Runny No(s)

Washington Post — “Meet the Bottomless Pinocchio, a new rating for a false claim repeated over and over again
Trump’s willingness to constantly repeat false claims has posed a unique challenge to fact checkers. Most politicians quickly drop a Four-Pinocchio claim, either out of a duty to be accurate or concern that spreading false information could be politically damaging.
Not Trump. The president keeps going long after the facts are clear, in what appears to be a deliberate effort to replace the truth with his own, far more favorable, version of it. He is not merely making gaffes or misstating things, he is purposely injecting false information into the national conversation.

To accurately reflect this phenomenon, The Washington Post Fact Checker is introducing a new category – the Bottomless Pinocchio. That dubious distinction will be awarded to politicians who repeat a false claim so many times that they are, in effect, engaging in campaigns of disinformation.

The bar for the Bottomless Pinocchio is high: the claims must have received three or four Pinocchios from The Fact Checker and they must have been repeated at least 20 times. Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware his or her facts are wrong. The list of Bottomless Pinocchios will be maintained on its own landing page.
The Fact Checker has not identified statements from any other current elected official who meets the standard other than Trump. In fact, 14 statements made by the president immediately qualify for the list.”


24 thoughts on “Runny No(s)”

  1. And there is bottomless hypocrisy:

    “3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can’t manage to pass his agenda.” — Donald Trump (2010)

  2. a somewhat different kind of running “no” reported by ny times:
    As President Trump heads into the fight of his political life, the man he had hoped would help guide him through it has now turned him down, and he finds himself in the unaccustomed position of having no obvious second option.
    Nick Ayers, the main focus of President Trump’s search to replace John F. Kelly as chief of staff in recent weeks, said on Sunday that he was leaving the administration at the end of the year. Mr. Ayers, 36, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, is returning to Georgia with his wife and three young children, according to people familiar with his plans.
    The decision leaves Mr. Trump to contend with fresh uncertainty as he enters the 2020 campaign amid growing danger from the Russia investigation and from Democrats who have vowed tougher oversight, and could even pursue impeachment, after they take over the House next month.
    As the president hastily restarted the search process, speculation focused on a group that was led by Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican who is the hard-edge chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, but also included the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin; Mr. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney; and the United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer.
    Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who as a onetime United States attorney could help Mr. Trump in an impeachment fight, was also being mentioned. And some Trump allies were pushing for David N. Bossie, the deputy campaign manager in 2016.
    Mr. Trump’s ultimate choice will be faced with a president whom the two previous chiefs of staff found nearly impossible to manage. But Mr. Meadows, for instance, could still aid Mr. Trump in the coming political battle with congressional leaders, despite his own frayed relationships on Capitol Hill. Weeks ago, Mr. Trump started asking people what they would think of Mr. Meadows, a fierce supporter of the president, as a chief of staff, before moving on to Mr. Ayers.
    Other advisers to Mr. Trump were stunned by the turn of events. One former senior administration official called it a humiliation for Mr. Trump and his adult children, an emotion that the president tries to avoid at all costs.
    For more than six months, Mr. Ayers had been viewed as the favored candidate of the president’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have been seen as maneuvering for greater control and influence around the president. They had clashed repeatedly with Mr. Kelly as he tried to establish more regulated channels to the president. Matt Drudge, an ally of Mr. Kushner, weeks ago posted a photo of Mr. Ayers on The Drudge Report as the next chief of staff.
    But some West Wing officials said Mr. Ayers had been measured and cautious in recent days as he negotiated with Mr. Trump and his family. Before turning down the job, Mr. Ayers told the president that he would be willing to do it only on an interim basis, through the spring.
    The monthslong process to replace Mr. Kelly, whom Mr. Trump announced on Saturday is leaving at the end of the year, is a rare instance in which the president has not been courting candidates simultaneously. Historically, he has signaled to competing prospects that each one is his choice, and then picks one even as he tells both that they are still in the running.
    But this time, Mr. Ayers was the only person Mr. Trump had focused on since he made up his mind to part ways with Mr. Kelly. With a head of blond hair, Mr. Ayers somewhat resembles Mr. Trump in his younger days, a fact that the president often looks for as a positive signal. The president had an unusual affinity for Mr. Ayers, telling aides who expressed concern about Mr. Ayers that he liked him.

  3. Methinks Mr. Ayers is smart enough to realize that he is young and could have a future in more political positions provided he jumps off that sinking ship now.

  4. Take away the lies, take away the hypocrisy, and what’s left of the tRump administration?  Damned little, I’d say.
    And, Renee, I believe you are exactly right about Ayers – he probably thinks he could be chief of staff for a Republican president who isn’t facing all the threats of the SFB admin.

  5. So SFB has presented the WaPo Fact Checker with a challenge that requires a new category of false claims – the Bottomless Pinocchio.  To warrant that designation:

    The bar for the Bottomless Pinocchio is high: The claims must have received three or four Pinocchios from The Fact Checker, and they must have been repeated at least 20 times. Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware that his or her facts are wrong. The list of Bottomless Pinocchios will be maintained on its own landing page.
    The Fact Checker has not identified statements from any other current elected official who meets the standard other than Trump.In fact, 14 statements made by the president immediately qualify for the list.
    The president’s most-repeated falsehoods fall into a handful of broad categories — claiming credit for promises he has not fulfilled; false assertions that provide a rationale for his agenda; and political weaponry against perceived enemies such as Democrats or special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

    The italics and bolding are mine.

  6. Looks like another potentially wild ride in the Dow this week – the index is down 200 points this morning (24,199) – back to where it was one year ago, so now all 2018 gains have been wiped out.  Apple got spanked in a Chinese patent case between it and Qualcomm and China ordered Apple to stop selling older iPhones there. Whatever happens with Brexit this week will probably cause the market to either calm down or go even crazier.  Stay tuned.

  7. Anyone who wants a post Trump career is leaving or not joining up.
    Ayers is smart he is even bailing on Pence who is also going to go down

  8. a sparrow sings in judiciary square
    cbs news:
    Maria Butina, the alleged Russian spy currently held in solitary confinement in a Virginia prison, appears to have brokered a plea deal with the government. 
    On Monday morning, Butina’s attorneys and federal prosecutors filed a joint motion to schedule a “change of plea” hearing before the D.C. District Court. “The parties have resolved this matter,” the court document read. 
    Both parties said they wanted the hearing to occur at the “Court’s earliest convenience” and provided possible dates this week. 
    Butina’s attorneys had cancelled a status hearing scheduled for Dec. 19. The judge in the case, Tanya Chutkan, instead held a sealed teleconference hearing on Thursday at the request of both the defense and the prosecution. Hours after the surprise hearing, the court appointed a public defender to serve as an advisory counsel for the accused spy. 
    Butina, a 30-year-old Russian national, was indicted and arrested in July on charges of conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington, D.C. field office, with charges brought by the U.S. attorney’s office of the District of Columbia and the National Security Division of the Justice Department. It’s not a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in U.S. elections.
    Prosecutors allege she violated U.S. espionage laws by infiltrating U.S. political groups on behalf of a high-ranking official in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of the Russian Central Bank. Butina pleaded not guilty to the charges. 
    Last month, a federal court rejected a request by Butina’s attorneys to remove her from solitary confinement. Her lawyers cited a lack of “meaningful human contact” and “sensory stimulation” in prison.  

  9. The last three months taught us that we don’t need a WH chief of staff. The last 8 months show that we can manage without a president.

  10. Our Australian compatriot, Bill Woerlee, says he got a job offer:

    I regretfully have to decline Donald Trump’s kind offer to be COS. I’m touched that he reached out to me, being 468,466,723rd in legal succession to the job. There’s a fellow I spoke to from an Indian call centre who’s interested. He’ll even fix your pc as a sweetener. #MAGA

  11. Now remind me – was the deal with Butina that she was funneling Russian money into our electoral process through the NRA?  Or have I scrambled the facts on that.

  12. pogo,  possible bullseye. that perhaps, maybe by being a conduit and easy way to filter money. making nice with NRA bigwigs.  also according to ny times today 
    She also tried to help broker a secret meeting with President Trump himself and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia during the 2016 campaign.

  13. Manafort meanwhile per nbc news:
    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort plans to file in federal court this week a formal response to the “crimes and lies” laid out by the special counsel’s office, NBC News has learned.
    On Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of prosecutors said Manafort had broken his plea agreement by not being forthcoming about his contacts with Russians and the Trump administration, even after he was charged.

    Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for D.C. on Monday set a scheduling conference to take place Tuesday afternoon. Earlier Monday, Jackson had ordered she would proceed with the hearing if there is no filing from Manafort’s defense team.
    A source familiar with the Manafort team’s plans said the defense is working on that submission now. However, the source would not say what the filing would entail.
    One key question is whether Manafort will name the Trump administration official he allegedly had contact with in 2018. It is unclear whether Manafort told his legal team about those conversations.
    A spokesman for Manafort’s legal team declined to comment. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office also declined to comment.

  14. patd – Sparrow is correct.  right now the talking head is going over what Butina has been doing and a few of those she was doing with.  I am going to guess her plea deal includes a new name and place to stay with a couple of security types to ensure she is not bothered by bad types.  It would not surprise me to have the FBI, NSA and CIA looking for a couple other sparrows and ravens working the republican gatherings.
    Will she have enough to bring down the grifter?  I think she might all by herself.  It is when you combine what she has on all of them, including a few legislators, with what the president’s men spew out, that you can see a major operation was involved.  I am guessing a couple hundred greedy old perverts and other republicans will be in trouble or just named.
    D.C. is home to a whole lot of Russian spies.  They are everywhere!  New York City too.  So it is possible that the SFB real estate empire is built on Russian spies and money.  That is what will be the finale. 

  15. Lib’rul commenters over at WaPo are freaking out about Chuck & Nancy meeting with Dotard and offering $1.3B for border security. They think it will be used to build a wall.  I think it would be for ICE & Border Patrol operations (about what they spend now).  Am  I misreading what is being offered?

  16. Build a wall- around Mar-A-Lago, top it with razor wire, and pay the guards in tacky gilded furniture.

    There might might be some difficulty in determining where the orange jumpsuit ends and the former-President begins.

  17. Watching Ari Melber tonight, and it appears the only Trump spawn who are not implicated in the folks who had Russian contacts during the campaign areBarron (the kid), Eric (the dumb one) and Tiffany (the forgotten one). They’re the ones who aren’t lawyering up. 

  18. best retort to twit’s latest tweet from one james oliphant:
    Well, technically, he’s right There is no smocking gun.

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