Anonymity, Identity Politics and CNN’s Fake News Fiasco

Screen grab from CNN wrestling meme tweeted by President Donald Trump.

Screen grab from CNN wrestling meme tweeted by President Donald Trump.

In case you missed it last week, President Donald Trump trolled CNN on Twitter and exceeded even his own abnormally yuge expectations when the once-esteemed cable news channel took the bait and ran with it all week long. Fish on! Fish on!

Trump tweeted a short video clip from his professional wrestling career (yes I’m talking about the president of the United States) in which he pummels WWE boss Vince McMahon in a staged fight. In the altered video, a CNN logo is superimposed over McMahon’s face. The clip went viral and CNN went ballistic, accusing Trump of threatening all journalists on the planet and going so far as to track down the alleged maker of the video, an anonymous Reddit user with the charming online handle of HanAssholeSolo.

As I write this, it’s still not clear whether HanAssholeSolo created the video Trump tweeted or merely inspired it. What is clear is that CNN tracked down HanAssholeSolo online and contacted him for an interview. HanAssholeSolo subsequently deleted his video from Reddit, along with a host of posts various CNN commentators have described as racist and/or anti-Semitic. The now allegedly former Nazi shit-poster then wrote a lengthy apology on Reddit, then begged CNN for mercy when the network’s reporters came calling.

Mercy was granted. Stated in awkward, paternalistic legalese by the network in the blockbuster story about its own tormentor:

“CNN is not publishing ‘HanA**holeSolo’s’ name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same. CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

According to CNN, HanAssholeSolo is a middle-aged man, not a 15-year-old boy as one fake news story erroneously reported when the story first broke. Many people, perhaps most, would no doubt find some of his former posts objectionable: A meme criticizing the supposed percentage of Jews employed in CNN’s top positions, an infamous photo of the gates at Auschwitz offered as the solution to Europe’s present refugee crisis.

Indeed, if we accept his apology, which was later mysteriously deleted by Reddit’s comment moderators, even HanAssholeSolo himself finds his former posts objectionable. We can presume he’s grateful CNN didn’t publish his name.

But it was that last little dig at the end of the CNN story that broke the internet: “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

Here was the once mighty mainstream media organization, already suffering low ratings and withering criticism for so-called fake news stories alleging collusion between Trump and Russia, threatening to expose the identity of an anonymous Reddit user, if in the future he should happen to post or say or do anything the network finds disagreeable.

That sounds a lot like Big Brother, no matter where you are on the political spectrum, and the network was roundly condemned for its tactics by pundits on both the right and left.

For Trump’s ravenous supporters on the Alt-Right—I’m gauging this based on reading thousands of anonymous comments on sites ranging from Breitbart to the r/the_donald subreddit to Vox Popoli to the The Daily Stormer—the president’s posting of the video and the networks’s reaction to it has served as a giant pinnate in the shape of CNN”s logo stuffed with hungrily-awaited chunks of juicy red meat by the God-Emperor Trump himself.

In fact, it may represent something of a turning point to the many members of the Alt-Right for whom issues concerning white identity are paramount.

The CNN-is-ISIS meme hasn't caught on with everybody, but the Alt-Right is digging it. Taken from /pol.

The CNN-is-ISIS meme hasn’t caught on with everybody, but the Alt-Right is digging it. Taken from /pol.

Not everyone in the Alt-Right is white, and considering the Nazi elements in it there are a surprising number of Jews (who sometimes identify as white) among its opinion-makers. But I think it’s accurate to say the Alt-Right is mostly a white political movement, with opinions ranging roughly from the basic, “I think we should enforce our borders,” to the philosophical, “I think the white race is not a social construct and may actually exist, contrary to critical race theory,” to the patently absurd and offensive, “I think Hitler did nothing wrong.”

That may seem like a pretty wide range of opinions, and it is, but according to the Alt-Right worldview it’s a single window tightly shuttered by political correctness in the mainstream media, on college campuses and throughout society at large. Only through anonymity on the Internet have white people finally been able to express themselves openly and honestly, or so the story goes. To what degree the window should be thrust open further is a matter of some conjecture within the movement.

Some Alt-Right figures, such as Milo Yiannopoulos—who for the record is half-Jewish, half-Catholic and 1000 percent gay—argue that the whole point of shit-posting, even Nazi shit-posting, is to jar open the window of acceptable public discourse through the use of shock tactics. It’s about freedom of speech, and freedom from political correctness. It’s about blowing off steam. That Nazi stuff, like Pepe the Frog in an SS uniform? It’s not to be taken literally. It’s designed for fun, to provoke a reaction from “liberal snowflakes.”

On the other hand, on the extreme right end of the Alt-Right spectrum, there are genuine anti-Semites, misogynists, homophobes and racists like Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin, who fully embrace all of those negative labels for the same reason African American rappers have owned the N-word, or so Anglin has written: By owning the pejoratives, it takes the societal sting out of them. People get used to hearing them. They become acceptable—even fashionable. He’s a dangerously clever satirist.

One of the few hardcore internet Nazis who uses his real name, Anglin noted in a recent article that CNN, by drawing attention to HanAssholeSolo’s anti-Semitic posts, has opened the window of public discussion just a little wider. Anglin desperately wants to have that discussion, as publicly as possible. It’s no joke to him. He’s not just blowing off steam and he’s not the only one who feels that way about it. The Daily Stormer is one of the most visited Alt-Right web sites on the Internet.

The Alt-Right’s entire online presence piled on after CNN threatened to reveal HanAssholeSolo’s identity. Few outright endorsed the content of the Nazi trolling, but many unequivocally supported the right of the Nazi troll to post it. The hashtag #CNNblackmail began trending No. 1 on Twitter. A meme war was declared, with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones offering $20,000 for the best Trump-pummeling-CNN video on his Infowars website.

Over on 4Chan, the self-described “autists” at /pol launched “operation autism storm,” gathering and posting the online personal data of CNN employees, followed by “operation tard run,” a threat to place GPS trackers on CNN vehicles cruising Manhattan and then reporting each vehicle’s whereabouts to the public.

They call themselves autistic, but these are the same tech-savvy, totally anonymous internet trolls who tracked down Shia LeBeouf’s “HeWillNotDivideUs” performance art flag exhibit twice, the first time by analyzing jetliner contrails in the live video feed. They’ve performed a number of similarly impressive pranks. It’s been said you shouldn’t mess with /pol. I believe it.

Doxing, going through the records of people who dare to cross them publicly and releasing any damning information they find, is a /pol specialty. By threatening to dox HanAssholeSolo, CNN may have bitten off more than it can chew. Its employees are already being heavily trolled by /pol, according to CNN’s own reporting.

For Trump, it’s a win-win situation, perhaps the biggest of his presidency so far, one that cements his growing reputation as a master of multi-dimensional chess, at least on Twitter.

With one simple tweet, he vanquished CNN, one head of the mainstream media hydra he’s been fighting since he announced his candidacy more than two years ago. At the same time, he also placated the Alt-Right, a political movement to which he at least partially owes his victory in November and has, up until now, expressed disappointment with his administration’s progress, particularly on the proposed border wall with Mexico.

Make no mistake, when Trump discussed the need to defend “Western Civilization” numerous times during his speech in Poland last week, he was speaking directly to the Alt-Right and one of its core beliefs: Western Civilization, defined broadly as the imaginary all-white population that developed Europe during the past 4000 years or so, has lately been given a bum rap. It was a fairly heavy-handed sop, and judging from the comment sections, the Alt-Right appears to be sated, at least for now.

As far as CNN is concerned, its professionalism has been gravely wounded after a barrage of bad news over the past several weeks. The over-reaction to the Trump wrestling tweet came on the heels of three CNN reporters being forced to resign for not properly sourcing yet another anonymously-sourced story about alleged collusion between Trump and Russia and several reports by conservative activist/journalist James O’Keefe, in which surreptitiously recorded CNN employees questioned the credibility of their own network.

At this moment, CNN and MSNBC appear to be finally backing away from the Russia story in the wake of Trump’s apparently successful meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. It remains to be seen if ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post, all mainstream media organizations that have been vilified by the president for spreading fake news about Russia, will follow suit.

A little meme I cooked up myself after the G20 summit.

A little meme I cooked up myself after the G20 summit.

As for me, I’ve got mixed feelings about all of this as usual.

As a journalist with 30 years of experience in the field, I’ve never cared much for the use of anonymous sources and have employed them only sparingly in my own work, for example, when the identity of a crime victim who’s the subject of a story requires shielding for his or her own personal protection.

The problem is that in general, if the source isn’t held accountable for the information by having his or her name attached to it, the information is less reliable. It needs to be verified by at least two more sources, preferably by someone who will put their name on it. If you can’t verify the information with independent sources, you don’t run the story. Or at least I don’t.

Yet for the past year, all of the above named mainstream news organizations have been running anonymously-sourced stories alleging Trump somehow colluded with the Russians during the past election. It’s been a travesty of bad reporting, much of it overtly motivated by politics.

The truth is, if CNN (and by extension the entire MSM) hadn’t stooped to reporting leaks from every disgruntled Obama-era intelligence agency official it could lay its hands on, if it had instead stuck to sound, basic journalism principles and used named sources instead of anonymous party hacks with known high potentials for political bias, it might not be in the position it’s in today.

Admittedly, that’s an old school point of view regarding anonymous sources. I’ve got an equally old fashioned opinion when it comes to anonymous shit-posting on the Internet.

The short version is, don’t anonymously post anything on the Internet if you’re not comfortable putting your real name on it. Why? No. 1, because you’re an inherently good person and good people don’t shit-post. No. 2, just in case you don’t have a conscience and ignored No. 1, if you haven’t taken strict precautions to shield your online identity, your post isn’t anonymous and can be traced directly back to you.

That’s exactly what happened to HanAssholeSolo. In a certain sense, I wish CNN had revealed his true identity, just to see if he suffered any repercussions for being outed as a Nazi shit-poster. My gut feeling is he would have paid a heavy price for his transgressions, perhaps even the loss of a job or a rental apartment. The public window for non-anonymous Holocaust denial on the Internet isn’t quite that wide open yet, I think. That’s the good news.

The bad news is there are all these youngsters on the Internet, and by youngsters I mean anyone younger than I am, 57, who’ve grown up in a digital world using anonymous online identities in video games and comment sections and social media, to the point where it’s become second nature to them.

They consider anonymity to be woven into the First Amendment, into the very fabric of the Constitution, if not their very being. No matter what their identity, Alt-Right or Resistance or whatever, they assert their right to say anything they damn well please on the Internet, anonymously, expecting no real consequences for their words other than the joy of victory in a flame war between competing tribes.

I’ve been a critic of identity politics since the days of President Bill Clinton, a masterful practitioner of its tactics, because by design identity politics divides us into competing factions — black verses white, male verses female, straight verses gay — instead of bringing us together as one people, focused on the common good.

I think identity politics is one of the fundamental reasons we’ve been locked in political stalemate at the national, state and local levels for well over three decades. It’s why so many people are fed up with government. It’s why the Democrats lost the election, in my opinion, and why they’ll continue to lose elections in the future.

Another meme I created, using memebetter.com, a web-based meme generator.

Another meme I created, using memebetter.com, a web-based meme generator.

The recent rise of the white identity movement known as the Alt-Right, coinciding with the rise of Donald Trump, broadcast on this crazy face-sucking machine known as the Internet, has increased the level of societal tension exponentially.

For the first time since the late 1960s, in major cities across the nation, there’s the threat of real violence in the streets this summer, this time between Trump supporters and the anti-Trump Resistance instead of National Guardsmen and antiwar college students. The well-financed Resistance is planning events throughout the summer that will certainly include members of the so-called AntiFa, the black-clad anti-fascist communists who wear masks in order to commit acts of violence and vandalism with impunity.

Anonymity has it adherents on all the factions involved, it would seem. Things could get ugly, both online and in the streets. I suggest praying, if you’re of that persuasion, although you should be at least physically safe if you live in a rural area such as Shasta County, like I do.

Meanwhile, it’s hard not to believe that some sort of government crackdown on anonymous Internet trolling and shit-posting is coming down the pike soon. The feds are of course already working on it with the big social media companies such as Facebook and Twiiter, as well as search-engine giant Google. CNN is now apparently volunteering to serve as Ministry of Truth.

In many EU countries, including France and Germany, which lack our 240 years of experience with constitutionally-protected free speech, internet hate speech laws are already in effect. It’s only a matter of working out the legal details here in the United States.

I’m not saying I support or disavow such a crackdown, I’m saying it seems imminent, as in any second now. We’ve already seen one act of overt political violence this summer, the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, a conservative Republican from Louisiana, by an unhinged Bernie Sanders supporter well known for writing terse letters to the editor of his local newspaper, using, it should be noted, his actual name.

It won’t be long before there’s another incident; all sides are primed and ready to go off. Stay safe out there if you’re in the big city, and don’t be a Nazi shit-poster. Good grief! I’ve just written yet another cautionary tale about the Internet.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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94 Responses

  1. cheyenne says:

    Actually our biggest threat right now here in Wyoming and the Colorado Rockies are bears.  And they’re not fake.  Good article, RV.

  2. Richard Christoph says:

    Interesting point of view, R.V.  You might want to evaluate the reports of the “Russian adoption meeting” and ponder why yet another meeting  with Russians was not disclosed.

    “Trump Jr. confirmed that he went into the meeting expecting to receive information from the Russian lawyer that could hurt Clinton. That is a breathtaking admission.”

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/analysis-donald-trump-jr%E2%80%99s-stunningly-incriminating-statement-to-the-new-york-times/ar-BBE6FSO?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

    John McCain’s interview on Face The Nation yesterday is also worth the time.

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      You’re going to be disappointed again.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I think you may be right.  Trump may go down in flames, but I wouldn’t bet my house on it.

        That skepticism is based on my belief that the Trump team is capable of levels of obstruction of justice that would have made Richard Nixon’s band of criminals and cockroaches blanch.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          You’ve lost your mind over Trump, Steve. What obstruction?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            When you are asked during the process of obtaining top-secret security clearance if you’ve had meetings and dealings with foreign nationals and you answer “no,” and then you fail to mention meetings with Russians identified as agents of the Russian government—meetings specifically about influencing the election—even as the Russian investigation into attempts to influence the election are in full swing……it strikes me as obstruction of justice.

            Trump, in a TV interview, is on record as saying he shit-canned the director of the FBI because if he got rid of Comey, maybe the Russian thing would go away.  If firing the guy responsible for leading such an investigation (for the offense of doing his job) in an attempt to crater the investigation isn’t obstruction of justice, what is?

            I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know if any of that meets the legal standard of obstruction of justice.  I think it definitely adds up to obstruction in the practical sense.  If it’s not illegal, it’s sinister.

            And yes, you’re right.  I’ve lost my mind over Trump.

  3. Common Sense says:

    Former President Bush on the Current Administration…..

    Well at least someone on that side of the fence hasn’t had a large glass of the Koolaid!

    Mueller WILL get to the bottom of it all…….that is for sure…..

    Bobby Three Sticks….bring forth the Information as did Mr. Comey……

    Prepare your comebacks now for when it all goes down…..yep…that Liberal Media….they made it all up….they even got to all the 17 Intelligence agencies…..LOL

    Ya’ll Been Trumped!

  4. #Truthismessy says:

    Another CNN threat, from January:

    “One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus — and that’s CNN,” Zucker said. “The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/19/cnns-president-has-fired-a-warning-shot-at-donald-trump/

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      No one will be watching CNN by the time this all over.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Fake News!

        Politifact rates Trump’s claim that CNN’s ratings are way down as “Pants on Fire.”  On all four major metrics tracked by the Nielsen Company, CNN ratings are at a five-year high.

        Variety backs that up, reporting that CNN’s ratings are up 39% in the second quarter of 2017.  In fact, all three of the major cable news networks (CNN, MSNBC, Fox) are up double-digits in 2017.

        One of the amazing things about Trump’s Twitter barrage of lies is that they’re so easily falsified. He’s either flat-out delusional, or he’s tweeting to an audience of people he knows to be incapable of critical evaluation of his BS.  I can’t give him credit for the latter.

        I favor the hypothesis that Trump listens to Fox and Friends, only partly understands the biased opinions he’s hearing, and fires of tweets that regurgitate Fox’s false factoids an hour later from his porcelain throne. (Today’s example being Fox’s false inference that the record of conversation memo leaked by former FBI Director James Comey to his friend was classified.  It wasn’t.)

        • Truthismessy says:

          And that is the problem today: there is far more money in “entertaining” a rabid base than objectively reporting the news.  Left-leaning outlets are merely copyiny Fuax News’ playbook.

           

          Will this Yellow Journalism lead to another straw-man war?  A 4-month war with Russia would be a lot more devastating than one with Spain…

        • Tom says:

          Spot on, Steve! Just like RV keeps me coming back for great articles, you and the others always have me scanning the comments section for insightful feedback.

          With this many intelligent, informed citizens running around, how in the world did the MSM get to be so inane?!

          I’m the last to defend CNN, they get as loony as the competition, but to ring the death knell is premature. Corporate news sure ain’t pretty, but it’s too powerful to be pushed aside. CNN is here to stay. In some ways, that’s unfortunate.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Sure, the whole store is fake news Steve. Daily Caller says CNN ratings down after incidents I describe in story.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            First of all, there is a difference between rankings and ratings.  The Daily Caller’s story is mostly about rankings.  And secondly, as someone who has done his share of time-series analyses, I’m skeptical of the usefulness of snapshots in time.  It’s more interesting to me to see the five-year trend.  I don’t put much stock in CNN’s ratings last week, or over the last month.  Maybe CNN is doomed, but not because of last week’s reaction to some Trump/CNN dust-up that will soon be washed away in the wake of the next Trump travesty.

          • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

            Nice try Steve Towers, making this all about the one time I mentioned “ratings” instead of one of the major point of the piece, which is THIS IS BAD JOURNALISM. I’ve been saying this for two years now, I’ve been right every time, you always come crawling back, yeah, RV, you were right, so thanks for crawling back, in advance.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Simmer, R.V.  I wasn’t even disputing your post that I was respond to: The Daily Caller’s article, which emphasized short-term rankings.  My point wasn’t that you and The Daily Caller are wrong, but that I don’t put much stock in those short-term metrics.  I actually agree that CNN has some long-term ranking issues that are causing them to lose ground to other MM providers.  I suggest that’s because CNN panders to liberals in much the same way that FOX panders to conservatives, and liberals aren’t buying it.  Elsewhere, I posted a link to a Pew survey that supports the hypothesis that liberals like their news balanced, and conservatives like their news skewed hard right.  (Conservatives usually counter that everything that’s not skewed hard right, including The Economist, is liberal. Yawn.)

            Funny how you perceive me giving you the courtesy of paying attention to pretty much everything you write, and when it’s warranted admitting when I think you’ve bested one of my arguments.  If you want to think you’ve “been right every time” and that I “always come crawling back,” that’s your prerogative.  I gotta say—very Trump-like in tone.

             

          • #Truthismessy says:

            OK Steve, aside from the right-leaning Economist, which MSM do you think is unfairly characterized as left-leaning by the right?

             

            That Pew survey was an interesting read by the way — it was actually from 2014 so I imagine its results would be even worse today.  But respondants didn’t self-identify as conservative/liberal, they were asked 10 questions — the same 10 questions Pew has asked since 1994 (I think society has shifted to the left on some issues since then).  To rank as conservative you could answer only 1 question as a 1994 liberal would have, which means someone agreeing with both “good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace” and “homosexuality should be accepted by society” couldn’t be considered conservative.  The other problem is it was an internet survey, which is a sample population slightly more liberal than phone surveys.  The result was only 9% of the respondants were classified as conservative with a margin of error of +/- 7%

  5. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    “For Trump, it’s a win-win situation, perhaps the biggest of his presidency so far, one that cements his growing reputation as a master of multi-dimensional chess, at least on Twitter.”

    I can’t tell if this was meant as tongue-in-cheek humor.  I want it to be, but I’m not sure.

    Sure, Trump’s tweets play to his base……but he’s already been elected.  His job now is to git ‘er done—that being the GOP’s agenda.  But Trump’s sledgehammer communication style, his inability to focus for five minutes, his child-like temperament, his failure to forge alliances, his almost magical ability to alienate, his vainglorious and tunnel-visioned preoccupation with his image, his reliance on nepotistic relationships with politically inexperienced and in some cases relatively talentless clan members, his astounding pettiness, his pathological embrace of dishonesty—it’s all adding up to failure thus far.  He’s got zero major legislative wins. Several attempts have cratered, and several others are on fire and in uncontrolled death spirals.  He holds all of the cards, but he doesn’t know what to do with them.  The Trump Administration defines “marching on their own junk.”

    Master of multi-dimensional chess?  More like unhinged, frothing-at-the-mouth, lumbering bumblef**k.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Look, Steve, I”m off the Trump train. But I’m not so stupid that I can’t see he’s winning.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I’m genuinely curious—by what metrics do you think Trump is winning anything?  Major legislative victories?  Significant accomplishments on the international stage?  Approval ratings?

        If you mean that Trump is winning his petty squabbles with a cable news network that both you and he say is increasingly ignored and failing of its own merits, who gives a naked mole rat’s ass?  Isn’t that the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory?

      • Tom says:

        All I really got from that is that you are not on the Trump train. As a new reader I have read some archives and saw that, at least initially, you were supportive and I wondered — as I wonder about the handful or so family and friends that remain on it — how that was possible.

        Good to see that, at some point, you saw the light (or, at least through the fog), RV!

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Metrics Trump is winning on so far: Economy (not his doing, but he’s getting credit), self-deportation (his doing), Russia reset (his doing), energy sector increase (his doing), won the general election (his doing) …

          In this particular story, I suggest he’s winning twice, but my main point is: The Democrats and all the people that believe the Russian conspiracy are never going to bring the white people that left the party back.  That’s why Trump won, it’s why the Republicans will keep winning. I AM not a Republican, I don’t like it. This blind Russian alley is killing America.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I don’t agree with all of those—the energy sector was booming long before Trump, and since his election the energy sector market is down 1% and down 3% in the last month—and it’s largely anticipated that his “pro-coal” agenda will flop like the wet BS that it is because of pesky market issues.   But I take your larger point about his pseudo-accomplishments. (I don’t think he won the election so much as Clinton lost it, and I think the “Russia reset” amounts to letting Putin have his way with us—but I’m quibbling.  It’s about perceptions among his base.)

            I do agree that the Great White Angst* that is driving working class and lower middle class white people into the arms of the GOP isn’t going to reverse because of the Russia fiasco.  Those are not the only reason the GOP keeps winning, though.  Trump would not have won if the election had been based on a plurality of the popular vote.  At the state levels, aggressive gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, and other un-democratic tactics are significant ways the GOP keeps itself in the game.  It remains to be seen how far they’re willing to push the un-democratic game.

            *Today I encountered a Pew survey showing that for the first time, the majority of Republicans believe that college education is bad for America.  So, on top of everything else, let’s cede the higher education high ground to the Chinese, too.  Great plan, Gomers and Goobers.

          • Tom says:

            Disturbing poll, Steve, but I get it. To a lot of Republicans, higher institutions of learning are built to churn out indoctrinated liberals. I even had a very conservative friend tell me recently that she was against affordable higher education because then she’d have to “support” the lazy people who would rather go to school than work.

            I personally would have a difficult time selecting in favor of colleges and universities in America, myself, despite the fact I am highly in favor of education. The cost/benefit ratio just doesn’t add up. Although I’m not a Republican (or a Democrat) I would have to say that colleges and universities do negatively impact the country in some ways. One of them is the epidemic of student debt.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            “To a lot of Republicans, higher institutions of learning are built to churn out indoctrinated liberals.”  — Tom

            No argument from me (about what a lot of Repubs seem to believe), but I suspect most of the Repubs who think that way did not graduate from college, and much of their antipathy is based on resentment and jealousy rather than direct experience.  There are plenty of conservative professors in the mold of George Will on college campuses.  But today, in order to pass the GOP Yahoo Groundling Litmus Test, you have to be an anti-intellectual, anti-empirical-reality, spittle-flecked zealot. Few professors meet that standard.

            As for the negative impact of student debt, America’s universities are complicit, but the real culprits are the predatory banking industry and its whores in Congress.  Adequate funding of higher education was cut during the Reagan Revolution in favor of turning college students into lifetime debtors.

            A partial list of countries in which college tuition is free:  Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Norway, Panama, Poland, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay.

            Commies.

          • #Truthismessy says:

            Not a college education, college as an institution.

            Is it any wonder?  Since 2016 the following conservatives have been disrupted and/or prevented from speaking on college campuses (often repeatedly):

            Ann Coulter

            Mike Pence

            Charles Murray

            Milo Yiannopoulos

            Ryan Bomberger

            Richard Spencer

            Gavin McInnes

            Ben Shapiro

            James Watson

            John Cornyn

            Betsy Davos

            Shimon Dotan

            Kathleen Parker

            John Boehner

            Jeh Johnson

            Emily Wong

            Jason Riley

            Randall Kennedy

            Action Bronson

            Nir Barkat

            Madeline Albright

            John Brennan

            Janet Mock

            Anita Alvarez

            Bassem Eid

            John Derbyshire

            Jeff Sessions

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Truthismessy — As I perused your laundry list of conservatives who haven’t been allowed to speak on campus, I stopped counting when I reached a dozen who most assuredly are not conservatives.

            But that said, I am rabidly opposed to the political correctness wankers who want to squelch free speech on campuses in the name of making sure that everyone feels “safe” (thereby perverting the meaning of “I don’t feel safe” so that it means the same as “I don’t feel comfortable”).

            But that said, I don’t have a problem with protesting against or otherwise discouraging hate-peddlers who have nothing to offer except spewing hate for the sake of spewing hate.  I don’t see the academic value in hosting those types.

          • #Truthismessy says:

            How about instead of “conservatives” we say “speakers who weren’t liberal enough?”   Democrat Madeleine Albright was disinvited because of her rather conservative policies on foreign intervention while serving under Bill Clinton.  It didn’t help that she was then supporting Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.  A half dozen or so were on the list because they did not support total capitulation by Israel to Palestine.  Emily Wong MD, as an asian woman, was not enough of an activist and replaced by a female black LGBT activist.  You catch my drift.  For more:  https://www.thefire.org/resources/disinvitation-database/

             

            And that’s just one example of liberal bias.  You have Los Angeles County banning firearms on all its community colleges with the one exception being if they are used as theatre props.  No longer can you take hunter safety or gunsmithing classes, but you watch any number of enactments depicting the violent use of firearms.  If you think about that for a moment, you’ll realize the effect on students’ perception of reality is not unlike banning sex education while promoting pornography.

             

            The underlying theme is that college is no longer a free thinking place for your children to expand their horizons & find their own way; it is a place where unauthorized non-conformity can be stamped out.

          • #Truthismessy says:

            Some more interesting take-aways from that survey:

            The majority of Americans (63%) think the national news media has a negative effect on the way things are going in this country.  Only a slim majority of liberal democrats – 51% – think of the media positively (39% of moderate democrats think of the media positively).

             

            The more educated the Republican, the less they liked unions.  The less educated the Democrat, the less they liked unions.

    • Alexa says:

      You are so eloquent Mr Towers.

  6. Common Sense says:

    If you understand his Pathology.…it is all pretty clear!

    In this recent Tweet, the POTUS all but admits that he gave the Country AWAY!

    Who would like another round of Koolaid?…R.V?…..no more for you….you have had your share….and more

    It used to be….if you gave a Man enough Rope….now….it’s a Twitter account!

  7. Robert Scheide Sr. says:

    Lest we forget ,America was and is a melting pot, and the ingredients are becoming less white.  Some might not like it but it’s time to face the fact , us white folks are fast becoming the minority,  SO WHAT.

    The rise of hate groups in America bothers me beyond description.  When I start thinking FREE SPEECH BE DAMNED I scare even myself.  The rise of hate groups around the world are indicative of problems that are not being addressed by anyone.  It’s not hard to understand if you have been raised around a big city , Baltimore, you can understand why black folks might be upset ( a mild description) , this includes other minorities of course.  What I don’t understand why these white hate groups feel they have been picked on, unless of course you have seen the good paying jobs of all people disappear from the USA.

    Regarding the MSM , why bother singling out CNN, the whole shebang are broadcasting the same garbage , day after day after day, even it is a true story I don’t need to see it every day for a month.  Some of it generated by obviously fake stories, planted or made up and they run with it weeks on end.  I am including Fox in this as well although I do watch Shep daily.

    You can still find real news if you work for it, but I will admit , having been in the past a news/political junkie , I have lost interest in pursing the truth.  It’s to the point where I just don’t believe anything I hear, read or talk about.  It’s becoming to damn hard to ferret out the truth, you have to source check everything and then source check that, it has become to damn hard.

    My morning ritual of scanning some many web sites trying to keep up it is infringing on my life.  RV (my oldest son) still has the drive to ferret out the truth , and good on him for it.  My flame is dwindling  , I hope something , someone comes along to relight my flame..

     

     

     

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      At the risk of coming off as elitist and sounding like a broken record, I recommend NPR News on the radio and web, and The Economist as a primary print/web source of news.  Of course they don’t always get it right, and both are somewhat biased (NPR slightly left of center, The Economist slightly right of center), but they at least try to be sober and balanced.  I also highly recommend High Country News (print and web) for coverage of western/rural America.  All three, I think, are trustworthy news sources.

      R.V. has expressed admiration for news organizations like Brietbart, saying that they “usually have the goods” when they go after someone.  I’ll concede that they may excel at digging up dirt, but I can’t get past the rabid partisanship.  To me, it’s garbage journalism.

      Cable news and local TV news are all fluff and hot takes.  The cable news networks no longer make any attempt at all to differentiate between hard news and opinion/propaganda—and yet that’s where Americans get most of their “news.”  That being the case, it’s hard to be optimistic about our future.

      • #Truthismessy says:

        Reuters is about as close to reliably unbiased as I’ve seen, but still just a little left of center on certain topics (guns or Trump).  Despite the name, the Christian Science Monitor is usually pretty centered too.

         

        I’d put NPR a little further left than you; I see it as more of a complement to the Wall Street Journal than the Economist (which I’d pair the BBC).

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Here’s an interesting study by Pew, as summarized in Business Insider.

          What’s interesting about the graphic:

          Together, liberals and moderates tend to trust a wide range of news sources.  In total, 16 sources are trusted by the majority of liberals/moderates, including The Economist, BBC, NPR, PBS, the Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, USA Today, NY Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, Bloomberg, and The New Yorker.

          With the exception of The Wall Street Journal, conservatives tend to only trust rabidly partisan echo-chamber sources of news.  Only two sources of news are trusted by the majority of conservatives and moderates alike: WSJ and Fox News.

          It’s no wonder Fox News has the highest ratings on Cable TV.  There’s an audience who want nothing but affirmations of their political orthodoxies, and Fox is their provider.

           

          • #Truthismessy says:

            I find this graphic reasonably accurate (data is from Media Bias Fact Check):  http://cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/media-site-political-bias-chart.png

          • Tom says:

            I like that graphic a lot. Better than the many others I’ve seen. Thanks for sharing, messy!

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I believe the white people who are concerned about white identity tend to be younger, under 40. They’ve grown up with the era of political correctness that began in the 1960s and went mainstream during the 1990s, with the so-called Social Justice Warrior movement, which employs the language of critical race theory, which maintains white people don’t even exist, they’re a social construct. It also maintains at the same time that only white people can be racist. Some white people have refused to accept this cognitive dissonance, including me, even thought I’m not Alt-Right.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        The notion that race is a social construct without biological meaning is not new—it’s well over 100 year old.  And the idea wasn’t formulated by social scientists, but rather by biologists (though W.E.B. Du Bois, a sociologist, was among the earliest prominent proponents of the idea that human races are illusions).

        Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity.  Biologists see genetic variation across populations, and clines between them.  There’s an old taxonomy joke:  The lines between races/subspecies are drawn where the fewest specimens were collected.  It’s an acknowledgement that those lines are usually phonier than plastic grapes.

        The idea that only white people can be racist isn’t that simple. The actual argument was that only white people in America have the power to make their racism consequential.  Indefensible, like so much of identity politics.

    • #Truthismessy says:

      “What I don’t understand why these white hate groups feel they have been picked on”

      There seems to be a widespread notion today that the dominant culture cannot be discriminated against – that “privilege + power” immunize against offenses committed on the behalf of minorities.

      But to many whites, especially the vast numbers without any real “privilege & power,” the removal of monuments to imperfect men like Christopher Columbus and Robert E. Lee is an attempt to erase their own history & heritage — an offense they perceive no differently than minorities would the destruction of monuments to Chief Opechancanough or Malcolm X.

      They wonder why society uses today’s morals to judge Thomas Jefferson for keeping slaves, yet gives Dr. Martin Luther King a pass for telling gays they needed conversion therapy.  They wonder why it is OK to force a devout Christian to add homosexual adornments to a cake while allowing a Muslim baker to refuse to add bacon.  They wonder why, when a distinguished academic notes how IQ can largely explain the apparent racial disparities in social outcomes, “tolerant” people violently refuse to allow his voice to be heard on college campuses.

      The more any culture gets marginalized and isolated, the more susceptible it becomes to hate.

  8. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I ran into this somewhere on the internets today, regarding Trump being assured by Putin that the Russian government didn’t interfere in our election (paraphrasing):

    George Bush:  “Hey Osama, did y’all’s al-Qaeda terrorists destroy the World Trade Center towers in NYC?”

    Osama bin Laden:  “Certainly not, godless infidel and vile Crusader.”

    George Bush: “Good ’nuff for me.  Let’s you an’ me form an anti-terrorism coalition.”

    • Anita Lynn Brady says:

      Preet Bahara tweeted: “When pursuing a corrupt politician, mobster or murderer on strong FBI evidence, if he “vehemently denied it,” we just dropped it usually.

  9. conservative says:

    We need much better news aggregators to cover the important stuff.  Flash report covers mostly conservative stories, CalMatters is a more liberal aggregator.  Unless you read about six newspapers every day, you miss important stories like:

    1.  Homeless epidemic in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Oakland.

    2.  Car theft increase.  See today’s ChicoER

    3.  Gannett newspaper meltdown.  Stock loss 44% in 365 days.  Closed print in Reno and one other market.  Putting building up for sale, moving to small office.  Contracting out printing.

    4.  Eureka Kmart closing announced last week.  Eureka is an important competitor for Redding.  Parent company of Kmart and Sears closed Sears in Chico a few months ago.  Closing brick and mortar retailers and shopping online will hurt Redding finances.  I visited Kmart when the stock fell 7% last week.  What a dump.  Its days are numbered.

    5.  No discussion of the role Bernie Sanders played in the Republican sweep of house, senate, white house and supreme court.  In swing states, enough berniecrats stayed home on election day.  In swing states, moderate democrats stayed home because of Sanders and Warren.  HRC inability to unite her party divided her party and cost the election.  The Russians did not cause that.  “Hands up don’t shoot” falsehood cost the democrats credibility when it was proven to be false.

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Conservative, I’m always keeping my eyes on California homeless/transient crime stories, they’re everywhere!

  10. Tom says:

    Another solid effort, sir, thanks again for your insight and talents.

    I have been an unabashed Trump detractor from the start, laughing that anyone ever took him seriously in the beginning. The laugh, obviously, was ultimately on me. When the whole process began to sort itself out two years ago I was among the humans who said he’d vote for anyone, really, other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Needless to say, it was the worst political season these eyes have ever seen.

    While going about my way I chimed in to CNN and Fox a lot, hearing and seeing the ridiculousness of both. I rooted for both to stick to the story. Just stick to the story. They would both stumble upon great stuff and then mash it to death with overheated dialogue until you just couldn’t stomach it any more.

    I’d like to believe that type of reporting is coming to an end, but it is not. CNN will survive this wave just as Fox is surviving its own embarrassing run of inner turmoil (sexual harassment, I mean). Folks want to pretend to be informed while they’re being entertained in a manner that plays up to their own ideology. Me too, I suppose, which is why CNN tends to be on in the background when I do house chores and want to filter in some of the days news while I’m at it. If Hillary would have won, Fox would be playing. I wish there were an alternative, or I could just get myself to play the 80’s rock station instead and be blissfully unaware.

    All that being said, I agree with you that Donald Trump will survive all this mayhem, too, though I didn’t believe that before. In the end, no one has the stomach to oust a corrupted commander in this day and age. It was novel in the 70’s; it just doesn’t play as well today. And, as someone else noted above, Trump sells news. They all want to see him “succeed,” with success meaning that he keeps lying, keeps tweeting, and keeps being utterly ridiculous in the modern age of idiocracy.

    Again, great piece! I find myself waiting every week for each new entry, now that I’ve caught on to your schedule. Keep ’em coming, RV!

  11. conservative says:

    McClatchy stock down 48% in the last 365 days.  Merger and consolidation is the only hope.  There could be four reporters in Redding, 4 in Chico, 2 in Oroville, 4in Eureka, etc.  The Bee in Sac could cover the news for the region and publish local sections.  Better than the fragmented coverage today.

    Mlive is the online newspaper which replaced many newspapers in Michigan.  Never though I would see the Ann Arbor news go out of business.

    Eureka needs 4 reporters to cover all the crime, drug overdoses.  Humboldt county has some of the worst public health statistics,  death rate from cancer, cirrhosis, drug overdoses.

    https://archive.cdph.ca.gov/programs/ohir/Documents/OHIRProfiles2016.pdf

  12. Steven Johnson says:

    SNL satire, OK… Internet satire, not so OK.  I am sensing not only bias, but the inability of media outlets, who are mostly liberal owned and run, to differentiate satire from real news.  Therefore the “fake news” epidemic.  call it what you will, present it however you choose, but like the second front page of the Record Searchlight by USA Today, it’s liberal directed semantics designed to make you think there is substance to their twisted innuendo.  The frantic throes of liberal withdrawal from from mainstream media will be a long winded rant with the obvious becoming more obvious as the months drag on.  When can we face the truth about what this Trump obfuscation is all about?  America is tired of the destruction Progressivism and liberal policies have brought upon our country and the “fakers” are finding themselves on the losing end of the vote tally and they have nowhere left to go but deeper into the work of fake news to sway the fence sitters.  Globalism is not where we want to go and the battle is on for Progressive world domination or Constitutional Sovereignty.  The masses are being “played” on a very large scale.

    • Marc Carter says:

       “I am sensing not only bias, but the inability of media outlets, who are mostly liberal owned and run, to differentiate satire from real news.”  

      Ahh, where did you get that?– You might want to check the facts. You have it backward. In fact, most national media outlets are conservative owned, not liberal owned. And about the so-called talking point- “fake news” thing.  You suggest liberals are responsible for that? Not!  BTW again, Trump lost the (national) popular vote. As Mr. Towers says, the country on average isn’t nearly as conservative as Shasta County.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I agree 100 percent with Steve Johnson’s assessment.

      • Tom says:

        Man, I don’t.

        I see this as exactly the reason that Trump won, but it is his voters that were played. They were duped into thinking that the 4.5% of the world population that calls itself “American” are the only ones that matter, and that the other 95.5% was giving them a raw deal. This sort of yesterday-thinking is pulling us backwards. The salvation is not isolationism or more nationalism but a process of moving towards a more global, progressive, socially-, and environmentally-conscious nature. Americans aren’t tired of progressivism, they’re tired of it being hijacked by greedy wolves in sheep’s clothing. Conservatism is currently being hijacked in the same manner.

        Globalization was hijacked, too, but that just means it was done wrong the last time. The future is still about a coming together, not dividing further apart.

        We have much to do. Trump was a bump in the road to that.

        Steven, to me, is playing more identity politics. “The liberals are killing us!” I get it all the time, on both sides. We need real world solutions, not finger-pointing. Fox is as fake as CNN, and they’re not a bunch of liberals, are they?

        The big world problem is one of money, of greed. It doesn’t matter whether globalization is the goal or if nationalism is the aim, we let the big money interests and big greedy politicos get away with owning the news, owning the market, and owning the realm of ideas. Money, not ideology, controls the media.

        Moving forward we need to realize that the best solutions are the ones that are the best  for everyone. We need to fix health care, first with the idea of getting everybody health care. We need to fix the tax system, first with the idea that too few people have too much and too many people have too little. Democracy needs a social element. Capitalism needs to keep egalitarianism in mind.

        In the meantime, RV, look out … there are e-mails now. 😉 #ShadesOfHillary

  13. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    “…but like the second front page of the Record Searchlight by USA Today, it’s liberal directed semantics designed to make you think there is substance to their twisted innuendo.”

    My knee-jerk reaction:  Liberal-directed semantics?  Twisted innuendo?  Huh?

    Upon reflection:  I get a laugh out of people who think that the products of corporations like USA Today reflect political agendas more than market forces. Despite what some of the more hair-on-fire local conservatives think, the Record Searchlight’s editorial page and political endorsements are decidedly conservative, so as to pander to the market.  If the RS’s parent company is not so conservative as the RS, maybe that’s because America isn’t as conservative as Shasta County.  Remember that Hillary won the popular vote……not Trump.

     

  14. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    Great article R.V. and thrilling discussion.   The truth will out.  We’ll be miserable, but we’ll learn a lot and figure out how to proceed.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Stephen Colbert said:  “The only cure is liquor and three-and-a-half years of bed rest.”

      • Larry Winter says:

        Ha! I blame Colbert for Trump.  Remember when Colbert ran for President in South Carolina?  That set the table.  Next time you read a Trump tweet, pretend it’s coming from Cobert’s Comedy Central character.  It fits to a T. Heh heh.

  15. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

    Steve Towers: I don’t admire Breitbart, I read it. It’s gone downhill since Bannon left. But they moved pretty quick to debunk the latest Fake News story about the Russian attorney, for those of you who couldn’t see through that thin gruel in the first place.

    I get my news from literally hundreds of sources, every day. I go where the news and my interests take me.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      The Russian attorney story is “Fake News”?  Are you keeping up?

      The email exchange between Dumbass Jr. and the other principals of the story, in which the Russian with the alleged goods on Hillary is first identified by the guy who brokered the meeting as the “The Russian government attorney,” is at first blush pretty damning.  Three separate sources told the NY Times that Dumbass Jr. was told that the information originated with the Russian government.  His response: “If it’s what you say I love it.”

      According to NPR’s typically measured wording this morning, Dumbass Jr.’s statements potentially puts him in legal jeopardy for violating federal criminal statutes prohibiting solicitation or acceptance of anything of value from a foreign national, as well as a conspiracy to defraud the United States.  NPR sees smoke where you see “Fake News.”

      To me, it looks like Team Trump accepting help from what they believed were representatives of the Russian government.  It’s looking more and more like a tar pit than a serving of bunkum and balderdash.

      At any rate, it’s a little premature to write it off the Russian election interference story as “Fake News.”

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

        That’s from the smarmy dude who brokered the meeting, in one of the early emails to Dumbass Jr.

        At this point, the GOP’s defense is shaping up to be:  Team Trump is exquisitely, preternaturally, almost magically naïve and stupid, so we should cut them some slack.

        It’d be hilarious if the stakes were a lot lower.  Idiocracy was a funny flick.  Real-life Idiocracy, not so much.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Nothing illegal about meeting. No proof of collusion.

          Meanwhile, Clinton campaign did work with a foreign government, Ukraine, to obtain oppo research on Trump proven fact. That’s not illegal either!

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            It’s illegal to even solicit help from foreign nationals to help sway an election, even if you don’t get squat.  I’m reading different opinions on whether the meeting crossed that line—but it’s hard for me to imagine it’s all good if you suspect the promised information was obtained illegally.  It’s also complicated in that it’s impossible to separate Russia’s private interests and actions from the government’s interests and actions.  If you’re a Russian who speaks for a powerful member of the oligarchy, you also speak for the Kremlin.  You can’t tease them apart.  I concede that Dumbass Jr. may not have broken the law, but I sure as hell don’t concede that it’s obvious he didn’t.

            It was definitely illegal for Jared Kushner to flat-out lie and commit perjury when he told the FBI that he didn’t meet with foreign officials when obtaining his top-secret level security clearance, given that he was at the meeting. And Team Trump may be committing obstruction of justice on an ongoing basis with all of their obfuscation and misdirection regarding possible Russian interference in the election.

            But all of the legalities aside, it’s a big bucket of slime, and embarrassingly amateurish.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina is one of the most hyper-conservative Tea Party Republicans in Congress, and was the primary GOP attack dog regarding Hillary/Benghazi.  His committee assignments include Ethics, Judiciary, Government Oversight and Reform, and Select Committee on Intelligence.  He’s a very smart dude with a law degree.

            Here he is being interviewed yesterday by Fox News.  He certainly doesn’t share your view, R.V., that there’s no there there.  His LEAST damning suggestion is that the Trump Administration is astoundingly incompetent, with zero ability to manage a sticky situation, let alone a true crisis.

    • Marc Carter says:

      RV Scheide Jr,

      Back when you posted a headline & image  — something to the effect of ‘ get aboard the Trump train’, I detected the hint of a foul smell. Perhaps a hint began earlier with your photo sporting camouflage clothing.

      Long before this point, I dismissed you basically as a Trump shill with little disguise, for whatever your reasons were. Now with your “hundreds of news sources” comment, Sara Palin comes to mind. The stench just turned worse.

      BTW, didn’t the talking point “Fake News” really originate from Fox News?

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        Yeah, you see, when you start with the insults right away, I know you’ve got nothing.

        • Marc Carter says:

          Actually, there is quite a bit. Apparently, reporters have uncovered a substantial pattern of deception and cover-ups already. Remember how Watergate and Nixon went down?

  16. The Old Pretender says:

    I just can’t understand why anyone would not be seriously concerned about the integrity of our vote.  Dismiss a Russian hacking angle all you want, but there has been evidence for years of a diminished vote.  Diebold machines, closing of polling stations, the Anonymous re-routing of  turdblossom’s Ohio vote tally, gerrymandering from both sides (but mainly conservatives), and the corporate infusion of their “free speech” cash.

    The insistence that there is no “there” in the Russian involvement, seems a bit fishy in light of the continuing evolving exposure of high-level meeting with Russian oligarchs and operatives.  For a journalist to make that kind of dismissing declaration makes one wonder if he doesn’t truly understand the power of the oligarchs from all countries and the desire of corporatists from all parties to suppress the vote of the people.

    Dismiss the most important element of our remaining democratic republic at your own peril, RV.  Crow has an interesting flavor.

    • #Truthismessy says:

      Why was it that they could never shout like that about anything that mattered?” — George Orwell, 1984

      There is zero evidence that “the vote” was compromised.  That a foreign government preferred one candidate over another and wished to quietly lend support based on its opposition research is hardly new.  The US has itself been meddling in the politics of democracies around the globe for decades.

      Sure, the Russians probably illegally obtained information that was damaging to Clinton.  But isn’t America served by having a more-informed electorate?  Aren’t Democrats better off knowing how the DNC was in bed with Clinton Inc to such an extent that it actively worked against Bernie Sanders?   And didn’t it work both ways — didn’t Clinton supporters leak an embarassing, if dubious, Russian dossier on Trump?

      To moderates and conservatives, the hubbub about Russian meddling sounds a lot like the whining of a sore loser.  Worse, it drowns out the terrible stuff Trump is actually doing — like a backdoor ban on Muslims.  Or antagonizing nuclear North Korea.  Or attempting to cut taxes for a government that has grown debt every year since 1957.  Or the increased bombings, and concomitant civilian casualties, in the various undeclared wars we’ve been in the last 16 years.  Or pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.

      • The Old Pretender says:

        “There is zero evidence that “the vote” was compromised.”  OK, this is absurd.  Look at my third sentence and tell me how our votes are not compromised.  If you mean the Russian angle, then you did not comprehend what I was saying, but if you do not understand the extent of how votes are manipulated, dropped, disappeared, or disallowed, then you are not paying attention.

        Also, every time the Clintons are brought up, it is a straw man argument.  Stick with the now if you can.  We all know the terrible things Trump is doing, but it pales in comparison to what the conservatives and corporatists have been doing since the Reagan era.  Only now the chickens have come home to roost.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          “We all know the terrible things Trump is doing, but it pales in comparison to what the conservatives and corporatists have been doing since the Reagan era.  Only now the chickens have come home to roost.”

          Amen.

        • #Truthismessy says:

          Pretender:  Ah, I did miss your point, sorry.

          Yes, there has been voter fraud & suppression in past elections (such fraud in Chicago & Texas may well have put Kennedy in the white house).

          I have not seen any evidence that the votes counted on November 8th/9th 2016 materially differed from the votes cast.  Regarding voter suppression: I have zero sympathy for any registered voter who didn’t vote; absentee ballots are available in all states.

          I will concede that, under the guise of vote integrity, Republicans in some states have made it harder for those on the margins to register to vote (just like Democrats in this state have, under the guise of public safety, made it harder for those on the margins to own a firearm & purchase ammunition).  Both are egregious violations of civil liberties.

  17. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

    There is no proof Russia hacked the election. 4, not 17, intelligence agencies have said Russia “hacked” the election, but none of them have offered any proof other than the original report on the DNC server from CrowdSrike, the DNC’s private IT security firm. CrowdStrike has since backed off its claims, because they HAD NO EVIDENCE. This is a fact.  Yet all your favorite mainstream news agencies are still repeating the 17 intelligence agencies lie.

    None of these Russia stories so far has been anything out of the normal. They are, as CNN Van Jones said, nothingburgers.

     

  18. Common Sense says:

    Any Guess Why…… Robert Mueller has hired prosecutors whose specialties are money laundering and international organized crime?

    This whole Russian thing could be a small side show!

    That Nothing Burger might have 3 Patties on it!

  19. Common Sense says:

    “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”
    + St. Anthony the Great

  20. Common Sense says:

    Interesting take on it from Jens David Ohlin…..that Nothing Burger….its an OFF Menu 4×4 at In and Out currently…..let’s see if the Fries and Shake are next!

    The Long Fuse has been Lit………..

    The Fireworks are starting!

    History….is in the Making……

  21. Common Sense says:

    And for all you Legal Buffs out there…..this is what they will all be dealing with here in the near future!

    R.V…can I get some Sauce for my 4×4 Nothing Burger?

  22. Richard Christoph says:

    “Covfefe”— The perfect union of malfeasance and ineptitude.

  23. Marc Carter says:

    “It says: ‘Please adopt him, he’s a high-quality person.’ ”

  24. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

    Investigative journalist Robert Parry is the real deal. He may have progressive politics, but he’s not falling for this phony Russian claptrap. Here he points out how it’s the Democrats who actually were getting and paying for opposition research that allegedly came from the Russian government–the so-called piss dossier. Many more interesting details in this story, if you really want to know what’s going on.

    • #Truthismessy says:

      Remember when Clinton Inc received $145 million from members of a group wanting to sell US uranium assets to Russian interests?  At the time, Clinton, as Secretary of State, was one of just 9 committee members who would decide whether to send the deal to the President for final approval.

      The Trumps lack nuance in their corruption.  The Clintons are much more sophisticated, they remind me of Illinois’ Mike Madigan:

  25. cheyenne says:

    In the Denver Post today, Sinclair Broadcasting, a right leaning news media is buying 43 left leaning radio media, 2 in Denver, in what the liberals fear is a takeover of local media in the country.  Surveys show people trust their local media over national media.  Who you gonna trust now.  Call Ghostbusters!

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