Why do people believe those claims about Biden?


You can't run a nation this way:  We've often described Kevin Drum as our favorite blogger.

That doesn't mean that he's always right, although it's always possible that he actually is. We'd especially recommend his years of work on the apparent effects of (worldwide) lead abatement—work which formed the backbone of this cover report in the January 2013 Mother Jones.

It's fascinating work. That doesn't mean that its author is always right, and we think that Kevin has wandered way off the track in yesterday's post about Florida's Stop W.O.K.E. Act.

At issue is the power of paraphrase. Also, at issue is the difficulty involved in that essential analytical task. 

Are we humans really able to conduct a rational discourse? It seems to us that the question is raised by Kevin's discussion of that topic, and by much of what appears in the comments to his post. 

Almost surely, we'll focus on that post in next week's reports. For today, let's consider an earlier post by Drum—the post which carried this headline:

Polling about Hunter Biden is off-the-charts insane

At issue was this recent CNN survey. That said, the results which Kevin called "insane" were mainly about Joe Biden. 

For now, let's stick with the headline game. Here's the headline which sits atop CNN's report:

A majority of Americans believe Joe Biden, as VP, was involved with son’s business dealings

Say what? A majority of Americans believe that Joe Biden was involved with Hunter Biden’s business dealings? 

In Kevin's view, such results are insane. Headline included once again, here's how the report begins:

A majority of Americans believe Joe Biden, as VP, was involved with son’s business dealings

Most Americans say they think President Joe Biden was involved in his son’s business dealings with Ukraine and China while he served as vice president under Barack Obama, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

A majority, 61%, say they think that Biden had at least some involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings, with 42% saying they think he acted illegally, and 18% saying that his actions were unethical but not illegal...

A 55% majority of the public says the president has acted inappropriately regarding the investigation into Hunter Biden over potential crimes, while 44% say that he has acted appropriately.

According to the survey, something like 60 percent of respondents think that Joe Biden behaved illegally, or perhaps just unethically, with respect to his son's business dealings. 

"It's almost impossible to overstate how completely nuts this is," Kevin says. "There is literally zero evidence that Joe Biden was involved in Hunter's business affairs. There is, if anything, less than zero evidence that Joe Biden did anything illegal."

We can't say we completely agree with Kevin's assessments. We're more inclined to agree with one of Kevin's commenters, whose text we'll present below.

That said, 23 percent of Democrats—and 39 percent of independents—think Joe Biden did something illegal with respect to his son's business ventures!

Kevin thinks this view is insane—and obviously, it's very bad news for people who want to see Biden defeat Trump again next year. 

Needless to say, we're one of those people. For today, we'd like to focus on where such views have come from.

Last night, we saw it happen again. We saw Sean Hannity lay out the claim that Vice President Biden went to Ukraine in 2016 and fired an idealistic prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because Shokin was jeopardizing Hunter Biden's business interests with the Burisma company.

The story has been told in a very different way by many mainstream news orgs. That said, the story is told the Hannity way night after night after night after night on the Fox News Channel.

Millions of people were watching Hannity tell his story last night. No one was present to challenge his factual claims, which seem to come from a version of BizarroWorld.

That said, this story is told "the Hannity way" night after night on Fox. Last week, we watched an episode of the popular Fox News program, The Five, in which this topic was discussed. 

Predictably, here's what happened:

The panel's (well informed) token liberal, Jessica Tarlov, attempted to challenge the factual claims of resident termagant Greg Gutfeld. When she did, the four "conservative" members of the panel took turns interrupting and talking over everything she tried to say.

Tarlov was interrupted again and again, then again and again. This is the way the "news" is now delivered on the Fox News Channel. 

At one time, the late Alan Colmes was present at Fox every night to challenge Sean Hannity's claims. During that era, CNN presented Crossfire every weeknight, with tribunes of the two major parties instantly challenging each other's claims for everyone to see.

That said, Fox abandoned that format long ago—except, for the most part, on The Five. On that program, one token liberal appears each night, only to be shouted down by "the other four" when Mandated Red Tribe Storylines are challenged.

This is what "the news" looks like when "the news" is segregated by viewpoint. Social media takes it from there. Simply put, you can't run a major modern nation in this grotesquely disinformative way.

People who watch the Fox News Channel hear the story about Joe Biden and Viktor Shokin night after night after night. They hear "the great one," Mark Levin, as he rants out the mandated story. They hear Sean Hannity tell the same tale—and they see Tarlov shouted down when she tries to challenge the channel's standard claims.

Most Fox viewers have no idea that a different set of claims about the firing of Shokin exists. Simply put, you can't run a very large nation this way without creating a Babel. 

For ourselves, we're less impressed with Joe Biden's role in this matter than Kevin seems to be. We're inclined to agree with the observations made by one of Drum's commenters:

COMMENTER: I am a Democrat and I almost fully agree...with "There is literally zero evidence that Joe Biden was involved in Hunter's business affairs. There is, if anything, less than zero evidence that Joe Biden did anything illegal. "

Where I leave Kevin's line of argument is as follows. Biden knew, or should have known, Hunter was robustly using his last name to his economic benefit. Joe should have taken more active public steps to distance himself from Hunter. For example,

—Tell Hunter NOT to call him when with business associates 
—Not take Hunter on formal governmental trips 
—Not share his official schedule with Hunter: his son only needs to know when his father is available, but not who the VP is meeting with etc/

I believe Joe messed up on the perception side of his relationship with Hunter.

We're inclined to agree with thar. We think Joe Biden was way too permissive concerning the behavior of his wayward son, but also concerning the behavior of his own somewhat slippery brother, James Biden.

In the larger sense, it seems to us that Joe Biden has always had a weird idea about the people he refers to as "the Bidens." 

He seems to think that this family is one of our royal political families, like the Kennedys or the Roosevelts. It would be better if we had no royal political families at all, but the idea that "the Bidens" are some such group strikes us as a bit delusional. 

Joe Biden's personal family story seems drawn from the wellsprings of myth. He had the one perfect son—the late Beau Biden. 

He also had the vastly disordered, ne'er-do-well son, the destructive Hunter Biden.

At some point, it seems to us that he should have reined in his dysfunctional son. On the brighter side, we now apparently know who told Maureen Dowd about Beau Biden's (allegedly) last few dying words, generating the poisonous column, and the subsequent poisonous front-page report, which helped hand the White House to Donald J. Trump back in 2016.

In our view, Joe Biden should have told his son and his brother to knock it off—to quit. It seems he never did that, right up to the point where he has said, this very year, that Hunter Biden has done nothing wrong.

That said, the larger story here involves "segregated news." That story goes like this:

People who watch the Fox News Channel hear the Joe Biden/Viktor Shokin story night after night after night.

Social media takes it from there. A large modern nation can't function this way. Go ahead! Take a good look around!


  1. The things Somerby complains about are the messy details of being a free country. He keeps saying you can’t run a country like this, but of course you can. You wouldn’t run an authoritarian state like this, but we don’t want that. And no one believes Trump could get any trains to run on time.

    Democrats don’t care about Hunter Biden and Republicans are not going to vote for Biden anyway, because he is a Democrat and thus the Great Satan.

    1. Sure, you can run a country based on lies, grift, and reactionary authoritarianism. But you can't run it well, and you can't run it for long that way.

    2. anon 10:58 - most Republicans won't be voting for Biden; There might be an issue with independents not voting for him though.

    3. Then again, there might not be an issue with independents.

      See how easy it is to pretend?

    4. The data suggests that the determining factor is not party affiliation but whether someone watches the lies on Fox News.

      Is anyone here aware that Hunter Biden as filed a lawsuit alleging ongoing defamation and invasion of privacy? Does that make him seem more or less guilty of something?

    5. Latest Morning Consult poll has Biden +3 over Trump, about the same as 2020.

  2. On the right it’s Hunter Hunter Hunter all the time. Even from Somerby who is hypersensitive to repetition.

  3. Kevin Drum didn’t originate the lead theory. He reported on work done by others.

    1. This. Exactly.

      Drum is crap, but he’s right about the Bidens. The lead story has some merit, but is certainly only part of the issue.

      Somerby thinks, that while his one son was dying, he should have written off his other son, instead of being the loving and supportive father he is.

      This just highlights what a DEAD SOUL Somerby is, hurtling towards his empty goal Gogol-style. But to what end?

      Somerby daily asks (not literally, but coyly) “Would the world be worth living without Trump in the world?”

    2. Reporting the work of others is important. I wouldn’t have known about lead and crime without Kevin Drum.

    3. Giving credit to others for their work is part of reporting. I’m sure Drum gave credit in his original article. Somerby tends to credit Drum which not only blurs the source and the science, but the fact that the theory is controversial because there are alternative explanations.

    4. The alternative explanations are baloney.

    5. State one of them please. I don't think you have read enough to know what any of them were.

    6. Baloney is a type of sausage, often a mix of beef and pork and various spiced, and typically available as pre sliced.

      1:41 your claim is dubious.

  4. Most Americans believe Joe Biden was involved in Hunter Biden's sleazy business activities because it's completely obvious that he was. It's not plausible that Hunter procured that work independently.

    But it's almost exactly the same as the polling data story that people associate with Russian collusion and the Trump campaign There isn't conclusive evidence that it is true. So people can't say that they know it is objectively true.

    1. You need to read Hunter Biden’s resume before you conclude that. Bet you haven’t.

      This polling data merely shows that Fox news viewers believe what Fox tells them. These same %s arose for covid-related questions. Fox viewers are getting propaganda about Hunter (who is not running for office). There is no dirt on Joe but right wing voters who watch Fox believe there is.

      It is sad that Somerby would be taken in, but not surprising.

    2. I forgot you aren't serious.

    3. Of course I’m serious. Dismissing like that is not a rebuttal.

      When I first heard that Hunter’s daddy got him his jobs, I googled his bio to see whether his qualifications, education and prior experience matched those of other people holding such jobs. They do, in my opinion. The same cannot be said of Jared Kiushner or Ivanka’s govt job. Trump himself doesn’t have the qualifications to be president, which is partly why he did such a crappy job of it.

      Anyone can do this themselves.

    4. No it’s not exactly the same, can you puzzle out the difference?

      In fact it’s not remotely similar.

      There’s no evidence to support the notion that the Bidens engaged in anything corrupt or illegal, and the evidence actually indicates otherwise.

      In Trump’s case there’s heaps of evidence, he even did stuff publicly.

      Your stance is just sillly.

    5. Things that are “completely obvious” are not necessarily true because appearances can be deceiving.

    6. 12:21,

      You've set up a straw man.

      Bob does not say Joe arranged for Hunter to get his jobs, but that Hunter having these jobs opened both he and his father up to the very accusations of corruption now being made.

      'Caesar's wife must be above suspicion' is an adage for good reason.

    7. So, given that the VP has a brief that includes visiting any country in the world, where could Hunter Biden get a job what wouldn't "open" both he and his father to accusations? More than that, what prevents accusations by a party like the Republicans who show no restraint whatsoever in the lies they will tell during an election. And if the Republicans will tell such lies anyway, why shouldn't Hunter pursue whatever career he wants?

      There is nothing that says the son of the VP (or any other government official) must recuse himself from any and all enterprises in case someone might accuse him of corruption.

      Hunter Biden is not Caesar's wife, who had a very different relationship with Caesar, including being supported by him, expected to be his confidant, having her own power related to her social standing, and was expected to further the aims of her husband politically. Bad analogy, in my opinion.

      But first you have to show that there is any grounds for suspicious beyond empty accusations. The right has not done that. They make shit up, like David, and pretend these are the facts when they are lies.

    8. Sorry 11:25, but Drum says there is no evidence of Biden being guilty of a crime, Bob says he can’t really agree. In his own sleazy way, he has accused Biden, but offers nothing to support his accusation.

    9. ??? Somerby said he is "inclined to agree" that "There is literally zero evidence that Joe Biden was involved in Hunter's business affairs. There is, if anything, less than zero evidence that Joe Biden did anything illegal. "

      You come across as a retarded child who cannot read.

    10. Oof we don’t use that word anymore.

      You taking Somerby’s nonsense at face value, ignoring all context, while he engages in his blame the victim narrative with the Bidens, demonstrates your ignorance, and thus your irrelevancy.

  5. Somerby doesn’t seem to know that there is controversy over whether Hunter received any money at all from China. One report said money went to a company that Hunter owns 23% interest in, but Hunter received nothing. How is Joe Biden supposed to monitor made-up claims about deals Hunter didn’t do. There’s no evidence Hunter was grifting off Joe Biden’s name, especially when the supposed China deal took place when Joe Biden was not in office. If the right had anything factual, we’d know, but they don’t. Nevertheless Somerby is super slow to defend Joe and eager to believe Hunter did bad things.

    That isn’t how actual Democrats think, in my experience, so I don’t believe Somerby supports Biden. He is pretending to be fair-minded while spreading dirt — in this case the meme that Joe Biden was responsible for supervising his adult son, no matter what accusation the right makes up. Hannity was right wing last time I checked. Why does Somerby watch, much less quote him?

    1. Because Hannity is the foremost face of the Fox/GOP propaganda machine. What he says carries weight despite being a tissue of lies, and it's important to always push back on it.

    2. Somerby pushes back on Hannity? Since when?

    3. Bob's point in today's post was that a nation can't function if its news is 'conducted' the way Sean Hannity and Fox do.

      That's pushback, nitwit.

    4. "In our view, Joe Biden should have told his son and his brother to knock it off—to quit. It seems he never did that, right up to the point where he has said, this very year, that Hunter Biden has done nothing wrong.

      That said, the larger story here involves "segregated news." That story goes like this:

      People who watch the Fox News Channel hear the Joe Biden/Viktor Shokin story night after night after night.

      Social media takes it from there. A large modern nation can't function this way. Go ahead! Take a good look around!"

      First, Somerby is not addressing the right wing or Fox viewers when he writes this column. He is supposedly talking to fellow liberals at what began as a liberal blog. So, what exactly are we, the people who DO NOT FUCKING WATCH FOX, supposed to convince anyone on the right to stop viewing it? Somerby himself watches it, by his own admission (for "research purposes" he claims). So he complains because Fox viewers watch Fox and learn wrong things, but our nation cannot be run that way? What shall we do? Get rid of freedom of the press, the 1st Amendment, institute official government propaganda that is the real true story of everything (in other words make us into a totalitarian state where news and information is controlled by the govt for everyone's good)? Does he think the situation would be helped if Rachel Maddow said that Joe Biden should have told Hunter to quit his job? Aside from not believing that should happen, how would that make Fox less virulent or Fox viewers less stupid? Somerby's proposed solution would only hurt Biden.

      And then he revives gossip by Maureen Dowd, blaming Hunter Biden for what? He doesn't say, but it is why Trump became president in 2016. Did Dowd somehow swing WI, MN and PA to Trump. Did she draft Comey's Oct statement? Those are the two things credited for putting Trump into office, not anything Biden did or didn't do, and; no, Maureen Dowd is not powerful enough to write anything that swung any aspect of the election.

      Somerby is perhaps hinting that if Biden had run in 2016, then Trump wouldn't have won, but we have no evidence of that. Biden didn't do as well as Hillary in the primaries, for one thing. That's on Biden, not Dowd. But Somerby doesn't spell out his actual fantasy -- he just hints, so we have no idea what he is trying to say. As it stands, it sounds like Somerby is trying to cast more shadow on Hunter during an election where Joe Biden seems untouchable, so they are going after his more vulnerable son. Because that's how Somerby and his right wing playmates roll.

    5. If I were to write an essay chiding Fox for saying factually untrue things, it would sound a lot different than what Somerby has written today.

    6. "Does he (Bob) think the situation would be helped if Rachel Maddow said that Joe Biden should have told Hunter to quit his job?"


      And you miss Bob's point in this post. He uses examples from Fox News to decry the "segregated news" of both the right and the left.

    7. If Somerby were doing that, he might include examples from the left in which people in polls who watch MSNBC are agreeing to misinformation in large numbers. He hasn't done that, because MSNBC is not similarly presenting lies and disinformation the way Fox does, so there is no pool of poll respondents who are misled by the left.

      Somerby keeps saying that the left is as bad as the right, blaming both sides for segregation of news, but why on earth should anyone on the left, who values truth, spend even one second watching Fox, and where is the proof that the left does anything at all like what is happening on the right, daily.

      You cannot use examples from the right to prove something about the left. These are not two sides of a segregated news system. This is one side lying to a willing highly partisan audience and a different side seeking reliable info about news events. And it doesn't divide that neatly into sides either. More than half of the independents are breaking for the mainstream news sources because they recognize the lies on the extreme right. But Somerby doesn't do nuance. It must be black and white for him.

      And here is Somerby again using the word segregated, which he once complained should be limited to official government-mandated separation, arguing that it should now apply to freely chosen viewer preferences not dictated by any authority (except Trump I guess). The desire by the right to receive the official viewpoints of their leader is not echoed on the left, where people seek out a variety of different opinions (contrary to Somerby's assertion about conformity among MSNBC friends, which is a made up phenomenon that I don't find when I watch the station).

      Somerby said a lot more in his post today than what you want to focus upon. Commenters are free to write about whatever catches their interest, not just what you responded to and consider his "main point." Until we know who is paying him, we cannot know what his main point might be.

  6. Mazel tov!

    Unsurprising that in many, if not most, circumstances of our current society, the other side of good, is bad.

    You have learned the art of stating the obvious.

  7. Other opposites: up/down, left/right, light/dark, fast/slow, girl/boy, cat/dog, day/night. These pairs have linguistic marking that facilitates thinking and are linguistic universals. Somerby makes a fuss because he know nothing about how people think or language. He stopped reading when he found Wittgenstein.

  8. Cat and dog are opposites, and that’s linguistically marked? Please explain.

  9. subjective/objective

  10. This is how people associate those two words and concepts in their minds. If you ask people to quickly list as many animals as possible, dog is first and cat is second. If you ask people to make judgments about the two words (press one key for cat, another for dog) people respond faster to dog than cat. Part of the marking is that cats are not dogs, and vice versa. The properties assigned to dogs and cat are somewhat opposite. Dogs are friendly, cats aloof; dogs do tricks & serve man, cats refuse to learn; dogs are loyal, cats have self-interest; dogs are messy, clumsy, need to be bathed, cats are dainty graceful balanced and fastidiously groom themselves; dogs chase, cats stalk etc

    Of course these are generalizations but people form concepts and categories named by words based on their repeated experiences. When these become part of language they embody shared culteral knowledge, even if there is a cat somewhere who fetches.

  11. a few more: dogs chow down, cats are picky eaters; dogs don’t mind getting wet, cats hate it; dogs main goal is to be a good dog, cats please themslves

    That said, I prefer cats myself. But dogs are the #1 choice of pet.

  12. You’ ll notice Bob never gets back to what President Biden did that was illegal or even self enriching. Then he conflates the issue with a father being overly indulgent with his son, or the familiar problem of a President having a problem relative. The right wants to put Hunter Biden in jail. Funny,, someone being sent to jail is suddenly not a problem for Bob. Lock him up!
    Hunter, Hunter, Hunter JAIL! Fine with Bob!

    1. Bob nowhere says anything Joe Biden did was illegal or self enriching so in the first sentence of this post, you're already wandering in the wilderness.

      You also say Bob wants Hunter jailed, another statement not supported by a single word in Bob's post.

      Who ties your shoes in the morning?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Bob says he thinks Biden should have prevented his son from trading off his family name while he was in office. There is no evidence Hunter Biden did that, but Somerby is willing to blame Joe Biden for the right wing's malicious stories, fabricated and without empirical support even after hearings that produced nothing at all except baseless attacks.

      Why would this silly expectation gain any traction with Somerby? I think it is either (1) too much Fox watching, (2) a soggy brain from too much sitting in a recliner with a drink in hand, (3) ambivalent feelings towards his own parents and extended family that led him to malign Biden for having a warmer family. Perhaps Somerby wanted that kind of unconditional love from his mom but she kept blaming him for wasting his life reading Wittgenstein. We'll never know, but when someone believes something without a factual basis, you have to look for an emotional basis. Or maybe he is just being paid to say shitty things about Joe Biden ahead of the 2024 election.

    4. How about when someone plays armchair Sigmund Freud from their living room Lay-z-Boy without a factual basis? What should we think about that?

    5. Perry, Corby, it's about coming of age!

    6. Actually, I have been tromping the hills in Iceland this week. I'm not a psychoanalyst, but I think a trained practitioner would say that if it was good enough for Freud, it is good enough for the rest of us.

      Somerby has so little insight that it is easy to see what his hangups are. Like Woody Allen.

  13. I’m repeating someone else’s line, but rings so true:

    Dogs have owners, cats have staff.

    Ha! This nails my cat to a t.

  14. Can any serious person at this point believe Bob can’t wait for Biden to lose?

    1. Why would he be echoing complaints against Biden and Hunter, expressed on Fox news, if he weren't trying to spread those right wing memes and cause Biden to lose? This isn't how you work to support a candidate.

  15. It was remarkable for the US to demand the firing of a particular prosecutor in a foreign country. Can you think of another instance? It's not even clear that this prosecutor WAS corrupt. But, even if he was, well, corrupt prosecutors exist all over the world. It's not a normal part of froreign policy to deal with particular prosecutors. BTW it has never been why firing this prosecutor was so vital to American interests

    It was also remarkable for for a Ukrainian energy company to pay a fortune to someone who didn't speak Ukrainian and had no knowledge of the energy business.

    Are these two remarkable events connected? Let's try some possible explanations:

    1. Burisma's payments to Hunter had nothing to do with Hunter's father being in charge of Ukraine policy. Joe knew nothing about the money being paid to his son. Joe's demand that the prosecutor be fired was based on Joe's belief that firing this prosecutor was vital to American interests.

    2. Burisma paid Hunter because Hunter's father was in charge of our policy toward Ukraine. However, it was just a coincidence that Joe demanded that someone investigating Burisma be fired.

    3. Burisma paid Hunter in order to use his father's power over Ukrainian policy. These payments led to Joe demanding the firing of someone who was investigating Burisma.

    IMO #3 is the most plausible.

    A separate question is whether Hunter shared the Burisma money with Joe. I

    1. 1. Your entire 1st paragraph is inaccurate, made up, lacking any understand of what diplomacy is about and lacking such facts as that the US joined the EU, the International Monetary Fund, foreign investors and Ukrainian advocates in asking that Shokin be fired -- for NOT investigating Burisma, not to protect Hunter Biden:


      2. You say Hunter Biden had no background in energy, but that is untrue. Again, you haven't a clue what was on his resume when he was asked to join the Burisma board, what he did for them or what he was qualified to do. You just make this stuff up to improve your attack on Biden. Hunter Biden was not on Burisma's board when Biden called for Shokin to be fired (for NOT looking into Burisma among other failures).

      3. Burisma was not being investigated when Shokin was fired. It was later investigated and given a clean bill of health. Why would they hire Hunter when they were not being investigated and the person who was not investigating them was gone?

      Other stupid remarks you made:

      1. Translators exist because most top officials outside of Ukraine do not speak Ukrainian. Most people in Europe DO speak English and Burisma could no doubt conduct board meetings in English.
      2. Trump doesn't speak Urkainian either. Can you imagine him learning any foreign language? I can't.
      3. Hunter Biden's payments for being on the Burisma board are in line with what anyone else would receive and not "a fortune," which is a loaded word.

      Hunter Biden was already involved in international finance before his father became VP. The VP makes $235,000 plus separate entertainment, travel and expense budgets, and free housing. Do you think he would sponge money from his troubled son? Joe Biden has been a public servant all of his life. People who are interested in money go into different careers, like Hunter Biden did. Hunter's resume in business is more impressive than Trump's. For one thing, he didn't cheat his way into and through college. For another, I have it on good authority that he learned to read, unlike Trump. Whatever he did on Burisma's board, he didn't sit around all daying "playing" golf on TV, eating hamberders and texting on social media. The idea that Hunter loafed through a job is majorly ironic coming from a moron who thinks that Trump did anything approximating the job of president, when he wouldn't even read his daily briefings.

      When Trump gives back the gifts to the US people that he stole from the White House, you can talk about Hunter Biden's honesty. Meanwhile, none of these speculations (that's all they are) are supported by anything approaching evidence. Just lies like you've told here and more empty speculation. You've had a committee with subpoena power and still couldn't find anything to corroborate these ugly attacks on a man unfortunate enough to have his dick plastered over the internet because he is related to the Democratic elected president.

    2. David in Cal,

      "But there is a long list of Western organizations, governments, and diplomats, as well as Ukrainian anti-corruption groups, that wanted to see Shokin fired.

      They include the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the U.S. government, foreign investors, and Ukrainian advocates of reform."


      Always happy to broaden your factual horizon.

    3. Hector, This article is most likely propaganda. The source for that quote is an organization that is funded by the US government. And they used a supporting quote from the Atlantic Counsel ... An organization to which Burisma had contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars. So the supporting quote can't be objective. (To non-partisans who don't experience ego death when their frameworks of bias are confronted.)

    4. Even if that article were accurate, it would still leave us with two definite facts:

      1. Burisma gave an ungodly amount of money to Joe's son.

      2. Joe demanded that someone investigating Burisma be fired.

      Can anyone argue with a straight face that this was pure coincidence?

    5. That doesn't make it untrue. How much good would an American (voice of the American govt) be if it was full of lies and as easily discredited as Russian propaganda. Europe is a neutral audience that already knows many of the facts quoted in that article. But I can find others if you want. So can you -- just use Google and pick the source you consider most authoritative. We contribute much more than hundreds of thousands to NATO. Would that make it wrong to quote them?

      A source can be right or wrong, based on the truth value of what is says. Having received money doesn't change that truth value -- it can still be right or wrong. Do you disblieve the teacher at your school because she gets paid to teach you? The GOVT pays her!!!

      You trolls are sounding kind of desperate to discredit what someone says without having to do any actual research. Are you perhaps afraid you might say something that accidentally added to knowledge, and get yourself fired?

    6. Biden should release:

      Complete and unredacted versions of all documents from Records on Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their Foreign Business Dealings, Case Number 2022-0121-F;

      All documents and communications to or from the Executive Office of the President (including but not limited to the Office of the Vice President) to, from, copying or regarding Eric Schwerin, Devon Archer, Vuk Jeremic, John Robinson “Rob” Walker, or Jeffrey Cooper;

      All documents and communications to or from Kate Bedingfield, Michael Carpenter, Kathy Chung, Amos Hochstein, Colin Kahl, and Alexander Mackler to, from, copying or regarding Hunter Biden or James Biden; and

      All executive calendars created for then-Vice President Joe Biden dating from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017.

      From this, we the people, can investigate just what this VP was doing illegally, unethically or not.

    7. David, stop being an ass. "an ungodly amount" is no bigger than "a fortune" and neither says how much Biden was paid, nor does it say whether it was disproportionate for someone with his background or compared to other board members.

      Shokin was not investigating Burisma, nor was he planning to, when he was fired. He was refusing to investigate Burisma. Hunter was not on the Burisma board when Shokin was fired. Stop repeating incorrect statements. Nor is there any evidence that Joe Biden received any money from Ukraine or Hunter. Biden did a favor for the EU. They didn't pay him either.

    8. Straight face over here.

      The point of the passage I quoted is to ask: if the hiring of Hunter was the cause of Shokin's firing, then how do you explain all these other entities also recommending Shokin's firing? Were they getting a cut of Hunter's salary?

      And ask yourself: if Joe Biden called for Shokin’s firing from some corrupt motive divorced from US policy, why was he not repudiated? The answer is he was the mouthpiece of US policy towards Shokin, not the initiator.

    9. 2:04,


    10. David;

      On Monday morning, MSNBC economic analyst Steve Rattner stunned the "Morning Joe" panel with a chart that showed how much money Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner swiftly amassed for his hedge fund within six months after leaving the White House.

      During the segment, Rattner displayed a chart that showed a slim one percent coming from U.S. investors with a massive percentage coming from Middle Eastern interests.

      "He worked in the White House and worked very hard, it is less clear what he worked hard at," the analyst began before explaining, "Because after he left the White House, he raised $3.1 billion -- that's billion with a 'b' -- for a private equity fund and he is not a private equity guy, he is a real estate guy. So where does the money come from? We know that he raised $3.1 billion and only about $30 million of it actually came from investors in the United States all the rest of it is foreign money. And of that foreign money, $2 billion came from the Saudis."

      "I've been in this business 40 years, I've never seen somebody get two-thirds of their money from a single investor. Usually a single investor might be a few percent of the fund, might be 5 percent, maybe 10 percent -- you never see this," he elaborated. "Another $200 million we believe came from Qatar and another $200 million from the United Arab Emirates and then the $625 million from foreign investors that we don't even know who they are. So what was Jared Kushner doing in the White House? And, by the way as a fun fact, on January 6, the famous January 6, Jared Kushner was in the Middle East."

      That's fucking "ungodly", you dumb sonofabitch, treasonous bastard.

    11. Yes, the article you posted before is most likely propaganda as it's sources are an organization funded by the US government and it's supporting quote comes from a United States organization that Burisma contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to.

      Addressing the logic you described above, it could be that Biden and the million dollars his son was paid were what it took to get that done.

    12. @2:47,

      why don't you produce a couple of anti-Shokin links from that alleged "long list of Western organizations, governments, and diplomats" dated some time before his removal?

    13. Maybe Biden decided that is long as it was US policy and as long as he was the diplomat carrying it out, he might as well get paid for it through his son. So he then arranged to get his son on the board, a position for which he had no earthly business and his son would distribute the money throughout the family over time. 🏀🦾✝️

    14. 2:47,

      Back atcha boss:


    15. I have a feeling there's evidence of corruption in the Barisma story even if you take the prosecutor part out of it.

    16. Hunter’s work for Burisma was the same work he’s been doing his entire career, for the same pay.

      The only thing remarkable about POTUS Biden and his son is that they could have easily profited billions of dollars by engaging in corruption and illegality like the Trump Crime Family did, yet they did not.

      After Hunter left Burisma, while Trump was president, the company hired Joseph Cofer Black on their board. Huh.

      Black was the CIA director of counterterrorism in the years leading up to 9/11. He had tracked terrorists later involved in 9/11, including when they entered the US, but oddly did not share this info with the FBI. He did share it with the Bush admin, who ignored the warnings.

      After 9/11 he allied with Russia to go after the terrorists, and was involved in torturing captured terrorists. Later he was a VP at Blackwater.

      Kurt Volker worked for Trump as a diplomat to Ukraine, and was involved in negotiating with Burisma to dig up dirt on the Bidens. Huh.

      It’s strange that, it’s obvious the Bidens did nothing wrong, and that clearly there were shenanigans involving these shady right wing characters to benefit Trump, yet the Republicans want you to not notice that and focus on the Bidens.

      You’d think right wingers were the most gullible people, but really it’s a matter of lacking integrity.

    17. If I publicly accuse DIC of having embezzled from his prior employer, and I don't, for the record, know that it wasn't the case, DIC can find a lawyer and litigate against me for slander. If a lying scumbag like Donald Trump gets before the typically angry crowd of MAGAs he attracts like flies to a turd, and announces that Joe Biden has engaged in unethical practices for thousands of dollars , without any evidence, he can apparently do so. If Fox slanders a voting tabulation vendor and loses in court just because they too are lying scumbags, they are out 700 million dollars because it may affect the sales of that equipment. Politicians are in essence in the business of marketing themselves. The currency that they deal with is votes. False statements that devalue a politician's worth at the voting booth is no different than lying about a company's product. Except for one thing: engaging in a false information campaign the sways an election affects the population at large, not just the rubes who believe any and all propaganda they are fed by Trump and right wing media outlets like Fox, and for that matter Russian entities.

  16. "Alan Colmes was present at Fox every night to challenge Sean Hannity's claims"


  17. Where’s the linguistic marking?

  18. Linguistic marking means that one item of the pair is the dominant one. It gets thought of first, responded to most quickly. In many cases, the opposite is defined in relation to the marked word in the pair. Down is down only in relation to up, so up is marked and down is unmarked. Another way to think of it is that the marked item is the default and the other item is the exception. Men are marked as the standard kind of person while women are unmarked and defined as the exception to men. Day is marked, night is the exception and unmarked (slower to think of). This kind of marking makes thinking and reading faster and more efficient. If you are reading a paragraph and the author doesn't specify what time of day it is, the reader assumes it is during the day and not at night, because day is normal and night would bring additional considerations to the situation (dark, time to sleep, fewer people on the street, outside work hours, different properties of night than are assumed for day). This is why that puzzle about the surgeon who cannot operate because the patient is a son works -- doctors are marked as being male so it is a surprise when the doctors turns out to be female and thus the boy's mother. People don't assume the unmarked info unless it is stated because it is not part of the meaning of the marked word that first comes to mind.

    People absorb marking and the properties of concepts and categories as they acquire language, in early childhood, then take them for granted in later life. It takes mental effort to step outside that framing. Back in the 70s when feminists wanted to change official language, one of the problems they were trying to solve was to eliminate assumptions based on the marking of male in our culture, so that a word such a person is assumed to be male without raising female (even though people insist person means both). If the HR specialist hiring for a job tends to think male before female (or instead of) when filling a job, it disadvantages women via unconscious assumptions that influence decision making if not made more explicit. So there was a big fight over language that most people considered trivial because they don't understand how language operates to influence thinking.

    We're luck there hasn't been a cat's rights movement because I think they have a good case for being wrongly maligned and disadvantaged at the pet store.

  19. It should also be noted that when Bob looks at the Fox panel there is no talk of how much money they make, their backgrounds ( Gutfeld is some kind of twerp from talk radio who knows zip about anything), no person insults (“preening” etc) that we would get with an MSNBC panel.

  20. Both political parties would find their strategy of peddling tall tales impossible—the circle of suggestion would be impossible to close—if mainstream journalism wasn’t so full of cowardly conformists, who ask not what is true but how to advance the desired narrative, and therefore have no credibility with the public.

  21. Cats already have us wrapped around their paw, and everything we think we own, they have already marked as theirs.