Archive for the ‘#fakenews’ Tag

American Civil War 2   Leave a comment

It’s really starting to look like the United States of America is at war with itself. We haven’t yet begun to kill one another as we did in 1861-65, but we’re plunging headlong toward shredding ourselves.

When I wrote Hullabaloo on Main Street, I didn’t need to look far for inspiration. The media was filled with articles such as When a Red State Moves to a Blue State. PBS, which has been utterly ignorant of main street America for the decade I’ve been watching it actually has done some interviews with red state residents, which they then contrasted with the panic of blue state residents over the election of Donald Trump. I think they stopped running those interviews because even the Propaganda Bureau of Socialism (PBS) recognized how unexpectedly reasonable Trump voters sounded compared to those mourning the Clinton campaign.

Image result for image of clapper comey cabalBut it’s more than just how we feel about the election. As someone who didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton, I see this perhaps more clearly than those who have a dog in the fight. It sure does suck to lose an election. Committed democrats suddenly start applying to government to overturn the democratic process, forgetting that the United States was established as a republic, and in a republic, sometimes, the minority opinion wins, prepared for it or not.

This time around, it’s not Northern versus Southern states … or, if you subscribe as I do to the multiple causation theory of the Civil War …, industrialists attempting to usurp landowners, or the moral question of slavery. The current war is due to powerful factions within the political class not willing to accept the election of Donald Trump.

As far as the ruling class is concerned, Donald Trump was not supposed to win the presidential election of November 2016. Hillary Clinton’s deep connection to the foreign policy establishment and corporate news media made her the favored candidate. Her more hawkish outlook encouraged the establishment’s desire to extend the United States’ global hegemony, which Trump’s avowed stance to normalized relations with Russia threatened to derail those ambitions.

Of course, America’s rulers are varied in their opinion depending on their particular policy emphasis. Trump’s proposals for cutting taxes was bound to appeal to the powerful Wall Street and corporate factions among America’s power elite. This may make it seem that they are indifferent about the actual election result or even pleased by it. But is that where the real power lies?

With the rise of the surveillance state, we ought to recognize within the political class is a foreign policy establishment that straddles the politicians in Washington. This is the deep state — the intelligence community and the security-military apparatus, the CIA, Pentagon and their assets and class sympathizers within the corporate media. These hold a hostile view of President Trump and have the power to sustain a political war against his presidency.

Examples? The whole Russia “hacking the US elections” scandal just keeps running regardless of any objective evidence that it happened. The media and the political elite keep bringing it up, but James Clapper, former National Intelligence Director, has given more than one media interview where he reiterated that he has seen no evidence of “collusion” between the Trump election team and Russian state agents. Clapper and the former FBI chief James Comey continually hint at a Russia-gate scandal, but they never present any evidence. It plays into the long-standing American paranoia of Russia and many Americans buy into the supposition that where there’s smoke there’s fire, but it’s really looking like dry-ice fog used to cover behind-the-scenes.  They should either put up or shut up. For to not do is nothing less than political witch-hunting. The purpose of which is to undermine President Trump’s mandate. And it is all given full vent by politicians and media who wittingly or unwittingly rally behind the American paranoia of Russophobia.

Hullabaloo Front CoverI don’t care for President Trump’s personality. That’s why I didn’t vote for him. I am uncomfortable with his pal-type politics, but while President Obama was more publicly restrained in his cronyism, he also played at putting people who he owed political favors to in positions of power. I knew, because I’d watched her operate, that Hillary would be just as bad in the department, if not worse. Thus, I voted for someone didn’t display a similar history. Not many other people voted for him, so … like it or not, Donald Trump was constitutionally elected to the presidency. If you’re a committed democrat, it sure does suck if you lose an election … but if you’re trying to overthrow that election, you’re refusing to accept the results of American-style democracy.

It seems clear that there are elite interests within the US ruling class who do not accept American democracy and the mandate of President Trump’s electors. This fundamental revelation lays bare the very heart of American democracy. We’re told it’s the best in the world, but the ruling class is unwilling to accept the results of the last presidential election. They’re using unsupported claims of Trump being a Russian agent and how he couldn’t have won the election without Russian cyber-hacking to cover up a brazen anti-democratic assault on the electorate.

The people fanning the allegations are powerful enough to make sure the witch-hunt remains a dominate focus in public life and to do so without producing a shred of evidence for a good long time.

Consider recent history. President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because he fumbled the Clinton email investigation and was grandstanding over the Russia-gate probes. The media claimed this was evidence that Trump is covering up his alleged Russian links.

Ah, but the public started to grow bored when no evidence was produced, so then the US media became full of claims that President Trump leaked highly classified information on Islamic State terrorists to Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov during their closed-door meeting at the White House. If so, he risked exposing intelligence agents in Syria and it is well known that the only US-allied country that has infiltrated intelligence agents in Syria is Israel.

In the Clapper interview cited earlier, he said the US was being attacked both externally by the Russians and internally by President Trump “assaulting state institutions”. He offered no evidence. It’s all rhetoric, used to undermine a sitting president through innuendo. The presidency is being assaulted by people like Clapper and the establishment who are refusing to acknowledge President Trump’s electoral mandate.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov alluded to this when he said that America was “humiliating itself” by making the unfounded claims that Russia subverted its presidential election. How can the supposedly most powerful nation on Earth be so vulnerable to alleged Russian hackers? There’s been no evidence of actual voter manipulation. It would be difficult to the point of impossibility for anyone to hack 51 separate state-based election systems, many of them further decentralized at the community level. If Russia was behind the release of DNC emails (remember, only Wikileaks has taken credit), all they did was release information that American voters had a right to know. The voters themselves voted according to their feelings about the disclosures found in the material. That shouldn’t be against the law and it shouldn’t be something we go nuts over. Informed voters are a very good thing.

The people attacking American democracy (which works through a republican system) are American, not Russian or anyone else. The country is at war with itself. It is its own worse enemy, harming itself by flailing around with paranoid fears over non-existent threats.

America’s Civil War II is underway. It’s a war over whether democracy in this country exists or not and whether we want a pure democracy that has never worked out well in history or to continue with a republican form of government that protects social and regional minorities’ right to be heard and to have a voice in national politics. I pray we don’t start shooting at one another. It would be better if we the people stopped believing every bit of falsehood oozing out of the national media and started talking to our neighbors as if we were fellow Americans and not enemy combatants.

The Media’s Fake News about Obamacare | Alyene Senger   Leave a comment

Leave it to the media, which spent the latter half of 2016 highlighting how outrageously expensive Obamacare premiums were becoming, to suddenly shift gears in 2017 and stress the health law’s many “pluses.”

Such was the case in a recent interview with Heritage President Jim DeMint, in which CNN anchor Carol Costello suggested that lawmakers would need to preserve the so-called benefits of Obamacare if they repealed it.

In Costello’s words:

For example, this is according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve in Dallas. Preventative care provided by Obamacare … saves money and health care costs overall. In 2015, the cost of health care services increased 0.5 percent. The typical price increase before Obamacare, it was around 3 to 4 percent. Obamacare will lower the deficit by $143 billion over the next 10 years. So, there are pluses to Obamacare. So, how do you keep the pluses and get rid of the minuses?

DeMint shot back that those “facts” could fall “under the category of fake news.” This set Costello off to correct him that the numbers had come from the Congressional Budget Office.

Well, here’s what the Congressional Budget Office actually said about the cost of preventative care in 2009:

“Although different types of preventive care have different effects on spending, the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.”

For Americans paying premiums, this year’s price increases speak for themselves. According to the Obama administration, on the exchanges, the average increase this year in the benchmark plan premium is 25 percent across the 39 states that use the platform. Certainly this cannot be considered a “plus,” even by the law’s most zealous supporters.

It is true that the Congressional Budget Office did originally say that the law would reduce the deficit, but that analysis was always based on questionable assumptions and the double-counting of Medicare savings.

Indeed, in 2014, the Senate Budget Committee went back and used the Congressional Budget Office’s same scoring conventions and found that Obamacare would increase the deficit by $131 billion over the next decade.

Americans now have fewer insurer options, higher insurance deductibles, and higher premiums than prior to Obamacare.

Although the details of this year’s repeal bill are not yet known, the Congressional Budget Office’s latest score of an Obamacare repeal—based on the reconciliation bill passed by the last Congress, which repealed the law’s major spending provisions and tax increases—was projected to reduce federal deficits by roughly $516 billion over the 2016-2025 period, accounting for the economic benefits that would result.

But on CNN, Costello wasn’t finished. “So, all those 20 million people enrolled in Obamacare, they’re all going broke and it’s not working for any of them?” she asked. Actually, 20 million is a debatable enrollment figure, given that it is based on survey data that can be off by millions of people.

Using actual insurer enrollment data, which is only available through the end of 2015, there was an increase in coverage of only 14 million Americans from 2013 to 2015, with the vast majority (11.7 million) being pushed into Medicaid coverage.

Moreover, the actual net increase in private coverage during this period was only 2.3 million due to a decline in employment-based coverage, which offset the increase in the individual health insurance market.

Furthermore, Costello forgot about all of the people (over 10 million) who purchase coverage in the individual market and receive no Obamacare subsidy. These people have been getting hammered by premium increases caused by Obamacare every year and have to pay the full cost on their own.

Costello asked, “How do you take care of people much better than they’re taken care of now?”

Considering that many Americans are now facing fewer insurer options, higher insurance deductibles, and higher premiums than prior to Obamacare, the need for real cost relief is immense.

The first step in providing relief is to quickly repeal the law and then do the legislative work that will allow for patient-centered reforms.

Source: The Media’s Fake News about Obamacare | Alyene Senger

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