When it comes to the Sequestration Whoppers Sweepstakes, it appears Senate Majority Leader Harry “My Invisible Friend Told Me” Reid just pulled into a dead heat with President Obama and White House Press Secretary Jay “the Clown” Carney when the Washington Post Fact Checker awarded him FOUR (4) PINOCCHIOS for his 31 July 13 World-class prevarication about sequestration already cutting 1.6 million jobs. Seems that in the Democrat “Crying Wolf” competition, every speaker tries to “out exaggerate” a previous one when it comes to the impact of sequestration. Unfortunately for them, we’re about 6 months into Sequestration and “the sky has not fallen”, airports and airplanes are still operating, and the government is still operating relatively normally (with the exception of the IRS I suppose.)
But it was actually President Obama that kicked off the Whopper competition when he uttered something so outlandish that even the Fact Checker was flabbergasted (See Below Graphic #1 - entire WaPo Obama Whopper article):
“Starting tomorrow everybody here, all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol. Now that Congress has left, somebody’s going to be vacuuming and cleaning those floors and throwing out the garbage. They’re going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they’ve got to figure out how to manage that. That’s real.”
President Obama, news conference, March 1, 2013
Now this one was so absurd that the three people in charge of all the Capitol janitorial staff, Stephen T. Ayers, the Architect of the Capitol; Carlos Elias, the Superintendent of the Capitol Building; and Terry Gainer, the Senate Sergeant at Arms; all immediately issued statements contradicting the President to calm their workforce by assuring them that there would be NO pay cuts or furloughing for any of their staffs.
Once the President quickly earned his Four Pinocchios and especially after senior officials at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the federal agency that employ janitors on the House side, and the office of the Sergeant at Arms (SAA), which employs janitors on the Senate side, issued statements saying the president’s comments were NOT TRUE, Jay Carney and his White House Press Staff then went into “full damage control” mode and began issuing “clarification” but as each one was exposed as false by the Fact Checker, their narrative continually changed. Still, the White House kept up its spin offensive, finally claiming that there would be a cut in “overtime” and that was a de facto pay cut and thus the president was right — or at least not wrong – which turned out to be wrong also. Then again, I wouldn’t believe Carney “under oath.” Here is some of how they began to “spin the story” which continually changed as they were caught in one lie after another (See Below Graphic #2 - entire WaPo Press Office Whopper article):
“On the issue of the janitors, if you work for an hourly wage and you earn overtime, and you depend on that overtime to make ends meet, it is simply a fact that a reduction in overtime is a reduction in your pay.”
— White House spokesman Jay Carney, news briefing, March 4
“You know, those Capitol janitors will not get as much overtime. I’m sure they think less pay, that they’re taking home, does hurt.”
— Gene Sperling, director of the White House economic council, on ABC News’ “This Week,” March 3, 2013
Then when the Fact Checker pointed out that the janitorial staff clocked almost NO overtime the story changed again saying they were talking about the contract janitors. Again, the Fact Checker pointed out that almost all the janitorial staff was Government employees and for the few janitors that were contractors, it would be more costly to cancel contracts than to allow them to continue working.
Realizing they had been caught lying, the White House PR Crowd finally just quite responding and here is how the Fact Checker summed up the fiasco: “… a clean-up brigade shouldn’t simply try to deflect and obfuscate. Apparently, the president assumed — incorrectly — that the janitors on Capitol Hill would get a pay cut. Rather than admit an error, White House aides doubled down on their talking points about overtime being essential to their livelihood, without actually knowing the truth.”
And finally, here is what Senate Majority Leader Harry “My Invisible Friend told Me” Reid (D-NV) chimed in with that scored him his FOUR PINOCCHIOS, enough to pull into a virtual tie with the President and his Chief flake Carney (See Below Graphic #3 - entire WaPo Harry Reid Whopper article):
“We have learned that the sequestration already has cut 1.6 million jobs. So we need job creation. We need to help the middle class by creating jobs.”
— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), floor speech, July 31, 2013
And here is how the WaPo Fact Checker characterized Reid’s Whopper which he must have gotten from his same Invisible Friend” that told him about Mitt Romney not paying any Federal Income Tax. This one was so bad his own staff would even defend it -- they just quit answering his Senate office phones!
“While the dust has not settled on the impact of the sequester on employment this year, the available evidence shows that Reid’s claim that 1.6 million jobs already have been cut this year appears wildly off course.”
This has just been the Reader’s Digest version which doesn’t do justice to the full story so I’ve included all three full Washington Post Fact Checker articles below.
Graphic #1 - President Obama
Graphic #2 - Carney & His White House Press Office Crowd
Graphic #3 - What Harry Reid's Invisible Friend (Harvey) Told Him