Trump and Russia: my best guess

There are conflicting narratives in the political world. This has likely always been true, but the separation of the narratives feels more palpable than any other time in my life. Sure, we’ve had conflicting narratives before: Reagan painted a picture of a world where the poor were living large on the handouts of the rich, and the counter-narrative was that nobody is “living large” and that people need help. There has been the belief that deregulation is good for us because regulations provide a costly burden, and this is countered by the cost is worth the protection that regulations provide. But these were issues of perspective, not issues of mutually exclusive views of the world. That feels quite different from what we have now, especially when it comes to Trump and Russia.

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More lies from FoxNews

FoxNews.com has a headline story about Trump’s jump in approval. And here is another in the series (see here, and here, and here) about why you should be angry if you get your news from FoxNews: They wrote a headline based on a single poll, from a polling organization that is known to be republican leaning, and there is NOT A JUMP in his numbers when you compare the most recent Rasmussen data with the last poll they reported. In fact, the President’s approval rating is EXACTLY the same as it was in the last Rasmussen poll. Other polls, including one from Gallup that’s as recent as the Rasmussen poll, have his approval where it was before, in the mid-high 30s.

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A crack in the dam

If I had to place a bet on the next election (and the ability of Trump to survive his first term), I’d bet that Trump not only survives his first term, but also gets elected to a second term. I’ve been wrong lots of times before, and I hope I’m wrong about this — maybe just about the second term part, but more on that later. The only chance I see of any kind of impeachment or removal from office would be after a full democratic sweep of Congress, and I don’t see that happening. The seats up for election in the Senate grossly favor republicans, and the House districts have been so cleanly carved up that I think it will be hard, if not impossible, to win back the House in 2018. But it looks like there’s some division growing in GOP land. We’ve seen this from pundits and strategists, but we’ve seen far less of it from elected officials, until now.

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Another example of why FoxNews makes me sad (or want to vomit, depending on the day)

I’ve used a fair number of Facebook posts to vent my frustrations about the methods that FoxNews uses (intentionally or otherwise), to paint pictures of the world that aren’t true. The logical fallacies they throw around. This morning, while doing my usual flipping between news stations, I came across this lovely example of awfulness from FoxNews’s guest, Mark Levin. I couldn’t help but do a little fisking of the segment in a Facebook vent, and I’m cross-posting here.

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A new American crisis, a lack of uneducated people…a crisis Fox & Friends would have us believe is real

I went through my usual morning routine: Morning Joe playing on my iPad during my shower, and some flipping back and forth to Fox & Friends while getting dressed and brushing my teeth.
 
The contrast was typical: Morning Joe was wall-to-wall coverage about the cabinet meeting and the figurative kissing of the ring that all (except Mattis) performed; On Fox & Friends I caught a segment talking about the need for vocational training and there being paths for people other than college. They had clips of Ivanka Trump talking about the need for this, and had a clip from Scott Walker talking about all the available jobs in Wisconsin that created a need for skilled workers.

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What’s a RINO?

Todd Starnes has a piece on FoxNews today about all the people who want to take Trump down. “Mainstream media, Dems, RINOS: They all want to overthrow Trump.”  It’s a strange read to me. The premise (that all these people want Trump gone) doesn’t seem far from the truth, but the thing that gets me is the use of “RINO,” Republicans in name only.

Isn’t Trump the quintessential RINO? He’s different from classic (at least over the last few decades) republicanism. He’s against free trade (republicans have long supported free trade). He’s for increasing the deficit to “prime the pump” and stimulate the economy. That’s something that democrats fight for, not republicans. He’s praised health care systems of countries with single-payer, and himself has said that single-payer is a good idea. The GOP has strongly supported integration of religion and politics (not that the democrats haven’t, but religiosity and frequency of church attendance does correlate with republicanism). Trump only recently started talking about religious values.
 
So, is he a RINO himself? Or did that definition change to any registered republican who doesn’t support Trump? I guess in Todd Starnes world the answer is yes. 

Alternate “news” sources give us alternate realities

The sustained popularity of Donald Trump has been making me very sad lately. His twitter feed is just one horrible statement after another. He’s said that he would consider shutting down mosques, that he wants surveillance of mosques, and, perhaps the worst of it all, he has walked the line of advocating for, or at least not refuting the idea that we have an identification system for Muslims. That last one is a bit complicated, and there might be room to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but that’s a bit of a tangent for this post. What this post is about is how different views of the world can be, depending on where we get our “news,” and how that difference can actually make me feel much better about my fellow Americans.

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