December 27, 2017

Demonizing Melania over the Jackson Magnolia.

Fake news from Newsweek. You can see all you need to see at Mediaite.

Don't reward Newsweek with clicks. The best Newsweek can say for itself about that headline — "Melania Trump orders removal of the near-200-year-old tree from the White House" — is that it's technically correct and the negativity is only in the mind of the reader, who Newsweek predicted would click on anti-Melania bait. I'm sure many people who don't click just go forward with a hateful false belief acquired from the headline.

A similar story — also at Mediaite — is about the TV actress Jenna Fischer's tweeting — with many retweets — "I can't stop thinking about how school teachers can no longer deduct the cost of their classroom supplies on their taxes...something they shouldn't have to pay for with their own money in the first place. I mean, imagine if nurses had to go buy their own syringes." 2 days later, having gotten the message that the new law didn't change this deduction — she tweets a correction, but that gets few retweets. I'm sure many people go forward with that fake news in their head — because where do people get their news? Much of it comes from TV stars on Twitter.

To be fair, the President of the United States is himself a TV star on Twitter. Many of us have the vague (or acute) feeling that it's fake news all the way down.

67 comments:

rehajm said...

Over Christmas one of the leftie relatives was educating my CPA/MST spouse about the provision in the new tax law Trump added for himself that let him take big deductions for his golf courses. We’ve studied the new law and there is no such porvision the but the relative was undeterred. If not in Newsweek it was fake news somewhere.

David Begley said...

With some people the mere mention of the Trump name draws a gag reflex or something similar.

The thing is that the constant negative stories and headlines works on the low information crowd and students.

Just the other day it was suggested to me that somehow the President was responsible for the deaths of black trans women in 2017. No word on Obama’s culpability for the same thing from 2008-16.

Jersey Fled said...

The thing that disturbs me is the degree to which lefties can suspend disbelief when it comes to anything negative about the Trumps.

I truly believe it's a sickness.

Tim at large said...

With some people the mere mention of the Trump name draws a gag reflex or something similar.

The same thing happens to me when somebody takes the Newsweek blog seriously.

David Begley said...

Rehajm

At Christmas dinner someone said the public high schools in the Twin Cities were terrible and the private schools were very expensive. I mentioned that in the new tax law 529 plans can be used for private high schools and for home schooling. Everyone then goes into attack mode because Trump signed the law. All of the attackers went to private high schools paid for by their parents. They don’t have kids.

TDS is amazing.

David Begley said...

Tim

That’s Ann’s point. Probably about 1 million people still do. That’s the voting population of Nebraska.

And Newsweek is representative of TDS at the MSM.

Tim at large said...

Many of us have the vague (or acute) feeling that it’s fake news all the way down.

It’s all a potboiler. Nobody really knows the whole story. Imagine trying to do a scientific study and relying on people who want your conclusion to come out a certain way for all of the data? Not just that, but people who have conflicting interests in how your conclusion should come out. It’s like Murder on the Orient Express [spoiler alert for a book written in 1935!] There are conflicting clues everywhere because everybody was guilty!

exhelodrvr1 said...

So now we are in favor of things President Jackson did? Is there a flow chart for this? I'm having a hard time keeping track.

Tim at large said...

That’s Ann’s point.

Well, I had stopped reading her post when I arrived at the token “Newsweek” and it triggered a reflexive comment. Sorry, when I went back and finished her post, I was glad to see what she had written.

Tim at large said...

I think the left should organize a long march in protest of removing this tree. They could call it “The Trail of Tears.” I don’t think that name has been taken.

James K said...

Fischer's "correction" was also fake: she acknowledged that teachers can in fact deduct up to $250, but added that the average teacher spends over $500. What she omitted was that the policy was UNCHANGED in the tax reform. Same as it had been before. So she still left the implication that teachers got shafted by Trump.

Tim at large said...

It’s like when Trump fired Comey. Instantly it became a bad thing.

TerriW said...

I liked it better when it was turtles all the way down. Those turtles seemed trustworthy.

Chuck said...

