Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the WH

Trump-Mussolini

Not a pretty sight. And not the only thing wrong with Donald J Trump. His delusion about the size of his inaugural crowd, forced upon the early suffering Sean Spicer and insisted upon in private, indicates that he is also, well, delusional.

But a lot of the biggest messes President Rancid Combover has gotten himself into … and several of his worst self-induced tweet shitstorms … have stemmed from his complete and utter inability to admit error.

Like most good narcissists (even the cagiest ones) Little Donnie just can’t do it. “I know it looks like I have my hand in the cookie jar, Mom, but it was Jeff Sessions’ fault. I just had my arm out and he put the cookie jar around it.”

No matter how high the professional or personal stakes … and they are exceptionally high regarding his neoNazi and white supremacist supporters … Trump can’t make himself concede that he said or did something wrong. If he is talked into later statements that allow for at least the possibility of error – as he was on speech two regarding Charlottesville – the psychological pressure for him to go back on the admission is unbearably high.

Trump’s self-immolating press statements yesterday were an example of narcissism in a dither. Yesterday (August 15, 2017) was also possibly – we can only hope – the day he finally, fatally, screwed the pooch.

I’ll take my anti-nausea pill and watch FOX tonight. Look for which, if any, GOP politicians come to his defense. But, if the what-the-President-actually said-meant to say-was trying to say defender cupboard is bare, that’s it. The day when wheels start to turn behind the scenes … impeachment wheels, 25th Amendment wheels, or just old-fashioned Amish-style shunning wheels … to give Trump a not very friendly push.

If that happens, then stick a fork in the Mussolini wannabe’s fat ass. He’s done.

A Look Back at the First Week

 

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Trump’s Emotional Tailspin

During the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, his psychopathology was already obvious and being remarked upon both behind the closed doors of Congress and openly in the media. This scathing piece was written by a conservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin.

In the early 1970s, I remember speculation that Nixon might crack under the pressure of Watergate or that he was exhibiting paranoid tendencies. But I don’t ever remember an assessment of a sitting President’s mental health that was this stark, this declarative of mental illness. Virtually everyone agrees that Number 45 is nuts. And not in a fun, shake-things-up gonzo way. Trump is a very sick man. He should trade in the Armani suit for a think blue robe that ties in back. Or a jacket with the arms tied in front. 

The GOP will keep a sick man in office for as long as they can keep passing their rob-the-people, feed-the-rich agenda through him and around him. Look at Paul Ryan in the clip of the first meeting of 45 with Congressional leaders. He looks like a hungry wolf circling prey. Although I like wolves, so let’s make him a coyote instead. A nipper of carrion. Or, in this case, walking carrion.

Our country and the world is in serious danger every day that a compulsively lying rageaholic madman occupies the White House. We have to resist every day. In every way imaginable short of violence … if things turn violent, we will have a fascist state.

And be prepared for far worse than what we’ve seen. Trump is not capable of controlling himself, behaving differently. He’s too far gone. And his impotent rage at the truth (which continually fails to conform to his fantasy) can only escalate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/01/24/trumps-emotional-tailspin-was-predictable/?utm_term=.4cfd7011ce6b

This putz. This little putz …

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Stephen Miller (Not the Band)

Until Sunday, I had successfully avoided reading or thinking about Stephen Miller beyond wondering who was yon lean and hungry Cassius next to the other Trump Stephen’s bloated Faust.

Stephen Miller does look hungry. Starved. Starved in life – he doesn’t quite fill out his suit and his tie hangs forlorn – but mostly starved for power. Miller is the quintessential “aide,” the sad little guy behind the scenes who takes all the calls and writes most of the stuff for some blowhard who has managed to bluff or buy his or her way into public office.

Aides are almost all Cassiuses: yearners, dreamers of ugly dreams where they are the ones who get to put people in chains or send them to their deaths. The experience of being an aide is so all-consuming and humiliating … hey, I wrote that!/ hey, that was my idea! / you’d think just once I’d get thanked or someone would buy me a fucking sandwich! … that they can easily fall prey to delusions of grandeur. Which delusions lead to “the gaze,” a from-a-high-place look practiced in the mirror when the boss isn’t around that will replace the lean and hungry look when they’re King. When they have aides.

