Donald Trump

The Price of an Erratic President

Even if Trump doesn’t follow through on his bad ideas, the uncertainty is still a drag.

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Perhaps the strangest thing about the story that President Donald Trump has expressed interest in using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes was that it didn't seem all that strange. Almost no one thought to ask "Can you believe it?" because almost everyone automatically did, while simultaneously acknowledging that in reality, no such intervention would be tried.

So instead of sustained incredulity, there were jokes, and a few #WellActuallys, and eventually Trump himself declared that the story was fake news. But for the most part, the story, first reported by Axios, came and went with the daily tides of Twitter conversation. Trump wants to deploy nuclear weapons to stop summer storms? Wild stuff! 2019, right? Moving on.

One way to understand this is as a basically healthy reaction to the brainfarts of a particularly brainfart-prone president, one who thinks out loud—or online—and who indulges a variety of odd obsessions that rarely become actual policy. Both in public and in private, Trump has a habit of floating half-baked bad ideas that are unlikely to ever be implemented. For many people, constantly worrying about the small chance that they one day might happen is simply too exhausting to keep up.

Yet in another way, the nuke-the-hurricanes episode was a reminder of the ways Trump's erratic personal behavior has led to a widespread acceptance of presidential ideas that are not only kooky but dangerous, or at least rather risky, even if those ideas are nearly certain to remain unimplemented.

Take, for example, Trump's declaration last week that American companies "are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China." This was a presidential "order" that also wasn't obviously an order in any official sense; it came with no proposed timeline, no potential penalties, and no legally enforceable procedure to back it up. And yet both White House aides and Trump himself nonetheless argued that it could become one if the president were so inclined.

In theory, the argument went, Trump could use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) of 1977 to declare a state of emergency, expanding the powers granted to the executive, potentially giving him the authority to order U.S. businesses to cease operations in China. Experts disagree about whether the IEEPA could plausibly justify such an order. But it's fair to say that using it in the way Trump has suggested would be clearly unprecedented and arguably abusive, and that it would almost certainly end up in court.

Still, it is at least possible to imagine a scenario in which Trump finds legal cover for such an order. The result, in turn, would be vast and unpredictable economic consequences for both the American economy and the international order, as two economic superpowers turned a series of economic skirmishes into an all-out economic war. It's hard to say exactly how it would play out, but as one manufacturer told The New York Times last week, a mandatory exit of U.S. businesses from China "could cause a global depression, not recession."

Yet just as most people reasonably assume that Trump probably won't try using nuclear weapons to manage bad weather, few, I suspect, worry that he would ever really try to compel American businesses to fully cut economic ties with another country. It's an idle threat made by a president with a penchant for bluster, and no more—and thus about as easy to ignore as the idea of deploying a nuclear deterrent against a hurricane.

Or at least that's what we hope, because the problem with Trump is that it's almost impossible to ever be fully certain that he won't eventually pursue his wilder ideas, to be confident that he won't one day pick up his phone and tweet out an order to pull out of China's economy that is an actual order, backed up by the force and power of the federal government. This is especially true when it comes to trade and immigration, where Trump has proven willing to act in ways that predecessors of both parties probably would have avoided.

The result is generalized political and economic instability, and a pervasive precariousness to American life. This helps feed more exotic, conspiracy-adjacent theories about Trump himself. And over time, it may well take a serious toll on the American economy. Indeed, some economic consequences are already being felt. Trump's announcement of tariff hikes last week, combined with his threats against both China and the U.S. Federal Reserve, rattled already jittery markets, sending stocks to their fourth weekly loss in a row.

The point isn't merely that Trump shouldn't be playing weatherman with the world's biggest nuclear arsenal (although he shouldn't), or that tariffs and trade wars are bad news for the economy (although they are). It's that Trump's mercurial behavior, and the lingering possibility that he might try to follow through on one of his more eccentric ideas, exacts a regular low-level toll on our fortunes. He is a constant source of economic and political uncertainty. And that uncertainty, even in the absence of actual action, is bad enough. It makes it harder for businesses to plan future operations, harder for ordinary Americans to plan their retirements, and harder for America's allies on the international stage to work together.

So no, Trump probably won't nuke a hurricane, and no, he probably won't force American companies to stop operating in China, just as he didn't ever completely close the border with Mexico, despite his threat to do so. Which means that no, you probably shouldn't spend too much time worrying about the possibility that he might do any of these things, or whatever harebrained idea he tweets out tomorrow. But there's a lot riding on all those "probably"s, and on the slim-but-real chance that one day a he-probably-won't will somehow become an actually-he-did. And that alone is cause enough for concern. 

NEXT: Elizabeth Warren's Pitch for 'Economic Patriotism' Is Full of Intellectual Dishonesty and Economic Fallacies

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  1. One way to understand this is as a basically healthy reaction to the brainfarts of a particularly brainfart-prone president, one who thinks out loud

    It’s like the collective stupidity of Bratfart.com has been synthesized into a giant Trump-Stupid Twitter feed.

    1. If you think an erratic president is bad, how abjectly horrible is the entire obstructionist DemonCRAP party?

      Worrying about Trump while allowing even a single DemonCRAP to live, is akin to fearing a splinter when someone is swinging a bat at your head.

  2. Trump says he will tax French wine out of spite

    Don’t you dare tax my Pouilly-Fuissé you dry-drunk fat bastard.

  3. a mandatory exit of U.S. businesses from China “could cause a global depression, not recession.

    Negative 6% GDP. WINNING! MAGA!

    #FuckTrumpTrash

    1. Which Democrat do you think has the best chance of replicating the Obama economy, AKA the strongest 8-year run in US economic history? Would it be Biden since he was VP at the time?

      1. Well, Bernie and the Squaw have the same shitty populist mindset as Trump but are worse in some areas.

        Biden would be better if he hires Obama people.

        The best is Delaney but he is hated by Emo-Progs like you.

  4. The economy is so bad, Charles Koch’s net worth is down almost $2 billion this year. Poor guy only has about $58 billion now.

    Of course, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman predicted the market would “never” recover from the stolen election of 2016, and we’d immediately enter “a global recession, with no end in sight.” If anything he underestimated the damage.

    #DrumpfRecession
    #VoteDemocratToHelpCharlesKoch

    1. Nobel Prize winner and former President Obama could only afford a 15 million dollar home. We will never recover!

      1. Do you also bitch about the fancy homes bought by lesser, white presidents?

        1. There isn’t anyone lesser than the man, who took over the Peanut Farmer’s position of the worst president, ever.

        2. “‘Do you also bitch about the fancy homes bought by lesser, white presidents?””

          I don’t bitch. But I do like pointing out hypocrites.

    2. You mean David kept Charles out of his will?

    3. You are fucking deluded. By every single measure available the American economy is doing fantastic. You keep showing your partisan ignorance withy every single post.

  5. I find it amusing that the bloggists at Reason would even see fit to write something like 1000 words to explain apologize for the fact that the POTUS doesn’t always mean what he says. I can say it for you in a lot less words: he is vacuous, incompetent (and he thinks he is neither; He’s the Second Coming!), a boorish narcissist whose limited intellectual and emotional faculties should not be defended or excused or explained. View them as the distractions that they are from the truly bad things he has done (I am talking about you Chinese Tariffs).

    1. I can say it for you in a lot less words: he is vacuous, incompetent (and he thinks he is neither; He’s the Second Coming!), a boorish narcissist whose limited intellectual and emotional faculties should not be defended or excused or explained.

      So, in other words, you are saying that he is not as bad as Clinton, Sanders, Harris, Warren, or Biden?

    2. HEY! WHY IS REASON COVERING ALL THE STUPID SHIT TRUMP SAYS?

      1. Why are you still alive? Hopefully a parent of one of your victims tyou to deat

    3. And despite all that, he remains less bad for the economy than any of the current crop of Democratic contenders for the office.

      Can we please have a grownup run for election someday?

      1. Obama was better for the economy than the Con Man by every fucking measure.

        UE fell 8 points under Obama vs 1 for Trump
        GDP increased 3 points for Obama vs zero for Trump.
        Deficits fell 50% under Obama vs 100% increase for Trump.

        Only Trump Trash would dispute those facts.

        Granted – Bernie and the Squaw would be worse than the Con Man.

      2. That’s the scary part. Some volatility and uncertainty versus what the DNC is pimping? I’ll take my chances with the former.

    4. Interesting. Two questions: first, which presidents do you see as competent? Second, what is your trade plan for dealing with China?

