October 6, 2022

Trump's "very famous pollster" John McLaughlin isn't THAT John McLaughlin

Trump's "very famous pollster" John McLaughlin isn't THAT John McLaughlin

by Hal Brown

Scroll down the page for news stories that break during the day which I think reader would be interested in.


This is the HuffPost story that led me to see if Wikipedia had added breaking news to to profile of the only "famous" person named John McLaughlin I'd heard of:

Trump’s Eerie Claim About Washington And Lincoln Sets Twitter Ablaze:

Former President Donald Trump made a claim on Wednesday that was wild by even his lofty standards. He said he would’ve not only defeated an undead George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in an election, but would’ve wiped them out in a historic landslide. 

Speaking at the Hispanic Leadership Conference in Miami, Trump said: 

“I remember a very famous pollster, very well known, John McLaughlin, came to my office just prior to the plague coming and he said, ‘Sir, if George Washington and Abraham Lincoln came alive from the dead and they formed a president-vice president team, you would beat them by 40 percent.’ That’s how good our numbers were.” 

Notably, Trump did not mention the condition of the zombie presidents in this wild scenario, which would mean a 70-30 landslide victory by Trump...


I remember John McLaughin as a TV host but I didn't know he was a pollster. I wanted to determine whether he was, and if there was any verification that he ever met with Trump to telling him about polls that showed him beating George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in a hypothetical race.
It took a minute to find out that there's another person with that name who is a pollster.

This is from a website called Historica Wiki:

John McLaughlin was an American pollster who worked for Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. An Irish-American whose grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1876 and became an NYPD captain, he was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey while his father served in the "Fighting 69th" New York Infantry Regiment; his uncle was the regiment's colonel. In 2018, he spoke out against a Newsweek op-ed which criticized the prevalence of Irish-American conservativ pundits in contrast to "sober"  Protestant pundits during the 20th century, and he argued that the Irish-American vote swung several swing states towards the Republican Party  due to the Democratic Party's identity politics.

We may never know whether Trump believed that his very own John McLaughlin was one and the same John McLaughin who was actually famous. 

It is certainly possible that the meeting Trump described actually occurred and that pollster McLaughlin actually conducted the poll he told him about.

I wouldn't be surprised if this actually happened and since the McLaughlin in question is still alive I hope someone asks him about this. 

What does surprise me is that assuming this incident occurred  Trump waited until now to tell this story. It is possible he forgot about it, though if he thought McLaughlin was really "very famous" it seems like he would have related this claimed poll result a long time ago.

Remember (like who could forget?) this story:


... and then there are all the cartoons and photoshops of Trump on Mt. Rushmore (Google images):

Click images to enlarge



There are three basic kinds of narcissism. One is usually called healthy narcissism which is tied in with having a high level of self-esteem and which often motivates people to excel putting aside elements of self-doubt when faced with difficult tasks. 

Then there is the pathological narcissism present in people who have all or most of the characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder which by now most reader are familiar with since numerous clinicians have explained how Trump fits into this diagnosis:

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) describes NPD as possessing at least five of the following nine criteria.[2]

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believing that they are "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requiring excessive admiration
  • A sense of entitlement (unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with their expectations)
  • Being interpersonally exploitative (taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends)
  • Lacking empathy (unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others)
  • Often being envious of others or believing that others are envious of them
  • Showing arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Then there's a third kind which hasn't made it into the diagnostic manual. This is delusional narcissism.

Mary Trump explains as a clinical psychologist how her uncle fits into this category here:


Delusional narcissism is the stuff of fictional characters whose braggadocio or imagined grandiose view of themselves is magnified for comedic effect. Think of the Evil Queen who utters the famous line “Magic mirror, on the wall – who is the fairest one of all?” Of course, think of the preening narcissist Donald Trump:


.....

While on the subject of narcissistic people in the news, there's Elon Musk, who I wrote about on Monday:

Click above to read article

Of course he wants to own Twitter. He's the world's richest person so he doesn't need the money. This is all about keeping himself in the news. Once he takes control most of what I read says that one of his first acts will be to re-instate Trump's account.

Assuming Trump starts tweeting there, which I think he will, it will render his Truth Social platform just about worthless. I don't know if Trump has any of his own money invested in Truth Social but if he does it will be flushed down the toilet. Even if he doesn't loose money it will on the list as yet another of his failed ventures.

