Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Joe Biden and the rest of the Democratic president wannabes have the unenviable task of competing against a GOP opponent who is a virtual lie machine, spewing an average 22 distortions a day last year.

The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump uncorked 16,200 false or misleading claims during his first three years in office.

And he’s just warming up. WaPo’s Fact Checker database shows Trump made 1,999 whoppers in 2017, upped the ante to 5,689 fibs in 2018 and soared to 8,155 falsehoods in 2019. Talk about Big Mo.

As of Jan. 19, he delivered a grand total of 16,241 untruths with 366 days to go.

Trump’s media arm and official gas lighter, Fox News, has helped the president weaponize those lies by presenting them as unvarnished truth to muddy the political waters and keep the heads of voters spinning.

Team Biden is striking back against Trump's bid to suck the former VP into the Senate trial. Nearly 1,000 of Trump's lies were aimed at Biden.

Trump's plan is to distract attention from the ignominy of being the third impeached US president by pushing the bogus Biden/Ukraine conspiracy theory that has been debunked by US and European intelligence, the IMF, Ukraine’s anti-corruption officials and members of Trump’s administration who testified during the House impeachment hearings.

In a Jan. 20 memo to reporters and editors, Kate Bedingfield, communications director for the Biden campaign, and Tony Blinken, senior advisor, warned news outlets that they enable Trump’s falsehoods by only reporting that they are unsubstantiated when a mountain of evidence actively debunks the misinformation. “It is malpractice to ignore the truth,” wrote Bedingfield and Blinken.

Media that fail to discredit the falsehoods are presenting Trump and his Republican allies “a partisan propaganda windfall that does a disservice to the purpose of independent, fact-driven reporting,” wrote the Biden aides.

The Biden campaign understands that no political entity can ever be allowed to serve as an editor of the free press.

It just wants to make the point that “truth must drive the way that information is reported to the public, especially in this era of gaslighting, rampant lies and misinformation.”

The Graduate

If Hollywood decides to remake the 1967 film, “The Graduate,” it would certainly have to update the career advice given to Dustin Hoffman about the “future is plastics.”  

That would be dead-end advice to today’s college graduate, according to a global survey, "Toward a More Sustainable World,” conducted by SAP Qualtrics.

Released at the World Economic Forum, the poll shows the future of plastics is far from rosy. In fact, the future of plastics is far from certain. It found that 45 percent of Americans and Canadians dislike plastics either a little or somewhat. That’s more than twice the 21 percent of respondents who like plastics.  

What’s the beef?  Negative impact on oceans and marine life is the No. 1 reason, cited by 30 percent.  Eighteen percent cite plastics litter and trash followed by contribution to general waste (13 percent),  effects on climate change (12 percent), effects on human health (nine percent) and costs of disposing (six percent).

Almost half (46 percent) of the respondents say the best way to deal with the plastics problem is to replace them with another material. More than a third (34 percent) want better recycling.

The Plastics Industry Assn. trade group says the US plastics industry is “facing unprecedented global competition and cost pressures that have substantially altered the operating environment for many plastics companies.”

That’s undoubtedly true but the growing public opposition to plastics presents a much bigger long-term threat to the industry.