Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
25 October 2012

The MRC’s Rapid Mortality Surveillance report shows that life expectancy rose 6% between 2009 and last year, from 56.5 to 60 years, reversing the downward trend that began in the 1990s as the HIV epidemic grew rapidly. Between 2009 and last year the infant mortality rate fell 25%, from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births to 30 per 1,000, and the mortality rate for those under five dropped at the same rate, from 56 per 1,000 to 42 per 1,000 over the same period. These statistics were seized upon by African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe last week to attack Mr Mbeki after the former president delivered a speech at Fort Hare University criticising South Africa’s political leadership. Mr Mantashe was notably silent about the fact that many senior ANC figures who remain in government today did little or nothing to challenge Mr Mbeki’s HIV/AIDS policies when he was president. – Tamar Kahn in BUsiness Day

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