Fake news, a fake president and a fake country: Welcome to America, land of no context

Dec 4, 2016

By Andrew O’Hehir

How much of the “news” is fake? How much of reality is “real”? After an election cycle driven by lies, delusions and propaganda — including lies about lies, multiple layers of fake news and meta-fake news — we are about to install a fake president, elected by way of the machineries of fake democracy.

The country that elected him is fake too, at least in the sense that the voters who supported Donald Trump largely inhabit an imaginary America, or at least want to. They think it’s an America that used to exist, one they heard about from their fathers and grandfathers and have always longed to go back to. It’s not.

Their America is an illusion that has been constructed and fed to them through the plastic umbilicus of Fox News and right-wing social media to explain the anger and disenfranchisement and economic dislocation and loss of relative privilege they feel. All of which are real, if not necessarily honorable; it represents the height of liberal uselessness to keep on quarreling about whether Trump’s fabled “white working class” suffers real economic pain or is just a cesspool of racism.


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134 comments on “Fake news, a fake president and a fake country: Welcome to America, land of no context

  • This is sounding more and more like orwell’s 1984.

    I’m no fan of Trump, but I am glad he won, I was hoping it would ruffle a few feathers on the left but I was not expecting this.



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  • Oh FFS. Now he’s starting a twitter war with China. Im trying to decide whether to laugh or cry.

    And yes can the mods stop posting actual photos of Trump in articles about Trump. For those of us who get nauseated at the sight of his face it’s getting very wearing. How about a cartoon of him instead or a photo of a cute puppy?



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  • His face is actually frightening. And his chief adviser Ms. Conway is truly terrifying. She is a hired gun, is paid to lie, basically.

    Skewed and propagandistic “news” on the internet is growing. Breitbart is going to be available all over Europe, where there is a strong wave of right-wing populism.

    Europe is going mad, and this country appears to be going to hell. First the UK, then Trump. Italy and France and Switzerland may follow.

    Trump lies without restraint and even is admitting it now! —And not only does he deny climate science, he wants to scrap NASA’s climate research based on “politicized science”! I call that sinister.

    Compare the Arctic sea ice to what it was in 1986. It’s melting! Look at photos (from NASA).

    Make America Great Again. I figured it out. Reagan’s slogan was Let’s Make America Great. It’s the same shit, the same impulse, the same wicked and ultimately self-defeating political philosophy. Reagan cut spending and slashed important cultural and social programs, as did Thatcher. Many poor blacks in particular and poor people in general suffered horribly and are suffering still. These guys are worse than Reagan, more determined and more extreme.

    This is nothing short of a race and class war, and a war on women. There may also be a world war – in addition to a war with the elements, nature’s war against us.– She will get her revenge.

    Prepare yourselves.



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  • Cont.

    And a war between Christians and Muslims. Forgot that one.

    Italian Prime Minister resigns. Triumph for the right wing populists. France seems to be going that way too.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/the-rapture-of-marion-le-pen-front-national-elections/

    Marion LePen harps on a purported culture clash between Islam and “Judeo-Christian” France, in which native French are involved in what boils down to a population war with local Muslims.

    In the run-up to last Sunday’s vote, Marion — who in her youth attended a strict Catholic school near Paris, run by nuns — racked up a series of Trump-style headlines by saying that Muslims needed to “bend” to France’s Christian culture, and that they could not share the same “rank” as Christians.

    She also incurred the wrath of feminists, vowing to withdraw regional funding from the French equivalent of Planned Parenthood on the grounds that it was a political group promoting abortion.



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  • Dan, I read your comments and I think you’re overdoing it a bit. Remember that Trump had no hand in every single problem in the world today. He hasn’t even taken office yet and the left wing media do nothing but criticize, blame and panic.
    Salon are well known for producing unreliable, fake news and they should not be taken seriously. I recall an article by Sam Harris which describes the dreadful standard of Salon reporting.
    https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/sam-harris-the-salon-interview



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  • Grant Summers #6
    Dec 5, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Remember that Trump had no hand in every single problem in the world today.

    He has however assembled a collection of reactionary people who are demonstrably incompetent in the areas of responsibility he has allocated to them.

    His business record is one of lying, cheating, fraud, and belligerent court actions against his victims.

    He hasn’t even taken office yet and the left wing media do nothing but criticize, blame and panic.

    Which may be so, but the balanced independent reputable media, also legitimately criticise his brash blundering incompetence, habitual lying, and his disreputable activities – providing citations to factual records which support their articles.



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  • Alan4discussion,

    Many would argue that Hillary Clinton could be described in the same way you described Trump:

    “brash blundering incompetence, habitual lying, and his disreputable activities”.

    With one important difference however – Hillary would’ve been revered by the main stream media, which of course would be in complete agreement with the comic book Salon.

    The mass media has long lost their credibility and nobody in their right mind would say they are “balanced independent reputable”. That is a silly thing to say.

    Nothing bad will come from four years with Trump at the helm, unless of course the media relentlessly stir up more hatred and fear. I suspect they will no matter what good Trump does.



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  • Grant Summers #8
    Dec 5, 2016 at 6:17 am
    Many would argue that Hillary Clinton could be described in the same way you described Trump:

    I think that is the point of this discussion about fake news!
    Many in America are so used to being fed fake propaganda as news that they can’t tell the difference between fact and evidence based reporting, and some ideological drivel made up by some campaign team or conspiracy theorists – who contradict and lie about honest criticism!

    “brash blundering incompetence, habitual lying, and his disreputable activities”.

    are features of Trump based on his past on-the-record history!

    The mass media has long lost their credibility and nobody in their right mind would say they are “balanced independent reputable”. That is a silly thing to say.

    Which why I place very little credibility in anything they say, spot the obvious lies, and check out information from more balanced independent reputable sources which give references to actual checkable quotes and records of events.

    Nothing bad will come from four years with Trump at the helm,

    Really??
    A bit like the students at Trump University who have now been belatedly paid $25million to compensate them for the fraudulent business courses they were sold! – or the other thousands of court action in which trump is currently involved!

    unless of course the media relentlessly stir up more hatred and fear. I suspect they will no matter what good Trump does.

    Some of us use sources other than US mass media, (such as quotes from court records, and videos of Trump making statements), and Trump’s record of behaviour and incompetence are appalling!
    Rogue businessmen don’t suddenly become honest and reputable when they are given more power, and science deniers don’t suddenly become competent!



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  • The strategy (as i see it) is to survive these next four years. We are “lucky” in a way because what will be on display during his tenure is “all they got”. It’s a shit show, true. However, instead of evolving very slowly and over the course of years and years and years (gradualism), we have a quite severe and sharp change (a la punctuated equilibria). But, we get to see, on public display, every trick in their book. This is going to be a roller coaster. There will be winners and losers, for sure. The ecology is in for devastation. The rich are going to do their money grab. It’s going to suck, especially for public schools (me).

    But, when the smoke clears and we can get down to fixing the problems, the worst will have been done and hopefully more and more of Americans will see the actual power they have to help these issues and help them globally. If things break correctly, this could be the great turning point in natural history. (It could easily be the great turning point in the wrong direction)…

    But, THIS IS ROCK BOTTOM. Let’s get through it and take steps to make sure it doesn’t get worse.



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  • Hi Grant [#6],

    I agree with this part of your comments:

    Salon are well known for producing unreliable, fake news and they should not be taken seriously. I recall an article by Sam Harris which describes the dreadful standard of Salon reporting.

    This is a plain fact, and Sam Harris’s column on Salon (that you linked to) has the best advice: Boycott Salon.

    I also agree with this analysis [#8]:

    Many would argue that Hillary Clinton could be described in the same way [as] Trump: “brash blundering incompetence, habitual lying, and [her] disreputable activities”.

    I am reminded of the evidence that was gathered by the late Christopher Hitchens – here’s a taster. I kept quiet during the election, but I was nothing less than astonished that the Democrats selected such a tarnished character as their candidate. The Republicans must have cracked open plenty of bottles that day – what a gift.

    The main Salon story is all these things and more. It pretends to be a pathologic examination of the role of fake news (why is everyone afraid to call it what it is: propaganda?) in the election cycle. In reality it’s a long diatribe focused on selling the idea, unsupported by evidence, that about half Americans live in a post-fact dream-world.

    If the Republicans fail to deliver on most of their promises reality will bite. That will take at least a couple of years to sink in.

    O’Hehir comes close a couple of times, including this comment:

    [Salon]: Many [Trump voters] understood, consciously or otherwise, that his incoherent promises could not be taken literally and that his outrageous personality did not reflect the realm of reality

    There is plenty of evidence of voters actually saying that they voted for Trump purely on the basis that he is outrageous. But then O’Hahir goes to far:

    [Salon]: They were sick of reality, and you can’t entirely blame them. For lots of people in “middle America” (the term is patronizing, but let’s move on) reality has been so debased … as to seem valueless

    Here is where O’Hehir is extrapolating too far from the facts. What O’Hehir misses is the fact (note: we’re still in the factual World) that voters were SOLD the ideas that their current lives are valueless, and that they had ‘lost their country’, and that Trump is a necessary political emetic, and, and, and …

    However I have to part company with you, Grant, on these points:

    The mass media has long lost their credibility and nobody in their right mind would say they are “balanced independent reputable”

    You appear to be painting with a very broad brush there. I speak as someone who is in the habit of doing the same [cough] and I’m rarely held to account. Good journalism still happens, but it is a shrinking puddle in a hot sun – but yours is still too broad a statement for me. I think a better meme would be:

    Be careful who you trust
    Trust and verify
    Apportion your beliefs to the evidence
    Check by reading more than one source

    Also, why does the media have to be balanced? I don’t want balanced media – I want truthful media.

    Nothing bad will come from four years with Trump at the helm …

    That’s an interesting prediction that does not seem to be apportioned to the evidence. The World must wait and see.

    … unless of course the media relentlessly stir up more hatred and fear …

    Yes, Trump has been trying to distance himself from some of the more retarded post-election media. Again, we can do little more than wait and see. I agree with you that, so far, Trump’s disavowal of the extreme propagandists does not seem to have taken the steam out of them.

    Peace.



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  • I’m tired of seeing his face. It’s everywhere…

    …it’s getting very wearing. How about a cartoon of him instead?

    Don’t blame us…! We don’t select or post the articles…

    Yes, please, our dear and beloved RDFRS folks; right now there are four pictures of the new American Le Roi Soleil on your main web page… we all have strong digestive systems, but there are limits…

    Besides, his face certainly doesn’t need any more free public exposure…



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  • Alan4 #15

    Don’t you have board, some adhesive, and a set of darts somewhere?

    Yes, but how I’m going to explain to my boss the holes on my PC monitor?



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  • “Nothing bad will come from four years with Trump at the helm, unless of course the media relentlessly stir up more hatred and fear. I suspect they will no matter what good Trump does.”

    Grant, Unbelievable faith you have there considering there have been hundreds of incidents related to Trumps big green light on racism. Or haven’t you noticed? I suppose the “left” should just remain quiet and submissive?

    IF you are white and wealthy, you may be alright.



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  • Grant Summers,

    I didn’t even read the Salon article until now. Not so hot. Very few profound thinkers out there. I miss Mailer.

    Overdoing it? I hope you’re right. But why would he hire General Flynn as National Security Adviser? That guy Flynn re-tweets fake news. He almost got a bunch of people killed yesterday. Did you read about that? Someone read his obscene tweet about Hillary’s den of abused minors or whatever it was, and someone went there with a gun or something. That’s just one point among many.

    I’ve already written at length about why Trump is dangerous, as have others – and if you are not concerned or think we are all overreacting, that’s fine. I have a different view.



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  • Trump won the election. Get over it!

    Rather than wallow in conjecture, why not give him a chance? Or is the “left” terrified that he may actually do an acceptable job and make them look like the fools that they don’t understand they are?

    The majority of those complaining now had apoplectic convulsions when Trump said he would wait to see how the election was conducted before he accepted the results – Hillary came out with all the venom she could muster at his (quite logical) answer. Now it is the “left” who are going nuts not accepting the result and appear to be trying to sabotage all efforts Trump is making to form a government. What hypocrisy!

    Many normal middle-of-the-road people are tired of stifled speech, being called a racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist, misogynistic, climate denying “deplorable” at the slightest remark which may not concur 100% with opinions of main stream (left wing) media and the “overly clever” left-wing academics. Open a car door for a “lady” and one is a sexist misogynist. Say Obama has been a damp squib as a president and you are a racist. Say that you are not entirely in line with IPCC ideas and you are dubbed a “denier” before any discussion is had.

    The “clever left” just don’t get it and are too supercilious to even try to get it.

    As I write this I hear that Angela Merkel is now saying that the Burka should be banned in certain public places! Strange that suddenly all that compassion goes down the drain when she realises that she may lose her job and go down in infamy! The Burka was quite acceptable to Merkel – until Trump won the election, Italy followed and there may well be a change in France in the not too distant future that could mean the end of the EU.

    Trump is certainly far from my first choice, but he did save the world from Hillary Clinton and all her, and her husbands, dishonesty and swindles.

    He won the election. He will be President. Why not have the guts to give Trump a chance?



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  • Rather than wallow in conjecture, why not give him a chance?

    No conjecture. Every appointment is a fucking disaster. As demented as could be possibly imagined. He needs to know this.



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  • cosmx #22
    Dec 7, 2016 at 1:40 am

    I think you have been getting your information from Faux News or something similar!

    The Burka was quite acceptable to Merkel – until Trump won the election,

    Don’t you think that a massive influx or Islamic refugees from war-torn less civilised parts of Eurasia and Africa, and ISIS terrorism in Europe, might have been a non- American-centric cause?

    Trump is certainly far from my first choice, but he did save the world from Hillary Clinton and all her, and her husbands, dishonesty and swindles.

    Perhaps you should have looked at the THOUSANDS of legal actions Trump has been, or still is, involved in, (checking from court records), before quoting media fantasy swindles made up on the web of circulated fake-news.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38228008
    Canadian politicians have expressed outrage after protesters at a political rally chanted “lock her up” about Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

    This would keep you from being associated with this air-head yahoo’s chorus of the ignorant chanters, brainlessly parroting slogans!



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  • Hi cosmx [#22],

    Trump won the election

    So … winning an election means that the politician is immune from criticism? Get real!

    Rather than wallow in conjecture, why not give him a chance

    In what way are people here not giving Trump a chance? People here are taking in the messages Trump is sending out – such as the histories and public positions of the people he is choosing to run the Government, then saying 2+2=4. Some people are maybe stretching their math a bit further than that, but we also can measure Trump by the things he’s said versus the things he’s doing already. There are reports that Trump is, for example, doing exactly what he said he wouldn’t do with Carrier in Indiana – handing over Government subsidies and telling them tax breaks are coming – and without any guarantees. Trump is also appointing Wall Street insiders after saying that politicians don’t keep these people under control. Right, and I really need a fox in my hen house too …

    In what way is this wallowing? No my friend, this is simply analysing the facts and seeing that Trump voters have already been stiffed – and Trump hasn’t even taken the oath of office!

    Or is the “left” terrified that he may actually do an acceptable job and make them look like the fools that they don’t understand they are?

    I wouldn’t know, I’m not a member of the left. You seem to know so much more about the socialists you must be one.

    The majority of those complaining … when Trump said he would wait to see how the election was conducted before he accepted the results – Hillary came out with all the venom she could muster at his (quite logical) answer

    How was that a logical answer? For Trump’s answer to be logical it would have to be objective, analytical and based on reason – it was none of those things.

    Now it is the “left” who are going nuts …

    If you say so, I don’t know many American socialists but those I do know seem to be mostly depressed and catatonic at the moment. Again, I bow to your superior knowledge as a socialist.

    … not accepting the result and … trying to sabotage all efforts Trump is making to form a government

    In what way is a legitimate concern over the democratic process a problem?

    Nobody is sabotaging Trump – Trump is in the process of making his government and no-one is stopping him as far as I can see, what are you talking about cosmx?

    What hypocrisy!

    I see only evidence that some people want to ensure that the democratic process was properly and fairly conducted, people commenting on Trump’s actions as President-elect and concern over his appointments. You have presented us with a false equivalence then pretended to take the high ground and finished off by being a cry-baby over your own fantasy of what you say people are saying and doing – none of which is true.

    Many normal middle-of-the-road people are tired of stifled speech …

    I agree. I’m one of them.

    … being called a … “deplorable” at the slightest remark which may not concur 100% with opinions of main stream (left wing) media …

    Again, I agree. Language is over-used to label people and to demonize sectors of the population is divisive in a way that is anti-democratic.

    … the “overly clever” left-wing academics

    I have literally no idea what that means. Overly clever means what? that you disagree with people who are cleverer than you? And why pick on academics? Academics, most of them at least, are interested in a subject and study it hard. Then they present their work to the public. What is wrong with that?

    Open a car door for a lady and one is a sexist misogynist

    Wow, you really do live the socialist dream cosmx. That has never happened to me – and I give way and open doors for women every week.

    Say Obama has been a damp squib as a president and you are a racist

    That’s an odd thing to say; I saw your socialist pal Michale Moore only the other day on TV saying that Obama’s legacy is so shallow that he’ll literally only be remembered in a hundred years from now as the First Black President – that’s it. I haven’t seen any YouTube videos from your other socialist friends calling him a racist, not one. Are you just making things up, again, cosmx?

    Just to be clear: I mostly watch Michael Moore for the laughs.

    Say that you are not entirely in line with IPCC ideas and you are dubbed a “denier” before any discussion is had

    The IPCC is different to the media and Michael Moore – the media and Moore talk about their opinions and they give analyses based on the subjective and emotional responses. The IPCC is a body of scientists who are collating data (facts) about reality, then trying to summarize what those facts mean. If you say something that counters what the IPCC says, then your a denier.

    This is both a false equivalence (media versus IPCC) and a conflation of fact with opinion. You’re entitled to your opinion on climate change cosmx, your not entitled to your own facts.

    The “clever left” just don’t get it …

    Wait; they’re clever but they’re wrong? How can they be both cosmx?

    … and are too supercilious to even try to get it

    I agree that a lot of commentators are so far up their own rears that they’re still not understanding how Trump won the presidential election.

    Strange that suddenly all that compassion goes down the drain when [Merkel] realises that she may lose her job and go down in infamy!

    I agree that politicians bend too easily with the winds of political change. It would be good to see one stand up for some principal or other, just for the novelty value if nothing else. This is a downside of the professionalization of politics and the New Establishment.

    The Burka was quite acceptable to Merkel – until Trump won the election, Italy followed and there may well be a change in France in the not too distant future that could mean the end of the EU

    That’s a lot of speculation and connecting-things-that-don’t-connect; except that they all have political back-room dealing, propaganda and the Wealthy behind them … but even so while some dare call it conspiracy, I can only see a loose alignment of common aims.

