A Strange Symbiosis: President Trump and CNN’s President Confirm That They Need Each Other

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on strange relationship of mutualism that exists between President Donald Trump and his favorite nemesis, the media.

Here is the column:

In the Indian Ocean, there is a strange mutually beneficial relationship that developed between two otherwise rivals. While the fire sea urchin is poisonous and much feared, the red urchin crab has learned to carry it around on its back. The crab uses the urchin as a weapon while the urchin uses the crab to move freely into new feeding grounds. Washington has its own strange forms of symbiotic relationship and one became evident in two separate interviews by the president of the United States and the president of CNN.

Both effectively admitted that they needed each other: Donald Trump needs the media as a weapon and the media needs Donald Trump to sustain itself. It was a rare moment of honesty in Washington that was lost in the crush of the tragic news of the Pittsburgh shootings and the Florida pipe bomber. The comments of President Trump and Jeff Zucker confirmed the strange symbiosis between Trump and his media critics.

Trump has long been an anomaly in politics. He has been regularly denounced for false statements. Yet he is also one of the most transparent politicians of his generation, often acknowledging agendas or desires that most politicians conceal. Where Hillary Clinton seemed incapable of being open and honest, even when it would have worked to her advantage), Trump compulsively blurts out the worst possible admissions even when no one is pressing him for them. Examples range from his disastrous interview with NBC anchor Lester Holt acknowledging his thinking of the Russia investigation when firing FBI director James Comeyor his self-defeating statements on his travel ban on Muslim majority countries.

Last week, however, was the ultimate example of a man who likes to play poker with the cards facing outward. Trump told Axios that his overheated attacks on the media as the “enemy of the people” are meant to fire up his base. Trump said, “I couldn’t be here if I didn’t do that.” When asked to stop the attacks, Trump said that he commonly replies “Hey, I’m here! It got me here.” He added, “I know what I do good and what I do bad. I really get it, okay? I really get it better than anybody in the whole world.”

Moreover, the president noted that “much easier” for him “to be nice than it is for me to be the way I have to be.” The “way he has to be” appears to be endlessly demonizing the media even when such attacks can easily cross the line into a dangerous form of demagoguery. Such attacks can move a crazed individual like Cesar Sayoc from rage to response in fighting the enemy within.

The media has shown an equal absence of self-criticism and awareness. Networks like CNN constantly seem to be offer counterpoints rather than coverage, consistently taking the most critical take on every word that Trump utters. While Trump gives ample opportunity for negative coverage, many CNN hosts and reporters have abandoned any semblance of detached neutral analysis. The reason was made evident in a recent interview by CNN president Zucker. When asked why CNN now seems to report only on Trump and virtually no other news around the world, Zucker had a surprising moment of clarity: It’s all about the ratings. Zucker said, “People say all the time, ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk about Trump, I’ve had too much Trump.’ … We’ve seen that anytime you break away from the Trump story and cover other events in this era, the audience goes away. So we know that, right now, Donald Trump dominates.”

What is curious is that the tactics do not seem to be working all that well for Trump or CNN. Trump is looking at the loss of the House and a narrow hold of the Senate despite one of the best economies in years. While his popularity has risen recently, Trump continues to roller coaster on favorability below a majority of voters. While his attacks on journalists have rallied supporters, it has riled a growing number of “anyone but Trump” voters, and pushed suburban moms and independents toward the Democrats.

At least Trump can claim favorability with his supporters and other conservatives. CNN has ridden its openly anti-Trump coverage into the basement of ratings. In October, Fox News again beat both CNN and MSNBC in ratings and posted more viewers than both competitors combined. Fox News averaged 2.8 million to the less than 1.6 million viewers of MSNBC and 931,000 of CNN. CNN finished ninth in basic cable overall, behind the Hallmark Channel and HGTV.

Missing from the remarks of both Trump and Zucker is any notion of ethical obligations that transcend ratings. An United States president should be a champion of the free press, a defining institution under our Constitution. Likewise, a media president should recognize the obligation to cover news and not just the most clickbaited subject. While CNN legitimately mocked Trump for bizarre meetings in the Oval Office with figures like Kanye West, it covered those meetings in detail and continued to replay it on an endless loop as wars and natural disasters went without nary a mention.

The fact is that they need each other. Recently, CNN anchor Brian Stelter took offense with a statement made by journalism legend Ted Koppel when he noted that, despite the caustic comments, Trump was good for CNN. Stelter responded, “That means what? If ratings are up, that means what?” Koppel did not back down and correctly stated, “The ratings are up, it means you can’t do without Donald Trump. You would be lost without Donald Trump.” When Stelter shot back “Ted, you know that’s not true,” Koppel responded with the common view that “CNN’s ratings would be in the toilet without Donald Trump.” That brought an angry retort from Stelter that “You know that’s not true. You’re playing for laughs.”

Now Stelter’s boss has basically said that same thing and confirmed that CNN is playing for ratings. Call it sensational symbiosis. Trump carries the media like a red urchin crab while CNN rides him as far as he can go. They both benefit by maintaining a level of anger while ignoring the obvious damage to both the presidency and the press. Both play to relatively narrow bandwidths of voters and viewers to achieve short-term returns. That is the thing with mutualism among symbiotic creatures: The benefits rarely extend beyond the two animals while the costs can be great for those around them.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

151 thoughts on “A Strange Symbiosis: President Trump and CNN’s President Confirm That They Need Each Other”

  1. “The Efficiency of Brazil’s Elections Is a Stark Contrast to Voter Suppression and Deliberate Chaos in the U.S.”

    Glenn Greenwald, Victor Pougy

    November 7 2018, 8:26 a.m.


    The start of the article:

    “The systemic, nationwide voting problems plaguing Tuesday night’s midterm elections in the United States appear all the more disgraceful — and deliberate — when compared to the two remarkably efficient national elections that were conducted in Brazil just last month.

    “That a country poorer than the U.S., with a much shorter history of democracy, can hold such seamless, fair, participatory, and efficient elections proves that the opposite outcome in the U.S. — massive voter disenfranchisement, multi-hour voting lines, pervasive machine malfunctions, and elections that are not decided until weeks after the fact — are very easily avoided and thus likely intentional.”

    The article’s last two paragraphs:

    “Every two years in November, people in the U.S. watch with horror and outrage as they see endless lines, people being turned away from voting booths, rampant technological malfunctions, and vote counts that linger for weeks with no certain outcome. Those emotions quickly dissipate, and thus, the same problems repeat themselves every two years.

    “There should be no doubt that all of this is quite deliberate, and fixable with relative ease. That Brazil, plagued by an endless stream of systemic political and social problems, can nonetheless hold national elections that are so efficient and fair, proves that all that is missing in the U.S. is the desire to fix this.”

  2. Republicans don’t understand if welfare is eliminated, women will give their kids to the state, which will have to pay for the administrative costs of taking custody, as well as the costs of caring for the kids.

    So cutting welfare won’t save the country money.

    1. thats a good point and they dismantled orphanages a while ago,
      they weren’t all bad. there was a good one in our community that went by the wayside
      I know a lady that was very thankful for it in her own youth experience

    2. Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps, WIC, HAMP, HARP, social services, utility subsidies, farm subsidies and every other form of redistribution of wealth as individual welfare, not “…general Welfare…,” cannot be taxed for by Congress. General means ALL as in roads, water, electricity, currency, post office and other commodities or services that ALL people use in equal amounts. Welfare means WELL – GET ALONG. Redistribution of wealth was not the thesis of the Founders and the Constitution. Redistribution of wealth was mandated by the Communist Manifesto. You may not know; there is a difference.

      1. George, you always sound like you’re commenting from a survivalist camp in the backwoods of some deep southern state. Your whole point of view is based on realities that existed in 1786. In that regard you’re like the Amish of American politics; driving a horse and buggy on modern county trunks.

        1. Peter Hill – George makes a lot more sense if you are not living under the shade of the Hollywoodland sign. 😉

          1. Oh, right, Paul, California is just so isolated. ‘People in most states realize that nothing has changed since the 1780’s. And everything our founders said still applies today’.

    3. Now you grasp the thesis of the Founders.

      Those “kids” are not the burden of the taxpayer.

      Markets are created and demand is filled in the free markets of the private sector.

      Government is severely limited and restricted.

      Charity is industry conducted in the free markets of the private sector.

      There are not enough babies to fulfill the demand of private adoption agencies.

      I’ll bet there are millions of babies in England, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, et al. that were never acknowledged and

      are unaccounted for. Shall we “save” the world? Shall we “save” the universe? That’s a whole lotta savin’!

      You are free to be consumed by your pity, empathy and guilt, and go out and start a “kid” clearinghouse, adoption agency or


      The Lord helps those who help themselves.

      Americans give generously to charities.

    4. So cutting welfare won’t save the country money.

      Again, your accounting stinks. The population of the United States in 1995 was 266 million and 12 million were collecting AFDC. The population now is 318 million and 4.3 million are collecting from its successor program, TANF, which has tougher eligibility rules. The net increase in the foster care census in New York (to take one example) has been nil. Foster care expenditures in New York amount to about 0.3% of state gdp. It’s a surprisingly modest fraction of the welfare state.

    5. Marry a minority…………….No….Women don’t understand! If you have unprotected sex, you can get pregnant. Grow up, women!
      Take responsibility for. your actions! My god it’s almost 2019! Stop acting like it’s the dark ages and where babies come from is such a frickin mystery!

      1. Cindy Bragg – I thought women went to the hospital and nuns brought them a baby. Are you saying this isn’t so?

        1. Paul. C. …..Well, darn, I was going to wait until you’re older to have that “little talk” 😊

          1. Cindy Bragg – you were going to have that “little talk” with your brother about his “birding” trips, so maybe I could join in?

            1. Paul C…..LOL. Perfect! Kill 2 birds with……uh, I mean VIEW 2 birds…hahaha

  3. Key election issue: Healthcare.


    Where does the Constitution mandate healthcare or any other “free stuff?”

    Of course, it doesn’t. The only thing the Constitution provides is freedom. The provision of healthcare by the government is unconstitutional. People are free to buy healthcare insurance and anything else they desire in life in the free markets of the private sector. Article 1, Section 8 limits government and provides Congress only the power to tax for “…general Welfare…” while it omits and, thereby, excludes any and all forms of individual welfare.

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”

    ― Alexander Fraser Tytler

    Now you know why the Founders established a restricted-vote republic.

    Ben Franklin, we gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”



    b(1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote…

    Does anyone in America know what America is and was intended to be?

    1. George, tax cuts for the wealthy is a form of “free stuff” that Republicans give to their biggest donors. And last year’s tax cuts are bleeding the Treasury. But Trumpers like you would have us believe that healthcare is only a privilege for the wealthy.

      What’s pathetic is your attempt to present this argument with quaint language from the 18th Century. Like the words of long-dead sages should warm our Libertarian souls.

      1. The tax cuts end up being ‘for the wealthy’ because before and after, affluent people are responsible for the bulk of federal income tax revenue.

        1. True, Tabby, True! The richest 10% ‘are’ responsible for most federal income tax revenue. And that should be the canary in the coal mine with regards to inequality. Income should be sufficiently spread so that ‘most’ people are paying some federal income tax.

          1. Income should be sufficiently spread so that ‘most’ people are paying some federal income tax.

            Yeah, and we should have cheap air fares, achieved by the suspension of gravity.

            1. Tabby, our current inequality is a fairly recent phenomenon that only goes back about 40 years. Globalization has, no doubt, played a role. But the decline of labor unions, the minimum wage and constant tax cuts for the wealthy have definitely increased inequality.

              One should note that a disproportionate number of billionaires tend to be Hedge Fund managers. There’s a reason for that: Hedge Funds are taxed at lower levels that traditional corporations. Hedge Funds also make frequent use of bankruptcy laws to essentially plunder acquired companies.
              The growth of Hedge Funds, as economic powers, more than likely parallels the rise of inequality.

    2. Eliminating welfare or health coverage won’t save money. It will simply shift it to be spent differently.

      If welfare and government health insurance get cut, women will give custody of their kids to the state, which will cause skyrocketing administrative and healthcare costs to care for the children.

      There is a reason why most western countries have generous public benefits and that is so women keep their kids instead of having to give them up as wards of the state.

