Category Archives: Lies And More Lies

Rand Paul’s Goldfish Story

Rand Paul - asimov quote :

Conservatives prove Asimov right every time they delve into their twisted understanding of science. The latest example is Rand Paul’s rant on Fox where he tried to make the case that the military and government are wasting $5.2 million for what he called “goldfish studies”.

“In the military they have $5.2 million they spent on goldfish — studying goldfish to see how democratic they were and if we could learn about democracy from goldfish,” Paul said on Fox. “I would give the president the authority to go ahead and cut all $5 million in goldfish studies.”

If Paul is right and the military is spending millions to “learn about democracy from goldfish“, then he has every right to bitch to his heart’s content. In fact everyone should be complaining of such a waste of public funds.

But Paul is not right. His take on the $5.2 million goldfish study comes from a faulty report issued by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn last November. The report dealt with how the Pentagon could save billions by cutting out specific non-defense programs. One of the suggested cuts by Coburn was the “fish” study.

“Fish could show the nation how to overcome political polarization and promote democracy, according to Pentagon-funded research,” Coburn’s team wrote. “The Pentagon claims the research provides ‘a better understanding of how individuals with low stake impact achieve a democratic consensus’ and this ‘effort supports Military Information Support Operations (MISO) mission area.’” In learning as much, though, the Defense Department blew through a $5.2 million grant from DARPA.

The tiniest bit of research by Paul and Coburn would have shown them that the project has nothing to do with how goldfish handle democracy. In fact it has nothing to do with goldfish. The four year project uses a different species of fish and studies robots and how they can help in dealing with deep oil spills and radioactive leaks. As Princeton science professor Iain Couzin explains:

“Our work aims to understand the principles of collective control in animal groups and what this can inform us about collective robotics. It has nothing at all to do with human politics.”

[The research has] “direct applications to human security and collective control of robots.”

Has Coburn issued a correction to his November report? No.

Has Paul issued a statement on Fox correcting his statement? No.

Will either man do so? No.

Why not? Because no one on the right ever admits to “mistakes” they make in presenting “facts”. They just don’t because everyone knows that true conservatism is never having to say “I’m wrong.”


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Sleaze By Any Other Name Would Still Point To Rick Scott

Rick Scott - sleaze    :

If there is a single conservative politician who epitomizes everything that is wrong with the Republican party, it has to be Florida’s crooked (if not deranged) governor, Rick Scott. There apparently is no lie too big, too blatant or too self-serving that Scott will not use in his deliberate quest to turn Florida politics into a bigger joke than it already is. Here’s his latest.

The state’s chief economist has warned the staff of Gov. Rick Scott that his Medicaid cost estimates are wrong, but Scott keeps using them anyway, according to e-mails obtained by Health News Florida.

Scott says he opposes expanding Florida Medicaid because it would cost too much: $63 billion over 10 years, he says, with the state paying $26 billion of that.

But those numbers are based on a flawed report, according to a legislative budget analyst and State Economist Amy Baker.  A series of e-mails obtained by Health News Florida shows the analysts warned Scott’s office the numbers were wrong weeks ago, but he is still using them. He cited them in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed on Sunday and at at a Washington press conference on Monday.

Scott knew that his numbers were completely off but he went with them anyway because he and his fellow Republicans would never let anything as trivial as truth or facts get in the way of blocking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As Steve Benen points out, the actual cost to Florida for Medicaid expansion would be in the range of $1 billion over the next 10 years – not the $26 billion Scott claimed.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand why Floridians elected this con man to govern them. It was common knowledge at the time that Scott had been CEO of a company that pleaded guilty to 14 counts of corporate felonies after a U.S. Justice inquiry discovered that Scott’s company had swindled Medicaid and Medicare for millions. The company was fined a total of $1.7 billion in what was to be the largest government fraud settlement in U.S. history.

The people of Florida knew this…and yet a majority of them elected him to office anyway. Now all Floridians are paying the price for the stupidity of so many. How unfortunate.


