July 19, 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.

Tuesday, Day Two, July 26, 2016
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 Beyoncé, “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 élites 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

Saturday, July 23, 2016 Catching up on the must reads:


“The Art of the Deal” made America see Trump as a charmer with an unfailing knack for business. Tony Schwartz helped create that myth—and regrets it.

If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”
To sum it up: If Trump is elected President, (Schwartz) warned, “the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows—that he couldn’t care less about them.”  Read all here in The New Yorker. Quote of the day:  “The fact is that if a pornographer is calling him out on dumbing things down, I think people that support him probably need to take a second look.” Lee Roy Myers, the David O. Selznick of porn parodies. from “Inside the Donald Trump Porn Parody” in Daily Beast.
Donald Tramp opens like an episode of The West Wing, with a series of scenic shots of Washington D.C. Then, we’re led inside a home where The Donald, played by veteran porn actor Dick Chibbles—and sporting an out-there ginger wig—is being grilled by a stunning “moderator” (Trinity St. Clair) about his stance on the issues.
Who could have predicted department:

How Donald Trump’s RNC Inspired a Muslim, Gay, and Trump Porn Craze NSFW Photo

America First revisited
When the Times reporters pressed him to explain why he embraced the term “America First,” despite its link to a controversial group that opposed U.S. entry into World War II, Trump responded, “To me, ‘America First’ is a brand-new, modern term… I never related it to the past.” 
Donald Trump doesn’t know this history—just as he may not know that there’s a current U.S. Senate candidate using “America First” as his slogan, and his name is David Duke. But he does have a knack for repeating errors similar to those that doomed the AFC. His “plan,” he told the GOP convention in his acceptance speech on Thursday night, “will put America first. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.” Yet, as Americans discovered 75 years ago, the world has a way of entangling us in its problems—be they climate change, terrorism, or refugees from war. A candidate who traffics in angry, mendacious stereotypes about people who are fleeing violence and poverty cannot help us build a saner, more tolerant, or safer society. Read Daily Beast article here
Read about Hill’s VP selection on one website, Politico:

This is unprecedented — the Washington Post’s editorial prefaced by this:
Interestingly, they still haven’t endorsed Hillary Clinton/
….The Christmas….
"It’s Demagoguery 101: When you don’t have actual answers, exaggerate the problems with fear & hatred in order to blind people with emotion." Gary Kasparov
Still, a Trump victory is far from unthinkable. After The New York Times polling model predicted that Hillary Clinton has a 76 percent chance of winning, writer Josh Katz noted that it meant Trump could still win ― and that his chances were about the equivalent of a pro basketball player missing a free throw.
Sometimes that happens.Be afraid. Be very afraid.Huffington Post
He’s learning how to play the game. Trump is nothing if not a fast learner. If the preceding three days were amateur hour, Trump’s speech had the whiff of a proto-professionalism — and that could be bad news for Clinton. It was too long, too dark and too narrow, but it was a reasonably well-delivered speech, and to his target audience — fed-up, working-class, swing-state independents — it could pass as presidential. Plus it was insult-free — with nary a reference to “Crooked Hillary.” The question going forward: Can Trump sustain the under-control dignity of Thursday — without losing the edge that made him so appealing in the first place? from Politico
Jon Stewart talking about Ivanka’s introduction of her father…"and then this angry groundhog came out and he just vomited on everyone for an hour.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2016 Here’s the transcript of Trump’s acceptance speech…  I plan to continue binge watching “Person of Interest” Here are the highlights courtesy of Politico — so find something to binge watch, have a drink (or a toke) and relax with a Trump free evening.
7 boldest lines from Trump's prime-time speech 

The Republican nominee will scorch Clinton while presenting a gentler tone to America's downtrodden.
Donald Trump will present Hillary Clinton as a dangerous Pinocchio and himself as the compassionate voice and protector of America when he accepts the Republican Party’s nomination for president in a prime-time address Thursday evening.
Here are seven highlights of what the real estate mogul plans to say when he takes the stage at the Republican National Convention, according to a copy of the full text of his prepared remarks viewed by POLITICO:
1. Clinton is a puppet controlled by donors
“Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place. They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does. She is their puppet, and they pull the strings.”
2. Trump is the voice of America
“I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country,” Trump will say. “People who work hard but no longer have a voice.
3. Obama has divided this country, creating a more dangerous environment for all Americans
“In this race for the White House, I am the Law And Order candidate. The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone.
“This Administration has failed America’s inner cities. It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime. It’s failed them at every level.
“When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally.”
4. No more bad trade deals
“I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence. Instead, I will make individual deals with individual countries. No longer will we enter into these massive deals, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long – and which no one from our country even reads or understands.”
5. Trump is the repair man to mend the nation’s wounds
“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
6. Trump is the LGBT candidate
“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”
7. And the candidate of compassion
“We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone. But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief. Yet Hillary Clinton is proposing mass amnesty.”
Cruz steals news cycle and makes this the photo of the day. Hugh Hewitt on Morning Joe speaking about Cruz, who told the Texas delegation about how he felt when Trump attacked his wife and father, opined “revenge is a dish best served bold.” Message to Trump: words matter.  Of all people, Ted Cruz is basically telling us that no amount of pretending to be presidential will change the fact that Trump is a mean minded man not worthy of being president. I wish mainstream talking heads would stop pretending that his candidacy is anything but a disastrous and dangerous political anomaly that happened largely because he managed to cull out any rational non-bigoted voters during the overloaded primary process.
Meanwhile, I am seething over the general coverage of the convention on MSNBC as they try to make it seem normal that a crowd of worshipful Trump delegates are cheering on a modern day Hitler.

