Showing posts with label Jim Jordan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jim Jordan. Show all posts

September 23, 2023

Wash. Post exposed Jim Jordan as the Disinformation Devil

Hieronymus Bosch/The Last Judgment
If it's on Amazon and Red Bubble does this mean it's true?

By Hal Brown

There's a good lead article in The Washington Post (which unfortunately you need a subscription to read) which I posted a comment to.

An escalating campaign, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other Republicans, has cast a pall over programs that study political disinformation and the quality of medical information online

This morning this was the main story on the website:

The Post uses the term misinformation while I use disinformation mostly because it sounds better with Devil. There is a subtle diffeence between the two. Misinformation is defined as false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive while disinformation is defined as false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media.

Here's my comment:

Critical thinking should be taught early in primary school. Children are exposed at an early age to lies and distortions in television advertising so when they become consumers themselves they will believe commercials which sell products with exaggerated or bogus claims. The tendency for people to believe what they want to believe, at its most benign is exploited by companies that want to sell their new improved product when hasn't really changed for 50 years. Societally the way this human characteristic is taken advantage of by people who want not only your money (which they do want) but your votes is far from harmless.  

In the Bible Jesus says about Satan, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

The Devil is in the details and when the details are distorted, twisted, turned upside-down and inside-out the Devil wins and truth and, dare I say, humankind is harmed.

(Full disclosure: I am an atheist so this is meant to be a metaphor, though if the Devil existed I think Jim Jordan would have made a deal with him.)

The three comments that preceded mine:

The Post article begins:

Academics, universities and government agencies are overhauling or ending research programs designed to counter the spread of online misinformation amid a legal campaign from conservative politicians and activists who accuse them of colluding with tech companies to censor right-wing views.

The escalating campaign — led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other Republicans in Congress and state government — has cast a pall over programs that study not just political falsehoods but also the quality of medical information online.

It includes a photo of Jim Jordan surrounded by reporterswith the caption: Academics, universities and government agencies are overhauling or ending research programs designed to counter the spread of online misinformation amid a legal campaign from conservative politicians and activists who accuse them of colluding with tech companies to censor right-wing views.

The escalating campaign — led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other Republicans in Congress and state government — has cast a pall over programs that study not just political falsehoods but also the quality of medical information online.

The authors of the article interviewed more than two dozen professors, government officials, physicians, nonprofits and research funders. Many of them spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss their internal deliberations freely, describe an escalating campaign emerging as online propaganda is rising.

They note that "public health officials are grappling with medical misinformation, as the United States heads into the fall and winter virus season."

If you think it's hyperbole for me to call Rep. Jordan the Devil of Disinformation consider this:

In recent weeks, Jordan has sent a new round of record requests to at least two recipients of grants from the National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator program, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The program, one of many run by the independent agency to promote research, awards funding to groups creating tools or techniques to mitigate misinformation, such as software for journalists to identify misinformation trending online.

The article concludes with the following:

Many academics, independent scholars and philanthropic funders are discussing how to collectively defend the disinformation research field. One proposal would create a group to gather donations into a central fund to pay for crisis communications and — most critically — legal support if one of them gets sued or subpoenaed in a private case or by Congress. The money could also fund cybersecurity counseling to ward off hackers and stalkers and perhaps physical security as well.

“There is this growing sense that there need to be resources to allow for freedom of thought and academic independence,” said one longtime philanthropy grant maker who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

University academics are also mulling ways to rebrand their work to attract less controversy. One leader in a university disinformation research center said scholars have discussed using more generic terms to describe their work such as “information integrity” or “civic participation online.” Those terms “have less of a bite to them,” said a person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak on the private discussions. Similar conversations are occurring within public health agencies, another person said.

“This whole area of research has become radioactive,” the person said.

Literal radioactivity can kill whether it is gamma radiation from a bomb, lingering radioactive dust, nuclear plant meltdown like occured after the Chernobyl disaster, or polonium-210 which was used as an assassination weapon against Alexander Litvinenko. 

The kind of radioactivty described in the article can not only kill research it can also kill people whether it comes from convincing people they don't need to get Covid and other vaccinations or from thwarting climate and medical research and sharing factual information and stopping the promulgation of lies about science.


Apparently a MAGA troll has a subscription to the Post and posted this. Note the two replies.
The commenter "Lecrtius do good" in a somewhat different way said what I said:

When everyone decided "liberal arts" was useless and education just became a worker job factory to learn "skills" and "earning power" then the path was set.

Whoever thought philosophy in high school and university was useless, well this is what we got. Usually this was pumped by the Right because (according to them) money is a value in and of itself and truth isn't a value. The Left jumped in the fray promoting postmodernism at the expense of thoughts of objectivity.

When people learn to engage in critical thinking from an early age they are less likely to be taken in by the propaganda promulgated by pros whether they work in government or for advertising agencies. When children pester their parents to buy sugary treats it may seem harmless for them to give in, but as adults they will waste their money buying useless products like Prevagen which is selling well enough so they can afford to pay for commercials on MSNBC where I'd hope viewers are more adept at critical thinking than those who watch Fox News.

For more on this read my blog:

Gullible people who believe Donald Trump may also believe anti-vaxxers like RFK Jr. and Dr. Zach Bush, and snake oil salespeople pushing products like Prevagen

Related: This was my New Yorker daily calendar cartoon yesterday:

September 12, 2023

Split screen: Impeachment is all about counter-programming against Georgia trial

By Hal Brown

With House Republicans it's all about egos and eyes.

The clamor to hold impeachment hearings against President Joe Biden is a deafening cacaphony of caca. 

Click to view

Click to read

It's quite a task for people like James Comer and Matt Gaetz to outdo Marjorie Taylor Greene who called for red state succession on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 for mooning for the media. You may accuse the likes of these Republicans for lots of things but you can't say they are camera shy. You get between them and a camera at your own peril.

Now that Kevin McCarthy has bypassed a House vote (which would go down in defeat) and initiated a House impeachment inquiry (story) it is amusing to watch Greene erupt spewing molten lava like Mt. Kilauea claiming she was pressing for a Biden impeachment inquiry immediately upon taking office: see

Feud erupts between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz over Biden impeachment.

Still, try as they might media hogs like GOP members of the House Gaetz, Comer, Jim Jordan, Nancy Mace, Lauren Boebert et al, and Tommy Tuberville in the Senate, don't stand a chance of being immortalized in stone. It is Marjorie Taylor Greene who is vying to be sculpted on the Mt. Rushmore of GOP gigantism.

In the coming weeks thanks to Georgia courts allowing live video coverage we can expect compelling, perhaps dramatic, reality TV. The show will be starring well known "celebrities" whose faces are well known like Mark Meadows and Sidney Powell and Kenneth Cheesbro, whose name not his face are familiar. If Trump doesn't get his case removed to federal court, the mega MAGA star Donald Trump, the only defendant who actually has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will be must-see TV if he's in court, especially if he decides against his lawyers' advice to testify.

He has the star, once defaced and replaced, there, and it is the most prominent attraction:

Ironically, in order to pry eyes away from the trial if Trump is a featured celebrity House Republicans will have to put on a Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus extravganza.

This will be a challenge if their center ring attraction is only Hunter Biden. If President Biden testifies (the last president to appear before Congress was Gerald Ford) depending on what's happening in Georgia I can see the GOP winning the ratings rounds for a period of time. MAGAs want to see their GOP heroes make Joe Biden squirm under their barrage of goofball gotcha questions. Lots-a-luck with that. The president doesn't do squirm.

One crazy place to be will be in the control rooms of the major television  networks where directors will have to decide what to feature on the biggest portion of their split screen when interesting things are happening simultaneously. TV hosts and panelists will have to go back and forth as they talk about the House impeachment and the Georgia trial. Complicating all of this will be any other trial involving Trump which may be occurring at the same time but doesn't have live TV coverage.

The only thing that might wipe the political news off the media is a catergory nine earthquake along the San Andreas fault (aka The Big One) which literally wipes out large portions of coastal California, Oregon, and Washington.

July 22, 2023

Election 2024: Silly Season or Stinky Season?

By Hal Brown

Read today's blog story on single page here.

Click above to enlarge

#sneakergate is now a hashtag on Twitter:
Click images to enlarge
They don't link to Twitter

Then there's this...

 See "Trump shares image of his minor son being used in political attack"

The two articles above caught my eye this morning. I thought how downright absurb, or silly if you will, they were. 

I suppose one way look at this is that there are some creative Trump supporters. After all, how does one turn the fact that instead of wearing sneakers meaning that President Biden is athletic they say this is proof postive he's senile? 

I'm 79 and mentally and physically fit. The four pairs of shoes I own languish in a box at the back of my closet since I rarely wear them.  In fact, I don't even own a necktie. Then again, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not president of anything. As you can see I am one of the many who have discovered HOKA shoes which I wear in warm weather whenever I don't wear sandals.

Perhaps this Rosanna_RosannaDanna, who may or may not have made the image but did post it on Truth Social, thinks they are a brilliant satirist. Whoever it is took their handle, with the name spelled not quite correctly, from the Gilda Radner SNL character. They've been on Reddit (here) for four years but never posted anything.

The youngest Trump progeny (that we know of) has been kept out of poltics (though he still makes the news on some websites like this article about how he supposedly won't tell his father he loves him). From what I've read Melania wants to insulate him from daddy's poltical world. She might not be happy that Big Daddy reposted this image on Truth Social and that this is a story being shared. Horrors upon horror, not only did it make Raw Story, but it's on my blog.

It breaks my heart that Melania might be perturbed at Donald.

As for Rosanna: what a way to get national attention! It tempts me to join Truth Social and see if I can get Trump to re-post something I put on his personal online sandbox. One might ask "Who let the cat do his business in that particular sandbox?"

These attempts to smear President Biden are all rather silly, but then we have the likes of the class-act Marjorie Taylor Greene who thought it appropriate to hold up those photos of Hunter Biden with a scantily clad woman, supposedly a prostitute, at a House committee hearing.

We already have Jim Jordan's jingoistic juggernaut, James Comer's crime confabulations, and of course the master of miserable himself, Donald J. Trump... one may ask:

For those not familiar with the reverse question mark, it means the statement is rhetorical.

March 14, 2023

Not being boring is the Trump and DeSantis challenge, but are they about to jump the shark?

 By Hal Brown

Read my related Mar. 15 blog here.

My version

I read this in Salon...

The real image

Double duds: Jim Jordan's and Tucker Carlson's lazy conspiracy theories bore MAGA

GOP propagandists believe MAGA buys whatever they're selling, so why put any effort into spinning lies?

... and I thought that the article could just as easily be referring to both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. You can see how I changed the illustration.

Just about everything that Amanda Marcotte writes in her article about Jim Jordan and Tucker Carlson, with some modification, could describe what might happen with Trump and DeSantis. 

Jumping the shark (see Wikipedia) of course originated with an episode of the popular TV show "Happy Days" where Fonzie was on water skis and jumped over a shark. After that the popularity of the series gradually declined but the term has expanded to mean a stunt meant to be a wowza which turns out to have been be a dud.

Consider how Trump is now hysterically warning that only he is capable of preventing World War III. DeSantis wants you to wet yourself in terror at the woke warriors who want to turn your children into "perverts".

Marcotte calls Jordan and Tucker's conspiracy theories lazy. I'd call them desperate. As far as I'm concerned the same goes for Trump and DeSantis. 

Jordan and Tucker are actors. This is from Marcotte's article (emphasis added):

Both Carlson and Jordan have become famous and powerful by dint of their effectiveness at spreading conspiracy theories. Carlson gets paid $6 million a year, strictly due to his acting chops, whether he's pretending to care about the sexiness of M&Ms or to believe in the intelligence of Donald Trump. Similarly, Jordan rose high in the ranks of House Republicans because he's talented at faking outrage. Yet both these men are showing less passion for conspiracy theories these days than your average unpaid and anonymous QAnon troll. It must be tiring, looking forward to the rest of their lives spent trying to feign zeal over fake culture war fights or made-up controversies. Not that they deserve your pity, of course. Being professional liars is the path they chose for themselves, and they're clearly stuck following it to the end. 
Not that I have to point out the obvious, but Trump and DeSantis are professional liars.

Their political fortunes depend on keeping their lying fresh and entertaining. Here's the 30 Second World War III possible shark jumper from Trump tweeted by Junior.

I don't have a comparable example from Ron DeSantis. The one thing he has in his advantage is that he always comes across as dull. 

This is from The Washington Post opinion piece How much does charisma matter? DeSantis is putting it to the test. by Paul Waldman published today: 
He is “reserved and dry” and has a challenge “forging connections with people.” He’s “pinched and humorless.” He “just doesn’t have the charisma to command a national political stage.” He “has the charisma of a pair of cargo shorts.”

He wisely doesn't try to out-Trump Trump in feigning outrage. He depends on using a dry presentation of the dire consequences of woke policies. I don't know what latest policy announcement could, in retrospect, be seen as him having jumped the shark. I expect it could just the a straw the breaks the camels back executive order.

Both of the top contenders for the GOP nomination depend on not being boring. They are very different in this respect from Mike Pence and Joe Biden. Both of them are naturally low-key. You could call them boring in how they present their ideas and policies. When Biden is particularly animated, or expresses anger, more than usual people take notice, for example:

Click above to read article

Neither Pence nor Biden have to worry about boring MAGA-world since residents of this land of won't vote for them anyway. It's Trump and DeSantis who have to worry about boring the denizens of MAGA.

I was curious about this...

so I looked it up:
Click above to read article

Trump can try to gin up hysteria about a nuclear attack but does he really care about the rest of Americans when his house has three bomb shelters? None can withstand a direct hit but why would Putin want to take out Mar-a-Lago when Trump is his pal?

Please scroll down to the comments link and let readers know what you think. Sharing on social media, also through the links below, is appreciated.

February 6, 2023

Will he become Jim Janus-faced Judas Jordan and run for president against Trump?

 Will he become Jim Janus-faced Judas Jordan and run for president against Trump?

By Hal Brown

Note to regular blog readers: I doubt I will be putting a new blog on today since due to upgrades    my Internet provider is working on all day I won't have any service.

After reading Heather Digby Parton's column about Jim Jordan I wondered why this vomit inducing congressman wasn't being talked about as a possible primary candidate for president.

Click above to read

I did a web search "Jim Jordan for president" and all I found was a letter in

Jordan decided not to run for the open Ohio Senate seat of the retiring Rob Portman in 2022.  There's no way this was because of a lack of ambition. I think he decided he'd rather wield incredible power in the House which he thought correctly that the GOP would control than be a freshman member of the Senate.

Jordan is power mad. I believe that as a staunch supporter of Trump he has no real loyalty to him, hence the alliterative title of this blog.  

I think the chances are slim to none that he'd hesitate to run against him in the primary if he saw an opening in what is sure to be a crowded field even when the long shots drop out.

While DeSantis and Trump compete for media attention with each other, Jordan will be all over the news for the next two years. He'll be center stage without trying while Trump, DeSantis, and anyone else trying to get media attention will be desperate to be booked for interviews. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them, horror of horrors for most Republicans, on MSNBC.

Nobody has ever accused this congressman of being a shrinking violet. His belligerent personality is constantly on display in the media. We've seen his  scowling, sneering, or screaming mouth and his pointing finger ad nauseam. 

  I wonder if his right index finger is insured for a million dollars.  

He is sometimes called "Gym Jordan" because of accusations that as a wrestling coach at Ohio State he ignored and covered up allegations of the sexual abuse by the team doctor of some 150 athletes (reference)

Jordan received a BS from The University of Wisconsin - Madison, a masters degree from Ohio State, and went on to get a law degree from the less than stellar Capitol University Law School. It is an ABA accredited private law school located in downtown Columbus. U.S. News & World Report listed Capital's full-time Juris Doctor program as "Rank Not Published" in 2018, but in 2022 it was ranked as tied for No. 147-193 out of 197 schools in Best Law Schools. (Wikipedia)

Call him Gym or not, I have never heard Jim Jordan called dumb. His deciding to get a law degree at a school that might have been easier to get admitted to than a highly ranked school might have been a smart decision.

Ron DeSantis seems positioned to be Trump's number one competitor although while the field has some other top contenders it is interesting to note that absent from this list is Jim Jordan:

Declared Candidates

  • Nikki Haley, Former Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

Possible Candidates

  • Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas
  • Liz Cheney, U.S. representative from Wyoming (At-Large District)
  • Chris Christie, Former Governor of New Jersey
  • Bob Corker, Former Senator from Tennessee
  • Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas
  • Daniel Crenshaw, U.S. Representative from Texas (2nd District)
  • Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator from Texas
  • Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida
  • Doug Ducey, Governor of Arizona
  • Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio
  • Joni Ernst, U.S. Senator from Iowa
  • Josh Hawley, U.S. Senator from Missouri
  • Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland
  • Adam Kinzinger, U.S. Representative from Illinois (16th District)
  • Mike Lee, U.S. Senator from Utah
  • Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota
  • Mike Pence, Former Vice President of the United States
  • Mike Pompeo, Former Secretary of State
  • Mitt Romney, U.S. Senator from Utah
  • Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida
  • Ben Sasse, U.S. Senator from Nebraska
  • Rick Scott, U.S. Senator from Florida
  • Tim Scott, U.S. Senator from South Carolina
  • Elise Stefanik, U.S. Representative from New York (21st District)
  • Chris Sununu, Governor of New Hampshire
  • Glenn Youngkin, Governor of Virginia

If it turns out that Jim Jordan does decide to run I will expect major prognostication points.

I thought this was a joke:

It was real. Maybe it is an example of Jordan's idea of what's funny. It did get him in the media.

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