How to Get Real News in a World of Fake News

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There was a time when three dominant television networks had the power to control the news and information narrative. Societal sources of information, though, have been constantly shifting over the past several decades due in great part to changes in technology.

The widespread reliance on digital information today has allowed ta trio of technology companies to be in a position to increasingly influence cultural and political conversations in a host of ways.

When it comes to establishing the news narrative, the big three consist of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It is the tech giant Google, however, that has managed to morph into a monolithic kingdom of web search.

Google has become a digital pathway to information for almost the entire world, having secured approximately 70 percent of the global search market share. The usage of the search site for exploring the net is almost double the amount of its nearest competitor, Bing.

Additionally, as the owner of the principal video sharing site YouTube, Google is second only to Facebook as a social media platform.

Using its extraordinary algorithms and artificial intelligence, search giant Google unfortunately displays blatant and explicit biases against conservative viewpoints, all the while favoring left-leaning positions.

This partiality is underscored by discrimination lawsuits filed by former Google employees James Damore and David Gudeman against their prior employer. Damore alleges that he was fired for writing a memo criticizing Google’s diversity policies, while Gudeman claims he was blacklisted and let go for holding conservative beliefs, particularly for his support of now President Donald Trump.

The lawsuits describe a systemic ultra-liberal atmosphere at the tech giant. What is of major concern for the unknowing public is the fact that the radically left-leaning Google culture has manifested itself in distorted and biased search results.

In 2017 researchers from Northeastern University and the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology presented a paper that demonstrated a pervasive bias favoring Hillary Clinton existed in Google search results regarding the 2016 election.

Later in the year a research report written by Leo Goldstein of the group Defeat Climate Alarmism used data from Alexa.com to determine that Google searches were biased in favor of liberal domains and against conservative domains.

Using a current news story that broke over this past weekend concerning the Democratic memo, which was released to counter the Republican FISA abuse memo, a search on Google was conducted by this article’s author using the term “democrat memo.”

The results of the search were as follows: Two articles that appeared on the first line as “Top Stories” were one-sided pro-Democrat pieces from the The New York Times and Vox.

It was not until halfway down the third page of the Google search listings that a single article with a divergent point of view appeared. The article titled “What The Democrats Left Out Of Their Memo” was from the Daily Caller website.

The Google search exhibited the results, despite the fact that a plain reading of the Democratic memo indicated significant facts set forth in the Republican memo were left unanswered.

Particularly disturbing was the lack of any mention in the Democratic memo of the DNC and Clinton campaign funding of the infamous Steele dossier, or any mention or explanation of why that information was not provided to the FISA Court.

Assuming that Google’s bias is extensive and is unlikely to be addressed, conservatives cannot sit idly by and continue to use the search site.

In the business world, there are antitrust laws that exist to protect consumers from monopolies, which artificially raise prices and stifle innovation. Perhaps people who are seeking objectivity should consider using an alternative approach when conducting Internet searches.

Considering the fact that Google and most other search engines track and mine personal information without an individual’s knowledge or consent, it becomes even more important to adopt an alternative approach.

This brings us to some Google alternatives that may surprise the reader. DuckDuckGo.com not only provides unbiased news and information, it also maintains personal privacy by not engaging in tracking, data mining, or retention of search history. It is as comprehensive as Google and allows customization of its interface. It enables searches to be free from adult content via a safe setting similar to Google.

Ixquick’s Start Page claims to be the world’s most private search site. The site does not participate in data mining or tracking and additionally offers users the ability to visit sites via proxy, thus rendering searchers the protection of invisibility to the sites that appear in the search results.

Yippy is a search engine that also protects privacy with the added benefit of delivering child-friendly results. Yippy pulls search results from other search engines and groups topics together, organizing the results in clusters. Although the site filters out topics to which children ought not be exposed, including gambling, pornography, and other inappropriate material, adept teenagers may still find a way to obtain unsuitable results.