Of course it is a bad tweet. And yes, it is clickbait. It is, however, only a tweet. And not a story.

I clicked on the Newsweek story, in large part because Althouse seems to have not wanted me to. And the story itself on the main Newsweek website is quite well-reported. I see one, maybe two lines that might be inflammatory with regard to Melania Trump. Much good, neutrally-reported information about the long decline of the tree and the inevitability of its replacement.

But again, the subject of the blog post is just a tweet. Yes, Althouse rightly notes that it is a bad tweet. It is indeed bad. However, if Althouse is going to get all bothered about a bad tweet, what the heck is there to be said about Trump himself? Obama's "wire tapping"? A "bad (or sick) guy?" I just don't recall Althouse doing her critical routine on that one. There, we are talking about supposed illegality on the part of a sitting president, targeting a presidential candidate. Not an old magnolia tree.

In the world of inaccurate, vague and/or misleading tweets, isn't Trump the king? I'm trying to recall a single Althouse blog post in which that was noted.

Humperdink said...

As I recall, the term "fake news" was a creation of the left. As soon as I saw it, I knew the left would get eaten alive by it.

Chuck said...

rehajm said...
Over Christmas one of the leftie relatives was educating my CPA/MST spouse about the provision in the new tax law Trump added for himself that let him take big deductions for his golf courses. We’ve studied the new law and there is no such porvision the but the relative was undeterred. If not in Newsweek it was fake news somewhere.

I haven't read or studied the text of the new tax law. But I think this story is representative of the reporting on the provision you are referring to:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-18/trump-real-estate-investors-get-last-minute-perk-in-tax-bill

I think it is a near-certainty that the new tax bill is a big personal win for Trump's personal finances. He's not getting hit, as he predicted he would during the campaign when he talked about proposals for middle class tax relief.

Humperdink said...

Whoever purchased Newsweak for a dollar is certainly getting their money's worth *cough*.

JAORE said...


To be fair, the President of the United States is himself a TV star on Twitter. Many of us have the vague (or acute) feeling that it's fake news all the way down.

Except for that little thing where multiple news sources scour every word of ever tweet by President Trump to see if there is any possible way to spin it as evil, or at the least, a lie.

Oh sure there are corrections, whispered into the night. Oh sure there are bloggers pointing out flaws in left leaning tweets, more mists dissipating within the gales of news.....

Lem said...

Then there is the type of fake news that’s not really fake fake... but for a star who’s tweeting about it onboard a plane when it’s happening.

https://twitter.com/lemang01/status/946003537024180224

Fabi said...

"He's not getting hit, as he predicted he would during the campaign when he talked about proposals for middle class tax relief."

So fucking what, Titty Twister -- he didn't write the tax bill, the legislature did. Lulz

Michael K said...

Poor chuck. Still trying to digest that Christmas dinner.

The Weekly Stanadard is following up on Bill Kristol's adoration of the Post and it's hatred of Trump.

Bill Kristol, founder of the Weekly Standard tweeted, “Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

Chuck and Bill seem to agree. Of course, both are LLRs.

Michael K said...

"I haven't read or studied the text of the new tax law. "

"I think it is a near-certainty that the new tax bill is a big personal win for Trump's personal finances."

It's what LLRs do. Imagine the news.

Hagar said...

I am a bit conflicted about teachers deducting expenses for buying classroom materials with their own money. How did this get started anyway?
I know that teachers, being teachers, do it, and many give rather large amounts, but there is no requirement for them to do it.
I think it should be considered a charitable deduction and fall under the same rules as other charitable donations.

Anonymous said...

It's what LLRs do. Imagine the news.

Not only that - Trump has Jooos! in his family.

At least now we know why Chuck's so upset.

Pookie Number 2

MayBee said...

I know that teachers, being teachers, do it, and many give rather large amounts, but there is no requirement for them to do it.
I think it should be considered a charitable deduction and fall under the same rules as other charitable donations.


