Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Jason Singer
Mar 23, 2010

 

Mark Twain once said, "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics." All will play a factor in this presidential election.

Statistics: 99.9 percent of polls say Barack Obama is sitting prettier than a squirrel at a peanut farm heading into the final 30 hours of this election. He's got between a six- and 14-point lead in Pennsylvania. He's ahead 5-7 points in Colorado. He's ahead 4-6 points in Virginia. He's ahead 2-7 points in Ohio. McCain needs ALL of these states to be elected.

Will the statistics hold up? Or will the Bradley Effect kick in and expose these statistics as lies? We'll find out tomorrow night.

Lies: The McCain-Palin ticket continues to get on stage and promote lies. They say Obama will raise taxes, even though every independent study says Obama will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. They say Obama will take your hard-earned money, even though every person making less than $250,000 per year will pay less under an Obama plan than they have under George W. Bush. They say a McCain-Palin ticket fights for plumbers, even though 99 percent of plumbers -- including one named Joe -- will get $1,000 in tax relief next year.

Gov. Palin and Sen. McCain hope that if they say these untruths enough during the next 30 hours, they will scare enough voters to change the outcome of this election. Will it work?

Damn Lies: The more absurd lies are being spread by Republican enthusiasts, and not necessarily John McCain himself. They say Obama's a radical Muslim (he's a Christian.) They say he "pals around with terrorists" like Rashid Khalidi, even though it turns out that McCain gave that same "terrorist" $448,873 for research in 1998. They announce his middle name, "Hussein," at many of their rallies, in hopes that voters will think there's some connection between Obama and Saddam Hussein, or at least that he's a terrorist Muslim from the Middle East.

Mark Twain said, "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."

These lies have undoubtedly traveled from sea to shining sea during the past year. But will voters buy into them without regard? My guess is no. After tomorrow night, though, guesses won't be necessary. Instead, we'll at least have one fact: Either Barack Obama will be our 44th President, or John McCain will be.

And that'll be almost as many facts as John McCain has spewed during the last several months.

Comments

Anonymous

Is this a 'blog or yet another shameless media plug for Barack Obama?

Neither campaign is clean where exaggeration is concerned. Neither campaign is clean about lying, either (though McCain is quite a bit cleaner when it comes to lying about HIMSELF than Obama can claim).

Politics is dirty. Journalists used to provide some soap. Now it seems that, from the national level all the way to a youngster pretending to be a reporter at a small town news outlet, the soap involves few suds and more mud to spread around.

Thanks so much for your contribution to the mess. Given your patently obvious bias, though, I wonder how you'll report good news from John McCain's presidency, or bad news from Barack Obama's. Given what you write here, I suspect you'll ignore both. And newspapers wonder why folks with an I.Q. spend more time on the Internet than with the paper. Go figure!

Anonymous

Jason, writing is supposed to be "organized thought." You have plenty of time to reflect on what you write before it's published to make sure what you're writing actually makes sense. Stop and consider this - because it is absolutely hilarious that you've used "Lies, #amn Lies, and Statistics" as the headline. According to Wikipedia (ever use it?) The phrase “Lies, #amn[ed] Lies, and statistics” refers to “the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions.” Mark Twain made “statistics” the last of the three because he considered statistics to be worse than #amned lies. So it’s funny to me that you would malign Palin and McCain for spreading what you call “lies” and “#amn lies” but the examples of “statistics” you share falsely bolster Obama’s lead in the presidential race! Your use of the phrase would only make sense if you shared statistics that falsely bolstered McCain/Palin’s lead. The fact is: Democrats are the ones who are deploying the use of phony statistics which make them worse lies and #amned lies. Kick back and mull over it a little. You might consider changing the headline because it makes absolutely no sense once you read the post. It actually makes you look a little stupid.

Anonymous

Anybody remember this? Has this happened???? Nope, d*^& Lies.

We'll probably never discuss the rising cost of pork in the global economy, but lipstick-wearing pigs are right down our alley.

We'll probably never discuss geology on this blog, but we might discuss the season debut of "30 Rock."

If you see the phrase "What Can Brown Do For You?" on this blog, we're probably debating the Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn quarterback controversy, and not UPS' latest price increase.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy and come back to visit often. Official blogging begins Monday, and from then on there will be at least one posting every day.

Below, I've listed a schedule of the topics we'll discuss on a weekly basis, which hopefully you'll look forward to:

TUESDAY: Tune Talk -- A look at this week's new albums.

THURSDAY: Five Minutes at the Movies -- A look at this week's new movies.

FRIDAY: An Interview With... -- Someone famous from Sandusky. This will be a video blog, and you'll be able to watch the interview on the Web site. We'll discuss sports, movies, music or whatever else is on people's minds at that particular moment. These will be fun. We may even have readers submit questions during the week.

reader

Nice blog. Keep up the good work.

Crackhead

jason- you are a moron.

Anonymous

I still have to vote today and to be honest im still not sure who I am voting for. Obama scares me....not because's hes black, but because his tax plan, his associates, his illegal immigrant aunt. Yea he will only raise taxes on people who earn $250+, but who usually makes that much?? Employers.....and these employers will get there tax money back somehow...layoffs?? Cuts???? Hiring freezes??? Am I the only one who sees this? He is assoctiated with many crooked people and has unbelievable wealth. I just seem to think that McCain seems to be a little more down to earth....but like I said, I am still not sure...

Anonymous

you are too young and liberal to comment. First of all, bush's tax cut expire next year, and Osama won't renew it, thus a tax raise. We are not talking about khladi, but william ayers unrepentent capitol bomber and Rev. Wright an american hating black panther preacher. Kid do a blog on video games because you are not qualified for this

Anonymous

Ahhh, I had hope for you Jason, but alas you have let us down.

Anonymous

I went to taxcut.barackobama.com and entered in my info. It told me that I would get the same tax cut under McCain that I would get under Obama. Then I entered the info using the salary I will be paid when I get my promotion on the 19th. Turns out that I get a bigger taxcut with McCain then. But then again I used independent thought and investigated the facts on my own.

That and Obama's energy policy reads like a 5th graders science project. But what do you expect when you elect ametuers.