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Reading: Trump Says ‘People Have to Remain Calm’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak – The New York Times

From Trump Says ‘People Have to Remain Calm’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak – The New York Times

Um, Illness and PR: PR wins. Trump stands down by passing the decision on to Them.

“They would like to have the people come off,” he said. “I would like to have the people stay. I told them to make the final decision. I would rather because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault. And it wasn’t the fault of the people on the ship either. OK? It wasn’t their fault, either. And they are mostly Americans.”

“So, I can live either way with it,” he added. “I would rather have them stay on, personally. But I fully understand if they want to take them off. I gave them the authority to make the decision.”

You’ve been sold.

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Reading: Why Do Corporations Speak the Way They Do?

From Why Do Corporations Speak the Way They Do?

Laugh-a-minute account of those corporate gals and guys and their crazy antics with nouns and verbs. MASH does WeWork.  Continues in the stylistic tradition of Richard Lantham’s Revising Prose (1979).  In the final chapter, Lantham argues what he was hinting at all along: Corporate wonks are poet wannabes.

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Reading: Controversial AAUP Poster at UW-Milwaukee

From Controversial AAUP Poster at UW-Milwaukee

From Joel Berkowitz at AcademeBlog. Not just an account of the rejection of an ad poster but also of the admin back-spin. Two points: this account clarifies the overall controversy, and illustrates how threadbare the admin excuses have become. “New policy” as a red herring argument and “start of a conversation” as a spin.

We’re all so tired of PR posing as communication that no one’s trying anymore.

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Reading: Republican rush to defend Trump reveals a party in thrall to its leader

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Arguments get buried. They need to be brought to light.

Trump, Republican politicians insisted, embodies everyone who once voted for him, while the Democratic House majority – installed just one year ago in an election with record turnout – stood for no one, or at best for a disembodied elite, or politically irrelevant classes who live in parts of the country that somehow don’t count.

The anxiety of the Republican position was palpable during the impeachment investigation in their efforts to present their minority case as the majority case, and in their strenuous sales pitch of untouchable executive power as a form of populism.

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Reading: Trump: the only ‘real Americans’ are white | The Guardian

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Commercialization of the civil religion, rituals, and symbols started years ago. Trump’s appropriation of them is possible only because they have become commodities.

Trump has hijacked the American civil religion, a concept that should serve as a basis for unity for citizens and used it in an attempt to further divide us along lines of race, party and religion in the name of political expediency.

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Reading: An Ode to ‘Desperate Don’

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It’s not an ode. More of a note towards grappling with reality. Would have been more effective as an ode, but trump doesn’t deserve one.

it is when Trump lies out of desperation, out of the fear of being found out, blamed, reprimanded, possibly even abandoned, that most people can relish it. It is in those moments that Trump is most human and our ire toward this liar is most vindicated and validated.

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Reading: Mueller report. Here’s what you need to know: ██ ██ ███ ███████ █████ ███ ██ █████ ████████ █████ • The Register

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The Register offers up an essay by erasure of a report by erasure of a ****-**** by any other name.

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Reading: Nunes’s lawsuit against Twitter – performance rhetoric

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Lawsuit as rhetorical trope.

This lawsuit is playing to two audiences — the courts, and the right.

For the rest of the world, it’s a performance piece.

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Reading: Nunes sues Twitter for all the rude stuff tweeted about him • The Register

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All these secret societies – all these adolescent politicos. https://ift.tt/2Jw6bMu

The lawsuit even goes so far as to suggest that the accounts weren’t just the work of people intent on making fun of him, but rather were part of a conspiracy, perhaps backed by his political opponents, and claims that Twitter was negligent in allowing the cruel jibes to continue.

“The Twitter attacks on Nunes were pre-planned, calculated, orchestrated and undertaken by multiple individuals acting in concert, over a continuous period of time exceeding a year,” the complaint, made public ahead of being filed, stated.

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Reading: The real reason Trump is pushing a free speech order on college campuses (opinion) – CNN

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Rhetoric at center.

I understand that those on the far right — people like climate-change deniers, Milo Yiannopoulos and others — are frustrated that universities are not always inviting places for their ideas. But if they want their ideas to be taken seriously, then they must make more persuasive and factually-based arguments for the validity of those ideas. People who stand on a university platform or whose work appears in the pages of well-respected journals have earned — not demanded — their right to be there.