August 29, 2018

Wondering on Wednesday (v145)

Wondering what happens when you Google 'Trump News'? Here, I took one for the team.  Taking the step to go first to Google News, and then search for Trump News. I get this.

As you know, what you see when you search for Trump News and what I got will almost certainly be different because you and I are different and because we're searching at different times, and so on.

For example, because I follow the president on Twitter (forewarned and all that jazz), his tweets are featured prominently on my search page.  Also featured in the search, in case you're wondering, is this article from PolitiFact:
Trump tweeted that "96 percent of (Google News) results on 'Trump News' are from National Left-Wing Media."
This figure is based on a non-scientific study from a conservative website that categorized any media outlet not expressly conservative as being part of the "left." These outlets include wire services, broadcast networks and most major newspapers and collectively account for a large percentage of original news reports produced in the United States. The methodology essentially preordains that a large percentage of coverage captured by Google will be what the study defines as "left." which is wrong. 
We rate the statement False.
No surprise there, in case you were wondering.

Moving on to more fun wondering, what will it look like when some 100 pink Cadillacs line the street at Aretha Franklin's funeral?  The word was sent out to Mary Kay consultants across the land, and really to anyone else who has a pink Caddy, and they're coming from as far as Texas and Florida. That surely will be a sight to see, don't you think?

In a remarkable effort to help other people, NFL star JJ Watt raised over $41M for Hurricane Harvey relief, via a GoFundMe page.  This week, the first anniversary of Harvey, Watt said that he had distributed all of the money through eight groups; their efforts, according to the Houston Texans,
have been used to clean up and rebuild more than 600 homes and 420 childhood centers, distribute more than 26 million meals and provide health care to more than 6,500 people. 
In a statement, Watt said
As I reflect on the events of Hurricane Harvey one year ago, the memories of destruction and devastation remain, but they are accompanied by memories of hope, selflessness and the beauty of the human spirit. The actions of professional first responders and everyday citizens alike were an inspiration to the world and a shining example of the inherent good that lies within us all...
While a great deal has been accomplished in the past 12 months, there is still much work to be done. Moving forward, there will be more of the same, as we continue to work with our incredible nonprofit partners to provide as much help and support as we possibly can for those affected by Harvey. I cannot thank everyone enough for your support and generosity.
A couple of things come to mind reading about this tremendous effort: first, what an amazing accomplishment, to contribute so much and get others to contribute as well, to help perfect strangers.

At the same time though, it's painful wondering what the folks in Puerto Rico must be feeling, a couple of weeks shy of the anniversary of their nightmare, Hurricane Maria.

The big new number for them is not record millions of dollars of charity being distributed, it's an almost overwhelming adjustment to the official death toll of the storm. The original number, 64, was widely hailed by the president as a success story for the federal effort after the storm; the new number, an estimated 2975 storm-related deaths, came from a study by George Washington University.

The study let to renewed criticism across multiple fronts.

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