Politicians lie.

Not all of them. Not every time. But most of them, from both "major" political parties, lie. A lot.

It's not always easy to tell when they're lying. It's not always easy to prove they're lying. Often, it's not even easy to tell if they're just lying to us or to themselves as well.

When US president Donald Trump announced his plan to relocate a few dozen US soldiers in Syria — getting them out of the way of a pending Turkish invasion — the Washington establishment exploded in rage at what it mis-characterized as a US "withdrawal" from Syria.

Instead of fighting that mis-characterization, Trump embraced it, pretending that an actual withdrawal was in progress and announcing on October 9 that "we're bringing our folks back home. "

Every time a witness testifies behind closed doors in the US House of Representatives' methodical march toward the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Trump supporters scream "no quid pro quo" while Trump opponents breathlessly inform us that the "smoking gun" has turned up and that impeachment is now "inevitable."

"Let's tell the truth," said Walter Mondale as he accepted the Democratic Party's 1984 presidential nomination. "It must be done, it must be done. Mr Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did."

That comment looms large in popular memory as the cause of Mondale's crushing defeat that November. Of 50 states, he carried only one, his home state of Minnesota, polling only 40.6% of votes nationwide to Ronald Reagan's 58.8%.

"I'm not making any predictions, but I think [the Russians] have got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," said Hillary Clinton on her former campaign manager's podcast. "They know they can't win without a third party candidate."

Was Clinton referring to US Representative Tulsi Gabbard, CNN asked? "If the nesting doll fits," her spokesperson replied.

"There continues to be meaningful public conversation about how we think about Tweets from world leaders on our service," begins a post at the micro-blogging service's non-micro-blog.

Unless there's some dramatic change in the political landscape over the next month or so, I believe that the US House of Representatives will impeach President Donald Trump.

Unless there's some dramatic change in the political landscape between now and Trump's trial in the US Senate, I don't believe the Senate will vote, by the necessary 2/3 majority, to convict him.

Taken together, those two outcomes constitute a bad thing. Here's why:

On October 9, Pacific Gas and Electric began shutting down power to about 750,000 customers (affecting as many as 2 million people) in California. The company claims the shutdowns are necessary to reduce the risk that its power-lines and other infrastructure will cause wildfires like last year's Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and and caused $16.5 billion in damage.

In March 2018, US president Donald Trump promised "we'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon." That December, he issued an order to begin withdrawing US troops. Apparently the order never got executed. Most of a year later, US forces remain.

Americans pay more for our prescription drugs than other people do — half again as much as Canadians or Germans, more than twice as much as Greeks or Italians.

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