42 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-3-17

  1. Ricky, I read the article you linked yesterday @1:30. I don’t know if Douthat just meant to be cute or if he even cares that his comparison of Trump voters to the lumpen proletariat is just another backhanded slap right down there with Hillary’s ‘deplorables’. But after reading his article (which mentioned jobs exactly one time and not in a particularly positive way), I can say that he appears to be no further from cluelessness than he was on the day of the election. That’s a real pity. Perhaps he should find a new topic, as this one seems over his head.

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  2. Ricky @5:56 According to Rush Limbaugh, his one and only goal is to defeat Democrats (by getting Republicans elected). So, his one and only purpose is to rally voters who listen to the radio to vote for the Republican candidates—which he did in November. Anyone who imputes some other motive or legacy to the man, is sadly mistaken I think. Illusions die hard.

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  3. Debra, I think you are too hard on Douthat. The whole point of his article I posted yesterday is that Trump’s Republican primary supporters were higher class, more likely to be working and less likely to be on welfare than many gave them credit for. Douthat thinks that makes them less likely to defect to a Sanders-like Democrat.

    Only time will tell. I don’t see those people supporting Bernie Sanders, but I could see them possibly supporting a Bill Clinton/John Edwards con man Democrat. Have you ever noticed that all con men seem to have really good hair?

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  4. In the primary, it was clear to ordinary Republican voters that our economic policies have been grossly tilted away from the interests US citizens. Trump was able and willing to articulate that in a spirited and believable fashion. A little crass perhaps, but not incorrect. Douthat and those in his milieu cannot understand this, and lash out at it.

    George Will presents another example of that lashing out against the ordinary voter.

    1950, the year before William F. Buckley burst into the national conversation, the literary critic Lionel Trilling revealed why the nation was ripe for Buckley’s high-spirited romp through its political and cultural controversies. Liberalism, Trilling declared, was “not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition” in mid-century America because conservatism was expressed merely in “irritable mental gestures.” Buckley would change that by infusing conservatism with brio, bringing elegance to its advocacy and altering the nation’s trajectory while having a grand time.

    Today, conservatism is soiled by scowling primitives whose irritable gestures lack mental ingredients. America needs a reminder of conservatism before vulgarians hijacked it, and a hint of how it became susceptible to hijacking…..

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448109/william-f-buckley-jr-alvin-felzenberg-book-conservatism-it-was-hijacked

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  5. Ricky @ 9:16. Once, long ago, we were living in Annandale, Va. at the time, Rush was doing an interview on some lady’s TV show. She asked him his purpose. His response:

    “I want to maintain the largest audience possible so that I can charge confiscatory advertising rates and make obscene profits.” You can tell he set her up for that.

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  6. It may create a feel-good moment for Will and his ilk to speak of his fellow citizens (Republicans at that) as ‘lacking in mental ingredients’ and expressing ‘irritable mental gestures’ but it’s not going to bring back the good ol’ Reagan days. He’ll probably be amongst those in voluntary exile in Singapore or Chile, who gather in their modern day salons to tut-tut over the sad decline of America. And with all of their combined mental acuity, I doubt it will ever occur to them what a huge role they played in it.

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  7. Charen’s column was so sad. A retired teacher friend (as of yesterday) left her school for the last time and blasted American schools quite handily. The relative I visited last week, a 25 year veteran can’t believe the idiocy in his school. I despair for education in this country. I’d be home schooling for sure if I still had kids at home. But what about my Adorables?

    It makes me wonder if my husband and I both should just quit and teach them. Between us, we could do it.

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  8. Michelle, My niece (an artist and aeronautical engineer) who is the wife of an Army Major sent her oldest to a public school kindergarten. That was enough for her. She got a part time job she could do at home so that they could send all of the three children to private Christian schools. I know that is what Dreher suggests. The public school my parents attended in West Texas was superb. My public school in a Fort Worth suburb was acceptable. I feel for today’s parents with young children.

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  9. Debra, It will probably be important for us to decide if it is going to be Singapore or Chile, so we only have to recreate National Review in one new country.

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  10. Ricky, most voters in the Republican primary will not likely defect to a Democrat…though, under the right circumstances, some will strongly consider it. Remember, in many states, independents can vote in the Republican primary. Independents are making up a much larger percent of the registered voters than they did in the past. And independents can lean either left or right.

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  11. PS, I still like to read Douthat. Even though I made a negative association between the two above, he seems to have a more realistic handle on things than George Will.

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  12. The jobs spiel the politicians give is always largely a con. The Obama/Hillary version is, “I will punish the big corporations and the oil companies and you will all make $100,000 a year making green Teslas, Sylyndra solar panels, and flying carpets that run on algae.”
    The version of the other candidate (I have pledged not to criticize) is, “I will punish the Mexicans, the Germans, the Chinese and companies that export jobs and you will all make $100,000 a year making Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles.

