16 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-13-23

  1. Once again the govt is caught lying and withholding evidence that blows up their false narrative. And the corrupt judge plays along as always.

    No R ever gets a fair trial in the cesspool that is DC.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Whatever dude….


  3. “Why Russiagate was the media’s Vietnam

    The press declared war on Donald Trump. They lost”


    “The first two decades of the twenty-first century were tumultuous for the American press. From 9/11 and the war on terror and the explosion of the culture wars to the industry-transforming rise of the internet and social media, there was no shortage of challenges to established journalistic practices. But none of these storylines can compete with the intensity, ferocity and sheer ingenuity displayed by the media as it set out to demonstrate that Donald Trump had colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Over more than four years, Russiagate became more than a cause. It became the media’s raison d’être, so important that it forced some of the most reputed outlets in the country to openly disavow cherished journalistic values, like objectivity and neutrality, in favor of a crusade against one man.

    The August before the 2016 election, the New York Times ran a front-page story headlined “The challenges Trump poses to objectivity.” Its author, Jim Rutenberg, wrote, “Let’s face it: Balance has been on vacation since Mr. Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy.” Among the questions Rutenberg said his colleagues in the media were asking themselves: “Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place?” What happened next would confirm that the answer to the first question was no. Four years later, the paper ran an op-ed by Pulitzer-winning journalist Wesley Lowery who called for the long-held ideal of objectivity to be replaced with a mission to pursue “moral clarity.” According to the column, which received high praise from the Times’s then-top editor Dean Baquet, journalism needs “to abandon the appearance of objectivity as the aspirational journalistic standards.”

    The Russiagate crusade was born of this relaxation of journalistic standards. And its costs to the media’s credibility were laid bare in a recent deep-dive into the sorry saga published by the Columbia Journalism Review. Titled “The press versus the president,” the 26,000-word-long investigative piece by former New York Times reporter Jeff Gerth methodically and devastatingly traces the seven-year-long effort by the American press corps to connect Trump to alleged (and largely unsubstantiated) Russian election meddling.

    The CJR piece represents a turning point not just for Russiagate but for the American media. In fact, one of the many effects of the piece will be to redefine Russigate itself from a series of questionable interactions between Trump and the Kremlin to a protracted media effort to remove a sitting president from power. In the words of former Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerald Baker, reported in Gerth’s CJR piece, Russiagate was “among the most disturbing, dishonest, and tendentious [media episodes] I’ve ever seen.”

    A reasonable expectation of its effect on the media ecosystem would be akin to a journalistic hydrogen bomb being detonated. This was, after all, the Columbia Journalism Review, the publication of the most revered journalism school in the country. If there is anything the media loves, it’s a journalistic retrospective that painstakingly picks part how a story came together — or fell apart. But in this case, the piece was met with a conspicuous silence.

    Perhaps the lack of a response is unsurprising. America’s prestige media outlets are not ready for the overdue reckoning Gerth’s piece makes clear is needed. The length and sheer complexity of the story should not obscure the stark takeaway that the most authoritative institution in American journalism, the same institution that awards the coveted Pulitzer Prize each year, had issued a damning verdict on the Russiagate affair.

    The charges in this case had long been made by the Republican Party, the conservative press and Trump himself. While the CJR piece stays well within the lines of sober journalistic convention, the picture that emerges from Gerth’s investigation is a morass of malfeasance on a breathtaking scale, greased by naked ambition and ideological buy-in, all of it orchestrated by a private investigation firm run by former journalists who would not be out of place among characters from Dante’s ring of hell reserved for Sowers of Discord.

    The press’s offenses are so voluminous, and so far outside the lanes of accepted journalistic practice, that they’re hard to keep track of. There is former New Republic editor and journalistic wunderkind Franklin Foer submitting drafts of his articles to FusionGPS, the intelligence-cum-PR shop pulling the levers of the anti-Trump campaign. (In a burst of on-the-nose-ism, Foer named the file containing one of his stories “Manchuriancandidate.Foer.”) There is the fact that “[h]undreds of emails were exchanged between Fusion employees and reporters for such outlets as ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Slate, Reuters, and the Times during the last months of the campaign.” There is the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin opining, falsely, that Trump had “gutted” the GOP’s anti-Russian stance, when, in fact, Trump had strengthened that platform.

    There is an echo chamber so deep and loud that it’s virtually impossible to discern where claims by one outlet stop and another begin. There is Buzzfeed illicitly obtaining the Steele Dossier at the heart of Russiagate when its reporter photographed its pages after a lawyer, who had the document on his desk, left to use the bathroom. There are FusionGPS operatives exhorting journalists to run stories they want published by, in one case, writing, “[D]o the fucking alfa bank secret comms story. it is hugely important. forget the wikileaks sideshow,” and journalists actually engaging with the bullying.

    More damaging and insidious than anything, however, there was the media’s ability to cannily coopt mechanisms of the intelligence community, surrendering journalistic judgment and slavishly following the spooks’ lead. Through accounts of the dozens of Russiagate stories published since 2016, a clear methodology emerges by which the FBI in particular used media reporting on the infamous Steele dossier as evidence of the dossier’s credibility, and media outlets would cite the FBI’s belief in the dossier’s credibility as justification for publishing stories on even its wildest and most lurid claims.

    In reality, the dossier, as we now know, was no more than falsehood-riddled opposition research commissioned by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It was, in a word, disinformation. But even more importantly, the CJR piece shows just how instrumental the Clinton campaign was in coordinating the many various attacks on Trump through the media. It spun out storylines that were aggressively pushed by FusionGPS operatives into the media. With very few exceptions, the press not only ran those stories but ran them in exactly the way that the Clinton campaign wanted them run.”


    Enemy of the people.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The US media is broken and pathetic.

    They’ve gone from holding truth to power to corrupting the truth for the powerful and their political gain.


    “When did journalists stop asking hard questions and become nothing more than a tool for the U.S. government to spread the “official” story?

    Oh wait, I remember. It’s when Donald Trump was booted out of office and Democrats took the helm. In every major story, you can ask yourself how journalists would handle it differently if Trump were still president instead of Joe Biden. The answers are self-evident.

    Imagine it was Trump in the White House and … the president’s son had a laptop filled with information about secret deals with foreign adversaries. … Or that the administration identified parents at school board meetings as domestic terrorists. … Or that 600,000 migrants who streamed across the border were issued U.S. visas without so much as a citation or a court date. These are just a few of the current stories that so-called professional journalists have no interest in pursuing because a Democrat is in the White House.

    But nothing better illustrates the incompetence of the Biden administration and the complete lack of professionalism of the American media than the spy balloon story. The more you learn about the Chinese Communist Party’s balloon excursion across the United States, it is inevitable that you ask, “Who is more incompetent? The U.S. military or the U.S. media?”

    We are led to believe that the balloon first crossed U.S. airspace above the Aleutian Islands in Alaska on Saturday, Jan. 28, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, sent up fighter jets to check it out. Instead of shooting it down, the generals decided it was just a harmless balloon that would float above Alaska and … what? Disappear? Explode? Cross the Arctic ice cap and invade our mortal enemy, Russia?

    Did the generals forget that there are nine military bases in Alaska, including a Coast Guard Base on Kodiak Island, the key defense facility at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, and the strategically invaluable Clear Air Force Station Base near Fairbanks? Apparently so, and they may have even forgotten that Alaska has been a U.S. territory since 1867 and a state since 1959. Otherwise, how do you explain that our Joint Chiefs of Uselessness had not notified the president, the nominal commander in chief, about the incursion into our airspace?

    But even the see-no-evil generals must have been a little apprehensive when the balloon took a sharp right turn and headed toward Canada and then re-entered U.S. airspace over Idaho. That was on Tuesday, Jan. 31, when someone who had perhaps read the Constitution decided it was probably time to notify the White House.

    From here it gets a little fuzzy. We are told that President Biden immediately ordered the Air Force to shoot down the balloon, but nothing happened. We don’t know if Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, decided to pull rank on Biden and call China with a “heads up” the way he had done with Trump when he reassured the Chinese he would let them know if President Trump sent an attack their way. OK, there’s no evidence that Milley committed treason this time around, but somehow the Chinese balloon avoided a reckoning with the American military anyway.

    The official version is that the generals decided not to shoot down the airship, according to Politico, “because we could track the exact path of the balloon and ensure no activities or sensitive unencrypted comms would be conducted in its vicinity.”

    Cool. Could they also ensure that there was not an electromagnetic pulse device on board that had the capacity to wipe out electricity across a third of the continent? It would only take three such EMP-equipped balloons working in tandem across the nation to cripple our entire infrastructure and leave us vulnerable to a military attack. Oh well, even if the generals thought of that (unlikely), there is scant evidence that any U.S. journalists broached the topic.

    By the next day, Feb. 1, when the Chinese had a birds-eye view of Malmstrom Air Force Base and its 150 intercontinental ballistic missile silos spread out across 13,800 square miles, someone apparently realized it was probably not just a harmless off-course weather balloon, as the Chinese would soon claim. But although air traffic was grounded out of Billings Logan International Airport for two hours and the military scrambled F-22 jets in case they were needed to shoot down the worst national security breach since 9/11, ultimately nothing happened. We were told that the top brass informed the commander-in-chief that it would not be prudent to shoot down the balloon over Montana because of the possibility of land-based casualties.

    This is where everybody like me who lives in Montana gets a little chuckle. We’re not called Big Sky Country for nothing. There are thousands of square miles of Montana where you would have a hard time hitting a tree, let alone a human being, if you fell out of the sky. It should also be asked whether the Air Force could have fired a small caliber weapon at the balloon rather than a missile, so that it would leak air slowly as it descended to the ground. When it floated over an opportune empty patch, a thousand feet or less above ground, you could pound it with the big ammo and watch it drop like a lead balloon, which by then it practically would be.

    But no, the Joint Chiefs like to do things by the book, and the book apparently says to let the Chinese go on a self-guided tour of some of our best military bases before ending up over the Atlantic Ocean. Now, I’m just speculating, but maybe the Chinese weren’t trying to steal secrets from our military bases; maybe they were just looking for more farmland to purchase in the vicinity of missile and air bases. According to the USDA (via Fox News) the Chinese control approximately 383,000 acres of U.S. farmland, lots of it surprisingly close to military installations. So as absurd as it is, there’s still a possibility the Chinese were just doing the equivalent of a real estate drive-by.

    Or you could believe the official story that the spy balloon was no danger and that the Chinese were prevented from gaining any intelligence by the quick-thinking generals sitting on their brass. Under that scenario, the United States outsmarted the Chinese by letting them send their balloon across the entire continent and then shooting it down with a Sidewinder air-to-air missile off the coast of South Carolina, so massive amounts of material were lost in the ocean. That’s the story that the mainstream media agreed to tell. As if the technology doesn’t exist to transmit such data back to the balloon’s home base.

    Then, a day later, on Feb. 5, the lackey media were breathlessly reporting that the Chinese had, unbeknownst to anyone, sent three spy balloons into U.S. airspace during the Trump administration. This made about as much sense as the official Democratic Party line that the Russians blew up their own Nord Stream pipelines. If the Chinese had sent balloons over the U.S. border while Donald Trump was in office, isn’t it obvious to everyone – especially Democrats and journalists – that Trump would have enjoyed shooting it out of the sky and then bragging about it?

    Since no one believed the new claim, which was categorically denied by every major Trump security official, the story shifted the very next day. Turns out that no one actually knew the three phantom balloons had infiltrated the United States until some months (or was it years?) later, when the Biden administration did a “forensic” analysis and uncovered the evidence, which conveniently suggested that whatever Biden had done wrong, Trump did it first – and worse.

    And in a twist that could only be imagined by a third-rate Hollywood screenwriter, the Pentagon announced last Friday that it had shot down an unidentified flying “object” that was approaching Alaska at about 40,000 feet. Not sure if this was a sequel worthy of “Top Gun Maverick,” but I’m certainly anxious to hear how the Pentagon spins it to explain why the completely different approach to a very similar scenario was not entirely a PR-based decision.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Unacceptable.

    But hey, keep voting that straight Dem ticket. It’s working so well for you and your kids.

    “Baltimore: 23 Schools Have Zero Students Who Can Do Math at Grade Level”


    “Democrats are constantly telling us how great public schools are and how much we must value school teachers. So what happens when a Democrat-controlled city has almost two dozen schools with zero students performing at grade level?

    FOX 45 News in Baltimore reports:

    23 Baltimore schools have zero students proficient in math, per state test results

    Baltimore City is facing a devastating reality as the latest round of state test scores are released.

    Project Baltimore analyzed the results and found a shocking number of Baltimore City schools where not a single student is doing math at grade level.

    “We’re not living up to our potential,” said Jovani Patterson, a Baltimore resident who made headlines in January 2022, when he filed a lawsuit against Baltimore City Schools. The suit claims the district is failing to educate students and, in the process, misusing taxpayer funds.

    “We, the taxpayer, are funding our own demise,” Patterson said at the time.

    Patterson was born in Baltimore. He has seen the failures firsthand. But when Project Baltimore showed him the latest test results for the city, he was momentarily rendered speechless.

    “My immediate reaction is, take your kids out of these schools,” said Patterson.

    The Maryland State Department of Education recently released the 2022 state test results known as MCAP, Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program.

    Baltimore City’s math scores were the lowest in the state. Just 7 percent of third through eighth graders tested proficient in math, which means 93 percent could not do math at grade level.
    But that’s not all; Project Baltimore combed through the scores at all 150 City Schools where the state math test was given.

    Project Baltimore found, in 23 Baltimore City schools, there were zero students who tested proficient in math. Not a single student.

    Zero. That should be the answer the next time the teachers at these schools ask for a raise.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Of course they did.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Remember kids, those 87,000 new IRS agents are only going after the rich who won’t pay their fair share.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Yep.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It is a horrible thing to keep children from learning to read and do math they will need to not only succeed in life but also use to make wise decisions. They will also need those to vote decent and wise people into office. Wise leaders are not afraid of an educated populace.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Left-leaning educational activists have apparently been preaching for years that math is racist. It’s some of the most egregious racism, and when propagated in schools, it guarantees another generation of underachieving potential rioters and ‘enforcers’ for leftist agendas both locally and nationally. I always shudder to see entire generations of young people lose what would otherwise be normal opportunities for a productive life. This kind of CRT is real racism and it is a problem wherever it rears its ugly head.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I’ve developed a cynical view to standardized testing after 26 years in the system. For example, math scores will be low, politicians will express alarms and announce new programs, huge push will be made with money spent on PD, materials, etc., math test scores will improve. Of course what’s never said is the fact the tests were revised and made easier. Teachers who were hired for summer week long marking blitzes would be told each morning if they were too easy or too harsh on the written portions of the test. The Minister of Education and his staff clearly had target goals developed in advance.

    Forget about test scores. Forget about money spent, teachers’ effectiveness or bias, CRT, curriculum, etc. The problem is not the school. In terms of education success in specific areas, the main factor is poverty. Poverty on a family level leads to constant moving, home stress, etc. Poverty in the community creates lower values on education, greater exposure to the gray/illegal economy, etc. One of the greatest predictors of a child’s academic abilities is the number of times they have changed schools and especially mid-year. When a student record indicates a new school at least once a year, you know there will be gaps in the child’s knowledge and abilities. Stability is needed for success and poverty creates instability.

    Of course, moving is occasionally necessary. However, if the family and income is stable, the move is not detrimental.


  12. The Proud Boy lawyer is trying for a mistrial – not surprised given the context of the trial. I doubt anything will come from it. However, that’s not the point – it’s to spread doubt to help other Jan 6th defendants and for future parole hearings. Over the mist of time, leniency will emerge.

    Right wing media keeps trying to make the Russian scandal an error caused by a more centrist media. It’s not. Sure they are talking to the choir but outside the echo chamber it’s not seen that way.

    The balloon story is weird. The Chinese have hundreds of satellites that have mapped out every US armed forces base. Combine this with extensive data collection from TikTok, open social media, Chinese-American business contacts, etc and there’s no real need to have balloons fly over the US.

    Then again, an “expert” stated on CBC radio that balloons are more stationary than satellites. And in all likelihood the US uses similar devices. The problem then was an error in navigation in which the balloon was too low and observable by the general populace.

    I’m amused by the US decision to wait til it was over water to shoot it down. Montana is a pretty safe place to shoot something down. Later, the same command decided it was safe to shoot another balloon over the Yukon.

    Two independent agencies funded by the State Department gave $300,000 to a London based agency who monitor media for disinformation. There’s an arms length distance between the State Dept and the London agency – no real connection. I imagine the $300, 000 was a drop in the bucket compared to money received elsewhere.

    A non-profit group spent over $20 million on two Superbowl ads. You have to wonder if the money of a non-profit could be spent better. And given the tax code treatment of non-profits, this strikes me as more abusive as 300K.


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