That is a good idea.
I am not a classroom teacher, but I have been a yoga teacher so I know a little bit about job expenses on taxes. You can deduct them, but (kind of like medical expenses) only if they constitute a certain % of your income, or only above a certain % of your income. Which can be quite a bit of money. So schools teachers get a little extra tax perk- to deduct $250 without regard to % of income. THEN if they have donated an exorbitant amount, they can deduct the rest under job expenses if they itemize. Of course, the amount they deduct through itemization has to be bigger than the standard deduction, and the new law may make that challenging.

Charitable donations would be good because the deduction would start from the first dollar, rather than be subject to a %.

MayBee said...

Following the Jenna Fischer tweets, it's funny to see just how impossible it is for her to admit she's wrong.

Jason said...

The vast, VAST majority of teachers received a doubling of the standard deduction. You could burn the teachers supplies deduction to the ground and salt the earth so that nothing could ever grow there again and most teachers would still be better off under the new tax code.

Libtards harping on this issue are idiots.

As usual.

MayBee said...

Speaking of weird tweets, look at this one from Rep Jackie Spier:

Jackie Speier‏
@RepSpeier
Follow Follow @RepSpeier


I am concerned that the President is trying to shut down every branch of the federal government except for the presidency.

Richard Taylor said...

"So she still left the implication that teachers got shafted by Trump."

In the long run, and honestly, can anyone really believe that a $250 deduction for teachers (one way or another) was really noticed by the POTUS? Granted, I'm not a big fan of things being snuck into bills at the last minute to escape attention, and I really hate Congress passing the buck to the Executive Branch.

This was a broad, sweeping bill (love or hate it), so I think there were other things on peoples' minds than sticking it to teachers.

Lastly, as an aspiring teacher myself (working on my certification), I'm not looking forward to spending on school supplies. Wouldn't the government entity to lobby be the state government? Why must the issue be a federal issue?

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well......that IS the point of the fake news, intentionally misleading headlines and false tweets: to put the false ideas out in the heads of the public.

The 'lowfo' folks just skim the headline and the idea is firmly planted in their skulls. Once the lie is out there, the truth is terribly hard to be presented.

It is much too easy to believe those false things that reinforce your own biases. Melania is now a big meanie who is killing beautiful Magnolia trees for some nefarious purpose. This is how propaganda works and wh the media who prints propaganda does it.

This is also why Trump MUST tweet. If he relied on the media to honestly report what is happening he would never ever get any message out to the people. Skip the dishonest media and go straight to the people.

Paco Wové said...

"school teachers can no longer deduct the cost of their classroom supplies on their taxes...something they shouldn't have to pay for with their own money in the first place"

No, they shouldn't. In fact, doing so ought to be prohibited. Anything that discourages it sounds like a step in the right direction.

Curious George said...

"Chuck said: And the story itself on the main Newsweek website is quite well-reported. I see one, maybe two lines that might be inflammatory with regard to Melania Trump."

Yeah, they falsely slammed her twice. That qualifies as "well reported" in Chuckland.

Here, let me do the same reporting on Chuck. Our resident titty-twisting life-long republican and GOPe cuck has read the Newsweek piece and says that they are A-okay with their Jackson tree reporting. And Trump sucks. Even his truthful tweets...on being wiretapped...are lies to Chuck.

This is why even Chuck's fucking dog hates him.

Michael K said...

"Skip the dishonest media and go straight to the people."

Yes. Reagan could do it but the media got more sophisticated.

Otto said...

@DBQ You nailed it. Also that is why all future presidents, especially if they are Republicans, will use twitter.

Hagar said...

Providing a category for deduction of expenses for classroom supplies gives the impression that buying classroom supplies is a job requirement for teachers, but adequate classroom supplies should be provided by the district - it should not be laid on to the teachers.
There is something wrong about this.

Martin said...

Maybe Trump needs to tweet a response to the misinformation

James K said...

Regardless of what the policy should be about teachers, the point is that the new tax law didn't change it, contrary to Fischer's implication, even after her "correction."

Leland said...

Some how I think Jenna Fischer didn't start her thought process in a her own vacuum. Someone told her the lie, and she was just a bigger twitter vehicle for passing the fake news.

