Let's Fix This Country

investigations

Law Professors Slam Press for Distorting Biden Document Report

Upon the release of Special Counsel Robert Hur's report, the media uniformly fastened on the page 1 sentence,

"President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen."

This did not rise to the level of prosecution because, said the report,

"Mr. Biden would present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory."

Andrew Weissmann and Ryan Goodman, law professors at New York University, found the press coverage so shoddy that they wrote a 4,300-word report of their own on Hur's 382-page effort to show, as Weissman put it in an interview, "the reliable laziness of most of the American news media".

The media left that page 1 sentence hanging, as did Hur, and didn't make it to page 6 where he said there are “innocent explanations” for the retention of documents that the report “cannot refute.” The Goodman/Weissmann report says, "Unrefuted innocent…

the election

Increasing Incidents Expose Trump’s Cognitive Decline

That 81-year-old Joe Biden shows intermittent signs of cognitive decline is not in dispute. There's no denying that he has worrying lapses. Leftwing media has touched on such incidents gingerly; rightwing cable channel hosts engage in the topic virtually every night.

For them it takes the form of gleeful mockery. Sean Hannity of Fox News tells us "about your president who doesn't know today is Thursday" and "it's not even clear that Biden knows he's alive." Laura Ingraham on that same channel ridicules Biden's occasional malaprops. Both often fabricate. "Today he looked totally, completely, utterly confused, confounded, unsure of his surroundings", says Hannity, the worst of the two, while the video on the split screen shows nothing of the sort.

But now, it has become increasingly apparent that 77-year-old Donald Trump is showing signs of wear. Incidents of confusion and rambling dissociation are occurring at increasing frequency. His confusing Nikki Haley for Nancy Pelosi got wide attention. He has several times spoken of Barack Obama in place of Biden and Hilary Clinton. Forbes magazine in a November article chronicled at least seven times he confused Biden and Obama.

Speaking at the D.C. Pray Vote…

the election

Trump Disqualification: Supreme Court Finds Constitution Inconvenient

There has never been any doubt about how the Supreme Court would rule in the Colorado case in which its highest court took Donald Trump off the ballot for engaging in insurrection January 6, 2021. We took up the Colorado decision and the controversy that swirled around it in December and said

"It is foregone that the Supreme Court would not dare disqualify Trump, not after infamously deciding who should be president in 2000's Bush v. Gore."

It may be your preference –simply to let the people vote – but first it should not pass unnoticed how political the Court was in order to wriggle free of the unequivocal language of the Fourteenth amendment.

Let's go through a few of the exchanges in which it seemed that each justice had been assigned a role to find loopholes for why the amendment does not apply to Donald Trump.

offices and officers

Remarkably, the highest court in the land tried to make the case that Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to the former president because "president" is not specified in…

the election

A Close Look at Manic Disorder

In September, Megyn Kelly, the former Fox News firebrand, interviewed Donald Trump. Here's a dose of his manic carrying-on when the subject turned to the case of documents taken to Mar a Lago that Trump hid and fought against returning to the government:

By the way, the Presidential Records Act restricts the president, declaring that documents are owned by the government — the opposite of what he says. His disorder is in full display in twisting that around to create his own reality:

Trump: Number one, I did nothing wrong because I come under the Presidential Records Act. The fascists who are going after me and are not going after Biden even though he has ten times more documents — maybe more than that. He has documents going back 40 years, or 50 years. We did nothing wrong. I come under the Presidential Records Act. I'm allowed to have these documents. This was done in 1978 and this was done for exactly this reason. I'm allowed to have these documents. The other side doesn't even mention that. They don't even mention the words 'Presidential Records Act'. The Presidential Records Act is very important. Bill Clinton took out in his socks — it's called the socks case — [Biden's] got thousands of documents as a senator and even I watched couple…

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immigration

Trump Says Border Is “Single Greatest Threat”, so Keep It Open

Highly conservative Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma stepped forward on "Fox News Sunday" to list the features of the bill a bipartisan group of senators has been working on for months with Lankford as lead negotiator:

"This bill focuses on getting us to zero illegal crossings today. There's no amnesty. It increases the number of border patrol agents. It increases asylum officers. Increased detention beds so we can quickly detain and then deport individuals. It ends catch and release. It focuses on additional deportation flights out. It changes our asylum process so people get a fast asylum screening at a higher standard and then get returned back to their own country."

Also conservative commentator Charlie Sykes, editor-in-chief at online publication The Bulwark, calls Lankford's provisions "a conservative Republican's dream."

And yet, House Speaker Mike Johnson, showing himself ever more to be Trump's bootlick, issued a statement criticizing Biden's support of the bill, saying the President already has the power to act. This is the same political class that, to deflect the Democrats' sounding alarm at Trump's dictatorial tendencies, asserts it is Biden who is the autocrat for conducting government by executive order, now urging Biden to do just what they fault, to autocratically issue a border edict in obeisance to Trump who has commanded Republicans in Congress to do nothing.

Over the weekend, Trump told an audience:

"In the House, as you know, the Speaker...who, by the way, I think he's going to prove to be a very good Speaker...he just said it's dead on arrival. We want either a strong bill or no bill and whatever happens happens, but this is the single greatest threat to our country right now".

The single greatest threat, but do nothing. Keep the border open… Read More »

media

First Social Media, Now AI. Will News Reporting Survive This Latest Parasite?

Just after Christmas, The New York Times opened a new front in the yearslong war between news publishing companies and Internet platforms that have appropriated their reporting without compensation. The Times sued Microsoft and the AI development article illustration
company, OpenAI, in which Microsoft is heavily invested, for helping themselves without authorization to millions of Times articles to build the large language models that feed the companies' generative-AI engine, OpenAI's ChatGPT.

At a time when hundreds of news outlets have been shuttered during this new century, driven out by Americans getting their news from social media, and now even unlikely sources such as Instagram and TikTok, AI is seen as a new parasite even more deadly.

“Defendants seek to free-ride on The Times’s massive investment in its journalism”, the complaint says.

“Times journalism is the work of thousands of journalists, whose employment costs hundreds of millions of dollars per year…Defendants have effectively avoided spending the billions of dollars that The Times invested in creating that work by taking it without permission or compensation."

cordoned off

In the years of struggle with free-riding social media, readers of their news feeds could at least click through to publisher websites which could earn revenue through advertising adjacent to articles and by selling direct subscriptions. The AI threat is that instead of sending the reader to a publisher website to read an article, it sucks in the publisher's copyrighted work from its vast datasets to write summaries that may suffice for readers. The publisher is shut out.

Since May, Google has segregated 10 million users to test an AI product called "Search Generative Experience", which it openly says it intends to merge into its search engine. Publishers see the legal dilemma of Google responding to inquiries with summary answers that are a mix of content from any number of publications ingested… Read More »

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