Displaying items by tag: trump

Linguistic challenges continue undeterred in reference to Trump's widely stated comments

A striking example of the kind of utterance that has caused professional transcribers to state as fast as Trump sounds off via Twitter: "There is no collusion certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself---and the Russians, zero."
At the time President Trump gave the aforesaid response to a question at one of the May 2017 press conferences, it served as the latest example of descriptions that he has made since he took over the White House residency on January 20, 2017.
One doesn't have to be an English major or an English language expert to diagnose the aforesaid expression which exemplified his tortured syntax, mid-thought changes of subject, and evident trouble in formulating complete sentences, not to underscore the importance of coherent paragraphs in unscripted speech.
It wasn't the first time that Trump was known to give on-air interviews. Since his inauguration, reviews have been made in comparison with the Question & Answer sessions. Those who have commented lengthily find the differences as "striking and unmistakable."
Researchers on the subject of radical changes in speaking style have stated that the cause lies in cognitive decline.
Certain interview samples have come to the fore.
In interviews Trump gave in the 1980s and the 1990s (with Tom Brokaw, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, among those who figured prominently), he was described as having spoken "articulately," using "sophisticated vocabulary," despite his insertion of dependent clauses into his sentences into a polished paragraph, without losing his train of thought, as summarized.
Trump was noted particularly as "having strung together sentences into a polished paragraph, which...and this is no mean feat...would have scanned just fine in print."
The above-mentioned description was so noted: "Even when reporters asked tough questions about, for example, his divorce, his brush with bankruptcy, and why he doesn't build housing for working class Americans," seemed to be taken up for the sake of clarity.
The Trump answers consisted of words and phrases such as: "subsided," "inclination," "discredited," "sparring session," and others that indicated what his listeners called "a certain innate intelligence." Tossed off were well-made sentences such as: "It could have been a contentious route," and "These are the only casinos in the United States that are so rated."
He was quoted as stating well-turned sentences: "If you get into what's missing, you don't appreciate what you have," and "Adversity is a very funny thing."
As he took over as 45th president, reportedly Trump's vocabulary became simpler.
Here are the examples: he repeats himself over and over; lurches from one subject to an unrelated one as illustrated during an interview with the Associated Press only weeks ago.
"People want the border all. My base definitely wants the border all, my base really wants it. You've been to many of the rallies. OK, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it's funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage n the Electoral College. Big, big, big advantage....The Electoral College is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it. They want to see the wall."
Research has disclosed that deterioration in the fluency, complexity, and vocabulary level of spontaneous speech can indicate slipping brain function due to normal aging or neurodegenerative disease.
Consequently, based on the research studies on the manner of Trump's language which researchers have considered solely as unscripted utterances, not planned speeches and statements based on the principle: only the former tap the neural networks that offer a window into brain function.
The same research studies focused on the same sort of linguistic decline which can likewise reflect stress, frustration, anger or merely plain fatigue.
As noted via the recent interview with National Broadcasting Corporation's Lester Holt, a Trump comment drew what a second-grade teacher said in despair: "We'll do some questions, unless you have enough questions."
Other Trump examples drawn from the Holt interview: "When I did this now I said, I probably, maybe, will confuse people, maybe I'll expand that, you know, lengthen the time because it should be over with, in my opinion, should have been over with a long time ago."
Those cited in the same NBC interview: "If they don't treat fairly, I am terminating NAFTA, and "I don't support or unsupport" ...leaving out a "me" in the first and an "it" (or more specific noun) in the second. Other sentences simply don't track: "From the time I took office till now, you know, it's a very exact thing. It's not like generalities."
Some language experts say the change in logistic ability could be strategic; maybe Trump thinks his supporters like to hear him speak simply and with more passion than proper syntax.
One comment: "Maybe he's using it as a strategy to appeal to certain types of people."
Why neurologists use tests of verbal fluency and especially how it has changed over time, to assess cognitive status is timely: "The reason linguistic and cognitive decline often go hand in hand, is that fluency reflects the performance of the brain's prefrontal cortex, the seat of higher-order cognitive functions such as working memory, judgment, understanding, and planning, as well as the temporal lobe, which searches for and retrieves the right words from memory."
One Trump supporter who declined to be identified but wishes to see that he will pay more attention to his declarations, implied how language can deteriorate for other reasons.
"His language difficulties could be due to the immense pressure he's under, or to annoyance that things aren't going right and that there are all these scandals."
Another line of reasoning emerged: "It could also be due to a neurodegenerative disease or the normal cognitive decline that comes with aging."
Speaking about aging, Trump just celebrated his 71st birthday anniversary.
The rationale in regard to the aging phenomenon: "Research shows that virtually nobody is as sharp at age 70 as they were at age 40."
Another opinion has put forward a fact of life, as described by a neurologist.
"A wide range of cognitive functions, including verbal fluency, begin to decline long before we hit retirement age. So, no surprise here."
In reviewing the commentaries cited in the foregoing, evidently, the well-known researchers in the field were directed in their manifold studies and certainly, in studying the present state of the presidency as it unfolds, is meant to disseminate information.


