hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
*whispers into the void* In contemporary use, fact is understood to refer to something with actual existence.

~~~~~

So, I'm kinda fascinated by the whole concept of news conferences in an alt-fact nation. Reading, as usual, Daniel Dale's Twitter feed, specifically this thread on the "millions of immigrants voted illegally!" meme.

As evidence - FYI there is no evidence because it didn't happen - Spicer cited a Pew report from 2012 that does not show anything like this.

Q: Wouldn't millions voting illegally be an astronomical, historic scandal demanding investigation? Spicer: "He won fairly."

Official position of the White House: 1) Millions of people voted illegally. 2) Trump won in a fair election.

Q: How can Trump be comfortable with his win if there were millions of illegal voters? Spicer: "He's very comfortable with his win."

Q: Do you, Spicer, personally believe there was massive voter fraud? Spicer: Not gonna talk about that.

Q: Why won't Trump use his powers to investigate this supposed huge fraud? Spicer: He won an overwhelming victory, "very comfortable." ...


~~~~~

From The Washington Post:
Technically, the proper way to describe claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election is to state that there’s no evidence that it happened. Shortly after the election, we tallied up reports of in-person voter fraud that occurred last year and found a grand total of four examples. There is no evidence that there was fraud at any significant scale at all.

Saying this, that there’s no evidence, is a hedge. We say it just in case somehow there emerges evidence that, indeed, hundreds of people registered to vote illegally and went to cast ballots. If we say it didn’t happen and then some evidence emerges, we are stuck. So we say “there’s no evidence” instead of “it didn’t happen.”

That’s on the scale of hundreds of votes. On the scale of millions of alleged fraudulent votes, though? It didn’t happen. There’s not only no evidence that it did, it defies logic and it defies statistical analysis to insist that millions of votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election.



~~~~~

Trump Aides Can't Stop Blabbing About How He's a Madman. Are this New York Magazine piece and the articles it quotes true? Many people are saying that they seem like they could be true. Maybe they're factually true, or maybe they're "alternative facts." Facts, alt-facts, I don't know. You tell me.
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
From Why Donald Tump Is Giving John Dean Nightmares (typo in the original title):


Few people are more intimately acquainted than Dean with the consequences of an American presidency gone awry. As White House counsel under President Richard Nixon from 1970 to 1973, he was a key figure in the Watergate saga—participating in, and then helping to expose, the most iconic political scandal in modern U.S. history. In the decades since then, Dean has parlayed that resume line into something of a franchise, penning several books and countless columns on the theme of presidential abuses of power....


Dean’s near-panicked take on the incoming president is shaped in large part by his years in the Nixon White House. In Trump, Dean says he has observed many of his former boss’s most dangerous traits—obsessive vengefulness, reflexive dishonesty, all-consuming ambition—but none of Nixon’s redeeming qualities.

“I used to have one-on-one conversations with [Nixon] where I’d see him checking his more authoritarian tendencies,” Dean recalled. “He’d say, ‘This is something I can’t say out loud...’ or, ‘That is something the president can’t do.’” To Dean, these moments suggested a functioning sense of shame in Nixon, something he was forced to wrestle with in his quest for power. Trump, by contrast, appears to Dean unmolested by any such struggle.

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