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October 10, 2017

Halloween madness comes early with Trump

Thursday Oct. 19, 2017


Not a link
Gen. Kelly just tried to explain why Trump said what he said, a decent enough job of damage control. Apparently, he tried to coach his boss,  the new Mr. Warmth, on what to say in the phone calls, telling him what he would say when he had to make such phone calls. What he said had a special credibility since he was a soldier, a combat vet who lost his close friend right next to him in a battle. 

So when he said "They knew what they signed up for" it was in the context of a much longer empathic condolence. Kelly says that this was Trump’s way of trying to say what Kelly suggested he say. 

Were Kelly to tell the unvarnished truth, which I hope he knows, he’d admit that Trump’s words were not artfully expressed. He’d say that Trump has little if any comprehension of empathy which made his role helping Trump feign empathy is difficult if not impossible. 

What the president without empathy got from Kelly’s instruction was just that one brief sentence. 

Coming from a president who avoided military service it was cold and cruel. Then he went on to attack Rep. Wilson, ignoring that she was in the car with the family and saw how they reacted to the president's word. 

Proof - Gen. Kelly is a tool and toady who is shamelessly cover for his commander-in-chief. 


More extensive reaction to Kelly’s remarks from Josh Marshall in “John Kelly’s Volcanic Remark” for Talking Points Memo.

Next: Not quite a crescendo - but our Duty to Warn keeps being covered more and more.

Excerpt: Let's say, hypothetically, that a president is mentally unstable and he gives an illegal or immoral order on a whim: "We're going to destroy North Korea. We're going to destroy Iran." Would the people around him -- the generals, the admirals and the like -- just stall that order as long as they could? Or would somebody stand up and say, "Mr. President, I'm not doing this."

Watch ‘Morning Joe’ Host Call Trump ‘Mentally Ill’

...there is no plausible scenario by which what Trump suggested this morning -- a wide-scale conspiracy involving three separate actors across federal agencies and continents -- actually happened. That we can't (won't?) agree on that seemingly obvious fact is troubling.
Excerpt: This is, of course, somewhat common fare by this point in the arc of Trump's presidency. Faced this week with storylines he doesn't like -- questions about the Niger attack, controversy over a phone call he placed to the widow of one of the soldiers lost in that attack, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Capitol Hill facing questions about Russian meddling in the election -- he aims to change the subject via his Twitter feed. And he often does so by lobbing out a conspiracy theory with only the loosest ties to the factual world. 

But even by Trump standards, this morning's tweet is somewhat remarkable. He is suggesting that a dossier prepared by a former member of British intelligence has not only been totally discredited (it hasn't -- more on that in a minute) but that it might have been funded by some combination of Russia, the Democratic Party and, wait for it, the FBI!

My Daily Kos story today:

Duty to Warn 25th Amendment 1-2-3 punch puts Trump onto the canvas in perfect storm of events.

Weds Oct. 18, 2017

Lawrence O'Donnell began with an unexpected bang for DTWers, and ended with another bang. Here’s the 15 minute introductory monologue.

In his introduction Lawrence put an image of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” on the screen and spent his monologue talking his agreeing with the 27 Bandy Lee contributors, and many other mental health professionals who say Trump is mental unfit for office.

The last segment was Richard Painter, co-auther of the article (see below) explaining why it’s imperative that the 25th Amendment be initiated. Painter, a Republican, called out the members of Congress who he knows are aware of this. He sid many of them are afraid Trump will run someone in a primary if they dare to cross him.

Stay turned for Late Night, another Republican Charle Sykes, talks about Trump lacking empathy and being tone deaf to the emotions of slain soldiers family.

Duty to Warn news:
Now for something completely different, from of all places, The National Review. It is  the holdout bastion of intelligent conservatism:

Donald Trump: America’s Talent-in-Chief, 

Trump acts more like the Hollywood star who must be catered to than the head of state. By Jonah Goldberg

In high-school civics I was taught that, in America, the president has many roles, often divided in other countries. He’s commander-in-chief, head of state, chief administrator and executive, the head of his party, chief diplomat, legislative leader, and, according to some lists, “the guardian of the economy.”

I think we need to add another job description: He’s the talent.

In Hollywood — and increasingly journalism, business, and government — “the talent” is the person who must be catered to above all others. With few notable exceptions, you can get another executive producer or director, but you can’t get another Barbra Streisand or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Hollywood is full of stories of the talent making ridiculous demands and issuing absurd fatwas to protect their egos. Streisand instructed — through aides, of course — that the help at a London hotel not look her in the eye. Sean Penn had a serf swim the polluted and dangerous waters of the East River to get him a cigarette. Mike Myers halted production of Wayne’s World because he didn’t have margarine for his bagel.

On the infamous Access Hollywood tape that was released a year ago, Trump was heard explaining that he could get away with his alleged groping of women because “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
My friend Rob Long, a veteran Hollywood TV producer, saw it all coming back in January. “President Trump is the actor starring in your series who is going to make your life miserable for the next four years,” Long wrote in Variety. “President Trump is what you get when you put the talent in charge.”

Senator Bob Corker’s jab last week that the White House is an “adult day-care center” prompted Chief of Staff John Kelly to take over the press briefing to deny the story. “I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our president so that he can make the best decisions,” Kelly told reporters. “So, again, I was not sent in to — or brought in to — control him.”

Maybe that’s true, but it sure sounds like what someone circling the talent would say. As does much of what passes for conservative commentary about the talent-in-chief these days.

Now, read this major article

Medal of Honor recipient Col. Jack Jacobs (Ret) just reminded us of this classic George Constanza line.

And then in a less well known venue, there’s this irreverent piece by a Sandusky Register columnist:

Minor? This event (Duty to Warn) was so minor the President of the free world and tweets did not even respond by using his twit wit. Still, it was major.


There will be no “Hogan’s Heroes” for Cleveland Browns fans this season as the Kizer returns. Now, for some NFL teams that would either be addition by subtraction or subtraction by addition. For the Browns? It’s subtraction by subtraction.

Anyway, “Duty to Warn” founder, Baltimore based psychologist, John Gartner, has also formed a political action committee, the 25th Amendment PAC, that will fund candidates willing to pass the bill that would allow Congress to evaluate the president’s mental and physical health.

Hmmm … I thought that was CNN’s job.


By the way, Gartner started a petition for mental health professionals to declare Trump mentally ill. The petition has more than 60,000 signatures. No word on how many of the signatures were from patients of the mental health professionals or cast members of “Saturday Night Live.”

In 1964 when Fact magazine published the article “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater.” The magazine polled 1,189 psychiatrists about American Senator Barry Goldwater and whether he was fit to be president.

The editor, Ralph Ginzburg, was sued for libel in Goldwater v. Ginzburg where Candidate Goldwater won $75,000 (approximately $579,000 today) in damages. But and there’s always a but. But thanks to all that then, now “The Goldwater Rule” is the informal name given to Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics, which states it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements.

Yikes! If trained and licensed professional psychologist cannot voice their professional opinion about public and elected figures then it is left up to people like me.\

And that’s just plain nuts!

Breaking News:


Gold-Star Mom: Yes, Trump Disrespected My Son in Phone Call


The mother of a soldier killed in Niger this month confirmed Florida Rep. Frederica S. Wilson’s claim that President Trump told her family that her son “must have known what he signed up for,” The Washington Post reported Wednesday. “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” said Cowanda Jones-Johnson, the mother of Sgt. La David T. Johnson. Wilson told MSNBC that Johnson’s widow “was crying the whole time, and when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t even remember his name.’ That’s the hurting part.” Jones-Johnson told The Washington Post that Wilson’s account of the call was accurate.

Trump just said his comment to a war widow was ‘fabricated.’ In an interview, the witness pushes back. Washington Post
“The Hero and the Huckster” All McCain has to do is die to win..
President Trump appears unable to resist getting drawn into public battles involving figures who are far more vulnerable and sympathetic than he is, and true to form, he just used his formidable Twitter feed to escalate the battle over a call to a war widow in which he is alleged to have been insensitive. Trump tweeted early Wednesday morning that the witness to the call had “totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”

But in an interview with me this morning, the witness, Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.), stood by her story and denounced Trump as a “liar” and “crazy.” But perhaps even more interesting, she shared some new details that will thicken this plot: She said there were other witnesses in the car and also noted that she has known the slain soldier for a long time and “mentored” him.
“Mr. Trump is crazy,” Wilson told me. “He’s a liar. He’s proven to be a liar.” She said she was more “concerned about the circumstances around his death” than about what Trump said.
When I pressed Wilson on whether she was sticking by her account that she heard Trump say, “he knew what he was signing up for,” she said “yes.” When I reiterated that Trump claims to have proof otherwise, she said, “How about you go get that proof and call me back?”
Hopefully we will soon find out whether Trump has the proof he claims to of what was said on the call, and hopefully that can be settled. Either way, it appears that this story is likely to escalate, now that it appears that Wilson had her own relationship with the dead young man, which will perhaps complicate any further criticism of her by Trump. And now that we know there were others in the car, they may be sought out.
When I asked Wilson if she would be making the aunt and uncle available for comment, she said: “I don’t think they have that kind of strength.”
Who are we going to believe?
Trump reacted almost immediately,

 and Morning Joe responds:

Although the link is above, you don’t have to read this article which explains why Trump made no
sense talking about health care.  You can trust me the what is clinically important to our DTW
therapists is that when Trump is speaking incoherently in a word salad about anything,
let alone about something he should know all about, it is symptomatic
of his deteriorating mental health. This is yet another of almost daily examples.

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 Evening
(Scroll down for Gartner interview)

“He knew what he signed up for.” Donald Trump
Click above for story

Just online:

Here it is:
10.16.17 Dr. Gartner MSNBC Part 2 from John Gartner on Vimeo.

Number Eight on Hardcover Non-Fiction —
Not a link
Psychopathology Lab Report on Trump: Dx. Malignant Narcissism - 

10/17/17 Part one

"People have to be careful because at some point I fight back."

Part two:

  Trump Brags About Golf Swing While Puerto Ricans Perish, Army Families Mourn

Part Three

IBT is published in the United Kingdom

From various publications today

From article in The Times of Israel 

There are a whole bunch of places — the Korean Peninsula, China and the South China Sea, Russia and Eastern Europe — where something awful could happen and we could walk right into it.
This is particularly dangerous because I think a lot of foreign leaders have concluded that Trump is a bluffer and a blowhard. Therefore, they don’t think they have to take his threats seriously. Most of the time they’ll be right. But there will be a time when they’re wrong — for whatever reason.
I’m somebody who over time has come to have a great deal of faith in the power of accident and stupidity and miscalculation.

Eliot Cohen, director of the Strategic Studies program, introduces US Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before remarks at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.


As a friend pointed out to me this morning in an email, when Barack Obama was elected, there was a gigantic sigh of relief around the world, as though the aberration of the George W. Bush presidency was over and now the United States’ role as a force of moral authority and stability would be restored. But now it looks to the world as though Obama was the aberration, an interregnum of reason and restraint before the United States elected another president who would be a force of chaos and instability.

So imagine if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, then tries to restore America’s place of leadership, which could involve agreements both with allies and adversaries. It would be perfectly rational for potential partners to say, “We accept your good faith, but how do we know that in four years your country won’t elect another ignorant halfwit TV personality who will cancel this agreement?”

Welcome to Monday, the last half of October begins…. 
Evening Edition

John Gartner made it clear and credible in his interview on Lawrence O’Donnell that Donald Trump is a dangerous malignant narcissist:
Click above or below - the video should be here before too long.


When you think you can finally go to sleep and put yourself
and this website to bed, something like this comes online.
Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood, that his critics are fierce and on TV every morning, that his poll numbers are both low and “fake,” and that his White House is caricatured as adrift.

So on Monday, the consummate salesman — who has spent his life selling his business acumen, golf courses, sexual prowess, luxury properties and, above all, his last name — gave the Trump White House a Trump-sized dose of brand enhancement.

Click image to enlarge
With both the Roosevelt Room and the Rose Garden as backdrops, he mixed facts and mirage, praise and perfidy in two head-spinning, sometimes contradictory performances designed to convince supporters and detractors alike that everything’s terrific, moving ahead of schedule and getting even better. His opponents were cast as misguided, deluded or even unpatriotic.

Also making the news today, a blunt NSW Tweet from Alyssa Mastromonaco, former deputy chief of staff for operations to President Obama, who describes how she brought about the installation of the West Wing’s first-ever tampon dispenser in her new book, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House.

After you watch John Gartner, take a video break with this:


Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” which just landed on Sunday’s Times best-seller list—a sign of the public’s eagerness to know just how afraid they should be of Trump. Duty to Warn has also announced the formation of the “Twenty-fifth Amendment PAC,” which will raise money for political candidates to run on the very issue of removing Trump via the Twenty-fifth Amendment. “We want to be to the Twenty-fifth Amendment what the N.R.A. is to the Second Amendment,” Gartner said. He believes that fear drives people to the polls, and “what people are most afraid of right now is Donald Trump.”

The formation of the new PAC extends beyond simply advocating that psychiatrists and psychologists should be free to offer opinions on public figures. It pivots explicitly into the territory of political advocacy, organization, and activism—which is certain to remind many in the profession of the very sin that led psychiatrists to adopt the Goldwater Rule in the first place. Gartner said that Trump presents “the greatest psychiatric emergency in the history of the United States, maybe in the history of the world.” “The only psychiatric solution here is a political solution,” he said.

The Goldwater Rule’s namesake led the delegation that was sent, in 1974, to tell President Richard Nixon, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, that he had lost support in Congress and could not avoid impeachment; Nixon resigned the next day. Many appear have given up on impeachment of President Trump for the moment. But it’s a real turning point when mental-health professionals are so willing to organize politically, break brazenly with long-standing protocol, and even risk discipline by licensing boards. After this, talk of Trump’s removal under the Twenty-fifth Amendment may not seem so crazy.

Ed. Note: The Duty to Warn movement has gained notoriety recently, but it is hardly a new movement. It began in February when John Gartner posted an online petition with now has over 60,000 signatures. hb

Heres how HuffPost headlined the same story later in the day.

Summarized in AlterNet: Trump enjoys ribbing Penceabout his homophobia
It must be cold and miserable standing in the shadow of someone greater and smarter, more loved and more admired. It must be infuriating to have risen on the wings of your derision of that person’s every decision, and even his very existence, and yet not be able to measure up — in either stratagem or efficacy — when you sit where that person once sat.

This is the existence of Donald Trump in the wake of President Barack Obama. Trump can’t hold a candle to Obama, so he’s taking a tiki torch to Obama’s legacy. Trump can’t get his bad ideas through Congress, but he can use the power of the presidency to sabotage or even sink Obama’s signature deeds.

In fact, if there is a defining feature of Trump as “president,” it is that he is in all ways the anti-Obama — not only on policy but also on matters of propriety and polish. While Obama was erudite, Trump is ignorant. Obama was civil, Trump is churlish. Obama was tactful, Trump is tacky.

Just as his critics warned, President Trump is turning out to be unfit for his job, perhaps dangerously so. That’s a harsh judgment, but it’s no longer coming from the president’s opponents. It’s coming from leading members of his own party.

“We could be heading toward World War III with the kind of comments he’s making,” the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, said last week. Corker, who endorsed Trump during the presidential campaign, was only saying in public what other GOP figures have said in private. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly called his boss a “moron.” Others have used similar language off the record.

So it’s not surprising that speculation has renewed that Congress might try to remove Trump from office before his term ends.

According to one report, former White House advisor Steve Bannon even warned Trump that he risks being fired under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. "What's that?" the president purportedly replied.

Column: Get rid of Trump with the 25th Amendment, not impeachment (Washington Post - available without subscription)

Donald Trump makes the world more dangerous — what do we do about it?

Mental health professionals have now warned us: This man should not be president, and we’re all to blame that he is. Salon, by Paul Rosenberg

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017

Late night addition/edition, because you need a good laugh:

From The Washington Post:

"Saturday Night Live” may have found its most uncharitable caricature of someone in President Trump's orbit this weekend, featuring Kate McKinnon's Kellyanne Conway as the scary clown from Stephen King's recently revitalized film “It.”
The real butt of the joke, though, is cable news.
In the highly cinematic prerecorded sketch, CNN's Anderson Cooper (played by Alex Moffat) stumbles upon Conway in full Pennywise makeup in a sewer on a stormy night. While down there, she promises Cooper buzzy and crazy quotes — “Puerto Rico actually was worse before Hurricane Maria, and the hurricane did actually blow some buildings back together,” for example — in exchange for getting booked on his show.
The concept of a Conway desperate for TV airtime is a familiar one for SNL. And Trump backers, if they're still watching, will note the shot at Conway's appearance. “What'd you do to your makeup?” Cooper asks, to which Conway responds: “I toned it down.”
The joke also comes at the expense of Cooper and cable news — and really, all news — for its reliance on covering the outlandish things that come from the mouths of Team Trump. In the sketch, Conway is the “dancing clown,” but she is a tempting one, there to distract and monopolize the attention of the media. Her tricks even work on liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

And now, a day filled with Duty to Warn news:

John Gartner and US Rep. Jamie Raskin at the Duty to Warn conference yesterday - Part 1

Part 2

> Last six minutes of video

Jamin Ben Raskin (born December 13, 1962) is the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 8th congressional district. The district is anchored in Montgomery County, an affluent suburban county north and west of Washington, D. C.
As a law professor, he taught constitutional law and legislation at American UniversityWashington College of Law, in Washington. He served as the Director of the college's LL.M. program on Law and Government until his election to Congress. Wikipedia
Excerpt from Vanity Fair

Then, in 2016, the unimaginable happened: Trump was elected president of the United States. A few days afterward, Trump sat down with 60 Minutes for one of his first interviews as president-elect. O’Brien was watching the interview, which took place in Trump Tower. It was highly choreographed, with cameras set up precisely where Trump wanted them. O’Brien watched Trump seated in an ugly mini-throne—“the kind of furniture Trump loves,” O’Brien notes—and sure enough, in the background, hanging on a wall, was that fake Renoir. “I’m sure he’s still telling people who come into the apartment, ‘It’s an original, it’s an original,’” O’Brien told me on this week’s Inside the Hive podcast.

While this story is comical and sad and utterly bizarre on so many levels, it’s also emblematic of Trump’s very essence. “He believes his own lies in a way that lasts for decades,” O’Brien told me. “He’ll tell the same stories time and time again, regardless of whether or not facts are right in front of his face.” And, as O’Brien points out, that’s what makes Trump so dangerous in his current war with the mediaaround so-called fake news. “Its foundation is that he’s the final arbiter of what is true and what isn’t,” O’Brien said, “and it’s one of the reasons that he’s so dangerous.”


       A Duty to Warn ( organization of mental health professionals just released a documentary about the dangers Trump presents to the nation because of his malignant narcissism, sociopathy, and growing dementia.  The organization led by Dr. John Gartner has also organized a petition to Congress to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, because he is not psychologically fit.
       A series of books about Trump, about lying, and about sociopaths help to illustrate why he is a danger and show why he should removed.  In fact, there is even a website about what's wrong with Trump at Trump is a Nut (, also accessible through the Trump Is Nuts name. (  
        One of the books published about Trump is Trump Is a Nut!  published on June 23 with a five star Amazon review.  The book is also part of a trilogy called Who Is Trump, Really?, which includes the books: Trump Is Extinct – Or May Be Soon! and Trump Is an Animal, which compare Trump respectively to extinct beasts and early humans and to fighting animals, like the kangaroo and chimpanzee.
       Another book includes two articles about how Trump has the early stages of Alzheimer's: Trumpty Dumpty  Additionally, there are two books about lying and how and why sociopaths lie: Lies and Liars: How and Why Sociopaths Lie and How to Detect and Deal with Them and The Truth About Lying
       These books help to underline the fact that Trump is a clear and present danger to democracy and the world, and at any moment, he could in a fit of anger and hate click on a button that could destroy civilization as we know it within minutes.
        Both the books and website were developed by author/sociologist Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., who has been closely following Trump's election and the presidency for the past two years.   She even wrote a poem Dear Donald Trump, Are We Going to War? by A. Concerned Citizen that was published on April 15, 2017.  Now, 6 months later, it seems we are closer to war than ever.
       When will Congress wake up to these warnings from a growing number of voices in the media and public?  Or when will Pence and the Cabinet act to stop this train to destruction that seems to be hurling towards us more quickly than ever.

The following is about two presidents, Trump and one of his favorite world leaders, President Duterte, the authoritarian leader of the Philippines.
Excerpt: The book’s (“The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”) contributors are not wackos. They are at the top of their professions, and sincerely believe that Trump is a danger to their country.

Reader, one cannot have failed to notice (I called attention to this earlier) the parallelisms between Mr. Trump and our President.

There are two major differences, and the first is that President Duterte has been psychologically examined, because it was a requisite for marriage annulment proceedings.

And as I mentioned in a previous column, his examiner was Dr. Natividad Dayan, former president of the International Council of Psychologists.
Dr. Dayan concluded that Mr. Duterte was suffering from “Antisocial Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” a condition characterized by “gross indifference, insensitivity and self-centeredness,” “grandiose sense of self-entitlement and manipulative behaviors,” and “pervasive tendency to demean, humiliate others and violate their rights and feelings.” Does that sound familiar?
The second major difference is that Trump presides over arguably the most powerful country in the world, while Mr. Duterte presides over the Philippines, a lower-middle-class country.