He'll spin his return to Twitter as a victory and revel in having a large audience for his tweets. However, what he will also have to deal with is the media republishing some of the most snarky of the replies to his tweets the way they post the tweets like those shown in the HuffPost article referenced in my story today.

I will post news stories which pique my interest as they break though the day. Here's some you may have missed. 

Of all the details about Donald Trump in Maggie Haberman’s new book “Confidence Man,” the New York Times reporter said the former president was most riled by her reporting that he tore up and flushed papers down White House toilets.

“I think that was what upset him the most,” Haberman told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Late Show.”

“He had an immediate and pronounced and angry reaction to that reporting when I put it out many months ago,” she continued. “He issued a statement, it was a phone call to the world, and I think his exact statement was, his question was, ‘Who would know that?’ Which I think was actually a literal question that he was asking, but he asked it out loud.”

Trump in response to the story “spent some time asking his aides, ‘What do you think of that reporting?’” Haberman added. “Usually that’s because he’s trying to figure out whether something is damaging to him or not or how much more could be there.”

When Haberman initially broke the news, Trump denied the claim. The reporter later tweeted photographs of papers, with what appeared to be Trump’s handwriting on them, clogging up toilet bowls.

Trump coup attempt loses title of 'funniest Supreme Court filing'

What world do we live in that a satirical outlet defends First Amendment rights better than police and our courts?

Hunter Biden might be charged with some stuff — but not enough stuff to satiate Republicans

Feds say there's evidence to charge Hunter in relation to taxes and a gun purchase, but his enemies want to squeeze







October 5, 2022

Herschel Walker, or one part of him, may be telling the truth

Herschel Walker, or one part of him, may be telling the truth 

By Hal Brown

Other news that I found interesting on bottom of page

Breaking story:

‘Train wreck’: Herschel Walker criticized for new ad claiming God helped him ‘overcome’ mental illness


One does not "overcome" a serious disorder like he claims to have had with help from God.

Here's my original story:

During my 40 year career I have treated five patients with dissociative identity disorder of DID. I could write a book about them and my experiences in trying to help them avoid engaging in the self-destructive behavior which was caused by one or more personalities, or alters, trying to hurt or even kill the others. In some cases these alters didn't know that killing the body of another alter or alters would also end their lives. The belief system of such alters sometimes didn't include a recognition that they resided in the same physical body as the other alters. In fact when in control these alters often had far greater physical strength than the others and didn't experience pain.

This being said I have come to a conclusion about Hershel Walker claiming that allegations of his paying for an abortion or abusing his ex-wife are lies may be the truth as he knows it, or at least as the Walker saying this knows or remembers it. 

The best way to understand Hershel Walker may be to consider his own book about how he suffered from dissociative identity disorder (which until it was renamed it was called multiple personality disorder or MPD). You can read a good summary of it here.

To quote the article:

Everyone has various facets that make up his or her personality -- assertive, angry, comforting. But, experts explain, in DID, these various parts -- known as alters -- don't come together as one cohesive single personality. Instead, one or the other part of the identity takes over and determines one's behavior. Video

Asked how many different personality facets, or alters, he has, Walker replied: "To be honest, I have no idea." But in the book, Walker talks about a dozen. They're described by their roles or function: the Hero, the Coach, the Enforcer, the Consoler, the Daredevil, the Warrior, to name a few.

Some of these alters did a lot of good, he said. But others led to some extreme and violent behavior, most of which Walker said he doesn't remember. As a result, the disorder, or DID, led to the breakup of his marriage. "I lost the person that was like everything to me," he said. "I lost my wife and that's totally, totally devastating to me." 

Walker said a competitive alter caused him to be a danger to himself, playing Russian roulette more than once. In the book he describes another incident, the very late delivery of a car, that made him so angry he had thoughts of killing someone. It was the moment he realized had to seek help, he said, which ultimately led to his diagnosis.

 

There are two crucial sentences above:

  • Some of these alters did a lot of good, he said. But others led to some extreme and violent behavior, most of which Walker said he doesn't remember.
  • Walker said a competitive alter caused him to be a danger to himself, playing Russian roulette more than once.

In the first sentence what is most important to note is that he admits to amnesia. In the second sentence he refers to a competitive alter engaging in suicidal behavior. Calling this merely a competitive alter minimizes the fact that this alter was dangerously self-destructive and malevolent. Having such an alter is, if not a universal trait in DID at least is very common. It is a personality that in order to protect the core personality or personalities identified with the aggressor.


The following is based on my own experiences with DID patients, extensive reading, and attending workshops presented by experts.

DID develops as a way to cope with extreme childhood abuse. It is usually sexual abuse of a female by an adult male in the family, usually a father, step-father, or other caregiver. DID in males in less common. The most well known case of a male with DID is Billy Milligan. 

For reasons not known, some victims are capable of creating alter personalities which experience the abuse and then instead of developing totally amnesia for it create, through a kind of self-hypnosis, another personalty which has no memory for it. 

In DID a patient can have only two personalities, one with the abuse memories and one with no memory of them. Other patients may continue to create new alters to deal with other incidents of abuse, and then use this ability to continue to spin off alters to deal with other life stress.

Sometimes they never seek treatment because despite periods of amnesia they don't feel much distress.

It is an unfortunate aspect of the disorder that in the worst cases the patient has an alter that identified with the authority figure who abused the actual patient who is perceived by this alter as a different person. While originally a protector they can develop to be a destructive force in the patient's life.

A hallmark of DID is amnesia.  During many of the times when certain alters are in control other alters have no memory of what was happening. 

Here's a clinical example from my own experiences (with all names changed):

One of my patients first came to me with the presenting problem being that she was losing things, and when I pressed her to explain she reluctantly told me she was also losing track of time, sometimes entire days. In that first session I said matter-of-factly "is there someone here who'll tell me what happens when Alice doesn't remember what is going on. Alice was very puzzled by this question but I told her to bear with me and I asked again three or four times. She then changed her facial expression, looked me directly in the eyes, and said in a slightly different voice, "she's so stupid she doesn't keep her valuables in a safe place." I asked who I was talking to and my patient said "I'm Denise." Then I went on to talk to Denise and when I realized I was dealing with a full-blown case of DID I also ended up "meeting" the malevolent and dangerous personality who I eventually had to tell with in almost all of our sessions. This was George who eventually was created as a protector when Alice was being sexually abused by her father but when she was an adult also became her most destructive alters.

Successful treatment of someone with DID usually means working with the healthier alters to form alliances among them so they can resist having the dangerous alters take control. All of the therapy involves with these alters must be conducted with the therapist knowing that the dangerous alter is aware of your intervention and observing the session. That personality sometimes takes over so the therapist has to deal with him (with females it is usually a male) and works both an advocate for the vulnerable alters and tries to create a relationship with the dangerous alter. There are times when the therapist "makes deals" with the dangerous alter. 

Curing DID is exceedingly difficult and those therapists who claim they have done this may be deceiving themselves. A complete cure means that all the alters have integrated into one, that the memories of being abused have been dealt with in therapy, and there are no incidents of present day amnesia. The reports of amnesia with someone with DID means that another alter or alters were in control during the period of lost time.


Back to Herschel Walker -

If Walker really had DID it would mean that at some point in his life he suffered severe abuse and that this was most likely prolonged and came from an authority figure. It could have been a family member or someone in the community like a church leader or coach.

If he now is a mostly functional individual who still has unresolved issues with DID, perhaps with several personalities present at different times but with the destructive  personality dormant, he would still have amnesia for things that personality did in the past.

If Walker had DID it is likely he still has it. He identified several different alters in his book. If Georgia voters elect the body and the brain that contains them they are electing all of them to be their senator. He could also create new alters as needed once he is a senator. This isn't deliberate in the way we understand someone consciously developing a persona. People with DID sometimes have alters who create alters because there isn't one central psychic entity. They don't exist as one person, they exist as a group of people/personalities some of which have no knowledge of the existence of the others. They live their lives in a way unique to people with DID.

Other news:

I got my Covid booster last week. This news is, to say the least, very concerning:


Tweet of the Day comes from George Conway.



While much attention is on the Jan. 6th Committee and the DOJ investigation in the documents case this is happening in Georgia:


Nike co-founder is donated millions to independent Betsy Johnson's campaigns and her ads are everywhere, including on MSNBC where they are unlikely to influence many viewers. She may not win but she could be a spoiler for Tina Kotek, the Democratic candidate. I heard her speak and she is very impressive and I think would make an excellent governor of my adopted state. It Christine Drazan, the Republican wins, it will be a major setback for liberalism in Oregon.


Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson has made it clear in her first two days on the Supreme Court that she is not just any new justice. She is a justice who is ready to do what needs to be done.

I have followed the court closely for most of my life. I remember asking to keep the TV on during dinner to watch Clarence Thomas’ confirmation vote in 1991. I was in middle school. I have closely followed or covered the first terms of the seven other justices, all of whom took the bench after I graduated from law school in 2005.

In all that time, I have never seen a justice begin a career on the high court in the manner we are seeing from Jackson.

Most new justices take a bit of time before they start to really get up to speed. Even if their votes matter, new justices generally take a while before their presences are really felt on the court. As I wrote Monday, though, the court’s current makeup — and the cases the justices are scheduled to hear — could lead Jackson on a different path.

Thus far, she has taken that different path.

Under the radar story:



Albania weighed invoking NATO’s Article 5 over Iranian cyberattack

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama talks about the recent massive cyberattacks on his nation and when an attack warrants a NATO response.

Just a thought: 
I was thinking about the belief of liberals such as myself and my friends that being kind to others is a noble cause, perhaps one of the most noble, and of the saying "love thy neighbor as you would want to be loved" and its variations. Then I thought of people who lived by the saying "it's a dog eat dog world."

I wondered about the derivation of the common saying so I looked it up because it made no sense. Dogs don't eat dogs. I found it here.

The expression “dog eats dog world” comes from a contradiction of the Latin proverb “a dog does not eat the flesh of a dog.” The earliest version of the English version of the saying appeared in print in 1543. However, the quote thought responsible for the modern phrase comes from Thomas Fuller, in his book “Gnomologia,” published in 1732.

“Dogs are hard drove when they eat dogs.”

The modern spelling and format of the saying were in circulation in language as a popular expression by the 1800s. Language experts are unsure of the exact origin of the modern phrase or when it first appeared in print.

I am sure inquiring minds want to know who is Thomas Fuller. Wiki has the answer:

Fuller was born in Rosehill, Sussex, and educated at Queens' College, Cambridge.[1] He practised medicine at Sevenoaks.[1] In 1723 he published Pharmacopoeia Domestica, and in 1730 Exanthematologia, Or, An Attempt to Give a Rational Account of Eruptive Fevers, Especially of the Measles and Small Pox. In 1732 he published a compilation of proverbs titled Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; wise sentences and witty saying, ancient and modern, foreign and British (321 pp., London: Barker and Bettesworth Hitch) which includes the words, "Be you never so high, the law is above you".

By coincidence, unless you believe in a cosmic accidents, the quote "Be you never so high, the law is above you" applies to Donald Trump.

 

 


October 4, 2022

Elon Musk put a Tesla in space, now he wants to end a war, and other stories

 Elon Musk put a Tesla in space, now he wants to end a war, and other stories

by Hal Brown

You've probably been keeping up with this story:

I don't have any particular insights into his motivations for advocating for this plan in a series of tweets (here).

Here are a few replies to the tweets (click to enlarge image):




While it prompted lots of replies on Musk's Twitter feed, it also led Zelenskyy to post his reaction in a tweet of his own:

Other Ukrainian officials also responded on Twitter:




I don't think it's an outlandish assumption to think Musk believes that being the world's richest person he may have the world's biggest brain (we've heard that before).

Why not, then, shouldn't he be able to come up with an idea that will end the war of Russian aggression in Ukraine?

No dummy, 

Linus Pauling duped America into believing vitamin C cures colds...

and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry  had no background in medicine or medical research.

I suppose in a world where on one extreme we have a former game show host and rule breaking real estate developer becoming a mentally imbalanced woefully uniformed president and on the other extreme we have a comedian becoming a heroic  president of another country everyone's idea should be judged on their merits.

 Other news of the day 

This story is also related to Ukraine though in a very different way:

Deleted tweet proves the GOP’s Putin propaganda knows no bounds


The Conservative Political Action Conference parroted pro-Kremlin propaganda about Ukraine in a since-deleted tweet, fitting a disturbing pattern in the GOP.

Below: Let's hope dog lovers in Pennsylvania not supporting Walker, where some people may still decide to shoot their dogs when they are unable to hunt anymore, decide that they can't vote for someone who tortures dogs and other animals. They may be able to say let bygones be bygones for paying for his girlfriends abortions or not be bothered by reports that he was a wife beater but hopefully they draw the line at cruelty to animals.


Salon image augmented by Hal Brown

While on the subject of totally unqualified Senate candidates, how about the breaking news about Hershel Walker denying he ever paid for a girlfriend's about claiming this is a total lie? As you may have read in his book he revealed he suffered from multiple personality disorder:

He may be telling the truth as he knows it, or more specifically as he remembers it. In my 40 year career as a psychotherapist I treated five clients with this disorder, currently called dissociative identity disorder. A hallmark of this disorder is that among the various personalities, called alters, there are various kinds of amnesia. In many if not most cases certain personalities can take over with other personalities not having and awareness of what they are doing.

A true cure for this disorder come about when all the identities or alters are integrated into one and there are no amnesiac experiences when one personality is in control and the others aren't and in fact are totally unaware of what is happening. 

Walker claims he's been cured but there's no way to prove this. It is an exceeding difficult disorder to treat let alone achieve cure. In my experience the best a therapist can do is try to keep the self-destructive or dangerous personalities from acting on their impulses or desires.

It is quite possible that the personality or personalities that arranged for and funded the abortion blocked the memory from the other personalities. Unless all the personalities are now integrated along with all of their memories, there is a chance Walker is telling the truth as he knows it about the abortion.


RawStory paraphrases profanity in this title of this story:
Click below to enlarge:

Excerpt:

Trump, who plainly did not want to lose his top economic adviser, told Cohn he should feel free to publicly voice his disagreement, and encouraged him to go to the briefing-room podium and say whatever he needed to."

"You’ll do the right thing," Haberman writes that Vice President Mike Pence said, while putting an arm around Cohn like some kind of mafia movie. 

"Cohn said he would complete his efforts to pass a tax bill, which had been his passion throughout the year, and not stay much longer," the book continues. "'But you should assume I’m done,' Cohn said. He still had his resignation letter in hand, undelivered and unaccepted. As Cohn left the Oval Office, Kelly whispered to him, 'If I were you I’d have shoved that paper up his f*cking ass.'"




Excerpt:

"Increasingly core to a lot of people in the Christian faith, and particularly in the white evangelical world, is politics and culture," Wehner said, "and in a sense, faith is engrafted. It’s a secondary issue. A friend of mine uses the term 'hood ornament — that faith becomes a hood ornament: It validates these pre-existing attitudes and ideologies. But the way it’s being done is that people are unaware of it, because they’re going through and, in my experience and in my observations, is they’re proof-texting their preordained political, cultural, sociological beliefs, and then saying this is what the Bible says."

Totally out of left-field...

 ... because Portland is my adopted hometown I thought I'd share a lesson learned by some crooked strip club owners here. You may know that Portland is known for it's many strip clubs, some of which vie for the title of the quirkiest:

I suspect that these businesses take in a lot of cash, not only because patrons stuff greenbacks into the performers g-strings, but because men don't like to pay using credit cards for obvious reasons. Since I've never been to one I can't say I observed this in person.

Here's the local story about how trying to avoid paying taxes on cash can come with serious consequences:




 

October 3, 2022

Fantasy or Directive? Trump asks if Mitch McConnell has a death wish

Fantasy or Directive?

 Trump asks if Mitch McConnell has a death wish

By Hal Brown

Articles that piqued my interest as I find them today on bottom of page. Previous stories in sidebar archive.

Adapted screen shot from "24"

Trump has expressed violent thoughts and fantasies from telling audiences to beat up anti-Trump protesters to saying he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. 

Psychologically he's a malignant narcissist, a man without conscience or empathy who has grandiose fantasies you can see in lifestyle with the gilded trappings more appropriate to an old-time emperor or king than a U.S. president.

We know Trump lives in world where alternate reality and reality gets mixed up. 

We know he doesn’t read and loves to watch TV. 

We know it seems like he lives in episodes of The Twilight Zone. 

He also may identify with characters he sees as heroic in TV shows which play on his machismo and his paranoia. 

His cult has picked up on this as demonstrated by the number of depictions of him as Superman or Rocky:

And even as Captain America:

I wonder if there's a collection of this memorabilia among the documents the FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago (or "Mar-a-Uh-Oh," see below).

Perhaps Trump watched "24" where Jack Bauer saved the world in 24 hours, often by using torture. 

In fact, Trump has said he believes torture works and he has endorsed its use:

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump stepped up his defense Wednesday of enhanced interrogation techniques when dealing with terror detainees, saying “torture works.”

“Of course waterboarding is bad, but it’s not like chopping off heads,” Trump said at a campaign event in Bluffton, South Carolina.

The billionaire businessman has repeatedly defended the use of waterboarding in recent days since he mentioned it at a Republican debate earlier this month. Trump wrote an op-ed in USA Today on Monday saying he wouldn’t “take anything off the table” when interrogating terror detainees, but Wednesday’s remarks were the first time he embraced the word “torture.” CNN Politics

It happens that Jack Bauer used waterboarding on "24"...



Today we have this from "Morning Joe" as reported on RawStory:

Morning Joe reveals the disturbing reason Trump is trying to get Mitch McConnell killed




"Excerpt:

He understands he can't win, so what is he doing now?" Scarborough continued. "His rhetoric is becoming more violent, he's embracing QAnon conspiracy theories, he's actually boiling down his supporters, not doing what any politician who would want to win would be doing. He's boiling down support to find people that will support him for an overthrow of the federal government. That's my belief, and oh, wait -- that's what he tried to do on Jan. 6, just a couple of years ago. Just look and see what he's doing and ask yourself, why would he come out and try to get the Republican leader of the U.S. Senate killed? Why would he talk about a death wish in all caps? Why would he make a racist slur against a former member of his Cabinet who happens to be Mitch McConnell's wife? Why would he embrace QAnon conspiracy theories? Why would he keep, again, getting more and more radical when he knows it will only drive down the support?"

"The clear answer, as he supports the election deniers, is he wants to succeed in 2024 in the way he failed in 2020," Scarborough concluded, "and he's obviously ready to use violence to do that."

Here's a report from MSNBC:


Excerpt about Trump' s Truth Social post:

As a substantive matter, nearly all of this was gibberish — Trump seems convinced that the Green New Deal is being implemented, reality notwithstanding — but it was the “death wish” phrasing that stood out. Against a backdrop of elected officials facing violent threats without modern precedent, the former president apparently thought it’d be wise to publish a message that looked an awful lot like a threat

...

To the surprise of no one, no GOP leaders stepped up over the weekend to defend McConnell or Chao. The party also made no effort to criticize Trump’s racist comments.

In fact, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida made some Sunday show appearances yesterday and was repeatedly asked if he’d denounce the former president’s latest tantrum. He refused, sticking instead to vague platitudes.

Trump’s dangerous “death wish” rhetoric will continue so long as Republicans, paralyzed by fear, continue to look away.


The Hill summarizes a Wall Street Journal editorial. The paper is owned by Rupert Murdoch and their opinion represents the thinking of the editorial board. They call his posted remarks reckless and condemn his using the term "death wish" regarding Mitch McConnell.

Wall Street Journal rips Trump’s ‘death wish’ rhetoric


Excerpts:





“Mr. Trump’s apologists claim he merely meant Mr. McConnell has a political death wish, but that isn’t what he wrote,” The Wall Street Journal editors wrote. “It’s all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell. Many supporters took Mr. Trump’s rhetoric about former Vice President Mike Pence all too seriously on Jan. 6.”

The editorial also references Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who told The New York Times that she wouldn’t be surprised if a lawmaker gets killed amid a heightened threat environment.


A peripheral question I have is related to Trump's psychology. This is whether putting "death wish" in all caps in a Truth Social post means Trump is deliberately sending a message to violence prone members of his cult that he is essentially issue a fatwa against Mitch McConnell or is expressing his own fantasy of the powerful Senate Minority Leader, and major thorn in his side, being physically attacked or worse.

There is no doubt among members of Trump's cult there are some who are mentally ill and some who are so unswervingly loyal to him that they want to become martyrs to him and his cause and that they would at the least consider trying to assassinate  someone they thought Trump wanted eliminated.

Regardless of Trump's conscious or unconscious intent the fact of the matter is that, as the title in Steve Benen's article indicates, Trump's rhetoric is dangerous and could lead to violence.

Postscript:

After I got the idea of calling Trump's gaudy golfatorium Mar-a-Uh-Oh I saw this column in the Washington Post with the word in the title:

The premise of the column is that polls may misrepresent who likely voters will vote for. 

Excerpts:

This isn’t just about a single poll or a single state. I regularly talk with pollsters and campaigns, and I hear a common lament: Trump voters distrust pollsters and the media that reports on poll results, and simply won’t participate, out of protest or paranoia.

Or, if they do respond, they might present a problem that has long vexed political pros: social desirability bias, wherein people answering a poll-taker’s questions tend to shade their opinions and provide what they perceive as the socially acceptable answer.

Trump supporters might have the added worry of being attacked for frankly stating their views. Stories of those affiliated with Trump being arrested, subpoenaed, doxed or mocked — with Trump providing angry amplification — result in a lower social trust of strangers inquiring about political views.

.

The undercounting of voters who lack college degrees could mean also missing some Democratic-leaning Black and Hispanic voters too, of course, but they make up a much smaller portion of the electorate and, in any case, don’t tend to share the protest-or-paranoia mind-set that makes Trump-friendly Republicans difficult to poll.

One national pollster has called these under-polled Trump supporters “submerged voters” and the term seems apt, given how much can occur underneath the whitecaps of a roiling political seascape. He isn’t alone. Other pollsters have told me they share this view, and even their diligent efforts to counteract the effect — such as moving away from phone calls toward more online surveys and oversampling known GOP voters — have been unavailing.

FiveThirtyEight polling maven Nate Silver challenges the presumption that 2022 polling inaccurately favors Democrats, but acknowledges that his organization’s modeling “actually assumes that current polling probably does overstate the case for Democrats.”

One thing seems obvious: Until most voters trust the institutions and individuals in the political sphere, submerged voters will sink ever-deeper, not surfacing until Election Day, to cast their previously untracked votes.


As articles which pique my interest are published today I will post them below.  I want to thank new readers of my blog from the United States and other countries and note that my previous stories are all in the archive sidebar.


Gail Collins and 

Bret Stephens makes a case of Biden pardoning Trump for the Mar-a-Lago documents theft, Gail Collins counters.

Excerpts:

Bret: A pardon does a few things. First, as you suggested, it denies Trump the martyr card. Second, it humiliates him and tacitly requires him to recognize Biden as the legitimate president. Third, it saves the Justice Department from a potentially very tricky prosecution that it very well might not be able to win. And finally, it returns the public’s gaze to the far more important issue, which is Trump’s culpability for Jan. 6, which has oddly fallen off the radar screen.

On the downside —

Gail: Sorry, my bottom line is no no no no no. Don’t love the idea of trying him at all, but as I see it, the man is a criminal, and we can’t just say that doesn’t matter because he used to be in the White House.

Give me your final thought and then let me ask you about the other Big Republican Guy, the governor of Florida.

Bret: If Trump faces prosecution for the documents, it all but guarantees that no Republican will challenge him in a primary if he decides to run again. But if Biden pardons him, he will be a more diminished figure, making it likelier that he will face a real challenger. And given the choice — a miserable one, I will admit — I’d much rather see The Ron as the Republican nominee than The Don.

America Has a Ginni Thomas Problem by Charles Blow NY Times


Quote of the day:


In an interview with Rolling Stone published on Sunday evening, former D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone delivered an expletive-laden rant against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the likely next Speaker of the House if Republicans win control of Congress in November.

“I think at night, when the lights are turned off, Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan have some pretty choice words to say about the fact that they have to hang on Kevin McCarthy’s wall,” Fanone told Alex Morris. “They did some f*cking above-average things. And they’ve got to adorn the wall of this f*cking weasel b*tch named Kevin McCarthy, with his fake f*cking spray-on tan, whose f**king claim to fame, at least in my eyes, is the fact that he amassed a collection of Donald Trump’s favorite-flavored Starburst, put them in a Mason jar, and presented them to f*cking Donald Trump. What the f*ck, dude?” 

From RawStory


Hopefully this portends that the Supreme Court won't be quite as bad as we anticipate:

I wonder how well his pillows absorb tears...
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump who is trying to fend off a defamation suit from a voting company he falsely accused of rigging the 2020 election. 

Michael Lindell, the founder of MyPillow and a regular presence at Trump's rallies, is fighting a $1.3 billion defamation suit filed in federal court by US Dominion, the company that manufacturers voting machines used in several battleground states. 

Lindell's effort was denied by a Trump-appointed U.S. District judge last year. When Lindell appealed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the case was not ready for review. Lindell asked the Supreme Court to rule that he could immediately appeal in order to avoid "long and expensive" court proceedings. 

This is an excuse to repost the image I made for my blog post yesterday:


I'm not a cartoonist so I rely on InPixio and BeFunky to make most of my illustrations. Here's what political cartoonist Ann Telanaes posted on Twitter and in her The Washington Post column today:



Kevin McCarthy has a plan to distract his MAGA caucus with a 'shiny object': conservative

Excerpt:

 

According to the conservative commentator, what McCarthy has planned is nothing less than to "Benghazi" the Bidens, by which she means hold endless hearings while harassing the president with an impeachment threat as a way to disrupt the second half of his four-year term.
At the root of it all, Carpenter explained, is hopes that by harassing the Bidens they will increase their chances in the 2024 presidential election whether Biden is on the ticket or not.

 

I wrote about the Supreme Court yesterday (here). I expect we'll see more articles about them as their new session brings one horrific decision after another. Here's what one of my favorite columnists had to say today:



The Supreme Court's public-opinion nosedive might be related to the fact that one prominent justice is married to someone who actively promoted the Big Lie and sought to overturn the 2020 election.

All those opinions came virtually on top of each other at the end of the court's spring term, and its approval rating sank precipitously right after that. But the more recent nosedive in public opinion is likely also connected to the fact that one prominent justice is married to someone who was heavily involved in the post-election Big Lie campaign, and perhaps with illegal attempts to overturn the election. Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, was interviewed last week by the House Jan. 6 committee, and reportedly said that she still believes the 2020 election was stolen. That all might be considered a case of very poor judgment by the spouse of a Supreme Court justice, if it weren't for the fact that Thomas has refused to recuse himself from any cases pertaining to Donald Trump — and has consistently supported Trump in pretty much every instance. Furthermore, the public has gradually become aware that Thomas and the other justices aren't required to adhere to any clear ethics rules or standards — because there aren't any. 


This should be interesting. Damnit, just I could say this about all or most of the case they will run on this term:


The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear two cases seeking to hold social media companies financially responsible for terrorist attacks.

Relatives of people killed in terrorist attacks in France and Turkey had sued Google, Twitter, and Facebook. They accused the companies of helping terrorists spread their message and radicalize new recruits. From HuffPost


Also in Salon today:

Trump attorney lawyers up — and says she’s willing to cooperate with DOJ in Mar-a-Lago case: report

Christina Bobb has already retained an attorney and colleagues are urging Evan Corcoran to do the same

By IGOR DERYSH


Trump "will be convicted of multiple felonies": George Conway on the bumpy road ahead

Longtime GOP lawyer says Trump won't take a deal and will call for MAGA violence — but his time is almost up

By CHAUNCEY DEVEGA


I don't believe that Trump is going to plea bargain. I think he could go to prison, but it is more likely that he will serve home confinement. In all likelihood, he will be convicted of multiple felonies. I don't know if there's ever going to be a perp walk, but I don't think it's a fantasy either. There's a good chance that Trump will end up with a felony conviction. I know he has cut deals in civil cases, but that's just writing checks. To reiterate, I do not believe that Trump will plead out. This all goes so much to the core of Trump's identity that he will try to tear the country apart before he settles one of these criminal cases.

Donald Trump will incite violence on his behalf. He will try to pretend it is something spontaneous. Does Trump have enough power and influence over his followers to threaten the republic? I don't think so. But I do think it's enough to be dangerous. Trump has enough influence that people could get hurt. 

 This is a minor story about Marjorie Taylor Greene's divorce, no reason to put it here except to share the image I added replacing the one RawStory used. Since I also posted it on RawStory as a comment I cleaned up the profanity.





WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire said Donald Trump is "crazy" and joked that if the former Republican president was admitted to a mental hospital, "he ain't getting out!"

Sununu skewered Trump during the Gridiron Club's spring dinner Saturday night, an annual Washington gathering featuring skits and speeches from Democrats, Republicans and journalists that are expected to "singe" but "not burn" the capital's political elite.

"He's (expletive) crazy!" Sununu said in salty remarks that roasted members of both parties as well as the Washington journalists who cover them. The governor added: "The press often will ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy. And I'll say it this way: I don't think he's so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain't getting out!"


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