Sunday 9th of August 2020

daddy issues...

daddy issues

The forthcoming book authored by US President Donald Trump’s estranged niece, clinical psychologist Mary Trump, will reportedly feature an in-depth look into the psychological history of the US president and his father, a man she describes as a “sociopath” who scarred Donald Trump for life. 

New reports on the contents of Mary Trump’s soon-to-be-released tell-all “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man” detail that the US president was able to avoid the scorn and ridicule of his father, Fred Trump, because “his personality served his father’s purpose,” according to the Washington Post, which cited a copy of the memoir it obtained.

“That’s what sociopaths do: they co-opt others and use them toward their own ends — ruthlessly and efficiently, with no tolerance for dissent or resistance,” Mary Trump adds.

“By limiting Donald’s access to his own feelings and rendering many of them unacceptable, Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it.”

Mary Trump, who has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, frames Fred Trump as a cold individual who was incapable of being empathetic, despite being his children’s only available parent around the time Donald Trump was 2 and a half years old, when his mother fell ill.

“That Fred would become the primary source of Donald's solace when he was much more likely to be a source of fear or rejection put Donald in an intolerable position: total dependence on a caregiver who also caused him terror,” the rear cover of the book reads.

“Donald suffered deprivations that would scar him for life.”

As for the US president himself, Mary Trump describes her uncle as someone who has been “institutionalized for most of his adult life,” according to book excerpts published in the New York Times, “so there is no way to know how he would thrive, or even survive, on his own in the real world.”

She goes on to assert that Donald Trump operates based on his ego, which she writes is a “fragile and inadequate barrier between him and the real world.”

A recent order from Judge Hal B. Greenwald of New York’s Dutchess County Supreme Court has prohibited Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster from “publishing, printing or distributing any book or portions thereof," which includes describing portions of the book or assisting a separate entity in publishing the book, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Robert Trump, Donald Trump’s younger brother, argued to the court that Mary is violating a family agreement signed over two decades ago. He noted that a confidentiality clause within the document explicitly states the signatories would not “publish any account concerning the litigation or their relationship,” unless all signing parties agreed.

However, a New York appeals court later ruled that Simon & Schuster may proceed with publication of the book. “Unlike Ms. Trump, [Simon & Schuster] has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights,” Judge Alan Scheinkman wrote, as reported by First Amendment Watch.

Mary Trump and Robert Trump, a Dutchess County resident, are expected to appear in the county court on Friday. The Journal noted that Robert Trump’s initial filing on the matter in a New York City Court was denied.

Sputnik reported on Monday that the book’s publication, initially slated for July 28, has been moved up to July 14 due to “high demand and extraordinary interest,” according to the publisher.


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gaffe issues...

Negative impressions of drinking alcohol in the Biden and Finnegan families and in the neighborhood led Biden to be a non-drinker.[17][34]

In September 1987, the campaign ran into trouble when he was accused of plagiarizing a speech that had been made earlier that year by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.[93]Kinnock's speech included the lines:

Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? [Then pointing to his wife in the audience] Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick?

While Biden's speech included the lines:

I started thinking as I was coming over here, why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? [Then pointing to his wife in the audience] Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I'm the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?

In 1988, Biden suffered two brain aneurysms, one on the right side and one on the left. Each required surgery with high risk of long-term impact on brain functionality. In February 1988, after suffering from several episodes of increasingly severe neck pain, Biden was taken by long-distance ambulance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and given lifesaving surgery to correct an intracranial berry aneurysm that had begun leaking.[104][105] While recuperating, he suffered a pulmonary embolism, a major complication.[105]

In 1999, during the Kosovo War, Biden supported the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,[78] and co-sponsored with John McCain the McCain-Biden Kosovo Resolution, which called on President Clinton to use all necessary force, including ground troops, to confront Milošević over Yugoslavactions in Kosovo.[130][136] In 2016, Biden paid a state visit to Serbia where he met with Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić and expressed his condolences for the civilian victims of the bombing campaign.[137]

During his years as a senator, Biden acquired a reputation for loquaciousness[167] and "putting his foot in his mouth".[168][169][170][171] He has been a strong speaker and debater and a frequent and effective guest on Sunday morning talk shows.[171] In public appearances, he is known to deviate from prepared remarks.[172] The New York Times wrote that Biden's "weak filters make him capable of blurting out pretty much anything".[169]



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Biden is going to need a good female vice-president...

paying someone to impersonate him...

US President Donald Trump’s niece offers a scathing portrayal of her uncle in a new book that credits a “perfect storm of catastrophes” for exposing the president at his worst.

Mary L Trump, a psychologist, writes that the coronavirus pandemic, the possibility of an economic depression and deepening social divides have brought out the “worst effects” of Donald Trump’s pathologies.

Those factors, along with “Donald’s penchant for division, and uncertainty about our country’s future have created a perfect storm of catastrophes that no one is less equipped than my uncle to manage”, she writes in Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man.

Mary Trump is the daughter of Trump’s older brother, Fred Jr, who died after a struggle with alcoholism at 42.

In the book, Mary Trump makes several revelations, including alleging that the president paid a friend to take the SATs – a standardised test widely used for college admissions – in his place.

She writes that his sister Maryanne had been doing his homework for him, but she couldn’t take his tests.

Donald Trump worried that his grade point average, which put him far from the top of the class, would “scuttle his efforts to get accepted” into the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which he transferred to after two years at Fordham University in the Bronx.

“To hedge his bets he enlisted Joe Shapiro, a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker, to take his SATs for him,” she writes.

“That was much easier to pull off in the days before photo IDs and computerised records. Donald, who never lacked for funds, paid his buddy well.”

And Mary Trump writes, in awe, of Trump’s ability to gain the support of prominent Christians and white Evangelicals.

“The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there. It’s mind boggling. He has no principles. None!”

Mary Trump traces much of her pain to the death of her father, who died when she was 16, and her grandfather Fred’s penchant, as she describes it, to sew division in the family.

“The atmosphere of division my grandfather created in the Trump family is the water in which Donald has always swum, and division continues to benefit him at the expense of everybody else.


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who's afraid of the big bad wolf?...


By Thomas L. Friedman

The New York Times

I worry about Joe Biden debating Donald Trump. He should do it only under two conditions. Otherwise, he's giving Trump unfair advantages.

First, Biden should declare that he will take part in a debate only if Trump releases his tax returns for 2016 through 2018. Biden has already done so, and they are on his website. Trump must, too. No more gifting Trump something he can attack while hiding his own questionable finances.

And second, Biden should insist that a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates be hired by the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates – and that 10 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of the debate this team report on any misleading statements, phoney numbers or outright lies either candidate had uttered. That way no one in that massive television audience can go away easily misled.

Debates always have ground rules. Why can't telling the truth and equal transparency on taxes be conditions for this one?

Yes, the fact that we have to make truth-telling an explicit condition is an incredibly sad statement about our time; normally such things are unspoken and understood. But if the past teaches us anything, Trump might very well lie and mislead for the entire debate, forcing Biden to have to spend a majority of his time correcting Trump before making his own points.

That is not a good way for Biden to reintroduce himself to the American people. And, let's not kid ourselves, these debates will be his reintroduction to most Americans, who have neither seen nor heard from him for months, if not years.

Because of COVID-19, Biden has been sticking close to home, wearing a mask and social distancing. And with the coronavirus now spreading further, and Biden being a responsible individual and role model, it's likely that he won't be able to engage with any large groups of voters before election day. Therefore, the three scheduled televised debates, which will garner huge audiences, will carry more weight for him than ever.

He should not go into such a high-stakes moment ceding any advantages to Trump. Trump is badly trailing in the polls, and he needs these debates much more than Biden does to win over undecided voters. So Biden needs to make Trump pay for them in the currency of transparency and fact-checking – universal principles that will level the playing field for him and illuminate and enrich the debates for all citizens.

Of course, Trump will stomp and protest and say, "No way." Fine. Let Trump cancel. Let Trump look American voters in the eye and say: "There will be no debate, because I should be able to continue hiding my tax returns from you all, even though I promised that I wouldn't and even though Biden has shown you his. And there will be no debate, because I should be able to make any statement I want without any independent fact-checking."

If Trump says that, Biden can retort: "Well, that's not a debate then; that's a circus. If that's what you want, why don't we just arm wrestle or flip a coin to see who wins?"

I get why Republican senators and Fox News don't press Trump on his taxes or call out his lies. They're afraid of him and his base and unconcerned about the truth. But why should Biden, or the rest of us, play along?

After all, these issues around taxes and truth are more vital than ever for voters to make an informed choice.

Debating Trump is unlike debating any other human being

Trump, you will recall, never sold his Trump Organisation holdings or put them into a blind trust – as past presidents did with their investments – to avoid any conflicts of interest. Rather, his assets are in a revocable trust, whose trustees are his eldest son, Donald Jr., and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organisation's chief financial officer. Which is a joke.

Trump promised during the last campaign to release his tax returns after an IRS "audit" was finished. Which turned out to have been another joke.

Once elected, Trump claimed that the American people were not interested in seeing his tax returns. Actually, we are now more interested than ever – and not just because it's utterly unfair that Biden go into the debate with all his income exposed (He and his wife, Jill, earned more than $US15 million in the two years after they left the Obama administration, largely from speaking engagements and books) while Trump doesn't have to do the same.

There must be something in those tax returns that Trump really does not want the American public to see. It may be just silly – that he's actually not all that rich. It may have to do with the fact that foreign delegations and domestic lobbyists, who want to curry favour with him, stay at his hotel in Washington or use it for corporate entertaining.

Or, more ominously, it may be related to Trump's incomprehensible willingness to give Russian President Vladimir Putin the benefit of every doubt for the last three-plus years. Virtually every time there has been a major public dispute between Putin and US intelligence agencies alleging Russian misdeeds – including, of late, that the Kremlin offered bounties for the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan – Trump has sided with Putin.

The notion that Putin may have leverage over him is not crazy, given previous hints by his sons.

As Michael Hirsh recalled in a 2018 article in Foreign Policy about how Russian money helped to save the Trump empire from bankruptcy: "In September 2008, at the 'Bridging US and Emerging Markets Real Estate' conference in New York, the president's eldest son, Donald jnr, said: 'In terms of high-end product influx into the United States, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. Say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo, and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.'"

The American people need to know if Trump is in debt in any way to Russian banks and financiers who might be close to Putin. Because if Trump is re-elected, and unconstrained from needing to run again, he will most likely act even more slavishly toward Putin, and that is a national security threat.

At the same time, debating Trump is unlike debating any other human being. Trump literally lies as he breathes, and because he has absolutely no shame, there are no guardrails. According to the Fact Checker team at The Washington Post, between Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017, and May 29, 2020, he made 19,127 false or misleading claims.

Biden has been dogged by boneheaded issues of plagiarism in his career, but nothing compared to Trump's daily fire hose of dishonesty, which has no rival in US presidential history. That's why it's so important to insist that the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates hire independent fact-checkers who, after the two candidates give their closing arguments – but before the debate goes off the air – present a rundown of any statements that were false or only partly true.

Only if leading into the debate American voters have a clear picture of Trump's tax returns alongside Biden's, and only if coming out of the debate they have a clear picture of who was telling the truth and who was not, will they be able to make a fair judgment between the two candidates.

That kind of debate and only that kind of debate would be worthy of voters' consideration and Biden's participation.

Otherwise, Joe, stay in your basement.

The New York Times


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See also: the most progressive president since sliced bread...

hello? is this a set up or not?

First, a journalist (read above comment) demands that Biden does not debate Trump unless Trump releases his tax returns... Okay... follow the conspiracy... Now seven judges of the high court order the publication of Trumps tax returns... Trump is annoyed for show but he knows he's in the box seat... Say that the tax returns are published... Say that nothing untoward the Donald in them. All above board, because the accountants, the lawyers would have made sure these were legit and honestly declared... Imagine now that nothing bad can be said about these tax returns, though the liberal media will go for piddly stuff easily defended... Anyway... result?: 


BIDEN CANNOT HIDE IN HIS CRATER (or basement as Thomas L. Friedman calls it)... Biden has to debate Trump on live debates, with not teleprompter nor pre-arranged questions and answers...


The rest is left to the gods of Trumpery and Bidenery... Your guess is probably better than mine...

no showing of his taxes till whenever...


Washington: Some call him Teflon Trump, because he’s survived more scandals than most modern presidents in US history.

But Thursday's Supreme Court ruling, which found that US President Donald Trump did not have absolute immunity from criminal investigations, was a sobering reminder that no president — no matter how loved, loathed, or lucky — is above the law.



On the other hand, it represents a political victory for the President, because Congress, and indeed the public, won’t be able to examine his financial records any time soon, let alone before the November 3 election.

As such, Trump will remain the only US presidential candidate in decades to refuse to release his tax returns. The obvious question is: Why?

While the decision might be a blow for transparency, the silver lining can be found in the court’s rejection of Trump’s central argument: that sitting presidents cannot be indicted and should not have to adhere to grand jury subpoenas.


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Methinks that Tump is hiding his taxes not because he has anything to hide, but because it keeps other people busy chasing useless stuff... So. Will Biden debate Trump though Trump's taxes remain "hidden"? Will it be "hidden Biden?"

and chasing women...


I mean, on the night that her father had his heart attack and was taken from the Trump father, Fred Trump, and Mary Trump’s mansion to the hospital, the parents just sat in the living room and did nothing. And Donald and his sister Elizabeth went to the movies. What kind of people do that? This is not a house of love. This is a house of lucre, where the only thing that matters and the only measurement was: How much money did you bring in today? Who did you cheat today? It didn’t matter if you lie, cheat and steal, so long as you got the money. That made you a winner.

And Donald Trump, recognizing that his older brother was not built to deal with dad — he withered under his father, he tried to escape him, he was a pilot for TWAairlines for a period of time — saw opportunity. And he then shaped himself to be what his father wanted, to be the magnification of his father. And, in fact, many of Donald Trump’s stunts, I’ve written about in the past, as have others, actually began with Fred Trump. He just was not as widely known outside of the outer boroughs of New York.

I think this is a very, very important book. It’s not terribly long. It’s crisply written. And I encourage everybody to read this book. I think it will open people’s eyes to how did this sociopath get to the White House.

AMY GOODMAN: And that’s certainly what the psychologist, his niece, calls him, a “sociopath.” Finally, Mary Trump alleges that President Trump, Donald Trump, paid a friend to take his SATs.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Well, at the time that you and I would have taken our SATs, it was easy to hire someone to cheat for you. Today they have photo IDs and proctors, and they check all these things. But, I mean, it was not unheard of during the ’60s for rich boys to hire other — or maybe rich girls — to hire other people to take their tests. And, of course, we had colleges all over the place that were accepting students who were not qualified, and helping them evade the draft, which meant that poor boys, often Black and Brown poor boys, went off to die in Vietnam. Well, Donald Trump has famously said, you know, he was dodging venereal disease in Manhattan with all the women he was chasing, and that was his Vietnam.

AMY GOODMAN: David Cay Johnston, I want to thank you very much for being with us, and we’ll continue to cover these stories, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, previously with The New York Times, now with He has written two books on Donald Trump.


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Meanwhile, Trump wears a mask for the first time...




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joe biden looks good to himself...

“Joe is a nice guy.”

“Joe is a decent man.”

You have probably heard variations on these arguments put forward by friends who want you to vote for Biden. Whether they get into the grubby details or not, we know what they’re saying: he hasn’t been married three times, and he wasn’t involved with a porn actress. Even if Biden is going to bring Antifa supporters and reparations proponents and open border advocates and lots of other crazed America-haters into the White House, he’s fundamentally honorable.

The problem with this story is that it doesn’t jibe with Biden’s history. And given the stakes, it’s worth taking a moment to review that.

For the moment let’s hold off with the rape accusation that’s been leveled against him by a former aide—at least as credible as those against Brett Kavanaugh—or the questions about his declining mental condition. Instead, why don’t we examine the mostly forgotten details surrounding the reasons why Biden had to exit from his first Presidential campaign.

Biden will turn 78 in November, and he was first elected to the Senate in 1972. That was before the Watergate investigations and the end of the Vietnam War. So he was actually a political veteran when he announced his first Presidential run in 1987. At that point he was in his mid-40s and in the midst of his third term in the Senate. He was not a political novice, though he was already combing his hair over to hide his increasing baldness. Many people who were alive and old enough to read at the time likely remember that he had to leave that race because of a disgraceful admission: he had giv en a speech as his own which was actually an old stump address of British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. Probably they assume that an aide had given him the speech and that he had not known that it was plagiarized. 

This is false.

In fact, Biden had given the speech many times, and he had even told people on at least one occasion that it was a Kinnock speech. More remarkably, in it he had claimed that his family were ordinary coal miners, regular folk who had been unfairly disadvantaged by economic circumstances. But Biden’s background in Pennsylvania’s anthracite country was monied. His father’s family hadn’t been miners but rather oil company owners. Nonetheless, in the speech Biden suggested that his forebears had been so destitute that they had only rarely come up from underground to see the light of day and play an occasional game of football. In Kinnock’s case that had referred to soccer. While Biden had played football—American football—it was at a private Catholic school that his parents had paid to send him to. The speech was about how some people wrongly start out at the bottom, and he had used it to mislead people into thinking that he was one of them.

Nor was this the only talk from which Biden cribbed. On repeated occasions he used pieces from effective speeches he had heard given before by other Democrats he admired, including John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.

He had commenced the race with an announcement address in which he had spoken about the importance of character and values. Attacking Reagan, he had affirmatively declared that, “We must rekindle the fire of idealism in our society, for nothing suffocates the promise of America more than unbounded cynicism and indifference.” But plagiarism and lying were not new to Biden. 

During the race, reporters discovered that Biden had failed a course at Syracuse Law School because he had stolen a paper from a Fordham Law Review article. Five pages of the paper were taken word for word. Showing impressive chutzpah, Biden said that this was unintentional. Biden also claimed that he had graduated in the top half of his law school and had received a full scholarship. In fact, his scholarship was only partial, and he had graduated 76th out of a class of 85 students. 

Biden also spoke frequently during the race of his experiences marching for equality during the Civil Rights era. This, too, was a fabrication. And when confronted about these lies, he challenged the reporters who asked him about them, saying that he had done his part by running for office, asking them what they had done for Civil Rights.

In addition, Biden had managed to avoid service in Vietnam by claiming that he suffered from asthma—even though he had been a star halfback and wide receiver in high school.

Nor did all of these revelations shame him into leaving the race. Instead, he held a press conference in which he insisted that he was going to continue with his campaign, and he only dropped out a week later when it became clear that his persistent lying had defined his candidacy and that it was affecting fundraising. 

That was of paramount concern. While Biden was not doing well in polls or with crowds, until that point he had excelled at raising money. This was so much true that he had more funds on hand than the eventual nominee, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, and even more than Dick Gephardt, who was Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and seemingly in an ideal position to hit up lobbyists for funds. In fact, he had the most funds of any Democratic candidate.

Simply put, Biden was good at scheming and talking out of both sides of his mouth. He could tell industry reps and trade groups that he was their pal, and then go before crowds of liberal activists and rap about his non-existent days of marching for racial justice and his concern for environmental activism. He was a fraud and a phony, and his exit from the race was compelled not by any sense of shame but by the cumulative effect of reporting by journalists who bothered to dig into his background and his record.

The collapse of his Presidential campaign and the many ugly revelations necessarily affected his reputation and his popularity, and in the aftermath he was desperate for an issue that might improve his chances at re-election to the Senate and re-establish his stature nationally among Democrats. 

Biden soon found a political instrument by which to revive his career in Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Bork’s nomination was in some respects surprising. Reagan had not nominated him in expectation that he would serve as a reliable conservative voice for decades afterwards. After all, Bork was already 59 and considerably overweight. Instead, he had been chosen because many regarded him as America’s foremost judicial theorist, the most influential and respected such figure since the days of Learned Hand and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Bork was then serving as a federal judge, and in that role he had displayed not only his learning but moderation. Going further back, a legal analysis had demonstrated that in his time working in the Solicitor General’s office under Richard Nixon that Bork had been as liberal as Thurgood Marshall had been on the Court in the Johnson administration. 

But in helping to lead the fight against Bork, Biden would help to create a new word. We know it in its infinitive verb form: to Bork. This means to mount a misleading, intellectually dishonest campaign meant to defame a candidate. This was less than two months after Biden had left the Presidential race.

We do know that among all of these incidents we must file the accusation of rape made by his former aide Tara Reade.

I confess that I find certain aspects of her claims to be inconsistent. In any event, the specific charge of rape falls into the category of he said/she said accusation, and, as this kind of charge can be made against any public figure, it may be unfair to grant it too much credit, notwithstanding the fact that it has been made by a former staffer who appears to have no personal motive against him.

Regardless, the events of the late 1980s and early 1990s—the period of Biden’s first Presidential campaign and of Reade’s employment in his Senate office—show him to be a shabby and disreputable man. It is not an exaggeration to say that it presents the picture of a scoundrel. 

The large amount of plastic surgery he’s had in recent years is hard to miss. It appears to be the reason why you can barely see his eyes now. Of course, there’s an old adage that the eyes are windows to the soul. That part of him is well and properly hidden.



Jonathan Leaf is a playwright and journalist living in New York.


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four months to decide...