Commentary

Losing battle

its complcated

It’s complicated/Wikimedia Commons

In this post-truth world, media “fact-checking” of so many things might well be a waste of time, the director of technology, media and communications specialization at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs has concluded.

“Much time and money have been spent on combatting misinformation through fact-checking. But it’s not clear whether it has any impact at all,” director Anya Schiffrin writes at Media Power Monitor.

With misinformation and disinformation the icing on the cake of so much political debate, she admitted, “promoting journalistic fact-checking sounded like the perfect antidote.”

But after a serious examination of the effort, Schiffrin found no evidence to support the idea the antidote is working.

“First, there is far more false information available online than can ever be fact-checked by small teams of fact-checkers around the world,” she writes. “Second, fact-checks are not necessarily seen by the people exposed to the false information in the first place. Also, because it takes a long time to verify information, or prove that it’s incorrect, the false information can circulate while the verification process is underway. Studies of rumors on Twitter find that they continue to circulate long after they’ve been debunked. And people tend to believe something if it comes from people in their group even if that information is wrong. Indeed, providing accurate information does not actually make a difference when people are partisan.”

Trumped

Her last observation might be the most important and should have come with a caveat:

“Accurate information does not actually make a difference when people are partisan because it is often hard for the partisans to believe fact-checkers can be non-partisan.”

Attempts to define accuracy have themselves become tainted by partisanship as Shiffrin’s own Trump-centric analysis serves to underline.

“In 2016, Trump supporters often said they didn’t mind whether he has a fact wrong because he is speaking a larger truth or telling their story,” she wrote. “This is borne out by findings that Trump supporters may not withdraw their support for the candidate even when they recognize his statements are false.”

For better or worse, this is true not just of the Trump supporters singled out by Schiffrin but of supporters of many political candidates. What is happening today is not just a Trump phenomenon. On a national level, one need go back no further than 1998 when Democrat President Bill Clinton looked Americans in the eye in and told a whopper of a lie:

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” 

In the wake of that false statement, Molly W. Senner from the Pew Research Center and Clyde Wilcox from Georgetown University would later write that “Clinton was, paradoxically, the most publicly shamed president of modern times and one of the most popular.”

Despite being impeached by the House of Representatives for lying about the affair to a grand jury, an act that has sent others to jail; despite having become the center of so much television and internet humor; and despite being tried by the Senate as part of the impeachment process,  polls showed “Clinton was more popular than any contemporary had ever been in the beginning of the sixth year of his presidency,” Senner and Wilcox wrote in a paper published by the American Political Science Association.

The very first subhead in that 1999 paper reads “The Public Stands by Its Man.”

Psychological responses

The support for Trump among the Trump faithful today should come as no more of a surprise than the support for Clinton among the Clinton faithful then. A variety of psychological studies have found that once people choose a political candidate to support they tend to overlook his or her flaws.

Not only that, but a June 2010 paper published by political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler in Political Behavior concluded that fact-checking can sometimes backfire.

They found that conservatives told President George W. Bush’s claim Iraq was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction was a lie believed Bush’s version of reality more than when told “there was a risk, a real risk, that Saddam Hussein would pass weapons or materials or information to terrorist networks.”

But this is not a conservative or liberal issue, not a Democrat or Republican issue, but a human issue. We want to believe what we want to believe, and the facts are often secondary.

A study published in American Sociological Review last year even suggested that Trump’s lying might make him look more “authentic” to a lot of people. Why?

“Followers see bald-faced lies by an interloper as symbolic protests against a crooked establishment,” Matthew Hutson wrote in summarizing the work for The Scientific American.

This might help explain the estimated 8.4 million Americans the Rasmussen Reports found to have voted for liberal Democrat Barack Obama in 2012 only to turn around and vote for conservative Republican Trump in 2016.

About all the two men shared in common was a promise to shake up the establishment. Obama campaigned on “hope and change,” which was an only slightly less to the point version of Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” which Town & Country magazine accused Trump of stealing from former presidents Clinton and the late Ronald Reagan.

Clinton ironically classified Trump’s slogan as a racist dog whistle in 2016 when his wife, Hillary, was running against Trump, though Bill himself announced his 1991 presidential bid by saying “I believe that together we can make America great again.”

Ask Google to now “fact check ‘Make America Great Again,” (MAGA) and the first two citations that pop up are from Snopes, which proclaims itself “the internet’s definitive fact-checking resource.The first citation debunks a claim from some far corner of the internet suggesting MAGA hats were manufactured by Nike. The second poses this question: “Was ‘America First’ a Slogan of the Ku Klux Klan?”

“The white supremacist group made frequent use of the slogan more recently embraced by President Donald Trump, though they did not, as some claim, invent it,” Snopes answers.

But then it goes on to shift the claim to be that “President Trump’s oft-repeated slogan ‘America First’ was also a credo of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan organization” and declare that “True.”

The copy below goes even farther down that path. It ties the phrase to the anti-Semitism of Charles Lindbergh and to the America First Committee to which he belonged. But Snopes badly mischaracterizes America First which included among its members Potter Stewart, a future justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Gerald Ford, a future president; Sargeant Shriver, the first head of the Peace Corps; and young writer Gore Vidal.

The committee, as Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote in the magazine The Week, was actually a “young, politically diverse, and surprisingly well-lettered movement that wanted to keep America neutral (like Switzerland or Ireland) as Europe descended into World War II….It counted major American political figures, Democrat and Republican, in its ranks, as well as many men of letters.

“The America Firsters remembered World War I. Members of the AFC over 30 would recall that the last European bloodbath had some deforming effects on liberty at home. These included America’s experiments in mass wartime censorship, stirred up-hatred of German-Americans, and the legal suppression of the German language that was used commonly in the Midwest and Great Plains. The governor of Iowa told reporters, ‘There is no use in anyone wasting his time praying in other languages than English. God is listening only to the English tongue.’

“America Firsters also remembered British intelligence planting false and insane stories in the American press during World War I, accusing the German army of marching with Belgian babies impaled on their bayonets. They remembered that Woodrow Wilson’s government had employed a small army of government-licensed demagogues, the Four Minute Men, who got their speeches from the proto-fascist Committee on Public Information.”

A mess

All of this serves to illustrate the problem with so much fact-checking today. The fact-checkers carry their own biases into the world of grays they then try to translate into simple black and white. In the process, they become as suspect of spin as some of those they are fact checking.

One could legitimately argue the over-simplification of facts, and the mainstream media’s righteous embrace of the idea that facts themselves are simple has only served to deepen the political divide separating Americans.

Some facts are, indeed, as clear as gravity or night and day. It is either dark, or it is light. What goes up will come down.

Many facts, however, are not so simple. Just ask the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is having a hell of a time defining male and female. For the most part, gender differences are obvious, but for a small number of people they are not. And in high-level-sport, where winning and losing is separated by a less than 1 percent difference in performance, the 10 percent advantage of being male is a big deal.

Factually, this physiological difference between the sexes is the only reason for creating separate but equal events for men and women in human-powered sports. Where the situation gets complicated is in trying to determine what to do with women whose hormonal makeup could provide them some of the physiological advantages of men.

When the media gets into these complicated situations, it can sometimes make itself look as biased as the people it fact checks.

“Track’s New Gender Rules Could Exclude Some Female Athletes,” the New York Times headlined last year. That is certainly one way to look at the situation. “Track’s New Gender Rules Could Level the Playing Field for Most Female Athletes” would also be a perfectly legitimate way to look at the situation.

If you’re analyzing something from the view of a glass half-empty, you draw one conclusion. If you are looking at the very same picture from a view of a glass half-full, you’re destined to reach a different conclusion.

And these opposing conclusions are often vastly different.

Given the way this reality usually goes unrecognized and unmentioned, it’s no wonder fact-checking is failing or succeeding brilliantly, depending on one’s point of view. Were one to poll readers of the Times and the Washington Post, they would surely give those publications high marks for their fact-checking of Trump’s regular misstatements.

Unfortunately, their laser-like focus on Trump only serves to make them appear badly biased in the eyes of Trump supporters. All of which has only helped grow the national, partisan divide that makes fact-checking ever more difficult.

MSNBC operates from one set of facts. Fox News from another. CNN sometimes from a third. And then there are the Times, the Post, the Wall Street Journal with their sets of facts regularly translated from all the grays into black and white to simplify things for news consumers.

In a perfect world, there might be some fix for this. But the world is not perfect and democracies even less so. They are built on opinion-heavy debate with the opinions both easy and hard to support with facts for no other reason than that differing sets of facts, all very factual, can lead to equally valid but different conclusions.

See abortion and gun control, two of this country’s longest-running and most contentious political debates.

Worse than ever

Granted, the situation has grown more complicated in these times in that President Donald Trump sometimes appears a pathological liar, but some of his critics and opponents are not much better.

Not to mention that in America’s culture war quote-unquote “facts” end up being twisted in all sorts of interesting ways. Remember polebrity Sarah Palin’s claim to “death panels” in The Affordable Care Act” or Obamacare, as she preferred to call it?

The act required every American obtain some form of health care insurance or pay a government fine. Palin’s claim that “death panels” were embedded in the act won her the “Lie of the Year” from one fact-checking organization:

“The editors of PolitiFact.com, the fact-checking Web site of the St. Petersburg Times, have chosen it as our inaugural ‘Lie of the Year.’

“PolitiFact readers overwhelmingly supported the decision. Nearly 5,000 voted in a national poll to name the biggest lie, and 61 percent chose ‘death panels’ from a field of eight finalists.”

But one of the voters was not former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who along with others argued that Palin’s  “language was explosive, but her premise about rationing was not.”

Then there were those who pointed out “‘death panels’ already exist,’‘ because they must given the state of modern medical technology. We can keep bodies functioning long past that point of  “meaningful life” the U.S. Supreme Court used as a standard to determine where a woman’s right to choose abortion ends and the government’s power to protect the unborn begins.

Neither insurance companies nor the government can afford to keep grandpa on life support for 10 years just because his family so desires. At some point, someone has to decide that it’s over.

In that context, the discussion about “death panels” isn’t whether they exist but who should have control over them – private insurers or the government – as Gingrich pointed out.

Most people would probably consider either choice bad, but unless you’re a billionaire who can afford to pay the staggering costs to keep grandpa on that life support, this is the way the world works.

And there is no factual argument that can resolve the question of who should have the authority to make the final call. It’s a personal issue. Some would prefer government; some would prefer private insurers.

Was Palin factually inaccurate in declaring “death panels” in the Affordable Care Act? Yes.

There is nowhere in the act a section titled “Death panel.”

Did she raise a bigger issue that deserved national consideration and still does?

Yes again. The U.S. health care system deserves a lot more discussion in general. The country spends more on health care than any nation in the world. U.S. spending is about twice that of the United Kingdom.

But as both the BBC and the American Medical Association point out, the details as to why are complicated.

 They are so complicated that a BBC “reality check” of the claim that “the National Health Service costs half as much as the US health system, and cares for the whole population” came to the conclusion the claim could be both true and false.

It’s a problem with a lot of things getting fact-checked these days. Devils too often live in the details. And fact-checkers too often ignore that reality at the cost of their own credibility.

We may have to accept that in this messy form of government called democracy individuals are going to have to take some responsibility for muddling through the lies and deceits and propaganda and spin to reach their own individual decisions on what is true and false, and what is right and wrong.

America has been through this before and survived. Whether it can get through it once more and survive largely depends on how much faith you have in average Americans.

Are they smart enough to deserve the Second Amendment or do all those fact-checkers, “these fighters for truth” as Schiffrin calls them, need the “additional allies and armaments” she suggests might be warranted?

If so, wherefrom come these allies and armaments? The existing governmental bureaucracy? Facebook? Google? Some new Ministry of Truth?

And would resorting to any of those solutions truly result in a better path forward?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46 replies »

  1. For at least the last couple of years I have regarded anything printed/aired in the “mainstream” media as likely biased. Just as politics have broken down along partisan lines the same is true for news organizations.

  2. I agree with Craig. We must take personal responsibility to accurately educate,inform ourselves to sift through the lies and deceit from the media the demogogs , social media tyrants and the globalists . Expecting “ fact checkers” or censors to take care of us is a path to slavery. A door to being taken advantage of . Personal responsibility for our own knowledge and safety is key . That’s why we need to fight for clean air , water and food . So future brains are trustworthy in their thoughts. I think the lateness of this social revolution coming can in part be blamed on television. A tool that was used to sedate and deceive the masses . I trust the goodness in America’s heart . One nation under god with liberty and justice for all. The truth will set you free . Free assange , pardon Snowden and the likes of Chelsea manning. Heroes of our era . They sacrificed their freedom to give us knowledge . Free the Heroes! Democracy dies in darkness!

  3. The real explanation for our current heightened levels of social excitement, is that episodes of collective arousal are part of our social biology. It’s that time again, following the previous such outburst known as the Hippie Era. Our biological clock is ticking.

    Before the Hippie outburst it was the Roaring Twenties, and before that the Gay Nineties, the Civil War, Revivalism, and – white hot, perhaps the most intense of modern times – Romanticism. Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte, for example, were consumed throughout their adulthood by what we would tend to call an hysteria. And the echos of romanticism roll on.

    These episode run on a rough cycle. Nominally about 40 years (some double it to 80), the current outbreak took longer to arrive, as long speculated because of the Baby Boomer generation (also a main actor in Hippie times). Others have been closer to 30 years.

    Now we wait to see whether the period of disturbance itself will also last longer.

    If Trump and the GOP lose in 2020, the current tension might last longer. If they win, and especially if they win strong, then it could be shorter as they move directly into consolidation of gains.

    The matters over which we struggle are happenstance (although of course they come to define the Era). It’s the struggle itself that’s the phenomena in play … guns, abortion, open borders, globalism … pretty-much just luck of the draw & along for the ride.

    People & Institutions who plan out long-term agendas or goals need to realize that biology, Nature, is not on your side. Periodically, the social forest just catches fire.

    In the present case, what’s different from normal times is that the silent majority, isn’t. People & groups who – to put it a bit charitably – normally can’t be bothered, are. Yeah huh, now you got big trouble at the ballot box. Key entities who thought they could guide public behavior (the Press, the Parties), now find that – OMfG! – they can’t.

    If it hadn’t been Trump, it would have been any of a horde right behind him. Bannon and others like him explained to Trump – accurately – what was going on, and how it affects his options & opportunities.

    • Ted,
      U said…
      “It’s that time again, following the previous such outburst known as the Hippie Era.”
      Could U possibly mean:
      “After 20 years of constant foreign war and drone attacks in the middle east, the American people and American economy have had enough of lip service from corrupt politicians who benifit monetarily from failed GOP policies?”

      • I guess I didn’t know President Obama was a Republican, or that having a divided Congress or a majority Democratic led Congress for twelve of those 20 years meant that everything is the fault of Republicans. Especially given the fact that the wars, pseudo-wars, and drone strikes were ramped up under President Obama. Or maybe you consider all of the Democrats (including the vast majority of those currently seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination) who voted for wars, psuedo-wars, and drone strikes to be closet GOP’ers?

      • Steve Stine posits:

        …the American people and American economy have had enough of lip service from corrupt politicians…

        Far be it from us to short the contributions of our swamp creatures to the alienation of the voting public. The Establishment, working-over the citizen from both Parties, have certainly done their part to wake the sleeping giant.

        Can we clean up the Beltway? Others before have tried & failed … and some of the cures might be as bad as the curse.

      • Steve O,
        I agree Obama really amped up the drone strikes, but we must look back to 2001 for the blueprint of this never ending war that allows the U.S. Military Industrial Complex to follow insurgents all over the globe.
        “The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub. …
        The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bushon September 18, 2001.
        In December 2016, the Office of the President published a brief interpreting the AUMF as providing Congressional authorization for the use of force against al-Qaeda and other militant groups.”
        (Wikipedia)
        The House Majority and President were both GOP at the time this was passed…the Senate also had a GOP majority later that year in 2001.
        This is the main policy allowing the military to circumvent Congress on NEW “Conflicts”.
        It is still used to this day to allow the military to invade countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Niger.
        Until we overturn this policy we are poised to face foreign war that is longer than the Civil War, WWI and WWII combined.
        Just like after a prolonged period in Vietnam, Citizens wonder if the next Generation will ever know of Peace?

      • Steve,

        You missed the point. The GOP does not, I repeat, does not have a monopoly on wars, pseudo-wars, and drone strikes. Much like how the GOP does not have monopoly on border security, although it seems most Democrats on the national scale are for open borders. If you think wars, pseudo-wars, and drone strikes are all the fault and responsibility of the GOP then you need to open your eyes and read some real news sources that don’t simply pedal leftwing talking points.

        According to what you just posted, or copied and pasted, “In December 2016, the Office of the President published a brief interpreting the AUMF as providing Congressional authorization for the use of force against al-Qaeda and other militant groups”. That happened under President Obama, President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. You are simply glossing over the fact that Democrats bear just as much blame and carry just as much responsibility in this discussion.

        What you are railing against isn’t a partisan issue, trying to make it one does nothing to advance the argument against it. It simply makes you just another partisan spouting partisan talking points.

      • Steve Stine says:

        [The AUMF] is the main policy allowing the military to circumvent Congress on NEW “Conflicts”.
        It is still used to this day to allow the military to invade …

        Congress is not being circumvented. Only a single Representative voted against the AUMF, and the Democrats have had the opportunity to repeal it.

        The AUMF does not allow the military to so much as police the lawn for cigarette butts. It empowers the President to direct & use the military.

        If Congress had not handed-off the terrorist problem to the President, they would have had to man those trenches, themselves. Addressing irregular forces & actions is not a good fit for the War Powers Act – which Congress retains, but wisely chose not to apply to al-Qaeda etc.

        The American public supports the series of different military actions in the Middle East and elsewhere, as long as the measures are effective, and the homeland is kept safe. That means, among other things, not getting bogged down … which is the known liability in Afghanistan.

        Several actors, notably Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have adroitly tried to draw Trump into new battlefield commitments (in hopes of exhausting his public support). He’s proven to be cagey.

        Americans understand that we can fight them over there, or we can fight them right here. There are costs, and it takes an ongoing effort; people can get worn down, but they still recognize our citizen & national responsibility.

      • Actually Steve O,
        You always miss the point.
        The GOP crafted the AUMF in 2001 to go to war with Iraq (who unlike Saudi Arabia did not provide hijackers for 911?)
        It was a careful rewrite of G.W’s DAD’s plan that the NEO CON’s used in the early 90’s to invade the sand box the first time.
        Only the difference is in the 90’s when we invaded Iraq we had the UN support.
        After 2001 we did NOT.
        The UN knew the WMD plan was BS hence no support from our once NATO allies.
        The result is Americans who were running in the red with our National Deficit had to pick up the entire tab for this war.
        “The price tag of the ongoing “war on terror” in the Middle East will likely top $6 trillion next year, and will reach $7 trillion if the conflicts continue into the early 2020s, according to a new report out Wednesday.”
        (Military Times)
        Take a look at where our deficit is today and tell me with your Libertarian Tongue exactly how this GOP “War on Terror” plan laid out in AUMF in 2001 by a Republican Administration was successful.
        I really want to know what you think was a success exactly?
        More than 4 million veterans in America today served during the Iraq and Afghanistan war era….over 1 million suffer from PTSD.
        As of June 29, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,424 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of the IraqWar.
        Seems like nothing good ever comes out of foreign intervention in hostile regions…
        All we did was push Saddam’s Sunni administration out of office and now there is a Shia controlled element in power that is aligned with Iran…

      • Ted , you are no doubt right as to the laws and congress. As to the public support for the various wars , I haven’t seen the polls and evidence that fully support what you say though you may well be correct . If so it would truly surprise me . I sure do not support.You may support/unknown . That at a minimum says there is some split. If you define the public as a majority you might be right . That concept is irrational. Saying the public supports therefore it’s all acceptable. To my knowledge congress has to have an overly majority vote to declare war . Their vote matters a lot as they are supposed to be informed- it’s not a direct democracy for certain reasons such as uniform knowledge base issues, danger of emotion and mob mentality and propaganda/ misleading media information that congress is not as easily influenced by because they have inside information-thus it’s imperative congresss has final decisions on any ongoing military action . It’s a safe guard and a damn good one . Congress is directly reportable to their direct constituents . President is not nearly as much . His election is Watered down due to numbers and methods. A huge reason it’s imperative congress has absolute/ final control over ongoing military action is two fold , one a single man / president is more in danger of targeted manipulation by other interests .2 a single man is in danger of making errors in thought due to haste and only having one brain . Especially important is he is not as reportable to constituents as congress . Thus our founders rational methods for declaring war . Needing congress . To call our actions in all these foreign countries anything other than war is to play the fool . Tell it to the man taking live fire . Now the flip side is our founders had the forsite to give the president limited reactionary defense powers. We don’t need reactionary defense powers against people living in dirt/ grass houses and caves . Let’s consider it by the numbers – how many people died by an attack prompted by an inside entity and our allie,Saudi Arabia? A few thousand. That’s minimal compared to other methods of yearly death such as disease cars ect. I suppose that comparison is false equivalence but it does put it in perspective to some degree. What’s really important is in 2020 we are killing poor people with superior firepower. Iraq had congress full support then it all morphed and congress lost its rights to control these actions as long as it was kept under a certain amount. As far as I can tell . Wether congress voted for this permanent method can be debated by numbers but at a minimum it causes a subversion and distortion of the intended system. Congress has effectively passed the buck and created a limited liability situation. In a representative democracy like ours when we continue to allow the slaughter of innocent civilians and primitive fighters we have blood on our hands . For better or worse . Not to mention these alleged dangers are being used as a corner stone to remove and undermine civil liberties. I ask you why ? Do you want to live as subject? All Americans should be asking these questions and voting appropriately. If we treated these people kindly in foreign countries the majority would treat us kindly. Remember- the taliban/ middle easterners were our loyal allies in the Korean War . That’s what I was as told. Thankfully I wasn’t there . Supposedly according to my friend they were stalwart fighters . It’s diplomats jobs to develop friends and allies. Let peace be made and the iron chain circling our neck removed. These actions are not in line with Americans ideals . Cultivate friends and gradually create cultural change by example . Not by murder .

      • Opinion,
        I agree with much of what you said, only difference is I feel there are too many pro military members in Congress (backed by defense industry lobbyists) these days to even get a majority to speak out or vote against the eternal war we see for our children’s future.
        Too many like Dan Sullivan are ex military and know of nothing other than war?
        Trump’s latest approval of the AUMF is frightening after nearly 20 years of conflicts with no real measured gains.
        Danny Sjursen a major in the U.S. Army published a book in 2015 called:
        “Ghost Riders of Baghdad…Soliders, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge”
        I highly recommend it.
        He wrote:
        “Right or wrong, intentionally or not, Americans brought more than Democracy in 2003. We brought chaos. We unleashed forces beyond our control. By 2007, Iraq had been transformed into a Hobbesian universe in which cars exploded and mother’s chose which chid’s life to risk. Senator Graham seems to have missed that. So do most Americans when they reflect on the invasion and occupation of Iraq”

      • Steve,

        You keep forgetting the part that Democrats are just as much to blame. You can gloss over facts and accuse me of things that you have absolutely zero proof of, where did I ever say any of this BIPARTISAN war on terror was successful, where did I ever say spending trillions of dollars by BOTH Democratic and Republican administrations on fighting a war in a cesspool was acceptable? The point you are missing and continue to miss is that the things you are accusing ONLY the GOP of happened under BOTH Democratic and Republican administrations with BIPARTISAN support from Democrats and Republicans alike.

        You sir are pushing a false narrative and false talking points, including your continued misunderstanding of what I have clearly written right up there^. Which would be funny if wasn’t so sad that you continue to do so on an article dealing with that very issue. You either do not understand the point or simply reject facts because they do not serve whatever your purpose is. Why do you continue to insist, against the facts that are painfully obvious, that the GOP bears sole responsibility for what you’ve described?

        Why is that people on the extreme left have such a hard time grasping simple facts?

      • Steve o , you are so right. It’s a bi partisan issue. Or possibly a lobbyist issue. To blame one party is to oversimplify history and current issue. How do we fix this situation? Trump has come closer than other recent presidents in fully attempting a resolution. It’s such a cultural mess over there . We added fire to the disaster . How to responsibly pull out is tough . So many complications. Congress taking back control of war declaration would be a start . Separating the financial war dollar machine from politics would be another. Currently I watch as neo con war hawks and our foolish entanglement of Mid East allies repeatedly try to drag us into More foreign involvement. Globalists / bankers and other enimies of the republic are constantly trying to drive a wedge between US – Russia and North Korea – Iran in an effort to destroy trump and destabilize America. Maybe I’m overly dramatic but they do have a hand in it and the results would be the same . John Kerry should be prosecuted for undermining American government negotiating with Iran . It wasn’t his job any longer. Thank god as Ted said trump has prooven – cagey . How do we fix this ? It’s not a issue for blame on parties . They are equally culpable. The problem is deeper . It needs blamed on individuals. Why did they do it and how did they benefit? All bush / Rockefeller / Clinton / Obama’s money and possessions need burned and we need to start over . They benefited financially from their position in office and it wasn’t an accident. Who did they help and why were millions and in some cases billions pushed their way ? It’s time to make sure money is separate from political decisions. It’s past the time for us to be distracted by who’s fault it is . It’s time to fix it . It’s midnight for our nation. Do not be distracted nor divided. We must unite and take back control and work together. Abolish the party concept and work together for our nation. A house divided can not stand . We are being used ! Played the fools ! Vote for trump or whoever supports rule by the people for the people and a strict constitutional government. Rand paul is currently the closest and best qualities but only trump has the primitive savage abilities to handle what our nation is up against. Internal subterfuge through gradualism . It’s time we start voting to change the laws so anyone who attempts to influence government through use of money is considered a criminal. that goes for non profits/ donations or any form of lobbying. Aside from individual citizens that don’t have ties to big money. I’m obviously singing to the choir, but don’t be divided. Unite .

      • Opinion,

        Yes, by “public support” for War On Terror matters, I mean a majority at best, but often even less still constitutes overall public support.

        WOT polling divides predictably along Party lines. But about 1/4th of Democrats support the military action, while about 1/3rd of Republicans oppose it. However, the Republicans who oppose are not allied with the Democrats who oppose, so it is a mistake to assert that:

        (GOP who oppose) + (DEMs who oppose) = (a unified opposition). Wrong.

        An important Republican and conservative element who oppose are not people who don’t like military action – not at all! – but instead oppose Dependence on Foreign Oil. They see our military intervention in the Oil Patch as propping up a policy that leaves America at the mercy of crudniks, and that’s what this element opposes.

        Another right-wing dissenter-element is the fiscal conservatives. These people complain that military action introduces volatility into the stock market. But again, they don’t necessarily oppose military action: When action introduces volatility into the Russian economy (or China’s), and thereby pushes their own stocks up, why that’s a very good thing!

        “Support” is a lot like multi-party and Parliamentary elections. Commonly a handful of different interest-groups split the vote into pie-slices, all of which are usually under 50%. Then the group with the largest minority tries to form a Coalition. In the USA, we use baked-in coalitions called the Democrats and Republicans.

      • Ted , that’s interesting. Also explains how we go one way nationally. Yet kind of avoids the point that allowing the president leeway on long term limited military action is an open door for abuse of military power and has potential for creating risk and anger towards America when a large segment of people are against wars of aggression. Obviously it’s bait for heavily moneyed interests to push one man ( as well as stock market or buisness people to vote against ethical methods) for their desires and bait for generals to promote war to justify their existence as a standing army . It also gives the president undue influence over the military vote . An unbalanced effect on the democracy . Exesive accerbation of the spoils system as well . Let’s push our representatives to eliminate this option for starting wars and keeping them going . Our forefathers saw the danger of foreign entanglements and a standing army . Their for site is still accurate today. Power corrupts. The president does not need the incentive and tools to become corrupt and drag our nation down with him . Let’s start voting our way back to a constitutional government.

      • Ted,

        As you mentioned, the war on terror is much more nuanced than the simplistic GOP=bad Donkey=good viewpoint that some would have us believe. Support for protecting our homeland is, or should be, first and foremost. Unfortunately protecting our homeland sometimes means we need to head the problem off in foreign lands. Sometimes the imperfect nature of warfare leads to imperfect results, there are some who will never accept that. As a fiscal conservative who holds libertarian views, I would prefer that we don’t rack up huge a national debt to pay for a war in an area of the world that has been in perpetual war dating back for as long as records exist. As a realist I understand that sometimes we need to do things as a country that I as an individual do not approve of, for the benefit of our nation as a whole. I’m not sure where that puts me in your list, but at least you’ve left it open for more than a binary position like Steve has done.

        Steve, before you tell me how I am not following the Libertarian Party line let me ease your troubled mind. You might not have picked up on this, but I don’t follow any party line. I follow my fiscally conservative libertarian viewpoints that are based upon researched factual information and my life experience.

      • Steve O,
        I never said both parties weren’t involved, my statement was that it was a GOP “failed policy” which the AUMF was clearly written by a GOP administration.
        Yes Obama did his part to keep G bay going, assassinate the first U.S. citizen (by drone) without a trial as well as expanding the mess in Syria and increased drone strikes throughout all 7 countries that we are currently Bombing.
        Trump had to be bigger so he pushed the drone strikes even further.
        Why I question your position is that I have read Sooo many of your “fiscal conservative” Libertarian comments that essentially say the government should not spend money it does not have on government programs.
        Well brother the U.S. military is the largest “program” in the lot.
        Think about how much it costs to pay a 20 year old 100 percent medical disability for life?
        Then think how many thousand disabled veterans there are since the first gulf war?
        This does not take in the Trillions added to our national deficit by combat alone.
        Without an exit strategy that is timely from the middle East, I am afraid Congress will raise the debt ceiling….year after year until China bids on the liquidity of Ports and infrastructure.
        Oh sorry, China already owns a majority of ports on our West Coast.

      • Steve-O said,

        Unfortunately protecting our homeland sometimes means we need to head the problem off in foreign lands.

        This has worked out particularly well Post 9/11, relying mainly on the AUMF, because when we undertook to diminish Al-Qaeda, it’s far-flung agents & allies dropped whatever they were doing elsewhere and gathered themselves in the Middle East, in order to fight us there.

        Then ISIS emerged and declared a Caliphate in the region, mounting a better-organized effort to repel the Western (and other) invaders. The prospect of a Caliphate was a very exciting development for Jihadists, a Dream even, and they again gathered themselves from around the globe, in the sands of the Middle East.

        Not only are we addressing the problem before our cities are turned into active battlefields, but the broader militant Islamism problem continues to disengage from operations elsewhere and assemble in the Middle East, to fight the USA, our allies and proxies. If localized Jihadist activity requires attention in other parts of the world, the AUMF provides for quick & effective responses.

        This probably goes a good ways to explain the longevity & stability of the AUMF, and why political elements that would normally work harder against it, have been muted in whatever misgivings they harbor for a policy that after all has proven very effective in reducing threats to our homeland, and to other nations & regions as well.

      • Ted, I completely understand your concept of keeping the fight away from the homeland. My question to you is where is the proof they would attack the homelands? Also where is the proof our attacking them where they allegedly mass has reduced or kept attacks from the homelands. Without proof it’s supposition. Supposition is in large part what causes division. Poor inaccurate science and poor / inaccurate media . When a true accurate baseline is established it’s easier to understand and harder to argue with. We have been spoon fed the narrative you presented but the evidence is not there . The narrative is to justify ethical trespass, wars , fiscal irresponsibility and civil liberty trespass. Facts lawsuits support Saudi Arabia assisted effectively mercenaries to start a war and get America involved as their attack dog . The bushes and bin Ladins Rockefellers Cheney ect are financially linked for decades in America and Middle East in oil and reconstruction ect . You and other good Americans are being duped and controlled with a spoon fed narrative. Have you followed the lawsuits against Saudi Arabia carefully? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the engineering of demolition. Who demolished the trade towers ect I can’t say but the engineering reports support demolition. Not the government narrative. Truth will slowly come out . Now let’s talk realism . Are airports or schools really any safer ? Not much ? Could ingenius bad guys take advantage of the situation? I am not detailing it for you as I’m not going to make any easier for bad guys. Even a marginally educated bad person could work around it . Are civil liberties infringed on ? Yes and that’s a verifiable fact . A narrative was used to take advantage and control. A man in a grass or dirt hut is not the enemy. I have met the enemy and he is misinformation. I will bet my bottom dollar and I do not gamble unless I’m gauranteed to win , if you put the dollars and efforts from war into personal one on one diplomacy to create Alies in the Middle East it would be successful. The bottom line is we stirred up shit and it splattered on us . We used these people for our own ends and we stepped on toes . It blew back on us thanks to bad policy and self serving people. It’s verifiable fact taliban was our aily in a proxy war with Russia and many others . We / cia fbi ect have been supplying weapons to bad guys over there to do our bidding for along time . It’s verifiable fact . Look it up then get back to me how they started it . Every day when I came home in the early mid 80s on television Russia and Afghanistan were going at it with Americans support. Look into the fine details of history. These guys were are blowing hell out of and disrupting the culture of were once our loyal friends and they each have mothers and sisters and really could care less if we would just quit stirring up shit . Making them into enimies makes our homeland into a potential target. It’s cia bush and others fault . They personally made us a target. As well as put our civil liberties in the crosshairs. Wake up and really think about what’s logical and factual.

      • Ted and Steve , anyone who is foolish enough to blame these policy problems on a party is just playing the tool. Put the blame where it belongs. With individuals who are responsible for the actions. Party is just a smoke screen to keep us divided and confused. It’s a financial model to play us against each other period. No different than football except our confusion is getting our brothers killed and our past Allies . Don’t be used and played one against the other. We each have our talents and foibles but when push comes to shove we are the same team .

      • Opinion asks for proof …

        … That Jihad forces would continue with escalating attacks on the US, following 9/11, in the absence of our several & ongoing military campaigns in the Middle East (Jihad’s spiritual homeland, and primary/ultimate base of operations).

        … That our attacks on them where they “allegedly” massed has worked to close the window of opportunity for their attacks on us; to prevent attacks.

        Rep. Ilhan Omar is free to say of 9/11 that “Somebody did something”, but I think both the perception itself & her decision to go on the record with it locks her into a tiny element of the public, and is a view that stands in implacable conflict with a large element of the public.

        In my view the public is more than adequately comfortable with the conclusions that 1.), They were coming for us, and they meant it; 2.) We took it to them, and they came running to fight us; 3.) We killed them in large numbers, decapitated their leadership, destroyed their arms & materiel, and deprived them of funding.

        Jihad sentiment will continue to arise. Our own successes against them will be used to inspire recruits. But our mistake in the 1990s was to allow a sophisticated leadership-element to mold a rag-tag Jihad element into a well-organized force capable of global projection. The falling towers smartened us up fast – we promptly initiated the AUMF measure – and Jihad is now unlikely to recover the kind of high-level competence that enabled Osama bin Laden to lead them to their big victory.

        What happened in the 1990s? We tried to use computers & software to acquire intelligence, to replace human agents & analysts. That led us to lose track of the situation on the ground, ‘on the street’. While the Mosques across America do harbor a scatter of low-level subversive elements that achieve occasional small victories, the congregations at the same time contain far more Arab-Islamic etc people who are prepared to use what they alone uniquely have & are, on behalf of their new American homeland.

      • Ted , in all due respect you presented no verifiable proof. You repeated the narrative. The reason you didn’t present proof is because there is none and it’s impossible to find because it doesn’t exist. The narrative is a story that only exists because the illogical say it exists. Just because the public is comfortable with a conclusion, does not in itself create proof . It’s only proof that a segment of the population is comfortable with a story . And that’s all it is . A story. Until you find verifiable proof these sand dwellers in Afghanistan were coming to invade America it’s not worth pretending or discussing. I’m a facts man . The 9/11 attackers were connected to Saudi Arabia primarily. We have pourus land sea and air borders and anyone could attack us at any time right now . That’s a verifiable fact . They don’t to any measurable degree . Thousands of undocumented people come to America. Does our government give a rats ass ? No ! If they were scared our borders would be closed . The narrative is false . Their are no facts to support the narrative . Only stories and illogical fear . If you make friends with people there is nothing much to fear and that’s a verifiable fact . Using the fear of primitive uneducated people to polarize the population and justify trampling on ethics and civil liberties is just a method of citizen control. Now as to your mention of rashib or ilhan they are no heroes of mine . They are unethical crazies. That’s a verifiable fact . They both have legal and ethical complaints against them with a high degree of backing proof. They also talk irrationally,spew racism ,hate and foul language. So don’t make mistake that I don’t support our troops. I respect and honor them . I have many relatives in the service. Some have died. I just know you are smart and I challenge you to deal in solid facts and history not a made up story.

      • Steve O,
        Your numbers for the Pentagon are as flawed as the Obama argument you continue to toss back at me when I say:
        The GOP administration under Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld wrote the blueprint for AUMF back in 2001.
        They did!
        Congress acted out of emotion after 9/11 and only 1 representative saw the potential issue with giving the military unlimited power for unlimited time?
        Sure the next two presidents are doing their part to seek and destroy Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS….but the neo cons wrote the 60 word doctrine that also allows them to operate Gbay and drop bombs in 7 countries around the globe…
        Without UN or NATO approval!
        As for the Pentagon…
        “Last year the Pentagon conducted its first ever independent audit, which it failed.
        During the audit process Pentagon officials became concerned that the audit would reveal potentially sensitive information… 
        $21 TRILLION of Pentagon financial transactions “could not be traced, documented, or explained.”
        $21T in Pentagon accounting errors. Medicare for All costs ~$32T. That means %66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.
        And that’s before premiums.”
        This is without the “black budget” that we all know exists as well…
        “The black budget is an account expenses and spending related to military research and covert operations.
        The black budget is mostly classified due to security reasons.
        The black budget can be complicated to calculate, but in the United States it has been estimated to be over US$50 billion a year.”
        (Wikipedia)

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/kotlikoff/2019/01/09/holding-u-s-treasuries-beware-uncle-sam-cant-account-for-21-trillion/

      • Steve s , you are missing Steve o point. Democrats share in the creation of the policy you are discussing. Through congress and other collaborative actions. They also clearly share in the utilization of the document and policy. Thus sharing fault and at times upping the ante of its utilization and abuse. You kind of threw to many other items in with your argument that can’t be fully connected and verified. Such as healthcare costs . Also the audit . Perhaps some of that money went to important valid items but it’s unknown due to missing information. Points to incompetence or ill intentions. As to article link and AOC statements, that creates lack of credibility issues due to her problems with math and logical reasoning. Wether she is right or not I don’t know but saying that missing 21 trillion could have covered universal care is just to create a sound bite . She has no idea what that money was doesn’t on . Could have even been health care for veterans for all we know . She’s just talking to talk . The real issue is g bay and how America treats enemy combatants and holds people without charge using documented torture against Geneva conventions and Americans past expected ethics . We are stooping to the lowest of lows to treat human beings in such a way .

      • Opinion,

        Logically, Donald Trump stands as the crowning counterargument to the idea that narrative-artists and spin-doctors can feed the public anything, and lead them anywhere. That the public really is just sheep.

        All the people some of the time, some of them all the time … but don’t rely on getting all of them all the time.

        I think that’s what happened. Our self-appointed Betters really thought their narrative-skills Could_Not_Fail. I think that like the gone-bad bartender, they drank their own product. They thought they could push an anti-Trump narrative that would ensure a compliant actor in the White House.

        They were wrong. Not only did they get Orange Man Bad for President, but WORSE … he’s living proof that their vaunted ability to manipulate the rest of us with rhetoric, is limited and fallible.

        Yes, international, global Jihad is real. No, it is not a in-house creation of or restricted to Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden was trained in Afghanistan, but because he happened to be Saudi, he happened to have money, and happened to know Saudis. But the Kingdom wasn’t in on it … although, yeah, the optics were bad. And now guess what … they’re playing nice with Israel.

        Pakistan takes a severe hit for their involvement with & management of the Taliban, and thus by extension Al-Qaeda … and so to a degree, 9/11. Their bad – far worse than the Saudi’s – lets us green-light all-things India, while they stifle their frustration.

        Russia was feeling a lot of heat from their Islamic southwest … until we sucked most of their radicals into Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. “Пожалуйста”.

      • Steve,

        Those aren’t my numbers, those are the numbers of the Congressional Budget Office. You can Google Congressional Budget Office to inform yourself about who they are and what they do, but basically they are the numbers people for Congress. Since Congress appropriates funds and the CBO are the numbers people for Congress, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that their numbers are better than the ones you’ve provided from wikiwhatever. Kinda comes back to the point of this article again, one of us is using factual data, and you are not.

      • Steve,

        I appreciate how you’ve moved the goal posts from “After 20 years of constant foreign war and drone attacks in the middle east, the American people and American economy have had enough of lip service from corrupt politicians who benifit monetarily from failed GOP policies?” to “The GOP administration under Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld wrote the blueprint for AUMF back in 2001.” I haven’t argued against your latest (and factual) statement that talks about how AUMF was written, I don’t think anyone other than yourself is arguing that point.

        You have been and still continue to miss the point of what I said only a few short posts ago. Fortunately they are still right up there^ for you to review and even respond to if you wish, just let’s try not to change the subject to how laws were written.

        The war machine is not owned by one political party, no matter how many crazy leftwing sites or posters claim it to be so.

  4. My opinion after lots of research is the divisions in this country are created on purpose. The multiple reality concept keeps us divided. The more I learn the more it looks like Bernard’s Shaw’s methods of gradualism are coming to fruition. Look him up . Enhanced by salinsky tactics . My opinion this mess is not by accident. Civil chaos . Gradualism is an effort to silently put operatives and social ideas into postitions of power in all parts of society and government without riots or gross violence. Salinskys methods call for disruption and keeping the opposition on defense without direct conflict as well as using irrational methods and argument on the pretense there is no argument against irrationalism. Just a thought. This nation sure looks like the picture those folks dreamed of creating. Especially the political spectrum. Salinsky- Divides and imbalances that can be taken advantage of . Personally I say Don’t be divided. Look to science for grounding. Follow Jesus word and love your neighbor. The Ten Commandments are more valuable than ever. By the way I’m not even close to being a Christian I just recognize his teachings are key to world survival and peace . Reject political ideology. Reject any form of extreme religion . Each one pushes people to act in ways they would normally not. There may be other teachings that are as functional as Jesus direct teachings but I haven’t found it . Just be careful not to fall into the trap of worshiping religion or needing miracles. Science is the answer . Just my opinion.

    • Opinion, would you mind explaining further? Contradiction?
      “The Ten Commandments are more valuable than ever. By the way I’m not even close to being a Christian I just recognize his teachings are key to world survival and peace . Reject political ideology. Reject any form of extreme religion . Each one pushes people to act in ways they would normally not. There may be other teachings that are as functional as Jesus direct teachings but I haven’t found it . Just be careful not to fall into the trap of worshiping religion or needing miracles. Science is the answer”.
      I agree with the rest but, the division is a cause between good and evil, freedom vs enslavement, Marxism vs our way of life and ouf Founders.

      • I’m not sure where you saw the contradiction. I’m not sure what you want explained. I will hazard a guess at what you meant . I believe if you look scientifically at what Jesus taught it’s the way to world peace and self growth .as long as you balance it with rational life knowledge and what it takes to raise a family and or live a rational life . His teachings were and are important for a long term functional society. If you analyze his teachings scientificly they all hold merit for that goal . That said I think Jesus or Buddha and most of the great teachers looked towards balance. Once a person or group starts to worship any ideology to an extreme they tend to dilute the teachers original message and balance is lost and if that group use their faith or political ideology as a platform to eradicate or oppress other groups which is the opposite of Jesus message. Thus worshipping religion itself versus attempting to understand or fulfill the message or political ideology versus using balance and just sticking with good ideas can be dangerous as once a group or person identifies as separate from others it easily turns primitive or us versus them . As to miracles- why would you need miracles if the message was good in its own right . Looking for something other than hard work and self sacrifice is fools folly . That’s my opinion. Hopefully that’s what you were asking about for clarification of opinion. Now I see your statement good versus evil , freedom versus enslavement ,Marxism versus the life our founders envisioned as just creating sides and oversimplification. Almost all things and ideas hold some good . Thus it’s a trap to strictly say this versus that . Don’t fall into it . Just choose the best option possible for yourself that matches the ideals you expect of yourself. You can’t control others and radical ideology is just folly . If you got to meet and have tea or coffee with the marxists a person would find they have much in common and may even have similar long term goals such as the betterment of mankind. How to get There is the question. That said I think Marxism , modern socialism , leftism in general is poorly mutated concept of communism. Communism at the family or very small group level can function. Beyond that it mutates into disfunction . Somehow it invites abuse , violence and social strife . Imbalances. Sadly many historical Marxist style writers misled many good people as Craig says through the human need for hope . The struggling youth were turned to the wrong path by their emotional and material needs. Most of The Marxist, socialist, communist proponents and writers did not live the path they pushed. They were hypocrites and self serving opertunists . They took advantage of good people’s weaknesses and need for hope . In today’s era false socialists are opportunists Who use ideology to divide and conquer . All hypocrites. None of the Democratic platform potential nominees are anything resembling a true socialist or communist. They are only hypocritical opertunists looking to get rich and take advantage of the masses . Obama , Hillary burnie all of them just got rich off others hopes and dreams ,they live the lives of thieves collecting for themselves under false premises. Look at them , they are rolling in dough not earned honestly , the great socialist Obama just bought or was given another multiple million dollar coastal mansion. How does that help any of his followers? He’s a self serving hypocritical thief . None of them live what they preach . None of them live true communism or socialism. . Don’t get caught up in us versus them . It’s a dead end trap . It’s enough to live your positive message so it attracts usage . Dwelling in the negative of us versus them will fail in the end . Obviously self defense is nessasary for survival if attacked that’s why I said balance of ideals is needed . Though maybe Jesus was right long term especially in the era of mass destructive weapons. Just give the guy your shirt. That’s why I said I’m not Christian because I can’t quite measure up to what the great teacher expected on many fronts.

      • Opinion, always regard your responses in the highest regard. What we are witnessing today is an “us verses them”, good vs evil, right vs wrong, lies against truth. During WW2 would you have said it was good vs NAZI evil, “us vs them”, etc..? Would you say with both the millions killed under Communism or Socialism that it was “us bs them”? Half the country has gone off the rails and before you could just label them mentally insane and ignore them, now they are just dangerous.
        As for religion, well, invest a bit more time reading the bible. Very inspiring. Even speaks about Buddism.

      • Bryan thank you for kind words. you asked about world war 2 and Nazism . The American people were forced into a us versus them situation by government propaganda on all sides of the conflict. I think it’s allowable to label someone’s actions good or bad without the need for us versus them concept. I truly think you oversimplify reality when you step into us versus them . You box yourself into a corner and open the door of being manipulated. Yes the Nazis behavior was mostly bad . The problem was many of them had good parts and were manipulated into bad actions by identifying with a party. ( simple short analysis) Separately once Americans were manipulated into the primitive direct situation of us versus them there was no Choice but for our soldiers and countrys survival except to pull together , unite , and treat it as a life and death situation of us versus them . Once the situation becomes primitive it’s allowable to veiw life from that lense but only if your direct life or freedom is in immediate danger . That does not apply to our social situation at the moment. Though our freedoms are in direct ongoing danger . We are removed enough from immediate danger that now is the time to draw on human ethics and utilize the strengths our founders gave us with voting and other constitutional rights. It is wise to consider everyone our brother to best abilities. Untill personally proven otherwise by their individual actions. The leftists are our countrymen . They are a part of us . To divide them away as a group defeats our own strength. They each had mothers and dreams . Now is the time for diplomacy and to unite as a nation with many ideas. A nation divided cannot stand . The closest thing to enimies we currently have are those who capitalize on division and forment its creation . Pull together as one for positive solutions. Our republic democracy has the potential to set the greatest example on earth if we practice compassion and pull together as one for the greater good . Vote for right . Reinstate the sanctity of the constitution. Call out gradualism ,false socialism , dishonesty, propaganda and division for its deceptive destructive nature wherever it’s present. There is no constructive purpose of the concept us versus them within a nation and possibly even in the world. Except on a very limited competition basis . Such as sport or pushing oneself to reach higher goals .

  5. Craig you paint a grim picture. Even if it’s fairly accurate. Perhaps we should start calling out junk science for what it is . Poorly designed control studies and research that draws conclusions rather than presents sets of hard facts. It just divides and is a way to to control us. There must me an answer. Get all forms of money out of politics beyond a fair wage . No benifits . Anyone who profits themselves or their relatives or friends within several degrees kindred from any public service office for the existence of their future genetics should be punished and their money or any form of profit from gifts to book deals to speaking to anything beyond petty cash should be burned. Parties abolished. Libel laws enforced . Influential Lying beyond incidental very minor mistakes could become a crime. Politicians who create national debt be imprisioned. News Media that discuses socially controversial subjects and doesn’t make a valid effort to show both sides of subject be liable for libel lawsuits. Potential Politicians and office holders get paid no more than minimum wage. Offense Being a Lobbyists would be a automatic 50 year prison sentence as a rock crusher . Same for anyone found to be attempting to influence politics or social culture with money . Their travel and fois expense exempt . Preliminary voting for politicians would be by e mail untill it was weeded down to a reasonable number. Then voting with a special card similar to a visa . With electronic stamp and quantum entanglement safety feature. Potential office holders would have a written statement about self and a video recording on a public website. No other campaign allowed except door to door . No media adds . Any candidate found lying about anything would be sentenced to 50 years rock crushing for gravel roads . Same for anyone prooven of government involved corruption. Their money would be burned . As well as all their belongings and anything in off shore accounts . I don’t know but that’s a start . I’m just an idiot but it’s time to find a scientific way to clean up America’s politics. Or Go back to government by the constitution . Pure constitutional governance. States rights and personal rights would take precedence over the feds as it was intended.

  6. How frequently two people, looking at the same movie screen, perceive different movies.

    The human mind can only retain a few of the billions of facts that exist, so it relies on mental short cuts to survive, get by and stay sane.
    Our minds are a collection of preferences and experience. Most of the time we use those to make daily decisions and we rationalize the reasons only if pressed for them later.

    Expecting people to make their decisions using all the facts requires an unrealistic and overly optimistic view of the capabilities of the human mind..

  7. A government run truth organization is truly frightening. The government controls too much as it is, controlling their version of whatever it is they decide the truth is would be the end of our republican form of government and the end of democracy as we know it.

  8. Hey Bryan, I remember the facts you listed very well from the obama years. Daily lies. Donald Trump is the best president we have had in the modern era. He is not a polished politician and does use language that sounds more like me than obama, which I totally appreciate. I look forward to four more years of America winning. Refreshing for a change!

    • Amen Tracy. The major broadcast network news shows only spent 11 percent of its Ukraine coverage referencing the controversy surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings.
      Biden goes to Ukraine to check corruption and comes back with a corrupt “job” for his son making $85,000/month from a Ukrainian Oil and Gas company and then threatens to withhold $1 billion in US aid if the Ukrainians do not fire the lead prosecutor investigating Biden’s crack addicted son. Pathetic. Democrats are worried they will be exposed for all their treason in the whole illegal “Russian” coup.

      • Byron: where does the $85,000 come from? the number i’ve seen everywhere is $50,000.

        and there is no evidence Hunter Biden was “crack addicted,” though he was caught using cocaine.

        let’s stick to facts.

        distorting them doesn’t help your case any more than distorting Russian involvement helps the case of those with whom you philosophically disagree.

      • Look up an article by refinery 59 . Very brief acknowledgement by hunter Biden about his cocaine past and addiction issues that run in the family. It appears to be self acknowledgement that he may have a drug problem. Unless the article was total made up junk . I’m not privy to the real facts .

  9. Craig, I think we have seen enough from these so called “Fact Checkers” like Glenn Kessler to know he is nothing more than a Democrat hack. “Fact Checkers” are as full of as much biased chit as their colleagues. Just another name like Obama’s “Organizing for America”, when it is anything but. How about Obama and his years and years of lies from “slowing the rise of the oceans, you can keep your doctor, to Benghazi and parading that liar Susan Rice around, locking an innocent man up because of Rice’s lies, to Fast and Furious, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, etc.. Obama lied daily. The media just omitted, fabricated, or just plain lied for their cult leader.

    As for Palin and the “Death Panels”, well, she wasn’t far off.
    “Back in 09–when Obamacare advocates castigated those who worried that Obamacare would lead to rationing–Jonathan Gruber said get the law passed first, then refuse treatment later. From the Daily Caller story:

    “Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control,” [Gruber said]

    Gruber also said that the only way to control costs is to effectively deny treatment. “The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’”

    And guess who decides what “doesn’t do any good” means? Bioethicists–who believe that some lives have greater value than others–and Obamacare technocrats.”

    “Death Panels’ Come Back to Life”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203513204576047742746513406

    I stand by Trump because he exposes daily a deeply troubling cancer and generally has America’s best interests in mind. Not one Democrat Presedential Candidate has America’s best interests in mind. The majority support Marxist and Communist policies. So, screw them along with their lying hacks in the media. KAG2020

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