No Haunting for James Hodgkinson

Three days later, the GOP Softball Shooter has faded silently into history…

For 8 years the media waited, seemingly hoping and praying that their charge of violent domestic Conservative terrorism would be proven true.  Every time there was a mass shooting, the media had what seemed to be pre-written stories about the TEA Party bogeyman ready to go.  When James Holmes, a radicalized leftist, walked into a movie theater and shot it up, the media had a 52 year old TEA Party member named Jim Holmes up on the screen within hours.

Now we finally have that guy.  Hodgkinson was a frequent protester who was politically active, hated the President, planned out an assault, carefully picked his targets, and did it with clear mainstream partisan political motives.  He wasn’t a fringe character acting on conspiracy theories.  He wasn’t living in a cabin in the woods with a scraggly beard talking to the trees.  He wasn’t even a religious extremist.  James Hodgkinson was a campaign volunteer who in posts and letters clearly articulated the views of his party.

He was everything the media was hoping for. The only problem is Obama is no longer the President. Hodgkinson wasn’t a TEA Party protester carrying his 2nd amendment and anti-big government views to their final conclusion. He was a 99%er fed on the left’s rhetoric about Trump being a traitor and the rich seeking to harm the poor. When the left says Republicans want dirty air and dirty water, when they have commercials where Republicans rob Grandma or push her off a cliff, when they argue that Republican policies will result in the deaths of women and children or destroy our planet, apparently their followers listen.

Bernie Sanders just four days before the shooting was in Chicago calling for political revolution against Trump. He accused Trump of engineering policies that would kill women and children. He called Trump a liar. He announced that Trump would not be allowed to get away with it. Four days later, Hodgkinson walked onto a softball field with a rifle and a handgun and carried out “justice” and “resistance” against GOP congressmen.

As of this post, the shooting has happened three days ago.  Surely James Hodgkinson is still in the news cycle being analyzed and discussed at length, right?  Wouldn’t his ghost haunt the headlines for at least a week? A politically motivated shooting by a mainstream protester. Surely this is as newsworthy now as it would have been for the last 8 years, right?

CNN.Com has plenty of space for headlines.  Hodgkinson isn’t there. Of the entire front page, there is a story about Rand Paul on the baseball field and a story about one of the Capitol police officers throwing out the first pitch. Headlines that are more important than discovering what made Hodgkinson tick?  “Watch Newt Gingrich Contradict Himself”. “How NBC Botched the Megyn Kelly Rollout”. “State Budget Puts Powerball in Jeopardy”.

NBCNews does a little better, including a link to a US News report that the “Baseball Practice Gunman Had List of GOP Lawmaker’s Names”.  One other headline says “Guns Recovered in Virginia Shooting Appear Legally Bought”.  I would assume that’s about Hodgkinson.  The Washington Post offered a biography of Hodgkinson after the shooting suggesting that he had no idea who was on the practice field, despite eye witness accounts that he verified it was the GOP practice team before opening fire and had a list of targets.

Don’t hold your breath.  Will we find out if Hodgkinson was in the audience earlier this week when Sanders called for revolution? Will we find out what his duties were with the Sanders campaign? Is it possible Hodgkinson was ever paid by the DNC to show up at a Trump rally? Don’t expect the same sort of media curiosity you might have seen if Obama was President and James Hodgkinson was a TEA Party activist.

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Forget Russia, Let’s Talk About Germany

If negative media is an act of war, we are in trouble…

After Comey’s testimony, the Russia Trump collusion story has been downgraded to Birther level controversy.  Comey vindicated Trump, saying in fact that Trump was never even under investigation.  Comey has also said that Russia did not alter a single vote in the US election.  On the administration side, it seems as though the biggest issue is General Mike Flynn’s work with Russia and failure to disclose the payments he received. Yes Trump asked Comey to go easy on Flynn, but Trump also fired Flynn.

What did Russia do then?  Russia did not collude with the administration.  Russia did not change the votes.  They did not hack the electronic voting machines. Apparently it’s possible that Russia released Podesta’s emails, but the incriminating statements there came directly from Podesta and other DNC staffers.  At this point, it appears that Russia’s biggest sin was printing negative press and sometimes fake news about Hillary Clinton.

Russia did not print negative news about Hillary Clinton in order to elect Trump.  Unlike the Clinton’s campaign work to influence the GOP primary and make sure Trump won, Russia simply didn’t like Hillary Clinton.

Russia’s actions have been called an act of war.  Even some on the GOP side have called Russia’s actions an attempt to destroy our constitutional process and democracy.  Is this a valid accusation?  Does foreign media printing negative stories equate to election hacking?  Should we be sanctioning Russia because they printed negative stories about Hillary Clinton?

Let’s talk about Germany.  Harvard recently performed a study on various news outlets to see whether Trump was getting fair coverage.  The result is that Trump is getting more negative coverage than any of his predecessors.  Remember, negative press from foreign sources equals an act of war and destruction of our constitutional process.  So we should probably be concerned about Germany’s ARD news network’s 98% negative reporting rate on Trump.

Britain is another hacking nation that has declared war on the US through their media outlets.  Financial Times was negative about Trump 84% of the time, BBC 74% of the time.  When it comes to using media to influence US opinion, both Britain and Germany are just as guilty as Russia.

There’s one other problem worth mentioning.  The assault on the US and our constitutional processes is not being led by Russia or Germany.  It’s being led by the US. If unbalanced coverage and fake news equals everything the left and John McCain say it does, then we should be more concerned about CNN and NBC reporting negatively about Trump 93% of the time.  CBS was 91%, New York Times 87%, Washington Post 83%. Comey’s testimony discredited all of these US news outlets, forcing them to print retractions of fake news they had recently reported.

If the whole Russia thing boils down to their state media operations, I hope we can find a way to laugh at ourselves and move on with our lives. And to think, Obama kicked the Russian ambassadors out of our country over this.

Wall Street Cashes in on Paris Accord Withdrawal

Relief from Global Warming, for a price

It has been two days since Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accord, and the temps are on the rise. This month is already predicted to be warmer than May, and next month will be even worse.

There are winners and losers from the US withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. As the ACLU pointed out, one big loser is racial justice and communities of color.  They are right. Major Wall Street players have found ways to cash in on global warming, including Disney. But you have to be able to pay if you want to play.

Disney’s “Blizzard Beach Water Park” is an installation that makes millions of dollars a year selling relief from the scorching temperatures. As corporate pollution causes the Earth to heat up and people to die, Disney has developed temporary measures to mitigate the heat for a price.  In addition to “Blizzard Beach Water Park”, which is ironically named after a type of snow storm that will soon be gone from our vocabulary, their other cooling establishment “Typhoon Lagoon” has a bit of a more appropriate name considering the coming climate apocalypse.

So is there a problem with corporate America cashing in on the inevitable end of the planet? There is when Disney decides to target poorer minorities with their pricing schemes.  Disney isn’t the only culprit.  Seeing the writing on the wall, Universal Studios has also sought to cash in on human suffering by building an unaffordable global warming relief establishment.  As if to mock the suffering and dying, Universal Studios has also themed their cooling apparatus and priced the lower classes of society out of admission. Dripping with irony and disgust towards their fellow man, Universal Studios has opted to name their private establishment “Volcano Bay”.  They laugh as the poor melt away.

What can be done when the President has already consigned us to doom by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord?  Government funding for pools and parks is abysmal. The government also has refused to provide poor Americans with their own personal pools, opting instead for communal pools in a limited number of neighborhoods.  Rural areas are sure to perish from the heat first.

It appears at this point that the only path to survival for poor minorities in the country is to impeach President Trump, and for Republicans to provide the funding necessary for poor minorities to have equal access to global warming relief.

Yes, There Is Evidence of Voter Fraud

…And 3 million is a rational estimate

Fake news alert. “No evidence of illegal alien voter fraud” = #fakenews.  Many media outlets have once again dumped any caveats or explanations and straight to the claim that there is absolutely no evidence that illegal aliens vote.  That’s not true.  If the question is whether there were enough to give Hillary the popular vote victory, the answer is there is not enough evidence at this point to state that dogmatically.  
However, there is plenty of evidence that a significantly large number of non-citizens vote, and that there are enough fraudulent and inaccurate registrations to go the distance.  Anything beyond those facts is partisan speculation.  Of this, both Trump and the main stream media are guilty.
 
According to a study by Old Dominion University and George Mason University, 6.4% of non-citizens in the US voted in the 2008 election, and 2.2% voted in the 2010 midterm. At the time that accounted for about 1.6 million votes from non-citizens.
 
In order to believe that there was no influence from non-citizen voters in 2016, we would have to assume that either the number of illegal aliens and resident aliens in the US dropped during Obama’s presidency, the rate at which they vote has dropped from 6.4% over the last 8 years despite court rulings striking down voter ID laws, or that more illegal aliens and resident aliens were inclined to vote FOR Donald Trump than they were for Mitt Romney or John McCain.
 
Hillary won the popular vote by about 2.8 million. Assuming the same stats on illegal aliens as in 2008, as many as 1.6 million of those votes could have been non-citizens.
 
On top of that, Pew noted that there are 1.8 million dead voters still registered and 2.75 million people registered in multiple states.  Their research showed that 24 million registrations in the US are invalid or inaccurate.  Project Veritas released undercover videos during the 2016 campaign where Democrat operative Scott Foval described their long practice of bussing voters across state lines to vote.
If the question is whether or not 3 million illegal aliens voted, there is no specific evidence to show that number.  Is 3 million outside the realm of speculation?  I guess you would have to ask if twice as many of the 20+ million illegal aliens and non-citizens living in the US were motivated to vote against Trump.
Is there evidence that there could have been enough non-citizens, dead people, and fraudulently registered voters to cover the popular vote difference?  The answer is yes.

Washington Post resorts to clickbait

What happened next will kill 43,000 people

It will be yuge.  In the era of fake news and hyperbole, Trump is only one of many offenders.  We live in an age where anyone can say anything and lay claim to credibility.  It works especially well if you use half the facts and flawed research.  That’s exactly what the Washington Post did when they declared that repealing Obamacare WILL kill more than 43,000 people a year.  Not “it may”, not even “experts suggest”.  It will kill them.  43,000 a year.  Poof.  Just like that.  Without even getting end of life counseling.

“…thousands of American lives that were previously protected by provisions of the Affordable Care Act are in danger” begins the article.  The claim is based on a study that says that for every 455 people put on Medicaid, one person a year lives who would have died otherwise.  Since correlation always means causation, the reasoning is sound.  It’s even more sound if you consider that there is absolutely no replacement for ACA.

Of course, that’s not true.  Republicans already have a replacement ready, and it keeps some key parts of ACA such as not being dropped for pre-existing conditions.  But here the article makes a strange argument.  Despite being obviously anti-Republican, the article notes that while it only takes 50 votes to repeal Obamacare, it would take 60 to pass a replacement.  I think the argument goes something like this: Republicans can repeal Obamacare easily, but in order to replace it and save 43,000 lives a year Democrats would have to not filibuster.  So perhaps the headline should have read “Democrat filibuster will kill 43,000 people”.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time some wild eye, crazy hair person has claimed that repealing Obamacare equals mass murder.  Bernie Sanders used to say that without the ACA 36,000 people would die annually.  At the time he was given 4 Pinocchios by none other than the Washington Post.

Now? Apparently now Bernie’s prediction of 36,000 dead per year if Obamacare is repealed is “certainly well within the ballpark of scientific consensus”, according to the article.  Good night, and good luck.

 

The Russian Fiction

Let’s not bicker and argue about who hacked who

Obama complained for months about the Russians tampering with the US election to get Trump elected.  Apparently for all of Trump’s lack of political experience and his apparent intention to start World War III the first time he loses his temper, he is also somehow irresistible to the Russians.  It has nothing to do with Trump’s desire to sell the American uranium industry to the Russians, Hillary already did that.

For some unexplainable reason, Russia is willing to start a cyber war to install Trump.  So much so that they “hacked the election”.  They literally caused you to vote for Trump. The Russians worked intentionally to aide Trump.  I’m not even sure if we can call this America anymore or if we are just a puppet of Russia.  And of course, if Trump doesn’t denounce Russia and concede this sham election, he should be hung for treason, right?

Back to reality.

What does the media mean when they say Russia hacked the election?  Russia did not tamper with voting machines.  Russia did not funnel fake news to the mainstream media who then dutifully reported it.  In fact, the last major example we have of that was when the CIA told the President who told the media that Iraq had stockpiles of WMDs.  Russia did not get into your computer and use subliminal messages to make you feel like voting for Trump.  None of that happened.

In fact, it’s not clear that this was a Russian national effort.  Apparently the CIA has identified some Russian officials (unnamed) who might be involved.  But there’s another wrinkle.  The CIA might not even know what they are talking about.

The “hack” of the election wasn’t a hack of the election at all.  It was a hack of the DNC servers.  To be clear, no one invented the Podesta emails.  No one modified them.  Whoever the hackers are, whether Wikileaks who took responsibility for it or Russian officials according to the CIA, all they did was publish real, actual emails written by real, actual Democrat staffers.

According to the CIA, the hackers hit the GOP and DNC, but only released the DNC emails. The FBI disputes that, saying the GOP servers were never hacked.  If the GOP servers were never breached, that eliminates the CIA argument that the Russians were trying to hurt just the DNC.  In fact, the argument was flimsy to begin with.  It’s possible they hacked the GOP and just didn’t find anything incriminating.

So did Trump really win simply because Russia hacked the DNC?  Did people walk into the voting booth thinking to themselves “Gosh, I just can’t vote for a party that let’s their servers get hacked by the Russians”.  It seems like Hillary Clinton’s loss had a little bit more to do with what was on those emails.  Contained in the Podesta emails was evidence of media manipulation, CNN sending debate questions to Hillary ahead of time, racism within the party, Hillary’s health issues, and of all things proof that Team Hillary not only rigged the DNC primary, but also promoted Trump in the GOP primary because they thought they could beat him.

Just to make sure the reader caught that: Hillary Clinton and her team rigged both party’s primaries in 2016.

Problem emails didn’t just come from Wikileaks.  Team Hillary also got in trouble with the emails released by the FBI from her illegal server, and the undercover video of Scott Foval and others by Project Veritas.  Those two sources showed how the DNC bussed people across state lines to vote illegally, and even paid homeless people to go into Trump rallies and cause violence.  One would think the CIA might be interested in that.  At least one might think that had more to do with Hillary’s loss.

Calling on the Russians to hack and rig an election is nothing shockingly new.  Ted Kennedy did it in 1984 to try to get rid of Reagan. But the Russians didn’t decide the US election in 2016. If they are truly involved, all they did was shed light on the treacherous, terrible, racist, and illegal things the DNC was already doing to hack the election.

Maybe we should send them a thank you card.

Fake News Alert: Social Security

The GOP is pushing Grandma off a cliff again

Welcome to 2016.  It’s the year that Dan Rather called on the media to be more biased and Brian Williams complained about fake news. And of course, both were praised and accorded credibility on the left for their laments.  Fake news is the thing right now.  It’s why Trump won, it’s how Russia infiltrated the brains of the electorate and forced them to vote for Trump, and it is defined of course as right wing sources only.

Just as there is an Alt-Left, there is left wing fake news.  Usually it’s unrecognizable because it comes in the form of mainstream media publication.  A great example came on December 9th when Ethan Wolff-Mann (yup) wrote an article for Yahoo! Finance about how Republicans are going to massively cut Social Security. Rather than citing what was proposed, Wolff-Mann cited Center for American Progress’s twitter account as his source.

According to Wolff-Mann, and Talking Points Memo who he also cites, the Republican proposal will drastically cut benefits for the poor and runs contrary to a bi-partisan effort to save Social Security through a payroll tax increase for those under the Obama threshold of what constitutes being “rich”.

Meanwhile, the actual bill is not quite as drastic and gloomy as the “press” reports.  The Sam Johnson plan, which is actually different from the Paul Ryan plan, would increase the retirement age for younger workers and adjust how inflation is calculated for benefits. Aside from that, his proposal should be a dream for liberals.

The Johnson plan would reduce benefits for wealthy retirees.  It includes means testing which is basically a tax on the wealthy.  It also takes away cost of living increases for the wealthy. Johnson, who calls his proposal the start to a fact-based conversation, also calls for benefit increases for some.

No solution has been determined for Social Security yet.  In the end it will likely be an adjustment in inflation, an increase to the retirement age, but it also may include private accounts which can earn far more and can’t be cut by the government. For all the fear mongering, we are far from a final solution for Social Security.

Perhaps a better headline would have been “Wolff-Mann Scares Seniors”.