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Romney and Ryan – Whopper Kings

Mitt Romney / Paul Ryan - Whopper Kings   :

Via Greg Sargent:

Last week, Mitt Romney told an Ohio rally that Chrysler was considering moving all its Jeep production to China — a false claim based on a faulty interpretation of a Bloomberg article that said no such thing. It was easy to assume the Romney camp had simply made a mistake (which would not necessarily have justified running with such an incendiary claim without checking the facts first).

Now, however, there is no longer any doubt about what’s happening: The Romney campaign is deliberately misleading people with the Jeep-to-China claim, in a last-ditch effort to turn things around in Ohio, which benefitted enormously from the auto bailout Romney opposed. The Romney campaign is running a new ad that claims:

Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.

They have absolutely no shame. In a profession that has made lying an art form, Mitt Romney and his Republican cohorts are the indisputable king of whoppers and sleaze. I can think of no politician who more deserves an electoral kick in the ass than Mitt Romney.



Kevin Drum‘s take on the Romney ad.

Romney’s ad rates about 9 out of 10 on the deceptiveness scale. He’s obviously trying to imply that American jobs will be shipped overseas; stating things accurately would require wholesale revisions; and doing so would completely destroy Romney’s point. But he doesn’t care. He’s got an election to win, and if scaring Ohio autoworkers is what it takes, then that’s what it takes. It’s truly nauseating.

“Nauseating” is an understatement.


Note: For suggesting the Romney Whopper King idea, one of our readers, Sean, gets a personalized illustration. Thanks, Sean.



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Mitt Romney and the Stinkin’ Truth

Mitt Romney and the Stinkin' Truth   :

Romney at the third debate.

Unfortunately, in nowhere in the world is America’s influence greater today than it was four years ago.

True? Nope, not even close. Like so many of Mitt Romney’s statements, this one’s just another lie he pulled out of his ass. Here’s a chart from the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project that among other things, measured American influence around the world.

And a chart from Ezra Klein using data from the same Pew report.

As is typical with much of what Romney says, the truth is the exact opposite of his assertions. It has become obvious that the Romney game plan has been to just throw anything and everything out there and hope that some of it sticks.

As the Romney campaign said last August, they have no intention of letting fact-checkers dictate what they say.


Film buffs would know that the illustration above is inspired by the following clip from the 1948 John Huston classic The Treasure of the Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston and Tim Holt. The film still ranks in my top 20 movies of all time – Casablanca ties with Godfather I and II as my top picks.


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When A Lie Is Not A Lie and Other Romney Tales

The Mitt Romney Series #3 - contraceptives   :

I just had a discussion with a hardcore Republican where I brought up Mitt Romney’s penchant for shamelessly lying through his teeth. I mentioned 5 or 6 recent lies including the one illustrated above. Mr. Wingnut (sorry to say, but yes you are, my friend) refused to admit that any of them were lies. I asked him how he could look at Romney’s statement at the debate on contraceptives, compare it to previous statements from Mitt and not conclude that he had indeed lied on national television.

His response?

I’d tell you but I have no idea what it was. He went on a five minute rant that so muddied the topic that I had no choice but to finally tune out and walk away. Some stuff in life, like attempting to have a rational discussion with a wingnut, is just not worth the effort.

I came to the conclusion a while back that with many on the right, a fact-based discussion on certain issues is never going to happen. They simply cannot do it. Obama, climate change, gay rights, government, taxation are all examples of issues where no degree of facts, numbers or direct quotes is ever going to sway them. They know what they know. End of story.

Their version of reality, fostered by years of Fox News and wingnut media indoctrination, is not of this world. Hell, it’s not even of this universe. They speak a language which only makes sense to others of their kind. To you and I, it’s sheer madness. To them, we’re the loons.

The key, I think, to communicating with those on the right is to be able to identify those conservatives who have not yet abdicated their right to think for themselves. For the others who have turned over control of their rational minds, at least on certain issues, to the likes of O’Reilly, Beck and Limbaugh, you’re wasting your time.


The Romney source photographs are Creative Commons licensed images from photographer Gage Skidmore.

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