      1. on the other hand women get their kids taken away by the state regularly for neglect and abuse and they place them somehow. still i feel there is some sense in what you say about that, at least on a minimum level

      2. Don’t know how to break this to you, but the population currently on TANF is 1/3 of what the population on AFDC was in 1995, in a country with a larger population. That was accomplished without any grave social crisis.

    1. Trump chastised him properly. Imagine the gall of that scoundrel Acosta to try and commandeer the entire press conference for his own point scoring proclamations. How about journalists asking proper questions instead of just grandstanding? CNN blows

      1. The press stick together like attorneys and cops. You know many reporters are biting their tongues when this guy starts doing his Gallagher act.

    2. Imagine, if America had a monarch, Acosta would be in a pillory or guillotine right about now.

  4. President Trump will win the Oval Office, Congress and Senate after the next two years of incoherence and hysteria.

    Women did well in the mid-terms.

    Women are voting and winning offices.

    Women are not having babies while Americans vanish into extinction and the hordes inexorably conquer the once great nation.

    Good night, America.

    1. Kurtz, that’s hilarious!! It shows how Trumpers, in the right-wing media bubble, start to believe their own talking points. The so-called ‘Walk-Away’ movement was BS from the start and this girl proved it.

      1. Peter Hill – so these people are nice enough to help her out and she spits in their face?

        1. Paul, she’s a scammer! Scammer’s are out there.

          The so-callled ‘Walk Away’ movement was a scam that right-wing media created to fool stupid Democrats. But in reality it only fooled stupid Republicans.

          1. I heard of it first time here and never looked into it. Just saw that on one of my not-pc website visits. Thought you guys would enjoy the story in one way or another.

            Maybe there are blacks voting Republican. Polls suggest there are some. Certainly not most. Native born workers of every color have economic interests competing against migrant workers; and the less educated they are then the sharper the interest is against mass migration. So, those who are smart can vote that way, or they can keep on voting for the Democrats to get free stuff etc., or whatever they like to do. It’s a free country, as the saying goes

            It’s not lawful to defraud donors however and she is at the very least guilty of the crime of wire fraud. To say nothing of private tort of fraud and promissory estoppel.

            1. Yeah, Kurtz, wire fraud is logical charge to start with. But what are the legalities of “Go-Fund-Me” sites? Does the law even cover them with regards to truth in claims?

          2. there’s scammers of every race as well to be sure. but this scam will sting a lot of weak minded republicans that have a hard time resolving themselves to a certain level of racial conflict as it relates to electoral dynamics.

            personally, i don’t need to make donations to assuage a nonexistent sense of racial guilt; i utterly reject racial guilt which the Left seeks to impose on me as a white man. And whether I ever was or not, just because I am white, I have been called racist since I was a little kid in school. I thus credit my black classmates with teaching me the “facts of life” about racial dynamics and cohesion. Thanks, bros! Ah, the joys of diversity and the lessons one can learn from integration! I often suspect that bleeding heart white liberals and guilty feeling republicans have not had quite the same amount of “multicultural experiences” that I have enjoyed over the decades (or not).

            So, I would have never given this lady one thin dime. In an ironic way she has done us all a service. I would also not give on thin dime to any of the following:

            Black Lives Matter.
            Black Alliance For Just Immigration.
            Black Girls Code.
            Common Ground Foundation.
            Blackout For Human Rights.

            I can say however that I have given to a small handful of Democratic candidates that I personally knew as competent persons with good platforms. None of them were black. And the emphasis on “i personally knew” them. I have shucked it out a few times for the Republicans too, though not any considerable amount.

          3. The so-callled ‘Walk Away’ movement was a scam that right-wing media created to fool stupid Democrats.

            Basically, liberal political movements are astroturf financed by cut-outs for characters like George Soros. Peter Shill thus fancies that all political movements are like that.

  5. Red China and Soviet Union or Communist Russia went monopoly capitalist. They are run by capitalist oligarchs. The US is going the other way. CNN is: Communist News Network.


    8 years ago Obamacare was a disaster for Obama in the 2010 midterms. But this year Obamacare is so popular that Republicans didn’t dare campaign against it. In fact, most Republicans, in tight races, pretended to ‘support’ Obamacare (or muted their opposition).

    Yesterday Idaho, Utah and Nebraska, three traditionally red states, approved expansion of Medicaid; making Obamacare the clear winner of this election. With Democrats now in charge of The House, repeal of Obamacare is a near impossibility. It appears that Obamacare has gone from ‘radical’ to mainstream since 2010.

      1. Oh, right, Tabby, healthcare for the masses is too expensive. Healthcare could get in the way of tax cuts for the wealthy. That is, in fact, why the Koch Bros spent so much to (unsuccessfully) defeat Obamacare.

        1. Again, reciting NPC scripts isn’t going to turn unstable actuarial pools into stable actuarial pools.

  7. Fun Fact:

    Abraham Lincoln was not a fan of the free press or of the Constitution.

    Abraham Lincoln was a criminal of high office as a rogue despot.

    President Trump should emulate his highness and Barack Obama with unconstitutional “proclamations” and executive orders.


    John Merryman, a state legislator from Maryland, is arrested for attempting to hinder Union troops from moving from Baltimore to Washington during the Civil War and is held at Fort McHenry by Union military officials. His attorney immediately sought a writ of habeas corpus so that a federal court could examine the charges. However, President Abraham Lincoln decided to suspend the right of habeas corpus, and the general in command of Fort McHenry refused to turn Merryman over to the authorities.Federal judge Roger Taney, the chief justice of the Supreme Court issued a ruling that President Lincoln did not have the authority to suspend habeas corpus. Lincoln didn’t respond, appeal, or order the release of Merryman. But during a July 4 speech, Lincoln was defiant, insisting that he needed to suspend the rules in order to put down the rebellion in the South.

    1. George – I would agree with you that Lincoln did some clearly unconstitutional acts during his time in office. I think FDR did, too.

      1. PCS, Lincoln cannot be impeached, convicted or otherwise prosecuted. However, everything Lincoln and his similarly antithetical and unconstitutional successors did can be rescinded and abrogated with extreme prejudice. The President, supported by the Supreme Court, for example, might simply vacate the “Reconstruction Amendments” by executive order or “proclamation” declaring them unconstitutional and void.

  8. One important fact that changes the dynamic between him and the press is that the highly personal and largely untruthful attacks on Trump began right after he entered the race. And everyone, except Fox, joined in the attacks. Since then, things have gotten only worse such that now much of the reporting is so biased that it is political advertising for those who oppose the President. Why the attacks? Newspapers, like the New York Times and Washington Post are being buried by social media and television. Print journalism simply cannot keep up and so their readership is drying up. Their sloppiness in reporting seems to me to reflect the death throes of an institution that is no longer relevant but is fighting to stay alive. Television does not fare much better. It all does depend on ratings and the ad revenues they generate.

    I think there is a another factor driving the media’s 92% negative coverage of Trump. By using Twitter, he took away some of their power to decide what is and what is not to be on the American agenda. There was a time in Washington where the media decided who would be taken seriously and who would not, whose sins would be covered up and whose would be revealed. The media not only had a seat at the table, in some ways they had a hand in deciding who else would be at the table. Trump has taken away some of that power and influence and I think the media resents it. I think this has a lot to do with why the media attacks Trump daily while shielding members of Congress like Maxine Waters, enabling a person many consider the most corrupt member of Congress to assume leadership of the House Financial Services Committee.

    A free press is essential to a democracy. The media enjoy virtually unlimited freedom. It is tragic that the media have chosen to shirk the responsibility, that is part and parcel of that freedom, for power and profits.

    1. Please list for me what you claim are the 92% “largely untruthful attacks on Trump” that you claim the media publish. I want specific facts about Trump you claim are untruthful that media have published.

      If you can’t do it, then admit it.

        1. So, you’re admitting that the media do not lie about Agent Orange when they report about all of his untruthful statements and mis-steps? Can’t cite facts because there aren’t any. Agent Orange is pissed off that the media DO correctly report his constant lies, pandering to xenophobia, racism and misogyny. That is the job of the media. Faux News, by its “anchors” actively campaigning with Agent Orange, has proven conclusively that it is not news media, so it doesn’t count. The Faux Network is truly fake news. Riddle me this: what happened to all of the constant, daily ranting and raving about the leprosy and smallpox infested “migrant invasion” that is an “imminent threat”, even though the members are on foot and more than 800 miles away? Puff. Gone. The midterms are over with, and some of the dupes bought it, so it served its purpose. Now, the spinning starts. Well, here’s an inconvenient fact: overall, nationally, more votes were cast for Democrats than Republicans. There WAS a blue wave, but due to gerrymandering, it wasn’t as effective as it could have been. This is not taking into account the voters disenfranchised by Republican office holders in places like Dodge City, KS, a mostly-Latino area where the polling place was moved out of town, and the 400,000 mostly black voters in Georgia who were struck from the rolls for minor inconsistencies like omitting a middle initial. This also does not take into account provisional and uncounted absentee ballots. In any event, Republicans LOST the House, and Agent Orange cannot spin his way out of this simple fact.

            1. You have to be joking in posting this video that deals with ONE WaPO article, which even these talking turds admit is about “frivolities”. The WaPo piece mentions “misleading” claims made by Trump. The talking turds also spin the facts to try to refute the piece, which they fail to do. This piece does not support the false claim that 92% of the entire media lie about Trump, but the fact that you don’t understand this and think that somehow it supports that false claim is not surprising. There is something truly disordered about the way Trump supporters think, which he uses to his advantage. They are seemingly incapable of requiring factual proof to support inflammatory rhetoric. For instance: they cannot see that shoeless mostly women and children 900 miles away, on foot, do not constitute an “imminent threat” to the United States. They believe it when they are told that these people are infested with communicable disease, including one that no longer exists. When Trump claims that various Democrats support “open borders”, people like you believe it. No Democrat has ever supported open borders. They buy the “witch hunt” argument, even though multiple associates of Trump have pleaded guilty, been indicted and/or convicted of crimes involving the 2016 election. They believe the incessant attacks on Robert Mueller, one of the most-respected law enforcement officials, who is, by the way, a Republican. They disregard the fact that most Republicans voted to repeal the ACA, but claim they support protecting pre-existing conditions, which is a contrary position.

              1. Natacha – you did not listen to the commentary. They were actually fact checking the fact checkers. You have to love it. 🙂

          1. Anonymous (who sounds like Natacha said): “There WAS a blue wave, but due to gerrymandering, it wasn’t as effective as it could have been.”

            There wasn’t a blue wave, sweetheart. As for gerrymandering — it’s only effective when the Democrats do it, right? Only they call it “redistricting.”

            Did you see where a federal judge in Maryland today tossed out the Democrats’ “extreme” congressional map because it targeted Republicans and minimized their “political power”? Next up, Pennsylvania.


            1. “Republican (Maryland) Gov. Larry Hogan hailed the opinion.

              “This is a victory for the vast majority of Marylanders who want free and fair elections and the numerous advocates from across the political spectrum who have been fighting partisan gerrymandering in our state for decades,” he said in a statement.

              “With this unanimous ruling, the federal court is confirming what we in Maryland have known for a long time — that we have the most gerrymandered districts in the country, they were drawn this way for partisan reasons, and they violate Marylanders’ constitutional rights,” the governor said.”


    2. Haha. He said “untruthful” in the first sentence. Thanks for checking in with today’s Pravda Faux News talking points. Unfortunately for you, bedlam here is chock-full of wackjobs–just like yourself–who check in here daily with such such drivel; many have already done so. So sorry for your loss.

      this is to “I wish I had a ‘hannity was here’ tattoo across my lower back” mostie

