I feel like I started tuning out the right wing media environment sometime during the Trump presidency. But it really became a problem once Trump left office. I think I just reached some kind of limit on how much toxicity I could tolerate in my life. This wasn’t a conscious decision and when I talk about toxicity, I’m not referring simply to meanness and cruelty. In my life, watching someone say something stupid is physically painful and spiritually deadening. Gullible people make me lose hope, and a critical mass of Fox News-marinated morons can lead me straight into despair.

So, back in August 2021, I was aware that the pillow guy, Mike Lindell, was holding some kind of  “cyber symposium” in South Dakota but I didn’t really pay attention to it. I knew he was claiming to have some trove of data that proved the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, but I figured he was just trying to sell his shitty pillows. I had no idea he was offering $5 million to anyone who could prove his data had nothing to do with the election. Had I known that, I might be $5 million richer instead of Robert Zeidman, “a computer forensics expert who voted for Trump twice.”

This story is in the news again because Lindell stiffed Zeidman and refused to cough up the promised award money.

Zeidman is owed the $5 million payout plus interest, [Federal] Judge John Tunheim wrote in his Wednesday ruling. The decision is the latest development in a years-long effort to claim the prize, after Zeidman found that the data was not related to the 2020 election.

Let’s all have a laugh at Pillow Guy’s expense. Ha ha ha.

But let’s not forget that Lindell was already on the Rudy Giuliani Road to Financial Ruin. Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems are suing the crap out of him and his stupid MyPillow company. This is from the Dominion filing:

After hitting the jackpot with Donald Trump’s endorsement for MyPillow and after a million-dollar bet on Fox News ads had paid out handsome returns, Michael Lindell exploited another chance to boost sales: marketing MyPillow to people who would tune in and attend rallies to hear Lindell tell the “Big Lie” that Dominion had stolen the 2020 election.

As when MyPillow previously faced legal action for deceptive marketing campaigns, Lindell knew there was no real “evidence” supporting his claims. And he is well aware of the independent audits and paper ballot recounts conclusively disproving the Big Lie.

But Lindell—a talented salesman and former professional card counter—sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows. MyPillow’s defamatory marketing campaign—with promo codes like “FightforTrump,” “45,” “Proof,” and “QAnon”—has increased MyPillow sales by 30-40% and continues duping people into redirecting their election-lie outrage into pillow purchases.

Accountability for these folks is coming in a hot stream now. Lindell is out $5 million today, maybe $500 million later. Already indicted in Georgia, John Eastman is losing his law license. Peter Navarro has to turn over his presidential records before he heads for four months in the federal slammer. Steve Bannon will eventually join him there. Sidney Powell, the Kraken Lady, pleaded guilty and got 6 years of probation. Among his many other problems, Giuliani was ordered to pay $148 million in damages to two Georgia election workers he defamed and is drowning in debt. And Trump is setting new records for losing money in court. He owes E. Jean Carroll $88.3 million, and that could still grow. He owes New York State north of $450 million for being a giant financial fraud.

These things are the antidote for despair.

But I have to admit that I completely tuned out the effort to impeach Joe Biden. I mean, once I determined that there was no case against Biden whatsoever, I spent no effort to discover what bullshit the Republicans were repeating to their right wing news audience. That’s why I had never even heard of Alexander Smirnov or his idiotic allegations before he was arrested for making them up. What I can tell you, however, is that I spent years writing pieces about Trumpworld’s ties to Russia and Russian intelligence, and that the least surprising thing in the world to me is that the effort to impeach Biden has been a Russian intelligence operation from the beginning. House Republicans don’t even care about this anymore because they see Putin as an ally and Biden as an enemy. Trump is Putin’s puppet and the GOP is Trump’s party. Everything follows very predictably from this, and that’s why we can’t get any military aid passed through the GOP-controlled House.

I don’t have to pay close attention all the time because this is all baked in the cake at this point. So occasional good news aside, we must win this November election or there’s no point, no hope, nothing but the darkest pit of despair.

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