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Mendacity

What the New Dealers Got Right – What Whitewater’s Local Notables Got Wrong

There’s sound reason to doubt that the New Dealers’ economic solutions to the Great Depression were effective, but there’s no doubt that Roosevelt’s Brain Trust was hard-working, smart, and candid in its description of America’s economic problems. For a critical assessment of the New Deal, written accessibly, see The Forgotten Man: A New History of…

The Greatest Trick Trump Ever Pulled

Of all the thousands of lies that Trump has told since becoming president, perhaps the most fundamental lie is his insistence that he somehow represents a majority of his fellow citizens. The opposite is true: he lost the popular vote by three million, and he’s even less popular now than when he was elected. John…

Foxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of Smoke

Trump insisted Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, and smarmy development men in places like Whitewater spoke about how much would come of the project, but in a puff of smoke that project’s ‘innovation centers’ are gone. Nick Statt reports Foxconn finally admits its empty Wisconsin ‘innovation centers’ aren’t being…

Fox News Won’t Be Enough

It’s a sound position to focus criticism of Trumpism on Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders. This sometimes includes Trumpism Down to the Local Level. (Those local officials across America who have this past decade spread sugary lies of boosterism during the Great Recession, during its aftermath, and during the opioid crisis are contemptibly…

Saying and Believing Anything

Adam Serwer, writing on Twitter in response to a series of distortions from the conservative Federalist website, states plainly the truth of Trump-supporting lies: There is no incentive to correct because the targeted audience will believe anything pro-Trump they are told, whereas acknowledging error would signal weakness and insufficient devotion to the Great Leader. Yes,…

Kasparov on Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63), the former chess champion and longtime human rights activist, recently described the role of propaganda in creating fear, uncertainty, and doubt.  The thread from Twitter is below (linked here from the first tweet) in the thread: As you watch Trump’s defenders lie, deflect, and distract today and in the coming weeks, remember…

UW-Whitewater’s Administration Covers Crap with Catsup

For months, UW-Whitewater has publicized on its website a sham study from a burglar-alarm company as confirmation that Whitewater has the safest campus in Wisconsin. The study is a shabby fraud, with a methodology so far below proper academic standards that it taints the serious work of faculty and students at the school, in the UW…

‘Do Deportations Lower Crime? Not According to the Data’

Anna Flagg writes Do Deportations Lower Crime? Not According to the Data: In one of Donald J. Trump’s earliest moves as president, days after his inauguration, he revived the deportation program known as Secure Communities. Proponents argue that it helps prevent crime and also increases the police’s ability to solve crime through collaboration with federal…

Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!

If a group invited a guest speaker who said the world was flat, then that group would be rightly discarded as a credible policy advocate. In Whitewater and other towns, crony-capitalist groups of different sizes proudly declared the Foxconn project a boon for Wisconsin. (Trump, himself, declared it a boon for the whole planet: “the…

‘Deep Fakes’ in a Deeper Context

In the video Op-Ed above, Claire Wardle responds to growing alarm around “deepfakes” — seemingly realistic videos generated by artificial intelligence. First seen on Reddit with pornographic videos doctored to feature the faces of female celebrities, deepfakes were made popular in 2018 by a fake public service announcement featuring former President Barack Obama. Words and…

Junk Reasoning Isn’t Simply a Problem at the Top

Helena Bottemiller Evich reports ‘It feels like something out of a bad sci-fi movie’ (‘A top climate scientist quit USDA, following others who say Trump has politicized science’): One of the nation’s leading climate change scientists is quitting the Agriculture Department in protest over the Trump administration’s efforts to bury his groundbreaking study about how…