Wednesday, July 19, 2016 Evening update: I’m resisting turning on the TV  to see what Mike Pence has to say. However, I did find an interesting and perhaps not as scary as it might be article on Huffington Post. 

Donald Trump Planning To Just Let Mike Pence Run The Country, Apparently

Trump plans to saddle his veep with most of the duties of being president. Because why not?

One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history? When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.
What will Trump do while Pence is handling domestic and foreign affairs? He’ll be making the country great again. It occurred to me that Trump might as well let Pence live in the White House. After all, it’s hardly Mar-a-Lago. Instead, I think he be better suited living in a converted Library of Congress, the books could just be disposed of because, well, you know.... The building is already much more Trumpian than the White House. I took these photos six years ago.
Rethinking Hillary’s Veep: Go With The Admiral?
Read the comments here
I wrote in several Daily Kos diaries that if Hillary was confident she had the election locked up, she should pick Elizabeth Warren to run with her. About half the 200 or so Kos readers who I polled agreed that she’d be the best choice. 
However, whether it is my panic or a rational analysis that Trump is tightening up the race, I am now thinking she should consider the VP choice as being the person most likely to gain her votes she wouldn’t already get.
I am assuming that the most ardent Bernie supporters, even those with considerable animus towards Hillary, will vote her her. Warren might help with a few of them, but I am just not sure how many on-the-fence progressive voters she’d actually swing towards Hillary.
I’m assuming Hispanics will support her whether or not she has a Hispanic running mate. In any case, Housing Secretary Julian Castro and Rep. Xavier Beccera seem to be off the top of the list.
​Senator Sherrod Brown would loose his seat and a Republican would replace him, so that seems to rule him out.

While Kaine and Vilsack, who seem to be on the top of the speculation list at present, are good choices they don’t seem to add much to the ticket. They are hardly household names. 

That brings me to Admiral James G. Starvidis. To say he’s not a household name would be the understatement of the year. But that should hardly matter because of the appeal he would have to so-called suburban soccer moms currently wavering in who to vote for.
Trump is stirring up a panic in many of them, and will continue to exploit their fears that only he can protect them from threats, be they homegrown or overseas. 
ADM James G. Stavridis adds something to the ticket that Trump doesn’t have. The medals on the admiral’s chest actually mean something.

Rather than quote Wikipedia, you can read about him here.
 It wasn’t hard to find the photo The Daily News used, but it would be interesting to know who thought of it or whether someone just Googled train wrecks crashing through buildings (how I found it).
Granville–Paris Express overran the buffer stop, crashed through the station wall before falling onto the Place de Rennes below, where it stood on its nose.
The Daily News is good, but I prefer more obvious phallic imagery.
Prospect of a small handed reprobate as president.
From Huffington Post: "Did the 2016 election season just find its Tina Fey?
Actress/singer Laura Benanti nailed the part of Melania Trump on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday night, offering a comically inept defense against accusations of plagiarism. "

Trump kids really, REALLY, excited 
Code Pink, not so excited ---

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Evening Update
She’s beautiful, she’s intelligent, she’s submissive to her husband,” Carold Thomas of East Baton Rouge warbled. “She has a very anointed message for women.”
Anointed??? “It’s worse than plagiarism.” David Frum, neo-conservative and former speechwriter for George W. Bush.
The spin from Trump surrogates on this so far has been DENIAL… Coming from the Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort in his press conference this morning…  Blaming it on “the Clinton camp” say further that “when HC is threatened by a female the first thing she does is to try to destroy that person.”
This is how it will be handled from now on, unless Melania herself decides to say she made a mistake she is sorry for. Otherwise, there will be no apology, let alone an acknowledgement that plagiarism even occurred. 
I rather doubt she will since she allowed her handlers to say that she graduated from a university when in fact she dropped out after her first year. A.J. Delgado, a Trump surrogate and Harvard graduate was asked by Joes Diaz-Ballart about what would have happened to her if she submitted a paper with passages plagiarized, and she didn’t answer, instead denying that anything was plagiarized in Melania’s speech. This will be the continued use of the time-dishonored, but proven effective, propaganda method of saying something often and long enough so people start to disbelieve the evidence right in front of them. Already on Wikipedia: In April 2010, Baio posted a controversial political statement on his Twitter account. His posting, "Taxes are DONE...That should feed, house & provide medical for a few lazy non working people at my expense. Have a great Monday!" was picked up by the blog Jezebel, and the heated web-based discussion between Baio, his wife, the Jezebel.com authors, Jezebel readers and Baio fans received outside coverage.[19][20][21]
In 2012, Baio endorsed Mitt Romney for president.[22] In an interview with Ashley Webster, Baio opined regarding President Barack Obama that he couldn't tell "whether he's dumb, he's a Muslim or he's a Muslim sympathizer, and I don't think he's dumb."[23]
Scott Baio spoke at the first night of the 2016 Republican National Convention following fellow celebrity speaker Willie Robertson, star of the show Duck Dynasty.[24] In this context, The New Yorker Magazine called him "a recently unearthed (and strangely angry) eighties sitcom star."[25]

