Everybody’s favorite logical fallacy these days seems to be the argumentum ad hominem. That’s where you make a personal attack on somebody’s presumed motives instead of engaging the substance of what they’ve said. Sad to say, it’s as prevalent on the political left as the right. Maybe more so. In advanced circles, it’s now seen […]
Barring some unpredictable (if quite likely) disaster, it’s basically up to the Republicans to keep the presidency while saving the nation from Trump. But don’t hold your breath.
Consider what one is tempted to call President Trump’s downright “Clintonian” non-denial denial during his recent press conference: “I own nothing in Russia, I have no loans in Russia, I don’t have any deals in Russia.” The president denying this well-documented fact is the rough equivalent of Bill Clinton denying he’d ever met Monica Lewinsky.
The whole country is learning how exhausting it can be to live with a seriously mentally ill person. Because crazy people tend to be cunning and tireless, it’s important to take reality breaks. So this is a column about my six year-old orange tabby Albert, the most unusual cat I’ve known
Putin got his big break in politics when, as a young intelligence officer, he affirmed that a murky videotape of a man cavorting with hookers was indeed a foe of Boris Yeltsin’s. Today, sleazy videos of public figures are a regular feature on Russian TV.
J.D. Vance thinks that hillbilly clannishness and self-pitying pessimism are personally and politically crippling. “We can’t trust the evening news. We can’t trust our politicians. Our universities, the gateway to a better life, are rigged against us. We can’t get jobs. You can’t believe these things and participate meaningfully in society.”
A new nuclear arms race! Was this what Trump meant by making America great again? A return to those halcyon days of schoolchildren hiding under their desks, building fallout shelters in the yard, stockpiling canned goods and arguing about the ethics of shooting desperate neighbors who’d failed to construct their own hideaways?
Welcome to the reality TV presidency. Nothing president-elect Trump says is to be taken literally, nor evaluated for its truth content.
So now “Celebrity Candidate 2016” is about to be canceled. What’s more, there’s no audience for repeat broadcasts after everybody knows who won.
I’ve long insisted that my plan was to die in a fall from a horse at age 88—suitably remote as to make it a joke. A smug, stupid joke. I’ve also argued—as friends’ broken shoulders and fractured pelvises accumulated—that riding bicycles in traffic is a damn fool thing for mature citizens to do.
People are going about their normal daily activities with seeming equanimity — although there’s been a marked increase in convenience store parking space shootings, actually. Maybe an armed society’s not such a polite society after all. How surprising would it be to see gunfire erupt at a presidential campaign event? But I digress, and ominously.
To somebody like me whose professional career roughly parallels Gabler’s, the man’s personal choices are mind-boggling. As he correctly points out, “writer…is a financially perilous profession.” To keep your head above water, it’s important to keep your wits about you.
When the corrections and retractions reach critical mass and the “investigative” articles start to read like Henry James novels — i.e. diffuse and impenetrable — the end of a given “scandal” episode is near.
This just in: Nothing boosts circulation or enhances ratings like a sex scandal. The more prominent the actors and the more prurient the allegations, the better. How else to explain the ugly resurgence of talking about the Clintons’ bedroom dramas?
It’s tempting, but specious, to draw comparisons between the publicity-seeking antics in Oregon and senseless tragedies involving law enforcement. That hasn’t stopped ideologues on the left from being as vocal in their enthusiasm for a shootout as anti-government militia types.
Conservatives are emotionally committed to binary thinking — good vs. evil, white vs. black, Christian vs. Islamic — and so Obama’s resistance to melodrama and appreciation for complexity reads to them as weakness. In embracing a laughably simplistic worldview, Republican blowhards risk throwing away America’s moral authority.
From sea to shining sea, college students seem determined to make us argue about race, pondering the exact color of their navels and compiling lists of fruitless demands, to the exclusion of all else.
It almost goes without saying that you can’t make treaties with such people. They can only be defeated. The question is how? And at what cost?
The current Republican presidential race is less a political contest than a reality TV series: a stage-managed melodrama with a cast of characters selected to titillate and provoke.