Friday, January 20, 2017

Fireworks light up night sky above Lincoln Memorial during Trump inauguration eve concert. Andrew Breitbart blazed the trail to tonight. May he rest in peace.

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"A pre-inauguration rally for president-elect Donald Trump ended with a dazzling fireworks display that lit up the night sky above the Lincoln Memorial"
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Comment: Andrew Breitbart: This one's for you. You started it. You said, "All we did was ask the mainstream media to correct their bias problem." And they wouldn't.



Andrew Brietbart died on March 1, 2012 at age 43. Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone: “Good! Fuck him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead.”

April 18, 2011: "BREITBART: Well, here's what happened, 20 years ago, Rush Limbaugh comes in the game. He acts as checks and balance. Then Matt Drudge comes in 15 years ago and then blogosphere explodes. All we did was ask the mainstream media to correct their bias problem....When they wouldn't correct themselves, citizens in the form of the Tea Party, citizens in the form of Hanna and James (O'Keefe) and people with video cameras going everywhere said if you are not going to correct yourself, we're going to create a media in the wake of you incompetency.

And that's what happening. It's the most exciting time in the media and unfortunately, the mainstream media so upset about it. It covers it as if we're the villains out there."...

Hannity: "You are telling people that there are plenty openings if this is what you want to do, but be prepared for, you know, being demonized, beaten up, smeared, slandered and how to deal with it."...

"BREITBART: That's why people relate to Sarah Palin. It is why they relate to Ann Coulter or Michele Bachmann or even a Clarence Thomas. Somebody who has been attacked mercilessly and shows that you can survive. That's why they tried to destroy you to demoralize others who would join the fight....Not only do you learn to be immune to it, you also find that people come out of the woodwork and say thank you for fighting and standing up for what is right. That is like manna from heaven. It's the greatest thing in the world....I live in Hollywood....I used to think Hollywood was all liberal. Because I speak up for culture, these people come out of woodwork. There are thousands of people in Hollywood, actors, writers, directors, punk rockers, people with mohawks, hip-hop artists who are conservative and who are looking for the moment in time that they can come out of the closet and fight the battle with us."... 
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Feb. 18, 2010, Andrew Bretibart at CPAC: "If you think you can unring this bell... you're wrong....
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The tea party movement and the rebellion that you’ve seen in Massachusetts and across the country, is not because Barack Obama stinks as bad as he does. It’s because you oversold him and you undersold the last president. In the era of new media there’s checks and balances for the type of propaganda you serve up and if you think you can unring this bell… you’re wrong.”"...from Gateway Pundit

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Comment at American Thinker article, 3/1/2012, about death of Brietbart: (As of 1/20/17, comments don't appear following article)

"Yael: There was a beautiful comment - at Huffington Post, of all places. I keep re-posting it because I am still too shocked to think in words.

"Thank you Andrew for blazing the trail. We will take it from here....rest well, Patriot."

A monumental loss."








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Thursday, January 19, 2017

CNN freely admits it meddled in US 2016 election by promoting candidacy of then presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. Chris Cuomo gushed, "We're the biggest ones promoting her campaign...we couldn't help her any more than we have. She's got just a free ride so far from the media"-June 9, 2014, MediaIte

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"(CNN's Chris) Cuomo then observed, “We couldn’t help her any more than we have. She’s got just a free ride so far from the media! We’re the biggest ones promoting her campaign, so it better happen.”"

June 9, 2014, "CNN’s Chris Cuomo: The Media’s Been Giving Hillary a ‘Free Ride’," MediaIte, by |

After months of inquiry including computer data also examined by NY Times, FBI found no evidence that Russia sought to influence Nov. 2016 US election or that it wanted Trump to win. Intelligence officials briefed congress in August and Sept. 2016 "on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump." No links were found-NY Times, Nov. 1, 2016

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"“It isn’t about the election,” a second senior official said, referring to claims of Russian interference." (8th parag. from end)

10/31/16, "Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia," NY Times, Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers 

"A version of this article appears in print on November 1, 2016, on page A21 of the New York edition with the headline: After Lengthy Inquiries, Officials Doubt Trump Has Direct Link to Russia."...

"For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank. 

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government....

Intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate. Still, they have said that Mr. Trump himself has not become a target. And no evidence has emerged that would link him or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia’s election operations.

