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July 29, 2019

Hal Brown blog July 27, 2019 to --

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

I find it difficult to express how repugnant I feel Kellyanne Conway is. I applaud Christine Amanpour for not letting her get away with her usual sinister spin.

NYT’s Trump Headline Is So Outrageous That People Are Canceling Subscriptions below, 2nd edition had new headline

The print front page of the Washington Post had a headline similar to the second printing of the NYT

The Daily News doesn't have headlines per se, they use their front page to good advantage. They don't shy from editorializing on the story of the day. Here's how they
 presented the Trump - uh - speech. I love that this is the tabloid New Yorkers see every morning on newsstands across the city.

Hmmm... NRA survey on Washington Post story website page

I'm not cancelling my NYT subscription. I will keep both the WaPo and NYT. The WaPo was not above taking a jab at their rival:

EXCERPT: The New York Times weathered intense backlash Monday night for its front-page headline about President Trump’s response to the pair of mass shootings that read: “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM.”

preview of Tuesday’s front page shared to social media sparked instant criticism from members of the public, journalists and politicians, including several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, many of whom took issue with how the publication framed Trump’s comments on the weekend attacks in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, that left at least 31 people dead and dozens injured. In the aftermath of the tragedies, major media outlets have faced scrutiny from all sides over how they confront Trump and his often inflammatory rhetoric.
About an hour after the headline went viral, the Times announced it had amended its wording.
“The headline was bad and has been changed for the second edition,” a spokesperson for the Times told The Washington Post in an email.


April 5, 2019

On Trump's address this morning, I can't put it better than this. 

“He has no self-examination today in his comments! He said those who are prejudiced… are heartless, don’t have a heart, don’t have a soul. Well, Mr. President, by your own words you are heartless and soulless! You have been the propaganda chief of hatred here in the United States!” Rep. Luis GutiĆ©rrez

Reminder as if you need it, Trump is a malignant narcissist in addition to being a hate filled evil autocrat.

Malignant narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissismantisocial behavioraggression, and sadism. (These people are) grandiose, and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines families and organizations in which they are involved (in Trump's case, the entire country), and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate. (or who he defines as his adversaries or enemies). 
Malignant narcissism includes aspects of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) alongside a mix of antisocialparanoid and sadistic personality disorder traits. 

Aug. 4, 2019

You Reap What You Sow, Donald Trump. This is What Your Hate Talk Does to Our Country, by Sheila Malkin

Indeed, to quote the essay: "This malignant narcissist feels nothing for the people who have died. Nothing. He only cares about himself. This man has no empathy." --- and to think that before Trump not all that many people, even many therapists like me, knew there was such a way to understand evil and narcissistic people using the paradigm of malignant narcissism.

Aug. 3, 2019

Aug. 2, 2019

Trumpology: Amanda Marcotte, Salon
Click above

 (Trump is) redefining what you can say and how a leader can act. He’s reasserting an old version of what sort of masculinity deserves to be followed and obeyed. In Freudian terms, he’s operating on the level of the id. In Thomistic terms, he is instigating a degradation of America’s soul.
It is no accident that the Democratic candidate with the best grasp of this election is the one running a spiritual crusade, not an economic redistribution effort. Many of her ideas are wackadoodle, but Marianne Williamson is right about this: “This is part of the dark underbelly of American society: the racism, the bigotry and the entire conversation that we’re having here tonight. If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.”
And she is right about this: “We’ve never dealt with a figure like this in American history before. This man, our president, is not just a politician; he’s a phenomenon. And an insider political game will not be able to defeat it. … The only thing that will defeat him is if we have a phenomenon of equal force, and that phenomenon is a moral uprising of the American people.”

Morning Joe panel slams Trump’s Ohio rally: Strutting around like Mussolini and ‘changing America for the worst’

The “Morning Joe” host and contributor (Donnie Duetsch) pointed out that Trump was prancing around stages acting like fascist dictator Benito Mussolini while Democrats needled one another on policy minutiae — and they warned that won’t beat the president in 2020.
“When Mussolini is standing up on the terrace like this, with a face like that,” Deutsch said, affecting a scowl, “to me, the parallels with Trump in terms of that self-satisfaction at the chaos he’s creating, the parallels are stunning there.”

Americans watched Trump strut across the stage in Cincinnati, Scarborough said, after watching Democrats bicker over the details of their policy plans — which he mimicked in an exaggerated nasal voice — instead of projecting strength against a “demagogue” president.
“Let’s talk about the man who is changing America for the worst, Donald Trump,” Scarborough said. “They don’t have to take the bait, but they always do, and there doesn’t seem to be a Democrat that understands where we are right now in history against this man.”
(Except that among the candidates in the debates, as noted by David Brooks, Marianne Williamson, whose chances of being on the ticket are slim to none, is the exception. 
Aug. 1, 2019

Emphasis added: “The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” the document states. It also goes on to say the FBI believes conspiracy theory-driven extremists are likely to increase during the 2020 presidential election cycle.
The FBI said another factor driving the intensity of this threat is “the uncovering of real conspiracies or cover-ups involving illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities by government officials or leading political figures.” The FBI does not specify which political leaders or which cover-ups it was referring to.
President Trump is mentioned by name briefly in the latest FBI document, which notes that the origins of QAnon is the conspiratorial belief that “Q,” allegedly a government official, “posts classified information online to reveal a covert effort, led by President Trump, to dismantle a conspiracy involving ‘deep state’ actors and global elites allegedly engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring.”

Headline of the day:
After one of several attacks by an incessantly nasty de Blasio — the former vice president smiled and said: “I love your affection for me. You spend a lot of time with me.”

De Blasio, who declared “victory” because Biden had changed the position he held on the North American Free Trade Agreement 25 years ago, replied: “We believe in redemption in this party.”

“Well,” Biden said dryly, “I hope you’re part of it.”

Not a bad line — on not a bad night for Biden. In fact, it was brilliantly and gloriously acceptable.

July 31, 2019

Making a case for an insanity defense?

Jeffrey Epstein Hoped to Seed Human Race With His DNA

Epstein was also interested in cryogenics and wanted to have his head and penis frozen.

Jeffrey E. Epstein, the wealthy financier who is accused of sex trafficking, had an unusual dream: He hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his vast New Mexico ranch.
Mr. Epstein over the years confided to scientists and others about his scheme, according to four people familiar with his thinking, although there is no evidence that it ever came to fruition.
Mr. Epstein’s vision reflected his longstanding fascination with what has become known as transhumanism: the science of improving the human population through technologies like genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. Critics have likened transhumanism to a modern-day version of eugenics, the discredited field of improving the human race through controlled breeding.

Chris Wray is the FBI director and Gina Haspel is the CIA director.

Here’s a radical proposal for the debates, or perhaps not all that radical. 

Change the format or set-up to be more like group therapy where there are no moderators, only two facilitators to assure everyone has a chance to talk, that nobody dominates the discussion, that other members are respectful, that they comprehend the arguments of the other candidates. The candidates don’t need moderators to pose questions, they are all quite able to do this to their rivals themselves. Sitting in a circle would be far better and more conducive to a real debate than having them line up where they can’t look at each other unless they are standing side by side. 

Westies are too cute! Story above.
Best description of Mayor Pete by Frank Bruni:

And I was impressed by Pete Buttigieg. I’m always impressed by him. How does a person become this articulate, this informed and this poised by the age of 37? It’s like his parents read him the Encyclopaedia Britannica instead of “Goodnight, Moon” and regularly injected him with some analogue of human growth hormone that supersizes developing brains. NY Times

Subscription website. I had to look up Orb queen: The Sovereign's Orb, as this part of the Crown Jewels is officially named, is a symbol of Godly power. A cross above a globe, it represents 'Christ's dominion over the world', as the Monarch is God's representative on Earth.
The first candidate to quote a famous Seinfeld line:

Williamson did not disappoint at her second debate performance Tuesday, railing against the “false god” of multinational corporations and “this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up.” In a casual feat of time travel, she made the “Seinfeld” phrase “yadda yadda yadda” trend again.

For that alone I hope she makes the next debate, but there's more: quantum physics, also known as quantum mechanics and quantum theory.

It is hard to do justice to her sprawling philosophy, which touches on God, quantum physics and the quasi-mystical power of thought to affect the nature of reality. Her Twitter feed includes aphorisms such as: “It’s only when we soul-explode beyond the confines of the mortal self, expanding the boundaries of what we think is real, that we begin to glimpse the truth of who we are and why we’re here.”

Click above to enlarge

July 30, 2019

Click above for story

Daily downer from Chauncey DeVega: 

Still believe Trump's racism won't get him re-elected? That's what you thought the last time too

There's zero downside for Trump in his hateful rhetoric. Don't underestimate the depth of racism in America

There is a persistent and apparently unshakable belief in the inherent goodness and innocence of whiteness. To state plainly that many millions of white Americans are racists and white supremacists (and yes, some are also indeed fascists) is treated by many journalists and other opinion leaders as verboten.
Trump's advisers know the power of racism and white supremacy. Moreover, unlike most  reporters and commentators, Trump's minions are willing to publicly state that racism (which they pretty up as "nativism") holds great appeal for Republican voters. On Friday, the Washington Post reported that Trump's inner circle had concluded that "the overall message" of his racist tweets "was good for the president among  his political base— resonating strongly with the white working-class voters he needs to win reelection in 2020."
Trump and his supporters are racial authoritarians. His racist attacks on nonwhite people are widely popular among Republican voters and right-leaning independents.
Moreover, many such Americans are living vicariously through his regime's cruelty towards nonwhites. As such, Donald Trump's concentration camps are a thrilling spectacle for his voters and other supporters.
July, 29, 2019

My Monday photoshop: Trump missed his true calling where he could exercise his sadism legally. We know who he'd play in The Mikado.
Defer, defer
To the Lord High Executioner!
Defer, defer
To the noble Lord
To the noble Lord High Executioner!
Bow down, bow down
To the Lord High Executioner!
Defer, defer
To the noble, noble Lord
To the High Executioner!

Trump and his views are the real infestations in America.

Charles M. Blow
NY Times Opinion Columnist

It would be easy to prosecute a case against Trump on policy, but policies are not at the center of the creature. White supremacy, white nationalism and white patriarchy are.
The core of this man is racist in a way that is so fused to his sense of the world that he is incapable of seeing it as racist. It is instinctual for him to attack people of color. It is instinctual for him to denigrate the places they live and the countries to which they trace their heritage.
He has so bought into the white supremacist narrative that his ideology no longer requires, in his own thinking, a label. For him, this lie of it is just the truth of it, and what is “right” can’t be racist.
This is a means by which racists have operated throughout history, to rescue themselves from association with those who flayed the flesh of the enslaved, who raped the women and sold the children, who released the dogs and aimed the water cannons, who noosed the necks and set ablaze the crosses.
Those demonstrative few, those consumed by hatred and sadism, those were the racists. Not the exponentially larger groups who swallowed and regurgitated a warped view of the world, a doctored view of history, and supposedly damning “facts” without contextualization.

Trump is a racist. Say that out loud. Say it with the profundity that it deserves. That to me is the beginning and the ending of the rationale I need to stand steadfast in my resistance.


MOSCOW — Bloodied protesters, a hunger strike, police raids, more than a thousand arrests, a mysterious “illness” afflicting the Kremlin’s most prominent critic — a long-simmering dispute over a local Moscow election boiled over this weekend into a major political crisis for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After a weekend of demonstrations, featuring thousands of anti-government protestors and sometimes violent clashes with police, Alexei Navalny, the opposition’s best-known figure, was hospitalized Sunday after suffering what health officials said was an “allergic reaction” while in police custody.
One of his doctors, Anastasia Vasilieva, said it was possible that he had been poisoned. “We cannot exclude toxic damage to the skin by chemicals induced by a ‘third person,’” she wrote in a Facebook post.
Navalny was jailed for 30 days on Wednesday for calling on Russians to demonstrate. His did not appear to be in any immediate danger, but reports of his illness has caused concern.
A number of other government critics have been poisoned since Putin came to power in 2000, and Boris Nemtsov, a well-known opposition politician, was shot dead outside the Kremlin in 2015. At least 20 of Navalny’s supporters who arrived at the hospital on Sunday evening were detained by police before they could enter the clinic.
Binge watch it: For fans of "Orange" the last season, number seven, is a major shift thematically and stylistically. It is powerful and gut wrenching. It has moved from being a tragicomedy to a tragedy. Don't expect all happy endings, as the show depicts the world of Trump from private prisons for felons who happen to be citizens to privately run detention centers where ICE is in control.

I'd rank it alongside the best seasons of The Wire and Deadwood  as among the best TV series.

We’ve spent seven seasons and nearly 100 hours with these characters, so we arguably deserved the gratifying closure we got with Piper, Taystee, Gloria, Blanca, and, you could argue, Nicky, Cindy, and Alex as well. But the show wouldn’t have been true to itself if it wasn’t also a pointed, timely reminder of the injustice of the criminal justice system and its relentless hopelessness. 
While Orange Is the New Black has always traded in gray areas and the overlap between right and wrong, love and tragedy, and comedy and drama, there were no minced words or mixed messages in its immigrant detention center plot. 

What made this arc so remarkable is that, while a full-throated denouncement of our country’s immigration policies and the treatment of detainees, it didn’t feel political, didactic, preachy, or message-heavy. It was an exploration of the human impact of these policies, and the legal system behind it. It was an education in the procedures they must deal with.

Noteworthy: Fox News political analyst Juan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America


“To this day, Mr. Trump refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of Russian intervention, and the Republican-controlled Senate is unwilling to consider legislation for enhanced election security — maybe because doing either could be seen as an admission that the election was tainted,” the New York Times editorial board correctly pointed out.
“Conceding the obvious might seem like a small price to pay. But the president appears more concerned with nursing his ego than safeguarding American democracy — and that puts us all, Republicans, Democrats and independents, at risk.”
Let history record that a delusional president, concerned only with his own ego, and a traitorous Republican Congress, concerned only with their own reelections, chose to ignore Mueller.
In USA Today, you don't even have to read beyond this headline: Trump says Democrats 'always play the race card,' then calls Elijah Cummings 'racist'

July 28, 2019

My photoshop today
I put this on Twitter with the new hashtag #WeAreBaltimore and so far 445 people have looked at it.

Better to have a few rats than to be one (Embellished with my photoshops)

Version two photoshop

This is a president who will happily debase himself at the slightest provocation. And given Mr. Cummings’ criticisms of U.S. border policy, the various investigations he has launched as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist for his recent attacks on the freshmen congresswomen, and the fact that “Fox & Friends” had recently aired a segment critical of the city, slamming Baltimore must have been irresistible in a Pavlovian way. Fox News rang the bell, the president salivated and his thumbs moved across his cell phone into action.

Adapted from DonkeyHotey caricature
As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defense on Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.

Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.

Streaming video review -  If you are a fan of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix, this season is particularly timely and troubling. The writers found a way to address the issues of Trump's anti-immigration policy and ICE locking up immigrants in a clever way. The private company that runs the "orange" prison also runs a detention center. The cooks from the "orange" prison end up cooking at the immigrant detention center which is far worse than a prison.
Click above for story
What Brits are paying attention to. VIDEO below: What's a dog whistle ?

Michigan makes the news in a bad way again - not with Michigan State University this time: