"There are three types of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics." Or so goes the old saying popularized by famed American author Mark Twain.
Of course, another famous phrase is "facts are fungible." And in today's world, maybe that's true. Certainly it's a fact that these days, Democrats and Republicans seem to be operating with different sets of "facts."
Liberals went bananas when White House adviser Kellyanne Conway uttered the phrase "alternatives facts" two days after President Trump took office. Even Dan Rather objected (And he knows something about "alternative facts").
But the media was subdued last week when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi uttered her own "alternative facts" claim.
In a tense meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the U.S.-Mexico border — in which Nielsen was spieling out a slew of facts (the non-fungible kind) — Pelosi interrupted to declare: “I reject your facts.”
"The clash between the top House Democrat and a key member of President Trump's Cabinet occurred during a Wednesday meeting in the White House amid the impasse over the government shutdown, with Trump standing firm and demanding $5 billion for the border wall," Fox News reported.
At one point during the meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal, Pelosi interrupted Nielsen, who was citing statistics related to the border, including how many criminal illegal immigrants attempted to enter the U.S. last year.
“I reject your facts,” Pelosi told Nielsen
“These aren’t my facts," Nielsen shot back. "These are the facts.”
Afterward, Nielsen took to Twitter to spank Pelosi.
“I am disappointed that Dems did not want to hear from @DHSgov about the security & humanitarian crisis we are facing at the border,” Nielsen wrote. “They didn’t want to hear about criminal aliens, drug smugglers, smuggled & abused children or violent caravans trying to breach the border wall.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Bloomberg News that Nielsen did not deliver "a credible presentation.”
“It was preposterous,” Durbin said. “At a time when we have the lowest level of apprehensions at the border — stopping people from coming in illegally — the lowest level historically, she is saying that we have all these terrorists and criminals and all these people on their way in.”
But Nielsen got rolling:
For his part, President Trump said, "We are working hard at the Border, but we need a WALL! In 2018, 1.7 million pounds of narcotics seized, 17,000 adults arrested with criminal records, and 6000 gang members, including MS-13, apprehended. A big Human Trafficking problem."