How to survive in a world without facts


The utter disregard for truth that we’re seeing with Trump isn’t something that’s completely new… I just went through the archive here and found a number of instances over the past decade or so, where we’ve lamented the fact that truth was becoming a thing of the past. Back in 2008, I apparently even posted something here titled, “Does the truth matter in presidential politics?” Sure, Trump kind of took things to a whole level when he decided to become a national spokesperson for the so-called “birther” movement, suggesting that our President wasn’t even an American, but, really, it’s been with us for quite a while now. From the “swift boating” of John Kerry to the repeated lies concerning Benghazi, we’ve been sliding down this slippery slope for a long, long time.

I mean, lying has been with us from the beginning, but, at least to me, it seems as though we’ve come to a point now where we’re dealing with something now altogether, a completely different animal. In the past, at least as far as I remember, the truth generally won out. Now, though, lies, or at least a significant strain within the broader non-truth ecosystem, have morphed into something much more malignant. Much like antibiotic-resistant “super bugs,” they’ve evolved to the point where we can not longer defeat them. We try to wipe them out with facts, but they’re impervious to it. And the inconsistency of it all is just maddening. One day, we hear audio of Hillary Clinton talking bout being pinned down by sniper fire over video of a scene that doesn’t seem to jive with her story, and we collectively agree to she’s not to be trusted. [See the “lying Hillary” meme.] On another day, though, Trump will say something like “Millions of illegal votes were cast for Clinton,” and it just somehow worms its way into our collective unconscious, to a part of the brain that’s apparently unreachable by logic. Facts, at least for a significant percentage of Americans, simply don’t seem to matter when it comes to a certain kind of lie.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a great example. This is footage, broadcast yesterday, of CNN’s Alisyn Camerota talking with a group of Trump supporters about the perceived problem of voter impersonation.

“Obama told [illegals] they could vote,” one of them tells Camerota. “You can find it on Facebook.” And, when it’s explained to the woman that the footage she’d seen was deceptively edited, and that President Obama never instructed illegal aliens to vote, it doesn’t even seem to register. Instead, the subject turns to California, where, according to those being interviewed, illegal aliens are allowed to vote. Cameron, to her credit, steps in to inform the men and women seated in front of her that this simply isn’t true, but, once again, it doesn’t seem to phase them. They just keep right on going… And, sadly, given the interactions I’ve had with Trump supporters, I don’t think these people are unusual in how tightly they cling to false information, as long, of course, as it reinforces their worldview.

As for that worldview, I hate to generalize, but I suspect, for a large majority of those who support Trump, it can be summed up pretty easily – 1. They see themselves as good, hardworking Americans who are deserving of more than they currently have. 2. They feel that, at least in part, the reason they don’t feel more prosperous and secure is because the liberal elite in Hollywood and Washington, who value diversity more than they do traditional American values, have handed the country over to people who don’t look like them and their neighbors. 3. They’re tired of being told that they should feel ashamed for having the politically incorrect feelings that they’re having… And if you’re lies should happen to line up with that worldview, I think you’ll probably find a receptive audience. And, certainly, a story about Obama, who we all know is probably a Kenyan that was brought up hating America, encouraging “illegals” to cross the border and vote for Clinton, so that she can transfer even more wealth to poor, inner city people of color, has it all. So, really, is it all that surprising that Trump’s most recent lie about voter fraud is as impervious to truth as it is?

And it certainly doesn’t help that more people are getting their “news” from Breitbart and social media than from traditional journalists who ostensibly still value the truth.

Yesterday, on her NPR show, Diane Rehm had Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post, Glenn Thrush of Politico, and James Fallows of The Atlantic with her to discuss the future of journalism in a post-fact world. The conversation, which centered largely around Trump, who has the ability to spread lies at will to a receptive audience of 16.4 million by way of Twitter, was, as you might imagine, terribly depressing. Rehm’s guests, I think it’s fair to say, were flummoxed by Trump. Responding to his lies with truth, I believe they all agreed, just wasn’t working. And, while they had a few ideas as to how we might want to proceed in light of our current situation, my sense was that, when it came right down to it, they had no fucking idea.

At some point during their discussion, Rehm conferenced in Trump stalwart Scottie Nell Hughes, who immediately began spouting bullshit, and then defended her position by claiming the she too was a “classically studied journalist,” a claim that made her fellow geusts gasp. Hughes, after pushing back against the notion that the truth is somehow the property of the liberal elite, dropped the following piece on knowledge on her fellow guests…

“There’s no such thing anymore, unfortunately, as facts,” she said.

And, for what it’s worth, this is life and death. Here’s a perfect illustration. The following comes from an article in Slate today titled, “The House (Anti-)Science Committee Strikes Again.”

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is, ironically but shocking to no one who understands the majority party, quite anti-science. For years now, the committee and its chairman, Lamar Smith, R-Texas, have been merciless in their attacks on both climate scientists and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Smith—who receives a large amount of funding from fossil fuel interests—has been subpoenaing NOAA staff and data repeatedly in what is a transparent attempt both to create a chilling effect and to directly prevent them from doing their very important research into human-generated global warming.

The committee’s Twitter account often reflects this ideology. And Thursday afternoon, to the dismay of many, they tweeted a climate-denying “news” story from Breitbart.

And here’s their post.


Which brings me to to the point of today’s post. How, I’m wondering, do we as a culture, make our way back to sanity? And, here, with that in mind, is a short list of things that I’m thinking might help push us back in the direction of truth. And please feel free to add your own. I’d like for this to be a conversation.

1. I’m going to start paying for journalism. I’ve put it off long enough, and, this Christmas, I intend to purchase online subscriptions to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Detroit Free Press, as well as a magazine or two… Real journalism has never been more critical, and I figure that I should start contributing in some way. And, as a subscriber, I intend to use my voice, complaining when, for instance, these entities refer to white supremacists as the “alt-right”, or insist on giving equal time to anti-science global climate change deniers. [And, yes, I know that these three papers aren’t without fault… I too remember Judith Miller… But I think they’re the best bet we have going forward.]

2. I think we need to go after those who advertise on sites that refuse to conform to journalistic standards, like Breitbart News. I was heartened to see that Kellogg had pulled their advertising from the faux-news site yesterday, and I intend to reward them for that with a cereal purchase and a letter of thanks this weekend. I will also, however, be writing to those companies who still advertise on Breitbart, asking that they follow the lead of Kellogg… And here, to give you an idea of just how seriously the folks at Breitbart are taking Kellogg’s advertising boycott, is a statement by Breitbart editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow.

“Breitbart News is the largest platform for pro-family content anywhere on the Internet. We are fearless advocates for traditional American values, perhaps most important among them is freedom of speech, or our motto ‘more voices, not less.’ For Kellogg’s, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice. They insult our incredibly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45,000,000 highly engaged, highly perceptive, highly loyal readers, many of whom are Kellogg’s customers. Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice. If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.”

And this, my friends, is where the wars of capitalist America will be fought. These people don’t care about online petitions. They don’t care about protests in the streets. They care about their profits. And we need to continue directing our energy there.

3. No matter how tiring it becomes, I’m going to try my best to keep engaged with people who don’t share my appreciation for objective truth. [Here, if you’re interested, is an example from earlier today.]

