the segment of the electorate that is immune to any information that conflicts with their worldview...is wayyyyy scarier.
I completely agree!
Heh! Me too!
Y'know it's bad out there when even the snark...is in sharp decline.
I'm really just an amateur in the snark field, sorry about that but I won't try and do better. But I couldn't resist on the door that you opened
and it was just laying there so cute and adorable. Anyway, I'm sure the professionals will be about.
Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.
"Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality" by HRC
Factcheck.org - rated the debate as full of exaggerations. But the one that bugs me the most is the dismissal of President Obama's assertion of savings for winding down the wars that were scheduled to end anyway. The thing is - I am well aware of the number of folks opposing President Obama's commitment to end the wars on schedule. So, I'm willing to give the President the point on this issue - I'd love to see the price tag for continuing the wars had we decided to stay a few more years.
Anyway - here is the Factcheck.org summary. For details of each item, just click on scherzo's link:
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.
Romney sometimes came off as a serial exaggerator. He said “up to” 20 million might lose health insurance under the new law, citing a Congressional Budget Office study that actually put the likely number who would lose employer-sponsored coverage at between 3 million and 5 million. He said 23 million Americans are “out of work” when the actual number of jobless is much lower. He claimed half of all college grads this year can’t find work, when, in fact, an AP story said half either were jobless or underemployed. And he again said Obama “cut” $716 billion from Medicare, a figure that actually reflects a 10-year target for slowing Medicare spending, which will continue to grow.
Every politician is going to distort and fudge numbers, but by failing to examine the gravity of each false or misleading claim, fact-checkers are ultimately covering for Romney by drawing false equivalencies. Romney flat out lies, saying his plan doesn't cut taxes for the rich; Obama fails to distinguish between the federal income tax rate and overall taxes in claiming the rich will be paying the same rate they did under Clinton. Both claims are wrong and should be corrected, but the magnitude of Romney's distortion demands far harsher criticism from any fair observer. Many confuse fairness for neutrality.
As Ezra Klein wrote, "if you take what’s on the page, the cost (of Romney's tax plan) is $5 trillion and it’s a huge tax cut for the rich. If you take what Romney says will eventually be on the page, the cost is…nothing."
Until Romney adds tax increases to his plan, it's a $5 trillion tax cut. He won't give us any specifics, yet fact-checkers obligate Obama to account for them anyway.
The fact check on Obama's 5 million private sector jobs claim is very weak, downright petty imo. Obama's figure was directly taken from a recent BLS revision. They haven't added it to the official tally yet, but as of now it's the more accurate, more up-to-date number.
Each year, in an effort to ensure that the monthly employment estimates are close to reality, the BLS uses more detailed data — state unemployment insurance tax records — to adjust its estimates. While these adjustments are made each year with the January employment report, this last week the BLS released a preliminary estimate of what that adjustment will be next January (based on detailed state data from March). Based on the data it appears the BLS previously underestimated private-sector employment by 453,000 jobs.
While the announcement was made with little fanfare (in fact few people other than economists knew of it at all), it is significant. The BLS previously had estimated that the U.S. economy had added 4.6 million private-sector jobs since February 2010 when the economy bottomed out from the Great Recession. Instead, if the adjustment holds, the total rises to nearly 5.1 million jobs. Furthermore, in 2011 the economy would have posted the largest one-year gain in private-sector employment since the Internet boom days of 1999.
I really agree QT. The press giving him a pass on the ground that all politician exaggerate is worse than irresponsible. This whole 5 trillion dollar tax cut thing is an obvious example. But there are more. The out of thin air claims about the percentage of workers employed by small businesses (however you define THAT) AND a whole 25% being employed by the top 3% of small businesses was completely outrageous. But did anyone call him on it?
Because people don't seem to care if it's true so long as it's said often enough and with enough flair. When I say "people" I am referring to the American voting public as a whole. I'm talking about people who through what appears to me to be a combination of being conditioned to believe that talking point=fact and deliberately cultivated ignorance simply will not bother to think for themselves or look beyond a talking point.
But that is the landscape. And Obama seems to be unaware of it. Because in that landscape, and in the course of a nationally televised Presidential debate, one has to operate in that landscape and be willing to call a liar a liar WHEN HE'S LYING. Making fun of him the day after is a bit like locking the barn door after the fox has already been and left the henhouse. But this is what Obama does. He seems so smug and secure and arrogant in his own little intellectual place that he seems like he just can't be bothered. Maybe he thinks he's taking the "higher ground". Well b*llsh*t to that. The stakes are too damn high to be worrying about whether one debates within the rules. If your opponent starts lying you SAY SO.
Remember Ronald Reagan with his "there you go again"? That was what, 1980? That's like 32 years ago and I still remember it as one of the most effective things I've ever seen in a debate.
I'll grant that Obama did do this once or twice, like when he said Romney had shaken the etch a sketch. But whatever he might have gained there was lost and then some when he (and I STILL can't believe this) actually said he and Romney shared similar views on Social Security and then closed by first congratulating a bald faced lying scum on a "terrific" debate and then apologizing for his own record.
In a society where so many people are swayed by whoever gets the last word, final impressions are perhaps more important than first impressions and Obama's closing was disastrous. It's one of the worst national political debate debacles I've ever witnessed. And that includes Gore and it includes Carter in '80.
Judging by what I've seen in my lifetime, the majority of Americans are sheep. They believe whatever nonsense their party is spewing (doesn't matter which party), and don't want to do the work that might actually tell them how much are facts and how much is rhetoric. They just parrot whatever their party says even when the smallest amount of contemporary information would tell them it isn't true. It has always driven me nuts. It's not that hard to find the facts about an incumbent's record or the opposite - the facts about a contender's campaign promises.
Instead, they digest full-blown whatever the party says and vote the party line. They seem to want someone else to tell them what to do because it's easier than thinking for themselves.
One of the reasons I enjoy coming here to discuss politics (except when it goes off the rails ) is because at least people here are actually chasing the facts and not just regurgitating the party line.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering. - Robert A. Heinlein
When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen. - RAH
The President seriously needs to pull his head out of wherever it was on debate night or he's handing it to Romney. He got a HUGE helping hand from Bill Clinton at the convention but he needs to put on the big boy pants and make the case HIMESELF. Bill can't swoop in and do his debates for him. That's been my issue with him since the beginning...Grow a set and fight for what you beleive in. He looked pissy and flat the whole debate and he just let Romney slide on some serious hipwader "facts". Love or hate Bill Clinton, no one can accuse him of lacking in knowledge or passion when he speaks.
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
Interesting story purporting to illuminate the Obama campaign's internal reaction. I say purporting because "leaks" these days are too suspect for me to buy in most cases. A leak is an accepted "offline" messenging tool. On the other hand, it's a little brutal. (Appropriately so -- but perhaps suggesting these were genuine sources providing off the reservation, and therefore more authentic, insights).
Bottom line: whether this is impactful to the trend as it existed pre-debate or not (yet to be determined), Obama has to feature a vast improvement next time.
I'm hoping that the President is better for the next debate. Give it back to Romney and mention his off the cuff remarks regarding those 47 percent Americans. Those were his true feelings and any lies or misconceptions he is now spewing doesn't change that.
The President seriously needs to pull his head out of wherever it was on debate night or he's handing it to Romney.
I think he will. I mean, it just occurred to me -- it was his wedding anniversary that day! It's no wonder that he seemed distracted and reluctant to be there. He wanted to be celebrating with his wife instead. So hopefully that was just a one-time thing.
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd
"The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas." -- "H. G. Wells," Time After Time