Conservatives may enjoy the experience of a search engine that gives results of a right-leaning nature. 4conservatives.com will do just that. The search engine delivers content from a conservative perspective and uses reputable sources.

By using more objective search alternatives, we can move toward a world with less fake news and more real news.

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Russian Indictments Could Be a Decoy

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The timing of the recent announcement by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein regarding the indictments of thirteen Russians appears to be part of an effort to provide possible cover for the FBI, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and the Democratic Party-aligned mainstream media.

The hasty public release occurred via a press statement by Rosenstein on an unusual choice of days, a Friday afternoon that was a lead-in to a three-day holiday weekend.

It is highly possible that the intention was to have the public focus on the headlines coming out of the press conference rather than zeroing in on the underlying facts of the matters at hand.

In other words, there may have been an attempt to employ a frequently used technique of diversion to direct public attention away from the admitted wrongdoing on the part of government, which was rapidly taking over the social media and conventional headlines.

In this case, it would be the effort to direct attention away from the FBI’s failure to investigate warnings that the man accused of the atrocious killing of 17 high school students had expressed a desire to kill innocent people and was in possession of a weapon to carry out his threat.

The second part of the tactical equation is to divert public attention toward a preferred calculated target that in this instance would be “Russia,” which in a puzzling way for many seemed in the present day world of scandals to arrive with a thud.

All of the above having been stated, there was a very palpable manipulation of public perception that occurred across the cultural, political, and demographic spectrum.

The FBI indicated in a statement that, in January 2018, an individual described as someone close to the accused shooter called an FBI tip line to report concerns about the alleged perpetrator mere weeks before the nightmare carnage took place at the Florida high school.

According to the FBI, the caller provided information about the shooter’s gun ownership, his desire to kill, his erratic behavior, and his peculiar social media posts. The caller also specifically brought up the young man’s potential to engage in a school shooting.

The recorded information should have been promptly given to the FBI’s Miami field office for further actions; however, the FBI admitted that “these protocols were not followed.”

Adding to the FBI’s public relations problems is the fact that, in September 2017, the agency had been notified of a YouTube comment in which an individual under the same name as the accused wrote, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

In an absurd response, the FBI claimed that the agency was unable to trace the origin of the YouTube post and therefore closed the investigation.

The announcement of the indictment of the Russians may have been timed to provide the media with the desired talking points that would lead a susceptible public to conclude that the special counsel’s probe was in no way a hoax, a witch hunt, or any other “unfair” characterization. This would have been another important part of the tactical equation, since many Americans had been increasingly viewing it as if it were less than above board.

Interestingly, this is an indictment of thirteen people who will never see the inside of a U.S. courtroom or ever even contest the charges, be arrested, or be extradited. Additionally, it was made clear by Rosenstein that no allegations in the indictment indicate that the activities by the Russians had “any effect on the outcome of the election.”

What the indictments did do, though, was allow the liberal partisan media to crow about Russian “meddling,” which they predictably and dutifully did.

The Obama State Department allowed some of these very same Russians to come into the country via tourist visas and to ultimately use fake identities to troll the social media. Although the indictments set forth the defendants’ organized activities going back to 2014, former President Barak Obama did not stop them or even address the issue.

The indictments helped to eclipse another inconvenient developing story, which would be a major embarrassment for the special counsel’s probe, and that is, that former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn’s guilty plea is likely to be set aside.

The judge who originally accepted Gen. Flynn’s plea for lying to the FBI has recused himself from the case, since he was also a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the very court that accepted from the Obama Justice Department the Steele dossier as evidence to support the issuance of a FISA warrant to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

The new judge assigned to Gen. Flynn’s case has ordered Mueller to release to Gen. Flynn’s lawyers any exculpatory evidence in Mueller’s possession. The judge has also directed that any information which is favorable to Gen. Flynn be submitted to the court, even if the Mueller team believes that it is not material to the case.

This means that even if Mueller claims that his evidence is classified or not relevant, it still must be provided to the judge so that the judge can decide what can be released. This takes away the ability of the prosecutor to withhold or redact evidence on his own.

Mueller’s indictment of the Russians claims criminality because the defendants, as foreign citizens, attempted to use media to influence voters but failed to report their financing to the Federal Elections Commission or register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Using the template and reasoning of this indictment, others who tried to influence an election could be charged, including Christopher Steel and his accomplices, FusionGPS, the DNC, and the Clinton Campaign, while the Israelis and British could bring criminal prosecutions against former President Obama for meddling in their elections.

During the announcement of the Russian indictments, Rosenstein emphasized that there are no allegations in the indictment of any Americans (including any members of the Trump campaign) having knowledge of the Russian activities.

In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” enduring talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh warned, “The danger for the president” is that it would be very seductive “to totally embrace” and take at face value the notion that it means he has been “vindicated.”

In Limbaugh’s assessment, the president most certainly needs to continue to “be very careful.”

Uma Thurman Tells Her Quentin Tarantino Story

Film director Quentin Tarantino has come under fire in the wake of Uma Thurman’s recent revelations to the New York Times that she was treated abysmally on the set of her star vehicle, “Kill Bill.”

Ever since the predatory behavior of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein went public, Thurman has been haunted by her own arduous encounters with Weinstein. In the Times article, though, Thurman emotionally recounts the painful injuries she suffered due to an on-set accident that she claims was covered up by Weinstein and others associated with the movie. The actress also reveals that she was spit on and choked by Tarantino during the filming.

According to Thurman, she was “dehumanized to the point of death” during the movie shoot. She now indicates that Tarantino pressured her into doing a car stunt while the final days of filming were in progress.

Thurman claims that she initially objected to participating in the scene after being told that the car, which had been converted from a stick shift to an automatic, might not be safe.

“I was scared,” she said. “The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.”

After the car crash, Thurman came back from a visit to the hospital wearing a neck brace. She had a concussion, a neck injury, and her knees were severely injured. She still deals with physical problems from the accident.

Keith Adams, the stunt coordinator who worked on the “Kill Bill“ films, is now speaking out concerning Uma’s allegations, and it may be causing Tarantino to feel more than a bit uncomfortable with what is being said. In an email sent to The Hollywood Reporter, Adams recalled the day that Thurman suffered the accident and remembered that he and all of his stunt staffers were kept away from the set.

“No stunts of any kind were scheduled for the day of Ms. Thurman’s accident. All of the stunt department was put on hold and no one from the stunt department was called to set,” Adams noted.

“At no point was I notified or consulted about Ms. Thurman driving a car on camera that day,” Adams added. “Had I been involved I would have insisted not only on putting a professional driver behind the wheel but also insuring that the car itself was road worthy and safe.”

Adams remarks have served to bolster Thurman’s allegations. In her Times interview, the actress had described the 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible used in the scene as a “deathbox” and additionally claimed that “the seat wasn’t screwed down properly.”

Tarantino, in an apologetic interview with Deadline, characterized Thurman’s car accident as “one of the biggest regrets” of his life. The director admitted that he had engaged in both the choking and the spitting but claimed that the actress had given her consent. The film director also maintained that no one involved in the production had “ever considered it a stunt” but rather viewed it as “just driving.”

Older vehicles that are used for stunt driving during movie productions are frequently inadequately maintained. In watching the video of the crash, which is posted on Thurman’s Instragram account, it can easily be seen that the vehicle is lacking head restraints, shoulder belts, and roll bars.

The actors and broadcast union, SAG-AFTRA, indicated in a statement that the scene in question “sounds like a stunt and would be a likely safety violation.”

Clearly, the footage one sees in the video, depicting an old convertible traveling down a curved sandy road at 40 mph, is the kind of scene that should have been handled by a professional stunt person under the supervision of a stunt coordinator following proper safety procedures, thereby avoiding the exposure of undue risk to a lead actress.

Tarantino has admitted that the road Thurman drove upon while shooting the scene ended up taking a “little S-curve” for which Thurman had not been prepared.

“The circumstances of this event were negligent to the point of criminality,” Thurman stated on her Instagram account. “I do not believe though with malicious intent.”

However, the actress called the cover-up after the fact “unforgivable.” The spitting and choking episodes add to the cumulative impression that Tarantino took advantage of his leverage as a director.

Unfortunately, the director has partnered with Weinstein throughout his career. It is common knowledge in the entertainment community that anyone who worked closely with Weinstein on multiple projects, as Tarantino did, would have been well aware of Weinstein’s predatory proclivities.

Tarantino acknowledged he feels ashamed that he did not take a stronger stand and cut his ties to Weinstein.

“I knew enough to do more than I did,” the director said.

A Song for Dennis Edwards

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It was surreal. Here I was looking over at one of the giants of the music industry, a legendary singer I had admired for years. As he cued me, I took the shortest of moments to catch my breath and then let the music lead the piano man.

Leon Russell’s lyrics flowed from his mouth like champagne from the vine, each audience member launched in to a dream sequence of his or her own, while listening to a melodic narrator extraordinaire.

The heart of a true artist holds within it the capacity to transport a receptive soul. That was Dennis Edwards, my singing influence, my brother in spirit, my friend.

Last week the world quietly lost an icon of the music world. I had the privilege of touring with Dennis in the 1970s, when he sang with the legendary Motown group, the Temptations. I also worked with him in the studio and heard his performances up close and personal, accompanying him as part of the band. He was simply the best singer I have ever heard.

Mega producer-arranger-writer Benjamin Wright brought me on board with the group and put me together with those I aspired to be like. In Russell’s stirring “Song for You,” Dennis would convey the meaning as no one else could.

“And I know your image of me is what I hope to be…” Dennis achieved these words in real life, and I continue to strive to be able to someday say the same.

An unforgettable moment that took place in my hometown of Chicago occurred when at a concert Dennis and his fellow Temptations introduced my parents and asked them to stand. A simple gesture really, but so deeply touching in transmitting how true friends rise to family.

On one occasion, when racial tension reared its ugly head, my Temptations family surrounded me and safeguarded me from harm. No words were needed to solidify a lifelong bond.

Dennis was a lighthearted calming presence, who made the hard work of creating music look so very easy. I remember when he was in the studio, laying down a vocal track on a song of mine that he had graciously agreed to record. In order to put the musicians and engineers at ease, he made up some comedic lyrics as he acquainted himself with the melody. Music and laughter oftentimes have a beautiful common thread of joy, and Dennis knew just how to weave the tapestry.

The circle of soul widened as Dennis’s future wife, Ruth Pointer, showed what light looks like from the inside out. Together they hit all the right notes. Through Dennis’s generous nature, my musical opportunities extended, and I was able to work professionally with the Pointer Sisters and their brilliant young bass player at the time, Jaco Pastorius. One more humbling and unforgettable memory etched in ebony and ivory.

Dennis’s individuality as a singer sprang to a great extent from his Christian background. He sang as a child in his minister father’s Alabama church. After his family moved to Detroit, he became the church’s choir director. Because his parents forbid his participation in secular music, he pursued a religious vocal career path and as a teenager subsequently joined the gospel group, The Mighty Clouds of Joy.

In the late 1960s, around the time when Dennis was headed toward a solo career, the Temptations parted ways with their lead singer, and Motown Records reached out to Dennis to take the spot. Destiny on full display.

Dennis was one of two artists that dramatically altered the style of the Temptations and changed the history of modern popular music in the process. His contribution to the music world coincided with a sea change in the way the Temptations created records.

The metamorphosis of the group during this period was tantamount to when The Beatles recorded “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The powerful gritty gospel tones of Dennis had combined with an up and coming producer named Norman Whitfield, resulting in a new eclectic sound.

Dennis’s unmistakable voice was featured in a string of hit records that remain the personal favorites of so many to this day, including “Cloud Nine,” “Psychedelic Shack,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Ball of Confusion,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” and “Shakey Ground.” Two of these tunes, “Cloud Nine” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” were awarded Grammys. Quite a legacy.

