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March 25, 2018

March 25 to

Previous Posts: Technical note for regular readers: From now on I will only post a few days at a time because a glitch in the system adds large empty spaces to older articles everytime I post a new one. Shorter pages ought to result in the website opening more rapidly.

March 27, 2018 Will Sarah dare face the press today? Or will she sent out mealy-mouth Raj Shah instead? Here's the live link. 




BREAKING NEWS FROM BUZZFEED - Let's see if Rachel or Lawrence cover this tonight.


The author of the famous Trump dossier provided a secret report to the FBI asserting that RT founder Mikhail Lesin was bludgeoned to death by thugs hired by an oligarch close to Putin. Three other sources independently told the FBI the same basic story, contradicting the government’s finding that Lesin’s death was accidental.

The FBI possesses a secret report asserting that Vladimir Putin’s former media czar was beaten to death by hired thugs in Washington, DC — directly contradicting the US government’s official finding that Mikhail Lesin died by accident.

The report, according to four sources who have read all or parts of it, was written by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who also wrote the famous dossier alleging that Russia had been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Donald Trump. The bureau received his report while it was helping the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department investigate the Russian media baron’s death, the sources said.  Read story

Tidbits:
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Former President Jimmy Carter is speaking out about President Donald Trump’s thorny legal battle with porn star Stormy Daniels – which he believes will have both personal and political repercussions.

Speaking with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell – who said she was “almost embarrassed to ask the questions” – Carter, 93, said that, legal and political ramifications aside, the perception that Trump was unfaithful to wife Melania would hurt him. Time  Magazine The 93 year old former president also said hiring John Bolton is the worst mistake Trump has made so far. AlterNet

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 “I think most people want a president who they trust to tell the truth always, and who has some basic moral values, including loyalty to his own wife,” said Carter, although he noted that the allegations would have been significantly more damaging two decades ago.

President Trump’s most urgent political problem doesn’t involve Robert S. Mueller III, Stormy Daniels, Vladimir Putin or the hundreds of thousands of voters who marched for gun control. Rather, it’s that his die-hard supporters might be starting to realize how thoroughly he has played them for suckers. Eugene Robinson, WaPo

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“When the truth don’t line up with your 
bullshit narrative just hold your breath
and stamp your feet and refused to except it,”

Americans who find this unremarkable have missed an extraordinary cultural moment. Daniels’s allegations are denied by the 
White House and an attorney for President Trump’s lawyer. Yet who in their right mind would trust Trump’s word over hers? In this case, the porn star has more credibility than the president of the United States. It is not even close..... 
In this scandal, such tactics aren’t working. Trump can’t get the porn star to say he is wonderful and move on. This is the strange, unexpected public contribution of Stormy Daniels. Micheal Gerson, WaPo

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 One of the perplexing questions of constitutional law is what to do about a sitting president who is suspected of having committed a crime. This much is clear: A sitting president should not be required to submit to a criminal trial, an undertaking that would be incompatible with the duties of the nation’s chief executive.

That should not, however, preclude a grand jury from indicting a president when the facts and the law warrant, even if the trial itself has to be postponed until he or she is no longer in office.

An indictment in this context serves a critically important purpose: Without it, the usual five-year statute of limitations for most federal crimes would elapse, forever precluding a president from being held accountable for potentially serious crimes. Thus, a president should be indictable unless he agrees to waive any future defense that the statute of limitations expired during the president’s term. Walter Dellinger, NYTimes

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Monday unveiled a new ad campaign that focuses on—who else?—Hillary Clinton. The ads hope to use the former presidential candidate as a weapon against 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in states that went for Trump two years ago. The ads, which the NRSC says will run on Facebook for two weeks, highlight a pair of remarks Clinton made about Trump voters that she felt compelled to later walk back: her “basket of deplorables” comments last year and similar ones she made this month about Trump appealing to voters by “looking backwards.” SLATE

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DONALD Trump has expelled 60 top Russian adult movie stars from the US in response to the Stormy Daniels TV interview.

The White House confirmed the move saying that Trump had hand-picked the actors to be repatriated from a list that just happened to be on his computer.
A White House spokesperson said: “If we let these Russian performers stay then we run the risk of more hard-hitting hour-long interviews about the president’s slug-like naked body, and how it looks like 250 pounds of raw sausage meat removed from its casing.”

Russian porn actor ‘Angel Delight’ said: “I think it’s very unhelpful, especially as I’ve been lined up by the Kremlin to be the next president.” The Daily Mash UK

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And last but not least, this from The Christain Post: 

Pastor Greg Locke Criticized for Defending Trump by Calling Stormy Daniels a 'Hooker'


March 26, 2018


Poetic Justice for the Right Righteous Vice President providing the immoral authority of homophobic bigotry while turning a blind eye to Trump's immorality:

Bundo Boom! The Gay Bunny Book Is Absolutely Crushing The Pence Family Version



Trump's fishy fish story. No chaos in the White House? "Chaos, there's no chaos here." Read, comment, on Daily Kos.

Lots of sperm in this photo of fish spawning. Perhaps this is an apt metaphor for a White House ruled by a narcissist obsessed with his testosterone-fueled prowess. At 71 he may be feeling the effects of diminished testosterone levels which makes him more dangerous. Just saying...
After yesterday when three delightful Kos readers who read my story (The loneliness of the widowed Trump fighter) here, and who I never met, and three friends from the senior community where I live, came over to watch “60 Minutes” last night, I am kind of happily numb. 
Today there’s Trump trying to convince himself that there’s no chaos in the White House.


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For some reason, this description in the media really has gotten to him more, one might say, than other attacks on his leadership or his the publicity about history as a sleazy cheater or even Mueller breathing down his wrinkled neck.


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One of President Trump's confidants said Sunday that the president is "perplexed" by reports of chaos in the White House, adding that more changes are expected soon.
“The president told me he is perplexed by all of these reports that there is chaos at the White House or mass staff changes,” Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, told ABC's "This Week."
“He told me that he thinks the White House is operating like a ‘smooth machine,’ his words.”
Everyone is speculating about whether he watched Stormy Daniels, and if he did how he reacted to it. Of course, there is rampant curiosity whether Melania watched it and how it may affect her.  From THE HILL
I'm not the first to say that if Trump did watch what would have bothered him most was the THREE NO's.
Anderson Cooper: And you had sex with him.
Stormy Daniels: Yes.
Anderson Cooper: You were 27, he was 60. Were you physically attracted to him?
Stormy Daniels: (1) No.
Anderson CooperNot at all?
Stormy Daniels: (2) No.
Anderson CooperDid you want to have sex with him?
Stormy Daniels: (3) No. But I didn't-- I didn't say no. I'm not a victim, I'm not--
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Michael Cohen, perhaps with delicious irony, put out a letter demanding Stormy stop making false and defamatory allegations about Trump. He is on ice so thin you can see the fish spawning beneath it when he says she is lying about the affair. But the only thing I can see that she said which he might consider defamatory is that she wasn’ t physically attracted to him.
And then there’s Melania:


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Some prenups include sunset clauses -- agreed times at which they cease to be valid, others have infidelity clauses. 

March 25, 2018
If Trump watched the Stormy interview I expect the three NO's upset him the most:


Anderson Cooper: And you had sex with him.
Stormy Daniels: Yes.
Anderson Cooper: You were 27, he was 60. Were you physically attracted to him?
Stormy Daniels: (1) No.
Anderson Cooper: Not at all?
Stormy Daniels: (2) No.
Anderson Cooper: Did you want to have sex with him?

Stormy Daniels: (3) No. But I didn't-- I didn't say no. I'm not a victim, I'm not--

 Emmy Award winning producer and director Judd Apatow on Stormy: “She was a very serious businesswoman and a filmmaker and had taken the reins of her career,” said Judd Apatow, who directed her cameos in the R-rated comedies “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” “She is not someone to be underestimated.” From a long profile in The NY Times.

The loneliness of the widowed Trump fighter: Read comments on Daily Kos


I have been a widower for eight years after being married for 40 years. While I have a few friends where I live, none of us are in the habit of getting together at each other’s homes.
I live in what’s called a continuing care retirement community (or CCRC) where I am in the younger, at age 74, totally healthy cohort. We are a very progressive Portland, Oregon facility with 450 residents who hail from mostly from the scientific, education, and healthcare professions with only a smattering of folks who made their money in business. 
Some of the loneliest times I experience are when there's breaking news which I would be sharing with my wife. As I sat with tears flowing down my face as I watched the MSNBC coverage of the March for Life yesterday, all I could think of was how much I missed having my wife sitting with me choking back her own tears. 
We were always a team fighting injustice.
As graduate students at Michigan State, she in English getting her Ph.D. and me in social work working on my MSW, we marched together in the anti-Vietnam War protests and helped organize rallies.
She stood by me when I engaged in what was a fight stressful for both of us —  but ultimately successful legal battle with my own bosses when they tried to fire me for disciplining several staff therapists for mistreating their clients without going through the personnel department first. Alas, one played golf with the CEO of our $30 million program.
When she went against her own boss in another battle which she won, I was always there for her. 
We also fought a winning battle (one of the first uses of the Internet) against a giant corporation, an agricultural co-op we were members of, which led to their CEO being fired and Board of Directors being replaced. This was covered in the major media from The Wall Street Journal to The New York Times.
We sat in bed together watching Obama winning his first election and cried tears of joy when he won. I bought a $100 bottle of scotch for her, a cheap scotch drinker, which she said was so unbelievably smooth she'd be hard-pressed to drink Dewar's again. I tried a sip and it gave me a nosebleed. Bright red blood dripped onto my laptop. We had to laugh at that.
There are too many treasured memories to mention.
Now along comes the Stormy Daniels “60 Minutes” show.
I will more than likely have to watch it alone. Unless that is, someone from where I live wants to join me. Portland Kossacks are invited too (just RSVP by private message)

Trump’s Trans Ban Shows Who He Really Is: NY TIMES opinion Excerpt


There’s a short scene in the film “Roxanne” in which Steve Martin drops a quarter into a box to buy a local newspaper. He stares at the front page for about two and a half seconds before screaming hysterically at the atrocities he finds reported there. Then he reaches into his pocket for another quarter. Mr. Martin puts the paper back in the box, closes it, and then proceeds on his way, his sense of tranquillity restored.

Following the news out of the White House these days is something like that — each week seems filled with so many things to make your hair stand on end that there are times that, like Mr. Martin, I find myself wanting to fish around in my pocket for an extra quarter just to make it all go away.

The last few days have been typical. On Thursday, H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, resigned and was replaced by John Bolton (a man Donald Trump was originally reluctant to hire because he didn’t like his mustache). On Friday morning, the president threatened to veto the $1.3 spending package that Congress sent him in order to avoid a government shutdown, only to sign it later, after describing it as “ridiculous.” Was it really just three days ago that he called President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his victory in a rigged election, in spite of being specifically begged not to do so by his own staff?
Right about now is when you might want to start fishing around for that additional quarter.

So you can be forgiven if, while all that was going on, you missed when Mr. Trump issued a new ban on transgender troops on Friday night, reversing an Obama-era policy and providing only minor tweaks to the ban he’d already tried to put in place last year, before that policy was shut down by legal challenges.
Even if trans issues don’t top the list of things you’re worried about, you should be appalled by the latest episode of kick-the-soldier, because it lays bare the fact that Mr. Trump is never motivated by policy, or research, or rationality. The only thing that matters to him is bigotry.


Serge and Beate Klarsfeld are not only Europe’s most famous Nazi hunters. For more than five decades, they’ve also been the vigilante enforcers of the continent’s moral conscience.

The husband-and-wife team — through painstaking research and often daring exploits — has tracked down murderers from the suburbs of Damascus, Syria, to the jungles of Bolivia. They pushed for the arrests and ultimate convictions of former Nazis and French collaborators such as Maurice Papon, Paul Touvier and Klaus Barbie, known as the Butcher of Lyon. And they have documented the stories of thousands of French Jews sent to the Nazi gas chambers.

Their mission has been to seek justice, but also to force a European reckoning with questions of complicity and culpability in a war many people preferred to forget. It was largely their influence that prompted President Jacques Chirac, soon after taking office in 1995, to acknowledge that “France, home of the Enlightenment and the Rights of Man . . . broke her word and delivered the people she was protecting to their executioners.”

Yet today, at the respective ages of 82 and 79, Serge and Beate Klarsfeld say they are horrified by the state of affairs in Europe and beyond: the rise of right-wing populist movements, and now governments, across the continent, often fueled by support from young voters. The parallel forces of nationalism and xenophobia, once again permissible in the public sphere. The apparent desire — from Poland to the United States — to play with the truth of the past so as to alter the norms of the present, the norms the ­Klarsfelds spent decades upholding.

“The young today don’t know hunger. They don’t know war,” Serge said in an interview at the Klarsfelds’ office, reclining at a desk piled high with the kind of documents he and his wife have used for years to build their dossiers. “They don’t know that the European Union brought to Europe so much, and they don’t know that the generation that came before them worked so hard for what there is.”
To that end, the Klarsfelds are publishing an English translation of a joint memoir . In “Hunting the Truth,” sections written in their alternating voices tell the story of a marriage and a common purpose.

“People are often very passive and believe they can’t do anything,” Serge said. “But they can do something, and so we’re explaining that we are people who did something.”

Excerpt:
Chile’s new president, SebastiΓ‘n PiΓ±era, a self-made billionaire serving for the second time, was elected to lift up his nation’s economy, which stagnated under President Michelle Bachelet. He also inherits a large deficit and an investment community strangled by regulations . Just into his second week in office, PiΓ±era sat down in Chile’s White House, La Moneda Palace, with The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth to talk about his hard road — and which Trump administration policies concern him most. Edited excerpts follow:

Q: You spoke with President Trump on the telephone after your election. He invited you to Washington.
A: Yes.
Q: Did you accept?
A: Someday.
Q: Someday?
A: We have no set date yet. We have had a very good relationship with the U.S. I told Trump he shouldn’t be worried about our free trade agreement because the U.S. has a surplus with Chile, and we don’t care about that.

There are some areas that really concern me. For instance, there is no clear policy from the Trump administration with respect to Latin America. This is something every Latin American country worries about. When Trump went to [the World Economic Forum in] Davos, it was very strange for us that he was defending protectionism, and [Chinese] President Xi Jinping was defending free trade. I think that protectionism and commercial warfare are bad for everybody. We are also worried that the U.S. withdrew from the Paris agreement on climate change.

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Yesterday's Daily Kos Article had 81 comments, including several responses I wrote. 

How Close Is Donald Trump to a Mental Breakdown?

Previous Posts: 

March 23, 2018

March 22 to

Earlier posts

March 24, 2018

STORMY’S A-BREWIN’

Daily Beast ‘Stormy 

Will Eat You Alive’: How a Porn Star is Making Trump World’s Lives Hell


In public and on his Twitter feed, President Trump has kept mum about L’affaire Stormy. Behind the scenes, he’s spooked

This is his Twitter page.

This is the official White House statement which deserves the response WE CALL BULLSHIT considering the following Trump Tweet.


In a statement, White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said: 
"We applaud the many courageous young Americans exercising their First Amendment rights today. 
Keeping our children safe is a top priority of the President's, which is why he urged Congress to pass the Fix NICS and STOP School Violence Acts, and signed them into law. 
    Additionally, on Friday, the Department of Justice issued the rule to ban bump stocks following through on the President's commitment to ban devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns."

    This is Trump's only Tweet so far today in reference to this terrorist attack in France. 


    My Daily Kos piece today was inspired by a Daily Beast article: HOW CLOSE IS TRUMP TO A MENTAL BREAKDOWN?




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    Today the Daily Beast followed up with a major article that asks basically the same question, which is paraphrased in the title of my new dairy: How Close Is Donald Trump to a Psychiatric Breakdown? Crucially the authors ask “ will the president approach a psychiatric breakdown before, or after, he fires Mueller?”


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    I suggest you read the entire article, although if you’re familiar with the Goldwater Rule controversy,  and the history of the mental health duty to warn movement, you may want to skim through those sections to get to the clinical meat of the article which is reflected in the title.
    The article is written by Rosemary Sword who is co-developer of Time Perspective therapy with the well-known psychologist Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford professor emeritus and author of Stanford prison experiment most psychology majors studied in college, and Gail Sheehy. She is a journalist and the highly regarded author of 17 books, including Passages and Character: America’s Search for Leadership.
    I have written here about the psychological defense mechanisms employed by malignant narcissists like Trump to protect their fragile egos. When a malignant narcissist feels attacked (technically suffers a “narcissistic insult”) he tends to react with narcissistic rage. I wrote about this way back in August 2016.  We see this all the time with Trump.
    But the question dozens of shrinks who I communicate with every day through a private Facebook page have been asking is what it will happen if his defenses no longer function. The answer we have come up with is that he is likely to have some kind of severe mental breakdown, possibly a psychotic episode. In fact, my friend, fellow Daily Kos diarist, contributor to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” and the founder of our Facebook page is quoted in The Daily Beast article:
    Howard Covitz, a Philadelphia psychoanalyst and former director of the Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, pointed out that the Goldwater Rule, as it now stands, has no limits. “Hypothetically, a president could be hallucinating and running on the White House lawn buck naked, screaming ‘Bring me my nuclear codes!’ and the new rule would continue to gag professionals from speaking up.”
    Politically this would be difficult, if not impossible, to ignore because his symptoms would be so obvious.
    The authors of the Beast article suggest that Trump is showing signs of mania.
    To verify the symptoms of mania, Sheehy sought out Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University’s medical school and a former president of the American Psychiatric Association who has produced 10 books on mental illness and psychiatry. This conversation took place in the summer of 2016.
    “Manic personalities are imbued with a sense of self-importance, grandiosity, and mission,” Dr. Lieberman said, taking care to add that this is true of most people who seek the presidency. Granted, anyone with the audacity to assume that he or she has what it takes to lead the world’s superpower will exhibit an excess of narcissism and its offspring—a sense of entitlement—along with a grandiosity of ambition and some degree of messianic belief that she or he is the ideal rescuer-protector for the times. But early on, Donald Trump crashed through the sound barrier on all such temperamental traits.
    Dr. Lieberman elaborated on the fragmented thinking process of a person suffering from mania. They jump from subject to subject, not following a line of logical reasoning, no thematic consistency. They need less sleep, or don’t sleep at all.
    The average person doesn’t need a Ph.D. to peg Trump in ordinary words as “a raging, overbearing, egotistical, obnoxious boor,” as professor Lieberman observed. But what goes on in the brain of a manic temperament is more dangerous than just obnoxious. “There is a biochemical disturbance in a part of their brain that involves regulating moods,” Lieberman said. “Instead of being able to re-stabilize a highly emotional state, they remain in a period of excess. That state can persist for days, weeks, or even months.”
    This sounds like a dead ringer description of the state of Trump’s mind in recent months as he sleeps less and tweets more—up to as many as a dozen times a day—to create a perpetual disarray in government and a constant distraction from what he most fears.
    They do not use this term colloquially. It is a clinical term, a syndrome. Let’s once again go to Wikipedia: 
    Mania is a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level, or "a state of heightened overall activation with enhanced affective expression together with lability of affect."[1] Although mania is often conceived as a "mirror image" to depression, the heightened mood can be either euphoric or irritable; indeed, as the mania intensifies, irritability can be more pronounced and result in violence, or anxiety.
    The symptoms of mania include heightened mood (either euphoric or irritable); flight of ideas and pressure of speech; and increased energy, decreased need for sleep, and hyperactivity. They are most plainly evident in fully developed hypomanic states; in full-blown mania, however, they undergo progressively severe exacerbations and become more and more obscured by other signs and symptoms, such as delusions and fragmentation of behavior.[2]
    Mania is a syndrome with multiple causes. Although the vast majority of cases occur in the context of bipolar disorder, it is a key component of other psychiatric disorders (such as schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type) and may also occur secondary to various general medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis; certain medications may perpetuate a manic state, for example prednisone; or substances of abuse, such as cocaine or anabolic steroids. In the current DSM-5, hypomanic episodes are separated from the more severe full manic episodes, which, in turn, are characterized as either mild, moderate, or severe, with specifiers in regard to certain symptomatic features (e.g. catatoniapsychosis). Mania is divided into three stages: hypomania, or stage I; acute mania, or stage II; and delirious mania (delirium), or stage III. This "staging" of a manic episode is very useful from a descriptive and differential diagnostic point of view.
    Trump decided that the best place to spend the weekend was at his summer palace, thus avoiding the March For Our Lives. However, the assaults on his psychological defenses are escalating on several fronts, most notably the Mueller investigation getting closer and closer to implicating him, and his “woman” problem is culminating in what will probably be one of the most viewed 60 Minutes of all time. 
    We don't know what, if anything, will be the final trigger for a mental breakdown. It could happen behind closed doors when Melania finally tells him she’s had it with the charade of playing the loyal First Lady. See: As “Trump rages, often alone in the residence on the top floor of the White House” where’s Melania, a diary I wrote with the image below on March 1st which got 164 comments.


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    Whatever will set him off, let’s hope there’s someone there to stop him from starting a war as the ultimate expression of narcissistic rage. 
    Something to watch during a commercial break while viewing coverage of the March For Our Lives:

    My shrink friends and I discuss this all the time:


    DANGER ZONE

    How Close Is Donald Trump to a Psychiatric Breakdown?

    Last fall, prominent psychiatrists broke with the American Psychiatric Association to warn that President Trump is dangerous and mentally unstable. A bitter controversy started.


    March 23, 2018
    Click above to make or read comments


    The more that comes out about how Trump used or abused women does not matter to many of his male supporters — and make no mistake that even though he had consensual affairs he was abusing Melania and before her at least one previous wife when he did this.
    Evangelicals, although mostly men, have given him a pass so far because he’s supposedly anti-abortion. Of course, they have to toe to the party line about sexual morality.


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    Republicans in Congress don't give a shit yet because they are afraid that if they condemn him they will be primaried by total Trumpers who say they emperor can do no wrong.
    However, that are countless men out there who hold Trump in even higher esteem than they would otherwise because he was, in their macho minds, the stud’s stud who was undeterred by morality or guilt as he satisfied his sexual urges.
    They vote.
    Trump knows this, and the GOP knows this too.
    These voters don’t read The Washington Post, although Melania might:


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    They will however surely watch 60 Minutes in record numbers (preview), and those who may consider not watching the Michael Avenatti Tweet which is being given substantial publicity will tempt them. Perhaps because of other breaking news and possibly because as a mere Playboy model she hasn’t captured the public imagination the way porn star Stormy has, the CNN interview with former Playmate model Karen McDougall didn’t receive that much media attention. 


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    a mysterious photo of a CD Thursday night.
    “If 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' how many words is this worth?????#60minutes #pleasedenyit #basta,”
    No matter what Stephannie Cliffords (aka Stormy Daniels) says about their affair, these men will fantasize about having sex with her.
    The biggest unknown regards Melania.
    How will she react to all this media attention to her husbands cheating? I doubt she provides any significant emotional support to him now but this could push her at least to the point where she will no longer agree to be photographed with him and participate in the happy First Family charade.
     If she does what is best for her and Barron and leaves him, we do not know how a malignant narcissist is going to react to the optics of being a spurned cheating husband.
    Friday, Mar 23, 2018 · 10:47:13 AM PDT · HalBrown
    While Daniels, McDougall, and Clifford are making the news today, the men I refer to admire Trump for getting away with actually sexual assaulting at least 19 women.
    Published on
    Monday, December 11, 2017
    by
    Speaking in New York City on Monday, women call on Congress to investigate their allegations of sexual harassment and assault levied against the president