But I don't get the special case for teachers? Anyone can deduct business related expenses, and schools are businesses. Schools also get the benefit of being consider government related, so they also don't pay local taxes and in fact often get money from taxpayers. Most hospitals don't have that benefit, and the hospitals that do often don't provide as high a level of care as the private hospitals. You would think more people would pick up on that difference, especially since it is also true of private schools.

Darrell said...

Journolisters

Don't forget your daily quota of negative Trump stories.

--The Resistance

Angel-Dyne said...

rehajm: Over Christmas one of the leftie relatives was educating my CPA/MST spouse about the provision in the new tax law Trump added for himself that let him take big deductions for his golf courses. We’ve studied the new law and there is no such porvision the but the relative was undeterred. If not in Newsweek it was fake news somewhere.

I don't understand. Your lefty relative reads or listens to FAUX NEWS or Breitbart? Because I have it on the best authority that that's where all the misinformed people get their "information". Apparently Fox and Breitbart have such powerful faux-news juju that they warp the apprehension even of the conservatives who don't view or read them.

At least, that's what I deduce to be the case, since lefties are always telling me that I think this or that because that's what FAUX NEWS or Breitbart told me to think, and I never touch the stuff. (I think I did click on a youtube clip of something from Tucker Carlson's show once, though. Maybe that one innocent click was the mind-control gateway.)

Otto said...

When you think of it one of the cornerstones of Ann's blog is fisking the NYT, Newsweek, et al because it is fake news.

jaed said...

In the realm of "demonizing", I also noticed some nasty Photoshopping of that particular picture of Melania. Her skin has been darkened and reddened, and it looks like the unsharp mask has been used to emphasize wrinkles and skin folds and create new ones.

Ugly, in both senses.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But I don't get the special case for teachers? Anyone can deduct business related expenses, and schools are businesses.

SELF EMPLOYED people and business OWNERS can deduct expenses. Employees are able to deduct SOME UN-reimbursed expenses. Such as licensing fees if required for the job. Uniforms and work gear that are not able to be generally worn. Educators have a special category for some expenses.

Since Public Schools are funded by tax dollars, there should be no reason for teachers to reach into their own pockets to pay for ordinary and necessary school supplies. IF the teacher wants to buy something special that isn't ordinary and usual....then tough. It is on them to pay for it.

MayBee said...

Some how I think Jenna Fischer didn't start her thought process in a her own vacuum. Someone told her the lie, and she was just a bigger twitter vehicle for passing the fake news.

One of the things we learned from the DNC and Podesta emails is that the Clinton campaign and the DNC have networks of celebrities (and Gloriea Allred!) that they push out suggested social media information to.

Larry J said...

"Blogger Humperdink said...
Whoever purchased Newsweak for a dollar is certainly getting their money's worth *cough*."

No, they paid far too much.

EDH said...

The school supply deduction says something positive about privatization and cost/benefit, and that's probably why it has bi-partisan support.

Put power in the hands of those delivering the service rather than require them to navigate the bureaucracy to obtain the last few items at the margin to round out the supplies to meet a particular classroom's needs. Who's in the best position to determine whether more crayons or more paper are needed?

At the margin, the compliance/acquisition cost to obtain the needed extra supplies from the bureaucracy probably exceeds the value of the needed item(s) themselves.

Moreover, the cost of bureaucratic compliance also probably exceeds the risk of fraud.

jaed said...

privatization and cost/benefit

That would be better done by giving teachers a modest budget for supplies, not making them fund those supplies and then giving them the princely sum of 25% of the first $250 they spend back as a tax deduction, at the end of the year. Teachers being expected to pay for supplies from their own funds is bizarre, abusive.

Vance said...

What Chuck either didn't know or chose to ignore is that Newsweek has updated their story from the original, after CNN (Yes, CNN!) blasted them for being fake news.

The Original Newsweek piece was horribly biased and just the kind of think some posters here would absolutely love since it was free form Trump bashing with false and made up facts.

