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May 16, 2017

Late May - It really, I mean really, is getting interesting.

Early May, 2017 Stories  

LINKS:Huffington Post | Daily Kos | Politico  | Slate | Salon | Vox | The Hill | Think Progress  | AlterNet | BuzzFeed |  Axios  | Local News KATU | KOIN | KGW |  Portland Weather | My new recommendation for Netflix streaming is “Anne with an e” based on "Anne of Green Gables."
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CURRENT Edition here

Weds., May 31, 2017
Evening - Surprise news for Lawrence O’Donnell fans in the last 30 seconds of his show when he was bidding goodbye to one of the show’s interns:
It took Lawrence a half hour to confirm this.

"You know where I’ll be next week? You know where I’ll be for the next two years? I’ll be sitting right here?" Lawrence O’Donnell saying goodbye to one of his interns of the intern’s last day. 

This means Lawrence has a new two year contract !!!! This is after credible rumors he was going to be fired. Fans rallied behind him and caused enough of an uproar so — There was at east one petition (on Daily Kos) urging his contract be renewed.

 I’m sure we’ll find out more tomorrow about what led NBC and MSNBC president, Andy Lack, to change is already made up mind.

Here’s my Tweet to Lawrence:

You know where I’ll be next week? You know where I’ll be for the next two years? I’ll be sitting right here? Lawrence O’Donnell saying goodbye to one of his interns of the intern’s last day. Yea! 

This means Lawrence has a new two year contract  after credible rumor he was going to be fired!!!!
Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
Excerpt:  (Emphasis added) Admittedly, Donald Trump—and yes, that’s the first time I’ve used his name, but there was no need, was there?—has yet to appoint his horse (or perhaps his golf cart) as a senator or, as far as we know, commit acts of incest in the tradition of Caligula, the first mad Roman emperor.  Yet in many ways, doesn’t he feel something like an updated version of that figure or perhaps of Nero who so famously fiddled—actually, according to historian Mary Beard in her book SPQR, played the lyre—while Rome burned? 
Fortunately, unlike every psychiatrist in town, I’m not bound by the “Goldwater Rule,” which prohibits a diagnosis of a public figure you haven’t personally examined. While I have no expertise in whether Donald Trump has a “narcissistic personality disorder,” I see no reason not to say the obvious: he’s a distinctly disturbed individual. That he was nonetheless elected president tells us a good deal about where we are as a country today. As Tony Schwartz, who actually wrote his bestselling book The Art of the Dealput it recently, “Trump was equally clear with me that he didn’t value—nor even necessarily recognize—the qualities that tend to emerge as people grow more secure, such as empathy, generosity, reflectiveness, the capacity to delay gratification or, above all, a conscience, an inner sense of right and wrong.” 
Now, that should be frightening. After all, given who he is, given his fear of “losing,” of rejection, of not being loved (or more accurately, adulated), of in short being obliterated, who knows what such a man might do in a crisis, including obliterating the rest of us. After all, he already lives in a world without fixed boundaries, definitions, or history, which is why nothing he says has real meaning.  And yet he couldn’t be more meaningful. He’s a message, a warning of the first order, and if that were all he were, he would just be an inadvertent teacher about the nature of our American world and we could indeed thank him and do our best to move on.

Physician - pediatric neurosurgeon - Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam called Trump a narcissistic maniac on Meet the Press Daily. Northam suggested viewers look up the criteria for narcissist. Chuck Todd says he’s trashing the president. Northam gave as good as he gots - better in fact. He is very personable, serious and articulate. I sent both of them Tweets:

My comment on the NYT article about Trump pulling out of the Paris Accords

Hal Brown, MSW

 Portland, OR Just now

No surprise here, Trump was Trump

He did it. “WHY?” Because the NATO leaders disrespected him. He must have actually be surprised they didn’t bow down to him. This is his narcissistic macho posturing for the world. He is strutting defiantly in front of them… No! Wait, literally he doesn’t strut, he rides behind them in a fancy golf cart taking his own sweet time.

At home he is showing he is the dictator and doesn’t care that the large majority of the country believes in climate change, and thinks that we should be members of the world community in fighting it. He is even going against the major corporations.

Trump’s autocratic dictatorship disregards and defies corporate America. So much for the corporatocracy.

Trump wants to command the bully pulpit. Instead, he is just a school yard bully elevated to the presidency where he finds he can’t instill fear into all of his classmates.  NYT vets submissions. This was accepted for publication.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Today’s Daily Kos story:
HuffPost is now putting catchy, often snarky, headlines on their main front page story. The actual article linked to above has a different title. 

Quote of the day (so far):

He looked like a thug, looked like a goon,” Joe Scarborough (Republican host on MSNBC) said, watching video of Trump shaking hands with French President Emmanuel Macron and then shoving aside Montenegro’s prime minister, Dusko Markovic. “You look at the handshake — look at this. What a thug. What an embarrassment — he’s mauling him like an idiot. What an embarrassment to the United States.” from AltNet


On the Necessity and Perils of Declaring Trump Mentally Unfit for the Presidency

Monday, May 29, 2017
And to all, a good night….

Late night news from the Washington Post:
How President Trump consumes — or does not consume — top-secret intelligence

Trump’s White House minions aren’t spared from the the malignant narcissist’s barbed complements.
From Washington Post today: Snubs and slights are part of the job in Trump’s White House
In Trump’s White House, aides serve a president who demands absolute loyalty — but who doesn’t always offer it in return. Trump prefers a management style in which even compliments can come laced with a bite, and where enduring snubs and belittling jokes, even in public, is part of the job. 
Allies say the president’s quips are simply good-natured teasing, part of an inclusive strategy meant to make even mid-level staff members feel like family. But others consider Trump’s comments pointed reminders to those who work for him that he is in charge — barbs from the boss that keep aides on guard and off kilter, and can corrode staff morale. 
Trump sometimes refers to his 45-year-old chief of staff, Reince Priebus, as “Reince-y,” a diminutive nickname that some aides and outside rivals recount with gleeful relish. The president also frequently reminds Priebus that when “Access Hollywood’ tapes emerged during the campaign on which Trump could be heard boasting about groping women without their consent, Priebus urged him to drop out of the race.

