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May 1, 2017

Early May stories

March stories 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 | Oregon Earth Quake Warning News Today

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I just turned the TV on to hear a guest say about Trump “he needs to study better.” As if this is normal. As if? As if! 

All I can say is this (image). Reminds me of a time years ago when my wife and I were listening to the audio-book of Dreamcatcher while driving (Stephen King thriller about kids vs. deadly aliens) and this was one of the favorite expletives of the kids. My wife and I adopted it for a couple of years.

What could go wrong department: We have a president who is 1) a malignant narcissist, 2) an autocratic, authoritarian, thin skinned, impulsive, kleptocratic, bully, and 3) is showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s bigly:
It's time to start talking about President Trump's mental health.
Trump is correct that his terrifyingly expansive powers as president allow him to reveal whatever classified material he wants. But it's still baffling why he would do such a thing. Intelligence sharing is generally supposed to be done after careful discussion, and between intelligence agencies, not civilian leaders. You have to be very careful with language, so as to not reveal more than intended — and especially not to the Russians, given that American forces are at odds with them in Syria and several other global hotspots.
If you're at all familiar with the way Trump tends to ramble and boast, a simple explanation presents itself: He just got carried away and started running his mouth. That is unquestionably the most probable explanation.
Of course, that in and of itself does not mean that America's president is mentally unwell. There is, however, so much more.
As Kevin Drum points out, Trump has been showing many other signs of mental decline over the past year, especially since he took office. He has bursts of temperforgets people's namesmixes up the names of countries he's bombing, and forgets to finish simple tasks.  CONTINUED
Last’s night’s 22 minute lead-in story on Rachel Maddow connects the dots between Blackwater’s Eric Prince meeting with a sheik (crown prince of Abu Dabi) as a secret emissary of Trump, the same prince who shortly thereafter met with Flynn, Kushner, and Bannon — and then turns up yesterday meeting with Trump.

Today’s extraordinary news. Trump says he knew exactly what he was doing when he revealed top secret information:

Just published on BBC website: 

Trump defends 'absolute right' to share 'facts' with Russia

Moved up from yesterday as this is being discussed on Morning Joe right now:

Here’s a must read story on the explosive story of the day-week-month from the LawFare blog about the non-denial denials, the carefully parsed defensives coming from Trump lackeys.

Monday, May, 15, 2017

Some U.S. officials have told Reuters they have been concerned about disclosing highly classified intelligence to Trump.

One official, who requested anonymity to discuss dealing with the president, said last month: “He has no filter; it’s in one ear and out the mouth.” From Reuters.
Communications staff and senior staffers at the White House were literally “hiding in offices,” according to a senior Trump aide, as a gaggle of White House press stormed White House hallways just after the Washington Post story broke on Monday evening.

“Do not ask me about how this looks, we all know how this looks,” the senior aide told The Daily Beast on Monday evening. Trump administration officials spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity so as to speak freely. The aide described a scene at the White House as tense and “a morgue….”

But administration officials see the optics of the situation as catastrophic…

“At this point I’m wondering if we’ll ever be able to stop talking about Russia,” a White House staffer said shortly after the Post story was published. “It’s totally self-inflicted.

Intelligence experts worried during last year’s presidential campaign that Trump’s particular brand of brash straight-talk might put key secrets at risk. “My concern with Trump will be that he inadvertently leaks, because as he speaks extemporaneously, he’ll pull something out of his hat that he heard in a briefing and say it,” a former senior intelligence official told The Daily Beast last year.

 “With news like this I’m beginning to wonder why Trump ran in the first place and if he really cares about the country,” said a senior Trump appointee involved in counter-ISIS policymaking. “I miss candidate Trump. Now he’s just a pathetic mess.”

 “He thinks he’s arranging some business deal except that he’s not.”

“I don’t think he shared the classified intelligence to collude. I think he shared because he thinks he’s playing chess when he’s actually playing checkers. International affairs is not like buying a golf course,” added a second former FBI official.

The Russians, the source added, “like [Trump’s] mental instability and stupidity. They don’t like his unpredictability.”
“Time after time we are seeing that our president has little to no understanding of how the intelligence system and national security apparatus works, and our biggest security vulnerability may be the one person who no one, other than Congress, can take action against,” he said.

Here’s a must read story on the explosive story of the day-week-month from the LawFare blog about the non-denial denials, the carefully parsed defensives coming from Trump lackeys.

I already figured Trump was flying the Russian flag over the White House. If this is true, we might as well change our national anthem.

While I think Trump has had malignant narcissistic personality disorder all or most of his adult life, that doesn’t rule out that he is developing dementia. If this is the case, combined with his psychopathology it could lead more quickly than we anticipated to his become so obviously unfit to be president that there will be a public outcry for him to be removed under the 25th Amendment.
Could a more serious illness be at work beneath the bluster and the ego?

‘Morning Joe’ Hosts: Conway Said She Needed A Shower After Defending Trump

First watch on MSNBC on Stephanie Ruhle show, Quote: "Donald Trump thinks he's playing at Lincoln Center and he's really playing at the Hurry Back Lounge.”  Eddie Glaude. His comment led to Stephanie cracking up.

First read:
When people behave as if they have something to hide, it is often because they do. For me, this is a basic law of human behavior.
That’s why President Trump’s baffling, outrageous, unfathomable and just plain bizarre behavior last week strengthened my already strong suspicions that there is something that Trump knows about the investigations into his campaign’s contacts with Russia that he doesn’t want us to know.
That is the only way that I can make sense of what happened: These are either the machinations of concealment, expressions of a burgeoning insanity, or both.
The details of the most recent episode in the Trump madness are now well known and yet every new detail that helps add texture to the story also renders it more horrifyingly egregious.
He is insecure, paranoid and brittle, jostling between egomania and narcissism, intoxicated with a power beyond his meager comprehension and indulging in it beyond the point of abuse.
Some people are ebulliently optimistic that the abomination is coming undone and may soon be at an end.
Sunday, May, 14, 2017
I just found this list of articles explaining Trump’s mental illness.

Saturday Night Live - Lester Holt and Donald Trump.

LINKS in images above and below
FROM VOX: We are not accustomed to having someone so obviously disordered in a position of such power. Trump is surrounded by people — not only members of his administration but Congress, the press, pundits, conservative ideological groups, industry lobbyists — eager to invent stories to make sense of his behavior.
Politicos and journalists need a story in which Trump’s stumbling and grasping can be construed as a savvy media strategy, a “distraction” from some other wrongdoing he has going on, or a “pivot” from his current omnishambles. Those are all versions of political maneuvering with which they are familiar. They need for Trump to want things, to be after things, to have a plan. 
Politicians, journalists, analysts, the public — everyone wants some kind of story, some Theory of Trump. And so Trump surrogates try to provide it, scrambling to weave a coherent narrative around his careening, erratic lies. 
But there’s no there there. He’s lunging this way and that, situation by situation. Firing Comey? Trump just got mad. He wanted Comey and the Russia investigation off his TV. There’s no deeper story than that.

FROM THE OPED: This last remark was not exactly the admission of obstruction of justice that liberals quickly claimed, since Trump immediately added that he accepted that firing Comey could lead to a longer investigation, which he wanted “to be absolutely done properly.”
It was, instead, a window into an essentially sub-rational and self-sabotaging mind (as were the tweets that swiftly followed), whose obsessions make it impossible for Trump not to act on impulse, whose grievances constantly override the public interest and political self-interest both.
But it was not a new window: This same self-destructiveness was evident at every turn in the campaign. So the only mystery is why otherwise-rational Republicans persist in hoping for anything save chaos from a man who celebrated clinching the nomination by accusing his rival’s father of having had a hand in killing J.F.K.

Yet another reason Donald Trump is bad news: He’s utterly lacking in “integrative complexity” — and that’s dangerous 

Trump's lack of "balance, nuance and sophistication" is obvious — and it's likely to get many people killed 

EXCERPT: The world situation is rife with risk potential, and its immense complexity requires cool heads capable of careful reflection on both the ethical and strategic implications of different foreign policy options. Unfortunately, it would take the most ideologically blinded individual to maintain that Trump is the right guy for the job, given his ignominious record of outbursts, rejecting expertise and making demonstrably false statements.
But the situation is worse than this, and there’s hard data to back it up. Consider a phenomenon identified by the psychologist Philip Tetlock called “integrative complexity,” which “captures a sense of intellectual balance, nuance, and sophistication.” Individuals with low integrative complexity preferentially use strong language that divides the world into black and white; words like “absolutely,” “definitely” and “indisputably” are common in low-complexity political speeches. Slightly higher complexity is associated with hedging terms like “usually” and “almost,” and still higher complexity involves acknowledging multiple points of view as well as “connections, tradeoffs, or compromises between” these views. The very highest level of integrative complexity is marked by the use of abstract principles to elucidate and navigate the relationships between different perspectives, as when one adopts a particular view because it comports with Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative, or the utilitarian maxim that one should always act so as to maximize pleasure and minimize suffering in the world.
Sat. May 13, 2017

Afternoon: This is chilling. We already knew it. It is chilling none-the-less

The rumor mill has it that Trump has been dissatisfied with Sean Spicer for some time, but has really grown tired of his press secretary being mocked by Melissa McCarthy on Saturday Nite Live. On of the names that has been leaked for his replacement is Fox’s co-host on The Five, Kimberly Guilfoyle. She certainly “appears” to be qualified.
Above is a link
Aside from her glamorous looks, the 48 year old graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law and was married to progressive Gavin Newsome who was mayor of San Francisco and now the Lt. Gov. of California from 2001-2006.  She also modeled for local department stores, including Macy's, and modeled for Victoria’s Secret. She worked as a lawyer. You can read her profile here.  With her Trump may get more than he bargained for. She might take the job, the likely paycut and not turn out to be a toady.

