Congressional GOP and Fox News Are Worse Than Trump

As I mentioned in the other thread, in a way, I think the Congressional GOP and conservative media outlets (including radio pundits) that either actively enable Trump or largely stand by silently are actually worse than Trump. I actually believe that if they vigorously and vocally opposed Trump, it could actually be a kind of proud moment in our history (or at least mitigate the way Trump has embarrassed and disgraced us), and it could serve as a big blow to authoritarian regimes like Russia. But, alas, something close to the opposite has happened. Like the other thread, I’m going to use this thread as a collection of evidence for this claim. Here’s one I saw today from Fox News’s Sean Hannity:

Edit (1/30/2018)

Edit (2/8/2018)

This is how bad it’s gotten:

(3/5/2018)

3/12/2018

That House GOP in HPSCI putting an end to Russia investigation soon surprises me. I don’t think it would be so fast. The whole thing, especially with Devin Nunes’s antics have been a joke. And Paul Ryan seemed to be OK with all of this. GOP is awful.

Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D) response:

3/20/2018

Colonel Ralph Peters, a commentator on Fox News, has written a damning letter, explaining why he will no longer be working at the outlet. I highly recommend reading it.

Some excerpts:

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. When prime-time hosts–who have never served our country in any capacity–dismiss facts and empirical reality to launch profoundly dishonest assaults on the FBI, the Justice Department, the courts, the intelligence community (in which I served) and, not least, a model public servant and genuine war hero such as Robert Mueller–all the while scaremongering with lurid warnings of “deep-state” machinations– I cannot be part of the same organization, even at a remove. To me, Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.

As a Russia analyst for many years, it also has appalled me that hosts who made their reputations as super-patriots and who, justifiably, savaged President Obama for his duplicitous folly with Putin, now advance Putin’s agenda by making light of Russian penetration of our elections and the Trump campaign. Despite increasingly pathetic denials, it turns out that the “nothing-burger” has been covered with Russian dressing all along. And by the way: As an intelligence professional, I can tell you that the Steele dossier rings true–that’s how the Russians do things. The result is that we have an American president who is terrified of his counterpart in Moscow.

(emphasis added)

3/31/2018

4/5/2018

Not sure if this is entirely relevant, but I thought some of the comments were interesting.

4/10/2018

This exchange makes me want to pull my hair out:

I would be really surprised if he’s the only one that feels this way. (Some of Senator Corker’s public statements strongly suggests he’d be at least one other person.) If many Republicans feel this same, here’s one thing that drives me crazy: You have all this talk about the Deep State opposing Trump, you have Trump saying the media is “fake news,” you have Fox News and other conservative pundits pushing this propaganda–and the truth is that many Congressional Republicans actually think Trump is totally unfit, and possibly a danger to the country! If many Congressional Republicans believe Trump is totally unfit, it weakens the claim that the liberal media, “deep state,” or Democrats just hate Trump and are out to get him. But the congressional Republicans who think Trump is unfit allows these narratives to have life, and in my view they jeopardize the republic, and the rule of law.

4/11/2018

Here’s more of the conversation with the GOP Congressman above.

Also, this is irresponsible and reprehensible:

Edit

I’m not sure how Ryan will feel about how he handled himself as Speaker, especially during Trump Presidency, but a part of me genuinely feels sorry for him. If I were in his position and looked back on my time with Trump, I’m not sure I could live comfortably with myself. I can imagine it would be awful.

4/16/2018

4/17/2018

Just leaving this here. Even if Trump doesn’t fire Mueller (or Rosenstein), that McConnell says he woudl be “shocked” if Trump fires Mueller shows poor judgment on his part.

Romantic Comedies

We have a romantic comedies post in the old site.  I’ll meld the content with this when I get a chance.

I recently re-did my 10 favorite romantic comedies list.  Eight of the films remain from the list ten years (or so) ago, but the order has changed.  I’ve moved Notting Hill to the top of the list and dropped Moonstruck down from number 1.

I’m thinking of revisiting the films on this list and some of the also-rans.  It seems to me that there are worse ways to spend a few months watching movies than to immerse myself in a particular genre I love.

Continue reading “Romantic Comedies”

2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees

I don’t really have much to say–really, I’m just starting this because I wanted to bring up one question, and there’s no other appropriate thread: Is Jim Thome really better than Edgar Martinez? Thome played for kinda long and hit a lot of home runs, right? Still, didn’t Edgar play for a long time, too; and, to me, he was a hitting machine. I feel like he’s underrated. (The other picks seem reasonable to me.)

A Scientific Approach to Journalism That Can Mitigate Partisanship

One of the things that stands out for me during the Trump presidency is the number of hypotheses or narratives relating to Trump and the news involving him, most notably the Trump-Russia story.  By narratives, I mean the construction of a story outline that will help explain events, and also place the key people in roles–all of which provide a context that provides meaning and explicates the people and events. For example, one narrative has Trump as someone the Russians manipulated via blackmail, using Trump to achieve their objectives, including weakening the U.S. Another narrative places Trump as a great business man and deal-maker, who has made enemies of the elite out of resentment that Trump has proven them wrong. The Russia story is merely sour grapes.

Now, my sense is that all of these narratives are driven by some combination of the individual’s political biases as well as their ability to objectively perceive and analyze the world. (By the way, the same applies to me and the running hypotheses I have formed.) Which individuals and narratives stem primarily from the latter? Which ones do facts and logic support the most? Which ones are baseless and unreasonable, so much so that we could dismiss them? The answers aren’t clear or easy to answer. Because of that, judging these narratives and assessing the credibility of the individuals that embrace them can be really difficult. The result can be confusion and a sense of being lost in a sea of information. This is especially true for those not tracking the various stories on a regular basis, seeking a variety of sources.

In this thread, I’d like to suggest a solution to this as well as present the benefits for doing so. Continue reading “A Scientific Approach to Journalism That Can Mitigate Partisanship”

A Discussion About Political Christianity Vs. Religious Christianity

In this thread, I want to share my thoughts on how I understand the type of data below about evangelical Christians. (From NPR, 10/23/2016::

In 2011, 30 percent of white evangelicals said that “an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life.” Now (2016), 72 percent say so — a far bigger swing than other religious groups the poll studied.

To understand what’s going on here, I think breaking Christianity into two  forms –political and spiritual–is the most useful way to explain this.  Continue reading “A Discussion About Political Christianity Vs. Religious Christianity”

2017 NFL: General Thread

Thoughts on Mike Vrabel as New Titans Coach

I know little about Vrabel, but the fact that he’s a former DC makes it harder for me to get excited–namely because I’m fixated on developing Mariota. My hope is that Vrabel is good leader, organizer, excels with communicating and working with people, and will hire a good OC. Really, I think a lot comes down to who he hires and the system they’ll put in place. I was leaning toward an a really good west coast OC, because I think Mariota needs to work on throwing with his feet (and I suspect this will help with accuracy, especially on the deep passes). But I don’t care what system he plays in, as long as he improves his footwork. Having said that, I could see Mariota thriving in a spread-based system, which might not really help his footwork. I have mixed feelings about that. My preference is he plays in a system/for a coach that works on his footwork.

Another reason I’m lukewarm on Vrabel is that he doesn’t strike me as a great DC. But as I alluded to earlier, I don’t think he needs to be a great coordinator to be a really good head coach, assuming he brings in the right people.