Monday, June 19, 2017

The Moment I Switched Off Meet the Press.


Chuck Todd was interviewing Sen Angus King on the various Russian allegations/investigations.

Senator King:

I believe it's one of the most serious attacks we've had on our country in recent years. And the president doesn't seem interested in it either. Mr. Comey testified he had nine interactions with him before he was fired. In none of those did the president say, "What did the Russians do? How did they do it? How do you know they did it? And what can we do about it?" This is serious stuff. And all of this Trump, Comey, and obstruction of justice is sort of obscuring the underlying, what I think is really the big story.

To which Chuck Todd replied:

Do you believe that lack of curiosity is circumstantial evidence in and of itself?

I turned to my daughter and asked if she cared about Russia and Trump. She said no. I asked her if her lack of curiosity is circumstantial evidence in and of itself of her being a tool of Putin? Probably, she said.

Maybe there is a there, there. But the media is doing its best to act idiotic and convince me other motives are driving the allegations.

I switched off Meet the Press. Continued binge watching "Silicon Valley," which I find more realistic.


Friday, June 16, 2017

New York Times vs The Truth

Sean Davis at The Federalist sums it up nicely:

Much has been written about how The New York Times used its first editorial after a horrific mass assassination attempt on Republican lawmakers to absolve the shooter of agency over his own actions, and then to blame Republicans and “the gun lobby” for empowering the “deranged” progressive activist to murder them in the first place. Not content with peddling just one Big Lie, the esteemed NYT editorial board loaded its rhetorical shotgun with Big Lie buckshot and spread as many lies over as large an area as possible. Taking a cue from “Hamilton,” the paper of record didn’t want to throw away its shot.

It wasn’t enough for NYT to just recycle the lie — famously spread by the NYT six years ago, natch — that the shooter who tried to kill Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in 2011, Jared Lee Loughner, was driven to act by Sarah Palin. It wasn’t enough for the editorial board to claim without evidence that the shooter in Alexandria was “deranged” in order to relieve him of responsibility for his own actions and avoid examining why he chose to walk into a public park and open fire on his declared enemies.

The whole thing is worth a read.

I mostly do the crossword at the Times, and little else. But even the crossword is getting infected with Trump insanity. On a recent crossword blog the creator of the puzzle apologized for using Trump in one of the clues. Sigh.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thoughts from Mike Morrell


Mike Morrell (former acting director of the CIA) was kind enough to articulate what I'm thinking about the daily allegations of Russia/Trump.

For the most part – and please stay with me here – what we, the public, know is what the media has reported, that unnamed former and current government officials have told them what the Russians said to each other about what happened in meetings with Trump associates. That is not a sourcing chain in which I would put a great deal of confidence.

The whole interview is worth a read, including these excerpts:

By the way, I do think that there are four broad areas that need to be investigated with regard to Trump and the Russians. I hope Bob Mueller, the new Special Counsel, is looking at all of these issues....
Second, did Russian organized crime launder money through the Trump Organization? If so, was anyone in the Trump Organization aware of that? If so, was Trump himself aware? And, if so, was the soft approach to Russian during the campaign and the transition a quid pro quo? If the money laundering occurred and the Trump Organization was not aware, should they have been? In other words, did the Trump Organization do the due diligence that is required of them by law to have an understanding of where foreign money is coming from?  

And this comment on the US media.
You know when Hugo Chavez was first elected President in Venezuela in 1998, there was no political opposition of which to speak. The opposition was in disarray. There was no opposition leader to stand up and provide an alternative vision to that being pursued by Chavez. In its place, the Venezuelan media became the political opposition. And, in so doing, the media lost its credibility with the Venezuelan people. It was a huge loss for Venezuela.

That is a risk right here in America, right now. I believe that objective, fact-based journalism has never been as important as it is today to the future of our democracy. But, in order to be effective, journalists cannot take sides or even appear to take sides.