9:20 PM Pacific Time: Breaking news tonight - headlines tomorrow: Melania’s speech plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech: In two passages, 29 identical words and six similar words, and in second passage 22 out of 26 words were identical. Chris Mathews says that whoever wrote the speech did this on purpose, that it was so obvious that it probably was an act of sabotage.
One is sublime, the other ridiculous reprehensible… 
...Trump questioned the legitimacy of Obama’s grief and concern. “I watched the president, and sometimes thwords are okay. But you just look at the body language and there’s something going on. Look, there’s something going on,” Trump told “Fox and Friends” on Monday.“There’s just bad feeling,” he said. More
“I think most progressives would love to see Elizabeth Warren,” said Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), who is running in his state’s Democratic Senate primary. “There’s an obvious warmth that people feel toward Elizabeth Warren that isn’t duplicated by any other Democratic figure. People feel that they can believe in her, which is very important in motivating our folks to vote.” More
Comments here
...Trump questioned the legitimacy of Obama’s grief and concern. “I watched the president, and sometimes thwords are okay. But you just look at the body language and there’s something going on. Look, there’s something going on,” Trump told “Fox and Friends” on Monday.“There’s just bad feeling,” he said. More

www.dailykos.com/… From today’s Tom Tomorrow cartoonThere is no filter from brain to mouth with Trump - which in one way is a good thing because despite all the pressure to appear presidential which we can assume is coming from the sane people close to him, he either can't or won't heed their advice. I lean towards “can’t.”We know there’s pressure to rein in the inflammatory positions which he will occasionally heed, witness his shift regarding no longer banning all Muslims from coming to the United States. But off the cuff he still can’t control himself. (See latest news on Muslim ban.)

I want Trump to keep revealing that he’s not only hateful and hate-fueled, but that he’s unbalanced.  If he does this, that’s the good news. 
The unhinged true self of Trump being repeatedly revealed will hopefully convince sensible Republicans not to vote for him. Unfortunately, the media is complicit in buying into the probability that Trump can morph into a new being, and actually become “presidential” or as I would put it, a person without ingrained mental pathology.
The bad news  obviously is that he could become president - a hatefilled and hate-fueled narcissist is bad enough, but a president who can't self-regulate and is also showing more and more that he is (at the least) showing traits of paranoid personality disorder .... look at it this way.... combine the former Nazi Dr. Strangelove and the manic paranoid General Jack D. Ripper and we have President Trump. 
Many people will but the cynical attempt to use the recent news to scare people into voting for Trump. What evil genius came up with the new slogan “Make America Safe Again?” It fits right in with “Make America Great Again” and “Law and Order President” was already used by Nixon.
In the space of a few days two things happened on the presidential campaign trail that repeat the script of a presidential election nearly a half century back. Trump boasted in a speech that he was the “law and order candidate.” Close on the heels of this, new polls showed that in the three states that will again likely decide the election, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, Trump surged in the polls to either edge or pull to a statistical dead heat with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.www.politico.com/...
Trump’s “law and order” boast and his poll resurgence are no accident. In the election a half century ago, GOP presidential candidate Richard Nixon virtually made the slogan law and order and crime in the streets his signature themes. He was brutal and direct in one speech when he flatly said that the “solution to the crime problem is not the quadrupling of funds for any governmental war on poverty but more convictions.” publiceye.org/…
 The terrifying part is that it worked then and will work with lots of people now. And even more disturbing is that while Nixon had many faults, he wasn’t batshit crazy.

So, as a refresher…. Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent. This usually begins in early adulthood and presents in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
  • Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
  • Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
  • Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
  • Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
  • Persistently bears grudges (i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights)
  • Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others, and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack
  • Has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner. Psych Central
If enough the majority of American voters want a president who believes in what they believe in, and don’t care that he is a hedonistic narcissist, and are too blind and stupid to see that he is mentally unbalanced, then we will elect a president who is also a batshit crazy paranoid. 
Related: Ethics, Shrinks, and Trump: Should they speak out?

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