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.