Ted David

…thoughts on this and that

Stop Rationalizing Trump Crazy!

nocrazyWhen my wife, Jane, was in nursing school many years ago, she was assigned to Creedmoor State Hospital in Queens, NY for a week or so. This is a place for the most severely mentally ill. These are people out of touch with reality, violent and often for whom medication is not enough to allow them to live in the community.

On one of her first days there, a patient threw a chair at her. She was terrified but not hurt. Another time a patient sat in the corner playing with his own feces. Still another masturbated for seemingly hours on end.

Needless to say her “Psych rotation” could not come to an end too soon. And of interest to me is that not once did a doctor or a nurse or an orderly say, “Oh yeah, that’s Joe. He likes to roll his shit into little balls and juggle them. No biggie.” Or “Yup, that’s my pal Bill. He jerks off 5 times a day, God bless him. We should all be so lucky to be able to do that.” No, no one said any of that. Because saying that would have been RATIONALIZING irrational behavior and all who saw this behavior knew it was crazy and called it what it was.

With that as a backdrop, on to our political crisis at hand. We have a mentally unbalanced President-elect acting out in bizarre and crazy ways in a variety of arenas and way too many of us are “normalizing it.” We are RATIONALIZING Trump crazy!

Most of us who took Psych 1 in college learned about defense mechanisms. Rationalization is one of them and here is a pretty good definition.

In psychology and logic, rationalization  (also known as making excuses) is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable—or even admirable. —Wiki

This, my friends, is what many people are doing with the choices, comments and actions of Donald Trump.

This is a man who sits and abuses and misuses social media, Tweeting mindlessly in an often bizarre and disturbed stream of consciousness.

As reported by Medaite:” During [a] forum, [CNN’s Jake] Tapper brought up Trump’s tweet where he falsely claimed millions of people illegally voted to make the case that he actually won the national popular vote. He then mentioned other Twitter activity by Trump, such as attacking a CNN reporter and retweeting a 16-year-old.

In response to Tapper’s question if this was “presidential behavior,” [Trump aide and loyalist] Kellyann Conway stated that Trump is “the President-elect so that’s presidential behavior.’”

THAT is RATIONALIZING CRAZY. Who does not see this? And it is but one instance.

How about all these cabinet appointments? On Monday we learned of the nomination of former presidential candidate and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson to the post of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. A doctor, an MD, a surgeon, not named to be Surgeon General or Secretary of Health and Human Services, but HUD. Because why? Because he is black and grew up in the projects in Detroit?  If you don’t think there is something wrong with this then you are RATIONALIZING TRUMP CRAZY.

Let’s look at the nomination for Education Secretary. As notes, “Betsy DeVos, a philanthropist, Republican donor, and former head of the Republican Party in Michigan, has never worked in a school.” She has no education background. Indeed she is opposed to public schools and is a champion of charter schools and a staunch supporter of school-choice. I and dozens of friends are more qualified for this job if only because we have graduate degrees in education and are licensed teachers. My son’s significant other just got her PhD in Ed. Much of her research has been done in inner-city schools. SHE is more qualified to be Secretary of Education. Is there something wrong here with the DeVos nomination?  Hell yeah. It’s crazy. But too many are RATIONALIZING CRAZY!

I could go on with Trump cabinet appointments because almost all of them are crazy and all of his supporters are rationalizing them. Trump’s boot licking sycophants among the GOP are so keen on keeping their jobs, holding positions of esteem and authority, that they will keep telling the naked emperor how glorious his robes are and they will keep RATIONALIZING CRAZY.

Picking fights with China and India, breaking every protocol since 1979 and before, that’s ok! That’s our Donald Trump being Donald Trump. It’s why we voted for him. He says what we are thinking! Bullshit!

Then there’s the choice of Steve Bannon (ex. as White House chief strategist. As the NY Times notes, “’s scorn for Muslims, immigrants and black activists drew a fervent following on the alt-right, an extremist fringe of message boards and online magazines popular with white supremacists, and after Mr. Bannon took control of the website in 2012, he built a raucous coalition of the discontented.”

This choice? Crazy! Yes there are petitions out there calling on Trump to dump Bannon. But among the GOP, no problem here. They are RATIONALIZING TRUMP CRAZY!

Jeff Sessions, the Trump nominee for Attorney General, the top law enforcement officer in the nation, is a man of very questionable background. As the NAACP noted and was quoted by the Washington Post, “Senator Sessions was denied appointment as a federal judge in 1986 for a slew of racist comments, including calling the work of the NAACP and ACLU ‘un-American.’ He has also repeatedly spoken out against the federal Voting Rights Act.” — NAACP statement, Nov. 18, 2016 

This choice? Crazy!  But among the GOP, no problem here. They are RATIONALIZING CRAZY!

So where are we? Are all republicans crazy? All they all too scared to speak up? Where are the Democrats on the Senate committees that will have to confirm these crazy picks? Why are they not speaking up more loudly, more clearly, to make it known these appointments will not stand? After all, the Senate is just shy of 50 Democrats. It would not take more than a few sane Republicans with guts to refuse each and every one of these appointments.

We are at the dawn of a long national nightmare if the sane among us do not do more than just post on Facebook, blog and Tweet about the goings-on in Washington. The crazy goings-on. The Trump conflicts of interest, the co-mingling of personal business and the Peoples’ business. The bizarre cabinet appointments, the breaking of years of protocol in foreign affairs.

And why such silence from the Trump people in the face of hate crimes galore. A female NYPD off-duty cop harrassed along with her son for being Muslim. Likewise a Muslim NYC transit worker. Is this new rationalization of crazy going to create a new era of hate crimes, reverse years of civil rights work and force minorities to once again fear for their safety, their rights to live where they wish and to work where they want?

If something is not done soon to stop RATIONALIZING TRUMP CRAZY we will find that for all of us, like the patients in that mental facility so many years ago, crazy is a painful way to live and it does not get better by itself.



The Speech Trump Should Give, But Won’t

we-the-peopleMy fellow Americans. It has been a long and arduous battle for me and all of us to get where we are today. But we have won. The Executive branch and both chambers of Congress will now be controlled by the Republicans. And I understand that this is making a lot of people very concerned that their voices will not be heard. And I have seen some very upsetting attempts by members of my own party to display what they think is support for me and my team. So let me clarify a few things.

Hillary Clinton and I ran against each other based on some very key issues. The economy, national security, foreign relations, etc. And we each have our own ways of trying to fix what ails us. BUT, let me be clear to those of you who support me,  I do NOT condone hatred, bias, crimes against minorities, foreigners or people of other faiths and beliefs. I do not condone hateful graffiti, verbal assaults on minorities or women. I do not condone the nasty tone and tenor of on-line comments that encourage hatred and violence. It must stop NOW!

This nation of ours has been great for the last 240 years, not because of the things that divide us but because of what makes us the same. If you think for one moment the Trump administration will sit still and be quiet when it sees hate speech, patently discriminatory comments or bullying of those who might be weaker or fewer in number, you have chosen the wrong person to lead you and you have assumed I would tolerate it. Wrong!

Yes, I have different ideas about how to move America forward, but hatred, bias and bullying will not be found along that path. We will move America forward by hearing each and every voice and then deciding what is best for our nation; but hearing and listening is key.

Friday night Vice President-elect Pence attended the Broadway show “Hamilton.” At the end, the cast spoke from the stage and asked that he and I hear them, that we make sure that equal rights for all will be cherished and protected. And I want to say from the bottom of my heart,  we hear you, we understand you and we will protect you. Whether you wear a business suit or a kaftan, a yarmulke or a hijab, we see you, we cherish your differences and we will protect your rights.

Give us a chance to set up our team, to draft our plans and to get busy doing the people’s work. You will see that we have ALL Americans in mind and we will protect your each and every right under the Constitution because that is what Americans do and that is what we are sworn to do and that is what we will do.

If Trump is a Mensch…

menschIf Trump is a mensch, there are a few things he needs to do right now, this minute, today, before the new week starts. I don’t think he will do them because I don’t think he is a mensch and I don’t think the people around him are smart enough to know what he ought to do, or decent enough to suggest that he do them. But here goes, anyway.

Many people are walking around in a daze. Many people are feeling sick, disgusted, afraid, disenfranchised and uncertain. Many people are feeling angry, lost, worried, dejected and detached. Many people are wearing their hearts on their sleeves and safety pins on their clothes to say “hey, you’re safe with me, I’m OK, you needn’t worry about me.”

Some people are marching, protesting, and in some unfortunate and illegal cases, rioting and causing damage. Many people are fighting on social media, getting into pitched battle on-line, arguing with total strangers! I’ve done it, I am sad to admit. Perhaps you have too. And it all needs to stop. Now!

If Trump is a mensch, he will put a stop to this right now and he will do that by stepping up and being a leader, being a unifier and setting a tone other than some spurious tweets about who called him to congratulate him and what newspaper is failing.

If I were consulting Trump and if Trump is a mensch, he would tell people that he looks forward to being the President of ALL the people. That he in no way condones violence, by anyone, on either side, for any reason.

If Trump is a mensch, he will tell law-abiding illegals with no police records, that they need not worry about immediate deportation, that they can calm their terrified selves and children and assure them that mommy and daddy are not going away.

Likewise, if Trump is a mensch, he can tell the thousands of gay couples who are legally married and those with legally adopted children, that it is not his intention to break up their families. He can tell the sick and the poor that he will look out for them, that he will remember them and bring them along as he attempts to “make America great again.” He will tell these people that no law-abiding person living in America, regardless of color, creed, religion, or sexual orientation will be shuned and that he is aware of them, hears them and will make sure the law protects them equally.

If Trump is a mensch, he will tell those who paint swastikas on buildings, who unfurl Confederate flags and other hateful and hurtful signs, that he will not tolerate it and that these people do not speak for him, his party or his nation. He also needs to tell those opposed to him that their protests are duly noted and now need to stop while his administration begins the hard work of transition.

If Trump is a mensch he will realize that many of the people who voted for him did so because they are already unhappy, upset, worried, anxious and concerned. He needs to quell those worries with kind words and an open heart.

At the height of the Depression, FDR did not yell at people, brag about himself and demean others. He offered words of strength and courage and wisdom.

AND if Trump is a mensch, he will assuage the concerns of Jews, like his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. He will promise that his choice for WH strategist of Steve Bannon, a published anti-Semite, will be reviewed and reversed. He is unfit!

If Trump is a mensch he will do all this and more to impress upon those who did and did not vote for him, that all will be well and that we are all in his thoughts and will not be left behind. Donald J. Trump needs to transition immediately from candidate and campaigner to leader and President-elect. If Trump is a mensch.

What do you think?



Why Trump Is a Hard Sell


On the last three mornings I awoke feeling something was wrong. Then, as I fully awakened, I realized something IS wrong. Terribly wrong! Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College requisite of 270+ votes. Though losing the popular vote, he will likely be confirmed by the Electoral College on December 19th as President-elect and sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, January 20th.

As I have said in these blogs before, it’s not that a republican won, it’s that an amoral, immoral sleaze won that has me so upset. And I am not sure I can ever reconcile that. In fact, I know I can’t.

It was this morning that I saw President Obama place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns for the last Veterans’ Day of his presidency that I came to realize how much I have enjoyed the ceremonial aspects of our presidency for all my adult years, especially while in the news business.

The pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys, the lighting of the White House Christmas tree, the State of the Union addresses before joint sessions of Congress, the inaugural ceremonies that include the incoming and out going presidents and first ladies riding over to the Capitol together, the swearing-in, the inaugural address, the post inaugural luncheon, the farewell to the outgoing president as Marine One flies the former First Family back to Joint Base Andrews and then wherever. (The Obamas will be staying in DC).  Later, the inaugural balls and then, eventually, those first 100 days in office. And the honeymoon begins.

Like a new school year, like the smell of fresh crayons, and pencil sharpenings and stiff new shoes and a tabula rasa, the incoming new president should be looked forward to, greatly anticipated, cherished for all that is right with our Republic. The new president should become a leader to whom we can look up, in whom we can have faith and confidence, almost a parent figure who we know will have our backs and in a way, take care of us.

But for me, this time, there will be a taint. Indeed it will a fetid stink that surrounds it all because the moment the elegant, grace filled, brilliant and gracious Obamas leave the peoples’ house, the peoples’ house will be inhabited by someone who does not belong there. It will be inhabited by, to quote the late talk radio host Bob Grant, “a fake, a phony and a fraud.”

Donald Trump’s history as a racist, as a homophobe, as a misogynist, as a con man, as a self admitted sexual predator makes him unqualified for this role no matter what the electoral college total says. These are just numbers, his were very public deeds.

And no, I cannot look up to Donald Trump. I like my presidents to be way smarter than me. I like that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan knew a hell of a lot more than me about a hell of a lot of things. For the most part, they knew about foreign policy, about monetary policy, about working with people, not in spite of them. They had healthy egos that did not need constant praise and they could be wrong now and then and not feel the need to strike out because they felt personally attacked. What does Trump know about anything other than buying cement mix, hotels’ revenue per available room, running beauty pageants and how much it costs to gold plate a toilet?

Sorry but Trump as president is a hard sell for me and for millions of others who see what he is and know that he is not what a president should be.

“Now is the winter of our discontent” wrote Shakespeare in Richard III.  And I fear this Trump term will be a long and bleak one and I can only pray that there are enough sensible people on the Trump team that he is not allowed to go unchecked, unmonitored and unsupervised.

American has gotten it right a lot of times in its 200+ years. I trust the strength and the resilience of the Union can handle this orange bump in the road for the next four years and come away stronger, like an immune system that has fought a virus and come away all the healthier for it. In the meantime, I’m not buying Trump. He is indeed a tough sell.







What This Election Was Really About



Read it or listen to it here:

Someone sent me an email with a friend’s thoughts on what this election was all about. I disagreed so vehemently, I decided to offer up what I think this election was really all about.

  • This election was the culmination of 8 years of racists despising every moment Barack H. Obama  occupied the White House. We elected a Black man, and then from day one, sought every way possible to thwart his success, question his birth and weaken his standing.
  • This election was the culmination of certain men AND certain women fearing strong, smart women … men fearing emasculation, women fearing other smart women because they might show them up.
  • This election was about people afraid of giving the LGBT community a chance to be part of us. It was about fear of those who are different, rather than embracing what about them is the same.
  • This election was about gun nuts worried that they might not be able to carry their .45 calibre penises on their belts in full view.
  • This election was about fearing those of other nations who have different beliefs, customs, clothes and religions. And then translating that fear into hateful actions against them.
  • This election was about trying to fault someone for jobs lost to technology, jobs that can never be reclaimed, no matter who is in power.
  • This election was about the haves, the haves less and the have nots. But what was not clear to the Trump supporters is that people like me, better off than my parents, will not see my children better off than me. We are all in the same boat. The globalization of our economy has caused profound changes that are not so easily solved.
  • This election was about seeking excuses to be mediocre, to be dumb, to be ignorant, to trash the intent of the Constitution, to hate, to reach deep in the soul and find the worst of one’s self and then put it on display.
  • This election was about avenging 9/11, still. Avenging it in pseudo-patriotic, jingoistic ways that can only perpetuate the very hatred for America that caused 9/11 in the first place.
  • This election was about America taking way too many steps backwards and dimming the light on the future.

As President Obama so elegantly said Wednesday, he will work with President-elect Trump to insure the orderly transfer power. I know that the Obama staff will do its best.

As for President-elect Trump, I can only hope that he is like me. I was never hired for a job I actually deserved. From my first commercial radio job in 1968, to my anchor job at ABC Radio in 1978, to the anchor slot at CNBC in 1989, I should never have been hired. I was not ready. And yet, I always grew into the job and ended up doing it well.

I trust that our soon-to-be new president, who already struck a more dignified tone on election night, will also grow into a job for which he was not qualified. He must and we must support that effort.

Your thoughts are welcome below.

Trump. Now What?

griefDonald Trump will be the next president of the United States. This is especially troublesome when this loud, bombastic, dishonest, thoughtless, crude nobody is compared to the grace, the poise, and the elegance that is Barack Obama.

Losing is never pleasant. But while many of us lost an election, we will not have lost everything, if we remember who we are, what we are all about and what we strive to be. Donald Trump cannot force us to be less than we are. He cannot force us to hate, force us to discriminate, force us to dumb down, force us to be anything we don’t wish to be.

We will be down in the dumps for a few days, but we must rise up, redouble our efforts to always do the right thing. Always eschew violence, hatred, discrimination in any form; eschew that which you know is wrong, which you know is not what you stand for and who you are. Donald Trump cannot do anything to you unless you allow him to.

In that context, make an extra effort to be kind to the less fortunate, the elderly, the sick, the emotionally and financially troubled. And make an extra effort to align yourself with local lawmakers who share your ideology and thoughts. Get involved in their work, volunteer at their offices, speak up on-line and in public. The loss of control you feel now, the sense of loss you feel now will go away, will get better, but the best way to speed that along is to get involved.

To my minority friends, my LGBTQ friends, women, people who rely on public health care assistance, I am sorry. I am sorry that America has apparently failed you. But we will manage, we will do better and indeed, we shall overcome this setback. Keep the faith.

Of course this is simplistic and somewhat shallow, but it made me feel better writing it; perhaps it will have made you feel better reading it.

Why NOT Trump

Like many, I feel powerless in the current election cycle. If I were still on the air, I might have some chance to make a difference with some tough interviews. Instead, I write here. The big day is here. Please read, absorb and share. Then do the right thing. 

notrumpThis is the LAST political comment I will publish before the election.  I want to be clear that my vituperative posts regarding Donald Trump in no way are intended to cast aspersions on the GOP as we knew it. Some of the smartest and best people in this country were and are Republicans. Perhaps one day we will go back to some sanity and a system where different points of view can be tolerated by all sides and where, perhaps, bits and pieces of each point of view can be melded into a framework that benefits us all, not into an environment where disagreement leads to gridlock and stalemate.

That said, there is NO way anyone can countenance the candidacy or the election of Donald Trump. His candidacy is not about improving America , it is about improving his self esteem, his own vision of himself. He is the synthesis of all that is wrong in our country and all that is wrong with the world. He is the end product of the dumbing down of America. He is the end product of a society that quietly closes an eye and winks at gay jokes and on-going discrimination, a society in which all too many people still use the “N” word to describe a president who is likely smarter and better educated than 99.7% of the nation. Trump is the end product of a society in which the freedom of speech is misunderstood to include bullying, race bating, hatred and pathological lying.

And let us be clear. There is nothing wrong with the sentiment among so many Republicans that it is time for an outsider to be brought in to Washington. But must that outsider also be a racist, misogynist, homophobe, liar, admitted philander and accused rapist with more than 5 business bankruptcies on the books and 75+ lawsuits against him pending? Is this the best outsider there is? Not yet our president, he has already failed as a person

The Founding Fathers would look at Donald Trump and likely tell you HE is precisely what they were trying to get away from when they came here, that HE is precisely why they carefully crafted a Constitution to outlaw the very behaviors that HE perpetrates on an hourly basis.

We cannot and most not elect Donald Trump, not because he is a Republican, but because he is a clear and present danger to the United States, to its economy, to its decency and to its way of life.

We cannot and must not elect Donald Trump because he lies about everything including his intentions and because his statements are not borne out by his deeds. He claims to want a strong military, yet he mocks the very men and women who have served so nobly, while he stayed home with multiple bogus 4F classifications.

We cannot and must not elect Donald Trump because his words and deeds fly in the face of the Bill of Rights. He eschews a free press, he tries to silence those who disagree with him. He speaks of jailing his opponent. He misunderstands and misapplies the right to bear arms and so on, amendment by amendment.

We cannot and must not elect Donald Trump because he remains a mystery to us. We have no idea of how much money he has earned, how much tax he has paid, what debts he might have to governments foreign and domestic, and we have no clarity on just where his allegiance lies.

In sum, regardless of his opponent, Donald Trump is unfit morally, ethically, intellectually and politically to assume the highest office in the land.

The GOP had ample chance to produce a candidate who might have provided viable competition to the Democrats. There were several GOP candidates, though not my first choice for the White House, with whom I could have lived comfortably, disagreeing perhaps with their ideas, but not with their decency or their humanity.

Take a moment to think today and tonight. Look at where we are on the world stage, look at how far we have come and how much we have to lose if we elect a vacuous, sleazy, side show barker from reality TV.

Donald Trump is a man, who at the very least, disrespects women and minorities of every kind. He flip flops on issues as the spirit guides him. We truly do NOT know what he supports or what he believes in. It depends on his audience at the moment and how his comments will reflect on the egg shell that is his ego.

In the minds of many trained and learned mental health professionals, Donald trump is unstable and certainly unpredictable. The damage he can do to our economy, our international standing, our ability to negotiate with allies and enemies, it’s all on the table And NO, he will NOT make American great again. He will make America a liability and a risk to all with whom we interact and to ourselves here at home.

We are better than that. We are smarter than that. We are Americans and it’s time we remembered that and acted on it.

As MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell says, “This election is a pass/fail intelligence test.”  Will you pass?



Comey’s Big Nothing!

While Donald Trump and the GOP chill the champagne and Democrats clutch their pearls, from the vantage point of my suburban New York TV room, I think I know what’s going on here and it’…

Source: Comey’s Big Nothing!

Comey’s Big Nothing!

nothing3While Donald Trump and the GOP chill the champagne and Democrats clutch their pearls, from the vantage point of my suburban New York TV room, I think I know what’s going on here and it’s nothing.

The NY Times notes New emails tied to the F.B.I.’s Hillary Clinton inquiry were discovered during the investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting. Yes, exactly.

We know that these emails in question were not written by Hillary. We also know that Hillary aide Huma Abedin, wife of Anthony Weiner, likely had access to that email server.

I am gonna go out on a limb here and say that in the context of reviewing the Weiner sexting case, investigators found some emails from Abedin to Weiner and perhaps from Weiner to Abedin having nothing to do with government business.  “Feed the baby. Take out the trash. Buy some milk.”  You get the point.

I will further go out on that limb and say that FBI Director James Comey, in an abundance of caution, released this information as it had something/anything to do with the Clinton server. Did he have political motives? You decide.

What we will find, in the fullness of time, and that better be quick with just 11 days till the election, is that this had nothing to do with Hillary at all, save the use of the server. And that server has already had her sing the Mea Culpa refrain over and over. We know, she knows, and we know that she knows that it was a bad idea from day one and she regrets having set it up.

So now what? Well now we hope that the GOP is not able to make hay out of what clearly is not grass. Had this been something of consequence, I would have been happy to look at it and rethink my support of Hillary. But as far as I can tell right now, it’s not and so I won’t.

Happy weekend?

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