The Widdershins

Crazy?  Sociopath? Personality disorder(s)? Unhinged?Trump and Kangaroo

These are the words being thrown around about the ambulatory Circus Peanut. If last week was a movie, it would be titled, “Donald and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week.” It got worse yesterday, one day after yet another reboot, when der Drumpf suggested Second Amendment remedies against Hillary.

These armchair diagnoses are so prevalent that the American Psychiatric Association has reminded its members about the Goldwater Rule:  It is irresponsible, potentially stigmatizing, and definitely unethical to diagnose without an evaluation. Just for the record, I’m not covered by the APA or its ethical mandates.

With that said, I’m here to tell you, in no uncertain terms, Donald Trump is not crazy.  Trump, the braggadocio Boogey Yam, is being who he is – he can’t be what he’s not.  As egregious and odious as it is to humans with normal sensibilities, we are seeing the authentic Trump.

How do I know this?

I know this because I used to help select people just like Trump – those who exhibit quantifiable behavior patterns just like the Manhattan Meerkat.Deer Eating Popcorn

A bit of explanation is in order. Most of you know I’m an attorney, but I’m also trained and certified as an analyst in an area of psychology. I worked for a company where one of our product lines was screening and selecting potential employees who would have a statistically higher chance of success in a particular role.

This is the way it worked.  We would study best in role – the world-class performers. We would then interview them, observe them, and talk to coworkers to discover their behavior patterns. We would design an interview, test it, redesign, test it, and validate it. The process was enormously expensive and could take years, but reliable scientific selection did make a difference in the bottom line.

I am not “an expert” in this field, but I have personally analyzed hundreds of individuals and spoken before tens of thousands of people about the science underpinning these psychometric tools. Without any hesitation I can say, “Trump is not crazy.” Let there be no doubt, he may exhibit peculiar and repugnant traits like textbook narcissism, but crazy he is not.

What he is, is the quintessential “Executive Sales Consultant.” Trump’s personality type is sought out by corporations looking for high impact/high margin sales. Here’s what makes up the crazy-looking, crazy-acting personality of the Manhattan Meerkat and those like him.Trump Screaming

One note to qualify these comments: Not all Executive Salespeople exhibit these traits, but when you are selecting for this role, the chances of world-class performance is exponentially greater when these characteristics are present.

Significance: This is an ego drive. People like Trump get every ounce of their self-esteem from the way others see them. Each waking moment is focused upon perpetuating a veneer of success and invulnerability. Success for the men inhabiting this fantasy world can be summed up as: Every man wants to be him and every woman wants to be with him.

Those exhibiting Significance always have the nicest, most manicured lawns in the neighborhood. They drive a spotless, expensive car that is rarely parked in the garage.  It is always out for all to see and envy. They are snappy dressers, but bear an uncanny resemblance to the window mannequin because they have purchased the entire outfit as one. Or if the person has a slightly larger budget, he lives in a penthouse in a pink marble tower and tools around in a Boeing 757-200 with his name emblazoned on its side.

Those strong in Significance love to talk about their favorite subject – themselves. Wives and children are accessories to complete their look. Fawning Facebook posts are life-sustaining succor and Christmas letters are annotated volumes. Vacations are planned for their expense as opposed to relaxation. Gold or platinum are the preferred finishes.We shall overcomb

Actually knowing stuff never gets in the way of their ignorance.  Knowing a little is better than knowing a lot. They can make up what they don’t know. They only have a cursory, passing acquaintance with the truth.

Here’s the rub for those basking in Significance: They are emotionally fragile. Two hundred year old bone china is more stable. The slightest perceptible chink in their armor evokes anger, defensiveness, and vengeance of the first order. These people carry a grudge like camels carry humps. It is a large part of who they are.

Significance is where Trump runs into problems at rallies. Craving adulation and an infusion of esteem, when Trump is teased by audience approval in response to some outrageous claim or comment, he goes farther in his outrageous claims. More audience feedback through hoots and hollers begets more outrageous claims. It’s like a junkie and his drug of choice. The audience approval is the oxygen of esteem for those with Significance.

Unless you know what you are looking for, the unpredictability of those with Significance looks random.  It isn’t. It is calculated and part of the behavior pattern.

Read the rest of this entry »

Goooooooooood Monday, all! I feel like I’ve been away for a century. While I’ve been closing on my house, moving (oy! the boxes!) and working on outstanding family issues, Dumpf as a Stumpf Drumpf has imploded most spectacularly, while Our Girl, Tim Kaine and the Democratic Party have enjoyed a huge bump in popularity since the convention in Philadelphia.

The media, addicted to false equivalencies and afflicted with an incurable case of CDS for the past 25 years, has insisted on reporting as though the two candidates are equally qualified to be President, and you know, all Drumpf needs to do is “get back on message.” Unfortunately for those desperate for a horse race instead of an unprecedented electoral drubbing, I don’t know how he can get back to something when he was never there to begin with; the whole reason that the Gibbering Orangutan is the nominee is that he never said anything the establishment wanted him to. Why should he start now? Even his obviously insincere endorsement of Ayotte, McCain and Ryan doesn’t signal a real change. The guy is incapable of thinking of anyone but himself, and very soon, he will take another sh*t on the American political carpet because of some imagined slight to his oh-so-fragile ego. By the time you read this, it may have already happened.

But I digress. (Quelle surprise.) The point I’m about to make is that the American people are not buying what the media is selling, and thanks to a new ABC poll, the “honest and trustworthy” meme against Hillary has been blown out of the water.

First of all, there has never been any proof that people will always vote for the candidate they think is the most honest and/or trustworthy. For example, Jimmy Carter was widely perceived as honest, but no one wanted his honesty. They wanted Raygun’s “Morning in America” optimism. So the entire kerfuffle about Hillary’s alleged dishonesty is somewhat irrelevant.

I would say these numbers are a bit more important. From the article linked above:

Trump appears to have done little to improve his overall image, despite efforts primarily by his children to use their convention speeches to portray him as a loving father and a successful business executive. Almost 6 in 10 voters say he is not qualified to be president, unchanged from before his convention, and 3 in 10 say they would feel comfortable if he were to become president. (bolding mine)

In other words, according to this poll, between 60% and 70% of Americans would not feel comfortable with Drumpf as President, and, they feel that he’s not qualified for the job.

But wait, there’s more:

Meanwhile, roughly 6 in 10 say [Clinton] is qualified to be president, and 44 percent say they would feel comfortable if she were to become president, compared with 54 percent who say they would feel anxious.

There are also the demographics: Hillary crushes Drumpf among all the key voting blocs: women, African-Americans and Hispanics. That mango-colored monkey can’t even muster up a majority amongst Republican women. And, Hillary’s negatives went way down after the convention. My guess is some of those women migrated over to the Bright Side.

So what does this mean for Activist Monday? Everything is looking extremely positive for Our Girl right now, while Drumpf is sinking like a stone. So why is Hillary’s campaign sending us four emails a day, asking for money, notifying us about the latest Republican stupidities, and generally asking if we’re with her?

Simply speaking: She needs your vote.

I know, I know. She has an extraordinary opportunity to unify the country after the hideous spectacle of the right-wing’s cartoonish nominee, crashing around like a bull in a china shop, angering and disgusting a majority of Americans with his insensitivity and insults. Not just battleground states, but even deep red states like Georgia have the potential to go her way. Because of this, money for advertising will definitely help her in that mission, and it’s good to send it if you have some extra.

But in the end, it’s all about the votes. So talk to your friends, post on social media, phone bank, offer to drive people to the polls on Election Day. Spread the word and get out the vote! The bottom line is, there are more sane Americans than crazy ones, and if we all turn out and throw that lever for Hillary, Drumpf doesn’t have a chance.

It’s the best thing you can do.

This is an open thread.

Good Saturday to you Widdershins!

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are but once again, we have one of those disgusting heat advisories out until 9ish tonight.  I ventured out one time and the heat was suffocating.  Oh, to have one of those fancy vehicles with one of those thingamabobs that will start the vehicle while you stay in the comfortable confines of your abode.  Of course you have to make sure you have the a.c. on beforehand or it’s all for naught.

In keeping with our lazy weekend idea, I’ve created a slideshow for us to view.  All of these wonderful photos came from our wonderful SM.  Besides working two jobs, and raising a fantastic daughter, SM has also been volunteering for our gal in the Tampa area.  Hillary had a rally in July in the Tampa area and SM decided to share these pix with us.

Sit back. Relax.  Enjoy.

 

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Once again this is a completely open thread so share what’s on your mind in the comments below.

 

Trump shrug-2

It is what it is, am I right?

A good Friday to you Widdershins!

Donald J. Trump is, without a doubt, the type of individual who believes all publicity is good publicity.  But is that really the case when it comes to Presidential politics and primaries?  If Trump really believes that, his salesman background has overruled everything else in him and thanks but no thanks – I’m not buying.

Fareed Zakaria referred to Trump the other day as something a little bit coarser than a “salesman”.  This was not the normal take or thoughts I’ve heard previously from Zakaria.  He is not usually the type for an individual, personal attack.  However, this time things are different.  We are talking about the candidate of one of our major parties for President of the United States, i.e. the leader of the free world.  And this man acts as if he is pitching condos in one of his buildings.  I have news for Donald J.; Presidentin’ is serious business.

As Zakaria said in this WaPo piece:

Harry Frankfurt, an eminent moral philosopher and former professor at Princeton, wrote a brilliant essay in 1986 called “On Bullshit.” (Frankfurt himself wrote about Trump in this vein, as have Jeet Heer and Eldar Sarajlic.) In the essay, Frankfurt distinguishes crucially between lies and B.S.: “Telling a lie is an act with a sharp focus. It is designed to insert a particular falsehood at a specific point. . . . In order to invent a lie at all, [the teller of a lie] must think he knows what is true.”

Zakaria quotes Frankfurt further here:

…someone engaging in B.S., Frankfurt says, “is neither on the side of the true nor on the side Trump shrug-1of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all . . . except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says.” Frankfurt writes that the B.S.-er’s “focus is panoramic rather than particular” and that he has “more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color, and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the ‘bullshit artist.’ ”

It’s an interesting piece and you should check it when you have time.

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Eugene Robinson, whom I have a great deal of respect for (and love to hear speak) has some advice and warnings to the Republicans:  “Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.”

This week, Republicans, your calls for Trump to tone it down shifted into panic mode. Trump half pictureApparently you thought it was a bad idea for him to attack a Gold Star mother who lost her Army captain son in Iraq, then clumsily contrive to keep the story alive for nearly a week. You thought Trump’s pointed refusal to endorse Ryan and McCain in their primaries, even though both are supporting him, might not be the best way to foster party unity. You thought perhaps that while there are many things a candidate might say at a rally to win friends and influence people, “Get the baby out of here” is not one.

Robinson goes further in his essay and says:

Your response is to hope against hope that someone will persuade Trump to feign rectitude for the next three months…   You know full well how out of control and unbalanced he is; you just wish he’d do a better job of conning voters into thinking he can be trusted with the nuclear codes. Shame on you, Republicans, for encouraging such a dangerous ruse.

Again, a great piece you should check out when you have the chance.

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And look here at who decided to get all big and brave since #socklessdeadintern wasn’t around today.

Without the overbearing Scarborough there to dominate discourse, Brzezinski spoke more than usual, offering scathing opinions about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Really Mika?  All of that just because schmoe wasn’t around?  Does that mean you have been subservient to schmoe all this time?  Does it mean those soft, “comfy” interview that you both conducted with Trump did not reflect your true feelings at that time?  Puhleeze.

And finally, who knew that Mel Brooks was able to catalog Donald Trump in film, so many years ago?

This is an open thread to take wherever you wish to go with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Settle down, class. Let’s talk  grammar. Don’t worry. I won’t be asking you to diagram sentences.There will be no test. This is more about prepositions and conjunctions. Prepositions are words that create a relationship between other words in a sentence by linking phrases to the rest of the sentence. Conjunctions connect words, sentences, phrases and clauses.

My links and quotes here are from articles that are not that recent, but are good examples0988a70e95330193a35d34259adbc2de of the importance of such words.

Let’s start with “if”. Last year at a forum, Hillary was asked about Social Security. She gave her normal, detailed ideas that any lefty should love. When she came to the part about raising the retirement age, which she opposes, this is what they fixated on. [bold is mine throughout the post]

If there were a way to do it that would not penalize or punish laborers and factory workers and long-distance truck drivers and people who really are ready for retirement at a much earlier age, I would consider it. But I have yet to find any recommendation that I would think would be suitable.

Oh my. Hillary The Granny and Grampy Starver. There’s even a “but” in there, too. Her critics completely ignored everything else she said and spread those two sentences across the web. Does any one believe there will ever be a recommendation to divide Social Security recipients based on the type of job they held? As if.

Let’s move to “and”. I am, in no way, criticizing this brave mother from Flint, MI. She is considered a whistle blowing hero for the attention she brought to the lead crisis. This is more about the responses I heard and read after this exchange. LeeAnn Walters asked Hillary and Bernie if they would promise to require water systems in the US to remove lead pipes. Hillary’s response:

“We will commit to a priority to change the water systems and  we will commit within five years to remove lead from everywhere.”

While Ms. Walters didn’t like either answer (she has her reasons), she hated Hillary’s more saying: “To tell a Flint resident that we’ll handle this in five years is no different than what the city was telling us and what the state was telling us”. I scanned the comments to see if anyone else noticed the “and” in Hillary’s quote. Apparently not. Even those who were supportive of Hillary missed it. So, Hillary became the Jim Jones of Toddlers.

nclb-test-cartoonNow for the “but”. Hillary was asked about the death penalty by a man who was released from Death Row after serving 39 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Hillary had a long, nuanced and admittedly, run-on answer. I’ll break it down. She said she was very uncomfortable with the death penalty and would breathe a sigh of relief if the Supreme Court eliminated it tomorrow. Then she spoke about Timothy McVeigh, 9/11,  etc. and said it should be held in reserve for certain types of federal crimes, but only on a limited basis. She caught blowback from both the right and the left on this, who were ignoring the elephant in the room. That is, does anyone think this country will elect a Commander In Chief who takes the death penalty off the table for terrorists and mass murderers? Not gonna happen. But, no matter. The right said she’s soft on crime and the left thinks she’s Hillary The Executioner.

By another definition, prepositions are abstract words that have no concrete meaning. In and of themselves, yes. But, when they are overlooked and/or used to twist the entire narrative of a message, they are powerful. Maybe if we revived the skill of how to diagram a sentence, these teeny, tiny words would be more notable. Is it any wonder our future Madam President feels the need to “guard” her words?

 

Class dismissed and Open Thread.

 

 

 

Fan dancer

Back in the day, way back in the day, there were Burlesque fan dancers.  Mind you, I’ve only seen reenactments.  An original “fan boy” I was not.  There were huge feathered fans and the performers would dance behind gauzy skenes.  It was all very racy for the time, but acceptable entertainment that didn’t offend genteel sensibilities.

Audiences relished the performances without considering what happened when the feathers and skenes went away.  What you had left was a naked lady dancing.  Feathers and skenes – okay.  No feathers and skenes – not okay.  Eventually, Burlesque died a slow, ignominious death and was replaced by other forms of entertainment.

There, in a nutshell, is my simple-minded analogy to the Republican Party.  For six decades now, the Republican dance has been one with feathers and skenes disguising what was actually happening.  Now featherless, everyone seems shocked there’s a naked performer on stage.  No pretense, no artifice, no empathy, and no nuance – what was happening all along is now shocking when draped in the visage and embodiment of one Donald J. Trump. It shouldn’t be.

Nixon’s southern strategy, Reagan’s speech at Philadelphia, Mississippi, Bush’s Willie Horton, and Dubya’s same-sex marriage crisis are no longer camouflaged by feathers or softened by a gauzy skene.  Is there any question that the naked bigotry of banning Muslims or immigrants was far behind?

The list of the “others” just expands as the bigotry is wrung out of groups who have served their usefulness as the music for the prejudicial dances of the Republican Party.  It is not often in political science we are fortunate enough to find clear-cut evidence of such prejudicial theories, but in this instance we are.  In fact, just last week we had two instances of such evidence.Trump Silent Majority

The first is from the Tar Heel State.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said there was no doubt about the legislature’s goal by changing voting laws.  The goal was to solve a non-existent problem:

One of the most comprehensive studies on the subject found only 31 individual cases of voter impersonation out of more than 1 billion votes cast in the United States since the year 2000. Researchers have found that reports of voter fraud are roughly as common as reports of alien abduction.

Here are the actions of the ever-responsive bigots of the North Carolina legislature.  First, they asked who used what type of voter identification?  When they found out, they outlawed the types used by the African American community.  Next, the legislature asked how the seventeen days of early voting were used and by whom?  When they found out minorities were most likely to use the first seven days, they promptly abolished them.

Leaving no stone unturned, these legislators then asked, “Who uses Sunday voting?  Who uses same day registration?”  Check and check.  African Americans in both cases and both were outlawed.

The Court found:

Thus, in what comes as close to a smoking gun as we are likely to see in modern times, the State’s very justification for a challenged statute hinges explicitly on race — specifically its concern that African Americans, who had overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, had too much access to the franchise.

Trump half picture

Get that?  Not only was the smoking gun still smoldering, but the specific finding was that the Republican legislators of North Carolina thought, in their miniscule and discriminatory finite wisdom, African Americans had too much access to voting.  So with “almost surgical precision” they targeted African American voters who dared exercise their rights.

In Wisconsin, the land of cheese where people follow the guy with the ever-expanding bald spot because it is easy to spot him in a crowd, the court found “the cure was worse than the disease.”  The Wisconsin legislature wanted to demonstrate their even-handedness by discriminating against both African Americans and Hispanics.  Congratulations Wisconsin, you are equally discriminatory.

The feathers are gone and what is left is a party of exclusion.  It’s a party on a death watch no longer disguised by a gauzy skene.  Even its most popular cable news celebrity decided it was imperative to fact check the First Lady on whether or not slaves were on the Continental or European plan while building the White House.RNC dinosaur

A featherless Republican Party reveals the ugliness of a time where disguises once protected the shameful practices of bias and prejudice.  The disguises are no longer effective so why even go to the trouble?  The disease plaguing the Republican Party is a chronic problem for which there is no cure outside of Whig-like euthanasia.  It is unlikely to be painless, but fortunately, discarded skenes can be repurposed as burial shrouds.

 

What’s on your mind?

 

courtesy The Advocate magazine

courtesy The Advocate magazine

Good Saturday and Weekend Widdershins!

What can we say Widdershins?  Our fondest wishes, hopes, and desires are coming true.  Our girl, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is now the Democratic nominee for President of the United States!  It has been the fondest wish, hope, and desire of so many of us.  We and she have reached the penultimate moment, with one more final push to make it to the zenith of what we and she have worked for.  I think the only thing we can do on this celebratory weekend is to take a momentary break and kick back for awhile.  And what better way could we do that than by watching and listening to some of the women who performed at the convention.  So, let’s enjoy some of those fine performances.  I wasn’t able to find the DNC performance of all the singers but I have found other versions of them singing those particular songs.

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(1) Alicia Keys ~ In Common at the DNC

(2) Carole King ~ You’ve Got A Friend at the DNC

(3) Demo Lovato ~ Confident at the DNC

(4) Katy Perry ~ Rise and Roar at the DNC

(5) Multiple Artists ~ Our Fight Song

separator-lineSo were there any particular performers and performances that y’all enjoyed?  While I know that Paul Simon and others also performed, my choice was to keep this female centric.  This is a wide open thread so share your thoughts or anything else below.

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Our girl is gonna shine

From the convention – Monday night

“Can I just say to the ‘Bernie-or-Bust’ people: You’re being ridiculous,” Silverman snapped, going off-script. “Sorry, I just had to add that.”

Busted: Glass ceiling

Compare the Candidates!

Hillary Clinton

    • 9years, First Lady of Arkansas

    •8 years, First Lady of the United States

    •8 years, U.S. Senator

    •4 years, U.S. Secretary of State

Donald Trump

    •At least 15 failed businesses

    •Owns casinos that have filed for
    bankruptcy no less than 4 times

    •0 years in public service

Disgusting

Looks like an old coot

Picture says it all

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