Profanity and politics

swearing-294391_640Politicians are now using the whole array of four-letter words in their speeches. President Trump does it, but Democrats seem to be doing it as a purposeful, repeated, and calculated rhetorical ploy.

Why is so much of our political discourse adopting profanity?  What does it mean this this is happening?

Click the link after the jump.  (I won’t quote from the article, since it includes the words that it decries, and this violates the high standards of decorum that characterize this blog!  So don’t click that link if would be offended.) [Read more…]

International Trumpism?

512px-Marine_Le_PenWhat with England’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump, many observers have predicted that a new wave of Trump-like nationalism, rejection of immigration, and economic populism would dominate the global landscape.

Has that happened?  Well, no and yes. . . .

 

Photo of Marine Le Pen by Emmanuel d’Aubignosc (Emmanuel d’Aubignosc) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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All Democrats must now support abortion

512px-Thomas_Perez,_Assistant_Attorney_General_for_Civil_Rights,_official_portraitThe new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, says that all Democratic candidates must support abortion.  Otherwise, they will receive no party money.  This applies also to state and city candidates and is “not negotiable.”

 

Photo of Tom Perez by Department of Justice (http://www.justice.gov/crt/aag_page.php) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons [Read more…]

Syria strike disillusions some Trump supporters 

Ann_Coulter_2012_ShankbonePresident Trump’s cruise missile strike on Syria, responding to Assad’s chemical weapons atrocity, is getting good reviews from much of the world.  After all, Barack Obama did nothing when Assad did this before, a display of American weakness that may have encouraged Assad and other bad actors that they could act with impunity.

Russia, though, is Syria’s staunch ally, and Vladimir Putin is furious with Trump.  (If the Russians put him in office, as some are charging, they didn’t get much for their trouble.  As one commenter here put it, why would Putin want Trump in office, when the Democrats were letting him take over any country he wanted?  [There is an answer to that:  Putin needs the economic sanctions lifted.])

But closer to home, many of Trump’s most devoted fans are turning against him. Attacking Syria, they say, is an idealistic foreign involvement like neo-conservatives always want to do.  They thought Trump was different.

Even Ann Coulter, author of In Trump We Trust:  E Pluribus Awesome!, is now bad-mouthing him.

Are any of you Trump supporters now, in the words of one former fan, “officially off the Trump train”?  Are any of you doubters now thinking that he might become a good president? [Read more…]

Dems force “nuclear option” and Gorsuch is confirmed

Operation_Upshot-Knothole_-_Badger_001 (1)The Democrats invoked their filibuster privilege to block the vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.  So the Republicans used the so-called “nuclear option.”  They changed the rules to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.  The Democrats, under a previous administration, themselves went nuclear to eliminate the filibuster for other presidential nominations.

Now the Senate cannot block any presidential appointments.  But the Democrats can feel good about themselves.  (“Take that, Republicans!  I guess we showed you, Donald Trump!”)  Even though the gesture significantly weakens their power in the Senate.

UPDATE:  The Senate has confirmed Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. [Read more…]

The Trump campaign surveillance and unmasking

Susan_Rice,_official_State_Dept_photo_portrait,_2009It turns out the Trump campaign was under surveillance.  This was reportedly in connection with the surveillance of Russians that our intelligence agencies wanted to keep an eye on.  In the course of that operation, so it is said, various individuals connected to Donald Trump were also recorded.  The protocol, when that happens, is for the names of the individuals recorded but not under investigation to be blacked out from the intelligence reports, their names changed to “Person A,” “Person B,” etc. If there is a need for the investigating authorities to know who these people are, there is a process for “unmasking” them.  (Read what “unmasking” entails.)

It turns out that the Obama administration initiated the unmasking of those names, then widely circulating those reports, thus implicating Trump staffers in a Russian connection that might have been innocent.  (This may explain how the information came out–that is, was leaked–about Michael Flynn’s meeting with the Russian ambassador, something even Democrats routinely have done.)  We now know that Obama advisor Susan Rice initiated the unmasking.  As Andrew McCarthy points out, “the thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations.”  Only three agencies do those:  the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA.

Understand: There would have been no intelligence need for Susan Rice to ask for identities to be unmasked. If there had been a real need to reveal the identities — an intelligence need based on American interests — the unmasking would have been done by the investigating agencies. The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.

So all of this amounts to using White House power against a political opponent.   [Read more…]