I can see Dennis right now performing on Heaven’s stage with my fellow band members, famed bass player James Jamerson, Jr. and legendary guitarist David Williams, as the words of the song he sang every performance ring on into eternity:

“And when my life is over, remember when we were together, we were alone, and I was singing my song for you…”

Oscars with an Agenda

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Over time the entertainment industry and its accompanying award shows seem to have grown ever more political, and the 90th Academy Awards ceremony looks as if it will prove to be consistent with the left-leaning trend.

The Oscars event is ostensibly designed to provide recognition to the highest achievement of motion picture artistry and has conventionally been viewed as the pinnacle of award shows. This year, however, Hollywood has a number of attendant things on its collective mind, including having to atone for a host of industry wide offenses.

Nominations for Best Picture are illustrative of the ideological and cultural issues that are stoking Academy voters’ choices. A few years back the industry was assailed by critics, via a social media hashtag, with an accusation that the Academy lacked diversity in its list of nominees.

This year’s awards season has been under assault by another hashtag, which includes references to the sexual impropriety scandals that have shaken the entertainment capital to its core.

Typically during the awards season, movie studios engage in the equivalent of a political campaign complete with press releases, advertising, and opposition research.

Ironically, Harvey Weinstein, the movie mogul accused of sexual misconduct by scores of women, was consistently a seminal figure of the pre-Oscar season and was frequently able to assist his companies in securing Oscar wins. In the aftermath of the serious charges, though, he was fired from the Weinstein Company, booted out of the Academy, and banished from the film business.

In the past, he was also reportedly alleged to have engaged in opposition research in order to diminish the prospects of the film “A Beautiful Mind,” which was competing at the time with the Miramax movie “In the Bedroom.” He purportedly leaked rumors to the press that central subject of the film John Nash was anti-Semitic.

Movie companies routinely use film advertisements that are tagged with the phrase “for your consideration,” seek press coverage, send voters direct mailers, set up star appearances at key industry events, hold lavish parties, and arrange screenings for voters through use of studio lot theaters, distribution of DVDs and downloads of respective films.

For months the campaigning for the 2018 Academy Awards has been in full motion, but the activity has primarily taken the form of studios and production companies touting the current political and cultural significance of their movies.

Best picture nominee, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” is a case in point. After the film debuted at the Venice International Film Festival and won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film critic community anointed the movie as a favorite in the award races.

The plot centers around perceived liberal concerns embodied in the hashtag haze that hangs over Hollywood. It may be that Oscar trophies were on the minds of filmmakers who put together a story of a mother railing against a sexist, racist, and patriarchal police force.

Some critics were less than enthusiastic about the seemingly superficiality of the politically correct plotlines of the movie.

Ira Madison III of The Daily Beast characterized the movie as “tone-deaf,” “manipulative,” and “altogether offensive.”

And Wesley Morris of The New York Times referenced the “Three Billboards” filmmakers’ Oscar pandering in the following manner: “The issues of the day come and go: brutal police, sexual predators, targeted advertising. It’s like a set of postcards from a Martian lured to America by a cable news ticker and by rumors of how easily flattered and provoked we are.”

Meanwhile another Best Picture nominee, “The Shape of Water,” which could also take the award, is a highly original movie concept but its creators apparently could not avoid shoehorning into the plot societal issues that may be on the minds of many Oscar voters. It is no coincidence that the female protagonist, Best Actress nominee Sally Hawkins, who has fallen in love with an underwater being, is provided assistance with her romantic goals by an African-American co-worker and gay neighbor.

Other Best Picture nominees sport themes that seek to attract Oscar voters. “Get Out,” a horror genre film from Jordan Peele, contains subject matter that depicts racism and cultural appropriation, while Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers movie, “The Post,” glorifies the press for standing up to attacks and features a noble and powerful female business head.

