[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

I suppose because you care about the fate of the US over time....but personally I think everything fades. Romans were great once, England too, China, Babylonians, Egyptians, etc. All civilizations rise and fall. There is no good reason the US should somehow be different.

farley3k wrote:

I suppose because you care about the fate of the US over time....but personally I think everything fades. Romans were great once, England too, China, Babylonians, Egyptians, etc. All civilizations rise and fall. There is no good reason the US should somehow be different.

Yeah. I'm struggling with this one a lot right now. Especially if my fellow Americans don't care if they're ruled by kleptocrats from Russia. If they're somehow okay with this... what is there to do?

DSGamer wrote:
farley3k wrote:

I suppose because you care about the fate of the US over time....but personally I think everything fades. Romans were great once, England too, China, Babylonians, Egyptians, etc. All civilizations rise and fall. There is no good reason the US should somehow be different.

Yeah. I'm struggling with this one a lot right now. Especially if my fellow Americans don't cared if they're ruled by kleptocrats from Russia. If they're somehow okay with this... what is there to do?

They don’t view it that way. To a lot of people America is and will always be the best at everything despite the left’s attempts to destroy it, and everything else is just a means to the end of keeping us great and protecting the country from liberals. Likewise they aren’t concerned with America’s image or reputation on the global stage because f*ck all those other countries, they aren’t America.

ruhk wrote:

They don’t view it that way. To a lot of people America is and will always be the best at everything despite the left’s attempts to destroy it, and everything else is just a means to the end of keeping us great and protecting the country from liberals. Likewise they aren’t concerned with America’s image or reputation on the global stage because f*ck all those other countries, they aren’t America.

I bet I can find folks in England who still think it is the pinnacle of Western Civilization as well. In 100 years when learning Hindi or Mandarin is required people will be reading in textbooks about how the US became a second tier power.

But as disparaging as that might sound - I don't think having a fulfilling and meaningful life is tied to how "great" your country is. Life goes on and it is a damn sight bigger than the "USA"

farley3k wrote:
ruhk wrote:

They don’t view it that way. To a lot of people America is and will always be the best at everything despite the left’s attempts to destroy it, and everything else is just a means to the end of keeping us great and protecting the country from liberals. Likewise they aren’t concerned with America’s image or reputation on the global stage because f*ck all those other countries, they aren’t America.

I bet I can find folks in England who still think it is the pinnacle of Western Civilization as well. In 100 years when learning Hindi or Mandarin is required people will be reading in textbooks about how the US became a second tier power.

But as disparaging as that might sound - I don't think having a fulfilling and meaningful life is tied to how "great" your country is. Life goes on and it is a damn sight bigger than the "USA"

Oh absolutely. And there's nothing inherent about America that requires or even predicts America being "great", nevermind the "greatest" nation on Earth. We can be a second tier nation and we can all have fine lives by global standards.

I just don't get why Americans are okay with this? Why willingly submit to Russian kleptocracy and American oligarchy for the sake of "liberal tears". It's mind-boggling and it makes me less inclined to care if we survive this moment.

If we get a definition of

Spoiler:

Wang Slinging

can we start a D&D thread about it?

farley3k wrote:

I suppose because you care about the fate of the US over time....but personally I think everything fades. Romans were great once, England too, China, Babylonians, Egyptians, etc. All civilizations rise and fall. There is no good reason the US should somehow be different.

Taking a more wholistic approach too, the decline of the US to say England's current level... that would probably be to the benefit of a great part of the planet when we stop trying to "fix" things all by ourselves all the time.

Demosthenes wrote:
farley3k wrote:

I suppose because you care about the fate of the US over time....but personally I think everything fades. Romans were great once, England too, China, Babylonians, Egyptians, etc. All civilizations rise and fall. There is no good reason the US should somehow be different.

Taking a more wholistic approach too, the decline of the US to say England's current level... that would probably be to the benefit of a great part of the planet when we stop trying to "fix" things all by ourselves all the time.

Oh absolutely. I'd be happy for us to stop meddling across the planet. Slightly less happy if the reason we did so was because we were a client state of Russia. The rest of the planet may not care as much, though.

I think Americans don't understand or appreciate just how much they benefit from America being a superpower. And once that's gone their lives will get materially worse unless we rally to truly take back the country from our own oligarchs.

DSGamer wrote:
farley3k wrote:
ruhk wrote:

They don’t view it that way. To a lot of people America is and will always be the best at everything despite the left’s attempts to destroy it, and everything else is just a means to the end of keeping us great and protecting the country from liberals. Likewise they aren’t concerned with America’s image or reputation on the global stage because f*ck all those other countries, they aren’t America.

I bet I can find folks in England who still think it is the pinnacle of Western Civilization as well. In 100 years when learning Hindi or Mandarin is required people will be reading in textbooks about how the US became a second tier power.

But as disparaging as that might sound - I don't think having a fulfilling and meaningful life is tied to how "great" your country is. Life goes on and it is a damn sight bigger than the "USA"

Oh absolutely. And there's nothing inherent about America that requires or even predicts America being "great", nevermind the "greatest" nation on Earth. We can be a second tier nation and we can all have fine lives by global standards.

I just don't get why Americans are okay with this? Why willingly submit to Russian kleptocracy and American oligarchy for the sake of "liberal tears". It's mind-boggling and it makes me less inclined to care if we survive this moment.

America was very, very lucky. It's absurdly rich in resources, has land to feed many times its population, and ended up on the winning side of two world wars with minimal losses. This culminated in the 50's where America had the only surviving industry for decades. There we had the fabled single-income household because a single man could work in a business with unlimited demand and no competition by people of a different color. Those people had tons of babies, and now we have an extra large generation that feels like that prosperity was stolen from them.

(I'm sure you all know this, but I felt the need to get my thoughts on it organized.)

Delbin wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
farley3k wrote:
ruhk wrote:

They don’t view it that way. To a lot of people America is and will always be the best at everything despite the left’s attempts to destroy it, and everything else is just a means to the end of keeping us great and protecting the country from liberals. Likewise they aren’t concerned with America’s image or reputation on the global stage because f*ck all those other countries, they aren’t America.

I bet I can find folks in England who still think it is the pinnacle of Western Civilization as well. In 100 years when learning Hindi or Mandarin is required people will be reading in textbooks about how the US became a second tier power.

But as disparaging as that might sound - I don't think having a fulfilling and meaningful life is tied to how "great" your country is. Life goes on and it is a damn sight bigger than the "USA"

Oh absolutely. And there's nothing inherent about America that requires or even predicts America being "great", nevermind the "greatest" nation on Earth. We can be a second tier nation and we can all have fine lives by global standards.

I just don't get why Americans are okay with this? Why willingly submit to Russian kleptocracy and American oligarchy for the sake of "liberal tears". It's mind-boggling and it makes me less inclined to care if we survive this moment.

America was very, very lucky. It's absurdly rich in resources, has land to feed many times its population, and ended up on the winning side of two world wars with minimal losses. This culminated in the 50's where America had the only surviving industry for decades. There we had the fabled single-income household because a single man could work in a business with unlimited demand and no competition by people of a different color. Those people had tons of babies, and now we have an extra large generation that feels like that prosperity was stolen from them.

(I'm sure you all know this, but I felt the need to get my thoughts on it organized.)

I'd say it's less that we have a generation that feels like it was stolen from them and more like we have a generation that doesn't seem to understand what's changed and why it's no longer viable for the current generation... and rather than learning, seems content assuming the current generation just doesn't want to work hard enough or is too lazy.

Demosthenes wrote:

I'd say it's less that we have a generation that feels like it was stolen from them and more like we have a generation that doesn't seem to understand what's changed and why it's no longer viable for the current generation... and rather than learning, seems content assuming the current generation just doesn't want to work hard enough or is too lazy.

They also seem to have a fundamental lack of understanding of how privileged their starting place was. If I think of it like a relay race the WW2 generation smoked it way, way ahead of everyone else, the baby boomers kind of screwed around and ran a bit and now they are watching the people they passed the baton to lose ground to the other runners. And while they are watching this they are bitching about how that group just isn't trying hard enough like they did.

farley3k wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

I'd say it's less that we have a generation that feels like it was stolen from them and more like we have a generation that doesn't seem to understand what's changed and why it's no longer viable for the current generation... and rather than learning, seems content assuming the current generation just doesn't want to work hard enough or is too lazy.

They also seem to have a fundamental lack of understanding of how privileged their starting place was. If I think of it like a relay race the WW2 generation smoked it way, way ahead of everyone else, the baby boomers kind of screwed around and ran a bit and now they are watching the people they passed the baton to lose ground to the other runners. And while they are watching this they are bitching about how that group just isn't trying hard enough like they did.

The worst generation. Boomers, that is.

