Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trump Jr's Problems

We have discussed this elsewhere... But I thought you would like a actual related post.

FOX News Trump Jr Emails
CNN Trump... "I Know Nothing!!!  Channeling Sgt Schultz...
VOX We Are Beyond Innocent Explanations

Here are the last 2 comments from "elsewhere".

"It definitely does sound like juicy political intrigue, I wonder if any of it was illegal? I guess we will see what Mueller's investigation determines.

Kind of like we did when Clinton purposefully kept her business emails off the business server for questionable reasons.

I keep thinking I will be reusing the old Clinton post title with a new set of names...

"Trump Etal is Irresponsible / Negligent, Not Criminal"

I agree that the Trump etal folks are worse than Clinton, I just don't where illegal starts for Private citizens meeting with foreign parties." G2A

Campaign finance law prohibits the soliciting, accepting, or receiving contributions or donations -- which include in-kind contributions such as research -- from a foreign national.

If there's more where this came from, there could also be (at minimum) a conspiracy case related to election fraud. " Sean
 

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not concerned a lot with questions of legality. In political matters setting the standard
of behavior at what's legal puts the bar for ethical behavior way, way, below what is acceptable. Perhaps the thing that aggravated me most about the Clintons was there habit of defending their questionable behavior as not a crime. The American people deserve more than that. Also, I think we tend to over criminalize political behavior.

By the way, I am amused by Trump's reflexive impulse to characterize behavior he objects to as criminal. For one thing, he has no idea at all of what's criminal and what's not. Even for a non-lawyer he seems to remarkably little about the law, something surprising for a man who is so litigious. Early in his administration, President Obama would comment on criminal law matters and he was rightly criticized for that. It's a rookie mistake of a kind Trump has been committing for decades.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

Trump's problems that are of concern to the public are political, and it's important not to let the question get reframed the other way around.

In political terms, is it acceptable to knowingly solicit help from foreign governments in American elections? Surely we have been acting on that assumption for some time now, as Trump repeatedly and emphatically denied accusations of collusion with the Russian government. What we know now (and we seem to be learning more on a daily basis), that while there is no evidence now of Trump receiving help from Russia, the Trump campaign was open even eager to receive such help. Had the woman who had been identified to Junior as a Russian government lawyer actually produced evidence relevant to the campaign, the case for collusion would have been complete. Junior is very lucky that she didn't. That is, of course, where we stand now. We don't know what other information is out there. I do notice that the Times has been playing the Trumps like a viola, putting out just enough information to provoke deceptive answers which as more information is produced, must be retracted.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

The time line for Donald Trump is also pretty embarrassing. After the meeting was scheduled but before it took place, Trump promised that there would soon be damaging revelations about Hillary Clinton. And it was not too long after that before the wikileaks info dropped. Donald Trump was of course, in very specific terms in very public speeches, soliciting help from Russia during the campaign.

--Hiram

Sean said...

"The time line for Donald Trump is also pretty embarrassing. After the meeting was scheduled but before it took place, Trump promised that there would soon be damaging revelations about Hillary Clinton."

Trump Sr. also tweeted about Hillary's e-mails just minutes after the meeting would have ended according to Jr.'s timeline.

John said...

What I find fascinating regarding the psychology of the Trump True Believers is that most of them are older and after decades of living under the cold war threat, one would think they would be conditioned to be very very anti-Russia, anti-Putin, anti-collusion with them, etc.

And yet somehow their minds allow them to rationalize this away as a non-issue.

It is just like my favorite Trump supporters were able to rationalize away Trump's womanizing, divorces, lying and bankruptcies even after dragging me to church for decades.

It has to some way be related to our human confirmation bias.

The similar but different process happened when the Liberals defended Hillary's email server foolishness as not a big deal. Later today I'll go talk to IT about what our company thinks of me using a home server instead of the company's... Like really? :-)

Anonymous said...

During Watergate and Vietnam, the standard arugument Republicans made then is the same argument they make today, that the public doesn't care, that there is a moral majority that supports what the president is doing.

For you fans of the electoral college out there, in the 1972 election President Nixon pile up a huge majority one of the largest in history in the electoral college. 1972 was the last election that Minnesota voted for a Republican for president. And Nixon's poll numbers stayed high well after the election.

