This is your president speaking.

Number 214 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States.

The dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!

Yes, the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful person on this planet, is  bask at his Twitter account complaining about the rough deal he’s getting from the mainstream media. The screen shot above is from a video posted with the tweet. You may need to pull up the video to appreciate the president’s complaint. I don’t have a link. Go to the tweet to watch.

Meanwhile, here are additional cases of FAKE NEWS working to undermine this president.

There is no doubt. The FAKE NEWS is the enemy of the people.

 

The Conversation

Number 4 in a series

This breaks slightly from the theme set previously, but it does concern a conversation. It’s a conversation that was reported weeks ago, but it’s one that became salient with recent developments. Anderson Cooper had some fun with it last week on CNN, and the news channel played it with captions. Here it is.

It’s a joy to watch when ordinary words acquire an entirely new meaning.

Schlemiel-in-Chief

Number 35 in a series

A certain chief executive of the United States is seriously talking about running for the position next year, and since it is my hobby to twist the knife in this paper mache facade, I am bringing back a theme I have not used since last year. Here is more fun with our Schlemiel-in-Chief. Maybe all that will be needed this time out are a few screen shots from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. The story is from the 8th of this month.

We know The Donald makes his way through the world by telling a stream of lies, but sometimes he tells the absolute truth.

I congratulate myself for my mastery of the English language, but in the above case I can think of no better way to put it. The man is truly a genius. Most spectacularly, his genius appears to be in the art of losing money. He is a true LOSER.

 

There is more.

Some feel. Some gut.

At this point my powers of expression fail me. There is no way I can compete with this.

I don’t know about you, but I feel good about having a financial genius in charge of our nation’s economy. And again my powers of expression fail me.

Breitbart Mentality

Number 8

You know it already, but I will repeat: I subscribe to Breitbart’s email newsletter, and something pops up in my mail box every day or so. I gave this one a look, and I must say I was impressed. I captured a screen shot. The page showed more, but I cropped down to the item of interest. Here is the story, from other sources.

By Julie TurkewitzJack Healy and Patricia Mazzei

May 8, 2019

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — It was three days before the last day of school, and the students inside Ms. Harper’s English classroom were whiling away the last period of the day watching “The Princess Bride” when one of their classmates walked in late and pulled out a gun.

“The only thing he said out loud to the students was, ‘Don’t you move,’” said Nui Giasolli, an 18-year-old senior who was in the class at the time.

In that moment, she recalled, Kendrick Castillo, a gentle teenager fascinated by cars and engineering, lunged to stop the gunman and was shot dead. Eight other students were wounded in the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch on Tuesday afternoon, which the authorities said was carried out by two fellow students.

Yes, two students at the school entered with handguns, and one of them opened fire, killing Kendrick Castillo and wounding seven others. But that’s not what caught the attention of Breitbart News. Not that the two students had access to handguns. For Breitbart the story to headline was that one of the gunmen is transsexual. Yes, he’s not like the rest of us. At the very least, he’s not like the Breitbart audience. He’s not straight. He’s not manly. He’s d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t. That’s what matters. in Breitbart mentality.

For the record, and this is directed at whoever is picking stories at Breitbart and whoever is reading these stories, here is the story. Two young men, on the verge of entering the adult world, stepped up where our leaders have failed to.

Breitbart Mentality

Number 6

Caught me! My cover is blown. Yes, I do subscribe to Breitbart’s news stream. The proof is the screen shot above from an email I received yesterday.. I reproduce it here to further the conversation on Breitbart mentality. Here are some specifics.

Notice the banner: “LIBERAL LOVE AND KINDNESS.” It works this way. Liberals want you to think they are loving and kind. But we can show they are not. It’s called the straw man argument. You pose a premise that is easily knocked down: liberals profess to be loving and kind. It’s a straw man that is easily knocked down, to wit: this example. A liberal Democrat, new to Congress this month, has called President Trump a motherfucker. Bad, bad. Some reality.

Lots of my liberal friends profess to be loving and kind, and that is largely true. However, not all liberals are loving and kind, just as not all conservatives are cold-hearted and cruel. When they want to be, liberals can be most cruel, especially when they tell the truth. Here is some truth to you from me, a professed liberal. It is not loving and kind. It is the truth:

Note to Breitbart: please purchase a sense of irony.

This is your President speaking.

Number 163 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Melania and I were treated very nicely yesterday in Pittsburgh. The Office of the President was shown great respect on a very sad & solemn day. We were treated so warmly. Small protest was not seen by us, staged far away. The Fake News stories were just the opposite-Disgraceful!

That will do it with the fake news for today. And now a few more words from the President of the United States.

Readers, I have had my laugh for today. Take the weekend off.

The Awful Truth

Number 4 in a Series

These are troubling times. The truth is becoming an endangered species. The history of threats is long. This is a story about The Washington  Post.

Katharine Graham was the daughter of Eugene Meyer, who purchased The Post at a bankruptcy sale in 1933. Katherine (Kay), went to work for the newspaper in 1933, and in 1938 she married Phillip Graham, then a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. When Eugene Meyer died in 1959 he bequeathed management responsibilities to Phillip instead of to his daughter. Eventually Phillip Graham’s health deteriorated, ,and he ended his own life in 1963. Katherine assumed management of the paper for the following twenty years. She died in 2001. 1971 was a critical time for The Post, it was marginally profitable, if at all. It was at this point the nature of The Post changed forever.

The story is told in the movie The Post, which was released last year and which features Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham and Tom Hanks as Post editor Ben Bradlee. An in-law lent me a copy of the DVD, whence these screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia.

Who would have thought there could be such drama in a movie where nobody gets killed, there are no sexual encounters, and huge amounts of money are not stolen in armored car heists? This movie packs tension and suspense into a 116-minute run time, and to give it justice I am illustrating with 35 images. There’s going to be more after a short review of the plot.

The opening scene shows young State Department military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys), suiting up to head off into combat with U.S. troops in Vietnam. This is in 1966, a time when the heat was building fast. Forget my having promised nobody would die. We see troops being killed in an ambush.

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Bruce Greenwood) is in-country, and Ellsberg hears the secretary tell others he has great confidence in the way things are going. This is contrary to what McNamara has said in private, and it is contrary to what Ellsberg has put into his reports. Back home and working for the Rand Corporation, Ellsberg observes the government, now under a new administration, continues to propagate the myth. He takes action in the form of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and also the terms of his top secret clearance. In small packets he filches sections of the Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force, a document that traces “United States Department of Defense history of the United States’ political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.” He eventually makes copies of the document before returning the originals. He releases the copies to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, Katherine Graham is discussing the financial situation of  The Post. The solution is to take the paper public, executing an IPO, selling stock in the company to investors while retaining majority control.

Editor Ben Bradlee and his staff are others concerned about the newspaper. They are located down the street from the most powerful government in the world, yet their competitor, The New York Times, is getting first breaks on important political stories. Bradlee confers with his staff, and they conclude that Times reporter Neil Sheehan has been off the grid for days. What is he working on? Does The Times have a big story in gestation? Bradlee hands an intern $40 and tells him to take a train to New York, head over to The Times on 43rd Street, and find out what Sheehan is up to.

The intern crosses the street to the Times building, and he asks a UPS delivery man what floor the newsroom is on. The man tells him it’s the 6th, and while his back is turned, the intern steals an envelope from the top of the man’s stack and carries it into the building. He has no idea where to find Sheehan, so he gets on the elevator. Others get on. One of them is holding a markup of the next day’s front page. There is a big blank space with the name “Sheehan” written in. The intern hands over his purloined envelope to the man on the elevator and returns to Washington and tells Bradlee what he saw.

Simultaneously, Catherine has had a conversation with McNamara, who happens to be a personal friend of long standing. McNamara tells her there is hot water with The Times. They are about to run a story that is not complimentary to McNamara. Bradlee is desperate to get a lead on that story.

Meanwhile, Catherine negotiates with the bankers on the IPO. They want to  purchase stock at $24 and some change a share. That will mean The Post will lose the financial  wherewithal for 25 reporters.

The Times hits the street with the Pentagon Papers story, and is promptly enjoined by the government from publishing additional information. Bradlee is desperate to get ahead of the curve on this story, but his chances are grim.

Then, a bomb shell. A young woman steps out of a crowd on the street and enters the Post newsroom with a package. She places it on top of the typewriter of the first mature reporter she comes to, and then she leaves without saying anything more. When the reporter opens the package he discovers excerpts from the Pentagon Papers.

Bradlee has his entry into the story. But the most that can be determined is the source of the leak is possibly Ellsberg. Post reporters try to track him down. There is no Google, so they use the telephone. “May I speak to Daniel Ellsberg?” “Who?” Another call, “Daniel Ellsberg, please.” “He’s not in.” Bingo! Since there were no cell phones for the NSA to track in those days, they employed the time-tested use of random pay phones on the street. Assistant Editor Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) makes the critical connection.

It’s a crucial time for The Post. The paper goes public on AMEX at the moment its value may drop close to zero.

But the pay phone operation yields gold. In a motel room Bagdikian meets with Ellsberg and receives a boatload of paper.

He carries it back to Washington, purchasing a first class ticket for it. At Bradlee’s house he gets help unloading his cargo from the taxi. Bradlee’s daughter is out front selling  lemonade.

Inside, the living room is turned into a sorting center. The papers are in no special order, and the editors need to make a story out of the mess.

Katherine Graham reaches a crisis as McNamara drops by for some serious talk.

McNamara protests that he had to make difficult decisions, and the reputation of the country is at stake. Katherine reminds him of the men who went to Vietnam under false pretenses, some of them friends and relatives. Also, there are those who died.

The Post has the story. To publish or not to publish? There is grave legal danger. Company lawyers urge holding off. Editors argue otherwise. If the government can deny publican in advance, then free press in the United States will be gone forever. Katherine says, “Do it.”

The story is proofed and sent down to the composing room by pneumatic tube. There the mechanical process of putting together news pages is put on  display. It is awsome to watch.

For the past many years newspaper composition has been done by computer. Something like Microsoft Word is used to create the page, and most likely something like laser printers are used to generate what is called “cold type.” The cold type is an aluminum foil with ink-philic areas forming the print, text and half-tone images. Then the foil is wrapped on a printing drum, and rolled against an inking drum. Ink transfers to the foil, which then rolls over a rubber “mattress,” which picks up the ink image. The rubber mattress drum then rolls over the paper, printing the image on the paper. It’s called “offset printing.”

In the old days they used “hot type.” The composing machine had a keyboard that selected molds for the characters. Molten metal (mostly lead) poured into the molds, making hard-face type. Pages of these metal typefaces were then mounted on drums which rotated, picking up ink and transferring ink to paper. These were huge machines.

The page is composed and then assembled into the presses. The printing deadline is nigh. It’s time to shit or get off the pot. Katherine receives stern advice not to publish. Bradlee is there. She tells him to roll it. He picks up the phone, rings the press floor and says, “Go.” The operator presses the critical button, setting in motion a train of events that cannot be reversed. It starts with a loud alarm bell. The presses are about to  turn, so people better get out of the way.

And the die is cast. Miles of newsprint run through the presses.

Workers scoop up bundles and bind them for distribution.

Workers at the dock load the bundles onto trucks.

Trucks roll out of the plant. There is no turning back now.

A staffer signals Bradlee that Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel William Rehnquist is on the line. Rehnquist advises Bradlee that publication of the story will be a violation of the Espionage Act. Bradlee thanks him for wasting his time (my words).

The story is already on the street. Literally. Bundles of papers are dropped off the backs of trucks for pick up by distributors, including a drop-off point in front of the White House.

Katherine wanders the newsroom, fretting over the consequences.

The Times reports the status. It has been enjoined from publishing, temporarily, while The Post escaped the ban.

There is no ambivalence elsewhere. Newspapers almost without exception join The Post, republishing the story. It is obvious to all that freedom of the press is at stake. Also significant, The Post has come up from  being a hometown newspaper. Any concerns on the part of the bankers can now be dispelled. The newspaper’s value has escalated.

The Supreme Court takes the case immediately.

Katherine Graham, waiting in line to attend the hearing, is approached by a government worker, a young woman carrying a box of documents into the chamber. She escorts Katherine into the chamber and reminds Katherine that she agrees with what The Post is doing. In the hearing a judge asks whether The Post would have published plans for the D-Day Invasion. The Post lawyer responds that a survey of past situational assessments hardly compares to a military operation. As Katherine exits the building, women along her path look on in admiration. Women are coming to power at this time, and she is clearly an exemplar.

The phone rings in the newsroom. The Court has reached a decision. It’s 6-3 in favor of The Times. Siding with the majority, Justice Black wrote, “The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” In particular, the First Amendment has the intent of protecting the press and not the government.

Katherine continues to get the feel of her newspaper, visiting the composing room.

Strolling with Bradlee through the press room by the trucking dock.

Not all are pleased. A closing shot shows the outline of Richard Nixon months later, viewed through a White House window. The voice is likely ripped directly from the Oval Office tapes that would later haul him down. He says, “no reporter from the Washington Post is ever to be in the White House.”

One year later a security guard checks a door in the Watergate office complex that has had its lock taped over, and a resident at the adjacent Watergate Hotel phones police to report people using flashlights in the office complex. Two years after that, Nixon was forced to resign.

Ellsberg was subsequently prosecuted for his actions, but government misconduct in obtaining evidence against him resulted in the case being thrown out with prejudice. The Watergate break-in was associated with attempts to discern any connection between Ellsberg and the Democratic National Committee.

In more recent cases, people with access to classified data have leaked the contents, perhaps with Ellsberg in mind. To be sure, Ellsberg was guilty of a crime, and it was proper to prosecute him. What is not proper is to claim to be a martyr for a cause and not to suffer consequences. My thinking is that being a martyr means you are dead. In the case of the Pentagon Papers, public good was done.

I have held a government security clearance in the past, and I always took the papers I signed seriously. I was promised jail time and even execution if I divulged classified information. Beyond that, I find humor in government attempts to stifle dissemination of information once it is leaked. What happens when classified information is compromised is that it immediately becomes available to our country’s enemies, and the only result of restricting additional dissemination is to  keep the secret from the American people. Which is often the purpose. There are things that would be damaging if our enemies has access, and that would be even more damaging if the voters have access. Yeah, it goes that way.

I have previous critiqued the case of Edward Snowden, and I have low regard for his actions. He revealed our government was doing some unsavory things (spying on friendly governments), but these were not illegal actions. Furthermore, divulging this information was damaging to our intelligence operations, unlike releasing the Pentagon Papers. Snowden wants to come home as a hero, forgetting that one must first die to become a martyr. He chose to seek refuge with one of this country’s most worrisome enemies, and it is my hope he will remain there to enjoy the fruits of his folly.

The fate of The Washington Post is a primary theme of the movie, and it’s a problem that has been amplified by emerging technologies. The list is long. The advent of cold type (offset printing) eliminated the jobs of multitudes of typesetters. Word processors and laser printers eliminated the work of many cold type composers. Word processing software has streamlined the story creation and editing process, definitely reducing the number of openings for spell checkers. The advent of Web publishing is threatening to eliminate all print journalism. Now anybody with a cheap computer and an Internet connection can be a publisher—that you are reading this now demonstrates the point.

A thing that cannot be eliminated easily is the work of source reporters, people who do the leg work, go to the sites, interview the people, record what they observe, and make it all into a coherent story that somebody will pay to read. Others attempt to take the place of these journalists, and the result has been a dilution of truth in the news. The ability to publish with minimal cost and with zero accountability is working adversely to mold public opinion. Concerned readers can work to counter this by underwriting mainstream journalism. If you are like me, you are no longer settled to the point you can receive a daily newspaper, 1/4 of which you might read, at your door every day.

The recourse, a path I have taken, is to subscribe to mainstream news on-line. We have a president who seeks with determination, to undermine mainstream news, casting outlets, such as The New York Times,  as “fake news.” He also echoes, “Failing NYT.” And the NYT is down on subscriptions and  revenue since decades past. In response to the president’s attacks I have counterattacked by obtaining an on-line subscription to The Times. My few dollars a month subscription gets me the news I am looking for in a form I can use in my work. Quotes, even from decades past, can be tracked down and copied for quotation in my postings.

Readers concerned about the survival of truth in news are encouraged to subscribe on-line. Nearly all publications include  this option. Consider subscribing to one or more of the following:

  • New York Times
  • Washington Post
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Dallas Morning News
  • Houston Chronicle
  • Boston Globe
  • Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Kansas City Star
  • Detroit Free Press

There are many more. An on-line subscription means the-ink to-paper intermediary is being  eliminated, writers are getting paid for their efforts, and healthy sources of information are being preserved. Act for your own best interests.

Don’t drop the soap.

Number 8 in a Series

Screen shots from World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu

In case you were waiting for the other shoe to drop…

Extending the play on metaphors, this train appears to be coming into the station. Last night on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, the lead story was Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. We (I) never heard of Cohen until the matter of porn star Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) began to appear above the fold. I had hoped the terms “porn star” and “President of the United States” would not occur in the same sentence until I had time to catch my breath, but I seem to have lost control of events. Who would have known a one-night stand could have such legs?

Anyhow, Cohen, President Trump’s lawyer, fixer, and close associate for over ten years paid Ms. Clifford $130,000 not to tell everybody in the world about a one-time poke in the sack with Mr. Trump—this just days before voters surged in historic numbers to elevate Mr. Trump to the highest office in the land. Matters have gone downhill since.

Clifford began to figure she had been engineered, such connivance being between Cohen and her own lawyer Keith M. Davidson. She hired a new lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Avenatti’s aggressive prosecution of the case led him to perform intense investigation, which turned up more than anybody bargained for. Besides colluding with Davidson to stifle Clifford, Cohen had been involved in bunches of other dirty doings, some of which crossed the line into prosecutable offense. Came the time when federal investigators obtained a warrant to dig into Cohen’s business dealings.

President Trump was visible upset, and he likened the treasure hunt to McCarthyism. Here he is denouncing for the cameras.

As the pressure continued to build, Cohen vowed he would always remain loyal to President Trump. Here he is asserting his deathless loyalty. “I will do anything to protect Mr. Trump.”

Except go to jail, apparently.

Yeah, dudes, time to get fitted for stripes, and also time keep in mind sage advice I have offered all along. Don’t drop the soap.

Odd Ball Conservatives Say the Darndest Things

Number 6 in a Series

They do, dear readers. Yes they do:

Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth trashed the “failing New York Times” on Friday for supposedly not reporting on the recent capture of five ISIS leaders, apparently unaware the paper beat Fox News to the story.

“I looked for the five ISIS leaders captured in the failing New York Times,” Hegseth said, flipping through the newspaper. “And in the print edition today, I have not seen it yet.”

I am thinking this is what is called fake news.

Odd Ball Conservatives Say the Darndest Things

A Continuing Thread – Number 2

So I watched this, after the fact, and it was something to behold. At the White House Correspondents’ Press Association annual dinner, comedienne Michelle Wolf rose to deliver the benediction. Actually, they may not have anything like a benediction at these functions, but they traditionally invite somebody in to roast popular people. It’s in the spirit of H.L. Mencken: “My job is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.” There is no evidence Mencken ever said such a thing, but it is good reading. Anyhow, Wolf saw her duty Saturday night to afflict the comfortable, and afflict she did, not so much with a prick but with a blackjack. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was a particular target:

I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful,” Wolf said. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.

I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” the comedian continued. “Is it Sarah Sanders? Is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women?

Yeah. I’m noted at times for being crude and lewd, but I probably could have finessed this one. Predictably, Wolf caught some flak over this and other bludgeonings of the night, definitely from the Left, but from the Right with a vengeance. I’m going to give the Left a pass on this and direct my attention to comments from the Right. Let’s start with prominent conservative politician Mike Huckabee, a close relative of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. A sample response from Governor Huckabee:

The WHCD was supposed to celebrate the 1st Amendment. Instead they celebrated bullying, vulgarity, and hate. They got all dressed up so they would look nicer when they had a hired gun savagely attack their guests. Do they really wonder why America has no respect for them? Sad!

Yes… This is the kind of thing I long to hear (read). It’s the yodel of the congenitally indignant. It’s the defense of  the indefensible. Missing from Governor Huckabee’s self-righteous lament is a vast amount of perspective. It may be time for a review of what it is that Mrs. Sanders does for a living. From all appearances her daily routine consists of attempting to explain away a flood of massive lies and insults. Let us not allow the sun to set before visiting some of this ripe fruit:

Katie Couric, the third rate reporter, who has been largely forgotten, should be ashamed of herself for the fraudulent editing of her doc.

Lyin’ Ted Cruz consistently said that he will, and must, win Indiana. If he doesn’t he should drop out of the race-stop wasting time & money

. was one of the worst performing stocks on the S&P last year, plunging 46%. Very disloyal company. Another win for Trump! Boycott.

I gave a woman named Barbara Res a top N.Y. construction job, when that was unheard of, and now she is nasty. So much for a nice thank you!

I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn’t interested in taking all of his calls.He’s not smart enough to run for president!

Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!

Watched low rated for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show

. is a total low life— read his past tweets. A dummy with no “it” factor. Will fade fast.

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….

That’s enough of Twitter. President Trump’s candor in assessing various people out of favor is legendary. From earlier this year:

Self-obsessed billionaire Donald Trump earlier snatched the campaign torch from the Republican Party by scooping up conservative America’s low-hanging fruit. Full disclosure: it’s something I proclaimed over a year ago could not be done. I was wrong! How wrong? Very wrong. Donald Trump is the one candidate who displays an astonishing degree of class:

In the article, I wrote that Trump could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman said the man’s comments were “categorically untrue.”

The story ran below the fold in the business news section with the headline: How a Curious Visitor Beat Trump at the Casino Game.

And now I was holding for Mr. Trump.

There was no hello. But there was yelling, lots of yelling.

The word “shit” was used repeatedly as a noun and adjective.

I had shit for brains.

I worked for a shitty newspaper.

What sort of shit did I write.

Before I could reply, he hung up.

Then he called my editor in Philadelphia, Craig Stock. Now it was Craig’s turn to “Hold for Mr. Trump.”

Craig was treated to the same Trumpian wordplay, but got an added treat. Trump referred to me as “that cunt.”

There is more from that same post:

A cute nickname for a United States senator:

Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.

Characterization of a rival candidate.

Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!

NFL players who protest.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said at a rally for Republican senator Luther Strange, who is running in a special election next week to remain in the seat vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

A writer who writes unkind things about Donald Trump.

The Mercer Family recently dumped the leaker known as Sloppy Steve Bannon. Smart!

Most would envy Mrs. Sanders’ professional obligation to front for such as this. One might wonder whence comes the wherewithal. Here’s a hint:

Huckabee has voiced his support of intelligent design and he has stated that he does not accept the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution. He was quoted in July 2004 on Arkansans Ask, his regular show on the Arkansas Educational Television Network: “I think that students also should be given exposure to the theories not only of evolution but to the basis of those who believe in creationism.”

In April 2011, Huckabee said, “I almost wish that there would be a simultaneous telecast and all Americans would be forced, at gunpoint, to listen to every David Barton message,” in praise of the Christian revisionist historian David Barton.

Within hours of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Huckabee made headlines in the U.S. and abroad for stating on Fox News: “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” and further asked, “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

In September 2014, Huckabee said, “Fire the ones who refuse to hear not only our hearts, but God’s heart” (for which he was criticized by Richard Dawkins).

Support for Intelligent Design? Disdain for modern theories of modern biology? Praise for David Barton? Defiance of the rule of law? Add to that a deliberate distortion of American history:

The story starts in a class room where the teacher has the kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, with the “under God” wording. One kid refuses because of the under God language, and later the teacher is threatened with dismissal for this breach of school protocol.

OK, right there I hit a snag. I’ve been around the sun a few times, and I recall the time before the “under God” language was added, and I as yet unaware of any public school that disallows the “under God” language. Actually, a few years back Michael Newdow sued his daughter’s school, the United States Congress, et al, over the use of the “under God” language. The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed Newdow’s suit, since he was not the custodial guardian of his daughter and really had no legal standing in the matter. More recently, a family in Massachusetts has sued over the pledge as a violation of that state’s own equal protection clause in its constitution. So far as I know, all attempts to prohibit the “under God” language have been thwarted. So, where did the producers of One Nation get this scenario. We may have to ask learned historian Mike Huckabee.

