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The rise of anonymous trolls has brought out the usual uninformed/ under informed/ possible Racist comments, the article below is an example of the types of responses required for these trolls who hide behind anonymity. MA

Chrissy Teigen responds to people who say she ‘never looked or acted as if she was genuinely suffering’ from depression

Yahoo Beauty 18 hours

0:18 0:48


Chrissy Teigen has been extremely candid about her recent health struggles, and unfortunately, she’s facing criticism for it. The supermodel wrote a tweet on Monday night with the simple message, “I dunno how you can be this mean” next to snapshots of the jabs people have taken at her on social media.

Model Chrissy Teigen has been candid about her struggle with health issues from postpartum depression to drinking too much. (Photo: Getty Images)
In some of the comments, people reference Teigen’s recent revelation that she’s sworn off alcohol after saying that she has difficulty controlling how much she drinks, as well as taking a stab at her history with postpartum depression. Teigen was specifically called out for being “melodramatic” about her health issues, and a commenter said that she has “never looked or acted as if she was genuinely suffering” with depression.

Teigen recently revealed to Cosmopolitan that she has difficulty controlling how much alcohol she drinks. “I was, point blank, just drinking too much,” the supermodel said. “I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected. And that feeling, there’s just nothing like that. You feel horrible.”
She also opened up in March about her battle with postpartum depression, saying in an essay for Glamour that she “couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy” after having her daughter Luna. “Most days were spent on the exact same spot on the couch and rarely would I muster up the energy to make it upstairs for bed,” she wrote. “John would sleep on the couch with me, sometimes four nights in a row. I started keeping robes and comfy clothes in the pantry so I wouldn’t have to go upstairs when John went to work. There was a lot of spontaneous crying.”
It’s a common misconception that people suffering from depression look or act a certain way, but it’s just that — a misconception, Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist Jessica Zucker tells Yahoo Beauty. Postpartum depression in particular “has a variety of faces and can express itself through anger, having the inability to tolerate emotion — a whole range of things,” Zucker says. “These people are just being cruel.”
Unfortunately, these kinds of comments are not surprising, clinical psychologist John Mayer, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Beauty. “There is no typical way depression looks,” he says. Rather, people suffering from depression have root characteristics like sadness, weepiness, feelings of hopeless, and low motivation. Depression also affects people differently, he says, and people cope with the condition in different ways.
Appearance isn’t even part of the diagnostic criteria for depression, unless you count sudden weight gain or loss (which doesn’t happen to all sufferers), Simon Rego, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, tells Yahoo Beauty. “The sad truth is that mental health disorders often have no visible signs of what someone is experiencing in their mental health,” he says.
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for adults aged 15 to 44, according to data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and about one in nine women is affected by postpartum depression, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also an equal-opportunity illness. “It can affect anybody,” Rego says. “It doesn’t select by age, intelligence, or socioeconomic status — it impacts everyone.”
It’s easy to dismiss the comments that Teigen received as mean words from internet trolls, but statements like those can make an impact on people suffering from depression, Zucker notes. Depression and postpartum depression in particular are often stigmatized, she points out, and comments like these don’t help — and they may even discourage someone who is suffering from seeking treatment.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or postpartum depression, it’s important to seek help. “The sooner you get help, the sooner you get better, and the sooner things turn around,” Zucker says.

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The 1960’s? Is it possible that we never left the 60’s Racial issues behind or corrected the underlying problems? The recent Charlottesville riots?, kerfuffle? or what ever it may be called pointedly shows how little pockets of resistance to change can create dangerous situations. TOTUS has almost inadvertently created a rise in the racial divide and somehow persuaded uninformed people that he alone will make America Great Again. What we have seen since his election is that he apparently has no idea what he is doing other than repealing  anything the former President did. Since it seems that the now sitting idiot reads nothing beyond 140 characters. It is a wonder to me that we have so few real or possibly intelligent news reporters yet these lesser of these seem to garner the attention of the leader(?) of the free world. Years ago in the Nixon era the phrase ” A mind is a terrible thing to waste” was coined by Arthur Fletcher, with that in mind, we seem to have a wasted space in the Oval office. The idea of rational thinking appears to be an unwelcome guest in the White House given the  many actions by the TIC (Tweeter In Chief) that leave many us of stunned. His ability to move crowds with fiction has grown exponentially and with the effects of this fiction our Allies are seeking their own counsel rather than expecting any leadership from this administration. It is true that the racial divide has never completely gone away however rationality and education  has over time eroded the wall down to a bump. The wall that Trump has proposed apparently starts with the one he is building between Americans with his lack of engagement as a leader of all  America.