  6. A drag on the economy compared to what?

    I think a President Clinton or Sanders would be a much bigger drag on the economy.

    We can only pick between the alternatives we have.

    1. Certainly all her spending plans were much more extravagant. And she certainly wouldn’t have proposed spending cuts. At least Trump proposed a modest spending cut. Pelosi tanked that one.

      But then, democrats don’t believe in accountability. Ever.

  7. Attention liberals. Trump likes to yank your chain. He know that you can’t help but to repeat it on social media. You post more about Trump than any other single subject. You let him consume you. You are so consumed that if you think people should breakup their own families because some of them support Trump. In one breath you claim everything he says is a lie, AND that you are scared because of the things he says will become true. You are making a basket case out of yourself. You are being pawned.

    1. I just hate the stupid shit he does.

    2. “Attention liberals. Trump likes to yank your chain”

      Uh huh. Pretty handy excuse whenever Trump says something so imbecilic even his most ardent bootlicking supporters can’t defend it. In short, weaseling by Trump’s embarrassed stooges.

      When DJT lied about his inauguration crowd size it wasn’t to “yank liberal’s chain”, but because he’s an insecure little man-child and can’t face the simplest facts. When DJT tells Americans born in this country to “go back where the came from”, it isn’t to yank liberal’s chain, but red meat for his racist base. When Trump favors “closing parts of the internet” to stop the Islamic State, or claims he got the endorsement of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (a federal agency that doesn’t endorse candidates), or promises to close down the “Department of Environment” (which doesn’t exist), he isn’t yanking liberal’s chain, but showing he has shit for brains.

      Now when he talked of buying Greenland, I thought maybe it was a joke. But next thing ya know, our child-like president is throwing a blue-faced temper tantrum cause Denmark won’t sell.

      Assuming Trump an ignorant brat is always the safest course…

      1. Yes, agreed! Heartily!

        I predict that the next thing that Der TrumpfenFuhrer will do, is order us all to drink NOTHING except grain alcohol and rain water! AND to conserve our precious bodily fluids to ONLY ourselves!

        Sensible people will just roll their eyeballs, say “That’s just Trump being Trump”, and do nothing else. ‘Cause our outrage glands are totally worn out by The Dotard!

        Trumpsuckers, on the other hand, will roll around all over themselves, making yet more excuses for Der TrumpfenFuhrer!

        1. Goddamn you’re a stupid fuck Squirrely. And you’re on the same side as Kiddie Raper’s sock.

          1. Roger that, Shitsy. All non-Trump-suckers are morons! We know already! Broken record player jumps a track and repeats the same Shitsy-Shit over and over again!

      2. In other words, you will keep falling for it.

    3. Haha. Trump says crazy stuff and then the libs say even crazier stuff. If that’s not in the art of the deal, it should be.

  8. It is a grave error to suppose that a dictatorship rules a nation by means of strict, rigid laws which are obeyed and enforced with rigorous, military precision. Such a rule would be evil, but almost bearable; men could endure the harshest edicts, provided these edicts were known, specific and stable; it is not the known that breaks men’s spirits, but the unpredictable. A dictatorship has to be capricious; it has to rule by means of the unexpected, the incomprehensible, the wantonly irrational; it has to deal not in death, but in sudden death; a state of chronic uncertainty is what men are psychologically unable to bear.

    Ayn Rand

    1. I like that quote by Rand. I have my issues with her but she was spot on that time.

      As to Kevin. Rand to a fault, was a cold warrior. She hated the communists more than she loved liberty.

      Your ad hominem only discredits your post.

      1. What many people haven’t figured out here is that our failure to wipe out the communists is rapidly resulting in the elimination of our liberty. Two terms of a Warren, a Clinton. Etc. will move is very close to the flame of freedom being extinguished for our lifetime.

        1. Her point is past all that.

          The road to power is not through certainty or predictable patterns, it is through chaos, political entropy. Something I see advocated often here.

          Concentration of political power. This is the thing to fight for. To unite under a banner of leadership.

          To eliminate opposition so as to create freedom for the true warriors of liberty. Destruction of the opposition. Such goes the argument.

          I have heard this before.

    2. A dictatorship has to be capricious; it has to rule by means of the unexpected, the incomprehensible, the wantonly irrational

      You mean like treating legal immigrants like shit, while giving illegal migrants a fast path to citizenship? Like throwing the book at any US citizen who makes the tiniest error on their tax return but giving illegals a free pass?

      That kind of “incomprehensible and wantonly irrational”?

      1. “Like throwing the book at any US citizen who makes the tiniest error on their tax returns”

        Not ANY citizen. Special people like Al Sharpton and Charlie Rangel get special privileges.

    3. Haha. You lost me at “dictatorship”.

      Funny, but none of my die hard leftist neighbors have disappeared.

      Drama queens gotta be drama queens. Don’t change a thing.

      Haha

  9. Incoming, Suderman. Bratfart has sent Trump Trash in to defend his Big Gov ways.

    Is that fucker Andrew Bratfart still dead? Many on the right think he has risen again.

  10. the uncertainty is the fun.

  11. And that uncertainty, even in the absence of actual action, is bad enough.

    Not for Trump it’s not. Trump loves sowing chaos, not just because it amuses him to see everybody run around like their head’s on fire and their ass is a-catching, but because since he’s the only one who knows what’s going on it makes him the center of all power. Which is a horribly shitty way to run an organization and makes him a horribly shitty boss, but his ego is more important than the success of the organization. His refusal to set long-term plans and goals keeps everybody guessing as to what tomorrow will bring suits Trump just fine. A basic tenet of warfare is keeping your enemies confused and unable to guess your intentions and Trump is a one-man army, everybody is his enemy.

    1. Agree with that jerryskids.

      Much is studied in the tactics and aphorisms of Ghenghis khan.

      One often overlooked is this one “Conquering the world on horseback is easy; it is dismounting and governing that is hard.”

      1. “Much is studied in the tactics and aphorisms of Ghenghis khan.”

        Agreed! Also note yet one more similarity between Ghenghis khan and Der TrumpfenFuhrer: Ghenghis khan had like 970 kids… Ghenghis khan thought MUCH of Himself and His Genes… So, Ghenghis khan spread His genes worldwide!

        Der TrumpfenFuhrer clearly lusts after doing the same, because He clearly think MUCH of His Great Genes:

        Did y’all know that about 1 in 10 men in certain areas of Asia, have the “Y” chromosome of Genghis Khan? And 1 in 200 planet-wide? Use this search-string in quotes:
        “1 in 200 men direct descendants of Genghis Khan”
        WHY is this relevant, you ask?
        Well, ’cause The Donald has “the winning gene”, and wants to out-do this low-brow Genghis dude!! The Donald-breeding/cloning farms “over there” (in Afghanistanistanistanistan) are gonna fire up soon, I’m a tellin ‘ ya!!!
        If’n ye do NOT believe me about the superiority of “The Donald’s” genes, look at the following quotes from that same Donald!!!
        Quotes from The Donald in the “Anti Gravity” column in August 2017 “Scientific American” magazine follow:
        “I have great genes and all that stuff, which I’m a believer in”,
        “God helped me by giving me a certain brain”,
        “I have a very, very high aptitude”,
        “Maybe it’s just something you have. You know, you have the winning gene.”
        Google the quotes, they are real…

    2. Which is a horribly shitty way to run an organization and makes him a horribly shitty boss, but his ego is more important than the success of the organization.

      Well, given that the organization he runs is a gigantic, dysfunctional, authoritarian bureaucracy that acts far outside the limits set for it by the US Constitution, I consider that a point in his favor. If he can cause a few more federal bureaucrats to quit in despair, that alone will have been worth it.

      Of course, you may be an authoritarian who likes giant bureaucracies that function like a finely tuned machine.

      1. I consider that a point in his favor.

        Of course you do.

        Tune in to tomorrow, wheb Trump proposes to nuke hurricanes, and NOBY2 will be here to say “I consider that a point in his favor”

        1. Pedo Jeffy! Your testicles drop yet, bitch? Maybe you can get Buttplug to fuck your asshole for you. After all, you’re an eight year old trapped in a twelve year old’s body. He might like that.

        2. Tune in to tomorrow, wheb Trump proposes to nuke hurricanes, and NOBY2 will be here to say “I consider that a point in his favor”

          And your problem with the president proposing to nuke hurricanes is… what?

      2. I consider that a point in his favor

        There’s absolutely nothing he could do that you and your ilk wouldn’t consider a point in his favor. The eighth circle awaits you.

        There is a place in hell called Malebolge…

        1. Well, you demonstrate your blind partisanship and TDS. You also demonstrate your idiotic worship of a federal bureaucracy.

          FWIW, there are plenty of things I don’t like about Trump, it’s just that few of the things that progressives get upset about are among them.

  12. One of the first lessons a president has to learn is that every word he
    says weighs a ton. — Calvin Coolidge

    1. Calvin. Putting the ‘cool’ in the Presidency.

      It’s the best I could do.

    2. Another good thing about the Trump presidency is that people will hopefully lose respect for the office of the presidency.

      Granted, Trump’s predecessors ought to have accomplished that already, but apparently many people (including you) worship the state so much that you still can’t help yourself.

  13. Trump is full of crazy ideas that he probably would never actually try to implement (and would almost certainly be blocked if he did).

    The Democrats are full of crazy ideas that have the full backing of their party (No controls on immigration! Free health care for anyone who shows up in the country! Subsidized degrees in Underwater Basketweaving! Let’s do away with cars! And planes! And cows! We don’t really need those first 2 amendments in the Bill of Rights, do we?)

    I’m sticking with Trump. At the very least, he’s entertaining.

    1. You’re supposed to remain calm in the face of the bat-shit insane rhetoric coming out of the left, safe and secure in the knowledge that they could never get their opium-dream fantasies pushed through Congress in any actionable form. It’s only Trump’s crack-addled babbling that you’re supposed to take seriously.

    2. “I’m sticking with Trump. At the very least, he’s entertaining”

      Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you today’s Right. Come to this so-called “political philosophy” for coherent ideas and you best expect disappointment. Their most core creed, supply-side economics, is something you couldn’t dupe a small child to believe. Look for competence, judiciousness or responsibility and you better go looking elsewhere.

      Because today’s Right is nothing more than an entertainment conglomerate, its politicians and pundits mere extras on the set. Bray or whinny on cue and they’re allowed to hang around – maybe even pick up day wages – but ideas, laws, governance and the public good are entirely beside the point.

      Instead, today’s Right-type consumer sits in his boxers before the TV’s blue glow, cheering cartoon heroes and booing cartoon villains served for his viewing pleasure by Right-Wing-Entertainment Co. When the nation’s business equals professional wrestling, who cares if it’s even real? The more phony the better….

      1. grb….The TDS is strong with you (just teasing). 🙂

        This is a very unique POTUS. We are in uncharted territory here. POTUS Trump is doing things in a very unorthodox way. The strong appeal that POTUS Trump among his base is this: POTUS Trump is beholden to no one. He owes no favors to political party or person. He cannot be bribed; he will not be bullied by anyone, and he simply cannot be bought.

        From a policy standpoint, he is doing what he said he would do (where he can). That wall is getting built (too slowly). Income taxes were lowered. The US embassy moved to Jerusalem (in full accordance with a law passed by Congress). The judiciary vacancies are being slowly, and steadily filled; Gorsuch and Kavenaugh sit on SCOTUS. China’s serial lying, cheating and theft of American IP is being forcefully addressed via tariffs. Lower income Americans are seeing/experiencing accelerated wage growth. The poverty rate, particularly those in deep poverty, is declining (I am really happy to see this…finally!).

        What drives me absolutely nuts (at times) is POTUS Trump just tweets out a Joycean stream of consciousness that creates a lot of controversy, confusion and concern. If you are on Team R, you shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh well….there he goes again, but I know he’ll get it done”. If you are on Team D, you have a collective case of the vapors.

        Historians will debate the merits of POTUS Trump, decades from now, I think most will say he was very unorthodox. We are watching history being made before our own eyes, because I don’t think we’ll have this unique circumstance of the 2016 election happen for a long, long time to come. We won’t really know POTUS Trump’s impact for decades (yes….decades).

        1. I agree with much of what you’re saying. Except that I don’t think it will take decades to assess any impact re him. Trump isn’t playing 4D chess. He’s not pursuing a complex agenda that will unfold over time. Positive or negative, his impact will be known the moment he leaves office.

          Those who voted for him and who have transformed the GOP? That will take a long time to unfold.

          1. Those who voted for him and who have transformed the GOP? That will take a long time to unfold.

            Precisely JFree. The impact of any POTUS cannot be known for some time; I maintain decades. From my perspective, we can only now begin to assess the impact of the Nixon administration. It is way too soon to even attempt to assess the impact of POTUS Trump.

            But I think when they do get around to assessing his impact, the phrase very unorthodox will be used a lot. God knows that is the truth. Like him or not, he is very unorthodox.

          2. Trump isn’t playing 4D chess.

            If by “4D chess” you mean overly complex plans worthy of Dr. Evil, like Hillary and Warren have, no, he isn’t doing that.

            He is manipulating people like a used car salesman or a late night infomercial host. Pretty one-dimensional stuff, unless you have a Harvard degree, in which case it confuses you to no end.

        2. Atlas, some points :

          (1) The wall is not getting built, not a single linear foot of new wall up to now. Yes, Trump has repeatedly claimed otherwise, but don’t you realize he’s a liar ?!?

          (2) Taxes were lowered, which translated into pure debt – which someone’s grandchild will have to pay. Yeah, you don’t care (even if that grandchild is yours), but that’s today’s Right…

          (3) You’ve managed to list judicial appointments twice, which is hilarious. Yep, presidents select judges, along with walking & talking at the same time. I’m surprised you didn’t list that feat of physical coordination among the “accomplishments” of Trump’s “unorthodox” presidency – twice even !!

          (4) Two comments on the strong economy Trump inherited from Obama. DJT’s “accomplishment” on that have been juicing it up the smallest bit w/ hundreds of billions in new debt to buy a few percentage points of additional popularity. How you feel about irresponsibility in general governs how you feel about that. I can guess though.

          (5) The trade war with China has accomplished nothing and will accomplish nothing. Good theatrics tho, which is what today’s Right is into. I would suggest you consult history on the efficacy of trade wars, but today’s Right isn’t up on history

          (6) Trump will never be considered the worst president in US history – I think Buchanan has that locked up – but he’ll easily be ranked on of the worse. If you think otherwise you’re delusional.

          PS : The Jerusalem decision was wrong too, but I think you’ve had enough schooling for one round…..

          1. grb….

            The drone footage of wall construction in AZ do not lie. This is an objective fact. I suppose it could be a ‘deep fake’ but honestly, I doubt that.

            Revenues are up as a result from the 2017 tax cuts. From a logic perspective, it is hard for me to see how that is debt financed. We don’t have a revenue issue; we have a spending issue.

            Tariffs are not an economic tool, they are a foreign policy tool. The distinction is an important one.

            I guess I must be a bad student. 🙁

            1. Bad student indeed.

              Let’s do’em in turn :

              Fact : There is not a single solitary inch of new barrier built on the border. I presume the wall-porn you watched was an existing barrier being rebuilt. Go turn off your wall-cam and do some research. You don’t need to come back and apologize; I’m not petty that way.

              Fact : Revenue is up and water is wet. Guess what: Revenue is ALWAYS UP. Is it possible you didn’t know that ?!? In the last fifty years federal revenues increased forty-six times. It increased after tax cuts, tax hikes, and no tax change whatsoever. The population grows, the economy expands, and revenue increases. The only time it doesn’t increase is after a major economic shock, and then it just resets lower and immediately starts climbing again. The important thing is HOW MUCH it increases, because costs rise just as surely. They rise after the scope of government increases, they rise after the scope is reduced, they rise after no change to government scope whatsoever. The population grows, the economy expands, and costs increase. When costs grow faster than revenue the deficit grows. When taxes are cut, costs grow much faster than revenue. I’m explaining this in the simplest terms because I know economic illiteracy is a religion with the Right.

              Fact : Trade wars fail and Trump’s trade war is failing. You can put that failure into whatever category comforts you; I’m talking results.

  14. Peter drew the metal straw this week?

  15. Perhaps the strangest thing about the story that President Donald Trump has expressed interest in using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes was that it didn’t seem all that strange. Almost no one thought to ask “Can you believe it?”

    I’m nominating that for a Pulitzer.

    Trump has been getting more and more erratic in recent weeks. Could be headed toward a nervous, breakdown, but I read something today that seems far more likely. Three major criminal charges were sent to the Southern District of New York, two of which have had their evidence widely documented. This theory is that the prosecution will be delayed until closer to the 2020 election.

    Normally, that would be abhorrent, but he’s the one stupid enough to bully people he has no control over … like Xi, Kim , Macron and so many others,

    1. This theory is that the prosecution will be delayed until closer to the 2020 election.

      Public servants in the judicial branch timing their prosecutions to influence a presidential election. Talk about abuse of power and election interference. And you’re cheering it on because… TDS.

      he’s the one stupid enough to bully people he has no control over … like Xi, Kim , Macron and so many others,

      Anybody who antagonizes Xi, Kim, Macron is doing something right.

      1. “Public servants in the judicial branch timing their prosecutions to influence a presidential election. ”

        Didn’t Trump take responsibility for stopping their pay checks a while back? Did he think there wouldn’t be a downside?

        “Anybody who antagonizes Xi, Kim, Macron is doing something right.”

        Does it win votes in Texas is the question a candidate for re-election should be asking himself.

        1. Didn’t Trump take responsibility for stopping their pay checks a while back? Did he think there wouldn’t be a downside?

          So you think the president should be subservient to the bureaucracy?

          Does it win votes in Texas is the question a candidate for re-election should be asking himself.

          Well, I guarantee you that cozying up to any of those jerks (throw in Trudeau and any European leader) certainly is going to lose him votes in Texas, and much across the US.

  16. The Axios article is skimpy. Who said it and in what context? How do we know Donald was serious?

    Then there’s this:

    “The big picture: Trump didn’t invent this idea. The notion that detonating a nuclear bomb over the eye of a hurricane could be used to counteract convection currents dates to the Eisenhower era, when it was floated by a government scientist.

    The idea keeps resurfacing in the public even though scientists agree it won’t work. The myth has been so persistent that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. government agency that predicts changes in weather and the oceans, published an online fact sheet for the public under the heading “Tropical Cyclone Myths Page.”

    So he’s not the only one. Huh. Sorta like Greenland. It’s reported as though he’s a crazy hobo wanting to buy land but it’s a place the U.S. has been eyeing since the mid 19th century.

    Nothing new.

    Trump is a little kooky but he’s fun.

    Better than Obama if you ask me. He played the swamp game like a champ.

    1. Note that there are potentially a lot of peacetime engineering applications of nuclear explosives; they were abandoned in the 1960’s largely due to concerns about radioactivity and nuclear war and proliferation. It’s far from clear that those concerns are still warranted.

    2. “So he’s not the only one. ”

      The point is he’s the only president. He might consider keeping his more grandiose fantasies like buying Greenland or setting off nukes to himself. I think he just loves the attention. A facile diagnosis sure but Occam’s Razor and all that.

      1. The point is he’s the only president. He might consider keeping his more grandiose fantasies like buying Greenland or setting off nukes to himself.

        No, he should talk about his more grandiose ideas with his advisers, which is what he did.

        The fact that a combination of leaks, hostile press, and TDS causes people like you to run around like your hair is on fire isn’t Trump’s fault.

        1. Obama planned on taking over ONE SEVENTH OF THE US ECONOMY and shat the bed in a most profound manner.

          Yeah, Trump’s “grandiose” ideas are the problem.

          The Dems NOW are planning to take over the ENTIRE ENERGY SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY.

          Yeah, Trump’s “grandiose” ideas are the problem.

  17. If Trump is erratic enough to seal a deal with North Korea, the Taliban, and bring peace to the middle east, I say ERRATICITY RULES!

    1. Signing deals don’t mean SHIT for peace on the planet, when other nations learn that the NEXT president will immediately dishonor the agreements that the previous president (more so, Congress, ideally, per the Constitution) agreed to. You can thank Trump for our in-the-shitter relationship with Iran right now, for exactly that!

      1. “” You can thank Trump for our in-the-shitter relationship with Iran right now””

        When has our relationship with Iran NOT been in the shitter?

        1. Good point indeed! In the crapper since Jimmy Carter days!

          But Trump very clearly did make it worse…

      2. Yes, SQRLSY, before Trump, people often marveled at how friendly Iran and the US were.

  18. “Must protect our economic access to the Chinese slave labor of Emperor Xi, so we can save a nickel on our HDTVs!”

    1. Calling on Americans to sacrifice has never been a vote winner.

      1. Calling on one tribe or nation for having the OTHER tribe or nation to make sacrifices, on the other hand, has gone gangbusters with the voters! It has never occurred to these voters that the other tribe or nation might just turn around and do the exact same things back us!

