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January 10, 2018

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Jan. 18, 2018


On Dec. 7th Ford Vox, MD posted this article (above) on STAT which is still getting comments. Yesterday and today an internist, supporting Trump, attacked both myself and and another commenter. You can read the exchange of comments here.


I put another comment on an article about evangelicals who still support Trump:


Conservative activist Steve Deace observed that ongoing White House controversies had pushed some evangelicals to the point “where they are beginning to not care.”

Deace said that if he could give the president advice, he would “appeal to his vanity.”


“I would tell him, ‘You’re not serving your ego well,'” Deace remarked. “Go outside of the beltway, do more rallies, connect more with actual everyday people, the people who put you in the White House.”

My Comment:
Avatar


“Go outside of the beltway, do more rallies, connect more with actual everyday people, the people who put you in the White House.” Sure, all we need is for Trump to feed the bottomless sulfurous sucking sandpit of his vanity, otherwise known by clinicians like me, as malignant narcissism, by doing more rallies.


This appeared next to my article, probably because an algorithm linked me to the name Gartner.
 The ahas nothing to do with John Gartner.


You can’t hide! Trump Gartner is one of my automatic Google News searches. He’s mentioned in The Australian today but I can’t read it since I don’t subscribe. 

Trump's mental health: US psychiatrists raise concerns
The Australian
John Gartner, who taught in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, believes that Trump has displayed “malignant narcissism” - a diagnosis formulated by the psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, who applied it retrospectively to Adolf Hitler. It combines a narcissistic personality …



Is it too much to hope that Mueller could not only bring down Trump, but in the process implicate the NRA?

Excerpts: Although the NRA promotes gun rights as a defense against tyranny, it had surprisingly close ties to Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian regime.  Torshin, who is an NRA Life Member, had attended multiple NRA national conventions in the United States and NRA board member and former national president David Keene, NRA First Vice President Pete Brownell, NRA funder Dr. Arnold Goldschlager and his daughter, NRA Women’s Leadership Forum executive committee member Hilary Goldschalger; Outdoor Life channel head Jim Liberatore, and former Milwaukee County Sheriff and NRA supporter David A. Clarke all braved the biting Moscow winter to attend 2015 event hosted by The Right to Bear Arms.

McClatchy reported on Thursday that multiple sources say the FBI’s counterintelligence investigators are now examining whether Torshin, who has been accused by Spanish authorities of money laundering, may have provided some of those funds. Federal law prohibits foreign governments and citizens from spending money to influence federal elections. A spokesman for Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, declined to comment to McClatchy on the report.

Yesterday I predicted the Stormy Daniels story would be relegated to the gossip pages. Instead it has gained traction - sorry about that imagery - and Rachel and Lawrence did segments on it last night. Predictably it was fodder for the late night comedians. For example:





Jan. 17, 2018 Here's Jeff Flake's Senate speech.

Trump's cognitive exam: If there was any media coverage of this I missed it, so I wanted to be certain the notion got out at least in Daily Kos. Did Trump cheat on his cognitive test? We can’t rule it out. (click to make comments)
A personal note:
As I watched the press conference I kept hoping a reporter, any reporter but especially Sanjay Gupta, would ask the simple question “if a patient practiced the test in advance would the results still be valid?” I grew so frustrated it was one of those “yell at the TV moments.” Then I Tweeted out my question to everyone I would think of on MSNBC. I couldn’t post this story on Daily Kos because I have already posted my one-a-day limit piece, on Stage Two of the Duty to Warn therapists efforts to remove Trump (which hardly anybody commented on).


If Trump, or any patient, had a copy of the test like the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test (MoCA) in advance and practiced taking it, I do not think the results would be valid.
If I was a Trump advisor and wanted to help him put aside the rampant speculation about his being in the early stages of dementia, I would have suggested has ask to be tested during his physical.
Then I would check online to determine which were the most likely tests would be used. The MoCA is one of two commonly used tests, the other being the Mini–Mental State Examination (MMSE).
The term page six has come into common usage
 because this is where Information on celebrity
 news, 
gossipfashion, and movies
is published  in the New York 
Post's gossip columns. Stay tuned,

there's more to come!
I would have the president practice both tests, hoping he’d be given the MoCA because the examiner is allowed the flexibility to customize some of the questions on the MMSE (the naming objects questions for example).
Assuming that the doctor didn’t customize the MoCA, Trump could have taken the test repeatedly until he could answer all the questions.
I would have suggested Trump get a couple of questions wrong to avoid suspicion, but of course he would ignore this advice wanting to brag about getting 30 out of 30 right.
Of course it is possible Trump was concerned about the possibility he might actually be suffering cognitive decline and gone into the test with no prior knowledge. In this case we have evidence that his cognition isn’t as impaired as has been suggested by some observers.
……
Addendum: Scoring Instructions for the MoCA

↓↓↓↓↓
You could almost believe Trump real said these things, but it is more satire from Allan Ishac:

