Another Conservative Media Demonstrates “Confirmation Bias.”

Another Conservative Media Demonstrates “Confirmation Bias.”

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Conservative Media Demonstrates Confirmation Bias

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Last Updated: 2017-Dec

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Lesson 1: An Introduction to the Basics

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Chapter 2 : Information Architecture

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1hr. 10min.

Chapter 3 : Responsive Design

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2hrs. 27min.

Chapter 4 : Interaction and Motion

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2hrs 1min.

Chapter 5 : Designing for Machine Learning

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1hr. 35min.

Sharyl Attkisson Shares The 10 Times The Intel Community Ran Amok

Matt Vespa

Posted: Dec 28, 2017 1:00 PM

Since the 2016 election, the intelligence community has been under greater scrutiny—and for good reason. The leaks emanating from this cadre of professionals in D.C. was not exposing government malfeasance from the Trump administration, but classified information that was putting America’s national security interests at stake. It seemed to have been done to hamstring a new administration. As apolitical operatives, this was not their job. If you can’t handle working under a new administration, then resign. Leaking to undercut the Trump presidency because you’re sore about Hillary Clinton losing is not an act of patriotism. Former investigative journalist for CBS News Sharyl Attkisson listed ten instances in which the intelligence community reportedly ran amok—and some of these instances occurred way before Trump even considered running for president (via The Hill):

Perhaps more alarming is the growing evidence that suggests some officials at all levels in intelligence and justice agencies are operating in a way that is clearly intended to serve their own political beliefs and interests — not the public’s interests.

And sometimes, it appears, they operate not just in direct defiance of their superiors but of the Congress, the courts and the very laws of the land as well.


Telecom takeover

Joe Nacchio, CEO of telecom giant Qwest, said that after he refused to spy on his customers for the National Security Agency (NSA) without a warrant in February of 2001, the government retaliated by yanking a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars and filing an insider trading case against him. He went to prison. The government denied charges of retaliation.

Olympic spying

In 2002, the NSA reportedly engaged in “blanket surveillance” of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, collecting and storing “virtually all electronic communications going into or out of the Salt Lake City area, including … emails and text messages” to “experiment with and fine tune a new scale of mass surveillance.” NSA officials had denied such a program existed.

Spying on Congress

In 2005 intel officials intercepted and recorded phone conversations between then-Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Calif.)  and pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage.


Journalist “witch hunts”

Internal emails from a “global intelligence company” executive in 2010 stated: “Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.


Misleading on mass spying

On March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that intel officials were not collecting mass data on tens of millions of Americans.


More spying on Congress

CIA officials improperly accessed Senate Intelligence Committee computers, according to an Inspector General report in July 2014, contradicting denials by then-CIA Director Brennan.


NSA privacy violations

In fall 2016, the government confessed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court “significant non-compliance” of crucial procedures designed to protect privacy rights of U.S. citizens.


Intel mutiny?

Government requests to see or “unmask” names of Americans whose communications are “incidentally” captured during national security surveillance are supposed to be rare and justified.


Politically motivated press leak

In May 2017, former FBI Director James Comey secretly orchestrated a “leak” to The New York Times of negative memos he said he wrote contemporaneously about President Trump, with the motive of spurring the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the president’s alleged Russia ties.


Conflicted investigators

One purpose of special counsel investigations, such as the Russia investigation being led by former FBI Director Mueller, is to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest. But multiple investigators working on Mueller’s team have been removed after being caught in compromising positions.

This issue has special meaning to the former CBS reporter, who alleges she was spied on by the Obama administration. She’s documented the reported Obama surveillance timeline on her website as well. Even left leaning journalists, like Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, said the leaks from the intelligence community are a prescription to the destruction of our government. Granted, Greenwald’s publication is set up as a safe space for leakers, and to protect them, as they disseminate information relating to government corruption or wrongdoing. Leaking because Hillary Clinton lost isn’t any of those things. Now, Greenwald fears both the deep state and the Trump White House, but noted the former doesn’t have the institutional constraints to keep their power in check. He made these remarks in an interview on the left wing Democracy Now program in February:

US intel: Russia is ramping up spying in US


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Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. That is a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it.

For now, this appears to be a bipartisan problem, as sketchy surveillance activity certainly happened under the Bush administration. The Obama administration took it a step further, specifically when they named Fox News reporter James Rosen, who is leaving the network at the end of the year, as a criminal co-defendant in a 2013 North Korean leak case. At times, yes, this group has certainly overstepped their bounds. It’s reached a boiling point since Trump was elected, however.

Another Religious Conservative Clearly Points Out Morals Don’t Matter.  Forcing Women to Give Birth Once Pregnant is all that Matters

Another Religious Conservative Clearly Points Out Morals Don’t Matter. Forcing Women to Give Birth Once Pregnant is all that Matters

Why would Christian conservatives in good conscience go to the polls Dec. 12 and vote for Judge Roy Moore, despite the charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers leveled against him? Answer: That Alabama Senate race could determine whether Roe v. Wade is overturned. The lives of millions of unborn […]

GOP pollster’s advice to Republicans in 2018: ‘Be aggressive’

GOP pollster’s advice to Republicans in 2018: ‘Be aggressive’

GOP lawmaker: Election a referendum on Trump 00:56 Washington (CNN)One Republican pollster has figured out the only way his party can win next fall: Destroy every Democratic candidate in sight. In a memo, obtained by CNN’s Chris Cillizza , pollster Glen Bolger outlines nine ways Republicans can strengthen their […]

Erick Erickson Again Exposes the Fallacies of His Worldview

Erick Erickson Again Exposes the Fallacies of His Worldview

In his latest podcast, Erick Erickson again exposes the fallacies of his world view.

Let’s look at his first and last sentence.  In his first sentence Erick says, “To win new voters and ensure our ideals succeed, we have to double down on them.”  Then in his last sentence he says, “To make conservatism a success, we can’t let our values get trudged in the mud. We need to promote them to the public and counter leftist caricatures of them as cruel and wicked.”

This is where the fallacies of his worldview are exposed.  Erick recognizes that many see his worldview is, as he says, “cruel and wicked.”  He also calls it a “caricature.”  Well, all effective caricatures have a basis in reality.  So, when he calls the caricatures “cruel” and “wicked” then maybe his “ideals” are in fact “cruel” and “wicked.”  I certainly think taking healthcare away from people cruel and wicked.  (Of course I get that Erick would say he is not taking away healthcare from anyone, they are only taking away healthcare insurance.)

He says, “we can’t let our values get trudged in the mud.”  So, in Erick’s mind the way to avoid his ideals getting trudged in the mud is to “double down” on his ideals.  For example, instead of trying to fix Obamacare, or replace Obamacare with something better, double down to Erick means, simply replace Obamacare.  Or another example, instead of trying to balance the budget by raising the taxes of the top 5%, double down to Erick means balance the budget by cutting the safety net for the community.  (According to Erick and his ideals, it is cruel and wicked to continue to pay for a social safety net.)

Let’s take Kansas for example.  To paraphrase Erick let me say, “to win new voters you need to demonstrate your ideas succeed.”  Kansas tried his ideas and the State is a mess.

Perhaps if Erick and Conservatives clearly defined “success” that might help.  Is success lowering the number of people that go bankrupt paying medical bills?  Is success, lowing the number of people of color in private prisons?  Is success, raising the wealth of people not in the top 1%?  No.  None of those things constitute success in Conservatives minds.  For a large number of Conservatives in Alabama for example, (as evidenced by their support for Roy Moore), success is forcing everyone to display the 10 Commandments in all public buildings, forcing childbirth on all women once they are pregnant, and forcing Christian prayers on everyone.  For Erick and his tribe that is success.

Now here is what Erick says are his goals in this podcast:  1) end the budget deficit, end Obamacare, and cut taxes.

WHAT??? Why is ending Obamacare on this list.  This is what I am saying.  Erick complains about the “leftist caricatures of them as cruel and wicked.”  Yet, cutting taxes on the top 5% and ending the budget deficit by then cutting the social safety net as well as ending effective healthcare for the poor does appear cruel and wicked.


Now one more thing, Erick says, “Now we say we want to cut taxes. The media is presenting this as a tax cut on the rich and a drag on the economy. Have you heard high-ranking conservatives make serious efforts to dispel this idea? Nor have I.”

Here is another way the fallacy of his worldview is exposed.  He says the “media is presenting his as a tax cut for the rich.  (Which, by the way it is.)  The use of the term “media” is a caricature for his tribe.  Let’s say a member of Congress, opposed to the GOP Tax plan, goes to the Floor of Congress, and says the GOP Tax Plan is a tax cut for the rich.  Then CSPAN broadcasts it and different “media” outlets distribute that speech.  It is not the media that is presenting the GOP Tax plan as a cut for the rich that is a member of Congress.  Or let’s say an economist says it is a tax cut for the rich, and the media distribute the comments, it is not the media that is saying it is a tax cut for the rich, it is the economist.

The fallacy that is exposed when Erick and his tribe blame leftist media for the caricature of his tribe as cruel and wicked is that he thinks his tribes ideals are mis-understood, because of the media.  No, if his ideals are mis-understood, it is because he and his tribe has done a poor job of communicating them.

The media does not provide of caricature of his tribe.  Just take a look at the comments in support of Roy Moore by Erick’s Tribe and you can see that they, themselves, provide all the evidence to support that caricature.  It is not the media.  It is them.

Erick Erickson’s Comments about Roy Moore Unwittingly Exposes the Ugly Truth About Religious Conservatives

Erick Erickson’s Comments about Roy Moore Unwittingly Exposes the Ugly Truth About Religious Conservatives

Erick Erickson again provides a great window into the heart of a Religious Conservative. And it isn’t pretty.

One short sentence, embedded deeply in his post says, “And I would far rather a Democrat in the Senate than a kid toucher.” This simple sentence is straight forward.  But, it is a lie.  Erick Erickson, Donald Trump, Kelly Conway, and those supporting Moore, need a Conservative vote, and they will take anyone that will vote their way.  Even if he is, as Erick writes, “a kid toucher.”

For full disclosure, I did not believe Clinton’s accusers Paula Jones and Jennifer Flowers.  I thought it was, part of the ”
vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

But, in hindsight, I should have believed the women accusing Clinton.  I now recognize that my disbelief of Clinton’s accusers was based on my own tribalism.  I now think that men accused of the things Moore is being accused should have to defend themselves.  They need to be more credible than the women accusing them.

The ugly truth Erick exposes in his post is that for Religious Conservatives, the “means justifies the end.”  (Now, I’m willing to accept that for the broader tribe that we call Fiscal Conservatives and Libertarians don’t agree with Moore’s supporters.)  But, for this Conservative Sub-Tribe of Religious Conservatives (of which Erick Erickson is a thought leader), support of Roy Moore exposes that one’s moral character doesn’t matter.  All that matters to this Tribe of Religious Conservatives is that Community Law Makers make laws that force others to live the way they want everyone to live.

For the sub-tribe of Conservatives we call Religious Conservatives, the reality they would vote for someone without a moral center, clearly exposes a “means to an end” approach to the world around them.  It clearly exposes the hollowness of their “deeply held religious views” to reflect a practical political reality.  As long as someone is going to force others to live like them (forced childbirth once pregnant and forced prayer in pubic gatherings for just two examples) then even the Devil is acceptable.

Alternative Facts

Erick likes to list “facts.”  Well, I think a fact we can all agree on is: throughout history, men have preyed on women in general and young women in particular.  And men with power often get away with it.  (Can I get an AMEN!)

John Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Al Franken, John Conyers, Henry VIII, FDR, Thomas Jefferson, and millions of men throughout history have abused their power to sexually exploit women and girls.  What makes anyone think that it is not possible for a powerful man like Roy Moore to do it.

Erick Erickson’s post exposes the one thing that makes people doubt Roy Moore could have done the things he’s accused of – Roy Moore says he is a Christian.  It is a magic get out of jail card for Christians.  All one has to do is say they are a Christian and raise money to fight for Christian causes and the flock will overlook anything.  Couple this with a belief that anyone that is not part of your Christian Tribe is “evil” and “the devil” then it is easy to see how selective perception, motivated reasoning, and confirmation bias, will expose the ugly truth that this particular Christian Tribe is totally devoid of rationality.

Roy Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, is also a Christian, (Members of Roy Moore’s and Erick Erickson’s tribe would vote for Roy Moore, even if it was proved he was guilty of what he is being accused of, if, God forbid Doug Jones would be a Jewish Socialist in the mold of Bernie Sanders.)

Response to Erick Erickson’s Facts

Erick list some facts.  As usual he is wrong that they are all facts.

#1 – Erick says, “Roy Moore has been happily married since 1985.”  How does he know this?  Many marriage that look happy from the outside are anything but.  He is not a part of that marriage and so this is clearly not a fact.  Even if they say they are “happily married”  we have no way to prove it is a fact.

#2 –  “There have been no allegations of infidelity in that time.”  That is simply not true.  There were allegations.  Moore denied them.  But there were allegations.  But, even if the fact is true, that there were no allegations, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

#3 – “allegations never surfaced when he was battling against people who savor nasty political character assassinations.”  This is a great question.  Is it a fact?  Were there no “allegations”  before?  See #2 above.

#4 – “He stood defiant about the Ten Commandments as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and no one dragged this stuff out when he was in the national spotlight.”  Again I’m not sure it is a fact that “no one dragged this stuff out” before.  Remember, in terms of the Ten Commandments, Moore was found guilty and removed from the bench for violating the Constitution.  Perhaps, that was enough and those that knew about the allegations did not want to expose the women to the kinds of attacks they are experiencing now.

This actually raises the important point.  Let’s assume that any of the four facts Erick listed were found to be in reality not a fact.  What if it is found that there were in fact allegations before?  Would that change anyone’s mind?

The simple answer is no.  Even if it is proved that there were allegations, or if a reasonable explanation as to why these women did not come forward before was presented, this Sub-Tribe of Religious Conservatives would still vote for Moore, simple because they can.

David Horowitz: Sure, Roy Moore Is a Child Molester, But Vote for Him Anyway!

David Horowitz: Sure, Roy Moore Is a Child Molester, But Vote for Him Anyway!

This one tweet encapsulates everything that is wrong with our politics today: In my view Moore is guilty as accused. But 1) it happened 30 years ago, & 2) he can’t be removed from the ballot, & 3) electing a Dem strengthens a party that defends these criminals: Obama, […]