Wednesday, July 18, 2018

BOOM! Thanks to NYT, the Trump saga enters a new and darker phase, starting tomorrow

Why muddy a clear message of a nation in danger?

From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered (NYT)

July 19

     If the Times has this right, Trump has known that Putin ordered the interference with our election since early January, 2017.
     That means that Trump has been protecting his pal Putin all this time. He's been obstructing justice.

The "resignation" episode?

Aargh! Things are gettin' Biblical!

Fox on Trump: "[he] sounds insane"

Quick! Clean up!
Press conference clip:
Reporter: “Is Russia still targeting the US, Mr. President?”
Trump: “no.”
Trump: “There’s never been a President as tough on Russia as I have been.”

Fox gang:
Fox host 1: "All right, so the President there talking about, uh, his record with Russia—'as well as anybody has ever done with Russia'...."
. . .
Fox host 2: [Trump was asked:] “‘Are they [the Russians] still meddling?’… and [Trump] said ‘no,’ … all he said was ‘no,’ which sounds insane.”
Clean up the clean-up!
Fox host 3: “It does sound insane.”
Fox host 2: “It could be that he believes we’re stopping the meddling at this point….”
Fox host 3: “We’re working really hard to make this sound reasonable….”
Fox host 2: "No no no no, I’m not working hard to make it sound reasonable, because it doesn’t sound remotely reasonable; …it sounds insane….”

* * *
     NOT LONG AFTER, Trump's press secretary held a press conference in which she stated that Trump's "no" was a "no" to further questions, not to whether Russia is still meddling.
     Nobody's buying that one either.

The English Major

The Evolving English Major (Inside Higher Ed)
     Report documents decline in numbers of majors but growth in new tracks. Of the specializations within major, writing is doing relatively well, and literature not so much.
By Colleen Flaherty
July 18, 2018
     Bachelor’s degrees conferred to English majors are down 20 percent since 2012, but responsive departments that know how to market their worth to students are finding ways to thrive, says a new analysis from the Association of Departments of English, or ADE. The group, which is part of the Modern Language Association, says its report is the most comprehensive study of English departments to date.
     “While declines in the number of undergraduate majors have affected English departments widely and at all types of institutions, most departments are exploring ways to respond,” reads “A Changing Major: The Report of the 2016-17 ADE Ad Hoc Committee on the English Major,” released today.... (continued)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Watch: Republican leadership will now sink to a new and almost unimaginable low, defending a manifestly treasonous President

Trusts murderous autocrat Putin more than his own Justice Dept.
Richard Nixon's resignation: the day before, a moment of truth
(The Christian Science Monitor, 8-7-14)
     Forty years ago, a Republican delegation led by Barry Goldwater told Richard Nixon he had lost almost all his remaining support in Congress. The next day, he resigned.

Nixon Slide From Power: Backers Gave Final Push
(NYT, 8-12-74)
     The situation, said Senator Scott, was “gloomy.”
     “It sounds damn gloomy, Mr. Nixon replied.
     “Hopeless,” said Senator Goldwater.
     As the meeting ended, Mr. Nixon hinted that he understood there was only one option and that, perhaps, he had known it all along.
     Will such a delegation materialize now?
     Of course not.

Treasonous Trump —The President as Russian stooge


Friday, July 13, 2018

The idiot abroad: insane, insulting, incendiary

"He's not my hero! I'm a communist, you idiot!'

The Real F.B.I. Election Culprit 
     In his testimony before two House committees on Thursday, the F.B.I. agent Peter Strzok testified that he could have altered the 2016 election — but didn’t. The information about Russian election interference, he said, “had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.”
     In hours of always hostile and sometimes even rude questioning, the Republican members of the committees never proved otherwise. The hearing was the latest effort by House Republicans to find any hint that there’s a “deep state” conspiracy against President Trump….
. . .
     The F.B.I. agent corps today overwhelmingly fits the demographic profile of a Trump voter. During the 2016 campaign, in The Guardian, one agent said, “The F.B.I. is Trumpland.” In his testimony, Mr. Strzok all but laughed out loud when committee members pressed him Thursday on whether the whole F.B.I. was made up of Democrats.
     The New York field office, one of only three headed not by a special-agent-in-charge but by a full assistant director, has always been a particular challenge for bureau leaders — it’s fiercely independent, combative and notoriously leaky. The office, which works closely with the local United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, a job held by both Mr. Comey and Mr. Giuliani, is sometimes referred to inside the Justice Department as the “Sovereign District of New York” for charting its own course.
. . .
     We need to understand the truth of the 2016 election — not just for the record, but to take steps to prevent any interference in future elections. Mr. Strzok survived the worst the House Republicans could throw at him, including a threat to charge him with contempt for refusing to answer questions on the advice of the F.B.I.’s counsel about an ongoing investigation — a hallmark of the rule of law in ordinary times. Until congressional overseers make a serious attempt to get to the bottom of the New York field office’s role in the election, we’ll know they’re not serious about learning the truth.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer sounds

Well, I feel like an old hobo, I'm sad, lonesome and blue
I was fair as a summer's day, now the summer days are through

Even I've taken my chances
Even I've taken my chances
On you and I know

When we laugh into the microphone and sing
With our sunglasses on to our favorite songs

You surely must be trying to break this heart of mine
I thought you knew I loved you and we'd share a love so fine

I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead
I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled , yeah yeah
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread

     "I consider myself a conservative to a certain extent—you know, I moonlight as an LGBT advocate, I run an LGBT advocacy organization that works with Republicans…and we make the case that freedom is freedom for everyone, and where that really lends itself at this moment in time is to securing full civil rights protections to LGBT Americans because there are still 28 states where you can be fired for being gay—all these things that many Republicans don’t know—and those states are mostly red states, so you need Republicans to engage Republicans on that front. There are many people who are socially conservative who would not say that I’m conservative because of those views."

     [For a helpful account of Buckley's efforts to pull together a conservative movement, consider E.J. Dionne's Why Americans Hate Politics]

Caltech Drops SAT/ACT Writing Test (Inside Higher Ed)
     The California Institute of Technology has announced that it is dropping a requirement that applicants submit the SAT or ACT writing test. Caltech's move follows those of Stanford and Princeton Universities last week. Only 22 colleges appear to still require the writing test, although millions of students take the exams every year. A statement from Caltech said, "Writing and communications skills are valued highly by Caltech and will continue to be evaluated through the information collected in the SAT/ACT verbal sections as well as through required application essays. With this policy, Caltech aims to streamline the application process and eliminate additional testing fees incurred by applicants."....

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Under Canvas

Canvas Catches, and Maybe Passes, Blackboard (Inside Higher Ed)
     Blackboard dominated the U.S. learning management system market for 20 years, but new data show its cloud-based competitor edging past it.

By Lindsay McKenzie
July 10, 2018

   Canvas has unseated Blackboard Learn as the leading LMS [Learning Management System] at U.S. colleges and universities, according to new data from MindWires Consulting.
     In a blog post on Monday, Michael Feldstein, partner at MindWires Consulting and co-publisher of the e-Literate blog, wrote that Canvas now has 1,218 installations at U.S. institutions, compared with Blackboard’s 1,216. Although the two-figure difference may seem insignificant -- and Blackboard and some of its allies say the data don't accurately reflect the two companies' relative reach -- most analysts agree that Canvas's ascent, largely at Blackboard's expense, is noteworthy.
     “This is a stunning development for a company that seemed to have established an unbreakable market dominance a decade ago,” wrote Feldstein.
     At its peak in 2006, Blackboard controlled approximately 70 percent of the U.S. and Canadian market, with its nearest competitors “far, far behind,” said Feldstein. But slowly Canvas, and others such as Moodle and D2L’s Brightspace, have closed the gap.
Blackboard and Canvas now each control 28 percent of the U.S. higher ed LMS market, followed by 23 percent for Moodle and 12 percent for Brightspace, according to MindWires Consulting's data partner, LISTedTECH.
     The rise of Canvas to near market dominance is one that “nobody would have predicted,” said Feldstein.
     The Canvas LMS is offered by Instructure, a company that was established in 2008 -- several years later than Moodle (2002), D2L (1999) and Blackboard (1997).
     Yet Canvas’s “cloud-based offering, updated user interface, reputation for outstanding customer service and brash, in-your-face branding” have helped it to surpass these more established systems, said Feldstein…. (continue)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hey, baby, it's the 4th of July!

She's waiting for me
When I get home from work
Oh, but things just ain't the same
She turns out the lights
And cries in the dark
And she won't answer when I call her name

Well it's been building up inside of me

For oh I don't know how long

I don't know why

But I keep thinking

Something's bound to go wrong
But she looks in my eyes

Well it seems that everyone we've known
Their love's grown cold, hearts turn to stone
One by one they break, it's such a shame
And now you say you wanna do the same

And each girl in my little red book
Knows you're the one I'm thinking of
Won't you please come back [to me]?
Without your precious love I can't go on
Where can [love] be?

Hey, little girl, you don't have to hide nothin' no more
You didn't do nothin' that hadn't been done before

Well I got down on my knees

(got down on my knees)

BOOM! Thanks to NYT, the Trump saga enters a new and darker phase, starting tomorrow

Why muddy a clear message of a nation in danger? From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered  (NYT) By DA...