Friday, January 12, 2018

Trump: Halt the ‘Hate,’ ‘Hostility and Anger’

In a bipartisan meeting with Congressional lawmakers on Tuesday, President Donald Trump bemoaned the nation’s “system” of inciting widespread hatred, even in the face of good news.

In the meeting negotiating terms of proposed immigration reform and border security measures, Trump said the system is rigged to encourage blind hatred: “Our system is designed right now that everybody should hate each other and we can’t have that.

“You know, we have a great country; we have a country that’s doing very well, in many respects. We are just hitting a new high on the stock market again. And that means jobs. I look at stocks -- I don't look at the stocks, I look at the jobs, I look at the 401(k)s. I look at what’s happening, where police come up to me and they say “Thank you, you are making me look like a financial genius,” literally. Meaning about them. "And, their wives never thought this was possible, right?"

This system really lends itself to not getting along.  It lends itself to hostility and anger, and they hate the Republicans.  And they hate the Democrats.

“And in the old days of earmarks, you can say what you want about certain Presidents and others, where they all talk about they went out to dinner at night and they all got along, and they passed bills.  That was an earmark system, and maybe we should think about it.”



Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites

Google, the most powerful search engine in the world, is now displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results. No prominent liberal site receives the same treatment.

And not only is Google’s fact-checking highly partisan — perhaps reflecting the sentiments of its leaders — it is also blatantly wrong, asserting sites made “claims” they demonstrably never made.

When searching for a media outlet that leans right, like The Daily Caller (TheDC), Google gives users details on the sidebar, including what topics the site typically writes about, as well as a sidebar titled “Reviewed Claims.”

Vox, and other left-wing outlets and blogs like Gizmodo, are not given the same fact-check treatment. When searching their names, a “Topics they write about” section appears, but there are no “Reviewed Claims.”

In fact, a review of mainstream outlets, as well as other outlets associated with liberal and conservative audiences, shows that only the conservative sites feature the highly misleading, subjective analysis. Several conservative-leaning outlets like TheDC are “vetted,” while equally partisan sites like Vox, ThinkProgress, Slate, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Salon, Vice and Mother Jones are spared.

Occupy Democrats is apparently the only popular content provider from that end of the political spectrum with a fact-checking section.

Ostensibly trying to sum up the crux of the post, the third-party “fact-checking” organization says the “claim” in a DC article that special Counsel Robert Mueller is hiring people that “are all Hillary Clinton supporters” is misleading, if not false.

The problem is that TheDC’s article makes no such claim. Their cited language doesn’t even appear in the article. Worse yet, there was no language trying to make it seem that the investigation into the Trump administration and Russia is entirely comprised of Clinton donors. The story simply contained the news: Mueller hired a Hillary Clinton donor to aid the investigation into President Donald Trump.

Still, the Washington Post gave the claim, which came from Trump himself, its official “Three Pinocchios” rating. The method applies to several other checks. Claims concocted or adulterated by someone outside the TheDC are attributed to TheDC, in what appears to be a feature that only applies to conservative sites.

Examples of such misattribution and misrepresentation are aplenty.

For instance, using, an organization with highly dubious fact-checking capabilities, Google’s platform shows an article by TheDC to have a so-called “mixture” of truth.

The “claim” made, according to, and in-turn Google, is “a transgender women raped a young girl in a women’s bathroom because bills were passed…”

A quick read of the news piece shows that there was no mention of a bill or any form of legislation. The story was merely a straightforward reporting of a disturbing incident originally reported on by a local outlet.

And like Snopes, another one of Google’s fact-checking partners, Climate Feedback, is not usually regarded as objective.

Snopes and Google also decided to “fact-check” an obviously tongue-in-cheek article in which a writer for TheDC pokes fun at a professor saying the solar eclipse in 2017 was naturally racist.

Even Vox pointed out the absurdity of the educator’s literary tirade on Mother Nature’s purported racial prejudice, and the damage it might have done to real arguments of apparent racism.

While Snopes got some flak for its choice, no one seems to have noticed the absurdity of the world’s go-to search engine providing fact-checks to purposefully irreverent content, rather than hard news stories.

Overall, such inclusion embodies Google’s fact-checking services, which, as many presciently feared, are biased, if not also downright libelous.



Underestimating Trump Supporters

David Limbaugh

It is disheartening to see the ongoing rift between those conservatives supporting President Donald Trump and those opposing him — a rift that began before Trump and may survive his presidency.

Many conservatives opposed Trump's nomination because they believed he was not a true conservative — not even really a bona fide Republican — but rather a narcissistic opportunist who wanted to take his game show hosting and self-promotional platform to a grander stage.

Many also thought that a Trump presidency, even if it would somewhat forestall the Obama-Clinton agenda, would not be worth the long-term damage it would do to the conservative movement. They believed a Trump victory would embolden the so-called alt-right movement, which they saw as Trump's main base. They saw a mob-like mentality among many of his supporters, saying they were fueled by rage and would rubber-stamp every crazy idea Trump might pursue and also push him to pursue even nuttier ideas.

Admittedly, in the red-hot contentiousness of the primary campaigns, some of the alt-right types did surface as among the most vocal of Trump supporters. Trump supporters seemed to defend anything Trump said or did, even if indefensible.

I admit that during the primaries, I was concerned about Trump's commitment to conservatism and worried that the justifiable outrage of many of his most ardent supporters at the direction the country was headed under Obama was clouding their judgment. Trump was not the answer to the quintessentially anti-conservative and fundamentally leftist Obama.

Then two things happened. The first was that Trump won the GOP nomination fairly and squarely. This meant that he would be facing off against Hillary Clinton, the most corrupt, self-serving and politically opportunistic presidential candidate in decades — someone who had tied herself to the far left and who promised to double down on the Obama agenda.

There is nothing to blunt one's concerns about flaws in a GOP presidential candidate like the sober realization that unless he wins, the abominable Hillary Clinton will be the next president and drive America past the point of returning to anything resembling its founding principles. Only conservatives who didn't view America's trajectory with similar urgency could rationalize their refusal to vote for Trump against Clinton.

This same obliviousness to the urgency of our situation also led to GOP establishment inertia regarding the Obama agenda. The establishment's insufficient energy and willingness to oppose him sowed the seeds of Trump's rise to power. How ironic that the people who remain most opposed to Trump today are to some extent responsible for the emergence of such an unorthodox character to fill the void they helped to create.

The second thing is that I came to realize that I had misunderstood much of Trump's grass-roots support. Yes, grass-roots voters were convinced that there was no difference between the two parties and that only an outsider like Trump could break the mold and inaugurate a new paradigm in Washington. But they were not a mob, and they saw something that others may not have seen.

This epiphany came to me when I was debating a longtime friend who is respected in the community and every bit as conservative as I am but had supported Trump from the beginning. I saw that he was not the exceptional Trump supporter but the typical one, someone who had not given over his critical faculties to runaway emotions but who genuinely believed that Trump, flaws and all, was the answer for these unusual times. As time passed, my epiphany was repeatedly confirmed: Trump supporters are patriotic Americans — not bigots, not political illiterates, not overreacting zealots — who just wanted our country and culture back. It's that simple.

Based on my observation of those on the right who continue to oppose, even revile, Trump at almost every turn, I conclude that their ongoing opposition can largely be traced to disagreement on the two factors I describe — not to mention a healthy dose of stubborn pride, in some cases.

Many of them still deny the urgency in the Obama-Clinton agenda and seem to hold the average Trump supporter in contempt. Another irony emerges as to their willful blindness when it comes to the imminent dangers to America from the Obama-Clinton left. While they claim to have a monopoly on pure conservatism, they frequently hold hands in shared disgust with the leftists still pushing that agenda, and they often diminish the strides Trump has made toward rolling back Obama-era "progress" and advancing conservatism. Their opposition also goes beyond policy, as evidenced by their reflexive sympathy for Trump's Democratic Russia-collusion accusers and their revulsion at conservatives pointing to Obama and Clinton corruption. To them, even to utter criticism against Obama and Clinton is "whataboutism" — an alleged effort to divert attention from Trump's supposed corruption. What they don't realize is their cries of "whataboutism" reveal their own version of the malady; when you point out a Trump success, they say, "What about his character?"

The Trump opponents have a variety of excuses to deny Trump credit for advancing this agenda and discredit those who foresaw the landscape better than they. They can't stand his tone, his manners or his tweets. They view him as temperamentally and mentally unfit for office. Even when he achieves policy success after policy success, they childishly huff that it is only because other people besides Trump are running the White House — that he has delegated foreign policy matters and "outsourced" his legislative agenda. Come on, people.

Well, I don't know whether Trump has morphed into a full-blown ideological conservative, but I do know that he's largely governing as one — and an effective one at that, accomplishing some bold things that few other conservative presidents would have even tried.

Why are some never-Trumpers obsessively bogged down in evaluating Trump's character and competence and preoccupied with sanctimoniously judging Trump's supporters instead of admitting that Trump's supporters are just rooting for America and that Trump's policies are — to this point — moving us back toward the direction of the American dream?

This shouldn't be a contest over who's more conservative; it should be about what's best for the United States. I'm pleased with how things are going. If the conservative movement doesn't come together in the future, I don't think it will be primarily the fault of the Trump supporters.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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