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ALANNA DURKIN RICHER, Associated Press 11 hours ago

A handful of descendants of Confederate Civil War leaders Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Jefferson Davis are siding with those who believe monuments to their famous ancestors should be pulled down and moved to other settings, such as museums.
And a relative of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee says he would be fine with removing statues to his storied ancestor if it helps the country heal.
The director of a Mississippi estate that was Davis’ retirement home, meanwhile, has suggested that the monuments could be relocated there.
Criticism of Confederate monuments has been intensifying since Saturday, when a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent after white nationalists opposed to the city’s plan to remove a statue of Lee clashed with counter protesters.
President Donald Trump agrees with some in the South who say the monuments speak to America’s history and heritage; but opponents of such symbols believe they glorify a shameful era of slavery.
On Thursday, a great-great-grandson of Stonewall Jackson told The Associated Press that he believes the monument to his legendary Confederate ancestor, as well as others in Virginia’s capital of Richmond, were constructed as symbols of white supremacy and should be taken down.
“They were constructed to be markers of white supremacy. They were constructed to make black people fearful,” Jack Christian said. “I can only imagine what persons of color who have to walk and drive by those every morning think and feel.”
Christian told the AP that he used to be open to the idea that the statues on Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue — which memorialize southern Civil War leaders, including Jackson — might be acceptable if context were added to explain why they were built.
However, the racially charged violence in Charlottesville has shown that to be impossible, Christian said.
A descendant of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America, said he supports moving the statues to appropriate settings, such as museums.
Bertram Hayes-Davis told the AP on Thursday that he believes that “complete removal is wrong” and believes the best solution would be to put the statues “in a historic place where the entire story can be explained.”
Tom Payne says he knows the perfect place: Beauvoir, a privately run museum on 52 acres (20 hectares) in Biloxi, Mississippi, that once served as Davis’ retirement home. Payne, executive director of the museum, issued a statement Thursday offering to accept monuments that “any city or jurisdiction has decided to take down.”
Payne said he would hope for donations, but would consider raising funds to cover any costs of relocating the monuments. He said the monuments could serve an educational purpose for Beauvoir visitors while being displayed in gardens out of general public view.
Robert E. Lee V, an athletic director at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, the great-great-grandson of the Confederate general, said the family hates to see the statues be a source of division.
“If taking down the statues helps us not have days like Charlottesville, then we’re all for it,” Lee said. “Take ’em down tonight.”
Christian and his brother, Warren Christian, said in a letter to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney published by Slate on Wednesday that it is “long overdue” for the city to remove overt symbols of white racism and white supremacy. The men said they want to make clear that the statue — and their great-great-grandfather’s actions — do not represent them.
“While we are not ashamed of our great-great-grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer,” the brothers and Richmond natives wrote. “We are ashamed of the monument.”
Michael Shoop, who wrote a book on the genealogy of the Jackson family, confirmed that the men are descendants of the Confederate general.
Christian said he would like to see the statues preserved after they are removed from public display. He said he has heard from one relative who said she agreed with the sentiments expressed in the letter.
Christian said he’s pleased the Richmond mayor has decided that the former capital of the Confederacy will consider removing or relocating its statues.
The mayor had previously said he thought the monuments should stay but have context added about what they represent and why they were built, but changed course after the events in Charlottesville, where white supremacists rallied after the city voted to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Chaos erupted at the Charlottesville rally, which included neo-Nazis, skinheads, and Ku Klux Klan members, and is believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade. They clashed violently with counterdemonstrators, and after authorities ordered the crowd to disperse, a car plowed into a group of marchers, killing a woman and injuring 19 people. Two state police troopers who had been monitoring the chaos were also killed when their helicopter crashed outside the city.
The events in Charlottesville have quickened the pace of the removal of Confederate monuments across the country. Four Confederacy-related monuments were hauled away on trucks under cover of darkness late Tuesday night and early Wednesday in Baltimore. In Birmingham, Alabama, a 52-foot-tall (15-meter) obelisk honoring Confederate soldiers and sailors was covered by wooden panels at the mayor’s order.
Associated Press writers Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia; Kevin McGill in New Orleans; and Matt Barakat in McLean, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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Each of us has an opinion on something and that is as it should be. What should not be is any opinion on anything that is not based on correct information. It often takes several readings and some research to find the true information behind your opinion. Many quotes by well known people (living and dead) have been repeated as fact but are often repeated incomplete or out of context. These misapplied quotes have been the subject of many debates and arguments. It is incumbent on us all to get the real quote and its background to fully understand what is said or intended. All of this information is readily available if one chooses to seek it out. We are already under siege by the constant stream of inaccuracies (lies if you will) from some media outlets, our political leaders(?) and influencers which puts the onus on us readers and citizens to parse out the truth. Our ability to read and reason is the strength we have over lower animals yet we (some of us) still follow the ludicrous nattering of politicians and so called experts or well known pundits.  Many writings are designed as thought pieces with as much truth as is available, others are just slightly less than full blown lies. It is the duty of us all to seek the truth when the so called fresh fish stinks!

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Recently there was a report suggesting that Vice President Pence is setting up a “shadow” campaign for a 2020 run for the Presidency. This has been vehemently denied by the VP and Kellyanne Conwoman/ Since these two have gone on record denying the report, it’s plausibility has been greatly increased. This administration  is built on lies and implausible deniability, so it is no big stretch to believe the report to be true or plausible at the least. The current administration is no more than a barely cohesive group of non descript talking heads serving at the pleasure of an adoration maniac. The GOP has flowed along with the machinations and unrealistic utterances of the White House with little or no reactions since they hope their own nefarious activities will be hidden. The turnstile actions of the administration’s press liaisons serves only to show the disarray in this White House. Looking at the fact that Mr. Trump really did not want this job but now has to do it gives rise to the question of “what Now?” Recent events in South Carolina show the impact of Trumps Presidency, the thugs of the alt- right, Neo Nazi’s and other aligned White supremacy groups feel they have the right to issue their non-American message with impunity. Donald aka TOTUS is too busy to perform the duties of his office since there is no adoration in it. The TWEETER in Chief reluctantly and begrudgingly  denounced the unrest in Charlottesville. His primary minion  ( Steve Bannon) has tacitly denounced the followers of his former entity (Breitbart) and that shows his lack of loyalty to anything or anyone that is not Steve Bannon). This situation is slowly coming to a head along with the Head of DJT aka TOTUS. As an added message to the members of the Alt Right, Neo Nazis and White supremacists- The Native Americans were here first and you stole the country from them! 

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Politics has brought us many new terms or at least made us aware of them. The common terms are right and left which ordinarily tell us directions or how to unscrew a bolt or common screw. In the political arena it points out the mind set of political parties and their followers. These mind sets range from moderate to extreme or in some cases ALT. Taking the two directions in account, where would we be if these two opposites did not work together from time to time such as shooting hoops, driving a car, holding a baby or just unlocking a door? With this in mind why is it so difficult for people to understand that the two directions need one another to make good decisions no matter what the issue is. In my opinion taking a direction as ones credo is dangerous and probably uninformed. Using the old Newtonian law: for “every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. To presume or assume your direction is correct and no others matter is an opening for the election of poor representatives who unfortunately last longer in service than they should and  to our detriment. We have been fortunate to have had many right and lefts who understood the concept of  meshing the fingers of the two hands together to accomplish the work of representing. When your two hands are interlaced, you can no longer make a fist!

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The recent clash and injuries in Charlottesville show the extent of Trump’s influence on the Neo-Nazi’s, alt right and New Klan. Mr Trump is considered their champion. There have been many “spokespersons” for Mr. Trump who have “parsed” his statements. No one can actually speak for the President except the President and what he says is usually not the whole truth or any truth at all. The President in real words is just a Bully who now has a national platform. He is a half (?) step away from megalomania. It is unfortunate that his cabinet is composed of folks who have no good intentions for us as a nation and  are merely high profile folks who are determined to undo anything done by President Obama and making their supporters like it even though it harms them as well. Article below explains it all very well. MA.


My meeting with Donald Trump: A damaged, pathetic personality — whose obvious impairment has only gotten worse

I didn’t get his endorsement when I ran for governor — but the severely troubled man I met has only gotten worse


In 1994, I visited the home of Donald Trump. He was a Democrat then, of sorts, and I was the party’s nominee for governor of Connecticut. He’d taken an interest in our state owing to his keen desire to lodge a casino in Bridgeport, an idea I found economically and morally dubious. I had scant hope of enlisting him, but made the trip anyway, thinking that if I convinced him I might win, he’d be less apt to bankroll my opponent.

I arrived at Trump Tower in early evening, accompanied by my finance chair and an old friend and colleague. Stepping off the elevator into his apartment, we were met by a display of sterile, vulgar ostentation: all gold, silver, brass, marble; nothing soft, welcoming or warm. Trump soon appeared and we began to converse, but not really. In campaigns, we candidates do most of the talking; because we like to, and because people ask us lots of questions. Not this time. Not by a long shot.

Trump talked very rapidly and virtually nonstop for nearly an hour; not of my campaign or even of politics, but only of himself, and almost always in the third person. He’d given himself a nickname: “the Trumpster,” as in “everybody wants to know what the Trumpster’s gonna do,” a claim he made more than once.

He mostly told stories. Some were about his business deals; others about trips he’d taken or things he owned. All were unrelated to the alleged point of our meeting, and to one another. That he seldom even attempted segues made each tale seem more disconnected from reality than the last. It was funny at first, then pathetic, and finally deeply unsettling.

On the drive home, we all burst out laughing, then grew quiet. What the hell just happened? My first theory, that Trump was high on cocaine, didn’t feel quite right, but he was clearly emotionally impaired: in constant need of approbation; lacking impulse control, self-awareness or awareness of others. We’d heard tales of his monumental vanity, but were still shocked by the sad spectacle of him.

That visit colored all my later impressions of Trump. Over time, his mental health seemed to decline. He threw more and bigger public tantrums; lied more often and less artfully. The media, also in decline and knowing a ratings magnet when it saw one, turned a blind eye. Sensing impunity, Trump revived the racist ‘birther’ lie. In 2011, he told the “Today” show’s Meredith Vieira he had unearthed some dark secrets:

Vieira: You have people now down there searching, I mean in Hawaii?

Trump: Absolutely. And they cannot believe what they’re finding.

As Trump recycled old lies, Vieira had a queasy look but no apparent knowledge of the facts. Of course, there weren’t any. Trump had no proof of Obama being born in Kenya. (Since there is none.) It’s highly doubtful he had any researchers in Hawaii. (It was only after Vieira asked him that he claimed he did.) Later, when Trump’s story crumbled, he followed a rule taught by his mentor, Roy Cohn, infamous architect of McCarthyism: Admit nothing. To Trump, a lie is worth a thousand pictures.

By 2016, the private Trump was on permanent public display, raging over mere slights, seeing plots in every ill turn of events and, as always, stunningly self-absorbed. He was called a racist, a sexist and a bully. But his mental health issues were euphemized as problems of “temperament.” He lied ceaselessly, reflexively and clumsily, but his lies were called merely “unproven” or, later, “false.” The New York Times called the birther story a lie only after Trump grudgingly retracted it. Not till he was safe in office claiming that millions of phantom immigrants cast votes for Clinton did the paper of record use the word “lie” in reference to a tale Trump was still telling.

In 2016, the precariousness of Trump’s mental health was clear to all with eyes to see, but like extras in a remake of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” reporters averted their glances. The day after the election, they were all in a state of shock, like staff at an asylum who woke one morning to find that the patient who thought he was Napoleon had just been named emperor of France. Once he took office, many publications began keeping running tallies of his lies. But all take a more cautious approach to questions of their origins in his deeply troubled psyche. To date, no major network, newspaper or magazine has run an in-depth analysis of Trump’s mental health.

The pathologies of American journalism are by now clichés: aversion to policy analysis; addiction to horse-race politics; smashing of walls that once separated news, opinion and advertising; an ideology that mistakes evenhandedness for objectivity. Yet we hear scant talk of reform. The press excels at public rituals of soul-searching but has little taste for the real thing.  That said, its reluctance to discuss mental health reflects its virtues as well as its vices. Of major outlets, Fox News does by far the most psychological profiling. (It turns out all liberals are crazy.)

Like the language of politics, the language of psychology is imprecise; the term “sociopath” is as hard to nail down as “liberal” or “conservative.” What separates a serial liar from a pathological liar? Mere suspicion from paranoia? Righteous anger from uncontrolled rage? How do we ever tell mental illness from ill character? Our view of any antisocial behavior hinges on whether we view it through a moral, legal or therapeutic lens; to take a human life other than in self-defense is insane, and also criminal and, to many, sinful. Do we treat, punish or forgive? It’s so hard to say.

The diagnosis we associate with Trump is “narcissistic personality disorder” (a term that only lately replaced “narcissistic character disorder”). You’ll find it in the Diagnostic Survey Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, fifth edition. Back in February, a principal author of the prior edition, Dr. Allen Frances, wrote a letter to the Times rebuking mental health professionals for “diagnosing public figures from a distance” and “amateur diagnosticians” for “mislabeling” Trump with narcissistic personality disorder. Allen says he wrote the criteria defining the disorder and Trump doesn’t have it. His reasoning: Trump “does not suffer the disorder and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.”

Frances does what he accuses others of doing. By saying flatly that Trump doesn’t suffer a disorder, he diagnoses a public figure we assume — for multiple reasons — he hasn’t treated. Nor can he or anyone else tell “from a distance” that Trump doesn’t suffer the requisite impairment and disorder. No president ever seemed so impaired or disordered, but we needn’t compare him only to other rotten presidents. Trump is the Chuck Yeager of lying, a shatterer of records thought untouchable. That he is frozen in pathological, crotch-grabbing adolescence is well documented; that his judgment is often deranged by rage is self-evident.

This week the world watched two men of obvious, serious emotional impairment in control of ungodly nuclear weapons trade puerile taunts while threatening to incinerate millions of innocent human beings. Donald Trump, having made war on Mitch McConnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nordstrom, China, Mexico, Australia and the cast of “Hamilton,” baiting a man who idolizes Dennis Rodman and just murdered his own brother. This is simply unacceptable. We know how Kim Jong-Un got his job. It’s time we thought about how Trump got his. One answer is that he got it the way authoritarian leaders do in liberal democracies: by exploiting the weakness and naïve politesse of the old order. To contain him, let alone remove him, we must relearn the rules of debate.

We can start by distinguishing name calling (bad) from merely naming (which is not just good but vital). I too recoil from quack therapists diagnosing strangers on cable TV. But you don’t need to be a botanist to tell a rose from a dandelion. In 2016 Trump compared Ben Carson to a child molester and pronounced him “incurable,” but few raised the far more real question of Trump’s own mental health. Do we dare not state the obvious? You needn’t be an amateur diagnostician to see that Donald Trump is mentally ill.

Trump embodies that old therapists’ saw “perception is projection.” You can use this handy tool to locate the truth, exactly opposite from whatever he just said. He has a weight management problem, so women are “fat pigs.” He can’t stop fibbing, so his primary opponent becomes “Lyin’ Ted Cruz.” His career is rife with fraud so the former secretary of state becomes “Crooked Hillary.” He is terrified of ridicule, so Barack Obama is a “laughingstock.” When he says America’s a wasteland but he’ll make it great again, we know his secret fear.

Late in the presidential campaign Hillary Clinton famously dubbed some large portion of Trump’s base a “basket of deplorables.” A constant theme and core belief of her campaign was that his campaign was fueled by racism and misogyny, evils against which Democrats stand united. The evils are genuine and enduring, but political corruption and the economic inequality it fosters did at least as much and probably more to fuel Trump’s rise.

It’s likely that Trump’s arrested development also got him white working-class votes, among males especially. The infantilization of the American male is a phenomenon we have been slow to recognize. It is a product of fast-narrowing economic horizons fueled by cultural forces; by beer ads and anti-intellectualism, by addiction and violent video games, and now by Trump, on whom Jon Stewart pinned the fitting moniker “man baby.”

Countless surveys say our children are less racist and sexist than our parents. What many may not be is more adult. The issue isn’t the bros in the beer ads; we assume they have jobs. It’s the tinderbox we create by mixing ignorance and inequality with dashed hopes and an overwrought sense of victimization. They say presidents lead us down the paths we’re already on. It’s our job to make sure this one doesn’t.

One thing Trump has taught us is that the drafters of the 25th Amendment weren’t thinking about mental illness. It is unlikely anyone it puts in charge would have the courage to take action. In any case, progressives must put their primary emphasis on crafting a blueprint for political reform and economic justice. While they’re at it they could try making better cases on national security and climate change.

They must take another lesson from Trump: to say out loud things they never said before, not as Trump does, but with honesty, decency, reason and specificity. Trump got to be president in part because there were so many things Democrats and the media didn’t think or couldn’t bring themselves to say. Trump’s whole life is a fraud that Robert Mueller may soon expose as a criminal enterprise. His business career was a disaster till a book someone else wrote and a TV show someone else produced made him a celebrity. He then fell into the only line of work he ever prospered in: licensing that celebrity. He does it pretty well, but Zsa Zsa Gabor did it first and Kim Kardashian did it better and neither of them should be president.

In 2016 Trump’s real vulnerabilities were his mental health and personal finances. We can now add his proto-fascism and his possible or intended treason to the list. Trump was lucky in the draw. His defects were so monumental, so toxic, we had no protocol for talking about them. There are effective and responsible ways to talk about all such things, but first our media and political elites must find the courage to name them. They know as well as you or I who he is.


Bill Curry

Bill Curry was White House counselor to President Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut. He is at work on a book on President Obama and the politics of populism.

It is quite difficult to not write or post from others on Donald Trump and this article points out why. MA

Paul Waldman
August 7, 2017
As things get worse for President Trump, his need for praise only increases.
In an age where our children are supposedly being made soft by too many participation trophies and too much praise, no one is thirstier for tributes than the president of the United States. Give him the chance and he’ll tell you how amazing he is with all the self-awareness of a 3-year-old; as we recently learned, in explaining the political importance of his anti-immigration stance to Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump said, “I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country.” And if you work for Trump or depend on him for your position, you know that you have to praise him, too. You need to convince him he has your love and your loyalty, and the best way to do that is to extol his fabulousness to all who will listen, especially on TV.
If you’re looking for a model, you might take Corey Lewandowski, who was Trump’s campaign manager and now runs a lobbying firm established to profit off that connection to the administration in the most shameless way possible. Lewandowski recently said on Fox News that Trump is “the greatest politician our country has ever seen.” Marvel at that for a moment. Lincoln? FDR? JFK, LBJ, Reagan, Clinton, Obama? Losers, all of them.
But for epic lickspittlery, few can match Vice President Mike Pence, who spent a good deal of the 2016 campaign talking about the awe-inspiring majesty of Trump’s shoulder-width. (“To be around Donald Trump is to be around a man with broad shoulders. … He’s a man with broad shoulders, he’s got a clear vision, he’s strong. … They are responding to Donald Trump’s broad-shouldered, plainspoken leadership. … I think it shows the kind of broad-shouldered leader he is.”) On Sunday, The New York Times published an article about Republican politicians taking some preparatory steps toward potential 2020 presidential bids, including Pence. “Multiple advisers to Mr. Pence have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Mr. Trump did not,” they reported, noting that Pence has established his own PAC which will make donations to candidates, has hired a seasoned campaign operative as his chief of staff (as opposed to someone with government experience), and is aggressively courting donors and connected political figures in key states.
Given the fact that it’s always possible that President Trump will decide not to run for re-election, all that seems like little more than prudence from a politician who plainly wants to be president one day. But no doubt anticipating his boss’s displeasure at the story, Pence responded with an almost comical overreaction:
Today’s article in the New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team. The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration. …
Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the President’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.
you’ll notice that while saying everything in the article was false, Pence couldn’t actually point to anything in the article that was false. But the true audience for his statement was one person, the desperately insecure man in the Oval Office, for whom it amounted to, “C’mon baby, you know you’re the only one for me.”
And the president needs that reassurance more than ever. He has shown that he has a deep desire for loyalty (you’ll recall that he demanded it of James Comey, whose answer wasn’t satisfying), but he’s not getting nearly enough. In fact, Trump’s own aides could be described as less loyal than any White House staff in history. All that leaking—much of which serves to portray the president as a buffoon—comes from a White House where everyone’s looking out for themselves rather than doing what Trump would hope, i.e. contributing to the greater aggrandizement of Donald Trump.
Once you get past his own family and a few aides he brought with him from the Trump Organization, the number of true believers who would do anything for this president is tiny. On a recent podcast, Slate’s Isaac Chotiner asked Olivia Nuzzi, a White House reporter for New York magazine, “Do you get a sense that there are people in the White House who genuinely think Trump is a great leader and have great respect for him, and see this as deep down as something other than a shit show?” She responded simply, “No.” After a brief pause, she went on, saying “Most people are here for very self-serving reasons. … I never get the impression that anyone thinks that he’s some kind of genius.” Not that there are self-serving staff in every White House, but nearly every president also has many people around him who genuinely respect and admire him.
It’s hard to know whether Trump understands what his own underlings think of him, but by being so abusive to people who work for him, sometimes even taking pains to humiliate them publicly, he creates an atmosphere in which resentment and fear must surely be rampant. That’s one reason there are so many leaks, and it also leaves those who want to retain their position knowing that they have to go the extra mile to assure the president they’re still behind him. It won’t be enough to tout the administration’s accomplishments—you have be effusive about Trump himself, telling him that he is a giant among Lilliputians, a man whose wisdom, skill, and accomplishments are so spectacular that we should all fall to our knees and thank our gods that we were privileged enough to inhabit the same historical period as such a person.
The worse things get for Trump—approval ratings in the 30s, the widening Russia investigation, legislative failures—the more he needs this validation. But curiously enough, the person who laid on the praise more thickly than almost anyone else—Anthony Scaramucci—found it wasn’t enough to save himself. After a tumultuous ten days as communication director, Scaramucci was shown the door by the new chief of staff, John Kelly, who was brought in to impose some order on the mess in the West Wing.
Perhaps Trump assented to the firing because he was getting jealous of all the attention Scaramucci was getting, or perhaps Kelly made it a non-negotiable condition of accepting the rescue mission. Either way, it shows that going on TV to tell everyone how much you love Donald Trump won’t guarantee that you’ll remain in his favor. But when the president is watching—and he always is—it’s the least he expects.

Behind closed doors the Administration and its minions are portraying their personal beliefs as the will of the people . MA
JULY 19, 2017
In a single day, an absurd pile of events suggests that the government may indeed be trying to “immanentize the eschaton.”
In a speech delivered behind closed doors to an anti-LGBT hate group, the attorney general of the United States held forth with his philosophy of religious freedom. It wasn’t “the government’s job to immanentize the eschaton,” he said.
The reason we know that is an actual thing that Jeff Sessions said—or at least planned to say—in his July 11 speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is that Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden prepared a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the speech, which apparently prompted the Department of Justice to release the text, as prepared for delivery, to a right-wing website, The Federalist. The ADF earned is classification as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its work as “a legal advocacy and training group that specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage, and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBTQ communities in the U.S. and internationally,” according to the SPLC website.
I should perhaps note here that it is not really normal for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer to address a hate group, or address any group in secret.
To those unfamiliar with eschatology, the eschaton is a fancy Greek term for the End of Days or Kingdom Come, or whatever name you wish to call the apocalypse.
In fairness to Sessions, it should be noted that on the matter of the eschaton he was quoting William F. Buckley, a man mistaken by right-wingers for having been a brilliant mind because he knew a lot of words. To those unfamiliar with eschatology, the eschaton is a fancy Greek term for the End of Days or Kingdom Come, or whatever name you wish to call the apocalypse. Some use it as a catch-all for a combination of the Heaven-on-Earth period that some Christian sects claim will precede the big Lights Out/Party Over itself. Others take the Greeks at their word, seeing it as the End. In his coinage of the phrase “immanentize the eschaton,” Buckley, who never said in two syllables what he could say in twelve, was speaking of that combo-concept, meaning that it wasn’t government’s job to make things nice for people by granting them their civil rights and feeding the starving poor. To do that would create Heaven on Earth, which would necessarily bring about cosmic extinction. And who would want that?
The topic of the attorney general’s speech to the ADF, which is defending Christian-owned businesses for the right to discriminate against queer folk, was “religious freedom.” Sessions promised that, any day now, he would issue a guidance to government agencies on how to apply the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in ways that conform to his novel interpretation of the First Amendment. The ways in which an anti-LGBTQ bias could be applied to the work of government agencies boggles the mind, given that the government is charged with providing health care to millions, fair housing protections, asylum requests, and ensuring the rights of all. For many, the eschaton may indeed be immanentized.

I FIRST LEARNED the term “immanentize the eschaton” not from Buckley, but from the Illuminatus Trilogy, a trippy, satirical, phantasmagorical 1975 novel by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea rooted in the jokey-but-not-a-joke Discordian philosophy birthed in the 1960s. Discordianism takes a spin on Taoism, but uses avatars of Western civilization—two minor Greek goddesses whom the Discordians seem to have invented themselves—to illustrate its concepts. Along the way, there’s lots of fun made of all kinds of religions and philosophies, and most of all, any presumption of order in the world. I’ve never been one to latch on to a single philosophy or to live strictly within the bounds of a particular ideology, so in the Age of Trump, I find myself drawn to the rueful humor and syncretized heresies of those ancient Discordians. The events of Tuesday alone give me cause.
As I write this, we’ve just learned that, try as he may, the Senate majority leader has failed to revoke the health care of millions by legislative means. In light of that failure, the president plans to use administrative action (or inaction) to allow the Affordable Care Act to stop working on its own in places where market forces are not holding it together.
Another of Tuesday’s revelations is the previously unreported ad hoc hour-long meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a banquet at the G20 summit, to which only an interpreter on Putin’s payroll was privy. (Among the Illuminatus Trilogy’s more memorable lines is an admonition to “never whistle while you’re pissing,” which may have particular salience in the Russia investigation, given the compromising information Putin is alleged to have on Trump.)
It was a treasure trove of absurdist horrors, Tuesday was, with the added development of an eighth member named of the famous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting convened by Donald Trump Jr.—the one from which he hoped to glean dirt on Hillary Clinton that was described as having been obtained by Russian intelligence services. The newly revealed kompromat trafficker is an employee of a real-estate company owned by the oligarch who partnered with the president in the production of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.
In the meantime, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer returned to the podium for no-camera briefing to the press corps, where he was unable to answer basic questions about what the president discussed with Putin, such as the diplomatic tussle over two U.S. vacation houses owned by the Russian government and used by its diplomats and/or spies, depending on whom one talks to. (A sometimes brilliantly annotated transcript of that press conference was posted by The Washington Post’s Callom Borchers.)
“The president really liked the firetruck,” Borchers wrote in his notes on the transcript.
Spicer spent a good chunk of the presser highlighting the administration’s naming of this as “Made in America” week, with a forklift from Mississippi and a firetruck from Wisconsin gracing the White House lawn, examined and applauded by a president wearing a tie likely made in China with his own name on the label. (“The president really liked the firetruck,” Borchers wrote in his notes on the transcript.)
And while Spicer attributed the slow pace of filling administration positions to Democratic obstruction, Garry Kasparov, the chess champion and Putin critic who is a Russian ex-pat, took to Twitter to note that the vacancies Trump has been slow to fill likely serve the president’s purposes well by keeping control of agencies to a tight circle of insiders.
In the meantime, the State Department announced it would shutter its war crimes office.
“It was the year when they finally immanentized the eschaton,” Wilson and Shea wrote in the opening line of the Illuminatus Trilogy. Though set in the 23rd century, the authors may have been too optimistic in their timeline. If not yet immanentized, the eschaton is standing at the ready. It will take a mighty resistance to stave it off. Time to get to work.

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