Friday, August 18, 2017

Trumpland: Predicting Lil' Donald

Reading the books written about Lil' Donald, paying attention to the news, listening to Lil' Donald's words makes it painfully clear that we've elected a narcissistic psychopath, in lay terms. In the professional world, the diagnostics would be:

60.2 Antisocial Personality Disorder

  • A disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others that is manifested in childhood or early adolescence. (adapted from dsm-iv)
  • A personality disorder whose essential feature is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. The individual must be at least age 18 and must have a history of some symptoms of conduct disorder before age 15. (from dsm-iv, 1994)
  • Personality disorder characterized by conflict with others, low frustration tolerance, inadequate conscience development, and rejection of authority and discipline.
  • Personality disorder whose essential feature is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others through aggressive, antisocial behavior, without remorse or loyalty to anyone.

We also have F60.81 Narcissistic personality disorder

  • A disorder characterized by an enduring pattern of grandiose beliefs and arrogant behavior together with an overwhelming need for admiration and a lack of empathy for (and even exploitation of) others.
  • Personality disorder characterized by excessive self-love, egocentrism, grandiosity, exhibitionism, excessive needs for attention, and sensitivity to criticism.
According to Joshua Green, in Devil's Bargain, when Lil' Donald started hanging with Bannon, he also took on Bannon's blue collar nationalism. Prior to that, however, Lil' Donald had one of the most popular shows on TV for ten years. The Apprentice built a national profile with minority audiences including Latinos and Blacks. It was popular with women. It drew from all different backgrounds. Minority people were presented as "striving, ambitious entrepreneurs" which was a major departure from how television and culture usually depicts minorities. It drew over 20 million viewers a week and "established his national image". Indeed, Lil' Donald's audience was viewed as "the most liberal of prime time television". Drawing this massive audience during prime time brought in major advertisers to the network, including Ford, McDonald's, Pepsi, Kellogg. Hollywood studios advertised their movies being released over the weekend. Demographic research showed Lil' Donald to be more popular with blacks and Latinos than with Caucasian audiences. With Caucasians, he was a celebrity that people loved to hate.

Ironically, he completely flipped when he decided to run for president. He purposefully sought out the audience that was most likely to take him to the White House. During the election campaign, Lil' Donald built a campaign of hate. Obama chose him as a target at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and Lil' Donald retaliated with birtherism which he only gave up two months before the election, turning on Obama's education instead. He turned on minorities by screaming about building a wall. He encouraged chants about "lock her up", thriving on the power of hate. He now has begun reshaping the justice system by planning to return to outdated policy, that doesn't work, to lock up more Blacks. The same can be said for addictions. The war on drugs has already failed once. He is actively working to support voter suppression in minority areas. He has shot down equal pay for women and is attacking their healthcare and control over reproductive rights. Let's be clear. He doesn't really support any of these things. Indeed, he also does not feel the opposite. He has no core beliefs. He doesn't support any thing except the pursuit of more money, more press, and more power.

Lil' Donald as manipulated and used 30% of America. He built a base of support that is centered clearly in those who feel disenfranchised. Mostly white males longing to restore their patriarchal power, to be head of the household bread earner, returning to father knows best, working in mines and on the lines in factories. Men who fear their loss of manhood and are angry. He attacked the people and changes that those men fear: illegal immigrants, women, and the press. He built his campaign on racial, gender, and political fury. Not because he was prejudiced, but because it appeals to his base. He knew who his audience was going to be, and shaped his campaign to suit. He shaped his policy to inspire, encourage and to enact fear.

Sadly, Lil' Donald could have built a campaign, and now an administration, on a forward looking view. He had the potential from his his TV show to do just that. Instead, he built it on Make America Great Again, which translates to encouraging anger over a lost way of life, and focusing on fear it could not be recreated. He appealed to a base who wanted factory jobs, doesn't care about emissions or destruction of our environment, wants to regain control over women, and desires to put minorities "back in their place". Lil' Donald has fed the fear and hatred in the GOP voters, using illegal immigration, Clinton emails, and false promises to reshape politics to make him wealthy and powerful. See the above diagnostics. Lil' Donald needs their hate and fear to feel powerful. Remember his promise that only he could fix government?

