• Evaluating “Sources” in Fake News Like You’re in the CIA

    January 10, 2017

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Trump



    Want to know how to evaluate the memo alleging Trump is run by the Russians, and that they have video of him and his golden showers? I can tell you. Read.



    The use of anonymous sources was once a major line for a journalist to cross.

    By not naming a source, the journalist insists you trust them. Did they talk to an intern or a policymaker? Every source has an agenda; if we don’t know the source we have no idea of the agenda. Was the journalist trying to act carefully, but was fooled themselves? Remember the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War, and the way the press facilitated that via articles based on unnamed sources we now know were Bush administration officials with fake tales of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    Anonymous sources have their place. With Deep Throat during the Watergate scandal, the Washington Post tried to use his information as a tool to work backwards to verifiable truths, or to allow them to reach people who would go on the record. Part of Edward Snowden’s credibility came from his named status.


    2016: New Rules

    The 2016 election appears to have changed the rules. Writers seem to be able to publish potentially game-changing stories based only on unnamed sources, with little or no collaborating evidence other than “it might be true.” And how can one refute an anonymous source presenting unique information, say something pulled from a highly classified document the public may never see? Adding to the question of credibility, the stories often track the writer’s political stance.


    Many readers feel they have only two options: take the writer’s word for it, or not. The result is a steady flow of amazing insider stories that get blasted through sympathetic repeat media, then left like online roadkill for us to Tweet about, labeling them as fake news or screaming at the people who label them as fake news.

    Thinking Like a Spy

    So how do readers try to reasonably exercise some healthy skepticism and critical thought? One way is to apply tests intelligence officers follow to help them evaluate their own sources.

    — Is the source in a position to know what they say they know? Someone in Human Resources who says a guy in the Analysis section is underpaid and vulnerable to recruitment, yep. Someone in Human Resources who says they have the embassy’s economic predictions for Country X for next year, hmmm. One of the ways Snowden’s critics sought to discredit him was to claim he could not have had access to the information he released (and so it must be fake.) When this idea is worked backwards — you are out looking for a source on some subject — it is known as spotting.

    — The “position to know” idea scales up sharply when a source says they are privy to conversations well-above their pay grade; how would they know the contents of a call the president made? Anyone who claims to know the why behind some action, what was in the heads of the decision makers, is subject to special skepticism. Overall, the further away from probability — plausibility — a story stretches, the more obligation on the intelligence officer to address those questions.

    — All sources have agendas. Human nature being what it is, sources who just want to do the right thing need to be looked at more closely. The source is risking something by talking, maybe even jail; why? Is what they will get out of the leak worth the risk they are assuming? And if you don’t know your source’s agenda — what they want — then you’re like the guy at the poker table who can’t tell who the rube is.

    — An intelligence officer needs to constantly ask themselves if they are being used, offered fake information for some purpose. How can they tell? What can the source offer that is verifiable? If they say they work directly for the ambassador, can they pass on a few internal phone numbers you can call anonymously?

    — Presumably if you are looking into a topic, and your source claims to have information, do they otherwise seem to know at least as much as you know? And if you’re being leaked to on a topic you know little about, why are they coming to you anyway? Is what you are being told consistent with other information on the subject? Is the information something that follows from known things, something known as expectability? Has the source reported reliably in the past, or have they been referred to you by someone who has?

    — Does what is being handed to you fit the “is the juice worth the squeeze,” risk versus gain, test? For example, a source claims Candidate X had a police officer beaten after she ticketed his car. Would a candidate risk news that he ordered a beating of a cop just to retaliate for a minor traffic ticket?

    “It Might Be True”

    While anything can have an explanation, “it might be true” or “you can’t prove it’s not true” are enablers of fake news. Instead, readers should apply some of the tests an intelligence officer might: who would know the information? How could someone know? How big a risk would that source be taking and why would take it? What agenda might the source and/or writer have? How plausible is what you’re reading, is the juice worth the squeeze?

    In the end, an intelligence officer rarely knows what is 100% true, so they assign a rating to information, such as high confidence, or medium confidence, and act on the information (or not) in line with that.

    A reader can never know with certainty the truth about an anonymously-sourced story. Anything is possible, but only some things are probable, and that’s usually the way you bet when you’re making up your mind whether to believe something in the media or not.

    BONUS: Here’s one to practice on. The image below is already circulating online. Apply the tests above and judge its credibility yourself. (FYI: the info below is truly, absolutely fake, created for this kind of purpose.)

    Click to enlarge





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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Will golden showers rain on Trump’s parade?

      The Trump voters don’t care. It’s the stench of the shit of the Clintons that turned them off.

      01/10/17 9:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Every source has an agenda. What was Comey’s?

      01/10/17 9:18 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      3

      Bauer- Self loathing perhaps. The guy looks like he’s been visited by the ghosts of Dickens. He knows that to get where he is now he has done much wrong.

      01/10/17 9:41 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      4

      Peter,

      So…. Your thinking some reporter in the US does not have enough to get an FSB to roll over on Putin???

      That would be my thinking.

      M

      01/10/17 9:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      5

      John,

      Too cool….. And he does….. Or…. Maybe a bit part in “sleepy hollow”.

      Hey….. Question….

      Think Bauer has earned the right to be called ” Rich” yet?

      Just a thought.

      M

      01/10/17 9:59 PM | Comment Link

    • traven said...

      6

      Very interesting that Peter would cover this topic now. Senator McCain just was reported to have given to a news source a “evidence” from a questionable source that the Russians have “something” on Trump t control him.Hummm.
      Following Peter’s script, why would a reporter run a story with that ambiguous a ‘source’ partiularly coming from someone like McCain.

      01/10/17 10:54 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      7

      CNN’s motive is the easy one– more clicks and viewers, thus more adverts. Everyone else involved are purer evil.

      01/11/17 8:18 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      8

      And now 4chan is claiming that someone there just made up the story about Trump and it was sent to someone who was known to be anti-Trump, who then sent it to the CIA, who for some bizarre reason believed the story and included it in their official classified intelligence report on election issues.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/4chan-claims-have-fabricated-anti-trump-report-hoax

      01/11/17 4:54 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      9

      Back it up one more step. Imagine if the true originator was the CIA. They plant it around Europe knowing someone will find it and spread it around. When it comes back to CIA, they bless it and help leak it, bestowing legitimacy.

      Scenario 2 is that 4chan really created this as a prank. CIA sees what’s happening and figures it is their lucky day. The true source isn’t them, but they’ll pick it up and run with it nonetheless.

      01/11/17 8:21 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      10

      01/11/17 4:56 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      11

      Teri said..

      ” On another topic, don’t take your “sick” devices to Best Buy to be fixed. ”

      Thought everyone knew this…. For years now…. Like Decades..

      I would suggest not taking anything to anyone…. That does not supply an NDA.

      M

      01/11/17 8:09 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      12

      Pretty typical….

      Learned a long time ago…. The more frightened people are…. The bizzare the shit that make up is.

      Waiting for the stories that say Trump is roasting leggo men alive, in the BBQ pit behind the white house, in front of an audience of stuffed puppies and kittens.

      BTW…..

      This crazy media story publishing……

      This is called…… “an Influence Campaign”…..

      Its not hacking…. Hacking is where some tech….not me of course…. Steals your data.

      An “influence campaign ” …… Its where people make crazy ass shit up to discredit, under- mine….. And … Attack….. Their target.

      During the actual “election”…. I only recall the “hillary conquers the stairs” thing.

      M

      01/11/17 8:19 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      13

      “. wemeantwell on January 11, 2017 at 08:18 said:
      CNN’s motive is the easy one– more clicks and viewers, thus more adverts. Everyone else involved are purer evil. ”

      Peter..

      You forgot what CNN really stands for….

      Clinton News Network.

      All Clinton…. All the time…..

      Whether you want it or not.

      M

      01/11/17 8:22 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      14

      Mit said

      “An “influence campaign ” …… Its where people make crazy ass shit up to discredit, under- mine….. And … Attack….. Their target.”

      Says one who coined the term and uses it here daily.

      btw asshole, I’ve never been a racist nor have I ever alluded to ANYTHING racist. Your “campaign” to attack me is now blindingly obvious. Meanwhile, go fuck yourself.

      01/11/17 8:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      Donald Trump on Wednesday morning angrily denounced news reports about potentially compromising information Russia has allegedly gathered about him, citing denials from the Kremlin that it has collected any such intelligence.

      The president-elect also charged via Twitter that his “crooked opponents” are trying to undermine his electoral victory. He accused the intelligence community of leaking the information to get in “one last shot at me,” saying, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

      DT, poor choice of words “last shot at me.” Don’t give them any ideas.

      Btw – “Are we living in Nazi Germany?” if I didn’t know better it would seem DT had a look-see at my screenplay “The 666 Code.”

      01/11/17 9:37 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      DT can’t complain about Fake News. He has been pushing the birther fake news for years and it paid off in the end.

      01/11/17 9:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      17

      Too bad public service has lost its patina.

      01/11/17 10:25 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      18

      Will someone tell Marco Rubio the U.S. commits War Crimes. Tell him it is from a source.

      01/11/17 10:30 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      19

      Pitchfork said……

      Ummmmmm…. A lot to prove EXACTLY what I was saying….

      As I quoted him

      bloodypitchfork on January 11, 2017 at 08:45 said:
      Mit said
      “An “influence campaign ” …… Its where people make crazy ass shit up to discredit, under- mine….. And … Attack….. Their target.”
      Says one who coined the term and uses it here daily.
      btw asshole, I’ve never been a racist nor have I ever alluded to ANYTHING racist. Your “campaign” to attack me is now blindingly obvious. Meanwhile, go fuck yourself.

      Thank you…. For proving my points…. So…. Clearly.

      And…. With such wonderful use of language.

      Ever notice how often you tell a variety of people to “fuck off”???

      But…. Its ok…. Because you told them too.

      Let me know how your therapy is going.

      PS.

      Thought you were ….. Done with me and this site?

      M

      01/11/17 10:31 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      20

      My question to Sen. Menendez… Has the U.S. or Israel, or others allies committed War Crimes?

      01/11/17 10:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      21

      I have two questions about this:

      1) For the intel agencies to divulge to the media they have proof Russian intel agencies have dirt on Trump — aren’t our intel exposing they either have a mole in the particular Russian intel office that is responsible for such work or that they are able to spy on that particular office — thus ALERTING the Russians, hey we know what office X is doing and allowing the Russians to plug that leak? I wont ask the obvious – why is our intel sharing this with the media

      2) The NY Times, which “coincidentally” is running the same story again on Trump as the Washington Post, notes in their article:

      The report was compiled mainly by a retired British intelligence operative who received information from Russian informants and others. It was **prepared for a Washington political and corporate research firm, and was paid for by Mr. Trump’s political rivals.**

      The asterisks are mine. Which Washington political and corporate research firm? Is this one that is a contractor for Defense or Intel? If so – how do they explain working for a political rival or are they really independent and these “political rivals” just like to have dirt on the inner workings of Russia’s intel offices on our own political candidates

      Moral of the story a la pre-Iraq invasion — Keep pounding the square peg into the round hole

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/world/europe/donald-trump-russia.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

      01/11/17 10:55 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      22

      Sources from the D.C. area tell a friend of a friend there may be Democrats taking laxatives in high doses and booking rooms at Trump Penn. Ave. to soil the rugs. I am waiting for the shitty videos to surface and will report. I may try to get a small vial of evidence to hold up and show you later. Truth happens.

      01/11/17 11:16 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      23

      “Pharma is getting away with murder” !

      01/11/17 11:23 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      24

      Sorry, Quote from D.T..

      01/11/17 11:24 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      25

      Profits to Treasury? !

      01/11/17 11:53 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      26

      Strange bedfellows: The funniest part of this whole sordid Golden Shower story is the Repugnican outrage that only NOW calls for the CIA to be disbanded because it is attempting a coup of the US.

      Welcome to the game, clows. Where the hell have you been?

      01/11/17 12:34 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      27

      MSM…Send in the Clowns (sources tell me).

      01/11/17 1:23 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      28

      On the live feed of Marco Rubio, there is an intern/staff member of his in the background. He is having sex with her. I am checking sources. Have a nice day.

      01/11/17 2:51 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      29

      Haven’t we seen this Trumped Up picture before?

      Trump lawyer Michael Cohen supposedly secretly traveled to Prague in August to meet with Russian officials. That was strongly denied by Cohen, who insisted he had never been to Prague in his life. Prague is the same place that foreign intelligence officials claimed, in 2001, was the site of a nonexistent meeting between Iraqi officials and 9/11 hijackers, which contributed to 70% of Americans believing, as late as the fall of 2003, that Saddam personally planned the 9/11 attack). Vice President Dick Cheney–“It’s been pretty well confirmed that Atta did go to Prague, and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in the Czech Republic last April, several months before the attack.”

      Diabolical Dick sure doesn’t want Hillarious to occupy the White House. So he waits until after the election…

      Golden Showers are right up Dick’s alley.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/06/cheney-hates-trump-but-endorses-him.ht

      01/11/17 2:53 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      30

      What does Sen. think of the AIPAC Lobby?!!! $$$$$ for his account?

      01/11/17 2:55 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      31

      Menendez.

      01/11/17 2:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      32

      Kyzi and Rich.

      Valid points, very valid…

      But….

      Not to bring up an old discussion about whether or not to listen to false information from Intel agencies, or to completely ignore/ not attend the briefings…

      I’m thinking that a complete rebuild and trashing of the existing “deep state” …. Puppet masters…..

      Would be a very good thing.

      I mean…. How many failures…. Mis- adventures….falsehood data… Plots… Etc…. Are necessary before even the media stops listening to them????

      Crap like this “pee the bed ” story…. All it does is destroy what little credibility they MIGHT have left.

      M

      01/11/17 3:53 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      33

      Dinner a week ago with friends who depise Trump and worship Hillary. She said her daughter was good with a telescopic sight and would assassinate Trump if she knew she could get away with it. I said that I despise Hillary as much as they despise Trump but I would never want Hillary assassinated. It showed me that Clinton supporters cannot handle losing and will try to sabotage Trump’s presidency. Shouldn’t we all be finding ways to deal with the results of the election and move on to positive agendas?

      01/11/17 5:48 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      34

      Mitch- the MSM might never regain any credibility. The USA is now wandering lost in the desert of fake news on a Biblical scale.

      01/11/17 5:51 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      35

      Mitch: I agree. I still recall the coverage of the period leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. These guys are the same sources most likely

      Rich: Bingo, Bingo, Bingo. It’s funny how Prague keeps popping up in intel conversations. Anytime I read something that says Prague confirms…get ready for an intel red herring again. Once upon a time, the intel folks in Prague were also under USSR operations

      01/11/17 5:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      36

      The Russian intel is probably having too good a laugh and thinking, well, that was easy ….

      01/11/17 5:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      37

      Kyzi,

      You’ve noticed that too?????……

      Interesting…. I kind of wonder.. If there really is a source…. IF……. But….. If they are Trying to get them killed.

      And I remember the run ups, in Both the Iraq wars…..

      Someday…. They might realize small scale wars never achieve the “war footing economy” that is needed to fix the economics of this nation….

      And they are actually going to HAVE to fix them sooner or later.

      M

      01/11/17 6:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      38

      John,

      First…. Agreed… Sadly…. But, agreed..

      Second…. You do know every presidential assassin was a liberal ?

      Kind of scary so much fear and hate.

      Bizzare part…. If Hillary had won….. Conservatives…. Would have laws against them… Soon.

      M

      01/11/17 6:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      39

      Rich,

      BRAVO!!!!!

      ( that’s what we said when we were at the Prague Symphony, in Prague )

      And…. Yep…. The driver told us all about the “secret meetings”…. Apparently it is “common ” knowledge there.

      And… Bet… If Trump did pee the bed….. He learned it from Devil Cheney.

      M

      01/11/17 6:35 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      40

      Mitch: “Someday…. They might realize small scale wars never achieve the “war footing economy” that is needed to fix the economics of this nation….

      And they are actually going to HAVE to fix them sooner or later.”

      That would require coming up with a real plan. These guys have been fumbling along like the New Englanders in “The Russians are coming, the Russians are Coming,” and not sure they know how to devise a useful plan or care about anyone not on their bank accounts

      01/11/17 9:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      41

      01/11/17 9:57 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      42

      Kyzi,

      Agreed.

      I never have figured out how these people can get so mis- wired.

      M

      01/11/17 10:52 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      43

      Mitch,
      “Someday…. They might realize small scale wars never achieve the “war footing economy” that is needed to fix the economics of this nation….”

      And so such preparations are being made. We are currently undertaking the largest buildup of troops and armament to Europe since the cold war era. It’s even been given an operational nickname, “Operation Atlantic Resolve”.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/biggest-shipment-american-tanks-germany-cold-war-russia-aggression-donald-trump-vladimir-putin-nato-a7515066.html

      Trump wants war with China and Iran (he talks incessantly about “building up our military” and the “China threat”; Kissinger is advising him on this, and the Clinton wing wants war with Russia and Iran. The idea is divide and conquer these countries one way or the other. The oligarchy wants war with someone, anyone, and they want a big one. Good for the money-machine, good for getting rid of “useless” populations that require jobs and feeding, good as a means to strip the assets of numerous countries simultaneously.

      I’m not going to be swayed into defending the carnival barker idiot Trump. He is just part of the whole game being played on the planet as the oligarchy takes over country after country and strips the commons.

      Neither he nor Clinton was acceptable if one is concerned about human life, but both were acceptable to the plutocracy. If Trump wasn’t useful to them, he wouldn’t have won the election. Period. I don’t give a shit if he goes, except that Pence is waiting in the wings, and he is even more dangerous, since he is way smarter and more devoted to his backwards causes than Trump. But there is no-one – NO-ONE – in Congress who cares one whit about the public, so it hardly matters who might take over if Trump is impeached or whatever. We, the public, have lost big time, and whether it was Trump or Clinton (or Kaine or Pence, should either of those two be taken out one way or the other), the plutocracy won. You might ask yourself how it happened that those two ended up being the only choices we had in the first place.

      What’s with all the “smart” people suddenly defending Trump, for God’s sake? I see nothing that indicates he will do less than ruin the country, giving it openly over to big business and bankers to strip as they will. His choices for cabinet and administrative positions makes that crystal clear. Just because Clinton would have been equally as odious doesn’t make Trump suddenly better than he actually is. Once again, we are being tricked into supporting one “side” or the other. Guess what? None of these assholes are on OUR side.

      This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, and the oligarchs who run the planet and this country in particular, ain’t fooling around. They want a war, and they want a big one. They are preparing for one. All this silly stuff about “secret info” on golden showers or business ties or whatever is simply distracting chaff thrown up into the wind while the reapers do their work unnoticed on the ground.

      01/12/17 6:23 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      44

      Teri,

      I’ll take the easy one first….. Pence……

      Pretty good life insurance policy…. Huh?

      And…..that was a slick move….. Get the deep “Christian” vote….. And a life insurance policy too boot.
      Its in peoples best interest to keep Trump alive….. Because Pence is a night mare.

      Iran…….. I have no idea what the hell about that place…. Couple years ago….. I would have had an answer…. Now since the nuke deal….. Hell if I know.
      Before the nuke deal….. A long time before the nuke deal…… Leave Sadamm in power….. That’s why the stayed mellow (sort of) for so long…
      More recent…… Let Israel solve them.

      Now…… It will take people far smarter and wiser than me to solve that mess.

      Iran’s leadership is as rabid as North Korea’s.

      China…… I think I know what’s up there…… China MUST have the US markets to export to…. MUST…..

      I think Trump is putting pressure on China….. Using….. Leverage….. To get them to solve North Korea….

      Aka…. “want your economy to continue…. Put a leash on your dog”

      It also displays a “don’t screw with me attitude”…. Which is usually helpful.

      Its a guess…. At this point….. But that’s what I would do.

      And….. Last…. But not least….. Trump takes office in a bit over a week….

      So…. Its not Trump doing any build up…… Yet….. Couple weeks…. Then we will see…..

      Right now…. Its Obama doing build ups…. Its other nations doing build ups….. Most because they are scared that the US is not going to keep funding their defence….. When they don’t pay a dime toward NATO.

      I do completely understand why Trump wants to build up our military here…..

      The US economy needs a jump start…. Big time….. Its been in the ICU for years….

      “shovel ready ” only exists in the military.

      All other enterprises in the US require start up time. Building infrastructure, administration…. Etc….

      Only the military is geared to accept massive enrollment…. Immediately….

      And that is called jobs.

      For the last few years… The unemployment numbers have been cooked…. Bigtime.

      Anyone with eyes can see that.

      Trump is looking at running a nation…. As a business.

      How that will work with “entitled persons”….. Hell if I know….

      How will that work with foreign affairs…. Again….. Hell if I know…

      Its never been done..

      I do know….. The cook the books…. Phrase it correctly crap of the last 8 don’t work.

      Two basic types of work. Private sector…. Government sector….

      Trump…. He’s private sector….. In private sector…… You have to get results.

      Government sector…….. Yeah….. We all know how that works…..

      Unless you can name one single entity with in the US federal government that does not need an overhaul. Any one…. Any where?????

      M

      01/12/17 8:15 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      45

      Real numbers on unemployment are 95 million not counted in data.

      01/12/17 8:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      46

      PS.

      Teri…..

      One other thing…..

      Because of the industry Trump is “convincing” to come back….stay….etc….(insert your own words)

      Carrier, dodge, ford, fiat….. Etc…. All big ticket items….

      He HAS to now create a market to sustain those industries…..

      Hence….. High paying jobs….

      That is the part I’m going to be really watching.

      IF he can do it….. IF…. Big fucking IF……I want to see how.

      And…. Raising minimum wage so is not going to cut it.

      I THINK I know how he’s going to try….. His statements on NASA was a hint.

      If he can pull it off….. I’m really looking forward to going back to school.

      M

      01/12/17 8:47 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      47

      Huh, Mitch, not sure expanding the military as a “jobs program” is a such a good way to go. For one thing, the military has basically one purpose, and it generally bodes ill for the civilian population. Plus, who the hell wants all the new jobs to be military rather than civilian? They get to tell their recruits where to live and how to live – not too conducive to anything but conformist group thinking. We don’t need more military, we need to end this war all the time bullshit and work on making real stuff rather than just blowing shit up all over the place.

      Yeah, 700 jobs at Carrier, and a couple of thousand at Ford saved…but Macy’s, Kmart, Walmart, Sears, Penney’s, CVS, Office Depot – all those stores are shutting locations all across the country. Macy’s is getting rid of 10,000 jobs all by itself. The Limited is dumping 4000 employees this year.

      The US only has war income, basically. 80% of our GDP is related to security or military. The companies that run their own pretend economy on the stock market don’t need Americans to be employed any more. But they do want that war income.

      01/12/17 9:54 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      48

      Teri,

      Do you really think the kids coming out of High School and college…. With no jobs waiting really care at this point?

      Besides…. Great way to figure out who’s nuts… And who’s not.

      I’m not saying it is a long term solution… But it is a hell of a band aid… To stop the bleeding of jobs.

      And… It will by time to create different jobs.

      And yes,…. The military has one job…. To help their fellow citizens…. Wars…. Yes…

      But also…. Natural disasters… Floods…hurricanes….
      Should have seen the Navy and the Coast Guard at Katrina.

      Just…. DAMN!!!!!!

      Ok…. So…. Just so I understand….

      Your blaming Trump for Walmart, CVS, etc????

      Ummmm…this is the 12th…… Not the 21st.

      Obama’s policies led to that…. Umm…. Not the guy that will be getting paid a dollar a year.

      M

      01/12/17 10:34 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      49

      Mr. Obama, “How do you sleep” after making your Tuesday Kill List? Imagine John Lennon 1971. Hope…

      01/12/17 1:02 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      50

      Will the DNC be investigated?

      01/12/17 1:18 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      51

      Mathis- Trump’s choice to head the Pentagon says Russia is trying to break NATO. Huh? I thought it was the USA and NATO who were trying to break Russia. I don’t know what to think now. I’d better get on the phone with Victoria Nuland to get the real story.

      01/12/17 2:16 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      52

      Teri- sad but true. The MICC and Pentagon beribboned gangsters are dependent upon scared compliant taxpayers to stay in business. As long as we blindly accept their “protection racket” and believe their scare tactics they’ll be fine. Americans are basically cowards and will not call the MICC’s bluff. Their shake down scheme is foolproof with a cowardly citizenship.

      01/12/17 2:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      53

      Re Teri and Mitch’s comments, it’s fine to support jobs for the military and right to do so – but gotta have civilians employed. If we aren’t working, at some point – we can’t pay for the health care and benefits the military receive. It’s just not sustainable.

      If the civilians in this country crash, the military folks will too

      And it’s one thing to have jobs for kids coming out of college. Again that’s great – but can’t ignore half the country – or is it more like 70% of the country? These are the people who really feel left out o fthe Democratic obsession with millenials – usually meaning their own millenial kids and screw those who didn’t vote for Clinton but that other guy with a shock of white hair hailing from strange new england state

      The jobs have to be there and inclusive, or further down the drain we all go

      01/12/17 2:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      54

      Hey Kyzi,

      I am in no way its a permanent solution… Its a band aid. A big one.. But still a band aid.

      It is also a hell of a good way to learn job skills ( which is something else that was lost in the war on Unions… Training).. And it teaches Responsiblility… Which I’m sure we all agree is something valuable… And needed in the majority of the younger generation.

      But… I’m Not saying its a permanent solution.

      What I’m hoping for… Hoping… Praying… For….is fot Trump to teach me something.

      I have been very successful at business, because I see the need… And fill the void.

      Trump…

      He’s keeping the industry…. Big ticket things…

      Now…. He HAS to have a way for people to be able to gave high paying jobs to afford the big ticket items.

      And that is the part I don’t see.

      I see the void…. But.. The hell if I know how to fill it.

      And I’m hoping he takes me to school to learn me.

      Does Trump have flaws???….. Duh…..big ones… ( less than Hillary though. :- p. )

      However….. He took a million…. And turned it into Billions.

      Pretty decent accomplishment.

      So…. If a businessman who can do that, can’t fix the economy in the US….

      Then my suggestion would be…. Invest in shotguns and canned goods….

      Because, if he can’t fix the economy…. We will ve fighting over who gets to eat the cat.

      Arguing over the fine morality points of a person is fine.. And needed….

      But… One thing I have learned over time….

      Morals are the first thing to disappear when people are hungry.

      Then the booze…

      Then the food…

      Then the….

      M

      01/12/17 3:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      55

      PS.

      Sorry for the spelling….nope officer….I was Not typing a response while driving….

      That be illegal. So nope… Not me… Not me.

      M

      01/12/17 3:50 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      56

      “However….. He took a million…. And turned it into Billions.”

      Yeah, I know alot of US voters think this.

      But

      The last time I came across this sentiment, I lived in a central asian country and this was a common sentiment people had about their dictator — he was wealthy, he sure knew how to make more wealth — at some point, he would have enough and would remember his citizenry and help them get rich, too.

      They are still waiting for Godot while the Taliban are breathing down their necks

      01/12/17 4:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      57

      And they have to pay more money to gain a job. No “starting fee”, no work

      01/12/17 4:40 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      58

      Better hurry, Obama is handing out the Medal of Freedom Award to those who trash Trump. Don’t think you can sit on the fence and get that impressive recognition. Biden waited decades for one but when he trashed Trump he jumped the line. Smart guy.

      01/12/17 4:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      59

      Kyzi,

      Know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a cat…. Who verified.

      John,

      Not the award I would be looking for.

      Spent a lifetime avoiding the public spotlight.

      But…. I do accept cash awards.

      M

      01/12/17 6:09 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      60

      So…..

      Speaking of flawed candidates…. This one would have been a truly wonderful choice for president.

      http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/11/hillary-clinton-server-continues-to-haunt-her/

      M

      01/12/17 6:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      61

      In Spy vs Spy the enemy (read: suckers are US):

      BERNIE SANDERS INTRODUCED a very simple symbolic amendment Wednesday night, urging the federal government to allow Americans to purchase pharmaceutical drugs from Canada, where they are considerably cheaper. Such unrestricted drug importation is currently prohibited by law.

      The policy has widespread support among Americans: one Kaiser poll taken in 2015 found that 72 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing for importation. President-elect Donald Trump also campaigned on a promise to allow for importation.

      The Senate voted down the amendment 52-46, with two senators not voting. Unusually, the vote was not purely along party lines: 13 Republicans joined Sanders and a majority of Democrats in supporting the amendment, while 13 Democrats and a majority of Republicans opposed it.

      There can be only one…party.

      01/12/17 8:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      62

      Rich,

      And people are worried about politics’s????

      You have hit on a REAL problem that MUST be faced….. Far sooner than later.

      M

      01/12/17 8:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      63

      I just can’t wait to see how Trump is blamed for this crap.

      8 days to go….. Thinking a lot of people better start Praying we don’t end up in World War Three before the 20th.

      Apparently US armored divisons are on the move to the same area.

      Just…… Stupid.

