My friends are very encouraging about Political Storm and believe in our mission to bring the conversation back to politics so they often say things like: “Man, what a great time to write about politics, there’s so much material!” To which I usually think: “Be careful what you wish for…” Such was the last few days where I’m sure many Americans were overwhelmed by issues and trying to find accurate and thoughtful coverage in the media. Here are five questions that should be asked and addressed in a thoughtful way:
Where can we go for accurate and truly balanced reporting?
Yesterday the mainstream media, led by CNN produced two news stories about the President’s trip to Asia (first stop: Japan) that were completely false and intended to denigrate Donald Trump. But in doing so, they shamed themselves and proved Trump’s point about fake news.
The first news item was the reporting of Trump’s visit to a Koi pond with Japan Prime Minister Abe, where it was reported by CNN that Trump grew impatient feeding the fish and dumped his box of food in all at once. This story was then picked up by other news outlets and also tweeted by reporters.
Just one thing, it wasn’t true. Here’s the video:
Not to be outdone, Slate writer, Jordan Weissmann wrote about Trump’s meeting with Japanese auto manufacturers and said that Trump asked them to manufacture cars in the U.S. Clearly pointing out Trump’s buffoonery – after all, they do produce cars and trucks in the U.S. – everyone knows that.
Not to be scooped, The Hill published this:
It was finally proved false by of all things, a Washington Post reporter named Aaron Blake.
By the way, Bloomberg, ABC, and CNBC also picked up these stories. It appears that the vendetta of the mainstream media toward Donald Trump knows no limits and they have a false narrative to tell, truth be damned. There is nowhere to go to get any kind of balance, despite Fox News’ claims.
What is Robert Mueller actually investigating?
So far, we know that the famous Trump dossier, first paid for by a Republican presidential candidate and later by the Clinton campaign may have become the basis for the post-election hue and cry about Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia and the ultimate appointment of independent counsel, Robert Mueller.
In fact, it appears that Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid millions to Fusion GPS for continuing the investigation by former British spy Christopher Steele. His source was “Russian officials.” However, the Clinton campaign organization and the DNC wave this off as campaign opposition research, which is perfectly legal.
Meanwhile, Paul Manafort, the former Chairman of the Trump campaign has been charged with a host of criminal activities dating back to 2010. None of them involves Trump, so how is this within the scope of Mueller’s investigation?
It appears like there’s a whole lot of swamp-like things going on here. Especially when you add Donna Brazile’s claim that the DNC never gave Bernie Sanders a chance to win the nomination.
More to come…
How come Bowe Bergdahl is walking around free?
Confessed deserter Bowe Bergdahl was just sentenced to no jail time and a simple dishonorable discharge. Bergdahl walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban and held for 5 years. The search for Bergdahl cost at least 6 U.S. soldiers their lives. In 2014, President Obama gave him a hero’s welcome at the White House, following a prisoner exchange where the U.S. gave up 5 Taliban detainees at Gitmo.
Okay, I concede that 5 years with the Taliban is a significant punishment for his actions. However, many military people were aghast at the precedent that was set by Bergdahl’s sentencing. What does it say when the U.S. military lets someone off for desertion?
Can we get past the class warfare and clichés when we talk about taxes?
Taxes are how we feed the federal government beast. The problem we have is that many of us have a different view of what that means. This time around, no one seems to be asking the most important question, which is: Why does the beast have to get bigger? We have 50 state governments as well. Why is everything up to the federal government’s budget?
And why do taxes have to penalize any citizen? And why can’t all citizens pay some federal income tax? Aren’t we all in this together?
My point here is that we have made some kind of social engineering project out of income taxes. It affects behavior and has consequences. For instance, since state and local taxes are deductible, it shields individuals from the tax policy in their states and hometowns. It makes state and local government less accountable to us for their cost.
Because of home mortgage deductions, we have been pushed toward home ownership by the government and perhaps taking on larger and larger debt.
Recently released statistics from the OMB, led by Mick Mulvaney, show that the upper 20% of taxpayers pay 95% of all federal income tax. It was only 84% of total tax payments in 2015.
Let that sink in. Maybe that will change your concept of fairness? Can we stop calling it “trickle down economics?” Wealthy people consume quite a lot and many are small business owners who provide most of the new job growth in the United States.
How many gun tragedies will it take to make us realize guns are purchased far too easily and that the mental health of gun owners is a major cause of these mass shootings?
Please spare me the 2nd Amendment discussion. No one is talking about denying gun ownership (at least not me). But I am saying that guns in the hands of unstable people, are a real problem.
Think President Trump was wrong about mental health being a more important factor than guns in the latest mass killing at the Texas church?
I’ll leave you with this statistic: There were 34,000 firearms deaths in the U.S. in 2015 and 22,000 were suicides. Before you counter my argument with well, people will always find a way to kill themselves, researchers tell us that some 95% of suicides in the U.S. are from firearms. The problem with guns is that it’s quick and easy and people don’t tend to just try some other way.
Maybe the Left and Right could get together on this part of the gun problem right now. That would give us some common ground, wouldn’t it?
Jon Saltzman is the Publisher and Senior Editor of Political Storm