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Trump’s stubbornness is more than ideological – it’s a sign of ‘severe cognitive decline’: columnist

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- Commentary

Esquire magazine political columnist Charles P. Pierce said that President Donald Trump’s rambling, repetitive, self-contradicting interview with the New York Times is more than a portrait of an eager authoritarian frustrated by the restrictions placed on his power.

Pierce said the truth is actually even more alarming.

“In my view, the interview is a clinical study of a man in severe cognitive decline, if not the early stages of outright dementia,” he wrote.

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Pierce explained that his father and all of his father’s siblings have succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease over the last 30 years. The president’s speech patterns and his stubborn clinging to a few simple ideas remind Pierce of the same decline he saw in members of his family.

“In this interview, the president is only intermittently coherent. He talks in semi-sentences and is always groping for something that sounds familiar, even if it makes no sense whatsoever and even if it blatantly contradicts something he said two minutes earlier,” wrote Pierce.

“To my ears, anyway, this is more than the president’s well-known allergy to the truth. This is a classic coping mechanism employed when language skills are coming apart,” he explained, which is why Trump repetitively uses the same pairing of adjectives and nouns, as in “the failing New York Times” and “Crooked Hillary.”

“In addition, the president exhibits the kind of stubbornness you see in patients when you try to relieve them of their car keys—or, as one social worker in rural North Carolina told me, their shotguns,” Pierce said.

Trump’s reflexive anger when he is contradicted or feels threatened, Pierce said, is a sign of a brain struggling to impose order and familiar ideas on a world that he increasingly does not comprehend.

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“For example, a discussion on healthcare goes completely off the rails when the president suddenly recalls that there is a widely held opinion that he knows very little about the issues confronting the nation,” Pierce said.

“But Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A.,” said Trump to the Times‘ Michael Schmidt. “I know the details of health care better than most, better than most. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have talked all these people into doing ultimately only to be rejected.”

“This is more than simple grandiosity. This is someone fighting something happening to him that he is losing the capacity to understand,” said Pierce.

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Read the full column here.


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Internet disgusted after Buffalo first responders cheer cops charged with assaulting 75-year-old protester

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Commenters on Twitter expressed both contempt and disgust for Buffalo firefighters and police officers who turned out in front of Buffalo City Court to support two suspended police officers with applause and cheering.

Moments after officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault and then released without having to post bail, they were greeted as heroes outside the courthouse.

After a video was posted showing the celebration, commenters on Twitter vented at cops and firefighters for defending the two officers who assaulted the 75-year-old man who had to be rushed to a hospital after they shoved him to the ground where he sustained a head injury.

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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Can it happen here? Bill Moyers says it’s happening right before our very eyes

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At 98, historian Bernard Weisberger has seen it all. Born in 1922, he grew up watching newsreels of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler as they rose to power in Europe. He vividly remembers Mussolini posturing to crowds from his balcony in Rome, chin outthrust, right arm extended. Nor has he forgotten Der Fuehrer’s raspy voice on radio, interrupted by cheers of “Heil Hitler,” full of menace even without pictures.

Fascist bullies and threats anger Bernie, and when America went to war to confront them, he interrupted his study of history to help make history by joining the army. He yearned to be an aviator but his eyesight was too poor. So he took a special course in Japanese at Columbia University and was sent as a translator to the China-Burma-India theater where Japanese warlords were out to conquer Asia. Bernie remembers them, too.

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