“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true” — Marjorie Taylor Greene

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Most uses of passive voice are lazy, thoughtless, or evasive. But the “allowed to believe” statement from Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s speech is in another category: in just nine words, Greene declares her own idiocy and ignorance, and then blames unspecified forces for highjacking her brain and her fingers. If there is a passive voice … Continued

The impeachment brief as a virtual clinic in passive voice

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The lawmakers from the House of Representatives sent a brief to the Senate about the single count of impeachment they’re about to try. For the most part, it’s clear and straightforward. But an analysis of the 115 instances of passive voice in it reveals a lot about what lawmakers — and former president Trump — … Continued

Orderly transition of power my ass

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After the Congress certified Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election, Donald Trump pledged an orderly transition of power. It wasn’t. And it likely won’t be. Here’s the statement, posted on the Twitter account of Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino (because Twitter had suspended the President’s @realDonaldTrump account for inciting violence): Even … Continued

Analyzing Trump’s bill-signing tantrum

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Donald Trump reluctantly signed the bill that provides Coronavirus relief payments and funds the government for the next nine months — but released a petulant statement along with it. The statement’s a little confusing, so I’ll provide a translation. First, some context. Democrat and Republican congressional leaders negotiated the bill with Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury … Continued

Politicizing the Post Office and the benefit of the doubt

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You’ve read the stories. Postmaster Louis DeJoy is slowing the mail down and interfering with the operation of the Post Office to screw up voting by mail. Is he really? Or has our lying, corrupt President just behaved so badly that whenever there is doubt, we assume the worst? What would you see if you … Continued

Because of this terrible chart in Georgia, people could die

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Data is crucial in making decisions about reopening states. So is the visualization of that data. And the state of Georgia may have just published the most misleading and dangerous chart about virus infections ever. Here’s the chart. Take a close look. (You can see it bigger here.) The vertical axis is infections. The horizontal … Continued

I see you people. And I’m disappointed.

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I’m not getting together in person with very many people these days. I connect with all my professional friends on social media and email. And you people are remarkably consistent — you either offer value, or you don’t. Here’s what I value: original, thoughtful content, and information I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. For example: Data, … Continued