Ryan-Bashing Makes Dems Status Quo Party

So much has happened in the last three years that it seems like much longer since Democrats thought they could use a backlash against a budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan to take back control of the House of Representatives. The trial case was a special election in New York’s 26th Congressional district in which a Democrat took a seat previously held by the Republicans in May of 2011. That race was somewhat misleading since the GOP candidate was hobbled by the presence of a false flag Tea Party candidate on the ballot and Republicans took the seat back the following year. But though the campaign strategy of portraying the House budget chair and his fellow party members pushing grandparents over the cliff never really caught fire elsewhere, Democrats are still enamored of the theme and apparently will try again this year in the wake of Ryan’s latest proposal which will be passed today by his committee.

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Ryan-Bashing Makes Dems Status Quo Party

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Confusing the Profane for Sacred

Contempt, not compassion.

Befitting our post-literate political age, in which the American president and his courtiers actively deride expertise and activists across the political spectrum reject thoughtfulness in favor of ornery truculence, Donald Trump’s style of reasonably communicative grumbles seems to be supplanting more formal forms of language. The all-consuming presidential cult has now sunk its hooks into the American Dialect Society. The nearly 130-year-old organization of linguists, lexicographers,  and grammarians revealed that 2017’s “word of the year” was “fake news,” a label the president applies to anything of which he disapproves—demonstrable or dubious—that finds its way into a journalist’s copy. But ADS saved a saucier “word of the year” for the internet crowd, and it far better exemplifies the rapid deterioration of the national discourse.

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What the Iran Protests Have Already Achieved

The breaking of myths.

More than 1,700 arrests and at least two-dozen deaths later, the Tehran regime seems to have suppressed Iran’s latest mass uprising. Scattered protests and skirmishes continue nationwide, according to the citizen-journalists who, braving regime violence, continue to post footage on social media. But for now, the demonstrations don’t seem to be growing in numbers or frequency. Yet outside observers tempted to write off the movement should recall that the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the shah began decades earlier. There were lulls through the years, which tempted President Carter at one point to describe the shah’s Iran as an “island of stability” in the Middle East.

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The Bumbling Boycott Machiavellians of Academe

Another BDS faceplant.

On January 5, Modern Language Association Members for Justice in Palestine hosted a meeting at New York University entitled “Palestine and the Future of Academia.” COMMENTARY readers may remember that supporters of a resolution to boycott Israel so soiled themselves last year that the MLA not only voted down that resolution but also voted up an alternative resolution to “refrain from endorsing the boycott.” Some pro-boycott professors very publicly resigned over what one called the “racist,” “ethnocentric” decision not to support a boycott of Israel. Another called the democratic vote to refrain from committing the organization to boycott “anti-democratic” because, you know, his side didn’t win.

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The Cuckoo Coup Debut?

Podcast: A move we'll rue? Or will stability ensue?

On the first COMMENTARY podcast of this week, the hosts note that the groundwork is being laid to declare Donald Trump mentally unfit and that he should be stripped of authority under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment. Also, Donald Trump and Republicans have come up with a border security ask in exchange for passing DACA into law. Is it a gambit or a capitulation? Finally, Oprah-mania sweeps the country, but does she have what it takes to win the presidency?

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The Trump Economy and 2018

We get the government we deserve.

Everyone knows that the stock market is soaring, perhaps too much. The Dow went up 24 percent in 2017. That’s not a record, to be sure, but it ain’t bad by any means. (The record year was 1915 when the Dow-Jones Industrial Average went up a staggering 81.66 percent, thanks to an avalanche of orders to American companies for war materiel from Britain and France. The second best year was actually 1933 when it rebounded from a disastrous low and climbed 63.74 percent.) This year, a grand total of four trading days long at this point, the market has gone up 502.2 points–slightly over 2 percent–to close above 25,000 for the first time.

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