May 1 – 6, 2017

May 1 – 6, 2017

(Banana photo by Darkone)


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Senate Committee Asks Carter Page to Reveal Russian Contacts
(NBC News – 5/5/17)

Comey Reveals Few Details About State of Russia Inquiry
(CNN – Updated 5/4/17)


Mental illness


Donald Trump Just Gave Two Incredibly Bizarre (and Fact-Free) Interviews
(CNN – 5/1/17)

“It’s something that I think is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

President Donald Trump on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict


Healthcare


Republican Healthcare Pitch Built on a Foundation of Falsehoods
(MSNBC – 5/5/17)

Senate Won’t Vote on House-Passed Healthcare Bill
(Washington Examiner – 5/5/17)

What is in the Republican Health-care Bill? Questions and Answers on Preexisting Conditions, Medicaid and More
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)

50 Health Issues That Count as a Pre-existing Condition
(Time Magazine – 5/4/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Separation of Church and State


Trump Signs Order Aimed at Allowing Churches to Engage in More Political Activity
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)


Immigration


Sen. Bob Casey Unleashes Tweetstorm at White House
(Pittsburgh Post Gazette – 5/3/17)


Relations with Dictators


Trump’s ‘Very Friendly’ Talk With Duterte Stuns Aides and Critics Alike
(New York Times – 4/30/17)

President Trump Says he Would be ‘Honored’ to Meet with North Korean Dictator
(Washington Post – 5/1/17)

“We’ve never lived in a Third World banana republic. I don’t mean that gratuitously. I mean the reality is he is governing as if he is the President of a Third World country: power is held by family and incompetent loyalists whose main calling card is the fact that Donald Trump can trust them, not whether they have any expertise.”

Jerry Taylor, President
Niskanen Center (Libertarian think tank)
(The New Yorker – 5/8/17)


US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross


Wilbur Ross Says Syria Missile Strike Was ‘After-Dinner Entertainment’ at Mar-a-Lago
(Variety – 5/1/17)


 Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


Trump has a Dangerous Disability
George F. Will, Conservative Columnist
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)

“His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind. Americans have placed vast military power at the discretion of this mind.”

George F. Will, Conservative Columnist
(Washington Post – 5/4/17)


When is it Okay to Say the President Might be Nuts?
Jennifer Rubin
(Washington Post – 5/2/17)

How Trump Could Get Fired
(The New Yorker – 5/8/17)

“He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t do drugs. His drug is himself.”

Sam Nunberg
2016 Trump Campaign Adviser
(The New Yorker – 5/8/17)


Elizabeth Warren: Obama was Wrong. The System is More Rigged Than You Know.

(Vox – 4/26/17)


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.

Meet the Evangelicals Who Still Love Trump
(Think Progress – 5/5/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Fake Trump interview with Stephen Colbert:

Late Night host Seth Meyers rants about Trumpcare:

Posted on Facebook by Partnership for Responsible Growth:

Source –unknown:

Week-0008-170506-007

Posted on Facebook by Alan Spindle:

Week-0008-170506-001

Source –unknown:

Week-0008-170506-003


Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


April 24 – 30, 2017

April 24 – 30, 2017

 


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Senate Trump-Russia Probe Has No Full-Time Staff, No Key Witnesses
(The Daily Beast – 4/23/17) 

Guess Who Came to Dinner With Flynn and Putin
(NBC News – 4/29/17)

UK was Given Details of Alleged Contacts Between Trump Campaign and Moscow
(The Guardian UK – 4/28/17)


North Korea


Senate Staff Perplexed by Unusual White House Private Briefing on North Korea
(Washington Post – 4/24/17)

North Korea Threatens Australia With Nuclear Strike Over ‘Toeing The Line’ With U.S.
(NBC News – 4/23/17)

Trump: ‘We’ll See’ if a North Korean Nuclear Test Would Trigger U.S. Response (Los Angeles Times – 4/30/17)


Mental Illness


Transcript of AP Interview with Trump
(CBS News – 4/24/17)

“It had 9.2 million people. It’s the highest they’ve ever had. On any, on air, [CBS ‘Face the Nation’ host John] Dickerson had 5.2 million people. It’s the highest for ‘Face the Nation’ or as I call it, ‘Deface the Nation.’ It’s the highest for ‘Deface the Nation’ since the World Trade Center. Since the World Trade Center came down. It’s a tremendous advantage.”

– President Donald Trump
   (Telling Associated Press about the ratings that he brings
    to the news media)

Fact-Checking President Trump’s Pinocchio-Laden Associated Press Interview
(Washington Post – 4/25/17)

Trump Proclaims May 1 as ‘Loyalty Day’
(Fox News – 4/29/17)

“I truly believe that the first 100 days of my administration has been just about the most successful in our country’s history.”

– President Donald Trump
  (Weekly radio address)

 


Trump Tax Plan


White House Unveils Dramatic Plan to Overhaul Tax Code in Major Test for Trump
(Washington Post – 4/26/17)

What’s in the Trump Tax Plan that Promises ‘Massive’ Cuts
(ABC News – 4/26/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Conflicts of Interest


Dow Chemical Donates $1 Million to Trump, Asks Administration to Ignore Pesticide Study
(Vanity Fair – 4/20/17)

State Department Website Removes Article Touting History of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate
(Washington Post – 4/24/17)

“It’s like we’re watching somebody reading a Dictatorship for Dummies book.”

– Christian Bale
(Actor: “The Dark Knight”) on Donald Trump
(Mashable – 4/24/17)

 

 Mar-a-Lago Ad Belongs in Impeachment File
(Bloomberg – 4/25/17)


Meanwhile, in the Democratic Party …


Poll: Trump, Democrats and GOP All Unpopular
(CNN – 4/24/17)

100 Days of Democratic Rage: Trump has Enabled the Democratic Party to Overlook its Serious Problems
(Politico – 4/25/17)

Warren, Sanders Unhappy by Wall Street-Paid Obama Speech
(Washington Post – 4/28/17)


Environment


Trump Orders Easing Safety Rules Implemented After Gulf Oil Spill
(New York Times –4/27/17)

Climate March: Tens of Thousands Protest Trump Climate Policies, Demand Environmental Action
(Fox News – 4/29/17)

 EPA Website Removes Climate Science Site from Public View After Two Decades
(Washington Post – 4/29/17)


In Over His Head


Trump Now Agrees With the Majority of Americans: He Wasn’t Ready to be President
(Washington Post – 4/28/17)

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

– President Donald Trump
   (Interview with Reuters)

Exclusive: Trump Says He Thought Being President Would Be Easier Than His Old Life
(Reuters – 4/28/17)


 Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


I was the Target of a Neo-Nazi ‘Troll Storm’
(The Guardian – 4/20/17)

There are at Least Four Grounds to Impeach Trump
(Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton: Salon – 4/7/17)

Trump’s First 100 Days Destroyed the Myth That Government Should be Run Like a Business
(Vox – 4/28/17)

How Western Civilization Could Collapse
(BBC – 4/18/17)


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.

Trump Voters Split on Unkept Promises (Part 1 of 3)
(CNN – 4/24/17)

Trump Voters Split on Unkept Promises (Part 2 of 3)
(CNN – 4/24/17)

Trump Voters Split on Unkept Promises (Part 3 of 3)
(CNN – 4/25/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Posted on Facebook by The Simpsons:

Hasan Minhaj Full Speech at 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
(C-SPAN – 4/29/17)

John Oliver – Last Week Tonight:

Posted to Facebook by The Other 98%:

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170430-001

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170430-006

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170430-003

Posted on Facebook by Liberal America:

Week-0016-170430-009

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170430-005

Week-0016-170430-008

Source: Unknown:

Week-0016-170430-002

Source: Unknown:

Week-0016-170430-011

 

Cartoon by Pjil Hands for Wisconsin State Journal:

Week-0016-170430-010

Source: New Century Times:

Week-0016-170430-007


Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


April 17 – 23, 2017

April 17 – 23, 2017

 


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


Exclusive: Putin-Linked Think Tank Drew Up Plan to Sway 2016 U.S. Election
(Reuters – 4/20/17)

Top National Security Official Leaving Justice Department in Middle of Trump-Russia Investigation
(NBC News – 4/20/17)

US Prepares Charges to Seek Arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange
(CNN – 4/20/17)


North Korea


Trump’s Missing ‘Armada’ Finally Heading to Korea — and May Stay a While
(Washington Post – 4/19/17)

U.S. May Not Be Able to Shoot Down North Korean Missiles, Say Experts
(NBC News – 4/19/17)


Mental Illness


Donald Trump Insists on Golden Carriage Procession During Visit to UK
(Evening Standard – UK – 4/15/17)

An Ethical Dilemma: Donald Trump’s Presidency has Some in the Mental Health Community Re-evaluating Their Role
(US News & World Report – 4/21/17)

At Yale, Psychiatrists Cite Their ‘Duty to Warn’ About an Unfit President
(New York Magazine – 4/22/17)

Psychiatrists Claim President Trump has a ‘Dangerous Mental Illness’
(Yahoo News – 4/22/17)

Mental Health Professionals Call for Trump to be Removed from Office
(WTNH – Connecticut Affiliate of ABC News – 4/20/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


March for Science


Historians Say the March for Science is ‘Pretty Unprecedented’
(Washington Post – 4/21/1/7)

The March for Science from Around the World
(CNN – 4/22/17)


Trump and the Press and the Polls


Public Gives Trump Low Marks for First 100 Days: NBC News/WSJ Poll
(NBC News – 4/23/17)

Trump at 100 Days: 96% of His Voters Say They’d Do it Again
(ABC News – 4/23/17)

Trump to Hold 100th-Day Rally on Same Night as White House Correspondents’ Dinner
(Washington Post – 4/23/17)

“In Watergate, in the two years of stories we did at the Washington Post and also at the New York Times, there was not a single quoted source. It was all reporting based on anonymous sources.”

Carl Bernstein, one of two reporters who broke the Watergate story


Conflicts of Interest


Trump’s Daughter Meets Chinese President, Receives Chinese Trademarks
(MSNBC – 4/18/17)


Taxpayer Money


Trump and His Aides Take Hard Line on Border Wall, as Threat of Government Shutdown Looms
(Washington Post – 4/23/1/7)

Sessions: We’ll Fund the Wall ‘One Way or the Other’
(CNN – 4/23/17)


 Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


US Unlikely to Have been Behind Botched North Korean Missile Launch
(The Hill – 4/22/17)

If a Nuclear Bomb is Dropped on Your City, Here’s Where You Should Run and Hide
(Business Insider – 3/18/17)


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.

How Progressives Cherry-Pick Science They Like
(National Review – 4/21/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-021

Science March at Harvard, source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-025-Harvard

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-016

Posted to Twitter by Steve Hoffman:

Week-0016-170423-0231-SteveHoffman

Science March in Berkeley, CA, banner artwork by Tina Banda:

Week-0016-170423-015

Science March in Amsterdam – source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-014

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-028

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-026

Photo from Minnesota Public Radio of Science March in St. Paul, MN

Week-0016-170423-022

Week-0016-170423-005

Week-0016-170423-024

Week-0016-170423-009

… and I found out where you can get one! You’re welcome!

Week-0016-170423-006

Week-0016-170423-010

Week-0016-170423-007

Week-0016-170423-008

Week-0016-170423-004

Week-0016-170423-003

Week-0016-170423-002

Week-0016-170423-013

Posted to Twitter by Hend Amry:

Week-0016-170423-029-HendAmry

Photo of Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and Sarah Palin in the Oval Offfice
Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-019

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-023

Week-0016-170423-001

From The Onion:

Week-0016-170423-024

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-0230

Posted on Twitter by McSpocky:

Week-0016-170423-027-McSpocky

Source: Unknown

Week-0016-170423-020


Events & Actions


Resources & Organizations


March 20 – 26, 2017

March 20 – 26, 2017

 


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia


During James Comey’s Hearing Before Congress, US Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) Lays Out Evidence for Russian Involvement in 2016 Presidential Election
(Video below – Huffington Post – 3/20/17– 8:20)
or read transcript (Time Magazine – 3/20/17)

Comey Confirms F.B.I. Inquiry on Russia; Sees No Evidence of Wiretapping
(New York Times – 3/20/17)

Former Trump Campaign Head Manafort Was Paid Millions By A Putin Ally, AP Says
(National Public Radio – 3/22/17)


Deaths and Injuries of Putin Critics


Lawyer For Russian Whistleblower’s Family Falls From Building One Day Before Hearing
(Huffington Post – 3/21/17)

Ukraine’s Leader Calls Killing of Putin Critic a Russian Terror Act
(CNN – 3/23/17)


Committee Chair Devin Nunes Bypasses Intelligence Committee to Inform President


Nunes Claims Some Trump Transition Messages Were Intercepted
(Politico – 3/22/17)

What Devin Nunes’s Bombshell Does and Doesn’t Say
(The Atlantic – 3/22/17)

Nunes Apologizes to House Intel Committee, Member Says
(CNN – 3/23/17)


Mental Illness


Trump Dismisses Risk of Falsehoods: ‘I’m President, and You’re Not’
(The Hill – 3/23/17)

Read President Trump’s Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods
(Time Magazine – 3/23/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Hate Crimes


White Man Traveled to New York to Kill Black Men and ‘Make a Statement,’ Police Say
(Washington Post – 3/23/17)


Healthcare Reform


Republicans Pull Healthcare Legislation Plan in Blow to Trump
(Reuters – 3/24/17)

‘Hello, Bob’: President Trump Called My Cellphone to Say That the Healthcare Bill was Dead
(Washington Post – 3/24/17)


Phones at Trump Tower WERE Tapped – Sort Of


Russian Mafia Boss Still at Large After FBI Wiretap at Trump Tower
(ABC News – 3/21/17)


Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


Trump’s Weary Defenders Face Fresh Worries
(New York Times – 3/20/17)

A President’s Credibility: Trump’s Falsehoods are Eroding Public Trust, at Home and Abroad
(Wall Street Journal – 3/21/17)

Donald Trump Should be Immediately Removed from Office — Before We Hit Rock Bottom
(Shaun King – Daily News – 3/21/17)

Trump’s Terrifying Comey Tweet: the President is Using His Office as a Platform to Contest the Very Nature of Truth
(Slate – 3/21/17)


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.


‘I Believed Everything He Said’: Ex-Supporter Whose Son OD’d Says Trumpcare Made Him Turn on the President
(Raw Story – 3/21/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


NBC’s Hallie Jackson asks Press Secretary Sean Spicer an obvious question that leaves him stammering on 3/7/17:


Posted by US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Week-0011-170326-001


Posted by Jake Akuna:

Week-0011-170326-007

 


Events & Actions

Two major nationwide protests coming up:

  • Saturday, April 15, 2017: Trump Tax Day Marches nationwide to let President Trump know that it’s not just reporters who care about his undisclosed tax returns – find your nearest march here!
  • Saturday, April 22, 2017: Scientists and people who believe in and support science will be having marches nationwide to encourage the use of science and facts in creating government policy – find your nearest march here!

Resources & Organizations


It’s Time for an Intervention in Washington, DC (Part 2 of 3)

It’s Time for an Intervention in Washington, DC (Part 2 of 3)

It’s Time for an Intervention in Washington, DC (Part 2 of 3)


Many Americans have witnessed the tragedy of chemical dependency – in a friend, in a family member, or even in themselves. Those in recovery from this illness are aware that it is not just the alcoholic or addict who is sick: it is a family disease. Those close to the addict often develop a behavior called “enabling,” in which they try to cope with the behavior of their loved one and maintain the illusion of normalcy by either denying their loved one’s illness or constantly picking up the pieces of the damage caused, making excuses for them, and trying to hide the evidence. Such enabling behavior can require as much of an intervention as the behavior of the addict himself/herself.

Less known to many Americans is that the same dynamic often develops in the family or friends of an individual suffering from a mental disorder.

Last week, I discussed how the clinically diagnosable mental illnesses of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder can co-exist in one individual –not uncommon in those who suffer from the DSM-listed “Cluster B” Personality Disorders. I also wrote about how numerous mental health professionals have broken from the traditional ethics of their collective practice to warn the public of their belief that the President suffers from at least one of those mental disorders.

Many of our legislators in Washington DC, particularly on the Republican side, are displaying enabling behavior. They are trying to act as if our President’s reckless episodes are normal, glossing over careless and damaging antics that are rapidly eroding our nation’s relationships and our credibility in dangerous ways.

Take, for example, the most recent drama, carried out over the past couple of weeks. On March 4, the President heard a news story (he says on Fox) alleging that his phone had been tapped at Trump Tower in October, 2016. Rather than reaching out to any number of bright, credible individuals to whom he has instant access 24 hours a day – the FBI Director, the head of the CIA, among others – to verify the validity of this wild claim, he immediately tweeted the first thing that popped into his head for the whole world to see, accusing former President Obama of a felony without any substantiating evidence:

week-0009-170305-015

week-0009-170305-014

week-0009-170305-013

week-0009-170305-012

Obviously such a claim from a sitting President would require investigation, because America operates on the assumption that the individual holding the office of the Presidency is responsible, sane, and understands the weighty implications and impact of his/her public statements – even when they are made on Twitter at 6am.

FBI Director Comey immediately asked his superior, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to deny the accusation, because it was untrue and Comey was concerned that it would reflect in a legally damning way on himself. The majority-Republican House Intelligence Committee investigated the matter thoroughly – at taxpayer cost, of course – and concluded that there had in fact been no surveillance of Trump Tower.

So the President then changed his story and claimed that Obama (the man whom Trump had spent years falsely claiming was born in Kenya – long after being given concrete evidence to the contrary) had actually enlisted British intelligence do the surveillance, because Obama wanted “no American fingerprints on this.” British intelligence uncharacteristically and angrily denied the absurdity of the accusation, yet as of this date, the President continues to cling to his story that Obama was tapping his phones at Trump Tower.

The entire scenario is consistent with the behaviors associated with Histrionic Personality Disorder, which include (among others):

A need to be the center of attention

Making rash decisions

Being easily influenced by others, especially those who treat them approvingly

Speaking dramatically with strong opinions, but few facts or details to back them up

(There are links to several full lists of the behaviors associated with Histrionic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder in last week’s post)

In the world of reality TV, the wiretapping drama might be an entertaining sideshow, and one might debate the ethics and morality of making entertainment out of the unusual behavior of an individual suffering from mental illness. But this is the office of President of the United States – our nation’s highest visibility ambassador to the world, and simultaneously, the person in charge of our military and our nuclear arsenal. The wiretapping claim, like so many other examples of President Trump’s erratic and unstable behavior, contributes to a picture that increasingly puts our nation at risk. How?

Imagine for a moment a situation in which America must legitimately go to war, and needs the assistance of our allies. In order to commit their men and women to a battle in which their country’s citizens may lose their lives, those allies’  leaders need to feel confident that our President is telling the truth, and is basing his/her perceptions on facts, reality, and legitimate intelligence. If you were the leader of another country, would you send your people off to war based on the word of Donald Trump, as you have for other American Presidents for decades? Could hesitance of America’s allies to provide military back-up to the United States put American lives at risk?

Or consider the same scenario here at home. How many American parents would be confident that their sons and daughters currently in the military are being sent off to fight for a necessary, just cause that is not based on fantasy, overreaction, delusion, or some perceived slight to an overinflated but fragile ego? And how confident would those soldiers themselves feel that their lives are not being needlessly put at risk over a pipe dream or crackpot conspiracy theory? Would some disobey? Would doubts about the cause and about our President embolden our enemy? Would hesitance or uncertainty in some soldier likely put the lives of other soldiers – or of Americans overall – in danger?

These are just some of the implications – in one area alone – where a mentally unstable individual in the office of the President can pose a significant risk to our nation, and does not even look at the direct military scenarios that could result from “rash decision making.” There are countless other concerns: one need only consider an issue (particularly one that involves relationships, sober decision making, or foreign policy) and apply basic logic.

Yet most members of Congress – especially the Republicans – seem to want to pretend that everything happening is normal, that our President is just “unconventional,” that he’s “shaking things up in Washington just as he was elected to do.” Their only real concern seems to be that the taint of the odd behavior not cause too great a stain on themselves politically in the short term.

I believe that this denial – this unwillingness to look squarely at what is happening, acknowledge it for what it is, and take appropriate action – is either pathetic political cowardice, short-sighted partisanship, or willful enabling. Regardless of the motive, an intervention is needed for the majority of our Republican US Senators and Representatives to snap them out of their enabling and denial so that they can begin looking seriously at the need for impeachment/removal from office – before America experiences the consequences of Congressional inaction.

To be clear, this is not about policy. I disagree with Mike Pence as much on policy as I do Trump, and I would likely be vocal in my opposition to the policies of a President Pence. But my opposition would be in the communally understood context of democracy and my own sense of ethics, morality, and justice. My push-back on policy would be balanced with my ability to accept the relative soundness and stability of Mike Pence’s leadership, and the four year wait for a chance to elect a President that I consider “better.”

In the case of Donald Trump, however, I do not believe that we have anything close to four years for our political system to address the clear and present danger posed to the American people. Congress needs to act now.

– rob rünt

Trump’s Mental Health:“The Elephant in the Room”
(MSNBC, 2/23/17)


It’s Time for an Intervention in Washington DC (Part 1 of 3)

It’s Time for an Intervention in Washington DC (Part 1 of 3)

It’s Time for an Intervention in Washington, DC (Part 1 of 2)


By now, many Americans have seen the headline of at least one editorial (there are several) written by one or more mental health professionals proclaiming that Donald Trump is mentally unfit for the office of the Presidency, that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Unfortunately due to the meaning of the term ”narcissist” among mental health professionals and the meaning of the term among the greater population, many people likely responded to such editorials with a shrug: “So he’s vain, what’s the big deal? He’s got a good track record in the business world, and we need someone in Washington who has some business sense to shake things up. Besides, anyone who runs for President is bound to have a big ego.”

So one thing that needs to be clarified is that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not the same thing as the character trait of being narcissistic: NPD is a serious and diagnosable personality disorder with significant negative implications, particularly when embodied in the President of the United States.

Mental health is an inexact science. It often requires an assessment of thoughts, which cannot be seen. Since there is no way to determine for certain what a person is thinking, their thoughts must be understood based upon their words and actions in the world. In order to bring some standardization to the diagnostic process, several decades ago the American Psychiatric Association developed the “DSM” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which is updated periodically based on new understandings. The DSM describes the behaviors and expressed beliefs that are associated with each mental illness. When a person is observed to fit most or all of the criteria for a particular illness, a mental health professional can diagnose the person with relative confidence.

What is it about Donald Trump’s behaviors and expressed beliefs that have led thousands of mental health professionals to break with the long-held traditions and ethical standards of their practice – potentially risking their licenses – to sign a petition warning the public about what they are seeing?

Below is a series of links to information about the “Cluster B” personality disorders listed in the DSM, of which “histrionic ” (code 301.50, F60.4) and narcissistic (code 301.81, F60.81) are the most worthy of attention. It is not uncommon for more than one Cluster B personality disorder to occur simultaneously in one person (a phenomenon referred to as “comorbidity”). Please read through the relevant sections of any or all of the links. It is rather staggering.

(Note: The actual DSM is not available online and may not be reprinted without permission from the American Psychiatric Association)

The Cluster B Personality Disorders (includes both Narcissistic and Histrionic)

Described by Mayo Clinic

Described by Boundless.com

Described in Psychology Today

Described by Psych.TheClinics

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Described on Wikipedia

Described in Psychology Today

Histrionic Personality Disorder

Described on Wikipedia

The top concerns with a high profile government leader who has narcissistic personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, or both are the effects of the behaviors on their ability to form stable and positive relationships with other world leaders, the impact of their rash decision-making on policy and global relations, the potential for their weaknesses to be exploited by others within the US government, and the potential for their weaknesses to be exploited by foreign governments.

Let’s hope that the thousands of mental health professionals who have gone out on a limb to publicly diagnose President Donald Trump are wrong.

– rob rünt

“I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this. I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy President.”

Eliot Cohen
Former State Department Official under George W. Bush
(Full Article – Huffington Post)

February 27 – March 5, 2017

February 27 – March 5, 2017

 


Articles & Editorials:


Main Stories


Russia and Wilbur Ross, US Secretary of Commerce

New Commerce Secretary at Nexus of Lucrative Trump Russia Deal (21:44)
This is a must-watch. If you check out nothing else on this site this week, this story is huge.
(MSNBC – 2/27/17)

Two Trump Companies Discovered in Cyprus, EU’s Russian Off-Shore Banking Haven
(Huffington Post – 12/19/16, Updated 3/2/17)

Here’s Another Trump Cabinet Pick With Close Financial Ties to Russians
(Mother Jones – 12/19/16)


Russia and the Trump Campaign

Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking
(New York Times – 3/1/17)


Russia and Jeff Sessions, US Attorney General

Sessions Met With Russian Envoy Twice Last Year, Encounters He Later Did Not Disclose
(Washington Post – 3/1/17)

Jeff Sessions Denials of Contact With Russians are Falling Apart Quickly
(Washington Post – 3/2/17)

Six Times Sessions Talked About Perjury, Access, and Special Prosecutors – When It Involved the Clintons
(Washington Post – 3/2/17)

“Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials.”

CNN, regarding the Russian individual who met with recently resigned National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions
(CNN – 3/2/17)

 

Jeff Sessions Recuses Himself from Russia Inquiry
(New York Times – 3/2/17)

Meet the Russian Diplomat at the Center of the Sessions Controversy
(The Hill – 3/3/17)

Why Would Jeff Sessions Hide His Talks With Sergey Kislyak?
(New Yorker – 3/3/17)


Yemen Raid

Trump Passes Blame for Yemen Raid to His General: “They Lost Ryan”
(Washington Post – 2/28/17)

Yemen SEAL Raid Has Yielded No Significant Intelligence: Officials
(NBC News – 2/28/17)

Slain SEAL’s Dad Wants Answers: “Don’t Hide Behind My Son’s Death”
(Miami Herald – 2/26/17)


Other Stories That You Should Know About:


Healthcare

Trump: “Nobody Knew Healthcare Could Be So Complicated”
(The Guardian – 2/27/17)


Trump’s Mental health

Trump Says Obama is Helping to Organize Protests Against His Presidency
(Washington Post – 2/28/17)

Trump Accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ Wiretap – But Offers No Evidence
(Washington Post – 3/4/17)

Posted on Twitter around 6am Saturday, 3/4/17:

week-0009-170305-015

Lawmakers Stunned by Trump’s Wiretap Allegations
(Politico – 3/5/17)

White House Says It Will No Longer Comment on Trump’s Wiretapping Claims
(Huffington Post – 3/5/17)

Director of National Intelligence (2010-2017) James Clapper on Trump’s Allegations of Wiretapping by Obama Administration
(Meet the Press, MSNBC – 3/5/17):

 


Freedom of the Press

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.”

Former President George W. Bush
Interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show – 2/27/17
(Full Article : NPR)

Trump Moves to Become Master of His Own Messages
(New York Times – 3/2/17)


Hate Crimes

He Yelled ‘Get Out of My Country,’ Witnesses Say, and Then Shot Two Men from India, Killing One
(Washington Post – 2/24/17)

A Sikh Man Was Shot On His Driveway And Allegedly Told, “Go Back To Your Own Country”
(Buzzfeed – 3/4/17)

In Day of Pro-Trump Rallies, California March Turns Violent
(Reuters – 3/4/17)
Editor’s Note: Much of the violence in the rally was committed and/or incited by people who came to protest Trump. When the anti-Trump people behave like this, it serves to discredit the anti-Trump movement, and increases the likelihood that future Trump protests may experience retaliatory violence from Trump supporters.


Keeping Track of the Basics:


Editorials


Trump’s Emotional Moment With a Navy SEAL’s Wife Could Define Him – For Good But Also For Bad
(Aaron Blake, Washington Post – 3/1//17)

Remembering a City Where Smog Could Kill
(Jim Dwyer, New York Times – 2/28/17)

week-0009-170305-005


Alternative Facts from an Alternative Universe

Self-selecting our news sources, a reluctance to hear opposing ideas, and the choice by many of us to surround ourselves only with like-minded individuals has resulted in many Americans becoming oblivious to the beliefs of those with whom they disagree. This bubble helped create the world of “alternative facts” in which Donald Trump could become President.

To counter this, each week I will present a little of what Trump’s supporters are thinking. Their reality may be very different from yours. Please listen/read to the end, and consider what respectful questions you could ask to better understand and have a conversation, rather than seeking to prove them wrong as quickly as possible and shut them down. We can’t change minds if we can’t talk to each other.


I’m a Silicon Valley Liberal, and I Traveled Across the Country to interview 100 Trump Supporters – Here’s What I Learned
(Sam Altman, Business Insider, 2/23/17)


Cartoons, Images & Videos


Photo by Agence France Presse:

week-0009-170305-001


Artwork by Illustrator Kieron Dwyer:

week-0009-170305-018


Posted by ImgFlip.com:

week-0009-170305-004


Artwork posted on Facebook by Rob Brezsny:

week-0009-170305-017


week-0009-170305-016


week-0009-170305-006


Published by Vox, Graphic by Javier Zarracina:

week-0009-170305-010


Events & Actions

Two major nationwide protests coming up:

  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017: “A Day Without a Woman”
    Women nationwide will not be participating in work – at their jobs or in the home – to bring attention to the importance of women to the functioning of America. Learn more  here!
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017: “Trump Tax Day March”
    Americans across the country will be marching to let President Trump know that it’s not just reporters who care about his undisclosed tax returns – find your nearest rally here!

Resources & Organizations