No other sitting president began shaping his reelection campaign the first day they took office. No other president began campaign rallies the first six months he was in office. Lil' Donald had done both. When his narcissism demands adoration, he goes before large audiences. He revels in their adoration. Lil' Donald was a bully as a child, and it has continued into adulthood. He has no regard for the rights of others. He can't even pay the people who work for him. He shows no empathy, not even to the mother of a daughter killed by violent white nationalists. He spends hours watching the news, tweeting, reading the folder of praise and adoration presented daily. He surrounds himself for adoring staffers and yes men. And he is spurred on by Steve Bannon, who is a skillful manipulator who is determined to reshape America in a populist, white nationalist nightmare.

Going forward, how do we predict Lil' Donald's actions? Always look for what feeds his needs. Lil' Donald is an empty shell. He has nothing that feeds his interior self. No morals. No values. So he gilds his home in gold and wears fancy suits, and attaches beautiful women to his arm, to give him a sense of worth. Consequently, there will never be enough money or power to satisfy him. And every attack, every criticism, every failure drives him wild. He will do anything to hold his position and power. Hence the refusal to give up tax returns. His disregard for political norms. His determination to profit from his office. This wildly dangerous to our country.

It is not likely that he will take us to war with Korea. It would be dangerous and costly right now. He would have to rally support for that war the same way he did for the wall. Certainly possible, but he needs time to do it. It is likely he will continue to feed his grassroots supports fear and anger. He will fan the fires, protect Confederate monuments he does not care about, make wild and contradictory pronouncements to keep our attention off Russia and on him. The closer the investigation gets to establishing money laundering and worse, the wilder the flames of anger and hate will rage in our country, fed by our president. Remember the statements about "my military"? He wasn't kidding. He knows that as commander in chief they will follow orders. And Eric Prince as a paid mercenaries ready for him as well. Lil' Donald has no intention of loosing control of the presidency.

I heard all the crazy conspiracy theories how Obama intended to stay in office. Ridiculous, as we have seen. And the theories underestimated how carefully Obama always abides by the rule of law. Lil' Donald has flagrantly violated the law his entire life. He is a wild card. And if we don't don't better predict and defeat his behavior, democracy will die at the hands of a narcissistic psychopath.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trumpian Overload

It only took 67 days for me to burn out. 67 days and I became so overwhelmed by the barrage of horrible actions by the president perpetrated on the American people, that I abandoned blogging. Given how many people stopped watching the news after the election and tried to return to ordinary lives, my own burn out does not surprise me. However,  before the election, I started watching four hours of news a night, and I haven't stopped. I just stopped writing.

I knew that when I started the blog that it would be bring me possible notice. I knew that it put me at risk of possible danger. Hell, I am a witch, gay, and a therapist that sees children. And I am married to a transgender guy so we are in the government records. I am at risk in the time of Trump anyway. So I decided that I had to speak up and speak out. Yep, all 67 blog entries. And I can't take it back. If I took take the blog down, the foot print will still remain.

So tonight I am back. Not to blog about the news, but to talk about my own feelings. I am watching accusations of fake news, attacks on civil rights, and threats of legal action on web hosts who refuse to turn over records to the Justice Department. I watch the President defend Natzis and his attacks on morality and decency. The Russian horror, the Paris Accords, Climate Change. The double dealing, the lies, the pockets being filled by the hard earned dollars of the American people. It's disgusting.

Step by step Steve Bannon and Donald Trump are eviscerating democracy. The folks who voted for them to "burn it down" are getting their wish. Democracy is shredded and tattered. The United States becomes more isolated from the rest of the world daily. Meanwhile, Lil' Donald eats double scoops of ice cream, grows fat on the toil of the people, and plays golf. Oh, and undermines the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Laws he swore to uphold.

For the record, health care is right for all, not a privilege.
Civil rights are exactly that. Equality for all.
It is wrong to grab women by the pussy.
It is wrong for a president to refuse to release his tax return.
It is wrong to charge for the privilege of a possible presidential sighting at your wedding, over dinner, or at the club.
It is wrong to side with KKK and Natzi.
It is wrong to shame the victim.
It is wrong to deny science.
There are a thousand other statements I could make. You get the picture.

I cleaned out my pantry this week. And restocked with water, chocolate, trail mix and canned chicken. Lil' Donald appears to have failed to learn the most valuable lesson of history -- that it repeats. None of us thought civil war could repeat. Perhaps we were wrong. Then there's Korea. Yeah.

I started this blog an hour ago. I walked away and this is the headline that appeared while I was in the kitchen from the New York Times: Trump Lawyer Forwards Email Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric.

I weep for the country my grandchildren will inherit.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day 67 Trumpland: An Act of War

The outrage pours out across the news, at least the liberal leaning news, that a foreign actor interfered with our core American principal of a free election. Pundants on MSNBC speak constantly of
Devin Nunes, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, who is under increasing pressure by both parties, questioning if he has any business investigating anything to do with the White House.

Despite these questions, Mr Nunes tries to downplay the importance of these questions, saying this this morning that "The investigation continues. We've had an investigation into Russia for many, many years." As if the committee he currently heads is just business as usual, and not investigaating the role of Russia in our elections, or even if Russia controls our current governmental leaders.

Reports asked if Mr Nunes if  he would recuse himself in this investigation, and he ignored the question. Pointedly. This following Devin Nunes going to the White House ground, according to CNN:
It has been something of a mystery, the whereabouts of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes on the day before his announcement that he saw information suggesting that communications of then-President-elect Donald Trump and his advisers may have been swept up in surveillance of other foreign nationals.
Running to the White House ground and the executive branch, while an investigation run by Mr Nunes of the executive branch, is at the very least, suspect. The nice thing about writing a blog rather the reporting the news is that I get to state the obvious. Not only should Mr Nunes recuse himself, but he should be prosecuted. He has not reported what he learned on that little field trip to the rest of the investigative committee. And covering for Lil' Donald makes him as guilty as the rest of them bedding the Russians.

Furthermore, why did Mr Nunes cancel the House Intelligence committee public hearing in which Sally Yates asked to give her testimony today? Indeed, last Friday when Mr Nunes cancelled that hearing, Ms Yates' lawyer sent a letter to the White House saying they were going to give information about potential opportunities for blackmail of Michael Flynn. There is no credibility in the House Investigation. None.

Let's restate what has happended. The House Intelligence Committee is investigating Russian interference in the US election. Part of that involves the White House. James Comey acknowledged they are investigating contact between Russians and the Trump campaign. Then Nunes goes to the White House grounds to review intelligence from an unnamed source not shared with either Democrats or Paul Ryan (speaker of the House), then announces that there is incidental collection of intelligence on the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, which seems to lend credence to the Lil' Donald's claim that President Obama wire tapped him. FBI Director Comey and the NSA director had already put that issue to rest in a public hearing.

It is obvious to those of us leaning on our armchairs and pounding the arms, that the Russians did not begin their infiltration into our government last summer. Preparations for Russian manipulation of our elections has gone on for years. And we are going to find a number of dirty politicians, largely Republican, if investigations go to their conclusions.

Yesterday, Dick Chaney (Republican) said it is "No question" that Russia meddled in the US election, and it could be "an act of war." Understand, our government is now staffed with people who are the direction of a foreign country. That is a terrifying thought.

