Bribery Explained Using Boolean Logic

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The Democratic report on impeachment accuses President Trump of, among other things, criminal bribery. What’s up with that? Wasn’t it really extortion? Allow me to Boolesplain:

Extortion: If you don’t announce an investigation of Joe Biden then I won’t approve your military aid package.

Bribery: If I do approve your military aid package then you will announce an investigation of Joe Biden. Capiche?

They’re the same thing. Legally, though, the nice thing about the bribery construction is that bribery is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as an impeachable offense.

UPDATE: After a Twitter exchange about this, I realize maybe I need to explain further. The first statement is of the form “If A then B.” The second statement is of the form “If not B then not A.” The second version is called the contrapositive of the first, and it is logically identical. For example:

  • If you are human then you are a mammal.
  • Contrapositive: If you are not a mammal then you are not human.

These are logically equivalent.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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