Fake News Headline Of The Afternoon: “Electors Demand Intelligence Briefing Before Electoral College Vote”

fake-newsWow! The Electors have been so impressed by the CIA’s unsupported guesswork that Russia was trying to help Donald Trump win that they are demanding an intelligence briefing! The Electors! You know…well…

…Nine Democratic electors who are already pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton, and self-important paramedic Chris Supron, Republican Never-Trumper who has already said he is voting for John Kasich.

This headline by Politico (The Hill’s is just as bad:” Electors Want Briefing on Russian Interference”)  is deliberate and calculated fake news, and far more disruptive to the election and the nation than anything the Russians leaked. It’s in the specialized category of deceitful reporting to mislead, as well as click-bait. “Electors” sounds like the news media’s unconscionable drum-beating for Democrats trying to undermine both the election and Trump’s Presidency has a chance of actually overturning the results. “Ten electors”—the truth— sounds irrelevant to anything, which it is: Nine partisan Democratic electors and a faithless Republican who has already made up his mind comprise a pathetic and biased group of bitter-enders, and nothing more. It isn’t worthy of a news story at all. I wonder, what is the minimum number that The Hill and Politico would try to justify referring to as “electors.” Five? Two?

Among the Democrats, by the way, are Christine Pelosi, Nancy’s daughter, New Hampshire’s Carol Shea-Porter, a former member of Congress, and three three former  Democratic New Hampshire legislators, Terie Norelli, Bev Hollingsworth and Dudley Dudley. (Yes, Dudley Dudley.) Then there is D.C. Councilwoman Anita Bonds, former Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Clayborne Pell, Maryland progressive activist Courtney Watson, and Colorado  delegate Micheal Baca, who has been working since the election to use the Electoral College to veto the votes of millions. No political agendas there!

And Chris, of course, the sole Republican.

I certainly hope the public understands and remembers how the Democratic Party disgraced its traditions and role in American politics by trying to win an election through twisting the rules after the votes were counted. I thought the fixed Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton was a travesty, but this is infinitely worse.

I haven’t heard any prominent party leaders condemning this attack on democracy, which tells us how just corrupt and unprincipled this increasingly anti-democratic party has become. The news media is complicit, of course, as Politico’s inexcusably misleading reporting shows.

Both deserve to pay a high price in the loss of respect and public trust.

80 Comments

Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement

80 responses to “Fake News Headline Of The Afternoon: “Electors Demand Intelligence Briefing Before Electoral College Vote”

  1. Phlinn

    Did you see that the Clinton campaign is backing it? Not really surprising…

    On the plus, the link I followed to it spelled out that it was 10 electors, and the article itself doesn’t mislead about it.

  2. While I agree that this is a bit ‘hyped,’ it is hardly ‘fake’ news. Regardless of their status, they are electors, and they did request a briefing. You can’t put everything in a headline, headlines are written by editors, not the article writers.

    • Nope. Because the actual facts didn’t justify a story at all. Democratic electors don’t matter. They can vote for anyone, and not change a thing. the headline suggests that this is important, which means more than ONE, already announced faithless elector. I was misled. When “Oh, NO! This is awful!” from the headline becomes, “Oh, Christ, is that all?” its fake news. Hyping is fake news, all along the spectrum.

  3. Chris

    So your premise is that simply using the term “electors” implies “all electors” or at least a significant number?

    I thought you didn’t believe this. When Trump said “When Mexico sends its people, they aren’t sending their best,” you said it was clear that he wasn’t referring to all Mexican immigrants.

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2015/07/03/an-open-letter-to-america-ferrera-in-response-to-her-open-letter-to-donald-trump/

    It strikes me as hypocritical for you to condemn this headline for using “electors” to describe “some electors,” when you not only refused to condemn Trump for using “Mexico’s people” to refer to “some of Mexico’s people,” you actually condemned the condemnation.

    I haven’t heard any prominent party leaders condemning this attack on democracy, which tells us how just corrupt and unprincipled this increasingly anti-democratic party has become. The news media is complicit, of course, as Politico’s inexcusably misleading reporting shows.

    How on earth is investigating an attack on our democracy an attack on our democracy? There is nothing un-democratic about the electors wanting all the information about exactly how our election was interfered with by a foreign power before making their decision.

    If you don’t want electors to exercise any judgment in making this decision–if you want them to be robots who just vote the way their states did–then the solution is to get rid of electors. As long as there are actual people in this position, I don’t see the point in complaining that they are able to do what people do: make choices.

    • I’m really getting sick of dishonest Gotchas, Chris. Trump is an inarticulate boob speaking off the cuff, and the media’s game has been to misconstrue him to his detriment. Journalists are professionally obligated to be clear, fair, and not misleading, and readers assume they mean what their words state. “Electors” suggested all or a significant number of electors. The headline was misleading and click-bait. At very least it suggested Republican electors, since Hillary’s could vote for Minnie Mouse and it would have no effect on anything. One GOP elector who has already announced that he is faithless isn’t “Electors,” and the story is junk. When I read it, I assumed it was important.

      I think you are showing signs of stress, and acting like a troll. Whoever stole your objectivity, find him. I’ll even help pay the ransom.

      • Chris

        . Journalists are professionally obligated to be clear, fair, and not misleading, and readers assume they mean what their words state.

        Presidents, on the other hand, are not professionally obligated to be clear, fair, and not misleading, and citizens (and heads of foreign nations, who are always listening) should not assume they mean what their words state?

        It isn’t trollish of me to point out that nearly every argument you make against Trump’s opponents lately seems to amount to “We must hold Trump to a lower standard than everyone else.”

        You call the headline “fake news” because you think the electors’ request doesn’t matter; I disagree. Though only a few electors sent this letter, they are asking for all electors to be briefed. These electors have made up their minds, but the contents of any future briefing that occurs as a result of this letter could absolutely impact the judgment of other electors. Therefore, this letter *is* newsworthy.

        I actually agree with you that the headline could be more clear. But to say this isn’t news at all is absurd.

        • Other Bill

          More mind-numbing pedantry from Chris to obstruct any intelligent discussion. Atta boy, Chris.

        • “Presidents, on the other hand, are not professionally obligated to be clear, fair, and not misleading, and citizens (and heads of foreign nations, who are always listening) should not assume they mean what their words state?”

          Trump was sloppy but not misleading, nor was he intending to mislead. I wrote about that quote the day he said it, and pronounce those claiming he had said “Mexicans are rapists” as intentionally warping his meaning. Which it was: Trump didn’t misstate facts, the accounts made him sound like he was saying what he was not. We knew that, because the alternative was ridiculous. He would not say and did not that all illegals were rapists and murderers, but that rapists and murderers were among them, which was and is true. And this is was intentionally misrepresented by reporters and activists.

          It isn’t trollish of me to point out that nearly every argument you make against Trump’s opponents lately seems to amount to “We must hold Trump to a lower standard than everyone else.”

          It’s trollish to put words in my mouth. I have said that he drserves a presumption of good will, like every single other President. That’s not a different standard, that’s the same standard.

          You call the headline “fake news” because you think the electors’ request doesn’t matter; I disagree. Though only a few electors sent this letter, they are asking for all electors to be briefed. These electors have made up their minds, but the contents of any future briefing that occurs as a result of this letter could absolutely impact the judgment of other electors. Therefore, this letter *is* newsworthy.

          What? Democrats (and one faithless elector) call for briefing to embarrass Trump and deligitimze his election would be news it it was enough electors to sneeze at. This is like reporting a demonstration by ten protesters, and writing, “Protest at Trump Tower.”

          I actually agree with you that the headline could be more clear. But to say this isn’t news at all is absurd.

          • Chris

            Trump was sloppy but not misleading, nor was he intending to mislead.

            He was absolutely misleading. His statement implied that a majority of Mexican immigrants fit the “criminals, rapists and murderer” label, while some did not. Perhaps that was not his intent. His intent was certainly designed to mislead the public by spreading fear against a minority group, to scapegoat that group for America’s problems, and to make illegal immigrants a target of hatred and fear to his constituency. That you see nothing wrong with that is disheartening.

            He would not say and did not that all illegals were rapists and murderers, but that rapists and murderers were among them, which was and is true. And this is was intentionally misrepresented by reporters and activists.

            I don’t know anyone who thinks or has said that all illegal immigrants are rapists and murderers. He still characterized them using broad stereotypes and massively inflated the threat of illegal immigration.

            It’s trollish to put words in my mouth. I have said that he drserves a presumption of good will, like every single other President. That’s not a different standard, that’s the same standard.

            You are not holding him to the same standard when it comes to being careful with language. When Trump speaks in generalities you say it’s obvious that he doesn’t mean “all” or “most,” but you said this headline was misleading for doing exactly that.

            What? Democrats (and one faithless elector) call for briefing to embarrass Trump and deligitimze his election would be news it it was enough electors to sneeze at.

            I just explained that it matters because their request, if granted, would apply to all electors. This is non-responsive.

            This is like reporting a demonstration by ten protesters, and writing, “Protest at Trump Tower.”

            This would be completely accurate. There would be nothing wrong with it.

          • Slick Willy

            OH MY FREAKIN GAWD!!! Chris went there!

            He states “Presidents, on the other hand, are not professionally obligated to be clear, fair, and not misleading, and citizens (and heads of foreign nations, who are always listening) should not assume they mean what their words state?

            Like “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor?

            …Chris owes me for the ceiling cleaning bills from when my head exploded

            • Chris

              Calm down, and stop acting like a partisan hack. I have said numerous times, on this blog, that that statement was more than misleading. It was a lie. That you automatically assumed I would defend that statement just because Obama made it reveals your bias, not mine.

              • Chris said, “I have said numerous times, on this blog, that that statement was more than misleading. It was a lie.”

                I haven’t seen you say that in this or any other blog and you completely failed to support the statement or deny support to the statement this time around which leads readers to believe that you were stating it as “fact”.

                Chris said, “That you automatically assumed I would defend that statement just because Obama made it reveals your bias, not mine.”

                It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption based on the way you presented it. Funny that you should think that others should read what’s not there in the same way that you regularly read what’s not there and put words in others mouths.

                Chris said, “Calm down, and stop acting like a partisan hack.”

                Chris, Slick Willy was responding to what appeared to be a statement from a Political Hack

                • Chris

                  Zoltar, what the fuck are you talking about? I did not “present” Obama’s statement on the ACA as fact, because I did not present it at all; Slick Willy brought it up out of nowhere as an attempted (and failed) gotcha.

                  • Chris said, “Zoltar, what the fuck are you talking about? I did not “present” Obama’s statement on the ACA as fact, because I did not present it at all”

                    Good point. This woke me up and forced me to reread.

                    I just realized something; there is some confusion going on here, and part of the confusion is my fault. I read the paragraph of yours that Slick Willy quoted as a statement of fact not a question (I literally missed the ? until just now) and I alluded to how I took it below “wasn’t it Obama stated something related to that about not holding a Presidential candidate to what they say”. When I’m wrong, I usually screw it up pretty darn good (or bad); I was wrong, sorry about that.

                    The other part of the confusion is that you are making an blatantly false assumption that everyone should know everything you’ve ever written on this website and attack them when they don’t know what you’ve said in the past; you need to stop making that assumption. Based on the context of what you wrote Slick Willy’s question is not so far off base and certainly doesn’t make him a partisan hack.

                    That’s the truth, take it or leave it Chris.

                    Now I’m going to step aside from this particular part of the thread where I allowed missing a ? to lead to personal embarrassment and eating a small bit of crow and continue in other spots reading more carefully as I go.

                    • Chris

                      Thanks, Zoltar, and sorry my initial question was so hostile.

                      It’s not so much that I expected Slick Willy to know that I had previously called that Obama statement a lie, it’s that he shouldn’t have assumed that I wouldn’t.

            • Slick Willy,
              What do you expect from a trolling Umgwana.

              Wasn’t it Obama stated something related to that about not holding a Presidential candidate to what they say?

        • Chris said, “It isn’t trollish of me to point out that nearly every argument you make against Trump’s opponents lately seems to amount to “We must hold Trump to a lower standard than everyone else.”

          Typical lefty trying to put words into the mouth of someone you choose to “attack”. Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome.

          Let me be the first in this particular thread to say that you’re completely full of shit Chris. Let me also say that we’re all getting kind of used to you trolling this blog in search of something to intentionally misrepresent so you can launch into another one of your petty Political Attack Dog tirades. You are a troll; I know it, Jack knows it, and you know it; but for someone like you, The Ends Justify The Means.

          It’s a new day Chris; you have a “nice” day trolling.

  4. There is a LOT of insinuations going around about Trump, Russia, and the election, I’m not falling for any of it right now. I need some real evidence released to overcome the distinct odor of a propaganda rat.

    • Wayne

      Well these Democratic electors are grasping at straws to try and invalidate Trump’s election. Then Dear Leader Hillary, opportunist that she is, will probably claim the right for a new election because in her heart she knows she’s right. Ha!!

    • Chris

      We’re basically up to our eyeballs in circumstantial evidence. Trump has praised Putin during his entire campaign. He has denied that Putin has had people killed. He has appointed people with ties to Russia in high-ranking positions at every opportunity. He has entertained cutting ties to NATO, which helps Putin. He publicly asked Russia to leak more damning information on Hillary Clinton, which they then did. He worked to change the GOP’s position on the Ukraine. Throughout, Wikileaks has provided cover for Russia, and leaked only damning information on Democrats, not Republicans. There’s more, but honestly, what more do you need? None of this is a “smoking gun,” but if all of these things were true of HRC rather than Trump, I’ve little doubt that Jack and others would take it as fact that she was improperly working with the Russians.

      The electoral college has a responsibility to ensure that a foreign puppet does not become president. That ethical duty outweighs their ethical duty to fulfill their pledges.

      • Chris said, “The electoral college has a responsibility to ensure that a foreign puppet does not become president.”

        Please provide evidence to support your claim.

        Chris said, “That ethical duty outweighs their ethical duty to fulfill their pledges.”

        If you cannot provide evidence to support your claim, then this statement is false.

      • Chris said, “if all of these things were true of HRC rather than Trump, I’ve little doubt that Jack and others would take it as fact that she was improperly working with the Russians.”

        Sorry Chris but projection Liberal hypocrisy upon others is a piss poor way of presenting an argument that contains nothing but circumstantial evidence.

      • Chris asked, “but honestly, what more do you need?”

        I need real evidence linking Trump directly to any real evidence that the Russians were actually meddling in our election via propaganda, etc.

        Point: Even if it is found that Russia actually meddled in our election via propaganda, etc; that in and of itself does not in any way prove that Trump is a “foreign puppet”.

        Now do you care to argue those points or are you going to spew some more innuendo?

      • There Chris, I separated things nicely so you could easily reply without wading through an essay.

      • There is NO evidence that Trump is a Russian puppet. That’s irresponsible hysteria. Also hilariously hypocritical! Obama was the one who preached about reaching out to foreign leaders, He was the one, along with Hillary, who tried to suck up to Putin and were kicked in the face. Obama’s also the one who mocked Romney for stating that Russia was the US’s greatest geopolitical threat…and suddenly the country is an existential threat?

        There isn’t a shred of evidence that the Russian/Wikileaks leaks had any impact on the election…and anyway, every e-mail just informed voters of what they should have knows anyway—that’s why the news media published it. Why didn’t they also leak the RNC e-mails—gee, I don’t know, mabey because they didn’t show collusion and corruption.

        As for this: “but if all of these things were true of HRC rather than Trump, I’ve little doubt that Jack and others would take it as fact that she was improperly working with the Russians.”

        Foul. I’m a lawyer, and I know the difference between politically spun speculation and evidence. You have no call to accuse me of that kind of bias.

        • Chris

          Foul. I’m a lawyer, and I know the difference between politically spun speculation and evidence. You have no call to accuse me of that kind of bias.

          I have call, because I’ve seen it in action. You have described Bill Clinton as a “serial sexual predator,” and have repeatedly treated accusations against the Clintons as facts based on evidence no less circumstantial than what we see here. That you do this for the Clintons but not for Trump is bias.

          • Chris said, “You have described Bill Clinton as a “serial sexual predator,” and have repeatedly treated accusations against the Clintons as facts based on evidence no less circumstantial than what we see here.”

            You made the claim, there are lots of blogs on this site, gather your fact based evidence and prove your claim.

          • THAT’s ridiculous and untrue. We have statements from at least four Clinton victims, including a woman who was a credible eye witness to her own alleged rape, and a blue dress. Where’s the equivalent testimony and evidence that Trump is in Putin’s pocket? You called the evidence “circumstantial” (it’s weak as well.) I assume that one doesn’t have to be a lawyer to know that “He raped me” is not circumstantial evidence, but based on this comment, maybe not. Settling in court for almost a million bucks is also more than circumstantial.

            • Spartan

              Monica was not raped. The dress is only evidence that he cheated on his wife with an employee.

              • Christ, is everybody materially misreading today? I didn’t say she was raped. The issue is whether Clinton is a serial sexual predator. A lowly intern cannot meaningfully consent to sex with the President of the United States; it’s workplace harassment and an abuse of power for sexual gratification. The dress is evidence of that, and that is more than “circumstantial evidence” that Clinton is a serial sexual assailant.

                • Jesus of Nazareth

                  It would seem so, though that’s the danger of summarized lists, people often quickly associate the items.

                  Anything else?

                • Spartan

                  Well, I disagree with you about this — as does the law. Low level employees have sex with their managers and bosses every day. These relationships are in bad form and put the company at risk, but they are most definitely involve consenting adults. A boss who sleeps with his secretary is not a sexual predator.

                  • Who wants to play “let’s count the rationalizations”?

                  • You would have to undermine Jack’s essential assertion that in boss-employee power disparities, there can be NO actual consent despite it looking like consent.

                    • Spartan

                      Yes, his essential assertion is wrong — both ethically and legally. Thus, his conclusions that flow from it also are flawed.

                      Is every senior employee who dates or marries a more junior employee a SEXUAL PREDATOR? It’s an absolutely ridiculous proposition.

                      Aren’t most of you conservatives? Do you not think I have the ability to say “no” when a boss asks me out? I’m an old married lady now, but it used to happen to me a lot. Ninety-nine percent of them were not sexual predators.

                    • Fouls. I said that Clinton was a sexual predator, and there is a huge chasm between dating and marrying. Ethics 101 says that there is no consent when there is a wide gap in power and an implied penalty to saying “No.” As you know. Vertical dating is unethical.

                    • Spartan

                      So I can marry my boss but not date him? That seems challenging. How would I do that?

