Patterico's Pontifications


Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers™: Comparing the Treatment of Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz by “Fact-Checkers”

Filed under: Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers™,General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

I have decided to launch a new occasional Patterico series titled Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers.™ Here’s the problem: so-called “fact-checkers” gain an artificial credibility in political discourse, simply by invoking “fact-checking” as the name of their enterprise. But, as any sentient conservative knows, Big Media “fact-checking” is nothing more than leftist opinionating disguised in faux factual garb. We’re seeing more and more Democrats use these phony “fact checks” in their campaigns, and with 2016 just around the corner, I sense an urgent need for a fairly regular series of posts fact-checking the fact-checkers. Patterico to the rescue!

As most of you know, Ted Cruz recently slammed the head of the Sierra Club in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. If you missed the video, here it is again:

Cruz’s principal point was that there has been a “pause” in global warming, according to the satellite data, which has shown no significant warming for 17 years. There’s really no disputing that fact — yet the Sierra Club invoked Politi(cized)Fact to assert that Cruz’s claims had been “debunked.” This is how lefty organizations defuse effective attacks by conservatives: they cite an analysis by a “fact-checker” that says the conservative is lying — and the public gets the idea that the conservative must indeed be dishonest, because, after all, a “neutral” fact-checker said so!

Today, we’re going to look at the Politi(cized)Fact analysis of Cruz’s statement, and reveal how fact-checkers take true facts uttered by conservatives, and deem them “mostly false” because the conservatives didn’t give the lefty argument, but only their own. Then we’ll analyze a Politi(cized)Fact analysis of a Hillary Clinton claim, and show how the very same defects are present in Clinton’s statement — yet that one is deemed “mostly true.”

As we will see in detail below, Ted Cruz’s statement is found “mostly false.” He stands accused of “cherry-picking” because his data encompasses the years and measurements that best suit his argument, while he omits the arguments of his leftist opposition that the lefties think undercut his main point.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s statement is found “mostly true.” She bases it on a study done by two economists, at least one of whom is a rank partisan Democrat who has been an advisor to her husband and other Democrat presidential candidates, and who has donated thousands to Democrats. That study cherry-picks certain data that best suit the pro-Democrat argument, and Hillary omits the parts of the study that undercut her main point.

That, my friends, is how the “fact-checkers” do their work. The lefties can assert misleading facts and get a clean bill of health as long as the “facts” are true. Meanwhile, conservatives can state true facts, but still get accused of lying because the other side has arguments too.

Full details in the extended entry. Ready? Let’s do this!



Chris Wallace Says GOP Establishment Threatening to Primary Members Who Oppose Ryan

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:42 pm

This is the kind of tactic that so endears the GOP Establishment to small-government types:

CHRIS WALLACE: [T]here’s a lot of pressure being put on by the establishment and business groups, saying that some of those Freedom Caucus members, if you’re not going to play ball and you’re not going to get involved, you’re going to get a primary opponent.

Even if you support Ryan, I would hope you would disagree with this kind of thuggery.


President Obama: Being A Leader Is Leading On Climate Change

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:29 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In an interview with Steve Kroft tonight on 60 Minutes, President Obama offered his view of real leadership in response to Kroft’s insistence that Putin is directly challenging the president’s leadership:

My definition of leadership would be leading on climate change, an international accord that potentially we’ll get in Paris.

My definition of leadership is mobilizing the entire world community to make sure that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.

The first is just downright embarrassing; the second is laughable, especially considering the devastating Iran nuclear deal the president recently forced upon us.


Classic ’90s-Era Onion: “Crazed Palestinian Gunman Angered By Stereotypes”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:40 pm

A classic Onion piece from 1997 is making the rounds on the Facebook today. I thought it might be worth sharing here.

HEBRON, WEST BANK—In an emotionally charged press conference Monday, crazed Palestinian gunman Faisal al Hamad expressed frustration over the stereotyping of his people.

[Caption: Faisal al Hamad, seen here shrieking anti-U.S. slogans, says that “not every crazed Palestinian gunman is exactly alike.”]

“As a crazed Palestinian gunman, I feel hurt by the negative portrayal of my people in the media,” said al Hamad, 31, a Hebron-area terrorist maniac. “None of us should have to live with stereotyping and ignorance.”

He then began screaming and firing into a busload of Israeli schoolchildren.

“It hurts that in this supposedly enlightened day and age, people still make assumptions about other people,” al Hamad said. “We should not rely on simple generalizations. Each crazed Palestinian gunman is an individual.”

Al Hamad said that he himself has often been unfairly stereotyped. “Any time I enter a crowded temple with fully loaded AK-47s in both hands, people just assume I’m going to open fire,” he said. “That really hurts.”

“Yes, I sometimes do gun people down in the name of the One True God,” he noted. “But there is so much more to me.”

Read it all.

P.S. If you were following Patterico on the Facebook you would already have read that!

P.P.S. I’m also on the Twitters.

CBS News: Ted Cruz in Third Place

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:50 pm

As the silly season continues, CBS News reports that Trump is still on top and Ben Carson is still second. The real lede, however, is buried in paragraph two. Guess who’s #3? If you didn’t read the headline, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer:

The rest of the Republican field is in single digits, with Texas Senator Ted Cruz inching up into third place with nine percent, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with eight percent. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush follow at six percent each. Former Governor Mike Huckabee has also slipped considerably since the summer, from eight percent in August to just two percent today.

Cruz has been running a very strong ground game in Iowa and is well poised for the SEC primaries. Also, as the flash-in-the-pans start to fade (hopefully), and Cruz gets more facetime with the American people, voters will start to see that he doesn’t come across like the nasty guy Big Media says he is.

And he is smart as a whip. He would crucify Hillary Clinton in any debate. Rubio can’t. He’s too callow.

I’m still banking on Cruz. In my morose moods I worry a little that the electorate will fall for the empty celebrity of a Trump. But on an early Sunday afternoon on this lovely Columbus Day weekend, I am feeling good about Ted Cruz.


Paul Krugman: Solar Panels for Thee, But Not . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:53 pm

. . . not for Paul Krugman, as the latest episode of the Contra Krugman podcast notes. Krugman begins his column by labeling the GOP “Enemies of the Sun:

When it comes to energy policy, the G.O.P. has become fossilized. That is, it’s fossil fuels, and only fossil fuels, all the way. . . . While politicians on the right may talk about encouraging innovation and promoting an energy revolution, they’re actually defenders of the energy status quo, part of a movement trying to block anything that might disrupt the reign of fossil fuels.

Tom Woods and Robert Murphy, the folks at the new Contra Krugman podcast that refutes Krugman every single week, found a picture of Krugman’s house. How many solar panels does it have? You guessed it!

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 2.33.54 PM

The podcast episode on this can be found here, or at iTunes or Stitcher. It is excellent. Woods and Murphy expose Krugman hypocrisy. They reveal ways that Krugman deceives with statistics. They refute illogical arguments. And they do it all with humor and clarity.

Here’s one more example of hypocrisy to whet your appetite. In this column Krugman suggests that the GOP opposes renewable energy because they’re in Big Coal’s pocket:

[Y]ou need to follow the money. We used to say that the G.O.P. was the party of Big Energy, but these days it would be more accurate to say that it’s the party of Old Energy. In the 2014 election cycle the oil and gas industry gave 87 percent of its political contributions to Republicans; for coal mining the figure was 96, that’s right, 96 percent. Meanwhile, alternative energy went 56 percent for Democrats.

It is certainly a fair argument that one’s views may be affected by the sources of the money one receives. In other words: we need to look at who is giving you money when we evaluate your arguments. But that wasn’t the position Krugman took when Jonathan Gruber was attacked in 2010 for making pro-ObamaCare arguments without disclosing that he had received money from the Obama Administration to work on ObamaCare:

Given that Gruber was providing this kind of technical consulting, should he have recused himself entirely from the public debate? Should he have stopped writing op-eds and, more important, technical papers read by the likes of Ezra Klein and myself? If he had, the public debate would have been much poorer; again, there aren’t many people in a position to do the kind of quantitative assessments Gruber does.

And one more thing: what Gruber has had to say about health reform in the current debate is entirely consistent with his previous academic work. There’s not a hint that he has changed views, or altered his model, to accommodate the Obama administration.

In other words, look at his arguments, not at who is giving him money.

Krugman will always adopt whatever position helps the leftist view, regardless of consistency or logic.

He is, after all, a Liberal with a Conscience — and a Friend, not an Enemy, of the Sun.

Go listen to the whole thing and subscribe. You won’t be sorry!


Applying Obama’s Lecture on Mass Shootings to His Own Policy of Killing Innocent People

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 pm

I don’t agree with this video’s point of view in its entirety. Trying to kill terrorists and killing innocent people in the process is not the same as a maniac deliberately killing innocent people. But the recent Doctors Without Borders slaughter tells me that Obama doesn’t begin to put in the time, care, and effort he should to make sure innocents don’t die in the process. It should be one of the most important things he does, and he acts like it’s not even his job. That’s what you should keep in mind as you watch this very effective argument of juxtaposed images.

John Lennon’s 75th Birthday

Filed under: General,Music — Patterico @ 6:58 pm

John Lennon would have been 75 today. Let’s celebrate what we had:

Woeful Attempt by WaPo Writer to Exonerate Hillary

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:29 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Phillip Bump of the Washington Post took to his keyboard earlier today to suggest to us that we, the ungrateful and unwashed, are only fixating on the email security problems of Hillary! Rodham Clinton (the Once and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States) because we don’t understand how the interwebs and that electronicographic-mail thingy work. Carrying the bizarre headline “Why Our Technological Ignorance Is Hurting Hillary Clinton”, Bump’s piece assures us that “[p]eople don’t really understand how the Internet works, and so the stories might sound more ominous than they otherwise would.” Naturally, he finds some New York-based president of a “tech firm” to assure us that “[i]t’s not unusual at all” for hackers to target email systems, something that pretty much every single Internet user ought to know by now. He also goes on a bizarre tangent covering how Team Hillary!’s attempt to “wipe” the email server really wasn’t “wiping” the email server because everybody knows that you can’t “wipe” an email server without actually “wiping” the email server. Or something. I’m apparently too ignorant to understand Bump’s ignorance.

Bump isn’t crazy enough to entirely dismiss the problems that Hillary’s unique arrangement has caused, admitting that “[i]t is fair to question the security of the system and her decision to rely on it,” but counters that sane concession to reality by insisting that “[i]t is also the case that a lot of assessments of Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server make very big mountains out of what might be very small molehills.”

But what else could we expect from a former left-wing attack dog pretending to be a sensible journalist?


Jonathan Chait Has Absolutely No Idea What the Debt Limit Is

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

Jonathan Chait mocks Ben Carson for supposedly not understanding what the debt limit is, in a piece titled Ben Carson Has Absolutely No Idea What the Debt Limit Is. Problem is, Chait apparently doesn’t understand it himself, while Carson understand it just fine, thank you. Here’s the beginning of Chait’s piece:

The debt limit is a routine vote that Congress must periodically make to authorize payment on debts the government has incurred. It has no impact on the budget, but the failure to lift the debt ceiling means the U.S. government would go into default, a potentially disastrous event.

Two sentences in, Chait already has it wrong. Whether he is ignorant or lying is an open question, but he is wrong either way. Peter Ferrara explained this at Forbes in October 2013, but it bears repeating:

As the outstanding federal debt becomes due, it can simply be paid by newly issued debt, without violating the debt limit, as the total outstanding debt would not change. President Obama’s own budget estimates total net interest on the national debt for this year currently totals $223 billion. But his budget also estimates total federal income taxes for this year at $1.7 trillion, or $1,700 billion. So just as you use a small portion of your monthly earnings to pay your credit card bill, current federal tax revenues are more than enough to pay the current interest due on the national debt. So not increasing the national debt does not mean defaulting on the national debt. QED.

But our party controlled press, like the Washington Post and the New York Times, which behave voluntarily in regard to the Obama Administration just as Pravda did under compulsion in regard to the old Soviet dictators, foolishly echo this Obama party propaganda, “reporting” that default on the national debt is imminent unless Congress increases the debt limit. Even some conservative commentators have been buffaloed into lamely repeating that such default is at issue in the debt limit debate. There should be personal liability for commentator malpractice.

Jeffrey Dorfman elaborated in January 2014:

Second, the net debt payments are under $50 billion per month, while total government revenue is expected to average nearly $250 billion per month this year. There is enough money to pay the interest on the national debt. What will actually happen if the debt ceiling is not raised is the Treasury will use accounting gimmicks, which it can do for several months; after that, government would have to cut spending.

Now let’s look at the questions and answers Carson gave. The underlying assumption of the question, asked three times, is that failure to raise the debt ceiling equals default. Carson refuses to fall for the trap:

Ryssdal: All right, so let’s talk about debt then and the budget. As you know, Treasury Secretary Lew has come out in the last couple of days and said, “We’re gonna run out of money, we’re gonna run out of borrowing authority, on the fifth of November.” Should the Congress then and the president not raise the debt limit? Should we default on our debt?

Carson: Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut.

Ryssdal: To be clear, it’s increasing the debt limit, not the budget, but I want to make sure I understand you. You’d let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit.

Carson: No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, “Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period.”

Ryssdal: I’m gonna try one more time, sir. This is debt that’s already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?

Carson: What I’m saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops. You’re always gonna ask the same question every year. And we’re just gonna keep going down that pathway. That’s one of the things I think that the people are tired of.

Each of those bolded questions assumes that Obama would have to default if the debt ceiling were not raised. That is propaganda. Chait knows that, or should.

I don’t have a problem with a single word of Carson’s answer. I do have a problem with someone like Jonathan Chait spreading false memes like this without being challenged.

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1793 secs.