The Conversation

Number 2

I mention this sometimes. I have a few conservative friends, not as many as I used to have. On Facebook I cultivate them, but often when I put the skewer to Donald Trump, supposed gun rights, science denial, any number of gods—then a conservative friend drops me like I was last year’s iPhone. Facing a dearth of headwind from Facebook conservatives, I have taken to drawing from conservative media outlets. Talk about striking pay dirt! If gold is where you find it, threadbare intellect is where they nurture it. Now I draw from sources as mainline as Trump News, Fox News, Breitbart, the Media Research Center, Pastor John Hagee, Pastor Robert Jeffress, author Ray Comfort, actor Kirk Cameron, and others. I obtained a Twitter account so I could follow President Donald Trump. Now I receive multiple daily notifications about postings by The Donald and also such conservative beacons of light as Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly. Hence this yesterday:

Who would believe it? Bill O’Reilly telling the President of the United States to tweet facts. That is, facts, as opposed to:

Yes, when you set out at the beginning of the day to tweet the truth, it’s best not to lead with blaming anthropogenic global warming on the Chinese propaganda mill.

If this exchange was less than amazing, what followed immediately upon was less than surprising. Start with this:

Here we have somebody posing as “Trump Train” and responding, “He does tweet facts!!!!!!!!!” I believe that is nine exclamation marks. Check me on that. “Trump Train” is saying Donald Trump does tweet facts. Such facts being:

“asad” (where do they get these names?) chimes in, “alternative facts.” I can’t tell if “asad” is attempting to be factual or sarcastic. “Trump Train” comes back with, “And considering how @Potus has been ABUSED-perfectly ok to tweet an insult here and there.” Insult away, Trump Train, whoever you are. It’s become the name of the game. Here’s more:

Tom Vail (a real name at last) has an avatar reflecting on Hillary Clinton, but I can’t tell the reference. Tom tells us, “The US deserves better from Media. The US deserves better from Hollywood. The US deserves better from Academia.” Besides the needless capitalization of a couple of words, this seems to be grammatically correct.

I can understand wanting better from the media. Conservatives since Richard Nixon have harped on bad reviews from reporters, all the while failing to consider that if they would quit screwing up, then reporters would quit telling everybody they’re screwing up.

“Better from Hollywood?” Better scripts? Better acting? Bigger boobs? He doesn’t say. Could it be that in movies conservatives are often portrayed as heavies? As in In the Heat of the Night? Yeah, this movie would have been a lot more believable if Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) had been portrayed as a civil right crusader.

“Better from academia?” Tom is reflecting the concern by a majority of conservatives that American colleges and universities are hotbeds of liberal activism. He could be right. My observation is that colleges and universities are populated by a bunch of smart people, and when people get smarter, they tend to get more liberal.

I will skip over “mari Trump” (with an emoticon?)…

… and some others and go straight to Marita Murphy, another real name, apparently.

According to Marita, “tweeting that CNN is fake news IS verifiable.” What really bums me about Twitter is the 140-character limit. Imagine if this restriction were lifted, then Marita would have a larger canvas, allowing her to pile example upon example, demonstrating conclusively that calling CNN fake news is verifiable. Fortunately, I am not so restricted, so I will advance those examples that eluded the unfortunate Marita. Here are some:

CNN reports Special Counsel Robert Mueller may investigate President Trump for obstruction. “The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.”

CNN reports Robert Mueller expands special counsel office, hires 13 lawyers.Special counsel Robert Mueller is said to be building out his investigative team with some of the country’s best legal minds, in a development that speaks to the seriousness of the Russia probe but also is raising red flags on the pro-Trump side.”

CNN reports Russian hackers tried altering US election data. “Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before President Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed … In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data … As many as 90,000 records were ultimately compromised … Illinois became Patient Zero in the government’s probe, eventually leading investigators to a hacking pandemic that touched four out of every five U.S. states … In many states, the extent of the Russian infiltration remains unclear. … The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database … According to the leaked NSA [National Security Agency] document, hackers working for Russian military intelligence were trying to take over the computers of 122 local election officials just days before the Nov. 8 election” … in October 2016  “the White House contacted the Kremlin on [a] back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict …”

CNN reports No obstruction case against Trump so far.Former FBI Director James Comey’s written statement, which was released in advance of his Thursday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, does not provide evidence that President Trump committed obstruction of justice or any other crime. Indeed it strongly suggests that even under the broadest reasonable definition of obstruction, no such crime was committed.”

And so on. Keep plugging away, Marita. I will keep looking for the fake news.

And I will continue to stay hooked into my favorite conservative sources. There’s plenty more where this came from.

Media Research Center

Number 4 in a series

(Photo by Jonathan Ernst, Reuters News Service)

I’ve mentioned the Media Research Center before. They are committed to providing a counterweight to  liberal bias in mainstream media (news outlets). They have an interesting way of going about it. I receive daily mailings from the MRC, one of which is called Cyber Alert (Your Daily Media Bias Intelligence Briefing). There’s a numbered list of items for readers’ consideration. Today’s item 3 is of interest:

3.  CNN Reporter Thinks Trump Admin Is Endangering Media, Compares to ‘War Zone’

CNN has become a self-serving propaganda mill for journalists the past few months, reaching a new level of shamelessness. Wednesday’s New Day ran the headline, “TRUMP WHITE HOUSE INTENSIFIES WAR WITH MEDIA,” with reporter Clarissa Ward (filling in for co-host Alisyn Camerota) worrying that by labeling the media as fake and such, that the White House is putting the lives of journalists in danger…

“Trump White House intensifies war with media.” That’s worth checking out. Follow the link. There follows some back and forth about whether this “war with the media” is actually putting lives in danger. The image above from Google Images gives color to the mood in question. What, then, does this war with the media look like?

  1. Jun 28, 2017 08:06:14 AMThe #AmazonWashingtonPost, sometimes referred to as the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes (which they should) is FAKE NEWS!
  2. Jun 28, 2017 05:58:59 AMSome of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare. Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S.
  3. Jun 28, 2017 05:49:22 AMThe failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don’t even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!
  4. Jun 27, 2017 07:47:17 AMSo they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!

Plus a bunch more. More recently:

I heard poorly rated speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..

…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!

Previously reported:

CNN Newsroom
6/27/17 3:13

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think it’s the constant barrage of fake news directed at this President, probably, that has garnered a lot of his frustration. You point to that report. There are multiple other instances where that outlet that you referenced has been repeatedly wrong and had to point that out or be corrected. There’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know.

But I would encourage everybody in this room and frankly everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think that we have gone to a place where, if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America, and I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming directly from the top, I think that’s even more scary. And certainly more disgraceful. And I hope that that’s not the direction we’re headed. I hope that outlets that have continued to use either unnamed sources, sometimes stories with no sources at all, we’ve been going on this Russia/Trump hoax for the better part of a year now with no evidence of anything. Things like the success at the VA barely get covered. They may get covered for an hour at a time, but this story gets covered day in, day out, and I think America is frankly looking for something better. They’re looking for something more. And I think they deserve something better from our news media.

High five to the MRC for going to bat for President Trump, since that appears to be their main job . And what a job it is. Here is a president who has passed off more than 300 fabrications since taking office, has mired his administration in a messy probe into collusion with Russian intelligence operatives, has staffed his administration with the most over of the politically ripe,  and  has fumbled away opportunity after opportunity to get a bunch of stuff done, all the while alienating this country’s friends and cozying up to our enemies. That in addition to becoming an international embarrassment. Details on request.

Trump News

More From Trump News

Yes, your memory is correct. I subscribe to a newsletter from Trump News. That’s the name of the sender when their daily report shows up in my inbox. The site is EnVolve.com, and the screen shot above is from today’s mailing. Please pardon, but I jacked up the contrast so you can read the caption beneath the photo. The link points to a page that elaborates:

Negative Liberal Media REFUSES To Report What This Republican Patriot Did!

Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers took a moment to support the victims of last week’s shooting at a congressional baseball game practice by donating blood on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

It is no surprise to see the Vice President doing this, as he often examples what Patriotism looks like for the everyday citizen. Also not surprising is the clear lack of media coverage that such service would generally merit. Clearly, the negative liberal media would hate to ever show that any Republican, especially the Vice President, could ever have a caring heart for others.

And that’s the message for today. A deranged gunman, a Bernie Sanders supporter, shot up a baseball  practice session, wounding several, including Congressman Steve Scalise of Louisiana District 1. And patriotic Vice President Mike Pence stepped forward to donate blood. And the liberal media (meaning the mainstream news outlets) refused to report it. “REFUSED.”

Refused, that is, except for ABC News:

Mike Pence, other lawmakers donate to Capitol Hill blood bank in honor of Scalise

By DAVID CAPLAN

Vice President Mike Pence was among those on Capitol Hill Tuesday who rolled up their sleeves and donated blood in honor of the victims of last week’s shooting at congressional baseball practice at an Alexandria, Virginia, park.

That was posted today. The blood drive is still ongoing and will continue tomorrow. It will be interesting to see just how many mainstream news sources refuse, absolutely refuse, to cover the story. So far Washington News 8 has covered it, as well as The Hill.

Regarding Trump News, I am dead certain this is not an official Donald Trump outlet. From all appearances it is an independent enterprise established to capitalize on Trump’s notoriety and his fan base. Another thing I am sure of is that Trump supporters read Trump News, and they accept its news as factual. It’s another sign we live in interesting times.

Friday Funny

One of a series

Last week’s Friday funny (see the link above) reminded me of this. I apologize. I do not have the original news item. It’s from 30 years back, but I can still relate the essentials from memory. It goes like this:

Conroe, Texas (why does this stuff always happen in Texas?). A 72-year old man was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. He had to phone his mother to come and bail him out.

And that is funny. Embarrassing, as well.

Down for the Count

Some more of this

The title came naturally, and it was hardly a surprise when I noticed it’s been used before, twice. So, who’s down for the count today? But you knew that already. ABC World News Tonight with David Muir has the story:

Bill O’Reilly is leaving the Fox News Channel, the network’s parent company announced today.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.

The star host has been dogged by misconduct claims — some sexual in nature — since an April 1 story in The New York Times detailed alleged settlements made between the host and five women who accused him of harassment and sexual misconduct.

An internal 21st Century Fox memo obtained by ABC News said that the “decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel.” The memo was signed by Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, the company’s top executives.

“We want to underscore our consistent commitment to fosteri

And that’s too bad. Really. My liberal friends are tooting horns all over Facebook, but remember you heard it here first—we are going to miss having Bill O’Reilly as the focus for conservative foibles. For pure audacity in the face of fact, few could compete. Start with O’Reilly’s tag line — “Caution. You are about to enter the no-spin-zone.” Ha!

On the face of it, O’Reilly’s no-spin was 100% spin. For example:

Saddam Hussein… I believe is involved with this World Trade Center and Pentagon bombing. I believe that you’re going to find out that money from Iraq flowed in and helped this happen.

And this:

I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.

Never having met Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein.

Anyhow, liberals will no longer enjoy watching Bill O’Reilly make  a mockery of conservative ideals on  Fox. Maybe somewhere else, but not courtesy of the Murdoch empire. Nor is this due to any sense of public decency. The story seems to be money down the line. As ABC and others point out, at least 83 sponsors have bolted the show since O’Reilly’s settlements became public.

Is it an illusion that conservative grandstanders accept as a given that women were put on this planet to  be exploited by the powerful? John and Ted Kennedy, also Bill Clinton, gained notoriety for their sexual escapades, but a pernicious theme has run through the conservative hierarchy of late. Fox chief Roger Ailes exited last year due to scandals that rival O’Reilly’s. And O’Reilly gets his highest level of support from none other.

Yes, it’s the Groper-in-Chief, who seems to have been created by and for O’Reilly. And O’Reilly may have put his finger on the critical point. There is a conservative regard that good manners are a manifestation of weakness:

There is a point where political correctness becomes an acid that erodes freedom.

There is a point at which righteous conduct has been denigrated in the quest for power.

Priorities With A Capital P

Breaking news

Caught this coming over the wire from CNN:

TOM BRADY’S MISSING SUPER BOWL 51 JERSEY LOCATED BY FBI, NFL SECURITY

The mystery of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s missing Super Bowl 51 jersey has been solved, the NFL announced on Monday morning.

My heart raced upon learning of this latest break in the weeks-old saga. I owe it up to you, readers, to fill you in on the very latest concerning this national crisis.

Wait! What am I thinking? From The New York Times:

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea conducted a ground jet test of a newly developed high-thrust missile engine, the country’s state-run news media said on Sunday, even as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is in the region discussing tougher strategies to help end the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

The Korean Central News Agency said the test took place at the same northwest facility where the country has been launching rockets to put satellites into orbit, which Western officials have said were efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile.

From CNN:

Russian fighter jets ‘buzz’ US warship in Black Sea, photos show

From ABC News:

FBI head has ‘no information’ backing wiretap claims, confirms probe of possible links between Russia and Trump associates

By MIKE LEVINE

Uncle Bye-Bye

Yes, it is a continuing series.

KimTheLovely

We haven’t seen one of these in over a year. What’s going on? Maybe we should ask Kim Jong Un’s brother:

KUALA LUMPUR — In the latest twist in the suspected assassination of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Malaysian police say they are now hunting for four North Korean suspects.

Kim Jong Nam died on Monday after being assaulted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where he was catching a flight to Macau. South Korean and U.S. officials have said he was assassinated by North Korean agents.

All right, he was only Kim’s half brother, but in any event it’s too late to ask him. You will pardon me for a moment while I pause to check with Ancestry.com to see if I might possibly be related to Uncle Bye-Bye.

Keep reading. And watch your back, especially if your name starts with “Kim.”

Snowflake In Chief

New game in town

Something is terribly wrong in Washington. The new Snowflake-in-Chief is not getting a fair shake from the people he calls the biggest liars of all time:

Trump spokesman says negative coverage is ‘demoralizing’ to Trump

White House press secretary Sean Spicer, holding his first formal briefing with reporters, promised Monday not to lie to the press but complained about “demoralizing” news coverage. Spicer also said President Trump would soon unveil a Supreme Court nominee and a new plan for battling ISIS, but hedged on a controversial pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Then, Donald Trump’s press secretary lied to reporters, telling them, “Our intention is never to lie to you,” Sean Spicer then went on to complain, “The default [media] narrative is always negative, and it’s demoralizing.” Demoralizing? Yes. Negative, duh.

The world’s news outlets are left to ponder just how are they to treat an administration whose chief made a career of lying and followed that up with a lie-soaked campaign that shoveled in a running stream of personal insults to all who caught his disfavor, including the major news outlets, whom, in complete disregard for irony, he labeled liars:

Trump met today with CNN’s Jeff Zucker and Wolf Blitzer, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and David Muir, NBC’s Chuck Todd, CBS’ Charlie Rose, Fox News’ Bill Shine, and a few others for a conversation a few hours ago.

How did it go? Well, here’s how once source summed it up to The New York Post:

“It was like a f—ing firing squad,” said one source.

“Trump started with Jeff Zucker and said I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed….

Come a few days past the snowflake inauguration, and whose feelings are hurting now? It must be frightfully frosty in D.C. these days. Otherwise this Yuge snowflake would have wilted five seconds in.

Keep reading. We are not finished with the fun.

The Ever-Diminishing List of Those Who Cannot Obtain Life Insurance at any Price

One of a continuing series

War-StrikeDaeshEscapingFallujah

Let’s have another look at that list. Who’s left? Just Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, and a bunch of others. Wait, that’s the list from yesterday:

(CNN) — Two ISIS senior military commanders died last week in a U.S. airstrike, killing a man that the United States says oversaw the terror group’s 2014 offensive to capture the all-important Iraqi city of Mosul, the Pentagon said Friday.

The June 25 airstrike near Mosul killed ISIS’ deputy minister of war, Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, and Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, a military commander in the area, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

Two years ago President Obama characterized ISIS, more properly known as “Daesh,” as “junior varsity.” He always seemed overly generous to me.

Replacements for Mr. al-Bajari and Mr. al-Hamduni have yet to be named. To replace Deputy Minister of War al-Bajari, Daesh will require a candidate with five or more weeks of demonstrated experience commanding collected bands of college dropouts, psychopathic killers, and others known for making unfortunate life choices. The candidate will also be required to demonstrate the ability to draw up battle plans having a duration of two hours or more, plus the highly valued skill of giving commands while keeping a straight face. A paid-up life insurance policy is a must.

The candidate to replace Mr. al-Hamduni as military commander will need to possess an immense level of credulity, a demonstrated history of not asking too many embarrassing questions, and also the ability to look 25 minutes into the future. Paid up life insurance is a plus.

The Ever-Diminishing List of Those Who Cannot Obtain Life Insurance at any Price

One of a continuing series

War-AbuWahibKilled

Is the list really getting shorter? Only God knows:

Washington (CNN) – The Pentagon said Monday that the “military emir of Anbar” Abu Wahib was targeted in what the Pentagon believes was a “successful” coalition airstrike.

The attack took place on May 6 near Rutbah in Western Iraq.
Abu Wahib, a key ISIS figure, was traveling with three others in a vehicle at the time of the strike, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
“ISIL leadership has been hit hard by coalition efforts and this is another example of that,” Cook said, using another term for ISIS. “It is dangerous to be an ISIL leader in Iraq and Syria these days and for good reason.”

Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr cautioned viewers that in the past reports of Mr. Wahib’s death have been premature. Only his insurance agent knows for sure:

On 6 May 2016, the Pentagon said Abu Waheeb was killed along with three others in a vehicle by a US airstrike that targeted an ISIS gathering in the center of Rutba, which is the eighth time there has been an announcement of his death.

Supposedly Wahib had been a member of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) from the get go, but there is no mention of him in Michael Weiss’s analytical book on ISIS and its formation. Mr. Wahib’s insurance agent could not be reached for comment.