The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Politician Veracity: "Pants on Fire"

Pants on Fire!
"Facts are stubborn things."
Ronald Reagan 

The following exercise and treatise was developed as a year-end project for the site.  Unfortunately, the decision to develop the work came about late in December. A permission (to use) request from Politifacts prior to publishing the work was caught-up in holiday season time-off.  I received permission this morning.  Here, you are and have some fun with this piece.
Happy New Year!

As we close out 2011, I thought about what sort of year-end summary should I develop. A summary which would be both informative (for me at least) and fun was important. 

I write a monthly Absurdity Award [trophy.gif](AKA, the DUMBASS), but I noticed the work has not been accomplished since August . So, I could not use that opportunity to close with a "year-end"  winner of the DUMBASS AWARD.  I will re-engage the DUMBASS starting in January 2012.

My quest for a year-end review took me to a place that I have been very much angry about since Mid-December: Politifacts.  Yes, Politifacts  "most noticeable 2011 false claim" was the Democratic Party's 'Seniors anti-healthcare' campaign. The distinctions still festers a bit. That arguable award aside, Politifacts provides a month-to-month chronological set of investigative details I could not resist.

The following information represented two critical facts.  First, it shows what the idle mind will do when it is not occupied with work (Holiday Break). Second, and more important, Politifacts does not delve into every opportunity for investigation. I will admit that I am not aware of what criteria the site uses for its research and opinions, but 99 % of the time, I find their analysis accurate.

With those two opportunities (time and source) available to me, I decided to accomplish the following quick review. 

A word before the data. It should be noted, any information factored into this work is based on comment from either political party, officeholder, or candidate for office.  The Politifacts information is not a poll, the site accomplishes its work via the number and level of notable comments they feel are worthy of investigation. It would have been good to know an approximate number of comments Politifacts investigated  throughout the year; but the information is not available (to me).  

Worthy of investigation? As an example, if the Republicans are not in the White House, of course, I would expect far more 'chatter' from that party, thus more opportunity for Politifacts to do their work. Another example, the inordinately high number of "False" and "Pants-on-Fire" indicators for the GOP in the Fourth Quarter of the Calendar year is indicative of political campaigning. (I tried to be fair there!) My reach for fairness also leads to the following statement. "If the Democrats were vying for the White House, I am certain the numbers above could (conversely) reflect more "False" and "Pants on Fires" for that party.

The Task

Review Politifacts month to month 'truth' indicators and compare which political party appear most truthful.  


A manual count of the following link with has marks. Yes, almost as crude as use of an ABACUS.  But think for a second, if I had placed the data into a spreadsheet, the article would have included boring percentages and maybe a few ratios. It is far too late in 2011 for percentages and ratios, it is the holiday season, and time does not permit such calculations. Simple 'eye-balling' and contemplation of the visual sufficed. If a reader would care to accept the data as accurate as my eyes and fingers could muster, and wishes to place the data in a spreadsheet, sort and develop percentages, I would love that.  Ratios would be all the better.

Categories for Veracity

Directly from

True - Mostly True - Half True - Mostly False - False - Pants on Fire

Data linked pages: Statements 2011

2011 Month-to-Month Review

True Mostly True Half True/ Mostly False False Pants on Fire
  39                  18
 46                  48
Chain Email
  0                    0

Notes and observations: 
  •  Politifacts indicators that appear non-affiliated(to party, candidate, or politics) were not used in the tabulations.   Example: Facebook.
  •  Tabulations included peripheral indicators such as Warren Buffet, Paul Krugman and Rachel Maddow as Democratic and Crossroads and Laura Ingram/Bill O'Reilly as Republican.
  • Bernie Sanders as an Independent uncounted (Only two indicators for the year) despite Left lean.
  • Occupy wall street uncounted.
  • Alarming number of "False" indicators for Michelle Bachmann (unable to depict but verifiable via link above).
  • Alarming number of "False" indicators for Herman Cain.
  • Alarming number of "False" indicators for Sarah Palin.
  • Increased number of "Pants-on-Fire" for Republicans in the 4th Calendar Quarter. Caucuses?
  • Disappointing number of "Half-Truths" from the Democrats (a personal bias)
  • Floored: number of "Pants-on-Fire" for the Republicans in general. FOX News did not weigh heavily. Speaks poorly for the GOP.
  • Noteworthy: higher number of "True" for the Republicans.  Ah ha, for those who are poo-pooing this unsophisticated review. Could simply mean more rhetoric from the party not seated in the Oval Office and could denote pure obstructionism. In other words more rhetoric. When accompanied by the extreme number of "False" and "Pants-on-Fire' Indicators, I suspect the level of rhetoric to be the basis for the higher number of "True" indicators, but, of course, I am biased. A conservative might us this analogy, "If I drop more bombs, I will kill more people". [Now, (in 2012) that Bachmann has declared she would arm our nuclear weapons]
  • Non-surprise: Disproportionate number of Republican indicators in the "False" Category.
  • My bias shows: minuet number of "Pants-in-Fire" as an indicator of Democratic veracity.
  • All investigated chain email registered as "Pants-on-Fire".

Politifacts:  "Pants-on-Fire" (Republicans and an ending surprise); one per month; my choice. 
Chain e-mail
Email Chain Letter
JanuaryFriday, January 7th, 2011 Members of Congress and their families and staff are exempt from repaying student loans.Chain e-mail Reported on FOX NEWS. LINK
Pants on Fire! 
Donald Trump

FebruaryThursday, February 10th, 2011"The people that went to school with (Barack Obama), they never saw him, they don't know who he is."

Pants on Fire! 
Michelle Bachmann

March: Saturday, March 26th, 2011 in a speech at the Conservative Principles PAC Conference, "One. That's the number of new drilling permits under the Obama administration since they came into office."

Pants on Fire!
Reince Priebus

APRIL: "We’ve lost 26 million jobs … since (Obama’s) been president."

Pants on Fire! 
Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

MAY: Thursday, May 12th, 2011President Obama’s health care law "represents a government takeover of health care."

Pants on Fire! 
Victoria Jackson
Victoria Jackson

JUNEFriday, July 15th, 2011 "A clause hidden in the Obamacare bill, which is now law, gives Obama the right to form a private army."

Pants on Fire! 
Sarah Palin 
Sarah Palin

JULY: Sunday, July 10th, 2011 Slim Jims "just recently" cost 99 cents but now cost $2.69.

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

AUGUSTThursday, August 11th, 2011 "We're inches away from no longer having a free economy."

Pants on Fire! 
Rick Perry

SEPTEMBER: Monday, September 12th, 2011"The first round of stimulus ... it created zero jobs." 

Pants on Fire! 
Jon Huntsman
Jon Huntsman

OCTOBERTuesday, October 11th, 2011 "The IRS is already planning on 19,500 new employees to administer" Obama’s health care mandate.

Pants on Fire! 
Herman Cain
Herman Cain
NOVEMBERMonday, October 31st, 2011 China is "trying to develop nuclear capability."
Pants on Fire! 
Newt Gingrich
Newt Gringrich
DECEMBERTuesday, December 6th, 2011 Says the congressional ethics investigation against him was conducted by "a very partisan political committee" in a way that "related more to the politics of the Democratic Party than to ethics."
Pants on Fire! 
Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
DECEMBER IIWednesday, November 30th, 2011 People can use food stamps "for anything," including "to go to Hawaii," and even millionaires can qualify.
Pants on Fire! 
Michele BachmannMichele Bachmann

DECEMBER III:  Thursday, December 15th, 2011 "After the debate that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true."
Pants on Fire! 
The wrong and very ridiculous POLITIFACTs
"Pants on Fire"  choice for 2011.
As pathetic and as Unfortunate as it maybe, I would be less than credible if I did not list the one Pants of Fire voted Most notable for the years. It points a finger directly at a set of Democratic Party advertisements.
APRIL: Monday, April 18th, 2011 

APRIL: "Seniors will have to find $12,500 for health care because Republicans voted to end Medicare."

Pants on Fire! l

The tables above cannot depict the impact of viewing the information on a running month basis. You really should visit the link above and see for yourself. 

Michelle Bachmann's number of "False" and "Pants-on-Fire" was astounding. I can see way so many are indicating she is not a truthful person. Her previous excursion into false information such as President Obama India trip supports the "Pants on Fire" and "False"  indicators. Herman Cain had fewer "Pants-on-Fire" than expected, but he bowed out of the race in Early November. I believe he had one or two "True" indicators as well.  Donald Trump has a number of "Pants-on-Fire' befitting a 'Carnival Barker" and Birther.  Mitt Romney's "Pants-on-Fire" indicators increased as the Fourth Quarter progressed through today (December 30, 2011). Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had more "Pants-on-Fire" than any other Democrats.

Noticeably absent: Pat Buchanan!

Is Buchanan taking the 'high road' or operating under the radar after his book release?

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