And now the hoax stories start

Things like the Las Vegas shooting reveal that there is something seriously wrong with the psyche of many people in the US. I am not talking about their deep love of guns and the paranoid fear that many have that they are defenseless unless armed to the teeth with massive weaponry, even though such heavy weaponry is overkill for any ordinary everyday need and utterly inadequate when confronting (say) the US military, which some gun enthusiasts feel is on the verge of declaring martial law.
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The neoliberal policing of the left

Jonathan Chait is a columnist in New York magazine. Friends sometimes send me links to his article because they think he presents a sensible, liberal, perspective. I have never been impressed by him, just as I have never been impressed by Nicholas Kristoff, another columnist much favored by liberals. Alex Pareene captures well what I don’t like about Chait’s work. He says that the goal of neoliberal Democrats like Chait is to prevent the Democratic party from moving further to the left than the boundaries set by (say) the Clintons.
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Comic pages puzzle

The local newspaper the Plain Dealer has quite a few daily and Sunday strips but their policies puzzle me. Most strips run seven days a week. But one strip called Baby Blues appears only on Sundays and not weekdays but another strip Judge Parker appears on weekdays and not on Sundays. I cannot fathom the reason for this. Surely it would makes sense to pick either Judge Parker or Baby Blues to run seven days a week and drop the other? This would not require more space on the comic pages.
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Hillary Clinton’s blind spot about the media

There is no question that the media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was atrocious, focusing endlessly on things like the email issue as if it was some huge nation-threatening scandal when at most it was an error of judgment that others had also committed. There can also be no question that part of it was fueled by the fact that she is a woman because the US is about half a century behind the rest of the world when it comes to accepting a woman as president.
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Bye, bye, Eric! Please do let the door hit you on the way out

Eric Bolling, one of the most odious of the many odious people working at Fox News (and that is really saying something), has agreed to “part ways amicably” with the network, a polite way of saying that he has been shown the door. This comes after he was suspended pending allegations that he had sent photographs of his penis to co-workers. Andrew Kirell gives us a brief summary of Bolling’s sickening history, especially his habit of racist innuendo targeting Barack Obama and his incredibly sexist attitudes towards women.
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The Pursuance Project: Responding to the ongoing crisis of democracy in the US

The situation in the US under the Donald Trump administration has become so bad that some people even look back with nostalgia to the era of George W. Bush, even though that administration gave us two criminal wars, the horror of Guantanamo and global black sites, indulged in widespread use of torture, promoted rampant homophobia, and committed horrendous violations of civil rights. Before journalist Barrett Brown was thrown in jail (I have written about this before), he started something called Project PM as a means for getting better civic collaboration and media analysis in order to advance democratic principles and counter the strong authoritarian tendencies that currently exist.
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Why I dislike the New York Times

My liberal friends are always shocked when they discover that I treat the New York Times with contempt. How could I dislike that vanguard of liberal thought? I then have to go through the tedious exercise of showing how, by being seen as the gatekeeper of ‘acceptable’ liberal thought, it manages to advance the interests of the neoliberal, neoconservative, corporate, pro-Israel lobby, and anti-Palestinian agendas, not to mention being a cheerleader and apologist for the worst excesses of militarism in US history.
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The peddler of sensational but false news

We are nowadays awash with news stories based on dubious and/or anonymous sourcing. The goal of such stories seem to be to fire up those who want to believe the stories because it supports their preconceptions. While I understand the power of confirmation bias, I am surprised that some people are so willing to believe things that are so obviously outrageous.
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Jordan Klepper channels Alex Jones in new comedy show

In his highly successful old show The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert adopted the persona of a right wing TV blowhard modeled on Bill O’Reilly. His departure to host a more traditional late night TV talk show has created a vacuum in that niche and now another Daily Show alum Jordan Klepper has moved to fill it, modeling himself on an even more extreme character like Alex Jones. He is going to face the challenge of being constantly compared to Colbert but Klepper has good comedy chops and should be able to withstand that scrutiny.
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