--Vance

Jason said...

Teachers will spend a certain amount of their own money on supplies no matter what the budget is. Set it at zero and they'll spend $500. Sent it at $1,000 and they'll spend $1,500.

There is no budget any government could set that would be sufficient because teachers would still spend their own money for something else.

These expenses are straight-ahead unreimbursed employer expenses like everybody else's. I don't mind giving them an above the line tax deduction that's worth, what? $50? But let's not pretend this anything I should be wringing my hands over, one way or another - especially since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act puts four figures back in their pockets via the increase in the standard deduction, along with everyone else at similar income levels.

And if they get that $250 above the line deduction we should also give it to a lot of other professions, too.

Jason said...

Reading that twitter feed with all the W-2 libtards who have no idea how their own taxes work = lulz.

rehajm said...

But let's not pretend this anything I should be wringing my hands over, one way or another - especially since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act puts four figures back in their pockets via the increase in the standard deduction, along with everyone else at similar income levels.

Although we didn't get much of it with this reform law this is what tax simplification looks like- taking away the deductions and exemptions and returning a lower rate. Great tax reform would take a way the biggies like the charitables and the mortgages and give everyone even lower rates.

Ralph L said...

Next Left Congress/President will raise the rates back up so they can sell us more tax deductions at a higher price.

stlcdr said...

School teachers buying supplies:

I agree: why are school teachers buying supplies? Stop it. We spend, on average, $15k per kid per year (more or less - I don't know the current number). The priority spending is supplies and the kids well being and education. Where is that money going?

Having school teachers deduct their expenses which should quite easily be paid for by the school system should stop. Keeping it in place implicitly declares it acceptable for school teachers to do this. And any other profession.

stlcdr said...

Blogger MayBee said...
I know that teachers, being teachers, do it, and many give rather large amounts, but there is no requirement for them to do it.
I think it should be considered a charitable deduction and fall under the same rules as other charitable donations.

That is a good idea.
I am not a classroom teacher, but I have been a yoga teacher so I know a little bit about job expenses on taxes. You can deduct them, but (kind of like medical expenses) only if they constitute a certain % of your income, or only above a certain % of your income. Which can be quite a bit of money. So schools teachers get a little extra tax perk- to deduct $250 without regard to % of income. THEN if they have donated an exorbitant amount, they can deduct the rest under job expenses if they itemize. Of course, the amount they deduct through itemization has to be bigger than the standard deduction, and the new law may make that challenging.

Charitable donations would be good because the deduction would start from the first dollar, rather than be subject to a %.

12/27/17, 7:47 AM


No. Just no. Unless we get to not pay taxes to support the schools.

I pay taxes to schools because educating kids are important (to state the obvious) and teachers should be compensated for their skill as a teacher, and not on their ability to keep the kids stocked with pens and paper.

Do NOT make it acceptable for teachers to spend their own money. Taxes will go up for schools (for goodness knows what) teachers salaries will not keep in line, they suffer, the kids suffer; downward education spiral. Why would we pay anything to the schools for that?!

Gospace said...

Lem said...
Then there is the type of fake news that’s not really fake fake... but for a star who’s tweeting about it onboard a plane when it’s happening.

https://twitter.com/lemang01/status/946003537024180224


That's REALLY big news on alt-right blogs right now. Along with reported flights to Gitmo yesterday. And supposedly it wasn't the only flight to be turned around yesterday. Nothing in the regular news about who it was who was taken off the flight. Methinks one way or another, that would be news by itself.

Gahrie said...

Do NOT make it acceptable for teachers to spend their own money.

The vast majority of teachers spend much more than $250 a year on their students, and have been.

Gahrie said...

I agree: why are school teachers buying supplies? Stop it. We spend, on average, $15k per kid per year (more or less - I don't know the current number). The priority spending is supplies and the kids well being and education. Where is that money going?

Mostly paperwork and bureaucracy.

The Godfather said...