The fact that the substance of would-be Oscar winning films is so culturally and politically correct is an indication that the 90th Academy Awards show, which is slated for March 4, will no doubt be saturated with a kind of sermonizing that is likely to have Americans briskly switching channels.

#HashtagWars

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The new reality, in which billions of people are able to interact and converse via social media about anything and everything, has undergone an evolution that has enabled order to emerge out of chaos.

A hashtag is an essential linguistic element in the new media discussion, which is being used to relay a message and establish a meme surrounding an issue, opinion, and even a desired action.

The use of hashtags on Twitter began with the placement of a number symbol (#) in front of a key word or phrase for the purposes of gathering together posts from different users into a single category. Posts with matching hashtags are jointly aggregated and then viewed simultaneously by a large number of people.

The idea of using media to focus public attention on a singular topic is in no way new. However, the scope of this particular digital phenomenon is. So, too, are the capacity and speed at which a hashtag can potentially influence public opinion. A carefully honed one oftentimes has the power to move individuals en masse from one side of a debate to another.

In 2008 then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama held a digital advantage over GOP rival presidential candidate John McCain, due to Obama’s deeper involvement with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media online platforms. Social media missives and hashtags became commonplace means through which campaign messages were propelled through cyberspace.

In the 2012 presidential election, GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney stepped on to social media territory when he purchased a hashtag as part of his campaign efforts. Through his acquisition, #RomneyRyan2012 became a trending topic. Romney’s campaign was reportedly the first to buy Twitter advertising in the form of a hashtag.

In the 2016 election cycle, then-GOP candidate Donald J. Trump was making a run for the presidency, and his campaign bought the following trending hashtag: #GetYourTrumpGear. The nexus between social media and politics was further established and so was a new virtual rubric.

Fast forward to the present. President Trump is the first occupant of the Oval Office to truly understand and fully embrace the digital universe in which we all find ourselves immersed. And many people who are acclimated to the digital climate, yes, even captivated by the virtual experience, are loving it.

It comes, then, as no surprise that his enemies do not share the same sentiment, and they continue to try to discourage the president from fully participating in social media activity. The digital debate continues to escalate as does the virtual war.

Most notably, a recent four-page memorandum that has been circulating in Congress, which reportedly reveals alleged United States government surveillance abuses, has been depicted in the following manner by legislators who have had the opportunity to preview its contents: “shocking,” “troubling,” and “alarming.”

The memo reportedly details the Intelligence Committee’s oversight work for the FBI and Justice Department, including FISA surveillance. Sources close to the committee indicate that it references text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which appear to verify that the dubious Trump dossier was used to justify and obtain FISA warrants.

A recent vote by the committee to release the memorandum to lawmakers broke down along party lines, with Democrats voting against making the memo available to all members of Congress. If the committee votes to do so and there are no objections from the White House within five days, the memo can additionally be released to the public.

The hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, which calls for the memorandum to be revealed to the public, has gone viral. WikiLeaks has added an additional dimension to the hashtag initiative by offering a reward of up to $1 million to anyone who can send them a copy.

Meanwhile the government shutdown is resulting in a tug-of-war for the very minds of social media users. This is occurring via a hashtag battle of the epic kind. At issue is who is to blame for the failure in the Senate to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government up and running.

Both sides have lined up their hashtags, with Democrats brandishing the #TrumpShutdown in their tweets and Republicans wielding #SchumerShutdown in their social media posts.

Both hashtags are trending high, but #SchumerShutdown has the edge as the most memorable and effective. Its double alliteration makes the phrase roll off the tongue, and it has the distinct ring of truth.

Because it deals with an individual who has also earned the brand of “Cryin’ Chuck,” imagery tends to float to the forefront in the minds of listeners, viewers, and/or participants in the Internet fight.

Democrats have traditionally controlled the narrative, when it comes to government shutdowns. One of the problems that they presently have is that although the objective may be to lay responsibility for the partial government shutdown on President Trump’s shoulders, they and their mainstream media allies have already used up an inordinate amount of digital capital trying to pin the blame on the elephant instead of the donkey.

The Democrats have another serious impediment to winning the narrative wars this time around. It is none other than the president himself, the duly elected outsider who has the power to bypass traditional news outlets with his social media savvy.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders employed the #ShumerShutdown language when she tweeted an official statement from the White House. And President Trump used his Twitter account to point out who was responsible for causing the government shutdown. His tweeted response read: “Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border,” followed by the hashtag #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18.

In another tweet, the president celebrated the one-year anniversary of his presidency by posting the idea that in creating the shutdown “the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present.” He followed the tweet with the hashtag #DemocratShutdown.

In a digital punctuation mark, President Trump tweeted out one of the primary themes of his presidency, which has never failed to stir the hearts of his supporters.

“#America First!”

Franco a Fiasco for the Oscars?

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Hollywood is a land of contradictions.

In the aftermath of the sexual impropriety scandal that has engulfed the entertainment capital, the Golden Globes Awards ceremony found itself immersed in the aftereffects of the #MeToo movement, with themes that took the form of black fashion dominating the designer palette, professional presentations being replaced with surreal sanctimony, and a former daytime TV queen toying with a future presidential run.

The sudden explosion of sexual harassment allegations has resulted in a string of unexpected consequences for the entertainment business, including the unceremoniously exiling from the Academy of former Oscar master Harvey Weinstein and the digitally redacting of actor Kevin Spacey from an Oscar hopeful film “All the Money in the World.”

It is expected that the Oscars telecast will follow the lead of the other awards shows and make Hollywood’s sex scandals a frazzled thread woven throughout the proceedings.

Of concern for the Academy, though, is something involving actor James Franco, who in taking home a Globe award managed to increase the awards season buzz for his chances of also snagging an Oscar. Franco additionally won the Best Actor award at the Critics’ Choice Awards, boosting his inflated profile even further.

Franco is scheduled to attend the Screen Actors Guild Awards (prior to the Academy Awards) on Jan. 21, where he is nominated for lead actor.

The Hollywood star has been viewed as an actual contender, not only for a nomination for an Academy Award for his work in “The Disaster Artist,” but also as a top tier candidate for a Best Actor trophy at the Oscar telecast.

Critics are raving about Franco’s portrayal of the real-life director of “The Room,” which is said by critics and fans to be the worst film ever made.

The particular predicament for the Academy, at this extraordinary time in Hollywood history, are some allegations that have been raised against Franco concerning sexually inappropriate behavior. Five women have accused him of inappropriate or sexually exploitative conduct, according to an investigation by The Los Angeles Times.

Franco may regret his decision at the Golden Globe ceremony to wear a pin that supported Time’s Up, the initiative recently formed by 300 women in the entertainment industry with the ostensible purpose of combating workplace sexual harassment. The sight of Franco’s donning of the pin during the Globe telecast prompted several women to call out the actor via their Twitter accounts.

Two of the women cited by the L.A. Times sent out tweets, as did actress Ally Sheedy, who posted the following: “James Franco just won. Please never ask me why I left the film/tv business.”

The actress had appeared in the “The Long Shrift,” a 2014 off-Broadway production that Franco directed. Sheedy subsequently deleted the tweet.

Franco has denied the allegations. Whether or not he receives a nomination will be decided by the actors’ branch of the Academy, which is the largest group of voters, with over 1,200 members.

Nominations are scheduled to be announced on Jan. 23, and Franco will be facing some stiff competition from other heralded A-list actors, including Gary Oldman for “The Darkest Hour,” Denzel Washington for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” Timothee Chalamet for “Call me By Your Name,” Daniel Day-Lewis for “Phantom Thread,” and Daniel Kaluuya for “Get Out.”

There was a great deal of consternation when another actor, Casey Affleck, took the Academy Award for Best Actor last year for his performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” despite the fact that he had two sexual harassment suits that he settled out of court.

But that was long before the Weinstein story broke and changed Hollywood forever.