Search This Blog

July 28, 2016


Hal Brown’s July blog
My photo blog is here. +++ Links to all the several dozen articles I cross-posted to Daily Kos with comments are here.

Saturday, August 6, 2016
I read an opinion piece on CNN, Stop Calling Trump Crazy, the premise of which is that speculating about Trump’s psychiatric diagnosis stigmatizes those who do struggle with mental illness.
With what seems to be increasing frequency, each time Trump does something objectionable, too many of his opponents want to blame mental illness as a way to erode his electoral chances. Yet characterizing Trump as "crazy" relies on the stigma of psychiatric disabilities to make a point. 
There are many grounds on which to criticize Donald Trump and to argue against his candidacy. But his mental health should not be one of them, because it's a strategy that appeals to bigotry. 
    I disagree. I don’t think reviewing the symptoms of narcissistic  personality disorder (NPD) and applying them to Trump and suggesting that having certain of them, to the level he does,  precludes him from being fit to be president stigmatizes anyone with any psychiatric disorder including NPD. 
    Simply put, narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. (Mayo Clinic)
    Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today. ( Psych Central )
    Psychology professor Dan McAdams (read his CV), whose cover article in The Atlantic has made him a go-to person on TV talk shows. He refuses to diagnose Trump writing in The Guardian as his reason "I am not a clinician, and for me, medical labels affixed from afar provide little by way of insight into the structure and the meaning of a person’s life." He still addresses his temperament and says that he shows a combination of traits he’s never seen in a candidate. 

    I am (or was) a clinician whose job included diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders. While making a diagnosis of a public figure is somewhat controversial, and some here have commented that doing so is unethical, others have said that a mental health professional not doing so when they see strong evidence that someone is dangerous would be unethical. 

    While I agree that applying a medical label to someone provides "little by way of insight into the structure and the meaning of a person’s life” my purpose isnt to have an existential understanding of Trump.

    McAdams also said (I can’t find the reference) that he’s received criticism from other psychologists for not making a diagnosis, so he knows very well that he’s taking a less controversial position than he could. Of course, he’s as capable as any other mental health professional (and lay people as well) of plugging all the behaviors we’ve seen in Trump into the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). 

    This is what McAdams wrote in his most recent article about Trump, published today in The Guardian:

    I recently wrote an extended psychological commentary on the life of Donald Trump. Rather than a clinical/psychiatric assessment, the profile drew upon scientific research in personality and social psychology. I scrupulously avoided diagnostic categories and attributions about mental health and fitness, for two reasons: (1) I am not a clinician, and (2) for me, medical labels affixed from afar provide little by way of insight into the structure and the meaning of a person’s life. My aim instead was to make psychological sense of Donald Trump’s life and personality, drawing upon some of the best ideas and research findings to be found in psychological science today. 

    First, Trump’s temperament profile – high extraversion and low agreeableness – derives much of its power from an underlying impulsivity laced with anger.
    Second, Trump’s impulsive temperament style dovetails with his central life goal – the narcissistic aim of promoting Donald Trump. 

    In keeping with the narcissism, Trump finds it especially difficult to ignore his impulses and consider the exigencies of situations when he perceives a threat to the self.  

    Finally, there is Donald Trump’s philosophy of life, spelled out first in The Art of the Deal. It is a matter of principle for Donald Trump that when you are attacked, you hit back harder. 

    Donald Trump is trapped by an angry, impulsive temperament that precludes his stepping away from the moment to survey what the situation demands of him. The trap tightens when the moment brings forth an insult to the self, no matter how trifling. And even when Donald Trump is able to emancipate himself from the moment and consider a situation from a more reasoned perspective, his philosophy of life manages only to reinforce his traits and his goals, imploring him to fight back ferociously, no matter how sympathetic or how tiny the opponent may be.
    This is what McAdam’s told the Chicago Tribune:
    “[I was] trying to describe what this man is fundamentally about psychologically without resorting to diagnosis,” said the author, Dan McAdams, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University where he is also the director of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives. “Trying to be objective, trying to be dispassionate, and try to use principles from personality and developmental psychology to apply, to understand who he is and what he’s about.” 
    Note he is stating that he is using principles from personality and developmental psychology. This is different from using principles from what is often called abnormal psychology or the study of psychopathology. He goes on:
     ‘…..What's behind the mask of Donald Trump?’ 
    “That was hard to find. I spent a lot of time talking about the role: how he is as an actor, his high extroversion, his social dominance, his very low agreeableness.”
    McAdams said when you look behind this so-called mask, you find a story about winning. 
    “I think it’s the motto of his life story: to win, to drive hard, to be number one,” he said. “I think he wants to win this election, but I’m not sure that he really wants to be president.” 
    McAdams says Trump’s combination of extreme extroversion and very low agreeableness does not look like a recipe for presidential success when you compare his traits to those of past presidents. But, he says the findings aren’t inherently negative.
    “In terms of the personality, you could argue, ‘Yeah, low agreeableness, maybe that’s a good thing because then you don’t get swayed when you’re doing negotiations, you don’t get swayed by sentimentality,’” McAdams said. “So you could put a positive spin on this. I don’t want to suggest that it’s necessarily negative.

    What I learned this morning: The McGurk Effect

    On her show “Morning Joy” Joy Reed was discussing campaign advertising. She replayed the Trump ad supposedly showing Hillary saying “we are going to raise taxes on the middle class.”
    In this ad the words are shown at least with under the image. She said that there’s research showing that people will hears something other than what is actually being said if at the same time the words are shown. She said "this is called the McGuck Effect, look it up.”

    I did:
    The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon which demonstrates an interaction between hearing and visionin speech perception. It suggests that speech perception is multimodal, that is, that it involves information from more than one sensory modality. The McGurk effect is sometimes called the McGurk-MacDonald effect. It was first described in a paper by McGurk and MacDonald (1976).
    This effect may be experienced when a video of one phoneme's production is dubbed with a sound-recording of a different phoneme being spoken. Often, the perceived phoneme is a third, intermediate phoneme. For example, a visual /ga/ combined with an audio /ba/ is often heard as /da/. Further research has shown that it can exist throughout whole sentences. The effect is very robust; that is, knowledge about it seems to have little effect on one's perception of it. This is different from certain optical illusions, which break down once one 'sees through' them. 
    Study into the McGurk effect is being used to produce more accurate speech recognition programs by making use of a video camera and lip reading software. It has also been examined in relation to witness testimony; Wareham & Wright's 2005 study showed that inconsistent visual information can change the perception of spoken utterances, suggesting that the McGurk effect may have many influences in everyday perception.
    The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon that demonstrates an interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception. The illusion occurs when the auditory component of one sound is paired with the visual component of another sound, leading to the perception of a third sound.[1] The visual information a person gets from seeing a person speak changes the way they hear the sound.[2] People who are used to watching subbed movies may be among people who are not susceptible to the McGurk effect because they have, to some extent, learned to ignore the information they are getting from the mouths of the "speakers".[3] If a person is getting poor quality auditory information but good quality visual information, they may be more likely to experience the McGurk effect.[4] Integration abilities for audio and visual information may also influence whether a person will experience the effect. People who are better at sensory integration have been shown to be more susceptible to the effect.[2] Many people are affected differently by the McGurk effect based on many factors, including brain damage and other disorders.

    Friday, August 5, 2016

    Consider the source of these words:

    In sharp contrast to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump has no experience on national security. Even more important, the character traits he has exhibited during the primary season suggest he would be a poor, even dangerous, commander in chief.
    These traits include his obvious need for self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law.

    The dangers that flow from Mr. Trump’s character are not just risks that would emerge if he became president. It is already damaging our national security.  From this NY Times OpEd “I Ran the CIA Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton.”
    Michael J. Morell was the acting director and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2010 to 2013.

    Read article on Daily Kos

    Thursday, August 4, 2016
    It’s just 60 seconds, so it’s worth a watch:

    We hear it again and again both from Trump surrogates and both Democratic and supposed neutral commentators. “Trump has to start acting presidential.”
    His diehard fans like him the way he is. They like the real Trump. Hell, some of them love him.   I use the word “fans” because the people like those we see and hear in his rallies are best described as fans rather than only as supporters.
    Politician or not, we all act. We adopt various personas depending on the social situation we’re in. Some people rarely if ever reveal their true selves. The most transparent people are seen as genuine and natural. They rarely have to act. 
    Hillary Clinton is learning to act more effectively in front of an audience. It’s not a stretch because her presentation isn’t far from her true self. When she’s excited or angry she tends to raise her voice, and this doesn’t go over well when speaking into a microphone. To some people she sounds strident. 
    Trump’s presentation is an act too. It’s a schtick not unlike a rant from D list comedian Gilbert Gottfried combined with hostility that makes Don Rickles look like your kindly uncle. He’s like a stand-up comedian who feeds off the crowd. 
    Every time I turn on the TV or radio I hear talk about whether or not Trump will be able to act more presidential. How gullible can anybody be to believe Trump wouldn’t still be the still unbalanced and unhinged man he is even if he morphed into Raymond Massey or Daniel Day-Lewis (portraying Abraham Lincoln), Ralph Bellamy or Kenneth Branagh (as FDR), or the many actors from Henry Fonda to Martin Sheen who played fictional presidents.
    Not the “yuge" news of the day, but….
    Article in Vanity Fair
    From Vanity Fair

    Wednesday, August 3, 2016
    The day the country realizes that Trump is not just unhinged, not just temperamentally unfit to be president, but that he has a severe personality disorder.  Read Daily Kos comments on this story here.
    In looking for an image of the mythical Narcissus I found a depiction of him by Caravaggio which actually happened to have orange hair. There are several ancient versions of the myth regarding the final outcome of the Narcissus’ life. In all of them he dies either by his own hand or due to sorrow over not being able to obtain the object of his desire, himself.

    Last night Lawrence O’Donnell showed the DSM-5 list of symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and read them one at a time to show that Trump deserved a check mark on each and every one. His panel, which included psychologist George K. Simon, agreed that Trump’s personality disorder made him unfit to serve as president.  

    From the June 16, 2016 cover of The Atlantic which had a photo of Trump.
    Since Trump began his run for president I think that the first major publication to print an article by a psychologist, Dan McAdams, diagnosing Trump as having a narcissistic personality disorder was The Atlantic, see right. This was not just an article, it was the cover story. I wrote about this here on April 29th.

    Think back, I thought this was the first time I wrote a diary about Trump’s mental condition. But then to be sure, I checked my diary list on Daily Kos and realized this was the first I wrote on the subject 10 days earlier. This diary was prompted by Trump’s statement about 9-11: “I was down there and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-11, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down.” To most it was seen as a mere slip of the tongue but as a therapist trained in psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy, I take such slips seriously.

    Consider all the indications that Trump is mentally imbalanced that have occurred since then, and then slog your way through what I wrote on April 19th, below:
    The more I observed the way Trump seemed to talk like he’s on amphetamines the more I became convinced that there’s something wrong with the way his brain functions. I’m not talking about all the traits he has of clinical narcissistic personality disorder. I am referring to cognitive functioning. That’s just what this country needs, a narcissist with a broken brain. 

    Does his obsession with illegal immigration come from having Mexican jumping beans in his brain? That’s how he talks. When faced with a microphone he has to fill empty moments with talking points.
    Under the least bit of pressure he demonstrates that his has what therapists like me call a looseness of associations or derailment, i.e. shifting from one topic to another in ways that are obliquely related or completely unrelated. This is often a symptom of serious mental disorders.
    Coming out of his voting place this morning, when reporters asked how it felt to be voting for himself, he couldn’t even answer that simple question with a reflective feeling-centered response. He said, apparently referring to himself, that “it’s a great honor for New York.” He had to throw in “my whole reason for doing this is to make America great again.” 
    That is something that gets therapists to wondering about both a person’s cognitive functioning and their ability to be introspective. If someone isn’t introspective I doubt they have much interest in understanding how other people feel.
    One of the prominent characteristics of a narcissist is lack of empathy:
    Simply put, narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. (Mayo Clinic)
    Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today. ( Psych Central )
    Of course a narcissist can be a hedonist. There is evidence that Trump fits the definition of a hedonist. A hedonist lives for pleasure. Trump’s life style is hedonistic. The ostentatious trappings of wealth combine with the enormous pleasure he takes in amassing money.
    Not to be too syrupy, but what, you may ask this therapist, is my definition of a healthy balance in life? I agree with just about every psychologist and philosopher that a life well-lived is based on love, faith (for some), expressing creativity, making a contribution and doing for others. On the later, nobody has ever suggested Trump is an altruist!
    Trump is  a New Yorker. He’s speaking in New York, and instead of 9/11, he just referred to that tragic iconic event, an event that changed our world as much as Pearl Harbor, and now is simply known by the date it occurred on as 9/11.
    “I was down there and I watched our police and our firemen, down on 7-11, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down,” Trump said. “And I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action.”
    Seven and 11 are the winning first throws in the dice game of craps. This is why novice players sometimes say “seven come 11” before they throw the dice. 

