Dems coordinated with White House during Clinton Impeachment

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Vociferous, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    80% of the world believes in baseless nonexistent supernatural bullcrap because a pedophile in robes told them to do so when they were 5, and some of them were also threatened with corporal punishment if they ever questioned it. So if Mr. McConnell decides not to let key witnesses testify against Trump because a magical pony named Buddha told him not to allow it, would that be ok with you?

    If the majority of the American people believe someone else should be majority leader in the senate, can they force him out without support from the unwashed rednecks in his own constituency?

    Learn about democracy.

    So when a bunch of hillybilly white trash Trump voters complain that they can't find decent paying jerbs turning screws and banging nails, do you tell them it's their own fault for being retarded talentless simpletons and call for more immigrants to replace them?

    Do you feel it should be acceptable and legal to pay someone less than what it costs for them to live so they can keep doing the job? Who do you feel should be obliged to make up the difference? Or if you support allowing people to starve and die from lack of adequate salaries and healthcare, do you support their right to be voluntarily euthanized so they don't have to die like that?

    So you're saying that corporate profit margins in America are so tight that any raise in wages will collapse the country? Would Jeff Bezos be forced to move his offices into a corrugated tin shack? Trump's supporters want to ban the illegal immigrants who trim your bushes and bake your burritos, are you opposed to such a ban?

    He's not jealous of anything, he's just annoyed to see theocrats such as yourself promoting hypocrisy and ruining what used to be a very prosperous and promising democracy.
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  3. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    No, 80% of the world is not Catholic.
    The whole impeachment is a complete farce anyway, so I don't care either way. Dismiss the obvious partisan Dem nonsense or have witness reciprocity and pull most the Dems off the primary campaign trail. Win, win. The result will be the same either way. Trump not ousted and his approval rating not appreciably hurt.
    Again, McConnell doesn't serve the whole country, and only the majority party, Reps, can vote to remove the Senate majority leader.
    The US is not a democracy. Read the Constitution.
    Why on earth would I do that? I'm for citizens getting jobs, not immigrants. If the job market is competitive enough, it becomes worthwhile to train employees.
    It is acceptable to pay people what their skills are actually worth in the market and what they voluntarily agree to. No one is obliged to make up the difference of your own bad choices in life. In a country where the poorest are richer than most of the world, you starving is your own fault. And emergency rooms are required by law to provide care, even if people do not take minimal care of themselves (diet, exercise, etc.). No one can stop someone determined to kill themselves, so why would anyone rope someone else into that moral quandary? But you'd first have to show me significant stats on the poor wanting to die, for that to be anything but an empty red herring.
    No one said anything about collapsing the country. A rise in consumer costs is completely manageable, especially when our economy is having the longest period of growth and lowest minority unemployment in history, record low unemployment in general, etc.. I trim my own bushes and make my own burritos. No loss there, and those who needs such things can usually afford to either forego them or pay a competitive wage. Illegal immigration is already illegal.
    The US is more prosperous than it's been for decades. Income inequality is just jealousy of what someone else has in lieu of appreciating how much better you're doing yourself. But jealous is how Dems get votes.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Well pointed; I think I picked it up from a search page while looking around, but it also turns out my error was only to your benefit insofar as at least you get to complain. The Independent Sentinel allegedly relies on one author to provide over twenty-five thousand articles in eight years. Meanwhile, other content creators are tinfoil artists with, say, forty articles to their name, like the "humanitarian hoax" author.

    Per Columbia Journalism Review, last month:

    An increasingly popular tactic challenges conventional wisdom on the spread of electoral disinformation: the creation of partisan outlets masquerading as local news organizations. An investigation by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School has discovered at least 450 websites in a network of local and business news organizations, each distributing thousands of algorithmically generated articles and a smaller number of reported stories. Of the 450 sites we discovered, at least 189 were set up as local news networks across ten states within the last twelve months by an organization called Metric Media.

    Titles like the East Michigan News, Hickory Sun, and Grand Canyon Times have appeared on the web ahead of the 2020 election. These networks of sites can be used in a variety of ways: as 'stage setting' for events, focusing attention on issues such as voter fraud and energy pricing, providing the appearance of neutrality for partisan issues, or to gather data from users that can then be used for political targeting.


    And via the one and only Twitter, an encounter with one of these sites ten months ago, noticed because it turned up in a Google News search↱. Comparatively, the Independent Sentinel has a few apparent real authors, including the tinfoiler with seventy-eight articles, but has mostly recycled the same occasional articles for the last couple years. Also, there is the historian with three hundred seventy-two articles in six and a half years, who knows the "Battle Hymn of the Republic", and "John Brown's Body", but refuses to write the title, "Gettysburg Address", referring to it as Lincoln's "famous 'Four score and seven years ago …' address in Pennsylvania dedicating the Gettysburg battlefield"↱, and even recalls the trivia about windy Edward Everett, whose name is generally more important to white supremacists than anyone else; Everett, a career politician, struck controversy, early on, trying to parse a line between slavery and abolition, and his later support for Lincoln and the Union seemed largely a technical matter of principle, so at least he had some. But the point of noting that is to observe the target demographic of Independent Sentinel, LLC. And, let's face it, that author, Dianne Hermann↱ has a problem with who is or isn't allowed to say, nigger, and we ought not be surprised that the "accomplished editor, and writer"↱ whose résumé is not exactly blazingly apparent when we go looking for it, echoes what we've all come to recognize as the typical white-supremacist failure to recognize the basic difference between Paula Deen and Mark Fuhrman, to the one, and, "A black Rap group", who, "named themselves NWA, the WA standing for 'With Attitude'. You already know what the N stands for." Ah, the poor famous, whose lifetime of discrimination can be summed up by the simple appeal to emotion, "Can one word ruin your life?" And she is joined by a Long Island Republican, Jim Soviero↱, who, among his three hundred forty-two posts over seven-plus years, wants to carry a white supremacist tantrum about the word, lynch. They also feature twenty-seven contributions over the course of five years from Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, whose political organization opposes pretty much any criticism of Israel while pretending to not take a position on Israeli government policies present or past.

    That last dovetails nicely with the Sentinel's target, which includes evangelical Dominionists, many of whom don't necessarily even know the word, "Dominionism", nor the term, premillennial dispensationalism, which in turn needs Israel to hold Jerusalem exclusively in order to bring about Armageddon; or, as Bill Maher bluntly explained in 2003, "when Jesus comes back down, the Jews have a job to do, which is, of course, to die".

    Apparently founded in 2011, the Independent Sentinel reads much like a content farm. The thought of one author producing in excess of eight articles a day for nearly nine years ought to be some sort of clue.


    I should probably take the moment to disclaim that I have strange experience with what has become known as "fake news" for a while, now, having to do with a software firm in my acquaintance that appears to be in the business; it's just a coincidence of life. I can't say they have anything to do with, say, the Independent Sentinel, or the Milbank Monitor (linked above, via Twitter), but it's not like the industry is subtle.


    Consider a recent article from the tireless Maura Dowling↱ of the Independent Sentinel:

    The Democrats' top candidate, Joe Biden, who often doesn't know what state he is campaigning in, took credit for Plan Colombia while claiming millions of Venezuelans are crossing into Bolivia, destabilizing the country.

    He made his comments to The Des Moines Register.

    Bolivia is hundreds of miles away, 1655 miles to be exact. Starving Venezuelans aren't traveling to Bolivia, they go to Colombia and Brazil. Those who have money come to the U.S.

    Dowling, the Independent Sentinel's publisher, explains on the about page, "We research and are as factual as possible and provide links to sources though commentary is commentary." This is an important point, considering the evidence she provides is a GOP War Room video of the Register interview that actually wrecks her punch line, and even the little map she made.

    Now, the article you provided, about the Clinton impeachment↱, does in fact link out to its news source, but FOX News is known for similar manners of sleight; we can measure Dowling's assessment according to, "Democrats don't want Senator McConnell to use the same standards they used in 1999." History will show just how accurate such statements are. Perhaps we might have asked, What does Dowling mean by, "the same standards"? Honestly, they've been at this nearly nine years? This version of rightist blog content is nearly nostalgic.

    But, of course in the time since you posted that, Mitch McConnell has blown the '99 standards to dust because they are too dangerous to President Trump.


    Columbia Journalism Review has something to say about your media assessment:

    Amateur attempts at such tools already exist, and have found plenty of fans. Google "media bias," and you'll find Media Bias/Fact Check, run by armchair media analyst Dave Van Zandt. The site's methodology is simple: Van Zandt and his team rate each outlet from 0 to 10 on the categories of biased wording and headlines, factuality and sourcing, story choices ("does the source report news from both sides"), and political affiliation.

    A similar effort is "The Media Bias Chart," or simply, "The Chart." Created by Colorado patent attorney Vanessa Otero, the chart has gone through several methodological iterations, but currently is based on her evaluation of outlets' stories on dimensions of veracity, fairness, and expression.

    Both efforts suffer from the very problem they're trying to address: Their subjective assessments leave room for human biases, or even simple inconsistencies, to creep in.


    And, really, it ought to be evident, this time: "We also rate them Mostly Factual for reporting, rather than High due to the occasional use of sources that have failed fact checks in the past."

    That's not even a buried lede: The use of unreliable sources is and always has been ubiquitous in rightist bloggery; but to call it "reporting"? The site's founder and publisher makes her point explicitly: "We research and are as factual as possible and provide links to sources though commentary is commentary." What the Independent Sentinel provides is not reportage, but commentary.

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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Even still:

    In review, the Independent Sentinel does not produce original news stories, but rather summarizes and opines news stories from other sources. Headlines and articles frequently use emotional loaded wording such as this: Pelosi shamelessly claims Schiff's parody were the "President's words".

    (van Zandt↱)

    The Independent Sentinel is a tinfoil propaganda site, which, in turn, is what it is. Treating it as news? Well, that's the thing. It's true, your neighbors have no reason to expect you can tell the difference.


    There is a side rant that goes here, about a different part of conservatism in politics and outcomes, which is what happens when we cut enough corners. It is so routine, now, that we have elected its president. Indeed, eldest son Don, Jr., made the point with a recent photograph of himself reading his own book. Paying someone who actually knew how to take the picture would have either forestalled the image, entirely, or at least, taken a moment to make sure it wasn't a complete disaster. But that's what we're down to; meanwhile, whenever I drive out to my father's place, I pass through this stretch of state highway where a number of signs were painted wrong, but just barely; they hired away from the old system at one point, when optimization and privatization were higher political priorities, and found someone to do it precisely wrong. In between that few weeks ago and a misty but enduring once upon a couple decades past, though, yes, there is much we can say about this part of economics, finance, and governance.


    We're two cycles since "unskewed polls"; I can remember puzzling over conservative epistemic closure. The Independent Sentinel is part of that movement period, and, sure, we get the basic fact that alternative narratives exist. But we might consider a predecessor to the Trump-era assertion of alternative facts, and while I usually pick on appeals about sincerely held beliefs, this time we can reach back to the last century to questions of revisionism. Are you ready, because the equivocation really was this straightforward: Liberals were worried about the revisionism of Holocaust denial; conservatives were upset about the revisionism of Columbus Day.

    We are generally familiar with Holocaust denial revisionism: Throw this out, revise that downward, make up something else entirely for this other part. What was its evil leftward equivalence? Apparently, acknowledging the primary source record was inappropriate revisionism of history. Yes, really. We still hear about it, but at least these days more and more communities are ditching Columbus Day.

    More to the point, though, it was always a bogus equivocation. Conspiracism in lieu of history, to the one; attending verifiable history instead of supremacist-nationalist make-believe, to the other. These years later, it seems clear they really can't tell the difference.

    Moreover, the question of alternative narratives is not presently any sort of subtlety or complexity. This isn't like the obsessed, nitpicking fantasies by which someone does something to someone else, but it's not wrong because the other person should have something something and then something else and it was all just a big misunderstanding except for those horrible feminists and liberals who won't let men be men, and are so hypocritical they won't tell a black person to not say nigger. That is, it's not the usual overinvestment in parsing desperately after justification.

    Did it happen? Yes. Did he do it? Yes. How do we know? He confessed—well, boasted—and handed us the evidence of his guilt. What are we going to do about it? Wait, what do you mean, "do about it"?


    There is a reason conservatives are flinging so much excrement at the wall, and no, it's not just because they get off on it. Okay, so there are reasons.

    But the only actual argument they have is the one Donald Trump has put up, that it isn't an impeachable offense. That's it.

    And the conservative shitstorm is down to making stuff up, and investing hope in the idea that the average American can't give them university-grade answer to their random assertions. Whether it's that the investigation wasn't like a courtroom trial, or that impeachment isn't like a trial because it's all political, or something about the Chief Justice that makes his very presence utterly extraneous, simply making stuff up and hoping nobody can figure out what it means clearly enough to actually find the answer, there is a reason this is what it comes to, and that does not entirely fail to make a point. Conservatives are flinging so much excrement, right now, because it's all they have, all they ever really made.


    As it is, the underlying pretense of the thread is not only a false equivalence, but rendered invalid by McConnell's resolution describing trial rules. Consider the two points of coordination listed in your Sentinel article: An attorney "pre-arranged secret signals with Democratic leadership to let them know when he wanted to rebut anything", and, "Daschle recruited 'a crew of Democratic lawyers to help puncture holes in the [pro-impeachment] case'". That latter isn't even a full quote from a book by a reporter who helped push Clinton's impeachment, and, let's be clear, describes an impeachment standard that, similarly applied, would have impeached Donald Trump for his lurid sexual associations and efforts to buy off the women he had affairs with.

    Communicating the need to rebut isn't exactly scandalous; maybe Bill should have wagged his dog, instead. And asking obvious questions about political presentations, while not the best of decorum in the way they went about it, is nothing compared to what McConnell was suggesting, and certainly not relevant compared to the resolution he has put forward.


    Recently, I considered the point that life provides examples. Similarly, while it's true most don't feel like assembling a university-grade response for an insincere question that itself outstrips the faculties of the demanding querient who doesn't actually care about the answer, it's what, three weeks later, and Majority Leader McConnell, despite his own words, has blown away any comparisons to '99.