      EXPRESS UK

      Vladimir Putin’s spokesman condemned the arrival of more than 3,000 soldiers in Poland, claiming the move is a threat to Moscow’s security.

      The enforcement, sanctioned by Barack Obama, comes amid growing fears the decision to send US tanks to Eastern borders to deter any Russian threat could in fact trigger an all-out global war.

      Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin’s spokesman, said the move “threatens our interests and security”.

      He told the BBC: “It’s a third country that is building up its military presence on our borders in Europe. It isn’t even a European country.”

      US and Polish forces will participate in large “massing” exercises in Poland at the end of the month.

      NATO has recently stepped up its plans to deploy thousands more troops to the Russian border as Putin continues to increase his nation’s preparations for war.

      01/12/17 10:44 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      64

      More stuff to blame on Trump.

      This is just stupid…. Intentionally stupid.

      Thousands of US troops on Russia’s doorstep in Poland deployment

      Jan 12, 2017

      Thousands of U.S. troops crept up on Russia’s doorstep Thursday, rolling into Poland amid a slew of unanswered questions about their future in the region.

      It marked the first deployment of armored brigade combat teams and armor to Europe after a long drawdown from the continent. For decades, Poland had asked for help in keeping Moscow at bay, but at the same time, President-elect Donald Trump has signaled he could try to pursue a friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      Still, the president-elect said Wednesday nothing was off the table. “I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t.”

      Russia clearly wasn’t happy with the deployment. “We perceive it as a threat,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “These actions threaten our interests, our security, especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders.”

      Moscow also announced it deployed anti-aircraft missile systems around the city. Russia had already been using the s-400 Triumph air defense system, capable of hitting moving targets including missiles and planes, in Syria, The Sun reported.

      Soldiers in camouflage with tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland on Thursday morning from Germany and headed for Zagan, their planned base. Poland’s prime minister and defense minister said they would attend official ceremonies Saturday celebrating the Americans’ arrival.

      The deployment “symbolizes a turn in our efforts on this front, and is an important part of our continued effort to deter Russian aggression and maintain a free Europe,” U.S. European Command spokeswoman Meghan Henderson responded.

      U.S. and other Western nations have carried out exercises on NATO’s eastern flank, but this deployment — which includes around 3,500 U.S. troops — marks the first-ever continuous deployment to the region by a NATO ally. It represents a commitment by President Barack Obama to protect a region that became deeply nervous when Russia stormed Ukraine and took over Crimea in 2014, and then began backing rebels in Ukraine’s east.

      The deployment was “separate yet complementary to NATO’s deterrence and defense activities,” Henderson added.

      Many people in Poland said they still felt betrayed by Obama’s own “reset” with Russia early on in his administration, which involved abandoning plans for a major U.S. missile defense system in Poland and replacing it with plans for a less ambitious system.

      Many U.S. soldiers said they were optimistic. “Hopefully we can get right into training, get some range time in and have some fun,” Spc. Kyle Smith, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, told Stars and Stripes.

      01/12/17 11:55 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      65

      Mitch,

      You must not have read the link I provided in one of my comments above:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/biggest-shipment-american-tanks-germany-cold-war-russia-aggression-donald-trump-vladimir-putin-nato-a7515066.html

      We are sending tanks and other armament as well as troops. We’ve been gradually encroaching on Russia’s borders – completely overturning our agreements with them – for the past couple of years. This is some serious shit. So you want people to have to enlist as a jobs program? They’ll end up right on the front lines in a nuclear war that is started for no reason other than the US can’t stop invading countries to steal their shit. Russia has not threatened the US or the Eurozone (and they did not “invade” Ukraine or “take” Crimea, either). As a matter of fact, Russia under Putin is trying to enter the capitalist markets; he must be retarded to look at what capitalism has done to countries like the EU countries and the US and still think it’s the way to go. Nonetheless, Putin is looking for trading partners, not war. Even some member countries of the EU recognize that they are being hurt by joining in the US sanctions against Russia and are not signing on to the latest Obama sanctions. (Russia supplies a lot of gas, oil, and food products to the EU.)

      But you notice the comment at the end of the article you quoted above? The US has brainwashed some poor saps into thinking a war with a nuclear super-power will be “fun”. [“Many U.S. soldiers said they were optimistic. ‘Hopefully we can get right into training, get some range time in and have some fun,’ Spc. Kyle Smith, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, told Stars and Stripes.”]

      I’m here to say: Fuck that shit. I don’t want to die for this stupid MIC plan of churning money by starting wars, and I live too close to DC to think I wouldn’t be affected if a nuke hits DC, nor do I want my kids to be forced to enlist when the PTB want more bodies to fight their fucking wars.

      No-one blames Trump for this. Yet. Let’s see if he keeps the troops and tanks there, pulls them out, or escalates the situation. He’s making noises like he is starting to go along with the agenda, so that doesn’t bode well.

      And, also, I did not blame Trump for the stores that are closing and/or laying off people. Nowhere in my comment did I blame Trump. You are so defensive of him that you read something into what I wrote that just wasn’t there.

      I was trying to point out that his strong-arming one or two companies into keeping a few hundred jobs in the US is not going to stop the bleeding off that continues all over the country. And by the way, if anyone noticed the details, he “saved” those jobs the same way Obama “saved” the auto industry: the workers had to give up some pay and a lot of benefits to keep their jobs. In the auto bailout, all the employees who had been there long enough to have any kind of decent salaries were laid off and new workers were brought in at much lower pay and few, if any, benefits.

      Here in the US, the business plan is to lower workers’ expectations until we’re all working for the same wages that the companies pay their workers in Malaysia or Vietnam, OR they can join the military and fight in our fucking illegal wars. That’s it. That’s the plan.

      It gripes my butt that you seem to think it’s a good plan.

      01/13/17 4:24 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      66

      Trump’s pick for Sec. Defense:
      ********************
      General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, used his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday to outline an aggressive war policy, designate Russia and China as enemies and call for a dramatic expansion of military spending, including the “modernization” of nuclear weapons and expansion of cyberwarfare.

      All of those present—Democrats and Republicans alike—heaped praise on Mattis during the three-and-one-half hour hearing. Not a single senator asked the nominee how he might scale down US wars, which are currently raging in several countries. Instead, senators vied with each other in appealing to Mattis to identify threats to “national security” that will be immediately confronted by the Trump administration.

      No senator, including the supposedly “left” Democrat Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, asked the retired Marine General about his record in the occupation of Iraq, where he was implicated in war crimes. Mattis led the savage Marine counteroffensive that retook the Iraqi city of Fallujah in December 2004, and he ordered an air strike that year against a wedding party in which over 40 civilians were killed. Nor was he challenged about a public speech he made in which he stated it was “fun” to kill some people.

      Until Thursday, Mattis was not legally eligible to be defense secretary. Federal law prevents selecting any individual who has been out of the military for less than seven years, a rule designed to protect the democratic principle of military subordination to the elected civilian government. Immediately after the hearing, the Armed Services Committee voted 24-3 to waive the law for Mattis, who retired from active command only three years ago, after which he assumed a seat on the corporate board of defense contracting giant General Dynamics. The US Senate quickly followed, voting 81-17 in favor of the waiver.

      In a particularly ominous exchange during the hearing, Mattis was asked by the committee chairman, the Republican warmonger John McCain, whether or not he thought the “world order” was under its greatest strain in 70 years. Mattis responded, “I think it’s under the biggest attacks since World War II. And that’s from Russia, from terrorist groups and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.” Later in the hearing, Mattis said, “America has global responsibilities, and it is not to our advantage to leave any of those areas to the world absent from our efforts.”

      There will be no end to these global wars, the senators’ questions and Mattis’ answers made clear. The US will “be engaged in global conflict for the foreseeable future,” McCain declared. “Believing otherwise is wishful thinking… Hard power matters, having it, threatening it, leveraging for diplomacy and at times using it.”

      Though he was at pains to stress the importance of US alliances, especially NATO, Mattis, like McCain, embraced military unilateralism. The nominee said that the US has only “two fundamental powers,” one of which he called “the power of intimidation.” Necessary for this “intimidation” of other nations is for the US military to be “the top in its game in a competition where second place is last place.” […]

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/01/13/matt-j13.html
      **********************************

      You ought to read the entire article. This is Trump’s pick. This is on him. And once he’s confirmed, it’s on the entire Congress as well.

      We are in deep shit.

      01/13/17 5:36 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      67

      Teri,

      I’m running late…. But the fast, dirty response…
      You said…

      ” Here in the US, the business plan is to lower workers’ expectations until we’re all working for the same wages that the companies pay their workers in Malaysia or Vietnam, OR they can join the military and fight in our fucking illegal wars. That’s it. That’s the plan. ”

      I don’t think it is anymore….that was my point before.

      Trump is saving “big ticket items”…..

      He now has to create a viable market to afford them. (this is the part I don’t see how he can do it , and hoping to watch and learn) The items he convincing… Are popular in the US.

      Not Europe.

      So…. Hence…. You can’t pay people a dollar a day to have a market. Doesn’t work.

      The military….

      Ok… As you have said before…. I get it.

      You Hate the military.

      I think we as a nation owe them beyond measure.

      You know, …. The military now…. Its not your grandfathers military.

      Every single person in the military is a highly trained,specialist… And very special individual….

      They take jobs, they can’t quit….. And….. Can’t bitch openly about.

      They deserve not only respect….. But…. We the people…Owe it to them.

      Also…… I’m not blind….. I’m just willing to give Trump a chance.

      Having politicians in charge has not worked…. That is what has gotten everything so sideways, fucked up.

      You said before…. Something to the effect that your socialist…..

      But…. You dislike Clinton…. Hate Trump…..

      So…,,,, I have to ask……a couple of things…

      One……. You do realize.. Malaysia…… That’s Socialism at its finest.

      Second……

      How would you try to fix it ??????

      M

      01/13/17 8:23 AM | Comment Link

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