The Fine Art of “News Reading”

Let’s jump right into “how to read the news.”

We can begin with any news story you please. A good one this morning is yet-another Trump-bash: “Experts: Trump Undermines Judiciary With Twitter Attack on Judge Robart.”

We can approach this in several ways. Most people, when they read the news will simply take it at face value.

Very few people spend any time reflecting on the various dimensions of a story.

News does have history, however. And in this case when Donald Trump tweeted “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” he was voicing an opinion.

News also has a Future, not just a past – a past we outlined in the “Immigration Board Game, Home Edition” Monday.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell: When other organizations are critical of judicial decisions that don’t agree with and announce plans to appeal, it’s no big deal.

But now, in the Trump-bashing media, suddenly an “expert” is presented arguing the president of the United States is not entitled to his opinion – if stated in very direct street-level ways…

Seems to me it is a crooked game. Why can’t Trump have an opinion? It’s why people voted for him.

The OTHER side doesn’t have problems busting windows in Berkeley, or raising money with panic-inducing emails, or lawyering up to challenge the Trump Executive Order – which they reckoned as ridiculous and ought to be overturned… so why the double-standard application when comes to Trump?

Remember what I told you about the Left being anti free speech?  If it isn’t in their agenda, no free speech allowed – including Trump?

Thus, we commend to any reader of news the notion that when you read the news, spend at least as much time reflecting one its history and likely future direction – as well as motivations and underlying economics – as you do reading the story itself.

Swamp Creatures

Next item has to do with how when the “swamp begins to drain” we learn a lot more about what creatures in the Swamp have been up to all these years.

Want to know why Paul Ryan has been such an Obama-backer on budget matters and why he’s been so wishy-washy on border security?

Well, Breitbart’s headline this morning “Records: Soros Fund Execs Funded Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John McCain, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham in 2016…”

Yes…the likely reason, near as the economics seem to suggest, is that George Soros et al where trying to buy fractions of the next President.

And that’s why the Left/Soros (masquerading as progressives) are so pissed about Trump and won’t let go of his election: He wasn’t for sale.

The others?

A visit to www.opensecrets.org will answer a few questions, but it will raise many more. What is the price of a U.S. president? We can look back on Obama’s campaigns to answer that. But when a self-funder who’s running on principles comes along, well, that screws up all the assumption tables, doesn’t it?

But it doesn’t stop: The Washington Post is headlining about how “Trump’s loose talk about Muslims gets weaponized in court against travel ban.”

Curiosity here: How many H1-b’s does parent Amazon employ?

One source says Amazon has 2,622 H1b holders with an average salary of $121,850…

As our “board game” suggested yesterday, there are a number of options Trump might take to side-step the court showdown and de-fang detractors.

Only momentarily, however.

Trade Deficit Improves a Bit

Very little to talk about on the pure economic front this morning.

We do have an international trade report just out. Press release, please?

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $44.3 billion in December, down $1.5 billion from $45.7 billion in November, revised. December exports were $190.7 billion, $5.0 billion more than November exports. December imports were $235.0 billion, $3.6 billion more than November imports.

Words not cutting it?  A picture, then:

image

Other than that, about the most revealing economic news left this week will be the Fed report and balance sheet out Thursday (after the close). Depending on what’s in that, we might see some market action Friday, but I’m not putting any money on it.

The markets have had a dandy run since November and is now waiting to see how (or if) the GOP “swamp creatures” will close ranks with Trump on things like the DeVos nomination which may be voted on today.

Futures hint at +65 on the Dow at the open.

Speaking of DeVos

The NY Times covers it over here with lots of jabs at her lack of experience in dealing with public schools. The NY Times (perhaps its fad in journos now) refers to her as Ms. but she is a Mrs. Husband Dick is a multi-billionaire heir to the Amway fortune who ran Alticor, Amway’s parent company from 1993 to 2002. Dick’s dad owns the Orlando Magic.

One thing to say about the big east coast papers is they don’t often ask enough of the right questions for my tastes. I’ll give you an example. Take this bit out of Wikipedia:

“Betsy and her husband Dick are chief investors in and board members of Neurocore, a group of brain performance centers offering biofeedback therapy for disorders such as depression, attention deficit disorder, autism, and anxiety. The therapy consists of showing movies to patients and interrupting them when they become distracted, in an effort to retrain their brains.

According to The New York Times, a review of Neurocore’s claims and interviews with medical experts suggest that the company’s conclusions are unproven and its methods questionable. Democratic senators raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest and questioned whether she and her family members would “benefit financially from actions” she could take as education secretary. DeVos announced that she would step down from the company’s board but would retain her investment in the company, valued at $5 million to $25 million.”

