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August 31, 2019

Hal Brown blog Sept. 1 - 2019

About me |Plus Tweets | Facebook | Daily Kos posts | CHB columns | My 2000 - 2010 websites, in very different ways, had a big impact in the areas they covered: Police Stressline | Cranberry Stressline | Casino Friend 

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Sept. 16, 2016

Sept. 15, 2019

#ImpeachKavanaugh is trending on Twitter. I have done my bit by making and tweeting this photoshop.

Quote without comment: “Americans, the Congress, they work for you. And they’re wasting your money and your time trying to impeach a president where there are no high crimes and misdemeanors. Stop the nonsense of harassing and embarrassing this president and the people around him when you have no constitutional or legal basis to do so.” Kellyanne Conway on Fox News

Click above

Take a break from Trump

Sept.14, 2019

Click above to read story

Sept. 13, 2019


A Body Language Expert On What He Saw During the Debate.


 Something to think about:

Election 2020: A full year of Trump and Biden babbling at each other? Please, let's not by Amanda Marcotte

Trump and Biden both sound increasingly incoherent. Democrats still have a chance to nominate someone else.


A disturbing four minute video about the cruelty of Trump and many of his supporters.


My Daily Kos story:
Click above to read
Click above to read
The article above has this quote from Psychologist Erich Fromm, author of the seminal book on authoritarianism, "Escape From Freedom" explains the orientation: 
The passive-authoritarian, or in other words, the masochistic and submissive character aims — at least subconsciously — to become a part of a larger unit, a pendant, a particle, at least a small one, of this "great" person, this "great" institution, or this "great" idea. The person, institution, or idea may actually be significant, powerful, or just incredibly inflated by the individual believing in them. What is necessary, is that — in a subjective manner — the individual is convinced that "his" leader, party, state, or idea is all-powerful and supreme, that he himself is strong and great, that he is a part of something "greater." The paradox of this passive form of the authoritarian character is: the individual belittles himself so that he can — as part of something greater — become great himself. The individual wants to receive commands, so that he does not have the necessity to make decisions and carry responsibility.
We should note that it was Fromm who formulated the personality type he called malignant narcissism. Many duty to warn therapists like myself consider Trump to be the exemplar for malignant narcissism.


Below: A Daily Kos story is by a duty to warn associate of mine, Armond Aserinsky, Ph.D. 

Click above

At a mid-August fundraiser in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Ivanka Trump was asked to name the personality traits she inherited most from her parents.

Without much of a pause, Trump told the crowd of roughly 120 high-end donors that her mother gave her an example of how to be a powerful, successful woman.

And her father? He passed onto her his moral compass, she said, according to two event attendees.

And the Internet is flabbergasted

The Devil made me tweet this:

Photoshop by Hal Brown


Jennifer Rubin writes about....

My photoshop (Why? Because I can.)

On Friday, a Second Circuit appeals court revived a lawsuit filed by businesses that claim President Trump’s unconstitutional receipt of foreign emoluments negatively impacted their business. This is the second emoluments lawsuit that is back on track, the other brought by more than two hundred members of Congress.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, one of the litigants, released a statement, which read in part: “If President Trump would like to avoid the case going further and curtail the serious harms caused by his unconstitutional conduct, now would be a good time to divest from his businesses and end his violations of the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution.”
The Second Circuit explained, “Plaintiffs allege that they have been and will be injured because foreign and domestic government entities that patronize Washington, D.C. and New York hotels, restaurants, and event spaces patronize Trump establishments (in preference to Plaintiffs’ establishments) in the hope of enriching the President and earning a reward from him through official Presidential action favorable to their governments, and that such enrichment of the President by foreign and domestic government entities violates the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses.”

Sept 12, 2019 

Click above to read my story
This story is more focused on the milieu created by the malignant narcissist but I framed the story in a literary way. Apparently Daily Kos readers are even less interested in literature than they are in psychology where I occasionally can use a provocative title and clickbait (I admit it) 1000 - 2000 readers into looking at an article about Trump's psychopathology and get up to 150 comments. I changed the original title today to say it was "a literary take" and "for English majors." Maybe a few more people will read it. It took me long enough to write it.

Sept. 11, 2019: Watch kiwi firefighters perform passionate haka to honour colleagues who lost their lives in 9/11 

A wee slip of a tongue:

This is the first time Sweden has had any
page views, let alone 145.
During a press conference discussing plans to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, President Trump mentioned his wife Melania and son Barron, saying, "she's got a son -- together -- that is a beautiful, young man, and she feels very, very strongly about it."Video via @CBSEveningNews

Okay, here's what a normal father who speaks in grammatical sentences would say: "Melania and I have a son who is a beautiful young man and we feel very, very strongly about it." 

Of course a normal father who is a golfer and a president would be out teaching his son how to play his favorite game, if only for the photo op.
The above story is about the Washington Post pro-Trump columnist. Max Boot, another WaPo columnist describes himself as a former conservative to a man without a party. Here are a few excerpts from today's column: 

Yes, Trump is losing it. But don’t pretend he ever had it to begin with.

I agree with former Republican White House aide Peter Wehner, who argues in the Atlantic that “Trump’s disordered personality — his unhealthy patterns of thinking, functioning, and behaving — has become the defining characteristic of his presidency.” But I disagree with those who insist that Trump is getting worse. Maybe he is, but those who say this conveniently forget how bad he was from the very beginning.
So if Trump isn’t getting worse mentally, what’s going on? My theory is that there are fewer checks on him today than there were at the start. Jim Mattis, John F. Kelly, H.R. McMaster, Nikki Haley, Rex Tillerson and other officials — even John Bolton — were occasionally successful in checking Trump’s erratic impulses. But the adults are gone, and their replacements are mainly sycophants and timeservers who are happy to tell Trump that 2+2=22.
The evidence suggests that Trump hasn’t gone off his rocker lately — because he was never on it to begin with. That’s an uncomfortable thing to say about a president of the United States, but we can’t ignore reality because it’s so alarming. Trump’s supporters ill serve the country — or a president in obvious need of help — by pretending that everything is normal when it so obviously isn’t.

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace explained exactly why President Donald Trump seemed so irritated online Wednesday after he unloaded his frustrations on Twitter: a new round of worrying polls.
“Not even a trip to the Pentagon to honor the victims of 9/11 on this solemn anniversary slowed the president’s steady stream of complaints and attacks today,” she said. “He came positively undone about a fresh round of head-to-head polls that show him losing to nearly half a dozen Democrats.”
She continued: “It’s those polls that show Donald Trump’s political standing may be reaching a low-point that’s leading to a presidential unraveling. Here are those polls: Donald Trump loses to Joe Biden in head-to-head polling by 15 points; Donald Trump loses to Bernie Sanders by 9 points; Donald Trump losing to Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris by 7 points. And Donald Trump loses to Mayor Pete Buttigieg, should he be the nominee, by 4 points.”

Americans recoil in disgust as Trump rages about Hillary on the 18th anniversary of 9/11

This malignant narcissist in out of control. No empathy is bad enough but no impulse control and no judgment is dangerous.

Sept. 10, 2019 

I wrote this on May 26th: 

Today's tweets
Above: Because I used the hashtags #KingCon and #KingConDon this over 2,100 people look at my photoshop.

The turtle makes its way up the beach, lays its eggs, and eventually they hatch and lots of tiny turtle struggle to make it back to the lake. Some make it. Some don't. This is how I think of all our (duty to warn therapists) attempts to alert the public about the risks to our democracy portended by Trump's malignant narcissism. Here's an article that demonstrates this.

Click above for related story

During the 2016 campaign, I received a phone call from an influential political journalist and author, who was soliciting my thoughts on Donald Trump. Trump’s rise in the Republican Party was still something of a shock, and he wanted to know the things I felt he should keep in mind as he went about the task of covering Trump.
At the top of my list: Talk to psychologists and psychiatrists about the state of Trump’s mental health, since I considered that to be the most important thing when it came to understanding him. It was Trump’s Rosetta stone. Continued

From Dana Milbank: Trump’s Taliban plans leave us wondering: What else is unbeknownst to us?

What else could he be planning?

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, I was going to award the presidential medal of freedom posthumously to Jeffrey Epstein on Sunday, but I immediately canceled the ceremony.”

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, I was going to name Kanye West as White House spokesman and Alex Jones as head of the National Weather Service on Sunday, but I immediately called off the announcement.”

