Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fact Checking The Debate

Feel free to check out the Dakota War College or the Madville Times if you want hyper partisan views on who won or lost last night's debate and why. To be honest, I have gotten to the point where the minute either candidate opens their mouths I tend to tune them out because I know what is coming next will require that I roll up my pant legs.

Factcheck.org does the dirty work and looks at what was said by both Obama and Romney last night and their conclusions do nothing to change my opinion.
We found exaggerations and false claims flying thick and fast during the first debate between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

- Obama accused Romney of proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. Not true. Romney proposes to offset his rate cuts and promises he won’t add to the deficit.
- Romney again promised to “not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans” and also to “lower taxes on middle-income families,” but didn’t say how he could possibly accomplish that without also increasing the deficit.
- Obama oversold his health care law, claiming that health care premiums have “gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years.” That’s true of health care spending, but not premiums. And the health care law had little to do with the slowdown in overall spending.
- Romney claimed a new board established by the Affordable Care Act is “going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.” Not true. The board only recommends cost-saving measures for Medicare, and is legally forbidden to ration care or reduce benefits.
- Obama said 5 million private-sector jobs had been created in the past 30 months. Perhaps so, but that counts jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics won’t add to the official monthly tallies until next year. For now, the official tally is a bit over 4.6 million.
- Romney accused Obama of doubling the federal deficit. Not true. The annual deficit was already running at $1.2 trillion when Obama took office.
- Obama again said he’d raise taxes on upper-income persons only to the “rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president.” Actually, many high-income persons would pay more than they did then, because of new taxes in Obama’s health care law.
- Romney claimed that middle-income Americans have “seen their income come down by $4,300.” That’s too high. Census figures show the decline in median household income during Obama’s first three years was $2,492, even after adjusting for inflation.
- Obama again touted his “$4 trillion” deficit reduction plan, which includes $1 trillion from winding down wars that are coming to an end in any event.
Yep, the only conclusion that can be honestly be made about the Denver debate is that they are both full of shit...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is The American Family Association

Sometimes you have to wonder how the American Family Association can say much of what it does with a straight face. The latest screed from the homophobic hate group involves them calling out the Southern Poverty Law Center for the "immoral" tactic of calling for the boycott of right wing favorite Chick-fil-A, going so far as saying "it shows that the left uses boycotts and pressure campaigns to wage “economic warfare against their political enemies".
It is economic warfare against their political enemies, that’s the only way to describe it, it is literally economic warfare against their political enemies; it is nothing more than that, nothing less than that. The left is almost universally unscrupulous, they are amoral—that’s part of their philosophy—so they feel free to attack anybody and anything that they don’t like and they have legions of lawyers willing to go into court and sue and sue and sue again. They’re organized base is willing to uniformly engage in economic boycotts of companies so it’s a highly organized, almost a military type of organization, very monolithic that gets behind the leaders on any issue and they attack people, and they attack people and terrify people. We don’t have anything like that we are not inclined to do that because we are not that immoral, we just don’t do those kinds of things unless we are attacked first.
What is so funny is that while the AFA is condemning Liberals for using boycotts, the AFA is doing the exact same thing against numerous companies that they feel are just a bit too friendly to the LGBT cause including their highly publicized boycotts of JC Penny and Home Depot.

93% Of Climate Change News On Fox Is Misleading

Obviously I would never think of getting any news, let alone climate change news, from Fox News so this from The Union of Concerned Scientists is no surprise. They recently released a study on the accuracy of science reporting from some of the more popular right wing "news" organizations and found that during the 5 month period from February to July of this year, 37 out of 40 items reported on by Fox were misleading.
The analysis finds that the misleading citations include broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and disparaging comments about individual scientists. Furthermore, much of this coverage denigrated climate science by either promoting distrust in scientists and scientific institutions or placing acceptance of climate change in an ideological, rather than fact-based, context.
The Union of Concerned Scientists wasn't just picking on Fox News, they also analyzed columns, op-eds, and letters published by the Wall Street Journal during a 12 month period ending in August and found that 81% of their reporting was misleading.
Eighty-one percent of letters, op-eds, columns, and editorials in the Wall Street Journal's opinion page were misleading on climate science from August 2011 to July 2012 (39 of 48 references).

Most of the misleading editorials, op-eds, columns, and letters attempted to broadly undermine the major conclusions of climate science. Instances of attacks on individual scientists, mocking the science, and cherry picking data were all equally common.

