Donald Trump is not happy unless he’s running the show and the past few months, let alone the past few days, have not been good for that scenario. The pandemic is nowhere under control, tens of millions of Americans are out of work, Minneapolis is in flames, Colorado is the new Charlottesville, he had a lovers’ spat with his beloved Twitter, and a protester in D.C. began scaling the wall of a building so he could paint, “Fuck Trump” on the wall in red Friday night. On these facts, Trump doesn’t appear to be on top of events, rather events appear to be crushing him, or at the very least minimizing him — and for him, that’s death. He has to rule the roost at all times. Tony Schwartz, Medium: The third trait that most characterizes Trump is his need for dominance, and the evident pleasure he takes in exercising it. “I love getting even when I get screwed by someone,” he explains in his book Think Big and Kick Ass. “Always get even. When you are in business you need to get even with people who screw you. You need to screw them back 15 times harder.” In the absence of a conscience to shape and limit his behavior, Trump defaults to a more primitive and predatory impulse. Life for him is a zero-sum game. He either wins or he loses, dominates or submits. This explains why Trump felt no compunction about lashing out this week at a frequent critic, Joe Scarborough, by falsely accusing him of murder, even in the absence of a shred of evidence to support his claim. Cruelty is second nature to Trump. Tony Schwartz doesn’t see things changing as we get closer to the election, except to get worse. He uses the word “Armegeddon” because Trump, it goes without saying, is going to lie about everything, and attempt to muscle everything to go in his favor, up until the bitter end. We’ve seen that already. He’s not going to change his spots, they’re only going to begin to glow in neon. In the end, Trump does what he does because he is who he is, immutably. The research now strongly suggests that the absence of conscience has a strong hereditary basis, even as it may also be activated by adverse childhood experiences. The genetic abnormality itself manifests in the limbic system, the set of brain structures involved in the processing of emotions. People without a conscience, it turns out, often have an undersized or under-active amygdala and less gray matter in the limbic area of the brain. For four years, along with millions of other Trump critics, I have wrestled with the best way to respond to a president who is incapable of shame or empathy and cares only about his self-interest. There is no effective treatment for a person with these traits, and Trump wouldn’t seek one if there was, because he genuinely doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with him. The horrifying truth is that it’s precisely what he’s missing that gives him a permanent advantage over the vast majority of us who are guided by a conscience and concern for others. Trump revels in attention, domination, and cruelty. “The sociopath wants to manipulate and control you,” explains Martha Stout, “and so you are rewarding and encouraging him each and […]
I have to say that I am impressed with Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. He appears to have taken a stance and he’s not backing down. He is apparently not intimidated by Donald Trump’s horse and pony show in the Oval Office Thursday, when he signed an executive order, with an eye to removing legal protections from social media. Trump made an appearance on Twitter shortly after midnight his time Friday morning and posted two tweets regarding protests in Minneapolis, after citizen George Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd’s neck for seven minutes. Trump said he would “send in the National Guard,” apparently unaware that the Guard had already been deployed half a day earlier, and Trump quoted a now-deceased Miami cop, who said in 1967, “When the looting starts, that’s when the shooting starts.” That quote was promptly hidden, because it violates a Twitter rule against “glorifying violence.” I believe it is safe to say that Trump will resent Twitter enforcing this rule, or moderating his account in any way, shape, or form. Trump doesn’t seem to be a person who is used to being treated like any other user of social media platforms. He expects to use the platform as he sees fit and rules are for other people. This is how Trump’s tweets appear now. Twitter hides one of the two Trump tweets from tonight for “glorifying violence.” pic.twitter.com/ngPtw7g0m3 — Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) May 29, 2020 The move prevents replying to or liking the “looting … shooting” tweet, engagement numbers are gone, and people can only quote RT it now. pic.twitter.com/CuetvQVJnn — Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) May 29, 2020 This is responsible behavior. Trump’s words are still there, if somebody wants to know what he said. However, Twitter has made it clear that they don’t want people advocating violence, certainly not “glorifying” it. In removing the ability of other users to just automatically “like” the violent prose, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” it gives time for people to pause and reflect upon what’s on the screen. I find it admirable that Dorsey has taken this action. It will be interesting to see how Trump reacts to it. Again, I think it is a reasonable speculation that Trump will resent the action and feel persecuted by it. I also think it’s too much to expect that Trump might find the move sobering, and perhaps reflect a bit upon his own actions and what he might do better in the future. Trump has lived a consequence free life, in part because he’s been able to bully people into doing what he wants, or pay them off in some fashion for ignoring his bad behavior. This is probably a rare moment in his 73 years, coming up against another businessman who is powerful in his own right and who is enforcing the rules of the road on his own platform — which he has every right to do and had the right to do so sooner. Dorsey’s forebearance has been duly noted, by others, but not by Trump. Fpr Trump, this is somewhat of a unique moment, I would imagine. Many thousands of people have written millions of words about Trump’s foibles, but if I had to pick one which […]
People were wondering when the titular leader of the free world would chime in on the tragedy unfolding in Minnesota. We were better off wondering, because the minute El Moron Naranja opened his mouth, it only made things worse. Here is Donald Trump’s version of invoking the better angels of our nature — or something. ….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020 The National Guard has already been deployed. Sweet Jesus, does this man know ENNEE thing? Is there anybody in the White House with one foot on the ground who can read a teletype? It would seem not. So, Trump didn’t know that the governor had already called out the National Guard. Now where did he get this line? Because this is striking. From the NYT obituary on Nov. 17, 1968: "He told a news conference last December that 'young hoodlums' were taking advantage of civil rights and that he would emphasize tough enforcement rather than community relations." pic.twitter.com/6CPesSgvUC — Nicole Hemmer (@pastpunditry) May 29, 2020 2020 is already far worse. 1968 didn’t feature a pandemic — Ari S (@GBR1995) May 29, 2020 I think burning down police precincts is a little more than "taking advantage of civil rights". Also, there were plenty of white people doing it from what I've seen — Gavin Hayes (@Gavin_B_Hayes) May 29, 2020 At a time when we desperately need leadership, we have a buffoon quoting a racist cop in Miami from 1967 and playing tough guy — not that we expected better. When dealing with Trump, you get one of two options, sub-standard or nothing at all. In this case, it was nothing, followed by sub-standard. Kudos to Joe Biden for getting on the stick and calling for an inquiry into this matter two days ago. If our titular leader had gotten moving then, we wouldn’t be seeing this situation devolve further. But then Trump is not exactly known for his timely responses to crises. Having lived through the riots in Los Angeles following the beating of Rodney King, I can tell you that going to sleep next to the radio when you can smell the smoke and hear the sirens is more than a little disconcerting. My heart goes out to Minneapolis. I hope they find direction and leadership from somewhere because they sure as hell ain’t gonna get it from the White House. America is burning and the ship of state is rudderless and unmanned.
Donald Trump went into another meltdown on Twitter Thursday night. I guess this is the road sign leading the way to a no holds barred fracas in November, because Trump, the biggest loser of all time, can’t stand the idea that he’s going to lose publicly, and on such a big-ticket item as the United States presidency. And that is all that he sees it as. Trump is going to do his damnedest to convince America not to trust the institutions in this country, which have gotten us through thick and through thin — including the election of him and if it gets any thinner than than that, I’m swimming back to Ireland. (Hard enough to do from the East coast, try doing it from the West.) Here’s Trump’s latest paranoid salvo into the ethernet. MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE. IT WILL ALSO LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY. WE CAN NEVER LET THIS TRAGEDY BEFALL OUR NATION. BIG MAIL-IN VICTORY IN TEXAS COURT TODAY. CONGRATS!!! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020 I'M AFRAID OF AMERICAN VOTERS. (Fixed it for you.) — John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) May 29, 2020 If Jon Pavlovitz is unknown to you, he’s an honest to God, real pastor, which means he’s got a congregation that he preaches and ministers to and earns his pay. He’s not preaching prosperity gospel on TV and fleecing the desperate and deluded for money they don’t have, and using it to buy jet airplanes. But this hysterical tweet is just another brick in the wall. Trump is absolutely obsessed with mail-in fraud. It’s incredible. He went off again this afternoon, after he signed the executive order to shut down social media — HA — about how mail-in fraud was rife in California. If anybody on this planet — or any other, for that matter — reading this blog knows why Trump is obsessed with California, or thinks that the vote needs to be tweaked here, like he won’t lose the state on his own “merits,” will you explain it to me, please? Because if there is one state in the union that he has no remote chance in Hell of winning, it is California. Nobody hates him him more than we do here, although I will admit to having entertaining exchanges with a dear friend in Manhattan, who says New York hates him more. My friend said to me recently, “He won 18% of the vote in New York City. Who the hell can’t win a presidential election in his own hme town?” No answer. Not a clue. My best speculation is that New York and California hate Trump most of all because he’s tried to win these two places over more than anyplace else. “If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere” analogizes to both states. And with respect to Trump, to know the man is to hate him. So all that is in California are people who: 1) don’t know him personally and hate his guts; 2) people who had the unfortunate experience of actually meeting him and working with him in Hollywood. And they hate his guts worse. And where I live, in California 28, we hate him with a special passion, because he opposes our beloved […]
It’s interesting that Republicans tout themselves as the “party of family values.” We certainly know the values of the Trump family, and if we didn’t, Eric has come along to tell us all we need to know with one tweet. Tone deaf, much? Not a great day for the 100,000 Americans who died of coronavirus pic.twitter.com/pJk7FVW1ts — Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) May 28, 2020 The Trumps make no bones about their values or their priorities. Whlle America may be leading the world in coronavirus deaths, and way behind the world in testing, of what possible importance is that, if the Dow Jones Industrial Average is high? Because it’s all about the elite few in the country making money, right? What other aspect of life — or America — could possibly compare? The Trump family doesn’t even make a pretense of caring.
Donald Trump signed his ballyhooed executive order regarding social media Thursday. The text of it has not been revealed yet, but all signals indicate that the matter basically pertains to stripping social media platforms of the legal protections they currently enjoy via “removing or totally changing” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, “a law that gives platforms legal immunity for content posted by third-party users while also giving them cover to make good-faith efforts to moderate their platforms.” This latest tempest in a teapot occurred after Trump became enraged because Twitter dared to slap a fact-check label on two of his tweets. He blew up at the time and is still steaming. The Hill: “We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers it has faced in American history, frankly, and you know what’s going on as well as anybody. It’s not good,” Trump told reporters. He accused social media companies of having “unchecked power to censure, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences.” He also said that if he were able to shut Twitter down, he would. Barr did not give details on what legislation focused on 230 could look like. Trump suggested that they could just “remove or totally change 230.” […] That order would direct an agency within the Commerce Department to file a petition with the Federal Communications Commission to clarify the scope of Section 230, a proposition that has already drawn rebukes from Democratic members of the commission. […] Fundamentally, Trump cannot rewrite Section 230 without Congress’s help. Any efforts by agencies like the FCC to make determinations about how the law is applied would almost definitely be challenged and ultimately become a matter for a judge to decide. Americans are dying, but that doesn’t affect Trump. Getting annoyed on Twitter, however, gets his juices boiling. Nancy Pelosi saw it as a means of “dismantling efforts to help users distinguish fact from fiction.” Pelosi called this entire debacle with the executive order, a “desperate distraction” from Trump’s ongoing failure to meaningfully deal with the cornavirus pandemic. Hear hear. It’s just more screaming by a desperately small man, who can’t cope with the realities of the job he’s got, so he chooses to go bonkers over inconsequential side matters. And he’s surrounding by sycophants and enablers who allow it and in fact, who make it possible.
It’s no wonder that the lunatics who love Donald Trump feel the way they do. They can say anything they want to, no matter how outrageous or dangerous and Trump not only won’t shut them down, he’ll amplify their madness, by retweeting out to his 80 million plus Twitter followers. You want to go so far as to advocate violence against the opposition party? No problem, advocate away and Trump will megaphone it for you. Here’s Exhibit “A.” Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico! https://t.co/aCRJeskUA8 — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020 Cory Griffin, the clown you are listening to above, a county commissioner in New Mexico, told the Daily Beast that lockdown protesters might be justified in using violence. Envisioning a scenario in which one’s political opponents are hurt or dead is about as dark a turn as there can be for political discourse. And yet, Griffin has company. Anti-lockdown protesters across the country are ramping up their calls for violence against Democrats, even as states relax the coronavirus restrictions they’re protesting. On Sunday, anti-lockdown protesters in Frankfort, Kentucky, hanged an effigy of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear from a tree outside the state capitol. The effigy bore Beshear’s face and a message: “Sic Semper Tyrannis.” The slogan, which means “thus always to tyrants,” is associated with the assassination of Julius Caesar and has become popular with anti-government groups. It is also what John Wilkes Booth shouted from the stage of Ford’s Theater after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Forget about dog whistles, we’re long past that now. Now we’ve got the underbelly threatening violence openly. This is what Trump stands for, immaturity and hate. And Griffin’s already trying to backpedal. Griffin, a county commissioner in the state, hastily added that he only meant Democrats who were dead in “the political sense”—an effort at cleanup he repeated in an interview with The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “I could’ve chosen a different verbiage, you know. I guess I need to be more careful when I choose the words that I speak,” Griffin said. “But you know, it’s just so hypocritical of the left how they’re blowing this up, like I’m some hate-speech murderer.” Why, how would they get that idea? How totally odd. And what about the un-ambiguity that is stated right here? In North Carolina, prominent anti-lockdown activist Adam Smith posted a Facebook Live video on Friday saying he and other activists were “willing to kill people” over coronavirus restrictions. “But are we willing to kill people? Are we willing to lay down our lives?” Smith said in the video. “We have to say, ‘Yes.’ We have to say, ‘Yes.’ Is that violence? Is that terrorism? No, it’s not terrorism. I’m not trying to strike fear in people by saying, ‘I’m going to kill you.’ I’m gonna say, ‘If you bring guns, I’m gonna bring guns. If you’re armed with this, we’re going to be armed with this.’” Smith and his brethren characterize themselves as having “the mindset of 1776.” Great. Insurrection is now romantic, drugstore revolutionaries and drugstore cowboys unite, and the common thread is that they love guns, violence, and Donald Trump. The undercurrents of violence — and actual violence — in this country are horrifying. We’ve got hangings in effigy and protests over a man killed by police in […]
Donald Trump is playing us all for fools right now, awaiting his executive order regarding social media, to be unveiled later Thursday, with bated breath. He had his press secretary foreshadow this momentous event to the press Wednesday and then a draft copy was obtained by Reuters. This is what we could be looking at as the New Abnormal in a few hours and you’ll see why I alluded to an army of trolls being actiivated. The executive order would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose and clarify regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law largely exempting online platforms from legal liability for the material their users post. Such changes could expose tech companies to more lawsuits. […] The draft order also states that the White House Office of Digital Strategy will re-establish a tool to help citizens report cases of online censorship. Called the White House Tech Bias Reporting Tool, it will collect complaints of online censorship and submit them to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It requires the FTC to then “consider taking action”, look into whether complaints violate the law, develop a report describing such complaints and make the report publicly available. The draft order also requires the Attorney General to establish a working group including state attorneys general that will examine the enforcement of state laws that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts. If this doesn’t sound like a sci fi script for how a dystopian society begins targeting and dividing it’s citizens, pursuant to a fascist takeover, let me know. I can just envision a future society, where you go to apply for a job, rent an apartment, whatever, and along with the usual criminal background check warning a caveat is given, “And we check the Barr Lists.” Get ready for the pundits to go psycho on this one. I think that there hasn’t been that much commentary already because all the heavyweight political commentators are waiting to see what actually materializes this afternoon when Big Boss Trump waddles to the desk and flourishes his Sharpie, but a couple of major things are going on here: First of all, on its face, the First Amendment considerations are paramount and secondly, the Trump/Twitter war is the perfect distraction from COVID-19 and it’s collateral disaster, the cratering of the economy. If you take a look at the stats, eviction forebearance is going to end in June and one fifth of Americans didn’t pay the rent last month. Wells Fargo ends mortgage forebearance in July. And what is the sitting Republican president doing about these crises? Playing golf and fighting with Twitter, that’s what. Trump is going to do his damnedest to keep America’s attention off of life, death, and the economy and keep the dispute on turf he knows something about, which is social media and television. That’s all he knows or cares about and that’s his goal, make no mistake. This is Trump’s Last Stand, hopefully his Little Big Horn. If he can distract enough here on this side issue and trivialize the issues that America really faces, by getting into an eipic pissing contest with Twitter and undermining the constitution as well, he has a better chance of prevailing in November. […]
Donald Trump’s need to dominate is now directed at social media platforms and the resulting change in laws could be chilling for the platforms legally, and threatening to the rest of us as consumers. Our privacy could be compromised and we could end up on government watch-lists. Here’s how it shakes down. Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election. If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020 This is Trump in meltdown mode. This is what has occasioned the Executive Order that Kayleigh McEnany told CNN Wednesday that Trump would soon be signing, in reaction — retaliation is the applicable word here — for Twitter daring to put a fact-check label on two of Trump’s false information tweets regarding mail-in voting. Trump’s bound and determined to show social media and the rest of us, that he is the big shot and he tells them, they don’t tell him, so there. It is as basic and infantile as that, but the ramifications are immense. Washington Post: President Trump is preparing to sign an executive order Thursday that could roll back the immunity that tech giants have for the content on their sites, according to two people familiar with the matter. Trump’s directive chiefly seeks to embolden federal regulators to rethink a portion of law known as Section 230, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a document that could still evolve and has not been officially signed by the president. That law spares tech companies from being held liable for the comments, videos and other content posted by users on their platforms. The law is controversial. It allows tech companies the freedom to police their platforms for abuse without fear of lawsuits. But critics say those exceptions have also allowed some of Silicon Valley’s most profitable companies to skirt responsibility for the harmful content that flourishes on their online platforms, including hate speech, terrorist propaganda and election-related falsehoods. [,,,] The order would also seek to channel complaints about political bias to the Federal Trade Commission, which would be encouraged to probe whether tech companies’ content-moderation policies are in keeping with their pledges of neutrality. It would also require federal agencies to review their spending on social media advertising, according to the people familiar with the White House’s thinking. This would make the owners of platforms legally liable for the content posted on their sites. Social media platforms would transform from platforms into publishers, and that’s a different kettle of fish entirely. Now here’s the irony: If this was implemented, Twitter would be compelled to take down the tweets that Trump is bludgeoning Joe Scarborough with these days, accusing him of murdering his former aide, because that level of baseless slander could become actionable. Meanwhile, Trump is glowing, just like the school yard bully. He’s really gonna show Twitter, yes Sir. This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020 This is what interests Trump right now. The fact that there are now officially 100,000 […]
This is interesting. Obviously Donald Trump wants to make it look like he’s in charge of social media, specifically Twitter, and not just a user on Twitter’s platform, which is owned and controlled by Jack Dorsey. On the flight back to Washington, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters President Trump is going to sign some kind of executive order on social media. No further details appear to have been offered, but it comes after he lashed out over fact checks on his tweets. — Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 27, 2020 Let’s see what this looks like. When you go on a social media platform, you acknowledge that you understand some basic rules and conditions and will adhere to them. That’s how you get an account. That’s how Trump got his. So let’s see him dictate to Twitter how they’re going to run their own show. Does he think that social media platforms are part of the executive branch? — Matt "ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION" W (@diakopter) May 27, 2020 What will the executive order actually accomplish? Twitter is not a government agency, it's a private company and they can do what they want. I mean yeah they can break the law but fact-checking isn't illegal, nor is deleting tweets or banning accounts. Trump's delusional. — SitaRose🌹 (@SitaRose27) May 27, 2020 Remember this, from back in 2019? Trump “decreed” that American companies wouldn’t do business with China? “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” The proclamation, which the president does not have the power to enforce, might have been expected to unleash a wave of panic and terror among America’s mostly capitalist citizenry – such state-mandated orders are, after all, the stuff of planned-economy communist countries. But instead, America’s Twitter-sphere resorted mainly to mocking Trump and his rhetorical flourishes. Soon “I hereby order” was taking on a life of its own: from top politicians down to the man-in-the-street Twitter inhabitant. Trump likes to say "hereby" when he is making an order that he has no power to make. pic.twitter.com/K1wCqB0KnO — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 23, 2019 Same psychosis, different day. One thing is certain, he’s not getting any better.