DMZ America Podcast #155: Assassin Shoots Trump

Donald Trump survived an assassination attempt yesterday afternoon when a gunman shot at him at a rally in Pennsylvania, grazing the former President’s right ear. He appeared defiant, raising his fist as Secret Service agents spirited him away from the scene. Political cartoonists and analysts Ted Rall (on the Left) and Scott Stantis (from the Right) look into the political and cultural ramifications from the history of political violence in the United States to gun culture to the upcoming Republican National Convention to the question of whether overheated rhetoric, this time by Democrats, contributed to the current volatile situation.

Watch the Video Version: here.

(Video will be live as of 10:45 Eastern time July 14th.)

The Final Countdown – 7/12/24 – New Russiagate Claims Ahead of 2024 Election 

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie discuss various current events including the Democrats launching Russiagate 3.0. 
The show begins with Senior Asia Pacific International Relations Policy Expert Sourabh Gupta sharing his perspective on China’s response to the NATO accusations amid the summit. 
Then, Craig “Pasta” Jardula, political analyst and podcast host weighs in on the new wave of Russiagate accusations from the Democratic party. 
The second hour starts with the chief market strategist of Bubba Trading Todd “Bubba” Horwitz sharing his expertise on the latest inflation numbers. 
The show closes with human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik joining the show to discuss the ceasefire negotiations in Egypt. 

The Final Countdown – 7/11/24 – Americans Brace for Trump’s Long-Awaited VP Pick

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie discuss political developments around the world, including the NATO Summit. 
The show begins with the president of the Constitutional Rights PAC Carter Clews sharing his perspective on Biden’s campaign amid ongoing calls for the president to drop out. 
Then, resident fellow in law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies Andrew Arthur discusses the SAVE Act, a bill seeking to expand proof-of-citizenship voting requirements.  
The show closes with International Relations and Security Analyst Mark Sleboda sharing his analysis of the NATO Summit. 

The Final Countdown – 7/10/24 – Americans Brace for Trump’s Long-Awaited VP Pick

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie discuss developments worldwide, including Americans waiting for Trump to announce his VP pick. 
The show begins with Belgian theoretical physicist and philosopher of science Jean Bricmont weighing in on the NATO Summit. 
Then, Dr. Wilmer Leon shares his perspective on the panic within the Democratic Party amid increasing calls for President Biden to drop out. 
Later, Retired Navy Captain and Former City Council Candidate Armen Kurdian talks about Trump’s potential VP picks.

Biden’s Senility Obscures Trump’s Senility

           Why, frustrated Democrats are asking, is the news media ignoring signs that former President Donald Trump is (also) suffering cognitive impairment? Why are they focusing on President Joe Biden’s debate performance and calling on him, but not Trump, following his conviction on 34 felony counts, to drop out of the campaign?

            You have reasonable questions, I have answers:

            Biden is the incumbent, not Trump. As much as Democrats would prefer otherwise, elections are a referendum on the incumbent.

            Voters have long been worried about Biden’s age. The debate confirmed their concerns about the 81-year-old leader and added a new one: Democrats and their media allies have been gaslighting them about Biden’s physical and mental condition.

            Trump’s felony convictions, though politically problematic are not inherently disqualifying. A felon can perform the duties of president. A senile person cannot.

            Trump has been out in public, unscripted, a lot more than Biden. His performance was no worse than usual; if anything, he came off as calmer. Biden has hardly held any unscripted events, even in private. His deterioration came as a surprise.

            Biden asked for this debate (“make my day, pal,” he told Trump), wanted a high-profile moment and then fell flat on his face when voters obligingly paid attention—this even though the Trump campaign agreed to all of the White House’s terms and conditions for the event. All eyes were on Trump—and rightfully so.

            Focus on Trump’s debate responses, however, and it becomes clear that Democrats have a point. Biden isn’t the only presidential candidate Americans ought to be concerned about when it comes to age and cognitive acuity.

One comment alone provides sufficient reason to question whether Donald Trump should get the launch codes back: “I want absolutely immaculate clean water and I want absolutely immaculate clean air. And we had it. We had H2O,” he said. “We had the best numbers ever and we were using all forms of energy, all forms, everything.”

We had H2O. Unlike a lot of what Trump says, it’s true. The U.S. had water. (The rest is lies.) But who says that? Who talks like that? Who says something that weird and doesn’t have the self-awareness to walk it back, tweak it or laugh at himself? Only someone who has something wrong with their brain.

