Posted: December 16, 2022 | Author: dakinikat | Filed under: just because | Tags: Musk, narcissistic personality disorder, Trump |
Le Désespéré , The Desperate Man, self portrait, 1843-184, Gustave Courbet
Good Day Sky Dancers!
This is one of those days that makes me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. Just about every headline is about some narcissist that should be in a padded cell somewhere. I will go down that road, but I am not about to obsess about the details or the people. I’m really sick of Elon Musk and Donald Trump.
Elon Musk is maniacally destroying himself, Tesla, and Twitter. He’s holed up in the Twitter building 24-7, drawing attention to himself, banning anyone that bothers him, and selling off Tesla stock to keep the lights on in his hidey-hole even if Tesla crashes and burns. Trump is holed up in Mar-a-Lago 24-7, drawing attention to himself, using his Truth Social to draw attention to himself, and watching the Trump Family Crime Syndicate crash and burn.
Let me make this as painless as possible. This is from the Washington Post, as reported by Paul Farhi. “Musk suspends journalists from Twitter, claims ‘assassination’ danger. Company executives alleged that more than half a dozen reporters endangered Twitter’s owner by sharing his location. But a review of their tweets shows no evidence of it.”
Twitter suspended the accounts of more than half a dozen journalists from CNN, the New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets Thursday evening, as company owner Elon Musk accused the reporters of posting “basically assassination coordinates” for him and his family.
The Post has seen no evidence that any of the reporters did so.
The suspensions came without warning or initial explanation from Twitter. They took place a day after Twitter changed its policy on sharing “live location information” and suspended an account, @ElonJet, that had been using public flight data to share the location of Musk’s private plane.
Many of the journalists suspended Thursday, including Washington Post technology reporter Drew Harwell, had been covering that rule change, as well as Musk’s claims that he and his family had been endangered by location sharing.
Twitter did not directly respond to questions about the suspensions. But Musk suggested on Twitter, without evidence, that the journalists had revealed private information about his family, known as doxing. “Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” he tweeted late Thursday.
Harwell, whose most recent stories covered the ban of @ElonJet and the rise of baseless claims on Twitter, discovered he was unable to log into his account or tweet around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
“Harwell was banished from Twitter without warning, process or explanation, following the publications of his accurate reporting about Musk,” The Post’s executive editor Sally Buzbee said in a statement. “Our journalist should be reinstated immediately.”
At least eight other journalists were suspended the same evening, including New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Skull People, c 1827
CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan was suspended shortly after posting a tweet about Musk’s claim that a “crazy stalker” had chased his young son in Los Angeles, according to screenshots.
However, according to NBC News, the reporters actively report on Twitter or Musk.
O’Sullivan said Thursday that all those journalists who were suspended with him were people who cover Musk.
“As we saw with the jet tracker last night, Musk seems to be just stamping out accounts that he doesn’t like,” O’Sullivan said on CNN.
A spokesperson for the network said the suspensions were “impulsive and unjustified” — but not surprising.
“Twitter’s increasing instability and volatility should be of incredible concern for everyone who uses Twitter,” the network said in a statement. “We have asked Twitter for an explanation, and we will reevaluate our relationship based on that response.”
Sally Buzbee, the executive editor of The Washington Post, said Harwell’s suspension “directly undermines Elon Musk’s claim that he intends to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech.”
Harwell was “banished from Twitter without warning, process or explanation, following the publication of his accurate reporting about Musk” and should be reinstated immediately, Buzbee said in a statement Thursday night.
A spokesperson for The New York Times, who called the suspensions questionable and unfortunate, said no explanation was provided to Mac or the newspaper about the ban.
Musk sold 22 million shares of his Tesla Stock this week. They were worth around 3.6 billion dollars. The stock has been falling due to concerns over Musk’s time spent on and with Twitter. This is from CNBC. “Elon Musk sells another huge chunk of Tesla shares.”
Director of research for VerityData, Ben Silverman, wrote in an email to CNBC on Wednesday, “Musk’s prior sales going back to November 2021 were expertly timed, so Tesla shareholders need to pay attention to Musk’s actions and not his words – or lack thereof when it comes to his recent selling.”
However, he continued to sell portions of his sizable holdings in Tesla after agreeing to buy Twitter in a deal worth $44 billion. The acquisition closed in late October. Musk, who is also CEO of SpaceX, a major defense contractor, immediately appointed himself chief executive of the social media company.
After Musk’s Twitter takeover, he told employees there that he sold Tesla shares to “save” their business.
Musk didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tesla shares have been declining this year, and sliding even further since he took on that new responsibility.
Shares of Tesla closed down 2.6% on Wednesday at $156.80, dropping the company’s market capitalization to $495 billion. Tesla shares were down 55% year to date as of Wednesday’s close.
A Card Player, 1630
One last thing on this madman from the Washington Post. “Elon Musk’s role at Tesla questioned as Twitter occupies his attention. Some Tesla investors are concerned that Musk is focusing too much on the social media company and becoming more polarizing.”
Now, some Tesla investors are calling for Musk to hand over the reins at one of his companies as the electric vehicle company’s stock plummets — raising concerns that the billionaire is stretched too thin. Tesla closed Wednesday at $156.80 per share, with an overall valuation of less than $500 billion, sharply down from when Musk signaled his interest in Twitter over the spring and Tesla was valued at over $1 trillion.
Contributing to the losses, Musk sold about $3.5 billion worth of Tesla stock in recent days, according to a financial filing Wednesday night. That added to another more than $3.9 billion in Tesla shares sold by Musk in early November, according to the filings.
Shares of Tesla rose less than 1 percent during trading Thursday as the broader markets fell.
“Wake up tesla [board] — what is the plan? Who is running tesla and when is Elon coming back?” tweeted Ross Gerber, a Tesla investor who supported Musk’s Twitter bid.
He added in a tweet late Wednesday that Tesla needed to buy back shares “to take advantage [of] the low share price Elon has created,” as investors anticipated a potential further blow to the company’s value on Thursday.
Musk did not respond to a request for comment. Tesla and Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
It appears Musk can shut up when it’s an inconvenient question.
“La Clairvoyance” — René Magritte, 1936
Trump, however, cannot stop himself in his quest for constant attention. Sources today say that his crazy NFT superhero cards are sold out. This while, two New York Post headlines seem out to get him. The first one is “Don’t give any money to con artist Trump and the second reads, “Steve Bannon fed up with Trump’s latest stunts: ‘I can’t do this anymore’.
Kirk Eichenwald elucidates Trump’s latest scam on his substack, The Threats Within. “Trump’s Trading Card Grift is Worse than You Think. Shell companies, rubbing elbows with international criminals, and worse in his scam of scams.”
Funny, yes. But it is far, far worse than you think. And to understand why, we have to begin tracing the web of corporations involved in producing these worthless digital cards. They lead to some sleazy places.
Before we start down the rabbit hole of partnerships, corporations and other entities that lead to criminals and fraudsters, I need to address one question up front: What exactly are buyers of the Trump Trading Cards purchasing? Yes, they are NFTs, but unlike others of these digital art pieces, the people foolish enough to purchase a Trump Trading Card don’t actually own the things they paid for, at least not in the traditional sense. If any buyer decides to sell their Trump card in a secondary market, they don’t get all the proceeds. The fine print reveals that 10% of every secondary market sales goes right back to Trump and his fellow grifters. For more details, buyers are told to click the link to terms and conditions. Buyers have to confirm they read the terms and conditions but…the terms and conditions are nowhere to be found.
“The Flatterers” — Pieter Brueghel the Younger, 1592
Makes me wonder what rubes bought these. Maybe Russians are having Trump do money laundering for them again?
Trump himself is not producing the cards, any more than he has developed any real estate projects since 2010. Instead, he has reached a licensing agreement with a company called NFT International LLC. All his licensing agreements, dating back decades (Real estate, Trump Steaks, Trump University etc.) have all had the same terms: The licensor pays Trump a bunch of cash up front, then he gets a share of the revenue produced by whatever the grifty product is. That number has ranged from 10% to 50%, and there is no reason to expect that this time it is any less – in fact, it is almost certainly more.
You may follow the link to go down the dark rabbit hole of NFT International LLC. Be sure to bring a flashlight.
Try these on for size if you want more fun with internecine fighting! “Inside the ugly fight to become the next Republican chair” or “McCarthy’s ongoing speaker battle paralyzes House” from Politico. Here’s a taste of the Politico article.
Kevin McCarthy’s imperiled speakership bid is threatening to incapacitate Republicans during a crucial planning period, virtually guaranteeing a sluggish start for the new House majority.
The GOP leader on Thursday took the unusual step of punting conferencewide races for committee leadership slots until after his speaker election on Jan. 3, a maneuver that could help insulate him from disgruntled members who fall short in those contests and their allies.
But that delay will also mean days, if not weeks, of uncertainty for GOP committees as they begin their stint in the majority. Some of the most important panels, including those charged with tax-writing and border security, won’t be able to prepare bills, tee up hearings, or even hire staff. While some House committees already have uncontested leaders in place, those chairs won’t be able to choose their member lineup or potentially pay staff. The GOP’s subpoena power, too, will be frozen.
“Without question, delays in selecting chairmen and committee members put a lot of pressure on the agenda,” said retiring Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who led the influential House Ways and Means Committee the last time the GOP had the majority.
The decision to formally punt comes as little surprise to many lawmakers, who had speculated that McCarthy might delay contested fights as a point of leverage as he works to lock down support. Still, many Republicans say they’re concerned that limbo could have lingering effects — particularly if the speaker’s election gets ugly and drags on past Jan. 3.
“Youth Making A Face” — Adriaen Brouwer, 1632 – 1635
You can get a Trump v. Twitter twofer at the Washington Post: “Trump reinvents ‘rigged’ election myth around Twitter allegations. Republicans are now following Trump in claiming foul play in the 2020 election took the form of social media censorship, replacing debunked claims of fraudulent ballots.”
Instead, Trump was now advancing a new theory of how the election was “stolen” from him: a supposed scheme among social media companies, the FBI and the Democrats to suppress information that might have helped Trump’s campaign.The claim is fueled in part by new Twitter owner Elon Musk’s decision to release internal documents about the platform’s brief suppression of a 2020 news story about then-candidate Joe Biden’s son amid concerns it might be the result of disinformation efforts.
Well, alright then. It doesn’t get any more discombobulated than that!
So here I am, looking at 2057 words up there and thinking, I better wrap up the part on the crazy guys. I’ll use a Twitter post here with the HBO documentary about Nancy Pelosi by her daughter Alexandra (interview with Lawrence O’Donnell at link). She sums my thoughts about Trump things up pretty nicely here.
Oh, and What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
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Posted: August 9, 2011 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, Global Financial Crisis, Hillary Clinton, Medicaid, Medicare, morning reads, psychology, religious extremists, Republican presidential politics, Social Security, The Great Recession, the villagers, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics, voodoo economics, WE TOLD THEM SO | Tags: antisocial personality disorder, Barack Obama, bipolar disorder, creativity, Dean Baker, Depression, economic illiterates, empathy, Farm Subsidies, FDR, hyperthymic personality, JFK, Kenneth Moreno, mania, Michele Bachmann, narcissistic personality disorder, Nassir Ghaemi, psychiatry, rape cops, Rick Perry, trauma, Tufts University, Verizon strike |
Good Morning!! I’m switching to strong coffee this morning, because I’ve had the sleepies for the past few days. It’s been really damp and humid here, so maybe that’s the reason. All I know is I keep dozing off, and I don’t like it! Anyway, let’s get to the news before I nod out again.
A few days ago, commenter madaha turned me on to an article about a fascinating new book that just came out last week. The book is called A First Rate Madness. The author is Nassir Ghaemi, a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University. From Salon:
Nassir Ghaemi, an author and professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, argues that many of history’s most famous and admired figures, from Churchill to FDR to Gandhi, showed signs of mental illness — and became better leaders because of it. Ghaemi bases his argument on historical records and some of the latest experimental studies on depression and mania, arguing that mild symptoms can actually enhance qualities like creativity or empathy.
After reading the piece in Salon, I immediately ordered the book and I’ve been dipping into it over the past couple of days.
So far, I’ve read the chapter on FDR, and I’m going to read about JFK next. According to Ghaemi, both of these men had hyperthymic personalities: basically, they were upbeat, enthusiastic, energetic, and creative, because they tended to be somewhat hypomanic (a milder, less disabling form of the mania experienced by those with bipolar disorder). In addition, both FDR and JFK suffered from serious physical illnesses–FDR from polio and JFK from Addison’s disease. These illnesses and other adversities these two men faced enabled them to develop empathy for the suffering of ordinary people–even though they were both from privileged backgrounds. Ghaemi argues that people with slightly abnormal personalities are better leaders–particularly in times of crisis when great creativity, empathy, and resilience are needed. According to Ghaemi:
Many people who experience traumas [like terrorism or war] don’t develop PTSD or other illnesses. So the question is, what keeps those people from getting sick? What creates resilience? The psychological research suggests that personality is a major factor. Resilience seems to be associated with mild manic symptoms, but you can’t develop resilience unless you’ve already experienced trauma. Many of these leaders faced adversity in their childhood and adulthood, and that seemed to make them better able to handle crises. It’s like a vaccine. You get exposed to a little bit of a bacteria then you can handle major infections and I think trauma and resilience and hyperthymic personality seem to follow a similar path.
Ghaemi does not discuss Obama’s personality in the book, but Salon interviewer Thomas Rogers asked the author whether Obama may be too “sane” to be a successful President in our current time of crisis.
Obama’s persona is that of a very sane, rational person who is good at compromise — which is definitely how he sold himself during the debt ceiling crisis. Do you think Obama’s sanity is hurting his abilities as a leader?
I didn’t discuss Obama and other current leaders in the book, because there are documentation and confidentiality issues, and a lot of speculation would have to happen. That said, Obama has said himself that he thinks he’s very normal. This no-drama-Obama persona is meant to reassure people about his normality, but I think that when you look at his memoir there’s a sense of a much more complex and profound person who may have experienced a great deal of anxiety and maybe some depression growing up, being half-white half-African-American. The [sane] parts of his psychology may hinder his leadership in terms of not being creative, and that may not be as useful in a crisis. But to whatever extent he’s not fully completely average, he’ll have some psychological reservoir to draw on to think more creatively and realistically about the current situation.
I wish I could agree that Obama might learn to deal with the nation’s difficulties, but so far he doesn’t seem to learn anything from experience. Most of the leaders that Ghaemi discusses suffered from mood disorders–depression or bipolar disorder. Obama, on the other hand, appears to have a different kind of disorder–either Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder, or both.
Dakinikat alerted me to an interview with Ghaemi on NPR. I haven’t listened to it yet, but here’s the link.
Getting back to current news, this coming Saturday, Rick Perry plans to announce that he’s running for the Republican presidential nomination.
Rick Perry intends to use a speech in South Carolina on Saturday to make clear that he’s running for president, POLITICO has learned.
According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.
It’s uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry’s decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll — and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire — will send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll.
Immediately following his speech in South Carolina, Perry will make his New Hampshire debut at a house party at the Portsmouth-area home of a state representative, Pamela Tucker, the Union Leader reported Monday. Tucker was among the Granite Staters who went to Texas last week to encourage Perry to run.
What can I say? This is ghastly news. Think Progress is reporting that besides being a fundamentalist religious fanatic, Perry shares a similar problem to that of fellow wingnut Michele Bachmann–he has taken lots of Federal money in farm subsidies–$80,000, to be exact.
Verizon workers have gone out on strike–45,000 of them.
More than 45,000 workers from New England to Virginia went on strike just after midnight today at Verizon Communications. Since bargaining began July 22, Verizon has refused to move from a long list of concession demands. As the contract expired, Verizon, a $100 billion company, still was looking for $1 billion in concessions from 45,000 workers and families. That’s about $20,000 in givebacks for every family, nearly 100 concessionary proposals remained on the table.
This despite Verizon’s 2011 annualized revenues of $108 billion and net profits of $6 billion. At the same time, Verizon Wireless just paid its parent company, Vodaphone, a $10 billion dividend. Meanwhile, Verizon’s five top executives received $258 million over the past four years.
The workers, members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Electrical Workers (IBEW), say they are striking until Verizon “stops its Wisconsin-style tactics and starts bargaining seriously.”
According to Reuters, both sides are accusing each other of bad acts:
The second day of a strike by Verizon workers turned ugly after union representatives accused managers of injuring three workers while driving past picket lines, and the phone giant complained of a spike in network sabotage cases.
Verizon complained of network sabotage cases in the same statement where it said some picketing workers were unlawfully blocking Verizon managers’ access to work centers.
A spokeswoman for the Communications Workers of America, representing 35,000 of the strikers, said the union “does not condone illegal action of any kind.” The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, representing 10,000 strikers, also said members “are expected to obey the law.”
However, the CWA said some picketing workers were hurt by Verizon managers’ cars and that one worker was knocked unconscious when he was clipped by the mirror of a manager’s car that was speeding past a picket line.
Dean Baker had a great piece at Truthout yesterday: The Economic Illiterates Step Up the Attack on Social Security and Medicare
The nonsense with the S&P downgrade is yet another distraction – after four months of haggling over the debt ceiling idiocy – from the real problem facing the country: a downturn that has left 25 million people unemployed, underemployed or out of the labor force altogether. Tens of millions of people are seeing their career hopes and family lives wrecked by the prospect of long-term unemployment.
The incredible part of this story is that the people who are responsible are all doing just fine, and most of them are still making policy. Furthermore, they are using their own incompetence as a weapon to argue that we have to take even more money from the poor and middle class, this time in the form of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
The basic story is that the economy needs demand. The housing bubble generated more than $1.4 trillion in annual demand through the construction and consumption that it spurred. Now that this demand is gone, there is nothing to replace it. President Obama’s stimulus was replaced by some of the lost demand, but it was nowhere near large enough. We tried to fill a $1.4 trillion hole in annual demand with around $300 billion in annual stimulus in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, most of this boost has been exhausted and the economy is coming to a near standstill.
If we had serious people in Washington, they would be talking about jobs programs, about rebuilding the infrastructure, about work sharing, and any other measure that could get people back to work quickly. However, instead of talking about ways to re-employ people, the fixation in Washington is reducing the deficit.
We’ve heard these arguments again and again (especially from our own Dakinikat), but they bear repeating until the ignorant Villagers get the message.
Remember the “rape cops” in New York–the ones who were found not guilty recently? Well, one of them finally got a tiny bit of justice. A judge sentenced Kenneth Moreno to one year in prison for official misconduct. But then another judge freed him.
Disgraced ex-cop Kenneth Moreno didn’t stay in jail for long.
A couple hours after an angry Manhattan judge flat-out called Moreno a liar Monday and dispatched him to Rikers Island to being a year-long prison sentence, an appeals court judge sprung him.
Moreno, acquitted in May of raping a bombed fashion executive while his partner served as lookout, was released on $125,000 bail by Appeals Court Judge Nelson Roman so he can appeal his conviction on official misconduct charges.
It was a startling turnabout for the 43-year-old Moreno, who Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro ordered remanded.
I sure hope he ends up serving at least some jail time.
Dakinikat sent me this article on a report (PDF) called How to Liberate American from Wall Street Rule. Here are the report’s basic recommendations:
How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule spells out details of a six-part policy agenda to rebuild a sensible system of community-based and accountable financial services institutions.
1. Break up the mega-banks and implement tax and regulatory policies that favor community financial institutions, with a preference for those organized as cooperatives or as for-profits owned by nonprofit foundations.
2. Establish state-owned partnership banks in each of the 50 states, patterned after the Bank of North Dakota. These would serve as depositories for state financial assets to use in partnership with community financial institutions to fund local farms and businesses.
3. Restructure the Federal Reserve to function under strict standards of transparency and public scrutiny, with General Accounting Office audits and Congressional oversight.
4. Direct all new money created by the Federal Reserve to a Federal Recovery and Reconstruction Bank rather than the current practice of directing it as a subsidy to Wall Street banks. The FRRB would have a mandate to fund essential green infrastructure projects as designated by Congress.
5. Rewrite international trade and investment rules to support national ownership, economic self-reliance, and economic self-determination.
6. Implement appropriate regulatory and fiscal measures to secure the integrity of financial markets and the money/banking system.
Finally, in case you missed it, I want to call your attention to this article that commenter The Rock linked to last night: Hillary Told You So
At a New York political event last week, Republican and Democratic office-holders were all bemoaning President Obama’s handling of the debt-ceiling crisis when someone said, “Hillary would have been a better president.”
“Every single person nodded, including the Republicans,” reported one observer.
At a luncheon in the members’ dining room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday, a 64-year-old African-American from the Bronx was complaining about Obama’s ineffectiveness in dealing with the implacable hostility of congressional Republicans when an 80-year-old lawyer chimed in about the president’s unwillingness to stand up to his opponents. “I want to see blood on the floor,” she said grimly.
A 61-year-old white woman at the table nodded. “He never understood about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy,’” she said.
Looking as if she were about to cry, an 83-year-old Obama supporter shook her head. “I’m so disappointed in him,” she said. “It’s true: Hillary is tougher.”
Go read the whole thing. That’s all I’ve got for today. What are you reading and blogging about? Please share.
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Posted: July 26, 2008 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: Barack Obama, John McCain, psychology, U.S. Politics | Tags: Barack Obama, DSM IV, Jeremiah Wright, malignant narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder, psychology |
Well, in the first place he is incredibly arrogant, haughty, full-of-himself, and entitled. He appears to have almost no empathy for other people. On the other hand, he is very good at using people as long as he wants something from them, and then throwing them under the bus when he no longer needs them. For starters, just ask Rev. Wright, Rev., Pfleger, the members of Trinity United Church of Christ, “former” advisors Samantha Power and Austen Goolsbee, Jim Johnson (former VP committe member), whoever created the “Great Possum Seal,” the “progressive” bloggers who supported him unstintingly for months, and his own grandmother. In fact Obama has added a new cliche to the American vernacular, “He (or she) wasn’t the person I once knew.”
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