January 19, 2019

I will ignore... and resist...

It's sentence-diagramming time at Althouse. Today's sentence comes from Roger Cohen in a NYT column titled "The Strange Persistent Troubling Russian Hang-Up of Donald Trump":
I will ignore the hermetic sealing of Trump’s personality against decency, and resist the temptation to riff on Abraham Lincoln’s brooding portrait in the White House dining room above the buffoon in chief with his burgers, to ask a simple question: If President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, what would he be working to achieve?
I'm just into examining that as a sentence because, as the post title reveals, I am exasperated with the get-Trump enterprise.

But let me say something about punctuation. The commas after "decency" and "burgers" are not right, especially if you're going to be as comma-averse as to write "The Strange Persistent Troubling Russian Hang-Up of Donald Trump."

And my resistance is not strong enough to keep me from saying if you're going to pontificate about strange persistent troubling hang-ups of Donald Trump, you need to pause now and then and consider  strange persistent troubling hang-ups about Donald Trump.

By the way, I wonder whether some people — ordinary people who don't really want to have to follow politics too much — are going to be influenced in the 2020 election to vote against Trump just to help all the strangely persistently troublingly hung-up people.

109 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

"If President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, what would he be working to achieve?"

If you are committing adultery, what color hair does your lover have?

tim in vermont said...

Before I checked to see where the quote came from, I figured it was more treachery from Treacher.

tim in vermont said...

I am going to go read the article now, but before I do, here’s my guess. He’s working to make Putin’s main product cheaper for consumers in order to increase our dependency on oil and gas.

Fernandistein said...

I will ignore the hermetic sealing of Trump’s personality against decency,

Did the MSM scribbler tell a big lie in the first sentence of his scribbles? Or was that not the first sentence?

Dave Begley said...

Let's look.

We are exporting LNG to Europe. Russian formerly had a lock on that market.
Sanctions against Putin's cronies.
Expelled spies.
We are now the largest producer of oil and gas in the world.
Selling arms to the Ukraine.
Pulled out of the Paris Agreement.
Missile put in Europe.
Forced NATO countries to increase spending.

I'm sure I missed plenty.

Russian agent my ass.

tim in vermont said...

First sentence was all I could read: "So President Trump’s main concern at the border with Mexico is the supposed discovery of “prayer rugs.”

Not like the guy has an ax to grind or anything.

Meade said...

If you are one of some people — ordinary people who don't really want to have to follow politics too much — who are going to be influenced in the 2020 election to vote against Trump just to help all the strangely persistently troublingly hung-up people, which Ashley Madison ad is your favorite?

Drago said...

Shorter Cohen/LLR's: Lets not quibble about yesterdays exposed and debunked smears, lets spend some time together today conjuring up new ones.

Ann Althouse said...

If Trump had really colluded with Russia what would he do now — after he's already won the election, faces reelection, and knows he's being minutely investigated for collusion? Wouldn't that be a motivation NOT to do things that help Russia?

If we're going to make inferences, let's really examine which way the inferences should go.

What I'm seeing is Trump haters taking anything and imposing their preferred inference on it and not even considering how someone arguing for the other side would propose a different inference.

This completely alienates me. It's discussion on a stupefyingly low level.

tim in vermont said...

“The eighties called, and they want their foreign policy back!”

President Obama: "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

Russian foreign minister, “Yeah, I hear you about space”

Obama: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”\

Can anybody imagine a clearer example of collusion? "Pipe down and let me get re-elected with a minimum of trouble from you guys, and I will repay you."

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, the media is fully cooperating with Trump in exposing their fake news and their bias. But how this all will play out in 22 months is hard to predict. Low information voters are amazingly low in substantive information

tim in vermont said...

If Trump had gotten caught saying that, remember in the context of his secretary of state having taken hundreds of millions from Putin cronies?

It’s all gaslighting. They don’t give a flying fuck about Russia, what they hate is losing elections, full stop.

tim maguire said...

If I were to guess, based only on that sentence, what Roger Cohen thought about the Trump-Russia connection, I would guess he doesn't think there is one.

, and resist the temptation to riff on Abraham Lincoln’s brooding portrait in the White House dining room above the buffoon in chief with his burgers,

The commas indicate he considers this an aside. You could argue they're unnecessary, but I don't think they're wrong.

rhhardin said...

The two commas serve as em dashes.

Drago said...

Althouse: "This completely alienates me. It's discussion on a stupefyingly low level."

Historically, this is what leftism/LLRism leads to.

But only every single time.

Last time I checked I didnt find any transcripts of enlightening intellectual debates from Maoist China or Castros Cuba or Stalins Russia. All of which are preferred frameworks favored by the left
..and in particular Mao's China by the NYT crew.

Chris N said...

Nearly two years ago now, in Seattle, after the 2nd (since Trump inauguration) pink pussy-hatted women’s March downtown, there was a march for science, but it was mostly climate change (earth symbols), also some pink hats, and all manner of anti-Trump and...vaguely directed negative sentiment. Probably not so many scientists.

They could have just hung up a straw-man at one end of Pine street and built a shrine at the other.

I’m guessing most of the meaning lies in joining a reactive crowd against some genuine or perceived external threat. The purpose lies in feeling the security of belonging and the rush of all marching one way towards some goal.

I often think of these experiences and some people I know whenever I glance at a headline at The Atlantic, or NPR, or The New Yorker,

tim in vermont said...

WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Thursday to reinvigorate and reinvent American missile defenses in a speech that recalled Cold War-era visions of nuclear adversaries — though he never once mentioned Russia or China, the two great-power threats to the United States.. New York Times today. Yes, today, the same day that published the nonsense linked by Althouse.

Amadeus 48 said...

I'm going the other way on that in 2020. I'm voting for Trump because of the flood of anti-Trump nonsense perpetrated daily by the news media.

narciso said...

If Cohen werent a fool for Qatar and Turkey would he do anything different. Recall he made it big in the Balkans in the 90s, pushing the Bosnian narrative which becomes the Palestinian narrative. Which leaves out the Islamist undertones

Chris N said...

Wait, make that last year. Apologies. They have them in January. I really can’t keep track.

Dave Begley said...

Let's talk about how Hillary approved the sale of that uranium company to the Russians. Now that's collusion! And she and her so-called husband got paid.

Darrell said...

The Russia crap has been de-bunked.

NYT writers should be required to start their columns with "I am a lying asshole and this is what I have to say."

Ann Althouse said...

"The two commas serve as em dashes."

If it had been written with em dashes the punctuation not only would have made sense to me — it would have made the whole monster more readable instead of a rambling mess.

mockturtle said...

By the way, I wonder whether some people — ordinary people who don't really want to have to follow politics too much — are going to be influenced in the 2020 election to vote against Trump just to help all the strangely persistently troublingly hung-up people.

None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Paco Wové said...

"It's discussion on a stupefyingly low level."

Yes, well, "four legs good two legs better" and all that.

We've found our point on the map – now what do we do about it?

Bill Peschel said...

Those commas do annoy me. It's not an independent clause that requires them, and it's really too long for dashes, although I guess I'd have to put them in anyway. It is subordinate to the first part of the sentence (I assume that a specific swipe vis a vis Lincoln and the burgers is a specific and minor task compared to the hermetic sealing of Trump's decency), so in the end commas are probably the best solution.

At least the writer capitalized after the colon, as it is a complete sentence. You'd be surprised how many fail that test.

And I would answer his question, but Tim in Vermont covered all the examples I know.

This is why the Ctrl-Left favors censorship.

tim in vermont said...

Russia has emerged as perhaps the greatest threat as it develops a range of next-generation missile systems. In 2014, Washington formally accused Moscow of breaching an arms treaty by developing and deploying a prohibited weapon.

Although Russia has consistently denied any violation, the Trump administration told Moscow in October that it is leaving the landmark treaty.
. - Same article

The problem is that Trump isn’t showing the kind of flexibility on missile defense that Obama promised, I guess. Plus they got in a shot at Trump’s wall, ha ha ha! Not like they are obsessed or anything

When it comes to Trump, they throw around nickels like they are manhole covers, but their own Nobel Prize winning economist once said that it didn’t matter what you spent the money on, it would grow the economy! But that was when the Democrats controlled anything.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm going the other way on that in 2020. I'm voting for Trump because of the flood of anti-Trump nonsense perpetrated daily by the news media."

Yes, but I am giving you Trumpsters a warning about how more moderate, distanced people feel. If you don't want to pay attention to what I'm saying, fine. But if you care about the outcome, you should want to understand the urges of the people I am imagining and talking about. Do they exist in any significant number? I don't know. It's a mystery. But ignore them at your peril.

gilbar said...

If you are committing adultery, what color hair does your lover have?

that's easy: Red!
I mean, i'm not; but if i were, it is!

Drago said...

Dave Begley: "Let's talk about how Hillary approved the sale of that uranium company to the Russians. Now that's collusion!"

Dont forget Mueller as FBI director hid criminal investugations and their results from congress, against the rules, which enabled that deal to go thru as well.

Yep.

Mueller colluding with the Clintonites who were colluding with the russian allies of Putin.

buwaya said...

It is propaganda. It works best at "a stupefyingly low level".
If you fill every venue with enough of the stupefyingly low you will get through, or better, occupy mental space so nothing else gets through.

It is a fault among intelligent people, to over-think.

Again and again and again. There is a right way and a wrong way to see this stuff.
The wrong way is to take it as some sincere if mistaken thought.

Bill Peschel said...

Also, as we've seen with Buzzfeeds shitpost yesterday, the truth or facts no longer matters. Only keeping alive the narrative of Orange Man Bad.

Flood the zone with fake news and keep the straw man burning long enough to push their candidate over the line.

Drago said...

Althouse: "But ignore them at your peril."

No one is ignoring them. However, the days where we simply surrender to them after they inevitably line up with the dems to maintain their more comfortable social arrangements is over.

At this point, after all that has occurred, if these moderates are too stupid and cowardly to stand up to the Marxists, then nothing said or unsaid will bring them over.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The Corrupt-Hillary lost butt hurt party is still going. ugh.

narciso said...

So moderates seem prone to more ridiculous notions, well after eight years of unrelenting lawfare the left were able to bring down Walker, by hook or by crook.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

All these boring Trump haters all voted for corrupt money grubbing Hillary.

Darrell said...

"They say so many bad things about him. Some must be true, right?"

--What a stupid person says that doesn't know the Left.

Dave Begley said...

Althouse, "about how more moderate, distanced people feel."

That's my biggest concern. Suburban women who hate Trump's manner and the politically disconnected. The media drumbeat has been 24/7 against Trump since the day he was elected. This barrage has to be working on some people. And all the "right" people hate Trump. Peer pressure.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Abraham Lincoln’s brooding portrait in the White House dining room above the buffoon in chief

Abe (broodingly): I've heard worse.

As usual, the headline would be the work of someone other than the writer of the column. In this case, of someone who thinks he's Tom Wolfe.

Earnest Prole said...

I will (1) ignore the hermetic sealing of Trump’s personality against decency, and (2) resist the temptation to riff on Abraham Lincoln’s brooding portrait in the White House dining room above the buffoon in chief with his burgers, to (3) ask a simple question: If President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, what would he be working to achieve?

I don't see the problem you see with the commas.

Darrell said...

Google "FBI: 4200 women called local FBI offices saying that Kavanaugh raped them"

You won't get any hits on the real story you should remember. You only get the stories that make him look guilty--and I looked through 23 pages of hits.

pacwest said...

"but I am giving you Trumpsters a warning about how more moderate, distanced people feel."

Thanks for the warning. Those are a dime a dozen these days. Got any solutions? Maybe we could build a 'moderate' wall?

Can't we all just get along? Obviously no, and I think we can blame the media for that. Time to get off the fence, comfortable as it might be.

Oso Negro said...

@Althouse - I am a bon fide non-Trump voter and your archives prove it. Collaboration, compromise, or even normal discussion requires people who are willing to participate or work with you. I can speak only for myself, but I have people who I considered dear friends for more than 40 years who will not even speak to me because I am inadequately upset that Donald Trump was elected. What is your prescription for that? Where are these moderate people of whom you speak? Cowering in their homes wishing for the calming bromides of another faux-centrist? Guess what - there WILL NOT be that choice in 2020. The most shrill progressive Democrat will carry the primary. Just you wait.

Amadeus 48 said...

Althouse: I am not a pro-Trumpster.

I agree with your fundamental insight. I was with a group of traditional GOPers yesterday who were generally supportive of Trump, and I asked, "Yeah, but how does your wife feel about that?" I got eye-rolls in response.

