Jan 09 2018

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: The Worst and the Dumbest

Like millions of people around the world, I was reassured to learn that Donald Trump is a “Very Stable Genius.” You see, if he weren’t — if he were instead an erratic, vindictive, uninformed, lazy, would-be tyrant — we might be in real trouble.

Let’s be honest: This great nation has often been led by mediocre men, some of whom had unpleasant personalities. But they generally haven’t done too much damage, for two reasons.

First, second-rate presidents have often been surrounded by first-rate public servants. Look, for example, at a list of Treasury secretaries since the nation’s founding; while not everyone who held the office was another Alexander Hamilton, over all it’s a pretty impressive contingent — and it mattered.  [..]

Second, our system of checks and balances has restrained presidents who might otherwise have been tempted to ignore the rule of law or abuse their position. While we’ve probably had chief executives who longed to jail their critics or enrich themselves while in office, none of them dared act on those desires.

But that was then. Under the Very Stable Genius in Chief, the old rules no longer apply.

Eugene Robinson: Dear Very Stable Genius: The ingrates don’t deserve you. So quit.

From one very stable genius to another, I have some advice for President Trump: Resign immediately.

I feel you. Those small, petty, non-billionaire losers who attack you are not worthy of your brilliance. They don’t deserve the benefit of your intellect, your strength, your devastating good looks. Take your dazzling brain and your normal-size hands and go home. Let the ungrateful wretches suffer. Let them see how they like their precious little democracy without you. [..]

You deserve better. You shouldn’t have to spend another night in that “dump” of a White House. You should be able to go back to your gold-plated triplex in Trump Tower and spend your days wallowing in ugly conspiracy theories, screaming at aides and planning a busy schedule of golf outings — the same stuff you’re doing now, but in classier surroundings.

Don’t worry about depriving us of your very stable genius. Somehow we’ll cope.

Jennifer Weiner: What the President Doesn’t Get About Dogs

Among the revelations that have rained down in the wake of Michael Wolff’s White House tell-all “Fire and Fury” — the claims and counterclaims, the excerpts and the tweets, the book’s vicious portrayal of a clueless, childlike president whose courtiers are forced to produce daily episodes of Short Attention Span Theater — surely the saddest is this: The president of the United States, leader of the free world and famously the first pet-less commander in chief since Thomas Jefferson, does not understand how dogs work.

This became clear during a particularly frothy late-night tweet storm, in which President Trump, in a pretzel-twist of rage over the perfidy of Mr. Wolff and the president’s former adviser and campaign strategist Steve Bannon, wrote: “Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!”

Charles M. Blow: ‘Like, Really Smart’

I resist applying clinical diagnoses to people, and that includes Donald Trump. I’m not a doctor, and a proper diagnosis would require a personal evaluation.

But I would be basking in false virtue if I simply pretended that I’m not aware that some of the behaviors displayed by this man line up with the symptoms of certain personality disorders.

So I must couch my concerns this way: There is no way for me to know for sure, but all indications lead me to believe that Donald Trump struggles to fit into the frame of what we call normal behavior, and he often fails at it in spectacular ways.

And it is not only you and I worried about the president’s mental stability. According to Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” the book that has so gotten under the president’s skin and into his mind, those closest to him also worry about his mental health.

Catherine Rampell Trump thinks rising stock prices mean his presidency is awesome. He’s wrong.

Whenever unflattering news comes out, President Trump resorts to one of two strategies: attack some unrelated culture-wars punching bag (NFL players, the media, “Crooked Hillary”) or brag about the stock market. In the past month, he’s tweeted about stock prices more than every other day, on average.

According to Trump, the rising market is evidence of how awesome his presidency has been for the U.S. economy. At one point, he even touted a confused (i.e., wrong) claim that equity market increases were tantamount to wiping out our national debt.

Trump often complains that journalists ignore what’s happened to the stock market under his watch and particularly his record compared with former President Barack Obama’s. As he tweeted last week, “Can you imagine if ‘O’ was president and had these numbers — would be biggest story on earth!”

So, let’s talk about why boasting about market movements is a bit boneheaded, shall we?