Stephen Miller has been practicing his imperial gaze (unveiled this Sunday on everything from Face the Nation to This Week with George Used-to-Work-for-the-Clintons) since the age of 22, when he toiled as an aide to Michelle Bachman, speaking of insane incompetents. He honed the look as longtime aide to Jeff Sessions, where he proved himself a fierce opponent of immigration. Funny how those things happen, the arch racist Sessions becomes an arch anti-immigrationist. Or maybe in this case, the tail (Miller) wagged the dog (JBS III). Although it’s doubtful. Jeff Sessions didn’t need any prodding to become one of the Senates’s leading opponents of immigration and assimilation. It just sort of came naturally to him.

There is a danger to any Cassius unveiling his Caesar look too soon. Too young. In too high a context. It can appear laughable. As it did for Stevie Miller on Sunday. His big big words (very very big words) didn’t fit him any better than his suit. And it didn’t help that he kept staring off to one side as if reading his big words off a teleprompter.

Were they all Steve’s words? Or partly his and partly the other Steve’s? All of which were approved in advance by The Donald, who probably asked Miller to perform them for him. Don doesn’t read.

Here’s what I think happened. Trump has been tantruming about both Kellyanne and Sean. They say some of the shit he tells them to say, but not with the conviction required to make everyone obey. Make the courts back off, the legislature back down, disgruntled Hillary supporters stop marching, the press stop spreading lies about how unloved The Donald is. Kellyanne and Sean lacked conviction, possibly, because they’re experienced enough to know that assertions of omnipotent power don’t fly very far in America. Unlike their employer, they know the United States is a country. Not a company.

So Cassius saw his chance. He might have volunteered. More likely he was pushed by an enraged narcissist who can’t take reality for an answer.  You go on the shows, Steve, and school Kellyanne and Sean. Who suck and whom nobody will ever obey.

But Stevie, at 30, was unveiled too soon. And the shit that came out of his mouth (unbelievable warmed-over Goebbels shit that provoked ecstatic texts from Orange Julius Caesar) was half-baked, too REVEALING of both a fascist philosophy and the delusional mind behind it. They’ll have to put Steve back in the background soon, maybe forever. Give him “aide” things to do again. Make him eat.

I didn’t think it was possible to find someone in the Trump House Gang I detested more than Steve Bannon, but young Steve is competition. Maybe if he’d been better at reading a teleprompter, I could have summoned some grudging respect for the little putz, but I felt only revulsion. And the imperial gaze still needs a lot of work.

You know the recent Putin-Trump call wasn’t recorded, right?

Unlike for all the other official calls – the ones on Trump’s public schedule that might have to be accounted for with the media – Trump turned the recording machine off. This was no “accidental” 18-minute gap ala Watergate. Trump or his people turned the fucking thing off for the duration of the phone call between the Head of State of Russia and the Top Businessperson currently holed up in the White House.

I’m sure you’ve also heard that Trump-in-Law Jared Kushner has a business arrangement with a top Putin lieutenant, Rotem Rosen, who if he lived in New Jersey instead of Moscow might be recruited by the Sopranos. I believe it involves a $295 million investment in Trump Soho.

Everyone knows by now that Trump has not divested any of his business interests and still controls them on paper and through family members. He receives regular “business” reports that, I’ll wager, he spends more time reading than he did the intelligence reports for the tragic raid in Yemen that cost a Navy Seal his life.

You’ve heard about all of these things – and at top volume – because your Democratic Senators and Congresspeople and their aides won’t shut up about them. Right? Are calling for investigations. Right? Are looking into impeachment?

No? Well, that’s what would happen if the tables were turned. Which is probably a PRIMARY reason why the tables have turned so radically in the last election and why Republicans control the Senate, the House, the White House, and the Supreme Court now just to name a few. Meanwhile, some of the Democrats I know are busy tone-shaming each other on social media and arguing about what color to wear to the planned Science March on Washington.

We’re in a War, folks. For the future of America. Which won’t resemble anything in the past of America if we don’t get off our asses and scream bloody murder. And force every elected Democrat to do the same thing. Every waking second. Of every day.

For myself, I prefer “civil” disobedience. Organized through regular political channels. But if establishment Democrats blow it again, if they don’t RESIST, then resistance will occur but in very different ways. And it will be even harder to recognize that America.

Koch Not Down for the Koup?

The Dark Money May Not Be On Trump

Between kicking a friend off his golf course and showing his authoritarian hand too soon, purported president Donald Trump may have made himself and his policies a powerful opponent. NOTE: Please forgive the alliteration in the previous sentence, it was unintentional (except for the purported president part) but I’m writing too fast to go back.

Some background. The Koch brothers and the Indian Wells summit (of Richie Riches) they sponsor every year mentioned in the linked article are a main subject of Jane Mayer’s recent book, Dark Money (2015), which starts with the donor summit right after Obama’s election. At that time, the participants – and the hundreds of millions in anonymous political money they spend every year – decided on the obstructionist policy that destroyed any chance for Obama’s Presidency to be more than it was.

Dark Money has run the GOP for decades now. Some say it has run it into the ground. Among other outrages, the Kochs and Friends financed the Tea Party movement and sustain conservative so-called “think tanks” such as the American Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society. The Kochs grew up with a Nazi nanny, their Dad assisted both Hitler and Stalin in developing their nation’s oil and other industries, so the whole Putin-Trump alliance for oil billions shouldn’t be foreign to them. It’s exactly the sort of arrangement with countries opposed to U.S. interests that made them rich.

But somehow they emerged in adulthood as extreme libertarians and Trump proposals such as  tariffs and selective immigration bans aren’t their cup of pseudo-patriotic tea. . The Kochs recognize and Iron Heel when they see one … they grew up around talk of business buddies Hitler and Stalin, who were both like Trump once Time’s Man of the Year … so they decide that no one with close Trump ties was invited to Indian Hills this year.

We’re not talking about Koch & Friends on the side of Right. At best, they just want Trump out and Pence in. But it is, in fact, helpful for the Dark Money to be unhappy with Trump and distrustful of his actions.  The opposite would be the largest amount of political money on the American scene by far in the service of what is starting to look like an attempted coup. An Iron Heel is scary enough. A well-heeled Iron Heel? Shod by Koch money? To me, at least, a whole lot scarier.

This is mostly business with David Koch and the rest. They have reached a consensus that Trump will be bad for business. That he will cost them money. And that he is too erratic and ignorant to pave a path to smooth and reliable profits in their industries. If they make more money under Trump, it will be an accident. And the Kochs of the world like sure things. Bribes to bribetakers who can counted on to deliver and not stop to tweet or get distracted.

But there is a recent personal encounter between Trump and Koch that I believe factors in. right after the election, David Koch was playing a Trump course in West Palm Beach in a foursome that included Harry Hurt, who wrote a critical biography of Trump years ago. Hurt went to congratulate Trump – hoping bygones were bygones – but a Narcissist never forgets and Trump refused to accept his congratulations and had Hurt tossed off the course. Not word if he also refunded his green fees!

Upon further reflection, I don’t think David Koch took the incident personally, although he certainly didn’t appreciate the attendant publicity. He doesn’t like any publicity that he doesn’t personally control. But he had to have lost respect for Trump, who couldn’t let an ancient insult pass even at the risk of alienating a rich and powerful ally. And Koch cannot have thought the behavior augured well for a stable and well-led Presidency.

Guys who have tantrums and toss people off golf courses … or have them drawn and quartered … tend to be autocratic.  Napoleon, say, or Mussolini. Both of whom gave their nations’ businessmen a good run, but eventually came acropper.

Better, if possible, to send an Orange Emperor packing. And bet the Dark Money on Pence.

ABC Chats with the Star of Project Pennsyvania Ave

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Somebody Tell Him This Isn’t a TV Show

This is starting to get really scary. The current inhabitant of the White House does not belong where he is. He’s too small for the suit. He knows what he knows and it isn’t much. Not much more than what the star of a reality TV show knows … ratings, reviews, how he stacks up against the competition.

He is possessed of alternate facts. Which is a short distance from saying he hears voices the rest of us can’t hear, he has delusions. However, his delusions are not the usual ones of grandeur, but their opposite. He knows he has no business being President (he is utterly unequipped for the job) and he wants to pretend that his only real job is to give “home run” speeches and bring home the ratings bacon. Something he used to know how to do.

He signs things that are put in front of him without reading them. He leaves it to lawyers to handle stuff when there are words involved he doesn’t understand such as emoluments. He is around – but barely involved – in a kind of Government by Committee involving Mike Pence, the rest of the GOP leadership, his top advisors (who tend more to his image than to policy), his daughter and her husband.

This can’t possibly end well. But it does have to end and hopefully sooner rather than later. It’s unsettling to have someone this out of touch – with this much power – nursing resentments and fostering hates.

It’s dangerous.

Sean Spicer in a lavender tie …

sean-spicer

acting like a press secretary. As opposed to yesterday, when he showed up in a dark blue tie to lie for five minutes and storm off. Sean’s lies are more deft today – at his first full press conference – and his manner genial. This is bad news.

Spicer’s got skillz … and possibly stamina, he’s promised to stay as long as the reporters want … so, unlike poor Kellyanne, he doesn’t look like he’s going to dry up and blow away any day now.

My guess is that yesterday Spicer relayed a tantrum, produced by the star of Project Pennsylvania Avenue, who values ratings above all else. Today someone … probably Ivanka or poor Kellyanne … told him the reviews on the tantrum were Rotten Tomatoes and they’d have to go a different way if they wanted to stay on the air.

Too bad. A win for “normalizing.” The Goebbels act would have made it easier to get rid of the Turd in Chief. And this Sean guy is versatile … man tantrum one day, lavender tie the next … which augurs well for The Turd. And poorly for the country’s good.

Blue People Trapped in Red Bodies

womens-march-indianapolis

This photo from downtown Indianapolis makes me nearly as happy as participating in the huge march and rally in Los Angeles did yesterday.

FOX reported (with admirable discretion given the fact FOX is the propaganda arm of the GOP) that the Indy Women’s March attendance was in “the thousands,” and I won’t make a guess based on one photo about how many thousands that might be. But I think it’s a safe bet that yesterday’s crowd was one of the largest for some time in my hometown, surpassing even the crowd that gathered to protest the 2000 firing by Indiana University of Bobby Knight. A Trump supporter, but – more importantly – a basketball coach.

Here’s the thing. We can’t right this ship unless we can turn a bunch of the red states blue and do it in two years … before the damage of unrestrained GOP gangsta rule becomes incalculable and irreversible. Mitch and Paul are licking their chops. So are their 1% “Fuck America, I Got Mine” supporters. Some of whom are now proposed for the Cabinet. Betsy DeVos, for instance, of Amway money, who never met a good public school she didn’t want to close and turn into a shitty charter school for the profit of a friend.

Indianapolis already knows that Trump lied about bringing jobs back to Carrier. The money he allegedly secured for Carrier will go toward automating the plant. Automation, by the bye, along with internet businesses such as Amazon and Uber, globalization, robber baron corporations who feel great loyalty to their short-term stockholders and none to their employees or communities, and those 1% UnAmericans who ship their jobs and profits overseas are the reason there aren’t any jobs left in Middle America. Not because a few black and brown folks still get food stamps. And a few elderly folks make enough from social security that they don’t have to share cat food with their cat.

In a month or two, all of Indiana will realize that the Obamacare they wanted to repeal is the Affordable Care Act that saved their kid’s life and made it possible for grandma to get a new hip. And the Hoosier faithful were never real warm to the idea of cozying up to the heathen Russkies. Just how far Trump has his head up Putin’s ass will hopefully become apparent to them and they won’t like it. And the Conman in Chief is no “Music Man,” that great mendacious musical written by a Hoosier, Meredith Willson. Not only will the Hoosier kiddies receive no musical instruments, the Music Man won’t be shown to have character and decency after all. And he’ll grab some other woman’s pussy after he’s done with Marian the Librarian.

And then there’s Pence. Speaking of musicals. Folks in Indiana don’t need to be told what a little shit Mike Pence is underneath the innocuous exterior. Initially as a Congressman (which took him awhile to attain because he used his campaign funds the first time around to pay off his mortgage), then as Governor, finally as Tea Party Senator, Mike has been doing to Indiana what he’d now like to do to the country. Which is basically to keep women barefoot and pregnant and close to the dinner table, deny rights to gay people, and tolerate and empower the intolerant. As governor, he pushed through the Religious Freedom Protection Act … because, you know, folks in Indiana are so restricted in their church-going.

Hmm, I wonder if the Religious Freedom Protection Act applies to Muslims.

How we got from Indiana voting for Obama in 2008 to cursing the nation with Mike Pence is the question that needs to be answered and addressed. If we’re to make sure that America (and especially states like Indiana) continues to have a pulse. Forget the Great Again garbage. Great Again like what? Like when black people knew their place and the only brown people were the wives of rich Indiana businessmen who spent their summers by the country club pool. Guys, the Fifties were sad and weird. And a helluva lot sadder and weirder if you weren’t white.

Somehow, some way, we have to make Hoosiers understand that their interests are not served by the servants of the 1%. They are still waiting for those jobs and that money Reagan promised them would trickle down. And, meanwhile, almost 40 years later, a whole lot more jobs and money have trickled out.

People in the middle of America have been lied to for so long, they are used to it. FOX news makes them angry – provides them their daily one-minute hates and gets the blood pumping – and then there’s their favorite bedtime story of what a Paradise This Would Be if the government just got off our backs.

To be told the truth is jarring for those of us who have been emotionally sustained by lies. It shames us, embarrasses, makes the blood pump in more stressful ways, keeps us up at nights. But a little time spent with Donald Trump as President might just open some eyes and minds. Maybe even hearts.

Events such as the women’s march in Indianapolis are a start. It remains to be seen whether it was an isolated protest by blue people trapped in red bodies. Or the beginning of real and lasting change. But I know it gave me hope.

Can’t Handle the NBC News Crew

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providing chatty commentary for Toad’s Wild Ride as if this were a normal day. Nothing against Lester, Chuck, and the solemn blonde woman who replaced Savannah (sorry, I don’t watch much TV). But I can’t listen to anymore comparative statistics, informative details from the research team, historical anecdotes as background to the advance of an armored tin can holding a nihilistic rotten sardine. At least there are folks along the parade route booing … they know what time it is.

It’s the worst day in modern American memory. Goodbye, Lester, Chuck, and Not Savannah. I’m off to brave the rain and join my wet brother and sister protestors in downtown Los Angeles. And to say hi to the skate boys in their ski masks. If this keeps up, I might help them burn a car one of these days. Or at least decide to look the other way. 

None of what is happening on this Inaugural Day is business as usual. None of it is okay. And to pretend that any of it is normal – even if only through one segment from hairspray commercial to cheeseburger paid ad, let alone a whole TV day and night – is grotesque.

Q: Where Do Trump Votes Come From?

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This is a biology question  – not a sociology or demographic one – and I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t the neocortex. Some people have accused Trump supporters of lacking in brains, but I think that’s unfair. Trump voters have brains, but those (later, primate) areas involved in reason, advanced learning, and analytic thought are somehow disconnected from the (earlier on the evolutionary scale) parts of their brains that generate aggression, hate, and fear.  So whence Trump votes?

the limbic system

A: The Limbic System

The limbic system is a convenient way of describing several functionally and anatomically interconnected nuclei and cortical structures that are located in the telencephalon and diencephalon. These nuclei serve several functions, however most have to do with control of functions necessary for self preservation and species preservation. They regulate autonomic and endocrine function, particularly in response to emotional stimuli. They set the level of arousal and are involved in motivation and reinforcing behaviors. Some of these regions are closely connected to the olfactory system, since this system is critical to survival of many species.

Hark, I smell a Trump!

steadman draws trump

Coming soon: A Combover in the Crowd (Fear and Loathing on the Trump Trail, Part I).