Project Veritas f*cks up another "sting"

WaPo wrote:

A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets.

In a series of interviews over two weeks, the woman shared a dramatic story about an alleged sexual relationship with Moore in 1992 that led to an abortion when she was 15. During the interviews, she repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore’s candidacy if she went public.

The Post did not publish an article based on her unsubstantiated account. When Post reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story and an Internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations, she insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists.

But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups. The organization sets up undercover “stings” that involve using false cover stories and covert video recordings meant to expose what the group says is media bias.

James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas who was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2010 for using a fake identity to enter a federal building during a previous sting, declined to answer questions about the woman outside the Project Veritas office, a storefront in Mamaroneck, N.Y., on Monday morning shortly after the woman walked inside.

“I am not doing an interview right now, so I’m not going to say a word,” O’Keefe said.

The woman was discovered when researchers found an open GoFundMe under the same name she gave The Post. The campaign was to raise money to cover costs to move to New York City where she just took a job "...to work in the conservative media movement to combat the lies and deceipt of the liberal MSM" where she'd "...be using my skills as a researcher and fact-checker to help our movement."

Project Veritas had announced a few months prior that they were looking for 12 new “undercover reporters.”

Right, but CNN is "fake news"... These f*cking people.

DSGamer wrote:
farley3k wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

I'd say it's less that we have a generation that feels like it was stolen from them and more like we have a generation that doesn't seem to understand what's changed and why it's no longer viable for the current generation... and rather than learning, seems content assuming the current generation just doesn't want to work hard enough or is too lazy.

They also seem to have a fundamental lack of understanding of how privileged their starting place was. If I think of it like a relay race the WW2 generation smoked it way, way ahead of everyone else, the baby boomers kind of screwed around and ran a bit and now they are watching the people they passed the baton to lose ground to the other runners. And while they are watching this they are bitching about how that group just isn't trying hard enough like they did.

The worst generation. Boomers, that is.

Related New Yorker article: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...

They are astronomic morons, but the less fun part is that (Stolen from Twitter):

1.) There are scores of people who want to discredit the media, and their plans are becoming increasingly elaborate/well-funded.

2.) He doesn't need to "win" every time, or really ever. He obviously wants big "victories" but his main goal is just to make it harder to do good journalism. Put every reporter and editor on edge, force papers to divert resources, slightly muddy the waters for readers and potential sources. It's a different version of the Thiel lawsuit strategy: death by a thousand papercuts.

3.) O'Keefe supporters won't read the WaPo piece and will believe whatever he tells them.

It's not good for... democracy.

Please refer to him by his full name, Convicted Criminal James O'Keefe.

https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/ne...

Prederick wrote:

3.) O'Keefe supporters won't read the WaPo piece and will believe whatever he tells them.

It's not good for... democracy.

Yeah. Someone is paying him a ridiculous amount of money to do this, too.

On the boomers/millennial topic, it doesn't help that the drop from the post-war surplus is coupled with wages continuing to sink. The US is no longer the sole undisputed economic engine (because everyone else finished rebuilding ages ago, and even other places are catching up, like South Korea surging ahead into the top ten within the past decade or two). And we have a pathological need to require everyone to work, even as the work isn't paying enough to live on for many people...

Comcast is ready for the end of net neutrality:
Ars Technica: Comcast hints at plan for paid fast lanes after net neutrality repeal: Comcast still won't block or throttle—but paid prioritization may be on the way

For years, Comcast has been promising that it won't violate the principles of net neutrality, regardless of whether the government imposes any net neutrality rules. That meant that Comcast wouldn't block or throttle lawful Internet traffic and that it wouldn't create fast lanes in order to collect tolls from Web companies that want priority access over the Comcast network.

This was one of the ways in which Comcast argued that the Federal Communications Commission should not reclassify broadband providers as common carriers, a designation that forces ISPs to treat customers fairly in other ways. The Title II common carrier classification that makes net neutrality rules enforceable isn't necessary because ISPs won't violate net neutrality principles anyway, Comcast and other ISPs have claimed.

But with Republican Ajit Pai now in charge at the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast's stance has changed. While the company still says it won't block or throttle Internet content, it has dropped its promise about not instituting paid prioritization.

O'Keefe is such an utter scumbag.

James O’Keefe tweeted about his 'confrontation' with a Post reporter. Here’s what really happened.
(Marwa Eltagouri, The Washington Post, 2017-11-27)

The Washington Post on Monday published a report about a woman who falsely claimed Roy Moore sexually assaulted her as a teenager — and who appeared to work with Project Veritas, an organization that uses deceptive tactics and secretly recorded conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets.

Shortly after the investigation was published, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe tweeted a video of what he called his “confrontation” with one of the authors of The Post investigation, Aaron C. Davis. The video was heavily edited, a tactic for which Project Veritas has drawn criticism.

The Post filmed the entire encounter.

Prederick wrote:

He obviously wants big "victories" but his main goal is just to make it harder to do good journalism.

It shouldn't. Reporters should already be verifying and cross-checking sources, as the Post did. If the reporters are doing their jobs, they have little to fear from O'Keefe. And every time one of his "stings" is exposed, it boosts the media outlet's reputation.

It's harder in that he's deliberately making them waste time and money on fact checking his bogus stories. He's adding to the pile of fake stories with the goal of bogging them down enough that something slips through, or that they get paranoid enough to scare off someone with an actual story.

Aetius wrote:
Prederick wrote:

He obviously wants big "victories" but his main goal is just to make it harder to do good journalism.

It shouldn't. Reporters should already be verifying and cross-checking sources, as the Post did. If the reporters are doing their jobs, they have little to fear from O'Keefe. And every time one of his "stings" is exposed, it boosts the media outlet's reputation.

Does it, though? That strikes me as the equivalent of the page 9 retraction following a front page accusation. Sure it's technically there, and people who are looking for it will pay attention, but the damage is largely done with a splashy headline.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Aetius wrote:
Prederick wrote:

He obviously wants big "victories" but his main goal is just to make it harder to do good journalism.

It shouldn't. Reporters should already be verifying and cross-checking sources, as the Post did. If the reporters are doing their jobs, they have little to fear from O'Keefe. And every time one of his "stings" is exposed, it boosts the media outlet's reputation.

Does it, though? That strikes me as the equivalent of the page 9 retraction following a front page accusation. Sure it's technically there, and people who are looking for it will pay attention, but the damage is largely done with a splashy headline.

And further more, we’re dealing with irrational actors. The people that support Trump / Moore / etc are not motivated or influenced by the same things.

Reading the WaPo story reminded me of the “baby parts” fabrication and also of a different video I watched in an evangelical church. (Following my problems with alcohol I briefly re-engaged with organized religion.)

I went to, what was billed, as an evening bible study.

The church video was of a group of young congregants who wanted to publically “heal the sick and lame” and “cast out demons” based on the fact that Jesus did it. (Oh, and they also had done it, just not on camera but it happened. Like a dead guy came back to life. Really.)

Long story short, they did none of those things. The minister then had us move to break out groups to discuss our perspective on why the “ministry didn’t work out they way it was intended.”

Most people tended to blame the “negative attitudes of the unsaved” or the lack of preparation on the part of the recorded group (? - did they need to pray harder?) with zero biblical discussion at all.

When it came to me, I quoted Galatians, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” I explained briefly that I saw the video as not glorifying God, but rather as an attempt to glorify those recorded. That we should not attempt create miracles from divinity but rather from every day acts and that those humble acts truly glorify God.

I was politely uninvited by one of the ministry team. (Only after I refused a week long retreat that would have cost me a pretty penny.)

And that’s what you’re dealing with. People who can watch a slick, highly produced video with zero documented evidence of a thing (indeed evidence to the contrary of a thing) and still believe that thing.

They don’t want beliefs challenged, they want beliefs reinforced.

I'm having that issue with my conservative friend. He views facts as "viewpoints" at their strongest, and "fake news" at worst. He believes higher education is indoctrination, all professors are scammers and liars, and their work (and science in general) is simply not to be trusted. (Part of this is his growing up poor and honestly feeling like he succeeded *in spite of* the teachers, social workers and college professors who helped him along the way. He feels that they turned him liberal, and that he didn't regain his own agency until he finally realized that and turned deeply conservative. (He identifies with many Bircher positions, and felt that "All in the Family" depicted an idealistic couple beset by liberal political correctness, and bravely standing up to it - no lie.)

It's frustrating, to say the least, to discuss politics and policies with him, because every single piece of evidence I put up for consideration is "fake news", while every single utterance by Clarence Thomas or Ben Carson or especially Thomas Sowell is gospel. Economics for him is stuck in the 80's; I asked him what he thought of the Kansas Experiment and he responded with a 2007 article from Cato about how the Laffer Curve has never been shown to be wrong. I showed him consensus positions from UChicago, which regularly polls dozens of leading economists on policy, that rejected the idea that the Laffer Curve has any significance outside of its two extremes, and also that tax cuts pay for themselves. In response I got the answer that this is just their "opinions".

