Other Cool Things

Fact Check #1

NOTE: This post is under the heading of OTHER COOL THINGS on my blog. This is where I reserve the right to post about things other than restoration, like about kitties or a movie I liked or, eek, about politics!

 

During the 2016 election campaign I paid a lot, and I mean a lot, of attention to who was telling the truth and who was lying.

With the internet this is easy. There are numerous bi-partisan fact checkers and I use the highly esteemed Politifact and Snopes.

Nobody reading this will be surprised when I state that all politicians lie. They do. And, you know, I am OK with this, to some degree, because all people lie.

What I look for though is a politician which lies the LEAST! I think truth and reality are really important! Indeed, this is the #1 thing I look for in a candidate. I cannot think of anything more important in a Presidential candidate.

Fox News has convinced tens of millions of people that President Obama was nothing but a liar. Was he? This is not an opinion-based question to answer but rather is something which can be answered via facts. And I love love love facts!

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 6.32.26 PM
This is the “scorecard” for Obama. His “truthy” rating (True, Mostly True, and Half-True statements) is a VERY high 75%. NO OTHER POLITICIAN HAS SUCH A HIGH SCORE. So, while Fox has convinced millions that Obama is nothing but a liar this is an opinion unsupported by facts.

 

This
This is the Politifact Obameter. Politifact kept score of the 500 campaign promises made by Obama. I have talked with many Republicans and asked them: “Out of 500 promises made how many do you think Obama kept?” The answers have ranged from zero to 10%. “The man does nothing but lie!!!!!” But Obama kept 48% of his promises and had to compromise on 28%. This is an extraordinarily high score. Politifact is creating a Trump-o-meter.

 

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This is the scorecard for Hillary. She has a 73% truthy rating. Poltifact gave her the highest rating of any politician in the 2016 campaign. But tens of millions of people are CONVINCED that all she does is lie lie lie. This opinion though is not supported by the facts.

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 6.25.37 PM
By way of contrast is Donald’s scorecard. His truthy rating is 31%. I repeat, 31%. This means that Donald is lying about 70% of the time. While Politifact gave Hillary their highest rating they awarded Donald their Liar Of The Year Award. Does this concern you?

 

During his inaugural speech yesterday Donald lied repeatedly. Does this concern you?

Today, both Donald and White House press secretary Sean Spicer brazenly, astonishingly lied. Both claimed that the media was lying about the low attendance at the inauguration. But it is Donald and Sean doing the lying. Brazenly. Does this concern you?

Sean stated: “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period.”

Donald stated that the crowd looked to be about a million and a half people, and that the media would pay a “big price” for reporting otherwise.

 

v
This is 2009 inauguration of Obama. The crowd estimate was 1.8 million people. Thus, if Donald’s claim of 1.5 million were accurate his crowd would look about the same, right?

 

b
It did not. It WAY did not. This is Donald’s inauguration, taken at about the same time as the 2009 image. A glance, a glance, proves Donald and Sean as brazen liars. Does this concern you?

 

P
Politifact has rated Sean’s comments as a PANTS ON FIRE level of lie. Does this concern you?

 

D
Donald made big deal about how he was writing his own inauguration speech. This, too, has proved to be a lie. The desk he is sitting at is actually the reception desk at Mar-a-Lago, and today the conservative Wall Street Journal revealed that the majority of the speech was actually penned by white nationalist Steve Bannon with assistance from Trump speechwriter Stephen Miller.

 

VOX is another news source I read regularly. Today they published an article stating that there is a strategy at work: “The Trump administration is creating a baseline expectation among its loyalists that they can’t trust anything said by the media. The spat over crowd size is a low-stakes, semi-comic dispute, but the groundwork is being laid for much more consequential debates over what is, and isn’t, true.”

Well, all this does concern me.

That Donald, and his spokespeople, are such provable, brazen liars scares the death out of me. For, Donald now controls our nuclear arsenal. With so little regard for the truth I can easily see WWIII becoming a reality based on lies, misinformation, and disinformation. Even if such a dark scenario does not come to pass how many decisions will be made by Donald and Congress, affecting millions of people, also based on lies, misinformation, and disinformation?

In short, don’t the American people deserve something from our President other than the occasional truth?

 

This is exactly how I feel.
This is exactly how I feel.

 

21 Responses to Fact Check #1

  1. Here’s what I know… We are f-u-c-k-e-d. Thank you for being one of the many voices of reason. And kudos for living in a small town in Kansas. ????