The Trump team has to figure out how to appeal to more people than the 35% of the electorate that thinks he's great, which is the point you made.

buwaya said...

Your only "solution" is a counter-media system with resources matching those of your enemies. A bullhorn as loud as their bullhorn. These things are expensive.

The only reason they have this bullhorn is because they took it all over before it was recognized as a political-economic asset. Now it would be massively costly to replicate those institutions.

Whats left, without such resources, are guerilla methods, modern samizdat. But those don't go very far, and they are shutting them down, slowly, as they also control the infrastructure and platforms for that.

Its not a matter of argument, it really is all about money.

Dave Begley said...

News yesterday that Starbuck's Howard Schultz is going to run as an Independent. Keep an eye on him.

WaPo comments were typical. "He'll only help Trump get re-elected!" And, "I'll never got to Starbucks again!"

Gahrie said...

Yes, but I am giving you Trumpsters a warning about how more moderate, distanced people feel.

The key word being "feel" instead of "think".

Repeal the 19th.

The Godfather said...

I have nothing to add re the commas, but I ask myself why start a discussion by mentioning things you AREN’T going to discuss? I think it’s a signal that you are writing only for people who already agree with you. I think it says, if you don’t agree that Trump is indecent and a buffoon, don’t bother to read further.

Will some people in 2020 vote against Trump because they’re tired of all the sturm and drang that his existence causes? Doesn’t that depend on who the Democrats nominate? If it’s Elizabeth (“You didn’t build that!”) Warren, I don’t think so. If it’s Michelle Obama, maybe yes.

Gahrie said...

What I'm seeing is Trump haters taking anything and imposing their preferred inference on it and not even considering how someone arguing for the other side would propose a different inference.

That is exactly how many of us felt when you supported CBF and opposed Kavanaugh.

Drago said...

By the way Althouse, if you think the left/LLR and their eventual moderate toadies will stop if Trump loses, you are crazy.

The left has fully flexed their political muscles and they are never going back again.

Just yesterday, Dem lunatic called Ben Sasse "alt right".

Ben Sasse.

Remember when Romney was Theocratic Hitler?

Tell me Althouse, did those shenanigans alienate your moderate pals sufficiently to vote republican?

I am guessing.....no.

I think we are long past the dems/left/LLRs crossing the political Rubicon.

Gunner said...

The only thing worse than Democrats being sore whiny losers is them being sore whiny winners. Their Trump obsession won't stop even if they defeat him. They still blamed Bush for everything bad under Obama.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I thinkiwrote much the same thing at 9:39 as your comment at 9:56, though from a slightly different angle. Speaking of low information voters, Jews still can’t get their minds around the not well reported but there in plain sight fact that the Democrats give pride of place to hard core anti-Semites who would cheerfully kill them and their children and their grandchildren. The last president as hard on Russia as Trump is, was Ronald Reagan, but low information voters still believe “collusion.”

Amadeus 48 said...

Yeah, Gahrie, but the 19th isn't going to be repealed. And Trump both appeals to and repels the "feelz" of people. The real question is, how does he get to a majority of the electoral college? And more deeply, is it a good thing if he gets re-elected?

I had no trouble voting for him vs. HRC, and I think I'll come to the same conclusion against the Dems now in the field for 2020, but is he what we want in the Oval Office? There are a lot of Americans who are repulsed by him personally and have real reservations about his style of leadership. I personally cheered when he pulled the rug from under Pelosi and the junketing Democrats, but a lot of people think POTUS should be bigger than that.

buwaya said...

Drago is right.

The system existed before Trump, and was effective.
But Trump put such a scare into them that they have mobilized it as never before.
More significantly, they realized the power of the technical samizdat and have started shutting it down.

They will not reverse on this, and with executive power they will simply increase the scope of propaganda, and remove all competition.

It is foolish to think that much of this is a matter of laws. Economics and culture control the creation and interpretation of laws, and no law establishing liberty matters without power behind it.

Bruce Hayden said...

"If President Donald Trump is a Russian asset, what would he be working to achieve?"

I would be more worried about the lack of the subjunctive there, than how many commas he used.

Drago said...

Amadeus: "I had no trouble voting for him vs. HRC, and I think I'll come to the same conclusion against the Dems now in the field for 2020, but is he what we want in the Oval Office?"

You dont run mythical people against a political opponent.

Who else on the republican side will even try to fight back against the dems and be remotely as effective as Trump in 2020 or in 2024?

Look at the crew that ran in 2016. By and large most of them went into the race signalling abject surrender or complete ignorance of and aloofness from the fully raging culture war.

mccullough said...

Buwaya,

Guerrila methods is a good point. Some jokers recently hopped the wall at one of Pelosi’s houses. If she thought only the left was going to harass politicians at dinner and home she is senile.

mccullough said...

Romney is a weakling. A groveling weasel. Trump has buried that GOP. They will never have any power again. Romney can get elected in Utah but nowhere else. No one listens to that guy. Same with Sasse.

Paul Ryan got the message and retired. So did Flake and Corker.

Romney is too arrogant and stupid. He’s a useful punching bag for Trump and the Left. A piece of exercise equipment they both can share.

Jupiter said...

Roger Cohen is an inexcusable waste of valuable carbon, but I can't see any problem with those commas. Are you thinking that commas shouldn't be used before "and"? Commas should be used to indicate points where a speaker would pause.

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve uhr said...

Mueller has been investigating for almost two years in secrect. Yet the commentators are certain that if he finds trump engaged in serious misconduct it only means he is part of the so-called deep state. Judge the evidence not the messenger. Ignoring the evidence that doesn’t support your preconceptions is not an effective means to persuade others.

Kevin said...

By the way, I wonder whether some people — ordinary people who don't really want to have to follow politics too much — are going to be influenced in the 2020 election to vote against Trump just to help all the strangely persistently troublingly hung-up people.

They’re going to be told the only way to get the media back to reporting the news, and Thanksgiving back to a civil gathering of family and friends, is to vote Trump out of office.

And many will fall for it.

Drago said...

Althouse should ask her moderate amigos if they are cool with Dem Sen Hirono calling Ben Sasse and the Knights of Columbus alt right.

The left/LLR's fully intend on moving rapidly to destroy any and all possibility that any republican can win again.

Just look at the details of House Bill number 1: it centralizes control of elections oversight while simultaneously the dems in the state houses (like Minnesota) are pushing laws to have their electors vote in alignment with the national vote totals, regardless of state by state outcomes.

Open borders, open denigration of American citizens while empowering and protecting illegals, consolidation of media beyond what the Soviets dreamed of....

..but hey, we get it. Your friends dont like Trumps tweets.

Priorities baby. Priorities.

Seeing Red said...

I agree with your fundamental insight. I was with a group of traditional GOPers yesterday who were generally supportive of Trump, and I asked, "Yeah, but how does your wife feel about that?" I got eye-rolls in response.


Revoke the 19th Amendment and it’s good you didn’t ask my husband that.

buwaya said...

A forward-thinking public-spirited fellow with a great deal of money may want to start setting up a fallback system for the American samizdat. Its probably overdue. The suppression of free speech is inevitable, the moment the US government changes, and it will.

When the alternative platforms are shut down, deprived of hosts and access and fully demonetized, it will be natural to try host these offshore. This will be difficult though as money will be hard to find. Best to start now before finances become unavailable.

That is, offshore hosting of a "free press" dissident infrastructure, with redundancy upon redundancy. It is likely that a political press driven offshore, operated out of a given country, will be driven out of its host under American pressure. It must therefore be a system with a large number of hosting locations, to avoid both US pressure and local politics, and financial pressure. The financing will have to be well concealed, and dispersed as well. The US will try much harder to stop this than it has Al Qaeda or ISIS communications and finances.

If done correctly the only way for a future, hostile US government to fully shut it down would be to copy the "Great Firewall of China". Not inconceivable, but a serious undertaking.

Drago said...

Steve uhr: "Judge the evidence not the messenger. Ignoring the evidence that doesn’t support your preconceptions is not an effective means to persuade others."

A lefty has the nerve to post this within 24 hours of one of the biggest fact-free BS-filled lefty/LLR smear jobs...and we have seen alot.

Yet Stevie didnt even bother to allude to that.

History began anew for the left this morning and they lecture others again.
Without a hint of irony.

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...

Mueller has been investigating for almost two years in secrect. Yet the commentators are certain that...

...the evidence of Russian collusion with his campaign was so overwhelming the government had to spy on its political opponent. Given that, why haven’t we removed Trump from office years ago to prevent even more damage?

