June 29, 2024

Biden's bad debate performance may or may not have been due to early dementia or a bad cold. He, and we, need to know which. By Hal Brown, MSW

 

Update -

This is obviously relevant: New Report Suggests Reason Biden Appeared Sluggish At Debate

Biden is typically at his sharpest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to Axios, which cited discussions with eight current and former Biden aides.

Thursday night’s debate was five hours after that window. Quite simply, it might have been too late in the day for him to present his best self.

Axios reported that the staffers have seen “flashes of an absent-minded Biden” akin to the version who took long pauses and delivered meandering sentences in a low, hoarse voice onstage this week. But they reportedly dismiss these moments because he is alert and engaged at other times.

International travel is also particularly tiring for the president, the outlet said. 

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


I speculated in yesterday's blog that Biden's bad debate perforance could have been due to the sundowning which often occurs in dementia.

Biden's North Carolina speech, albeit mostly read from a telepromtper, showed no indications of dementia. For example, in that speech Biden referenced the attacks on the Capitol and the police officers who were attacked as he has many dozens of times before. However, Biden fumbled when asked about the Jan. 6, 2021, coup attempt at the debate Thursday night. He failed to point out that the U.S. Capitol attack, instigated by Trump, included violent assaults on 140 police officers, with one dying hours later. Instead, Biden only mentioned the breaking of windows and overturning of desks in the building, as if the vandalism had been the worst of it. (From HuffPost)

But the debate was at 9:00 PM where someone with dementia not present during daylight hours could be manifesting symptoms. This is called sundowning.

There are other, perhaps more likely, explanations for what I described as possibly indicative of early dementia sundowning. 

We know he had a cold. It's possible that because of a severe cold he had a poor night's sleep the evening before. He may have taken an over-the-counter cold medicine, perhaps for the first time, and had an unexpected reaction to it. 

Some people have adverse reactions to common cold medications. Drowsiness is a common side effect. You may have had the experience of feeling "a little goofy" after taking a cold medicine. I can see why Biden wouldn't want to admit that he was off his game because he had taken Robitussin or Mucinex because it seem like he'd be making an excuse.

I can see why Biden wouldn't want to admit that he was off his game because he had taken Robitussin or Mucinex because it would seem like he'd be making an excuse. I've taken both products with no aside effects (and little if any effect on my symptoms) but friends have told me they make them feel spacey.

I don't see how an ordinary cold would account for the bad debate. However, a really bad cold could explain it, especially if he was having a reaction to cold medication.

The was reported in The Washington Post:

“As Joe said earlier today, he’s not a young man,” she continued, her voice upbeat. “After last night’s debate, he said, ‘You know, Jill, I don’t know what happened. I didn’t feel that great.’”

It was the most intimate detail anyone in Biden’s orbit had revealed about how the president viewed his debate performance on Thursday night, a dismal 90 minutes in which he stammered, stumbled and appeared to lose his train of thought.

If those closest to the president, especially Jill and his sister Valerie, notice that Biden is showing signs of dementia in the evening they would be well advised to talk to him about this. He should speak to his physician and if appropriate have a complete neuropsychological examination (read what this entails here)

If if does turn out that he is in the earliest stage of dementia Biden has the character to recognize he has to step down. He won't need to be pushed by the few people in addition to his wife and sisters like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and others listed here who he might be influenced by.

As for whether or ot Trump has dementia I am open to the possibilty, perhaps likelihood, that he does. Perhaps the symptoms are worse during the day. His sleep patterns are unsual. 


“We want a land schlade that’s — and remember this term, too big to rig. We want a landslide,” the ex-president said at his rally on Friday.
@Acyn wrote, “Trump slurs badly while attempting to say landslide: Land Schlade.”
@dcpoll said, “Hope he’s not having a heat stroke.”
@ArtCandee said on X, “Trump is unfit for office.”
@elliot_elraid66 wrote, “Mumbles having a tough day today.”
@cox_rea asked, “Drugs kicking in or wearing off?”

