We are living in a political landscape that is currently dissolving, and as it does every day presents new questions, fundamental and human in their nature, some completely new. As they do, we need to separate, observe, and classify them. Dissolution in chemistry means the breaking down of complex compounds into their basic particles. Scientists use this technique as a way to collect feedback and data based on the contents of the issue, and that’s exactly what we have got to do. All of us, not just this or that candidate’s supporters. We have to sort out what kind of a position we are dealing with before we can chart a good strategy, and that is going to take us all.
The entity known as the far-right conservative entertainment show Fox News Network has become a big problem for America. Under the reign of Donald Trump, which never would have been possible without them, a new Dark Ages era of falsehood and deception has begun. Their talking heads have become a sort of private-sector State TV, and by the day they become more brazen.
They are one of the main reasons why the World Freedom Index no longer rates America as a full democracy and haven’t in two years- since Trump took over. It is why last year’s Blue Wave was so globally critical.
Something has to stop them eventually, and the American people still can if they decide to rise up righteous. We’ve got to raise awareness about Fox “News”. They are not a real news station legally as well as in fact. They are not subject to airwave regulation by the FCC because they are just a cable show.
They can lie whenever they want without any penalty. And they do!
Judging from current events, it’s hard to pick a winner as to which recent event inspired us to write this story now; any other day would have done as well. The now-infamous Pelosi hit video on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” seems a reasonable place to begin.
Facebook, which has resolved on being dishonest and Russian infested itself, refused to take it down, which got a lot of justified heat slung at them, but they weren’t the real culprits this time. Liar Fox hosts were, but that didn’t raise many eyebrows. The whole world has known for years they’re just right-wing talking heads. Most of us have long since gotten used to being lied to by Fox, and we know on whose behalf.
The Republican Party, and the monopoly capitalists worldwide who are footing the bill for them.
The Republican Party, or more accurately its extremist wing known as the Tea Party and Fox “News” have a lot in common. They have the same ostensible values, but more importantly, they share the same financiers. The New York Times did a piece in 2010 titled “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party.”
Libertarian Rupert Murdoch, the creator of Fox “News”, is a billionaire and was numbered in stone among their ranks before he retired. His fellow libertarians and allies Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries were the other chief culprits, unsurprisingly. Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries’ vast fossil fuel business.
Which “news network” has been pushing that line the loudest? We don’t even have to tell you.
As we have discussed many times on this blog, “libertarian” is the new word for monopoly capitalist, or fascist. Whenever you think of Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, that’s who we’re talking about. A total media monopoly has been a Koch agenda item for years. Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard, of all people, plays a strange role in their world. The arch-villains of Occupy Wall St, a dark money private political empire designed to promote far-right causes.
The Murdoch family is one of the biggest players. The amount of money they have formally given to the Republican Party is vast. Who knows what they’ve been up to since Citizens United? One can only speculate, and look at what we know for sure in the meantime.
Kathleen Ronayne at OpenSecrets.org put together the following statistics, leaving no doubt who Fox and the Republicans are getting their bread buttered by.
Since the 1990 election cycle, Murdoch has contributed about $750,000 to federal candidates and political committees, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Of that sum, 80 percent — or $600,200 — has benefited Republican candidates and committees, including a $250,000 contribution to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1990s, when the committee could still accept unlimited “soft money” donations.
These days it’s the son of Rupert, Lachlan Murdoch, who has run the place since 2017, and he is no better than his father.
When he took over, he promptly sold nearly every anti-Trump asset they had to Disney, including the Simpsons, their one contribution to humanity. King of the Hill too, I suppose, but on the other hand, we lost Beavis and Butthead out of the deal.
Speaking as a private citizen, I don’t think it was worth it. Every day, like boll weevils, they eat away at the strands of what Americans believe is going on.
Earlier today, when Robert Mueller made his first public statement regarding the report that bears his name regarding the Russian interference in our election, they swung into action right away. Headlines bearing such trivial names as “Laura Ingraham says Mueller ‘attempting to resuscitate the corpse’ of his report'” and “Mueller statement made for ‘bad day’ for Pelosi, 2020 Dems, Trump campaign manager says” proliferated all over the Internet within an afternoon.
The people claiming that the contents of the Mueller Report are anything but a disaster of the highest scale for America are part of the problem, and as usual, Fox hosts are leading the charge. The wrigglings of Sean Hannity were as loathsome as those of Glenn Greenwald (almost; at least the former will admit what team he’s on). We’re not going to get into that in this article, however. We’re going to stick with Fox and hope that Mr. Mueller won’t mind too much our lack of focus in his work today.
Fox “News”, for never again will we write the very words without using quotation marks, a practice I am hoping will catch on, is not really a news station at all. It’s part of 21st Century Fox, a cable entertainment network, and this is of the utmost importance because it explains why they can lie to us this way so systematically.
MediaBiasFactCheck provides the background.
Founded in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Channel, also known as Fox News, (FNC) is an American basic cable and satellite news television channel that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
Catch that? Entertainment! This will set the standard for our entire evaluation of this clumsy version of State TV we derisively call “Faux News”. Cable networks are not real news networks, at least not in the sense that the Big Three stations (NBC, ABC, CBS) are, because they do not go out over the airwaves. They are therefore not subject to Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, airwave regulation.
Cable television is far less regulated and held to standards far less rigorous than a real television station. They alone are the supreme arbiters of what they can say or not say during their slots of television, and cannot get in trouble for lying, which they do constantly. They are in no way the same as a Big Three airwave station.
To get our neighbors to see how worthless Fox really is, we need one simple equation and to raise awareness about it.
News is “fake news” if it has no journalistic standards, be they chosen or enforced by airwave laws and the FCC.
Fox will lose all its power to mislead our people with lies if we raise enough awareness about this fact, which is, of course, the goal of this article. Fox But we’ll get back to that. In the meantime, let’s look at how much faith 21st Century Fox, of which Fox “News” Network is just a part, has in the truthfulness of the talking heads it’s hired.
Company makes no representation or warranty whatsoever regarding the completeness, accuracy, currency or adequacy of any information, facts, views, opinions, statements or recommendations contained on the Company Services and/or the Content.
A little background about the channel itself seems in order. Fox “News” was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who launched it on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. It has gained in power and reach since that time tremendously, and its brazenness has grown beside it twice as fast, a mutated golem made of mis- and dis- information.
