Watercooler 04/27/17 Open Thread; Hate The UN Yet ?; A Fun Petition; The Media Bubble is Real


UN Warns Obamacare Repeal Could Violate International Laws

If you didn’t hate the U.N. already here’s your opportunity to go that last bit of the distance.


The United Nations warned the Trump administration earlier this year that repealing ObamaCare without providing an adequate replacement would be a violation of multiple international laws, according to a new report.

Though the Trump administration is likely to ignore the U.N. warning, The Washington Post reported the Office of the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights in Geneva sent an “urgent appeal” on Feb 2.

The Post reported that the confidential, five-page memo cautioned that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would put the U.S. “at odds with its international obligations.”

The warning was sent to the State Department and reportedly said the U.N. expressed “serious concern” about the prospective loss of health coverage for 30 million people, that in turn could violate “the right to social security of the people in the United States.”

—Fox News

My response when I read that was something that’s completely unprintable. Then when you look at the commission members, and you see such luminaries as Venezuella (right to eat comes to mind), Rwanda (Really ?) and Cuba (rights what rights ?), you have to wonder just what is going on there and just what do they think they are doing ?

Petitioning the Administration to Investigate the Berkley Police Dept.

The White House has a petition up, calling for the investigation of the Berkley P.D.

This a petition to the White House to order a federal investigation the Berkeley Police Department, and find out who is instructing police to “stand down” as riots break out in front of them, causing dozens to get injured. There is someone higher up who is not fulfilling their obligation to the citizens of Berkeley by refusing to keep them safe from political violence, and this person (or persons) must be held accountable for their negligence and/or abuse of power.

As we saw at the most recent riot, if the state does not intervene and create order, the violence will only increase the less citizens can rely on police to protect their rights. This is a recipe for chaos, and should not be permitted in any civilized society. Taxpayers fund police departments in order to protect our ability



With the way the riots have been going in Berkley this seems just prudent. There certainly seems to be a bias in the enforcement and manner of enforcement, in addition to the university’s complete failure to protect its students civil rights.

The Media Bubble is a Real Thing and it’s Getting Worse.

For those of us outside of the media bubble, the idea that they are out of touch, and report on little of anything that’s of interest to most people isn’t a new concept.  Well turns out it’s not just an idea but a very real fact that the media are isolated from most of the country and form their own closed community.

The answer to the press’ myopia lies elsewhere, and nobody has produced a better argument for how the national media missed the Trump story than FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, who pointed out that the ideological clustering in top newsrooms led to groupthink. “As of 2013, only 7 percent of [journalists] identified as Republicans,” Silver wrote in March, chiding the press for its political homogeneity. Just after the election, presidential strategist Steve Bannon savaged the press on the same point but with a heartier vocabulary. “The media bubble is the ultimate symbol of what’s wrong with this country,” Bannon said. “It’s just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no f*****g idea what’s going on.”

The results read like a revelation. The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties. And you’ve got company: If you’re a typical reader of Politico, chances are you’re a citizen of bubbleville, too.



I’ll give Politico points they managed to smell the coffee. It’s not that big an accomplishment when you consider they live in the equivalent of a Maxwell House roasting plant. They are still far short of the mark.

The media since the 70s irrespective of the location, has been following in lockstep behind a very few leading publications. Papers follow/followed what the New York Times and the Washington Post write, it didn’t matter where they were. Radio by the 80s was consolidated to a very few major holding corporations. Conservatives of all stripes should be thankful we managed to have a last redoubt on AM talk radio. Television, same media holding companies same concentration, same groupthink.

What Politico doesn’t mention, is the internet maxim “When The Product Is Free, It Just Means You Are The Product”. With all the “Free” news, television, internet magazines, the product is being sold is you and the ability to shape your opinion. That doesn’t work so well when the message isn’t uniform and repeated very often, hence the bubble.

Quote of the Day

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.. — H.L. Mencken

Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread


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