Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lying Politicians

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The Daily Beast  ( ran a fun article today that focused on the truthiness of some of our better-known politicians.  The result was an "ignorance" rating of ten well-known public figures.  Although this measure was hardly scientific, it was very interesting and had a factual basis - and many politicians are wary of those pesky facts.

Basically the researchers took a variety of statements from the individuals who were studied, and then checked those statements for veracity.  They were then awarded points - with statements proven to be true or mostly true receiving zero points, statements half-true or barely true garnered one point each, false statements earned three points each, and "pants on fire" outrageous lies pulled in a whopping five points each.  The number of statements checked were also factored into the rankings.

It should come as a surprise to no one that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Republican from Minnesota who lusts after the Presidency (and will achieve that office at about the same time Jesus Christ rides a Missouri Jumping Mule into Madison Square Garden), was found to be the biggest liar.  The screwball Bachmann was rated on nineteen statements, and, of those, zero were found to be true or mostly true, two were rated as half-true, three were barely true, eight were outright false, and six were "pants on fire" lies!

In defense of Bachmann, a proud home school teacher, some of her lies may be little more that just old fashioned stupidity.  For example, she recently complimented the state of New Hampshire for being the birthplace of the American Revolution - Lexington and Concord, you see.  Problem is, the Lexington and Concord of Revolutionary War fame were located south of New Hampshire - in Massachusetts!  The article in the Daily Beast focused on another gem of Bachmann's American history - the one where she said that there was a swine flu outbreak in the 1970's during the administration of Jimmy Carter.  There was a swine flu scare in the 1970's - but it was during the Ford administration and it never developed into an actual outbreak.  Where does this home school teacher get her facts?  Could it be that she buys her history books from Texas?

The second biggest liar was former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele.  He was checked on eight statements.  Four were true, one was half-true, one was false, and two were "pants on fire" lies.

Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and Democratic National Chairman, was next.  Six of his statements were checked.  One was true, one was mostly true, one was half-true, and three were false.

Sarah Palin, a politician who talks incessantly and says very little, came in fourth.  Forty-five of her statements were checked.  Ten were true (shocking, I know), six were mostly true, seven were half-true, six were barely true, twelve were false, and four were "pants on fire" lies.

Congressman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, was measured on seven statements.  One was true, two were half-true, three were barely true, and one was "pants on fire."

Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat and former Speaker of the House had fourteen of her statements fact-checked. One was true, two were mostly true, six were half-true, two were barely true, two were false, and one was "pants on fire" false.

Harry Reid, a Democrat who is the Senate Majority Leader, was checked on ten statements.  Two were true, one was mostly true, three were half-true, one was barely true, and three were false.

Mitch McConnel, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, had ten statements that were examined.  Two were true, two were mostly true, two were half-true, one was barely true, and three were false.

Orange John Boehner, a Republican who is the current Speaker of the House, had thirty-seven of his statements checked.  Of those, fourteen were true, three were mostly true, three were half-true, five were barely true, and twelve were false.

Vice President Joe Biden rounded out the list.  The Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate since about the time he hit puberty, talks a lot and had forty-four of his statements examined.  Ten Biden statements were found to be true, eight mostly true, ten half-true, eight barely true, five false, and three "pants on fire" lies.

That's a whole lotta mispeaking going on!

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