HOW WE GOT HERE: Home alone!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017

Part 5—The need for liberal leadership:
Have you watched yesterday's press event? If not, have you seen it described?

We'll go ahead and quote David Brooks. This is what David Brooks saw:

"I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued."

Trump is moving past unhinged and unglued! That's what David Brooks saw!

In our view, Brooks falls short of a straightforward statement. He still doesn't say, in a straightforward way, that we need to discuss the possibility that President Trump is unfit for office, or handicapped in his performance, by issues involving his mental health.

That said, Brooks describes a dangerous situation—the same dangerous situation Paul Krugman describes in his own new column. Concerning that, we'll only say this:

We think Brooks understands the situation better than Krugman does. That may seem like a shocking statement, but it returns us to the topic of this week's reports.

According to Brooks, the person who gave yesterday's presser seems unhinged, unmoored, unglued, or perhaps something worse than that. We liberals thrill to such declarations, without considering this corollary:

We liberals just managed to lose an election to this unhinged man!

Granted, Trump lost the popular vote—though it should be said that he won the overall popular vote in the 49 states which aren't California. Our question, which our team will tend to skip past:

What does this say about us? What does it say about us that we managed to lose an election to an unhinged, unglued, unmoored man?

Does it say anything about Us? Or was November's election result just a reflection on Them?

We all know the standard reply which will emerge from our liberal tents. Unfortunately, that standard reply is in error.

Alas! The fact that we lost to a person like Trump stands as a massive indictment of us. In the main, it stands as an indictment of 25 years of self-dealing and lethargy on the part of our liberal leaders and the mainstream press.

That said, it also speaks to the shortcomings of our liberal rank and file, which is frequently quite self-impressed. We love to note the dumbness of Them. As tribal groups have always done, we blow past the dumbness of Us.

Next week, we'll look at some of the leadership groups who have so massively failed us. We'll look at the nation's professors, and at the emerging, younger group of black assistant professors.

We'll look at the lefty cohort, which can be too cool for school. We'll look at the Hollywood types, who seem to be happy only when costing Democrats votes. (Last week, were you able to spot the way Meryl Streep did it again?)

We'll look at our corporate cable stars, including our corporate liberal stars, some of whom sat out the last election, some of whom, in earlier corporate lives, created the stupid and noxious themes which sent Clinton down to defeat.

We'll look at the liberal voices within the mainstream press—the Riches, the Drums, the Chaits, the Dionnes, the Robinsons, Kristofs and even the (MVP) Krugmans.

We'll look at the mainstream press corps itself—at the jihads it invented in the 1990s. We'll look at the 20-somethings who now swarm all over that mainstream press, helping keep labor costs down while trailing their youthful cluelessness behind them.

(Where on earth did Slate ever go to find its newest, most fatuous star? What does it say about Us that there must be a cohort which wants this?)

As we roll our eyes at The Others, we tend to look past the conduct of our own leadership groups. We do so because we liberals are dumb, like all tribal groups before us.

How dumb can we the liberals get? Last November, we were shocked when Donald J. Trump drew an inside straight and won.

We were shocked because our professors and pundits told us it couldn't possibly happen—and because, left on our own, we were dumb enough to believe them. In last Sunday's Washington Post, Dana Milbank described the "collective trauma" we now experience, in which "millions of people feel powerless and out of control, which leads to anxiety, anger and despair."

Depending on how you want to score it, Milbank is one of the liberal voices within the upper-end mainstream press. How should we now respond to Trump?

Boldly, Milbank laid out of his ideas. Here's the way he began:
MILBANK (2/12/17): Until now, the response to Trump has been ad hoc: demonstrations arranged on social media or flooding the Capitol switchboard. That does some good, and the rallies are a balm for people feeling isolated. But the activities are wasted if those involved don’t join a larger movement.

“We need to shift from a reactive to a strategic response,” [Marshall] Ganz says. His solution: Join something. “To the extent it brings you into a relationship with others, it’s worth doing. Unless it has that further dividend, it gets old.”

So what to join? My friend Eric Liu, author of the forthcoming book “You’re More Powerful Than You Think,” says even a book club will do. That’s true, in the long run: The idea is to rebuild structures of civil society, the breakdown of which allowed the demagogic Trump to take root.
Has the man with the nuclear codes moved past unhinged and unglued? Friend, Dana Milbank knows what to do:

You should join a book club!

In fairness, Milbank moved on from there. He went on to offer suggestions which are slightly less unglued—though as he ended, he also suggested that you might consider the Elks Club.

To the extent that he makes any good suggestions, Milbank's ideas have arrived just in time to be completely too late. At his worst, his suggestions make him seem about as moored, hinged and glued as Trump currently is.

Join a book club! Milbank's suggestion appeared in an especially comical Sunday edition of the Washington Post.

Possibly for the first time, the Outlook section offered an informative "Five Myths" feature in which none of the myths the authors "corrected" could sensibly be described as myths. Meanwhile, Outlook's featured front-page report appeared beneath this eye-catching hard-copy headline:

"Why do we still let 12-year-olds get married?"

It was an eye-catching headline. Unfortunately, the example with which the report began involved someone who got married at age 16—in 1986! In the course of the lengthy report's 1900 words, we were never told how many 12-year-olds have been married in recent decades.

The topic may well be very important. The journalism was bad.

Bad journalism has been par for the course in the decades of cultural / intellectual slide which led to the triumph of Trump. The strangest piece in the Outlook section concerned the liberalish world's heroic reaction to his shocking triumph.

Two nights before, a multimillionaire cable star who mugged and clowned through the last election praised us proles for the brilliant way, "all of a sudden," we are "now" learning to fight. As she did, she stuffed another bag of corporate money into her big corporate pants.

Two days later, the Washington Post went the star somewhat better. They published this ludicrous Outlook piece by a woman in Richmond, Virginia—a previously non-political woman who has now learned to fight.

We're going to call her "Name Withheld;" her piece was just that awful. It isn't her fault that the Washington Post chose to publish her ludicrous piece, in the Outlook section no less. But the utter foolishness of the piece shows us how bad the marriage can be when the rank-and-file, lacking competent leadership, interacts with the strange cluelessness of the upper-end mainstream press.

How old is Name Withheld? We have no idea. In its identity line, the Post only tells us this:

"[Name Withheld] currently resides in Richmond, Va., and works in the insurance field."

We'll assume that Name Withheld is a good, decent person. In our experience, most people are.

We'll assume she does good work in the insurance field. That said, as she starts, she identifies herself as the modern liberal nightmare, especially in a purple state like Virginia:
NAME WITHHELD (2/12/17): Like a lot of Americans, I’ve never been particularly political. I’ve never voted in a midterm election. I’ve never voted in a local race, never voted for mayor. I don’t recall voting ever, except in presidential elections. I’d read political articles and keep up with the news, but I didn’t do much research before heading to the polls every four years. My Facebook feed was mostly cat photos.

But then President Trump was elected, and he nominated Betsy DeVos
to be secretary of education.

Before DeVos, I hadn’t followed a single Cabinet nomination, which is probably true of most people. (Surveys regularly show that we aren’t particularly informed about our government.) At happy hour with my five girlfriends, we probably could have named two members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, and the secretary of education was not one of them. I feel bad saying it, but it’s the truth: I simply didn’t think I needed to know. Why? Because I always had a sense that things would be okay, regardless of who was in charge; if Mitt Romney had won instead of Obama, things would have been fine.

This was the first time I felt like things could not be okay. And I have found a political voice I didn’t know that I had—or that I even wanted to have.
There's nothing "wrong" with posting cat photos on Facebook. There's nothing "wrong" with discussing this or that at happy hour with friends.

There was something wrong—something badly wrong—with the Washington Post's decision to publish this ridiculous piece.

According to this lengthy piece, Name Withheld had always been apolitical. But then, along came DeVos!

More broadly, along came Trump! As a result, Name Withheld "has found a political voice I didn’t know that I had."

Name Withheld is telling a story from a dime novel, a story of personal triumph. "All of a sudden," Name Withheld is woke! For some reason, the Washington Post decided to publish this mess.

Why do we call this piece a mess? Because even in the case of DeVos, Name Withheld still seems utterly clueless. She seems to know virtually nothing about DeVos, but the Washington Post is helping Name Withheld, and us, think she's heroically woke.

Name Withheld is still uninformed. She knows that DeVos went to private schools, seems to know nothing else.

Franklin Roosevelt attended only private schools; so did John F. Kennedy. As far as we know, the same is true of Barack Obama, during the years in which he lived in the United States.

The fact that DeVos went to private schools just isn't hugely important. But it seems to be all that Name Withheld knows. This has led her to think that she's now politically active in a way that's likely to help.

Name Withheld, a good decent person, is in need of political and intellectual leadership—as are we all, of course. Will such leadership come from within our own liberal tribe?

As you ponder that question, consider this next ridiculous piece. For unknown reasons, it turned up in The Atlantic, three days ago.

The piece was written by Elizabeth Limbach, "editor in chief of the bimonthly surf lifestyle magazine Santa Cruz Waves." In her own ridiculous piece, Limbach catches the most recent wave of push-back against Tyrant Trump:

All of a sudden, liberals and progressives are agreeing that we shouldn't say his name! And no, we really aren't kidding about that. Limbach has even consulted an ethical theorist and assistant professor of philosophy concerning this emerging act of resistance:
LIMBACH (2/14/17): Like the Obamas, many of Trump’s critics have become rather skilled at speaking about him without ever saying his name. In his January State of the State address, California Governor Jerry Brown didn’t utter “Trump” once, even though the politician had been vocal and explicit about his opposition in the past. Nor was the name said by Representative John Lewis when the civil-rights leader responded to attacks Trump lobbed at him via Twitter. Meryl Streep’s viral Golden Globes speech took aim at the new president while never acknowledging him by name, and “a coarse blowhard who has boasted about assaulting women” was the closest the humorist Calvin Trillin came to naming the man in a recent piece in The New Yorker. Last week, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King shared a widely circulated list to her Facebook page offering tips for resisting Trump. The top suggestion: “Use his name sparingly so as not to detract from the issues.”

In all of these instances, it’s what’s missing that is loudest. “Absences can be significant,” James Sias, an ethical theorist and assistant professor of philosophy at Dickinson College, told me. “What stood out to most people about Michelle Obama’s speech is what she didn’t say.”

For some, the refusal to name Trump amounts to denial or dissociation. But for many of the tactic’s adoptees, it’s a signal of resistance...
It's sad that such nonsense exists. It should be astounding that The Atlantic would decide to publish such crap.

"Join a book club," Milbank says. Don't say his name," adds Limbach. Name Withheld has learned one fact.

Let's set aside the peculiar fact that the Post and The Atlantic have chosen to publish such manifest crap. Will we liberals ever be willing to see what this pitiful state of affairs says about self-impressed Us?

Next week: Our own unfaithful servants

55 comments:

  1. How does Somerby have any standing to complain about Trump or criticize anyone else when he didn't support Clinton?

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    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerFebruary 17, 2017 at 12:45 PM

      So, this is your solution. Just when it would be wise to stop stabbing each other in the back in order to fight Trump, you suggest we all retreat to our comfortable corners where everyone agrees with us and toss firebombs at each other. Good luck with that strategy. Your bitterness only harms yourself and all that you believe in.

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    2. My solution is that people like Somerby, who have a visible podium, should show the kind of leadership they think we need, instead of mocking the people who are now objecting to Trump.

      Somerby could have written a critique of deVos. Did he?

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    3. No, no he didn't. But you go ahead and write it, though. Or read one someone else has written. Somerby doesn't suggest for a minute that would be a fruitless task.

      What he has written, is writing, is a critique of the media culture in which most of us are immersed.

      In addition to the worthwhile micro-task of understanding DeVos, it's possible this other goal of Somerby's might be worth doing.

      But now I tire of pretending you are a reasonable person...

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    4. Let me get this straight. Somerby thinks Trump should be opposed, but he dislikes the tone of his critics and blames the media for not selecting better ones. He presumably has the same limited amount of time as the rest of us, but he chooses to use it chiding the media for its choices instead of marshalling his talents to oppose Trump. Will history be kind to him when Trump proclaims himself dictator or nukes another country or causes a national bankruptcy that results in massive financial suffering? I doubt it.

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    5. "He presumably has the same limited amount of time as the rest of us, but he chooses to use it chiding the media for its choices instead of marshalling his talents to oppose Trump."

      It's obvious he does not find a contradiction but a direct connection between chilling the media and opposing Trump.

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  2. "We were shocked because our professors and pundits told us it couldn't possibly happen—and because, left on our own, we were dumb enough to believe them."

    I routinely stated here that Trump was going to win the election. If you were paying attention you could identify the bias and error in the polling, ignore the approval questions which meant nothing, recognize that Trump was gaining another point or two each time a Pocahontas screamed "nasty woman" or a deplorables speech was leaked. Everyone was surprised by where those wins took place but not by the election of Trump.

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  3. Among opinions I saw, all the intelligent pundits and ordinary people who oppose Trump reacted to the press conference as Bob did. Trump was just awful. OTOH the intelligent pundits and ordinary people who oppose Trump thought he did an outstanding job during that press conference. He was terrific!

    Apparently it's an extreme case of motivated reasoning.

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    1. It isn't fun playing games with you when so much is now at stake in our country. Why don't you take this stuff somewhere else?

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    2. Exactly right. Trump wasn't unhinged or any of the other tired terminology of pundits who have become spin agents filled with hatred. Normal people saw that and watched as the post game reaction supported Trump's criticism.

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    3. Normal people recognized a man making a huge fool of himself, rambling, incoherent at times, petty, childish. They saw him totally misunderstand a Jewish reporter's question and then berate him for something he didn't ask. They saw him put on the spot over a matter of fact and shift the blame to someone else, who misinformed him (although he never admitted he was wrong). They saw him give vague answers to questions about national policy that revealed he didn't have a clue what he was talking about. They saw a lot of bluster, evasiveness, nonsense.

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    4. Which part did you find incoherent? I watched it all and the meaning of every word was clear. Specifically name the comment and I will clarify it for you.

      He misunderstood the Jewish reporter and did berate him for something he didn't ask. That was the only unfortunate exchange but understandable that a person at the podium would have misheard or misunderstood a question as innuendo that has dominated the discussion about Trump and anti-Semitism.

      There was evasiveness about matters he either does not want to disclose information about or has not dealt with yet. Do you think it is unusual to see evasiveness and vagueness from presidents?

      There was a lot of bluster. Bluster is bluster. Some nonsense of no consequence about election margins. His style is not typical.

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    5. Chance the Gardner could say things too and people then projected onto his vague statements whatever they wanted to hear. I have no doubt you can explain away Trump's vagueness. That doesn't mean Trump communicated clearly or that he meant whatever you might attribute to him.

      Evasiveness is not normal. When a president doesn't want to answer he says something direct, such as "I am not going to talk about that now" or "I don't know the answer to that, I'll find out" or "You know I can't comment on matters of..." Evasiveness and vagueness are not normal.

      Calling the BBC a purveyor of false news is not bluster. It is lying and insulting.

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    6. Again, no specific examples. Offer some and we can determine which of us is closer to the truth.

      Saying "I'm not going to tell you" three times while pointing to the reporter was not a direct enough way of not answering questions he preferred not to answer?

      BBC and most others are purveyors of fake news.

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    7. "Rural Trump voters are not bigots, they are concerned about corruption and the rigged economy."

      That right there is the fakest news you will read in your lifetime.

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  4. Just to add to what Bob is saying here, Time recently had on its website a story that an American Muslim Olympic athlete had been detained at an airport pursuant to Trump's recent Executive Order. But then it turned out that the athlete's detention had occurred in December, which obviously was when Obama remained President.

    The conservative blogs that I read made a huge deal out of this, calling it "fake news," and essentially telling their readers that they couldn't trust anything from the liberal-supporting mainstream media.

    That's, I think, why Bob can appear so obsessive about getting even the little things right - because when you don't, you give people the ammunition to undermine your legitimacy, which is a very bad thing for our country.

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    1. If we were to be perfectly careful to avoid providing ammunition to the right, they would just manufacture their own stories and attribute them to the left, as they did in the last election.

      Somerby can be obsessive about this, but he would do more good if he were to shift his focus to more substantive topics. Samantha Bee and John Oliver should be his role models. Instead he is almost the grammar police these days.

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  5. Brooks saw "unhinged and unglued." The less deranged saw a nontraditional elected official with no political background and an entertaining personality, unconcerned about how closely his presentation resembled what we're used to seeing from cautious, scripted politicians. We didn't get the type of responses we could mouth the expected words to when any previous president spoke. This is not a negative thing, but you can see how unhinged the establishment becomes when the people decide not to do things their way.

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    1. And some of us saw a fascist dictator wannabee raging because he couldn't impose his will on a democracy but was at every turn frustrated by rules and limitations (like congress and the courts). Now we hear that he was planning to use the National Guard to round up illegals. What exactly is "entertaining" about that bit of unconventionality? I prefer a cautious president when "cautious" means law-abiding.

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    2. Is it possible that Trump supporters genuinely confuse style with substance?

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    3. It's a fact that Trump opponents genuinely confuse style with substance. For example treating Trump's jokes about Russia finding Hillary's 30,000 emails as "collusion." That's a deranged person who is incapable of understanding how to interpret normal everyday behaviors and words, and we see that derangement in the pages of the papers respected by Trump's opponents.

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    4. 1:07, the Guard story is debunked and if you saw a raging fascist dictator instead of an atypical politician with an roguish personality you have broken from reality. No offense.

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    5. No, it was denied, not debunked.

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    6. All presidents in recent memory were frustrated by rules and limitations and sought to expand their authority and power. Trump made comments out loud about the judiciary that most presidents make in private but leave to political surrogates to state publicly. A small offense or not an offense at all.

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    7. There is something wrong when people think that Trump is doing what everyone else does, just more openly. That is so not true.

      It is, however, the justification used by criminals and other deviants. They genuinely think that everyone does what they do, thinks and feels what they do, but they don't get caught. That is not true either.

      This belief is part of Trump's pathology, apparently shared by at least one of his supporters.

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    8. There are no specifics in 1:45's comments and there won't be. There is name calling and anger but no specifics or support for his assertion that Trump isn't doing what others did, only more openly.

      "That is so not true" is not a very strong argument, no offense.

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    9. Here is the specific:

      "Trump made comments out loud about the judiciary that most presidents make in private but leave to political surrogates to state publicly."

      Most presidents don't do this. It is not normal behavior for a president to do this. It is especially not normal to attack a judge in a public statement (Trump has now done this repeatedly). Former presidents understood the role of the judiciary in a democracy. Trump does not or doesn't care (which makes him an enemy of democratic process).

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    10. You don't believe presidents do not make comments in private about the judiciary?

      I agreed with you that most do not make them publicly. It is debatable whether much if any harm is done by acting against that protocol. There is a learning curve for a historically apolitical, non-intellectual businessman and he slightly dialed back the criticism yesterday and made it obvious that he was aware of and paying attention to that concern.

      He did point to the 9th Circuit record. It is better for the public to be made aware of judicial activism than not even if it breaches that normally advisable protocol, and the vast majority if the mainstream media is not going to report it in its breathless accounts of the ruling.

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    11. You remember that dear leader Obama openly excoriated the conservative members of the Supreme Court during a State of the Union speech, right?

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    12. Anon 2:04
      "In fact, we had to go quicker than we thought because of the bad decision we received from a circuit that has been overturned at a record number. I have heard 80 percent, I find that hard to believe, that is just a number I heard, that they are overturned 80 percent of the time. I think that circuit is — that circuit is in chaos and that circuit is frankly in turmoil. But we are appealing that, and we are going further."

      Only 0.12% of cases ruled on by the 9th circuit were overturned. 99.85% of cases were not heard by the Supreme Court. 0.03% of cases were confirmed by the Supreme Court.
      In the remaining 99.88% of cases, the Supreme Court either wasn't brought in, chose not to take the case or approved of the 9th circuit's rulings.
      This is from the data found by DavePhD. The total number of cases decided by the 9th circuit court of appeals was 114,199. Of that number, 107 were reversed, 33 were vacated, and 35 affirmed by the Supreme Court.
      A total of 0.15% of 9th circuit cases were heard by the Supreme Court
      Of those cases, 80% were overturned (reversed or vacated). This is the "Reversal Rate" and is the number they are using. The quote omits the fact that the "Reversal Rate", as understood by lawyers, does not include cases that weren't reviewed by the Supreme Court.

      Now, you may say that statement is technically true, that Trump "heard" that.
      But it is pure propaganda, and an attack on our courts. If this type of willful misdirection by the President goes unchallenged, it could undermine the public confidence in the Judicial Branch, which of course is its intent.

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    13. Yeah, It was a rational argument by SCOTUS.
      Wealthy people and corporations are going to spend money influencing elections no matter what, so we might as well make it legal.

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    14. gravymeister -- as an actuary, I'm interested in how one would measure the amount and direction of bias in the 9th Circuit Court. One key piece of information would be the direction in which their cases are overturned. If the 140 cases that were overturned or vacated were evenly split between decisions favoring the liberal POV and decisions favoring the conservative POV, that would indicate no bias. OTOH if the overwhelming majority of these 140 cases had favored the liberal POV, that would be evidence of a liberal bias.

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    16. David, it takes two to tango. What about bias on the part of the overturners?

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    17. You are right, gravymeister. It's hard to reach a definite conclusion without a reliable fixed point.

      Another approach would be to have a panel of unbiased legal experts evaluate a bunch of decisions from all the Circuits and measure the average degree of liberal or conservative tilt. But, this again requires agreement on who the unbiased experts are.

      Still, it should be at least possible to figure out whether the 9th Circuit leans liberal, as compared with the other Circuit courts.

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  6. "This is all to say that when mental health professionals label public figures with mental illnesses, it is not just unethical — it’s intellectually suspect. We don’t have the requisite clinical data to know what we are talking about.

    Besides, even if you posit that a president has a mental disorder, that in itself may say little about his fitness to serve. After all, Lincoln had severe depression. Theodore Roosevelt was probably bipolar. Ulysses S. Grant was an alcoholic. According to a study based on biographical data, 18 of America’s first 37 presidents met criteria suggesting they suffered from a psychiatric disorder during their lifetime: 24 percent from depression, 8 percent from anxiety, 8 percent from bipolar disorder and 8 percent from alcohol abuse or dependence. And 10 of those presidents showed signs of mental illness while they were in office.

    Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

    You can be psychiatrically ill and be perfectly competent, just as you can be mentally healthy but totally unfit. (Of course, certain mental states, like florid psychosis or dementia, would render a president unfit to serve.)

    There is one last reason we should avoid psychiatrically labeling our leaders: It lets them off the moral hook. Not all misbehavior reflects psychopathology; the fact is that ordinary human meanness and incompetence are far more common than mental illness. We should not be in the business of medicalizing bad actors.

    So the nation doesn’t need a shrink to help it to decide whether President Trump is fit to serve, mentally or otherwise. Presidents should be judged on the merits of their actions, statements and, I suppose, their tweets. No experts are needed for that — just common sense.

    Richard A. Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and the director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a contributing opinion writer.

    Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTOpinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter. "

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    1. That said, it is entirely possible and even probably that there is something majorly wrong with Trump that would be diagnosed if he were ever to see a competent physician. Pretending otherwise is unhelpful.

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    2. Probably something majorly wrong that would be diagnosed. Hot take.

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  7. Somerby says: "It was an eye-catching headline. Unfortunately, the example with which the report began involved someone who got married at age 16—in 1986! In the course of the lengthy report's 1900 words, we were never told how many 12-year-olds have been married in recent decades."

    The people who advocate for young girls explain that the reporting categories are "16 and younger" and do not tell us how many are 12 or 14 or 15. They cannot report more precisely because many states don't provide the info.

    Somerby treats this topic as if it were not serious. It matters to women that young girls are forced into marriage at too young an age, damaging their health, education and future opportunities. This issue matters to women. It is disappointing to think that Somerby can empathize with the sons of crack-addicted mothers, black, poor and living in inner cities, but he cannot empathize with daughters who are abused by older men and then forced to marry them to cover up pregnancy or statutory rape, at demonstrable cost to the lives of these girls, whether 16 or 12.

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    1. Somerby has not "treat[ed] this topic as if it were not serious." He even states that it may be very important. He does then state that it is very bad journalism. If you need further help in understanding, feel free to comment again.
      I am continually amazed at the amount of people commenting here that have deficient reading comprehension skills. Either that, or they are easily provoked by "buzz words" that are intended to raise one's ire, and then proceed to scatter gorilla dust.

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    2. "Somerby has not "treat[ed] this topic as if it were not serious." He even states that it may be very important. "

      He juxtaposes the article about child forced marriage with other things that he calls comical. Here is the preceding paragraph:

      "Join a book club! Milbank's suggestion appeared in an especially comical Sunday edition of the Washington Post.

      Possibly for the first time, the Outlook section offered an informative "Five Myths" feature in which none of the myths the authors "corrected" could sensibly be described as myths. Meanwhile, Outlook's featured front-page report appeared beneath this eye-catching hard-copy headline:

      "Why do we still let 12-year-olds get married?"

      --------

      My reading skills are fine. I think yours need work.

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  8. First, why should it be said that Trump won the popular vote if you remove California? Are the citizens of that State less American in Bob's eyes? How can this be viewed as anything but special pleading for Trump?

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  9. If we remove Appalachia, Hillary would have won by 8-10 million votes but then those are real Americans. It really is appalling that BS so easily dismisses 20% of the country.

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  10. Wait. Wasn't the mentally unhinged BS recently refusing to use Rachel Maddow's name?

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  11. My husband proposed to me again in November 2016, and by Christmas 2016 he was asking for a divorce. He had fallen in love with a gal at work. I struggled to save my marriage, I changed everything. He struggled with who he wanted to be with. The new gal, who has no history and family with him or me, his wife of 24 years. He struggles with depression, refuses to take his medication and drinks. We are officially divorced now, I’m devastated. He is dating the gal from work, living the free life. I’m trying to pick up the pieces and finish raising our boys. I love him more than anything, and I pray that he figures it out and comes home. Not sure this will happen, but I want to help him, because i love him so much my husband is the best that has happen to me in life i was really desperate and ready to do any thing to bring him back home. so one day going through the internet, i saw a post of a lady call Junia Noel testify on how this man help her out with her situation when her husband also left her with out no reason, so i was over joy to see her testimony that Dr happy help her out so i pick a challenge and email him urgently at //happyspelltemple.webs.com/ give him all details he wanted and he respond also to my email with in 30 mins, and gave me the reassurance that my husband will come back after the love spell i never believe in love spell, or magic so i gifted and put my faith on him, so the next day after the spell like he promise, my phone ring guess who it was my husband calling i pick up and he was crying and begging for what he did to me and our son.this time i was so surprise coz i never believe my husband will call and come back home today am fill with joy and happiness coz love and happiness is the key of life indeed Dr happy is a real man a father and a savoir plz email him if you have any difficulty getting your husband back, or stop your marriage from divorce, get your ex boyfriend and girlfriend back now at happylovespell2@gmail.com or call his mobile number on +234813387377

    ReplyDelete
  12. My life is back!!! After 3 years of broken marriage, my husband left me with three kids. I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide. Thanks to Doctor Ehimen who i met online as i was browsing through the internet, I came across allot of testimonies about him. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, he restores womb, stop divorces, cure cancer and other sickness. I also come across one particular testimony by Sarah who lives in Finland saying how he brought back her Ex husband after 3 years of divorce. After reading all these, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him and explained my problem to him. In just 12 to 16 hours, my husband came back to me pleading and we resolved our issues and we are even happier than before. Doctor Ehimen is really gifted and i will not stop publishing about his good works. If you have any problem, contact him now for he might be the answer to your problems. Email: ( Doctorehimenspelltemple@hotmail.com )

    ReplyDelete
  13. My husband proposed to me again in November 2016, and by Christmas 2016 he was asking for a divorce. He had fallen in love with a gal at work. I struggled to save my marriage, I changed everything. He struggled with who he wanted to be with. The new gal, who has no history and family with him or me, his wife of 24 years. He struggles with depression, refuses to take his medication and drinks. We are officially divorced now, I’m devastated. He is dating the gal from work, living the free life. I’m trying to pick up the pieces and finish raising our boys. I love him more than anything, and I pray that he figures it out and comes home. Not sure this will happen, but I want to help him, because i love him so much my husband is the best that has happen to me in life i was really desperate and ready to do any thing to bring him back home. so one day going through the internet, i saw a post of a lady call Junia Noel testify on how this man help her out with her situation when her husband also left her with out no reason, so i was over joy to see her testimony that Dr happy help her out so i pick a challenge and email him urgently at //happyspelltemple.webs.com/ give him all details he wanted and he respond also to my email with in 30 mins, and gave me the reassurance that my husband will come back after the love spell i never believe in love spell, or magic so i gifted and put my faith on him, so the next day after the spell like he promise, my phone ring guess who it was my husband calling i pick up and he was crying and begging for what he did to me and our son.this time i was so surprise coz i never believe my husband will call and come back home today am fill with joy and happiness coz love and happiness is the key of life indeed Dr happy is a real man a father and a savoir plz email him if you have any difficulty getting your husband back, or stop your marriage from divorce, get your ex boyfriend and girlfriend back now at happylovespell2@gmail.com or call his mobile number on +2348133873774

    ReplyDelete


  14. Hello, i am Jessica Wayne from TX, USA. Life without my husband was a real mess for me and my children I am so happy to get my Ex back through the help of Dr Noble the spell caster . My greatest surprise was that 48 hours after the Doctor prepared the spell for me, my husband who has abandoned me for 4 years suddenly called me unexpectedly and am so happy that we have come to become one again through the help of Dr Noble and am so happy to be with my husband once again. Dr Noble is a very wonderful spell caster, you can contact him if you need his assistant because i know he can also help you. contact him through his email: templeofjoyandprosperity@gmail.com or call him on +2349039520524 immediately

    ReplyDelete
  15. My husband proposed to me again in November 2016, and by Christmas 2016 he was asking for a divorce. He had fallen in love with a gal at work. I struggled to save my marriage, I changed everything. He struggled with who he wanted to be with. The new gal, who has no history and family with him or me, his wife of 24 years. He struggles with depression, refuses to take his medication and drinks. We are officially divorced now, I’m devastated. He is dating the gal from work, living the free life. I’m trying to pick up the pieces and finish raising our boys. I love him more than anything, and I pray that he figures it out and comes home. Not sure this will happen, but I want to help him, because i love him so much my husband is the best that has happen to me in life i was really desperate and ready to do any thing to bring him back home. so one day going through the internet, i saw a post of a lady call Junia Noel testify on how this man help her out with her situation when her husband also left her with out no reason, so i was over joy to see her testimony that Dr happy help her out so i pick a challenge and email him urgently at //happyspelltemple.webs.com/ give him all details he wanted and he respond also to my email with in 30 mins, and gave me the reassurance that my husband will come back after the love spell i never believe in love spell, or magic so i gifted and put my faith on him, so the next day after the spell like he promise, my phone ring guess who it was my husband calling i pick up and he was crying and begging for what he did to me and our son.this time i was so surprise coz i never believe my husband will call and come back home today am fill with joy and happiness coz love and happiness is the key of life indeed Dr happy is a real man a father and a savoir plz email him if you have any difficulty getting your husband back, or stop your marriage from divorce, get your ex boyfriend and girlfriend back now at happylovespell2@gmail.com or call his mobile number on +2348133873774

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good day,,,,
    Read my testimony!!! Getting ex back after a breakup. Am Cora L. Sanchez 30 from UK, my boyfriend of a 2year just broke up with me and am 28 weeks pregnant. I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again. Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes, my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy, he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along. He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot. After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change. I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with. I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe. He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy, he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy. i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 22 hours later, my boyfriend came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my boyfriend are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: Ahmedutimate@gmail.com or call/Whats-app: +2348160153829 save your crumbling home and change of grades its 100% safe. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.

    ReplyDelete

  17. Hello, i am Jessica Wayne from TX, USA. Life without my husband was a real mess for me and my children I am so happy to get my Ex back through the help of Dr Noble the spell caster . My greatest surprise was that 48 hours after the Doctor prepared the spell for me, my husband who has abandoned me for 4 years suddenly called me unexpectedly and am so happy that we have come to become one again through the help of Dr Noble and am so happy to be with my husband once again. Dr Noble is a very wonderful spell caster, you can contact him if you need his assistant because i know he can also help you. contact him through his email: templeofjoyandprosperity@gmail.com or call him on +2349039520524 immediately

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello, i am Jessica Wayne from TX, USA. Life without my husband was a real mess for me and my children I am so happy to get my Ex back through the help of Dr Noble the spell caster . My greatest surprise was that 48 hours after the Doctor prepared the spell for me, my husband who has abandoned me for 4 years suddenly called me unexpectedly and am so happy that we have come to become one again through the help of Dr Noble and am so happy to be with my husband once again. Dr Noble is a very wonderful spell caster, you can contact him if you need his assistant because i know he can also help you. contact him through his email: templeofjoyandprosperity@gmail.com or call him on +2349039520524 immediately

    ReplyDelete
  19. My mouth is full of testimonies, Am Mrs Susan Morgan. my husband left home for two years to south Africa for a tourist, where he meant this Lady and he was bewitch by the girl my husband refuse to come back home again, i cry day and night looking for who to help me, i read a news paper about a powerful spell caster called DR Ekpiku and i contacted the spell caster to help me get my lover back to me and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods we fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirit is at rest he will cast a spell to reunite my lover back to me. and he did in less than 3 days my husband came back to me and started crying that i should forgive him, i,m so happy for what this spell caster did for me and my husband..email: Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com
    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)if You want to be promoted in your office.or if you have a place to work and you need help
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hello every one out here....
    I'm from North Carolina USA. i want to use this opportunity to thank my great spell caster who really made my life a pleasurable today. This great man Dr. Ogbefi brought my husband back to me, i had three lovely kids for my husband, about four years ago i and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me for one lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i should not worry about it at all, so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great man email address. i was doubting if this man was the solution, so i contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i deed them all, he told me to wait for just two day and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after two days i heard a knock on the door, in a great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are happy.that's why i want to say a big thank you to solutionoflovespelltemple@hotmail.com. This great man made me to understand that there is no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to come straight to this great man. you can email him at: solutionoflovespelltemple@hotmail.com And also Reach him on WhatsApp Number: +2349057915709 Thanks Dr. Ogbefi solutionoflovespelltemple@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. My wife is back!!!
    My name is Albert Brown. I had a problem with my wife six months ago,which lead to us going apart. When she broke up with me,i was no longer myself,I felt so empty inside. Until a friend of mine told me about a spell caster that helped in same problem too, that she found on Web page. i emailed the spell caster and I told him my problem and I did what he asked me to briefly To cut the long story short,before i knew what was happening,not up to 48 hours,my wife text me and said she wanted to come back and so she came back to me and told me she was sorry about what has happened, she now tell me every time and every day that she loves and miss me. I'm so grateful to this great spell caster Dr Noble and i will not stop publishing his name on the Internet just for the good work he has done. If you need any help you can contact this great man he will help you any any way you want, you can email him at templeofjoyandprosperity@gmail.com i guarantee you that he will also help you okay

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