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…

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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.”

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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

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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?

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The Romney/Huntsman Problem

Being that Barack Obama has among many things, failed to get us out of 2 unwinnable and costly wars (and has since added a 3rd), failed to do much of anything to fix the economy or create jobs, and has chosen to allow the continuation of the assault on the 4th Amendment under the guise of the Patriot Act, the 2012 GOP field holds more than a passing interest to me. Unfortunately though even disregarding the nutjobs that claim their imaginary friend in the sky told them to run, one still doesn’t have much of a selection.

A couple that do peak my interest, partly because of their views and partly because our local wingnuts hate them (they must be doing something right don’t you think?) are Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Obviously there is a lot of time left for them to screw up by pandering to the tea baggers or the religious right but even running a perfect campaign going forward, a new Gallup poll shows that both Romney and Huntsman must overcome a major handicap.

At 22%, Americans’ resistance to electing a Mormon president, even one nominated by their own party, is exceeded only by their opposition to electing someone who is either gay or lesbian (32%) or an atheist (49%). By contrast, less than half as many, 10%, say they would not vote for a Hispanic, and fewer than 10% would not vote for a nominee who is Jewish, Baptist, Catholic, female, or black.

No matter what happens going forward it is likely it will come down to another election where many, myself included, will end up holding our noses when pulling the lever for whomever we do end up choosing. In Romney and Huntsman’s case, being Mormon isn’t going to help. But at least they aren’t gay or an atheist or even worse, a gay atheist…

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Is God Hedging His Bets?

I’ve been reading a lot of analysis from Monday’s GOP debate and researching the ever growing field of candidates in the day plus since it concluded and one thing stuck out for me more than anything else. God must be hedging his bets.

Why you may ask?

Well if you listen to at least 3 of the candidates (Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann), they are all running because God has told them to run for the highest office in the land in one way or another. Apparently a 4th candidate, Mike Huckabee, was told by God not to run so I guess he does have some standards.

So with God backing 3 different candidates, who will win? And why would he feel the need to back so many? If God really felt someone was the right person for the job wouldn’t he just go all biblical on the election and make it happen? He apparently steps in all the time in sports (still wondering why he isn’t a Browns fan), so why would one not expect him to do so in the hugely more important political arena?

Or it could be that all 4 are just batshit crazy

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Gingrich's Staff Realizes What Newt Still Refuses To See

All of Newt Gingrich’s Iowa staff as well as many of his staff in other key early primary states have all resigned today signaling that they finally have had to admit what most have known from the start. Gingrich has no chance especially after pissing off tea bagger’s when he said Paul Ryan’s Medicare dismantling was “social engineering”.

Of course Gingrich, ever clueless, still plans to carry on.

I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.

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Trump Has The Nomination In The Bag

Even though Donald Trump has yet to announce anything, recent polls and now this powerful endorsement should all but lock up the 2012 GOP nomination for the twice divorced and 4 time bankrupt reality TV star. Renowned thespian Gary Busey thinks Trump should be our next President.

Look out Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, the GOP has its next savior!

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