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June 28, 2024

Trump didn't definitively demonstrate dementia sundowning in debate but I was shocked to see signs that Biden did, By Hal Brown, MSW

 


If you haven't read the follow-up to this blog I suggets you read it here.

As someone who was holding off concluding that Trump had dementia until this debate when he'd be sundowning I didn't note this in the debate. I wrote about this on June 15th.

Trump was his usual malignant narcissistic self and when he unexpectedly saw a diminished Biden he responded like the sadistic bully he is. He verbally punched him again and again with a manic and repetitious unhinged attack filled with his usual lies and projections. 

While he seemed "demented" (meaning wild, irrational, and angry) what I didn't see was definitive signs of actual sundowning indicative of medical dementia. If anything I saw Trump as being more manic than usual. If he believed the lies he told he's clinically delusional. These psychopatholgies are not dementia.

I was however shocked to see that there were indications of at least very early dementia in President Biden, something I hadn't even considered before. 

Biden came across as off kilter but it was worse than this. He not only missed opportunities to counter-punch Trump but stumbled over his thoughts. Two or three times he referenced an important number, 400,000 and had to correct himself by saying he meant 40 million. 

What happened with Biden wasn't just his stuttering occassionaly. His cognition seemed to pause as if he was struggling to think of what he wanted to say.

There was one time when he seemed to have a "brain freeze" where his face went blank. When talking about the national debt he repeatedly lost his train of thought.

I wondered how he would do on the MoCA dementia screening test Trump bragged about acing. In his after-party when Jill Biden introduced him he told a story which seemed to come out of nowhere. He began his remarks with an anecdote he’s used before (see 2020 Vox article) which he says (perhaps erroneously) was in a John Wayne movie when he used the term "lying, dog-faced pony soldiers" where he is talking to "an Indian chief." I think he used the term "Indian" not Native American.

There were so many retorts Biden could have used. One came to mind as I was miserably trying to fall asleep last night. After the interchange about who was the worst president Biden could have said sarcastically something about how amazing it was that in the history of the country Americans had the opportunity to watch according to Trump both the worst president in history and the best president in history.

Another missed opportunity came when Trump said he was the one who had heart. Biden could have said that he hardly thought it showed heart when he pulled children out of the arms of their parents and put them in cages.

Then there was Trump bragging about his golf prowess and Biden countering with talking about his own golf handicap. Aside from the fact that many non-golfers don't know what a 2 hole improvement in a handicap means it was a foolish comeback.

This is an excerpt from "It’s time for Jill Biden to have a hard talk with her husband" in The Washington Post.

How Biden’s most passionate debate moment was defending his golf game. How, when he was served up a softball on abortion — Democrats’ most winning issue — he sputtered an incomprehensible answer about Roe v. Wade having “three trimesters. The first time, is between a woman and a doctor. Second time is between a doctor and an extreme situation. A third time is between the doctor, I mean, between the women and the state.”

Trump has an ad out suggesting Biden has dementia. I begins with a critique of Bidenonmics and then continues “Americans are struggling, Biden’s ignoring our problems. He keeps denying reality. Is it dishonesty or dementia?” The answer to the first part is, of course, that Biden is not being dishonest and if he does have early dementia it would have nothing to do with Biden's honesty. However, Americans need to know if Biden is either suffering from early dementia which may manifest itself symptomatically only in the evening at this stage or is in other ways is cognitively diminished to the extent he can't function adequately as president.

Updates:

Biden addressed a crowd at a rally in North Carolina today (below). Whether he was reading from a teleprompter or not he was a very different person than the one we saw last night. This was the Biden we hoped would be at the debate. One reason may be what I am suggesting. It is that he doesn't present symptoms of early dementia, or some kind of diminished cognition, during the day but when the sun goes down they emerge especially under pressure. This is the well document phenomina of dementia sundowning.