    • Thank you, Sarah.

      I spent a lot of time debating posting such thoughts.

      The readers of this blog are here, mostly I believe, for the posts about the restoration of the Cross House. So, I want to be respectful of this (hence the blue NOTE at the very top of this post).

      I also know that readers of this blog are a diverse group. And I want to be respectful of this as well (ditto NOTE).

      The easy solution would be never sharing my thoughts on other subjects, particularly regarding inflammatory issues!

      But…but…this is my blog, and I bristle at not feeling free to post as I like. I also bristle at worrying more about upsetting a reader(s) than what I deeply view as an unprecedented assault on our Democracy. More than ever, it seems vital to speak up.

      For the last 18 months I have been a horrified witness to lies being accepted as fact and I can envision no good outcome of this.

      Also, I am old enough to have experienced, repeatedly, the pain of “my” candidate not winning. But this feels nothing like such pain. THIS is something terrifyingly unique.

      Never before have I been so afraid. And I write that having once worked directly for Donald, giving me a rare perspective on the man.

  2. Thank you for this post. I marched in one of the women’s marches today, the one in Atlanta. I am terrified of a Trump presidency. I absolutely think everyone who understands the danger that his presidency portends should speak out about it, no matter what the original purpose of their blog or their column or their page. We all need to stand together to support the truth and to support the future of our country

  3. With you 100% Ross. Tired of the “feelings, not facts” crowd, the anti-intellectualism, the lies, the propaganda, the fake news, the bigotry, the stupid. I’m starting to be ashamed to call myself an American. When I travel, I’m Canadian eh!

  4. Oh, c’mon, Ross. You have to fact-check the fact-checkers. Politifact, Vox and even Snopes are extremely biased against anything conservative. It’s no different than someone believing everything on Fox News.

    Can you comment on your experience with Trump?

    • Dear Sherry,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Would you know of any credible sources proving that Politifact, Vox and Snopes are lying? I would be interested in reading this.

      When Sean Spicer states “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period,” and Politifact awards him a Pants On Fire rating, how is that biased?

      My experience with Trump over two years was an eye-opener. I designed his own apartment, as well as three other units he owned in Trump Tower. All this gave me a level of intimacy with him and his family which was unusual.

      When I started in 1985 I admired the man. Two years later I knew, with a doubt, that he was a con man, an incredibly stupid man, a stunningly insecure man, a vile man who abused his family and employees (his wife, sons, and every employee were afraid of him), and a world-class narcissist.

      Oh, and he stiffed me on my final payment. I expected this as I once heard him on the phone bragging that he always refused to pay the final 10% on every deal. Later, HRH Construction, which built Trump Tower, somehow heard about what I knew and asked if I would help them. They were owed $5M which Donald refused to pay. Would I testify as to what I heard? I replied that I would. Well, they got paid.

      Not long ago an author, Timothy O’Brien, wrote that Trump was worth between $150 million and $250 million. A lot of money to be sure but WAY less than the $10B Donald claims. Donald sued the author…and lost. Why? because Donald could not prove the author wrong. Donald appealed, and lost again. For the same reason.

      • Thanx for responding!! And, no, I don’t know of anyone I’d trust for truth. “Believe nothing you hear, and half of what you see.” I doubt that anyone has a true count of the audience. Perhaps I’d call it a fib but not pants-on-fire. There are fact checker, fact checkers. These show the bias against all conservatives and sometimes find the middle-ground truth. Worth a look.

        Sorry you had a bad experience. It’s awful to get screwed out of money.

        Strange how HRH was Trumps “contractor of choice”. I wonder if the $5M was over the concrete debacle in ’97? [Ross: The $5M was payment due over a decade before 1997.]

        Well, I got to get back to the rest of your blog. Playing catch-up. I am completely addicted to your blog. You should write a book.

        • Hi again Sherry,

          You wrote: “These show the bias against all conservatives.”

          The sources I wrote about are biased against lying. I am unaware that they are biased against conservatives.

          Truth is neither conservative or liberal. And both conservatives and liberals lie. And these lies can be fact-checked.

          When Sean stated that the crowd size at the inauguration was the biggest ever, that is not a fib but a brazen lie, and one deserving of a Pants On Fire rating. Such a rating is given if: “The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.” Sean’s statement IS ridiculous as it is instantly and 100% proved wrong by one look at the crowd size in 2009 (where the Mall was packed with people) and the crowd in 2016 (where the same Mall was largely empty).

  5. Ross, you are not alone. Many of your followers (many wonderful people who write such helpful replies as well as the silent ones) love and support you. Millions of other Americans feel the same way you do. I read your blogs – all of them and all of the wonderful replies – for the first time over New Years and your successes with the Cross House which came about through your earnest, loving skillful efforts, helped me find a positive anchorage through that period. Thank you Ross.

  6. It’s not just Politifact, Vox and Snopes calling out Trump and Spicer on their claims. NPR and The Guardian are both non-partisan news organizations and they are both reporting that Trump’s inauguration numbers don’t jibe with his claims. NPR posted an awesome picture of the National Mall comparing Trump’s crowd with President Obama’s. Not even close.

    I want to know why Trump feels the need to get into a pissing contest with the media over crowd size when he has much more important things to worry about. I am an educator and his nomination for Secretary of Education was a scary joke at her confirmation hearing. She didn’t even know what a Pell Grant was! She has no clue about the state of education in our country or how to fix it. But her family donated millions to Trump and that is a fact even she agreed on. I realize every president feels the need to repay supporters by appointing them to government positions, but for crying out loud, pick people who know what they’re doing!

    BTW Ross… this is your blog and you can write whatever you damn well please. Politics is a touchy subject but you shouldn’t be afraid to speak your mind. This is a separate section from the Cross House so your followers can choose for themselves whether to read it or not.

  7. Humanity as a whole is headed for crisis. We have gone as far as materialism can take us and yet we are not happy. Hardly anyone talks about our spiritual nature, especially not world leaders. I hope that one day we will cease to lie; then we will be able to trust one another. A tip of the iceberg of the change necessary, but we can each start within ourselves.

    • My spiritual awareness is keeping me afloat!

      I also remind myself, often of late, how much more vastly, well, evolved people have become in America since my birth in 1957.

      In 1957 popular TV shows depicted women as stupid, incapable of having a job, and men as smart and the wage earner.

      In 1957 it was common for a male boss to grab his female secretary. Today, she would file a million dollar sexual harassment lawsuit!

      In 1957 recycling was uncommon, and no one thought about global warming.

      In 1957 rivers would catch fire due to so much pollution.

      In 1957 cars were death traps.

      In 1957 being gay was defined as a psychiatric disorder. Marriage equality was unthinkable.

      In 1957 segregation was in practice.

      In 1957 interracial marriage was illegal.

      In 1957 weekly church attendance was normal. Today, 80% of America does not attend church. All the while though people identifying as “spiritual” has significantly increased.

      And I can go on and on.

      All this social change in America inspires in me hope for humanity.

      While I am inspired though, Donald becoming President terrifies me as he seems to represent a yearning for many millions to return to 1957.

      (Also, humanity is actually safer than ever in all recorded history. Most people are surprised by this because while crime, for example, is way down in the US, the reporting of crime is WAY up. The media is saturated with crime crime crime! But the facts prove otherwise. That said, while humanity seems in ever better shape, I have an ever-increasing sense of alarm about the health of the planet we share. And this, too, is why I grieve about 11/8/16. )

  8. thanks for sharing. I can only echo your perspective. Facts are facts, no matter how many times a network or president lies, spins or threatens – it still is what it is. Americans can embrace fantasy land, but the price we’ll all pay for this is horrifying to contemplate.

  9. I attended the women’s march in Topeka this past weekend and it left me with a sense of purpose and fulfillment I haven’t felt since the election season began. Sometimes it feels like we’re alone and that’s hard. We are bombarded with news stories about Trump and his goons to the point where it feels like no one else stands in opposition. Saturday was amazing and eye-opening. With over 60 countries and *every* continent (Antarctica even! Dang) participating, I no longer felt alone… I felt empowered to do what it takes to see a bright future. I think I needed that!

    And I definitely needed this post. To see people fact check and hold people accountable makes me happy. I have to believe in a bright future and this gave me just a little more brightness.

  10. Ross, I’m afraid you have been misinformed, Trump and Spicer were not LYING… they were simply using ‘alternative facts’. And I’m afraid that Trump would never let the truth get in the way of a good ‘alternative fact’. And I’m afraid. I’m REALLY afraid. In fact, I’m terrified.

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