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The Joe Biden Presidency Thread


swordfish
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14 hours ago, Muda69 said:

More Mr. Biden the hypocrite:

image.png.4ab185ae2a6460d7b063eab131553aed.png

But we all knew what a lying, racist, hypocrite he was/is before he inherited the WH.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Biden Administration Sees Free Speech As a Public Menace

https://reason.com/2022/05/04/the-biden-administration-sees-free-speech-as-a-public-menace/

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is dismayed by the uproar over its new Disinformation Governance Board. DHS this week emphasized that the "internal working group," which has no "operational authority or capability," will focus on developing "best practices" to counter disinformation from foreign states and criminal organizations while protecting "free speech and other fundamental rights."

Although Republicans who likened the board to an Orwellian Ministry of Truth were indulging in partisan hyperbole, there are legitimate grounds for concern about the Biden administration's broader assault on speech it views as dangerous. Even if the DHS board's work does not amount to much, Americans are right to worry about the implications of that multifaceted campaign.

During congressional testimony last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas noted that DHS had recently created a "misinformation/disinformation governance board." Mayorkas was responding to a question from Rep. Lauren Underwood (D‒Ill.), who mentioned "human smuggling organizations peddling misinformation to exploit vulnerable migrants" and said "disinformation is being heavily targeted at Spanish-speaking voters, sparking and fueling conspiracy theories."

Politico reported that the board was supposed to "coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security, focused specifically on irregular migration and Russia." But when a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the working group last Thursday, she said "it sounds like the objective of the board is to prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling around the country in a range of communities." She added that "I'm not sure who opposes that effort."

That broad description of the board's mission, combined with Psaki's apparent obliviousness to the civil liberties issues raised by government efforts to "prevent disinformation and misinformation from traveling," seemed to validate the concerns of conservative critics. It did not help that the "expert on online disinformation" appointed to head the working group, Nina Jankowicz, had disparaged "free speech absolutists," criticized Republican legislators for "laundering disinfo," and described the New York Post's accurate reporting about emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop as part of "a Russian influence op."

During a CNN interview on Sunday, Mayorkas conceded that "we probably could have done a better job of communicating what [the board] does and does not do." But poor communication was not the only problem.

In a February 7 National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin, DHS identified "the proliferation of false or misleading narratives" that "sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions" as one of three "key factors contributing to the current heightened threat environment." Those narratives, it said, included claims about election fraud and COVID-19, which fed "grievances" that "inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021."

That view of controversial speech is consistent with the Biden administration's attitude toward COVID-19 "misinformation," which it has urged social media platforms to suppress. Given the power that the executive branch wields over those companies, such pressure can easily lead to censorship by proxy.

The problem is compounded by the difficulty of defining "misinformation." Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says it includes statements that are "misleading" even if they are arguably or indisputably true. Murthy's definition hinges on the government's assessment of "the best available evidence," which "can change over time."

That means "misinformation" is a moving target. What was once deemed "misinformation" on issues such as mask mandates and lockdowns can later be blessed by a government-validated "scientific consensus," and vice versa.

Murthy says the "whole-of-society" effort to combat the "urgent threat to public health" posed by "health misinformation" may require "appropriate legal and regulatory measures." While Murthy, like Jankowicz, has no power to control what Americans say, the administration's endorsement of his vision belies its avowed commitment to freedom of expression.

In a 2017 Washington Post op-ed piece, Jankowicz argued that the key to countering "fake news" is fostering "media literacy" so that people can better judge for themselves the credibility of online information. Unlike heavy-handed efforts to stop the spread of "misinformation," this approach has the advantage of being constitutional as well as practical.

 

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Biden: MAGA is the ‘most extreme political organization’ in recent U.S. history

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/04/biden-maga-extreme-political-organization-00029969

1 - Wonder what the "MAGA Political Organization" is......?

2 - Wonder how former President Trump enjoys residing rent-free in President Biden's head all the time.....

3 - Wonder if President Biden realizes Trump isn't actually in the mid-terms.....

4 - Wonder if President Biden has forgotten about BLM and their version of "extreme"......

 

 

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18 hours ago, swordfish said:

Biden: MAGA is the ‘most extreme political organization’ in recent U.S. history

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/04/biden-maga-extreme-political-organization-00029969

1 - Wonder what the "MAGA Political Organization" is......?

2 - Wonder how former President Trump enjoys residing rent-free in President Biden's head all the time.....

3 - Wonder if President Biden realizes Trump isn't actually in the mid-terms.....

4 - Wonder if President Biden has forgotten about BLM and their version of "extreme"......

 

 

Yep.  TDS is a sad, sad condition.

 

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9 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

Muda, I didn't know you beat your wife. 

I have never beaten my spouse.

Have you physically abused your spouse?

 

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Biden: Inflation Is Everybody’s Fault but Mine

https://mises.org/wire/biden-inflation-everybodys-fault-mine

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Speaking at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, President Joe Biden on Tuesday morning declared inflation to be his top “domestic priority” and insisted that inflation would not be a problem were it not for covid and the war in Ukraine. There was little room, however, for any sound economics in a speech that was little more than a campaign speech for the ruling Democratic Party in an election year in which the party looks to take a beating at the ballot box.

In truth, it is the US regime itself—and the regime's central bank—that is the real cause of today's galloping inflation. And even worse, neither the central bank nor the White House will admit its role or reverse course. Last week it was clear that Fed chairman Jerome Powell refuses to admit any role in today's price inflation, and he apparently has no clue about what to do about it. This week, Biden insists his own government is blameless all while further pursuing regulation and taxes that will only make inflation worse. 

It’s Putin’s Fault!

With inflation at forty-year highs, and with wages falling behind, Biden was careful Tuesday morning to spin inflation as the fault of anything and everything except the US government and the Federal Reserve. 

Specifically, Biden placed the blame of price inflation on covid-19 and on “Mr. Putin” for the war in Ukraine. Biden claimed the covid disease itself—i.e., not the forced government lockdowns—has been to blame for logistical problems and shortages that have contributed to rising prices. Moreover, Biden blamed the war in Ukraine for increasing prices given Ukraine’s role as a grain-exporting nation and the current difficulty of exporting from war-torn regions.

Biden is correct in that these events have a role in raising some prices, but it is a straight-up lie to imply or state that logistics and grain-export problems are the main reasons for price inflation in the United States today.

The real cause of price inflation is monetary inflation, and monetary inflation has been on overdrive for more than a decade. Over the past two years, moreover, monetary inflation has accelerated to even more remarkably high levels. 

Since 2009, the Federal Reserve, the US regime’s central bank, has printed more than $8.9 trillion to buy up mortgage securities and government debt. This increased after 2020 as the Fed again accelerated purchases of government bonds in order to keep interest rates low on a national debt exploding upward.

[Read More: How the Fed Is Enabling Congress's Trillion-Dollar Deficits by Ryan McMaken]

In addition to that $8 trillion created out of thin air, the Fed also set the target federal funds rate to historic lows to add liquidity into the banking system. This encouraged commercial banks to further accelerate monetary inflation through the mechanisms of fractional reserve banking.

Today, $12 trillion of the existing $21 trillion was created after 2009. That means 60 percent of today’s entire M2 money supply was created in only the past fourteen years.

This wave of monetary creation has grown so immense that even International Monetary Fund economists can no longer deny the role of central banks in surging prices. IMF director Kristalina Georgieva last month admitted central banks globally “printed too much money and didn’t think of unintended consequences.”:

I think we are not paying sufficient attention to the law of unintended consequences. We take decisions with an objective in mind and rarely think through what may happen that is not our objective. And then we wrestle with the impact of it.

Take any decision that is a massive decision, like the decision that we need to spend to support the economy. At that time, we did recognize that maybe too much money in circulation and too few goods, but didn’t really quite think through the consequence in a way that upfront would have informed better what we do.

Without all this new money creation, the inflation we’re witnessing today would be impossible. This isn’t to say that we wouldn’t see some rising prices considering wars and China’s ongoing lockdowns. Those events certainly do drive up some prices.

But in an environment without constant monetary inflation perpetrated by central banks, inflation would not be general in the way it is now. Some prices would increase, but other prices would decline, as would make sense when the money supply is limited. There would only be so much money to go around so price inflation in some areas would be balanced by price deflation in others. But with monetary inflation running rampant, price inflation can do the same throughout the entire economy: more money is chasing goods and services. 

Biden Is Making Price Inflation Worse by Hobbling Production

But even in time periods when monetary inflation is rampant, the effect on price inflation can be tempered by increased production and increased worker productivity. Specifically, improved technology, innovation, and international trade are all disinflationary forces that can make price inflation less bad.

The Biden administration, however, is currently waging war on innovation, productivity, and trade, and thus making price inflation even worse. In his Tuesday speech, Biden called for even more regulation on businesses and higher taxes. He wants more power to coerce businesses into higher fuel economy, and to mandate more electric vehicles. He wants to increase fees on oil and gas producers. He wants higher taxes on employers.

This will all only serve to cripple production and thus will put further upward pressure on price inflation.

As far as foreign production goes, the Biden administration has largely preserved the Trump administration’s antitrade innovations. Biden’s anti-Russia policies have also only served to further cripple international trade by imposing economic sanctions on nations—including those that have friendly relations with the US—who consume critical Russian goods. This will be most disastrous for the poorest countries of the world, but American consumers will be impacted as well. (Gas prices in the US on Tuesday hit a new high.) As a result, the US has done much to raise energy and food prices worldwide while taking no steps at all to seek a diplomatic solution to the end of the war in Ukraine. 

Americans now have the misfortune of living under a regime that relentlessly inflates the money supply while working to cripple production. This is a recipe for ongoing inflation in both assets and consumer goods.

But you won’t hear anything about this from the White House. Last year, the inflation culprit was “greed,” which supposedly prompted corporations to raise prices. (Why inflation-casing greed suddenly became far worse in 2021 is never explained.) Now, Putin provides a convenient scapegoat. For the past six months, the regime has repeatedly groped around for whatever bogeyman could be blamed—so long as the central bank remains blameless. 

Yep, Mr. Biden is naming pretty much everybody else as scapegoats in the failing U.S. economy and rising inflation.  Everybody else but the true culprits; the central banking system and it's full embrace of MMT practices.

 

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8 hours ago, Muda69 said:

Have you physically abused your spouse?

I do not have a spouse.

8 hours ago, Muda69 said:

I have never beaten my spouse.

Prove it; and it's my right of free speech to say that. 

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3 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

I do not have a spouse.

Prove it; and it's my right of free speech to say that. 

Tough to prove a negative.

No Dante, the burden of proof in this case is on you.  After, all you are the one with the initial questioning accusation, not I.  I answered in the negative. Now it is your turn to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that I have once, just once, physically assaulted my spouse.

Ball's in your court, Dante.  Money says you take it and slink back into the weeds.  Again.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

I do not have a spouse.

Is anyone surprised at this revelation?  😆 Sorry DE had to say it.....Free speech and all....

Edited by swordfish
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1 hour ago, swordfish said:

Is anyone surprised at this revelation?  😆 Sorry DE had to say it.....Free speech and all....

I don’t think your understanding of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech is accurate. At least, it does not appear so from your post.

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Posted (edited)

Don't Trust Biden's Dystopian 'Disinformation Board'

https://reason.com/2022/05/13/dont-trust-bidens-dystopian-disinformation-board/

Quote

Dystopian fiction always has fascinated me because writers such as Philip K. Dick and Ray Bradbury based their stories on real-world trends—and simply took them to logical extremes. Storylines involving, say, departments of pre-crime that arrested people based on algorithms seemed preposterous, but have turned out to be creepily close to the mark.

It's hard to underestimate the absurdity of government directives and bureaucrats, so these tales—however chilling—often are quite funny. My favorite dystopian hero is Robert De Niro's character, Archibald "Harry" Tuttle, in the movie "Brazil." He was the government's main enemy— a "villain" who fixed HVAC systems without a permit from Central Services.

That's almost as bizarre as the story of a government so paranoid that it created a Weather Bureau, overseen by an Office of Censorship, that promulgated complex rules for the dissemination of weather reports to keep them out of enemy hands. It only allowed newspapers to publish forecasts up to 150 miles from its publication city. That wasn't fiction, but was an actual World War II-era federal agency.

Now the Department of Homeland Security—having apparently learned nothing from past U.S. government absurdities or George Orwell—is launching a Disinformation Governance Board to police the internet. Homeland Security always sounded ironic enough, but a board of disinformation is a "truth is stranger fiction" situation.

If its rollout is any indication, then the board will be incompetent, duplicitous and will overstep its authority. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the dubious project on April 27 but—and this fails even the most basic public-relations test—provided no real information about what it will do or how its agents will be held accountable.

It's the latest example of the oxymoronic nature of government intelligence—especially clear as the nation's security leaders seem blindsided by the amount of outrage this announcement has generated. "It is just an episodic failure," former DHS official Brian Murphy told the Associated Press. Indeed. As Orwell wrote in 1984, "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13."

During congressional testimony about disinformation on the internet, Mayorkas said his agency established the board "to more effectively combat this threat, not only to election security but to our homeland security," per a Politico report. But the publication found this to be "an odd comment, given that DHS now says the board does not run or manage any department functions."

The takeaway is not to trust anything the Biden administration says about the matter. The board—and I don't think I'm going out on a limb—will probably use the fearsome power of federal security agencies to monitor online content and pressure social-media firms to remove content it calls disinformation. It will do so in the name of battling actual cyber threats from Russia and China.

Mayorkas has further eroded trust by proposing Nina Jankowicz, a former think tank fellow, as the board's director. As the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger has explained, fighting "foreign propaganda isn't quite" how Janckowicz "defines the national-security threat from disinformation." He pointed us to a report she co-authored for the Wilson Center.

The authors say the report "strives to build awareness of the direct and indirect impacts of gendered and sexualized disinformation on women in public life, as well as its corresponding impacts on national security and democratic participation." They pointed to misogynistic "abuse and disinformation" on Twitter directed toward Vice President Kamala Harris.

Most Americans decry the viciousness and disreputable information that proliferates online. But this is not something the government can "fix"—at least not without undermining the basic tenets of our democracy. "(T)he difference between opinion and disinformation is often contested—and many argue the government shouldn't be responsible for drawing the line," as that AP article noted.

The "many" who "argue" that point would no doubt include the nation's founders, who penned a First Amendment that forbids laws abridging the freedom of speech. In a free society—even one with an increasingly coarse and vile public culture—we sort out these things by letting everyone have their say. This is always news to a few people, but that amendment does not apply to private platforms.

Nevertheless, the nation does approach a true dystopia when a federal agency sets itself up as the arbiter of truth and then pressures those companies to do its bidding. We've already seen the Democratic administration exert regulatory pressure on social-media companies and lawmakers from both parties push for more government controls of the internet. This new board is even creepier.

Mayorkas claimed that, "we in the Department of Homeland Security don't monitor American citizens." But here's AP's rebuttal: "In fact, DHS does. The sprawling department…has broad authorities to track and collect data on American citizens." Be afraid. Be very afraid. And you might want to re-read some of your dystopian favorites.

This is very frightening news.

 

Edited by Muda69
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Tucker Carlson Not Surrendering: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/tucker-carlson-not-surrendering-liberal-hypocrites/

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I'm thrilled that Tucker Carlson isn’t doing the usual right-wing thing and crumpling in the face of bad-faith attacks from the media and Democrats. Watch this 15-minute monologue from him last night, throwing the “Great Replacement” smears back in their faces. 

Early in the monologue, Carlson points out that last year, a Syrian immigrant shooter went into a Boulder, Colo., supermarket and allegedly (he has not yet been tried and found guilty) murdered ten people — same number of dead as in Buffalo. Unlike this week in Buffalo, Joe Biden didn’t fly to that crime scene, Tucker said. Why not? Because that mass shooting didn’t fit the Narrative. He was a Person of Color, not a white supremacist. Colorado Public Radio even did a story at the time about how worried Colorado Muslims were of “backlash” because the shooter was Muslim. The Washington Post ran an analysis that pointed out that the Syrian shooter was, in fact, legally white, and an example of “whiteness”. So the Narrative Managers were able to call this an example of white male violence after all!

I also didn’t realize until watching this segment how mentally ill Payton Gendron, the Buffalo shooter, was. Did you know that he was hospitalized for 20 hours as a high school student because he had threatened mass shooting? Did you know that he wore a hazmat suit to school for an entire week? Did you know that his mother once helped him bury a cat that he had tortured and killed? Animal torture is a MASSIVE warning sign! This kid has been priming himself for homicide. But sure, let’s blame Tucker Carlson for this heinous act.

 

Below is the especially valuable part of the Carlson segment — the one in which he video-quotes passages of Democratic politicians and pundits saying explicitly that non-white immigration is diluting white voting power, and that’s a good thing. Watch:

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

Carlson smirks appropriately at the end, “So you play clips of them saying it, and you’re the deranged conspiracy nut.

About the op-eds and media claims about how whites are declining in political strength, and what a great thing that is, Carlson says:

“If you don’t want people to be paranoid and angry, maybe you don’t write pieces like that, and rub it in their face, and give them the finger day after day.”

