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Discussion in 'Political Discourse' started by CdnGuy, Dec 15, 2015.
Washington (AFP) - Christopher Blair produces false stories he insists are easily identifiable as satire rather than news. His pages can rack up millions of views, and at least part of that audience believes the material is true.
Blair, 48, runs eight websites and five Facebook pages from his home in the northeastern US state of Maine. He says the claims his articles make are "ridiculous," such as that President Donald Trump's current term could be extended by three years.
But his content is widely shared by people who take it as fact, contributing to the spread of false information online.
Blair -- a self-described "liberal troll" and political activist -- says he knows what to write for his right-wing "target audience" through years of "being embedded in their world."
He does not hold that audience in high regard.
"They live on... fear and hate and misinformation and very specific storylines that everybody knows aren't true except for them," he told AFP.
His content is rife with disclaimers: Satire. Fake news fact-check. Nothing on this page is real.
If someone clicks through to Blair's articles, instead of instantly sharing them based on a headline, the warnings are visible.
But often, it appears that people do not.
Asked why people believe and share the articles, Blair answers: "Confirmation bias."
Attorney General William Barr Is the Best Reason to Vote for Clinton
October 27, 1992
A federal judge accuses the Justice Department of trying to “shape” a case involving illegal loans to Iraq. The House Judiciary Committee blasts federal attorneys for compromising their reputation for impartiality in the investigation of a computer-software theft. CIA officials charge a deputy attorney general with advocating the suppression of evidence in a sensitive sentencing hearing.
To even the most avid scandalmonger, these may sound like the ravings of a fevered Orwellian imagination. But in fact they are all part of a litany of wrongdoing leveled at George Bush’s Justice Department in the past two months alone. And at the center of the criticism is the chief articulator of Bush’s imperial presidency, the man who wrote the legal rationale for the Gulf War, the Panama invasion, and the officially sanctioned kidnapping of, foreign nationals abroad — Attorney General William P. Barr.
So fast has Barr’s star dimmed in recent months that even conservative pundits like The New York Times’s William Safire have taken to calling him the “Cover-Up General.” But so poorly understood are Barr’s ties to the president himself that the fires now threatening the Justice Department have barely singed the Oval Office.
To some Washington insiders, that comes as a surprise, for Barr is surely the closest thing this administration has to a court philosopher. Through the policy decisions he has authored, first as assistant attorney general and finally as the chief himself, he has fashioned a coherent, radical ideology for a White House that is only ostensibly middle-of-the-road.
While the president, for example, hails a “new world order” based on the rules of law, Barr’s briefs give us broken international covenants. Though conservative purists pretend that the Justice Department remains reactive, the attorney general, bolstered by an activist Supreme Court, sets aggressively conservative social agendas on everything from abortion to immigration — while stalling off inquiries into a myriad of scandals. Indeed, nothing better sums up the political gospel and failings of George Bush’s reign on the eve of this election than the handiwork of his chief lawyer.
An Exchange on Ernst Jünger
Improving the Prognosis of Health Care in the USA
Although health care expenditure per capita is higher in the USA than in any other country, more than 37 million Americans do not have health insurance, and 41 million more have inadequate access to care.
Efforts are ongoing to repeal the Affordable Care Act which would exacerbate health-care inequities. By contrast, a universal system, such as that proposed in the Medicare for All Act, has the potential to transform the availability and efficiency of American health-care services.
Taking into account both the costs of coverage expansion and the savings that would be achieved through the Medicare for All Act, we calculate that a single-payer, universal health-care system is likely to lead to a 13% savings in national health-care expenditure, equivalent to more than US$450 billion annually (based on the value of the US$ in 2017).
The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations.
This shift to single-payer health care would provide the greatest relief to lower-income households.
Furthermore, we estimate that ensuring health-care access for all Americans would save more than 68 000 lives and 1·73 million life-years every year compared with the status quo.
Galvani AP, Parpia AS, Foster EM, Singer BH, Fitzpatrick MC. Improving the prognosis of health care in the USA. The Lancet 2020;395:524-33. Redirecting