Friday, August 24, 2018

Hannity as Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels famously said that if you want to convince a populace of A Big Lie (fake news), then you do it by repeating it, over and over and over again.  For a long  time I havebou been keeping an eye on Hannity, reportedly nightly conversing with Trump after his show.  What struck me some time ago how repetitive the core pats of his introductory monologue are.  I have increasingly noticed that pro-Trump people seem to believe pretty much all of this super-repeated core Hannity-Trump lies. And I have seen noe systematic or regular effort to offset this Goebbelsian Big Lie repetition.  So, here I am going to make a small attempt to point out some of the worst lies Hannity Big Lies about.

Almost all of it has to do with Hillary Clinton, a "whataboutism," argument; Trump may have done some questionable things, but whatabout Hillary and her emails and so much more?  After all, at Trump rallies they still chant "Lock her up," although reportedly in West VA a few days ago there was less enthusiasm and a lot of empty chairs. 

A caveat is that this is not some super defense of Hillary.  One more or less accurate bit in the usual Hannity rant is that Hillary and the DNC treated Bernie Sanders badly and unfairly.  But I simply note for now that Bernie himself totally supported her, even as we know some people who voted for him voted for Trump. And, of course, she should have spent more time in Wisconsin and MIchigan rather than such effluvia as Arizona and (gag) Utah.  She was not on top of things, although in the case of the third surprise swing state, Pennsylvania, that was where she was on the last night of the campaign in Philadelphia, trying to get the vote out.  She knew that one was crucial, and she lost it.

So now we must deal with crucial issues.  Part of Hannity's standard every evening monologue is that James Comey and Peter Strzok (sp?)  were total Dem stooges plotting to do Trump in.  But most of us know that she had a solid lead until Comey came out within two weeks of the election that she was back under  investigation on her emails, only to learn about two days before the election that there was nothing of any importance in these emails, already well known.  That  turned the polls and she lost.  The one possible offset would have been if the FBI had also reported that the Trump campaign was under investigatiion for Russia links, but they did  not do so. The key person on that matter was Peter Strzok, now super Trump enemy in the ongoing Hannity propaganda, and recently improperliy fired, even as he pointed this out, but, hey, in an email with his mistress he said they might block Trump. They are both in trouble  for those emails, even though they did not act to block him, which they might actually have been able to do if they had leaked all this Russian crap after Comey came out with his empty accusation against Hillary that did her in and gave us this disastrous president.

I am not going to cover all the regular reported lies of Hannity in his monologue, but here  are a few. So he posits that Hillary was personally responsible for the FISA warrant on Carter Page, coming supposedly from the "discredited Steele dossier, from a foreigner using Russian sources."  Ooops.

So the foreigner using Russian sources is Christopher Steele, rarely given his full name in the Hannity monologues, a former British MI6 agent who focused on Russia, and long accepted by all US intel agencies  as a reliable source from our supposedly closest ally (aside from possibly now enemy Canada, blame Canada!).  Which brings us to the fundamental lie of Hannity, that  the Steele dossier has been "discredited."  This is the central lie now believed by anybody who watches Hannity as their main news/opinion source. No, it has not been discredited, quite the opposite.  Not a single thing in that dossier has been discredited or is even in serious doubt. The vast majority of it has been in fact independently verified.  What is true is that some parts of it remain unverified, even as none of it has been proven false.  Among those parts is its most famous accusation of a peeing incident in Moscow.  Weirdly Hanniity and friends have ended up focusing on this shocking item, somehow turning the  failure to fully verify it into making the entire dossier "discredited."  Really.

On other parts of this, no, it was not Hillary's campaign that was primarily responsible for this mostly accurate  dossier. The funding for it initially came in the primary campaign from the Bush family, given their deep connections with serious intel, including especially British intel. Hillary was a minor player on this dossier.

It did not trigger the  FISA investigations of Carter Page.  He had  been under scrutiny for his numerous Russian ties for years, with this dossier simply one among other pieces of evidence for  renewing an investigation of him. 

I shall address one other issue in his usual rant. Regularly he charges that Hillary was responsible for "giving US uranium to Russia."  The decision on the US-Russia uranium deal in 2011 (maybe a year earlier or later, not important), was made by an interagency committee, chaired by the then Sec of Energy, who is the big player in US nuclear policy. Nine agencies were on that committee, one of the State, then run by Hillary.  The Canadians were also a major player on this, strongly supporting the deal (a very complicated matter, if not in Hannity's eyes).  The committee's decision was unanimouis, with some flunky of Hillary's on the committee going along with it. And, in fact, aside from a few odd bits, no US uranium was exported as a result of this agreement, although Russia  has earned some income from uranium sales within the US.  This is supposed to be the  ultimate "Hillary running for the Russians, so pay no attention to Trump doing so, and  lock her up!!!"

There is quite a bit  more that is totally false in Hannity's standard rant that Trump regularly tweets about. But this is all I shall deal with for now, but it is pretty core stuff.

Barkley Rosser


ProGrowthLiberal said...

I stopped watching Sean Hannity 20 years ago. Back then it was Hannity and Colmes with Alan Colmes giving the presence that the show was "fair and balanced". How do you know Hannity is lying? His lips are moving. Anyone who buys his garbage is truly low IQ.

AXEC / E.K-H said...

Lock them up
Comment on Barkley Rosser on ‘Hannity as Goebbels’

Economics claims to be a science. Fact is that economists never did proper science because they were too much occupied with agenda pushing. This holds for Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism, and Pluralism. None of these approaches has sound scientific foundations. This does not matter for economic policy, though, because it is known from history that politics runs on silly stories/literary fictions and not on materially/formally consistent theories.

This is why the political sphere and the scientific sphere have to be strictly kept apart. In economics, though, the exact opposite can be observed since 200+ years. Economics is NOT an integral part of science but of the political Circus Maximus.

Barkley Rosser is a fine specimen of the representative economist. His main occupation is propaganda/entertainment/attention-management and not science. With the title of his post ‘Hannity as Goebbels’ Barkley Rosser identifies himself as a member of the propaganda/counter-propaganda community.

The business of the economist as a scientist is to figure out how the economy works and NOT how Washington DC works. The business of the economist as a scientist is NOT to see to it that stupid/corrupt politicians/journalists are expelled/locked up but to produce scientific truth and to see to it that stupid/corrupt agenda pushers do not hijack academia.

The question is why Barkley Rosser does not get tired of addressing political failure/fraud but closes his eyes to the failure/fraud of his own profession.

MMT, for example, propagates a bunch of social measures with the MMT-specific extra benefit of promptly to realize deficit-spending/money-creation. MMTers underpin their policy guidance on any occasion with the macroeconomic balances equation (X−M)+(G−T)+(I−S)=0.#1

This equation is proto-scientific garbage. The axiomatically correct balances equation reads (X−M)+(G−T)+(I−S)−(Qm−Yd)=0.#2, #3 And from this equation follows the reduced form Qm=G−T, that is, Public Deficit = Private Profit. Macroeconomics tells everyone that, in effect, MMT policy benefits alone the one-percenters.#4, #5

So MMTers talk a lot of social benefits for the ninety-nine-percenters and present provably false macroeconomic equations to mislead the general public.#6 Worse, MMTers pose as Progressives and undermine the genuine social movements.#7

All this happens in plain sight and every theoretical economist (= scientist) can easily see through the fraud of political economists (= agenda pushers).

Barkley Rosser is NOT a scientist. Either he does not understand macroeconomics because he is too stupid or he covers the political machinations of his corrupt colleagues by pointing his finger to some brain-dead media figure and shouting Goebbels!!!

If there ever was one atom of science in economics, it is definitively gone. From Walrasianism to Keynesianism to Marxianism to Austrianism, economics is a political fraud. This, clearly, has to end.#8

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Down with idiocy!

#2 Profit and the Private-Property-Irrelevance Theorem

#3 Economists cannot do the simple math of profit — better keep them out of politics

#4 Keynes, Lerner, MMT, Trump and exploding profit

#5 MMT is ALWAYS a bad deal for the 99-percenters

#6 The Kelton-Fraud

#7 How Bill Mitchell stalks Jeremy Corbyn

#8 The end of political economics

Lord said...

The right thinks in terms of stereotypes and villains and any leading opposition is made into one, whether Hillary, Pelosi, or Obama. It is a sorry state that they have to resort to past ones because they have no idea of which future ones they may face. They think if they do something, everyone else must too only worse, so end up projecting their own failures on everyone to justify their own, so Washington is corrupt becomes true by making it even more corrupt, and lock her up, she's a crook because he should be locked up as he is a crook, and anyone against him is an enemy. said...

Just one comment here, Egmont.

Have you ever read any of my professional papers? They are up on my website. Most have been published either in journals or books. I have over 200 academic publications. Many have nothing to do with politics at all, dealing with abstract mathematical theory, not really appropriate to blog about as not very accessiblee to most readers. I realize you will dismiss them as unscientific because they do not use or ever even mention your worthless and unpublishabe piece of crap theory about profit. But they have no poliitics in them at all.

Here on this blog I do other things. This post is certainly overtly pure politics, no economics in it at all. I also post about broader cultural and scientific isssues as well, with some of these also having nothing to do with economics. Quite a few people appreciate these posts, even if often they disagree with me. I am most certainly not going to stop posting on non-economics topics because of your say-so.

I also post on political economy issues. Those are pretty clear what they are. This is the appropriate place for that. But because I do that does not mean I cannot do anything else. That is just insame on your part to make such an argument, but then I have come to the conclusion that indeed you have serious mental problems, Egmont. I hope you are getting professional help.

2slugbaits said...


Which is worse, having to watch Sean Insanity or having to read Egmont
? Anyway, you deserve some kind of medal for watching Fox News so the rest of us don't have to. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it and I'm just glad it's not me. Thank you for your service

AXEC / E.K-H said...

Barkley Rosser

You say: “I have over 200 academic publications. Many have nothing to do with politics at all, dealing with abstract mathematical theory, not really appropriate to blog about as not very accessiblee to most readers. I realize you will dismiss them as unscientific because they do not use or ever even mention your worthless and unpublishabe piece of crap theory about profit.”

This is a spot-on self-representation of the representative economist.

Now, we are going to prove that the representative economist is too stupid for the elementary mathematics that underlies the monetary economy.#1, #2 The analytical starting point is given as follows:

(A0) The objectively given systemic configuration consists of the household and the business sector which in turn consists initially of one giant fully integrated firm. The elementary production-consumption economy is given with three macroeconomic axioms.
(A1) Yw=WL wage income Yw is equal to wage rate W times working hours. L.
(A2) O=RL output O is equal to productivity R times working hours L.
(A3) C=PX consumption expenditure C is equal to price P times quantity bought/sold X.

From the macroeconomic axioms follow models by specification. The Ur-Model is given by two conditions (X=O, C=Yw) and two definitions (monetary profit/loss Qm≡C−Yw, monetary saving/dissaving Sm≡Yw−C).

It always holds Qm+Sm=0 or Qm=−Sm (i). The business sector’s monetary profit Qm is equal to the household sector’s dissaving −Sm. The business sector’s loss is equal to the household sector’s saving.

Eq. (i) is the most elementary accounting identity.#1 It obviously refutes Keynes’ I=S.#2 The idiocy of the representative economist consists of calling I=S an accounting identity “that by definition (or construction) must be true.” (Wikipedia) Fact is that I=S is FALSE by construction.

Fact is that the axiomatically correct expanded accounting identity reads Qm=I−Sm#3, which says that saving is NEVER equal to investment. So, Keynesianism and the whole analytical apparatus of the multiplier and IS-LM is false. The same holds for the Wicksell-mechanism which is predicated on the equilibrium of I and S. The same holds for the MMT balances equation. The same holds for Marx’s profit theory. And so on for the rest of economics.

The representative economist in his utter scientific incompetence has NOT realized anything to this day. He was too busy with producing peer-reviewed proto-scientific garbage and with political agenda pushing by shouting Goebbels!!! at mentally retarded TV anchors. All this, clearly, is NOT science and it has to end NOW.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Wikipedia and the promotion of economists’ idiotism (II)

#2 “Income = value of output = consumption + investment. Saving = income − consumption. Therefore saving = investment.” (GT, p. 63)

#3 Wikimedia, Profit Law

Anonymous said...

I had to think about this essay carefully, because I almost always turn away from such analogies to the 1930s, but I think this essay careful and fair and if frightening then necessarily so.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this essay. said...

I must note that I was mistaken that the original funding for the Steele dossier came from the Bush campaign. Apparently it came from another GOP candidate's campaign, that of Marco Rubio, with a special role by Peter Singer-funded Washington Free Beacon website.