What's different now, is back then, there was no Fox News. And the Republican Party itself was different with a centerist faction that is now gone from the party. Back then, the immediate cause of Nixoon's resignation was the collapse of his support in congress among Republicans. Such a thing happening today is inconceivable.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

Concerning Hillary's email server, I never thought in real world terms, it was that big an issue, but I don't recall defending it all that fiercely. For one thing, it struck me that a lot of the criticism was based on a lack of understanding of how email works. The fact is, email is never, ever secure, because it's open to the world wide web. That security consideration alone should tell us that whenever we put sensitive information on any server of any kind, we are engaging in a huge security risk, one that is vastly greater than those having to do with the server itself. For evidence, look at Donald Trump's problem. His highly insensitive emails were widely circulated among the news media despite the fact that the security of the server on which they appeared hasn't been compromised that we know of. No one seems to be making an issue of the security of the Trump's campaign servers despite the fact that Trump as a candidate had access to highly classified information, and rightly so.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

I'll go talk to IT about what our company thinks of me using a home server instead of the company's... Like really? :-)

In legal terms, work done on behalf of the company is work product of the company and belongs to them. If anyone does company work on a computer system not belonging to the company, the company has a very strong argument that they should have access to such work, which means the company might very well have access to whatever other private information might be on that private system. That's why I never understood the reasoning behind Hillary's decision to use a private server. The result was that instead of protecting her privacy, it put her private communications at risk of public scrutiny. I think of this an old person's problem, that as an old person, Hillary had never given much thought to issues surrounding the internet. But admittedly that isn't entirely fair, Donald, Junior obviously hasn't thought much about the internet and he isn't old.

--Hiram

Sean said...

"The similar but different process happened when the Liberals defended Hillary's email server foolishness as not a big deal. "

I never defended Hillary's use of a private e-mail server. What I did defend her from was the false outrage of Republicans who never cared about such things when their folks did it.

They had no problem with Colin Powell using AOL to conduct business as SoS. They still like Scott Walker, even though he had six aides convicted of crimes related to use of a private e-mail system while he was Milwaukee County Executive. No complaints about Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee using state funds to destroy hard drives and wipe servers at the end of their terms. Jeb Bush took eight years to fully comply with Florida law regarding his use of a private server, but that was not an issue to them.

Sean said...

Oh, and the millions of e-mails from Karl Rove and the like that disappeared on RNC servers during the Bush Administration, too...

Anonymous said...

I often was embarrassed the defenses Hillary used to justify her email practices. The Powell defense was particularly aggravating. For one thing, I am never persuaded that Republicans set the standard Democrats should meet. Our standards must be higher, much higher. The Hillary defense it wasn't a crime so it was ok was another variation of that defense I found particularly infuriating. The other things about the Powell defense was that it was one old, clueless person citing another, older person as a precedent who was even more clueless.

However, I thought the interesting thing about Hillary's emails was how unrevealing they were. If Hillary didn't understand technology, she understood very, very well the dangers of putting things in a permanent form. That's something Donald, Junior seems to have no conception at all. Trumpers generally don't grasp this as seen in Senior conflation of the the server with the Podesta issue. The damaging emails came from the Podesta hack, and as far as we know, that wasn't caused by a compromised server, but by Podesta or someone falling for a phishing scam, something the most protected server in the world is vulnerable to, to one degree or another.

--Hiram

Sean said...

"However, I thought the interesting thing about Hillary's emails was how unrevealing they were."

The Hillary e-mails, the DNC e-mails, and the Podesta e-mails didn't reveal anything of note, other than the sort of petty stuff you'd see if you pulled up any organization's e-mail system.

Anonymous said...

The Podesta emails were often embarrassing. Apparently it was a thing down at Democratic headquarters, that if you had something stupid to say, you had to cc Podesta on it. My contribution dollars at work, I guess.

--Hiram

John said...

Situation normal... Fox is trying to distract its customers from the Trump delegation actions by focusing on another scapegoat.

Anonymous said...

Trump's immediate problem is that he can't divorce a son.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

At least Fox is not dealing in Fake News such as this: it is reported that her ostensible reason for being here is that she is a lawyer for the defendant-- a Russian national-- in a civil case. Yet she doesn't speak a word of English. How can she participate in an American court case? Or this: Apparently this woman went on to several meetings with Democrat operatives, and her public profile includes a lot of pro-Democrat and anti-Trump material.

And really, true or not, isn't this just the shoe-on-the-other-foot Democrat playbook? You don't address the charge, you just destroy the accuser? Hillary's server was illegal, and knowingly so, the day she turned it on. What else do we need to know?

Sean said...

"Yet she doesn't speak a word of English."

That's not clear. She attended a Congressional hearing in 2014 without a translator, so she seems to understand English just fine.

Sean said...

Oops. Turns out there was another person at the Don Jr. meeting, who just happens to be a former Russian intelligence officer previously accused of engaging in hacking for corporate espionage purposes. Funny how they forgot to mention that in the midst of all of their "transparency".

Anonymous said...

How can she participate in an American court case?

For one thing, it is unlikely that she doesn't speak English. But assuming she didn't, she could use a translator.

this woman went on to several meetings with Democrat operatives, and her public profile includes a lot of pro-Democrat and anti-Trump material.

Not one of the stronger defenses. "Sure I murdered x, but then I went on to murder y and z so it's ok." Doesn't really work.

You don't address the charge, you just destroy the accuser?

Sort of like saying it's ok, because she talked to Democrats. But Attorney Natasha hasn't done anything wrong here that I know. of. It's ok to represent her client, if that's what she was doing. It's ok to act as an intelligence officer on behalf of her government, if that's what she was doing.

The problems Jared and Junior have really, is the decision to take the meeting on the terms that it was offered, and their failure to disclose. And obviously this information undermines President Trump's claim that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia. What we now know is that wasn't for lack of trying.

--Hiram

John said...

Jerry,
"Hillary's server was illegal"

Exactly which law did she break? And since the FBI and Justice dept disagree. I think you are incorrect.

Where as it seems pretty clear that the Trump campaign broke campaign finance law by trying to accept assistance from a foreign government.

John said...

As for "How can she participate if she does not speak English".

First, it is odd that an International Lawyer in any country does not speak English.

Second, of ten Defendent's have several Lawyers in big cases. She likely would not need to speak English.

John said...

Jerry,
One more point... She is likely a Russian spy...

Of course she was offering to everyone... The question is which politicians were desperate enough with a questionable character to stoop to colluding with foreign operatives.

Sean said...

Oops. And now come allegations that documents were in fact exchanged at the meeting, contrary to Don Jr.'s denials.

jerrye92002 said...

Hillary broke the public records act, for which she was responsible for enforcing within the State Department. The FBI says she was "extremely careless" with classified information, which meets the legal standard of gross negligence, and since she did it from her private server it is criminal, regardless of intent. Black letter law.

As for accepting campaign donations from foreign governments, you are on extremely thin ground. First, Obama and Hillary and Bill all did far worse-- into the millions. There is no evidence that this woman was acting on behalf of the Russian government, or that anything of value was actually exchanged. Of course, Democrats are now crying that "attempt to collude" is equivalent to treason. We seem to lack any sense of proportion here.

Anonymous said...

Hillary broke the public records act, for which she was responsible for enforcing within the State Department.

I think it's at least arguable that Hillary violated state department policy, but there just wasn't any criminal law I know of that was broken. I would say the same for Junior's various shenanigans. Gross negligence as a legal standard is pretty gross, and nothing Hillary did approaches that. If one looks at Junior's problems with emails, if one wants to make the gross negligence argument, why not make it about him. It's obvious that he was actually hacked,

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

The Public Records Act is federal law. The mere existence of the private server violates it. The Espionage Act outlaws the transmission of classified information, intentionally or unintentionally, so neither "extremely careless" nor "gross negligence" are required so again, the mere use of the server violates federal law. Hillary got a free pass. None of that excuses even the most hyper-inflated imaginings about what Don, Jr. has done, but then nothing Don, Jr. has done comes even close to what Hillary got away with.

"One more point... She is likely a Russian spy..." -- John

So, if she is a Russian spy, who is paying her? It appears she is being paid by a lobbying group with strong ties to the Democrat Party. Was this meeting a setup, just to keep this ridiculous story going?

Anonymous said...

The Public Records Act is federal law. The mere existence of the private server violates it

What section are you referring to?

