Trustworthy Source of Information

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Hello,

I am new to politics. I have been listing to Thom since October. Before that I wasn't too into politics. I was 18 during the Gore-Bush election and lost all interest when the election was stolen. Then Obama came along and I got fired up again, only to lose interest when the movement came to a crashing halt.

Now that I have been listening to Thom, I am getting fired up again. Bernie Sanders joining the race put me over the top. Today for the first time ever I called congress. Felt really good to take action and participate.

Anyway, I am at the point now where I want to learn more about what going on. I especially want to educate myself about the various agendas of the republican candidates. So where do I start? What is a good trustworthy source I can mine to figure out what actually going on and what all of the flowery speech means. The way politicians jump from metaphor, to the story of a little girl from Any-town USA, to a very short and cryptic sentence about immigration, or tax reform can be very hard to follow for the new to politics and the un-informed.

I appreciate any help and advise in my quest to inform myself and then others around me of what is really going on and what it is politicians are actually saying.

Thanks,

Bailtron.

Bailtron's picture
Bailtron
Joined:
Jun. 16, 2015 8:29 pm

Comments

If you want less bombastic rhetoric and more thoughtful conservative perspectives read Krauthammer, listen to Michael medved. Another good source is Dave Ramsey, he is more personal finance but it gives you a solid understanding through real life examples in how the conservative philosophy plays out in the real world.

For a good understanding of the liberal perspective read Paul Krugman and of course Thom.

gumball's picture
gumball
Joined:
Dec. 12, 2013 11:02 am

I'm going to take a different approach... that news can't often be separated from hidden, or not so hidden bias on big issues like politics and economics. I consider myself a rather progressive in that I question I like Thom and Bernie... and both tend to share my views on economics. But both tend to have rather conservative ideas on democracy.

The US electoral and political systems are deeply flawed. They just do not offer citizens the right to vote their conscience and get represented for their beliefs. Worst, the federal system is grossly antidemocratic and this is mathematically demonstrable. We saw this at work in election 2000 where a candidate REJECTED by the people was still installed as president. In the Senate a mere 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats. The amendment process is so screwy that states with a mere 3.5% of the population can block any amendment... yet states with 40% of the population can ratify one. How much influence any given has in Washington depends on the state they choose to live in. In the Senate any citizen of WY has 70x the influence of any citizen in CA... and that's just those who voted for the election winner. In our system those who vote for a loser don't count.

Both Thom and Bernie wear democracy on their sleeves yet accept the system as it is... and at best favor minor tweaks. Yet in seemingly being blind to the defects in our political system, they miss how it contributes to the US being such a right wing nation.

I favor proportional representation where virtually every vote counts, are weighed equally, and a citizen gets representation for their beliefs.

So in evaluating a person's opinion or news source... there needs to be some values clarification on your part in order to discover hidden biases or agendas. One of the few people I've long respected for analysis... not news per se, is Noam Chomsky.

Getting back to news, I tend to be a radio junkie and often listen to NPR and talk programming. But even NPR programming is a classic example of how trying to be objective still contains hidden biases. I've wondered how would an NPR, if it were allowed to exist in Nazi Germany present the news? Would it just present stories of how the war was going? Would it report Hitler was a murderous megalomaniac? In similar fashion when NPR reported on the illegal Bush invasion of Iraq... it shied from the issue of whether the war was objectively illegal... thus making Bush a war criminal. If it dealt with the legal issues at all, it would be sure to include right wingers. But sometimes this faux objectivity is proof of a hidden bias that an NPR just can not escape its cultural context. It will report what a Senate vote is but not whether those votes are the product of an antidemocratic institution. Those unspoken assumptions that underlie news are the hidden biases.

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Yeah, every source has a bias to one degree or another. There is also the laziness factor, one thing I have learned is when a commentator or news outlet cites a study to look it up. More often than not these "studies" are done by advocacy groups.

gumball's picture
gumball
Joined:
Dec. 12, 2013 11:02 am
Quote gumball:

Yeah, every source has a bias to one degree or another. There is also the laziness factor, one thing I have learned is when a commentator or news outlet cites a study to look it up. More often than not these "studies" are done by advocacy groups.

I don't think that such open bias is as insidious as unspoken assumptions that become just part of the air we breath.

I'm reminded of something Chomsky once said about how the range of acceptable thought is limited here in the US. He used the example of the Vietnam War. Back then there were the hawks who believed the US had a right to be in Vietnam and favored all out war. Then there were the doves who believed the US had a right to be there but believed any victory was not worth the cost.

The more the two sides debated, the more Americans were inculcated with the hidden subtext... that the US had a right to be in Vietnam. Outside that debate... and outside the range of acceptable thought, was the peace movement who did not believe the US had a right to be in Vietnam.

So what happens to Americans when BOTH major parties accept the premise that irresponsible tax cuts are acceptable? That's essentially what Obama did in perpetuating most of Bush's irresponsible tax cuts. Is it any wonder why Americans eventually believe there's a free lunch?

I suspect most of the Democratic Party faithful are mired in such hidden assumptions they just never examine.... and live quite comfortably with their internal contradictions.... just as the Right does with theirs. Those ideological blinders then become the accepted reality....

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ulTRAX
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm