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March 31, 2017

April, 2017
Earlier March Posts here

My opinions and selected news from progressive websites. LINKS:Huffington Post | Daily Kos | Politico  | Slate | Salon | Vox | The Hill | Think Progress  | AlterNet | BuzzFeed | NEW Axios (Bias: too soon to tell) | Local News KATU | KOIN | KGW Portland Weather | Pickleball Report: \ 

Monday, Mayday, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Tens of thousands of protesters and marchers are expected in the streets Monday across the country amid what organizers describe as a surge in energy against the president and his administration's policies. Rallies and protests are planned from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to New York City and Portland. The disparate collection of organizers includes The Anarchist Student Union in Portland, to Roofers Local 36 in Los Angeles to Cosecha, an immigrant-rights group planning a repeat of an earlier "day without an immigrant.” "We're seeing an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm and activity," Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, told the Associated Press. "It's driven by the fact that [the] Trump administration has made immigration the tip of the spear."
Trump on the Constitution
Donald Trump has blamed the US constitution for the problems he has encountered during his first 100 days in office.
In an interview with Fox News to mark the milestone, the Republican called the system of checks and balances on power “archaic”.
“It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.” From UK Independent
How an entire country learned to stop worrying and love the bomb department:

In North Korea, missiles and nuclear bombs are more than a means of national defense — they are, for broad segments of the public, objects of near-religious devotion.
In Pyongyang, the country’s capital, missiles feature constantly in newspapers and on television. They emerge from flower pots in floral exhibitions; loom large in public mosaics; and adorn propaganda posters in factories, farms and schools. They’re often depicted in mid-flight, framed by bold militaristic slogans.  LA Times. Here's what's driving North Korea's nuclear program — and it might be more than self-defense

Are you bummed out enough yet department.

Historian Timothy Snyder: “It’s pretty much inevitable” that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy 

Yale historian and author of the new book "On Tyranny" says we may have one year left to save American democracy 

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Late night breaking news - Congress funds Planned Parenthood, 0 for the Wall: Late on Sunday evening, details emerged about a new spending agreement that congressional leaders had reached to keep the federal government open past this week, when current funding runs out, and through the end of September. The deal is looking like a huge victory for Democrats—and a massive failure for Donald Trump and his Republican Party:  Daily Kos

I had to look this up department:
MAGA = Make America Great Again.
Now the times I’ve seen it in print makes sense, for example: 
I think this is Donny Jr.’s Twitter page: #MAGA

Reagan Adviser Slams Trump Rally Speech As ‘Most Divisive Ever’ From A President

David Gergen says Trump’s message to Americans who didn’t vote for him was: “I don’t give a damn what you think.”

Quote of the Day:
Trump has had the worst beginning of any president since, oh, perhaps William Henry Harrison (who died a month after his inauguration). 

From "Lessons From 100 Days of President Trump” NY Times

Here are 10 of Minhaj's most memorable lines from the dinner (video below)

On being a minority in America:

"That's why you gotta be on your 'A' game," Minhaj told the press. "You gotta be twice as good. You can't make any mistakes, because when one of you messes up he blames your entire group. ... And now you know what it feels like to be a minority.”

"This event is about celebrating the First Amendment and free speech. Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy from college campuses to the White House. Only in America can a first generation Indian American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the President."
"Don, every time I watch your show, I feel like I'm watching a reality TV show. 'CNN Tonight' should just be called 'Wait a second! Now hold on! Stop yelling at each!' with Don Lemon.”

"We have to address the elephant not in the room. The leader of our country is not here. But that's because he's in Moscow."

On Trump's frequent golfing outings:

"Every time Trump goes golfing, the headline should read, 'Trump golfing. Apocalypse delayed. Take the W.’ “ 

On Kellyanne Conway and 'alternative facts':
"Even if you guys groan, I've already hired Kellyanne Conway. She's gonna go on TV Monday and tell everyone I 'killed.' It really doesn't matter."

On the Trump administration:

"The news coming out of the White House is so stressful, I've been watching 'House of Cards' just to relax.”

"Frederick Douglass isn't here, and that's because. He's dead. Someone please tell the President!”

"Historically, the president usually performs at the correspondents' dinner, but I think I speak for all of us when I say he's done far too much bombing this month."

On headlining the WHCA dinner:

"I would say it is an honor to do this, but that would be an alternative fact. It is not. No one one wanted to do this so of course it falls in the hands of an immigrant. That's how it always goes down.”

Saturday, April, 29, 2017

Watch Samantha Bee’s “Not the White House Correspondents Dinner here.

Breaking news which I just heard on MSNBC from General Barry McCaffrey, Ret., that  he thinks Gen. Flynn was forced out of his Obama administration job because he had mental health problems.
I wrote a short piece on this for Daily Kos to see if it gets any reaction.

The best Tweet of the day, from from Republican David Frum. Read about the Tweet storm about Trump’s “I’m an ignoramus” comment:
This didn’t get much coverage at the time he said it as the media was focused on Trump’s infatuation with Purin. However it slices open the the dark malignant festering narcissism barely under the surface and adds to one of the other diagnoses that makes trump dangerous, psychopathic personality. A year later we discover we have a psychopathic malignant narcissist impulsive president who is ignorant of the complexities of international relations and the dire consequences of a president who thinks he knows more than his generals. 
1/09/16: Republican primary front-runner Donald Trump says North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong-un deserves “credit” for the cutthroat efficiency with which he disposes of his political foes. 
“If you look at North Korea, this guy, he’s like a maniac, OK?” Trump said at a rally in Ottumwa, Iowa, on Saturday. 
“And you’ve got to give him credit: How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals and all of a sudden, you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that?” he added. 
“Even though it is a culture, and it’s a culture thing, he goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss. It’s incredible.” 
After North Korea’s government said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb earlier this week, Trump called the authoritarian leader a “madman playing around with nukes” and a “total nut job. 
But he also insinuated that Kim had some admirable qualities. 
“I mean, it’s amazing that a young guy would go over and take over,” Trump said Thursday on Fox News’ “On the Record.” “You know, you would have thought that these tough generals would have said no way this is gonna happen when the father died. 
“So he’s gotta have something going for him, because he kept control, which is amazing for a young person to do,” he added.
Updated when new article are published, the website to read about Trump’s mental illness.

Friday, April 28 , 2017
link above
Excerpt from Dr. John Gratner:
Can Mr Trump’s style be chalked up to his political inexperience?
“I think it’s becoming more and more implausible. The simplest explanation for his acting like a Hitler-like malignant narcissist is that he is a Hitler-like malignant narcissist. He seems also to have these crazy conspiracy theories, including even when it doesn’t benefit [him] politically.”

The President’s claim to have had the biggest inauguration crowd ever “made him look insane and dishonest and just crazy,” Dr Gartner said. Mr Trump’s Twitter feed “has got to be the most prodigious record of cyber-bullying ever,” he added.
 This is an earlier article from April 25 in The Independent: 

Donald Trump behaviour ‘showing a lot of signs’ of dangerous mental illness, says leading Yale psychiatrist

Dr Bandy Lee insists claim not politically-motivated, after she is accused of 'throwing ethics out of the window'
Donald Trump is “showing a lot of signs” of dangerous mental impairment and may be a threat to the survival of American society, a leading Yale psychiatrist has claimed.

In an exclusive interview with The IndependentYale University’s Dr Bandy Lee said she had seen a “marked surge” in violence among her own patients since the day of Mr Trump’s election, blaming his strong rhetoric.

The lecturer, a former Harvard research fellow and chief resident at Massachusetts general hospital, was defending experts at an event she organised after they called the President “dangerous” and “delusional”.

The claim led one Republican politician to accuse them of “throwing ethical standards out the window because they cannot accept the election results”.
But Dr Lee insisted she and the panellists had people’s safety foremost in mind and that their judgement was not politically-motivated.

She told The Independent: “To say that there are mental health impairments in Mr Trump is not to make a moral judgement on him, and not to indict him in any way.

“It should not be used as a political weapon against him, but rather should be raised as a concern just like any medical issue that may impair an individual’s ability to function in office.

The first self-disclosing honest thing Trump has said:
“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump told Reuters in an interview. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

Here’s a serious alternate view of Trump’s psychopathology from Politico 
 ‘Trump is crazy’ has become a cliche.
By John McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics at Columbia University and author of Words on the Move: Why English Won’t—and Can’t—Sit Still (Like, Literally) 
The cherished idea that Trump is mentally unstable, endlessly massaged by media writers, is weak. Too many of us have known people much like him in his boyish, defensive, unfocused and breezily incurious essence; it is almost weird that we are pretending that it is a sign of pathology that someone has a hard time admitting he’s wrong. Trump is simply a profoundly mediocre person tragically unfit for the presidency. What’s “crazy” is that he wound up there. 
Social media’s eclipse of the smoke-filled room accounts for that much more gracefully than an alarum painting Trump as fit for psychoanalysis and medication. Is this idea of Trump as madman possibly a variation on the too-typical disparagement of the modestly educated whites “out there” who voted for Trump? Now that the general call in the media is to hold off on tarring them as racist troglodytes and sexists, it seems that a new way of punishing them is to say that they were so dumb they elected an obvious lunatic to the presidency because he said he would get their jobs back. But what if he is less loony than just a jerk? Plenty of presidents have been jerks, and possibly most of them. 
Neither the media nor the “out there” people deserve anything called blame for Trump’s election. Social history is not only nasty but complex. Pointing fingers, however, isn’t.

Living in the Trump Zone

Link to NY Times

Thus, April 27, 2017
BREAKING NEWS from Reuters: 

Exclusive: Trump says 'major, major' conflict with North Korea possible, but seeks diplomacy

Words matter you crazy arrogant impulsive asshole, you just incited, threw down the gauntlet in front of someone crazier than you. 

I am a pessimist at heart. I try not to be too optimistic. Maybe my friend’s magical incantations this morning have gotten to me. (A.R.) But, hell, Trump hasn’t even been in office 100 days… and I haven’t even watched Rachel yet.
Not a link
I watched —  Rachel fosters some optimism in me as she explains the timeline of (Russian stooge) Michael Flynn… drip, drip, drip…
Not a link 
Flynn still working after Sally Yates warned the White House he was susceptible to Russian blackmail.

Excerpt: President Trump’s apparent feckless impulsiveness in dropping weapons of mass destruction (MOAB – the largest non-nuclear bomb ever unleashed, tested on the people of Afghanistan) (image left below) and fifty-nine Tomahawk Cruise Missiles on Syria, exactly a week apart, on 6th and 13th April respectively, has unnerved much of the world. 
His threats to Iran and North Korea, the latter even invoking a possible US nuclear attack without, apparently, even being aware of the consequences, are the stuff of nightmares, indeed of the chilling film “The Day After.” 
Someone should send the movie-loving President a copy. 
Trump, it is reported, does not read so is probably unaware of Carl Sagan’s succinct assessment of not alone the unimaginable holocaust of nuclear confrontation, but of the demented, unhinged stupidity:  
EXCERPT: Recently, however, a small but growing number of mental health professionals have been willing to stick their necks out to shrink the head of the 45th president; just last week, representatives from a coalition of 800 mental health professionals met at Yale Medical School to discuss what they call their “duty to warn” the public about Trump’s behavior. For the sake of the country, these and other professionals believe it’s time for a psychological diagnosis of Trump, to provide an explanation for, among other things, the bizarre Twitter rants, peddling of easily provable lies, head-spinning policy reversals, incoherent interview answers and unhinged attacks on his perceived enemies. 
Let us stipulate that it is not known for a fact that Trump has any kind of psychiatric diagnosis. Let us also stipulate that, to many observers, the most powerful man in the world displays many of the definitional traits of one disorder in particular: Narcissistic Personality Disorder, characterized by behavior that is impulsive, dramatic and erratic. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with NPD “come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious,” require “constant admiration” and belittle people they “perceive as inferior.” This grandiose, bullying shell hides profound insecurity, so “anything that may be perceived as criticism” can provoke “rage or contempt.”
Weds., April 26, 2017 

"The horror master is likely referencing recent polls that showed Trump voters weren’t having any second thoughts about their pick for president. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found only 2 percent had any regrets.” HUFFPOST

Are American voters actually just stupid? A new poll suggests the answer may be “yes” 

ABC News poll suggests that if we ran the election all over again, Trump would still win — by more. What gives? 

Who wooda coulda thunk department: We have a conspiracy theorist living only five days a week in the White House.  Is he afraid of ghosts? 
And now to get scientific:
The renamed HUFFPOST assumes readers remember the Brady Bunch.

Trump’s White House Family Affair Looks A Lot Like The Most Corrupt Nations In The World

Presidential advisers Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner are still connected to their own businesses.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
"If we have that House committee (on oversight) subpoenaing the WHITE HOUSE TO GET DOCUMENTS, THAT’S WHEN WE GET POPCORN." Rachel Maddow after interviewing ranking member Elijah Cummings.


Judge Blocks Donald Trump’s Executive Order On Sanctuary Cities

The order threatened to pull federal funding from cities with pro-immigrant policies.

More from Germany 
From Google translate: 
The apocalypse is already being rehearsed. Every two months, always in the early afternoon, the sirens howled in Seoul. Cars and buses stop, civilian officials are arriving at lively crossroads, helpers with a yellow armband give pedestrians their way to the next shelters, of which there are hundreds in South Korea's capital.

Monday, April 24 2017
This is the story being covered on Rachel Maddow tonight with lead author Matt Apuzzo:

Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.

Click above
"….the president's incoherent domestic policy, and his incoherent foreign policy, and his incoherence in thought and speech, are all related to each other in deeply perilous ways. Like anything else, the American republic can watch its luck run out."

April, 23, 2017

Speech by Dr. John Gartner, at now highly publicized (see below) Duty to Warn conference at Yale on Thrusday, April 20, 2017, republished with permission. The conference which you can view below also featured renown psychiatrist and author Robert Jay Lifton.

Has the National Enquirer gone all out against Putin?

Sat. April 22, 2017

Just a moment of levity:

A man died and went to Heaven. As he stood in front of the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone who has ever been on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock move."

... "Oh", said the man, "Whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's", replied St. Peter. "The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible", said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abraham told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's Donald Trump's clock?" asked the man.

St Peter replied, "We're using it as a ceiling fan.

More international coverage of the Yale meeting about Trump’s being unfit for office:
Australia | IRAN (with comments)
Yesterday: United Kingdom |  Des spécialistes de la santé mentale américains assurent que Donald Trump souffre de "narcissisme malfaisant” FRANCEINFO | Psiquiatras de Yale aseguran que Trump padece trastornos mentales 

Friday, April 20, 2017

This story is getting a fair number of comments on Daily Kos today:

Another major step in our “Duty to Warn” effort - the highly anticipated Yale conference on Trump’s psychological unfitness to be president.  This group included Robert Jay Lifton, formerly professor of Psychiatry at Yale and an internationally renowned figure in the area of the impact of psychological traumas who every psychology major studied in college.

Excerpt: Critics think "this is about politics. This has nothing to do with politics," says Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a signator to an open letter calling Trump "incapable of serving safely as president." Instead, it's about Trump's behavior and what Dodes sees as a threat to the American people and the world. 
Mental health is a delicate issue for both the public and candidates. Until a few decades ago, even the physical fitness of presidents was not much of an issue to voters, and presidents tended to be private about it. President Grover Cleveland had a cancerous tumor in his mouth, which he had removed – secretly – in 1893. President Woodrow Wilson had an incapacitating stroke, and the public knew nothing about it until months later. President John F. Kennedy hid his Addison's Disease. Modern candidates, meanwhile, go for public jogs and routinely release medical reports attesting to their vigor. READ ARTICLE

Shrinks Define Dangers of Trump Presidency

Mental health experts begin carving out a new role for unprecedented times. (Psychology Today)

Lev Radin/
Source: Lev Radin/
Donald Trump may or may not be mentally ill. He may or may not have an organic brain disease. Despite those unknowns, a group of prominent mental health professionals today agreed that they have an ethical obligation to expose to the public every instance of reality distortion, impulsive decision-making, and violation of presidential norms of behavior that singularize the Trump presidency.
At a conference held at Yale University Medical School and led by Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in law and psychiatry, mental health experts met to discuss whether their professional responsibility includes a duty to warn the public of dangers posed by President Trump’s behavior. For them the issue is no longer what psychiatric diagnosis Donald Trump merits or not. It is how to avert the "malignant normality"—as psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton called it—now threatening American democracy. CONTINUED

Donald Trump has 'dangerous mental illness', say psychiatry experts at Yale conference

Chairing the event, Dr Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, said: “As some prominent psychiatrists have noted, [Trump’s mental health] is the elephant in the room. I think the public is really starting to catch on and widely talk about this now.”
James Gilligan, a psychiatrist and professor at New York University, told the conference he had worked some of the “most dangerous people in society”, including murderers and rapists — but that he was convinced by the “dangerousness” of Mr Trump.
“I’ve worked with some of the most dangerous people our society produces, directing mental health programmes in prisons,” he said.
“I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”

OpEd by John Gartner, founder of the Duty to Warn Facebook group and the psychologist who originated the 25th Amendment petition to remove Trump, in the Baltimore Sun: Military decisions shouldn't be made on impulse
Excerpts: After 9/11, the biggest foreign attack on American soil in history, it took George W. Bush almost a month to issue his first orders to take military action against Afghanistan. Though President Bush was determined to strike back quickly, there was a deliberate process of discussion, study, planning and coordination with allies.

It took President Donald Trump only a matter of days to reverse his entire Syria policy and take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

As Ezra Klein put it on Vox, "He is unpredictable and driven by whims. He is unmoored from any coherent philosophy of America's role in the world. ... What we are seeing, instead, is a foreign policy based on Trump's gut reactions to the images flashing before him on cable news. And that's dangerous."
A portion of the mental health community has come forward to say they believe that Donald Trump shows troubling signs of mental illness. Aside from his narcissism, the most frequent concern these mental health professionals report is Mr. Trump's impulsivity. And in no area is impulsivity more dangerous than in the decision to use military force.

Thursday April 20, 2017
Rachel covered these stories tonight
link above
South Korea’s government wants to know whether Chinese President Xi Jinping gave alternative facts on the nation’s history to Donald Trump.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump said Xi told him during a recent summit that “Korea actually used to be a part of China.” The comments sparked outrage in Seoul and became an issue in South Korea’s presidential race, prompting the foreign ministry to seek to verify what Xi actually said.
“It’s a clear fact acknowledged by the international community that, for thousands of years in history, Korea has never been part of China,” foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said at a briefing in Seoul on Thursday.
link above
The woman leading the Justice Department's investigation of foreign meddling into the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has told staff members she will leave the department in May.

Mary B. McCord has served at the highest levels in the national security unit, either as its leader or chief deputy, for the past three years. A longtime federal prosecutor based in Washington, McCord easily won the confidence of both career lawyers and her supervisors inside the Justice Department.

McCord did not offer a public reason for her departure. In a message to her staff earlier this week, she wrote that she did not make the decision easily, but she concluded "the time is now right for me to pursue new career opportunities."
Her exit leaves a huge vacancy at one of the Justice Department's most important divisions, at a time when the Trump administration is struggling to fill the ranks. 

Trump hosts Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent and Kid Rock at the White House

Last night’s dream: The end of the world.

I lived through the “duck and cover” era when everyone worried about a nuclear attack. I lived just north of New York City. I had the notion that pulling down the shades in my bedroom would save me from radiation.

In the dream I was back in the home I grew up in. There were frantic adults like me there preparing for a missile attack. While some kids were playing happily in the backyard, the adults were trying to figure out what to do.

My grandfather, too old to be in World War II, was a local air raid warden. He had his old white metal hat, like the one in the poster, in our attic. I sometimes wore it and my father’s old U.S. Army hat.

In the dream there was a pile of air raid hats of different kinds on the side of the house. I put one on, it happened to be yellow, and with another man, brought the rest of them to the others in the backyard.

Nobody seem to know what to do. Put them on or wait for something to happen? The kids, oblivious, kept playing.

Freud delved into the symbolism of dreams. But dream researchers today say we can simplify dream interpretation by putting many of them into two categories: we dream about what we wish for and what we fear. 

Thanks to Trump this dream falls into the second category.
Above: With baby Hal, my father Jonas Brown in uniform, my grandfather Edward Yavelow with me at the Bronx Zoo

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [], after the election. Continued

The asteroid missed Planet Trump, so I suppose the EOLAWKI will take longer.

I am a member of Duty to Warn and correspond with it’s founder frequently.

Not a link, below entire story
Former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans has launched a blistering attack on US President Donald Trump.
Mr Evans has lambasted Mr Trump as "the most ill-informed, ethically challenged and psychologically ill-equipped" president in US history.

"Personally driven by instinct and impulse, unhampered by knowledge or judgment, he has led an administration, acting so far manifestly on the basis of postures and not of policies," Mr Evans told the National Press Club in Canberra (last week).

I heard this journalist interviewed on Sirius Progressive Radio this morning. He explains why he thinks CNN is the ESPN of cable TV news. In fact, the previous head of ESPN, and current head of CNN, said he modeled the coverage of CNN on how ESPN studied sports.
I have friends who are anti-Trump and interested in politics who still watch CNN, although they also sometimes watch MSNBC, particularly Rachel Maddow.
I only watch MSNBC. Having heard the interview today and watched this video I don’t think I’ve missed anything.

Generating 60+ comments on Daily Kos

Monday, April 17, 2017

Here’s a break from Trump. For no particular reason we ended up talking about this at the coffee shop this morning. A great movie needs a great finale. The greatest movies need the greatest finales:

"Putin’s madman-on-the-world-stage shtick forced saner world leaders to devise strategies for minimizing the damage Russia can do. But now that Donald Trump has demonstrated that he will not only speak without thinking but also fire missiles without interrupting dessert, he has one-upped Putin."
Click above for article
If only Trump was as funny as the late great Gilda Radner:
What is all this fuss I hear about the Supreme Court decision on a "deaf" penalty? It's terrible! Deaf people have enough problems as it is!
The news anchor would interrupt Litella to point out her error, along the lines, "That's death penalty, Ms. Litella, not deaf ... death." Litella would wrinkle her nose, say, "Oh, that's very different...." then meekly turn to the camera and say, "Never mind." When Litella played against news anchor Chevy Chase (whom she often called "Cheddar Cheese", he would be somewhat sympathetic to her. But when Jane Curtin took over the anchor role, she would scold Litella, "Every week you come on and you get it wrong," to which Litella would reply, "Bitch!"

Other misheard topics to which Litella responded included "saving Soviet jewelry" [Jewry], "endangered feces" [species],[ "sax and violins on television" [sex and violence],"presidential erections" [elections],"conserving natural racehorses" [natural resources], "firing the handicapped" [hiring], and "making Puerto Rico a steak" [state]. About the last of these topics, she complained, "Next thing you know, they'll want a baked potato with sour cream!” Wikipedia
“’s important that the Democrats and the American people be ready for it. Waters is getting the I-word out there into the atmosphere and priming Trump’s political opposition. It’s a job that takes guts and foresight and she’s good at it. If the Democrats can pull off a wave election in 2018 and take back the House, they will be ready to follow an impeachment investigation wherever it leads. That will largely be thanks to Maxine Waters.” Click image for article.

Sunday, April 16, 2017
Why won’t the first lady show up for her job? Why? I became obsessed with this question and eventually looked to Melania’s Twitter history for answers. I noticed that in the three-year period between June 3, 2012 and June 11, 2015 she tweeted 470 photos which she appeared to have taken herself. I examined these photographs as though they were a body of work.
Everyone has an eye, whether or not we see ourselves as photographers. What we choose to photograph and how we frame subjects always reveals a little about how we perceive the world. For someone like Melania, media-trained, controlled and cloistered, her collection of Twitter photography provides an otherwise unavailable view into the reality of her existence. Nowhere else — certainly not in interviews or public appearances — is her guard so far down.
What is that reality? She is Rapunzel with no prince and no hair, locked in a tower of her own volition, and delighted with the predictability and repetition of her own captivity.
Why not move to the White House? Let’s see.  CONTINUED

Trump’s overnight Tweets, so you don’t have to click:
Another Secret Service nightmare: My take on this is that the Secret Service must not be enthusiastic about the prospect of protecting President Trump when he heads to Atlanta to be cheered by the members of the NRA attending their annual convention. Having now made it possible for mentally ill people to obtain firearms, let’s hope there are no mentally ill NRA members at the convention who for whatever paranoid or delusional reason want to make headlines.

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Anne Applebaum about Russia’s meddling in the U.S. Presidential election and Trump’s troubling affinity for Vladimir Putin.
Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post and a Pulitzer-prize winning historian. She is also a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics where she runs Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st century propaganda.
Formerly a member of the Washington Post editorial board, she has also worked at the Spectator, the Evening Standard, Slate, the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, the Economist,and the Independent. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, The New Criterion, The Weekly Standard, the New Republic, The National Review, The New Statesman, The Times Literary Supplement, and many other journals.
 The Fearless Girl 
a sculpture of a little girl staring down the famous Charging Bull in the financial district of lower Manhattan, has now sparked a political and cultural controversy. After New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a yearlong extension on the permit for the statue, which was supposed to be a temporary installation, the artist of the Charging Bull statue, Arturo Di Modica, demanded that the city take down Fearless Girl, saying it infringed on the artistic vision of his original work
It may be surprising to hear this, but a lot of feminists are in firm agreement that it’s time for Fearless Girl to go. And I am one of them.
Most of the complaints center around the corporate-centric nature of Fearless Girl, which was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors as a generic promotion of the idea of women in leadership. 
“Feminists would be hard-pressed to find a better symbol of the movement’s widening class divides than Fearless Girl,” wrote Christina Cauterucci of Slate. “As Jia Tolentino ably lays out in the New Yorker, contemporary feminism’s fixation on the incremental admission of a small number of women into traditional halls of power ignores both the vast majority of women and the ways other forms of oppression disproportionately harm women.”  CONTINUED

Sat. April 15, 2017
Meme of the week: Sign at a tax march protest:
 "Twinkle Twinkle Little Czar, Putin Put You Where You Are.
President Trump on Saturday reportedly took a longer route than usual on his way back to his Mar-a-Lago resort in what reporters said appeared to be an attempt to avoid large crowds of Tax March protesters. 
According to pool reports, Trump's motorcade made a long loop to get back to Mar-a-Lago after leaving Trump International Golf Club around 1:30 p.m.

Annals of Narcissism
This is about Trump, who else?

Is Trump Actually in Charge? Or Is It Worse Than We Feared?

I haven't felt this shaky about the world in half a century.
by Charlie Pierce

I think it’s fair to say that in no small way shrinks like my online friend Dr. John Gartner (the go-to expert for the media) have informed and influenced the media about Trump. For example from frequent MSNBC guest Charlie Pierce in Esquire (emphasis added):
" I have resisted the temptation to speculate on the mental state of our president* because I've always been leery of long-distance psychiatric diagnoses, and because I am not Charles Krauthammer, who regularly has used his professional credentials to define any politics to the left of a drillbit as some sort of cognitive deficiency. However, the events of the last week have required me to rethink this policy. 
Years ago, Fletcher Knebel wrote a novel called Night At Camp David about a president who'd gone mad. The evidence for that was that the bughouse president was lost in grandiose delusions about his place in the world. Knebel, you may recall, also was the co-author of the rather more famous Seven Days in May, which concerned a military plot to take over the government. "

>>> Read the article. Pierce doesn’t venture a diagnosis. However, like my friend, psychoanalyst Dr. Howard Covitz who doesn’t believe in diagnosis per se, he describes behaviors that add up to his having a psychiatric impairment that makes him not only unfit, but dangerous.

Nobody does it better, but sometimes I wish someone would.
Every year for the past 18 years, the Kaitsepolitseiamet, Estonia’s domestic security service, the unfortunately acronym-ed KAPO, publishes its annual review of the country’s most attention-grabbing incidents in counterintelligence, terrorism, and corruption, categories that very often overlap.
And most of the 45-page document is devoted to a subject with which this small but formidable Baltic power has had ample experience: Russian operatives and disinformation campaigns, now better known as “fake news.”
Estonia is Europe’s leading catcher of Vladimir Putin’s spies as well as Europe’s leading unmasker of his manifold agents of influence. Continued on Daily Beast

And… why are the two on theft not shouting the praises of Dear Leader?
Some interesting readers, especially from Russia and one porn site:

Friday, April 14, 2017
Click to read my latest Kos piece, and comment

Social media users on Friday started circulating an old tweet from President Trump berating President Obama for his lack of transparency, after Trump's White House on Friday announced it would keep its visitor logs private.
The decision, announced in a White House statement Friday afternoon, breaks with the practice set by Obama of making the names of those who visit the White House available to the public.
Several groups have condemned the decision, saying it is a step backward for White House transparency. 

Read article

Thursday, April, 13, 2017
Is it possible, sure, is it likely, maybe…..
Add this impeachment predictions, to the following (being discussed on Rachel Maddow tonight) - apparently the Brits and other foreign intelligence agents discussing why the U.S. didn’t pick up on this thought “the U.S. agencies were asleep."

and this:

The Chocolate Desert President - All Icing, No cake.
I don’t have much more to say than what’s in the title. In fact, I really just want to lay claim to the meme before somebody else does. I read the following first thing when I got up and it hit me just how ignorant our president is… This goes beyond the psychopathology of narcissistic self-involvement that led him to brag about “his” chocolate cake when relating how he told Xi Jingping about the Iran (ops, wrong country) Syria missile strike. He is not only too mentally ill to be president, he is beyond merely ignorant.

You’ve probably seen the Trump cake. While it isn’t all icing, it might as well be. It looks cloyingly sweet. Not at all to may taste. To me the perfect chocolate cake is a not too moist, but not at all dry cake with a distinct, perhaps exotic cocoa flavor that melts on the tongue and has a lingering aftertaste which you can almost imagine activating the dopamine receptors in your brain. The icing should be thin and a very bitter dark chocolate.

The real Trump cake is on the right. Ick.

Mr. Trump said he told his Chinese counterpart he believed Beijing could easily take care of the North Korea threat. Mr. Xi then explained the history of China and Korea, Mr. Trump said.

“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” Mr. Trump recounted. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power” over North Korea,” he said. “But it’s not what you would think.”

Trump clearly has quite a few problems as president, but for a quick summary of why his ignorance is such a hindrance to his success, you could do worse than pointing to these two paragraphs.

When Trump says, “But it’s not what you would think,” what he means, of course, is that the details aren’t what he thought. The president believed the dynamic was simple – he’d just tell China to control North Korea, as if the latter is reflexively subservient to the former – but he “realized” after talking to Xi that it’s not as “easy” as he’d assumed.
The same WSJ article added that Trump told his Chinese counterpart this week that Xi “should let North Korean leader Kim Jong Un know the U.S. doesn’t just have aircraft carriers, but also nuclear submarines.”

Does Trump not realize that the world has known for decades about the nuclear triad? Or is this something that the president himself just recently learned?

Trump also told the Journal, “You cannot allow a country like that to have … nuclear weapons.” Really? Because they already have nuclear weapons.

I’m proud to say that Lawrence O’Donnell reacts to the Tweets I send him (see yesterdays’ story below):

Weds., April 12, 2017
Pathological liar and uber-narcissist Trump’s most beautiful chocolate cake YOU will ever see.
Lawrence O’Donnell, after devoting two long segments to psychotherapists discussing Trump’s mental illness, has made himself the most psychologically informed MSNBC host when it comes to opining on Trump’s psychopathology. Tonight Lawrence pointed out that only a pathological liar like Trump would have to focus on the Trump cake while talking about informing President Xi Jinping about the Iranian (ops) Syrian missile strike. 

O’Donnell noted that he referred to the cake not as a delicious piece of cake, not even as the most beautiful piece of cake he’d ever seen, but as the most beautiful cake you’ve ever seen.
President Donald Trump said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping about his decision to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against Syria while the men ate dessert at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, last week.
During the interview, Trump seemed to dwell on the fact that the two world leaders were enjoying some delicious cake. 
“I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen, and President Xi was enjoying it,” Trump recalled in an interview with Fox News Business host Maria Bartiromo that aired on Wednesday. 
“And I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do?” Trump went on. “And we made a determination to do it, so the missiles were on the way. And I said, ‘Mr. President, let me explain something to you.’” 
“So what happens is, I said, ‘We’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq and I wanted you to know this.’ And he was eating his cake. And he was silent,” Trump added. From Huffington Post

How confident are you in Trump’s (our) Secretary of State? Here’s his Russian counterpart, with whom he just met for three hours:
An English-speaking lover of scotch, cigarettes and an acerbic joke, the 67-year-old Lavrov has spent years exasperating his U.S. counterparts with a mastery of detail, an unwavering promotion of the Kremlin line, and a jaundiced view of American power. Officials who have dealt with him said Lavrov will be prepared for anything Tillerson has planned for their meeting. 
“He’s charismatic, very funny, worldly, and deviously brilliant,” said David Wade, who served as chief of staff to former Secretary of State John Kerry, who spent dozens of hours meeting with or talking to his Russian counterpart 
“Any argument Tillerson makes that he thinks will be a trump card, Lavrov will have heard 100 times — and will have an immediate, almost reflexive response to diminish it,” said a former senior Obama administration official. "He should know going in that the guy on the other side of the table will know the details much better than he will."

Read more on Politico

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trump’s mental health in the media: Unpredictable, unstable, or as my colleagues and I have been saying, mentally ill? 

When you have a Google News alert set for Trump mentally ill you find small articles with sentences like this: 

Amazingly, Trump, the mentally ill, moron, and inveterate liar suddenly has newspapers who had consistently condemned him singing his praises with the top five papers running 18 favorable opinion pieces on Trump's strikes and none against.

Would you like to be a fly on the wall for this meeting? And, yes, Angela Merkel does speak English.

Obama to join Germany's Merkel in Berlin next month

Here’s a Syrian rebel term of endearment for Donald Trump:
 Some took to referring to the Donald as Abu Ivanka al-Amriki, which literally means “Father of Ivanka, the American” in an admiring way.

What Could Go Wrong Department with a Volatile Amateur as Commander in Chief, again////:
From the UK:

Trump orders military advisers to prepare plans to hit North Korea It is believed that among the options are combined special forces raids and pre-emptive missile strikes

The NY Times had a long article about this though I haven’t seen it covered as part of the United Airlines story on MSNBC:
Clicking above will use up one of your 10 free April NYT clicks. Option is to read opinion piece below or email me for copy..

Monday, April 10, 2017
Those mental health professionals who gradually helped generate awareness that Trump was a carrier of a plague of mental illnesses have had a significant effect on media reporting. 

Chris Hayes (a few minutes ago) commented on Trump’s macho dominance handshake, most recently with new Justice Gorsuch he said “who knows with this president?” He was wondering whether if, in the unlikely event he had the chance to shake Gorsuch's hand when he was a sitting justice, he’d engage in the same hand tugging one-upmanship. This is yet another example of our work informing the media that TRUMP IS NOT NORMAL.

Trump’s Passover Seder, by Hal Brown
When Elijah the Prophet came in to drink the glass of wine reserved for him (the Cup of Elijah) he noticed Donald Trump at the seder table. “I will save you” he said to the celebrants who were dumbstruck by his strikingly handsome countenance. A befuddled and incredulous Trump looked on as he suddenly was no longer the center of attention like he was when he struggled to read part of the Haggadah and sing Dayenu. Then the assemblage gasped as the prophet picked up his wine and downed it in one gulp, raised his right arm and gestured in The Donald’s direction. There seemed to be an instant frozen in time. There was a bright whiter than white light in the room. Then Elijah was gone. So was Donald Trump.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Published on Daily Kos where you can comment.

Introduction: We don’t need a fine tuned diagnosis anymore to know Trump is psychologically unfit to be president.
I think our splitting hairs over between which characteristics, traits, and behaviors fit in to which diagnosis for Trump was illuminating. Now, it’s really an academic exercise because while we can easily see that he is a malignant narcissist, a good case can be made that he also has many indices of other disqualifying disorders like paranoid personality, impulse control, and a level of psychopathy somewhere less than Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Hannibal Lecter on the Hare checklist. Many experts on psychopathy would probably call him a charming psychopath.
Having written prolifically here about various aspects of Trump’s personality that made him unfit to be president, I think it is time to stop unless and until he demonstrate a new behavior that requires analysis.
Tarasoff (duty to break confidentiality to warn about a client being dangerous) trumps Goldwater (don’t diagnose politicians at a distance) never literally applied. The MD-APA were a group of misguided psychiatrists that had no notion that a Trump could ever come along and lead to the members of their association being faced with a higher ethic to speak out.
Mental health professionals, mostly clinical psychologists and social workers, but a few psychiatrists thought we needed a rationale to break a rule that didn’t even apply to us. Duty to warn sounded like a good one. We believed were obligated as experts who saw what Trump was to alert the public. As shrinks some of us acted like Philadelphia lawyers instead of Philadelphia psychoanalysts. Still, “Tarsoff trumps Goldwater” was an effective meme.
Dr. John Gartner’s idea to petition for the removal of Trump under the 25th was a superb tactic. As its originator he became the go-to shrink in the media. Mental health professionals became another front on the anti-Trump movement. The other elements needed to bring Trump down are the Russian connection, and growing dissatisfaction with the corporate kleptocracy his appointments have been implementing. Add to this the public and congressional perception that he’s team is dysfunctional.
I always thought removal of Trump through the 25th Amendment was a long-shot. However I think publicizing the fact that Trump’s manifest extreme narcissism, impulsivity, and paranoia were clinical indicators of psychiatric disorders. That this was a concern of numerous mental health professionals effected the public discourse. It also informed our allies in Congress.
Trump’s partial comeuppance will hopefully come in the midterm elections when the Democrats take over the Senate. Otherwise will have to wait four years.
I think there is only the remotest possibility that Trump will have a psychotic break, and that would be the only reason the 25th Amendment would be invoked. Trump has managed to normalize the outrageously abnormal merely by being himself. I doubt we’ll see him giving many more of those obviously un-Trumpian teleprompter speeches.
He has redefined what it means to be presidential. The Trump ego told him “let Trump be Trump” and he heeded his own internal voice.
Trump is president of the United States of America. He is the most powerful person in the country. The only thing that will cause this to change is an irrefutable charge of collusion with the Russians to win the election, and he might even survive impeachment. Otherwise he will serve out one term.
If he doesn’t loose in the next election I can’t imagine what I’ll feel, let alone do to keep up the good fight. Even though I believe the majority of American’s does not was a despot as president, and do not want the country run as a conscienceless corporate klepocracy, voters will remain as gullible and ignorant as ever and it will be a touch slog for the Democrats to overcome the successful efforts by the Republicans to disenfranchise likely Democratic voters.
This is my prediction about Trump’s post missile opinion polling is the same as most of the pundits: his job approval rating will improve significantly. Unfortunately this will embolden him not only to take a more bellicose stance when it come to military muscle flexing, but will infuse his narcissistic arrogance with a potent tonic of Viagra, cocaine, rhinoceros horn powder, and methamphetamine.
What could go wrong?

Friday, April 7, 2017

I am glad Huffington Post put this on as their top story… amazing isn’t it…. Trump just became presidential because he started bombing stuff.

Cable News Praises Trump On Syria, Because Bombing Stuff Is ‘Presidential’

Do you want war? Because this is how you get war.

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said Friday morning that “Donald Trump became President of the United States” the moment the bombs started dropping.Zakaria went on to suggest that Trump had achieved this milestone by recognizing that presidents should have a “broader moral and political purpose,” and that the U.S. has some responsibility to “enforce international norms.”

The LA Times Editorial Series on Trump and Trumpism

Thurs., April 6, 2017
One good thing I can say about Steve Bannon, he’s a clever wordsmith.


Steve Bannon Calls Jared Kushner a ‘Cuck’ and ‘Globalist’ Behind His Back

Donald Trump’s two closest aides are fighting “nonstop” and often “face-to-face,” officials say — and it’s even uglier in private.

“[Steve] recently vented to us about Jared being a ‘globalist’ and a ‘cuck’…He actually said ‘cuck,’ as in “cuckservative,’” the administration official told The Daily Beast.
“Cuckservative,” a portmanteau of “cuckold” and “conservative,” has become a favorite slur on the right, used like a sexually and racially charged version of “RINO,” a Republican In Name Only. “Globalist” is a term typically used by nationalist, pro-Trump right-wingers against political opponents; however, the term has also come under fire for at times carrying anti-Semitic tones. (Kushner is Jewish.)
Above - link to NY Times requires paid subscription after 10 articles er month.

WASHINGTON — The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say. 
The briefings indicate that intelligence officials had evidence of Russia’s intentions to help Mr. Trump much earlier in the presidential campaign than previously thought. The briefings also reveal a critical split last summer between the C.I.A. and counterparts at the F.B.I., where a number of senior officials continued to believe through last fall that Russia’s cyberattacks were aimed primarily at disrupting America’s political system, and not at getting Mr. Trump elected, according to interviews. 
The former officials said that in late August — 10 weeks before the election — John O. Brennan, then the C.I.A. director, was so concerned about increasing evidence of Russia’s election meddling that he began a series of urgent, individual briefings for eight top members of Congress, some of them on secure phone lines while they were on their summer break.
The F.B.I., the N.S.A. and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also held a classified briefing on Sept. 6 for congressional staff members about the wave of Russian hacks and “the current and ongoing threat facing U.S. political organizations during this national political season,” according to a government official. 
These new details show Congress and the intelligence agencies racing in the campaign’s final weeks to understand the scope of the Russian threat. But Democrats and Republicans who were privy to the classified briefings often saw the intelligence through a political prism, sparring over whether it could be construed as showing that the Russians were helping Mr. Trump. 
The briefings left Mr. Reid frustrated with the F.B.I.’s handling of Russia’s election intrusion, especially after the agency said in late October — 11 days before the election — that it was re-examining Mrs. Clinton’s emails. 
Mr. Reid fired off another letter on Oct. 30, accusing Mr. Comey of a “double standard” in reviving the Clinton investigation while sitting on “explosive information” about possible ties between Russia and Mr. Trump. 
“The public,” Mr. Reid wrote said, “has a right to know this information.” 

This brief article provides nothing new by way of observations or insights. Too bad. What is glaringly absent is that suffers from clinically significant paranoid personality disorder traits. This makes him an easy target for disinformation and outright batshit crazy lies, and easy to influence and persuade by those who want to exploit his psychopathology. It also makes him dangerous.

The World Health Organization's ICD-10 lists paranoid personality disorder as Paranoid personality disorder. (Manifest in Trump)
It is characterized by at least three of the following:
  1. excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs; 
  2. tendency to bear grudges persistently, i.e. refusal to forgive insults and injuries or slights;
  3. suspiciousness and a pervasive tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous;
  4. a combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation; ??
  5. recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding sexual fidelity of spouse or sexual partner;
  6. tendency to experience excessive self-importance, manifest in a persistent self-referential attitude;
  7. preoccupation with unsubstantiated "conspiratorial" explanations of events both immediate to the patient and in the world at large.

The Problem with Trump

A series of Los Angeles Times editorials

Weds. April 5, 2017
Just published:
Trump and the Pathology of Narcissism. 
This article features many quotes from my online friend Dr. John Gartner (Google him here) whom I credit with breaking the diagnosis of Trump leading to Trump being unfit for office into the mainstream media.

BREAKING NWS: Bannon removed from National Security Council.
WASHINGTON — President Trump reshuffled his national security organization on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, from a top policy-making committee and restoring senior military and intelligence officials who had been downgraded when he first came into office. 
The shift was orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was tapped as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser after the resignation of Michael T. Flynn, who stepped down in February after being caught misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador. 
General McMaster inherited an organizational scheme for the National Security Council that stirred protests because of Mr. Bannon’s role. The original setup made Mr. Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart News, a member of the principals committee that typically includes cabinet-level officials like the vice president, secretary of state and defense secretary. The original order also made the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence only occasional participants as issues demanded. NY TIMES (Fee site - 10 free per month )

Oregon Interest: Sen. Merkley speaks all night against Gorsich appointment

Here’s a critique of the laggardly media finally coming to its senses about the nature of the beast we now call President Trump.

He told us who he was: The L.A. Times discovers Donald Trump’s vileness — why was any of it a surprise? 

The mainstream media is shocked to discover the president is a mendacious bigot — were they not paying attention? By Chauncey DeVega, Salon

"It would seem that the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times has finally found its spine. But alas, this is all too little and much too late. One must wonder — and this is true not just of one newspaper but of the American news media in total — how could Donald Trump’s behavior as president possibly be surprising?"
"Donald Trump is one of the greatest villains in American life. In that role, he is transparent and direct. Most importantly, Donald Trump has done nothing which he did not already promise to do during the 2016 presidential race: There is nothing subtle about his mendacity or his plans for America and the world. To be surprised or shocked by Donald Trump is to admit that you played yourself for a fool. "

The LA Times Editorial Series on Donald Trump:
Part 1  Our Dishonest President |  Part II Why Trump Lies | Part III Trump’s Authoritarian Vision |
Part IV Trump’s War on Journalism

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Back to my ongoing theme
 of Trump’s mental illness:
Transcript at bottom of this page.

EXCERPT: Trump betrays no sense for the president’s place among the myriad of institutions in the continuum of governance. He seems willing to violate long-established political norms without a second thought, and he cavalierly rejects the civility and deference that allow the system to run smoothly. He sees himself as not merely a force for change, but as a wrecking ball. 
Will Congress act as a check on Trump’s worst impulses as he moves forward? One test is the House and Senate intelligence committees’ investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election; lawmakers need to muster the courage to follow the trail wherever it leads. Can the courts stand up to Trump? Already, several federal judges have issued rulings against the president’s travel ban. And although Trump has railed against the decisions, he has obeyed them.
Monday, April 3, 2017

Fox News Is Hit With Another Sexual Harassment Suit 
Additional article

More about Fox….

Donald Trump Trusts ‘Fox & Friends’ Over His Own Intelligence Community

and then there’s this:

"But it is no liberal fantasy to say the odds of a Trump resignation or impeachment before 2020 are looking better by the day.” Juan Williams political analyst for Fox News Channel.  Article in The Hill
The president’s 36-year-old son-in-law has quickly become one of the most powerful individuals in the American government, despite having roughly as much experience in government as Donald Trump – which is to say, none prior to Jan. 20. READ HUFFPO Article
EXCERPT: But he is not merely amusing. He is dangerous. His choice of falsehoods and his method of spewing them — often in tweets, as if he spent his days and nights glued to his bedside radio and was periodically set off by some drivel uttered by a talk show host who repeated something he’d read on some fringe blog — are a clue to Trump’s thought processes and perhaps his lack of agency. He gives every indication that he is as much the gullible tool of liars as he is the liar in chief. 
He has made himself the stooge, the mark, for every crazy blogger, political quack, racial theorist, foreign leader or nutcase peddling a story that he might repackage to his benefit as a tweet, an appointment, an executive order or a policy. He is a stranger to the concept of verification, the insistence on evidence and the standards of proof that apply in a courtroom or a medical lab — and that ought to prevail in the White House.
Not a link.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

….(these) are immensely dangerous developments which threaten to weaken this country’s moral standing in the world, imperil the planet and reverse years of slow but steady gains by marginalized or impoverished Americans. But, chilling as they are, these radically wrongheaded policy choices are not, in fact, the most frightening aspect of the Trump presidency. 
What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous. 
April 1, 2017

I’m listening to Pence, who tells the audience how proud he is to consider Trump a friend, read a speech to a crowd electronics workers at a factory in Ohio. I hear and see what seems to be unenthusiastic and minimal applause to many of the lines he expects people to clap at. I wish there was an old fashioned applause meter.  It seems to me that some of the lines have no more than 15-20 people clapping. 

This isn’t an April Fools Day joke:

March 31, 2017
Link to Daily Kos

Trumpology: Watch Trump’s body language in this video.

Here’s an intriguing question. Why would Michael Flynn choose this NEVER TRUMP attorney to represent him?
Read Article

Can Trump Change Libel Laws? The short answer, thankfully, is no.

What does libel law say?

It is indeed hard for public figures to win libel suits. They have to prove that something false was said about them, that it harmed their reputation and that the writer acted with “actual malice.” That last term is misleading, as it has nothing to do with the ordinary meaning of malice in the sense of spite or ill will.
To prove actual malice, a libel plaintiff must show that the writer knew the disputed statement was false or had acted with “reckless disregard.” That second phrase is also a term of art. The Supreme Court has said that it requires proof that the writer entertained serious doubts about the truth of the statement.
That is a high bar, and public figures rarely file libel suits and seldom win them.

Can the president change libel laws?

No. Libel law is a state-law tort, meaning that state courts and state legislatures have defined its contours.   NY TIMES

Daily Beast
The latest on this story: Twitter goes wild over oddball Tillerson:

Non-political news of the weird:
Magnification mine

Transcript of April 3rd Morning Joe

DONNY DEUTSCH: I also think it’s time, and I know in the post-Goldwater era there’s an unwritten rule in the psychiatric community that nobody diagnoses from afar. I just don’t think he’s a well guy, period.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: What he is doing now is not in his self interest, and that’s when you start saying, wait a second, how well is he if he’s doing these things that any rational human being would know would hurt him politically?
. . .
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The President of the United States the leader of the free world, the steward of the world’s largest economy, the man who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, he spent most of Saturday morning tweeting about Fox News. Let that breathe for a second. Just think about that. And about the scope of that problem right there.
. . .
DONNY: People talk about, he’s 70 and a billionaire, he’s not going to change his behavior. His entire life, because this is a man who has not traveled, this is a man who does not read, this is a man who is not intellectually curious. So for his entire life, the only information he’s gotten is like a 12-year old eating Cheerios in front of the television set. He’s not going to change now!
. . .
JOE: Obviously, no self control. And again, this guy is just literally bumping around the White House, or wherever he goes, with nobody else around minding him.
. . .
JOE: And we talked about this before, how well the guy is off now, mentally? Any sane, rational person would know: if I keep bringing attention to something, then I’m going to keep churning up attention on something, and it is not going to be in my best interest.
. . .
DONNY: There’s a disorder. There was an article over the weekend about election night. That right even after his triump, he was fixated on a three-day old negative article; they literally couldn’t get him off of. And that’s what this is. I don’t know what the disorder is. I’m not being glib. Regardless of what else is going on, if he’s been pricked in a certain area, there is an inability, physiologically, to move off of it, even if it’s self-destructive.
. . .
JOE: He is President of the United States, and he starts lying about three million votes being illegally cast. And he is obsessed on that . . . And then the day he is inaugurated, Mika, he is now the 45th President of the United States. What does he do? He starts obsessing about crowd size. And starts lying about crowd size. Now, I’m sorry: that is not a healthy, normal, well-functioning man. And he obsesses and he lies about crowd size for another three or four weeks until he starts lying about Barack Obama. Not healthy. Something’s deeply wrong with this man.
. . .
JOE: In this case, Mika, everything he is doing, just as offensive, but it is against his political interest. And that’s where you start saying, there’s no rational reason why he should be doing this every day. Even if you think he’s a cynical, horrible human being, this hurts him.
DONNY: And Joe, what you and I are dancing around here, going back here, yes, there was logic, devious and disgusting, but everything now points to certain disorders. My hair is not on fire. And I am not a clinician. And once again: doctors do not diagnose. He is not well in many ways. If anybody is behaving in this way. If a schoolteacher was behaving this way, if your friend was behaving this way, you’d be concerned.
JOE: If any CEO behaved this way, they would have been fired by the board 60 days ago.
. . .
JOE: The question, Mark Halperin, is what are the Republicans doing on Capitol Hill, in the House? The Senate is standing up. What’s Jason Chaffetz doing? What’s Paul Ryan doing? We’re going to have Jason on today and we’re going to see what he says. Paul Ryan. What’s Paul Ryan doing? What’s McCarthy doing? They know this is not sane, rational behavior. What are they doing, and at what point do they start speaking out.