“Unbeknownst to almost everyone, I was going to attack Denmark and annex Greenland on Sunday, but I immediately canceled the invasion and called off the bombers.”

Trump seems to enjoy the theatrics of canceling things he had (supposedly) planned to do. He canceled a retaliatory attack on Iran after ordering one up. He canceled, then reinstated, a meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He stormed into a meeting with Democrats for the sole purpose of canceling it. He canceled his Denmark trip after the prime minister panned his Greenland scheme. He said he canceled the Air Force One contract with Boeing because of high costs (then wound up paying even more). He cancels meetings with reporters as punishment. He’s constantly scheduling and canceling


You don't have to read beyond the tease to get the point of the fee based Daily Beast column: 

Trump’s Going to Manipulate the Government to Stay in Power

 The president has given us ample signs that he will use the powers of the presidency in ways previously unimaginable. How come Democrats seem so relaxed about it?

The power of an incumbent president to aid re-election by abusing the executive branch has in the past been limited by a few powerful forces: Presidential integrity; the fear of a scandal emerging in the media; and the prospect of aggressive congressional oversight.
Due to forces outside their control, the Democratic nominee won’t be saved by the first two “norms based” options. And as a result of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy of not “focusing on Trump,” the president has every reason to scoff at the prospect of aggressive congressional oversight, up to and including a genuine “go big” effort at impeachment.

“Mark Sanford might be Republicans’ last chance” by Republican columnist Jennifer Rubin in WaPo Paywall
To briefly summarize her points:
First, he acknowledges debt and deficits aren’t sexy, but a socialist farm policy (spending billions to reimburse farmers for tariffs) is ripe for attack. He’s the right person to call Trump’s tariffs what they are: a tax on consumers, a regressive tax at that.]
Second, a big part of Sanford’s argument should include Trump’s grotesque self-dealing and corruption, as well as his hugely un-conservative idea of picking business winners and losers.
Third, Sanford says that “we as a party have lost our way.” He must make a sustained response to Trump’s fanning the flames of white nationalism. Sanford needs to call Trump out as un-American, a man at odds with our founding creed (“All men are created equal . . . .”).
Fourth, when it comes to what Sanford describes as “tone," it would hardly be an exaggeration to say what most Republican lawmakers acknowledge to themselves: There is something terribly wrong with the president, and his lying, impulsiveness, meanness and deliberate ignorance make him unfit to lead. It would be a relief to millions of Americans disgusted with Republicans’ cowardly silence.
Finally, Sanford would be smart to take on Trump’s illogical and destructive foreign policy. Bringing the Taliban to Camp David? Sanford should mention that at every stop, along with Trump’s subservience to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his getting snowed by North Korea’s brutal dictator.


Trump’s Turnberry Scandal Violates the Other Emoluments Clause

Sept. 9, 2019


It will be interesting to observe Trump reacting to three candidates who don’t stand a chance of beating him. He’s already giving them oxygen by calling them The Three Stooges. 

If he had a savvy political advisor whose advice he actually heeded when it went against his natural impulse to attack, attack, attack no matter how smallest the slight he would have ignored them.  He only listens to people like his Fox minions and Stephen Miller when they tell him to do what he already wants to do. Those people aren’t advisors, they are enablers and in some cases when they are creatively cruel, they are enhancers. I don’t think Trump comes up with some of his particularly cruel policies which hurt both people and the planet on his own. He just isn’t intelligent enough. 
My contribution, thanks to
DonkeyHotey, to Trump's tweet

This SPY STORY should be the biggest NEWS of the week: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017,
Read the story and then, for fans of "24" ask yourself what would Jack Bauer think. More to the point consider what he would do.

My guess is that the leak of this remarkable story came from somewhere in the bowels of the intelligence community, that some gray person at a secure cubicle sent up yet another flare warning us that the President* of the United States cannot be trusted not to sell off the country piecemeal to a former KGB thug who is presiding over a basket-case kleptocracy. These events transpired in the first six months of this administration*, and the concerns about the operative's safety dated back to the concerns about Russian ratfcking in the election that were ringing the alarm bells throughout the 2016 campaign. 

The intelligence community is engaged in a cold war of information against the elected political leadership of the country, and a lot of us are finding ourselves on its side. This is neither healthy nor sustainable. If we're going to have a constitutional crisis, then let's by god have one according to the Constitution. It's time to take the internal conflict ignited by this ignoramus out of the shadows and into the open. It's time for congresscritters, one and all, to saddle up. I hope the person in question here is safe now. I hope the country is, too.

At Liberty University, all anyone can talk about is Jerry Falwell Jr. Just not in public.
“When he does stupid stuff, people will mention it to others they consider confidants and not keep it totally secret,” a trusted adviser to Falwell, the school’s president and chancellor, told me. “But they won’t rat him out.” 

That’s beginning to change...

“We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge fund,” said a senior university official with inside knowledge of Liberty’s finances. “We’re not educating; we’re buying real estate every year and taking students’ money to do it.” 

This year, Trump has repeatedly told friends and donors that running against “socialism” in a general election may not be “so easy” because of its populist draw, according to four Republicans and sources close to Trump who’ve heard him say this over the past several months.

According to a person who was in the room, Trump told donors at a recent private event that though “a lot of people think it’ll be easy to beat [in 2020],” the “truth is, it might not be so easy.” The president, according to the source, said that “you can have someone who loves Trump, but many people love free stuff, too.” He added that if candidates tell Americans, especially young voters—that they’re going to cancel their debt, “that’s a tough one” to run against.

Monday Missive from Mooch: Scaramucci Says Trump Was ‘Intimidated’ By ‘Good-Looking’ Trudeau “I mean, the poor guy has the self-esteem of a small pigeon,” the former White House communications director said.

From Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s invitation to the Taliban was disgraceful. So was Republican silence about it. .....  it’s a mystery how any self-respecting patriot in the national security arena could lend his name and reputation to an administration that seeks a photo op with the Taliban.

Then again, the entire Trumpized Republican Party has countenanced Trump’s siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin over our intelligence community on the subject of election interference; his lovefest with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; and his refusal to hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the brutal murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Once Republicans have crossed all those bridges — and ignored 12,000-plus lies and replete evidence of obstruction of justice — they aren’t going to quit over any principle. Indeed, their only principle is to stay in the good graces of a president so lacking in common sense and decency that he’d extend hospitality to those who harbored the murderers of thousands of our fellow Americans.


Trump can hug the flag all he likes, but it doesn’t make up for spitting on the graves of 2,996 people killed on 9/11 and nearly 2,400 American men and women who died in the war in Afghanistan. The party that enables and cheers him on has no business holding power.

Sept. 8, 2019


You have to have registered on Twitter to play.

Sept. 7, 2019

LOTS of good cartoons here.

Sept. 6, 2019

Sept 5, 2019

How many times do we (duty to warn therapists) have to say this? Psychiatrists call for Trump to undergo a full ‘neuropsychological evaluation’ as some his abilities seem to be ‘deteriorating’ from Sept. 3.

Sept. 4, 2019

This is some serious shit: Amid the rising tide of "gaffes," Joe Biden looks less electable every day -- Joe Biden is the least electable of the major Democratic candidates. Will voters see that in time to stop Trump?

Sept. 3, 2019

A lesson for gutless Congressional Republicans: Boris Johnson’s Party Loses Parliamentary Majority As MP Defects Right In Front Of Him


At Donald Trump’s suggestion, Mike Pence is staying at Trump’s golf resort 180 miles from actual meetings during his trip to Ireland.... and the discordant beat goes on, and on, and on.... the mad organ grinder has an obedient monkey.

Chauncey DeVega: Patriotism, truth and fascism: Donald Trump is creating a subjective reality

New White House press secretary claims that Trump never lies. Yes, because he is altering the fabric of reality 

Sept. 2, 2019

I began this story with just a cake and no missiles  then I added two, and then another and another, and another. Sometimes a missile is just a missile. Except with Trump who  made fun of Kim as Little Rocket Man because there can only be one BIG Rocket Man. I figured it took a long time to make this so I tweeted it too:

Praise Zeus, I hope she has something to say: Top literary agents say Trump's ex-personal secretary could make millions

Sept. 1, 2019

Something very different:

Consider this: The Fake Feud Between Trump and Fox

The pro-wrestling origins of the president’s latest Twitter spat.

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