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Friday, April 26, 2019


Headlines for April 26, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio. 
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for April 26, 2019

*Syrian Fuel Shortage Squeezes Assad’s Loyalists
*North Korea’s State-Run Economy Falters Under Sanctions, Testing Elite Loyalty
*Trump takes aim at Iran’s oil
*New U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela Aim to Choke Off Government’s Finances
Sanctions are not aimed at "Assad's Loyalists", and they are not aimed at "Iran's Oil" or Venezuela’s government finances or the North Korean economy. Sanctions are aimed at making the ordinary people of those countries suffer, and, in the worst cases, die, as more than a half million children did from the Iraq sanctions. Or the estimated 40,000 Venezuelans who have died as a result of U.S. sanctions on that country. Sanctions are not only war but the cruelest, most vicious kind of war, aimed at non-combatants, and especially the poorest, weakest, and most vulnerable among them. They are collective punishment, and also very much a form of terrorism. And all the euphemisms in the world don't change that. As the State Department memo so openly put it in a 1960 memo: "Every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba" by "denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government." https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1958-60v06/d499

*Would Any Atrocity Turn Off Investors to Saudi Arabia?
Subhead: The kingdom this week executed 37 “terrorists” after torture and sham trials. Corporations and governments should demand an end to the kingdom’s egregious violations of human rights.
Two days after the executions, NYT finally weighs in (WaPo and US government still silent), and their concern is…will investors be turned off???

*Longtime Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik rejects his depiction in Mueller report
The headline is fine; what’s wrong is the timing. Why is this article appearing now, after the Mueller report? The WaPo and other media have spent two years referring to Kilimnik’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence, made Manafort’s discussing of polling data with him sound ominous, and more. *Now* they let him tell his side of the story?

*Mueller Report Likely to Renew Scrutiny of Steele Dossier
Another fine headline, but again it’s a question of timing. NYT now says “misgivings about [the Steele dossier’s] reliability arose not long after the document became public in early 2017.“ Funny, you certainly wouldn’t know this from reading the NYT for the last two years. “Some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove.” Missing from that sentence? That not a single substantive claim was proven true.

*Donald Trump is lucky. Vladimir Putin is luckier.
I was expecting a fantasy about how much Russia has benefited from Trump’s Presidency. No, that wasn’t it. Instead, the headline refers to this unbelievable assertion: “Having meddled deeply in the U.S. election — using the Russian military to do it — Putin wasn’t even held to account. No dictator of a troubled petro-state has ever pulled off such an audacious outrage against the world’s superpower (not even Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the unpunished author of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi).”

Venezuela’s Guaidó waging election-style campaign in a country with no plans for an election
No plans for an election? Venezuela has had, and will continue to have on regular schedule, more elections than any other country in Latin America. And that just the beginning of the lies in this article, or omissions like a failure to connect Venezuela’s economic problems to US sanctions (and outright theft).

How Barr and Trump Use a Russian Disinformation Tactic
The headline says “Russian” but the accompanying picture includes a hammer-and-sickle.
This is such complete nonsense:
“By seamlessly conflating the terms “collusion” and “conspiracy,” and absolving President Trump of both, Mr. Barr revealed that the Russian information warfare technique of “reflexive control” has officially entered American public discourse — and threatens, with his recent allegations of campaign “spying,” to stay there for a while. Reflexive control is a “uniquely Russian” technique of psychological manipulation through disinformation. The idea is to feed your adversary a set of assumptions that will produce a predictable response: That response, in turn, furthers a goal that advances your interests. By luring your opponent into agreeing with your initial assumptions, you can control the narrative, and ultimate outcome, in your favor.”
Needless to say, it was hardly Trump who is responsible for the use of the word “collusion”. And, as the article itself notes, Mueller’s charge was to investigate “links and/or coordination”, which sure sounds a lot like “collusion” rather than the legal term “conspiracy”.
*Prodded by Putin, Russians Sought Back Channels to Trump Through the Business World
Missing from this ominous-sounding headline? The words “AFTER THE ELECTION”!!!

Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich

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