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Earlier Posts - May 11 and before
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May 26, 2020
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Irish author and critic on the "suspension of disbelief" that has made Trump's destruction of America possible
Michael D'Antonio is the author of the book "Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success" and co-author with Peter Eisner of "The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence."
Much research has shown that many people find their sense of well-being and self-esteem rises when they feel anger or hatred of others. What the Wall Street Journal recently described as "the pleasure of hating" can bring people together to act against a common enemy whether that enemy is real or imagined. In his life before politics, Trump conjured up pop culture enemies like Rosie O'Donnell so he could engage in public fights against someone he hated. In his political incarnation, where the consequences are real and serious, he has used the same process but infused it with conspiracy theories about "Deep State" opponents.
Is the president's rage sincere? His affection for theatrics and performance argue that it's all game. We all know that the president loves to use showbiz devices to capture attention. The question of whether he would or would not wear a medical mask to visit a Ford factory created a classic cliffhanger attraction. His frequent press conference meltdowns perform the same service, keeping us all tuning in. These and other factors suggest it's all an act.
On the other hand, as we watch the president stagger through the Covid-19 emergency, golfing as The New York Times prepared to publish a roster of the dead, we should consider that the cruelty, the arrogance, the rage and deviance are not an act. When I see him now on television, I recognize the same pattern I saw when I interviewed him half a dozen times years ago. He is only truly animated, truly himself, when expressing disdain for others or love for himself. Hatred and conceit are his comfort zones, and he returns to them whenever he's under pressure.
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May 24, 2020
The British have some of the best slang words for stupid. In this poll over 600 Daily Kos readers chose which one best described Trump. Click to enlarge.
From the Russian government sponsored website RT:
I wonder why Scott Ritter would publish on this website.
Why would William Scott Ritter chose to publish on RT? He is (from Wiki) a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He later became a critic of United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Prior to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Ritter stated that Iraq possessed no significant weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities, becoming according to The New York Times "the loudest and most credible skeptic of the Bush administration’s contention that Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction."
More from Russia:
May 22, 2020
Opinion: Republicans should put country above party and vote Biden - The Lincoln Project published in Michigan
I am really tired of this story... Defense lawyers look to reopen cases where Tara Reade testified as an expert
Trump moves openly to steal the election: Democrats should impeach him again, Amanda Marcotte, Salon
Years have been wasted in an intramural debate among mental health experts over whether to diagnose the president remotely, and what such a diagnosis might be. But that, too, is a distraction from what is directly in front of our eyes.
There is, even as the president blurs the line between reality and fantasy while talking about a lethal pandemic, a tendency to puzzle over the president’s actions, to wonder if they are somehow part of a complex political strategy. Is the president’s behavior “genius,” as a recent Washington Post commentary chose to call it, while still labeling it “irrational”? A simpler explanation is that both his distracting tweetstorms and incompetent leadership arise from the same underlying cause, even if we cannot label it, and the correct descriptor is not “brilliant.” But despite years of largely uninformed incoherence, it’s still difficult for many of us to resist the temptation to find order in the mess.
In the absence of psychiatric or cognitive tests Trump may never undergo, we cannot establish that some affirmative condition accounts for his daily shortage of rational output. This leaves us in the uncomfortable position of having to document only what Trump lacks. And while proving a nullity seems impossible, the truth is that one doesn’t need a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to observe and record the ordinary human behaviors the president hasn’t mastered. Any rational observer can do it. The burning question is why we don’t.
Anyone and everyone charged with reporting on this president should make a fundamental commitment that describing or interpreting this president’s statements and actions must highlight, on an ongoing and even repetitive basis, what they don’t see. Reporters, public intellectuals, and pundits should stop filling in Trump’s gaps for him and should allow as full a picture as possible to emerge of his cognitive and personal incompleteness. Not doing so explicitly has resulted in four years of rationalizing, contextualizing, and indeed—in popular parlance—“normalizing” a president few of us would trust to take care of a pet over the weekend.
Nature can be cruel but it also can be cool: Dolphins lavish humans with gifts during lockdown on Australia's Cooloola Coast
May 20, 2020
|Pond front where we used to live|
May 19, 2020
May 18, 2020
|A short walk from my house|
May 17, 2020
Obama’s #GraduateTogether speech praised for offering the empathy Trump has not shown during pandemic
May 16, 2020
Trumps applauds and eggs on fascistic thugs who bring assault weapons to state capitals to demand “liberation” from communist coronavirus restrictions imposed by “the socialist Democrats.”
Like the ruthless Honey Badger of onetime Internet fame, Trump don’t care. The Nasty Bad-Ass Trumpy Badger don’t give a shit.
Donald “Live and Let Die” Trump wants tens of millions of American workers and consumers put at risk of lonely ventilator deaths for the sake of his re-election – this even while the germophobic president enforces a militant testing, mask-wearing, and social-distancing regime in his own “workplace” (if that’s what we really want to call the insane asylum that is Trump’s White House).
Trump supports the denial of unemployment compensation payments to workers who are reasonably too afraid of infection to return to their jobs. Because of course he does.
When if all goes bad, the S.O.B. can blame it on the state governors who foolishly heeded his call.
Along the way, he is upping his record-setting pace of Orwellian deception with absurd claims that he always understood the danger and is leading the world’s effort to contain the “virus from China” – the virus that he has so horribly fueled and fanned. Big Brother saysthat 2+2+5.
May 15, 2020
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May, 14, 2020
The report, from researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the University of Pennsylvania, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed journal. It is based on an experiment that used laser light to study the number of small respiratory droplets emitted through human speech.
The answer: a lot.
“Highly sensitive laser light scattering observations have revealed that loud speech can emit thousands of oral fluid droplets per second,” the report states.
The president's attorney said he will ask the Supreme Court to block inquiries into foreign patronage of D.C. Trump hotel.
"The discovery here — business records as to hotel stays and restaurant expenses, sought from private third parties and low-level government employees — implicates no Executive power. The President has not explained, nor do we see, how requests pertaining to spending at a private restaurant and hotel threaten any Executive Branch prerogative," she wrote.
Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, writing for all six dissenters, said it was evident that Maryland and D.C. were trying to mire Trump in litigation for partisan reasons.
"Would it not be fair for our fellow Americans to suspect that something other than law was afoot?" he wrote.
"The plaintiffs here are attempting nothing less than to enjoin the President of the United States for official actions taken while in office. They are seeking to harness the coercive machinery of legal process to drag the President through what are coming to seem more and more like interminable proceedings."
"It is scary to go to work,” White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said over the weekend, even when the White House has robust tracking, tracing and mask-wearing protocols in place that most Americans do not enjoy.
And, worse, Trump’s personal vanity and political efforts to project a return to business as usual mean he will not extend the same protection (wearing a mask) that he demands of co-workers. The Post reports: “Most White House officials will be asked to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces on complex grounds, a move to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading further inside the presidential compound . . . .The request does not apply to offices, however, and President Trump is still unlikely to wear a mask or face covering, aides say.” In other words: Trump gets protection from others but will not protect them in return for utterly selfish reasons. No single action better captures Trump’s narcissism.
Signs for the pandemic (Cape Cod National Seashore)
May 12, 2020
A Seven minute supercuts of Trump attacking female reporters.
It's difficult fo me not to root for the virus when it comes to infecting the Nearly one-third of Americans who believe a coronavirus vaccine exists and is being withheld as a survey found
|Where I live|
Earlier Posts - May 11 and before