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Friday, January 04, 2019


Headlines for Jan. 4, 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 Jan. 4, 2019

*A rare moment of praise to start the show for this headline: “Trump falsely claims Mexico is paying for wall, demands taxpayer money for wall ahead of meeting with Democrats”
"His comments, many of which were inaccurate or exaggerated"
"He said, for example, that there were between 30 million and 35 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, roughly three times as many as most experts believe."
"He wrote that Mexico would be paying for the wall along the U.S. border under the parameters of a trade deal he has tentatively inked with Mexico and Canada. This is not true."

But on the other hand…
*Trump’s bizarre history lesson on the Soviet Union, Russia and Afghanistan
Trump said “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there.” which threw the establishment into apoplexy. But here’s part of the WaPo fact-check: “There was ultimately a problem with extremism in Afghanistan, but it developed largely after the USSR left, and the mujahideen groups that sprang up to fight the Soviets devolved into the Taliban.” In fact the mujahedin “sprang up” to overthrow the socialist PDPA government, not to fight the Russians, and the fact that the US was arming the mujahedin *before* Soviet troops were sent to Afghanistan, precisely to lure them into a quagmire? No mention. This is not disputed history. It’s acknowledged fact — Carter & Brezinski’s “Afghan Trap”.

*A Day, a Life: When a Medic Was Killed in Gaza, Was It an Accident?
Subhead: “When an Israeli soldier killed Rouzan al-Najjar, Palestinians called her an innocent martyr and Israel portrayed her as a threat. The truth is more complicated.
“An investigation by The New York Times found that Ms. Najjar, and what happened on the evening of June 1, were far more complicated than either narrative allowed.”
Really? Doesn’t sound that complicated: “The bullet that killed her, The Times found, was fired by an Israeli sniper into a crowd that included white-coated medics in plain view. A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished.”
And by the way, Israeli snipers never just randomly fire “into a crowd”. Their targets are deliberately chosen. And their aim is assured by the best weapons American money can buy.
Headline should have read: “When a medic was killed in Gaza, it was no accident.”

*What a loan to Le Pen tells us about Russian foreign influence campaigns
The answer is: nothing. A colleague of Le Pen talked to a friend in the Russian Duma who arranged a loan (for her party, not for her personally) from a Russian bank (which later went bankrupt and was taken to court by the Russian government, so presumably not actually a bank in the favor of the government). Reporter: “What kind of conversations that member of the Russian Parliament had with Putin, or not, or with the Kremlin, or not, we don’t actually know.” Then he says: “This member of the Russian Parliament used one of these Russian banks…to offer money to Marine Le Pen’s party following that direction from the government that was ‘Let’s find ways to support far-right parties.”

U.S. intel sources say retired Marine held in Moscow is no spy
I have no idea if he is or isn’t a spy. But the *last* group I’d believe on the subject are “U.S. intel sources”.

*Socialism Rising: Dems take House pushing massive government expansion, as party lurches left
If only.

War is complicated. Decisions about it can’t be made in 280 characters.
An op-ed in the WaPo. It’s author? Patti Davis. Her qualifications? Daughter of Ronald Reagan.

Gatwick drone sightings may have been of police equipment, chief constable admits
The story keeps getting funnier and funnier. First they said there might not have been a drone at all, now they say it might have been a police drone!

Ukraine Makes Birthday of Nazi Collaborator a National Holiday and Bans Book Critical of Anti-Semitic Leader
This development was covered in the Russian press and the Israeli press, but, aside from this Newsweek article, not a word in the American media.

Arms Sales to Saudis Leave American Fingerprints on Yemen’s Carnage
On the one hand, ok, fingerprints do often identify the murderer. But “fingerprints” just sounds so dainty, and, as the article itself makes clear, are *way* more extensive than just arms sales. You don’t need fingerprints when you have video of the murder!
“American mechanics service the jet and carry out repairs on the ground. American technicians upgrade the targeting software and other classified technology, which Saudis are not allowed to touch. The pilot has likely been trained by the United States Air Force. And at a flight operations room in the capital, Riyadh, Saudi commanders sit near American military officials who provide intelligence and tactical advice, mainly aimed at stopping the Saudis from killing Yemeni civilians.”

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.
Nonsense. Yes, there are bot farms boosting views on YouTube, or giving people like Roy Moore fake Russian followers on Twitter. But the idea that "a lot" of "the Internet" is fake is nonsense. 99% of people spend 99% percent of their time interacting with real websites doing real things, including buying things, interacting with their friends, watching videos, playing games, reading news (almost all of it real), and everything else that happens on the Internet.

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