Above is a link

Above link

If this is true, and I think it probably is, aside from Putin ordering advisories and critics murdered, this makes Trump look like a choir boy.

For friends in Portland: SNL Live at 8:30 PM

Friday, May 12, 2017
Afternoon (but don’t miss the John Gartner OpEd in today’s NY Daily News!) This is the easiest, most straightforward, explanation of Trump’s dangerous malignant narcissism. It is by the founder of the Duty to Warn movement which is now over a year old.

Thank you, Kellyanne Conway. On Thursday on Fox News, the President’s most polished defender told America the truth about why Donald Trump fired James Comey: Trump “expects people who are serving in his administration to be loyal to the country and to be loyal to the administration.” And he sees no distinction between the two.

He expected the FBI Director to be his personal cop, pursuing those “crimes” that he considered important, which is to say: “crimes” against him. When Comey instead used independent criteria to determine where the FBI should focus its resources, and what it should consider true, Trump was appalled. He figured Comey wasn’t doing his job. CONTINUED

Above is a link
Above is a link to @realdonaldtrump

Click to read “our” John Gartner in the tabloid on newsstands all over NYC today

What if that bomb was in the White House and its name was Donald Trump? Mental health professionals have the skills, experience and training to evaluate both the sanity and dangerousness of this unprecedented President.

Yet the American Psychiatric Association has forcefully tried to stop us from doing our patriotic duty, by gagging us with an obscure ethical footnote, called the Goldwater Rule, that forbids the diagnosis of public figures. Read entire OpEd

Should we talk more openly about mental illness, or should we shut up? It depends which side of the Atlantic you’re on. In Britain, the future head of state has thrown his weight behind an admirable campaign for more conversation, but in America, where the current head of state seems profoundly psychologically disordered, the official position is to zip it. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is standing firm on the “Goldwater Rule”, which prohibits members from offering opinions, let alone formal diagnoses, on those they haven’t evaluated in person. (It was devised after a poll of psychiatrists deemed Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential candidate, unfit for office.) Needless to say, the rule hasn’t stifled media speculation about celebrity mental health; instead, it precludes precisely those who might bring some credibility and sobriety to the discussion. CONTINUED
Above, I meant “Make our day"

On Morning Joe at 3:00 AM my time:
Is this the beginning of the end of the Trump administration?

I’m awake, damnit.. 3:00 AM and I turn on the TV to catch the start of Morning Joe for the first time since I move to Oregon…. and Mika and Joe and all the guests are livid about Trump - about the lies from Spicer, Huckabee-Sanders, KellyAnne and Pence, and at Trump himself for just about everything, even calling him a dictator who has no idea about how to be a dictator. They agreed that today began the unraveling of the Trump presidency.

Joe: Donald Trump is not well, he doesn’t know what reality is, AND CHECK THIS OUT from Donnie Deutsh “we have to get past this Goldwater thing where psychiatrists don’t diagnose"

 Mika is BLASTING CNN for having Kellyann Conway on all the time. “This White House is lying from top to bottom” — also “the fish rot from the head”

Update: Been an hour, Morning Joe show discussion is amazing this morning - when I was up just before three I realized I could watch it as it came on and see what was happening on the east coast. My mistake… they jumped right into the narrative vehemently blasting Trump and his inept lying lackeys in the harshest terms I’ve ever heard from this usually mild crew.
They are reading the articles in the morning papers…. unfuckenbelievable —
Gene Robinson now on saying “when have you seen a cover-up without a crime.
This is the worst case scenario - he is as bad as you thought he might be.
UPDATE: Shortly after 6 a.m. on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, cohost Mika Brzezinski, doing her best impression of Kate McKinnon, decided to lecture her cable news rivals about their frequent bookings of senior presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway. …..“First of all, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee, Sean Spicer, Mike Pence—now all in the same category. In the Kellyanne category. Not credible, proved as a liar, made a fool,” Brzezinski began her broadside as her fiancé/cohost Joe Scarborough listened from a remote location miles away from the studio in 30 Rock. ….. 
“Also, note to CNN. Sorry, I love CNN, but you gotta stop putting Kellyanne on the air. It’s politics porn. You’re just getting your little ratings crack. Ok? But it’s disgusting.” …..Brzezinski, who declared Conway persona non grata months ago after her many appearances on Morning Joe, continued her rant at CNN: “There’s nothing that she brings to the table that’s honest. Your hosts know it. Your hosts look pained when they interview her, because they know they’re just doing politics porn. They’re not doing news. We need to stick to the news.”

Thursday, May, 11, 2017.


Trump Official: We ‘Let the Biggest Perpetrator of Fake News into the Oval Office’

Team Trump is “either in bed with the Russians or too stupid to understand the severity of this mistake,” an official fumed after Kremlin press got exclusive Oval Office access.

Evening diversion - an English major reads between the lines of Comey’s goodby letter. I give her an A.

Image is a link

Donald Trumps Admits He Was Looking For An Excuse To Fire James Comey Preview from the Lester Holt interview.

“I was going to fire him regardless of recommendation,” he said.

The Revealing and Horrifying Time Interview With Trump

President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that he coined the expression “prime the pump,” a commonly used expression in economics with origins in the 19th century.

“Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it,” Trump told The Economist. “I mean, I just — I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.” Continued on Raw Story

White House official says Russia ‘tricked us’ by publishing Oval Office photos

They’re “furious,” but it’s not like they didn’t know the photographer was there.

Comey’s firing, these political scientists say, fits a pattern that’s very common in democracies that collapse into authoritarianism in the modern era. It’s not that the elected leaders in these countries set out to become an authoritarian, per se. It’s that they care about their own power and security above all else, and do things to protect their own position that have the effect of removing democratic constraints on their power.
One of the first steps in this pattern is weakening independent sources of power that can check the executive’s actions. Like, say, the director of your domestic security service who just happens to be investigating your administration’s foreign ties.
Trump “has what you might think of as autocratic tendencies, which were probably perfectly normal in the business world but are very problematic in the political world,” says Sheri Berman, a professor at Barnard College. “What he would like to do is eliminate all sources of opposition to him — indeed, even sources of criticism of him — and he’s willing to do pretty much anything to do that.”
Another Quotable Quote:

We have the tin-pot leader whose vanity knows no bounds. We have the rapacious family feathering their nests without regard for the law or common decency. We have utter disregard for values at home and abroad, the disdain for democracy, the hunger for constraining a free press, the admiration for thugs and strongmen worldwide.

We have all the makings of a banana republic. But worse, we are showing the telltale signs of a failing state.  From the Telltale Signs of a Failing State: Continued here

Update on last night's Rod Rosenstein breaking news:

Deputy Attorney General Reportedly Threatened To Quit Over Comey Backlash

Rod Rosenstein may have chafed at the White House narrative that he was the driving force behind the firing.

Another name in the Who Ever Heard of This Guy Department:

James Comey’s Temporary Replacement At The FBI Is Under Investigation

The DOJ is looking into Andrew McCabe’s role in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Story of the day is from SLATE
It is such an odd, ubiquitous detail—that Trump is “enraged.” He is apoplectic, incensed, irate, vexed, sore, peeved, tantrum-y, mad online, mad offline, mad in a boat, mad with a goat, mad in the rain, mad on a train. The president’s rage, his defining characteristic, is not of the contemporary political moment. It is something archaic, mythological, like the rage of Achilles. How can you be “enraged” about an investigation that has already found clear evidence of your team’s wrongdoing and yet that your allies have moved mountains to hinder? Why is it infuriating that the American people want to resolve the question of whether an authoritarian country meddled in their election? A man with nothing to hide would feel indignant, surely, but not this all-consuming rage; a man with secrets would presumably feel dread or guilt. But Trump’s wrath is not the response of a conventional politician. It is the lashing out of a mad king against the disobedience of his subjects.

Weds., May 10, 2017
Breaking now: reported on Lawrence O’Donnell being reported in Washington Post--  Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein threaten to resign when the recommendation to fire Comey was attributed to him.

The Comey Firing May Be the Beginning of the End of the Trump Administration


Below: Chris Hayes showed the photo taken by a Russian photographer explaining it “showed Trump yucking it up” with the Russians: UFB!
(No American journalists were allowed in the meeting.) Read the Russian perspective on TASS.

This apparent threat of extreme violence was just Tweeted to John Gartner and I:

This is the delusional Donald. The other Donald is a sociopathic liar possibly approaching a mental breakdown (think Nixon) saying anything he and his cabal can come up with to lie their way out of the looming impeachment.
Less than a day after the firing of FBI Director James Comey, it’s becoming clear that Trump has conspired with his Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to make any sort of realistic oversight or investigation of him and his administration as difficult as possible, if not impossible. All political power is being concentrated in the office of the President. All law enforcement power is being concentrated in the office of the Attorney General, and when it comes to enforcing the law regarding the Trump campaign and its contacts with elements of the Russian government, in the office of the Deputy Attorney General. The letters justifying Comey’s firing were generated by a man in office less than two weeks and acted upon only hours after their receipt by the White House without any sort of reasonable consultation with anyone else by these three men. They have turned their offices into black holes into which things are meant to disappear without investigation or enforcement. Continued
Primer: What is a malignant narcissist?

Consider joining this Facebook Group to help get the malignant narcissist out of the White House:
All readers are invited to join this very active Facebook group. A society dedicated to the proposition that Donald Trump is too seriously mentally ill to competently discharge his duties as president and must be removed according to the 25th Amendment. Read how John and I are now getting nasty Tweets.

Tuesday, May, 9, 2017
Evening art therapy:

My uncensored reaction when I heard this on the radio on the way back from the grocery story: (I’m calm now…. but let’s say it was an expletive filled diatribe..+)
These are stories from before the Comey firing announcement.

Most of us in Oregon don’t watch Morning Joe on MSNBC. It airs 3-6AM here. This is part of today’s show:

First read - Trump’s travel ban, creative bigotry: Segregation, back to 1971.

Monday, May, 8, 2017
My latest hate Tweet. Does the AMA shoot retired clinical social workers?

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting. (Wiki)

Jeff Toobin on Trump’s Sally Yates Tweet

Appearing on CNN to talk about the president’s tweet — in which he said that someone should “ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council (sic)” — legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said that Trump’s behavior crosses the line of what we consider to be normal behavior for a politician in the United States.

“It just shows how much the norms of behavior have changed,” Toobin said. “The idea of the president of the United States essentially threatening a witness, he’s basically accusing her of leaking, we have never had that before. We’ve never had presidents who did this kind of thing. The idea that the president — the guy who’s in charge of the Justice Department — is threatening a witness is really kind of disturbing.” Article on CNN (We’ve never had a president who was a malignant narcissist prone to feeling a narcissistic insult which he respond to with what clinicians call narcissistic rage - so far only with Tweets - HB)
Sally Yates had many good moments, but the one I liked best was her ripping Ted Cruz a new one:

Sally Yates had some good quotable quotes, but the Quote of the Day award goes to Charles Blow in his NYTimes OpEd “Republican Death Wish”:

The A.C.A. (Obamacare) had made a basic societal deal: The young, healthy and rich would subsidize access to insurance for the older, sicker and poorer. But this demanded that the former gave a damn about the latter, that people genuinely believed that saving lives was more important than saving money, that we weren’t living some Darwinian Hunger Games of health care where health and wealth march in lockstep. 
Once again, the party that is vehemently “pro-life” for “persons” in the womb demonstrates a staggering lack of empathy fo
r those very same lives when they are in the world. What is the moral logic here? It is beyond me. 
Let’s cut to the quick: Access to affordable health care keeps people alive and healthy and keeps families solvent. Take that away, and people get sick, run up enormous, crippling debt and in the worst cases, die. It is really that simple. 
People may conveniently disassociate a vote cast in marbled halls from the body stretched out in a wooden box, but make no mistake: They are linked.
I just found this, so John McCain shares the honor for this from his NY Times editorial Why We Must Support Human Rights

In a recent address to State Department employees, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said conditioning our foreign policy too heavily on values creates obstacles to advance our national interests. With those words, Secretary Tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere: Don’t look to the United States for hope. Our values make us sympathetic to your plight, and, when it’s convenient, we might officially express that sympathy. But we make policy to serve our interests, which are not related to our values. So, if you happen to be in the way of our forging relationships with your oppressors that could serve our security and economic interests, good luck to you. You’re on your own.
This is a link

The T-shirt, which reads “‘Repeal and go f**k yourself.’ – GOP,” makes a pointed comment about House Republicans who voted to end health insurance for millions of Americans earlier this week. An American flag serves to censor the expletive on the shirt. 

This isn’t about Trump, but it really pissed me off more than merely reading about another anti-science decision because one of the advisors fired from the EPA science advisory board was from my alma mater, Michigan State. I don’t know him, but it’s interesting how even this slight connection makes it feel more egregious.

Here’s how a Jungian analyst interprets the “famous” Mar-a-Lago Trump portrait. Click image)
 “Ideas don’t float in the air, they live in your neuro-circuitry,” Lakoff said. Each time ideas in our neural circuits are activated, they get stronger. And over time, complexes of neural circuits create a frame through which we view the world. “The problem is, that frame is unconscious,” Lakoff said. “You aren’t aware of it because you don’t have access to your neural circuits.” So what happens when you hear facts that don’t fit in your worldview is that you can’t process them: you might ignore them, or reject or attack them, or literally not hear them. 
This theory explains why even college-educated Trump voters could ignore so many facts about their candidate. And it also explains why progressives have been ignoring Lakoff’s findings for more than two decades. Progressives are still living in the world of Descartes and the Enlightenment, Lakoff said, a neat world governed by the rules of logic. Descartes said, “I think therefore I am,” but Lakoff claims that we are embodied beings and that 98 percent of thought is unconscious. 
Our thoughts are chemical in nature, and occur within the confines of a physical body: we are not 100 percent rational beings. Read article

Sunday, May, 7, 2017

This is from Jan. 25th but it is being cited again. It is worth reading because it may be another reason Trump could be removed under the 25th Amendment: Prominent neurologist warns bout Trump’s cognitive impairment.

I didn’t know this about what Bandy Lee faced at Yale. John Gartner joins her in taking a lot of hostility: Excerpt from Salon: The silence was broken last week by several renowned psychiatrists at a Duty to Warn conference organized by Dr. Bandy Lee. She has formed a coalition of more than 800 mental health professionals who believe that Donald Trump is dangerous to the health and safety of their patients. Dr. Lee is working in conjunction with Dr. John Gartner, whose online Duty to Warn petition has already accumulated more than 52,000 signatures from fellow mental health professionals.

Though Lee’s town hall meeting was initially sponsored by Yale’s School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and School of Public Health, they all bailed out before the event, leaving Lee, a Korean-American woman, to run the conference alone. Despite the positive coverage of her conference, Lee told New York magazine that she has become a pariah in her department. This is not an accident: The academy and professional associations are old boy’s clubs that respond to challenges to their authority by circling the wagons.

Sat. May 6, 2017: 

Duty to Warn makes Fox News!
Watch the Watter’s World interview here \/

Update Sat. night: I just watched the show. It won’t make any converts considering the Fox audience.  It wasn’t bad, although now that I see what Watters did I would have been more aggressive hitting back at him and not letting him get the last word. No time did Gartner say Trump was psychotic, though Watters kept using that word. Unfortunately he tried to rebut Gartner with his own lies. The examples of Trump's paranoia should have been irrefutable. Asked t come up with sources who new Trump, a quote from Tony Schwartz would have been good. A few examples of his Tweets would have been effective too. Watters' trying to say his craziness was merely playing politics should have had a powerful comeback. I would have perhaps said “you are smiling, smirking even now, but if I am correct (and thousands of psychologists think I am) you will eventually find that smile turned upside down.

This would be more civil: I think there’s a way to level the playing field, but it would take a lot of work including rehearsing with a good actor playing the Fox host. It would of course mean reviewing a lot of previous interviews. Then developing a strategy, with flexible tactics to employ depending on how good the host is on counter-attacking. For example, one approach is to be paternalist and condescending, and refuse to answer some questions which are obvious attempts to bait the Duty to Warn therapist. Asked to provide examples of Tweets, for example, the could say that Trump’s unhinged Tweets have been discussed endlessly and his sycophants will always excuse them, while level headed observers will know that they come from an abnormal mind. A good way to parry the demand for examples is to say “I will not relitigate an issue that has been settled by the majority of nonpartisan fact checkers."

As far as I know this is was first time a Duty to Warn therapist  was on any Fox News show. Dr. Gartner went to NYC and taped Fox’s Watter’s World show on Friday. He said it was highly negative, hostile, interruptive, and having just watched it I can say it was. I don’t think the video will be online for about a week.
If you read this on a regular basis, you know that John Gartner was the first psychotherapist whose sound of the alarm a year ago led to domestic and international mainstream media attention. I got to know him after I was one of the first therapists to join his Duty to Warn movement, and for a year now we have been email friends. He’s been on Lawrence O’Donnell along with another Duty to Warn shrink, Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes. I am working with John and a number of mental health professionals on the planning for the “Keep America Sane” march in October. More about that later.

I will be talking to John Sunday, so hopefully will have more to share with you.
Click link above

Salon: Press critic Jay Rosen on how and why the media is normalizing Trump: “The need to be truthful conflicts with the duty to appear neutral” 

Journalists still use words like "policy" and "learning" to describe a president with no policies who can't learn 

Quote: I think a good example is contained in that Politico piece I wrote about in my last post at PressThink, which is all about the supposed shocking irony, or astounding irony, that the same man who campaigns against the media and conducts hate speech against journalists as a class with regularity, is in fact hugely concerned with the news media and craves their attention, craves their approval. It’s not really surprising if you understand narcissistic personality disorder. Another way to say it would be, if you crave the approval of journalists — which Trump clearly does — it’s not such a great idea to call them disgusting people, dishonest people, the enemy of the American people. But if you understand narcissistic personality disorder, it makes perfect sense. A person that the medical health profession also calls a malignant narcissist — probably a better term — believes they are worthy of adulation by everyone, and when they don’t get it, their reaction is rage.

Includes video: Fire Who? ‘The Late Show’ Just Scored Best Ratings Since Premiere - HuffPost

Friday, May, 5, 2017 

Thanks Breitbart for leaving no speculation about the expletive deleted by the mainstream media from Colbert’s Trump-Putin joke, and publishing his entire monologue.

Here’s an Occupy Democrats video of Drs. Gartner and Dodes on Trump:

Hubris syndrome: An acquired personality disorder? A study of US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers over the last 100 years 

Brain (2009) 132 (5): 1396-1406

 Interesting… this was published in Feb. of 2009 so Obama isnt ranked. Look at the check list and see where you think Trump would fall:

 In defining the boundaries, one of the more important questions may be to understand whether hubris syndrome is essentially the same as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), a subtype of NPD or a separate entity. As shown in Table 1, 7 of the 14 possible defining symptoms are also among the criteria for NPD in DSM-IV, and two correspond to those for antisocial personality and histrionic personality disorders (APD and HPD, respectively) (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The five remaining symptoms are unique, in the sense they have not been classified elsewhere: (v) conflation of self with the nation or organization; (vi) use of the royal ‘we’; (x) an unshakable belief that a higher court (history or God) will provide vindication; (xii) restlessness, recklessness and impulsiveness; and (xiii) moral rectitude that overrides practicalities, cost and outcome.

Table 1
The symptoms of hubris syndrome
Proposed criteria for hubris syndrome, and their correspondence to features of cluster B personality disorders in DSM-IV 
1. A narcissistic propensity to see their world primarily as an arena in which to exercise power and seek glory; NPD.6 
2. A predisposition to take actions which seem likely to cast the individual in a good light—i.e. in order to enhance image; NPD.1 
3. A disproportionate concern with image and presentation; NPD.3 
4. A messianic manner of talking about current activities and a tendency to exaltation; NPD.2 
5. An identification with the nation, or organization to the extent that the individual regards his/her outlook and interests as identical; (unique) 
6. A tendency to speak in the third person or use the royal ‘we’; (unique) 
7. Excessive confidence in the individual's own judgement and contempt for the advice or criticism of others; NPD.9 
8. Exaggerated self-belief, bordering on a sense of omnipotence, in what they personally can achieve; NPD.1 and 2 combined 
9. A belief that rather than being accountable to the mundane court of colleagues or public opinion, the court to which they answer is: History or God; NPD.3 
10. An unshakable belief that in that court they will be vindicated; (unique) 
11. Loss of contact with reality; often associated with progressive isolation; APD 3 and 5 
12. Restlessness, recklessness and impulsiveness; (unique) 
13. A tendency to allow their ‘broad vision’, about the moral rectitude of a proposed course, to obviate the need to consider practicality, cost or outcomes; (unique) 
14. Hubristic incompetence, where things go wrong because too much self-confidence has led the leader not to worry about the nuts and bolts of policy; HPD.5 
APD = Anti-Social Personality Disorder; HPD = Histrionic Personality Disorder; NPD = Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Thursday, May 4, 2017
Noteworthy quote from this miserable, depressing, infuriating day:
WASHINGTON ― If you haven’t watched the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during a big vote, you should. It’s instructive, and depressing.
What you see ― what I saw from the press gallery on Thursday during the vote to replace Obamacare ― was the distilled essence of two vastly different Americas glowering and shouting at each other.
There is no more vivid juxtaposition in American life today.
On the Republican side: a phalanx of mostly white, mostly Christian, mostly men talking earnestly about liberty, freedom and unshackling business.
On the Democratic side: a bouillabaisse of races, ethnicities and genders, significantly black, Latino and female, talking about collective responsibility, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and insisting that health care is a universal right. From HuffPost

On Fresh Air with Terry Gross today, interview with Evan Osnos, author of the article in the current edition of The New Yorker titled "How Trump Could Get Fired.” Click below

Diagnosing Trump: How Psychoanalysis Lost its Voice

It’s official, 
"Duty to Warn is planning a multicity March for Sanity on Oct. 7 to make America sane again. Hope to see you there, assuming we’re all still here.” John Gartner
This is being organized by the Duty to Warn group started by Dr. John Gartner in late April a year ago. I was one of the first members.

George Will in the smart conservative’s publication, National Review, Trump Does Not Know What It Is to Know

Excerpt: As president-elect, Trump did not know the pedigree and importance of the “one China” policy. About such things he can be, if he is willing to be, tutored. It is, however, too late to rectify this defect: He lacks what T. S. Eliot called a sense “not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.” His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind.

Ex-nuke commanders launch ‘crisis’ group to educate Trump


05/04/17 05:21 AM EDT
A global coalition of former military leaders and diplomats who had responsibility over nuclear weapons is launching a "shadow security council" to offer advice to world leaders on how to reduce what they consider to be the growing danger of a nuclear conflict fueled by the rhetoric of President Donald Trump and destabilizing moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin. 
The Nuclear Crisis Group, which will be announced in Vienna on Friday, boasts nearly two-dozen members of the nuclear priesthood of at least eight major nations — including a former commander of the U.S. atomic arsenal; the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Pakistan; a retired admiral who was in charge of India's nukes; the ex-heads of the Chinese military's strategic studies and science institutes; and Russia's former foreign minister and chief atomic weapons designer. Others joining the initiative include Thomas Pickering, the United Nations ambassador under George H.W. Bush who also served as ambassador to Russia, India and Israel.  Continued on Politico 

America’s dangerously shallow understanding of the Holocaust - VOX

Weds. May 3, 2017
More on removing Trump through the 25th Amendment: Duty to Warn member Dr. Lance Dodes on Lawrence O’Donnell last night:
Check this video from The View out - ignore the source (which is interesting)
Link above

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Monday was … strange. President Trump spent the day questioning the cause of the Civil War, doubling down on his praise of Andrew Jackson, claiming he would be "honored" to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, admiring controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, disparaging the current iteration of his party's health-care bill, suggesting breaking up big banks, wobbling both ways on a gas tax, and abruptly walking out on an interview after a reporter pressed him on his renewed allegations of being wiretapped by former President Barack Obama. "He just seemed to go crazy today," one Republican aide told Politico.

Link above: "It seems to be among the most bizarre recent 24 hours in American presidential history," said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian. "It was all just surreal disarray and a confused mental state from the president."

Even Joe Scarboro is coming around, Trump has a confused mental state!
Story here.

How the president will survive a nuclear war he starts:

Have you heard of the Doomsday Plane? I was amazed to see this YouTube tour video.

I put the Doomsday Plane story on Daily Kos, with a poll, it will be interesting to see what kind of comments it gets.

For those of us who count on Rachel, Lawrence, Chris Hayes, and Joy-ann this was disturbing.

Monday, Mayday, 2017
Ross described how President Donald Trump notified visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping of the strike while the two were enjoying dessert at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
“Just as dessert was being served, the president explained to Mr. Xi he had something he wanted to tell him, which was the launching of 59 missiles into Syria,” Ross said, according to a report in Variety. “It was in lieu of after-dinner entertainment ... The thing was, it didn’t cost the president anything to have that entertainment.”
(The actual cost of launching the 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles was about $60 million.)
The crowd went wild after Ross’ remarks, Variety reported. The controversial billionaire was speaking at an event hosted by the Milken Institute, a California think tank. Conference-goers paid at least $12,500 each to attend unless they had ties to event sponsors like Goldman Sachs, Reuters noted in a story that called the event a meeting of the “global elite.”

Look at how Trump averts his eyes with Dickersn (which is being replayed again and again - at least on MSNBC)… observe Trump’s body language. Of course Trump’s minions no doubt would have sent the persistent fake reported to the guillotine. What we saw is the tip of the narcissistic rage we know is always under the surface in this off the curve of a garden variety abnormal personality… Trump is the chapter that wasn’t in my 1960’s undergraduate psychology textbook, probably because the writers thought such an extreme disorder could only exist in fiction.. We need a Walter Cronkite to come out and say THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

I put this story on Daily Kos where you can see if anybody comments.

There is some good news:

The First 100 Days of President Trump's Critics Went Surprisingly Well

The anti-Trump forces have also coalesced quickly. Groups that didn't exist six months ago have now become the center of a left-wing activist machine. The Women's March, which started as a Facebook group and drew roughly 4 million people the day after Trump's election, now controls a network of 480 local organizers in all 50 states, tapping into more than 5,600 small groups of activists called "huddles." Indivisible, which started as an online Google doc put together by former congressional staffers, now has two groups in each Congressional district. Organizers say those Indivisible groups mobilized roughly 400,000 people to participate in at least 600 town halls to pressure their representatives on everything from immigration to Obamacare repeal.
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

From a very long article in The New Yorker


The Constitution offers two main paths for removing a President from office. How feasible are they?

 "The history of besieged Presidencies is, in the end, a history of hubris—of blindness to one’s faults, of deafness to the warnings, of seclusion from uncomfortable realities. The secret of power is not that it corrupts; that is well known. “What is never said,” Robert Caro writes, in “Master of the Senate,” about Lyndon Johnson, “is that power reveals.” Trump, after a lifetime in a family business, with no public obligations and no board of directors to please, has found himself abruptly exposed to evaluation, and his reactions have been volcanic."

FULL TRANSCRIPT: President Donald Trump's interview with "Face the Nation"

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