Trump and the closed loop of news in the GOP

Asked to name media companies in which they have trust, 65% of Republicans named Fox News. One in 3 named ABC. And that’s it. Not a single other news source was trusted by even 33% of self-identified Republicans in the Pew poll.

…A majority of Republicans (and Republican-leaning independents) don’t trust ANY media company other than Fox News. And two thirds don’t trust ANY media companies other than Fox News and ABC.

…Combine those numbers with Fox News’s overwhelming viewership numbers among Republicans (60% get their election news from Fox; no other outlet gets above 30%), and the marked difference between its content and that of all the other mainstream media outlets, and you see a major reason for why we are where we are, politically speaking.

If you only trust one news outlet and that news outlet is telling a very different …version of current events, a massive disconnect is created.

…And it is into that disconnect, that information void, that Trump has leaped — and now resides. …Trump regularly tweets and retweets Fox News segments to his 71+ million Twitter followers. He often directly quotes from Fox personalities. He works to create a totally closed information ecosystem for his supporters — and largely succeeds.

This 1 chart explains how bad Fox News is for our politics – CNNPolitics

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John Roberts comes face to face with the mess he made

Roberts’s captivity is entirely fitting: He is forced to witness, with his own eyes, the mess he and his colleagues on the Supreme Court have made of the U.S. political system. As representatives of all three branches of government attend this unhappy family reunion, the living consequences of the Roberts Court’s decisions, and their corrosive effect on democracy, are plain to see.

Ten years to the day before Trump’s impeachment trial began, the Supreme Court released its Citizens United decision, plunging the country into the era of super PACs and unlimited, unregulated, secret campaign money from billionaires and foreign interests. Citizens United, and the resulting rise of the super PAC, led directly to this impeachment. The two Rudy Giuliani associates engaged in key abuses …gained access to Trump by funneling money from a Ukrainian oligarch to the president’s super PAC.

…The court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County gutted the Voting Rights Act and spurred a new wave of voter suppression. The decision in 2014′s McCutcheon further surrendered campaign finance to the wealthiest. 

…The new dominance of ideologically extreme outside groups and donors led lawmakers on both sides to give their patrons what they wanted: conflict over collaboration and purity at the cost of paralysis. The various decisions also suppress the influence of poorer and non-white Americans.

Roberts had been warned about this sort of thing.

…Justice Stephen Breyer, in his McCutcheon dissent, warned that the new campaign finance system would be “incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy.”

Now, we are in a crisis of democratic legitimacy: A president who has plainly abused his office and broken the law, a legislature too paralyzed to do anything about it — and a chief justice coming face to face with the system he broke.

John Roberts comes face to face with the mess he made – The Washington Post

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Reporter says Mike Pompeo cursed and demanded she find Ukraine on a map after interview

“That same staffer who stopped the interview reappeared, asked me to come with her — just me, no recorder — though she did not say we were off the record, nor would I have agreed.”

…[Pompeo]  asked her, “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” Kelly said, adding that “he used the F-word in that sentence and many others.”

Pompeo then asked Kelly if she could find Ukraine on a map. …”He called out for aides to bring us a map of the world with no writing.”

“I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away.”

Reporter says Mike Pompeo cursed and demanded she find Ukraine on a map after interview – CNNPolitics

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Trump impeachment trial: Will Democrats get their witnesses?

US public opinion on Trump’s impeachment is sharply divided between Democrats and Republicans with a slight tilt in favour of removing the president from office.

A new Emerson College national poll showed 51 percent of respondents favour Trump’s conviction and removal from office while 49 percent oppose impeachment.

A strong majority of 59 percent of voters want the Senate to call witnesses in the trial, according to the survey conducted January 21-23 with a 4.1 percent margin of confidence.

Trump impeachment trial: Will Democrats get their witnesses? | USA News | Al Jazeera

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Rep. Garcia explains Democrats believe Biden did nothing wrong because there is zero evidence to suggest otherwise

“Every witness with knowledge of this issue testified that Biden was following official U.S. policy in calling for Shokin’s removal,” said Garcia, who noted that the move was supported by a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans Rob Portman and Ron Johnson.

She added that there is “Simply no evidence…in the record to support” the “baseless allegation” that Biden did anything wrong by pressing for Shokin’s removal.

…“President Trump asked Ukraine for something that benefited only himself,” said Garcia, D-Texas. “In putting himself above our country, he put his country at risk, and that is why his actions are so dangerous,” she added.

WATCH: Rep. Garcia explains why Democrats believe Biden did nothing wrong | PBS NewsHour

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Why a conservative columnist thinks Republicans’ impeachment strategy will blow up in their faces

“The impeachment trial will not result in President Trump’s removal,” [conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer] Rubin writes, “but it could well result in Republicans’ removal from the Senate majority.”

The Never Trump conservative notes that a “slew of Republican incumbents,” according to Morning Consult, “were below 45% approval even before the trial began….. In their refusal to allow new witnesses and documents, their determination to acquit even before the trial began and their conduct during the trial, they are creating a plethora of opportunities for opponents’ ad makers.”

The incumbent GOP senators Rubin specifically mentions include Maine’s Susan Collins, Iowa’s Joni Ernst, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, Arizona’s Martha McSally, Colorado’s Cory Gardner and Texas’ John Cornyn.

…“In behaving as they have, Republicans are managing not only to deprive the president of a legitimate acquittal in the eyes of Americans — who overwhelmingly want a real trial — but also, to convince voters that Republicans should not be entrusted with power.”

Why a conservative columnist thinks Republicans’ impeachment strategy will blow up in their faces – Alternet.org

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