August 16, 2016

Hillary’s post debate breakfast

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

Friday Sept. 2, 2016


 I want to follow up the wishful thinking piece with something about wishful Hillary thoughts. The first debate is Sept. 26 so I’m thinking about how she’s going to trounce Trump in the debate and get a three point post-debate bounce from 17 to the magic number of 20.

 In order to write this I've had to ponder seriously what her best strategy for the debate will be. I’m leaning towards her winning without any deliberate attempt to prompt him into revealing that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president. 

I think she should ignore whatever says in order to challenge her with lies and distortions and respond by saying that she respects the voters to decide what’s true and what isn’t.

Of course, this will force the post-debate commentators to do the work for the voters.

She should fully answer every question, a walk in the park for her,  without ever veering into talking points or comparisons between her and Trump.

I believe she’s had professional voice coaching and will come off speaking “lowly and slowly,” choosing carefully when she is going to raise her voice ever so slightly without increasing the pitch, for emphasis.  

She won’t show any anger, irritation, or frustration.

She’ll have a few prepared sound bite phrases sure to be replayed which will expose Trump for the scoundrel and liar, the xenophobe and hate monger that he is, but they will be so well crafted that Trump won’t even know why the audience is laughing.

Trump will speak as if there’s no microphone and he has to shout so the people in the rear seats can hear him. Hillary will have made the audience ignore the admonition to be silent because they can’t help laughing at a Hillary line. Trump doesn’t know how to be funny. 

The more Trump comes across as out of control the more Hillary will come off as in control.

My wish is that by the time of the debate Hillary will already be 17 points ahead of Trump (as described below). The more behind Trump is the more desperation he will feel, although being as full-of himself as he is he may not consciously accept this. I expect his sycophantic advisors will tell him the polls are wrong. They’ll tell him he’s really ahead.

If as I predict Kellyanne Conway has already bailed as the last truth-to-power advisor, all that will be left will be bootlicking toadies. So he may very well go into the debate trying to believe he is ahead in the polls, but his denial (as a psychological defense) will have become tenuous and brittle in the face of the reality being reported extensively in the media.

While we’ll all be watching MSNBC dissect the debate immediately afterwards (easy for me since Oregon is three hours earlier) I expect Hillary will be exhausted and just go to sleep. Savvy politico that she is she’ll slip easily into dreamland knowing she exposed Trump for the poseur that he is.

Hillary will wake up in the morning with the New York Times, Washington Post, and maybe the New York Daily News just for their front page (I can’t wait to see that one) on her breakfast tray, along with a mimosa (fresh squeezed orange juice and Cristal of course). She'll tune into Morning Joe, and relax and revel in her landslide in the making.

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016  Evening edition
Wishful thinking dept: Down 20 points Trump phones it in.
Comment here.

The first sign will be that when he’s another five points down in the polls Kellyanne Conway will throw a life preserver and leap overboard where the Florida billionaire Mike Fernandez, who supported Jeb Bush but just announced he’s going to vote for Hillary, will pick her up in his yacht.
​Without her guiding hand, his campaign will begin to list like the Lusitania. 

1915 painting

As the campaign begins to take on water he’ll desperately try to appeal to disparate sections of the electorate that he has no chance of winning. He will come across as so disingenuous that he’ll look like Al Jolson at the Apollo trying to convince Harlem that he’s really black.

Mary I is unpleasantly remembered as "the Bloody Mary" on account of the religious persecutions which prevailed during her reign.

Flailing about as the polls inch towards the big two-oh he’ll try the ultimate Hail Mary and find a psychic to channel Mary Tudor as a replacement for Kellyanne Conway.
Mary will convince him to do what he does best which is incite fear, trepidation, and loathing among members of his base.
As hate crimes increase Trump, with his hair taking on a darker hue and flop sweat slicked down over his forehand, will have a brilliant idea (all his own) that the problem is that the hats aren’t enough, and he will order tens of thousands of armbands to be given out at his fewer and further between rallies, and little American flags which his supporters, now sensing defeat, will trust upwards in the air while shouting “make America great” and “USA, USA.”
Unfortunately for Trump this will look more and more like a Reichstag rally.
By now the RNC will have cut off funds to him desperately sending them down ballot. All of his large dollar donors will have cut their losses. His own coffers will have been depleted. He just has no money left to put on rallies.
And then the day will come when Trump, mentally and physically exhausted, refusing to admit defeat and wanting to hang on to the bitter end has only his telephone to rely on to get his message out. 


So get ready Dana Carvey.

Florida billionaire Mike Fernandez spent $3 million boosting Jeb Bush in the GOP primaries and even gave $100,000 last year to America Rising, a Republican group committed to destroying Clinton.
But in the opinion section of Thursday's Miami Herald, Fernandez outlines what he frames as a patriotic and moral duty for all Republicans to abandon Trump and vote Clinton.
He even questions Trump's mental health.

"As a Republican who has contributed millions of dollars to the party’s causes, I ask: Why has our party not sought a psychological evaluation of its nominee?” from The Hill
Trump’s speech reminded me of one of Hitler’s most famous infamous speeches.
Comments here.

This isn’t really a diary in that I really don’t have much to say about the following beyond what I put in the title. It is a kind of follow-up to yesterday’s diary which began:
President Enrique Peña Nieto likened  Trump to Hitler..... hmmmm.... let's see, the ONLY problem Germany had when Hitler rose to power was their Jews. Every wrong in the typical non-Jewish German’s life  should be blamed on the Jews.  Hmmmm, the ONLY problem America has according to Trump is our undocumented Mexicans (and our Muslims and Syrian refuges).... what similarities?
Even comparing any living murderous, genocidal dictator to Hitler is perilous. Among the dead 20th century despots who exterminated millions of their citizens we could list our World War II ally Stalin alongside Hitler. But Hitler is different for Americans because the Holocaust cost the lives of millions of our relatives and millions of our soldiers, not to mention civilians killed in Britain and Europe.
I am uncomfortable even using Hitler and Trump in the same sentence. 
Trump isn’t like Hitler except in comparatively “ very superficial” (note the quotes) ways. That doesn’t mean comparing ways that Trump is similar to Hitler or Mussolini, the two dictators he’s been compared to, isn’t something we should avoid.  We just need to be very careful because noting the similarities can easily side-track rational discussion.  The entire diary.
 Of course you can ready the entire speech to put the portions I include below, but just scanning his 1939 words before he fully implemented “the final solution” will be chilling enough.
Substitute illegal immigrants or even Mexicans for every time her referred to Jews. When you read it try to hear Hitler himself in his unique voice throwing the red meat of hate and blame to his adoring crowd.
  • They all had found each other in the long struggle of the national socialism for the leadership to defend their interests and were in cahoots with Jewry. The politicizing bishops of the various churches spread their blessing hands over it. 
  • To the Jews and the other enemies of the State, however, it (communism) appeared to be the last flicker of the national power of resistance. And they felt that when it had disappeared, then they would be able to destroy not only Germany but all Europe as well. 
  • The rescue of Europe began at one end of the Continent with Mussolini and Fascism. National Socialism continued this rescue in another part of Europe and at the present moment we are witnessing in still a third country the same drama of a brave triumph over the Jewish international attempt to destroy European civilization.
​This is just the beginning, here’s the rest. 
In addition, there was the further fact that even then the Germany of that day was believed to be in the final analysis a not entirely amenable factor with regard to the domination of the world which the Jews were attempting to establish.

But these other nations are continually being stirred up to hatred of Germany and the German people by Jewish and non-Jewish agitators. And so, should the warmongers achieve what they are aiming at, our own people would be landed in a situation for which they would be psychologically quite unprepared and which they would thus fail to grasp. I therefore consider it necessary that from now on our Propaganda Ministry and our press should always make a point of answering these attacks and, above all, bring them to the notice of the German people. The German nation must know who the men are who want to bring about a war by hook or by crook.

It is my conviction that these people are mistaken in their calculations, for when once National Socialist Propaganda is devoted to the answering of attacks, we shall succeed just as we succeeded inside Germany herself in overcoming, through the convincing power of our propaganda, the Jewish world enemy.


The nations will in a short time realize that National Socialist Germany wants no enmity with other nations, that all the assertions as to our intended attacks on other nations are lies — lies born out of morbid hysteria or of a mania for self-preservation on the part of certain politicians; and that in certain States these lies are being used by unscrupulous profiteers to salvage their own finances, that, above all, international Jewry may hope in this way to satisfy its thirst for revenge and gain, that on the other hand this is the grossest defamation that can be brought to bear on a great and peace-loving nation.

These attempts cannot influence Germany in the slightest in the way in which she settles her Jewish problem. On the contrary, in connection with the Jewish question, I have this to say: It is a shameful spectacle to see how the whole democratic world is oozing sympathy for the poor tormented Jewish people, but remains hard-hearted and obdurate when it comes to helping them, which is surely, in view of its attitude, an obvious duty. The arguments that are brought up as an excuse for not helping them actually speak for us as Germans and Italians.

First, 'We' — that is, the democracies — 'are not in a position to take in the Jews.' Yet in these empires there are not even ten people to the square kilometer. While Germany with her 140 inhabitants to the square kilometer is supposed to have room for them!


Today we are merely paying this people what they deserve. When the German nation was, thanks to the inflation instigated and carried through by Jews, deprived of the entire savings that it had accumulated in years of honest work, when the rest of the world took away the German nation's foreign investments, when we were divested of the whole of our colonial possessions, these philanthropic considerations evidently carried little noticeable weight with democratic statesmen.
Above all, German culture, as its name alone shows, is German and not Jewish, and therefore its management and care will be entrusted to members of our own nation. If the rest of the world cries out with a hypocritical mien against this barbaric expulsion from Germany of such an irreplaceable and culturally eminently valuable element, we can only be astonished at this reaction. For how thankful they must be that we are releasing apostles of culture and placing them at the disposal of the rest of the world. In accordance with their own declarations they cannot find a single reason to excuse themselves for refusing to receive this most valuable race in their own countries. Nor can I see a reason why the members of this race should be imposed upon the German nation, while in the States that are so enthusiastic about these 'splendid people' their settlement should suddenly be refused with every imaginable excuse. I think the sooner this problem is solved the better, for Europe cannot settle down until the Jewish question is cleared up. It may very well be possible that sooner or later an agreement on this problem may be reached in Europe, even between those nations that otherwise do not so easily come together.

The world has sufficient space for settlement, but we must once and for all get rid of the opinion that the Jewish race was only created by God for the purpose of being in a certain percentage a parasite living on the body and the productive work of other nations. The Jewish race will have to adapt itself to sound constructive activity as other nations do, or sooner or later it will succumb to a crisis of an inconceivable magnitude.

One thing I should like to say on this day, which may be memorable for others as well as for us Germans: In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power, it was in the first instance the Jewish race that only received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State and with it that of the whole nation and that I would then, among many other things, settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face.

Today I will once more be a prophet. If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the bolshevization of the earth, and this the victory of Jewry,but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe! For the time when the non-Jewish nations had no propaganda is at an end. National Socialist Germany and fascist Italy have institutions that enable them when necessary to enlighten the world about the nature of a question of which many nations are instinctively conscious, but which they have not yet clearly thought out. At the moment Jews in certain countries may be fomenting hatred under the protection of a press, of the film, of wireless propaganda, of the theater, of literature, etc., all of which they control. [...]"

The nations are no longer willing to die on the battlefield that this unstable international race may profiteer from a war or satisfy its Old Testament vengeance. TheJewish watchword, 'Workers of the world, unite!' will be conquered by a higher realization, namely, 'Workers of all classes and of all nations, recognize your common enemy!

Announcements by American film companies that they intend to produce anti-Nazi — that is, anti-German — films can but induce us to produce anti-Semitic films in Germany. Here, too, our opponents should not permit themselves any delusions as to the effectiveness of what we can do. There will be very many States and peoples who will show great understanding for supplementary instruction of this kind on such an important subject! We believe that if the Jewish international campaign of hatred by press and propaganda could be checked, good understanding could very quickly be established between the peoples. It is only such elements that hope steadfastly for a war. I, however, believe in a long peace! For in what way do the interests of England and Germany, for example, conflict?

Our relations with the United States are suffering from a campaign of defamation carried on to serve obvious political and financial interests, which, under the pretense that Germany threatens American independence, is endeavoring to mobilize the hatred of an entire continent against the European States that are nationally governed. We all believe, however, that this does not reflect the will of the millions of American citizens who, despite all that is said to the contrary by the gigantic Jewish-capitalistic propaganda through the press, the radio and the films, cannot fail to realize that there is not one word of truth in all these assertions. Germany wishes to live in peace and on friendly terms with all countries, including America.

Weds., Aug. 31, 2016

Photo Op: What is she saying? 

The Day Trump Goes to Mexico
Read comments on Daily Kos, where commenters are unrestrained in lambasting me when they find fault with what I write.
Actually in Morocco - and they obviously know because the website name
Republica was cropped out of the photo they used in the ad.
President Enrique Peña Nieto likened  Trump to Hitler..... hmmmm.... let's see, the ONLY problem Germany had when Hitler rose to power was their Jews.   Every wrong in the typical non-Jewish German’s life  should be blamed on the Jews.  Hmmmm, the ONLY problem America has according to Trump is our undocumented Mexicans (and our Muslims and Syrian refuges).... what similarities?
Even comparing any living murderous, genocidal dictator to Hitler is perilous. Among the dead 20th century despots who exterminated millions of their citizens we could list our World War II ally Stalin alongside Hitler. But Hitler is different for Americans because the Holocaust cost the lives of millions of our relatives and millions of our soldiers, not to mention civilians killed in Britain and Europe.
I am uncomfortable even using Hitler and Trump in the same sentence. 
Trump isn’t like Hitler except in comparatively “ very superficial” (note the quotes) ways. That doesn’t mean comparing ways that Trump is similar to Hitler or Mussolini, the two dictators he’s been compared to, isn’t something we should avoid.  We just need to be very careful because noting the similarities can easily side-track rational discussion.
But since the president of Mexico brought it up and is now hosting him as a guest south of our border, it’s worth writing about.
 The primary reason that I think President  Peña Nieto may have had in mind with his Hitler comparison is how Trump has used stopping undocumented Mexicans as a rallying cry (literally) to convince his supporters that the main problem not just with America, but in their own lives, is illegal immigrants from his country.  That is very much how Hitler used Jews.
In his campaign announcement Trump made it as personal as it gets by fear mongering about scary Mexican men coming to rape your wives and daughters. “Take your jobs” wasn’t even true, but that doesn’t instill visceral fear. Rape is about the worst thing you can say, arguably worse than murder. Even convicts respect most murderers, rapists are shunned or worse.
Only in this respect Trump is worse (or at least different) than Hitler who demonized Jews in other ways, but still succeeded in convincing most gentile Germans that everything that was wrong in their lives was caused by the Jews. He didn’t say Jews were going to rape anybody. Marry your daughters, maybe, steal your money, absolutely, but not personally violate anybody. (References requested — I couldn’t find anything about Hitler accusing Jews of being rapists. He might have.  I did find that Nazis did rape women and children.)

But wait, donworry. Trump assures us that he won’t really be like Hitler (obviously not saying his name) by emphasizing that Mexicans will be sent back “humanely.” In a rally yesterday he said this so “sincerely” that he put his hand over his heart. Give us a break, when has he ever done that?
​Why does he even have to say humanely?  Are we to wonder if he ever thought of sending them back inhumanely?  Or is this a rhetorical question since he doesn’t seem to realize that our using torture on suspected terrorists is illegal?  

Consider that he has most likely been told by Kellyanne Conway that he has to emphasize “humanely.”  He makes my skin crawl when he says the word when obviously his audience would probably just as soon he told them they’d be herded onto the trains with whip wielding storm troopers.

Okay, he’ll round these Mexican citizens up without roughing them up. He’ll load them onto buses where they each have a seat instead of pack them into cattle cars. He may even provide them with box lunches and bottled water. They may even stop for bathroom breaks along the way. And of course they won’t be greeted by a gate that says “Arbeit Macht Frie.”

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2017

PSY-VU Ethics: Psychologists helping Hillary Torture Trump, Guantanamo Redux?
Want to read how commenters on Daily Kos attacked me for writing this? Click here.

By now you may have heard that Hillary Clinton is (or may be) using one or more psychologists to help her prepare for her debate with Donald Trump. This was mentioned on TV last night after it was reported in the New York Times, and is being talked about on MSNBC this morning. Her surrogate is, as I write this, making a non-denial denial that she is actually using psychologists. He didn’t come right out and absolutely deny it.

Another commenter later said the team was looking for ways to “needle” Trump… who better to help than a psychologist who is an expert in his personality disorder?There is no doubt in my mind that any psychologist who is helping Hillary prepare to make Trump look bad during the debate wants to advise her on ways to “get under his skin” to elicit a decidedly unpresidential  reaction. In order to do this he (or she) will have had to make a diagnosis of Trump based on everything we know about him. This may be why Tony Schwartz, the author of “The Art of the Deal” was brought in to be part of the team. Combine his observations of the unguarded Trump over 18 months with all we’ve seen of Trump on TV and have learned about him from his Tweets and interviews with Howard Stern, there is a wealth of information to understand how his psyche works.

Hillary Clinton’s advisers are talking to Donald J. Trump’s ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,” seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him in four weeks at the first presidential debate, the most anticipated in a generation. 
Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage. 
They are undertaking a forensic-style analysis of Mr. Trump’s performances in the Republican primary debates, cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways.
In compiling research to help Mrs. Clinton prepare, her advisers have cast a wide net. They contacted Tony Schwartz, the “Art of the Deal” co-author, to give them advice about Mr. Trump this summer — even though Mr. Schwartz’s 18-month immersion in Mr. Trump’s life and homes ended in the mid-1980s. But Clinton advisers said Mr. Schwartz and other writers who had observed Mr. Trump up close, as well as unnamed psychology experts they had spoken to, were critical to understanding how to get under Mr. Trump’s skin.
There has been something of a brouhaha on the comments sections of the diaries I wrote using my minority view interpretation of the “never-diagnose-at-a-distance” Goldwater rule: You should feel free to do so when you believe not to do so would be unethical. Other therapists agree with me: see Vanity Fair and here.
Enough about that. I’ll never convince the naysayers here, let alone the founder of the Citizen Therapist Facebook page with 2,500 members who personally banned me from posting anything on his page diagnosing Trump.
My point is that now we have one or more psychologists “privately” working for Hillary Clinton to use their diagnostic acumen to help her do something akin to what the psychologists working for the CIA did to help them find effective ways to extract information from terrorists.
There was quite a controversy in the profession when this came to light with many mental health professionals saying that basically these people were using their expertise to help torture “detainees."
For example:
The American Psychological Association (APA) has a long history of opposing the misuse of psychological knowledge in practice, assessment, research and any other activity utilizing the tools of the field [12]. The APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists – Code of Conduct has long been the guide to both acceptable and prohibited behavior [34], and has long ensured the proper and safe use of psychological methods. It protects U.S. psychologists, but most important of all, those who are most exposed and most vulnerable to the misuse of psychology and its tools [5]. 
In the wake of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent "war-on-terror", the APA decided to address the ethical implications of psychologist "contributions" to U.S. national security. Calling the situation an "emergency", APA President Ronald Levant authorized the APA Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) [6]. The task force report and process generated a number of controversies. One set revolved around the appointment of task force members who were primarily psychologists serving active military or working in some then current capacity with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) [7]. Criticism of the task force composition grew when the identification of members revealed deep connections with intelligence gathering, detainee interrogations, and related operations within the DoD [8]. 
The operative text of that resolution, obtained by the Guardian, reads:
“The APA membership has voted to prohibit all psychologists from working at Guantánamo Bay, from the CIA black sites, and any other setting that the UN has declared to be in violation of international law excepting those psychologists who are performing no task other than offering treatment to fellow soldiers. 
“Please inform psychologists who are performing any task other than offering treatment to fellow soldiers in these settings that they must immediately seek to deploy elsewhere or find themselves in violation of APA policy. 
Within the profession, attention has returned to the issue of psychologist support to abusive interrogations since the Guardian reported last month that the APA declined to censure a former army reserve major and psychologist, John Leso, who played a major role in torturing Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani, whom the US suspects of being the intended 20th 9/11 hijacker.
I’ve written that the diagnosis that Trump seems to fit the most closely is narcissistic personality disorder. This is something a few psychotherapists have written about elsewhere too. But the majority are using terms like "extremely narcissistic" and have even listed characteristics that define what they have called “Trumpism.” In my view they are making an end run around the Goldwater rule by saying on one hand they are speaking just as citizens, but also that they are speaking as mental health professionals, and then they basically say he walks like a duck, swims like a duck, looks like a duck, but leaves it up to you to look up “duck” on Wikipedia to see if he is a duck.
But the fact is that experts on narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and other personality disorder which he seems to have traits of (especially anti-social personality) are the best qualified to explain to Hilary how she can trigger an outburst of what is called “narcissistic rage.”
"Narcissistic rage is the response of a narcissist to anything they perceive as a threat to their ego, their control or their power. It is usually intense, out of proportion, often random and is used to manipulate."
 I wrote about narcissistic rage here but that essay focused on what we might expect from Trump if he loses the election. Hillary can be advised on how to trigger that rage in from for tens of millions of viewers.
Most of the popular literature about narcissism has been about how to live with narcissists in your life. There are dozens of them on Amazon.  There have a comparatively few articles and books written about how to best treat people with narcissistic personality disorder.  Many therapists think the disorder isn’t treatable, but others suggest that using empathy once a patient gains trust they can rework the deficits from having parents who lacked empathy and contributed to the child growing up with NPD. 
According to (Heinz) Kohut's self psychology model, narcissistic psychopathology is a result of parental lack of empathy during development. Consequently, the individual does not develop full capacity to regulate self esteem. The narcissistic adult, according to Kohut's concepts, vacillates between an irrational overestimation of the self and irrational feelings of inferiority, and relies on others to regulate his self esteem and give him a sense of value. In treatment, Kohut recommends helping the patient develop these missing functions. Kohut proposes that the therapist should empathically experience the world from the patient's point of view (temporary indwelling) so that the patient feels understood. Interpretations are used when they can help the patient understand his sometimes intense feelings about any empathic failure on the part of the therapist, and understand why he (the patient) needs to restore solidity and comfort after being injured by any failed empathic (self object) ties. As insight develops, the patient begins to understand why he might experience these apparently small empathic failures so deeply.
The main characteristics of NPD are grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy (Table 1). These characteristic behavior patterns can affect a patient's interpersonal relationships and life in a profoundly negative manner. Often these patients will outwardly behave with a sense of entitlement and superiority, be dismissive of others, and often display disdainful or patronizing attitudes. However, behind these attitudes, and central to this personality disorder, are low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Although many patients accomplish high achievements, eventually the characteristics of this disorder interfere with both the patient's occupation and his or her personal relationships. This is because the patient often is unable to recover from criticism or rejection and also because he or she has behaved in an unempathic manner with overall disregard for others.
In an about face, the psychologist advisors to Hillary will likely advice her to do the opposite of what they’d do where they were treating him in the highly unlucky event he was their patient.
There are way that Hillary can trigger untoward, unflattering, and down-right unpresidential reactions from Trump. In fact, just his knowing she may be using psychologists may be percolating in the back of his mind and giving him pause that she will bring some ammunition to the debate that he doesn’t understand and will find it difficult to prepare for.
Mainly, though, she goes into the debate with a huge psychological advantage because she’s a woman who won’t defer to him, who isn’t intimidated by him, and certainly doesn’t find him awesome. Consider how he reacted to Megyn Kelley, and she wan’t challenging his narcissism in a debate that will probably have more viewers than the Super Bowl.
So here’s the ethics question:
If so many psychotherapists thought it was unethical for psychologists to work for the CIA at Guantanamo, why wouldn’t they give pause to someone in their profession helping Hillary learn how to “torture” Trump?
My view, on the first, the answer is a qualified “no” (but that would take a whole diary to explain. On the second, an unqualified “yes.”

Monday, August 28, 2016

From a Trump supporter and surrogate Pastor Mark Burns:

Smile for the camera: Trump’s Grimile
Cross-posted for comments here.
This is from the A.P., a side-by-side on a Huffington Post article speculation on the debates. I want to trust they tried to find comparable smiling photos of each candidate. You have to look through a lot of them (see the photo I put on yesterday) to find one of Trump where he has anything between his nose and chin which could be called a smile. Here are the first photos of an image search just for Trump. Finding one of Trump smiling here is like searching for Waldo.
So in all fairness I asked Google Images to show me “Trump smiling.”
To be fair, let's do the same with Hillary. Here’s the image results for just searching photos of Hillary Clinton:
Here’s a search for “Hillary Clinton smiling.”

I wouldn’t have posted these photo comparisons had not Trump made so many disparaging comments about how Hillary, and other women, look. Here’s what I posted yesterday in “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall:

Trump makes a point of commenting on everyone’s looks, from Heidi Cruz to Hillary Clinton to little Marco to his own wife and daughter, the list is long… in Trump’s perception either you’re a 10 or a zero.

Women especially get harsh treatment as his remarks of the Howard Stern Show attest. They  come from a man who clearly isn’t the genetic pool’s handsome gift to womankind. Of course, when he asks “mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all” he has been having a conniption fit ever since the mirror has been saying “Hillary Clinton.” 

The mirror has finally been to therapy and realizes that it’s competence and inner beauty that counts.

We’ve said a great deal about Trump and his personality and his misogyny. What I haven’t heard much about his how shallow he is in general. I haven’t heard the description hedonist applied to him. He’s clearly a person who believes that living and working in oppulent surrounding enhances his stature, and apparently it increases his already over the top egotism.

His hedonism goes hand in glove with how he views people’s worth, mostly women, by how they look.  

In this campaign between a reality TV celebrity and an actual politician with one of the most impressive resumes in my lifetime it is fair to engage in a pictorial snark.

Meanwhile, I am grateful that Trump doesn’t look like George Clooney.

Sunday, August 27, 2016

Afternoon-evening edition

This is the first Daily Kos essay I am posting under the heading PSY-VU. Let’s see how readers respond.

PSY-VU: No, Mr. Plouffe, Trump isn’t a psychopath.

On “Meet the Press” this morning David Plouffe, who managed President Barack Obama's first campaign, admitting he wasn’t a psychologist, said Donald Trump was a psychopath. Here’s a high profile political expert, and a layman, making a psychiatric diagnosis. Not only isn’t he qualified to do this, he’s wrong.
Here’s the interchange between Plouffe and Chuck Todd:
Plouffe: "Basically, we have a psychopath running for president. I mean, he meets the clinical definition, OK?" 
    Todd: "I assume you don't have a degree in psychology. We're jumping to conclusions here, I think this is what gets voters a little frustrated with this campaign.”
    Plouffe: "Listen, the grandiose notion of self-worth, pathological lying, lack of empathy and remorse. So I think he does. Right, I don't have a degree in psychology.”
    In point of fact, Trump doesn’t fit enough of the criteria to be diagnosed as a psychopath, or what is now called an antisocial personality. He may have some of the characteristics but that doesn’t make him a psychopath. The word psychopath is misunderstood and erroneously applied by the public at large. Even Norman Bates in Psycho wasn’t a psychopath. He was far more likely to have been suffering from multiple personality disorder (now dissociative disorder). Hannibal Lector, on the other hand, probably was a psychopath.
    Psychology Today has a good summary of what a person who can be considered a psychopath looks like:
    The severity of symptoms of antisocial personality disorder can vary in severity. The more egregious, harmful, or dangerous behavior patterns are referred to as sociopathic or psychopathic. There has been much debate as to the distinction between these descriptions. Sociopathy is chiefly characterized as a something severely wrong with one's conscience; psychopathy is characterized as a complete lack of conscience regarding others. Some professionals describe people with this constellation of symptoms as "stone cold" to the rights of others. Psychology Today
    Anyone can ask themselves which characteristics of simple anti-social personality disorder Trump exhibits in the behavior they have repeated seen. While there are technical changes between the previous edition of the diagnostic manual and the current one (DSM-5) basically the criteria to be diagnosed as having antisocial personality are having, to a significant degree, at least three of these:
    • Lie, con, and exploit others
    • Act rashly
    • Be angry, vain, and aggressive
    • Fight or assault other people
    • Break the law
    • Not care about the safety of others or themselves
    • Not show signs of remorse after hurting someone else
    • Fail to meet money, work, or social duties
    • Abuse drugs or alcohol
    I don’t see any signs that Trump would be given this diagnosis even though one could argue that he has shown some of these indices in numerous public appearances.
    The  “grandiose notion of self-worth, pathological lying, lack of empathy and remorse” observed by Plouffe, with a notable exception, are actually symptoms of the personality disorder that attends the word most frequently used to describe Trump not only by mental health professional, whether they choose to make an actual diagnosis or not, but by laymen who know how to Google the DSM-5 using the key words “narcissist” and “DSM-5.”  
    The exception is pathological lying. This isn’t even in the diagnostic manual, although thanks to Trump it may be in the next editions. Look up “pathological lying diagnosis” if you want more information or read “Pathological Lying: Symptom or Disease” from Psychiatric Times.
    Since the majority of professionals qualified to diagnose and treat mental health conditions who have gone public have decided to follow the so-called Goldwater rule and not make a diagnosis of someone they haven’t examined, they use words in addition to narcissism, even extreme narcissism, grandiosity and unempathic. See:…
    Because this professionals don’t enlighten the public about how one makes a diagnosis from a wealth of information gained by real life behavioral observation, and what a diagnosis actually means in terms of a person’s fitness to be president, we have people like Plouffe making unjustifiable statements to discredit Donald Trump. 
    Ever notice department:
    Ever notice how the man who changes his policies according to the applause-o-meter at his rallies, often claps for himself?

    Trump makes a point of commenting on everyone’s looks, from Heidi Cruz to Hillary Clinton to little Marco to his own wife and daughter, the list is long… in Trump’s perception either you’re a 10 or a zero.

    Women especially get harsh treatment as his remarks of the Howard Stern Show attest. They  come from a man who clearly isn’t the genetic pool’s handsome gift to womankind. Of course, when he asks “mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all” he has been having a conniption fit ever since the mirror has been saying “Hillary Clinton.” 

    The mirror has finally been to therapy and realizes that it’s competence and inner beauty that counts.

    We’ve said a great deal about Trump and his personality and his misogyny. What I haven’t heard much about his how shallow he is in general. I haven’t heard the description hedonist applied to him. He’s clearly a person who believes that living and working in oppulent surrounding enhances his stature, and apparently it increases his already over the top egotism.

    His hedonism goes hand in glove with how he views people’s worth, mostly women, by how they look.  

    In this campaign between a reality TV celebrity and an actual politician with one of the most impressive resumes in my lifetime it is fair to engage in a pictorial snark.

    Meanwhile, I am grateful that Trump doesn’t look like George Clooney.

    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 : 
    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. Here’s his most recent essay, which reminded me of the symbolism I employed in finding an image to illustrate the flame-out of the Trump campaign.

    The pilots and passengers in the pod had no idea that moments later the Hindenburg would crash into the group and they’d be consumed in an inferno.

    Viagra, Bullies and the 2016 Election -- a detour into seriousness? "Got a Rocket in Your Pocket?  


    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:

    • Recognizing Wishes.
    • Determining whether acting on them would cause Self or Other harm.
    • Acting on those (that cause no more than minimal harm).

    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.  
    Like me (see… ) Dr. Covitz admires Joy Reid. Excerpt:

    The Softening of Drumpf's Shtick?

    Joy Reed was in discussion, last night, with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC which on the same night carried serious interviews with Rachel Maddow and Kellyanne Conway and, another, with Lawrence O'Donnell discussing similarities in their differences with Glenn Beck. 
    Lordie, Lordie! Bless My Soul!?
    It was also the same day that Drumpf-Kopf accused Hillary Clinton of having at her convention hollywood types who "weren't so hot, anymore."
    Next time, Ms. Secretary, 
    see if you can trade a Meryl Streep 
    for a Chachi from Happier Days ... 
    or for that HOT afternoon TV star--
    what was his name? 
    Howard ... You're having too much fun!
    I suppose so. Still and frankly, it is difficult to adjust to Tragic Farces, suchg as the Trump candidacy. A Boy who never quite grew up but would be King and those who follow him hoping that he, indeed, has found the Magic Beans that Jack sought ... the formula for a better day. His followers, I suspect, are a group like any other ... one third? really decent and thoughtful folk looking for hope in a dangerous World. Another third? perfidious swine ... who are looking for someone else to blame/hang for the exigencies of life in a culture that is struggling to redefine itself in the midst of inevitable changes. And a final third? folk who are somewhere in the middle and good to have lunch with from time to time. You name the group? It seems to trifurcate along those lines.
    What is so patently clear is that Herr Drumpf has shown himself to be lacking ... I don't know that he's a racist or a bigot ... I'd almost prefer that level of honesty. No. I see nothing but a late middle-aged man (like me!) who has failed to demonstrate to me the existence of any reservoir of interest in much more than self-aggrandizement. Nothing appears to matter beyond the recognition by his audience that he is a great man ... the greatest man! Whenever, whoever or whatever shows a chink in that thin armour? That moment, that person, that reality must be sufficiently depreciated so as to restore that grandiosity. A clown with many masks and no one in the costume. It's not that the Emperor has no clothes but rather that the Emperor is no more than his costume. Sad! from “Pivot on this, Donnie.”
    Dr. Clovis brings a unique perspective and style to his blog when he writes about politics. He is a good satirist and not hesitant to pick the low hanging fruit and point out in humorous ways that the shiny apple has worms in it. 
    I have refrained from doing that being aware that some readers are highly sensitive to a psychotherapist stigmatizing people suffering from one or another psychiatric disorder. 
    * 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 (read review) and many papers."
    Disclosure: From Dr. Clovis — “I was never a fan of the Clintons and still blamed POTUS Bill and his philandering for Gore's loss to der Shrub ... but I do trust Senator-Secretary Clinton to be -- as has been popular to say during the past Year of the Potentially Tragic Farce -- the Adult in the Room who will do the best with an almost impossible situation.”
    From me: I have been commenting on Nazi/Schmazi since I discovered it by chance a few weeks ago. I have encouraged him to post his daily essays on Daily Kos where more people can read them. It’s been lonely here for me as one of the few, if not the only, psychotherapist who regularly  posts diaries about psychology as related to the presidential race.
    See if this stimulated any reaction of Daily Kos.
    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. 
    Introduction: Everyone (by that I mean everyone who reads The New Yorker, which is most everyone I know) enjoys Andy Horowitz whose recent reportage in the magazine that Trump says is failing is “Pence Recaptured After Fleeing Trump Campaign Bus.” A somewhat less well known satirist with a different style is Paul Rudnick. His “Melania’s Diary" is a classic in that it reveals the inner thoughts and feelings of the woman who is a few million alt-right votes away from being the second foreign born first lady since John Quincy Adams’ wife Louisa who was born in London, England.
    Political historians take note. This is a treasure. Here’s an excerpt transcribed from the former Slovenian supermodels own handwriting:
    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
    Like the first Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest dating back to 100 years before the birth of Christ, this one piece of paper is priceless. The government of the state of Israel houses most of them in the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum. (Wiki)  While experts at Southeby’s have estimated that it would fetch close to $1 millions at auction, the owner who prefers to remain anonymous but is reputed to be a maid at Trump Tower, says she’ll eventually donate it to the Smithsonian.

    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 Tur deserves more of a Wikipedia page than this one. It doesn’t even have her photograph on it. She's doggedly covered the Trump campaign for MSNBC and NBC News as well. By her account she’s followed him to over 40 states and made more than 3,000 TV appearances.

    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 again.
    And 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:

    My Crazy Year with Trump

    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

    Trump finally has a spokesperson who doesn’t make me cringe, and she can even laugh with Rachel.  Also posted on Daily Kos
    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.

    For me Katrina Pierson and Sam Clovis are among the most cringe inducing surrogates. This is the first time I’ve seen Michael Cohen, Special Counsel to Trump’s campaign. He’s not just cringe worthy, he’s a world class idiot. Give video time to download.

    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:

    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."
    New forward: After about 100 comments lambasting me as a right wing troll (is there any other kind) I decided my original title was click-bait for readers who thought I was against Hillary by suggesting that because of the revelations below if Jeb were running he’d be 10 points ahead of her. That was an arbitrary figure I used because Hillary is now 10 or more points ahead of Trump. I wrote the diary in haste after I heard the news stories about the $17 million in compensation Bill got for being unofficial chancellor of a perfectly legitimate private university; and after it came out that Hillary had $1 million plus donors to the admirable Clinton Foundation come visit her at the State Department.  I thought, man that looks bad and Trump and his surrogates will use this against her. Looks bad = bad optics. In hindsight there are several things we can, I think, assume Bill and Hillary would have done differently if they had known they would be engaged in a vicious presidential campaign with a mudslinging opponent.
    Here’s the original diary with the comments which kept me busy responding to all morning while sitting in the coffee shop where I go almost every morning in the senior community where I live. I was so busy in the futile effort to explain and defend myself that I missed out on the usual interesting mostly political discussions with liberal residents and one smart Republican (anti-Trump and anti-Hillary) who always keeps me on my toes.

    It just came out that Bill Clinton took some $17 million to be honorary chancellor of a private, albeit accredited, university, and with Hillary that half the visitors she granted visits to the State Department where $1 million or more donors to the Clinton Foundation. Add this to the email scandal, which she was responsible for and Benghazi, which she wasn’t. For good measure add this to the fact that some people just can’t stand her.
    My conclusion is that if she were running against a sane and sensible Republican like Jeb Bush he would be at least 10 points ahead in the polls, and probably would be the third member of the Bush family to occupy the Oval Office.
    Hillary will still beat Trump, but how many more revelations can she stand?
    This is a work in progress, but I’m eating in the coffee shop with a friend (who happens to be a Republican but not a Trump supporter) and don’t want to be rude. I’ll post it now for comments and get back to you.
    I tried to put links on, but because I’ve been flagged I can;t even edit this….
    People should know this:  I am not a troll

    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.

    Trump’s morphing immigration policy (not that anything he utters is actually a policy) is now the kinder gentler version. He doesn’t want to break up families. He doesn’t want the good people to be rounded up and sent back to their home country, He wants to send the bad — presumably and let’s hope really bad --- people back to Mexico. If he could, it would be cheaper than putting them in U.S. prisons.
    There are certainly numerous people here illegally who have outstanding felony warrants against them. I wouldn’t paint them with the broad brush of being “bad people.” In fact, most are non-violent offenders. I’d say those who committed violent felonies and trafficked in drugs can fairly be labeled “bad” and we don’t want them loose on our streets.
    However, violent or not, when the police arrest them and they are adjudged guilty many go to prison. I won’t bother looking up the cost of incarceration. We all know it’s expensive. So shipping them across the border is a money saver.
    Trump has ruled out a special Federal law enforcement  force tasked with going after these felons. Never mind the optics around the world, it would be prohibitively expense.
    The police sometimes do warrant round-ups and even stings where they put together special squads to go out and arrest people with outstanding warrants, or lure them to a location with the promise of a prize they won.  Potentially, they could decide to only target those who are here illegally. However, I doubt if this is even constitutional, for it is obviously profiling. Local police, with some exceptions, don’t generally enforce federal laws, let alone immigration laws.
    From a cost effective perspective it makes sense for the United States to send  people who would otherwise be in prison here, back to Mexico. Of course,  this assumes Mexico wants them back. After all they are criminals. I really doubt Mexico would welcome busloads of people they are glad to be rid of back.
    All that Trump presumably could do as president is encourage state and local police to try to arrest as many illegals for felonies as possible. I don’t see away he could compel them to do this.   This would seem to be profiling.
    Remember, the Federal government is quite limited in what they can require of local police, reading Miranda rights for example.

    Congress can only compel states to enforce laws that are listed in the US Constitution. For instance, a state can not stop the US Census during a census year.  

    In theory, federal laws that are not directly in the Constitution do not trump states' laws. For a reference, I would suggest you look up both the 9th and 10th amendments and read them carefully. The federal government is one of listed powers: i.e., they only have the powers specifically given to them in that document and any amendments - no more, no less. 

    In practice, federal law largely trumps the laws of the states because one of those enumerated powers is "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes". This is known as the "commerce clause". The courts have mostly given the federal government wide latitude when it comes to this clause, which basically allows them to claim virtually everything as "regulating commerce." For an example, making marijuana illegal is not an enumerated power as per the Constitution, so on its face, the feds cannot make the drug illegal nationwide. However, they claim that since it can be grown or imported in one state and easily taken across the border and sold, it affects interstate commerce, and so falls under federal regulation. Yes, it is an EXTREMELY long stretch, but the courts have generally interpreted it this way since the early 20th century, culminating in the Gonzales v. Raich case (see sources).…
    Source(s): Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution 
    9th and 10th Amendments (Bill of Rights)

    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…

    You’ve seen pictures of Trump’s home and office, and you’ve read about how he is charring his campaign inflated rates
    for everything he leases to them. You probably haven’t seen the offices his staffers work in. Scully and Mulder had nicer
    offices in the basement of the FBI, but then Mulder’s quest was to find the truth.

    While not breaking the letter of the Goldwater “rule," some therapists break the spirit.
    I hesitated to post (an expanded version of) this piece on Daily Kos because most readers SEEMINGLY aren’t interested in psychology. But then I thought about it a realized I was the only person who has written numerous “diaries” about Trump from a psychological perspective, and I might as well continue.

    If you are a mental health professional who has had experience diagnosing and treating numerous clients (like I have), and are inclined to do so, you should not be constrained by taking exception to the Goldwater rule. It is illuminating to know that some of the mental health professionals refusing to label Trump with a psychiatric diagnosis (and explaining what they base this judgment on) aren’t all primary clinicians. They may be professors with impressive looking resumes. But that doesn’t mean they diagnosed and treated thousands of patients and are familiar with, and have used, the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM) since the first edition when it was a cheap little booklet an a plastic binder.
    DSM’s 2-5

    The first DSM, now something of
    a collector’s iten.
    There is a good case to be made that it is unethical not to weigh in on Donald Trump with a diagnosis, and lend the credence of the mental health profession to a profile of the man who wants to be president. More than any other candidate in history he has given evidence of his personality, including from the author who spent 18 months with him while writing “The Art of the Deal” and the author who studied 600 of his Tweets.

    I just want to share that I have been personally BANNED (by the founder) from posting anything on the 1,200 member "members only” private mental health Facebook page focused on Trump’s unfitness to be president. The founder of the site, who was mentioned in a NY Times article and been on the Diane Rhem radio show, won’t allow any debate among his mental health professional online members to even debate the exceptions to the Goldwater rule, which says psychiatrists should not diagnose public figures from afar no matter how helpful lending their expertise to help public understanding. Instead he wants to use the word “Trumpsim” and dance around making an actual diagnosis. Of course this leaves it to anyone interested to plug everything they know about him into the DSM-5, as uncountable people have done especially for narcissistic personality disorder.
    Thus we have those the best qualified to explain why Trump’s personality and mental health status which make him unfit to be president are being admonished not to do so. Thankfully, there are notable exceptions  breaking this “rule” among psychotherapist with more high status credentials than merely having been the director of a mental health center and clinician with 40 years of experience.


    IS DONALD TRUMP ACTUALLY A NARCISSIST? THERAPISTS WEIGH IN! As his presidential campaign trundles forward, millions of sane Americans are wondering: What exactly is wrong with this strange individual? Now, we have an answer.


    It’s no wonder so many mental health experts are sounding the warning about Donald Trump. In spite of the “Goldwater rule,” many mental health professionals feel it is their duty to warn Americans about the dangers of allowing someone with Donald Trump’s psychological makeup to become Commander-in-Chief of the largest and most powerful military force on earth. from US psychiatrists confirm Trump’s  NPD - Textbook Case

    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

    As one of the mental health professionals who has been writting about Donald Trump's psychiatric daignose (making a special exception to the Goldwater rule because I think it's unethical NOT to do so), I think we need to understand how he may react to his losing based on the understanding of his psychopathology. We must understand that by all incidces available to factor into making a diagnosis of narcissitic personality disorder (NPD) even from afar, Trump easily meets the critera by demonstrating nine out on nine characteristics  to varying, but signifcant degrees. (See addendum 2) 
    We need to understand narcissists like Donald Trump whose traits are extreme enough to have the actual diagnosis of NPD. After all, he could become president.  Now that this is become unlikely  we need to be forewarned. Therefore, we need to understand narcissistic injury and narcissistic rage. We must understand what happens when circumstances drive extreme narcissists into a state of rage and consider what might happen when one has the power to influence and persuade a significant portion of the population.
    "Narcissistic rage is the response of a narcissist to anything they perceive as a threat to their ego, their control or their power. It is usually intense, out of proportion, often random and is used to manipulate."
    This is what we can expect: "And at the same time the narcissist may also be plotting how to get revenge on the person who dared to challenge them. So the person gets twice the punishment...!"
    Instead of his directing his rage against only person (Hillary Clinton) he may direct it against the system.
    "My hope is that if he loses big, anyone who’s not a racist nationalist says ‘Never again’ and the racist nationalists just retreat to their basements where they belong. But my fear is that Bannon and Trump uniting could be about them looking to do something long-term that would ensure this fringe element remains.”
    While, as a Democrat who thinks the two party system is a bedrock of American democracy, I'd like the Republican Party to regain it's sanity. I think a Trump loss, especially one that gives the Democrats the Senate, and more power in the House, will move the GOP back to the party it was when Bush was president, which looks downright liberal in retrospect. 

    But I think a Trump loss even if he doesn't absolutely nothing to encourage it, there will be a real feeling among the farthest fringe that they are been given license to act out on their feels of white entitlement. The more Trump encourages them by ranting about how he lost because the system was rigged, the more he throws gasoline on their rage turning it into a flaming and dangerous fury.
    I won’t resort to hyperbole. It should go without saying what could happen when unstable people feel empowered to act on their anger.
    Addendum 1:

    Psychology Today: Rage—Coming Soon From a Narcissist Near YouHell hath no fury or contempt as a narcissist you dare to disagree with, tell they’re wrong, or embarrass

    • Control freaks
    • Irritability
    • Short fuses
    • Low frustration tolerance
    • Argumentative
    • Need to have the last word
    • Unable to lose
    • Won’t take “No” for an answer
    • Quick to anger if you don’t accommodate them
    • Quick to being aggressively defensive if you call them on any deficiency, fault or responsibility
    • Can’t apologize or if do, can’t do it sincerely
    • Rarely say, “Thank you” or “Congratulations”
    • Don’t feel or demonstrate remorse
    • Feel entitled to enthusiastic and appreciative approval, adoration, agreement and obedience
    • Gloat in victory, sullen in defeat
    • Quick to rage if you humiliate 
    Below, emphasis added:
    What is really at the core of narcissists is an instability in their ability to feel and sustain feeling bigger, larger, smarter and more successful than everyone else which they need to feel stable.  And just as Hamlet’s mother said, “the lady doth protest too much,” “the narcissist doth brag, scorn, talk down, primp and belittle too much” in order to continually prove to the world and themselves that they are larger than life.  This is not to increase their self-esteem as much as it is to continually spackle the holes in their core that lead to a feeling of instability—and that, if not spackled, will lead to brittleness followed by fragmentation.
    Narcissistic rage occurs when that core instability is threatened and furthermore threatened to destabilize them even further.  Not unlike a wounded animal being the most vicious (because they think the next wound would kill them), narcissistic rage occurs when narcissists believe the next insult/assault to their grandiose based stability would shatter them.
    Addendum 2: (emphasis added)
    Many experts use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.
    DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:
    • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
    • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
    • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
    • Requiring constant admiration
    • Having a sense of entitlement
    • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
    • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
    • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
    • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
    • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
    Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal and value yourself more than you value others.
    I’m not going to quote further chapter and verse about narcissistic rage. Anyone interested in learning more about it can Google it and apply it to Donald Trump.  
    Read comments… however
    I am also not going to respond to any comments lambasting me for being unethical for breaking the Goldwater Rule.
    Afterthought -
    It occurs to me that I was thinking big picture when I wrote this diary. It’s easy to envision worst case scenarios of people acting violently against the minority groups Trump has disparaged involving more hate crimes. I can see crimes against institutions they believe had a part in the downfall of their Superman (such as the media — a newspaper office for example).

    But thinking about the picture possibly of father and son above, it hit me that the ramifications of Trump’s vengeful rhetoric and blaming would most likely influence the young. I can see an increase in bullying incidents. We know there are lots of young bullys out there. Now an entire subset could be felt their bullying is justified.

    Sunday, Aug. 20, 2016
    Yet another “give me a &*^%%# break moment:
    Also on Daily Kos where people may or may not comment
    “I’ve asked the African-American community to honor
     me with their vote,” he said Saturday. “I fully
    recognize that outreach to the African-American
    community is an area where the Republican
    Party must do 
    better.The GOP is the Party of
    Lincoln, and I want our party to be the home
     of the African-American vote once again.
    I want an inclusive country, and I want an inclusive party.
    We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who
     sees people of color only as votes, not as
     human beings worthy of a better future.”

    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 Kos
    Chart of the week:
    From Republicans set to loose control of Senate

    Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016

    Afternoon edition:
    Read Daily Beast article here
    There are two stories here. One of course is the misogynist crude language used by the man who is now one of Trump’s closest advisors. I suppose if asked about it he could say he was actually being the opposite of a sexist pig because he could have said the Republican leaders in Congress were pricks. I suppose calling a man the c-word is more on an insult than calling him a prick. I mean, it’s like calling them girly boys ten times over.

    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.

    Morning edition

    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?

    Eric Trump wants you to believe he was fired because daddy Donald didn’t want to be distracted by the sane one on the crazy bus, Paul Manafort, as he fought off allegations he was a Russian agent.  (Link)
    This is a convenient and plausible lie. We know that Trump has proved he is loyal to reprehensible members of his inner asylum sanctum as long as they don’t prove to be too big an embarrassment. The prime example of this is Corey Lewandowski. If they are good at boot licking they get to stay.
    The real reason Trump fired Manafort is that he wasn’t willing to be a toady. Men like Manafort don’t grovel. He was never Trump’s kind of man. Trump felt no kinship with him. 
    Manafort broke the cardinal rule, I mean the absolute number one rule, by urging Trump not to be Trump.
    You tell a reasonably normal person, even a run of the mill narcissist, and they don’t do the equivalent of firing you.  Is Trump normal in how he handles anger?  Look it up here.
    Manafort probably talked as if he knew more about politics than Trump did, and broke another major rule: never say or even hint you may be smarter than Trump.
    Manafort’s shoes were large enough to have to be filled by three people: Roger Ailes, Steve Bannon (of Breightbart), and Kellyanne Conway (read about them on Rolling Stone). Ailes and Bannon are peas of a pod with Trump. Conway is a real professional who has apparently said she will let Trump be Trump.
    However, her hand can already be seen in trying to stop Trump from being Trump. It’s likely that she wrote the non-apology “I regret some things” lines in his recent teleprompter speech. You could see that these words might as well have been Trump quoting Chaucer. He didn’t believe them and obviously his audience was in on the joke.
    Conway is the odd “girl” out in this men’s locker room cabal led by Trump. She certainly don’t fit in with any of Trump’s female surrogates. The only thing that she has in common with Omarosa and Kristina Peirsen is that she is female presumably menstruates (and we know how Trump feels about that).  
    Trump has replaced the qualified Manafort with the qualified Conway who has already broken the promise she’d let Trump be the great Trump. 
    How long would that fact that she’s Trumpian eye candy — maybe an eight on Trump’s scale —keep her on the team? My prediction: give her a month before we read reports that she has been marginalized and ultimate resigns in a glorious October surprise.

    Friday, August 19, 2016

    Afternoon edition
    Donald Trump’s America
    Part 1
    Part 2: 

    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.
    Best comment: “This is the America that I know and I love,” Ibtihaj Muhammad told CNN after winning a bronze medal and hugging her teammates as part of the US sabre team. “The America that is inclusive, that is accepting and encompasses people from all walks of life.”

    According to Politico, while Olympic TV coverage pumped news and opinion shows off TV, the savvy Hillary camp made sure that they aired their most effective ads during the Olympics. Trump didn’t. So much for their brilliant campaign strategy. 

    You can bet that if the United States defied exceptions and suffered defeat after defeat in the Olympics, Trump would be lamenting that this was further proof that America was no longer great.

    I really don’t like supporting using the Olympics for political purposes, but Hillary's team could use our athletes victories to make a case that America is great. She could do it by not so subtly referencing Trump’s slogan and congratulating the athletes at the same time.

    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.

    In a perfect world politics should be kept out of the Olympics, but there are historic examples when the headline Olympic news had everything to do with politics. For example, the most notable: Jessie Owens, Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, and Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics.

    Meanwhile, Trump is trying to make political hay out of the Louisiana disaster even though officials are saying these visits should be postponed since they become a security nightmare and take needed resources away from where they are needed. He’s going for maximum photo ops by taking a tour of Baton Rouge, while if he really cared he’d have stayed at the airport and met with officials and residents there.

    And this has got to really burn Trump. Just as his plane landed in Baton Rouge coverage of Paul Manafort’s resignation began. Talking about a bumpy landing! Manafort bumped Trump’s publicity stunt right off the news.

    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

    Unless you’re a mental health professional and join the group I described in my last diary 2,200 mental health professionals alarmed by Trump you can’t read an enlightening discussion among therapists about publicly diagnosing Trump.  There is a private Facebook page just for therapists who sign the manifesto objecting to Trump because he is unfit to be president, mostly but not exclusively because of his temperament. They go to great lengths to avoid making a diagnosis for various reasons including the often expressed ones that to do so would be unethical to do so, and because they can’t make a diagnosis without a face-to-face assessment. However, when they do go public they use all kinds of words which actually describe his diagnosis, particularly narcissistic personality disorder, without actually making the diagnosis.
    I have explained my opinion in detail both here in 11 diaries, and on the new private Facebook page. To respect their privacy I can’t post what others have said from that site. Suffice to say that the responses to my comments are running against me three or four to one. 
    While I am in the minority among psychotherapists, I have yet to be persuaded that I am wrong. I keep reading articles by therapists that dance around making an actual diagnosis. For example, in The Insanity of Narcissism the author of “Traumatic Narcissism” psychoanalyst Danial Shaw writes about Trumps psychiatric symptoms without actually calling them indications of his having psychiatric  disorder in Insanity of Narcissism. Ironically, he uses the word “insanity” in his title which I would argue is more stigmatizing than actually writing about narcissistic personality disorder.
    He writes:
    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” diagnosis a of malignant, traumatizing narcissist who is are capable of untold destructiveness. Most therapists who go on TV or write articles have agreed to constrain themselves by following the so-called Goldwater rule that keeps them from helping the public to understand better why Trump is unfit to be president by explaining the details of his diagnosis.
    Not all therapists totally agree with strict adherence to the Goldwater Rule. For example, this was written by a psychologist in 2010:
    The Goldwater rule has many attractive aspects.  For example, it potentially constrains rogue psychiatrists who might be tempted to denounce the mental health of political figures on political bases alone.  It also protects politicians from unflattering and potentially erroneous assessments of their character.
    On the other hand, I wonder who is to protect the public from unstable and problematic politicians?
    The legal scholar Stanley Fish distinguished between psychiatrists and psychologists by emphasizing that psychiatry, as a branch of medicine, is primarily a healing profession. The obligation of psychiatrists is to the well being of their patients.
    Psychology, by contrast, includes not only healers, but also scientific researchers. The product of psychology, in Fish's thinking, is knowledge about a person's mental processes and behavioral expressions, as well as how to predict and control such phenomena. The application of such knowledge potentially leads to the well-being of the public over the longer-term.
    I see the reasons offered by these therapists. I happen to think Trump is the exception 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. Noless a personage than Eric Fromm wrote about fascistic dictators before there was such thing as a diagnostic manual like the DSM-5. 
    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. He was a keen observer of the personalities of dictators, whom he saw as narcissistic to the point of psychosis. This kind of narcissist, and Fromm mentions some of the most conspicuous 20th Century dictators as well as Nero and Caligula, has made himself God and the world, to himself. He has made of himself an Idol, and expects and demands total submission and compliance.
     Sam Vaknin, a mental health expert and author, who has studied over 600 hours of Donald Trump footage gets away with making a diagnosis because he isn’t actually a therapist. He  “made the harsh conclusion that Donald Trump is not simply a classic narcissist — he is, in fact, a “malignant and, probably, psychopathic narcissist.”
    This is from the introduction to the interview published about him in American Thinker:
    Shmuel Ben David “Sam” Vaknin is an authority on the subject of narcissism, having written the widely read and very favorably reviewed book, Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited and Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders. He may be described as a polymath, with extraordinary expertise (and experience) in abnormal psychology, and with focuses including temporal physics and politics (See his Web siteYouTube site, and Wikipedia bio).

    Read more: Donald Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: An Interview with Sam Vaknin
    Shmuel Ben David “Sam” Vaknin is an authority on the subject of narcissism, having written the widely read and very favorably reviewed book, Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited and Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders. He may be described as a polymath, with extraordinary expertise (and experience) in abnormal psychology, and with focuses including temporal physics and politics (See his Web siteYouTube site, and Wikipedia bio).
    Some see Donald Trump's behavior in the media and become concerned. I recently had the opportunity to discuss him with Sam Vaknin.

    Read more:   
    ​This is from the article 
    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.”
    I am sure there are those who are tired of me writing about this, just as I expect that the same reader who keep reposting a comment telling me how unethical and insensitive I am will post again.

    I hope more people read this and respond to me usual poll again. I am hoping I will change some minds.  

    Read: The Insanity Of Narcissism

    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.
    Click here

    Debate Over Armchair Psychological Assessments Of Donald Trump

    In 1964, damaging and completely erroneous psychological assessments were made about then-presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. The American Psychiatric Association instituted a new guideline: psychiatrists should not offer opinions about people they’ve not personally examined. But in recent weeks, some psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals have broken this rule. They are speaking out about what they see as Donald Trump’s unfitness to be president. The pitfalls of diagnosing from afar and when personality disorders can be strengths. 
    • Amy Ellis Nutt science writer, The Washington Post
    • Dr. Paul Appelbaum professor of psychiatry, medicine, and law, Columbia University
    • William Doherty psychologist and director, Citizen Professional Center, University of Minnesota
    • Ron Elving senior Washington editor, NPR News

    Weds, August 17, 2016

    Donald Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: An Interview with Sam Vaknin

    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
    From online manifesto signed by 2,200 mental health professionals at — Are you increasingly alarmed by Donald Trump? Do you recognize that he represents an ideology (let's call it Trumpism) that won’t go away even if he loses in November? Trumpism: is antithetical to everything we stand for as therapists. is inconsistent with democracy, with the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, and with emotionally healthy living. promotes hyper-masculinity, public hostility, the cult of the Strong Man, and the denigration of women. presents a threat beyond a single election; the next demagogue may be less outrageous--and thus even more dangerous. It’s time that we say these things publicly, as therapists, and not just behind closed doors. This isn't about liberal or conservative. It's about our American democracy.
    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, ,  with a manifesto which over 2,000 therapists have signed:

    A Public Manifesto

    Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism

    As psychotherapists practicing in the United States, we are alarmed by the rise of the ideology of Trumpism, which we see as a threat to the well-being of the people we care for and to American democracy itself. We cannot remain silent as we witness the rise of an American form of fascism. We can leverage this time of crisis to deepen our commitment to American democracy.
    What is Trumpism?
    Trumpism is an ideology, not an individual, and it may well endure and grow after the Presidential election even if Donald Trump is defeated. (Variants can be seen all over Europe.) Trumpism is a set of ideas about public life and a set of public practices characterized by:
    • Scapegoating and banishing groups of people who are seen as threats, including immigrants and religious minorities.
    • Degrading, ridiculing, and demeaning rivals and critics.
    • Fostering a cult of the Strong Man who:
      • Appeals to fear and anger
      • Promises to solve our problems if we just trust in him
      • Reinvents history and has little concern for truth
      • Never apologizes or admits mistakes of consequence
      • Sees no need for rational persuasion
      • Subordinates women while claiming to idealize them
      • Disdains public institutions like the courts when they are not subservient
      • Champions national power over international law and respect for other nations
      • Incites and excuses public violence by supporters
    At the political level, Trumpism is an emerging form of American fascism, a point being made by social critics across the political spectrum, including Robert ReichRobert Kagan, and Andrew Sullivan. As journalist Adam Gopnik points out, whether or not the term “fascism” fully fits, it’s clear that the American republic faces a clear and present danger when the candidate of a major political party embraces an anti-democratic ideology. At the cultural level, the Urban Dictionary has defined Trumpism as “the belief system that encourages pretentious, narcissistic behavior as a way to achieve money, fame, and power.”
    What are the Effects of Trumpism?
    1. Fear and alienation among scapegoated groups, beginning with Latino immigrants and Muslims, and then other groups who become identified as threats
    2. Exaggerated masculinity as a cultural ideal, with particular influence on young people and economically insecure men
    3. Coarsening of public life by personal attacks on those who disagree
    4. Erosion of the American democratic tradition which has emphasized the agency of we-the-people instead of the Strong Man tradition of power
    Where Did Trumpism Come From?
    This question is bigger than Donald Trump. The next public figure to capture the wave of Trumpism may be less clownish and have a better set of movement-building skills, and thus be even more dangerous. Following is a partial list of forces that underlie Trumpism:
    • Economic insecurity, particularly among working-class Americans
    • The threat of terrorism since 9/11
    • Fear of immigrants (related to economic insecurity and threats of terrorism)
    • Distrust for government and politicians at a time of polarized gridlock
    • Growing distrust for other institutions such as religion, the press, and the courts
    • Rapid cultural change that has left many people confused and alienated
    Why Therapists Must Speak Out
    We must speak out for the well-being of people we treat and care for in our work. Trumpism will undermine the emotional health of those seen as the “other” in America—both historically denigrated groups and those whose turn will come. And it will compromise the integrity of those who are seduced by the illusion that real Americans can only become winners if others become losers. The public rhetoric of Trumpism normalizes what therapists work against in our work: the tendency to blame others in our lives for our personal fears and insecurities and then battle these others instead of taking the healthier but more difficult path of self-awareness and self-responsibility. It also normalizes a kind of hyper-masculinity that is antithetical to the examined life and healthy relationships that psychotherapy helps people achieve. Simply stated, Trumpism is inconsistent with emotionally healthy living—and we have to say so publicly.
    We must speak out for the well-being of our democracy, which is both a way of living and acting together and a set of political institutions. Therapists have taken for granted how our work relies on a democratic tradition that gives people a sense of personal agency to create new narratives and take personal and collective responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities. Reliance on a Strong Man who will solve our problems and deal with internal and external enemies is a direct threat to the democratic basis of psychotherapy. Therapy only flourishes on democratic soil.
    Why speak collectively? Our responses thus far have been primarily personal—and too often confined to arm-chair diagnoses of Donald Trump. But a collective crisis faces our nation, a harkening back to the economic depression and demoralization of the 1930s (which fed European fascism) and the upheaval over Jim Crow and Black civil rights in the 1950s. Fortunately, the resolution of these crises led to a deepening of American democracy, not the abandonment of it. Martin Luther King, influenced by his mentor Bayard Rustin and by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, didn’t just critique unjust systems from the outside. He called for strategic, collective work to take back an American democracy that belongs to all the people. As therapists, we have been entrusted by society with collective responsibility in the arena of mental, behavioral, and relational health. When there is a public threat to our domain of responsibility we must speak out together, not just to protest but to deepen our commitment to a just society and a democratic way of life. This means being citizen therapists who are concerned with community well-being as much as personal well-being, since the two are inextricably joined.
    Where We Stand as Citizen Therapists
    We understand the draw of Trumpism and we acknowledge that some of our fellow citizens, and some of our clients, may vote for Donald Trump not because they embrace all aspects of Trumpism but because they are frustrated with their circumstances and fed up with the current political system. We are against Trumpism and its architects, not against those who are inclined to give it a chance to change the direction of the country.
    But we reject the false equivalence of saying that because there is dishonesty and demagoguery on all political sides, why not support someone from the outside? Trumpism is qualitatively different. To repeat: Trumpism undermines the core of American democracy by promoting the idea of a single leader who will bring greatness to the nation by battling Those People. Democracy requires personal and collective agency so that we can work together across differences to solve problems and develop a shared way of life. Psychotherapists must be firmly on the side of democracy and work in solidarity with groups directly threatened by current and future versions of Trumpism. This work will not end with the election in November 2016. The wake-up call has been received. Our first response is this manifesto. More to follow.
    Therefore, as citizen therapists we stand united against the dangerous ideology of Trumpism, and we encourage others to join us in a deepened commitment to a democratic way of life that engages the talents, yearnings, and capacities of all the people.

    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.
    Actually Appelbaum’s notion that it takes months to make a diagnosis is a bit of professional snobbery. Most clinicians make a tentative, usually correct, diagnosis in one or two sessions unless the patients exhibits complex symptoms — suggestive of a constellation of disorders, or a hard to diagnose disorder like dissociative (multiple personality) disorder or a neurological disorder like temporal lobe epilepsy which can cause hallucinations (suspicion of this requires a referral to a neurologist).

    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?
    Trump is saying that Hillary isn’t physically fit enough to fight ISIS. 
    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!

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