4. I’m going to demand more from our existing news sources… Reading up on Scottie Nell Hughes after hearing her on the radio this morning, I discovered that she’s a paid CNN contributor. While I understand that they want people on staff who can provide a window into the mind of Donald Trump, I feel as though there’s a line that should not be crossed, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to demand that our news networks hire only people who are able to acknowledge the existence of true, objective facts.

5. I’m going to do more on the local press front… All I can say at this point is that I have ideas. I do think, however, that we can’t lose sight of the fact that a lot of this starts at home, at the local level. We need to teach media literacy to kids, and we need to encourage and support local initiatives that prioritize good, solid investigative journalism over click-bait headlines.

6. I will encourage social media companies to be more responsible. Facebook, as I understand it, has started cracking down on fake news, but others need to step up as well. While I don’t think it should necessarily be the job of Twitter to factcheck every tweet that goes out on their platform, they need to accept some responsibility for what we’ve seen happening in America, and respond accordingly. As for what that might look like, I’m not sure. Some are suggesting that they remove Trump’s account until such time that he stops using it to amplify his deliberate and destructive lies. I’m sure, however, there are other things that could be done short of this, like prioritizing responses from trusted fact checkers, etc. Whatever we do, we have to shift the culture back in the direction of sanity, and we need out social media companies onboard to make that happen.

7. I will finally get around to reading Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, paying special attention to how people in the past have successfully responded to the lies of totalitarians. Who knows, I may even bring back the old Ypsi-Arbor Progressive Book Club, so that I don’t have to read it alone.

8. I will try not to become discouraged. I will stay busy. I will not wallow in despair. I will force myself to remain optimistic, and keep believing that, in time, science and truth will win out.

There’s more, but I can no longer keep my eyes open… Please keep the list going. I’m just going to rest my eyes for a while.

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  1. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Given that contradicting facts only make people cling more strongly to their cognitive bias, I would suggest the best way to deal with the big, orange Troll in Chief is to ignore his words and pay close attention to his actions and those of his cronies.

    In related news, I think I have uncovered EOS’ identity:

  2. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    The truth is whatever is on InfoWars that day.

  3. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    The comments section is incredible. InfoWars has become the number one news outlet for conservative America.

  4. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    “Very few females are mentally equiped to be President. Females have no business voting. They produce nothing and creat nothing. They mainly consume. The results is they vote themselves free stuff at mens expence. Females are constantly trying to drag men down to their level. Once she gets him their she loses interest and swings to the next guy stealing his wealth through unfair courts. How can you expect a female to be president?”


  5. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    “You have no clue what I an talking about. You need to educate yourself on the inadequacy of females. About 1/3 of the women in this country are on ssris and other psycho drugs. Most have severe mental health issues. Most undiagnosed because they are allowed by manginas and society to get away with very bad behavior all the time. No you need to get with it and educate yourself with the real ugly results. Yahoo, HP and many other corporations are run into the ground because they are minority hiring and kicking out the best producers on this planet. White males who are the most productive, reliable, and dependable producers on this planet. Most Wall street companies are in massive bond debt from hiring females. Just an ugly fact. You need to get with reality moron.”

  6. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Trump stupid performance in Indiana is absurd. Save ~1,000 low level jobs at the expense of tax payers, providing a perverse incentive for corporations to merely threaten to cuts jobs in expense for tax cuts.

    Unbelievable that the “party of free markets” has let this happen.

    While the auto bailout (which were in part made up of loans that had to be (and were) repaid) was also problematic, the reality is that it saved more than 250,000 jobs.. and the GOP opposed it.

    Yet, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio all voted GOP…. because they are that taken in by a performing charlatan (and the fact that Clinton was asleep on the job).


  7. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    “Trump” should have been possessive. “expense” should have been “exchange.”

  8. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    True conservatives should step up and call this silly stunt for what it is.

    Of course, they will not.

    The bailout:

    In late 2008, Chrysler and General Motors told America that they were in danger of folding. George W. Bush agreed to a temporary bailout, but handed the auto companies’ long-term future over to his successor, President-Elect Barack Obama. Obama then shepherded a comprehensive bailout of the two companies that allowed them to stay in business but imposed numerous conditions that, it was hoped, would secure their viability and allow the companies to eventually return to profitability.

    How you saw this series of events depended a lot on where you stood politically. If you were a progressive, you saw that Obama selected the best of unattractive options. While he didn’t particularly want the government running car companies, the alternative was to let them go out of business right at the moment when the economy was reeling from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. At stake were not only the jobs of all of GM and Chrysler’s employees, but the jobs of people who worked for hundreds of suppliers, from stereo manufacturers to steel and rubber producers. Estimates of the potential job losses topped one million. So he did what had to be done.

    If you’re a conservative, on the other hand, the auto bailout was part of Obama’s government power grab. Eager to amass power and increase the federal government’s control of the economy, he took the opportunity to take over the auto industry, serving his thirst for centralized control.

    These competing interpretations offer a textbook case of the “fundamental attribution error,” in which we assume that our own behavior (or that of people we like) is a response to circumstance, while others’ behavior (or that of people we don’t like) is a function of their inherent nature. There’s something else going on, too: once we make a value judgment about which policy choice is right, we tend to follow that up with a bunch of empirical predictions about what practical effects each alternative will produce. And when that happens, one side can be proven right, and the other side can be proven wrong. Here’s today’s news:

    DETROIT, May 24 (Reuters) – Chrysler Group LLC was set on Tuesday to repay $7.5 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans from its 2009 federal bailout, a move that will allow the U.S. automaker to distance itself from an unpopular bailout and deepen its ties with Italian automaker Fiat SpA (FIA.MI).

    Under the original terms, Chrysler had until 2017 to repay the debt.
    Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of Fiat and Chrysler, is scheduled to appear at a Chrysler assembly plant in Sterling heights, Michigan, Tuesday afternoon to express thank to the governments for their financial support. Also at the event will be Ron Bloom, the Obama administration’s point man on auto restructuring, and General Holiefield, head of the United Auto Workers union’s Chrysler department.

    The jobs were saved, the economy was helped, and the government gets repaid ahead of schedule. GM too is earning healthy profits again, allowing the government to divest itself of its GM stock. So: everybody wins.

    It doesn’t seem to have been polled in a while, but back in 2009 the auto bailout was extremely unpopular. But it’s hard to imagine that Republicans are going to want to talk much about how they preferred to see Chrysler and GM liquidated. Nevertheless, if you forced them to, I’m sure they could come up with reasons why the turnaround in the industry proves nothing, and the bailout was still a bad idea.”

  9. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    EOS’ video is absolutely hilarious.

  10. wobblie
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    After Fox News, the NY Times and the Wash Post are the two biggest sellers of “false news”. You would be much better off supporting actual fact based reporting rather than shills performing stenographic functions for the state. Informed Comment, would be a great place to put your money. Today for example he has an article about Trumps pick for SOD, Mad Dog Mattis. While liberals immediately gang up on him the factual reality is, he might be the least militaristic man to occupy that office this century. Men who have actually fought wars are for less likely to want to start new ones.

  11. wobblie
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Most recently the Wash. Post has launched a baseless attack against much of the fact based reporting out there

  12. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    I am supposed to believe that there were more people actively operating as serial murderers in the United States at the time of the election than there were people who executed voter impersonation?


  13. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 5:35 am | Permalink


    Just looked at their site.


  14. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Roost action does no actual reporting. They just filters news, so that progressives only get the news stires (real and fake0 that confirm their narrative. They put up online petitions to fool people into believing they are ‘taking action.’ The site says on every page that ‘5 of your friends like RootsAction’ when only 1 does; the rest are fake profiles. They ask for money on the first page and keep asking for it. It’s a scam. They are making money off your outrage. They are making you more stupid every day you read them.

    The WaPo Russia story the roots action link refers to (with more links) is interesting because they are standing by it. They are being called out everywhere for it on red-baiting accusations and supposed thin facts, but the stpry has not been thoroughly debunked or retracted. It’s worth following.

    PS the author, Craig Timberg’s latest story about fake news quotes Mark Zuckerberg as saying: “Identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated.”

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    It’s something, I guess.

    I’m guessing that most news stories posted will garner a fake news report from someone… Might be a bitch to implement. (that was for you, iRobert)

  16. Jcp2
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Is this really a post fact cultural disaster? I’m not so sure. It’s more like being in high school and having your family move from Boston to South Carolina, or from New York to Florida, or from Chicago to Scottsdale.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    It depends if you are concerned about totalitarian creep. If so, the dissolution of the 4th estate matters. The 4th branch of government is our only protection against totalitarianism– and those institutions have lost much integrity. We are not expressing fear of the populus– the people who compose the right– but what populist sentiment and misinformation can do to our democratic freedoms and institutions. It’s one thing to live in a conservative place–I have and will again soon. For someone like me, it’s not much different really, unless you cleave to liberal lifestyle choices and fancy cocktails– It’s another thing entirely to have the ideas and misplaced nationalist ideals of those populations run our country and dominate it’s halls of power.

    It makes sense to protect and preserve the 4th estate, because we will need it to limit damage and move on when this is all over.

  18. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Who would give a site like “RootsAction” any publicity at all? This is just cookie cutter politics.

    “End all wars”

    Good luck with that.

    I suppose it’s like that Alan guy who believes in the goodness of despots and thugs. The world would all get along if the US would just get out of the way.

  19. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The real problem is that the liberal elites had thought they had cornered the market and locked up all reputable news sources, but they only managed to drive thinking people away. Mark thinks that reading 3 papers will give him a broad picture of the news, but the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Detroit Free Press all spew the same inaccurate propaganda and will only further distort his worldview. They all speak the same Orwellian Newspeak and are now actively trying to eliminate alternative views by labeling them as “fake news”. Those with Conservative views may soon be charged with “Crimethink”. If you would venture outside your bubbles on occasion you might observe a totally different reality. But the really sad part of this is that you have been so misled for so long that you have no awareness that it is your view that is more limited and distorted than conservatives.

  20. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    “The real problem is that the liberal elites had thought they had cornered the market and locked up all reputable news sources, but they only managed to drive thinking people away.”

    Isn’t FOX News one of the most watched television news outlets in the country? Last I checked there were numerous conservative written media sources. If they aren’t successful, it is because conservatives don’t read.

    Conservatives don’t read the NYT or the Post or the Free Press. It’s simply stupid to believe that getting rid of those three will somehow make liberals less liberal, when liberals are their readership base.

  21. Somebody
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    EOS could you respond to Mr. Maynard’s summary of Trump supporters world view? Possibly with your own summary of Clinton supporters world view?

    I still think it’s this mischaracterization of the ” other” by the elites in our party that lost us the election.

    Also EOS are you really against Obamacare and it’s efforts to expand health coverage? Yes it’s flawed by a step in the right direction I think. It’s been fascinating to read about what the party in power is going to try to do.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Somebody– Oh, you just stepped in it. This should be rich as EOS reveals her racialized, personal responsibility, social benefits are evil bad think. She is a lot better at critiquing the left than supporting any position.

    If Somebody is the somebody I think he is, didn’t you vote for Snyder… for a 2nd term??? You may want to question your instincts to minimize the harm caused by the GOP lately.

    As for the party in power’s real plan, see Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism. (Hint hint– the groundwork for a Junta was just put in place.) Don’t rely on this drivel or you will be confusing the puppet for the masters:

    Pete– wondering if you made it through that^^^ . It’s a stunning document. Took me 5 tries and several beers to make it through.

  23. Jcp2
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the fourth estate was able to exist in the latter half of the twentieth century because of the benevolent desires of wealthy foundations derived from prior robber baron fortunes as well as a state of media monopoly coupled with a sense of noblesse oblige on the part of the owners. Media income is much less now because of technological disruption, and wealth is being actively consolidating and not needing rehabilitation yet. We admire Carnegie and Rubenstein now. Cecil Rhodes was not a man of the people. Alfred Nobel was an arms dealer.

  24. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I certainly don’t agree with Mark’s summary of Trump supporters worldview.

    “1. They see themselves as good, hardworking, and deserving of more than they currently have. 2. They feel that, at least in part, the reason they don’t feel more prosperous and secure is because the liberal elite in Hollywood and Washington, who value diversity more than they do traditional American values, have handed the country over to people who don’t look like them and their neighbors. 3. They’re tired of being told that they should feel ashamed for having the politically incorrect feelings that they’re having”

    1. I see myself as good, hardworking, and deserving of what I have, but also grateful that God has blessed me with more than I need. I do not desire to be wealthy. 2. I think those running the country look very much like me, but think very differently. They haven’t handed the real power over to anyone. I don’t believe that the elite really value diversity at all. I live and work in a racially and culturally diverse environment because it is my personal choice. 3. I’m tired of a culture that is trying to criminalize Christian values, but feel no shame whatsoever for my faith. I have no desire to be politically correct. I prefer to think for myself.

    I do think it’s this mischaracterization of the ” other” by the elites in the Democratic party that had a big influence the election. I think Clinton supporters are a diverse group and wouldn’t want to attempt to categorize them.

    And yes, I think ObamaCare has been a huge mistake and should be revoked and replaced with a more sustainable health care policy. I personally would prefer a system where medical insurance is not determined by my employer or my government, but does provide a safety net for those who are unable to work.

  25. Kim
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Hillary Clinton has now won the popular election by 2.6M votes and counting. Trump is trying to stop the Michigan recount. His suit is being considered THIS MORNING.

    Here’s how you support the Michigan recount. DO THIS RIGHT NOW (preferably before the open of business): copy this, paste it into an email, hit “send,” SHARE THIS:


    Subject Heading: I Support the Recount

    To the Michigan Bureau of Elections:
    Hello. My name is ___ and I am a voter in ___ County. I am writing to express strong support for the recount of votes cast in Michigan in the recent presidential election. A recount in a close election is necessary to ensure the integrity of our electoral process, particularly in a situation such as this, where the winning candidate has won by less than a quarter of a percent, which is exactly why Michigan law clearly allows for such a recount. Donald Trump’s opposition to the recount is contrary to clear Michigan law. I strongly oppose any effort by Donald Trump or anyone else to block or impede this recount and encourage you to promptly reject his meritless opposition to the petition to recount.

  26. Lynne
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t think any of this matters anymore. By voting for Trump, we are going to be locked in to serious climate change and while the effects might be a decade or two in the future, they will happen. I don’t see the free market fixing this. It can’t fix it. At this point, I am working to make sure my nephew has all the privilege I can afford when he grows up and my hope is that the collapse won’t happen until I am dead.

  27. Eel
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    9. Carry an air horn to blast in the face of anyone you hear who utters a lie.

  28. M
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    If Obama had been more vocal when it came to taking credit for the auto bailout I wonder if we would be here right now. It’s not just having the truth. It’s reinforcing the truth. Trump doesn’t just lie. He lies often and loudly. I’m not suggesting that Democrats lie, but maybe they need to do a better job of taking credit and reminding voters of Republican failures. Obama was gracious to a fault. Maybe if he’d said, “This plant is here because I stood up to the Republicans” once in a while, people wouldn’t have been less inclined to vote for Trump here.

  29. Brainless
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, give your money to the Times, like they give a shit. Brave choice, young Padawan.

    How about Bridge Michigan or anything else closer to home that might actually do some good for us here and not just go into the pockets of yet more profit seekers?

  30. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I read the Times. It’s a good source to keep informed on the liberal slant on the news. But I also read the Wall Street Journal and often find the truth to be somewhere in between. I used to read both the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News, but neither is worth the paper they are printed on these days. Most of their news is a week late by the time they publish a story and the coverage is minimal. I can read the AP story when it breaks. I listen to NPR and I also listen to Thayrone.

    There are lots of good conservative publications. And Fox News is the most watched cable news in the country and although I wouldn’t consider them to be a reputable conservative source, they are slightly to the right of most network news on most stories. No one suggested doing away with any newspaper. Just hoping to find a few good ones that cover the issues from more than a single point of view.

  31. kjc
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    hasn’t it been confirmed that EOS is male? is the persistent “she” supposed to be an insult?

  32. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh, how sexist. I thought progressives thought gender was fluid anyhow.

  33. Kassandra Frost
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    In the Gilded Age, our gold lacked substance. It’s the same now with information. And we subsidize it with our attention just as our dollars subsidize Trumps ties being manufactured in China.

    Except, it’s been made cool to donate 10% of purchases to breast cancer, but checking the ethics/sources of our information, or our purchases, for that matter, hasn’t become quite so trendy.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    “Now is the time to recalibrate the default assumptions of American political discourse. Identity politics is not the sole preserve of minority voters. This election is a reminder that identity politics in America is a white invention: it was the basis of segregation. The denial of civil rights to black Americans had at its core the idea that a black American should not be allowed to vote because that black American was not white. The endless questioning, before the election of Obama, about America’s “readiness” for a black President was a reaction to white identity politics. Yet “identity politics” has come to be associated with minorities, and often with a patronizing undercurrent, as though to refer to nonwhite people motivated by an irrational herd instinct. White Americans have practiced identity politics since the inception of America, but it is now laid bare, impossible to evade.”

    Now is the time for the media, on the left and right, to educate and inform. To be nimble and alert, clear-eyed and skeptical, active rather than reactive. To make clear choices about what truly matters.

    Now is the time to put the idea of the “liberal bubble” to rest. The reality of American tribalism is that different groups all live in bubbles. Now is the time to acknowledge the ways in which Democrats have condescended to the white working class—and to acknowledge that Trump condescends to it by selling it fantasies. Now is the time to remember that there are working-class Americans who are not white and who have suffered the same deprivations and are equally worthy of news profiles. Now is the time to remember that “women” does not equal white women. “Women” must mean all women.

    Now is the time to elevate the art of questioning. Is the only valid resentment in America that of white males? If we are to be sympathetic to the idea that economic anxieties lead to questionable decisions, does this apply to all groups? Who exactly are the élite?”

  35. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    No Jean. That’s the whole point. Everybody doesn’t like in a bubble and practice identity politics. There are some in all parties, but that should not be the goal we are striving for. You should not vote for a woman merely because she is a woman. We should vote for each person based on their unique characteristics regardless of any collective label that might apply. We are all different, but we are all the same human race.

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh my, EOS, you missed the entire point of the piece. Utterly. I suppose I should not be surprised.

    “Now is the time to recalibrate the default assumptions of American political discourse.”

    “Now is the time to remember that, in a wave of dark populism sweeping the West, there are alternative forms. Bernie Sanders’s message did not scapegoat the vulnerable. Obama rode a populist wave before his first election, one marked by a remarkable inclusiveness. Now is the time to counter lies with facts, repeatedly and unflaggingly, while also proclaiming the greater truths: of our equal humanity, of decency, of compassion.”

  37. Jerri
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    1) I absolutely agree with Jean Henry that we need to be paying more attention to behaviors.
    2) I also think we might be best off starting a mass movement to teach critical thinking skills using news feeds as the learning tools. Thinking and critical thinking are not much a part of our education system, which I believe is a mechanism of socialization to current culture, rather than an education (but I digress).
    One venue for that: instead of (or in addition to) book clubs, discussion groups, etc we could hold community meetings designed to teach the skills to watch for and ferret out facts (or lack thereof) in any information source. Granted, this will not squelch the mass movement to hang on to a narrative no matter the facts, but it is a beginning.
    3) For those who refuse to let go of a narrative no matter what, I think we are approaching them in almost the exact opposite way that we need to be approaching them to get the results we want, which is a change in a belief system and the behavior that ensues.
    When I am faced with this kind of behavior on an individual level and am trying to deescalate a situation I try to always start out with the statement “You are right about_______(fill in the blank)” The left is (myself included) screaming “Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong” to 60+ million voters. We are not going to do anything but escalate divisiveness. Yes, we know they won’t get what they want out of their votes but that is not really the issue here. We cannot change minds if we don’t listen. There is their belief system in the mechanisms of change (which is what we are screaming “wrong” about) and there is their reason for wanting that change in the first place which puts them squarely in the same boat we’re in – this life sucks and its just getting suckier.
    An example of this “You are right” phrase changing a conversation is right here on your blog, Mark. When the CNN commentator googled Obama’s statement about “illegals” voting, her response was, “Okay, Okay I see where you’re getting that.” If her statement had been “You are right, it does say that here.” she could have changed the conversation to one about facts and non-facts in media. It might not have gone anywhere but it would have been a different conversation and it would have validated at least one thing this woman was saying that was true: “The information is there, I saw it.”
    Which brings me to the media’s responsibility in this fiasco. The media is THE ONLY entity consistently benefiting from any of this mess (the abom. and elite think they are but in the end they won’t and can’t) and the only entity that will continue to benefit as long as we participate. The more news the more the media benefits, whether that be fact-based or agenda-based. We are relying on a source that benefits and thrives from divisiveness to help us try and create unity, although I also have my doubts that unity is what we are really seeking right now, right or left – I think we all just want to be right (as in correct) at this point; that is the reactionary human-nature of outrage.
    We need to try and omit established media from this struggle as much as possible. Yes, we can try and find sources that are fact based or that we can demand be fact based, but can we find sources that will not eke out every ounce of sensationalism they can out of this mess?
    Lastly, I believe we need to STOP using the labels that have become a part of our everyday speech. We are now all either trump supporters, liberals, haters, morons, the right, the alt-right, white supremacists, racists, bleeding hearts, xenophobes, demons, and on and on and on. Yes, these labels help identify belief systems but they also de-humanize ourselves and everyone else. I refuse to believe that I should group all 60+ million people who voted for the abom. together, as I would be (and am) appalled to think that they label me with every other voter who didn’t. Start by recognizing people by their names (as well as a label if we must), even those we most disagree with. SOME if not many of those 60+ million might be worth having a conversation with and those conversations might be educational on both sides.
    In the meantime, we need Jean Henry’s political experience and knowledge to keep us fighting within the system. Thank you for ‘listening’. Jerri Lynn

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

  39. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    “The reality of American tribalism is that different groups all live in bubbles. ”

    No, they don’t.

  40. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Now is the time to reiterate our default assumptions in a way that employs a cheap rhetorical device, in order to give the false appearance that we are about to try something new, built upon a fresh self-evaluation, which we have already decided is unnecessary.

  41. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Careful FF,

    Jerri might commit you to a re-education camp until you come to the same conclusions as she and Jean.

  42. Lynne
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Jerri, I really like the idea of informally teaching people critical thinking skills and logic skills and whatnot. I am not sure of the logistics or how to do it. Like how do you even find experts willing to do it?

    I know that even though I am no expert and just know what I learned getting my BS in Economics from the local University, I have been aghast at the number of people who think they are experts in Economics and macroeconomic policy when clearly they are almost completely ignorant on the subject. These guys do not even know the difference between demand/supply and the quantity demanded/supplied which I think was explained on my first day. They know nothing but think they know everything. They are the embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect (or so *I* think. I only completed enough coursework to get a minor in Psych. I probably suffer from this effect too. We all do). I think that if they had a better understanding of the field, they might come to different conclusions or maybe not but at least they would have better arguments.

    Anyways, I just haven’t figured out a nice way to approach people about their ignorance yet. This quote sums up how I am feeling about this, about how lost I feel when my facts dont matter, when my knowledge doesn’t matter.

    “I don’t mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that’s how it comes out.”

    ― Bill Hicks

  43. Jerri Lynn
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    EOS, Thank you. That is the first time I have been a temporal witness to the creation of false news. Other than when my son was a baby and I ‘forced’ him to not run in front of a car, I don’t force people to do anything and I’ve never been in or wanted to be in a position to even try. I also do not understand enough of Jean Henry’s dialogue to know whether I agree with her on everything or not. But I do know she is much better suited to work within the political structure than I am and I trust her value system. I also was very impressed with your statements “We should vote for each person based on their unique characteristics regardless of any collective label that might apply. We are all different, but we are all the same human race.” That speaks well to my belief system.
    FF doesn’t have to worry – not trying anything new. Still living by the same principles and belief systems I have for many decades and assumptions don’t really turn me on.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    EOS does not believe she occupies a bubble. She sees your bubble but not her own. Because that’s how it works. Tribalism is a human reality. It’s everywhere. In every culture. I have a print on my wall that lists the characteristics human civilizations have in common as complied by an anthropologist. An forming groups of people like us tops the list.

    FF- As dismissals go that was a funny one. I’m afraid the old tired rhetoric is yours though, even if tied up cleverly. I am not an ideological purist. I’m just interested in hearing more voices, more perspectives. Sometimes you gotta throw an elbow. And I do sometimes, I know. (This crowd is stubborn in its defense of white hegemony and its resistance to and anxiety about a truly integrated and multi-cultural, and not predominantly white America. But this piece was as gracious as possible and acknowledged precisely EOS point as central — our shared humanity.
    But you all could not see that, because you are resistant to the idea that we can all be here, and speak our own voices, and be our true selves, and have full agency and not lose anything but gain a tremendous amount. Somehow what you see in that vision is loss. And I know what EOS thinks she’s losing– a Christian Anglo-centric country. What is it that you think will be lost FF? A unified working class? I don’t understand how you get their by dismissing the voices of the most marginalized. It’s your loss. The arc of progress and all that…

  45. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Was that piece from a diverse voice and from a different perspective? I didn’t pick up on that at all.

    It is politely worded but barely under the surface it seems like it contained standard and typical proclamations: I am right you are wrong. I am good you are evil. I am smart you are stupid….

    So, I can’t really answer your question the way you want me to because I reject the way you asked the question, framed by the idea that I am dismissive of a different voice/love. Seemed like more of the same to me….I can speak about fear of loss generally though: I am afraid if we don’t actually change our approach, then Truth, Love and Justice,existing within a progressively more unified community, will become increasingly less likely.

    I am crossing my fingers that my sarcastic comments are not counterproductive toward that end because honestly, at this point, sarcasm laden comments seem like the only appropriate responses to a lot of the stuff I have been reading here for the last few weeks…. Strange times….

  46. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:47 am | Permalink


  47. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    FF– I honestly have no idea how you came to this: “I am right you are wrong. I am good you are evil. I am smart you are stupid….: from that article.

    It just speaks to some kind of tremendous anxiety or need to be right and without fault on your part really. It’s not in there. If we talk about systemic injustice, well then yes we all have a part. Being intellectually against it doesn’t give us a pass on doing the work of self-accountability. Being intellectually against injustice, requires us to self-examine. You really have no interest in doing that work it seems and are highly defensive about it. Sarcasm is a defensive ploy. It dismisses. It refuses to engage.

    I don;t think her voice warrants that response. It’s precisely what she is asking you not to do. That defensiveness is what she is asking us to give up. To be more human and accepting of difference. There is no constriction, shame or loss in progressing towards that vision of the future.

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if you ever read outside of your comfort zone, FF, (few do) but Adichie’s Americanah is a great novel, contrasting the experience of being Black in Africa, with being a Black African in America and Black in America– among other things. I think you would find that she is in fact an independent thinker, able to view the world through multiple lenses. She is in particular interested in how our lenses are determined by our sense of self and the culture around us– the interior and the exterior gaze. Yes, she offers a diverse voice to those willing to listen and not dismiss.

  49. Jerri Lynn
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I think I understand why most of the people in the country are angry. I am angry too. I have been angry about our political system for a long time. Not because I have disagreed with who is president at any given time, not because I disagree with other people’s political views (I do but it is their right to have those views and I defend that right).
    I am angry because I do not think our political system has represented me for a long time. I do not think our elected and non-elected leaders have had my best interests at heart for a long time. BUT, I THINK THIS IS ALSO TRUE OF 99% OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY; everyone but that most financially elite, the 1%. I think I have that one very basic belief in common with 99% of the 120+ million people who voted in this election.
    This political system is not designed to represent us. This economic system is definitely not designed in the best interest of any but those most financially elite. And this economic system determines this political system.
    I AM NOT angry at Trump voters. I AM NOT angry at Hilary voters. I am not angry at voters at all. WE ARE NOT GIVEN CHOICES THAT MIGHT MAKE OUR LIVES BETTER. WE ARE NOT GIVEN CHOICES OF CANDIDATES WHO ACCURATELY AND TRULY REPRESENT 99% OF US. We are given choices to vote for the person we think might do the LEAST DAMAGE to our lives.
    There is zero likelihood that someone who could really represent most of us could actually be elected in this country. The political system is so far stacked against that it might as well be written into the rules. Only those with access to obscene amounts of money can get near a high political office in this country. To have access to obscene amounts of money in this country is to participate in the system that already represents the elite financial minority. That is where the economic system determines the politics of this country. I like to think of each election as being invited to their party every four years. We are the entertainment. What we (99% of us) need or want is not on the menu.
    FOR ME, this election has not been a fight against other voters. It has been a search for who would do the least damage (once again) to my life. AND to the lives of the majority of the people in this country. I am going to hazard a guess that of the 120+ million people who voted in this country most, if not all were voting to try and make their lives better or, like me, to try not to pick someone who would make them worse. THAT is where I identify with all voters.
    So, I think this election has and continues to keep us all from recognizing that one basic, common goal. It has kept us focused on blaming, accusing, differences, divisiveness, outrage, and anything but the fact that our options are STILL only to let that 1% run this country and control our access to reasonably healthy lives.
    I am not angry or disagreeing with you, EOS and I am not angry or disagreeing with you FF and I have my big girl panties on; if you are angry or disagreeing with me I can handle that.
    I think we are fighting with each other when we should be fighting with that 1% and that is much more to their benefit than ours. We are still entertaining them while they rake in the profits.
    Thank you for your insights and responses to my rather long-winded posts. Jerri

  50. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely right. Her premise is that those who voted for Trump lack critical thinking skills. That they cling to emotional beliefs in spite of the facts. And she can’t comprehend how 60 million people voted for the abom. (abomination?)

    She advocated a tactic of book clubs, discussion groups, and community meetings to teach Trump supporters how to think. She was polite, but arrogant in her assumptions. She stated that encounters with Trump supporters should start off with, “You are right” and then progress to attempts to change their views. In her second comment to me, she tried to do exactly that. She accused me of creating “false news”. I merely made a sarcastic response that leveled her karma. This has now become the standard tactic of Clinton supporters. Any deviation from their point of view is “false news”.

    What you wrote is absolutely correct. Immediately Jean responds with an accusation of some sort of pathology on your part. She lives in a bubble and assumes everyone else does too. Her bubble consists of liberal views independent of race. I exist outside her bubble. My bubble is all of humanity. She states that I am fearful of losing the Jude’s-Christian culture. We won. And that’s the reality they refuse to accept.

  51. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Judeo-Christian. Hate spell checker.

  52. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    If you find the article inspiring that is cool.

    I just read it as a post-election call to double down on polite finger-pointing.

    My sarcasm is unhealthy but lately it is all I’ve got.

    Sorry for party rockin.

  53. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks EOS,

    I think what you said about thinly veiled arrogance is very applicable to the article Jean shared, even though I was not responding to Jerri’s post.

  54. Jerri Lynn
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The sky is blue except when it’s not.

  55. Somebody
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Peggy Noonan was great before the election. If only my dismal allies had bothered to read her, but oh well. Her own party didn’t even listen to her.

    So EOS where do we have common ground?

    Criminal justice reform ? Maybe stop locking people up for weed?
    Aid to the poor? But how, I would think not government probably. Greater contributions to local groups like Food Gatherers etc?
    How do you feel about renewable resource on their own merits, not as a part of the climate issues?
    Tax reform, do you want different tax rates for the wealthy versus working people, what are your thoughts?
    Schools, public, private, charters what do you think?

    And I like your Obamacare response about a safety net for those who can’t work, I’m thinking you are referring to Medicaid. But how do we protect those who work but are unable to afford insurance?

    Are there any issues that you find yourself in agreement with “liberals”?

  56. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Common ground? I think weed should be legalized. I no longer smoke, but I don’t see any reason that the government should restrict individual freedom concerning smoking.

    But real crime should be punished with jail or prison sentences and not be rewarded with job training or other entitlements. Job training and employment opportunities should be given to those who haven’t engaged in crime.

    Other than that – I think charity should be private. Tax reform should be a straight tax without loopholes that ensures the wealthy pay proportionately. Schools – should be locally controlled, private and charter are better than public and homeschool is the best choice. I think energy use should be cost efficient and I don’t think there is any scientific evidence to support long-term global warming or global cooling. Oil is a renewalable resource. Natural gas is abundant. Climate fluctuates – it always has. I think those who work but can’t afford to pay for insurance should receive necessary emergency treatments regardless, and should negotiate payments with private physicians for other care or utilize free clinics provided by private charities. Meanwhile, they should aggressively pursue enhancing their skills to obtain better employment opportunities.

    I’m really not in agreement with liberals on almost any issue. It’s a worldview that I don’t share.

  57. Donald Harrison
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this, Mark, and dedicating so much time to researching, reporting and reflecting. As I try to reboot my own relationship to news and journalism in this “post truth” era, I’m realizing how time consuming this pursuit’s become. It also feels increasingly alienating, as an isolated experience on a computer “connecting” with others who are so often anonymous or aliased, even on a local site like yours. I’m interested in creating/attending some kind of regular local news salon where we can share/discuss our versions of what’s really going on and why from our worldviews. Maybe the alias people will wear masks.

  58. stupid hick
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Lol, the sky is blu, except when it’s red foo. Sorry for party rockin.

  59. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    “Thoughts From The 8ky

    I’ve been wanting to speak my truth about this whole LMFAO situation for a looooooooong time. Out of respect to our family I kept it all to myself. I woke up this morning excited to plan the release of my album that has been 2 years in the making, but then I get a call from my lawyer telling me you say you own all my LMFAO royalties. Different things like this would go on all the time when you know we are 50/50 across the board. The way you belittle people and your crazy power trips was some of the main reasons our relationship as family and partnership has greatly suffered.

    I’m sure you know I have been trying to get this money released that was held up from the Rick Ross lawsuit. Unlike you, I didn’t take the LMFAO brand for myself. Your whole vibe and style since our last show together is completely a half ass version of LMFAO. My back went out right before a big arena show, you went out and performed but then just left on the tour bus without seeing me…. In fact, you didn’t speak to me after that for about a year which is around the time you announced our hiatus.

    As someone who really cared, loved and had your back this really hurt. I mean, you’re my uncle!! My blood!!! You even kept touring as LMFAO and made a lot of money doing it. You never once called me to ask me how i was recovering you just kept shuffling everyday without me. I really loved you. I looked up to you man, but the more successful we got, the more you wanted control.

    While I was hurt, you and some people at interscope tried (and kinda succeed) [at putting] on a huge stadium tour and cut me out of it as much as you possibly could [while] still using the LMFAO brand. This is crazy!! Something we built together. After a while you took for yourself. I mean, your last album is called Party Rock Mansion. The only two LMFAO albums where called Party Rock and Sorry for Party Rocking. Even if we wanted to come back, you severely damaged the brand especially with your last album.

    You tried to sell happiness, but you’re not a happy person. No matter how hard you try LMFAO will never be the same with out me, therefore it will never be the same. I couldn’t stand how you disrespect people. I was gonna let it all go, but still you f*cking wit me and my livelihood [and] even though you already just took so much from me, its still not enough. Well, the sh*t stops here Stefan. I just wanted to make music from a real place, not from the 13-25 female demographic or what ever other statistics you and the label obsess over.”

  60. stupid hick
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Diane Rhem and company gasp at Scottie Nell Hughes’ comments about “facts”. As if it’s outrageous and never been telegraphed as “in bounds” by a right wing political strategist. Any of you remember this, from the last *successful* Republican Presidential campaign? From 2004, and the unnamed aide was later identified as Karl Rove:

    “The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    Diane Rhem’s guests are “flummoxed”, and Mark’s sense is “they have no fucking idea what to do”. In the meantime, Republicans have noticed that Trump was successful, in an election they themselves expected to lose, where McCain and Romney were not.

    I’ll tell you what to do. Follow Morbid Larson to the right wing blogs, to study, and learn. And if you choose to engage in the comments there, use a pseudonym and heed Jerri Lynn’s advice about civil persuasion.

  61. stupid hick
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Somebody and EOS, thank you. More discourse like this please.

  62. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Here’s how you can help:

  63. EOS
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Kellogg stock has dropped 3.6% in two days.

  64. jean henry
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Everyone who disagrees with FF is called arrogant. Asking us to be better humans may in fact be arrogance (or just futile) but it’s important to have high standards in times like these. Trump made people feel legitimized in their vitriol and pettiness and ignorance. It may be that low standards is the winning political game. Atwater, Rove and Newt definitely set the stage and wrote the playbook for Trumps victory. They know how to win. They do not know how to govern. The GOP have been horrible economically for the country for the last 40 years. GOP states have terrible economic output compared to Blue states. And they use more government assistance (relative to revenue generated) than Blue states. Eventually the people will catch up. And the Berners will grow up. The Dems lost this one but they have the long term winning strategy, both economically, militarily and in terms of demographics.
    I’m worried in the short term but not in the long term. GOP leaders consistently fail to deliver. Eventually people will figure that out. I do agree that liberals need to be less smug and insulting. They have a lot of work that do to really live up to their own standards. Arrogance should at least be backed up by results

    FF I’m truly curious what your point was in posting that LMFAO/Rick Ross legal fight quote. I don’t get it.

  65. Somebody
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I think you misspoke EOS would you prefer a straight tax or a proportional tax?
    Lots of Liberals want to legalize weed, see there are some place where the worldviews overlap.
    Do you think Trump will set up these free clinics to help those who are uninsured while they develop there skills?

    How does Trump have the time to watch SNL?

  66. EOS
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink


    I don’t often misspeak. A straight tax without the numerous loopholes or deductions would be proportional. If everyone pays 15%, then someone who makes ten times more would pay ten times more. That’s proportional.

    I think you might be thinking of a progressive tax, which we have now. Lower incomes pay 15% and the rate rises as income rises so that the top bracket is 36%. But the wealthy have tax lawyers who help them claim business losses, charitable donations, offshore banking, etc., that often allow them to pay far less than they should.

    Trump is an unknown. He has no record as an elected official. I don’t think anyone knows what he’s going to do. I don’t think his administration is going to be like any previous Republican or Democratic presidency. I’m praying for him but will wait and see like everyone else.

  67. Somebody
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    It will all be interesting I’m sure. I hope he’s just like any other president.

    Have a merry Christmas.

    P.S. To my dismal allies, couldn’t a world without facts be liberating in a sense? Doesn’t it allow us to dream? Trump sold a dream of this America full of trouble,and hate and danger and his dream of making America great again and he won. Poor Hillary had a basket full of facts and plans and she lost. After all MLK didn’t have a policy he had a dream. Maybe it’s time we start talking about our dreams of what America could be no matter how unrealistic or fantastical. What was that John Lennon lyric?

  68. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I have only on very rare occasions called someone “arrogant” in my life. I think I did accuse you of acting arrogantly just prior to the election…It seems that was a pretty accurate observation on my part, especially given how the election turned out. I don’t take that back.

    After I and SH referenced LMFAO I shared some words from SkyBlu. He is addressing the fallout between himself and Redfoo. I thought it was a compelling description of disenchantment and false appearances.

  69. jean henry
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    More arrogance in the form of critical analysis.

  70. stupid hick
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    “What was that John Lennon lyric?”

    Woman is the nigger of the world. Think about it, do something about it?

  71. jean henry
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    That’s John Lennon stealing from Zora Neale Hurston, a genius ground breaking Black American– as was his (very profitable) penchant.
    Zora Neale Hurston was a brilliant fiction writer and folk Lori at whose approach to Black American life was anthropological. She was raised in an all Black community in Florida (I think FL), removed from the oppression of everday exposure to racist degradation. Her take on race in America is fascinating for those who are interested in creating a post-racial society.

  72. jean henry
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


  73. jean henry
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    PS being called arrogant in a ‘post fact world’ seems more and more like a badge of honor. Should the educated ‘elites’ hide in shame at their acquired knowledge? Foes information or ignorance make people snobs? What compels people to call others snobs. Is it always true that conceit or is it sometimes defensiveness on the part of the criticizer or both? If liberal ‘elites’ are so ‘out of touch’ why did they vote The sane way as all marginalized people including People making under 30 grand a year? Maybe it’s the WWC and less educated but wealthy white insulated suburban and rural population with the superiority complex– with the problem of arrogance.

  74. Bob
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Jean, it really isn’t.

  75. Jean Henry
    Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    From today’s NYTimes (Amanda Hess, Touching Base):
    “Nothing sounds quite so noble as preaching ’empathy for those with whom we disagree. But are we trying to relate to other people for their good or for ours?”

    “There is no movement for right wing Americans to be more empathetic because they won. The nation has already bought what they are selling, The call for Blue states to cultivate empathy isn’t about finding instructive truths in others’ worldviews; it’s about understanding their motivations well enough to persuade them to vote differently.”

    Masha Gessen, whose work Olivia pointed me towards on this blog (she received the Wallenberg medal at UM) is an authority on autocracy, particularly Russian.

  76. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 12:11 am | Permalink

  77. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Well that link didn’t work as planned. You can read the full article on Drudge.

  78. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Cannot. question. popular. conservative. orthodoxy.

    Must. cut. and. paste. what. is. required. of. me.

    I. must. do. what. I. am. told.

  79. jean henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I don’t have any problem with climate Progress, a PAC dedicated to climate action, advocating for the removal of anti-science journalists. Opposing viewpoints about climate impact grounded in science would be no issue. And there are areas of disagreement within climate action. But climate change denial is like denying gravity. No journalist should work who takes that position. Period. By the way, I feel the same way about rigid anti-GMO and vaccine positions. (Or EOS anti-psychiatry positions) A neutral journalist can present these cases for what they are. But advocacy for positions not grounded in science is not a position from which a journalist should be writing.

  80. jean henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Bob– bigotry is arrogance.

  81. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    He was a highly regarded scientist until he spoke the truth. They destroyed his career.

  82. jean henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    He’s a political scientist, EOS. That’s not a scientist. His father is a scientist. My dads a lawyer. I don’t practice law, much less am I ‘highly regarded’ on that field.

    You just keep making our points for us.

  83. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    “As I have summarized on the Climate Science weblog, humans activities do significantly alter the heat content of the climate system, although, based on the latest understanding, the radiative effect of CO2 has contributed, at most, only about 28% to the human-caused warming up to the present. The other 72% is still a result of human activities!” –Roger Pielke Sr. (the scientist)

    Roger Pielke Jr still works and publishes as a political scientist and still holds a University position. His life has not been destroyed. He simply does not write about climate change, by choice:
    “Q: Five years ago you told us you wanted to stop publishing on climate policy. Why?
    A: Yes, [that decision has] been a few years in the making. You know, I wrote my dissertation on science in the climate debate. I’ve written on mitigation, adaptation, geo-engineering, impacts of climate change. So, intellectually, the benefits of continuing to do work in this area aren’t that high. On the other end of the conversation, the cost of participating in the issue continue to go up. ”

    He simply exhausted his capacity to write about climate change apparently. You know, it’s so simple, he pretty much covered it already.

  84. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Pielke earned a B.A. in mathematics (1990), an M.A. in public policy (1992), and a Ph.D. in political science, all from the University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to his positions at CU-Boulder, from 1993 to 2001 he was a staff scientist[2] in the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. From 2002 to 2004 Pielke was Director of Graduate Studies for the CU-Boulder Graduate Program in Environmental Studies and in 2001 students selected him for the Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award. Pielke serves on numerous editorial boards and advisory committees, retains many professional affiliations, and sat on the Board of Directors of WeatherData, Inc. from 2001 to 2006. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Linköping University[3][4] and the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America.[5] His dissertation was in the field of climate change.

  85. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Roger Pielke Jr is a Political Scientist, not a scientist. His dissertation and other work concern Climate Action POLICY not climate science. His career as a political scientist and journalist is in tact. He may have worked with actual scientists (where he addressed social impacts), but he never was and never will be a scientist. His Climate Science ‘journalism’ and research was funded by the fossil fuel industry. Just Like Myron Ebell, Trump’s non-scientist advisor on EPA transition.

    EOS has frequently referred to the non-peer reviewed and industry funded ‘research’ performed and ‘data’ findings of non-scientists as factual. She is the embodiment of a future ‘world without facts.’

    As far as the how to live in a post fact world– I found this analysis of Trump’s habitual lying and changing of position as strategic interesting. It may not be worth it to get diverted into debunking his assertions and imagining all the scenarios he puts forward. (although in EOS case, it takes no time at all.) We should instead focus on his actions.

    “Mr. Trump has said that he prefers to be unpredictable because it maximizes his power. During his recent interview with The New York Times, he casually abandoned his fiery calls during the campaign for torture, prosecuting Hillary Clinton and changing libel laws. Mr. Trump’s inconsistencies and provocative proposals are a strategy; they are intended to elevate his importance above all else — and to place him beyond democratic norms, beyond even the Constitution.”

  86. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I apologize EOS. Pielke Jr’s work is peer reviewed and not funded by the fossil fuel industry. I read the letter from Congress, but not his response. My bad. The work is not, however, climate science or hard science. And he does not deny anthropogenic climate change. He simply questions the severity or climate model predictions about global wamring’ impact. Climate science is intensely complex and the models are muddied by endless factors. The truth is we don’t know for sure how fast things are evolving or what the impacts will be. There are only scenarios. The fact of human behavior generated climate change and global warming persists.

    Lastly your assertion that Pielke’s career had be destroyed by being dropped from 586 is wholely inaccurate by Dr Pielke’s own account:
    “Ultimately, what I learned from the 538 episode is how small and insular the community of self-professed “climate hawks” actually is. Sure they made a lot of noise online and got John Stewart’s attention. But that was because of Nate Silver’s fame, not mine. Back in the real world, outside the climate blogosphere and the NY-DC data journalism circle virtually no one knew or much cared about the 538 brouhaha, even within academia. I found that encouraging.”

    In the end, Dr Pielke’s perspective on the intrusion of the political into research science is interesting. It’s a serious issue. I’m glad I learned about him. I would like to see EOS present her understanding of science in a forum with him. I think she’d find they agree on very little.

  87. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Fuck all that.

    Check out me jamming out on my porch.

  88. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    That was pleasant, Pete. Sun was setting here too as Ez and I watched. He thinks your nyatiti looks like a nyatitty. (A few weeks to 11 now…) Lamb stew on the stove, squash in the oven. Going to put on our boots and coats and mittens and scarves, go to the park and watch the dog chase squirrels. Barren trees make for good critter spotting and occasionally city views. And so it goes.

    Keep on strutting and fretting.

  89. Jean Henry
    Posted December 5, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I was ignoring it, I really was, for a whole hour and a half, then fake news stories prompts some guy to do this:

    “The restaurant’s owner and employees were threatened on social media in the days before the election after fake news stories circulated claiming that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief were running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s backrooms.”

    I used to think the Weekly World News was funny.

  90. Mr. X
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The tech sector continues pushing back.

    “Apple Removes Breitbart News App From App Store”

  91. Mr. X
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Also, EOS, Kellogg stock has been rising steadily since they pulled their ads from Breitbart.

    On December 1, when Breitbart announced their boycott, the stock was trading for $70.96 a share. Today, on December 6, it’s selling for $72.16. There was a drop before they announced they were leaving Breitbart, but it’s been climbing ever since they pulled their ads.

  92. Morbid Larson
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The last Saturday Six Pack was never uploaded.

    Will there ever be another six pack?

  93. Jean Henry
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “Sadly, given what we’ve seen in this election, Mr. Trump’s victory has only amplified the voices of extremism. It has made their arguments more simplistic and more emotional at a time when they ought to be growing more subtle and more complex. We should give no quarter to intolerance and injustice in this world, but we can be steadfast on the subject of Mr. Trump’s unfitness for office while still reaching out to reason with his supporters. We can be unwavering in our commitment to racial equality while still breaking bread with the same racist people who’ve oppressed us. I know it can be done because I had no choice but to do it, and it is the reason I am where I am today.

    When you grow up in the middle, you see that life is more in the middle than it is on the sides. The majority of people are in the middle, the margin of victory is almost always in the middle, and very often the truth is there as well, waiting for us.”

    I am moving to Whitmore Lake this summer, a town that is as Republican as Ann Arbor is Democratic and white and working class. Many people here took offense when I said ‘no tears for white dudes’ and felt that is why we lost the election– because we care too openly about social justice, because we didn’t know how to talk to the WWC. But I don’t think the WWC want liberals to be feeling their pain. I don’t think they want us pussyfooting about what we care about. I think they want to be treated as equals, to be accepted, even confronted with good humor. I know for sure they do not want to be objects of pity by well-meaning liberals and leftists. They have this in common with most POS, feminists, LGBTQ people etc I know.

    So anyway, I was unloading a uhaul at the garage for the new place. I had to back the truck out into the street to let my tenant out. A car came up behind the truck on the dirt two track leading past the house. The kid who was helping me jumped on the uhaul’s back bumper and waved to me to get my attention and let me know. I assumed he had jumped off and started driving up the block. But he was still on the bumper well out of view, grabbing a piece of webbing and bouncing along until I got to the corner. The people following behind thought that was hysterical and video taped the whole thing. Because he was FINE. If we had been in Ann Arbor, or even Ypsi, they would have worried and honked and otherwise behaved as concerned do-gooders rather than celebrating the folly of people and having faith that even foolish people usually figure shit out. Sometimes by natural consequences. Because we are all foolish and that’s how most of us learn. No matter how much schooling we had.

    It’s going to be a relief to live in a middle place again.

  94. kjc
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    ” If we had been in Ann Arbor, or even Ypsi, they would have worried and honked and otherwise behaved as concerned do-gooders rather than celebrating the folly of people and having faith that even foolish people usually figure shit out.”

    oh please. a moment can be meaningful w/o you making shit up. just have a moment. at no one’s expense.

  95. jean henry
    Posted December 6, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I’ll give you that one KJC.
    Solid point.
    If you always came with that much game, your anger towards me would be so much more enjoyable.

  96. Jean Henry
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Hightower loves populism and I fear it for the reasons we are living out now, but his version is one I can get behind. Maybe it’s unifying enough???

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  1. […] our recent conversation about how to exist in the post-fact word of Donald Trump, I thought I’d share a few brief notes from a panel discussion I attended at the University of […]

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