The psychology of a malignant narcissist:
Critics say the president often demeans those in his orbit, a tendency they say reflects a broader fragility beneath his bluster.   
Trump is so deeply insecure that not even becoming president of the United States quenched his need to make others feel small to build himself up,” said Tim Miller, a former spokesman for an anti-Trump super PAC. “Choosing to work for him necessitates a willingness to be demeaned in order to assuage his desire to feel like a big, important person.”

Principles of Right Reason:
/\ Link /\

To believe Donald Trump, you must believe two largely contradictory things. 
You must believe that there are a slew of leakers in the executive branch who are providing damning details to the press illegally, and who must be rooted out and punished. (See tweets herehereherehere and here.)
You must also believe that the press makes up imaginary leakers simply to slowly and incrementally report false stories that are tangentially embarrassing to the president. The most recent examples of Trump making that case came on Sunday (“Whenever you see the words ‘sources say’ in the fake news media, and they don’t mention names,” he said on Twitter, “it is very possible that those sources don’t exist but are made up by fake news writers. #FakeNews is the enemy!”), but he’s been railing against this idea that some media sources are not real since the campaign. (See tweets here and here.) Continued

Today’s thought exercise.
Trump once bragged he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. Now constitutional scholars are asking this question:

A Constitutional Puzzle: Can the President Be Indicted? (NY Times)

My thoughts: Without positing an impossible scenario like the one Trump suggested (I doubt he could get ahold of a firearm), what would happen if he lost control the way Greg Gianoforte (see below) did? What if he assaulted and seriously injured someone who dared to disagree with him on a particularly bad day? This would be assault and battery, and because of the injury more than a simple misdemeanor. Could he be indicted? Could he use his presidential powers to avoid a trial? If not, could the victim sue him?

Quote of the day from Charles Blow in The Gateway Degenerate (New York Times) writing about the election of Montana’s Greg Gianforte:

This is all an outgrowth of Trump’s degradation of common decency. Trump was the gateway candidate. When Republicans allowed themselves to accept and support him in spite of his glaring flaws and his life lived in opposition to the values they once professed and insisted upon, they moved themselves into another moral realm in which literally nothing was beyond the pale. 
It is a sort of by-any-means-necessary, no-sin-is-too-grave, all-facts-are-fungible space in the moral universe where the rules of basic human decency warp. 
The moment that they allowed themselves to vote for a man who bragged on tape about assaulting women, appeared in at least two pornos, and once joked about dating his own daughter, they surrendered the mantle of morality. 
When they allowed themselves to vote for a man who insulted Mexicans and Muslims, who mocked a disabled reporter, who called for executing the Central Park Five and who had “a long history of racial bias at his family’s properties, in New York and beyond,” according to an extensive report by The Times, Republicans surrendered the mantle of morality.
Republicans sold their souls to this devil and now are forced to defend as right what they know full well is wrong. They must defend his incessant lying, clear incompetence and dubious dealings. What was once sacrilege among Republicans is now sacrosanct.

Leak of the day comes from an anonymous State Department official:

“When it comes to diplomacy, President Trump is a drunk tourist….Loud and tacky, shoving his way around the dance floor. He steps on others without realizing it. It’s ineffectual.” 
But far more concerning, the official said, was Trump’s “arrogance” in threatening to single-handedly thwart the Paris Agreement, which obliges member states to slash carbon emissions to combat global climate change. Trump’s reality-show declarationthat he’ll make a final decision on his commitment to the accord “next week!” is, in the official’s terms, “an abdication of American leadership.” 
“One hundred and ninety-five nations never agree on anything, so when they do, accepting the measure should be easy. The United States needs to be out front on this pact.” 
“Still, we continue to hope for the best.”

Sun. May 28, 2017
Local:  An Appalled Dan Rather Goes After Trump for Failing to Condemn Portland Murders as Terrorism

So what else is new department: Trump stole his Trump properties Scottish  coat of arms from another family with a one word change. Integrity was replaced by Trump. New York Times
Another Trump Lie

Baby Trump Photoshop of the Day

/\ Link /\One of many spot-on observations:

At another point, during a formal greeting, Macron and Trump “ grabbed each other’s hands, jaws clenched, in an extended grip that turned Mr. Trump’s knuckles white,” according to The Times.

“Their faces tightened,” reported The Washington Post. “Trump reached in first, but then he tried to release, twice, but Macron kept his grip.”
Sacred texts have received less scrupulous analysis than Trump’s foreign-leader handshakes, his presidential-debate snorts (remember those?) and the reactions — aghast, awe-struck, puzzled, peeved — of those who bump up against (or happen to be married to) him.

I think that’s fitting, not just because his actual speech is so honesty-challenged but also because the analyzers are paying respect to the way he takes in information. He prefers television to reading, images to pesky words. Shouldn’t we return the favor when appraising him?
The siege mentally at the White House is an example of the truism  “even paranoids have enemies” in delusional people like Trump. What should be obvious to Trump if he reads this Washington Post article is that considering the inside anonymous sourcing some of those enemies are actually IN the White House. 
When I read this the image that came to mind was someone in a car without brakes careening out of control speeding down a curvy mountain road with the driver desperately pumping the brake pedal. Politico
Today’s gripe

Age has nothing to do with it. I am tired of hearing “you don’t change a 70 year old man” referring to Trump. My many senior friends, and hopefully I, are open minded and can be swayed in our beliefs with rational argument. For example here’s a statement that applies to Trump that is hard to disprove: you don’t change a narcissistic narcissist’s core beliefs.
Not a link

Fox News Is Losing Its Grip - If they weren’t conscious political liars, they’d be as delusional as Trump

The network is desperately downplaying the biggest political drama of our time—and viewers are tuning out.

Saturday, May 27, 2017
Another must read about Trump’s mental health:
For those who are wondering what happens to a malignant narcissist like Trump when his defense unravel and the delusional world he has construction and resides in cracks and crumbles around him:

What Happens when the extreme Narcissist is confronted with “irrefutable evidence” against the fantasy life he has created?

At times, and for many, inevitably, the narcissistic individual will be inescapably confronted with the fact that the fantastical world they have invented and in which they “live emotionally” is not reality-based. This may occur when practical circumstances (e.g., arrest, conviction, incarceration, or financial ruin that prevents even a modicum of the desired fantasy state).

Typically, the first response to this type of confrontation is the emergence of anxiety and an attempt to restructure the narcissistic defenses/fantasies to rationalize the new situation, often at the cost of creating even more of an irrational distance from reality. If those attempts fail, anxiety leads into having to face inner emptiness and despair, with emergence of significant and at times malignantly severe depression. 

Depending upon the practical circumstances and environment as well as other personality traits (and possibly, biochemical vulnerabilities), depression may slowly or precipitously lead to a suicidal level of despair or a total “escape” from realty into a “full-blown” paranoid state. The latter statement underscores the need for experts to highlight these behaviors in the current President due to the danger it presents to the millions upon whom his actions have consequences.

This phenomenon is, in fact, an aspect of the entrancing power of the severe narcissist. Even while cognitively aware that he is spinning a false tale – i.e., lying – emotionally, in the moment, the story being told is both experienced as reality and conveyed with a tone of conviction and “sincerity” (albeit often bombastically so) such that the listener is forced into the position of taking the significant risk of questioning the sanity a powerful, apparently self-assured person; or adopting the safer, more passive role of relinquishing their own cognitively analytic processes and deferring to the intoxicating, intense and grandiose thought processes of the narcissistic. Thus, the interpersonal interaction commonly referred to as “gaslighting” in fact represents the projection onto the public of the powerful, illogical, and timeless fantastical world of lies in which narcissist (emotionally) lives.

*** Additional indications Trump’s mental and physical health is deteriorating:
1) Lawyers may be tasked with vetting his Tweets.
2) He opted to follow behind other G-7 world leaders who were walking a mere 700 yards using a golf cart.
*** World leaders catch on to Trump’s macho-dominance dance:
1) The handshake.
2) President Macron’s ultimate diss

*** Local atrocity shows the bad and good of Portland: 

2 Men Killed On Portland Train After Trying To Stop Anti-Muslim Rant, Police Say Three good men intervene, two of them are killed.
*** The last refuge of the guilty... "Lawyer: Kushner ‘has no recollection’ of reported undisclosed Russian contacts” Officer, I just woke up with this dead body in my bed and blood all over my hands but I don’t remember anything….

Friday, May 26, 2017

Video: foreign leader befuddled as Donald Trump wanders off during joint press conference

David Frum, The Atlantic, Trump's Moral Holiday

The permissiveness of Republican leaders who acquiesce to violence, collusion, and corruption is encouraging more of the same. The four events of yesterday each represent one of the great themes of the Trump era:
  • The anti-alliance pro-Russia tilt of administration policy
  • Collusion with hostile foreign nations for domestic political advantage
  • Use of political power for personal financial advantage
  • The breakdown of inhibitions and the weakening of sanctions against political violence.

Notice anything Trumpian in this photo?

Most World Leaders Wore This Pin at NATO Summit — You May Have Noticed Trump Did Not

Read the notorious article that got psychiatrists banned from discussing public figures

“It is ... abundantly clear to me that he has never forgiven his father for being a Jew,” wrote one psychiatrist about Barry Goldwater. 

Thursday, May 25, 2107
Quote of the day on J.K. Rowling’s Twitter feed about this GIF: 
"You tiny, tiny, tiny little man."

As Donald Trump careens out of control in Europe  those therapists who have been warning about his dangerous malignant narcissism continue to make the news. 

My first impression: Trump’s narcissism results in big fail at NATO:

 First he asks for a moment of silence for the Manchester victims… that would have been May’s job.

Then he spends minutes railing about payments for NATO, USA paying more than their share, having never asked how much the new NATO building cost. This has several in the audience whispering to each other.

Wait and see how the foreign press reacts. MSNBC commented on the faces of the people reacting to Trump scolding them about funding. Guest: "This speech was a fail. He hectored them about cost.”

By now you’ve all seen the seven second clip Trump aggressively pushing the Montenegro PM aside to get to the front of the line for a photo op… his smug look is puke-inducing and should be embarrassing to all Americans.

Salon: Psychiatrist Bandy Lee: “We have an obligation to speak about Donald Trump’s mental health issues … our survival as a species may be at stake” 

"Malignant reality is taking hold" in American politics, says shrink who held conference on Trump's mental health

Donald Trump’s failures as president have been compounded by his unstable personality and behavior. It has been reported by staffers inside the Trump White House that he is prone to extreme mood swings, is cantankerous and unpredictable, flies into blind rages when he does not get his way, is highly suggestible and readily manipulated, gets bored easily and fails to complete tasks, is confused by basic policy matters and by all accounts is unhappy and lonely. And despite bragging about his “strength” and “vitality” during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump appears to tire easily and easily succumbs to “exhaustion.” Trump is apparently all id and possesses little if any impulse control. He is a chronic liar who ignores basic facts and empirical reality in favor of his own fantasies.

Psychiatry’s “Goldwater Rule” has never met a test like Donald Trump

The psychiatric debate over diagnosing Trump, explained

Malignant Narcissism: Collision of Two Personality Disorders

The intentional destruction of others while pathologically loving self 
Posted Feb 22, 2017 

Weds. May 24, 2017
Evening: We can only hope someone recognizes when the president becomes dangerous. This can happen when Trump’s denial no longer functions and he realizes that the handwriting is on the wall. Indeed, the malignant narcissist will have to psychologically cope with the growing evidence the Russian scandal has metastasized. WCGW?
The Trump-Russia scandal has metastasized quickly and destructively.

Donald Trump Takes His Brand Of Chaos To Europe

Italians are already calling him “molto pazzo.”

ROME ― As President Donald Trump makes his Italian debut in meetings with Pope Francis and government leaders on Wednesday, many Italians can already express their impression of the new U.S. president with a single word: “pazzo.” 
“People think he’s a little crazy,” said Benedetta Alabardi, a pharmacist whose store sits a few hundred yards from St. Peter’s Square. 
“The first impression is that he’s crazy and dangerous,” said Orasti Gionti, a project manager for a telecommunications consulting company, who allowed for the possibility that Trump’s outrageous statements were an act. “Maybe he’s tricky.” 
Fruit vendor Chowdhury Rafiquizzaman saw no need for any such qualifier.
“He is crazy,” he said. “Not only crazy, he is very crazy.”

Quotes of the day:

“Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes, man,” Trump told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a bilateral meeting at the palatial Ritz Hotel in Riyadh on Sunday. It was a bonding moment with an authoritarian leader President Barack Obama never invited to the White House. From Politico article on how Trump’s aides have kept him from Tweeting (so far).
David Ignatius - Trump’s version of the Gettysburg Address:

“Four score and seven years ago — that’s a long time ago, very long — our fathers, who spoke about this at great length, did what perhaps has virtually never been done before: brought forth on this continent, a new nation, a very great new nation — there’s no question about that — conceived in liberty — and that is so important! — and dedicated to the amazing proposition — and they felt very strongly about this, I can tell you — that all men are created equal. Number one for me.”

Highlighted Excerpts:

BRUSSELS — President Donald Trump's vague stances on climate and trade have frustrated U.S. allies just days before a major international summit in Italy, senior French and Italian officials said.

U.S. officials, however, have so far submitted broad points that fail to nail down positions on issues

"We haven’t exactly seen the same situation before," said Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador to the United States

The discord could cause drama during Trump’s first foreign trip as president, which has so far gone smoothly. The president hasn’t made up his mind on key policies, and he has a habit of switching stances, leaving overseas allies guessing which way Trump will lean on major decisions that could affect domestic politics in their own countries.

Trump’s indecision could be a negotiating tactic designed to see what foreign leaders will offer him. 

"He will address unfair trade practices and other global issues, such as the role of innovation in the economy, women's equality, and food security," the official said. 
But these broad strokes aren't satisfying allies who want Trump, who has not named ambassadors to countries involved, to clear up the confusion.

On the Paris climate agreement, a 2015 deal to tackle global warming, Trump has said he wants to give the leaders a chance to make their case to him in person. 

Italian officials hope that they will get clearer signals from Trump after his meeting… 

It’s still unclear how the disputes will be resolved, but Trump has shown a willingness to go in new directions, said Vimont, the former French ambassador.
"This new U.S. administration has been much more ready to change drastically what the previous administration was doing," said Vimont. "This is why it makes the whole process of drafting a communiqué more difficult than before.

Donald and Melania’s World of Hurt

As Melania slaps the president’s hand away, every stop so far in the Middle East and Europe has seen the treatment of women as second-class beings.


Saudi media played up the presence of the fashionable Americans, implying that Saudi men, too, appreciate a woman’s looks. Melania was the talk of the town in her bespoke dresses and jumpsuits and Ivanka was praised for giving a talk on gender equality to a crowd of women for whom that is at best a theoretical construct. 
Feminist writer Anushay Hossain summed it up nicely in an op-ed for CNN: “The headscarf should be the least of the Trump family’s worries,” she writes. “Because the Saudi press have embraced Melania (and to a related but lesser extent, Ivanka) for basically doing for the kingdom what they do for Donald Trump: provide the perfect cover for misogyny and tyranny by being beautiful, poised, and often silent.” 

One might ask if perhaps the president likes what he saw in these capitals of inequality. After all, his administration clearly lacks gender diversity and his recent budget shows that women’s issues are not a priority. Not only has he signed legislation that strips funding for organizations that provide abortions, his replacement of the Affordable Care Act penalizes women in unthinkable ways, including stripping valuable maternity benefits and essentially turning owning a set of ovaries into a pre-existing condition.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Quotes of the day from Trump’s budget director Mike Mulvaney being interviewed - apparently unbeknownst to him, by a reporter from Sputnik News:

On benefits for working families which will be denied to illegal immigrants. “It’s not right when you look at it from the perspective of people who pay the taxes.” 

But Andrew Feinberg, a reporter with Russia’s Sputnik news outfit, pointed out that many of the children who would be cut off under Trump’s proposal are U.S. citizens. “Whether they’re here illegally or not,” Feinberg noted, “those families have American-citizen children.” 
Mulvaney argued back, saying that Feinberg wasn’t duly considering taxpayer and that “we have all kinds of other programs” for poor kids. At this, another reporter in the room interjected: “You’re cutting that, too. 
There’s more on the Washington Post. Bottom line is that Trump’s budget is a cold hearted proposal to devastate the social safety net.

Melania Snubs ANOTHER Of Donald’s Attempts To Hold Her Hand

It comes just one day after she rejected his hand on the tarmac in Tel Aviv.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed:

Trump says Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial was “so amazing,” says he will “never forget” visit 

Trump's entry in a Holocaust memorial guestbook reads like a half-baked yearbook message

This was President Barack Obama’s visit in 2013:
Nothing equals the wrenching power of this sacred place. If you come here a thousand times, each time our hearts will break. For here we see the depravity to which man can sink, the barbarity that unfolds when we begin to see our fellow human beings as somehow less than us, less worthy of dignity and life; we see how evil can, for a moment in time, triumph when good people do nothing.
EXCERPT: In addition to protecting his ego, Trump also tries to enhance his self-worth. What makes him look childlike are his unsubstantiated claims about his popularity. Despite the verifiable evidence, he repeatedly refers to his unprecedented electoral college victory and the unmatched size of crowds at his inauguration.
Trump’s use of self-enhancement tactics also helps explain why he feels he has been treated worse and more unfairly than any other president in history. Despite their (short-lived) popularity, most bullies are hypersensitive to negative feedback — and ironically feel mistreated.
Revealingly, in his interview with his biographer Michael D’Antonio, Trump says he is the same person as he was in first grade. He may well also be very similar to the person he was in middle school: Indeed, there are many parallels between Trump’s behavior and the facts and findings of developmental science on social reasoning and behavior. But if the pattern holds, he won’t remain popular for very long.


Trump puts the Manchester bomber in the same category as Cher, Rosie O’Donnell, and every other loser Trump railed about…

So now he’s saying he didn’t want to call them monsters so from now on he’s calling them losers…. I wonder who got to him to rationalize his putting them in the same category of dozens of other he’s called losers, or he actually figured this out for himself. Did he actually come up with a fairly reasonable idea?

This is my Daily Kos story about this:

/\ LINK /\

Monday, May 22, 2017
I NEVER THOUGHT I’d give Chris Mathews a quote of the day - about Trump’s scandals: "It’s like a fuse burning from both ends.”

Okay, I did some editorializing on this link. In fact, we’ll never know how this story became bigger and bigger over the last year. In part it may have been because the Goldwater controversy made it media-sexy. It also no doubt is because Trump’s behavior proved the point Duty to Warn therapists like John Gartner, Lance Dodes, myself and many more had been trying to make. Whatever the reasons the story now certainly “has legs” and every informed person knows that the 25th Amendment solution is.
The article lays out both side of the argument between the Goldwater psychiatrists and the Duty to Warn psychotherapists. These are excerpts from our point of view:

On May 21, psychiatrist Dr. Jerrold Post posed a controversial question to his peers at the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual meeting in San Diego: Should the psychiatry community continue to abide by a self-imposed code—the so-called Goldwater Rule—that stops them from commenting on the mental health of a public figure? Specifically, should they refrain from speculating about the mental health of President Donald Trump?

Post isn't alone. Since April, an online petition calling Trump “mentally ill” —which was started by Dr. John Gartner, a psychiatrist— has amassed more than 55,500 signatures from mental health professionals and others. In February, 35 mental health professionals signed a letter to the New York Times writing, “We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.”

“We have a duty to warn the public when someone is extremely dangerous,” says Dr. Lance Dodes, one the signatories and a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

In March, the APA, which has 37,000 physician members, reaffirmed its support for the Goldwater Rule. “It was unethical and irresponsible back in 1964 to offer professional opinions on people who were not properly evaluated and it is unethical and irresponsible today,” said APA President Dr. Maria A. Oquendo in a statement. In response to a request for comment, the APA referred TIME to recent press releases on the issue.

The APA position is that while it’s fine for a psychiatrist to share their knowledge of mental illness issues in general,
Dr. Dodes argues that it is possible to diagnosis a person from afar, even though the APA strongly recommends against it. Psychiatrists are sometimes called upon by law enforcement to develop a psychological profile of a suspect, for example. “You need to interview someone to understand their internal issues,’” says Dodes. “But you only need external symptoms to diagnose character traits. The diagnoses in the DSM"—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the mental health diagnostic manual used by doctors for mental disorders—"are symptoms of what people say and what they do.”

Some have publicly discussed the mental health of prior presidents—Gartner, the psychiatrist who started an online petition about Trump, also wrote a book called In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography, for instancebut public debate about previous presidents' mental health has not quite reached the same pitch.

1/10 of a second going viral - Melania swats Trump’s hand away:

For some reason this story brought this to mind:
[Bobby wants plain toast, which isn't on the menu]
Bobby: I'd like an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. And a cup of coffee. 
Waitress: A #2, chicken salad sand. Hold the butter, the lettuce, the mayonnaise, and a cup of coffee. Anything else? 
Bobby: Yeah, now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules. 
Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh? 
Bobby: I want you to hold it between your knees.

You don’t have to be Jewish like me to be offended by the hypocrisy of this:

At least I didn’t have to kiss it.

Clues about Trump’s current mental health:
One adviser said Trump said in a conversation last week that he felt that "there are a lot of people out to get him," musing that he should not have attacked the intelligence community so vociferously. An administration official who spoke to the president said he "seemed down more than angry," even though Trump defiantly tweeted that he was facing a “witch hunt.”  From Politico

How about GOP intellectuals who still support Trump?

As Ken Masugi * asks, “truth to tell, haven’t intellectuals’ influence in politics—with some noble exceptions—been the cause of our major ills in foreign and domestic policy?” Thus, Trump’s crudity and vulgarity is what produces results, and Masugi notes that “Trump speaks as a builder and doer, not as a talker. He is a man who expects to see results, not ponderous statements of subtle complexity.” 
I wonder what Masugi thinks of George Kennan’s doctrine of containment, which shaped our foreign policy for decades?  That doctrine, written by an intellectual, cannot be written off as a “notable exception;” it established the framework all our presidents used to fight and eventually win the Cold War.

* Ken Masugi, PhD, has been a speechwriter for two Cabinet members and for Clarence Thomas, when he was Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He is co-author, editor, or co-editor of seven books on American politics. He has taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor; James Madison College of Michigan State University; the Ashbrook Center of Ashland University; and Princeton University.

Sunday, May 21, 2017
My letter:

To the decision makers at Comcast, NBC-Universal News Group, and MSNBC:

I live in a senior community in Portland, Oregon - mostly liberal highly educated residents - we count on MSNBC to provide in-depth opinion and, especially in the case of Rachel M
addow, investigative reporting. We are in general agreement that best two hours in political reporting during the week is the one-two punch of Rachel and Lawrence O’Donnell. Each has their own style and approach and together they not merely complement each other, but they are more than the sum of their two parts.

While Rachel, who I assume has an excellent staff of investigative journalists and archivists, breaks some stories before the New York Times and Washington Post, Lawrence covers other aspects of politics with penetrating and insightful analysis with just the right amount of outrage and incredulity.

He was the first host on any network to have highly regarded mental health professionals on (disclaimer, they are my associates — Drs. Lance Dodes and John Gartner) explaining why Trump is a malignant narcissist and thus not merely unfit to be president, but dangerous to the country.

I venture to say that Rachel’s unique way of presenting a White House calamity with a unique bemusement and a smile is offset by Lawrence’s much needed gravitas. He is an incredible asset to MSNBC. The fact that when it’s appropriate you allow the flexibility of Rachel “going upstairs” to reappear on Lawrence’s set is as far as I know unprecedented. 

My friends and I don’t know what to make of Andy Lack’s notion that MSNBC should be some kind of "all things to all people politically." You already have Greta Van Susteren with her middle right viewpoint, although she has proved not to be a Donald Trump apologist. And what’s with George Will? Nicolle Wallace is fine as a guest; but she doesn’t need her own show, and likewise Hugh Hewitt. If anyone is ready for retirement it’s Chris Mathews. Recently as a few months ago he was to normalize Trump and it was as if he never had a basic psychology course in college when it came to recognizing that Trump was, to put it mildly, abnormal.

I had doubts about Brian Williams at first, but once he recaps the day’s news, he has proved to be a first class interviewer. He also manages to get excellent guests. I am glad the show is now an hour long. Because I’m in Oregon I watch all your evening shows three hours earlier, but if Brian is doing comparatively well in the 11PM EST ratings I think he should stay there.

If you want to see an uproar, try doing anything to lessen Joy-Ann Reid's weekend role. She is the reason I wait around weekend mornings before going to our coffee shop. With her I see the dilemma - she deserves to have her own prime time evening show but I don’t know how you’d shuffle your lineup around. All I can say is that I hope you are paying her a tidy sum since she is the best substitute host when regulars aren’t available. 

You have three treasures on MSNBC: JoyAnn, Rachel, and Lawrence. As a Freudian, I have to wonder if Andy Lack needs to resolve some Oedipal issues is his psychoanalysis.

I don’t know what you’re grooming Steve Kornacki for - he certainly wasn’t the calibre of Lawrence O’Donnell - and it was no secret that he probably was auditioning to replace Lawrence.

Chris Hayes may be less attention grabbing leading in to Rachel, but he works for me. 

Chuck Todd is uninspiring.


Hal Brown, MSW, Duty to Warn therapist since April, 2016


17 May 2017, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Philanthropic Foundation (MiSK Foundation) is hosting Tweeps Forum 2017, the fifth event of its kind, in Riyadh on Sunday 21 May. The event brings political, business, NGO, academic and sports leaders together with young people to discuss how social media platforms can empower people against extremism and terrorism.
In a first for the region, President Donald Trump will address Tweeps Forum 2017, and will be joined by senior politicians from the region, including Saudi Foreign Minister H.E. Adel Al-Jubeir and UAE Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Senior executives from social media companies will also be speaking, including George Salama, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations for Twitter in the MENA region and Simon Milner, Facebook’s Policy Director for the UK, Middle East and Africa. Other speakers will discuss social media’s impact on religion and community resilience through sport.
Mr Bader Al Asaker, Secretary-General of the MiSK Foundation said:
“The MiSK Foundation is committed to promoting the responsible use of social media, especially among young people. That President Trump should attend during his first foreign tour, together with other political and business leaders, shows the relevance of Tweeps Forum 2017. MiSK is honored to be able to bring these leaders together with young people, to help facilitate dialogue that can lead to a more harmonious and secure future for us all.”

Beyond Trump’s mental illness:

3 Insane Evangelical Theories About Why the Trump White House Is Imploding

The resistance has sparked endless right-wing speculation since Trump took office about who might be behind the movement. But with support for impeachment steadily increasing, many of the president's die-hard supporters are struggling to explain the chaos that has engulfed Washington. And few are quite as unhinged as the evangelicals in his base. Here are three of their more insane theories about why the Trump White House is imploding.

From the Imperial Church of Trump:
“Weekend Update” also featured a brief in memoriam tribute to what co-anchor Colin Jost called “all the people Trump has lost this year”: a montage that included his former campaign chief Paul Manafort (“RESIGNED,” an onscreen caption read), Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser (“FORCED TO RESIGN”), Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey (“THROWN UNDER A BUS”), Rudy Giuliani (“WOODEN STAKE”) and the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer (“SHHH, HE DOESN’T KNOW YET”).

Seven minutes from the best amateur psychologist who actually interviewed and observed Trump in person… well worth watching

More on The Cult of Trump:

Trump’s Cult Was Designed to Withstand This Current Media Onslaught and That’s What’s Happening


Saturday, May 20, 2017
My friend John Gartner gets the cartoon treatment:

Trotsky explains Donald Trump to you: Our idiot president is a “substitute” who represents America’s mass ignorance and bottomless narcissism 

How Trump's ludicrous rise mirrors the process that brought Stalin to power — and, mercifully, how it doesn’t.

Trump conquered a supposedly major political party because it had lost its sense of mission, its core ideology and most of its voters, and was committing slow-motion demographic suicide by drinking ever deeper from the poison cup of white supremacy. He was elected president because of a bizarre anachronism baked into the American republic from the beginning, and because the other major party had a different version of the same problem with mission-drift and audience, and had convinced itself that the ignorant, racist troglodytes could be endlessly ignored, patronized and sneered at.
Stalin was many things, including one of the worst mass murderers in human history. You cannot claim, however, that he was an unsuccessful tyrant. Through brute force and propaganda and willpower and an intuitive understanding of the Russian national psyche, he modernized his nation at an unbelievable pace — and an unbelievable price — and waged a grinding, devastating ground war that ultimately defeated the greatest military machine in European history. A large majority of the Soviet people worshipped him and trusted him as much as they feared him, whatever they may have said about it later.
Donald Trump yearns to be that kind of terrible and heroic figure whose portrait old ladies put up above the mantelpiece, no doubt. (His supporters yearn to live in that kind of country, perhaps — as long as they don’t have to get off the couch.) Mercifully, he will not get the chance. Trump talks big about patriotism and winning wars and building walls and all that, but as the American people are slowly beginning to grasp, his policies are only words and his words are only bluster. He not only doesn’t mean what he says: He doesn’t understand what he says, and he doesn’t mean anything.
Trump is not a substitute for any social class or coherent political grouping, only for the mass stupidity, small-mindedness and narcissism that has long festered at the bottom of the American pond. He has already proven to be the most incompetent president any living person has ever seen or will ever see, and his “movement” is nothing more than a transitory moment, a collective fantasy of disgruntled and semi-downtrodden white people who feel unhappy about something but aren’t sure what it is or whom to blame.
That fantasy is already beginning to fade, but I tremble for the future when I contemplate its after-effects. Our own, uniquely American insta-version of Trotsky’s substitutionism has produced not a fearsome Machiavellian overlord but a yawning chasm of nothingness, a man who represents the American people only in our emptiest and vilest yearnings, our greed, hatred, lust, anger and wounded pride. It can’t be a good sign.

Friday, May 19, 2017
Late afternoon:Yes-sir-re Howdy Doody, I am trying to keep the focus on Duty to Warn but sometimes know that Russians are reading this, I like to put links on that may be blocked in Russia, with a dollop of snark.
That’s my caption.
This is from CNN today: 

Sources: White House lawyers research impeachment

White House lawyers have begun researching impeachment procedures in an effort to prepare for what officials still believe is a distant possibility that President Donald Trump could have to fend off attempts to remove him from office, two people briefed on the discussions tell CNN.

I changed one word, can you see what it is:

White House lawyers have begun researching impeachment procedures in an effort to prepare for what officials still believe is a distinct
 possibility that President Donald Trump could have to fend off attempts to remove him from office, two people briefed on the discussions tell CNN.

Did Nancy finally consult with  shrink?

Pelosi: Trump 'Very Vulnerable Personally' Over Comey Matter

Sounds like she’s being very diplomatic here:
Pelosi declined to answer when asked if she believed Trump was of sound mind.
"Oh I hope so, I mean I can't really go to that place," Pelosi said. "There are many people whose judgment I respect who don't think he is, but I'm not going to make any judgment about that. I haven't had that much exposure to him quite frankly."
My message to Nancy:

Afternoon: Not related to Trump’s mental health except that it could push him over the edge:
The most dangerous to Trump is from the Washington Post. Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say…. Current administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Cabinet members Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The New York Times story adds to it. President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Midmorning: Related to Trump’s mental health:
/\ link /\
The Brink of a Nervous Breakdown: It is hard to believe, but Trump has only been in office for 120 days. Politically, he has accomplished little, but he has managed to drive the United States to the brink of a nervous breakdown. (aka, a psychotic episode HB)  It is hard to imagine how the country can handle another 120 days similar to the last four months, let alone another three years and eight months.

Trump's presidency is sinking into a vortex of scandals, chaos and lunacy, circling around the president's neuroses (aka: malignant NPD HB). Trump is a man who sometimes seems to view his position as vehicle for personal gratification and who seems willing to weaken state institutions just to protect his allies. As of this week, not only Democrats but also a few Republicans are raising the possibility of Trump's impeachment.

Trump shows wear from a brutal week

The president lashes out at the 'witch hunt' against him that he claims is dividing the country.

He is wounded, offended and convinced that certain forces are working to bring down his presidency. The problem, he has said again and again, is not him or his own actions. It is how he is being treated and received — by the media, by the FBI, by Democrats, by his own staff.

Discombobulated : But as he stood beside the president of Colombia in the East Room and tried to pivot to discussing jobs and trade and crime, the strain of the week was apparent on the president. He was more reserved than usual and gave short, if still winding, answers to questions. At one point, he called on a New York Times reporter who was not at the news conference, and his staff handed the microphone to a local Washington television reporter.

And then there’s this: He also criticized the media for not covering his successes at the lunch. 
Though he was relaxed, attendees said he went through his usual pronouncements, making clear he doesn’t think the media covers all the good work the White House is doing. “I don’t watch you guys as much anymore because if I did, it would be all hell. You couldn’t tell that i went to a good school, studied, that I succeeded in my companies,” he griped.
In public, Trump is doing nothing to hide his hurt at the way he feels he is being mistreated.
“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” Trump told Coast Guard Academy graduates on Wednesday. “No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
“Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic, because they're people that can't get the job done,” Trump told graduates at Liberty University this past Saturday. “But the future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics.”
My focus here is on Duty to Warn and all matters relating to Trump’s psychopathology. From time to time a feel I need to post a few things related only indirectly to his being mentally unbalance, such as this:

Donald Trump just staked his presidency on 4 words: No. No. Next Question. 

It was over in a flash. But in those four words, Trump staked the viability of his presidency.
    Why? Because he directly contradicted the reporting around a memo that Comey had written in the wake of a February 14 meeting in which Trump told him to see if he could find a way to end the Flynn investigation, The New York Times first reported and CNN confirmed.
    Both of those things can't be true.

    The news is leading with Turkey’s President Erdogan watching his security detail beating up peaceful protestors and fighting with DC police after meeting with his pal Donald Trump. This doesn’t have to do with the overall focus of this website but I wanted to mention it since Trump in his malignant psychopathology is attracted to ruthless despots.

    What conservative WaPo columnist Charles Krauthammer has to say about using the 25th Amendment”
     Krauthammer was a psyhiatrist so he has no excuse except his own bias for not recognizing that there’s an apples to peanuts comparison between garden variety narcissism and NPD (let alone malignant NPD) - EXCERPT

    That’s the post-Kennedy assassination measure (the 25th Amendment) that provides for removing an incapacitated president on the decision of the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet.
    This is the worst idea since Leno at 10 p.m. It perverts the very intent of the amendment. It was meant for a stroke, not stupidity; for Alzheimer’s, not narcissism. Otherwise, what it authorizes is a coup — willful overthrow by the leader’s own closest associates. 

    I thought we had progressed beyond the Tudors and the Stuarts. Moreover, this would be seen by millions as an establishment usurpation to get rid of a disruptive outsider. It would be the most destabilizing event in American political history — the gratuitous overthrow of an essential constant in American politics, namely the fixedness of the presidential term (save for high crimes and misdemeanors).
    Excerpts: “I’m struggling not to discuss He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” a psychiatrist named Jerrold Post said last week, speaking on the phone from his office, in Bethesda, Maryland. Post, who is the director of the political-psychology program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and the founder of the C.I.A.’s Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, has made a career of political-personality profiling. However, he is also a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, whose professional code of conduct forbids members to publicly comment on the psyches of living public figures whom they have not personally examined.
    The psychiatrist John Zinner took the argument further, suggesting that, as doctors, who swear an oath to protect their patients, psychiatrists have an obligation to speak out about the menace posed by Trump’s mental health. “It’s my view that Trump has a narcissistic personality disorder,” Zinner said later. “Trump is deluded and compulsive. He has no conscience.” He said that psychiatrists have a constructive role to play in advising policymakers to add checks on the President’s control over nuclear weapons. “That supersedes the Goldwater rule,” he said. “It’s an existential survival issue.”

    Post is part of a push to have the A.P.A. form a commission to revisit the Goldwater rule. He’ll make the argument to a larger audience later this month, at the association’s annual meeting, in San Diego. Meanwhile, the President’s sudden firing of Comey presented an almost irresistible case study.
    Post, when asked about the firing, chose his words carefully.
    On the Comey firing: Post said that it reminded him of other leaders he had studied, including Vladimir Putin, “a quintessential narcissist,” whose “way of handling criticism is to eliminate—literally—the critics.” After the Comey episode, Post said, he worried that “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s leadership is imploding.”

    Trump thinks he’s under attack. That’s very dangerous. Gene Robinson, Washington Post
    Excerpts and my comments:

     "So that’s how Trump really took the news about Mueller’s appointment: not well at all. The idea that he would be treated poorly, compared with the way other presidents were treated, seems to trigger an atavistic response. It is as if he went to a fancy restaurant and was shown to a table in a cramped corner, near the kitchen. “  Atavistic… good word Gene - in our language narcissistic rage
    "Meanwhile, Trump remains president. He has access to the nation’s most closely held secrets but cannot be trusted to safeguard them. He runs the White House like a family business, valuing loyalty over experience or expertise. He has no real grasp of policy, foreign or domestic. He feels himself under attack. Four months into his term, he brags to White House visitors about how he won the election. And there’s not another one until 2020.”  ("He feels himself under attack.” — Because he is… again leading to narcissistic rage…..)

    Thursday, May 18, 2017
    Evening: As the news breaks hour by hour, and Rachel Maddow scraps her entire planned show for several major stories, Trump’s mental health is still being addressed almost every day in various publications here and abroad. Just now on Lawrence O’Donnell, Rick Wilson from the Daily Beast said Republicans are afraid of Trump going “rip-shit bonkers” on them.

    This article is mostly about the Goldwater rule and doesn’t really
    live up to the headline.

    This article does live up to the headline.

    And the there was Benghazi!
    Quote of the Day:

    In recent days, the radio host Michael Savage has acknowledged “the administration is in trouble.” John Podhoretz in the New York Post and later The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page each compared Trump to Jimmy Carter — the most damning of all conservative indictments.

    Then there’s Ann Coulter. In an interview with The Daily Caller, the author of “In Trump We Trust” said of the presidency that “it has been such a disaster so far,” and that it was possible that “the Trump-haters were right.” She even dropped the f-bomb — “fascist” — to describe Trump’s hiring of his relatives to senior White House posts.

    “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America,” Lyndon Johnson is reputed to have said (perhaps it’s apocryphal) after the CBS anchorman said in 1968 that the Vietnam War was unwindable.

    Just so for Trump: If he’s lost Coulter, he’s lost angry America. That’s not his entire base, but — let’s face it — it’s a critical fraction of it. From NY Times OpEd by Bret Stephens

    What do this Republicans have in common?
    /\ LINK /\

    Excerpt: There is a semi-charitable explanation for much of this chaos. Trump does not have any experience as a CEO—at least in the sense that most of corporate America would recognize. One telling irony: Many of the banking executives now trying to curry favor with him would never have lent him money in the past. His skills were in dealmaking, rather than running a large organization. The core Trump company had barely 100 people. It’s possible that if he takes on some of the basic management lessons to do with structure, process, and delegation, then he may be able to run America. The question now is whether he has already made enough mistakes for the board to get rid of him. The closest thing America has to a board is the group of Republican senators who must decide what to investigate. Trump will hate the analogy, but at this moment, their leader, Senator McConnell, is his chairman—and the CEO has a lot of explaining to do.

    Weds. May 17, 2017
    Late breaking: 
    Not a link

    More signs of Trump’s mental decompensation:
    According to a New York Times report by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, the president has not only been overheard complaining about having to fire his disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn, but has also begun directing his mood swings at his son-in-law-turned-adviser Jared Kushner.
    “His own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark,” the report claims, “turning against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — and describing them in a fury as ‘incompetent,’ according to one of those advisers.”
    Along with sources decrying the president’s temperament, the report also suggests that some aides believe Trump doesn’t understand his intel well enough to have leaked anything serious to the two Russian officials he met with in the Oval Office last week.

    LINK /\
    EXCERPT: The Trump situation is not exactly the sort that the amendment’s Cold War-era designers were envisioning. He has not endured an assassination attempt or suffered a stroke or fallen prey to Alzheimer’s. But his incapacity to really govern, to truly execute the serious duties that fall to him to carry out, is nevertheless testified to daily — not by his enemies or external critics, but by precisely the men and women whom the Constitution asks to stand in judgment on him, the men and women who serve around him in the White House and the cabinet.
    Read the things that these people, members of his inner circle, his personally selected appointees, say daily through anonymous quotations to the press. (And I assure you they say worse off the record.) They have no respect for him, indeed they seem to palpate with contempt for him, and to regard their mission as equivalent to being stewards for a syphilitic emperor.
    It is not squishy New York Times conservatives who regard the president as a child, an intellectual void, a hopeless case, a threat to national security; it is people who are self-selected loyalists, who supported him in the campaign, who daily go to work for him. And all this, in the fourth month of his administration.

    This will not get better. It could easily get worse. And as hard and controversial as a 25th Amendment remedy would be, there are ways in which Trump’s removal today should be less painful for conservatives than abandoning him in the campaign would have been — since Hillary Clinton will not be retroactively elected if Trump is removed, nor will Neil Gorsuch be unseated. Any cost to Republicans will be counted in internal divisions and future primary challenges, not in immediate policy defeats.
    I added something to this creative photoshop.
    Not a link

    Tuesday, May 16, 2017
    During the campaign, several psychologists contacted by HuffPost declined to diagnose Trump. (In media coverage of this issue, the informal diagnosis that sources usually offer is narcissistic personality disorder ― although Allen Frances, the psychiatrist who wrote the formal criteria for NPD, has argued against that conclusion.) 
    Still, some experts are speaking out, like Dr. John Gartner, a psychologist who argues that his colleagues have a “duty” to do so. 
    “If we could construct a psychiatric Frankenstein monster, we could not create a leader more dangerously mentally ill than Donald Trump,” Gartner said during a February appearance on MSNBC. “He’s a paranoid, psychopathic narcissist who is divorced from reality and lashes out impulsively at his imagined enemies.” 
    For the lawyers:

    Another Bomb Drops: Initial Thoughts on Trump Asking Comey to Kill the Flynn Investigation - from LawFare By Helen Klein MurilloJack GoldsmithSusan HennesseyQuinta JurecicMatthew KahnPaul RosenzweigBenjamin Wittes

    I turned the TV the morning on to hear a guest say about Trump “he needs to study better.” As if this is normal. As if? As if! Now (update) early evening I am on MSNBC listening to today’s news (I’m tired of saying “breaking” all the time, “bombshell” is so yesterday… ) Below is what I put on this morning and it goes double tonight.

    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.

    Updated when new article are published