Trump’s Phoenix speech: ‘lunatic’ or ‘disturbing’ or just plain scary?

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
President Donald Trump listening to the cheering crowd at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday.

Watching the president of the United States speak to supporters at the rally in Arizona last night, I settled on a new word.

In conversation, when friends asked me how I’m feeling about President Trump, I have previously relied on the word “horrified.” But watching last night, I moved to just plain “scared.” I’m scared about how this ends.

Forgive me if this is more personal reaction than reasoned analysis. The idea that Trump’s behavior during the campaign might be an act that made sense on some Bizarro Planet has passed. The hope that someone could influence him into more presidential conduct has faded steadily.

Last night, for me, that hope died. As I watched the telecast, I wrote these words across the top of my page of notes. “Bully.” “Egomaniac.” “Incoherent.” “Liar.” “Fool.” “Unhinged.” “Deranged.” (I should hasten to add that I am not a licensed psychiatrist, nor was I even a psychology major in college back in the last century. I am not qualified to use any of the more clinical of the terms above.)

I just hope our dear nation and our small fragile planet can survive this. But I’m scared. During the speech, Trump was out of control and seemed comfortable — almost proud — of that fact. He spent much of the speech insulting the media, which (if you didn’t already know) he considers “dishonest,” “crooked” and “fake.” He said it about 30 times last night. He even claimed that he could see the TV news cameras being turned off, because he was embarrassing them so much. But those of us watching his performance on TV noticed no interruption in the feed. Strange or deranged?

I don’t have a transcript yet. But I do know this: Everything he said about his recent embarrassment over the tragedy in Charlottesville was either false, out of context or egomaniacal. He believes that everything he said in the aftermath of the tragedy was unobjectionable, he quoted extensively but highly selectively from all of the 17 versions of his efforts to explain his feelings about it, and he argued that all of them were pretty perfect but distorted by the fake media. As an example of his clever editing, he left out the version where he went off script to blame the violence on “many sides.” A lesser egomaniac might have found a way to express some regret over that blunder.

Speaking in Arizona, he denounced both of that state’s senators, both of whom are Republicans — one of whom is fighting brain cancer — and made a big joke out of refusing to say their names so no one could say that he had been mean to them.

Trump, who has not signed a single major piece of legislation (most especially a health care bill) even though his party controls both houses of Congress, whose xenophobic executive orders have been stymied by the courts, whose top staff appointments have turned into a revolving-door nightmare, told his fans last night that that he has accomplished more in his seven months in office than any president in history.

It feels as though I might have crossed the line in this piece into personal venting. But I’m scared about how this ends.

CNN had a fellow named Rick Wilson on its post-speech panel who was identified as a Republican strategist, although I gathered he had previously established his never-Trumper bona fides. He described Trump’s performance as, “Castroesque in length, an astounding chain of lies tied together by lunatic asides by a man who was mentally unstable. I’m not joking or being a smart-ass. This is a man who is not well. This is a man who is not qualified or mentally or morally fit to be president of the United States and tonight was more proof of it. He alternated between doing a 6-year-old who’s had his Nintendo taken away and being a cranky old man who’s out there condemning everyone who doesn’t worship him adequately. This was an astounding moment in our history. I know the 25th Amendment is only a remote possibility. But if the people around him don’t know that he is absolutely batcrap crazy, they are mistaken.”

(The 25th Amendment deals with a potential presidential succession if the president is disabled and unable to fulfill his role. One provision allows for the president to be replaced by the vice president if the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet certify that the president is unable to perform his duties.)

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence who served in various intelligence positions under presidents of both parties also came on CNN to give his reactions, which included:

“It’s hard to know where to start. … Just so objectionable on so many levels. I don’t know when I’ve listened to and watched something like this from a president and found it more disturbing. … I really question his ability and fitness to be in this office.”

When the CNN show’s host, Don Lemon, asked Clapper what exactly worried him most, Clapper replied that the president has the authority and the codes necessary to launch a nuclear attack, and the system is set up so that once a president has given such an order, it is not supposed to be questioned or delayed.

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Comments (47)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/23/2017 - 10:22 am.

    Question, delay

    …please. The emperor has no clothes, believes he’s dressed in the utmost finery, and, though I’ve not read anything to suggest that this ever happens, seems likely to dismiss as delusion any comments from his multitudinous staff suggesting that perhaps he’s the slightest bit incorrect in his judgments or conclusions, or that his statements are unnecessarily provocative. As in Eric’s case, I’m not a professional psychologist or psychiatrist, and don’t play one on TV, so I’m no more qualified than the vast majority of the population to reach any sort of truly professional judgment about Mr. Trump’s mental state and well-being, but speaking as an amateur who did, at least, take some psychology courses in college many years ago, and taught introductory psychology an increasing number of years ago as well, I’m inclined to agree with Eric.

    Mr. Trump is frightening.

    I would not want to work for him in any capacity, in either the private or the public sector. I didn’t vote for him, but—not that it makes any difference at this point—am even more opposed to the idea of voting for him now that I’ve observed his behavior, actions and speech for 6 months in office. Those who continue to support him demonstrate, it seems to me, either a kind of jaw-dropping naivete about what sort of person and political leader he is, or is becoming, or they are themselves the sort of racist, misogynist, egocentric bigots that Trump has so far proved himself to be. They believe he’s pretty much like them, only with more money, and they may be right.

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is just as disturbing as anything the man in the Oval Office has done so far. There’s virtually nothing about the alt-right that’s “conservative” in any honest sense of the word. The basis of Trump’s support, and thus his ongoing exercise in self-promotion, is pretty much the same sort of selfish bigotry that Trump himself has displayed. That a significant portion of the population, male and female, is of this mind set casts doubt upon the very notion of the survival of something resembling democracy in the United States.

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/23/2017 - 10:27 am.

    Starting the Pool

    If it comes to a 25th Amendment solution, which Cabinet members will be the first to vote to remove, and which ones will remain loyal to the end? My preliminary picks:

    Loyal to the end: Carson; DeVos

    Voting to remove: Mattis; Tillerson; Sessions.

    Any other opinions?

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/23/2017 - 10:42 am.

    All three

    When Trump speaks we hear a scary lunatic saying disturbing things… but that’s nothing new.

    It is spooky but I think we need to remember that he only knows how to “play” to his base, and his base is small (30%). Democracy belongs to those who show up and as long as the remaining 70%, or even 50% show up, Trump can only isolate himself and weaken his position by playing to his base. The more he attacks the more isolated he becomes, and the more isolated he becomes, the weaker he is.

    It’s sad, typically we don’t want our Presidents to be weak and ineffective, but this is Trump’s choice and as nation we can’t follow him into the abyss, and we can’t let him drag us into the abyss.

    I don’t know how this will end, but I suspect it will end sooner rather than later and it will the nation not Trump left standing in the end. I’m actually encouraged by the activism and resistance we’re seeing although the violence is regrettable. I don’t know why everyone is obsessed with Trump’s supporters? As far as I can tell they’re support is doing him absolutely no good whatsoever, he’s getting nothing done. From speeches to Boy Scouts to filling executive positions Trump is failing to meet even the most minimal of minimum job requirements as president. While that’s not “good” for the country, it would be an even bigger disaster if he actually commanded the kind off power he thought he would command.

    So this is weird and kind of spooky, but I think America is stepping up to the challenge.

  4. Submitted by Patrick Tice on 08/23/2017 - 11:03 am.

    Thank, Eric

    …For taking one for the team. I couldn’t stand to watch or listen to Trump on his latest taxpayer-funded campaign stop, and it has obviously upset you as it would most of us. As for your non-psychologist opinion, I don’t think you need to be a professional firefighter to sound the alarm when you see flames shooting out of every window.

  5. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/23/2017 - 11:28 am.

    Hurry up Mr. Mueller

    I posted a satirical piece a while back, which I called “Trump Stew”. Here is a bit of Trump Stew that we saw in Trump’s Phoenix speech last night. Major amounts of SELF-LOVE – Trump has no shortage of this. Major amounts of INSECURITY – That explains Trump’s bravado. A liberal dose of ARROGANCE – The language of Trump. Buckets of INCOMPETENCE – Trump is incapable of working with others. Massive amounts of BRAGGADOCIO – Trump uncontrollably flaunts that his world is better than your world. Endless DISCORD – Trump’s inciteful language added this to the stew. A massive dose of Trump-brand GALL. A Carload of INSENSITIVITY and DISRESPECT – There is only one person that Trump is concerned with – himself. Endless SALTY LIQUID from Trump’s tears – Trump is always the victim. Unfortunately, the stew has come true and now we are all being subjected to “Trump Stew” daily. Trump is a very poor speaker. When using the teleprompter, Trump has a difficult time staying on message while reading words someone else wrote for him. He can’t stay within the confines of the teleprompter speech because he knows the words he is reading are not what he really thinks. Watching the folks on screen behind Trump last night makes me believe they need to get out more often if they think Trump is entertainment.

