339 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2019
    1. When Representative Andy Kim, who flipped his New Jersey district by less than two percentage points, faced voters in his district on Tuesday night, he got an earful on the issue, The Burlington County Times reported.“Why is it taking so long? I want him gone” one attendee interjected. “Do your job,” yelled another in reference to impeachment.

      I'm very interested in how the town halls go. Need to watch the local papers very closely!

    2. When Representative Kim Schrier of Washington, who narrowly flipped a Republican seat in 2018, announced her support this week for an inquiry, the House Republican Conference’s campaign arm denounced her as a “deranged socialist” who was “so blinded by her hatred of President Trump that she is perpetuating impeachment conspiracy theories instead of working for her constituents.”

      You think maybe they protest a bit too much?

    3. Republicans are watching in wait for what they believe could be a suicidal decision for Democrats.

      This accepts what Republican say on face value.

      Here's how Castro put it at CNN's second presidential debate:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=n3_5zzF-bu0

      And what's going to happen in the fall of next year, of 2020, if they don't impeach him, is he's going to say, "You see? You see? The Democrats didn't go after me on impeachment, and you know why? Because I didn't do anything wrong. These folks that always investigate me, they're always trying to go after me. When it came down to it, they didn't go after me there because I didn't do anything wrong."

      Conversely, if Mitch McConnell is the one that lets him off the hook, we're going to be able to say "Well, sure, they impeached him in the House, but his friend, Mitch McConnell, Moscow Mitch, let him off the hook."

    4. Impeachment was barely a whisper in two nights of Democratic presidential primary debate.
    5. Mr. Quigley said individual members’ views are being shaped by a range of factors, including possible primary challenges, Mr. Mueller’s testimony last week, comments by Mr. Trump that are widely condemned as racist and the administration’s refusal to comply with certain investigative requests by Congress.

      Moral outrage, anyone?

    6. It appeared last week as if House leaders might have found a middle ground that could satisfy both proponents of an impeachment inquiry and queasy moderates still lined up against it.

      Again something "appeared". To who? And who seriously though it would satisfy either side? That makes no sense. So it's unattributed nonsense.

    7. But far from relieving pressure,

      Again, a good point from Signorile:

      In the re-writing of the narrative he then gives more speculation, that Nadler’s using the word “impeachment”was meant to placate, but actually led to allowing more members to come out.

      Again, no sources, just lots of generalizations.

      https://twitter.com/MSignorile/status/1156964202839515138

    8. It was not necessarily supposed to go that way. The House’s departure last Friday was expected to lower the temperature around the prospect of a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump. An unexpected declaration by the House Judiciary Committee in court papers on Friday that an impeachment investigation was effectively already underway might well have cooled matters further.

      This Twitter threat from veteran journalist Michelangelo Signorile is really devastating. Who "expected" it? The author expected it! Last week!

      https://twitter.com/MSignorile/status/1156960578700754945

    9. The trickle of Democrats coming out in favor of opening a full impeachment inquiry is threatening to turn into a flood

      This is the language of someone who sees impeachment as a thing to be avoided. You wouldn't say a rainy day is threatening to turn into a sunny one.

    1. And so this is a difference with a lot of us on this debate stage. I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings immediately. And I'll tell you this... (APPLAUSE) Debbie Stabenow now has joined my call for starting impeachment proceedings, because he is now stonewalling Congress, not allowing -- subjecting himself to the checks and balances. We swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. The politics of this be dammed. When we look back in history at what happened when a president of the United States started acting more like an authoritarian leader than the leader of the free world, the question is, is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job. LEMON: Senator Booker, thank you very much. Secretary Castro, what's your response? CASTRO: Well, I agree. I was the first of the candidates to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings. There are 10 different incidents that Robert Mueller has pointed out where this president either obstructed justice or attempted to obstruct justice. And I believe that they should go forward with impeachment proceedings. As to the question of what my Department of Justice would do, I agree with those who say that a president should not direct an attorney general specifically to prosecute or not prosecute. However, I believe that the evidence is plain and clear and that if it gets that far, that you're likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump. LEMON: Thank you, Secretary. Mayor de Blasio, I'm going to bring you in. What's your response? DE BLASIO: I think it's obvious at this point in our history that the president has committed the crimes worthy of impeachment. But I want to caution my fellow Democrats. While we move in every way we can for impeachment, we have to remember at the same time the American people are out there looking for us to do something for them in their lives. And what they see when they turn on the TV or go online is just talk about impeachment. We need more talk about working people and their lives. For example, are we really ready -- and I ask people on this stage this question -- are we ready to make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes? That's something every American wants to know about. That's something they want answers to right now. So, yeah, move for impeachment, but don't forget to do the people's business and to stand up for working people, because that's how we're actually going to beat Donald Trump. The best impeachment is beating him in the election of 2020. (APPLAUSE) LEMON: Mayor, thank you very much. Senator Bennet, how do you respond to this conversation? BENNET: I think, look, as we go forward here, we need to recognize a very practical reality, which is that we are four months -- we've got the August recess. Then we are four months away from the Iowa Caucuses. And I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn't end up with an acquittal by Mitch McConnell in the Senate, which it surely would. And then President Trump would be running saying that he had been acquitted by the United States Congress. I believe we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. (APPLAUSE) He has to be a single-term president. And we can't do anything that plays into our -- his hands. We were talking earlier about -- about climate up here. It's so important. Donald Trump should be the last climate denier that's ever in the White House. LEMON: Senator Bennet, thank you very much. Secretary Castro, please respond. BENNET: But we need to be smart about how we're running or we're going to give him a second term. We can't do it. LEMON: Secretary, please, your turn. CASTRO: Well, let me first say that I really do believe that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. All of us have a vision for the future of the country that we're articulating to the American people. We're going to continue to do that. We have an election coming up. At the same time, Senator, you know, I think that too many folks in the Senate and in the Congress have been spooked by 1998. I believe that the times are different. And in fact, I think that folks are making a mistake by not pursuing impeachment. The Mueller Report clearly details that he deserves it. And what's going to happen in the fall of next year, of 2020, if they don't impeach him, is he's going to say, "You see? You see? The Democrats didn't go after me on impeachment, and you know why? Because I didn't do anything wrong." (APPLAUSE) These folks that always investigate me, they're always trying to go after me. When it came down to it, they didn't go after me there because I didn't do anything wrong." Conversely, if Mitch McConnell is the one that lets him off the hook, we're going to be able to say... LEMON: Secretary... CASTRO: "Well, sure, they impeached him in the House, but his friend, Mitch McConnell, Moscow Mitch, let him off the hook."

      This is more than a "whisper".

    1. Liberals who support opening impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump had hoped that testimony by the former special counsel would finally electrify their efforts. The early verdict suggests that did not happen.

      Fandone ends up having to revisit this a week later, when it turns out he was WRONG. https://hyp.is/x69LKrSlEemIr0vyo-DAgg/www.nytimes.com/2019/08/01/us/politics/impeachment-house-democrats-trump.html

  2. Jul 2019
    1. One mistake that was made by the media — and which is constantly being made — is living off Donald Trump’s tweets. I call it the kitty-litter box full of Trump’s tweets. The way it works is Donald Trump sends out a tweet. The cable news immediately repeats Trump’s tweet, instead of doing what I would have done if I were king of the world and editor. I would look and see the changes inside the bureaucracy and the system.  What is Trump doing? He is replacing good people everywhere with these extreme conservatives — they are not all necessarily fascists. These Trump government types do not want to give food to the poor. They don’t think that immigrants should be treated well. We’re seeing this strategy of Trump ruining the government all over the place.

      Sy Hersh on media coverage of Trump.

    1. Trump’s attacks often have come in response to efforts by Facebook, Google and Twitter to remove hate speech, threats of violence and other troubling content from their platforms. These tech giants have been under pressure to address a litany of online ills, including the rise of disinformation, three years after Russian agents spread falsehoods on social media during the 2016 election. But Trump and his close allies have decried some of social media’s content-moderation policies as censorship, putting those companies in a political bind.

      This is useful context.

    2. The Southern Poverty Law Center charged that the president is “essentially conducting a hate summit at the White House,” said Heidi Beirich, the director of the group’s work to track online extremism.

      The obligatory quote from the SPLC -- although, honestly, with all the recent revelations about the SPLC's own race problems, I think it's obligatory to go someplace else instead these days.

    3. In response, critics fretted that Trump had essentially endorsed such controversial tactics in the early days of the 2020 presidential race.

      ditto

    4. Democratic lawmakers and watchdog groups said they were most alarmed that Trump had invited supporters who have a history of targeting the president’s political opponents with inflammatory tweets, misleading videos and hard-to-debunk conspiracy theories.

      And again. This is all called "editorializing by proxy" and here is has been done with spectacular cowardice.

    5. a move that led some critics to express dismay that the president aimed to use the policy summit as a reelection push.

      Again with the "critics"? This is not a reach.

    6. critics chastised for giving a prominent stage to some of the Internet’s most controversial, incendiary voices.

      Must the writer hide behind the "cirtics" construction here? There is nothing even vaguely controversial about calling these people controversial and incendiary.

    7. Trump accuses social media companies of ‘terrible bias’ at White House summit decried by critics

      This is a horrible headline. It airs Trump's completely scurrilous grievance, while weakly acknowledging that critics exist

    1. reporters should, at the same time, avoid overcompensatory framings that preclude them from making forceful truth claims. One staff writer at a large global news outlet highlighted this tension. On one hand, she noted, you need to indicate when false claims are false. However, in so doing, you risk injecting (or being accused of injecting) opinion into the reporting. She noted that one common workaround she’s used, and has seen many other reporters use, is to editorialize by proxy. This approach uses a euphemistic “critics say” or “others say” as a way to hint that something isn’t what it appears to be, without having to assert a clear position. While editorializing by proxy might feel more comfortable from a reporting perspective, this reporter conceded, not taking a clear position risks lending plausibility to objectively false and/or manipulative claims. Furthermore, couching fact as opinion does not lend greater objectivity to the reporting. It actually undermines that objectivity. The reporting of facts (and, conversely, debunking of untruths), this reporter maintained, must therefore not be conflated with editorial stances.

      This is brilliantly put. "Editorializing by proxy" should be a common term among media critics. I will endeavour to make it so.

    1. Not surprisingly, the whole concept of the event alarmed the president’s critics.

      The obligatory "critics say" stuff tacked onto the bottom of the story. And not particularly enlightening quotes, at that.

    2. Other supporters who had made the journey from the internet’s backwaters to the White House included “Carpe Donktum,” who created a fake video of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. that Mr. Trump shared on Twitter. There was also Bill Mitchell, who enjoys discussing QAnon, an online conspiracy theory that purports to share government secrets. And there was Ali Alexander, who shared a tweet questioning Kamala Harris’s racial background.

      This paragraph could have been higher up, after the "crap" quote!

    3. That’s really not what happened.

      No its not. But the way Rogers slams Deere for describing the summit is almost exactly how Rogers described it above ("the president went in search of .. ideas.") So she's only slamming herself.

    4. So on Thursday, the president went in search of outside-the-box campaign ideas from a group that also has little use for playing by the rules.

      Here's an unusual interjection of a reporter's unvarnished, unattributed analysis. But it's oddly unclear where this idea came from, and hardly the kind of critical perspective needed here. Perhaps that's why the editors let her keep it.

    5. “The crap you think of,” Mr. Trump said as he surveyed his Twitter kingdom, “is unbelievable.”

      Obviously a seminal quote. But it is left to the reader to interpret. I would have liked to see the next paragraph remind readers of some of the crap Trump was celebrating.

    6. White House Hosts Conservative Internet Activists at a ‘Social Media Summit’

      Some people will only see the headline. This one leaves them no more informed than they were before they read it.

    7. White House Hosts Conservative Internet Activists at a ‘Social Media Summit’

      Some people will only see the headline. This one leaves them no more informed than they were before they read it.

    8. That’s really not what happened.

      No its not. But the way Deere inaccurately described the summit is almost exactly how Rogers described it above ("the president went in search of .. ideas.") So she's only contradicting herself.

    9. So on Thursday, the president went in search of outside-the-box campaign ideas from a group that also has little use for playing by the rules.

      Here's an unusual interjection of a reporter's unvarnished, unattributed analysis. But it's oddly unclear where this idea came from, and hardly the kind of critical perspective needed here. Perhaps that's why the editors let her keep it.

    10. “The crap you think of,” Mr. Trump said as he surveyed his Twitter kingdom, “is unbelievable.”

      Obviously a seminal quote. But it is left to the reader to interpret. I would have liked to see the next paragraph remind readers of some of the crap Trump was celebrating.

  3. Jun 2019
  4. May 2019
    1. a strategy that many legal and congressional experts fear could undermine the institutional power of Congress for years to come.

      and this...

    2. amounting to what many experts call the most expansive White House obstruction effort in decades

      This is what is called "editorializing by proxy." It is weak. Read more about editorializing by proxy.

    1. She noted that one common workaround she’s used, and has seen many other reporters use, is to editorialize by proxy. This approach uses a euphemistic “critics say” or “others say” as a way to hint that something isn’t what it appears to be, without having to assert a clear position. While editorializing by proxy might feel more comfortable from a reporting perspective, this reporter conceded, not taking a clear position risks lending plausibility to objectively false and/or manipulative claims.

      Editorializing by proxy coined, and defined, by Whitney Phillips in a report for the for the Data & Society Research Institute. Phillips is now an assistant professor in communication, culture and digital technologies at Syracuse University.

  5. Apr 2019
    1. The so-called Liberty City Seven case is indicative of how the U.S. government plays up the dangers of terrorism defendants when they are arrested but then never acknowledges that such purportedly dangerous individuals are routinely returned to their homes in the United States, in some cases just a few years after their arrests. As in other stings, the defendants in the Liberty City Seven case had no connection to terrorists. An undercover FBI informant, pretending to be an Al Qaeda agent, was the only alleged connection to terrorism.

      A refresher on the Liberty City Seven

    1. the evidence available to us does not establish that the President directed or aided Cohen's false testimony.

      This is a far cry from asserting that Trump didn't direct Cohen to lie. Cohen told Mueller that Trump didn't -- but it's clear that for good reason Mueller doesn't take anything Cohen says at face value.

  6. Jan 2019
    1. Yet privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.Editors’ PicksThe Lives They Lived 2018A Struggling Desert Town Bets Its Future on Pot$3,700 Generators and $666 Sinks: FEMA Contractors Charged Steep Markups on Puerto Rico RepairsAdvertisement

      Not so privately, I guess. Attendees were said to include: CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

  7. Nov 2018
    1. Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.

      I didn't realize the Houthis had to go first...

  8. Sep 2018
    1. And these are all false, to me. These are false accusations in certain cases

      That's how long.

    2. I won’t get into that game.

      How long does this last?

    1. The ruling party in Poland, which came to power in 2015, five years after Orbán’s party came to power in Hungary, is “following the same template,” according to Stanford international studies professor Anna Grzymala-Busse: “First, target the highest courts and the judiciary, then restrict the independence of the media and civil society, and finally transform the constitutional framework and electoral laws in ways that enshrine their hold on power.”

      Some history on Poland's destruction of the indpendent judiciary.

    1. Q What lesson do we take from what happened in Puerto Rico? How do we apply the lessons we took from Puerto Rico? THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful. Puerto Rico was, actually, our toughest one of all because it’s an island, so you just — you can’t truck things onto it. Everything is by boat. We moved a hospital into Puerto Rico — a tremendous military hospital in the form of a ship. You know that. And I actually think — and the Governor has been very nice. And if you ask the Governor, he’ll tell you what a great job. I think probably the hardest one we had, by far, was Puerto Rico because of the island nature. And I actually think it was one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about. Puerto Rico got hit not with one hurricane but with two. And the problem with Puerto Rico is their electric grid and their electric generating plant was dead before the storms ever hit. It was in very bad shape. It was in bankruptcy. It had no money. It was largely — you know, it was largely closed. And when the storm hit, they had no electricity — essentially before the storm. And when the storm hit, that took it out entirely. The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did, working along with the Governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous. I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success. Texas, we had been given A-plusses for. Florida, we’ve been given A-plusses for. I think, in a certain way, the best job we did was Puerto Rico, but nobody would understand that. I mean, it’s harder to understand. It was very hard — a very hard thing to do because of the fact they had no electric. Before the storms hit, it was dead, as you probably know. So we’ve gotten a lot of receptivity, a lot of thanks for the job we’ve done in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was very important.

      Trump's comments on Puerto Rico.

    1. shamanistic incantation. As Klemperer noted, the fascist style depends upon “endless repetition,” designed to make the fictional plausible and the criminal desirable.

      Here's the Klemperer citation.

    1. 4) The investigation was extremely narrow in its focus. Committee staffers only looked at what the CIA did in its black sites; whether it misled other officials; and whether it complied with orders. That is somewhat like investigating whether a hit man did the job efficiently and cleaned up nicely.

      Why Kavanaugh wasn't mentioned/

    1. in a recently unearthed 1999 roundtable discussion, Kavanaugh argued that one of the most important Supreme Court decisions limiting executive power was wrongly decided. In 1974, the court ruled 8-0 that then-president Richard Nixon's "executive privilege" did not make him immune to a subpoena from the Watergate special prosecutor. It ordered Nixon to hand over audio tapes of his conversations and calls. He did. And two weeks later, he was waving goodbye in a helicopter. But Kavanaugh lamented the decision, saying that "maybe Nixon was wrongly decided." His reasoning: "Nixon took away the power of the president to control information in the executive branch by holding that the courts had power and jurisdiction to order the president to disclose information in response to a subpoena sought by a subordinate executive branch official. That was a huge step with implications to this day that most people do not appreciate sufficiently."

      Kavanaugh on U.S. v Nixon

  9. Aug 2018
    1. Despite Strong Economy, Federal Deficit Soars

      The reason the federal deficit is soaring is because of Trump's massive tax cuts. That kind of deserves mention here. It also assumes the deficits are intrinsically bad. Deficits to finance public investments, for instance are good. (Deficits that enrich the super-rich are stupid.)

    2. Like a family that's maxed out its credit cards, policymakers may have less room to maneuver the next time they're confronted with an actual crisis, as a result of the government's mounting debt load.

      So wrong. For instance, families can't raise taxes or print money.

    3. the government is still acting like a spendthrift family, piling up credit card bills even though times are good

      The U.S. government isn't a family. It's an awful and insidious analogy championed by those who oppose higher taxes and government support for the poor. See, i.e., The Federal Budget is NOT like a Household Budget: Here’s Why

    1. aspiring traitors like Clapper, Hayden, Tapper, Acosta, Hillary Clinton, Comey, John Podesta, Maddow, McCabe, Brennan, Page, Strzok, Wray, the reporting staffs of the Washington Post and the New York Times, the Council on Foreign Relations, and most of all, by the foreign-born Obama.

      Michael Scheuer's list of "aspiring traitors" just might include you.

    1. The familiar advice, easy to state, hard to follow, but if there’s another way, it’s been kept a dark secret: honest, dedicated, courageous and persistent engagement, ranging from education and organization to direct activism, carefully honed for effectiveness under prevailing circumstances. Hard work, necessary work, the kind that has succeeded in the past and can again.

      What to do? Here is what Chomsky advises.

    2. the most highly regarded moderates firmly uphold doctrines that are, quite literally, too outlandish to discuss. For example, Richard Haass, a respected scholar and diplomat and long-time president of the influential Council on Foreign Relations, instructs us with a straight face that “International order for 4 centuries has been based on non-interference in the internal affairs of others and respect for sovereignty. Russia has violated this norm by seizing Crimea and by interfering in the 2016 US election. We must deal [with] Putin’s Russia as the rogue state it is.” Words fail.

      "Words fail."

    3. While Trump’s policies make no sense from a geostrategic perspective, they fall into place on the assumption that he is continuing to pursue his “Me First” agenda, damn the consequences for the world, matters we’ve discussed before. The agenda requires maintaining the loyalty of his base and ensuring that they will remain loyal if the Mueller investigation comes up with something that damages him. The centerpiece of his press conference with Putin, bitterly condemned by elite opinion, was his effort to discredit Mueller. The tactic is succeeding quite well. A large majority of Republicans approve of the way Trump dealt with Putin, and polls show that Mueller’s public image is at an all-time low. Meanwhile, the sharp escalation and threats satisfy the national security hawks.

      Chomsky explains Trump's facially nonsensical behavior in Helsinki.

    4. In the case of Western democracies — Trump, Western Europe — what’s wrong with today’s democracy is its decline, with the attendant attack on prospects for a decent life as the political system falls even more than usual under the control of concentrated private power and hence becomes less responsive to human needs.

      Authoritarianism thrives when the ostensible "liberal democracy" fails to respond to human needs.

    5. the major attack on the institutions and values of liberal democracy is by the powerful business classes, intensifying since Reagan as both political parties have drifted toward greater subordination to their interests

      Chomsky says the harm to liberal democracy caused by Russian interference pales in comparison to the fact that the government is not responsive to voters.

  10. Jul 2018
    1. 1. When the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate. 2 In these circumstances, [343 U.S. 579, 636]   and in these only, may he be said (for what it may be worth) to personify the federal sovereignty. If his act is held unconstitutional under these circumstances, it usually means that the Federal Government [343 U.S. 579, 637]   as an undivided whole lacks power. A seizure executed by the President pursuant to an Act of Congress would be supported by the strongest of presumptions and the widest latitude of judicial interpretation, and the burden of persuasion would rest heavily upon any who might attack it. 2. When the President acts in absence of either a congressional grant or denial of authority, he can only rely upon his own independent powers, but there is a zone of twilight in which he and Congress may have concurrent authority, or in which its distribution is uncertain. Therefore, congressional inertia, indifference or quiescence may sometimes, at least as a practical matter, enable, if not invite, measures on independent presidential responsibility. In this area, any actual test of power is likely to depend on the imperatives of events and contemporary imponderables rather than on abstract theories of law. 3   3. When the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb, for then he can rely only upon his own constitutional powers minus any constitutional powers of Congress over the matter. Courts can sustain exclusive presidential control in such a case only by disabling [343 U.S. 579, 638]   the Congress from acting upon the subject. 4 Presidential claim to a power at once so conclusive and preclusive must be scrutinized with caution, for what is at stake is the equilibrium established by our constitutional system.

      Justice Jackson's three categories of presidential power in national security decisions.

  11. Jun 2018
    1. which suggests traders are concerned about long-term growth — even as the economy shows plenty of vitality.

      Maybe they are all just scared shitless about Trump, like so many of the rest of us!

    1. In a few instances, a staff member may have to move to a different department — from business and financial news, say, to the culture desk—to avoid the appearance of conflict.

      Clearly, this is not unheard of.

    2. A City Hall reporter who enjoys a weekly round of golf with a City Council member, for example, risks creating an appearance of coziness, even if they sometimes discuss business on the course.

      From DOJ IG report: "FBI employees improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and m eals, and admittance to nonpublic social events."

    1. In addition to the significant number of communications between FBI employees and journalists, we identified social interactions between FBI employees and journalists that were, at a minimum, inconsistent with FBI policy and Department ethics rules. For example, we identified instances where FBI employees received tickets to sporting events from journalists, went on golfing outings with media representatives, were treated to drinks and meals after work byreporters, and were the guests of journalists at nonpublic social events. We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General (IG) Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.

      Question: Does any of this violate journalistic ethics? Some of it is good source maintenance, but is some over the line?

    1. Trump tests journalists and news consumers in a way they’ve never been tested before. Like would-be autocrats elsewhere, Trump is pursuing a strategy of disorienting the citizenry with a steady stream of provocations, untruths and diversions. We cannot afford to treat any of this as the usual spin or garden-variety politics.

      E.J. Dionne challenges journalists to stop falling for Trump's diversions, and call them out for what they are: the attempts of an autocrat to disorient the citizenry.

    1. A spokesman for the Justice Department said in an email that the new guidance policy would not affect the enforcement of science-based laws. “The Department of Justice continues to aggressively and successfully enforce the nation’s laws, including environmental and health laws,” the spokesman said, on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. “Assertions to the contrary are incorrect.”

      This speaks volumes about both the Trump administration and the New York Times. The Justice Department won't respond on the record at all -- and the Times allows a SPOKESMAN to go on background and then stenographically prints a non-answer, blanket denial, supported by no evidence. Shame on everyone involved here.

    1. Mr. Trump’s lawyers fear that if he answers questions, either voluntarily or in front of a grand jury, he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.

      This unsourced and yet unqualified paragraph is the Times clearly indicating that they were told this by Trump's lawyers, but only on condition that then not attribute it at all.

  12. May 2018
    1. Skok: I’m not saying that you are responsible — Gingras: No, I don’t say it with that intent. I have no problem with people criticizing us for what we do. I’m just saying let’s look at the questions on a larger scale and understand what’s really going on because it ain’t as simple as that.

      Leaving us with another question: Can a centralized colossus reaping vast profits off what was supposed to be a decentralized web actually be part of the solution?

      I think they can, but they need to spend A LOT more money.

      I personally think they and Facebook should create a very large subsidy distributed to news organizations per local news reporter. I can't see anything less direct than that making that much of a difference -- although I think most of what Gingras is saying is right.

    2. So how do you understand the community’s needs? How do you address those needs? How do you rethink what the very nature and form of journalism is in this day and age? How do the contracts evolve in an environment where we’re all snacking off our cellphones? To what extent do narrative styles have to change? To what extent is it more immersive, or less immersive, or whatever? To what extent can data journalism become a stronger part of what we do, so that we’re not just covering news through stories and anecdotes but providing additional context to help people understand why something is important or not important to them? As we deal with these challenges, all of us as institutions — including Google, including the press — have to really rethink what our roles are in this very different world.

      More (excellent) questions. Not all of them answered, as this particular interview is almost over.

    3. They don’t have marketers on staff, they have community organizers on staff and they go out and they arrange town halls and they’re trying to assess the needs and interests of their community, they’re trying to figure out how do they engage with their community.

      And this is as close as Gingras gets to explaining what specifically he thinks news organizations need to start doing. So Nieman Lab's write-up about the Bristol Cable is essential reading.

      Is that desirable, reproducible, and plausible?

      There are lots of experiments going on in that direction. Among them are Jay Rosen's Membership Puzzle Project and FreePress's News Voices program.

      Gosh, I wish them luck.

    4. Media literacy training is important, but can you design a new site that actually doesn’t need a user manual to tell you what you’re seeing, tell you what’s fact-based coverage versus opinion?

      Funny he should mention that. An excellent, thought-provoking new report from Tom Rosenstiel and Jane Elizabeth was just released by the American Press Institute, and outlines several ways that people who produce the news can help readers tell good reporting from bad by building their journalism differently. Highly recommended (and annotated.)

    5. I was a founder of The Trust Project for pushing on the architecture of journalism.

      The Trust Project is devoted to "developing transparency standards that help you easily assess the quality and credibility of journalism." Check it out.

    6. My own personal favorite definition of journalism is to give citizens the tools they need to be good citizens: to give them the information they need to when they go to the polls to make smart decisions about what’s important for their communities and that’s not what’s happening today.

      Hell yes. That's certainly why I do journalism. Note: That does NOT mean telling people how to vote. It means making sure they are armed with accurate information about important things, so they can make intelligent choices.

    7. Can we create a weather report for our communities?

      I think not. The weather report is interesting (crucial) because the weather changes constantly. so it's a bad metaphor.

    8. disproportionality. You’ve got the British Parliament attack in London and our cable news networks in the United States go wall to wall with it for three days. A sad event — four people died. [Five, plus the assailant. —Ed.] On those same three days, there were mass murders of four or more people that didn’t get covered. We have people going to the polls living in a farming community in Iowa concerned about terrorism, not understanding what the real needs and interests of their communities are.

      Maybe the view from the colossus is better than fro down here, because I think Gingras makes a great point here. Disproportionality. Every news organization would do well to think about whether old habits are leading them to spend too much of their valuable resources covering things that don't actually matter very much.

    9. So what does that say about the future? I’m increasingly encouraged by what I see, but I think it’s a very, very different approach. And that’s the kind of success we’re seeing. It’s a much more community-centric approach. Earlier, there was a conversation that you need to think more about marketing, which is true, but I also think that, in a different way, I think you need to be smarter about community organizing, to be smarter about understanding the natural interests of your community.

      Here, Gingras starts to develop his argument: Journalism needs to be more "community centric."

    10. User behaviors changed in terms of what you use a news site for, and with it went the advertising dollars. I can assure you that if Google didn’t exist, this still would have happened.

      And here is the problem, in a nutshell

    11. What are the evolving forms and structures of journalism to better serve our communities in an environment where people are consuming information in so many different ways?

      This is the central question.

    12. I think if we can look through the smoke of disruption, we’re beginning to see seedlings of success, of new approaches to journalism at the local level, at the national level, in terms of content and issues, that is extraordinarily exhilarating and inspiring.

      This, Gingras's thesis, is not really something you hear very much these days. Let's see his evidence. Read on!

    1. Journalists can begin to help audiences become more discriminating by building and presenting content differently, in a way that explicitly displays and answers key questions reader may have — through boxes, billboards, and other elements placed on top of or alongside traditional narratives.

      Interested in giving it a try with annotation? Email me at froomkin@gmail.com!

    2. Who is the writer and what are the writer’s credentials and background?

      More than a sentence, please! This is key. Readers deserve to know where writers are coming from, and whether their opinion likely reflects partisan talking points, professional bias, actual experience, an unexpected departure, etc.

    3. If we have anonymous sources, why?

      Generally, and according to widely-ignored in-house newsroom rules, reporters should explain both why the source requested anonymity, and why the reporter granted it. This almost uniformly fails to make it into stories. But it could make it into "billboards" or annotations!

    4. What don’t we know? What are the questions we are trying to answer?

      So key.

    5. Why did we do this story? (Why does this story matter?) What’s new here? What questions did we set out to answer? What do we know now? What don’t we know? What’s the evidence? Who are the sources and why were they chosen? Why did we use unnamed sources? What might happen next? What could change? How and when will we cover it? How can you respond or get involved?

      You know what these questions have in common? These are exactly the best questions reporters get asked and answer when they go on TV to talk about their stories.

    6. contextual manner.

      A great companion piece to this report is a really quite brilliant white paper recently published by the Knight Foundation: "Contextual Fact-Checking: A New Approach to Correcting Misperceptions and Maintaining Trust," by Emily Thorson, assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University.

      She points out how damaging the lack of context can be:

      First, inadequate factual information threatens readers’ ability to process the content—a critical ingredient for maintaining reader attention and trust. Second, leaving out key pieces of information can inadvertently help to create misperceptions by placing the burden of interpretation onto readers who might be ill- equipped to understand these complex issues.

      And her proposed solution dovetails very nicely with API's idea of transparency:

      [T]he goal of contextual fact-checking is to correct areas of confusion and misperception among members of the public.

      Thorson's white paper is worth reading for many reasons, not the least of which is the wonderful "Case Study" on the national debt. Drives me crazy!

    7. Joy Mayer at Trusting News and Sally Lehrman at The Trust Project.

      Follow those links! Two really fascinating projects.

    8. “What questions would this story raise in a skeptical consumer’s mind?”

      This is a great question. And it sure beats the question on many beat reporters' minds, which is: "What will my sources think of this story?"

      Heck just thinking about writing for the consumer, rather than the source, would be a big step toward if not transparency, then at least intelligibility.

    9. a nutrition label for news,

      Ingredients, I'm all for. Percent of daily values, no sir!

    10. Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel

      Two of the most trusted names in news. Seriously.

    11. What facts don’t we know yet?

      I love this in particular.

    12. What sources did you talk to and why them?

      This particularly lends itself to annotation -- and can leverage research work already being done.

    13. imagine a format or presentation that, alongside the story, poses some key questions a discriminating or “fluent” news consumer might ask to decide what to make of the story. 

      You could, for instance, imagine annotation. Like this!

    14. If journalists want their audiences to be able to differentiate solidly reported news content from work that is more speculative, thinly sourced, or backed by rumor or innuendo, then they must create their journalism in ways that make it easier for anyone to recognize those qualities.

      This is the nut graph -- and I totally agree. In fact, as I wrote nine years ago in my essay ‘Playing it Safe’ Is Killing the American Newspaper:

      Daily newspapers are notoriously non-transparent, an old habit that at least in part stems from our lack of space. We historically haven’t had the column inches to “waste” on an explanation of how we got a story, or what the problems were in reporting it, or to defend it once it’s attacked. We just “let the story speak for itself.” Space seems to have been at a particular premium in the corrections box. But the Internet both demands and facilitates transparency. We should be much more willing to admit errors and explain ourselves — with a guiding principle being that the more people understand how we operate, the more they will trust us.

    1. Daily newspapers are notoriously non-transparent, an old habit that at least in part stems from our lack of space. We historically haven’t had the column inches to “waste” on an explanation of how we got a story, or what the problems were in reporting it, or to defend it once it’s attacked. We just “let the story speak for itself.” Space seems to have been at a particular premium in the corrections box. But the Internet both demands and facilitates transparency. We should be much more willing to admit errors and explain ourselves — with a guiding principle being that the more people understand how we operate, the more they will trust us.

      This

    1. Pants on fire is so tired. Could you ask your graphics department to use an icon of a steaming pile of feces instead?

      Another redditor suggestion, this one somewhat less helpful.

    2. We always define the claim we're checking. We always reach out to the speaker and ask for his/her data. We always ask ourselves two things: What evidence would show that this claim is accurate. What evidence would show that it is less than accurate.

      Process matters.

    3. I do talk regularly to press secretaries and spokespeople and hear them out if they don't like the outcome of a particular fact-check. Part of our regular process, too, is to talk to them extensively before we publish so we understand how they view the evidence.

      This is something most people probably don't know, and is a huge advantage for reported fact-checks, like the ones done by Factcheck.org.

    4. I love how this response indirectly states that Republicans make more incorrect claims.

      Can't get much past the redditors.

    5. Jon here: Lie is a loaded word and we leave it to the columnists to use it. For reporters, it is best to say that something is inaccurate, because we take the stance that we can only judge accuracy, not intent. And lying involves the intent to deceive. permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply[–]andew0100 [score hidden] an hour ago (0 children)"Pants on fire" is the same as calling someone a liar. Jon here: Lie is a loaded word and we leave it to the columnists to use it. I hereby dub this statement "pants on fire".

      Whose pants are on fire?

    6. the Pants on Fire rating is "the claim is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim." Three editors vote on whether a claim should be False or Pants on Fire, and it's admittedly a judgment call.

      What does Pants on Fire mean? Politifact explains here, but the redditors aren't convinced. See below.

    7. Wouldn't it better you'd introduce new rulings? Like misleading or irrelevant?

      Suggestion from a redditor

    8. You seem to be unnecessarily harsh on the side of literal facts over general facts.

      Interesting observation by a redditor

    9. we aim to let the hard numbers and facts do the talking. We try to pick claims that are susceptible to that approach and while there can be judgment calls, we aim to keep them to a minimum. From the very start of a fact-check, we ask ourselves two questions: What data would prove the statement correct, and what data would show that it is less than accurate.

      This also explains the preponderance of quantitative, rather than qualitative, statements that get fact-checked

    1. It has become standard operating procedure for Trump and his aides to deceive the public with false statements and shifting accounts.

      This should be a standard disclaimer/second reference every time anyone in the White House is quoted.

    1. The clear takeaway from the Swift Boaters’ truth-mangling campaign remains the core cognitive and moral distemper at the root of our political press today—namely, the idea that the perceptions created by political actors matter more than the substantive facts that can be truthfully reported. And this has allowed the Swift Boaters’ libelous script to repeat itself again and again over the past grim fourteen years of our cultural and civic decline.

      Jason Linkins traces the gradual rot of the civic space back to the Swift Boat calumnies of 2004. Here's the TLDR nut graph.

  13. Apr 2018
    1. in a recent interview with Politico Magazine in his Times office.

      OK i'm going to stop now because: 1) I've got other things to do 2) This is no fun 3) I just noticed that @kath_krueger did a thorough evisceration this morning already, at Splinter News. I am still not quite sure what Splinter News is, and she's new to me, but she did a splendid job so go read that.

    2. But some of them are jackasses

      Great, highly appropriate kicker!

    3. equally polarizing

      Translation: Someone advocating for something like Bernie Sanders's platform is "equally polarizing" as Trump's lying white nationalist lunacy.

    4. arguments are intended as instruments of illumination

      in italics no less!!!!

    5. helping to recreate an intellectual and moral center in American public life

      So he admits it!

      This is like a car wreck and I can't stop watching.

    6. That earnest and nuanced answer was in its own way a distillation of the central issue regarding his leadership

      Ack! OK now I'm really stopping.

    7. His tenure has been about standing strong on behalf of a style of discourse that requires making points with precision, insists on the distinction between honest argument and propaganda, and defaults to an assumption that the other side has a legitimate point of view and is deserving of respect

      Actually, he's made the NYT op-ed page into a febrile hotbed of officious centrism, right at a time when it could be defining a progressive post-Trump future.

    8. regarded with suspicion by some loud voices on the left

      This is precisely the dismissive, arrogant attitude toward progressive critics that Bennet has. What a coincidence.

      And guess what? The progressive critique goes far beyond the two incidents Harris describes next. In fact, Quinn Norton had a lot of support from the left.

      See, i.e.:

      Six ways the New York Times could genuinely make its op-ed page more representative of America by @ZaidJilani

      The @nytimes’s newest op-ed hire, Bari Weiss, embodies its worst failings by @ggreenwald

      New York Times promises truth and diversity, then hires climate-denying anti-Arab white guy by @ZaidJilani

    9. the transcript of which later leaked

      Link to it, to give readers a bit more perspective, maybe? It's here. And the transcript wasn't leaked, the audio was. HuffPost then transcribed it, god bless 'em.

    10. all-staff memo
    11. These and other moves by Bennet to enliven his pages

      snort

    12. as he revamps and modernizes the Times opinion section

      Perhaps that is what Bennet was brought in to do. But for Harris to conclude and announce that he's actually been doing it "over the past year" pretty much settles the argument before it's even been introduced.

    13. But he does give a damn.

      Note the sympathetic framing from the get-go. Bennet's problem with his "combatants" is that he doesn't like criticism and is personally hypersensitive. "Giving a damn" is generally considered a positive value among journalists. Here, his old pal John Harris makes it sound noble that he is a whiner.

    1. During the election you had no strong advocate for [Sen.] Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.], or any of those positions. And so I guess, in the more recent months, in your attempts to find those voices, where have you been looking, what types of people have you been looking for, and how are you trying to get a more diverse group of people regularly writing in the op-ed section?

      Bennet's lame response below: "there are a number of lenses we’re missing right now, "

  14. Mar 2018
    1. So we’re doubling down on our partnerships with academics, technology companies and other partners.

      Sounds to me like what they need to do, if they're essentially outsourcing the false-news identification to fact-checkers, is make huge financial contributions to news organizations so they can hugely beef up their fact-checking operations -- AND change their focus, from picking over assertions made by public figures to actively seeking out and cataloguing false news. OR they need to hire journalists to do it, because I'm not quite sure what the value of false-news-hunting is to a news organization per se, beyond those being data points to be searched for indications of intentional disinformation campaigns...

    2. In the US, we recently announced a partnership with The Associated Press to use their reporters in all 50 states to identify and debunk false and misleading stories related to the federal, state and local US midterm elections.

      That's great. But are AP reporters actually going to see these false and misleading stories? And how quickly will they jump on them? How high a priority is this?

    3. We use the information from fact-checkers to train our machine learning model, so that we can catch more potentially false news stories and do so faster.

      But this raises two questions: 1) Are the fact-checkers good models for catching false news stories? Most of them, more often than not, examine and judge individual assertions, rather than a whole story. and 2) What are the machines learning?

    4. to predict potentially false stories for fact-checkers to review.

      So they send fact-checkers stories. I don't know how quickly or how often; or how quickly and often the fact-checkers respond.

    5. our partnership with third-party fact-checking organizations. We’re seeing progress in our ability to limit the spread of articles rated false by fact-checkers, and we’re scaling our efforts.

      Fact-checkers are a key element here; but what does that mean?

    6. Tessa Lyons, Product Manager

      Facebook lead on false news.

    1. every person of conviction makes a bargain by going to work for Trump: to wield the levers of power, to make changes you believe are for the better, you will have to make certain compromises

      Here, finally, Time's institutional voice takes over, and concludes, very seriously, that people of conviction who go to work for Trump to make changes they think are for the better have to compromise. How much is wrong with that? Everything. Going to work for Trump is not something people with (moral) conviction do. Their bargain is not somewhere down the road, it is right at the beginning, as well as throughout the middle, and after the end.

    2. The conviction among his critics that Sessions is racist has sometimes led them to overreach. In February, a Democratic Senator and the American Civil Liberties Union blasted him for referring to the “Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement” in a speech. It was a factual description, one Obama had used on many occasions. But in explaining it to me, Sessions couldn’t resist a detour into cultural stereotypes. “I believe the American legal system, which clearly developed out of England, is a wonder of the world, and it’s based on the fact that lady justice is blindfolded,” he said. “When you go and travel like I have–to Kosovo, to Afghanistan, to Iraq–where we’ve invested huge amounts of money and effort to export our legal system to a culture that’s totally unfamiliar with it, it doesn’t work. It’s because it requires a degree of trust and respect, education and maybe even a cultural predisposition.”

      This is a funny paragraph! It starts out by saying that "critics" over-reached when they said Sessions's referral to the "Anglo-American heritage" of law enforcement WASN'T racist, b/c Obama said so too. Then Sessions tells the reporter that non-Anglo-Americans may not have the "cultural predisposition" necessary to appreciate it. Which is, you know, kinda racist.

    3. Sessions seemed exasperated when I asked him to address the disproportionate impact of harsh policing and incarceration on black families and communities. He cited the work of Heather Mac Donald, the controversial conservative scholar who argues that racial bias in the criminal-justice system is a myth and that the real problem is a “war on cops.”

      Confronted with the fact that mass incarceration disproportionately affects African-Americans, Sessions is "exasperated." Then he cites an extremist scholar. And then Time forges ahead to the "critics say" paragraph. This is the judicial equivalent of climate denial. You don't just let it go with an expression of exasperation. And this whole section should have been higher up. This at least indicates how Sessions is not doing anything based on evidence, just on his (old Southern white man's) gut.

    4. Sessions’ liberal critics agree that he’s been remarkably effective.

      This generic "critics say" paragraph is insufficient.

    5. Is Winning

      I have an issue with this choice of words. See below.

    6. pulling back from police oversight and civil rights enforcement and pushing a hard-line approach to drugs, gangs and immigration violations

      This, Time Magazine calls a "win" for Trump. Which, technically, it is. But for any self-respecting journalist to call it a "win", even if it were in quotes which it is not, without pointing out what a tragedy it is for our nation (It's a two-fisted revival of the New Jim Crow) strikes me as soulless.

    7. rescinded the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and reversed its stances on voting rights and transgender rights

      Wins three, four and five.

    8. a maximalist approach to prosecuting and jailing criminals

      This is "win" No. 2.

    1. which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation

      This language is what makes charging whistleblowers under the Espionage Act a perversion of the law. It's meant to punish.. spies.

    1. “He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me.

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. "He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me.

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. “He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me.

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. “He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me.

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me.

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. “He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me,”

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. ‘He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me.

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. And last night, the young man also, h e ran on a campaign, he said very nice things about me.

      ![](http://static.politifact.com/mediapage/jpgs/politifact-logo-big.jpg) ![](https://dhpikd1t89arn.cloudfront.net/rating_images/politifact/tom-false.jpg) Looking to put a positive spin on a stunning political upset, President Donald Trump said Democrat Conor Lamb — the yet-to-be-declared winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district — "ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me." Trump made the comment at a private fundraiser for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley a day after the March 13 election, The Washington Post reported. But did Lamb’s campaign actually say "very nice things" about the president, or was this an attempt to minimize a looming Republican loss in a reliably red district? What ... Mpre,...<br> (Published 2018-03-14)

    1. Over the next six months, Democratic voters will be asked again and again whether their party’s candidates should hew to the center or move to the left.

      I think the frame here makes this a foregone conclusion: It implies that going left will lose votes from the center, so case closed. But what if we reframed the question, to ask whether Democrats should be beholden to corporate interests, or stick to their principles? Whether Democrats who make decisions through triangulation look flighty to voters who want to know where their elected officials stand? Whether boldly proclaiming that Trump is a sociopathic hustler who must be ousted at all costs plays better than saying he's someone Democrats can work with. Guess what the foregone conclusions are to THOSE questions?

    2. Should Democrats Embrace the Center or Abandon It?

      TLDR: Surprise! Last paragraph reads "Insofar as Democrats place a higher priority on purity than viability, they may be risking an indeterminate extension of the Trump era." Also see my annotation below.

    1. But the liberal establishment’s fixation on Facebook’s 2016 sins — first the transmission of fake news and now the exploitation of its data by the Trump campaign or its appendages — still feels like a classic example of blaming something new because it’s new when it’s the old thing that mattered more. Or of blaming something new because you thought that “new” meant “good,” that the use of social-media data by campaigns would always help tech-savvy liberals and not their troglodytic rivals — and the shock of discovering otherwise obscures the more important role that older forms of media played in making the Trump era a reality.

      There are even more straw men than white men on the New York Times op-ed page.

    1. DiGenova and Trump share the view that a faction inside the FBI sought to frame Trump.

      No. No they don't. That's the bullshit line they're peddling. That's what they SAY. That's not "the view" that they "share."

    2. President Trump’s attorneys have provided the special counsel’s office with written descriptions that chronicle key moments under investigation in hopes of curtailing the scope of a presidential interview, according to two people familiar with the situation.

      What does this actually mean? The explanation is actually down here.

    3. Trump’s lawyers hope the evidence eliminates the need to ask the president about some episodes.

      Again with the omniscience! And again with the euphemisms. So the lawyers have sent Mueller a bunch of information about what happened so they don't have to ask Trump who would lie about it. This is actually the lede of the story, if you ask me, followed by the two basic Mueller questions. There's great stuff here, obfuscated by overly great deference to sources.

    4. Special counsel investigators have told Trump’s lawyers that their main questions about the president fall into two simple categories, the two people said: “What did he do?” and “What was he thinking when he did it?”

      These are great questions, so this is great reporting. It also makes pretty clear that the entire story, sourced to "two people familiar with the situation" is based on what Trump's legal team told the Post.

    5. But his lawyers, who are carefully negotiating the terms of a sit-down, recognize the extraordinarily high stakes.

      The reason I point this out is that this implies that his lawyers are terrified he'll lie his ass off. But this sentence neither says that, nor provides attribution. Instead, it's a polite euphemism, stated in the style of the omniscient narrator.

    6. Impressive mind-reading trick!

    1. famously fickle

      So it's OK to describe him with euphemism and alliteration on second reference, but not with the truth, which would be more like "Mr. Trump, who has shown himself to be volatile, unbalanced, and intolerant of anything besides pure sycophancy,"

    1. says the flu vaccine is laced with cancer-causing ingredients.

      It isn't. </a>


      This statement has been analyzed by a member of the International Fact Checking Network. This annotation is provided by Hypothesis as a public service.

    1. “The president is concerned about the viability of this project and the fact that New York and New Jersey have no skin in the game.”

      <font size="+3">FOUR PINNOCHIOS</font> The states committed to funding 50 percent of Gateway costs in 2015. Read the full fact check.


      This statement has been analyzed by a member of the [International Fact Checking Network](https://www.poynter.org/channels/fact-checking). This annotation is provided by Hypothesis as a public service.

    1. "The President is concerned about the viability of this project and the fact that New York and New Jersey have no skin in the game."

      The states committed to funding 50 percent of Gateway costs in 2015. Read the full fact check.


      This statement has been analyzed by a member of the [International Fact Checking Network](https://www.poynter.org/channels/fact-checking). This annotation is provided by Hypothesis as a public service.

    1. Even pessimists acknowledged that Trump’s hard line against Pyongyang, after decades of less forceful U.S. effort, played a significant role in moving one of the world’s most vexing and threatening problems in a potentially positive direction.

      Actually, Korean experts I respect credit it to South Korean President Moon Jae-in -- see, i.e. Tim Shorrock -- who is amazingly not even mentioned in this story. This is pure delusion and White House brown-nosing.

    1. Understanding Student Mobbists

      The headline really says it all. The great David Brooks will apply his lofty intellect to the task of trying to understand the mentality of a mindless mob. That should go well.

    2. the edifice of civilizations is a great gift, which our ancestors gave their lives for

      So we shouldn't try to make it better?

    3. they ALL wound up waist deep in blood

      So walking out of school to protest gun culture... will lead to rivers of blood.

    4. If I could talk to the students

      As Serge Kovaleski, one of your NYT colleagues, tweeted: You should and you could.

    5. the oppressed masses have to mobilize to storm the barricades

      Hyperbole much?

    6. The solutions to injustice and suffering are simple and obvious: Defeat the powerful.

      There's a bit of truth there. Some students do believe that powerful entrenched interests have too much control over this country. Actually.. who would disagree with that?

    7. If reason and deliberation are central to democracy, how on earth did Donald Trump get elected?

      I do not see any logical progression in Brooks's argument here, but that is in fact a very good question.

    8. an educational ideology that taught them that individual reason and emotion were less important than perspectivism

      This is sheer fantasy. Yes, some people have always been aware that perspective matters. But no to everything else.

    9. reason, apparently, ceased to matter.

      Right. Forgot about that.

      SERIOUSLY?

    10. Progress is less about understanding and liking each other and more about smashing structures that others defend.

      This is glib. It assumes some sort of radical change, which is not in evidence beyond a few overhyped anecdotes. And "smashing structures that others defend" sounds so sinister -- unless you realize those structures are things like mass incarceration and endemic sexual harassment. Smash away!

    11. Now the crucial barriers to racial justice are seen not just as individual, but as structural economic structures, the incarceration crisis, the breakdown of family structure.

      Wow. Let's parse that. Brooks is saying that until recently, it was not a widely shared view that structural economic issues and mass incarceration were barriers to racial justice. (Not to mention the police.) This is the height of cluelessness.

      And he adds that "the breakdown of family structure" is also a newly discovered reason, when in fact it's been a condescending explanation from social conservatives for more than five decades.

    1. using clean, renewable hydropower.

      Yes, that is the most relevant thing about Deripaska. His company uses hydropower.

    2. just from a couple of people

      Who are these two people who launched, invented and spread this false narrative? (Is Soros one of them??)

    3. George Soros

      ,,, capped by the obligatory George Soros mention.

    4. The distractions no longer can mask these “unholy alliances.”

      Several paragraphs of Fox News-inspired fantasy follow..

    5. I am personally familiar with this group. Before they moved to their current, bigger ambitions of reversing the U.S. presidential election results, they scurrilously attacked me and others from the shadows for two decades

      So there's a scurrilous secret Deep State and it has victimized Deripaska for two decades. This hardly advances his argument.

    6. When you owe the world $18 trillion, the only way to get them to “pay 2 percent for defense” is to manufacture a boogeyman.

      No boogeyman required, sadly, despite the fact that the U.S. spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined.

    7. increase your defense budget to 2 percent

      This garble here at least assures us that this is all Deripaska. No editing.

      And nobody on the HIll was arguing against increasing the defense budget. More's the pity.

    8. Technology and the disintegration of evidence-based journalism permit a surprisingly small number of individuals to destroy bilateral or multilateral relations.

      That is pure Trumpian "fake news" yelping. Hardly a way to assure readers there was no collusion.

    9. the comedy movie “Wag the Dog,”

      Bill Clinton firing 76 Tomahawk missiles into Afghanistan and Sudan three days after finally admitting that he and Monica Lewinsky had sexual relations is a "Wag the Dog" moment. This is not a "Wag the Dog" moment. This is not a "distraction".

      There may be an element of overreaction, but it is hardly made up.

    10. Oleg DeripaskaFounder of UC Rusal, a large Russian aluminum company

      Calling Deripaska the founder of UC Rusai is accurate, but hardly sufficient. He is, as the Washington Post put it in September, "a shrewd self-made billionaire who has managed to stay on the right side of power, whether by marrying into "the family" of Russia's first president, Boris Yeltsin, or by making himself indispensable to its current one, Vladimir Putin."

      It was last September that news broke about Deripaska's long and complicated business relationship with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, one of whom apparently owes the other a lot of money. The Atlantic's Franklin Foer last month called renewed attention to the Manafort-Deripaska connection.

      Manafort, and by extension Deripaska, are central figures in Bob Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. For the Daily Caller not to say so up front is in itself indicative of deception.

    1. We sampled all rumor cascades investigated by six independent fact-checking organizations (snopes.com, politifact.com, factcheck.org, truthorfiction.com, hoax-slayer.com, and urbanlegends.about.com) by parsing the title, body, and verdict (true, false, or mixed) of each rumor investigation reported on their websites and automatically collecting the cascades corresponding to those rumors on Twitter.

      I"m confused. If the comparison was between a) Hoaxes so popular they were debunked by overworked fact-checkers and b) The motley collection of news stories that for some reason they fact-checked and found to be accurate... well of COURSE the hoaxes would win out. A better comparison would be between popular hoaxes and BIG news stories. Or am I not understanding this correctly?

    1. According to one account, GCHQ’s then head, Robert Hannigan, passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at “director level”. After an initially slow start, Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.

      11 months later, Jane Mayer in the New Yorker wrote that Hannigan told Brennan about "a stream of illicit communications between Trump’s team and Moscow that had been intercepted." I thought that was new, but Twitter user @empiricalerror set me straight.

    1. Special Counsel Mueller is believed to be investigating a different death that is possibly related to the dossier.

      14,000 or so words in.

    2. Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.’s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.’s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump’s team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.)

      This unsourced bombshell comes after about 10,000 words of this 15,000 word story. Only in the New Yorker.

    1. There may not be a perfect culinary metaphor for the kind of country inclusive nationalists seek to create. But its contours should be obvious. It is a state in which all members have the same rights and opportunities irrespective of the group into which they are born or the culture to which they belong. It is a society in which people feel that they have something important in common because they seek to govern themselves together, pledge to help one another in an hour of need and recognize that these shared commitments are ultimately more consequential than any difference of color or creed. And it is a culture that does not shy away from celebrating the nobility of this collective identity — embracing the nation’s flag not because we claim never to have failed our compatriots in the past but because we aspire to realize a common future fair to all.

      TLDR: Apparently, we need to embrace the flag as a symbol of aspiration. Here's the nut graph, such as it is, fourth from the bottom.

    1. --

      Jenny 8 Lee is adamant that this double dash -- become an em-dash —

  15. Feb 2018
    1. we will identify, on a prospective basis, individuals who receive Disability Insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (Act) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments under title XVI of the Act and who also meet certain other criteria, including an award of benefits based on a finding that the individual's mental impairment meets or medically equals the requirements of section 12.00 of the Listing of Impairments (Listings) and receipt of benefits through a representative payee.

      There is in fact a rule requiring the Social Security Administration to turn over some information for inclusion in background checks. But it's solely to identify people receiving benefits based on their mental impairments, not retirees. See more on Factcheck.org.

    1. despite the White House’s insistence otherwise, the felonies that Manafort is accused of, and the two that Gates pleaded guilty to on Friday, bear directly on the question of Russian collusion.

      This is really a masterpiece in misdirection – and a great example of Glenn Greenwald's axiom that major U.S. media outlets consistently exaggerate and or invent incriminating links between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

      I had only skimmed the latest Manafort indictment when it came out on Friday, so when I read this I did a doubletake: There was information that bore directly on Russian collusion with the campaign?? How did I miss that? So I went back and read it again more carefully and guess what? There was no such thing.

    2. Of course, Manafort wasn’t the only figure in Trump’s campaign with questionable Russian connections.

      And that's it. That's the end of the argument: But consider: 1) There was nothing in Mueller's indictment that was remotely about Russia. 2) It's old news that Manafort at one point mused about getting together with a Russian oligarch close to Putin. Do you feel informed? Or misled?

    3. desperate straits

      Except that rather than being desperate not to get whacked by a Russian mobster, Manafort might just have been engaging in his usual greasy mix of corruption and graft.

    4. and some revelatory journalism

      What Goldberg does here is seamlessly segue from the indictment to, literally, old news: reports from last September and October that Manafort, after becoming chairman of Trump's campaign in April 2016, had raised the idea of offering billionaire Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska "a private briefing". In a series of emails with a with a longtime employee, Manafort had also made sure that the employee was sending Deripaska press clippings about his new role. And he asked “How do we use to get whole.”

      But Manafort's long relationship with Deripaska was more complicated than Goldberg conveys. In fact, it sounds like Manafort is the one who wanted to "get whole" – i.e. that he thought Deripaska owed HIM money, not the other way around.

    5. allowed his campaign to be infiltrated at the highest levels by both alleged and admitted criminals with Russian ties

      This is true! But that's not collusion with the Russians to win the presidency.

    1. VIDEO: GLENN GREENWALD AND JAMES RISEN DEBATE THE TRUMP/RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

      Glenn Greenwald on the unlearned lesson of Iraq. Here's a piece I wrote in 2007 on the same subject.

    1. the mere existence of this question underscores the need for a long overdue moratorium on the blithe characterization of things as “treason”— and for all of us to be far more careful when using that term to describe conduct that we believe is some combination of reprehensible, criminal and perhaps even impeachable.

      Here's the sentence from Steve Vladeck's piece on the misuse of the word "treason" that Glenn Greenwald referenced here.

    1. But if a presidential candidate or his lieutenants secretly work with a foreign government that is a longtime adversary of the United States to manipulate and then win a presidential election, that is almost a textbook definition of treason.

      Listen to Glenn Greenwald's masterful and blistering refutation of this paragraph here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsY70_uIXNc&feature=youtu.be&t=6m44s

      Glenn also cites this passage from Steve Vladeck's piece, Americans have forgotten what 'treason' actually means — and how it can be abused