Displaying the most recent of 54393 posts written by

Ruth King

18 Questions CNN Needs To Answer After Getting Busted For Fake News Mollie Hemingway

Early on Friday, CNN promoted its latest breathless report purporting to show collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. CNN has been extremely invested in the narrative of collusion for the last year.

In June, CNN was forced to pull one of its Russia-Trump conspiracy stories that “did not meet CNN’s editorial standards.” The discredited story was based on a single anonymous source who connected Anthony Scaramucci, a prominent ally of President Trump, to a Russian investment fund managed by a Kremlin-controlled bank. Three journalists who worked on the story were fired.

But many of the other stories CNN pushed had serious problems, including one that claimed fired FBI head Jim Comey would testify he never told President Trump three times that he was not under FBI investigation. That’s precisely what he testified the next morning after the story ran. Still other stories are headlined explosively and presented on-air breathlessly while being quite anodyne. Earlier this week, was a piece headlined, “Exclusive: Previously undisclosed emails show follow-up after Trump Tower meeting.” The piece quietly revealed that Trump Jr. didn’t receive the follow-up and the “follow-up” was in no way incriminating or suggesting treasonous collusion to steal an election. Such stories have been par for the course for the Russia-Trump collusion narrative.

Friday morning’s report — which got the usual suspects extremely excited — was one such story. Broadcast widely on air and online, it intimated that Donald Trump, Jr. was given an advance notice about documents hacked or phished from Democrats before they were publicly available. The story didn’t include any evidence that the random dude who emailed Trump, Jr. was correct, that his email had been opened, that he was connected to Russia, or anything else to justify the excitement that those all-in on the collusion narrative had in response to it.

But more than that, it turned out that CNN completely botched the story. Instead of advance notice that this random dude sent in to Trump affiliates, it was late notice that this random dude sent in. The Washington Post obtained the email and reported that CNN had completely messed up the story, claiming a September 4 date to an email that was actually sent on September 14, a day after the documents were publicly available.

The U.S. Media Yesterday Suffered its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages: Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened by Glenn Greenwald

Friday was one of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11:00 am EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore, so does the U.S. media.

This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named “Michael J. Erickson” – someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify – to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had “uploaded.” The email was a smoking gun, in CNN’s extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 – ten days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online – and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.

It’s impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it’s necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow to the Trump/Russia collusion story:

The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone Part two

I’m cynical about students. The vast majority are philistines.

The conventional view—that education pays because students learn—assumes that the typical student acquires, and retains, a lot of knowledge. She doesn’t. Teachers often lament summer learning loss: Students know less at the end of summer than they did at the beginning. But summer learning loss is only a special case of the problem of fade-out: Human beings have trouble retaining knowledge they rarely use. Of course, some college graduates use what they’ve learned and thus hold on to it—engineers and other quantitative types, for example, retain a lot of math. But when we measure what the average college graduate recalls years later, the results are discouraging, to say the least.
In 2003, the United States Department of Education gave about 18,000 Americans the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. The ignorance it revealed is mind-numbing. Fewer than a third of college graduates received a composite score of “proficient”—and about a fifth were at the “basic” or “below basic” level. You could blame the difficulty of the questions—until you read them. Plenty of college graduates couldn’t make sense of a table explaining how an employee’s annual health-insurance costs varied with income and family size, or summarize the work-experience requirements in a job ad, or even use a newspaper schedule to find when a television program ended. Tests of college graduates’ knowledge of history, civics, and science have had similarly dismal results.

Of course, college students aren’t supposed to just download facts; they’re supposed to learn how to think in real life. How do they fare on this count? The most focused study of education’s effect on applied reasoning, conducted by Harvard’s David Perkins in the mid-1980s, assessed students’ oral responses to questions designed to measure informal reasoning, such as “Would a proposed law in Massachusetts requiring a five-cent deposit on bottles and cans significantly reduce litter?” The benefit of college seemed to be zero: Fourth-year students did no better than first-year students.

Other evidence is equally discouraging. One researcher tested Arizona State University students’ ability to “apply statistical and methodological concepts to reasoning about everyday-life events.” In the researcher’s words:

Of the several hundred students tested, many of whom had taken more than six years of laboratory science … and advanced mathematics through calculus, almost none demonstrated even a semblance of acceptable methodological reasoning.

The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone Students don’t seem to be getting much out of higher education. Bryan Caplan Part One

I have been in school for more than 40 years. First preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Then a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a doctoral program at Princeton. The next step was what you could call my first “real” job—as an economics professor at George Mason University.

Thanks to tenure, I have a dream job for life. Personally, I have no reason to lash out at our system of higher education. Yet a lifetime of experience, plus a quarter century of reading and reflection, has convinced me that it is a big waste of time and money. When politicians vow to send more Americans to college, I can’t help gasping, “Why? You want us to waste even more?”

How, you may ask, can anyone call higher education wasteful in an age when its financial payoff is greater than ever? The earnings premium for college graduates has rocketed to 73 percent—that is, those with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 73 percent more than those who have only a high-school diploma, up from about 50 percent in the late 1970s. The key issue, however, isn’t whether college pays, but why. The simple, popular answer is that schools teach students useful job skills. But this dodges puzzling questions.

First and foremost: From kindergarten on, students spend thousands of hours studying subjects irrelevant to the modern labor market. Why do English classes focus on literature and poetry instead of business and technical writing? Why do advanced-math classes bother with proofs almost no student can follow? When will the typical student use history? Trigonometry? Art? Music? Physics? Latin? The class clown who snarks “What does this have to do with real life?” is onto something.

The disconnect between college curricula and the job market has a banal explanation: Educators teach what they know—and most have as little firsthand knowledge of the modern workplace as I do. Yet this merely complicates the puzzle. If schools aim to boost students’ future income by teaching job skills, why do they entrust students’ education to people so detached from the real world? Because, despite the chasm between what students learn and what workers do, academic success is a strong signal of worker productivity.

Suppose your law firm wants a summer associate. A law student with a doctorate in philosophy from Stanford applies. What do you infer? The applicant is probably brilliant, diligent, and willing to tolerate serious boredom. If you’re looking for that kind of worker—and what employer isn’t?—you’ll make an offer, knowing full well that nothing the philosopher learned at Stanford will be relevant to this job.

Israel Carries Out Airstrikes on Hamas Following Fire From Gaza Strikes come amid heightened tensions in wake of U.S. Embassy decision

TEL AVIV—Israel launched airstrikes early Saturday at Hamas positions in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, as tensions simmer between Palestinians and Israeli forces over a White House policy change on Jerusalem.

​The strikes overnight targeted two weapons-manufacturing sites, an arms warehouse and a military compound, the Israeli military said. Three people were killed in the strikes and more than 20 were injured, Gazan health authorities said, according to the Palestinian Authority’s state news agency. Hamas said two of the dead were members of its armed wing.

Israel was responding to rockets fired on Israeli communities on the border of the strip. One of the rockets fired from Gaza exploded in the Israeli town of Sderot on Friday night, causing damage to several parked cars, Israeli media reported.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, didn’t claim responsibility for the rocket fire directed at Israel. A number of small jihadist groups in Gaza instead said they were responsible for the rockets.

However, Hamas this week called for a Palestinian uprising against Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and said he would plan to move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv.

While exchanges of rockets and strikes aren’t uncommon between Israel and the Gaza Strip, the timing is sensitive because it comes during heightened tensions between the two sides. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars over the past 10 years, in part because both sides escalated fire from smaller exchanges. CONTINUE AT SITE

Welcome to the Hell Hole that is Brussels by Drieu Godefridi

Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.

If you penetrate the thick cloud of professional indignation to scrutinize the reality of the “capital of Europe”, what you see in many respects is actually a hell hole, one where socialism, Islamism, riots and looting are the new normal.

When then-candidate Donald Trump noted in January 2016 that, thanks to mass immigration, Brussels was turning into a hell hole, Belgian and European politicians presented a united front at the (media) barricades: How dare he say such a thing? Brussels, capital of the European Union, the very quintessence of the post-modern world, the avant-garde of the coming new “global civilization,” a hell hole? Of course assimilating newcomers is not always easy, and there may be friction from time to time. But never mind, they said: Trump is a buffoon, and anyway, he has zero chance of getting elected. Such were the thoughts of those avid readers of The New York Times International Edition and regular watchers of CNN International.

However, Donald Trump, in his unmistakable, brash style, was quite simply right: Brussels is rapidly descending into chaos and anarchy. Exactly two months after that dramatic Trumpism, Brussels was eviscerated by a horrific Islamic terror attack that left 32 people dead. And that was only the tip of the monstrous iceberg that has built up over three decades of mass immigration and socialist madness.

Last month alone in Brussels, there were three separate outbreaks of rioting and looting on a major scale.

