August 15, 2017

Malignant unhinged Trump-watch laboring towards Labor Day

Back one page
This website complements but is not affiliated the the Duty to Warn website. Views expressed here are entirely those of the publisher, Hal Brown.

Monday, Aug. 21, 2017
The work Duty to Warn mental health professionals have been doing for over a year, and Trump’s escalating erratic and unhinged behavior have led to Google News searches for “Tump mentally ill” like this:

Congress members raise growing concerns about President Trump’s mental health after Charlottesville response, from yesterday’s N.Y. Daily News.

My thoughts about a President Pence (click to read comments)

One of the most common questions I am asked by folks who know how fervently I am working to get the word out that Trump’s malignant narcissism makes him unfit to be president is “would Pence be any better?”
The answer is pretty obvious. We just don’t know. The article in AlterNet today poses the question “Will the Nightmare of President Trump Become the Nightmare of President Trump:  A Right Wing Ideologue May End Up Replacing a Sociopath.
Assuming that Pence becomes #46, once he tidies up the mess the president he so ass-kissingly supported, he may have little time left in his term to do much of anything. 
The crucial thing for progressives is how much of  the Pence evangelical and very far right agenda mostly non-idealogical Republicans are willing to vote into law. Consider these quotes from the AlterNet article:
Virtually all of his policy positions are in sync with the GOP’s draconian 2016 platform, adopted at the convention soon after he introducedhimself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” While it might be a relief for virtually everyone left of the political center should Trump be fired, Pence actually knows how Washington works and could deeply damage government and many public policies. 
A quick survey of Pence’s stances is revealing—beyond his habit of never meeting alone with a woman other than his wife because he believes such interactions are implicitly sexual. As the Washington Post put it, “There’s little distance between that perspective and that of the ultra-Orthodox Jews who refuse to sit next to a woman on an airplane, or the fundamentalist Muslims who demand that women be covered head to toe to contain the unstoppable sexual allure that renders men unable to control their urges.”
With Pence we can easily predict what he wants to do to the country by looking at his record as governor of Indiana. Here’s the Dirty Dozen:

  1. He cut tens of millions from the budget for higher education, social agencies and human services.
  2. He signed bills blocking local governments from raising the minimum wage or requiring businesses to offer better benefits. 
  3. He pushed cutting income and business taxes, but would not sign laws reversing other regressive taxes.
  4. Pence was a big booster of privatizing government services, whether new highways or traditional public schools. 
  5. He clashed with educators over treatment of transgender students.
  6. He rolled back energy efficiency standards, denounced and fought with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and declared Indiana was a pro-coal state. 
  7. He signed a bill to let people keep guns in their cars parked on school grounds, recruited the NRA to train the Indiana National Guard and pre-empted the city of Gary from suing gun manufacturers whose weapons were sold illegally.
  8. He and the state GOP defunded Planned Parenthood, even with southern Indiana experiencing an HIV epidemic. He opposed needle exchanges for drug addiction treatment. While he did accept Obamacare funds to expand state-run Medicaid, he added bigger co-payments for recipients. 
  9. Pence received national attention after signing a so-called religious freedom bill in 2015, prompting some big state employers—notably Angie’s List—to cancel a state-based expansion in Indianapolis, costing the state 1,000 jobs. The backlash forced him to rescind parts of the law. 
  10. He signed into law a bill banning abortion procedures and penalizing providers. A federal court overruled the law, saying it was unconstitutional.
  11. Pence also tried to create a state-run news service, to circumvent local media. He’s repeatedly stonewalled reporters seeking public documents. 
  12. And he tried but failed to prevent Syrian refugees from resettling in the state. A court stopped him.
Is this the dream agenda for enough Republicans in Congress? More to the point, if Pence becomes president prior to the mid-term elections, how many GOP members of the House want to run on having supported some or the majority of these?
There’s no doubt we will have a Republican White House until the next presidential election. Because  of who is running for the Senate in the mid-terms it seems unlikely that more than a few Republicans will loose their seats though even one or two would be a big win for the Democrats. We only hope that this is a miraculous election for the House, and that Democrats actually take it over. A slim chance — so I don’t want to get my hopes up — but it is possible if the Democrats get enough really good candidates.
In 2019 I expect we’ll see a scramble in both parties for the nomination. If Trump manages to survive the scandals and keeps the illusion of being mentally stable going, I see a few brave Republicans as contesting his nomination. If it’s President Pence running, I see as crazy a primary as the last one.
With so many excellent possible candidates, I think the Democrats will have an inspiring primary and this time around will select a candidate who will win handily. If Congress swings and becomes the majority party in both the Senate and House, look to what we could call “the great undoing” as all the damage to our progressive agenda is repaired.

Another decrepit structure as seen from the River Walk in Boston - see previous day divider.

Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017
On CNN today:

Brian Stelter Shows The Media What Courage Looks Like By Asking If Trump Has A Mental Illness

From Australia:

Watching Trump this week has been pitiable : Trump is both seriously ignorant and highly unlikeable, and has confirmed as much this week with his shocking dissembling over what should be described pure and simple as an act of domestic terror, an act of murder.

It has been pitiable observing this casino owner and reality TV host trying to kickstart the few cogs he has in his brain as he attempts to address the straightforward question as to the wrongness of Nazism. Most upper-primary school students can answer that one in a jiffy.

—— But as the dog returns to its own vomit, on his third attempt (to respond to Charlottesville) , at a barely coherent press conference, Trump reverted to position one and went even further, saying again that the whole Charlottesville thing was kinda complicated, with “some very fine people on both sides”.
There is a hairy-chested view among the more vocal conservative commentators that all this is simply a case of Trump being a bold iconoclast, sticking it to the biased liberal media and all those nancy-boy PC types in refusing to tow an orthodox line.

It’s rubbish, and it’s dangerous rubbish.

What Trump is doing is broadening the parameters of what constitutes acceptable political discourse and conduct, inviting in the very people his own nation fought with great and noble sacrifice.

He does this because he has no sense of history and no concept of implication. He is mentally ill-equipped to think back or beyond a 140-character barrage on Twitter, or a deft one-liner at some journo he can’t stand from CNN or the New York Times.

Click image for Newsweek article
This is a long article. I recommend reading it to those who  are interested in how this subject was addressed by the psychiatrists writing the various editions of the DSM dealt with it since 1961. The following excerpt is for those who just want to read how the article concludes:

Click image for AlterNet article
The fact that many people who act on extreme racist beliefs lead high-functioning lives may also stand in the way of labeling this demographic as mentally ill. In the early 1960s, Jewish author and journalist Hannah Arendt covered the trials of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker. She was shocked that “half a dozen psychiatrists had certified Eichmann as ‘normal,’” despite the fact that he orchestrated the mass murder of millions of Jews. One psychiatrist described his familial relationships as not just normal but desirable.

In the decades following the Holocaust, the idea that someone who commits crimes against racial and ethnic minorities could still be considered sane by psychiatrists was unsettling, says James M. Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi. “Many people turned to the explanation that there must be something wrong with the German psyche to have allowed this to happen.”

Recognizing that Trump has a tendency of
 doubling down on irrational behavior when
 being pushed into a corner, Foxman (Holocaust
 survivor and former Director of National
 Anti-Defamation League and said
now might be the time for Ivanka Trump
and Jared Kushner to take matters
into their own hands and step into the
roles of 
Mordechai and Esther. “Trump loves
 his daughter. She is the apple of his eye,
 and I saw him, he likes his son-in-law,
 but he certainly loves his grandchildren,”
 Foxman explained. “They need to sit down
 with him, and say to him, face-to-face,
 ‘Do you understand what message you’re
 sending to your grandchildren?
 That it’s okay for people to march down
 and yell get rid of the Jews, we don’t
want the Jews. And you say this is nothing,
 this is like people who protest against
 something that they don’t like.’
I don’t see anybody else. I think this is
 the moment. People have said, ‘Well
 maybe Jared …’ Jared’s grandparents are
 Holocaust survivors. People say, ‘Well,
 maybe they were put there to be Esther
 or Mordecai.’ Well, maybe they have.”
Social scientists knew that creating a clinical definition was critical. They understood that stigmatizing extreme racism could help society wake up to the abnormality of this pathology, and possibly prevent other genocidal acts. Three psychologists devised the California F-scale —F stands for fascist—a test used to evaluate a person for “authoritarian personality type.” They thought  understanding how people were seduced by Adolf Hitler’s rhetoric could help prevent future such movements. Although the F-scale fell out of favor, it enabled psychologists to identify common traits of people who cling to dangerous ideologies. They included an inflexible outlook, strong allegiance to leadership, a tendency to scapegoat others and a willingness to lash out in anger and violence.
GettyImages-810865732In Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 8, 2017, members of the Ku Klux Klan gesture during a rally calling for the protection of Southern Confederate monuments. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images 

Sander Gilman, who teaches psychiatry at Emory University, and co-authored with Thomas the book Are Racists Crazy?, agrees that dangerous racists leading seemingly normal lives are hard to identify. “Racists, sadly, cope quite well with daily life,” says Gilman. “They have a take on the way the world should be, and that take functions in the world they live.”

Gilman does not favor a standalone diagnosis of extreme racism, and believes that attempts to categorize such people as mentally ill masks the greater problem of society allowing them to commit vengeful acts. “Those people are evil. They’ve made bad choices, but they’re not choices you can then attribute to mental illness,” says Gilman. “The minute you do that you let people off the hook.”

If Trump loses the Murdoch media empire, that leaves him with Beitbart, The Daily Stormer, and InfoWars.

 At 5:55 p.m. on Thursday, James Murdoch sent an email to a list of blind-copied recipients offering a striking repudiation of President Trump and a pledge to donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League. He addressed the note to “friends,” stating in the first line that he was writing it in a “personal capacity, as a concerned citizen and a father. 
Yet for the son of the conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who speaks regularly with Mr. Trump, it’s impossible to separate the personal, the political and the corporate. 
James Murdoch’s message, which he wrote himself, was sent to a number of business associates from his company email address at 21st Century Fox, the global media conglomerate where he reigns as chief executive. And within two hours, it had been leaked to the news media, offering a window into the nuanced internal and external politics of the Murdoch media empire. 
The email also raises questions about whether it is a harbinger of change at the Murdoch-controlled conservative-leaning media outlets — including Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post — and the political direction of the company under a new generation of Murdoch leaders, James and his brother, Lachlan, the company’s executive chairman.
One of the surprising contrasts you see as you stroll along Boston’s River Walk.

Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017
Evening - Late breaking news:

Text added by me
EXCERPTS: If and when the American Kennel Club gets around to assigning a new breed for dogs that resemble President Donald Trump—portly with short paws and a chow chow mane of Chlorox blond?—it should not neglect to single out the breed’s primary behavioral trait: Trump is what dog handlers would call a “fear-biter,” not a naturally fierce or aggressive hound, but one that snaps and chomps when frightened…… >> Why do some dogs become fear-biters and some do not? Dog handlers tell us that the beasts can become fear-imprinted by trauma after being beaten with sticks or terrorized by sudden and violent intrusions into what they consider their territory. It’s anybody’s guess what made Trump so enraged. Every president has clashed with the press, but there was something about Trump’s Charlottesville presser that placed him in a special category. Always sensitive to criticism, he now growls and nips at every doubting question, baring his teeth at questioners. If he keeps going mad dog on the press, how sanely will he perform when Mueller asks him questions in depositions?

Not that this one of Trump’s “councils” (actually an official agency) could have had any influence… but it’s still good to see they disbanded it before Trump could do it himself. 

President’s arts and humanities committee resigns over Trump’s Charlottesville response Politico 

My former hometown big city showed how progressive it is in the peaceful demonstration today.. more photos dividing the posts every day though August;

Friday, Aug. 18, 2017

Okay, Bannon is gone. This is big time news. However, consider how extraordinary this is for a president who hasn’t been in office for a year. Watch the video.

Pence is the last one still working for Trump in the picture taken when the president was speaking to Putin. Is there any wonder? There’s no limit to his sucking up to the boss: 

I find it mind boggling that even the most intellectually challenged GOP members of Congress don’t realize that a president with the track record over the last four weeks has to have a severe mental health problem. Watch this video:

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin Had To Take A Water Break Recounting 4 Weeks Of Trump

The anchor’s summary of recent White House doings is a doozy.

Just So You Know Dept:

After backing white nationalists in Charlottesville, ACLU announces it won’t defend armed protesters

Polls show that one in five strongly approve of a president who encourages white supremacists and is mentally ill (as severe and danger0us malignant narcissist that DTW therapists have ever observed) and one in four trust what they hear from the White House.

While Trump’s public approval has hovered near 40%, some of that support is soft. Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, looking at a range of recent polls, estimated his hardcore backing at about 1 in 4 Americans.

In a recent poll by CNN, for example, 24% of respondents said they trusted all or most of what they hear from the White House. A poll by ABC and the Washington Post found 24% saying Trump acts in a presidential manner. In a poll earlier this week from Monmouth University, 24% of respondents said they supported Trump and couldn’t think of anything he could do that would change their minds.

A poll by Marist College for National Public Radio and PBS, released Thursday, found that 27% approved of Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville. The same poll found that 20% of those surveyed said they “strongly approve” of the job he is doing as president.

Below, look closely...
Trying to cross a busy Boston street

Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017
Includes references to prominent Duty to Warn therapists Drs. Bandy Lee and John Gartner.
EXCERPTS with emphasis added
The combination of impulsiveness, frenzy, empty grandstanding, superfluous skirmishes and delusional portrayals of reality, to name but a small part of the traits that Trump displays every day, ensures that talk of his emotional and mental capacities is never far away. Less than a month ago, after the failure of Trump and the GOP leadership to repeal and replace ObamaCare sparked concerns that they wouldn’t get a budget passed either, a hot mic picked up Rhode Island’s Democratic Senator Jack Reed telling Maine’s Republican Susan Collins that he fears Trump is truly “crazy.” On Thursday it was reported that three Democratic members of Congress would consult with Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee about setting up a panel of that would issue a verdict on Trump’s mental state. If the panel decides that Trump isn’t all there, more pressure will be exerted on Vice President Pence and Trump’s cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment and relieve Trump of his duties.
Lee is one of the leaders of “renegade” psychiatrists who claim that Trump’s disturbed state is a matter of life and death – pikuach nefesh, if she spoke Hebrew – which overrides the professional obligation of the so-called Goldwater Rule that prohibits professional mental hygienists from diagnosing public figures from afar. In April, Lee was one of the organizers of a conference in New Haven that featured John Gartner, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, who claims that Trump is suffering from incurable “malignant narcissism.” Over 61,000 mental health professionals signed a petition organized by Gartner calling for the 25th Amendment to be invoked.
The psychiatrists and psychologists are at odds about the legitimacy of diagnosing Trump by remote control, but also about the diagnosis itself. Some believe he suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder, others that he is a psychopath and still others that he is a classic case of Dark Triad, which is narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism combined. Each one of these disorders can be measured on a scale from harmless to disturbing to very dangerous, depending on their severity and circumstance: Numerous studies published in recent years have found that the proportion of narcissists and psychopaths among politicians and CEOs of major companies on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley is much higher than in the general population, and similar to that found among hardcore criminals. The experts haven’t decided whether such individuals can lead their organizations to long-term success or whether their faults will inevitably lead to tragedy and ruin.

Psychiatrists have devised various tests and evaluation methods to assess the existence and severity of such personality disorders, some of which routinely feature as harmless quizzes in popular magazines. One of the most respected and widely used evaluation mechanisms designed to diagnose psychopaths was put together by Canadian psychologist Robert Hare, based on Hervey Cleckley’s ingeniously titled classic textbook on psychopathology, “The Mask of Sanity.” Hare composed a 20-part questionnaire on classic traits of psychopaths in which 0, 1 or 2 points are given for each, depending on their existence and degree. A score of over 30 – 25 in the United Kingdom – indicates a psychopathic personality. The characteristics examined include superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self-worth, excess need for stimulation, pathological lying, manipulative behavior, lack of remorse or guilt, lack of emotions, lack of empathy, a parasitic lifestyle, poor self-control, promiscuous sexual behavior, early behavioral problems, lack of realistic long-term goals, excessive impulsiveness, irresponsibility, failure to accept responsibility for ones actions, numerous short-term marriages, juvenile delinquency, a tendency to violate parole, and an indifference to the scope and variety of illegal actions.

Psychiatrists insist the test should be administered only by professionals and must be complemented by a personal interview and other examinations, but that doesn’t prevent mere mortals from evaluating their acquaintances, their president or even their prime minister.
The Washington Post created a facsimile updated
every five minutes showing what Trump would see
when he logged onto his Twitter account. Click above.
LOCAL - I never expected to see a gun-wielding white supremacist in our local Fred Meyer’s superstore…. (I posted this on Daily Kos where a few people have commented.)

It was disconcerting to see a man checking out in front of me at Freddy’s (a local big box store) with a holstered black semi-automatic pistol (like the police carry) on his hip. He was wearing jeans and a regular shirt and a cowboy hat. I’ve seen police detectives once or twice in plain clothes in stores; but in addition to their handguns they have their badges on their belts right next to the weapon, presumably not to alarm anybody. 

I didn’t think Oregon was an open carry state so I took a few photos of his truck as we were leaving, and stopped at the sheriff sub-station to ask about open carry.  I talked to two deputies who acted as if I was taking up their valuable time.

It turns out that Oregon is open carry state, which means anybody can carry a side arm as long as it is visible.
According to flag etiquette tattered American flags like this aren’t supposed to be displayed. I wasn’t about to remind him.
Friends where I live told me they’d seen this truck around, but it will be upsetting but not surprising news to them that the driver is carrying a pistol. 

More malignant narcissism with ignorant lying bullying blustering psychopathy from Trump:
Click for the truth on Snopes
Trump persisted in repeating this claim during the election despite its being debunked.


Since before he even entered the White House, the word impeachment has swirled around President Donald Trump. But now, after his equating of neo-Nazis and white supremacists with those who oppose them, one Democrat is calling for Trump to be removed from office without the need for a lengthy impeachment process.

Representative Jackie Speier of California has advocated for Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet’s use of the 25th Amendment to declare Trump unable to discharge the powers of the presidency.

“POTUS is showing signs of erratic behavior and mental instability that place the country in grave danger. Time to invoke the 25th Amendment,” Speier tweeted Tuesday. His comments came after Trump said there was blame” and “very fine people” on “both sides” following last weekend’s white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer.

Morning quote (from the L.A. Times)
So, Trump has the support of (white nationalist leaded Richard) Spencer, Bannon and a bunch of pudgy, pugilistic, socially awkward men in polo shirts carrying torches and Confederate flags and raising their arms in Nazi salutes. Elsewhere, though, his support is shrinking. His poll numbers hit a new low this week — 34%, according to Gallup. Given that a quarter of Americans consistently prove their looniness by subscribing to preposterous conspiracy theories like birtherism and Pizzagate, that poll number indicates Trump is getting ever closer to being the president only of fools and fascists.

No doubt positioning himself for a job in the Trump White House… or at the least a gushing Tweet, he wrote the above OpEd for The Hill.

…. in an interview posted on the conservative Project Veritas website, he instructed law-abiding citizens about what to do if they encountered a “clown” breaking into their house.  
“Know who and what your target is. Point that barrel center mass and pull the trigger,” Clarke directed. He went on to talk about calling 911 to “get this dead guy out of my house. He’s bleeding out and messing up my carpet.”
The paper is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Read article in Mother Jones
Quote:  Australian authorities simply couldn’t stomach Donald Trump’s alleged mob ties, according to government documents published by Rupert Murdoch’s newspaperThe Australian, on Tuesday. The paper’s investigation reveals that Trump’s dream of building a casino in Sydney in the late 1980s was killed off by queasy officials who considered his operations in New Jersey “dangerous.”
In 1987, Trump had already opened two casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey—Trump’s Castle and Trump Plaza—with Trump Taj Mahal on its way. He was looking to expand the empire Down Under by bidding for a spot on Sydney’s picturesque harbor in partnership with a local developer, the Kern Corporation.
When the state government officials met that May to consider proposals for the site, they were presented with a police report that was unambivalent in opposing the plan for a one clear reason. “Atlantic City would be a dubious model for Sydney and in our judgment,” police noted, according to a summary contained in government minutes. “The Trump Mafia connections should exclude the Kern/Trump consortium.” 

This is just a day divider, click to enlarge.

Weds. Aug. 16, 2017

Breaking from Axios on Late Night with Brian Williams:

Steve Bannon thought he wasn't giving an interview (with American Prospect, a liberal magazine - not available online at this time apparently crashing servers at

Excerpts: Steve Bannon's White House colleagues can't believe what they're reading tonight — and here's the twist: neither can Bannon. 
The White House chief strategist has told associates he never intended to do an "interview" with an editor at the American Prospect, a left-wing publication.
Here are some things that Bannon's colleagues tell me bother them about the interview — an article that appears to be so well-read that it's crashing the American Prospect's servers:
  • The liberal journalist Bannon called — Robert Kuttner — is no friend of Trump's. As Kuttner writes, "I'd just published a column on how China was profiting from the U.S.-North Korea nuclear brinkmanship, and it included some choice words about Bannon's boss. 'In Kim, Trump has met his match,' I wrote. 'The risk of two arrogant fools blundering into a nuclear exchange is more serious than at any time since October 1962.'"
  • Bannon undercut the president's stance on North Korea: "Contrary to Trump's threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: 'There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us." 
  • He openly talked about his internal fights with colleagues: "That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying."
  • He talked about changing personnel in a way that made him sound like the president: "I'm changing out people at East Asian Defense; I'm getting hawks in. I'm getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State."
On big question: As one of Bannon's colleagues — again, somebody who is generally sympathetic to him — asked me after reading the piece: "What will Kelly do when he sees this?" 
Bottom line: The piece gives Bannon's enemies ammunition at a time he's extraordinarily vulnerable. They've been saying he's a leaker, a self-promoter, "President Bannon," etc. This interview plays right into their hands.

On HuffPost: A Divided Country Is Exactly What Trump Wants

He thinks it will save him. 

It explains his combative remarks about Charlottesville

Rabbi That Oversaw Ivanka Trump’s Conversion to Judaism Slams Trump on Charlottesville Response

In a letter sent to members of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun this evening, Rabbi Emeritus Haskel Lookstein (who oversaw Ivanka’s conversion), along with his successors Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz and Rabbi Elie Weinstock, said, “We are appalled by this resurgence of bigotry and antisemitism, and the renewed vigor of the neo-Nazis, KKK, and alt-right.”
The letter went on: “While we avoid politics, we are deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence.”
I just found this on HuffPost. Most readers never watch Fox News, but this is worth viewing. 

This is what Fox News Republican analyst Gianno Caldwell said: The very moral fabric in which we have made progress when it comes to race relations in America... He’s failed us. And it’s very unfortunate that our president would say things like he did in that press conference yesterday when he says, “tthere are good people on the side of the Nazis. They weren’t all Nazis and they weren’t all white supremacists.” Mr. President, good people don’t pal around with Nazis and white supremacists. Maybe they don’t consider themselves white supremacists and Nazis; certainly they hold those views. This has become very troubling. And for anyone to come on any network and defend what President Trump did and said at that press conference yesterday is completely lost and the potential to be morally bankrupt. I’m sorry, no, I believe that and I’m being very honest as one who has been talking about these issues for a very long time. I’m sorry that this is where we are right now. I hope the president learns a lesson from his press conference on yesterday. It’s disturbing.
 What Fox News pundits and guests said in the days before Charlottesville comments. Here are a few examples:
  • Trump on getting the facts right: “I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct — not make a quick statement. I want to know the facts.” Fox News host Jesse Watters: “Perhaps the president was thinking, ‘You know what, I don’t have all the facts.’”
  • Trump on violence on “both sides”: “You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it.” Newt Gingrich on Fox News: “So we have a two-sided violence problem, not just a one-sided violence problem.”
  • Trump on the alt-left: “What about the alt-left that came charging the, as you say, the alt-right?” Fox News host Sean Hannity: “Republicans need to do their job and also be ready to fight back, because you got the alt-left — they cannot stand this president.”
  • Trump on Confederate statues coming down: “Was George Washington a slaveowner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down … statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?” Fox News host Martha MacCallum: “You could make an argument for Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Are you going to change the name of the Washington Monument?”  From Vox
Excerpt: The request came from three current congressmen and one former member, she said. She declined to name them, saying they told her they did not wish to be publicly identified yet.
The invitation comes as 27 representatives, all Democrats, have co-sponsored a bill to establish “a commission on presidential capacity.” The commission would carry out a provision of the 25th Amendment, which gives Congress the authority to establish “a body” with the power to declare a president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Under the bill, H.R. 1987, eight of the 11 members of the commission would be physicians, including four psychiatrists.

(Not a link) Here's her statement:
"Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point. Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great."

Excerpt: (emphasis added)
CIVIL RIGHTS--This past week saw some weaknesses in American life. First, our inability to deal with a mentally ill President and second, our inability to deal with the results of Group Rights. Unfortunately, the two collided. 

Most of the world, except for the GOP right wing, can recognize a crazy person. Americans have avoided electing mentally ill people as President before because candidates running for that office have first served in other elected capacities. Even though this informal requirement of holding prior elected office has still allowed a lot of unqualified people into government, it has also screened out the most mentally unbalanced from running for President. Had Trump been on the NYC City Council, he would have shunned a future in politics -- his ego could not have withstood the heat of constant criticism. Trump, however, only knew settings where he could point his stubby finger at someone and holler, “You’re fired.” Since he had no previous experience in public service, voters had no opportunity to see that Donny does not play nicely with other children. 

During the election season, the military had to know that Trump was mentally ill. The NSA and the CIA certainly should have known since that’s one of their jobs – to assess the mental stability of world leaders and then devise strategic plans to protect the United States. As Trump is not the silent brooding type, his mental illness was obvious. As a histrionic and a narcissist with paranoid features, he reminds us of the Bonnie Tyler lyric, “sitting on a powder keg and giving off sparks.” In Trump’s case, the sparks have been daily fireworks. No interviews or diagnostic tests have been necessary to diagnose his limited mental capacity and grandiose sense of entitlement coupled by intermittent paranoia. 

Excerpts: Mr. Trump’s behavior has become distressingly unsurprising. His default position is retaliation; when threatened, he succumbs to bombast. Washington politicians had hoped the recent appointment of John Kelly, a retired Marine general, as his chief of staff would instill some discipline in his chaotic administration. With similar hopes, others are trying to get Mr. Trump to fire his resident provocateur, Stephen Bannon. But the root of the problem is not the personnel; it is the man at the top. NY Times link above

And this from the Washington Post: "….some basic truths about Donald Trump: He does not like to be told what to say. He will always find a way to pull the conversation back to himself. And he is preternaturally inclined to dance with the ones who brought him.

As his top aides stood behind him in the lobby of Trump Tower Tuesday, looking like they were wondering whether it was possible to slide right into the pink marble, the president fielded questions about the aftermath of the Charlottesville confrontation between far-right marchers and those who protested against them.”

Here’s how Time Magazine put itStill smarting from Monday’s forced statement condemning neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists, Trump shoved a finger into the gaping wound of race relations in America. The President repeated his assertion that there is “blame on both sides” of the violence…… It was a sobering reminder of the forces that propelled Donald Trump to the White House in a campaign rooted on exploiting fears and feelings of dislocation, but also a sign of how, in the end, it was still about Trump.

What Jewish Children Learned From Charlottesville, by Nathan Englander, NY Times

This dirty Jew remembers every penny thrown at him.
The ones thrown from above, as we waited to be picked up from the public pool in my hometown on Long Island, our yarmulkes pinned to wet hair. By then, I was big enough to feel shame for the younger kids, who knew no better than to scurry around, as our local anti-Semites laughed. 
I remember walking home from synagogue at my father’s side, in our suits and ties, and seeing a neighbor boy crawling on his hands and knees, surrounded by bullies, this time picking up pennies by force. I remember my father rushing in and righting the boy, and sending those kids scattering. 
I remember when, at that same corner, on a different day, those budding neo-Nazis surrounded my sister, and I raced home for help. I remember my parents running back, and my father and mother (all five feet of her) confronting the parents of one of the boys, who then gave him a winking, Trumpian chiding for behavior they didn’t care to condemn. Even if it’s “kids with horns,” they told their son, he should leave other children alone.
And yet, in seven months of this presidency, in one single day in Charlottesville, Va., all of that is lost. A generation, and so much more, stolen away. There is the trauma of those assaulted by Nazis on American soil and the tragedy that is Heather Heyer’s murder that belongs to her and her family alone. And then there is what all the rest of us share — the pain and violence and the lessons we draw from them. Because the children who witness a day like that, and a president like this, will not forget the fear and disrespect tailored to the black child, the Muslim child, the Jewish child. 
They will not forget the assault rifles that this government puts in these violent men’s hands, nor the chants that black lives don’t matter and that the Jews will not replace them — just as I will never not hear what that kid on the bike screamed or stop seeing my father helping a boy, crawling for pennies, off his knees. 
While harking back to my pious, head-covered days, I am reminded of a notion that our rabbis taught us: The theft of time is a crime like any other. Back then it was about interrupting class — one minute wasted was a minute of learning lost. But multiply that minute by everyone in the room, and it became 15, 20 minutes, half an hour’s worth of knowledge that none of us could ever get back. 
Saturday in Charlottesville was just one day, but think of that one day multiplied by all of us, across this great country. Think of the size of that setback, the assault on empathy, the divisiveness and tiki-torched terror multiplied by every single citizen of this nation. It may as well be millions of years of dignity, of civility, of progress lost. 

This may be too technical for non-therapists, however there may very well be an element of truth to it:
Maybe it's not just distraction tactics, but actual mind control.

According to Greenleaf, hypnosis is a “naturally occurring human experience”—not just a stage act, as most people think of it. There are five “flavors” of hypnotic trance:
  1. Trance that occurs during trauma, like after you’ve been in a car accident
  2. Concentrated attention, like the hyper-focus you may have experienced playing high school sports 
  3. Softly focused contemplative states, accessible through meditation or prayer  
  4. Dreams and visions 
  5. Trance states induced by surprise or confusion, extreme good or bad news
This last one is the version Trump may be using on us, believes Greenleaf.
“In Trumpland,” Greenleaf says, “he says A; then he says, I never said A; then he says, I alone can solve this problem of A." 
It’s essentially distractionary tactics, amped up tenfold. Hypnotists shape our attention and where it falls. 
“Perhaps the best parallel is the Wizard of Oz, who tells Dorothy, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, look at the fire and listen to the Great and Powerful Oz instead.”
The clearest example of Trump’s inadvertent hypnosis over the American people can be seen in his constant lying. Joseph Goebbels famously said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” This was the reigning principle behind Hitler’s style of speech, which combined with his talents as an orator, allowed him to captivate crowds of thousands and bend them to his will.
Trump may have learned this lying tactic from studying Hitler's Mein Kampf. As Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote in the New York Times, "From his days peddling the false notion that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, to his inflated claims about how many people attended his inaugural, to his description just last week of receiving two phone calls—one from the president of Mexico and another from the head of the Boy Scouts—that never happened, Mr. Trump is trafficking in hyperbole, distortion and fabrication on practically a daily basis.”
Are you scared yet? Wondering if you’ve unknowingly fallen under Trump’s spell? Good. Be on guard. Don’t fall for the lies and the distractions, or ignore the power players (here’s looking at you, Mitch McConnell) who are really behind the curtain, doing the most possible damage. Don’t fawn over Trump’s latest tweet. If we’re aware, active, outspoken citizens, perhaps the truth will set us free.

PM Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

Excerpt from this odious website

President Donald Trump blasted establishment and left-wing media on Tuesday afternoon for failing to report the facts on violent left-wing protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

In the main lobby of Trump Tower in New York City, the president grew combative after a throng of reporters started shouting questions about why he “waited” to specifically condemn neo-Nazis and white nationalists.
“There was no way of making a correct statement that early,” he said, defending his first statement on Saturday before the facts were in. “Unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”
As reporters grew more agitated, Trump continued defending his decision and condemning the media for their one sided reporting.

Donald Trump Defends People Who Attended White Supremacist Rally In Charlottesville (Plus A Whole Lot More)

“You had a group on one side who was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now.”