    It's kind of like your weird bit about Chief Justice Roberts. It was only a matter of time before that blew up, and, sure, Thursday last works.

    There is a difference between what is true and not true; also between what you know is true and what you don't know is not true. Of all the varying degrees of confidence, what can we say of the one that righteously asserts what one does not know to be true in the hope that nobody can riddle out the actual answer.

    Simply flinging your stuff in hopes of slipping people up does actually make a point, but not one that speaks well of you; the problem is that your best justification is plain ignorance.


    And if the Independent Sentinel is nearly nostalgic, it's worth reminding you aren't exactly original, either. There was one guy, once upon a time, an old, self-righteous tinfoil in a different time, when it was easier to mistake utter bullshit for sincere bullshit, but he liked to laugh gregariously at how smart he thought he was, and, much like you, would believe any freaking blog that told him what he thought he wanted to read.

    I don't know, however, if he shared your apparent ignorance about certain basics. He sometimes seemed to know, but couldn't really be bothered, so, quite literally, his winning argument was that despite the historical record put in front of him, someone else over there said something he agreed with, so we were all supposed to believe that, instead. But, at least, he was somewhere in, if not the ball park, at least the parking lot. Y'know, instead of the next county, or decaying, low-earth orbit.

    Your variation has to do with saying random, wrong things, as if hoping to make a mess out of it for everyone else, too. Like your botching about the Seventeenth, or white supremacy, or the difference between law and law enforcement, or fallacy names, or basic civics, and so on. And let us not forget the Chief Justice, or s-apostrophe.

    And, honestly, there's only so much time people are going to waste pretending it's all some kind of weird accident nobody will ever be able to explain.

    But just to wrap up that part of the story, that one guy, once upon a time, doesn't come 'round, anymore. He wasn't ever permabanned. Hell, we even bent over backwards to let him run rampant all over the rules. Indeed, we eventually struck some of the rules he insisted on breaking. Still, just because someone on a blog somewhere says something is unconstitutional doesn't make it so, and when that source provides no explanation, that's all it is. Last interaction I had with him, I reminded him that he needed reliable sources. I don't know if I was the last moderator to interact with him, but shortly after, he just went away. Actually being able to explain himself instead of being randomly and distruptively contrarian might have been too much to ask.

    The hook, of course, is that back then we still struggled after a pretense of rational discourse. You're more a symptom of subsequent requisite dereliction than an example of its reason, but the practical effect, to your neighbors is the same.

  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Notes on #43-44↑

    Bengani, Priyanjana. "Hundreds of ‘pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points". Tow Center for Digital Journalism. 18 December 2019. 22 January 2020.

    Dowling, Maura. "Authors & Creators". Independent Sentinel. (n.d.) 22 January 2020.

    —————. "Democrats’ Top Candidate Says Venezuelans Are Fleeing to Bolivia". Independent Sentinel. 28 December 2019. 22 January 2020.

    Hermann, Dianne. "This Week in History". Independent Sentinel. 17 November 2019. 22 January 2020.

    —————. "Who can use the 'N' word?" Independent Sentinel. 29 June 2013. 22 January 2020.

    Soviero, James S. "Even by the Latest PC Rules, Italian-Americans Can Use the 'L' Word". Independent Sentinel. 23 October 2019. 22 January 2020.

    Van Zandt, Dave. "Independent Sentinel". (2017) Media Bias Fact Check. Updated 25 October 2019. 22 January 2020.

    Wilner, Tamar. "We can probably measure media bias. But do we want to?". Columbia Journalism Review. 9 January 2018. 22 January 2020.
  9. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    100% of people are biased.

    1520s, "oblique or diagonal line," from French biais "a slant, a slope, an oblique," also figuratively, "an expedient, means" (13c., originally in Old French a past-participle adjective, "sideways, askance, against the grain"), a word of unknown origin. Probably it came to French from Old Provençal biais, which has cognates in Old Catalan and Sardinian, and is possibly via Vulgar Latin *(e)bigassius from Greek epikarsios "athwart, crosswise, at an angle," from epi- "upon" + karsios "oblique," from PIE *krs-yo-, suffixed form of root *sker- (1) "to cut."

    Centuries, Five. "The idiosyncrocy of bias", www.thesaurus is, 1520

    The above is MLA style. But not an actual reference.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    What's the matter, Beaconator? Did someone post something conservatives needed to beg attention away from?
  11. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    I'm only seeing genetic fallacies there. Get back with me when you can refute substance instead of source.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    If the word from your own source is insufficient, then your source is insufficient.

    You really should start paying attention to what you're responding to.
  13. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    Nope. Just adding a more historic reference for bias.

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