In the meantime, Lil' Donald needs to shut the fuck up. His tweets are not funny. Yesterday he claimed the Russian probe is a hoax and tried to once again use the Clintons to hid behind. His attempts to tweet storm this horrific situation away will fail miserably is only made worse by each 140 characters.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Day 59 Trumpland: Frayed around the Edges

Director of FBI James Comey was the "guest" of Congress today for five and half hours as he testified to possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The FBI has confirmed a counter intelligence investigation into the Russian attack of our election and possible coordination between Russia and the campaign. The investigation started mid July last year. Moreover, it seems that the Russians release the first round of stolen documents themselves. The documents were difficult to distill and navigate. The second round through Wicki had some sort of intermediary.

Let's make this clear. The president of the United States' campaign is under investigation for colluding with the Russian government. It was so serious, that President Obama, before leaving office, sowed the seeds of proof across 17 agencies to protect the information  from Lil' Donald, whose career is invested in making that information disappear.

There's another part of this testimony today that bears noting. The director of the FBI addressed Congress about a tweet. Let me repeat. A TWEET. It was sent at 6:30 in the morning likely after another night of no sleep, Lil' Donald tweeted "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This McCarthyism!" Mr Comey stated "I have no information that supports those tweets." He expanded that answer a bit, all a denial.

Ordinarily, Republicans in Congress will go to any length to defend the President. Not today. They couldn't defend this tweet, while, in another room, another committee was investigating Michael Flynn. In that committee, Republicans spent the entire time condemning the leaks and throwing out random names of former Obama administration officials. Not once did they ask why Lil' Donald did nothing for two weeks after Michael Flynn's lie came out. Let me say that again. They condemned the press for leaking the truth about Flynn, but didn't ask questions about his actions. They knew they couldn't actually defend Lil' Donald's tweets so they went on attack about the leaks

It may be too soon to say that the Trump presidency is unraveling. But we are only 59 days into this presidency, and Congress is investigating Russian ties in one room and tweets in another, all leading back to the unqualified, dangerous man who was elected leader of our nation. I think it's safe to say the edges of this administration are badly frayed, and I only pray it all comes apart quickly enough to save our Democracy.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 52 Trumpland: Fakery

Without proof, Lil' Donald has made an accusation that President Obama wire tapped him at Trump Tower. Lil' Donald surrogates know full well he is full of s***, but their love of their new found prestige, power and paycheck allows them to override any ethical breaches on the part of the man in office. Yet their credibility has likewise become compromised in only a few short weeks.

Indeed, Morning Joe on MSNBC "absolutely will not" in their words have KellyAnne Conway on their show again. This is not cowardice, it's total disgust. MSNBC will no longer tolerate the ridiculous statements that come out of this woman's mouth, nor give her a platform for her lies. I totally agree with their position.

Conway made a fool out of herself attempting to stand up for Lil' Donald on The Bergen Record yesterday where she was asked about surveillance at Trump Tower. Note she was asked a specific question, which she admittedly answered with a much broader response:

"You can surveil someone through phone, tv or microwave," she says. But when cornered, this is what she had to say:

"I have no evidence and that has nothing to do with what the president said last week." Really? REALLY? And this is the counselor to the president. What the president (not my president) said last week was very clear:

Lil' Donald very clearly accused President Obama of placing a wire tap on his phones at Trump Tower. There it is, very clear, in black and white. But this is Lil' Donald, and in Trumpland, up is down.

The White was supposed to hand over any proof of this allegation of wire tapping today but there's no proof for what he said. The FBI director and the former director of National Intelligence have said it is not true. There is no proof. Lil' Donald lives in a fake reality where he thinks he can say anything he wants and there are no consequences. Worse, when Lil' Donald makes these statements, it's gospel to his support base.