When one takes a few minutes to ponders the DeVos nomination – and her background – the real questions come to the fore.

Does the Neurocore approach to “depression, attention deficit disorder, autism, and anxiety” really work? Clearly, the NY Times is skeptical.

But could there be something else – something systemic at work??

I think the odds are good: Shoveling medicine into children to get them on the life-long ride on the Pharmacopeia Highway has been a major thrust of drug company marketing. I won’t go into the litany of how even my own son was “hooked-up” early in life on ADHD meds, but it was a chemical solution shoved onto the parents by the dual marketing efforts of teachers and administrators of schools and the medical community.

(*Ask your doctor who pays for annual conferences and “continuing ed” sessions and then ask is it all education or, is there some marketing in there?)

To my way of thinking two likely “truths” come to the fore: One is that Mrs. DeVos doesn’t have a lot of big organizational experience, but I expect if she ran into difficult issues she’s more than capable of getting high-caliber advice.

The second point is that I expect the Big Pharma lobby might have an interest in seeing her nomination turned down. After all, anyone who is open to alternative/complimentary therapies (which Neurocore is) must be rooted out early, lest the primary school pipeline to pill-pushing profits be reconsidered.

And that’s why I expect the “Swamp Creatures” to attempt to block her in today’s vote.

Principles of Principals are at stake? Not so much as a financial shake-up of the “old way of doing things.” Is it possible that real change at D.E. could hurt cashflow of some very lucrative drugs.

Not to mention the student loan servicing profits? Go back to last summer and read about how former president Obama allowed “Student Loan Borrowers’ Costs To Jump As Education Department Reaps Huge Profit.”

But no, the message put out by the East Coast media has been simplified to ‘DeVos is bad…take our word for it.’

Thanks, but no thanks. We’ll do our own thinking.

Comments

The Fine Art of “News Reading” — 26 Comments

  1. The thing with the new administration that I find the most disturbing is that almost all of them are million or billionaires. How can those people relate to us ‘little people’ and our problems? How to afford food, shelter, health care, on and on. Not going to happen. Hence the helping hand they are giving to the financial industry whilst distracting everyone with inflammatory language and actions regarding Muslims. Workin’ like a charm. Makin them richer and us poorer. Same old swamp.

  2. So i get my professorship to teach medicine by making the most money for hospitals, drug companies and kickback taking and giving insurance companies…i get my law teaching appointment to teach my financial competition how to take my livelyhood?…nope
    M

  3. George, based on a couple of your columns of late, I have to conclude that you’ve pretty much lost it. Sad, because you have some great insights but now you seem to think that Trumputin is God’s gift. He is, but not to the United States. Did you drink the Flavor Aid? We all have our price and even if we think we don’t, the machine has ways, as you’ve alluded to yourself.

  4. Man, now it’s really not that critical to be fully capable of managing and organization IF you are capable of and have access to high caliber advice…Wow, I hope that works when I go an executive interview…Oh wait I’m not privileged enough to have afford and have access to top notch advisers.

  5. Who are the imported workers in your neighborhood? (And why the heck are public jobs allowed the H1-B option)

    http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa-Sponsor/Tyler-Independent-School/564458.htm

    H1-B workers keep costs down (by paying them less than American workers)?

    George, p.s. you’ll also have more access to Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture in the Pacific Northwest, try it, they’ll get your energy fields colorized better than LEDs!

    • Looks like the old 60s hippie’s back-to-nature movement with a little more brains involved.

  6. The poor media trying to keep up with all of Trump’s emotional nonsense and lies. Trump rarely speaks to the merits of an issue. If someone disagrees, Trump simply responds with emotional attacks, calling them ‘so- called’, ‘failing’, ‘little’, ‘lyin’, and a litany of other non-factual but highly emotionally charged labels. Dumb, goofy, ridiculous, silly — to be sure. But highly effective. Extremely effective. Emotion typically trumps reason and figures. The salesman’s bible.

    And the poor media is all tied up. They simply are not used to such tactics. Like a boxer facing a south paw for the first time.

    Loved this particular quote. “It has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality,” Pelley said on Monday’s edition of “CBS Evening News.”

  7. I find those who have claimed that the old ways are intolerant, are showing themselves to be much more intolerant than those they accuse.
    Beware that tactic, its their weapon designed to squash free speech and ideas that do not match their agenda.

  8. DT can tweet all he wants with his free speech, but he’s still dumb as a door knob, anyone who reads them know it. That’s why he’s dangerous.

  9. Libtards “MOTTO” do as I say not as I do!! typical scumbag thinking!! keep up the GREAT work George, I think you have done a great job of showing, fairness and truth to what the libtards are doing, yes we have some repukes who are in the same libtard class, and we have some democrappers who should be repukes. BUT all in all you have NAILED them!!

    • As Always, mmnm–your performed act of outrage and script from the bowels of “Right-just” indignation, fails to cast you in a light of someone with “reality based, productive content”!!

  10. The argument just doesn’t make any sense. Trump voiced his opinion. That’s free speech. No one stopped him. It appears the goring is about others voicing their opinions. If Trump is free to state his opinion than others, including legal experts, are free to voice their opinion.

    I would respectfully suggest to Team Trump and his followers that he should lay off of his opinionated Twitter rants. Especially seeing how thin skinned he and his followers are. Trump should leave the bellicose argumentation to his proxies. As well as the praise and criticism of individual companies.

    How often does a defendant in a case take to social media to mock the judge that the case is before? It rarely, if ever, happens. It’s not smart. It’s not smart. Trump should have learned after he ranted and raved against Judge Curiel’s heritage, but evidently Trump is a very, very slow learner.

    re: swamp creatures. Mnuchin. Trump opened up sales of encryp tech to be shipped to the Russian intelligence agency. He killed the fiduciary rule which would have made brokers only do what’s in their client’s best interest. He wants to kill the CFPB. He killed the transparency rule which would have required oil companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments, a rule that Tillerson Exxon long opposed. He’s making it easier for banks to foreclose and for payday lenders to continue their usurious practices.

    • all government rules, regulations and laws are VERY COSTLY….to implement and over see….making it MORE expensive for the CONSUMER….and by the by….Under our Constitution…..freedom to choose who and what you associate with is YOUR choice not the Federal Governments…as in they set the rules for many companies to follow …which only benefits the rule makers and the companies…and this does NOT come under the ‘commerce clause’…A truly FREE market does nopt need regulation…which by the way is what a ‘consumer’ is ..like the final filter…if it is good you buy it if not..down the drain goes the product and the company…next….imho

      • Good I’m happy that we agree that the government has no business regulating such matters as abortion, prohibition of any drugs, prohibition of gambling, prohibition of prostitution. I’m glad we also agree that churches should not get non-profit status, nor any other organization.

        Heck, let’s not require drivers licenses or even doctors to get licensed.

    • Wavecrave.I don’t get it..you shouldn’t tell people to stop voicing options,open your mine and except people are in gauging in there options.stop being so narrow minded.oh by the way my granddad said…if you don’t like what’s coming..do something about it!..put some skin in the game…the experience will change you..

  11. “News does have history, ”

    Absolutely it does.. I do a Fibonacci graph on the news it usually gives you a pretty clear picture after a few small links.. if it is fake news it shows up pretty soon that there isn’t any truth in it.
    when I started to have sight issues I had people from all over volunteer to read to me.. the problem is the way I read would drive any sane man nuts.. I read a page or a chapter then research the information in what I have read the garbage I love to read is the stuff everyone avoids reading at any cost.
    That is what scared me about the “fake” news story that none of the mainstream media corporations wanted to report on that implicated so many people at the top of the power chain a while back.. the deeper you dug the dirtier and uglier it got..Unfortunately nothing will ever be done about any of that and we will go on in our little happy world while the ugly stuff will be silently dusted under the proverbial rug.

  12. You write, “well, Breitbart’s headline this morning “Records: Soros Fund Execs Funded Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John McCain, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham in 2016…”

    But you missed the overarching reason: mass in-migration and amnesty.

    All of the Soros money was for open borders -one of, or even THE biggest goals of his interests.

  13. “She’s ferocious.And she knows just what it takes to make an NEA union official blush(all the way to the withholding column).”

    She’s got enough Betsy De Vos ayes.

    • Well she may be ferocious but does she have any experience in education, and of course if your anti-union then that’s a plus seems to me that putting people like this in charge of education with no experience in it, is like calling a plumber to fix your roof
      .Yes I know people will say she doesn’t need experience for she can call on others but then who’s plan will be implemented hers or some other half baked expert…

      • Does it take experience to dismantle the eductocracy based in Washington. I believe that is a different skill set. This is a department that should be disbanded and sent back to the states.

      • To do a plumbing installation, yes, you need to be a plumber. To manage a plumbing business, you need to be a manager or business person. I had one plumber that did installations and manage his business and he was terrible at money. It took 6 years for me to get a bill so I could pay him. To run the Education Dept, it needs a manager that understands how to work with people, not a teacher.

      • It’s rare that those who managed to damage and destroy a major system have either the ability or the cajones to fix it. When a system is beyond repair it needs to be eliminated if possible, or replaced with the most effective, simplest, and least costly one possible.

        I’m really glad this appointment was confirmed, even though it took a Pence vote to do it.