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    • Politics Series: Power
      (Previous: Economy) (Introduction and Table of Contents) We have seen that who gets how much of what is a political decision: that the economy and economics is downstream from politics. Power is the ability to make people do what you want, or not do what you don’t want. Ideology determines what the good life is and power determines who lives it. All politica […]
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Narcissistic Presidents and Other Tales (Open Thread)

The previous post is getting a bit full so I thought I’d start another. Here’s a fun find from Science News:

College students who exhibit narcissistic tendencies are more likely than fellow students to cheat on exams and assignments, a new study shows.

The results suggested that narcissists were motivated to cheat because their academic performance functions as an opportunity to show off to others, and they didn’t feel particularly guilty about their actions.

“Narcissists really want to be admired by others, and you look good in college if you’re getting good grades,” said Amy Brunell, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University at Newark.

“They also tend to feel less guilt, so they don’t mind cheating their way to the top.”

Narcissism is a trait in which people are self-centered, exaggerate their talents and abilities and lack empathy for others, Brunell said.

“Narcissists feel the need to maintain a positive self-image and they will sometimes set aside ethical concerns to get what they want.”

Sound like any presidents we know?

This is an open thread.

55 Responses

  1. Here’s a bit more:

    “We found that one of the more harmless parts of narcissism — exhibitionism — is most associated with academic cheating, which is somewhat surprising,” she said.
    Exhibitionism is the desire to show off, to make yourself the center of attention.
    The two other dimensions of narcissism — the desire for power and the belief you are a special person — were not as strongly linked to academic dishonesty.
    “You would think that the belief that you are a special person and that you can do what you want would be associated with cheating,” Brunell said. “But instead, we’re finding that it is the desire to show off that really seems to drive cheating.”

    Hmm, I wonder if Obama is the type who wants power or the type that needs attention and wants to show off. Could be either actually. Maybe he never wanted power and sort of fell into it. Or perhaps he’s the power type. Jury is still out.

  2. The house voted to censure Rep. Rangel:

    The House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Thursday, the first such rebuke for a sitting lawmaker in 27 years.

    The 333-79 vote matches the recommendation of the House Ethics Committee, which found in its investigation that Rangel was guilty of 11 violations of House rules, including failure to declare rental income from a Dominican Republic villa, improper solicitation of donations on congressional letterhead and misuse of a rent-controlled Harlem apartment as a campaign office.

  3. Luckily for Obama, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is set to be removed from the DSM V.


    • You beat me to it. The Obots can’t have the Messiah have a real psychiatric diagnosis. They had previously eliminated the dx of Sociopath and especially “socialized sociopath” which seems to be the best description of an occupant of 1600 Penn. Ave.

    • That’s because it’s been normalized, along with torture, fraud, looting, and everything else our sociopathic elite does.

      • When something is so widespread among the moneyed elite, it can’t be classified as a disease.

    • It’s proposed for reformulation, as part of a drastic reformulation of personality disorders (using a dimensional structure rather than a category-based approach).

      “301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder
      The Work Group recommends that this disorder be represented and diagnosed by a combination of core impairment in personality functioning and specific pathological personality traits, rather than as a specific type.
      Prominent Personality Traits: Narcissism, Manipulativeness, Histrionism, Callousness”

      It seems that many or most clinicians are opposed to the reformulation. E.g.

      “The intended hybrid replacement model has not been extensively tested in clinical practice or in practical research. A handful of studies are used to suggest this model is ready for primetime, yet it appears that the Workgroup used a mish-mash of various theories to justify the change.

      For instance, they rely on the five-factor model of personality to justify moving to traits. But then discount one of the five factors (openness) as having no significant relationship to personality. Then, like amateur chefs in their first kitchen of personality creation, they add a dash of two more factors not in the five-factor model — compulsivity and schizotypy (a word I’ve never even come across until today!).

      I’m sure you can cook something interesting by taking a part of one recipe and throwing in aspects of two other recipes to come up with your own unique dish. And this may be a good model for creativity in a chef.

      But in the world of personality and psychological theory, this seems like a very odd and haphazard way to reorganize the diagnostic system for personality disorders that has been the same for nearly three decades.”

  4. The jury came in, about 15 months ago, and the verdict is: narcissist, jerk, push over, low life. The judge had enough.

  5. What she said

  6. Glenzilla on Wikileaks.

    WikiLeaks reveals more than just government secrets

    The WikiLeaks disclosure has revealed not only numerous government secrets, but also the driving mentality of major factions in our political and media class. Simply put, there are few countries in the world with citizenries and especially media outlets more devoted to serving, protecting and venerating government authorities than the U.S. Indeed, I don’t quite recall any entity producing as much bipartisan contempt across the American political spectrum as WikiLeaks has: as usual, for authoritarian minds, those who expose secrets are far more hated than those in power who commit heinous acts using secrecy as their principal weapon.

    His premise seems amply proven by self censorship in the US media and people on both the left and right attacking Wikileaks for letting some truth out.

    • Wikileaks has degraded itself into something akin to a gossip column in this case. This dump doesn’t really prove any secret plan among the diplomatic corps and Assange’s claim that it boils down to some kind of mismanagement on Hillary Clinton’s part is just silly.

  7. Here’s another interesting science article called the Insanity Virus from Discover Magazine. Some researchers are suggesting that schizophrenia may be caused by a virus and not inherited. I think they are serious scientists, and they’re adding to the important work already out there on retrovirals which may indeed also be tied to schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. But they’ve got more work to do imo before being able to posit with certainty that the quality of early age physical environment is the primary trigger for this particular class of retrovirals. Could among other things lead to socio-economic presumptions about parenting that would be misguided. On the other hand, removing the stigma of schizophrenia coming from your parents would be a good. Anything that helps with treatment would also be a good thing.

  8. Game Over for Catfood Commission?

    ABC News has learned Andrew Stern will vote no on the deficit commission’s plan to reduce the national deficit by nearly $4 trillion. Mr. Stern, the former president of the SEIU, has informed co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson that he will be the fifth member voting no, ending the commission’s hopes of officially passing the plan to Congress. The commission needed votes from 14 of the 18 members in order to pass the plan to Congress.

    Mr. Stern joins Sen. Max Baucus and Reps. Dave Camp, Paul Ryan and Jan Schakowsky in voting against the plan. He is also the only non-elected official to vote against the plan.

    At Wednesday’s deficit commission meeting, Mr. Stern voiced concerns with the plan’s approach to addressing the tax system, health care, and future investments.

    • I think that’s been the plan. Now they will take out a couple of the crazy on purpose provisions, call it a “compromise” and go from there.

    • On the other hand, Dick Durbin is voting YES.

      Ain’t that a kick in the butt?

      • Durbin is also the sponsor of senate bill S510, (Food Safety) which except for the Tester-Hagen amendment would have crushed small farmers.
        So I am not impressed with Durbin.

  9. Krugman delivers a scorching rebuke of Obama’s performance:

    What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.

    Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.


    • Krugman ends with:

      It would be much easier, of course, for Democrats to draw a line if Mr. Obama would do his part. But all indications are that the party will have to look elsewhere for the leadership it needs.

      Earth to Paul Krugman, the Democrats had a leader and they rejected her for Oprecious.

      • Maybe Krugman is saying that the Democrats should dump Obama and find a leader.

      • Not sure who precisely Krugman has in mind when he says “Democrats” these days, but he uses the term an awful lot in that piece. He doesn’t use the term “progressive” even once. That’s a change for him. Maybe he’s asking the same question I’m asking myself lately…who are the future leaders of the Democratic Party.

    • Gosh, who could have predicted all of this? /snark

      • LOL

        Give it a week or two and a lunch at the White House—-Krugman will be back on board. Cycle in, cycle out. I think he needs hormones. 🙂

  10. Did you guys see this one from last spring? Canadian researchers found that people who were green consumers were more likely to cheat and steal: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/15/green-consumers-more-likely-steal

    I’m shocked, personally. Whole Foods Nation? Willing to lie and cheat? NEVER!

    • That’s in Canada. 🙂

    • That makes sense because most “green” things are far from really environmentally responsible and effective, but instead are all about show. Which from the above narcissism article often means those types of people, who need to look good and be showing, will also cheat and steal to look good.

    • Fascinating. BTW – I think your “Whole Foods Nation” explanation is correct.

  11. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters,
    He had the same pattern of behavior during the primary, with the Obots rationalizing his behavior. Remember that “he has to mover right inorder to get elected” blah..blah…”11 dimensional chess”, etc.

    I had and have the impression that he likes to kick his most ardent supporters and watch the reaction. It’s is similar to patterns of domestic abuse.

    • That, or his “most ardent supporters” were delusional all along, unable to see him for what he really was, easily bamboozled and okey-doked.

  12. Here’s a good refresher on our Bill of Rights.

  13. Breaking news out of California – Sex offender Eugene Melendrs Ramos, 36 years old, grabbed a two year old girl, and raped her in an asile at a Dollar Tree Store in Union City, Ca.

    He was captured by several shoppers, and in custody.

    This man deserves to die.

    • In a public place like that?

      I know someone who’s going into the next “really stupid criminals” TV show.

  14. “… convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake….”

    Convincing is not required, but Acceptance of the fact that they made a huge mistake and have caused great harm, is..

  15. Was there any other president than Obama who got constituents a lot more obsessed by the president’s image than that president did?

    • Well, Dubya had a crazy obsessed fan base. I mean, they did re-elect him in 2004 even after 9/11. You’d think that would have done him in but it didn’t.
      But 2012 will be different from 2004. In 2004, the middle class wasn’t being beaten and robbed.

      • So, you’re suggesting the crazy obsessed fan base for THIS president is much worse?

      • I was talking about the bigots who can’t stand having a black guy in charge.

        • And how many people is that?

          Give us your estimate as a percentage of the whole nation.

          • Let’s be optimistic and say it’s pretty much the amount of people watching Bill O’Reilly. 3 million – 1% of the country.

            If I was pessimistic, I’d go around 50%.

            Too bad the Census doesn’t cover racist beliefs.

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