Yes, it would appear the fruit does not fall far from from the tree, and for the Huckabees the truth is a sometime thing. Setting the crude and lewd aside for a moment, on Saturday night it was obvious to all the slings and arrows were well directed. That Mrs. Sanders has not resigned her unenviable position speaks for itself. In case I have not made my point, here it is. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a lying sack of shit, a trait that seems to run in the family.

Codswallop 201

Number 4 in a series

Yesterday I posted number 3 in this series about Hillsdale College. Hillsdale came to my attention some time ago, and I now receive periodical email from Larry P. Arnn, current president of Hillsdale. I also receive monthly issues of Imprimis, a Hillsdale newsletter. The matter yesterday concerned an item in the most recent issue with the headline The Politicization of the FBI. It was taken from a speech by Washington lawyer Joseph E. diGenova, and any distinction from a crude piece of propaganda is difficult to discern. Come Monday morning, and apparently we are not finished with Mr. diGenova.

CNN is now reporting that President Donald J. Trump has hired diGenova to join his legal team as he deals with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller‘s probe into criminal matters relating to the President and those around him:

(CNN) — President Donald Trump will hire an attorney to join his personal legal team who has alleged the President is being framed by a group of FBI and Justice Department officials, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

The longtime Washington attorney, Joseph diGenova, is expected to join the President’s legal team at a time when Trump is taking a more aggressive approach to publicly dealing with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, lobbing a series of attacks against Mueller on Twitter over the weekend.

The CNN news item included a clip of diGenova appearing on Fox News in January, laying out the case for FBI malfeasance (my wording). The Fox News clip shows diGenova telling us this:

There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton, and, if she didn’t win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely-created crime.Everything that we have seen, from the texts and from all the facts developing shows that the FBI and senior DOJ officials conspired to violate the law and to deny Donald Trump his civil rights.

That’s heavy stuff, and it would be damning against the DOJ, including the FBI, were it even half true. I find it interesting that the banner scrolling across on Fox News reads “Is Mueller’s probe unraveling?” This being Fox News, I have little doubt there is wishful thinking on this channel’s part as they strive diligently to defend the modern piece of political art that is Donald Trump.

Summing up for Hillsdale College, this time-honored institution continues to thump for an absurd conservative idealism, and truth, least of all academics, is not a prime concern. More will be coming from Arnn and from Hillsdale, so the show won’t be over anytime soon. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Breitbart Mentality

Number 2 of an Infinite Series

Full disclosure: I signed up for a subscription to the Breitbart News email back in July, and I now receive daily (sometimes more) missives from the right-leaning news group. See the screen shot above. Breitbart’s position on what matters is something that speaks for itself.

A recent mail had the above headline. With a whole bunch of earth-shaking stuff coming across the news wires, this is what Breitbart News figured was important enough to mail out to me. Here’s the story:

Louisiana Cops Searching for Previously Deported Honduran Wanted for Rape

Law enforcement officials in Louisiana are looking for a previously deported illegal alien fugitive who is wanted on charges of third-degree sexual assault.

The Sheriff’s Office in Lafayette Parish is asking the public for help in locating 35-year-old Marco Antonio. The wanted foreign national also goes by the names of Marco Contreras-Martel and Marcos Antonio Contreras Martel, reported KLFY, a CBS affiliate in Lafayette, Louisiana. Sheriff’s officials said immigration officials previously deported Antonio in 2014.

Breitbart Texas reached out to Sheriff Mark Garber’s office for more information about the charges in the case. A spokesman for the sheriff said they cannot release any information about the suspect or details of the alleged crime at this time. He said the suspect is known to work and travel back and forth between Louisiana and East Texas.

There is more, but not much. This is the story that usurped the information about 39 unintentional shootings by children in 2018:

Nearly two million American children live in homes with guns that are not stored responsibly. This interactive map tracks every publicly reported incident since 2015 where a person age 17 or under unintentionally kills or injures themselves or someone else with a gun.

Additionally:

Two 16 year-old boys were handling a gun “in an unsafe manner,” according to police, when it unintentionally discharged. One of the boys was hit and transported to a local hospital. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police arrested the uninjured 16 year-old on preliminary charges of criminal recklessness with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a child.

The key item here is that a third degree (statutory) rape was supposedly (most likely) committed by a person here illegally after having previously been deported. It’s the matter of an illegal alien who committed a crime that’s important to readers of Breitbart News, disregarding that illegal aliens tend to be very law-abiding due to their need to avoid encounters with the law. This is the Breitbart Mentality on parade.

Media Research Center

Number 5 in a series

I’ve mentioned Media Research Center before. I’m going to mention them some more. They are a hoot. Their running theme is that mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias. Surprise! The real world swims in liberal concepts, one such being straight-up telling things like they happened. Anyhow, the MRC is committed to providing a counterweight to  liberal bias, and they have an interesting way of going about it. I receive their daily mailings, today’s which I figure to unload on my readers.

Let’s start with the item numbered 1:

1. Networks Stuff Shows With Over 2 Hours of Wolff Gossip Book Insults

The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks engaged in a feeding frenzy over Michael Wolff’s gossip-filled book, as they ate up the salacious details in Fire and Fury. From January 3 through January 9, the networks stuffed their evening and morning programs with over two hours of coverage of the Wolff book and the subsequent fallout for former Donald Trump aide Stephen Bannon.

“The networks stuffed their evening and morning programs with over two hours of coverage of the Wolff book?” Really? Only two hours. Geeze, people. I logged onto  Amazon and purchased the Kindle the minute it became available. And the nets only allocated two hours? Wimps.

“The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero,” said an astonished and derisive Bannon, not long after the meeting was revealed. “The three senior guys in the campaign,” an incredulous Bannon went on, “thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the twenty-fifth floor—with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers. Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 255). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

For those who haven’t been paying attention, this is the language that got Bannon on the outs with the Trump administration and subsequently on the outs with the rich and powerful Mercers and out the door at Breitbart News. And the nets only gave it two hours? And MRC is calling them out? Let that sink in.

2. ‘Morning Joe’ Portrays Trump as Doddering Old Schizophrenic Who Listens to ‘Voices in His Head’

On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, reacting to President Trump’s comments during an open door meeting with top members of Congress about DACA and immigration reform, co-host Joe Scarborough argued that Trump’s performance was indicative of his supposedly deteriorating mental state and even stooped to mocking Trump as a doddering, forgetful, and schizophrenic old man who listens to “voices in his head” for political advice.

Wait. Wait! President Trump really is a doddering old schizo who listens to voices in his head. Anybody who has not noticed should come in for a head check.

3. ‘Be an Apple, Don’t Be a Banana’: Conway Schools Cuomo on Drug Trafficking

Sparks flew during Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time when White House adviser Kellyanne Conway sparred with rude and demeaning host Chris Cuomo as they discussed the news of the day. But during one section, in particular, Conway took Cuomo to task for twisting the facts about the administration’s response to the opioid crisis and the border wall’s effectiveness on drug trafficking.

“Conway took Conway to task for twisting the facts?” That is a twist.

On CNN, though, her phrasing was a bit more fraught. “I’m not Inspector Gadget,” she said. “I don’t believe people are using the microwave to spy on the Trump campaign.”

“However,” she continued, “I’m not in the job of having evidence…”

[Emphasis added]

And she said more. Over the past year and more Conway has established the benchmark for “fact-deprived.”

4. Sour Grapes: MSNBC Upset Trump Only Called on ‘Conservative Outlets’ for Questions

MSNBC flashed some bitterness on Wednesday afternoon following President Trump’s first joint press conference of 2018, complaining that Trump only called on “conservative outlets”Washington Examiner and the Fox News Channel with only the latter one offering “a challenging question.”

In this case MRC is dead on. What were those clowns at MSNBC thinking? That Donald Trump was going to  call on an actual for-business news outlet” And this all the while Fox News was standing by with the tough questions of the day? Tough questions such as, “What wonderful things have you accomplished since nine this morning, Mr. President?”

This, people, is why I check my MRC feed first thing each morning. There’s more to come. Keep reading.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Fire and Fury

The Start of a New Series

The monkey spit has certainly hit the fan, and on-lookers are choking with joy. Especially am I in another level of Heaven. The book went on sale at 8:00 a.m. Central Time Friday, and at 8:00 a.m. plus a second or more I hit the button on Amazon and pulled down a Kindle edition, $14.99 plus tax. Let the fun begin. Images are screen shots from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu this morning.

Of course the President of the United States had some objections.

“Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past …” People, your President is totally irony-deficient. Being a world authority on these matters, he is definitely one to spot lies, misrepresentations, and sources that don’t exist when he sees them. And, to be sure, many reviewers have spotted such in the book.

The author is Michael Wolff, who wrote from a few month’s history with the Trump presidential campaign and also from inside the first year of the Trump White House. Wolff apparently draws most of his material second hand from  sources close to the President. For example:

Trump, observed Walsh, had a set of beliefs and impulses, much of them on his mind for many years, some of them fairly contradictory, and little of them fitting legislative or political conventions or form. Hence, she and everyone else was translating a set of desires and urges into a program, a process that required a lot of guess work. It was, said Walsh, “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 113). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

The author is seen on ABC saying, “They all say he is like a child,” citing what staffers have told him about the President. “Walsh” is Katie Walsh:

Katie E. Walsh (born November 2, 1984) is an American Republican political operative who briefly served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Implementation in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. She is currently working with the Trump-aligned 501(c)(4) America First Policies.

Wolff talks of the President’s need for “immediate gratification.”

But it wasn’t Bannon versus everybody else so much as it was Bannon Trump versus non-Bannon Trump. If Trump, in his dark, determined, and aggressive mood, could represent Bannon and his views, he could just as easily represent nothing at all—or represent solely his own need for instant gratification. That’s what the non-Bannon people understood about Trump.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 174). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

“It’s all about him,” Wolff says, again from close sources. He drills down, using terms like “moron” and “idiot.”

In early October, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s fate was sealed—if his obvious ambivalence toward the president had not already sealed it—by the revelation that he had called the president “a fucking moron.”

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 304). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

From a White House email:

Purporting to represent the views of Gary Cohn and quite succinctly summarizing the appalled sense in much of the White House, the email read:

It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. And his staff is no better. Kushner is an entitled baby who knows nothing. Bannon is an arrogant prick who thinks he’s smarter than he is. Trump is less a person than a collection of terrible traits. No one will survive the first year but his family. I hate the work, but feel I need to stay because I’m the only person there with a clue what he’s doing. The reason so few jobs have been filled is that they only accept people who pass ridiculous purity tests, even for midlevel policy-making jobs where the people will never see the light of day. I am in a constant state of shock and horror.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 186). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

We see Wolff stating, “This is a man who does not read, does not listen.”

But not only didn’t he read, he didn’t listen. He preferred to be the person talking. And he trusted his own expertise—no matter how paltry or irrelevant—more than anyone else’s. What’s more, he had an extremely short attention span, even when he thought you were worthy of attention.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 114). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

The president did not truly listen to anybody. The more you talked, the less he listened. “But Steve is careful about what he says, and there is something, a timbre in his voice and his energy and excitement, that the president can really hone in on, blocking everything else out,” said Walsh.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 182). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Others have noted this:

In early August, less than a month after Ailes had been ousted from Fox News, Trump asked his old friend to take over the management of his calamitous campaign. Ailes, knowing Trump’s disinclination to take advice, or even listen to it, turned him down. This was the job Bannon [took] a week later.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 3). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Wolff notes Donald Trump’s unsettling repetition. From ABC News, “Wolff paints a portrait of a mentally unstable man, saying the President often repeats the same story every three minutes.”

The president’s advisers felt he shouldn’t put himself in a position where he would be compared with Bannon. The worry among staffers—all of them concerned that Trump’s rambling and his alarming repetitions (the same sentences delivered with the same expressions minutes apart) had significantly increased, and that his ability to stay focused, never great, had notably declined—was that he was likely to suffer by such a comparison. Instead, the interview with Trump was offered to Sean Hannity—with a preview of the questions.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 309). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

At Mar-a-Lago recently the President failed to recognize life-long friends ABC News reports, although my copy of the book does not appear to recount this episode.

Of course, President Trump is slinging back.

At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders reminds us how ridiculous these accusations are. From the video:

It’s disgraceful and laughable. If he was [sic] unfit, he probably wouldn’t sitting there. … This is a strong and great leader.”

And that, readers, has to be one for the history books. Being unfit did not prevent Donald Trump from becoming President. He became President through the intervention of a mass of American voters who, themselves, may be unfit. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. “A strong and great leader,” completely defining the meaning of the terms “strong” and “great,” with “leader” thrown in for good measure.

The scene from the White House news briefing closes with a view of Sanders’ backside as she exits stage left. Hey! How would you like to have that job?

President Trump weighs in, saying he never spoke to Wolff for the book. Sanders has conceded Wolff did interview Donald Trump, and Wolff says it was for the book, regardless of what Trump thought.

ABC White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega delivers the coup de grace.

… This is a West Wing used to dealing with crisis, David. As one senior White House official told us, quote, “People expect us to be running around with our hair on fire, but it’s hard to do that when it’s already been burned off.”

There is going to be much more of this. I have not had so much fun since cousin Elroy stuck the dynamite down the outhouse. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Fake News

Could be the start of something big.

Here’s an odd one:

Kentucky Lawmaker Kills Himself Amid Sexual Assault Allegations, Officials Say

Here is where the twist comes in:

Johnson posted a message on his Facebook page Wednesday evening, saying the accusations “are false” and ‘only God knows the truth.” The post appears to have been deleted.
“GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news. Conservatives take a stand,” his post read.

That last was from CNN. None of the other outlets I reviewed mentioned Johnson’s invocation of “fake news” on Facebook.

“Fake news,” which hereafter I will enter into the lexicon by putting it in italics instead of between quotes, requires some definition. To conservatives, fake news has come to define false stories, mostly pasted against conservatives and conservative causes., these items generally being promulgated by mainstream media outlets, also known as liberal sounding boards by conservatives. Fake news in other circles has come to mean truthful tales that cast a bad light on conservatives and their causes. And that gets us back to Representative Dan Johnson, lately of the Kentucky legislature.

What, then is the fake news of which he spoke? Was he saying the girl’s accusations are fake, which is always a possibility, or does he mean the reporting of the girl’s story is fake news. It’s possible Mr. Johnson was confused at the time. If he was alluding the girl was lying, then that does not fit either definition of fake news. That is what is properly called false testimony. CNN, in reporting the story, is not disseminating fake news. They are reporting that the girl made the charges, which nobody has denied she did. For this to fit the first definition, false stories, then the girl must have not made the accusations, and the reporting was therefore false.

What this appears to do, instead, is to fit the second definition. It’s a true story that casts a bad light on a conservative—Mr. Johnson. Again, nothing has been said about whether the girl’s charges are true, and that is something that may never be known, since there is only the girl left to tell the tale. It is unfortunate the conservative lawmaker from Kentucky chose not to stay around and put the lie to what he labeled fake news in one of his final transmissions. We can only guess at his motivation to avoid the matter in the most prejudicial manner.

Fake news is a recurring topic, and I will be getting back to it on a regular basis. Keep reading.

Masters of Irony

The first of a new series

This kind of thing comes across so frequently, it’s time I created a dedicated theme. It’s to deal with a number of people who were possibly in the bathroom when those little cards were passed out giving the definition of irony:

1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning:

the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

But I extend the usage. I apply irony to cases where a person makes an absurdly false or contradictory statement or exhibits gross hypocrisy, seemingly unaware. Let me think of an example:

Kellyanne Conway Retweeted Washington Post

No one had the courage to tell the truth?

Kellyanne Conway added,

The perspective is far-reaching:

Kellyanne Conway on surveillance: ‘I’m not in the job of having evidence’

On the other hand:

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said the White House press secretary gave “alternative facts” when he inaccurately described the inauguration crowd as “the largest ever” during his first appearance before the press this weekend.

Hey, Kelly-Anne, what’s your game now?
Can anybody play?

[With apologies to the Hollies]

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 27 in a series

Full disclosure:

I do not post these to make fun of Donald Trump, current President of the United States. I post these to make fun of the people who voted for Donald Trump. Some people out there by now have got to be feeling the heat. My intent is to see they get no rest, and I will remind them as often as I am able, that this is what they wanted. So where to start?

Where else? Let’s start with what would be a crushing blow to anybody else’s attempt at governing:

Trump Lashes Out at San Juan Mayor Who Begged for More Help

Way to go! That’s the kind of leadership we need in a time of national crisis. It gives a lift to the image of that (now deceased) Roman Emperor Nero.

For the record—within the past few weeks the island territory of Puerto Rico was lashed by two powerful hurricanes, the latter of which took out the island’s infra structure much as would have a nuclear attack, but without all fire and radioactive fallout. All electrical power was knocked out, and the road system was clogged with debris. It would have been nice if emergency supplies delivered to the island could have been delivered to the people and places that needed them, but the truck drivers could not be contacted and were likely not able to get to their jobs, besides. With food and drinkable water running out, the place faced the danger of a massive die off.

Meanwhile:

The Junior Varsity Team

A rehash, number 4

Recapitulating from before:

To be sure, the President caught much flak over that remark, and to additional surprise I defended the remark. I considered ISIS, also known as Daesh, to be a JV team. I since explained my logic:

If ISIS is not JV, then who is? Here are the facts about ISIS:

  • No firm control over defined geography
  • No significant industrial base
  • Dependent on external clients for financial support
  • Fluid or weak bureaucracy
  • Ill-defined legal structure
  • Weak technological and intellectual resources

That was President Obama catching flak for calling Daesh a JV team, and that was me explaining why they did not make the varsity. Also, that was years ago, back when Daesh was taking weapons and vehicles away from the Iraqi army and occupying territory like ants on a wedding cake. In the meantime the Iraqis have begun to take civil defense seriously, and American forces have agreed to move into Syria seriously. The civilized world has been running up the score against the JV team for months now, and it’s beginning to look like Europe in April 1945. That would include a flood of rats deserting a decaying corpse:

US citizen fighting for ISIS captured in Syria

(CNN) — The US military has detained a US citizen who had been fighting with ISIS in Syria, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed to CNN Thursday.

“Syrian Democratic Forces turned over to US forces an American citizen who surrendered to the SDF on or around September 12,” US Marine Corps Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway told CNN, referring to the US-backed Kurdish led group fighting ISIS in Syria.

The news item from CNN further relates there has been an increase in Daesh fighters giving up, essentially saying that joining a JV team to take on the civilized world turned out not to be such a good idea. Apparently one of those calling it quits was a local commander, who surrendered to SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) within the past week. Apparently losing is a real turn-off and does not come close to the adrenaline rush of cutting off people’s heads, selling young girls into slavery, and demolishing thousands of years of human history.

CNN further notes that Daesh has proven to be less a draw in the United States than in various Western European countries. Piling on, a relentless string of defeats has emphasized its JV status, making Daesh a less appealing outlet for people dissatisfied with modern civilization.

The Washington Post has reported on the conviction in an American court of a man who went to Syria to fight for the second stringers:

A Virginia man, Mohamad Khweis, was convicted in federal court in June of supporting terrorism after he surrendered in early 2016 to Kurdish forces in Iraq who turned him over to the American military there.

Khweis, due to be sentenced next month, said he had traveled undetected from Fairfax County to join the Islamic State in Syria but at the time of his capture had deserted the militants and was trying to make his way home.

Yes, realizing that you made a big mistake and then attempting to unwind past misdeeds does not bring you back into the good graces of society. Once you have shown your true colors and stepped across the line into barbarism, you have—or you should have—lost the confidence of the the mentally stable world.

This story is going to have life for years to come. The disintegration of Daesh as a force on the battlefield is not going to end religious numb-skullery as an appeal to our darker nature. People are going to continue to invoke illusionary thinking to justify obnoxious behavior. Daesh presents one such outlet, and the meme will continue to draw disaffected souls long after all Daesh territory has been expunged of their presence. We are about to see what outlets JV team aspirants turn to over the coming years. The view of a cop standing watch with an automatic weapon is going to be with us for a while.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 13

This Senator Menendez story will not go away. Previously I looked into an item that appeared on The Federalist site. See the link above:

The lined story was posted by Bre Payton, who is a staff writer covering culture and millennial politics, and she has some interesting things to say about the just started trial of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey:

Media Won’t Talk About Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s Corruption Trial

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s upcoming corruption trial has gotten very little attention from members of the media. When they do talk about it, they like to leave out the fact he’s a Democrat.

So there was some back and forth about this in a Facebook exchange. My take was Bre Payton, author of the above, was commenting on the news without first reading the news. And on. And I got some push back.

Your analysis is for nought. Here’s the real truth:

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/when-is-a-scandal-not-a-scandal-when-theres-a-democrat-involved/

The link tracks to an editorial item appearing in Investor’s Business Daily:

When Is A Scandal Not A Scandal? When There’s A Democrat Involved

Corruption: A sitting U.S. Senator is currently on trial for bribery, and if he’s found guilty it could have major political ramifications. Haven’t heard about this case? That’s because the Senator in question is a Democrat.

A CNN story this week about the opening of the trial against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez noted that “Democrats are eager to avoid the subject of Menendez’s bribery trial.”

That headline would have been just as accurate if it said “Reporters” instead of “Democrats.”

Menendez in on trial for allegedly having sold his office in exchange for luxury vacations, private flights, and piles of campaign cash. In his opening remarks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Koski said “this case is about a corrupt politician who sold his Senate office for a life of luxury he couldn’t afford and a greedy doctor who put that senator on his payroll. … The defendants didn’t just trade money for power, they also tried to cover it up.”

And I was quick to think my Facebook correspondent for coming forward with the real  truth. Also, I was particularly taken by an opening sentence: “Haven’t heard about this case?” It was impossibly for me not to respond:

John Blanton “Haven’t heard about this case? ” Really? Who has not? It’s been in the news for years.

Please read the entire piece to completely appreciate it. There is no byline, so I am concluding this is from the editorial board of Investor’s Business Daily. I am also concluding that collectively the editorial board of Investor’s Business Daily does not read the news. As I pointed out in the previous installation of this series, the Menendez story has been carried by mainstream media since it broke years ago. And with rare exceptions, Senator Menendez has been identified as a Democrat. I first wrote about it over two years ago, and, bleeding heart liberal that I am, I made sure the Senator was appropriately cataloged.

To be sure, IBD did cite a case of mis-association:

Then there’s the version of an AP story that ran on the NBC News website, which identified Menendez as “R-N.J.” in the first paragraph. Several hours later, NBC corrected its mistake, noting that “an earlier version of this article misstated the party affiliation of Menendez. He is a Democrat, not a Republican.”

Sloppiness? Bias? You decide. But try to imagine these reporters making such Journalism 101 mistakes if the case had involved a Republican. Does anyone outside of the liberal media bubble really think that a reporter would incorrectly identify a Republican as a Democrat when reporting on a major scandal? Or fail to mention the person’s party affiliation at all?

Yeah, methinks IBD doth protest too much.

I also run into complaints that the Menendez case does not get the amount of coverage by mainstream media it does on right-leaning outlets. This after first asserting that you would never know of it if you relied on mainstream media. I looked. I saw. I beheld. Menendez is not a screaming headline in The New York Times, on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC. Could there be a reason for that? Some Skeptical  Analysis is due.

I looked. I saw. I analyzed.

Yes, there is a at least one reason Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey is not front and center every day. First let’s discount Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which, paired together, have swamped the news of late. Forgetting these major news stories, what else is crowding the Menendez story? It turns out another famous player is hogging the political spotlight these days:

Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’

WASHINGTON — A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of RussiaVladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.

The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin. He predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.

How many of these do I need  to post to get across the idea. If Donald Trump would quit grabbing pussy, lying about global warming, lying about election fraud, lying about the size of his inauguration crowd, lying about why he fired the FBI director, and if he would quit abrogating treaties (e.g., the Paris Climate Accord) and insulting friendly heads of state, then maybe the mainstream media will find it in themselves to push Senator Menendez (D-NJ) above the fold.

Wait for me. I will hold my breath. In the meantime, may Jesus have mercy on our souls.