Sessions offered to resign before Trump’s trip abroad

  • Published in U.S.

By  and /Politico



Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered his resignation to President Donald Trump amid Trump’s rising frustration with the series of events that culminated in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his campaign’s contacts with Russian officials during last year’s election. 

Trump ultimately refused Sessions’ offer, which came just before Trump embarked on his first international trip in late May, according to a person who regularly speaks with Sessions. This person said the attorney general offered to resign out of a sense of obligation because he was aware of how angered Trump was about his decision to recuse from the Russia investigations in March.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to a request for comment about Sessions’ resignation offer. Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment.

In recent days however, and with fired FBI Director James Comey’s Thursday testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee set to once again put the spotlight on the Russia investigation, the White House and Trump have declined to give Sessions a vote of confidence. 

Trump has continuously — sometimes publicly — expressed his frustration with Sessions’ decision to formally step back from any investigation of Russian election interference. A day after Sessions announced his recusal, Trump gathered his senior aides in the Oval Office for a meeting, during which he fumed about Sessions’ decision. 

Trump has been furious about the series of investigations into Russia — which dismisses as a “witch hunt.” The president traces a direct line between Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from any Russia investigation to where he stands now: With former FBI Director Robert Mueller appointed as a special counsel and with intense public focus on the Russia investigation. 

A fractured relationship between Trump and Sessions would be significant and could amount to Trump abandoning one of his most loyal supporters. Sessions was the first and, for many months, the only U.S. senator to back Trump’s campaign. Sessions traveled extensively with Trump, often speaking before him at events and serving as a surrogate to the then-Republican nominee. One of Trump’s top aides, Stephen Miller, worked for Sessions for years before joining Trump’s orbit. 

Sessions has said his decision came after he consulted extensively with Justice Department lawyers about what was appropriate. He announced his recusal after revelations about a previously unreported meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak.

Trump traces the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the investigation into Russian election interference back to Sessions decision to recuse himself. 

A Trump adviser described Sessions as one of a number of targets of Trump’s frustration as the Russia issue intensifies. 

“He’s in a mess and is blaming anyone around him — Sessions, (White House Counsel Don) McGahn, you name it, depending on the day,” the Trump adviser said. 

The Trump adviser said Sessions was unlikely to leave his post — but that Sessions has been taken aback by how often Trump complains about the Russia recusal. Sessions, after consulting with Department of Justice lawyers, had thought the recusal was inevitable. 

Trump hasn’t seen it the same way, the Trump adviser said.

"Trump doesn't follow the traditional rules of politics that when it gets hot, you have to do something to take the heat down," this person said. "He dials it up." 

For his part, Sessions has maintained to Trump and others that his decision came only after taking the advice of career officials, the person close to Sessions said. 

Sessions wanted to show that he was willing to keep the Department of Justice above politics, said the source, who added that Sessions felt motivated to restore faith and confidence in the department.


Column: Trump and the United States of Inanity

  • Published in U.S.
/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Chicago Tribune

I'm going to Europe wearing nothing but cowboy boots and red, white and blue underwear. 

I will speak to the foreigners in a voice that is both LOUD and sloooooowwwwww, and if they still don't understand I'll shout, "What's the matter? Don't you speak AMERICAN?!?" I will complain endlessly about small portion sizes. I will mock their odd-looking money.

I'll be an atrocious tourist, and I'll pull it off unfazed thanks to Donald Trump, president of my beloved country, the United States of Inanity. 

Trump is every international stereotype of a rude, classless, overweight, bozo American distilled to its essence, poured into an orange meat sack, topped with a bad comb-over and given a Twitter account and the (formerly) most important leadership position in the world.

He demonstrated this (again) Sunday, sending a tweet about the horrific London terror attack Saturday night that killed seven people and wounded dozens more: "At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'"

That's exactly what you'd expect from the president of the United States of Inanity. Tragedy hits one of our closest allies and he mocks the mayor of the city that was attacked, taking the mayor's words wholly out of context. (London Mayor Sadiq Khan had warned residents to not be alarmed by an increased police presence in the days to come.)

On Monday morning, Trump went at Khan again, tweeting: "Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his 'no reason to be alarmed' statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!"

My oafish American act could never match Trump's, so we all have carte blanche to act the fool on foreign soil without a hint of self-awareness or regret. Time to bust out the fanny packs and the crude mispronunciations of "The Louvre." 

"Hey cabbie, how much to take me to the Loover?"

"Pardon me, gar-con, do you speak American? I need directions to that Low-vree art place."

Such lines would be infinitely classier than the tweet Trump sent out first, before telling the people of England that America stands with them: "We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!"

Sorry about your little terror attack there, Britland, but I've got an unpopular, likely unconstitutional and transparently bigoted "Travel Ban" to enact! YEE-HAH! And by the way, it's not a travel ban, even though I keep saying it is and the courts keep using my words against me.

I could flip off Buckingham Palace, knock fuzzy hats off five members of the Queen's Guard and run naked through Trafalgar Square with "Soccer Sux" painted on my butt cheeks and still not be as offensive as the president trying to leverage this terrorist attack to stoke fear and promote his own agenda.

And that's exciting because, if we're being honest, I've always wanted to do all three of those things. 

In the pre-Trump era, before the country was rebranded the United States of Inanity, there's a good chance some Londoners would have watched my antics and said, "Look at that stupid American."

But now we have Trump, in his series of post-attack tweets, writing: "Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck!"

A couple of things on that:

1) That's not an appropriate thing for a president to say in the wake of another nation's tragedy. Ever.

2) The exclamation point at the end makes it even worse. You sound excited.

3) You're right. The terrorists didn't use guns. And the fact that England has some of the toughest gun laws in the world likely played a role in keeping the death toll lower than it would've been if the terrorists had easy access to high-powered weapons. Which they would have if they lived in America, the country that you are supposedly leading.

The inclination to call me a stupid American because I painted my butt cheeks and ran naked through Trafalgar Square would be mitigated somewhat by the inherent idiocy of the president's tweet. Londoners would be more apt to say, "Well, he spelled 'soccer' correctly. Must be one of the more intelligent Americans."

That's the beauty of hailing from the United States of Inanity.

Upon announcing that America will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, Trump said: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

As if the Paris agreement involved only Parisians and not virtually every other country on the planet and — most importantly — the planet itself. And as if he won over the citizens of Pittsburgh, who in fact voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. And as if that's what you'd expect from a president and not from the drunk guy at the end of the bar, hollering at the TV about "them damn furreners."

I could punch a mime and pee off the edge of the Eiffel Tower while shouting "America First!" and I would still, without question, be viewed as a higher caliber American than the president.

European vacations are now going to be a blast. We can get away with anything and still seem classy by comparison.

Thanks, President Trump! The people of the United State of Inanity salute you.


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