Rick Perry, the latest in the radical, religious, Republican race to the presidency, lies twice as much as he tells the truth. No, this isn’t partisan slinging, this is from the folks at theÂ non-partisan Politifact, who write in their investigation that on some major issues and statements, Perry has told the truth ten times, and lied 21, and add, Perry “has spoken accurately when airing figures calculated by others that donâ€™t necessarily reflect on his own record.”
“No one in Texas politics has faced the Truth-O-Meter more than Rick Perry, who’s gotten more True ratings than anyone else in the state â€” 10 â€” while also leading in False (14) and Pants on Fire ratings (7).
“The just-declared presidential hopeful has fared well on our other meter, the Perry-O-Meter, which rates the fulfillment of campaign promises. To date, a dozen promises have been rated Kept, three as Broken. And now, given his speech in South Carolina, we’re also marking as Broken his repeated vow not to run for president.”
Note that this doesn’t include all the false statements that lie in his announcement on Saturday that he is running for president, and that having an eye on the White House seems to have been a plan all the while.
“His exaggerations and falsehoods have typically touched on federal issues, including border safety and actions by the Obama administration. For instance, he once inaccurately said he had not been called by the Obama White House and wrongly said that the state hadn’t heard a response from the federal government to its applications for Medicaid waivers.”
Politifact discusses issues like Perry’s recurring lies about issues like this one that just make hiom look like Chris Christie.
“In a December 2010 interview, Perry told a writer whose blog appears on the Houston Chronicleâ€™s website that the stateâ€™s request for a federal waiver allowing it to restructure its Medicaid program “has languished in a file cabinet at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for more than two years.” Weâ€™d previously learned that the federal government had been waiting for Texas to revise its original proposal â€” meaning the ball was in the stateâ€™s court. Noting Perry had earlier aired the stalled-in-Washington claim, whichÂ we then rated False, we ruled his rerun worse than inaccurate.Â Pants on Fire!“
Politifact says Perry has “distorted” facts, and also cited Perry saying the difference between 40% and 63% is “not that much different.”
Perry lied on issues like when he said, “Youâ€™ve got bombs exploding in El Paso.” You didn’t.
And one has to wonder not why Perry lies so much, but why he lies — especially about issues like this one.
“Asked about his relations with Obamaâ€™s administration, he said: ‘I have, frankly, never had a call from them.’ Information from both the White House and Perryâ€™s state schedule contradicted his claim. Presuming the state schedule reflects what actually happened, Perry had received such a call two weeks earlier.Â Pants on Fire.“
But Politifact isn’t the only one digging a little deeper into the Texas Governor’s statements.
In May, Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos wrote,
“Apparently ourÂ snake oil dealing GovernorÂ Rick Perry is lying his way through the state of California in an effort to trick CEOs into moving to Texas.
“Of course most folks in Cali, unlike those of us in Texas, have no clue that Rick Perry is incapable of fessing up to the sin of his reckless fiscal polices. For Texas is flat out broke and it hasÂ lost more jobsÂ than California had in 2010. In fact, Texas ranked second in the nation inÂ job losses.
Shaw cites a Houston Chronicle op-ed by Lisa Falkenberg that states,
Texas actually lost 352,500 non-farm jobs from 2008 to December 2009, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Texas Workforce Commission.Over the past three years, the period cited in the Journal, Texas lost 61,600 jobs, according to Workforce Commission data from March 2008 to March 2011.
Of course, our numbers are still better than those in many other states, including California. Texas’ jobless rate is 8.1 percent, compared with California’s 12 percent.
“Every time the governor or some other politician downplays the effect on Texas, it minimizes the struggles of the 984,411 Texans, who, by latest count, are still out of work.”
And just yesterday, The Des Moines Register reported Perry’s lie about the trucking industry and government regulations.
“Perry, who on Saturday announced he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, contended in Des Moines today that federal regulations are stifling creation of American jobs.