    One could say that because Trump made a fortune on gambling, and that these numbers are always near the forefront of his consciousness. 

    This isn’t merely a misspeak, it is a Freudian slip. This tells us far more about Trump and shouldn’t be written off. It has convinced me that he really does want to be president for one reason, and it’s not to make America great again as he says. 

    It’s so he can be the most powerful person in the world.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2016
    Who knew 30 years ago? Garry Trudeau did…

    I’ve never seen Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau interviewed before he was on Rachel Maddow for an extended interview last night. Hopefully we’ll see more of him now that his book featuring the Trump Doonesbury comic strips dating back to 1987 has been published. The timing couldn’t be perfect. If anybody thinks Trump can do a presidential pivot and change his personality “Yuge!” should be required reading. 

    Here we we the very same egomaniacal Donald Trump on the world stage today. I have to echo what more and more commenters are saying - Trump is not normal. He never was. He never will be.

    “Doonesbury is one of the most overrated strips out there. Mediocre at best.”
    --Donald Trump, 1989

    He tried to warn us. Ever since the release of the first Trump-for-President trial balloon in 1987, Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau has tirelessly tracked and highlighted the unsavory career of the most unqualified candidate to ever aspire to the White House. It’s all there--the hilarious narcissism, the schoolyard bullying, the loathsome misogyny, the breathtaking ignorance; and a good portion of the Doonesbury cast has been tangled up in it.  Join Duke, Honey, Earl, J.J., Mike, Mark, Roland, Boopsie, B.D., Sal, Alice, Elmont, Sid, Zonker, Sam, Bernie, Rev. Sloan, and even the Red Rascal as they cross storylines with the big, orange airhorn who’s giving the GOP such fits.

    Garry Trudeau is the “sleazeball” “third-rate talent” who draws the “overrated” comic strip Doonesbury, which “very few people read.” He lives in New York City with his wife Jane Pauley, who “has far more talent than he has.”

    Comment here

    Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau saw Donald Trump coming

    Garry Trudeau, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and author of the new book "Yuge!" talks with Rachel Maddow about his early recognition of Trump as a political contender, and interpreting the 2016 race.Duration: 9:29

    Best photoshops of the day:

    Monday, August 1, 2016
    Just so you know:

    Even the thesaurus doesn’t fully describe the character of the man who wants to be president.
    Lost in the news cycle because of Trump’s double and
    triple downing on his attacks against the Khans.
    Read "Trump's Ukraine statements reveal staggering
     ignorance, frightening duplicity, or both

    Morning TV: Trump surrogates dance away from directly addressing his insensitive remarks about Khan family.

    Trump has a different standard for how his
    male surrogates look than his female ones.
    Katrina Pierson known mostly for appearing
    on TV with her bullet necklace ..

    Amazing how his surrogates scramble to translate all of Trump’s outlandish, unhinged utterances. 

    Mark Cuban Rips Jag-Off Trump

    "Leadership, leadership is not yelling and screaming and intimidating, right?" Cuban said during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh on Saturday. And he didn't hold much back.
    "You know what we call a person like that, the screamers, the yellers, the people who try to intimidate you? You know what we call people like that in Pittsburgh? A jag-off. Is there any bigger jag-off in the world than Donald Trump?” (Cuban is a real multibillionaire who is star of reality show Shark Tank.)

    Sunday, July 31, 2016
    Quote without comment:
    "She's a very dishonest person. I have one of the great temperaments. I have a winning temperament. She has a bad temperament. She's weak. I have a temperament where I know how to win. She doesn't know how to win.”

    Speaking about the time he played golf with Michael “Let’s elect a sane and competent person”)  Bloomberg: "And I hit the ball a lot longer, a lot better.

    Take that Fox News Department: 

    Fox cut away from the DNC when Mr. Khan was speaking. Now Trump’s obscenely insensitive and bigoted reaction, and his lame damage repair, and the Khans remaining in the spotlight in subsequent interviews, forces Fox to reluctantly cover the story. Of course the other network shows have justifiably put this matter with the Khan family and Trump’s heartless reaction (as Jonathan Alter just put it) are focusing on what this says about Trump. Hillary, wisely, didn’t jump on Trump for this, but instead expressed puzzlement and left it up to others to draw their conclusions. 

    Like every Democrat who writes or speaks about Trump, whether online or to friends, we find it difficult to find words to describe his latest outrages. I think Ezra Klein put it well here:

    Trump listened to a speech by the bereaved father of a fallen Muslim soldier and used it to slander the fallen soldier’s family. That was his response. That is his character. 
    At this point, I honestly don’t know what to say. I don’t have new language for this, I haven’t found another way of saying this isn’t okay, this isn’t kind, this isn’t decent. Instead, I’ll note James Fallows’s response
    He quotes Joseph Welch, speaking to Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954. 
    "Until this moment," he said, "I think I never really gauged your cruelty.” link

    Saturday, July 30, 2016
    Stooping even lower department:
    Just when you wonder if Trump can stoop any lower, and get away with this, he disparages the parents of a Muslim soldier, who sacrificed his life to save others. 
    Trump Responds To Father Of Killed American Soldier, 
    Can’t Name A Single Sacrifice
    Speaking with ABC, the Republican nominee also took on Khan and his wife, Ghazala, suggesting she wasn’t allowed to speak at the convention. 
     “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump said. 
    Ghazala Khan was in tears as she spoke about her son during an interview on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” on Friday. She said she told her son, “’be safe, and don’t become hero for me, just be my son, come back as a son.’ He came back as a hero.” 
    Trump also suggested that Khan’s remarks were not his own but were written by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In fact, Khan told The Huffington Post Friday the DNC allowed him to say whatever he wanted.

    Trump said a basic F-You to the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, comrades in arms…. and a grateful nation… whose loved ones sacrificed their lives for our nation, and likewise, to those whose loved ones and they themselves are currently in harms way.
    He should have expressed his deepest sympathy, but then he’d have to have one ounce of conscience, compassion, and class (the three C’s he lacks) to do this. 
    You don’t have to be too cynical to think Trump wishes he had thought of having two white parents whose child had been a decorated soldier hero killed in combat by Muslim extremists. Instead he manages to find the parents of children who were killed by an illegal immigrants to speak at his convention — try not to gag at this:

    Father of son killed by illegal alien: 'Trump is sent from God'

    As part of the Republican National Convention's day one theme, "Keep America Safe Again," three parents who lost children at the hands of illegal aliens told delegates, media and American voters Monday night why they are supporting Donald Trump for president.
    Jamiel Shaw lost his son Jas in 2008 to a Mexican gang member who had been released from jail 24 hours earlier. Shaw said politicians rallied around him and his family for a couple weeks following the incident, but no one stuck around to help him fight for immigration reforms that would improve Americans' security until Donald Trump launched his campaign last June.
    "Only Trump called me on the phone one day to see how I was doing. Only Trump will stand against terrorists and illegal immigration," Shaw told attendees. "Trump is sent from God.
    "I've been talking about illegal immigration since 2012, and no one listened until Donald Trump," said Sabine Durden, who lost her son Dominic to a criminal illegal immigrant who had been driving drunk. "Donald Trump is not only my hero, he's my life saver. Hillary Clinton, or as we know her, Crooked Hillary, always talks about what she will do for illegal aliens and what she will do for refugees. Well, Donald Trump talks about what he will do for America."
    Mary Ann Mendoza agreed with Shaw's comments, telling viewers she did not want Hillary Clinton to win the election because it would endanger the lives of children.
    Mendoza lost her police officer son, Brandon, when a drunk illegal alien crashed head-on into him two years ago. The assailant was only given 35 days jail time for killing her son under the influence, a punishment she said was not sufficient for the crime he committed.
    "It's time that we have an administration that cares more about Americans than about illegals," Mendoza said. "A vote for Hillary is putting all of our children's lives at risk. It's time for Donald Trump.”

    Quote of the day:
    Joseph Schmitz, a foreign policy adviser to Trump, denied there was any direct relationship between the campaign and the Kremlin. “We had to negotiate with Joseph Stalin when we had a common enemy called Hitler,” he said. “Bill Clinton went on vacation in Russia when he was a Rhodes scholar. That’s a fact. If anyone is in bed with Russia, it’s the Clintons.” “Donald Trump and Russia: a web that grows..” The Guardian

    Ezra Klein says what I’ve been hoping to hear more of from the media:
    But in this year’s presidential election, the difference is more fundamental than that: The Democratic Party is a normal political party that has nominated a normal presidential candidate, and the Republican Party has become an abnormal political party that has nominated an abnormal presidential candidate. Read more
     And while most Republicans fear Democrats keeping the White House enough to unhappily support Trump, it’s worth listening to what they’ve said about him.
    Ted Cruz called Trump a "pathological liar," "utterly amoral," and "a narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen."
    Rick Perry said Trump’s candidacy was "a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded."
    National Review, the flagship journal of American conservatism, said Trump "is a menace to American conservatism."
    Rand Paul said Trump is "a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag. A speck of dirt is way more qualified to be president."
    A list like this could go on, and on, and on. But here’s the point: These aren’t normal political condemnations. This isn’t normal political language. Republicans know they’ve nominated a dangerous man. They tried to warn their voters in the strongest terms possible that Trump is unqualified, untrustworthy, and amoral.
    Michael Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York City, put it simply in a speech endorsing Clinton. "Together, let's elect a sane, competent person," he said. That is what an endorsement sounds like when the choice shifts from left versus right to normal versus abnormal.

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    Breaking news - why are the Democrats hacker targets?
    Second Democratic organization hacked! First the DNC and now the DCCC. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) on Friday confirmed reports that it had been hacked, saying the breach is similar to the one that hit the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
    Donald Trump say he has no plans to release his tax return….
    Hillary and Tim should continue to take a page from the Trump book of innuendo and strongly suggest that he must have something to hide since it is so easy to instruct your accountant to release his taxes. I can think of a few sarcastic lines about this, unless they are hand-written and need to be scanned into PDF format.

    In fact, I think that most people figure he does have something to hide. Is it something he didn’t do, like give to charity, or doesn’t have, like several billion dollars, or something that he DID DO, like try to deduct an expensive gift to Putin as a business expense?
    "Most people don't care about it. I’ve had very, very little pressure.”
    Will there be a post-convention bounce? Stay tuned.

    Some Trump surrogate, one of those rotund men he has on Morning Joe periodically, criticized Hillary by saying “I doubt she drives her own car…." (uhh-oh he must have thought as he quickly added “I guess Donald Trump is driven around.” Really?

    Thursday, Day Four, July 28, 2016
    Star Power on Day Four:
    Singing You’ve Got a Friend written by her old friend James Taylor.

    Generally considered the best take-downs of Trump on day three:
    Also in the news from N. Korea,
    “U.S. has crossed the red line,
    relations now on a war footing."

    “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when we see one!" 
    “Let’s elect a sane, competent person,” he said.
    The normally soft-spoken owner of Bloomberg financial-news service excoriated his fellow New Yorker, labeling him a “dangerous demagogue,” a hypocrite, a con, and—slashing at the core of Trump’s self-worth—a horrible businessman.
    “Throughout his career,” Bloomberg said in his prime-time address. “Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits and angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us!” 
    “Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy!”
    Bloomberg said America is greater than Trump suggests and needs a better president than Trump could be. “I understand the appeal of a businessman president. But Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making,” he said. 
    “The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless, and radical choice. And we can't afford to make that choice!” 
    Michael Bloomberg

    Millions of people are seeing the National Enquirer front page (scroll down); but this is what millions of New Yorkers are seeing today on newsstands:
    It gets worse, and beyond belief… Trump seemed to back Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea:
    Donald Trump’s call on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails Wednesday resulted in widespread criticism. But his comments on Crimea, coupled with ones he made last week on NATO, are likely to have greater significance if he is elected president in November.
    The question came from Mareike Aden, a German reporter, who asked him whether a President Trump would recognize Crimea as Russian and lift sanctions on Moscow imposed after its 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian territory. The candidate’s reply: “Yes. We would be looking at that.”
    That response is likely to spread much cheer through Russia—already buoyant about the prospect of a Trump victory in November. But it could spread at least an equal amount of dread in the former Soviet republics. In a matter of two weeks, the man who could become the next American president has not only questioned the utility of NATO, thereby repudiating the post-World War II security consensus, he also has seemingly removed whatever fig leaf of protection from Russia the U.S. offered the post-Soviet republics and Moscow’s former allies in the Eastern bloc. The Atlantic

    Wednesday, Day Three, July 27, 2016

    ON the checkout aisle at Freddie’s: National Enquirer “reveals” Trumps secret plan to defeat Hillary. He will reveal:
    1)  her “lesbian shenanigans 
    2) that she spent time in a mental hospital after Bill had sex with a woman at their engagement party
    3) that Bill has a son from his affair with childhood sweetheart Dolly Kyle Browning named Anthony Peterson
    4) more about Monica
    5) that the Clintons have a $100 divorce pact that assures they will stay married during the campaign
    6) that there are audio recordings of staffers warning Gennifer Flowers to lie
    7) that there’s a secret recording and transcript of Bill’s meeting with Loretta Lynch that has him cutting a deal to assure Hillary doesn’t go to prison in return for Lynch remaining on at Attorney General

    Full Frontal's Samantha Bee recaps the cringe-inducing lows of the 2016 Election thus far in a scathing stroll down memory lane.

    Tuesday, Day Two, July 26, 2016
    Some stations cut away from this so you may have missed it:
    Featured in the video: Aisha Tyler, Alan Cumming, America Ferrera, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Chrissie Fit, Connie Britton, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Greene, Esther Dean, Eva Longoria, Garrett Clayton, Hana Mae Lee, Ian Somerholder, Idina Menzel, Jaime King, Jane Fonda, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Michael Higgens, Josh Lucas, Julie Bowen, Kathy Najimy, Kelly Jackle, Kristin Chenoweth, Mandy Moore, Mary McCormack, Mary-Louise Parker, Mike Thompkins, Nikki Read, Rachel Platten, Renee Fleming, Rob Reiner, Shelley Regner, Sia, TR Knight..

    On the Bernie or busters:
    Bernie or bust really means Bernie or Trump. When participants in the Okalhoma Land Rush in 1889 said "Oklahoma or bust" they knew that "or bust" might mean getting killed by the indians whose land they were stealing with government sanction. Now the "or bust" means giving the election to a proto-fascist.
    UPDATE: Bernie just told his supporters that it is now “Hillary or bust.” Now somebody has to convince these holdouts that there are two meanings of “or bust.” There's the personal, the “I plan to pack my bags and go home” or bust. And most significantly, there’s the giving the election to Donald Trump “or bust."

