October 8, 2017

You Don't Know How It Feels--Tom Petty

As much as I loved my grandmother--and I did--she was a difficult person to live with. She could be incredibly manipulative and tended to create chaos in her wake, the better to swoop in and "fix" things and be praised as the savior. She knew exactly what buttons to press with each person around her to keep them distrustful of others and dependent on her. When I lived near her and was surrounded by it, it seemed normal. When I moved away, it became obvious how dysfunctional it was. It was so marked a difference, that I used to joke that visiting home was heading to the "nexus of insanity"

Don't get me wrong. She was a vivacious, funny, intelligent woman too. Hell of a cook. But not the most maternal, self-sacrificing type. It feels little betraying to her memory to turn her into a monster, because she wasn't that. At all. She was simply someone who had learned through all the trials in her life to work the system to her advantage.

But I can't help but think of the emotional reeling that I and my extended family did at times at the hands of my grandmother when I look at where we're at now as a nation. I feel like Donald Trump has turned the country into the nexus of insanity. And just like members of my family all reacted differently to my grandmother, there are those who can't see it for what it is and actively participate in the insanity. There are others who try to take advantage of the insanity for their own gain. And then there are others, who like me, walk around bewildered and saying, "You know this is crazy, right?" My only consolation is that there's a growing number of us.

Joy Ann Reid is feeling it too. She wrote an article for The Daily Beast on the emotional toll that Trump is taking on us:

“In some ways they feel that the unorthodox practices and behaviors of this president appear to be crisis or conflict driven,” [clinical psychologist Dr. Jeffrey R.] Gardere said. “The way these patients perceive the messages from this White House place them in a state of emotional arousal, resulting in a ‘flight or fight’ physiological state, resulting in a release into their systems of a number of hormones including norepinephrine and epinephrine (excitatory hormones) and cortisol (steroid hormone), to name a few.”

He added: “What we do know is that though this physiological state gives us the strength or energy to get through an occasional crisis, emergency or danger, chronic exposure to these hormones through being in the ‘fight or flight’ state over a long period of time can eventually result in fatigue to the body, mind and spirit. This may explain why some people are feeling worn out, tired, exhausted or even numb as a result of this political environment.”

How many of you feel utterly exhausted from the outrage?

ABC's "This Week" - Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Scott Taylor, R-Va. Panel; ABC’s Matthew Dowd, NPR’s Geoff Bennett, The Wall Street Journal’s Jeanne Cummings and Politico’s Susan Glasser.

NBC's "Meet the Press" - Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.; White House budget director Mick Mulvaney; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Panel: NBC's Kristen Welker and Carol Lee, WaPo's Eugene Robinson and Hugh Hewitt.

CBS' "Face the Nation" - Feinstein; Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association. Mary Ellen O’Toole, former FBI profiler; Fran Townsend, former homeland security adviser; Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor. Panel: The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, NYT's David Leonhardt, USA Today's Susan Pag and National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru.

CNN's "State of the Union" - Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Panel: former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.; former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; Mary Katharine Ham of The Federalist; and Karine Jean-Pierre of MoveOn.org.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - David Frum of The Atlantic; Thomas Friedman of The New York Times; Leah Libresco, of Five Thirty Eight and Patheos; Akhil Amar, Yale University; Tim Fischer, former deputy prime minister of Australia.

CNN's "Reliable Sources" - Joanne Lipman, editor in chief of USA Today; April Ryan; Brian Karem, executive editor of Sentinel Newspapers; Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Charlie Sykes, author of “How the Right Lost Its Mind.”

"Fox News Sunday" - Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts CEO; Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association; Leland Melvin, former NASA astronaut. Panel: Gillian Turner, formerly White House National Security Council; AP's Julie Pace; Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner; and Juan Williams.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

Can you help us out?

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