Stuff to Read About Lies

Greg Sargent points out that Rudy Giuliani has openly confessed to the whole Ukraine scandal conspiracy.

Rudolph W. Giuliani just confessed to the crime in broad daylight — or, more precisely, in broad cyber-daylight. Yet he did so defiantly, with a middle finger unfurled in our faces, without the slightest concern that it would harm him or his “client,” as he describes President Trump.

How is this possible? Because of the power of disinformation, which has the capacity to convert the most flagrantly corrupt misconduct into virtue.

We don’t talk enough about how central disinformation is to the Ukraine scandal. The extortion of Ukraine was at bottom an effort to enlist a foreign power’s help in waging disinformation warfare in the 2020 election, to Trump’s benefit. Disinformation was central to the 2016 Russian attack on our political system, which Trump eagerly embraced. Now disinformation is being employed to escape accountability for all of it.

Dahlia Lithwick, in a you-absolutely-must-read-this column, says something along the same lines.

The truth does not really have a place in this administration. Attorney General Bill Barr’s pretend investigation into his conviction that federal agencies were illegally “spying” (his words) on the Trump campaign will be a bust. Never mind, they will refocus the umbrage on some attenuated fact about the Steele dossier. The evidence that Donald Trump has, on several occasions, conditioned foreign aid on domestic political favors is now so unequivocal that Republicans have advanced three dozen alternate defenses for it, without even attempting to coordinate a theory beyond the Russian propaganda line upon which they now seem to have settled. Any attempts to pierce the logic of that illogic is pointless, which is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has no option other than to keep seeking and speaking truth into the factual void. Doug Collins somehow kept up his refrain on Wednesday that nobody in the room could agree on the most elementary facts, even as every single fact witness (including those selected by the GOP) and every single legal expert (including one selected by the GOP) agrees substantially on all of the material facts surrounding the Ukraine transaction.

I sincerely urge you to read both columns. I’m not going to try to summarize them further; just read them.

Other stuff to read:

Eric Levitz, Jobs, Jobs Everywhere, But Most of Them Kind of Suck

Charles Pierce, This Highly Organized Right-Wing Militia Is an Ominous Portent. Also at Esquire, Jack Holmes writes The President’s Fans Think He’d ‘Operate More Effectively’ Without Congress or the Courts.

WaPo, Phone logs in impeachment report renew concern about security of Trump communications. Follow that up with comments from Scott Lemieux and Max Boot.