My photo blog is here. +++ Links to all the several dozen articles I cross-posted to Daily Kos with comments are here.
Saturday, August, 26, 2016
Psychoanalyst Howard Kovitz,* author of the Nazi/Schmazi blog is among the mental health professionals not hesitant to apply his half century of experience with treating the disordered mind to the Republican candidate :
Maybe that's the thing with Bullies. They're just too Freudian. Long time ago, I treated folk from the Italian neighborhoods of Philadelphia ... the ones memorialized in the doggerel of TA Daley. A number of women reported a comment that their Moms had made to them while growing up. Apparently, these Mothers would tell their daughters:
"Stiff Pricks have No Conscience!"
It didn't sound like my mother but, then again, I grew up a Boy with beginnings in Brooklyn ... Yeah, yeah ... I'm another Old Jewish Man who started in Brooklyn. But back to my riff for the day. Maybe that's the largest part (admitted in spite of my revisionist Freudian writings) of the Bully, after-all. The sexual reflex-arc in both sexes is set off and then has its way with us. It may start in the prefrontal-cortical new-brain but once it gets goin' it's all old-brain ... no conscience. Decision making and even planned sequencing is lost in those darker recesses in the backs of our heads where the central category ... the only salient dichotomy ... is Limp or Shtiff with, again, no sense of Conscience. Perhaps, the simplest definition of health comes out of a three part process:
So, yeah. Maybe Bullying is Old Brain stuff where as the caring Italian Mothers advised ...
Achtung! Gefahr ... Beware of those whose conscience is absent or temporarily short-circuited.
* From his blog: "Dr. Covitz is a late middle-aged pundit and psychoanalyst, new to but interested in a style of rhetoric that he's learned from one of the Presidential nominees. His more serious interests remain in finding simpler, more elegant or elemental approaches in forming theories that describe human relationships and their difficulties. He was long-time Director of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies (Bryn Mawr, PA) and author of Oedipal Paradigms in Collision (1998/201) and many papers."
My take on phallic symbolism when it appeared that Trump was about to flame out:
Friday, August 25, 2016
Paul Rudnick leak’s page from Melania Trump’s diary, greatest discovery since Dead Sea Scrolls.
What is to become of me? If Donald wins, I will be forced to stand by his side for hours, playing that game where I count the exit signs and imagine that my real life is waiting behind one of them. Or I think about writing a series of children’s books—“The Beautiful Princess and the Ogre with No Friends,” “The Beautiful Princess and the Orange Baboon Who Doesn’t Pay Taxes,” and “The Beautiful Princess Who Misses Her Old Boyfriend Vanko, from Slovenia.”
Donald says that when I become First Lady I will need to have a cause. So far, I’ve come up with the following:
1. Helping women learn to flash their eyes alluringly.
2. Getting poor women tickets to fashion shows, so that they will feel less poor for a few minutes.
3. Avoiding Chris Christie’s sweaty desperation; he knows I can’t help him, because no one can.
Donald says that I will also need to fight radical Islam, but I tell him, “Donald, you already made me shake hands with Scott Baio, so I think I’ve done more than enough.” price can be established
I first heard this from Katy Tur who covers the Trump roadshow for MSNBC and NBC News. She said this what Trump uses to make his policies.
|It would be amusing if it weren’t true. Facts below are from the piece Katy Tur wrote in Marie Claire.|
Katy wasn’t even a political reporter before she started covering Trump. In fact, early in her career, when she was Keith Olbermann’s girlfriend, she was a storm chaser for the Weather Channel. Yet she landed a 29 minute one-on-one interview with him that aired three times on MSNBC.
Her role is mostly to report rather than opine, although her most recent observation — possibly original with her — was not just a snark, but an astute assessment of how Trump pays close attention to the reaction of his rally crowds than to polls.
It makes sense that Trump would trust the evidence in front of him rather than polls which show him losing in great numbers every week. He probably believes that the polls are rigged, and his audiences aren’t. Katy’s use of the applause-o-meter description is shorthand for how she described how he uses his crowds:
Trump is a room-reader. He'll slow down a line, rephrase a point, work in a pause, and ride the energy of his audience wherever it takes him. For 45, 60, even 90 minutes, he'll run through classic riffs, like bomb the hell out of ISIS, build a wall, make America great again. But he'll also experiment, as when he launched an ethnically tinged attack on a Mexican- American judge deciding the civil fraud case against Trump University.
We all are well aware, as scientifically attuned thinkers that polls are designed to sample a diverse segment representative of the entire population. It is as obvious as the dye job on Trump’s comb-over that his “sample” is a self selected like minded cohort.
Katy’s bonafides include being called “little Katy” and a lying third rate reporter by Donald Trump. Not only that, more recently he was actually shushed by him, or in Katy’s own words:
"Mr. Trump, do you have any qualms about asking a foreign government—Russia, China, anybody—to interfere, to hack into the system of anybody's in this country?”
He didn't answer.
So I tried again.
And then it happened: the shushing.
"If they have them, they have them" he was saying. "You know what gives me more pause? That a person in our government, crooked Hillary Clinton—be quiet, I know you want to, you know, save her."
My phone jumped with Twitter notifications.
"Did he just tell @katyturnbc to 'be quiet'?"
"Trump tells @katyturnbc to 'be quiet'."
"A day after a 105 year old woman casts nominating vote for HRC, Trump tells a female reporter to 'be quiet.'"
These quotes and facts are from the piece Katy wrote for Marie Claire:
Thursday, August 24, 2016
Be afraid, be very afraid: Video plays after download and 30 second commercial:
These Are The People Trump Is Recruiting To Stop Hillary From ‘Rigging’ The Election: There are concerns not every volunteer will realize “there are limitations on what they are and aren’t allowed to do.” Huffington Post
|Rachel Maddow had Kellyanne Conway on for three segments on Aug. 24th|
On Rachel Maddow last night Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s new campaign manager, did her best to make her case that Trump is the superior candidate. She seemed to genuinely hit it off with Rachel Maddow and unlike all the other Trump surrogates she seemed to know this was all a joke. It reminded me of David Letterman interviewing someone like Tiny Tim or PeeWee Hermann while they were in character. I got the sense Rachel and Kellyanne both knew this was all theater on the later’s part.
As a Trump surrogate she exceeded my expectations. Kellyanne rarely launched into extended attacks against Hillary and got back on track readily when Rachel asked her to. I didn’t cringe once.
Most of the commenters on MSNBC and elsewhere are saying Kellyanne is responsible for Trump’s attempted reboot of his persona and campaign to soften his rhetoric and policies. Hard right commentators like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Howie Carr have already strongly (hysterically) discouraged Trump from softening his positions on immigration. Kellyanne’s touch has already been seen in Trump’s teleprompter speeches, until he lapses into ad-libbing.
Since she came on last week she has been omnipresent on the interview shows, replacing many of the usual cringe inducing surrogates like Kristina Pierson and Sam Clovis.
One of the best parts of the interview was when Rachel asked about Trump’s “apology” to people who he may have caused pain by his remarks. Rachel asked Kellyanne if he had actually apologized to Judge Curiel and to the Kahns. It seemed to me that Kellyanne wished she could answer in the affirmative, but was honest in saying she didn’t know. I caught a fleeting hint of chagrin, a micro- expression really, but she was quick to return to a pretty good impression of a smile.
She also didn’t make excuses for Trump not releasing his taxes beyond just saying he was taking the advice of his accountants and lawyers. She didn’t look like she believed it was a good idea; but declined to give an opinion when Rachel asked if she thought it was.
Rachel brought up, and put onscreen, the ridiculous medical letter Trump’s gastroenterologist wrote saying Trump would be the healthiest president in history. Kellyanne made no excuses and seemed to agree the letter was lacking in detail, to put it mildly. Rachel asked if Trump would be willing to submit a more detailed report of his physical condition. Kellyanne said she would convey this request to Trump.
All in all, I thought Rachel was masterful in asking the important questions without making Trump supporting viewers who tuned in just to see Kellyanne not feel that she was being unfair and asking “gotcha” questions. While Hillary supporters often want interviewers to nail evasive, equivocating, and lying surrogates unmercifully, and I admit to wishing someone would dope slap these mealy- mouthed excuses for “normal” people. I think as satisfying as this would be for us, it would be counterproductive.
Rachel finished up by asking that Kellyanne to convey her invitation to Donald Trump to appear on her show. As she always does when she finally gets a Republican to his or her first interview she cheerfully says (I paraphrase) "now that wasn’t so bad was it?" I may be misremembering but I think she actually said something like “that was fun” to Kellyanne. In fact, unless Kellyanne is a great actor, I think she really enjoyed the interview.
I got the impression that the two of them could indulge in the cocktails we know Rachel likes and after a few drinks Kellyanne would admit, in confidence, that working with Trump to civilize him and make his rhetoric palatable to the Republican voters who are leery of voting for him is like trying housebreak a chimpanzee who gets off on throwing his feces.
When Kellyanne replace Paul Manafort I wrote a diary speculating on reasons Manafort was fired. I included a poll asking how long do you think Kellyanne Conway will last. I think she’s done a great job considering she’s trying to tame an orangatan. The question now comes down to whether she’ll stick it out or give up, or whether Trump will fire her.
The poll a week ago:
The poll a week ago:
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2016
Read: Amazing NEGATIVE response to my latest diary on Daily Kos.
Original image and title:
Hillary would be losing to Jeb by 10 points, half because of Bill
New image and title:
|since the race would probably be much tighter than|
it is now with the “abnormal” candidate oddly
and appropriately called “the Donald."
Quote of the day: “It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck,” he told The New York Times, when asked if he thought Trump is a fascist. “Where’s the Constitution in all this?” Gary Johnson, Libertarian presidential candidate.
Trump’s fantasy: send the bad people back to Mexico. Is it possible?
Also posted, with comments, on Daily Kos.
Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2016
Here’s a great Daily Kos essay with a clickbait title which isn’t about what you think it’s going to be about: “What the media doesn’t know about the Clinton Foundation could sink the Titanic.”
My comment: Pssst… some people are saying that the Clinton Foundation gave millions to ISIS…. but I don’t know if that’s true, but you know, she did help found ISIS…
Psychotherapists want you to believe the profession is open to debating controversial subjects. Unfortunately I find some therapists to be elitist (only THEY can make a diagnosis), arrogant, and dogmatic…
Monday, Aug. 21, 2016
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2016
Yet another “give me a &*^%%# break moment:
|Also on Daily Kos where people may or may not comment|
We know his courting black voters by mouthing the history lesson about the how Republicans are the party of Lincoln (uh, were the party of Lincoln, the Great Emancipator) is really aimed at middle class white Republican voters who don’t want to vote for a racist. Will they buy it…. well, we all know the saying (wrongly) attributed to P.T. Barnum.
I really don’t have much to say, although this topic is certainly worth discussing. I merely wanted an excuse to share the the photo-toons I made this morning.
First thing this morning I was watching Trump making his supposed plea to black voters to vote for someone new because the Democrats have don’t nothing for the African-American community.
Does a gag line make you gag? When he assured his rally audience (who seemingly was indifferent) that he could guarantee that under him in four years 95% of all blacks would support him…. where’s the barf bag?
and was inspired to search for a photo of P.T. Barnum and found the one with the top hat. I figured that it should have a special caption.
Meanwhile Trump is in glorious form:
“In recent days cross this country I’ve asked the African -American community to honor me with their vote….”
“The outreach to the African-American community is an area where the Republican party must do better and it will do better.”
Oh yeah, and by the way, I’m not a racist, did I mention, I’m not a racist?
And the illustrious and ever desperate head of the RNC, Rence, just said that the American people “want that safe product” which is Trump… yes, he said “product!” Safe, if he was a product in a grocery store he’d be pulled off the shelf for being toxic.
Telling it like it is award:
HUGE! In meeting with Hispanic advisers, Trump hints at 'legalization' of undocumented immigrants
While this is indeed news or a sort, it seems more a case of Trump shamelessly bullshitting a roomful of his few Hispanic backers than any so-called "reversal" of policy. From Daily KosChart of the week:
From Republicans set to loose control of Senate
Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016
|Read Daily Beast article here|
The second story is about why the C word is spelled “C**ts” in the Daily Beast headline but the word is spelled out five times in the story.
I posted this on Daily Kos and there have been 81 comments.
The real reason Manafort was fired
|Bonus Blog and First blog on the Kos Recommended List|
Why do Trumpians keep letting
themselves get skewered by Joy Reid?
Friday, August 19, 2016
Donald Trump’s America
Swimmer Ryan Lochte and friends won but then lost the Olympics. Instead of our great athletes taking up media time and space, these three disrespectful and immature are putting a face on the worst of American sports.
|Go to Daily Kos to read and make comments|
Here’s an interesting thought: Trump didn’t do Olympic Tweets, Hillary did, with numerous congratulatory Tweets… Politico looked into it and came up with a good reason:
Why has Trump hit the mute button on the Olympics, while Clinton has pumped up the volume? There’s a good reason for that, and a surprising one. The spectacle of America vanquishing its global rivals is—ironically, amazingly—utterly terrible for the “America First” candidate.
A big part of his political message, the one you hear at his stump speeches, is that America has grown weak. America doesn’t win anymore, he says. “Crippled America” is the title of his most recent book. He alone can Make American Great Again. As someone who’s been around a few campaigns, believe me: The Olympics is about the worst thing that could have happened to the Trump train. Here’s a candidate whose message depends entirely on convincing Americans that they’re living in a failing nation overrun by criminal immigrants. And for the past two weeks, tens of millions of Americans have been glued to a multi-ethnic parade of athletes, winning easily. “Make America Great Again” has never felt more out-of-touch than it does against the backdrop of tenacious, over-achieving American athletes driven by their own journeys in pursuit of the American Dream.
Lexicographers are no doubt already trying to find all the definitions of Trumpism for the next dictionary editions. But how do you explain that he he took the word “great” and turned it into a political statement.
|Trump’s plane lands in Baton Rouge but it’s a boring story because Paul Manafort resigned at the same time|
Thursday, August 18, 2016
New word of the day (thanks to Trump’s candidacy -) revanchism |rəˈvän(t)SHˌizəm|
nouna policy of seeking to retaliate, especially to recover lost territory.
"Here’s the thing about Donald Trump: In his 14 months as a political candidate, he has demonstrated an utter indifference to the truth and to reality itself. He appears to seek only his own validation from the most revanchist, xenophobic crowds in America. He is trolling, hard."From Wired Magazine’s endorsement of Hilary.
|Comments on Daily Kos|
by Daniel Shaw LCSW, who is a clinical social worker like me; but he's also a psychoanalyst. He is private practice in New York City and in Nyack, New York. He has gone published numerous psychoanalytic papers, and is the author of "Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation."
This analyst admits he is champing at the bit to make a diagnosis but is resisting doing so. Then he goes on to beat around the diagnosis book (i.e. the DSM-5). So without identifying Trump he writes: "Perhaps I could speak a bit about narcissism in general, without naming names ― especially about the kind of narcissistic person that seeks and attracts followers to form some kind of big religious or political movement, with him or her as its supreme leader.” He eventually gives Trump the non-diagnosis of malignant, traumatizing narcissism who is are capable of untold destructiveness. Most therapists have most agreed to constrain themselves by a so-called rule that keeps them from helping the public to understand better why Trump is unfit to be president. I see the reasons offered here and elsewhere by these therapists, I happen to think Trump is the except that breaks the rule! Something to think about: consider the history of psychology and the contributions by those who were willing to break the rules, starting with Freud.
His article begins:
Mental health practitioners generally agree that it is not appropriate to offer psychoanalytic diagnoses of public figures we’ve never actually interviewed or treated. However, many of us, myself included, are champing at the bit these days. It’s especially tempting for me, since I’ve been writing and thinking about narcissism for quite a while ― and one sees so much of what looks just like it these days, the minute one turns on the news.
Perhaps I could speak a bit about narcissism in general, without naming names ― especially about the kind of narcissistic person that seeks and attracts followers to form some kind of big religious or political movement, with him or her as its supreme leader.
Erich Fromm, famous in the 1960s for “The Art of Loving,” published his first bestseller, “Escape From Freedom,” in the ‘40s, when he witnessed the popularity and the horror of Fascism in Europe……. continued
If you have the interest and time here’s an excellent audio discussion on the Diane Rehm radio show about the ethics of “Tumpology” (diagnosis of Trump) in the mental health profession.
Debate Over Armchair Psychological Assessments Of Donald Trump
Weds, August 17, 2016
March 6, 2016
MORE: An article from MARCH [Inquisitr] Sam Valkin, narcissism expert studies 600 hours of Trump
Sam Vaknin, a mental health expert and author, has studied over 600 hours of Donald Trump footage and made the harsh conclusion that Donald Trump is not simply a classic narcissist — he is, in fact, a “malignant and, probably, psychopathic narcissist.”
In an extensive interview with American Thinker, Vaknin explains that he first connected narcissism to the political stage in a 2008 essaywhere he suggested that then-senator Barack Obama was, in fact, a narcissist, but he also wrote that Obama was intelligent and pro-social, and that while Trump repeatedly to be the former, he is “definitely not the latter,” and that he should be considered “much more of a menace than Obama ever was” to the United States.
There are, Vaknin explains, nine criteria that a narcissist meets, and there is little doubt that Trump is “writ large” on every one.
A narcissist feels grandiose and self-important, and often exaggerates to the point of lying his or her accomplishments and skills. A narcissist is obsessed with fantasies of “unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence.” The narcissist is convinced that he or she is special and, because of that, should be treated as a high-status person. A narcissist requires “excessive admiration” and feels entitled, demanding special and often unreasonable treatment. A narcissist is “interpersonally exploitative,” using others to achieve his or her own goals, and is also devoid of empathy. A narcissist is also envious of others and will seek to hurt or destroy people, and, lastly, a narcissist “behaves arrogantly and haughtily,” and “rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.”Comment here
Read comments here
2,200 shrinks diagnosing Trump: The Goldwater rule goes mainstream (in the New York Times):
"The Psychiatric Question: Is It Fair to Analyze Donald Trump From Afar?"
Count me among the mental health professionals (as a retired clinical social worker and mental health center director who was licensed to diagnose and treat patients) who disagrees with the Goldwater Rule under special circumstances. While the mental health professionals who put together the manifesto do not diagnose Trump, they use their expertise to “analyze” his temperament, character, disposition, as well as his beliefs.
Now, while Republican physicians are speculating about Hillary Clinton’s physical fitness to be president while Trump himself has started not only saying she is (mentally) unhinged, but that she looks like she had a stroke, and has trouble walking up a flight of stairs unaided, and needs to sleep between brief speeches.
Obviously the physicians that speculated on this have scant evidence to go on. Physical diagnosis requires an examination and often tests. Psychiatric diagnosis is usual accomplished with a face-to-face interview or two, and infrequently psychological tests like the Rorschach and MMPI.
However, because Trump has been unscripted in so many of his rallies and demonstrated a wide variety of symptoms of disorders that make him temperamentally unfit to be president. Even if we don’t count his lack of empathy (a characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder), there’s his pathological lying (pseudologia fantastic) and fantastic confabulation and his impulsiveness. Add to this that his narcissism makes him highly unlikely to heed advice that challenges his beliefs.
While not showing enough symptoms to make a likely diagnosis of paranoid personality disorder he does seem to believe a lot of conspiracy theories. Also not a true anti-social personality (aka sociopath) he seems to relish being a bully and his NPD lack of empathy is also a characteristic of this with anti-social personality.
If Trump was somehow persuaded to undergo a psychiatric examination knowing the results would be public he’d be guarded and I’d wager figure out that he’d better not let his unhinged stream of conscious and word salad speech take over. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took some Xanax prior to his interview. In fact, if I was his campaign advisor I’d suggest he do so.
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times article:
The 2016 Republican nominee’s incendiary, stream-of-consciousness pronouncements have strained that agreement to the breaking point, exposing divisions in the field over whether such restraint is appropriate today.
Psychiatrists and psychologists have publicly flouted the Goldwater Rule, tagging Mr. Trump with an assortment of personality problems, including grandiosity, a lack of empathy, and “malignant narcissism.” The clinical insults are flying so thick that earlier this month, the psychiatric association posted a reminder that breaking the Goldwater Rule “is irresponsible, potentially stigmatizing, and definitely unethical.”
Putting a psychiatric label on a candidate they oppose can be a “seemingly irresistible tool for some in the field,” said Dr. Paul Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry, medicine and law at Columbia University who disapproves of the practice. “This year, perhaps more than most, they’re persuaded they’re saving the nation from a terrible fate.”A group of professional mental health therapists have a website, http://citizentherapists.com , with a manifesto which over 2,000 therapists have signed:
Here’s another excerpt from the New York Times article:
Dr. Steven Buser, a psychiatrist who with his colleague, Dr. Leonard Cruz, coedited a new book, “A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism in the Era of Donald Trump,” stressed, “We are careful not to make a clinical diagnosis here, to say that Donald Trump has narcissistic personality disorder.” The contributing writers include psychiatrists and psychologists, but Dr. Buser said, “We are focused on the image he projects, on TV, in tweets, in quotes.”
Dr. Appelbaum ( a professor of psychiatry, medicine and law at Columbia University who disapproves of diagnosing politicians) calls this distinction a convenient splitting of hairs. “It takes a skilled therapist months, sometimes longer, seeing a person regularly and asking probing questions to make a determination of whether a disorder is present,” Dr. Appelbaum said.
My previous and controversial articles about Trump’s likely diagnoses, all published on Daily Kos, which combined I call Trump derangement syndrome:
Tuesday, April 16, 2016
Just a thought: Trump wants extreme vetting for VISA applicants. How about requiring extreme vetting for presidential candidates? Start with requiring they release their income tax returns. A Rorschach Test and MMPI should also be required.
|Not fit enough to fight World War II?|
In what was billed as a major foreign-policy address in Ohio, Donald Trump suggested—as he has in the past—that Hillary Clinton is somehow secretly ill. This time though, he said Clinton lacks the “mental and physical stamina” to take on ISIS, a declaration that comes just a week after conspiracy theories bubbled to the surface once again saying that the Democratic presidential nominee has some terminal ailment. Daily Beast
Monday, August 15, 2016
A rare gift to the electorate from Donald Trump
Simply put, Donald Trump has demonstrated his dark side more that any other candidate in this election and possibly in history. The only candidates in my memory that come close are George Wallace and Pat Buchanan. Add to this that we have seen so many examples of his bullying and mean and/or threatening reactions to slights that even without making a psychiatric diagnosis we can make judgments about his temperament.
Trump believes in himself with such conviction that he sees no need to heed advice from those who want him to win that he has to “act” presidential. Give Trump credit for refusing to act a role that would be dishonest.
As an evil Popeye, he proudly lives by the credo “I yam what I yam.” And that is good for us!
New to this blog… read previous “editions” here.