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December 9, 2018


Back, November 2018

About me 

Check out the other stories on Capitol Hill Blue

Dec. 9, 2018 

An Open Letter to Republican Members of Congress: Wake Up! by Hal Brown

Dec. 8, 2018

 UPDATED CHB story: Tumpology: Trump's compartmentalization works against him

Dec. 7, 2018

 CHB story: Tumpology: Trump's compartmentalization may work against him

In response to Tillerson explaining that basically Trump is dumb as a post here, this is what Trump oour classy president Tweeted.

Dec. 6, 2018

Related to the Rudy story below, he did it again omitting a space between collusion and So, thus creating a link to a domain available from Somolia,, which Lawfare bought, and redirects in a split second to The Russian Connection page of their excellent website. Even in this Tweet Rudy isn't making sure there are spaces between all his sentences.

Dec. 5, 2015

This isn't a big enough story to put on Capitol Hill Blue, but it is interesting:

Rudy Giuliani made a small mistake with unanticipated consequences when he left the space out in a sentence in a Tweet. He created a link to a then non-existent website G-20.In. A man named Jason Velazquez, a digital marketing director from Atlanta, noticed it and realized it was a domain in India which he could buy for $6.00. He did this, originally putting up the simple message "Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country," but now he is adding links to articles.

Amazingly, as of this writing the Tweet along with the mocking comments has not been deleted. You can read them here.

Note that Giuliani didn't put spaces between two other sentences but this just was sloppy Tweeting with no untoward consquences.

Click above to see the new website.
The link about Michael Flynn above goes to a Reddit page. I hope Mr. Velaquez uses his newly polular domain for something more interesting than merely links to Reddit.

Rudy's Tweeted saying Twitter is run by "card carrying anti-Trumpers" in response and blamed Twitter rather than admit it was his error. He threw in a blast against Time Magazine for good measure. 

"Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE"
This is from the Washington Post article about the Tweet: "Carrying out the prank only took 15 minutes, said Velazquez, who bought the domain for an entire year. He shared what he had done on Twitter, writing, 'Rudy didn’t separate g-20 from .in so ya boy bought the domain.' 'I wanted something . . . bold,” he said. 'Certainly, something that [Giuliani] would not want to be linked from his tweet.' At most, Velazquez thought his stunt would get a 'few hundred retweets' and then be absorbed into the Twittersphere, but by early Wednesday morning, Giuliani’s tweet containing the link had about 45,000 likes and nearly 17,000 retweets." The Washington Post also points out in another article that Giuliani is Trump's cybersecutiry advisor, and suggests he take a refresher course. Excerpt: "Unsurprisingly, a lot of people are making fun of Giuliani on Twitter. His error is an elementary one for someone who is charged with advising the president on cybersecurity issues, and who presumably charges private clients large amounts of money for his cybersecurity expertise. Republicans are gearing up to renew their claims that Twitter, Facebook, Google and other services are biased against conservatives. Their political opponents very likely will use Giuliani’s mistake to try to undermine these accusations on the Hill. Still, it isn’t all that surprising that Giuliani fumbled the claim. The higher levels of U.S. politics notoriously have plenty of aging men who do not understand technology very well, even while they have enormous power to shape it."
It remains to be seen whether Velazquez will maintain the website himself or sell it. I assume that it is worth more than $6:00 at present.

Dec. 4, 2018

 Check these out:

Uh Oh, watch out Trump:
D.C., Maryland begin seeking Trump financial documents in case related to his D.C. hotel

This is a good article by Amanda Marcotte from Salon (with the link to the Alternet republication to avoid Salon's intrusive unavoidable ad for a credit card)

Bush Sr.'s brand of conservatism paved the way for Trump — here's the real reason right-wingers hates hearing it

From the UK, Trump abandons world leaders: 

DONALD Trump was caught saying “get me out of here” as he strolled off stage at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, leaving the Argentinian President Mauricio Macri stood on his own. The Republican firebrand was supposed to pose for a picture with Mr Macri and other world leaders but walked off the stage. Hilarious footage shows Mr Trump shaking hands with the Argentinian President before he wandered off. Mr Macri looked sheepish and perplexed after President Trump deserted him.

Why Did the FBI Raid the Home of the Biggest Alien Truther?

Dec. 3, 2018

Dec. 2, 2018

Somebody should put the main points from this on a few 3x5 cards for Trump to read:

Putin’s Media Roasts Trump: ‘Should Spit‘ on him and the United States

Dec. 1, 2018

On a heavy news day what with Bush 41's death and Trump returning from the G20 to face the news that Mueller's hounds are howling at his doorstep, this is a below the fold Capitol Hill Blue column.

The heavyweight 2020 fight could be Tester vs. Christie.

Check out this video: 

Trump Greets Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Promptly Walks Off Stage

In video captured during this weekend’s summit in Argentina, Trump is seen strolling up to Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, shaking his hand briefly, then wandering away.
Macri can be seen gesturing for Trump to return before an aide chased after the U.S. president to get his attention. Both presidents were scheduled to take photos together with other world leaders, according to The Guardian.
As Splinter News points out, this is not Trump’s first time walking away aimlessly; nor is it his second, nor his third.

Back: Nov. 2018

November 22, 2018

Hal Brown blog Nov. 2018b

Nov. 30, 2018

On Capitol Hill Blue: A new Twitter hashtag for Trump

I also decided to put a similar story on Daily Kos. 

Nov. 29, 2018

Nov. 28, 2018
 Capitol Hill Blue 

From Vox: A president that is beyond satire.


 They’re (the Fed) making a mistake because I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”

“oceans are small”

One of the problems that a lot of people like myself — we have very high levels of intelligence, but we’re not necessarily such believers. You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean.

And when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over.

It’s on fire and they’re raking it working so hard, and they’re raking all this stuff. If that was raked in the beginning, there’d be nothing to catch on fire.

Nov. 27, 2018

Ed. Comment: Bad for both auto workers and possibly for Trump who like to brag about his genius with trade, but good for his friends who have GM stock. HB: GM Stock Price Shoots Up On Announcement Of Thousands Of Job Cuts

Bad news for Trump

The communities affected by GM’s decision are spread across the nation’s politically vital midsection.

Car plants in Oshawa, Ontario; Detroit-Hamtramck; and Lordstown, Ohio, will stop production of the Chevrolet Impala, Cruze and Volt, the Cadillac CT6, and the Buick LaCrosse next year. Transmission plants in White Marsh, Md., and Warren, Mich., also are halting operations, the company said.

Coming just weeks after Republican candidates lost several congressional seats across the industrial Midwest, GM’s action carries a stark political warning for the president. If voters conclude that Trump failed to deliver on his promise to return lost jobs and prosperity to the region, his reelection hopes could be dealt a blow.

In 2016, he won four states with significant ties to the auto industry: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They provided nearly a quarter of the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
GM’s bombshell news comes near the end of a year that has seen the auto industry occupy center stage in the Trump’s “America First” campaign to overhaul U.S. trade policy. Raw-material costs have soared as a result of Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, with Ford saying it absorbed a $1 billion hit because of the president’s policies.

The new North American trade deal with Mexico and Canada includes sourcing requirements that will complicate industry supply chains, and the president also is considering imposing 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles, a policy that would increase the cost of imported cars by an estimated $6,000 and eliminate 600,000 industry jobs, according to the American Automotive Policy Council.

Philip Levy, a White House economist in the George W. Bush administration, said the auto industry layoffs could prompt Trump to go ahead with additional trade barriers. “While he should take the GM move as a prompt to reconsider his approach, he seems much more inclined to double down reflexively,” Levy wrote in an email.

Nov. 26, 2018 No posts today

Nov. 25, 2018

 Capitol Hill Blue 

Quote of the day:

“I think the (Mueller) report is going to be devastating to the president and I know that the president's team is already working on a response to the report,” Alan Dershowitz said on "This Week" Sunday.  “When I say devastating, I mean it's going to paint a picture that's going to be politically very devastating. I still don't think it's going to make a criminal case,” Dershowitz said.

Best cartoon of the week (or month) from Tom Toles, Washington Post:

Recommended Dahlia Lithwick story: 

After Years of Taking Up Too Much Space, Trump Is Finally Small

EXCERPTS: The holidays can be tricky when one has begun to reflexively assume the posture of being pinned under the breakfront as the crazy racist grandpa shrieks year round. For many of us, the echo of Donald Trump’s voice, his tweets, his boasts and threats, are what wake us up at 4 a.m. and what makes us afraid to contemplate summer plans or even buy green bananas. But after two deeply destabilizing and in fact traumatic years of soaking in the president’s ugliness and invective, of absorbing the sound and sight of the sneering and the scowling and the fury, there is much to be thankful for this year. Because this year, by dint of miracle or magic or human endeavor, Donald Trump has been reduced to his actual size. He isn’t everything anymore. He is barely anything at all. He becomes smaller every single day, and for that, we have America to thank.
It is no secret that Trump himself is sliding further and further off the rails. The tweets are cruder and materially less coherent, and the public performances are more frightening still. The White House staff is in turmoil, and the president seems to have aligned himself with the Saudi murderers of a Washington Post reporter. None of this offers holiday solace, save for the fact that, as support for the president peels off among members of the militaryconservative lawyers, and women, he finds himself ever more shrilly attacking them all. And as the president finds himself shunned and largely ignored internationally, he is left more and more alone to watch television, tweet hectically, and attempt to rewrite his own story to his satisfaction. At least we can, as Matt Yglesias smartly observes, be grateful that he can’t manage to be effective and pissed off at the same time.
It’s going to be a long-ass haul to restore what’s been dismantled over the past two years. Fear and contempt are contagious and so, apparently, are ugliness and violence. But in so many ways resilience and dignity and pride are pushing through the noise. It’s hard to see it sometimes, but it’s surely rattling under the surface of things. Things will turn around the way you eat an elephant—bite by bite. But recognizing that the elephant was never all that enormous in the first instance makes it easier to do the work. 

Nov. 24, 2018

Portland story: A Winter-Coat Heavyweight Gives Trump’s Trade War the Cold Shoulder in NY Times

Columbia Sportswear has worked around tariffs for decades — and it says the president’s new wave of levies will not bring jobs back to America.

Nearly every large American retailer is in a similar situation: 98 percent of the footwear bought by Americans is made overseas, and 97 percent of clothing sold in the United States is produced in other countries.
This migration to Asia has been happening since the ’60s,” Mr. Boyle (CEO of Columbia) said. “And so everybody who made investments in machines to make fabric or extreme, you know, plastics to make nylon or any kind of textile products — all those investments have been in Asia. All the technology.”
Along with the factories, the manufacturing expertise has moved overseas.
“It’s one thing to design a shirt like you’re wearing,” Mr. Boyle said. “You can sketch that out on a piece of paper. But to make it fit somebody, that’s a technical expertise in tailoring that doesn’t exist here anymore. You could come up with some stuff that nobody could wear.”
Mr. Boyle conceded that if Mr. Trump does hit China with more tariffs — and Columbia is not immediately able to find a way around them — the company will have no choice but to charge more, despite its long expertise in navigating trade winds.

All he needs is love

... excerpt from New  book by Trump advisers alleges that the president has ‘embedded enemies’

Lewandowski and Bossie met with Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 20 for a friendly interview, an edited transcript of which appears in the new book. Trump told the authors that he considers the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to have helped him politically.
“I think it makes my base stronger,” Trump said in the interview. “I would have never said this to you. But I think the level of love now is far greater than when we won. I don’t know, what do you think, Mike?”

Vice President Pence, who sat in for a portion of the interview, replied, “As strong or stronger.”


This Politcio story Bloomberg’s 'stop-and-frisk' legacy would complicate presidential bid relates to a column I wrote for Capitol Hill Blue a few days ago about whether his marijuana position betrayed Democratic Party values and included arrests for small amounts of pot.

Nov. 22, 2018

Why now, Justice Roberts?
Author's addendum: Trump, at most has six more years in his job, Justice Roberts has his job for life. I have to wonder if this narcisstic president, this emboldened blustering braggart and poseur who believes he has king-like powers, has even thought that he is engaging the 63 year old head-for-life of an equal branch of government in a battle of words that could play out in a battle of consequece in a venue where Roberts has the ultimate power.

Does he think he can body slam John Roberts like he did in a pro-wrestling stunt the way he did with Vince McMahon? Alas, I suspect this is the way the president's disordered mind works. Unbelievablly this man was elected president. Google Trump's greatest Wrestlemania moments if you want to reminded of this.

Another way to look at this is that while Trump can fire an attorney general or any other member of the Executive Branch he appointed, he can't fire a justice on the Supreme Court, or any other member of the federal bench for that matter. Trump may think that because the president nominates people to sit on the Supreme Court he has the power to fire them.

Nov. 21, 2018

Ed note: I began this column as something of a snark, but the more I followed the news since I started writing it yesterday the more I realized that the question "is Trump a chump" deserved a more serious look. This is the column after 12 revisions.

If you watched MSNBC last night this will come as a relief: Interpol elected a South Korean instead of a Russian as head.

If Trump answered the questions on this Dark Triad psychological test truthfully he would score A+, 100% of the questions apply to him, the darkest Dark Triad president in history.

Nov. 20, 2018
Not about Trump for a change:

Nov. 19, 2018 

Quote of the Day from Heather “Digby” Parton in Salon:
Toward the end of their interview, Wallace asked Trump where he ranked himself in the pantheon of great presidents. He said, "There’s Lincoln and Washington, there’s FDR and Reagan, do you make the top 10?" Trump doesn't have the capacity to do such an analysis so he just said he's doing a great job and that we'd be at war with North Korea if Obama were still president. And then he added:
I would give myself, I would – look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A+, is that enough? Can I go higher than that?
I think he actually believes that, which may be the most alarming thing about him. It's one thing to survive each day, barely balancing on the high-wire act of this crazy presidency. It's quite another to imagine you're actually flying.
Nov. 18, 2018 


No shit, the President of the United States really Tweeted this.

Trump's Mexico-Canada deal hits trouble in Congress because Canada wants LGBT protections which GOP balks at.


November 1, 2018

Hal Brown blog Nov. 2018a

enlarge for email

Check out the other stories on Capitol Hill Blue

Nov. 18, 2018 


No shit, the President of the United States really Tweeted this.

Trump's Mexico-Canada deal hits trouble in Congress because Canada wants LGBT protections which GOP balks at.


Nov. 17, 2018

Nov. 16, 2018 (Scroll down for most recent Capitol Hill Blue story)

My comment: 

Psychotherapist members of the duty to warn movement like me have been warning that Trump's malignant narcissitic psychopathology supports the outcome described in this article. When anybody has a breakdown of psychological defenses they count on to deal with stress there can be a life disrupting psychic decompensation. You see this everyday in PTSD after people suffer sudden life tragedies. This is entirely normal. 

Trump's entire sense of selfworth, his very identity as a person, is wrapped up in always winning, in bullying others to get what he wants, in never admitting obvious defeat. His usual method to deal with what are called by experts narcissistic insults is to vent with outbursts of narcissitic rage.  When he can no longer do so with a Tweet or verbal attack at a journalist, as this has recently showed in petulance in Paris, and his aggitation and presentation of self in the Acosta confrontation.

The worse things go for Trump the more difficult it will be for him to effectvely use his psycholgical defenses (which can operate outside of conscious control) to maintain at least a minimum of self-control. It is very possible he could have a psychotic episode in public which only the most sycophantic could deny rendered him unfit for office.  Hal Brown, MSW 

Quote from eminent psychoanalyst Justin Frank, MD:

Donald Trump is erotically attached to violence. He is excited when he does those professional wrestling moves at his rallies. He is like a child. The problem is, Trump has nuclear weapons and he’s the president. Trump's attraction to violence is not like someone laughing at slapstick comedy where an actor trips and falls down. It is really a pleasure that’s very visceral and deep and destructive. Trump has had this attraction to violence since he was two years old. Donald Trump has constant and consistent themes of violence in his speech and behavior. The content may be different but it is always the same tune. But even with all his distractions, the message is always there. It is always about aggression, bullying, divisiveness and attacking tradition. Salon article

Nov. 15, 2018

Nov. 14, 2018

Today's story:

You can watch the entire Rachel Maddow segment, "Stench of EPA officials indictment scandal reached Jeff Sessions" here.

Check this out: 

How Mueller Could Continue Investigating Trump Even if He Is Fired

The House could vote to create a “Special Select Committee on Russian Election Interference” and put Mueller and his team on the case as lead investigators. Alternatively, lawmakers could simply subpoena Mueller’s work product and hire him to complete any unfinished report with whatever material he already has.

Indeed, the only thing that might prevent an appointment of Mueller to helm a congressional investigation along the lines of the current Russia probe would be Mueller’s own reluctance to take that job.

If he did take the position, though, there would be a critical constraint on Mueller’s power: He would no longer be able to seek indictments from a grand jury.

She also believes his relationship with his supporters echoes a form of brainwashing.

Editorial comment:

Bandy Lee, known for making a point of not diagnosing Trump still comes about as close as possible to making a diagnosis in this interview. She also makes a legalistic sounding point of saying that her opinions don't represent the views of Yale University. (Duh! Does anybody think she's an official spokesman for Yale? That would really be headline news: "Yale University spokesperson says Trump is mentally unfit and dangerous." Still to my great amusement, Alternet and RawStory still call her a "Yale psychiatrist" in their titles.
She has emphasized to me that she must never be referred to as a duty to warn mental health professional. I suspect this is because she doesn't want to associated with John D Gartner 's Duty to Warn movement. Gartner and I have publically diagnosed Trump as having a malignant narcisstic personality disorder.
Lee still makes an important contribution to the none capitalized duty to warn movment as a go-to media shrink along with Gartner, Lance Dodes, and most recently Justin Frank who is promoting his book "Trump on the Couch."

Nov. 13, 2018

Unfortunately this was published on Salon after I submitted this column. Otherwise I would have added a link to it on my Capitol Hill Blue column as it is an excellent contribution to the body of psychological literature about Donald Trump.
Title: Psychiatrist Justin Frank on Trump’s “God complex”: He is “erotically attached to violence”
Author of “Trump on the Couch” suggests therapy: Trump struggles against “fear of his inner chaos,” and needs help
Q: If Donald Trump showed up at your practice and said, “I just want to be a better person. People don’t like me. Give me some advice.” What would you tell him?
A: The first thing I would say is “Mr. Trump, who loves you? Who do you love? What’s important to you?” I would just get down to basics about life and love, because there’s no other way to deal with him. You have to get through on a deep emotional level and everything else is just noise to him. I would also say to Donald Trump, “Tell me how you broke your heart.”
Q: He has a lot of internal pain.
A: Yes. Donald Trump has run away from this pain his whole life, and he’s been successful at doing so. I would directly address that issue very simply, very slowly and very directly. He would have to experience a breakdown because he’s avoided all of those feelings his whole life. This would be the way to help him put things back together in a healthy way.

Nov. 12, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Trump’s rain decision casts dark clouds over his Paris trip - Politico

'Those veterans the president didn’t bother to honor fought in the rain, in the mud, in the snow,' John Kerry writes.

Nov. 10, 2018 : Breaking: 

Dems race to protect Mueller probe


EXCERPTS: But the sight of dignitaries arriving at other (WWI memorial) sites outside Paris, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, led some foreign policy analysts to speculate the U.S. commander in chief just wasn’t up for it. “It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary — and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow,” David Frum, who served as a speechwriter to former president George W. Bush, wrote in tweets. Trump is actually staying at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris.

Trump was in France in body but appeared unenthusiastic in spirit. The White House said Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, would attend the Belleau ceremony in the Trumps’ absence, but Frum suggested Trump could have tried to scramble a motorcade to keep his schedule.

Nov. 9, 2018

VOX Exclusive: Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker was counseling the White House on investigating Clinton

Nov. 8, 2018

KellyAnnes's husband, lawyer George Conway Slams Trump In Op-Ed: Attorney General Appointment Is ‘Unconstitutional’(and I just heard Lawrence Tribe explain the same thing).

Nov. 7, 2018

Good news overall even with the disappointments of Beto and Stacey. My previous home states of Michigan and Massachusetts saw wins for Democrats and progressive ballot measures. Michigan now has a Democrat as governor and legal marijuana. Massachusetts passed a progressive ballot measure and Elizabeth Warren easily won. Of course in Oregon we had a win with a full term for Kate Brown and the progressive ballot measures going the way we wanted them to.

Nationally the pundits are talking about what Democratic control of the House will mean, but as important is what is about to happen with the Mueller investigation. Bloomberg reports that now that the election is over we can expect more indictments and possibly a report to Congress. 

My sense is that Mueller knows he has to move quickly before Trump moves to derail the investigation by firing Jeff Sessions. Trump may act impulsively ignoring advice, even admonitions, from his lawyers that any steps he take to thwart the Mueller investigation could be used against him in an obstruction of justice charge. 

If indictments hit literally close to home, that is, in his family, any attempts to shot down the investigation will be such blatant obstruction that even some Republicans might cry "foul."

Even if Mueller is fired and the investigation is closed once there are indictments chapter and verse of the charges are public. The resolution is in the hands of the court. If Trump's new Attorney General then tries to drop the charges he would do so at his peril since this would scream "political coverup."

Nov. 6, 2018

Hypothetical Psychology: A Trump dream that would be his worst nightmare  (Daily Kos story)

Here’s another essay based on the understanding of psychology from my training, from being a psychotherapist for over 40 years, and ongoing reading in the field.

Nov. 5, 2018

Today’s Daily Kos essay: Why Trump has a legion of truthers who believe his ludicrous lies.

Nov. 4, 2018

How Brain Science Could Determine the Midterms

Ever wonder why liberals and conservatives vote the way they do? It turns out they might literally be wired differently.

Nov. 3, 2018

Nov. 2, 2018

Nov. 1, 2018
"Mike" Murphy is a Republican political consultantHe advised Republicans including John McCainJeb BushJohn EnglerTommy ThompsonSpencer AbrahamChristie WhitmanLamar Alexander, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Until January 2006, he was an adviser to Mitt Romney. Murphy resigned his position with Romney when his former client John McCain made it clear he would also pursue the Republican Presidential nomination in 2007 and 2008; Murphy decided to be neutral in the contest between them. Murphy is a vocal Republican critic of current U.S. President Donald Trump.

What the British are reading today: Trump press conference - LIVE: President says stones thrown by migrants 'will be considered firearms' by US troops

Perhaps the aliens checked us out and decided we were too primative to visit: 

Here's Why These Harvard Astrophysicists Speculate that a Mysterious Interstellar Object Could Have Come from Aliens

The caravan “invasion” and America’s epistemic crisis

The far right’s xenophobic fantasies now involve the actual US military. 
There is, suffice to say, no evidence that the refugees are carrying disease (though once they settle in as Americans, they can look forward to heart disease and diabetes).
All of this — inflating a bedraggled group of peripatetic refugees weeks from our border into a disease-ridden terrorist “invasion,” an urgent, imminent “national emergency” — amounts to a kind of willed delusion. It represents a collective agreement on the right to believe a narrative spun almost entirely out of whole cloth, draped over a reality to which it bears little resemblance.

It is also powerful evidence that America’s epistemic crisis is spinning up into a full-blown political crisis.

America’s epistemic crisis

Epistemology, for those who didn’t waste a large portion of their youth in academic philosophy programs (hi), is the branch of philosophy concerned with justified belief — with how we come to know things and what it means to know something. 
The crisis, in brief, is that the US conservative movement has almost entirely divorced itself from mainstream institutions, norms, and standards, developing its own media, think tanks, legal scholars, and historians — a hermetically sealed ecosystem of knowledge, news, and information in which nonsense and conspiracy theories flourish. 
Conservatives have descended almost entirely into what I call “tribal epistemology,” wherein the distinction between what is good for the tribe and what is true collapses entirely — in which “true” simply comes to mean “our narrative.” They do not defer to any transpartisan standards of evidence or reasoning; they do not believe any such standards exist. Attempts to invoke such standards are, in their view, just one side’s way of trying to outmaneuver the other. So they use the language of transpartisan standards as a weapon, but the standards themselves are not a restraint. 
The result is that, as a nation, we no longer share the same facts, the same understanding of events. We no longer live in the same world.