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Blog Description:

Broken Laughter is an occasional blog by a middle aged Midwesterner. It will include posts and articles about politics, current events, arts, and anything else that the Broken Laughter editor chooses to post.
Blog Added: December 18, 2016 02:45:26 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
Blog Stats
Total Visits: 670
Blog Rating: 2.88
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Dahlia Lithwick — Excellent Analysis Of The Age Of Trump

Recently, Dahlia Lithwick received the 2018 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis. This is the substance of her acceptance speech. It reflects her insightful perspective on the struggles of this particular time. Consequently, it is outstanding. Read more The post Dahlia Lithwick — Excellent Analysis Of The Age Of Trump appeared first on Broken...

Recently, Dahlia Lithwick received the 2018 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis. This is the substance of her acceptance speech. It reflects her insightful perspective on the struggles of this particular time. Consequently, it is outstanding.

The post Dahlia Lithwick — Excellent Analysis Of The Age Of Trump appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Trump And Republicans Offended By Correspondents Dinner Headliner

Based on a huge explosion of tweets and print news articles and on-camera interviews, Michelle Wolf’s comedy routine, delivered at the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 28, 2018, offended President Donald Trump and many of supportive Republicans. Trump did not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this year. He didn’t attend last year, either. Instead, he held a campaign… Read more The post Trump And Republicans Offended By Correspondents Dinner Headliner appeared...

Based on a huge explosion of tweets and print news articles and on-camera interviews, Michelle Wolf’s comedy routine, delivered at the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 28, 2018, offended President Donald Trump and many of supportive Republicans.

Trump did not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner this year. He didn’t attend last year, either. Instead, he held a campaign rally in Michigan. At that rally, he spent more than an hour droning on about the things Trump always drones on about. Those topics included how he won the election (more than 500 days ago), his Mexican border wall, and how wonderfully the economy is humming along.

Wolf’s comedy routine echoed the style of her other appearances. She is an edgy comedian, whose material often pushes the envelope of political or social correctness. Trump’s supporters often claim not to care about political correctness. Many Trump supporters frequently say that his lack of political correctness is one of the things that led them to support Trump. Ironically, Wolf’s lack of political correctness has got Trump and his supporters all riled up.

Trump tweeted about the dinner, “While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn’t work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust…the so-called comedian really “bombed.” @greggutfeld should host next year!“

However, I can think of many things Trump has done — actions, not mere words — far worse than anything Michelle Wolf said at The Correspondents Dinner.

For example:

  • The time that Trump tried sleep with the then-married Nancy O’Dell, which he discussed with Billy Bush. “Access Hollywood” recorded their discussion.
  • The occasion that Trump slept with Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels) while he was married to Melania.
  • The day that  Trump referred to neo -Nazis as “very fine people” after the incidents in Charlottesville.

WHCA Reaction

Absurdly, the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) hired Wolf to deliver comedy rooted in jokes about people in the White House. The WHCA is now shocked that Wolf delivered comedy rooted in jokes about people in the White House.

Unfortunately, many journalists have gone along with the idea that Wolf went too far at the Correspondents Dinner. Some of them claim that she made fun of  White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ appearance.

In fact, Wolf did not make fun of Sanders’ appearance, but she did point out Sanders’ propensity to lie. Sanders lies nearly every time she steps up to the podium in the White House press briefing room. Wolf said that Sanders eye makeup creates “a perfect smoky eye.” That is a compliment, not a criticism.

Even more unfortunately, WHCA President Margaret Talev put out a letter to members of the WHCA on Sunday. That letter gives the impression that she didn’t know what kind of comedy routine Wolf would deliver. She threw Wolf under the bus and indicated that future the WHCA was considering revisions to future WHCD formats.  This is more than a little distressing.

The Talev/WHCA letter is even more disturbing given what Talev said when the WHCA booked Wolf to headline the dinner: “I’m delighted to announce ‘Nice Lady’ Michelle Wolf as our featured entertainer this year,’ Margaret Talev, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said in this morning’s news.

‘Our dinner honors the First Amendment and strong, independent journalism. Her embrace of these values and her truth-to-power style make her a great friend to the WHCA. Her Pennsylvania roots, stints on Wall Street and in science and self-made, feminist edge make her the right voice now,’ Talev added.” 

Apparently the WHCA commitment to the First Amendment and strong, independent journalism, and speaking truth-to-power is very weak.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with the WHCA and others’ reactions to the dinner is that in the past, the President has always taken the stage and roasted the Washington press corps, Congress and whoever else he has wanted to make jokes about. Then, a headliner has taken the stage and roasted the President. Both sides — the White House and the Press — have roasted each other.

However, by not attending the event, Trump has removed that balance. By not participating, he can play the victim. Also, this year, neither of his surrogates (neither  Conway nor Sanders) took the stage, so the situation was completely unbalanced.

That is what’s wrong with the White House Correspondents Dinner. The problem is not the jokes told by Michelle Wolf.

 

The post Trump And Republicans Offended By Correspondents Dinner Headliner appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Friday The 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. It’s an ominous day. Many superstitious people fear this day will bring dreadful or even lethal events upon their lives. According to an article from The Guardian, some awful or bizarre things have happened to people on this date in history. Read more The post Friday The 13th appeared first on Broken...

Today is Friday the 13th. It’s an ominous day. Many superstitious people fear this day will bring dreadful or even lethal events upon their lives.

According to an article from The Guardian, some awful or bizarre things have happened to people on this date in history.

The post Friday The 13th appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Trump And His Blazing Insecurity

Desperately insecure about his role in the US Presidency, Trump tweeted Rasmussen Reports poll data showing him with a 51% approval rating on Thursday: Why is he so insecure about being President? Trump knows he won the Electoral College with second-lowest number of votes in US history. Only George W. Bush got fewer votes, in both 2000 and 2004. He… Read more The post Trump And His Blazing Insecurity appeared first on Broken...

Desperately insecure about his role in the US Presidency, Trump tweeted Rasmussen Reports poll data showing him with a 51% approval rating on Thursday:

Why is he so insecure about being President?

Trump knows he won the Electoral College with second-lowest number of votes in US history. Only George W. Bush got fewer votes, in both 2000 and 2004.

He knows he lost the popular vote by millions of votes to Hillary Clinton. Although the popular vote doesn’t determine who wins the election, it indicates public opinion effectively.

Trump knows he won in part because of fake news stories on Facebook and elsewhere online. Those stories impacted the opinions of poorly educated, poorly informed and gullible voters. These fake news stories included one about Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza restaurant in New Jersey.

Trump knows that Clinton would have won if then-FBI Director James Comey had not sent his infamous late October letter. in that letter, he raised some people’s suspicions about Clinton’s email server by claiming the FBI discovered a new trove of Clinton emails. The FBI then needed to determine whether or not they were duplicates of email messages the FBI had already examined. They turned out to be duplicates. But when Comey released that news, Clinton’s lead had already suffered significant damage. More than anything else, Comey’s moves cost Clinton the election.

The Problem With Rasmussen Reports Polling Methodology

Rasmussen conducts polling poorly, and its results always skew favorably to Trump. When compared to other polls, Rasmussen is consistently an outlier. Rasmussen poll results are inferior in part because it uses an automated (robocall) method. It is a violation of federal law for computers to call cellphones. Therefore, Rasmussen’s IVR method ignores people who don’t have landline phones. Since many young people don’t have landline phones, they are absent from the Rasmussen poll samples. Therefore, the Rasmussen samples don’t reflect the real American population.   

These are just a few of the reasons Trump has to be insecure in his role of President.

 

The post Trump And His Blazing Insecurity appeared first on Broken Laughter.



How Cambridge Analytica, Giles-Parscale And Trump Campaign Formed Powerful Triumvirate

Months ago, I began to read about Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign. From various sources, I learned about how the Trump campaign had hired Giles Parscale to influence voter perceptions during the campaign. By the way, one of the co-founders of Giles Parscale is Brad Parscale. A few weeks ago, the Trump campaign named Parscale Campaign Manager of the… Read more The post How Cambridge Analytica, Giles-Parscale And Trump Campaign Formed Powerful Triumvirate appeared first on Broken...

Months ago, I began to read about Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign. From various sources, I learned about how the Trump campaign had hired Giles Parscale to influence voter perceptions during the campaign. By the way, one of the co-founders of Giles Parscale is Brad Parscale. A few weeks ago, the Trump campaign named Parscale Campaign Manager of the Trump 2020 Presidential Campaign.

In the last few days, Cambridge Analytica became a hot name in the news. One of the company’s founders, Christopher Wylie, sounded the alarm as a whistleblower. He described how the firm received data about Facebook users and then used that data to create detailed profiles of users. Cambridge Analytica and its partners used the data to target users with advertising that would likely be effective. Its effectiveness came from how it leveraged what Cambridge Analytica had learned about those users from their own Facebook pages. This data included  their “likes,” posts, and other demographic facts. In many respects, the Trump campaign and its partners used fundamental marketing principles to direct ads and fake news stories to Facebook users.

The Role of Facebook

However, there was a problem. A relatively small group of users agreed to let their data be collected through a Facebook “online quiz.” The company managing the quiz leapfrogged to collecting data on the friends of the survey respondents. These friends of survey respondents had not agreed to have their data mined. In fact, the firm collected data about 50 million Facebook users. This recently became a huge problem for Facebook. On March 19, Facebook stock lost more than $36 billion in market capital in response to reporting about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

While thinking about all this, I remembered seeing a very intriguing news story done by the BCC a few months ago. That story featured Teresa Hong, one of the architects of the Trump online campaign. In that report, Hong walks the BBC reporter through the office space in Texas occupied by Cambridge Analytica, dubbed “Project Alamo.” Hong explained that people from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were their digital partners. Watch the Hong clip I linked to — it’s extremely revealing. Hong says, “Without Facebook, we wouldn’t have won.”

In addition, I remembered a chart published on Medium by Wendy Siegelman. Siegelman’s chart, below, lays out the relationships very clearly. One could spend hours searching for more information about the organizations Siegelman includes in her chart.

The post How Cambridge Analytica, Giles-Parscale And Trump Campaign Formed Powerful Triumvirate appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Trump Rewards North Korea For Years Of Bad Behavior

Like a child who has not obeyed his parents, North Korea has violated international agreements it has entered into for many years. It has done so repeatedly. There is a clear track record of violations and bad behavior. Many of these agreements relate to development of nuclear weapons. For example, in October of 2002, the Asian nation admitted to operating… Read more The post Trump Rewards North Korea For Years Of Bad Behavior appeared first on Broken...

Like a child who has not obeyed his parents, North Korea has violated international agreements it has entered into for many years. It has done so repeatedly. There is a clear track record of violations and bad behavior.

Many of these agreements relate to development of nuclear weapons. For example, in October of 2002, the Asian nation admitted to operating a secret nuclear weapons program. This program violated a 1994 agreement it made with the United States.

Consequently, previous presidents of the United States have thought it best not to reward bad behavior by many different nations. Similarly, many parents know this too — they don’t reward their children’s bad behavior.

Trump and North Korea

On receiving the invitation from a South Korean delegation, what did Trump do? Did he exercise smart strategy, like a wise parent would?

He did not. Trump rewarded years of North Korean bad behavior by agreeing to meet with Kim Jong Un.

Furthermore, did Trump propose sending a representative from the United States government to meet with one or more representatives from North Korea? This option was available to him.

No, he will give North Korea the big prize. He is going to meet with Kim Jong Un himself.  For years, North Korean leaders have wanted to meet with an American president. Such a meeting would make North Korea appear on equal footing with the rest of the developed world. However, North Korea is not on this footing. Many nations have economically sanctioned North Korea for years, to punish the nation for its bad behavior.

In this case, Trump agreed to give Kim Jong Un what he and his predecessor and father Kim Jong Il have wanted for years. What did Trump ask for in return? Absolutely nothing.

In addition, Trump has said many times that he is a great negotiator. However, giving a negotiating partner exactly what they want — without asking for anything in return — is not a sign of a smart negotiator.

It is a sign of a horrible negotiator, who will likely lose at the bargaining table.

 

 

 

 

The post Trump Rewards North Korea For Years Of Bad Behavior appeared first on Broken Laughter.



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