September 1, 2017

How many times will Trump Gob-Smack Us This Month

Back One Page (to Aug. 31, 2017) The current theme of the daily divider pictures is photos I’ve taken out of windows. 

Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017

With so much news about Irma there’s been little if any reporting about Trump, let alone articles related to his mental health. Here are some other items I thought might be of interest.
Excerpt:
“Steve Bannon is a pussy,” said Clooney. “Steve Bannon is a little wannabe writer who would do anything in the world to have had a script made in Hollywood. He wrote one of the worst scripts I’ve ever read—and I’ve read it. His fake Shakespeare-rap script about the L.A. riots. Oh, you’ve gotta read it! It’s just fuckin’ terrible.”
The script Clooney is referring to was tentatively titled The Thing I Am. It was co-written by Bannon and his writing partner of 18 years, Julia Jones, who described it as “a rap film [based on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus] set in South Central during the L.A. riots.” The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng got ahold of the wacky script that includes “rap music, racial tensions aplenty, looting, gangster ‘foot-soldiers,’ and chaos at ‘ground zero of the 1992 L.A. riots.’ Oh, and a lot of angry black characters referring to white characters as “whitey.”
“Here’s the truth: if Steve Bannon had Hollywood say, ‘Oh, this is really great, and a really good script,’ and had they made his movie, he’d still be in Hollywood writing his fuckin’ movies and kissing my ass to be in one of his fuckin’ films!” said Clooney. “That’s who he is. That’s the reality.” 













He added, “Someone in Hollywood should’ve given him a script—or approved one of his scripts—just to keep him out of the right wing.”

6 of the Biggest Media Meltdowns This Week - Read article

1. Hillary Clinton promotes dubious, culty media outlet Verrit, internet proceeds to destroy it.

2. Fox News eggs on white vigilantes threatening to 'shoot looters' in Houston.

3. Alex Jones is now pro-FEMA camps.

4. Breitbart and Fox News serve up talking points for Jeff Sessions' DACA-rescinding press conference.

5. Pro-Trump fossil fuel lobbyist and Washington Post columnist writes greatest 'self own' in op-ed history.

6. New York Post column casually calls for genocide in North Korea.


Sat. Sept. 9, 2017
Excerpt:
If mummies could talk.
Mr. Trump’s candidacy was dead when he announced it. (Mexico is sending “rapists.”) His candidacy was dead when he insulted a former prisoner of war named John McCain. (“I like people who weren’t captured.”) His candidacy was dead when he cast suspicion on an entire religion. (“Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”)
Dead when he attacked a federal judge, a Gold Star family, the pope. Deader than dead when he bragged about grabbing women by their genitals. (“When you’re a star, they let you do it.”)
The more Mr. Trump’s candidacy was said to flatline, the more life I saw in his crowds.

In August 2015, a month after a high-ranking Republican National Committee operative promised me that America would never tolerate a man with no military service disparaging an American military hero, I was standing on a football field in Mobile, Ala., surrounded by 30,000 screaming Trump fans, an unheard-of turnout six months before a primary. Were they mad about the candidates words on Mr. McCain? No. The opposite. “He’s not afraid of anybody,” one woman told me.
Now all we need is Dr. Ruth!





Friday, Sept. 8, 2017

From U.S. News and World Report, the magazine which published the first MSM article about John Gartner’s conclusion (January 27th) that Trump was a malignant narcissist not fit to be president:

The Parable of the Scorpion and the Elephant

Excerpt (emphasis added) revisiting Trump’s narcissism: 

This was my take back in January, during the transition (quoted not for self-congratulation but as an illustration of how utterly predictable is Trump's erratic behavior):
Trump is unencumbered with either traditional partisan loyalty or a shared set of firm beliefs that would bond the president to his party. And this remains a potential fault-line to watch as Trump and the GOP congress try to govern. 
But being utterly bereft of a core governing philosophy beyond brand-building can be a double-edged sword. Donald Trump embodies a special admixture of soullessness and craven narcissism which makes him extra susceptible to pressure from the vox populi because he lacks the steadying force of strong bonds with his fellow Republicans.
I might have added that that combination of soullessness and narcissism, along with his famously thin skin, also makes him susceptible to self-destructive grudge-holding. So his own perceptions of whether particular actors have been sufficiently loyal or helpful starts to factor into his decisions disproportionately. NBC's political team sees Trump's move as "payback for August" – the president settling scores for grievances he's developed against his ostensible political allies. Charitably, it conjures images of Michael Corleone settling all of the family business in one fell swoop, except this was more like Fredo clapping himself on the back for siding with the feds. And through August Trump and his team signaled fairly explicitly that he was getting ready to Trumpangulate himself away from a Congress with which he has become fed up.
This is Trump. He's not an especially adept deal-makerhe demands loyalty but never returns it; he has neither beliefs nor policy knowledge. He took 141 different stances on 23 major policy issues, per NBC News, during the campaign, a pattern that did not diminish after the election. Just look at his gyrations in the last few days on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA as its widely known: First he announced he is going to end it and then pirouetted to suggesting he'd reconsider that decision if Congress doesn't fix it for him. 
The only constant of Trump is his inconstancy in all matters except his self-absorption and self-interest.

Thurs., Sept. 7, 2017
Not only does he lack even a smidgen of empathy, but he’s an ignoramus.
Excerpt:
President Trump said the drought-stricken Dakotas are “better off” than cities flooded by Hurricane Harvey last month, and that his administration will make the drought "go away.”

“I know you have a little bit of a drought. They had the opposite, believe me,” Trump said during a tax reform speech in Mandan, N.D.

“You’re better off. You are better off, they had the absolute opposite.”
Trump also said he was surprised that droughts could happen "this far north."
“We’re doing everything we can but you have a very serious drought. I just said to the governor, I didn’t know you had droughts this far north. Guess what — you have them,” he said.


“We’re working hard on it, and it will disappear, it will all go away.”

Inner Racism Revealed


Excerpts:
 As Michelle Obama said: “Being president doesn’t change who you are. No, it reveals who you are.” That is what is happening with Donald Trump.

He has in the course of his life been on all sides of many issues, although he was always a liar, bully, misogynist, opportunist and economic isolationist. But his racial hostility and white supremacy seem to have blossomed with his entry into politics and his Russia-aided election. After spending a life catering to the appetites of the greedy and gauche, he realized that there was an exponentially larger market of white nationalists and neo-Nazis. To the aspirational he could be landlord, but to the racists he could be overlord.
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We are witnessing the boot come swiftly down on the necks of women and minorities. We are seeing a program of minority removal — from the free population, from the work force, from the dole (as they see it), from the country itself. We are seeing an uplifting of whiteness to the detriment of non-whiteness. We are seeing the end of unity and the rise of factions and fascism.
In Trump’s America, white racism is ascendant; it is reclaiming a space many had hoped was shrinking. That is a plain and obvious truth. Efforts to describe it in other terms are an exercise in rhetorical contortionism.
Sometimes you simply have to call a thing a thing, and the thing here is that Trump’s inner racist is being revealed, and America’s not-so-silent racists are rising in applause.

Why We Must Talk About Trump’s Mental Health: Keith Olbermann


A majority of Americans now think he’s “unstable.” Yet we’ve decided this topic is somehow taboo?



Weds. Sept. 6, 2017

On Rachel Maddow tonight, after months of denials by Facebook they finally admit: Russian firm tied to pro-Kremlin propaganda advertised on Facebook during election - Washington Post
Excerpt:
Facebook discovered the Russian connection as part of an investigation that began this spring looking at purchasers of politically motivated ads, according to people familiar with the inquiry. It found that 3,300 ads had digital footprints that led to the Russian company. 
Facebook teams then discovered 470 suspicious and likely fraudulent Facebook accounts and pages that it believes operated out of Russia, had links to the company and were involved in promoting the ads.
A Facebook official said “there is evidence that some of the accounts are linked to a troll farm in St. Petersburg, referred to as the Internet Research Agency, though we have no way to independently confirm.” The official declined to release any of the ads it traced to Russian companies or entities.


Gen. Kelly is taking away Trump’s toadies, boot-lickers, ass-kissers and sycophants. He is taken more seriously than Trump. He  couldn’t abide Bannon on the cover of Time. How will he react when it’s Kelly there being called the man whose job it is to make the president presidential? Not well, I predict.
Excerpt:
Asked how much they “worry” that Trump has access to the codes to launch nuclear weapons at a time when North Korea has been testing nuclear weapons and Trump has threatened to respond with “fire and fury,” 38% of respondents said they were very worried and 15% that they were somewhat worried.
That compared to 9% who said they were only a little worried and 38% who said they were not worried at all.
Meanwhile, 45% of those surveyed said they consider Trump a mentally stable person based on his behavior in office, which is a virtual tie with the 43% of respondents who, according to the poll,  consider him a mentally unstable person.
Trump continues to have backers in Michigan, however: Thirty-six percent of those surveyed gave him a favorable job rating, down a point from May. Fifty-six percent gave him unfavorable marks, up 3 percentage points from May’s poll.

Trump’s high unfavorable numbers swamped favorable responses in practically every region of the state — they were 58%-32% in metro Detroit — except Up North, where his 56% favorability rating beat an unfavorable rating of 37%. Even in typically Republican-friendly country in west Michigan, Trump’s unfavorable number (56%) was 20 percentage points higher than his favorable one.
The drawing says it all:

I missed this last week.
Excerpt:

Donald Trump is a small, insecure person living out a never-ending frenzy of narcissistic self-aggrandizement wherein his addiction to lying is the principal feature.  It is pathetic to all who observe it except—and this is critical—those “co-dependents” who choose to join him in his lying.  He doesn’t care that everyone on earth knows his oft-repeated lie about General Pershing and pig-blood bullets is a total piece of BS.  Like any addict, he’ll repeat it because it’s part of his life-lie and because there are some equally self-deceiving followers who are willing to swallow it and, in the swallowing, feel a surge of nourishment for their free-range hatred.
Many addicts who were not fortunate enough to hit low bottom on their own and turn to the truth to save themselves have been saved by an “intervention”.  This is a process in which a small group of those who care about them stage a surprise party where they confront the addict with a united front of tough love that is engineered to close every door except the one to a rehabilitation unit, through which the addict is led into the possibility of recovery.
Can a President addicted to dishonesty, who is unable or unwilling to stop lying and show his capacity to recognize and honor actual truth, safely discharge the powers and duties of that office?  That is a question that the Vice President and a majority of Congress must decide, pursuant to Section 4 of the 25th Amendment which gives them the power to perform an “intervention” in order to protect the United States of America from this dangerously dishonest man.

When the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), publicly questions Donald Trump’s “stability” and “competence” and says that he has put America “in peril”, one might think the Republicans would consider protecting us from him.  But of course, they won’t take any such initiative.


Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017

This is not normal department:

Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump Are Not on Speaking Terms: Report


The Senate majority leader has grown tired of listening to the president blather
"(Mitch) McConnell has grown frustrated with the president’s attention span, the Journal noted. During the health care debate, McConnell and Trump would often speak on the phone, but the president’s only real interest were the headlines of the day, or a segment he had seen on cable news. The Journal said that Trump would have to ask if McConnell was still on the line because the Senate majority leader would fall silent while Trump bantered. McConnell would repeatedly have to steer Trump back to policy, according to sources who spoke with the Journal."From Salon/Alernet

Trump probably figured there was no way he could stand faking empathy again while announcing cruel DACA stance. He called out the guy who never even tried to fake the empathy he doesn’t have.



Monday, Sept. 4, 2017
Excerpt:
There is, of course, a word for people who have an extreme inability to feel empathy: sociopath. It can also be certain diagnoses of what is called ‘malignant narcissism.’ But even that isn’t quite what gets my attention. Because many sociopaths are actually quite adept at demonstrations of empathy. They don’t feel it. But they can mimic the behavior. That’s what gets me. Trump can’t even pretend. Even your garden variety jerk politician can put on a show of hugs and supportive words. Trump can’t.

There are plenty of cases where Trump is cruel and awful. We’ve seen plenty of those. In those cases, his predatory, probably sociopathic nature is plainly evident. But everybody knows that during a natural disaster the President’s job is consoler-in-chief. You don’t have to be crazy cynical to realize that it’s often a chance for a chief executive to connect with people in a human way. It can gain them support. Trump also clearly realizes this and is actually trying. Maybe he doesn’t really care about supporting people. But he gets that he’s supposed to do this touring, hugging, saying the right thing thing. Since this was generally seen as a strong suit for President Obama, he probably wants to outdo Obama at it as well. But he can’t. He’s trying. But it is painfully obvious he doesn’t know how. It’s not just that he can’t outdo Obama. That’s no surprise. He can’t even go through the motions.
In addition to the basic body language he keeps saying things like “Have a Good Time!” to people stranded in a shelter. Or, ‘it’s going great‘ to people who’ve just lost everything.

I did come up with a new theme for the photos which I put on to divide each day’s posts.

Sunday Sept. 3, 2017
Sec. of Defense Mattis just made a brief statement to the press (and the world) saying that nothing other than a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula would be acceptable. My point below is that it is highly unlikely Kim Jung Un will give up developing at least a few hydrogen bomb ICBMs.

Note that this in itself send the message that Trump is leaning towards a military rather than a diplomatic solution.
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Sat. Sept. 2, 2017
\ Late late night edition:



✔Pathological

Despite Trump’s Dig, The Media Did Go ‘Into The Winds’ Of Hurricane Harvey

The president praised the Coast Guard for “going into winds that the media would not go into...unless it’s a really good story.”


EXCERPT:

President Donald Trump cannot seem to suppress his contempt for the news media ― even when he is speaking about something completely unrelated.
In remarks to members of the United States military in Texas on Saturday, Trump singled out the Coast Guard for rescuing nearly 11,000 people stranded by Hurricane Harvey.
He then compared it to what he described as the relative lack of courage exhibited by journalists covering the storm.
“Think of it: almost 11,000 people ― by going into winds that the media would not go into. They will not go into those winds,” he said. “Unless it’s a really good story, in which case they will.”
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Excerpts:

President Donald Trump on Saturday got up close and personal with the victims of Hurricane Harvey, picking up and kissing children, shaking hands, posing for pictures, handing out meals and offering words of comfort — seemingly pulling off a do-over after a stilted visit earlier this week.
😂
Saturday's trip gave Trump a chance to play the role of empathizer-in-chief, a potentially uncomfortable fit for the former reality television star who generally eschews such encounters. 
😂
Still, Trump could not resist talking up his administration's response to the storm and commenting that the media coverage of his visit has been positive.
“They’re really happy with what’s going on," Trump told reporters of the storm victims he'd met with at the NRG Convention Center, which is serving as a major shelter in the city. "It’s something that’s been very well received, even by you guys it’s been very well received.”
😂
“The message is that things are working out well," Trump said. "Really, I think people appreciate what’s been done. It’s been done very efficiently, very well, and that’s what we want. We’re very happy with the way everything is going. A lot of love. There’s a lot of love.”

He also managed to get in some talk of his election victory — one of his favorite topics — with members of the military at the NRG Center. As Trump greeted a group of them, one remarked, "We voted for you.”