His point — and it’s a good one — is that the Left is totally gaslighting us on the “Great Replacement” thing. If you believe that whites are being displaced politically by immigration and the growth of non-white communities, and that it’s a good thing, you’re fine to say so. But if you believe that and you think it’s bad — well, you are a white supremacist who encourages loonies to commit mass murder.

Carlson brought up this 2013 story from Politico, which is as mainstream Washington political reporting as it gets. Here is a screenshot of the headline:

Screen-Shot-2022-05-18-at-10.05.52-AM-e1

From the piece:

The immigration proposal pending in Congress would transform the nation’s political landscape for a generation or more — pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that, if current trends hold, would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.

Beneath the philosophical debates about amnesty and border security, there are brass-tacks partisan calculations driving the thinking of lawmakers in both parties over comprehensive immigration reform, which in its current form offers a pathway to citizenship — and full voting rights — for a group of undocumented residents that roughly equals the population of Ohio, the nation’s seventh-largest state.

If these people had been on the voting rolls in 2012 and voted along the same lines as other Hispanic voters did last fall, President Barack Obama’s relatively narrow victory last fall would have been considerably wider, a POLITICO analysis showed.

Again, if you notice this from a progressive or neutral point of view, it’s fine. But if you notice this as a conservative, and you say you don’t like it, you are a RACIST.

Check out the headline on this Michelle Goldberg column in The New York Times:

Screen-Shot-2022-05-18-at-9.06.18-AM-e16

It more or less concedes the white nationalists’ point, and says too bad for them. Excerpts:

Right now America is tearing itself apart as an embittered white conservative minority clings to power, terrified at being swamped by a new multiracial polyglot majority. The divide feels especially stark in Georgia, where the midterm election is a battle between Trumpist reaction and the multicultural America whose emergence the right is trying, at all costs, to forestall.

“Any time there is progress made there will always be moments of retrenchment,” Abrams said to me later on Saturday. But, she added, “what I am more excited about is the counterforce that we’re seeing in the number of people running for office who represent a much more forward-looking, progressive vision.”

Abrams’s goal is to put together a coalition of African-American and other minority voters and white liberals. The potential is there; Georgia is less than 53 percent non-Hispanic white. “Georgia is a blue state if everybody votes,” DuBose Porter, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, told me.

More:

On Saturday morning, Abrams closed by reminding the crowd of Kemp’s views on democracy. “He said he is concerned that if everyone eligible to vote in Georgia does so, he will lose this election,” she said. “Let’s prove him right.” In a week, American voters can do to white nationalists what they fear most. Show them they’re being replaced.

You can’t have it both ways, liberal media. I mean, you can, because you usually do, but finally at least some conservatives are not intimidated by your hypocrisy. Take a listen (or a look at the transcript) of how NPR yesterday tried to blame these murders on Tucker Carlson and Fox News. Excerpts:

[HOST MARY LOUISE] KELLY: David, you start. And let’s start there with Tucker Carlson, who – just to be clear, he is not mentioned in this 180-page screed that authorities say the alleged gunman posted online. Right?

[MEDIA CORRESPONDENT DAVID] FOLKENFLIK: Yeah. He’s not anywhere in there, not at all. Instead, he cites the influences of 4chan and invokes what’s called the so-called “great replacement theory,” this idea that these amorphous forces are trying to replace whites – started a century ago in France, moved around, different targets in different places.

KELLY: So in this century, why is why is Tucker Carlson part of this conversation? What’s his role here?

FOLKENFLIK: Because he’s made it acceptable to talk about it. If you look at what leading white supremacists have said, a number of them really hail him for popularizing their views, and particularly on this. I think there are two ways to think about Carlson being part of this. One is through the sheer volume of his coverage. And the other is the influence he has in the Trump wing of the Republican Party on and off the air. He’s one of Fox’s most popular shows. And if you think about him as a political force, people have even – talking about him as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024 should Trump not run.

Yeah, so Tucker Carlson isn’t anywhere in the 180-page manifesto the alleged killer left explaining why he did what he did … but it’s Tucker’s fault anyway, according to David Folkenflik. More:

KELLY: Well, let me turn us to the politics of this, which brings me to you, Domenico. How influential is this? How does this filter into the politics of the right in America?

[NPR POLITICAL ANALYST DOMENICO] MONTANARO: I mean, David’s documented pretty well how conservative media, particularly Tucker Carlson, has played a pretty big role in all of this. We have seen his influence with the base of Republican voters, certainly in that Trump base. We’ve seen in polling, for example, that people who watch conservative media far more likely to believe in the tenets of replacement that – and that it’s, in fact, happening in this country. Almost half of Republicans believe replacement is happening, according to a recent AP-NORC poll.

So it’s taken some degree of hold. But the seeds of this go pretty far back. You know, the fights over affirmative action in the 1980s when manufacturing jobs were being outsourced in huge numbers. Blue-collar jobs were becoming increasingly scarce. And that led some politicians to try and exploit that for political gain. I think back to 1990, for example, in this ad run by the late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms called “White Hands.” Take a listen to part of that.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD, “WHITE HANDS”)

JESSE HELMS: You needed that job, and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota. Is that really fair?

MONTANARO: And you see in that a white man in a flannel shirt crumple up a piece of paper. And fast-forward to the fights over immigration in this century, and that narrative really took hold on the right. Here was Donald Trump as a candidate for president three months before the 2016 presidential election, backstage at the Values Voter Summit to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you’re going to have people flowing across the borders. You’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in, and they’re going to be legalized, and they’re going to be able to vote. And once that all happens, you can forget it.

KELLY: So he’s not actually using the word replacement – not using it explicitly – but clearly talking about it, and then taking that and moving into the White House.

MONTANARO: Right. And when he was in the White House and when he campaigned again, he’s been – he did it in very intentional ways and continues to do it. I mean, earlier this year, Trump was at a rally, and he exaggerated what was happening with a COVID program in New York. He claimed that whites were being made to go, quote, “to the back of the line” for therapeutics. So I called up Casey Kelly a professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, who has studied Trump’s language. He says what Trump has tried to do to exploit white grievance is to reframe experiences of alienation that many in rural America feel that pop culture doesn’t reflect who they are anymore and show it as something purposeful that’s being done to them.

I remember when that Helms ad was controversial, and I understand why it was controversial. But here’s the thing: that’s what affirmative action and quota hiring do! This is the most amazing thing about the liberal/progressive mind: they celebrate things that actively stigmatize and discriminate against people on the basis of race, sex, and sexual orientation … but if you are one of those stigmatized and discriminated against, and you don’t agree that you deserve it, then you are a bigot for saying so!

Notice that what Donald Trump said in the quoted piece above is pretty much what Politico said in 2013, and what a panoply of liberal politicians, academics, and pundits have been saying for years. But when Trump says it, well, shut the front door, that’s RACIST!

About the Covid comments from Trump, here’s an MSN report from when he first said it, and the context in which he said it:

Speaking during a rally in Florence, Arizona, Trump alleged that coronavirus vaccines and treatments are being unfairly “rationed” and withheld from white Americans in some states.

“The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating white people to determine who lives and who dies,” Trump said during his speech. “You get it based on race. In fact, in New York state, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical help. If you’re white, you go right to the back of the line.”

The former president’s comments came in reference to a recent New York state policy that allows health-care providers to consider race as a risk factor when administering limited supplies of antiviral treatments to those most in need.

That policy states that “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk” due to “longstanding systemic health and social inequities” that increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. The guidelines come after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Hispanic or Latino people are 2.1 time more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, while Black people are 1.9 times more likely to succumb to the virus.

Did Trump “exaggerate”? Maybe. But note this Jan. 7 Wall Street Journal op-ed from left-wing academics John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, criticizing the very New York state policy that Trump criticized. Excerpts:

New York state recently published guidelines for dispensing potentially life-saving monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals like Paxlovid to people suffering from mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19. These treatments are in short supply, and they must be allocated to those most in need.

According to these guidelines, sick people who have tested positive for Covid should be eligible to receive these drugs if they have “a medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe illness.” These include standard criteria like age and comorbidities like cancer, diabetes and heart disease—but, startlingly, they also include simply being of “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity,” which “should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”

Consider the following cases: A middle-aged investment banker born in Colombia shows up at a physician’s office in Manhattan; a laid-off middle-aged worker of Italian ancestry shows up at a doctor’s office in Rochester, N.Y. Neither has medical risk factors, but both have mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19. The wealthy Colombian-American could be given Paxlovid; the laid-off auto worker would be turned away. You can construct thousands of these comparative cases using well-off Hispanics, Asians or blacks and working-class whites.

This is unfair and possibly illegal. With these kinds of regulations, the Democrats who control New York reinforce the racial and ethnic divisions that grew during Donald Trump’s presidency. These state officials have been abetted by social scientists who collect survey data in a manner that, intentionally or not, confirms their presuppositions.

 
Judis and Teixeira cite data pointing out that disparities are more due to class than race. More:
 
All this suggests that the racial lens on Covid disparities is inadequate. A broader lens that included class factors would be unlikely to suggest to public health officials that the Indian-American CEOs of Alphabet and Microsoft ought to get priority over white Walmart clerks and hospital orderlies. Who should receive scarce Covid treatments should be based on genuine medical risk factors such as age and comorbidity, but class disparities can be relevant to deciding where to spend money to increase access to public-health benefits including vaccination and testing.

Liberal political scientists and many Democratic officials seem determined to ignore class divisions and instead divide the country up by race and ethnicity. This practice, which is unpopular outside elite media, universities and nonprofits, contributed to the rise of Mr. Trump. If it continues, Democrats could pay a lasting political price, which could threaten the welfare of groups Democrats want to help.

So Trump might have exaggerated, but his basic claim was true — and here you have two prominent left-wing commentators warning the Left not to go down this route, because it helps Trump.

Back to the NPR story. Here is Folkenflik griping that Fox won’t fire Tucker Carlson:

KELLY: And what about media on the right? Let me bring it back to you to close us out, David Folkenflik. Is there any pushback? Is there any – say, at Fox News, which employs Tucker Carlson, is there any sign that they’re addressing this rhetoric?

FOLKENFLIK: None whatsoever. Fox News almost invariably – and again, in this case today – doesn’t comment, just points you to what Carlson has had to say on his show about this subject. In his case last night, Tucker Carlson called the shooting horrific, said the accused shooter was racist and also mentally ill. But he’s turning the tables, essentially using this to lay into President Biden and Democrats for playing what he says are racial politics. The parent company, Fox Corporation under Lachlan Murdoch, says this is just all part of an open, lively debate and discussion, won’t really engage on it now. But in reality, Fox News has stripped away restraint. And you aren’t seeing repercussions for Carlson. And what that means is you’re seeing other opinion hosts dip into these waters. And some news anchors essentially allow guests to propagate the same racial replacement racist theories without any pushback or contradiction. And in doing that, they’re simply following Carlson, who is clearly the leader of the pack at Fox.

This is how they roll, the Left. They want to fire people who say things they don’t like. They want Tucker Carlson cancelled because he notices the same things they all notice, but he thinks it’s bad, not good — and says so.

This leftist crybullying increasingly doesn’t work anymore. At last!

I urge the usual left-wing commentators to watch the 15-minute Carlson monologue before phoning in your usual complaints.

 

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Nina Jankowicz's Faulty Record, Not Her Critics, Doomed the Disinformation Board

https://reason.com/2022/05/18/disinformation-board-nina-jankowicz-taylor-lorenz-pause-dhs/

Quote

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has placed a "pause" on the newly-minted Disinformation Governance Board; its first executive director, Nina Jankowicz, has resigned.

The board's existence, which was announced just three weeks ago, prompted serious concerns from many civil libertarians and inspired Ministry of Truth comparisons. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tried—and largely failed—to address these concerns by noting that the board would serve in merely an advisory capacity and not have any actual power to police speech. That the Disinformation Governance Board did a bad job of communicating information about itself did not exactly instill confidence, and evidently DHS has now realized that the entire project is a bad idea.

It's unclear whether plans for the board will be un-paused in the future; Jankowicz had initially decided to resign, reconsidered when she was told the pause might be temporary, and then ultimately left anyway.

This news comes from an exclusive report by The Washington Post's Taylor Lorenz, whose scoop is buried underneath layers of pro-government verbiage. Lorenz's story excessively flatters Jankowicz—she is glamorized as "well-known" in the field, having "extensive experience," and "well-regarded" in just the first two paragraphs—while ignoring legitimate criticism of this so-called expert's track record. Indeed, there is zero mention, none whatsoever, of the fact that Jankowicz was flagrantly wrong about the pivotal "disinformation" episode of the 2020 election cycle: the Hunter Biden laptop story.

For WaPo, the story is not that DHS shuttered the Disinformation Governance Board—the real story is that right-wing "coordinated online attacks" achieved this outcome after subjecting Jankowicz to an "unrelenting barrage of harassment."

"Within hours of news of her appointment, Jankowicz was thrust into the spotlight by the very forces she dedicated her career to combating," writes Lorenz.

She concedes that the board's name was "ominous" and details about its specific mission were "scant." But most of the article focuses on the tenor of the criticism of Jankowicz.

"Jankowicz was on the receiving end of the harshest attacks, with her role mischaracterized as she became a primary target on the right-wing Internet," writes Lorenz. "She has been subject to an unrelenting barrage of harassment and abuse while unchecked misrepresentations of her work continue to go viral."

That's not even close to all of it:

Jankowicz's experience is a prime example of how the right-wing Internet apparatus operates, where far-right influencers attempt to identify a target, present a narrative and then repeat mischaracterizations across social media and websites with the aim of discrediting and attacking anyone who seeks to challenge them. It also shows what happens when institutions, when confronted with these attacks, don't respond effectively.

More:

"These smears leveled by bad-faith, right-wing actors against a deeply qualified expert and against efforts to better combat human smuggling and domestic terrorism are disgusting," deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates told The Post on Tuesday.

Even more:

DHS staffers have also grown frustrated. With the department's suspension of intra-departmental working groups focused on mis-, dis- and mal-information, some officials said it was an overreaction that gave too much credence to bad-faith actors. A 15-year veteran of the department, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly, called the DHS response to the controversy "mind-boggling." "I've never seen the department react like this before," he said.

Yet more still:

Experts say that right-wing disinformation and smear campaigns regularly follow the same playbook and that it's crucial that the public and leaders of institutions, especially in the government, the media and educational bodies, understand more fully how these cycles operate.

The campaigns invariably start with identifying a person to characterize as a villain. Attacking faceless institutions is difficult, so a figurehead (almost always a woman or person of color) is found to serve as its face. Whether that person has actual power within that institution is often immaterial. By discrediting those made to represent institutions they seek to bring down, they discredit the institution itself.

Harassment and reputational harm is core to the attack strategy. Institutions often treat reputational harm and online attacks as a personnel matter, one that unlucky employees should simply endure quietly.

Jankowicz's case is a perfect example of this system at work, said Emerson T. Brooking, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. "They try to define people by these single, decontextualized moments," Brooking said. "In Nina's case it's a few TikTok videos, or one or two comments out of thousands of public appearances. They fixate on these small instances and they define this villain."

That's the explicit message of the article, and it's hammered home over and over again: expressing concerns about Jankowicz and the Disinformation Governance Board is an act of sabotage by bad-faith right-wing harassers against a noble public servant. The Washington Post does not grapple with legitimate criticisms of Jankowicz. The article doesn't even acknowledge that any exist. Bad people oppose Jankowicz, in the Post's framing, and if you oppose Jankowicz, you're probably one of them.

Yet there is good reason to be skeptical of both the Disinformation Governance Board and Jankowicz's fitness to run it. Informal efforts to police disinformation on social media are beset with serious challenges, as moderators and fact-checkers routinely make odious mistakes: Just today, Facebook dubiously censored a recipe for homemade baby formula. The social media site's fact-checkers have previously flagged Reason articles as spreading false information, only to later admit the articles in question were accurate. John Stossel, host of Stossel TV and a contributor to Reason, is currently suing Facebook for characterizing his videos as misleading, even though fact-checkers eventually conceded he was right.

Government disinformation cops are no better; time and time again, public health officials circulated false information about COVID-19, and suppressed perfectly legitimate discussion of the theory that the virus originated from a lab leak. And when The New York Post reported on the salacious contents of Hunter Biden's laptop just weeks before the election, the story was widely dismissed by so-called disinformation experts and government security experts on grounds that they presumed it to be Russian malfeasance. "Hunter Biden Story Is Russian Disinfo, Dozens of Former Intel Officials Say," reported Politico back in October 2020.

Jankowicz repeatedly made public statements indicating that she held this view, too. She shared national security officials' "high confidence" that the Hunter Biden story was part of a Russian influence campaign. She described the idea that the laptop had been left behind at a repair shop as "a fairy tale." This was a critical test of whether disinformation experts could check their innate tendency to ascribe everything unfavorable to the Democratic Party as Russian nefariousness, and they utterly failed. Jankowicz failed as well.

Somewhere in Lorenz's article, amid the repetitive praising of Jankowicz's qualifications, anonymously sourced lamentations that DHS will no longer be able to recruit effectively, and broad characterization of criticism as nothing more than sexist harassment, perhaps that failure deserved a mention. The article reads like it was ghostwritten by Jankowicz herself, which makes the underlying scoop less impressive: It's easy to get a government official to cooperate for a news article when the news article takes the form of PR.

 

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