View Full Version : Just the facts Ma'am

Steel Duck
11-03-2008, 06:33 AM
A good read....

I had to shorten this for the purpose of posting...please click the link and read the whole thing

The Whoppers of 2008 -- The Sequel
October 31, 2008
The final five weeks of this looooong campaign produced some fresh outlandish charges, as well as some old ones reprised.
The last five weeks have brought so many ads we feel like we're drinking from a fire hose – and we'll bet you're pretty saturated, too.

Since our first "Whoppers of 2008" piece, we've seen some of the same themes repeated. McCain's campaign doesn't tire of distorting Obama's tax plan, it seems, and in the process has whipped up at least 15 minutes of fame for sudden star Joe the Plumber. Obama continues trying to pull seniors into his camp by making deceptive claims about what McCain would do to Social Security, and he has new distortions about his opponent's plans for Medicare.

And there are some fresh deceptions gobbling up airtime, including false depictions of McCain's position on stem cell research, Obama's connections to former Weatherman Bill Ayers and the community group ACORN, and both candidates' health care plans. Then there's a new parlor game, pin-the-blame-on-the-candidate for the financial crisis that has gripped the country.

For more on these and other mendacities and misrepresentations we've found recently, please read on to our Analysis section, where you'll find summaries of many of our articles and links to the full-blown versions.

And if you haven't voted already, do so by the end of Tuesday. After all, why do you think we've been doing all this work?
Remember, these are just the recent clunkers. For a collection of those from earlier in the campaign, see our first installment, "The Whoppers of 2008."

McCain: The "Welfare" Man Cometh

Since our last roundup of whoppers, Joe the Plumber has joined the cast, and Barack Obama's "spread the wealth" comment to him has been made infamous by John McCain. In fact, in Obama's exchange with Joe, he was simply talking about making the nation's progressive tax system a bit more progressive by cutting taxes for most while raising them on top earners. McCain himself has defended progressive taxation in the past.

Also, McCain began denigrating Obama's proposed refundable tax credits as "welfare." But refundable tax credits are a key feature of McCain's own health care plan, except that he calls them "reform." In an early version of Obama's plan, only a tiny portion of his tax credits would have gone to anyone who didn't work, and advisers quickly announced that they had added a work requirement even for that one (a tax credit to benefit homeowners who don't itemize deductions).

Two outside groups joined McCain in the tax attack. But one of them, Let Freedom Ring, pulled its ad off the air rather than defend its false assertion that Obama had voted to raise taxes on "100% of America." An ad by another independent group, RightChange.com, says that Obama's plan would hike taxes on "many small businesses" to 62 percent. That's a ridiculously inflated figure that includes the state tax rate paid by people making more than $1 million annually in California.

Meanwhile, McCain has continued to broadcast, in speeches and ads, his most harped-upon deception of the campaign, telling voters that Obama favored higher taxes on "families making over $42,000 a year." As we've said ad nauseam, Obama's plan would raise taxes only on individuals making more than $200,000 a year, or couples or families making more than $250,000.

Obama's "Welfare" October 17

Right Change Is Wrong October 24

Spread the Tax Hooey! October 26

Obama: Senior Scare

In two TV ads and in speeches, Team Obama made false claims aimed at frightening seniors into fleeing from McCain's camp, to wit: McCain proposes to cut $882 billion out of Medicare benefits and eligibility to help pay for his health care plan. This turkey draws in part from a newspaper story saying McCain would pay for the health plan with "major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid." The story said nothing about cutting benefits or eligibility, though, nor does it say the McCain camp has given a target number. One ad says benefits would be cut 22 percent, and there would be "higher premiums and co-pays."

These claims have a de minimis relationship with reality, if that. The Obama camp borrowed calculations from a Democratic think tank that had piled detailed assumptions and calculations on top of a flat misrepresentation of what McCain's economic adviser had said in the newspaper article. He was quoted as saying Medicare benefits would not be reduced, and reductions would come through "efficiencies."

Obama's False Medicare Claim October 21

McCain: Obama and the "Terrorist"

A McCain TV ad says Obama "lied" about his association with Bill Ayers, a former member of the radical, bomb-setting, anti-Vietnam War Weather Underground group. In a Web ad, McCain says the two are "friends" who have "worked together for years." GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has said repeatedly on the stump that Ayers and Obama "pal around" together. And in a large-scale robo-call effort, McCain's campaign implied that Obama "worked closely" with Ayers in the latter's earlier, Weather Underground days.

But nothing Obama said about Ayers has been shown to be untrue. All available evidence indicates the two know each other but are not close. They met in 1995, when Obama was asked to head the board of a school reform group, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, that Ayers had helped start. The organization, formed to dispense grants in an effort to improve the city's schools, was hardly radical; its board included a number of well-regarded Chicago establishment types. Also, Obama and Ayers overlapped for two years on the board of another foundation, and Ayers hosted a coffee in his home when Obama was running for the Illinois state Legislature.

Ayers is unrepentant about his past, and Obama doesn't excuse him, calling his acts as a Weatherman "despicable." But in Chicago, Ayers isn't seen as all that controversial. He's now a professor of education and was named a Chicago Citizen of the Year in 1997 for his work on school reform.

"He Lied" About Bill Ayers? October 10

Robo-Attacks October 20
Financial Crisis? Blame Someone!

There's nothing like a good disaster to bring on the finger-pointing. With the financial system in a tailspin, MoveOn.org seized the moment to hammer on former Sen. Phil Gramm, a onetime McCain economic adviser, for cosponsoring a 1999 bill repealing some regulations on financial institutions. But the bill had broad bipartisan support, passing the House 362-57, the Senate 90-8; Democratic President Bill Clinton signed it into law. Did it "strip the safeguards that would have protected us," as the ad charges? Actually, economists of various political stripes – as well as Clinton – have credited the law with cushioning some of the blows of the recent troubles.

A McCain ad turns the tables by saying the Republican candidate tried in vain to "rein in" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the institutions whose underwriting of too many risky home mortgages contributed to the meltdown. Obama was "notably silent," the ad says, and "Democrats blocked the reforms." Actually, Republicans never brought the bill up for consideration on the floor; they controlled the Senate at the time. And besides, McCain signed on to the 2005 bill too late for it to have made any difference.

The game caught on in congressional ads, too, where even more ludicrous factual contortions took place in order to parcel out blame. In one ad, a Republican state legislator who's running for a House seat is tied to the crisis and the $700 billion bailout for doing nothing more than going on record supporting Bush's tax cuts; the candidate has never even served in public office at the national level.

$700 Billion Blame Game October 21

Who Caused the Economic Crisis? October 1

McCain: The ACORN Fables

In another attempt to paint groups and people with whom Obama has some connection in as unsavory a light as possible, McCain has gone after the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. And we've gone after him, for an ad accusing the group of "massive voter fraud" and for saying in the final presidential debate that ACORN is "now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."

Both claims are breathtakingly inaccurate. There's a huge difference between voter fraud and voter registration fraud. And while ACORN, which hires part-time, $8-an-hour canvassers to go door-to-door and register people to vote, has had widespread problems with phony registrations invented by employees who don't want to work, the problem has never been that it sent people to the polls using bogus identities or to vote in any other fraudulent manner. Even the Republican prosecutor of the largest ACORN case to date said the shenanigans of ACORN workers were "not intended to permit illegal voting."

To be sure, Obama's interactions with the group have been greater than he has let on. But whether those ties can accurately be called "long and deep," as McCain's ad claims, is highly questionable.

ACORN Accusations October 18

FactChecking Debate No. 3 October 16

11-03-2008, 08:05 AM
Thank you for not making this about one party!

Too bad we can't get this kind of stuff published as it happens by all media outlets...

11-03-2008, 09:21 AM
The real travesty is that public perception is that Obama is somehow above attack ads, while McCain is not. They are both equally guilty of these typical campaign shenanigans...

Steel Duck
11-03-2008, 01:21 PM
Yes, it's true of both sides....and the real losers here are the american people...It's just not popular to report the truth :noidea:
And it's the voters who fall victim to it.

11-03-2008, 05:47 PM
It's actually the sheeples who fall victim to this. Unfortunately this country is filled with lazy and stupid people who can't be bothered to think for themselves any more...

11-04-2008, 07:35 AM
It's actually the sheeples who fall victim to this. Unfortunately this country is filled with lazy and stupid people who can't be bothered to think for themselves any more...

Sad part is our educational system is creating generations of them.

11-04-2008, 07:46 AM
I'm voting today, and I'm back in the same precinct I voted in for the first couple years after I moved back to Ohio. I'm monumentally curious to see:

A) How busy the polls are after all the early voting
B) The socio-economic make-up of the voters this year.

This is an older neighborhood, conservative, and the polls were all middle-aged to senior citizen white people, FDR Reagan Democrats, DEFINITELY people who know a little bit about what's what. I have my suspicions as to what I'm going to see today, but I'll reserve judgement until I actually vote.