    It feels to me that Trump is on his way out, which won’t happen until Mr. Mueller is done. Congressional Republicans are treating Trump supporters as if they are the majority of their party. If that is true, they will take the whole party down.

    Knowing Trump likes everything big, his supporters circulated a picture of the Phoenix crowd that wasn’t the Phoenix crowd. It was a picture of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers parade. That is desperation when crowd size determines your definition of success. Many of those resorting to violent civil disorder are those who were given permission during Trump’s campaign to do so. There is that element of every population just waiting for the permission to cause anarchy. Trump’s campaign gave them the authority and the Republicans in charge have done nothing to quell it. Republican politicians are afraid of Trump. They don’t want any of the Trump stink on them, so they put their job in front of what is best for the country. Their total lack of Republican leadership is giving Trump’s supporters more authority to continue down the path they are on. Paul Ryan’s comments from his town hall meeting, the night before Trump’s speech, said to me that he is very weak and his only goal is to make sure he can run in 2020 to be president.

    There are major time sensitive items that congress needs to take care of upon their return in September. With Republicans in charge of everything and as dysfunctional as they are, I doubt they can get the stuff done that our country needs.

    The Republicans have lost the meaning of United in the United States of America. We are not united until we work together to solve problems and right now we are not even close to being able to work together.

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/24/2017 - 02:26 pm.

      Jaws pressure

      Out of all the Big Players in the Big Mess (media people, Congresspeople, White House people, etc.) Robert Mueller is the one person no one’s seen or heard from.

      When I find myself thinking about how strange the president’s day-to-day life and (involuntary, automatic) thinking must be these days, one of the things that pops up is how crazy the whole “Mueller investigation” thing must be driving him.

      No one knows what will come of it, but he and his team of super sleuth attorneys is “out there somewhere,” just beneath the surface, using their talents and hundreds of combined years of experience and finally-honed skills to sniff out anything that could, at any moment, lead to a small group of Secret Service or FBI agents walking into the oval office and, two minutes later, the most spectacular perp walk the world has seen in a long long time.

      Sympathetically speaking, it’s got to be “stressful,” to say the least. Back in the 90s when K. Starr was investigating the Clintons (and Fox News was born) he and his team ran up a bill of more than $40 million in their search for take-down material.

      “Imagine that,” I’ve said to friends many times since finding out about that. “Imagine a pack of high powered attorneys and investigators armed with all the snoop power the federal government has to offer and $40 million looking into your past and coming after you . . . No thanks.”

      That kind of thing would be unsettling for a normal person with a history that includes at least a short list of garden variety transgressions and, maybe, the occasional zig zag into the financial gray zone . . . So far it’s been impossible for me to imagine how high the anxiety level probably is for someone who’s led a life like Don’s.

      Especially with someone with the reputation of Robert Mueller and his team doing the digging.

      Can’t help but wonder if the president hears (and feels) that two or three note Jaws theme playing in his head every now and then.

  6. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/23/2017 - 11:44 am.

    All those who voted for Trump, especially those who automatically support him in everything–the vaunted “base”–should be forced to watch his performance last night in Arizona as they sit quietly in front of their own TV or computer device.

    Not surrounded by cheering folks who were vetted (Trump had those protesters thrown out, right?). But all by themselves, so they can carefully watch and listen. And maybe put their own memories of what he’s said before together, connecting the dots. Maybe they’ll start to see what the majority of America sees, which is what Eric sees, and be scared.

    Incidentally, I’m kind of hoping that the photo accompanying this article is old and out-of-date. To this female, it looks as though Trump is suffering from a bad application of either fake suntan or make-up that doesn’t go with his skin color.

  7. Submitted by Curt Carlson on 08/23/2017 - 12:19 pm.

    Crazy or not (and I too, though not professionally qualified to register a diagnosis, believe he is mentally ill), he is totally incompetent. How long will it take the Republicans on Congress to acknowledge that he will be of no help in furthering their agenda and get rid of him?

    • Submitted by Dana Dickson on 08/24/2017 - 05:31 pm.

      How long will it take the Republicans

      Forever. One prime moral and intellectual difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans never acknowledge personal responsibility for themselves.

