Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quotation Of The Day: The Future Of American Evangelicalism Edition

From Alan Jacobs:
There’s a lot of talk about Trump dominating the evangelical vote, but most of the enthusiasm for him came from people who call themselves evangelicals but don’t go to church. Church-going evangelicals stayed home in large numbers. However: people who call themselves evangelicals but don’t go to church are the future of American evangelicalism.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Minor And Somewhat Silly Musing About The Twilight Zone And Changes In The Political Landscape

I freely admit the following is silly. The nation, however, seems to be entering Rod Serling territory, so, "Picture if you will, . . ."

Donald Trump has appointed Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon as his "chief strategist and senior counselor." The post doesn't require Senate approval, so Mr. Bannon will serve at Mr. Trump's pleasure.

There is a tenuous but interesting South Dakota connection to Bannon. Lee Stranahan, a strong supporter of erstwhile United States Senate candidate Annette Bosworth throughout her fraught candidacy, is a reporter with Breitbart.

Donald Trump has also appointed Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff. I'm guessing, and I am certainly willing to be corrected, that Priebus would be the chief intermediary South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard would talk with should the governor require assistance from the Oval Office.

Here's where the Twilight Zone music starts going. Daugaard distanced himself from Trump during the latter stages of the campaign. Assuming all phones are working properly, has American politics come to the place where Bosworth can call Stranahan who can call Bannon who will talk to Trump on her behalf before the White House switchboard will connect Daugaard to Priebus and have Priebus present Daugaard's request to Trump?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Post Election Essay Test

First, I want to apologize to the folks whose comments were hung up in comment moderation purgatory, I have not been very attentive to this blog. I have no excuse for much of the summer. Lately, however, I have been trying to keep up with young'uns learning about China, qualified immunity, the Internet of Things, Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, The Grapes of Wrath, excerpts from the Aeneid, and a bunch of Norse mythology. I will do my best to keep the post free of Ragnarok references.

Please answer all of the following in complete sentences and provide concrete details to support your answers.

Question 1: As of this writing, Donald Trump has won the electoral votes necessary to be elected President, but Hillary Clinton is leading in the popular vote. Paul Ryan has claimed that Donald Trump has a mandate to lead. What mandate does losing the popular vote provide?

Question 2: Part 1: Given his desire to "open up libel laws, has Donald Trump provided any assurances that he will actively work to protect the entirety of the First and Fourth amendments? Part 2: Is there any evidence that Mr. Trump knows what an ex post facto law is or that such laws are blatantly unconstitutional?

Question 3: This one is for my evangelical brothers and sisters. In your efforts to keep Hillary Clinton, a woman frequently viewed as Jezebel, out of the Oval Office, what assurances can you give that you have not elected Rehoboam?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Will Adult Republicans Ever Speak Up?

I'm not politically correct. I certainly use profanity more than most, and I am better capable than most of explaining how a certain short guttural verb that begins with "F" can be used in its participle forms as both an adjective and a noun in the same sentence.

On the other hand, I try hard to draw the line at using terms that demean entire groups of people. I also doubt that any human is "standard" I expect people seeking higher office and those who support them to adhere to both standards.

Apparently Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, one of his more vocal supporters, don't share that belief. My Twitter feed is full of photos of the following excerpt from Coulter's book which I found re-produced here:
Trump denied knowing that Serge was disabled, and demanded an apology, saying that anyone could see his imitation was of a flustered, frightened reporter, not a disabled person. It’s true that Trump was not mimicking any mannerisms that Serge has. He doesn’t jerk around or flail his arms. He’s not retarded. He sits calmly, but if you look at his wrists, you’ll see they are curved in. That’s not the imitation Trump was doing—he was doing a standard retard, waving his arms and sounding stupid: “’Ahhh, I don’t know what I said—ahhh, I don’t remember!’ He’s going, ‘Ahhh, I don’t remember, maybe that’s what I said!’” [emphasis mine]
If any Republican needs help in their efforts to explain to Coulter and Trump that "retard" should be used only as a verb and that no human is "standard," leave a comment and I'll be happy to use a short guttural verb in all its forms to explain it.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

And Today's Winner Of The Shameless Self-Promotion Tweet Of The Day. . . .

South Dakota's own Senator John Thune.
Out of curiosity, do the sympathy cards he sends to constituents call for a repeal of the estate tax?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Is Hillary Clinton Made Of Wood And Will She Float Like A Duck?

Apparently Ben Carson was literally preaching to the choir when he tied Hillary Clinton to Lucifer. Recently, Public Policy Polling found "33% [of Trump voters] think Clinton even has ties to Lucifer, to 36% who say they don't think so, and 31% who are unsure either way." There wasn't polling in the 1690s, but it would be a safe bet that hanged witches in Salem Village had better support for their innocence.

In one of the best examples of understatement in recent memory, the pollsters conclude, "Against that set of findings it's simply not very likely that many Trump voters will be moving into the Clinton column."

This, of course, is not the first time that a candidate has been associated with pure evil. In 2013, the same polling group found "13% of voters think Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, including 22% of Romney voters."

There are dozens of  policy reasons to oppose any politician, including Clinton or Trump. Those decisions can reasonably stem from a person's faith or lack of faith. Linking Clinton to Lucifer, however, seems to require the same lack of reason as the bizarre logic brilliantly illustrated below.

Pop Culture Wisdom

The most recent issue of Marvel's Black Panther has a single panel that sums up the political condition of the United States. Like Wakanda, the United States "has all the intelligence any advanced society would want and none of the wisdom any free society needs."