The Phony Campaign

2015-11-22 Update

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PredictWise has dropped Ben Carson's presidential probability under our arbitrary threshold (2%), so our leaderboard shrinks accordingly. The Donald shows an impressive increase in hit counts to lead Hillary:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Donald Trump" phony 82,200 +9,900
"Hillary Clinton" phony 72,100 -800
"Ted Cruz" phony 40,400 +2,700
"Jeb Bush" phony 34,400 -4,800
"Marco Rubio" phony 33,600 -8,100
"Bernie Sanders" phony 33,100 +1,600

  • At Breitbart, John Nolte notes "Yet Another Phony Anti-Trump Fact Check from The Washington Post".

    The serial-fraud that is the Washington Post fact-checker just keeps rolling along, this time with yet another phony attack on a Republican presidential candidate. WaPo’s dishonest left-wing partisans awarded Donald Trump three Pinocchios for saying, “The current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is absolutely unacceptable. Over 300,000 veterans died waiting for care.”

    One problem (as Nolte admits) 300K is, at best, a worst-case upper bound on the actual number of vets who died awaiting care. The actual number is far lower, and the VA datakeeping is shoddy enough that nobody can tell how much lower. So Trump is wrong to throw out 300K as actual fact.

    Although his outrage is (as normal for Breitbart writers) over the top, Nolte does have a point about disparate treatment fact-checkers exhibit between Democrat and Republican lies.

  • Example: The Associated Press is relatively dispassionate in its fact check of last Saturday's Democrat debate. The AP quotes Hillary:

    CLINTON: "Since we last debated in Las Vegas, nearly 3,000 people have been killed by guns. Two hundred children have been killed. This is an emergency." She said that in the same period there have been 21 mass shootings, "including one last weekend in Des Moines where three were murdered."

    And rebuts:

    THE FACTS: The claim appears to be unsupported on all counts.

    Seems straightforward enough. Like Trump, Hillary spouts specific and dramatic, yet bogus, statistics designed to spur fear and loathing among listeners. How did the Washington Post treat this "unsupported" claim? Three Pinocchios, like Trump?

    No. Even though the paper unleashed its fact-checkers on the debate, they failed to notice, let alone award Pinocchios to, Hillary's numbers.

    Politifact: not much better. They generously rated Hillary's bogosities as "half true"

    Bottom line: don't rely on fact-checkers. Check on your own.

  • Could the "democratic socialism" espoused this time around by Bernie Sanders be … shudder … phony? At PowerLine, Scott Johnson finds it to be weak tea. Also not to mention way past its sell-by date.

    Sanders’s democratic socialism isn’t socialism. He disclaims public ownership of the means of production. Sanders’s socialism is Franklin Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights, only more so. It’s the welfare state above all, in which income and wealth are confiscated from some and redistributed to others in the interest of “equality” and “security” and all things good.

    At National Review, Brendan Bordelon collects semi-exasperated reactions from Democrats who don't call themselves socialists. Hey, we're for all that tired soak-the-rich crap too!

    But as a true believer who’s spent his decades-long political career running as a socialist, it was probably inevitable that Sanders would keep the label in his presidential campaign. Dropping it would call his ideological integrity into question, and fundamentally undermine what is perhaps the central facet of his persona.

    Right. Couldn't have that.

  • Finally, a generally relevant Facebook post from Robert Higgs:

    The day-to-day practice of politics consists largely of pushing the envelope to see how big a lie -- and how many of...

    Posted by Robert Higgs on Sunday, November 8, 2015

Last Modified 2019-10-29 5:02 PM EDT