Putin says he is liberating the Ukrainian people from Nazis and that the atrocities are either staged (as some believe the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre was) . . . or else “false flag” operations: Ukrainians bombing themselves.

Trump says his January 6 speech was perfect (as were his phone calls pressuring Zelensky to find dirt on Biden, and to Georgia’s secretary of state, pressuring him to find 11,780 votes) . . . and that those violently storming the Capitol were antifa and Black Lives Matters agitators.

A lot of Russians believe Putin — that Russia is the good actor in this war.

A lot of Americans believe Trump — that Trump is the victim of a coup.

How much of what they say does either man himself believe?

As to Trump, we can get a sense of that from Julian Zelizer: What I Learned When Trump Tried to Correct the Record.

. . . When Congress met to certify the Electoral College results, Trump told us, there had been a “peaceful rally,” more than a “million people” who were full of “tremendous love” and believed the election was “rigged” and “robbed” and “stolen.” He made a “very modest” and “very peaceful” speech, a “presidential speech.” The throng at the Capitol was a “massive” and “tremendous” group of people. The day was marred by a small group of left-wing antifa and Black Lives Matter activists who “infiltrated” them and who were not stopped, because of poor decisions by the U.S. Capitol Police when some “bad things happened.” . . .

I had the same problem when Trump was in Helsinki taking Putin’s word over the assessment of America’s 17 intelligence agencies.  Whom to believe???

Jonathan C.:  “I have been wondering for years why your columns keep providing links to publications that I cannot access.  My kid brother, who is also a subscriber, tells me that is able to access these various sites without having to shell out money to see just the indicated links.  Am I missing something here, or am I supposed to subscribe to the Post, the Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, and who knows  else to see what you are getting at?”

→ Great question.  I’d start by asking your kid brother.  I’m pretty sure some of those publications give you at least some free visits (or else show you ads).  But my real answer is, look: where would we be without those publications?  “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” as one of them regularly reminds us.  So to the extent finances permit, I’d say these digital subscriptions are one place not to be frugal.

(For dozens of places it might make sense to save money — a few of them new in this edition, out Tuesday — click here.)



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