Denigration of climate science was routine. Instances included accusations that scientists were fudging data and claims that they are motivated by financial self-interest.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Finally Voter Fraud Is Found

You know all that mysterious voter fraud that the Republicans are using to pass voter ID laws across the country that makes it more difficult for the undesirables (you know the poor and minorities) to vote? For the longest time it was quite difficult to find many significant examples of the phenomenon that had Republicans so afraid. Until now...

The Republican National Committee has abruptly cut ties to a consulting firm hired for get-out-the-vote efforts in seven presidential election swing states after Florida prosecutors launched an investigation into possible fraud in voter registration forms.

Working through state parties, the RNC has sent more than $3.1 million this year to Strategic Allied Consulting, a company formed in June by Nathan Sproul, an Arizona voting consultant. Sproul has operated other firms that have been accused in past elections of improprieties designed to help Republican candidates, including dumping registration forms filled out by Democrats, but none of those allegations led to any criminal charges.

Why I Left The Republican Party

If one needs any reason why many people are leaving and have left the Republican Party, one need not look any further than the discussions going on over at the South Dakota GOP press release web site Dakota War College.

Bob Ellis takes time out of his busy day of hating gays and Liberals over at his place to tell the mostly republican audience that they need to measure up to his standards of conservatism or else. Obviously I could never live up to those standards (which is why I left a long time ago) and from what I can tell, neither can many others in the SDGOP whom have now become targets of Ellis and other fringe groups and their robo/name calling campaign to cleanse the party.

If you have the stomach, head on over and check it out and then try to honestly tell me that Ellis's version of the GOP is any different than what we're fighting against overseas with the only difference being the book that they use to justify their hatred and the tactics being employed to make their point.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pants On Fire!

So Kristi, what makes you think this falsehood is any more true when you say it than when John Thune said it a few weeks ago?

From Politifact:

It's ridiculously false to suggest it applied to children of family farmers and even sillier to say it applied to "chores." Pants on Fire!

You Have No Right To A Secret Ballot

If you thought that you had the right to a secret ballot when you vote, think again. A federal judge in Colorado has ruled that ballots that have identifying marks that can be easily traced back to voters is perfectly legal.
Saying there is no fundamental right to a secret ballot, a federal judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by elections integrity activists that challenged whether counties can print ballots with identifying numbers that critics say can be traced back to individual voters easily.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

American Family Association Donation Returned

Even a group whose unfortunate mission is to prevent the terminally ill from getting help to end their lives is distancing itself from the hate group also known as the American Family Association. The AFA was the largest donor to the Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, a group formed to fight against a ballot initiative in Massachusetts that would allow patients to self administer life ending drugs.
A group opposed to a question that would allow terminally ill patients to self-administer life-ending drugs is returning a $250,000 donation from a conservative Mississippi-based organization with anti-gay and anti-Muslim views.
The American Family Association was the largest single donor to the Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide, which has raised more than $900,000 to oppose the question.
So it appears that this is a double win for those of us hoping for basic human rights. We bask in the glow of the homophobic AFA getting slapped in the face and we get $250,000 off the books of a group looking to prevent terminally ill patients from ending their pain and dying with dignity.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mittens Is Quite Generous

Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns Friday evening and one thing is quite clear. Mittens is quite the generous individual. Not only did he give big time to his favorite charities, he donated over $4 million, he also in effect donated to Uncle Sam by not claiming the full $4 million he gave on his tax return.

Romney's returns show that he only claimed $2.25 million in charitable donations on his $13.7 million in income and paid, an effective tax rate of 14.1%.

So why exactly did Romney not claim everything he was legally able to claim? Does he need to fire his accountant? Only Mittens knows for sure why he let the government keep $500K or so of his income but one might guess his ability to claim that he had paid at least 13% in taxes for each of the last 10 years might be one reason for it.

Taking his full deduction would have lowered his tax rate to below 13% and one thing we all know for sure, Romney would never ever mislead anyone now would he? Oh wait...
“I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.”

Limbaugh Logic

It must really be hard to fill a daily radio show when you only have party talking points to go by. So whenever Rush Limbaugh decides to go outside the aforementioned talking points it is radio gold.

