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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Another BS Meme

The latest meme by House Republicans attempts to blame the Democrats for allowing our military members to go without pay because of their unwillingness to pass the Republican budget proposal that is full of riders that would among other things defund Planned Parenthood and roll back the powers of the EPA. No matter what your thoughts are regarding the GOP riders which have very little to do with balancing the budget by the way, the latest attempt to paint the Democrats in a bad light turns out to be total BS.

As things stand now, shutting down the government tonight would result in our military’s pay being affected but a bill submitted by Republican Louie Gohmert and co-sponsored by 113 House members over a week ago would have ensured that our military members would still get paid if that did in fact happen. The bill in question would do one thing and one thing only, guarantee our servicemen and women get paid. It included no riders or special interest legislation and was introduced with much fanfare but has since faded into obscurity once John Boehner’s Tea Billie puppeteers decided to use the military pay issue against the Democrats.

So this begs the question, is anyone safe from being screwed over in the name of someone’s political agenda anymore? What’s next slashing money for needed health and family planning services for low income young women? Oh wait…

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The Sarah Palin Beauty Pageant

The 1984 Miss Alaska swimsuit contest featuring the darling of the GOP, or maybe darling is a little too much.

(h/t – Huffington)

UPDATE: This must have struck a nerve with someone as it was pulled from YouTube for “possible copyright violations” but Huffington Post has a slide show from the video. Too bad as the original YouTube poster promised more footage including a flute recital.

UPDATE 2: The video take 2

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Detour On The Straight Talk Express

John McCain’s shielding of his not ready for prime time VP nominee came to a head today when the networks threatened to ignore Sarah Palin’s meetings with world leaders in NY unless they were given more than just the standard photo opportunities.

Today, the McCain campaign had said it would allow only one editorial person inside. Now, the campaign is saying it wants only the camera inside with no editorial presence. All of the networks are objecting.

The networks eventually called McCain’s bluff by voting to not cover the event at all which resulted in a miraculous change of heart.

12 Noon:  Word has come in that a CNN producer WILL be allowed to accompany the camera at these meetings.  This issue appears to be resolved.

So much for the “Straight Talk Express”…

McCain's No Talk Express

UPDATE: It looks like the McCain campaign has the last laugh. While CNN did get a reporter into the meeting, they had a whole 29 seconds in the room with Palin. He better be careful, folks might get the idea that he is sheltering his VP nominee from questions that might not make her look as qualified as the kool-aid drinkers had hoped.

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More Perspective: The 1,800,000,000,000 Bailout

Yesterday I posted about the 700,000,000,000 mortgage industry bailout plan announced by the Bush Administration late last week. While that number is mind boggling, CNBC does the math and if you add everything including Fannie and Freddie, AIG, etc., the actual number could reach close to $1.8 trillion.

So while you contemplate $1.8 trillion for a moment, watch for more stories like this:

Fury at $2.5bn Lehman bonus

STAFF at Lehman’s New York office who helped to cause the world’s biggest corporate bankruptcy are to share in a $2.5 billion bonanza.

The bonus, which has been described by London staff as a “scandal” has been pledged by Barclays Capital, the British-based bank that last week acquired Lehman’s American operation and took on 10,000 staff.

And if golden parachutes like above don’t raise your blood pressure, something else being discussed just might.

It appears that one of the plans floating around Washington includes bailing out foreign banks and if that isn’t bad enough on its own, one of those foreign banks could be UBS which is the current rumor. What is so special about UBS you ask?

I am sure most will remember John McCain financial adviser and possible Treasury Secretary in a McCain cabinet, Phil Gramm. UBS just so happens to be the bank that he is the US Vice Chair of and a lobbyist for.

Chew on that for awhile but be careful not to whine…

UPDATE: Another McCain link to the mortgage meltdown. It seems his campaign manager Rick Davis lobbyed on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 5 years helping them beat back more strict regulatory challenges.

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Truth In Advertising

One can question the truthfulness of John McCain and more recently Barack Obama’s campaign and a Canadian electronics retailer does just that with one of their online ads.

Having a couple of HD sets myself I can concur with the gist of the ad but like Wilson over at Gizmodo says, the volume should be turned down for the full effect.

And speaking of being truthful, the link above documents some smoke involving the Obama campaign’s possible involvement in a less than truthful viral ad that is currently all the rage on the right. Stay tuned to see if there is any fire.

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The AP And The MPAA: Separated At Birth?

The AP has been making news this week with their new policy that would charge bloggers up to $2.50 a word to quote from their articles. Apparently not wanting to be outdone, the MPAA wants to be able to collect damages from those that they think have lifted their property without having to provide an ounce of proof.

The Motion Picture Association of America said Friday intellectual-property holders should have the right to collect damages, perhaps as much as $150,000 per copyright violation, without having to prove infringement.

Sounds like the same lawyers that thought up taking away Habeas Corpus from the prisoners at Abu Ghraib are now working for the MPAA…and the AP.

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Doubling US Oil Output

There is a big push to allow big oil to drill in ANWAR and the Gulf of Mexico now that gas has hit $4/gal and of course it is the tree hugging Democrat’s fault that it hasn’t happened yet. With that in mind, why exactly haven’t the big oil companies started producing on the 68 million acres of federal lands that they already own leases on?

The 68 million acres of leased but inactive federal land have the potential to produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. This would nearly double total U.S. oil production, and increase natural gas production by 75 percent. It would also cut U.S. oil imports by more than one-third, reducing America’s dependency on foreign oil.

And why are some in Congress drafting legislation to force the oil companies to use existing leases or lose them while at the same time others are arguing that we need to open up the Nation Wildlife Refuge to drilling?

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More Head Exploding News For The Religious Right

The California Supreme Court Decision that opened up the door for gays to marry had heads on the Religious Right’s exploding everywhere. Then New York’s Governor opened the backdoor (sorry couldn’t resist) for Gay marriage in New York by changing state policy to recognize gay marriages performed in other states which had even more heads exploding. Now a new study should finish off the head exploding, allowing gay marriages could actually boost the economy.

SAN FRANCISCO – Same-sex weddings could create hundreds of new jobs and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into California’s economy, according to a new study released Monday.

Gay couples are projected to spend $684 million on flowers, cakes, hotels, photographers and other wedding services over the next three years – so long as voters don’t put a halt to the same-sex marriage spree, according to a study by the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

During the three-year period, the researchers project that about half of the state’s more than 100,000 same-sex couples will get married and another 68,000 out-of-state couples will travel to California to exchange vows. The nuptial rush is expected to create some 2,200 jobs.

There goes the neighborhood, now Liberal policies can actually help America by creating jobs. What’s next allowing dogs and cats to marry?

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