 Jon Stewart addressed Biden's debate performance (here) airing many painful moments and noting that this reaction to Trump was not a good look:

Then there's this:

Addendum: A neuropsychological assessement for dementia.

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June 27, 2024

CNN's Daniel Dale dares. He is live fact checking the debate live on X which will no doubt reveal how brainwashed Trump cultists are. They're already calling the him a liar. By Hal Brown, MSW

 

Rawstory has this article online today

They show Stephen Miller because he wrote "CNN pledges to 'fact check' Trump all night -- i.e. lie, smear and spin for Biden."

The CNN eporter that will be do the fact checking live on X is Daniel Dale. This is his X page with the top tweet currently about his cat.

As you see above the last time he tweeted was Sept. of 2023. The reason for the references to Canada is that (as Wikipedia tells usDaniel Dale "is a Canadian journalist known for rebutting a large number of false claims made by United States PresidentDonald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and presidency. Dale credits an encounter with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford while covering the mayor and his brother Doug for the Toronto Star as the inspiration for developing his brand of adversarial journalism."

I tweeted my reply (top of page) to him. Almost all of the replies on his X tweet announcing this are very positive. RawStory found these negative ones:

One user, @socratic_badger, asked, "Does anyone actually still believe fact-checkers are unbiased?"

@sooo_nance wrote, "No one cares about fact checks."

@Gigi12341983135 said, "Make sure you fact check Biden and his lies," despite the fact that Dale never specified he was only fact checking one contestant.

@Lynnrx52 wrote, "Your fact checking needs fact checked. You really shouldn’t."

This prompted Rep. Jim Jordan to weigh in:

I also found these tweets attacking Dale:

This was posted by this X user:

For Daniel Dale's sake I hope he has help in this ambitious endeavor. He will need at least two computers, one to post his fact check tweets on X and the other to quickly look things up to find factual facts. Merely tweeting that he knows something is a lie won't cut the mustard with Trump supporters when he lies. He will have to do what Politifact and Snopes does when they publish sources to justify their conclusions. 

For example: 

I will be watching the debate on MSNBC though I may check to see if CNN is putting Dale's fact checks on the bottom of the screen. I don't think they should do this as it will give Trump and his supporters something else to rage about in addtion to the questions asked by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash who Trump's says are Trump haters.

I'm not planning to see how Fox News spins the debate when it's over. There's so much right-wing bullshit I can take. I will watch the MSNBC post debate discussion. What I may do periodically during the debate is look at Dale's X fact checks mostly to see how many Trump trolls he attracts. The more he gets the better as it will show at least that he has had an impact with some Trumpers. There's no way to reach the anyone in the Trump cult if they ignore you.

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June 26, 2024

Emperor Trump would relish the role of ruling on the life or death of migrants in his proposed ultimate fighting league. By Hal Brown, MSW

 

I put togethet the above images. This is what you get when you ask an AI program to draw Trump as a gladiator:

Chauncey DeVega wrote in his column "A UFC takeover: Donald Trump's dreams of a migrant fighting league are no joke" that presidential candidate who said he'd only be a dictator on day one "is actively mobilizing the UFC fan base to support his second attempt to dismantle our democratic system. Trump said "I have an idea. Why don't you set up a migrant league of fighters and have your regular league of fighters. And then you have the champion of your league – these are the greatest fighters in the world – fight the champion of the migrants. I think the migrants’ guy might win, that’s how tough they are." He notes that Trump added that “migrants” are “nasty, mean" and "tough people.”

Trump’s dreams of a migrant fighting league are one more example of how he knows what his followers want and how to titillate the darkest and most cruel parts of their minds and souls. Chauncey DeVega

DeVega's column includes this excerpt from an article in The Hill  Trump, UFC and the new conservative culture war:


Donald Trump’s first public appearance after his recent felony conviction wasn’t a campaign rally or political fundraiser. It was an Ultimate Fighting Championship event. Earlier this month, the raucous, mostly male crowd gave the former president a hero’s welcome as he walked into the arena to the song “American Bad Ass” by Kid Rock (watch YouTube here). Then, they took up an anti-Biden chant. The choice of venue won’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention to conservative masculinity lately. For Trump, a professional fight is a political space, and his appearance there is a strategic choice….

