Thursday Reads: Trump Is Really Losing It This Time.Posted: August 22, 2019
I’ve spent the past two days just trying to hold it together. I’m just glad tomorrow is Friday and maybe Trump will go play golf and leave us alone for awhile. Oh wait, I just remembered he’s going to the G7 this weekend. I may have to avoid TV, radio, and the internet for the duration.
My mother has been in the hospital this week. She fell down last week and had to have stitches in her elbow, but nothing was broken. After that she was having a lot of pain in her back and then she started having nausea and abdominal pain. That’s when the sent her to the emergency room. We’ve had a terrible time getting any information from the doctor, but he finally called my brother this morning. Mom has had every kind of test and x-ray and everything was negative.
The nurses want to send her to an acute rehab facility, but we want her to go back to her assisted living place where she has friends and will get daily therapy. We can also bring in outside caregivers to stay with her if she needs supervision. She is 94 years old and we don’t want her to get isolated and depressed, which is what happened the last time she was hospitalized for a few weeks. She needs to be with friends and people who know her.
Sorry to bore you with my problems, but I needed to get it off my chest. You can see why I’ve had it with Trump’s crazy behavior. And I do actually think he is decompensating. He shows clear signs of losing touch with reality–seeing himself as some kind of messianic figure, “the King of Israel” and “the chosen one.” And then there’s his desire to buy Greenland and cancelling his state visit to Denmark because he was told that won’t happen. Yesterday, he even revealed that he wanted to give himself the Congressional Medal of Honor! Politico reports:
President Donald Trump claimed to laughter on Wednesday that he sought to give himself a Medal of Honor, but decided not to after being counseled against the move by aides.
The offhand remark from the president came during his address to the 75th annual national convention of American Veterans, a volunteer-led veterans service organization also known as AMVETS….
At the event in Louisville, Kentucky, Trump singled out for praise WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams.
“Thank you, Woody. You’re looking good, Woody. Woody’s looking good,” Trump said.
“That was a big day, Medal of Honor. Nothing like the Medal of Honor,” he continued. “I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify, Woody. I said, ‘Can I give it to myself anyway?’ They said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’”
Because the medal is “awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor,” and Trump is a five time draft dodger who even as president has steered clear of combat zones.
If you don’t believe me about Trump’s deteriorating condition, here’s a psychiatrist who agrees with me. Newsweek: Trump’s ‘Chosen One’ Comment and Spat with Denmark Shows His ‘Psychotic-Like State’ Says Doctor who First Warned about President’s Mental Condition.
Dr. Lance Dodes, former assistant psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, contributed to the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.
He had warned in 2017 that Trump’s mental condition would worsen and he said that his statements over the last few days have proven him right.
He told MSNBC that Trump had “a fundamental need to be all-powerful and all loved and can’t stand challenges.”
“He can’t stand anything that disagrees with him, and the more you challenge him, the more unhinged he becomes, the more paranoid, and the more violent, potentially,” Dodes said
“He doesn’t really love anyone except himself. That’s not a slur, that’s a psychological fact. People like him are about him. If he’s not useful to him, he stops loving him. That’s part of the essential emptiness of Donald Trump. He doesn’t have real relationships with people.”
When Trump looked toward the heavens and bragged about being “the chosen one,” Dodes said it was another example of Trump’s grandiosity.
“There’s something fundamentally different about him from normal people. It’s a psychotic-like state. The more you press him, the more you see how disorganized and empty he is. The more he flies into a disorganized rage.
“He thinks of himself as a dictator, and it’s all him and no one else really matters,” Dodes told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell.
More reads on the latest Trump crazy:
Background from The New York Times’ gossip columnists Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman: Trump’s Interest in Buying Greenland Seemed Like a Joke. Then It Got Ugly.
It started as a headline seemingly straight out of The Onion. Then it unleashed a torrent of jokes on late-night television and social media. And finally it exploded into a serious diplomatic rupture between the United States and one of its longtime allies.
In the latest only-in-Trumpland episode skating precariously along the line between farce and tragedy, the president of the United States on Wednesday attacked the prime minister of Denmark because she will not sell him Greenland — and found the very notion “absurd.”
Never mind that much of the rest of the world thought it sounded absurd as well. Amid a global laughing fit, Mr. Trump got his back up and lashed out, as he is wont to do, and called the prime minister “nasty,” one of his favorite insults, particularly employed against women who offend him, like Hillary Clinton and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
All of which might be written off as just another odd moment in a presidency unlike any other. Except that attacking Denmark was not enough for the president. He decided to expand his target list to include NATO because, as he pointed out, Denmark is a member of the Atlantic alliance. And he chose to do this just two days before leaving Washington to travel to an international summit in France, which also happens to be a NATO member.
Click the link to read the rest.
Edward Luce at The Financial Times: The next stop on Donald Trump’s end-of-diplomacy tour.
The one good thing about Donald Trump’s failed bid to buy Greenland is that it softens up America’s allies for what is to come. This weekend Mr Trump will join his G7 counterparts in Biarritz for what promises to be one of the most bizarre meetings in its history. Summits are supposed to make global problems easier to manage. The G7 — and others of its kind, notably the G20 — are reaching a point where they result in the opposite: a world less manageable than if the leaders had never met. Mr Trump’s lunge for Greenland was the amuse-bouche before the meal.
It had all the relevant ingredients. First it showcased Mr Trump’s transactional approach to diplomacy. A country has a piece of real estate that Mr Trump covets, so he offers to buy it. Perhaps it could work both ways. Russia has long had its eye on Alaska, for example. Second, it underlined that Mr Trump loathes alliances. By cancelling his trip to Denmark over its refusal to consider the sale, Mr Trump left a close ally in no doubt that its friendship meant nothing. Fifty Danish soldiers lost their lives fighting alongside US troops in Afghanistan. This death toll is a considerably higher ratio to population than the US.
Third, Mr Trump’s motive for buying Greenland undercuts a crucial aim of the other members of the G7: to fight global warming. The territory’s attraction is that its receding ice sheets will open its land for mineral extraction. Mr Trump does not accept that global warming is taking place, except when it offers a chance to make money. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, would have found it impossible to find a choice of words on global warming to which Mr Trump could have signed up. Little surprise then that Mr Macron announced that the G7 would no longer bother with a communiqué at all. Another day in the Trump era. Another precedent dies.
Finally, Mr Trump’s Greenland bid included the spiciest ingredient of all: his support for Russia to rejoin the G7 five years after it annexed Crimea.
Read more at FT.
The United States ambassador tasked with cleaning up bizarrely strained relations with Denmark in the wake of Donald Trump’s failed attempt to buy Greenland is a frequent retweeter of conspiracy theories who once starred in a movie so bad it was parodied on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Carla Sands heads the U.S. mission to the kingdom of Denmark, after having been confirmed to the post in 2017. Up until a few days ago, her time in the country was largely uneventful, save for a few domestic hiccups around the Trump administration’s LGBT policy and a more contentious dispute over Germany’s partnership with Russia on a gas pipeline.
Sands, like much of the rest of the universe, appeared utterly caught off-guard by the cancellation. Just hours earlier, she had tweeted her excitement for the visit. But unlike everyone else, she now finds herself at the vanguard of the diplomatic effort to keep matters calm. One Obama-era diplomat told The Daily Beast that he imagined Sands was scrambling to touch base with Danish leadership officials to try and repair hurt feelings and keep the lines of communication productive and open.
“This cancellation on such short notice and for the reason that was given, I think, in a way, it makes it a pretty straightforward discussion,” said Gordon Gray, the former ambassador to Tunisia. “I think the problem Ambassador Sands or any ambassador will have is how can a host government take a message from the ambassador, who is in theory the president’s personal representative, with anything other than a grain of salt at this point.”
Jordan Weissmann at Slate: What Republicans Really Mean When They Call Jews Disloyal.
Anti-Semitism is really a wonder to behold, because of how it manages to adapt to the times. Back in the good old days, the line was that Jews couldn’t be trusted because they were loyal to a foreign power. In 2019, we can’t be trusted because we’re disloyal to a foreign power.
That is the viewpoint Donald Trump decided to lay out this week. On Tuesday, while talking to reporters about Israel’s decision to bar two Muslim American congresswomen, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, he said: “I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel? I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
At first, there was a bit of confusion over whether Trump was accusing Jewish Democrats of disloyalty to Israel or the United States. On Wednesday, he clarified. “If you vote for a Democrat, you’re being disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel,” Trump said. (About 70 percent of Jews broke for Hillary Clinton in 2016.) [….]
And in light of recent events, some progressives have now accused Trump and the Republicans of perpetuating the real dual loyalty smear. But in some sense, that’s not quite right either. Conservatives have actually inverted the old libel. Instead of accusing Jews of being overly loyal to a foreign nation, Trump has turned centuries of anti-Semitism on its head by accusing them of not being loyal enough to one—and his followers are happy to echo the charge.
Read the rest at Slate.
That’s all I have for you today. What stories are you following?