The media misses the story in pursuing right-wing conspiracy theory

It’s sad when the mainstream “lamestream” media regurgitates media memes generated in the conspiracy fever swamps of the conservative media entertainment complex with misleading headlines like these:

New York Times (online): New Clinton Emails Raise Shadow Over Her Campaign

Washington Post: Emails reveal how foundation donors got access to Clinton and her close aides at State Dept

shiny_objects_shirtIf you read just the headline, like most Americans do (if they even bother to read a newspaper), you might be inclined to think that “This doesn’t sound good . . . You know, I think I heard something about this on FAUX News.”

But if you actually read the substance of the reporting on the e-mails selected by the reporters, you will come away wondering, “So what’s the big deal here?

Nancy Le Tourneau at the Political Animal blog writes, Beyond the Headlines About Emails and the Clinton Foundation:

You’re going to see a lot of headlines like this today: Emails reveal how foundation donors got access to Clinton and her close aides at State Dept. Sounds bad doesn’t it? Here are the details.

A sports executive who was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and whose firm paid Bill Clinton millions of dollars in consulting fees wanted help getting a visa for a British soccer player with a criminal past.

The crown prince of Bahrain, whose government gave more than $50,000 to the Clintons’ charity and who participated in its glitzy annual conference, wanted a last-minute meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

U2 rocker and philanthropist Bono, also a regular at foundation events, wanted high-level help broadcasting a live link to the International Space Station during concerts.

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Debunked conspiracy theory about ransom to Iran, still debunked

The conservative media entertainment complex thrives on conspiracy theories. Since facts do not matter in the right-wing noise machine, literally everything is spun into a conspiracy theory in support of right-wing propaganda.

I covered this story last week in McCain attack ad relies on debunked conspiracy theory about ransom to Iran. After the post, there was some additional reporting about the “timing” of the exchange of prisoners held by Iran for the money that was already owed to Iran by the United States.

The right-wing noise machine spun this tick-tock “timing” story into an assertion that it supports its conspiracy theory that the Obama administration paid “ransom” for the prisoners held by Iran. (They are confusing President Obama with their sainted President Reagan, who actually did pay ransom for hostages held by Iran). Still not. Money paid to Iran was ‘leverage’ not ransom, State Department says:

Cartoon_18The State Department acknowledged Thursday that it delayed releasing a $400 million cash payment to Iran in January until it was assured that a plane carrying three released American prisoners had left Tehran.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that negotiators had “deliberately leveraged” Iran’s desire to get its money from a decades-old arms deal to make sure the authorities there would not renege on freeing three Americans. They were flown out Jan. 16, the same day the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers was implemented.

“We felt it would be imprudent not to consider that some leverage in trying to make sure our Americans got out,” Kirby said, noting the deep mistrust between the countries.

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New Sun Tran policy eliminates paper transfers on buses

“REGIONAL TRANSIT TRANSFER POLICY TO CHANGE SunGO Card transfers good for two hours in any direction, fee waived for one month (press release)

TUCSON, Ariz. –Starting on September 1, all passengers must have a SunGO Card or SunGO ID& Card, even if paying cash, for a transfer to be issued when tapped on a farebox. Transfers will now be valid for two hours in any direction on Sun Tran, Sun Link and select Sun Shuttle routes. Paper transfer tickets will no longer be distributed after August 31.

In order to ensure all passengers have a SunGO Card, Sun Tran will distribute cards from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday starting August 22 through September 2, in the information booths at all transit centers:

  • Laos Transit Center, 205 W Irvington Road
  • Ronstadt Transit Center, 215 E Congress Street
  • Tohono Tadai Transit Center, 4540 N Stone Avenue

Limit is one card per passenger. Individual must be present at the time of distribution to redeem card.

Passengers can also get a SunGO Card with the fee waived, from August 22 through September 30, 2016, if a pass or minimum value of  $1 is loaded to a new SunGO Card at a Ticket Vending Machine or at a sales outlet.

For more information on the new regional transit transfer policy, visit www.suntran.com or call Sun Tran’s Customer Service at (520) 792-9222.”

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‘Birther’ Trump’s team of asshats latch onto a new right-wing conspiracy theory

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of the most vile politicians in America and a surrogate for the Trump campaign, went on Fox News Sunday and promoted “a widely-debunked conspiracy theory that has been making its way around right-wing websites and has recently become a talking point for the Trump campaign: because Hillary Clinton has been photographed near pillows and with stools, she must be in failing health.” Giuliani: Clinton Is Winning Because Media Ignores Conspiracy About Her Health:

ass-hat“She hardly appeared this week. I don’t know where she was,” he began. He then said the media “fails to point out several signs of illness by her. All you’ve got to do is go online!”

Reminded that Clinton’s doctors have noted that these claims are not factual, Giuliani responded that the host should instead check out conspiracy videos posted on the internet. “Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness’ and take a look at the videos yourself.”

I know it’s true because I saw it on the internet!” Why are Americans still being subjected to the ruminations of this total asshat?

Giuliani’s “asshattery” follows an opinion by the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus over the weekend, Trump’s Sickening attacks on Clinton’s health:

Donald Trump — he who likes to fly home at night in the comfort of his own plane to sleep in the comfort of his own bed — is at it again on the question of Hillary Clinton’s stamina, or alleged lack thereof.

“To defeat crime and radical Islamic terrorism in our country, to win trade in our country, you need tremendous physical and mental strength and stamina,” he said in Wisconsin. “Hillary Clinton doesn’t have that strength and stamina.”

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A simple change in the law is needed for citizens initiatives, referendums and recalls

Arizona revised its election laws a few years ago to create the E-Qual system which allows a voter to sign a candidate’s petition and to donate Clean Elections $5 contributions online:

With E-Qual, you can show your support for a candidate from the comfort of your home or anywhere internet access is available.

In Arizona, candidates are required to obtain a minimum number of petition signatures to appear on a ballot. Voters interested in assisting Statewide and Legislative candidates can now sign a petition electronically.

Clean Elections candidates are required to obtain $5 qualifying contributions from registered voters to qualify for public funding. Voters may now contribute a $5 qualifying contribution with E-Qual.

Click on a box below to get started now!

e-qual-spotlight

Do you know what E-Qual does not allow a voter to do? Sign petitions for citizens initiatives, referendums and recalls.

“Why” you ask? Because our authoritarian Tea-Publican legislature really does not want the citizens of this state exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to citizens initiatives, referendums and recalls. They want to make it as difficult and costly as possible to deter voters from exercising their constitutional rights, because it is a direct challenge to their legislative authority and control.

Referring measures to the ballot is the exclusive provenance of our Tea-Publican controlled legislature and their right-wing allies, dontcha know?

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The House Democrats’ ‘By The People’ (BTP) election reforms package

Michael Golden and Lawrence Lessig have an op-ed at the Chicago Sun Times about an election reform package that the Arizona media ignores and does not report. Opinion: Three ways Congress can muscle-up to your voting rights:

Voting-RightsOver the last year, presidential candidates from both parties have ridden to great success the populist cry of a “rigged system” – in which billions of dollars in campaign cash have destroyed the very idea of a representative democracy. The American electorate has embraced this message.

Donald Trump distilled the charge to a dozen words: “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to.” And in differing degrees and with different styles, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both attacked the tight grip of campaign cash on the politics of our nation.

But with three months to go before ballots get cast, only one of the two frontrunners – and her party – has unequivocally supported specific plans to solve these problems. And though the presidential race now dominates the media conversation, it is in Congress, which currently carries a 14 percent approval rating, where these solutions will matter the most. The polarization and paralysis on Capitol Hill, stemming from our rigged election system, prevents legislators from negotiating and compromising to make meaningful progress on the issues that Americans consistently prioritize.

Fortunately, some in Congress are working toward a solution. Just before the national conventions, the House Democratic leadership announced its “By The People” (BTP) legislative package. These reforms, backed by 187 members of the rank-and-file, are designed to “revitalize our nation’s voting laws, restore sanity to the electoral process, and empower everyday Americans to reclaim their voice in the political process.”

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