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February 22, 2017

My opinions plus select items from progressive websites

LINKS:Huffington Post Daily Kos Politico  Slate Salon Vox The Hill Think Progress AlterNet BuzzFeed

You can go back to past prior to Feb. 15 here.
You can read all of my articles about Trump here.




Mar. 12, 2017
Where there’s smoke department

 Last week, watchdog groups asked Bharara (the fired Federal DA for New York Southern District) to investigate Trump regarding foreign business deals, according to The Washington Post. The groups requested the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York look into whether the president had gotten benefits from foreign governments, in violation of the Emoluments Clause.

"I think that, again, what has been happening is that there is an air of distrust that has been brought on by President Trump himself," Cummings said Sunday.

"So I think that in part, the president has created this situation for himself. But yeah, sure, no doubt about it, when they asked about the Emoluments Clause and possible violations of it and the U.S. attorney's relationship to that, I think that had perhaps something to do with."

When pressed further on whether he thinks there might be a connection, Cummings said: "There very well may be.”



Watch out Trump. Jerry Springer
on AM Joy rails against you and how you want to delegitimize the legitimate media.

Today’s segment isn’t posted yet but a similar discussion from yesterday is here:
Who are the advisers and media players apparently feeding the president 'alternative facts'? Joy Reid and her panel discuss how fake news harms our democracy. Duration: 13:33


Mar. 11, 2017
Another exclusive, psychoanalyst Skary Klown:

Weekend Trump Mental Health News Dump
As Timothy Snyder explains in his fine and frightening recent pamphlet “On Tyranny,” a minority party now has near-total power and is therefore understandably frightened of awakening the actual will of the people. Snyder writes, “The party that exercises such control proposes few policies that are popular and several that are genuinely unpopular—and thus must either fear democracy or weaken it.” This is a toxic combination: a screw-loose leader ready to say anything, an unpopular party that wants to keep him from being exposed for what he is—even as the door swings wildly on whatever’s left of its hinges—for fear of having its policies exposed for what they are. It’s, well, crazy. And where we are.



Mar. 10, 2017
Friday’s Trump Mental Health News Dump
1) Trumps paranoid pedigree by , MacLeans
A dangerous echo chamber emerges when a paranoid administration engages in routine motivated reasoning, as well as confirmation bias (interpreting new evidence as supporting one’s existing beliefs) and availability bias (“evidence” that is close at hand is more likely to be drawn upon). After all, the more the press, activists, and other citizens call the president out, the more paranoid, defensive, and combative he and his administration become.
Whatever the status of Trump’s mental health, the paranoia of his administration combined with his approach to reasoning and arguing are of at least as much concern—and are much easier to evaluate. I suppose that’s the good news. The bad news, of course, is that by all indications we shouldn’t expect his team to change its tack for the better any time soon.
2) What should we do about a mentally ill president? by Jim Hightower, AlterNet
We have a president who is detached from reality, careening from one mess to another. But who will say, the emperor has no clothes? He's so far gone that when he read his recent address to Congress straight off the teleprompter, without his usual pugnacious ranting, Republican enablers of his antics and even the media establishment he scorns applauded him for being "presidential."
Huh? The speech was a nasty wad of lies and right-wing nonsense. If the occasional appearance of sanity is all we ask of Trump, then his reign of insanity will be our fault. His loved ones and his party should intervene, for his sake and for America's. But they won't. Will we?

Here’s one I wrote today. It’s a commentary about one of the illogical decisions made by the Trump administration: cutting the Coast Guard. It’s based on what I learned from a former Coast Guard boarding team member.

This is story is both depressing and inspiring.

Pres. Crazy meets the Real World Dept.
Link

Thurs., Mar. 9, 2017
I  optioned and modified the arrows on this. 

Rachel Maddow on the Russian Connection.


Question: How did Tillertson know which top senior State Department officials to fire? Putin? Why does Trump want to cut the State by 37%? 
Putin hates the State Department. Tillertson is a friend of Putin. Add it up.


Here’s another segment.


First Phillip Zimbardo, now another well known psychologist, Robert Jay Lifton, who most psych majors and others studied in college, has spoken out about Trump. This is in a letter to the New York Times. While this letter by Lifton and another psychiatrist (Judith Herman is no slouch either) doesn’t diagnose Trump, I’ve highlight the part that add up to a diagnosis.

‘Protect Us From This Dangerous President,’ 2 Psychiatrists Say

To the Editor:
Soon after the election, one of us raised concerns about Donald Trump’s fitness for office, based on the alarming symptoms of mental instability he had shown during his campaign. Since then, this concern has grown. Even within the space of a few weeks, the demands of the presidency have magnified his erratic patterns of behavior.
In particular, we are struck by his repeated failure to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and his outbursts of rage when his fantasies are contradicted. Without any demonstrable evidence, he repeatedly resorts to paranoid claims of conspiracy.
Most recently, in response to suggestions of contact between his campaign and agents of the Russian government, he has issued tirades against the press as an “enemy of the people” and accusations without proof that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, engaged in partisan surveillance against him.
We are in no way offering a psychiatric diagnosis, which would be unwise to attempt from a distance. Nevertheless, as psychiatrists we feel obliged to express our alarm. We fear that when faced with a crisis, President Trump will lack the judgment to respond rationally.
The military powers entrusted to him endanger us all. We urge our elected representatives to take the necessary steps to protect us from this dangerous president.
JUDITH L. HERMAN
ROBERT JAY LIFTON, NEW YORK
Dr. Herman is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lifton is a lecturer in psychiatry at Columbia University and professor emeritus at CUNY.
Special:
An unpublished cartoon by Alan Mayrell which you won’t see anywhere else.


Weds., Mar. 8, 2017
Good read:
He is inept and incompetent. He is petulant and hugely disorganized, sloppy by multiple definitions, his harried, frustrated staff ever in a state of confusion, a mad scramble for footing that’s never to be found.
He is temperamental, raging, a truly unstable old man-child with terrible impulse control, tweeting, replete with tyyppos and ALL CAPS, one moment about how former president Obama “wire tapped” his hotel, and then, apparently bored with that extremely serious but entirely unfounded criminal accusation, choosing, less than an hour later, to blast Arnold Schwarzenegger’s low ratings on Celebrity Apprentice, the President of the United States whipsawing between whiny emotional sneer and nutball right-wing conspiracy theory like a glue-sniffing ‘tween.
There is no accounting for it all, except to suggest mental instability, a savage derangement wrought of too much power swallowed too quickly into a bloated orange fleshball completely incapable of handing it; there is no compass of any kind, nothing to prevent the President of the United States from drunk-texting America in a spazzy, demon-haunted pre-dawn fury. CONTINUED

LOCAL:

Oregon JCC evacuated after bomb threat


Campus was evacuated Monday night; FBI continues its ongoing investigation into threats nationally


Frotteurism is a paraphilic interest in rubbing, usually one's pelvic area or erect penis, against a non-consenting person for sexual pleasure. It may involve touching any part of the body, including the genital area. A person who practices frotteuristic acts is known as a frotteurToucherism is sexual arousal based on grabbing or rubbing one's hands against an unexpecting (and non-consenting) person. It usually involves touching breasts, buttocks or genital areas, often while quickly walking across the victim's path. Some psychologists consider toucherism a manifestation of frotteurism, while others distinguish the two. (Wikipedia)


Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2017
Another must read for shrinks and everyone else worried about Trump’s mental health, by a distinguished psychologist who you studied if you ever took social psychology.


If you missed The Last Word with a angry Lawrence O’Donnell talking about Trump’s mental health:
“Immigrants See American Dream Fade in Wake of Surge Hate Crimes,” Sputnik News, another English language outlet bankrolled by the Kremlin, reported the same day.
“America is in the grips of hatred,” the Russian television commentator Dmitry Kiselyov told viewers of the Rossiya 1 network on Sunday night. The popular host, appointed directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested the political discord could lead to violence in gun-friendly America — “a dangerous combination with free-flowing firearms,” he said.
These days, even when Russian commentators praise Trump, the compliment seems backhanded. 
A CrossTalk discussion of Trump’s Tuesday address to Congress last week used terms reminiscent of Americans mocking Soviet authoritarianism. 
“If you recall how they were applauding Trump, I think 95 times they stood up,” said Edward Lozansky, president of the American University in Moscow. “Even during the Brezhnev time I don't recall that the delegates to the party congress stood up and gave standing ovations 95 times.” 

Monday, Mar. 6, 2017

A Daily Dose of The Donald:



Not a link. The front page says it all, aside from the instability opinion theres nothing new in the story.
The Daily News manages to refine the essence of a Trump story into a cover. Sometimes there’s actually news in the story, but often all you and millions of New Yorkers need to see is the cover. If you’ve ever visited The Big Apple you know that the major tabloids, the liberal Daily News, and the conservative Post, are at newsstands everywhere. It’s just by the GOOBERS, (chocolate covered NUTS) perfect place for the Trump stories.


Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017
Evening bedtime story: \
Excepts from CNN article:

When the President returned to the White House Thursday evening from a day trip to Virginia, there were "a lot of expletives." The source said for more than a week Trump had been lamenting that his senior staff "just keep getting in their own way."

(Bannon and Priebus weren’t allowed to go to Mir-A-Lago this weekend –HB)

The President is showing increasing flashes of anger over the performance of his senior staff and daily developments about Russia overshadowing his message, multiple people inside the White House and outside the administration told CNN.


Reassuring to have a level-headed president: 
Washington Post
North Korea launches more missiles; three land in Japanese waters
Washington Post - ‎23 minutes ago‎
TOKYO - North Korea launched four missiles Monday morning, a provocative barrage that coincided both with joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises on the southern half of the peninsula and with the opening of the annual National People's Congress in ...


Here’s an interesting article by a psychiatrist who more or less deftly side-steps the Goldwater Rule. I posted it in its entirety under another rule called Creative Commons since he published allowing it to be shared. It is an excellent article about alternative facts. My introduction: 


Dr. Pies is a member of the American Psychiatric Association is abiding by the Goldwater rule and isn’t diagnosing a public figure from a distance. Like you, I can only speculate about what prompted him to write about alternative facts. Google news has 2.3 million results for alternative facts, almost all of them referencing he same group of people. 
In fact, lest anyone think this scholarly discussion of the psychology of alternative facts, actually about those in the White House from Trump on down they only have to click on his first link in the third and fourth word which takes you to the video of the now famous interchange between Kellyanne Conway and Chuck Todd when she introduced the phrase “alternate facts” into pour the political lexicon. 
Following the article I have a poll asking what you think about how the author, a psychiatrist, dealt  with the Goldwater rule.



