April 30, 2019

Trump in Transition (v39)

As you probably know, lots of people like to fact check the president, who, as you probably also know, plays fast and loose with the facts on a pretty regular basis - whether he needs to or not

In my opinion, he lies automatically, without any regard to anything. He lies when he has absolutely no reason to, as much as he does when he thinks he does have reason to lie.

The Washington Post does a lot of work on fact checking the president, and at some point they started counting his lies and misleading statements, probably when they realized that the volume of them was unprecedented.

Anyway - here's an update from the WaPo on the fact-checking.
It took president Trump 601 days to top 5,000 false and misleading claim in The Fact Checker's database, an average of eight claims a day. 
But on April 26, must 226 days later, the president crossed the 10,000 mark - an average of nearly 23 claims a day in this seven-month period, which included the many rallies he held before the midterm elections, the partial government shutdown over his promised border wall and the release of the special counsel's report on Russian interference in the presidential election.
Pretty impressive numbers - even more impressive than the reduction in the unemployment rate, the boost in the economy, or even the increase in military spending, for Pete's sake! These are historic numbers! The best ever! See how easy it is to be just like him?

The article notes that reaching the 10,000 milestone seemed "unlikely" back in the beginning when Trump was only making less than five false claims or lies a day - which means in a full four year term, he'd only end up with around 7,000.  But here we are -  and,
...the tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger.
Let's see what that tsunami looks like.

Here are just a few examples of how he's jacked up his total to stratospheric levels in recent days:
  • 4/25: a 45-minute phone interview with key adviser Sean Hannity (45 claims)
  • 4/26: an 8-minute press gaggle (8 claims)
  • 4/26: a 77-minute speech to the NRA (24 claims)
  • 4/26: an interview with Mark Levin, lasting 19 minutes (17 claims)
  • 4/27: the Green Bay rally, lasting about 86 minutes (61 claims)
And, during that same three days, there were another 171 lies or misleading claims on Twitter - 
more than he made in any single month in the first five months of his presidency.
Three days vs. five months... that's one #stable genius right there - or maybe it's a #veryvibrantyoungman or something. (I wonder if those were counted in the 10K?)

Trump is so prolific and proficient at this stuff hat a new category of Pinocchios was created for him. There's now something called a Bottomless Pinocchio, which is used to describe a three- or four-Pinocchio lie or false claim that has been repeated at least 20 times.

Among the topics you'll find in this bottomless pit of fakery are these, the top four:
  • the border wall (160 claims)
  • trade deficits (147 claims)
  • the Christmas tax cut (143 claims)
  • the economy (134 claims)
The guy is relentless, lying about whether or not he lied, and even pretending that he hasn't said things that he clearly has said, often repeatedly. And it's only going to get worse.

Much worse.

There will be more rallies, as we get closer to 2020; there will be mass tweeting, particularly as Trump fights the Democrats in the House and their investigations. And just wait until the Dems (and Bernie Sanders, who of course is not a Dem) start holding their debates.

It's going to get ugly out there folks - very ugly - and that's no Pinocchio.

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