Fake News Not New News

Yeah, Trump’s attacks on media are more pointed and virulent (obligatory “he’s despicable” here), but it’s really not anything new. Reagan often “went over the media’s head and directly to the people,” and Fox News emerged and owes its profits to media hatred. You think Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, et al became famous because people trust media? Their rise was a direct rebuke to what Trump today calls “fake news.”

Once more, Liberals are giving Trump superpowers that don’t exist. For two decades I’ve witnessed Dems and Libs spend more outrage on the media than on actual politicians. Sad.

From 2004 article in The Nation: ” . . . the Pew Research Center has released a survey that shows GOPers trust the major media organizations much less than Democrats. Only 15 to 17 percent of Republicans believe the network news shows are credible. Even Fox News Channel is trusted by only 29 percent of Republicans; CNN is trusted by 26 percent of this band. About a third of Democrats said they have faith in the networks, and 45 percent said they consider CNN credible. (Only one in four Democrats considered Fox a trustworthy news source.) The Pew report notes, ‘Republicans have become more distrustful of virtually all major media outlets over the past four years, while Democratic evaluations of the news media have been mostly unchanged.'”

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Huddled Masses–Keep Out!

Not since I had to remember and recite “The New Colossus” in elementary school have I seen so many references to Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of Liberty as in the past week. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses . . .”   Those words accompany strong and much-needed outrage over the Trump administration memorandum to significantly reduce, and in some cases ban altogether, immigration from certain Middle Eastern countries—mostly those where the U.S. wars unleashed in 1991 and 2003 have created refugee crises and where Trump and other U.S. oligarchs do not have business interests. (Particularly noticeable in its absence is Saudi Arabia, one of the more repressive places in the world and home of 15 of the 9/11 terrorists, but a huge investor in and arms buyer from the U.S.).431

But Lazarus’s words and media outcries belie the uncomfortable reality of the way the U.S. has dealt with refugees throughout its history. The wretched teeming masses have always had trouble getting into America, and particularly so when they emigrated from countries where race, ethnicity or politics conflicted with U.S. economic interests, ideology or policy.

Immigrants to American have rarely been met with open arms. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries Nativists created policies that made it difficult for Catholics, Irish, Germans, Jews and other non-Anglo Saxon groups to get in to the U.S. By the later 1800s, more immigrants came to America, as the emerging industrial Capitalist economy required immense numbers of workers. Still, Woodrow Wilson, in many ways the Godfather of modern Liberalism, welcomed the “sturdy stocks” of northern Europe rather than the “more sordid and hopeless elements which the countries of the south of Europe were disburdening . . . men out of the ranks where there were neither skill nor energy nor quick intelligence” (I’m thinking my four grandparents who emigrated from Sicily in Wilson’s time fit that description for him).

Wilson’s views were mainstream. Theodore Roosevelt used terms like “mick,” “dago,” and “chink” to describe ethnic groups. And official policy reflected those views. In 1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act to suspend Chinese immigration for ten years and exclude them from naturalization (they remained ineligible for citizenship until 1943). In the aftermath of the 1882 act, other groups like Middle Easterners, Hindus, and Japanese were targeted. In 1906, the U.S. and Japan had a diplomatic skirmish when California schools ordered Japanese students to be taught in segregated schools. Throughout World War I nativist sentiment soared and immigrants from Germany and then Italy (the home country of anarchists like Sacco and Vanzetti) came under scrutiny and attack, and in 1924, in the Johnson-Reed Act, Congress restricted immigration from all nations and excluded Asian newcomers. Continue reading

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Who You Gonna’ Believe, Me or Your Lyin’ Eyes? Trump and Media

Love Them, They’re Liberals (An Occasional Series)

Headlines on the NY Times website today (January 22d)

“White House Pushes ‘Alternative Facts.’ Here Are the Real Ones”

“With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift”

And from HuffPo

“Sunday Show Hosts Hit Back on Trump Administration’s Lies”

(Updated: and the January 24th NYT web headline is “Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting with Lawmakers”)

So on the same day, continuing a practice that they’d been using throughout the Trump ascendancy over the past 18 months or so, the media overtly and blatantly talked about his “lies,” his “lying,” or his “falsehoods”  or said he was “flat wrong.”trump-2

Sure, the NY Times, Chuck Todd, and George Stephanopoulous are liberals, and Chris Wallace, in today’s politics, is an establishment Republican, but even so, you’d never see them assert that a president “lied” in past administrations, Democratic or Republican.  They’re not implying it or using some euphemism, they’re saying that Trump and his myrmidons are deliberating lying.  And it’s not on the op-ed page; it’s in the “News” sections.

So what’s the big deal?  Trump hasn’t been treated with kid gloves by the media since he announced his candidacy and isn’t now.  Liberals love to bitch about media people taking it easy on conservatives, and that’s true.  But they have always “taken it easy” on presidents, judges, authority figures, and anyone else connected to their their basically-oligarchic (or at least elitist) interests.  While Fox News was brutal toward Obama, the mainstream media never really got too upset about his drone wars, civil liberties outrages, bailout of Wall Street, failure to create “good-paying jobs” (most of the jobs “created” by Obama were in service industries), or interventions, and never came close to accusing him or anyone else in his administration, or his political opponents for that matter, of “lies.”  The language employed against Trump is unique in that regard.

Calling out politicians for their bullshit, really calling them out, is long overdue.  It should have been practiced for a long time now, but it’s really taken off because of Trump.  He deserves to catch hell, and he’s getting it.

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Memo to Jill Stein: “I Cost Hillary the Election”

I don’t know any of the Little League candidates running who ran for Prez in 2016, but I do have some advice for them, which I offer here: Take the Rap. Take the hit.  Stand up, say it loud and say it proud–“I beat Hillary Clinton.”

Of course you didn’t, no more than Ralph Nader caused Al Gore, the guy who couldn’t even carry his home state, to lose in 2000.  And, to be accurate, both Gore and Clinton got more votes than their GOP rivals.  And, in both cases, Democrats and Liberals were quick to blame, with vitriol,  the Green candidates whom they charged especially cost them the White House.  (Here’s an example).  Nader should have said “I beat Gore, and I’ll keep beating Democrats until they actually represent the working people of America.”  Don’t run from the issue–embrace it.

Hillary Clinton cost Hillary the White House.  Bill Clinton’s meeting on the tarmac cost Hillary the White House.  Running a campaign to appeal to Goldman Sachs cost Hillary the White House.  Ignoring  working class voters by not even campaigning in states won by Sanders in the primaries cost Hillary the White House. Calling a huge chunk of your opponent’s supporters “deplorables” cost Hillary the White House. The Clinton Foundation’s crony deals with thug countries cost Hillary the White House.  The candidate’s inability to defeat what was considered the weakest candidate in U.S. history cost Hillary the White House.

Clinton’s refusal to just call in sick from a visit to the Twin Towers and instead collapse on TV cost Hillary the White House.  Hillary’s refusal to offer a simple early answer to questions about what was probably an ultimately inconsequential email server cost Hillary the White House. Clinton’s decision to peel off Suburban Republicans instead of going after traditional votes cost Hillary the White House.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and all the other occupants of that clown car known as the DNC cost Hillary the White House.  Using the phrase “Middle Class” almost exclusively while Donald Trump talked about “Working Class” people and “the poor” cost Hillary the White House. Democrats putting on their quadrennial political minstrelsy in lieu of actually dealing with conditions in the African-American community cost Hillary the White House.  Crafting a foreign policy more hawkish than Trump cost Hillary the White House.  And I could go on.  But, really, the entire fecal political history of the Clintons, over a quarter-century, ultimately led to the greatest defeat in U.S. political history.  All she had to do was NOT be Donald Trump, a condition about 7 billion of us share, and she failed.  She ran a campaign that makes those of McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Kerry, et al look inspired.  She’s the 1969 Super Bowl Colts of politics.

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MLK for Sale? How to Package a Radical (Redux)

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Normalizing Trump and the Power of Gold (showers): Love Them, They’re Liberals (An Occasional Series)

“I can take about an hour on the tower of power/’Long as I gets a little golden shower”

Frank Zappa, “Bobby Brown,” Sheik Yerbouti

——

Today’s NYT website headline:  “How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump”

The Crisis?  Apparently, Russian spies and contract spooks were keeping surveillance on Donald Trump to gain personal information to use against him for purposes of blackmail.  The most scandalous revelation, from a pilfered report that may or may not be real  (like all the “evidence” so far presented about the Russians and their bold attempt to subvert the United States by making sure the Democratic Oligarch lost the election to the GOP Oligarch) was “According to Source D… Trump’s perverted conduct included… defiling the bed where they [the Obamas] had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him.”  donald-trump1454356134

Donald Trump has mocked a disabled reporter, had lurid conversations with Howard Stern about his sexual preferences and openly talked about “grabbing pussy,” encouraged the mob at his political rallies to beat people up, gotten into a Twitter war with a beauty pageant queen he called “fat,” castigated a judge as corrupt because he was born in Mexico (he wasn’t; he was born in Indian, home state of Veep Mike Pence), gotten into a fracas with Gold Star parents, seemed to encourage “second amendment solutions” against political enemies, and maybe best of all said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

The report concluded that, “Trump’s unorthodox behaviour in Russia over the years had provided the authorities there with enough embarrassing material on the now-Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so wished”.

Crisis?  Blackmail?  Really?

Given what Trump’s done and gotten away with, prostitutes and golden showers are going to be his undoing?  The man has disproved all the accepted truths about American politics already–insulting minorities, the disabled, gays, women, you name it.  And this is going to be his Waterloo?  LBJ famously said that you could do anything but be “caught in bed with a dead woman or live boy.”  Trump could do both while getting his own golden shower from a transgendered Muslim Communist and there would be no fallout.

Yet liberals are in a constant state of apoplexy about this stuff.  Why not talk about, maybe stuff like Social Security, Medicare, the Supreme Court, Wall Street, trade pacts, jobs, etc.   Oh, that’s right, because the Democratic Party isn’t really very different from the GOP on that stuff.

So instead there’s this focus on Trump as Aberration, a vile and disgusting man (which is true) who is SO different from anyone in American political life that he is a danger to our future, a Hitler-in-waiting in fact.

Trump is in fact your normal Republican, but very open and vulgar about it.  Hell, a GOP senator from Louisiana paid hookers to make him wear diapers.; a GOP rep from Florida was caught soliciting teenaged boys for sex; an Idaho senator was arrested for lewd conduct in an airport restroom . . . so on sexual matters, Trump’s hardly abnormal by Republican (or American) standards.   So can we stop with the Helen Lovejoy “Won’t somebody think of the children” shrieks and get on to more serious things?

Trump and his party, with some Democratic complicity and some Democratic apathy, are acting simply in the interests of the ruling class.  They’re continuing to redistribute wealth and power from the 99 percent to the Oligarchy.  Instead of all these absurd sideshows about sex, how about some resistance on issues that actually matter to the people of Flint, Philly, El Paso, Chicago and everywhere else.  Indeed, Dem dreamboy Cory Booker and others in the party who got big money from Big Pharma just joined with GOP senators to kill a bill to explore, not invoke but just explore, importing cheaper drugs from Canada (see list below). Mostly crickets on that story while the Trump cascade continues. (As a friend said, “unlike Trump’s hookers, Cory Booker pissed on the whole  country”).

Gold, as in power, not Gold as in showers, has to be the issue here, and liberals, like a dog chasing a car, prefer to go after the salacious and lurid rather than the tangible and material problems that affect the lives of the non-rich.

Now, to be sure, the issue of a GOP candidate-cum-president working with the Russians is a real one, and potentially explosive, like Manchurian Candidate stuff in the worst-case scenario.  But none of that has been shown here.  The reports have been unverified (see James Bamford, the authority, on this, and this too), and the recent disclosure (bogus or not) concedes that “Trump has declined various sweetener real estate business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin’s cultivation of him.”  The Russians also offered him sweetheart deals relating to the 2018 World Cup and, again, “for reasons unknown, Trump has not taken up any of these.”

Now any foreign “cultivation” of an American president is really not a good thing (though we’d all have been better off if JFK and LBJ had been buddies with Fidel and Ho back in the day), but there’s no evidence of that yet.  What we have are lurid stories about an openly lurid man, not pleasant or indicative of good character to be sure, but pretty far down on the list of the dangers he poses.  Trump may be a pervert but if that were disqualifying, there would be no Congress (or any other institutions frankly), but he’s mostly just your normal Republican and normal politician.  Time to focus on gold, not gold showers.

Besides, as Granddad Freeman said . . .

 

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Happy Birthday Kelsey, 12/26/88-3/11/10

Happy Birthday Kid Blast. I miss you more each year.

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