        Maybe some day more voters will realize that “what comes around, goes around”. W

        1. Calling on one tribe or nation for having the OTHER tribe or nation to make sacrifices,

          Many people are willing to make sacrifices for the good of the nation: smaller government, free markets, lower national debt.

          What we are not willing to make sacrifices for is to have our money redistributed to a mix of government cronies, third world migrants, and spoiled brats.

      2. Oooops, aborted… What I meant to say is, we can always hope that voters might learn! Even if it’s the hard way! I just hope it’s not the hard, hard, HARD way! Nuclear WW III has no appeal for me!

      3. “Mexico will pay for our wall.”

        “China will pay the tariffs, not American consumers.”

        “Soldiers, give up what could be some time off, and make Glorious Spectacle Military Parades in the hot streets of Washington, DC, instead.”

        “Make your sacrifices to ME! I Am Your Chosen One!”

        THESE are the kinds of “calls for sacrifice” that sell VERY well with a certain segment of American voters!

      4. So sorry, I forgot one of the VERY most appealing “calls for sacrifice” that apparently appeals to voters of ALL stripes:

        “Party now, pay later! Future taxpayers and your grandchildren will sacrifice later for YOUR party NOW! Sky-high taxes for them to pay off the debt, and-or horrendous interest payments? Let’s drink a toast to THAT for THEM!”

    2. “Must slander other nations and ethnic groups in order to pander to the knuckle-draggers and gather votes! Must make the economic decisions of those less sophisticated than me!”

      1. Must slander other nations and ethnic groups in order to pander to the knuckle-draggers and gather votes!

        I don’t give a f*ck about other nations or other ethnic groups either way. It’s when government demands that I cough up money to support them that I get annoyed.

    1. Donald Trump! He’s always certain that He’s The Chosen One!

  19. The only thing keeping the country from adopting Democratic ideas is Trump spouting them. I say we should let him continue.

    Trump could open the borders and offer free healthcare and the Democrats would caterwaul about border security and the National Debt.

  20. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He literally wrote the book on deal making. He throws things out to see if they’ll fly. He throw things out as misdirection. He throws things out just to piss piss people off. He’s two steps ahead. Everyone laughed at buying Greenland but they don’t know that China did the same thing and that we have a huge military base there.

    1. He literally wrote the book on deal making.

      No he literally did not. He didn’t even literally have the idea for the book. It is entirely possible that he has never literally even read the book. Though he has certainly literally cashed the 50% of the royalties that he receives as the guy whose name is literally on the front of the book.

      1. Yes, Manhattan real estate developers often know little about deal making when compared to community activists in Chicago…

  21. The only people any of this stuff could possibly matter to are those with TDS or people who far too concerned about what the government is up to TODAY rather than simply ignoring the daily ding dong of governance and making their lives as free and bountiful as possible.

  22. Hopefully, the “fucking moron” won’t get us into a nuke war, before he departs in 17 months. (But who’s counting?)

  23. “Even if Trump doesn’t follow through on his bad ideas, the uncertainty is still a drag.”

    Even if @Reason doesn’t follow through on good ideas like a free market – instead choosing to support coercive monopolies like the state – it can still be a drag on the libertarian movement.

    1. Reason writers don’t generally “support coercive monopolies like the state” very much… Sad to say, a LOT of the commenters here DO do exactly that! I haz a sad!

  24. The ridiculous state of the American Presidency today can largely be blamed on the failure of the Republicans to rein in President Trump. Conservatives have long complained about the excesses of the Presidency and need to restore the constitutional balance established by our founders. Republicans controlling both houses of Congress could have done that in the first two years of the Trump Presidency. I am not saying go to war with the President, but rather take the lead. In doing so demise the importance of the Presidency. Had they done this they might have held the House. Certainly they would have made President Trump erratic behavior less important.

  25. It would be nice to get up in the morning, and not have to worry about what nutty thing our president might have said.

    1. I do that every morning.

  26. Trump asks, ‘Can we buy Greenland?’ and ‘Is it possible to use a nuke to destroy a hurricane?’ and everyone acts as if he’s insane, but when an egotistic ass suggests that simply by nominating him “the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth” and no one bats an eye..

  27. So we should take comfort in the fact that virtually everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth is a bald-faced lie, until it isn’t. That is an interesting way to run a country.

  28. Everything coming out of Donald Trump mouth is not lie actually he change his stance according to the situation.

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