Donald Trump ‘Jumping The Shark’ In Slow Motion, His Mental Breakdown Playing Out Before Nation

We all are aware of the idiotic episode from the long-ago Happy Days sitcom, where writers while attempting to jazz up the series, had Fonzi jump a shark on his motorcycle.  That led to the phrase ‘jumping the shark’ which is an idiom now used to describe a moment when something that was once popular, but has grown less so, makes an attempt at publicity which only serves to highlight its irrelevance.

Which leads directly to Donald Trump.

From the start of his campaign for the Oval Office, this blog recognized he was not ready for prime time, not suited temperamentally for the office, not diplomatically competent or skilled in governing.  He was a TV star, I noted, but would not be able to act in the role he was hoping for as a result of an election.

Yesterday was only the latest example, as if we needed further proof with his baffoonish behavior, that Trump is suffering from a serious mental health disorder.  His public display was something that a parent would not allow their young child to do in public.  If their college-age child was acting like Trump they would seek immediate counseling.

We can do no less as citizens and voters when watching Trump, on a daily basis, as he ‘jumps the shark’ while damaging our political institutions.  Now with the pandemic crisis putting the lives of even more citizens at severe risk we can not stay quiet.  We must not.

Over 80,000 have already died as a result of a pandemic which has been so mismanaged by this White House and administration.  Public health emergencies should never be tread as a PR stunt!  But that is how Trump has played the issue.

More and more citizens and broadcasters are taking note of the meltdown of Trump.  He is not a mentally healthy person and continues to demonstrate he is out of control.

Last night Rachel Maddow said on her MSNBC show that there’s something truly off about Trump after his coronavirus testing press briefing.  

This is something we should all see. Just because I think it is worth knowing. In all seriousness. That the president, right now, in the midst of this crisis, is visibly struggling. There’s something wrong or he’s just not doing okay, I don’t know, but the president apparently just is not able to keep it together right now in his public appearances.”

She added: “What is wrong with the president today? We don’t know. Something is wrong. Whether or not you, you know, like the president or not, whether you enjoy his public affect or not on a regular basis, it’s clear that there is something wrong.

What the nation witnessed from Trump was ugly.  On the one hand, we need to feel sorry for anyone who is suffering like this, but we also need to always put the needs of the nation first.  There can no longer be any space for apologists when it comes to Trump’s behavior.

Trump abandoned his script as he fielded tough questions from reporters, and his answers grew increasingly combative, culminating in a faceoff against Weijia Jiang of CBS News and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.

The clash began with a pointed question from Jiang, who has tangled with Trump at briefings in the past.

“You’ve said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing,” Jiang said. “Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?”

“Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world,” Trump responded. He then suggested that Jiang, who is Chinese American, might be better off posing her question to China.

“Maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump said, emphasizing the country’s name. “Don’t ask me, ask China that question, okay?”

When Trump called on Collins for the next question, Jiang was caught on camera looking visibly irked. Collins appeared to notice Jiang too and instead of taking her turn, in a display of professional support, she ceded the floor back to her CBS News counterpart.

“Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically? That I should ask China,” Jiang said sharply, leaning forward in her seat and lowering her face mask.

“I’m not saying it specifically to anybody.” Trump said. “I’m saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.”

Ignoring the president’s attempt to brush her off, Jiang doubled down.

“That’s not a nasty question,” she said. “Why does it matter when Americans are dying?”

Jiang’s inquiry received no acknowledgment from Trump, who had already turned his attention to the other reporters.

But when Collins stepped up to the microphone, Trump did not appear interested in hearing from her anymore, either.

“Next, next, please,” Trump said, prompting Collins to remind him that he had pointed to her.

“I did and you didn’t respond and now I’m calling on the young lady in the back,” the president said.

Collins remained undeterred. She began explaining that she had just wanted to let Jiang finish and did have questions for Trump, but before she could ask anything, the president cut in.

“Okay,” Trump said, raising both his hands as Collins continued to protest. The president brusquely thanked everyone in attendance before turning away from the lectern with his mouth fixed in a grim line and walking off.

White House Employees Sought Psychiatrist For Trumps “Unraveling”

It was noted just this week from the set of Morning Joe that in 2016 close associates to Donald Trump were talking about the early stages Alzheimer’s Disease impacting the then Republican Party nominee.  Today more icing about the nature of the health condition of Trump has come to land on the cake,

White House officials reached out to a noted Yale University psychiatrist last fall out of concern over President Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior.  Dr. Bandy Lee, who edited the best-selling book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” told the Daily News Thursday the staffers contacted her because the President was “scaring” them.

Lee’s revelation comes as Trump fumes in response to an anonymous op-ed about administration insiders White House tell-all by journalist Bob Woodward that claims there are grave concerns among the highest ranks of the Trump administration about the President’s judgment.

Lee briefed a dozen lawmakers from the House and Senate last December about Trump’s fitness to be President. But lawmakers on Capitol Hill weren’t the only ones alarmed by the President’s erratic behavior, his troubling tweets or his temper. A pair of West Wing representatives  contacted her two separate times on the same day because they believed the President was “unraveling.”

In Memory Of Mary Trainor–And With Deep Appreciation

This evening as I walked out of our driveway, onto the sidewalk, I saw a woman standing and staring up at our home.  I greeted her, and at once she asked if I knew the previous owner, Henry Dudek. I told the story of how I had met the man while we both worked in state government.   James came out and the conversation widened to how Henry’s kindness in willing us the home had made for what we call ‘the gift of time’.   The woman had known Henry for years, having lived for a time in the immediate area.

As the conversation moved along the name of Mary Trainor, a woman who owned a home on our street, came up.  I mentioned what a powerful impact she had on my life following the passing of my mom.   It was then this woman told us that Trainor had died in 2016.  I was stunned.

There are people who find their way into our life for a reason.  In 2007 I most needed a therapist to talk to, and so a friend passed the name of Mary to me, recommending that I call.  From the first minutes in her comfortable office and sitting area we started a conversation.  I recall over the months I often asked Mary how the process worked in allowing me to find my way through the storm.  She knew I was a curious type guy about lots of things, and so would pull me back to the work at hand—my talking and her posing thoughts and views.   After many months of weekly sessions she told me one of the reasons things progressed as they had.

On my first visit, she said, I sat in the chair and told her how totally lost and hurt I was, and how I needed to find a way to the other side of the conflict.  Many people take weeks to fathom what they want to achieve from counseling, she said.  Within minutes I had told her of the things of which I needed to deal.  In addition to the loss of my Mom in August, there was also the death of Dudek that May.  With his passing came the need to find a way to say thanks for what he did in his will–to a man who was not able to hear expressions of gratitude.

One can say if I had not found Mary there would have been countless other people who could have helped me.  While that is true, the fact is it was Mary who made the difference in my life.  She was the one who took the time, helped me out at times when I could hardly even talk due to deep emotions, and pushed me towards resolving my grief.   She also started me on the path of paying it forward.   It is something James and I do in many ways, often without others being aware.

Mary would have loved how this evening played out–as she knew the value and power of just being yourself and letting life proceed.  With the simple act of greeting someone I did not know, who was on our sidewalk, a series of topics flowed and connections made.

Shortly after my book, Walking Up The Ramp, was published I took a signed copy and met her at the door. She was certainly a part of the story.  It was the last time I would talk with her.  Soft spoken, kind, and as usual wearing her smile that made all feel welcome at once.

We all have those in our life who make a most important mark, so that everything that follows plays out in a better way.   Mary was that type of person in my life.  I will forever be appreciative.

.

“Duty To Warn” Has Alerted America President Trump Is Not Mentally Able To Hold Office

For months I have stated my layman’s view that President Trump is not mentally stable to be sitting in the Oval Office.  If Trump were a relative and acted this way I would be seeking someone to be his healthcare power of attorney.  If Trump were the CEO of a company the board would demand his resignation.  The vast majority in the country know that Trump is not morally, psychologically, or intellectually able to be president. Now there is a growing movement to do something about it.

The removal of Trump using the Twenty-fifth Amendment is the aim of a newly launched social movement composed of mental-health professionals. The group, called Duty to Warn, claims that Donald Trump “suffers from an incurable malignant narcissism that makes him incapable of carrying out his presidential duties and poses a danger to the nation.” On Saturday, the organization held coördinated kickoff events in fourteen cities, where mental-health experts spoke out about Trump’s dangerousness and, in several, took to the streets in organized funereal marches, complete with drum corps.

Dr. John Gartner, the founder of Duty to Warn, told me that the event drew nearly a thousand participants across the country. At the Washington, D.C., event, the group presented an award to Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland and the sponsor of a bill that the group endorses. H.R. 1987 proposes an “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity” that, under the Twenty-fifth Amendment, would serve as the congressionally appointed body for determining if the President cannot execute the powers and duties of his office owing to mental illness or deficiency.

According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, a majority of American voters now believe that Trump is not “fit to serve as President.” While many lay members of the public have observed Trump’s increasingly erratic and unstable behavior, commentary from mental-health experts about Trump’s mental state was slow to gather steam because of the Goldwater Rule, an ethical principle of the American Psychiatric Association that says that psychiatrists cannot express professional opinions about public figures they have not personally examined. “Because we were silenced by the Goldwater Rule, we failed to warn the public that they were heading over the Niagara Falls,” Gartner said. The Duty to Warn movement now represents an outright rebellion against the yoke of the professional norm.

Still More Proof Donald Trump Has Serious Mental Condition

This is just not normal or healthy behavior.  Donald Trump shows symptoms almost daily of a very troubled man in need of a good mental health counselor.

Trump was on a tweetstorm this morning from his summer home in Bedminster, New Jersey. It started out rational.  There was even a nice and pleasant wish to Canada for a happy 150th anniversary.

But the bat-crap crazy switch was soon turned on as he sat on his toilet.  The tweets turned sharp, mean, and as is the case with the under-educated, lacking facts.

This all can only be summed up as sad insight into the unhealthy mind of the president.   This is what the leader of the free world does on a Saturday morning during a holiday weekend.   I guess he had nothing to grab this morning!

@realDonaldTrump at 8:44 a.m.: “Happy Canada Day to all of the great people of Canada and to your Prime Minister and my new found friend @JustinTrudeau. #Canada150” 

@realDonaldTrump at 8:59 a.m.: “Word is that @Greta Van Susteren was let go by her out of control bosses at @NBC & @Comcast because she refused to go along w/ ‘Trump hate!’”

Recognize that this is the president of the United States weighing in on the dismissal of a host of a television program.  A program that truly did not have ratings to sustain it.

At 9:07 a.m.: “Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?”

Since facts matter to many of us it needs to be stated many of the states that have refused say it is against their state laws to turn over personal information.   If the president liked to read–which he has stated he does not–and if he wanted to be informed–which he clearly does not–he could read The Washington Post and The New York Times for information about the more than two dozen states which has basically told the unhealthy president to eat dust over this matter.

The crazy did not end there.

At 9:12 a.m.: “I am extremely pleased to see that @CNN has finally been exposed as #FakeNews and garbage journalism. It’s about time!”

CNN is not fake news and that is the fact he does not like.  They like other news organisations are ferreting out the truth–which is their job.

But wait–it still is not over.

At 9:20 a.m.: “Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!”

I can attest to the fact–as a daily viewer for many years–that Joe isn’t crazy, nor is Mika dumb.  In fact, Mike is very bright and her family dinner conversations while growing up points to that fact.  Had her father been alive the mentally unhealthy man in the White House would have suffered a most powerful response today.

As to the ratings question Morning Joe had its “highest rating ever in the time period in the key demographic last quarter”.  

Telling the truth makes mentally ill people troubled.   Trump has proved that this morning in a most stunning and embarrassing fashion.

Donald Trump’s Mental Instability Makes Topic On Morning Joe

It is not a partisan point to clearly state that Donald Trump does not act like both oars are in the water.   He shows the symptoms of a troubled person.   As noted at length today on Morning Joe if we had a friend with such a condition we would not stand idly by.  Should we do no less when the most powerful person in the land shows signs of severe instability?  The long opening portion of their show underscored the concerns of the country.

DONNY DEUTSCH: I also think it’s time, and I know in the post-Goldwater era there’s an unwritten rule in the psychiatric community that nobody diagnoses from afar. I just don’t think he’s a well guy, period.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: What he is doing now is not in his self interest, and that’s when you start saying, wait a second, how well is he if he’s doing these things that any rational human being would know would hurt him politically?. . .

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The President of the United States the leader of the free world, the steward of the world’s largest economy, the man who controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, he spent most of Saturday morning tweeting about Fox News. Let that breathe for a second. Just think about that. And about the scope of that problem right there.. . .

DONNY: People talk about, he’s 70 and a billionaire, he’s not going to change his behavior. His entire life, because this is a man who has not traveled, this is a man who does not read, this is a man who is not intellectually curious. So for his entire life, the only information he’s gotten is like a 12-year old eating Cheerios in front of the television set. He’s not going to change now!

JOE: Obviously, no self control. And again, this guy is just literally bumping around the White House, or wherever he goes, with nobody else around minding him.

JOE: And we talked about this before, how well the guy is off now, mentally? Any sane, rational person would know: if I keep bringing attention to something, then I’m going to keep churning up attention on something, and it is not going to be in my best interest.. . .

DONNY: There’s a disorder. There was an article over the weekend about election night. That right even after his triump, he was fixated on a three-day old negative article; they literally couldn’t get him off of. And that’s what this is. I don’t know what the disorder is. I’m not being glib. Regardless of what else is going on, if he’s been pricked in a certain area, there is an inability, physiologically, to move off of it, even if it’s self-destructive.

JOE: He is President of the United States, and he starts lying about three million votes being illegally cast. And he is obsessed on that . . . And then the day he is inaugurated, Mika, he is now the 45th President of the United States. What does he do? He starts obsessing about crowd size. And starts lying about crowd size. Now, I’m sorry: that is not a healthy, normal, well-functioning man. And he obsesses and he lies about crowd size for another three or four weeks until he starts lying about Barack Obama. Not healthy. Something’s deeply wrong with this man.

JOE: In this case, Mika, everything he is doing, just as offensive, but it is against his political interest. And that’s where you start saying, there’s no rational reason why he should be doing this every day. Even if you think he’s a cynical, horrible human being, this hurts him.

DONNY: And Joe, what you and I are dancing around here, going back here, yes, there was logic, devious and disgusting, but everything now points to certain disorders. My hair is not on fire. And I am not a clinician. And once again: doctors do not diagnose. He is not well in many ways. If anybody is behaving in this way. If a schoolteacher was behaving this way, if your friend was behaving this way, you’d be concerned.

JOE: If any CEO behaved this way, they would have been fired by the board 60 days ago.

JOE: The question, Mark Halperin, is what are the Republicans doing on Capitol Hill, in the House? The Senate is standing up. What’s Jason Chaffetz doing? What’s Paul Ryan doing? We’re going to have Jason on today and we’re going to see what he says. Paul Ryan. What’s Paul Ryan doing? What’s McCarthy doing? They know this is not sane, rational behavior. What are they doing, and at what point do they start speaking out.

Governor Mark Sanford’s Mental Health Topic Of Concern

For the past week I have made it a new habit to check in with the latest addition to my faves stored on the computer.   The State is South Carolina’s essential newspaper, and has demonstrated that to be true every day since the Governor Sanford story broke about his Argentine lover.  There is an intensity to this poltical drama that gravitates me to this newspaper for the latest news about this scandal, and the fallout it is creating.

So here I am today reading the paper, and there is a news story with an angle I have never before seen taken about an elected official, unless I am forgetting, and then a reader can alert me.  There is open specualtion about  the mental condition of Mark Sanford, still the sitting chief executive of South Carolina.   I must say this is incredible, and a direct off-shoot of handling the PR for his affair dreadfully.  No one must be advising him, and lets face it, who would want to.  Still the fact remains that based on his mishandled press conference, and offerings to reporters of additional tidbits, there is now open speculation that this once White House hopeful might be short a basketful in the head.  No more reason to explain why this story is so politically alluring.

Gov. Mark Sanford is acting like a love-struck teenager.

Or, maybe he has a deeper personality disorder, some experts speculate.

