Go To AlternativeFacts.Com Right Now—You'll Thank Us Later

And it’s only the first week of Trump’s presidency

Image via Getty

Ever since Kellyanne Conway went on NBC’s Meet the Press this past Sunday and claimed the White House wasn’t lying about inauguration crowd numbers, but simply providing “alternative facts,” social media has had a field day calling her out. This, combined with the fact that White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s has made several false claims throughout Trump’s campaign and during the first few days of his presidency, should set off alarm bells for all of us. Their denial to acknowledge indisputable, factual information revealed how far the Trump administration is willing to go to gaslight and confuse its citizens while ushering in a new era of extreme censorship.

Luckily, Psychology Today jumped on the domain to teach us a think or two about the mechanics of gaslighting. To gaslight, in psychological terms, means to manipulate someone into questioning reality in order to gain power. Sound familiar? A few of the big red flags involve telling blatant lies while accusing truth-tellers of being the real liars, denying ever saying something, and using confusion to wear people down.

So, what can we do to fight this? Start by reaffirming the truth and not succumbing to accepting anything less. The New York Times has stepped up with its unparalleled reporting chops to keep Trump accountable (and help the rest of us stay sane) by laying out several of Trump’s false claims and providing the facts. Here are a few we thought were worth repeating ad infinitum.

CLAIM: According to Trump, the crowd at his inauguration was yuge. He said, “It looked honestly like a million and a half people, whatever it was, it was, but it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.”

FACT: Photos from the dozens of people standing around the Washington Monument on Inauguration Day clearly show the crowd did not extend that far. And if live aerial footage of the event is to be believed, there is absolutely no freaking way.

CLAIM: Sean Spicer added fuel to the fabricated fire, saying in a White House briefing room after the swearing-in, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration—period—both in person and around the globe.”

FACT: Nope. Nope. Nope. NBC Washington estimates Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration drew roughly 2 million people, while Trump’s attracted about 300,000, which is historically average. For those watching on TV, Trump drew 30.6 million viewers, much smaller than Obama’s 38 million viewers in 2009 and Ronald Reagan’s all-time high of 42 million in 1981. The photos comparing aerial views of Obama’s inaugural crowd to Trump’s are doubly satisfying.

CLAIM: According to Spicer, it was the fencing’s fault that not too many people were able to access the National Mall (which directly contradicts his previous claim, by the way). As he explained, Trump’s inauguration was “the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.”

FACT: According to The Times, the secret service made almost no changes to its standard security measures this year. Add to that the fact that very, very few people complained about long lines. Just ask John Legend.

CLAIM: When addressing the unpleasant weather at his swearing-in, Trump said although he felt a couple drops of rain, “it stopped immediately, and then became sunny.”

FACT: It started to rain as Trump began his speech and continued after he finished his closing remarks. You don’t need The New York Times to solve this mystery, just ask anyone there. Trump literally lied about the weather. This is Kim Jong-un level b.s.

It’s up to all of us, not just Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, to keep Trump accountable. For every lie his administration spews, we have to be diligent in upholding the truth. Brushing up on the dangerous consequences of gaslightingnot to mention history—is a helpful way to remind ourselves of the importance of this.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet