Disregard for facts, contempt for the jobless

SusanG brought this to my attention Friday, but what with the “little girl” flap, and the non-apology, I’d sort of had my fill of Nikki Haley gaffes that day before I got to it. In case you still haven’t seen was Susan was talking about, here’s an excerpt:

Nikki Haley’s Jobless Drug Test Claim Exaggerated

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) wants thejobless to pass a drug test before they can receive benefits, but she seems to have an exaggerated sense of drug use among the unemployed…

Haley said scads of job applicants flunked a drug test at the Savannah River Site, a nuclear reservation along the Savannah River.

“Down on River Site, they were hiring a few hundred people, and when we sat down and talked to them — this was back before the campaign — when we sat down and talked to them, they said of everybody they interviewed, half of them failed a drug test, and of the half that was left, of that 50 percent, the other half couldn’t read and write properly,” Haley said….

Jim Giusti, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, which owns the River Site, told HuffPost he had no idea what Haley was talking about with regard to applicants flunking a drug test.

“Half the people who applied for a job last year or year 2009 did not fail the drug test,” Giusti said. “At the peak of hiring under the Recovery Act we had less than 1 percent of those hired test positive.”

The River Site doesn’t even test applicants. “We only test them when they have been accepted,” Giusti said.

A spokesman for Gov. Haley did not respond to requests for comment…

That’s some good reporting by HuffPo, although the headline was weak. If the body type was right, this was more than an “exaggeration.” Also, I’ve never heard SRS referred to on second reference as “River Site,” but whatever.

Gee, maybe if I’d given up some of those really heavy-duty drugs, I wouldn’t have been out of work for most of 2009, huh?

I’m really more than fed up with this stuff. You?

26 thoughts on “Disregard for facts, contempt for the jobless

  1. Norm Ivey

    What scares me is that so many people still rush to defend her (see the comments at The State).

    Florida is finding that it costs them more to test welfare recipients than it does to just pay the benefits.

  2. Burl Burlingame

    Drug testing has long been a problem in the nuclear industry. Not drugs, drug-testing. It was one way the managers kept trying to break the unions. They’d drug-test, then fire employees while keeping the results secret.

    The drug-testing of welfare recipients in Florida that the governor kicked off there with much ballyhoo — and the company doing the testing has financial ties to the governor — has revealed that welfare recipients per capita have a LOWER incidence of drug use than the general population. I guess they’re spending money on food, shelter and health care rather than recreational drugs.

  3. Burl Burlingame

    Not to mention her snotty comment about candidates to work in the nuclear industry being generally illiterate. Why, if that were true, they’d just have to click on your splendid new TURNING PAGES ad for help.

  4. Mark Stewart

    No, I’m not tired of hearing about this stuff.

    It’s not because she is attacking “the jobless” (code for “them”) specifically even though it makes me cringe, it is because her comments directly counter her supposed pro-business stance. Half of job applicants are drug addicts and 25% are illiterate? Way to conduct an economic development campaign as governor of our state. Nicely played.

    It was kind of her to affirm the importance of improving education in this state. We should thank her for that.

  5. Cotton Boll Conspiracy

    I recently came across this quote from Will and Ariel Durant’s 1963 book “The Age of Louis XIV”:

    “It is easier to be original and foolish than to be original and wise; there are a thousand possible errors for every truth, and mankind, with all its efforts, has not yet exhausted the possibilities.”

    Our current governor appears determined to prove this maxim on a daily basis. Often, more than once a day, it would seem.

  6. Doug T

    In a way, the Haley gang reminds me of the Beverly Hillbillies. This crowd is totally out of their league. I wonder at the governor’s mansion if they use pot passers at the fancy eatin’ table.

    On the other hand, the Clampetts seemed to be down to earth decent people. There, the similarity ends.

  7. bud

    That pretty much destroys the conservative claim that they want to cut government spending. Expensive, frivolous drug testing for a fictional problem.

  8. KP

    There are too many of these to call them gaffes or exaggerations. The Lexington Medical Center application, the jobs numbers, the deals “closed” on the Rainbow Tour — she has a really troubling tendency to lie, especially when cornered. The puzzling thing, as The State notes in today’s editorial, is that she lies when the truth would work just as well.

  9. Karen McLeod

    Seriously, she is only the local example of a national trend. Many people are simply unwilling to listen to, or participate in, rational discussion. They’re too busy trying to “spin” any action/position/statement, and too willing to distort and lie in order to gain the upper hand. Is this how dictatorships start? Is this the brave new world?

  10. Steven Davis

    “Expensive, frivolous drug testing for a fictional problem.”

    “fictional problem”??? That’s funny.

  11. SusanG

    Here’s another link http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/nikki-haley-i-so-want-drug-testing-jobless-b to video taken at the meeting where Haley explains in more detail. I listened to it three times, and it still doesn’t make sense to me. But I didn’t try too hard, given that the situation is fabricated anyways. (Yes, I know there are drug users who are unemployed — though I’m glad to hear they’re at least looking for work! But job training programs are going to fix that — or literacy problems?)

    Maybe you all can make some sense of it.

  12. Andrew

    Thing is, if someone of Haley’s education & work background applied for a real job at SRS, I can’t imagine that person getting hired. Maybe for something like an admin. assistant kinda job, but not for any job that would pay, say, more than $50K a year, certainly for any salary she pays some 24 year old in her office.

    Oh, I expect when she is done being Governor, she’ll build a ‘career’ around a book deal / being a TV pundit and some lobbying or other board work, pulling down seven figures in a hurry.

    Still, she just isn’t qualified for any professional job at SRS by.

  13. Juan Caruso

    Mark Stewart makes an excellent observation: “…her comments directly counter her supposed pro-business stance.”

    I would like to know the related statistic on substance abusing job applicants that prospective employers receive from SC officials during state recruitment efforts.

    Anyone have that figure? A rate published in one newspaper last week was 2% of our unemployed. Is it based on all without full-time employment prior to the Great Recession, however? Probably was.

    So, the statistic now should be even lower (considering many of today’s unemployed had been routinely subjected to random drug testing by former employers).

    This is a politically motivated endeavor just like Obama’s frequent talk of taxing the rich.

    While tax lawyers actually wish the wealthy ($250K/yr or more income) to be subjected to higher potential tax rates, the Democrat base never considers that tax lawyers are themselves in that income class, and their practice depends on being able to offer arcane exceptions to lower such potential rates. New loopholes always have and always will underlie any new federal individual income tax legislation.

  14. tired old man

    let’s do the math

    1/2 the state stoned

    1/2 the state illiterate


    Nikki Haley

    Is this really what someone claiming to recruit jobs/industry should be caught saying?

  15. Mark Stewart

    I still have difficulty parsing this: “half of them failed a drug test, and of the half that was left, of that 50 percent, the other half couldn’t read and write properly, Haley said….”

    So I guess she’s saying a good bit more than 25% of the state is illiterate as at least some of the 50% who are drug addicts must certainly also be illiterate, no? I mean the drug users can’t be our best and brightest can they?

    Worst part remains that she says this all came to light “back before the campaign”. So Haley has had some time to ruminate on this problem, I guess. This, then, is her take on critical reasoning? Although, to be fair, I would hardly expect any policy initiatives to propel the state forward to flow from this discovery of hers.

  16. martin

    Yeah, wasn’t it Joe Taylor, Sanford’s Commerce Secretary who talked about all the (non-existent) positive drug tests – was it only last year?

    8 months of Nikki Haley seems like 8 years…well, I guess it is number 9.

  17. Scout

    I had to read it a few times as well and I’m still not sure exactly what she means by her percentages – half of the half were illiterate – so 25%?? The thing I was most struck by upon first reading it was that it did seem like she was inadvertently implying that drug users are the more literate group in our state. I think the safest thing to conclude might be that she makes stuff up with abandon.

  18. Kathryn Fenner

    @Mark –we already know that math, even in the form of simple arithmetic, isn’t her forte. The Lexington Medical Center job application?

    Just because she has a Clemson degree in accounting, doesn’t make her good at numbers. [insert Clemson joke here]

  19. Mark Stewart


    I can’t comment; I’m an Art History major.

    I’ll say it again; education matters. It’s our best investment in the future.

    I do believe everyone has talent to share; but I’m still searching for what Nikki Haley may have to offer the state. Right now, one term is the best I can envision.

  20. Doug Ross


    If “education matters” then what does society owe people who choose to drop out of high school and not take advantage of the greatest opportunity they have to life themselves up?

    You can’t fix stupid.

  21. Kimber Bell

    Mark makes an excellent point. How is Nikki Haley claiming to be on this campaign to bring business when she is says everybody here not working is high or dumb! That statement applies more to her followers than anyone else.

  22. Doug Ross


    What can be done about ignorance that hasn’t been tried for decades?

    What we need is discipline and responsibility.

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