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How I won $5 million from the MyPillow guy

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 How I won $5 million from the MyPillow guy

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How I won $5 million from the MyPillow guy POLITICO illustration/Photos by AP, iStock, courtesy of Bob Zeidman In the summer of 2021, Mike Lindell — the MAGA-loving, election-denying MyPillow guy — issued a challenge. At a “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he’d release earth-shattering data that proved the 2020 election had been stolen from former President Donald Trump, he claimed.

To stamp out any doubt about its veracity, he’d pay $5 million to anyone who could disprove it. Bob Zeidman accepted the challenge. A Trump-voting, poker-playing expert in software forensics, Zeidman couldn’t resist. He flew to Sioux Falls and found himself in what looked like a public school classroom, where 40 or 50 other contestants combed through files, which contained a whole bunch of nothing.

Lindell’s strategy seemed to be to bury them in data they’d never have time to analyze. But Zeidman was undeterred, and just before the end of the conference, he found the smoking gun — or, rather, the total lack thereof. And then Lindell paid up, right? Fat chance. Which is how the courts got involved. In this firsthand account, Zeidman tells the story of how he called Lindell’s bluff and took him to the cleaners for millions.

“Afterwards, people wrote to me saying that I ‘saved democracy in America,’” he writes. “I’m really flattered, though I think that’s an exaggeration. But if more people sought truth, even when that truth is contrary to their beliefs — such as when a Republican like me destroys a Republican myth — then I think we really can save democracy in America.” Read the story. “Also, he desperately needs a personality transplant and, to the best of my knowledge, they are not medically available yet.” Can you guess who wrote this about Florida Gov.

Ron DeSantis this week? Scroll to the bottom for the answer.** While the capital may be politically monolithic, most of its police live outside the city — in many cases making long commutes from places that aren’t dotted with Black Lives Matter yard signs. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo When Extremists Wear D.C.

Police Badges … D.C. police officer Shane Lamond was indicted last week for allegedly concealing incriminating contacts he had with Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio ahead of the Jan. 6 riot. Lamond went so far as to tip Tarrio off when a warrant was issued for his arrest. The indictment was shocking, especially in a progressive city like D.C.

Except it wasn’t, says Michael Fanone, the ex-cop whom the mob nearly killed on Jan. 6. “There clearly still are members of the department that are sympathetic to that ideology,” he tells Michael Schaffer in this week’s Capital City column. And police officials are reticent about what, if anything, they’re going to do about it. As you may have heard, it wasn’t exactly easy to listen to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement that he was running for president on Wednesday.

If you missed it — didn’t stick around through technical difficulties? Living your life blissfully unaware of what a “Twitter Space” is in the first place? — don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the talking points. (From POLITICO’s Calder McHugh.) — Mention that he sounds “very online.” If you really want to impress, make it sound like you were taking notes: he said the word “woke” six times, “censorship” five, “Twitter” five and “media” 10. — Don’t forget about the crypto influencers who were also on the call.

DeSantis certainly didn’t: “As president, we’ll protect the ability to do things like Bitcoin,” he said to Musk and Sacks. “The only reason these people in Washington don’t like it is because they don’t control it.” — The real political junkies didn’t stop at DeSantis’ Twitter announcement.

They also watched his interview on Fox News later that night. Consider bringing up a brewing war in the conservative media ecosystem between Fox and Twitter. In the middle of DeSantis’ half-botched announcement, Fox News ran a banner on their website reading “PROGRAMMING ALERT: Want to actually see and hear Ron DeSantis? Tune into Fox News at 8 p.m.

ET.” When he did go on Fox News, host Trey Gowdy got his shots in as well: “Fox News will not crash during this interview,” he said. — Are you a fan of the Devil’s Advocate position? How about this, for evidence that the extra attention to Twitter spaces may have helped the Florida Governor: DeSantis spokesperson Bryan Griffin announced the campaign raised $1 million in the hour after his launch. Mark Ostow for POLITICO 2024 Hopefuls Hit New Hampshire … Democrats plan on bumping New Hampshire from its exalted perch as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

But that hasn’t stopped GOP hopefuls — and even some rogue Democrats — from stumping hard in the Granite State. In this candid photo essay, photographer Mark Ostow catches up with the candidates as they polish their messages in a place where retail politics still matters. cmliuzza1992, ebay The 1971 opening of Walt Disney World in Florida was big news, celebrated on the cover of Life magazine — and through exuberant swag, like this snow globe, on sale from eBay for $30. The “Florida Project,” as Disney himself called it, required a state government willing to offer tax breaks, relaxed regulations and near-total suzerainty over an enormous land parcel.

Florida eagerly complied. But in recent years, tensions have grown as Disney has reacted against the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric of Governor Ron DeSantis, who announced his candidacy for the presidency via a rocky Twitter Spaces event on Wednesday. DeSantis has placed National Guardsmen outside Disney World, threatened to rewrite Disney’s cushy arrangements and even talked about building a state prison next door. Even if DeSantis derives some short-term gain with his base, antagonizing Florida’s biggest employer is sure to cause problems for him down the road.

And the fragility of a 52-year-old snow globe reminds us that what has been imagined can easily be unimagined by Disney’s versatile Imagineers. (From historian Ted Widmer.) **Who Dissed answer: It’s a modern classic in the ever-expanding canon of Donald Trump’s disses. This one came in the form of a Truth Social post ahead of DeSantis’ glitch-plagued fiasco of a campaign announcement in a Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk. [email protected] Follow Us

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