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November 30, 2017

Finally people are getting serious about the 25th Amendment

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Thursday Nov. 30, 2017
First, a moment in memory of Jim Nabors:

Back to Trump on the Brink 

From Eugene Robinson “This Is Getting Worse" in Washington Post:

One of the things that first drew attention to Trump as a presidential candidate was his public speaking style — free association, basically, with no discernible filter between brain and lip. Follow one of his speeches and you can track how his mind works. On Monday, at a White House ceremony honoring Navajo code talkers, he bizarrely slipped in his “Pocahontas” slur against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who wasn’t there and had nothing to do with the event. On Wednesday, at a Missouri rally touting the tax bill, he came to a line about how it would add “rocket fuel” to the economy, paused a second, and then reprised his “rocket man” insult of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom Trump went on to call a “sick puppy.”

Kim’s state-controlled media has called Trump an “old lunatic.” That the rival nuclear-armed leaders speak the same language is not comforting.

Maybe Trump is rattled by the Great Reckoning on sexual harassment and assault. Maybe he is worried about the steamrolling Robert S. Mueller III investigation. Or maybe his mental state is just deteriorating.

Whatever the problem is, it’s serious — and it’s getting worse.

Excerpt from Salon:

Recently, psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee told Salon's executive editor Andrew O'Hehir, "We believe that Mr. Trump, in the office of the presidency, poses a danger to the public, and in fact the international community."
"Assessing dangerousness is actually more about the situation and not just about the person, whereas a diagnosis would be about the person and stays with the individual," Lee continued. "So, a certain individual may be dangerous in a certain position of power and not dangerous in another situation."
Salon's Chauncey DeVega spoke with Dr. John Gartner, a former assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, who told him that the president "is a narcissist, paranoid and demonizes anyone who opposes him."

"Trump has an antisocial personality and exhibits signs of sociopathy. Sadism is another part of this dynamic. These are people who truly get pleasure from harming and hurting and degrading other people…… This is the greatest psychiatric emergency in the history of the United States and maybe in the history of the world, but we can do nothing about it. Because Trump is the president, we can’t call the police and have him evaluated, Gartner said.


"That people close to him say is mentally unfit, that people close to him during the campaign told me had early stages of dementia.

Scarborough said the country is closer to war on the Korean Peninsula than most Americans know.
"We heard this months ago, that we are going to have a ground war in Korea, they believe that inside the White House for a very long time," Scarborough said.
"If this is not what the 25th Amendment was drafted for," he added, referring to the amendment that covers presidential succession and the response to a president with disabilities.
Ed. Note: There are three possible explanations for Trump being delusional. He may be in the early stages of dementia. He may be heading into having a psychotic break. Or, third, he could be a combination of the two. HB

Updated article: Excerpt

But White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders effectively said that it did not matter whether the President was spreading genuine videos or not, since he was trying to make a point about the threat of Islamic radicalism.
"Whether it is a real video, the threat is real," Sanders said.
In the end, the President's recent unrestrained conduct also leaves the public with serious questions to consider -- for instance in his preference on many occasions for conspiracy theories over objective truth.
At some point, he might be forced to come before the world and explain why such a potentially bloody war in Asia is necessary.

But his habit of creating alternative realities and eroding trust could come back to haunt him.

Excerpt: (emphasis added)
In the wake of yet another unhinged, conspiracy-mongering, morning tweetstorm from the president, the New York Daily News‘ editorial board published a piece claiming President Donald Trump is suffering from a form of poor mental health-induced “mania.”
While the paper is known to be New York City’s more liberal publication, seriously questioning Trump’s mental capacity and referring to him as a “madman” — in the literal sense of the term — is still striking.
The editorial board wrote the following in their op-ed today:
“After his latest spasm of deranged tweets, only those completely under his spell can deny what growing numbers of Americans have long suspected: The President of the United States is profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is, by any honest layman’s definition, mentally unwell and viciously lashing out… The sheer strangeness of Trump’s behavior leads us to conclude that we are witnessing signs of mania.”

The paper went onto state Trump “is not well” and his fitness for office is only getting worse. “Before our eyes, the President is spinning in a Tasmanian devil’s rage about American news networks,” they wrote.


"You represent 325 million people whose lives are literally in your hands, and we are facing a showdown with a nuclear power and you have somebody inside the White House that the New York Daily News says is mentally unfit; that people close to him say is mentally unfit; that people close to him during the campaign told me had early stages of dementia.
“When are we supposed to say this?” Scarborough asked. “After the first nuclear missile goes? Is that when it's proper to bring this up in polite society?"
As for Trump's tweet directed at Scarborough, his fiancé Mika Brzezinski read a statement that she said she wrote:
Today the president crossed another deep and disturbing line with his attacks on Joe. The chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America advanced a false conspiracy theory to intimidate the press and cause a chilling effect on the First Amendment.
Joe and I are not intimidated. And his bizarre behavior contravenes both the Constitution and basic moral judgment.

Brzezinski said that is all they would have to say on the matter.
Weds. Nov. 29, 2017
Ed. Note:
Evening —
Today was a day when the mainstream media realized they have a moral obligation to warn. 

Following up on the NY Times and Washington Post stories about Trump thinking the Access Hollywood tapes weren’t of him, and that he is still obsessed with where Obama was born, major news outlets like CNN and Newsweek are questioning his sanity. Make no mistake, being delusional is a psychotic characteristic. 

MSNBC is liberal, and I won’t torture myself by watching Fox News, but there in between news as Matt Laurer and the North Korean missile launch they are devoting substation time to the delusional story.

With some irony, both stories easily segue into the Trump too delusional to be president story. The sexual predatory stories lead to discussion of Trump denial of his sexual history, and the N. Korea story leads to discussion of whether he’s the president to oversee our nuclear arsenal. 

The MSNBC in-depth coverage began last night of The 11th Hour with Brian Williams. Scroll down to watch the video. 24 hours later Lawrence O’Donnell had Duty to Warn psychiatrist Lance Dodes, MD on discussing the chance Trump is having psychotic episodes.

Being discussed on The 11th Hour with Brian Williams:

Screen shots, not a link
Lance Dodes on DTW on Lawrence O’Donnell —  Mostly accurate but some paraphrasing below, I can’t type that fast.

Lance Dodes: Trump is close to psychosis when he is stressed. When he denies reality, most people have trouble understanding this. The simple explanation is that he’s not in control of himself. This is what we mean when we say someone is psychotic or briefly psychotic.

Trump is on the border when they are under stress they slip into delusional thinking.  Enormous present danger to us when on brink of declaring nuclear war. 

Lawrence notes how he is constantly dong things against his self-interest and that he can understand it in light of his having no control.

Dodes says "this is a sick man, he is truly very sick, although this is not surprising” noting that (Duty to Warn) has predicted this. "I would not be surprised to see him try to fire the Supreme Court... or start a nuclear war. He needs to protect himself from what he sees as an existential threat by denying reality."


“That he is decompensating. That’s a psychiatric term, but what it means in simple terms is he is losing his grip on reality,” Schartz suggested. “His reality testing is really poor and I believe that’s exactly what’s going on.”
“You have known him for quite some time,” Melber noted. “When you see Donald Trump today, when you see what he’s saying that is false, is it about what you saw then or do you see a change?”

“There is a pretty dramatic change. He is more limited in his vocabulary, he is further from, as I said, this connection to what is factual and real. He is more impulsive, he is more reactive,” Schwartz observed. “This is a guy in deep trouble.”
“We need to be really bringing in psychiatrists because this is a man who is deeply mentally ill and literally, I know that two different people from the White House — or at least saying they they were from the White House and it turned out to be a White House number — who have called somebody I know in the last several weeks to say, ‘we are deeply concerned about his mental health.’”

“Wait a minute,” Melber interrupted. “You’re saying you have knowledge of people calling from a White House line raising that question? Why would they do that? How do you know? 

“I know because I know the person that they called and this is a person who I absolutely trust, who has great integrity,” Schwartz answered. 


After his latest spasm of deranged tweets, only those completely under his spell can deny what growing numbers of Americans have long suspected: The President of the United States is profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is, by any honest layman’s definition, mentally unwell and viciously lashing out.
Some might say we are just suffering through the umpteenth canny, calculated presidential eruption designed to distract the nation from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, or perhaps from unpopular legislation working its way through Congress.

Quite possible. But Occam’s razor, and the sheer strangeness of Trump’s behavior, leads us to conclude that we are witnessing signs of mania.
I have resisted for a long while commenting at length on the president*’s possible mental state, in large part because long-distance psychological speculation always revolted me. (Remember Charles Krauthammer, a trained psychiatrist, speculating about Al Gore’s mental health? I do.) But the fact that these stories are leaking out now is a pretty good indicator that the people in and around this president* are worried about him. From The New York Times:
One senator who listened as the president revived his doubts about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate chuckled on Tuesday as he recalled the conversation. The president, he said, has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. The senator asked not to be named to discuss private conversations. Mr. Trump’s journeys into the realm of manufactured facts have been frequent enough that his own staff has sought to nudge friendly lawmakers to ask questions of Mr. Trump in meetings that will steer him toward safer terrain.
“Journeys into the realm of manufactured facts”?

Jesus, take the wheel.
Another excerpt from Newsweek Today:

While some have portrayed the mistruths as a political strategy, it is far more than that, according to a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Lance Dodes.

“He is a far more sick person than people realize or want to realize,” Dodes, who like Gartner was a contributor to the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, told Newsweek. “To say for example that he is even a con man is way too benign. He loses track of reality when it comes to a challenge to his sense of himself, which is extremely fragile. It’s out of his control—he is not clever like a fox, he is just very, very sick.”


Washington (CNN)Donald Trump potentially has millions of lives in his hands as the threat of a devastating war with North Korea swiftly escalates.
Yet the President of the United States is raising new questions about his temperament, his judgment and his understanding of the resonance of his global voice and the gravity of his role with a wild sequence of insults, inflammatory tweets and bizarre comments.

Brian Williams videos from last night:
Sam Stein, Ashley Parker and Peter Baker on The 11th Hour with Brian Williams are talking about whether Trump is clinically delusional, about him creating a reality and believing it. 

Not only the Access Hollywood tapes, but now again in private
is questioning whether Obama was really born here.

No shrinks here, but all are bluntly talking about Trump’s bizarre behavior and how his episodes are leaking to the press because those around him are worried. The leakers say “ Trump privately harbors conspiracy theories."

They are all shaking their heads in disbelief about Trump followers being willing to believe Trump faked his brith certificate. Watch the two segments here.

...Excerpt: (Emphasis added)

The prevailing interpretation of Donald Trump, shared by all his enemies and many of his allies, is that he is a con man. It is a theory that explains both his career in business and politics, and has carried through his many reversals of position and acts of fraud against customers and contractors. It remains quite plausible. But new reporting has opened up a second possibility: The president has lost all touch with reality.
The Washington Post and New York Times have accounts from insiders suggesting Trump habitually insists upon the impossible in private. He does not merely tell lies in order to gull the public, or to manipulate allies. He tells lies in private that he has no reason to tell. He still questions the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth, despite the birth certificate. He insists voter fraud may have denied him a popular vote triumph. He tells people Robert Mueller will wrap up his investigation, with a total vindication of the president, by the end of the year.
He questions whether the Access Hollywood tape, on which he was recorded boasting of sexual assault, is even him. (Both the Post and the Times describe Trump repeatedly denying the validity of the tape in private, “stunning his advisers,” as the Times puts it.)
It is of course entirely possible that Trump is lying to everybody, including his own staff. But the lies in these articles do not always fit into any pattern of rational self-aggrandizement. Trump tells senators or his aides the Access Hollywood tape is not him, but they don’t believe him. He has no reason to bring up the birther fabrication in private.

If Trump actually has the ability to convince himself of his own lies, it would suggest a possibility far more dangerous than even his critics have previously assumed. He might be in the grip of a mental health issue, or at least one more serious than mere sociopathy. And the mutterings that he might need to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment could grow more serious than many of us expected.

Regular readers may think I wrote this. I didn’t. However, I couldn’t have said it any better. HB

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November 16, 2017

Trumpology, Trumpism, and What We Need to Know and Malignant Narcissism

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Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017

Evening Edition

From an article in the Washington Post, this is indicative of psychopathology. If he really doesn’t recognize and remember what he said, his reality testing is seriously impaired. 

A second person who has discussed the tape with Trump recalled, “He says: ‘It’s really not me. I don’t talk like that.’ ” 

Trump Once Said the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Was Real. Now He’s Not Sure. (But check out the excerpt below HB)  

Monday, Nov. 27, 2017
Evening Image
Click image to enlarge


Hopefully we’ll see books like this soon.

Trump has long been obsessed with having his face on the cover of magazines, especially Time magazine, and he has compared himself to a “supermodel, except, like, times 10.” Many of his clubs are decorated with many of these covers — including, up until recently, a fake March 2009 Time cover that featured the real estate developer and proclaimed: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS . . . EVEN TV!”

We would have no particular concern for his happiness and self-regard, given his loathsome character, if not for the danger his total self-absorption poses to the presidency, the country, democracy and the West. His bottomless well of insecurity makes him a sitting duck for authoritarians well-versed in the art of flattery. His self-absorption make him incurious about the world — about anything other than himself — and as one who asserts he knows more than anyone else, he cannot learn from others. His personality defects make him unwilling to give up grudges, unable to let go of small inconsequential matters (e.g. athletes kneeling, crowd size), unequipped to control his anger, unprepared to set out a bottom line in negotiations and unmoved by others’ expectation he should show loyalty to them. His tweets now read like a form of free-association therapy as he babbles on about his obsessions, fears and resentments — thereby making himself the object of even more ridicule and contempt.
You couldn't make this narcissistic crap up department:
Click above to read Tweeted comments

Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017
Trump is either a cold, calculating liar, or is he delusional? I could hardly believe this when I read it: 

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 (The added titles are always mine: HB)

Friday, Nov. 24, 2017
If you don’t know who Jenifer Lewis is, she’s an actress, comedian and activist who appeared in the 1988 Bette Midler friendship drama Beaches; the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg nun-sensical comedy Sister Act; and Drag Race alum Shangela’s 2012 music video “Werqin Girl (Professional).” She currently plays a recurring grandmother character in the ABC sitcom Black-ish.

Excerpt: Lewis is hardly the first person to seriously question Trump’s mental state. Various politicians and psychologists have publicly questioned his “fitness” to serve as president, and publications like The Washington Post and The Atlantic have even gone so far as to get professional psychologists to weigh in.
Interestingly, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) differ in their stances on whether psychologists should comment on Trump’s mental health. The APsaA says its members can comment as individuals but the ASA says that it’s unethical for professionals to do so unless they have clinically evaluated him first.
Whether he’s mentally ill or not, Trump sucks. We’re thankful that we’re not alone in thinking so, or resisting him to help preserve our communities despite his sociopathic tendencies.

Enter Trump. Kasparov says that unlike most people, he was able to watch the coverage in the American and Russian media side by side through the election and since. For the Russians, it was an obvious progression through the stages of people taking Trump seriously, starting out by saying Trump’s candidacy showed that all politics could be corrupt, then to saying that it spread chaos, then to saying he’d never win because the system was rigged even though he was a great guy.

“But then it was massive celebration, and you could read, sometimes between the lines, sometimes almost openly, preaching Trump as someone who would change everything in Russian relations,” Kasparov says. “I have no doubt that Putin’s dream was another big Crimea meeting, big Yalta to divide the world.”

The Yalta Conference, 1945 We know how that turned out for the west….

The Yalta Conference took place in a Russian resort town in the Crimea from February 4–11, 1945, during World War Two. At Yalta, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin made important decisions regarding the future progress of the war and the postwar world.

Just For Fun (With better production values the the Duty to Warn videos)

“Lil’ Alex Jones” seems to have gotten under the very thin skin of the tinfoil-hat outlet.

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 (Intro titles are mine)

On Thanksgiving, Trump proves he has both a sickness of the mind and a sickness of the soul - prompting me to once again change the title of this website. Consider this from Business Insider:

President Donald Trump wished the media a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday and then joked he was firing them.
While he was speaking to the military via teleconference on Thanksgiving, Trump noted how he was "surrounded by reporters and press" and wanted to ask them to leave so that he could have confidential conversations with overseas military members.
"I will say: 'You're fired,'" he said, recycling his catch phrase from his reality TV show "The Apprentice." "And, by the way, media: Happy Thanksgiving."
Trump is spending Thanksgiving at his Palm Beach, Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. He reportedly went golfing on Wednesday and spoke to members of the military Thursday morning. He also visited a Coast Guard station and passed out sandwiches.

At the Coast Guard station, a reporter asked Trump what he was thankful for. She was immediately reprimanded by a member of the communications staff, according to a press pool report.

Then, from Raw Story, using his chance to say Happy Thanksgiving to the troops he decides to implicitly attack Obama and brag about himself.
“First of all, I’m thankful for the fact that he did address the soldiers,” Hertling said. “But the message that I heard and some of the things he said would have not rung very well with me had I been a deployed soldier.”

The president insisted the military was “winning” thanks to the steps his administration has taken, but Hertling argued, “we have been winning.”

“You’re talking to soldiers and military personnel around the world who have been in this fight for 17 years and to suddenly be told they’re winning now when they weren’t winning before is somewhat insulting, first of all. And secondly, the comments about the economy and where the economy is growing—deployed service members don’t want to hear about that. They want to hear, ‘Hey, thanks, for what you’re doing.’”

‘They weren’t letting you win’: 

Watch Trump use his Thanksgiving address

 to the troops to bash the Obama administration

About Afghanistan: “Everybody is talking about the progress you’ve made in the last few months since I opened it up. We opened it up, we said, ‘Go ahead, we’re going to fight to win. We’re not fighting anymore to just walk around, we’re fighting to win,’ and you people are really—you’ve turned it around over the last three to four months like nobody’s seen and they are talking about it.” 

“We’re being talked about again as an armed forces. We’re really winning. We know how to win—They weren’t letting you win before, they were letting you play even, we’re letting you win.”

“The fight against ISIS is coming our way. It’s coming our way, big, big difference. A lot of things have happened. They say we’ve made more progress against ISIS than they did in years of the previous administration. And that’s because I’m letting you do your job.”

“Everybody in this country is watching and they’re seeing and they’re seeing positive reports for instead of the neutral and negative reports. It’s all positive.”

First Read, Charles Blow (NYT) Thankfully Recommitting to the Resistance.
Last Thanksgiving I wrote a column titled, “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along,” in which I committed myself to resisting this travesty of a man, proclaiming, “I have not only an ethical and professional duty to call out how obscene your very existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral obligation to do so.” 
I made this promise: “As long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze.” 
I have kept that promise, not because it was a personal challenge, but because this is a national crisis. 
Donald Trump, I thought that your presidency would be a disaster. It’s worse than a disaster. I wasn’t sure that resistance to your weakening of the republic, your coarsening of the culture, your assault on truth and honesty, your erosion of our protocols, would feel as urgent today as it felt last year. But if anything, that resistance now feels more urgent 
Nothing about you has changed for the better. You are still a sexist, bigoted, bullying, self-important simpleton. But now all of the worst of you has the force of the American presidency.
Jenna Johnson, WaPo: On Trump’s Thanksgiving menu: Grievances and calls for gratitude — for him


This Thanksgiving, President Trump doesn’t seem to be thankful for very much — and seems frustrated that Americans aren’t expressing more gratitude for him.

At a time when many reflect on the blessings in their lives and help those in need, the president has thanked himself for the booming stock market and promised to cut welfare programs. He has demanded more credit for the release of three college basketball players who were arrested for allegedly shoplifting in China — tweeting Wednesday that “IT WAS ME” who got them out — and called the father of one of the players an “ungrateful fool.” He also revived the controversy over football players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and sought to cast doubt on the women who have accused Senate candidate Roy Moore of preying on them when they were teenagers.

The holiday week, in other words, serves as a reminder that Trump doesn’t take a break from airing his grievances — not even in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. As he tweeted in 2013: “Happy Thanksgiving to all — even the haters and losers!”

Of course, that’s why many of his supporters adore him. They love that he doesn’t waste time uttering flowery holiday sentiments pulled from greeting cards and instead speaks his mind without any filter, or a spell-checker.
Click image to enlarge 

Weds. Nov. 22, 2017

This is a real Tweet - RoyMoore, in reference to Sen. McConnell made it last week and since then Twitter has had a heyday with it because “Bring it On” is the name of six movies about teenaged cheerleaders.  Hmmm. A Freudian slip.
 “If he can pick out a target who is different from him and who his base may also resent, that’s the person he’ll go after. What I’m actually struck by about Trump is how aggressively he’s moved toward kind of an authoritarian perspective. The biggest fear I have is not whether he tweets about people but it’s about whether he moves in the direction of a dictator. Trump I think models himself after Putin and the problem is that we don’t have anybody to model ourselves after in this country right now. You need people to idealize, you need role models, and you watch what happens to the male psyche right now and the absence of anything that you can idealize and it’s troubling and scary on frightening,” Schwartz said.

Of course we know he’s really defending himself when he defends Moore. Over his shoulder while he’s talking to the press, Melania looks at him, turns her back, and strolls away. At least she didn’t stand next to him the way Moore’s wife does.
Click image to enlarge 

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

Trump didn’t pop out of the womb as a malignant narcissism. This isn’t a genetic disorder. Something happened to him growing up. 

 Let’s take a deep look at his apologist Sarah Huckabee Sanders. This is her Daddy Dearest:

Mike Huckabee: Women Should Submit To Their Husbands

Monday, Nov. 20, 2017
Evening Edition:
Below: Bandy Lee on French English language TV:

On the west coast most of us missed Morning Joe this morning: 

MSNBC’s Mika blasts Trump’s ‘pathetic’ attempts to distract from Russia with ‘blatant racism’

Tweeter of the Day:
Click to enlarge
And then there’s the malignant narcissist dictator wannabe:

Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017

Midnight Edition - Just came through on Google News search… the second article by Chauncey DeVega featuring John Gartner. It is listed as trending, which probably means lots of readers are looking at it. While Salon is a liberal website, and you can say articles like this featuring John are preaching to the choir, it is important that we have one spokesperson that has become one of the primary go-to people in the media. We have to try to break through into the other media - John valiantly handled
an interview by arch conservative Fox New provocateur Jessie Watters, and made our movements first leap into cable comedy on Comedy Central’s The President Show. All this  helps raise awareness one little bit at a time. I am always thinking of the optics - of what will go over the best in the media - online and on TV… and John’s tell it like it is blunt talk seems to be an effective way to stay in the public eye. Nobody will cause him of pussyfooting around and using euphemisms to avoid describing just why Trump is dangerous. 

Being willing to diagnose him from the onset, despite some criticism from the mental health community, opened a lot of peoples eyes. Scroll down for Friday’s article.
Excerpt - Put this in the context of another tidbit of speculation (right) which I found in a post by blogger Bill Palmer (Palmer Report) that because the Manafort indictment was labeled “B” there must be a still sealed “A” indictment, and that this could be for Trump himself. 

"Now add one more factor, that under the surface, this Mueller investigation is turning him and his family into cornered animals," Gartner continued. "They are guilty of treason, guilty of money laundering, guilty of collusion, guilty of obstruction of justice. They are guilty as sin and they know it. The noose is tightening around their necks and unlike Richard Nixon Trump and his cabal are not going to leave gracefully. Donald Trump is going to be really like Bonnie and Clyde; he’s going to shoot his way out. The best way for him to shoot his way out is to start a war and distract from his misdeeds, rally the country behind him, and most importantly from a psychological perspective, to transform the feeling of being a weak victim of a massive criminal investigation into that of an omnipotent destructive and powerful leader by destroying and killing millions of people."

I have to note to be historically accurate, Bonnie and Clyde only managed to shoot their way out of their bank robberies.  When law enforcement finally caught up to them they didnt have a chance to fire a shot as 150 bullets riddled their car and bodies.
Chauncey DeVega gets it:

Click to enlarge
My Tweets to him:
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Sat. Nov. 18, 2017
An Evening Diversion: Meet the Trumpettes and the Trumpsters -  this will give you some insight into members of the Trump cult. Why some worship him as the God-King is hard to grasp, but you’ll see that they do.

Meet the founder (left), and here's an interesting (eh, what?)  sample (right).
Afternoon update:

Here’s another reason why we find that so often facts don’t appear to matter:

Slowly, hopefully surely, diagnostic terms are being used to describe Trump.

In Mocking Franken Over Claims of Sexual Misconduct, Trump Joins a Debate He Started

Excerpt (emphasis added)

But the notion that Mr. Trump himself would weigh in given his own history of crude talk about women and the multiple allegations against him surprised many in Washington who thought he could not surprise them anymore. A typical politician with Mr. Trump’s history would stay far away from discussing someone else’s behavior lest it dredge his own back into the spotlight. But as Mr. Trump has shown repeatedly during his 10-month presidency, he is rarely deterred by conventional political wisdom even as he leaves it to his staff to fend off the cries of hypocrisy.

“Like everything else Trump touches, he hijacks it with his chronic dishonesty and childishness,” said Mark Salter, a longtime adviser to Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. “The intense, angry and largely ignorant tribalism afflicting our politics predates Trump’s arrival on the scene. But he has infused it with a psychopath’s inability to accept that social norms apply to him.”

White House aides labored on Friday to distinguish Mr. Trump’s case from those of others, arguing that the president’s conduct was not at issue because he won the election last year after voters had a chance to evaluate both the claims against him and his denials.
ඛඣFriday, Nov. 17, 2017


In the future, how do you think Trump's voters will rationalize supporting his disastrous and embarrassing presidency?

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the "Doomsday Clock" closer to midnight. To be honest, I think it’s actually chiming at midnight right now. I don’t think people have any idea how close we are the point of no return. I think there is an 80 percent chance he’s going to push that nuclear button. Why? Number one, Trump is a malignant narcissist. As far as I know, I cannot recall a single malignant narcissist in history who did not start a major war.
Now add one more factor: Under the surface, this [Robert] Mueller investigation is turning him and his family into cornered animals. They are guilty of treason, guilty of money-laundering, guilty of collusion, guilty of obstruction of justice. They are guilty as sin and they know it. The noose is tightening around their necks and, unlike Richard Nixon, Trump and his cabal are not going to leave gracefully.

Donald Trump is going to be like Bonnie and Clyde; he’s going to shoot his way out. The best way for him to shoot his way out is to start a war and distract from his misdeeds, rally the country behind him and -- most importantly from a psychological perspective -- to transform the feeling of being a weak victim of a massive criminal investigation into that of an omnipotent destructive and powerful leader by destroying and killing millions of people.
When you ask me, “What are people going to say about it?” What are Germans saying now about the Holocaust? None of them were Nazis. No one is going to be proud of what they did if they don't stand up to Donald Trump now.

There is an abundant evidence to show that Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist with sociopathic tendencies. Yet some psychologists and psychiatrists continue to hide behind the so-called "Goldwater rule.”

They are ridiculous cowards. We are afraid to speak up because of the Goldwater rule? Are you kidding me?

If you were to explain in simple terms why the Goldwater rule doesn’t apply here, how would you explain it to a layperson?

The American Psychiatric Association is a guild. Its main interests are the those of the American Psychiatric Association and American psychiatrists. This is very, very important. They are just trying to stay out of the way of anyone powerful who might get angry at them and interfere with them making money. It is that simple. The Goldwater rule is not an example of psychiatric ethics. It is an example of psychiatric corruption where they put the needs and the money of their profession above the welfare and the survival of the American public.

Nov. 16, 2017
Evening edition:
Shared if only for the illustration:

The salacious excerpt with a bit of treason thrown in:

Steele’s collaborators offered salacious details. The memo said that Russian intelligence had sought to exploit “TRUMP’s personal obsessions and sexual perversion” during his 2013 stay at Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel for the Miss Universe beauty pageant. The operation had allegedly worked. The tycoon had booked the presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton hotel “where he knew President and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on one of their official trips to Russia”.
There, the memo said, Trump had deliberately “defiled” the Obamas’ bed. A number of prostitutes “had performed a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him”. The memo also alleged: “The hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.”
As well as sex, there was another fascinating dimension to this alleged plot, categorically denied by Trump. According to Steele’s sources, associates of Trump had held a series of clandestine meetings in central Europe, Moscow and elsewhere with Russian spies. The Russians were very good at tradecraft. Nonetheless, could this be a trail that others might later detect?

Steele’s sources offered one final devastating piece of information. They alleged that Trump’s team had co-ordinated with Russia on the hacking operation against Clinton. And that the Americans had secretly co-paid for it.

My take: How does this personally effect Trump? There are a number of people who know exactly what Trump did: those in on the honey pot sting,  Putin and Trump himself. As a therapist trying to figure out what, if anything, could lead Trump to have a complete breakdown of his psychological defenses, I put this in a high risk (for him) group. Trump already survived the Access Hollywood scandal that never was, and the credible accusations from women he groped. But could his defenses stand up to revelations that he engaged in the notorious golden showers? Perhaps not. It isn’t just that he engaged in a sexual activity most people find, at the least, a little bit “off” - that he might shrug off. It’s that he was lured into a classic honey trap.

What is Trump’s Achille’s heel. Is it something sexual? Is it being outed as having committed  treason. My bet is on the former.  HB

On Trump the malignant narcissist:

“The fish rots from the head”: a historian on the unique corruption of Trump’s White House

"Politicians lie, but this is different."

Regular readers may have noticed that I changed the heading of the website again. I previously called myself a Duty to Warn therapist. The title has gone through several iterations. Here’s why I changed it.

As those the mental health professionals who have been endeavoring to explain why Trump is mentally unfit to be president to the public, pundits, and politicians know, our movement suffered an unfortunate setback due to an arcane thing called the Goldwater rule. Few outside the mental health community ever heard of it, even when it made the news when Senator Goldwater was running for president.
Just about every article published about the concerns of therapists about Trump’s personality referenced the Goldwater rule.  

The lay reader could easily gather that because it was considered by the American Psychiatric Association to be unethical to diagnose a public figure, when some mental health professionals did so, this discredited their argument.

In fact, psychiatrists adhering to the Goldwater rule have the same data at their disposal as any other mental health professional and I would venture to say if pressed confidentially to do so, would probably come up with the same or similar diagnoses as those who have diagnosed him in public.  I find it difficult to believe that Goldwater rule bound psychiatrists haven’t had private conversations with their colleagues about the probable diagnosis of Donald Trump.

The therapists writing about Trump fell and still fall into opposing groups even though their goals were and are the same. 

One group believed that they had to adhere to the Goldwater rule and did not use diagnostic jargon to describe why Trump was mentally unfit. Instead they substituted synonyms that described the same behaviors in the DSM only in lay terms. However there are only so many words to describe Trump’s diagnostically significant behavior without getting close to suggesting he has a diagnosable mental illness. 

Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist who has not only become prominent as the organizer of a major conference about Trump  and the editor of a best selling book, is also among those wanting to adhere to the Goldwater rule. She comes very close to at least suggesting Trump has a diagnosis, for example note the terminology in this article: mental impairment, mental health issues, the symptoms he displays, bad as well as mad, toxic and unpredictable, mental instability, Trump (and his follower’s) pathology:
  • "I’ve been thinking from the very beginning that he exhibits many signs of mental impairment."
  • "We have an obligation to speak about Donald Trump's mental health issues..." 
  • "There are certainly the symptoms that he displays." 
  • "In other words, bad as well as mad. It’s really the combination that makes it so toxic and unpredictable that we felt that there was a need to speak out."
  • "I think by sounding the alarm about his mental instability and position of power that some kind of consensus as to a process would be developed.."
  • "We could speak to the president’s mental impairment, the effects of that impairment and the dangerous situation we’re in."
  • "We can either amplify and encourage Trump and his followers' pathology…"

Clearly, Bandy Lee and all the mental health professionals who are deeply concerned about Trump agree with her saying that:

"This situation has come to such a critical level. In fact, a state of emergency exists and we could no longer hold back. We have an obligation to speak about Donald Trump's mental health issues because many lives and our survival as a species may be at stake.

This is from the prologue to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump:"

 “Collectively with our coauthors, we warn that anyone as mentally unstable as Mr. Trump simply should not be entrusted with the life-and-death powers of the presidency,” Judith Lewis Herman of Harvard Medical School and Bandy X. Lee of the Yale School of Medicine.
I think we can agree with this, even if some therapists choose to delve rather explicitly into Trump’s diagnosis and some, for whatever reason, don’t. 

For good or bad as far as our movement succeeding, there is another group of mental health professionals, notable among them John Gartner and Howard Covitz, who reacted to the prohibition in the Goldwater rule by citing Tarasoff :

Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California17 Cal. 3d 425, 551 P.2d 334, 131 Cal. Rptr. 14 (Cal. 1976), was a case in which the Supreme Court of California held that mental health professionals have a duty to protect individuals who are being threatened with bodily harm by a patient. The original 1974 decision mandated warning the threatened individual, but a 1976 rehearing of the case by the California Supreme Court called for a "duty to protect" the intended victim. The professional may discharge the duty in several ways, including notifying police, warning the intended victim, and/or taking other reasonable steps to protect the threatened individual.

These therapists said that – with an odd semantic irony (changing the word protect to warn) that the duty to warn trumped Goldwater.  

Without getting into the mud, there are several splits in the duty to warn group between those who are diagnosing Trump and those who choose another way to describe the behavior that leads them to believe in their duty to warn. 

John Gartner was, as far as I know, the first to explain why he thought Trump met the diagnostic criteria for malignant narcissism. 

John D. Gartner, a practicing psychotherapist who taught psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, minces as few words as the president in his professional assessment of Trump. 
"Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president," says Gartner, author of "In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography." Trump, Gartner says, has "malignant narcissism," which is different from narcissistic personality disorder and which is incurable. 
Gartner acknowledges that he has not personally examined Trump, but says it's obvious from Trump's behavior that he meets the diagnostic criteria for the disorder, which include anti-social behavior, sadism, aggressiveness, paranoia and grandiosity. Trump's personality disorder (which includes hypomania) is also displayed through a lack of impulse control and empathy, and "a feeling that people ... don't recognize their greatness. 
"We've seen enough public behavior by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably," says Gartner. His comments run afoul of the so-called Goldwater Rule, the informal term for part of the ethics code of the American Psychiatric Association saying it is wrong to provide a professional opinion of a public figure without examining that person and gaining consent to discuss the evaluation. But Gartner says the Trump case warrants breaking that ethical code. U.S. News and World Report January , 2017
To give credit where it is due, while he didn’t use the term malignant narcissism, psychologist Dan McAdam beat Gartner into the mainstream media in The Atlantic in an article where he described Trump’s extreme narcissism.

All one has to do is read “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” critically to see the diversity of explanations as to why the authors think Trump is dangerous. 

If I were to do a review of the book I’d take a different approach than most of those who have already reviewed it, although psychiatrist Andrew Spitnaz comes close to saying what I’d want to. His is the best review I’ve read and I suggest you read it in its entirety.

Excerpt: Part One (The Trump Phenomenon) focuses upon the symptoms and behaviors that render the president imminently dangerous.  The various authors in this section argue that Trump exhibits impairments consistent with multiple diagnoses, including Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder (or sociopathy), paranoia, hypomania, and possibly dementia. 
The clinicians do an excellent job, assembling a greatest hits collection and several B-sides of Trump’s deranged statements and abhorrent behaviors to make their cases.  Their assessments span the president’s entire lifetime, though with emphasis primarily upon his words and deeds while campaigning and now as president.  Their summation is a horrifying trek down Memory Lane and utterly damning in its totality. 

 I’d try to analyze what there is about Trump that leads so many experienced mental health professionals to come up with so many different explanations for his behavior. Can they all be right? 

As far as I can tell, having been following our movement since its inception, it was the "Tarasoff trumps Goldwater" justification which led to the name Duty to Warn being used to describe that part of the movement. 
One thing all of us can agree with is that, and Bandy Lee puts it, we have a MORAL OBLIGATION TO WARN.
Duty or obligation? Does it even make any difference? 
Duty: a moral or legal obligation; a responsibility: it's my duty to uphold the law | she was determined to do her duty as a citizen | a strong sense of duty. • [as modifier] (of a visit or other undertaking) done from a sense of moral obligation rather than for pleasure: a fifteen-minute duty visit.
Superficially it shouldn’t matter. However, unbeknownst to the general public, there are two groups with the same goals. One has a name, Duty to Warn, the other while making a major impact, doesn’t have a name. 

I propose a name that all mental health professionals can agree with: perhaps we can call ourselves Moral Obligation to Warn or, for short, M.O.W. therapists.  It doesn’t have the same ring to it at Duty to Warn and D.T.W., perhaps because it’s new. But perhaps with a new name all the professionals can come together under one umbrella the way 27 of them (counting Noam Chomsky and Gail Sheehy as honorary shrinks) did in the book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump."

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