Excerpts: During his remarks Tuesday, the president argued taking down Confederate statues, such as the Lee statue, could lead to the removal of statues of other historic figures, such as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson.
“You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump said.
He also defended those in his administration who have ties to white nationalism, including senior adviser Steve Bannon.
Ever the businessman, Trump also took the opportunity to plug his winery in Virginia before leaving the press conference, saying it’s the reason he knows a lot about Charlottesville.
What was Kelly thinking?
NBC reporter Kristin Donnelly captured Gen. Kelly during today’s press conference where Trump said perhaps we should remove statues of Washington and Jefferson because they owned slaves, and refused to put the blame on the alt-right for the violence in Charlottesville. I wonder where he got this notion. This presser was a new low for Trump, and that’s saying a lot.
Do the two men on the right have the nuclear “football” - listening to the ravings of a madman who could
order them to start World War III. "Kelly stood off to the side while Trump spoke, staring down at the marble floor as the president doubled down on his widely criticized “many sides” rhetoric. Kelly’s stiff body language appeared to reflect the feeling among many Trump aides.
“My head is spinning,” texted one White House aide watching the president unleash himself on television.” From “Trump blows up damage control…” Politico 

Tuesday First Read:

(On Trump’s late coming attempt to condemn alt-right protestors (without mentioning the term alt-right) Sure, he got some of the brush strokes right: the succinct assertion that “racism is evil”; the specific callout of the “K.K.K.” and “white supremacists”; the remembrance — finally — of Heather Heyer, who died as a consequence of the precise hatred that it took him more than two days to name.
But we should note that just hours before he stepped up to that lectern, supposedly to make things right, he used that infernal Twitter account of his to taunt a black chief executive, Kenneth Frazier, for resigning from an administration advisory board. That was unscripted Trump. And he was peeved and hostile, not penitential and healing.
We should also note that he began his brief statement on Monday by congratulating himself on the American economy and implicitly taking credit for what he said were a million new jobs. This is what our self-consumed, ungenerous president prefers to do — brag. He thumps his chest when he should be on his knees(Emphasis added)  The President Cannot Redeem Himself, by Frank Bruni, NY Times.
Aug. 15, 2017

Annals of Unintended Consequences:

While Trump was distracted, North Korea calmed down. That’s not a coincidence. 

Excerpt: But in a climate where the president was constantly making threats, it was harder for the North to step back from the brink without looking like Trump badgered them into submission. 

This doesn’t mean that North Korea has put off its threat against Guam solely because Trump’s eye is focused elsewhere. It’s more than likely they would have done it anyway. It’s just that the president’s refocus on Charlottesville helped create a climate where it was easier for the North to deescalate without losing face. 
It’s a strange world where the US president being pulled away from a crisis with a foreign power actually makes the US safer — but that’s the nature of America under President Donald Trump.

What about Bannon?

 There is the possibility that, if Trump fires Bannon, the scorned ex-staffer could try to turn the far right against the president — perhaps successfully.

Then again, Trump also can’t risk the rest of America coming around to the view penned in the conservative journal “National Review” by David French:

There’s a good reason that white nationalists rejoice at Steve Bannon’s proximity to power. There’s a good reason that countless Americans look at that man so close to the Oval Office and fear his influence on their president’s mind and heart. How can Trump look the American people in the face and say that he unequivocally condemns the alt-right when one of the men who did more than anyone else to enhance its influence works down the hall?

Say what you will about Bannon, but this much is clear: His presence or absence in the White House is a strong indicator of whether the president will remain in the alt right’s thrall. From Salon “Steve Bannon is the advisor Trump can’t seem to quit."

America, this is what Trump has wrought…. 

These are disturbing images - click to view.

Trump post-Charlottesville Tweets 
show the true malignant narcissist’s rage reaction. (Remember, with such extreme psychopathology a perceived narcissist insult/injury leads to narcissistic rage.)

Trump re-Tweeted this violent image and later deleted it. Note there’s a person behind the CNN logo.
But even as he attempted to clarify his views, Trump seemed eager to blame the backlash on reporters, in particular CNN. As the president was wrapping up a photo op related to international trade Monday, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta asked him why he had waited so long to condemn the hate groups by name and why he had not answered questions from reporters.
“I like real news, not fake news,” Trump said. Pointing a finger toward Acosta, Trump added: “You are fake news.” Washington Post
Trump also re-Tweeted this:
On Monday, Trump finally issued a stronger statement, one that denounced “the KKK, Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.” However, he did not tweet a reproach of these extremists ― an odd move for a president who tweets every thought that comes into his head.
Critics saw the retweet on Monday evening as an attempt to deflect attention from his belated response to white supremacist violence, but also as an implicit effort to draw attention to crime within the African-American community: Huffington Post

Learn more about this unique linear park over the underground road created by the Big Dig in Boston