     I doubt this hopefully small minority saying they may vote for Trump will ever be convinced to vote for Hillary. It is interesting from a psychological perspective to listen to them. These people aren’t reacting emotionally to Bernie’s losing. They have what they believe to be rational reasons for considering voting for Trump. 
    New Yorker article Excerpt (emphasis mine):
    From “White Plight” in The New Yorker
    For many, the 2008 election of Barack Obama seemed as if it might be an “ending” of sorts. But of what? On a purely demographic level, Obama’s rise embodied an inevitable future: by 2055, the majority of Americans would be nonwhite. He had merely arrived ahead of schedule. Still, one election wouldn’t erase the structures and ideologies that had kept the country’s wealth in white hands. Maybe what was ending was a bit more abstract. There was, in Obama’s manner of carrying himself, something that upended traditional status relations. An early sign of this came while Obama was on the campaign trail. At a meeting with wealthy Democratic donors, he described the plight of the white working class in Midwestern small towns, where “the jobs have been gone now for twenty-five years and nothing’s replaced them,” and remarked, “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” This certainly wasn’t the first time an authority figure had spoken patronizingly of the white working class. But now the authority figure was black, and had spoken with the confidence that the future belonged to people like him. Obama, in essence, had given poor and working-class white people the language to think of themselves as outsiders. After all, they weren’t the kind of people who would have been in the room with him that day. Within the more responsive spheres of media and entertainment, of course, Obama’s rise has helped us imagine how America will see itself once “white” and mainstream are no longer synonymous. One might point to cultural touchstones like Beyonc√©, “Hamilton,” and “Scandal” as a preview of what this future will look like. In these somewhat rarefied realms, whiteness is, in ways big and small, constantly being treated as a problem, from this year’s #OscarsSoWhite outrage to calls to strip university buildings of the names of their more vexing white forefathers. Whiteness, among those with a title to it, is invoked only in a dance of disavowal. Away from these predominantly liberal arenas, however, white identity has found a more potent form of salience. For poor and working-class whites, skin color no longer feels like an implicit guarantor of privilege. There is a sense that others, thanks to affirmative action or lax immigration policies, have nudged ahead of them on the ladder of social ascent. Their whiteness is, in fact, the very reason they suspect that they are under siege. Marginalized by a black President, as they imagine, and alienated by urbane √©lites of every hue, they have begun to understand themselves in terms of identity politics. It almost doesn’t matter whether their suspicions are true in a strictly material sense. The accident of white skin still brings with it economic and social advantages, but resentment is a powerful engine, particularly when the view from below feels unprecedented. 

    Monday, DNC Convention week, July 25, 2016: Are angry Sanders supporters telling pollsters they will vote for Trump, and will they really vote for Hillary? Let’s hope so.
    Latest poll
    First take: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz speaks to group in Florida and is booed by Bernie supporters. Is this a sign of what will happen at the convention? Talk is that DWS should not be on the stage at the convention tonight. There are still a number of Bernie supporters who are so angry that they are willing to disrupt the convention with their message of “Bernie or Bust.” Let’s not forget the that the “or Bust” part of this means electing Donald Trump.

    Sunday, July 24, 2016 First watch:
    ….a window into a reality that has a lot of liberals and Democrats just as nervous: thousands of people who gathered in Cleveland this past week — and many more around the country — actually believe the scary rhetoric that spewed from the stage of Quicken Loans Arena. Wherever the ideas originated, they are not just talking points to the millions of Americans who made Donald Trump the leader of the Republican Party. They are “facts.”  “Boy, that’s a scary thought,” said Mike Huey, a bluff, friendly 56-year-old from Illinois who was nevertheless willing to sport a button that read “Life’s a bitch. Don’t vote for one.”He was among many Trump supporters asked by The Huffington Post in Cleveland how they would feel if Clinton wins, and the country becomes Hillary’s America. Many of them expressed fear, and not just your garden variety fear of political disappointment, but more your arm-yourself-to-the-teeth kind of fear. “Well, I would run to the store as fast as I could and get as much ammo as I could and buckle down,” said Pamela Nicolay, a central Californian who last voted for a president when it was Ronald Reagan. HuffPo
    First read reaction: On reading these words in a Huffington Post article
    In his first public comments on Roger Ailes’ departure from Fox News following an investigation into alleged sexual harassment, Donald Trump declined to say whether or not the media mogul is helping his campaign.
    “Well, I don’t want to comment,” the Republican nominee told Chuck Todd in an interview airing on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday. “But he’s been a friend of mine for a long time.”
    Trump goes on to say that Ailes has helped the women who are now “complaining.”
    “And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him,” he said. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person.”
    it hit me that for Trump, and apparently his supporters

    No comments: