Archive for the ‘Media Bias’ Category

The hysteria over Donald Trump’s quip to Hillary that she’d “be in jail” is frightening because it’s coming from across the political spectrum. From Vox to Charles Krauthammer, the cries that Trump wants to implement a banana republic system of justice is simply deafening. Bre Payton’s article highlights the flawed logic of that hysteria, saying “They seem to be forgetting that throwing the book at one’s political opponents is what Democrats do all the time. Here’s 16 times Democrats tried to prosecute their opponents for political gain, not justice.”

She then cites David Daleiden as her first example, saying “After publishing undercover footage of Planned Parenthood harvesting organs from the bodies of aborted babies and discussing agreements to sell those baby organs, Daleiden became public enemy number one for Democrats. A Texas district attorney tried to charge Daleiden and his investigative partner for organ trafficking, a misdemeanor, and tampering with a government record, a felony.”

Then she noted this:

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who had Daleiden’s home raided after the videos emerged, had financial ties with Planned Parenthood.

Charles Krauthammer’s rant was frightening, too:

As we’re seeing, we aren’t living in polite society. The institutions of government got exposed as corrupted with the FBI’s faux investigation of Mrs. Clinton. Trump simply said what’s on the minds of most conservatives: that Mrs. Clinton would be in jail if the FBI had conducted a thorough investigation.

That isn’t proof that Trump wants to create a banana republic. It’s an expression of frustration by the people that they don’t trust government to do the right thing.

With all of the conjecture and opinions that surround each presidential debate, it’s easy to find opinions on who lost the most as a result of last night’s presidential debate. While it might be popular to say that Hillary was last night’s biggest loser, I’d argue that Jonathan V. Last is last night’s biggest loser. This article is a pants-on-fire diatribe that’s demolished Last’s credibility, at least temporarily.

One of Last’s first credibility-straining rants came when he said that Trump “became the first presidential candidate in the history of our Republic to promise that if elected he would attempt to have his opponent face criminal prosecution. Actually, he went a bit further than that, telling Clinton that if he is president, ‘You’d be in jail.’ Which, by the by, should terrify you and be disqualifying all on its own.”

Last’s implication is clear. He’s implying that Trump wants to deny Mrs. Clinton her due process rights by becoming judge, jury and executioner. What Last left out is the fact that Trump also said that he’d instruct his attorney general to hire a special prosecutor, theoretically to start a grand jury investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified and top secret emails on her private server.

It isn’t surprising to know that most legal experts think that the fix was in to protect Mrs. Clinton because she’s the Democrats’ presidential nominee. When FBI Director Jim Comey announced that there wouldn’t be a criminal referral to the Justice Department, he mentioned that after citing all of the damning evidence he’d accumulated during the FBI’s half-hearted investigation. It isn’t a leap to think that Mrs. Clinton would be wearing prison orange if her name was Hillary Smith.

Therefore, I’m not the least bit terrified by Mr. Trump’s statement. Here’s another statement that’s questionable:

Which means that there wasn’t really a “winner” at the debate. Clinton was terrible. Trump was marginally worse. But the big loser was the Republican party. Because the worst-case scenario for November 9 is not that Hillary Clinton wins—again, that cake is baked. It’s that if the party does not cut Trump loose, then Democrats also take over the Senate. And carry the House.

I heard that BS last spring. The ‘Trump is too toxic and he’ll bring the GOP down with him’ storyline disappeared. Contrary to Last’s opinions, the American people are perfectly capable of differentiating between Mr. Trump and their senator and their congressman.

Saying that Trump is capable of taking down the GOP majority in the House is fanaticism that’s totally unprovable. Last’s statements aren’t just lacking in credibility. They’re lacking in anything remotely resembling substantiation.

If Last doesn’t plan on voting for Trump, that’s his right. It isn’t his right, though, to make wild-sounding insinuations about a candidate’s motivations, at least without demolishing his own credibility.

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When I read the headline to this Our View editorial, I almost had another heart attack. In this morning’s St. Cloud Times, the Editorial Board wrote that “It’s time to move away from MNsure.” Of course, the subtitle said “Do NOT scrap the entire Affordable Care Act. The truth is it has brought many good things to health insurance and access to care. But parts need to be revamped at the federal level.”

Actually, part of the problem is that the ACA, aka Obamacare, is administered from the federal government. I wrote here that Minnesota’s system was working beautifully until we created MNsure. It was doomed from the start.

For instance, the Times’ editorial says “Business Insider last month noted arguably the biggest reason for increases: Federal statistics show about 15 percent of adults ages 25-44 do not have insurance. Remember, a key component of the ACA was getting these mostly healthy people to buy in or at least pay a fine through their taxes. Clearly, that’s not working.”

Any system that requires the federal government to put a gun to people’s heads is stupid. It’s rational, though not always prudent, for young people to choose not to buy insurance. That’s why the penalty was implemented. When the government takes actions that limit people’s abilities to make their own decisions, things go wrong quickly.

Then the Times said this:

Perhaps a more stringent penalty is needed or a carrot, not a stick. Regardless, federal lawmakers need to find ways to get more of these people swimming in the pool of insured Americans.

Prior to Minnesota getting stuck with MNsure, 93%-94% of Minnesotans were already insured. That’s the highest percentage in the nation. Of those who didn’t have insurance, more than 50% of them were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized insurance. Why wouldn’t we want to stick with that?

Nearly 100% of Minnesotans were insured. We weren’t getting hit with 50%-67% annual premium increases. We didn’t have to subsidize a website that didn’t work. I’d love hearing the Times explain why we shouldn’t ditch MNsure and the ACA, then return to the system we had.

Again, it’s time to move away from MNsure and transition to the federal exchange. Quite simply, the state exchange’s costs continue to outweigh its benefits.

This is stupid. The fix is to abandon the ACA and replace it with the system we had that was working. That system must include a high risk pool that’s subsidized to lower the cost for healthy people.

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Vox has had credibility issues since its inception. That problem isn’t going away anytime soon, thanks to German Lopez’s tweet in which he insists that “Conservative blogger gets upset at violence and riots, demands mass murder, gets suspended from Twitter — and people defend him. Okay.”

As usual, Ed Morrissey is all over this in this post. The difference between Ed’s post and German Lopez’s tweet is that Ed took the time to get the details right. One of those details was to quote Glenn Reynolds, the man who wrote the original tweet. On his own blog, Glenn Reynolds wrote “I’ve always been a supporter of free speech and peaceful protest. I fully support people protesting police actions, and I’ve been writing in support of greater accountability for police for years. But riots aren’t peaceful protest. And blocking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest — it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would. ‘Run them down’ perhaps didn’t capture this fully, but it’s Twitter, where character limits stand in the way of nuance.”

When groups of people are attempting to surround a vehicle and there’s been reports of violence, it’s foolish to sit still and hope for the best. Continuing to drive is the best way of staying alive, which would be my highest priority at that moment.

It’s clear that the Grand Forks Herald won’t hesitate in taking sides in the special session fight. Their editorial takes Gov. Dayton’s side without hesitation.

That’s stated emphatically when they wrote “The sticking point was Southwest Light Rail. And Southwest Light Rail now has been taken off the table. On Friday, Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, met and talked about renewed prospects for a special session. Local Reps. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, and Dan Fabian, R-Roseau, should encourage Daudt to come to terms with the governor at last.”

Why isn’t it Gov. Dayton’s responsibility to come to terms with Speaker Daudt? The legislature passed a wildly popular tax bill that Gov. Dayton pocket-vetoed. The House passed a bonding bill that had significant bipartisan support. That legislation didn’t get to Gov. Dayton’s desk because DFL senators sabotaged the bill that would’ve paid for fixing some of the most dangerous stretches of highway in Minnesota.

If anyone is responsible for the bonding bill not getting passed and the Tax Bill getting vetoed, it’s the DFL and Gov. Dayton. They’re the ones that put a higher priority on funding SWLRT than on fixing dangerous highways. If people get injured on the highways that would’ve gotten funded by the bonding bill, it’s on the DFL’s heads.

Republicans’ priorities were fine. I’m being charitable in saying that the DFL’s priorities were misguided. It’s as if Gov. Dayton wants to be an ideologue rather than being the governor of the entire state of Minnesota. Shame on him. Shame on the Grand Forks Herald for siding with Gov. Dayton.

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It wouldn’t be right if one of Hillary’s liberal defenders didn’t write a story about how the coverage of HRC’s collapse was the product of “age-ism and sex-ism.” This morning’s article was written by Eleanor Clift, one of the most blindly partisan writers in DC.

When the article’s first paragraph starts by saying “When Hillary Clinton began mapping out her presidential campaign, she knew that clearing the hurdle to become the first woman commander in chief would be paramount. What she didn’t know or fully understand 18 months ago was how her age would work against her in subtle and cruel ways, and how ageism and sexism can combine in a double whammy undermining her candidacy”, it’s a safe bet it won’t be objective. It’ll be a compilation filled with spin and liberal ideology.

Here’s the simple truth. There’s a ton of media coverage of Mrs. Clinton’s fainting because a) she’s the first presidential candidate who’s fainted at a campaign event in recent history and b) the video of her fainting was published. The same reaction would’ve happened had Bill Clinton been the candidate that’d collapsed.

Further, considering the fact that the Clinton campaign switched stories multiple times, the average person didn’t buy the campaign’s spin. They weren’t doctors but they knew Mrs. Clinton wasn’t a healthy person.

That’s because the average person who saw Hillary faint while trying to get into that van knew that Mrs. Clinton was suffering from something other than a heat stroke. They might not have figured out that Mrs. Clinton likely had a neurological event but they knew she hadn’t fainted because of the heat at the event. The people didn’t buy the spin like the compliant media did, which is proof that the media’s reporting on Mrs. Clinton shouldn’t be trusted. Here’s a perfect example of that bias:

Unfounded rumors spread by Donald Trump and his allies about Clinton’s allegedly poor health and lack of stamina found their mark Sunday in a video gone viral that shows Clinton stumbling as aides help her into a waiting car.

Let’s rewrite this accurately:

Rumors spread by Donald Trump and his allies about Clinton’s well-documented severe health issues found their mark Sunday in a video gone viral that shows Clinton unconscious as aides help her into a waiting car.

Mrs. Clinton didn’t stumble. People who’ve fainted don’t stumble into a vehicle. They’re dragged into a vehicle. The agenda media’s devotion to Mrs. Clinton is unwavering. Thankfully, there are still enough people who question the Agenda Media’s ‘reporting’.

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This St. Cloud Times editorial shows how out of touch the Times is with St. Cloud voters. The editorial opens by saying “Driven by residents’ input after last fall’s defeat of the bond referendum to build a new Technical High School, St. Cloud schools Superintendent Willie Jett is welcoming a reasonable potential solution to one of the biggest concerns residents have raised: What happens to the current Tech campus?”

That’s nothing but hot air. I’m betting that few people asked about what would happen to the “Tech campus” if the referendum passes this fall. (It won’t.) I’m betting that even fewer people care that “the district is willing to keep a school district presence there.” That’s a peripheral issue at best. Most people want to know if building a new school is necessary They’re questioning that because spending money on a new Tech HS will cause their property taxes to skyrocket.

The people that’ve contacted me or that’ve spoken out on this want to know if this is the best option going forward. Simply put, they aren’t certain it is. That’s why they defeated it last fall. The School Board has spent the past year making the same unpersuasive arguments that it made before. People want answers to specific important questions. They don’t care about answers to peripheral questions. This is their problem:

District leaders are open to the recommendation from a very high-powered panel that the district move its administrative offices and Welcome Center into the portions of Tech built in 1917 and 1938.

This “high-powered panel is just as out-of-touch with voters as the School Board. It’s a case of the blind leading the blind. This high-powered panel has spent years not listening to people. Now they’re expected to hear what people find most important? This high-powered panel couldn’t find the American mainstream if they had a GPS and a year’s supply of gasoline.

The plan came from a panel made up of outgoing school board member Dennis Whipple; St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis; Mike Gohman, president of W. Gohman Construction; Patti Gartland, president of Greater St. Cloud Development Corp.; Teresa Bohnen, president of St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce; and Henry Gruber, a longtime St. Cloud business owner.

I know these people. Of this panel, I’d only trust Mike Gohman and Henry Gruber. The rest, I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw them if I had 2 broken arms and a bad back.

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Saying that WCCO’s reporting on the SWLRT project is based on DFL talking points and outright fantasy is understatement. The SWLRT project won’t happen for at least 3-5 years. That’s the reality thanks to the route that the Met Council picked for the SWLRT project.

WCCO is reporting that “Hennepin County officials announced Tuesday that the county will put in another $20.5 million in funding for a total financial commitment of $185 million – which is 10 percent of the project’s total cost,” adding that “The county’s increased commitment, along with that of the Metropolitan Council and the Counties Transit Improvement Board, will make up for the $144.5 million that was supposed to be paid for by the state.”

My reaction to this is simple: “So what”? The FTA (Federal Transportation Administration) has said they won’t fund the SWLRT until the Tunheim lawsuit is settled. I reported in this post that the Tunheim trial won’t start until Sept. 17, 2017. There won’t be a ruling in that lawsuit until the start of 2018. The thought that the SWLRT project will get started without federal money is preposterous. The latest projection for the total cost of the project is $1.9 billion ($1,900,000,000).

The DFL has been on the offensive about the project. Now Republicans are fighting back. Republicans have the stronger arguments in this fight. Jeff Johnson’s video provides some of those strong arguments:

The simple point is that SWLRT won’t get built for years even if the legislature voted to fund the project tomorrow. SWLRT is fraught with legal difficulties. The lawsuits will tie the SWLRT project up like lawsuits tied up the Big Stone II project. Once a project gets tied up in the courts, it takes on a life of its own. It’s beyond the politicians’ control. That’s where it’s at right now.

According to Pat Kessler’s latest Reality Check segment, most of the claims in Stewart Mills’ ad about Syrian refugees are true. According to Kessler, “Here’s what the Mills ad said: “Rick Nolan supports bringing 100,000 unvetted Syrians to America by the end of the year.” He doesn’t. But much what the Mills ad says is true, even if some of it is out of context. 100,000 Syrian refugees? True. By the end of 2016? True. “Unvetted”? False.”

Actually, there’s some question as to whether the refugees are vetted. The person questioning the Obama administration’s vetting abilities is James Comey, the director of the FBI. Further, Nicholas Rasmussen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, admitted “the intelligence that we have of this particular conflict zone is not as rich as we would like it to be” during the hearing.

Let’s connect these Reality Check dots. We know that Reality Check verified that most of the claims were “true”. Further, we now know that the only claim that they said was false shouldn’t have been categorized as false because congressional testimony from the Director of the FBI and the head of the National Counterterrorism Center both said that vetting Syrian refugees was especially difficult.

Therefore, LFR rates this Reality Check as Mostly True, with one statement rated ‘highly questionable’.

Politifact’s fact checks are notoriously questionable. This Politifact fact check is among the sloppiest fact checks they’ve ever published.

Politifact’s fact check of Trump’s claim about Syrian refugees is rated as half-true. That’s based on Mr. Trump’s statement that Hillary Clinton “has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian … refugees … despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”

Politifact says “The 550 percent figure is correct. To say that there’s no way to screen them to find out who they are or where they come from ignores the extensive screening they undergo.” That last statement would surprise FBI Director Jim Comey and Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. This article publishes information that directly contradicts Politifact’s fact check when it says “Virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States, according to the FBI Director James Comey. The statements were made by Comey while testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about the security risks involved in taking in Syrian refugees.”

In other words, FBI Director Comey testified to the House Judiciary Committee that “virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States.” That directly contradicts Politifact’s published statements.

Then there’s this statement published in Politifact’s questionable fact check:

Compared to other countries, the United States has accepted very few – about 2,000 last year, for example. Half are children. Only about 2 percent are single men of combat age, the mostly likely demographic for a would-be terrorist.

That statement is directly contradicted by this information:

During the hearing, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) pointed out, according to the U.N., more than 43 million people worldwide are now displaced because of conflicts. Children constitute close to 41 percent of all refugees worldwide and women almost half.

However, the percentages are significantly different when it comes to the Syrian refugees. Of the close to 380,000 arrivals across the Mediterranean Sea from January through September of this year, 15%were children, 13% were women and 72% were men. Gohmert quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying, “This provides a prime opportunity for Islamic State groups to attack Western targets … It’s a disaster of biblical proportions.”

This video must be watched for verification:

Based on FBI Director Comey’s testimony and DNI Director Clapper’s statement, I rate Politifact’s fact check mostly false. It ignores congressional testimony that directly contradicts their statements.

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