If classified information can't be transferred, what use is it? This is, by the way, an ancient and basic problem of intelligence gathering. Protection of classified information is why it's so difficult to "connect the dots".

Bear in mind, that the same argument applies to Hillary, that Donald is so committed to with regard to his ne'er do well son in law, which is that he is the boss and he gets to decide what's secret or not. Hillary was the boss of the State Department. It in fact a good one, and certainly a convincing one in the context of criminal law.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

if she is a Russian spy, who is paying her?

It is extremely unlikely that attorney Natatasha isn't connected with Russian security services. Pretty much all Russian nationals seeking contact with American politicians on behalf of their government are, in one way or another. That's just the way the Russians roll, and Junior chould have The fact that we don't have access to FSB payroll records doesn't change that.

"It appears she is being paid by a lobbying group with strong ties to the Democrat Party. Was this meeting a setup, just to keep this ridiculous story going?"

Its' "Democratic" Party.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

It's pretty widely assumed that government computer systems are pretty old and extremely vulnerable to hacking. Even Donald Trump has said that, in his view, White House communications are insecure.

That said, is any government guilty of "gross negligence" when they use government communication facilities. Is Donald Trump, who said that he was unsure of the security of his meetings with Comey, grossly negligent when he tweets from the White House? Does he not now, what I surely know and what anyone who knows anything about cyber security, which is that wi fi and other over the air connections are incredibly insecure? Isn't that why you don't use the wifi at McDonalds's?

==Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

Its' "Democratic" Party.

The confusion comes when they are called "Democrats" rather than "Democratics." They are a Party of Democrats, but do not necessarily operate democratically. And since all you and CNN seem to have is speculation, I'm inclined to hail this as the last gasp of a dying narrative.

Anonymous said...

The confusion comes when they are called "Democrats" rather than "Democratics

It's a pretty easy confusion to resolve. It's called the Democratic Party. Lots of people seem to have missed adjective day in elementary school. But it's a minor error.

--Hiram

Anonymous said...

I feel like I am being lured into making the argument that while the Republican Party is a party of Republicans, they don't always act Republicaniccally. I shall resist the temptation, however.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

As usual, Democrats require two words where Republicans have chosen the more conservative path of using only one, which is both a noun and an adjective. You never hear a reference to "Senate Democratics," for example. That confusion no doubt leads to other linguistic and cognitive dissonance problems, like claiming that "treason" and "nothingburger" are in some way identical.

John said...

The reality is that the Trump campaign was inept and trying to collude with our enemy when they took the meeting. I am not sure how Conservatives can rationalize this away.

I visited the Parents this weekend and got my dose of the FOX News reality this weekend again.

They are pretty much doing what Jerry is doing here. They are looking for conspiracies, comparing to other unrelated situations, etc instead of just admitting that the Trump campaign really screwed the pooch on this one.

Anonymous said...

As usual, Democrats require two words where Republicans have chosen the more conservative path of using only one, which is both a noun and an adjective.

Now it seems, Republicans are having a problem counting up to two. But I do understand why Republicans want to focus on a name. It's for the same reason Trump tweets out wrestling videos, while claiming he can't get his message across. It's because a focus on policy is disastrous for Republicans.

Currently, Donald Trump, a former salesman for fake education, has now found a new job as a salesman for fake health insurance. Not surprising is it?

--Hiram

John said...

CNN The Changing Story Update

jerrye92002 said...

Just curious... what makes your view of reality any better than those of your parents?

And isn't it the job of adversarial debate to propose alternate theories?

John said...

That is the way in which I most frustrate my Father, I do propose alternative viewpoints just like I do here. They want simple reinforcement of their beliefs. Which is exactly what FOX provides:
- Trump Great!!! People who believe differently are Bad!!!
- If Trump does something questionable, distract with unrelated events...

As for the failure of FOX Coverage. Their news shows like Hannity, Carlson, and The Five are not news shows. They are simply opinion segments where everything is spun predictably.

They have 3 repeated methods:
- Invite people they agree with and praise them.
- Invite people they disagree with and mock them.

One of my favorite is Chris Wallace. He actually is a news person. Unfortunately after years of being fed raw meat to their liking by the others on FOX news... They think Chris is too Liberal...

John said...

Now let's test one of those alternative theories.

