Thursday, November 29, 2007

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EXAGGERATOR AND A BLATANT LIAR? GIULIANI FOR EXAMPLE...

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Tonight's art courtesy of Jesus' General

Many people who were listening to Giuliani during the debate last note noticed that he was lying his ass off. Friday's NY Times looked at his campaign utterances and comes to the conclusion he's a compulsive "stretcher" of the truth. Giuliani insists that his opponents-- and the public's-- insistence he start telling the truth is just "nitpicking." But Romney's claim that Giuliani has "a real problem with facts" is starting to take hold in the collective consciousness. "He has now done this time and again, making up facts that just happen to be wrong, and facts are stubborn things."

Are people noticing? Giuliani is counting on them not noticing, especially not the rubes in the early primary states. He seems to have gotten away with his lies about the relative cancer survival rates in the U.S. and England (in an attempt to prove that for profit medical care is better than the English socialize medicine, which is fairly irrelevant to begin with, since-- unfortunately-- none of the Democrats are proposing socialized medicine). His big lie was that someone diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer in the U.S.-- and keep in mind, poor people don't get diagnosed or treated as frequently as poor people in this country-- has an 82% chance of surviving while in England they only have a 44% chance to survive. This is a flat out lie and an attempt to deceive the dumb kool-aid drinkers in his pathetic political party. The actual survival rates are nearly identical.

But Giuliani doesn't just lie about health case and about English statistics. He lies about virtually everything, which, of course is no problem in a Republican primary but could be an impediment in a general election if Hillary is lucky enough to wind up with him as her opponent. Republicans don't mind being lied to; normal Americans are less likely to take it as a given that we need another compulsive liar as a president. He has certainly been lying about his budgetary prowess.
Another radio advertisement that Mr. Giuliani ran over the summer stated that as mayor he “turned a $2.3 billion deficit into a multibillion-dollar surplus.”

That was also misleading. According to independent fiscal monitors, Mr. Giuliani did have to close a $2.3 billion deficit in his first budget, and did accumulate a multibillion-dollar surplus during his tenure. But by Mr. Giuliani’s last full fiscal year in office, the city was spending more than it was taking in in revenues, and Mr. Giuliani ended up spending almost all of the surplus to balance his final budget.

The long-term structural problems of the budget remained, and after Mr. Giuliani left office, his successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, faced an even bigger budget deficit than Mr. Giuliani had. Fiscal monitors said at the time that the gap was only partly caused by the economic effects of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


But the big one last night was how he (single-handedly you would be led to think) ended a crime wave in NYC. He cites incredible statistics about how violent crime was down by this percentage and murder was down by that percentage. Very impressive. But like all Giuliani's statistics, he pulls them right out of his ass. And like Hitler, another authoritarian with no sense of Truth, he thinks if you just repeat the lie enough times people, or at least gullible people, will start knowing it is true.
Discussing his crime-fighting success as mayor, Mr. Giuliani told a television interviewer that New York was “the only city in America that has reduced crime every single year since 1994.” In New Hampshire this week, he told a public forum that when he became mayor in 1994, New York “had been averaging like 1,800, 1,900 murders for almost 30 years.” When a recent Republican debate turned to the question of fiscal responsibility, he boasted that “under me, spending went down by 7 percent.”

All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong. [The Times just can't bring itself to come out and call him a bald-faced liar.]

Another major American city claims to have reduced crime every year since 1994: Chicago. New York averaged 1,514 murders a year during the three decades before Mr. Giuliani took office; it did not record more than 1,800 homicides until 1980. And Mr. Giuliani’s own memoir states that spending grew an average of 3.7 percent for most of his tenure...

An examination of many of his statements by the New York Times, other news organizations and independent groups have turned up a variety of misstatements, virtually all of which cast Mr. Giuliani or his arguments in a better light.

Giuliani has zero credibility. He's a complete stranger to the concept of telling the truth. Only a hard-core Republican-- or a fascist-- would consider this a qualification for office.


UPDATE: OK, GIULIANI ISN'T THE ONLY REPUBLICAN WHO LIES

FactCheck.org analyzed the Republican debate. Guess what they found. Not only did other pygmies™ lie, there was even an instance of Giuliani telling the truth about something... kind of.
The debate included a couple of lighter moments, when Giuliani jokingly claimed credit for reducing annual snowfall "dramatically" and for four World Series victories by the Yankees during his term as mayor of New York.

In a gag video, his campaign joked that King Kong roamed city streets before Giuliani became mayor, adding:
Giuliani Video: Rudy prevailed: crime down by half, taxes cut and annual snowfall dramatically reduced.
Later, Giuliani said:
Giuliani: [When] I was mayor of New York City, the Yankees won four world championships... I wanted to put this in our reel, but they cut it out, so I'm going to get it in-- and since I've left being mayor of New York City, the Yankees have won none.

It's true that snowfall was less than average under Giuliani, though it's a matter of opinion whether the difference is a dramatic one or not. According to the National Weather Service, between 1869 and 1993, the average snowfall in New York City's Central Park was 28.2 inches per year. During Giuliani’s term (from January 1994 through December 2001), average snowfall was just 26.7 inches.

And the Yankees did indeed win the World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 – but have failed to do so since.

Giuliani is clearly joking here, but he illustrates a serious point that we think voters should keep in mind: Politicians don't automatically deserve credit or blame for what happens while they are in office. Sometimes it's just luck. It's a logical fallacy to conclude a leader's actions are the cause of what happens afterward. Logicians have named this the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy (literally, “after the fact, therefore because of the fact.”)

The fallacy is easy enough to see when Giuliani takes credit for a reduction in snowfall during his term. It’s more subtle when he takes credit for halving crime during his term-- especially when he fails to mention that crime rates were already falling before he took office and that they dropped nationally as well.



UPDATE: GIULIANI CAUGHT LYING AGAIN

When confronted with indisputable proof that you were making something up and you say "I'm going to reverse myself on that"... is that the same as saying, "OK, so you caught me; I'm a lying sack of shit. Today's NY Daily News pulls back the curtain a little more on the Giuliani team.

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3 Comments:

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reagan made up stuff all the time, and it got him elected twice.

 
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