The word “disinformation” comes from the Russian “dezinformatsiya”, meaning ” false information given to deliberately deceive”, and so we mostly think of it as something Russian. Certainly, to say the least, disinformation strategies of the type Russia used to interfere in our 2016 presidential election cycle have become a problem in today’s world. But the Russians are hardly the true masters.
Here in the United States of America, we also know a thing or two about getting lied to by our president. We know too that his primary way of doing it has become his own personal, privatized version of State TV- Fox “News”.
What Fox has done over the years, or even just during the election, dwarfs what the Russians did to the point of demonstrating their accomplishment as puny. The Kremlin got a few ads through to people on Facebook and held a few rallies; definitely creepy, but absolutely nothing compared to what domestic mouthpieces are capable of. Russia was able to goad an enormous bull, not become one.
Compared to what Fox is capable of, they’re nothing. Small-time pikers, and no mistake. You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Consider rather the words of Ralph Peters, a former Fox News strategic analyst and a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who left the network last year in March, disgusted with its sycophantic coverage of Trump and the vicious rhetoric of its talking prime time heads.
Peters said specifically that he could not “in good conscience” remain with an organization that, he argued, “is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.”
He went on letting them have it, too.
“In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration,” Colonel Peters wrote in his message, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.
As a people, we’ve gotten so used to being lied to by Fox that even the most acutely aware of the problem tends to have to shrug their shoulders at this point. But 99% of the slander thrown at Hillary Clinton in 2016 came from that direction. Varying aspects of what we know as the conservative media machine cooked it up over a quarter of a century, which illustrates and highlights the crux of the problem. Here in the land of the free, one of the most double-edged swords there is free speech.
Free speech is why I can write these words without having to fear death or the concentration camp. But it is also why we must tolerate Fox “News”, the Republican mouthpiece, lacking in all credulity- and yet, something I would still fight for their right to do just as hard as I would my own. In a democratic society such as ours, we have no choice but to grin and bear it. . Nothing true or useful comes to the people by way of it. It’s actually the polar opposite of news, which is daily information given by professionals, intending to inform the people about current events. Fox’s intent is to waylay and confuse.
What we, as a nation, have gotten used to accepting as a valid source is really one of the most wicked and egregious disinformation campaigns to take place in all of human history! It has not been by any foreign power that this disinformation has been unleashed on our people, but on our very own television sets, playing twenty-four hours a day nationwide. People are used to it, so they accept it as credible.
Nothing could be more inaccurate.
When world leaders, be they figure of states or high-profile figures from civil society, deliberately employ untruth against their own people, they are without a doubt using a method of repression, and a very costly one at that. In the Donald Trump era, weaponized lying has become easier and more common than ever before. Fox News has become his primary mouthpiece.
This is a disaster for America because such a state of affairs cannot help the inflicting of large-scale corrosion of democracy, regardless of the state it’s taking place in. If a country values its democratic system, its citizens will have to find ways to ward off this threat from time to time.
Otherwise, it will not survive.
I can hear someone asking, off in a parallel universe perhaps, what’s the harm in it? Let them have their pleasant delusions if it helps to keep them at work. Is this really something we have to fear will badly wound America?
That is why James Madison wrote the Federalist Paper 10th.
A stupid and incompetent citizenry is something no nation will long survive, so you better believe it will badly wound America. It already has. Fox News disinformation ends breaking up families, making people permanently angry, and seeing to it they’re uneducated on as many subjects as possible.
Rolling Stone Magazine provides the following sad anecdote to illustrate the tendency’s nature.
Jen Senko believes that her father was brainwashed. As Senko, a New York filmmaker, tells it, her father was a “nonpolitical Democrat.” But then he transferred to a new job that required a long commute and began listening to conservative radio host Bob Grant during the drive. Eventually, he was holing himself up for three hours every day in the family kitchen, mainlining Rush Limbaugh and, during commercials, Fox News.
“It reminded me of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Senko says. “He used to love talking to different people to try to learn their language, but then he became angry about illegal immigrants coming to the country, that they were taking jobs from Americans, and that English was becoming the secondary language.”
Studies have proven an actual physical effect of this by studying the brains of Fox News viewers. Author Daniel Goleman has coined the term “amygdala hijacking” to describe what inflammatory rhetoric and imagery are designed to do: trigger the emotional brain before the logical brain has a chance to stop it. The anger centers of their brains are literally more physically developed than those of healthy people. It’s like benchpresses for a bad temper.
In the year 2000, hosts like Hannity and the now-disgraced and silent Bill O’ Reilly made themselves the champions of the second Bush regime. This made them some friends. They learned a big lesson from it, too, one they’ve been revving up the engine off of ever since.
Misleading your viewers and using base anger to fight with is a quick and easy way to gain support from embittered people-whose numbers grow larger with every war and crisis. Divide and conquer is the oldest trick in the book used by the rich by preying on their fellows, in or out of America.
After 9/11 took place, while all the world was mourning and gearing up for war, Fox was making bigger and bigger bank as a result of their conservative alliance. They experienced a 440% increase in viewers, blowing the doors off comparable news organizations like CNN who don’t use wild speculations and click-bait headlines.
They got so big so fast, in fact, that when now-disgraced former CEO Roger Ailes came right out and said they are not a news organization in 2007, nobody much really heard him. They were too busy listening to Bill O’ Reilly and Sean Hannity instead. Hannity is a particular problem these days, as Trump’s good buddy, people give a lot of undue credibility to the lies told by him- a cable network entertainer, not a journalist.
Why are Big Three news networks like CBS or NBC or CNN so constrained by the truth while Fox is not? Surely the mighty Federal Communications Commission should be able to call Fox News to command, so why doesn’t it?
Actually, though, the FCC has no power over Fox or CNN, because both are cable shows and ultimately designed for entertainment! This is key. The difference between Fox and CNN is ideological. One chooses willingly to use journalistic standards. The other does not. Neither one is forced to! Fox is not legally obliged to tell the truth on the air.
Fox isn’t subject to FCC airwave regulation because it isn’t on the airwaves! Clever, right? Now they can spout all the hideousness they want and still dare to label it the truth. CNN is truthful by choice, but people think it’s because they have to be. That is not true, and it is almost certainly why the FCC doesn’t chop Hannity’s head off.
They nearly destroyed Howard Stern just for being annoying.
Make sure to catch that last part. Fox, the so-called “News” Network is in no way legally obligated to tell the truth about anything! They are a feature offered by the entertainment company 21st Century Fox. Entertainment is allowed to lie! It’s all just part of the show.
Making them tell the truth would spoil the effect, and our system doesn’t force them to. Not any more than USA’s client the World Wrestling Entertainment has to come right out and say pro wrestling is fake. People know it in their hearts, but they want to believe in the wrestlers, so they do. They like a good show. It’s exactly the same with Fox.
Although it should have been, it is not true that Fox has been made to start using a disclaimer saying “For Entertainment Purposes Only”. That was an April Fool’s joke in 2017 circulated by reporters, designed to make readers laugh- and to make them think. But it’s definitely true that entertainment is how they think of themselves. Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that he does not consider the other basic cable news channels — CNN and MSNBC — to be Fox’s competitors.
“We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,” he said.
Discussion about American political issues today-meaning every single facet of life in southern North America- means a debate, unless you’re in a room where everyone agrees with you. Those debates will see a Fox-trained cadre putting forth the opinions of trolls like Hannity as a valid counterpoint to anything, even proven scientific facts. People take him seriously and believe the things he says.
Recently he said the immigration deal we nearly came to with Trump a “Garbage Compromise”. But actually, Hannity himself is an absolute, complete, and total trash can. He didn’t even go to school for this, he was working as a housing contractor when he randomly volunteered for radio and offered himself out as a mouthpiece for rightist nonsense.
If you’re willing to lie without repentance, there’s always some monopoly capitalist hoping to bring down America with your help.
Hannity has paid off for them with some real whoppers over the years. The anti-Obama movement of birtherism, 2016 voter fraud, “deep state opposition” of a “Shadow Government” – a network of government officials that are working to hinder the Trump administration. Conspiracy theories about the Seth Rich murder, and so on, leading up to the biggest lie of all- that Debauched Donald was fit to run this country.
It’s all a big show, not truthful news, but then again it was not meant to be. As the Fox “News” Network’s own CEO Roger Ailes said, they’re really competing with football and pro wrestling. It’s all for ratings and money- money that comes from billionaire libertarians like the Koch Brothers and their founder Rupert Murdoch.
Hannity will say whatever the Murdochs want him to.
That’s a big problem when most of it is not true; a third at most of Hannity’s public statements were rated fully true by Politifact. A recent Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll revealed that most Americans get their political knowledge from Sunday morning political shows on television. These “do the most to help people learn about current events.” That would seem to confirm their opinion.
However, listen to the rest of the story.
“[S]ome outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all.”
Likewise, a University of Maryland study done in 2003 showed that Fox News viewers are more likely than consumers of any other news source to believe demonstrably false statements.
Again, this is because Fox is not a news channel. It’s entertainment packaged as news to mislead and stultify the American people. Great misunderstanding and bitterness come from believing things that just aren’t true. Real consequences arise from surrendering our objectivity.
Fox viewers have been getting angrier and angrier for decades, their bitterness manufactured and exploited. And who do their Friends at Fox lead them into feeling bitter towards? Liberals, progressives, anyone who wants to help the people. Anyone who isn’t just like them.
A full 60% of Fox News viewers describe themselves as conservative according to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center. According to John Ray at Data for Progress, “Across a variety of political and cultural attitudes, Republicans who report getting their news from Fox are significantly to the right of Republicans who don’t.”
Studies galore have been done to measure these tendencies, which should be well-documented and understood. Every one of the organizations reaching these conclusions is similar to MediaFactChect, a neutral nonprofit organization that exists to classify and track partisan bias levels among political media entities. They do this according to a rated standard political spectrum, going as always from extreme-left to extreme-right.
A related group, PunditFact, measures their commentators’ honesty. These standards are both logical and apolitical, and can reasonably trusted as far as anything else in the written world can.
Fox News is given by MediaFactCheck a Bias Rating very near the extreme end of the pole as Strongly Right, for reasons that are really rather damning. We’ve included them in blockquote below.
These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.
- Overall, we rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to wording and story selection that favors the right and Mixed factually based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared.
They also score badly by the standards of PunditFact, a second and related organization’s tool for measuring the percentage of truthful reporting done by political analysts on the stories they discuss and the terms they use to describe them. We decided to include the numerical figures below, as a stark quality comparison between the center and far-right journalists is to be found there.
Currently, at Fox and Fox News Channel, 58 percent of fact claims made by pundits and on-air personalities have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. NBC and MSNBC were not great either, but their work still represents a significant improvement versus Fox at 45%.
CNN scored best with only 22 percent of their fact claims not making it through the filters and most of those coming from guests rather than commentators, which is interesting because CNN also is a cable network. They chose to use journalistic standards of their own volition, not because they were forced to by any mean laws or regulations.
Conversely, Don Irvine over at Accuracy in Media showed what Fox thinks of truth as a value.
Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter that Fox News has become so big, the network is really competing with cable sports and entertainment networks like TNT, USA and ESPN, not the ratings-challenged CNN and MSNBC.
In Trump’s words during the first 2016 presidential debates, somebody better call Sean Hannity.
When the news broke last week about Joe Biden being set on by far-left wolves over a hug, I’d have given my kingdom for a good strategy. Something like this is impossible to manage pleasantly. On the one hand, we’ve just seen the last of 2018, the Year of the Democratic Woman. The #MeToo movement won the Person of the Year award. On the other hand, Biden didn’t really do anything!
We have got to show the world we can perceive the difference between a legitimate sexual assault and-
Well, whatever this is.
For the record, at Millennial Democrats, we understand that it is very important that women be believed when they come forward with their stories.
For anyone who doesn’t understand the history behind that, it goes back to many decades, if not centuries, worth of female oppression. Symbolic of the situation were the countless rape trials in which the victim was put on trial far more than the man was, and that’s what we can never go back to. How many sexual partners has she had, how short was her skirt, et cetera. It was a sickening state of affairs, and no mistake.
Seeing rape culture wiped like the stain it is from human society is our goal, and we will fight for it with all we’ve got. #MeToo is significant, and it deserves our support.
That is why it has been all the more dismaying to see it weaponized, by the same callous right-wingers who built and have perpetuated American rape culture in the first place.
For make no mistake, this is just a hit job on the man most likely to be the next President of the United States of America- Joe Biden.
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has been here for us for a long time. He served as the 47th vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Like us, he is a member of the Democratic Party. He represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. He has made presidential runs before but ultimately ended up as Barack Obama’s right hand man instead, in 2008 and again in 2012.
Biden is a good man who has given his life in the service of the United States of America, and well worth supporting if he should end up being the candidate. As an aside, this article does not imply an endorsement at this time. It’s too early. But if, in the end, it is Biden, I’ll be very proud to stand behind his decades of expertise and experience.
Recently, a Bernie Sanders supporter named Lucy Flores accused Joe Biden of having given her- wait for it-
I’ll respectfully pause here so that you can finish your horrified gasp.
Flores has not actually gone so far as to label this hug a “sexual assault” this week, claiming the hug was given on the campaign trail when she was running for Vermont lieutenant governor back in 2014.
That’s good, because even as it is, the amount of anti-Biden hatred being shouted around by Bernie’s crazy supporters is a disgrace. Making this appear to be a sexual assault, and acting outraged as though it were, is an insult to the legitimate struggles of everyone who has ever been sexually assaulted for real, from the beginning of time until now.
Tezlyn Figaro, who worked with Flores at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) organization Our Revolution, has similarly felt compelled to speak out on Flores. From what it sounds like, she didn’t leave the best impression on her. She explained on “Fox & Friends” why she filed an EEOC complaint against her and why Biden should know his accuser is a “fraud” and a “racist”.
“You know, Vice President Joe Biden, if you are listening, you should know that Lucy Flores is a fraud,” Figaro said.Tezlyn Figaro@TezlynFigaro
#LucyFlores EXPOSED! This am on #FoxNews I EXPOSED the truth (backed up with the EEOC claim that I filed in August 2018) about #LucyFlores previous retaliation schemes. If everyone believes women then believe me when I say #LucyBLying #JoeShouldKnow #FraudAlert @JoeBiden @BillR
A lying Bernie Bot going for a Republican-style ratf*ck- Is this really still a shock to anyone?
We know Joe Biden! He is a good man, he has been a dedicated public servant. He has given his whole life in the service of this country. Are we really going to pretend like it’s okay to wipe that out over a hug? Never!
This is getting to the point of being a complete disgrace, just like it was when Roger Stone got Leeann Tweeden-a Fox News radio show host, no less- to try and call #MeToo on then-Minnesota senator Al Franken over an old picture taken on a comedy tour back in 2003 when the Iraq War was going on.
Franken resigned, too, and in my view, that was a big mistake. We needed him, we needed his voice, we needed his loyalty. They’ve been aiming to fell with snipers all the good Democrats they can, because they know we’re always going to be the ones in the way of their evil, wicked plans. At least we got Amy Klobuchar out of the deal, but still.
Tom Perez at the DNC summed it up the best. “People will judge Joe Biden by his lifetime of service,” he said excellently.
Do not buy in, America! We’ve got a guy on one hand who has treated women in a kind, gentle, and affectionate manner, and another guy who openly boasts of sexually molesting them, of using their private parts as something he can grab (to say nothing of Rape Fantasy Bernie)! Let’s make it clear to the world we can see the distinction.
On the cusp of the twentieth day of what has now become immortalized as the #TrumpShutdown, Trump himself headed to the border to disgracefully lie to America and did so. Other than that, there is not a whole lot going on. How could there be? Everything is closed down, and as one walks around as an observer, there is a very real sense of being in the eye of the tornado.
Even West Virginian senator Lindsey Graham, a guy who has become progressively worthless as the Trump circus atmosphere corrupts him, came up with a plan to try and end the shutdown. Trump shot holes in it. He told Senate Republicans that he believes he is winning the fight”, leaving Graham shaking his head in despair, saying he has “Never been more depressed“.
On that point, at least, we are agreed.
On Friday millions of people will not get paychecks; things like food stamp benefits are only guaranteed through February. One man was on CNN the other night sobbing because he was so afraid he’s going to lose his house. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked the illegitimate president frankly why he doesn’t stop hurting people. His answer was right out of the spoiled child brat Trump playbook.
There’s no need really to point out how disgusted a sane human is bound to be at the sound of that, it speaks for itself loud and clear. Trump is calling it a humanitarian crisis, which it is. But the only one causing it is he himself, and he will not stop. That is something in between blackmail and terrorism.
Moving on the subject of terrorism, the Pentagon- who, earlier in the week, was actually reduced to having to go to Fox News and beg for their help in getting the moron in the Oval Office to listen to them regarding Afghanistan- has warned that it is concerned about the risk of a terrorist attack striking home in these conditions.
However, our guess is that they’re not going to feel like they need to do much at all. The worst thing they could do to hurt America right now is to simply leave us alone.
Another 9/11 would unify us. The way things are going we may collapse under our own weight, which is not completely a jab at Trump’s obesity. The most effective punch is the one you don’t have to throw, at the end of the day, but to an extent, this is wishful, hopeful thinking. We are exposed, of course. We have not been opened up like this to an attack since 9/11 happened.
It’s unreal how quickly we forget. Not even twenty years ago, terrorists smuggled boxcutters through airport security and took down the Twin Towers. Osama bin Laden believed that would be the end. Not all at once, of course, not that day. His belief was that once we had been hit that hard, we would not be able to take it. Our policies and justice would become undemocratic, and the idea of America freedom we espoused and intended to bring to the rest of the planet would be soiled irrevocably, a discarded relic like Soviet socialism.
From the eye of a tornado, you can see the sky, but you can’t see what’s going on around you. There’s no way of knowing how severe the devastation is, and the reality of the situation is that there’s not much use in worrying about it. You batten down the hatches, you keep yourself in the cellar, and you hope and pray for the best with all your heart.
Along with the neverending task of raising awareness, that is what we must do now.
When America saw that Paul Manafort was found guilty yesterday, many of us shouted for literal joy. One lone holdout juror refused to vote to find him guilty on all eighteen counts, so ten of them ended up being a mistrial. He’ll have to go to court again on those.
On eight counts, however, he was guilty then and there. It’s enough to make sure he goes to prison.
“I won’t be this happy on Christmas, unless they find some other, even bigger, Trump crony to throw in the can,” said one of our senior contributors on the subject.
Manafort is said to have held out and went to trial believing he would get a pardon from Trump, who refused to deny he was considering it, even though bipartisan condemnation would surely follow.
Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio tells the story loud and clear, though. This “president” is not at all above subverting the judicial system to reward those who commit crimes he likes. Manafort may get his pardon- but even if he did, he would have to rot in jail until he finishes his other cases. He’s going to do years under any circumstances.
There can be no doubt. After two years of brazen lies, insults, and claims that all we say is fake news, finally. The slobs who watch Fox News can willfully deny no longer, and neither can their Republican masters.
They can gripe, they can whine, they can get ready to start obstructing again after we take back all power from the Republicans and never give any of it back to them. They had better adjust to that reality quick, for their own sakes.
Because Robert Mueller- whose public approval rating has jumped 11 points in the last 24 hours- absolutely blasted Trump yesterday.
Big as a deal as the Manafort conviction was- on any other day, I can’t even imagine another topic taking precedence- it was actually overshadowed by the court appearance and subsequent plea deal taken by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney.
To understate the case all but absurdly, it’s a big deal. For the first time since he got elected, talk of his impending impeachment may not be far from reality-although if it is, the Republicans should be the ones to do it. We don’t want to split the country like they did with Bill Clinton. They can clean up their own mess, while we raise awareness about their incapacity to do it.
At any rate, Trump has been caught with his pants down, both with Stormy and with former Playboy centerfold Karen MacDougal. He paid her off too.
The question now on everybody’s mind is what comes next.
For all the talk about Robert Mueller and his investigation getting ready to wrap up this fall, we really have no idea. Mueller’s team has been completely immune to the sort of leaks that haunt the White House. There is no person in Mueller’s life analogous to Omarosa Manigault.
Justice Department policy regarding the indictment of a sitting president in the past suggests Mueller won’t charge him directly. But there’s never been a president this crooked before either, so we really don’t know. It is our opinion that at this point, the possibility should not be ruled out.
Indictment or no, the damage this will do to our unpleasant 45th president is almost impossible to overstate.
Between Cohen and Manafort, it’s been the hardest day for Trump since the day of him boasting about other sex offenses he committed on the “Grab ’em” tape recorded by Access Hollywood. It was a one-two punch of epic proportions. Trump is reeling.
What direction the finishing blow comes from is going to depend on Robert Mueller’s report and what’s in it. By this point, it seems likely that it won’t be anything good for Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump himself is said to be calm for the moment, which to this Millennial Democrats contributor seems like the effects of shock. It is said that in the White House, they are bracing for a storm- a storm Trump himself has perceived he is caught out in.
Democrats are likewise preparing for the storm. Our leaders have drafted a wide-ranging contingency plan that will go into immediate effect should Trump try and fire Mueller. It will also happen if he takes any other steps to kill the Russia investigation, like firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or pardoning key witnesses.
“How did we get here?” Trump woefully wondered on Fox News earlier this evening.
You ran for president, Donald. That’s how.
It’s been a tangled path, but one thing is certain. He’s got only himself to blame.
Dr. Alina Polyakova, the David M. Rubenstein Fellow for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, is one of the world’s foremost experts on fake news and Russian disinformation. She had a brilliant idea the other day.
In the Western world, we’ve been playing catchup with the Russians for years, trying to find a way to counter the pesky disinformation tactics they’ve become famous for.
She came up with something just as simple as it is profound- to look for an analogous solution, based on the American anti-smoking campaign that started in 1964. These two completely unrelated subjects have some amazing similarities.
In the case of whether or not it’s a good idea to let the Russians loose like attic-bound raccoons in our cyber-grid, spreading disinformation and malware around like scat, the why-nots are obvious, just like with smoking. A rational person has no cause to misunderstand why this would be bad.
What we want to examine are the actual techniques used by the Surgeon General and others to paint cigarettes in the light they deserve- as filthy, smelly, cancerous sticks of death you’ve got to pay for.
That’s the way to go here.
First off, disinformation is dangerous. It leads to a gross devaluation of truth and a breakdown in the entire moral order. Though zany Russian hacker disinformation combos of race-baiting and coordinated cyber-lying may seem silly and random one at a time, they add up.
Ladislav Bittman, the former Communist Czechoslovak deputy chief of the disinformation department, compared the effects of disinformation to a slow acting poison, saying “One drop may not be a problem, but together a dose could be fatal.”
The same is true of nicotine, of course. And eventually, America caught on. But for years, the tobacco companies managed to convince Americans that the opposite was true. They did it with a carefully calculated and billion-dollar effort, based on pseudoscience, lies, and big advertising. It was exactly like what the Russians are doing now.
This is a significant concept for a few reasons. First, it’s always elegant when you can fit an old key in a new lock. She went rifling through the old Public Threat or Menace manual, found a campaign in the past that gave her precedent, and voila.
This is conduct to be emulated as much as possible, especially as that particular connection isn’t easy to see. Well done, Doctor!
Returning to our topic, people have been thinking this whole time that these Russian cybercrimes are all really stylish, powerful, interesting things to do. They think Russian hackers, and they picture this:
What they should be picturing, is this:
Think back. When your mother first told you not to smoke cigarettes, did she give you any pamphlets on the subject? Did she cite scholarly sources to you? Or did she just do like mine did, and shout “No! Mucky! Gives you cancer!”
I got the point. Looked it up later.
This thing with the Russian disinformation is exactly the same. It is so obviously bad for America that the case cannot be overstated, and yet they are not listening. The whole thing has had to be completely infanticized, and it’s us who’s changing the diapers.
Inside those disinformation diapers are the images we need to show people.
Disinformation is gross. It’s like being smelly. Telling lots of lies is for the kid nobody wants to sit next to. That’s probably why he became a hacker, the poor schmoe- Glad I’m not that guy!
Disinformation is smoggy. It makes it hard to see, hard to breathe.
The people under its influence get bewildered and don’t know what is what anymore. They just know that they are angry and they want to hit out at something, like Trump is provoking his followers into doing to CNN reporters.
That’s why watching Fox News these days make people behave like they’ve been doing bathtub crank. There’s no bathtub-crank chic. Nobody is remaking Trainspotting, over bathtub crank.
Smoggy. Wasteful. Smelly. Stupid. Gross. These are the reasons people quit smoking. Once smokers realized that nobody was looking at them and seeing the Marlboro Man, they got red in the face and cut it out, en masse.
This will be the case with fake news trolls eventually also.
Sitting around inside all day plunking on a keyboard and trolling is not what healthy adults, ones with actual influence in life, tend to want to do. Many studies have shown this to be the case.
Recently researchers at Australia’s Federation University used an online questionnaire to look closely at the psychology of those who engage in.
Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that trolls tend to show higher levels of trait psychopathy and sadism.
Trolls also tend to be poor, unfit, unkempt, unhappy. This is not what you want to do. You’re acting out all this harm on yourself for a cheap thrill.
You might as well start smoking.
Going forward, the message we have got to get across is a very simple one.
Spreading disinformation and sowing dissent around in the form of fake news is a lousy, negative activity.
It isn’t writing, or programming, or art.
It destroys and does not create.
It does everyone in the world a huge disservice by destabilizing their nations and economies.
It’s gross, it’s stupid and it’s unhealthy. There’s nothing good about it. Cut it out.
We have received numerous requests for a focus piece regarding cyber-defense for Democrats, especially right now as we are going into the midterms. In it is an introduction to a number of the techniques we can use to defend ourselves going forward. Knowledge is power. Pass it on.
Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require a lot of explanation as to how and why the threat of Russian hacking is real. We have been up against it for years. The time has come to soberly and objectively assess Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities, and examine how we plan to fight back.
But it’s important not to overstate the case. It is not accurate to attribute cybernetic omniscience to the Russians and their zany bots and fake news.
They had the element of surprise back then. Most people had no idea what they were doing(and rolled their eyes at those who were trying to warn them, but that’s another subject). These days things are very different.
Regardless of the lies of the great orange malignance, America knows the Russians are out to get us. Trump is sticking his head in the sand on this and will do nothing to help us, so we’re going to have to learn to help ourselves, and each other.
It’s too bad we’ve got no national leadership on this, but it is what it is. We’ll get by on our own.
In starting out, the most important thing to keep in mind is this: Hackers rely on our mistakes, and mistakes are most often made when we don’t know we are making them. They need to catch us off guard, and their job is to find creative ways to use their tools to get us to slip up.
The first place a smart hacker will look is outside the box, so to speak. They’re always looking for ways to burrow in that you wouldn’t think to look for.
Employing a given system, be it a human being or a PC, for a purpose it wasn’t designed for is what hacking means. However, if you’re careful, neither you nor your computer will end up thus employed. It’s all about being careful.
Hackers are clever, be they Russian or from elsewhere, but they are far from invincible. We’ve already stopped a number of Russian cyber-assaults directed at Democrats this year, such as the ones aimed at our Claire McCaskill.
Without the element of surprise, hackers have many limitations. It’s not that easy to brute-force open a website. Just ask these guys:
Basic cyber-hygiene techniques would cut down on more than 80 percent of cyber attacks and cyber thefts, according to Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It will benefit us to learn a few.
There is a great deal of white-hat(ethical hacking) work that can be done to defend America in this realm, and most of it has to do with how careful we are.
We repeat- It’s all about being careful. This cannot be repeated too often.
In this piece, we’re going to talk about a few common mistakes made by end-users(that means us, the consumer) and how they are exploited by criminals. We’re also going to talk about some of these cyber-hygiene measures and assign them three rules of thumb.
- Don’t open strange emails.
- Don’t click on strange links.
- Don’t accept chat messages from people you don’t know, particularly on Facebook.
Before we get started, think for a second about all your other social media accounts. Are they just as secure as your Facebook or Twitter? Make sure they are! That’s the first place a hacker will go to collect more data about you. You’re particularly vulnerable to having your account on the ones you don’t often use pried open.
As an aside, this is also why you don’t want to use the same passwords for everything. Passwords are obviously critical, as somebody who’s got them has got all your information at his fingertips. Be careful!!
A great deal of a hacker’s job revolves around getting the passwords of their victims. Their most popular tools are all various ways to apply “spear-phishing” hacks, designed to steal passwords and personal data. The unlucky “phish” who opens one has become a victim and is now open to all kinds of trouble.
There are all kinds of ways to go spear-phishing. A brand new one showed up not long ago when U.S. government agencies recently received letters via snail mail.
They came with CDs inside, and they contained malware, according to cybersecurity researcher Krebs on Security. The infected discs were accompanied by a Chinese-postmarked envelope and a “confusingly-worded” letter.
That is just like what they do on Facebook. Hackers make links that look like YouTube videos and various other innocuous things, and they write you some goofy little messages. They look like some cute little harmless thing. Actually, they’re viruses. And you’re hit.
One example that all readers of this blog will vividly recall took place on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious e-mail messages hit the inboxes of thirty people who were closely associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Inside them were links that were actually viruses, like worms on a hook.
Nearly all of them were failures. All but one, actually. But one was enough.
Within nine days, a horrendous amount of critical data had been stolen and passed along to Wikileaks, to be strategically released in a way they figured would hurt us. It did.
Those leaked e-mails, in which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was seen to be fussing over Bernie’s lack of ability to fill out campaign finance forms correctly, were spun up into a narrative that Bernie(who lost by four million popular votes) had been cheated.
Bernie or Bust bought it, there were riots in the streets of Philadelphia, and a rift was torn in the Democratic Party that still has yet to heal.
All of that was made possible, with just a few phished passwords.
To combat phishing is to make sure everyone knows how common and damaging these attacks can be. Everyone should keep their guard up when checking emails, and they should report any email they find suspicious.
It’s necessary to point out here that Facebook phishing in particular is horrendously easy. They can hack you right through your chat box. We recommend in the strongest possible terms that you put as little of your personal information as possible on Facebook.
Why risk it?
Facebook presents about a million added vulnerabilities to all of us that use it. When Edward Snowden was asked what to do to keep your data safe on that platform, his response was, “Delete your account.”
We can’t recommend that, as Facebook gives us access to 2 billion people, but we can recommend this much. If people you don’t know send you strange messages on Facebook, don’t accept them.
Facebook was made to brief congressional aides just last week Tuesday about the newest outbreak of anti-Democratic disinformation, which is already said to be evolving into something more sophisticated. Excerpts from that briefing are shown below.
“We are looking at just some of the malicious material that already may be circulating or will be released before the midterms. It also bears repeating that we know the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was targeted.”
Cyber-intelligence experts see this as being major, and with clear reason.
Moving on, it isn’t only Facebook and social media you’ve got to be careful with. Websites too are vulnerable.
Anecdotally, the webmaster of this site has seen hackers from all over the world try to take us down, from Beijing, China to Lviv, Ukraine, from Adelaide, Australia to Beauharnois, Quebec. They use all kinds of tricks, but they’ve never gotten in and they never will.
This is not because I’m a cyber-genius who speaks binary code, but because WordPress is awesome. Sucuri, the plugin that keeps safe all of us Millennial Democrats, is likewise excellent. They care about their clients and they hold the same liberal values sacred that we do.
WordPress users should strongly consider using Sucuri, not least for the reverse IP trace it automatically performs. This has the benefit of letting you know a lot more about who’s trying to hack you. Sometimes it will tell you everything.
Once a flower store owner from Adelaide, Australia tried to hack us. By using a reverse IP trace, Sucuri let us know who she was as soon as she had done so. Then we went to a site called WhatismyIPaddress.com, put it in, and voila.
We were able to get the name of her business by looking at the name of her domain. We then used that to look her up, and jackpot. We found the store’s address, website, and owner. We also found far-right garbage smeared all over her life.
I could put her on blast right here with a screenshot like this one:
Luckily for her, I’m not that mean. But the next guy might be. It’s a dangerous game for newbies (noobs- learn your hacker-ese) to play. It’s easy to run into trouble.
Change your life, would-be hacker flower store owner! Mend your wicked ways, before it’s too late.
Speaking of WordPress, using the two-factor authentication feature they offer as part of their platform is another good idea. This is a highly effective security measure and is available for Facebook, Gmail, WordPress, and many other major platforms.
Using this feature means a second device’s input will be required to access email accounts or websites on new computers, usually by prompting you and sending an SMS code to your phone or whatever. This can prevent scammers from accessing compromised accounts.
In addition to good cyber-hygiene, which amounts to common sense, caution, and our three rules of thumb, there are some tools we can use to make our online experience safer still. You may find this necessary, from time to time.
A VPN, or virtual proxy network service, will allow you to register as being somewhere that you’re nowhere physically near. It allows you to safeguard your IP address. You do not want hackers to have your IP address, as it can be used to hurt you in a bewildering multitude of ways. This is probably the biggest reason to use a VPN.
Guccifer 2.0 recently made a mistake and forgot to turn his VPN on, and we connected him to an IP address connected to Russian intelligence. Now his whole identity is blown because he didn’t use his VPN.
We strongly recommend getting one of these, specifically IVPN. They take protecting their customers super seriously and they are located on the Rock of Gibraltar. That fortress strikes me as a good place to keep anything valuable.
Additional tools include TOR(The Onion Router), which offers a former naval encryption system that we can now all use. Tor takes all your internet traffic and routes it through its own network, providing total anonymity.
The DuckDuckGo browser, which Tor employs, is good to know about also. It has a number of different features that keep you safe, including a “Flame” feature that burns up all your cookies in a second. Pretty cool.
We suggest you learn Linux, because it is more secure, and 99% of viruses are designed to attack Microsoft products.
Russian hackers have been targeting home routers of individual people en masse, using what is called a DNS attack. We suggest you check your home router often, using the website Secure Router.
Secure Router is a great free feature that allows you to check if your router has been compromised with the click of a button. Doing this regularly cannot hurt and takes less than a second.
In closing, it’s important to emphasize that this is an introductory piece, and not meant to be totally comprehensive. These techniques will do a lot to keep you safe, but nothing is a substitute for doing your own research.
So far, this has not been the kind of cyber war imagined in the past, with nations taking out each other’s power grids before a mass invasion, although Russian malware continues to turn up in our power stations.
Now, just as then, there is a need for deterrence, to defend the nation and hopefully prevent a further escalation of tensions. There is more at stake than we can even put into words. We need to be ready.
There are bigger dangers here than the usual America vs. Russia, liberal world order vs the new world order that the extremist crazies keep screaming that they want kind of thing. This is different completely.
One superpower actively destroying the democratic process of another is new and very dangerous, especially since Russian destability tactics rely heavily on disinformation and a systematic devaluing of the truth.
If nothing is true, everything is permissible. And then our entire species starts down the road to guns and roving mobs.
Due diligence is the key. Hackers will look for things you might be neglecting. Get in some good habits and keep yourself alert, because it all comes down to one thing.
If you are politically active as a Democrat, you are not paranoid. You are a target. Defend yourself.
The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Donald Trump acted lawfully when he called for the US to begin a policy of banning anyone, most notably persons of Islamic faith, who live in a certain seven countries last year and has upheld his right to continue doing so.
It’s a dark day for democracy worldwide. So the Republicans are actively celebrating.
McConnell’s campaign shared the image just minutes after the Supreme Court handed down its 5-4 ruling finding that the ban was constitutional. Gorsuch sided with the majority of justices upholding the ban.
Gorsuch is the guy Trump picked out to replace former Chief Justice Antonin Scalia after he died. He was brought in to rubber-stamp Trump’s decisions, and the whole Supreme Court has been corrupted because of it.
Scalia was a miserable excuse for a man who was against everything except the death penalty. Little kids in cages? Banning entire populations of countries from so much as visiting here? He’d have loved this.
This is why the Republicans were so desperate to block President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.
This is not the first time the Supreme Court has been wrong. The Dred Scott case comes to mind. That very same court once ruled that it was acceptable to treat humans as cattle and that Africans were only 3/5 human.
The first Muslim elected to Congress, Keith Ellison, predicted on Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s travel ban will end up in “the dustbin of history”, and this is almost certainly true.
During the interim, however, this is undoubtedly a tremendous win for both Trump and future holders of the executive branch of our government, and such a win could not have come at a worse time. It is certain to embolden both a man and a party who already have no respect whatsoever for the spirit of the law.
Fox anchor Abby Huntsman recently referred to Trump as a dictator, live and on the air, as he strolled around with his good buddy Kim Jong Un of North Korea, another guy who has no respect for human rights.
“I called both President Trump and Kim Jon Un a dictator”, Huntsman explained.
It’s Jong Un, ma’am, but we’re not going to quibble.
At the time, we had this to say about the aforementioned exchange:
The signs coming off TV lately are the most subliminally troubling yet. Fox News referes to Trump as dictator, their slavish dictatees said nothing. Now we've got members of Congress on TV openly telling us that law has maybe lost its power. This is not going anywhere good. #FBR https://t.co/L42pLdVfSM
— Millennial Democrats (@MilDemsAmerica) June 15, 2018
The incompetence of the enemy is no longer funny, and in our opinion, it’s probably being done on purpose. The lady tried walking the statement back with an apology but the seed has been planted just the same. They’re sending subtle, almost subliminal cues, and if we listen carefully, we too can catch their meaning.
If Trump is a dictator, and Fox reports on it as being normal, then all of their viewers necessarily believe that they are now subjects and that democracy has fallen and they’re fine with it.
Several weeks ago, the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, was asked by news host Rachel Maddow if she thinks America is still a country who respects the rule of law. Her response?
These words ring true with even greater solidity now that Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban, which violates everything about the spirit of American law, has been confirmed by the Supreme Court.
Going forward, our focus will be the raising of awareness that Trump really is walking down an autocratic road, and that Trump and the Republicans have decided to make themselves into active enemies of the American dream.
In order to get people to realize it, we’ve got to make the case. We’ve got to gather and arrange the evidence and lay it on the American people’s doorstep. Republicans have dropped the ball by every conceivable metric. They have failed us at every turn. Let’s make sure they are properly credited.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is at it again. For the first time in this cycle, they have launched ads attempting to tie Senate Democrats to the woman they most love to hate- Hillary Clinton.
A number of new digital ads released Monday are to run in the 10 states won by President Donald Trump in 2016 where Democratic senators are seeking re-election.
The videos will be seen on Facebook, which has joined Russia and the Republicans in unjustly treating Democrats time and again these last few years. What a surprise.
At any rate, while Fox News has been focusing on kicking around a private citizen, Stormy Daniels broke records on Sunday night on CNN. Twenty-two million people tuned in to hear her tell the awful story of what it was like to have an affair with America’s sleaziest man- its president.
It was a powerful story that made for a powerful retelling, and it highlighted the growing trend of awareness of women’s rights and women’s issues. In that awareness, Hillary Clinton’s name has been pulled back into the newspapers, as Fox News turns to the one strategy that has never failed it- attacking her.
Clinton recently said Trump’s campaign platform was “looking backwards”, and the videos highlight this. That’s good, since it was true.
They also highlight her saying during the 2016 race that half of Trump’s supporters could be put into a “basket of deplorables”, another undoubted fact.
For someone who they call crooked, she sure seems to make them awfully mad for telling the truth. This is what has led to Fox News giving Hillary Clinton and Stormy Daniels equal airtime this whole last week and weekend, although one was making television records while the other was living a private life.
Former State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, who is now a Fox News Contributor, made a number of nasty remarks on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace on March 18, while the Daniels interview was going on, about how she ought to “go away”.
Sometimes it is hard to understand people.
Hillary Clinton gave every day of her life to the people of this country. She subordinated her own needs and pride and self-interest to act for the good of her country and her party. Why is it so hard for them to just say thank you?
The 2016 election proved to us that institutionalized sexism is still very powerful, and the thirty years worth of hit jobs and slander that the right wing conspiracy machine cooked up over the years is still a potent brew.
It wasn’t anything rational that led to such a self-destructive decision on the part of a large minority of American people last year. It was irrational anger born from living in a confused and post-truth reality. People stopped listening to each other, the lines of communication broke down, and the worst case political scenario actually happened.
Since then not a day has gone by when we aren’t vividly reminded of how much better a place the United States would have been to live in today if Hillary Clinton was our President.
Our national conduct would befit that of a superpower, instead of a bumbling infant. Our economy would have stayed strong. We would not be internationally reviled for pulling out of the Paris Accord.
We would have been making strides toward the future, doing good for as many people as we could have, for as long as we could have.
There will come a time when we get to try again. America is an empire of magnificent strength. It was built to survive a great deal worse than Donald Trump. In the meantime, however, in our hearts, we know that she was robbed. That single fact alone has done more to disrespect this country than anything that has happened since Bush vs Gore.
Hillary Clinton is one of the most competent living Americans, and the fact of her exclusion from the halls of power in Washington is to the detriment of every man, woman, and child who calls this country home. She would have brought the country honor at all the same junctures that Trump has debased it. She is missed and she is needed more sorely than ever.
Furthermore, it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that it’s only right to stick up for someone who is being slandered unfairly, and all the more so when they have spent a lifetime sticking up for you.
No matter how much mud they sling at her, we will never turn our backs on Hillary Clinton.
The Republicans are at it again. These people can’t even spell “accountability”.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken was accused of sexual harassment today by conservative talk show host Leann Tweeden, in a particularly transparent and unfair attempt to display false equivalence.
This news comes hot on the heels of Franken delivering up to the alleged child molester and Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore one of the most classic Senatorial flayings of all time.
This is just another case of the rampant “what- aboutism” that the GOP has been trying to distract us with since time immemorial.
The GOP has a clear agenda in this matter. The Roy Moore scandals are a disaster for them, and they know they can’t escape it. The only thing they can do now is to try and get us dirty too.
Al Franken is one of the most effective Senators we have. He has proven clever and reliable at countering that agenda. So now, the dirty trick thugs are being sent out to try and destroy him.
“Let’s just say Sen. Franken’s time in the barrel is about to come,” Stone told The Daily Caller over text early Thursday morning, hours before Leeann Tweeden came out with her claims.
Stone did not care to elaborate to TheDC exactly how he knew Tweeden was going to come out with her claims. But he did. And that means it was plotted out.
An independent observer will remember that “time in the barrel” is the exact same term he used, right before Wikileaks dumped the Podesta emails that the supporters of Bernie Sanders rioted in the streets over. That’s another time Stone was found boasting off some dirt he criminally acquired. This is his M.O.
Rob Dew of Infowars was quick to hop on the bandwagon right behind Stone.
Note that use of the #metoo hashtag. Conservatives would like nothing better than for women to get the message that their only advocates, the Democrats, only talk a good one and are really no different than the Republicans. Most likely, this is being employed as a way to discredit that burgeoning movement.
Senator Franken, however, must have shocked the cynics good. The statement of apology he released this morning blew the doors off the GOP attempt to ruin him.
“I don’t know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to or never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false,” Moore told Hannity.
“I never knew this woman. I never met this woman and these charges are politically motivated,” he added. Seven more victims have since come forward, and the number is rising.
Within those two statements, are the difference between the Republicans and us.
There’s no excuse for victim-shaming. That’s not what Senator Franken would want, and that’s far from what we’re after. That said, the timing on this is a gigantic red flag. The benefit to the conservatives Ms. Tweeden has cast her lifetime’s lot with is obvious and huge. It is therefore worth taking a thorough look at the circumstances surrounding this incident.
Leeann Tweeden was a commentator on Sean Hannity’s Fox News opinion show on multiple occasions. Fox’s Red Eye program was graced by her presence as well.
That connection to Hannity would make her statement suspect under any circumstances. Combined with the timing of the release of her “bombshell allegation”, it is positively unbelievable.
The night before she decided to unburden her heart, after all these years, happened to be the day Sean Hannity himself was forced to finally concede that he has been backing up a probable child molester for about the last two weeks.
Currently, Leeann Tweeden is employed as a news anchor for 790 KABC’s morning show, McIntyre in the Morning. She is a frequent social and political commentator on various conservative television shows. Tweeden was formerly Co-Host of UFC Tonight on Fox Sports.