Lewis Wetzel said...

People like Cohen have been wrong about virtually every event they have written about. I wonder why Cohen thinks that his words carry any weight? You might as well try to make sense of the sound of the wind.

stevew said...

The commas after decency and burgers delineate the list of things Cohen is going to ignore and not riff on before he states his question. Of course doing so in this way is an attempt to preempt questioning and discussion on those two topics.

A long, messy sentence constructed by someone that finds himself to be very clever, indeed.

Seeing Red said...

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported Friday that China has offered to significantly boost its purchase of U.S. goods over a six-year period in an effort to re-balance trade between the two superpowers. By increasing its annual imports from the United States, Beijing would reduce its trade surplus to zero by 2024. That would require a spending boost of more than $1 trillion.

buwaya said...

Steve Uhr,

This all is irrelevant. This is a power struggle over enormous and fundamental stakes. Power is everything.
Messengers belong to one side or another, and what they bear is only weapons for one side or another, nothing else. None can be trusted.

That is your present condition. Some people are slow to understand how the world has changed. Some entertain a fantasy that they can restore the past.

mockturtle said...

Guerilla tactics in the traditional sense will not work. Guerilla media are what we need and not just a bunch of conspiracy-theorizing whack jobs. Not saying some conspiracy theories aren't valid. There really is a Deep State.

Watching FOX News now, it's easy to see the influence their new owners, Disney, have had on their content. Before long, it will be just another CNN and their viewership will plummet.

bagoh20 said...

"But ignore them at your peril."

And what would you suggest we do about it?

Bruce Hayden said...

"If Trump had really colluded with Russia what would he do now".

For me, that phrase is begging for a comma. And, hence, I think, the problem that I have with yout thesis. Obviously, I am at the opposite end of the scale, when it comes to using commas. I was thinking though, when I was looking at your post, that my overly zealous commaing style reflects the way that I speak, with a surplus of dependent clauses, set off with slight pauses, indicated by commas. And, yes, a shortage of having had to write for law students with a Blue Book in front of them, double checking everything, in order to get published.

Funny story about people who were on Law Review. My last boss had been on law review at his top 10 law school, so many decades ago. He had a number of peculiarities in his writing as a result. One was his insistence that punctuation be inside quotes. This made no sense, because, for me, quotes mean to me that you are copying something. Thus, in my mind, punctuation belongs within a quote when the quoted material has punctuation there, and doesn't belong there when there isn't punctuation there in the original. The result was that when we would go back and forth with edits, he would move punctuation inside quotes, and I would move it back out, whenever the document was going out under my name and not his (which was the usual situation). When he asked why I was so adamant, I told him that I refused to have a bunch of law students, half my age at that point, dictating how I wrote.

bagoh20 said...

OK, I've stopped ignoring them. Now what?

Ralph L said...

I would be more worried about the lack of the subjunctive there, than how many commas he used.

If he were sane, he'd have used it.

When I refreshed, the first three posts of the day all had 56 comments.

bagoh20 said...

Anyone who reads my comments would quickly come to the conclusion that I have no idea where commas go, but there may be another explanation.

Yancey Ward said...

Paul Zrimsek wrote

"As usual, the headline would be the work of someone other than the writer of the column. In this case, of someone who thinks he's Tom Wolfe.

More likely the work of someone who doesn't even know who Tom Wolfe was.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“Abraham Lincoln’s brooding portrait in the White House dining room above the buffoon in chief with his burgers”

And all those Black kids eating them! WTF!

Lewis Wetzel said...

The EU has a GDP of 18 trillion $ and a population of over 300 million. Russia has a GDP of 1.5 trillion $ and population of about a hundred million. The EU, which has an explicit goal of becoming an economic rival to the US, can pay for their own damn defense.

Ralph L said...

And what would you suggest we do about it?

Become young, good looking, and rich and start apologizing in a manly way.

Limited blogger said...

You're gonna be amazed when you see all the Americans rallying around their president in 2020.

narciso said...

I think he is alluding to the leak presumably from Kissinger about Nixon's final days.

bagoh20 said...

There are plenty of people on line, as in this community who are strongly and openly right wing, and pro Trump, but in real life, I rarely if ever talk to such people. I assume they are there, but keep it under wraps. We have a family friend staying with us this weekend who more pro-Trump than anyone I ever heard. A professional woman in the medical field, pHD, long career of experience in serious and important work, and very religious. It was a bit shocking, but also strangely relieving and reassuring to hear someone say the kind of positive things about Trump that few ever say in person out loud. She was angry, funny, well informed, and unapologetic.

We are going to church tomorrow followed by an afternoon of shooting guns out in the desert, and then a barbeque at our friends' house who are two married gay men, ex-military with grown children. The world and people in it depicted among the chattering classes and on the minds of many is not the real world, which is far more nuanced, fluid, and compromising.

bagoh20 said...

"Become young, good looking, and rich and start apologizing in a manly way."

Can anyone suggest a newsletter or blog that would help with that, becuase I really want those things for myself?

johnhenry100 said...

Blogger Gahrie said...

Repeal the 19th.

This seems like a mantra with you. Probably a week doesn't go by without you saying it in the comments.

I wonder what you think it would accomplish? I gather the reason you keep saying it is because you don't like women voting. You think their votes cause problems. Right?

Do you seriously think that repealing the 19th would prevent women from voting? All voting is state voting. States, subject to a few restrictions like the 19th and not letting non-citizens vote for federal office, states can do as they please.

About half of all women in the US had the right to vote before the 19th. Do you think that any states would repeal women's right to vote for whatever office?

It's a pretty stupid mantra.

Not only is it mind-numbingly stupid, it is incredibly offensive.

What next? No vote for Jewish citizens? Black citizens? Muslim citizens? Chinese citizens? Gay citizens? What other groups do you want to fuck over.

Go ahead. Let your inner bigot rage!

Give it a rest.

John Henry

johnhenry100 said...

I buy my commas at Costco. I can get a huge barrel full for $3.99.

They are so cheap it seems a sin not to use them.

John Henry

Jupiter said...

stevew said...
"The commas after decency and burgers delineate the list of things Cohen is going to ignore and not riff on before he states his question."

Well, if so, it is a list with only two items, connected by "and". And the rule is that no comma is needed between the next-to-last item and "and" (Mrs. Taliaferro taught me that in third grade). But I don't read it that way. Cohen is putting commas where he would insert a portentuous pause if he were reading his creation aloud to an adulatory throng, a fantasy he indulges with increasing frequency as his little spin in the bright light approaches its inevitable close. And I see no problem with that. In fact, I would put a comma after "room".

buwaya said...

Bagoh,

They are out there, and they do keep it under wraps. Often very deep. I avoid politics myself, especially at work, but its remarkable how often the vibe seems to come across, that the fellow I am speaking with seems to have detected a fellow conservative.

Its amusing really, the way they will turn conversations to subjects that will inevitably turn political, and drop signals about what they really are. I imagine its much like how homosexuals carefully sussed each other out.

Jupiter said...

Althouse has a legal mind, sort of, and she believes that rules should be followed even in those cases where they make no sense, because otherwise the result is chaos. This is a defensible proposition when one is discussing law. If laws may be ignored when they prove inconvenient, then they fail of their purpose. But the only risk incurred when an author ignores the "laws" of grammar is that he may fail to communicate with his reader. This risk falls entirely upon the author, and he may run it if he so desires. Indeed, he may feel that communication is best served by ignoring a rule he finds unnecessarily constricting.

Crazy Jane said...

"the hermetic sealing of Trump’s personality against decency"

"the buffoon in chief with his burgers"

Can you imagine Abe Rosenthal writing those phrases? William Safire? Regular readers of the NYT perhaps have been desensitized by the decline of its discourse into anti-intellectualism, in-group certainty and juvenile name calling. This goes well beyond the editorial pages; the paper had multiple Yale-educated reporters on staff to dig dirt on Kavanaugh's college social life, but apparently not even one Catholic to explain that disgraced priests are not sent to "convents." Talk about hermetically sealed.

I don't know how people who have mixed feelings about the president react, but I personally am not moved when a bunch of self-styled elites tell me that Donald Trump is a big poopy-head.

Humperdink said...

steve uhr: "Judge the evidence not the messenger."

Not sure about you steve, but I judge the credibility of both.

Jupiter said...

Blogger buwaya said...
"They are out there, and they do keep it under wraps. Often very deep."