  9. “What is curious is that the tactics do not seem to be working all that well for Trump or CNN. Trump is looking at the loss of the House and a narrow hold of the Senate despite one of the best economies in years. While his popularity has risen recently, Trump continues to roller coaster on favorability below a majority of voters. While his attacks on journalists have rallied supporters, it has riled a growing number of “anyone but Trump” voters, and pushed suburban moms and independents toward the Democrats.”
    It’s a curious statement for someone politically savvy. Loss of midterm seats for the party in power is about as constant a political phenomena as we have regardless of economic conditions. A popular Obama lost 63 seats in 2010 during a recovery. Trump solidifying (not merely holding) the Senate (+3) in the midterm is the real anomaly. As for “rollercoasteing” on popularity polls, welcome to 21st Century America. Obama ebbed and flowed more than Trump. You can see the chart at Rasmussen: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_nov06. It’s daily tracking poll puts Trump at 48% where it’s stayed. As for suburban moms, they’re fickle. They loved Hillary yet failed to show up for her in 2016. So running a superpower to match the sensibilities of the minivan crowd seems problematic. All in all, Trump disproved the inevitability of his demise at the hands of the leftist horde. He stands poised to cut regulations, appoint judges and bureaucrats in his image with a compliant Senate, shut down the open tap of illegal immigration with executive orders, promote his agenda in foreign policy and generally pi$$ off the pundit class with his combination of bravado and public relations savvy. The Dems will be the party of “no” and their inability to restrain their radical wing will be their undoing even among the well-heeled suburbanites who detest a riot in front of their manicured lawns almost as much as a wine tasting with not enough Chardonnays. He’ll go down as one of our most effective Two-term Presidents.

    1. Whether you’re underwater or not on ‘favorability ratings’ is contingent on the opinions of swing voters. While you have a few swing voters who are discriminating, the modal types is as was described thus by the political scientist James Neuchterlein: the sort of person who will cast a ballot for or against a candidate for a reason like ‘she reminds me of my first wife’. ‘Independent voters’ are commonly ‘low information voters’. And low information voters are those most likely to be influenced by the media. With the exceptions of Fox and talk radio (whose audiences are largely subcultural), the media during the Obama regime was largely an extension of the Administration and the DNC (who commonly employed close relatives of reporters and editors). Now it’s relentlessly hostile.

      Also, the demographic segment to which Turley refers is amply populated by people of the sort who navigate life with somewhat contrived agreeableness. These are the sort of people who have autonomic and dysfunctional reactions to conflict, and abhor anything ‘divisive’. Of course, they blame one party for the division, without ever reflecting much on why the viewpoint of the other party should be considered a default state. To some extent, it’s because the media frames things in a particular way (see what’s left of The NewsHour since Jim Lehrer’s retirement), though these types suffer the same confusion in mundane life when conflicts are not processed through media. What Turley’s complaint amounts to is that Trump is not appealing to enough people whose impulses lead them to be kind to the cruel and cruel to the kind because so being is easier in the short-run.

      1. That’s spot on analysis. Being agreeable and punishing those who aren’t regardless of purpose does encapsulate the “soccer mom.” Privileged to be book-ended by you and Honestlawyermostly.

        1. mespo– when I wrote “I agree”, I was attempting to post that under your comment but either I or my computer did it wrong. Although I also agree with wretched spam filter, I was not saying that I agreed with your most generous comment about being privileged.

    2. I agree. Trump’s ability to remain steady in spite of relentless attacks must seem to his opponents, including the press, like a super human whac-a-mole. I also agree that the democrats will squander their power in the House by launching an endless series of investigations in their continuing effort to bring down Trump rather than spending their time working with Republicans and the President to address some of the very serious issues we face. Democrats also will continue to pander to the likes of Black Lives Matter and Farrakan to avoid alienating their base among blacks. At some point, voters, even well-heeled surburbanites, will react to this.

  10. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me twenty-three citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament) and the source of a quotation, after twenty-two weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Has the President jailed a reporter? They have arrested a person who f**ked a reporter and gave her classified information in return. We have found out that the DoJ and the FBI regularly give secret briefings to the press.

      1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – it is so close here we probably won’t know on several races until Thursday or Friday. If it is under 0.5% difference it is an automatic recount. 4 hours ago McSally was ahead by 0.8 % but I am not sure how much of the vote was counted. And we still have to replace McCain. Kyl is just a temporary placeholder.

        1. Thanks, Paul. There’s a theory that the number of Senate seats the Republicans gain determines whether Trump fires Sessions. Frankly, I don’t care about Sessions. I care about Rosenstein and Mueller.

          1. I think everyone would have been better off all the way around had Sessions not left the Senate and taking the Att. General job.
            I think his term ran into Jan. 2021….If he decides to get back into politics, it may be that long before he has a shot at it.
            I don’t think he’ll be campaigning for Trump anymore.😄

          2. L4D,…
            – I don’t think you’ll be as indifferent to Session’s replacement as you were to Session.
            But in time, I’m sure you’ll learn to accept, and approve of, Whitaker.😉

        2. In Arizona, 98% of the ballots that all parties are aware of at this time have been counted. Sinema would have to score at least 70% of the residue in order to take the seat away from McSally. It’s at this point that Democratic officials will manage to ‘find’ ‘misplaced ballots’ and litigate to insist they be added to the tabulation stream. These scams work when you can find compliant judges (which you can about 1/2 the time).

          1. DSS – I am sure the Dems will pay for a recount one way or another regardless. And it really depends where those missing ballots are from.

            1. My assumption is that the ACORN types have a file of people who rented apartments in high-turnover neighborhoods in Phoenix some years back and haven’t been purged from the rolls. That sort of neighborhood in my neck of the woods has large populations of unmarried and childless young who move every couple of years and generally vote Democratic. There almost never home, so unless you’re canvassing on a Saturday morning, you’re not getting a petition signature out of them. You identify these people by looking at the demographics on their buff card and checking mailbox and doorbell labels. If the procedures for absentee voting allow it in your area, you cadge one and fill it out using their name. You put together sacks of these to be ‘found’ at the board of elections headquarters. In Arizona as we speak, you’d need about 13,000 of these bogus absentee ballots. Executing the scam depends on how many people these shady NGO’s can put on the payroll.

              1. not just ngos fake votes. local political party operations have done it too. and been caught doing it. doesnt make national news but its for real

                1. IIRC, Project Veritas caught the son of Rep. James Moran (D-Va, retired) yapping about vote fraud as if it were SOP. Hardly necessary in the section of NoVa his father represented, but that might have come in mighty handy in Barbara Comstock’s district. (I think the Democrat there won by a larger enough margin that it wasn’t stolen).

              2. DSS – the last I heard was that McSally won but that it was within the automatic recount. So that kicks in. There has never been a change as long as I have been in Arizona on a recount.

                1. These operators in Washington State and Minnesota are bound to turn up in Arizona sooner or later.

                  1. DSS – I cannot prove it but I think because Arizona has such a high snow bird population, we have a lot of people voting in two states. They have homes here and there. They vote here by absentee ballot.

              3. More awesomeness. You might want to repost your tomfoolery; your ilk likes to include “soros” in such nonsense.

                this is to “who needs ‘facts’ when I can just make up whatever i want” spammie

        3. Update, as of now, 0.74% of the state’s precincts are outstanding. That would mean roughly 13,000 untabulated ballots. McSally has a lead of 16,000 votes. The ACORN stuffing will begin shortly.

  11. Here is something worrisome:

    The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies
    Jordan Robertson &Michael Riley
    2018 Nov 04
    Bloomberg Businessweek

    I find this highly believable. Pay attention to this unwelcome message.

    1. I posted that a week ago about four times in one day, when the news broke. It was ignored.

  12. “Yet but the first bringer of unwelcome news hath but a losing office, …”

    1. Trump hasn’t fired anybody recently. Trump’s going to have to think twice about firing anybody today or tomorrow. Nadler’s got preservation orders ready at the quick for all of Mueller’s grand jury work product. Frankly, I doubt that Trump will even fire Sessions, now.

            1. Theoretically, Trump is hoping to get a net gain of two Republicans in The Senate to offset Collins and Murkowski and whoever else might not knuckle under to Trump’s nominee to replace Sessions. So, if the Republicans do not gain two Senate seats, then Trump might not fire Sessions. That would mean that Trump has to fire Rosenstein directly in order to to get someone to fire Mueller. Or else Rosenstein would have to knuckle under to Trump in some way other than firing Mueller–such as demanding an expedited report from Mueller or something.

              1. Meuller may just deliver a lot less than Democrats want. Watch for it and let me know if I was right ok?

                as for Sessions he is a worm, and Rosentein is a rat. The DOJ leadership is adrift. Trump did well to fire Comey but came up short with the others.

                The immigration courts are clogged with cases. Sessions said he would hire more judges to address that and he did. but then he offset that with a ton of extra lame cases to eject foreigners with minor paperwork problems

                meanwhile the ten million plus illegal immigrants who never checked in in the first place, go on with business as usual while the tens of thousands of foreigners who tried to play by the rules are all getting evicted.

                This blatantly favors Mexican migrants at the expense of Asian migrants……. the why of this is very simple. American politicians are afraid of Mexicans. That’s why. Both Democrats who sign them up to vote and Republicans but most of all Democrats are supremely unfair to Asian migrants and disfavor them under Africans and Central Americans.

                If you think I am making this up, I point to several prosecutions for “immigration fraud” that Pheet Bahara, the EDNY fed pros, made almost exclusively against Chinese clusters of migrants and their lawyers. He was an Obama appointee and a Democrat and he gave Trump trouble before he got fired, properly so.

                What did the politicians who represent Flushing New York the fastest growing Chinatown in America do to hit back at this nasty attack on the Chinese American community? Not a damned thing; probably just raked in ever more donations from “civic groups” that are mostly now in bed with the PRC.

                I would like to point out to all the Asians in America who foolishly think that Democrats will favor their interests, that they won’t. They will always put high demographic growth groups like Mexicans and Africans over low growth groups like Chinese or Vietnamese migrants. If Chinese and Vietnamese migrants and their American kin were smart, they would get a foot in the door with Republicans and work on securing their own interests and not letting Mexicans call all the shots for the migrant communities as a whole.

                it doesn’t help that the PRC that is the Chicom government has a longtime close relationship with the California democrats like DiFi who had a chinese spy chauffer or the Clintons who took campaign donations from a Chicom general in a scandal that was proven and yet never saw the first bit of official government sanction.

                What the Chicoms like is for Chinese in America, who were their slaves in China, to be once they come here, is a slave of a different master that they have a lot of pull with too. That is, the Democrat party. Which has marched to whatever tune they called for decades.

                The LAST thing the Chinese communists would want is for a bunch of Chinese Americans to get a voice with the Republicans and start making more trouble over their “Rogue province,’ The Republic of Taiwan.

                Various Asians in America know what I am talking about here, but their voices are little heard, drowned out by the well managed choir of voices carefully tended by censorship from Silicon valley that’s just drooling to get a foot in the social media markets of China that are mostly yet closed to them. And the perhaps, the perception that the Republicans are “racist” against Asians which at the level of the leadership is wholly false.


                a) Democrats favor Hispanic migrants over all other migrant groups with differential interests, because they think they can sign them up for votes.
                b) Also the Chinese communist PRC plays Democrat party and Silicon valley like a fiddle
                c) Asian community in America needs to develop connections inside Republican party because its interests are more aligned with the American Republican base then they presently realize and they will always be second chair to Hispanics in the Democrat orchestra which is paid off by the PRC, permanently.

          1. Nadler has been around for a while; he kind of “stands out” when you see, so he’s relatively easy to remember.
            I think he had the weight reduction surgery years ago that knocked off some of his excess pounds.
            No doubt, he will be subjected to “fat-shaming” by Natacha😏.

            1. What’s the final score in The U.S. Senate?

              Count Tester for The Democrats. Nelson maybe not. What’s the score then?

              1. I have yet to see any final tally on either the House or Senate side.
                Some races are still too close to call, and there can be a lot of outstanding, uncounted ballots that will take days to count in some states.
                It looks like there’ll be a net gain of 30-40 House seats for the Democrats, and
                a net gain of two Senate seats for the GOP.

                  1. Thank you, L4D. I actually posted that, but it came up as “Anonymous”.
                    This shows that, absent your negative prejudice against me, you consider me “the best” when there’s a “blind study” example.

                    1. To state the obvious, anyone can take credit for comments that post as “Anonymous.”

                      I’ll take you at your word, though, Mr. Nash.

      1. The Donald is not capable of thinking twice. Maybe not even once most of the time.

        1. You’re forgetting that bit about changing “I don’t see why it would have been Russia” to “I don’t see why it wouldn’t have been Russia.”

          Circumstances beyond The Donald’s control are about to become more frequent.

      2. The decision about firing Sessions was made a long time ago. Now that the election is over, he’ll be fired. There is no doubt about that.

        1. sessions is such a loser that in a time when the states have been aggressively legalizing pot, he was trying to restart federal-state drug asset forfeiture programs that most republicans dont even like let alone democrats

          he’s a retard. oops, did I say that.? not pc, sorry. but he’s a retard still.

          but kind of like with comey who richly deserved it and democrats didnt like either, when trump fires him the Dems will complain about it. they are always on the attack, no hobgoblin consistency ever stops them from whining


    “Last week, however, was the ultimate example of a man who likes to play poker with the cards facing outward. Trump told Axios that his overheated attacks on the media as the “enemy of the people” are meant to fire up his base. Trump said, “I couldn’t be here if I didn’t do that.” When asked to stop the attacks, Trump said that he commonly replies “Hey, I’m here! It got me here.” He added, “I know what I do good and what I do bad. I really get it, okay? I really get it better than anybody in the whole world.”

    There you have it, Trump keeps repeating his “fake news” schtick because it “fires up the base”. How cynical can you get! A U.S. president deliberately undermines the press because his furious White supporters want to hate mainstream media. It shows how irresponsible and morally bankrupt Trump is.

    1. Happy Wednesday November 7th, 2018, Mr. PH.

      The 60-days before an election gag rule is . . . moribund.


        1. Peter Hill – remember how much trouble the committee had with subpoenas? And I heard the WH intends to fight every subpoena to the Supreme Court. They are going to play stall ball. And remember when Congress charged Holder with contempt? Who controls the DoJ? And Mueller has already used the work product excuse to cover his butt.

          My money is on Pelosi strokes out by the end of 2019. She seems to have dementia and I do not say that to be mean, it is only observational.

          1. Nancy Pelosi reaches her 79th birthday on 26 March 2019. Her deputy Steny Hoyer reached his on 14 June 2018.

            The oldest person in history to be installed as Speaker was Sam Rayburn, who was chosen for the position at the beginning of the 87th Congress on 3 January 1961. He was days shy of his 79th birthday. Mr. Rayburn died on 16 November 1961.

            Her parents lived to be around 85, so she could have a few years yet. Their children have been all over the map in regard to their longevity. One died at 60, one at 67, one at 74. The others are still alive at 78, 84, and 89.

              1. I’m not seeing it in her gait. As for her speech, recall Paul Kirk, then her opponent in a race for Democratic National Chairman, was slammed in 1985 when he called her an ‘airhead’.

                One of her brothers was Mayor of Baltimore for a term and otherwise practiced law. He has a wife and five children. Of the others, one died at age four, another (age 84) lives in Baltimore, and three others died in old age. Of the three, two were childless bachelors. No occupation for one of these two was listed. The other was listed as an archival clerk at the Baltimore municipal court. The third deceased brother also worked in a clerical position for the municipal court in Baltimore (but had a wife and daughters). Curiously disparate personal trajectories.

                1. DSS – there is a lot of talk of a pharmacy in DC sending dementia meds to both the House and Senate. Don’t know how true it is, but Nancy seems to be a prime candidate. I am not being ageist here because sadly dementia strikes at different ages. I have a friend who waited until he was 95 before dementia hit. He is now 102.

                  1. Paul, Pelosi is old. We agree on that. But Trump ain’t no spring chicken. He’s moving into his mid 70’s and is seriously overweight.

                    1. His mother lived to be 88, his father lived to be 94 and all but one of his siblings is very much alive. The one who isn’t died a drunk’s death, something one can readily avoid.

    2. Your morals not mine. I value group cohesion and Trump does too. That is politics. But only Democrats have the gall to suggest that the political instinct only applies to group cohesion for “POC” that is people of color, gays, trans etc; but not for white folks in the middle of the country. That’s not morality that is hypocrisy. Or maybe it is just strategy. Make your enemies believe that sticking together is immoral and you have them whipped in the fight before it ever begins.

      The question is why do white liberals go along with this? And the answer is that they too have been overly catechized by the secular religion of equality.

      at this points nobody cares about heresies like gnosticism or nestorianism, but utter a peep against the dogma of equality and you are fit to be branded a domestic terrorist. that’s all the schtick today at npr

      1. Actually, why can’t you use facts instead of make-believe and whimsy? Pro tip: scouring the internet for random wackjobs of the democrat variety and then attributing their thoughts to the Democratic Party is similar to you being blamed for alex jones’ utter nonsense.

        this is to “ya, but it’s just easier to make up sh*t” kurtzie

  14. Trump said, “I couldn’t be here if I didn’t do that.” When asked to stop the attacks, Trump said that he commonly replies “Hey, I’m here! It got me here.” He added, “I know what I do good and what I do bad. I really get it, okay? I really get it better than anybody in the whole world.”

    Turley wrote, “It was a rare moment of honesty in Washington that was lost in the crush of the tragic news of the Pittsburgh shootings and the Florida pipe bomber. Trump has been regularly denounced for false statements. Yet he is also one of the most transparent politicians of his generation, often acknowledging agendas or desires that most politicians conceal.”

    Turley is completely and totally surreal. Trump’s unforced confession of shameless demagoguery is cork-screwed into “a rare moment of honesty” from “one of the most transparent politicians of his generation.” And Turley retrieves this surreal insight of his from “the crush of the tragic news of the Pittsburgh shootings and the Florida pipe bomber,” which, in turn, is further cork-screwed into Trump “acknowledging agendas or desires that most politicians conceal”??? Huh??? What???

    I’ve heard this joke before. Somebody asked some famous bank robber, “Why do you rob banks? The famous bak robber said, “Because that’s where they keep the money.”

    And Turley exclaims, “Such rare honesty from one of the most transparent criminals of his generation acknowledging agendas and desires that most criminals conceal.”

    1. Turley is smart not surreal. he’s plenty real. Surreal is the nonsense of believing that POC can have ethnic instincts and organize politically to achieve them but white men are bad for doing the same. That’s surreal. That’s unreality.

      Oh, and it’s an unreality that is advanced by international capitalist interests. IF we are all equal then we are all the same. Even if we arent. And we damn surent all the same nor equal where money is concerned. So equality is just a propaganda myth of a state that wanted to advance moneyed interests over the feudalistic regime represented by King George.