    Trump is certainly far from my first choice, but he did save the world from Hillary Clinton …

    I agree that Clinton was a terrible candidate. I can’t understand your reasoning for saying that Trump was less bad.

    [Trump] won the election. He will be President. Why not have the guts to give Trump a chance?

    I am giving Trump a chance – it is Trump who is blowing it already!

    Peace.



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  • Quote: “The country that elected him is fake too, at least in the sense that the voters who supported Donald Trump largely inhabit an imaginary America, or at least want to.”

    You can’t expect those who voted for Trump could ever understand this??? They are either bigoted, have little education, or are just plain stupid. Also they are in the minority in the US. As for Trump himself, he is both bigoted and uneducated. That is why he appealed to so many people and won the electoral vote.



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  • This is not just about a war on science (which would be bad enough) or even church and state (as important as that is); it’s about something larger, something all-encompassing, something terrifying: the iron fist, the emergence of neofascism. Trump, the pro-Military, “Law and Order” President has praised a bloody Philippines drug war that’s killed 38 people per day. Trump’s support (You’re doing a good job over there”) suggests how little he cares about human rights. Why is he always praising dictators? Could he have the heart and mind of a cruel, authoritarian autocrat? And he has facilitated a corporate takeover of federal agencies. Nice combo. No. We are facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions.

    Read this good investigative piece from the NY Times (Photos not for the squeamish.) And try to read the Moyers.com piece, if you can (#21).

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/07/world/asia/rodrigo-duterte-philippines-drugs-killings.html

    Over 3,000 people were killed during Duterte’s drug war between July and September alone, according to Amnesty International. That’s about 38 deaths a day. During that time, “some 1,027 suspects were killed during police operations,” Al Jazeera reported.

    Peace.



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  • Did someone say something about giving Trump a chance?

    WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.



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  • cosmx #22

    Open a car door for a “lady” and one is a sexist misogynist

    No. One is a sexist misogynist when one believes its okay to just walk up and grab someone’s daughter by the genitals.

    I’ve opened countless doors for ladies–over 50 years worth of door holding experience here–and I’ve never once been accused of that.

    Say Obama has been a damp squib as a president and you are a racist.

    Not true. There are legitimate ways to criticize the president. Demanding to be shown the man’s birth certificate? Any other president receive that kind of puerile attack?

    That would be the “damp squib” who had a seal team snuff out Bin Laden after Bush decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

    Why not have the guts to give Trump a chance?

    Because his phallus is just too small. Why else would he be so insecure about it that he felt the need to assure the world that there was “no problem”?

    Congratulations. You’ve actually managed to elect a guy who thought that his penis size was an appropriate issue to address during a presidential debate. You’re handing nuclear codes to someone with all the emotional stability and mentality of the quintessential high-school bully, grabbing women by the crotch with one tiny hand and fondling himself with the other.



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  • Good post, BigPencil. And nice to e-meet you. I have never seen anything like this before. I am reminded of something that a Roman Emperor once said: “Let all the evil that lurks in the mud hatch out.” Trump’s conflicts of interest are so blatant, his appointments so extreme, there is only room for disgrace and failure – and none for compromise.

    (I go back and forth – between fear of fascism, environmental disaster, and nuclear war… and hope.)

    Good point about his genitals. And a right-wing populist “leader” (a greedy, authoritarian, uninformed scam-artist, to be precise) who needs to prove that he’s a “strong man” is a very, very dangerous thing.

    Btw, speaking of big hands versus small hands, “BigPencil” has a certain symbolic (phallic) aspect. (Kidding.—Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.)

    Trump is a scary dude. Everyone calls him a clown. Clown indeed! Clown + codes and executive power = scary – and = there needs to be vigilance.



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  • I think there is a strong case that Trump is a Narcissist, and a probability that he is a sociopath. Summarized thus.

    Glibness and Superficial Charm

    Manipulative and Conning. They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible

    Grandiose Sense of Self

    Pathological Lying

    Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

    Shallow Emotions

    Incapacity for Love

    Need for Stimulation

    What have you done America. What have you done.

    There is something profoundly different in the way American society runs compared to similar countries. Your political spectrum is not a Bell Curve but a Dumbbell Curve. The politics is so Bi Polar that no middle ground can be found. Your population gets most of the information they use to vote from Social Media. Irrational. The 4th Estate doesn’t work because it is a commercial free market, that must generate ratings to generate advertising revenue so it must only give you news that you agree with. If a news outlet publishes news that disagrees with the Left / Right Bi Polar politics, the viewers switch off. News services in America are now divided on political lines and just reinforce already held views of the readers. It is the perfect Confirmation Bias reinforcement loop.

    To put it politely, America is so stuffed up, that a person like Trump could get elected President.



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  • Not absolutely unique to America, although America (in spite of its rich history and its many wonderful aspects) is certainly in decline and is a sick nation. It can happen anywhere. Look at Germany in the 30s. Not so long ago. Italy under Mussolini. No, David, it can happen anywhere.

    Propaganda is but one element, but here are some nice quotes by a true monster.

    Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda, put it well: “The truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Here’s another. “There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be “the man in the street.” Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.”



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  • BigPencil #31
    Dec 7, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    That would be the “damp squib” who had a seal team snuff out Bin Laden after Bush decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

    Not only that, but, he sent a small specialist team to do the job in the right country (Pakistan), rather than sending rampaging armies (at a cost $4 trillion +) to start long running civil wars in the wrong one(s). – (Iraq, Afghanistan).



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  • BigPencil #31

    No. One is a sexist misogynist when one believes its okay to just walk
    up and grab someone’s daughter by the genitals.

    While I agree with the main message of your post, BigPencil, could we please all agree that it’s not the fact she’s “someone’s daughter” (or “wife” or “mother”) that makes it unacceptable to grope a woman’s crotch without her consent? It has been very striking how much of the outrage to Trump’s “pussy grabbing” boast has been couched in the language of ownership.



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  • Marco #38
    Point taken. My response is more visceral than thoughtful, but in my defence, and by way of context, I’m still reeling from the sight of a group of female Trump supporters who proudly wore shirts with the phrase ‘You Can Grab MY PUSSY Anytime’.

    And so, when I see something like this, I am forced to wonder if they’re depraved enough to include their daughters in the offer, or if they even stopped to consider their own children and the impact a Trump presidency will have on them.



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  • A quote from an Irish minister on the American elections (didn’t catch his name):

    “In an election of two negative campaigns, the most negative will win”…..

    Sanders would have been a better antidote I think!



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  • Hillary’s campaign was negative (but not vicious) in so far as it tried to warn the public about Trump. That’s called running a campaign. The differences between the candidates were enormous – on a whole host of important issues; and it is madness to say there weren’t. Everything that was said during her campaign was true and needed to be said; and they used his own words. “Negative campaigns”: A false equivalent.

    Sanders lost the primary. And Teddy Roosevelt and FDR are dead.—But back to the false equivalent. I have grown weary of all these analyses. Hillary was a fine candidate and had to contend with a polished liar and can-man! She did run a flawed campaign; she did not reach the working class and rural voters. That was her mistake. But she should have won. She didn’t lose; we all lost. The wave of pure emotion stirred up by the Trump team was too strong. It is strong still.

    A lot of virulent hatred of Hillary Clinton out there and much of it is sexism, period. (Not you, Olgun; but go to any YouTube video and read some of the comments about her, or watch footage of a Trump rally. It’s sick and it’s disgusting.) Hate is what it is.



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  • He’s considering the CEO of Exxon Mobil as Sec of State. Good choice!

    And climate change is good! We wouldn’t want the weather to always be the same, would we?

    He said recently that he likes Obama. That was nice. Trump is a decent man…

    Seriously, I don’t want Trump!! This sucks!!

    Reid on Trump’s Cabinet picks: ‘Quite frankly, scary’ That’s right. Tom Price hates Medicare, Carson hates the poor, the EPA guy (Can’t remember the fuck-head’s name) built his career on climate change denial….

    And Trump Launched a tweet attack on Carrier Steel union Boss Chuck Jones for fact-checking him. Totally out of bounds.

    Comment 41: “…madness to say there weren’t.” Correction: they weren’t. “..liar and can-man!” Correction: con-man.



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  • Apart from the degeneration of the American two-party political system that dumped two miscreants on the electorate for mutually exclusive selection coinciding with other freak conditions that produced the perfect storm, historical sea changes may also be at work.

    I would take us back to the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of globalization in the late eighties to examine revolutionary developments in the rise of global economies with special attention given to the role of unprecedented free trade facilitated by international outsourcing of labor, manufacturing and capital. Nation-centered economies did not collapse entirely but took many hits and became further marginalized from national political establishments. Aging welfare states supported by smokestack industries and labor unions lost tax-based funding as manufacturing and labor moved offshore and freely across borders. European welfare regimes had to impose cutbacks, institute austerity while irate beneficiaries took to the streets in protest buoyed by increasingly irrelevant trade unions. The old liberal left and the old conservative right vying to create and/or distribute wealth within the borders of the nation state fell into a state of reciprocal dysfunction.

    Hillary Clinton promised to “make the economy work for everyone…by making the rich pay their fair share of taxes.” She promised to eliminate the misery of the unemployed or the low-wage underemployed by shaking down the rich “because that’s where the money is” and then redistributing all that “money” to the middle and lower socio-economic classes. The promise had descended into the untenable programs of the distributionist left. Donald Trump promised to bring back high-paying manufacturing jobs effected in part through high tariffs (taxes) on imports, notably from China, and lower taxes and regulations on business activity to pave an entrepreneurial pathway that would make America Great; that is, Rich again.

