By ann summers
One betting shop lost five million dollars on HRC winning the White House in 2016, so unpredictability rules still about the construction of facts. And then there’s probabilty and the machinery of government, perhaps compelling POTUS45* to resign to “get back to his business” as if he ever left it in 2016.
In the case of POTUS45*s White House, however “after the fact” ex ante or ex post, have now become new euphemisms of truth. OTOH objective reality is fast becoming Schrödinger’s pussy cat.
“Alternative fact” as a meme is in itself a contestable “fact” so that “alt-fact” could become a neologism, but like alt-right, no about of white-washing can make its meaningfulness come epistemologically clean.
Fact (“a piece of information presented as having objective reality”) spiked dramatically on January 22nd, following an exchange between Chuck Todd and Kellyanne Conway on NBC’s Meet the Press that was fraught with epistemological tension.
You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and Sean Spicer, our press secretary is giving alternative facts to that,” Conway shot back.
“Wait a minute, alternative facts? Alternative facts — four of the five facts he uttered, the one that he got right was Zeke Miller, four of the five facts he uttered are not true. Alternative facts are not facts — they’re falsehoods,” Todd replied. —Maxwell Tani, businessinsider.com, 22 Jan. 2017
There are three obsolete senses of fact in English. Two of these senses are no longer used:
- a wrong or unlawful deed
- a meritorious or valorous deed
- an action in general
Fact meaning “a wrong or unlawful deed” is rare, but is still used in the phrase “after the fact.”
In contemporary use, fact is generally understood to refer to something with actual existence, or presented as having objective reality.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has cut the odds on Donald Trump leaving office early due to impeachment or resignation amid mounting controversy about how he will manage his business interests after becoming America’s 45th President.
Ladbrokes opened the market at 3-1, cutting it to 5-2, and again to 9-4 in the wake of a flurry of bets on the back of a growing consensus among law professors that the controversial Republican is heading for trouble.
While many critics of the incoming President have been hoping that they may be able to remove him by legal means, the history books don’t favour them, and the hurdles such a legal challenge would have to clear to succeed are daunting. This partly explains why bookies are still very keen on taking bets.
The only previous president to leave office early was Mr Trump’s fellow Republican Richard Nixon, who resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
Ladbrokes head of political betting Matt Shaddick said: “Punters seem to think there’s a good chance he will leave office before the end of his first term. Given the history, we’re happy to take their money.”
President Bill Clinton was in 1998 impeached on allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. Again, the charges went to the Senate, where Clinton survived rather more easily than his predecessor, the vote going 55/45 against on the perjury charge with a 50/50 split on the perjury charge.