Archive | February 2016

Trumpalists and Trailrazers


At the very end of 2015, Emily Schwartz Greco, the managing editor of OtherWords, a non-profit national editorial service run by the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote a piece titled “Enstrictly Speaking, 2016 Could Be a Trailrazer,” which was republished by Common Dreams.

In the piece, she begins by detailing how the books that her young daughters have been reading have been encouraging them to coin new words. And then she brings much the same sort of delightful, uninhibited sense of invention to the generation of some much-needed, new political terminology:

“For starters, how about ‘trumpalist’? As in: ‘This candidate’s trumpalist tendencies scare me.’ Pundits could use this word to economize on hot air when they discuss pompous, cruel, and self-centered politicians, even after Donald Trump’s White House bid fizzles. No matter what the polls say, I still say his candidacy is doomed.

“As Trump put it recently, after 

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The World Turned Upside Down


The British army’s fife and drum corps famously played this tune as it was giving up its weapons following the surrender at Yorktown.

The sentiment seems very apropos during this strange presidential campaign in which Donald Trump sits atop the Republican primary polls because of, and not in spite of, his utter disregard for all of the supposedly inviolable, unwritten rules of presidential politics.

Trump has been called an American Mussolini, and the comparison would almost certainly be even more common than it has been, except for Trump’s very weirdly styled and almost as weirdly colored hair. Surprisingly, I have not heard anyone ask Trump about this fairly common historical comparison, but if I were Trump, I would be eager to discourage it for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that Mussolini’s corpse ended up hanging upside down from a from a lamppost in Milan. (One…

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Trump Tacitly Agrees on Need for New Warren Commission


This from a CNN article by Gregory Krieg:

“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday referenced a report from the scene about Scalia’s body when asked on a radio show to comment on the possibility that Scalia may have been murdered and whether there should be an independent investigation into this death.

“’They say they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow,’ Trump said on conservative radio host Michael Savage’s show The Savage Nation. Savage called for the equivalent of a Warren Commission-style investigation into Scalia’s death.

“I think enough disclosures were made and what I said precisely was accurate. He had a pillow over his head, not over his face as some have been saying,” John Poindexter, owner of the Cibolo Creek Ranch, where Scalia was found, told CNN over the phone.

“The pillow was against the headboard and over his…

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Was Scalia Assassinated?


Consider the following two teasers for items distributed by the Far Right “news source” World Net Daily:

Urgent Calls Begin for Autopsy on Scalia

Is there something we’re not being told about the death of Antonin Scalia?

There’s suddenly a push for an autopsy to be performed on the Supreme Court justice.

One political analyst says the “horrid reaction” about his death expressed by many liberals illustrate that “Scalia was hated by many people” …

Read the latest now on

Scalia Found Dead with ‘Pillow over His Head’

The death of Antonin Scalia shocked the nation on Saturday.

And now, there comes comes a stunning new revelation from someone who discovered the Supreme Court justice in his deathbed …

Read the latest now on

Like most conspiracy theories, this one cannot be addressed in some reasonable way that will put it to rest. In fact, each effort to…

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Intensified Chinese Directive That Patriotism/ Party Loyalty Be Taught


According to an article by Chris Buckley published in the New York Times, “Chinese students, already immersed in classes and textbooks that promote nationalist loyalty to the Communist Party as a bedrock value, must be made even more patriotic and devoted to the party, even when they are studying in universities abroad, according to a new directive sent to education officials.”

Here are the next few paragraphs of Buckley’s article, which elaborate on what this new directive means:

“The directive, issued by the Communist Party organization of the Ministry of Education, calls for “patriotic education” to suffuse each stage and aspect of schooling, through textbooks, student assessments, museum visits and the Internet, which is the chief source of information for many young Chinese.

“’Organically instill the patriotic spirit into all subjects, curriculums and standards for primary, secondary and higher education in morals, language, history, geography, sports, arts and so…

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My College Professor Won the New Hampshire Primary


The following piece was written by Brett Mandel and published on his personal blog. It is re-posted here with his permission.


As an undergrad a quarter-century ago, I would have certainly told you that such a future outcome was as unlikely as Alexander Hamilton, himself, being the subject of a smash-hit rap musical.  Today, “Hamilton” is the toughest ticket on Broadway and the guy who stood in front of my Sociology 335 class is making a pretty good case that he should be the next President of the United States.

I join the millions of Americans that Feel The Bern and support Bernie Sanders for President.  A few recollections from my time as a student in Sanders’ class underscore the reasons why I would love to see the man I once called “professor” be called “president” next January.

Bernie’s Right

My course with Professor Sanders was titled “The Problems…

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Best Quotation of the 2016 Campaign (At Least for Today)


“Hindsight is 20/20. But Rand is an ophthalmologist.”

Republican consultant on the end of Rand Paul’s presidential bid

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Where Are All the Good Guys with Knives?


These are the opening paragraphs of an article published by New York magazine:

“A 27-year-old man was slashed in the face early on Sunday morning after arguing with a woman he didn’t know in a Harlem subway station. The New York Post reports that the fight occurred around 3 a.m. on the southbound platform of the number 2 subway at West 110th Street and Lenox Avenue. The woman summoned a man she knew, and he slashed the victim with an unknown weapon. The attacker then bolted with the woman, and the victim was taken to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. He is in stable condition and police have yet to make any arrests.

“The incident marks the sixth slashing or stabbing in the subway system this month, including three that occurred this week. On Monday, a 71-year-old woman was slashed in the face on the D train in Greenwich…

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