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September 1, 2018

September-2018a

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Back, August

About me: background, credentials etc.


Sept. 15, 2018


One Russian insider whom I cannot name has emphasized that Trump is merely a tool to Putin’s determination to cause chaos in America. 
As long as America stays locked within its domestic political turmoil, its role on the world stage is diminished and, reciprocally, Russia’s is enhanced. This analyst suggests that, if Democrats win the House of Representatives in November, Putin will release such damning information on Trump that the new Democratic House will be forced to draw up articles of impeachment. 
With a Senate that may still lack a two-thirds majority to convict given the Republicans are expected to hold onto more than a third of the seats, such a release would tie up the United States in domestic knots for at least a year and a half, perhaps two — right up until 2020. 
This political immolation would be Trump’s last service as a stooge of Putin’s.


Sept.14, 2018
Trumpology
What with Trump and Florence in the news, here's a story to be aware of that may turn out to be very significant:

Letitia James wins the New York attorney general primary. She could be the first black woman ever elected to the job (and possibly take on Trump).


Sept. 13, 2018
My Daily Kos story for today

Sept. 12, 2018
This was my original story. I wrote it last night but thought of a better subject (above)

Not online - I posted the editorial below instead 

By a “real wife” I mean a wife who would give him wise counsel and rein him in from acting on his worst impulses, someone like Edith Bunker. Can you imagine how horrible Archie would have been without her?
A real wife, a good wife, is a helpmate, a life partner who knows your foibles and can keep you from acting like an asshole. She would protect her husband from his worst angels by functioning as his better angel.
Yesterday was a perfect example.
If Trump had a real wife:
  • he never would have made those obnoxious insensitive Tweets
  • he would have allowed her to help him craft what would be seen as a heartfelt presidential Tweet, a somber sincere testimonial to the lives lost and the heroes of 9-11.
  • he wouldn’t have made the spectacle of himself when he raised his fists after disembarking from Marine One in Spartanburg. If one photo, this one which has gone viral, could bring down a presidency it might be this one.
  • he wouldn't have made that outrageous statement about how well he handled the aftermath of the hurricane in Puerto Rico (watch the infamous video of Trump throwing paper towels to victims of the hurricane in a disaster relief distribution center at Cavalry Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 3, 2017)
That is just from yesterday.
He also would have totally ignored the anonymous NY Times OpEd. I could go on, and on, and on.
If Trump had a real wife he wouldn't be proving that he has the empathy of a garden slug. Instead, she would be giving him guidance and his behavior wouldn't demonstrate that all the things being said about him are true.
Perhaps if Trump had a real wife he would never wonder whether she married him for his money and stays with him for the sake of appearances. They would be sleeping in the same bed and maybe he wouldn't be acting out his sexual frustration by rage Tweeting early in the morning. If he felt loved physically and emotionally he might not feel compelled to brag about how great he was all the time.
We’re lucky Trump doesn’t have a real wife.  All he has is Melania. She’s not going to say “Oh, Archie!” when he’s about to go “Archie Bunker” and he now to say affectionately "You know somethin', Melania? You're a pip. You know that? A real pip."


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U.S. President Donald Trump throws rolls of paper towels to a crowd of local residents affected by Hurricane Maria as he visits a disaster relief distribution center at Cavalry Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 3, 2017. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
A real life would just make him better at feigning empathy. We’re lucky there’s nobody in his orbit to stop him from acting like a vain uncaring blowhard, not a real wife, not a first daughter, not even a second daughter.
This is good for us. He will keep acting like someone who is better at throwing paper towels than at being president.


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President Donald Trump throws rolls of paper towels into a crowd of local residents affected by Hurricane Maria as he visits Cavalry Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 3, 2017. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Sept. 11, 2018



Trump can't stop his ranting even on the anniverary of 9-11.

I begrudgingly gave Trump a 911 for his Rudy Tweet in his morning Tweetstorm (illustration) though on second thought I see it as braggadocio-by-proxy on Trump’s part: Rudy’s a hero of 911, and because Rudy is my pal and is my toady lawyer, therefore, I am a hero too. Therefore the only true 911 Tweet below is a reposted from the wormy Scavino. Every day in so many ways Trump proves that he is a self-serving malignant narcissist with not one ounce of empathy. Then, as the Washington Post noted it got worse. "As he arrived for the the Flight 93 September 11 Memorial Service in Shanksville, Pa., President Trump had the demeanor of someone who had scored a front-row seat at a World Wrestling Entertainment match."
Read:

9/11 Anniversary: Our Most Terrible Day, Commemorated in Trump Tweets - Daily Beast






Sept. 10, 2018

Breaking News: 

New Omarosa tape shows Trump joking while discussing terrorists killing US troops in Niger

Two cheers for “Anonymous”: Here’s why he or she should stay inside the Trump administration, by Bob Cesca







Sept. 9, 2018

The Daily Kos story about shrink's response to the OpEd which I posted Friday is still getting comments and shares on Facebook.



Sept. 8, 2018
On the web today:

From Politico: 





























Obama vs. Trump: The clash everyone's waited for arrives

But on Friday, at least, the current president barely mustered a response to the blistering critique leveled against him by his predecessor.

From Slate: Why John Huntsman, ambassador to Russia, is a likely OpEd suspect.

We Found the ‘Plaid Shirt Guy’ Who Trolled Trump’s Rally With Hilarious Faces - Daily Beast

............

Sept. 7, 2018
My Daily Kos story just made the recommended list with 140 "stars" and numerous comments.


How to get to stand right behind Trump in a photo-op?
... be the only black sheriff of the 44 in the room. I hope the Bristol County, Mass. (Fall River, New Bedford) sherrif (to Trump's right) who organized this looses the next election. Facebook page.
Let see if they keep my comment on the Facebook page:

You were used for partisan purposes. Shame on all of you. You know and respect the Constitution. Donald Trump neither knows nor respects it. Of all people who should hold Trump responsible, it is the LEOs of the country. 

It is worse than ironic that elected sheriffs show such support for a president who is already an unindicted co-conspirator and is likely to be guilty of breaking the law starting when he worked in New York right up to his presidency. We know that he has already broken the emoluments clause and profited off of being the president, as has his family. He says "no collusion" with Russia when all the evidence points to his having engaged in a conspiracy. As LEOs, ask yourself how often do suspects lie? Trump is a pathological liar. Please be objective and see him for who he is.

If he was a LEO you'd refer to IA and suspend him.

As a mental health center director who spent 20 years as a reserve officer, first in Michigan and then in a nearby county to Bristol, as a police therapist who treated dozens of police officers, was friends with some, and knew hundreds more, who taught "handling mentally ill subjects" at three different police academies, and who published the first and most viewed website on police stress, I am embarrassed for those who choose to attend this event. 

An aside: How to get to stand just behind the president in a photo op? Be the only black sheriff out of 44, perhaps. (I wouldn't say 44 was almost 50 by the way.) 


  Sept. 6, 2018



I knew that Chauncey DeVega was working on this (via an email from John Gartner) and would have used this as my Daily Kos story, but it was published too late:

Exclusive: Psychiatrist Bandy Lee says White House officials told her Trump was “unraveling”

Yale shrink says Trump officials reached out to her last fall, suggests his mental state is rapidly deteriorating

Excerpt:

Psychologist John Gartner, who has been a leading voice about the perils of Trump's presidency and the dangers he poses to the United States and the world, described the New York Times op-ed, in an email, as an "extraordinary document by any standards."
Essentially, the White House staff have de facto informally invoked the 25th Amendment, recognizing among themselves that [Trump] is incapable of carrying out the duties of the office. Knowing that he is dangerously mentally unbalanced, they are seeking to provide ballast to keep him from capsizing the ship of state. This is a madness of King George situation. Or perhaps we should say the emperor's new clothes, where everyone can see the emperor has no sanity, even though no one is allowed to say it aloud.


Sept. 5, 2018

Just online: 


I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. NY Times

Excerpts:

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

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Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

President Trump is unfit for office. Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’ confirms it. by Max Boot (25th Amendment)
If you take seriously the revelations in Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” — and how can you not, given Woodward’s nearly half-century of scoops about Washington’s elite? — then it’s time for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment because he is clearly “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That will never happen, because the Cabinet is packed with Trump toadies who compete with each other to deliver the most fawning praise of their supreme leader. But on the merits, it should happen.
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These revelations (from the Woodward book) will be greeted among Republicans not as a sign of Trump’s unfitness for office — which they are — but as more evidence of a conspiracy among the “fake news media” against their electoral hero. That is the genius of Trump’s attacks on the press and on truth itself: He has largely inoculated his base against all of the damaging revelations that continue to emerge about the most corrupt and dysfunctional administration in U.S. history. And by keeping the support of his base (78 percent of Republicans approve of him in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll), Trump protects himself from removal either via the 25th Amendment or the Article II impeachment process.

Kelly is right. We really are in Crazytown. But Trump is far from the craziest person in town. His defects are no secret — they were obvious before his election. The really crazy people are the Republicans who think we should continue to entrust a man manifestly unfit to be Queens Borough president with the presidency of the United States of America.
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McCain missed an opportunity to make peace with Trump - my reaction
Contributing columnist

EXCERPT: A chance for real unity — which by definition would be inclusive of Trump and his millions of supporters — was missed. Admittedly, it would have meant turning the other cheek to a degree that few of us are capable of demonstrating.
It would have required John McCain to forgive Donald Trump, perhaps even with an invitation to the president to play some appropriate formal role in his services. In a political environment where there are constant calls to tone down the rhetoric and lower the temperature, such a final act of harmony from such an obstinate warhorse as McCain may well have motivated others — perhaps even Trump himself — to follow his example.
My Comment:
If he’d requested that Trump formally speak it would have been the ultimate passive-aggressive tactic. Think of it, Trump reading an ingenuous speech written by one of his lackies uttering obviously insincere words contradicting his expressed feelings and opinions about Senator McCain, compared to the words of Pre. Bush and Pres. Obama. Then consider Meghan McCain being able to give her same eulogy with Trump sitting in the audience, cameras shifting to him for reaction shots.
Does this story about Melania put aside the notion that she's not intelligent enough to understand what her husband is doing to the country?

Sept. 4, 2018


Sept. 3, 2018

My Daily Kos piece today is simply "Why I Tweet: Five Reasons.

Welcome to Duty to Warn, Dr. Howard Dean:

In Praise of Doing Nothing.

Trump called them shithole countries:

China pledges $60 billion in aid and loans to Africa, no ‘political conditions attached’


The program is part of Xi’s broader Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious $120 billion-plus project that aims to link 65 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa — together accounting for almost two-thirds of the world’s population — through infrastructure projects and trade.
At a time when President Trump is picking trade fights with the United States’ neighbors and allies, the Chinese leader has appeared to relish the opportunity to appear as a popular international statesman and champion of the liberal economic order. 

For two days in a row, every headline on the front page of the state-run People’s Daily started with the words “Xi Jinping,” as the president met with the leaders of Angola, Gabon, Mauritius, Senegal and elsewhere. He also hosted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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But Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who currently chairs the African Union, said that rather than viewing the investment as a “debt trap,” other countries should be asking why they’re not giving Africa as much assistance as China.
“We have benefited a lot from China’s support in our social and economic programs, and that has continued to strengthen the partnership between China and Rwanda,” Kagame told the People’s Daily.
He also got in a dig at Trump, saying the forum “can show the world how countries can work collaboratively at a time when issues like trade protectionism continue to brew.”
++++++++++
My comment to this article: Trump's funeral problem, Politico

When his parents died—his mother died in 2000, one year after her husband—he said it was the closest he ever came to shedding tears. “I don’t believe in crying,” he said in 2005 to biographer Tim O’Brien. “… It’s just not my thing. I have nothing against it when someone cries, but when I see a man cry I view it as a weakness. I don’t like seeing men cry. I’ll give you an example. I never met John Gotti, I know nothing about John Gotti, but he went through years of trials. He sat with a stone face. He said, ‘Fuck you.’”

They don't cry: those with the "psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial behavior, aggression, and sadism. Grandiose, and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines families and organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate... (in Trump) malignant narcissism includes all nine aspects of narcissistic personality disorder (as well as significant and alarming) traits of antisocial personality disorder and (with Trump sometimes delusional) paranoia. The importance of malignant narcissism and of projection as a defense mechanism has been confirmed in paranoia, as well as "the patient's vulnerability to malignant narcissistic regression (and in Trump outbursts of narcisstic rage)" (from Malignant narcissism, Wikipedia). Hal Brown, MSW, Duty to Warn

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Sept. 2, 2018



The other side:

Obit Omit: What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain’s Record of Militarism and Misogyny


Now it comes out that two spies, one American and one British, led an ambitious though ultimately failed clandestine effort to turn Russian oligarchs close to Putin and, what a surprise, Trump has been trying to undermine their credibility.

Agents Tried to Flip Russian Oligarchs. The Fallout Spread to Trump.

Another ho-hum summer with Donald Trump: Here are all the “big” stories we wish we could forget - from Daily Beast - lists the hardly ho-hum Trumpian stories 

September 1, 2018

See especially the OpEds in the Washington Post and The New York Times for excellent essays today. I couldn't think of anything new to write that these columnists haven't already said. If you don't subscribe to the WaPo you can read a summary of Jennifer Rubin's piece here.

Back, August

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