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Opinion Opinions | Trump proves he is a parrot

07:50  11 january  2018
07:50  11 january  2018 Source:   msn.com

Opinions | The dam of denial has broken

  Opinions | The dam of denial has broken Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’ has paradoxical effects.The most astonishing aspect of the response to Michael Wolff's book is that anyone is surprised. President Trump's unfitness for office was obvious long before he was elected. Once he moved into the White House, the destructive chaos of his administration was there for all to see. Future historians will scratch their heads to figure out why it took this particular book to break the dam of denial.

Political discussion requires varied opinions . Well written and interesting content can be worthwhile, even if you disagree with it. Downvote only if you think a comment/post does not contribute to the thread it is posted in or if it is off-topic in /r/politics.

Opinion .

a man wearing a suit and tie: President Trump. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) © Jabin Botsford/Washington, D.C. President Trump. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

President Trump, it has long been observed, has a propensity to agree with the last thing he hears.

Certainly he has core convictions — Hillary is crooked, there was no collusion, he is very successful and brilliant — but beyond that he has shown himself to be swayed with remarkable ease: He said he was rethinking his position on Obamacare after a post-election talk with President Obama, revised his views on NATO after speaking with Europeans, softened his views on China after a chin-wag with the Chinese, shifted on NAFTA after talking with the Mexicans and switched his budget views after hearing from Chuck and Nancy.

Dear Very Stable Genius: The ingrates don't deserve you. So quit.

  Dear Very Stable Genius: The ingrates don't deserve you. So quit. Take your dazzling brain and go home.From one very stable genius to another, I have some advice for President Trump: Resign immediately.

The Saudi king denied knowing anything about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, said President Trump , who is sending his secretary of state to meet the king.

Letting Trump express his opinion is one thing; giving him a platform for blatant lies is another. Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

This raises the tantalizing prospect that Trump could be a better president if he were not surrounded by the likes of Stephen Miller, as well as the alarming possibility that he could be even worse if the last voice he heard before making a decision were that of, say, Vladimir Putin, or Alex Jones (who boasts that Trump repeats his conspiracy theories word for word).

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But this all depends on what is going on in Trump's head when he repeats the last words he hears: Is he actually internalizing the views, or is he merely echoing? Is he a chameleon or a parrot?

Now we know. This week's extraordinary session in the Cabinet Room with a bicameral, bipartisan group of lawmakers, and an impulsive decision by Trump to let journalists film 55 minutes of his meeting, gave the world a glimpse of Trump's agree-with-the-last-speaker tendency we've heard described.

LaMelo Ball immediately proves he’s the star of his Lithuanian team

  LaMelo Ball immediately proves he’s the star of his Lithuanian team LaMelo Ball put on a show.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter. A version of this article appears in print on , on Page SR3 of the New York edition with the headline: The Myth of the Interchangeable Asian.

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Clearly, Trump is merely echoing, not embracing, the words he hears. No mind could possibly assimilate as many diametrically opposed ideas as Trump's appeared to in those 55 minutes.

Watching that session was as exciting as watching China's Olympic ping-pong team — and the president was the ball. Trump — remarkably unideological and also undisciplined — pinged from one lawmaker's argument to another's, agreeing heartily with virtually all, no matter how at odds they were with each other.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told Trump that DACA legislation to protect immigrant "dreamers" had to be done "in a matter of days — literally of days," referring to a Jan. 19 budget deadline.

Replied Trump: "I agree with that, Dick. I very much agree with that."

A few minutes later, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) took exactly the opposite view, suggesting that DACA action could wait until March and that instead there had to be an immediate Pentagon budget increase: "Those who need us right now before the January 19 deadline is our military."

Coulter: It Turns Out Bannon Was Trump’s Brain

  Coulter: It Turns Out Bannon Was Trump’s Brain He actually added to his problems by appearing senile .In a half-dozen exchanges — which, again, he wanted televised — Trump responded to remarks as if he had no clue what the person was saying. One senator would talk — he’d agree. Someone else would say the exact opposite — he’d agree with that, too.Actual exchange:SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: “What about a clean DACA bill now, with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure? …”TRUMP: “… I have no problem. … We’re going to come up with DACA.

President Trump has resisted pressure to postpone or cancel arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite reports that a Saudi journalist was killed and dismembered.

Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 and is also a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography.

Replied Trump: "I think a lot of people would agree with that. We need our military."

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), paddled Trump back the other way, saying more military spending would have to be accompanied by similar hikes for domestic programs such as infrastructure.

Replied Trump: "I think we can do a great infrastructure bill."

This was fun!

Minutes after Hoyer invoked the phrase "comprehensive immigration reform" — a phrase hard-liners see as code for "amnesty" — Trump was using the phrase, too.

"When you talk about comprehensive immigration reform," Trump said (after Sen. Lindsey Graham, a GOP maverick, had also floated the idea), "which is where I would like to get to eventually — if we do the right bill here, we are not very far way."

Anybody can play this game.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) both said border security and a solution to "chain migration" — a conservative priority — must be included in the DACA bill. Trump readily agreed.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) proposed the opposite, a "clean DACA bill" — that is, without border security and chain migration — before taking up a comprehensive overhaul, and Trump said, "I would like to do that."

Donald Trump’s Open Meeting Just Proves How Right Michael Wolff Is

  Donald Trump’s Open Meeting Just Proves How Right Michael Wolff Is The televised meeting that was supposed to show his mastery at the deal only showed what a doofus he is. All the king’s men couldn’t put it together again.The biggest, the best, the longest White House reality episode  took place on Tuesday to dismal ratings. Rather than be the sure-fire, live-cast way to change the subject from Michael Wolff's book in which his staff and others declared his dangerous incompetence and show Trump at his deal-making best, the meeting revealed that on the whole Wolff got it right.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both rejected #MeToo in favor of their own power recently, says Holly Thomas. In defending her husband's actions with Monica Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton sounded like a first lady, not like someone who could have been president.

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McCarthy, alarmed, swatted Trump back in the other direction. He reiterated that the DACA bill should include border security and chain migration.

Trump agreed with this, too. "And the lottery," he added, tossing in another conservative priority about making immigration merit-based.

Back and forth Trump bounced.

One moment he appeared to agree with Perdue that the DACA bill would include the conservatives' chain-migration plan. The next moment he appeared to confirm to Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that the DACA legislation would not be paired with that provision.

One moment he was saying "without the wall, we cannot have border security." The next he was assuring Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) that "there are large areas where you don't need a wall."

Trump called it a success. "We're all very much on a similar page," he concluded.

Perhaps he didn't care that, in his reflexive echoing of each speaker, he had contradicted himself repeatedly. More likely he didn't even notice.

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HuffPost shutting down contributor section .
HuffPost is shutting down its contributor platform, which has allowed more than 100,000 people to post opinions on its site since it was introduced in 2005.The site's top editor, Lydia Polgreen, says HuffPost needs to take ownership of what it publishes. HuffPost will cast a wide net for contributors to a new curated opinion section — and these writers will be paid, Polgreen says in a statement Thursday.

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