At least one part of the investigation has involved Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman for much of the year. Mr. Manafort, a veteran Republican political strategist, has had extensive business ties in Russia and other former Soviet states, especially Ukraine, where he served as an adviser to that country’s ousted president, Viktor F. Yanukovych.

But the focus in that case was on Mr. Manafort’s ties with a kleptocratic government in Ukraine — and whether he had declared the income in the United States — and not necessarily on any Russian influence over Mr. Trump’s campaign, one official said.

In classified sessions in August and September, intelligence officials also briefed congressional leaders on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump. They focused particular attention on what cyberexperts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia’s biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin.

F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages — a first step for one system’s computers to talk to another — to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts....

(parag. 15) Investigators, the officials said, have become increasingly confident, based on the evidence they have uncovered, that Russia’s direct goal is not to support the election of Mr. Trump, as many Democrats have asserted, but rather to disrupt the integrity of the political system and undermine America’s standing in the world more broadly...an intensification of spy-versus-spy operations that never entirely abated after the Cold War but that have become more aggressive in recent years as relations with Mr. Putin’s Russia have soured.

A senior intelligence official, who like the others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a continuing national security investigation, said the Russians had become adept at exploiting computer vulnerabilities created by the relative openness of and reliance on the internet.... 

Investigators, the officials said, have become increasingly confident, based on the evidence they have uncovered, that Russia’s direct goal is not to support the election of Mr. Trump, as many Democrats have asserted, but rather to disrupt the integrity of the political system and undermine America’s standing in the world more broadly.

The hacking, they said, reflected an intensification of spy-versus-spy operations that never entirely abated after the Cold War but that have become more aggressive in recent years as relations with Mr. Putin’s Russia have soured.

A senior intelligence official, who like the others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a continuing national security investigation, said the Russians had become adept at exploiting computer vulnerabilities created by the relative openness of and reliance on the internet....

 "“It isn’t about the election,” a second senior official said, referring to the aims of Russia’s interference. “It’s about a threat to democracy.” 

The investigation has treated it as a counterintelligence operation as much as a criminal one, though agents are also focusing on whether anyone in the United States was involved. The officials declined to discuss any individual targets of the investigation, even when assured of anonymity."...

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Comment: Hey, better luck next time, fellas.

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Added: The US government--not Russia--sought to "undermine America’s standing in the world more broadly" when on June 30, 2016, Obama requested foreign monitors for the November 2016 US presidential election:

10/21/16,  "International monitors for a US election--just like in Haiti," Miami Herald, Andres Oppenheimer, columnist 

"For the first time ever, the Organization of American States will monitor the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, putting the United States in the same league as Haiti and other politically volatile Latin American countries.... 

The head of the OAS observation mission to the U.S. election, former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, told me in an interview that the outside scrutiny was requested by the U.S. government on June 30.

The OAS has been monitoring elections in Latin America and the Caribbean for the past 50 years, most recently in Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia and Peru. Usually, governments request these missions to generate domestic and foreign confidence in the electoral process and to help prevent post-electoral violence. 

In this case, the OAS will deploy election observers in up to 15 U.S. states, including New York, California, Ohio, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Florida will not be included because of a state law that prohibits such outside election missions, she said. 

Chinchilla told me that the OAS is more than happy to conduct its U.S. observation mission, among other things because it will help debunk a frequent excuse by Latin American authoritarian regimes for not accepting outside electoral monitoring missions. 

“Many of them say, ‘If the United States doesn’t allow observers, why should we?’ ” she explained."...


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Added: John Kerry--not Russia-
-cast doubt on "the integrity of the political system" and undermined "America’s standing in the world more broadly." Per Dec. 2015 published article, John Kerry said he still thinks the 2004 US election was rigged by the Bush campaign and has shared this view with at least one foreign leader. In particular, Kerry says they rigged the vote in Ohio.



 


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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Manchester United Soccer Club in UK appoints counter-terrorism manager-BBC

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1/18/17, "Manchester United appoint full-time counter-terrorism manager," BBC Sport, by Simon Stone

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Manchester United say they are the first sports club in England to appoint a full-time counter-terrorism manager.
The post has been filled by a former inspector from Greater Manchester Police's specialist search unit.

The appointment, revealed at a recent club forum, comes amid significant additional security measures introduced at Old Trafford on matchdays.

Vehicles are now routinely checked as they enter car parks, and supporters are searched at turnstiles.

United's Premier League game against Bournemouth in May was postponed when the stadium was evacuated after what turned out to be a fake bomb was found in a toilet.

It had been left behind in error following an exercise earlier in the week.

In November, two supporters on a stadium tour hid in an Old Trafford toilet in the hope of seeing United's Premier League game against Arsenal. They were eventually found and handed over to police.

Last year, security expert Baroness Ruth Henig called for licensing laws to be changed to force entertainment venues around the UK to undergo counter-terror training."

Image caption: "Manchester United and Bournemouth fans were evacuated from Old Trafford last season," getty via BBC



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To the Washington Post and NY Times: Get this. There's nothing "new" about Trump's view of NATO since it was published in the NY Times ten months ago, March 26, 2016. If you want to blame someone, blame us, the voters who elected Trump. We're no longer willing to be global slaves dying and being maimed in your endless 'regime changes.' Enough. 27 remaining NATO nations can divert billions they spend on "climate" and use it to defend themselves against Russia if that's what they want to do. The NY Times and Washington Post need to get a life. They can't have mine.

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3/26/2016, NY Times, parag. 7: "Mr. Trump struck similar themes when he discussed the future of NATO, which he called “unfair, economically, to us,” and said he was open to an alternative organization focused on counterterrorism."...3/26/16, "In Donald Trump’s Worldview, America Comes First, and Everybody Else Pays," NY Times, by David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman  (March 27, 2016 print ed., page A1)
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Please note: Donald Trump and American voters who elected him aren't "abandoning" Europe or anyone, we're happy to help when we can. It's simply that American voters can no longer bear the burden of being global slaves. It's surprising there were "alarm bells across Europe," about Trump's view on NATO since the same view was published in the NY Times ten months ago on 3/26/16. In any case, it's common sense. 

1/17/17, "Will Donald Trump abandon Europe?" Washington Post,

A desk-side interview given by President-elect Donald Trump in his Trump Tower offices seemed to announce a new, uncertain era in transatlantic relations

Speaking this weekend to the Times of London and Germany's Bild newspaper, Trump branded NATO "obsolete" and appeared to welcome the dissolution of the European Union. (You can read the full transcript here, though it's behind the Times paywall.) His remarks, as my colleague Michael Birnbaum reported, "raised alarm bells across Europe,""...

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The NY Times Editorial Board has apparently run out of reasons to exist and is now cannibalizing itself:

1/17/17, "Russia Gains When Donald Trump Trashes NATO," The New York Times Editorial Board

"A version of this editorial appears in print on (Wed.) January 18, 2017, on Page A22 of the New York edition with the headline: Why Rattle NATO, Not Russia?."

Comment: OK, NY Times. Why "rattle" Russia, not ISIS? 

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Sept. 2015: Trump's view that Americans should be allowed to put their own country before the "international community" has long been in the public domain. Those with the most to lose apparently ignored it. Or assumed we'd agreed to be peasants in a global monarchy.

9/7/2015, "Traitor to His Class," Julius Krein, Weekly Standard 

"What Trump offers is permission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community”....

Nothing is more terrifying to the elite than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism....The critical question, however, is not the source of Trump’s popularity but rather the reason his popularity is so shocking to our political culture....

Trump shows that what is most in demand...is not ideological purity but patriotic zeal....

Trump alone appears to understand that politics is more than policy and ideology."...







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How Journalists Missed Trump's 'Surprise Win.' To get it right next time, start meeting and associating with people who don't work in government-Editor and Publisher, Tim Gallagher, 1/17/17

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"They’re not controversial and they are not easy to report about. But they belong in our newspapers. They are voters." 

1/17/17, "Business of News: How Journalists Missed Trump’s ‘Surprise Win’," Editor and Publisher, by Tim Gallagher 

"The autopsy report on how the press missed the rising popularity of President-Elect Donald Trump has been written. Disagreements over the reasons might continue, but one thing cannot be argued: we need to be better reporters who write about the reality of America and not what we hear in our echo chambers.

After weeks of discussing with dozens of journalists and citizens, I’ve concluded these are some of the ways we should consider changing in order to be true to this profession.

Meet and associate with people who do not work in government. The typical path for a young journalist is to cover a government agency. The reward for a good job is covering a bigger government agency. The problem is that we indoctrinate reporters into the belief that government is a problem-solving entity at the center of the American way of life. 

We talk as they do. We report incremental movements in processes. We learn to explain Community Development Block Grants before we understand a private business’s balance sheet.

Many in American do not see it that way. Many Trump supporters saw government as a problem and journalists see it as a problem-solver.

Let’s resolve to first be relentlessly skeptical of government and second, to always meet and report on stories that have little to do with handicapping the next public meeting. Further, let’s commit to getting to know people and sources who walk their dogs, go to the car wash and shop at Walmart who do not work for the government.

Treat polls and “popular opinion” with the same skepticism. Between Brexit and the 2016 presidential election, we have seen two examples that challenge the accuracy of polls because of the methodology and the reluctance of voters to provide their true intent. Use polls as a data point and not a lead. Always report methodology and margin of error.

Fight the power. The election showed us the millions of people who do not trust the prevailing power structure. It does not meaningfully address the challenges in their lives. Bring those people into your reporting in a way that challenges the effectiveness of government “solutions.”

Be humble. Millions of Americans think of the press as the problem and not just because we are on the other end of the political spectrum. We have all met journalists who are arrogant know-it-alls. Who have forgotten that their job is to cover news, not comment on it. We are born with two ears, two eyes and one mouth. That’s a good ratio when considering how much time you should spend listening and observing and how much time you should spend talking. You can get more reporting done when your mouth is closed.

Report. Don’t conclude. Just days after the election, the AP reported on how Trump was filling his cabinet: “Trump’s hires were, at first glance, contradictory, though they fit a pattern of the celebrity businessman creating a veritable Rorschach test that allowed his supporters to see what they wanted.” That sentence is so wrong for so many reasons, but at the top of the list are its conclusions without attribution. Readers have been telling us for decades that they don’t want us to tell them what to think. They want us to provide facts so they can make up their minds. Vow to attribute, not opine. Disinterested might be the most important, yet infrequently spoken word in journalism today.

Be wary of the witch hunt. About 15 years ago at the Ventura County Star, after three days of top-of-the-front-page of my newspaper headlines bashing the chancellor of the community college district for examples of graft, my metro editor Marty Bonvechio came into my office and said, “We need to stop. This looks like a vendetta.” I was stunned, but eternally grateful for Marty’s stop sign. We need to see ourselves as others would. What we see as reporting facts can be seen as taking it too far when it appears to be orchestrated. We can argue that the press only reported what Trump was saying, had said or had done, but to many Americans, it appeared to be a blood feud.

Many Americans live simple lives. They prioritize their faith in church, charity and small accomplishments in family or in business. They’re not controversial and they are not easy to report about. But they belong in our newspapers. They are voters." 

"Tim Gallagher is president of The 20/20 Network, a public relations and strategic communications firm. He is a former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and publisher at The Albuquerque Tribune and the Ventura County Star newspapers. Reach him at tim@the2020network.com."

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Among comments at Editor and Publisher:

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"RobinNashville

January 17, 2017 at 6:10 am
Permalink
 
The fact that it took a lot of journalistic soul-searching to come up with these points is at the heart of the problem."

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"Jerry Kurbatoff
January 17, 2017 at 6:50 am
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In general, most journalists are liberal and most editorial boards are liberal. Every day journalists would discuss new polls and as the polling appeared to reflect an insurmountable win for Clinton, journalists got caught up in the emotional hype. The story line journalists continued to report was Trump was a joke and could never win the presidency. Journalists fell on the sword of their own elitism. They were ecstatic and drooling for election night to watch the political death of Trump. Journalists drank their own kool-aid."

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"Darlene Prince
January 17, 2017 at 8:20 am
Permalink
 
Really, talk to people who are not in government to find out what is going on in the REAL world? How many meetings did it take to figure that out? Pardon my skepticism, but as long as you hire “journalists” out of college with a built-in bias (thanks to the college) against anything conservative or even moderate, you are going to get the same results in the future that you got in the past. The TV journalist Diane Sawyer got out and interviewed the people who don’t make $100,000 a year but are trying to make it on $25,000 or $30,000 and even less. At least she is trying. There are more of them than of the $100,000 and more crowd in this country. Of course, they don’t give the swell parties and the great lunches that the upper crust gives, but maybe they are a little closer to the REAL world and to what is really going on in this country. Which is where any journalist worth his or her salt should be."
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"Bob Watkins
January 17, 2017 at 6:59 am
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Thank you, Mr. Gallagher. Good points, all. Polls. I suggest you ought emphasize the distortive impact of polls in America today. Seems to me all of ’em were left red-faced after this general election yet no news medium held pollsters feet to the fire. 2. More and more Americans interact on-line instead of in the queue at Wal-Mart or the front steps after church. Just how it is. Again, thank you for your piece."

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"Denny Bonavita
January 17, 2017 at 8:01 am
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Watch out for the “attributed.” That does not equate to “disinterested.” Way back when, as I sat in court with other reporter-friends waiting for a verdict in a headline-grabbing case, we had to write stories when there was no story. The jury was still out. So I turned to John and said, “What does this delay mean for the verdict?” He said, “Guilty. What do you think?” I said, “Guilty, too.” So we both wrote, “Veteran courthouse observers expect a verdict of guilty due to the length of jury deliberations.” Two points. 1. We have always done this cruddy journalism. 2. We ought to stop it."

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"D Scholl+
January 17, 2017 at 10:26 am
Permalink
 
It is about time someone in the media industry recognized all of this. It has been obvious for years. It is time for “journalism” schools to include a broader range of ideas and experiences – and they can’t all be “progressive.” They shouldn’t be in journalism to “change the world” and to “make a difference.”"

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"Geoff D.
January 17, 2017 at 10:30 am
Permalink
 
“Many American(s) live simple lives.” That sentence alone exposes the bias we simple Americans complain about. You don’t give your ever-dwindling number of readers enough credit. It’s not market fragmentation, business models or social media that is destroying the legacy media. People now know when they are not getting the whole story or just one perspective. It’s just that simple – people are now speaking truth to Journalism.

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Added: Journalists viewed working class voters as colonial administrators would a primitive inland tribe:

"Will Rahn of CBS News accused the media of missing the story “after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on. This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness.”

Rahn said working-class people have “captured the imagination of journalists, who have come to talk about them like colonial administrators would talk about a primitive inland tribe that interferes with the construction of a jungle railway."...


11/13/16, "The Political World After Trump’s Win," Joe Lauria, Consortium News

"A new political force in America was unleashed on Tuesday and how the Democratic Party reacts to it could determine its future as a major party. Millions of discontented Americans who have lost out to the computerization and the globalization of the economy – and who have been disproportionately called on to fight America’s “regime change” wars – have made clear that they aren’t going to take it anymore. And any party or politician going forward better listen or they will be tossed out, too, including Donald Trump if he doesn’t deliver.... 


Media Also Repudiated

On the positive side, this election became a repudiation not only of the Democratic Party insiders, but also of establishment Republicans, Wall Street, celebrity culture (with famous people flocking to Clinton) and the mainstream news media. 


The shock to the American political system also is prompting admissions one would never have imagined hearing. On Fox News the morning after the election, a group of personalities (calling themselves “journalists”) were suddenly talking about class in America, a normally taboo subject.

One of them said journalists didn’t understand this election because none of them know anyone who makes less than $60,000 a year. Apparently, these pampered performers don’t even mix with many members of their own profession. I can introduce them to plenty of journalists making less than that, let alone Rust Belt workers.
 

Will Rahn of CBS News accused the media of missing the story “after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on. This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness.”

Rahn said working-class people have “captured the imagination of journalists, who have come to talk about them like colonial administrators would talk about a primitive inland tribe that interferes with the construction of a jungle railway: They must be pacified until history kills them off.” 


These are stunning admissions that would never have happened without this election result. But one wonders how long such introspection in the corporate media will last. After the mainstream media got the Iraq WMD story wrong and contributed to the disastrous 2003 invasion, there were a few halfhearted mea culpas but very little accountability.

For instance, Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt, who repeatedly wrote as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMD and who mocked the few dissenting voices trying to warn Americans about the flimsiness of the evidence, is still the editorial-page editor of The Washington Post.

So, not surprisingly – with almost none of the “star journalists” suffering any career setbacks – the corporate media was soon joining more propaganda campaigns for more wars, which are mostly fought by young working-class men and women who actually do suffer.

The difference now is that this new political force of fed-up voters – who “came out of nowhere” as far as the Democrats and the media were concerned although these voters were staring them in the face might now force a re-evaluation. That’s because these voters are likely still to be there four years from now."

"Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached atjoelauria@gmail.com  and followed on Twitter at @unjoe."

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Below: Evidence of enthusiasm of two Pennsylvania Trump supporters. "A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won in Pennsylvania since 1988....1:41 AM ET: The AP calls Pennsylvania for Donald Trump."










Above, "April 25, 2016, Washington Post, "Why this Pennsylvania Mom painted her property red, white, and blue:" "Leslie Rossi painted her property red, white, and blue to drum up support for Donald Trump ahead of the (Pennsylvania) state’s Republican primary on Tuesday. Rossi believes this final push to promote pro-Trump delegates is critical to ensuring a Trump nomination. (Dalton Bennett / The Washington Post)"












Above, 4/28/16, "Westmoreland County (Pa.) house painted to promote Trump," Pittsburgh Tribune Review, "Leslie Baum Rossi stands on her property in Youngstown where she had a building of hers painted to show support for the Donald Trump campaign, on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Photo by Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review" 
 









Above, 7/3/16, "A Trump supporter’s house in Unity Township, in western Pennsylvania. Credit Jeff Swensen for The New York Times," "Donald Trump’s Appeal to Rust Belt Workers," NY Times, Steven Greenhouse













4/22/16, "The spray-painted 450-foot-long Trump sign in Ms. Ryan’s field in northwestern Pennsylvania. Credit via Lynne Ryan," NY Times 

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AP (near end of article): Trump's win in Wisconsin was the first for a Republican presidential candidate in 32 years. His win in Michigan was the first since 1988 for a Republican presidential candidate.



 



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Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump: NATO has not been prepared to deal with the threat of international terrorism, Jan. 2017. On NATO's future, Trump "said he was open to an alternative organization focused on counterterrorism." NY Times, 3/26/2016

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3/26/2016, NY Times, parag. 7: "Mr. Trump struck similar themes when he discussed the future of NATO, which he called “unfair, economically, to us,” and said he was open to an alternative organization focused on counterterrorism."...3/26/16, "In Donald Trump’s Worldview, America Comes First, and Everybody Else Pays," NY Times, by David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman  (March 27, 2016 print ed., page A1)
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Trump again cites NATO's lack of focus on global terrorism: "NATO has not been prepared to deal with the threat of international terrorism." 

1/16/17, "Trump’s Remaking of US Foreign Policy," Consortium News, Gilbert Doctorow 

"President-elect Trump is outlining a foreign policy that rejects the interventionist tenets of Washington’s neocon/liberal-hawk establishment and puts U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control at the top of his agenda"... 

"Over the weekend, President-elect Trump received two journalists from mainstream European print media — The Times of London and the German magazine Bild — for a joint interview in New York City’s Trump Tower. The event was videotaped and we are seeing some remarkable sound bites, particularly those of interest to the British and German publics. 

For the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May, nothing could have sounded sweeter than Donald Trump’s statement that she would be invited for talks in the White House shortly after he is sworn in on Jan. 20 and that he seeks very quickly to reach agreement on a bilateral free trade pact. The effect of the pledge itself, even ahead of its successful implementation, assures the British that the sting of severing ties with the European Union will be greatly offset by new commercial possibilities in the world’s biggest economy; in this way, it strengthens May’s hand enormously as she enters into talks with the E.U. leadership over the detailed terms of what will apparently be a “Hard Brexit.” 

Further adding to her leverage with the E.U. were Trump’s remarks suggesting that the E.U. will face stern trade pressure, beginning with Germany and its automobile industry, to do more to manufacture in the U.S. That precisely raises the relative importance of the U.K. market, which the E.U. will otherwise lose if it imposes severe penalties on Britain in negotiations over Brexit. 

For the general public’s consumption, Donald Trump used the interview to explain his special affection for Britain, speaking about his Scottish mother’s delight in the Queen and her watching every royal event on television for its unequaled pageantry. But we may expect that Prime Minister May will find there is a bill to pay for the “special relationship” with the U.S. under President Trump. 

Rather than the British media’s early speculation that Prime Minister May would be the one to set the misguided Trump straight about the nefarious Vladimir Putin, she may now have to become a leading European advocate for détente with Russia at Trump’s behest. In this connection, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson’s advice to Congress during his visit to Washington last week that Official Washington “stop demonizing Putin” may well have been a straw in the wind.

For the Germans, Trump also offered a bit of flattery, saying how much he respected their Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, as he went on, he virtually flattened the Iron Lady’s reputation by calling her open-door policy of admitting migrants into Germany and the E.U. a catastrophe. He noted that Merkel’s controversial position had swayed the election results in Britain on Brexit and may lead to the departure of other countries from the E.U. Given his staff’s consultation with Marine Le Pen, a visiting French candidate for the presidency from the right-wing Front National, Trump’s list surely includes France.

Finally, among the sound bites that will be featured in media coverage of the interview, we hear Donald Trump describe NATO as an outdated organization that needs overhaul. However, apart from his reiterated insistence that Member States must pay their fair share, which he claims only Britain and four others from the 28 Member States are currently doing, the interview offers no specifics on what kind structural change, if any, he seeks for NATO. We only hear that NATO has not been prepared to deal with the threat of international terrorism.

Views on Russia

But it was in another area, Trump’s remarks on Russia and the terms he named for possibly lifting sanctions, that we find convincing proof that the President-elect’s approach to foreign affairs is not just the sum of isolated tactical considerations but a complete reinvention of the guiding principles of U.S. foreign policy. What we are witnessing is a shift to a new strategic, geopolitical paradigm. 

In the past couple of decades, going back to the second term of President Bill Clinton, the ideology of neoconservatism with its stress on “democracy promotion” as being the whole of national interest, dictated policy decisions that amounted to the tail wagging the dog. The Baltic States were admitted into NATO in its 2004 enlargement because they wanted it. The decision to station U.S., German and other NATO brigades in Poland and other states along the Russian border taken last July in Warsaw and implemented, in the case of Poland, by U.S. forces in the past several days, was justified by the anxiety of these countries over the possibility of Russian aggression, even though NATO’s action has been highly provocative vis-à-vis Russia and brought the major nuclear powers ever closer to direct confrontation.

In the interview, Trump changed entirely the metrics by which sanctions on Russia would be lifted. Instead of fulfillment of the Minsk Accords over Ukraine’s ethnic Russian Donbas region – which nationalist hardliners in Kiev had the power to block – Trump conditioned the relaxation of sanctions on progress in curbing the nuclear arms race and moving toward significant nuclear disarmament, issues that are fully within the power of the Kremlin to implement.

To be sure, these issues today are more complex than they were in the heyday of disarmament talks. The recent obstacles include the U.S. anti-ballistic missile installations in Poland and Romania, the forward stationing of NATO human and materiel resources in the former Warsaw Pact countries, and the standing invitations to Ukraine and Georgia to enter NATO. So any negotiations between Washington and Moscow will be very complex.

But Trump’s statement shows that he is focused on the big picture, on the triangular relationship between Washington, Moscow and Beijing that he believes to be of vital importance in keeping the peace globally, rather than on some amorphous reliance on expanding democracy globally on the unproven assumption that democracies among themselves are peace-loving.

These elements in Donald Trump’s thinking, quite unexpected in a businessman, bring him very close to the Realism of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, while his setting nuclear disarmament as a key goal, aligns him with Ronald Reagan and — strange to say — with Barack Obama at the very start of his presidency.

If Donald Trump can stave off the jackals from the Western mainstream media and the U.S. foreign policy establishment a combination that has formed a snarling circle around him even before the takes office – he may have a chance to make historic changes in international relations toward a more peaceful world."

"Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015."

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Comment: A "peaceful world" would put the US foreign policy establishment out of business. 
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Sept. 2015: With Trump, it would no longer be assumed that US taxpayers are global slaves:

9/7/2015, "Traitor to His Class," Julius Krein, Weekly Standard

"What Trump offers is permission to conceive of an American interest as a national interest separate from the “international community”....

Nothing is more terrifying to the elite than Trump’s embrace of a tangible American nationalism....The critical question, however, is not the source of Trump’s popularity but rather the reason his popularity is so shocking to our political culture....

Trump shows that what is most in demand...is not ideological purity but patriotic zeal....

Trump alone appears to understand that politics is more than policy and ideology."...



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