Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin
An anti-Trump protester near the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse holds a sign that reads “Screwed Stormy in bed with Putin.” Photo credit: © Gina M Randazzo/ZUMA Press Wire

You may need to have a drink with this. Maybe a double.

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Can you imagine? Vladimir Putin’s regime is now in the fact-checking business. Just the people you’d trust to tell us what is true and what isn’t. Of course, he means to turn the concept of fact-checking on its head. Like his explanation for the bodies filmed after a massacre in Ukraine: They were just actors, “arranged” on the ground. Imagine going to Alex Jones for the truth about Sandy Hook. Lewis Carroll, meet George Orwell.

But maybe it would be more productive to do this: Send the facts into a black hole. Apparently, as with other matter entering it, according to new scientific findings, all the information in it would be scrambled, “even at the quantum level.”

Of course, when not labeling truth as untruth, Putin is busy attacking, directly, if somewhat discreetly, the US. So are his friends in China. According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Chinese hackers have penetrated critical US infrastructure, and are now waiting “for just the right moment to deal a devastating blow.” 

Most people don’t seem to care too much about any of the above. Not when there are crucial sports stats to memorize, or more useless products to be bought via social media. No, for actual consciousness, we may have to turn to other animals. Which is possible, since a bunch of biologists and philosophers are kinda leaning into the idea that “insects, octopuses, crustaceans, fish and other overlooked animals experience consciousness.”  

Does the idea bug you? I’m sure I will hear about it. 

Speaking of consciousness, did you know Trump is on trial? One of the things that interests me the most about this somewhat technical case is that Trump didn’t seem to actually mind if the public learned about his sexual affairs outside his marriages. Except at election time, when people sometimes won’t vote for someone who is just too randy. 

In fact, my guess is he was thrilled to leak on himself as “a source” to National Enquirer and other outlets and basically brag that he was bedding a porn star. Indeed, true Trump fans are thrilled with just about anything he does, did, or claims he did. As for Melania, she could hardly have been surprised; and, as Trump might say, she has been well compensated to put up with almost anything. 

One thing Trump enjoys even more than bragging about exploits and infidelity is stiffing people. (You should pardon the expression.) We now hear that Trump was thinking he could trick Stormy Daniels into accepting delayed payment, then not pay her at all. 

Another person who likes to stiff people is Trump’s boss, Putin. According to a Cuban mercenary, he and other Cubanos were promised $2,000 a month (a fortune in Cuba) to risk their lives doing battle in Ukraine. Not only did they not get paid, but plenty are dying. 

Though what we really need to be thinking about, according to the Advertising-Marketing Complex, is how to get thinner and stay that way. Apparently there is some new info that answers the question on whether restricting calories and fasting help you live longer. I read a piece The New York Times hyped prominently, and the answer is… drumroll please… They actually don’t know. 

Now that’s honest reporting, and possibly fact-checkable. Even if the marketing is a little misleading and clickbaity. 

And then of course, in case we’re still feeling optimistic, there are the fine folks on the Supreme Court, who have been asked by Trump to confirm that he is immune from prosecution. While completely ignoring the reality of what Trump did, they had a zesty theoretical discussion the other day about whether you get a better president by hanging the threat of prosecution over his head — or by not doing so. 

Some thought that, well, if a president knows that he won’t be prosecuted for anything, he’s more likely to relinquish power if he loses a reelection bid. Others worry the exact opposite: that if he thinks he won’t be prosecuted, he will figure “what the heck” and try to stay in office. 

Trump’s lawyer pretty much admitted his belief that a president can get away with anything — and there’s nothing we can do about it. In this, they were presumably channeling Richard Nixon, who famously said, “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

And one justice wondered if the president could order the military to carry out a coup. The lawyer thought yes. And Clarence Thomas, sharp bulb that he is, acted like he thought they were talking about the president ordering coups abroad — and recalled US involvement in such foreign adventures. 

The legacy media reporting I saw did not even mention this goof — i.e., didn’t point out that this discussion was almost certainly not about that at all. It was about what Trump did: attempt a coup in his own country — which the incandescent justice’s own wife was a part of. 

Small thing, I guess, no time to get into that. 

And finally, in a forthcoming book, prospective Trump running mate Kristi Noem, the South Dakota governor, said she shot and killed her 14-month-old wirehaired pointer, Cricket, because she was “untrainable” and aggressive. However, she is apparently not concerned about Trump’s own similar qualities. 

In her book, Noem explained why she told such a ghastly story: to prove she has what it takes politically, to do whatever needs to be done, even if it’s “difficult, messy and ugly.”  

Now, let’s all get out there and hug some dogs, and smell some flowers. And maybe register a few new voters, too. 


  • Russ Baker

    Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in exploring power dynamics behind major events.

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