As the saga of Sanford and his Argentine lover continues, the public, the governor’s political rivals and some allies are speculating about the governor’s mental stability and whether he’s able to lead the state.

While mental health experts are reluctant to pin a diagnosis on the governor, their observations of his behavior suggest a chemical imbalance, narcissism and impulsive behavior.

Sanford has not sought professional mental health treatment, said Joel Sawyer, the governor’s spokesman.

But some fellow politicians are saying the governor needs help.

“That’s a troubled man,” said Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, a longtime Sanford ally who this year became frustrated at Sanford’s refusal to take federal stimulus money. “You can see it in his eyes and his body language. I’m concerned about his mental well-being.”

John Crangle, executive director of Common Cause South Carolina, called Sanford “delusional” and said it was obvious the governor has “serious mental problems.”

“The idea that he could carry on this relationship and at the same time be governor, run the Republican governor’s association and have presidential aspirations, it shows an individual who has lost contact with reality,” said Crangle, who has worked as a divorce lawyer. “He sees no limitations. He can do what he wants.”

One prominent Republican who is close to Sanford and has been in regular contact with him also has questioned the governor’s well-being. “When your support is evaporating but your resolve (to stay in office) is increasing, that’s a bad combination,” said the source, who did not want to be identified.

Peeler cites the governor’s mental state as one more reason he should resign. Crangle said Sanford should at least take a leave of absence and get a psychiatric evaluation.

Message Of Hope As We Exit 2007

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Some are more than eager to exit 2007, and get the New Year started.  The excitement about new beginnings and a fresh start is one of mankind’s remarkable features as it proves that we are highly resilient.  Even after a year where unfinished plans, failed endeavors, or sadness might have held sway, we have in our nature the ability to look ahead and dream again.   In the darkest moments of a bad year when only gloom seems to prevail we are told to hold to the notion that better days are ahead.  Others who care offer that timeless advice, and we nod in agreement to be kind, but at the time those words are heard we often do not believe in the power to bounce back.

Getting from the darkness to the light again is a trip that requires patience and self-acceptance of where one is, and where one wants to end up.  It also requires the time to make the trip.

Millions of Americans will always reflect on 2007 with a sense of sadness and loss, be it a failed marriage, loss of a job, illness, or the death of a loved one.  For many people bittersweet memories will be the strongest leftover from the past year.  But if you are one that endured hard times this year, and coped with them, then there are lessons that were gained.  With them comes the hope for a New Year.

To live life fully means that we must experience the entire array of events that come with the human experience.  Bright moments at one end of the spectrum, and tear filled days at the other end.  If we love the sunshine, we also must embrace the darkness.  When life forces us to deal with painful events the worst thing to do is shy away from facing the emotions inside.  We are only fooling ourselves by pretending to cage them.   Eventually the situation will demand attention, and if we do not deal with our feelings honestly at the time they are in front of us, we are doomed to deal with them in another form later.

In the mad rush that many have constructed as their daily life, it is difficult to find the time to deal with sadness.  In the late 1800’s one could still put out black on their doors to provide the time and space required for healing after the loss of a loved one.  The public respected the black fabric.  No one expected that in two weeks all would be fine again.  Today we have pushed ourselves to the point where in the hope of making it easier to get people to a funeral without disrupting work hours the deceased person’s visitation and funeral are all held in a few hours on one night.   I first heard of this in September, and find that it is spreading.  It makes me ill, as emotional needs should not be second place to the bottom line for a business.

It is not selfish or out of bounds to demand the time one needs to replenish the soul and body after a rough episode.  Finding the perfect means of serenity is essential.  It might be found in the sunsets each night, or the morning blooms that erupt in the dew outside the window.  It might be found in long walks, or even longer runs.  Whatever the means to soothe and heal it should be applied regularly.  And to do it correctly will demand a ‘time-out’ from what is considered the ‘normal’ routine. Whether it be for an hour each day, or a day each week, the most important way to heal is to allow the space and time to do it correctly.

If 2007 was rough it is in our nature to hope for a brighter 2008.  If we applied the lessons of coping correctly on the ragged edges of life just lived, then we are prepared to hold our head up and march into the New Year.

I wish you all the best.  Happy New Year. 

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