Showing posts with label George Santos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George Santos. Show all posts

January 27, 2023

Trump's secret plan for easily ending the war in Ukraine, Santos, and other schadenfreude tidbits

 Trump's secret plan for easily ending the war in Ukraine, Santos, and other schadenfreude tidbits
By Hal Brown

A link to this was in my email this morning:

Click above to read article
The article leads with these points:

  • Donald Trump appeared to criticize a decision by the US and Germany to provide tanks to Ukraine.
  • "FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES," Trump said on his social media platform.
  • Trump also suggested ending the war in Ukraine would be "easy," without elaborating.

    At first blush on reading this I wondered what easy plan the man with the biggest brain had for ending the war which he was withholding, perhaps figuring he could sell it to President Zelensky or his pal Putin or even the fake president, Joe Biden.

    Then it occurred to me. What a dummy I was. Of course the easy way to end the war would be for Ukraine to unconditionally surrender.

    This would no doubt make Marjorie Taylor Greene happy:
    Her tweet led to these replies:

    In case you read my blog about Greene's aspirations before I tweaked my original illustration which just depicted her inside of the presidential seal, here's the new improved photoshop.

    Back to Trump:

    I wrote a few days ago that Trump's having Truth Social is a gift to prosecutors. I wrote that Trump behaves like a child who has problems with impulse control who is having a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way. Once a tantrum starts there's a point of no return where the child, or adult in people like Trump, is no longer considering the negative consequences. 

    Trump can't restrain himself and perhaps with no-one around to vent to or make ridiculous self-aggrandizing claims to he takes to Truth Social where what he expresses can't be erased. From journalists tasked to monitor Truth Social to ordinary citizens there are many people making screen grabs of whatever he posts there.

    Here's an example. He posted this on Truth Social:

     “Does Coco Chow have anything to do with Joe Biden’s Classified Documents being sent and stored in Chinatown?” Trump wrote. “Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and, of course, China.”


    Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao fired back at former President Donald Trump for his racist remarks about her — insisting his attacks reveal “a whole lot more about him than it will ever say about Asian Americans.” 

    Chao, 69 — who has frequently been referred to by the former president as “Coco Chow” — issued the rare rebuke on Tuesday.

    Yesterday's National Review article referencing Truth Social was just reported on again on Morning Joe:

    And then there's George, or whatever his name is:

    This offers a lot of schadenfreude: 

    Kevin McCarthy "stands by" George Santos: Now the MAGA caucus owns his lies

    The Republican Party's illicit affair with a con man has already gone south. But Kevin McCarthy can't let go

    It is unusual, if not unprecedented, for a freshman member of Congress to make the top of the Washington Post website the way Santos has.
    Here's another story from the Post:

    This is breaking news Friday evening - I did add something to the photo:

    I thought it was interesting that website of The New York Times (see image) didn't have a single article about Santos.

    I blogged about George Santos yesterday and by this morning couldn't keep up with the new revelations about him to add to that story.

    Click above to read article

    The Wiki entry, last edited in 2011, appears to match up with biographical information currently provided by Santos, including his birth date and being born to a Brazilian family with a European background, Politico reported Friday.

    It also claims “Devolder” acted in a movie starring Uma Thurman and appeared in the TV series “Hanna Montana,” an apparent misspelled reference to a Disney show that starred Miley Cyrus, noted The New York Post.

    Any appearances as a drag queen by Santos could cause a meltdown within the Republican Party, whose members have very specifically attacked drag performances as part of their anti-LGBTQ hate campaign.

    On Jan. 11th I wrote Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come. No doubt, indeed, here it is Jan. 27th and he has been a gift that keeps on giving me pleasure, or schadenfreude if you prefer: 

    Schadenfreude is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another. It is a borrowed word from German, with no direct translation, that originated in the 18th century. . Wikipedia

    There's more schadenfreude eliciting news. 

    While the report that John Eastman seems likely to get disbarred, and that Marjorie Taylor Greene had an amendment about releasing oil from the reserves defeated in the House 418 to 14

    The most promising pleasure I am hesitant to let reach the level of schadenfreude is the news reported here:

    Click above to read article

    Also read: 

    Bill Barr asked Italian officials to discredit Russia probe — they responded with evidence linking Trump to crimes

    I am hesitant to let myself feel too optimistic about this. It could lead once and for all to proving that the dots are clearly connected proving Putin attempted to get Trump reelected. Ideally we may learn that the attempt to prove that the there was no effort by Putin to influence the election could prove the very opposite.

    I just don't want to get my hopes up since Trump seems to have the most tenacious Teflon in the world. Not only that, whenever I indulge in schadenfreude in excess I come across articles like this: 

    The quiet takeover of the Tea Party: GOP establishment is now full MAGA

    Click above to read

    Meanwhile, the MAGA movement, under Trump, took up what was once the undercurrent of the Tea Party movement, the culture war, and brought it to center stage. No longer did anyone have to pretend that all they cared about was spending cuts. They could hate on immigrants and Black people and gays and liberals right out in the open and could do it in the crudest terms possible. Conspiracy theories were encouraged to flourish and loyalty to Trump was the only "issue" they needed to care about.

    This new Congress finally brings it all to the fore. It's all come together. The anti-tax, government-slashing extremists are one with the revolutionary MAGA culture warriors. Today Speaker Kevin McCarthy embraces Freedom Caucus member and MAGA heroine Marjorie Taylor Greene while Freedom Caucus founder and MAGA leader Jim Jordan leads a crusade to "take down the deep state" and Freedom Caucus member and MAGA superstar Matt Gaetz plots ways to destroy the economy if they don't get their way. They are all one. These former gadflies and bomb throwers are the establishment now. They are the Republican Party. The metamorphosis is finally complete.

    File these under semi-schadenfreude:

    Trump slapped down by judge in bid to avoid Jan. 6 Capitol cop trial

    McCarthy allies scrambling after leadership fight eroded his power: report


    January 26, 2023

    Medical Mysteries: Diagnose Trump and Santos

     Medical Mysteries: Diagnose Trump and Santos
    By Hal Brown, MSW, Retired psychotherapist and mental health center director

    I subscribe to a medical newsletter which regularly has a "medical mystery" article which has a quiz of sorts where a patient is described with a list of presenting problems and symptoms. Then the reader goes through a number of pages which asks questions as to what the reader thinks the diagnosis is. The New Yorker may not be publishing these anymore, but they used to have articles about medical mysteries where a  patient presented with unusual symptoms and the quest to determine the rare disorder was described.

    Now we have two politicians who present a psychiatric diagnostic conundrum. 

    Trump was the easiest until recently. Numerous mental health professionals went public explaining how he fit the (unofficial) diagnostic criteria for being a malignant narcissist. By now I should have the link to this Wikipedia entry memorized having posted it so often in my articles.

    Today we have two Raw Story articles related to Trump's mental health:

    Click above to read

    George Conway isn't a mental health professional and may or may not be using the reference to losing touch with reality colloquially or clinically. Perhaps he means them both way since he has demonstrated that he's psychologically very well informed. Not being in touch with reality, that is being able to differentiate what is real from what isn't real (called "reality testing") is a hallmark of someone who is on the verge of having a psychotic episode or already being psychotic. 

    This summarized an article in the conservative National Review:

    Click above to read

    Consider this excerpt:

    National Review columnist Charles C.W. Cooke believes that former President Donald Trump has been more unhinged than usual, and his latest essay examines what he describes as Trump's "deterioration" as observed through his Truth Social posts.

    Cooke describes Trump as "ranting like a deranged hobo in a dilapidated public park" and he notes that his Truth Social posts are loaded with esoteric references that only his diehard fans can even begin to understand.

    Note the words unhinged and deranged both of which are slang for someone who is be psychotic. The message being conveyed here is that his behavior has worsened to the point he may be veering into psychosis.

    HUFFPOST had this article about the Cooke piece in The Wall Street Journal and offered this excerpt:

    “There was a point in time at which Trump’s unusual verbal affect and singular nose for underutilized wedge issues gave him a competitive edge. Now? Now, he’s morphing into one of the three witches from Macbeth. To peruse Trump’s account on Truth Social is to meet a cast of characters about whom nobody who lives beyond the Trump Extended Universe could possibly care one whit.”

    I used up my last free Wall Street Journal click to read the article and noted the first sentence: "The former president’s deterioration is on full display in the Truth Social asylum he built for himself." The word deterioration is often used in psychiatry and in the same sentence with asylum it seems the writer is making the case that Trump is ready for the rubber room.

    Here's how the WSJ article ends:

    Throughout his public career, Trump has resembled nothing so much as a drunken talk-radio caller from Queens, and, on Truth Social, readers get the treat of watching him at the zenith of his rhetorical powers. Nobody — and I mean nobody — can shift gears as fast as Donald J. Trump. One moment he’s proposing that the solution to the Supreme Court leak is to “arrest the reporter, publisher, editor—you’ll get your answer fast,” or, if that fails, “put whoever in jail.” The next, he’s describing the prosecution of his business associate, Allen Weisselberg, as “the greatest Witch Hunt of all time.” His repertoire is unmatched — and unmatchable. He can do edgy insult comedy for the people listening in at the bar: “The reporter was a shaky & unattractive wack job, known as ‘tough’ but dumb as a rock.” He can make numbers up off the top of his head: “The change in the Election was Complete & Total, with Millions of votes switched, at least 17%.” He can use hyperbolic analogies: “Our Country is SICK inside, very much like a person dying of Cancer.” He can even do angry: “May he Rot In Hell!” He can do anything.

    Anything, that is, except focus on the world outside — where the problems that Donald Trump once used to propel himself into the White House remain real and pressing, whether or not he chooses to engage with them.

    Several times a week it seems there are news reports of Trump lying with no regard for, or not caring about, the bad publicity it will generate. For example: 

    Click above for MSNBC story.

    We know Trump is impulsive. We don't know if he has an impulse control disorder, or whether his impulsivity is part of another disorder.

    In this age of QAnon and election denial there are so many people who believe things that are both irrational and false that researchers have looked into and discovered that the rates of people suffering from mental illness are much higher. than previously thought. Consider this article in The Conversation: 

    Many QAnon followers report having mental health diagnoses

    Back in 2020 I wrote 

    What psychotherapists can't tell us about Donald Trump. Why does he lie? Will be become psychotic?

    Hardly a day goes by that one or more Trump Truth Social posts make the news. Many of them are rants that come close to or cross the border between rationality and irrationality. 

    As far as George Santos goes, just this morning there are the following articles on Raw Story:

    Clockwise from left by first words in title: Bizarre, Complete Chaos, Man Listed, Critics rip.

    Since putting together this story collage another Santos story went up on Raw Story:
    Click above to read

    George Santos made 'offensive' past joke about Hitler and 'The Jews': report

    Posted Fri. Jan. 27:

    George Santos appears to admit drag queen past in Wiki post

    A user with the name Anthony Devolder wrote in 2011 that they won several drag pageants. Anthony Devolder is a Santos alias.

    All of these articles paint a somewhat different picture of Santos but what they have in common is that they describe someone who, to be trite, just isn't normal.

    Over my 40 years as a psychotherapist diagnosing uncountable patients I find Santos to be presenting a medical, or psychiatric if you prefer, mystery. Diagnostically the question about Trump and his diagnosis is easier because he has, probably since early adulthood, been a malignant narcissist. 

    Currently the question, the mystery, is whether or not he is either becoming irrational because he is having narcissistic rage episodes (read article) or is becoming psychotic.

    Santos may just be a stupid sociopath (now called anti-social personality):

    Antisocial personality disorder, sometimes called sociopathy, is a mental disorder in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with callous indifference. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior. Reference
    Most addressing this in the general media seem to believe this is the case and don't go deeper by delving into other possible explanations for his behavior.

    There are other possibilities. 

    The first that comes to mind may be the least plausible but I think of it because of Hershel Walker. Walker wrote a book (probably ghost written) about how he overcame having a dissociative identity disorder, commonly called multiple personality disorder. I am skeptical about the truth of this but it does explain some of Walker's behavior. It also could explain some of Santos's behavior. While most common in women who were sexually abused as children, it conceivable that Santos actually has different personalities (called alters) some of who have amnesia for that the others do.

    We do know that Santos, on the surface at least, is a serial liar since it isn't telling a lie if you don't remember doing something you really did. There's no official psychiatric diagnosis for being a serial liar. Like Trump, Santos has lied many times and paid no heed to the fact that his lies could easily be exposed as such. Of course if it was a horse race Trump would cross the finish line while Santos was just leaving the starting gate.

    Santos could have a borderline personality disorder, also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder. This is a personality disorder characterized by a long-term pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships, distorted sense of self, and strong emotional reactions.Wikipedia

    My sense is that there is evidence he has histrionic personality disorder. It is defined as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking behaviors, usually beginning in early childhood, including inappropriate seduction and an excessive desire for approval.Wikipedia

    No matter what one might deign to diagnose either of these individuals as having Trump is exponentially more dangerous since his cult doesn't care whether he's batshit crazy or not.  Santos is a gift to Democrats. Read  Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come.

     Watch satire of supporters of George Santos from his home district explain why they support him:

    January 11, 2023

    Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come

     Santos leads the GOP in eliciting Schadenfreude, no doubt more to come
    By Hal Brown, MSW

    UPDATE: Jan. 29:

    Original blog:

    There's no word in English, or any other language for that matter, for the German word Schadenfreude. Following the German convention it is often capitalized, which is good since it means it doesn't need further emphasis here, although I am tempted to put it in bold. 

    I experienced a delightful feeling of Schadenfreude when I read this article:

    As far as I'm concerned, and I expect other Democrats too, the longer George Santos stays in the House the better. I am sure that many or most of the House Republicans wish he would just go away as quickly and quietly as possible. They may be able to sideline him but I have no doubt that he will make himself accessible to reporters eager to cover his every utterance. "If it bleeds, it leads" certainly applies to Santos, and he's hemorrhaging.

    I am also watching reporters catching House Republicans being asked about Santos and enjoying watching them squirm as they deflect the questions.
    Below top center, Steve Scalise:
    Like Icarus, he is flying too close to the Sun

    I don't think it is wishful thinking to be convinced that Santos will not be the first Schadenfreude inducer as the House Republicans in the Freedom Caucus, more appropriately called the Free-to-Be-Crazy Caucus, grind the necessary business of the House to a screeching halt as they go full-steam ahead on their vengeance train. 

    I don't wish death or literal injury on anyone but I am reminded of incidents like this when a train went much faster than the tracks would support.

    The more-or-less not mentally unbalanced GOP House members like Jim Jordan, for all his grimacing, screaming, and screeching may have stories like this written about him...

    compared to the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert. and Matt Gaetz he's an exemplar of mental stability.

    The Schadenfreude with Jordan probably won't come with his swatting at hallucinatory flying pigs during a televised hearing which he chairs. While I'd like to see him turn into a quivering mass of incoherence when one of the Democrats nails him I doubt it will happen. 

    What I think will occur over time is that these hearings and investigations, especially the ones on the so-called weaponization of the federal government (read why this is the most dangerous) and Hunter Biden turn into Snipe hunts. I call it Schadenfreude delayed. When it happens...

    .... for Republicans, and not in a good way... it will be a nightmare filled sleep they can't wake up from.

    Updates: I really hoped George Santos would stay in the House for as long as possible, his being there causing rizik tsores (Yiddish for huge suffering) for Republicans. Now it looks like his days may be numbered. The Nassau County GOP called on him to resign. This makes it harder for House GOP to dodge the issue. 
    I wonder who the aide by his side, who gets in the elevator with him, is.

    January 9, 2023

    If Trump believes some of his pronouncements he may be clinically delusional

     If Trump believes some of his pronouncements he may be clinically delusional
    By Hal Brown, MSW


    I am tired of writing about Trump's psychopathology. Today's HUFFPOST story "Trump Says Biden 'Convinced' Putin To Bomb Ukraine In Mar-a-Lago Campaign Speech" prompts me to write yet another blog story about the question as to just how mentally ill the beleaguered former president might have become. 

    We know he's a malignant narcissist, but how can we tell whether he is veering into becoming a delusional psychotic? 

    In half of my 40 year career as a psychotherapist I worked in a community mental health center. Most of the severely mentally ill patients I worked with had been stabilized on medication so I only had a few chances to see someone exhibiting the delusions that were manifest prior to being stabilized on medications. Those times I did see patients who weren't medicated their delusions were the more typical. Several patients off medication had religious delusions and another believed a movie star was in love with him to the extent he ended up at the airport trying to board a plane without a ticket to be with his lover in Hollywood.

    When a clinician does a diagnostic assessment they evaluate the patient's rational thinking and reality testing. A simple mental status exam includes the following (reference):

      • Thought process
        The flow and coherence of thoughts, inferred from a client’s observable behaviors, especially speech. For example, if the client’s speech is rambling and disorganized, the examiner may infer that their thinking is also disorganized.
      • Thought content
        Thought content can be inferred from spontaneous speech and direct questioning by the examiner. For example, the examiner might ask, “Have you ever heard things other people don’t hear or seen things other people don’t see?” An answer of “yes” to such questions raises the possibility of hallucinatory thought content.
      • Insight
        How aware is the client of their own strengths and limitations?
      • Strengths and limitations
        Traditional forms of the MSE have been designed to record any cognitive, emotional, or behavioral deficits. 
        Consider how a clinician would fill out portions of a standard mental status form like this, in particular the parts below, for Trump:

    Here's more 

    Delusional disorder, previously called paranoid disorder, is a type of serious mental illness called a psychotic disorder. People who have it can’t tell what’s real from what is imagined.

    Delusions are the main symptom of delusional disorder. They’re unshakable beliefs in something that isn’t true or based on reality. But that doesn’t mean they’re completely unrealistic. Delusional disorder involves delusions that aren’t bizarre, having to do with situations that could happen in real life, like being followed, poisoned, deceived, conspired against, or loved from a distance. These delusions usually involve mistaken perceptions or experiences. But in reality, the situations are either not true at all or highly exaggerated. From WebMd

    Perhaps Trump is already so detached from reality that any mental health professional would diagnosis him as having a psychosis. There's no way to tell how much of his pronouncements are performances and what he really believes.

    Anybody who truly cares about his well-being ought to be very concerned about his lapsing into a psychotic state. Consider what you would do if you had a loved one who was expressing some of the beliefs Trump has been expressing.

    Those who consider him the leader of the GOP, those cult members who blindly follow him, should also ask themselves whether they are being led by someone who is so unmoored from reality that they may be clinically delusional.

    Another question which researchers could well look into is whether someone who deliberately uses gaslighting (defined as manipulating someone so as to make them question their own reality) for their own purposes can eventually gaslight themselves.

    Marjorie Taylor Greene as an example of a low information and gullible person as opposed to being delusional

    Just yesterday Rep. Greene addressed her pervious belief in QAnon conspiracy theories:

    Wanting to believe something is different than actually believing it. Consider the poster on the wall of the X Files' Fox Mulder's office:

    If someone doesn't have the ability to apply logical thinking to beliefs like those promulgated by QAnon ( including that the Clintons were responsible for murders, that the Democratic Party was responsible for a satanic child sex trafficking ring and that the California wildfires were caused by space lasers owned by a Jewish family) and gets all their information from one-sided sources they are vulnerable to being manipulated. Nobody wants to admit they were gullible and, as MTG said, that they were "sucked into" believing something that any logical person wouldn't believe.

    This doesn't mean they are clinically delusional. It may suggest that they have a low IQ but above average intelligence isn't a requirement for holding public office. 

    If anyone running for a major political office had to have above a 120 IQ and pass a battery of psychological tests I venture to suggest that the GOP side of the House would look very different. To the delight of Democrats, the GOP itself wouldn't be having to deal with this guy:



    Ben Kalom replied on this site...

    Thanks for blending in criteria. This helps secure our assertions that he is not mentally fit to hold any public office.

    Mentally fit - I do not believe it matters whether genetics, experiences, trauma, parenting or personal choices have led us to this place of a fellow who simply blathers about in social media. He has no ability to filter. Delusional disorders is the correct section of DSM 5-TR to be reading and giving consideration. That section, in addition to considering his personality disorder cluster, should be the hub of any diagnostic conversation wheel we use to chat about how best to manage our feelings about him, vis-a-vis his repeated insistence on being vocal on social media.

    There is a misperception of who might be considered "mentally ill." What I am referring to is the first defense he threw out to his crowd, "I'm rich!" Is there something about being wealthy that magically inoculates a person against mental disorder? I would offer the converse argument. Mo' money, mo' crazy. You need sage and sound counsel to help you manage your false-bottomed sense of total safety and security while living on this planet.

    Donald simply does not know when to shut the f#$k up.

    I am reminded of a training video in which Dr. Sal Minuchin was interviewing a patient with disorganized thinking. To characterize just how disturbing it is to the treatment professional to work with these folks day after day, Sal could not restrain himself and uttered, "What are you talking about??" in a most directive manner, hoping to encourage the client to get back on track.

    In delusional disorder, there's no thesis, no theme, no specific argument, no path that gets to anywhere. It is walking with a person who is lost in the forest and then finds yet another distraction. Being lost is the entire point of their delusion. It is how they guard against the reality of life. Life breaks through their ordinary protections with ordinariness.

    THat's much, much more than they can handle.

    The warning we who study the disordered persons and the qualitative/quantitative means by which they've gotten into the swamp they are in, need to heed is in the sheer number of people who are also in that swamp with him, and who came to that swamp, expecting to find a country club swimming pool. His ability to hold them in a promise of prosperity has increased whatever disordered thinking and feeling these folks experienced prior to believing his siren song.

    Crazy draws more crazy to itself. There's kinship in delusional status.

    Is Donald delusional? I think I agree with that assertion, and I encourage other helpers and human services workers and professionals to see the dead poseys in the hands of their clients, and although you want to be kind and offer unconditional positive regard, keep the truth in your head that no matter what else you hear, those flowers are dead.

    Donald is holding out dead flowers to his followers. That's what he's selling them. Dead flowers, purporting to re-animate them and make them alive again...

    If you are a realist like I am, then you see how difficult it will be to convince folks who drank his dead flower tea to walk away from believing the delusional reality they've walked through the looking glass and entered.

    Below from Tibel:

    Click above to enlarge

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