55 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity, Russian Style”

  1. jack, thank you.  yes very appropriate in re RNC, not just bc of vlad but it was also a fantasy as well.

    webster:  “Fantasy definition is – the power or process of creating especially unrealistic or improbable mental images in response to psychological need; …”

  2. maureen dowd in NYTimes op ed yesterday:

    WASHINGTON — As long as the Trumps were hijacking the White House for their convention finale, they may as well have built a golden escalator from the Truman Balcony to the South Lawn.
    That way, Ivanka could have made her power move with true Trumpian flair. In every other sense, she went for it. With her blond mane rippling, she was full-on MAGA, shoving the amped-up Don Jr. and fortissimo Kimberly Guilfoyle out of the way and positioning herself as the heir to her father’s political dynasty.
    The night was so Borgia, it made sense to end it with opera. (Or they could have just played the “Succession” theme song.)
    The old joke that if Trump became president, he’d slap his name on the White House almost came true during the egomania jubilee, when fireworks spelled out the name “Trump.”

  3. Truly worried about the Trump people taking to the streets to purposefully make any peaceful marchers look bad.  The one last night was planned for ages on Facebook.  One of them died last night.  Whether that was connected to a marcher is unknown, but Portland keeps dying down and then they show up and stir things up all over again.


  4. Apparently I’m not alone in being worried.

    “As people exercise their right to protest all across the country––let the undeniable paths of our progress be a guide going forward: peaceful, sustained protest; strategic, committed organizing; and purposeful, overwhelming participation at the ballot box.”

    Barack Obama


  5. @ChrisMurphyCT
    “Can we take the gloves off and tell the truth? Trump is deliberately killing people. He holds rallies where people get infected. On Thursday, no social distancing or masks, sending a clear message that the CDC should be ignored. His plan is to kill people. Let’s just say it.” (Sen. Chris Murphy, D-CT)

  6. Maybe, the protesters, just for right now, should just spend effort in registering voters and making sure there is transportation to get voters to the polls.  
    Stay home, even though he’ll try to call it a las and order win.    Just do the quiet work needed to unseat his fat ass.
    Don’t give tRUMP anything to use GOON-FORCE ONE against.   

  7. He is mostly infecting his supporters, if everyone else is wearing masks, staying home and/or socially distant.

    Of course, like the a-hole I work with who went to South Dakota and Mexico in August, the idiots mix with us and masks might not be enough.
    BTW, tRUMP’s plague killed a one-year boy in Georgia this week.  So, yep, children aren’t impacted at all by Donald’s disease.  

  8. Lowcountry S.C. farm owner about to experience “going viral”.   Ment Nelson is an upstate artist, related to and named after Clementa Pinckney who was murdered in the church by dylan roof.

  9. It’s really said that so many young folks aren’t aligned with anything positive and creative.  Instead, they have found the cult  of white supremacy so they feel part of something.   That did not have to happen. While it may be generational in some families, that cancer has been given space to grow and tRUMP has just fed it.   Something more needs to be done so those under the age of ten don’t keep it growing.  I fear the teenagers have already picked their sides.  Isn’t that how Pol Pot operated?  Get them and exploit them while they’re young. 

  10. D’ump campaign, PACs and other GOPer presidential campaign entities who had anything to do with white house grounds and staff being used for RNC should report the value of such uses in their next FEC contributions report.  they should also pay the government rental fees equivalent to what they would have paid for any other arena, utilities, janitorial, security, construction etc.   or report it as inkind contribution (which for some of it would be  obvious violations of hatch act).


    am i wrong about the FEC regs on this?   

  11. Trump can’t win a free and fair election, especially since he is decimating his own base with Covid, ergo…

  12. Just a reminder, it’s not like there’s a plague sweeping the country, a race war being engineered out of the White House, and an economy on the brink…but Trump is playing golf today.

  13. ·

    Lee J Carter on twitter


    The history of Nazis holding rallies in left-wing areas of Weimar Germany, instigating street fights, and then telling the press that only they could save Germany from the “violent communists” seems like an important thing for people to be studying right now.

  14. They’ve about ruirnt that word decimate for me the way they throw it around on tv, usually using it wrong.

  15. sturge, for me it’s the word “unprecedented.”

    what seems more to be the case is an un-president rather than unprecedented behavior by an administration.

    why can’t we just call it like it is and call him a dictator since that’s what he’s acting like and no one seems to be stopping him.  like sen murphy said “Trump is deliberately killing people.”   he’s also deliberately killing democracy.

  16. atkins last month in wash. monthly also noted it:

    … Trump had admitted to a crime against humanity. It was true. The president had openly bragged about deliberately slowing down COVID-19 testing for political gain, thereby causing the deaths of untold numbers of Americans to make himself look better. It is a monstrous crime for which he has not yet been held accountable.
    But a new report from Vanity Fair implicates both Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner of an unspeakable horror orders of magnitude greater. Instead of implementing a comprehensive and aggressive national testing plan as originally recommended by the White House coronavirus task force, Kushner scuttled it. The president and his son-in-law were instead content to allow tens of thousands of Americans die as long as they were mostly people of color, and hailing from Democratic states and counties. Not only that, they saw it as a political opportunity to both cull the numbers of opposing voters and lay blame on Democratic governors at the same time:
    If this is true–and there is very little reason to doubt its veracity, despite the White House press secretary’s denials–it would constitute perhaps the greatest crime against humanity of any president in American history. Andrew Jackson’s Trail of Tears was more deliberately vicious and murderous; George W. Bush’s immoral war of choice in Iraq killed more people overall.
    But no American president has ever betrayed his oath of office more profoundly than in deliberately allowing the deaths of more than 150,000 of his own fellow citizens and counting for partisan political gain.

  17. SCIENCE OVER POLITICS – A DUTY TO WARN – TRUTH OVER PARTISANSHIP New documentary feature ‘UNFIT: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DONALD TRUMP’ to be released September 1, 2020 on all digital/streaming and cable VOD platforms Is Donald Trump fit to hold the office of President of the United States? #UNFIT presents an eye-opening analysis of the behavior, psyche, condition and stability of Donald Trump. It takes a sociological look at the electorate that chose him, and the collective effect he is having on our culture and institutions. During the 2016 campaign, mental health professionals felt policy-bound from speaking publicly. Now, after years of observation, for the first time ever, they have decided enough is enough. Director & Producer: Dan Partland Producer: Art Horan Official Website: http://www.unfitfilm.com

  18. excerpt from a review of the film in chicago suntimes:

    We can’t help ourselves. No matter where we sit on the political and social spectrum, we can’t resist the urge to share certain articles or tweets or newscast footage with our friends on the other side of the fence, with a note attached saying something like, “If THIS doesn’t change your mind, nothing will!”

    Spoiler alert: 99 times out of 100, nothing will.

    I’m sure some viewers of the sharp and cohesive and illuminating documentary “#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump” will try to persuade their MAGA friends or associates to watch a film that makes a strong case President Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist plagued by narcissistic personality disorder, deep and rampant paranoia, decades of sadistic tendencies, and anti-social behavior. I’m not so sure any pro-Trumper who watches the film will actually have a change of heart about their man. Some might even sit through all the arguments and watch the presentations making the case Trump is unfit and react by saying: And that’s exactly why you’re all so scared of him and he’s the greatest president of all time!

    Nevertheless. We are recommending “#Unfit” not for any political reason — in fact, the film is not about Trump’s policies, but about his personality — but because it offers some valuable insights into Trump’s behavior, and offers a compelling counterargument to some widely accepted notions about whether or not psychiatrists should even be allowed to comment on the mental health of individuals they have not personally treated.


  19. and from the wrap:

    “#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump” is a frightening documentary that can leave you scared to death about the prospect of Donald Trump remaining in the Oval Office a day longer than is absolutely necessary. It’s a cautionary tale that can offer some degree of insight into the mind of our commander in chief. But it’s also a political documentary that can make you wonder whether film is even the right medium with which to take on Trump, and whether a movie like this can connect with anybody who doesn’t already believe everything it has to say.

    The film by director Dan Partland is timely, of course, hitting select theaters and virtual cinemas on August 28, at the end of the week of the Republican Convention, and heading to streaming and VOD on Sept. 1. And it is tied into current news: Its focus on psychoanalyzing the president fits with the approach in Mary Trump’s recent book about her uncle, “Too Much and Never Enough,” while its use of George Conway as a prominent talking head coincides with Conway’s weekend announcement that he is stepping away from his work with the anti-Trump Lincoln Project while his wife, Kellyanne Conway, departs from her White House job so the couple can devote more time to family matters.


  20. what the hollywood reporter says about it:

    #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump, being released even as we’re still suffering the effects of watching the Republican National Convention, delivers a devastating indictment of the mental state of our current chief executive. To anyone who follows the news religiously (and who doesn’t, during these anxiety-ridden days?), not much presented here will prove revelatory. The film is even a little out of date, since one of its primary talking heads, Lincoln Project co-founder (and husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway) George Conway, has now abandoned his mission of criticizing Trump. But thankfully not before delivering such acidic comments as “Donald Trump is like a practical joke that got out of hand.”

    The shrinks participating in the documentary are technically violating what’s known as “The Goldwater Rule,” which states that it is “unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.” The ethical standard springs from a 1964 magazine poll in which 1,189 psychiatrists said that then-candidate Barry Goldwater was unfit to be president. Fortunately for the sake of the country, there’s also something known as “The Tarasoff Rule,” inspired by a California Supreme Court ruling that decreed that mental health professionals have a “duty to warn” if their patients might put someone else’s life in danger.

    And while Trump isn’t their patient, the talking heads in #Unfit certainly make a convincing case for the danger that he poses to the nation. The film wouldn’t really have to do more than trot out some of his greatest hits, which it does with clips of such episodes as Trump’s remark that he wouldn’t lose any voters even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue, Sean Spicer’s forced lying about the inauguration crowd size, and his machinations with Sharpies. Thankfully, the documentary doesn’t include too many of these, since it would lead to a running time dwarfing Gone With the Wind.

    “Trump is a sociopath, a sadist, a con artist, a racist, a misogynist and a sexist,” declares one of the therapists in the film. He adds, “And I think that is a problem,” which might well be the understatement of the year.

    #Unfit loses some of its impact by occasionally concentrating on the trivial. There’s a lengthy segment, for instance, devoted to chronicling Trump’s habit of cheating at golf. Yes, it’s indicative of his overall behavior that includes lying nearly every time he opens his mouth. But it pales in comparison to his ability to, say, launch a nuclear war, a topic that is discussed in frightening terms, or his many similarities to such historical figures as Mussolini and Hitler.

    Ironically, it’s not the mental health professionals on display who make the strongest impact, but rather Anthony Scaramucci, who seems to have settled on a second career as a media figure critical of the man for whom he once, albeit briefly, worked. Say what you will about the Mooch (and please, discuss among yourselves), he’s got a way with words, as illustrated by this sly assessment of his former boss. “He is not a racist,” Scaramucci affirms. “He treats everybody like shit. He’s an asshole. That’s different from being a racist.”

    It says something about our troubled times that the description almost seems comforting. Scaramucci also makes this astute point about the stakes for our democracy: “You can’t disrupt a 243-year experiment for one dude’s personality.”


  21. the official site:


    COMING SOON 9-1-2020

    For the first time, mental health professionals go on the record, in an eye–opening, science–based assessment of the behavior and stability of Donald J. Trump

  22. [to be read as if a M.A.S.H.  PA announcement]


    Attention. Attention.  All personnel.  The President is nuts.  I repeat: the President is nuts. 

  23. Pat, they already did that more than four years ago. Their findings were memorialized in The Atlantic.

  24. Joe Biden: “Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.”

  25. Book of the Month

    The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report, published in 1972 by Basic Books, is based on a World War II report by psychoanalyst Walter C. Langer which probed the psychology of Adolf Hitler from the available information. The original report was prepared for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and submitted in late 1943 or early 1944;[1] it is officially entitled A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend. The report is one of two psychoanalytic reports prepared for the OSS during the war in an attempt to assess Hitler’s personality; the other is Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler by the psychologist Henry A. Murray who also contributed to Langer’s report. The report eventually became 1,000 pages long.

  26. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler blames President Trump for the violence in his city:

    “Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It’s you who have created the hate and the division.” https://t.co/pjfbrt1OTR

  27. flatus, i know that some of the same shrinks wrote the same thing 4 years ago.   producers just wanted to preserve them & some of the evidence backing up their diagnoses on film for posterity.  anyway more people will see the show than read the book.  am wondering how much it will be broadcast on fox when it premieres nationwide on tuesday.

    also wonder if D’ump will watch any of it… probably if only to see himself.  the narcissist in him wouldn’t allow otherwise.

  28. portland mayor wheeler also said:

    “It’s you who have created the hate and the division. It’s you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people killed by police officers even as people in law enforcement have, and it’s you who claimed that white supremacists are good people.”
    “He has an opportunity to uplift us and bring us together and help us move through this difficult situation in our nation’s history, and instead he chooses to play petty politics and divide us. That’s my reaction. So I’m going to do the work I need to do here in my local community with my local officials to take accountability for what’s happening on our streets.”
    “I’d appreciate either the president support us or he stay the hell out of the way”

  29. another day, another book


    On Feb. 23, 2018, White House counsel Don McGahn sent a two-page memo to Chief of Staff John Kelly arguing that Jared Kushner’s security clearance needed to be downgraded, the New York Times’ Michael Schmidt reports in his forthcoming book, “Donald Trump v. The United States.”

    Driving the news: Schmidt reports directly from the confidential McGahn memo for the first time, describing how Kelly had serious concerns about granting Kushner a top-secret clearance in response to a briefing he had received related to the routine FBI investigation into Kushner’s background.

    “The information you were briefed on one week ago and subsequently relayed to me, raises serious additional concerns about whether this individual ought to retain a top security clearance until such issues can be investigated and resolved,” McGahn wrote in the memo to Kelly.

    XR – beta blockers have the effect of smoothing out things like jerky moves.  Snipers take them to keep from having a “pounding” heart affect shooting.
    Rright now Verizon FIOS is dead in our neighborhood, so I am enjoying over the air TV.  It is too easy to get caught up in television.  Right now there are three stations I want to watch, one has Murdodh Mysteries, another has   Big Bang, and a third has Seventies Country music with Johnny Cash and Roy Clark

  31. Well, after (apparently) 17 years – time flies – we got our boat out and spent the day on Deep Creek Lake. Sunny, 70s, and just delightful. Happy I can still dock an inboard. All of us drove (shhh, LP isn’t legal). For a 35 year old boat she runs like a top and looks great (except where the raccoons chewed up the upholstery).  Getting that fixed this week hopefully. All in all a delightful day. 

  32. “krystallnacht horror….  The main only answer to this horror is to not only vote him OUT but to TAKE the senate. And keep the house, of course.

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