February 7, 2017

February, 2017

January posts here


Earlier posts here
http://www.halbrown.org/2016/12/december-2016.html


Weds., Feb. 15, 2017

In the furious deluge of news that could lead to Trump leaving office, I suggest we not forget that we have a dangerously mentally ill president. Here’s the most recent article:

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017
Evening edition:
Credit for the movie reference to what Trump must be experiencing from conservative anti-Trump radio host Charlie Sykes. Trump knows that they know. What will happen when it hits him that impeachment is a serous threat?

True the breaking news is incredible, however —
Warning- spoilers in this article. Or just take my word and watch a couple of episodes.

Very Happy Valentines Day

Monday, Feb. 13, 2017

Evening edition:

Who knew what when?
It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up
As they say in Russia:


If you watched Joy Reid subbing for Lawrence O’Donnell you saw her interviewing the author of 
"The Spy Revolt Against Donald Trump Begins" published in The New York Observer. Read it here.



I repeatedly see Republicans trying to normalize Trump’s mental illness as naivetĂ© mixed with arrogance… this from Sen. Bob Corker:

Trump, "Corker says when we meet in his Senate office for his first extensive interview about the new administration, is a “wrecking ball” when it comes to longstanding American foreign policy, a newcomer to the burdensome demands of being the world’s lone superpower who remains determined 'to just destroy everything about’ the U.S. establishment’s view of the world. “ A WRECKING BALL?

Still, he insists  "Rather than turning their fire on a prickly president who clearly takes criticism personally, holds a grudge and rarely backs away from a fight, Corker is arguing in the backstage councils of Capitol Hill that they should seek to influence Trump more quietly.” Really: “a prickly president who clearly takes criticism personally, holds a grudge…” and this is “normal”? Are members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans that psychologically ignorant? How could they not know that Trump exhibits obvious signs of mental illness?

How much of what Republicans (and the pathologically optimistic talker Chris Mathews) have to see before they stop trying to excuse and normalize Trump’s behavior using words like PRICKLY?

Meanwhile just know on MSNBC calling Trump “bombastic and overly reactive Mark Sanford, and then praising him for his "under-reacton" to the N. Korean missile test.

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017
We don't know what led the CIA to reject a required security clearance for Michael Flynn aide Rob Townley. The White House insists that was a political move by the CIA against Flynn—but the CIA is now led by Trump's own appointed director, Mike Pompeo, who himself approved the rejection. We also don't know to what extent Trump might simply order the intelligence community to reveal information they're not keen on revealing to his staff.
But no, this is not normal. This is a very, very far way from normal. And we're just in the opening act.

There is more consequential IC (intelligent community) pushback happening, too. Our spies have never liked Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward the President’s Daily Brief, the most sensitive of all IC documents, which the new commander-in-chief has received haphazardly. The president has frequently blown off the PDB (presidential daily briefing) altogether, tasking Flynn with condensing it into a one-page summary with no more than nine bullet-points. Some in the IC are relieved by this, but there are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence. 
In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence from the Oval Office. Why risk your most sensitive information if the president may ignore it anyway? A senior National Security Agency official explained that NSA was systematically holding back some of the “good stuff” from the White House, in an unprecedented move. For decades, NSA has prepared special reports for the president’s eyes only, containing enormously sensitive intelligence. In the last three weeks, however, NSA has ceased doing this, fearing Trump and his staff cannot keep their best SIGINT (signal intelligence) secrets. 
Since NSA provides something like 80 percent of the actionable intelligence in our government, what’s being kept from the White House may be very significant indeed. However, such concerns are widely shared across the IC, and NSA doesn’t appear to be the only agency withholding intelligence from the administration out of security fears.

………………………………………….. …………………………….. ……………………..

From Politico.
I hope Trump follows the oddsmakers.


Ladbrokes, the British oddsmaking giant, has Trump’s chances of leaving office via resignation or impeachment and removal at just 11-to-10, or just a little worse than even money. 


“Trump is the gift that keeps on giving,” Paddy Power’s Davey said. “We’ve got a bonanza of betting specials on The Donald. When Trump took to Twitter [last week] to defend [daughter] Ivanka after Nordstrom dropped her clothing line, we were out with a [betting] market on next retailer to drop the Ivanka brand next.” (The current favorites are TJ Maxx at 4-to-1, Walmart at 5-to-1 and Amazon at 6-to-1.)
Perhaps the most unusual — and certainly most lurid — wager is the 4-to-1 odds offered by Paddy Power that the alleged Russian video of Trump outlined in the dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent will appear on a pornographic website.

“Trump's character has captured the imagination of the public” overseas said Davey, who compared following his presidency to “watching your favorite soap [opera].”

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
Evening Edition:
I wrote this as the news came on about the N. Korean missile test, and updated it because a pure satire wasn’t appropriate without recognizing how close to real life with Trump this just came.


It sounds more Hollywood than history. A paranoid president, unhinged, drinking heavily, ranting against his enemies, terrifies subordinates. The defense secretary commits what may be the most patriotic act of treason in American history: ordering the Joint Chiefs of Staff to ignore any White House military initiatives lacking his signature.
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Seeing Nixon willing to do anything to win power, Schlesinger feared the president might do anything to retain it. According to the reporter Seymour Hersh, in spring 1974, a Washington bureaucrat, Joseph Laitin, called Schlesinger and speculated about Nixon launching nuclear bombs or mobilizing Marines to save his presidency. “If I were in your job,” Laitin advised, “I would want to know the location of the combat troops nearest to downtown Washington and the chain of command.” “Nice talking to you,” the secretary of defense blurted before hanging up.



Exclusive - Episode 11 of The Skary Klown reacting to the Flynn scandal.


Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
Evening edition:
For those who didn’t watch Rachel I suggest you go to her website and watch the story about the (likely) treason of Michael Flynn… and follow the story as it evolves.
Here is my take on it:
I have the memory of the one time I got caught in a rip current. I was swimming alone without many people around at Horseback Beach when I felt myself being strongly pulled into the ocean. I was a pretty good swimmer; but I forgot the rules and panicked and tried to swim hard against the current straight back to the beach. If you’ve never done this you don’t know how exhausting it is. In 30 seconds or less my heart was pounding. My arms were going numb. Then, since I am alive, obviously I realized this was a rip current and had to let it pull me out to sea… which I did and after only 50 or so feet is let go of me. Then I swam slowly parallel to the shore until the tide started taking me in, and all I had to do was ride the wave and they brought me to shore. Exhausted, lesson learned and a story to tell. My sense is that Trump and his minions will fight the rip tide, my hope is they won’t realize that you can’t win with Mother Nature — and will exhaust themselves and suffer the fate ordained by Neptune.
The rip currents at Horseback Beach.


Today’s reading assignment:


A Lucky Dog’s Story

Good news  for dog lovers everywhere, and especially for the Willamette View residents and staff who were concerned about the friendly stray dog who turned up at Waterfalls Cafe yesterday. He had no collar, no microchip, a fatty tumor on his leg, and wasn’t neutered. 

As a group of us pondered what to do with the dog who was soaking wet from the rain - we fed him bacon to reassure him. 

Another resident and I took him to my vet to be scanned for a microchip. 

By the time we got back the head of security had arrived. Apparently the dog had been trying to get inside and some residents were afraid. Who could blame the dog, it was raining, and he was a people lover trying to find some dog lovers.

We were told that unless one of us would take immediately responsibility for him he’d have to be taken to the animal shelter (aka the dog pound).

We were given no time to decide… the pressure was on. We delayed, stalled, and distracted as the alarm went out. 

Within seconds a angel arrived, made one phone call, and found a family for the dog.

When they arrived a few minutes later the dog (yet to be named - stay tuned) — eagerly hoped into the back seat to be warmly welcome to his loving new family.

 There’s been no word from the owner on the found pets notices I put on Facebook and Craig’s list. 

The good news is that the dog is already in a wonderful new home, will have a new life and a new name.
Meanwhile — sitting here watching Morning Joe. 
The news from the Fascist Kakocracy continues as a never-ending deluge of molten shit. The only solace is that if they actually were as adept as the not unhinged Hitler and his psychopaths we’d be doomed. 


Thurs. Feb. 9, 2017
Evening edition:

Here’s an article which references my online friend Dr. John Gartner. I missed it when it first was published:

Opinion: The Opinion of Leading Psychologists Is That Trump Is Mentally Deranged


Trump’s narcissistic mental defect puts him in the same category as infamous tyrannical dictators like Muammar Gaddafi, Adolf Hitler, and Saddam Hussein.
Rachel previewed the PPP poll coming out tomorrow. Granted they are a Democratic polling organization (too bad, Trump will say it’s a fake poll). Many questions, all showing how unpopular Trump is. I think the extraordinary result is this one:




Here’s yet something else - uh - disturbing I thought of about Trump. At first blush you’d think that he or one of his henchmen would have thought to find a Hispanic Willie Horton hombre to be the first felon to deport. Instead they manage to find a mother of two whose felony was working illegally. I thought what bad optics this was. At least GW Bush found an actual rapist killer whose crimes he could blame on Dukakis. Then I thought that someone with the name Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos is perfect for him. She even has darker skin than many other Mexican. His base will applaud him.
The Psychopathology of Trump

If we are correct in diagnosing the severity of Trump’s psychopathology the narcissistic insults (and we are) he will be dealing more of them. They are going to continue get more frequent and severe. In the past day he has gone out on a limb denying Gorsuch had said what he said, and then there's gift of Ivanka and Nordstum, and Kellyanne telling viewers to buy her glitzy crap… he’s supposed to like chaos but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to handle the infighting between the crazy fascists and the sane fascists. Time waits for no-one. He gets a day older every day and for someone with his vanity this has to bother him a lot. PLUS: Trump craves adoration and attention. The public and media will get bored with the same old same old. The rallies were like Indy races where people watch hoping for a fiery crash. All these executive order signings and swearing in ceremonies and made for TV events are the same old same old. While not a discrete narcissistic insult, they are likely to have a cumulative effect on him.


Weds, Feb. 8, 2017





Another exclusive episode of the Scary Clown as Trump decides the best tactic to influence the appellate judges is to attack them before they make their decision:


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017
Evening edition:
I use Google news as my homepage — they have a new much needed category on their news feed - Executive Orders. Breitbart objects, so it must be worthwhile.




Cartoon by me, story, on the real reason the Republicans back Betsy DeVos,  by Jen Hayden




Sorry to those who already read my recommendation about signing up for, and using Twitter to explain to anyone who we need to inform about our opinions abut Trump - including of course anyone who has doubts about his mental stability. This keeps coming up in the news and on TV and whenever it  does I sent a Tweet to whoever expressed them. I started with sending them to all the MSNBC hosts and Progressive Radio hosts. I sent one to Ari Melber last night (he was subbing on Lawrence O’Donnell and mentioned Trump’s mental health) and Rep. Lieu who also said he should have a psych/ exam. So far one has responded, Thom Hartmann, who liked my Tweet to him with a heart.


Monday, Feb. 6, 2017
Late night edition - Save Melania Dept.
Same picture two different stories.

Cosmo played this story straight:



Melania Did Not Look Happy at President Trump's Super Bowl Party




Death and Taxes went for full-bore sarcasm:


Melania Trump looks very happy to be watching the Super Bowl



Evening edition:
Running out of adjectives so let this article speak for itself:

More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him. And the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job in which he has struggled to strike the right balance between representing an administration that considers the media the "opposition party," and developing a functional relationship with the press.
"Trump doesn't like his people to look weak," added a top Trump donor.

If you need more information on Rachel Maddow’s extraordinary story - or missed it:
According to one U.S. official, national security aides have sought information about Polish incursions in Belarus, an eyebrow-raising request because little evidence* of such activities appears to exist. Poland is among the Eastern European nations worried about Trump's friendlier tone on Russia.
 * Actually there is absolutely no evidence. In fact this is the result of a Russian propaganda story trying to get Belarus to move away from Poland (part of NATO) closer to Russia. Belarus has refused to allow Russia to open a military base there. In a Turnpike move their propaganda website Sputnik show Polish tanks supposedly getting ready to cross the border and invade Russia. Not true. Totally fabricated.


For Oregon readers: Yea!
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has filed an amicus brief this week along with 15 other states to join Washington in suing Pres. Donald for his travel ban.

"….it’s incredible that Trump may have signed an executive order he didn’t fully comprehend and that someone was willing to leak that to the press."



6 things Steve Bannon has declared war on 


Bannon's the man with the power in the White House. But he has a long list of things he hates


Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017

What can I do? I am asked that online and in person. Here’s one seemingly small thing you can do: Send Tweets to the media. I sent them to all the Progressive Sirius Radio personalities and all the MSNBC hosts. I just received my first response after sending them out a few days ago. It is from well known radio host Thom Hartmann (his Wikipedia page). Once someone in the media knows about Dr. John Gartner’s petition with over 18,000 shrink signatories it can be referred to, or better yet he can be interviewed on their shows.





Any narcissistic insult could - hopefully will - lead to a narcissistic rage outburst that will convince enough Republicans that Trump is both a fascists and mentally ill. I am not a football fan and had no intention of watching the Super and dedicate it to Trump. 

She could surround herself with American flags, do a shoutout to immigrants and soldiers defending the Constitution.

And then there’s the exchange Trump had with Bill O’Reilly:



But “Putin’s a killer,” O’Reilly said.

“You got a lot of killers,” Trump shot back. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

His comment defending Putin and comparing Russia to the United States is not playing well. The Bill O’Reilly interview set to air in its entirety before the game should be interesting. Already some Republicans have denounced it. I doubt Trump even knows that Putin just had one of his main critics poisoned (for a second time after the first attempt daily last year). He is in a coma with multiple organ failure in a Moscow hospital.


Sat, Feb. 4, 2017
Evening edition: Escape from politics on Netflix… not to everybody’s taste (double pun intended) this well written black comedy stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Oliphant and is a unique take on what happens when a rather boring suburban couple discover the wife has to eat freshly killed bodies to survive. 


Santa Clarita Diet,” Netflix, Friday (CRITICS PICK)


In this comedy, suburban realtor Sheila (Drew Barrymore) turns into a creature of the undead with a ravenous hunger for human flesh. It’s a wacky, odd production, with a spare mythology of horror and a penchant for surprising, stomach-turning gore. Ultimately, “Santa Clarita Diet” is a treat for a very specific sense of humor — and quite possibly a little unpleasant for everyone else. What’s most enjoyable about “Santa Clarita Diet” is just how surprising each plot development is. Because it is unafraid to dabble in gore, murder, or high school drama, the show is capable of moving in a lot of different directions — but don’t sit down to watch it with an array of snacks in hand. It’s not for the weak of stomach. Variety
From the Forward:


How could Kushner — a Modern Orthodox golden boy — fail to internalize that? (his Jewish heritage) How could he invite Donald Trump’s Cabinet to his house for Shabbat dinner only hours after his father-in-law’s executive order banning refugees from entering the United States? How could he pose in a tuxedo alongside his wife, Ivanka Trump, on Saturday night as that executive order wreaked havoc on innocent people’s lives simply because they hailed from the wrong countries? 

Kushner’s failure is not his problem alone; it should chill every Modern Orthodox educator, rabbi and parent in the United States. How could the Modern Orthodox community, a community that prides itself on instilling in its children Jewish knowledge and ideals, have failed so profoundly? 

The Frisch School, the prestigious New Jersey yeshiva from which Kushner graduated, should conduct the kind of after-action report that the military conducts when its operations go awry. Every synagogue where Kushner prayed regularly should ask itself whether it bears some of the blame for having failed to instill in him the obligations of Jewish memory. Even if it is too late to influence Kushner, Modern Orthodox leaders still can work to ensure that they do not produce more like him in the years to come.

Here’s psychoanalyst Howard Covitz’s sixth message to Trump, he sings “This Gland Your Gland.” He’s in Philadelphia today with his family at Independence Mall protesting, since Pence is speaking at Congress Hall which was the seat of the U.S. Congress between 1790 and 1800.
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Read about Judge James Robart.

Fri. Feb. 3, 2017
Evening edition - If you have five minutes, this will frighten you too… but the hope is that the media is fed up with blatant propaganda posing as facts.






My friend Jerry found this for me.



Another entry in the "The Anals and Annals of Incredible Trumpian Confabulations."




Um, the “Bowling Green Massacre” never happened.


Speaking to Chris Matthews on MSNBC on Thursday night, Conway said:
“I bet it’s brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
It also never happened.
THE ULTIMATE SNARK
When you click to donate it goes to the ACLU website!

Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017





As if Trump’s behavior with the Australian prime minister and the president of Mexico and his later bellicose defense of it, wasn’t bad enough, now we have this:



Weds. Feb. 1, 2017
My Daily Kos story today:
To Judge Gorsuch: My experience with death with (no) dignity.