Editors Note: Years ago, when Stephen Colbert was doing his Bill O’Reilly schtick on cable, he invented and defined the concept of “truthiness.” This involved things that sounded right, but had no connection to reality. Now, we have Trump, whose whole administration is built on truthiness, at least for his acolytes. Sometimes life imitates art.

People Are Saying

Comedian Bill Maher’s popular political talk show, “Real Time,” has a recurring segment called, “I Don’t Know It for a Fact ... I Just Know It’s True.” In it, Maher explores news items he believes, hopes or has faith are true, but for which he has no real evidence.

This parodies our time — an era in which Donald Trump can accuse Sen. Ted Cruz’s father of killing JFK, without substantiation, and pretend Democrats fabricated 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico. The president often prefaces his most blatant lies with the phrase, “People are saying …” The most rabid Trump supporter I know, who’s completely out of touch with reality, introduces similar nonsense with the phrase, “Everybody knows …”

Many of the rest of us now consider it acceptable to blurt out any slander that comes into our heads, without a hint of proof, just as The Donald does, but this remains unethical. In the words of the wife of this president’s predecessor, who, by comparison, seems more and more like Honest Abe, “When they go low, we go high.” In that spirit, I’d like to debunk a few things “people are saying.”

They may be saying it, but it’s not true that:

•   Although he’s Italian, Rudy Giuliani can’t abide garlic. It’s not true that — like silver crosses, direct sunlight and wooden stakes — that herb can be used to ward off his kind.

•   Kellyanne Conway and Ann Coulter are actually the same person. There are not, as is widely believed, 64 interchangeable blonde bimbos on Fox News. (There are only eight, each of whom uses eight different stage names.)

•   Evangelicalism now includes the doctrine that a president with five children by three different woman — all of whom he cheated on (including the First Lady, who was delivering his fifth child, while he was committing adultery with a porn star and buying her silence) — is a better family man than a black, Democratic president who’s been loyal to one wife.

•   The President refers to the Fox & Friends morning show as his “daily national security briefing” and considers Steve Doocy his “national security advisor.” (In truth, Sean Hannity and Scott Baio are his national security advisors.)

•   Conservative (i.e., Tea Party) economists call a $594 billion deficit run up by a progressive president typical of “big spending Democrats,” while a deficit of more than a trillion dollars run up by a game show host with an (R) after his name is classified as “responsible fiscal conservatism.”

•   The border wall with Mexico will be paid for by American taxpayers, rather than Mexico, as had been repeatedly and loudly promised.

Whoops … ignore that … that one actually is true.

•   Patriotic Republicans consider many of the Nazis, Klansmen and other white supremacists who wave the Confederate flag and the swastika (which represent the two nations responsible for the deaths of more American soldiers than any other flags) “good people” — i.e., better Americans than black football players who kneel quietly during the national anthem.

•   Just as God is credited for cures, while Satan is blamed for disease, Donald Trump should be credited for all our national successes, while the “Deep State,” — a dark cabal composed of the CIA, FBI, Democrats, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and any Republican who doesn’t support The Donald 100% of the time (e.g., Sen. John McCain) — should be blamed for all of our failures.

•   McCain, whom everyone knows was a closet liberal, died when he did in order to embarrass the President, in much the same way that liberal activists fabricated the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting to embarrass the NRA. (Trump domestic policy advisor Alex Jones has patriotically and compassionately identified this “fake news” hoax.)

•   Although his expertise is a valuable asset, ex-CIA director John Brennan was stripped of his security clearance for disloyalty. Ivanka Trump’s experience as a handbag designer is somewhat less critical; however, her continued clearance and her office in the West Wing have nothing to do with her “relationship” with dad.

•   Real estate developer, senior advisor and Renaissance man Jared Kushner’s governmental position has nothing to do with his marriage to Ivanka.

•   Both the President and Sen. Lindsey Graham have the same picture of Vladimir Putin, sitting shirtless atop a horse, hanging in their homes, for very different reasons.

Disclaimer: Most of the above has been labeled untrue, so please don’t accuse me of libel. However, if someone feels the urge to reproduce any of this, I guess I can’t prevent it. Despite what Bill Maher has referred to as a “slow-moving, right-wing coup,” for the moment, this is still a free country, and even some conservatives stand by the First Amendment. Just ask Colin Kaepernick.

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