Friday, September 25, 2015

Cruising the Web

It's getting more and more difficult for Donald Trump to maintain his pretense of being such a tough guy while also whining every time he gets criticized. So many people were attracted to Trump "because he fights." Well, it's not fighting if he's fixated on who is criticizing. Has he slept through the past 50 years of American politics? It's a nasty business and the partisans of one side routinely blast the leader of the other side. And with the advent of social media and 24-hour cable news, it's just getting more intense. What does he think will happen if he were to ever get elected? Does he think that he wouldn't be criticized? Does he plan to spend all his time tweeting cracks at the members of government, the media, entertainment, and foreign leaders who would inevitably criticize him? He wouldn't have any time left to make any of the amazing deals he keeps telling us he is planning to win for us. He wouldn't be able to "Make America Great Again" because he'd be too busy jumping into fights with anyone who said one critical thing about him.

Allahpundit notes a similarity between the knock that Marco Rubio made about him on Thursday for being touchy and insecure and not being well-informed on the issues and Rich Lowry's comment about Carly Fiorina having removed his balls.
One interesting similarity between Rubio’s knock on him today and Rich Lowry’s dig at him last night about Fiorina having cut off his balls at the debate is that they’re both shots in different ways at Trump’s image as the alpha male. Lowry’s taunting him because the girl onstage knocked him down; Rubio’s calling him a weakling who’s consumed with disguising that fact by projecting strength. Among all the explanations from the punditocracy for why Trump appeals to so many people — populism, political incorrectness, strong borders, the fact that he can’t be bought — the alpha vibe to his personality is the one that’s most grossly overlooked. (But not by everyone.) The most damaging attack he’s made on anyone in the race wasn’t about immigration or Syria or anything like that; it was him needling Jeb Bush as a “low energy,” i.e. low testosterone, candidate. The fact that Ted Cruz seems palpably afraid to criticize Trump for fear of alienating his voters also inadvertently enhances Trump’s alpha image by casting Cruz in the role of his sidekick. Critics like Rubio and Lowry are starting to key in on all of that and turn it around on Trump.
Maybe they can keep finding ways to knock his strong man persona. It seems to really get to him and he responds with more petulance.

Charles C. W. Cooke opines that "Trump is a Yuuuuuuuge Wuss"
In the last month alone, Trump has threatened to sue a small-time T-shirt maker whose products bear critical slogans (“Donald Is Dumb,” “Stop Trump,” and “America Is Already Great”); he has attempted to begin legal proceedings against the Club for Growth on the grounds that it has had the temerity to oppose him and his policies (this, Trump says, is “defamation” — a stunted and preposterous piece of legal analysis that lends some credibility to the messages on the aforementioned t-shirts); and he has expressed a desire to use the federal government to censor unpliable journalists for the high crime of being amusing on television. That neither lawsuit has a shot in hell — and, indeed, that the FCC doesn’t actually have any jurisdiction over cable news — does not seem to matter much. What matters is that Donald Trump feels hurt, and that he doesn’t like it one bit.

Send in the bayonets, kids, we have some classy, classy tears to forestall.
And Trump seems to have a peculiar concept of how the media work in this country. His list of which figures should be fired seems to grow every day.
Among the media figures that Trump has thus far called upon to be fired are Lowry (for suggesting that Carly cut him down to size in the testicles department), Jonah Goldberg (for proposing that he “behaves like a “14-year-old girl”), Stephen Hayes (for noting correctly that he is not a conservative), George Will (for arguing that he is a fraud), Charles Krauthammer (for discussing his unpopularity), Chuck Todd (for implying that he isn’t a serious person), Megyn Kelly (for . . . asking questions), and Hugh Hewitt (for the same offense). When maligned, Abraham Lincoln picked up his pen or arranged a debate. Donald Trump takes immediately to Twitter and shouts, “take him off the air!”
If Donald Trump ever bothered to read a site like National Review, he'd be calling for Cooke's head.
Why does Trump behave this way? Because he’s a preposterous little trust-fund wuss, that’s why. As was illustrated once again last night, the man is not really a “fighter” or an “alpha male” or an iron-cored “enemy of political correctness.” He’s a thin-skinned performance artist whose peculiar shtick falls to pieces the moment someone useful elects to return a punch. Look through Trump’s recent Twitter contributions and you will see a wounded man who is always a few harsh phrases and a modicum of bad publicity away from curling up in an oversized sweater and listening to “Everybody Hurts” on repeat.

By modern custom, American presidents are supposed to be beacons of hope — steely figures in a dangerous world. They aren’t supposed to have a “hard time” watching Fox News because a quick-witted guest happens to dislike them. They aren’t supposed to reach for the ice cream and stomp their Lilliputian feet if they consider that the press is treating them “unfairly.” And, in a free country such as America, they certainly aren’t supposed to react to each and every disparagement by asking which laws they might use to silence their detractors.
Exactly. There's something quite disturbing about a politician who keeps looking for ways to stifle his critics. As Taylor Millard writes,
Conservatives have to ask themselves if they’re willing to go along with a candidate who wants government intervention into something he doesn’t like. If Trump wants the FCC to fine Lowry for offending him, would President Trump try to coerce the FCC to pull the plug on Comedy Central for airing South Park? Would he do the same to Fox News for not being “in the tank” for Trump like the mainstream media has been “in the tank” for Obama? If he does, then he’s violating freedom of the press which is in the First Amendment. This isn’t saying Trump shouldn’t tweet his anger if he’s offended by what Lowry said or push people to change the channel from Fox News. He’s got every right to do that. But his calls for the government to get involved are just beyond the pale. This isn’t acting like a conservative, it’s acting like someone so sensitive about his image he wants the government to crack down on people who don’t agree with him. If Trump is going to say he’s all “anti-PC,” then he needs to grow up and accept the fact people are going to be “non-PC” with him. If he’s not, then it just shows he’s really not the kind of man he claims to be.

Roger Simon ponders how Trump stacks up against Harry Truman's aphorism that "If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
So where does The Donald fit in this equation? Superficially, he seems a macho guy, but I’m not sure Truman would approve of his thin skin. Right now Trump’s announced he’s “boycotting” Fox News because he says he’s not been treated fairly. Megyn Kelly and Bill O’Reilly have been mean to him. Maybe so, but at least from my vantage point, Sean Hannity’s been acting like Trump’s virtual press secretary. You gotta take the good with the bad. Fox News is no perfect news organization, but I never heard of one that is. And if Trump is trying to play Fox against CNN, I have got bad news for him. Get in bed with CNN and they will cut your heart out and feed it to all the wolves from here to Alaska when the general election starts. These are the self-interested creeps who lied about Saddam’s rape rooms, remember, to keep access with the dictator. (Well, maybe Trump doesn’t. He’s not always up on foreign affairs.)

Trump’s also angry at the gang from the Club for Growth for running commercials in Iowa pointing out that he, in the past at least, has not exactly been Grover Norquist when it comes to lowering taxes. Well, he wasn’t. But The Donald called out CFG for running ads that were not only ”disingenuous, but replete with outright lies, false, defamatory and destructive statements and downright fabrications which you fully know to be untrue.” The CFG, from their side, told him to “stop whining.”

Hello, kitchen. I can imagine Harry shaking his head. What does Donald expect? Donations to the Trump Foundation? A round of steaks at Peter Luger? He’s the frontrunner for POTUS. And the truth is the next POTUS is going to have to be cool, calm and collected as never before because that kitchen is really heating up. I worry a bit that Trump’s preferred way of dealing with the bad actors heating that kitchen is to make friends with them. He brags continually how everybody likes him, but Ayatollah Khamenei and Vladimir Putin couldn’t be less interested in palling around. This “hail fellow well met” approach, though it may work well in business, doesn’t cut it with the KGB and their modern avatars. It sounds suspiciously like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Kerry and their reset button. How’d that work out? And we’re not even mentioning al Qaeda, al Nusra, the Islamic State and the rest of the seventh century religious lunatics whose power grows daily despite pathetic U.S. government attempts to say we are “winning.” The next POTUS may have to refight the Battle of Tours.

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Read this description of Donald Trump's appearance at a Columbia, S.C. forum for African-American small business owners hosted by South Carolina senator Tim Scott and you get a sense of immature and unfocused Trump has become. He just can't stop himself from ranting about real and imagined attacks on him.
Holding up a printout of a Florida newspaper, he twice read a headline referring to Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeb Bush: “Rubio passes Bush in Florida poll.”

Then, with a flourish, he read the lead of the article, which noted that Mr. Trump was still enjoying a strong lead among Florida Republicans.

“They don’t even put me in the headline, and I’m crushing it,” he said. “The press is very dishonest. Not all of it, but much of it.”
Does he think that the S.C. small business owners who came to the forum care about how a Florida newspaper reports a poll? But he certainly didn't have much for them to chew on.
Mr. Trump’s speech was typically discursive. He recalled being sued by a woman whom he deemed “a horrible human being,” attacked Boeing (a large local employer) for opening a plant in China and criticized his Republican opponents and Hillary Rodham Clinton on a number of fronts.

Claiming that CNN added time to the Republican debate last week to bring in more ad revenue, he asserted that the temperature hit triple figures inside the Reagan Library.

“Let’s let these suckers stand up there for another hour in a room that was 100 degrees,” Mr. Trump said, mimicking unnamed CNN executives. “That room was hot. I mean, poor Chris Christie.”

The audience broke into laughs and cheers, and for good measure, Mr. Trump noted that Mike Huckabee and Mr. Rubio were also very sweaty at the end of the debate (“He was soaking wet,” Mr. Trump recounted of Mr. Huckabee).

What Mr. Trump did not talk much about was African-American business. He did explain he had good black friends in New York and claimed he was attracting significant black support in the Republican primary.

As for policy related to African-American entrepreneurship, Mr. Trump said he wanted to overturn the Dodd-Frank financial law and called one black businessman to the stage, gave him a handshake, leaned in for a semihug and said he wanted the man to be negotiating with the Chinese.

Mr. Trump’s biggest applause line came when he said, “I am so tired of this politically correct crap.” It drew most of the attendees to their feet, but many of the African-Americans in the crowd neither clapped nor stood.
He's sick of "this politically correct crap," but he wants the FCC to ban Rich Lowry for using the word "balls" on cable TV? Has he ever seen the Comedy Channel? Doesn't he understand that the FCC doesn't regulate cable TV?
Mr. Trump did not attack his opponents as fiercely in the exchange with Mr. Scott as he had earlier in the day, but the presidential hopeful did seize more opportunities to grouse about news media coverage. “I’m much smarter than any of these talking heads,” he said. “Ninety percent of them are morons.”

Yet Mr. Scott gently steered the conversation toward policy issues and, as the hourlong event neared its end, Mr. Trump made clear that he had had enough.

The senator said he was down to his final two or three questions, to which Mr. Trump responded, “Good!”
Yeah. Substantive questions on actual policy issues is much less important than grousing about his media coverage, bragging about his poll numbers, and making fun of how sweaty everyone was on the stage for the CNN debate. Rick Moran comments,
He can’t criticize Christie, Rubio, or Huckabee based on their policy positions because he’s ignorant. So, like a juvenile, he mocks their physical appearance. I recall that sort of thing was fashionable back in the 4th grade, but I can’t remember a presidential candidate acting so much like a child.

....As an emotional lightening rod for everything that has enraged right wingers and Republicans during the Obama years, Trump is a cathartic symbol. But eventually, more people are going to wonder what exactly Mr. Trump has to offer in the way of concrete policies. At that point, with the attention of the entire nation directed toward him, it will be interesting to see if the candidate has anything to offer America besides whines and rants and name calling.

I’m betting he doesn’t.
But, but he fights. Or at least he whines.

Trump's latest slam at Marco Rubio is that he
"sits behind a desk sometimes, and he reads stuff, and he’s in committees. That’s all he does,” Trump said. “I create jobs all day long. I know more about all of this than all of them put together. Believe me, we’ll have a winning strategy.”
Yeah. Trump will put together a deal and that will solve all the world's problems. Just like Obama thought he could do when he became president. Trump won't have to actually read anything. Apparently, that's not what a real man does.

Don't buy Trump's rhetoric about preserving jobs for Americans instead of foreigners.
Donald Trump has bragged he would be the greatest jobs president God has ever created.
“I am so intent in putting people back to work in this country,” Trump said recently. “Our country can be great again. We have to put people back to work.”
Trump, however, doesn’t need to be elected president to start hiring Americans for jobs now being given to foreigners.

A CBS4 News review of U.S. Labor Department records found that Trump businesses have requested hundreds of visas in recent years claiming they were unable to find Americans willing to do even the most basic tasks.

And that is particularly true at Trump’s famed Palm Beach estate called Mar-A-Lago.
Every year since at least 2008, Mar-A-Lago has requested anywhere from 70 to 90 visas to bring foreign workers into the country as cooks, waiters and housekeepers. The starting pay is between $10 and $12 an hour.

“There are certainly a bunch of people that would love to work at that rate,” said Michael Watson standing outside Career Source, a job placement service that helps businesses find workers.
“I’m pretty sure there are a lot of Americans out there who would work if you give them the opportunity,” added Cassandra McCorkel.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, CBS4 News obtained records from the Labor Department detailing Mar-A-Lago’s application to import foreign workers under the H2B Visa program.

Before seeking the visas, the executives Mar-A-Lago posted the job openings on a state website.
Tom Veenstra, senior director of support services at Career Source, said if Mar-A-Lago officials were interested in finding workers, all they had to do was contact him....

And it is not just in the hospitality industry that Trump uses visas to import workers.
A Reuters’ investigation in August found Trump-related businesses have requested more than 1,100 visa workers including workers to till his vineyard and 250 models for his modeling agency.

The 538 guys caucus to try to figure out which GOP candidate is most helped by Walker's exit. The consensus will probably not surprise you.

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Charles Krauthammer ponders what he calls the "double suicide" of both parties as they lurch towards the nomination. I prefer to think of the Democrats' problems.
Meanwhile, on the Democrats’ side:

● They are running a presidential campaign decrying wage stagnation, income inequality and widespread economic malaise — as if they’ve not been in office for the past seven years.

● Their leading presidential candidate is 27 points underwater on the question of honesty and is under FBI investigation for possible mishandling of classified information.

● Her chief challenger is a 74-year-old socialist with a near-spotless record of invisibility in 25 years in Congress. The other three candidates can hardly be found at all.

● The only plausible alternative challenger, Joe Biden, has run and failed twice and, before tragedy struck (to which he has responded, one must say, with admirable restraint and courage), was for years a running national joke for his endless gaucheries and verbal pratfalls.
Think how lovely it would be if Republicans could laughing at the Democrats and reaping the political rewards. But, as Krauthammer points out, the two front-runners are busy saying inept and insulting things to alienate parts of the electorate. He explains what was wrong with Ben Carson's answer about whether he'd ever support a Muslim for president. There was a correct answer somewhere in Carson's response, but it took him too long to get to it. As I said earlier, I'm very tired of feeling that I have to defend the awkwardly phrased comments of prominent Republicans. And then there's the Donald.
Carson is not one to cynically pander. Nor do I doubt that his statement about a Muslim president was sincerely felt. But it remains morally outrageous. And, in a general election, politically poisonous. It is certainly damaging to any party when one of its two front-runners denigrates, however thoughtlessly, the nation’s entire Muslim American community.

Particularly when it follows the yeoman work done by the other leading GOP candidate to alienate other large chunks of the citizenry. Three minutes into his campaign, Donald Trump called Mexican American immigrants rapists who come bringing drugs and crime. He followed that by advocating the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants. And sealed the deal by chastising Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish in answer to a question posed in Spanish.

Trump’s contretemps with women enjoy even more renown — his attacks on Megyn Kelly (including a retweet calling her a bimbo) and his insulting Carly Fiorina for her looks.

Muslims, Hispanics, women. What next? Who’s left?

It’s a crazy time. One party is knowingly lurching toward disaster, marching inexorably to the coronation of a weak and deeply wounded presidential candidate. Meanwhile, the other party is flamboyantly shooting at itself and gratuitously alienating one significant electoral constituency after another.

And it’s only September. Of 2015.

Jim Geraghty has read Donald Trump's 1980s best-seller, The Art of the Deal, and finds a much more appealing Trump in that book than the one we're seeing today.
Whatever its place in Trump’s personal mythology, The Art of the Deal is a fascinating time capsule, a long look at a 40-year-old mogul on his way to becoming the country’s most famous businessman. Looked at today, the book reveals that Trump’s current portrait of himself as a 1980s Reagan-booster is a convenient half-truth at best. But it also makes it easy to see why the first boomlet of “Trump for President” talk began in 1988, and why such talk was always short-lived until now....

In short, the Donald Trump of 1987 seems quite different from the Trump who’s stormed national politics over the last few months: In addition to the now-familiar penchant for egotistical overstatement, he displays a surprising self-awareness and introspection.

He is also light years away from becoming a conservative Republican.

1987 Trump takes subtle jabs at Reagan:
He is so smooth and so effective a performer that he completely won over the American people. Only now, nearly seven years later, are people beginning to question whether there’s anything beneath that smile.
He hates the “new federal tax law” — the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which included Reagan’s second round of tax cuts — declaring it will be “a disaster for the country, since it eliminates incentives to invest and build.” He calls up Senator John Danforth to congratulate him for voting against the bill. (Today, most conservatives see the 1986 reforms as a positive step toward lower taxes and a simpler tax code.)

He raves about the joys and high profit margins of the casino industry — “It’s a very good business being the house” — without spending much time dwelling on the fact that it is one of the economy’s most highly regulated sectors. (This is an industry where opening up a competing facility without a license is literally criminal and any new entrant to the market has to jump through considerable regulatory hoops.)

As Chris Cillizza reports, the e-mail story just keeps getting worse and worse for Hillary. Her lies are getting exposed and the result isn't pretty.

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Kevin Williamson argues that VW is not unique in cheating on environmental issues.
Maybe you don’t think that these should be considered phony moral imperatives, but they are. Everybody talks in sober, even apocalyptic terms about carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change, and then they do — nothing. The celebrities go back to their private jets and their 50,000-square-foot homes, and the politicians . . . go back to their private jets and their 50,000-square-foot homes.

In Beijing and New Delhi and other capitals considering similarly situated national economies, the argument is explicit: Reducing emissions means forgoing economic growth and related gains in real standards of living, which may look like a noble exercise in self-mortification to you comfortable Westerners in your BarcaLoungers and fuzzy slippers and your snifter of cognac and no living national memory of famine, to you people from places where the only goat-bothering subsistence farmers resigned to a primitive life on the land are hipsters from Oberlin College, but we’re too poor to choose to make ourselves poorer. On the American Right there are skeptics of global warming per se, and skeptics with a much stronger case for doubting that proffered reform models would accomplish anything other than giving Barack Obama another occasion for moral preening.

Both the developing-world attitude and the American conservative attitude assume a sort of prisoners’ dilemma — everybody expects everybody else to cheat, for good reason. Assuming that they have any powers of introspection, the Chinese expect the Chinese to cheat, too. If you think that the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist party of China is less likely to countenance the gaming of emissions inspections than is the compliance team at Volkswagen, you are in error.

So we end up with what is in fact a reasonable approach despite the doomsday promises of Al Gore Inc.: Wait and see, consider programs of mitigation and their costs, expect tradeoffs. The solid prices of waterfront properties in Malibu and the Hamptons argue that there are a great many pharisaical rich liberals who do not take the threat of rising seas as seriously as their ostentatious displays of piety would suggest.

Another Obamacare promise continues to be broken.
We all remember the promise – President Obama famously told us time and time again that ObamaCare would lower health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year for families. But unless you’re receiving a giant subsidy from the government for your insurance, you’re not paying less in premiums, in fact, for employer sponsored plans, premiums have risen nearly $5,000 since Obama promised to cut them. What about deductibles? They haven’t decreased either. But don’t just take my word for it.

A new survey finds that in 2015 deductibles on employer-provided health plans actually rose by almost nine percent.

According to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust, the increase brings the average deductible that workers must pay for their health insurance plans to $1,077; more than triple what it was a decade ago. As reported in the L.A. Times, “That is seven times faster than wages have risen in the same period.”

Reihan Salam reports on the horror that his progressive neighbors in his Brooklyn neighborhood, bizarrely named Dumbo, are demonstrating at the idea that children from their neighborhood should have to be shifted to a public school that is 90% minority and low-income.
Taylor cites evidence that blacks and Hispanics benefit from attending integrated schools. What she does not address is whether white and Asian students attending these schools also fare better, which is the chief concern of the largely white Dumbo parents subject to this rezoning. My first instinct in reading Taylor’s story, and in observing the anguished reaction from Dumbo parents who see themselves as committed progressives, is to note their hypocrisy. As Laurie Lin recently remarked, it’s easy to imagine how these Dumbo progressives might have reacted had this story unfolded in Atlanta or Birmingham — they’d surely chalk up resistance to the rezoning to racism.

More than one Dumbo parent has tried to explain to me how they’re totally different from other people who fight against integration. They explain that what they really want is a better world in which we spend far more on our public schools, not mentioning, or perhaps not knowing, that New York city spends $20,331 per pupil, almost twice as much as the national average of $10,700, and that much of this money is spent very inefficiently. Of course they want integration, they’ll tell you, but only if it entails no sacrifice on their part. “It’s more complicated when it’s about your own children,” says one Dumbo parent. Well, yes, it is more complicated, and that is exactly what every parent believes, whether they are in Brooklyn or South Boston or Kansas City.
I certainly don't blame those parents from being upset, but the real problem is the family atmosphere that so many of these children have to endure.
Adults who had been abused as children, or who had lived through a divorce or with a parent who was incarcerated or addicted to drugs or alcohol, were more likely to suffer from heart disease, depression, and alcoholism, among other maladies. And of course these health problems are difficult and expensive to treat. Our failure to seriously address the problem of family breakdown is having baleful consequences not just for children attending our public schools — it will be a problem for decades to come, as these children age and as they carry their childhood traumas with them through life.

I don’t expect the progressive parents of Dumbo to be thrilled about the prospect of sending their children to P.S. 307. But my hope is that they will come to appreciate that their children are no better than the poor children growing up in their midst, and that what these children need, and what all children need, is what their own children tend to take for granted: stable, loving parents who are capable of keeping them safe.
Maybe what those children need are more charter schools dedicated to teaching just the sorts of children at P.S. 307. It's a shame that they elected a mayor so opposed to expanding charter schools.

Kimberley Strassel celebrates the power of the Freedom of Information Act and how it is being used to slowly find out what on earth Hillary Clinton was doing at the State Department.
All told, there are at least 35 FOIA lawsuits pending for Clinton-related email. Nearly everything important we’ve learned has come from those suits. They are why the State Department is releasing emails; why we know they contained classified information; why we know Mrs. Clinton’s aides also used unsanctioned email accounts; why we know that the State Department is covering for Mrs. Clinton.

Which explains why the Justice Department wants the judiciary to “consolidate” the lawsuits, claiming that the State Department is overwhelmed. The real goal is to shut down the process. Consolidation will slow discovery, and the chances of stopping the information flow is better if all the suits come before one judge, who might be friendly, rather than six unpredictable ones. But each organization bringing a suit deserves a separate hearing. It isn’t these groups’ fault that the State Department allowed Mrs. Clinton to go email rogue and now has a mess.

