Wednesday, November 30, 2016

White House denies that Russia hacked election for Donald Trump win

The administration insists that no foreign government meddled in American elections. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

The administration insists that no foreign government meddled in American elections. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

The Obama administration confirmed the 2016 results, telling the New York Times that the presidential contest "accurately reflects the will of the American people."
That certification follows bipartisan questions about the validity of the electoral system before and after Election Day. But according to the White House, both sides are misguided.
Jill Stein is seeking recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — blue states that President-elect Trump carried by thin red margins. The presidential nominee of the Green Party, Stein points to "very troubling news" about the cybersecurity of those state's voting systems.
The Stein campaign is aggressively fundraising and has set a goal of $7 million to fund the recounts. But the administration insists that no foreign government meddled in American elections.
Rumors about Russian hacks reflect a greater strategy to undermine American institutions, the White House told the New York Times.
"The Kremlin probably expected that publicity surrounding the disclosures that followed the Russian government-directed compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions," the administration said in a statement, "including from U.S. political organizations, would raise questions about the integrity of the election process that could have undermined the legitimacy of the president-elect."
In other words, Moscow undoubtedly hoped that Clinton campaign emails released by WikiLeaks would make it seem like the digital strength of ballot boxes were jeopardized.
Shocked after an Election Day upset, Clinton supporters have called for a recount even though the nominee publicly conceded. Their calls were amplified after the Democrat pulled ahead in the popular vote by more than 2 million ballots.

Democrats, Not Trump, Racialize Our Politics

Democrats, Not Trump, Racialize Our Politics

A party obsessed with race won’t have much luck reaching out to non-elite whites.
Democratic pundits are calling on their party to court working-class and non-coastal whites in the wake of this month’s electoral rout. But the Democratic Party is now dominated by identity politics, which defines whites, particularly heterosexual males, as oppressors of every other population in the U.S. Why should the targets of such thinking embrace an ideology that scorns them?
The most absurd Democratic meme to emerge from the party’s ballot-box defeat is the claim that it is Donald Trump, rather than Democrats, who engages in “aggressive, racialized discourse,” in the words of a Los Angeles Times op-ed. By contrast, President Barack Obama sought a “post-racial, bridge-building society,” according to New York Times reporter Peter Baker. Obama’s post-racial efforts have now “given way to an angry, jeering, us-against-them nation,” writes Baker, in a front-page “news” story.
Tell that valedictory for “post-racial bridge-building” to police officers, who have been living through two years of racialized hatred directed at them in the streets, to the applause of many Democratic politicians. Black Lives Matter rhetoric consists of slogans like: “CPD [Chicago Police Department] KKK, how many children did you kill today?” “Fuck the police,” and “Racist, killer cops.” Officers have been assassinated by Black Lives Matter-inspired killers who set out to kill whites in general and white police officers in particular. Gun murders of law enforcement officers are up 67 percent this year through November 23, following five ambushes and attacks over the November 18 weekend that left a San Antonio police officer and a U.S. marshall dead. A few days before those weekend shootings, anarchist wannabes in Austin led acounting chant based on the template: “What’s better than X dead cops?  X + 1 Dead Cops.”  
President Obama welcomed Black Lives Matter activists several times to the White House. He racialized the entire criminal-justice system, repeatedly accusing it of discriminating, often lethally, against blacks. At the memorial service for five Dallas police officers gunned down in July 2016, Obama declared that black parents were right to fear that “something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door”—that the child will be shot by a cop simply for being “stupid.”
Obama put Brittany Packnett, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, on his President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Packnett’s postelection essay on Vox, “White People: what is your plan for the Trump presidency?” is emblematic of the racial demonology that is now core Democratic thinking. Packnett announces that she is “tired of continuously being assaulted” by her country with its pervasive “white supremacy.” She calls on “white people” to “deal with what white people cause,” because “people of color have enough work to do for ourselves—to protect, free, and find joy for our people.”
Packnett’s plaint about crushing racial oppression echoes media darling Ta-Nehesi Coates, whose locus classicus of maudlin racial victimology, Between the World and Me, won a prominent place on Obama’s 2015 summer reading list. Coates has received almost every prize that the elite establishment can bestow; Between the World and Me is now a staple of college summer reading lists.
According to Coates, police officers who kill black men are not “uniquely evil”; rather, their evil is the essence of America itself. These “destroyers” (i.e., police officers) are “merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy. This legacy aspires to the shackling of black bodies.” In America, Mr. Coates claims, “it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.”
Coates’s melodramatic rhetoric comes right out of the academy, the inexhaustible source of Democratic identity politics. The Democratic Party is now merely an extension of left-wing campus culture; few institutions exist wherein the skew toward Democratic allegiance is more pronounced. The claims of life-destroying trauma that have convulsed academia since the election are simply a continuation of last year’s campus Black Lives Matter protests, which also claimed that “white privilege” and white oppression were making existence impossible for black students and other favored victim groups. Black students at Bard College, for example, an elite school in New York’s Hudson Valley, called for an end to “systemic and structural racism on campus . . . so that Black students can go to class without fear.” If any black Bard student had ever been assaulted by a white faculty member, administrator, or student, the record does not reflect it.
These claims of “structural racism and institutional oppression,” in the words of Brown University’s allegedly threatened black students, overlook the fact that every selective college in the country employs massive racial preferences in admissions favoring less academically qualified black and Hispanic students over more academically qualified white and Asian ones. Every faculty hiring search is a desperate exercise in finding black and Hispanic candidates whom rival colleges have not already scooped up at inflated prices. Far from being “post-racial,” campuses spend millions on racially and ethnically separate programming, separate dorms, separate administrators, and separate student centers. They have created entire fields devoted to specializing in one’s own “identity,” so long as that identity is non-white, non-male, or non-heterosexual. The central theme of those identity-based fields is that heterosexual, white (one could also add Christian) males are the source of all injustice in the world.  Speaking on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer showin the wake of Trump’s election, Emory philosophy professor George Yancy, author of Look, A White!, called for a nationwide “critique of whiteness,” which, per Yancy, is at the “core side of hegemony” in the U.S.
To combat that hegemony, Democratic administrations in Washington and state capitals have built permanent bureaucracies dedicated to the proposition that white males discriminate against everyone else. Evidence of such discrimination is by now exceedingly rare, however, so “disparate impact” analysis steps into the breach. Police and fire departments, public and private employers, bank lending officers, landlords, insurers, school administrators, and election officials have all been found guilty of discrimination despite following race-neutral procedures. The mandated remedy is a race-conscious policy crafted to favor non-white, non-male “identity.”
Hillary Clinton employed classic Democratic “racialized discourse” throughout the campaign. During a Democratic presidential primary debate in January 2016, Clinton agreed that it was “reality” that police officers see black lives as “cheap.” In a February debate, she accused Wisconsin, along with other states, of “really systemic racism” in education and employment. In July she called on “white people” to put themselves in the shoes of African-American families who “need to worry” that their child will be killed by a police officer. When Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” who belonged in a “basket of deplorables,” she was speaking the language of the academy, now incorporated into the Democratic worldview.      
Democratic politicians and the media will respond that such charges of systemic white oppression are not “racialized discourse”; they are simply the truth. Such a claim is an insult to the overwhelming majority of white Americans who harbor no bigotry and who long to live in a truly post-racial society. Many of Trump’s white supporters voted for Obama, and the most conservative whites in the U.S. have had one love affair after another with conservative black media figures and politicians, whether Herman Cain, Alan Keyes, Allen West, Ben Carson, or David Clarke. Yet these former Obama voters and Tea Party supporters are now being called racist for voting for Trump.
Trump’s sally during the first Republican primary debate that “this country doesn’t have time” for “total political correctness” sent a signal that the reigning presumptions about oppression were finally vulnerable. The message resonated. Democrats will have to do much more than invoke traditional Democratic class warfare to convince non-elite white voters that the party does not see them as one of America’s biggest problems.



The next radical environmental tactic is now evident for eyes to see: block all infrastructure projects—especially oil and gas pipelines—with criminal trespass and obstruction. Having killed the Keystone pipeline (only temporarily, now that Trump is going to approve it once he takes office), the red-greenies are trying to stop the Dakota Access pipeline that has received all of its regulatory permits.
Naturally environmentalists have to lie about the whole matter, whipping up claims that sacred native American grounds are being harmed by the pipeline, or that groundwater is at risk. (The first claim reminds me of a joke I heard in Australia 30 years ago: how do know when you’ve found sacred Aboriginal grounds? When you find uranium or other valuable minerals underneath.) Naturally the usual Hollywood idiots show up to join the war whoop.
Shawn McCoy reports in the Orlando Sentinel on the distortions and lies of the pipeline opponents:
The activists tell an emotionally charged tale of greed, racism and misbehavior by corporate and government officials. But the real story of the Dakota Access Pipeline was revealed in court documents in September, and it is nothing like the activists’ tale. In fact, it is the complete opposite.
The record shows that Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, spent years working diligently with federal, state and local officials to route the pipeline safely and with the fewest possible disruptions. The contrast between the protesters’ claims and the facts on record is stunning.
Protesters claim that the pipeline was “fast-tracked,” denying tribal leaders the opportunity to participate in the process. In fact, project leaders participated in 559 meetings with community leaders, local officials and organizations to listen to concerns and fine-tune the route. The company asked for, and received, a tougher federal permitting process at sites along the Missouri River. This more difficult procedure included a mandated review of each water crossing’s potential effect on historical artifacts and locations.
Protesters claim that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consult tribal leaders as required by federal law. The record shows that the corps held 389 meetings with 55 tribes. Corps officials met numerous times with leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which initiated the lawsuit and the protests.
There’s more in the complete story, but you get the point. Expect more of this as the Trump policy of infrastructure development goes forward. The political effect of these lawless attempts to block progress will likely help Trump get re-elected in four years.
Meanwhile, for another glimpse of the by-any-means-necessary approach of environmentalists, take in this item from the Institute for Justice’s weekly Short Circuit digest of notable appeals court rulings:
In 1949, the federal government deeded large parcels in eastern Ohio to the state’s care on the condition that the land be used for flood control, conservation, and recreation. Recently, Ohio officials allowed fracking on the land. So must it revert back to federal ownership, as anti-fracking activists who discovered the deed restriction claim? No, says two-thirds of a Sixth Circuit panel.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Obama preps for post-presidency feud with Trump

When George W. Bush left the White House in early 2009, he boarded a helicopter and went home to Texas, where he mostly remained silent about President Obama's actions.
This presidential transition is shaping up a little differently.
Rather than returning home to Illinois, President Obama is moving just down the street from the White House to a mansion in the tony Kalorama neighborhood.
And rather than remaining quiet, Obama, 55, who will become one of the youngest ex-presidents in history, has promised to dive in with grassroots liberals seeking to oppose Donald Trump, a man he has been feuding with for years.
Obama last week told his political arm, Organizing for America, that he is "fired up and ready to go," in leading the resistance to Trump, whose victory over Hillary Clinton devastated liberals.
Obama had apparently been preparing for a much quieter retirement from the White House, but Clinton's loss has changed those plans, he said.
Not only is Obama grappling with a Democratic party that lacks a new leader, but a Trump presidency coupled with GOP control of Congress virtually guarantees an effort to undo his signature achievements, including Obamacare, immigration regulations and a slew of environmental rules.
"I promise you that next year Michelle and I are going to be right there with you, and the clouds are going to start parting and the sun is going to come back out, and we're going to be busy, involved in the amazing stuff that we've been doing all these years before," Obama told downtrodden supporters on the call.
Not only is Obama poised to become the most politically active ex-president in modern history, his vice president is also vowing to stay involved in the Democratic Party.
Obamacare repeal could kill payment reforms
Also from the Washington Examiner
Biden rejected efforts to get him to take the helm of the embattled Democratic National Committee, but an aide said he "intends to remain deeply involved in helping shape the direction of the Democratic Party moving forward."
All told, Obama and Biden may become the first ex-White House team to directly mobilize a party against their successor. And they may have a lot to mobilize against, since Trump has pledged to reverse so much of Obama's work.
For starters, Trump has promised as one of his first acts as president to sign a bill repealing the Affordable Health Care law, which critics believe is collapsing. Democratic strategist Christopher Hahn said Obama may weigh in on that move without directly targeting Trump.
"I think the president will express regrets about the healthcare law being repealed, but I don't think he'll be openly critical of Trump about that," Hahn told the Washington Examiner.
Other Democratic strategists predict Obama will jump right into the fray based on his history of attacking Trump.
Can the Trump-Ryan team deliver?
Also from the Washington Examiner
During Hillary Clinton's White House run, Obama delivered sharp criticisms of Trump at stops around the country, calling him unqualified and lacking the right temperament for the job. Obama even questioned whether Trump should be entrusted with the nuclear launch codes.
"Judging by how zealously President Obama campaigned for Hillary Clinton, I strongly doubt the then ex-president will be able to keep his counsel or maintain studied silence as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have done before him," Doug Schoen, a former strategist for President Bill Clinton, told the Examiner.
If Obama publicly reacts to Trump, it would break from a tradition that has been carried out for decades by most ex-presidents.
Jimmy Carter was the last president to publicly engage with his successor, and sometimes traded barbs with President Ronald Reagan. In 1982, for instance, he accused Reagan of "not accepting his responsibilities," according to the New York Times, after Reagan blamed the poorly performing economy on the Carter administration.
Carter continued to chime in over the years. He called President George W. Bush "the worst in history" when it came to international relations.
Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton restored the practice of remaining silent, though Clinton in 2000 criticized George W. Bush in private conversations released recently by Clinton's presidential library.
But unlike those who left the White House before him, Obama has an unusually long history of feuding with his successor, who once questioned whether Obama was born in the United States.
Obama began publicly criticizing Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, where he ridiculed Trump over his quest to get the president to release his birth certificate.
Obama's take-down of Trump, who was sitting in the audience, included a parody picture of what a Trump White House would look like. The image showed the historic home decked out like a casino, the White House lawn converted into a golf course, and bikini-clad women bathing in the fountain.
"Say what you will about Mr. Trump," Obama told the laughing crowd, "he certainly would bring some change to the White House."
Regardless of their history and Trump's agenda, it would be inappropriate for Obama to attack Trump, now or in the future, Schoen told the Examiner.
"He does himself and his legacy no good to interpose himself into the ongoing political debate once he leaves office," Schoen said. "Donald Trump has earned, deserves, and should be the sole and singular voice for the U.S. after election day."

Labor Activist Admires Kids Who Climbed on Trump Hotel in Protest

Demonstrators protest on Pennsylvania Avenue outside of the Trump Hotel in Washington on Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
WASHINGTON – A D.C. union activist and community organizer applauded students for skipping class to protest the election of Donald Trump and attempting to climb his new hotel before being stopped by police.
According to WAMU, some students at the protest in Washington “managed to climb onto the outside of the hotel to unfurl a flag before being waved down by police.”
Dyana Forester, lead political and community representative for UFCW Local 400, said she wanted to climb the building and “break” some things but would not. She urged community leaders to tap into the energy of the protesters and “move beyond” political demonstrations.
Trump’s company, The Trump Organization, recently turned the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue into a hotel, a project approved by the General Services Administration.
“I admire the kids today that were climbing on the building when they should not have been climbing on the building. I wanted to climb on the building and break some stuff but I knew I could not do that. We have to find a way to tap into that energy strategically and move beyond that,” Forester said at an election results discussion at Busboys & Poets last week titled What’s Next for Labor?
“We can protest, protest and protest, but unless we see some change that’s happening, unless those members that we took out for months to go knock on doors can feel like they really made an impact and they’re winning, then it is really hard to keep people engaged in the political process,” she added.
Harold Meyerson, executive editor of The American Prospect, cited the importance of the protests planned for Trump’s inauguration.
“I think the more people who turn out for that the better. Obviously non-violent is a lot better than violent for all kinds of reasons I don’t think I need to explain, but we have to do that,” he said. “But as important as it is, it ain’t an end in itself. The end in itself is winning back power for decent purposes and decent people.”

Forester stressed that community leaders and activists are the ones who have to “push” politicians for changes to public policy. She also said progressives need to have an open dialogue about social and political issues with people who are not self-identified progressives.
Joanna Blotner, D.C. Paid Family and Medical Leave Program campaign manager at Jews United for Justice AND YOU!, agreed with Forester and called on local unions to “talk to folks across the political divide” and have “deep conversations.”
“I think faith communities are also a really wonderful space for that to be happening because you’re already brought in around some sort of community value and community vision,” she said.
She told the audience that her faith community in Washington consists of “all progressives” but other areas of the country are more diverse politically.

“In real America, there is a divided faith community. And we need to be investing in helping our faith leaders to find the courage to have really heartfelt conversations and providing that natural care to their membership that is so divided right now,” she said.
Meyerson called for labor activists to protect sanctuary cities. President-elect Donald Trump supports reducing federal funding for cities that refuse to report crimes committed by illegal immigrants to federal immigration authorities.
Following the event, Meyerson was asked if he sees a connection between sanctuary cities and the labor movement.
“Well, the labor council in L.A. was actually the first off the bat in L.A., saying we’re going to, you know, do what we can to protect these workers and if there are cutbacks in federal stuff because of this we are going to try to do what we can to compensate for it. God knows what that means, but that’s what they said,” he said.
Meyerson was also asked if every city should be cooperating with Immigration and Customers Enforcement by reporting all crimes that are committed by undocumented immigrants.
“There’s no law that says you have to cooperate with immigration authorities on who you hand to them if someone is detained for a nonviolent offense or a trivial offense. But the argument the right makes with Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump is it led to this horrific murder in San Francisco,” Meyerson said, in reference to the July 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times. “The counterargument, though, is if undocumenteds and Latinos and others generally are afraid to go to the police to report a crime because they don’t have the right papers and maybe taken in they’re not going to report those crimes.”
“They’re going to run away from the police and then you get what you get in Chicago, which is a huge rise in violent crime as the gap between the police department and the community widens – you are going to get that because if the police are seen as agents of the federal immigration authorities, you are going to have the same phenomenon as in Chicago. Violent crime will rise, so it’s precisely the opposite effect that Trump and O’Reilly talk about,” he added.

Don's Tuesday Column

              THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   11/29/2016

                      Election hijinks and despotism

One can easily assemble a host of little-covered but crucially relevant election items: 1) The mainstream news media refined the political art of propaganda promulgation as a virtual adjunct of the Hillary/Democrat campaign. They have turned on a dime to advance the boutique and ironic assertion that “fake news” (marginally truthful things not advanced by the marginally truthful media elite) led voters astray to vote for Donald Trump. 2) But for the votes of a sizable minority of supposedly Democrat base groups—women, minorities and union households—Trump would likely have lost the states and votes that gave him his victory.
3) Late deciding voters (choosing the week, especially the weekend, before Election Day) swung dramatically for Trump. If the election had been held entirely on November 8, Trump’s share of the popular vote would have been a clear majority even with the millions of Hillary votes in reliably left-wing California. His win would have resembled Reagan’s win over Carter. As it was, the non-CA 49-states binary vote was Trump 50.8%, Clinton 49.2%.
4) When I crunched the vote data at, Trump’s 2.5-million national vote deficit is dwarfed by the margin for Hillary in, not just California, but in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area counties. Of the roughly 7 million votes in LA/SF counties, Clinton got about 5 million to Trump’s 1.5-million; that means advocates for popular vote winners getting the presidency really want LA and San Francisco area voters to have more sway than the entire rest of the country. Sorry, this writer will stick with the Electoral College our Founders created in their wisdom to prevent just that outsized sway for large population centers.
5) It became irrefutable after the Project Veritas videos and Wikileaks revelations that Democrat operatives and connected activists organized and illegally manufactured the violence that news media ignorantly attributed to Trump supporters in a slavish attempt to advance a violent right-wing narrative.
Headlines challenge liberal accepted wisdom: “White House denies that Russia hacked election for Donald Trump win,” “Democrats, not Trump, Racialize Our Politics,” “Democrat Party Operative Robert Creamer Used Terror to Wage War on Honesty,” “The snarling contempt behind the media’s ‘fake news’ hysteria,” “Illegal immigrants pose as families, tell tales of woe to gain entry to U.S.” “The Kremlin didn’t sink Hillary, Obama did,” “Teachers union leaders devastated that so many members voted Trump,” “5 Ways Trump’s victory is Obama’s legacy.”
Ideological corruption and hypocrisy has reared its ugly head among some Democrats and many leftists who have latched onto the Don Quixote-like fool’s errand of recounting selected states. What is their (Jill Stein/Hillary Clinton’s) hope? Denying Trump enough electors to…oh, that’s right, throw it to the House of Representatives which will take about 5 minutes to confirm Trump as President.
Liberals won’t see it this way but there is an established pattern of Democrats challenging elections that produce a Republican president. Al Gore infamously withdrew his phoned-in concession to George Bush—with news media complicity as they pronounced Florida for Gore, depriving Bush of nearly 10,000 Central Time Zone Florida Republican votes. Hillary has hypocritically asserted that Gore “won” that election despite those shenanigans.
Democrat supporters of John Kerry persisted in propagating myths about voting machine errors in Ohio and elsewhere. Stein and Clinton et al now pin their theory on similar myths. I don’t doubt the machines can be hacked, that votes can be changed; so far, we lack any proof.
Every one of the above items could be expanded to a column-length analysis; some may get that treatment yet. The following, however, requires my attention:
Within seconds of the announcement of the well-deserved death of Cuban tyrant Fidel Castro, I cheered and danced as the Cuban-Americans were doing in Miami. That despotic brutalizer and persecutor of Cubans of African descent, homosexuals, women, escapees-in-flimsy boats and citizens desirous of nothing more than political, personal and economic liberty—Castro would have been even more deserving of public trial for human rights atrocities than the German Nazi war criminals.
It occurred to me that this subject was among those I wrote about in my first year. Sure enough, my archive had the April 20, 2005 column. Following are my comments:
“Speaking of dictators, can you believe how tough the press and the Hollywood set are on that old softie, Fidel Castro? Perhaps that’s because they aren’t—Castro truly occupies a nearly revered place among the media and entertainment elites. It seems he’s treated practically like royalty any time he visits the bluest of the blue enclaves, like New York City…
“As author Humberto Fontova documents in his new book, ‘Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant’, Castro has imprisoned more people, as a percentage of the population, than either Hitler or Stalin. The next time you see one of those Che Guevara T-shirts, usually worn by some young idealistic kid taken with the ‘romance of revolution’, who could rattle off the supposed ‘evils’ of President Bush and capitalism, remember something.  Che Guevara preached the cold-blooded murder of anyone who stood in the way of the imposition of communism. He practiced what he preached in the thousands of Cubans that he sent to firing squads for just that reason.”

Leftists like Barack Obama, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, Green Party’s Jill Stein and other socialist-sympathizing fools have proven the soft-headed acceptance of the banality of evil in that despot, Fidel Castro. They’re not likely to ever realize the error of their ways.

The snarling contempt behind the media's fake news hysteria

Edward Morrissey

In the wake of a stunning election result, many people — especially in the media — have struggled for an explanation. Rather than acknowledge the obvious and prosaic answer — that voters in swing states chose change rather than the status quo — analysts have sought a Unified Theory of Donald Trump's Success. Trump couldn't possibly have won fair and square, the assumption goes, so all that's left is to identify whatever went wrong and banish it so this never happens again.
Over the past week, the consensus Unified Theory from the media is this:Blame fake news. This explanation started with BuzzFeed's analysis of Facebook over the past three months, which claimed that the top 20 best-performing "fake news" articles got more engagement than the top 20 "mainstream news" stories.
Nowhere in BuzzFeed's article does author Craig Silverman demonstrate a correlation between that data and voter persuasion, let alone a causal connection. Instead, the analysis offers a look at how articles of potentially questionable provenance could go viral quickly. That leaves a lot of questions begging in the "fake news threw the election" explanation.
There are also serious problems with the evidence BuzzFeed presents. As Timothy Carney points out at the Washington Examiner, the "real news" that Silverman uses for comparison are, in many cases, opinion pieces from liberal columnists. The top "real" stories — which BuzzFeed presented in a graphic to compare against the top "fake" stories — consist of four anti-Trump opinion pieces and a racy exposé of Melania Trump's nude modeling from two decades ago.
That didn't stop others in the media from making the leap from bad analysis to causal connections with absolutely no evidence in support of it.The New York Times began running news stories on the pernicious influence of "fake news," and even President Obama used it as an opportunity to lecture about the dangers it presents to democracy.

The Democrats' postmortem problem
"If we are not serious about facts and what's true and what's not," Obama intoned from Berlin, "and particularly in an age of social media when so many people are getting their information in sound bites and off their phones, if we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems." Earlier, Obama complained to The New Yorker, "Trump understands the new ecosystem, in which facts and truth don't matter. You attract attention, rouse emotions, and then move on. You can surf those emotions. I've said it before, but if I watched Fox I wouldn't vote for me!"

The president seems to leave out the fact that he won both of his elections in that same environment. In fact, there's nothing new here at all, except for a new outlet for the same paternalism that helped drive the election outcome two weeks ago. Those who came out on the losing end of the election want Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to hire an "executive editor"to cull all but the most acceptable news sources before Facebook users can make up their own minds.
Zuckerberg has said he'll look into ways to identify misinformation, but scoffed at the "fake news" theory of the election. "Voters make decisions based on their lived experience," he said after the election. "I think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason why someone could have voted the way they did is because they saw some fake news."
Zuckerberg hit the nail on the head. Rather than deal with the lack of connection that Clinton and Democrats made with voters — including in House, Senate, and state legislative races — Democrats and the media would prefer to reject those voters as hicks and rubes who can't tell the difference between facts and opinions, and between false stories and facts. It goes beyond a lack of empathy; it's outright contempt.
That contempt from elites in media and politics may or may not have produced the electoral results seen two weeks ago, but it certainly explains the shock that has resulted from it. That contempt is also reflected in the push to shut down commentary and pressure Facebook into editing their social media network to allow only those sources deemed acceptable by those in power, politically and culturally. They are creating a new social panic within their own circles and doubling down on paternalism. Don't expect that to end well when the midterm elections roll around in two years.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Democratic Party Operative Robert Creamer Used Terror to Wage War on Honesty

Democratic Party Operative Robert Creamer Used Terror to Wage War on Honesty

Team Clinton appears to approve of violence and 'bird dogging' in WikiLeaks hack of Podesta emails

EVANSTON, IL - NOVEMBER 20: Representative Jan Schakowsky, Robert Creamer and Executive Director of Civic Action Anna Galland attend as Syrian refugees and community leaders join together for a #RefugeesWelcome Thanksgiving dinner hosted by on November 20, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois.
Representative Jan Schakowsky, Robert Creamer and Executive Director of Civic Action Anna Galland on November 20, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois. Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Let’s be blunt: Democratic Party operative Robert Creamer used terror to wage war on honesty. Until forced to resign his post as a “consultant” with a Democratic Party-aligned organization named Americans United for Change, Creamer ran what amounts to a domestic U.S. political terror and propaganda operation dedicated to undermining the 2016 U.S. presidential election—“rigging the election,” to use the current term.
Yes, Creamer’s operation uses terror—and three investigative videos recently released by Project Veritas contain information supporting my assessment.
(“Rigging The Election,” Part OnePart Two and Part Three, released October 24).
Creamer resigned as an official consultant because Part One and Part Two exposed him. His operation, however, remains active and continues to do damage. The election rigging scheme he commanded relies on street thuggery. That means physical fear—terror—is a core component of Americans United for Change’s crooked enterprise. Street thuggery is very low-level terrorism, but it is a type of terrorism nonetheless and it is wrong to call it otherwise. Hardboy muscle, bottles and two by fours are street thuggery’s kinetics. Bottles and baseball bats are not Al Qaeda’s high explosives—but they incite fear and when they crack heads they cause casualties. People bleed. Street thuggery as an arm of politics is violent, criminalized politics on an ugly downward slope to much worse, the worse including lynchings and pogroms. If you don’t think street thuggery is terror then consider Kristalnacht.
Creamer and his despicable compadres haven’t killed anyone, not yet. But this year Creamer and his operatives have used the terror of actual physical attack and a supporting suite of provocation tactics (threat tactics) to successfully shatter several lawful political rallies held by Republican candidates. Creamer’s media component insures that the violence committed by Creamer thugs and the violence they provoked generates sensational violent imagery and sensational reports of violence for dissemination by other media. The result is sensational propaganda benefiting the Democratic Party and its fawning media. See those Republicans? See the violence??!!
A vicious enterprise? Yes, through and through. The despicable scheme wages all-out war on honesty.
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