The Phony Campaign

2015-11-29 Update

PredictWise has raised Chris Christie's probability of being our next President to a mighty 2%, so according to our criteria, he's back.

An unaccountable drop in phony hits for Cruz, Bush, and Rubio has caused Bernie to leap into third place. And I thought he was so authentic!

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2015-11-22
"Donald Trump" phony 80,100 -2,100
"Hillary Clinton" phony 63,000 -9,100
"Bernie Sanders" phony 33,700 +600
"Ted Cruz" phony 27,700 -12,700
"Jeb Bush" phony 24,700 -9,700
"Marco Rubio" phony 24,300 -9,300
"Chris Christie" phony 16,600 ---

  • I am not one to cry "racist" at the drop of a hat. So perhaps that gives me a bit more credibilty when I say this tweet from Trump manages to be both phony and racist:

    (Note that I'm embedding the actual tweet, so it might go away. Still, as I type, Trump has kept this in his feed for a week.)

    Everything about this graphic screams "phony". (Matt Welch at Reason: "obvious Internet bullshit")

    I don't rely on Poltifact for objective fact-checking, but they seem to have their ducks in a row here.

    None of the numbers are supported by official sources. The figures on black-on-white homicides and white-on-white homicides are wildly inaccurate. And, as several news organizations quickly noted, the "Crime Statistics Bureau" doesn’t exist. We looked for that agency as well and the closest we found in San Francisco were a number of crime scene clean-up services.

    Factcheck, what say you?

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump retweeted a bogus graphic purporting to show the percentage of whites killed by blacks and other homicide data delineated by race. Almost every figure in the graphic is wrong, some of them dramatically so.

    Obviously, the worst thing about the graphic is the made-up "whites killed by whites/blacks" figures of 16/81%. According to the FBI crime stats, turning those numbers around would be closer to the truth.

    The only imaginable purpose here is to stir up white fear and hatred.

    Trump found this credible. What does that say about him?

    Trump has (so far) left this tweet in place, even after it's been widely and credibly debunked. What does that say about him?

    Not that Trump has a monopoly on bogus statistics. See, for example, Deroy Murdock's takedown of similarly wild numbers promulgated by some "Black Lives Matter" demagogues. That's no excuse.

    The sad fact is that Trump continues to ride high in the polls. I can only hope that this means his supporters (a) aren't paying any attention whatsoever to his dreadful character issues; (b) that they eventually will figure out what a disgusting weasel he is.

  • Ms. Hillary Clinton found time to bash the Pfizer merger with Irish company Allergan. “For too long, powerful corporations have exploited loopholes that allow them to hide earnings abroad to lower their taxes. Now Pfizer is trying to reduce its tax bill even further.”

    Also (unsurprisingly) playing the demagogic populist card, Donald Trump ("disgusting") and Bernie Sanders ("a disaster").

    The WSJ editorialists rebut:

    What a spectacle of phony outrage. Pfizer CEO Ian Read says he’s been traveling to Washington for two years and telling “almost anybody who would listen” that the U.S. tax code is “hugely disadvantageous” for companies like his. He points out that an Irish company, after taxes, can choose to invest in the U.S. nearly 88 cents of a dollar of profits earned in its home country.

    Pfizer's motives aren't difficult to explain or understand, but when the pols are in fullscale populist bullshit mode (and the media largely lets them get away with it), it's hard to make that case.

    Ms. Hillary almost certainly knows better, but she's also in say-anything-to-get-elected mode. We'll give her extra phony points for that.

  • Here's why I won't be voting for Rubio in the upcoming New Hampshire Primary: his "Billion-Dollar Sugar Addiction". Elaina Plott, writing at National Review, notes that Rubio's support for sugar subsidies just happens to benefit one of his biggest financial supporters, and is totally out of whack with his generally pro-free market, anti-crony capitalism message.

    Rubio has staked his candidacy on empowering the middle class, and has denounced the Export-Import Bank as a bastion of “taxpayer money” for “corporate welfare.” His support for sugar subsidies, and his tight relationship with their largest beneficiaries, flies in the face of that position, which may pose problems as the primary season develops.

    I will, as usual, be voting for some candidate that has no chance of winning.