Town Official Lies, Files Lawsuit When Someone Calls Him a Liar

“The village of Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, is still dealing with the fallout of the infamous Foxconn deal the state struck in 2017. Former Governor Scott Walker promised the Taiwan-based tech giant $3 billion in state subsidies in exchange for a state-of-the-art factory to be built in Mount Pleasant, and said that the deal would generate 13,000 high-paying jobs.
Four years later, the factory was nowhere near completion, and the company had created merely 1,400 jobs. The state rescinded most of the subsidies, but the Mount Pleasant Village Board, the local governing body, had already authorized bulldozing dozens of homes, including via eminent domain, designating more than four square miles “blighted” to make the land even easier to seize from private owners. It also took on hundreds of millions in debt, leading to the town’s credit rating being downgraded.”

How Putin became the victim of his own lies

“dictators are often victims of the information bubbles they create around themselves. The sorts of errors that are easily avoidable in democratic systems (thanks to various checks) become commonplace in autocracies, and that leads to profound missteps by leaders.”

“It’s a mistake that dictators make where they become the victim of their own lies. To be more specific, it’s what happens when authoritarian leaders make catastrophic short-term errors because they start to believe in the fake realities they’ve constructed around themselves.”

“it’s the story of 22 years of consolidating authority in a place where crossing the dictator is potentially a death sentence. Putin has been in charge for a very long time, and he’s grown increasingly impatient with people who cross him. The effect of getting increasingly isolated and increasingly repressive is that you get increasingly bad information. If independent media is shut down and you can’t freely discuss things, if people are afraid of telling pollsters what they actually think, if propaganda is so rooted in the regime’s survival that it becomes really what you believe to be true, you’re going to make massive mistakes.
I think what happened with Putin is basically the combination of being surrounded by yes-men and being surrounded by propaganda. When you have both of those things, and you’re trying to invade a country that people around you probably think will go badly but they’re afraid to say so, it’s understandable that eventually you start to think, “Maybe it’ll go really well,” because that’s all you’re hearing.”

There Is More Than One Big Lie

“There’s a mountain of baseless overlapping claims piled up inside the stultifying biodome of the Big Lie: voters casting multiple ballots, dead people voting, ballot-counting machines flipping votes, foreign nations hacking systems to swap totals. The Big Lie is an à la carte conspiracy theory — a bit like QAnon in that respect — where adherents pick and choose what sounds right to them and disregard what doesn’t. Each individual who believes the Big Lie has their own suspicions about what took place, a personal recipe of different conspiracies to nourish their belief that the election was illegitimate. In right-wing chat groups on the messaging app Telegram, these theories are traded as casually as chats about the weather.”

“Every iteration of the Big Lie, though, is wrong. The ones in the darkest corner of the Internet? Wrong. The ones brought forward in lawsuits by the Trump campaign? Wrong. The ones already debunked by news sources? Still wrong. There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.
Still, polling gives us a glimpse of the most popular theories on the Big Lie menu. Last summer, a YouGov/CBS News poll asked voters who thought there had been widespread voter fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exactly what they thought had happened. They were asked about various sources of voting and how much of the voter fraud came from those sources, either “a lot of it,” “some of it” or “hardly any or none.”

Seventy-seven percent said “a lot” of voter fraud and irregularities had come from ballots cast by mail, and 70 percent said a lot of it had come from voting machines or equipment that were manipulated, but just 22 percent said a lot of the fraud had come from ballots cast in person. Racism also appeared to inform a lot of thinking around the Big Lie: 72 percent said a lot of the fraud had come from ballots cast in major cities and urban areas, compared with 22 percent and 14 percent who said a lot of it had come from suburbs and rural areas, respectively. And 39 percent of those who believed voter fraud was widespread said “a lot” of fraud had come from ballots cast in Black communities, while 25 percent said so for white communities and 27 percent said so for voters in Hispanic communities.”

“When they asked Americans to compare hypothetical political candidates, Republican voters favored candidates who embraced the Big Lie by an average of 5.7 percentage points to candidates who accurately said Trump lost the election. This suggests that the Big Lie is not going anywhere soon and that it will have a meaningful sway on elections. Already we’ve witnessed the Big Lie being wielded as a campaign tool by Republican candidates across the country, demonstrating the power of this belief among the party’s voters.

And as polls continue to capture the millions of Americans who endorse the Big Lie, precisely what they believe matters less than how that belief influences their actions.”

January 6 texts from Fox hosts reveal the lie at the heart of the conservative movement

“As the Capitol riot unfolded on January 6, Fox News hosts knew exactly how bad things were.

“The president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” Laura Ingraham texted to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. “Please, get him on TV — [the riot is] destroying everything you accomplished,” Brian Kilmeade wrote to Meadows. “Can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?” wrote Sean Hannity in yet another Meadows text.

The texts, revealed during a Monday hearing of the House January 6 Commission, were at odds with the hosts’ on-air comments on the night of the attack. Ingraham suggested that “antifa supporters” may have been responsible for the violence. Kilmeade took a similar line: “I do not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence that I know of in a big situation.” Hannity, for his part, asserted that “the majority of them were peaceful.”

This is tangible proof that some of Fox’s marquee personalities knowingly lied to their audience about January. The lying began basically immediately, in the direct aftermath of a national tragedy.

This isn’t the only issue on which Fox’s dishonesty has been exposed. On one of the fundamental policy topics of the day, the pandemic, the right’s most influential news network is saying one thing to its audience and doing another in private.

Fox News’s programming on vaccines and vaccine mandates has been relentlessly hostile. Yet more than 90 percent of Fox News employees are fully vaccinated, and the company has a vaccine mandate that’s actually stricter than the one President Joe Biden has proposed for large corporations. Hosts tend not to mention this on air and, on the rare occasions that they do, they mislead their audience about it.

They are lying to their audience, and anyone paying close attention can see it.

These incidents speak to a deep pattern in modern conservatism, a parasitic relationship in which a super-wealthy elite preys on the fears of the conservative base for profit.”

Videos Are Making It Hard To Trust the Cops

“All too often, official versions of events turn out to be completely at odds with video and audio records of what actually happened. Given stark discrepancies between some police reports about searches and arrests and video footage of the same events, it’s difficult to avoid the suspicion that the powers-that-be habitually lie about their conduct.”

“the cops barged into a house without permission, tossed it without legal authority, and then lied about the search to conceal their misdeeds.

“If Yezek did not have the security cameras in and outside of his home, he very well could be sitting in prison,” one of Yezek’s attorneys told reporters.”

“”San Antonio police dash camera video obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders contradicts the department’s long-held narrative that a woman shot and killed by an SAPD sergeant in early 2019 had pointed a weapon at him prior to being shot,” the TV station reported last year after the shooting death of Hannah Westall.
In addition, police originally insisted that there was no bodycam recording of the incident. That turned out to be untrue and Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales has reopened his investigation.”

“These situations are pretty egregious, but recordings don’t have to contradict police. They can, instead, support the official story, and undermine bogus claims of abuse, rights violations, and innocence by criminal suspects. When cops are above-board, that’s exactly the purpose the recordings serve.

But it’s all too easy to find situations where police told stories that didn’t match recordings of which they were unaware or which they tried to suppress. Sometimes an officer loses a job or even (very rarely) faces charges, but it often leaves the impression that an especially incautious or unconnected cop was thrown to the wolves to appease critics. How many lies remain unexposed is anybody’s guess.

It’s worth pointing out that the FBI, which often investigates misconduct by state and local police, itself resists recording interviews.

“When the rule prohibiting FBI agents from recording interviews was instituted, the reasoning mostly was that their testimony under oath is credible and means something to the court and the public,” James M. Casey, a former FBI agent, explained last year. “That should still hold true.”

But “trust us” really doesn’t fly the more we see the government’s enforcers at work. It’s too easy to find examples of them playing fast and loose with the truth when there’s a record of their conduct.”

Trump’s lies about the 2020 election are endangering America’s election workers

“In a speech on voting rights delivered on Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned that “the dramatic increase in menacing and violent threats against all manner of state and local election workers” is a threat to the country’s democracy.

Garland is right to be concerned. A new survey released by the Brennan Center for Justice found that 17 percent of local election officials in the United States have faced threats because of their job. The same survey, which was released alongside a larger report by Brennan and the Bipartisan Policy Center on threats to America’s elections, found that nearly a third of these officials — 32 percent — have “felt unsafe because of [their] job as a local election official.”

The survey was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group, and it included interviews with 233 election officials “from across the country.”

The Brennan Center’s survey quantifies a phenomenon that appears to have emerged from former President Donald Trump’s conduct during the 2020 election, and his subsequent defeat in that election. Just hours before Garland pledged to prosecute individuals who target election officials in that same speech, Reuters published a long article cataloging some of the threats faced by election administrators and their families.”

Fox News has become a jobs program for some Trump family members and ex-staffers

“Fox News fancies itself, at least outside of its Hannity-style programming, as a journalistic outlet. But its recent string of hires tells a different story.

Despite the Trump administration’s legacy of unrelenting dishonesty and Trump’s recent turn against Fox, the network has hired several former Trump officials of late, basically becoming a jobs program for any former Trump aide who desires gainful employment — and ensuring that Trump’s brand of politics will have a regular, prominent place on national television.”

“While there’s ample precedent for former White House officials making the leap into news media when their tenure in government is through — George Stephanopoulos went from the Clinton White House to ABC News, for example, and Dana Perino went from the George W. Bush White House to Fox News — the volume of former Trump officials Fox News has hired is notable, particularly because Fox News staffing itself with Trump family members and former staffers will keep Trumpism relevant.”

“Donald Trump, meanwhile, can self-promote by calling in to friendly hosts who will let him opine about Biden’s purported failures on national TV, even if he can no longer post tweets.

It won’t be good journalism, but that’s rarely the point with Fox. What it will do is help Trump maintain control over the Republican Party heading into the 2022 midterms — and beyond.”

How Many False Claims Did Biden Make In His First 100 Days Compared To Trump?

“Biden made 67 false and misleading statements in his first 100 days in office, according to a report Monday from The Washington Post’s fact checker. That compares to 511 such comments from his predecessor Donald Trump in his first 100 days.”

“Two of Biden’s falsehoods have earned the Post’s “Four Pinocchio” rating, designated for “whoppers.” He claimed several times that Georgia’s GOP-led election law will end voting hours early. It won’t. The other is Biden’s claim that federal government contracts awarded to foreign companies went up by 30% under Trump, when in fact it was likely much less.
The fact-checking analysts noted that when Biden made exaggerated claims, he would often amend his wording in subsequent addresses in apparent response to news coverage.

Trump’s tally grew at a dramatically faster rate as his presidency progressed. Toward the end of his term, he was making around twice as many false claims a month as he did in his entire first year in office. On Nov. 2, the day before the election, Trump made 504 false claims in a day, nearly the same amount he made in his first 100 days.”

Sidney Powell Says She’s Not Guilty of Defamation Because ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her ‘Outlandish’ Election Conspiracy Theory

“After passionately and persistently telling her tall tale of a stolen election last year, Powell is now arguing that only a fool would have taken her at her word.”

“Powell claimed over and over again that Dominion rigged voting machines to manufacture “millions” of votes for Joe Biden. She fingered a specific Dominion executive as largely responsible for the scheme, claimed the plot had its roots in fraud-facilitating software that had helped keep Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez in power, and said China, Cuba, and George Soros were also in on it. But “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” Powell says in her motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Powell thus implies that Trump and the millions of supporters who still believe he actually won the election, thanks in no small part to the fantasy she concocted, do not count as reasonable people. Fair enough, I suppose, although one might question the wisdom of throwing them all under the bus if Powell hopes to continue profiting from their credulity. But why does Powell purport to be surprised by the fact that so many Trump followers believed her?”

“Since Powell was making political statements, she implies, she had a license to lie. After all, political rhetoric “is often vituperative, abusive and inexact,” and “political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.” Here she is quoting the Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit, respectively, although I’m not sure those observations can be stretched to cover a baroque conspiracy theory that includes many specific factual claims. When someone says Biden stole the election with help from a voting technology company that was determined to deny Trump a second term no matter how many laws it broke in the process, she has ventured far beyond hyperbole and inexactitude.
Powell also argues that the preposterousness of her allegations should protect her from civil liability for damaging Dominion’s reputation. “Plaintiffs themselves characterize the statements at issue as ‘wild accusations’ and ‘outlandish claims,'” she notes. “They are repeatedly labelled ‘inherently improbable’ and even ‘impossible.’ Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support Defendants’ position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.””