You. Cannot. Argue. With. These. People. No common ground whatsoever. And *absolutely* no desire for compromise on any issues at all. He's expecting to see everything burn down in the next few years, because Democrats can't bring themselves to stop destroying the economy and our social structure. (He thinks most Republicans are corrupt as well, to be fair, but at least they have some ideas he's willing to entertain, like moving most of the Federal government functions to the states.)

Really depressingly accurate article on myths of fascism.

After having spent most of my life being told that the conservative position was about logic, reason, and objective truth, I'm more than a little frustrated by their complete reversal about it. I've been judging the conservative writers I used to read regularly by how much they're willing to compromise on things like, oh, sexually assaulting children. A few of them have stood firm, but a disturbing number base their moral judgements on the letter after a politician's name rather than on, say, the religious beliefs they claimed to follow.

There are plenty of religious people who still have a moral compass, but what I think we're seeing is the delamination of the middle-class cultural assumptions from the religious practices. To tie into the earlier millennial topic, I think a lot of the assumptions in a lot of American churches were based on a specific cultural moment rather than enduring religious standards, and that's starting to come apart at the seams.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Does it, though? That strikes me as the equivalent of the page 9 retraction following a front page accusation. Sure it's technically there, and people who are looking for it will pay attention, but the damage is largely done with a splashy headline.

O'Keefe is paying a woman to make up a fake rape charge in an effort to discredit the victims of Roy Moore. No, let me emphasize that: he didn't just try to discredit them, he sent someone in with deliberately fake story in order to cast doubt on the very real victims. He knew that the victims could be telling the truth and he didn't care.

And I'm seeing plenty of people on Twitter who are (deliberately or accidentally) using the Washington Posts reporting on this to cast doubt on the other victims, so his little propaganda project succeeded to that extent.

Meanwhile, the blockade/siege/famine of Yemen mostly continues:

As Aid Arrives in Yemen, U.N. Warns It Must Not Be a ‘One-Off’

Nearly three weeks after a Saudi-led coalition blockaded Yemen’s airports and seaports, cutting off much of the country from desperately needed aid, shipments have begun re-entering ports held by Houthi rebels.

The blockade had left millions of people without reliable access to medicine and exacerbated a food crisis that has left much of the country teetering on the brink of famine.

On Sunday, the key seaport of Al Hudaydah received a shipment of flour, Reuters reported, and a day earlier aid planes were allowed to land at the main airport in Sana, the capital.

Humanitarian groups have warned that the arrival of lifesaving supplies should not be misinterpreted as an end to the pressing crisis, but instead as the first step in re-establishing a consistent flow of food and medicine to a country with millions of civilians in need.

Not to dig up that argument again, but between domestic things like Puerto Rico and US involvement in the situation in Yemen, we may need to revise Trump's casualty count (vs. Bush).

Paleocon wrote:

Really depressingly accurate article on myths of fascism.

I'd just add that America has a long history of flirting with fascism (lots of late 19th century market crises to push it along) and only managed to crush it for a time because of WWII.

Stengah wrote:

It's harder in that he's deliberately making them waste time and money on fact checking his bogus stories. He's adding to the pile of fake stories with the goal of bogging them down enough that something slips through, or that they get paranoid enough to scare off someone with an actual story.

Vetting and checking sources is just something that actual news organizations do. It's just how good journalism is produced.

When The Washington Post first broke the story about Moore they had something like 30 different sources. You can bet that every one of them was checked and cross-checked.

Even O'Keefe's largest success to date--ACORN--cost him a $100,000 in a lawsuit. And speaking of lawsuits, just last week it came out that Project Veritas is suing its own insurance company because it's balking at paying for multiple lawsuits that people from previous "stings" have brought against the group.

The worst thing I've learned today is that project veritas is a 501 c 3.

IME, most charities aren't sophmoric enterprises that would be better suited as a hidden camera show on fox news.

It's going to be a harder for the US to impose sanction because we no longer have an office to oversee that. It's been disbanded.

Foreign Policy: State Department Scraps Sanctions Office: The Trump administration was three weeks late on a Russia sanctions deadline. But it’s killed the office that coordinates them.