By the way, Senator John McCain is not real patient with Lil' Donald's bad behavior. He called out Lil' Donald on taking the provision for weapons to Ukraine after being invaded by Russia taken out of the platform. He also believes President Obama deserves an apology from the false claims wire tapping of Trump Tower. Here's what he had to say this weekend:

There obviously will be no apology from Lil' Donald. He wants to humiliate and embarrass President Obama because he knows he doesn't deserve, and cannot fill, President Obama's shoes. So rather than doing the right thing, he sent Sean Spicer out to do his dirty work while he watched. So this afternoon Sean Spicer gave a press conference that should make him ashamed. The man should have resigned before saying these things:

In case you don't care to listen to this ridiculous farce, Spicer stated that when Lil' Donald said wire tap he didn't mean wire tap. "I think there's no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election," Spicer said. "The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities." Yeah. Right...This is the same man that a week ago said the tweet "speaks for itself" and refused to make any further comment.

We need to be thinking about why that is true and what are the possible consequences. Lil' Donald accused the previous president of a felony. Lil' Donald could have cleared this up with a phone call. He obviously had more to gain if he did not. The question is why?

Words have meaning. The voice of the president should be clear, measured, and calm in public. Otherwise, people with red buttons might misunderstand. Lil' Donald is absolutely unfit to be president. We have to accept that he is an idiot, and that the frequent walkbacks happen because our country foolishly elected him. Other countries do not. And Lil' Donald's tweets can get our country into a war. Men in our services can die because he is not a fit president.

Lil' Donald must be stopped.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 51 Trumpland: Saturday Night Massacre

Sorry for my online absence. My computer suddenly shut down while I was working and I had to ship it to California for repairs. It's been two weeks, and I posted a few times with my pad; that is, at best difficult. Then I cracked its screen at work and it only functions with a mouse. Touchscreens are awkward when that happens. Happily, I ordered an inexpensive Dell this week to get me through. When I receive my computer back, I'll have one for home and one at work.

In the meantime, we've missed a lot. Let's just look at a weekend crisis. One of many, likely, but this one really got my attention.

First a little history. (My thanks to AM Joy this morning for info; I'm just providing a synopsis here.) You recall that Lil' Donald fired his acting Attorney General Sally Yates following the travel ban disaster because she refused to enforce it. The media called it The Monday Night Massacre, recalling Watergate and the night of October 20, 1973 when the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General resigned in protests. They refused Richard Nixon's order to fire the Special Prosecutor looking into the Watergate break in. Those protests and Nixon's abolishing of the Special Prosecutor's office afterward became known as the Saturday Night Massacre.

Lil' Donald had already fired two dozen career and political appointees at the State Department. Last week, Lil' Donald loyalists made the rounds of cable TV calling for the purge of Obama appointees anywhere in government. Indeed, anything short of absolute loyalty to Lil' Donald, according to these loyalists, should be fired. Joy didn't mention it, but take a look at Youtube and you'll see Christian Conservative groups calling for a purge five weeks ago. Played right into Steven Bannon and Lil' Donald's power hungry hands. It's all nebulous right now, absolutely no proof, but I strongly suspect Bannon started sowing those seeds behind the scenes immediately after the election.

Fox News Sean Hannity started the outcry on Thursday in mainstream media. "For weeks we've been warning you about the deep state of the Obama held-over bureaucrats who are hell bent on destroying this President":

Now Lil' Donald has demanded the  resignation of every US attorney who was an appointee of the Obama Administration. It is not the first time a President has taken such action. Hannity argues leaks plague the administration and must be stopped. Rep Hunter called these patriots "seditious" because he believes they are trying to take this president down from the inside. He's right about the second half.

Congressman King on Friday on MSNBC also suggested a purge of "any staffer who previously worked for the Obama administration." He clarified his intent in the use of word purge: "I will use the word purge...I think that needs to happen. I think it's a descriptive word that fits well in the English language."

Saturday night Atty General Jeff Sessions demanded those resignations, "but one refused to go quietly." On Saturday night, Lil' Donald fired Preet Bharara. He's known for taking down corruption. In November Lil' Donald asked him to stay on. Sessions repeated that request a week ago. But now he's gone:

At the time he was forced out, Bharara was working on a number of significant cases:
  • Russian money laundering
  • Fox News
  • Turkish corruption scandal
  • Trump Tower was in his jurisdiction
  • Dinesh D'Souza, campaign finance fraud
  • Possible criminal tax investigation into Lil' Donald
People who are risking their careers and their futures for the sake of this country are not seditious, they are patriots who believe Lil' Donald's connections to Russia threaten this country on the deepest level.

Furthermore, Congress shows no sign of investigating Lil' Donald's violations of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Four days ago, NPR reports, ethics watchdogs requested U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to investigate. Noah  Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, which sued Trump in January wrote the following to Barara:
A failure by your office to investigate these reports and to take appropriate action will leave the nation exposed to foreign governments directly and indirectly providing payments and financial benefits to President Trump when those foreign governments may be seeking to influence Executive Branch policies and positions. This is precisely the kind of problem that the Founding Fathers acted to prevent by including the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution.
Lil' Donald likes chaos, unpredictability, and control. Indeed, chaos and unpredictability means no one has any control but himself. Make no mistake about this. He's gutting the CIA. Ambassadors have been fired. There's no one at home at the State Department. He's firing district attorneys who might slow his plans or reveal his past. Moreover, he has not appointed people to these leadership positions. Please don't underestimate these actions. They are intentional.

Ironically, it was Jerry Springer who was a guest on AM Joy this morning who voiced my own thoughts. Perhaps he is one of the few who can speak openly about what he sees. Perhaps it is his insight into drama, chaos and setups from the era of his show to say what the news people are hinting at. They are still responsible to producers wary of lawsuits and Lil' Donald's power. Springer is an old hand at tabloid dirty tricks and had the follow comments.

First, let me borrow again from AM Joy, to set this up. Lil' Donald believes the "fake news" is the enemy of the people. He prefers to get his news from sources like World Net Daily, the sight that was a proponent of the birth movement whose columnist Kirk Ellis who Lil' Donald hired to work in the labor department. The CEO of the National Enquirer is one of the few people known to be a friend of Lil' Donald. Newsmax is said by Lil' Donald to have "a track to his very good brain." Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, Breitbart. Harvey Levin, founder of TMZ, was summoned to the White House for hour long tour that included a tour of the Lincoln bedroom. Joy pointed out Veterans groups not only didn't get the tours last week, but Lil' Donald didn't even show up.

Remember Lil' Donald isn't a ideologue. That title falls to Bannon. Now Springer. Who started out pointing out that Bannon wants to ...
delegitimize mainstream America. Bannon wants to do away with a multicultural America and the institutions that protect a multicultural America, other than the courts, are the free media, the press...The conflict, on the other hand, is that Trump can't exist unless his name is in print...Trump needs to see his name every single day. [Hence, tabloids-truncating here.] Bannon and Trump aren't on the same page. Bannon has a philosophical do away with a multicultural America. he wants America to be basically be Christian and white. So keep out the Mexicans. Keep out the Muslims, etc. The only left to make sure we keep a multicultural society are the courts and the media. And that's why they go after the courts and the media all the time...Therefore he goes to things he can control, that's the tabloid journalism or the twitter account. So Trump gets his drug and Bannon gets the goal of doing away with mainstream media.
The Bannon people and methodically dismantling the state. Get rid of the courts and the press, and you can do anything. Include become a dictatorship like Putin runs. There's a pattern to the chaos and destruction. When there seems to be no path, no reason, no logic? Follow the money to ultimate conclusion.

Dandelion Break: Last weekend

And a fresh breath. My doctor recently said I have pre-diabetes and high cholesterol. Since I already have high blood pressure, this is a problem. There's a simple solution, that began with my fitbit. I'm up to 10,000 steps a day.

I promised a dandelion break on the weekends. I'm posting a little late, but want to share my walk this evening:

From earlier in the day. I love spring flowers...even if it's a bit early this year.

And because we all need a cat in our life: