REAFFIRMATION OF DISBELIEF: Please don't believe the people you trust!


Part 3—Cable stars wanna have fun:
Is Donald J. Trump, the commander in chief, some version of mentally ill?

If so, how dangerous could that possibly be? Of what might he be capable should he reach a breaking point?

We find few signs that our corporate stars are able to focus on such questions. While we're at it, we'll throw in a few more:

Is quadrennial impeachment becoming the norm for our political system? If so, will the federal government ever be able to function again?

For ourselves, we see The Chase after Donald J. Trump as a highly dangerous activity.

As of February 2016, Candidate Trump had begun to seem, to us, as perhaps some form of "mentally ill." Today, he holds the nuclear codes. As The Chase against him becomes more naked, he strikes us as more and more dangerous.

We see no sign that our corporate stars are able to think in such ways. Indeed, on Wednesday night, our tribe's biggest star began her program like this:
ANONYMOUS CORPORATE STAR (8/29/18): And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

The past 24 hours have been a news cycle with lots of unexpected twists and turns, lots of little plot surprises, unexpected endings. That has made this sort of a fun day to be in the news business as my job, right?

Because it's one of those days where nothing turns out the way people expected it to. And that makes, that's—

It's discombobulating! But it can also be fun,
and it's humbling in all the right ways.
According to this major star, there had been "lots of little plot surprises" that day. This meant that the day had been fun, at least for her. It had been "sort of a fun day to be in the news business as my job, right?"

This cable star rarely fails to bring it all back to herself. But we were struck by the way she said, two separate times, that the day had been fun.

We've long wondered if something might be a bit "wrong" with this particular star. We've long thought that her instincts tend to be slightly "off," in ways her owners work hard to disguise.

(The photo at her program's site show you the way her owners want you to perceive her. The constant forced chuckling is part of this game. "The news," which is now a branch of show business, involves layers of disguise.)

In the first segment of Wednesday's show, the star went to to discuss the "plot surprises" that had made the day so much fun, at least for her in her job. Since we had found the day disturbing, depressing and loaded with potential danger, we leaned forward, eager to hear the sources of her joy.

The first plot surprise was Andrew Gillum's win in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Florida—a plot surprise which had already produced the latest race-based dispute between the two tribes. However one may try to approach them, it won't be easy to recover from these "culture war" divisions—but at this site, the upset win had been fun.

Believe it or not, the second surprise which had made the day fun involved the revelation that a Democratic candidate for the House "apparently had her full unredacted security clearance application not just released by the Trump administration without her permission, which is illegal, but the Trump administration apparently released it to a Republican opposition research effort, which then did immediately start using that security clearance application against her in her congressional campaign."

The star went on to say that this might happen to other Democratic House candidates too. This was the second plot surprise which had made her day fun.

The third plot surprise which had made the day fun involved the tweet by the commander in chief which showed Don McGahn the door. The star noted that McGahn, the White House counsel, is "potentially a sort of super witness for" the Mueller probe, thus adding to the fun.

From there, the star ran through other greatest hits, not excluding the sexy-time misadventures of Elliott Broidy, along with recent insignificant statements by George Papadopoulos' "somewhat inscrutable Italian wife." At one point, though, it must be said, the major star also said this:
UNNAMED MAJOR STAR: To the extent that the current White House counsel Don McGahn has prevented the president from acting on some of his most destructive impulses particularly when it comes to the Russia investigation, Don McGahn leaving sort of creates a new X factor, a new unknown in terms of us as Americans trying to anticipate, trying to prepare for the ways this president might handle or try to manage some of the increasingly intense legal stuff that is swirling around the president and the White House when it comes to the ongoing scandal.
According to the cable star, Don McGahn, who's been shown the door, "has prevented the president from acting on some of his most destructive impulses" in the face of the Mueller probe.

His impending departure will therefore make it harder "to anticipate [or] prepare for the ways this president might handle or try to manage some of the increasingly intense legal stuff that is swirling around" him.

To the cable star, this is fun. To us, this seems rather dangerous.

We don't think this is all a game—a game for which a few lucky corporate duckies get paid millions of dollars. We regard President Trump as a dangerous, disordered person.

We assume he may be some version of mentally ill, and he holds the nuclear codes. We know of no obvious reason to think that he would never use, or attempt to use, these codes as a way of "trying to manage some of the increasingly intense legal stuff that is swirling around him."

We regard President Trump as a dangerous person. On a slightly lesser plain, we regard the movement toward presumptive quadrennial impeachment as a threat to our democracy's basic functioning, even though it generates short-term excitement and fun.

We regard Donald J. Trump as a deeply dangerous person. On our tribe's favorite corporate channel, an array of multimillionaire hosts regard the president as a source of entertainment, profit and "plot surprises," and of course as an endless source of a peculiar version of "fun."

These people are branded as tribal savants. That said, personality disorders, even illness, can appear all over the map.

Corporate branding makes them our leaders. In our view, serious liberals should learn to distrust their basic instincts.

Tomorrow: In search of a hidden Deep State


  1. Basically, the only thing wrong with her that she never became an adult and is stuck in her head with the raging ego of an infant.

    1. Somerby's obsession with her is pathetic.

    2. I'm glad someone's saying something about her. She can be pretty atrocious.

    3. And yet, Somerby gave no indication of what was wrong any of her work last night. Other than she said "fun", her reporting, including an interview with Abigail Spanberger, was solid. So, if Somerby doesn't want to come off looking like a petulant child, he needs to do substantive criticism of her reporting, and not look like a weak mindless hater.

  2. "For ourselves, we see The Chase after Donald J. Trump as a highly dangerous activity. "

    Somerby creates a somewhat novel argument here. Because Trump is dangerously sick and unpredictable, the press (and Mueller too?) should back off the investigation and the discussion of the investigation, else the madman might blow something up.

    It's just another way to let Trump off the hook.

    And this notion that the talk of his impeachment is just some perfunctory "quadrennial" exercise in tribal politics is nonsense. If the president has committed impeachable offenses, why shouldn't he be impeached? This is yet another way for Somerby to let Trump off the hook.

    By the way, the Democrats are being very careful. Unlike the press, they are not clamoring for impeachment. They simply feel the Congress should perform more oversight and look into Trump's behavior, which is an eminently reasonable request.

    1. So why aren't the Dems "letting Trump off the hook" too?

      Bob wants the press to be more like these Dems.

    2. His main point is bonkers....that no one should go after Trump because he might push the button. And he is incoherent, because he thinks the Dems ARE talking about impeachment.

      Do you honestly believe the press should be asserting that Trump is mentally ill? He keeps saying that over and over. It is irresponsible. Somerby has no earthly idea if Trump is mentally ill. It's actually a dangerous suggestion.

    3. And, by the way, 3:55, the Dems aren't letting Trump off the hook, now are they? They support the Mueller investigation and they want Congress to do more oversight of this president. All of which Somerby calls "The Chase."

  3. "As of February 2016, Candidate Trump had begun to seem, to us, as perhaps some form of "mentally ill.""

    Dear Bob. An ignoble lib-zombie like yourself should be worrying about your own (quickly deteriorating) mental conditions. Instead of questioning the very stable brilliance of Donald The Genuine American Hero.

    1. That's Donald The Great American Hero To The Establishment Elites. If you're going to call him by his nickname, use the whole thing.

    2. More good news for the mythical economically anxious trump voters,

      President Trump is shafting federal workers

    3. Great. Should fire a whole bunch of 'em too.

    4. Trump is a liar and a thief.
      And Putin's bitch.

    5. "Great. Should fire a whole bunch of 'em too."

      Because that's (1) what the Establishment Elites want, (2) because his economy is such a shambles, or (3) both?

    6. mm - another example of Trump doing the right thing. Federal workers are quite overpaid, compared to state government workers or private workers.


