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Friday, November 09, 2018


Headlines for Nov. 9, 2018

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 11 minutes.
Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines (WMMFH) for Nov. 9, 2018

*New York's governor jokes he'll change his name to 'Amazon Cuomo' to win the HQ2 bid, and it reveals just how desperate states are to land Amazon's second headquarters

*Cuomo ready to rename a Long Island City creek the Amazon River to woo Amazon into opening its second headquarters in NYC
Peak capitalism. And, incidentally, both headlines serving the purpose of distracting readers from the real way cities are trying to lure Amazon, which isn't by renaming creeks, but with millions of dollars in "incentives".

*Ex-Green Party candidate earns more votes than difference between Sinema, McSally
Why is this even an article? Of course the premise is she shouldn’t have run, and that those votes “belonged” to the Democrats. In fact, the Green Party candidate dropped out a week in advance and endorsed Sinema. And either her voters voted in advance, which highlights one of the flaws of the emphasis on mail-in voting, or they were showing there was no way they were willing to support either Democrat or Republican, and just wouldn’t have voted if their candidate wasn’t on the ballot. Also this has now become ironic since Sinema is now leading. Ironically the Post has actually editorialized in favor of ranked choice voting.

This set of two headlines courtesy of Max Blumenthal:
*‘Warning Lights Are Blinking Red,’ Top Intelligence Officer Says of Russian Attacks
*Mystery of the Midterm Elections: Where Are the Russians?

*Forget the Russians. On this Election Day, it’s Americans peddling disinformation and hate speech.
"a rampant online spread of misleading reports and images about the migrant caravan in Mexico, for example — and especially the demonstrably false allegations that billionaire George Soros is funding a violent “invasion” of the United States." Yeah, that NEVER happened before, and never would have happened without whatever Russia did in 2016. Right. "Accounts controlled by Russians probably helped amplify such misleading narratives, experts say, but the evidence so far is that they started with American political activists who are increasingly adept at online manipulation techniques but enjoy broad free-speech protections that tech companies have been reluctant to challenge."  But according to the source in the referenced article, the “misleading images of the caravan” were amplified NOT by “accounts controlled by Russians” but by “accounts known to echo Kremlin propaganda”.

By the way, that was *Trump* pushing the story of the “invasion” funded by Democrats (don’t think he mentioned Soros). And amplified by every media outlet, not by “accounts controlled by Russians”.

*Federal judge blocks Keystone XL pipeline, dealing a major blow to Trump
Why is the headline not, "in a major victory for environmentalists"?


Half of us are informants, say Russian expats in UK
Half of 150,000 Russians living in London are spies, says report
Here is the actual "study":
Putin Sees and Hears it all: How Russia’s Intelligence Agencies Menace The UK
[Actual full report here: https://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/HJS-Putin-Sees-and-Hears-It-All-Report-web.pdf ]
Henry Jackson Society is a British neocon think tank.
Among the claims: "There are up to five times the number of Russian case officers in the UK as there were in 2010.  These 200 ‘case officers’ are handling up to 500 agents." [But from the report, "Russia’s embassy in Kensington currently maintains a staff of 56 diplomats". Where are the rest?] Also in 2013, a Russian double-agent said the number was 51, not 200!
"Out of an estimated population of 150,000 Russian ex-pats living in London, up to half are said to be FSB, GRU, or SVR informants – potentially, some 75,000 assets." That's based on what the Russians he interviewed, no doubt all anti-Putin, told him, but actually not even that: "interviewees and interlocutors suggested that anywhere between a quarter and a half of Russian expats were, or have been, informants. Oh, and from Wikipedia " The Office for National Statistics estimates that 66,000 people born in Russia were resident in the UK in 2016."

Nothing this week. But some of the one above are funny in their own way.

Friday, November 02, 2018


Headlines for Nov. 2, 2018

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 11 minutes.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines (WMMFH) for Nov. 2, 2018


*DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Says U.S. Has No Plans 'Right Now' to Shoot at Caravan
“Right now”?!!!! By the way this came before Trump's announcement that rock-throwers would be treated as if they had rifles.

*With North Korean Threats Looming, the U.S. Army Pursues Controversial Weapons
Looming threat? Remarkably, there isn’t a single word in the article to back up that headline (which presents the “looming threat” as simple fact), just a claim from the DoD that they need these “controversial” weapons because of this alleged threat. And what are these “controversial” weapons? Cluster bombs, banned by a treaty signed by 104 countries, not including the US.

*2 die in grocery store shooting; race might have played a role
“Might have”? “MIGHT HAVE”? The killer said to an armed white man “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.” And he tried to break into a Black church just before

*Mail bomb suspect made numerous references on Facebook to Russian associates and echoed pro-Kremlin views
His “Russian associates” are actual Russians he knows, and in addition to referring to his “Russian brothers”, he also refers to his “Italian brothers”…something you won’t learn until the 12th paragraph. And his “pro-Kremlin” views are simply his support for Russian and Syrian efforts to battle terrorists in Syria, a word the WaPo insists of putting in scare quotes‪, as if it isn’t a fact that both Al Qaeda and ISIS have had a major presence in Syria‬.
From the article: “Sayoc lived in an area of suburban Miami with a large Russian community, meaning the Russians described on the Facebook page may have been simply friends of that nationality.” Also: “The posts fit with Kremlin propaganda themes, portraying Russia and Syrian government forces favorably as they battled “terrorists” in what U.S. officials for years have portrayed as a legitimate uprising against the authoritarian government of President Bashar al-Assad.”

Russian disinformation on Facebook targeted Ukraine well before the 2016 U.S. election
What was this “target”? “Kremlin’s spreading of misinformation on the social network to foment distrust in his new administration and to promote support of Russia’s invasion and occupation of parts of Ukraine.” And what was the misinformation? “In Ukraine, Russian information warfare was in full swing on Facebook and a Russian social media network during the revolution in 2014, government officials say. There was a daily flood of fake news condemning the revolution and trying to legitimize the invasion by claiming Ukraine was an Islamic State safehaven, a hotbed for Chechen terrorists and led by Nazis.”
But here was the REAL outside influence: “Facebook…played an oversized role in Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan Revolution, helping communities orchestrate the delivery of medical care and supplies to the revolutionaries and the sharing of tactics for resisting police and troops.”


The Trump tax cuts were supposed to set off an investment boom. They haven’t so far.
No, they were never supposed to do that. That was just the cover story. They did what they were supposed to do, which was to massively enrich the corporations and the 1%.

Explaining why he didn't cancel rally, Trump falsely says NYSE opened day after 9/11
A problem with limited headline length. You could be mistaken about whether the market was open Sept 12. But Trump didn’t leave it there. He made up an entire conversation with Dick Grasso: “He said what they had to do to open it you wouldn’t believe, we won’t even talk to you about it.”‬


Choke it down, and vote for Menendez
“This year's U.S. Senate race presents the most depressing choice for New Jersey voters in a generation, with two awful candidates whose most convincing argument is that the other guy is unfit to serve.” Reminds me of the 2016 Presidential election.
Worth noting that Menendez had the support of the entirety of the Democratic establishment in NJ and DC, effectively preventing any opposition to his renomination.
Incidentally, my biggest problem with Menendez isn’t that he’s corrupt, it’s that he’s a fanatical member of the right-wing Cuban community in northern NJ, with its hatred of the Cuban Revolution. Going along with that are his right-wing views on the full range of military/surveillance/foreign policy issues (more on that here).

*Pence Reminds Celebrities That People Know Him
He thinks he’s competition for Oprah and Will Ferrell.

Friday, October 26, 2018


Headlines for Oct. 26, 2018

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 11 minutes.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Oct. 26, 2018


Also a Candidate for Dumb and at the same time Alarming:

*Beijing’s Nuclear Option: Why a U.S.-Chinese War Could Spiral Out of Control
They really mean “The U.S.’ nuclear option.” The author even admits “China has long stood out for its nonaggressive nuclear doctrine. China has a much smaller and simpler nuclear arsenal than its resources would have allowed. Chinese leaders have consistently characterized nuclear weapons as useful only for deterring nuclear aggression and coercion. Historically, this narrow purpose required only a handful of nuclear weapons that could ensure Chinese retaliation in the event of an attack. To this day, China maintains a “no first use” pledge, promising that it will never be the first to use nuclear weapons.”

*A Push for Safer Fertilizer in Europe Carries a Whiff of Russian Intrigue
Really? It's now "Russian Intrigue" for a company to support legislation which would benefit its products (which just happen to be better for the environment than the competition)? Incredibly, the article even brings up this nonsense from the Jan. 2017 DNI report: “The television network RT, which American intelligence officials have labeled a Kremlin propaganda outlet, has also focused on fracking.” And the very next sentence in the article refers to “Moscow’s creation and worldwide dissemination of false stories” as if there was anything false about RT’s coverage of fracking. And, not that it matters, but “PhosAgro, a publicly traded company, dismissed any notion of Russian government involvement in its efforts.”

Some white Northerners see a flag rooted in racism as a symbol of patriotism
For a growing number of white Northerners, the Confederate flag represents a link to President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” brand of patriotism. But to others, flying the flag is simply racism by a different name.
How exactly does the flag of a region that seceded from the union, committing treason, qualify as “patriotism”, and why does the WaPo dignify that assertion with equal billing with “racism”, the real explanation? And what does waving the flag of a region that was defeated in war, like waving the Nazi flag, have do with making anything “great” again? From the article: “Historians wrestle with how a flag that stood for treason can be seen as patriotic.” Really? That’s something you have to wrestle with?

*Saudi Arabia’s Invisible War: The Khashoggi crisis has called attention to a largely-overlooked Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Similar headline last week in the WaPo; this time it’s the NYT. And whose fault is that, NYT? And, by the way, you might mention the US role before the 6th paragraph: “Americans, whose military has backed the Saudi-led coalition’s campaign with intelligence, bombs and refueling, leading to accusations of complicity in possible war crimes.” Note the three weasel words in a row: “accusations”, “complicity”, “possible”. Just say it. The US (and of course Saudi Arabia) is guilty of war crimes in Yemen, full stop.


*A look back at Trump comments perceived by some as encouraging violence
“Perceived by some”???!!!
"If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell ... I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise,"
"I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you."

*Justice Dept. charges Russian woman with interference in midterm elections
No, they did not charge her with "interference in midterm elections", but with *conspiracy* to do so, which means they don't actually have to show that any actual crime occurred (or that, e.g., creating a fake persona on Facebook, or tweeting about NFL Protests under a false name IS a crime).


*What Could Kill Booming U.S. Economy? ‘Socialists,’ White House Warns
A report from the Council of Economic Advisers compares Bernie Sanders to Chairman Mao, and warns that pickup trucks cost more in Sweden.
From the report: “The socialist narrative names the oppressors of the vulnerable, such as the bourgeoisie (Marx), kulaks (Lenin), landlords (Mao), and giant corporations (Sanders and Warren).” Other great quotes: Comparing Mao described “the ruthless economic exploitation and political oppression of the peasants by the landlord class” with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren saying “large corporations . . . exploit human misery and insecurity, and turn them into huge profits” and “giant corporations . . . exploit workers just to boost their own profits.” And “Speculators” are also blamed for high prices and other social problems, as by Marx, Stalin, Senator Sanders, Senator Warren, and Fidel Castro, who said that they “have turned the planet into a giant casino.”

Not mentioned in the article (or in the report): China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years, more than 70% of all people in the world who have been lifted out of poverty. And the pickup truck thing? It isn’t really about the cost. It’s about the cost of ownership which basically means gasoline, and that’s because gasoline is much more expensive in Europe due to higher taxes, and it has nothing to do with “socialism”.

Also bizarrely, the report mentions Cuba, China and the U.S.S.R., countries with actual socialist economies, more than 30 times each. But the star of the report is Venezuela, which is mentioned nearly 60 times, and which does not have a socialist economy, a fact the Times fails to point out, nor does it mention U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, basically all-out economic war as having anything to do with Venezuela’s economic problems.

Inside the Saudis’ Washington influence machine: How the kingdom gained power through fierce lobbying and charm offensives
Not money? Or oil?

*Five Novelists Imagine Trump’s Next Chapter
What will happen with the Mueller investigation? Since the investigation hasn’t yet, as far as we know, uncovered any actual evidence about collusion, NYT wants fiction writers to speculate.

Friday, October 19, 2018


Headlines for Oct. 19, 2018

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 11 minutes.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines (WMMFH) -- Oct. 19, 2018


*After journalist vanishes, focus shifts to young prince’s ‘dark’ and bullying side
Of course the WaPo and all other establishment media has been primarily responsible for the fact that the focus hasn't been on that all along. Even in this article allegedly focusing on his “dark” side, they can’t resist describing bin Salman as “charismatic”, “ebullient” and “charming” and the original headline, as revealed by the URL, called him “dashing”.

*How One Journalist’s Death Provoked a Backlash That Thousands Dead in Yemen Did Not  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/world/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabia.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
Took them a week to write a headline like this. “Psychologists have repeatedly found that people experience a greater emotional reaction to one death than to many, even if the circumstances are identical. Perversely, the more victims, the less sympathy that people feel. The effect even has a name: collapse of compassion.” I have a different explanation. US support for/participation in  Saudi-led war in Yemen started under Obama; it’s bipartisan. But this is something the establishment can pin on Trump, and use as part of an effort to discredit him.

*‘Blue wave’ or ‘left-wing mob’? Anti-Trump fervor fuels a new movement aimed squarely at winning elections.
Even if it’s a Trump quote, why would you dignify this ridiculous slur with equal billing in a headline?

A President Who Believes He Is Entitled to His Own Facts
Couldn’t bring themselves to say “lies” even in an article about them; the only time the word “lie” appears in the article is Trump saying doctors “lied” that there’s no connection between vaccinations and autism. But the article has problems of its own, namely, not understanding the meaning of the word “fact”. For example, the article includes a reference to “widely doubted commitment to denuclearization by Kim Jong-un”, as if it is a fact that the DPRK has no intention to denuclearize. And the article is filled with “facts” like that, and actually sparse of real facts that Trump lies about all the time.

Kyrsten Sinema's anti-war activist past under scrutiny as she runs for Senate
“Republican groups and her opponent have sought to make her judgment an issue, highlighting her liberal activism and anti-war work in ads...Sinema, then a law student at Arizona State University, was a frequent organizer of anti-war rallies, organizing 15 by the start of the Iraq War. Sinema would later boast on a progressive message board in 2006 of her opposition to Afghanistan from the start...BUT AFTER SHE BECAME AN ELECTED DEMOCRAT her views “evolved”...She now favors aggressive diplomacy [genocidal sanctions] with military intervention as a last resort. She said she would have still opposed the war in Iraq, but supported the war in Afghanistan. She voted against approving the Iran deal and backed President Donald Trump's decision to strike Syria. In 2015, she voted to stop admitting Syrian and Iraqi refugees until the vetting process was strengthened.

Mitch McConnell on Rising Deficit: ‘It’s Not a Republican Problem'
Whaaaat? Republicans in control of legislative & executive branch, passed huge tax cuts? What he actually means is—it's not a problem for millionaires like him, who don't depend on Social Security or Medicare and won't care if they're cut.


Trump says 'who cares' after Warren takes DNA test, denies $1 million offer
Despite video of him doing exactly that. Why isn't that in the headline? Anyone reading just the headline will think it's a "he said, he didn't say" situation. It isn't. Even Shep Smith on FOX News was mocking Trump for this claim.

G.O.P. Finds an Unexpectedly Potent Line of Attack: Immigration
Really? It comes as a shock to the NYT (and this is an article, not an op-ed) that bashing immigrants is a "potent line of attack" for the GOP? Where were they during the 2016 election?

'That grip and grin will come back to haunt him': Pompeo takes heat for friendly Saudi sit-down
Still waiting for the invasion of Iraq to come back and haunt George W. Bush

Brazil’s Bitter Presidential Race Leads to Scores of Assaults
A typical “both sides” headline. Except for the stabbing of Bolsonaro himself, all the examples of *actual* events (dozens of assaults including two murders) are of attacks on Workers Party supporters. No surprise, since “During a recent campaign rally in the northern state of Acre, he hoisted a tripod, pretended it was a machine gun and told supporters, “Let’s shoot Acre’s Workers’ Party supporters.”” And also there’s “even a computer game in which players can use an avatar of Mr. Bolsonaro to kill gay people and leftists.”


*Trump says he has 'natural instinct for science' when it comes to climate change
"You have scientists on both sides of it. My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years, Dr. John Trump. And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture."

*China’s new booze university wants to change how Americans drink

*Betsy DeVos was asked whether U.S. schools are teaching kids to be socialists. Her answer was rich.
Everything about Betsy DeVos is rich. Her answer is just bizarre: "I think number one, students aren’t getting the kind of foundation in civics and government that I recall getting as a student in K-12 education. And they’re coming then into higher education without the background to even know and understand competing ideas, and then without the ability to discuss and debate them."

‘There’s no place for that’: Ryan rebukes Trump for insult of Stormy Daniels
My one-liner for the week: It's a classic case of "Good GOP, Bad GOP"!

*Jeff Bezos predicts we'll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system
Proof that you don't have to be smart — or even sane — to be rich. Current population of Earth — 7.4 Billion.

Witches to 'hex' Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh; exorcists pray in response
Scary thought - exorcist is described as "the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, California", i.e., at least the periphery of the technological heart of the country here in Silicon Valley. “Conjuring up personified evil does not fall under free speech,” said the exorcist.

All we know about the White House portrait of Trump drinking Diet Coke with Abraham Lincoln
It’s bizarre. It’s in the style of “dogs playing poker”. He did not commission it. But Trump did hang it in his private dining room.

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