                  • Sure he is, and many, many companies punish him as such. Was Arnie Becker a predator? Also true. Until she reversed herself to protect Bill, Gloria Steinem agreed with me: no consent. So you revert to “everybody does it,” the compliance dodge, and victim consent? Uh-uh. I didn’t say Clinton was a serial rapist, I said he was a sexual predator. The good ones can avoid appearing to break the law. They are still unethical. I’m sure many of Bill Cosby’s victims would be regarded as consenting under the law.

                    • Spartan

                      No everybody does it — it’s more everybody does it because there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

                    • If the invitation is repeated and unwelcome, or if there is any coercion, as there obviously is when there is a rejection of someone power over your life and career, it is not “consenting,” and possibly harassment.

                      This is why companies have policies against vertical dating, and should. There’s a lot wrong with it, as every sexual harassment seminar, including mine, teaches.

                    • Spartan

                      Harassment is illegal. Consensual dating is not. If I had interned in the White House, I would have slept with Clinton. And it definitely would have been consensual — and not a topic of public conversation.

                    • You just keep denying the fact that it’s an abuse of position and unethical. It is. That’s why companies ban it. Guys like Clinton abuse it, even if the occassional mensch shyly asks a secreatary out like in Fiorello. It’s unethical, you know, like lawyers dating clients, and tecahers dating students. Those aren’t illegal either, just flat out wrong.

                    • Spartan

                      “Some” companies ban it, but very few enforce it, or they do so selectively. And they don’t ban it because of the reasons you state, they ban it because it potentially could be bad for business. They don’t want a great employee leaving with clients because of a love affair gone bad. They don’t want an employee to sue the company alleging that a consensual relationship was actually harassment. The latter example is expensive even though the company will prevail if it can show consent.

                      A boss/employee relationship does not involve a fiduciary duty — so it’s not analogous to lawyer/client or doctor/patient.

                    • It’s structural incest and abuse of power in all of those. Have you heard of third party harassment? You think it’s not a bad message to send that female employees are expected to be the boss’s dating pool?

                      “It’s not enforced” is a rationalization. You really don’t have an argument, do you?

                    • Chris

                      It is unethical. Adultery is also unethical. I don’t dispute that. I think calling him a “serial sexual predator” for it is going too far. It’s especially misleading when lumped in with the rape allegations.

            • Chris

              Good point about witness testimony being more than circumstantial evidence. In this case we do have the testimony of the CIA who are saying they can’t reveal all the evidence they have.

              I can’t believe settling a lawsuit is anything more than circumstantial evidence. You’re telling me that if someone is accused of rape, the prosecutor can bring up a settlement filed in a previous rape lawsuit as evidence that the defendant is a rapist? And that would be considered more than circumstantial?

              • As you know, though, testimony that they have evidence is still not evidence, and that’s all we have. Especially since two other agencies, based on the actual evidence, have a different opinion in many respects.

                Settling a law suit is circumstantial evidence at best, yes. I shouldn’t have implied otherwise, although I do believe its strong circumstantial evidence, especially in that case.

  5. You have absolutely taken leave of your senses. You sounded almost rational and composed s few short weeks ago.
    You tout this site as one that discusses ethical issues. Your ranting is hardly that.
    #1 the majority of voters in the US did not vote for Trump. Clinton won the popular vote with out question. Trump is getting in as the result of an archaic system that has long out lived its point and purpose. But since this is working for Trump he is all for it. . In the weeks before the election trump was questioning this system and was planning on possibly not accepting the results. Shoot he can’t stay off Twitter when he has “won” can you imagine the craziness he would be spewing if the situation was reversed..
    As far as Russia and Putin. Donald said Putin didn’t like Hilary and wanted him.. then he backtracked. He has appointed at least 1 person to his cabinet that has open dealings with Russia . And daily more and more ties are being revealed.. So what about Comey? You don’t think he was prodded by the republicans? Wasn’t it such that things like these that can influence an election be held til after? It would have literally taken only a few hours to run those emails and realize they were duplicates. That would be doing his due diligence right? And then after he went to congress it took him days to determine they were duplicates ..did any of ya all find that disturbing? Of course not. It benefitted you guys. It is quite clear that rules only apply if they benefit him.. that’s not ethical. The rules need to be the same across the board
    Seriously, who is he to say what rules apply and don’t apply to him. Maybe some things are not hard and fast.. but every other president has known ETHICALLY where to draw lines.. is not to put themselves in a situation that could possibly become a conflict of interest. Oh no, not Donny.. he looks for more situations.. he can’t go awhile without being a producer on the Apprentice?
    He has backtracked on so much and now he is betraying his supporters with the people he is putting in his cabinet.
    The Electoral college? I truly hope they flip..it would be fantastic to see that Electoral college win be taken away.
    So please be real about being all about Ethics.. just admit this is thevwotld according to Jack

  6. zoebrain

    The Electors have been so impressed by the CIA’s unsupported guesswork that Russia was trying to help Donald Trump win

    And your evidence that the CIA’s appreciation is “unsupported guesswork” is? You have clearance and NTK to see the sources? (I certainly don’t).

    Neither does the FBI. NRO? Maybe. DIA? Could be. I won’t speculate. I’ve been out of the business for a while.

  7. To me the principal events of this year, your Presidential election and our referendum on European Union membership, were all about lies, news and the increasingly nuanced difference between the two. I mean by this the presence of active and capable means of influence and persuasion by appeal to emotion and credibility to the exclusion of logic and the facts that logic must take as an input. Fake News, Post-factual journalism and the redundancy of conventional editorial functions have been the buzz subjects this year. For a decade or so ‘Nudge’ of the populus to the right action has been fashionable among the Washington and Whitehall educated elites. Before that we had Spin and the Dark Arts of Media Management. We need to cut back the language here to basics. Lying is the subject. Lying for votes to be specific. Changes in the means of spreading the belief in lies and to the content of the lies to be exact.

    In parallel to these changes in time honored traditions, of lying and gaining a mandate to govern, we have seen an awakening across the globe of a Working Class to self knowledge, and a rise of popular nationalism.

    This escalation of buzzwords, lying and raised consciousness may have no causal relationship to the rise in social media but let’s examine the possibility that it does. What then does the Lie that the Electoral College Electors requested an intelligence briefing tell us?

    Firstly that we have to be very careful in all social media including conventional news media about our use of language without excluding anyone of any educational background from speaking or reading. This in order to minimise the appearance of lying. For example correcting ‘Electoral College Electors requested’ (wrong) to “some electors of the Electoral College expressed a favorable opinion towards” (better) is not pedantic, but could an average member of a public school educated persons who work manually be blamed if they interpreted such words as a lie and any corrections as arrogance, as a shaming tactic? I don’t suggest that such people should be protected from criticism of their language skills, I am saying there is a price in public disorder to be payed if criticism is done unkindly, without the respect due to one of ones own kind

    Second we have to ask, whose Electoral College is this? They have the duties ascribed to them undoubtedly, but where is their mandate from the people to overturn an election result without truly exceptional and popularly believed basis in fact? Popular credit of institutions of any inherent authority can be dismissed with a Tweet – and in this case were, by President Elect D. Trump in his “CIA? WMD! haha” Tweet, (edited for hyperbolic effect)’. So they must be cautious, for fear of causing disorder

    Third, leading on from that second and first observations above – what kind of person could ever qualify to hold in their hand a tool of mass deception so powerful in our era as a smart phone and Executive Office?

    Donald Trump has arguably done more damage to your country while running for office as the averagely bad President has done in office.

    If that is accepted as a fact and the influence of social media conceded as causal in the change of the powers of the Presidency to control feelings then the only conclusion is that moral virtue of the incumbent is essential.

    In which case action by the Electoral College to forestall a Trump Presidency is essential.

    So the Electoral College is in a difficult position. Trump must be stopped, with popular approval, while the College itself is under suspicion and any language use to explain their action can and will be misrepresented by all sides as bias, as lies.

    I have no answers.. Or at least none that would not arouse suspicion.

  8. Glenn Logan

    Can we agree that a headline reading: “Ten Democratic and one Republican elector demand intelligence briefing” just doesn’t have enough zing to it? I mean, I would’ve glossed right over that looking for something important.

    Which brings us to “fake news.” Isn’t deliberately deceptive, click-baity headlines exactly what fake news outlets do? Yes, I believe it is. Fake news is plausible, but overtly spectacular “news” intended to draw people’s clicks. Why? Because clicks equal cash, and just like every other story, it’s usually best to follow the money.

    The elector story is fake news. It is designed to draw readers into its web of deception that 1.7% of all 538 electors (of which only 0.2% could actually affect the outcome in the least) really matter, and that we should care what they want. The politico even described them as the “bipartisan electors,” although they had the good grace to use scare quotes.

  9. Spartan

    The electors should do their job. Really, this is just embarrassing, and a non-story (just like the Stein recount).

    If people want to change the system, then change the system. But don’t try and work around the system because you did not get the result you wanted.

    • Other Bill

      Comment of the post election. Thanks Sparty.

      I’m done here until the post election hysteria dies down. Never seen anything like it. I’m off to Amazon to get back to finishing my high school summer reading list. Adios.

    • Bingo.

      By the way, S, there is nothing ignorant or wrong about wanting to junk the Electoral College, if, as in your case, one actually understands what it’s there for.

      When I was a kid studying the Presidents, the EC made no sense to me at all, and I felt sorry for Jackson, Tildon and Cleveland, who won the popular vote but lost in the EC (though Cleveland was really the only real example of that, the others being side deals). Then I came to believe that the EC was beneficial on balance because the EC total reflected a sense of the degree to which support for the winner was broadbased, giving decisive electoral vote wins when the popular vote was tighter, thus providing a sense of a mandate. This worked for Kennedy in 1960, Nixon in 1968, Reagan in 1980, and Obama in 2012. And since Grover was the last popular vote loser, we had gone a whole century without the EC picking a winner, so the problem seemed far away.

      Then came 2000. That was an example where the EC saved the country, for we had just one recount battle instead of a nationwide one where exact accuracy would have been elusive. Besides, one anomaly a century or so isn’t too bad, if there are other benefits of the EC, and there are.

      TWO such elections in 16 years, however, is a real problem. However, the time to address it is before an election, not after it, and duh.

      Embarrassing is the word, all right.

      • Wayne

        The electoral college was created for a good purpose: Does anybody want to see California, Texas, and New York decide just who will be President? Just because each state has only two senators which is designed to give small states equal power in the Senate as large states, the electoral college protects the power of small states in the USA. We are a Republic, not a people’s democracy thank god!

        • Liberals and progressives, in part because of the traditional abuse of the term “states rights,” detest federalism and any sense that states are autonomous or distinct part of the whole. It’s a legitimate position—wrong, I think, but legitimate.They want one big, homogenized country run by one huge national bureaucracy that delegates to smaller ones. That’s not the USA, but never mind. Obviously a popular vote election serves that end. If 6/10ths the country lived in a single California Left wing paradise and could dictate to everyone else, the Left would see nothing wrong with that.

          • Spartan

            Oh, that’s just BS. Federalism is protected through the Senate where large states already are at a disadvantage. But a Presidential election should be one person = one vote. This is especially true given the power that a President wields through Cabinet picks and judicial appointments. We are a country ruled by a minority — and the minority is determined by who lives in less populous states, regardless of their political affiliation. That just doesn’t make sense.

            And, as I have said here before — an electoral college deters voting. That is a bad thing. In Maryland, a true blue state, my vote is meaningless in a presidential election. I may as well stay home. In Virginia, a purple state, my vote would be more important. If I moved farther South, again, I might as well stay home because those states will go red. Even in California, I have numerous friends who voted third party just for the heck of it because they knew Clinton would win there. We had numerous instances of vote trading between states in the last election — these practices should not be desired.

            It is shameful that so few people vote, and while I don’t believe in going to a mandatory system like Australia, perhaps if we didn’t have an electoral college people would feel their votes have meaning and they would participate in the process.

            Most people in the United States don’t even understand what the electoral college is or how it works! But the time to change it is after Trump is sworn into office. Temper tantrums should not determine leaders — that is even more ridiculous than the notion of letting an electoral college do it.

            • 1. We are a country ruled by a minority — and the minority is determined by who lives in less populous states, regardless of their political affiliation. That just doesn’t make sense.

              I see the arguments against the EC, but THIS is BS. Show me what the characteristics of this “minority” are that make it a monolithic ruling class. The Presidency is determined by a vote of the states, this being the United States of America. Each state is different, and should be able to assert its limited sovereignty without being dictated to by California voters…which IS a minority I can characterize: irresponsible, group-obsessed,socialist wackos.

              2. You really think anyone thinks or says, “I’m not going to vote because my NY vote isn’t as powerful as a Montana rancher’s? You vote, that’s all, because that’s your duty as a citizen. Be serious.

              3. “It is shameful that so few people vote”

              Correction: it is shameful that so few people are capable of responsible voting, but since they are not, it’s good that so many don’t vote.

              3) “perhaps if we didn’t have an electoral college people would feel their votes have meaning and they would participate in the process.”

              Or perhaps they will flap their arms real hard and fly to Melmac…

              4) Most people in the United States don’t even understand what the electoral college is or how it works!

              True, but so what? Most don’t understand how any of the government works, or basic history. When it first appeared that Bush would beat Gore despite losing the popular vote, then Newsweek political columnist Jonathan Alter had Doris Kearns Goodwin speechless when he said that Bush would have to resign in favor of Gore. And he was (and is) a political pundit.

              5) But the time to change it is after Trump is sworn into office. Temper tantrums should not determine leaders — that is even more ridiculous than the notion of letting an electoral college do it.

              No argument there—but it is unchangeable. Won’t happen, and can’t happen.

    • Slick Willy

      Spartan, that was a fair and balanced remark. Conservatives are not used to Liberals actually acting this way… be careful or I will get used to it! 🙂

      This was meant in the most friendly fashion possible: I am not being in any way insincere or hurtful here. It really shocked me to hear you say that, not because of anything you have said, but that I have gotten accustomed to ANY and ALL Liberals not playing fair. You have renewed some of my faith in the goodwill of mankind.

      In that, I owe you an apology. We can agree to disagree and respect each other’s right to believe so.

  10. Thanks, Jenn—these are my favorite kinds of comments to vivisect—the ones that start out by insulting me, but show themselves to be exactly what the comment is falsely accusing me of being.

    “You have absolutely taken leave of your senses. You sounded almost rational and composed a few short weeks ago.”

    Nothing whatsoever has changed about by opinion of Donald Trump’s character or likely performance as President. Not has my position regarded the office of the Presidency changed, or the ethical process of judging him. I have seen a depressing degree of this same fallacy you express from Facebook friends I now respect a little less than before. It’s fairness and citizenship. Every new President has the right to the support and good will of the entire country, and ever new President should be judged based on how he performs in the job, not what he said in the campaign, or before. That’s fair, respectful of the process, and healthy for the country. The fact that you and so many others believe that fairness and respect are inappropriate shows how unethical and deranged Trump’s opposition has become.

    #1 the majority of voters in the US did not vote for Trump. Clinton won the popular vote with out question.

    100% irrelevant. That’s the system, and he was elected fairly and legally. This is the “It’s a stupid law” rationalization. (Look it up. Also grow up.)

    Trump is getting in as the result of an archaic system that has long out lived its point and purpose.

    And you think Hillary Clinton would have resigned has she been the beneficiary of it? Again, irrelevant. Three options if you don’t like a rule: don’t subject yourself to it, change the rule before the game, or live with it. Ethics. Arguing after you lose that the results shouldn’t count? Unethical. Also stupid.

    But since this is working for Trump he is all for it.

    I posted on the irony of Trump benefiting from the EC when he had criticized it. But he also agreed to play by the rules.

    In the weeks before the election trump was questioning this system and was planning on possibly not accepting the results. Shoot he can’t stay off Twitter when he has “won” can you imagine the craziness he would be spewing if the situation was reversed..

    Is there a point in there Jenn? You make no sense. You can’t seriously be suggesting that TRump is a hypocrite for accepting the resulys when he won, are you? The Hypocrite is Hillary: here’s a good description of why. Excerpt:

    I’m pretty sure I heard Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promise– not once, but several times over the course of many months– that she would accept the results of the 2016 presidential election.

    I then seem to recall that after her loss to Donald Trump, she followed through on that promise. “We must accept this result and then look to the future,” she said (or did she?). “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

    But I find that hard to reconcile with what I’ve seen since then: namely, Clinton and her campaign doing everything in their power to delegitimize Trump’s victory and work towards getting the results of the election overturned.

    First, it was the quixotic attempt by Green Party candidate Jill Stein to challenge the results of the election in three states, which would’ve then handed Clinton the election. The Clinton campaign should have been content to let Stein defraud hapless supporters out of millions of dollars on behalf of a recount doomed to fail. But instead, the Clinton campaign announced that they were joining the effort.

    Then there was the Clinton campaign’s statement Monday, announcing that they were backing efforts for members of the electoral college to receive intelligence briefings about the government’s conclusion that Russians hacked the DNC in an effort to elect Trump. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed,” said campaign chairman John Podesta. Again, the request comes at the same time that Clinton supporters are calling on electors to ignore their state’s results in order to stop Trump.


    As far as Russia and Putin. Donald said Putin didn’t like Hilary and wanted him.. then he backtracked. He has appointed at least 1 person to his cabinet that has open dealings with Russia . And daily more and more ties are being revealed..

    You realize this is just free-form bitching, right? The fact is that there is no evidence we’ve showing what Russia’s reasons for leaking DNC e-mails and not RNC emails, and campaign Trump’s speculations, again, are irrelevant.

    ” So what about Comey? You don’t think he was prodded by the republicans?”

    Now you out yourself as an idiot. Comey has done his best in a bad situation. If he was partisan, he would have taken the advice of much of his staff and recommended indicting Hillary. The Republicans went after him for NOT doing that.

    It benefitted you guys.

    Watch your mouth. I am not “you guys,” I opposed Trump from the start. What benefited the public was that they learned beyond any question that Clinton breached policy and security competence and lied about it in public, and they had a right to know.

    After some unhinged blather—Trump is betraying his supporters by his Cabinet appointments? When did he make promises about cabinet appointments?—-you say

    “The Electoral college? I truly hope they flip..it would be fantastic to see that Electoral college win be taken away.”

    An unethical, ignorant, undemocratic position, as I’ve explained to the sentient readers here in detail.

    Thanks, Jenn, as I said. I get a lot of provocative, competent criticism, but it’s early yet, and shooting fish in a barrel with a really dumb comment like yours is a good way to wake up. AH! I feel refreshed!

  11. I just saw this titled, A decent breakdown of all things real and fake news.

    I think it’s skewed.

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