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5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - The Roots of Anger · 0 replies · +2 points

Correct so far as I understand also. Nary a peep about Trump's racism or appeals to white nationalism. The author has no issues with all that.

One of the many hands holding the daggers probably belongs to the smarmiest man in politics. No other man on earth has as much to gain from the Oval Office falling vacant in the near future. Trump is the one thing standing between him and his lifelong dream, to which Almighty God has called him. The Thane of Cawdor can be patient for only a limited period before the time comes in which he must act.

If Trump knew how to ask "Cui bono?" his paranoia would erupt, and he would have to let his base know about his suspicions. What would be the magnitude of the ensuing conflagration?

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - The Roots of Anger · 3 replies · +3 points

The op ed says in essence that the author and colleagues have carried out a coup d'etat in order to avert a Constitutional crisis. That is an interesting position to take; I am glad not to have to defend it.

I figure that we will know the identity of Deep Throated Cough by Friday, so that we can ask him/her to clarify that position.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Justice Department rel... · 0 replies · +3 points

It is an outrage that those Deep State federal judges signed off on FISA warrants to investigate Carter Page before he had been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, dontcha think?

This is my understanding of what Trump supporters are upset about.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Language gaps, extensi... · 0 replies · +5 points

Let A.E. Housman sum up the situation:

The grizzly bear is huge and wild;
He has devoured the infant child.
The infant child is not aware
It has been eaten by a bear.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Does the Constitution ... · 2 replies · +2 points

I am so glad to live in a parallel where we do pass Constitutional amendments when we need to deal with changing circumstances. I am a professor of Constitutional law at a major law school, where my students this morning are discussing whether the 432nd Amendment conflicts with the 273rd. I am going to wait and see which of them sees that the key to the question is to be found in the 317th Amendment, and that student will receive an A.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Language gaps · 0 replies · +1 points

At one time, "objectivity" was a word which, applied to journalism, meant something like "accurate reporting of ascertainable facts." At some point, its meaning changed to "giving both sides of the issue." Hence our present dilemma.

6 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Aspirational history a... · 1 reply · +2 points

It pays to look at the Twitter feeds of some diehard Trump supporters now and then. Mollie Hemingway, for example, is full of comments on the FBI IG report on James Comey, but has been silent, I mean silent, on this particular situation. Ditto Byron York. Thank heavens for them that they have Robert DeNiro to turn to in troubling times.

They are not even trying to stick up for Trump and Sessions. No doubt some fanatical Trumpsters are defending him, but perhaps these two Federalist Society types can serve as a barometer of when Trump has reached the limits of what he can get away with.

Does this make sense to others? Or am I overlooking something?

6 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Let's End the Condemna... · 0 replies · +5 points

I do not insist that politicians condemn everything objectionable in the news, but I regret it when they fail to praise something greatly deserving of praise.

James Shaw, Jr., the hero of the Waffle House shooting last Sunday, has now raised over $165,000 for the victims of the shooting. In normal times, this might be deemed worthy of a presidential commendation, or even a nice Tweet from a presidential Twitter account.

Not that this president is incapable of giving praise where praise is due. For example, he did commend Kanye West yesterday for flattering him on social media, which included a very nice Tweet featuring a picture of a MAGA baseball cap. It took real guts for West to do that.

In normal times, we might be shocked by the incongruity of the case. Normal times were what we had long ago, and they are not likely to return unless abnormal times are recognized for what they are.

6 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - “Insane” ≠ “in... · 1 reply · +2 points

It is not feasible to assign Flannery O'Connor's great short story, The Artificial Nigger, in literature classes. C'est dommage.

This has happened because we have neglected to develop students' awareness of the use-mention distinction; this is not just an academic fine point but it could make our discourse more civil. Utterances in quotes and outside of quotes have different meanings. The Nile is longer than the Chattahoochee, but "The Nile" is shorter than "the Chattahoochee."

I realize that "the use-mention distinction" is not "an important concept in linguistics," but I wish it were widely understood and applied nevertheless.

6 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - There's ordinary geniu... · 0 replies · +2 points

In the early 1980s, "WKRP in Cincinnati" was a popular sitcom set in a rock and roll radio station. In the opening segment, they would play a soundtrack of someone in a car flipping through the dial as various quick clips come and go. In one of them, the announcer says, "…and though the senator denies he was intoxicated, he could not explain his nudity."

For some reason, that little opening has come to mind in recent days. Cannot imagine why.