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Faux journalism, change, and federal budgets


Headline from


“There was much good to be found in President Donald Trump’s speech on Sunday to the Muslim-majority heads of state gathered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.”

Between the Lines

Trump did what Trump does best. He is delivering on his campaign promises and doing it with tremendous courage and against all odds as his detractors and the press continue to make up stories.

Headline from


“The Washington Post reported Monday evening that Trump petitioned Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers to debunk the claims.”

Between the Lines

This is how it works. All it takes is for one news outlet, in this case it was the Washington Post, to publish some story that amounts to mere speculation. The Washington Post story was based on “unnamed sources.” There was no direct attribution to anyone. The story referred only to “officials with knowledge.” How do we know they had knowledge? For all we know, the reporter could have provided his own speculation.

Once this or any story is published, it grows legs. Every other broadcast and print publication repeats the same narrative, referring back to the single original story with information from those who cannot be identified.

Thus, it is possible the story is entirely fake or it is possible that it is not. In any case, this is not how journalism is supposed to work. Too many journalists have become little more than propaganda machines for political purposes.

Headline from


“Trump Calls for Middle East to ’Take the Lead’ in Fighting Terrorism”

Between the Lines

Trump went to the Middle East representing the United States, taking the message directly to those in Muslim nations. He did so with aplomb.

While the First Lady and First Daughter did not wear the traditional head coverings, they wore appropriately modest dresses. The First Family and entourage were received graciously and respectfully.

This gives great hope for change, asserted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and not the fake campaign slogan-type change embraced by Obama.

Headline from


“Federal workers received $1.7 billion of bonuses in 2016”

Between the Lines

News reports show that a good portion of these bonuses are designated for military and defense-related agencies. But there is also a good portion that will go to the treasury, the department of commerce, health and human services, and other civilian agencies.

As a civil service worker for years, I realize that the problems are systemic. Even as the low man on the totem pole, we were issued directives to come up with the next year’s budget.

It was simple. We were told to spend all that was allocated to us in the previous year’s budget, buying supplies whether or not they were needed, then add a certain percentage to increase next year’s allocation.

The goal always was to get as much money as you could for your own little slush fund and fiefdom. This was many years ago at Fort Sam, but I’m sure little has changed. This is a microcosm of how the government works.

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