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On the Psychopathology of Donald Trump: The Advanced Course - A YouTube channel of videos of interviews with noted psychotherapists by Dr. John Gartner.
NEW: An excellent history of the Duty to Warn movement from its inception to the present time.
Friday, The Fall-Out from the Deranged Anti-Woman Tweet (June 30, 2017)
Trump and I (and no doubts many others who don’t usually get up at 5AM in the Pacific time zone) watched Morning Joe today. Here’s what Trump Tweeted:
"Fragile, impetuous, childlike ego”
I wonder why Rachel Maddow has escaped Trump’s Tweet hate. Perhaps he won’t watch her show. For example last night:
I will end with the closing paragraph of Michelle Goldberg’s essay from Slate:
If there is the barest sliver of consolation, it’s that Trump appears almost as miserable and anxiety-ridden as we are. He’s losing the tiny bit of control he had. It’s better for Trump to show us all who he really is than to let his lackeys pretend he’s remotely worthy of his office. Every time he tweets, he reveals his presidency as a disgusting farce. Let’s hope he keeps doing it.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Fact, not fake: Our president spends time Tweeting personal insults. Remember him?
This is Mika’s response:
Any wonder Trump is attacking Mika:
‘Out of his mind’: MSNBC’s Mika unloads on Trump and his ‘lobotomized’ staffers over Tillerson reports
Weds. June 28, 2017
Trump’s morning Tweetstorm, five praising Fox News and two attacking real news. Up is down, black is white, freedom is tyranny.
Kudos to the NY Times for it’s list of Trump lies, however the Toronto Star outdid them.
Tuesday, June, 27, 2017
Trump’s early morning Tweetstorm:
It’s vitally important for us to continuously remind ourselves of our own sanity when reading about Trump’s herky-jerky public statements, in whatever form they appear. The most dangerous outcome of Trump’s incessant scrambling of reality could be that we all grow too frustrated by the madness to continue bothering with the resistance — that the preservation of our own sanity forces us to walk away from bothering with his lack of sanity. We can’t let Trump’s untethered, berserker maneuvering wear us down. You are not insane. Bob Cesca in Salon
This Politico article (America’s Mayor) has three of the most flattering drawings of Trump.
Here's the lead illustration:
Sunday, June 25, 2017 (Internet newbies: The colored titles and most images are links.)
Let’s hope America’s spy chief, who meets with Trump several times a week, Mike Pompeo, explains this to his ignorant student so he understands the perils of making nice to Putin.
Pro-Trump A-list movie stars being scared into silence - it’s not what you think.
A brunette performer in her mid-twenties is too afraid to be named, even though all she’s confessing to is being a conservative. “Can I be anonymous?” she asks, radiating anxiety over going against the porn grain. “This is so intense, my friends have lost work over this… you should know the industry is biased and no one will admit it.” She refuses to come out as a Republican. Even as an anonymous source, the label seems to evoke extreme paranoia. No longer sure who she can trust with her secret, politics are scarcely mentioned even among her closest friends. Fear of losing the job she loves has kept her quiet.
“It’s not safe for me to speak,” she shares in a near-whisper.
Misdiagnosing Trump by David E. McClean, Ph.D.
Emphasis added: Have we misdiagnosed Trump? A recent article in the Washington Post argues that Trump is more intelligent than his critics think he is. But Trump is not so much intelligent as he is sociopathic, with no moral compass, and willing to daze his opposition (including journalists and other politicians) with the theater of the absurd. He displays his absurdity like a clown dropping his trousers at a ladies' tea, overloading everyone's "WTF?" software and circuits. Then, while you wobble (or giggle, or cover your mouth in shock, or explode in outrage, etc.), he sucker punches. Then he eats you, alive.
This is not so much intelligence as it is the artifice of a very good con man/sociopath who observes no rules or conventions. It has been said, by many, including by me, that he is a pathological narcissist. That may be true, but his narcissism is only what DRIVES him. His real weapon, the tool that gets him what he wants, is his sociopathology. By having no morality circuits that still work, and no real regard for others, he is free to ignore the basic rules that keep the rest of society on an even keel. In fact, he WINS because he FREE-RIDES on those rules, knowing that the rules mean a great deal to the rest of us, who will observe them, as he completely disregards them.
So, he giggles at Elizabeth Warren's condemnations. He laughs at the criticisms of his disinterest in important details. He snickers when he hears journalists call out his contradictory statements. For none of that matters to a narcissistic sociopath. To the narcissistic sociopath, all the critics -- indeed, all of us -- are but Lilliputians to his sick Gulliver. To him we are all foolishly saddled and constrained by rules, conventions, consciences, worry over protocols, and concerns about traditions and probity. Continued
Of course, it can sometimes be useful for the safety and security of the United States when the president telegraphs his foreign policy vision. That gives allies and adversaries alike a clear sense of what to expect from an administration.
In Trump’s case, though, his Twitter feed doesn’t serve quite that role.
The president’s frequent contradiction of his own aides also provides useful intelligence for foreign analysts. Last month, Trump tweeted that it was “not possible ” for administration officials to be perfectly accurate in describing what his White House is doing.
Why not? Is the White House not coordinating messaging? Has Trump defined his own course of action, regardless of what his Cabinet or staff has been told? Policy and public diplomacy typically require interagency coordination, but Trump forces the U.S. government to react to his whims instead — which makes his Twitter feed that much more important to analyze and understand.
Analysts can glean information about Trump’s sleep patterns from the time of day or night when he tweets, showing which topics keep him up, his stress level and his state of mind. Twitter also often reveals what Trump is watching on TV and when, as well as what websites he turns to for news and analysis. Knowing this can be useful for foreign governments when they are planning media events or deciding where to try to seek coverage of their version of world events.
Even deleted tweets would be of interest. Trump mostly appears to delete tweets because of spelling errors, later replacing them with a correction. For an intelligence analyst, this would confirm that Trump’s Twitter feed really is a raw insight into his thought process, without much input from aides.RELATED:
I found Trump’s Diary Hiding in Plain Sight
The deluge of tweets from Trump, Princeton’s Zelizer said, “create this window directly to the president.” In his estimation, the timeline shows someone “consumed with his opponents,” “someone who can see victory all the time, even if it contradicts reality,” someone who “doesn’t take loss or challenge very well,” someone who’s “not thinking through necessarily the consequences of what he’s doing,” and “someone who’s not cautious.”
“The image you get,” he continued, “is of a person sitting there just frenetically responding to things.”
“To think he’s as undisciplined as the president of the United States as he was as president of the Trump Organization,” a close former employee told me, “is mind-boggling.”
“He’s creating legal vulnerabilities for himself,” Riley said.
“It’s kind of a double-edged sword for Donald Trump,” Brinkley said. “What made him president might also be his undoing.”
“If he believes Twitter was his springboard to the White House,” the biographer O’Brien added, “he’s going to have to come to terms with the fact that it could also be a trapdoor.”
Can a person tweet the way Trump tweets as president and be successful as president? Can a person tweet the way Trump tweets as president and stay president?
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Duty to Warn therapists like me often emphasize how Trump’s malignant narcissism is steeped in macho posturing and self-aggrandizement. Whether it’s manifest in being able to grab, presumably grateful, women by the pussy, or the bellicose language in his Tweets, it is central to his self-image.
Played out on the international stage, what could go wrong? Indeed!
A deep-rooted crisis in education, and a long cultural and political decline, is what got us here. There's hope!
A psychoanalyst friend writes:
A TOTAL ASIDE AND NON-SEQUITUR ... I think I'm a Jungian and just stumbled upon a Synchronicity or somesuch. About to leave our home on the shore which we sometimes rent…. Packing up the bikes and heading back to the Land of Clinical Hours. Found a crucifix and a deck of playing cards, the cards from the Trump Marina Hotel Casino. 1's thru 10's? All complete. No Jacks, No Queens and only One King ... but two Jokers ...
The Unravelling of Trump
The president has taken out his frustration with the expanding Russia probe on lawyer Don McGahn, one of Trump’s earliest campaign supporters.
White House counsel Don McGahn has largely stepped back from managing Donald Trump’s response to the expanding Russia investigation, but that hasn’t stopped the president from lashing out at him about it anyway.
Trump started the week by giving McGahn, a loyal supporter who was among the first Washington establishment figures to sign on with his presidential campaign, a dressing down in the Oval Office for not doing more to quash the Russia probe early on.
The episode — recounted by four people familiar with the conversation — came as part of a broader discussion on Monday about the president’s frustrations with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which now includes the question of whether Trump himself tried to obstruct the investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey.
Excerpts: Trump’s sales technique of promising to show you something bigger and better than you’ve ever seen before was developed when he was casino owner back in the ’80s and ’90s. “Come to my golden palace and you too can be a gazillionaire, just like me!” Of course, he was a terrible casino owner, caught up in money laundering and bad deals and bankruptcy for decades, but that doesn’t mean plenty of people haven’t been taken in by his promise to remake them in his image. God knows why anyone would want that, but there seems to be an endless supply of takers for Trump’s toxic snake oil.
When his plans for gambling riches finally withered away and he was deeply in debt, Trump’s sales technique morphed into the reality-show style of the 2000s such that he finally got the national celebrity attention he’d always craved with his shows “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice.” Teasing the “big reveal” is a staple of every reality show on TV. They drop hints and show sneak peeks for weeks. They milk the dramatic moments for everything they have all season long until they finally show the much-anticipated denouement in the very last show. But the “big reveal” is often a big flop. That happens a lot in the Donald Trump show, whether on TV or in the White House.
His followers love him and it keeps him in the press. But it’s not a big winner in the legal system, which is where “reality” drama becomes the real thing. Prosecutors and judges have less of a sense of humor about lies and intimidation tactics.
It’s hard to know how much Trump thinks any of this through. I’d guess very little: He runs on instinct. But his instincts are those of a cheap used car salesman or a TV pitchman. They were good enough to get him into the White House on a fluke, but they don’t give him the skills required to be president. Now they are causing him to create enormous problems for himself, one after another.
Friday, June 23, 2017
The 12 Lies From Trump’s Iowa Rally (NY Times)
He falsely said insurance companies “have all fled the state of Iowa.”
He exaggerated his legislative accomplishments.
He falsely claimed the United States is “the highest-taxed nation in the world.”
He misrepresented the trend in home building.
He falsely claimed that an Obama-era rule applied to “a little puddle in the middle of their field.”
He falsely claimed Gary Cohn (former president of Goldman Sachs) paid “$200 million in taxes” to serve as his economic adviser.
He exaggerated the increase in military spending as “historic.”
He took undue credit for a new coal mine in Pennsylvania and the creation of 33,000 coal-mining jobs.
He repeated inaccurate claims about the Paris agreement.
He exaggerated his actions toward Cuba as “canceling the prior administration’s completely one-sided deal.”
He said he would bar immigrants from receiving welfare benefits for five years, but they already are prohibited.
He prematurely touted “hundreds of billions of dollars” of deals made in Saudi Arabia.
President Trump has a new morning ritual. Around 6:30 a.m. on many days — before all the network news shows have come on the air — he gets on the phone with a member of his outside legal team to chew over all things Russia.
The calls — detailed by three senior White House officials — are part strategy consultation and part presidential venting session, during which Trump’s lawyers and public-relations gurus take turns reviewing the latest headlines with him. They also devise their plan for battling his avowed enemies: the special counsel leading the Russia investigation; the “fake news” media chronicling it; and, in some instances, the president’s own Justice Department overseeing the probe.
His advisers have encouraged the calls — which the early-to-rise Trump takes from his private quarters in the White House residence — in hopes that he can compartmentalize the widening Russia investigation. By the time the president arrives for work in the Oval Office, the thinking goes, he will no longer be consumed by the Russia probe that he complains hangs over his presidency like a darkening cloud.
It rarely works, however. Asked whether the tactic was effective, one top White House adviser paused for several seconds and then just laughed.
Trump’s grievances and moods often bleed into one another. Frustration with the investigation stews inside him until it bubbles up in the form of rants to aides about unfair cable television commentary or as slights aimed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein.And on Trump’s mental health status:
Many Republicans observing from the outside, however, voice dismay about the president’s behavior.
“What’s playing out is a psychological drama, not just a political drama or a legal drama,” said Peter Wehner, who was an aide in George W. Bush’s White House and has frequently been critical of Trump. “The president’s psychology is what’s driving so much of this, and it’s alarming because it shows a lack of self-control, a tremendous tropism. . . . He seems to draw psychic energy from creating chaos and disorder.”
Excerpt of the day:
President Obama recognized that generations of politicians, teachers, civic leaders, and yes, children, would take their cues from how he behaved as president. Instead of engaging in Twitter battles or attacking the character of his detractors, he gracefully ignored their criticism and stood tall against a party determined to beat HIM. He acted presidential, imagine that.
My Republican friends should take note because what they’re supporting, either directly or indirectly, isn’t just an anti-Obama presidency but an anti-American president. Supporting a president who is uninterested, unprepared, and unwilling to learn from his mistakes isn’t just overtly political, it’s immoral. At some point, you are the company you keep.
(Let me unapologetically digress and say that if Republicans are offended that they’re constantly being called racist by Democrats, stop palling around with racists; it’s not that complicated. If you consistently find yourself on the side of the racist, if you consistently find yourself defending racists, if you consistently find yourself making excuses for racists, you may not be a racist, but you certainly look like one. If that hurts your feelings, that’s too bad, this is me abandoning political correctness. That’s what you wanted, right?) From HuffPost He Had No Business Becoming President.
Send the Secret Service!
Thursday, June 22, 2017
If God is sending messages to GOP dept:
Crystal Grener, one of the two Capital Police officers who saved vehemently anti-LGBT Congressman Steve Scalese and other Republican congressmen is a married lesbian.
Quote of the day (so far) comes from Dahlia Lithwick, journalist and lawyer, on Slate.
Lawyers who have been trained to answer to the Constitution first and their wealthy clients far later don’t want to be in the position of having to tell the world’s largest preschooler that sometimes no bendy straw for the juice box really means no bendy straw for the juice box. And lawyers who have done far more with their careers than Sherpa a “successful businessman” through multiple bankruptcies may have a hard time explaining to the president that no amount of money or power in the world can make certain judges and some courts disappear.
Make This Obstruction Thing Go Away
More mind-boggling, jaw-dropping malignant off-the-rails narcissism dept. (Or, to be technicals, he’s turning narcissistic insult into narcissistic rage)
“They have phony witch hunts going against me,” Mr. Trump said nearly an hour into a speech that veered off script repeatedly. “All we do is win, win, win. We won last night.”
The rally, Mr. Trump’s first since the end of April, served as a venting session for a pent-up president who has stewed and brooded from inside the gilded cage of the White House over attacks from investigators, Democrats and the news media, his interview schedule drastically pared down and his aides imploring him to stay off Twitter.
Style-heavy and substance-light, the speech went over an hour: an epic version of the fact-challenged, meandering and, even for his detractors, mesmerizing speeches he gave during his upstart presidential campaign. New York Times: Trump Turns Iowa Rally into a Venting Session
Weds., June 21, 2017
The psychology of Trump voters:
Psychological research shows people are too tribal and afraid to admit they were wrong to regret their votes
Well, folks are going to have to keep on waiting because the answer to the question of when Trump voters will come around is somewhere between “a long, long time from now” and more likely “never.”
Rachel Maddow Previews Bombshell Report Linking Trump to Putin-Connected Money Pouring into His Real Estate DealsFor Opera Fans:
More lighter views of Hell:
* Title this: The Good Queen and the Mad King.
* Stephen Hawking offers hope for our grandchildren.
* Spicer never talked with Trump about what he believes about Russian interference in the election. Really?
at the gates of Hell. If I could draw I’d depict Trump as the Hellmouth.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 (Slow news day)
“We're certainly interested in any efforts the Russians made to influence our election,” says California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the election. “There have been public reports, I think, that Jill Stein was also in Russia attending the RT function, so we’re going to need to look at any efforts the Russians made through whatever means to influence our elections."
Stein didn’t just attend the gala—dressed in a shimmering silver shawl, she sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has barely disguised his glee at the political chaos that what he calls “patriotic” Russian hackers have unleashed in the United States. And she recorded a video from Moscow’s famous Red Square, in which she talked about “the need to rein in American exceptionalism” and replace “a U.S. policy based on domination”—words that sounded like they were ripped from Putin’s talking points.
Stein isn’t sorry about any of it. She says she’d welcome the opportunity to testify before Congress and dismisses the idea that she was a spoiler or that her campaign was co-opted as a tool of Russian influence as Democrats’ “pathetic excuses” for losing the election.
Monday, June 19, 2017
New Interview by John Gartner: Dr. Claire Pouncey a psychiatrist and medical ethicist argues the Goldwater rule itself is unethical
Sunday, June 18, 2017
|I’m not meaning to be sexist or judge people by their appearance, but Trump wears his inner ugliness on the outside.|
“You can count me out,” said an attorney who served in the George W. Bush administration and has turned down senior-level legal posts at several agencies, including the Justice Department. This attorney, like others who talked candidly about job offers from the administration, spoke on the condition of anonymity, either because their employers do business with the government or they fear retribution from Republican leaders.
The attorney described an “equally incoherent and unclear leadership” at many agencies, in particular at the Justice Department, where the attorney characterized Sessions’s push for stricter sentences for drug crimes as “1982 thinking” that the Republican Party has largely abandoned.
Another person in line for a senior legal post who pulled out after Comey’s firing said, “I decided, ‘What am I doing this for?’ ”
He described a disorganized paperwork process that threatened to leave him unprepared for Senate confirmation, and said he was disgusted that Rosenstein was “hung out to dry” as the president claimed at first that the deputy attorney general orchestrated Comey’s firing.
“You sit on the tarmac for quite some time, you see smoke coming out of the engine and you say, ‘I’m going back to the gate,’ ” he said.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Take a humor break, scroll down to watch Chelsea Handler video.
Trump, for months, has bristled almost daily at the ongoing probes. He has sometimes, without prompting, injected “I’m not under investigation” into conversations with associates and allies. He has watched hours of TV coverage every day — sometimes even storing morning news shows on his TiVo to watch in the evening — and complained nonstop.
"Trump advisers and confidants describe the president as increasingly angry over the investigation, yelling at television sets in the White House carrying coverage and insisting he is the target of a conspiracy." Associated Press
So much news and opinion today - here’s the best I could find (so far):
Trump’s Derangement Deepens, by Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine.