Is Trump's Political Grandstanding Getting To You?

Trump has said that he wants to send the whack job who killed 8 people in New York last week to Gitmo.

What Trump is doing here, he's been doing long enough and well enough that it's starting to become quite obvious.

His game is to constantly own the news cycle.

And the way that you constantly own the news cycle is by being outrageous.

He did this on the primary trail, and many of us were sitting there thinking, 'there's no way this guy even wants to be president.'

Saying John McCain is not a war hero, for example. This going after iconic figures in the Republican Party, that George W Bush was the worst president ever, and the Iraq war was the biggest military mistake ever made.

I don't disagree with those sentiments, but they're the kind of things that earned Trump - and I say earned advisedly, he knew what he was doing - earned him the news cycle on those days that he dropped those stories.

And it worked for him. He got the presidential nomination and then he did the same thing in the general election and it got him the White House.

And his strategy is always, OK, you look at a situation, we're getting bad coverage, how do we change this? Do or say the most outrageous thing you can think of.

And not only do you then get your name mentioned thousands of times by people on the other side of the issue, but you also get all the Sturm and Drang from the news media.

The news media: "oh my god, how can he say that? How could he do...? He really went there?" Yeah, of course he's going to do that.

This guy is a demagogue.

He is absolutely committed to doing whatever increases his own power and wealth, the two being relatively indistinguishable. And nothing else.

I mean, Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump and maybe a few members of his family, and that's it.

And now we're seeing this with his pathetic attempts to seize the news cycle. Well, pathetic, but actually successful. Here we are discussing it.

But I think it's important to point out that this is just a political strategy. This has nothing to do with reality. This has nothing to do with getting the best outcome.

You had a bunch of prosecutions that were done in US civil courts of major terrorist figures and they're sitting in maximum security prisons and they're never going to go anywhere.

This is just pure political grandstanding on Trump's part.

Is it getting you?

Do you know people who are being influenced by him in this regard?

Is it working or is it starting to fade away?


Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 5 years 29 weeks ago

Fading Fast
CNN-Trumps poll numbers worse all the time

Most people catch onto fraudulent people sooner or later.
Thankfully sooner

Randall Paul's picture
Randall Paul 5 years 29 weeks ago

Thom you are exactly on point with Trump Grand Standing and is a perfect demagogue! However, beyond the fact we must eliminate money from politics...we must mandate the FAIRNESS DOCTRINE!

The drive by media includes Limbaugh. The media is not liberal biased or fake news against Trump. The media treats Trump with kid gloves. Sure they take a pot shot one day and then bend over backwards in the next few days to pander to Trumps family...namely Ivanka.

The Fairness doctrine needs to be mandated on ALL MEDIA: TV, Nation Wide Radio, Movies, You Tube, Social media....should all be required to report honest facts and give equal time to both sides left and right, but what about inbetween? Independent too! Communism is a dirty word because capitalism owns all the media and writes the text books. Whereas, the early Christians practiced "commune" style living and sharing everything. The fact we have places like Mar-A-Lago only allows select rich people belong is just like a illuminati club that is open and not secret!

To eliminate grand standing, we must first impliment the FAIRNESS doctrine. Install ethics media wide. Before any candidate can run for political office...there must be strict resume standards.

1. A Commander in Chief should be ex military and honorable!
2. No conflicts of interest prior to applying for candidate debates!
3. No dirty laundry. Master's degree minimum. Proven success.

Legend 5 years 29 weeks ago

In 1980 and 81 I worked on a power project near Cairo Egypt. The Egyptian client had one old guy that spoke perfect english. Got to know him and he was the son of a wealthy American stockbroker who went toatlly bust while on vacation in Cairo in 1929. Taught me a lesson.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 29 weeks ago

His whole phony shtick is getting really old really fast with just about everybody in the world except his gullible flock of fools, whom it works on every time.

With no political future left to protect, at least in the Washington DC Republican caucus, Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake finally discovered enough independence and critical thinking skills to speak out honestly, as did Senator McCain. And if Robert Reich's source is taken at his word (a good bet), these conscious-stricken senators aren't the only Republicans freaked out by Trump. Regardless, cold political calculation has them cowering in their foxholes until their signature achievement -- tax cuts for the rich -- can be realized. Not exactly "profiles in courage."

The biggest thing that still scares the hell out of most members of Republican circles in the Capitol, as it should, is that this unhinged, unpredictable, emotionally unstable madman has the nuclear codes to launch WWIII and the end of civilization in a matter of seconds. "...Trump’s not just a moron. He’s a despicable human being. And he’s getting crazier. Paranoid. Unhinged. Everyone knows it. I mean, we’re in shit up to our eyeballs with this guy." -- Reich's source.

He's clearly out of his depth but doesn't seriously listen to anyone outside of his inner circle of sycophants. Evidently, he has a very difficult time with outside, independent counsel. Concerned high-level staffers in the West Wing have leaked numerous times that it's a constant challenge for those around this shortsighted goofball to keep America from stumbling into self-made disaster after disaster, as he notoriously resists any perceived threat to his fragile ego or tenuous grip on power with an explosive, profanity-laced, vindictive temper.

...And he has the nuclear codes. Let that sink in.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 29 weeks ago

Will Crooked Donny get permission from Pootie to bomb Iran?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 29 weeks ago

I believe Trump's comments truly reflect who he is. He's a product of the alt right, with Bannon, Alex Jones, Limpball, Foxaganda, etc. forming his reality.

puebloart's picture
puebloart 5 years 29 weeks ago

I wanted to call in on your show. I am ashamed that the leader of the free world is Donald Trump and each day, he comes out wqith something so totally ridiculous and embarassing to me as an American.

I don't know if I will be able to keep my sanity if Trump is able to stay in office for the entire 4 years. If I have to say 8 years, I'm movinmg to Canada.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 29 weeks ago

Thom, I think you're giving Trump way too much credit. I think he's just a deranged dumb-ass, blowhard that can never keep his mouth shut. But since a new scandal arrises at least very week, they just happen to parallel the timing of his moronic, outrageous outbursts, making it seem like he's grandstanding, when actually he doesn't have a clue what the hell he's doing.

He even just admitted that he's crazy when he said about the Texas shooter "this is a mental problem of the highest levels." Namely himself and all his gun-nut buddies at the NRA that have aided and abetted every mass murderer you can think of "…not a gun problem, but a mental problem…" Does he think all these mass murderers just kill with their brains?

Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

Stopgap: Trump's right, although this is just a random hapinstance. It is in fact a "mental problem" with this country, not a "GUN NUT" problem. Here, we have a society based on violence from its very inception. Why don't you go off on the "rental truck" problem (harkening back to our previous terrorist act)? You people are so mentally restricted that you can't see past your own symbology. Its GUNS! IT'S GOTTA BE THE GUNS! IF WE COULD ONLY GET RID OF THE THE GUNS THE PROBLEM WOULD GO AWAY! What a crock of shit. Open your eyes. The problem is much deeper than the symbol you choose to represent the much deeper issue.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 29 weeks ago

Australia got rid of the guns and the problem went away.

Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

Australia is not the USA, and I'm not convinced that their problem compares to ours.

Legend 5 years 29 weeks ago

Trump has done it so many times that now he gets away with it. And it does distract from what is actually being done. This tax bill, as expected, is a total give away to the wealthy. Very little protest.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 29 weeks ago

Thom, interesting how you drone on and on about the press Trump gets and yet nearly your entire daily three hours of bitter radio is devoted to President Trump or dividing the nation into subgroups and then telling your listeners how President Trump and the Republicans hate each of those groups. Healing? First look inward.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 29 weeks ago


The question is, can a pigeon fly all the way to Australia?


The only NRA involvement in this shooting was the NRA member , "good guy with a gun" Stephen Willeford, who had the courage to grab his own AR15 and confront this maniac by returning fire, stopping the carnage from continuing, and convincing another citizen to chase down this piece of trash and hold him at gunpoint.

So much for your "common sense" background checks.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 29 weeks ago

The real question is: How many pieces of murdering trash will conservatives aid and abet before they come to their senses? Based on the evidence seen here and the fact that they prefer not to face facts, they will never stop abetting murderers. After all, there is a lot of money involved

Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

#15: Not nearly the amount of money, nowhere remotely close, made by war profiteers in perpetuating the policies of this country in selling arms to countries like Saudi Arabia to ensure continuing global strife, not to even mention our own questionable military behavior. Where is your outrage with that? Where is your sense of proportion?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 29 weeks ago

My outrage with the Military Industrial Complex has been stated here many times. But that is not the issue here. Am I supposed to relate my outrage about every issue that I'm concerned about to make a point about any single issue? Am I supposed to drone on and on for hours about every other issue that I'm outraged about? Do you require this of everybody else? Is that the course that we have to follow to make progress. Can't we address a single issue without covering everything else we believe?

I too can make irrelevant analogies like your rental truck analogy. For instance, should we not pursue cures to deadly diseases until rental trucks are banned?...should we not inspect our food supplies and our water supplies until rental trucks are banned?....should we not require safety regulations in industry until rental trucks are banned?...should we not enforce building codes until rental trucks are banned?...should we not enforce traffic laws until rental trucks are banned?...and so on...and so on....

The fact is, guns are the most prevalent and convenient method for exacting carnage. There were 38,000 gun related deaths in USA in 2016, which averages out to about 104 a day. The fact that we'll probably never completely cure mental illness or be able to stop derangement, is no reason to take the most sensible and doable action to minimize the carnage.

Guns have only one purpose, to kill. Rental trucks are generally a positive contribution to the needs of the many. Even knives have uses other than malice. Only one item is made specifically for killing; GUNS! Unless you count toys for those with arrested development as a positive contribution to society?

Legend 5 years 29 weeks ago

You should have the right to attend a public venue such as a concert or church without being a target. We went a log time without semi auto weapons and had minimal problems. It is the amount of carnage that these weapons produce. 15 empty clips at the church. Republicans on the take to the gun lobbyiests do not want to do anything. Outback has stated before that he is paranoid to open his front door without having a gun at hand. The people that were killed and the ones that were wounded have rights also. When and where is the next one?

Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

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Stopgap: I haven't been tracking your “outrage quotient”, nor am I intending to pick on you personally. My problem with the specious arguments promoting gun control that spring up every time an incident like this happens is that they are Manichean in nature. There is no honest discussion to be found on either side. For example, your camp includes accidental shootings, suicides and all other forms of gun deaths when quoting statistics in order to inflate your case. I agree entirely with you that the slaughter that happens occasionally at the hands of a deranged person with a gun is a tragedy. So are the number of highway fatalities caused by drunk drivers or those distracted while texting. Or the number of deaths caused by the opioid epidemic. And it's a fallacious argument to suggest that I think we should not address other serious issues because of the one issue that always gets the benefit of YUUUGE media coverage; that of a sick person with a gun killing dozens of people. It's a phenomenon that's guaranteed to evoke a hysterical response from a certain segment of the population. It's also designed by the powers that be, that is the corporate media and the oligarchs behind it, to distract from more fundamental issues that afflict our society. Are you suggesting that we would be in better shape fifty years from now if we left the decision as to who should own a gun to the very people (and their politicians) behind the massive violence we, as a nation, inflict upon the planet and upon ourselves? Think a little deeper into the “gun problem” in the USA and you'll see that it's a symptom, not a root cause.

Legend 5 years 29 weeks ago

You use the term"occasionally".They happen "occasionally" in other industrialized countries. They happen "frequently" in this country.

You compare the gun problem to the opiod epedemic. Trump just declared a public health emergency over opiods. Nothing about guns. And I would agree that it is not enough.

Your words such as YUUUGE and hysterical show absolute disrepect for the dead and wounded. This was not a opiod over dose. This was the mass murder of 26 with 26 severly wounded church goers. Yes, it get coverage. These people also had rights and you do not repect that.

I do not have to think a little deeper. I remember a time when there were less mass murders and people were not as paranoid as you are.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 29 weeks ago

Legend, You make great points that I throughly agree with you. If the NRA enthusiasts argument had any validity, this would be the safest country in the world.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 29 weeks ago


Outback, you will get nowhere with these lemmings. They bob their heads at everything anti-gunners pump out. Note, whenever a caller challenges Thom, he talks over and cuts the caller off calling him/her a troll. Remember in a leftie/socialists mind, a "Troll" is defined as anyone that does not agree with him/her/alphabet.

In the first hour of his show I would be hard pressed to find anything factual in his rant other than his Bloomberg fed cherry picked statistics.

1. Trump overrode Obama's executive order that an individual that was for applying for social security benefits would have to be reported to the FBI/ATF for answering questions incorrectly like "do you personally manage your finances or does someone else do it for you?". The order was an exercise is stupidity and just another way to entrap people that did not answer the question correctly. But, Thom a few minutes later blasted this own argument out of the water by saying "so what? Lots of people are mentally ill" talking over the Doctor that was trying to make his point.

2. When the 'good guy with a gun" engaged the Texas shooter, he dropped his rifle and he was continuing to return fire with a handgun. NOBODY but the investigators know if the shooter had more rifle magazines on him or in his car. We do know, he had handguns and was using them. So the "good guy with a gun" did prevent further casualties and nobody but the leftie dreamers think otherwise.

3. Sorry Thom, there is no right to drive a car, it is a privilege. If you are unhappy with the constitution and the second amendment, get your lefties in a group and vote to amend the constitution.

4. Thom uses Indiana as his excuse for all the gun violence in Chicago. Just a note Thom, if you go across state lines to purchase a firearm, the store must follow the Federal NICS background check and the gun will have to be shipped to a FFL dealer in the state of residence of the purchaser where before given to the buyer, another NICS check will be performed. This is the same NICS Federal background check that Gaby Giffords husband had to fill out one day after testifying to Colorado legislators the need for more gun control. If you buy a gun over the internet the firearm MUST be sent to a local FFL and a NICS check and waiting period enforced if the state requires one. Now, your flawed argument will be, straw purchasers. Trust me, there are tens of thousands of illegal firearms in the city of Chicago the need for someone to drive more than a couple of miles to get one is bullshit.

5. Our church has had armed ushers for years and the congregation is encouraged to exercise our second amendment rights and be vigilant all the time.

6. I have not heard if anyone else in that church in Texas was armed, do you know differently? Contrary to you and your callers beliefs, at very close range, a rifle and a handgun will both get the job done. If you do your research, in most cases when an armed active shooter is confronted by someone else who is armed, they immediately kill themselves. Overwhelming evidence supports that statement.

I now sound like Drc2. I need a shower.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 29 weeks ago

Well Outback, Looks like you got a girlfriend. Don't be surprised though if it is a man cross-dressing as Chelsea Cliinton.

Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

Legend, you no NOTHING about what I respect or disrespect. Weapons violence has always been a problem in this country. Have you never read any real history, or have you contented yourself with what you learned in junior high? Try Howard Zinn, for starters. If I use the word "occasionally" it is not out of "disrespect" for the dead and wounded. It is by way of contrasting the frequency of the real travesties foisted on people numbering in the millions by sociopaths, right here at home, daily. This is a country numbering one third of a billion people. How many are impacted daily by policies you blithly ignore? Inadequate nutrition for kids. One of the highest infant mortality rates among the "developed" nations. The only thing you seem to find worthy of shouting about is "guns". Twice in this thread you have called me "paranoid". I suspect I'm one hell of a lot less paranoid than you. I take responsibility for my own safety as I live in a rural setting and "calling the cops" in the middle of the night is not a realistic option. Many millions of people are in my position and keep a gun around for personal self defense. Have you ever given a single thought to the number of lives that are actually saved by the fact that deranged people (who will always gain access to guns, sorry) are disuaded from violent crimes in rural areas because they never know what they might confront while contemplating a breakin? No, I guess that's a concept that is too abstract for you.

Legend 5 years 29 weeks ago

"If you do your research, in most cases when an armed active shooter is confronted by someone else who is armed, they immediately kill themselves. Overwhelming evidence supports that statement."

Here is the list Diane. Do your own research:

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 29 weeks ago

My my, granny's really got her bloomers ruffled this time. So animated when it comes to her guns! Such the expert! All the answers! The final word! Yup, the only problem in this here NRA whore house is that we don't have enough assault rifles! The more the merrier on our streets, in our homes, shopping malls, schools, and churches. Makes you wonder why Republican politicians banned all guns in the Capitol ...where they live.

By all means, take a shower. You need one after that rant, which lacks any acknowledgement of the horrific suffering of the victims of our fetishized gun culture. Have you ever taken a bullet?

The United States is unique in the world for having by far the highest rate of gun deaths. Beyond the emotional mostly angry arguments -- such as rootin' tootin' shootin' granny's -- that lack the backing of most legitimate studies, it's just a simple case of cause and effect: the more guns, the more gun deaths. Period. Everything else is just spin, ulterior motive, subjective opinion, and obfuscation.

As a nation, are we okay with that? Obviously we need to have this debate, but bear in mind that most sober-minded gun control advocates neither seek to take away all the guns nor even most of them. It is rather to: strengthen and enforce better background checks; create more robust data-sharing networks (e.g., military to civilian authorities; pertinent mental health record availability, inter-departmental cross-checks, etc.); restrict military grade weaponry on civilian streets with exceptions for target ranges, collectors, and in certain other cases; require proper training, registration, proof of legal ownership (title), and insurance -- exactly like buying and selling an automobile until it ends up in a junkyard.

Plus, national laws obviously need to be flexible enough to work with state and municipal laws, since different locales have different issues. What might work in Northern Idaho might be totally inappropriate and ineffective in Chicago and vice versa. Realistically, aren't there also many other wholly reasonable measures to consider that would go a long way in lessening the impact of increasingly regular mass-shooting incidents, unique to our country and culture? Of course you can't eliminate the threat entirely, but why is doing basically nothing always the only response of Republican "leadership" after every single mass murder involving assault weapons?

What is wrong with smart weapon control? Other civilized democracies have crazy people who act out too. But (excluding the occasional though still relatively rare organized terror attacks by ISIS, or whoever) only in America can one man so easily massacre 59 innocent souls and wound hundreds more in less than ten minutes, after hauling enough weaponry up 32 stories in a hotel over several days to keep a whole combat infantry platoon rockin' and rollin' in a firefight for several hours. Only in America can one man walk into a church with an assault rifle and 15 clips and slaughter 26, wounding over 20, 10 critically, again, in a matter of just minutes. Something is very wrong.

Sure there was a good guy with a gun who stopped a bad guy with a gun. But why did the bad guy have such a weapon (not a gun) in the first place? (Drill sergeant, "This is a weapon; this is a gun. This is for fighting; this is for fun." Okay, that was a different, ah, "gun," but you get the idea.) In fact, why did this whack job even get his bloody hands on any guns, including semi-automatic pistols?

More pointedly, why do so many parents have to face so many assault rifles where their children play, shop, go to school, and attend church -- war weapons that have no value other than to kill as many people as possible in as short of time as possible? It makes no sense.

Here's an accurate synopsis of the actual scientific studies:

Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

Deepspace, I'm normally in total agreement with you, but in this case I believe you have fallen prey to the common problem of wishfully hoping for an impossible solution to a real problem that is simply dwarfed by the magnitude of man's general inhumanity to man. Regardless of the reason we have this problem, the fact is that it exists. I read at one point that there is roughly one gun per capita in this country. Pragmatically, and regardless of any attempt to legislate the problem away, this isn't going to happen. Take the Las Vegas shooter you cite as an example. By all accounts, this was a guy who would never have shown up on the radar of any screening authority. This is not to say I disagree with you that sensible measures shouldn't be taken to keep guns out of the hands of those who have violent histories or diagnosed mental issues. But that's just an incremental fix, not a solution. What about nuclear weapons? I don't think it's a stretch to state that these weapons in particular are designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest possible time. Would you wish them away as well? And look at the people controlling them. Who is in charge of vetting them? I'm sorry if this sounds fatalistic, but in my view the problem extends well beyond who has access to assault rifles and the degree to which they are used in these spectacular crimes. To use stopgap's number (#17) of 38,000 gun related deaths in this country per year (0.0115 % of our population), my take is that, while unfortunate, we face problems that threaten global extinction of the species. And if, by the way, conditions deteriorate more gradually than they might under a worst case scenario, I'm going to be thankful that I still have more than my fingernails with which to survive. But as has been amply pointed out here, I'm just paranoid.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 29 weeks ago

Then I suggest you re-read post #22 item #3

or wait until tomorrow and

deepspace's picture
deepspace 5 years 29 weeks ago

Outback. Reasonable arguments and well presented. We've gone a few rounds on this before and I largely can't disagree with too much of what you say. We're probably from the same general neck of the woods or thereabouts, own guns, and no doubt have heard every argument for and against. Right? Haha, that's why bouncers don't let guns into bars.

No use raking the coals needlessly. Everyone has their own life experiences that change them in different ways, and this issue is one of the most devisive, not only on the wider political and cultural stage but on a very personal level.

We'll likely always disagree the most over the wild proliferation of military-grade assault weapons in every nook and cranny of our quasi-civilian streets (my discriptors). But you're absolutely right about the bigger picture; there's a much more ominous story to tell about humankind's penchant for violence on a scale unthinkable until now -- destruction that could end most life on Earth.

Violence is interwoven into our very nature as beings forced to evolve or die on this very beautiful and bountiful but very brutal planet. "Mother Nature is a harsh mistress indeed," yet somehow we thrived and multiplied.

Therein lies the dilemma. The one aspect of our collective behavior that has allowed us to "conquer" the environment is now destroying it, as well as everything that depends on it, including us.

And another crazy man has his itchy finger on the trigger -- of the biggest gun of all!

Duck and cover and kiss yer ass goodbye! The movie, "Dr. Strangelove," is eerily foreboding.

Outback 5 years 29 weeks ago

Yes, deepspace, Dr Strangelove was pretty much on the money.

Your comment about life experiences shaping our views is well taken. From your previous postings I sense that each of us has a similar background; military experience for example, and an upbringing that was fairly open and unfettered where it comes to these hot button issues.

If you want a glimpse into the way I see things shaping up, I'll name another movie, which is "The Postman", with Kevin Costner. Hokey for sure (it is after all a Kevin Costner movie) but I believe in ways quite prophetic. The setting is post WW3 and the survivors have retreated into small, self sustaining communities. I see this scenario as the most likely outcome of a world that has gone nuts. If you haven't seen it, I recommend you rent it.

Thanks for your reply and ongoing thoughtful commentary.

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