Thanks, Ian Bremmer
Thanks, Ian Bremmer
And you realize the predictable results from a nation committing a really stupid political act. Tom Toles offered up this cartoon the week after Brits voted for Brexit in 2016.
Our dipsh*t fake president is trying his hardest to increase the price of consumer goods to American working folks. No need to repeat his lies and rationales for policy and plunder. True Believers will ignore any attempt at clarity. Americans with some understanding of what globalized economics means for consumer scale and income already know what I’m talking about.
I just wanted to offer this map – and a “Thank You” to Barry Ritholtz for offering it in his newsletter – to illustrate where families in this nation go to shop. You can figure out what will happen if our proto-fascist-in-charge gets his way. Costs rise. Prices rise. Folks who can afford that the least have the most to lose. And the company whose business model is focussed deeply on that demographic – will be the conduit from the White House to our wallets.
❝ Russian President Vladimir Putin inspires little confidence when it comes to handling world affairs, a Pew Research Center survey showed. But he still outshines his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.
“Although confidence in Putin’s handling of foreign affairs is generally low, in many countries he is more trusted than American President Donald Trump,” Pew wrote in a survey focused on Russia’s power and influence. Pew is a Washington-based non-partisan research group.
❝ A median 60 percent of people in 37 countries, including the U.S., said they lack confidence in the Russian leader’s actions in world affairs, versus 26 percent who said he’s doing a good job. Pew didn’t provide matching statistics for Trump in a survey focused on Russia, but of the 36 countries canvassed on who they trust more, 22, including Germany, France and Japan, trust Putin more than Trump, according to the pollster’s 2017 spring survey.
❝ The survey was conducted Feb. 16 to May 8, before Trump set global markets on edge in August by tweeting threats to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea should the hermit regime threaten U.S. territory with any of its intercontinental ballistic missiles. It also preceded Trump’s decision to sign a bill deepening sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. The Kremlin retaliated by ordering the U.S. to slash staff at its diplomatic missions.
Now that Trump voters have had time to watch their 1-percenter superhero in action I’m forced to continue to rely on the Mencken analysis of decision-making by American consumers, e.g., “You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans.”
Believing Trump’s blatant lies, ignorance and bigotry would somehow change things for the better for folks who work for a living in America requires a qualitative leap in gullibility. Even in a land brainwashed by decades of advertising about, say, cigarettes “without a cough in a carload”.
❝ Fake news is nothing new. But bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media than what good old-fashioned viral emails could accomplish in years past.
Concern about the phenomenon led Facebook and Google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue. Perhaps that could dissipate the amount of malarkey online, though news consumers themselves are the best defense against the spread of misinformation.
❝ Not all of the misinformation being passed along online is complete fiction, though some of it is. Snopes.com has been exposing false viral claims since the mid 1990s, whether that’s fabricated messages, distortions containing bits of truth and everything in between. Founder David Mikkelson warned in a Nov. 17 article not to lump everything into the “fake news” category. “The fictions and fabrications that comprise fake news are but a subset of the larger bad news phenomenon, which also encompasses many forms of shoddy, unresearched, error-filled, and deliberately misleading reporting that do a disservice to everyone,” he wrote…
My advice, the advice of the folks at factcheck.org –
❝ Consult the experts. We know you’re busy, and some of this debunking takes time. But we get paid to do this kind of work. Between FactCheck.org, Snopes.com, the Washington Post Fact Checker and PolitiFact.com, it’s likely at least one has already fact-checked the latest viral claim to pop up in your news feed…
❝ On our Viral Spiral page, we list some of the claims we get asked about the most; all of our Ask FactChecks can be found here. And if you encounter a new claim you’d like us to investigate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.