I learn a lot from Althouse.com -- some of it from the Prof. herself, but a lot from the commenters (when they actually know something and aren't just flaming each other). I've heard for years that public school teachers are "forced to" spend their own money on "school supplies", and this never made sense to me. Aren't the schools supposed to supply the school supplies? Now I think I understand that what is really happening is that good teachers have identified items, that aren't provided by the schools, that the teachers think would improve student learning. Schools being government bureaucracies the teachers can't get the school systems to provide such materials, so the good teachers reach into their own (meagre) pockets to buy them. Have I got that right?

MayBee said...

Credit where it is due, Jenna Fischer apologized: https://twitter.com/jennafischer/status/946133738462654464

MayBee said...

The teachers my kids had who spent their own money usually did it to make their classroom more engaging, to have things they felt made them a better teacher than what the district required, or were fun items.....like prizes for reading contests. A class pet. Stuff like that.

As I parent, I too spent a lot of our family money on the school and classroom. Stuff like putting on holiday parties or donating food for bake sales or team concession stands. I don't think that should be unacceptable either.

Michael K said...

My grand daughter's high school requires parents to fund the soccer team. Not just gear and uniforms but the whole team budget.

Meade said...

Chuck said...
"In the world of inaccurate, vague and/or misleading tweets, isn't Trump the king? I'm trying to recall a single Althouse blog post in which that was noted."

If you read it as carefully as you purport to have read the Newsweek article, you would note that she noted it in this very blog post.

So dry your tears and stop your incessant sobbing.

Susan said...

I am technology support at a public school. It's a fairly poor district, 65% of our students are on free or reduced lunches. Districts provide a certain budgeted amount for supplies for each classroom. And every year there is a school supplies drive where all the paper, pencils, crayons, backpacks, etc you would ever need throughout the year is collected for student use. We have a large closet dedicated to hold these supplies and students can ask to go there if they run low on anything, including coats and gloves.
For the classroom, teachers are expected to plan ahead for the next school year and put in capital outlay requests or order from specific school suppliers in February for the following academic year. For some teachers that's just too far ahead to plan so they buy things they didn't order ahead.
The rest of the teachers who pay for "supplies" are buying fancy pre made Bullettin board decor and other items to dress up their classroom. I suppose there are a few places where teachers are buying pencils and crayons but my guess is that most of the stuff they buy has no educational value whatever and it's just fluff that the taxpayers shouldnt have to fund anyway.

buwaya said...

"Schools being government bureaucracies the teachers can't get the school systems to provide such materials, so the good teachers reach into their own (meagre) pockets to buy them. Have I got that right?"

You have it right. School districts often don't do much about supplies as there is ever-greater budgetary strain from special ed (special ed eats everything). Supplies are easier to cut than personnel or electricity. And even when funds are available most systems have such stringent expenditure/purchasing rules and processes that there is no flexibility and an excess of reporting. Order materials (from who? how?) and who knows when or if they will show up.

Many (most?) schools have a PTA or Site Council or something of the sort that fundraises and provides an off-budget kitty for such things, so in most cases, probably, this teacher buying stuff doesn't need to happen. But this depends on having organized parents. I know schools where the parents themselves even hire supplemental teachers, for music or art or languages or other off-budget things. But a school without organized parents can get into situations where the kids show up without paper and pencils.

Note that in the third world, public schools routinely require kids parents to bring their own school supplies - pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, etc. And most require school uniforms, to be supplied by the pupils parents. And it is a community charity to supply such for those too poor to do so. No US community is poor enough not to have such a charity.

Gahrie said...

Note that in the third world, public schools routinely require kids parents to bring their own school supplies - pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, etc.

I teach in California where the courts have ruled that education has to be free to the parents. This means you can't require students to bring pencils, pens or paper (or anything) and the school must supply it. You cannot even require students to pay fees or fund raise in order to go on field trips or to participate in clubs or sports.

And most require school uniforms, to be supplied by the pupils parents.

Two schools I've worked at have tried to institute uniforms. The parents killed it both times.

Michael K said...

"or to participate in clubs or sports."

You had better inform Trabuco Highs High School, which requires families to fund sports teams, at least girls' soccer.