Truth In Satire

Trump Slips Again, Names His “8 Crappiest States” In Meeting With U.S. Governors

President angers many with vulgar characterizations and boorish remarks about their home states


Donald Trump's Latest Obsession Has Its Origins in Nazi Germany


Jan. 16, 2018
This is just the first part of the test

Breaking: This is the cognitive screening test for dementia Trump passed. The unasked question was "if the president had a copy of the test in advance would it still be valid?" There are only a few standard tests for cognitive impairment. Easy to study them all beforehand... he asked for the tests! How naive to think he wouldn't have someone give him the likely tests in advance so he could ace them, as he did the Montreal test. Suspicious, he should have faked getting one or two of the 30 items wrong. 26 is normal, he got 30 out of 30.



Click to make comments: 

Efforts to warn about dangerousness of Donald Trump enter Stage Two: Political Action



“You spoke of them, according to the president,
 as the people of Norway — well, you know,
 they work very hard — the inference being the
 people of the 54 states of Africa and Haiti
do not,” Harris said. “That is a fair inference.”
“You run the Department of Homeland Security,
and when you say you don’t know if Norway
 is predominantly white when asked by a member
 of the United States Senate, that causes
me concern about your ability to understand
the scope of your responsibilities and the impact
 of your words — much less the policies that you
 promulgate in that very important department.”
I no longer read every article published about Trump's mental health. Since "Fire and Fury" was published there are just too many. However, it was impossible to miss this article on Salon this morning:

Mental health professionals adopt Russian meddlers’ tactics to remove Trump from office - 

You know the old saying. If you can’t beat the Russian election meddlers and right-wing political extremists, join ’em. Or at least use their tactics. 
That’s more or less the idea behind what the founder of Duty to Warn, a national group of mental health professionals bent on getting President Trump out of office by helping Democrats gain control of the House, calls “phase two” of the organization’s action plan. The founder, psychologist and former assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, John Gartner, elaborated: “What we’re planning to do is target voters who live in those swing districts . . . through social media. It’s really what the Russians did to swing the election.”
I wouldn't have compared these political tactics to Russian meddling. After all, the targeting of specific electoral districts is a tried and often true method used to swing close races. However, by drawing this parallel John Gartner assured himself a prominent placement on the Salon home page. He gave the author, Jessica Klein, a chance to write a story Salon editors could title which comes under the modern heading of clickbait. This is the world we live in. In order to get a sober serious message covered by the media sometimes you decide to get in the mud with the opposition and use hyperbolic language. And then there's the photoshopped picture of Trump in a straight jacket which Salon choose to illustrate the story, clearly clickbait. Not that this is always a bad thing....
This is an issue of paramount importance. It is a grave threat to our lives and our democracy. There is a time for satire and a time for seriousness, and I admit I have written stories here in both categories in my Trumpology series. However, the time for snark may be is over. The members of the mental health community who have been alerting the country about the dangers inherent in having a psychologically unstable president have been attacked enough by its own members and Trump supporters alike. 

The meat of the Salon article is newsworthy. It describes how members of the John Gartner "Duty to Warn" movement have developed a strategy to help others in the Trump resistance challenge Republicans in swing districts. Education and ringing the alarm bell was Stage One, political action is Stage Two.
“Phase two, though it’s a nonpartisan problem, there’s only one solution, and it’s partisan,” said Gartner, who is humble as the head of a national movement. Though he finds the Trump presidency emotionally disturbing — all of the DTW members I spoke to do — he’s able to make light of it. At one point during our talk, he compared it to the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s,” with “corrupt Republican party” members playing the parts of Richard and Larry and the president standing in for Bernie. The solution, explained Gartner, is to get Democrats to win as many of the “flippable” seats as possible in the 2018 congressional elections. Winning 24 would suffice. This would give Democrats control of the House and therefore power to enact the 25th amendment.
Except instead of feeding those districts “fake news and propaganda,” the psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and neuroscientists who make up Duty to Warn want to target those voters “with truth.” The truth will look like posters or t-shirts featuring a silhouette of Trump’s head in profile, surrounded by the words “Danger” and one of the President’s many “danger signs.” These include his compulsive lyingand access to nuclear codes. DTW aims to get people to hold up literal signs as part of a social media campaign that Gartner hopes will gain ALS Ice Bucket Challenge status.
It is important for those following this closely to understand that there are several groups of mental health professionals doing an excellent job informing politicians, pundits, and the public about why Donald Trump's personality renders him psychologically unfit for office. They may have different approaches, but they together sound a unified clarion call.

These mental health luminaries are literally and figuratively bound together in the best selling book "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" edited by Yale forensic psychiatrist, Bandy Lee, M.D., in their shared opinions about Trump's dangerousness. The book was published following a conference at Yale which generated considerable publicity, even overseas. 
The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump has a Wikipedia page.
Some authors in the book diagnose Trump in one way or another,  while some eschew actual psychiatric diagnosis focusing instead on how his observable behavior is cause for grave concern. 































kos-011818b.jpg
Taking a different political approach than that of Gartner, Dr. Lee, who is not a member of the capitalized "Duty to Warn" group, has met with members of Congress in person and made it known that she will continue to do so when they want to consult with her. She has assured that all members of Congress have a copy of "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump." 
Not all mental health professionals identify themselves as members of the "Duty to Warn" group, but all believe they have a duty to assure our president has the mental capacity to hold the highest office in the land. “Duty to Warn” or duty to warn, the message is basically the same: mental health professionals have observed enough of Trump’s behavior to, at the very least, conclude based on their expertise that he needs to have a complete mental status examination. His recent physical did not include such an assessment.

THE PSYCHIATRIST WHO BRIEFED CONGRESS ON TRUMP’S MENTAL STATE: THIS IS “AN EMERGENCY” THE CASE FOR EVALUATING THE PRESIDENT’S MENTAL CAPACITY — BY FORCE IF NECESSARY. LINK

Yet there is a growing call from a group of psychiatrists — the best medical experts at interpreting aberrant human behavior — for exactly this: an emergency evaluation of the president’s mental capacity, by force if necessary.  
Leading this call is Bandy Lee, an assistant professor in forensic psychiatry (the interface of law and mental health) at the Yale School of Medicine who has devoted her 20-year career to studying, predicting, and preventing violence.  
She recently briefed a dozen members of Congress — Democrats and one Republican — on the president’s mental state. And this week, she, along with Judith Herman at Harvard and Robert Jay Lifton at Columbia, released a statement arguing that Trump is “further unraveling.” The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a collection of essays from 27 mental health professionals that Lee edited, was published in October.  From Vox
Stage One Has Been Completed
Until the publication of "Fire and Fury" by Michael Wolff I managed to put links to every article I could find about Trump's mental health on my personal website, halbrown.org. Generally, there were two or three every day. Once the book came out there were so many articles, dozens a day, that I gave up and decided my website could be an archive only for so long. 

Phase one has been a success. 
Considering only a few in the mainstream media, most notably Lawrence O’Donnell (“Trump’ s Mental Health: The Elephant in the Room” From Feb. 2017 for example), broached the subject of Trump's mental health a year ago. Both John Gartner and Bandy Lee, as well as psychiatrist Lance Dodes, were interviewed on his show. 

Now everyone in the media who is not on Fox News and Breitbart is addressing the issue as an exigent concern.

Click above to read 



Jan. 15, 2018


The Democrat Trumpworld fears most 

 Hint, the initials are J.B.


The words in orange are mine 😇

A local story from Maryland that may not make the national news: 

'Dehumanizing:' Pastor denounces Trump's remarks during service attended by VP Pence - (who is reported to have turned red-faced several times.)


Will Jeff Flake be the next Joseph Welch and ask GOP have you left no sense of decency? (comment on this story on Daily Kos)


I was only six years old during the summer of 1950 when  Joseph N. Welch said the words in the title to Joseph McCarthy during the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings. Welch was chief counsel for the Army while it was under investigation for Communist activities. It was during these hearing that Roy Cohn, McCarthy's chief counsel, came into national prominence. 
It is noteworthy that the late Roy Cohn used to represent Donald Trump:










































kos-011518b.jpg
Cohn, who had been an aide to Senator Joe McCarthy, in the nineteen-fifties, was a political fixer and lawyer who represented New York power brokers, from the Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to the mob boss Carlo Gambino. Trump was one of his favorite clients; before Cohn’s death, of aids-related complications, in 1986, the two men talked up to five times a day and partied together at Studio 54 and other night clubs. “Roy was brutal, but he was a very loyal guy,” Trump told the writer Tim O’Brien, in 2005. “He brutalized for you.” From ”Eavesdropping on Roy Cohn and Donald Trump,” New Yorker, April 14, 2017
Welch ‘s exchange with McCarthy which confronted him on national TV about his lack of decency is credited with turning the country against McCarthy and his attempts to destroy the reputations and careers of anybody he thought was a Communist. Here is the relevant portion:
Senator McCarthy:  May -- may I say that Mr. Welch talks about this being cruel and reckless. He was just baiting -- He has been baiting Mr. Cohn here for hours, requesting that Mr. Cohn, before sundown, get out of any department of the government anyone who is serving the Communist cause. Now, I just give this man's record and I want to say, Mr. Welch, that it has been labeled long before he became a member, as early as 1944 -- ....
Mr. Welch: Senator --
Senator McCarthy:  Let -- let me finish.
Mr. Welch: -- may we not drop this?
Senator McCarthy:  Let me finish.
Mr. WelchWe know he belonged to the Lawyers' Guild.  
Senator McCarthy: No, let me finish --
Mr. Welch: And Mr. Cohn nods his head at me. I did you, I think, no personal injury, Mr. Cohn?
Mr. Cohn: No, sir.
Mr. Welch: I meant to do you no personal injury.
Mr. Cohn: No, sir.
Mr. Welch: And if I did --
Senator McCarthy: No --
Mr. Welch-- I beg your pardon. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator.
Senator McCarthy: Let's, let's — 










































