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October 27, 2013

Comments

I don't think the New York Times or Washington Post are leftist, but I'm not in a big fuss about it.

To me, the real problem isn't just that there is a rightwing noise machine that confabulates lies. The real problem is that so many of the people who believe the lies slam the door on their capacity for rational thought by claiming that all other sources are invalid. So believe Glenn Beck, don't believe Paul Krugman.

I'm not saying that a person should agree with Krugman, but he's educated, has expertise, and has no history of just making stuff up. Compare that to almost any rightwing pundit or politician or political "entertainer".

This is from Mahablog:


"Indeed, there is a whole class of grifters on the Right whose incomes depend on keeping the crazy well fed. I’m thinking of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Fox News et al. No doubt Michele Bachmann will become a full-time gifter as soon as she’s out of the House. But there are tons of second- and third-tier gifters, all cashing in nicely.

And why not? If bank robbers rob banks because that’s where the money is, grifters infest the Right because that’s where the gullibility is. People who can be made to believe in death panels can also be sold on dubious investment schemes, survivalist kits and quack arthritis cures. It’s too easy. See especially Rick Perlstein, “The Long Con.”

There are also subcategories of specialized grifters such as the NRA/firearm industry and climate change denialists/petroleum industry. But it’s all of a piece, really.

I wrote recently that the only substantive difference between the “extremists” and the “moderates/establishment” in the Republican Party is that “the ‘moderates’ realize elections have to be won, and the ‘extremists’ don’t know that, or don’t care.” When you look at someone like Ted Cruz, who unlike many others may not be crazy or stupid, one suspects his long game isn’t winning the White House. The long game is making a ton of money. In this country, once you become a reliable supplier of red meat for the Right, you are set for life. Whether you ever actually accomplish anything that’s good for anyone is irrelevant.

The Republican Party set itself up for this, of course, by being willing to sell out anything that might be an actual principle in order to win elections on the cheap (and dirty)."

I know this thread is about resources, information, and the comparison thereof, so my comments thus far are kind of tangential. But not completely; the reason there is so much misinformation on the right about Obamacare is that so much of the information is ginned up by grifters as part of the con and there is no left wing equivalent of this. Or, at least, there isn't enough of one to register. The closest equivalent that I can think of is some of the chronically hysterical and over stated diaries on Kos, but they are not fundraising for themselves, Kos, the Democratic party or anyone. When Kos or Balloon Juice does fund raise the link is to Act Blue for specific candidates, not money for some organization that supposedly is pushing for a political agenda but in reality is supporting a host of grifters.

As Maha notes, there's money in lying to the rightwing base, lots of it. So there's lots of lies from lots of grifters. Hence, Hall of Mirrors.

I just got a robocall claiming that
Obama will be hiring 26000 IRS agents, creating over one hundred new federal agencies and instituting I don remember how many new taxes and t is really important that the states refuse to administer Obamacare because that's the only way to save America.

Laura:

The real problem is that so many of the people who believe the lies slam the door on their capacity for rational thought by claiming that all other sources are invalid.

I think you're not blaming the correct party, here. For Fox News, in particular, emphasizes over and over that "we tell you what the rest of the media is afraid to", that *only* Fox News (etc.) can be trusted. In this particular Hannity segment, for instance, he says "These are the stories that the media refuses to cover".

The message viewers keep getting, over and over, is that *we* are different, *we* aren't "the media", we're on your side, we understand and agree with *you*. Their viewers don't seal themselves off of their own volition, but because the RWM devotes a lot of effort to getting them to do it.

And they're not "gullible" as a character trait, they're *loyal*. But being loyal to leaders and to their ingroup means they're much more vulnerable to affinity fraud.

I'm curious as to why you stick the BeeB in the center and put AJA on the left? Given that AJA is more or less BeeB and NBC expats...Also, I know our local papers are fairly not center. Last question: CNN?

AJA is considered radical-untouchable by most people on the American right. Local papers in my observation have more reporting and less ideology than your true RWM.

CNN probably belongs in the center, but personally I consider it just embarrassing.

if the NY Times, Wash Post are considered Left, wow, i am so far out in left field, then. lol.

The Times/Izvestia on the Hudson and WaPo/Pravda on the Potomac. such right wing mouth pieces for the Elites. lol

what a trip to find this list. if these media are considered "left". i guess thinking is a left wing activity. lol

I think this could be a very interesting experiment; most on both sides do tend to favor only "their" sources - and naturally, consider what they read to be centrist. Accepting that your sources have a bias suggests that you yourself are biased, which is very uncomfortable.

While I am not completely in agreement with where you place everything, I think it is a very reasonable separation. Ultimately, the effect will be to force people away from their preferred sources, if they follow through.

Is this suggestion for comments on this post alone? A suggestion for all posts and comments on the blog for a time? it would be fascinating to see everyone have to read the shunned sources and attempt to make their cases from them.

What about the major TV channels: NBC, ABC, and CBS? Are those to be excluded as sources?

I posted this on the "A Conservative Healthcare Market" thread as well.

I find debate with most of the conservatives at OBWI to be a far superior experience to debating the "conservative" memes (nice words for lying horsesh*t) wurlitzered by the right-wing media.

By which I mean nearly all of the conservatives here argue in pretty good faith, even if I do disagree with them in every detail for the most part, though their opinions of the way I present here may differ (I'm an acquired taste).

So, we are stuck with conservative opinions about what conservative healthcare marketplace might look like and real world examples of the conservative healthcare marketplace in action in our faces.

I give you Texas, which I'm using as the worst and most vocal example of a state run by conservatives who I gather aren't particularly viewed in a favorable light by the Texas conservatives who comment here.

You see the disconnect. It's one thing to consider decent conservatives' opinions about health insurance coverage and yet another to actually live with the crap that the "conservatives" who have taken over the Republican party in these latter days of the Republic provide on the ground.

What the Texas State Republican Party has wrought (with no little help from the Texas State Democratic Party):

http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/tif/healthcare.html

But look:

http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Thousands-line-up-in-Dallas-for-health-insurance-info-229408491.html

What we have today is the result of decades of decisions at all levels. I doubt that there is any reason to believe that if "true conservatives" (whatever that might mean) were able to design the system they want, that this is what we would have.

The fact that we use health insurance to pay for just about all medical care is itself a large part of the problem. It forces doctors' offices to deal with both paperwork for reimbursement, as well as incentivizing them to comply with the insurance companies classifications of care. The lack of direct pay means that both patients and doctors are a lot less concerned with costs than before this became widespread.

I think (still trying to confirm this) that we got here because of the HMOs, which promised to reduce costs via increasing preventative care. It sounded plausible, but in hindsight it appears to have been an error. Of course, the insurance companies devised PPOs to compete.

FuzzyFace:

I'm already violating my own rule, but here's what I found:

Out-of-control U.S. health care costs, compared to other countries, started shortly after the U.S. started an increased focus on private health insurance companies via “managed care” and health maintenance organizations (HMO’s), while maintaining the private health insurance companies. That activity in the United States occurred shortly after the 1883-1972 period during which the majority of other free-market countries had completed their implementations of their health care for all systems, which allow them to have health care costs much more "in control" than the United States.
There's also a informative graph; many comparable ones are available online.

Now I wonder if the WSJ has covered this ...

re FuzzyFaces' 10:21 am:

For the print media sources mentioned, are we judging their political biases based on the editorial pages or on the news content?

For the record, I read on a regular basis Investor's Business Daily, Barron's Weekly, the New Yorker, the Sunday New York Times, the Wall Street Journal when I get the chance, MSN Money, and a fairly eclectic set of internet political and business sites, the former mostly skewed Left but by no means exclusively.

I haven't had a television in five years. I use Netflix and YouTube. I catch John Stewart on Hulu.

NPR is on a lot, but mostly as background.

I find all other broadcast news venues, left and right, traditional and cable, to be shite.

Let's take Investor's Business Daily as an example of how a raging Commie like myself picks through the ruin.

I peruse the editorial page and then check to see if I need to save it or go to the grocery for toilet tissue, though I throw away the ones featuring Ann Coulter, Mark Steyn and company because my nether regions pucker at the mere thought of abrasiveness.

I read the technical and fundamental analysis, which definitely have bias, but one I find useful in my stock market pursuits.

I get a kick out of reading short articles about XYC Biotech's earnings shooting skyward because of a new product, and then doing a little independent research and learning that the R&D was supported by NIH grants, or based on very early baseline research by gummint scientists along the way, and gummint-orphan drug exceptions, and then turning to the editorial page to learn that all government intervention and spending is Stalinist/Muslim/Obama John Maynard GayKenyaism.

The New Yorker, the New York Times, and NPR, among the other pleasures they provide, give me in-depth reporting and stories that I can't find anywhere else, with the exception of a few journals.

The reporting in most conservative print media that I frequent seems to be short on fact content and long on snark, and I should know snark when I read it.

I listen to NPR's BBC broadcasts sometimes late at night if only for this type of thing: a report that a fiance soon to be groom has been arrested for calling in a bomb threat to the venue where his wedding reception was to be held the very next day, because he had forgotten, despite months of lead time, to make the bloody reservations and was embarrassed when he remembered the night before that this important task has slipped his mind.

The report ended with the female British (I'm a sucker for those two descriptives combined in one voice) newsreader noting dryly that "the couple is reported to still be together."

There will always be an England.

And here that graph is at the WSJ. But that brief article doesn't say anything at all about the *reasons* for the divergence.

God help us, two of my recent captchas have been some combination of Cyrillic script and Chinese ideograms.

i assume that's to make forum spammers feels more welcome.

To me, the difference between "news" in the National Review or Faux and "news" on some wacky rightwing blog is a matter of style, not content. I see those venues as not being much different in levels of professionalism from some hyper-partisan exaggerated Kos diary that didn't make the rec list.

The Post and NYT don't strike me as particularly left. They strike me as being substantively different from the National Review and Faux in the same way that a zebra is substantively different from an Appaloosa. The Post and the NYT are responsible news sources. Like everything else, they should be read as part of one's due diligence at information gathering, not as a sole source and not read with total credulity, either. But Faux and the National Review aren't trustworthy at all.

Ultimately, the effect will be to force people away from their preferred sources, if they follow through.

There is an acute shortage of "righties" in the comments already, and this requirement would render them extinct.

But that brief article doesn't say anything at all about the *reasons* for the divergence.

Presumably, one could argue about the reason, but I think the emergence of HMOs is a very plausible reason - and I don't think anybody predicted it. My 20-20 hindsight can explain it, though :)

There is an acute shortage of "righties" in the comments already, and this requirement would render them extinct.

Well, that would be part of the experiment :)

"Extinction" -- the new "conservative".

the female British (I'm a sucker for those two descriptives combined in one voice) newsreader...

Sadly not quite the same since the retirement of Charlotte Green and Harriet Cass earlier this year (though the latter has now become the voice of the classified football results).

Charlotte Green on youtube (thanks to a fit of corpsing):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKBWsy5A2bA

Good post by Sullivan on a related topic:
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/28/keller-vs-greenwald-why-not-both/

And the debate which sparked it:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/28/opinion/a-conversation-in-lieu-of-a-column.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

FWIW, I tend to lean towards Greenwald's arguments, too (even if I don't share his uncompromising politics).

After all, even the BBC, which has in its very charter a requirement of impartiality, in reality practices nothing of the sort.
While it makes a laudable attempt at 'unbiased' reporting, its institutional assumptions are pretty blatant.

I think pushing people out of their comfort zone is a good thing. Where do government reports (e.g. CBO/CMS/CDC etc) fall?

Nigel: I also like Greenwald, although sometimes he's hard to read because he's so angry. But he always has interesting and under-reported facts, even if I don't agree with his interpretation.

i liked how Keller ignored Greenwald's complaint about "he said she said" journalism.

http://www.businessinsider.com/wall-street-journal-enlists-noted-health-policy-expert-suzanne-somers-to-critique-obamacare-2013-10

The Wall Street Journal decided to feature an article by guest expert Suzanne Somers on Obamacare.

Dean Baker points out ceaselessly examples of the WaPo's editorial jihad against 'entitlements' influencing their their news coverage. On these issues, the Post is no member of the "left-wing" media. Please move them to the right.

Well, that would be part of the experiment :)

If you want to experiment on us that way, I'd rather we took their guns away and gave them to us. Now there would be an experiment!

I just read the Greenwald/Keller debate and the Andrew Sullivan comment that Nigel linked above. I mostly sided with Greenwald, but also agree with Sullivan that there's no reason why one can't have both. That is, reporters with an openly declared agenda or bias (like Greenwald or Scahill) and reporters who ostensibly objective. I want both because it's good to see if people with different approaches come to the same conclusion--Greenwald also says he wants conservative journalists too, which is fine with me. I respect some self-described conservatives (though people like Andrew Bacevich don't seem to have much in common with what passes for conservatism in Congress) more than most liberals.

The problem with "objective" journalism is that it's been something of a pretense all along. There are always biases, sometimes hidden, sometimes not. Glenn didn't know that John Burns was pro-Iraq War, someone who saw the US military as ministering angels, but I think he must have been asleep--when I read a Burns story in the NYT back in 2002-2003 it was obvious he was pro-war. But Burns was "objective". And of course the NYT disgraced itself in its prewar coverage of the WMD issue. So the ideal of objective journalism is a good one, but I wonder how often, if ever, the ideal has been made real.

Hmm.. that WSJ feature includes Pat Sajak as an "expert" as well, along with Bob Kerry, Amy Tan...

http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/category/retirement/

I guess, "expert" for this page means, "somebody who likes to write and publish their opinion."

Glenn didn't know that John Burns was pro-Iraq War, someone who saw the US military as ministering angels, but I think he must have been asleep--when I read a Burns story in the NYT back in 2002-2003 it was obvious he was pro-war.

Ummm, yes, obvious to the sentient.

This gets to the issue of EDITORS.

I put that word in caps as a heading to my main comment. The fact is that anyone looking at the editorial slant of most traditional newspapers or magazines realizes that:

1. The goal of reporters/journalists is to be objective.

2. Editors perceive bias because they read multiple reporters/journalists and recogize slant.

3. Editors call out bias and prejudice, and perhaps (as in an opinion journal) embrace a particular view, which is recognized as a hallmark of the publication.

4. But good editors won't allow yellow journalism, cherrypicking facts, as in Greenwald, the hack. The fact that this unaccomplished lawyer, wrongheaded apathetic character, then libertarian polemicist/traitor/liar, has a following among thoughtful people never ceases to make me vomit. What the hell are you people smoking?

Editors perceive bias because they read multiple reporters/journalists and recogize slant.

Only if they have a range of biases among their reporters. If all of them are pretty much of the same bias, and it happens to match the bias of the editors, they are not likely to notice it.

Reporters are fallible; it is not uncommon that they make mistakes, and some papers make a point of noting the errors in subsequent papers (although rarely with the prominence of the original). But when a paper consistently makes mistakes in a particular direction, it's a pretty good indication that there is bias operating - the editors are not noticing certain types of errors, and maybe excusing them.

No kidding FuzzyFace, but the antidote is not to hire or subscribe to obvious hacks.

And, by the way, Greenwald the gullible didn't oppose the Iraq war when it would have mattered.

But Oh, Oh, Oh, he is into disappointment.

and Outrage!

Ted Cruz, Joe McCarthy, Glenn Greenwald. All excellent examples of something really wrong.

But good editors won't allow yellow journalism, cherrypicking facts, as in Greenwald, the hack. The fact that this unaccomplished lawyer, wrongheaded apathetic character, then libertarian polemicist/traitor/liar, has a following among thoughtful people never ceases to make me vomit.

No biases exposed in that comment, wot?

What the hell are you people smoking?

Obviously much better stuff than you are.

I would not call Greenwald a reporter. He's more like a left wing Robert Novak with fewer sources.

Now Izzy Stone and Seymour Hersh...those two are reporters.

I remember when I got all my political information from Ramparts and Rolling Stone. Yes, I read stuff by David Horowitz and thought it was good!

No biases exposed in that comment, wot?

Didn't realize I was applying for the job of the editor of the NYTimes.

That said, Greenwald is a cherrypicker and liar. If anyone knows any facts (and there are such things, bobbyp, and Ken Cuccinelli), they will know that reporting does involve attempting to load an article with facts, not "analysis".

By the way, how's that Miranda court case going? This is the last I read: http://www.businessinsider.com/david-miranda-glenn-greenwald-documents-national-security-2013-8

and I wonder whether there is any such thing as hack reporters not defending hack exposers of private documents. Because you know the NSA is bad, but wikileaks is good!

Oh, and speaking of outrage, let's be outraged that Obama has targeted and killed Ibrahim Ali. Because, as we all know, he would have been apprehended and read his rights by the Somalian Court of Justice!

Let's be outraged!

On second thought, I'm not sure I'd call Greenwald a reporter either. A polemicist/pundit with sources.

And sapient, you seem a tad upset. Possibly over the fact that the traitor now has someone with deep pockets funding him. I'm wondering if he and Scahill and the rest will have to worry about ticking off their benefactor. But if all goes well, it'll be good having someone with such "traitorous" impulses reporting the news from a perspective different from the US pseudo-liberal mainstream.

And sapient, you seem a tad upset.

A tad you say? You must be one of those damned liberals, Donald. ;) I am outraged!

But let's get back on track here. Is Business Insider a left wing, right wing or centrist publication?

The open thread is the other one, sapient--I linked to some Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reports on the drone campaign there if you want to continue our mutual rant session on that subject. Not that I wanted to do more than point out the existence of these traitorous documents compiled by lying scum who must be smoking something.

it'll be good having someone with such "traitorous" impulses reporting the news from a perspective different from the US pseudo-liberal mainstream

Would definitely by nice to have the al Qaidistt point of view represented. I'm outraged that the car bombists aren't being fully given a voice.

And bobbyp, what have you heard? Maybe the media protectionists are too "concerned" to report that maybe it was a bad idea for Miranda to be spilling secrets to the fascist Russians. But go, be with them - that's who you prefer, apparently. (By the way, Izzy Stone loved Roosevelt - he wasn't a "libertarian" b.s. artist.)

On Doctor Science's rating system, I think the NYT is center-left on domestic policy-- I'm guessing that having Krugman as one of their columnists and not just pseudo-liberal (let's get those damned seniors eating catfood) Tom Friedman, it probably helps keep them somewhat honest. Their reporting on Western European economies is almost always about how sclerotic and rigid they are--too many vacations, too much protection for the workers, things have to be cut before disaster occurs. It sounds like the Wall Street Journal editorial page. They've been writing that story forever. Dean Baker (another one of those actual liberals) complains about it sometimes. I can't tell where the truth lies, because they never bother to get into facts and present detailed competing views--it's all just a mass of cliches of the sort I just mentioned, with chosen experts presenting little snippets to "prove" the case being made. When the NYT has a piece called "news analysis", I usually brace for an editorial.

Seeing how Roosevelt was an Executive power-grabber, I'm pretty sure that Greenwald would have been outraged.

I can't tell where the truth lies, because they never bother to get into facts and present detailed competing views--it's all just a mass of cliches of the sort I just mentioned, with chosen experts presenting little snippets to "prove" the case being made. When the NYT has a piece called "news analysis", I usually brace for an editorial.

So you turn to Greenwald, snippeteer par excellence. Ha ha.

Almost Godwinesque to mention I. F. Stone, no? Thought we were all past that? Oh, right, he didn't time in time not to be mentioned.

meant "die in time not to be mentioned"

He probably would have been outraged by the imprisonment of the Japanese Americans. Just guessing.

Sapient, if you want to engage in random silly insults linking my view of the NYT coverage of economic issues with my admiration for Glenn's coverage of human and civil rights issues, that's your right. But to me you sound like you're drunk. No spelling mistakes though.
Anyway, good night.

oh. we all seem to have our biases. if you can support your bias with facts, then i will listen and evaluate what you "profess."

just defending your version of honor isn't good enough. that's why i think it's important to follow through and scrutinize what these supposed "news" organs say.

otherwise, we are just discussing more Faux noise channels. Facts, not persuasive "opinions," are what make a newspaper left or right. and we all know how we have been lied to or just not told anything the media refuses to say/report. but we only find out these things, at times, after the fact, if we find out at all. The NYTimes has such a checkered past in the most recent history.

full of sound and fury. signifying BS is what most of the Media is now adays. especially when you consider the media are in it to make money. as William Randolph Hearst proved many years ago. 6 major Corporations own the Media. so tell me how Business/Media is "liberal" once again!

prove to me or others these "organs" are not just beholden to the owners' moneymaking desires. Real news is when facts are allowed to be reported or obfuscated. Biases are easy to see, facts too, but rarely are we allowed to read the facts. that is.

any organ that publishes drivel and slime like Tom Friedman, David Brooks, Ignatius, or similar WaPo Broder type propaganda is definitely not "fact" based. or left of center, unless left is so far to the right of the universe, as it does appear to be nowadays.

as Sgt. Joe Friday said, "Just the facts, Ma'am." just the facts. Right wingers don't like facts and don't allow them to be printed or allow questioning of their "holy Grail" opinions.

One of my "favorite" Right wing Media s is NPR, aka Nice Polite Republicans. lol they couldn't or wouldn't dare say the word torture during the Iraq War. what with their "embedded" liars, it was "enhanced interrogative techniques"! some left wing organ? lol

Left wing media, oh please. show me!

I go to watch football for a few hours and now...I can't even tell what's going on. I mean, literally, I can't follow the discussion from the past few hours. I guess it's time for bed...

Also, fairly creepy. The captcha was 2 digits off of my phone number. Definitely time for bed...

I'm a bit late here, and everyone is probably in deep REM right now, but when you wake up and turn on your computer, let's tone it down just a bit. Thanks

Almost Godwinesque to mention I. F. Stone, no?

Well, Dr. Science DID call "right-wing media" the "the Limbaugh-Fox News-Drudge axis." I think we were technically there before we started.

Just curious if anyone else has come across the "Michelle Obama's college pal in charge of healthcare.gov based on no-bid contract" thing. This seems to be another bit of conservative knowledge of Obamacare.

I got it from a sibling (of the right-wing-yet-proudly-"politically-disengaged", pox-on-all-houses-equally(-but-yours-more-than-mine) variety) Sunday afternoon. I didn't feel strongly enough to get into a political argument with family IOT find out the basis for their very firm convictions on this subject, though.

the resident fools at Kevin Drum's site have been yammering about that for a couple of days.

it was interesting to learn that the First Lady has control over awarding contracts.

This is funny:

Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni…

And the curious connections don’t end there.

OMG!!!

Trying to assemble an argument for X based on the writing of people who don't like X seems kinda arbitrary, like trying to assemble a highlight reel for Tim Duncan based on times other people scored on him or times he shot and missed. Maybe composed entirely of scraps of other players' (from other teams) regular highlight reels.
I mean, I guess if you could do that you'd say "goddamn Tim Duncan is so great he looks awesome in *other people's* highlights. Tim getting *posterized* is playing better D than Boogie Cousins has played in his life."

I think pushing people out of their comfort zone is a good thing. Where do government reports (e.g. CBO/CMS/CDC etc) fall?

Another reason why this is a tricky thing to try to do. It'd be easy to say that eg the CBO is relatively unbiased, but then the CBO produces reports according to the requirements of Congresspeople, who can then give it insane assumptions for propaganda purposes and then tout the results as CBO-sanctioned and therefore accurate. (propaganda laundering?)
Now, we can get to the bottom of this sort of thing by reading carefully and debating the facts- but at that point we're reading carefully and debating the facts, which makes the exercise of deciding which news sources are inherently reliable kinda pointless.

I mean, I get the impetus- so many of my abortive online debates fall apart at the initial "can we agree on the &$&#ing facts here?" stage, before we can even get to policy. It drives me nuts, because while I can completely countenance disagreements about political philosophy or principles, I can't countenance playing loose with the facts.

Carlton: "I mean, I get the impetus- so many of my abortive online debates fall apart at the initial "can we agree on the &$&#ing facts here?" stage, before we can even get to policy."

I think its far harder than that. There are some facts that are easy to ascertain. Frex: America spent $X on Medicare. Some are harder to ascertain and typically involve approximations, assumptions, models, and the most heinous lying of all, statistics. Frex: Waste, fraud and abuse leads to $Y in medicare costs, impossible to track exactly, but you can estimate it. And than policy: Should we spend $Z on a program to combat it? $2Z? $0.5Z?

I think what can happen is people get stuck in that middle step...things we know but don't really know rigorously. Things that involved experts, and models, and assumptions. Sometimes it makes sense to discard that data (frex your link).

And since every study/model like that will have a few holes in it, it can make it easy for an otherwise reasonable person to discard pretty good data (It's currently cold outside! I guess AGW is just a model after all!).

And I think those models/studies/approximations are often presented as facts in the echo chambers/halls of mirrors (frex: the Heritage Institute study showed that decreasing the top marginal tax rate to X% will lead to increased growth).

I think the interesting part of the experiment, to me, anyway, is if there is something YOU KNOW to be unequivocally true, there has to be a source somewhere on the other side that at least grudgingly admits it, even if it's part of a "yeah, but..." But it might lead you to find things you know to be true are based on assumptions that, even if you agree with, didn't think of as assumptions. If nothing else you get to see how different the world looks in a different hall of mirrors.

NB - I want to say that the examples are made up off the top of my head, not trying to make any claims about anything real.

magic unicorn doctors and propaganda laundering...I really like your turns of phrase.

Some liberals are criticizing some aspects of Obamacare--I'm in no position to say if this is accurate or not--

digby

I first heard a similar criticism from a far left blogger a couple weeks ago, but since he also used a ridiculous Hitler analogy I wasn't sure how seriously to take it. The claim is that for some middle class people living in high cost of living areas like San Francisco, even the bronze plans are too expensive (more than what they currently have) and supposedly these folks aren't eligible for subsidies.

"I mean, literally, I can't follow the discussion from the past few hours"

I saw this comment this morning and was going to explain tonight, but the thread seems to have gotten off its tangent and returned to what the topic is supposed to be, so I won't. The argument you didn't follow will come up again soon enough, I'm pretty sure.

Donald:

Thanks, and should it come up again, I'd love to learn more. I meant the comment more in terms of an ocean of names and references that I just wasn't up on, not that the conversation was particularly incoherent. My problem, not yours, in other words. I certainly didn't mean it as a criticism.

I think the digby link you have is a much better demonstration of what I was trying to get at above: both hostile and supportive discussions agree some rates are going up, but the whys diverge substantially. If you wanted to talk about the rates going up, you really could turn to either the "left media" or the "right media" as a source for that fact. The surrounding story will be quite different, however.

Some liberals are criticizing some aspects of Obamacare

Gets a little bit tricky just dividing into left-right groups- plenty on the left don't like the ACA, and are therefore predisposed to bias against it. On the one hand, if half of Dems are for something and half are against it, I would hypothesize the factual debate to be at a higher level (not bc of the left, but bc these are groups with higher trust toward each other) than one that fractured along the normal left-right fault lines.
Otoh, there's something to be said for dividing into pro- and anti-ACA groups for these purposes, rather than straight left-right. eg if we were debating Israel-Palestine, it wouldn't seem right to quote some paleo and say "see, even the right accepts X as a fact".

I think its far harder than that. There are some facts that are easy to ascertain. Frex: America spent $X on Medicare. Some are harder to ascertain and typically involve approximations, assumptions, models, and the most heinous lying of all, statistics...I think what can happen is people get stuck in that middle step...things we know but don't really know rigorously.

I would *love* to get stuck in that middle step. I would *pay cash money* to get stuck in that middle step. That's like my fantasy of a political discussion on the internet, agreeing about all of the basic facts and getting to a point of recognizing our diverging assumptions etc. This is like telling a starving man that he can have a pizza, but maybe it doesn't have pepperoni.
I had countless discussions about the shutdown on the net. I can't remember one where I engaged a conservative who thought that shutting down the government was a reasonable thing to do- every single one, to my recollection, was about how Obama was the real shutter-downer and how he was turning the screws to make the shutdown more painful when it shouldnt be because government is a cancer anyway so shutting it down should be good but he's doing it wrong intentionally. All I wanted to do was find someone who could articulate "yes, I suport the TP in Washington and here's why, and here's how I expect this to work out, and here's how I see someone whose principles differ from mine working with my plan".

I think the interesting part of the experiment, to me, anyway, is if there is something YOU KNOW to be unequivocally true, there has to be a source somewhere on the other side that at least grudgingly admits it, even if it's part of a "yeah, but..."

That's still tricky because in my experience when people on one side cross the boundary into even tentative support for the other side's memes, they are considered beyond the pale. Because, unfortunately, way too many people think of politics like sports, and find it hard to accept their star player occasionally suiting up for the other team 'because I thought it was the right thing to do'.
I mean, I can find the likes of Norm Ornstein or Bruce Bartlett to support positions 'from the right', but that would just lead to (not unreasonable) accusations that those two are no longer 'on the right'- based on their 'support' for 'left' positions.

Or, from the left, Im going to ask- is this from a conservative Dem (or a radically liberal Dem) who doesn't really share my policy preferences and is actually biased against them? Is this from a 'contrarian' Dem who is more interested in the spotlight of being a maverick? Is it from a 'genuine fake' Dem who is actually conservative but claims to be a Dem in order to show how Dems suck?
Those are, I think, actually reasonable fears from either side. That I can find self-proclaimed conservatives who think climate change ought to be a serious policy issue is about as persuasive to conservatives as them finding a liberal creationist is to me.

In the end, there will be the great noise machines of the various political factions and causes. I think some are closer to the truth than others. But we'll just be scurrying around at the base of the machines, in the shadows, trying to determine what's true and what's best- by ourselves or talking with others- even though we know we can't raise our voices to match the volume of the machines. Because as much as seeing wrong things happen makes us crazy, it makes us even crazier to not know when things are wrong, I guess. Im not really sure why I do what I do.

Digby isn't a kneejerk lefty Obama opponent, I don't think. I know the sort you are talking about, but I don't think she belongs in that camp. (Sapient seems to think I belong in that camp, but I dislike Obama on some things, support him on others, and am not sure what to think on some issues.)

Anyway, the issue digby discusses in my link seems like a straightforward factual sort of thing, something that could be supported or refuted without reference to one's political prejudices. Are there going to be middle class people whose health insurance costs will skyrocket and who aren't eligible for subsidies? A friend of mine in real life was furiously bashing Obamacare some months back when she visited us--I didn't know what to make of her complaint, but she said she'd have to pay a fortune when the bill went into effect. I don't think she's the sort who would be stupid about money, subsidies, etc...

I know Faux News dredges up imaginary complaints from people who don't know any better or who are lying (I've seen the story about Sean Hannity a few times now), but are there real complaints of this sort that are valid?

Digby isn't a kneejerk lefty Obama opponent, I don't think. I know the sort you are talking about, but I don't think she belongs in that camp.

