Diary

Joe Biden is Still a Fabulist

Some things apparently never change. As it has been pointed out before (language warning) Joe Biden has had a problem, going back to his law school days, with the truth. Sometimes, that problem takes the form of dishonestly claiming others’ work as his own. Sometimes (more often), it takes the form of just making up false claims on the spot. As Dan Spencer and Ace explained in the links above, what sunk Joe Biden’s abortive 1988 Presidential Campaign was not the plagiarism, it’s the fact that he was caught repeatedly making up details about his personal biography and/or claiming the details of others’ lives as his own.

Apparently, Bobby Jindal’s response to the SOTU (which, I understand, was not well received across the political spectrum) touched a nerve with Biden, because he is at it again, claiming out of thin air that Louisiana was losing 400 jobs a day on Jindal’s watch:

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Giving the republican response to President Obama’s speech Tuesday night, Governor Bobby Jindal pointed out fundamental differences in how republicans and democrats see the economy. “But what I don’t understand from Governor Jindal is what would he do?,” asks Joe Biden while on the Early Show.
    And That rhetorical question to Governor Jindal on the Early Show, was followed with this. “in Louisiana there’s 400 people a day losing their jobs, what’s he doing?” asks Biden.
    But that claim is wrong, if you look at the numbers from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. “In December, Louisiana was the only state in the nation besides the District of Columbia, according to the national press release that added employment over the month,” says Patty Granier with the Louisiana Workforce Commission. According to her, not only is Louisiana not losing jobs. “The state gained 3,700 jobs for the seasonally adjusted employment,” Granier said of the most recent figures.
     You don’t even have to take my word for it, these are number you can check out yourself if you just go to laworks.net, there you can find the latest unemployment statistics, statistics that appear to directly contradict what the vice president said this morning.
    The latest stats show this – from the week ending January 17th there were 4,527 claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana, for the next week, that number receded to 4,179.  
    Folks who crunch the numbers credit a diverse economy for Louisiana’s resilience to unemployment.
    It’s unclear where the VP gets his numbers, but they certainly don’t match numbers from the labor department.   The unemployment rate in Louisiana has gone up, from 5.3 to 5.9. Some blame that on a bigger workforce in the state. However, that rate is still less than the national average, which sits at 7.2%.  We called the Whitehouse press office today and left a message for the vice president’s office, but have not received a call back.

This “mistake”, of course, goes beyond the typical Democratic penchant for wildly exaggerating death tolls and other dire statistics in order to score political points. After all, it isn’t as though Louisiana is really losing 300 jobs a day and Biden just stretched it a bit to make it sound worse – Louisiana is (contrary to the national trend) gaining jobs, as a quick perusal of labor statistics would have showed.

My guess, of course, is that this isn’t a case where Biden knew the correct statistics and intentionally lied about what they were. My guess is that Biden was simply on a roll, needed a talking point about Bobby Jindal, and just went back to the well that had served him well lo these many years: making stuff up as he went along.

Back in 1987, the press did its job and reported on Biden’s serial inability to tell anything approaching the truth, which ultimately resigned him to the dustbin of incredibility where he should have remained. Now, of course, Biden is associated with the media’s new shiny toy, Barack Obama, by Obama’s own choice. Will the media now do their jobs and focus again on Joe Biden’s lack of credibility about anything? And will they draw the necessary conclusion about Obama’s credibility, given that Obama chose Biden knowing full well that he is a compulsive liar?

I won’t be holding my breath.