“He then proceeded to cite what he termed an â€œobscene, crazyâ€ regulation. â€œIf you are a tractor driver, if you drive your tractor across a public road, youâ€™re going to have to have a commercial driverâ€™s license. Now how idiotic is that?â€
Of course, Perry’s lies are just convenient politics, and don’t represent actual facts, just targets he thinks he can gain political points with. The Register delivered the facts.
“U.S. Department of Transportation officials are disputing Texas Gov. Rick Perryâ€™s statement at the Iowa State Fair today that federal administrators plan to require a farmer driving a tractor across a public road to obtain a commercial driverâ€™s license.
â€œWe are absolutely not requiring farmersâ€ to obtain commercial licenses, such as those required of semi-trailer operators, said U.S. DOT spokeswoman Candice Tolliver in Washington, D.C.
“She said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood had put out a statement last week making the DOTâ€™s position clear.
â€œWe have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy,â€ LaHoodâ€™s statement said.”
Like Perry’s number one rival, Michele Bachmann likes to say — albeit in another context — this is just “the tip of the spear.”
Go deeper, fellow journalists.
(image: Texas Governor Rick Perry’s signature.)
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Trump Spent 2020 Attacking Ballot Drop Boxes – but Now He’s Demanding They Be Deployed in Churches
Donald Trump laid the groundwork early in the 2020 election for his possible defeat by attacking voting by mail and ballot drop boxes, insisting they should be illegal while making clear if he lost the White House those proven safe and effective means of voting would be to blame.
But now, with a flailing 2024 campaign the failed ex-president who is under multiple investigations is demanding ballot drop boxes be deployed – but only in churches.
“Some states use ‘drop boxes’ for the collection of Universal Mail-In Ballots,” Trump tweeted in August of 2020. “So who is going to ‘collect’ the Ballots, and what might be done to them prior to tabulation? A Rigged Election? So bad for our Country. Only Absentee Ballots acceptable!”
That was just one of his many attacks on drop boxes.
“So now the Democrats are using Mail Drop Boxes, which are a voter security disaster,” Trump tweeted just days later. “Among other things, they make it possible for a person to vote multiple times. Also, who controls them, are they placed in Republican or Democrat areas? They are not Covid sanitized. A big fraud!”
The tweet was so false Twitter appended a warning label to it that reads: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity.”
Fast forward to now.
On his social media platform Trump reposted a “truth” (the word Truth Social uses instead of “tweet”) from far-right activist, conspiracy theorist, and provocateur Jack Posobiec. Posobiec was “one of the most prominent promoters of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, that held that the Washington D.C. pizzeria Comet Ping Pong was really a front for a child sex dungeon run by Hillary Clinton. He even went to the restaurant to find out ‘what’s really going on’ there,” according to The Daily Beast.
“In 2017, BuzzFeed reported text messages suggesting that Posobiec held a ‘Rape Melania’ sign during an anti-Trump protest in an apparent attempt to discredit the protesters as insidious and deranged.”
Thursday, on Trump’s Truth Social platform, Posobiec wrote: “I don’t know who needs to hear this but Republicans should put ballot drop boxes in the back of churches in every state where it’s legal.”
Hours later Trump was all over the idea, demanding the Republican National Committee implement it.
“Best idea I’ve heard in a long time,” Trump wrote in all-caps, “put them all over the place. RNC, every Republican, get to work on this now!!!”
Democratic voting rights attorney Marc Elias’ Democracy Docket platform just last week reported that in 2020, “Trump first attacked mail-in voting itself, then tried to undermine the postal service’s ability to handle the volume of ballots. Soon after, he began to target drop boxes as well.”
As Trump learned, making it more difficult to vote is not a winning strategy, unless you’re highly unpopular and can block a significant number of your opponents’ votes while retaining your own, which he did not.
But the GOP sure tried.
“Republicans in many states soon followed Trump’s lead and began restricting the deployment of drop boxes even if the state had previously used them without controversy. [Ohio] Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) limited each county to a single drop box no matter how populous. Similarly, the Texas Supreme Court upheld Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) order limiting every county to a single ballot drop-off location — from Loving County (population of 64 people) to Harris County (population of 4.7 million people). In other states, Republicans moved to ban drop boxes entirely, and Missouri officials decided against deploying 80 boxes the state had already purchased,” Democrat Docket adds.
Meanwhile, Trump’s – or rather, Posobiec’s – strategy is clear: “Republicans should put ballot drop boxes in the back of churches,” because Trump thinks he still owns the Christian vote, despite attacking “disloyal” evangelical leaders just weeks ago.
But drop boxes are largely the purview of state election officials, and there would be a strong case to make again putting drop boxes only in churches. What about other houses of worship? And why just houses of worship – are they more secure than other areas?
Some might think it’s difficult to flip-flop on such a basic idea as drop boxes, especially if you went to court to void voters’ ballots that were deposited in them.
“In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign sued to invalidate the use of drop boxes in the primary election and prevent their use in the general election,” Democracy Docket adds. “Then after the election, Republicans pointed to drop boxes as a reason to question the results in a lawsuit filed in Michigan.”
Now that Trump has succeeded in ensuring Ronna McDaniel remains head of the RNC, this will be a test of his strength, or lack thereof.
‘Breathtaking’: Economists Stunned by Job Growth ‘Boom’ as Unemployment Drops to Level Not Seen Since 1969
The year was 1969: Congress certified the results of the election, officially declaring Richard Nixon would be the 37th President of the United States, Joe Namath led the New York Jets to win Super Bowl III, The Beatles released the soundtrack from their hit film “Yellow Submarine,” and unemployment was 3.4%.
It’s been 54 years since unemployment was at 3.4%, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released January’s report Friday morning, stunning economists who expected unemployment to go up, not down.
Economists projected 187,000 new jobs would be added to the U.S. economy in January. Instead, the number came in at 517,000, Forbes reported. Prior months were also adjusted to be better than first reported.
“This is a breathtaking number. That spike in stories about layoffs? It was about a small unrepresentative slice of the economy. Real America is still getting back to work,” crowed Professor Justin Wolfers, the popular University of Michigan School of Economics professor, a senior fellow at Brookings.
“Average job growth over the past 3 months is a cracking +356k. A boom!” Wolfers cheered.
“We haven’t seen unemployment this low since before Woodstock, baby,” he added. “Groovy.”
Wolfers wasn’t done. He blasted those who continue to talk about recession: “This is a final nail in the coffin of all the 2022 recessionistas. When average job growth is this high we call it a BOOM.”
For those who just want the bottom line, Wolfers offered this take on the jobs report: “It’s all good news.”
“January marked the 25th straight month of solid job growth,” The Washington Post reports, observing that the “labor market shattered expectations.” The Post adds: “the labor market remains formidable, inflation is beginning to normalize and there are signs that the global economy may be on stronger footing than originally feared.”
Image: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy, Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Steamfitters Local 602 United Association Mechanical Trades School in Springfield, Virginia. Official White House Photo by Erin Scott via Flickr
GOP’s New ‘Bizarre Obsession’ Shows It Has ‘Gone Crazy’: Morning Joe
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough ripped the Republican Party for focusing on a “bizarre obsession” to stoke a culture war that targets vulnerable teenagers.
A proposed draft of a Florida physical education form would require all high school athletes to provide information on their menstrual cycle to state athletic officials, which the “Morning Joe” host bashed as an unnecessary and cruel attack on a minuscule number of transgender teens who play sports.
“The percentage is so small that they’re doing this to every girl in Florida schools?” Scarborough said. “Talk about overkill. Just stop already.”
“I mean, let’s talk about that Florida law,” Scarborough continued. “Can you imagine doing that as a young girl when you were, like, in high school, middle school? Come on, talk about, again, the obsession over 0.003 percent of the population, and then the unbelievably small number of transgender students who are playing sports. The Florida Republican Party has gone crazy. They sent out tons of mailers on this, the obsession, and now they’re making young girls self-report on menstrual cycles because of this bizarre obsession?”
“This is stupid,” he added. “This is another stupid extension of a culture war where he’s trying to create a culture war around something where there is not a war.”
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