Monday, February 6, 2017

Politics, T+17: February 6, 2017: Jacksonian Populist Nationalism -- Again

I thought we were finally "over it," but apparently not. The New Yorker was a mouthpiece for Hillary during the campaign; it became so bad, I finally cancelled my subscription. I thought after the election, TNY would move on, and for a few issues, things looked pretty good. Then the cartoon on the back page was a "Trump cartoon." This week I see TNY has placed a "Trump cartoon" on the cover. They just can't get over it, making American great again.

Trump's Really, Really Stupid Comment

Trump's really, really stupid comment. Why I love to blog.

I don't think this story will have legs, based on early Monday morning reporting, but Trump's "really, really, stupid comment" about the US not being so "pure" when asked a question about Putin by "O'Reilly" was seen as a "really, really, stupid comment."

Why would Trump make such "a really, really stupid comment"?

The answer:
  • Trump reads voraciously
  • Trump thinks in the "here-and-now"
  • Trump has (almost) "no filter"
  • Trump is three to four steps ahead of the press
This article was making the news during the same 24-news cycle that Trump was talking to O'Reilly. It explains almost everything. This all occurred under the Obama Administration:
The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed.
The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.
In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded as part of an open-source database maintained by the U.S. Air Force, information relied on by Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups to assess each war's expense, manpower requirements and human toll.
Those airstrikes were carried out by attack helicopters and armed drones operated by the U.S. Army, metrics quietly excluded from otherwise comprehensive monthly summaries, published online for years, detailing American military activity in all three theaters.
Most alarming is the prospect this data has been incomplete since the war on terrorism began in October 2001. If that is the case, it would fundamentally undermine confidence in much of what the Pentagon has disclosed about its prosecution of these wars, prompt critics to call into question whether the military sought to mislead the American public, and cast doubt on the competency with which other vital data collection is being performed and publicized. Those other key metrics include American combat casualties, taxpayer expense and the military’s overall progress in degrading enemy capabilities.
If that's not enough, remember: President Obama -- the president, the US president, the US president against water-boarding, the Nobel Peace Prize winner -- "neutralizes" a US citizen with a drone in the Mideast. The Obama administration also put together the Yemeni strike plan, carried out most recently, that resulted in significant civilian "collateral damage."

I was disappointed that Trump spokesmen on Monday morning were unable to make the connection. Very disappointed.

Having said all that, Trump either needs to become a better communicator (unlikely to happen) or he needs to be more circumspect in what he says (equally unlikely). 

Jacksonian Populist Nationalism: It's Starting To Make Sense

The Foreign Affairs article helped me understand the Jacksonian populist nationalism a whole better.

Super Bowl Ad: USA Today's Ad Meter
Melissa McCarty's "Hero's Journey"

Link here.

As soon as I saw this ad, I said it would be #1. I was surprised it was not mentioned among the top 3 on Fox Business News this morning.

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