However, over the 100 million plus residents of the Philippines Mr. Duterte does have the power of life and death — figuratively, and to some, literally.
Therefore, at the very least, don’t we citizens have the right to know about our President’s mental health?

Is his behavior nothing more than that of a spoiled brat, an enfant terrible with a dirty mouth, as his handlers make him appear to be, or is it more sinister?
I have made this suggestion before, but in the light of the new book on Trump, I make it again: Our Philippine Medical Association, or whatever psychological or psychiatric associations should get together, with or without Dr. Dayan’s presence, and assess the President’s behavior, based on her report and based on what they read about him.

I am sure that informally, they have already done that. But in the interests of the country, we have to know: Is the President fit to preside over our fates, or should we be warned? Does he still have that narcissistic personality disorder?

Just saying:
An idea for Volume Two of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” is to have those who presented at all the Oct. meetings who aren’t in the current book write chapters for the new book. Most of the work is already done. Hell, even though I foolishly thought I couldn’t put together a small Portland, Oregon event where I was the only speaker, mainly because I didn't consider myself to be an eminent therapist, I’d submit a chapter for consideration. Bandy Xéna Lee - more “work” for you 😘😏

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017


Don’t miss this milestone:

Certainly the publicity for the DTW movement has gained amazing traction since John D. John D Gartner first threw that Hail Mary pass towards the end-of-Trump zone with the petition. Who would have “thunk" as the earliest signers and promoters marveled when in a short time it hit 1,000 signatures? 12,000 - Amazing! It promoted me to write this Daily Kos story. 

Petition signers begat signers. With each triple digit the mainstream media took more notice. USA today was the first major publication to report on the petition. Now if you Google Trump and John Gartner you will find many references.

The history of the DTW movement will be enshrined in many books if and hopefully when Trump boards Marine (no longer One) for the last time. Glory Hallelujah. 

Not to be lost on this, the first and hopefully last annual Duty to Warn day, is the fact that this Facebook page also hit a triple digit milestone with 4,000 members.

This is important as the power and impact of 4,000 committed individuals communicating regularly on a private Facebook group can’t be underestimated. We can, if we choose, generate hundreds of targeted Tweets to the media and politicians, for example. 

As I’ve often reminded you, we all should use Twitter to communicate both information and kudos to sympathetic commentators like Lawrence O’Donnell. We should also make sure those we find don’t understand the DTW movement get some “ejucation” about his dangerousness.

For a start, if you attended a DTW event today, sent a Tweet or two about it to someone who has some influence. Remember, you can include an internet link in a Tweet.

The group has remained amazingly troll-free thanks to John removing disruptive posters.

By Hal Brown, Editor, Publisher
Excerpt: “The degree of positive thinking that we talk about in the paper bears no resemblance to what President Trump is exhibiting on a daily basis, which would be an extreme form of what we talked about,” said Brown from the University of Washington. “What we were really looking at was sort of … should you know what you are really like? Is a person best served by knowing what they are really like? And I think the answer to that is no. You’re better served believing you are a little bit better than you are—but not wildly …” 
Brown cited the opening salvo of the Trump administration: the fight over the size of the turnout at his Inauguration. He somehow saw a crowd that was larger than it factually was, and said so. That, Brown said, isn’t self-confidence or self-assertion. “That’s bizarre. That isn’t within the normal range of human behavior,” he said. “No psychologist would say that’s adaptive.” 
“There is a lot to like in the idea of power of positive thinking,” Ed Diener, one of the country’s leading researchers of happiness, told me, “but of course it must be grounded in a degree of realism.”
And where’s that dividing line? 
The dividing line, Diener said, “is when the delusions become dysfunctional. 
And where is that? 
“Where the distortions become strong enough that they make one act irrationally, impulsively,” he said. 
“The biggest problem with the Norman Vincent Peale version of positive thinking,” said Wellesley’s Norem, “is that you can’t know when you’ve crossed the line—because if you’re accepting that as a philosophy, you’re already defining out of the picture any negative thoughts. And one of the ways in which Trump is so extreme is the extent to which he does that for himself. 
So he’s at the center of this positive world, and anything negative that impinges on it is evil, bad and forbidden.” 
He won’t see the line if and when it arrives. 
As for the rest of us? 
“I mean, if we’re all blown up, in a nuclear war,” Norem said, “then that’s going to be a pretty clear line.”

 10 Examples of Trump Unraveling Before the Current Unraveling Began
He's been like this forever. By Kali Holloway /  AlterNet

Reports of Donald Trump’s precipitous descent into mental unravelment have reached a crescendo, fueled by a lengthy Vanity Fair article by Gabriel Sherman. The piece describes “a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president who seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods,” and cites an inside source who suggests Trump is “‘unstable,’ ‘losing a step,’ and ‘unraveling.'" MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin tweeted that Sherman notes that “people who've spoken to Trump on the phone say he repeats himself over and over again, rambles in convos.”

It all sounds pretty frightening, considering this is the man who has the nuclear codes. Yet, it also feels strikingly familiar, probably because Trump has been the loosest of cannons dating back forever.

We still believe Trump is driven primarily by his malignant narcissism, however we must not dismiss Howard Fineman’s warning in "The Method To The Moron’s Madness.”


Just because Trump tweets furiously and seems easily distracted doesn’t mean that he and the die-hards around him ― like Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, speechwriter/foreign policy agitator Stephen Miller and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt ― aren’t playing a long game.
One of the top minds on the mainstream left predicted confidently to me ― and somewhat dismissively ― that Trump would not seek a second term, should he not be impeached and convicted.

Maybe. But Trump’s father, who belittled him while repeatedly demanding that he grow up to be a “killer” and a “king,” died at the age of 93. Donald will be 74 in 2020. And he already thinks he is a king. 

Below: Beyond Irony, Try Not to Gag Department: (HB):

Additional Reading:

Thanks to our president: National Character Counts Week

Link: Brought to you by the Pussy-grabber in Chief (HB) : The running list

Beloved by Evangelicals (link),   admired by Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby and others you’d be delighted to have your daughter be invited to their hotel room by. (HB) 

Dictionary Review:
character |ˈkerəktərnounthe mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual: running away was not in keeping with her character.
For Immediate Release

This isn’t fake news or satire. (HB)

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims October 15 through October 21, 2017, as National Character Counts Week

- - - - - - - 

We celebrate National Character Counts Week because few things are more important than cultivating strong character in all our citizens, especially our young people.  The grit and integrity of our people, visible throughout our history, defines the soul of our Nation.  This week, we reflect on the character of determination, resolve, and honor that makes us proud to be American.
As President Reagan declared, "There is no institution more vital to our Nation's survival than the American family.  Here the seeds of personal character are planted, the roots of public virtue first nourished."  Character is built slowly.  Our actions -- often done first out of duty -- become habits ingrained in the way we treat others and ourselves.  As parents, educators, and civic and church leaders, we must always work to cultivate strength of character in our Nation's youth.  
Character can be hard to define, but we see it in every day acts -- raising and providing for a family with loving devotion, working hard to make the most of an education, and giving back to devastated communities.  These and so many other acts big and small constitute the moral fiber of American culture.  Character is forged around kitchen tables, built in civic organizations, and developed in houses of worship.  It is refined by our choices, large and small, and manifested in what we do when we think no one is paying attention. 
As we strive every day to improve our character and that of our Nation, we pause and thank those individuals whose strength of character has inspired us and who have provided a supporting hand during times of need.  In particular, we applaud families as they perform the often thankless task of raising men and women of character.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 15 through October 21, 2017, as National Character Counts Week.  I call upon public officials, educators, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

Watch “Duty to Warn: The Movie” which is being played at the 13 conferences across the country today.
Reports are that some of the venues have no more room. The most recent event scheduled is in Honolulu. Other events:


Below: He’s so proud: The video (being replayed on MSNBC) of Trump signing the health care executive destruction disorder is telling, to say the least. Still photos like this don’t do Trump’s malignancy justice. He appeared  angry and determined, with an almost manic look on his face……. as he bore down on his Sharpie so hard I’m surprised the tip didn’t break off. You'd think he was ordering the execution of Osama bin Laden… oh, wait, Obama did that. He gave the pen to Rand Paul. What a group of reprehensible smiling breeding in shit maggots. Proving to biologists that even under some circumstances, maggots can smile. (HB)

Click to enlarge image

Friday, Oct. 13, 2017
I cracked up along with Ari Melber as he interviewed comedian Richard Lewis. (HB)

All Readers: Dr. John Gartner is scheduled to be interviewed live on Lawrence O’Donnell Monday night (correction - this was originally reported as being on tonight)This is probably a good thing since the national Duty to Warn meetings are being held tomorrow. Reports are that some of the venues have no more room. The most recent event scheduled is in Honolulu. Other events:
/\ Link
I don’t know who will be appearing with
John Gartner on Lawrence O’Donnell. The first time
it was psychiatrist Lance Dodes.

Donald J. Trump was an undergraduate student at Wharton for the latter two of his college years, having graduated in 1968
Professor Kelley told me 100 times over three decades that “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.” I remember his emphasis and inflection — it went like this: “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.” Kelley told me this after Trump had become a celebrity, but long before he was considered a political figure. Kelley often referred to Trump’s arrogance when he told the story that Trump came to Wharton thinking he already knew everything. 
This has relevance now because as recently as this week, President Trump challenged the Secretary of State of the United States to an IQ contest. This came within two days after NBC reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the President a “moron” or a "f**king moron." The president has frequently bragged that he was a great student at a great school (Wharton). Thus, the public is entitled to a contrary view from somebody who was there (Dr. Kelley), and I faithfully report it here.   
Bill Kelley was one smart cookie. His textbook was standard in his time in the then-new field of “marketing intelligence” and the necessity of using computers and databases to manage it. (See which credits Bill for coining the quoted phrase.)
Kelley’s view seems to be shared by other University of Pennsylvanians. 
I had the unstoppable urge to doctor this headline.

Quote of the Day: There's a cry for help coming from inside the house -- the White House. Everyone can hear it, but nobody can figure out how to disarm the crazy man who's holding the country hostage. He has no intention of surrendering. Heather Digby Parton in Salon

The Conversation About Trump's Mental Health Is Finally Changing. But Is It Too Late?

The fabric of our reality is coming unwound day by day.

From Esquire - coverage of Duty to Warn, hopefully, is close to reaching a critical mass. Trump better not stray too far from the White House bunker. (HB)

Coverage of the President usually opens with a cunning line that drags Donald Trump followed by scathing jabs that, at this point, feel like muscle memory. Ill-informed. Erratic. Self-destructive. Abusive. Bigoted. Paranoid. Insecure. Spiteful. They all serve to capture the singularity of this moment; a time when, yes, even President Challenges Own Secretary of State to IQ Test is a real-life headline.
It all funnels down to a simple message: he’s "nuts."
Trump’s fellow republicans have dubbed him “utterly amoral,” a “delusional narcissist,” and most recently, unable to “demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence” needed for the presidency. Among the American public, one in three believe Trump’s mental health is “poor.”
Click above to read
 article and also read

Pot Meet Kettle

The book has not yet been trolled by the #MAGA audience or the phony #MAGA bots. (Trump’s brand of denialism doesn’t warrant Twitter attention to those with the letters PhD after their name.) Lee said that criticisms have come mostly over email from people who couldn’t put a coherent sentence together. When asked whether or not the book aims to persuade #MAGA believers, Lee said, “They may be beyond convincing. And I’m not appealing to that audience. We shouldn’t alter our message to placate those who are unwell because they’re already on a course that is self-destructive.”

"First there are the reports of Trump having
 to be handled like a small child because of his
 moodiness and irrational demands. This part
 does not surprise me. He showed his puerile
 temperament on the campaign trail from the
 beginning. The infantile nicknames, his rage
 tweets, his narcissism all pointed to someone
 who was emotionally immature and
intellectually in over his head.”  Heather

“Digby" Parton
The book exists to change the course of the public’s conversation around Trump’s mental health, from a dialogue centered on diatribes calling him childish or a clown to one that centers his perpetuation of “malignant normality.” Introduced in the foreword by Robert Jay Lifton, one of America’s leading psychohistorians, the term signifies the dangers of normalizing a president who lies and makes bombastic or joking statements about nuclear weapons, for instance. This coupled with the cult-like support from his base and the others blindly defending his behavior, creates a malignant normality that will prove destructive.
Trump is a bit of a perfect storm, one that resists a static classification. And there will be countless opportunities to revisit the conversation because, according to Lee and her colleagues, Trump's malignant character traits will only worsen with time. 
“These signs, his behaviors, are not going to disappear. The president is not going to pivot or become more normal with time. We can expect that things will only get worse… The patterns we lay out fit certain pathological patterns, and the inevitable course is that things will intensify. For instance, the kind of fights and rage reactions that are emerging. This is because reality and human relations will never satisfy Mr. Trump’s expectations, and therefore he’s likely to have more conflicts and generate more false realities in order to fulfill his emotional needs.”
Lee is on point here. It feels like the country is crumbling as we inch closer to war with North Korea and the institutions of America succumb to Trump's ongoing assaults. The system can't cope with the symptoms of its leader. The downward spiral is accelerating, and perhaps this book is too late to create life-affirming responses to the magnitude of dysfunction coming out of the administration. (We're sending pleas to Obama now.) This book takes the experts off the bench with resounding voices of resistance, but does it matter anymore in this existential plunge we seem so incapable of handling? 

Is President Trump mentally unfit? Saturday forum to weigh the risks - Local events are planned for Oct. 14th around the country. This is what is planned for Chapel Hill
Excerpt from article:

This movement muddies the water and could even
be an attempt to discredit the Duty to Warn move-
ment. It is clear that Trump is not a moron. I’m sorry
Newsweek decided to give it credibility.
Fisher, a professor in UNC-CH’s Gillings School of Global Public Health since 2005, said the book (The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump) essentially argues there are signs Trump suffers both from narcissism and sociopathy. He said the combination’s a volatile one in high-stakes situations, particularly if supporters and aides begin to abandon the president.
Legally, “if the president decides to launch a nuclear war, there’s nobody who can stop him,” Fisher said, adding that he believes what the group is doing is “educating the public about what those behavior patterns can mean.”
Fisher stressed that in speaking up on the issue, he’s speaking for himself, not for UNC-CH.

Fitness for office

Trump’s fundamental fitness for office, regardless of his views on the political issues of the day, has been questioned since he first sought the presidency, and not just by Democrats.
Locally, Duke political science professor Peter Feaver, in the mid-2000s a national security aide to former President George W. Bush, signed a statement last year that labeled Trump “a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States.”
Feaver at the time said that danger came from the possibility of putting “the power of the presidency in the hands of someone so focused on attacking his critics.”
Corker, a Republican, former mayor of Chattanooga and chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, told the New York Times on Oct. 8 that Trump’s threats to other countries may “put the nation on the path to World War III.”
He saw the major check on that as being aides “around him who are able to talk him down when he gets spun up, you know, calm him down and continue to work with him before a decision gets made.”

Read more here:
Thurs. Oct. 12, 2017
Evening edition: You can’t make this crap up….
Trump was interviewed by Hannity at an Air National Guard hangar in Middletown, Pennsylvania. In the midst of the interview, the loudspeakers began playing the tune “Retreat,” which signals the official end of duty. As the Balancenoted, it is also a ceremony to pay respect to the flag as it is lowered for the day.
But Donald Trump appeared to be confused with hearing the song — which Newsweek noted is a military tradition dating back to even before the American Revolutionary War — and instead asked Sean Hannity if the song was playing in his own honor.
“What a nice sound that is,” Trump said (via the Washington Examiner). “Are they playing that for you or for me?”
“They’re playing that in honor of his ratings,” Trump replied to his own question. “He’s beating everybody.”
During the song, the show’s cameras caught some members of the audience standing in respect for the flag, Newsweek noted. Uniformed members of the military are required to stop and salute the flag, while civilians are required to place their hand over their heart.

But Trump did neither, instead continuing his interview with Sean Hannity, Business Insider noted.
Right Turn

Trump threatens not to do his job — when is enough, enough? by Republican Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post


This is (saying he might pull aid from Puerto Rico) horrifying on a moral level, but it is also evidence that Trump’s temperament and emotional instability undermine his ability to do his job — in this case, direct the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies and personnel to get Puerto Rico up and running. He cannot refuse to provide services because the news coverage has been critical or because the mayor of San Juan has been mean to him.

There is no policy or even political upside for Trump to threaten a group of Americans as he is doing. Helping them is not optional, not a function of whether they pay homage to him. Increasingly it seems he cannot separate his personal feelings from his obligations under the Constitution. And unless and until Republicans begin to address this seriously, the country will remain at risk.

As for Democrats, their leadership appears to be so deathly afraid of discussing the president’s fitness in serious terms that they’ve left the discussion to fringe characters such as Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.). That’s a mistake. Mainstream Democrats need to raise in a sober way concerns about whether Trump’s emotional and mental state is now driving policy (e.g. on the Iran deal), endangering our civil rights, and interfering with his ability and willingness to carry out the duties of his job. It’s not in their power in the minority to drive impeachment, but it is their duty, as set forth in their oaths, to do what is necessary to protect the country. The very least they could do would be to engage their GOP colleagues and start asking hard questions. I suggest they start with Corker.

Impeachment probably won’t save us from Trump. But the 25th Amendment might.

Washington Post Opinion by Howard Fineman


A large portion of his own party understands how erratic and dangerous Trump has become. You’ll notice that when Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) described the White House as an “adult day care,” his GOP colleagues avoided answering questions about it — but none came forward to say that Corker was wrong.
So it isn’t hard to imagine a scenario in which something dramatic happens, like a crisis that Trump mishandles or a dangerous order he issues that his underlings refuse to carry out, after which the GOP collectively says, “Enough is enough.” According to the 25th Amendment, if the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet declare to Congress “that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
There’s a somewhat complicated process that would then ensue, with the president having the opportunity to force a congressional vote on his fate. But if the vice president and most of the Cabinet have already taken that dramatic step, chances are it would be a fait accompli. That outcome is more likely than impeachment because it would mean Republicans deciding themselves to remove Trump, which would at least somewhat lessen the feeling that it was a strictly partisan battle.
Excerpt: For the most part, elected GOP officials remain craven, cowering before the throne and hoping to get their precious tax cuts passed and their right-wing judges seated before Trump hits the nuclear button. But even Trump's close friends are worried enough that they are going public, and dozens of others are speaking to reporters off the record.

There's a cry for help coming from inside the house -- the White House. Everyone can hear it, but nobody can figure out how to disarm the crazy man who's holding the country hostage. He has no intention of surrendering.

Callous and Malice Department: Trump: We can't keep FEMA, military in Puerto Rico forever

Morning Joe erupts in laughter at Trump pulling NBC’s non-existent license: ‘Only a moron would think that’

He can't stop talking about his alleged intelligence.

The Memo: Who's winning Trump's war with media?

The Memo: Who's winning Trump's war with media? From The Hill

Weds. Oct. 11, 2017
Ed. Note: Myself,  John D Gartner, and many other experienced therapists believe Trump can be diagnosed as a malignant narcissist. Considering this news, most recently in Vanity Fair:


"In recent days, I’ve spoken with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president that seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.

The descriptive highlighted above would set off sirens and alarms (so to speak) if any health care professional heard them coming from a patient. 

I think we need to review what we know can happen when a malignant narcissist decompensates because his psychological defences break down completely, and when he is having to endure unrelenting severe narcissistic insults. 

We asked this some months ago: what would a psychotic break look like in Trump, or could he suffer a major depressive episode. 

I think this bolsters our argument that he is dangerous.

I figured this was why Trump didn’t respond to Eminem's take down: 
He’d soon discover that what he thought was a nuclear Tweet-storm against this  "failed hip-hop / rap phenomenon” turned out to be a smack with a wet noodle. HB 

Donald Trump Blasted By Eminem At 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards And Uncle Snoop Dogg Loved It

Detroit’s finest Eminem took on Donald Trump, and uncle Snoop Dogg was quick to react to the video that aired during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2017.
Eminem’s epic smackdown has the entire world sitting with their bowls of popcorn waiting for an answer from The Donald.
Spoiler — President Trump will not engage in mudslinging with Dr. Dre’s protégé because it is a lose-lose proposition for him.
The rapper, who is considered by most as the greatest alive, is too good of a lyricist for Trump’s error-prone tweets.

Eminem hails from Michigan — the state loves him — and Trump will not risk angering people from the purple state that helped him win the 2016 election.

Watch video of Duty to Warn psychiatrist with psychiatrist Bandy Lee, one of the founders of our movement.

That’s a tangible expression of power, 
and it’s not subject to veto. Trump can
 launch a nuclear strike without any 
intervention, likely becoming a global
 pariah but, certainly, demonstrating the
 power of the United States and its president.
(Especially the power of Trump personally,
which is what he really cares about. HB)

Malignant Narcissism? Ya’ think?

Trump melts down over critical NBC article, issues threat against press freedom

The president is explicitly threatening to suppress coverage he doesn't like.

Trump suggests challenging NBC's broadcast license

The veiled threat opens a new front in the president's feud with the media.

Tillerson and Corker have spoken out against Trump because he’s dangerous — and lurching toward nuclear war


Trump shoots his mouth off all the time, and it's tempting to write this off as another reality-show promo. But this behavior is alarming people who understand the stakes and realize that at the very least, this presidential craziness could lead to a calamitous miscalculation. Since Congress appears to be paralyzed, it looks to be up to the president's hand-picked generals to avert a potential nuclear war.
Tuesday evening on Chris Hayes' show, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman said:  "We have a White House where the staff views the president almost as a national security risk," and reported that a prominent GOP source told him he imagines that Mattis and Kelly have had conversations about what to do if Trump lunges for the nuclear football.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday night that Trump wants to go to South Korea on his upcoming trip to Asia, undoubtedly so he can stare even more menacingly across the DMZ than Mike Pence did. But whether he does or not, according to the report, "Trump is expected to send a 'significant message' to North Korea either verbally or 'kinetically' during the trip." In this context, "kinetic" is a euphemism for military action involving lethal force.

At this point, all we can do is hope that Trump's inner circle can prevent him from reaching for the button. The situation may sound farcical, but this is no joke.

Heather Digby Parton, also known as "Digby," is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. Below Mensa Mini-Quiz
Absolute ignorance meets malignant narcissism:
So many transparent lies.

Does Trump dare attack Eminem back? How far does his malignant narcissism go? 

Eminem Delivers a Critique as Vulgar as the President

An unlikely champion of civic values offers a blistering TV performance.

Robert Reich
 on Facebook this morning
30 mins · 
This morning I phoned my old friend, a Republican former member of Congress. 
Me: So what’s up? Is Corker alone, or are others also ready to call it quits with Trump? 
He: All I know is they’re simmering over there. 
Me: Flake and McCain have come pretty close. 
He: Yeah. Others are thinking about doing what Bob did. Sounding the alarm. They think Trump’s nuts. Unfit. Dangerous. 
Me: Well, they already knew that, didn’t they? 
He: But now it’s personal. It started with the Sessions stuff. Jeff was as loyal as they come. Trump’s crapping on him was like kicking your puppy. And then, you know, him beating up on Mitch for the Obamacare fiasco. And going after Flake and the others. 
Me: So they're pissed off?
He: Not just that. I mean, they have thick hides. The personal stuff got them to notice all the other things. The wild stuff, like those threats to North Korea. Tillerson would leave tomorrow if he wasn’t so worried Trump would go nuclear, literally. 
Me: You think Trump is really thinking nuclear war?
He: Who knows what’s in his head? But I can tell you this. He’s not listening to anyone. Not a soul. He’s got the nuclear codes and, well, it scares the hell out of me. It’s starting to scare all of them. That’s really why Bob spoke up. 
Me: So what could they do? I mean, even if the whole Republican leadership was willing to say publicly he’s unfit to serve, what then?
He: Bingo! The emperor has no clothes. It’s a signal to everyone they can bail. Have to bail to save their skins. I mean, Trump could be the end of the whole goddam Republican party. 
Me: If he starts a nuclear war, that could be the end of everything. 
He: Yeah, right. So when they start bailing on him, the stage is set. 
Me: For what?
He: Impeachment. 25th amendment.
Me: You think Republicans would go that far? 
He: Not yet. Here’s the thing. They really want to get this tax bill through. That’s all they have going for them. They don’t want to face voters in ’18 or ’20 without something to show for it. They’re just praying Trump doesn’t do something really, really stupid before the tax bill.
Me: Like a nuclear war?
He: Look, all I can tell you is many of the people I talk with are getting freaked out. It’s not as if there’s any careful strategizing going on. Not like, well, do we balance the tax bill against nuclear war? No, no. They’re worried as hell. They’re also worried about Trump crazies, all the ignoramuses he’s stirred up. I mean, Roy Moore? How many more of them do you need to destroy the party? 
Me: So what’s gonna happen?
He: You got me. I’m just glad I’m not there anymore. Trump’s not just a moron. He’s a despicable human being. And he’s getting crazier. Paranoid. Unhinged. Everyone knows it. I mean, we’re in shit up to our eyeballs with this guy.

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017
Just published tonight in the New York Times:

For Trump, the Reality Show Has Never Ended

Mr. Trump’s West Wing has always seemed to be the crossroads between cutthroat politics and television drama, presided over by a seasoned showman who has made a career of keeping the audience engaged and coming back for more. Obsessed by ratings and always on the hunt for new story lines, Mr. Trump leaves the characters on edge, none of them ever really certain whether they might soon be voted off the island.

“Absolutely, I see those techniques playing out,” said Laurie Ouellette, a communications professor at the University of Minnesota who has studied reality television extensively. “Reality TV is known for its humiliation tactics and its aggressive showmanship and also the idea that either you’re in or you’re out, with momentum building to the final decision on who stays and who goes.”
Mr. Trump on Tuesday rejected the suggestion that he was risking a nuclear war. “We were on the wrong path before,” he said, presumably referring to North Korea. “All you have to do is take a look. If you look over the last 25 years through numerous administrations, we were on a path to a very big problem, a problem like this world has never seen. We’re on the right path right now, believe me.”
But what a path. Ms. Ouellette, who has written or edited several books on reality television, including “Better Living Through Reality TV,” said Mr. Trump the president had gone even further than Mr. Trump the reality show star ever did.
“This has exceeded what would have been allowed on ‘The Apprentice,’” she said. “It’s almost a magnification. It’s like reality TV unleashed. Yes, he was good at it, but I always felt like he had to be reined in in order not to mess up the formula. Here, he doesn’t have that same sort of constraint.”
You have heard of him, but in case you don’t know why Trump will loose bigly if he engages him in a Tweet war, this is from Wiki:

Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States. Throughout his career, he has had 10 number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. With US sales of 47.4 million albums[1] and 42 million tracks as of June 2014, Eminem is the second best-selling male artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era, the sixth best-selling artist in the United States and the best-selling hip-hop artist. Globally, he has sold more than 172 million albums, making him one of the world's best-selling artistsRolling Stone ranked him 83rd on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, calling him the King of Hip Hop.

TRUMP WATCH-An elderly elephant with a blond pompadour inhabits the Oval Office. The elephant is not the physical being of Donald Trump but rather his unbalanced mental health. Trump is mentally unstable in a fashion and to a degree which is properly characterized as mentally ill. As often occurs with elephants in the room, the nation has refused to deal with this looming nightmare. An intervention is long overdue. Click below:
Recommended read from CityWatch, Los Angeles, excerpt:

Trump’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder 
The most distinguishing features of Trump’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder are (1) his grandiose sense of self-entitlement and (2) his narcissistic rages. Trump’s belief that he may do whatever he wishes since he is President is a constant problem. His using his position to help Ivanka’s businesses, his charging the government for staying at his own resorts and his refusal to separate himself from his business interests all show that he has a pathological sense of entitlement. He believes he can do what no other President has been permitted to undertake. 
Persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to be very thin skinned and fly into a rage when contradicted. No one is free from Trump’s Twitter storms, be it Kim Jung-Un with his nuclear weapons to Trump’s own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. (See DSM-5, 301.81 for all criteria of a narcissist.) 
Trump also shows traits of paranoia – systematic delusions of persecution and/or grandeur. He says that Fake News is out to get him since he is making America Great Again. Paranoia, however, can pop up in a variety of other mental disorders and hence, his paranoia does not necessarily mean he has a Paranoid Personality Disorder. 
Time for The Public’s Education 

Although professionals like to claim exclusive control of their own fields, the public needs to charge into mental health. As voters, we are called upon to pass judgment on the mental health of thousands of people each year, and yet we allow ourselves to be cowered by “professionals.” They have proven abject failures when it comes to mental health and politics. At one time, religious authorities wanted to hog the religious texts, but those days are gone for many religions. At one time, there was no notion of “We the People,” but only of the Divine Right of Kings. The time has arrived for the public to master the concepts of mental health. For the sake of our country, the public should learn more about the DSM-5 and its diagnostic categories
Excerpt: The subtext of all of this is: How dare you criticize the president? He is doing important things, and speaking out against him only undermines his efforts to “Make America Great Again.”
Whatever you think of Trump, that's a very authoritarian argument to make. It suggests dissent is unhelpful. It suggests it's even unpatriotic. And it's hardly the first time Conway and the White House have gone down this road.

What's obviously hypocritical here as that a lot of these criticisms pale in comparison to what Trump has registered about his opponents. He has questioned the war hero status of John McCain. He has attacked a Gold Star family. He called his primary foe a liar — repeatedly. He called his Democratic opponent a criminal who should be jailed. And most importantly, he was one of the most vocal critics of the last sitting president, even suggesting he was a fraud whose presidency was illegitimate.

All of that was okay, but suggesting President Trump is volatile and dangerous is not, apparently. The undermining of Barack Obama's legitimacy was apparently okay . . . because he deserved it? If Hillary Clinton had become president, we're to believe that Trump would stop calling her a criminal because she would then be the president? If you believe that, then I have some things to sell you.

Below: This is another type of narcissistic insult. Will Trump react with rage, or will Kelly keep him from seeing it?

In the analysis, Brookings concludes that even though Trump had the authority to fire Comey, he could not do so if the intention was to get in the way of an ongoing investigation.
"Attempts to stop an investigation represent a common form of obstruction. Demanding the loyalty of an individual involved in an investigation, requesting that individual's help to end the investigation, and then ultimately firing that person to accomplish that goal are the type of acts that have frequently resulted in obstruction convictions," Brookings analysts Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen wrote.

The analysis concludes that if special counsel Robert Mueller comes to the same conclusion, legitimate articles of impeachment could be drawn up.
For the non-shrinks:
MMPI | Rorschach Test | TAT  | Min-Cog Test | Millon | Hare Psychopathy Check List
Also: Don’t miss this segment of Lawrence O’Donnell

Monday, Oct. 9, 2017

More psychopathology described in lay terms (highlighted in orange)

 Bob Corker may be right about Donald Trump's White House, Michael D'Antonio - CNN today


The fact that Trump could conduct stream-of-consciousness carping from the confines of the same White House that had been occupied by the likes of Lincoln, FDR and Ronald Reagan suggests that he may not be aware of his surroundings. As he tweets about TV shows, we can see that his mind is too often fixed on matters beneath a president. And when he does focus on something important, like national security, he indulges in silliness about the "Rocket Man" (Kim Jong Un) or praises himself: "Wow, Senator Luther Strange picked up a lot of additional support since my endorsement.”

Trump goes rogue, even by his standards

Group Behind Online Petition Declaring Trump Mentally Ill Holding Physical Events This Weekend - Baltimore CBS local - with video

 Tracking euphemisms for mentally ill used to describe Trump: “thin-skinned = reactive to narcissistic insults.

-- It’s unclear what exactly triggered the thin-skinned commander in chief to post three tweets attacking the Tennessee senator on Sunday morning. The most plausible explanation is that he was reacting to a segment on “Fox News Sunday.” Washington Post

Volatile Trump does not have to be judged as being clinically unfit by psychiatrists to be removed from office under the 25th Amendment by Hal Brown in Daily Kos

Another review of the Duty to Warn Bandy book.

Why would a Russian affiliated or controlled website run a review of a book saying Trump was mentally ill? by Hal Brown in Daily Kos


10/08/2017 10:13 pm ET

GOP Sen. Bob Corker Says Trump’s Volatility Could Spark ‘World War III’

“He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”

Volatility - yet another indication of the malignant narcissism of the President of the United States.

'The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump': 27 psychiatrists assess - Lawrence ODonnell Show. Video.

In a new book, 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts asses President Donald Trump's behavior. Do his impulses explain his decisions? The book's editor Dr. Bandy Lee and Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump's "The Art of the Deal," join Lawrence O'Donnell.Duration: 10:22

Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017

Trump’s Tweets again demonstrate how he is a malignant narcissist who reacts to an insult with rage. Kudos to Corker for his pithy response. It was, however, just a Tweet.  Trump probably hasn’t heard the last from Sen. Corker, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and it won’t merely be a cutting Tweet.

Corker calls White House ‘an adult day care center’ in response to Trump’s latest Twitter tirade - Washington Post.
Corker is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
From the Washington Post:
Trump's public lashing of a fellow Republican comes after Corker made headlines last week when he starkly suggested that the national security team provides the president with badly needed adult supervision.
In an extraordinary statement, Corker told reporters that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly “are those people that help separate our country from chaos.”
Trump, who has little tolerance for public criticism and prides himself on counterpunching those who cross him*, fired off a trio of tweets Sunday morning attacking Corker, who announced last month that he plans to retire and not seek reelection in 2018.

Above —  This is not normal. It is a manifestation of malignant narcissistic disorder. HB

Below: Even if he wasnt a malignant narcissist Trump would render me apoplectic.

By Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, served in the previous three Republican administrations and is a contributing opinion writer.
Definition: Confirmation bias, also called confirmatory bias or myside bias,[Note 1] is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses.[1] It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.
People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Wikipedia


But being on the periphery of my party has given me a renewed appreciation for what Lord Tweedsmuir said. “While I believed in party government and in party loyalty,” he wrote, “I never attained to the happy partisan zeal of many of my friends, being painfully aware of my own and my party’s defects, and uneasily conscious of the merits of my opponent.” I’ve found through hard experience that the view can be clearer from the periphery than from the center of power.
Confirmation bias is deepening political polarization, which is already at record levels. Our political culture is sick and getting sicker, and confirmation bias is now a leading toxin.

It won’t be drained from our political bloodstream by conservatives lecturing liberals or vice versa. We have to begin with people in our own tribe, with people who have standing in our lives. We need to emphasize greater epistemological modesty on our side and greater appreciation for the perspectives of the other side. We have to look within and see ourselves and our limitations with fresh eyes.

To say that we all struggle with confirmation bias is not to say that some individuals don’t overcome it better than others or that some aren’t closer to seeing the truth of things better than others. Objective reality exists, truth matters, and we have to pursue them with purpose and without fear. But in our present moment, truth, including truth that unsettles us, has far too often become subordinate to justifying and defending at all costs our own, often unsound, preconceptions.

You can see that in others. But can you see it in yourself?

Old and new Sellwood Bridge construction, Portland, Oregon

Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
I put several comments on this article as did at least 47 others - well worth reading both the article and the comments.

Afternoon Edition: 
The author left out the most famous psychologist in the Duty to Warn group, Robert Jay Lifton, but I forgive him.  Excerpt:

Includes 6 minute video interview
Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo — of the famous Stanford prison study — suggests the “unbalanced” Trump is a “specific personality type: an unbridled, or extreme, present hedonist” and “narcissist.” Psychiatrist Lance Dodes, a former Harvard Medical School professor, says Trump’s “sociopathic characteristics are undeniable” and his speech and behavior show signs of “significant mental derangement.” Clinical psychologist John Gartner, a 28-year veteran of John Hopkins University Medical School, argues that Trump is a “malignant narcissist” and “evinces the most destructive and dangerous collection of psychiatric symptoms possible for a leader.” For Gartner, the “catastrophe” of a Trump presidency “might have been avoided if we in the mental health community had told the public the truth, instead of allowing ourselves to be gagged by the Goldwater rule.”
“The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump” was conceived of and edited by Professor Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine, who writes of her profession’s moral and civic “duty to warn” the American public about the threat posed by their volatile, erratic and thin-skinned president.

On the latest edition of my Al Jazeera English show, “UpFront,” I spoke to Lee about Trump’s mental state, the purpose of the book and the arguments put forth by her critics. The interview has been lightly edited and condensed. Continued

1) The question is not whether the President is crazy but whether he is crazy like a fox or crazy like crazy. And, if there is someone who can know the difference, should this person, or this group of people, say something—or would that be crazy (or unethical, or undemocratic)?

Jay Rosen, a media scholar at New York University, has been arguing for months that “many things Trump does are best explained by Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” and that journalists should start saying so. In March, theTimes published a letter by the psychiatrists Robert Jay Lifton and Judith L. Herman, who stated that Trump’s “repeated failure to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and his outbursts of rage when his fantasies are contradicted” suggest that, “faced with crisis, President Trump will lack the judgment to respond rationally.” Herman, who is a professor at Harvard Medical School, also co-authored an earlier letter to President Obama, in November, urging him to find a way to subject President-elect Trump to a neuropsychiatric evaluation.

Lifton and Herman are possibly the greatest living American thinkers in the field of mental health. Lifton, who trained both as a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst, is also a psychohistorian; he has written on survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, on Nazi doctors, and on other expressions of what he calls “an extreme century” (the one before this one). Herman, who has done pioneering research on trauma, has written most eloquently on the near-impossibility of speaking about the unimaginable—and now that Donald Trump is, unimaginably, President, she has been speaking out in favor of speaking up. Herman and Lifton have now written introductory articles to a collection called “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” It is edited by Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine who, earlier this year, convened a conference called Duty to Warn.

2) Psychiatrists who contributed to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” are moved by the sense that they have a special knowledge they need to communicate to the public. But Trump is not their patient. The phrase “duty to warn,” which refers to a psychiatrist’s obligation to break patient confidentiality in case of danger to a third party, cannot apply to them literally. As professionals, these psychiatrists have a kind of optics that may allow them to pick out signs of danger in Trump’s behavior or statements, but, at the same time, they are analyzing what we all see: the President’s persistent, blatant lies (there is some disagreement among contributors on whether he knows he is lying or is, in fact, delusional); his contradictory statements; his inability to hold a thought; his aggression; his lack of empathy. None of this is secret, special knowledge—it is all known to the people who voted for him. We might ask what’s wrong with them rather than what’s wrong with him.

Thomas Singer, a psychiatrist and Jungian psychoanalyst from San Francisco, suggests that the election reflects “a woundedness at the core of the American group Self,” with Trump offering protection from further injury and even a cure for the wound. The conversation turns, as it must, from diagnosing the President to diagnosing the people who voted for him. That has the effect of making Trump appear normal—in the sense that, psychologically, he is offering his voters what they want and need.

Knowing what we know about Trump and what psychiatrists know about aggression, impulse control, and predictive behavior, we are all in mortal danger. He is the man with his finger on the nuclear button. Contributors to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” ask whether this creates a “duty to warn.” But the real question is, Should democracy allow a plurality of citizens to place the lives of an entire country in the hands of a madman? Crazy as this idea is, it’s not a question psychiatrists can answer.

Sublime Quote of the Morning (on MSNBC from female panelist about the GOP): "They can’t regulate guns but they feel free to regulate women’s bodies.”
Ridiculous Quote: President Donald Trump is “keeping the world from chaos,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday in a statement pushing back against Sen. Bob Corker's blunt assessment about the president's administration.

Friday, Oct. 6, 2017
On repealing the employer mandate for covering contraceptives for women:
Answer: From one study done in 2005:  

Afternoon edition:

Excerpt: (Emphases added)
I urge you (Tillerson) not to resign. America and the world need sane voices speaking into the ear of our Narcissist-in-Chief. As Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said recently, it’s you, Mattis, and Kelly who “help separate our country from chaos.” I don’t think Corker was referring to chaos abroad.
Let Trump fire you if he wants to. That would further reveal what a moron he is.
But if you really did want to serve the best interests of this nation, there's another option you might want to consider.
Quietly meet with Mattis, Kelly, and Vice President Pence. Come up with a plan for getting most of the cabinet to join in a letter to Congress saying Trump is unable to discharge the duties of his office.
Under the 25th Amendment, that would mean Trump is fired.

Last night I watched the comedy thriller “True Lies” starring Jamie Leigh Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is the feature article in Politico Magazine today.  
Even more of a coincidence:
Too bad the Republicans can’t nominate the Trumpinator. Just think, were it not for two words in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, Republican and former Mr. Universe, two term governor of our largest state, world renown movie star, and the man selected to replace Donald Trump as host of “Celebrity Apprentice" Arnold Schwarzenegger could be running for president. Take out the words “natural born” from our Constitution and it could have happened. 
Adding to his appeal is the fact that Arnold has actually governed; but he also fathered a child with the family housekeeper showing he is truly a man of the people as opposed to Trump who only has had affairs with supermodels. 
Of course Trump couldn’t discredit him with the birther attack, and even if he could, who would care since Austria last I knew was a mostly white country.
I can visualize a debate where one candidate is a real actor, one who can effect an ominous presence and a voice that would prompt urinary incontinence in his competition. 
I can hear in my head Schwarzenegger saying things like “whose finger do you want on the nuclear button, mine or one of these guys” or for that matter, “who do you really want going mano a mano with Putin, tiny fingers Donald, sweaty Cruz, or Conan the Destroyer?"
Finally, can you imagine Trump trying to stand on the same stage with him and try to dismiss his candidacy by calling him little Arnold? 

I wonder if the Terminator ever thinks about all this.

This is the best comment:

Except, by current bat-shit repub standards, Arnold nowadays qualifies as a slightly right-of-center democrat — and could never win the repub conservative base for a wide assortment of other reasons, besides. And — to his credit, I suppose — I also doubt he could have riled up the latent Trump base to anywhere near the same fervor. Arnold may have a narcissistic streak, but [1] I’ve never seen evidence of quite that level Narcistic-Personality-Disorder-induced quasi-sociopathy, nor shamelessness that extended that far beyond his own sordid (but ideally undisclosed) pleasures, whereas [2] I do think he tried, more or less in good faith, to governate CA productively (whether or not he was ultimately successful or even equipped to do so), and [3] he has regularly and conspicuously used his notoriety to aid numerous laudable causes (e.g. *1*, *2* below), (seemingly) in return for only/primarily whatever attendant public ‘kudos’.
But then, such ‘kudos’ may be more strategically valuable than any material compensation: once he hits 70 or so, I won’t be surprised to see him running for the senate — as a democrat (or maybe independent).

Trump’s talk of “the calm before the storm” terrifies Twitter

The president’s ominous comments left many wondering if he was foreshadowing or just being a troll


Unsurprisingly the internet had plenty of reactions to the president's obsession with spectacle and drama. "This ain't normal," comedian Roy Wood Jr. tweeted. "Apply this to any other conversation and it's crazy. HUSBAND: it's the calm before the storm WIFE: what storm? HUSBAND: Oh, you'll find out"  

For our French speakers The French version of “60 Minutes” features an interview with Duty to Warn therapist Dr. Peter Fraenkel, City University professor of psychology

While the United States has just experienced the worst mass killings in their history, is the American president, mocked and criticized for months, still credible? Never has an American leader been so much mocked and derided. Caricatures, sketches, caustic editorials ... In less than a year at the head of the country, Donald Trump became the laughingstock of the United States. The big popular television shows, the famous late night shows, record audiences every time they caricature the head of state. Making fun of the president, it sells! In Los Angeles, on the famous Walk of Fame in Hollywood Boulevard, the star of Donald Trump engraved on the sidewalk is the object of daily spitting, and has been vandalized about twenty times.

Voices are beginning to rise across the country to demand his dismissal: 60,000 health professionals have even signed a petition claiming that Donald Trump was not able to lead the country. In this context, is the verbal escalation between the US president and the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un likely to lead to disaster? After making America laugh, will Donald Trump make the whole world cry?

A report by Virginie Vilar and Olivier Gardette
See previous photo. Larry and I used to lift weights here/

Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

Published in Daily Kos

North Korea-America face-off and possibility of war - From The Nation Questioning Trump’s mental health.


The president's tweet comes one day after leaders of the committee announced that their findings confirm the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. They also warned that Russian operatives may try to continue to interfere in future elections, including the midterms next year and the 2020 presidential election. Washington Post.

More Seriously Semantic analysis of Tillerson’s statement. As I noted below, he never called Trump a “moron” because he called him a fucking-moron (a different meaning). Colbert says it can true that he never considered resigning:

The host then turned to Tillerson’s assertion he never “considered” leaving his job as secretary of state.
“Considered leaving this post? No,” Colbert said, mocking Tillerson. “Dreamt about it? Yes. Fantasized about it while pleasuring myself in an oversized chair? No comment.”
This is the door to the row of one room apartments above the old Smoke Shop which is on Michigan Avenue across from
the Michigan State campus.. These were truly disgusting - with a shared multistall bathroom, rarely if ever cleaned.
 I took the photo a few years ago on my first cross country trip to Portland. MSU football
players keep apartments there to meet their girlfriends. The infamous Allen J. Weberman (aka AJ Weberman), who I knew fairly well, lived there. My friend,
 Larry Mervis, two time Mister Michigan body builder lived there with several thousand pounds of weight lifting
equipment in a one room apartment. Larry and I had a day job painting the chimney grey some 45 years ago.

Weds. Oct. 4, 2017
From the Washington Post: This is so telling a proof of Trump’s malignant narcissism,  and is too outrageous, for me to think of a comment.

"And as Tillerson has traveled the globe, Trump believes his top diplomat often seems more concerned with what the world thinks of the United States than with tending to the president’s personal image.

Stephanie Ruhle: Tillerson Didn’t Call Trump a Moron, He Called Him a Fucking Moron


NBC News stands by the reporting about what Tillerson said, about their confidence in the veracity of the reporting of the threat to resign, and to his to calling Trump a moron, or has been reported, a fuckin moron.  

There is a major distinction between the definition of moron and fucking moron. Despite the obvious interpretation that sometimes a fucking moron is just more moronic than a minor moron, in usage the meanings sometimes differ. 

You can call someone a moron in an endearing way. It’s all in the tone. However, add fucking and tone is everything. In fact you can eve use it on yourself: "I was such a fucking moron for leaving my car lights on.”  

In situations where you’d say “you are a fucking moron” it is all in the tone of voice when you are kidding the person or excoriating them. HB

1) Not exactly totally, he avoided saying whether or not he ever called trump a moron. 2) Coming from the Liar in Chief of the United States, who are we going to believe, numerous reporters or Trump minions Tillerson and Pence? HB

Does it matter that a president lacks the capacity for empathy? Probably not if he doesn’t try to feign it by mouthing words written for him by others. However, if the inability to empathize is symptomatic to a dangerous personality disorder like malignant narcissism, it absolutely does matter. A lot!  HB
The previous series of day dividing photos from the 20,000 or so pictures  I took were all taken from the window of my car when I drove from Boston to Portland, OR. For the time being I’ll be using photos from my collection without a particular theme, just what strikes me as depictions readers might like.

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017
Evening Edition:
One of several examples when presidential impulsiveness was checked:

And Laird prevailed. The retaliatory strike Nixon wanted never happened. Reading the account by Richard Hunt published by the Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense, it seems that Laird accomplished a classic case of bureaucratic obstruction. 

Nixon could make mercurial, intemperate statements, much like Trump. In August 1969, terrorists hijacked a TWA flight and flew the plane to Damascus, Syria. According to Evan Thomas in “Being Nixon,” the president received the news as he was having cocktails in San Clemente, Calif.

“Bomb the airport,” Nixon ordered. This time, Kissinger was cautious. Thomas quotes him as deciding “to give the president the opportunity to have second thoughts.” Kissinger slowed movement of aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean. Laird was also wary. He planned to cite “weather delays” to tarry the carriers even more. 

The next morning, while being briefed on carrier movement, Nixon asked Kissinger if “anything else” had happened. Kissinger said, “No,” and Nixon answered, “Good.” Kissinger wrote later that he “never heard another word about bombing Damascus.”

"Trump Helps Suffering Puerto Ricans By Throwing Paper Towels At Them"

We never thought we’d write this headline. HuffPost

The following “sermon” by Rachel Korbin was delivered at a vigil in Elkins Park:

My words at tonight's vigil in Elkins Park:
We Jews just finished Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement, when we beat our chests and apologize, together, for the transgressions of our communities. 
Today I stand here and pound my chest once again --
For the sin we have committed against You by not using our voices with more fervor against gun violence 
For the sin we have committed against You by abusing the intention of the Constitution and putting the 2nd amendment above our right to live without violence and fear. 
For the sin we have committed against You by loving our guns more than we love our neighbors. 
For the sin we have committed against You by letting the voices of the NRA drown out those those who have buried their children with their own strength and tears.
For the sin we have committed against You by allowing ourselves to feel tired and overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems, and ducking out rather than standing up. 
For the sin we have committed against You by making it easier to purchase a gun than to buy sudafed. 
For the sin we have committed against You by saying "now is not the time" and acting like "gun control" is a bad word
For the sin we have committed against You by not holding ourselves to the standards achieved by every other industrialized nation. 
And for the sin we have committed against You by not trusting our sense of indignation, by not speaking louder or working harder to save the lives of your precious children. 
Jewish tradition teaches to bang our chests when we confess. But the Hasidic masters teach us that we should actually hold our heart with an open hand. For most often it wasn't our heart that transgressed. Our heart was doing its work of compassion and empathy. It was actually our hands, our feet, and our mouths that neglected to transform the intentions of our heart into holy action -- in this case, the vital work of speaking out (even when it is unpopular) of writing letters and articles, of marching, campaigning, voting. 

In this new year of 5778, may the intentions in our hearts be strong enough to will our bodies towards the courageous action that our nation craves.

Trump and Las Vegas: With no Muslims to blame, Twitter troll falls silent by Heather “Digby” Parton

If a Muslim or black man had done this, he’d be braying for martial law. After Mandalay Bay it’s “warm condolences”

EXCERPT: On Monday morning, President Trump tweeted his "warm condolences" to the people affected by America's most deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Apparently, he was under the impression that he was expressing sympathy for the death of someone's 94-year-old grandmother who died peacefully in her sleep, because "warm condolences" is a very weird thing to say about a mass murder.

He did come out later and woodenly recite a written statement about how the gunman was pure evil, rattling off some scripture that he'd clearly never heard before. He and the first lady and the Pences walked onto the White House lawn and stood for a moment of silence. That's all he had to say on Day One.

That's unusual. Normally after a mass killing, Trump is the first one on Twitter, often jumping to conclusions that it's a terrorist attack, bellowing about how we must be "tough and strong" and condemning foreign officials for their failures. Mass shootings have generally been greeted with criticism of America's "strict" gun laws and suggestions that everyone should be armed so there will be bullets "going the other way," as if that would cause fewer rather than even more casualties. 

Link above.
More about Fox’s pet Trumpy psychiatrist from Think Progress.

Okay, okay, enough already. For over a month I’ve been using different photos taken from my car window to separate each days posts. They are all starting to look the same. I have this many left (below); but will start to use random photos until I think of a theme, unless my theme is “random photos” from the 20,000 I’ve taken.

Monday, Oct. 2, 2017
Editor’s Comment:
Not a link
Be prepared for incessant Republican avoidance of gun control issue, starting with this loser Nevada GOP politican Tarkanian This is what I tweeted to Chris Hayes/

You looked stunned- rightfully! Literally you bit your lip listening to Trump ToadyTarkanian - What a weasel. UGH///

Department of Goddamnit Just Stop It!

10/02/2017 01:27 pm ET Updated 7 minutes ago

Journalists And Pundits Praise Trump’s Response To Las Vegas Shooting As ‘Very Presidential’

The pattern of praising Trump for reading from a teleprompter continues.


Journalists and commentators on Monday immediately praised President Donald Trump’sstandard response to Sunday night’s mass shooting as “presidential,” lauding his ability to tweet his sympathies and read measured remarks from a teleprompter.
After Trump refrained from his usual early morning Twitter tirades by offering his “warmest condolences and sympathies” to the victims and their families, CNN’s John King praised Trump for managing to be “low key,” noting that he often does not wait for the facts before commenting on tragic situations.
“He has been very low key about this one, very presidential, if you will,” King said, while awaiting Trump’s prepared remarks from the White House.
CNN White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny agreed with King, remarking that Trump “has been very quiet about this.”
“Part of that is because there isn’t a lot of information, and part of it also is, of course, he’s being presidential in this moment,” he said.
Minutes later, after Trump’s speech from the White House, King called it “pitch perfect.”
Other reporters and pundits similarly mused that Trump’s brief comments ― in which he offered vague platitudes and made no reference to the issue of pervasive gun violence in America ― were “presidential.”

(These) essays are collected in a powerful new book called The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, which hits bookstores on Oct 2. They warn that the Trump effect has created a “malignant normalcy,” a collective psychological anesthesia. It’s the kind of hush that falls before an impending hurricane or an October surprise. As comforting as this lull may feel, evidence mounts that the worst is coming. 
This is not a bleached academic text. It is a kaleidoscope of vivid observations of a baffling personality. These expert observers of behavior argue that this president provides them with a vast treasure of public performances, videos, and twittered screeds on which to base their assessments of his mental state. It is not a diagnosis, but an effort to educate the public on behaviors that are well-documented as dangerous and pathological, not only by psychology but by many historical accounts of the rise of dictators. 

The psychiatrists argue that objectively observable evidence of mental impairment is no different from physical infirmity, as far as meeting the intentions of the 25th amendment. They have sent their statement of alarm about President Trump’s mental stability to every senator and House member, urging they act to form an independent expert panel to evaluate the president. Simultaneously, 27 representatives, all Democrats, have co-sponsored a bill to establish a “commission on presidential capacity,” including four psychiatrists, which would give Congress the authority to declare a president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
On a tragic day the nation cries out for presidential leadership…. I’d venture to suggest that many or most of our readers yearn for President Obama to be addressing the nation with a script. Meanwhile Trump’s Tweet (below) is contrasted with his previous two Tweets.
One of my first two websites (the the days when you had to use html to put a website online) was Police Stressline. My interest in the field of police stress developed out of my experience as an auxiliary police officer for 20 years. Many of those articles were reported on other websites, generally without my permission. Here’s one relevant to this incident: The Effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on the Officer and the Family.  
Back to the psychopathology of Trump
Bandy X. LeeM.D., M.Div., faculty member in the Law and Psychiatry Division of Yale School of Medicine, organizer of the Yale "Duty to Warn" conference and the editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) argues that the "Goldwater Rule," which blocks the diagnosis from afar of public figures, should not apply to the president.

Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017
Evening edition: Trump gets the final quote of the day

“And we’re going to dedicate this (golf) trophy to all of those people that went through so much that we love, a part of our great state, really a part of our great nation,” he added, before pivoting to talking about golf. “And I’ll tell you what ― I’ve been watching this thing from the beginning. And I have to say, our Team USA, wow, did you play well.”
A person at the ceremony yelled, “You don’t give a shit about Puerto Rico!” according to reporters at the event. 

By psychiatrist Andrew Spitznas

Like a bulging medical file for a chronically hospitalized ICU patient, every week sees new additions to the folders of evidence for Donald Trump’s diseased mind and his mental unfitness for the presidency.  This past week, in the “History of Present Illness” section, it was his lack of empathy and blame shifting for the abominable response to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.  For “Past Medical History,” it was the unearthed recording of a conversation with trashmaster Howard Stern, wherein Trump appallingly described his neglect and disgust towards an elderly man bleeding on Mar-A-Lago’s floor.  (Just as appalling is Trump’s unawareness that his response should be cause for shame.)
So, what exactly is psychologically wrong with this man, and what makes him dangerously unfit for public office?

So, what exactly is psychologically wrong with this man, and what makes him dangerously unfit for public office?

For answers to these questions, there is no better place to turn than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.  Edited and brought together by Bandy Lee, the psychiatrist who organized Yale’s “Duty to Warn” conference earlier this year, the responses contained in this book’s 360 pages are detailed, insight-rich, and well-reasoned.
Lee has assembled a dugout full of power hitters for this volume, with experts coming from esteemed institutions such as Harvard, Hopkins, NYU, UNC-Chapel Hill, and UCSF.  Among the contributing psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists are leaders in the field like Judith Herman, the psychiatrist author of a seminal work on PTSD, Trauma and Recovery; Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist who conducted the Stanford prison experiment; and Robert Lifton, the psychiatrist famed for his studies of Nazi doctors and Hiroshima survivors.  (If only Trump’s cabinet contained such luminous talent, we could feel much safer.)
Far more compelling (than psychologist Michael Tansey’s discussion of Delusional Disorder) is psychologist John Gartner’s overview of malignant narcissism, which appears to tidily encapsulate the Man in the Red Cap.  A diagnostic construct originally developed by the influential psychoanalysts Erich Fromm and Otto Kernberg (both refugees of Nazi Germany), malignant narcissism is comprised of four essential components:  Narcissistic Personality Disorder, antisocial behavior, paranoid traits, and sadism.

In conclusion

Though The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump is not exactly a brisk beach read, I’m convinced that anyone who is psychologically curious will find it accessible, profiting from time spent with it.  With the omnipresent gaslighting by Trump and his morally dead sycophants, there is immense benefit to conceptualizing and therefore understanding the psychopathology at the core of this administration.  Where the APA is AWOL on its commitment to America’s public health at this dire juncture, Lee and others like her have taken up the necessary slack.  And just as countless patients have thanked me for defining their ailments and course of treatment, naming the trauma and distress inflicted by Trump will be therapeutic for many.
With its condemnation of the cowardice of the APA leadership – accurately labelling them as Trump enablers and comparing them to Nazi physicians – it’s doubtful this book will win any converts among the cravens currently atop the APA hierarchy.  Instead, it is my hope that rank-and-file APA members who still feel intimidated by the Goldwater Rule will be persuaded to act on the more pressing ethical obligation to use their specialized knowledge and warn the American public of the growing danger posed by Trump’s psychological instability.


Duty to Warn therapists have pretty much concluded that Trump fits the definition of malignant narcissist. A hallmark of this fairly rare and very severe condition is that those who have if are incapable of empathy.
  • Richard A Friedman is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of Psychopharmacology Clinic Weill Cornell Medical College.
  •  Psychopharmacologists generally focus their practice on assessing patients for medication and not on providing psychotherapy. Despite this I think he should understand the generally accepted difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy is considered by mental health professionals and most people who write about human feelings to be a deep feeling that is rarely, if ever, used to manipulate people to one’s own ends. It may be illustrative of what Friedman means to say is that there are two kinds of empathy: This is from a 2013 article by psychologist Jamil Zaki:
  • But empathy is not always used in the service of good. Two papers last month highlight this idea through evidence that people use empathy to use other people, manipulating them through a savvy understanding of emotions.
In the first paper, by Sara Konrath and her colleagues gave participants a standard measure of emotion understanding: people’s ability to suss out others’ emotions based on eye gaze (you can try this test here). Konrath further measured people’s levels of narcissism, and in particular “narcissistic exploitativeness,” a mouthful of a term that capture’s peoples tendency to manipulate and use others. Interestingly, this study suggests that narcissists might not inflate their facility with other people: exploitativeness tracked people’s emotion reading skills. 
The second paper, by Yuki Nozaki and Masuo Koyasu used a more complex design. These researchers measured individuals’ emotional intelligence, and then had them play two games. In the first, participants played virtual catch with three other players. Two of the players snubbed the participant and another player. In the second game, participants gave the other snubbed player advice on whether to give up money to punish one of the unfair ball hogs from the first game. Emotionally intelligent participants who wanted revenge encouraged the other person to exact it for them, in essence getting the other player to do their (costly) dirty work. 
These studies highlight at least two things. First, the “pieces” that make up empathy don’t always go together. In many cases, understanding someone’s emotions (so-called “cognitive empathy”) and sharing those emotions (so-called “emotional empathy”) can split apart. Further, understanding without sharing is a dangerous pattern, which likely underlies intimidation, used car sales tactics, and all sorts of other manipulation. Of course in many—and perhaps most—cases, we use our understanding of others to help them. This highlights the second point these papers make. Empathic ability is value neutral, sometimes helping and other times hurting people. As are so many features of our minds.
  •  First, the “pieces” that make up empathy don’t always go together. In many cases, understanding someone’s emotions (so-called “cognitive empathy”) and sharing those emotions (so-called “emotional empathy”) can split apart. Further, understanding without sharing is a dangerous pattern, which likely underlies intimidation, used car sales tactics, and all sorts of other manipulation. Of course in many—and perhaps most—cases, we use our understanding of others to help them. This highlights the second point these papers make. Empathic ability is value neutral, sometimes helping and other times hurting people. As are so many features of our minds.
I’d need to poll my Duty to Warn psychotherapist colleagues to see what they think, but my notion of malignant narcissism is that these people are incapable of empathy of any kind.
  • Here’s what Friedman says:
Actually, Trump is a master of empathy. Most people confuse empathy with sympathy and don’t understand the nature – or power – of empathy. There is nothing necessarily nice about empathy, which is essentially the ability to imagine and intuit how other people think and feel.  
It has nothing to do with genuinely identifying with others or actually feeling their pain; that would be sympathy. Instead, empathy is really about having an accurate theory of mind of other people – and getting under their skin. 
Trump has lots of empathy. What he doesn’t have is sympathy – he doesn’t really feel badly for other people. He is not using his considerable empathy skills for Puerto Rico for a simple reason: they are not his base and he has little interest in them.
In the garden variety person with narcissistic personality disorder empathy is something that cannot be simply mastered, it takes motivation and effort. This is from the standard DSM definition of the disorder: he is unwilling to empathize with others’ feelings wishes, or needs.
 However as noted by the author people with sociopathic traits who can manipulate susceptible people lie Trump supporters have become good at reading people. This is not empathy. They don’t put themselves in the other person’s place and get a deep profound sense of what they feel. That is empathy.
Friedman writes (my emphasis)
The same is true of successful demagogues and psychopaths who have an uncanny ability to read the mind of their victims in order to manipulate and control them. Thus, depending on the moral compass of a leader, empathy could be a very positive or very destructive force.
That’s what I mean. However therapists will tell you this is not empathy. It is what Friedman says it is.
Here’s what Trump has done as described by Friedman with one major detail he has wrong - Trump felt no empathy for his supporters. Instead using his sociopaths skill at reading people he convince them he did.
Trump made a strong empathic connection with his supporters by acknowledging their pain and economic hardship and by promising to Make America (and by extension, them) Great Again. How? It hardly mattered once he made people feel he understood and liked them, something far more effective than policy details. 
But there is an extra twist to what Trump has done when it comes to empathy that helps us understand not only his success, but the puzzling and enduring loyalty of his core supporters, many of whom are unemployed, angry and stressed. 

A second story in a row from Chris Cilizza:

By Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Yet another demonstration of Trump’s dangerous malady - which it should be unnecessary to say includes the hallmark feature of the inability to empathize.
Excerpt from Chris Cilizza:

That default divisiveness ( willingness to divide, to turn every situation in which he is questioned or criticized into an "us" vs “them”) makes Trump different than every person who has held the office before him. For the 43 previous presidents, their ultimate goal was to find ways to remind people in the country of our common humanity, to take the high road, to appeal to our better angels. Many of them missed that mark -- often badly -- but it was always their North Star.
It is not for Trump. Not close. For Trump, the lone goal is winning at all costs. If that means attacking the mayor of San Juan even as Puerto Rico faces a historic recovery challenge, so be it. If it means blaming Puerto Rico's debt and infrastructure issues even as people are desperately searching for their loved ones, well, that's just how it goes. If it means trying to build the media up as a scapegoat to cover up a slower-than-ideal response to Maria's aftermath? Consider it done!
18 tweets. 11 hours. Full of blame, anger and victimhood. Totally devoid of hope, inspiration or unity. 
This is Trumpism.
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