Inside the Beltway: Political poison: ‘Toxic‘ is the word of the year

By – The Washington Times – Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The word wizards at Oxford Dictionary have chosen “toxic” as their official word of the year, which they deem to be a word or expression which reflects the “ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year,” with a future role in cultural significance.

“In 2018, toxic added many strings to its poisoned bow becoming an intoxicating descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics. It is the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, that made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title,” the dictionary explains.

“Our data shows that, along with a 45 percent rise in the number of times it has been looked up on OxfordDictionaries, over the last year the word toxic has been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses.”

Well, it’s certainly a pliable word. The researchers found that “toxic” was used to describe chemicals, gas, air, algae, waste, environments, relationships, culture — and one more topic.

“After ‘chemical’, ‘masculinity’ is the most-used word in conjunction with toxic this year. With the #MeToo movement putting a cross-industry spotlight on toxic masculinity, and watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparking international debate, the term toxic masculinity has well and truly taken root in the public consciousness and got people talking in 2018,” the Oxford rationale notes.

Curious about the runners-up for the annual title this year? They include: gaslighting, techlash, gammon, overtoursim and orbiting.

No, really. Those are some of the runners-up, and their definitions and usage can be found at en.OxfordDictionaries.

Meanwhile, previous Oxford words of the year include: youthquake (2017), post truth (2016), the tears of joy emoji (2015) and vape (2014).

TRUMP GETS A CALM ?

What’s this? There may not be any major protests against President in Palm Springs, Florida, over . and his family arrived in Mar-a-Lago — their preferred destination for the holiday — on Tuesday evening. The resort area has long been a draw for ’s critics who favor organized rallies, provocative signs and lots of media coverage.

So far, it appears that major actions are not planned.

A close review of upcoming anti- events on Facebook and Twitter came up empty. There are usually at least a few. A search for telling social media hashtags meant to organize an action found nothing -related, at least for .

The aggressive organizers behind many protests were extremely active during the midterm elections. They now appear to be calm — though MoveOn.org has debuted an ice cream truck emblazoned with the motto “Guilty Pleasures” to support Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into possible White House ties with Russia. The vehicle is currently cruising around the nation’s capital in key areas, loaded with such flavors as “Chocolate Subpoena Buttery Swirl” and “Cocoa-Conspirator.”

There are no big announcements from the Women’s March either. But they have an excuse. The group is currently troubled by infighting among its leadership who disagree over “unity principles” among other things. But that is another story.

The organization does not appear poised to protest this week, but instead is preparing for its third massive march on Washington in mid-January. It is a complicated and evolving event, rebranded as a “women’s wave” both here and abroad.

“Women’s March is a mass movement, made up of all of us. We cannot forget that 5 million women lit the world on fire two years ago, and that we’re ready to do it again,” says Rachel Carmona, chief operating officer of Women’s March. “We brought the power of our movement to the polls. In January, we’re going to unveil a Women’s Agenda when we flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities across the globe. The #WomensWave will take us into 2019 and beyond, as we advocate for the world we want to live in.”

MEDIA BIAS AGAINST A BORDER FENCE

Every little bit counts, perhaps.

The ever-hostile news media continues to show old images of the barriers on the southwestern U.S. border near the Pacific Ocean. The ever-vigilant President has noticed.

“The Fake News is showing old footage of people climbing over our Ocean Area Fence. This is what it really looks like — no climbers anymore under our Administration!” tweeted, adding a new photo of a barrier which boasts seven levels of spiraled razor wire.

So far, U.S. troops have already added 22 miles worth of similar deterrent along the California-Mexico border, and their efforts continue.

THE BONDI FACTOR

The nation’s business is always at hand.

President plans to meet with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi during his holiday. Ms. Bondi is on his “short list” to be U.S. attorney general when the time comes, and ousted AG Jeff Sessions bids farewell according to one press report.

“Bondi, Florida’s first female attorney general, is finishing her second term. She is not legally allowed to run again, and has been mentioned as a possible administration appointee since became president last year. Bondi was a surrogate during the 2016 presidential campaign and, more recently, a member of the president’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission,” noted McClatchy News.

“Three sources said is seriously considering Bondi for the job. Bondi’s office did not immediately return a request for comment,” the report said.

has already publicly stated that he would “consider Pam Bondi for anything.”

POLL DU JOUR

74 percent of Americans say the U.S. economy is “good”; 92 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall expect the economy to stay “about the same”; 21 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall say the economy “is getting better”; 72 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Democrats agree.

23 percent overall say the economy “bad”; 6 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of Democrats agree.

20 percent overall say the economy “is getting worse”; 7 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,103 U.S, adults conducted Nov. 15-18

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