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April 12, 2018

April 1213, 2018

April 13, 2018
I continue my run of thinking of something to post on Daily Kos every day except one for over a month. As usual, I ask you to register there and recommend all my articles, even the lackluster ones, and to make comments. Generally, I have no idea of what to write about when I wake up. I attempt to write something everyone else isn't weighing in on hoping that the editors at Kos recommend my story. There doesn't seem to be anything new to say about Trump's deteriorating mental health. It seems that duty to warn, small letters or caps, has succeeded in getting the message across that Trump is indeed a dangerous case, no matter whether we want to get into the weeds of psychiatric definitions and jargon. If Trump shows florid psychotic symptoms I expect the luminaries, the go-to shrinks, will be explaining for the lay public why at long last the 25th Amendment must be invoked.

New York Post's benign cover vs. The Daily News' brilliant pea brain Trump PEE BRAIN cover (Comments on Daily Kos)

Tuesday covers seen on newsstands through metro-NYC

I don’t know whether Trump actually reads a newspaper which is printed on paper. If he did, it would be the Murdoch owned New York Post. Today’s cover is benign, even somewhat complementary since there’s a certain panache to being a Mafia don.


In contrast to the New York Daily News, which is harshly critical of the president and is known for its Trump mocking front pages, often depicting him as a clown during the primary (see gallery from 1990 to present), the Post leans to the right and has supported the presidency of Donald Trump.
Trump hates the New York Daily News, and he particularly hates their covers as he knows full-well how many people see them, see for example, Trump Goes After NY Daily News After ‘Dawn Of The Brain Dead’ Cover (left).
However, unlike Murdoch owned Fox News, the Post does not make up news and they clearly label their opinion pieces. 
As New York City’s ubiquitous tabloids, the Post and the News compete for readership side-by-side every morning on newsstands throughout the city. The tabloids are popular among commuters because they are easier to handle on the subway than full-page papers like the other primary NYC papers, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (another Murdoch owned paper). My hunch is that there is overlap in readership and that each paper can attract buyers simply by their covers.

The post is giving substantial coverage to the Comey story. This is what they covered today:
My impression is that Trump is disinclined to read anything during his pre-twitterbation morning executive time when he is transfixed by the rogue's gallery appearing on Fox and Friends who enable him to be president without actually pondering the ramifications of his decisions.
If he reads one newspaper it is the Post. However, it is possible he also asks to be provided with a copy of the News, if only because he still has the Manhattanite in him. 

I hope he got today’s Daily News. 



Fox News calls it a BLOOD FEUD, headlines typical trumpedential  (the new antonym of presidential) pejorative "SLIME BALL"

April 12, 2018
I can't figure out why HuffPost used sliced lemons as a background on their top of the page story:

Quotes from Duty to Warn founder John Gartner:

Trigger-Happy Trump and Syria: “The Worst Case Scenario Is Now Our Reality.”

Comments on Daily Kos

Russian RT quotes former UK MP calling Trump a manchild, questions sanity, suggests 25th Amendment

The real story isn’t what Galloway said in the interview as he isn't a well-known world figure outside of the U.K.  It’s that RT decided to publish an interview someone with such a critical view of Trump who questions Trump’s mental capacity and calls for him to removed under the 25th Amendment.
“First of all the tweets from President Trump is undoubtedly the most disturbing statement ever made by any US president and calls into question the very sanity of the person issued it,” Galloway said.
“The world is watching on in horror even in the countries Britain and France that have already indicated they wish to join the putative American strike against Syria. We are on the point of what could develop into World War Three due to the unhinged, juvenile actions of a manchild.”
Galloway went on to urge Washington officials to take matters into their own hands and impeach the out-of-control president.
“I believe that the US cabinet, which has the power to do so under the 25th amendment to the US constitution, must now declare that the author of that tweet is no longer fit to discharge their duties and should be removed from office.”
It’s also important to consider how RT framed Galloway’s comments and the use of the word “alarming” and “threatening.”
Former MP George Galloway has called on the US cabinet to impeach Donald Trump, labeling him a “man child” and questioning the American president’s sanity after he promised to launch “smart” missiles at Syria.

Trump’s alarming tweets were followed shortly after by the Pentagon issuing a statement in which it said it "does not comment on potential future military actions" and referring questions about the tweet to the White House.
One hour after the threatening tweet, Trump shared a softer message about Russia. According to the POTUS, the fraught relationship between the US and Russia need not be that way.
When Russian state-run  media quotes a Brit calling Trump a manchild, questions Trump's sanity, and calls for him to be removed under the 25th Amendment it is news.
As far as I can tell with a Google News search, this hasn't been covered anywhere except on RT which is why I wanted to put it on Daily Kos.

No doubt this will be in  the news today:

Trump fathered a child with an employee — according to ex-doorman paid off by National Enquirer: report

Excerpt: President Donald Trump may have fathered a child with an employee and then paid to keep the situation under wraps, according to newly revealed documents.

The Associated Press confirmed the National Enquirer paid $30,000 to a former doorman at Trump World Tower in exchange with the perpetual rights to a story he’d heard about the child.
The payment came eight months before the tabloid paid $150,000 to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, and it raises new questions about how the National Enquirer and attorney Michael Cohen fought to protect Trump’s reputation during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The tabloid’s deal with ex-doorman Dino Sajudin effectively prohibited him from going public with rumors he had heard about Trump’s relationship with a woman who worked at the Trump Organization property near the United Nations.
The contract subjected Sajudin to a $1 million penalty if he revealed the rumor or terms of the hush agreement to anyone.

From Digby: "I'm hard-pressed to see how more death in Syria will amount to anything positive. So I can only wish Trump luck in beating back his worst instincts, and Bolton's advice, even if it is only because the president is terrified of whatever Putin might reveal about him. Creating some space for diplomacy or even just a pause in an unstable situation is better than thoughtless escalation. It's hard to believe, but this is one time when Trump's personal corruption may end up being a small service to mankind." Heather "Digby" Parton in:  

Trump, Bolton and the looming threat of war with Russia: Could the president’s corruption save us?

Torn between BFF Vladimir Putin and his war-mongering new adviser, Trump faces a fateful choice — on Twitter

Tidbit: Trump is the only president to have a Wikipedia page suggestive of having a mental disorder: 
LINK above

Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself (WaPo May 13, 2016)


The voice is instantly familiar; the tone, confident, even cocky; the cadence, distinctly Trumpian. The man on the phone vigorously defending Donald Trump says he’s a media spokesman named John Miller, but then he says, “I’m sort of new here,” and “I’m somebody that he knows and I think somebody that he trusts and likes” and even “I’m going to do this a little, part time, and then, yeah, go on with my life.” 

A recording obtained by The Washington Post captures what New York reporters and editors who covered Trump’s early career experienced in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s: calls from Trump’s Manhattan office that resulted in conversations with “John Miller” or “John Barron” — public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself, according to the journalists and several of Trump’s top aides.

In 1991, Sue Carswell, a reporter at People magazine, called Trump’s office seeking an interview with the developer. She had just been assigned to cover the soap opera surrounding the end of Trump’s 12-year marriage to Ivana, his budding relationship with the model Marla Maples and his rumored affairs with any number of celebrities who regularly appeared on the gossip pages of the New York newspapers.

Within five minutes, Carswell got a return call from Trump’s publicist, a man named John Miller, who immediately jumped into a startlingly frank and detailed explanation of why Trump dumped Maples for the Italian model Carla Bruni. “He really didn’t want to make a commitment,” Miller said. “He’s coming out of a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially.”

Miller turned out to be a remarkably forthcoming source — a spokesman with rare insight into the private thoughts and feelings of his client. “Have you met him?” Miller asked the reporter. “He’s a good guy, and he’s not going to hurt anybody. . . . He treated his wife well and . . . he will treat Marla well.”  CONTINUED

More links:

  1.  Kopan, Tal; Diamond, Jeremy (May 14, 2016). "Donald Trump on recording: Not me"CNN. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  2. Jump up to: a b Kimble, Lindsay (May 15, 2016). "Donald Trump Admitted to Posing as His Own Spokesperson to PEOPLE in 1991, Despite New Denials". People.
  3. Jump up ^ D'Antonio, Michael (May 18, 2016). "Donald Trump's Long, Strange History of Using Fake Names"Fortune. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. Jump up to: a b Borchers, Callum (May 13, 2016). "The amazing story of Donald Trump's old spokesman, John Barron – who was actually Donald Trump himself"The Washington Post. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  5. Jump up ^ "Taking a Bath on Madison"New York. New York Media, LLC. 13 August 1984.
  6. Jump up ^ Surico, John (November 6, 2015). "Remembering John Barron, Donald Trump's 'Spokesman' Alter Ego"Vice. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  7. Jump up ^ Joseph, Cameron (May 13, 2016). "Donald Trump has apparently gotten away with posing as his own publicist 'John Barron' many times before"New York Daily News. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  8. Jump up ^ Fisher, Marc; Hobson, Will (May 13, 2016). "Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself"Washington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  9. Jump up ^ Fitzpatrick, Sarah (March 6, 2018). "Stormy Daniels sues Trump, says 'hush agreement' invalid because he never signed"NBC News. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018.


April 9, 2018

April 9-11, 2018

Back: April 7-8, 2018

April 11, 2018

Former House Speaker John Boehner joins marijuana company: 'My thinking on cannabis has evolved'

  • Former House Speaker John Boehner is joining the board of directors of a marijuana-focused holdings company.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is also joining the board.
  • Boehner says his thinking on marijuana has "evolved."

"He’s just a fucking idiot who thinks he’s winning when people are bitching about him.” (Expletives undeleted by HB)

Uncensored Excerpt:

A Republican Congressman has let loose and expressed his true feelings about President Donald Trump to Erick Erickson, a far-right pundit. Erickson is a former Fox News contributor and was the editor of RedState. He will not identify the GOP lawmaker who is from a “very Republican” district for obvious reasons, writing the Congressman “is happy to be quoted, so long as I don’t name him.”
“If we’re going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherfucker,” the unnamed Republican Congressman we’ll call “Rep. X,” supposedly said to Erickson.
Erickson says Rep. X continued his rant, saying, “dammit he’s taking us all down with him. We are well and truly fucked in November. Kevin [McCarthy] is already circling like a green fly circling shit trying to take Paul’s [Ryan] job because nobody thinks he’s sticking around for Nancy [Pelosi]. She’s going to fuck up the cafeteria again too. [Lord’s name in vain], at least I’ll probably lose too and won’t have to put up with that shit.”
“It’s like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really fucking stupid Forrest Gump. He can’t help himself. He’s just a fucking idiot who thinks he’s winning when people are bitching about him. He really does see the world as ratings and attention. I hate Forrest Gump.”
The House Judiciary Committee “just might pull the trigger if the President fires Mueller,” Rep. X supposedly said. “The shit will hit the fan if that happens and I’d vote to impeach him myself. Most of us would, I think. Hell, all the Democrats would and you only need a majority in the House. If we’re going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherfucker. Take him out with us and let Mike [Pence] take over. At least then we could sleep well at night.”

The fate of Mueller, and ultimately the president, may hinge on Senator Grassley  (28 comments and counting)


A bipartisan quartet of senators released long-awaited compromise legislation Wednesday to prevent the undue firing of special counsels like Robert S. Mueller III, as the bill’s authors claimed Republican leaders were warming to the idea of letting the measure come to a vote.
Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced they had completed legislation that would delay any order to fire a special counsel by 10 days, giving that counsel a window to appeal the decision to a panel of three federal judges.
The bill further stipulates that during the 10-day period, no documents or materials related to the counsel’s investigation could be destroyed or staffing changes made.
The release of the bill is an important moment for lawmakers who have struggled to agree upon a middle ground between two separate special counsel protection bills they filed last summer in the wake of President Trump hints that he might replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Its fate now rests largely in the hands of Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who must decide whether he will put the bill through the formal congressional vetting process.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Tuesday “it would be suicide” if President Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller.
“I have confidence in Mueller, the president ought to have confidence in Mueller, and I think, to answer your question, it would be suicide for the president to want to talk about firing Mueller,” Grassley said on Fox Business Network. “The less the president said on this whole thing the better off he would be, the stronger his presidency would be,” Grassley continued, adding that he believes the probe into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election is a “dead end.”
It remains to be seen whether the fact that Trump is behaving like a man who is as guilty as hell and is trying to obstruct justice to cover his own ass by firing Mueller will lead Grassley to assure that he doesn’t get away with this subversion of the American justice system. Hopefully Trump’s negative behavior is leading Grassley to feel “more positive” about allowing the compromise bill to move towards a House floor vote.
But in recent days, Grassley has been sounding “more positive” about marking up the bill, which would move it a step closer toward a possible floor vote, the senators said.
“I saw him yesterday ... and said I am hearing through our staff that you are more open to a markup soon for this bill,” Coons said in an interview Wednesday. “And he said, yes, I am seriously considering it.”
The change of heart coincides with a new tirade from President Trump, who excoriated the FBI over its recent raid of his lawyer Michael Cohen’s home and office. Trump also said that “many people” were advising him to fire Mueller.  Washington Post
In reading his Wikipedia profile one thing stood out which leads me to be optimistic that he’ll make the just decision.
Grassley was ranked as the 5th most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate during the 114th United States Congress (and the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate from the American Midwest after Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly and Ohio Senator Rob Portman) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).

If the Senate passed this bill it would, of course, need to go to the House. With the latest polls showing that 70% of Americans want Mueller to continue his investigation, Republican members there hopefully would vote for the bill and there would be a veto-proof majority.

04/11/2018 08:20 am ET Updated 1 hour ago

NYT Editorial Board Unloads On Trump: ‘The Law Is Coming’

“Mr. Trump now has real reason to be afraid.”

A paranoid narcisstic rage outburst by definition is irrational.

Veteran journalist Carl Bernstein nails Trump's Mueller attacks: 'He doesn't give a damn' about 'the rule of law'

"There is a conspiracy between Trump and his lawyer." "Those (siezed) computers could be the equivalent of the Watergate tapes."

Jimmy Kimmel Has Figured Out What Trump’s Job Will Be After He’s Impeached

APRIL 10, 2018


Breaking: Mike Pompeo may not be that bad at State.

Rewritten NY Times headline:

Trump Cancels Trip to Latin America, Citing Inability to Watch Fox and Friends While In S. America

Excerpt: WASHINGTON — President Trump will not attend the Summit of Americas this week as originally planned, the White House announced on Tuesday, citing the crisis in Syria. The announcement came one day after the F.B.I. raided the office and hotel room of the president’s personal attorney, which Mr. Trump called an “attack on our country.”
In a brief statement on Tuesday morning, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said the president will stay in the United States and oversee America’s response to a suspected and deadly chemical attack in Syria “and to monitor developments around the world.”
You probably heard the same reports which I did that Kelly and Mattis wanted Trump out of the country because they didn’t trust him to be rational following the Michael Cohen no-knock FBI raids in his response to the Syrian chemical attack.
No such luck.
The breaking news this morning (see my reworked NY Times headline) is that he will stay in Washington and send Vice President Pence to the Summit of Americas in Lima, Peru this week.
My hunch is that he feels so besieged this week that he is not about to leave his comfort zone, especially having to meet with leaders of nations who won’t lick his boots.
I think he’d rather be in Mar-a-Lago where he could have his ego massaged by his millionaire friends. However, even he knows that the optics of him playing golf while ostensibly running a war and ordering missile strikes in Syria might not pass muster with Congress and Fox News.
Besides, if he’s in South America he wouldn't be able to turn to Fox and Friends and his other erudite advisors on the boob tube to tell him what to think and what to do.

Press Release: FAU Study Says Charisma Trumped Narcissism for Voters in 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

BOCA RATON, Fla.April 10, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Narcissism is common among U.S. presidents and is often associated with negative outcomes for former presidents such as Lyndon B. JohnsonRichard Nixon and Bill Clinton. However, narcissists with charisma can also attract voters, inspiring them with a call to action, a grand vision and their own personal charisma. 

A new study by faculty at Florida Atlantic University suggests those positive qualities, as perceived by voters, may have helped push U.S. President Donald Trump to victory in the 2016 presidential race with Hillary Clinton
"What we find in the 2016 presidential election is charisma appears to counterbalance the negative effects of a narcissistic personality in people's perceptions of a leader and going ahead and voting for that person," said Ethlyn Williams, Ph.D., associate professor of management in FAU's College of Business, who coauthored the study with faculty from California State University San MarcosNova Southeastern University and the University of Sydney. The study is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.  

Williams and her co-authors examined results of surveys administered two weeks before and one week after the 2016 election. It was completed by 426 participants who answered questions on leadership and leader evaluations for both Trump and Clinton. Results from the study suggest that narcissism and attributed charisma are both important predictors of voter choice and found that attributed charisma may serve as a balance to narcissism. Thus, followers of a candidate potentially look beyond negative leadership qualities to select those leaders who they perceive to have redeeming positive attributes and values. 

While the researchers cautiously suggest that charisma may indeed "trump" narcissism, the results also suggest when voters attribute charisma to a candidate and also believe that they share similar values, this may allow voters to more fully embrace the candidate.

Exhaustive media coverage of candidates, as well as skillfully woven narratives from the candidates about their own lives, provides voters with the perception of familiarity with candidates' traits, the study noted. Social media can amplify this effect.

As they expected, researchers did see that narcissism is negatively related to charisma and negatively related to voting. 

"Yet still we see strong positive relationship between charisma of that person and voting for that person," Williams said. "So clearly charisma makes a difference." 

SOURCE Florida Atlantic University College of Business

April 9, 2018

Stories like this are of particular interest to me because I have two friends who living is rural Mississippi: Dying to get out: Former Mississippi Aryan Brotherhood member's message

NORTHERN EXPOSURE - The daily beast

Trump Is Freaking Out About the Wrong Border: Killer Fentanyl Is Coming From Canada


James Comey should offer to be interviewed on Fox News. By Hal Brown

Comments here
According to David Leonhardt, Opinion Columnist in the New York Times: James Comey will be starting  on Sunday, begin an epic publicity tour, including interviews with Stephen Colbert, David Remnick, Rachel Maddow, Mike Allen, George Stephanopoulos and “The View.”
I’d like Comey (though an intermediary of course)  to reach out to Fox to offer to do an extended interview. It would be a rating blockbuster so I doubt they’d decline.
After I watched the MSNBC profile of Robert Mueller last night, as I assume most Kossacks did, I wondered if Trump also tuned in. I assume his Russia legal team watched and had to be saying something along the lines of “oh shit, we’re royally fucked” even 15 minutes in when all the show depicted was Mueller’s Vietnam combat experiences. It was all downhill for Trump from then one as Mueller’s role post-9-11 was examined and how we learned about the reforms he instituted at the FBI.
I wondered how bone-spur drafter dodger Trump would be reacting if he was watching the evolution of the career of his nemesis. 
CRUZ LINK ABOVE. Related: Why our are eyebrows so expressive?
While Comey wasn’t shot in the thigh by an AK-47 like Mueller was, he has his own impressive legal resume.  
Comey has an important story to tell, the counter-point to the Trump no obstruction lie. Unfortunately, it will only be heard on TV in its unfiltered non-Fox News version by those Trump supporters who are willing to switch channels. 
I’d like him to have a chance to relate his account of his firing, which we know was an attempt by Trump to obstruct the Russia investigation, to the viewers of Fox News. Readers here, a sophisticated bunch, know about confirmation bias, and that if it was cancer most Trump worshippers have it in stage four. However, just because he won’t change many minds among Fox viewers, he might challenge just a few of the less brainwashed to stop demonizing him.
If he went on Fox he could be interviewed by someone like Shepherd Smith (Fox host Shepard Smith slams president, Trump supporters call for his head ” ) or one of their in-the-tank for Trump hosts like the phenomenally ignorant and abrasive  Jesse Watters. I think the later would be more interesting to Fox News viewers hoping to see Comey torn apart, and the show would get higher ratings. Of course, Comey would make mincemeat out of Watters or any of the others. 
No matter who interviews him, it’s likely that Trump would watch because it is on Fox, even if he’s been spirited away by his handlers so he could avoid the publicity coming from the Comey book blitz. (See  “ White House has no plan for countering Comey: Senior aides hope a trip to South America and summit with the Japanese prime minister will keep Trump's mind off the book.” POLITICO)
You better bet that Trump’s lawyers, who no doubt have their orders in with the Trump hated Amazon for Comey’s book, will be watching.

What Would Trump Do? (8 Tests Of Moral Character For The Sinner-In-Chief), satire by Allan Ishac

What appears below are (the first three of) 8 questions the Lord Jesus Christ put to Donald Trump, then the president’s answer, then the correct response as determined by The Messiah and Savior of all mankind.
Let’s see how the president did:
QUESTION 1: You are running for election to become the most powerful person in the world. To win, do you — A. Collude with a foreign adversary, B. Lie and cheat to mislead the electorate, C. Hide unsavory behavior from your past to appear more electable?
Donald J. Trump:
 Trick question! I know the answer, you do all three.
Jesus Christ: No, that is not correct. The answer is none of the above. You run an honorable and honest election, and let the best man or woman win or lose.
Donald J. Trump: Whatever.
QUESTION 2: If the laws of your country require you to pay taxes annually, is it appropriate to follow those laws and pay the government what you owe or avoid paying your fair share?
 If you’re smart, you hide income and try to pay as little as possible, and also tie up your payments in court for years so you don’t become a sucker like the common man.
JC: Wrong, Donald. A country needs tax dollars to fund social programs that aid the poor and needy. All citizens must pay their taxes, perhaps wealthy people more than most.
DJT: Bullshit, I bet you didn’t pay one shekel in taxes. You’re a liar.
JC: Excuse me, I am an honest man.

QUESTION 3: An attractive married woman is standing in front of you at at a reception. You are married, too. Do you make an advance or return to your wife, with whom you have made a vow of undying love?
 Are you kidding, you move on the woman very heavily. And you fuck her if you can. If not, at least grab her pussy. 
JC: Absolutely not! This woman is married and you are, too. The only virtuous response is to honor both your avowed bonds of fidelity and move on from her, not move in on her! 
DJT: Look, buddy, I don’t know what kind of techniques you use, but where I come from we’re automatically attracted to beautiful, married or not. You pop a couple of Tic-Tacs and make your move. 
JC: What kind of Christian upbringing did you have, sir? This is thug-like behavior and unseemly.
DJT: Don’t give me that holier than thou crap, pal. I’m the president. Next question!