Closing Thought–18Nov16

Media distrust and Fake News……

This past election illustrated just how much social media can play in the election of a president….

Take Facebook for instance…..on a personal note….I do not and will not ever use FB for anything….mostly because I do not trust them at all….and the news coming out of the site does nothing to erase my suspicion…..

No, the pope didn’t endorse Donald Trump, and, no, Hillary Clinton didn’t sell weapons to ISIS. But those fake stories and others like them spread more widely on Facebook than actual news stories before the election, a new BuzzFeed analysis reveals. Specifically, the top 20 fake election stories racked up 8.7 million shares, reactions, and comments in the final three months of the election versus 7.4 million for stories from the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post. The trend accelerated as Election Day drew near, and all but three of the 20 top performers were pro-Trump or anti-Clinton stories. “I’m troubled that Facebook is doing so little to combat fake news,” Dartmouth political science professor Brendan Nyhan tells BuzzFeed.

That may be changing. While Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed the idea that fake news might have played a role in election results, he subsequently acknowledged that Facebook could do more about the problem. Since then, both Facebook and Google have moved to restrict such stories via ads, including Google barring fake websites from using its AdSense advertising program, reports Reuters. The Washington Post, meanwhile, interviews Paul Horner, one of the leading purveyors of fake stories, who says that “people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything.” And he adds this line sure to upset Clinton supporters: “I think Trump is in the White House because of me.”

If I read or hear something that I think would make a good post….I spend a lot of time verifying the info….if I cannot verify I let my readers know.

This is a list of things to do to determine the validity of a news article….

  • Avoid websites that end in “week” ex: Newsweek. These sites take pieces of accurate information and then packaging that information with other false or misleading “facts”.
  • Watch out if established mainstream media news sites are reporting on the story. Sometimes established media coverage is the result of corporate media bias and other factors, but there should typically be a good un-bias alternative media source reporting on a topic or event.
  • Odd domain names generally equal odd domain names.
  • Lack of author attribution may, but not always, signify that the news story is suspect and requires verification, or that the author decided to not publish his/her name.
  • Check the “About Us” tab on websites or call the website landline number to chat with Editors and make sure that they are good guys.
  • Bad web design and use of ALL CAPS can also be a sign that the news source doesn’t know dick about web design.
  • If the story makes you REALLY ANGRY it’s probably a good idea to calm down and realize that it is just a news story. Go out and grab a beer with friends.
  • It’s always best to read multiple sources of information if you want. Or just read one source of information. Or don’t read at all. It is up to you.

I guess it is true….that it you say something long enough it will eventually be believed…..

I am just funny that way…..I want to give my reader as accurate info as I can without the filter of lies…..

Then we come to propaganda….the media is the biggest purveyor….the news is used to influence the public’s thinking….I would go into the use of propaganda but that would be a waste of time……instead if you can read then do it…..

Yes is why I have archives……

Hey! Old Farts! Listen Up!

How long have the Repubs been slobbering all over Medicare with their version of a better idea—-privatization?

For me it was with Reagan and his attempt to privatize the entire government as payback for all the support from the different industries.  Bush1 was no better.  We got a break during the Clinton years…..and then came another Bush2 and the same idea.  Obama years were pretty quite and then 2010 happened and the GOPers in Congress started thumping their chests again…..

And now we have a GOP House….a GOP Senate…..a GOP president and a SCOTUS with NO balls…..

How safe is your Medicare?

Maybe not as safe as you think……

Is Paul Ryan’s years-long dream of gutting Medicare about to come true?

With Republicans set to control both houses of Congress and the White House, Ryan (R-Wis.), who will serve another term as House speaker, “senses his moment,” as Salonobserves.

The Donald Trump transition website states that the administration will “modernize Medicare”—a euphemism, according to Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young at the Huffington Post, that corresponds exactly to what Ryan has in mind.

Speaking Thursday on Fox News‘s “Special Report,” Ryan said, “Medicare is going broke, Medicare is going to have price controls because of Obamacare,” adding, “You have to deal with those issues if you are going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Medicare has serious problems [because of] Obamacare.”

Source: Is Paul Ryan’s Dream of Gutting Medicare About to Come True? | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

How will this battle play out?

Check it out for yourself…….

House Speaker Paul Ryan proposed to privatize the current Medicare system, within the earliest days of the impending Trump administration.

As Members of Congress hastily hash out their opinions and post their announcements, TPM will track what they’re saying, charting whether candidates favor, oppose or release a foggy statement on the privatization and dismantling of Medicare.

The list will be updated as members of Congress release their opinions or figure out how they really feel about Ryan’s proposal.

Source: Your Medicare Phase Out Checklist

Your stupidity at the polls has consequences…….are you happy now?

Pres. Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

During the 2016 campaign president-elect Trump offered his plan for getting America great again…..he has a plan to spend about $1 trillion on infrastructure over a 10 year period….putting America back to work and renovating our aging infrastructure…..

I read an op-ed about Trump’s idea…there are not many out there right now….but that could change…..

Donald Trump was an outsider who boldly stormed the citadel of Washington DC and won. He has promised real change, but his infrastructure plan appears to be just more of the same – privatizing public assets and delivering unearned profits to investors at the expense of the people. He needs to try something new; and for this he could look to Abraham Lincoln, whose bold solution was very similar to one now being considered in Europe: just print the money.

Source: Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan: Lincoln Had a Bolder Solution – LA Progressive

Ambitious to say the least….workable?  I am not so sure.  Why?  Can you imagine the US Congress approving the spending of that kind of scratch on anything other than the Pentagon?  I can’t!

There is no doubt that our infrastructure needs some help….but will the GOP see it that way….they have not in the past.

Will they, the GOP,  have a change of heart?

Is There Anything Positive?

Is there anything positive about President-elect Trump?

Trump has started pulling back from some of his more iconic pledges during the campaign….but that matters not to his supporters because he was elected and they will justify each and every lie told to them….

I have a friend that he knew that I had a positive reaction to some of Trump’s foreign policy statements but he wanted to know if there was anything else I could say was a positive note….at this early stage of him being the president….

Well yes there is.

He has stated that TPP would was terrible deal for the American people and that he would work to see that it was not implemented…..

With the election of Donald Trump this week, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is effectively dead, Reuters reports. The 12-country trade agreement was signed last year after more than five years of negotiations. Championed by President Obama, it was supposed to be part of his legacy. Then the tide turned. Republicans, who had largely supported the TPP, nominated Trump, who called it a “disaster” and “rape of our country.” Even Hillary Clinton, who had supported the TPP while secretary of state, disowned it during the campaign, according to NPR. The Wall Street Journal reports the Obama administration had hoped to get it approved by Congress with the help of a Democratic Senate and incoming President Clinton. Neither of those things happened, dealing Obama a “bitter defeat.”

Leaders of both parties in Congress now say they won’t bring the TPP forward for a vote before Obama leaves office. It will be up to Trump to decide what to do with it, and the president elect has already stated his preference for renegotiating NAFTA and limiting imports. The TPP was set to be the biggest trade agreement in more than a decade. It got rid of many tariffs, set standards for intellectual property rights, and more. By excluding China, it was supposed to balance that country’s growing power in the region. China is likely to now pursue its own trade agreements in the region, possibly to the detriment of US influence.

I was opposed of this thing from the beginning and if he holds true to the rhetoric then that will be a positive thing……

He has also said that he wanted to re-instate Glass-Steagall…..I am waiting for word of this before I comment…..

Another country has decided to bow out of this horrible deal…….Vietnam

Vietnam has decided not to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with the trade deal’s future uncertain under incoming US President Donald Trump.- “The United States has announced it is suspending the submission of TPP to the parliament so there are not sufficient conditions for Vietnam to submit its proposal for ratification,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the National Assembly, according to Reuters.

from RT: 

Is this a dead issue?

Isolationist or Imperialist?

I will be posting this week on my favorite subject…..foreign policy……the new prez is an unknown quantity and his policies have not been given a fair judgment by the analysts…..

We have been listening to all sides on this debate….some claim that Trump will be an isolationist…..and others think he will continue the line of psuedo-imperialism……he has said so much in the days of the campaign that few know for sure what we are getting when it comes to foreign policy.

I have said several times….his appointments to DoD and State will be very telling in the direction he wants this country to travel…..

What comes next? Two foreign policy scenarios for a Trump presidency.

In the hit musical Hamilton, King George, newly estranged from the revolutionary American colonies, challenges his former subjects to justify their choice. “What comes next?” he asks, “You’ve been freed. Do you know how hard it is to lead? You’re on your own. Awesome, wow! Do you have a clue what happens now?”

We might well ask the same question.

The unexpected elevation of Donald Trump to the Presidency presents a failure for pollsters, a reorientation of American politics, and raises the fundamental question of what kind of policies a Trump administration is likely to pursue. On foreign policy, Trump’s statements throughout the campaign have been profoundly incoherent, ranging from more traditional hawkish Republican views on issues like the Iran deal, to more unorthodox, restrained views on Syria and other Middle Eastern conflicts, to his more conciliatory approach to Russia and truly bizarre fixation with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Source: Isolationist or Imperialist? | Cato @ Liberty

Analysts such as myself are waiting for the hammer to drop…..his appointees will be that hammer and foreign policy will be the nail….the fave for SecState does not fill me with optimism….

Please NO excuses…..comment on the two types of foreign policy….our citizens will have to enforce whatever set of policies this new prez has eventually decided on as his……

Trump And The Puzzle Of The Middle East

My friends at Ace News room have asked me to do a few observations on our new president-elect…..

As an American my perspective may be a bit different from those of our friends in Europe….

Since I am a foreign policy nerd I will be posting for the next couple of days on what a Pres. Trump will be facing…

Let me begin with the Middle East……

The region is awash with conflict and new prez will have to face the music and decide which is the best course for the US…….

Source: Trump And The Puzzle Of The Middle East

Please take some time and visit Ace News room…they have news from around the world daily…..