Now here’s Trump on abortion:
“Now the states are working it out. If you look at Ohio, it was a decision that was – that was an end result that was a little bit more liberal than you would have thought. Kansas I would say the same thing. Texas is different. Florida is different. But they’re all making their own decisions right now. And right now, the states control it. That’s the vote of the people. Like Ronald Reagan, I believe in the exceptions. I am a person that believes. And frankly, I think it’s important to believe in the exceptions. Some people – you have to follow your heart. Some people don’t believe in that. But I believe in the exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I think it’s very important. Some people don’t. Follow your heart. But you have to get elected also and – because that has to do with other things. You got to get elected. The problem they have is they’re radical, because they will take the life of a child in the eighth month, the ninth month, and even after birth – after birth. If you look at the former governor of Virginia, he was willing to do this. He said, we’ll put the baby aside and we’ll determine what we do with the baby. Meaning, we’ll kill the baby.”

What the hell?

Here he is on migrants:

“They’re killing our citizens at a level that we’ve never seen before. And you’re reading it like these three incredible young girls over the last few days. One of them, I just spoke to the mother, and we just had the funeral for this girl, 12 years old. This is horrible what’s taken place. What’s taken place in our country, we’re literally an uncivilized country now. He doesn’t want it to be. He just doesn’t know. He opened the borders nobody’s ever seen anything like. And we have to get a lot of these people out and we have to get them out fast, because they’re going to destroy our country.”

Asked about Palestinian statehood, Trump replied:

“But before we do that, the problem we have is that we spend all the money. So they kill us on trade. I made great trade deals with the European nations, because if you add them up, they’re about the same size economically. Their economy is about the same size as the United States. And they were – no cars. No – they don’t want anything that we have. But we’re supposed to take their cars, their food, their everything, their agriculture. I changed that. But the big thing I changed is they don’t want to pay. And the only reason that he can play games with NATO is because I got them to put up hundreds of billions of dollars. I said – and he’s right about this, I said, no, I’m not going to support NATO if you don’t pay. They asked me that question: Would you guard us against Russia? – at a very secret meeting of the 28 states at that time, nations at that time. And they (sic) said, no, if you don’t pay, I won’t do that. And you know what happened? Billions and billions of dollars came flowing in the next day and the next months.”

These are insane rants. Are they Biden-level nuts? Maybe, maybe not. But they are too nuts for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Set aside Trump’s grandiosity, politics and the question of truth versus falsity. Read Trump’s debate passages for comprehension, linearity and clarity, allowing for the fact that conversational speech differs from the written word, and there are few through lines and little continuous thought to be found. The expression is manic, spasmodic and scattershot. The grammar is dead wrong, the ideas internally contradictory.

Trump’s word salad, psychologists say, is a sign of dementia and schizophrenia. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, “common behaviors [of a dementia patient] can include mixing up words (word salad) and creating false memories without motivation (confabulation).” We’ve seen both with Trump. He also exhibits logorrhea, i.e. excessive talking. Why say something once when 14 times will do?

What is wrong with Biden? He probably has Parkinson’s disease.

What is wrong with Trump? I don’t know exactly. Maybe that’s just his personality. More likely, something is wrong. To put it another way, it doesn’t matter if Trump is sane if he’s unable or unwilling to communicate clearly. Whatever is going on with Trump, or isn’t, should be the subject of serious consideration during this political year. Trump, 78, should submit to a cognitive test administered by an independent expert.

Biden’s evident senility and his unwillingness to step aside for the good of the Democratic Party are obscuring the equally important issue of whether Trump is also mentally fit to serve as president.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis. His latest book, brand-new right now, is the graphic novel 2024: Revisited.)

The Final Countdown – 7/9/24 – Pressure Mounts Against Biden as More Politicians Call for Him to Step Down

On this episode of The Final Countdown, hosts Ted Rall and Angie discuss developments worldwide, including increasing pressure on Biden to drop out. 
The show begins with cartoonist Scott Stantis weighing in on the increasing calls for President Biden to drop out of his campaign. 
Then, former NTSB official Jamie Finch shares his perspective on Boeing’s plans to plead guilty to criminal fraud charges and the future implications of the guilty plea. 
The second hour begins with Opinion Editor of, news editor of Libertarian Institute, and podcast host Kyle Anzalone sharing his perspective on the NATO Summit in D.C. 
The show closes with international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda joining the show to discuss a selection of topics including Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso’s joint treaty in defiance of ECOWAS. He also discusses Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia. 

Published in 2020

I wrote this back in March 2020.

The people who were wrong still have their jobs. I still get the insults.

Biden Probably Has Parkinson’s Disease

          What, exactly, is wrong with Joe Biden?

It’s probably not Alzheimer’s. I wrote a syndicated column bearing the headline “Biden obviously has dementia and should withdraw from the race” in March 2020. Democratic gaslighting aside, he has been sick for a long time. As I witnessed as caretaker for my mother, who died a month before I wrote the above, Alzheimer’s tends to progress faster than what we’re seeing, especially at Biden’s advanced age.

            Biden’s affliction is some other form of dementia, defined by the CDC as “not a specific disease but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities.”
            Many things can cause and present as dementia: hearing loss, traumatic brain injuries, liver disease.

