45 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-26-16

  1. So-called “fake news” is just yet another tactic liberals are using to silence opposition to their narrative,


    “What worries me the most about fake news, isn’t that it’s fake, it’s that it’s being used by the left to try to silence opposing views.

    Take for example a story reported by the Los Angeles Times that included a professor who put together a Google document of “false, misleading, clickbait-y and satirical ‘news sources’” to help people “cleanse their newsfeeds of misinformation.”

    The only problem with the list, was it included real news sites of which the professor simply didn’t agree. Conservative blogs, including Red State and The Blaze, were on the list, as was more centrist, but GOP-leaning Independent Journal Review (IJR). None of those sites are fake — they often just peddle in the real news purposely not covered by the mainstream media.

    “Not all of these sources are always or inherently problematic, neither are all of them fake or false,” the professor, Melissa Zimdars, at Merrimack College in Massachusetts told the Times. ” … They should be considered in conjunction with other news/info sources due to their tendency to rely on clickbait headlines or Facebook descriptions, etc.”

    So, just like MSNBC, Huffington Post, Slate, Mother Jones, and ThinkProgress — all partisan left outlets, which often use exaggeration and hyperbole to emphasize their point — which weren’t included on her list.

    CNN’s media columnist Brian Stelter also has warned about “fake news,” but in his diatribe, he included right-leaning Fox News and alt-right website Breitbart in the mix.”

    Liberals think they know what’s best for us clueless rubes.


    “Yesterday, I wrote that Democrats are going through the Five Stages of Blame-Throwing in an attempt to explain their utter and nationwide failure to connect with voters outside of their base. The fourth scapegoat presents an especially pernicious trend, given its widespread traction over the last couple of weeks — “fake news.” We have a new moral panic on our hands based on a very old phenomenon, and its embrace typifies the paternalism and elitism that has Americans in such an anti-establishment mood in the 2016 cycle.

    An analysis by Buzzfeed last week gave this moral panic more momentum. It claimed that the top 20 “fake news” articles got more clicks on Facebook in the final three months of the election cycle than the top 20 “real news” articles, and highlighted the top five from each list. As Timothy Carney pointed out in the Washington Examiner, the five consisted of four liberal anti-Trump opinion columns and naked pictures of Melania Trump. At least one of the top five so-called fakes was a pro-Trump opinion piece, not a news article at all.

    Regardless, people have demanded that Mark Zuckerberg start filtering content to screen for “fake news,” even though no one has shown any correlation at all between Facebook news-feed clicks and voting decisions. There isn’t even a correlation posited, let alone a causation, and yet the same people who blew the election by talking past middle-America voters now demand that Facebook and others treat them like idiots, too.

    It’s doubling down on elite paternalism and contempt, I argue in my column for The Week:

    Zuckerberg has said he’ll look into ways to identify misinformation, but scoffed at the “fake news” theory of the election. “Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” he said after the election. “I think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason why someone could have voted the way they did is because they saw some fake news.”

    Zuckerberg hit the nail on the head. Rather than deal with the lack of connection that Clinton and Democrats made with voters — including in House, Senate, and state legislative races — Democrats and the media would prefer to reject those voters as hicks and rubes who can’t tell the difference between facts and opinions, and between false stories and facts. It goes beyond a lack of empathy; it’s outright contempt.

    That contempt from elites in media and politics may or may not have produced the electoral results seen two weeks ago, but it certainly explains the shock that has resulted from it. That contempt is also reflected in the push to shut down commentary and pressure Facebook into editing their social media network to allow only those sources deemed acceptable by those in power, politically and culturally. They are creating a new social panic within their own circles and doubling down on paternalism. Don’t expect that to end well when the midterm elections roll around in two years.”

    Personally, I don’t need some liberal telling me what I should be reading, or limiting access to those they deem “fake” just because it goes against their ideology.


  2. So just how well did McMuffin and his Never Trump supporters do in this past election?….

    Not very….


    “That last tweet in particular echoed the single biggest theme in the McMullin/Mindy Finn stump speech: that Donald Trump was violating the Declaration of Independence’s notion that all men (“and women,” they would always add) are created equal. The Gary Johnson/Bill Weld ticket may have gotten earfuls of grief (some of it deserved) for going comparatively apoplectic at the prospect of a Trump presidency—an emphasis that, perhaps ironically, drove many third-party leaners I know into the arms of McMullin. But in his campaign and post-election behavior, the former CIA operative and Goldman Sachs investment banker has sounded at various times as outraged by Trump’s rhetoric and associations as the median Comedy Central employee.

    “The Republican Party can no longer be considered the home for conservatives,” McMullin said in his concession speech on election night. “Conservatism is about protecting the fundamental rights: That we are all equal, regardless of the color of our skin, the faith that we practice or our gender. But tonight there are millions of Americans, I’m sad to say, who are now in fear that perhaps their liberties will be challenged and threatened under a Trump administration that has made a campaign of targeting people based on their race, religion and gender.”

    But in his bid to be the vanguard of a “new conservative movement,” McMullin has a difficult question to answer. Him and what army?

    Not only did Donald Trump rout the Republican primary field and then shock the consensus favorite in the general election, the GOP maintained its control of Congress and its dominance at the state level. Conservative officeholders will likely be too busy enjoying the exercise of power to heed McMullin’s call for a new splinter movement.

    Meanwhile, the #NeverTrumper finished a distant fourth place in the national vote, with 0.42 percent so far. (Many write-ins have yet to be tabulated, so that figure will go up, but the total number of write-ins stands at 0.63 percent, meaning he will certainly fall far behind Jill Stein’s current 1.03 percent.) It is true, McMullin had by far the best finish among third-party candidates in any single state, with his 21.6 percent in Utah (more than doubling Johnson’s 9.3 percent in New Mexico), but aside from his 6.7%-4.1% victory over the Libertarian in Idaho (which is the second-biggest Mormon state of the union), the independent never cracked 2 percent in any of the other nine states he made it onto the ballot. There is no evidence that he exists as a significant political phenomenon outside the Mormon belt.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Where’s Michelle Obama and her food nazis when you really need them?


    “Soft drinks were the top commodity bought by food stamp recipients shopping at outlets run by a single U.S. grocery retailer.

    That is according to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program.

    By contrast, milk was the top commodity bought from the same retailer by customers not on food stamps.

    In calendar year 2011, according to the study, food stamp recipients spent approximately $357,700,000 buying soft drinks from an enterprise the study reveals only as “a leading U.S. grocery retailer.”

    That was more than they spent on any other “food” commodity—including milk ($253,700,000), ground beef ($201,000,000), “bag snacks” ($199,300,000) or “candy-packaged” ($96,200,000), which also ranked among the top purchases.”

    The dollar amount that food stamp recipients spent on soft drinks and other commodities comes from data a retailer provided to a data analysis company the federal government hired to find out what kind of foods people on foods stamps—and Americans not on foods stamps—were buying.

    “The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awarded a contract to IMPAQ International, LLC, to determine what foods are typically purchased by households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) benefits,” the study explained. “This study examined point-of-sale (POS) food purchase data to determine for what foods SNAP households have the largest expenditures, including both SNAP benefits and other resources, and how their expenditures compare to those made by non-SNAP households.”

    And that’s at just one large chain. Nationwide, the numbers are much higher.


  4. @7:58 I agree that it would have been a good focus for the First Lady to benefit every American—but more especially the poor who are less educated. Sugars and fats are quick, temporary fixes for depression too. Very unhealthy.

    This is a summary of the Key Findings in the pdf study your article linked to:

    There were no major differences in the expenditure patterns of SNAP and non-SNAP households, no matter how the data were categorized. Similar to most American households:

     About 40 cents of every dollar of food expenditures by SNAP households was spent on basic items such as meat, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and bread.

     Another 20 cents out of every dollar was spent on sweetened beverages, desserts, salty snacks, candy and sugar.

     The remaining 40 cents were spent on a variety of items such as cereal, prepared foods, dairy products, rice, and beans.

     The top 10 summary categories and the top 7 commodities by expenditure were the same for SNAP and non-SNAP households, although ranked in slightly different orders.

     Less healthy food items were common purchases for both SNAP and non-SNAP households. Sweetened beverages, prepared desserts and salty snacks were among the top 10 summary categories for both groups. Expenditures were greater for sweetened beverages compared to all milk for both groups, as well.

     Expenditures were concentrated in a relatively small number of similar food-item categories. The top 5 summary groups totaled half (50%) of the expenditures for SNAP households and nearly half (47%) for non-SNAP households. Twenty-five commodities accounted for nearly half of the food expenditures in these data with SNAP and non-SNAP households having 20 of them in common. The top 25 subcommodities for SNAP households and non-SNAP households, respectively, accounted for over one-fifth of food expenditures for each group with 16 subcommodities in common for the two groups.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People I know have been referring to Fox as “Faux” News for ages now. Of course, they never watch it so how would they know … at least one even went so far as to demand their cable provider BLOCK it from his service so he won’t even accidentally see it. Making a statement, I suppose.


  6. I like the diverse media, although it requires more from the reader/viewer in terms of discernment. Bring it on, all of it.

    Another post mortem on the election:

    How the Left Created Trump

    Nov. 8 represented an explosion of anger on the right at years of smugness and disdain by liberals.


    … Over the past few years at universities across America, for example, liberal students effectively banned Republicans from delivering commencement speeches by protesting speakers like Karl Rove, Rand Paul and Condoleezza Rice, forcing them to withdraw.

    On Nov. 8, it appears, the right decided it finally had enough of this smugness. Conservative voters—including many former working-class Democrats who made the difference in key states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—sent the message that they’d had enough not only of losing economically, but also of being sneered at. Trump’s rise in popularity—and ultimately his election to the presidency—should be seen as a long-building reaction to grass-roots liberal activism that came to dominate the cultural landscape and claim victory after victory in the social arena, whether the issue was abortion or gay marriage or transgender rights, always accompanied by that same disdain for right-wing views as worthy of the Stone Age. Trump’s rise to power evolved out of this frustration, as Clinton’s campaign increasingly became an extension of liberal America’s smug style of debate—an attitude that no longer disputed on grounds of policy or intellectual differences, but on the issue of the integrity of the right altogether….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One reason that foods higher in carbohydrates and fat content are purchased by low income households is that such foods create a sensation of fullness. Ever try, when you feel really hungry, filling up on fruit and vegetables? I have and it takes a lot longer for the hunger pangs to go away. So for the low income parent, whose child won’t sleep unless the hunger pangs are satisfied, the high sugar and high fat foods seem like a quick fix. Also, carbohydrates (which are broken down into glucose) and fats (fats are broken down by the body to form more glucose) are efficient sources of energy – your brain survives on the glucose continually supplied by the blood, which is why a diabetic who develops low blood sugar will go into a coma – so eating carbs and fats is what your body naturally craves when it is hungry.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Protein is expensive, though you can combine rice and beans for a complete protein–and that’s why so many struggle to provide food that both satisfies and nourishes. Soda is also cheaper than milk–another source of protein.

    I always cook with dry milk, for example, because it’s cheaper but equally nutritious.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was just going to say something similar, Michelle — the cost difference. All those fruits and vegetables, per Roscuro’s comment, that would be needed to satisfy one’s hunger cost a lot more money than the same quantity of junk food would. 😦


  10. I can list about half of dozen stories that Huff Po ran in the wrong direction with. Most recently was their list of hate crimes after the election. The story disappeared after half of them turned out to be faked. The other half were things like graffiti that no one could prove was put there by a Trump supporter.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read one story (can’t remember now where) but it was about the violence and hate after the election—and if you didn’t read the whole thing, you would think it was all anti muslim, anti-gay, etc. But buried down in the 4th or 5th paragraph, you find out the particular instance they were referencing was mostly general graffiti—- except for a part that was anti-Trump. Headlines are very deceptive.


  12. Excuse me if I missed something, or misread something, as I’m trying to read & concentrate on these comments while my grandson is playing around & talking to me.

    If I read correctly, what Debra quoted shows that there is no difference between what SNAP & non-SNAP households buy. The link that AJ shared that claims that a major retailer claims that sodas are the number one buy of SNAP users. BUT, the link doesn’t name that retailer.

    So, my thought is that retailer is a 7-11, or some other big name convenience store, where people pop in for a soda or a snack. If this is correct, then the article is purposely trying to disparage SNAP users, & unfortunately, there is already a lot of judgment by some conservatives against them anyway. This kind of thing feeds that judgment.


  13. Re: fake news.

    Although I agree that the latest articles from the left on this matter have named some sites that are not fake news, I also see a lot of actual fake news out there, & a lot of it is shared by some angry conservatives who don’t want to take the time to fact check.

    Even merely googling a story is not quite good enough. A couple fake stories I have checked out came up with a lot of different sites sharing it, but none of those sites were well-known or well-respected sites. These stories are often picked up from one site & shared on others.

    I have been especially disappointed in a Facebook friend who is very conservative & also a devout Christian. He has shared several stories that were not true, or quotes Hillary supposedly said, but she didn’t really, or her words were twisted to make them seem worse than they would have on their own. I pointed that out a few times, urging him to fact-check before sharing. I’ve gently pointed out that we Christians especially need to be very careful about not bearing false witness. But he wants to believe these stories that show liberals or Obama or Clinton in the worst possible light, so he believes them. And yes, I’ve seen that same kind of thing from friends on the left as well.


  14. Yesterday on Facebook, I shared a brief video about a fake news story that spread like wildfire. One of the points that I saw in the video is that it seems that if a story infuriates us, or causes us to feel a sense of “righteous indignation”, it can very well be a false narrative playing on our preconceptions of those we disagree with. I see that a lot on either side of the political spectrum.


  15. Karen, we have been doing a lot in class on reading scientific research and determining if a study is valid or not. It is not unusual for the medical studies reported in popular media to actually have very poor methodology and do not contribute anything of value to the overall body of medical knowledge. On of the things I do when I’m determining if a news story is likely to be accurate, I look for other sources of a story, preferably those that come from a news organization that has the opposite political bias to the first source, because if the stories have overlapping information despite the fact that the news sites have opposing biases, then it is more likely that the overlapping information is accurate. I also draw from background knowledge sources, because knowing something about the history, geography, culture, politics, climate, etc. of a region helps to determine if a story about that region is likely to be true or not.

    Also, I look for sources. Very often, if all the news stories come from only one source and that source is not reliable, then the story may be disregarded. I think of an example of this that I heard of as a teen and not until many years later did I discover the truth. When I was a teen, Harry Potter was becoming an enormously popular phenomenon. Some people in our church were distressed at the idea that books portraying wizardry were being read by young people. One of these people came up with a quote apparently from J.K. Rowling that was extremely blasphemous against Christianity. Other adults in the church were outraged upon hearing the quote, and said it was a sign that the world was becoming wicked and the Second Coming was nearing. Well, a few months ago, after having read the first Harry Potter book and finding the wizardry remarkably tame and fictional, I decided to see just where that quote came from. Wouldn’t you know it? The source was The Onion, which, as a satire magazine, doesn’t even claim to write real news. Like Karen, I have come to the conclusion that confirmation bias, which is willingness to believe a story because it fits with one’s preconceived ideas and opinion, drives much of what is written and shared as news articles on the internet and that is true across all political opinions and ideologies. My Christian relatives on FB often share stories from obscure new sites that make me cringe because the stories are so obviously untrue, but I realize they think they are because it fits in with their view of eschatology, which for many of them is dispensationalist and pre-millennial.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. “Single source” stories are always avoided among journalists (though sometimes on quick straight-forward pieces written on deadline they will have to suffice).

    If I see a story from a biased source, I’ll try to find a mainstream source to see if and how it’s being reported there.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. DJ – Yup, that “pop in for a soda” was intentional. 🙂

    Re: sources. There is a site a couple friends have shared from, Natural News, that often cites its own previous articles. Made me laugh when I saw that.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kizzie, a while ago I edited a man who was constantly citing and referring to his previous books. One of the assignments from the publisher was to make the book less of an advertisement for his previous books. He wasn’t too happy about it, but that was what they told me to do, and it was very obviously necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Whenever I’d go back to Iowa, I loved how everyone called it “pop” — with a very broad Midwestern (almost Minnesotan) ‘o’

    A friend in NY was originally from Minneapolis and she never lost the accent, so cute.


  20. Although originally from Connecticut (except for my mom, who was from New York City), our family spent most of my childhood in the midwest (Ohio & Wisconsin), where it was called pop. We still referred to it as soda, though. 🙂


  21. How fake news becomes real news, as demonstrated by the WaPo, and every other liberal outlet that ran with their bogus piece. Buncha parrots.


    “THE WASHINGTON POST ON THURSDAY NIGHT promoted the claims of a new, shadowy organization that smears dozens of U.S. news sites that are critical of U.S. foreign policy as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” The article by reporter Craig Timberg – headlined “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” – cites a report by a new, anonymous website calling itself “PropOrNot,” which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian “misinformation campaign.”

    The group’s list of Russian disinformation outlets includes WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report, as well as Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute.

    This Post report was one of the most widely circulated political news articles on social media over the last 48 hours, with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of U.S. journalists and pundits with large platforms hailing it as an earth-shattering exposé. It was the most-read piece on the entire Post website after it was published on Friday.

    Yet the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics. It was not surprising to learn that, as BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel noted, “a lot of reporters passed on this story.” Its huge flaws are self-evident. But the Post gleefully ran with it and then promoted it aggressively, led by its Executive Editor Marty Baron:

    In casting the group behind this website as “experts,” the Post described PropOrNot simply as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” Not one individual at the organization is named. The executive director is quoted, but only on the condition of anonymity, which the Post said it was providing the group “to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”

    In other words, the individuals behind this newly created group are publicly branding journalists and news outlets as tools of Russian propaganda – even calling on the FBI to investigate them for espionage – while cowardly hiding their own identities. The group promoted by the Post thus embodies the toxic essence of Joseph McCarthy but without the courage to attach their names to their blacklist. Echoing the Wisconsin Senator, the group refers to its lengthy collection of sites spouting Russian propaganda as “The List.””

    But it pushes their narrative, so truth is irrelevant. This is just their latest attempt at silencing their opposition. It’s the journalist version of the race card. By playing it they seek to stifle all debate, and label their opponents as unappealing and false, so easily dismissed.


  22. Some of my FB friends took great delight in the story this morning that Google Maps, for a few hours, had changed “Trump Tower” to “Dump Tower” on their maps.

    ” … LoL!!!!” … Hilarious!!!!” on and on they went about how wonderfully clever it all was. So funny!! Just the beginning!!! Hahaha ”

    I kept thinking, don’t they even get it? Do they still not realize that it was this kind of smug attitude that ticked working class voters off in the first place and got Trump elected?

    Well, I guess not.

    Liberals aren’t always the brightest bunch. …

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Ricky, on my way to church today, I walked past the city hall. They had their manger scene up. Normally, it is in the main downtown square, but that square is under major construction.

    Liked by 4 people

  24. My mother was from Oklahoma City. I was only there a few times in the summer as a kid. What I remember most about OK was the expanse of hills with brown crispy grass. And a few oil wells.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Debra, My earliest memories are set in a rent house on South Shields in OKC. I also remember my 3 year old Sunday School teacher at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Eisenhower was President at the time and Dad was a young Air Force engineer working on B-52s which were still being produced.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. There are those who believe that illegals have been encouraged to vote—by the President or other groups. I seriously doubt there are “millions” of illegal votes—though I do not at all doubt that there are some. There should be none.

    I wish our president elect would put his twitter account on ice (no pun intended) because the hyperbole is tiresome.

    Liked by 4 people

  27. I suspect Jill Stein is asking for the recount in order to qualify for federal campaign funds. The Clinton camp just wants to throw a monkey wrench into the process for reasons of their own. I would be more inclined to blame them if not for the Bush/Gore debacle in 2000. That may have permanently damaged the trust factor for many people in our elections.


  28. They dressed up (unlike most of us) for Sunday services — he in a suit and bow tie, she in a dress with proper (low) heels.


  29. Debra, I believe you are right on both counts. The Stein effort is like the protests and the crying on campuses. All of those things serve to make the Democrats look more foolish.

    Trump clearly loves his Twitter account. I understand. He enjoys firing back at people. He is more than anything a salesman. As such he can not stop the hyperbole.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. DJ, I haven’t spent much time in Kansas, but I suspect it has a number of things in common with Oklahoma. One of the differences is that Oklahoma is, in many ways, a Southern state. This is particularly true in theological matters. In the 1960s Southern Baptists were as strong in Oklahoma as in Mississippi or South Carolina. Herschel Hobbs was the pastor of First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City, and was a leading Southern Baptist theologian.


  31. rw: Yes, the MVP race should be very interesting.

    On the surface, it would seem that Kawhi has dropped off on the defensive end, but that’s where he really misses TD as the anchor of the defense. With him gone, Kawhi has to cover for the defensive liabilities of others, so he may even (wrongly) lose votes for DPOY.


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