      The equality dogma works the same way today. It operates now however not against feudalism but against the nationalistic instincts of the founding stock of America that is middle and working class white people and even other nonwhites who have awakened to the economic nationalist shared interests. That’s Republicans at the moment. Globalism and its interest in knocking down national borders that mlitate against the free movement of capital and labor? That’s served more than ever just by Democrats.

      Sadly Republicans are ill equipped to understand a lot of this because they fail to grasp certain truths that were revealed by Marxist analysis of history, specifically as they related to the origins of America as a rising capitalist powerhouse destroying the old feudal orders. They also cant see how capitalism shares certain progressive features with communism, which are solvents of national identity or other facts that make up culture and social identity, such as gender roles. Capitalism wants to knock down all ethnicity, religion, gender identity, to homogenize all humans, better ease the transnational migration of labor and capital, and open up formerly closed markets to corporate exploitation.

      Explains a lot espeically considering the charitable and social engineering agenda of George Soros for example but also most of Silicon valley too. But you have to transcend the anti-marxist sentiment to get to that point and right wingers so often are raised in anti communist circles that they can’t see how things have progressed to the current point.

      if you find this interesting try “homo americanus” by Croatian Tomislav Sunic


  15. The most recent news I read is that the Democrats will control the House and the Republicans the Senate. One blessing of this situation might be that the resultant in-fighting and gridlock will mean we will experience less destruction of our civil rights due to their inability to pass as much legislation, as the members are too much focused against each other than against we the people.

    1. Gridlock is usually good for the country, although in this case the narrow Republican majorities had been held in check by the reliably partisan mainstream media.

      The real tragedy is that the Dems will now jettison the probes into the FBI/DOJ FISA abuse investigations. The American people need to know the true story of what happened here, as all signs point to an egregious abuse of power that may be unique in American history.

        1. Thank you I just learned something. There must be a backstory as to why the investigations ended up in the House in the first place.

      1. Gridlock is never good for the country, except in the imaginaitons of confused tricorn hats

        1. real power in American state is entrenched in bureaucracies. from the security appartus to the economic agencies. and then there is the powerful unelected lifetime tenure federal judgeships.

          the elements of the state which elections control, are purposefully weak, except for where the nexus is to security, as in the head of the DOJ which controls FBI resources or the POTUS as CIC. Those roles are necessarily decisively strong but in other aspects even the POTUS is weak. Congress is weaker than ever, as Jimmy Trafficante said, emasculated, but it still retains budgetary power. That’s about all it does and it can send annoying subpoenas and command tv time. Beyond that Congress is barely able to keep up with anything.

          The irony of elections is that as the electioneering becomes more intense in the divided nation, the state becomes correspondingly weaker, just because the representatives who are elected spend less and less time doing their duties of repsonsiblity and more time with compliance and fundraising and electioneering. perhaps these are necessary evils which can’t be avoided. but the point is that the American state as an entity, for all its apparent legal power, all its economic and military might, for all it surveillance capabilities, is actually a weak state, relative to private society here, and relatively speaking to other states in history.

          “gridlock” makes it even weaker.

          when the state is weak, organized private financial interests and the extremely rich run the tables.

          here’s where all the prattling against fascism breaks down. the people do well when a strong state enforces just laws and makes the trains run on time. it brings corruption to heel, reigns in the lumpen agitators, and curtails the machinations of oligarchs. All of those things were running amuck in Italy before Mussolini however. And in what was a rapidly fast and miraculous transformation, in fascism Mussolini erected a strong state that brought the private financial interests in Italy to heel, both monopolistic capitalist interests, and even including the mafia, which has been running amuck in Italy ever since il Duce got ousted and his government collapsed.

          for this monumental instauration of a strong state over the petty discord that abounded among all the selfish private factions of italy, Mussolini has been pilloried ever since…… and today the bedwetters soil their britches every time Trump seems like he too could be a “fascist” Yet Trump is not even close. Trump can barely even get a section of wall built in 3 years of talking about it.

          Trust me if Goldman Sachs wanted a wall, we would have had one long ago

          1. in today we have a mass surveillance system that is actually run by private entities. called facebookgoogletwitter. is it necessarily better? let the liberterians and ayn rand disciples say so if they like but in the meantime they are imposing a digital censorship regime in America, of such subtle and pervasive power, willfully adopted by the public fools eager to exhibit all their private pictures to their friends, that they will give away privacy in a heartbeat.

            a system of such efficiency and power over thought and expression, that the Soviets did not even dream that they could command

      2. Gratifying to see one of the wackjobs come around to finally recognize the malevolent predations of the day glo bozo against our beloved Republic.

        this is to “I may be slow, but I sometimes can figure it out” burnie

  16. What the President needs is to appoint Supreme Court Justices. How long can Ginsburg last? Does she drink? Gin-s-burg; is that near Lynchburg?

    1. Seriously, George. You’re hoping that someone lynches Ginsburg so that Trump can get a free kick at replacing a Supreme Court Justice who was lynched???

      1. No. Actually I am wondering if she prefers Gin or Jack Daniels. I was introduced to Gin and Tonic on R&R IS Australia and became rather fond of it; and the young lady who recommended it.

        1. Late is not the sour mash whiskey type George, she prolly drinks “cosmopolitans”

          i used to drink bourbon, then I switched to scotch, then vodka, then i quit

  17. Jonathan Turley, where does the constitution state that the “president should be a champion of the free press”? I thought it stated that the president is to uphold the laws.

    1. Well, to start, there’s this First Amendment to the United States Constitution thingy…

      to David B. Benson

      1. Mark M.— It states that Congress cannot pass a law. Says nothing about the Prez.

        Maybe you should read it with comprehension?

        1. The day glo bozo has said that he wants to “open up the libel laws” or some such nonsense. He’s also said that he wants to “pull the license” of NBC or MSNBC. Neither of these actions can he do under Supreme Court law interpreting the First Amendment. He’s supposed to uphold the Constitution–which of course includes the First Amendment, rather than openly agitate for a violation of the Constitution.

          to David B. Benson

            1. “The NPC Marky Mark Mark runs the Constitution script.” (Paul @ 9:19 PM)

              Such silly, childish comments, Paul.

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