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November 1, 2018

Hal Brown blog Nov. 2018a

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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. 


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