His latest rant was in response to an Italian study that claimed that the average length of the male member had decreased in size by over 10% over the past 50 years. The study went on to say that the likely causes for the decrease was weight gain around the waist, smoking, stress and environmental pollutants. Of course the rotund Limbaugh wasn't having any of that and instead offered his own theory as to the decrease in our manhood, and get ready, he blames feminism!
“I think it’s feminism,” he declared. “If it’s tied to the last 50 years — the average size of [a male's] member is 10 percent smaller than 50 years — it has to be the feminazis, the chickification and everything else.” “Give ‘em time and they’ll blame Bush. But air pollution vs. feminazis? Ha!”
I almost expected him to blame the gays but this is just as good.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Now That's A Campaign Ad

I was sitting in my hotel room last night in Sioux City when this ad for Iowa Congressman Steve King (R-Mars) came on and I have to wonder, has there been a bigger waste of campaign funds ever spent than whatever the King camp spent on this?

"One wife, one house and one church"? Yippee! There's my top 3 reasons to vote for someone...
Oh and speaking of tin foil hat wearing Republicans, it appears that another Republican from Mars, Michele Bachmann, is experiencing some unexpected trouble in her bid to win re-election.
Despite her national fan base and a massive war chest, Rep. Michele Bachmann may be in more danger than most suspect, with a new poll showing her lead diminished to just 2 points. Independent voters have swung against her by nearly 20 points in just two months, from a 4 percent advantage to a 15 point disadvantage. The internal poll, conducted by Democratic pollsters Greenberg Quinlan Rosner at the behest of Democrat Jim Graves’ campaign and shared with Salon, shows that Bachmann’s favorability rating has tumbled since their last survey in mid-June, and finds Graves gaining ground with independents as his name recognition grows.
Maybe, just maybe, crazy is finally going out of vogue

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chick-fil-A Changes Public Anti-Gay Stance?

Just days after our local wingnuts actually called the bigoted fast food company Chick-fil-A "heroes of truth" for their public anti-gay stance and donations to anti-gay organizations, the company has at least publicly changed it's policies.

Bowing to pressure from a Chicago Alderman and increasing public pressure and bad press, the company apparently has decided to change it's policies regarding their public anti-gay positions and donations by the non-profit, Winshape, funded by the fast food chicken joint.
After months of negotiations with Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno over its anti-gay positions and donations, Chick-fil-A has agreed to cease donations from its non-profit charity to anti-gay organizations and issued a company-wide internal mandate calling for the equal treatment of all employees and customers.

WinShape, a non-profit funded by Chick-fil-A, has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBT organizations — some classified hate groups — including Focus on the Family, according to The Civil Rights Agenda, which worked with Moreno and company executives in an advisory capacity as they negotiated to adopt new policies. Chick-fil-A did not respond to attempts to confirm the information.
What a concept, "equal treatment of all employees and customers". Too bad the culture at Chick-fil-A necessitated a memo reminding their employees of that ideal.

Jon Stewart On Mitt Romney's 47%'ers

Just another reason to get your news from Comedy Central and your comedy from Fox News...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Finally Santorum Says Something True

Speaking at the "Value Voters Summit", Rick Santorum admitted what many already knew, especially when talking about the far right wingers that were the target audience at the aforementioned summit.

We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country...We will never have the "elite, smart people" on our side, because they feel they should have the power to tell you what to do...so our colleges and universities, they're never going to be on our side.
Yep the conservative movement doesn't attract smart people. Finally something coming from Rick Santorum's mouth that I agree with..

Friday, September 14, 2012

Epic DNC Fail

I'm a little late to the party but I found this under reported story from last week's DNC convention quite interesting.

During a speech by my former Nimitz C.O. and retired Admiral, John Nathman, they put up a several pictures of naval vessel's on the huge video wall behind the stage that I am guessing was posted to add to the overwhelming patriotism that folks hearing the speech were supposed to feel during Nathman's tribute to our vets. You know the move, a high ranking officer waxing poetic about our troops with 50 or so of them on stage behind him all while cool images of our overwhelming fire power are shown for effect.

Too bad the moron that choose the images for the video wall apparently couldn't distinguish a row boat from an aircraft carrier and ended up choosing highly edited photo's of Russian naval vessels to show during the DNC's chest pounding I love our military moment.
Naval experts concluded the background was a photo composite of Russian ships that were overflown by what appear to be U.S. trainer jets. It remains unclear how or why the Democratic Party used what’s believed to be images of the Russian Black Sea Fleet at their convention.
The DNCC of course was oblivious to the screw up until much later but when asked for comment they blamed it on a "vendor error" and were unable to explain any further.

And these are the folks wanting us to follow them into our next 4 years?