  8. Submitted by Mike Downing on 08/23/2017 - 12:42 pm.

    Welcome to our world of 2009 through 2016

    Welcome to our world frpm 2009 through 2016. The difference is that Obama was a dangerous puppet that tried to fundamentally change this once great country to Trump who wants to simply.make America great again.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 08/23/2017 - 02:16 pm.


      Look at the world from 2009 to 2016. On all the measures that Trump now claims prove he is doing a bang up job as President, Obama did better. So; I guess we agree:

      Obama did make America great again….

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/23/2017 - 02:30 pm.


      Put the policy aside for a minute.

      Obama governed as a rational, well-spoken and well-informed president. There were no angry outbursts andlate-night twitter trantrums. Trump lacks any impulse control and has repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn’t even understand the policy issues before him. He governs like an angry child.

      Obama spent years being attacked over false claims about his birth certificate by people like Trump, something only the most ignorant racists could even take seriously to begin with. He handled those attacks with class and grace. Trump, on the other hand, goes ballistic over even the smallest slight.

      The problem isn’t policy – if Mike Pence was president (which could be soon) you will hear people complaining about his policies (like you did not like Obama’s policies) but the issue with Trump is his temperament. His lack of interest in details and getting facts right. His attempt to govern by bravado alone. Frankly, his constant lying. Its very different from Obama, and its very dangerous.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/23/2017 - 03:45 pm.

      ….a dangerous puppet….

      What an interesting choice of words to describe Obama.

      Who was Obama a puppet of ? Who was pulling his strings ? What policies did he implement that he hadn’t discussed openly and repeatedly in public ?

      Usually the puppet-master is hidden from view, somewhat like in never-to-be-revealed tax returns, or in back-channel communications in foreign embassies, or via money-laundering operations, or secret and double-extra-secret meetings conspiring with the enemies of our country.

      Give us an example of that for Obama, please.

  9. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/23/2017 - 01:08 pm.


    The possibility of provoking a nuclear war.
    First redeeming historical fact:
    Nixon’s chain of command DID set up a procedure to block a possible action by an unhinged Nixon to launch nuclear weapons.
    Second ‘positive’ observation:
    Trump’s total inability to actually accomplish anything.
    This is why I’d rather see Trump isolated than replaced by Pence.
    Pence would pursue many of the same goals, and might actually be able to achieve them. I’d rather let Trump live in his golden castle in the sky and convince himself that he is actually doing things.
    My biggest worry is that Trump might actually try to declare a state of national emergency and postpone elections, making him effectively a dictator. I suspect that Congress (which doesn’t like being pushed out of the loop) would eventually defeat it, but it would be a constitutional mess.
    And as a retired psychologist formerly licensed by the state of Minnesota, I AM qualified to say that Trump appears to show signs of mental health issues, although it would take a formal psychological/psychiatric examination to make a formal diagnosis.
    My person opinion might be autistic spectrum: difficulties with reading comprehension, expressing coherent thoughts, short attention span, insensitivity to personal cues, and inability to appreciate the points of view of others.
    This is just off the top of my head; I’m sure that there are more.

  10. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/23/2017 - 01:13 pm.

    He is trying to straddle 2 boats–the serious world leader (Afghanistan speech on Monday) and the fire-breathing nationalistic populist (Phoenix on Tuesday). The spread is getting wider and more discordant.

    Such a public schizoid display !?!

    The real wonder is how his fervent supporters continue to buy the gulf between what he says and does in one venue (public policy) and what he says in the other (demagoguery).

    The lack of actual follow-through on his demagoguery is the real danger–what point will he deliver and at what cost will his delivery be made.

  11. Submitted by John Edwards on 08/23/2017 - 01:22 pm.

    What’s really bothering Eric and his liberal colleagues

    Trump’s greatest achievement has been to expose the media as both liberal and impotent . . . and they hate him for it. He has also upended the cozy Washington establishment, for which some Republicans hate him. Eric unsurprisingly did not mention former Republican National Committee staffer Michael Shields who on the after-speech program cogently noted that CNN’s people (as well as others in the media) were actually making Trump’s case against them when they immediately begin describing Trump as insane; unfit for office; and that he had lost his mind. I suggest Eric watch Fox where he can get a more balanced view of the political phenomenon that is occurring. It is tragic how some people still will not accept the results of the election. They should learn from the comparative civility extended to President Obama as well as from his infamous declaration to Republicans: “Elections Have Consequences.”

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/23/2017 - 04:25 pm.

      My gym has four TVs placed in a row in front of the work-out machine. From my treadmill, I often watch CNN and Fox at the same time.

      Funny: Fox is the media outlet that “doesn’t report on things,” as in selective silencing of what might embarrass Trump.

      Watch prime time for news, and Fox simply ignores what makes Trump look bad. While CNN (and NBC and CBS,, on the other TVs) plays long excerpts of Trump himself speaking idiotically on whatever. I always have to laugh when Trump supporters repeat his empty and mendacious claim that “the media” don’t report on things. They do, to a fault. And that’s the petard on which Trump is now hoisted. he’s doing this harm to himself.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/23/2017 - 11:20 pm.

        Rarely do we agree, but in this case you are spot on. I watch many different news casts and I find FOX News so very frustrating. Those folks seem to avoid anything that would ruffle the feathers of the Trump true believers. I keep thinking that I am being brain washed by a cult while I am tuned in. And how Juan Williams stays there is beyond my understanding.

        My folks are Trump / FOX / Rush true believers so trying to have any well rounded conversations about issues with them is almost impossible. Folks here may see me as a Conservative where as to them I am their Liberal son…

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 08/23/2017 - 07:10 pm.

      Don Lemon literally melted down last night. It was amazing.

    • Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 08/24/2017 - 08:04 am.


      You know very well that the words, Trump, Fox, and Balanced do not belong in the same sentence or category.

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/24/2017 - 03:13 pm.

      Rock solid

      Yes indeed. The first and best place for people to turn when they’re hungry for the real story is former Republican Committee staffers.

  12. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 08/23/2017 - 02:00 pm.

    Wow, John

    So you don’t objectively see some personal defects in Trump? You don’t see the lies? You don’t notice the hyper insecurity masked by all the bragging? You consider that all the people, going back for 40 years or so, were liars, they who have stories that expose his nastiness? And yet no one in congress yelled, “Liar” at him when he spoke there. You didn’t hear all the Republican comments attesting to how they were going to stonewall Obama’s agenda, country be damned? Fox offers a balanced view? Wow, man! And as to tragedy, it is amazing how so many people will not accept the evidence of their own eyes and ears.

  13. Submitted by Mike Gutierres on 08/23/2017 - 02:18 pm.

    Haven’t we seen all this before?

    Has anyone plotted the trajectory of Jesse Ventura’s term as governor in comparison to the still-evolving curve of Donald Trump’s presidency? For all practical purposes Trump is a 3rd-Party President, and so far he is certainly behaving almost precisely the same way that Jesse did.

    After we all got over the shock that this guy actually was our governor, I think there was a certain amount of hope that he could work with the House and Senate to bring some common-sense legislation to bear, but how long did that last? I honestly can’t remember, but I don’t think it went beyond his first year in office.

    His relationship with the press was legendary, and certainly seems to be a blueprint for Trump’s. His frustration at the boring, slow, machinations of representative democratic governance made him demand a unicameral congress, which was laughed out of consideration.

    In the end, he barricaded himself into his hiding spot while requiring all journalists to wear credentials emblazoned with “Media Jackall” on them. Remember that?

    I’m grateful Minnesota did not tip Trump’s way, but given our experience with Jesse, I am disappointed that Trump came as close as he did here.

    Let’s hope the rest of the country learns what we learned from “The Body!”

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 08/23/2017 - 02:52 pm.

      Ventura comparison

      I think you are spot on with what happened with Ventura. He did not have the patience and temperament for the boring, hard work of governing. Trump clearly has the same issues.

      For his faults, though, Ventura did appoint good people from both parties, which Trump obviously has not done. Ventura also wasn’t a hater – he played on resentment against the “establishment” but not against minorities and the underprivileged.

  14. Submitted by Mike Gutierres on 08/23/2017 - 03:19 pm.


    Jesse Ventura was certainly not a hater. He was never a racist.

    • Submitted by Howard Miller on 08/23/2017 - 04:21 pm.


      Ventura’s main flaw was thin skin. In that one respect he and Trump are similar. They weren’t nor are not currently gracious about the 4th estate. And that lessens their legacies all else equal. Trump, of course, has a number of issues that will ensure his historical treatise is written as a horror story from real life.

  15. Submitted by Carol Flynn on 08/23/2017 - 04:42 pm.


    He also was a celebrity who made money off his gig as Governor. But, again, he was a liberal libertarian who enjoyed the limelight but not the work of governance. He also was thin skinned when it came to his family unlike Trump who only reacts to his own skin. I am grateful Ventura was willing to invest in LRT–I see nothing positive that Trump will accomplish.

  16. Submitted by Cameron Parkhurst on 08/23/2017 - 05:51 pm.

    And for more scary reading

    Read the article in The Guardian with interviews of Trump supporters.

  17. Submitted by Howard Miller on 08/23/2017 - 06:09 pm.

    multiple choice

    might have to go with “all of the above” on that headline quiz, Mr. Black. Maybe he is none of those, but that makes it no less disturbing. There is no excuse. This is not how to lead a great nation.

  18. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 08/23/2017 - 07:08 pm.

    “I wrote these words across the top of my page of notes. “Bully.” “Egomaniac.” “Incoherent.” “Liar.” “Fool.” “Unhinged.” “Deranged.”

    I can’t get the image of the author, scribbling, wild eyed and sweaty, occasionally uttering a soft moan. It’s a scene that was repeated (sans scribbling) in livingrooms in every liberal city.

    Make no mistake; Trump trolled the left last night, and perfectly. He got his message, “build the wall, or else”, out perfectly. Its the same tactic he used so successfully against Norko; he wont blink and Congress knows it.

    He further eroded the media’s credibility, and CNN, in particular, danced on his strings…the 8 panel spilt screen shot of Don Lemon’s wake is viral.

    I’m not a big fan of Trump, but I admire his tactics and tenacity.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/24/2017 - 09:32 am.

      “Trolled the Left”

      And this is a good thing for a President to do? Not lead, not unite, but troll? His achievement is to erode the media’s credibility, which, truth be told, was not that high before he became President. Why is that something the President should be doing?

      We don’t have a President. We have an immature, thin-skinned ego maniac with no interest in governing. He is bringing disgrace not only to the office he holds, but to the country that elected him. It reminds me of the lines from the opening number of Evita:

      “Instead of government, we had a stage,
      Instead of ideas, a prima donna’s rage.
      Instead of help we were given a crowd.
      She didn’t say much, but she said it loud.”

      And all those who aren’t “big fans,” but who nonetheless “admire his tactics and tenacity” are enabling him in his farce. Nice job.

    • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 08/24/2017 - 10:14 am.

      North Korea

      I love how folks on the right have built up this concept that Trump stared down the North Koreans. Let’s recount what actually happened here. After the North Koreans developed missile technology that would make it theoretically feasible to hit the continental U.S., Trump issued a series of Tweets in which he said that any future threats against the U.S. would be met with “fire and fury”. In just a matter of hours, the North Koreans issued another round of threats, which were not met with “fire and fury”. And in fact, both sides realized that their threats were not sustainable and just let things slide.

      The only positive that could be taken was the additional sanctions against North Korea passed by the UN Security Council, which the Trump Administration has now put in jeopardy by adding additional sanctions on China and Russia,

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 08/24/2017 - 02:22 pm.

      I admire those tactics as well

      but I love the media’s trolling of the President. On the one hand, you see the media simply reporting the facts, mostly using Trump’s own video clips against him. Then you see the POTUS literally melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West. Hilarious, but baiting Trump is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  19. Submitted by Richard Lentz on 08/23/2017 - 08:00 pm.

    Trump and the 25th amendment

    In balance, I continue to believe that behavior and policy are key and that diagnosis is a distraction, and potentially a trap. Suppose, for example, we had a demagogue president who did not appear unhinged. Are we in danger of making mental illness or its appearance a requirement for impeachment? Trump’s behavior is unhinged. What more do we need? It’s consistent and predictable based on past behavior without invoking illness.

    Yet your piece today and accounts of Trump’s performance last night (I didn’t/couldn’t watch), plus comments from James Clapper and others, give me pause. I’m scared too. If an implication of mental illness makes it more likely that Pence and a majority of the cabinet might invoke the 25th amendment, part of me says go for it (as a citizen but not as a psychiatrist). I’m that scared. Of course, there are always unintended consequences and such a move could imperil our democracy in a different way.

    Ultimately, removal, by impeachment or 25th, is a political act. I’ll be interested to see in future columns if you think removal becomes more likely.

  20. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 08/23/2017 - 08:56 pm.


    How is Mr. Black going top this hate speech, name calling, and inflammatory rhetoric next week in his attempt to become the left wing Sean Hannity?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/24/2017 - 09:17 am.


      He’s just emulating Trump?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/24/2017 - 11:02 am.

      But if He Didn’t . . .

      If Mr. Black and the rest of the Lügenpresse stopped with what you call “hate speech, name calling, and inflammatory rhetoric,” what on earth would you conservatives have to discuss? All you folks ever seem to do is complain and whine about politically correct liberals. If they stopped, you people would have nothing to complain about, and so you would have nothing to say.

  21. Submitted by Joe Musich on 08/23/2017 - 09:34 pm.

    The reason the base supports this creature ..

    is out right racism. The same reason anyone supports him. Except maybe the I bare grievance” emotional stuff. Forgive yourselves haters.

  22. Submitted by Roy Everson on 08/24/2017 - 08:22 am.

    Same new, same new

    Us Bizarros am mighty offended by your reference to Bizarro World. BW am no Trump World. BW think antidote to Trump am humor, not politics. So, thanks Eric for wonderful compliment! Keep up bad work!
    Dear Eric,

  23. Submitted by Tim Smith on 08/24/2017 - 09:18 am.

    grain of salt

    it seems this writer and column along with the Lemons of the world represent the liberal dem answer to the President, off the charts hysteria and more and more extreme and divisive language. Only months ago they complained about how divided we are and now are the greatest dividers ever. It’s the life of a pro victim I guess.

    Comfort comes from the fact the liberals are scaring off those former Dem voters even more.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 08/24/2017 - 10:59 am.

      There is a record of every tweet, every word…

      During his first 100 days in office, Donald Trump told no fewer than 488 outright lies to the American public, bringing his lie tally to once every 4.9 hours. He had at least 4 days where he told more than 20 lies to the public, according to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker. He now holds the record for the most lies by a president in their first 100 days.

      This was just in the first 100 days. Here’s a hysterical “lib” question:

      Would you hold any US leader accountable who dispenses lies to the entire world at a regular pace?

      Maybe you haven’t been directly injured by those lies, YET.

      • Submitted by Tim Smith on 08/24/2017 - 12:55 pm.


        you subscribe to liberal bent fact checkers because you only listen to those who say what you want to hear? I do not look to be a victim thank you.

        • Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/24/2017 - 02:53 pm.

          Guidance request

          Please direct me to the most reliable conservative fact checkers you use (so I can be sure to do all I can to avoid the victim trap too).


          • Submitted by richard owens on 08/24/2017 - 04:29 pm.

            Thanks Bill Willy

            I was speechless.

          • Submitted by Tim Smith on 08/25/2017 - 10:38 am.

            Guide you to the obvious

            Fact checkers, media, citizens, are all biased to some degree, I dont watch the news, not Fox, not Msnbc or cnn for that reason. I dont listen to talk radio either. I dont need media that tells me what I want to hear.

  24. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 08/24/2017 - 10:39 am.

    That Phoenix rally? A dud.

    It’s very strange for a new-ish president to hold campaign rallies so eqrly and regularly in his term. But Trump needs that adulation of committed supporters who don’t care if he shoots somebody on Fifth Ave. in NYC; as Trump said last year, he’d get off scot-free with them if he did such a thing, perfect as he is.

    But I watched that “rally,” the whole thing, on a PBS feed. It was slow and dull. There wasn’t a lot of vocal support at the rally, especially when Trump went on and on and on quoting himself in his various post-Charlottesville statements. In fact, most of what he said was all about himself. Not about policy or activism. He did take time to insult both of Arizona’s GOP US Senators. Got an almost-inaudible response there. The audience had to be actively cheer-led, even the group behind Trump on the stage with their assigned roles to raise this or that sign or to applaud at certain moments; Trump had to turn around a number of times and lead them toward more noise and movement!

    I sensed that when Trump told the rally that everything he says is the truth,” the folks gathered to scream their approval didn’t seem to believe him. They were oddly silent. When he talked about his [non-existent] achievements in office, there was another rather noticeable silence in the rally-goers.

    This is not the Trump of a year ago, based on this Phoenix campaign rally where he made every effort to divide America yet further. He seemed tired, with not much energy. No red meat there.

    Of course, I was brought up on Hubert Humphrey’s speeches! You could be in or out of an election year, and Hubert would give you a stem-winder, every time. And he inspired the best in people. That rally experience spoils one for weary rallies like Trump’s this week.

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