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Saturday, October 22, 2016

House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) trotted out one of the most bizarre and dishonest graphs ever during this week’s hearing on Planned Parenthood. Now he’s responding to the widespread criticism — by totally standing by what he did.

The graph depicted Planned Parenthood’s abortion services skyrocketing way ahead of cancer screenings, with one arrow overtaking the other to much greater heights. The problem: The number for abortions was 327,000; while cancer screenings were still a much higher figure at 935,573.

“So the chart you put out yesterday [Tuesday] was misleading,” Wolf Blitzer said during an interview Wednesday evening on CNN. “If you had a do-over, you would’ve done it differently, right?

“No, I disagree,” Chaffetz responded. “I don’t think it’s misleading.”

Blitzer again laid out the problem with the graph: “It makes it look like there’s a whole lot more abortions than there are cancer screenings — whereas there’s three times as many cancer screenings as there are abortions.”

Wolf even showed a rendition of what the correct graph would look like (we did one as well), based solely on those numbers, in which the line for abortions would remain well below that of cancer screenings the entire time.

In addition, as Blitzer pointed out, cancer screenings have gone down because the relevant federal guidelines changed to now recommend they be done less frequently than before. (And this doesn’t even take into account the many other services Planned Parenthood provides, such as STD screenings and contraception, which if factored in with preventive services would have made the slopes of the lines virtually identical.)

“The number of abortions increased — the numbers were exactly accurate,” Chaffetz insisted.

Blitzer responded: “The numbers are accurate, but the arrows seem very misleading.”

“I stand by the numbers,” Chaffetz said. “I can understand where people would say that arrows went different directions, but the numbers are accurate.”

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  • RED

    We already know there is no limit to how much scumbags like Jason will mislead, lie, and betray Americans. Truly the absolute worst of human beings!

  • TZToronto

    It’s very easy. The lines on his graph are not drawn on the same scale. Either Chaffetz is stupid or he’s trying to mislead the gullible, in spite of his denial that he’s trying to mislead. And if he’s stupid, he should let someone who knows something about drawing graphs to do the job for him–And if he’s stupid, what’s he doing representing people in Congress? Oh wait . . . It’s possible that there are a lot of other stupid people representing their states in Congress. After all, a lot of these Congress creatures were elected because they seem a lot like the people who elected them.

    • Independent1

      I’m starting to wonder if there’s something in the water or food that many American’s eat and drink these days that is making them increasingly clueless or ignorant. It seems like the segment of America’s electorate that’s so ignorant that it will deliberately go out and vote in politicians that are just plain extreme, are clearly crooked and/or are totally clueless – like Chaffetz who’s clearly too clueless to see, and/or too crooked to admit to it, that the supposed ‘fact chart’ he was using in a Congressional investigation is outright bogus – is growing rather than shrinking.

      • Insinnergy

        I think a large part of your issue is that lightly populated rural areas have a disproportionate representation in your government.

        Out on a farm you can often hold ridiculous beliefs…. never mix with others of differing skin colour or philosophy…. and be a four-star wingnut… and it’s fine. You can pretend you built it all yourself, because you never really think of all the other invisible things that support your lifestyle… technology, police, healthcare, research, roads, schools… etc.

        However if you live in a city or even suburbia, you just end up mixing with more people with divergent views as a matter of course and you have to at least generally learn to get along. In a city you come to understand that everything has been built by someone and you’d ideally like that someone to maintain it so you can live/get to work/eat etc. City dwellers understand that good government is better than no government.

        I have no idea how you’d go about getting the representation in government rebalanced though. Even though it desperately needs it..

        • Independent1

          You make a good point there. I’ve had the feeling for a while, that our founding father’s went a little too far in allowing the minority so much voice in our government. Especially now that a minority has proven to be as ideology stupid as they’ve become.

          But if you don’t pursue the Daily Kos much, you may appreciate listening to a speech given by Lawrence Wilkerson recently in Houston Texas, who was Colin Powel’s chief of staff. Apparently, he gave a wake up call speech to a bunch of Republicans who the article say were actually shocked at what he had to say as it apparently was totally counter to much of the GOP’s ideology.

          Wilkerson talks about breaking up the nation and the fact that without the money flowing into the feds from California and New York , the South would be just like Bangladesh.

          Here’s what’s in the Daily Kos article:

          Lawrence Wilkerson was invited to the Lone Star College System in the Houston metropolitan area. He made several appearances that drew substantial crowds at different campuses, speaking about the travails of the empire. Wilkerson was Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell’s chief of staff.

          He left many in the decidedly conservative audience shocked and with much to think about. Lawrence Wilkerson pointed out that a United States break-up is a possibility as we have historically been very stable. It is not necessarily a natural state of being. If one looks at what seems like insurmountable deadlocks in Congress, one must ask if that may be the path we are on.

          He had a prescient statement for those who thus far are the most eager to entertain that possibility. He said if it weren’t for money from New York and California, the South would be Bangladesh.

          Go here to listen to his speech and bring up some other interesting articles via the ‘blog’.

    • rvn_sgt6768

      He is dishonestly stupid.

  • Lynda Groom

    The graph was not misleading. It was a total misrepretation of the facts. The difference is just too subtle for poor little Chaffetz to grasp. The figures may not lie, but the Congressman is not contrained by them.

  • Insinnergy

    Doubling down on stupidity.
    It’s the Republican way.

  • DAK27

    “Yes, I lied about one thing but I didn’t lie about the other! Believe me!” (even though I am a liar)

  • John Murchison

    Blatant lies like these are insults to every American.

  • Bob Eddy

    As Mitt said about the 750 million stolen from Medicare in the first debate,”I know that was a lie, but I’m using it anyway.” Once again a blatant misrepresentation is endorsed by the “values” party. The real problem is that this insufferable moron may not even understand the problem with a graph that shows 300 thousand as larger than 900 thousand…these guys have never shown themselves to be math whizzes!

  • cwalter911

    Even the misinformation campaign of the old “Evil Empire” as Ronnie Rayguns called it was more sophisticated than this dribble. If Chaffetz ever took an economics or statistics class his grade would have been an F. If this is the level of academic accomplishment that the Republicans portray then they as a party are doomed. Thus current incarnation of Republicanism is a slap in the face of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

  • jiro tanaka

    It is not misleading for a moron like him but for intellectuals, the graph is a work of a first grader who is starting to draw a line. Well done chaffetz, you will be on the second grade next year

  • rednekokie

    It is incredible just how stupid these politicians think the American people are. Even a moron with a 2nd grade education could tell that graph was bogus.

  • latebloomingrandma

    I just heard this guy is going to run for Speaker. I guess he’s so proud and clueless that beating up a female witness and supplying a false graph is qualification for being second in line to the Presidency. Lord help us!