kos-011518a.jpg
Senator McCarthy: I know this hurts you, Mr. Welch.
Mr. Welch: I'll say it hurts!
Senator McCarthy: May I say, Mr. Chairman, as point of personal privilege, I'd like to finish this.
Mr. Welch: Senator, I think it hurts you, too, sir.
Senator McCarthy: I'd -- I'd like to finish this. I know Mr. Cohn would rather not have me go into this. I intend to, however. And Mr. -- Mr. Welch talks about any "sense of decency." It seems that Mr. Welch is pained so deeply, he thinks it's improper for me to give the record,  the Communist front record, of the man whom he wanted to foist upon this committee. But it doesn't pain him at all -- there's no pain in his chest about the attempt to destroy the reputation and the -- take the jobs away from the young men who are working on my committee. And Mr. Welch, if -- if I have said anything here which is untrue, then tell me. I have heard you and everyone else talk so much about laying the truth upon the table. But when I heard the completely phony Mr. Welch -- I've been listening now for a long time -- he's saying, "Now, before sundown, you must get these people out of government." So that I just want you to have it very clear, very clear that you were not so serious about that when you tried to recommend this man for this committee. But the point is... —  from the Top American Speeches on American Rhetoric
Yesterday said this to ABC host  George Stephanopoulos
“When you reflexively refer to the press as the enemy of the people or fake news, that has real damage. It has real damage to our standing in the world. And I noted how bad it is for a president to take what was popularized by Joseph Stalin, the enemy of the people, to refer to the press.” Republican Senator Jeff Flake who will give a speech about Trump's attacks on freedom of the press on Wednesday. HuffPost
According to NBC News:
Sen. Jeff Flake is planning to slam President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press on the Senate floor this week in a speech that will compare the president's use of the term "enemy of the people" to describe the media to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
"When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press," Flake, R-Ariz., will say, according to excerpts of the speech provided to NBC News. 
Flake is not going to run again. It is a shame that only Republicans with nothing political to risk have come out strongly against Trump and what he is doing to the country. For example, today Chuck Hagel, former two-term GOP senator from Nebraska, said Trump was an “international embarrassment “ who  is “doing great damage to our country internationally.”
This being said, while I’d prefer someone with gravitas like  John McCain do it, somebody needs confront the entire GOP enablers of Trump and Trumpism by asking the Roy Cohn question, something like this:

FELLOW REPUBLICAN SENATORS, YOUR SILENCE HAS DONE ENOUGH. HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF INTEGRITY? HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF DECENCY?

Watch 90 minute special on the McCarthy Hearings: 


Jan. 14, 2018

Just so you know: This was President Obama's last presidential medical report.

Quote of the Day: “When you reflexively refer to the press as the enemy of the people or fake news, that has real damage,” Flake said on Sunday to ABC host George Stephanopoulos. “It has real damage to our standing in the world. And I noted how bad it is for a president to take what was popularized by Joseph Stalin, the enemy of the people, to refer to the press.” Republican Senator Jeff Flake who will give a speech about Trump's attacks on freedom of the press on Wednesday. More here.



Click above to read and/or make comments



Another Tale of the Tape: 
This short story scored a number seven spot on the coveted
Daily Kos recommended list. Thus it stays on the front page
all day. So far there are almst 100 comments. Not a record
for me, that was over 500 comments on a post about Bernie
Sanders and Hillary Clinton during the primary.
Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal exposed the most recent baldfaced Trump lie about his own words, and it's clear as a bell in a recording. 
The last time Trump disputed his own recorded words was denying it was actually his voice on the Access Hollywood tape.
“I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised,” WSJ quoted Trump as saying. But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders fired back, and Trump tweeted on Sunday morning that the WSJmisquoted him. “Obviously I didn’t say that. I said ‘I’d have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,’ a big difference,” he saidadding: “They just wanted a story.” 
On the psychological side, his other Tweets yesterday clearly demonstrate projection, a defense mechanism he frequently uses. He obviously can’t accept he is the one who is deranged, so he blames it on the author of “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolffe, who he claims is deranged.
On the ropes here, he again rants about the fake news.
I can only hope that this Trumpism will soon get old and as ridiculous as it is when calling something fake news only confirms that the news is true.

Click above to enlarge

This morning Joy Reid and her panel discussed the issue I wrote about yesterday.  It took a day but now others are using this incident to address the gravity of having an unstable president in control of a nuclear retalitation. 

This is the Tweet I sent in response with a shameless link to my article:

Good to see you covering this aspect of the Hawaii false alarm - as a duty to warn therapist I wrote about this yesterday

Jan. 13, 2018

Breaking - I hope the media covers this question -
I posted the following on Daily Kos.
The real story should be that we may have averted a nuclear war because Trump didn’t hear about the missile alert in Hawaii as the news broke on television. 
He might have reacted impulsively without consulting his military advisors if he learned about the reported alert while watching Fox News. Assuming we were under attack, he might have used this as an excuse to launch a retaliation.
Consider this from a timely article from Jan. 8, 2018: Tillerson and Mattis are reportedly trying to hold Trump back from striking North Korea 

  • President Donald Trump's secretaries of state and defense are trying to persuade him not to strike North Korea, while his national security adviser is pushing for a "bloody nose" attack, according to recent reports in The Telegraph and The Wall Street Journal.
  • Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, has reportedly been key in pushing for peace, but he may be on his way out.

Morning Joy: This morning she interviewed a member of Trump's evangelical council. Joy was admirably restrained. Although he was just watching her on a monitor her facial expressions led him to comment negatively on them.

Thanks to AlterNet, you can watch the videos here:


Joy's priceless expression... click above to watch videos

Right after the interview he Tweeted:

#AMJoy should moved to #Haiti since she cares more for Haitians than Black Americans here in Poverty... This is his Twitter feed if you want to see what an Uncle Tom he is.

This prompted me to send both her and him  Tweets:


As Trump’s Racism Pisses Off an Entire Continent

Oprah Winfrey Starts to Make More Sense



Media Watch (Thanks to HuffPost) - One would have hoped that the mainstream media would have learned a lesson by not outright calling Trump a liar, but the latest "shithouse countries" furor has them in the land of euphemistic equivocation again. Read:


Media Euphemisms For 'Racist' Are Stupidly Tinged

Kudos to whoever perused the articles to find all the euphemisms --- 

.

So there it is, or as Suetonius might say, Res ipsa loquitur. Whatever the similarities, Mr. Trump certainly differs from “Little Boots” in one respect: Unlike the emperor, he hasn’t undergone a “momentous transformation.” The record indicates that he has always known he’s divine.
Excerpt:

President Trump’s assertion of his “genius,” athwart recent reporting that his inner circle describes him in somewhat different terms — “moron,” “idiot,” “like a child” — along with concerns about his mental health, awakened a dormant memory of a scene in the 1970s TV adaptation of Robert Graves’s classic novel of ancient Rome, “I, Claudius.”

The Emperor Caligula, played to deranged and very scary perfection by John Hurt, tells his uncle Claudius: “I’m simply undergoing a change. It’s the most momentous transformation that any human being has ever achieved.”
Uncle Claudius’s frozen face is right out of Dorothy Parker’s “What fresh hell can this be?” He knows that this “change” portends no joy in Caesarville. But his life at the palace has made him nothing if not an artful survivor. Feigning delighted shock and awe, he tells his nephew: “I was blind not to see it instantly. You’re no longer human! May I be the first to worship you, as a g-g-g-god?”

Caligula replies with a weary air of menacing ennui, “It took you a long time to perceive that I’m no longer human.”

So begins the era of Caligula the God, and what fun it will be.

Mr. Trump’s declaration of his genius was of a piece with the sycophants rodeo in the White House cabinet room last June, when his consuls and lictors took turns lavishing praise on him in terms to make even Caesar blush.  CONTINUED


From Canada: Donald Trump tried to show you he’s sane and stable. His week became a running fiasco


Jan. 12, 2018

Fox Watch:


As two Republican Senators claim being deaf during the Oval Office meeting, and Trump denies saying shithouse, "The Five" host Jesse Watters takes a different tack:
“This is how the forgotten men and women of America talk at the bar. If you’re at a bar, and you’re in Wisconsin, and you think they’re bringing in a bunch of Haiti people, or El Salvadorians, or people from Niger, this is how some people talk. Is it graceful? No. Is it polite or delicate? Absolutely not. Is it a little offensive? Of course it is.”  
Shithouse comment proves Trump is BOTH an unapologetic racist AND mentally ill, by Hal Brown (Comment on Daily Kos)


Yesterday's shithole countries remark demonstrates Trump's ingrained racism. It is only the latest such utterance by Trump proving that the apple hasn't fallen far from his father's KKK tree.
Yesterday's shithole countries remark demonstrates Trump's ingrained racism. It is only the latest such utterance by Trump proving that the apple hasn't fallen far from his father's KKK tree.
Not only does the “shithole” comment rub his racism in our face, it is also proving he that is non-compos mentis. It showcases his lack of impulse control and, significantly, his utterly absent ability to consider the consequences of his words. 

Did he think, in the moment, that nobody in the room would find his choice of words offensive enough to release it to the press? This is a psychiatrically and/or neurological consequential example lack of judgment. 

Another psychiatric explanation is that he is also so delusional that thought the lawmakers there would share his racist views, or be so cowed by him they'd keep their mouths shut. Did he not realize that Democratic Senator Dick Durbin was in the room? My hunch is that he didn't. 
The sine qua non of any medical assessment is the doctor’ s observing the patient’ s connection to reality. In a focused psychiatric or neurological examination where a breakdown in reality testing ability is suspected there are specific questions and sometimes tests used to quantify the degree of the breakdown in reality testing. Professionals are now urging Trump’ s annual physical include determining whether Trump has a cognitive impairment.  They “ note the president's 'declining faculties for complex thought.'”

I do not buy that Trump deliberately used this vulgarity to pander to his racist base. This is the Trump is crazy like a sly fox meme, or (not to be cute) crazy for Fox News meme.  This isn't a picture book about a lovable sneaky fox. It's a story about a rabid fox who can't control his impulses.

Trump isn't even the scorpion telling the frog "it's in my nature" because Trump doesn't have the self-awareness to understand his own nature.

We have an authoritarian racist who is crafting policies that promote the alt-right white nationalist agenda, and like the madman he is,  flinging deranged rhetorical feces at the Statue of Liberty and all the American values she stands for. 




Jan. 11, 2018


Joy Reid said shithole on TV tonight - what hath Trump wrought

"The President's 'shithole' remark is being received much differently inside of the White House than it is outside of it. Though this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem did not alienate it." A White House Representative defending Trump calling underdeveloped countries shitholes.

About the shithole comment, the total focus has been on him and his racism. If he said this deliberately as claimed it shows how racist he is. Nothing new in that. 

This discussion on how racist Trump is is good. I am glad he said it. I am hoping it gets the coverage it deserves.

Bringing anything else up muddies the waters. It is the is he crazy like a fox or just plain crazy question. However, we can discuss it here since we already know the answer is the later.

What is being missed is the alternative explanation as to why he said this in front of lawmakers who he had to know would reveal his words to the media.



I think this is more diagnostic proof that he's really mentally ill, though perhaps more glaringly that his dementia is worsening.  It showcased the impulsive uncontrollable man we have been warning about. I'd say it indicated both impaired judgment and faulty reality testing. This is indicative of his unstable mental state because said this in front of lawmakers who a normally functioning person would know would be leaked to the media.

Editorial:

Why Jay Berman, who helped write the 25th Amendment, is wrong. Please comment and take poll on Daily Kos


You may have seen Jay Berman on TV saying this on MSNBC last night,  or read about how he doesn't think the 25th Amendment could apply to Trump (see Newsweek today). He worked for Senator Birch Bayh when he crafted the 25th Amendment.

What he seems not to understand is that the incapacity which may lead, indeed, force, the people who can invoke (Pence and the Cabinet) the 25th to do so has yet to be demonstrated. 

There are hundreds of mental health professionals, from the eminent and frequently quoted like Bandy Lee, John Gartner, Robert Jay Lifton, Philip Zimbardo, Lance Dodes, and Justin Frank among others, and much less well-known mental health professionals like me,  who have publicly urged that the 25th should be utilized now before it's too late.  (Google search any one of these names, including mine, plus Trump and you will find numerous articles.)
Sidebar - Click above to enlarge
In an ideal world, our advice would have been heeded by now and, at the least, Trump would have had a psychiatric and neurological evaluation.

Trump "shouldn't" have the nuclear football at his beck and call. Unfortunately, this "shouldn't” is along the lines of everyone from Ralphie's mother to Santa Claus saying "you shouldn't get a Red Ryder BB Gun because you'll shoot your eye out."

The political reality at present is that Trump hasn't decompensated drastically enough to convince politicians and the public who influence them that the time has come.

Trump utilizes at least two primitive (pathological) psychological defense mechanisms to protect his sense of self (inflated and unrealistic as it is) and keep himself from becoming overwhelmed by anxiety and stress. One is denial which may not be psychotic yet, and the other is projection, which also may not be delusional yet. 
The psychiatrist George Eman Vaillant introduced a four-level classification of defence mechanisms:
  • Level I – pathological defences (psychotic denial, delusional projection)
  • Level II – immature defences (fantasy, projection, passive aggression, acting out)
  • Level III – neurotic defences (intellectualization, reaction formation, dissociation, displacement, repression)
  • Level IV – mature defences (humour, sublimation, suppression, altruism, anticipation)
The stress is increasing, and objective observers can see these defenses in action everytime he goes off script.

Stress will increase as Mueller gets closer to exposing him for the criminal liar he is, as more and more people believe the excerpts they hear from "Fire and Fury," or come to understand that the facts in the dossier are true. It is within the realm of possibility that Trump's defenses with "crack like an egg" and he will suffer an acute psychotic break. If this happened he'd become so delusional and paranoid it would be difficult, or impossible to hide. Pence and the Cabinet would have to act.

When I started writing my articles under the heading "Trumpology: The Psychological Study and Analysis of Donald Trump" it didn't take long for me to conclude that he was a malignant narcissist and could, under certain circumstances, have a psychotic break.

This was over a year ago and the possibility that Trump would show more and more indications of cognitive impairment suggesting early dementia wasn't getting much attention. Now there are dozens of articles about it every day.

What this adds up to is a trifecta:

1) Drastically increasing stress
2) Malignant narcissism
3) Dementia

The enactment of the 25th Amendment could happen, but nobody will act on it unless and until Trump manifests impossible to deny or rationalize dangerous behavior.

------------

I'm pleased to see this term being used more frequently in the media:

Some people in Trump's inner circle -- at least according to the account in Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury," which has not been contradicted in any essential way -- have described him as intellectually vapid and incurious, uninterested in the details of his office, possessing little or no attention span and preoccupied with having his egomania and malignant narcissism fed by his coterie.  From “Executive time” and white privilege: Our laziest president and an ugly stereotype"



It's always gratifying when a media personality "likes a Tweet" I sent them. Lawrence O'Donnell liked a couple as did radio host Thom Hartmann. Last light Ron Klain was on Lawrence's show and used an abbreviated version of the quote below, so I sent him this Tweet and he liked it. Tweets are a way to try to get a brief message to politicans and pundits, but you are more likely to have your Tweet actually read by the intended recipient if they are a less well known personality. On rare occassions a Tweet sent during an MSNBC show is read by the host who then shares it with the audience.

Jan. 10, 2018


Editorial (Also in Daily Kos where comments are appreciated


My colleagues, other psychotherapists who frequently discuss Trump's mental condition, wonder whether any of us could diagnose someone exactly like him without prior information about his position and behavior. It would be a cold interview, so-to-speak. Outpatient mental health therapists conduct thousands of them in a career. 
We've concluded that his glib persona would raise our suspicions that he was trying to hide something in order to look good.  Unless there were neurological symptoms of dementia, our diagnosis would be inconclusive. We might have this hypothetical client undergo some standard psychological and hard to fake tests. (Related: “Faking It: Can Job Applicants ‘Outsmart’ Personality Tests?”) If we had to come up with a diagnosis, say for the court, we'd have him return for one or more interviews, and if he had the authority, we would require a battery of psychological tests. Forensic psychologists do this all the time.
We still might only be able to come up with  "inconclusive" as our conclusion. We might use descriptive behavioral observation words like “evasive” and “guarded” as we noted that the client claimed that he didn’t experience any bothersome symptoms. 
Basically, though, we'd be unlikely to have the luxury of more than a 90-minute session. We already know from the most recent sit-down with a non-Fox interviewer, Lester Holt which did not go well for the president, that he can more-or-less present as sane for an hour.
Mueller and his investigators wouldn't - and absolutely shouldn't - have such a time limit. They must interview him in person. They often interview subjects for hours on end. 
I have my doubts whether Trump could maintain his composure and attention for that length of time. I think he would contradict himself. I think he would demonstrate short-term memory impairment. I think he would be hard-pressed to treat his questioners as anyone worthy of his precious time and respect and therefore might lower his guard.
Trump's lawyers must know this. They will do everything possible to put off an in-person interview. Trump may or may not accept that he is guilty of criminal activity. Trump, because of his mental state, will implicate himself.   

 *************This isn't an earth shaking article, but I like the photograph.**********

This is what Mueller is looking for. However, in the process of determining this, he will do what therapists have been clamoring for by assessing his mental state and competence. (See Psychiatrists “Deeply Concerned” by Trump’s Instability Call for Urgent Mental Health Evaluation and Why doesn’t the president get a thorough mental health exam? CNN)
If they already don't have ample information to have made this determination, they would after their interview. Unfortunately, we wouldn't learn about this conclusion for months or years unless it is leaked, and this probably wouldn't happen. (Related article: Trump, the "Very Stable Genius," Is Falling Apart as Mueller Seeks Interview: New revelations raise the question: Is he a crook or is he nuts?" AlterNet)

Briefly noted: Thanks to the Washington Post, the big six
 in the infamous dossier which contradicted Trump’s claims

1. Researchers weren't expecting to find what they did
2. There may have been a whistleblower in the Trump campaign
3. The FBI indicated it believed some of what was in the memos
4. Some news events have corroborated the memo's findings
5. Steele, the former British spy, is a “Boy Scout”
6. Fusion GPS is not funded by Democrats nor Russia

Heather "Digby" Parton wonders if the release of the Fusion transcript could be a Watergate moment:

"The released transcript of Simpson's testimony contains a good deal of interesting information, all of which will be gone over with a fine-toothed comb in the press. But the upshot is that Simpson says Steele (who was effectively his subcontractor) went to the FBI because he learned in the course of his investigation that Russian agents were attempting to conspire with the campaign of the Republican candidate for president. Republicans in Congress have been trying to cover that up for obvious reasons: It's not only damning information on its own, it's also an indictment of every Trump associate who remained silent or played along."


A critical commmentary about Trump from
the usually pro-Trump Tucker Carlso.
First look - on Morning Joe - shades of the Russian revisionist history where it was changed to make the country look good (a Russian invented the light bulb, I remeber hearing that one when I was in grade school): Whoever wrote the transcript of the bipartisan meeting with some members of Congress and Trump about immigration eliminated the responses from Trump which contradicted the previously stated GOP postion on tieing DACA to the border wall. Joe and Mika said first things first, since the comments were on video, make the transcript accurate. 

Jan. 9, 2018
Do you want to read the transcript for the Fusion GPS Senate testimony  in plain text instead of the PDF format on other websites? I convertd it and posted it here (on my secndary website) after taking out the blank pages. That took an hour!

 
  Trump and Sun Tzu: Dark Thoughts 
The Best Time to Attack N. Korea is During the Olympics \

Below:


All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.– Sun Tzu, the Art of War
Richard Nixon is heard on the tapes considering using nuclear weapons against North Vietnam. He says it may be time to bomb the dikes and doesn't flinch when told it would kill 200,000 civilians. (From the MSNBC special "The Most Dangerous an on Earth" about Daniel Ellsberg) Trump is no Nixon. He’s not nearly as smart and he has no empathy whatsoever.

Donald Trump has a conscience the size of a snipe's brain (the imaginary animal, not the bird). I have been consulting with my just as imaginary military consultant Sun Tzu, and have come up with the best strategy for decisively removing the North Korean threat to world stability with a minimum risk of nuclear retaliation against American land, the only actual land that matters to Trump. We know land matters more to Trump than people.

This is a surprise non-nuclear attack during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. 
Border artillery would be carpet bombed, all identified North Korean nuclear sites and facilities would be destroyed, Pyongyang and anyplace Kim might be would be leveled.  Any North Korean dignitaries attending the Olympics would be arrested. 

Okay, maybe a few tactical nukes would be used .... more bang for the bucks after all. 
 
Think about the pros and cons.

The pros: It would be the ultimate surprise attack. Nobody would expect it. Even a madman like Kim would pause in disbelief. Even though he read his translated copies of "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump" and the book titled after a Trump Tweet about Little Kim, he never believed Trump would be either that insane, or that strategically and ruthlessly brilliant.
It's the pause that counts. The longer the better. When we have stealth bombers and missile submarines in the South China Sea seconds count.

Kim knows Trump is unbalanced, he knows he's just as full of bluster and bellicosity as he himself is. But would he believe, even as the bombs and missiles began to explode, that Trump would have risked, nay assured, the wiping out of the greatest American athletes and hundreds of thousands of American tourists and soldiers, in addition to a few million South Koreans?

The cons: Kim Jung Un would certainly retaliate, and millions would die.

The bottom line: Trump claims victory for single-handedly wiped out the country he says was the single greatest threat to world peace and stability. Sure, that would be the biggest whopper Trump ever told. Historians and journalists would try to say that, in truth, Trump always was the greatest threat to world peace and stability, but nobody would hear them since they would be in Guantanamo. Fox News would applaud him, Alex Jones would screech so shrilly in praise glasses would shatter all over America. We’d see Rush Limbaugh swallow his golden microphone in orgiastic escatcy.

Trump would deal with the inevitable protests at home by declaring martial law, shutting down the fake news, firing Mueller, and declaring himself president for life.

This is now on Daily Kos, so here are the reacions.

Read the comments which led me to add the following:

Again, I am flummoxed --- do I have to spell out when something I write is satire, grim as it may be... not that I write at anywhere near his level, where are the commenters who read Jonathan Swift?  
A Modest Proposal - For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland
From Being Aburden to Their Parents or Country, and
For Making Them Beneficial to The Public

”I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled ...”


Here’s a psychiatrist who won’t diagnose Trump although he believes he is not fit to be president on The Beat with Ari Melba. He says he can’t be a narcissistic personality disorder because he doesn’t personally suffer from the diagnosis, one which the psychiatrist credits himself with writing the criteria for in the DSM. He also says to call him mentally ill stigmatizes those who struggle with psychiatric disorders. Here's what John Gartner, who I agree with, had to say. You be the judge whether using the term mentally ill with Trump stigmatizes anybody save himself. Those who stigmatize anyone coping with a mental illness in themselves or a friend or loved one are not as ignorant or naive not so they don't understand that those who have devote their careers to psychotherapy would want to stigmatize their own clients and patients.   Dr. Frank has refused (in an email to me) to consider diagnosing Trump as a malignant narcissist.

By now all of you have seen one or more interviews with "Fire and Fury" author Michael Wolff, as well as many segments on all the various news and opinion shows...(presumably all but Fox News).  I caught a penetrating interview with Lawrence O’Donnell last night. For those of you on the left coast who don’t get up early enough to watch Morning Joe, here’s his interview from yesterday (thanks SC):

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