    You know I have been critical of these appeals, but this is what a huge number of Americans want to hear. If candidates didn’t give these spiels, someone else would, just like if Joel Osteen didn’t spew his pap, someone else would attract his people with a similar message.

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  13. Debra @ 11:20, I agree with you that Douthat is more sympathetic to the middle class while Will and Kristol come off as more arrogant.

    No one comes off harsher than Kevin D. Williamson or me. That is because we both are speaking to “our people”. We know what it is like to be poor, to work two jobs while paying four our schooling and we have less sympathy for relatives and friends who “pull a Hillary” and blame others for their economic plight while ignoring their own “contributions” to the situation.

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  14. Here you go. Liberal Michael Kinsley (of all people) in the New York Times (of all places) gives Trump credit for demanding that other members of NATO pay more.

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  15. Vive la femme? Maybe not. This article delves into an area that I had begun to really wonder about—the role of women in ISIS and other terrorist campaigns. Both male and female can be oppressed, brain-washed and ignorant—or committed to a violent revolutionary cause. To me there seems to be a dual standard of moral expectation when it comes to women as opposed to young men who often come from the same circumstances.

    ….The narrative of women as “victims” rather than politically motivated actors is one that is championed and pushed by the families of women who have joined ISIS as they lobby for their return and for states to pardon them.

    “We see these young men and women as victims, they are tricked and allured,” says Mohamed Iqbal of the Rescue Association of Tunisians Trapped Abroad, an advocacy group for families of men and women who have left to join jihadist groups.

    According to experts, however, as a result of misconceptions over why women join militant groups such as ISIS, states and NGOs have been taking the “wrong approach” to reintegrating them into society.

    Many Arab states leave it to communities to reintegrate ISIS women, while international NGOs carrying out DDR (disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration) programs offer sewing machines and household income-generating projects, cementing their “feminine identity.”
    “As for women, it is as if we are going to take them from 2017 and take them back to the 1950s, and that would solve their underlying political grievances,” says Gowrinathan.

    Lenient sentences

    But security experts and residents point to an even greater obstacle than policing: lenient sentences.

    Often due to lobbying from families and public sympathy for women viewed as victims, states across the Middle East have handed down shortened sentences or pardons for women who have joined ISIS – even those who may have blood on their hands.
    In Saudi Arabia, where, according to official accounts and experts, women have played an active role in recruiting and planning attacks, the kingdom’s harsh penal system has been unusually lenient.

    In May 2016, a 27-year-old woman convicted of joining ISIS and encouraging attacks on Saudi security services over social media was handed down a reduced prison sentence – three years instead of six. Other women convicted of belonging to ISIS have been sentenced from two to four years.

    In Tunisia, dozens of women who either were prevented from leaving the country to join ISIS or have returned have been held briefly without charge.

    In Jordan, dozens of young women who have been turned back attempting to enter Syria and join ISIS from Turkey have been pardoned, without spending a single day in prison.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2017/0602/How-cultural-biases-obscure-women-s-true-role-in-ISIS

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  16. Interesting article, Debra. As shown at 8:45, our women were not asked to build or wear bombs. Their job was to mind the farms and plantations and show the men where the Yankees were hiding.

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  17. Trump said he paid Hillary to attend his third wedding. Is it possible he is still paying her to hang around? The first sentence of this article is hilarious.

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  18. Good article. And it also explains why Trump gets a second term unless he completely self-destructs….although at this point it’s hard to imagine what that would look like. :–/

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  19. The Charen tweet — children’s mental health needs have gone up in recent years but to blame it on family structure or lack of it is misguided and simplistic. Sometimes single parent and divorced families are better for the child than what existed previously.

    Mental health problems do correlate to family structure but they also correlate to economic class. Hence, someone like me could claim economic anxiety in this hyper-capitalistic world with a lower rate of generational income mobility in a century to be a the main cause in child mental health problems. But I would also be simplistic if I did so since its only a correlation.

    Mental health, income insecurity and family breakdown all correlate —- Income insecurity = family breakdown = mental health problems = income insecurity = ……. and so on.

    The Reagan Cult is a good term. I’m not sure which cult following in more delusional — the Reagan Cult or the Trump Cult.

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  20. HRW … and to think we were in such agreement for so long. Reagan stood for conservative policies, and his supporters approved of Reagan and those policies. I understand you hate those policies, but Reagan, like Thatcher, Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders stood for something. The person I am not currently allowed to criticize, along with Hillary and her husband, is not very ideological. Loyalty to such non-ideological politicians tends to take the form of a cult of personality. Sadly for Hillary, she was the only member of her own personality cult.

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  21. Tychicus, The basketball is a little better tonight. The Warriors are really good, but as my son has said, “LeBron is a 280 lb. Westbrook.”

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  22. A politician can stand for something or have ideological coherence but can still be obviously wrong and therefore he and his followers are delusional.

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