Bolton’s book – Part 2

Seems everybody knows what’s in this book, entitled “In the room where it happened” that I could just as well read the excerpts.  Fox New quotes Chris Hayes (MSNBC commentator) for criticizing John Bolton, but they carefully cherry pick Chris Hayes’ comments.   Of course, all this discussion is occurring when not a single copy has been distributed to the public.   What seems to really upset Chris Hayes, is a statement within the book, which blames the Democrats for failing to impeach Donald Trump, with a narrow focus on just Ukraine.   Bolton had his chance to set the record straight four months ago in front of Congress and he didn’t.   But, I think he and just about everyone else knew that once in the Senate, impeachment would fall short of the two-thirds majority as required to send Trump packing.   So, he chose the book rather than the grilling in front of Congress.  If he had chosen to  testified,  the Republicans would have attacked Bolton, despite his life long allegiance to the Republican party.

To correct the record, see below for all the comments made by Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

https://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/bolton-blames-democrats-for-failed-impeachment-despite-refusing-to-testify-85295173778

Stay tuned,

Dave

In today’s breaking news

A friend of mine posted a picture of Walter Cronkite,  to Facebook.  For those too young to know, Walter  Cronkite was the anchorman at CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1980.  He was nicknamed “Uncle Walter.”   Older Americans will remember his sign off line ” And that’s the way it is …” followed by the date.  CBS news was 15 minutes long until 1963 when it was expanded to 30 minutes.  Walter Cronkite would generally read the news accompanied by pictures or videos.    News stories were very short,  because it was just the  facts, not opinion.  We never knew whether Uncle Walter was a Democrat or Republican.  ABC, NBC and CBS simply were our eyes and ears into the world, but would not try to form opinions for us.  They were able to squeeze in sports and weather into the short 30 minutes.

The reason for my friend’s posting was obvious.  Today we have “news shows”  which are more filled with commentary than actual news.  They are targeting certain audiences.  Conservatives like Fox News and One American News (OAN).  MSNBC and CNN generally have commentators critical of Donald Trump, which liberals enjoy.     But there are many examples of outstanding reporting in MSNBC and CNN.  I also watch the BBC which has more of a global focus.   I read the New York Times print edition, and online edition of  Washington Post, New York Times and  Miami-Herald.  Yet to do research, I often just go to Google and hit the News icon.  I consider these newspapers are well worth the money if I really want all the details.   I just found out that General Flynn and I attended the same university but 8 years apart.

I will not differentiate between “Mainstream Media”  and “Alternative News” as Donald Trump seems to do,  They are all multi-million dollar corporations, so they are all mainstream.  They are all contending for national market share, so this distinction is meaningless.   Fox News and OAN are by far the most biased, often leaving out significant parts of the story so they can push a particular point of view.

Yesterday, the top stories were so evident:  (1) A 3 trillion dollar aid stimulus package for Covid-19 was  likely to have problems passing in the Senate (2) Recent events in the continuing saga of General Flynn in Judge Sullivan’s court, and (3)  Whistle blower Dr. Rick Bright’s testimony in Congress.  Each of these 3 stories were given very different levels of importance.  In fact, with the General Flynn story,  the details between

#1 story:   I’ll begin with the 3 trillion dollar Covid-19  stimulus package.   Washington Post gives the facts and the really grim statistic:  “Live updates: House to vote on $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill; U.S. death toll surpasses 85,000.”  The bill was announced 2 days ago, and it will be voted on today (Friday).

Fox News on their website tells you right off that it is a bad package:    PARADE OF ABSURDITIES;  McConnell blasts Dems $3T proposal for stimulus, but makes prediction.   So,  you know Donald Trump opposes it, because Mitch McConnell as the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate opposes it.

#2 story: Next up, is the next chapter in the General Flynn saga, which began in January 2017 with an FBI interview.  As I hope most Americans know, General Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and offered to  cooperate with the Mueller’s Russian probe, and in return would be given a lenient sentence.  Then, once the Russian probe was completed, Flynn got new legal team, and a new strategy evolved  asking the judge to withdraw his guilty plea  and he was actually tricked into making false statements.   Many felt he was doing this in hopes of a Presidential pardon.   The false statement charge meant he could spend either no time in jail or up to six months.  Next.  the Department of Justice under AG Barr decided to drop  the charge against Flynn, but  Judge Sullivan decided on Thursday not to go along.

New York Times was right on the mark with its headline: Judge Appoints Outsider to Take On Justice Dept. in Flynn Case.  A retired judge will also examine whether the former national security adviser committed perjury.  The Times story continues:

The federal judge overseeing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn appointed a hard-charging former prosecutor and judge on Wednesday to oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case and to explore a perjury charge against Mr. Flynn.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s appointment of the former judge, John Gleeson, was an extraordinary move in a case with acute political overtones. Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to investigators as part of a larger inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Flynn later began fighting the charge and sought to withdraw his guilty plea. Then last week, the Justice Department abruptly moved to drop the charge after a long campaign by Mr. Trump and his supporters, prompting accusations that Attorney General William P. Barr had undermined the rule of law and further politicized the department.

Now that’s just good reporting.   It brings us up to date.   The Times goes into more detail about former judge John Gleeson.  They also note that the action of Judge Sullivan’s action has been criticized, as an extreme departure from normal procedures.  So, their story is balanced.

CNN has the Flynn case in its headline news,  but begins with Judge Gleeson and his role in the persecution of  John Gotti (Mafia boss) case,  Reporting in CNN and Washington Post are very similar.

A very different news story is headlined today in Fox’s reporting.  The focus actually has nothing to do with what happen in Judge Sullivan’s court,  but is totally focused on a Donald Trump’s tweet.   Fox News large headline news “Trump wants FBI’s original ‘302’ report on Flynn case, says former adviser ‘persecuted'” .   The 302 report would be an FBI notes taken during the interview in 2016.  The whole Fox News story is not news at all, because the DOJ wants the charge dropped against Flynn because they consider the false statements unimportant to a legitimate FBI investigation.

So, if you follow Fox News, you might think important information somehow vanished, and of course, one would want comment from the FBI director, Christopher Wrey or the Department of Justice.  Of course Fox just shoots and asks questions later.

#3 story:  Whistle blower   Dr. Rick Bright, who testified in Congress yesterday on the various treatments for Covid-19, and his claim that there were some attempts to bypass’ a vetting process for hydroxychloroquine.  I would not characterize his manner as a “disgruntled”  but more as a frustrated medical expert in infectious diseases, who had to watch as the top leaders ignored his warnings.

CNN gives the latest headlines “Rick Bright plans to start his new job working on coronavirus treatments and vaccines next week.”   (see link)  Others like the New York Times and Washington Post give excellent summaries of the hearing.

Fox New- I don’t see anything on the Fox News website except a short video: “Trump did everything that Bright said he should do.”

It would be fine if they reported that Trump believes he did everything that Bright said he should do,  but this is just another biased opinion from Fox News.

_______________________________________________________________

Three events happened yesterday.  Each were told differently.  On the whole, I believe Uncle Walter would have liked CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post reporting, rather than the Fox mix of commentary and selected elements of the news to support the commentary.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Link:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/14/politics/richard-bright-new-job-hhs/index.html

 

Reporting Fake News

Facebook is asking help in removing false postings.  A false or fake posting is one that is presenting information or content, which one can prove to be false.  Particularly alarming are images or videos, which have been altered.  How do you find out if a Facebook post is false?   The easiest way is to search the fact checking sites on the Internet.

See Facebook help link: 

There are many comments made everyday that many might disagree with, but are nevertheless, can not be considered false.  It is not helpful to Facebook to report comments which one finds to be disagreeable.

I have said in the past, I never reference any news story from social media.  This is my first link to Facebook, and very likely will be my only one.   I watch cable news, and my favorite at the moment is the BBC news.

I am working on a longer post on the impeachment proceedings.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Real news

I want to hear from the real journalists who provide real news because they are there on location.  I don’t get my news from people sitting on couches or social media.  I want it timely and accurate.

Warren Buffett typically reads six newspapers each day: The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The USA Today, The Omaha World-Herald and American Banker.  Warren Buffett, of course, is  one of the richest men in the US.

I try to get through the New York Times every day.  The central headline is pro-gun rally in Richmond, Virginia, obviously a highly charged issue, but it is clear that the Times reporters were there, interviewing the people at the rally.   Thankfully, it ended without violence.  I want to know more, because it will be, like it or not,  a big election issue.

Impeachment preparations are front and center with the headlines “McConnell plans for Senate Trial on a tight pace” outlining the Republican strategy of defending the president.   I heard bits and pieces of this last night on CNN, but a much more comprehensive discussion is in today’s paper.  There is thoughtful news analysis in a column entitled, “An Analysis of No Crime and No Case” further discussing Trump’s defense.  The next article was news to me, “Criticism stifled in a Boeing crash” really questioning the openness and thoroughness of Boeing internal investigations of crashes.

There’s a lot more in today’s Times.  I am particularly interested in the mysterious respiratory illness in China. There is the coverage of the outrage in Puerto Rico over the discovery of aid that wasn’t being distributed.  How could people be so callous?  I’m just getting started.   The World Economic Forum is starting in Devos, Switzerland and the climate crisis will be center stage.  There will be intense posturing, to be sure.  The fires in the Amazon and Australia are obviously too big to ignore.  And I’m still catching up on the Phase 1 China Trade Deal.  It sounds like negotiations have stalled out, and Trump has decided it isn’t the right time to escalate.

I don’t tweet. I don’t do messaging on Facebook.  I read.  I cringe every time I hear our President talk about the fake news, because it gives people an excuse for not being well informed.

It’s all about the joys of learning.  It can be seen in children raising their hands, to ask a question.   It has to flow from natural curiosity about what is happening in the world.  Learning new things keeps you young.  I really believe in this.

Because we elect our leaders, and their decisions affect our lives,  it is so important to be informed.

Real news is out there.  It generally isn’t free.  It takes time.  It requires reading.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

African News and Tabloid News

I lived and worked in Angola during the 1980’s.  The media (newspapers, television and radio) were controlled by the government,  Television’s lead story was how successful the government leaders were in areas of health, housing, job creation, and many other social areas.  Medical care for most Angolans was horrible.  Nobody really believed it.  I’ll call it African news, but it is probably a terrible label, as state controlled media exists in every continent.

Then there is the tabloid news.  Fox News is probably the worse as they allow guests on who generally see large looming conspiracies.   The “Deep State” is total nonsense.    It is based on the idea of some “Obama loyalists” inside the Justice Department, FBI,  and the intelligence community, all plotting (currently and in the past) against Donald Trump.   What is true, is the people Donald Trump fired, and really wants prosecuted for anything have not, because they didn’t do anything illegal.  This includes James Comey and Andrew McCabe, who served as the Director of the FBI and Acting Director.  Similarly with FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose name comes up constantly as part of the deep conspiracy,  Not only have McCabe and Strzok not charged with anything criminal, they are suing the government because they were forced out for political reasons.

If Fox News wants a guest to slam opponents hard and go on about deep state conspiracy stuff, they call up Attorney Joe diGenova who recently said on the Laura Ingraham’s (Fox News) podcast:

JOE DIGENOVA (GUEST): We are in a civil war in this country. There’s two standards of justice, one for Democrats one for Republicans. The press is all Democrat, all liberal, all progressive, all left – they hate Republicans, they hate Trump. So the suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future in this country is over. It’s not going to be. It’s going to be total war. And as I say to my friends, I do two things – I vote and I buy guns.

This is the lawyer that Trump wanted as his personal lawyer, but due to a conflict of interest, never was hired.   Fox News should have banned diGenova, but it looks like they are using him more and more. I guess it helps their ratings.  It is a short step from “buy guns” to “use guns” because everything (government/the media) is now controlled by evil democrats.

Good news is comprehensive reporting from journalists around the world.  It comes from investigation.   Today’s New York Times just arrived, and of course the headline story was the  whistle-blower/Ukraine  scandal.  And I’m sure they will be doing their best to get to the facts straight, not just repeat what Trump has said.  This is not African news, nor Tabloid news, it is solid and credible reporting and it’s what I want to pay for and what I spend my time reading.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Frequent Fox News guest tells Laura Ingraham “we are in a civil war;” suggests everyone buy guns to prepare for “total war”

Behind the Whistle-Blower Case, a Long-Held Trump Grudge Toward Ukraine 

 

Rob Rogers – Cartoonist, Fired for attacking Donald Trump

Ego deflating political humor is good, but with Rob Rogers, it is superb.   With Trump, his ego had expanded slightly larger than a Goodyear blimp, so the target was so much out in front.  Hitting it was no problem, but with Rob Rogers, it was his aim that was so perfect.

See links:

http://robrogers.com/category/archive/

There’s several pages of cartoons, the link to page through them is at the top of each page.

http://robrogers.com/2018/06/19/support-rob-on-patreon/

What keeps democracies working?

I think it’s a fair question.    I think two pillars of a working democracy are a system of laws, in which no one is above or has special privileges  and freedom of the press.  Where democracies are failing, there is almost a universal attempt to silence dissent, usually by jailing journalists.  Access to the internet, particularly sites like mine, are banned.

This doesn’t happen in the US.   We may have a president who regularly bashes certain newspapers, such as the Washington Post or the New York Times, but this is strictly politics.  Commentary he does not like, he refers to as lies.  Those reporting the news,  in an inquisitive manner, are not failing.  They are working hard to get their facts straight.

Democracy was at work when the Miami-Herald wanted documents about the failed FIU bridge.  It wasn’t  headline news.  The Miami-Herald is  seeking release of many documents from the state government  including minutes of  meetings of involved parties prior to the collapse of the FIU bridge.  There were reports of cracks appearing in the bridge about 10 days before the installation.  The judge will decide in two weeks (around June 21) and whatever the decision, the state may either appeal the decision or comply.   Our judiciary branch,  not the legislature nor the executive branch, has the final word on the rights of people. Certain information can not be disclosed by government.   Any document related to the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) investigation of the FIU accident is considered confidential and the Miami-Herald is only asking for documents prior to the investigation.

Countries with failing democracies, resort to use of the police and their military, to suppress dissent.   It is our system of laws which protect us from being thrown in jail or otherwise intimidated for our beliefs.   The system is imperfect and sometimes misunderstood.  The police and FBI  must use all means of investigation at their disposal, which includes legal wiretap and informants.  It is not spying on our citizens, but doing its job in crime enforcement.

This same system of laws may mean that certain information is not made public.  The media is always filing Freedom of Information Act requests, and when the governments refuse, they go to court.   It is our system working to have these clashes.   I don’t like Judicial Watch (JW) because of their strongly Republican bias and frequently politically motivated headlines, but I respect their constitutional right to seek release of information from government.

I would add a third pillar to democracy which is an informed and participating public.   We’re not doing too good here.  Only 43% of Americans voted in our last election.  We can do better.

In sum, democracies need a system of law for everybody, freedom of the press, and an informed and participating public to keep working.

My New York Times (print copy) just came, and my Washington Post is waiting to be opened.  Sorry Donald – Got to go.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact checking Trump’s statement on Immigration and other matters

I think the CNN fact checking on Trump’s immigration comments, is excellent.   See link below:

Trump on immigration: Fact check

I think Trump is up to exactly 4 true statements this year, as follows:

  • Says China and Singapore impose the death penalty on drug dealers.— PolitiFact National on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
  • The 2018 Academy Awards show was the “lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY.”— PolitiFact National on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
  • Small business confidence is at an all-time high.”— Donald Trump on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 in his State of the Union address
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average “jumped 1000 points in last 5 weeks, Record fastest 1000 point move in history.”— PolitiFact National on Monday, January 8th, 2018

The last one isn’t really that meaningful, as there have been a lot of faster 5 week moves on a percentage basis.

See link:

http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

April 2, was the international fact checking day.   I think this is a fantastic idea.  See link:

https://factcheckingday.com/

A belated congratulations to all those involved.

Stay tuned,

Dave

The New York Times, is a Trump stock

In Hollywood, they say there is no such thing as negative publicity.  The “failing New York Times” with it’s fake news is a constant theme of Donald Trump. The New York Times has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The prize is awarded for excellence in journalism in a range of categories.  The list of awards is extensive- see link at the end.

But is it failing?   Before I answer that question, there is an extensive decline in newspaper’s circulation in the US.    The average news junkie can get his morning fix by listening to CNN and BBC, then hit the internet to get the latest in areas of interest, Hollywood, sports, or in my case business.   But, internationally, circulation is rising- due to increase literacy,  higher incomes, and global awareness.   That’s great!

Now, Jim Cramer reviewed the finances of the New York Times, and found the company is not failing, but is thriving.  Instead of going through the slew of financial data, I’ll simply provide the CNBC link:

CNBC – Jim Cramer on the New York Times

Ironically,  all Trump’s tweets may have increased interest in the New York Times.    A lot of the content is now on the Internet and distributed free.   Where the increased revenues are coming from, is the increase in online advertising. The Times is by no way perfect- see links for past controversies.

Jim Cramer in January was touting a lot of stocks to be “Trump stocks”  based on deregulation,  overseas repatriation, and tax cuts for businesses. You would not think of First Solar, a maker of solar panels, to outperform Peabody Coal,Chesapeake Gas  or Sanchez Oil (involved in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking) but you would be so wrong.   This will have to wait for another blog.  My New York  Times is on the table.

Stay tuned,

Dave

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times

 

The New York Times and their sick agenda

In Trump’s world, the new axis of evil, are the Washington Post and the New York Times.   I considered Trump’s tweet on Qatar as a supporter of terrorism  the worse of all tweets.  He has outdone himself again.   On July 22, 2017, Donald Trump tweeted:

The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist,Al-Baghdadi. Their sick agenda over National Security

Trump was reacting to a report on a Fox News program about 25 minutes ago.  They mentioned the New York Times.

Al-Baghdadi is the single most wanted terrorist, as the leader of ISIL.  Nobody is sure if he is alive or dead.   The Russians stated that he may possibly have been killed during the May 16, 2015 raid.  The Defense Department says they have no evidence to show he has been killed  or is  now still alive.  General Mattis has stated they assume he is alive until they have proof he is not.

Trump’s tweet  is a very serious accusation.  If it were true, it makes the NYT complicit in terrorist activities.   Fortunately,  it  is 100% untrue-   there is not a grain of truth to this tweet.  But there was a grain of false information which Fox News spun  into a totally false “news report.”

Fox News-  All the news, all the time, and a pile of stuff made up, to boot.   Breaking news on terrorism,  leaks and the New York Times.  Oh my, what could be better!

Here’s the timetable:

May 16, 2015: US Delta commando  forces raid on the home of Abu Sayyaf in Syria,  chief financial officer for ISIL, killing Abu and capturing his wife, Umm.  She was questioned outside of the country.  The raid provides a treasure trove of information on ISIL and its operation, through seized laptops, cell phones and other materials.

May 17, 2015:  Pentagon discloses details of the raid to the public, and is extensively covered by the Western media, including the New York Times.   The Pentagon reveals they captured Umm and she is being interrogated outside of Syria.

 June 7, 2015:  (3 weeks after the raid) New York Times publishes more extensive details on the raid and the information.

July 21, 2017:  More than 2 years after the raid,  General Tony Thomas, at the Aspen Security Conference was asked if we had ever come close to killing Al-Baghdadi.  He responded yes, there were instances in which we were closing in on Al-Baghdadi.  He goes on to state that the capture and questioning of Umm Sayyaf  yielded very useful information.   He then states that after the information was leaked by a national news organization,  Al-Baghdadi likely took new precautions. He did not identify the New York Times.

July 22, 2017:  Fox News broadcasts a news story of how Al-Baghdadi might have been captured, if the NYT had not leaked information.

_____

The New York Times responded to Fox News, asking for an apology.  They stated, “No senior American official complained publicly about the story until now, more than two years later.”   They also do not dismiss General Thomas statements that  Al-Baghdadi became more cautious after the raid.   The problem is the disclosures came either from Secretary of Defense or the military spokespersons, not leaks.   What was inaccurately stated at a conference during a Q+A session would likely not get much publicity, if  Fox News had spent any time trying to find any collaboration of their story.  They have received the standard “no comment” from the Department of Defense.  No one in the Trump administration, except Trump, has charged the New York Times with disclosing  sensitive military information.

With Trump’s tweet,  this accusation  became worldwide news.  His hostility towards media reporting from CNN,  the Washington Post and the New York Times is very sad.   These institutions  will survive much longer than he will, as people want to hear the story  from reporters on the ground, not Trump’s tweet.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Government Accountability

Whether a president is doing a good job, is not for the president or his cabinet to decide.  Unlike a corporation, which runs with a board of directors, and make decisions, it is the American people, through the election process, which keep the government accountable.  Good news pours out of government.  Bad news is hidden under the rug.  Or more correctly, buried within the agencies of government.

Governments like to err on the side of caution.  They have a particular point of view, consistent with their policies.  Their policies and the supporting rationale are rapidly disseminated by the media.   However, as new information comes in, showing inconsistencies or direct conflicts with what has been said, then release of this information may be delayed or withheld from the public, even with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In doing research for my book (Florida Citrus Canker Epidemic: Pieces of a Puzzle, available on Amazon, yes this is plug to buy the book),  I discovered how frustratingly difficult it is, to obtain public documents as governments have learned all the tricks at avoiding the requirements of FOIA and other state laws, with the intent of making government more open.

The news organizations have  an advantage, because they can hire lawyers and challenge the government agencies in court.   The New York Times filed more FIOA requests than any other organization.  They filed 31 lawsuits when Obama was in office.  Fox News filed a total of 3 lawsuits when Obama was in office, and 2 lawsuits between election  and inauguration days.  So much for their “investigative journalism.”

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI),  takes second place.  So what is the CPI?  According to Wikipedia:

The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) is an American nonprofit investigative journalism organization whose stated mission is “to reveal abuses of power, corruption and dereliction of duty by powerful public and private institutions in order to cause them to operate with honesty, integrity, accountability and to put the public interest first.” With over 50 staff members, CPI is one of the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative centers in America. It won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

A link to their website is given in the links below.  They recently won 7 dateline awards, as given by the  Society of Professional Journalists.

Table 1. News Organizations Filing Three or More FOIA Lawsuits
Number of FOIA Suits Filed
News Organization Plaintiff Total Bush Obama
The New York Times Company 36 5 31
Center for Public Integrity 17 9 8
Associated Press 8 5 3
San Francisco Bay Guardian 6 1 5
Tax Analysts 6 4 2
Fox News Network, LLC 5 0 5*
Daily Caller News Foundation 4 0 4
Los Angeles Times Communicatio 4 3 1
Prison Legal News 4 2 2
Bloomberg LP 3 3 0
Detroit Free Press 3 2 1
SAE Productions, Inc. 3 2 1
* two suits were filed after Obama was elected, but just before he assumed office.

The above list does not include hundreds of lawsuits, filed by reporters and other organizations.  Two organization which have partisan missions are:  Judicial Watch (Conservative/ Republican) and Center for the Media and Democracy (CMD, Liberal/ Democrat).   Judicial Watch was extremely active during the Clinton email and Benghazi scandals.   Now it’s CMD turn, to uncover secrets held by the Trump administration.

Republicans better get used to the adage, “what goes around comes around.”  If they can make all sorts of accusations against Hillary Clinton based on her emails, so can Democrats use email conversations.     The February 2017 article in the  New York Times-  “The Pruitt Emails: E.P.A. Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry” is based on released emails from Oklahoma.   It reveals how Scott Pruitt fought EPA regulations, as Attorney General of Oklahoma and was well connected with oil industry executives and Republican campaign donors.

Please ignore for the next four years, the outlandish attacks on the media by Trump, particularly the printed media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.  We need dedicated correspondents, reporters, and the journalists that finally piece together a story.  Truth will not roll out of the White House in a neat little package and with the blessings of Trump.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

New York Times:  Think FOIA Is a Paper Tiger? The New York Times Gives It Some Bite

FOIA Project: News Reporters Drive Growth in Media FOIA Litigation

FOIA Project:  News Media Requests    (The more recent FOIA lawsuits are filed in the name of a reporter, but likely  with the backing of their organizations).

Judicial Watch

Center for the Media and Democracy (CMD)

Thank you horrible, horrible people

All governments and businesses are inherently closed and dishonest organizations. This is not being negative, because  I’m not saying they are closed and dishonest all the time, in every aspect.  Just occasionally when something goes very wrong.   The public wants to know why VW manipulated their emission tests and how stupid the EPA could have been to accept these tests. Or how could  Wells Fargo opened up millions of fake accounts.   We want to know  the details of how VA  military  hospitals were able to cheated the system in reporting the time veterans had to wait for their urgent medical needs.  Or the IRS scandal where non=profit organizations  were systematically targeted if their  applications contained certain keywords, almost always related to conservative causes.  We want to know what was hit when the bombs dropped in Yemen missed their target under Trump.  Or when a Children’s hospital was bombed under Obama.    And we want to know how many times, Obama took vacations to go golfing.  Same with Trump.   And the same with the next president.

Another words, we want dirt.  It is our right.   Freedom of the press is how we keep our government and businesses honest.

Trump has been blasting  unfavorable media commentary to a new level.    Much of his problems stem from the way he portrays events.   The dishonesty of reasons behind Comey’s firing is a case in point, which I and others have covered enough. Commentary which blends the news with insight  is  either incredible, amazing, terrific or despicable, horrible, dishonest  or totally fake.   When the mother of all bombs was dropped on Afghanistan, CNN brought in a group of  military experts and  all were in full support of Trump’s action.  No problem with CNN.  But after Trump  said more had been done to defeat ISIS in Afghanistan in 8 weeks of his administration  than 8 years under Obama, one former military expert described that as a highly derogatory statement  to those serving in  armed forces.

He can’t be satisfied with his own accomplishments; he has to show he is better than Obama and Democrats.    His wild exaggerations are quickly picked up by dedicated  reporters.    Case in point, the Obama administration wiretapped the Trump towers.  Director Comey replied there is no evidence of this.   Should Comey have said, “No comment, it is under investigation” ? Would he have score some loyalty points?

Trump  stated in his latest interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, that she is a fair and balanced reporter as she tossed a number of  softball questions at Trump.    I turned the channel at this point.  She is known for her non-stop rants against Hillary Clinton:

 Hillary, snap out of it,” Pirro said. “I’m tired of going through this with you. You’re a two-time loser who lost because you were a lousy candidate, you didn’t have a message, you lied every time you opened your mouth; you didn’t know what states to campaign in, you put our national security at risk with your amateur email setup, you were in a foundation that was nothing more than an organized criminal enterprise parading as a charity, four men died under your watch as you lied about a video, and there [were] a billion dollars missing from the State Department when you left. And I could go on and on, but I just don’t have the time. So, stop with the poor me nonsense. We’ve had it with you Clintons always claiming victimhood. The two of you haven’t followed the rules since the day you both showed up in your bell bottoms in Arkansas.”

Imagine if she said the same words to Trump, “You lied every time you opened your mouth,” Wow, end of interview, I sure. I watch Fox News for the news segments, not the commentary. I would not watch her show as too much tabloid gossip (Hillary steals a billion from the State Department).   Gee,  wouldn’t you think there would be an investigation?

Reporters are not going to get the straight story from government and inside information is fundamental to full reporting.    Piecing together the truth requires getting facts from people on the inside.   Leaking was given high praise by candidate Trump, and now widely condemned by President Trump.  Every person he fires from government can talk freely about their experiences.

Keep up the good work you horrible, horrible reporters from the mainstream media.    America needs you, for this president and all future presidents.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Telling it like it isn’t

90-million

How do we get 90 million jobs back?   Labor Participation statistics were dropping during Bush Administration too- but Fox doesn’t mention this.   Labor participation is more a measure of the aging of our population and does  not  correlate with unemployment and  other common measures of our economy.   If more young people are enroll in higher education, the  Labor Participation go down.  They don’t tell you this!.

While housing starts went up during Obama term,  home ownership has declined.   The National Review is a magazine dedicated to conservative and generally conservative  Republican idealogy.   But,  one of their articles takes on Sean Hannity from Fox News on the home ownership statistics, as being meaningful measures because he comparing the situation now to yer 2008, just when the housing bubble burst causing worldwide recession:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443010/sean-hannity-barack-obamas-economic-record-what-his-criticism-gets-wrong

The author makes a real good point- the last thing we need is a return to  2008 and lower lending standards which encourages people to buy houses they can ill afford.  This may not be shared with Donald Trump, as housing busts are  terrific opportunities for people with cash to profit from foreclosures.   Way too early to know Trump’s economic program includes relaxed lending regulations.

My advice to anyone who is struggling to make car,  credit card and student loan payments is to rent.   For those who believe they have extra money, my advice if they are young to invest it in education.

I try not to watch Fox News, as there are much better sources of  solid news reporting.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Fact checkers

I use factcheck.org mostly, but politifact.com has nice summaries of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and others.

Other fact checkers are:

Washington Post

snopes.com

Politifact found that on the average 4% of Trump’s facts were true while 19% of Clinton’s were true.  Adding the categories of true, mostly true and half true gets Trump up to 30% while Clinto gets 75%.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

One American News- Biased Reporting

Florida is the largest of the battleground states, in the 2016 election.  One American News reported  Florida’s voters  now  lean more toward Trump following the release of Benghazi reports.   Gravis Marketing did the polling.  I have no reason to believe their  polling was biased.   Their sample size of 1619 registered voters is above average.  The bias is the way the results were reported.

The polls showed in a race between Clinton and Trump,  52% of the respondents favored Clinton verses Trump with 48%.  However, in a three way race,  Trump led with 49% verses  Clinton with 45% and “Other”  with 6%.   So, it really looks like Florida is too close to call or still a toss up state.

There are two Benghazi reports.  The  Democrat’s version, approximately 300 pages,  was released on Monday, July 27 and the official version, backed only by Republican members with 800 pages was  released mid-day on Tuesday, July 28.  The poll took place from July 27 to 28, 2016.   So, how many of the respondents might have  reacted to each report is unknown, but it is likely a wash in the end.

It is unfortunate the biased reporting from OAN.  They said they don’t mix news with commentary like Fox News .  They just did exactly that.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

http://www.oann.com/pollflorida/