Tag Archives: News

2016 Recap

30 Dec

2016 has been a strange and disappointing year.  Donald Trump was elected president.  Senate Republicans blocked President Obama from appointing someone to the Supreme Court.  We lost many great people including John Glenn, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Muhammad Ali, among many others.  I wish I could be more optimistic for what lies ahead next year.

We have a president-elect who hasn’t changed much since he was elected.  Many presidents surround themselves with the best and brightest.  Donald Trump is surrounding himself with incompetent people and ideologues.  I think Trump will run into some opposition with some of his picks to help run the government.

I am however optimistic that we may finally be able to get an infrastructure bill passed.  The Democrats are willing to work with Trump on some issues and I hope they do.  I do however want the Democrats to fight Trump like hell on any of his extreme policy ideas.  Trump has said that he wants to tear up the Iran Deal and the Paris Climate Change deal.  That will not be as easy as he thinks.  Both deals are multi-national agreements.  The Paris Climate Change deal will expire in November 2020… at the end of Trumps first (and hopefully only) term.

The Republicans have an easier senate election map in 2018, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.  The president’s party usually loses seats in midterm elections.  (Recent exceptions being 1998 and 2002.)  It will also be interesting to see how Speaker Ryan and incoming Senate Minority leader Schumer will work with the president-elect.  House Speaker Paul Ryan will have to deal with the Tea Party wing, moderate wing, and the Trump supporters in his party.  Senator Schumer will lead the opposition as well as prepare his members for 2018.

Donald Trump will get a rude awakening next year, as with his supporters.  Governing is not as easy as Trump made it sound during the campaign.  Congress is very good at blocking legislation.  The presidents who have been able to get things done legislatively have either been insiders or have friends in congress.  Trump is no insider and he only has a small handful of supporters in congress.  I think Trump supporters will give him a lot of leeway, but they will turn on him if he doesn’t deliver on something.

Running the government is not like running a business.  Governor Rauner of Illinois hasn’t been able to pass his agenda through the Illinois legislature and he is a former businessman.  Trump will not be able to get everything he wants done.  If he tries to push congress around he won’t be able to get much done.  President-elect Trump has already faced several challenges in picking a cabinet.  If he is having this much trouble picking people to be in his administration, he will have a tough time running his administration.


Jon Stewart’s Impact

31 Aug

Jon Stewart retired several weeks ago.  Usually I don’t talk about comedians on this blog, but I will for this post.  He did a lot for comedy, but he did just as much if not more for the news.  Jon Stewart turned a show about some news, into a show in which top authors, politicians, and actors wanted to appear.  He helped make the show more informative then most news networks.  His cultural impact can’t be understated.

I started watching the Daily Show regularly in late 2006 when I was in college.  The main reason I watched it was because it was funny and informative.  One of the other reasons I watched it was because of the field pieces.  It amazes me that even after The Daily Show became well-known they still were able to do field pieces where a person would agree to be interviewed knowing that they would look like fools.

The thing I will miss the most about him hosting the show is the way he would go toe to toe with people who considered themselves experts in their field, and he would match them.  One of the most famous instances was when he was on CNN’s Crossfire.  The hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson had him on the show to talk about his new book.  Tucker Carlson asked Stewart why he didn’t challenge Senator Kerry (who was running for president that year) more.  Jon Stewart countered by telling them that they haven’t been doing their job.  Crossfire was cancelled several months later.  (See the clip below)

Jon Stewart pointed out what was and still is wrong with our news media.  Campaigns and politicians boil things down to talking points as oppose to dealing with actual issues.  Part of the reason Donald Trump is leading the Republican primary for president is because he is a shiny object and the media likes to pay attention to shiny objects.  A shiny object is more interesting than what the media should be covering which are credentials and policy plans.  I actually find it sad that a show that is supposed to be comedy does a better job covering the news and challenging people then an actual news program.

Jon Stewart may be done hosting The Daily Show, but he has left his mark and has left people like him to pick up the torch.  Trevor Noah will be succeeding him as host of the Daily Show but John Oliver has in essence already taken Jon Stewart’s place on HBO. He mixes humor with social justice and challenges what is wrong with the system.  Many of Jon Stewart’s other correspondents have gone onto bigger things.  Stephen Colbert will be the new host of The Late Show.  The Daily Show also launched the careers of Steve Carell, Rob Corddry, Samantha Bee, and Jason Jones.  What will Trevor Noah’s legacy be?  We will have to wait and see.

  1. Jon Stewart on Crossfire


Real News vs. Fake News

31 Aug

There has been a lot of talk about Miley Cyrus on the news recently.  I honestly don’t really care.  I don’t consider it real news.  It certainly doesn’t deserve to get as much media coverage as it has.  I understand there are many people who want to hear about celebrity gossip or just news about a celebrity in general.  That’s perfectly fine; I have no problem with celebrities getting coverage as long as it is miniscule compared to news that affects the rest of us.

Anything that affects world issues or issues in our country is real news.  It doesn’t have to be political news, but it should be something of substance.  Now I understand that it is tough to get information that isn’t biased in some ways, but it’s not impossible.  Even if you are unsure what is skewed and what isn’t, you can verify a seemingly biased story by checking with multiple sources to be sure.  Very few things are 100% unbiased, but I think the closest thing to that is the website politifact.  They do a good job sorting out the distortions in politics.  (Although even they aren’t right all of the time.)

I’m not suggesting that no one should ever look at or get information from a biased source, just be sure to think about the report or statistic on whether it seems too far-fetched.    When I hear a major story on the news, I try to digest it before I go off on a limb.  Emotions are constantly stirred with many major news stories, just be sure to think clearly before you jump the shark.  There are many good news sources you can find online but many people fall for the bad ones.

There have been conspiracy theories for a long time, but I think that the internet has perpetuated them.  In the early 2,000’s there was a conspiracy theory that the Bush Administration were behind the September 11th attacks mainly to get us into Iraq.   That story is complete nonsense.  The 9/11 commission may have been underfunded, but that doesn’t mean that the United States government was behind the attacks.  I have done research on terrorism and the 9/11 attacks and I have found very little if anything to prove that the U.S. government planned the attacks.

The other big conspiracy theory in the last decade is that President Obama wasn’t born here.  Fortunately most of the Birther’s views died down significantly when Obama released his long-formed birth certificate.  I find it ridiculous for several reasons.  The person who started the conspiracy is Orly Taitz….. who wasn’t born in the U.S.  Orly Taitz herself released a supposed, “real birth certificate of President Obama.”  What she released was a complete fake.  Most birthers say that Obama was born in Kenya.  What Orly Taitz released, didn’t even have the proper name of the country Kenya the year President Obama was born.  You would think that if Obama was really born in Kenya it would at least have the name of the country right.  Conspiracy theories prove as with every story that you need evidence to back your claim.

As I stated before, I have no problem with celebrity or fluff news being covered as long as it doesn’t dominate the news.  If you want to read all celebrity news that’s great, I just wish it would be kept mostly in the entertainment section or in a gossip magazine.  I would encourage everyone to read at least one article a week from a nonbiased newspaper to keep informed.  There is a lot of good information out there, but you will sometimes have to search to avoid the bad information.