      Please address these criticisms of your assertion.

    8. David, living comfortably for more than a decade both he and his wife collecting maximum SS benefits, is one huge nasty sonofabitch.

      Let me ask you David, is that because the private sector is being underpaid and maybe federal workers have a little more union protections to help them get paid what they deserve?

      Of course your dubious reason wasn't the reason given by President Chickenshit who shits on a golden throne for his action. Why? Maybe because he's a fucking coward.

      No that wasn't the reason he gave.

      "We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases," Trump said. The president last year signed a package of tax cuts that is forecast to add about $1.5 trillion to federal deficits over 10 years.

      This is the same malignant asshole who just passed big whopping windfall tax for himself and his billionaire friends. "I just made you a lot richer" he said to his friends.

      So he can pass a fucking budget busting tax cut and then turn around and whine about the budget. That takes some fucking balls and tremendous confidence that his cult followers like you will never put 2+2 together.

    9. Mao, TDH is way off the mark with this idea that Trump is some sort of mentally ill. Just because someone doesn't think like you, and has a different world view, doesn't make him "mentally ill." I suppose you could just as well say 98% percent of humans are mentally ill, if you looked into how they think enough, by TDH's standard. In the world that is not outer space loony, someone who put in print "the very stable of Donald the American Hero" is pretty obviously demented. Hey, Trump is shrewd, this mentally ill stuff about him misses the boat - though on the other hand, you seem to be a lunatic.

    10. Trump is freezing the pay cut so that he will have some bargaining leverage that he can trade off with democrats against funding for his wall.

    11. Typo: s.b. pay raise not cut

    12. mm -- A question for liberals: do you care about the poor or just hate Trump? Overpaying government workers means less resources available for the government to help the poor.

      BTW Trump's tax bill didn't help me, because it limits the deductibility of state and local taxes.

    13. So, every dime that doesn't get spent on Trump's wall goes to help the poor? I don't think so.

    14. Trump's wall will help the poor in a few ways:

      1. Illegal immigrants take jobs away from poorer Americans, especially entry level jobs that are so crucial for minority teenagers.

      2. Competition from illegal immigrants drives down salary levels for low level jobs.

      3. Reducing the number of illegal immigrants will save money for federal, state and local governments, leaving more money available to help needy Americans.

    15. Just for shits and giggles, I'll suspend reality and make believe Trump gives a shit about the poor.

      Couldn't Trump charge employers with the crime of hiring undocumented workers (if they weren't the Establishment Elites he LOVES so much), which would also help poorer Americans, especially entry level jobs which are so crucial for minority teenagers?

      Your number 3 is so ridiculous, I can't believe even you are stupid enough to believe it (and I think you are a mouth-breathing moron). Immigrants pay far moee in taxes then they receive in benefits (pretty much the opposite of rural white America).

    16. What, no more spam-posting at 4am, dembot? Shift change, eh?

    17. mm - federal employees are not poor. Wanting to not overpay federal employees is consistent with being concerned about the poor.

      I spent a summer working for the US Post Office delivering mail. I was paid minimum wage. Permanent mailmen were not paid much more than I was. Nevertheless, they were competent, reliable workers. Today, mailmen are paid a comfortable wage with outstanding fringe benefits. That's nice for the mailmen and their families. But, it means postage is more expensive. I can afford $.50 for every letter and greeting card, but poor people cannot afford to send out bunches of letters and greeting cards.

    18. You think poor people would want to send out bunches of greeting cards?

    19. 11:22,
      I can't believe you cashed your post office paycheck. What kind of savage are you? Did you kick a poor person at the same time, too?

    20. David, you jerkoff, nobody ever said or asserted that federal employees are poor. That wasn't the issue. The issue was fucking priorities, and issue which you have skillfully avoided addressing. You can't pass a massive tax cut skewed heavily to most prosperous resulting in huge increases in our federal deficit, and then turn around and screw people out of a measly 2% scheduled pay raise which will not even cover the unfortunate rising inflation rate. No, these aren't poor people, just hard working middle class Americans. Democrats understand that the distribution of wealth in this country is going all to the top and that the best way to address the growing inequality of wealth is to help the middle class.

      The richest 1 percent now owns more of the country’s wealth than at any time in the past 50 years

      Yet Prince Fuckface proposes to freeze their pay "due to budget concerns", and simultaneously is floating the idea of cutting capital gains taxes.

      Trump considers linking capital gains taxes to inflation

      •The president made the remarks during an interview Thursday with Bloomberg News.
      •The idea has been pushed by the White House's top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but it has also been considered in prior administrations, including that of George H.W. Bush.
      •It would be an estimated $100 billion tax cut that would benefit largely those who own assets such as stocks and real estate.

      He's a real populist, you know. A real man for the people, huh?

      That was my issue, jackass.

      I have no fucking clue how it lead you to talking about the ridiculous waste of money "wall", whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean, and illegal immigrants. You definitely have a twisted mind.

      And please don't blow smoke up my ass about how you're only worried about saving money for the poor. I'm too old to listen to that bullshit.

    21. Not being able to afford labor, is the fakest news yet.
      The USA is the richest country in the history of mankind (despite the Right--wing humble-ragging). Christ, we're so rich, we just gave a huge tax break to corporations sitting on piles of cash.
      Anyone crying poor on this country is either a sucker or a liar.

  4. Bob's casual accusation of mental illness is ignorant and offensive. One person close to me is clinically depressed. Another is bipolar. Their conditions have a big impact on their ability to be effective and fully functional. These are real and obvious problems. OTOH Trump has been extremely effective with a lifetime of achievements. He often speaks wildly and dishonestly, but that's not crazy. That's a pattern that has served him well over the years. Calling Trump "mentally ill" mocks people with real problems.

    Trump's actions as President have been sane and fairly effective. His actions give no reason to distrust him with the nuclear button. In areas where he broke with conventional wisdom, his view has often proved correct. E.g., he is succeeding in his trade negotiations with Europe and with Mexico.

    1. BTW, nothing says anti-Elite quite like giving the Establishment HUGE tax breaks, while rescinding the scheduled pay raises of the working classes.

      Any minute now, the Trump voters, who hate the rigged economy, and are surely not the least bit bigoted, will be calling for his resignation. LOL.

    2. RE; Trump's lifetime of achievements.

      Three years ago:
      Hey, have you heard Trump might run for President?
      This is a great opportunity for each and every American to learn how to file for bankruptcy.

    3. Lol: sad and lonely dembots and their contempt.

    4. 2:02,
      Can't you just be happy with Trump's HUGE tax break for the Establishment Elites?
      Why do you have to gloat about it too?

    5. GW Bush was a worse president than Trump. Trump is basically the same as Obama. Both in bed with Wall Street and Israel. Both with sky high medical costs. Both with endless wars and at the mercy of the Military Industrial Complex. Both demagogues. Both stewarding a plutocracy/oligarchy that is the plinth of history's biggest and most ostentatious Gilded Age.

      Morally, GW Bush was even worse though because of the Iraq crime.

    6. 2:16 has gotta be the cheapest dembot Soros managed to find, somewhere in the mountains of Albania, I presume. Doesn't even know how to spell YUGE.

    7. Heads up, Mao & DinC,
      The video of Trump being pissed on by Russian Whores is on the horizon. Keep making shit up.

    8. CR,
      The very worst of Trump, Bush and Obama (along with the worst of the other 41 Presidents) pales in comparison to how truly awful the worst President ever (Ronald Reagan) was.

    9. 3:23,
      HUGE is used to describe the corporate tax breaks.

      YUGE is the word used to describe Trump's ass.

      Try to keep up.

  5. We regard Donald J. Trump as a deeply dangerous person..

    Yes, so let's just leave him alone in control of the world's largest nuclear arsenal. We should apologize to him also, I suppose. And as a gesture of good will, let's just "lock her up".

    For ourselves, we see The Chase after Donald J. Trump as a highly dangerous activity.

    What do you suggest we do? I could call Mr. Mueller but I don't think he'd be interested in what I have to say.

    1. "Yes, so let's just leave him alone in control of the world's largest nuclear arsenal"

      Are you advocating a violent transfer of power, dembot?

    2. What's "violent" about distracting Trump with a foil gum-wrapper?

    3. Dangle a porn star in front of him saying "Oh Donald, you're so handsome and virile. I looove me some NDA."

  6. Aside from Somerby's criticism of the unnamed star for using the word "fun", what was wrong substantively with the unnamed stsr's coverage of the listed issues?

  7. This whole "Trump is mentally ill and the press is derelict in their duty for not talking about it" is just more bs from Somerby. It would be utterly irresponsible for the press to assert Trump's so-called mental illness. It could rightly be labeled a script, and would have been by the Somerby of old. And it's just one more way of absolving Trump from any culpability for his actions.

  8. Jabbering about Trump's "mental illness" would be very bad strategy for the Democrats.

    1. They got nothing else to offer.

      Higher taxes, mass-immigration, globalization and further deindustrialization can't be popular, and so meaningless hate-mongering and fear-mongering, all kinds of it, is their only strategy.

  9. In Somerby's world, the bully or the "crazy dangerous guy" persona wins. He gets to hold us hostage. Shhh! Don't upset the mean old Wizard! Trump: crazy like a fox, eh, Bob?

  10. The "Democrstic candidate" whose personal details were released is named Abigail Spanberger, Bob. Maddow interviewed her last night. The interview was timely, informative, and well-conducted. It is a serious issue. It reeks of political dirty tricks of the worst kind. Maddow handled it in a serious, thorough way.

  11. "Please don't believe the people you trust!"

    Somerby says that today in his headline, then again at the end where he says "In our view, serious liberals should learn to distrust their basic instincts."

    Who else is telling people not to trust or believe the media? Trump, of course. He follows that up by saying that you can only believe and trust him.

    If liberals don't trust their instincts and cannot trust the media, who do they trust? Who is left? This is the way demagogues work. But why is Somerby preaching like a demagogue? Why is he working so hard to convince us that we are not rational, cannot think, are no better than apes when it comes to reasoning? What is the result of instilling that belief in people? They become followers. And who does Somerby think we should be following?

    Maybe we'll all find out next week, when he starts his Bernie campaign, or reveals that he too is working for Putin, or declares his candidacy for something (unlikely).

    Don't trust anyone who tells you not to trust yourself or anyone but them.

  12. I think Maddow is using the word fun in order to generate interest and enthusiasm among younger voter, who may have grown up thinking that politics is dull, boring. I see no harm in her trying to liven things up with a bit of arm waving. It is what teachers do in the classroom -- that doesn't mean they respect algebra or English literature any less. If kids are fooled into paying attention by the mention of "fun" and they go out and vote, that will help liberals. In the meantime, no one over 30 is going to be impressed, but neither are we as put off by it as Somerby. My new theory is that she is a better "teacher" than he ever was. Simple jealousy.

    1. And we're all mostly 7th graders. Just Bob's point.

    2. 3:57

      Speaking of 7th graders, Somerby acted like one by coyly not mentioning Maddow by name. Was he trying to cover up his shame at his childish obsession with her, pretending that not mentioning her name makes him seem well-adjusted?

  13. In terms of yucking it up and her cutsie poo humor side, I can leave
    Maddow with the best of them. But it takes a the mendacity of a bought
    off blowhard to suggest She is unserious about what She is talking about.
    And I am beginning to fear that is what Bob has become. And remember the Media Giant Bob has stopped covering? They are the people who have made Donald Trump a dangerous person.

  14. "For ourselves, we see..."

    If that isn't the nuttiest formulation....

  15. For Poruchik Kizhe and for Mao Cheng Ji:

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