Duncan Hunter suffering shell shock, CTE?

Investigative reporter Sharyn Alfonsi (right) and Dr. Ann McKee examine a brain with CTE in this January 2018 CBS News screenshot.

Move over Donald Trump sanity issues, his early supporter and continuing sycophant, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th Congressional District) apparently has his own mentally-related issues.

Uttering numerous insane slurs and comments across various media sites this week, could Hunter be suffering from shell shock, known in modern terms as CTE, the same brain disease disabling many former NFL football players?

Sharyn Alfonsi reported last year on chronic traumatic encephalopathy and its impact on combat veterans. She also had  a  CBS “60 Minutes” report on the subject.

The “60 Minutes” show featured Veteran Tom Bates, an Army Sergeant exposed to four blasts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Working with Dr. Sam Gandy, of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, he has learned his brain has the markers for CTE.

They did not lose limbs, but many veterans exposed to blasts in combat will eventually lose their minds. Just like athletes who endured repeated blows to the head, veterans are suffering from the same degenerative brain disease, according to 60 Minutes.

Hunter, as he frequently reminds the world on his taxpayer-financed congressional website, joined active service as a Lieutenant in 2002 “in the area of field artillery, much like his grandfather, Robert O. Hunter, who was a Marine Corps artillery officer in World War II.”

Hunter’s combat tours overseas included two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. In 2003, Hunter deployed to Iraq with the 1st Marine Division, completing his second tour in 2004, where “he and his fellow Marines were at the center of combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq.”

Like father, like son/BradBlog

Less than two years before Hunter inherited the 50th Congressional District from his father, 27-year congressman Duncan Lee Hunter — called one of the most corrupt members of Congress by non-partisan watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) — he was recalled to active duty and deployed to Afghanistan. Hunter returned home after more than six months on the front lines, he said.

Hunter was discharged in September 2005. Still a Marine Reservist, he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2006, and to the rank of Major in 2012.

As an artillery officer, presumably how many of those CTE-causing head blows did Hunter endure, presuming he was in front line action or even driving along bomb-pocked roads?

At Boston University, neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee found CTE, which so far can only be confirmed by brain autopsies, in the brains of 65 percent of the brains she has seen of deceased veterans exposed to combat blasts

And most of those blast victims making up two-thirds of all veterans, were NOT in artillery.

At least that might help explain Hunter’s string of insane sounding comments recently. All this, while he calls — amazingly — for dismissal of criminal fraud charges resulting from what his compatriots term the “deep state” against himself, possibly his wife, former congressional office chief and six other aides.

Until a few years ago, NFL players who struggled with severe depression, bouts of rage and memory loss in their retirement were often told they were just having a hard time adjusting to life away from the game. Doctors have since learned these changes can be symptoms of the degenerative brain disease CTE — chronic traumatic encephalopathy, caused by blows to the head.

What we’re learning now is that CTE isn’t just affecting athletes, but also showing up in our nation’s heroes. Since 9/11 over 300,000 soldiers have returned home with brain injuries. Researchers fear the impact of CTE could cripple a generation of warriors.

— Sharyn Alfonsi, CBS News

Hunter brains away in 2018

Aside from his astounding Bizarro World approach to constituents, voting FOR the Republican tax bill giving 81 percent of the money to the very wealthiest, adding $1.5 trillion to $4 trillion to the national debt, while RAISING TAXES ON THE PEOPLE HE PURPORTS TO REPRESENT, Hunter made a whole squirrel basketful of head-banging, off-the-wall comments.

Hunter kicked off last week making a fool of himself on national TV.

Appearing on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Wednesday, Jan. 3, he expressed some stark “generalizations” about Middle Easterners in reference to the United States’ negotiations with Iran over that country’s nuclear development. People in that part of the world always want to “get the best deal possible no matter what it takes,” he said, and “that includes lying.”

“It is part of the Middle Eastern culture to get the best deal that you can,” he reiterated, citing examples like bartering for vegetables and shoes at markets. “People barter back and forth and try to get the best deal for each other. Iran is the epitome of that, they have lied over and over. They are liars. The Iranian government lie all the time. So, why trust them now?”

“Are you speaking from personal experience, talking about all Middle Eastern countries?” host Greta Brawner asked.

At this point, Hunter began walking back his statements. “From personal experience, so I would say not necessarily all Middle Eastern countries. I know that’s a big generalization,” he said, before repeating his point once more.

“They do business different than we do business in the West,” Hunter continued. “They have markets, they like to barter, they like to do whatever they can and say whatever they can to get the best deal.”

Very understanding empathy coming from the guy who flew his pet bunny rabbit around the country on campaign finance dollars — illegal under the law — directed towards the 10 percent of his constituents with Middle Eastern heritage.

Earlier in the interview, Hunter argued against sending ground troops into Iran and said he instead favored the use of “tactical nuclear devices” in order to “set them back a decade or two or three.”

Locally, Hunter exhibits more head trauma

Meanwhile, back in the county, while assiduously avoiding interacting with constituents whose taxes he voted to raise, Hunter appeared on TV.

Hunter led off his interview with the local equivalent of Fox News, KUSI-TV with a good one. He claimed a conspiracy by what amounted to the fabled extremist “deep state,” comparing his criminal investigation to — who else — Trump, saying, “Like we talked about earlier with the President’s DOJ investigation. I think that the Department of Justice is somewhat biased, there are individuals there that they like to make big cases, they like to do big things, it makes a name for them.

“And I think the longer that they drag this out, the worse it is for me. And they know that…So let’s just get it over with… let’s do this…They understand the longer that they take with these things, the longer they can drag it out into the political election cycle, the worse it is for me, just like the worse it is for Trump. That’s what they do.” (KUSI Part 2, 2:15).

To watch the video visit KUSI-TV.

From there, according to an Indivisible 50 compilation, Hunter made statements including: 

  • Criticized President Trump as “crazy, stupid” and “silly” for his feud with Steve Bannon, and for tweeting about his big button. “It’s not presidential”.  (Part 1, 1:00)

  • Said he was willing to support a “DACA fix” in exchange for full funding of Trump’s border wall (Part 1, 5:30, 6:15)

  • Predicted “tens of thousands of new jobs” in the next 2 years due to tax reform but predicted they won’t come to California because it is “a bad state that doesn’t like business, it’s a socialist state…” (Part 1, 9:00)

  • Predicted Trump would pursue welfare reform when unemployment is low, because then “you know the only people not working don’t want to work and are taking taxpayer money to sit home and watch TV and not work…the people on welfare right now don’t want to work, we’re going to reform welfare so that they have to work if they want to get it.” (Part 1, 9:40)

  • Recommended that Attorney General Jeff Sessions forgo his plans to disrupt state sales of marijuana and instead focus on investigating Justice Department officials who are investigating the Trump Russia scandal (Part 2, 5:00)

  • Boasted he has discovered a simple solution to the North Korean crisis. “You shoot down their missiles on takeoff. It wouldn’t be an act of war. Maybe. Could be interpreted like that…You shoot down the North Korean missiles in boost phase, that’s how you solve North Korea right now…there are simple ways to do this.” (Part 2, 6:00)

  • Called for the U.S. to kill the North Korean president: “Shoot ‘em back down on Kim Jong-un’s head, as he’s in the bleachers clapping as his rocket goes up in the air. I think that would really send a strong signal and we ought to do it now.” (Part 2, 7:40)

  • Laughed that an epic battle between the Free World and communist China on the Korean Peninsula was, indeed, a lot like Vietnam. “Yes, it’s funny how things come around.” (Part 2, 9:00)

Despite being under criminal investigation, Hunter expressed no concerns about his 2018 reelection, claiming “I think we’re doing a good job…we’re rockin’ and rollin’.” (Part 2, 0:15)

Hunter brain test

Soldiers can be exposed to repetitive traumas that may lead to CTE or other physical brain disorders/Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to date to test living people for CTE because Hunter might get a break there and gracefully leave office before the FBI helps stash him and his allegedly criminal campaign officials into prison.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, at least CTE would be a logical explanation for the stream of insane consciousness emanating from Hunter’s open pie grill.

Otherwise, WTF.

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