I try very hard to conceal my political views at work, and to cut off any discussion of political matters. This is because I am scared spitless of the harpies in HR, but also because I note the contemptuous dislike I feel toward the poorly-educated young twits and twats who assume as a matter of course that everyone around them shares their ignorant Leftist views and wishes to hear them repeated. When a dagger comes handy, I'll know where to insert it.

gadfly said...

"And my resistance is not strong enough to keep me from saying if you're going to pontificate about strange persistent troubling hang-ups of Donald Trump, you need to pause now and then and consider strange persistent troubling hang-ups about Donald Trump."

Methinks that it is Ann Althouse who fails to recognize that Trump is and always has been a dishonest actor in his own self-directed TV drama starring Donald Trump as the ultimate egotist. He has lived his life cheating people for his self-aggrandizement and to illegally garner wealth. That makes him a criminal - no hang-up here - I am stating known facts.

But if you want to analyze sentence structure and message, try this George Will piece talking about our shabbiest president.

Dislike of him should be tempered by this consideration: He is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen. It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory.

Which is why this fountain of self-refuting boasts (“I have a very good brain”) lies so much. He does so less to deceive anyone than to reassure himself. And as balm for his base, which remains oblivious to his likely contempt for them as sheep who can be effortlessly gulled by preposterous fictions. The tungsten strength of his supporters’ loyalty is as impressive as his indifference to expanding their numbers.

tomaig said...

Hermetically sealed? In a mayonnaise jar? On Funk and Wagnall's porch?

Sorry, that's what I think of whenever I hear "hermetically sealed"...been that way since childhood.

They don't make 'em like Johnny anymore, and it's our nation's / culture's loss.

Drago said...

The Poor Man's LLR Chuck gadfly: "He has lived his life cheating people for his self-aggrandizement and to illegally garner wealth. That makes him a criminal - no hang-up here - I am stating known facts."

LOL

Again, its a wonder your blogsite didnt take off!!

Drago said...

And quoting George Will!!

Why should anyone take seriously the opinion of such a hard left democrat backer?

Jupiter said...

"He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life."

George Will on the mote in Trump's eye.

bagoh20 said...

George Will? I seem to recall that name, but can't quite remember who he was? I guess he wasn't very good at what he did, or it went obsolete. Did he run a buggy whip company?

Earnest Prole said...

In short, the sentence's dopey ideas are properly punctuated.

Megaera said...

So, the whole sentence is just clumsy apophasis, the political writer's version of the magician's assurance that he has nothing up his sleeve, but it does effectively demonstrate that Cohen is a fool. Yes, Lincoln is now safely canonized, even for the left, but their conception of him as a grim, brooding eminence is laughable. He was a country lawyer with an occasionally randy sense of humor and was roundly despised by the political elites of his time for all of his "Not-one-of-us" qualities. A bit like Trump, in fact.

Seeing Red said...

John, Inga voters.

Skookum John said...

And the rule is that no comma is needed between the next-to-last item and "and" (Mrs. Taliaferro taught me that in third grade).

That’s a rule that is the subject of vigorous debate among language pedants and probably always will be. Personally, I have been persuaded that the so-called “Oxford Comma” is necessary. Without it, you run the risk of producing sentences like this:

“The people I admire most are my grandparents, Thomas Jefferson and Joan of Arc.”

tim in vermont said...

Judge the evidence not the messenger. Ignoring the evidence that doesn’t support your preconceptions is not an effective means to persuade others.

That’s the thing steve, we haven’t seen any evidence yet. Just a lot of “You know he’s the kind of guy who would do that stuff” from people still butt hurt that Hillary lost.

The famous example of the missing Oxford comma:

“Among the eclectic guests on his radio show were Nelson Mandela, a pedophile and a white supremacist”

Ralph L said...

I had a creepy HS teacher named Taliaferro also, but he seemed to be a man.
It's pronounced "Tolliver," for those who haven't.

Earnest Prole said...

I have been persuaded that the so-called “Oxford Comma” is necessary.

The Oxford comma governs the listing of nouns, not the punctuation of verb phrases.

Jim at said...

Wait, make that last year. Apologies. They have them in January. I really can’t keep track. - Chris N.

Easy mistake. Find me a week when they aren't blocking the streets in Seattle.

R. Duke said...

I thought commas were supposed to be used with coordinating conjunctions; and, or, nor, but, for.