    World economies viewed by anxious, frustrated workers are in a state of destructive chaos dispensing low-wage service jobs, layoffs and extended periods of unemployment; viewed by successful (or optimistic) capitalized entrepreneurs- these same economies are in a state of destructive creation with opportunities for new markets and enrichment just around the corner; or more likely, across the border. It will take generations to sort out the transition, variously helpful to some and harmful to others, to something that looks like stability and order.



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  • Free trade has been the most positive thing done for world poverty perhaps ever. It catapulted Japan through its imposed narcosis of 400 hundred years under the Samurai in a mere 40. Much of the Pacific rim and now China are following suit.

    The only tragedy is that this wealth creation benefiting ultimately the poorest in the developing countries and the rich entrepreneurs who facilitated this was not in the least shared with the jobs stolen from the working class of the developed nation. This could and should have been done.

    Global trading is not the enemy, but the kleptocracy of the rich. Their power greatly enabled by Reagonomics and Thatcherism, unleashing the rich banking/trading gamblers allowed to use our assetts to fuel their zero sum game play.

    In the 1970s economics mathematicians discovered that traders could always bend the odds in their favour if they gambled with big enough chips. Through the eighties these people were enabled in their game by “liberalising” the money markets allowing huge poker chips to be created mixing our mortgages and pension funds with sub prime and other bulking agents, creating derivatives and huge “financial instruments” now unfettered by the decency of Glass Steagal legislation safeguarding our assets. Through the eighties the average American worker flat topped in buying power after generations of true improvement. Their increasingly strenuous efforts netted stasis for themselves for a whole generation, up until today, and second and third Porsches for those pocketing their efforts. To add insult to injury the kleptocracy have failed to invest their ill gotten gains at the rates of yore, fully aware that there are thieves out their.

    Until the people of the US recognise the failure of an overly de-regulated market and the dogmatic impoverishment of the power of the state and its role in long time-scale solutions, the spiral down will continue, fleeced by the parasites.

    Celebrate sticking it to the Mexicans and Chinese, who dropped your cost of living. Let the rich, who failed to invest their great new wealth in replacement jobs for the folk they gulled, get off scott free. Wall yourself in with trade barriers and yesterday’s jobs in steel and coal and cars out of the ark…. Cuddle up to that antique economic dogmatis you learned at your pappy’s knee.



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  • Phil, why don’t you go into politics? You’ll be like Ben Franklin (scientist, statesman, polymath). In your photo you look like a visionary.

    “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” -Ben Franklin

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    – B.F.



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  • Laurie

    Sorry. I don’t want you to be depressed. (But it’s reality.)

    I offer you the same advice you gave me:

    Get some hot chicken soup and snuggle into your couch. Watch a mindless show.

    Gentiles like chicken soup too, don’t they? You don’t have to be Jewish to receive the curative effects of “Jewish penicillin.” (But it doesn’t hurt.)

    A young Somalian woman, the nation’s first Somali American lawmaker, was harassed – badly – in a taxi in D.C. recently. Did you watch Rachel Maddow tonight? She told the horrible story.



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  • Phil #45: In the 1970s economics mathematicians discovered that traders could always bend the odds in their favour if they gambled with big enough chips. Through the eighties these people were enabled in their game by “liberalising” the money markets allowing huge poker chips to be created mixing our mortgages and pension funds with sub prime and other bulking agents, creating derivatives and huge “financial instruments” now unfettered by the decency of Glass Steagal legislation safeguarding our assets.

    I highly recommend the recently released film, “The Big Short”, for a comprehensive, easily understood and very entertaining dramatized exposition (based on actual people and events) of the great economic collapse of 2008.



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  • Melvin #52

    Thanks, Melvin.

    The Big Short? I’ve recommended it here twice already, with the only complaint that it failed to mention why big poker chips are the only ones to play with. They didn’t need just more chips but more BIIIG chips. The market cannot be understood as a set of linear and linear differential equations. There are thresholds of psychology that manipulate the players.

    I can’t wait for fadetodraw to return. Harari may be a moderately good historian, but he is s terrible economist. Admati and Hellwig (The Bankers New Clothes) are far less hysterical and thus far more sobering.



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  • Dan, I spent the last week in a wheelchair. I snapped a disk and had to go to the emergency room.
    My house sale fell through and the earnest money is now tied up in court.
    I just had to have the VFW pay my electric bill so I don’t freeze here in Wash State.
    Today I finally am able to stand without support.
    I am thrilled.
    And, I just ordered a Creme pie. I’ll get back to you when the video is done.



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  • alf1200,

    sorry to hear of your back problems alf1200, glad you’re back on the mend.

    The roo puncher was lucky to not get seriously hurt those buggers can kick and disembowel with their toe claws.



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  • Thanks Reckless, I’m just happy to stand.
    I have watched hours about Roos. They can take and give a little more than a scratch.
    And I just did hours about the Cassawary. Now there is a tough bird.



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  • Hi, Alf.

    Ditto.

    Laurie, Arkrid, Phil, others

    I am now convinced that Trump wants to dismantle the government. The labor secretary is a management guy (who makes sexist commercials and was accused of beating his wife), is anti-labor, the education lady DeVos is anti-public education and is religious, the Health and Human Services appointee wants to get rid of Planned parenthood and privatize healthcare, religious Ben Carson, in charge of Housing, is against public housing. This is a hard or ultra right wing administration being formed – like nothing we’ve seen. All millionaires and billionaires. Wall Street insiders with hateful ideologies. General Flynn (a fake news tweeter) a nut job. This is what the Koch brothers have wanted: a Plutocracy, one that is doomed to fail. And even a partial success will bring about a depression and it’ll be far worse than the last one (in the 30s). I also think that Trump is so unhinged he could start a war and that’ll be the end. Plus Mike Pence! A lying, religious, right-wing sycophant who follows orders, and dressed up in a business suit. Bannon a right wing media baron is chief adviser.

    Why so many military appointees? The FBI has expanded surveillance powers which will have profound and frightening implications in a Trump administration. Hacking computers a piece of cake. Jeff Sessions, a died-in-the-wool racist, wants more surveillance.

    We are facing a crisis. Be afraid – and vigilant. No more Obama.



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  • 62
    rocket888 says:

    The problem with the anti-religious movement is that it is has nothing to offer except the worship of government, and in particular, today’s love of democracy. They believe they can solve problems between humans through the barrel of a gun, so long as 51% voted for the gun – until, of course, someone they don’t approve of gets elected.

    Both religion and governments are concerned with the same thing, control of the masses, by using fear. Both are parasitic. Unfortunately, parasites are arguably the most successful forms of life on this planet. That alone should disprove the existence of a loving god, or a loving politician.

    Is there a solution?

    My hope would be that humans would someday embrace libertarianism as the only system with principals that can replace these other 2 sides of the same coin. It does not replace gods with politicians. It has one rule for all human interactions – no aggressive force. Unfortunately, such societies are quite rare – which is probably because being nice to other people/tribes is just not in our nature.



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  • No federal regulations? No oversight or accountability? No federal programs? Liberty for whom? for corporations like Exxon Mobil who love fossil fuels. We’ll have corporate state. Is that what you want? Read this carefully, Rocket.—Chomsky can say this better than me.

    Abby Martin: But isn’t that what the whole ‘new libertarian movement’ would tell you—is that, precisely, the government is being used as an extension of the market to protect this kind of…irregular form of capitalism that’s hand-in-glove with the government—and we just need to…free up government regulation and let capitalism work on its own.

    Noam Chomsky: First of all, the business world would never tolerate that; they rely heavily on government. But if you did follow the libertarian…remember, what’s called libertarian in the United States has nothing to do with traditional libertarianism. It’s a kind of ultra-right capitalist, ‘anarcho-capitalism’, they call it. If that was allowed to function, the whole society would collapse, and we’d turn to total tyranny. We would have tyranny of unaccountable private institutions, a private concentration of capital—totally unaccountable to the public—absolute tyranny. The only thing that protects the public from predatory capitalism is some degree of state intervention. So it’s true that the state intervention does support the capitalist institutions, it also protects the society from total destruction. A predatory capitalist system simply wouldn’t survive for perfectly obvious reasons. For one thing, it wouldn’t care about externalities–its effects on others. Also, within no time, it would destroy the environment simply by destroying resources, pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. ‘Who cares?’ Furthermore, there would be no public goods…There’s an ideology which claims that markets provide freedom of choice…that’s not true, and we know its not true. So for example, suppose I want to get home this evening. The market does offer choices, a Ford or a Toyota: it doesn’t offer the choice I want—which is a public transportation system. That’s not part of the market. The market focuses you on individual consumption of consumer goods. Period. Is that what you want in life? Just more and more gadgets around? There are lots of other things in life which the market doesn’t even offer. So what’s called ‘libertarianism’ is a prescription for complete disaster. I don’t think the people advocating it understand this, I’m not criticizing them, but—just think it through. And, I should say, it’s very anti-libertarian. Traditional libertarianism, which was always on the left, was opposed to the manager/servant relation; people giving orders and other people taking them. That’s libertarianism; not in this version.



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  • Phil #55: The Big Short? I’ve recommended it here twice already, with the only complaint that it failed to mention why big poker chips are the only ones to play with. They didn’t need just more chips but more BIIIG chips.

    Sorry I didn’t remember your prior references that ring a bell now. I’ve seen the “Big Short” twice.