Let's assume that the DEMs paid the "Russian Lawyer and Lobbyist" spies to contact Trump Jr and offer juicy information from the Russian Government regarding Clinton improprieties..

Does this make Trump Jr and the Trump Campaign any less guilty of trying to collude and obtain valuable information from one our country's adversaries?

Why wouldn't the DEMs have released the information regarding this meeting before the election if they had arranged it?

John said...

I do miss the days when all we had was main stream media.

Now people like you and my Parent's are spoon fed Rightist information from sources like Fox, Breitbart, etc.

And people like Moose and Laurie are spoon fed Leftist information from sources like VOX, Mother Jones, etc.

And neither group really needs to think with a broader perspective. No wonder our citizens and politicians are becoming more partisan. I am interested to see where all this hate mongering and villain / hero promoting leads...

Is there a lot more civil unrest in our future? I am guessing so.

Anonymous said...

Is there a lot more civil unrest in our future? I am guessing so.

Maybe that's what founders had in mind when they created a system that allowed for the election of a president who lost the popular vote.

--Hiram

John said...

I am not sure the Founding Fathers had any idea how communication would become nearly instantaneous, or how people could filter/ reinforce their biased perceptions so easily by just ignoring news they disagree with.

Since the HUGE Difference in perceptions / beliefs is between the Urban citizens and most others, I still think the electoral system is brilliant in keeping our country together.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure the Founding Fathers had any idea how communication would become nearly instantaneous, or how people could filter/ reinforce their biased perceptions so easily by just ignoring news they disagree with.

But I am sure they were well aware of how destabilizing a minority president could be. It's good to recall they came from a revolutionary generation quite familiar with the uses of violence.

--Hiram

John said...

There definitely are trade offs, but I think keeping the whole country engaged and united is more important.

jerrye92002 said...

John, I think your problem may be that you consider the MSM and Fox to be mutually exclusive versions of reality, and then you vacillate between the two, or use one as the refutation of the other. I prefer to look at one or the other, remove the presentation bias and look at the underlying facts, and then apply my OWN bias.

For example, what is the criminal penalty for "attempt to collude"? Collude about what and does it matter what? How about "collude to hide from the public"? The MSM is very big on the "public right to know" when a Republican is involved, but when a Democrat scandal breaks it seems like there is the sound of crickets, or else a full baying-at-the-moon interest in WHO leaked the scandal, rather than what the scandal actually WAS.

The problem is the 24-hour news cycle. By the time one sees a contrary piece of information, one's original bias has already been confirmed a dozen times. This doesn't drive unity and I think that is obvious.

Anonymous said...

what is the criminal penalty for "attempt to collude"?

Crimes are statutory things and the criminal statutes are published on the internet.

Generally speaking, the criminal law doesn't speak of "collusion", the legal term of art is "conspiracy". Conspiracy is pretty much the same in terms of penalty as the crime itself.

In terms of right to know, Trump has a basic problem. For the first time in his life perhaps, Donald Trump is an employee. In this new and unfamiliar role, Trump hasn't seemed to grasp that his scope for keeping secrets from the people he works for is highly limited. Nor does he seem to understand that there isn't anybody around him who is under any personal obligation to keep his secrets for him. Trump give every appearance of thinking "leaking" is illegal, which it hardly ever is. Anyone, both inside and the outside of the White House in this free country is free to give their version of events to any reporter that person chooses to. In Trump's business world he prevented that by making everyone sign confidentiality agreements. Nobody he works with now has signed such an agreement.

--Hiram

John said...

Jerry,
Same reality from organizations sitting in very different seats.

The FOX folks from their seats in the far Right simply can not see and report on the whole picture do to their perspective.

Just as Mother Jones can not either.

Only the MSM is centered enough to see the whole picture.

John said...

Hiram,
Agreed. That is why Trump had Comey fired.

Comey was a centrist who worked for the USA.

Trump wants people that are "loyal to him".

Of course that is hard to find in a Public Institution.

Anonymous said...

Trump fired Comey because Comey was pressing the Russian investigation.

Trump still thinks in terms of loyalty. He is mad at some Republican senators because they weren't loyal. He really hasn't figured out that members of Congress don't work for him. His desire for loyalty helps to explain the nepotism, the need he feels to surround himself with family members.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

"Only the MSM is centered enough to see the whole picture."

Really? Is CNN part of the MSM? I can understand if their good standing were revoked, but by whom, The NYT, LAT, CBS? Who fact-checks the fact-checkers?

Do I need an example of how far "left in the theater" these folks are?

John said...

No need... All Sides did it for us.

And after reading many different publications I think the All Sides scores seem pretty accurate.

Anonymous said...

"And people like Moose and Laurie are spoon fed Leftist information from sources like VOX, Mother Jones, etc."

You don't get to speak for me.

Moose

jerrye92002 said...

I think Allsides has a fundamental problem. Those on the far left see themselves as centrists. Those on the far right see themselves as centrists. Each would naturally see a truly centrist news source, were there such a thing, as being to the extreme right or left, respectively. And dividing all issues into a left/right binary world just isn't that realistic, and in fact arbitrary. Who gets to decide what the "left" is supposed to think about a particular issue, or more critically some FACET of some issue? For example, suggesting that the right "opposes welfare" is incorrect. We oppose wasteful government wealth redistribution. Spend government money to get people out of poverty and self-sufficient quickly, we're all for it. We even support a "minimum income" if you do it right.

John said...

Though I agree that people forget their bias when arguing a point, reading a news source, choosing a news source, etc. I have great faith that most people know roughly what their bias is.

If you think that only Conservatives / GOPers have good ideas...
And that the Liberals / DEMs are delusional and out to take all your money...
You are likely a FAR Righter.

And here Allsides gives you some tools to help.

Then again we have the G2A Nolan post that has more tools.

John said...

Moose,
Are you actually a closet Conservative who enjoys watching FOX News? :-)

If not, what news sources resonate with you then?

John said...

I have no problem admitting that I am drawn to NPR, AP, BBC, CNN, Factchecker, etc.

They seem to discuss issues from more perspectives.

jerrye92002 said...

I have no problem that my initial bias in most issues leans conservative. I'll even categorize myself as such as a shorthand way of explaining which side of an issue I might prefer (and most issues are really just re-hashes of the same basic issues over again). But I prefer my news as straight up accurate as possible, and when NPR or AP reports something, I always feel as if they have emphasized one "perspective" at the expense of another, or made some "side" of the story more important than another equally valid, equally factual side of the story. Or simply not reported on something I think more important than what they do report. Bias isn't just how something is reported, but in what is reported, and in the emphasis placed on it. These "all Russia all the time" stations are worthless, and that's just one example. We still have heard very little about all the collusion between Democrats and Russia.

jerrye92002 said...

By the way, I took the quiz at Allsides, to see my "political placement." I came up a "business conservative" but it's meaningless. And almost all of the questions, my true position was somewhere between the two answers, with neither of the choices actually satisfactorily descriptive. If one was supposed to represent the "left" choice and the other the "right," then we have some problems in this country because neither is a GOOD answer.

That's what I keep missing in Washington debates. One side is wacko left-- solutions that don't and can't work, and the other side is impotent right, unwilling to say that the left's solutions are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Any news always comes from a perspective. You always have to set the camera up somewhere. If the claim is only news without a perspective is valid or worthwhile, that's a criticism of news and the way we know things.

Insurance works to the extent that it does. It's no panacea, it doesn't solve all one's problems, it's not without it's downsides, but the checks do clear.

These days conservatism seems to stand for little more than tax cuts and that gay people shouldn't have access to baked goods.

--Hiram

John said...

Hiram,
That is why I like visiting All Sides occasionally. It helps me remember where the cameras are sitting for each news organization.


Jerry,
And this is how we know you are in the far right seats of the theater. Well that and nearly a decade of exchanging comments. :-)

"That's what I keep missing in Washington debates. One side is wacko left-- solutions that don't and can't work, and the other side is impotent right, unwilling to say that the left's solutions are wrong.'

I mean someone in the Far Left would say the exact opposite.

"That's what I keep missing in Washington debates. One side is wacko Right-- solutions that don't and can't work, and the other side is impotent Left, unwilling to say that the Right's solutions are wrong. "

I am not sure how we will come to balanced solutions with so many people willingly allowing themselves to be brainwashed into being Left or Right Fundamentalists.

Anonymous said...

"Are you actually a closet Conservative who enjoys watching FOX News?"

I'm interested in the truth. I will never look to FOX News for the truth.

Moose

jerrye92002 said...

"I am not sure how we will come to balanced solutions with so many people willingly allowing themselves to be brainwashed into being Left or Right Fundamentalists."

I, too, despair of "rational solutions" coming forth, but it doesn't take Far Left or Far Right prevailing to keep it from happening. A compromise or stalemate between the two also produces no fully rational policy. And the problem isn't even the extremes. People believe what they believe for all kinds of reasons, not all of them rational, and certainly not all well-informed.

I'm also distressed to hear you say that Far Left and Far Right are "brainwashed" into it. I think while there is some truth to that, you give the media too much credit. As the old saying goes, "you can't reason a man out of an idea he never reasoned himself into in the first place." It is possible to be an Extreme partisan in spite of the media, or not be an extreme partisan with the media doing everything it can to move you that direction. Maybe the best advice came from my Dad: "Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see."

jerrye92002 said...

Fair and balanced

John said...

I am not sure I would call a 47% to 54% with a +/- 3.4% error a huge find. Zogby Analytics Poll

Secondly I am not sure if Trump's strange behavior isn't part of the cause. His continually fibbing, boasting and attacking sure draws the news coverage to him.

John said...

Of course there were "Extreme partisans" before FOX News and Mother Jones.

However there were many fewer of them. I mean look at Moose's comment.

"I'm interested in the truth. I will never look to FOX News for the truth."

He will avoid Fox News because he thinks they seek to lie and mislead. Just as Conservatives will avoid Mother Jones because they think they seek to lie and mislead.

Even funnier is that both sides think the centered MSM is biased against them. Liberals think it is corporate / big money controlled... Conservatives think the journalists are all Liberal supporters.

John said...

50 years ago there was primarily one National version of the news and people were exposed to news they would not be today. This helped them to understand the issues from the perspectives of the different stakeholders.

Today people get to obsess over the news that they agree with, which of course reinforces their bubble belief systems. (ie brain washing)

Maybe we can call them the Cults of Fox and the Cults of Mother Jones... :-)

Anonymous said...

Fair and Balanced?

Moose

John said...

Forbes Correlation vs Causation

John said...

Politifact Review of Fox Viewer Research

John said...

Pew Customers by Political View

Politico FOX Bad for GOP?

Atlantic How FOX Hurts GOP

John said...

I wonder if FOX Viewers would be happier to hear:

- They are less knowledgeable because FOX has poor content

or

- They are less knowledgeable because they are less knowledgable...

:-)

jerrye92002 said...

That's an interesting study, indeed. I think it proves what I have been saying, that truth is where you find it. The "bias" does not matter if you sift through it to the underlying knowledge. And can we admit that those consuming the most biased-- Colbert and Limbaugh-- come away with the most knowledge? The only question remaining would be what incidential bias is transmitted with that knowledge? For example, it's not just "Is the Chief Justice a conservative" but "Is that a good thing or a bad thing".

And if people are not knowledgeable enough to know who the chief justice is (apparently less than 35% do) are they entitled to an opinion on whether his decisions are good or bad? In fact, what good are opinion polls, when 65% of us lack the basic knowledge upon which to form a valid opinion?

John said...

Given they live in the USA, of course they get to vote no matter how foolish / uninformed they are.

Now given your "eugenics comments" you wouldn't want the government deciding who is capable / incapable to cast a responsible vote. Would you?

jerrye92002 said...

Well, of course opinion polls and election polls are two different things. But one of them we can and probably should ignore, and the latter we have to live with; the consequences of error in the latter are significantly greater.

Government should not tell you what your opinion is (though they try very hard), but they have for a long time decided who is allowed to vote: First non-property-owners, then black folks and finally women, for example. During Jim Crow days there were "literacy tests" to keep mostly blacks from voting. So yes, I think government sets qualifications for voting and rightly so. While I think it goes too far, I would really like to see a "test" that says, if you cannot name at least one of the candidates for a given office, you don't get to vote for that office. I really believe there are many, probably including myself, that couldn't get "100%" on that test. If we govern ourselves the way we test out on opinion polls, we are governed by idiots.

jerrye92002 said...

"Conservatives think the journalists are all Liberal supporters."-- John

Apparently those conservatives are 4% wrong:
What Media Bias?