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Gallup: Americans Distrust News Media — Especially Online

January 22nd, 2018


Eric Zuesse

“Can you think of an objective news source?”

A January 16th Gallup Poll report, “American Views: Trust, Media and Democracy” (it's issued in conjunction with the Knight Foundation), finds that a majority (by 51% to 44%) of Americans answer “No” to this question.

Americans who characterize themselves as “Very liberal” answer “Yes” to it, at the exceptionally high rate of 67%, while respondents who claim to be “Moderate” have the lowest “Yes” rate, at 38%; so, conservatives are in between. By 66% to 32%, Americans say that news media “do not do a good job” of “separating fact from opinion”; and, while Democrats are only 44% holding that opinion, Republicans are 86% holding that opinion; so, there’s a very clear partisan difference on that question.

Distrust of the news media has soared in recent decades; so that, whereas “In 1989, 25% of U.S. adults said there was a great deal of political bias in news coverage; now, 45% do.”

Full story »

Media Lies About Fake News

January 22nd, 2018

Eric Zuesse

A major new Gallup report that was issued on January 16th headlined “American Views: Trust, Media and Democracy” (it’s issued in conjunction with the Knight Foundation) and it finds that “Internet-only news websites” are the least-trusted of all newsmedia.

54% trusted “Your local newspaper.”

52% trusted “National network news.”

51% trusted “Major national newspapers.”

46% trusted “Cable news.”

38% trusted “News aggregators.”

36% trusted “Internet-only news websites.”

How did you learn that Saddam Hussein was “only six months from developing a [nuclear] weapon”? It was from the U.S. President, and from all of the stenographic ‘news’media, which was all of them, but especially the most-trusted ones: newspapers, TV, radio, and magazines. They enabled George W. Bush to invade and destroy Iraq, and more.

How did you learn that Libya should be invaded? It was from the same ones. They enabled Barack Obama to invade and destroy Libya, and Syria, and more.

How did you learn that dictatorship ended in Ukraine in February 2014’s “Maidan revolution,” instead of that that democracy ended in Ukraine then, and that it was instead a U.S.-engineered coup d’etat which happened there, no authentic ‘revolution’ at all. And this major-media lie thus ‘justified’ and led to the destruction of Ukraine, by U.S. President Obama.

Full story »

US Hostility Toward Russia Risks Nuclear War

January 22nd, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Bilateral relations are dismal, the worst in decades.

They were deplorable before Trump entered office, greatly deteriorated since his inauguration - an unacceptably dangerous situation, showing no signs of changing.

Surrounding Russia with US military bases, inventing a nonexistent Russian threat, falsely accusing its government of “aggression” and interference in America’s 2016 presidential election, imposing illegal sanctions, seizing its properties, expelling its diplomats, harming RT and Sputnik, along with conducting provocative military exercises near its borders head things toward direct confrontation - risking unthinkable nuclear war.

Connected to the Pentagon, Stars and Stripes publishes stories related to its operations. An earlier article discussed its Russian “deterrence” mission in Lithuania, bordering Russia’s Kaliningrad, close to its heartland. It focused on US forces training for possible confrontation with Moscow. Their mission is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, involving America and other NATO countries, initiated over false accusations of “Russian aggression” in Ukraine.

Provocative air, sea and ground operations, along with US-led NATO’s permanent presence in Eastern Europe, threaten Russia’s security, the Kremlin forced to respond defensively.

Sergey Lavrov earlier said Washington and its NATO partners “grossly violated (their) political commitments” on European security, creating unacceptable bilateral friction.

Full story »

US Wants Venezuela’s Cryptocurrency Undermined

January 22nd, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Washington unilaterally imposed multiple rounds of sanctions on Venezuela illegally.

They aim to make its economy scream, ordinary Venezuelans harmed most, other countries pressured to observe them or face US harshness.

They’re part of Washington’ diabolical plot to replace Bolivarian social democracy with fascist tyranny - so far unsuccessfully.

In an effort to counter the US scheme and curb high inflation, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced creation of a cryptocurrency on December 3 - called the petro.

It’ll be backed by Venezuelan crude oil reserves, the world’s largest including its heavy oil. In an initial February 15 pre-sale to institutional investors, about 38 million petros are expected to be sold, netting around $1.3 billion, based on today’s price of oil.

Full story »

Trump Moves Toward Requiring Medicaid Recipients to Work

January 15th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Medicaid is a jointly administered federal/state program, providing medical care for poor and low-income people.

The Health Insurance Association of America calls Medicaid a “government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care.”

Around 75 million Americans qualify. States have broad leeway in determining who’s eligible. They may participate or opt out of the program. None chose to go this route so far.

Under Obamacare, all US citizens and permanent residents with incomes up to $133% of the poverty line qualify for Medicaid - defined as $24,250 for a family of four in the continental US, somewhat higher for Alaska and Hawaii. Healthcare is a fundamental human right. Most nations have some form of universal care, America the only developed one without it.

The world’s richest country denies all its citizens a right millions can’t afford, most others way underinsured.

Medicaid is barebones healthcare at best, woefully inadequate in cases of serious diseases, illnesses or disability.

Full story »

US Forces to Remain Indefinitely in Syria Illegally

January 15th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

Russia intervened in Syria at the request of its government - to combat US-supported terrorists.

They continue pouring into the country cross-border, replacing others eliminated by Syrian and allied forces, greatly aided by Russian airpower, considerably reduced from its earlier strength.

Last October, Syria’s Defense Ministry reported seizure of large amounts of weapons and munitions made in America and its rogue allied countries.

They included rockets, rifles, machine-guns, surface-to-air missiles, man-portable air-defense system MANPADS, TOW anti-tank missiles, tanks and other heavy weapons.

Full story »

Trump to Deport Salvadoran Refugees

January 15th, 2018

Stephen Lendman

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The US 1990 Immigration Act established a procedure for granting temporary protected status (TPS) to refugees and asylum seekers unable to be safe in their home countries because of armed conflict, extreme violence, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary conditions.

As of last October, the Homeland Security secretary is authorized to decide which countries are eligible for TPS.

El Salvador is one of 10 qualifying nations, its refugees and asylum seekers granted TPS in 2001, affecting over 260,000 Salvadorans. Their status expires on September 9, 2019, unless renewed.

The country is no fit place to live in. Extreme violence and repression led to increasing numbers of Salvadorans seeking asylum in neighboring countries, including America.

Many thousands of gang members are responsible for one of the hemisphere’s highest annual murder rate.

Full story »

Trump Already Fading into Irrelevance

January 15th, 2018

Eric Zuesse

This will be a nonpartisan commentary about U.S. politics, as viewed by an American historian who is disgusted with the profoundly corrupt U.S. Government — not merely the political Parties, but the billionaires who effectively control them. Not everyone who finds Trump and the Republican Party to be beneath contempt is a Democrat. All that this commentator is is a democrat — a person who is opposed to all forms of dictatorship, including America’s own.

Key factors are now coming together to indicate that Donald Trump’s Presidency is already doomed, even if he survives to the end of his term as President. His remaining chances of being elected to any public office are near zero; even his success with the Republican Party has doomed — tainted for years, if not ended — that Party, made it not just repulsive, but increasingly repulsive, both inside and outside the United States; and, here is how, and why, this extraordinary phenomenon is happening:

Everyone knows, by now, that Steve Bannon, who was reliably reported (both before the election, and, in even deeper retrospect, after the election) to have been absolutely crucial to Trump’s election, has recently become instead the total opposite, Trump's enemy — out to destroy both Trump and his family. A book will soon be published from him, that’s sure to spill lots of disgustingly putrid beans, beyond anything previously wafted by the public, from these now rotting but powerful targets.

Full story »

Gallup: U.S. Well-Being Declines Under Trump, Especially for the Poor

January 15th, 2018

Eric Zuesse

On January 10th, Gallup listed their “Top Well-Being Findings of 2017”, and three findings pertained to the entire U.S. (the others pertained only to sub-populations):

Americans' well-being declines in 2017

U.S. uninsured rate rises

Exchange purchasers rate their health coverage less positively

In 2017, Trump’s first year in office, there was “a reversal of the three-year upward trend” of Americans’ well-being. This time, it went down, instead of continued flat or else went up again. Of course, nothing affects well-being or happiness as much as health does, and the U.S. is perhaps the sickest of all advanced industrialized countries. On 21 February 2017, the Washington Post had bannered “U.S. life expectancy will soon be on par with Mexico’s and the Czech Republic’s” and reported that “Life expectancy at birth will continue to climb substantially for residents of industrialized nations — but not in the United States, where minimal gains will soon put life spans on par with those in Mexico and the Czech Republic, according to an extensive analysis.

Full story »

U.S. Again Supports Al Qaeda in Syria

January 15th, 2018

Eric Zuesse

According to the most reliable reporter on the war in Syria, who anonymously blogs at his “Moon of Alabama” site, the United States Government and the Turkish Government are again supporting the effort by Al Qaeda in Syria to overthrow Syria’s Government, at least in parts of the country which are currently occupied by U.S.-backed Kurds and/or jihadists.

On January 11th, he headlined “Syria - Erdogan (Again) Switches Sides - Delivers New Supplies For Terrorist Attacks” and reported:

al-Qaeda in Syria, currently labeled HTS, taking part in the "rebel" counterattack. Four days ago HTS published photos of its [Al Qaeda’s Syrian] leader Joulini meeting with his military commanders to assess the situation. [“#BREAKING - Al Qaeda in #Syria '#HTS' convened an emergency meeting of its military council led by #Saudi cleric #Jolani, about sudden defeat in southern #Idlib. Many Syrian opposition forces say the area was 'sold out' to the Syrian government after the Astana talks.”] It looked bad for them. The squabble with other "rebels" increased. Two days ago Jouliani issued a statement that HTS would stop fighting other factions in Idleb to enable all to confront the advancing Syrian government forces. It seems that this was a condition for the renewed Turkish/U.S. support.

The counteroffensive could only proceed because Turkey (again) delivered hundreds of tons of weapons to the jihadis. New supplies of TOW anti-tank missiles, distributed exclusively by the CIA, have also been seen. (Turkey is also again supplying jihadists in Libya. The Greek navy just caught a ship going from Turkey to Libya with 29 containers full of bomb precursors, detonators and other bomb making parts.)

Full story »

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