DeVega concludes his column this way (my emphasis):

Donald Trump, like the other fascist and fake populist demagogues who are imperiling democracy around the world, is an expert at manipulating human emotions. The American mainstream media and political class have largely been unable to stop such forces because they are fixed on normal politics and institutions, and have a vision of political reality that no longer holds true. Trump’s dreams of a migrant fighting league are one more example of how he knows what his followers want and how to titillate the darkest and most cruel parts of their minds and souls. By comparison, the mainstream news media and political class insist on focusing on polls, votes, the debates, and the horserace when Trump and the other neofascists and enemies of democracies are winning hearts and minds. On Election Day in November, the future of the country will be largely decided by whose message is more persuasive and compelling.

Let's not forget this story:

Excerpts:

Asked about firing squads and other execution methods, the spokesman refers Rolling Stoneto lines from Trump’s 2024 campaign announcement. “Every drug dealer during his or her life, on average, will kill 500 people with the drugs they sell, not to mention the destruction of families. We’re going to be asking everyone who sells drugs, gets caught selling drugs, to receive the death penalty for their pain.”

At an October rally — to cheers and applause from his audience — Trump pitched a form of supposed justice that has been embraced by some brutal dictatorships. “And if [the drug dealer is] guilty, they get executed, and they send the bullet to the family and they want the family to pay for the cost of the bullet,” Trump said at the rally. “If you want to stop the drug epidemic in this country, you better do that … [even if] it doesn’t sound nice.”

“He had a particular affinity for the firing squad, because it seemed more dramatic, rather than how we do it, putting a syringe in people and putting them to sleep,” the former White House official adds. “He was big on the idea of executing large numbers of drug dealers and drug lords because he’d say, ‘These people don’t care about anything,’ and that they run their drug empire and their deals from prison anyways, and then they get back out on the street, get all their money again, and keep committing crimes … and therefore, they need to be eradicated, not jailed.”

Trump has suggested that migrants are rapists and drug dealers and I can see him saying to people like Stephen Miller "the only good migrant is a dead migrant" and muse over having them in fight to the death cage matches with the surviving winner going on to fight the White UFC champion. I can see Trump as the taking on the role of a Roman emperor deciding whether the victorious great White hope who is holding the migrant fighter who is writhing in agony in a strangle hold shows mercy or snuffs the life out of him.

Trump is a sadist who enjoys seeing people inflict pain on each other and lusts for the power to decide who inflicts pain on whom. He's a lilly-livered bully who wouldn't dare put himself at real risk in any kind of physical confrontation where he could be hurt. Grabbing women bythe private parts is his modus operandi.

Below: Feature images

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June 25, 2024

Thusday night, the Situation Room simulation, by Hal Brown, MSW

 

Click to enlarge image.

Trump has been relentlessly trying to make excuses for Biden performing well as the Thursday night debate appoaches, for example suggesting he take a drug test to see if a good performance could be due to his taking performance enhancing drugs or even resting up in a log cabin prior to the debate. He was referring to Camp David where like the young Abraham Lincoln people live in log cabins. This was an odd reminder from Trump who compares himself to Lincoln.

If Trump is preparing for the debates at all it has to be in between rallies where he makes joking threats about "the ovens" to Jewish people, fantasizing about setting "up a migrant league of fighters," swerving into his sharks and electic boats story, and reminiscing about the "late, great Hannibal Lecter" and asking his audience which Trump they'd like to see in the debate, the one where he calls Biden the worst president ever or being calm and collected.

There are two basic kinds of vitally important decisions presidents must make. One are those that allow for carefull consideration and consultation over a period of days or weeks. The others are driven by sudden events which, although hopefully not coming out of the blue, aspects of, or the timing of which, may be unanticipated. These are events that lead the president and top officials to meet in the White House Situation rooms. 

These don't have to be rapidly developing international crises. The West Coast could finally have the predicted devasting earthquake called "The Big One" or there could be a an incident of homegrown terrorism where dozens are killed.

The most well known photo of a real meeting in the Situation Room (really the room adjacent to it) is, of course, the raid which resulted in Navy SEAL Team Six killing Osama bin Laden. Trump has to hate this photo and the story that goes with it..

While this raid took place at 1:00 AM in Pakistan and this was watched at 4 PM in Washington it could very well have been in the wee hours of the morning here if if was in another part of the world.

American voters must consider who they trust to be president if, for example, Russia used a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine. They could decimate Keiv with such a weapon. They might time this to occur very late at night here, or coincide with the president being in Air Force One in the middle of the night on an overeas flight, where there is an airbourne version of the Situation Room. 

With radioactive fallout drifting into one or more NATO countries and Ukraine having basically lost the war Trump could decide to do nothing, or he could launch a massive nuclear retaliation depending on his state of mind at the time. Biden likely would already have a plan in place for this and similar eventualities and defintely not make a decision based on his mood.

Thanks to his posts on Truth Social, and previously on Twitter, we know what Trump's state of mind is when he's rage tweeting when most of us are sound asleep. We also have seen how in the recent year or two these posts have become more and more unhinged.

The closest we will come to seeing how Trump functions under pressure at 1:00 AM is the debate which will be between 9-10:30 PM. Ideally I'd like to see him debate Biden at one in the morning after both of them were surprised and taken to the debate stage, but of course that won't happen.

If it did Trump would have the edge in alertness since he'd probably already be awake and Biden would, like most people, be a bit groggy and have to get the cobwebs out. 

I've written before that if Trump has early dementia he will be sundowning during the debate. However, even if he doesn't have dementia we will see him in a time period he isn't used to public speaking except for having interviews with Trump friendly media hosts.

Biden, of course, did well in his prime time State of the Union Address but this was rehearsed and not a debate.

I'd watch the debate even if was live at 1:00 AM although for me being in Oregon it would only be 10 PM, still past my usual bedtime, but that's what naps are for. I'd like to see both candidates functioning as if they were dealing with a crisis at 1:00 AM.

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June 24, 2024

Steve Bannon may know that there is a huge risk that Trump will go off the rails in the debate and is looking for any excuse, no matter how far fetched, for him to back out. By Hal Brown, MSW

 

This was revealed in this RawStory article today 'They cut off my microphone': Trump spokesperson runs to Steve Bannon after CNN cuts her.

The article begins

Karoline Leavitt, the national spokesperson for the Trump 2024 campaign, showed up on Steve Bannon's War Room program Monday just hours after CNN abruptly ended her interview for insulting the network's debate moderators.

"And why are we in Atlanta, ma'am, with CNN, who controls the microphone on Thursday?" Bannon asked about the upcoming debate.

It concludes with Bannon's suggestion:

"CNN owes you an apology today," Bannon told Leavitt. "And if we don't get that apology to Karoline Leavitt and to the Trump campaign and to MAGA today, President Trump should cancel this."

Here's another article about the incident: 'Pathetic!' MAGA reacts with fury to CNN's cutting off Trump spokesperson's angry rant.

Considering that there's no way CNN is going to issue an apology for one of their hosts refusing to allow a guest to attack Jake Tapper, a CNN host who will be one of the moderators for the first debate, if Trump wants to heed Bannon's advice he has a reason to back out of the debate.

Bannon may have seen Trump at his worst, perhaps in the evening when he is sundowning with dementia. If so he knows that there is a huge risk that his cognitive problems will be so evident during the debate that they will be extremely difficult to convince Trump leaning but still undecided voters that the shark-electric boat type references and even more recently his going off on a rambling incoherent tangent about hair washing (see  'Off his rocker': Morning Joe mocks Trump rant that was so 'crazy' Fox News cut away) are just Trump being Trump. Is Trump play acting the joker and the buffoon spewing disconnected often self-agrandizing stories like "my uncle was a genuis at MIT and I've got his genes" or can't he help himself? 

If he can't help himself this is a strong indication he suffers from early dementia. He doesn't consciously know he's suffering from this debilitating irreversible disorder, but at some level may sense it which is why he attacks President Biden for being senile.

This is from Morning Joe:

National affairs analyst John Heilemann brought up a speech from last weekend, when Trump babbled about electric boat batteries and shark attacks.

"When Fox News thinks there is too much lather going on with Donald Trump and they are, like, too much lather, he likes to lather, a lot of lather," Heilemnann said. "That is how you know that he has jumped – you mentioned sharks there, I think I heard you. I don't think he talked about sharks in this event, but he has metaphorically jumped the shark."

Even if Bannon hasn't been with Trump in recent days it's likely he has seen his rallies. If he doesn't know anything about sundowning in dementia he may have concluded that the rules for the debate will not work to Trump's advantage, and in fact, may make him more likely to go off the rails like a train on a broken bridge which plunges into a river of no return.

Watch the Lone Ranger video these photos are from.

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June 23, 2024

Ten Commandments touting Trump given nickname by HuffPost: Dengenerate Don, and this glove fits. By Hal Brown, MSW

 

The article (link here) doesn't include the word "degenerate" presumably because the editors thought the choice of the word didn't need an explanation.

This article from Politico Magazine reminds us why the term degenetrate is appropriate. Of course I added Moses below:

Excerpts:

[Trump’s lawyers] wanted to say the other day that it was “he said, she said.” It wasn’t “he said, she said.” It was “he said” versus “she said, she said, she said, she said.” So there has been an enormous outcry of appreciation from mostly women for what E. Jean has done.

The Politico article is mostly about legal aspects of the case, but here are more excerpts which show what a degenerate Trump is:

It was very hard for her to use the word “rape.” It was very hard for her to acknowledge that she’d been hurt by it. And it was really during the case itself — like somewhere in her head — she knew that she’d been unable to date any man since what happened, but she had a really hard time acknowledging the link.

And just so people understand: The reason for the link is — and this is a classic response to trauma — she believed that she was at fault for when she ran into Trump at the store for kind of having this jocular, kind of flirty conversation together, which they were, for sure, until he pushed her into the dressing room. And she blamed herself and thought that was a stupid thing to do. And as a result, since the assault, she had been unable to flirt with a man who was eligible because that had gotten her into such trouble.

And then, of course, there's this:

Gov. Jeff Landry gave a gift to Donald Trump. Now Trump can run as The Ten Commandment in the schools choice and the candidate of a new main man, Moses, another version of being the chosen candidate of God and Jesus. Perhaps he'd think this could prompt more Jews to vote for him.

AI Generated

Perhaps Landry wants to be the last minute choice to run as his vice president. It took a New York minute for Trump to jump on the 10 Commandments in schools bandwagon. 

I can see the impulsive Trump deciding to surprise everyone, almost everyone since I wouldn't be surprise, to chose Landry to run as his vice presidential running mate. After all, he has become a national star of the Evangelicals almost overnight. He has demonstrated Trumpian in-you-face audacity.



This story is all over the news. For example on MSNBC this morning:

Trump is now saying how wonderful the 10 Commandments are and how much he believes in them. I very much doubt that he could discuss in any depth how the actual commandments enumerated in the Bible are relevant to living an ethical and moral life today. Consider this description of the 10 Commandments from observing the sabbath to not stealing, to not committing adultry to not coveting your neighbors wife or servant: 

It would be a frigid day in Hell that Trump would be able to cricically analyze the 10 Commandments the way this website does.

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Amazing! Trump just got some bigots pissed off. By Hal Brown, MSW

  I had to read the RawStory article shown above three times to figure out what happened. Trump was showing his supposed support for law enf...