First, there was the qualification of the Moroccan team to the soccer World Cup: between 300 and 500 “youths” of foreign origin took to the streets of Brussels to “celebrate” the event in their own way, looting dozens of shops in the historical center of Brussels, wreaking havoc in the deserted avenues of the “capital of civilization” and, during their riot, injuring 22 police officers.

Three days later, a social media rap music star nicknamed “Vargasss 92,” who is a French citizen of foreign origin, decided to organize another unauthorized “celebration” in the center of Brussels, which quickly turned into another riot. Again, shops were destroyed and people assaulted for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Short clips of the event streamed onto the social networks, showing the world (and Belgians) the true face of Brussels without the politicians’ makeover. No wonder the European political elite hate social media from the depths of their hearts; they prefer the sanitized (and, in both France and francophone Belgium, heavily subsidized) traditional press.

Medical Journal Perpetrates the Noble Lie that American Air Quality Kills By John Dale Dunn and Steve Milloy

The iconic academic journal of American medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), published since 1812, has committed itself to a Noble Lie[1], that ambient (natural) air quality in America kills hundreds of thousands annually.

Jeffrey Drazen, MD, lung specialist, Editor in Chief of the NEJM since 2000, Distinguished Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine at the Harvard School of Medicine, professor in the Department of Environmental health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, is in his 17th year of tenure as editor of the NEJM and in that time he has approved publication of false claims about air quality lethality, resulting in the NEJM become a partisan news outlet that promotes the US EPA political agenda and onerous burdensome air regulations that chase a phantom air quality scare. Air quality in America isn’t killing anyone.

The bias and partisanship of the NEJM and Dr. Drazen and his editorial board is displayed in the publication of an article in June of 2017, authored by Di, Dominici, Schwartz, and others titled “Air Quality and Mortality in the Medicare Population” that claimed to show deaths from exposure to American air quality in a very large study of elderly Americans. They claimed thousands of elderly Americans were dying every year from bad air quality, but their study showed a very insignificant increase of 8% in deaths, in the range of what scientists call “noise” (natural variance) as opposed to good evidence, called “signal.” In spite of that unreliability, as described in the Federal Judicial Center’s Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (Chapter on Epidemiology, pages 597-606), Dr. Drazen approved publication in the NEJM and joined in writing an editorial applauding the article ”Air Pollution Still Kills.”

Earlier in 2017, two published studies on air quality effects said just the opposite of the Di study, that ambient air quality wasn’t killing anybody. The first research report by James E. Enstrom was a reanalysis of old studies relied on by the EPA in the 1990’s to justify air regulations. The second study was by Young, Smith and Lopiano, a comprehensive decade long study of all the heavily populated air basins in California that showed no death effect from small particle or ozone air quality. These two studies refuted the premise and claims of the Di NEJM study of June 2017 and all the EPA funded and sponsored studies used to justify aggressive air quality regulations.

In legitimate science activity, researchers are expected to comment on studies that conflict or contradict their assertions, but the Di, Dominici, Schwartz article did not comment on or discuss the Enstrom and Young studies, or other studies that showed no death effect. The editors of the NEJM would be expected to demand that authors display a proper scientific temperament and cite contradictory studies and attempt to explain or refute the contradictions. Instead the Di authors and the editors of NEJM ignored the conflicts in results, and asserted their position. That’s how the Noble Lie is perpetrated; establishment researchers repeat themselves and assert the matter is settled.

Roy Moore Accuser Makes Stunning Admission About Yearbook Signature By Tyler O’Neil

On Friday, the woman who presented her yearbook as evidence that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted her admitted that she herself had written at least part of the inscription. Beverly Young Nelson, who is represented by notorious lawyer Gloria Allred, admitted to adding to Moore’s inscription, although she still claims he originally wrote it.

“He did sign it,” Nelson insisted to ABC News’ Tom Llamas. He asked her, “And you made some notes underneath?” She then admitted, “Yes.”

Last month, Nelson joined a chorus of accusers, claiming that Roy Moore groped and attempted to rape her when she was 16. To substantiate her claims, Nelson produced a yearbook with the inscription, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore… Roy Moore, DA. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.”

Allred, Nelson’s lawyer, originally said the entire message was penned by Moore, but on Friday Nelson revealed that at least the note “12-22-2017 Olde Hickory House” was her handwriting.

This may seem nit-picky, but Moore’s lawyer Phillip Jauregui raised questions about the alleged signature last month, noting that Moore’s signed name ended with the letters “D.A.” Moore was not a district attorney at the time, but an assistant district attorney.

Despite Nelson’s claim that she had never had contact with Moore since the alleged incident, she did actually interact with Moore in 1999, when she filed for divorce against her husband.

Jauregui noted that Moore’s assistant when he was presiding over Nelson’s divorce proceedings was named Delver Adams. Adams typically stamped his initials on court filings, leading to signatures reading “Roy Moore, D.A.” The presence of that “D.A.” after the signature and the fact that Nelson had a court action involving Moore in 1999 suggest the signature may be a forgery.

At the time of Jauregui’s statement, reporters noted that the “D.A.” from Adams did not look similar to the “D.A.” in the yearbook. That fact does not explain the existence of “D.A.” after Moore’s signature in the yearbook, however.

This admission might call the entire signature into question. Even if Nelson’s accusation is entirely false, however, there are still other women claiming Moore pursued them inappropriately when they were teenagers.

Gloria Allred did her side no favors by representing Nelson. As The Weekly Standard’s Chris Deaton reported, those who defend Moore despite the allegations cite Allred’s involvement as a reason. If the yearbook signature is indeed a forgery, that will diminish Allred’s credibility even further. CONTINUE AT SITE

Who’s Playing Politics on Israel? Liberals accused Trump of putting politics above diplomacy when he recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital. Pot, meet kettle. By Jonathan S. Tobin

As far as the New York Times was concerned, it was simply a matter of fact: The only possible explanation for President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was politics, pure and simple. A front-page news article proclaimed as much in its headline: “For Trump, an Embassy in Jerusalem Is a Political Decision, Not a Diplomatic One.”

The piece claimed that the move was more or less hatched in a meeting Trump held ten days before his inauguration with billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson and Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein. At the meeting, Trump reaffirmed the promise he had made during the campaign to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since all of his predecessors had reneged on the same promise, as far as the Times was concerned, the only possible reason for Trump to even consider keeping it was a fear of disappointing donors like Adelson and fervently pro-Israel base voters.

This thesis makes sense if you believe no rational president would ignore the collective wisdom of the foreign-policy establishment, but it has two basic problems. One is that it fundamentally misunderstands Trump’s view of the world and governing style, as well as the truth about the current standoff in the Middle East peace process. The second is that it ignores an even more obvious element of the new debate over Jerusalem: The president’s opponents are playing politics here as much as he is.

Was there a political benefit to Trump’s keeping his promise on Jerusalem? Of course. But while Trump seems to think more about the need to honor his campaign promises than most career politicians, everything he’s done since entering politics suggests that being broadly popular is not his primary concern.

Instead, it seems far more likely that the decision stemmed from Trump’s contempt for the conventions of policymaking. His instincts almost always lead him to distrust the experts and actively seek out the advice of dissenters from the conventional wisdom. This can often get him in trouble, but in this case, it alerted him to a basic fact that his predecessors’ deference to the experts caused them to ignore: The traditional approach to the Arab–Israeli conflict, which dictated a refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, has been an abysmal failure.

Did the DOJ Misuse the Steele Dossier — to Spy on the Trump Campaign? Some Trump supporters are making that claim. The president can disclose warrant applications proving whether it’s true. By Andrew C. McCarthy

Will he or won’t he?

Will President Trump order the disclosure of any warrant applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (the FISA Court) in which the Justice Department and FBI presented any information derived from the Steele dossier?

We don’t need to imperil national security. There is no need to disclose the entirety of any application. There is no need to expose intelligence sources or methods of gathering information — they can be redacted. We don’t even need to see any actual application; a declassified summary of the relevant information will do. We just need to know if what administration supporters are saying is true: In seeking surveillance authority on the rationale that Trump associates were acting as agents of a foreign power, did the Justice Department and the FBI present the FISA court with the Steele dossier as if it were a product of U.S. intelligence reporting — rather than what it really was, a political opposition-research product commissioned by the Clinton campaign?

That is an explosive charge. So, at the very least, will the president order the Justice Department to provide any such FISA applications to the House Intelligence Committee — preferably along with an explanation of why the president’s own appointees at the Justice Department and the FBI have been defying the committee’s requests for information?

Even before controversy arose over the Steele dossier, many of us were prepared to believe that there was more evidence that the Obama Justice Department and intelligence agencies had been put in the service of the Clinton campaign than that the Trump campaign had colluded in a Russian espionage operation against the 2016 election. Now, the Trump administration’s most effective advocates on Capitol Hill and in the media have made a plausible circumstantial case that the Obama administration colluded with the Clinton campaign to conduct court-authorized spying on the Trump campaign.