Memory Lapse
November 8, 2019

Gordon Sondland, meet bus.

Sondland serves as President Trump's ambassador to the EU, a role he got after donating $1 million to Trump's inauguration. But Trump doesn't really remember that massive donation or even Sondland himself, he claimed to reporters on Friday.

Sondland testified for House impeachment investigators last month, with reports suggesting his testimony wasn't very consequential. But a transcript of Sondland's hearing released Tuesday showed Sondland had amended his statement since he had first spoken. His additional four pages of sworn testimony revealed he did have knowledge of a possible quid pro quo between the United States and Ukraine, which he previously denied.

Before Sondland testified for House impeachment investigators last month, the president called him a "really good man and great American." But when asked about the additional testimony Friday, Trump dug out his usual amnesiac defense, saying "I hardly know the gentleman." Kathryn Krawczyk

March 30, 2015

A number of prominent Democrats in the past supported laws similar to the controversial new legislation in Indiana, which says the government can't "substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" in requiring them to engage in business practices or transactions that violate their beliefs. (The classic example in which the law could come into play, of course, is in allowing religious bakers or florists to deny service to a gay couple for their wedding.)

Though this particular bill was backed by Republicans in Indiana, Democrats like President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Chuck Schumer have all supported similar legislation themselves. President Bill Clinton signed a similar (though narrower) federal law into effect in 1993, and then-State Sen. Barack Obama voted for religious freedom legislation in Illinois in 1998.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest avoided explaining any substantial differences between the laws, arguing instead that the Indiana legislation is outdated. Bonnie Kristian

April 23, 2014

A couple years ago, Republican candidate Herman Cain was leading Mitt Romney in the polls. Now, judging by the failure of these Jeopardy! contestants to successfully name him as the answer to a fairly obvious question, nobody even remembers him.

During the game show's Tuesday night airing, none of the contestants attempted to answer the clue, "This pizza magnate and 2012 presidential candidate was a math major at historically black Morehouse College."

Even Alex Trebek was a little taken aback when not a single contestant buzzed in. "How quickly you have forgotten Herman Cain," he said.

Most people would take this as a ding on Herman Cain, but I see this as an illustration of the ephemeral and superficial nature of modern political coverage. We obsess over the most granular ups and downs of politics (remember 9-9-9! or "DEEP DISH!" or "the water tastes the same!"?), but how much of what we obsess over will even be remembered a few years from now?

So thank you Herman Cain — and Alex Trebek! — for putting this all in perspective. Matt K. Lewis

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