely probable, that the breathless coverage by the media of every idiotic hateful issuance from his pie hole gave birth to the Trump phenomenon?

  93. 93
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Can you imagine the panic and chaos of a Trump Presidency the first time ANYTHING happened?

    No. No I can’t. And that goes double for President [YEEEECCCCCHH!] Cruz.

  94. 94
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Feathers: And I suspect that not all cable services allow a subscriber to block channels at the box. Personally, I’d drop a cable provider if I couldn’t.

  95. 95
    Mary says:

    “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding,” Trump said. “You have to get the information from people.”

    From what I’ve heard, Abdesalam is already talking, to the point where authorities are worried that the timeline for many of the planned attacks will be moved up because they’ve stupidly made public the fact that he’s talking. So even if you believe that torture leads to reliable intel (which it does not), torture would be utterly pointless in this case.

  96. 96
    Enhanced Voting Techinques says:

    So the terrorists are so desperate they are resorting to suicide bombings at American Airline terminals in foreign countries, and this is a sign of US weakness? Team America: World Police here we come if Trump wins.

    I mean it has been pointed out the reason for Europe’s terrorist problem is they won’t let their immigrant communities integrate in their societies like the US does. So instead of that being a source of pride, Trump wants us to be more like Europe.

  97. 97
    Technocrat says:

    @Mary:

    It can’t be coincidence that this latest attack followed his capture so quickly.

  98. 98
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Anoniminous: If iHeart goes under, I’ll probably be able to get my husband a new radio for his car. He’s been resisting upgrading to one that will connect to his phone because there is one station in town that plays halfway decent music. One iHeart station.

  99. 99
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    It’s unfortunate that we’ve chosen the one most likely to lose to him.

    You speak of the one who has beat her competitors like red headed step children? Seriously, if Bernie can’t beat Hillary in actual voting, how in the h-e-double l do you expect him to beat anyone else in a general election?

  100. 100
    Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    My position is it is ludicrous that he is the presumptive nominee.

    Meanwhile in this reality he is. Yeah, it’s ridiculous. Doesn’t make it any less true.

    For months the media tried their best to ignore Trump, or at least marginalize him. But at some point the poll numbers mandated coverage. The problem here is the American people.

    So yeah, I can get behind the idea that the Today show lacks the hard hitting journalism I’d like to see Trump subjected to. But that coverage does exist. And the Today show isn’t wrong to answer his call.

  101. 101
    randy khan says:

    @Technocrat:

    Isn’t that basically what the Fairness Doctrine was?

    The Fairness Doctrine never applied to news shows or to what were called “bona fide news interview shows” (think Mike Douglass or Phil Donahue, although it also ended up applying to Carson, et al.). It also never applied to cable.

  102. 102
    The Other Chuck says:

    And yet Trump will start with 45% of the vote.

    Good news is, being Trump, I think he’ll find a way to lower it from there. Maybe to 27%.

  103. 103
    japa21 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It is part of the delusional thinking of some folks who think polls at this point in time really matter.

  104. 104
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    MSNBC has some good people to all about stuff like this–Engel, Clemons, a few others–, if only they didn’t feel the need to put the fatuous Brian Willaims and the godawful neocon Andrea Mitchell in between them and the audience

  105. 105
    japa21 says:

    @The Other Chuck: IMO, Trump won’t go so low as 27% of the vote, although in a sane country he wouldn’t get 7%. But I imagine he will be around 40-42%. Still, a very sad commentary on the state of the voting populace.

    Putin has to be salivating. I am sure his two choices would be Trump and Sanders.

  106. 106
    randy khan says:

    @Kirbster:

    ISIS has succeeded in winning back the news cycle with this attack and they’re getting the predictable knee-jerk reaction from the West. But remember, for the last week or so, it has been setback after setback for ISIS: the ringleader of the Paris attacks captured; loss of territory reported; supply shortages; funding from the Saudis drying up; and defections of recruits that undercut the romantic image that the young and disaffected have of the new caliphate. It’s a siege, and we’re making progress.

    Exactly. I actually heard someone who supposedly was an expert say on the radio this morning that Paris + San Bernadino + Brussels means that ISIS is winning. I almost drove my car off the bridge.

  107. 107
    scav says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: How did he do it? Well, for one thing, they didn’t count the 2004 Train Bombing in Madrid against W, nor the 7/7 attack in London, and those are without thinking.

  108. 108

    Trump is the creation of the media and the Republican party. He is their monster. ISIS wants an extreme response. Trump (or any other Republican President) for that matter would play right into their hands.

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @randy khan: NPR? Fox?

    Brian Williams proposes that Europeans must be asking themselves if they haven’t been taking terrorism seriously enough. ( Where are their flag pins? What is the Belgian equivalent of “put a boot in yer ass”? Have they renamed donar kababs “sandwiches vigilante”? )

  110. 110
    Kay says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Trump carefully prepared for his AIPAC appearance. He doesn’t bother to do that when it’s an appearance on cable or a Washington Post interview because he has contempt for them. He knows he’ll get away with it.

  111. 111
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techinques:

    I mean it has been pointed out the reason for Europe’s terrorist problem is they won’t let their immigrant communities integrate in their societies like the US does.

    I suspect it’s a great deal more complicated than that.

  112. 112

    @Amaranthine RBG: Bullshit. Your saint cannot win over a majority of Democrats to his side and you are saying that he will beat the Republicans. Based on exactly what? Tea leaves?

  113. 113
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill:

    For months the media tried their best to ignore Trump,

    I have to say that as one who has been consciously avoiding all things Trump ever since the moment he announced, I really disagree with this. But we’ll leave it at that, because as you said, in this reality he is the presumptive GOP nominee now.

  114. 114
    Mike R says:

    @randy khan: Of course it is possible to find experts on terrorism that say ISIS is winning, their income depends on people believing that, true or not. If he means by winning that our news people and 27% of the country shit their pants well that is another question.

  115. 115
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bill: For months the media tried their best to ignore Trump, or at least marginalize him.

    You must live on a different planet than I do.

  116. 116
    Kay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Why was his birther crusade newsworthy? They had already covered birtherism for 4 years by that time.

  117. 117
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: This is admittedly a long read, but it describes the situation in France pretty comprehensively.

  118. 118
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @scav: I meant stateside.

  119. 119

    @Kay: It was worthy because MSM is a subsidiary of the Republican party.

  120. 120
    WarMunchkin says:

    @Betty Cracker: I agree that it’s likely more complicated, but I do wonder how much more successful taking in refugees could be in the United States as compared to Europe. After all, immigration and integration is ostensibly why we exist.

    But as I recall from elementary school history, there was always the myth of the melting pot versus the “real” salad bowl model.

  121. 121
    karen marie says:

    @JPL: Agreed. It should be required reading for everyone. The depth of ignorance is astonishing.

  122. 122
    scav says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: But everyone’s freaking about Brussels, after Paris. Which is now counted as soft as terror instead of better elsewhere than here Triumph!

  123. 123
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Anoniminous: Funny how Bain Capital had a finger in its history, isn’t it?

    Not really – it seems to be their MO. :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  124. 124
    karen marie says:

    @Kay: “the NYT and real coverage”

    I hope you’re kidding.

  125. 125

    I guess because its not in Europe it doesn’t count but Bombay (Mumbai) has been the target terrorist attacks since 90s and every time ordinary Mumbaikars just dust themselves and resume their normal lives. Trains run on time, flights are not cancelled there is no lockdown, all the stores open. I have seen it with my own eyes after the 1993 bomb blasts.
    Even after the latest attacks in 2007, my relatives attended a wedding the very next day. They live in the part of the city where the targets were located too. They said that the wedding was well attended t. Life needs to go on. Overreaction is the worst thing one can do.

  126. 126
    randy khan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    CBS radio news, on WTOP, the local all-news station. (Technically there are two, but nobody listens to the other one.)

  127. 127
    gogol's wife says:

    It occurred to me that a Trump presidency really would solve the immigration problem. People would be just trying to get out of the US. No one would want to come here any more.

  128. 128
    gogol's wife says:

    @randy khan:

    Everyone needs to read War and Peace. Patience, patience, patience. “They will be eating horse meat!”

  129. 129
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Clinton’s right, though- Trump doesn’t wear well. Maybe these 24/7 free campaign ads will end up hurting him. He’s not even funny- not clever or original or anything- he’s just an oaf.

  130. 130

    @Kay: He is embarrassing. So far the embarrassment is limited to the Republican party, he is their moron front runner.

  131. 131
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MattF: Nice summary of the different ways people find to be wrong about the situation — and the way some get it mostly right. Thanks!

    @WarMunchkin: I have a tendency to assume the worst about my fellow citizens, so my suspicion is that if the US had experienced the kind of refugee influx Europe has, Donald Trump would have be well into his second term and about to be succeeded by David Duke.

  132. 132
    Bill says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Throughout most of the summer, the only Trump story I consistently saw was: “He’s a joke and his candidacy is doomed.”In August/September that started to change, as he continued to rise in the polls despite every “serious” person saying he was doomed.

  133. 133

    @Betty Cracker: I think you are giving Europe too much credit. United States has been far better at assimilating newcomers than Europeans. A lot of what is happening in the Middle East and even Africa is the legacy of European colonial misadventures of the last few centuries.

  134. 134
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Speaking of, I’m in a book club here- we’ve met monthly for probably 15 years. It’s 10 women, two of us are Democrats, the rest are Republicans. We read Little Bee last month, which is about an African woman who seeks refuge in the UK. I mostly stick to the book, so I did that, but the Trump v NeverTrump fight started at the meeting last night and it was really interesting- voices were raised. Sad to say I could have picked who would be on what side before it started, so it wasn’t surprising, but, boy it is real.

  135. 135
    liberal says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Your saint cannot win over a majority of Democrats to his side and you are saying that he will beat the Republicans. Based on exactly what? Tea leaves?

    No, polls, actually. You can argue that his strength in the polls would disappear if he was nominated, but AFAICT he polls better against potential Rethuglican nominees than Hillary does.

  136. 136

    @liberal: Hillary is winning more actual votes, which I think are more important than polls for an election that is more than 6 months away.

  137. 137

    @Kay: I hope it was not 8 vs 2

  138. 138
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: There are reasons why the US has been more hospitable historically, and it has very little to do with virtue, IMO. I believe Germany took in something like a million refugees last year — a country that has about a quarter of our population.

    Meanwhile, the US is still dickering over whether or not we can take in 10K without accidentally throwing open the gates to ISIS, and I suspect the eventual GOP nominee will hammer the eventual Dem nominee on the issue with some success.

    I don’t mean to say that Europe is great and the US is terrible on this issue. There are terrible and wonderful aspects to both. But the situations aren’t really comparable, IMO.

  139. 139
    Enhanced Voting Techinques says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    But as I recall from elementary school history, there was always the myth of the melting pot versus the “real” salad bowl model.

    It’s worth noting that US society is not nearly policed as Europe and yet we get a lot less terrorism.

  140. 140
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: That sounds fascinating. So what was the Trump-Not Trump breakdown among the eight Republicans?

  141. 141
    Calouste says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The US has a far longer history with newcomers, that’s why they are better. In most European countries, immigration didn’t start until the 1950s or 60s. Assimilation of Irish, Italian, and Eastern European immigrants (and we’re not even talking about Asians) in the United States wasn’t much better 100 years ago than the European assimilation is now. Unfortunately, these things take a few generations to settle.

  142. 142
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Kay:

    Can every candidate do this? Not show up, call in, and get what amounts to a free ad every single day?

    No, of course not.

    But this little trick of his is designed to let the voters out there know just how very, very important Dawnold is. He’s a busy man!!! He’s movin’ and shakin’ and he’s got better things to do than show up in person for these scumbags in the media!!!!!

    They believe the act–they LOVE he gives them the back of his hand by phoning it in! They can’t make busy, important, strong DAWNOLD conform to their ways!!!!!! He’s gonna change everything with that boldness!!!!

    Ahhh, con men. They’ll be around until the world ends.

  143. 143

    @Betty Cracker: I agree that our behavior in the current refugee crisis has been shameful and Germany has been exemplary. I was taking the long view. Historically, Germany has not treated the Turkish immigrants/guest workers that flocked to Germany that well. Becoming a naturalized citizen in Germany has historically been not been that easy.

  144. 144

    @Calouste: True. Also helpful in assimilation are birthright citizenship and easier naturalization laws.

  145. 145
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Hillary is winning more actual votes, which I think are more important than polls for an election that is more than 6 months away.

    In our Primaries. But he’s right about the polls–she certainly does well right now but Sanders does better in head to head match-ups against Republicans. Here’s some from yesterday:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....s_general/

    I don’t care who wins the D-nom, we simply cannot afford to lose to the Republicans in the fall.

  146. 146
    scav says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techinques: I’ve a feeling that a few oceans might help here. Being on the other side of the planet from a lot of people adds a few barriers. Not sure I’d brag about the quality of policing on this side of the puddle either.

  147. 147

    @Ella in New Mexico: Polls this far out are pretty meaningless.

  148. 148
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    One declined to say although she said she wished the Ohio primary was earlier because she needed “more choices” (!) and two anti-Trump. One of the anti-Trumpers is really quiet generally and she’s the one who had to shout to be heard. We had children the same age and they were friends so I know her best of all of them. They all know I’m a Democrat so no one asked me. They ended it with the all-purpose “they’re all the same, liars” thing people do but it was tense. A lot of them are well-off (for this area) but the most vehement anti-Trumper is also the wealthiest- she and her husband own car dealerships- they’re self-made. That was the only thing I found surprising.

  149. 149
    nutella says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Bombay (Mumbai) has been the target terrorist attacks since 90s and every time ordinary Mumbaikars just dust themselves and resume their normal lives.

    Which is the essence of anti-terrorism. Our neocon and MSM folks here amplifying terrorism by shrieking about how they’re all out to get us and we must panic more are sniveling cowards supporting and amplifying terror.

  150. 150
    RaflW says:

    First of all, the little google ad that invades BJ posts when I click to open the post w/ comments is for 9mm luger bullets. I don’t recall ever shopping for a gun or bullets on my computer (I am actively disinterested, in fact), so ad sense makes no sense … except that in this time of European distress, the American answer is to sell moar bullets!

    Second, I visited Brussels in October, though only for 24 hours as my main destination was the smaller and more lovely (to me) Antwerp. But in my night and day in Brussels, I didn’t notice the city being a “disaster city” and an “armed camp.” I did experience epic traffic as the EU Parliament had been in session earlier in the day, and I thought the giant shopping mall that I was forced to snake my way though on the airside of the BRU airport was a tad overbearingly mercantilist, but otherwise the city seemed like a fairly typical western European big city, with some stunning architecture on the old town squares, nice but expensive places to eat, etc.

    I don’t doubt that there are some sections of the city with social ills, dislocated and discombobulated immigrants, etc. Cooler heads have reported that immigrants in Belgium face significant isolation and difficulty. But as my partner pointed out, right here in Minneapolis we have similar problems. It’s no secret that we’ve had problems with Islamist groups recruiting disaffected Somali immigrant young adults. Does that make Minneapolis a “disaster city” and an “armed camp” too? To our future possible belligerent-in-chief, I suppose so.

  151. 151
    Gravenstone says:

    @cleek: Could he dog whistle any fucking louder?

  152. 152
    prob50 says:

    Can you imagine the panic and chaos of a Trump Presidency the first time something bad happened?

    But this would be good for the employment situation. Under Trump we would need to hire and train a whole lot of torturers.

    Or he could just use some of his former campaign aides.

  153. 153
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Interesting. I never thought anything could top 2008 for a fascinating election season, but this one is shaping up to do so.

  154. 154
    RaflW says:

    re: The pep talk, it boggles the mind that Trump thinks decades of neglect and disinvestment, built on generations of structural racism would be undone in Ferguson because of a Trump rambling rant booster babble.

    Yet a shocking number of people probably believe this would either work, or put those uppity complainers to shame. Probably the second option, in most cases. Really pisses me off.

  155. 155
    Gravenstone says:

    @MattF:

    although they’re sly and self-aware enough that you don’t actually get a mental picture of them hiding under their desks.

    I don’t think anyone will forget the My Pet Goat moment on 9/11. That was the definition of a “deer in the headlights” moment from W. He absolutely wanted to crawl under that desk, suck his thumb and cry for mommy.

  156. 156
    Feathers says:

    @Betty Cracker: I must admit that I am strongly tempted to create a “you broke it, you own it” refugee policy, where districts of whose congresscritters voted for the Iraq War are required to take in refugees, as well as anyone who spoke on TV or newspapers in favor of the war would be responsible for the resettling of at least one family.

    But this would not be fair to the refugees….

    But it would be a good precedent for any future authorization of force – that refugee resettlement would be part of the package.

  157. 157
    LAC says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: if you are going to start making sense, sir, I will have to ask you step outside and allow me to administer a slap and challenge thee to a duel. We panic in here, sir and show our purity credentials at a moment’s notice. We do not do this here, sir.

    ( seriously that comment from amaramawhatev’s I just face-palmed on. Passive aggressive- it is what is for dinner. )

  158. 158
    RandomMonster says:

    The first national disaster in a Trump presidency would be Trump being elected president.

  159. 159
    jl says:

    It’s time we did something about the Belgian menace.

  160. 160
    ericblair says:

    @RaflW:

    Second, I visited Brussels in October, though only for 24 hours as my main destination was the smaller and more lovely (to me) Antwerp. But in my night and day in Brussels, I didn’t notice the city being a “disaster city” and an “armed camp.” I did experience epic traffic as the EU Parliament had been in session earlier in the day, and I thought the giant shopping mall that I was forced to snake my way though on the airside of the BRU airport was a tad overbearingly mercantilist, but otherwise the city seemed like a fairly typical western European big city, with some stunning architecture on the old town squares, nice but expensive places to eat, etc.

    Yeah, I live in Brussels. It’s not an armed camp. It may be a permanent traffic jam with excellent beer, though. There are nice areas and bad areas, but nothing that I wouldn’t walk through at night. Crime is mostly the petty theft variety and not violent.

    The explosions at the airport were right near the main entrance to departures. I don’t think it was explicitly targetting the United or American counters, but they just happen to be near the entrance. The damage to the buildings does not seem to be major, and they’re saying that the airport will resume service tomorrow morning (which I think is bullshit just considering the investigation and recertification required). The bomb on the metro was in the actual train car and not in the station. The local governments, all 20+ of them (problem #1), shut public transit down plus the trains plus the main road tunnels, which made the afternoon commute a real joy.

    The cops (all six local police forces, see problem #1) are running around scooping up anybody they have anything on now. The public reaction in the squares has been much more “boo terrorism, yay peace” and not “kill the Mooslems”, as far as I can gauge. There’s real tension regarding the refugee crisis and the EU botch job of reacting to it, but I haven’t heard of any vigilanteism regarding it. Everybody’s far more worried about Trump, frankly.

  161. 161
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    The GOP primary electorate is NOT the country. I’d like to know why that group is given precedence over other groups as somehow “representative”.

    I think the MSM still runs under the assumption that the GOP electorate is the country.

    Which, if I had to guess, is a combination of two things – first, the landslide victories of Nixon and Reagan which most of the big pundits are old enough to remember and even if they’re not, they’ve never seen a similar Democratic landslide since then. So they buy the “silent majority” bullshit. They still think it’s the same one.

    The other big thing, of course, is that the punditariat itself skews whiter and wealthier than the rest of the country, and of course tends to hang out in political circles that are “wired for Republicans.” Put simply, they themselves are Republican.

  162. 162
    Chris says:

    @ericblair:

    Yeah, I live in Brussels. It’s not an armed camp.

    It’s accepted conventional wisdom among conservatives that Paris, London, and other major European cities are indeed “armed camps,” with large sections of the city inaccessible to the police and under Sharia Law. Think “Escape From New York” by way of “The Kite Runner.”

    One of these memes made it to the ears of the British PM about a year ago, prompting him to declare that the Fox News anchor who’d propagated it was “an idiot.”

  163. 163
    liberal says:

    @Feathers:

    I must admit that I am strongly tempted to create a “you broke it, you own it” refugee policy…

    IMHO that should apply to places like Turkey, too. By trying to oust Assad, they ensured the civil war in Syria would go on much longer.

  164. 164
    Matt says:

    So it turns out I know of thousands of places that are *chock-full* of violent religious extremists, stockpiling gunz and dreaming of the day they can take over America’s government and impose their “religious values” on nonbelievers by the sword.

    They’re called “GOP voters”. When can we expect the patrols around their strongholds to start?

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