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Friday, November 08, 2019


Headlines for Nov. 8, 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 Nov. 8, 2019

*Bill Gates’ 5 Secrets To Happiness Are Surprisingly Affordable
*Bill Gates criticises Elizabeth Warren's plan for tax on super-rich
So Bill doesn’t think you need money to be happy, but keep your hands off his!

Then these…
*The Billionaires Are Getting Nervous
*Cartier boss with $7.5bn fortune says prospect of the poor rising up 'keeps him awake at night'
In case you’re wondering where the push for UBI is coming: The multi-billionaire owner of luxury jewellery company Cartier has revealed his greatest fear – robots replacing workers and the poor rising up to bring down the rich. 

*Apple is donating $2.5 billion towards the California housing crisis
This is SO misleading. They make it sound like Apple is giving away $2.5B. As Bernie Sanders (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/bernie-sanders-slams-apples-2point5-billion-housing-pledge.html)  put it so well: “Apple is the latest tech industry tax evader that has portrayed its entry into the housing business as an act of philanthropic altruism.” Most of it is an *investment fund*, loans that Apple will be paid back, presumably with interest. They’re doing this because they have so much money they can’t use it for their own needs.
“The money is not an out-and-out donation but rather a spending plan with different pots of money and land assigned to different efforts.”
$1 billion will go towards an affordable housing investment fund which Cook said will "provide the state and others with an open line of credit to develop and build additional new, very low- to moderate-income housing faster and at a lower cost."
Another $1 billion will be put into a first-time homebuyer mortgage assistance fund.
$300 million of Apple-owned land in San Jose will be given over to build affordable housing.
$150 million is going towards "Bay Area housing fund" which will be run in tandem with nonprofits including the Housing Trust Silicon Valley.
$50 million (2% of the total) is a straight donation to homelessness charity Destination: Home.

An exact repeat of the story from June 21 of this year:
Google Pledges $1 Billion For Affordable Housing
Google promises $1 billion to help fix Bay Area housing crisis it helped create
To read the headline, you would think this was philanthropy. Maybe they’re emulating the Venezuelan government and building housing to give away to workers? Not at all, this is an investment on which they will be making profit. Even the headline referencing “affordable housing” is a lie. From the article: “housing will be “at all income levels in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle and low-income families.” The details reveal that: $750M of that Billion is just repurposing land it owns from commercial to residential and lease it to developers, and the other $250M is an investment fund for developers who pledge to build affordable housing. Then there is “$50 million in grants for nonprofits that deal with homelessness and displacement,” which of course is tax-deductible. Basically it just reflects that they have more money than they know what to do with, plus their realization that if they want to retain employees they’ve got to do something about housing prices in the Bay Area.

*I worked on political ads at Facebook. They profit by manipulating us.
Um, isn’t that how *all* political ads (all ads of any kind, in fact) work? Try googling “Harry and Louise” just for starters. The ads featured a fictional 40-something, middle-class married couple named Harry and Louise despairing over the government getting involved in health insurance and how it would certainly mess up their own coverage, including making them change doctors, and put an end to Clinton’s attempt at something like the ACA in the early 90’s.

*Embassy seizure four decades ago leaves a legacy of bitterness between Iran and the United States
I’m pretty sure it was actually the CIA overthrow of Mossadegh and the installation of the Shah 66 years ago. Encouraging Iraq to attack Iran also didn’t help. By contrast, the US perspective: “The State Department said the event will serve as “a reminder of the long history of malign behavior by the Iranian regime and the danger it has posed to the United States and the world over the past 40 years.””

*The Mueller Report Illustrated: The Obstruction Investigation
Talk about rewriting history! It was a “collusion” investigation, not an obstruction investigation!

With student’s death, Hong Kong uprising enters perilous new phase
“He fell one story in a parking garage in the Tseung Kwan O neighborhood while police officers were dispersing protesters nearby. Local reports have said that he was about 130 yards from police officers. Chow’s death could be the first directly connected to a police confrontation with protesters.”
So the accidental death of one student in Hong Kong starts a “perilous new phase”, but not the deaths of scores in Chile or hundreds in Iraq.

Democrats in Battleground States Prefer Moderate Nominee, Poll Shows
It’s true that when asked a general question, respondents did answer that way. But asked about specific candidates, the numbers for Biden plus Buttigieg almost exactly equal those for Sanders plus Warren, and in turn equal the number of undecided. So the conclusion in the headline is dubious at best.

One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but Leads Warren in Battlegrounds
This week’s entry in the “black out Bernie” competition. The poll matched up Trump vs. Biden, Sanders, & Warren. Biden led in 4 of 6 battleground states, Sanders in 3, Warren in just 1. But almost every result was well within the margin of error, i.e., Trump is basically tied with all three in all six states.

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