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Old 2019-01-09, 21:33   #89
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Here is an excerpt from a recent NC guest-author piece which discusses the Israel-antiboycott measure (bolds are from original):
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The top priority for Democrats in the new Senate seems to be support for a bill, not to open the government, or do any of a dozen good things for this country, but to protect another country, Israel, from criticism by Americans:
Quote:
U.S. Senate’s First Bill, in Midst of Shutdown, is a Bipartisan Defense of the Israeli Government from Boycotts

When each new Congress is gaveled into session, the chambers attach symbolic importance to the first piece of legislation to be considered. For that reason, it bears the lofty designation of H.R.1 in the House, and S.1 in the Senate.

In the newly controlled Democratic House, H.R.1 – meant to signal the new majority’s priorities – is an anti-corruption bill that combines election and campaign finance reform, strengthening of voting rights, and matching public funds for small-dollar candidates. …

But in the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate, the first bill to be considered – S.1 – is not designed to protect American workers, bolster U.S. companies, or address the various debates over border security and immigration. It’s not a bill to open the government. Instead, according to multiple sources involved in the legislative process, S.1 will be a compendium containing a handful of foreign-policy related measures, a main one of which is a provision, with Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio as a lead sponsor, to defend the Israeli government. The bill is a top legislative priority for AIPAC.
The bill, which punishes companies that take part in any boycott of Israel, could sweep up individuals as well, and is widely considered unconstitutional:
Quote:
In the previous Congress, that measure was known as S.170, and it gives state and local governments explicit legal authority to boycott any U.S. companies which themselves are participating in a boycott against Israel. As the Intercept reported last month, 26 states now have enacted some version of a law to punish or otherwise sanction entities which participate in or support the boycott of Israel, while similar laws are pending in at least 13 additional states. Rubio’s bill is designed to strengthen the legal basis to defend those Israel-protecting laws from constitutional challenge.

Punishment aimed at companies which choose to boycott Israel can also sweep up individual American citizens in its punitive net, because individual contractors often work for state or local governments under the auspices of a sole proprietorship or some other business entity. That was the case with Texas elementary school speech pathologist Bahia Amawi, who lost her job working with autistic and speech-impaired children in Austin because she refused to promise not to boycott goods produced in Israel and/or illegal Israeli settlements.
If it passes, it will be with Democrats’ — and Chuck Schumer’s — support:
Quote:
With the seven Democratic co-sponsors, the bill would have the 60 votes it needs to overcome a filibuster. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. – who supported Sen. Cardin’s far more draconian bill of last year and is one of the Senate’s most reliable AIPAC loyalists – also plans to support the Rubio bill, rather than whip votes against it, sources working on the bill said. Schumer’s spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. [emphasis added]
Not the best look coming into the new year. Expect more stories like this.
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Old 2019-01-21, 22:05   #90
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Fitting link on a day honoring a man the Hoover-era FBI relentlessly surveilled, ratf*cked and attempted to intimidate:

Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC, Accuses Media of "Lionizing Destructive Organizations" Like the FBI | DownWithTyranny

Caitlin Johnstone on the BuzzFeed fake-news incident:
Quote:
Following what the Washington Post has described as “the highest-profile misstep yet for a news organization during a period of heightened and intense scrutiny of the press,” mass media representatives are now flailing desperately for an argument as to why people should continue to place their trust in mainstream news outlets.

According to journalist and economic analyst Doug Henwood, the print New York Times covered the Buzzfeed report on its front page when the story broke, but the report on Mueller’s correction the next day was shoved back to page 11. This appalling journalistic malpractice makes it very funny that NYT’s Wajahat Ali had the gall to tweet, “Unlike the Trump administration, journalists are fact checking and willing to correct the record if the Buzzfeed story is found inaccurate. Not really the actions of a deep state and enemy of the people, right?”

This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them.
And for those of you scoring things at home:

Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump/Russia Story | The Intercept
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Old 2019-01-23, 13:35   #91
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I like the fact that you (1) cite the NYT as a source WRT the FBI's campaign against MLK, and (2) quote a piece bashing the NYT for "journalistic malpractice."
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Old 2019-01-23, 18:12   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I like the fact that you (1) cite the NYT as a source WRT the FBI's campaign against MLK, and (2) quote a piece bashing the NYT for "journalistic malpractice."
A stopped (12 hour) clock is right twice a day, at least momentarily. Being right about some things can provide great cover for lying being inaccurate about other things.
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Old 2019-01-24, 14:49   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
A stopped (12 hour) clock is right twice a day, at least momentarily. Being right about some things can provide great cover for lying being inaccurate about other things.
The subject of complaint isn't a matter of fact or accuracy. It's an editorial decision on placement of the refutation of the Buzzfeed story by Mueller's office -- in the print edition of the NYT. Assuming the placement was accurately described, it's pretty shabby. Not as bad as Colonel McCormick's practice of vilifying Jews in the front of his Chicago Tribune one day, and printing retractions inconspicuously back near the classified ads the next, but Lord, it ain't good.

I am curious, though, about the placement of the refutation in the online edition of the NYT.
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Old 2019-01-24, 22:15   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
The subject of complaint isn't a matter of fact or accuracy. It's an editorial decision on placement of the refutation of the Buzzfeed story by Mueller's office -- in the print edition of the NYT. Assuming the placement was accurately described, it's pretty shabby. Not as bad as Colonel McCormick's practice of vilifying Jews in the front of his Chicago Tribune one day, and printing retractions inconspicuously back near the classified ads the next, but Lord, it ain't good.

I am curious, though, about the placement of the refutation in the online edition of the NYT.
If the paper hides the correction it is letting the front page splash remain in many people's minds. Is that being supportive of truth?

EDIT: The phrase you quote below was quite sardonic. It also addressed the poker-faced tone of the spokesperson.
For the record, I consider NYT to be the MIIC Propaganda Mouthpiece of Record. I look elsewhere for news.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2019-01-25 at 02:20
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Old 2019-01-25, 02:08   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
If the paper hides the correction it is letting the front page splash remain in many people's minds. Is that being supportive of truth?
I don't think it's fair to say they "hid" the story. For one thing, it had already run in other papers; WAPO was the first place I saw it. For another I don't know the layout or the habits of readers of the NYT print edition. It is therefore possible (AFAIK) that there may have been a mention of the story on the front page with a "see page 11" pointer. It is also possible (AFAIK) that readers of the NYT print edition may routinely scan the first section looking for followups to recent items.

I also don't know how the Mueller denial of the Buzzfeed story ran in the online NYT, which I suspect many more people look at than the print edition.

It is also possible that the editors of the NYT thought the Buzzfeed story was substantially true, despite the statement from Mueller's office. To support this contention, I cite an unimpeachable source:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
"...are not accurate." That phasing [sic] amuses me to no end. It does not specify a degree of inaccuracy. It rings differently than "...are wrong (you lying sack of scuzz.")
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Old 2019-03-13, 20:45   #96
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NYT’s Exposé on the Lies About Burning Aid Trucks in Venezuela Shows How U.S. Government and Media Spread Pro-War Propaganda | Glenn Greenwald, Intercept
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Every major U.S. war of the last several decades has begun the same way: the U.S. government fabricates an inflammatory, emotionally provocative lie which large U.S. media outlets uncritically treat as truth while refusing at air questioning or dissent, thus inflaming primal anger against the country the U.S. wants to attack. That’s how we got the Vietnam War (North Vietnam attacks U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin); the Gulf War (Saddam ripped babies from incubators); and, of course, the war in Iraq (Saddam had WMDs and formed an alliance with Al Qaeda).

This was exactly the tactic used on February 23, when the narrative shifted radically in favor of those U.S. officials who want regime change operations in Venezuela. That’s because images were broadcast all over the world of trucks carrying humanitarian aid burning in Colombia on the Venezuela border. U.S. officials who have been agitating for a regime change war in Venezuela – Marco Rubio, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, the head of USAid Mark Green – used Twitter to spread classic Fake News: they vehemently stated that the trucks were set on fire, on purpose, by President Nicolas Maduro’s forces.
...
As it always does – as it always has done from its inception when Wolf Blitzer embedded with U.S. troops – CNN led the way in not just spreading these government lies but independently purporting to vouch for their truth. On February 24, CNN told the world what we all now know is an absolute lie: that “a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks,” though it generously added that “the network’s journalists are unsure if the trucks were burned on purpose.”

Other media outlets endorsed the lie while at least avoiding what CNN did by personally vouching for it. “Humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela was set on fire, seemingly by troops loyal to Mr Maduro,” The Telegraph claimed. The BBC uncritically printed: “There have also been reports of several aid trucks being burned – something Mr Guaidó said was a violation of the Geneva Convention.”

That lie – supported by incredibly powerful video images – changed everything. Ever since, that Maduro burned trucks filled with humanitarian aid was repeated over and over as proven fact on U.S. news outlets. Immediately after it was claimed, politicians who had been silent on the issue of Venezuela or even reluctant to support regime change began issuing statements now supportive of it. U.S. news stars and think tank luminaries who lack even a single critical brain cell when it comes to war-provoking claims from U.S. officials took a leading role in beating the war drums without spending even a single second to ask whether what they were being told were true:
...
But on Saturday night, the New York Times published a detailed video and accompanying article proving that this entire story was a lie. The humanitarian trucks were not set on fire by Maduro’s forces. They were set on fire by anti-Maduro protesters who threw a molotov cocktail that hit one of the trucks. And the NYT’s video traces how the lie spread: from U.S. officials who baselessly announced that Maduro burned them to media outlets that mindlessly repeated the lie.

While the NYT’s article and video are perfectly good and necessary journalism, the credit they are implicitly claiming for themselves for exposing this lie is totally undeserved. That’s because independent journalists – the kind who question rather than mindlessly repeat government claims and are therefore mocked and marginalized and kept off mainstream television – used exactly this same evidence on the day of the incident to debunk the lies being told by Rubio, Pompeo, Bolton and CNN.
...
So everything the New York Times so proudly reported last night has been known for weeks, and was already reported in great detail, using extensive evidence, by a large number of people. But because those people are generally skeptical of the U.S. Government’s claims and critical of its foreign policy, they were ignored and mocked and are generally barred from appearing on television, while the liars from the U.S. Government and their allies in the corporate media were, as usual, given a platform to spread their lies without any challenge or dissent, just like the manual for how to maintain State TV intructs.
In light of that, I bring you the NYT again, now on the more recent major power outages in VZ:

No End in Sight to Venezuela’s Blackout, Experts Warn | NYTimes
Quote:
The government said the blackout was caused by an unspecified fault at Guri, which provides 80 percent of the country’s electricity. Mr. Maduro and his ministers have insisted the blackout is the result of sabotage and cyberattacks organized by the United States and the opposition, without providing any evidence.
...
Energy experts, Venezuelan power sector contractors and current and former Corpoelec employees have dismissed accusations of sabotage, saying the blackout was the result of years of underinvestment, corruption and brain drain.
...and I'm sure the highly suspicious timing was sheer coincidence! Even more so in light of this Max Blumenthal piece, describing a 2010 memo by the same organization that trained Greedo and his allies:

US Regime Change Blueprint Proposed Venezuelan Electricity Blackouts as ‘Watershed Event’ for Galvanizing Public Unrest

I believe that is known in baseball terms as "calling one's shot".

Back to CNN, which is apparently still rigging their (in)famous Town Halls by selecting the questioners:

This was the person selected by CNN last night to question Tulsi [Gabbard] about Assad. She’s a corporate consultant who has worked for Goldman Sachs, Google, and Time Warner. Why does CNN pretend these “town halls” are representative of average voters? pic.twitter.com/PNLGOYDKRn

— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) March 11, 2019
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Old 2019-03-13, 21:10   #97
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More on the Dem-establishment smear campaign against Tulsi Gabbard:

Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes | Caitlin Johnstone
Quote:
Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience.

Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.
Ah, for the days of yore, when Stephen Colbert pretended to be a right-wing pundit and was still funny ... now that he's outed himself as a loyal tribalist and water carrier for empire, there's nothing funny at all about him.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2019-03-13 at 21:11
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Old 2019-03-14, 12:30   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
More on the Dem-establishment smear campaign against Tulsi Gabbard:

Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes | Caitlin Johnstone
Ah, for the days of yore, when Stephen Colbert pretended to be a right-wing pundit and was still funny ... now that he's outed himself as a loyal tribalist and water carrier for empire, there's nothing funny at all about him.
Season 5, Episode 6 (February 12, 2019) of Finding Your Roots featured Paul Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard and Marco Rubio. There is an associated short bio of Tulsi Gabbard here.
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Old 2019-03-14, 12:53   #99
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I'd say a major power kerflooey in Venezuela was eminently foreseeable. I'll willingly buy into the idea that the "regime change" folks in the Admin were poised to take full advantage when the inevitable happened.

But trying to conflate that into the US causing the outage is to my mind, almost on a par with saying that the (then) Admin orchestrated the 9-11 attacks, because they took advantage after the fact to get the USA PATRIOT Act passed, etc.

It's worse, in a sense, since it didn't take access to classified intel to see a major problem with Venezuela's power grid coming in the not-too-distant future.

But saying it's a US government plot certainly saves the trouble of having to present any actual evidence. "Evveedennse? We doan' need no steekin' evveedennse. It's a conspiracy."

Unfortunately, Maduro & Co. aren't even saying what failed. The transmission lines? The turbine? Transformers? The hydro plant is off limits, everything a state secret.

Excuse me for thinking the good ol' USA isn't the only country on earth that uses "security" and "secrecy" to try to cover up major government screwups.

Failure to maintain systems leads to failure of systems. Works every time.
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