            One cause is the degenerative nerve disorder made famous by Michael J. Fox, Parkinson’s disease.
            According to Johns Hopkins’ website: “Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may start later. As the disease gets worse over time, about 4 in 5 people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and make it hard to maintain relationships.”

            Unfortunately, the White House has been opaque to the point of absurdity on the question of President Biden’s health. Like the citizens of a dictatorship with state-controlled media, speculation is our sole recourse.

            The New York Post, the right-wing Murdoch-owned tabloid that broke the Hunter Biden laptop story more respectable outlets wouldn’t touch, reported two days ago that a doctor whose expertise is Parkinson’s met Biden’s personal physician at the White House on January 17th: “Dr. Kevin Cannard, a Parkinson’s disease expert at Walter Reed Medical Center, met with Dr. Kevin O’Connor, and two others at the White House residence clinic on Jan. 17, according to the records, which emerge as questions continue to swirl about the 81-year-old president’s mental health in the wake of his debate debacle last week with former President Trump.”

            The Post report continues: “[Dr. Cannard’s] most recent paper was published in August 2023 in the journal Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, and focuses on the ‘early-stage’ of the crippling disease.”

            Dr. Cannard and the White House are refusing to answer reporters’ questions about the meeting.

[Updated 7/8/24 1:40PM EDT: Dr. Cannard visited the White House eight times over the past eight months, according to new reporting from The New York Times.]

            As with other diseases, a patient of Parkinson’s may suffer all or some symptoms. President Biden certainly checks off a lot of the boxes. Here’s the complete list, unedited, from the Mayo Clinic website:

  • Rhythmic shaking, called tremor, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth. This is known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremble when it’s at rest. The shaking may decrease when you are performing tasks.
  • Slowed movement, known as bradykinesia. Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag or shuffle your feet as you try to walk.
  • Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
  • Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped. Or you may fall or have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
  • Speech changes. You may speak softly or quickly, slur, or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than have the usual speech patterns.
  • Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.

I haven’t seen any sign that Biden has a tremor. But the rest—the shuffle, the stoop, the vacant stare, the rigidity of his arms, the vanishing, once-legendary smile he visibly forced out during his recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, the voice so painfully soft listeners have trouble hearing him, the flat affect and lack of inflection—fit to a T. They have been there for years. His handwriting has indeed become smaller and scrunched together.

            Individually, there are other possible causes for these symptoms. In February, the White House said that the President had not been officially found to have Parkinson’s.

            But that doesn’t mean much. According to doctors, Parkinson’s is hard to diagnose. There’s no test that can give a conclusive result. Biden’s personal physician has not recently evaluated him for Parkinson’s.

            I’m a columnist and a cartoonist and a talk radio host, not a doctor. But I’d bet my next paycheck that the President has Parkinson’s.

            Parkinson’s does not get better. Biden will only get worse.

            The time will come, probably within days or weeks—not months—when Biden will have to either resign his office, “temporarily” step aside from his duties and turn over his responsibilities to Kamala Harris as Acting President, and/or release his claim to the delegates pledged to his nomination as the Democratic nominee.

            At that time, Congress should launch a thorough investigation into the origins of this unprecedented, avoidable political crisis. How long have officials and family members known that Biden was unable to fully carry out the job as president? Was it, as I suspect, from the beginning of his campaign back in 2019? In 2020, when he called annoying voters “lying dog-faced pony soldiers”? Or in 2022, when he called out at a rally for a lawmaker who had died—after he’d memoralized her?

Who has been replacing him? Which people in Congress, the DNC, the media and in his Administration have been enabling this charade, which amounts to a coup d’état?

            A poignant coda: On July 2nd President Biden signed the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act, the first federal law that addresses the disease and allocates increased funding for research. He did not make a public comment.

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis. His latest book, brand-new right now, is the graphic novel 2024: Revisited.)

DMZ America Podcast #154: Biden Death Watch

An anxious America is hanging on tenterhooks to see whether Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. will be able to hang on to the Democratic nomination, and whether he might even be compelled to resign amid a whirl of news stories following his disastrous debate performance, indicating that he has been mentally and physically incapacitated, and not fulfilling the duties of the Presidency, for many months and probably years.

Political cartoonists Ted Rall and Scott Stantis (from the Left and Right, respectively) delve deep into U.S. history to contextualize this serious political crisis. Can Biden hang on? Who is really in charge of the government? Will Kamala Harris take over and, if so, when and how? Are there other options? What would be her chances against Donald Trump in the general election? Should there be, and will there be, any accountability for the men and women in the government and the media who carried out and abetted the 2020 coup d’etat in which a man pretended to be president while an unelected cabal of shadowy figures determined policies of war and peace?

Watch the Video Version of the DMZ America Podcast: here.