“You better," Trump responded lightly. "Who didn’t in your world? Who didn’t?”
😂
Trump largely worked the room on his own. Socializing with groups of children in a dark rain jacket, he was quick to bend down and lift them in the air, or deliver a kiss on the forehead. The diverse crowd seemed buoyed by his visit, with a number of people walking up to him to pose for pictures.

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A Visual History of Trump Magazine Covers (Extended Edition)


NB: This is the second edition of this post, updated after six months of the Trump presidency. The organisation is thematic, but split into two halves: the election campaign and inauguration (dividing point is the New Yorker cover of The Wall), and Trump’s first six months in office.
Some friend? If we know Trump complained to a friend about this, who leaked the story to the Times? More paranoia for Trump.


So Trump is on his way back to Texas to have another go at faking empathy… watch to see if he’s still wearing his $40 hat, or perhaps the red MAGA hat he was carrying when he boarded Air Force One.
 I wonder how the noted germaphobe will handle being that close to polluted water, and whether he’ll actually hug someone… how awkward if there’s a child who approaches him - I wonder which Secret Service agent carries the hand sanitizer. Perhaps he has a stash of Propranolol which would be the treatment of choice for short term use for phobias and performance anxiety.
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Friday, Sept. 1, 2017
Breaking News Describing An Abnormal President (On MSNBC right now)

Forceful Chief of Staff Grates on Trump, and the Feeling Is Mutual



Excerpts:

→President Trump was in an especially ornery mood after staff members gently suggested he refrain from injecting politics into day-to-day issues of governing after last month’s raucous rally in Arizona, and he responded by lashing out at the most senior aide in his presence.

→While Mr. Kelly has quickly brought some order to a disorganized and demoralized staff, he is fully aware of the president’s volcanic resentment about being managed, according to a dozen people close to Mr. Trump, and has tread gingerly through the minefield of Mr. Trump’s psyche. But the president has still bridled at what he perceives as being told what to do.

→ What is different this time is that Mr. Trump, mired in self-destructive controversies and record-low approval ratings, needs Mr. Kelly more than Mr. Kelly needs him. 

→Mr. Kelly has told his staff, time and time again, that his goal is to rationalize the chaos that has engulfed the management of the West Wing. Managing Mr. Trump is beyond his — or anyone else’s — powers, he has said repeatedly.

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Breaking news but so far largely ignored:
 Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) is Trump’s nominee to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Marino was an early supporter of Trump and is a fierce opponent of legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana. He’s also selected Rep. James Bridenstine (R-Okla.) as his pick to be the administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He actually looks like he’s qualified.  From The Hill

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What can be said about this besides
 Gotta Love Texas.
I am not rooting for Kelly to keep people like Omarosa from “triggering Trump”— of course unstated is that Kelly really knows that he’s dealing with a mentally unstable president - I wonder if he allows himself to admit to himself just how mentally ill Trump is. If he does he must have considered a scenario where he’d have to engineer Trump’s removal from office.

Texas’ secretary of state turned down Quebec’s aid offer, asked for “prayers” instead 


Hurricane Harvey is illustrating America's tense international relationships

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

It (Governing) requires pragmatic problem-solving from even the most passionate partisans. It relies on compromise between opposing sides to protect the interests we share. We can fight like hell for our ideas to prevail. But we have to respect each other or at least respect the fact that we need each other.
That has never been truer than today, when Congress must govern with a president who has no experience of public office, is often poorly informed and can be impulsive in his speech and conduct.

We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities. We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people. We must be diligent in discharging our responsibility to serve as a check on his power. And we should value our identity as members of Congress more than our partisan affiliation. John McCain in today  “It’s time Congress returns to its regular order" Washington Post Op-Ed.
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Trump Is Downright Miserable, and He's Begun Lashing Out at Top Aides

DonkeyHotey caricatures and cartoons are used
 by many writers and websites to illustrate
 news articles and opinion pieces posted online.
  My current work is a combination of caricature,
 photo collage and photo manipulation.
I got interested in "
remix" culture back when
 that was a thing. During the Bush administration
 I was compelled to comment on events through
 my artwork and have continued since. Think
 of my caricatures as the "
Picture of Dorian Gray
 painting of my subjects hidden in a dark closet,
or perhaps a vision of the subject from
 the 
Uncanny Valley
A new report indicates the president is rapidly losing patience with John Kelly and others.

In this one article phrases used to describe Trump:
unleashed his temper, Trump is reeling, taken to lashing out, turning on people that are very close to him, Trump’s ire, been fuming, increasingly prickly


Again and again we see what happens when the rigid psychological defenses of a malignant narcissist are compromised. A perceived narcissistic insult leads to an expression of narcissistic rage. This is a well documented phenomenon in the psychiatric literature about narcissism. For new readers, here’s a Dr. John Gartner description of malignant narcissism in USA Today: 
Much has been written about Trump having narcissistic personality disorder. As critics have pointed out, merely saying a leader is narcissistic is hardly disqualifying. But malignant narcissism is like a malignant tumor: toxic. Psychoanalyst and Holocaust survivor Erich Fromm, who invented the diagnosis of malignant narcissism, argues that it “lies on the borderline between sanity and insanity.” Otto Kernberg, a psychoanalyst specializing in borderline personalities, defined malignant narcissism as having four components: narcissism, paranoia, antisocial personality and sadism. Trump exhibits all four.

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and how about this from the Washington Post?





Only the thinnest of veils hid Trump's anger at a February Time magazine cover that described Stephen K. Bannon, then the White House chief strategist, as “the great manipulator.” Without saying explicitly what he was responding to, Trump tweeted that he calls his own shots and accused the “fake news” media of lying.
The New York Times reported in April that the cover continued to bother the president, two months later.
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Sick, sad, bad:

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More psychoanalysis of Trump:

‘The Unauthorized Psychoanalysis of Donald Trump’  The most recent part of a series by James McIntosh, MD in New York City’s Amsterdam News (author of an analysis of Guiliani)

Excerpt:


Adolf Hitler, Cluster B or Donald T
So far, 61,734 mental health professionals have signed a petition initiated by psychologist Dr.  John Gartner calling for “the removal of President Donald Trump from office” because of “serious mental illness” that they agree, “renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of president of the United States.”  Narcissistic, sociopathic, histrionic and borderline psychotic are just some of the words that have been used by prominent mental health professionals in their description of Trump. Ironically these words are very similar to words used to describe the German dictator Adolf Hitler by various mental health professionals over the past 75 years. These mental health professionals include psychologists Dr. Henry A. Murray, in his report on Hitler to the Office of Strategic Services; Dr. Walter Langer, author of the book, “The Mind of Adolf Hitler,” and psychiatrist Dr. Harvey Cleckley in his book “The Mask of Sanity.” 
Counteractive narcism
Langer is quoted by Harvey Cleckley, M.D.  as having said about Hitler, “he was not insane but was emotionally sick and lacked normal inhibitions against antisocial behavior.”  The OSS also came to the conclusion that Hitler was “a hysteric bordering on schizophrenia. An excerpt from the introduction to Murray’s report reads as follows: “Murray pegged Hitler’s personality as ‘counteractive narcism,’ a type that is stimulated by real or imagined insult or injury. According to Dr. Murray, the characteristics of this personality type include: holding grudges, low tolerance for criticism, excessive demands for attention, inability to express gratitude, a tendency to belittle, bully and blame others, desire for revenge, persistence in the face of defeat, extreme self-will, self-trust, inability to take a joke, and compulsive criminality.”

part one of the series | part two of the series

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115,700 member American Psychological Association  Calls on President to Preserve "Dreamers” Program as the other APA (of psychiatrists) stays silent (as far as I can tell).

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Grammarist explanation

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