Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Random Barking: The Daze Of Wonderboy

And A Child Shall Lead Them
Being President doesn't change who you are. Being President reveals who you are.
-- Michelle Obama; September, 2012 Speech, Democratic Nominating Convention
Yesterday they were ruffians; today they control our lives. Tomorrow they will wind up as keepers of the public lavatories.
-- Juvenal, The Satires; 2nd Century, A.D. 
These days, consistent with the magnitude of the Ruh-Roh, it's easy to gravitate between an addled hope and a bitter apathy.  And somewhere in there one must labor, and eat Kibble; look at art; read other things, sniff other Dogs.

1.)  What Atrios (And Others) Said

“This is now a consistent pattern of obstruction [of justice] by the President,” said Clint Watts, a former FBI special agent ... “The loyalty oath dinner, the request to squash the Flynn investigation and Comey’s firing over Russia all point to a President Trump who has no respect for the rule of law, and doesn’t realize that he should not run the country the way he ran his businesses.”

--  Markay, Suebsaeng, Winter; Daily Beast, May 16, 2017:  "Trump Officials On Comey Memo: 'Don't See How Trump Isn't Completely F*cked' 

 2.)  What Digby Said:
For me, none of what he has said or done over the past four months as president comes as a surprise. The way he has behaved over the past week — firing FBI Director James B. Comey, undercutting his own aides as they tried to explain the decision and then disclosing sensitive information to Russian officials — is also entirely predictable...

Early on, I recognized that Trump’s sense of self-worth is forever at risk. When he feels aggrieved, he reacts impulsively and defensively, constructing a self-justifying story that doesn’t depend on facts and always directs the blame to others.

To survive... Trump felt compelled to go to war with the world. It was a binary, zero-sum choice for him: You either dominated or you submitted. You either created and exploited fear or you succumbed to it — as he thought his older brother had. This narrow, defensive worldview took hold at a very early age, and it never evolved. “When I look at myself today and I look at myself in the first grade,” he told a recent biographer, “I’m basically the same.”
--  Tony Schwarz (Trump's [Co-]Author of  'Art Of The Deal'), "I Wrote 'The Art Of The Deal' With Trump. His Self-Sabotage Is Rooted In His Past," The Washington Post, May 16, 2017
(Quoted by Digby)
3.)  Little Davy Brooks Has A Sad
 At base, Trump is an infantalist... Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif... Trump seems to need perpetual outside approval to stabilize his sense of self, so he is perpetually desperate for approval, telling heroic fabulist tales about himself.

...Other people are black boxes that supply either affirmation or disapproval. As a result, he is weirdly transparent. He wants people to love him, so he is constantly telling interviewers that he is widely loved. In Trump’s telling, every meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes but his guests stayed two hours because they liked him so much.

...We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.

--  David ("Bucky The Beaver") Brooks; The New York Times, May 15, 2017; "The World Is Led By A Child" (Column)
4.) Führertreu In The Bunker
The president’s appetite for chaos, coupled with his disregard for the self-protective conventions of the presidency, has left his staff confused and squabbling. And his own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark, and he has turned against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — describing them in a fury as “incompetent,” according to one of those advisers...

... Late Monday, reporters could hear senior aides shouting from behind closed doors as they discussed how to respond after Washington Post reporters informed them of an article they were writing that first reported the news about the president’s divulging of intelligence.
--  Thrush, Haberman; "At A Besieged White House, Tempers Flare And Confusion Swirls"; The New York Times, May 16, 2017
5.)  Nasty Penguin's Friend Breaks It Down For You

Right in public and everything, where people can see.

6.)  What Chris Hedges Said:
Forget the firing of James Comey. Forget the paralysis in Congress. Forget the idiocy of a press that covers our descent into tyranny as if it were a sports contest between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats or a reality show starring our maniacal president and the idiots that surround him. Forget the noise. 

The crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our dysfunctional government. The crisis we face is the result of a four-decade-long, slow-motion corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent, left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent. 

This crisis has spawned a corrupt electoral system of legalized bribery and empowered those public figures that master the arts of entertainment and artifice. And if we do not overthrow the neoliberal, corporate forces that have destroyed our democracy we will continue to vomit up more monstrosities as dangerous as Donald Trump. Trump is the symptom, not the disease. 

-- Chris Hedges, "Trump Is The Symptom, Not The Disease", TruthDig, May 14, 2017
7.)  Then, There Is That Odd Resemblance

Between Wonderboy and Slim Pickens as Major "King" Kong, in Stanley Kubrick's 1963 Doctor Strangelove.  You will of course recall Maj. Kong's actions in the last five minutes of the film, and what that led to.

The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.  [Note: This was April 13, 2017; two guided-missile frigates were in the South China Sea at the time. Chinese officials were apparently able to dissuade the North Koreans from conducting the test.] -- NBC News
Any questions?

MEHR, AUSSER DEM HUND-TRAINER:  My Dog Trainer is a Red-Diaper Baby. He's (apparently) Buddhist-leaning, but hasn't forgotten where he came from; ironically, he makes a more than comfortable living helping HNWIs deal with serious emotional issues -- he believes it's a responsibility to do this, even for the rich, and he's very good at it.

I'm not a HNWI; part of his practice are people like myself, a financial lightweight managing 48-year-old PTSD that Group at the VA didn't budge very much. Intrigued enough with my individual circumstances, he accepted me a a client, charges me about a third his normal rate, and I owe him a debt I can't repay.

Some days, we just talk, as two Old Guys headed down La Chute will do; this week, looking at the current bread-and-circuses Clown Car Government, I asked him for a professional appraisal of Wonderboy.

He'd read the Brooks' column quoted upstream in this post, and the Schwarz article (where he'd recalled Trump claiming not to have changed much from the boy he was in First Grade). "[Brooks'] description of Trump, like a child desperate for approval to stabilize his sense of self, is right. But, all children are like that. The difference is, Trump is a 70-year-old man still behaving like a six-year-old boy. And that comment about First Grade is right in line with that.

"How does it end? Resignation is always a possibility, but not likely. You heard him speak to the Coast Guard academy graduates today?  'You have to keep fighting; you can't give in' -- all very familiar stuff for someone with his pathology. 

"When you equate behaving in a certain way with survival, and that's linked to very old, deep stuff -- then he'd rather die than give up. In fact, to do so would be capitulation -- in his case, to his father, who from all accounts was not a very nice guy."

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