Saturday, Mar. 4, 2017




Early comments on the Trump Tweet-storm: Who said it was only the FBI wiretapping Trump?
If you’ve been hiding under your blanket this morning, here’s the latest insanity.

Trump accuses Obama of ‘wire tapping’ Trump Tower phones

So you don’t have to, here’s how Fox News is covering this weekend blockbuster. Already calling it a “witch hunt” but, defending on how define them witches may or may not be real, spies are real. My hunch is that American spies legally tapped Trump Tower with a FISA warrant, and the Russians did it as part of their major effort to control a would-be president. Watch how convoluted in-the-bag Fox News reaction in. Especially, the idea that Trump the paranoid wouldn’t have made these Tweets unless he had concrete evidence. Of course, even paranoids get wiretapped.

Friday, Mar. 3, 2017
Not a link

For serious students of the Russia - Trump -Sessions connection: compare what the Russian RT website has to say about it, with what former American Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul has to say in The New Yorker.
This is a companion to my story about the power of Rubert Murdoch to depose Trump:



Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017

My latest story for Daily Kos:


The latest message from Trump’s psychoanalyst Dr. Howard Covitz, the Skary Klown.


For the French Club at Willamette View:
Or in English: Dr. John Gartner is not a joke. This eminent psychiatrist who has taught for over twenty years at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, is a specialist in depression and bipolar disorder. Not the kind to make a diagnosis lightly. But for him, no doubt: the American president is psychically ill, unfit to perform his duties. On the phone, he explains very seriously:

"Donald Trump suffers from serious personality disorders that make him potentially dangerous to himself, others and the world.”

The president of the first world power is, according to him, "a narcissistic psychopath, paranoid, detached from reality", a "psychiatric Frankenstein" that it is irresponsible to leave in possession of nuclear codes ...

In early February, he launched a petition calling for the removal of the president who in a few days gathered the signature of 28,000 doctors, psychiatrists and other specialists in behavioral disorders. Known for his democrat sympathies, Dr. Gartner was accused of having a partisan diagnosis. "Absurd," he replies.

Weds., Mar. 1,  2017
Tonight on MSNBC: Discussion of the Trump-Putin connection. — amazing breaking news which you’ll read and heat about Thursday. For now, because Sessions lied saying he didn’t talk to the Russian ambassador, within an how Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren have demand he resign. Note how Warren’s mind changed over a few minutes.



Since I began writing about my case for diagnosing Trump as mental ill back in April, I’ve read every article published by therapists about this, or referencing them. I’ve also had daily online discussions with over a dozen shrinks from around the United States and foreign countries. One of the questions we wondered about was whether Trump, suffering as he does form malignant narcissistic personality disorder, could become psychotic when things stopped going his way. This reportedly is what happened to Nixon. This is a must read by a clinical psychologist who is an expert on narcissistic personality disorder. 
It answers the question:
Diagnosing NPD is complicated, but the core of the disorder comprises what I call triple Eexploitation, callously using others to maintain a special status; entitlement, acting as if the world should bend to one’s will; and finally empathy-impairment, where the drive to feel special blinds people to the pain and suffering of others. More troubling, because they desperately need to feel special, people with NPD can become psychotic.  
Just like narcissism and most traits or conditions, psychosis lies on a spectrum. On the low end, people become “thought-disordered,” that is, use tortured logic, deny embarrassing facts, and show horrendous judgment. On the upper end, they may have auditory and visual hallucinations and paranoid delusions. As their special status becomes threatened, people with NPD bend the truth to fit their story of who they are. If reality suggests they’re not special, but flawed, fragile, and—even worse—mediocre, then they simply ignore or distort reality. 
Follow me on Twitter.

I did watch the speech; but this is a well worth reading comment which comes from this story on Daily Kos:


I didn’t bother watching it, so I’ve only seen parts.  In all fairness, what I saw looked pretty good… for Trump.  But, that’s a low bar to have to hurdle.  If he didn’t come out there and do GG Allin’s old act and leave the stage covered in bodily waste and run off with the microphone up his ass, then he put in a pretty good performance.   He stuck to the teleprompter, and he did say a few good thing.  It was nice to see the widow get appreciated (even though he was using her as a prop), and I was glad to see him finally condemn the attacks on the Jewish community (and it’s weird that doing so counts as an act of bravery for Trump, who can’t stand to go against any of the people who “like” him).   So, overall, I’ll give him some props… based on the clips, and graded on a scale.
But, y’know what?  None of it matters a damn, because this president has ZERO credibility with any thinking person.   He’s burned that to the waterline.  Trump is a blatant liar.  He lies about everything.  He lies about things he doesn’t even need to lie about, and lies about stuff that we all witnessed.  Seriously, at least two thirds of the things that come out of his mouth are complete bullshit.  I don’t trust this pud to truthfully tell me what he had for lunch.   He lies about when the sun’s shining and when it’s not, for fucksake, so who can believe him on anything else?   It’s a con game, which is why I didn’t bother sitting through the whole thing.   When someone’s a pathological liar, and his staff writers are evil, cynical manipulators, I have no reason to listen to a speech they make, because I’m not a moron, and I’m not about to believe that shit.   I know what he is, he’s proven it multiple times, and so however well he reads it off, or however nice white supremacist pieces of shit like Bannon and Miller have made their deceptions sound, is im-fucking-material.   I don’t have time for ‘em and there’s no point.   It’s like listening to Ted Bundy read an essay by Gloria Steinham — the words will be nice, but you know that no matter what they say, the guy reading them is going to murder some woman within the week.
The speech didn’t matter at all, except to the people who support him.   They loved it, but they’re lost-fucking-causes who’ll believe anything.   I’m amazed these people get through their day without a minder.  They’re the people who are out buying new furniture because they’re about to become insanely rich due to a deal they made with an Ethiopian prince who contacted them in their e-mail.   I look at Twitter and all these people who are bursting with pride because they ate up every word Trump said, and I just shake my head at what’s become of intelligence in this country.  I know it’s “mean” and some would say counterproductive to call them idiots, but, I don’t care…  I’ve lived around these people my entire life here in my red Southern state, and I’m not P.C. enough to not call them what they are… which is a bunch of barely-functional idiots.   And there’s no reason to be diplomatic about that, because being “nice” to them is never going to reach them, anyway — they’ll never believe you, because they’re already locked onto what they want to think, and it’s being fed pure candy bullshit, and they’re happy little drones.   
They want to believe the shit Trump tells them, and they’re terrified of not being in a homogenized, safe, unchallenged majority where all their comforting superstitions and bad ideas are supported.  Anyone cynical and conscience-less enough to tell them the lies they want to hear can lead them to the slaughter like a pack of sheep.  And Bannon (because, face it, that’s who’s really the president) is sociopath enough to do it.  He knows they’re stupid, and he feels nothing about exploiting them.  And, really, maybe he shouldn’t.  Their stupidity is at such an infuriating level that you almost want to punish them for it by leading them into a trap.
And, they’re in one now, for certain.  They’re “bursting with pride” over the speech of a guy who’s pissing all over ‘em.   They just don’t know it yet.  But, like every cow that’s ever been led down a kill-chute, they’ll get sledgehammered with a nice surprise at the end.  Then they’ll wail “I didn’t know!” no matter how hard we tried to tell them. 
Tuesday, Feb, 28, 2017


I think we all need a dose of Jon Stewart right about now.



Here’s a challenge for my psychotherapist friends who consider Trump to be suffering from various psychiatric disorders. This article won’t change my mind and I doubt it will change yours. However, it is what Trump supporters want to believe that his impulsivity and just plain weirdness is part of a calculated act. The observations from the people who worked for Trump decades ago is important to factor into figuring out how much of Trump’s behavior is personality disorder and how much is cultivated persona. 
So while smart, experienced political professionals have called the start to the Trump presidency unprecedented in the annals of the office, it is not unprecedented in the annals of Trump. Trump has managed in the Oval Office in Washington pretty much exactly the way he managed on Fifth Avenue in New York, say people who worked for him at different points over the last 45 years as well as writers of the best, most thoroughly reported Trump biographies. In recent interviews, they recounted a shrewd, slipshod, charming, vengeful, thin-skinned, belligerent, hard-charging manager who was an impulsive hirer and a reluctant firer and surrounded himself with a small cadre of ardent loyalists; who solicited their advice but almost always ultimately went with his gut and did what he wanted; who kept his door open and expected others to do the same not because of a desire for transparency but due to his own insecurities and distrusting disposition; who fostered a frenetic, internally competitive, around-the-clock, stressful, wearying work environment in which he was a demanding, disorienting mixture of hands-on and hands-off—a hesitant delegator and an intermittent micromanager who favored fast-twitch wins over long-term follow-through, promotion over process and intuition over deliberation.  Read, analyze, and discuss.

Monday, Feb. 27, 2017
Evening comment: American canines rejoice. Trump will be first president in over 100 years without a dog in the White House.
Read article
As far as other nice things the former president said about how the thing squatting in the Oval Office is a real fuckup, Dubya said he’s not sure whether we need a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s connections with Russia, but he’d be cool with it. For some reason Bush has faith in GOP Sen. Richard Burr, head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and that he’ll get to the bottom of things with his investigation. (He should not have faith in Richard Burr.) The former president says we definitely “need answers” about just how far up Trump’s ass Vladimir Putin’s arm is, though, so that’s good.
On Trump’s Muslim ban, Dubya said, “It’s very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship they way they want to, or not worship at all” and also “I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law.” MORE SHOTS FIRED!
Finally, Matt Lauer asked Dubya what he thought of Donald Trump crying about “American carnage” during his inauguration, and Dubya laughed, because Dubya might be A Idiot, but at least he’s not as dumb as Donald Trump.
Listening to Trump address governors I am stuck again by how inarticulate he is when he isn’t reading. In fact, he manages to mangle most grammatical sentences written for him with his unscripted interjections. Some are asides, others are braggadocio.  I plan to skip his “big speech” to Congress as I have better things to do (clean behind the refrigerator). I wonder if he’ll stick to the prepared remarks. Does he have the discipline to do this? Having a president veer off the prepared remarks is refreshing if done in a limited way and the ad-libs aren’t repeats of catch phrases. Of course Trump doesn’t write his speeches. Since Obama took speeches that were written for him and reportedly made them his own, he didn’t have to lapse into digressions. Of course Obama never bragged. He never repeated the last half of a sentence for emphasis.

When Trump talked about health care he contradicted himself. First he mused over letting Obamacare prove itself a failure over the next two years so nobody blames the Republicans for the rough start of their replacement. Then he hedged and was unclear whether he wanted to support passing the repeal and replace as soon as possible. 
He said health care was more complicated than he originally thought. David Corn, the frequent guest n MSNBC, (who thinks like I do that Trump is mentally ill) put this right into a Tweet.


Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
A little Sunday Snark:
LINK TO ARTICLE: CLICK IMAGE



Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
What are allies think of Trump: France
PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande fired back at Donald Trump on Saturday after the U.S. president remarked in a speech that a friend thought “Paris is no longer Paris” after attacks by Islamist militants.
Hollande said Trump should show support for U.S. allies.
“There is terrorism and we must fight it together. I think that it is never good to show the smallest defiance toward an allied country. I wouldn’t do it with the United States and I’m urging the U.S. president not to do it with France,” Hollande said.
“I won’t make comparisons but here, people don’t have access to guns. Here, you don’t have people with guns opening fire on the crowd simply for the satisfaction of causing drama and tragedy,”Hollande said, responding to questions during a visit at the Paris Agric fair.
During a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Trump repeated his criticism of Europe’s handling of attacks by Islamist militants saying a friend “Jim” no longer wanted to take his family to Paris.
More than 230 people have died in a series of assaults in France since the beginning of 2015, and the country has been under a state of emergency rules since November the same year.
Trump’s comments also drew a rebuke from the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.

He ranks high on my list of reprehensible Republicans, so I was surprised to this:

Rep. Darrell Issa Suggests Trump-Russia Inquiry Needs Special Prosecutor, Not Jeff Sessions


“You cannot have somebody who was on the campaign and who is an appointee,” the GOP congressman says.


Considering my Daily Kos story, it would be astounding if it was Issa, not McCain or Graham, who was the congressional Republican who history will remember as starting the ball rolling which lead to Trump’s impeachment.

Two people can bring down Trump. One is Putin. Who is the other. Hint: He’s married to this woman.

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017
This story explains what many of us already know:

Trump understands what many miss: people don’t make decisions based on facts


How can we make facts matter? Research in psychology and political science offers a little hope.


Last night: Lawrence O’Donnell is taking up the cause of proving Trump is mentally ill. I won’t take credit but I’ve been Tweeting him links to articles for two months, and he has indicated he’s seen them on my Twitter account. Tonight he re-interviewed psychiatrist Lance Dodes, along with Lee Seidel who wrote this Columbia Journalism Review about the media needing to be forthright in explaining that  Trump is mentally ill.

Avoiding questions about Trump’s mental health is a betrayal of public trust

 Scroll down to see video from Tuesday show where he interviewed a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

If this video is slow to load try this website.
Thurs. Feb. 23, 2017
You might think that’s an odd natural gesture to make. And it is.  What Steve is doing is completely intentional:
  • The right hand, on top, is showing just three fingers: "W".
  • His left hand curls to make the "P" formation.  
  • WP. White Power.  White nationalists know exactly what that sign means.
  • According to the Anti-Defamation League, this is a common white supremacist hand sign “particularly” used in California.   (Stephen Miller is from Santa Monica.)
More below - there are too many nauseating descriptions of him dating back to high school to quote.
I think we are on the brink of destruction so it is with mixed feelings that I post a video that has gone viral which may either make you smile or wince.
I try not to let any sense of optimism creep into my dour psyche. Dare I suggest that perhaps some Republicans who aren't members of the  Trump cult are starting to use something besides their lizard brains? 


President Trump's approval rating has slipped to 38 percent, a new national poll finds.

The Quinnipiac University survey released on Wednesday says that only 38 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance, while 55 percent disapprove.

According to Quinnipiac, the 17-point difference in Trump's approval rating is the worst he's fared in a poll since taking office in January. 
An earlier survey from the pollster this month registered Trump with 42 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval.
“President Trump’s popularity is sinking like a rock," Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the poll, said in a statement announcing the findings.

He gets slammed on 
  • honesty, 
  • empathy, 
  • level headedness
  • the ability to unite. 

And two of his strong points:
  • leadership and intelligence

 are sinking to new lows. This is a terrible survey one month in.”  From The Hill

Weds. Feb. 22, 2017
New: 

Today’s news:
Fortunately someone else wrote what I was going to write about the two psychotherapists who appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell Tuesday night. 
,…..


..

February 7, 2017

February, 2017

January posts here


Earlier posts here
http://www.halbrown.org/2016/12/december-2016.html


Weds., Feb. 15, 2017

In the furious deluge of news that could lead to Trump leaving office, I suggest we not forget that we have a dangerously mentally ill president. Here’s the most recent article:

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017
Evening edition:
Credit for the movie reference to what Trump must be experiencing from conservative anti-Trump radio host Charlie Sykes. Trump knows that they know. What will happen when it hits him that impeachment is a serous threat?

True the breaking news is incredible, however —
Warning- spoilers in this article. Or just take my word and watch a couple of episodes.

Very Happy Valentines Day

Monday, Feb. 13, 2017

Evening edition:

Who knew what when?
It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up
As they say in Russia:


If you watched Joy Reid subbing for Lawrence O’Donnell you saw her interviewing the author of 
"The Spy Revolt Against Donald Trump Begins" published in The New York Observer. Read it here.



I repeatedly see Republicans trying to normalize Trump’s mental illness as naiveté mixed with arrogance… this from Sen. Bob Corker:

Trump, "Corker says when we meet in his Senate office for his first extensive interview about the new administration, is a “wrecking ball” when it comes to longstanding American foreign policy, a newcomer to the burdensome demands of being the world’s lone superpower who remains determined 'to just destroy everything about’ the U.S. establishment’s view of the world. “ A WRECKING BALL?

Still, he insists  "Rather than turning their fire on a prickly president who clearly takes criticism personally, holds a grudge and rarely backs away from a fight, Corker is arguing in the backstage councils of Capitol Hill that they should seek to influence Trump more quietly.” Really: “a prickly president who clearly takes criticism personally, holds a grudge…” and this is “normal”? Are members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans that psychologically ignorant? How could they not know that Trump exhibits obvious signs of mental illness?

How much of what Republicans (and the pathologically optimistic talker Chris Mathews) have to see before they stop trying to excuse and normalize Trump’s behavior using words like PRICKLY?

Meanwhile just know on MSNBC calling Trump “bombastic and overly reactive Mark Sanford, and then praising him for his "under-reacton" to the N. Korean missile test.

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017
We don't know what led the CIA to reject a required security clearance for Michael Flynn aide Rob Townley. The White House insists that was a political move by the CIA against Flynn—but the CIA is now led by Trump's own appointed director, Mike Pompeo, who himself approved the rejection. We also don't know to what extent Trump might simply order the intelligence community to reveal information they're not keen on revealing to his staff.
But no, this is not normal. This is a very, very far way from normal. And we're just in the opening act.

There is more consequential IC (intelligent community) pushback happening, too. Our spies have never liked Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward the President’s Daily Brief, the most sensitive of all IC documents, which the new commander-in-chief has received haphazardly. The president has frequently blown off the PDB (presidential daily briefing) altogether, tasking Flynn with condensing it into a one-page summary with no more than nine bullet-points. Some in the IC are relieved by this, but there are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence. 
In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence from the Oval Office. Why risk your most sensitive information if the president may ignore it anyway? A senior National Security Agency official explained that NSA was systematically holding back some of the “good stuff” from the White House, in an unprecedented move. For decades, NSA has prepared special reports for the president’s eyes only, containing enormously sensitive intelligence. In the last three weeks, however, NSA has ceased doing this, fearing Trump and his staff cannot keep their best SIGINT (signal intelligence) secrets. 
Since NSA provides something like 80 percent of the actionable intelligence in our government, what’s being kept from the White House may be very significant indeed. However, such concerns are widely shared across the IC, and NSA doesn’t appear to be the only agency withholding intelligence from the administration out of security fears.

………………………………………….. …………………………….. ……………………..

From Politico.
I hope Trump follows the oddsmakers.


Ladbrokes, the British oddsmaking giant, has Trump’s chances of leaving office via resignation or impeachment and removal at just 11-to-10, or just a little worse than even money. 


“Trump is the gift that keeps on giving,” Paddy Power’s Davey said. “We’ve got a bonanza of betting specials on The Donald. When Trump took to Twitter [last week] to defend [daughter] Ivanka after Nordstrom dropped her clothing line, we were out with a [betting] market on next retailer to drop the Ivanka brand next.” (The current favorites are TJ Maxx at 4-to-1, Walmart at 5-to-1 and Amazon at 6-to-1.)
Perhaps the most unusual — and certainly most lurid — wager is the 4-to-1 odds offered by Paddy Power that the alleged Russian video of Trump outlined in the dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent will appear on a pornographic website.

“Trump's character has captured the imagination of the public” overseas said Davey, who compared following his presidency to “watching your favorite soap [opera].”

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
Evening Edition:
I wrote this as the news came on about the N. Korean missile test, and updated it because a pure satire wasn’t appropriate without recognizing how close to real life with Trump this just came.


It sounds more Hollywood than history. A paranoid president, unhinged, drinking heavily, ranting against his enemies, terrifies subordinates. The defense secretary commits what may be the most patriotic act of treason in American history: ordering the Joint Chiefs of Staff to ignore any White House military initiatives lacking his signature.
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Seeing Nixon willing to do anything to win power, Schlesinger feared the president might do anything to retain it. According to the reporter Seymour Hersh, in spring 1974, a Washington bureaucrat, Joseph Laitin, called Schlesinger and speculated about Nixon launching nuclear bombs or mobilizing Marines to save his presidency. “If I were in your job,” Laitin advised, “I would want to know the location of the combat troops nearest to downtown Washington and the chain of command.” “Nice talking to you,” the secretary of defense blurted before hanging up.



Exclusive - Episode 11 of The Skary Klown reacting to the Flynn scandal.


Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
Evening edition:
For those who didn’t watch Rachel I suggest you go to her website and watch the story about the (likely) treason of Michael Flynn… and follow the story as it evolves.
Here is my take on it:
I have the memory of the one time I got caught in a rip current. I was swimming alone without many people around at Horseback Beach when I felt myself being strongly pulled into the ocean. I was a pretty good swimmer; but I forgot the rules and panicked and tried to swim hard against the current straight back to the beach. If you’ve never done this you don’t know how exhausting it is. In 30 seconds or less my heart was pounding. My arms were going numb. Then, since I am alive, obviously I realized this was a rip current and had to let it pull me out to sea… which I did and after only 50 or so feet is let go of me. Then I swam slowly parallel to the shore until the tide started taking me in, and all I had to do was ride the wave and they brought me to shore. Exhausted, lesson learned and a story to tell. My sense is that Trump and his minions will fight the rip tide, my hope is they won’t realize that you can’t win with Mother Nature — and will exhaust themselves and suffer the fate ordained by Neptune.
The rip currents at Horseback Beach.


Today’s reading assignment:


A Lucky Dog’s Story

Good news  for dog lovers everywhere, and especially for the Willamette View residents and staff who were concerned about the friendly stray dog who turned up at Waterfalls Cafe yesterday. He had no collar, no microchip, a fatty tumor on his leg, and wasn’t neutered. 

As a group of us pondered what to do with the dog who was soaking wet from the rain - we fed him bacon to reassure him. 

Another resident and I took him to my vet to be scanned for a microchip. 

By the time we got back the head of security had arrived. Apparently the dog had been trying to get inside and some residents were afraid. Who could blame the dog, it was raining, and he was a people lover trying to find some dog lovers.

We were told that unless one of us would take immediately responsibility for him he’d have to be taken to the animal shelter (aka the dog pound).

We were given no time to decide… the pressure was on. We delayed, stalled, and distracted as the alarm went out. 

Within seconds a angel arrived, made one phone call, and found a family for the dog.

When they arrived a few minutes later the dog (yet to be named - stay tuned) — eagerly hoped into the back seat to be warmly welcome to his loving new family.

 There’s been no word from the owner on the found pets notices I put on Facebook and Craig’s list. 

The good news is that the dog is already in a wonderful new home, will have a new life and a new name.
Meanwhile — sitting here watching Morning Joe. 
The news from the Fascist Kakocracy continues as a never-ending deluge of molten shit. The only solace is that if they actually were as adept as the not unhinged Hitler and his psychopaths we’d be doomed. 


Thurs. Feb. 9, 2017
Evening edition:

Here’s an article which references my online friend Dr. John Gartner. I missed it when it first was published:

Opinion: The Opinion of Leading Psychologists Is That Trump Is Mentally Deranged


Trump’s narcissistic mental defect puts him in the same category as infamous tyrannical dictators like Muammar Gaddafi, Adolf Hitler, and Saddam Hussein.
Rachel previewed the PPP poll coming out tomorrow. Granted they are a Democratic polling organization (too bad, Trump will say it’s a fake poll). Many questions, all showing how unpopular Trump is. I think the extraordinary result is this one:




Here’s yet something else - uh - disturbing I thought of about Trump. At first blush you’d think that he or one of his henchmen would have thought to find a Hispanic Willie Horton hombre to be the first felon to deport. Instead they manage to find a mother of two whose felony was working illegally. I thought what bad optics this was. At least GW Bush found an actual rapist killer whose crimes he could blame on Dukakis. Then I thought that someone with the name Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos is perfect for him. She even has darker skin than many other Mexican. His base will applaud him.
The Psychopathology of Trump

If we are correct in diagnosing the severity of Trump’s psychopathology the narcissistic insults (and we are) he will be dealing more of them. They are going to continue get more frequent and severe. In the past day he has gone out on a limb denying Gorsuch had said what he said, and then there's gift of Ivanka and Nordstum, and Kellyanne telling viewers to buy her glitzy crap… he’s supposed to like chaos but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to handle the infighting between the crazy fascists and the sane fascists. Time waits for no-one. He gets a day older every day and for someone with his vanity this has to bother him a lot. PLUS: Trump craves adoration and attention. The public and media will get bored with the same old same old. The rallies were like Indy races where people watch hoping for a fiery crash. All these executive order signings and swearing in ceremonies and made for TV events are the same old same old. While not a discrete narcissistic insult, they are likely to have a cumulative effect on him.


Weds, Feb. 8, 2017





Another exclusive episode of the Scary Clown as Trump decides the best tactic to influence the appellate judges is to attack them before they make their decision:


Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017
Evening edition:
I use Google news as my homepage — they have a new much needed category on their news feed - Executive Orders. Breitbart objects, so it must be worthwhile.




Cartoon by me, story, on the real reason the Republicans back Betsy DeVos,  by Jen Hayden




Sorry to those who already read my recommendation about signing up for, and using Twitter to explain to anyone who we need to inform about our opinions abut Trump - including of course anyone who has doubts about his mental stability. This keeps coming up in the news and on TV and whenever it  does I sent a Tweet to whoever expressed them. I started with sending them to all the MSNBC hosts and Progressive Radio hosts. I sent one to Ari Melber last night (he was subbing on Lawrence O’Donnell and mentioned Trump’s mental health) and Rep. Lieu who also said he should have a psych/ exam. So far one has responded, Thom Hartmann, who liked my Tweet to him with a heart.


Monday, Feb. 6, 2017
Late night edition - Save Melania Dept.
Same picture two different stories.

Cosmo played this story straight:



Melania Did Not Look Happy at President Trump's Super Bowl Party




Death and Taxes went for full-bore sarcasm:


Melania Trump looks very happy to be watching the Super Bowl



Evening edition:
Running out of adjectives so let this article speak for itself:

More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him. And the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job in which he has struggled to strike the right balance between representing an administration that considers the media the "opposition party," and developing a functional relationship with the press.
"Trump doesn't like his people to look weak," added a top Trump donor.

If you need more information on Rachel Maddow’s extraordinary story - or missed it:
According to one U.S. official, national security aides have sought information about Polish incursions in Belarus, an eyebrow-raising request because little evidence* of such activities appears to exist. Poland is among the Eastern European nations worried about Trump's friendlier tone on Russia.
 * Actually there is absolutely no evidence. In fact this is the result of a Russian propaganda story trying to get Belarus to move away from Poland (part of NATO) closer to Russia. Belarus has refused to allow Russia to open a military base there. In a Turnpike move their propaganda website Sputnik show Polish tanks supposedly getting ready to cross the border and invade Russia. Not true. Totally fabricated.


For Oregon readers: Yea!
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has filed an amicus brief this week along with 15 other states to join Washington in suing Pres. Donald for his travel ban.

"….it’s incredible that Trump may have signed an executive order he didn’t fully comprehend and that someone was willing to leak that to the press."



6 things Steve Bannon has declared war on 


Bannon's the man with the power in the White House. But he has a long list of things he hates


Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017

What can I do? I am asked that online and in person. Here’s one seemingly small thing you can do: Send Tweets to the media. I sent them to all the Progressive Sirius Radio personalities and all the MSNBC hosts. I just received my first response after sending them out a few days ago. It is from well known radio host Thom Hartmann (his Wikipedia page). Once someone in the media knows about Dr. John Gartner’s petition with over 18,000 shrink signatories it can be referred to, or better yet he can be interviewed on their shows.





Any narcissistic insult could - hopefully will - lead to a narcissistic rage outburst that will convince enough Republicans that Trump is both a fascists and mentally ill. I am not a football fan and had no intention of watching the Super and dedicate it to Trump. 

She could surround herself with American flags, do a shoutout to immigrants and soldiers defending the Constitution.

And then there’s the exchange Trump had with Bill O’Reilly:



But “Putin’s a killer,” O’Reilly said.

“You got a lot of killers,” Trump shot back. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

His comment defending Putin and comparing Russia to the United States is not playing well. The Bill O’Reilly interview set to air in its entirety before the game should be interesting. Already some Republicans have denounced it. I doubt Trump even knows that Putin just had one of his main critics poisoned (for a second time after the first attempt daily last year). He is in a coma with multiple organ failure in a Moscow hospital.


Sat, Feb. 4, 2017
Evening edition: Escape from politics on Netflix… not to everybody’s taste (double pun intended) this well written black comedy stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Oliphant and is a unique take on what happens when a rather boring suburban couple discover the wife has to eat freshly killed bodies to survive. 


Santa Clarita Diet,” Netflix, Friday (CRITICS PICK)


In this comedy, suburban realtor Sheila (Drew Barrymore) turns into a creature of the undead with a ravenous hunger for human flesh. It’s a wacky, odd production, with a spare mythology of horror and a penchant for surprising, stomach-turning gore. Ultimately, “Santa Clarita Diet” is a treat for a very specific sense of humor — and quite possibly a little unpleasant for everyone else. What’s most enjoyable about “Santa Clarita Diet” is just how surprising each plot development is. Because it is unafraid to dabble in gore, murder, or high school drama, the show is capable of moving in a lot of different directions — but don’t sit down to watch it with an array of snacks in hand. It’s not for the weak of stomach. Variety
From the Forward:


How could Kushner — a Modern Orthodox golden boy — fail to internalize that? (his Jewish heritage) How could he invite Donald Trump’s Cabinet to his house for Shabbat dinner only hours after his father-in-law’s executive order banning refugees from entering the United States? How could he pose in a tuxedo alongside his wife, Ivanka Trump, on Saturday night as that executive order wreaked havoc on innocent people’s lives simply because they hailed from the wrong countries? 

Kushner’s failure is not his problem alone; it should chill every Modern Orthodox educator, rabbi and parent in the United States. How could the Modern Orthodox community, a community that prides itself on instilling in its children Jewish knowledge and ideals, have failed so profoundly? 

The Frisch School, the prestigious New Jersey yeshiva from which Kushner graduated, should conduct the kind of after-action report that the military conducts when its operations go awry. Every synagogue where Kushner prayed regularly should ask itself whether it bears some of the blame for having failed to instill in him the obligations of Jewish memory. Even if it is too late to influence Kushner, Modern Orthodox leaders still can work to ensure that they do not produce more like him in the years to come.

Here’s psychoanalyst Howard Covitz’s sixth message to Trump, he sings “This Gland Your Gland.” He’s in Philadelphia today with his family at Independence Mall protesting, since Pence is speaking at Congress Hall which was the seat of the U.S. Congress between 1790 and 1800.
.



Read about Judge James Robart.

Fri. Feb. 3, 2017
Evening edition - If you have five minutes, this will frighten you too… but the hope is that the media is fed up with blatant propaganda posing as facts.






My friend Jerry found this for me.



Another entry in the "The Anals and Annals of Incredible Trumpian Confabulations."




Um, the “Bowling Green Massacre” never happened.


Speaking to Chris Matthews on MSNBC on Thursday night, Conway said:
“I bet it’s brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
It also never happened.
THE ULTIMATE SNARK
When you click to donate it goes to the ACLU website!

Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017





As if Trump’s behavior with the Australian prime minister and the president of Mexico and his later bellicose defense of it, wasn’t bad enough, now we have this:



Weds. Feb. 1, 2017
My Daily Kos story today:
To Judge Gorsuch: My experience with death with (no) dignity.