Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TOP "Four Pinocchios" of 2015 (Washington Post)

The Washington Post just published the "The Biggest Pinocchios of 2015". I don't always agree with the Washington Post, and my selection of 2015 fibs and fibbers wouldn't be exactly the same as their top "Four-Pinocchio Ratings". However, I think their list is well worth considering.

I've divided the Washington Post list into two groups:
A) The better known fibbers and fibs (depicted in the above graphic), and
B) The lesser known fibbers (depicted in the lower graphic).

Here are the liars and lies from the Washington Post piece by Glenn Kessler (direct quotes from the piece are surrounded by quote marks):

The Donald is credited with three items in the "Biggest Pinocchios of 2015" list (although they say he earned no  fewer than 11 Four-Pinocchio ratings in the past six months).

FALSE>>>“I watched thousands and thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheer as the World Trade Center fell.”
"Donald Trump falsely and repeatedly asserted that he saw television images of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the collapse of the twin towers after the 9/11 attacks. Despite repeated debunking of this claim, Trump continued to assert he was correct, even though he could produce no evidence except a handful of news stories that made brief mentions of alleged celebrations — which never could be confirmed."
"... a range of studies show there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans."
Donald Trump first said President Obama planned to admit 200,000 Syrian refugees, a figure conjured out of thin air. Then it became 250,000. But the real figure is 10,000. The United States is only planning to admit 180,000 refugees from all countries in the next two years."

FALSE>>>“Hands up, don’t shoot.”
"This phrase became a rallying cry for protests after the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. Witness accounts spread after the shooting that Michael Brown had his hands raised in surrender, mouthing the words 'Don’t shoot' as his last words before being shot execution-style. Democratic lawmakers raised their hands in solidarity on the House floor. But various investigations concluded this did not happen — and that Wilson acted out of self-defense and was justified in killing Brown."

FALSE>>>“DOMA had to be enacted to stop an anti-gay marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
"Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, defended her husband’s signing of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act as a defensive action, to prevent a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. But there is little evidence in the public record that was the case, even though Clinton claimed 'there was enough political momentum' at the time to amend the constitution. (Clinton later said it only had come up in 'private discussions.')"

"Long before President Obama killed the Keystone pipeline project, he made a number of dubious claims about it, including that the pipeline would have no benefit for American producers at all. But the crude oil would have traveled to the Gulf Coast, where it would be refined into products such as motor gasoline and diesel fuel; the State Department said odds were low that all would be exported. Also, about 12 percent of the pipeline’s capacity had been set aside for crude from North Dakota and Montana."

"Secretary of State John F. Kerry for years has said he organized the first Senate hearings on climate change with then-Sens. Al Gore and Tim Wirth. But that was false. Kerry was not at the pivotal 1988 hearing in the Senate — and neither was Gore, who organized the first hearing in the House in 1981. On top of that, Kerry described witnessing events that did not happen."

"Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) loved to tell the story of an elderly man sitting in prison for 10 years after being accused of racketeering and organized crime — just for putting dirt on his land. But just about every aspect of Paul’s recounting was inaccurate and misleading. The man, Robert Lucas, was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy and environmental violations for his role in developing 67 mobile home lots inside federally protected wetlands, building on wetlands without approval and knowingly selling land with illegal sewage systems that were likely to fail."

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), pushing for new regulations of loans made by car dealers, cited a figure based on a misleading and dated report from the Center for Responsible Lending, an advocacy group. But then she also wildly mischaracterized the number, as even the advocacy group conceded that the figure includes reasonable compensation owed to car dealers."

"Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) made this claim in June, which indicated 128 school shootings since December 2014. The number came from the anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety, but its methodology was deeply flawed, including suicides, accidental discharges and so forth. Official government statistics are much lower, indicating the political peril of relying on advocacy groups."

"Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) asserted that Obama, unlike other Democratic presidents such as Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or Harry Truman, never said the United States was a great or exceptional country. This was a bizarre claim. We concluded Giuliani must have muted the sound whenever Obama spoke, because there are many examples of Obama saying exactly that."

"Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) cited the “covers” of Time and Newsweek to claim global freezing had been a serious concern 40 years ago. But these were not cover stories, just isolated examples of speculative journalism. It was never a serious concern; researchers found that peer-reviewed articles on global cooling were in a distinct minority compared to those concerned with global warming."  

[I (Ira) think this Huckabee Pinocchio is not fully justified and should not be in the top Four-Pinocchio list. See my NOTE below.]

Ira Glickstein


The threat of man-made global COOLING perceived in the 1970s was apparently not featured on the covers of Time or Newsweek. So, technically, Huckabee was fibbing when he claimed COVER stories. However, global COOLING was fairly widely reported at the time, including pieces in both Time and Newsweek.  

Here is what the Washington Post RECENTLY wrote about 1970's press coverage of the threat of man-made global COOLING:
Time magazine in 1974 titled an article “Another Ice Age?” and said “climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.”
Newsweek, in 1975, ran an article titled “The Cooling World,” which said: “Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend…. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.” Newsweek suggested that one solution was “melting the arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot.”
(The Washington Post scooped them both with a 1970 article titled, “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age.”)
Furthermore, the threat of excessive cooling due to human activities was considered serious enough to prompt the prestigious National Science Board in 1974 to make serious predictions based upon falling global temperatures experienced during that decade (as I posted to my Blog in 2009).  

Here is a link to the actual 1974 official US Government report that included the following:
 "... growing industrialization and the spread of agriculture introduced increasing quantities of dust into the atmosphere which reduced the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth. ... the cooling effect of the dust particles more than compensated for the warming effect of the carbon dioxide, and world temperature began to fall."

"Several consequences [of colder temperatures] have been observed: ... southward intrusion of sea-ice ... unusually large numbers of severe storms ... development of a calamitous drought belt extending around the world ..."

Finally, here is what I posted to my Blog in 2009

National Science Board Prediction: Global COOLING 

The US National Science Board (part of the National Science Foundation) issued a report titled Science and the Challenges Ahead that makes six interesting science-based observations and predictions. (Three relevant paragraphs from pages 24-25 of the linked document are reproduced here. Click on image to make it larger.)

Direct quotes are indicated by numbered arrows:

1- "Human activity may be involved on an even broader scale in changing the global climate."

2- "During the last 20-30 years, world temperature has fallen ..."

3- "... there is increasing concern that man himself may be implicated, not only in the recent cooling trend but also in the warming temperatures ...

4- "... activities of the expanding human population - especially those involved with the burning of fossil fuels - raised the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, which acts as a 'greenhouse' ..."

5- "But simulataneously ... growing industrialization and the spread of agriculture introduced increasing quantities of dust into the atmosphere which reduced the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth. ... the cooling effect of the dust particles more than compensated for the warming effect of the carbon dioxide, and world temperature began to fall."

6- "Several consequences [of colder temperatures] have been observed: ... southward intrusion of sea-ice ... unusually large numbers of severe storms ... development of a calamitous drought belt extending around the world ..."

Oh, I forgot to mention, the report was issued in 1974! (Well before Climategate :^)

The more things change,
the more they remain the same!
Warming, cooling, ... whatever - it is always MAN's fault!
(And, of course, WOMAN's too :^)
Could it be NATURAL CYCLES not within Human Control?
Nope - No grant money in that!

Ira Glickstein