What Democrats are only beginning to understand is that 35 FOIA lawsuits is a guarantee of weekly Clinton email-news bombs. This isn’t ending. The polls keep measuring Mrs. Clinton in theoretical matchups. The only matchup that matters is this one: Clinton vs. FOIA. And FOIA is crushing it.
Every year I have to teach students about this law and they only vaguely understand why it is so important. Now I'll have a real-life example, 35 of them in fact.

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David Harsanyi argues that liberals have given up on debating. They can't conceive of any reason why someone would not agree with their positions so assume that such a person must be either evil, ignorant, or crazy. It never even occurs to them that a person might even support their eventual goal but think there is a much better way to achieve that goal.
When a group confuses its politics with moral doctrine, it may have trouble comprehending how a decent human could disagree with its positions. This is probably why people confuse lecturing with debating and why so many liberals can bore into the deepest nooks of my soul to ferret out all those motivations but can’t waste any time arguing about the issue itself.

Are you corrupt? Probably. Bought off by Big Oil, Big Food, or Big Somethingorother? Washington is teeming with Manchurian candidates, because no one could possibly be this malicious on his own. Why should liberals debate a point when they can debate your imaginary Sugar Daddy? Why else would conservatives “hate workers”? Why would they “bet against America”? Why do they want to destroy democracy? Why would conservatives vote against their own interests? Someone pays them to lie.

Or maybe you favor inequality, injustice, rape culture, and poverty because privilege clouds your sense of decency? If you were born wealthy (anything over 130 percent of the poverty level or so) how can anyone expect you to have empathy for the destitute? You certainly don’t possess the life experience or skin color to challenge leftist economic doctrine. For inexplicable reasons—that can’t possibly have anything to do with a genuine belief in supply-side economics, property rights, or an aversion to punishing success—tens of millions of you spend your political lives protecting the interests of billionaires for no other reason than that you hate the poor...

You hate a lot of things, don’t you? Like half the country, you’re furtively racist and irrationally misogynistic. The American idea is erected on a foundation of intolerance, according to one of the most celebrated thinkers on the Left. You hate black people, sure, but also brown people. So this bloodlust manifests when you oppose the president on foreign policy, for instance. (Then again, maybe it’s the Israel Lobby paying you off.) You’re not anti-Iran deal, you’re pro-war. Just like you’re not pro-Second Amendment, you’re pro-mass shootings. You’re not concerned about terrorism or (genuine) illiberalism, you’re a bigot. You’re not pro-school choice, you’re anti-children.
I often have to correct my students when we're discussing the differences in ideology and they'll say something like "conservatives hate the environment or don't care about the environment." I want to go all Shylockian on them and ask "Do conservatives not breathe?"
You’re not in favor of a cost-benefit analysis when it comes to climate change policy, you’re anti-science. Skeptic. Denier. Psychopath. Why do you hate the Earth?
Once I point out to my students that conservatives do indeed breathe and hope that their children will continue to breathe, it suddenly occurs to them that there might actually be another side of approaches to the environment or analyses of environmental policy than their immediate assumption that only someone who likes pollution would opposed any policy initiative coming out of the environmental camp.

Gosh, I sure wish I could have gotten one of the Nationals' Calvin Coolidge bobbleheads. I have a whole collection of bobbleheads of historical figures, but I never imagined that there would be one of Calvin Coolidge. Maybe used ones will show up on Ebay.

Well, this clinches it for Ben Carson. Kanye West is impressed.
"As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him," said West. "I was like this is the most brilliant guy.
Some of my students are excited at the thought that Kanye would run in 2020, especially as they'll be old enough to vote for him. Though it doesn't sound as if Kanye is up for a real political campaign.
"When I run for president, I'd prefer not to run against someone," West said, while discussing his Yeezy fashion line and his desire to run for president in 2020.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure most politicians would prefer not to run against someone and just be anointed.

USA Today has compiled "the 50 greatest Yogi Berra quotes." Few people manage even one quotable statement in a lifetime. Just as he compiled baseball victories and accolades, Berra also was a delight to quote. And some of them demonstrate real wisdom such as "The future ain't what it used to be." That's for sure. Or don't you wish there were some public figures who would practice this bit of wisdom - "If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer."