Dot, dot, dot: The ambiguous ellipsis in the Trump Ukraine call summary

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An ellipsis (plural, ellipses) has multiple meanings: it can indicate an unfinished thought, a pause, or, in quoted material, something that’s been omitted. When there’s ambiguity, it’s up to the author to resolve it. Trump’s Ukraine call summary doesn’t, and that’s a problem. The ellipsis for an uncompleted thought is more common in fiction. In … Continued

Moscow Mitch?

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I’m no fan of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. But this caricaturing of candidates has gone too far. Donald Trump makes his points through repetition. The nicknames are a part of that. Lyin’ James Comey. Low Energy Jeb. Low-IQ Maxine Waters. Crooked Hillary. Crazy Bernie. Sleepy Joe Biden. And the worst: Pocahontas, for Senator Elizabeth … Continued

Donald Trump, Dorian, and the meaning of Sharpiegate

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Donald Trump, or someone close to him, scribbled with a Sharpie on a hurricane weather map to convince us he didn’t make a mistake. His judgment is clearly shot. Assuming we survive until election day, that’s going to be a problem. What happened? Well, on September 1, Trump tweeted that Hurricane Dorian was threatening Alabama … Continued

Don’t tell a Jew what to do

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President Trump says that it’s “disloyal” for a Jew to vote for a Democrat. The Jews I know think before they vote. That’s not disloyalty, it’s democracy. Here’s how the New York Times reported his public remarks. “Where has the Democratic Party gone?” Mr. Trump said at the tail end of freewheeling comments during a … Continued

Making Greenland Great Again

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News reports suggest that President Trump is interested in purchasing the island of Greenland which is currently a possession of Denmark. We join the President at his first campaign rally in Nuuk Stadium, capacity 2,000, a football stadium in Greenland’s largest city. Wow. What a warm welcome! Not an empty seat in the house. Seems … Continued

Hypocrisy in headlines: How newspapers covered Trump’s call to end racism

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In the wake of the shooting in Texas, Donald Trump has asked the nation to come together to condemn white supremacy and racism. Given his own past statements stirring up racial animosity, how are news media supposed to write about that? For context, he’s been telling women of color in Congress to “go back where … Continued

Fall 2020: The smoldering crater in the publishing schedule

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Lord help you if you are planning a nonfiction book launch in the fall of 2020. Normally, agents would be pitching such books to publishers around now. I’m betting those are some bizarre conversations. A successful book launch depends on media and word of mouth. You find writers, bloggers, and podcasters who would be interested … Continued