That's reasonable, but at that point Im not just evaluating sources based on their politics, but on whether I think they're trustworthy (or other people I trust vouch for them as trustworthy). Which again, kinda shoots down the idea that I can get at the truth by finding things agreed on by both left and right- if I need to analyze source by source, I might as well forget about their political affiliation and just judge them on merit alone.
I just realized as well that this method also privileges the majority left and majority right, leaving out the genuine socialists, neonazis, etc. At best, I guess we could arrive at some broad consensus of 'what the American public/wurlitzers believe is true', but if anyone did come up with that list there would probably be 'facts' on there that I would dispute the truth of.

I know that's kind of meta from your point about what Digby is actually saying, sorry about that. I question the method,

It doesn't really matter who says it--my point is, there ought to be some way to evaluate the claims. What does the law say, what are the subsidies, how much do bronze plans cost, etc... In this case I do agree with Bill Keller--there ought to be something, let's call it a newspaper, which would look into all of this, bring in trustworthy people capable of doing statistics (so we'd know how common this alleged problem might be if it exists), and quote their expert opinions alongside whatever data this hypothetical thing called a newspaper was able to gather.

For that matter, a slanted outlet with a distinct point of view could also take some pride in being honest about whatever the facts are here. I don't really think people have to be prisoners of their ideology when evaluating facts. It often works out that way, but it doesn't have to.

I didn't skim the thread closely enough to see if anyone already linked to this (or something like this), but the LA Times did do a story about middle class people who might be hurt. The question is, how many? Well, another question would be "why should any be hurt?" Ross Douthat (sp?) has a long blog piece on this that Sullivan linked (I just found it).

link

On the related subject of who do you trust from the other side of the spectrum, I generally think Douthat comes a lot closer to my idea of a reasonable conservative than David Brooks. Somebody will probably see this and post a link to something really stupid that Ross D has said, but I'm not trying to endorse everything he says, just that he fits better the niche of token NYT reasonable conservative compared to Brooks. (Alongside the mostly not-worth-reading liberals like Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman and the actually worth reading Paul Krugman.)

And since every study/model like that will have a few holes in it, it can make it easy for an otherwise reasonable person to discard pretty good data

Which is why you need a common understanding of how to evaluate a model. In hard sciences, for example, it should theoretically be simple: if the model consistently predicts what is subsequently observed, it looks good. The minute it predicts something incorrectly, you have an issue of some kind.

In the social sciences, it's never so clear. Our understanding is poor enough that you can make compelling arguments that absolutely contradict each other.

And in simple reporting? It is incredibly easy to cherry-pick the data. You'd pretty much have to have a group of people coming from different sides agreeing on a collection method and ensuring that it was carried out fairly and openly.

My faith has been shattered. Two days of comments, and nobody even mentioned the Economist???

I would have thought that most of those here would at least be familiar with it. It is, after all, far less tied to particular
American political positions than most of the options provided.

I thought the Economist had a sort of rightwing slant on economic issues, but that's something I picked up from second or third hand and don't know. I know it has or had a certain appeal among Americans who said it was better than anything on this side of the pond.

The Economist is an excellent magazine, but it costs a lot of money for a subscription, and for people who don't always read the current issue of The New Yorker (with its incredibly engaging writers and even cartoons), the Economist is a bridge too far. I've tried it; I know!

Besides, being realistic, our choices are pretty limited, so getting the gist of the argument is the most efficient strategy: No ACA? Lots of bankrupt people, and emergency room care for people in crisis - care that is more expensive and that we all pay for. ACA? Folks with pre-existing conditions are covered; people can stay on parents' health policies until they're 26; insurance companies have to rebate excessive premiums (not spent on healthcare); people can see what options are available; people aren't stuck in a job because they can't get health insurance without it; etc.

I don't need to read the Economist to realize that I support the ACA versus the Republican plan: nothing. If someone comes up with a legislative alternative, maybe I'll need to resubscribe to the Economist.

a reasonable conservative

I like Larison, and that's pretty much my list. Present company excepted.

If he didn't have Pat Buchanan, that bellicose white supremacist former Nixon ratf**ker and generally obnoxious @sshole, on his masthead, I might even spend time on his website.

Too bad about that.

For my money, Douthat is professionally reasonable, in sort of the same condescending faux-above-the-fray way as Brooks, except he's about 1,000 times more lugubrious about it (hard to imagine, I know, but nonetheless so), which makes me want to either dope-slap him, or buy him a couple of drinks, steal his wallet pants and car keys, and abandon him in a roomful of wild girls.

Maybe all of the above.

LOOSEN UP, ROSS!!! You too, Brooks.

Either way, not my cup of meat.

Peter Viereck seems like an interesting dude to me, but god alone knows where he'd land in the spectrum of current day 'conservatism'.

When I think of 'conservative', I think of somebody like Wendell Berry.

When I think of 'conservative', I think of somebody like Wendell Berry.

Wendell Berry doesn't trade in the politics of resentment. He believes in community, not "self-sufficiency". There are actually many Democrats in western counties of Virginia that would agree strongly with Berry's personal values, and share his lifestyle. Maybe he's a conservative in the true sense of that word, but not in the political sense.

(And, just an observation: Berry benefited from an extremely fine liberal arts education. He has an enlightened interpretation of his traditions.)

FuzzyFace, your 8:25 is dead on. I would only add emphasis to: it's only *theoretically* simple in the hard sciences...its actually pretty up in the air in hard science as well. Particle physics may be the last bastion of rigorous application of the experimental method...everything else is just too hairy.

But everything else, especially once you get to policy, its a mess. There is very little you can know for sure.

And even if you could reach agreement about the results, values vary greatly. A reasonable compromise to some is a bridge to far for others. The recent chatter about the NSA is a really good example of this in a way that seems to transcend party lines (in that someones position on the NSA isn't correlated well with their party...not that people aren't trying to score political points. They are).

And then on top of all this, you add political point scoring, tribalism, and just the fact that people don't like being wrong. That's why I always try (try and freq. fail) to tread very lightly in political conversations and as much as possible ask questions rather than issue challenges. The second you say someone is wrong, you've likely lost all hope of a reasonable discussion

It's also why I think being inside someone else's echo chamber is a useful exercise. If you can not choke on your own spit long enough, you can start to see how reasonable people come to a completely opposite conclusion.

As an aside: The split of reactions on the NSA without regard to party lines is something I found curious...were the revelations to sudden for the respective echo chamber machines to crank out a consistent message?

There are actually many Democrats in western counties of Virginia that would agree strongly with Berry's personal values, and share his lifestyle.

I imagine that there are lots of Democrats in western Virginia who are conservative, by any reasonable definition of that word.

Maybe he's a conservative in the true sense of that word, but not in the political sense.

And so, the penny drops.

Folks can hijack words for any purpose they like. Doesn't mean I have to play along.

On the whole Obamacare thing, it's going to be good for some people, and not good for others. Like each and every item of public policy that has ever existed, including the option of 'do nothing'.

The selling point of the ACA is that it would make coverage available to a lot of people who cannot afford it, or obtain it at all, now. And, it should lower the cost of insurance *in the aggregate*.

IMO it was not wise for Obama to claim, as apparently he did, that if you liked the coverage you had you could keep it. Perhaps that comment has been quoted in a way that distorts its intended meaning, but basically as stated it's false, and it is now undermining confidence in the value of the program.

It shouldn't matter if you support Obama or not, unless I'm thoroughly mistaken on the salient points the above is just a simple statement of the obvious. There is NO VALUE in trying to ignore it, deny it, or obscure it.

and as an aside, and maybe to balance some of the 'greenwald delendo est' atmosphere, allow me to say:

i haven't read greenwald in years, not for any particular reason other than he just hasn't bubbled up onto my must-read list for a while. he does have a very strident style, which can be tiresome to wade through, i'm sure that's a factor.

however.

greenwald took a clear, public, and uncompromising stand against the torture regime, at a time when that was NOT POPULAR, and actually took some spine. so, i did, do now, and always will give the man his propers for that.

our very own and much-missed sebastian holsclaw, ditto.

so, partisan, shrill, overwrought (as if none of us ever cross any of those lines!), be all of that as it may. greenwald's made a contribution.

I've seen some recent stuff that brings together an interesting meme encompassing the ACA, the Tea Party, Ross Douthat, and the left wingy blogosphere. To wit: Think of 3 boxes labelled as follows:

1. What we had.
2. What we shall have under the ACA
3. Single payer, or 'Medicare for all".

Consider that the ACA seeks to move those not currently covered by insurance (private or public)from box 1 to box 2. Those in 3 stay there.

Many, if not most, lefties want to move everybody from boxes 1 and 2 into box 3, but certainly getting folks from 1 to 2 is an admirable social goal.

Current GOP plans, as Douthat points out, seeks to move everybody from boxes 1 & 3 to box 2.

The political ramifications are indeed fascinating.

Folks can hijack words for any purpose they like. Doesn't mean I have to play along.

Well, just so you're aware, I wasn't particularly disagreeing with you regarding Wendell Berry, and I don't disagree with your use of the term "conservative" in the generic sense. As to the above comment, I do disagree: language is dynamic because "folks hijack words" and then everybody who wants to be understood either has to play along, or explain their usage in every sentence. As political terms "conservative," "liberal," "left," "right," are only so useful anymore because the operative definition needs to be explained. Once we all agree in any particular conversation what we're talking about, then they can be used as shorthand.


As to Glenn Greenwald's supposedly courageous stand against torture, I dispute the fact that he was in any way, shape, or form alone, or that it was ever unpopular for anyone to complain about the Bush administration's embrace of torture. The fact that so many politicians (not citizens) seemed complacent about it is, of course, a sad fact, but I certainly didn't know any private citizen who was afraid to object to it.

The fact that Greenwald created false equivalencies between the administration that made torture an official policy, and the administration that ended it, is an argument against his valor, IMO.

On the know-nothing conservatives, there is the bit about what people were told about keeping their insurance if the liked it and the present reality. This sums up the integrity of the process nicely:

The text of the Affordable Care Act said that none of its language "shall be construed to require that an individual terminate coverage" that existed as of March 23, 2010, or the date the law was enacted. But as early as June 2010 HHS published a regulation reinterpreting this "Preservation of Right to Maintain Existing Coverage" to obviate that promise.

What kind of law says one thing, but allows unelected officials to rewrite that law? What kind of law allows the executive to pick and choose to whom the law applies? What kind of law can be suspended in whole or in part by the executive?

I know, silly conservatives, they think they know about this law, but they really don't.

I know, silly conservatives, they think they know about this law, but they really don't.

they don't. they're learning bits and pieces as they go, as they explore new ways to complain about it.

McKinney, I'm curious where you got that quote from. My understanding was that existing insurance coverage that didn't comply with the ACA would be grandfathered, but that significant changes made to said coverage would invalidate the grandfathering. But, also, that Obama knew or should have known that a lot of people would lose their coverage as a result the ACA because significant changes were going to be made to a large number of people's policies (because that's just what happens, I guess).

So you might say that what Obama said was technically true, assuming that "existing coverage" meant "existing coverage not subject to future, significant changes," but that he was not being forthright about the practical application of the law, since lots of people's policies were very predictably subject to changes that would invalidate their grandfathered status.

All of which is to say that I'd like to read the whole thing.

The text of the Affordable Care Act said that none of its language "shall be construed to require that an individual terminate coverage" that existed as of March 23, 2010, or the date the law was enacted.

Not looking to take Obama off the hook on this, because IMO there is a real problem here, both with the practical result of the law and with Obama's statements about folks being able to retain their coverage.

But as a point of fact, what the text of the law says is:

Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed to require that an individual terminate coverage under a group health plan or health insurance coverage in which such individual was enrolled on March 23, 2010.

My bolds.

My understanding is that the discontinued policies are almost all in the individual market. So, not group plans.

If I'm misunderstanding the issue, I'll thank anyone with the correct understanding to set me right.

I haven't had a chance to wade through it yet, but the analysis here seems potentially relevant.

I'm guessing you got that here, McK.

The WSJ article isn't altogether honest. It states that Americans "are losing their coverage". That's not what is happening.

Americans are experiencing coverage changes which are resulting in cost increases in some situations.

Obama wasn't being altogether honest either when (if?) he said that people who like their insurance can keep it. IT's true that if you like your insurance carrier, you can keep getting insurance from the same company, but what some people are experiencing is a sudden change in the coverage that their plan gives them along with a higher cost, thus their plan, which they like, is not being kept the way they liked it.


I don't know how big a problem this is. Just anecdotally, based on people I know, it barely registers as a problem, but that's because the people I know fall into three categories: Medicare/Medicaid, insurance through their job, or uninsured. I do know one person who had a single private plan for himself and who was told by his insurance company that they were changing his plan to one with higher coverage and cost.

My neighbor who experienced a change in his iinsurance and increase in cost is married to a former health insurance professional, I don't know exactly what she did. Anyway she says that what's happening is the insurance companies are changing what were essentially junk policies into policies that have more coverage, thus costing more. She says this is because the law requires coverage for people with preexisting conditions and other factors which increasing the number of ailing people covered, thus increasing payouts, which the insurance companies are passing along. She says the policies which are being changed typically have high copays, cover only relatively small part of services and had limited coverage. For example, her husband's policy was basically coverage for disasters. IT was set up so he paid for everything short of a disaster, (He didn't go to the doctor since he had to pay out of pocket for non-disastrous visits).

So now he has insurance which will allow him to have routine doctor visits for the ordinary things, but it costs more.

IMO what's true here is that there is a non-trivial population of people who are going to end up paying more than they want, for stuff they don't want, under the ACA.

That's not a surprise, it was predictable when the law was written, and in fact was predicted by many folks when the law was passed.

But there's no value in trying to obscure or deny the fact that those people exist.

Obama's statement, taken at face value, didn't make that clear, and in fact would seem to have been saying the opposite.

So, not a good performance by the POTUS, in that case, and no value in trying to obscure or deny that.

The population of folks in question are basically those who purchase health insurance, for themselves and their families, as individual policies rather than as part of a group. And, where the policies don't meet the ACA standards for coverage. And, where their income is high enough that they won't be eligible for sufficient (or any) public money to offset the additional cost.

I don't know how many folks that works out to, but it could reach to the low millions.

Depending on where you sit, you either see that as an intolerable violation of their personal liberty, a great big giant PITA, or an acceptable trade-off that balances their interests against those of the population of people who will gain access to health insurance that they didn't used to have access to.

Which is another population that likely reaches into the millions.

I do know one person who had a single private plan for himself and who was told by his insurance company that they were changing his plan to one with higher coverage and cost.

and there is talk that this is widespread and is due to insurance co's unilaterally pushing people into more expensive plans, instead of telling them that they have options.

It's as though you get a letter from your car dealer saying, "That 2010 Toyota Corolla you're leasing has been recalled. We can supply you with a Toyota Avalon for twice the price." They're not telling you that you can also get a 2013 Toyota Corolla for something like what you're paying now.

oops. here's the link to actual story on Drum's site.

And there's this:


http://prospect.org/article/another-phony-obamacare-victim-story

Just as a general matter, we should keep in mind that what we're seeing now may be described as labor pains for the ACA. What meaning both the current website problems and cancellations have in a year or two will depend on how successful things turn out to be over the next several months. If people who lost coverage get at least comparable coverage at comparable cost, and people are largely able to sign up for coverage through the exchanges before the mandate deadline, most people are going to forget or stop caring about this stuff before long.

or an acceptable trade-off that balances their interests against those of the population of people who will gain access to health insurance that they didn't used to have access to.

Or, just another correction to the free rider problem- they weren't free-riding at the moment bc of their catastrophic insurance, so they were being as responsible as they could be in the current system. But the ones who did get chronic diseases would've found themselves priced out of the private individual market, and onto the Medicaid/public clinic/ER track.
The only people who weren't implicitly insured against long-term expensive illness by the public track are the ones on group plans (eg employer plans), and that's assuming that they wouldnt lose those if they did get sick (eg if they got so sick that they couldn't keep their job). And people with enough money that they are never going to end up on the public track.

For that matter, a slanted outlet with a distinct point of view could also take some pride in being honest about whatever the facts are here.

I think part of it is cost-benefit. Digging out and analyzing facts is time-consuming and expensive, repeating your side's factoid of the day is cheap. Especially when the occasional misstatement or intentional falsehood is accepted by most of the readers as par for the course (in my ideal world the second time a candidate or media source misrepresented something, they'd get shunned and temporarily or permanently ignored by most people).

Funny thing though, afaict people keep trying to do this, or claiming to try to do this eg PolitiFact, and failing miserably. (PolitiFact drives me nuts- the writers can't seem to tell the difference between opinions and facts, and their rating are insane- a statement consistent with some estimates but not others is "half-true", as is an entirely misleading misrepresentation that happens to technically be true?)
So there's a market for looking like you're cutting through the BS, but still not a market for actually doing so. :(

My faith has been shattered. Two days of comments, and nobody even mentioned the Economist???

On the one hand, I read it most weeks, it's one of the few traditional sources I still like (google "reader dailies" if you've got a kindle...). otoh, it's not like they're unbiased, they've just got different biases than our American conservatives. More palatible biases, to me, but still pretty obvious (eg for years they've been an unreadable morass of smears when it came to Latin American Socialists- not that I love Chavez, but the articles were just a mess and had to be skipped. Their bias about European politics just looks cute from here- awww, they're fluffing Merkel again!).
Sadly, Ive found their factual reporting to have slipped somewhat on the political front- they used to be pretty reliable, but in the last 5-10 years they've fallen to misrepresentation more often to make their case, and there are a lot more unsupported 'facts' used to make arguments about political personalities or programs. [Also, I think in the last decade Ive lost patience with their combined news-and-opinion style, but that's a me thing].
So do I trust the Economist to report 'just the facts' when those facts go against their (pro-free market, pro-UK Conservative, pro-business) philosophy? No I do not. They don't distort much in US politics, but that's because they're ideologically in-between the two American parties and they're far enough away to not get over-excited about it IMO.

[Funny thing about international politics, I find in myself and often in others- if we're on the left, we tend to identify with the 'party of the left' in other countries *even* when their national politics are so different from ours that the 'right' party is closer to our espoused positions. Theories: 1)it's all about 'team' membership 2)secretly we're more radical than we're willing to say explicitly 3)we're not prepped to resist arguments from those positions 4)we have a harder time taking seriously positions that wouldnt be taken seriously in our domestic politics.]

Since this thread was originally about what people turn to for information, I've been thinking about my pattern. It turns out I largely get information from sources that evaluate or debunk or critique corporate media sources, like the Prospect link I posted up thread.

Which is good on several counts: I get more than one perspective on an issue in each article, I know I am reading something with a point of view and know what that PTO is, and, often, there is a lesson on how to evaluate journalistic writing which I can apply on my own for wider reading.

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