    The BIIIG chips you refer to include both the inflated market value of underlying assets (like homes) and, more disastrously collective investor stocks and bonds that bet those values would continue to rise. During the expansion of the housing bubble, mortgages themselves became a kind of derivative purchased by loans impossible to pay back on the “sure bet” that the real estate asset would quickly rise in value facilitating refinancing or ‘flipping the house” =selling at a profit, paying off the original mortgage and pocketing the profit or reinvesting profits in other properties betting again that the asset appreciation trajectory would continue. The debacle was built on borrowed money betting on bets that bet on bets that bet on bets ad nauseum. (I loved the “casino” scene in the film.)



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  • Melvin

    Sorry I didn’t remember your prior references that ring a bell now.

    No reason you should. I just wanted you to know how much I thought of it also.

    I’ve never seen a film maker so eager to help you understand and so eager not to have any of his story unfairly discounted. I loved the breaking of the fourth wall, explaining how this bit didn’t quite happen like this, in fact this and this happened. We got the principles and the detail, making it all the more memorable. Cleverer film making than most reviewers allowed.

    I think it essential viewing for every American and every Brit.



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  • Melvin #65
    Dec 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    During the expansion of the housing bubble, mortgages themselves became a kind of derivative purchased by loans impossible to pay back on the “sure bet” that the real estate asset would quickly rise in value facilitating refinancing or ‘flipping the house” =selling at a profit, paying off the original mortgage and pocketing the profit or reinvesting profits in other properties betting again that the asset appreciation trajectory would continue.

    Governments are still playing that game, with central bank base rates held low by printing money (quantitative easing) and market manipulation, while house price inflation is much higher than the interest rates on the mortgages in many places!

    They are propping up inflated house prices to stop people from walking away and leaving the banks with negative equity of repossessions when there are defaults on mortgages.



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  • What I find truly mind boggling are the reactions by people to Trump’s tweets and actions since the election.

    As if you could not see this coming ?!? The troll drove the president of the United States to produce his birth certificate. You still have not truly digested the significance of that in and of itself. The wave of bigotry that surrounds that very notion, and yet you are surprised at anything that has come forward since ?

    America: What is it that you still do not get about Trump ? He is incredibly simple and predictable. He is what he is, and you still continue to be surprised at just how bad he can be.

    He just appointed a guy who was actively suing the EPA, to now run the EPA.

    Why do you continue to think that Trump can’t be that bad ?

    You better wake up soon – he’s not even in office yet.



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  • As I’ve been saying for some time, it’s the people who voted for Trump that worry me more than Trump himself. If there are so many out there who are capable of believing Trump’s lies or that he is even remotely presidential material then the country operates on a mindset completely different from other nations. The full extent of this alternate reality that Americans seem capable of generating is shown in this recent PPP poll.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/12/trump-remains-unpopular-voters-prefer-obama-on-scotus-pick.html

    60% of Trump supporters believe that Hillary got millions of illegal votes
    40% of Trump supporters believe he won the national popular vote
    73% of Trump voters think that George Soros is paying protesters against Trump
    14% of Trump supporters think Hillary Clinton is connected to a child sex ring run out of a Washington DC pizzeria.
    67% of Trump voters say that unemployment increased during the Obama administration
    39% of Trump voters say that the stock market went down during the Obama administration

    This denial of reality goes beyond what I’d call normal people’s tendency to having inbuilt biases. It strikes me as a sort of national mental illness. An irrationality so profound I don’t believe the American people can be trusted to make rational decisions any more.



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  • Arkrid Sandwich #72
    Dec 10, 2016 at 7:10 am

    It’s what propagandists have done for years!

    When they have no credibility with the experts, bulk-feed garbage to the gullible ignoramuses through available media, ask them their media fed opinions, and then quote their responses as a consensus view to impress the masses, pig-ignorant journalists, and gullible politicians.

    As an example:- look at the on-line petitions from thousands of gullible climate change deniers, who are prepared to use their own (undisclosed irrelevant) science qualifications, to endorse denial garbage they have copied from the gutter-press and gutter web-sites!

    It is frequently referred to “as freedumb of speech”! (pardon my spelling!)



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  • “An irrationality so profound I don’t believe the American people can be trusted to make rational decisions any more.”
    Arkrid, would someone please come and take the dangerous toys away from us. We can’t be trusted any more.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38273933

    US intelligence agencies believe Russia acted covertly to boost Donald Trump in the election race, US officials have told leading newspapers.

    A report in the New York Times says the agencies had “high confidence” about Russian involvement in hacking.

    A CIA assessment reported by the Washington Post made similar findings.

    On Friday, US President Barack Obama ordered an investigation into a series of cyber-attacks, blamed on Russia, during the US election season.

    The hacks targeted emails at the Democratic Party and a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

    In October, US government officials pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of meddling in the campaign.

    Now, senior administration officials quoted by the New York Times say they are confident that Russian hackers also infiltrated the Republican National Committee’s computer systems as well as those of the Democratic Party, but did not release information gleaned from the Republican networks.

    Quoting an unnamed “senior US official”, the Washington Post said “intelligence agencies” had “identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman”.

    At one point in the campaign, Mr Trump publicly encouraged Russia to “find” Mrs Clinton’s emails, although he later said he was being sarcastic.

    As usual, Trump’s team make disparaging knee-jerk denials, – despite obviously being in no position to have reliable information of details!



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  • 76
    flyingfsck says:

    You Yankees should stop railing against Trump. The constant moaning and wailing sound like Elia in the Old Testament. He won. Get over it. He is your new president and you should respect his office.



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  • Alan, I just saw the article. I don’t know what is going to happen now. Its possible if strong links are
    found between Trump and Russia, he could end up in prison for a long time.
    Its getting interesting.



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  • “He won. Get over it. He is your new president and you should respect
    his office.”

    Speaking as one who revers that office and all it represents, I concur. Our president-elect is Donald Trump. As an American, I intend to pay close attention to my president’s actions and policies, and voice any concerns I might have. I feel it is more than my right; it is my responsibility.

    My main concern right now is Trump’s self-imposed insulation. He appears to have surrounded himself with like-minded yes men. Is this an indication of things to come?



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  • flyingfsck #76
    Dec 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

    You Yankees should stop railing against Trump. The constant moaning and wailing sound like Elia in the Old Testament. He won. Get over it. He is your new president and you should respect his office.

    I’m not an American, but if it turns out that Trump is the “best US president” Putin could buy, the Yanks might want to look a bit more deeply into this!



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  • flyingfsck #76
    Dec 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

    You Yankees should stop railing against Trump. The constant moaning and wailing sound like Elia in the Old Testament. He won. Get over it. He is your new president and you should respect his office.

    If there’s one thing that differentiates Americans from other nationalities it’s the absurd amount of deification they attribute to the holder of office of their president. The moment Joe Blogs wins an election he suddenly has to be accorded a respect that in many cases he no way deserves. Current and former presidents can’t criticise any other current or former president. Americans have some sort of fetish with symbols. The flag, the office, the ridiculous lapel flag pin they all have to wear to somehow “prove” they’re patriots. A person can devote his life to public service, endure the horrendous stress of running for office but if he doesn’t put a poxy lapel badge on his jacket he’s suddenly not a real patriot?

    Respect has to be earned. It shouldn’t ever be just accorded because of position. Trump has so far shown no respect for the office he’s been granted. He continues to tweet insanely against anyone who disagrees with him, he’s busy draining the swamp straight into his cabinet, he takes very few security briefings as if he couldn’t care less about his country, he’s going to continue being a producer on the Apprentice despite there being infinitely more important things to concentrate on, he refuses to set up blind trusts or divest himself of the numerous conflicts of interests he has overseas. He’s a disgrace to the office not to mention humanity in general. He’s a laughing stock on the world stage and his mendacity means no one will be able to trust his word or that of his country for the next four years. Other countries will now have to consider the worst case scenario every time they deal with Trump because he has no honour. America will become a pariah in global talks. An annoying distraction from grown up agreements.

    He charged the secret service agents who were sworn to take a bullet for him airfare when they had to accompany him on his plane. They had to actually pay for the privilege of defending the life of this piece of orange shit.



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  • Arkrid

    Well, to be fair, reimbursing candidates is SOP for the secret service. From Newsweek:

    “Such payouts are typical, but Trump’s case is different because his
    airplane is owned and operated by one of his companies. Essentially,
    the federal government is paying the real estate mogul to guard
    himself.

    The Secret Service has paid $2.6 million to the Clinton campaign and
    about $1.6 million to Trump, according to Politico, noting that the
    agency’s standard practice is to reimburse presidential campaigns to
    cover the cost of flying its staff with the candidates. In addition to
    protecting presidents, Secret Service agents guard other federal
    officials and candidates running for the White House.”



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  • Hey Dan

    Marion LePen harps on a purported culture clash between Islam and
    “Judeo-Christian”

    I’m French. For your information the most far-right government we never had since decades is our current left (socialist) one. The one talking like your (last) Bush about Middle East and so-called “terrorist” are our first minister and president fighting against the devil (Valls, Holland, both socialist). The FN has absolutely no control on the country. We live in left government, which voted for a police state. Since the left came we lost our (limited) freedom of speech. People get arrested for their opinion (even kids). Trump won because the so-called “left’ is full of people like you who are manichaeist, and believe they are the good one and never learn to question themselves. A manichaeist from left is not smarter than a manichaeist from the right. They are both crusaders, war makers, believers in a black and white world, close-minded conservative. You don’t know it, but you are on the same side of Marion Le Pen.
    Trump should thank you for his victory, you deserve him.



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  • To the above commenter:

    Yes, I am in favor of a police state. Sure.

    You don’t know me, Sir/Ma’am.

    I am opposed to nationalism – especially when it is exclusive and repressive.

    I am not black and white.

    Have a good day.



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  • Rocket. I was observing your comment had the quality of paranoia. It still very much does looking at it again.

    It would be wonderful if you wrote in a more controlled and considered way. But your flat assertions seemingly from some fearful part of your brain give little chance for productive debate.



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  • Vicki, Arkrid,

    Who cares about his plane? This is a nightmare. He hired Prewitt, a climate change denier to head the EPA! Let’s not get caught up in minutiae. That’s CNN’s job. Climate change! He has climate change deniers in his cabinet! I heard that the Trump administration is going to put together a list of all the leading climate scientists in the US – where, they work, teach, what their salaries are, etc. Why?

    Plus, privatization and deregulation. That’s a recipe for disaster. It will destroy the economy, the social order, and the country.

    The Sec. of State is the CEO of Exxon Mobil and has business ties to Russia. Russia has intervened in our internal affairs. The deputy secretary is John Bolton, an insane war monger!

    “It is midnight in the social order. It is midnight in the moral order. It is midnight in the psychological order.”
    —MLK



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  • You Yankees should stop railing against Trump. The constant moaning and wailing sound like Elia in the Old Testament. He won. Get over it. He is your new president and you should respect his office.
    Blockquote

    I’m not sure what country you are from or why you are concerned but we in the USA don’t respect the President, we respect the Office of the President. We will impeach any standing President at any time.
    Furthermore, “respect” is earned, not demanded. Otherwise it is worthless.



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  • Back at the fake-news story, “Pizzagate”.

    I see the guy who was suckered into doing his own armed investigation seems to have behaved decently, given what he’d let himself be led to believe. Armed, yes, but didn’t hurt anyone. Shot a lock off, as I read it. And surrendered carefully to the police, once he’d completed his investigation to his own satisfaction as I understand it.

    Very Liam Neeson from the movie “Taken”, Jason Statham from “Transporter”, or John Wayne from bygone days. In other words, the Good Guy, as imagined by the American dreams rendered by Hollywood for so long. Doing what a man’s gotta do. (Interestingly only one of those actors was American.) Alright, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, there’s a Real American Hero.

    Those who misguided him into this should really be the ones facing severe criminal charges, but I suppose he’ll be the only one to do the major time. All the others can hide behind finger-pointing and bluster, channelling their new Bullshitter-in-Chief.



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  • Apology to Arkrid, Your post was exactly what I was thinking. You hit it on the head.
    I was standing in formation in August of 1974 when I read on a paper rack Richard Nixon was no longer
    our Commander in Chief.
    It doesn’t make any difference. We simply hire these people. They are not to be automatically respected and trusted.



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  • ” Those who misguided him into this should really be the ones facing severe criminal charges,”

    With three hundred fourty million people in the USA, its easy to prompt some mentally unstable people to action.



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  • Further to the story of the one misguided hero doing what he thought was right…..

    Isn’t that the story of far too many decent young Americans sent to kill and be killed or crippled in some foreign land, on the basis of orchestrated lies?



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  • OHooligan, Exactly! Combine that with a lack of opportunities after HS grad and a huge cost to go to
    some sort of advanced school is what makes the military the only option for a lot of youths, especially the minorities.



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  • Good point about “respecting” the President. The people who insist that we respect the president because he is the president are the kinds of people who are highly susceptible to the lure of authoritarianism and fascism.



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  • Excellent, Vicki. We need loud public push-back on all partisan science opinion when it appears. It is a festering disgrace that such an intellectual wound isn’t safely bandaged at once.



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  • My head is spinning bigly today. It’s hard to know where to start. Hillary’s lead in the popular vote is up to 2.8 million now as the final votes are counted. A system where someone’s vote in Montana or Wyoming is worth three times as much as someone’s in California is just insane.

    Obama appears to have sat on the CIA information that Russia was trying to influence the election for Trump out of fear of undermining confidence in the process rather than just making political capital out of it. Look, that’s all very noble but what bloody use is it now when Hillary’s lost and perhaps she could have won. This is what Dems get wrong time after bloody time. They try and play fair, be bi-partisan and Repubs just go for the throat. Obama squandered his first two years with control of Congress trying to include Repubs and all they did was block him. Then he lost Congress and they just blocked him more. The American people have made it clear what they look for in a president. They don’t care about lying, they don’t care about facts, they don’t care about noble motives and bi-partisan actions. They just want an old fashioned gun toting sheriff who boasts and brags and shoots up the bad guys for them i.e. foreigners, gays and blacks.

    I think it’s beyond anyone’s ability to really know what Trump’s motives in all this really are but he seems intent on playing out the biggest mind fuck the world has ever seen. Now he’s fucking with his own supporters just to rub it in how badly he screwed everyone who believed in him. To those still chanting “lock her up” he says “Well that played great before the election but now we don’t care right?” and to everyone else “Look, I don’t need your vote anymore.”

    There was something really telling that his biographer said about him some years ago. Trump would include demands in negotations for ridiculous things he didn’t need or even want just to fuck with the other guy and bolster his fragile ego. His narcissism and inferiority complex are so all consuming he can only get gratification by utterly destroying anyone against him. Not just winning, not just being fair or reasonable but destroying, crippling, squashing so he can feel like the big man he knows inside he’ll never be. In a way his supporters were actually his negotiation opponents I believe inside his own head. This was just another contract negotiation to win. He had to say what they wanted to hear to win it but he never meant a word of what he said and now to complete the victory he has to let them know he’s just fucked them over. He doesn’t want this job, he doesn’t want the responsibility or the intelligence briefings, he doesn’t want to move to the White House. He just wanted to see if he could win it. Now he’s going to fuck with the system like a cat playing with the mouse it’s just caught. By appointing people to run departments they don’t even like or want. A climate change denier to run the EPA, Carson who hates welfare to run HUD.

    Maybe in a strange way this will be good in the long term. The American people are about to find out that real politicians, and Dem ones in particular, are not so bad after all. If you just whinge and moan about how bad things are and how America needs to be “made great again” when it’s actually pretty ok and you vote for someone who lies continuously and has no actual qualifications for office just to “shake things up” then don’t be too surprised when he does that and you’re the ones who suffer.

    I’ve been saying for nine months now that Trump has no normal human emotions when it comes to other people. They’re just either useful or not useful to him and once that utility is over they get dumped in the trash. That’s why he doesn’t pay his contractors once the job is over. That’s why he doesn’t need his supporters now the election is over. The last thing he wants is another term in office in his mid 70s. He’s won the biggest negotiation of his life, he’ll go down in the history books as a president and now he’s going to play with his new toy for a while until he gets bored and then fuck off again. I doubt he cares if he breaks the toy because to five year olds there’s always another new toy to play with soon enough.

    I’m wondering if his next challenge is to see if he can go down in history as the president who broke more things than anyone else. Just to trash the entire system so his name is never forgotten.



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  • While Trump is still babbling knee-jerk denials of CIA and secret service reports, it looks like he has dissent on his hands!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38294765

    Senior Republicans in Congress have said they will support further investigation of findings that Russian hackers meddled in the US election.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said any foreign intervention in the polls was unacceptable.

    President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly poured scorn on the claims, made by US intelligence.

    The CIA concluded on Friday that Russia’s motive was to help Mr Trump.
    Mr McConnell and Mr Ryan said their respective intelligence committees would investigate the allegations.

    “Any foreign breach of our cyber-security measures is disturbing and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” Senator McConnell told reporters, adding that “the Russians are not our friends”.

    Mr Ryan echoed these remarks, but warned against exploiting the work of the intelligence community for “partisan purposes”.

    “As we work to protect our democracy from foreign influence, we should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.

    The remarks came amid suggestions by Mr Trump that the claims were politically motivated.

    On Sunday he told Fox News the Democrats were disseminating the “ridiculous” hacking reports because they lost the election.

    Then on Monday he tweeted: “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!

    Why the Trump pushback? Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    Despite Donald Trump’s boasts to the contrary, he’s entering the White House with a very tenuous claim to a presidential mandate. He trails Democrat Hillary Clinton in the popular vote by 2.8 million votes, and while he posted a comfortable electoral college win, by historical standards it ranks towards the bottom of victory margins (46th out of 58 presidential contests).

    This probably explains why the Trump team has been pushing back so vociferously against the allegations that Russian hackers interfered in US politics in an attempt to tilt the election to the Republican. Like the Green Party bid for recounts in three key swing states, it could be viewed as undermining the legitimacy of Mr Trump’s victory.

    In the case of the Russian story, however, concern over foreign meddling is bipartisan, so Mr Trump’s recent diatribes may come at a high political price.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38294765

    The FBI said in October that it believed Russia was behind the Democratic Party hacks, but on Friday the CIA went further by concluding Russia’s motive was to help Mr Trump.

    On Monday, the Hillary Clinton campaign, which lost to Mr Trump in last month’s election, said it was supporting an effort by a handful of members of the electoral college to request an intelligence briefing on the latest hacking allegations.

    The electoral college meets next week to ratify the results of the election.



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  • Phil, Vicki, 94, 95

    You are both acting like naive asses right now. (I think I know you both well enough to say that.) What is this?— “Pay attention to science” That’s no ray of light in a bleak govt; it’s an opinion from one man that has no weight. That is not “loud public push back”. It is premature to say that there is anything to be hopeful about. I will look at reality, not at imaginary “rays of light”.

    Trump will set up state run media a la Fox News, wielding a powerful propaganda arm like all dictators and despots. That is reality. Look at what is going on, the appointees. That is reality.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/donald-trump-voice-of-america-232442



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  • That is not “loud public push back”.

    Well let me push back as loudly and publicly as I can over this.

    I am fed up with ignorant commentary that does not reflect my views claiming to reflect my views. It may not be loud enough and is only a solitary voice at that, but it is public and push back, exactly where it is needed, and what we need a cacophony of.

    It is premature to say that there is anything to be hopeful about.

    Well fuck him then. Why did he even bother? Lets just sit here and sob a while longer….whilst Trump takes the mike.



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  • @103

    Good reply.

    I am simply terrified, Phil. It really is horrifying. And that is pretty much the consensus among informed and reasonable people.



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  • Dan
    Are you watching Rachel Madow’s show? She’s revealing a story that will break in Newsweek tomorrow about the Turkish President leveraging Trump to extradite Gulen back to Turkey. Unbelievable.



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  • Oh no! Is Bolton his deputy? Bolton. The neocon of neocons, a bona fide psychopathic war monger. Let me get back to the TV, if you don’t mind. O’Donnell’s on now.

    Canada. You, me, your hubbie, kids (if they want to come), and Alf. (Maybe Vicki too.) We’ll all live in the same house. I am very quiet.



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  • Did anyone see Sanders on MSNBC? They had a town hall. The Trump supporters think Trump will “shake things up.” I have no patience anymore for these working class heroes. I love the working class; it’s the people among them that I can’t stand – the Trump supporters, I mean. They ruined everything with their ignorance. There is nothing preventing them from reading. A bunch of morons. They think they have common sense and talk straight. They talk straight because there is a paucity of ideas and nuance and understanding. Just black and white, simplistic thinking. They think Trump is not a politician and that makes him great. Maybe this isn’t so politically correct but…

    (My late father wouldn’t have approved of what I just said. He didn’t like my “elitism”. Sorry, dad. Just disgusted with everything and everyone…. except Alf.)

    Actually, that Carrion union guy who called trump on his bullshit. He is awesome. I take back (most of) what I said.



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  • Dan #113
    Dec 13, 2016 at 2:19 am

    The Trump supporters think Trump will “shake things up.”

    Comet impacts on the planet “shake things up”!
    That does not them a good idea!
    (Unless perhaps they are stupid enough to believe in “the 747 from a whirlwind in a junk-yard” creationist hypothesis. 🙂 )



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  • I can’t joke right now.

    It keeps getting worse, and I hope the electors come to their senses and thrust her numbers high above the pit of ominous peril we are trapped in. I know that would be like a Frank Capra movie, but I refuse to assimilate to this impending dystopia. So where do we live? How do we coexist with the henchmen that voted for him?

    I guess I’ll have to wait and see. But where will it end!! Theses uber libertarian conniving fascists (Bannon et al) are not democratic, are a dangerous bunch. It will keep getting worse and worse.



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  • Re Regression/Digression

    Phil

    I just want to reply to your last comment on the Hijab/Regressive Left thread….

    Well I just read a right wing article (It must have been right wing) about the “eco-warriors”. These “warriors” are being compared to the Spanish Inquisitors. So that is why I look at this regressive left/SJW business with skepticism. It sounds too much like right wing propaganda for me to take it that seriously. I already know that there are rigid and authoritarian people on the Left who do us all a disservice..

    But I can get that on Fox News. It isn’t news to me. It’s old stuff.

    And it is crystal clear that the Trump insurgency is planning a war on climate science in favor of profit. They are the ones that need to be confronted and restrained right now, not the “warriors” who want to do something about this, not the “regressive” opposition.

    I don’t doubt that these odious people you mentioned are out there, as I have said. It’s a question of imminent danger and prioritizing right now. (Some of these performers are closet libertarians like Penn Jillette. The Young Turks aren’t that bad, are they?)



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  • Phil, my good friend,

    Try once more. Please.

    I will put my emotions in my shirt pocket and listen. (You know me; I am an understander par excellence!— I just get anxious sometimes and it clouds my perception.)

    Once more. Thanks.



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  • The Trump people are reportedly planning to remove websites about climate change. Scientists all over the country are scrambling to preserve their data.

    It’s the left’s fault!

    SS, Medicare, public education, medicaid, the fight against voter suppression, financial regulations and corporate oversight and accountability, the right to dissent, privacy, are facing grave challenges if not destruction.

    It’s the left’s fault!

    Clearly, Phil, you have lost your way, as far as this issue is concerned. But please explain your position again (just in case I am missing something). The Right is regressive, and more so than the Left!!



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  • Dan

    Phil

    I just want to reply to your last comment on the Hijab/Regressive Left thread….

    Then please do so on the Hijab/Regressive Left thread, rather than wherever you happen to be at the time.

    The mods



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  • There is now further dissent in Republican ranks over Trump’s casual knee-jerk denials of reports.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38325364

    Senior US Republican senator Lindsey Graham has said his campaign email account was hacked by Russians.

    Sen Graham also told CNN that he believed “the Russians” hacked into the Democratic National Committee, and accused them of trying to “destabilise democracy all over the world”.

    Officials in Russia have repeatedly denied hacking accusations.

    President-elect Donald Trump rejected a CIA report that Russian hackers tried to sway the election in his favour.

    In a separate development, NBC News reported that US intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in a covert Russian campaign to interfere in November’s presidential election.

    The attack targeted emails of the Democratic Party and of John Podesta, a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The contents, passed to Wikileaks and posted online, were embarrassing to the Democrats and shook up the presidential campaign.

    The NBC report, quoting two unnamed senior officials, says that new intelligence shows how the hacked material was leaked and used.

    It added that the operation began as a “vendetta” against Mrs Clinton before becoming “an effort to show corruption in American politics and split off key American allies”.

    Sen Graham, a member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, said on CNN that “we were told by the FBI in August that we were hacked in June”.

    “I do believe the Russians hacked into the [DNC]. I do believe they hacked into [John] Podesta’s email account. They hacked into my campaign account,” he said.

    He also said that he believed that “all the information released publicly hurt Clinton and didn’t hurt Trump.”



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  • An extraordinarily impassioned plea from Michael Moore on MSNBC (Lawrence O’Donnell show) Tuesday night for the electors to not inflict Trump on the country. He was clearly struggling to hold back tears by the end of it. I confess I gave up that struggle about half way through as his words affected me. The fear is getting palpable now as Trump ignores and disparages the intelligence community, fills his cabinet with people who either don’t like or want the departments they’re now in charge of or, in one famous case, couldn’t even remember its name.



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  • @Arkrid Sandwich #96

    Simply superb post that was – Bravo! I think you nailed it.

    Trump … fills his cabinet with people who either don’t like or want
    the departments they’re now in charge of or, in one famous case,
    couldn’t even remember its name.

    Breaking:
    ‘Trump to appoint dingo to watch baby’



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  • Len Walsh #123
    Dec 15, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Breaking:
    ‘Trump to appoint dingo to watch baby’

    . . . and of course take Home Security out of the hands of those “inept US security agencies”, – and accept the lowest tender from the KGB for out-sourcing their work in a slick business deal! 🙂



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  • Meanwhile, back in the UK the brexiteer fairy stories about the inevitability and “wonderful benefits of brexit”, keep being fed to the public by the media, while expert warnings continue to be ignored by most politicians!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38324146

    A post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal might take 10 years to finalise and still fail, Britain’s ambassador to the EU has privately told the government.

    The BBC understands Sir Ivan Rogers warned ministers that the European consensus was that a deal might not be done until the early to mid-2020s.

    He also cautioned that an agreement could be rejected ultimately by other EU members’ national parliaments.

    PM Theresa May said she wanted Brexit to be “smooth and orderly”.

    In October, Sir Ivan, who conducted David Cameron’s negotiation over the UK’s relationship with the EU, advised ministers that the view of the 27 other countries was that a free trade agreement could take as long as a decade.

    He said that even once concluded, the deal might not survive the process of ratification, which involves every country [27 of them] having to approve the deal in its own parliament.

    It is also understood he suggested that the expectation among European leaders was that a free trade deal, rather than continued membership of the single market, was the likely option for the UK after Brexit.

    Sir Ivan’s private advice contrasts with ministers publicly insisting a deal can be done in the two years allowed by the triggering of Article 50 – the formal start of the process of leaving the EU.

    Downing Street said he was relaying other EU members’ views, rather than his own or the British government’s.

    Of course Teresa May and the 60 or so Tory brexiteers she is trying to keep in her party, are not listening when they are told that “What THEY WANT”, ( ie. to have their cake and eat it!) is not a priority for the rest of Europe, and it bears little resemblance to what they are likely to be offered during negotiations!



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  • veggiemanuk #1
    Dec 4, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    This is sounding more and more like orwell’s 1984.

    I’m no fan of Trump, but I am glad he won,
    I was hoping it would ruffle a few feathers on the left but I was not expecting this.

    I think you will find quite a few surprises you were not expecting!

    I think those who thought they were they were holders of the “citizen-equity” of the USA , are just discovering that the USA is now rapidly being taken over as a subsidiary of “Trump Associates”.
    Admittedly there are still a few executive orders needed to tidy up the paperwork and re-write a few laws, but the new yes-man board is already being established as direct dictated actions are replacing previous legal frameworks and regulations!

    Welcome to Fascist America! 🙂



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  • Push-back?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-38882236

    French journalists are teaming up with Facebook and Google to create a new fact-checking service aimed at tackling the rise of “fake news”.

    Seventeen French newsrooms will be involved in the CrossCheck project, with a focus on the French elections.

    The news agencies involved include French daily Le Monde, BuzzFeed News and Agence France-Presse.

    Germany and the US have already agreed measures with Facebook to help tackle the issue.

    The news organisations operating in France will collaborate with the two technology giants to debunk false information amid an increase in pressure in recent weeks to prevent the spread of fraudulent reports.



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  • In the UK there is a long standing on-going fight back, against one gutter-press purveyor of false news!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-38933817

    The Sun’s headline in 1989 reading “The Truth” showed false claims about the Hillsborough victims

    Liverpool FC has banned Sun journalists from its grounds over the newspaper’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

    The paper has been widely boycotted in the city and the ban follows a campaign by the Total Eclipse of The S*n group.

    Its journalists will no longer be allowed on site to cover matches and news conferences.

    The Sun said the move was “bad for fans and bad for football”. The club declined to comment.

    The Total Eclipse of The S*n group tweeted: “Further to conversations with LFC directors we are happy to inform you that Sun journalists [will] no longer enjoy access to club premises.”

    Paul Collins, from the campaign group, said the club joins Liverpool City Council, pubs, newsagents, and “a long list” of others who support a boycott.

    “We are delighted another institution has taken a stance against the Sun newspaper,” he said.

    “Some people put up stickers, there is a barber shop which won’t allow people in with it, a community centre put up a brass plaque saying they boycott it.

    “People take whatever stance they can. A lot of people share our view.”

    All 96 fans who died as a result of a crush at Hillsborough were unlawfully killed, inquests concluded in April.



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  • I see “Faux News” – Trump’s beloved source of false news, has had to retract one of their unevidenced conspiracy theories!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40021373

    Fox News has retracted a report about a US Democratic party employee whose murder last year has fuelled a right-wing conspiracy theory.

    Mr Rich was shot in the back on 10 July last year in the north-west of the city at the Bloomingdale neighbourhood, where residents have reported a spate of gunpoint robberies.

    Following his death, some right-wing media suggested his killing was revenge by figures linked to the Hillary Clinton campaign for allegedly leaking embarrassing DNC emails to Wikileaks.

    Wikileaks itself fuelled the conspiracy theory by offering a reward for the capture of Mr Rich’s killer and hinting that he may have been the source of the emails.

    No evidence has emerged to indicate that Mr Rich provided the emails to the anti-secrecy organisation.

    Fox News this month published and aired reports on Washington affiliate WTTG-TV, citing Rod Wheeler, a contributor to the cable network and private investigator, who said he was being paid by the Rich family to look into the murder.

    He said evidence showed Mr Rich was in contact with Wikileaks before his death.

    The Rich family rejected his claim and released a statement through a spokesman saying: “Anyone who continues to push this fake news story after it was so thoroughly debunked is proving to the world they have a transparent political agenda or are a sociopath.”

    WTTG-TV later retracted the report, acknowledging Mr Wheeler had no evidence to support the claim. However, the story initially remained on Fox’s website.

    Mr Wheeler told CNN the source for his assertion was a reporter at Fox News.

    The Rich family sent Mr Wheeler a cease-and-desist letter and threatened legal action if he continued to discuss the case.

    But Fox News host Sean Hannity continued to fan the conspiracy theory on his show, prompting the family to write a letter urging the programme to stop disseminating the claims.

    Mr Hannity defended his decision to continue promoting the story on Twitter on Tuesday, suggesting an online entrepreneur, Kim Dotcom, can back up the claim.

    Mr Dotcom, who is currently fighting extradition to the US from New Zealand on copyright infringement and money laundering charges, said he has evidence to support the conspiracy theory.

    Brad Bauman, a spokesman for the Rich family, told CNN they were grateful for the retraction.

    “The family would like to thank Fox News for their retraction on a story that has caused deep pain and anguish to the family and has done harm to Seth Rich’s legacy,” he said.

    “We are hopeful that in the future Fox News will work with the family to ensure the highest degree of professionally and scrutiny is followed so that only accurate facts are reported serving this case.”

    I think that’s a bit optimistic in relation to Faux News!!



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  • Meanwhile as Trump’s “Great White Elephant Wall of Stupidity” is waiting in limbo:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-40235671

    Germany’s Dresden Symphonic Orchestra recently gave a Tear Down That Wall concert in Mexico

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said building walls will not solve problems caused by immigration, during a visit to Mexico City.

    Mrs Merkel did not mention US President Donald Trump, who has vowed to erect a barrier across the Mexican border.

    She said history showed that migration pressures were resolved only when empires got on well with their neighbours.

    Mrs Merkel grew up in communist East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain.

    Addressing a panel discussion with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, she said: “Obviously the main reason for people leaving must be addressed on site first, which means that putting up walls and cutting oneself off will not solve the problem.”

    Mrs Merkel suggested the key to managing large-scale migration was to improve living standards and opportunities in affected areas.

    Horrors!! Looking after the poor so they don’t need to migrate in search of a living! The Trumpies will be having fits at the very idea!



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  • Fake news, a fake president

    This sums up many of Trump’s problems!

    While in the bubble of unreality, of his ego, his sycophants, and his cheering rallies, which applaud his fake “superior skills” as president, and his “alternative facts”, – once he has to venture into the real world abroad at the G7 meetings etc. he is mixing with real presidents who are up to the job of behaving like presidents, and who have competent teams of researchers providing them with real evidence, on which to take negotiating positions.

    The world’s media and other observers looking on, are bound to notice the contrasting difference, between those who know what they are taking about (on issues such as climate, state security, economics, legal agreements or laws), and the posturing know-it-all dog-in-the-manger, who aggressively and stubbornly shuns experts, and refuses to listen to anyone, who fails to tell him what he wants to hear!



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40287399

    Mounting a year-long fake news campaign can cost about $400,000 (£315,000), suggests a report.

    The Trend Micro report draws on price lists found on sites that run the misinformation campaigns.

    Costs cover setting up fake social media profiles, writing false news stories and spreading them via fictitious followers.

    Questions over the influence of fake news has led Google and Facebook to promise to curb its spread.

    Malicious campaign

    In its report, Trend Micro looked at Russian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and English language sites offering all kinds of services based around manipulating social media, search engines and news organisations.

    The services on offer included:

    Creating celebrities
    Sparking social unrest including demonstrations
    Discrediting journalists
    Putting sustained pressure on elections or political parties

    Some of the services profiled gave very detailed breakdowns of what could be done to influence political debate or manipulate the media.

    The $50,000 (£39,000) cost of discrediting a journalist involved fake news stories contradicting the target’s articles promoted via paid upvotes, likes, retweets and comments. It also involved tens of thousands of bots swamping a target’s Twitter feed with malicious comments or posting strongly critical comments on stories.

    “It’s never been easier to manipulate social media and other online platforms to affect and amplify public opinion,” said Trend Micro spokesman Bharat Mistry.

    Key to making the campaigns work, said the report, was creating stories, posts and discussions that “pander to its audience’s ideologies”.

    Trend Micro said one good way to limit the impact of fake news was to educate users and give them tools to spot unreliable sources and concocted campaigns.

    Good indicators were photoshopped photographs, provocative headlines, website names that resemble legitimate media groups and a lack of verifiable details on stories.

    So for millionaires with private agendas and delusional beliefs to promote, or corrupt industry sponsored “think (or stink) tanks” – cheap at the price!

    “Stories that don’t align with your own beliefs don’t necessarily mean they’re fake.” it said.

    Ah! – The one that regularly catches Trump with his own propaganda babblings!
    Believing your own fake ideological propagandist nonsense, is circular thinking, destined to morph from a circle into a downward spiral!



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  • I see Trump’s travel ban has had the injunction partly lifted, along with it being tidied up and clarified.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40409490

    Trump travel ban injunction partly lifted by top US court

    US President Donald Trump has welcomed a Supreme Court ruling allowing his travel ban to be partly reinstated as a “victory for our national security”.

    America’s highest court also granted a White House request allowing part of its refugee ban to go into effect.

    The justices said they would consider in October whether the president’s policy should be upheld or struck down.

    Mr Trump seeks to place a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations and a 120-day ban on refugees.

    The president welcomed the ruling’s qualified authorisation to bar visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, which he described as “terror-prone countries”.

    What does the ruling say?

    The Supreme Court said in Monday’s decision: “In practical terms, this means that [the executive order] may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

    “All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of [the executive order].”

    The ruling also said it would permit a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the US to go into effect, allowing the government to bar entry to refugee claimants who do not have any “bona fide relationship” with an American individual or entity.

    A Trump win – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    Mark this down as a win for Donald Trump. The path to entry into the US for immigrants and refugees from the affected nations, if they don’t have existing ties to the US – either through family, schools or employment – just became considerably harder.

    The decision marks a reaffirmation of the sweeping powers the president has traditionally been granted by the courts in areas of national security. There was fear in some quarters that the administration’s ham-fisted implementation of its immigration policy could do lasting damage to the president’s prerogatives. That appears not to be the case.

    What does ‘bona fide’ relationship mean?

    The ruling clarifies that those who would be deemed to have such a relationship would include a foreign national who wishes to enter the US to live with or visit a family member, a student at an American university, an employee of a US company, or a lecturer invited to address an American audience.



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