Fake Research Leads to Fake News

I recently saw this headline claiming that abortion rates increased after Texas defunded the abortion provider Planned Parenthood in 2011. After claiming that the new policy resulted in the closure of some “women’s health clinics,” The Huffington Post article stated, “the abortion rate among teenagers in the state rose 3 percent over what it would have been had the clinics remained open.”

That sentence set off alarm bells in my head. Note what it didn’t say; that the abortion rate actually increased. The “would have been” language is usually code talk for statistical gymnastics in order to justify a position or theory that can’t be proven by the facts.

That is certainly the case here. In this research, the obvious point being made by the researcher is that by cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, Texas conservatives actually achieved the opposite results they intended: an increase in teen abortions. That would be news; except it isn’t true. Though that didn’t stop the HuffPost’s headline writer from writing that is was.

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Get Your Swimsuits Out

According to the New York Times, it won’t be long before we will all be swimming to work:

The truth is, how shall we put it, a bit more nuanced.

Truth through Simplicity

The opponents of freedom thrive in an environment of complexity. One of my favorite examples of this is when Politifact labeled as half true a statement by Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams “Gas prices have gone up $2 since Obama took office.” Politifact looked at the facts, determined that gas prices had in fact gone up $2 dollars since Obama had taken office, but after a long, complex analysis of things that had nothing to do with the statement in question still labeled it only “Half True.”

Our job as free market conservatives is to cut through the false complexity of the left and the big government moderates and simplify the issues so that people can see the truth. It is very hard to do this, because, as R.C. Sproul points out below, we have to have in-depth knowledge of the very complex issues ourselves before we can simplify them without distorting the truth. It is also hard because any errors we make will be attacked by opponents of liberty.

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Desperate Republicans Turn to Kidnapping to Solve Policy Problems

“Some in Congress “have been holding hostage” American policy until there is an “agreement of 100 percent.” – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

“Is Senator Kyl holding New START hostage to tax cuts?” – Adam Serwer, Washignton Post

“Every one of us…[is] being held hostage by 42 Republican senators.” CNN’s Eliot Spitzer

“The White House accused Republicans today of… of holding unemployment checks hostage.” – New York Daily News

“The politically motivated strategy of holding unemployment checks hostage until Democrats will cave on GOP demands to extend tax breaks for the richest 2% of Americans will mean at least 2 million people go penniless this holiday season.” – Kenneth R. Bazinet

“The Republicans essentially want to keep those tax cuts hostage until there is exactly the same action on upper income tax cuts.” – Rep. Sander Levin, Marc’s cousin????

“Republicans are holding them hostage, with a ransom demand of tax cuts for the nation’s richest 1 percent. If the GOP doesn’t get what it wants, 2 million will lose unemployment insurance by year’s end.” – The Hill’s Leo Gerard

“Republican insurrectionists take Congress hostage over tax cuts for the two percenters.” Tucson Citizen.com

“The Republicans there are holding this hostage. That has been the sad story of this session. The Republicans are banding together and trying to starve every piece of legislation.” – Rep. John Tierney

“I don’t know what’s worse, that Republicans held the Start treaty hostage to get lower tax rates, or that we let them do it.” – A senior Democratic Senate aide, speaking on condition of anonymity

National Review and the Contract

Why in the world would National Review say that, “Republicans ought to promote new energy technologies in order to reduce the risks of global warming?” I can’t think of a good reason.

Yet that is exactly what it does in an article by Ramesh Ponnuru, “Contractual Obligations,” that discusses the need for a new “Contract for America.”

Is it because, as Mr. Ponnuru points out, people worry about global warming? Well, people worry about not being able to pay their mortgages, but that doesn’t mean we should support massive government bailouts. Except that NR supported the Bush bailout plan as well.

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